Fat Fags Swap Dope for Dick
“What took you so goddamn long, boy?” Margene demanded. “I been calling your name since the commercial.” On the plasma-screen television, a perky blonde with dazzling teeth cooed about the efficacy of scented douche. Whenever Margene needed another wine cooler or wanted to empty the ashtray, she wailed for her son, Dewey, to leave his computer and assist her. He shuffled from the back of their mobile home, past all the piles of cardboard boxes lining the hall, and into the living room. Cigarette dangling from her lips and remote control clenched in her grip, she growled for Dewey to complete the tasks her sloth made untenable.
“I was chatting with someone,” Dewey answered.
“Shouldn’t talk to people that don’t exist.”
“Whaddya need, Mama?”
Margene was little more than a skeleton gloved inside pore-ridden flesh. Her ribs, her shoulder blades, and her hips realigned as she looked at her son. Why was it so hard to label her as frail? “The methadone ain’t kickin’ in like it should,” she said. “We got Xanax left, right?”
“Well, shit, take a look,” she said.
Dewey bowed his head. He couldn’t remember ever feeling brave enough to openly glare at his anorexic, needling mother. Knowing each day brought nothing but more demands, more game shows at thundering volume, more Virginia Slims—the concept of future was too painful to contemplate.
The tiny bathroom shared a wall with the living room. While scanning the medicine cabinet, Dewey heard a huckster bark about his batch of used Fords, little kids orgasmic over fruit punch, and finally a plea for those who’d taken a certain growth hormone to join a class-action lawsuit.
He found the Xanax behind an empty jar of Oil of Olay. Three or four pills rattled in the bottle. His reflection in the cabinet door confronted him. His mouth grew long, the corners turning neither up nor down. Fat fuck, he thought. Not fat like Daddy in heaven, but give it time. It’s a slippery slope, little pig.
“Goddammit, boy!” Margene cried. “You get lost in there?”
“Jus’ second, Mama.”
Dewey had tricks to appear more appetizing to the men on the hook-up websites. He pressed his hand beneath his jowls, momentarily mashing his double chin. Relieved that this ruse provided hope, he cupped his hands over his two drooping pecs. No, that asshole kid down the road was right: they were bitch tits. He lifted the sagging flesh of each breast up and to the side. What if his pectorals bulged with firmness as they did in his fantasies?
There were other attempts at deception, elaborate series of gestures, rehearsed like a soliloquy. In less than half an hour, Christopher would arrive—tall, lean, and smooth Christopher with his eight-inches of carnal delight. It had taken three weeks of sexting and lewd online chatting to compel him toward the mobile home park, outside Longview. Dewey had also promised an eight ball of crystal meth for the privilege of sucking that long, thick sexy stick.
The Xanax rattled in their bottle. He planned to suggest Margene take all the pills. While he lacked the audacity to entertain Christopher in his own bedroom, he wished nonetheless to neutralize his mother. Christopher’s wait after he knocked would allow plenty of time for her to humiliate the host. Dewey offered the pills, but she stared as if he were a stain.
“You trying to knock me out cold, boy?” she asked, eyes narrowed to slits.
Dewey shifted his feet, stared into a far corner. He could hide nothing from her. She was his mother. That meant something. It meant too goddamn much. He said he was expecting company.
“You ain’t got no friends. At least none you bring here.”
“I didn’t wanna bother you.” He gestured toward the television. “Judge Judy is coming on.”
Margene lit another Virginia Slim and took the Xanax bottle. “Is he one of them faggots?” she asked, her voice low and froggy, as if the word were difficult to pronounce.
“The government ain’t payin’ me to run some queer whorehouse, boy.”
“Take the pills, Mama. You’re too excited.”
After further instructions not to disgrace their family name, Margene dismissed him. He zipped into his bedroom and checked for texts. Nothing. Don’t panic, he told himself. Christopher was on his way. Maybe he didn’t like to text while driving. Dewey lay atop his bed, knowing his immediate future offered no rest. He’d smoked some meth an hour ago. Without it, he would’ve cancelled, certain humiliation loomed. He waited for a knock and went into a sort of trance, so fixated on the wheeze from the air conditioner outside his window that he failed to register the quick trio of knocks at the front door. Another three knocks followed. Christopher was nearly an hour late. Dewey didn’t care, thrilled the young man hadn’t flaked, like most others, even after his promise of dope.
Dewey dashed to the front door, catching a glimpse of his mother motionless on the couch. Even Xanax didn’t hit that fast. Maybe it was all the wine coolers since Good Morning America. If she hadn’t taken the Xanax, maybe he could sneak one for himself. Christopher must not detect his deep-rooted conviction that the afternoon would go wrong, and soon.
