The written version of the story I told on Thursday's live. I have quite a few of these stories/pieces hidden in various places online. I figured they all sucked and I'd never share them, but reading this changed my mind. There are plenty of changes I'd make if I'd written it today, instead of six years ago, but I really enjoyed rereading it, and thought you guys might like it too.
I'll continue posting stuff like this on a more regular basis.
The Christian Lisa was ovulating.
Or, at least, I was pretty sure she was at the time.
“How do you know that?” asks Consonant Tift, after I let him in on this little secret.
“There’s no other way to explain it,” I say. The two of us are moving briskly through the Saturday night casino floor, heading for (where else?) the blackjack pits. “First, this girl is the biggest, most Christ-worshipping prude I know of, and second, she has never demonstrated anything more that mild interest in me in the past.”
Then I show him her texts: a flock of “hey’s,” “hi’s,” and smiley faces littering the last two days. And now, at 10 o’clock p.m., she’d taken to badgering me about “hanging out.”
Consonant shakes his head, pushes my phone away: “She’s probably just drunk, dude.”
“Well…I hope you’re right–but that doesn’t explain the texts from yesterday.”
The least crowded table seats two other gamblers–a friendly looking couple in their 50’s or 60’s.
They smile as we approach.
Consonant and I glare back.
After a few months of studying the game, we were at the height of our blackjack snobbery. Never mind our $75 Men’s Wearhouse suits; our bankrolls that allowed us to play no higher than $5 tables; the fact that, until midnight, Consonant was forced to show his older brother’s driver’s license to the dealers. In our minds, we owned the fucking casino.
I make a move for one of the stools, but Consonant catches me by the shoulder: “Hold on–let’s watch these fuckers play a few hands first.”
I shrug, pull my phone back out from my pocket. At first I figured I’d give The Christian Lisa an invite after our session, but now seems as good a time as any.
“What’s our room number again?” I ask, trying to sound casual.
“Why?” says Consonant, still lazer-eyed on the cards. “For what?”
“I’m inviting this girl over,” pointing innocently to my phone.
“Now?” says Consonant.
“Yeah…now,” I repeat. Then looking up. “What’s the problem?”
Consonant throws me some stern eye contact here: “You know my brother and his boyfriend are being real pieces of shit tonight.”
He continues to stare.
Of course, I knew where he was going with this. I’d actually been considering the problem myself, since around 5 o’clock–when I first decided to invite the girl. I knew damn well it would catch me some heat, but I also knew something else: that when a hot girl is ovulating, or, as was more likely the case here, when the gravity of the moon or some planet is tugging at her groin in a way that makes her want you like never before, for no good reason at all, you cannot back down. It was time to get slippery.
“Dude, this is your birthday party,” chuckling, patting him on the back. “And there are already like, 25 people in the suite. She’ll just stop in, have a few drinks, and leave–those bastards won’t notice a thing.”
Consonant does not appear convinced. I size him up for a second, and then decide to change strategies.
“Look–9 against the House’s 5,” I say, pointing. “What’ll they do?”
If I know Consonant Tift–and I do–his attraction to technical blackjack is about as magnetic as a Cocker Spaniel’s to pheasant.
His head jolts back to the game; his center of gravity drops a few inches, bracing himself. The couple doubles down.
I complete the text, hastily, and take a seat while saying, “See? They know how to play. Nobody is going to fuck us up.”
But Consonant lingers, still eyeing the couple suspiciously. Finally, he grunts something, and then makes a point of choosing the stool furthest from them as possible.
Looking back now, I wonder what would have happened had I known the truth about that text message. Known that, on top of summoning The Christian Lisa, it would also be summoning an absolute nightmare of a scene. More specifically, a showdown between myself and not one, but two homosexuals–one of us bleeding from the head; one of us unconscious on the floor; and one of us shrieking at the top of his lungs, throwing windmill punches.
If I’d known that atrocity was on the horizon, well, I’d probably have gotten the fuck out of there.
Deleted The Christian Lisa’s phone number, marched right back to my truck, and peeled out of the parking lot–not easing up on the gas pedal until I knew Sacramento’s Thunder Valley Casino was at least 20 miles behind me.
But no. I was stuck in the present, and because of this, I was ignorant, and I was weak. Just another poor boy made powerless by the ceaseless demands of his Genital Brain.
