When we last saw our hero, a term applied very loosely here, he was standing in a dusty parking lot nursing a middling hangover and being a right shit heel to a girl who had been nothing more than kind towards him. To get a better grasp of our hero here we must understand that at this point in his young life he was more than enamored with his own sub-genius, as if every little thought that bubbled up in his drug and booze addled mind was a golden nugget to be cherished and preserved for all time... i mean he was a fucking poet maaaan! I mean what more could we say? What a fucking twat!
To say the Podunk summer had gotten off to a flying start would be a bit of a misnomer. Two females had come to see the young protagonist and two females had roundly told him to fuck off by the time they had left. Sometimes batting 1000 isn't all it's cracked up to be. But there was always Julia... or was there? Oddly enough she seemed to disappear for the summer shortly thereafter... I'd bump into her now and then but there seemed to be an even greater disconnect than before and i couldn't help but wonder if somehow word hadn't gotten back to her about my shenanigans with women who drove cars with Ohio license plates. Fact is i don't know now and i didn't know then other than before i knew it the one promising prospect of a summer fling had vanished like a bong hit in the wind. So there i was...
I soon settled into a routine... i'd work, then party, then sleep a little, then do it all over again. If there was one constant in my life it was the diminutive gay man who worked the graveyard shift at the Uni-Mart. On many nights i'd close the bar across the street and then go stumbling into the Uni-Mart to score some horrible convienance store grub before then stumbling the two blocks to my place... only to wander back into the same place some four odd hours later to get a cup of coffee, a donut and a large bottle of water to help with the hangover. At this point and time the hangover was a way of life for me, i was usually somewhat functional but for the most part my whole goal was to get to work close to on time so i could go pass out in a dorm room and sleep for a couple hours before pretending to work and then going back to sleep again.
The graveyard employee of the Uni-Mart at first gave me rather quizzical looks as i wandered in late at night only to be seen wandering back early the next morning. I often wondered what his life was like in this little backwater where being a gay man would not be the easiest of existences. This was the land of deer hunting and monster trucks and overblown machismo. Back in the early 90s being gay in places like this could get you killed. He did his best to sort of straddle this line, he obviously didn't want people to think he was gay but it was rather obvious that he was... i was always cool to him, polite, making small talk, laughing at the bullshit he had to put up with working the graveyard, little did i know that roughly a year later i'd be working the same shift myself at 7-11 in Ocean City. I could tell he was wary at first but then he realized i was cool, that i wasn't some redneck asshole and that i was mainly just a wasted college kid maybe a decade or so younger than himself. By the end of the summer he was even tipping me off to the fresh crap baking under the heat lamps, we never exchanged names, just a few words between my drunk night and hungover morning. It had become a routine and i could see as the weeks went on how i provided a bit of amusement for him, probably giving him stories to regale whoever with, about the drunken college kid who closed the bar each night only to walk back in a few hours later, usually in the same clothes, as he hauled his ass to work.
As for working i was doing my best to get myself canned even though i desperately needed this job. It was quite apparent that the early start time was not conducive to a lifestyle of closing the bars, smoking weed and eating little bits of paper. By midsummer i had gotten in the habit of showing up around the time of the first break. Peanuts being a bit oblivious to almost everything never really noticed and i'd tell the big boss that i had been running late and so went straight to the dorm we were working in. The big boss was no sucker though and had seen enough smart ass college kids to know that i was full of shit and so began docking my pay when i didn't show up at the main plant before heading to the job. He pulled me in and told me i needed to be on time or at the very least call and let them know i was going to be late. He wasn't exactly my biggest fan but the lovely Admin would smile every time i got called in, i had this theory back then that she had a soft spot for the troubled youth and that she secretly wanted to sleep with me... yes i was very much full of myself but seeing as she was nothing but kind to me i was always polite and respectful and she'd whisper bits of advice to me about keeping my ass on the payroll.
With my warning well heeded i didn't exactly straighten up and fly right but i got by, calling in on the occasions i was too hungover and actually filling out my time sheet truthfully. It was around this time that i began taking long lunches at friends houses where lunch usually consisted of multiple bong hits and a few beers, then running back to the dorm and sneaking in, Lars would sometimes warn me if someone had been around or if i smelled a bit too strong of the booze, by this time Lars was well corrupted by my ways and had taken to doing even less than i did. As i told him, you have an in here kid, you ain't getting fired without seriously doing something stupid... say like doing the shit i was doing and getting caught, so relax and fuck off as much as possible, cuz in the end who gives a shit?
And so went the cycle of Podunk summer... after a few sex crammed weekends i was left to my own devices when it came to getting off, meaning a steady summer of wanking, usually on the clock cuz there's nothing better than wanking on the job and getting paid for it. I'd work, head home to read and get high, have a few beers and maybe some dinner and then head to the bar to stare at the same small town faces and dream of all the action i was missing. I made a few calls to some ex's, was even dumb enough to try and persuade Cherry one last time only to be met with such icy disdain that i knew there was no chance... which still didn't stop me from trying but mainly i went back to counting the days until the semester started and i would move in to my new place and start one of those years that would be the stuff of legend as they say. (to be cont.)