<%@ Language=VBScript %> Keepgoing.org - Winter 2001 - Male Bag
The Farm

Male Bag

By Tina Dunlap

This issue I'm deviating from the regular format of this column, which is devoted to love letters, hate mail, and other correspondence from guys that I've saved over the years. This guy never wrote me anything, but he did draw me a picture. And I wrote something about the night he drew me this picture. And it's vaguely related to toys. Or maybe not so vaguely, if you consider a toy as something that can be toyed with -- as Webster defines it, something that can be "dealt with lightly or without vigor or purpose." Male Bag

Babysitting for your little brother at your parents' house in the suburbs

He rolls his eyes when he sees me at the door. Four years old with an attitude.
I'm wondering if he gets that from you when he invites me up to his bedroom
(to show me his toys) and I know you taught him that trick. And later when
he tells me to close my eyes, wraps masking tape around my head and

snaps the handcuffs on my wrists, we can't stop laughing. I keep saying,
this must be illegal, and you make some crack about my corruptive influence

on innocent youth. I remind you that I'm a year older than you
and that I told him we're drinking apple juice, not your dad's beer.

He studies your tattooed hand as you sketch me with broken Crayolas, frowns,
and says, make it pretty. I half-smile, noticing that both of you have

the same brown eyes. He gives me a cigar box full of plastic army men but
I don't know how to play so we watch Alice in Wonderland. He falls asleep

right before she meets the pipe-smoking caterpillar on top of the mushroom,
and you carry him upstairs with an unfamiliar tenderness. After you tuck him in

we go to the basement to raid his toybox for something to smoke the pot with.
I find a kazoo and a soap bubble pipe, but you start to feel guilty so we

pillage your dad's workbench instead, settling for a bathroom sink fixture
left over from some home improvement project gone wrong. We get high

in the backyard, lying in the damp grass between your mom's vegetable garden
and the tool shed, staring up into the moonless sky for a long time, until I

break the silence with an explosion of giddy laughter and shout,
this is so fucking suburban.

You ask if we should grill some brats on the Weber. I tell you I want to
play lawn darts. Jarts, you correct me, they're called jarts. I ask

if you'll rock with me on the porch swing and watch the weeds grow.
You say you want a popsicle, grape, and push your tongue inside my mouth.

We pull the patio screen door off track on the way inside and accidentally
let in a couple of moths. You ask if MTV's okay and turn it up loud. We

fuck on the family room floor like teenagers while the moths flutter
nervously in the glare of the TV. Three videos later it's over, and you ask

if I still want a popsicle. I say sure, and we streak across the linoleum
kitchen floor and stand naked in front of the freezer trying to find

a grape one. You think you've got the last one but after we sit on the sticky
plastic-covered sofa, you open it and it's root beer. You look so heartbroken

that I swap it for my cherry. You grin wickedly as I deep-throat my popsicle
and poke at your nipple ring, until you get too cold and pull the green afghan

over our heads. You ask me to spend the night, even though you know
I don't like to. We clean house for your parents' return tomorrow at two,

picking up Matchbox cars, half-empty beer bottles, Legos, underwear,
a remote-control fire truck, and a condom wrapper. We tiptoe upstairs and

crawl into your twin-size bed. Before you pass out you mumble something about how
everybody needs a good fuck once in a while, even you. I swallow dryly and say

nothing. I don't notice the mauve draperies and lacy tablecloths until
the next morning, and then I remember that your room is now the guest room.

I wonder if I'm the first guest, and how we can sleep all night
next to each other in such a narrow bed without touching.

I disentangle my body from the sheets, put my clothes on inside-out, and
sneak past your brother's room out the front door. I think about the time

two summers ago when we took him with us to Denny's for a 2 a.m.
caffeine fix and the old couple in the next booth thought he was ours.

You call it an extension of our friendship.
I call it something to do on a Saturday night in suburbia.

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Copyrightę2001 by Tina Dunlap.

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