(I was going to wait to post this next week, but I decided why make you wait? Colin fans, here is Colin’s story, which I read aloud during the anniversary chat on Saturday! Linked below, archived video of the chat, as well as one that links just to me reading Colin’s story alone! -ctan)
Warning: Graphic Language (Colin just couldn’t be censored!)
by Cecilia Tan
One of the things that makes me feel like Daron and I relate to each other is how much we both hated high school.
When I was growing up there was no Internet and there were not a lot of punks or goths in American towns. You had one token death rocker in each high school in America, or at least that’s how it felt. And if you were that kid you were spat on and looked down on and treated like a borderline criminal wherever you went because my god why the hell would you do that to your hair unless there was something seriously wrong with you? And those tattoos, clearly you’re asking for trouble trying to look tough… is that it, are you trying to be a tough guy? Fact is, it makes you a tough guy. And fact is, if you get jumped by some testosterone-laden football captain in the locker room and you fight back and beat the shit out of him and make him cry like a fucking baby you’re going to get blamed for it because you like that violent music you must be a violent person, right?
Unless you make the football captain cry like a fucking baby AND humiliate him so badly he’ll never dare tell another soul what the fuck happened to him. He’ll invent a story about taking the train to Boston and getting jumped by two–no, three!–black dudes from a street gang.
I’m not a violent person. When I was a teenager I just wanted to be left the fuck alone.
Here’s the thing. People ask me, sometimes in reasonable tones of voice, why the hair, why the tattoos, why the safety pin through the nose? (Well, okay, the safety pin didn’t last that long and I replaced it with a better piercing later. But when I was fourteen, let me tell you, it was about as punk rock as you could get. But anyway…) People are asking me, why are you like this? Why would you choose to broadcast that you’re not like everyone else and in fact you’re broadcasting the fact that you want everyone to KNOW you’re not like everyone else. Why? Don’t you expect to get ostracized and beat up if that’s the attitude you show to the world?
I have something to tell those people, or at least I would tell them if I felt they could handle the truth. The truth is my mom was homeless for a little while when I was twelve. That meant for a little while I was homeless, too. For a little while I lived with a relative while my mom still lived on the street and we were in and out of shelters. Let me tell you, it was as hard as it sounds, but the story has a happy ending. She got her act together, got employed again, and was one of those people who put that behind them. I know not everyone does. The point is, though, at that time I was trying as hard as possible to blend in, to dress and act like the other kids, to be exactly like them, to be one of them.
Well, it didn’t work. Junior high was full of packs of vicious wolves who could–like, I don’t know–smell that you didn’t belong. They could tell that I was different. It wasn’t like they knew I was living in a car or that my mother was (briefly) in jail, they didn’t know any of that shit. But they knew I somehow didn’t belong.
And you know what? I didn’t belong. Fuck their suburban conformity and class privilege and all that. When I started dressing and looking punk all it meant was I finally started to look on the outside like I felt on the inside. That’s what goths and punks have in common–you know, besides nihilism–and is why some people are pretty much both. The punks tend to be angrier. The goths tend to be sadder. There’s no hard line between the two. I look like I feel, and industrial music sounds the way my worldview looks. Does that make sense?
Anyway, I survived high school thanks to fucking excellent math grades and the fact that at the end of my freshman year I had a growth spurt that led to people finally leaving me the fuck alone. (I know, I hinted about some football player and the locker room. Without that growth spurt, maybe he wins that fight.)
College was better. It wasn’t a great college but it was somewhere I finally met other people like me. Or, well, at least some other punks. And Marilyn.
Marilyn was my first not-girlfriend. The first woman who told me flat out she wanted me for a human dildo and to be a friend and that was it. That was a hugely refreshing concept to me because before that my experience of girls, whether goth/punk or no, was that what they wanted me most for was to be some kind of emotional punching bag or another. Soulmate who would make a suicide pact with them? Nope, you got the wrong guy. White knight who could rescue them from their fate? That wasn’t really my style, but I could give really good head.