“You did what?!” says Edward Tift–Consonant’s older, less-straight brother.
I don’t recall if it was me or Consonant who finally admitted that both Lisa and some friend of her’s were on their way, but it came out nonetheless. And now, almost immediately upon reentering the casino suite upstairs–which is massive, multi-roomed, and buzzing with the various drinking activities of a few clusters of people–I find myself being shouted at.
“Relax, man,” I say. “It’s a fucking party; what’s the big deal?”
“No, NO!” says Ed, flailing his hands wildly. “You went behind mine and Brian’s back! I canNOT believe this!” Emotionally, he’s in rare form. Seemingly on the brink of tears; definitely shithoused drunk.
Consonant, on the other hand, has become euphoric. From the near $300 in winnings now floating in his pocket, he draws a pair of twenties and begins dancing around, shaking them in his brothers face.
“They’re just coming by to say hi, dude,” I reason.
“Well, maybe they could have just come by and ‘said hi,’” begins Ed in mocking singsong. “If you would’ve thought to ask BRIAN! THIS IS BRINAN’S FUCKING ROOM!” Losing control, he takes a swat at Consonant.
“Calm down,” I say. “Is the screaming necessary?
At that moment, the master bedroom’s doors are kicked open. Splinters and chunks of wood go sailing through the air; a mangled deadbolt clanks uselessly to the floor.
(Actually, the doors were just opened…you know, regular style…but I need drama here. See, this is the first appearance of our principle antagonist. Not a time for fucking around.)
As Brian marches over the wreckage of the doorframe, a tense silence falls over the room. From somewhere, a fleet of high-noon-gunfight whistles sound. Somebody off screen shakes a rattle. A spaced out camera man requires some prodding, but then even he snaps to and dives for the floor; nails a nice elevating scroll shot from down there, a catalogue of our villain:
Steel toe boots.
Thick, pasty calves.
A pudgy body concealed by an orange Hollister shirt.
Arms covered in swastika tattoos and various references to his 5-year-old daughter.
A big, pissed off, poorly dressed, nazi gay. The fascist imagery and daughter a relic of his former life–the one where he was, in fact, “straight.”
Ed wastes no time in flapping over to his lover’s side.
“What’s going on!?” demands the Nazi.
“Oh, let’s see here,” begins Ed. “Danny”–he almost pirouettes before pointing a finger at me–“just invited his LITTLE SLUTS OVER WITHOUT ASKING ANYBODY!”
“Woah, Woah!” I say. “Let’s pump the brakes here. One of these girls is a servant of God, I’ll have you know.”
The Nazi’s head snaps my way; his eyes start to fill with hate. Not even a second later, he’s across the room, on tiptoes, in my face. He examines me for a moment before growling, “I heard you boys were doing some gambling tonight.”
“Yeah bitch!” calls Consonant from the bar, shaking up a drink. “I’m up three bills, mother fucker!”
The Nazi lets out a grunt, then gives me the once-over with his eyes. “What about you, Skinny. You win too?”
“Umm, a little bit?” I say, guessing.
He holds his ground. For what feels like one long, uncomfortable minute, we are staring into each other’s eyes–still at very close range.
“So…is it, you know, OK if these girls come over?” I finally say–wanting, needing to relieve the tension.
The Nazi considers this. But then–and this is where things got really strange–he lets out a horrible, high-pitched guttural noise: dinosaur like, slowly rising in volume, maintaining eye-contact the whole time, before storming off to the dining table. Once there, he yanks out a chair, steals one more glance at me over his shoulder, and plops into his seat.
“Holy fuck,” I exhale, looking around the room. I badly needed a witness–some kind of confirmation that this whole showdown wasn’t a figment of my imagination.
No luck: Consonant is consumed by his work behind the bar. And Ed, suddenly docile, is waiting patiently for a drink.
I take the stool next to him, hesitantly. Still deeply disturbed.
But there was also a bit of hope–hope that Lisa may be allowed over after all, that I’d be able to do what I wanted to do with her, that all would be forgotten.
In retrospect, this seems naive. Ed, a 25-year-old man, was drunk to the point of screaming and crying at me. His equally drunk boyfriend had responded to one of my questions by screeching like a pterodactyl. Toss in the fact that at least one of them looked back fondly on the Third Reich, and you have a recipe for disaster.
