The khaki GAP pants and neatly ironed polo shirt were thrown with disgust into the corner of our freshly cleaned communal boys’ bathroom. I stood looking at the mirror seeing a skinny white boy wearing only a pair of briefs with red knobs for elbows and lines of faint hair running from his nipples to his cavernous navel. This was someone who could become something very different from the groomed middle class heterosexual he had been raised to be. With a quick sweep of my hands, I skinned myself of those bleach white Fruit of the Looms. My body seemed to be breathing for the first time as if I had just surfaced from an underwater journey of too many minutes. A green-yellow light bathed the room. If I weren’t on the second floor I really wonder if I might have plunged through the dark open window beside the mirrors and ran free through the streets completely nude. Instead, I opened up my backpack which I had stuffed with black clothes purchased from the Salvation Army before my parents drove me the two hours to this city.
This was someone who could become something very different from the groomed middle class heterosexual he had been raised to be. With a quick sweep of my hands, I skinned myself of those bleach white Fruit of the Looms.
I resolved to go without underwear and pulled the dark pants up over the naked lower half of my body. Next I pulled out the black T-shirt and was about to pull it on when I discovered the logo for King Pin Bowling, a local bowling alley of my hometown, that I hadn’t noticed on the shirt when I selected it. I tried to scratch it out, but the tough ironed on insignia stuck. A cool wind blew through the window softening my enraged skin. I swore, turned the shirt inside out and pulled it over my head. Leaving a frayed open crack at the neck, I tore off the stubborn little plastic tag. The tell tale bulging lines of sown cloth around the shoulders, neck and sides that indicated a shirt is inside out resembled healed scars to me. This wounded appearance appealed to me. Then to finish I scooped a handful of green gel to work into my short hair. I tried my best to make it look spiked and wild, yet effortlessly sculpted at the same time. I looked at the mirror and smiled at the image of this blank slate. Then I left my dormitory to see the city after the sun set.
I rode the T until I got to Harvard Square. A friend of mine I met at Summer camp lived all her life in Boston and told me that the alternative crowd hung out here. I don’t know what shape this “crowd” took in my mind except for a vague band of comrades who were a part of me like an unknown family. It wasn’t difficult to locate these people as they huddled in groups around the sunken entrance of the station. They wore black, torn and patchwork clothes with a smattering of symbols embossed on the fabric. Their hair was dyed and their faces pierced. I had never seen anyone so beautiful. Men in suits and politely dressed women rushed past these conscientious outsiders. I wasn’t certain how to introduce myself. It seemed that somehow I would be absorbed into the throng of people just by being present among them. They laughed in their groups, casually laying against each other intimately. I walked up to them tentatively until I entered their field of vision. A few gave me assessing glances and then turned back to each other. One girl with green spiked hair and a metal bar through her nose rolled her eyes at me and turned back to her friends giggling. I stalked away in embarrassment. It seemed strange that they would be so unwelcoming to someone who wanted to be like them. But then I reasoned that there was no reason for them to be interested in me unless I proved myself in some way to be interesting enough. I bought a steaming cup of coffee and wandered through the nearby streets to think of how to accomplish this.
At the end of one street I saw a banner above a movie theater that read “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” There was a screening of it tonight. I had heard about the notorious show before, but never seen the movie. A group of people similar to the ones around the station were standing around the theater smoking cigarettes. The throbbing red lights of the movie house pulsed above them advertising the place as if it were a sleazy sex shop. I approached the counter and bought a ticket for that evening’s show. Then I found a convenient store close by to purchase a packet of cigarettes from. I had never smoked before. The streets were bustling with people off to bars and restaurants. Nervously walking amongst them, I plucked a cigarette from the pack and placed it between my lips. Finding a bare patch of brick wall close to the theater I squatted down and waited for midnight to come when the movie would start. It was surprisingly easy to smoke the cigarette. You always read horror stories of people coughing embarrassingly with their first try. Instead, I tentatively lit it up and gently sucked on the stick making it burn orange-red at the tip. I was careful not to inhale or I would have choked. Instead I made gentle puffs imagining it looked casual.
I was shaking with fear but felt a fierce sexual charge when the balloon between my thighs exploded and a firm squeeze was given to my ass. What was so exciting was the uncertainty if the hand that grabbed me belonged to Rita, Caz or Doctor Frank-N-Furter.
The crowd outside the theater was growing. Eventually an alternative couple came to sit a few feet away from me although they paid me no attention at all. One was a teenage guy with thick blue spikes of hair and glinting thin chains of metal that ran around the outside of his dark clothing. The other was a teenage Asian girl with short, unbrushed pink and black hair whose long nails were painted a startlingly bright red. I was thrilled to hear their conversation. They discussed a rave from the weekend before and dropped names of various strangers like Bri, Kim and Thaddeus. Between them they shared a bottle of whisky taking deep swigs and then passing it. I concentrated so hard on what they were saying that I accidentally inhaled on my cigarette and coughed loudly. After gagging for several seconds, I finally gained control of myself and tried to remain cool. I realized that I had just fallen stupidly into one of those first time smoking stories I disdain. The couple were silent for a moment and then the guy leaned close to her whispering in a voice loud enough for me to hear, “You sure look hot babe.” The girl giggled and shoved him away from her. I couldn’t help looking over at them to watch this. Then she unexpectedly grabbed the bottom of his T-shirt and pulled it up to reveal his pierced navel. She stuck her head down against his lean stomach and made a farting sound by blowing on it. He giggled and looked directly into my eyes. I instantly averted my gaze. She sat up and said, “Your belly button is filled with lint and shit.” They laughed and made a deep tongue kiss.
