“It’s when you hide things that you choke on them.”
I’m downtown Ottawa and walking around without any particular place to go. I’m only fifteen and not fully aware of what this whole late twentieth century life thing is all about. What pressing matters could I possibly have to attend to? I’m simply walking around, soaking the atmosphere in, as they say. My family and I are in town for my cousins engagement party. The main event being a lavish boat ride around the Ottawa River complete with a DJ, hors d’oeuvre’s, and complementary drinks of which I’ll have to surreptitiously steal without my parents knowledge.
I have a grand total of five dollars in coins jangling around in my pocket as I walk towards the Byward Market looking for whatever pre-cruise trouble I can get into. I’m wearing jeans that are ripped at the knees and my empty wallet that is tucked into my left ass pocket has a rather ironic seven inch chain dangling by my hip; I never have more than $10 in my wallet at any given time but it’s still comforting to know that I won’t lose it -- unless I lose my pants along with the wallet. My beige cardigan hangs open revealing a black Mudhoney t-shirt, the one where all four of the members’ faces are plastered onto the top of each instrument -- drums, guitar, bass and second guitar respectively. My black high top Chuck Taylor’s are beat up and the soles worn out but they‘re mine and they‘re damn comfortable. Kurt would be proud. My long greasy hair frames my face and I constantly wipe the grease build up off the rocky Mars like surface that is my forehead.
It’s a beautiful summer day, the sun shining down with a gentle breeze lapping at my face. I was free to explore a new city for a few hours before I had to be back at the hotel and shuttled off to the family cruise. I started walking down a main street and lit up a Du Maurier and continued down the street like I owned the joint; an independent man-boy, life being nothing more than the never ending horizon of limitless possibilities. What kind of shit can I stir up?
It wasn’t even ten minutes, I barely had time to flick away my cigarette, before a handsome, light skinned black guy with a pencil thin goatee walked directly up to me and simply asked, “Hey man, you have any zig zags?”
“Uhhh--” I stammer, “naw, don’t have any with me, but I’d love to smoke one.”
“Cool. Follow me. I live right around the corner,” the muscular, nicely composed black man says to me with a nod of the head in the direction of his place.
“You from around here?” the black guy asks.
“No, no. I’m from Brampton,” I tell him.
“What’s your name?”
“It’s uhh, Dan,” I tell him. I don’t know why I didn’t give him my real name, it felt sort of dangerous to use an alias.
“Nice to meet you Dan.” He reaches out his right hand and we look each other in the eyes and shake hands appropriately, not too hard, not too soft.
“Oscar,” He informs me.
“Cool, nice to meet you Oscar.” We release right hands just like you’ve done a thousand times before.
“I said to myself when I first saw you, “‘that looks like a guy who likes to smoke a little shit,’” he says to me with a warm friendly smile.
The quickest way to my heart circa 1996: Marijuana. It’s like an Armani tie to Patrick Bateman.
“Yeah, for sure man,” I say, feigning nonchalance. Boy! I just got into town about an hour ago and already there’s a nice older black man offering to get me stoned. What a capital! Fuck Brampton with a steak knife -- Ottawa is where it’s at! Not only are the citizens courteous and accommodating, but they’re packing buds. It was only last week I was walking down a path to get home and I abruptly turned around and started running the other way when I spotted four black guys with balaclavas walking my way. My instincts were right -- they immediately broke into a run after me but quickly abandoned the plan because a) I’m a quick runner, if only in short bursts; and b) thieves want a quick and easy score, the way a lion goes after an injured or young gazelle; and possibly c) I would have screamed like a banshee if they started getting close. OH my God! They’re raaapppiiiinnng me!
Oscar and myself are walking side by side towards -- I’m assuming -- his apartment or house, though probably an apartment or condo because we’re right in the downtown core.
“So, do you have an open mind?” Oscar asks me, I don’t even think it’s that weird, we’re just two guys looking to get stoned together, nothing more nothing less; just two guys who share a love of the ’erb. Before embarking on the trip with my folks, I did feel a pang or two of anxiety not having any weed with me, which at this point of my life, I’ll admit, was a daily habit. How am I going to get stoned? A little voice kept repeating over and over on the car ride northeast up the 401. Well, problem solved thanks to Oscar.
“Yeah, I totally have an open mind -- I’m into philosophy and I love The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Allman Brothers,” I say excitedly, riding a pre-high high.
