Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch: Tales From a Bad Neighborhood (8 page)

BOOK: Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch: Tales From a Bad Neighborhood
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once spent five days in Vienna as part of my job, and the whole time I had the flu, so I was hostage to a hotel room with a TV that offered only two English-speaking channels, one of which was a pay-per-view porno station. It featured a movie about marauding sex zombies who appeared to be the victims of a horny hypnotist. They ran around rutting everything in sight, until everyone just melded together into a hump of grunting flesh that was stuck together like an undulating, sweaty M. C. Escher painting.

At least I think that’s what it was about. The plot was a little unclear, because I could only watch three minutes at a time before the film was automatically charged to my room. Seeing as how the American dollar is so valueless in Europe that people are using it to stuff up peepholes in pay toilets these days, I figured the U.S. currency equivalent of one in-room porn film fest roughly matched the price of a healthy human kidney on the black market.

So because of my reluctance to fork over the dough, it became more of a porn peep show, really, but it got me to thinking: Do men really think women
to have sex with a penis the size of a sewage pipe? Do they think we look at someone who could pass for a human tripod and actually say to ourselves, “Oh, wow, won’t it be fun to rearrange my inner organs with that thing?!?” Do they think we just can’t wait to get our hands on some guy with a penis so huge he would need a blood transfusion if he got aroused?

Judging from this movie (and, I’m sorry, I’m not going to watch eighty more to back up my theory), where the men who sprouted fleshy telephone poles from their pants looked like they were having a great time and the women looked like they were getting clubbed to death, my answer would be: I guess so.

I bet it’s because of the average hetero male mentality when it comes to breasts, in which boobs big enough to be seen with the naked eye from passing aircraft are a real treat, that men never believe us when we say size doesn’t matter. But think of it this way: During sex, breasts are basically there to provide something to play with. If that were the only purpose of penises, maybe the colossal-equals-boffo theory would apply. But here’s a reminder: Penises have to
somewhere. Remember? So, average man, the average woman doesn’t salivate at the sight of a penis the size of a ham shank. Our typical reaction would be to calmly excuse ourselves, go to the bathroom, and climb out the window. I’m pretty sure of that.

Most women don’t want to feel like they’ve been trampled on by buffalo after having sex. Afterward a lot of us would just like to be able to walk away from the experience with…well, we’d just like to be able to walk.

Bona Fide Fag Status

years Daniel, Grant, and I have lusted after the same hot bicycle cop in Virginia-Highland. Maybe you’ve seen him, the one with tan arms like carved marble emerging from his short-sleeved uniform. At first sight of him, Grant practically soared out of his seat and stuck himself to the window of the coffeehouse like a wet piece of putty. And he wasn’t even really
yet (well, of course he was always gay, but at that time he was trapped way in the back of the closet behind an ex-wife, a present wife, a daughter, and a dog named Ellie May). It wasn’t just a closet for Grant, it was a cocoon—but when that cop walked by, Grant didn’t just come out, he flew out and flapped around the room on opal-colored wings. He was free! After that, the only time his feet touched the ground was to get his toenails painted by that poor Korean girl on Ponce de Leon Avenue. (I say “poor” because you should see Grant’s feet, they’re

I had known Grant before he wore his bona fide fag status like
the feathered headdress that it is, but not for that long. His heteroness only overlapped with our friendship by a couple months, and during that time our relationship had been as chaste as kindergarten paste. It wasn’t until later, when Grant had finally gotten in touch with his inner impishness, that I’d occasionally have to call him and ask, “Was that your
in my mouth last night?” Grant’s tongue is in everyone’s mouth these days—it’s practically his signature handshake. Somehow his roguery is always forgivable. Once he came back from Barcelona and, in front of almost all our friends, handed me a bunch of bestiality porn he bought at a Spanish yard sale and bellowed, “When I saw this I thought

Grant was always sort of quasisafe as a man, what danger there was not being the sexual kind, not really, not to me anyway. He has carried me home blotto drunk a couple times, and despite the free rein that gave him, the worst thing he ever did was raid my kitchen and eat all the leftover packs of airplane peanuts I’d planned to hand out at Halloween that year. So imagine my surprise when he e-mailed me a few days ago to say he was furious at me for forgetting that we once slept together.

“Oh, c’mon!” I have to scream. “We never slept together!”

