“Are you gay?” There it was. The question of the century. We walked on for a second before I answered him.
“Out of curiosity, whatever the answer is, would it change how you treat me?”
“Would it change your trust for me?”
“Would it change the flavor of my weeks at the beach?” I asked, smiling.
“Your ‘sex’, Logan.” He returned the smile. Oh man! I’m dyin’ here. I opened my mouth to answer him when all of a sudden we heard a car horn beeping. We turned around and saw Mr. Happy Cameraman hurrying over to us with a new camera. I closed my mouth and turned back to Scott.
“Looks like we’re back on the camera, Scottie ol’ boy.” I smiled a big grin.
“So you’re not going to answer,” he said with his eyebrows raised.
“Let’s finish our walk.”
* * * * * * *
We continued south on Monroe Drive, back towards Ponce and the studio. It was still midmorning but I was kinda feeling nasty from the humidity, and was looking forward to a shower.
“So again, you’re not going to answer me?” Scott asked.
“Whatever the answer, I think I’ll keep you in suspense for eight more weeks.” I turned to face the camera and said, “You have no idea the stuff you missed! We sixty-nined on the dock in front of the boathouse!” Scott burst out laughing.
“Man, why’d you say something like that?” smiling his gorgeous smile.
“ ‘Cause, pal, I’m ‘controversial.’ “
We walked on a bit without talking, and you know what, it was actually a comfortable silence. I didn’t feel the need to yenter it up the whole time I was with him.
“I noticed you brought a walkman?” Scott asked.
“Yep. Gotta have my tunes with me.”
“What kind of music do you listen to?”
“Anything but rap, grunge or heavy metal. Basically, if I can’t understand what the singer’s saying it can’t be that important.”
“But I’m kinda behind the times in music. I’ve been listening to big band music since I was real little. I mostly like easy listening-“
“-because music always has something to say?” he interrupted with Freddie’s favorite quote.
I chuckled. “Yeah, I guess. Music from back then always seemed to have a point, or to tell a story, or send a message. It’s funny, though, because I do like some current groups; only problem is that it takes me about five or ten years after they’ve become popular before I start listening to them.”
“Yeah. I’m a bit of a dope. I didn’t start listening to the B-52’s until a few years ago. My roommate in college gave me their Cosmic Thing cd in the early 90’s-“
“The one with ‘Love Shack?”
“And ‘Roam.’ I really love that one. ‘Deadbeat Club’ is great too. They came out with ‘Good Stuff’ in ’92 I think it was. I just got that one a few years ago. Don’t really care for their earlier music. I really like their later sound and the harmonies. Let’s see….R.E.M. just appeared on my radar a few years ago.”
“Dude, you are late.”
I chuckled, “I know.”
“Well if you had to be on an island for a year who would you take?”
“You!” I laughed.
“Dickhead. I mean music.” Gotta love his smile, I thought.
“Duh, I know. I'd take Ella Fitzgerald.”
“Oh my gosh, yeah. I remember one day I was listening to a music channel on satellite t.v. and a song that she sang came on that I just had to sit down and listen to it.”
“What was it?” Scott asked.
“A song called ‘How Long Has This Been Going On?’ That’s one that, and I’m not trying to be crass, but that’s one of those songs that I would love to just….well….make love to.”
“Oh really?” That got his attention. “I’ve never heard of it.”
“Oh man, the lyrics are great. Very romantic. The orchestration is impeccable. That’s the song that really turned me on to her in the first place. Years ago she recorded a bunch of what the record company named ‘songbooks,’ where each songbook was basically a collection of a particular writer’s music; like Cole Porter, or Duke Ellington. This one song was on her Gershwin songbook. The orchestra was conducted by Nelson Riddle who’s often associated with Sinatra.”
“Never cared for him.”
“Yeah, he was a bit of a shleppa.”
“A jerk, or not-so-nice person.” He just looked at me. “It’s Yiddish; I like the language.” Scott just raised his eyebrows and shook his head a bit.
“Anyway, I listened to the Gershwin collection and decided then and there that she was absolutely the most talented singer of our time.”
“Yeah. Before I discovered Ella I used to be a Streisand freak.”