He smiles again at me. Now, I’m not a total fucking retard -- my parents taught me not to talk to strangers and especially not to follow said strangers to smoke marijuana with them alone in their homestead. I mean -- I know that. I threw caution to the wind, squeezed out a little space in the old noggin, a compartment, where I stuck a Rent-A-Cop, a chaperone, to watch out for little Taylor, make sure he doesn’t get in too much trouble. After all, he’s not chasing me.
His apartment was a in a three floor walk up. There wasn’t anything that stuck out about his one bedroom den of debauchery. Looked like most of the furniture was from Ikea; there was some sort of colour scheme going on, a lot of whites and blacks, checkerboard kitchen floor. I take a seat in the living room while my new buddy Oscar goes into the kitchen.
“Hey Dan,” he says while rummaging around, cups clinking, “You wanna beer?”
“Yeah sure,” I say. This day just gets better and better!
Oscar comes into the living room and hands me an ice cold bottle of Canadian. “So you like Ottawa so far?”
“Definitely, definitely. Going on a cruise later tonight with my family,” I say, like he cares. “So what do you do?”
“I work at a club just down the street from here, some dancing, that type of stuff,” Oscar says.
“Oh,” I say, thinking maybe like Electric Circus.
Apparently finished with his explanation, he walks over to his t.v., an older Zenith with bunny ears, and he tilts it closer towards his chair away from my prying eyes. There are no couches. Just a few chairs. And that strikes me as odd. Doesn’t everyone have a couch? A duvet? A loveseat? A chesterfield? A sofa? Etc. Oscar only has a few kitchen chairs. Satisfied with the angle between himself and the t.v. he sits down with a relaxing sigh.
“You don’t want to watch this,” he says. I just kind of shrug and we continue a few more exchanges of small talk. Friendly Canadian small talk. I thought it was a little strange that he invites me to his apartment and then angles the t.v. away from me, but I’m itching for some weed, and I’m tolerant of others’ peculiarities if they are giving me free drugs.
Oscar is holding a crunched up coke can, the type of makeshift pipe with a large divot in the middle peppered with pinholes. I’m not exactly impressed considering at home I have two pipes and one glass bong. And I’m only fifteen. Here’s this guy living on his own and this is what he smokes the sacred herb out of? He takes a long and hard hit off the pop can pipe and releases a massive plume into the air. Hmm…doesn’t really smell like weed. He then passes it to me and it’s then that I notice the white -- not green -- substance that is sitting in a small pile of ashes over the pinholes.
“That’s not weed,” I say declaratively.
“No, it’s something else. Even better. Believe me, just take a hit,” Oscar says reassuringly. “Inhale real deep and hold it.”
This isn’t going according to plan, but shit, I’ll swing at anything. I take the lighter he’s proffering and stick my mouth over the hole of the can and make sure to keep the can at an even horizontal level. I start to roast the small mountain of half burnt white chunks and there are little sizzles and pops as I inhale this hitherto unknown substance into my lungs. Who says humans are intelligent, rational beings? We take lighters from strange black men and do chemistry experiments with our bodies. I have never snorted cocaine or smoked crack -- just watched people do it in movies. Actually, most of the crack activity I’ve seen comes from watching one of my favourite shows, Cops. Those are my keys, but that is definitely not my crack. That type of stuff. Usually, the dope fiends don’t use coke cans, they use clear glass pipes stained black with crack residue that looks a lot like pot residue. These are the messes left behind by our vices.
At first the hit was tentative, I was feeling out the smoke, expecting a harsh coughing fit if I inhaled too much too deep too fast. Surprisingly, the smoke was almost tasteless and almost as smooth as air. I could barely feel the heft of the smoke in my lungs but my eyes could plainly see that I was sucking in a double elephant lung transplant mass of cottony smoke. I took the can away from my mouth and closed my eyes, holding it all in, even -- gulp -- swallowing it, relinquishing the can to Oscar, and he takes it wordlessly and kills the bowl.
All of a sudden I was conscious of my own heartbeat in my body thumping like a gong show alarm clock. Becoming aware of my heartbeat was like gazing out at the night sky on a clear night up in the country away from light pollution. Now that I’ve noticed it I’m in awe of it’s metronomic endlessness and in some pathetic self referential way afraid of it, like this can’t just keep going on and on inside me can it? The crack pounds on the blood brain barrier and along with the heart, the mind starts revving up and branching out, drowning any thoughts of the racing heart; now the mouth takes over. What’s-going-on-what’s-going-on-what’s-going-on???? The sum of the sinful parts here are starting to add up. So, like, there’s no weed?
