Thursday, April 24, 2014

Return to Winthrop St. - Part 11

Three weeks later fall was in full swing. The California air was crisp in the evening as October made it’s way toward November. There was a fraternity mixer being held at the Delta Sig house tonight. Unfortunately it was with the Delta Gamma sorority. Clancy was sure to be there. Atwood wasn’t anywhere near ready to face that girl and her attitude. His only hope was that Bobby might be there as Clancy’s date and that the two of them could steal away if only for a moment to talk…or kiss. 

After losing Bobby as his pot connection he’d discovered that his fraternity brother, Ronnie, could hook him up when necessary. At the moment he was sitting in Ronnie’s room, high from too many bong hits—too many because he felt himself arrive at the perfect moment of relaxation, but continued to light the bowl and inhale the smoke. He was on the verge of being unable to focus or even walk a zig zag line. It was the only way he thought he could get through the party if Bobby was there and couldn’t (or wouldn’t) talk to him.

His fraternity brothers were a good group of guys, in his opinion. They always seemed genuinely happy to see him. Their smiles, hellos, pats on the back, and offerings of beer were always something that welcomed him to the frat house making him feel like there was something to this brotherhood thing. He had seen other members of his fraternity get less than friendly welcomes or none at all. He was unsure what he had done to find a place in the good graces of his fraternity brothers, but he stopped questioning if they were motivated by false intentions weeks ago and just started enjoying their friendship. Of course when one is high the paranoia creeps in and finding the way to what is real, as opposed to perceived, is difficult. As he walked down the stairs he was struggling to believe he actually belonged there, wanted to be there. That’s when he saw Bobby.

Leaning up against the door frame in the opening that connected the living room to the game room, Bobby Blake looked as handsome as ever. Beyond him the game room was full of people playing pool, talking, laughing, drinking. They were blurs to Atwood though. All he could see was Bobby. Then she came into focus. Clancy was leaning against Bobby talking very closely to his face. Bobby was smiling. His fingers hooked into her belt loop. He noticed that Clancy pushed herself against Bobby as if she was grinding against him. In his half lidded daze Atwood saw her as an animal marking her territory. 

Atwood grabbed a beer out of someone’s hand.

“Hey,” the distant sound of a voice penetrated his ear.

“What?” Atwood said as he tried to focus on the blurry body attached to the voice.

“That’s my beer, Jerk!” The face came into focus. It was a girl. Atwood had taken a plastic cup full of beer right out of the hands of a girl. He had always prided himself on being a gentleman, but in that moment he couldn’t find an ounce of care for his actions.

“Yeah? My bad.” His sarcasm hung in the air like a bad stench. She stood staring at him as he raised the cup to his mouth and drank until it was empty. “Guess you’ll need a refill.” He gave the empty cup back to her.

“Asshole,” she said as she let the cup drop to the floor.

“Yeah, yeah. I’m the asshole.” He was staring straight at Bobby when he said those words, projecting the blame for his actions onto the object of his bad behavior.

Atwood stumbled away from the angry sorority girl and into a table that sat at the end of the sofa. He hit the table hard enough to scoot it a few inches pulling Bobby’s focus in his direction in the process. Bobby let go of Clancy’s belt loop and Clancy turned in the direction of Bobby’s gaze. She rolled her eyes and pushed herself away from Bobby’s obviously aroused mid section.

Atwood continued to stumble toward the front door. Once out on the front porch he used one of the columns for balance as he eased himself to a sitting position on the top step.

“Looks like you’ve had a little too much of something.”

The voice was unmistakably Bobby’s. Atwood didn’t even need to turn around to know it was him.

“Yeah. And from the looks of you you’ve got a lot of something to give.” Atwood responded, taking a moment to look over his shoulder, letting his eyes linger on Bobby’s still erect cock before taking his gaze slowly up Bobby’s torso to his face.

