Tuesday, July 3, 2012
A Roofie For Jakey
But today I came across something amazing: an old email I sent myself in 2007. It was filled with my original writing. Short stories that never saw the light of day. Half-novels I gave up on writing. I've decided to share them with you.
These are raw. Unedited. Some may be completely terrible. Some may be pretty good. Some might be awesome. Read on at your own risk. It appears that I wrote THIS particular story in 2004, which was right around when I graduated college.
I've changed the name because I like this one better. It's more appropriate.
Looking back at how I once viewed nightlife, I'm shocked by how naive I was... or how nightlife may have been back when I wrote this 8 years ago at the ripe age of 22.
Either way, I hope you enjoy. Or are at least entertained.
- Justin Luke
A ROOFIE FOR JAKEY
Dale will show me, step-by-step, how to pickpocket. Gay clubs are the best place for such an activity, and we found a sweet ass one in Chicago. People stood in lines outside, tapping their feet, looking at their watches, rolling their eyes and bitching so the entire line could hear them. Dale brushed himself up against the doorman and got us in before the crowd. The boys waiting outside didn’t complain, they just gazed at us with awe.
Inside the club, before he starts his magic, Dale pulls me to him and kisses me. I shove my tongue in his mouth and feel the sex that drips out of his every pore.
“Let’s see you do this, bitch,” I say, smirking and challenging him with my tone.
He lets me go and gyrates to the pounding bass that saturates the air around us. His shirt goes up over his head and finds its way into the back of his jeans. His stomach tenses and twists, his chest expands as his arms move up into the air.
I watch as an older man approaches, hovering with caution, like a moth near a bug zapper. At first, the man stands there and watches Dale move. Turning in circles, his feet stepping in and out of time with the music, Dale inches closer to his prey. The man tests the waters as he moves closer. Finally, my boyfriend slams back-first into the man, arching himself backwards, hands darting behind the man’s neck. The man lets Dale pull his head downwards as he engulfs Dale’s neck in his mouth. My stomach turns, but I take a deep breath and it is gone.
The man tries his best to keep up with Dale, but fails. He stumbles and almost falls over backwards, a combination of too much liquor and too little rhythm. Dale, a master, slows down instinctively to make the man regain a sense of control. Now they move – not as one – but more as one with a clumsy attachment. Dale’s eyes meet mine from across the dance floor. He winks at me and heads off with the man towards the bathroom.
My stomach flips over and I’m going to throw up. My head expels what seems like a torrent of sweat. Necessity, I remind myself. And it’s hot to watch him work, can’t forget that. This is just for kicks, anyway. My stomach resettles. What did I eat that’s fucking with my system?
The bathroom door swings back open and Dale comes out with the wallet in his hand. He presents it like a lion would flaunt its kill, swinging it deliberately from its jaws, with pride and plenty of egotism.
“How did you do that?” I scream over the music.
“These guys are so drunk they don’t know what the hell is going on!” He says.
The club is filling up more and more with new targets. Dale’s lifted three wallets in the span of one hour. Seeing how to take all but twenty dollars from a wallet before burying it in a couch cushion, I was reminded of Dale’s genius.
“This way, when they get sober and call the club the next morning, the owner finds it there. The boss sees that there’s money inside, and he’s not going to believe what a fucking hungover drunk says about getting robbed. By then you and I will be so far away from this city.” Dale had explained.
As I grind my ass against the front of some guy, his hands crawl all over me like two fat, sweating spiders. When he gets under my shirt, the hot skin on the pads of his fingers sticks to my stomach. I can resist. I can push his hands off, and run back to Dale so I can remember why I’m doing this in the first place. Dale’s giving eyes to someone who’s more our age. In the open, he does a line or two out of the guy’s hand and they start kissing. My inside becomes a vacuum. Everything crumbles. Denial leaves me to deal with the situation as it is.
