"There are two things John and I always do
when we're going to sit down and write a song.
First of all we sit down. Then we
think about writing a song."
-Paul McCartney


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This story is not intended for children. This is a work of fiction. Any similarities
to persons dead or alive is purely coincidental. No part of this story may be
reproduced without the written consent of its author.

Copyright 1989 M. Hofferbert. All rights reserved.

    rTist IN RESIDEnCE continues . . .

    Kyle arrived ahead of Teri. That in itself was odd; Teri always got to the Hall before him. He went to work setting up the lighting equipment, well aware of Teri's absence. In a sense, he was relieved Teri wasn't there. He didn't have but a smidgen of experience with "the day after," and already his mental state was getting worked up over it. Should he act cool as if nothing had happened, or go on the offense and nip this thing in the bud by coming clean about his tried and true heterosexualism?
    The LA Kid walked up to him and asked where Teri was.
    "Why should I know?" Kyle asked defensively.
    "Ask him to find me as soon as he gets here," LA said. "I've got some sound changes. I'm worried about him. It's not like him to be late."
    Kyle was worried about him too. The relief he felt over Teri's absence was quickly subsiding, leaving a nagging sense of dread in its place. Maybe, Kyle thought, Teri was having second thoughts as well, the little fucker. On one hand he wished he and Teri had never met. On the other, he wanted to be his new best friend. Kyle was in a quandry.
    Ten minutes before the house was to open, LA called the Company together for some script changes. She began by explaining the changes were necessary to facilitate ticket sales. "We've only got two pre-sales for tonight's show," she said sourly. "I'm changing the final scene. I'm going to throw loaves of bread into the audience while standing on a chair reciting Hedda Gabler. Any questions?"
    Raising her hand, Taylor wanted to know what the significance of the loaves of bread was.
    "It's Performance Art. It doesn't have to mean anything."
    "What about continuity?"
    LA gave Taylor a blank stare and announced it was time to open the house. And, "When we get to the change, actors, just follow my lead."
    Teri arrived just in time to hear this last instruction and looked quizically at Kyle. "Change?", he asked, laying a single red rose on the lighting board. "She's keeping us on our toes, huh?"
    Kyle stared at the rose. "You're late."
    I couldn't find my keys. Gremlins."
    "Uh, LA wants to see you."
    "Okay," Teri said over the awkward tension. "Miss me?"
    There it was. Kyle couldn't lie. He had missed him. Though it flew in the face of how he thought guys were supposed to feel about each other, he'd really missed him. And in that instant it became crystal clear what he - heterosexual tendencies aside - had to do. "You're going to need a hand setting up the sound," he said.

    Teri and Kyle shared a booth at The Clock. That they'd come here on their first "date" was not lost on either of them.
    "What's with the bread?" Teri asked. "Is it a Jesus thing?"
    Kyle shrugged. The bread event had proven nearly disastrous. There was a gleam in LA's eye as she wound up to pitch the initial loaf, nailing a man in the front row squarely between the eyes. He struggled to dodge successive loaves, finally scrambling to his feet in retreat. That's when he got tangled in the lighting cord and pulled the light pole over on top of himself. Unfazed, LA's rain of bread loaves continued. One after another they flew, sailing in low and fast or high and slow, but every last one of them finding their target until LA had exhausted her supply of ammo. It was an embarassment for the actors and crew, not to mention that pitiful man tangled in the light pole. It was an embarassment for everyone, it seemed, except the LA Kid. She left the Hall that night rejuvenated and convinced of the show's potential.
    Teri guzzled his beer while Kyle poured more cream into his coffee. They were both unusually silent, neither of them feeling the initiative to start a conversation. Teri looked coyly at Kyle who pretended not to notice, making mindless patterns in a pile of sugar on the table top. Then, as if sensing the restaurant were in dire need of something to break up the monotony, a woman somewhere in her sixties, wielding a cigar and wearing a derby, came a banging her way through the front door. She had a half dozen or so bags hanging off her, and as she passed through the entrance, one caught on the door handle. Cursing ensued, and a fierce struggle to extract herself from the door's clutches which resulted in the derby tumbling from her head.
    "Son of a . . . cocksucking little . . . motherfuckin' slut . . ." she mumbled under her breath. A big ol' dyke on her way to the street stopped and set the derby back on the lady's head, who seemed not to notice in her struggle to free the bag from the big bad door. She continued cursing, finally giving in to powers greater than she. As the door swung closed on the bag, something inside made the sound of glass breaking.
    "Where's your ladies room?" the lady asked in a loud voice.
    "It's for customers only," the waiter said tersely.

    If Kyle had taken a second to think about it, he might have

    felt uncomfortable with the situation, but as it was he found

    himself in the moment, and in the moment he was lost to

    Cupid's cunning. Of course, it didn't hurt that Teri

    had in his possession a beautiful cock.

