I think that’s how it happened. I can’t remember for sure. I’m still putting pieces of the story back into place. They’re all muddled drunken memories.
Then we’re in the car and we’re headed back to Tiff’s. The boy tells us that he’s a clone named Eric, created in 1976 to defeat the Communists. But some people call him Robert. We were never sure what his name was. He says we’ve probably seen other clones that look like him. I tell him he does look a bit familiar, and I’m almost certain I’ve seen him at the bar.
I realize once we’re at Tiff’s that I only have two cigarettes left and they’re menthol. He doesn’t like menthol. I borrow Kyla’s car to drive back to Tan and Shana’s to get the two packs of Lights out of my car. Tiff tells me to see if I can find some booze.
Everyone at Tan and Shana’s looks really tired. Shana’s wearing her pajamas. I find what’s left of the wine I bought the night before and a bottle of egg nog some random girl gave me. Natalia maybe? Cris offers me the last of his Grey Goose but when he looks in the freezer, it’s gone.
I grab my cigarettes and drive back very quickly, afraid I’m missing something.
When I arrive, he is playing guitar while Kyla plays the keyboard. I straddle the amp, the jug of wine in my hand. I can physically feel the chords he plays.
The next thing I remember is standing on the front porch talking with him, smoking cigarettes that we had to light on the gas stove because I lost my Bic. I lit both of them at once. He seemed impressed by this. It’s snowing beautiful giant flakes. Dhara comes to the opened door and I look at her secretively and say, “It’s the kind of snow you kiss someone in.” Then Dhara’s standing between us. The flakes land in her hair and he points a bony finger at the center of her scalp and says, “These are the kind of snowflakes that are completely unique.”
I’m sitting on the dryer in the kitchen talking music with him and Dhara. “Do you like Bright Eyes?” he asks.
“Oh God yes! Conor Oberst!” I let out a moan. “And in ‘Lover I Don’t Have to Love’ when he sings ‘I want a boy who’s so drunk he doesn’t talk...’” Another moan. He laughs. Then we’re singing ‘The Calendar Hung Itself.’
He asks, “Do you like Belle and Sebastian?”
He begins singing ‘The Stars of Track and Field.’ I join in.
We’re back on the streets, on our way to Kyla’s to get her keyboard. In the backseat I sit between him and Dhara under a blanket. The three of us tickle one another’s thighs and as we’re stepping out of the car, I put my hand on the headrest of the driver’s seat at the same time he does. Our fingers touch.
Inside, he goes to use the bathroom.
“So whaddya say, Jeff?” asks Tiff. “Is he gay or straight?”
“I can’t tell! I can’t get a good read on him.”
“I know, me neither.”
Back outside, we’ve loaded the trunk with Kyla’s keyboard and guitar. He runs into me as we’re trying to get into the car and I grab his hands and we spin around madly in the snow, laughing.
Back at Tiffany’s he’s playing ‘The Stars of Track and Field’ on Kyla’s acoustic guitar and we’re singing together. He moves to the chair in front of the computer to look up the tablature for ‘If You’re Feeling Sinister’ by my request. I am on my knees beside him and as we sing, we put our heads together.
“We should do some open mic night, man,” he says.
I’m not sure how our fairytale came about. Sometime when he is laying on the couch next to Kyla. I lay in the big wicker chair next to them, my head close to theirs. Kyla being a princess becomes the subject of conversation. She wants to be called Cynthia. Princess Cynthia. But she doesn’t know yet that she is a princess because she if but a mere peasant girl milkmaid. And it is decided that he is an elfin knight that will one day come to rule the land, “The Land of... where?” he asks. “Tir na nOg!” he then exclaims as I myself exclaim, “The Land of Where!”
“Yes!” he says. “Tir na nOg! The Land of Where! And you. You are my pageboy. What’s your name?”
“Dash!” I say excitedly.
“Dash the Pageboy! Or would you rather be a squire?”
“I dunno. Which is better?”
“The squire is higher up in the ranks.”
“Well, then I wanna be a squire!”
“Okay, then, Dash the Squire! I have known you for years, and for years you have gratefully worked under me, darning my outfits and clashing your sword against mine in the fields.”
“Oh, I like the sound of that,” I say with a girlish giggle.
Dhara takes on the part of the playful sprite Squeek. Stancer met Squeek in a wooded grove when she lost her bow. “You silly sprite!” shouts Stancer. “How did you come to lose your bow?” and he shakes her.
Kyla butts in. “This isn’t explaining how I am to become queen.”
And much of the rest of the night is spent constructing our play. Stancer says to me, “And I have offered you protection with my arrow’s sweet affection,” which sounds a bit dirty. We say it again and again in a singsong chant rubbing our noses together.
He tries to make out with Tiffany when she goes to bed. I have to drag him out of the room, knocking over a rack of VHS tapes. “You have to leave her alone,” warns Cynthia. “She hasn’t slept since Wednesday.” He tries to go back. I grab him and he throws me to the floor, shaking me.
“But it is not the gods’ will!” I plead.
“But it is my heart’s will,” he retorts.