The man’s hands are now down my pants, touching my dick, which wouldn’t stand up even if I closed my eyes and imagined something else. The wallet I finally lift only has ten dollars in it. The cheap fucker must have spent all his money on vodka tonics. I put his wallet in some seat cushions and gather spit to dilute the taste of his sour breath in my mouth. I can’t find Dale. Maybe I don’t want to find him.
A boy, about my age, catches my eye. He smiles and beckons me over to him, into the entryway of a small corner room that has couches lining the walls. The little room could fit five sitting people comfortably. Dale sits on the couch, his pants around his ankles, with another boy’s head between his legs. He looks up and sees me and smiles. He gestures with his head for me to come into the room.
Before I walk in, the boy who called me over offers a line of blow from his pointer finger. He feeds me two lines and three bumps before I join the party. As the coke makes everything seem happy, I start to drift off. It sucks when you know you’re miserable and that the drugs are just painting something pretty over the problem. I close my eyes to remember how this all started, on the day that Dale and I met when he asked me if I was a faggot to my face. His sheer ballsiness earned him a stiff punch in the cheek that flew him across the locker room.
Instead of coming after me, he just continued to call me fag, telling me to admit it for fucksakes. I kicked him in the ribs, stomach, balls. He was spitting blood and gasping on the floor. But still, he wouldn’t get up and fight me. Instead, he wiped the blood from his mouth and signed his name, Dale Alexander, on the floor around him. He told me to take a photo of the bloody autograph; it would be worth money in the near future. I ran from the locker room, submitting the match to him. He called after me as I ran to the field. But as I ran, all I kept thinking to myself was “am I?”
We’ve come a long way from that day. But he never let me forget that I’m the straight boy that he swayed. “You went from putting a fist in my face to putting your dick in my ass” he would say at least once a month. During conversation, that fact tended to come out first, before even giving people my name. And whenever I do something that he doesn’t like, he’s there to remind me that he saved me from a fake straight life. If it weren’t for his trailblazing efforts, I’d still be in Texas doing nothing but lying to the world and to myself. And I’ve never fought him. I let him convince me of all sorts of things, except one.
Dale said my smoking would kill him. He thinks it’s gross. He’s listed diseases and conditions that will smite me from this one terrible habit. It tastes like shit, and smells even worse.
But I smoke anyway. It’s this one deadly decision that speaks volumes of my independence. Sure I stay in the motel when he tells me to, and yes, when he asks me to not drink so much or to lend him money, I oblige immediately. But I’ll be fucked before I let him stop me from slowly killing myself. That is a freedom that everyone deserves to have.
Gentlemen, start your tumors, something in my head shouts out. I take a heavy drag and let the smoke dry my insides. My chest burns with the excess crap. I finally expel the smoke and watch it billow out of my mouth in a long string. Lights shoot from the ceiling, igniting the fading essence into a series of colors. Red. Blue. Yellow. Green. And then it’s gone.
Two boys trade off with each other as Dale alternates which of their heads he rests his hand on. He leans back and the cleft of his chin develops. I look down and remember that I’ve got my own boy, the one who had filled me with blow five minutes ago. I guess he figured I owed him for the stuff, and I wasn’t in the mood to turn him down. My dick’s hard but it might as well not exist. It’s like a piece of dead, petrified kindling. I want Dale to freak out, to rip this other peon off of me. But he doesn’t, and so I don’t pretend that I’m enjoying myself. I put the cigarette out in the couch cushion.
We are desperation. We’ve been stealing shit from convenience stores for a week and a half. Dale told me he had plenty of money for the trip, and so buying drugs here and there was perfectly reasonable. We’d be stupid not to take advantage of the marked down prices of drugs as we ran across the country, he had said. He was wrong, or lying, or both.
