A Rat Bastard

October 6, 2010

People don’t know me, they assume I’m some don’t-give-a-damn punk. It’s the hair, the piercings, and maybe a little bit the clothes. I don’t dress in ripped band shirts and jeans full of safety pins, but it is enough I have to change when I get to school. I don’t really mind; in high school it kept people off my back. Certainly wasn’t my impressive physique; I’m a scrawny son-of-a-bitch and daylight isn’t too kind on rat fur at the best of times. 

Club lighting is a whole other matter. I can make myself look fucking awesome in a club. I drop by one of the clubs, usually All Stripes, about two or three times in a week, unless I got a project due or there’s midterms or finals or I’m picking up double shifts volunteering at the shelter clinic or something. When that’s going down I’m not going to risk losing a scholarship or a patient for partying. I ain’t that kind of guy. When it’s not All Stripes, it’s usually one of the gay clubs downtown; The Pink Pony or Carson’s. But most of the time, it’s Stripes. And not just because I can get away with picking someone up and riding them in one of the side rooms.

I was there last a couple days ago. Ran into this sweet raccoon on the dance floor, and, you know how it is. If I’d let that chance slide, I wouldn’t have gotten it out of my head for months. So when he’d had enough of the dancing, we got us some drinks, and we went off to one of the side rooms — just people I knew in there, nobody who’d give a damn and certainly nobody who’d make a fuss — and we talked. He was so nervous that whole time, but damn, the gleam in his eyes. He said he don’t come round there often, and I can well believe that.

Somewhere in all that talking, I came on to him, and he was all for. I mean, we spent probably at least a half-hour just talking, me leaning against him and breathing in his Good Boy cologne, before I even started undoing his fly. The look on his face when I got his cock out was to die for, and the look when I grabbed it with a handful of Slyck gel was even better. Makes me wish I’d seen his face when I got on his lap, but I ain’t gonna put my back to the door if I’m not with some guy I know can keep an eye on it himself. This guy? Wouldn’t have noticed a herd of elephants stomping in.

It does make me tempted to find him again, not that I know where I’d start looking. Fucking college town, has to be at least a few thousand guys to go through, and all I’ve got is his species and first name. Richard. Not exactly something you’d expect to be able to look up in the phone book. Way to be a fucking dumbass, Nathaniel; you’ve done this casual sex thing a hundred times before, and you still go and fall for the mystery raccoon who seemingly came out of nowhere. All that’s left to do, then, is sit here, eating your lunch and… sulking… over… Damn.

Whether it’s fate or coincidence or the will of God or whatever, I know that definitely is Richard walking down the street outside. He’s fingering that silver cross he wears, just like he did that night, and he looks… distraught. I have like half my club sandwich left, and it’s really too expensive to just leave it here, but if I stay to finish it he’s probably going to disappear again. Well, fuck that; I wrap the sandwich in a napkin and cram it in my pocket, leave a too-big bill on the table, and am out the door. So what if I have to eat instant noodles for the rest of the week?

“Hey, Richard, wait up!”

He does stop, and turns, and looks up. But that’s not the look I wanted to see on his face; he looks like something between a deer in headlights and a child caught doing something a step up from having his hand in the cookie jar. Is it seeing me that makes him look like someone just found him with, I don’t know, the family dog? And the way he clutches that cross; I’m almost expecting the metal to warp in his hand. His voice shakes so much I can barely make it out. “Leave me alone.”

It’s my turn to stop dead in my tracks, ears folding back, whiskers drooping. He’s even more gorgeous out here; the sunlight that’s so unkind on me practically turns his fur silver. I know he’s younger than me, but damn it, he makes me feel like I’m back in junior high. “I… I enjoyed the other night. I was hoping…” Hoping we could do that again, somewhere that doesn’t call for so much vigilance, somewhere like my pad, so I can see his face as he sinks into me… I can’t really say that across the ten feet separating us, out on a public sidewalk, though.

“I…” His face twists up, and his ears twitch just so. I can tell he’s lying before he even speaks. He’s a pretty shitty liar. “I didn’t.”

It still hurts. Twists like a fucking knife in my chest, that’s what. Put me on a slab and dissect me, and you’ll find my heart already bleeding, the whole nine yards. “Richard, I… please… can we just talk?” I sound like some girl from some sobby chick-flick, but that’s fair. That’s what I feel like.

“I don’t want to talk to you.” That sounds sincere, however. I have to wonder if he wasn’t just lying to me, but to himself. “You’ll just talk me into… It’s wrong! Don’t you see that?”

His eyes seek the blackened silver chain disappearing into my shirt, and I oblige, without thinking, by pulling it out. Had that crucifix since I was baptized, but I never believed anything other than God being cool with me being gay. Neither did my parents. I’m not even really actively religious, we prayed at the dinner table on Sundays and holidays growing up and that’s it, but that thing’s just, you know, part of who I am. “I’m sorry, Richard. I really don’t.” Something’s churning in my gut, now, the kind of anxiety you get when you realize you might’ve fucked up bad this time. “Look, you really don’t want to be having this conversation in the middle of the street, do you? I’ll walk with you for a bit and we can talk about it; where are you going?”

“Church,” he spits, his ears flattening. “Apologize to Him. I won’t let you talk me out of that.”

Oh, yes. You fucked up big time this time, Nathaniel. “I’m… sorry.” Aren’t those the two emptiest words you ever heard? Even I am not sure I mean them. I do, and I don’t. I’m so sorry I apparently crossed a line without knowing it, that night, it makes me feel sick to my stomach. I usually have a good feel for these things; I would never intentionally talk anyone into anything like that. But I’m not sorry I rode his lap, and I suspect some part of him isn’t, either, because it really was great.

Why didn’t he say anything, if he changed his mind? I would’ve stopped; I have before.

But it’s not that easy, and I know that. Did he know I would’ve stopped? Could he really ask me to stop, as I was stroking his cock? I can’t blame him for this, so the only person left to blame is myself. I really should’ve missed the chance.

At least then, I could’ve enjoyed the what-if.

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