No–nothing was resolved here. The Lisa Situation was just a lightly sedated badger–shot up with a low-potency tranquilizer by some incompetent vet tech, and now dozing precariously in the living room.
The nerves I felt when The Christian Lisa called from the hallway were evidence that, on some level, I was aware of all this.
“Hey!” says Lisa. “Come get us at the door!”
I nod, hang up, take a sip of my drink. Then, slowly, trying to be as casual as possible, get up from my stool and slide towards the hall.
But a drunk card player at the dining table sees me go. “Danny,” he calls. “What does this other girl look like?”
I cringe, then shrug.
“Well…” he begins lewdly. “If she’s lookin’ good…you know where to send her!” He molds his fingers into pistols, mimes the act of shooting me, smiles idiotically.
I roll my eyes. But I also cast a nervous glance at the Nazi, who seems to be tense.
In the foyer, on the verge of seeing The Christian Lisa for the first time in months, memories of the girl are cued up. This is convenient, actually, since I feel like you could probably use a little more background.
It won’t take long, though. As far as gross human worth, The Christian Lisa is so unremarkable that I feel comfortable whittling down her existence into these two facts:
(1) For around six months, I had tried desperately to get into her pants, and (2) presumably because of the intervention of Jesus Christ, I had failed to do so.
No exaggeration there: she was powerfully religious.
Religious on a level that pretty much ensured she got nothing done in the real world.
The best example of this comes from the summer of 2010, when I was still going to school at Sierra–a community college, and pretty much high school part two for most kids in the Sacramento area.
The Christian Lisa was a student there as well, and we’d recently met in a history class. Translation: my assault on her chastity was well underway.
“Hey Danny,” she began one afternoon on the walk back to our cars. “I’m going to be out of town for a little bit after this week; could you possibly share your notes with me when I get back?”
“Yeah,” I said, automatically. “No problem.”
Waitaminute now…aren’t you forgetting something, Danny?
“My handwriting is a little sloppy, though.” I blurt out. “Maybe we can…I don’t know… meet up at my place…go over them when you get back?”
Leave it to me to try leveraging everything and anything into a sexual scenario.
“Ok. I’d like that!” she said.
I’m such a wily old sea dog.
But I hadn’t counted on what came next.
“I’ll be back on the 5th,” she continued. “Maybe we can plan it for somewhere around there?”
“Oh, the 5th,” I said, a little disappointed. “So you’re going to miss what, a day?
“No no–the 5th of August.
I stopped walking. Began blinking at the ground. August? I was fairly certain we’d just entered the month of July…
“Lisa, this is a six week course.”
“But, but…you’re proposing missing over a month of class.”
“Yeah–I’m counseling at a bible camp in Lassen, I can’t miss it.”
“Oh…Lassen. Bible camp. Right.”
Of course, secretly, I was appalled by this. But I managed to maintain a basic level of composure for the rest of the walk to the parking lot. I was too young, and she was far too hot for me to risk any kind of challenge.
For those curious, she ended up making it to about seven of the total twenty-four lectures. Attendance and weekly quizzes were a part of our grade, meaning there is no way in fuck she passed.
Why would she even register for the class? Did she expect Jesus to pull a heist on Sierra College? To thrown on a ski mask, break a window, nab the grade book and tamper with her point totals?
Well, as far as I know, he didn’t do that. And after the Bible Camp Incident, I effectively considered The Christian Lisa to be retarded. I never took her seriously again but, of course, that didn’t stop me from trying to bed her. Though the task often seemed impossible, it looked as if my persistence might finally pay off.
“Danny!” says The Christian Lisa, throwing herself through the threshold for a hug. She looks great, and I’m feeling better already. “So good to see you! This is Megan, by the way,” she adds while disengaging. “She drove tonight.”
I look Megan up and down.
I don’t like to throw this word around too often but, appearance wise, she is an abomination. A companion Lisa picked up at bible camp, no doubt, and whose outfit and skewed body to head size ratio make her look like some kind of homeless pelican.
“Hi. Megan. Great to meet you,” forcing a smile, turning to lead the girls inside.
I’m the first into the main room, and I see the drunk card player watching me eagerly. He even seems to be mouthing, Is she hot?
I wipe my brow, whistle, give him a big double thumbs up.