I stood up quickly and walked back to the convenience store for a coke. The couple confused me and I was jealous of their intimacy. It had grown completely dark outside and the streetlamps burned yellow circles into the sidewalks. I decided to stay away from the theater until the movie started so sat near some bushes in a park close by. Thoughts of my hometown ran through my mind, slipping through my thoughts as a steady undercurrent to this new person I’d become. My parents would be terrified I was out this late in the night in the dangerous city. I looked at my watch almost constantly and was grateful when the two hands finally stretched to the top. I was afraid to open myself up to embarrassment from showing how eagerly I wanted friends again so I kept my head down while walking into the theater. The crowds of alternative kids bounced around me, revved for the event. We were each searched for bottles and things we could throw. A big bald headed man felt my clothes all over and I remained breathless while he conducted his search. Then I was ushered into the room where the screen was and took one of the empty chairs. The crowd was rowdy, screaming obscenities and laughing. It felt wonderful to be part of such a lively atmosphere. Then, to my utter surprise, the Asian girl I had seen earlier jumped into the empty seat beside me. She held up a brown paper bag before my face and shook it. It sounded like it was full of sand. “Rice,”she said with a mischievous grin. I responded with a confused expression. “For the wedding,” she sighed. Again, I looked confused but said, “Oh right.” Her eyes sprung open wide and she nearly shrieked, “You’ve never been here before?”
The feeling I had for him hadn’t registered in my mind as “want” until now. Turning to look at Rita whose dark eyes looked like glimmering shadows I answered, “I want you both, but I’m just confused about what this is.”
My cheeks went pink and I shook my head no. She leapt up from her seat and shouted to the guy she had been sitting with earlier who was still being searched, “Caz! This guy’s a virgin!” If I was pink before, now my entire face felt burning hot even to the tips of my ears. The guy came dashing toward us, but before he reached us she leaned over and whispered quickly into my ear, “He’s hot for you.” I was so startled by this last unexpected statement I couldn’t respond at all when Caz leaped into the other empty seat beside me and said, “Cool! You’re going to love this movie!”
The two started chatting to each other for a couple moments discussing who would be performing tonight. I felt incredibly conspicuous between them but nodded to what they said as if I understood and as if we were already long-time friends. The girl introduced herself as Rita. “It’s not my real name,” she said leaning close to my face. “But I love Rita Hayworth!” I nodded wondering uncertainly if I had seen anything with this old actress in it. “So you two come here a lot?” I asked, changing the subject. “Yeah,” they laughed rolling their eyes. “Like every weekend. Usually twice a weekend.” I smiled though I was baffled how they didn’t grow bored of the same movie over and over and said, “Cool. I just moved here, but I’m sure I’ll come again.” They laughed but stopped when a thin man in drag who was the Doctor Frank-N-Furter for the evening took to the stage welcoming everyone. The wild emotions were rocking so hard in my head that I couldn’t concentrate on what he was saying. Finally I heard him shout something about virgins and Caz and Rita shouted, “We’ve got one here!” Rita laid a small, warm hand on the inside of my thigh and leaned close in to my face again asking, “Are you ready to have your cherry popped?” I didn’t know what she meant, but the couple ushered me up to the stage where I was placed in a line of three other uncertain looking people who each had a red balloon wedged between their thighs. The crowd cheered and a scarlet spotlight cast wildly about us as we waited to have our balloons popped one at a time. I was shaking with fear but felt a fierce sexual charge when the balloon between my thighs exploded and a firm squeeze was given to my ass. What was so exciting was the uncertainty if the hand that grabbed me belonged to Rita, Caz or Doctor Frank-N-Furter.
The movie passed in a raucous flash. Actors piled on stage imitating the actions of the screen in detail. Caz and I each grabbed handfuls of rice to throw violently at the curly brown haired girl in the wedding garb who didn’t resemble Susan Sarandon at all. A vaguely muscular man in shining gold shorts was oiled up by the man in drag. During the orgy scene finale the audience swayed amorously together while Caz and Rita each planted wet kisses upon my cheeks. We stumbled out of the theater together laughing and simultaneously took out cigarettes to light up. I took a large puff from mine and Rita whispered nastily to me, “You need any help smoking that, tough guy?” My cheeks went pink again remembering my earlier embarrassment when eavesdropping upon them. Rita said, “We were planning on sleeping at my mother’s house tonight, but she’s a cunt and I’d rather not deal with her shit tonight. You got anywhere we could crash?” My voice trembled uncertainly for a few seconds and then said, “Sure. You can crash at my dorm room.” Caz and Rita smiled at each other and wrapped their arms around my waist.