The vision that revealed itself, the creaky screen door opening, filled the fat young man with hope. Suddenly, his sad and sordid world seemed alive with possibility, knowing this gorgeous man would surrender to him. Dewey had already decided he’d swallow Christopher’s load if given the chance. He asked if Christopher had any problems finding the place. Dewey babbled about the hardships of living in the backwoods, how grateful he was for company.
“You got diarrhea of the mouth, big boy,” Christopher said, laughing. Dewey stopped at once. The biggest disappointment he’d experienced since starting to hook up was how no man was witty and charming like in sitcoms and frothy romantic comedies. Instead, they spoke in a primitive language of veiled insults and sexual commands. Christopher, however, possessed a true wit. Better yet, he assumed Dewey must possess one, too.
“I’m sorry, cutie,” Dewey said, gripping the doorframe for balance. “I always get so nervous, and my hands sweat, and it feels like I haven’t eaten in a fucking week, and—“
“How are you gonna suck me off if you can’t stop jabbering.” Christopher slipped past Dewey into his home. While passing, his hand grazed Dewey’s love handle. Dewey wasn’t sure how to interpret the gesture. This was the worst time to be reminded of his weight…but beautiful Christopher had touched him! The contact hadn’t left him repulsed. Christopher flashed a megawatt grin and casually gazed about. Dewey fought the urge to drag him out the front door. Of course, he’d obsessed over Christopher’s array of pictures on the website, especially the one of his long, smooth body completely nude, the image abruptly ending at his neck. Dewey marveled at any man with the discipline—and optimism—to work out.
Even though Christopher claimed online to be twenty-two, he could’ve pass for a high school senior, in Dewey’s estimation. An unkempt bush of rust-colored curls drifted atop his head like low clouds at dawn. One of his eyes was a bright hazel while the other was a pale blue. He moved with the staccato rhythms of a tap dancer, all seductive excess motion. His only flaw was that his front tooth was chipped. Dewey’s own mouth was full of neglected cavities and rotting teeth stained yellow from his daily pack of Camel menthols. He’d lied when Christopher had asked if he smoked. He’d forgotten to gargle with Listerine before answering the door.
Christopher drifted toward the living room, but thrust his head forward, as if waiting for Dewey to begin a proper tour. Margene grunted. Dewey prayed her stupor was lifting.
“You don’t wanna see this dump.” He slid past Christopher to block his entrance. “I set up the perfect place.”
“You put mucho effort into silly things, big boy.”
“We have the whole afternoon,” Dewey breathed.
“Actually, I only have an hour. My girlfriend needs me to pick up a dime bag. The weed in Tyler is crap.” Christopher went on to explain his visit was the product of pure coincidence—and past experience. “You fat boys are expert cocksuckers,” he muttered, smiling so wide that Dewey started counting his teeth. He’d would return to his girlfriend and pretend her talent while on her knees came anywhere close to Dewey’s.
The host rubbed his bulging belly without realizing Christopher watched him. Why draw attention there? How Dewey could please him was all that mattered. Christopher asked if the dope was righteous after Dewey disclosed that he’d picked it up that morning.
“I haven’t tried it,” Dewey replied, lying with aplomb. He knew hook-ups were games of deception and concealment. Each man wielded an orchestrated image for the other’s enjoyment. There was no shame in this charade. Dewey had joined the website three years ago, not long after his twentieth birthday. His late father had bought the computer years ago, hoping to interest Dewey in Tetris and other math-based video games.
He asked Dewey if he had a pipe. He asked him if he was discreet.
“This afternoon is just between you and me,” Dewey promised, thrilled to speak those words aloud. He guided Christopher toward the screen door, still hanging open. He kept gentle pressure at the small of Christopher’s back, breathless over how tightly his guest’s simple black T-shirt clung to his physique.
“Good. I like boys who keep their traps shut.” Christopher ducked to avoid the doorframe. “You let some faggot suck your dick, and next week, the whole fucking town knows.”
“I hate guys like that,” Dewey said quickly.
“Where the fuck are we going?”
“This trailer down the street. No one lives there now that Mrs. Zuckerman is dead.”
The two young men walked with purpose across the park grounds. Some of the trailers featured scattershot attempts at decoration or comfort—a wobbly wooden deck, garden gnomes with evil faces, wind chimes that hung uninspired in the still, humid afternoon. Dewey risked a glance through a particular trailer’s window as he and Christopher passed. He wasn’t surprised to see Professor Pete glaring back as if he’d been waiting for him. That morning, Dewey had struggled with his gag reflex, desperate to please, Pete shedding pubic hairs inside his mouth. For dope, Professor Pete never accepted cash. Dewey didn’t have enough anyway.
