The Only Life I Ever Intentionally Ruined

I grew up in a hard-hitting white-knuckle town, where the boy scouts burned crosses in people’s yards for impure blood and got badges for it.  My principle was the head of the KKK and they expelled the local faggot because when they’s throwin’ pennies at him, he was the reason for all that unruly behavior.  And we were some hard-hitting faggots who didn’t take no guff from nobody, penny-welts and all.  Nobody gives a shit out there, and can’t reach out far enough for a hand to tell us it’s all… going to be…okay…and that’s the daily American life for most of us, alone and on the defensive.  And then I just couldn’t do it anymore.

Some faggot-hating freshman leaned over on the school bus home on the wrong day at the wrong time, when I told him the truth.  Quarterback Jim was boning my good gay friend on the sidelines.  Gay Jason called Quarterback Jim from my house, and I listened in.  Wildfire took notes on how to spread more quickly from a maelstrom of teenage gossip.  By five o’clock, a posse arrived at my mother’s house, though I no longer lived there.  I very nearly skipped school the next day, but decided to get at it with all the chagrin of the doomed.

Thrown into High School Politics, I denied outing myself—for it would merely discredit me in the eyes of thine enemy. Teachers could barely maintain control during my classes as I fielded the PR catastrophe of outing Gay Jason, which was no secret to anyone—for he boned  every dude at that school, except for me of course.  As my credibility was attacked, my first failed love turned turned against me, telling everyone I wanted him to pee in my butt.  Since Internet porn had yet to prove this impossible, I sprung this physical impossibility on my health teacher.  “Coach, is it possible to pee in someone’s butt?”  Flustered, and knowing every detail about the current scandal said simply, “No.  That’s impossible.”  I thanked him in front of my detractors, proving my lover-turned-hater a complete idiot.

We ate silently while flecks of cooked carrots came our way until Quarterback Jim came at us in a fury of curses as his close friend, camping neighbor, and wrestling partner, Wrestler Armando pulled Quarterback Jim suspiciously away from us.  Wrestler Armando told the fallen star it just wasn’t worth it.  Wrestler Armando now fell into question aswell, sending everyone into a Lavender scare: suddenly everyone was gay. But yeah, Armando was totally tappin’ that, too.  We left the outed football player in tears and walked through the gymnasium and into the loudest hate rally ever: pennies chimed off the basketball court and deafened louder than any pep rally or homecoming game win.  At the other end of the hall, our stout Principal waited, arms crossed and scowling because of the mess we made, and forbade us from ever coming into the gymnasium again.

We had to run home that day, chased by a pitchfork-wielding mob.  Everyone has pitchforks in the Midwest.

Coach pulled the football team aside at practice and said, “Not anymore.  Kids die from stuff like this and what you are doing is very illegal.  If I hear so much of a word to those kids from you, you’re not only off the football team, but you’re expelled for the rest of the year.”  Looks like Coach wasn’t all bad.  He didn’t even bust us for having such a good time playing baseball after smoking weed in the parking lot.  We were enjoying sports, finally.

Well, Gay Jason ended up on the Ricki Lake Show.  Wrestler Armando got married, had two kids, works at a fitness center and goes camping with his buddies.  A lot.  Quarterback Jim was the most scorned man in high school, unable to get laid his senior year and throughout most of his college—too gay for the girls and too much of a hypocrite for the boys, what there were of us.  I sometimes feel bad about ruining his life, but it just goes to show Quentin Crisp was right:  Some roughs are really queer, and some queers are really rough.


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