We crept as quietly as possible into my dark dorm room at 4 a.m. That is, I tripped over a still unpacked suitcase, Caz cleared his throat conspicuously and Rita giggled like a madwoman. My roommate obviously slept like a log. Long saw buzz snores sounded from his side of the room. We all laughed at this. Through the dim light I showed them my freshly made up twin bed. My mother had insisted on making it for me, tucking the sheets tightly around the old mattress, before she left with my father that morning. “This is all I have,” I explained to them. We stood tensely for a moment looking at it, suddenly silent. “Perfect,” Rita whispered and violently yanked back the covers. Caz inched up behind me, standing so close that our bodies lightly touched. Very slowly he wrapped his arm around me and rested his hand against my sweat-stained chest. Rita sat comfortably on the bed and reached her thin hand up to my neck saying, “Come close.” Her eager face stretched up to meet mine and our silky lips effortlessly connected. My roommate groaned in his slumber and rolled over. Caz and Rita giggled, but I was too petrified to laugh. Feelings of danger and sexual excitement overwhelmed me so that I couldn’t distinguish between the emotions. I moved out from between the two of them and sat on the edge of the bed.
The bright red numbers of my electric alarm clock read 10:48 a.m. I looked quickly over to my roommate’s side of the room to see his empty unmade bed. “What must he think?” I wondered. But this thought made me laugh instead of frightened.
Caz stood uncertainly aside, but Rita didn’t hesitate in slinking up close to me again with her insistent lips. They felt comforting. I opened my mouth for her and our tongues gently slid against each other. She drew back and I realized that I was trembling fiercely. Caz stepped in front of me and ran his hands through my sticky gelled hair. Rita looked up at Caz and said ruefully to me, “Do you only want him?” This question baffled me. I looked up at Caz’s deep blue eyes that I could barely make out in the dimly lit room. The feeling I had for him hadn’t registered in my mind as “want” until now. Turning to look at Rita whose dark eyes looked like glimmering shadows I answered, “I want you both, but I’m just confused about what this is.” Caz laughed and pushed me back on the bed. Without warning he lay on top of me and started kissing me deeply. The taste and sharp feeling of his metal tongue piercing surprised me. The chains wound about his clothing pressed roughly against me. I felt under his shirt stiff with dirt using one hand to feel the soft flesh of his back. My other hand reached out and felt for Rita who guided it to the curves of her chest. The lump in Caz’s pants pressed against my leg. His hand caressed my own aching erection through my pants. Or maybe it was Rita’s hand. Somehow Rita had effortlessly slipped off her pants because when my hand slid down the slight angles of her body I felt the exposed tuft of pubic hair that covered her soft lips. Meanwhile my other hand slipped down to dig beneath the waistband of Caz’s pants to feel his warm faintly hairy ass cheeks. Rita’s breathing sped up and she leaned close to my head. With Caz’s tongue flickering inside my mouth she whispered in my ear, “Don’t worry. It’s just us.”
The next morning I woke up in an uncomfortable lump with the two strange bodies. My head ached and I was thirsty for a sip of water. The bright red numbers of my electric alarm clock read 10:48 a.m. I looked quickly over to my roommate’s side of the room to see his empty unmade bed. “What must he think?” I wondered. But this thought made me laugh instead of frightened. I laughed so hard that Caz and Rita woke up with an annoyed moan from being disturbed. Our bodies were moist and had stuck together. I pulled myself apart from them and put on a pair of briefs. Caz turned over facedown in an effort to resume his slumber. His carefully spiked hair was matted with sleep. Rita, on the other hand, leaned against Caz and gazed up at me with a gleam of humor in her eyes. The sight of them was at once attractive and dreadful to me. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I have to get to orientation.” Immediately this statement felt ridiculous to me. I dressed as quickly as possible. “That’s cool,” Rita said. “But would you mind lending us twenty bucks… we’re really broke.” I blinked and said, “Sure.” Quickly I searched through my clothes for my wallet. I had to hide my shock when I opened it and there was only a twenty-dollar bill remaining. Last night I had stuffed it with eighty dollars, just in case. It didn’t matter. I pulled it out and handed it out to them. Caz immediately sat up and took it murmuring, “Thanks dude. You’re cool.” The sounds of mirthful students steadily streaming by on the sidewalk below sounded outside. The couple in my bed looked around the room curiously. “You guys should really…” I began nervously. Rita instantly piped up, “That’s ok. We’ve gotta get going.” Rita half pushed the groggy Caz out of the bed. There were several tattoos on their bodies of Japanese characters and anarchy symbols. It occurred to me my hands must have rubbed sensuously over these ink marks the night before without realizing they were there. I watched them dress before me until they looked at me funny for staring. I turned away in embarrassment. Looking for something to do while they dressed, I loosely pulled the covers over my bed and noticed a heavy odor emitting from it. It made me smile because I knew this was the bed I had to sleep in from now on.