I reach over the sweaty back of the kneeling boy before me. I stroke his ass with enough force that he can feel it through his tight jeans. Cupping his left cheek with my left hand, I slip my right hand into his back pocket. I sneak his thin wallet out of the confines of his pants. Flipping it open, I find a couple of twenties. Jackpot. I take three of the five bills there, and drop the wallet on the floor behind him. I bend over, his face still in my lap, and snake my left hand into his unzipped fly. My right hand puts the sixty dollars into the pocket of my jeans that lay in a crumbled mass around my ankles. He is none the wiser. I am all the richer.
I look over to see if Dale’s noticed. He’s occupied, and so I act like nothing’s happened. I need to start making my own non-Dale fund. He’s so into the two boys who are genuflecting before him. They’re not just going down on Dale, they’re bowing in reverence. Everyone looks up to Dale Alexander.
Bullshit. He wouldn’t have made it this far across the continent if I weren’t beside him, praising him appropriately every step of the way. Right now he’s king of his little gay world, but, without me, he’d still be in Texas, staring at that unattainable football player that beat the fuck out of him that day in the locker room. I made as much of a choice as he did. We wouldn’t be here, in this club, getting courtesy blowjobs and picking pockets if it weren’t for that night when I first answered his phone call.
He never told me how he got my number. At first he apologized, said he was kidding when he called me gay. He told me that he was one of the few people who actually knew I wasn’t gay, which was good, because most people thought I was.
But that one conversation led to longer conversations. I picked it up every day that he called, watching the talks get louder. I loved hearing him validate my heterosexuality, believing that I didn’t have a girlfriend because I was too busy with class and shit. Then one night, he started talking about jerking off, making it sound so off the cuff and natural. Not knowing his penchant for manipulation, I mentioned how horny I was and how I had to hang up so I could take care of business. He told me not to hang up. So I didn’t.
When our nightly talk hit the two-hour mark, Mom and Dad took notice. How could they not? The bill was higher than the price of a used car. I figured that they would do something about it, but I didn’t believe Dale at first when he told me they were recording our conversations. We found recordings of us having phone sex that my parents had hidden under their bed.
That night was the beginning of the end. I got addicted to Dale; he happily welcomed the obsession.
What followed seems like photographs in my head: Mom and Dad find out. I tell them to fuck off. They say that I can never see Dale again. Dale tells me that he has a friend in New York who can sell his script to Miramax. Mom and Dad go insane. Dale tells me we’re leaving. We leave. Suddenly Mom and Dad give a shit about me. Friends tell us that my parents got the cops searching. We cut off all communication from back home. It’s a wild, exciting group of images.
Then there are the photos that begin to slowly develop now: Dale calling his mom on my cell phone, saying it’s okay to talk to his family but not mine. Me waking up to find Dale doing drugs that he hid wrapped in a roll of socks in his bag. The nights when Dale didn’t come back to the motel. The nights when Dale did come back to the motel, with someone else, thinking I was asleep.
Dale zips up his fly and heads over to me. His eyes sparkle with the mock innocence that he has a talent for imitating. I could be at home right now. I could be going to dinner with my family. I would explain to them that this whole gay thing is a fluke, a mistake, a lapse in my normally sober judgment. And they’d take me back as their straight and narrow football player son and I’d go back to school. I’d meet up with MacNamara and Gilroy and we could throw the ball around and take turns rushing the line with plays we made for our game against Wilbarger High. And then we could get rip-roaringly fucked up, triple team a girl, and I could sneak peeks at their packages. I could do that. I can do that.
Dale’s nose is against mine.
“Did you get any money?” His breath is sweet with the smell of Midori.
I can’t do that.
“How much did you get?” He rubs my chest with his hand, his long fingers playing on my skin like I’m his piano. A shiver runs up my back. My eyes close.
“Sixty dollars. What about you? You seemed pretty busy over there.”
Going home is willfully going back to the lie that I worked so hard to escape from. Running back to Texas would be the same as dropping a 150-pound barbell on my own throat on the bench. It would be tackling myself before I make the first down. I’d just as soon kill myself.
