Chapter 38

(Jimmy LaPlane’s Mixtape:


Week of June 1st

I’mma have to switch to a ‘Weekly Round-Up’ type of thing for a while ‘cause it’s getting to finals at school and . . . um, that means I’ve got my head in a book or doing problems from all year so I can pass stupid finals tests. Chandler calls it ‘Cramming’. I have come to, basically, hate cramming, but he says that ‘it’s gonna be part of my life for a while now, so get used to it.’


So, yeah, I’ve been keeping in contact with Chandler over texting and email. Never having had anything like a big brother before, it’s kind of cool that Chandler is being like this for me. Since last Saturday he’s, sort of, adopted me long distance. I figure he’ll get tired of answering my ‘dumb kid’ questions eventually, but right now he’s being really helpful on stuff.

I haven’t asked him much about the Gay stuff, ‘cause I’m still, really, too embarrassed after what went on with my Outing myself to him and, also, I don’t want any evidence that I’ve been talking about things like that with him. I figure if my Dad bugs my phone one time, or whatever, that this kind of conversation with ChanChan might get not only me in trouble, but him too. I’d HATE that! Chandler’s been nothing but ‘fabulous’ with me up ‘til now and I don’t want to get him in any kind of bad situation by talking to me about stuff like being Gay or whatever.

Anyway, Sunday was the usual Mall outing for Marie and me. The movie was one of the superhero things that came out in May. It was that Spider-Man one with the cute kid being Peter Parker. He’s really, really adorable! I like him best, so far, out of all the other Spider-Men that have been out there. Marie kept perving on how his ass looked in the tights and I had to remind her that Spidey was mostly just computer generated so it was probably some Gay designer’s idea of what Spidey’s ass should look like.

“Oh, you think ChanMan had something to do with this?” Marie joked. I laughed, but inside, I felt a nervous twinge when she said this. Marie is no fool and she totally knows that Chandler is Gay. She’s known for, probably, longer than her other members of their family. Does this mean she has Gaydar too? Will she smell me out finally? These worries rattled around in my head throughout most of the Spidey movie, so I don’t remember much more about it.

I hate this being inside-out deal! It really complicates things with Chan knowing who I am, Marie knowing who Chan is, and everyone, now, knowing that Chan and I were extra friendly at the Park on Saturday. Will the puzzle pieces fit into place for Marie and when they do, will her figuring out my Gayness blow up like a ticking time bomb? Stay tuned, true believers!

This ‘muddling about,’ as Cedrick would put it, carried over into Monday. I was very distracted by this thing with Chandler all day Monday. It was a wonder I got anything done at school at all. It was mostly done by habit. You know how you get through a day mostly on reflex but you don’t really know anything you did because you weren’t really ‘there’ for most of it? You probably don’t. You are probably a sane and normal person unlike myself who, clearly, isn’t.

I know, at one point, Billy came up to me, but I was so out of it I really didn’t pay attention to him too much.  This looked like it hurt his feelings a bit, but, honestly, I didn’t mean to.  It’s just that, well . . . if he only knew what happened to me during the weekend then he’d understand.  Thankfully, he couldn’t possibly know this and that’s good because I doubt he’d understand and he’d probably start throwing sticks at me to make ‘The Gay Go Away’.

Tuesday, Stevie was being extra cute, for some reason. He hung out with me at lunch, which was unusual. He had to brag a bit. He’d gotten ‘Snake-Bites’ on his bottom lip over the weekend and he still had red around his piercings. I asked him if it hurt and he told me it didn’t hurt too bad, which I totally didn’t believe. I asked what his mom thought about them and he said he takes them out before going home and then puts them back in when he goes to sleep because the piercing guy says he has to keep the studs in or the holes will heal up. It sure seems like it’s a lot of extra work being Emo. He asked if I wanted to try getting some and I def said N-O-W-A-Y. Stevie is cute and fun, but I’m now sure he’s a bit crazy up in his head too!

Speaking of crazy, I think Jimmy is heading for big trouble if he keeps ditching classes. He passed by me in the hall and I made an attempt to say ‘hey,’ but he tucked his head and practically DASHED around the corner toward the back exits to the game fields. I tracked him a bit to see if he’d be silly enough to go out on the fields because I knew the jocks would be out there smoking or . . . whatever they do under the bleachers. He didn’t go that way, but straight out the back gate and GONE! He does realize that the tattletale teachers report unreported absences like religiously, right? His folks are going to get a call about him ditching and, I know if I did that with my Dad, he’d be on my case forever about it. Jimmy just seems to be on ‘the hurt vector’ these days, like he’s borrowing trouble or just doesn’t give a flying fig. One thing I know for sure, I’m keeping my nose clean out of it this time. I always just make things worse for Jimmy.

So, Wednesday — oh boy here we go again! What is it about Jamie and these frigging dances and social things? More to the point, why does he even care if I go to these things or not? He asked me about going and, what’s worse, as oblivious as he is to everything, he forgot his posse was with him today and they didn’t look too pleased about him ‘fraternizing’ with the likes of me.

