The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of
“The Love Club?” Michael suggested.
“Snowballs chance in hell. How about “Daisies and Spikes”?
“Naw, too violent sounding and I will not like being called a Daisy!”
“Good point. But it should be something cool sounding or the straights won’t come and it can’t be too limp wristed or ‘I’ won’t come.”
“Hey, a minute ago you opted for Daisies and Spikes!”
“Yeah, but I was planning on being a Spike.”
“Well, that works for me,” Michael said, pulling Andy tight against him, pressing his body against Andy’s.
“Come on, we gotta come up with a name.”
“Look, if this is our destiny then it will show up. Just fill that blank in last.”
“Ok, you’re probably right. When you try too hard it never works. So, the purpose. . .”
“I know, to make you hot and sticky 24/7”
“Oh? You’re willing to share me now are you?”
“Ah . . . car washes, we’re about car washes and bake sales.”
“Come on, help me fill this thing out and I won’t make you be the president.”
“Your ass sucks canal water. You’re the president.”
“Hmmm, that makes you my sex-a-tary then, doesn’t it?”
“Yesssss! Finally a position I can hold.” Michael said, beginning on his neck.
“Good, then take a letter . . .” He said as Michael’s hands found his rock hard pencil. “Ah. . . fuck it, come here.” He kissed him, pulling him into his lap. He whispered, “Let’s play fuck me on Ms Peckum’s desk,” and he laid him back on his bed.
“OK, so the purpose is to promote diversity of lifestyles in a positive manner and to build unity of purpose through demonstrations of collective effort.”
“God that sounds cool, any clues what it means?” Michael asked.
“Not a one, you shit. We’re still looking for a name.”
“Are you doin’ some recipe? Alright, why are we doing this?”
“Cause we want to rock Pickyass’ world?”
“Think larger. We want to change the world.”
“Apocalypse? Meteor? Tidal Wave? Gay wave! Apocalyptic Gay Wave?”
“Great, we starting a club or getting a band together? We’ve got it all except the name. But a name will make it or break it. If it’s our destiny then it will come to us. Come on, we’ll head for the school and we’ll fill in the name when we get there. Mom said she would take us in early.”
“What if you don’t come up with the name?”
“Don’t know, guess it will fizzle out.”
“Then who will give those kids homes?”
“You know, the ones that would take the homes with two moms or two dads? Remember?”
“Michael you’re brilliant.”
“I am? I mean, of course I am. . . Andy, what the fuck are you talking about?”
“Where did you get this form?” Ms Peckum asked, looking over her glasses at the two boys standing on the other side of her desk.
“Isn’t it the right form?”
“Of course it’s the right form, I merely want to know where you got it from? Who put you up to this?”
“Aren’t the sponsors of the request on the bottom of it?’
“Certainly they are. Please answer the question.”
“Are you saying we aren’t entitled to the form?”
“That’s not the point. I asked where you got the form.”
“Aren’t the forms created for us to use?”
“Where are the forms kept that are available for us to use?”
“In my filing cabinet!”
“Are they kept anywhere else?”
“Is this one from your stock in your filing cabinet?”
“How should I know?”
“Then how do you expect us to? Is there anything we need to add to the application Ms Peckum?”
“I don’t know. I will have to look it over. I will let you know.”
“And how long does it take for our approval to be granted?”
“Well, provided everything is in order and I think the purpose is morally appropriate for the school, then I should think not more than a month or so. I will let you know.”
“Of course. Mom’s sure are smart aren’t they? Mom was sure you wouldn’t feel comfortable making the decision alone and I’ll be darned if she wasn’t right. Come on Michael, let’s get to class before we’re late. Thank you Ms. Peckum. You have a really nice day.”
“What else did your mom say?”
“Would you like her number?”
“No thank you, I have her number.”
“She has yours too. . . Doesn’t she?” Andy closed the door behind him. Michael was sweating bullets when Andy stopped and kissed him in the waiting room outside her window.
“Andy, why did you push her that far? Christ, she is going to make it really difficult now.”
“Oh right, I’m sorry. I forgot that she was on our side, wanted to be president of our little love club.”
“So what did you call it anyways?”
“Don’t you remember what you said?”
