Rewriting Singularity Ch. 02

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Ballbusting

It was Sunday afternoon. Three days, and I had nothing. Nothing. Nada. Nil. Zero. Zilch. White screen on Word. Asterisks rained on my page while childhood melodies flooded my head:

Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing– nothing, nothing all day long.

Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, how do you like my nothing song?

I managed to type my thoughts, my desires, but not a single one-liner, not one idea for a running gag. All I had was the premise I started with. Shit, I couldn’t even come up with a treatment let alone a story arc.

I tapped out more brain garbage… Heath looks hot today in his khakis. I procrastinated… Oh look, there’s a pixel missing in the upper right-hand corner of my monitor. I obsessed… Is that a nose hair sticking out? I crumbled… The sky is falling! The sky is falling! It hit me on the head!

I’d never experienced writer’s block before so I blamed Austin. I blamed him for all the world’s problems. Hunger, the war in the Middle East, inflation, and while I’m at it, global warming.

Yesterday when I sat typing the finishing touches on my five-question breakup test (that I knew would be perfect for Cosmo magazine), Hec, a.k.a. Mr. Grumbles, appeared in back of me, looked over my shoulder at my laptop and said, “I write, too.”

I jumped. How does he do that? Appear out of nowhere?

And…

He writes? What? Advertising jingles? His name in the snow? Letters to Santa? I wonder if he gets writer’s block? Probably not.

Dear Santa,

What I really, really want for Christmas is a life-size doll. Please send me the five-foot-two beauty called “Silicone Satisfaction” that I read about at the back of the November issue of Playboy.

I’m sad to say that your last year’s gift, the vinyl inflatable model, and the previous year’s, Pocket Pussy, are no longer usable. I fear I need a woman more “durable.”

Please send me the model with the detachable features, as this will also come in handy for fast and easy storage.

Thank you, Santa.

Yours truly,

Hector

Yes, that’s probably what Mr. Grumbles would like. On second thought, being the strong silent type, he probably has plenty of living dolls after him and doesn’t need to resort to rubber rendezvous. And if by chance, and I’m just saying if here, he did swing the other way, I wouldn’t kick him out of bed for eating Triskets– I might even let him bring his dolly.

God, I had to stop this! Fantastic Voyage please end now. Must work on sitcom.

Since I walked into this place, I haven’t been able to write. Blame it on Austin. Blame it on Hec. Blame it on Chicken Little. Blame it on the plumbing.

Yeah, the plumbing. It sings. I thought Pete was nerve-racking with his tweet, tweet, tweeting but no, no, no-o-o! The plumbing here is far worse. It starts at 1 a.m. with a single pipe humming bağdatcaddesi escort a simple tune. Three bars. Five notes.

The ensemble starts at 3 a.m. with other pipes joining in. By 5 a.m. it’s a complete concerto, banging and hissing and clanging. I get no sleep until six in the morning, a meager half hour, then– it’s a reprise.

I told Hec. Called number three– woke him up. Then it stopped. Stopped! I repeated the process over the next few nights, but every time the same thing. It stopped when I woke Hector up!

I seriously considered going to a different bed and breakfast, but I liked the view from my room. And then there was the off chance that Hec would actually come up to the room in the middle of the night to investigate the noise, and he’d see how utterly irresistible I am, and…

Stop!

One-track mind is on the Hector Express, chuggin down the railway. I need to get off. I mean, get off as in step onto the platform, not…

Stop obsessing.

Bang, clang again. No wonder they don’t have many people here– and not just because of the plumbing, because, yes, this place was strange. Odd– like Other Limits odd. Like Twilight Zone strange. Like the tense pauses in Rod Serling’s voice:

It is the middle ground between light and shadow– between science and superstition– and it lies between the pit of a man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area we call– the Twilight Zone.

I am in the zone.

Weird shit kept happening. Things appeared in my room. Christmas stockings on the mantle. Candy canes on my pillow. Jack Daniels on my dresser. I think the Lodges are invading my room.

At first I thought my imagination was getting the best of me, but cookies and milk just don’t keep appearing on a plate next to your bed by magic.

The place could be haunted– but a hostess ghostess with the mostess? I’ve never heard of hospitable spirits.

What I wanted to know was how they were doing it. Maybe Hec and Kate had superhuman abilities. They’re so fast. Like the Flash and Wonder Woman.

And another thing I just noticed twenty minutes ago– the mantle– the carvings on it are pornographic.

