I always found it better to romanticize situations and ideas rather than actual people.
I'm holding the same phone I remember holding as an adolescent. I recall dialing numbers of people I didn't know too well—yet saw as attractive enough to dwell upon—and putting the little black speaker up to my ear; listening to the dial tone and my pounding heartbeat just to hope for the best.
The voicemail of a kid named Jeremy. I could recognize the voice anywhere. He completely resembled all I wanted physically in a guy at the time, and so this sense of false understanding always came to massive heights whenever I saw him in person.
As time passed, and I stayed close to people, my brain tended to focus on whatever little part, in this case--parts, I neglected when we first met. It quickly dawned upon me that his hair was this marvelous shade of red. Not soon after our Junior year of high school it also dawned on me that Jeremy was a homosexual—that is the word a kid in my class used, and the word Jeremy used semi-ironically to describe himself on FaceBook afterwards. The dimples and wide eyes I saw on him before seemed to follow suit with the rest of his body—totally complementary. And the small details in his eyes—in terms of us both growing, took me years to finalize as something more than beautiful. The only problem, as I saw it back then, was delivering my approach; there was already this all-too-familiar unanimous understanding that the two gay kids at school would be involved with eachother somehow. I didn't exactly want to succumb to this idea, however the world seemed to have aligned itself too perfectly for him and I to have not gotten together.
Jeremy had a rainbow flag in his locker and a few pride buttons on his backpack, while I had pictures of some band anyone would categorize as blatantly gay tucked into the sleeve of my binder.
I received Jeremy's number from a kid who worked with my friend, and the kid told my friend that Jeremy liked receiving calls from random guys because it was "exciting" for him. My face got so red when my friend told me and gave me this little slip of paper with a number scribbled down on it, laughing his ass off because he knew that was exactly what the fuck I was planning on doing. I assume this "friend" of Jeremy's was one of the random guys and referred to himself as an example.
I knew he had a bit of a reputation. Moving countries led to new experiences, and this tall, lanky Czechoslovakian kid I vaguely knew in middle school for having a thick accent and slight lisp had turned into a semi-athlete, hanging out with the kids who regularly bullied my friends and I at the same middle school.
As I saw it, something happened the summer after Sophomore year that totally changed his perspective. He started wearing clothes that fit, he moved in with a couple kids from the football team, he started buying marijuana from another one of the student athletes.
Jeremy and a few other kids were suspended last year for smoking at the dumpsters behind the school.
After the suspension, one of my friends, specifically one of Jeremy's stoner friends, too--and the kid that got me his number--stayed with me at my house while his parents renovated; I'm sure it was more because they didn't want to have to deal with their suspended son anymore. He was more interested in my mom's car than he was me, but I was also more interested in seeing my crush than I was hanging out with him. A few years prior, this same kid and a group of other kids in the same sort of clique spray painted "faggot" on the concrete behind the school, same place they usually smoked weed.
Afterwards, though, this kid started hanging out with Jeremy--months after him having come out.
I told this kid--and I told myself in the back of my head that this would be fine--that I would take him and a few other kids down to Cannon to shoot the shit for a while. He asked me what for. Well, I told him I wanted to hang out with Jeremy. He thought it was funny, but understood vaguely what I was getting at.
That night, and a few hours after my mom left for work and dad went to bed, I took my mom's keys--she used TriMet--and left with my friend. He told me, on the way there, that Jeremy wanted to bring a few other kids. They were at his house. We got there and my friend got out to smoke and pee on the sidewalk. Jeremy got into the passenger side and talked to me a bit while we waited for a couple of his other friends. It was total fucking breakfast club when they showed, though--this one goth chick I knew from having taken a few art classes with, this weeb who wore tails to school just a few years ago, and a kid I didn't recognize at all--apparently he was Jeremy's neighbor. That kid couldn't have been older than fifteen.
"Man," I leaned forward to talk to Jeremy.
"That's an actual child,"
"Not really," I shook my head in near disbelief and looked at the kid walking out of Jeremy's house after having used the bathroom.
Jeremy made up some story about how he always wanted to hang out with them but never got the chance because he was too young--I totally agreed. Jeremy didn't seem to let up, though, and this group of degenerates in the back seemed too fucked out of their minds to even notice.
I started driving when everyone was in the car. The kid just looked uncomfortable in the back seat, cramped beside the three other jokers--my friend was smoking a blunt out the window. Jeremy and I talked a little bit about some classes we'd faked having liked in the past. He was a pretty well put-together guy; he was really interested in pseudoscience--what I considered it anyway, and told me about conspiracy theories and all these biblical stories about the pyramids and giants and ant people living underground. Moreso, I was listening to his voice and wondering if he knew who I actually was.