“What’s going on with you, Atwood?” asked Bobby as he sat down next to the man whose bed he’d shared, whose bed he wished he was strong enough to share again.

“Why do you care?” Atwood replied to the question. “Aren’t you here with Clancy?” Atwood stared into Bobby’s eyes. His face was hard and cold. He turned away from Bobby to stare at the front lawn before leaning up against the column he’d used for support. “Let me ask you something. When you’re fucking Clancy do you ever think of me?”

“Atwood,” said Bobby in a tone that was somehow laced with both shock and condescension.

“I’m serious,” Atwood continued. “Does she let you fuck her in the ass? I know you like that. At least you did with me.” Atwood closed his eyes before continuing his verbal assault on Bobby. “What about dick? Does she strap on a dick so you can suck it or so she can fuck you with it?”

“You’re an asshole, Atwood,” Bobby said as he got up to leave.

“Yeah, I’ve been told that already tonight,” retorted Atwood. As Bobby walked away from him he said to no one in particular, “Takes one to know one.” 

Chugging that beer had been a big mistake. He hadn’t intended to drink this evening choosing instead to ride the marijuana high all night. Now he was getting ready to “break the seal,” as they say, by taking his first piss after drinking alcohol. He knew that meant he’d be peeing the rest of the night.

He used the column one more time to help himself up from the step then stumbled into the parking lot next to the fraternity house. Without looking around or walking into the seclusion of darkness he whipped his dick out and started urinating on the tire of the car he was standing next to. He thought of Clancy leaning up against Bobby and how she seemed to be marking her territory. He started to laugh as he continued to pee on the tire thinking that he was now marking his territory. His body shook with laughter and his urine stream mimicked his movement as he pee’d on the ground and then his right shoe.

“Fuck,” he said as he realized his urine stream was hitting his shoe. That’s when the flashing lights of the cop car got his attention. “FUCK!” he said as he tried to cut off his urine stream and put his dick back in his pants.

It was too late. A police officer was standing next to him so he continued to pee until his was finished.

“I guess that’s what I get for chugging a beer and then pissin’ in the glow of a street light, huh, officer?” Atwood offered a boyish smile to the police officer standing next to him, but his smile was not returned.

“What’s your name, son?” asked the police officer

“Atwood Ross, sir,” replied Atwood.

“Well, Atwood Ross you're going to have to come with me. You’re not allowed to urinate in public. I realize you’re not driving, but you’re intoxicated, or impaired by something, in public and could be a danger to yourself or others. I’m going to have to take you to the police station.”

Atwood didn’t object as the officer led him toward the police car, reading him his Miranda rights in the process.

“What are you charging me with?” asked Atwood as the officer put him in the back seat of a police car.

“I would think Public Intoxication, Disorderly Conduct, and Urinating in Public should cover this poor choice tonight, Mr. Ross.” responded the police officer.

Atwood couldn’t believe this was happening to him. His brain was still foggy, but being arrested was going a long way toward killing his buzz. His head was swimming in thoughts of what to do. He had to call somebody but who? He thought of his parents in Massachusetts finding out that he’d been arrested. It would be worse than the time he’d wrecked the car. The disappointment in their voices would be more than he could stand. He wondered if there was a way to get around having to tell them? Could he say he was sorry and be let go on…what was the word he’d heard on every TV show where someone was released to themselves? Recognizance. He wondered if he apologized if they might release him to his own recognizance and this would just go away.

Atwood woke up in jail a couple of hours later. He hadn’t been dreaming. This was a nightmare that he was stuck in for real. He was no longer high and the severity of his situation was setting in. He was in jail. He faintly remembered a few minutes of begging for them not to lock him up, but waking up in jail meant no apology or amount of pleading had worked. He was ashamed of himself for what must have been childish begging and felt sick to his stomach at the reality of his situation. It was the  kind of nausea that comes from the dread of facing something you did, facing your actions.  

He heard the sound of dangling keys as a police office walked toward his cell.

