Based on Daron’s Guitar Chronicles, Chapter 38 “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight” by Cecilia Tan
He stood staring into his closet as if it held the secrets to the universe. Would choosing the right outfit really make a difference to what he had planned? He glanced over his shoulder at his bedroom. He had a comfortable bed, currently occupied by his big furry dog. Various hair and skin products littered the dresser. A small jewelry tray sat on top of the chest, filled with a combination of necklaces, earrings, bracelets and watches. Hats and shoes were liberally strewn around the room. Everything seemed so normal.
He knew if he went through with his plans nothing would ever seem normal like this again. If he was going to do this he was going to have to learn a new normal, but he’d been adapting to what life threw at him for a long time. Boosting his flagging confidence seemed important, so with that thought he picked a pair of jeans and a sweater that matched his eyes. He pulled the jeans up over his underwear and pulled a tee shirt on. Next came the button front sweater. No jewelry tonight, other than the earrings that he was already wearing. Shoving his feet into a pair of blue mock combat boots that coordinated with the sweater, he grabbed a hat and a leather jacket and headed out the door.
“Where are you going?” his mom called from the kitchen.
“Out for a while, I’ll call if I’m going to be really late.” he answered as he pulled open the front door and left their small neat house on its tree lined street. Without looking back he slid behind the wheel of his car. The car wasn’t anything fancy. His grandmother had given him the one she’d been driving for as long as he could remember. She said he’d get good use out of it, and the dealer wouldn’t offer much as a trade in. She was right on both counts. The car came in handy to get back and forth to school, and to the various sporting events he participated in. Recently he’d had to drop several of those. Participating in sports was expensive. Money was tight and some things had to be given up, he understood that. Briefly tears filled his blue eyes, not from the thought of what he’d been forced to give up, or even what he was planning to do next, but because he missed his father. His dad’s recent passing was still too fresh and came back to knot up his stomach at the oddest moments.
As he drove he listened to the radio and sang along. That almost always lifted his spirits. During his dad’s illness he’d often sat in the room to keep him company and they’d sometimes listen to music together. Sometimes singing together, sometimes not. His dad used to tell him he had a good voice, but he thought his dad was probably listening with “dad ears” or maybe the drugs his dad was prescribed just filtered out the bad. As he neared his destination, he turned the radio off.
The music no longer soothing; scraping nerves that were beginning to feel raw. He could feel his anxiety level building, but he had set his course and he planned to stick to it. He parked a block down and a block over from his destination. One last look in the lighted visor mirror to run his fingers through his highlighted hair and adjust his hat at a jaunty angle. He ran a hand across his smooth chin, no stubble. He locked up his car, sliding his keys into the inside pocket of his leather jacket. He probably should leave the jacket in the car, but then he’d be cold and would have to put his keys in the pocket of his jeans. Shrugging, he started walking over to Washington to see if he had the balls to go through with his plan.
He leaned back against the brick building, glad for the layer of leather between him and the cold. He watched as a guy stood up from a bench across the street and started walking toward him. Shit. He felt his gut clench and his hands start to shake. Sweat popped up on his lower back. For a second he regretted wearing a tee shirt, sweater and leather jacket. He reached instinctively for the cigarettes in his coat pocket and pulled one out.
“You’re just a kid”, the guy said.
“Yeah, so are you”.
He started to light his cigarette, but before he could get the lighter to the tip the guy said, “Don’t light that. Tell me what you’re worth.”
His tendency for smart ass answers delayed his response as he ran through a list of potential snarky comebacks, but for once his brain overrode his mouth and he managed to say, “Depends on what you want.”
Shit, he thought. I really have no fucking idea what I’m doing. Part of him was just so relieved that the guy in front of him was young and cute instead of big and nasty that his mind was having trouble keeping up. He had planned to turn down anyone that was too disgusting, but he hadn’t really thought he’d get cruised by someone he would have actually hit on in a bar. Maybe his luck really was turning around. He thought it might be when a stranger had approached him on campus last week and offered him a job saying, “I like your looks and attitude. You’d make a good model.”
“I want to take you into the bushes in the park and fuck you until I can’t stand up.”
What? Ohjeezus. This was it. He laughed a little as he realized how absurd this situation was. He also maybe wanted to cry a little because there would be no going back after this.
He mumbled something and then started a nervous babble. “I’m trying to work my way through school.” He might have said more, he tended to talk when anxiety got the best of him. Before he could say anything else, like where he was going to school or what his major was, the dude in front of him offered him seventy five dollars. Since he wasn’t really there just for the money, he nodded then remembered to hold up the condom and lube. After a return nod he followed the guy who was just a couple inches shorter than him into the hedges. He’d planned to offer the use of his backseat but he was so nervous he forgot to even mention it.
This was not his first time with a guy. He had been with more girls than boys, but lately had preferred the boys. This would be the first time he had sex with someone he didn’t know. When he first conceived this idea it had seemed so logical. Go cruise the block and see if he could have sex with a total stranger without flipping the fuck out. He needed to know he could do that. He guessed this was the moment of truth. He turned his back on the cute guy (brief “Thank you God for a cute guy” in his head) and pulled open the fly on his jeans. He’d worn some that were not too tight making it easier to push them down to his ankles. With his ass now bare he remembered to pass the condom and lube over his shoulder. Deep breath, relax, push back…he heard his own voice in his head as he bent over.
Pain, anxiety and numbness fought over the position for primary reaction. He realized he was biting the meat of his thumb to keep from crying out. He was anchored in place by strong hands and for a second he thought that might be all that was keeping him from floating away. He realized numbness was winning as a sense of being detached from his body began to set in. Then it was over.
He ran back to his car as fast as he could, never looking back. After he unlocked the car, he yanked the door open diving in head first then slamming it behind him. Hitting the door lock, he fumbled for his keys and felt the wad of cash in his pocket. He could feel a little hysterical laughter bubbling up. He’d done it! He could do it! Tomorrow when he kept his appointment to do his first test shoot he wouldn’t need to worry that he might freak out and mess it all up. If being an “adult entertainer/model” was how he was going to pay his tuition he’d damn sure be a good one.
Starting tomorrow he was going to be a porn star.
I really liked this. I remember wondering about his side of the story when I read that chapter.
Thank you! I just feel like he is trying to tell his story…
Great job. Like Amber, I remember wondering what the kid’s story was. When Daron said he was gone before he got his pants zipped, I kind of wondered if he was hurt or just totally freaked out or something else entirely. There was a lot of self-loathing on Daron’s part in that chapter. Wonder how this side of the story would make Daron feel, if he would feel any better about what he’d done, or possibly even worse.
Thank you for reading it and commenting! I hope Daron would feel better…I don’t think he could have felt much worse!
Normally I would agree with this, but this is Daron we are talking about. He’s the master of hating himself over things he shouldn’t hate himself for, and at making things seem worse than they really are. Remember when he automatically jumped to the conclusion that Ziggy’s song was about wanting to break up with him? That thought never actually entered my mind until he said it, and I was like, “WHAT???” He was in a bad place, no doubt, but I think we’ve seen him much worse than that.
When I read this chapter originally I was heartbroken for Daron. However, I kept thinking about the boy. I just feel like he has a lot to say. Thank you for reading and your comments! I really appreciate it!!