"You were in my psych class last year," he finally piped up--or I finally began to listen.
"Yeah, you sat in the back, you did that project on Carl Rogers," I looked through the rearview at my friend. His eyes were closed and his blunt was out. Then I looked back at the kid, just staring out the window. I wondered if he even wanted to be here.
"I really liked this one analogy you used for the project--the one with the bugs?" I looked over at him.
"Yeah?" I shifted in my seat a bit.
"Yeah, what was that one?"
"Yeah, superorganisms are practically the same thing as human brains, because they have all the same components. An anthill is a brain, ants are the neurons who interact, colonies make decisions and move cohesively from all these group dynamics gathered from the ants--the neurons, so the brain--the colony-- can produce some adaptive behavior appropriate for whatever conditions you're living in. You can call that shit cognitive." He shook his head and snorted through a cigarette between his teeth, I'd barely noticed at all.
"Yeah, to be honest I didn't pay much will to that class,"
"You're interested in that kind of thing, though?"
"Nah, just like the way you explained it,"
"Oh." I nodded and he smirked out of the corner of my eye.
"You know, you remind me of someone," he was staring at his phone when I looked over at him. His eyes were red and I got this sudden realization that whatever I said to him now would only amount to about half of what it means--later, when he sobers up. I shook my head.
"I don't know,"
"Yeah--no you remind me of some artist," I waited, and after a few minutes of driving he held his phone up, with a picture of this fucker from the eighties I immediately recognized.
"The guy from the Police, yeah."
I kept looking out at the road. The car was silent. My friend kept hanging his arm out his window, and the kid kept looking out into nothing in the back seat.
"My friend made me listen to them at lunch one time, because you told her about them."
I nodded. This girl in my chem class last year asked what song the teacher had put on--some Pandora playlist, and I was shocked then, so I explained to her, but I guess I seemed over-enthused because looking back on it now I can't help but feel it was an awkward experience; especially since she felt I was so compassionate about the fucking Police that she had to share their music with the rest of her stoner friends. I suddenly felt the need to apologize to him. Besides, I couldn't really imagine this kid--let me reiterate--his friends smoking, listening to Sting or literally any song from that era and enjoying it.
"You want the aux?" I shuffled through the glove compartment, but he shook his head.
"Don't think you'd be all that interested,"
I cocked my head but kept switching between wrangling my hand around a bunch of chords and staring at the black road in front of me.
"What do you mean?"
"The music I like, I mean. Definitely far off from anything eighties," it killed me.
"I'm not really into that music either, just that band in particular,"
"Yeah, well, it's still just not that fun to listen to in the car," I stopped looking, and closed the glove compartment.
He replaced the dead cigarette and pulled out a ceramic white pipe with flowers on it, gesturing towards me.
"I don't," he shook his head and put it back in his bag.
Cannon wasn't that far away; I remember walking there barefoot as a kid and coming home before eight when my dad got home and before my mom left.
There was this surrounding of trees around the front entrance, it used to be that you could drive up and buy a ticket to go anywhere in the little strip. Now you have to park and pay anywhere you go.
We got out, and the kid got out of the back and started walking towards the beach. He hadn't really said anything at all the whole trip.
Jeremy opened the door to the back seat and shoved my friend in the shoulder, waking him and the other two up.
"He know where he's going?" I gestured towards the kid walking off into the sunset.
Jeremy seemed to nudge me off.
"He's fine, man."
I nodded and walked down the same path the kid walked down to get to this beach I could barely even see.
The kid sits on the sand a little while away and I watch him pull a pipe out of his pocket while I dig my hands in mine. I snort and wonder if he's really just a young-looking twenty-or-so year old. I hear my friend coming up behind me, and I know it's him because I hear the clicking of his lighter following the brushing of his shoes on damp sand.
"You think that kid is fifteen?" My friend takes a drag and pulls it away staring, thinking of an answer.
"Probably," he walks off in another direction and I start following him, then stop when I realize he's just going to be smoking the whole time. I kind of just stood there until I heard the click of more lighters, then finally the smell of actual smoke coming from near behind me. I turn around and see a lit-up pale face with red curls dangling against the fingerless gloves of this tall entity.
I stare at him for a sec, until he puts his lighter back and stares back at me. He starts walking towards the bleak ocean tide and I follow him. He sits down cross legged all of a sudden and I sit beside him with my legs out in the wet sand so I can start rolling up my pants.
"He's fifteen." He pulled off the cigarette and I could see his hasty expression very faintly. I nodded. It wasn't unusual.
"Your roommates don't smoke?" He shook his head.
"Drug tests," I nod again and move my legs to be crossed like his.
He leaned back in the sand, where his palms were by his head, and his head was digging a hole in the ground.