“DUDE! You gotta come to the Junior Prom!” He blurted at me. What in the actual HECK is a ‘Junior Prom?’ I’m not even a Junior yet so why would I get to go to that anyhow?

“Jamster? Dude? That’s not even a SOPHOMORE yet! Why are you inviting THAT for?” One of his posse chimed in. I’m a ‘that’ now. Gee thanks.

“Mark! Shut the fuck up! I’M talking here!” Jamie actually SNAPPED at this Mark asshole on my account? Ohhhhh this could be BAD! I started getting really nervous, but couldn’t go anywhere. Jamie defending a geek like me might start something with these jerks. They’ll feel like they’re losing control or whatever. Why the FUCK do I have to be living some kind of political soap opera? This is only High School for crap sake!

But, Mark did shut up and looked less angry and more totally shocked as did the rest of the group. They looked over at me like I’d grown wings and started to glow. All but Karl, who just looked like he wanted to twist my head off and take a dump down my neck. I think that had more to do with Chandler than me, though. Karl got plenty humiliated by that little episode, but, weird as it may seem, he’s kept a wide berth from me since then.

“Actually, Mark might have a point.” I tell Jamie and Mark is doubly-shocked that I’d actually agree with him.

“What point? The Junior Prom is for everybody, that’s why they do it! The Senior Prom is the only one that only Seniors can go to and that’s not until later.” Jamie explains. For a dumb blond he sure makes great arguments.

“Um, Ok. I’ll think about it.” I said, trying to sound like I was ‘cool’ about it, but, actually, it’d be the last thing I’d want to go do.

Just so I looked somewhat interested I asked when this stupid thing would be. “Next Friday. Starts around 6 PM and lasts ’til 10 PM. That’s always later for us, coz, we go out for burgers later.” Jamie answers.

“M’kay. Thanks for letting me know. Do I need a date?” I said this while faking a smile which made Jamie smile back charmingly which then made his posse snicker at me like I was standing there naked. I felt totally perved on today which is a very creepy feeling coming from guys that are, basically, predators!

“Looks like you already are the date, ‘Babe’.” One of the others said with a humiliating leer. It didn’t help that he was fucking adorable: Black hair and wearing aviator sunglasses over which he peeked at me with his brilliant green eyes. I must have blushed despite myself.

“Oh, SHUT THE FUCK UP, Les! Come on. See you laterz, Brandon. I’ll see if Marie can go.” Jamie waved at me as they moved away. I stood there feeling really awkward. Not just because I’d gotten dragged into another social function I’d hate or because I’d gotten perved on by the Devil’s Posse, but because I was left in the hall with everybody staring at me weird. What were they all thinking about me now?

I hate High School! Please let me out soon, God?

Thursday was soccer practice. I don’t really play play soccer, but it is one of my more favorite PE activities. It was, kind of, extra fun today because Stevie was there playing with me on the same team. Between my long leg kicks and his ‘speedy-get-under-things’ deal, we make a good offensive team for our pick-up group of misfits. It’s nice that PE during that period is filled, basically, with a bunch of losers, sports-wise, so that amateurs like Stevie and me can actually look good for a change. We chitchatted a bit, back and forth, while we were jogging around and getting into positions to goal. The subject of the Junior Prom came up and Stevie actually stopped short and looked genuinely stunned that I was going and, particularly, who asked me to go.

“WHO asked you?” He nearly shouted, which got weird looks from the other players.

“SHHHHH!” I hushed him up and then whispered ‘Jamie’ again. Stevie covered his mouth and looked like he was laughing.

“So, hehehehe, are you like his date or something? Wow, you really know how to shake that juicy tushie just right, Brandon.” I think Stevie would have giggled himself into unconsciousness if the ball hadn’t smacked him and knocked him over. Now it was my turn to laugh at him!

There was, though, something in the way he laughed, blushed, and gave me a lingering once over that made me wonder, again, if I’m right about Stevie. Emos are supposed to be largely Gay, particularly the male ones or at least that’s the talk on campus. Was he flirting with me today on the field? Possibly, time will tell.

Something else funny today, I felt a need to look back up at the school building after the game was finished. I swore I had felt that someone else had been watching me from one of the windows today. It was an odd feeling that made me feel kind of, um, sweet for a second. Like someone had reached out and touched me somehow. Very weird but nice too!

I’m hallucinating now. Dad, call the shrink. Now your son is ‘feeling’ invisible things.

So, Friday is supposed to be the ‘good’ day when everyone gets ready to live ‘for realz’ by being free to do just about what we want to do for a whole two days (family chores aside and such). Friday is the end of the school week and it should be a day free of troubles and miseries.


The test in this one class, the one I’d slaved over, was a disaster! English again! That bitch didn’t ask ONE single question that was remotely about anything we were supposed to be studying for her fucking final! It was a ‘creative writing’ test where we were to put all the ‘themes’ we’d learned this year into an essay WITH perfect punctuation, spelling, and grammar. Where were the multiple guess questions about stupid Shakespeare? Where were the sentence diagrams? What the hell did an ESSAY about, basically, nothing supposed to prove?