“Fuck you. What did you call it?” Michael said, not willing himself to get caught up in the questions again.
“Hey! I’m un-bribable. Besides, I didn’t, you did.”
“Ok, then what did ‘I’ Call it?”
“Well, tell me what you said and then we’ll try and discover what it is that you called it.”
“Ok, I have to kill you now and not in a good way either.”
“Destiny’s Children,” Andy said, rounding on him. “Catchy, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, I like it.”
“Who did you get to join the club?”
“Well, there is you and me. Ben and Gary were very willing to sign up when I threatened to out them, and Toome and Markie and he signed up some other kid named Chandler. Do you know him? I’ve thought for the life of me, and I can’t think of who he is. I asked Toome and all he would do was laugh. Anyways, we’ll meet him at the first meeting.”
“We ought to invite the new kid too, Randal. He’s been watching me all week. Either he’s got something to say or he’s thinking about jumping the fence.”
“Yeah, you’ve been watching him too I’ve noticed. If he jumps the fence, you gonna catch him?”
“Have too. You like him, I can tell. When you look at him you smile. I think you’re taking his clothes off him in your dirty little mind.”
“No, I got my catch. I’m not ready to take off the training wheels.”
“Well, ok then. I guess I’ll have to.”
“Over your rotting corpse!” Michael pulled him around and held him close. “You can have Ms. Peckum if she joins.”
“Ohhhh! Gross! You’d probably have to knock the crust off that with a sledge hammer and pulling those lips apart would be like opening a hot grilled cheese sandwich.”
“Oh dude, I think I’m genuinely going to be sick. I’ve got to find a phone, give me Dr Raburn’s number. I think you just scarred me for life. I’ll never have grilled cheese again, that’s an absolute.”
“Markie, did you really sign Chandler up as a member in the new club?”
“Well sure. It’s about alternate lifestyles isn’t it? Can’t be much different than being a goat can ya?”
“Yeah, but ya can’t hardly take him to school can ya?”
“Why not? Mary had a little lamb, didn’t she?”
“Yeah, but that was a fairy tale.”
“So, I’m a fairy right?”
“Markie stop it. You’re beginin’ ta worry me.”
“I know. It’s just that, well, everybody’s got somebody but me.”
“What you talkin’ about? We’re twins. You got me!”
“Yeah, but you got everybody! Even the straight ones.”
“I can’t help it if I got it. We’re ‘dentical so you must got it too.”
“That’s only in looks. Inside we aren’t anything alike. It’s kinda like when God was splittin’ us up, you got more sex drive an’ I got more brains. I meant, I got a drive but standing next to you it’s more like a walk.”
“Well pick one out and go get him. You gotta take ‘m sometimes.”
“I know, but what if you take ‘m an’ they don’t wanna be took?”
“You just have to suck harder, they’ll come around. Then afterwards, if they freak out, you just don’t go back to that diner for lunch any more. But they are always happy you stopped by when you’re done. But Markie you gotta dump the old goat and move on.”
“I know. I’ll shop for one tomorrow. Been checkin’ out a few new ones at school.”
“Tell ya what, if you find one and you ain’t sure, I’ll try him out fer ya.”
“Gee, thanks a lot.”
“Hey, what’s a brother for?”
“Never mind.” Markie walked over to where Chandler was munching down on some sweet grass. “Hey Chandler we gotta talk. Ya know we’ve sorta grown apart . . .”
Randal grabbed his tray and found an empty table. Making friends wasn’t really his style. He liked being alone, it meant freedom. When people were around he felt like they could see through him. He felt like they knew what was in his head. And if a girl wanted to be his friend he felt twice as tense. That was why he chose Goth at his last school. It wasn’t popular. It helped him keep his distance. He didn’t want to be noticed. Here, Goth put you in the foreground and he certainly didn’t want to be in the front of anything.
“Hey, this spot taken?” A very sweet but not terribly pretty girl asked. He had a mouth full but nodded his permission.
“Sorry, had a mouth full,” he said.
“That’s alright, I planned it that way. I get more yeses that way. I’m not the most popular person.”
“Well, you picked the right table then. I head the list of unpopular.”
“Why is that, em . . .?”
“Hi, I’m Gwen.”