“Oh really,” he said. This too interested him.
“Yeah, I grew up listening to her and have a ton of her music. I still love her stuff and she’s up there on my list, but Ella’s just a bit above. I remember one day I was at my parent’s house and I told my mother that there was something I had to share with her.”
“What, that you were gay?” He said this smiling and I smacked him on the back of the head.
“I said ‘Mom, there’s something I just realized. That Barbra Streisand is not the best singer in the world, Ella Fitzgerald is.’ I tell you, she looked like she was about to shit cement. ‘You know, I thought you were going to tell me that you were gay,’ she said.” Scott laughed quite a bit at this.
“She thought the same thing,” he laughed.
“So I take it that you love music. Well, I guess that’s a stupid question” he said.
“Why do you say that?”
“I remember that you were in a couple of musicals at school.”
“That’s true. But you weren’t there our junior year, were you?”
“No. I went to live with an uncle.” As he said this he averted his eyes towards the cameraman.
“Ahh. Got it.” I figured it had something to do with his step-dad. “Dude,” I said to the guy with the camera, “you’d better pay some attention to the sidewalks here too, before you bust your ass again.” The guy paused and looked around him some and then focused back on us. “So how’d you end up coming back in our senior year?”
“My uncle moved here. I still had some friends from school and wanted to graduate with everyone. I actually saw ‘L’il Abner,’” he said.
“Cool. What’d you think?”
“I seem to remember enjoying it,” he said smirking.
“Asshole.” Scott laughed at that.
“Actually what I remember the most is when the power went out.”
“Oh God, I remember that.” What he was talking about happened during Saturday night’s performance. Just into the second act of the show, as one of my scenes with Daisy Mae was supposed to start, the stage lights wouldn’t come up. It took a moment or two and we thought it was a problem with the guy who did the lighting. After the lights finally came up I came out on stage and said, ‘what a lovely day’ under my breath. It turned out that the whole audience heard me and started laughing. I looked over at the boys in the band and they were laughing their asses off. It was one of those times that you weren’t supposed to laugh (like when the old lady in front of you at church passes gas) but I couldn’t control myself. I was standing there looking down at the floor chuckling, my body shaking as I tried not to laugh out loud. Poor Daisy Mae was standing there with this big smile on her face, laughing through her teeth.
As it turned out there was a car accident nearby that knocked out a transformer. A little while later during the performance the power went completely out and so we just hung out on stage for a while. Finally I went around to the front of the building and passed a bathroom and I heard this little boy crying for help. I went in and it was pitch black, picked up the boy and carried him into the back of the auditorium where he pointed out where his daddy was sitting. I sat him down and went back around to the stage.
“I also remember when you carried that boy to his seat. He said something to his dad about being in the bathroom when the lights went out. Seemed really scared.”
“Yeah,” I said. “Poor kid. It was darker than a black cat in a coal mine in there.”
“I’ll admit that I was impressed,” Scott said.
“What, with my stellar singing,” I said with a big Cheshire Cat grin.
“No, idiot, that you, sort of, rescued that kid.”
“Hell, it wasn’t anything that anyone else wouldn’t have done.”
“Maybe,” Scott said, “but that was when I felt some respect for you, even though I didn't really know you.”
“Huh. Well, it was just luck that I happened along.”
“So I guess if you were on an island, other than having me with you,” he looked over at me and smiled.
“Dick,” I said.
“You’d have to have your tunes with you.”
“Yep. I think that music’s in my soul. I think if I ever went deaf the worst thing to cope with would be not being able to hear music.”
“And Ella Fitzgerald.”
“And Ella Fitzgerald,” I repeated. “Dude, I don’t know about you but I’m ready to get a fuckin’ shower!”
“Hmmmm.” He had this curious look on his face.
“Scott, you know that question you asked me earlier that I didn’t answer?”
“Yes I do,” he said.
“Keep making comments and sounds like that and I’ll be asking you the same question soon enough.”
Scott burst out laughing at this. “You don’t have to worry about that,” he said.
“Why would I worry about it, goofball.”
“Oh man,” he said sighing. “Want to jog the rest of the way?”