I don’t know how I did. When we found out what she wanted, the whole class felt like the air had been sucked out of the room. This seemed to delight Her Royal Bitchiness! Well, if I even pass this thing it will be a miracle. Sorry Dad, it’s impossible to get straight A’s when you’re dealing with one of the fucking WITCHES OF ENDOR! See? I DID learn something!

THEN, then . . . excuse me while I go scream into my pillow for a second.

There, that’s better . . .

Then, I’m starting a lovely conversation with Billy to make up for my stupidness on Monday. As per usual, he was being extra crispy cute like always (I like that phrase and I’m using it for Billy forever) and I was going to bring up the Junior Prom thing when SAM HAPPENS!

He just barged up and tells Billy, “I need to talk!” Like, HELLO-O! I’m not even here, I guess?

Billy, bless his cute little self, gets really annoyed with Mr. Asshole and tells him that they’ll talk when he’s finished with me. Though he looks annoyed, Billy, much to his credit, brushes Sam off nicely with an ‘I won’t be long’ sound to his voice. Very understanding-like. Billy is such a sweetheart! ~sigh~

I swear Sam almost snarled at me like an angry dog! The look on his face was like he wanted to bite me or something. What a FUCKTARD! I saw Billy was torn and I didn’t want to make things any more uncomfortable for him so I just said I’d talk to him later. I was very disappointed and it showed on my face, I’m sure, but it wasn’t Billy I was mad at. Sam almost had his ass handed to him today! It took some control not to let loose on the sonuvabitch! What a self-absorbed TWAT, as Cedrick calls him! That’s what Cedrick called Sam when I chatted with him today. If Billy wasn’t here I’d jump on a plane to England in a moment. People are nicer to me there by far! FUCK SAM!

Unfortunately, ‘Friday Funday’ didn’t end with Sam. It ended on a really creepy note, actually.

After school, when I was getting my bike unlocked, I heard this little ‘uh-hem’ sound behind me like someone was trying to get my attention. They had to do it twice with the second one a little louder to get me to turn around. I’m not used to people coming up to me when I’m about to leave for the day so it took a bit to wake me up.

So, I turned around and there was Jimmy LaPlane standing there looking smaller and more, um, ‘shriveled’ even than usual, if that even makes any sense. His eyes were downcast with his brown hair over his eyes and he held something in his hands like a small package.

“H-Hi, Brandon. H-hope I’m not, like, interrupting you or n-nothing.” He was almost impossible to hear because he was talking so low. So I came up closer so I could hear him better. This seemed to freak Jimmy out a little as he stared at me like he was scared and backed up away from me to keep his distance.

“Woah, buddy. I’m not gonna hurt you, I just wanted to hear you better. Could you talk up a bit?” I instinctively went into my ‘horse-whisperer’ voice like I was talking to a skittish colt or whatever.

“Um, ok.” Jimmy said, just barely a little louder. He stood there shifting his feet back and forth. I, sort of, bent down to check him out and caught his eyes. He looked SO sad! God, I wanted to cry just looking at him. Fortunately, most of the bruises from his run-in with Karl were gone. Jimmy heals fast, though I don’t know if his soul has healed nearly as well. His eyes were red-rimmed and sunken. I wanted to ask him if he needed the nurse, but no . . .

“Kay, I just, like, w-wanted to thank you for trying to help me in the gym that one time and getting me out of that gym class. It was really nice of you to stand up for me, like, um, that. You know?” Jimmy said this without once looking me in the eyes.

I don’t feel I helped him at all, but I accepted his thanks with a ‘no problem.’

“I, uh, wanted you to have this.” He reached out really quick and handed me a small package that looked like a CD in a wrapper.

“It’s just some songs I like. I see you and Stevie have made friends and, um, he’s like Emo and I like that too, so. It’s just something I wanted you to remember me by.” With that he did look up at me into my eyes and smiled suddenly like he was relieved. It was, um . . . a very beautiful smile!

“Thanks, but I won’t need anything to remember you by. I’ll just be seeing you again on Monday if you want to have lunch with me. Are you going somewhere?” I asked and I asked with worry in my voice. A worry I still have.

“Yeah, pretty soon now. I hope you enjoy the songs. They’re, like, some of my favorites.” Then, um, he grabbed me and hugged me and walked off with his hands in his pockets. I could tell he was crying because his shoulders were shaking.

That last thing today, with Jimmy. It left me feeling scared for some reason. I don’t know why. I feel like I should tell someone something, but what? The scared feeling felt worse a little bit ago before I started writing because, well, the first song on his list is called ‘Loveless’. The others aren’t much better in their names. I’m listening to the CD now. It’s really beautiful, but with each song . . .

. . . my fear for Jimmy grows!

This is Brandon Listening.

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