What would a person think, seeing him accompany gorgeous Christopher? It was silly to speculate—he knew the answer. He was guilty, himself, of reaching the same conclusion. Obviously, when one half of a couple was far more attractive than the other, everyone knew the beautiful one held all the power. Dewey was sometimes tempted to invite homely men for quick, shameful sex. Every bastard who glared with disgust conjured Margene. She’d scorned him since his father was killed, instead of him, on that icy interstate five years ago. The memory of his father’s final breaths filling the overturned pickup chilled Dewey. When Margene had asked if he’d died quick and painless, Dewey lied.
After another minute, Dewey left the pebble-strewn road and lumbered up the steps to a mobile home. He was tempted to glance over his shoulder to make sure Christopher hadn’t deserted him. His guest, however, clomped up the stairs close behind. I am not a freak, he told himself. I can attract a worthy man. Mama’s wrong. She’s wrong about everything.
“I need to smoke a bowl or two to stay in this shithole,” Christopher announced, following Dewey inside. The mobile home was decorated with taste and thrift. Little touches of warmth littered the trailer: a crocheted maroon blanket folded neatly atop a sofa, bright yellow kitchen curtains allowing the afternoon sunlight, a beige cloth bag holding outdated housekeeping magazines. Nothing, however, could distract the men from the foul, pungent odor permeating each room. How long did Mrs. Zuckerman lay dead before her corpse was discovered?
“Follow me,” Dewey said with forced mirth. “I’ve got the bedroom all set up.”
“This place reminds me of Grandma’s house. Man, I hate that bitch.”
“My grandma sometimes forgets my name.”
“Actually, I forgot your name, too,” Christopher admitted. “Don’t take it personal. Names aren’t really important.”
Dewey halted at the bedroom doorway. At least Christopher was talking. That was more than some tricks managed. He convinced himself Christopher’s candor was a good thing, an indication of his comfort with his homely, heavy host. The downside of having a trick that spoke, however, was that it obligated his host to reply.
“I’m Dewey,” he said. “Actually, it’s Dwight, but only my dad called me that. He’s dead.” He hadn’t planned to disclose his loss. The mood was already too delicate.
Christopher grinned and Dewey was reminded of the door greeter he knew from his job at Wal-Mart. He envied people, attractive or not, whose smiles compelled others to trust without reservation. People rarely returned Dewey’s smile.
Leaning against the doorframe, Christopher’s spooky eyes were alight with mischief. Men so seldom flirted with Dewey, he was ill-prepared to recognize it.
“Remember my name,” Christopher said, “and I might let you do more than suck me off.”
Dewey giggled. “Of course I remember your name. You’ve been on my buddy list since our first chat. We chatted over an hour.”
“When I’m online, all I see are dicks and assholes.”
“Your name is Christopher,” Dewey said quietly. He risked a step toward. His guest did not withdraw in disgust. At all these tiny omens of impending success, Dewey marveled. “I don’t know your last name,” he added, glancing up into the taller man’s face. Perhaps Dewey had learned this classic submissive pose from all those black-and-white movies Margene watched after midnight. He occasionally joined her but didn’t feel safe until she’d passed out from the wine coolers or methadone.
“Unless you’re my probation officer, last names are irrelevant.”
“Mine is Langtree.”
“Dewey Langtree.” Christopher brightened. “Maybe it should be Dwight Langtree. That’s the name you like best, right?”
Not knowing how to respond to this oddball kindness, Dewey withdrew into the bedroom, pausing beside the bed. A quilted comforter with a floral design promised a far more genteel encounter than what Dewey had planned. He slipped the glass pipe from his pocket then fished in the opposite one for the dope. Christopher scurried toward him when he produced the tiny baggie of clear crystals.
“Some nice fat shards in there,” Christopher said.
“That’s the cool thing about living in the sticks,” Dewey said. “The dope is so much better.”
“You ever sell this shit?”
“I don’t know how to be a dealer.”
“If you can count, you’ll do just fine.”
Dewey gazed at the baggie. He and Margene certainly could use the cash. Dewey, however, possessed so little imagination that he couldn’t fathom a life in which dealing drugs was his second career. He couldn’t imagine anything better than what God had dumped upon his head. Margene would want him to walk a half-mile, once Christopher left, for more Virginia Slims.
Impatient, Christopher snatched both the baggie and the pipe. “I told you,” he said, “I’m on a tight schedule.”