“If the cameraman can keep up,” I said. We started jogging and this time we saw the car that the cameraman came in picked him up and they followed us as we made our way back to the studio.
* * * *
When we got back to the apartment everyone was in the kitchen except for Tracy and Samantha. They were still in bed.
“Where’d you two hotties go?” Deanna asked.
“We went and had great man-sex in Piedmont Park,” I said, out of breath.
“Cute. Is that why you’re panting so hard?”
“No,” I turned to look toward my ass and said “I was hoping that running would help the gerbil fall out of my ass.”
Deanna died laughing. “You are really a sick man.”
“You got it, ho.”
“Hey, I’m not a ho.”
“How’s that nasty women’s disease?” She threw an orange at me, missed and hit Scott.
“Oof. Hey there, ho, watch it. I might have to sick Logan on you.”
“Atta boy!” I said.
“Seriously,” Freddie said. “Where’d y’all go?”
“We started to go for a jog to the park but Logan wimped out on me and we walked instead.”
“Yes, but after you gave me a passionate kiss in the hallway.” At this, Freddie spit out his drink. “We are the messiest bunch of fuckers,” I said laughing, referring to us spitting out our drinks.
Deanna said, “He kissed you?” Her eyes were totally bugged out. Honey, time to hit the Zoloft.
“Well, it was more like this,” and I grabbed Scott, reached my hand around his hand to cover his mouth and gave him the same kind of fake kiss that he gave to me.
“Oh my God,” said Charlie.
Scott pulled away laughing.
“You two are some sick bitches, you know that?” Deanna said.
“It was his idea!” I said with mock anger.
“Oh, I just thought I’d give the camera guy a show,” Scott replied.
“Yeah, I think he had a tent in his panties when you pulled off of me.”
“You mean when you pushed me away,” Scott said.
“I didn’t push you away, ding dong.” Oh shit, there I go again.
“So,” Deanna said, “you enjoyed it.”
“Alright now. Quit jumping to conclusions. He pulled away before I could do anything first,” I said.
“Really, Mike? You wanted to do more?” Scott had this evil grin on his face.
I reached up and smacked him on the back of his head again. “Asshole,” I said.
“Aww, lover’s quarrel,” Deanna said.
“Ugg!” I rolled my eyes. “I give up. I’m hitting the shower,” I said walking towards the bedroom. “And no, you can’t join me Scott. I’ve already told you that this morning.” His face reddened a bit at this. Everyone looked over at him.
He looked over at them, smiled and said, “I was hoping to toss his salad but I told him that I’d have to bathe him first.”
“Ok!,” said Freddie and Charlie in a grossed-out way.
“That’s enough for this ol’ boy,” Charlie said.
Scott laughed as I headed to the bathroom to take my shower. “It’s ok,” he said. “Actually, we haven’t been able to decide who’ll top and who-“
“Stop! Stop!” said Freddie. Scott kept laughing. What a nutcase.
* * * *
I think it was either Jessica or Deanna that brought up going out for drinks that night. I was game.
“Where should we go?” Samantha asked. “Starbucks?”
“Starbucks!” I said. “You know they’re constantly building those goddamned things all over the place. In fact, I think they just built one up my ass a minute ago,” I said looking around.
Everyone laughed at that.
“Hey I know!” Deanna said. “I heard of this bar over on Cypress called Rhett’s.” As she said this she looked over at me. “It’s supposed to be pretty fun. You ever been there Mike?”
Rhett’s is one of the gay bars that I'd frequented. Yes I’d been there. It was actually a really nice place that wasn’t a “themed” gay joint. Some places were country/western, others preppy, some leather, but Rhett’s wasn’t set up like that. Most of the guys that hung out there were just average Joe’s. “Yeah, and from what I understand the glory holes have even been sanded smooth.” Again, my dry humor.
Freddie asked, “What’s a glory hole?”
I snickered and said, “Freddie, pal, you really gotta leave Vidalia.”
He looked around at everyone with a curious look on his face. “I still don’t know what one is.”
“Well, they’re normally found in gay bars,” Deanna said.
“Shit, there was one in the bathroom at Tech,” Charlie said.