His eyes sparkle, but this only lasts until he actually sees Megan. Then he just looks confused–maybe even hurt–before slowly turning back to his card game.
Naturally, my first order of business is feeding liquor to The Christian Lisa, to jam any transmissions she may be exchanging with God.
“Lisa, Megan–what’ll it be to drink? You strike me as vodka girls, the both of you.” I swipe a bottle of Three Olives off the shelf. “I’ve got just the thing here–a vintage: Pre-War, of course.”
“Wait a second!” Lisa objects. “We just got here–introduce us to everybody!”
My eyes narrow. I don’t like where this is going
But before I can smother the plan in its cradle, she catches a glimpse of Edward, slumped drunkenly at the bar.
“Hi!” she squeaks, popping up at his side. “I’m Lisa, what’s your name?”
He slowly raises his head and looks her over, cross-eyed. The bastard is so drunk by now that he manages to slur both syllables while replying, “Hey. Ed.”
I sigh, relived. Edward Tift has either:
a.) Forgiven me
b.) Drunk himself past the point of caring
c.) Drunk himself past the point of reliable cognition
“Alright,” I say, hastily swooping her away from Ed. “And over here’s Consonant–the birthday boy”
Consonant bows, and looks to be fading quickly himself.
“Great–and that concludes introductions,” I say. “Let’s just grab some shot glasses here, a little vodka, a-and…”
But to my absolute horror, I see that The Christian Lisa is now bounding across the suite towards the card game. And worse: she’s heading for the nazi-controlled sector of table.
Panicking, I give chase, but catch myself halfway across the room. She’s already done the evil deed of striking up a conversation with the enemy and his companions.
“Yeah–I know Danny,” says The Christian Lisa. “We go to Sierra together, and he told me about the party here tonight!”
A few guys at the table mumble their vague approval.
But the Nazi is watching The Christian Lisa silently.
…oh god oh god…
“This suite is amazing, by the way,” adds Lisa. “Whose is it?”
“Oh...thanks,” the Nazi finally manages, I guess flattered. “My uncle got it for us; he knows some people here at the casino who were–”
Sweet relief. What could have been a disastrous situation, a goose sucked into the turbines of my sexual warplane, is narrowly averted.
“Aww–that’s nice of your uncle!” says The Christian Lisa. “And how do you know everyone here?”
“Well, my boyfriend is Consonant’s brother, and we invited everyone out for–”
“Your, your boyfriend?” gulps Lisa.
“Yes. Edward. Over there.” He points proudly to the drunken corpse slumped facedown on the bar.
“Um, yeah,” begins Lisa, very slowly. “I’m like, Christian and stuff.”
Oh goddamnit Lisa. You wicked, wicked bitch.
By the time I reach the table to whisk her away, the statement is still just hanging in the air.
The card game–King’s Cup, I believe–has halted: all players staring at Lisa in disbelief. The Nazi is silent as well, and I’m too afraid to even look and see how he’s coping.
At least she was somewhat vague in her bigotry, I tell myself. Hopefully he’s too drunk to mine that comment for subtext.
Better to play it safe, though. Get her out of the Nazi’s field of vision for at least 15 minutes…
“Lisa, Megan–I have been a terrible host!” collecting the girls and nudging them back into foyer. “Have I not given you a tour yet?
“You haven’t!” chirps Megan, excited.
“Well, there’s only one place to start.”
I just about shove both girls into the massage room, then scan the hall to make sure I wasn’t followed. Satisfied, I enter the room myself, slamming the door behind me.
Like small children at a playground, the girls rush the massage bed and begin climbing and bouncing all over it.
And I’m trying desperately to lock the door, fiddling with and testing the thumb bolt.
“What’s with all these rocks?” calls The Christian Lisa. “Oh! They’re hot!”
“Nice find, Lisa,” I say, still nervous that a posse may be forming at the dining table. “Lucky for you two, this room actually represents one of the finest massage experiences in the state of California.” Now I’m moving towards the bed, cooking up a scheme as I go. “Girls–lay face down for me; let me show you what I mean.”
Obediently, simultaneously, they flop to their stomachs, hands at their sides.
“Good,” I say. “Now, these rocks–well, they aren’t just any rocks; they’re special: taken from a volcano in Iceland, actually.”
Neither girl attempts to dispute this. It occurs to me that they may both be on The Christian Lisa Educational Blueprint, and that this may be very, very easy.