The other funny thing about Marilyn, far as I knew at that time, was how much she liked anal sex. Somehow that made it easier not to see it as a boyfriend-girlfriend thing. It was more like a hobby or an indoor sport. Some people have a buddy they jog with or play squash with. We had sex instead. Marilyn, not surprisingly, was the first person I spanked, too. She’s also the person who convinced me to become a CPA. Unrelated.
Okay, where was I going with this? Right. Daron. I’ll get there, just hang on, I feel it’s important to get my thoughts in order before I do that.
Daron wasn’t my first, but it’s like I said to him, when it comes to bisexuality I barely qualify. How much of that was I got easily monopolized by the women around me and how much was that only certain guys really turned me on, I don’t know.
Okay, I’ll tell you about this one guy in particular. This was right after college, living in Boston, I was working at a tax prep place which meant a huge pile of work leading up to April 15th and then I could basically fuck off all summer until money started to get tight, and then it was time to start worrying. His punk name was Raze. He was part of the pit crowd in Harvard Square and we hit it off as friends and started going to a lot of shows together.
By winter my funds were getting low, and so were his. Everyone had troubles, none of us were trust-fund babies. At some point Raze got it into his head that he had to make more money, and he decided his best bet was to start hustling. He wasn’t the first person we knew in the punk scene to do it, either.
He told me this after we’d seen Gang Green at the Channel. It was below zero outside and like a sauna inside. I don’t remember much of that show except Chris Doherty screaming.
We got extremely sweaty and overheated, and then after the show we walked to Chinatown to get something to eat, which is like a half hour walk, and if either of us had been a little more flush we would have at least tried to flag down a cab. Not that cabs will always pick you up if you look like us. Most of the time they won’t. Didn’t matter, though. We were both almost broke but in Chinatown you could get a meal for four bucks easy in those days.
And while sitting in some place where the food was so cheap because you were pretty sure they were cutting corners on every health code regulation, eating greasy noodles with a plastic fork because he couldn’t figure out chopsticks, Raze said to me, “Will you help me with something?”
“You know how Blue started hustling, right?”
“He made four hundred bucks in one night last week.”
“Nice work if you can get it,” I joked.
“And Crash, you know, he does it, too.”
“Does he?” Crash didn’t talk about what he did for money. Crash had landed in Boston when his ship had pulled in and he went AWOL and turned to a life of punkery, basically.
“Yeah, he does. Gave me some advice.”
I began to see where this conversation was going–or so I thought. “Did Crash learn to take it up the ass in the Navy?” I joked.
“Coast Guard, and quit it with the comments, I’m trying to be serious here.”
“Sorry.” I decided to keep my mouth busy with food until he got to the point. Hot, greasy noodles are better than sex sometimes. I kept my eyes on him though. His eyeliner had turned to gray smudges and his green mohawk was down, a little sweat-crusted, making him look like a fancy parrot that got caught in a hurricane.
He cleared his throat. “So Crash gave me a bunch of advice on… doing it myself.”
That was where I had figured the conversation was headed. “All right.” I was wondering, though, if Crash gave him advice, what was he asking me about?
“So, you know, I’ve done my homework. Seems like the only reasonable way to start making some money quickly. My landlord is beyond pissed right now and winter, man, is not the time to be trying to live on the street. Or a shelter. The shelters are crammed, especially since the fucking Reagan cuts.” He made a disgusted face. “Blue’s roommate Josh has some fucking unbelievable horror stories to tell about that one downtown. Made it sound like jail would be better. Same amount of gang rape and sucking dick to get by, but at least jail’s cleaner.”
I was about to point out that if he was trying to avoid sucking dick, being a street hustler was not the right profession to be going into. But he’d said no more smart-ass comments. So I kept it to myself and made a grunt of general agreement.
“So, yeah, I want to start next weekend.” He cleared his throat. “I’m giving my last hundred in cash to my landlord to stave him off tomorrow.”
“Okay. Will that hold him for a week?”