“Freddie,” I explained, “a glory hole is a hole in the wall between stalls so you plop your cock in it and offer it to be sucked by an anonymous mouth.”
“Why would anyone want to do that?” he asked.
“I guess ‘cause some people like throat yogurt,” I said.
“Oh Christ!” Deanna said. Everyone else laughed in a grossed-out sort of way.
“So, how do you know about this place?” Scott asked with one eyebrow raised.
“I already told you I have few gay friends. And a drink’s a drink so what do I care where I go.” Plus all of the cameras are still rolling, I’m still in the closet, yada, yada, yada. Making stupid excuses.
“How about the glory hole?” said Deanna with a shit-eatin’ grin.
“Fuck you and that nasty women’s disease you surely have by now.” She burst out laughing.
“Actually I heard that they do karaoke on Saturday nights,” she said.
“Hadn’t been there that often,” I said. Mikey, you’re a fuckin’ liar. “Couldn’t tell ya.”
Samantha asked, “Why’d you pick a gay bar, Deanna.”
Deanna put her hand on the side of my face and said, “Oh, I thought that Mike’d be more comfortable there.”
“Screw you” I said. I didn’t mind joking about gay shit, but I wasn’t exactly out. I wasn’t sure why she kept saying crap like that.
“Why you gotta bust his balls?” Scott said.
“Oh, I’m just teasing him.”
“Whatever,” Scott said. “So are we going to Rhett’s? I’m game. Maybe if we’re lucky we can get Logan to sing a song for us.”
Oh, fucking great. That would take a bit of whiskey muscle. A few people hemmed and hawed but we all decided to go there and headed to our rooms to get ready. As we were going into our room Scott put his hand on my shoulder.
“Are you okay with this?” he asked with mock concern.
I smiled, tilted my head, and reached to smack him on the back of the head. He knew what was coming and grabbed my forearm. “Gotcha!” he said. I just rolled my eyes at him. He went into the bedroom before me and I looked across the apartment to see Deanna watching us.
“You two make a cute couple,” she said winking. She turned to go into her room.
“Hold up a sec,” I said walking over to her.
She turned back to me and smiled. “What?” she asked.
“Can I talk to you for a second?” I asked.
“Uh-oh,” she said with mock fear. “I’m in trouble.”
“After you,” I said pointing to the stairs.
Once we got upstairs we went out onto the open deck that was just outside the hot tub. The view was great and it overlooked Ponce, but the view isn’t what I was wanting to show her.
“Did I do something to piss you off?” I asked.
“I mean what is it with you and all the gay-erotica comments?”
“Look, I don’t have a problem with it.”
“With what?” I said getting irritated.
“You're being gay.”
I snickered at that. “Excuse me?”
“It’s alright, you know. We all knew there were rumors in school.”
I wasn’t ready for this. “There were also rumors about you, my dear.”
“Oh yeah, that I had two abortions. Whatever,” she said.
“Look, I could care less if it’s true or not, but you don’t hear me making jokes about it do you.” I told her.
She stood and looked at me. “No.”
“So why are you busting my balls?”
“Mike, it’s so damn obvious you got the hots for Scott.”
I didn’t deny it. Instead I said, “What the fuck would make you think that,” I stated.
“Hello! Last night after you’d had a bit to drink you couldn’t take your eyes off of him.”
“Well, I probably drank too much.”
“Plus, just then when I brought it up you didn’t deny having the hots for him. Look, it really is cool with me. Unfortunately for me I think that y’all both pray at the same church,” she said.
“I’m saying I think he’s gay too.”
“What’s this gay shit?” I mean come on, I knew my parent’s would eventually be watching this. What would they think.
“Come on, who’d you date in high school?”
“Who’d date me?” I answered her question with a question.
“You were cute!”
“Please, I had a mirror,” I told her.
“Ok,” she continued, “did you have more girl friends or guy friends?”
“Girl. But that’s because I wasn’t always trying to get into their skirts.” I said, and she raised her eyebrows at this.
“Were you in sports?”
“Who’s your favorite singer?”
“Who was it then?”
“There ya go,” she said.
I laughed out loud. “You’re such a meshugine.” (Pronounced muh-shug-i-nuh).