“Once mined from the volcano’s interior, they were blessed by a group of elite local shamen, then rowed across the Atlantic to New York City. From there: caravanned by mule across the mainland to our west coast.”
After a moment’s hesitation, I drop a hand onto The Christian Lisa and begin kneading her back.
Very reluctantly, after realizing that sacrifices have to be made, I do the same to the homeless pelican.
It doesn’t take much massaging of Lisa–weaseling my hand up her shirt, almost at the bra strap–to change my dominant emotions from embarrassment and fear to lust and…lust. The Nazi, and whatever evil he may be cooking up, is far away.
“All right, girls–just a few minutes of preliminary rubbing, and then it’s time for the magic rocks.” I coo mysteriously.
About ten minutes later, I’ve got The Christian Lisa perched on the edge of the bed–topless, kissing me.
And Megan is, at this point, more or less buried beneath a pile of stones.
Very early in the process, I began stacking a disproportionate amount of the things on her back–we’ll say three for every of The Christian Lisa’s one–hoping the excess weight would encourage her to stay as she was: motionless, facedown.
Just making out with The Christian Lisa is quite the victory for me, but having full access to her tits? That’s beginning to eat away at my self-control.
More than twice she’s had to drag my head up from that general area, after prolonged absences of real intimacy began to irritate her.
My excuse for the latest offense: “I’m sorry, babe–it’s just that you got me soo turned on.”
“Shhh!” counters Lisa, pointing at Megan.
We both glance at the girl: still lying there peacefully.
Why? Tough to know. Was my rock placement really working? Was she just oblivious? Maybe The Christian Lisa gave her a good talking to during the car ride over–about how a calendar year of devotion earns one the right to commit Certain Sins, and how tonight seemed as good as any to cash in. The human body can only be deprived of its nature for so long, after all. Maybe our friend Megan understood this, and was content to lay still and pretend to be asleep.
Either way, I decided it was high time to bust out one of my most trusted tactics.
“What are you doing!?” hisses Lisa.
“Wha? Huh? Oh. Oh that.” I begin looking around room, as if searching for a culprit. “How did that happen?”
My pants and underwear are now a puddle lying around my feet.
“Put those back on!” demands The Christian Lisa, but not entirely sure of herself.
“Pants? On?” playing dumb.
“Yes!” she says. “You can’t just like, do this!”
I stare blankly.
“Can you?” she finishes.
But by then, I’m already going back in for the kiss: trembling eyelids, closed to expose but a sliver of whites; moaning softly. Synthetic Romance: always an important tool for horn dog men looking to Get It In.
A smashing sound: the massage room doors are kicked open, for real this time. The hallway light is blinding.
Lisa shrieks, tries to cover up.
Stones clatter to the floor as Megan spooks back to life.
And, shackled at the feet, I go boing-boinging away–kangaroo style.
“You,” says the Nazi, pointing at The Christian Lisa. “Leave. Now.”
“Oh my god!” says Lisa. “Close the door, CLOSE THE DOOR!”
But the Nazi is in no mood to negotiate. And more: the rest of the party is now forming ranks in the doorway, hoping to see some action.
Fumbling with my pants and rushing the door: “Ok, Ok!” I tell the Nazi. “They’ll leave; just let us get clothed.”
I’m briefly able to push him out, maybe buying Lisa some 30 seconds to find her bra. But then he’s back inside, overseeing the evacuation.
Megan is ordered off the bed, prompting a second avalanche of rocks.
The Christian Lisa is treated particularly rough, receiving murderous looks; once or twice called “little slut.”
She looks to me for back up, but what could I really say? Yes, the Nazi was being very extreme, and yes, I was pissed–another 10 minutes and I’m sure I could’ve had her palming my cock–but the girl had invoked a divine challenge against the host’s sexuality. There are worse ways to make a first impression, but not many.
Both girls are then unceremoniously ejected into the hallway. Lisa doubles back, saying something about a scarf, but the Nazi keeps her at bay with his boot, and finally slams the door.
Now he turns to me. “You have anything to say, Skinny?”
“Hey, fair play,” holding up my hands.
In truth, I should have just left with the girls. Instead of having Consonant argue on my behalf, and then staying on well past my welcome, I should have taken The Christian Lisa and Megan down to the casino for a real bender.