I looked behind to see his friends, but they must've gone somewhere else. I wasn't too worried.
"Do you think you're gonna grow up and solve some big mystery or something?"
It seemed almost taunting. I turned so that I was sitting towards him, but he was staring upwards, taking periodical drags from a cigarette, damp from the sand.
"I like the idea of it, yeah." I finally spoke, and saw him shift his shoulders and head a bit in the sand.
"You never think like, if this is all we have, all these ideas and ideologies, they're just human-made, why make your own if you have all these older and better ones,"
"What makes the ones we have now better than some random one I could make up on the spot,"
He sat up and was smiling, dusting the sand out of his hair, and took his jacket off to dust it out.
"Why do you think I look at conspiracies?"
"It's to compare," I turned towards him expecting to hear more. He took another drag.
"I want to see what all these motherfuckers--" he gestured towards the sky "think are fake because 'oh, they haven't been proven', or whatever. Has any idea really been entirely proven? Who's to say a billion giants didn't roam this Earth just a mere thousand years ago? How would we know?" I snorted a bit, but he seemed totally serious.
"I just mean, I fucking hate anyone who doesn't believe in anything. Why not? Are you that fucking analytical that you can't even imagine a world before where you live now?" I snorted again.
"You believe in a higher power?"
"I mean, why not, man. Why not?" He put his cigarette out in the wet sand and stood up, dusting himself off, then looked down at me, expecting to do the same. I stood up and followed him down the beach, further away from where we came in. He just left the cigarette butt there.
None of the restaurants were open, and I knew, I think he did too, but we walked through the dark stripmall nonetheless. Then, out of nowhere he stopped and sat on the curb. I sat next to him, and turned to look at him while he kept just staring out in front of us at this big red closed sign on a building that I recognized as an information kiosk.
He pulled out a pair of earphones and plugged it into his old IPhone, then put one in his ear and looked at me before gently putting the other one in my ear. I scooted closer to him and he started playing some piano music in another language.
"I like listening to this when I smoke. Reminds me of my childhood."
I nodded and listened along to the song, and his breathing more intently.
The song ended and he pulled the earphone from his ear, then gently from mine again.
"Was that different for you?" I cocked my head.
"A bit, yeah,"
As he was putting the earphones and phone back in his pocket I asked him,
"You believe in so much of a greater power, well, is it a perfect world? Do you think of something reminiscent to a religion or is it more like a free for all world?"
He shook his head and leaned back on the curb.
"I don't think there's anything that's gonna stop me from being who I am. But of course, I don't consider myself entirely justified in what I do. Maybe that does mean I get the bad end of the stick when I die, whatever that entails."
"So, you believe in an afterlife," he nodded but then didn't finish his thought.
"You know," he sat back up after just having nearly layed down.
"I know you like me, or something like that. That *friend* of yours isn't too great at hiding other people's enthusiasm."
I snorted but stared at the ground.
"Yeah, I mean, I wasn't really expecting anything to come of it," he furrowed his eyebrows and looked like he was about to go off about something, but stopped and looked back at me.
"Why not?" I shook my head. It was a good question and I had a long time to prepare an answer, yet I was still stuck with my dumb original.
"Because it's too much already, you know? The two gay kids from school coming together, why should we let that happen," he scoffed a bit and then started to laugh. He started to laugh pretty hard, and I started to laugh a bit, too. I was almost embarrassed though. Hell, I was here with this kid I had so much of a crush on, and I came here in my mom's old Ford--which although she reviled would kill me if she knew I had it at this hour, out with these stoner kids all smoking weed on a beach--one of whom is a fifteen year-old, as if I should turn down this part of the subsequently set-up storyline of my life because it didn't fit my tight-knit demographic in terms of romance? I felt like I'd just been punched in the stomach, I was laughing still.
I shook my head and realized how red I must've been. I ran a hand through my hair and looked up at him. He was looking away from me.
"That's never something I really thought of," he finally spoke. His face was kind of red, too. I wondered if he got secondhand embarrassment, or if he just thought my idea of what teenage love meant or was supposed to be was kind of funny. Nevertheless, he seemed blissfully unaware.
"The worst thing is, I even got your number." I pulled out the little crumpled slip of paper from my pants pocket.
He unfolded it while I held it. He then smiled and pushed it into my hand.
"You want me to keep it?"
"I mean, you probably should," I realized he was inching over me, and my heart started pounding.
I moved a hand over his Mackinaw and felt the residue of water and sand on his back.
"Let's go to the alley on 9th" he touched the side of my face and I felt his gloved-palm rub against my left cheekbone. I snorted a bit and felt him stand up and attempt to pull me up with him.
We walked down a little less than a block--we were on 10th, and 9th was just this little, half-empty street with a couple old mom and pop stores and a completely empty alleyway next to a lot that used to hold some chain restaurant.