“Strictly business, Jakey.” He’s so demeaning; I want to rip his dick right off with my free hand, the one that he isn’t holding on to. He’s stroking my knuckles with his thumb, melting me as I try my best to sustain the idea of violence against him.
He’s kissing me and I realize that the coke wore off a while ago. The feeling souring in my stomach is one of painful realization, a coming to terms that has been pushed so far into my unconscious that it’s like being stabbed to recognize it. From twenty feet away we must look like that amazing couple at every gay club.
But here, inside of my eyes, I’m ready to rip him apart, pulling off his skin like he were an uncooked chicken.
“Did I do something?” He asks. Dale’s the kind of guy who walks down a busy street, hears a horn honk, turns to the traffic and gives the finger – because whoever it was couldn’t possibly be honking at another driver. It’s common knowledge that Dale’s the center of the entire world.
He’s right this time, but I’m sure he isn’t always.
“You shake my heart like a spray can,” he confides in me. He thinks I love that line. He’s convinced that it’s romantic, charming, and oh-so-artist-punk. Those words had worked before. As hotel begat motel begat someone’s house begat the fucking street, the spray can was all it took to assuage my nauseous fears. But now those words stop dead at a hard place inside of me. All these weeks gone by, I’ve finally built a fortress around that soft spot.
A tear deploys from my eye. It is programmed much like all of my actions will be from this point on.
“You always knew how to make me feel like a Prince,” my mouth says.
Dale, despite his fucked up state, takes the ego boost in stride. My hand squeezes his as my head instructs. My entire body acts under my final manifesto, my last ditch attempt at righting everything that’s gone wrong. The emergency plan is underway.
I pull myself closer to Dale, pressing up against him. The two gems that are his eyes are so wide that you can see “ecstasy” typed over and over again, circling his irises. I lick his ear lobe, his favorite treat, letting my tongue dart to the inside recesses. Dale, as I expect him to, pulls my face away. He focuses on me as though he’s studying me, but I know that he’s way past gone. Then his face is in the crook of my neck and he’s licking the underside of my chin. I can feel his tongue grating on my three-day stubble.
“I want you to fuck me,” he gasps with desperation.
The drink has been perspiring in my right hand all this while, waiting. Cold droplets of condensation slip down my fingers, chilling my palm.
“I was going to finish my drink first,” I say, offering the glass vocally before I do so physically.
Drinks are the ultimate weapon. A club bomb. Being one for trouble, I’ve had my fair share of liquor in the eyes and nose from a thrown Seven and Seven. Or, when a ruined outfit isn’t enough of a wound, the drink can be finished off and the glass can be shattered, leaving a treasure trove of murderous slivers.
But my Molotov drink of choice is ready to burst with Roofies. Forty bucks worth of knock-you-on-your-ass tasteless drug goodness swirls with the drink as naturally as the ice cubes. Very few clubbers think to purchase the drug that reaches out and fucks someone else. Because of this, Rohypnol is as cheap as shag pot, but a million times more potent. It wasn’t hard to score a pill and a half’s worth while Dale was in his fuck den. “Do you want to wrap this one up?” I ask.
The blue tropical drink is out of the glass and heading down Dale’s throat before my hand returns to my side. I envision the ice cold stuff oozing down into the recesses of his lithe body, finding the one place that isn’t already intoxicated to oblivion, and spreading its tendrils like a tumor would metastasize, bit by pretty bit. In his eyes I see a brief spark, as though he’s caught on. But I know he hasn’t. That spark was another holocaust of brain cells, nothing else.
“That shit’s good,” he slurs. I save him the embarrassment of further jumbled words and plant my mouth on his. Now that the Roofs are deep within him, I can love him again. A man on death row gets a final meal and a priest, the least I can give Dale is one last, hard kiss.