Oscar’s eyes are locked onto the screen and his lips are locked onto the coke can. Since the promise of weed is fading I am now officially curious to know what’s happening onscreen. Is it The Nature of Things, or some alien autopsy program? Why doesn’t he want me to watch? The helpless panicky feeling of the whole situation starts to unfold before me, of not only being buried alive after being raped by Oscar’s huge black rig, my face mushed into the pillow, but of having freshly deflowered ass pain while having the dirt scooped on me.
I’d rather have the flu in hell.
“Where’s the washroom?” I ask, and Oscar points behind him, his cheeks puffed out with a fresh hit.
I don’t need to pee, but I need to hide and think up an escape plan. The rent-a-cop watching over me is tapping on my driver’s side window as I lay passed out at the wheel. Now he has my full attention. I get real close to the mirror and look into my eyes, scan my face for fuzz because it had been only six or seven days since I last shaved -- still looks freshly shaved. Because I don’t like goodbyes I plan to just make a mad dash for the front door, which is only steps from the bathroom, and run out of the building back into freedom. My heart is racing like it never has before, like I ran the 50m dash and just stopped on a dime, my thoughts are poring all over one another, as soon as one starts the next one begins before the first has a chance to finish. This is crack in a nutshell. Buoyed by the drugs, I don’t care how it will look in five seconds when I run for the door and into the open arms of downtown Ottawa. I flush the crystal clear toilet water. Okay -- are you ready?
The bathroom door springs open and as I turn right towards the front door, I can’t help but catch a glimpse of the t.v. screen and there’s two guys with toned muscles and one is gripping the back of the other guys head while he rams his rod into the others mouth. Can you spell H-O-T?
I reach the door and this is where my simple plan becomes convoluted. I turn the knob like any sane teen zonked out on crack for the first time and then when it doesn’t give I turn it ten times more, becoming more and more frantic, and then with the right hand I started twisting the deadbolt and randomly pulling the door with all my might inwards, hoping…praying to God, the supreme being that forgives all the tomfoolery that teens get into, to please, please, please, let me open the damn door!
“Hey Dan,” a voice calls calmly from behind me and I turn to face my executioner, ready to submit to the long slow climb up the gallows, and he says, “Dan, just relax man, it’s okay. I’m not gonna hurt you. Come take another hit. You‘ll feel better…I Swear.”
“No, no, I want to leave. Now!” I say as forcefully as I can considering the circumstances.
“Let’s just chill out, man. We’ll take another hit and then you can leave, kay?”
And for some unknown reason I relented. If he’s going to rape and kill me, I might as well smoke some more crack first. There is no reasonable explanation for not leaving this off duty stripper’s drug cave. Teenage immortality maybe?
Inexplicably my cock was red hot hard, bloated with blood. I wasn’t thinking any sexy thoughts but here was my shooter sticking up into my waistband nonetheless. I took another hit and my head -- both -- almost exploded. Call me crazy, but in my hyper addled state I just knew, I had an intuition that Oscar wanted to suck my dick. I was finally cluing into his whole scheme. He probably doesn’t want to, like, rape me, he probably wants to lick on my wrench. I hope. These are the signals I’m getting. He’s some gay dude who likes teen meat. Right?
It’s 1996 and I’ve never had the sensation of another human beings’ lips and saliva on my cock, only ran through the possibilities in my head, alone in my bedroom. Sure, I fucked empty toilet paper rolls and old teddy bears with holes cut out in their vaginas with a steak knife and then, after, when the cotton wore out a knife wound into the top of the head (to get at the fresh supply) and silky things around the house like pillows and blankets, et al….but never a fully functional mouth and lips going back and forth, never a sentient human being for crying out loud -- that would be crazy!
“Okay, I’ll…I’ll let you suck it,” I blurt out, almost having an out of body experience, not believing what I’m saying.
Maybe I said it because I wanted to feel the physical sensation of a blowjob instead of just imagining it, and if the only person to administer this physical feeling is an off duty black male stripper/dancer with a goatee that requires at least ten minutes a day of maintenance than so be it. Plus, my cock was like a lead pipe.