“Well, could be that I’m not terribly sociable. Besides that, I hate the head games and the expectations that come with friends and relationships. So I steer clear of both.”
“Funny? Not a word I often hear connected with my name.”
“Yeah, funny. You got the looks and the voice and all that goes with it and you don’t want friends. I got a figure like a sugar jar and no personality and would love to have someone to hang with and do things with. Anything. God, I’d be happy cleaning out the storm sewers if I had someone to talk to while we did it. But people can be so fucked up. If you aren’t pretty or have big tits then they aren’t interested.”
“Well, thanks for the flowers, but I don’t see myself that way and besides, I’ve seen some pretty fucked up dudes that looked really hot on the outside. Just cause it’s a nice and neat package on the outside doesn’t mean things aren’t totally fucked up inside.”
Gwen stopped chewing and grinned as she looked at him.
“Does anyone know?”
“You know, about you being gay?” she whispered, looking around to make sure no one was looking.
“What the fuck?”
“Ooops, sorry. Look, no one will hear it from me either. None of my business. But look, it’s alright with me. If you ever need someone to talk to look me up. You’ll find the shit that goes in my ear doesn’t fall off my lips like a lot of people.”
“Yeah, see, head games. I hate ‘m. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. They suck and I don’t play. Easier to just be alone. Done, see ya later.”
“Hey, uh Randal. Thanks for letting me sit with ya. It was good meeting you.”
“Yeah sure, uh thanks.” He turned to walk away and froze momentarily as he saw Andy and Michael looking at him and obviously talking about him just as Michael turned and placed his arms around Andy, right there in the middle of the cafeteria and he even kissed him. Randal realized he had frozen and was suddenly self conscious about staring and moved on, dumping his trash in the bin and stacking his tray. He straightened the mess so his would nest, wondering why it was so difficult for people to stack a tray. Then out the door after taking a last glance and wincing to see that Andy and Michael were sitting down at the table next to Gwen.
Fuck, I’m so screwed, he thought as he went in search of a quiet corner.
“Hi, can we sit down?” Michael asked Gwen.
“Sure, have a seat. I’m Gwen.”
“I’m Michael, this is Andy.”
“Yeah, caught that yesterday morning. I think every person in the school knows your names. You’ve been the talk of the school. Is it all true, if you don’t mind me asking? I mean, besides being curious, I hate what rumors do to the truth.”
“No, I don’t mind you asking. There’s something about talking about things that sorta keeps them alive. As to whether “it” (he said making quote signs with his fingers as he said it) is true depends entirely on what you’ve heard.”
“Well, I heard that Andy was making wild and passionate love and knocked his lover off a cliff and, well, killed him. Then tried to kill yourself, too.”
The boys grinned a little and asked, “And what do they say about Michael?”
“Well, they say that Michael caught his brother and his boyfriend doing it and shot them. Got off with an insanity plea.”
“They certainly missed the mark on that one. Andy, you want to go first?”
“Yeah, sure. Well, they are a little right. We made wild and passionate love. Every chance we could. But that day we were having a picnic at our swimming hole. My mom was there and Aunt Gladys too. There were some boulders we climbed up on. Two levels, one upper where we would lay naked in the sun. It was moss covered and the sun warmed the moss so it felt like a warm velvet rock. The next level down was where we would jump from into the icy mountain spring fed water. It is so cold that it will take your breath away, quite literally. Well, it rained earlier that day and the moss was wet. Tad was dancing around doing this sexy little dance he used to do to tease me with and all of a sudden he was gone. I remember looking around for him and he was just gone. I heard Mom scream and looked over the edge and saw my Tad. I jumped down and tried to wake him up. When I picked up his head my hands felt the blood. He died in my arms right there.” Andy’s eyes welled up as he told the story, though he was able to go on, even through the tears. “I was so devastated and alone that I wanted to go with him. I knew the water would take your breath if you didn’t breathe in deeply first. So I just dove in. It worked. I felt the water enter my lungs. My God it hurt. But then the pain was gone, it was just dark emptiness. The next thing I remember is a fireman yelling something at me, but I didn’t want to hear him. I wanted to go with my Tad. The rest is a jumble, but I woke up strapped to a bed in the hospital. Alone and sadder than I ever thought possible. Your turn, Michael.”