“We won’t need to smoke it all,” Dewey said too quickly. “It’s strong stuff. You can take the rest home like I promised.” He paused. “Does your girlfriend smoke it, too?”
“I thought you hadn’t tried this.”
Dewey’s heart dropped into his stomach. He felt himself sinking onto the bed, his head bowed like a puppy disciplined for pissing on the carpet. He knows I’m a liar, Dewey thought. Nobody likes liars. Dewey glanced at Christopher and was relieved his guest was ignoring him, too busy loading the pipe with a fat shard.
Dewey pretended he hadn’t been caught. To his relief, Christopher pocketed the baggie after finishing the bowl and produced a disposable lighter. Dewey watched in rapture as the immense and bright clouds of white smoke escaped his lips. He’d always found it deeply erotic, men expelling crystal-meth smoke. He liked to imagine those same mouths ravenous for him, his satisfaction never, however, relevant.
Christopher took three hits from the pipe before offering it to Dewey, but Dewey didn’t mind. After all, Christopher was under no obligation to share. One or two of the men Dewey had serviced didn’t share at all. Dewey took an enormous hit, sucking on the stem. He exhaled endless white smoke, and Christopher chuckled. “Damn impressive, big boy,” he said.
“I can do a lot of cool shit with my mouth.”
“Let me see that pipe again.”
They passed it back in forth, Christopher always taking more hits than Dewey. They finished the first bowl and began another. Once that was cashed, Dewey succumbed to a floating sensation, atop a jet stream, fluttering over continents. He forgot about Christopher. The opening zipper slapped him back to reality. There was the business of the blowjob.
“Get on your knees, big boy,” Christopher said with surprising softness.
“I’m an expert at getting guys off.”
“Like I said, you fat boys are the best-kept secret on the internet.”
Dewey couldn’t understand why the experience of sucking a man never changed, regardless of the eclecticism among his list of tricks. Dewey lost himself in a torrent of silent commands and stern warnings not to fail the man in his mouth. There was no ecstasy until Dewey convinced himself, as always, that sexual subservience alone can bring one joy.
Christopher actually warned him before climax. After the messy finale, Dewey excused himself and washed his face. He didn’t want to return and find the bedroom empty, as if the encounter were imagined. Christopher lay on his back atop the bed. He wasn’t relaxed, though. Dewey noticed the tension in his limbs, his jaw. He dreaded this part of each encounter.
“How much longer do we have?” Dewey asked.
“I’m too lazy to look at my watch.”
“You’re welcome to stay.”
“Actually, would it be okay if I chilled by myself alone? I gotta get my shit together. That was strong dope.”
Dewey had never been discarded so gently. Typically, the men couldn’t bolt fast enough. Why did Christopher wish for solitude? Dewey lacked the courage to ask for an explanation. Instead, he shuffled toward the doorway. Christopher called his name. His true name, not Dewey.
Mrs. Zuckerman had probably died in that bed.
“Yeah?” Dewey felt an optimism he didn’t trust for a moment.
“Suck cock like that every time, and no one will care if you’re fat.”
Dewey couldn’t remember the last time he’d been complimented—without strings or conditions! Unsure if he was smiling, his face contorted into a shape he’d forgotten, but Christopher returned his grin. Dewey silently vowed to abandon the website, at least for a while. This memory would surely sustain him.
“Now beat it, big boy,” Christopher said, chuckling. “You’re killing my buzz.”
Dewey trotted home, sick with possibility. All the sad, despairing homesteads didn’t dampen his merriment. He felt he should hum a song, something life-affirming, but he never listened to music. Dewey’s life was a silent one, excluding Margene’s omniscient television.
His jolly mood curdled when he spotted Professor Pete glaring out his window. Typically, Dewey would’ve bowed his head and shuffled away…unless he needed dope. Today, however, guile overtook him. He stood firm and shot him the bird. Professor Pete narrowed his gaze. A moment later, the window was empty. The ease of his victory stunned Dewey. The vindication mingled with the remnants of his bliss. Coming home, for once, didn’t crush him like a cigarette butt beneath a steel-toed boot.
He didn’t check on Margene before sauntering toward his bedroom. When he heard her voice ricochet through their home, it shocked him. The world, after all, had not stopped. As he spun with all the planet’s other souls, Dewey hoped enough gravity remained to anchor him.
“You fat bastard,” she brayed. “I know where you were. I know every fuckin’ thing.”
Dewey considered slamming his door and pretending he didn’t hear, but he couldn’t let that vile woman berate him for untold minutes. He wanted to respect himself. If he did, perhaps others would follow suit. He wanted to smile at the shoppers in Wal-Mart and smile wider still when they returned it.