“A what?” she asked.
“A meshugine. A crazy person. But hey, you’ve discovered the ingredients to a gay man. At least now I know that you’re smarter than a sack of hair,” I said sarcastically.
“Why don’t you just come out and admit it?” This time she was taunting me with her smile.
“You know” I was getting’ pissed “and what the fuck does it matter to you?” I demanded. “If I am gay, isn’t it up to me to live my own life?”
“Look,” she said, “my brother’s gay and he went years without having a lover or a partner or anything. He was so lonely for so long.”
“Oh, and you’ve got gaydar too, I suppose.” I said, calming down a bit.
She smiled. “Yeah. I do.”
I said, “Crazy bitch” to which she snickered. I leaned onto the railing of the deck and looked out onto the city, my chin in my palm. She was right, you know. I was lonely. I wanted someone to share my life with. At least someone to love me back. I’d never had that, in a boyfriend sort of way. God, and then there’s my parents. How am I going to tell them, I thought. I sat there for an eternity. Then I made up my mind and a partial weight was lifted off of my shoulders.
“What’cha thinkin’” Deanna asked.
I sighed. “I know what to do, but at the same time I haven’t a clue.”
“What do you mean?” she said more compassionately than she had been.
“I….I just don’t fuckin’ know.”
“It’s a big step,” she said and the tears just came from nowhere and rolled down my cheeks. Deanna put her hand on my arm. Beneath all her piss and vinegar she was really a great chick. And while I was so damned afraid of what my parents would think, shit on a stick, after they’re dead and gone I’ll be too old to find someone to spend my life with.
“I mean,” I said, “I’m a nice guy. I work hard, I’m good to people. I should…..”
“You should what?”
And then all of a sudden it clicked. Just like back in the tenth grade when I saw everyone else having a blast in school and I decided that hey I had to join life and live it. God gave me life and I was wasting it. Sure I was nervous at the thought of telling my folks but what’s the worst that could happen? Nothing that I couldn’t handle if I got the worst reaction. At least over time.
“I need to call my parents” I said, looking her in the eye.
“Yeah!” she started jumping up and down and hugging me.
“Dammit you crazy thing! What are you so happy for.” I said, trying to be grumpy when I was really happy for the first time, deep down inside.
“Because we can finally get going to the bar,” she had this shit-eating grin.
I gave her a hug. “You really are a douche bag, you know.”
“I know. So about Scott…..” she wanted to know.
“I’m going insane!”
“About what, Logan?” I turned as he was closing the door to the deck. He'd just come out onto the deck so I knew he hadn’t heard anything.
“About you!” I said, then I looked at Deanna and winked. “Actually Scott, I’m not trying to be a dick, but I’m in the middle of something…..”
He looked a bit confused.
Deanna said, “No honey, not that kind of something.”
Scott looked between us and shook his head. “Y’all are damned exasperating people!”
We looked at each other and laughed as he stepped back inside. “How insane?” she wanted to know.
“Oh my God. I mean, something clicked when we met, and I know that he thinks something did with us as well, because he practically told me, but I don’t think it’s what clicked with me” I rattled at a mile a minute.
“Shut. Up,” She said laughing. “We’re gonna have to turn the hose on you!”
I could finally talk about my feelings for a guy to a person who wasn’t gay. Y’all know what that’s like. To be unashamed of who you are, to just be a man who happens to be gay. I was like a kid in a candy store.
“Slow down” she said.
“I remember thinking he was really cute in school, and I’ve met him here, really for the first time, and he’s just so fuckin’ nice and friendly, and he can talk serious or make gay jokes.”
“Gay,” she said.
“Huh?” I asked.
“He’s gotta be gay.”
“I wish. But if he is, he’s not making it obvious, so I wouldn’t push him,” I said. “Trust me, I know what that’s like to want to stay in the closet.”
“But how’re you gonna get him in the sack?”
I busted out laughing. “Crazy damned thing. I’m not into the hookup thing.”
“I didn’t say that you were.”
“Dee, we just met yesterday,” now the sensible side was rearing it’s head. “How do I know that he’s just as great outside this studio? He could be a sociopath?” Ok, now I was getting fuckin’ ridiculous.