“Your friend is here to sign you out.” Atwood didn’t speak. He just stared at the police officer. “You’ve got a good friend if he’s willing to take responsibility for you.”

“Somebody’s signing me out?” Atwood asked surprised. “Who?”

“Bobby Blake. You called him a couple of hours ago. Don’t you remember?”

The truth was Atwood didn’t remember calling Bobby. He’d been so freaked out from being arrested that he must have made the phone call in panic and then passed out when he’d been locked inside the jail cell.

When Atwood stepped into the lobby he saw Bobby standing at the counter, in front of a girl who must have been a secretary or receptionist, signing some papers. His stomach fluttered and his heart sank, conflicting emotions working against each other.

Bobby turned to look at him as he took his copies of the papers he’d just signed. He motioned for Atwood. Each step toward Bobby was heavy with shame and embarrassment. Standing in front of Bobby, Atwood couldn’t find it in himself to look Bobby in the eyes.

“Thank you,” he said while staring at his now dry shoe.

“You’re welcome,” said Bobby, lifting Atwood’s face.

“I don’t even remember calling you.” Atwood said, his face twisted with humiliation. 

“It’s ok. I didn’t answer.” Bobby’s response was firm, bordering on uncaring. Then he softened. “I wanted to, but Clancy didn’t want me to so I let it go to voice mail.”

“Well, thank you anyway for helping me.”

“Atwood, I signed my name to a piece of paper saying I would take responsibility for you. That means you can’t do anything like this again or it’s my ass on the line too.” Bobby’s eyes darted back and forth looking into both of Atwood’s as if trying to make sure the importance of their situation was sinking in.

“I understand. I’m sorry I put you in that position.” responded Atwood. “Do you know if they called my parents?”

“They didn’t.’ Bobby paused and let his answer sink in. “Because I took responsibility for you.” 

When Atwood heard Bobby’s answer he seemed to let go of the breath he’d been holding. For a moment, relief that he wouldn’t have to deal with his parents’ disappointment washed over him. He hoped that given enough time and distance this would become just another funny college experience.  

When they stepped outside the predawn sky was still dark, the sounds more quiet than during the height of daytime—almost eerily so. Atwood realized he’d been seeing a lot more of this time of night lately than ever before in his life. Then he saw Clancy staring at him through the windshield of the car. Clancy had driven Bobby to the police station to pick him up. She was partly his savior in what was possibly the darkest moment of his life thus far. She made no effort to smile or be comforting as he situated himself in the back seat behind Bobby. 

“What did you have to do,” she asked Bobby, starting the car and backing out the parking space.

“I had to sign a form saying that I would take responsibility for him so that I could get him out of jail.” replied Bobby.

 Atwood saw Clancy’s eyes staring at him in the rearview mirror.

“You better not fuck up again, Atwood. I’m not about to let Bobby go down for you.” She pulled out of the police station parking lot and into light traffic.

“Clancy,” started Bobby, his annoyance at her reactionary tone clear in his voice and on his face.

“It’s okay, Bobby.” began Atwood. “She’s right. I’m sorry you’re involved in this. I would never want to get you into trouble.”

Clancy continued to stare at him in the rearview mirror, her eyes piercing his own.

“Thank you, Clancy for driving Bobby to the police station to help me. I appreciate it.”

Clancy averted her eyes from his and back to the road, but didn’t answer him.

“Clancy,” said Bobby staring at her, his eyes pleading with her to acknowledge Atwood.

“You’re welcome,” she said with no feeling and without looking at him again.

The rest of the drive to Atwood’s dormitory was in silence. It felt like it would never end. After letting him out of the back seat Bobby got back into Clancy’s car and shut the door. For a second the two of them stared at each other through the window. Bobby’s face was sad. Even though he was smiling, the smile never reached his eyes. Atwood didn’t even get to say thank you again or goodbye before Clancy squealed the tires as she drove Bobby away from him.

© Michael Rohrer 2014