And then there were two, just Joey and Jayce.
With Kyle having found his newest husband the boys decided they weren’t hungry and turned the pizza quest into a coffee quest. They wandered about till the sunset and ended up at a small coffee shop just off Market. Jayce decided to treat, which was technically the only option if Joey were to be caffeinated.
Jayce bought two clear glass mugs topped with a foamy head and personally delivered them to a table far in the back. Joey noted the privacy and wondered if Jayce might want to say something privately.
“Grade-school, this is a mocha, it’s better than coffee, its soul is made of chocolate,” said Jayce sliding the mug next to Joey and warning him that it was hot.
Joey took a sip and a look of surprise expanded across his face. The chocolaty embrace altered him like a magic potion, and he fully subscribed to the idea that coffee could have a soul.
Jayce glanced around, then fumbled with his jacket sleeve. Jayce was wearing a leather biker jacket with dozens of pins attached and a chaos flag safety-pinned to the back. There was a hand-painted anarchy sign on his left arm and a peace sign on his right.
Jayce gently pulled Joey’s drink back toward him and then placed his hand over it, in an awkward attempt to be casual. Joey could see, as would anyone who was paying attention, that Jayce had a small airline-sized bottle of booze up his sleeve and was pouring it into the coffee. He slid it back to Joey and then did the same to his.
“Now, it’s got soul and personality,” said Jayce with a satisfied grin.
Joey smiled awkwardly. Jayce was fun and exciting and unlike any of his friends in Northbay. He dressed like a punk, moved like a girl, and spoke like a drunk little league mom. And in the manic cluster of conflicting chaos, adamantine masculinity and femininity grinding together, under the shower of rainbow sparks, Joey was quickly beginning to fall for him.
Joey stared at Jayce for a moment watching his every move. Jayce gave him a puzzled look in reply.
“How do you know if you like a boy?” Joey asked as he sipped his drink.
“Grade-School, boys are like baseball cards. Did you ever collect baseball cards?”
“I had some Star Wars trading cards.”
“You’re such a nerd, but you understand the concept though? Some cards have value because there are fewer of them. Men are like that too. The Tom Cruises’ and Matthew Broderick’s of the world, they are the ones we all aspire to do. They are the high cost, hard to find, that only a few, who can pay the right amount, at the right time, can get. And some are like Dick Howser.”
“Who is Dick Howser?”
“Nobody really, but to have the complete set of the 1964 Cleveland Indians you need Dick Howser. He’s a common card, but without him, it’s not a full team.”
“I guess we all need a little dick?” Joey laughed.
Jayce gave him a confused look.
“Dick Howser. A little dick?” Joey asked expecting at the least a giggle.
“I’ll laugh when it’s funny. Well, don’t you get it? You can try for the glory cards, and good luck; get as many as you can. But don’t forget the common cards; the fat boys, the boy with the big nose, the one with the funny butt. You can have your far and few in-between gods, but I’m looking for all the common cards. When I die, I’ll be able to say I collected the whole set! I even have a list.”
Joey waited for Jayce to continue.
“You may laugh,” replied Jayce.
“When it’s funny. Do you really have a list?”
“Do you though: have a list?”
“You’ll never know, but I can assure you if I did you wouldn’t be on it.”
Joey just smiled though the statement stung.
“Where are you from?” asked Jayce standing up and nodding for Joey to follow.
“If there was a bright center to the universe, I’m from the farthest place away from it,” Joey said quoting his favorite movie and taking the last sip of his Mocha.
“Dallas?” asked Jayce not getting the reference.
“Have you ever watched Star Wars?”
“Really?” Joey asked and realized maybe he wasn’t going to fall in love.
“Not everyone likes space, Grade-school.”
“I grew up in Northbay, in the boondocks. I was staying with my grandparents, but it wasn’t working out.”
“Because of the gay,” asked Jayce
“Yes, because of the gay.”
“Oh no, no. I left before they found out…I don’t know; I just ran away. I was afraid,” admitted Joey.
“Don’t be scared Auntie Joystick loves you,” Jayce smiled.
Joey blushed and continued, “It would break my grandmother’s heart to find out about me.”
“I always knew, I think my mom did too, at least, when she wasn’t high,” Jayce said as much to himself.
“I feel like there’s a story there,” said Joey.
“Well, I was conceived in an insane asylum, my mother raped by the guards day in and day out. I am the precocious spawn of sex-horror. Oh, I think I’m actually hungry now.”
“I don’t think that’s true at all.”
“Oh, I am very hungry and very precocious,” Jayce smiled.
“Seriously, where are you from?”
Jayce smiled but didn’t reply.
“Now you’re quiet.”
“We’re all from somewhere. What’s it matter? We’re here right now, I like being here more than being there.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” Joey conceded.
The boys eventually ended up back at the Loft with pizza and two rental movies. Joey picked Star Wars so that Jayce could see what he was missing, and Jayce chose the newly released VHS of ‘Night of the Living Dead” for the exact same reasons.
The boys watched both movies, drank several airline bottles of booze, and eventually passed out on the couch with all the lights on. Joey woke in the early hours to pee but decided to hold it because Jayce was passed out naked and laying on him. He was pretty sure they didn’t have sex but enjoyed it until it was too painful to hold his piss. He then climbed out from under the naked boy trying not to stare or touch anything he shouldn’t. Jayce rolled off and as Joey peed, wandered back to the kitten pile that was the boy’s shared bed.
Both Kyle, Jayce, and a third boy were in the bed. Though the sheets were stained, and the boys in various states of disarray, there was something appealing to being part of it. Jayce was beautiful, Kyle was cool, and he didn’t know where the third one came from, but he wanted to be in that three-way embrace. He demurred back to the dirty broken couch and used Jayce’s leather jacket as his blanket. It stank, but it stank like Jayce, and that made him feel just a tiny bit closer to the Joy boy.
Next Episode: Joey meets the Caribbean Prince. I wont lie its that episode that you need to have in there to bridge to the exciting part of the story. Learn more about Star and Joey and…yeah.
HEY! Not every chapter can be award-winning prose!