“Stupid ass,” she said, recognizing that I was getting fuckin’ ridiculous.
“Seriously, though, I don’t want to waste time. I want to get to know a guy before I set up house.” I’d seen too many relationships break up that way. So many guys way too eager to play house, and they’ll stay with a son of a bitch for years. Morons.
“You’re kinda old-fashioned, aren’t you.” It was more of a statement than a question.
I thought about it for a minute. “Well, it worked for the Cleavers!” I said smiling.
“Yeah, but June Cleaver didn’t have a penis!” she grinned.
I let out a belly laugh. “Well, she could have been a trannie.” We both got a good laugh at that.
“I’ll tell you what,” I said. “Scott’s a gorgeous guy. A real man’s man.”
“Uh-huh” she agreed.
“And he really is nice, too. I’ll just have to play it by ear. Shit!”
“What?” she asked.
“Well, I’m talking about him as though I have a chance. See honey, it’s a little harder if you don’t know which side a man’s bread is buttered on,” I told her.
“Trust me, honey, he’s got it for you too.”
“Whatever.” I doubted this was true.
“Look how much he makes gay jokes with you.”
“Gee, I missed that in your ingredients of a gay man,” I told her, grinning.
“Smart ass. It’s just a feeling I get.”
“Dee, I could never be that lucky.”
“We’ll see. What are you gonna do now?” she wanted to know.
I looked towards the door. “There’s a phone call I have to make.” I took a breath, crossed over to the door, opened it and went through. I went back downstairs to the little phone booth room that someone had discovered. It was tucked over near the guys’ room and I went in and passed Scott on the way.
“Hey man, is everything ok?” he asked.
“I hope so.” He looked at me kinda funny. “I just really need to call my parents.”
I went into the cubby and closed the door. I was sure that the phone conversation would be taped, but what was I going to do. Their number rang four or five times before my mother picked up. “Hello?” she said.
“Hey there Ma.”
“Michael! I thought you were going to be on that t.v. show thing?” Mom liked to call me Michael.
“Well I am. Say, is Dad there too?”
“Well he’s right here, hold on. Is everything ok?” she asked.
“I need to talk to the both of ya.”
“Ok, let me get him.” I could hear her holler to my dad in the background. It took a second and then he finally picked up the phone. “Hello?”
“Hi Dad, how’s it goin’?”
“Heya Mikey,” okay, so my Dad was the one person who called me Mikey from time to time. “I thought you were going to be on that show thing?” Jesus. Two peas in a pod.
“Y’all, I’m on it right now.”
“How are things going?” they both asked.
“Ok. Y’all, I really need to tell you something important.” I was blazing through this faster than I probably should have but I was really nervous. “I’m not exactly sure how to tell you this…”
“Is everything ok, son?” my dad asked. I paused for a minute trying to catch my breath.
“If I don’t tell you now I don’t know how I ever will, and I’m sorry for doing it on a t.v. show, because it isn’t very private, but I’ve met someone and I got to thinking….” I paused.
“Honey, are you there?” from my mom.
“Yeah.” God I needed a drink of water. “First, remember all those times that you told me that you’d love me no matter what?”
“Oh no, Kim,” my dad said. “He’s gone and committed murder.”
“Troy, will you stop that! Can’t you tell the boy’s nervous?”
Dad laughed a bit. “I’m sorry son. Go ahead.”
“You didn’t kill anyone did you,” my mom asked. This time they both laughed. Ugg.
“Not quite. Um. I don’t know how to say this, so I’ll just say it. Mom, Dad, you won’t be getting grandkids from me.” Oh shit. Mentally I rolled my eyes back in my head. Where the frig did that come from?
“Excuse me?” mom asked.
“Ugg. Y’all. That didn’t come out right. What I’m trying to say is…” here goes “I won’t be having children because…” dammit Logan, just say it! “I’m gay.” There I said it! I held my breath as there was complete silence on the phone. “Dammit, did the line go dead?” I asked holding the phone and looking at it.
“We’re still here.”
I was incredulous. “I just dropped that bomb and y’all don’t say anything?” Tears welled up in my eyes.