“Well, I lost my Terry one afternoon when we were meeting in a park. Being gay wasn’t very popular or tolerated where we were so we had to meet in secret. No one knew. Well, we were seen by someone and it was the worst kind of someone. He was also a friend of my brother’s. He called my brother to say they saw me in the park and were going to go down and get us, or something like that. No one is really sure what was said, but my brother came to the park and pulled Terry out of my arms, slapped me and started to beat Terry up. They were rolling around on the ground when the rest of the gang showed up. They shot first and looked second.
“Then they figured that my brother was with Terry. I hid by a picnic table afraid for my life. I was too scared to move and didn’t until the police finally came. When they called my father he blamed me for my brother’s death and told me it should have been me. That was the last time I saw or spoke with him. He slammed the door on me and my life. I ended up in the hospital. I just wanted to die.
“I had lost everything that loved me. My mom was long gone, so I was alone. I stopped living. I didn’t eat, hoping that I could just fade away. Then they put me in a room with this nosey kid who came to me in the night when I was having a nightmare. I had them every time I closed my eyes. He held me and as long as he did, the nightmares stayed away. He came even though I was an asshole to him when they brought me in.
“The next day, a fireman came in to visit Andy. It was the fireman who saved his life. He just stopped in to see how he was doing. Andy turned from the caring warm boy who held me into the meanest person you could ever imagine. He told the fireman that he would never forgive him, that by saving his life he sentenced him to an eighty year prison in hell. The poor guy was so upset that he quit his job. He didn’t think he could sort it out anymore, who to save and who to let go. So, he quit living too. As soon as he left, Andy when to pieces. I held him and called for the nurse. Ever since then we have helped each other when ever we have a weak moment.”
“Wow, that is so sad. I’m so sorry for your losses. You guys have really been through it. And then, being gay at school, openly. You guys must have skin like Kevlar.”
“No, we hurt plenty. That’s why we are starting a group here at school for gays and people who don’t care that we are. We want to be visible and we want to share what it is like, so people will understand that we aren’t a freak show. We just find the company we choose to satisfy our need to be loved. Just like everybody else.”
“You’re starting a club?”
“Yeah, well, we are just starting the process. Peckum’s got the application. It’s called ‘Destiny’s Children.’ We are going to do things to help charities and help kids be allowed to be who they want to be. That’s the only requirement. That you not berate those who are different, but instead, find out about them. And at the same time while we are working together, show the community that gays are alright and normal people. We just like sleeping with our own kind.”
“Cool, count me in. I’m not gay but you said it can be friends too, right?”
“Yeah, that’s the whole point of it.”
“When will you know?”
“Somehow, I think the world will know because Pickyass Peckum isn’t about to grant permission without someone putting an arm bar on her. So just watch for it.”
Come on, come on. Let’s get on with it so we can get out of here. Andy thought to himself, watching the final minutes of class tick away as the droning continued from the front of the class. Then, he heard what he was waiting for. The click of the PA, signaling the afternoon announcements.
“May I have your attention please? May we please have your attention? Try outs for the football cheerleaders will be next Thursday, please check the roster outside the gym to see when your audition is scheduled. The Stamp Club is asking for stamp corners from your mail. They ask that you tear the corner with the stamps, leaving plenty of paper on them. There will be a box in the cafeteria to put them in. The box will remain there so please continue to donate. They will be packaged and traded with schools in other countries. Casting for this years play “Little Shop of Horrors” will commence next Tuesday. There will be a pep rally tomorrow during fifth hour. And will the following people please report to the office immediately after these announcements. Andrew Harter, Jinney Holoway, Mark Crittendon and Jessie Phillips. Thank you, this concludes the day’s announcements.” They heard the mic click off as the bell rang.
Michael was waiting outside the office, waiting to see why Andrew was called there. “What’s up?” he asked when he saw Andy walking up.
“No clues. Probably wants to tell me that she denied the request. Good, it will start the ball rolling faster. Wait here and I’ll go check it out. No sense you getting all stressed out.”
Andy went in and went up to the counter. The woman told him to have a seat for a moment and Ms Peckum would be right with him. He sat as the woman went into Ms Peckum’s office. She turned to Andy, “She’ll see you now.”
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