“Yeah? You’re cool with that?” He asks.
“Umm…whatever, I guess.”
I imagine it was like Christmas morning for Oscar. I was giving him his fantasy -- a pristine, straight, twinky looking, grunge rocking semi-geeky pimpley-faced white boy. We went into the adjacent bedroom and I unbuckled my pants and dropped them down to my feet, the chain wallet clinking against the checkerboard floor, and left them scrunched up around my ankles. I stood at the foot of the bed with this crack rod reaching obscenely out into the air like a hand reaching out to God. I decided to keep all other articles of clothing on seeing as how their removal was unnecessary. I was shy. Oscar didn’t seem to care about anything except my cock, anyways. There’s no way I’m going to tell him, but I bet he’d get a kick out of knowing that I was a virgin.
Oscar could sense my nervousness. “Don’t worry Dan, relax, it will feel good. Just think of some girl that you like.” It was the best piece of advice he could give me. Should I picture Kurt? No, too weird -- I worship him, but not in that way. As Oscar took my cock into his mouth and began going back and forth on it like a big black woodpecker I closed my eyes and pictured Mara, the hot half Indian chick who sits in front of me in 2nd period basic math. The physical sensation of the blowjob was exhilarating! It felt great. I looked down at one point, and, after being so hopelessly lost in my Mara BJ fantasy, upon seeing this man’s mouth with a goatee taking my rig into his throat, I began freaking out even more, yet somehow found the resolve to soldier on.
I would hate to suck cock, all that back and forth, it must really strain the neck after a while, but Oscar seemed to relish every moment, even cooing and moaning as my plunger clogged his throat.
I closed my eyes again and pictured Mara’s beautiful face and mouth sucking instead of Oscar. I couldn’t believe how strange my afternoon was turning out. I only planned on walking around downtown taking in the sights and here I am with my cock root deep into some guys mouth. Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.
Oscar’s pants were undone and he was yanking on his semi-hard cock, almost twice the size of mine. “I’m not going anywhere near that,” I said, breaking my concentration, Mara poofing away into the ether of my imagination.
“That’s okay, I don’t want you to. Just cum on my hand.”
Ahh, I finally clued in. He wants to masturbate with my jism. I mean what else would he want to use it for? Hair gel? Well, it would be the first time my cum was put to good use, not just tossed into the garbage or flushed down the toilet.
After the immediate sensation of, ‘Oh, so that’s what it’s like to get your dick sucked’, it became clear that ejaculating was not going to be possible. Maybe it was the crack wearing off or the reality of the situation taking a deeper hold, but my hard-on started shrinking, and, sensing this deflation, Oscar started jerking and sucking my cock more frantically, switching hands mid slide without losing a beat. But it was no use. I almost felt sorry for him that we had come this far and I couldn’t fully satisfy his fantasy.
I finally announced, “Okay, that’s enough,” as if a waiter was grinding peppercorn onto my spaghetti. Oscar stood obediently and zipped up, and my elusive semen remained safely nestled in my recently drooped testes.
“So…I better get going then….” I say, still scared that he won’t let me leave but he was nothing but a perfect gentleman, thanking me for coming (no pun intended because I didn’t) and unbolted and twisted all the various locks on his door and said, “Goodbye Dan,” pleasantly though we both knew we’d never see each other again.
“Yeah, bye,” I said back and walked out into the early evening, the sun shining with absolutely no breeze, the kind of perfect Canadian summer evening you wish would last forever. I wanted to get back to the hotel right away, not so much because I was late for the family cruise but because I wanted to take a shower and wash Oscar’s dried saliva off my cock. The crack or freebase or whatever it was had worn off and I felt dirty, uneasy with myself. It wasn’t legitimate rape, but I felt like the victim of some kind of interracial homoerotic voodoo. What did this Oscar guy do to me? I don’t go around letting black guys suck my junk. Up to this point I haven’t let anyone.
I put the key card into my hotel room and wait for the red light. Silence, emptiness, a half eaten bag of Cool Ranch Doritos on the bed; the room is exactly the way I left it. Within the hour I will be floating by our capital’s parliament buildings illuminated by huge fluorescent lights. No one will know my secret, not tonight, not even the foreboding gothic pillars, the symbols of law and justice in Canadian society.