He started running, so I did too.
We got there and he threw his hands around my shoulders, despite being so much taller than me that he could've picked me up. I giggled into the folded collar of his Mackinaw until he began pulling it off, to reveal a damp black sweater. I pulled off my coat, but not before grabbing his face and kissing him on the lips, slamming my face into his like some sort of maniac, he let his coat fall to the wet concrete and pushed me into the corner of this building--hands out behind my head for protection.
He kissed around my neck pretty hard, but then moved gently with his soft lips down my neck between my collarbones and the middle of my chest.
I kissed the top of his head really lightly, and he dropped down to his knees pretty quickly. I watched him untie my drawstring, before pulling off each of his gloves and carefully wiggling my pants down to kiss my thighs and growing bulge. I felt his wet tongue prod against my dick, and I let out a soft sound behind clenched teeth, biting my own tongue.
I felt his hands travel up my t-shirt, around my stomach and chest, before pulling back down and taking my underwear off, letting them drop down to my ankles. I was completely hard by now, and felt his massive hands clench around my thighs. He took my head in, then almost my entire shaft into his mouth. His lips were incredible, it was unearthly. I had to grip onto the corner of the building behind me to hold onto myself. He kept going up and down, sucking vigorously at my tip, until looking up at me for some sort of signal to slow down or stop. I let him keep going, thinking we'd only be getting each other off this way, but then he popped up pretty quickly and pushed me down, a little aggressively.
I kissed his revealed bulge, and then pulled his unzipped jeans around his ankles, letting him guide me with his hands where he wanted me. He seemed a bit forceful like that, so I completely obliged and let him shove himself down my throat. He wasn't the biggest, but I still had a bit of trouble taking him in entirely. I heard his exasperated breaths building up, until he completely pulled me off; I had him all the way down my throat at that point, my chin pressed against his thick balls, and nose squished against his hairy pelvis. He had a relatively hairy torso, with these light strawberry blond curls popping up in a line along his tummy.
He pulled me up and kissed my mouth and around my jawline.
"If I had some lube I would totally fuck you right now," his voice was very gravely and deep just then.
"What, you don't just carry that around with you?" He laughed into my neck before kissing it, then down my bicep.
"Use spit," he looked up at me, and I nodded really quickly in some unwritten agreement.
He spun me around, and I stood with my legs spread apart, heart absolutely pounding out of my chest while I clenched with one hand to the edge of the wall in front of me, the other pulling my shirt up to reveal my lower back. He didn't even bother going down, just teased my hole a bit with his head while I shook from the cold and dark.
I felt his hand reach around and grab onto my cock--it was still hard, surprisingly. He kissed my upper back, and then ran that hand up my back and through my hair backwards.
He started slowly, just pushing himself in hurt like hell, though. I felt him almost try and pull me up as he thrusted, then slowly pulled out about halfway to thrust again.
He did that a few more times before I started to jerk myself off, feeling him start going faster, thrusting harder.
He kept asking if I was alright, and I kept saying I was. As he kept pulling all the way out and then pushing himself in all the way again, he began hitting my spot pretty easily. I told him to keep going like that, and I felt his breath suddenly right on the back of my neck, I reached behind and felt his soft hair.
It didn't take me too long to release my load, by jerking, and by his cock slamming into me while I was almost totally restrained. I felt his hands traveling all over my body, and soon enough I was busting all over the wet concrete.
Jeremy pulled out and came on my ass. It took me a few seconds to turn around and face him after standing up straight, but he just kissed me on the forehead and told me he "had fun". I smiled and nodded, saying I did too.
He picked up his now soaking Mackinaw coat and pulled it over his sweaty shirt, while I pulled on my baggy sweats over even baggier boxers.
"Do you think you'll keep my number?" I heard him, he was turned away from me pulling on his timbs.
"Think I'll have to after that."
And that was it. There was nothing more noble or extraordinary that happened. I stepped on a penny while walking back to the beach, and thought it may have been some sign for good luck. Jeremy held my hand and swung it--in a friendly sort of manner--as we walked down the empty street. I knew I had a lot of time before I had to take him and his friends home, and crawl into my bed just to wait for the next time I saw him, but I felt like the rest of the night would go by pretty quickly after what had happened. So I thought about everything I was so uneager about experiencing before; the already-established relationship, the leftover mess we'd have made after the relationship, and the thought of having to hang out with his former-homophobic friends afterward. It seems meaningless to me now, though.
I stepped onto a patch of sand and realized I could see the dim outline of a few smokers far out in the distance. Jeremy and I gently broke out hands apart and began running for the ocean. Not for any reason in particular, but just because it seemed like the right thing to do, then.