“Yeah. Yeah. I’d start sooner but…” He had finished eating and let his eyes sidle off to a pair of girls a couple of tables over. They looked like they’d been at the same show as us, though I hadn’t noticed them at the time. “But…”
I wiped my mouth and waited for him to get up the nerve to say whatever he was afraid to.
He forced himself to look at his empty plate instead of at the girls. “I’ve never done it.”
“Done what? Oh.” The second I said it, I knew what he meant.
“Crash said for sure do not let the first guy to do me be a john! He was like, what if you freak out in the middle? What if you can’t actually go through with it? Then what? I’m like, hey, I give okay head, don’t I? He was like, not so good that a guy who paid for your ass is going to let you get away with that.”
“Wait, you’ve sucked Crash–?”
“Hey, not so loud!” He glanced at the girls, who were not glancing back.
Some street hustler you’re going to be if you can’t even talk about it, I thought. “Okay, so, what, Crash is offering to do you as a favor?”
“No. He said he’d do it for seventy-five bucks. But I might’ve mentioned I’m giving my last hundred to my landlord?”
“So I want to know if you’ll do it.”
It took me a second to realize he was propositioning me. “You want me to be your first?”
“Yeah.” I saw him swallow hard, like he was afraid. I guess he was afraid I’d say no?
“Okay, sure, but why me?”
He drew a long breath. “Cuz you actually turn me on,” he finally admitted. “And, you know, when we were crushed together against the stage tonight…” His pale skin turned bright scarlet. “It felt like…”
Like maybe he turned me on, too. At least a little. “I guess you felt that raging boner.”
Talking to him like that was getting me kind of excited, actually. “You think it’s a good idea to start with somebody as big as me?”
“Is it like freaky big?” His eyes were huge.
“Just big, or so I hear,” I said.
“Yeah, um, Crash says do it, and then heal up for a few days before I try again, which is why it’s going to take a week at least.” His blush went all the way down his neck.
“Sure, I’ll do it.”
“Tonight?” he squeaked.
That made me smile. “Why, you hard now?”
“Good. Let’s hit the restroom and then head to my place.”
“You go on. I’m too hard to piss.”
“I like it when you talk dirty like that,” I said, as I got up and walked past him.
When I came back from the bathroom he was talking to the two girls. He introduced me briefly and then we went to out into the cold again.
At my place I took him straight to the bedroom, which at the time was in a group house in Central Square. I had three housemates there. One MIT student, one recent graduate, and an artist who built furniture from industrial scraps.
Speaking of furniture, if there’s one advantage to your bed being a futon on the floor it’s that nothing creaks or squeaks when you fuck, unless there’s something wrong with your floor. We got naked quickly. I stroked him a little, because it turned me on that he was that turned on. Like iron. Raze was all muscle, too.
“Okay let me stretch your ass now,” I said.
“How you going to do that?”
“Have you never watched gay porno?” I was getting more and more amazed at how he seemed to know less and less about man-on-man sex the more we talked about it.
If his dick hadn’t been so hard I would have wondered why the fuck he was there. “Get on your knees,” I snapped. He knelt like a sub. I guess I went into dom mode without really thinking about it. “No, I meant your hands and knees. Show me that ass.”
Okay, that was better, like a good little doggie. He wagged his tail. I used lots of lube. Lots and lots of lube. And my fingers. Lots and lots of fingers. At some point it went from me getting him ready to him begging me to do it already.
So I did it. I rolled on a condom and did it. He came a little while later in a huge puddle right in the middle of my bed. I pushed him down in it, then, to finish off, and he said, “Are you gonna come?”
“Yeah, almost there,” I said. “It’s okay, I’m wearing a condom.”
“No! I mean, hey, could you take it off for this?”
“Raze, what the fuck.”
“I mean, I’ll always be safe with customers, you know, but this is special.”
“My jizz is not that special.”
“No, really, come on, Colin, it would mean a lot to me. You don’t have syphilis or herpes or anything do you?”
“No. I got checked out. I’m clean.”
“You promise me you’ll always use a condom with your customers?”
“You know they figured that virus out, right? This whole condom thing isn’t a joke.”