The bathroom of the club was built with its future purpose in mind. The stalls are very roomy, and there’s ample wall space for the boys up against all sides of the room. Moans and groans overpower the flushing of the toilets. This room is used for the fulfilling of one basic human need, and taking a piss is not that need.
Dale smacks his head against the doorframe as he tries to enter the room. This collision turns him around in a complete circle as he bails out onto the scummy floor.
“Oh fuck, Jakey. I’m so fucking wasted.” He laughs as he says this, his eyes releasing tears of childish joy. He’s clapping and cheering at nothing, it moves me to pity. My stomach catches me before I can go about my task thoughtlessly. My desire to take action as would a robot is destroyed when he stops laughing and looks at me, wide eyed.
“Is everything alright, Jakey? What’s the matter?”
You’re the fucking matter, something inside me screams, ripping at my veins and arteries like a manic teenage girl would tear down posters in her room. My robot mouth smiles, thinking, of course not Dale-baby, everything’s fine.
My human mouth catches the smile mid arc, and sinks into a pained frown. The human eyes go next, bailing out hours of restricted, hidden tears. Finally my whole system re-animates and I crumble downwards, in a messy pile, onto the dirty tiles of the bathroom. No one around us bothers to look, they’re too enthralled with what they’re doing, and too desensitized by far worse situations that they’ve witnessed in the past.
I look up from the puddle of water that’s soaking into my pants. Dale’s eyes blink viciously with the effort to remain open. If they don’t close, he’ll just fall backwards as his body is thrust into a state of paralysis. That’s how this rape drug works. It renders the body unconscious, but leaves the mind silently aware of everything. Dale tries to balance on his knees, reaching over to me.
“Jakey, it’s going to be so okay. Trust me. We’ll get to New York.” His hand grazes my wet cheek before his newly heavy body takes him forward past his intended position, and sprawls him out on the floor, stomach first.
“Holy shit. I’m so wasted. Jakey, I feel like I’m going to be sick.”
He vomits right in front of his face. I hear him spitting out the last bits as he wipes the stuff off with a three hundred pound hand. His head is now too heavy for him to lift out of the pile of puke. He just lays there, his body trembling. I am paralyzed, too. I watch as he changes from the figure that commands attention to this crippled joke that heaves and quakes in front of me. And then, like that, his body stiffens into its state of sleep. His eyes remain wide open, unblinking, staring into his vomit.
I go to work. Pulling the wallet out of the back pocket of his jeans, I begin to search for all the money he has. I count a couple hundred dollars. He has five credit cards and three bank cards with pin numbers attached on sticky notes. I turn his body over and search his other pockets. His glassy, reflective eyes look on me with an air of non-judgment. I search the pockets as quickly as possible. There’s another few hundred dollars in the front right pocket.
Something sharp jabs into the palm of my hand. I recoil, fearing an AIDS needle or something worse. There’s no puncture mark, and no blood. I rummage back through the pocket and find the culprit – a set of car keys. “Ford” is inscribed at the top of the black plastic.
I realize that someone’s taken notice. I look up to see a few of the guys, more blitzed than Dale was. “Hey. Is he okay?”
“He’s fine, I think he just took a little too much K.” They look at me like I’m just sitting on the floor reading a book instead of on my knees, rooting through the pockets of a boy passed out in his own sick.
“Oh don’t I know that feeling,” one of them says and then they leave. I make sure that everything is out of Dale’s pockets before I initiate my final phase. Balance returns to me as I stand up, come around to the top of Dale, and bend over. One strong pull lifts his skinny body up.
I let go and watch as Dale falls into the corner of two intersecting couches. He bounces on the cushion, his head swings back and rests on top of the couch, his chin pointing straight up. Directly underneath him are all the wallets that we stole tonight. I’ve left two of the stolen credit cards in his pocket. His dead doe eyes don’t move, so I straddle him to stare him in the face.