This is embarrassing for a couple reasons. Grant and I had been communicating via mutual friends’ e-mail because he is trying to be retired again, this time on a tiny island off the coast of Cancún called Isla Mujeres. Grant’s e-mails reach me fine, but for some reason I can’t get through to him from my address, so I have to write him from other people’s computers,
and sometimes he replies along the same route. So our communication is basically a big party line among all our friends.

Isla Mujeres

I was at a loss when Lary then asked casually, like this would be no big deal if it were true, if Grant and I had ever slept together.

Hell no!
Where the
did that come from?
Hell no!
What in
are you asking me that for? Me and Grant?
Hell no!!

It turns out Grant had made some comment from Mexico, between singing the praises of “manly Mexican marine meat” and the tastiness of dead scorpions soaked in tequila, that might have been misconstrued (maybe if you had eaten a basket of those marinated scorpions or something) to imply that Grant and I have a history that’s more than platonic. And maybe we do. I miss him so much that sometimes I sit around and just wail like a sick sea cow. I can’t tell you how many times during our friendship that Grant and I have laughed so hard it felt like we could cough up our shoes. We’ve cried together too, and faced the terror of the truth together, but we have never slept together. I love him, but who doesn’t? He’s so awful in the most irresistible way.

But he’s been on that island so long that he’s getting his memories mixed up. Either that or he’s taking his inner evil out for a little exercise again. “You mean that wasn’t you? I could have sworn it was you,” Grant tells Lary to tell me. So I tell Lary to tell Grant to come here and tell me that to my face.

Welcome to Heaven

decided to go to Isla Mujeres myself, especially since Grant called recently and said he’d found God, which is funny because I had always thought
was God. But Grant’s version of God is a nineteen-year-old Mexican sailor boy named Jesus, and to pronounce his name correctly you have to bark out the first syllable like you’re trying to stop a purse snatcher: “Hey!” And then directly following that you say “Zeus,” which is a different God altogether. But “Hey Zeus” is how you say “Jesus” in Spanish. “I have seen the coming of the Lord,” Grant proclaims.

So there I was, on my way to Isla Mujeres so Grant could introduce me to Jesus. I begged Daniel to come with me, and I couldn’t believe he turned me down, because I felt it was pretty essential that the three of us got together again. I worried that our bond was fading. We used to sit together on top of the Telephone Factory lofts in Poncey Highlands and belt back wine. It was the perfect
place to watch the sunset, and we’d toast the mirrored buildings of downtown, which reflected the light and looked like big, beaded evening gowns in the distance. “It is our duty,” Grant would say solemnly, “to catapult each other into greatness.” Now Grant is gone, and Daniel and I aren’t great yet. Daniel is getting there, though, now that his art is selling at a hearty pace. “Daniel’s got a new car,” I e-mailed Grant, “and this morning he bought my breakfast! You’ve got to see this!”

Isla Mujeres

But Grant stayed put in paradise. He’d been saying he was going since I had met him, not to Mexico exactly, but simply said that one day he was going to take off his shoes and “just walk.” Daniel and I knew that meant Grant was leaving. We should have known it would be the day after his daughter graduated from high school. That day, Grant boarded a plane with nothing but a backpack containing little more than eight pairs of prescription sunglasses and a mysterious small fortune accessible by an international ATM card.

It had been four months since he left, but it felt like an eternity to me. I’d seen pictures of him in the meantime. Daniel had taken some when he visited him and they sailed toward Cuba on a catamaran, an adventure that was supposed to include me, but I had to work.

They never made it to Cuba; instead, they were sidelined by a storm, and I have to laugh now that I know they survived. I can just
see their sissy asses clinging to the yardarm, completely useless if the captain had clung to the ludicrous hope these two could help keep the boat afloat. If that had been the case—if Daniel and Grant had been expected to help pilot the boat as if they were on one of those “barefoot” cruises—I would have flown straight to Miami and waited for them to wash ashore. But, thank God, the crew was competent, and all Grant suffered was a badly sunburned chest, or at least it looked that way in the picture. “In the future,” I e-mailed him, “please try not to die.” He told me he couldn’t make any promises.

“Come with me,” I implored Daniel. “The three of us need to be together again.” But for Daniel, it was not the time. He said the following spring would be better, when the three of us could go to Peru and climb a mountain. I have never climbed a mountain before. People say you can find God at the top. But for now, I have to go to a tiny island off the coast of Cancún to find God. He’ll be as brown as an overroasted peanut, with a new tattoo on his arm and hibiscus behind his ear. He’ll throw his big head back and laugh. “Welcome to heaven,” he’ll say.

BOOK: Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch: Tales From a Bad Neighborhood
7.12Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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