“I know, I know. Come on, Colin, please. That’ll be what’s different about this. I promise.”
I still thought it was weird, but it was hardly the first time that night I thought maybe Raze was from a different planet. “You’re sure.”
“You want me to beg? Is that it?”
“Yeah, actually, that’s a great idea. Beg.” I slapped him on the ass for good measure.
“Ow! Oh fuck, Colin, I really really want your come dripping out of my hole.”
The talking dirty thing, especially from such a newbie like him, really worked for me. He got out maybe one more sentence of dirty talk and I started to come without warning. I pulled out, ripped the condom off and jammed myself back into him while I was still spasming.
Good enough, I guess. He passed out after murmuring a few blissful thank-yous. He was in the middle of the bed with half his legs on the floor. I threw a blanket over him and then after wrapping myself up in the comforter, jammed myself against the wall lined with pillows on the half of the futon where he didn’t quite reach.
Yeah, so that was Raze. I swear there was a point I was going to make about Daron in there. Dammit. Oh, but the funniest thing after that was that Raze didn’t start hustling after all. The next day he got a call from one of those girls, who I guess he had given his phone number to, and they went out, and the next thing you know she asked him to move in with her. Her name was Juliet. So he dodged the whole selling his ass on the street thing. Which is a good thing because I don’t believe for a second he would have stayed safe. He wasn’t as tough as Crash or a smart as Blue. And he definitely had some sexual hangups he wasn’t great at figuring out or discussing.
We fucked a couple more times after that, here and there. Twice as part of a threesome with Juliet, and a small handful just him. They moved to DC to open a piercing studio and I never saw him again.
Dammit, there was a point to this story. Oh, right, well, one thing was that oddly enough, that one time with Raze was enough to flip out my roommates. They’d had no problem at all with me bringing girls home from shows. They hadn’t even batted an eye when I spanked them or had really noisy SM with screams and everything. But a guy? That was apparently the beginning of the end. All kinds of weird passive-aggression started at that point. I was really not interested in putting up with that. By February 1st I confronted them all in a house meeting, and made them lay it out on the table. Yeah, they were afraid they were going to catch gay cooties through the air, as if HIV were some kind of bogeyman that could go through the walls. You’d think MIT guys would be a little more scientific than that. Whatever. People are full of hate and fear. That’s what 90% of punk songs are about. I could appreciate that. I said if they really wanted me out, I’d be happy to leave as soon as they found someone to take the room. They were like, no, get out now, we’ll cover the rent until we find someone, just go.
Wow. That actually kinda hurt. I’d considered them friendly if not outright friends before. This was really staring hate in the face.
I called up Marilyn and cried to her about it. She’s the one who hooked me up with Christian and the guys in the Allston house. I went over there to see if they liked me enough to let me move in and the result was that day Lars and Marilyn and I started a band despite me having only rudimentary musical skills. That’s punk rock for you.
Daron moved in a year or two later.
Okay, this is the actual end of the story. This is the part where I try to explain how all that leads up to me understanding my crush on him. But you know what? I think maybe that’s what made it a crush. I couldn’t explain it. I apparently still can’t. Fortunately no one asked for an explanation. All Daron asked for was loyalty. He didn’t put it in so many words, but when he asked me to go on tour so I could earn the money to pay my rent, I think what he was really asking was “don’t make me find someone I don’t know.” I didn’t. The crush only intensified on the road. That was fine, you know? A crush is a kind of loyalty, a kind of devotion. A kind of happy, joyful devotion. I got to do a lot for him on the tour. A lot. You know. Not just guitar things. All kinds of things.
Okay, maybe I kind of explained the crush after all.
For those who missed the online chat celebration last Saturday, it appears to me the first hour didn’t record properly, but the second hour, which includes me reading the chapter “Tower of Strength” and Colin’s story, did come through, so watch that to see both those things along with cameo appearances by one of my cats, or check the two highlights below, one just of Colin’s story, one of “Tower of Strength.” Thanks everyone who watched and participated!