“I want you to see me,” I tell him, not bothering to shout over the music. “I want you to wake up and realize that I’m gone. And I want you to fucking cry about it. I want you to be fucked like you fucked me. I want you to understand that I’ve manipulated you for once.” I’m crying as I say this, and my tears are falling from my cheek and splashing on his head.
I kiss Dale again, tasting whatever of him I can. Hate is so complicated. True he fucked up my family life. True he’s taken advantage of me and acted solely for himself all this time. And I know he’d leave me the second he got to NY and sold that script. I am no longer in denial.
But he also was the catalyst to show me what I was. If he didn’t make the calls and take the chance, I’d still be getting blowjobs from any slutty cheerleader I found, coming up with new reasons why I wouldn’t eat them out. I’d still be having drunken strip poker jerk off sessions with Macnamara and Gilroy. I’d still be playing games, instead of taking chances. This is why I cry as I kiss him. This is why I thank him as I frame him for drug trafficking and robbery.
I shift my weight and lift myself off of Dale’s lap, his head lolls to the right. I am in the tunnel of his vision. Is it true that a Roof victim can see everything? I imagine the torture that he feels, and there’s a bitter feeling of victory that overcomes me.
I make sure that one of the wallets is on Dale’s lap, and that one pokes out of the couch cushions underneath him. I put a couple tabs of Ecstasy that I had bought with the Roof in his open hand. And then I am walking across the club, towards the exit.
I stop at the bar and wave down a shirtless bartender.
“What’ll it be, guy?”
“Nothing, cutey,” he blushes as I say this, “but maybe you should check out that guy over there.” I point to Dale through the mass of people. “I saw him stumbling around before, I think he’s passed out.”
The bartender looks at the Dale. “Thanks, buddy, I’ll go let my boss know. He doesn’t need any trouble with the cops.”
“A lot of people get fucked up here?”
“This is a club, not a library. It’s expected.”
We both laugh. Me for more reasons than him. Before I can leave, the bartender hands me his phone number. I throw it in the garbage can before I get outside.
The keys belong to a 2000 Ford Taurus. I discover this after surveying the parking lot for twenty minutes, using the circles of light from overhanging street lamps. I unlock the door and sit in the seat. The car stinks of cigarettes. There are two packs of Parliament 100s on the passenger seat. God put this car here for me, and equipped it with exactly what I needed.
I drive the car out of the parking lot, without a single idea as to where I’m going. When Dale gets up, he’ll remember the entire night through a filter of paralysis. I can still go to New York, driving the car to New Jersey, and hopping a train to Grand Central Station. He can look and look and still never find me. Manhattan is a giant disappearing act, and I’ll be as good as gone to him. This makes me smile.
I can’t stop imagining Dale waking up to find that he’s being arrested for theft. The fingerprinting, maybe even one of those fist-in-the-ass exams – the ones he used to joke around and say that he would enjoy getting, especially from a hot trooper. I’m sure he’ll reconsider this statement.
I pack the Parliaments against my hand and unwrap the cellophane with my teeth, spitting it out the window. The first drag is Heaven. The following ones are a hundred times better. I hold my hand out the window, allowing the wind to ash my cigarette for me. So goes the first smoke of my new life.
I light another cigarette when the first is finished. The smoke trails behind me as the road opens up in front of me.
“This one’s for you, Dale” I say as I exhale his carcinogenic sworn enemy out into the night. Somewhere, in a holding cell, I know he smells it.
“Come and get me, dickhead,” I shout, tears from emotion and the cold breeze streaking my cheeks.
I open all four of the car’s windows, and step on the gas until the spedometer reads 100 MPH. I leave Chicago, and Dale, in my dust. The open road welcomes me with the warmest, most caring embrace I’ve ever received.
For the first time in my life I am completely and utterly alone. I light another cigarette to my freedom. It’s the sweetest drag I’ve ever tasted.
He’s not gone forever; But he’s going to get one fuck of a slow start.