“Michael,” my Mom said, “we’ve always known that.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. “What?”
“Mike, well, we should say that we had suspected that you were. Or are.”
“Huh? Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked.
“Well son,” dad said chuckling, “we figured you already knew.”
“Troy! Stop it!”
“Sorry,” Dad said.
“And y’all don’t mind?”
“Oh, good Lord no! You’re our son and we love you.”
“I was so damned afraid you’d…. I don’t know, disown me.”
“Have you killed anyone?” Dad said.
“Alright then. Look Mike, you’re my son and I love you. That’s about all there is to it.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. But I didn’t get the “suspected” thing that they had mentioned.
“What did you mean by ‘suspected’,” I asked.
“Well,” Dad said, “you never really dated in school-“
“-plus most of your friends were girls-“ Mom interrupted.
“You didn’t do sports-“ Dad went on.
“-and you loved Barbra Streisand!”
Christ on a bicycle! I shook my head and laughed. “You know,” I said, “I’ve heard this before.”
“Oh?” my mom said.
“Well, I just wanted to let you know because I met someone here in the studio that seems like a really nice guy, and I didn’t want you watching this on television in a few months and see me drool all over him. Y’all have no idea what kind of burden has been lifted from me.” I told them.
“We understand, honey. But please, you know you can always talk to us. About anything,” Mom said.
“Hey Mikey, you’re not gonna become one of those flamer types, are ya?”
“Troy!!!” Mom hollered. Dad and I both busted out laughing. I knew he was kidding because he’s where I got a good bit of my sense of humor from.
“It’s ok Mom. He’s just being a goofball.” Ok, now the entire world felt different to me. I honest to God felt like a whole new man. It’s indescribable. We talked a little bit longer before Charlie started knocking on the door to the booth.
“Y’all I gotta go now. I love you.”
“We love you too, son,” they said in unison. Then Dad said to my mom “Jinks, you owe me a Coke.”
“Troy, you’re the biggest dork sometimes. Bye Mike. Have fun. We’ll talk to you later!”
“Bye y’all!” I hung up the phone and left the booth. Scott was standing at the island fixing a glass of water.
“Everything ok?” he asked.
As I walked by I smacked him on the ass. “It is now!” I was referring to the phone call with my parents.
He turned towards me, smiling, and said, “I can tighten up the cheeks if you want to do that again” with a wink.
With a big grin I started walking towards him. Everyone was down there except Deanna and all eyes were on us. As I headed towards him he took off around the island to run from me. “Just kidding, just kidding!”
“Crazy ass!” I said laughing. I went to go back upstairs to find Deanna and tell her the good news. I turned back and caught Scott’s eye, winked at him and said “woof!” He about choked on his water but at least he didn’t spit it out. I laughed and continued up the stairs. I went out onto the deck where Deanna was standing.
“You waitin’ fo’ me, Miss Scahlett,” I said using my best southern drawl.
“Rhett, Rhett, how could you leave me like that?” she said, taking my lead.
“Ah had mor’ important bizness to attend to. Ah had to go fuck a man in tha ass!”
“Oh, shit!” she laughed. “Not what I wanted to hear!”
“Well, I called ‘em,” I told her.
After I didn’t say anything she said, “And???”
I grabbed her up in a big hug. “They still like me! The really like me!” Thanks Sally Field.
“Really they took it that well?”
“Oh my God,” I said. “I couldn’t have asked for it to go better.”
“For what to go better?” Scott was there at the doorway. Oye!
Deanna winked at me and said to him, “Mikey here just came out of the closet to his parents. He told them he likes playing the skin flute!”
Now Scott, who was standing there taking a sip of his water, blew it out all over Deanna, again, and I and choked a bit.
“It’s ok Scottie, Deanna’s forgotten to take her Zoloft today. She’s still busting my balls from earlier this afternoon. Y’all coming?” I asked, leaving the deck and going back inside. On a second thought as I walked by Scott I smacked his ass again. “Much tighter baby!” I said.
“I was hoping you’d do that again,” he said with a smile. Perfect teeth! Fucker!
I shook my head laughing as we all went downstairs, followed by several cameramen, and headed over to Rhett's.