Sitting in the center seats at the back of the wrong bus, Gertrude and Alice had an unobstructed view of the aisle and the freeway ahead. Had they bothered, they could’ve seen things. But they didn’t. They simply sat while the world outside slid peripherally by.
It had been a long day: tired feet, a half-filled belly. Alice burdened her head on her sister’s shoulder. Awake, not alert, Gertrude uneasily sat. Her carelessly unbuttoned blouse exposed her left breast. She had a subconscious awareness only of surroundings unfamiliar to her usual commute home. She looked forward and saw that a man with an enormous cross was boarding. He had to clutch the driver’s thigh to get up the final step. Gertrude couldn’t see the signs.
Calvin’s cross was no longer a readily accepted burden. He’d prayed all day in the courthouse square. Those two seats were where he could sit most comfortably. Calvin approached; Alice rested; Gertrude observed. He saw her breast, as if she’d flashed him, and was silenced.
Gertrude yanked her blouse shut. Alice came to consciousness, to witness two tired, angry faces red to tears. She knew battles. No one moved until a jolt sent everyone forward. Two young women split apart at the center where the top of a cross crashed. An even louder sound ensued when the telephone pole was hit. The bus spun 180 degrees. Nearly everyone rocked violently but safely, forward then back. Calvin and his cross swung to the right then down sliding along the floor to a head-splitting front. The two women flew directly above in a higher but parallel path. They smashed through the window, and out above the street, found themselves, finally, if momentarily, in the correct direction: Home.
In my sixteenth year, I went to a dilapidated house of fun, a hallway built for farce, five doors either side, and men zipping in and out of them in a random pattern while I stood at one end and casually observed. Three men stood at the other end near the cigarette machine; watching as well. I knew what I was doing. I was here because I wanted to see it. I didn’t even know what it was, not my specific it, but I wanted to see it and five friends of mine, friends who had already done it, had come down here and seen it and said it was outrageous. So I wanted to see it, that’s all. I knew what I was doing.
I walked over to the first door. Next to each door was an advertisement for the film inside. A heterosexual film. They seemed to have something for everybody. There was a film about a woman who liked to get fucked between her breasts. A film about a woman who liked to get fucked up her ass. A film about a woman who had a clit in her throat. Even a film about a woman who liked to get fucked between her breasts, then in her ass, and then in her cunt which was coincidentally in her throat. There was also a film about gays. The ad didn’t specify where they liked to get fucked.
Each posted notice promised what had yet to be contemplated. I knew what I wanted to see but I pretended a more severe heterodoxy, as if my tastes were as varied as the various advertisements. I assumed that taking the time to shop would convey a heterogeneity of taste that reflected the essence of the place itself. Instead I quickly sensed that I was being perceived as a heteroclite instead of a heterosexual, I wasn’t being heteronormative, so I stopped perusing and bolted for the “gay door” which was conspicuously if temporarily open.
Once inside, I quickly got a feel for my surroundings. It smelled awful. Like something had died and rotted in here. The floor was sticky and there was no way I was going to sit in that chair. I wanted to get this over with. I saw a hole in the wall above me. That was where the projector was. I positioned myself under it. I put a quarter in the machine. I heard the projector click on but I didn’t see anything. I looked up and saw this white beam of light with the dust particles shoot across until it hit this mirror angled at me so that the light came down to hit me square in the middle of the chest. On my chest I could see these two men fucking. At least I assumed it was two men. It was a pretty tight shot. All I could really see was a dick going up an ass. And then it stopped. I quickly pulled the seven other quarters from my pocket – I’d come prepared – and put them in the machine’s hungry slot. I heard the click of the projector, saw the white beam of light shoot across, hit the mirror, then come down to hit me square in the middle of the chest. And on my chest I saw what obviously were these two gay men fucking. At least I assumed they were gay. I was the screen. I didn’t mind. I didn’t move. I didn’t care. I just stood there and watched these two men fucking on my chest. I felt the heat from the light of the projector, felt my heart and its beat, in the tips of my fingers, in my toes, in my cock. Suddenly, the door opened and shut. A strange man had joined me. Strange, I thought, because he had entered even though I was there. ”Do you mind if I join you,” he asked. And I said... Well, I didn’t say anything actually. The stranger pointed to the image on my chest and he said, “You like that don’t you.” And I looked at the image on my chest. I saw this man sucking another man’s dick. And he said, “You like that don’t you” as if I hadn’t heard him the first time. And I said, “Yes.” I said, “Yes.” And the stranger reached towards the image on my chest. He was getting familiar so I backed up. The image lowered. His hand followed the image. Then it stopped. The image. Not his hand.
Now maybe what happened next was he unzipped my pants. He got down on his knees then pulled my already hard dick out of my pants then put it in his warm, wet mouth and sucked. And that’s how I got my first blow job. Or maybe the moment his hand grazed against my zipper, I freaked out. I panicked and flew to the parking lot where, once inside my parents’ car, my hands shook so much that it was hard to get the key in the ignition. Or maybe, I let him start his business down there then changed my mind and clocked him in the head. Maybe I called him a faggot and watched as his head bounced off the wall. Then I kicked open the door, zipped up, and walked out of there as if to say that this had nothing to do with me. Maybe. Maybe not.
Both stories previously published in Publick Spanking (Future Tense Books, 1996).
Drew Pisarra is the author of two poetry collections (Periodic Boyfriends, and Infinity Standing Up), two short story collections (You're Pretty Gay, and Publick Spanking) and two radio plays (The Strange Case of NIck M., and Price in Purgatory).