    "I'll buy something after I go."
    "Doesn't work that way," the waiter said shaking his head. "Buy first, then go."
    Goodbye then," the waiter said, dismissing her.
    The bag lady waddled back to the door, where, cursing under her breath, she struggled again to free her bag. This time - in a relatively short period - her efforts were met with success. She shouted "Aha!" like victory and discovery were the same animal to her.
    "That's a real shame," Teri said matter-of-factly of the bag lady's circumstances. "Let's blow this joint."
    Out on the street, they walked around the lady who was squatting over the sidewalk. She didn't acknowledge them, nor them her, and none of them could have guessed her fate that night. The next day, buried in the back of the Times, was a headline that summed up the extent of her existence: TRANSIENT STABBED, LEFT FOR DEAD. On the local airwaves, she didn't even merit mentioning.
    Teri laid his head in Kyle's lap, as Kyle drove. Judging by the tighness of his jeans, Kyle didn't mind.
    Pulling up in front of the Belmont Arms, Kyle informed Teri he was home.
    Teri sat up. "Can you come in for a minute?"
    "Just," Kyle said.
    Inside, Teri apologized for the mess, blaming the clutter on his roommate.
    "Where is he?" Kyle asked, glancing at the clock on the studio floor. It read 2:04.
    "Eddie? At work. He'll be gone all night. He works at some pretentious restaurant in Belltown. He's the chef, so he says. I think he's probably just the janitor."
    "Would he lie about that?" Kyle asked, naive to the nature of Teri and Eddie's relationship, which was contentious at best.
    Teri hooked his index fingers through two of Kyle's belt loops and asked, "You don't want to talk all night about Eddie, do you?" and pulled him to the futon. It took up the entire width of the apartment, bounded by a large squat coffee table that took up most of the rest. Teri began kissing Kyle, and Kyle Teri, and when the lights were switched off they set to tearing each other out of their clothes. If Kyle had taken a second to think about it, he might have felt uncomfortable with the situation, but as it was he found himself in the moment, and in the moment he was lost to Cupid's cunning. Of course, it didn't hurt that Teri had in his possession a beautiful cock.
    "I want you," Teri said, pulling Kyle clumsily toward him. Slowly, he drew him closer until Kyle was inside, and they banged with abandon. Together they reached heights that night neither thought possible in the absence of drugs. As if of one mind, they climaxed, each exploding to the delight of the other, and without a word spoken between them they fell back, holding each other, guessing one anothers' thoughts as if in psychic communication. It was Kyle's first time, and the headiest - not to mention the most wonderfully physical - experience he'd ever had. It felt right, not the deviant act that had been described to him by high school coaches bent on turning out legions of pure, suburban, heterosexual graduates. It was physical. It was spiritual. And for the first time in a long while Kyle felt comfortable in his own skin. Likewise for Teri. The clock read 4:01 when Kyle reached for his clothes. How long he'd been lying with Teri was anybody's guess, and if it hadn't been for the late hour, he wouldn't have moved to leave.
    "My mom's going to kill me," Kyle said.
    "I'm sorry."
    "I'm not." As Kyle struggled into his pants, Teri worked him right back out of them for another go around. "I am so gonna get it," Kyle giggled.
    "You so are." And Teri pulled Kyle to him again.

    Teri lay in the dark. His mind was full of Kyle. His senses were full of Kyle. His heart was filled with him too. It was almost more than one boy could stand. He didn't want to close his eyes. He didn't want his mind chanced open to thoughts other than Kyle. Outside it rained and the wind blew, and Teri thought about the way Kyle moved. Water droplets cast strange patterns across the room as they raced each other down the window pane, and Teri filled his nose with Kyle's bouquet. The apartment door opened with a bang, and Teri played dead, secretly remembering how Kyle felt inside him.
    Eddie stomped into the apartment, slamming the door behind him. "I'm home lover boy," he called in what he thought was a coy manner. "I know you missed me, 'cuz I missed you and in the city when two people miss each other the other one misses him too . . . this is the city." The words sort of made sense to Eddie, who stood over the bed with his arms extended in either direction like a poor imitation of the Crucifixion. "Didja miss me?"
    Teri didn't dare open his eyes.
    Eddie mustered some unintelligible curse in Teri's direction, then banged his way into the kitchen where he threw some pans against each other before returning to Teri's side. "Teri . . . wakey, wakey . . . sugar pie fly . . ." He angrily kicked the bed, and Teri sat straight up.
    "Fuck you, Eddie."
    "Okay," Eddie said, jumping onto the futon.
    "Get the fuck off me!" Teri yelled.
    "Come on. Give me a look," Eddie insisted, groping at him.
    "Get off!" Teri yelled. His voice meant business, even to a drunk. "I'm not having sex with you."
    "You think you're too good for me? Too high and mighty? You gonna pay your rent one way or another, and unless you have cash . . ."
    Teri gave him a long cold look that said Don't fuck with me, and bundled himself off toward the bathroom with a comforter and pillow.
    "You . . . " was the only word Teri managed to form before closing the door behind him. There were no words to express his disgust at that moment. So, locking himself inside, he cried in private, careful not to give Eddie the satisfaction of hearing his sobs.
    Eddie made himself a bowl of popcorn. He was sobering quickly and regretting his actions. He had to pee like nobody's business.

    Continued . . .

    posted 04/02/05

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