Some time after all of this, Squeek and Stancer make out and he bites her hard on the back, proving what he had told us just before, that he likes to bite and to bite hard. “Where do you want me to bite you?” he asks. I unsnap my shirt and point to my side, just below the ribs. “OOW!” I scream. “That fucking hurt!” When I try to bite back, he squeals and says he doesn’t allow anyone to bite him. “Oh, so you’re just sadist,” I say and I lick his stomach, chomping down when he least expects it in the same place where he bit me.
I realize there’s still some egg nog left. But it’s too thick to drink, like Pepto Bismol. I go to add some rum. “Dash. Did you inject it with your seed?” asks Stancer.
“Just a dash,” I reply and we all laugh wildly. It’s a very stout drink.
“We should never learn each others’ real names,” he suggests.
There is mischief all night. Stancer tries to throw himself down the stairs, but we won’t allow it.
He keeps asking if any of us work at Pizza Hut. “Do you work at Pizza Hut?” one of us asks.
“No, my dad owns a dealership.” And then Squeek and Stancer are making out hardcore on the futon. Cynthia and I watch from just above them. They raise their eyes to us and we giggle and I go to make a phonecall. It’s 7am and I’m drunk dialing Devin. I ramble on about the curious boy who likes to bite people and hang up the phone. When I come back in, Cynthia, who is now Kyla again, is hiding in the corner by a chair.
“Come here,” she stage whispers to me. “Sit down. I don’t think we should be in there.”
“What did I miss?” I ask.
“Well. The bra is off now.”
“Oh my god! What do we do?”
“I don’t know!”
“Is Jeff on the phone again?” Dhara asks from the futon. I laugh madly.
“I think there’s some vodka left in the freezer,” I realize. “Should we drink it?”
“Do you realize that someone else’s cock was inside me just like five hours ago,” we heare Dhara say.
“I think so,” replies Kyla.
We make a vodka/cranberry juice mixer and watch from the kitchen.
“Is he naked?” I ask.
“I can’t tell. I think so!”
“Where’s my camera? Oh, shit, it’s under them!”
“Yeah,” calls out Stancer. “I know you wanna take a picture.”
“I don’t think they care that we’re in there,” I say defiantly and go to sit down on the couch. Stancer’s pants are back on. “What are you drinking?” he asks.
“Nothing,” I say. “Just some cranberry juice. Trying to replenish my system.” Kyla laughs, taking a seat next to me, and then a sip.
“Give it to me,” he snaps.
“Dude, it’s just juice!”
“I have a pain. Right here,” he says, pointing to the place just below his ribs. “Did you bite me?” he asks, pointing to me.
“Yes, I did, actually.”
“Here,” he says holding out his hand and snapping his fingers. I hold out my hand. “No, get down here,” and he pulls me to my knees on floor in front of him and kisses me.
“Yeah, my mouth was just there like five seconds ago,” I hear Dhara say from above me or behind me, I’m not sure where.
“You guys need to give me your numbers,” he says.
“We need yours too,” Kyla and Dhara seem to say simultaneously.
“I don’t have a phone,” he says.
“Well, if you don’t have a phone, how are you going to call us?” I ask, crawling on top of him, kissing him more.
Then he is on top of me on the floor and he is shaking me shouting, “My squire shall not overpower me in matters of the sword or lust!” He does the line over and over until it’s right. I think my head should hurt from being smashed against the carpet so much, but it really doesn’t. I laugh hysterically, “That’s really good! I feel like I’m in fucking Dungeons and Dragons shit!”
Stancer decides now, at 8:30 in the morning, that it is time for him to go. Kyla offers to drive him home, and so we all decide to go. The ground is dusted with a light snow.
Dash hops onto Stancer’s back, but loses his cigarette and jumps back off to fetch it. “Forget that!” demands Stancer. Dash jumps into his arms falling onto his back into the snow where they kiss. It’s like a dream.
In the car, the role-playing continues. Lines are rehearsed. It’s all very tense, like the night of dress rehearsal. “Can you give Dhara a shorter line because she keeps fucking it up,” Kyla asks Stancer. It was a really good line too. I remember a couple of mine, along with the blocking. We rehearsed several times, getting lost on the way to his house.
With my hand down his shirt, my fingers grazing his nipples I was to say, “You will surely forget us.”
He was to grab my hand and say something like, “As surely as the snow, I will not forget.” It changed several times.
We’re lost. We try to convince him to go back with us to get some sleep. Something about, “But surely the way is clouded.”
We finally stumble upon Commercial Street when he opens the door, falling to the street. He stretches over the seat to give Dhara a long deep kiss. Then he kisses me too, only to sprint to the front of the car and take a deep bow. The remaining three of us watch in awe. He then attempts to make a snowball and runs away.
“So I guess this is his street?” asks Kyla and she takes a right.
“No!” someone calls out. “Go back! We have to see where he lives!”
Kyla pulls a U-turn. We’re all so disoriented. “Where is he? Did we lose him? There he is!”
She honks the horn. He looks up from the yard he walks through and waves to us. We sit there for a moment before we realize we’ve stopped amidst the moving traffic.