–Taught them both a thing or two about blackjack
–Got ‘em fucked up at the bar: “Drinks are on me, girls!” all the while slipping notes to the bartender: Doubles for the pelican girl=Double the tip.
Incapacitate the driver…strand The Christian Lisa. Pure strategy…
–Then maybe taken her out to my truck to pick up where we left off. Or both of them. Why not? Not like anybody would be around to judge, after all…
Instead of keeping a level head and staying on task, as a disciplined poune hound should, I’m now kicking back on one of the suite’s beds, watching late night television. Consonant Tift is belligerent next to me, cradling a bottle of rum in his arms.
“All I’m fucking saying is, you gotta know the plays.” He tries for a swig but misses, splashes a few ounces on his stomach. “The splits, the double downs–that’s where you make your money. You know–capitalize. Because, hand for hand, the House is always going to win.”
I nod, agreeing.
“That basic strategy shit you guys use doesn’t work, though.” This is, of all people, the Nazi, sprawled across the second bed. He’s even been amiable up to this point, believe it or not. “Sometimes, you have to take risks and play it by feel.”
Predictably, this statement enrages Consonant. “No–you’re just completely fucking wrong.”
“How?” says Consonant. “Because every hand combination in blackjack has been calculated millions, billions of times mathematically. There is always one, single play most likely to pay off.”
“But computers don’t know the specifics,” says the Nazi, unsure of himself, sounding defensive.
“What specifics?” this is me now, looking to call him on his nonsense. “The dealer’s name? How much you’ve had to drink?”–I chuckle here–“In terms of gameplay, the cards, the rules, and the number of decks are all that matter. And with basic strategy, every contingency has been accounted for.” I take a swing of my own drink, satisfied with how that came out.
“I was talking to Consonant,” says the Nazi, irritated. “Stay out of it, Skinny.”
Consonant: “He’s right though. You just make up this shit about ‘gut feelings’ and ‘specifics’ because you’re too lazy to learn the game.”
The Nazi stammers something but, unable to stop myself, I cut him off. “We can go to the scoreboard, too: tonight, I won about $150, and Consonant came up $300. You and Ed, if I’m not mistaken, got wasted, and then went on to lose around 400 collective dollars. Whose system worked better, would you say?”
Well, for the third time of the night, my personal space is about to be invaded. The angry Nazi is marching my way yet again.
“Listen, you skinny piece of shit,” he says, now standing next to my side of the bed. “I should have thrown your ass out for inviting that fucking slut over, but you’re Consonant’s friend, and it’s his birthday, so I let you stay.”
Now he puts one of those horrible black boots up on the sheets.
“But if you say another goddamn word about me or Ed, I will make you wish you were dead.”
He stays frozen on the spot, no doubt wanting some kind of apology or demonstration of fear. But I’d had about enough of the bastard.
“Alright–listen,” I sigh, propping myself up on the bed. “You are a gay man covered in swastika tattoos. Have you ever thought about how big of a fucking contradiction that is? If Hitler were alive today and saw you using that symbol, he wouldn’t reward you for your service; he’d have you drawn and quartered on the spot.”
The Nazi gasps.
“By the way, is this blood I see?” petting his left boot. “How many Jewish throats have you stomped in with these bad boys? Five? Si–”
A big overhand punch from the Nazi interrupts me. I manage to block it at the last second with my forearms.
“Ok, bitch,” I say, scrambling over Consonant and onto the floor. “You wanna do this?” A little hop here, and then into a wild Kung-Fu stance. “Comman!”
“Oh shit!” says Consonant, delighted by the turn of events. He pulls the rum bottle closer, his popcorn substitute.
“You little skinny bitch!” says the Nazi, rounding the bed. “I’M GONNA FUCKING KILL YOU!”
“OooooWAH!” I howl.
He begins wading in–tense, hands poised at his chest.
I’m hopping back and forth–narrow eyed, hissing like a snake.
I even try for a flashy little twirl, but by the time I’ve spun around, the Nazi has bum rushed me–intending what seems to be some horrendous cross between a double leg takedown and a football tackle.
I snare the fucker in a guillotine choke before we both hit the floor. “Ha! Gotcha now, ya’ bastard.”
Right then, who comes through the doorway but that Edward Tift. Risen from his booze stupor. Back from the dead.