“Where I went is none of your goddamn business,” he said. He crossed to the couch, opposite Margene. She puffed a Virginia Slim, television remote in hand. A portly weatherman warned about severe weather tomorrow.
“I went back to your room, boy,” she said. “I got on that damn computer you can’t live without. What pervert lets the whole world see pictures like that?”
“You can’t come in my room,” he said. “We had a deal.”
“What you do with men Jesus don’t allow.”
“You haven’t been to church since Daddy died.”
“Don’t speak to me about that fine man. It should’ve been your fat ass we put in the ground.”
Professor Pete was a house of cards, easily toppled, compared to Margene. Dewey knew she’d wear him down until his treasured memories of Christopher crumbled to dust. The horrible woman squatted on her cushioned throne, day after day, and demanded the world obey. Dewey was that world’s only soul. Margene opened her mouth, hot pink lipstick staining her teeth.
“Shut your fucking pie hole, you dumb bitch!”
Margene froze, her gaze nervous, like a predator wrongly targeting a superior creature. “What did you say, boy?”
“I said shut up, Mama.” On the television, the weatherman flirted with the pretty lead anchor. Dewey glimpsed the screen. The weatherman was nearly as big as him, and he was on fucking television. People watched and trusted him.
Margene hurled the remote at Dewey’s head, smacking him upon his eyebrow. He wailed and grabbed his head. The remote clattered to the floor. He couldn’t remember the last time Margene had struck him. She was so small, so puny, she had to rely on words to snuff out his hope. Dewey knew what he must do.
He grabbed the remote and smacked Margene across the face, the device making a loud crack as it struck her jaw. The batteries popped out, falling to the floor. She raised her hand in fury and horror. “Boy,” she muttered, “I got good reason to get off this couch…”
“You’re gonna die in front of that TV,” Dewey snapped.
“I need a doctor.” Margene absently smeared blood across her forehead.
“You need a life,” her son replied. He didn’t need the excuse that answering the door provided. It was a trio of knocks, actually. What greeted Dewey was yet another surprise in an afternoon abundant with them.
“You busy?” Christopher leaned upon the doorframe, posed like a classic James Dean publicity shot. A man of typical sexual experience would’ve surmised Christopher’s intent, but Dewey was not such a man.
“I thought you had to leave,” he said.
“My girlfriend called. Typical bullshit. Don’t worry about her.”
“What do you want?” Dewey asked weakly. He was terrified whatever happened next would sour their wonderful moments before leaving Mrs. Zuckerman’s. He desired Christopher, but he knew desire led to disappointment. Always.
“I’m horny again, dude. I was wondering if…”
Both young men heard, from the living room, Margene moan in pain. Christopher’s gaze sharpened but he didn’t step closer. Dewey knew this home was now under his command.
“You haven’t got another stud waiting, do ya?” For the first time, vulnerability unspooled from his guest. Dewey liked it. He liked it a lot.
He gazed directly into Christopher’s odd, shimmering eyes. One hazel and one blue, like birthstones. “If you want me to suck you off again, spit it out. Hints are a waste of time.” He paused, grinned like a guilty schoolboy.
Christopher swallowed, his face twitching. Dewey lacked the experience to know most men lose their bearings when suddenly forced from the position of hunter to hunted. “You suck cock like a champ,” Christopher finally said.
Margene moaned again. Christopher said nothing. Dewey calmly followed him down the steps. He left both doors wide open. A neighbor might help his mother, he supposed. Or maybe not. Christopher required Dewey’s mouth. As they returned to Mrs. Zuckerman’s trailer, Dwight Langtree had faith Christopher would call him whatever name the proud and portly man desired.
Thomas Kearnes graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with an MA in film writing. His fiction has appeared in Gulf Coast, Berkeley Fiction Review, Timber, Foglifter, Hobart, Gertrude, Adroit Journal, Split Lip Magazine, Cutthroat, Litro, PANK, BULL: Men's Fiction, Gulf Stream Magazine, Driftwood Press, The Matador Review, Pseudopod, Underbelly Magazine, Black Dandy, the Best Gay Stories series, Mary: A Journal of New Writing, wigleaf, SmokeLong Quarterly, Pidgeonholes, Sundog Lit, The Citron Review, and elsewhere. He is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee and three-time Best of the Net nominee. Originally from East Texas, he now lives in Houston and works as an English tutor at a local community college. His Lambda Literary Award-nominated debut collection of short fiction, “Texas Crude,” is now available from Lethe Press at numerous online booksellers.