Cain came into the lounge and sat down in a miserable slump. “I hate to ask you guys this, but… But I don’t know what else to do.”
“Ask us what,” Ziggy demanded.
“Can I ride with you guys? I’m just… I…” He shut his eyes and let his head fall back. “I don’t feel safe.”
Ziggy and I looked at each other again, making questioning eyes at each other.
Ziggy was better at being blunt than I was. “Are you gay?”
“Doesn’t matter if I am,” Cain said. “It’s that they think I am.”
“Ahhh, fuck,” I said. “And it doesn’t matter if any of us are or not, either. They’ll bash us just the same.”
Cain nodded, looking pained. “I should… I should tell you one other thing, though. Because I want to say I’m sorry.”
“I’m the one who painted the word on the bus. They… they made me do it. You know. to prove I wasn’t one.” His head dropped forward again, hiding his face in a bottle-black curtain.
“But let me guess,” Ziggy said. “That wasn’t enough.”
“It’s never enough,” Cain said. “And it’s just getting worse.”
“So you think the pyro accident was no accident?” Ziggy pressed.
“I don’t know what to think about that.” Cain rubbed his eyes. “I didn’t hear them talking about it or anything. When the gerbs went off during our set I nearly peed myself. I don’t know if I was the only one they didn’t bother to tell or what. I’m never that close to the front anyway so maybe it didn’t matter.”
“So fucking stupid,” I said.
And then someone else was knocking. It was a cop, with Carynne. He told us he just needed to take some statements from us. We did it one at a time in the back of the bus–Cain, too. When the officer was done he thanked us and left.
Carynne stayed. I introduced her to Cain. “He wants to move in with us,” I said. “Go on and tell her what you told us.”
By then I was really wiped out and wanting to sleep. I only half-listened to what he said, but it was pretty much the same.
“You’ve got a lot of balls confessing that and also asking for shelter,” she said, scratching her head a little. “If it’s okay with Daron and Ziggy just let me check the others before we make any final decision.”
At that point, I crawled into my bunk and fell asleep. I woke up a while later and we were on the road.
(Remember, if you have questions to ask ctan to be answered in the next Liner Note, about writing, about DGC, about Boston, about whatever, email them to ctan.writer @ gmail, or leave them in a comment on the previous note.)