“I heard shouting!” he slurs, scanning the room. “What’s–” but then his gaze drops to me and, more specifically, my nazi assailant. “BRIAN! OH MY GOD!”
The Nazi is kicking and flailing, not seeming to enjoy the chokehold he finds himself in.
“Ed,” I say, laughing. “Can you get your buddy off of me? I think he’s looking to do some serious harm here.”
“THAT’S NOT MY BUDDY!” screams Ed, hysterical. “THAT’S MY BOYFRIEND!”
With this, he hoists his fist into the air–cartoon style–and rushes into the fray.
I look down at my arms: both currently in use on the Nazi’s neck.
Then I look up at Ed: wild-eyed, screaming like a barbarian, love drunk, coming right for me.
Well, this is going to suck.
For a brief moment, I bat my eyelashes and try to pacify him with a big smile: Common, now–we’re all friends here. You don’t really need to do this, do you? but my shit eating grin vanishes after I see he has no intentions of stopping.
For the folks at home: this is where Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training can get you into some trouble.
In the gym, when you have a clean lock on somebody’s neck, there is virtually no incentive to let go. But a street fight is a different beast. If lifted high into the air, for example, one should always release a choke, as the combination of your head, a slam, and the concrete may very well kill you.
When fighting two people–and who knows: Helio Gracie may have even devised a specific system for fending off gay couples–the same thing goes. Better to play it safe and just let go of the choke. Defense over offense any night of the year…
But while I understood these things intellectually, I struggled putting them into practice. A big, juicy neck, nestled between the forearm and shoulder, is a tough thing for a Jiu-Jitsu rat to just give away.
So I tuck my chin, tighten the choke, and prepare for whatever horrible storm Ed will unleash.
The first blow to my skull lands, hard. It makes my ears ring, knocks my vision sideways.
Then come four more.
“LET. GO. OF. MY BOYFRIEND!”
I think I see Consonant hop off the bed: maybe to aid me, maybe just to get a better look.
“OK! OK!” I say in a daze, releasing the Nazi, doin’ the white-flag routine with both my hands. The Nazi slumps to the floor, facedown.
Ed takes a step back, and for a few seconds we all just stand there, examining the scene.
All of us except for the Nazi, that is. He isn’t moving.
“Ah shit,” I say, feeling my hairline and pulling back blood.
“Are you…Ok?” asks Ed. He seems to be both sobered up and frightened by his actions.
“Yeah yeah, I just…I need to go to the bathroom.”
The figure I see staring back at me when I get to the mirror isn’t pretty.
Well, actually, given what happened in the bedroom, and who his opponents were, he’s about what you'd expect: bleeding from the side of the head, confused looking, twitching, mortally humiliated.
The humiliation was from the feeling that I lost. I mean, there wasn’t really a way to win in a situation like that (“Yeah–I beat the shit out of two gay dudes last night”), but not having to apply toilet paper to an open gash in my head would’ve made me feel a little better about the outcome.
And the mental state of the Nazi, who was technically the loser in this whole fiasco, wasn’t helping either.
Like a freshly bathed Labrador, he comes running and skidding past the bathroom door, then charges in–panting, crazy eyed, high as a kite from oxygen deprivation.
“Come here, buddy!” he bellows, pulling me into a hug and planting a big wet kiss on my cheek. “That was fucking great! I haven’t had a good fight in years!”
Without giving me much choice in the matter, he takes me under his arm and drags me towards the bar. “We have some celebrating to do–I’ll tell you that much.” Then he looks around, and lowers his voice slightly in order to confide, “Man, nobody parties like that anymore!”
The next thing I know, I’m planted in a bar stool with a bottle of scotch in front of me. And the Nazi is beelining to the bedroom, then rapping angrily on the door while shouting, “Get out here, you fucking pansies! We’re boozing till sun up!”
And so went the night. With myself, Consonant, Ed, and the Nazi all lined up on the bar–drinking whatever drink on which he insisted, hearing whatever fight stories from the heterosexual nazi days that came to his mind. And once or twice, I just had to shake my head, wondering what the fuck was going on, and how the fuck I got there.
But even this I could tolerate. The real medicinal drinking didn’t start until after a dark, emasculating realization hit me: that up until that point in my life, my only defeats in street fights had come at the hands of Mormons and gay people. Yes–things faded to black very quickly after that.