“I see naked people…”

…or parts of naked people. Specifically penises. With mouths. Open.

Fellatio all over the place.

So I checked out the door. Same carvings. How did I miss this before? I stepped out into the hall. Yep. Carved rosettes my ass, them are lips! And damned if there aren’t phalluses aplenty all standing straight up in a row. A gay man’s dream.

That morning I was on my hands and knees on the stairwell landing, inspecting the craftsmanship when the hairs stood up on the back of my neck.

He was there behind me. Staring down. Smirking.

Hector. Mr. Grumbles.

Visions beykoz escort of him danced through my head (in various positions). Mr. Grumbles candy bars Rich milky chocolate. Yummy center.

My God! It was porn and chocolate!

And I had a raging hard-on. His knee touched my back, turning it to scorched earth.

He was still smirking.

“You’ve gotta quit doing that,” I turned my head and said.

“What?”

“Sneaking up on me.”

I glanced up, then down again; my finger unconsciously traced the head of the– penis… I mean… carving.

I jerked my finger off because he’d given me a look like I’d defiled his sister or something.

“Most people don’t notice,” he said to me.

Most people? What did that mean? Since I’d noticed and that made me, what? Perverted?

“It’s not obvious,” he added.

No shit. Or I never would have commented on the “intricate beauty of the woodworking” that first day and looked like one of those idiots who goes to the Louvre museum and thinks a bench is a work of art. I understood why they both smirked and laughed at me that day– making fun of my ignorance, were you?

My face got hot as he watched me. I decided to make conversation…you know… lighten the mood.

“So you told me you write– what do you write?”

He hesitated, then said, “Novels.”

Oh, so he was one of those serious writers– the ones who turn their noses up at people who write sitcoms. He was a real writer. Yeah, I just pretended to be a writer.

“Published?” I asked. I figured I was one up on him there. I’d never heard of a Hector Lodge, author extraordinaire.

“Yes.”

“What books?” I asked, doubtfully.

“Um, not under my name. A pseudonym.”

“What’s the name?” I asked. He was squirming. I almost felt guilty– almost.

“Rather not say.”

“Come on. I’ll admit I write mostly spec scripts if you tell me who was that masked man.”

“Spec scripts?”

“Episodes for existing sitcoms.” I straightened up, looking him right in the eyes. My, they were attractive. “You can blame me for introducing the big ‘schmooze’ gag on Life of the Party.”

“Afraid I’ve never watched that show.”

“Yeah, not surprising– it just got canceled.” I leaned against the obscene railing. “So give– what’s your pseudonym, Kemo Sabe?”

“Ya have to promise not to tell anyone.”

“Ok, cross my heart, hope to die, ‘Hi-yo Silver, away!’ Now give–“

“Charlotte Rey.”

Holy shit?! The Charlotte Rey? The romance writer? “You’re kidding–” I choked back a laugh.

“Knew I shouldn’t have told you…”

“No. I’m sorry. I just never thought of you as mistress of adverbs, the queen of the ‘throbbing member,’ the eminence of the ‘heaving breast,’ the–“

“You can stop–“

“Sorry–“

“It pays the bills.”

“More caddebostan escort than pays for them by the look of this place.” Then it struck me. “I guess that explains the unique woodworking…”

“Moment I saw it, I had to buy the place.”

I laughed. “You know, I once got a dishonorable mention in the Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest.”

“So did I! What year?”

“2001,” I said.

“1999 for me.”

“I still think I should have won.”

“Me too.”

I entered the competition as a joke; a few friends showed me the contest. In the end, the “Dark and stormy night” bad fiction contest was too much fun to pass up. I was actually disappointed when I didn’t win.

“I got some beer. You want one?”

“Sure.”

“You really like that Mogen David shit?” he asked, as we started down the stairs.

“It’s ok, but not as good as beer.”

We went down the stairs, discussing the wide variety of flavors that Mad Dog offers. Went and sat in the smoking room, and I shot the shit with him instead of writing. I started to like him inside. He spoke; I listened. I spoke; he listened. He drank Miller beer, but I didn’t hold that against him. My tongue loosened, and I confessed to him why I was here– I told him all about Austin fuck-me-over-the-kitchen-sink-sideways Nicholas. Well, not all about Austin literally fucking me over the kitchen sink. Hec read between the lines though– after all, he was a writer even if it was of the Harlequin Romance variety.

“When did you first think you were, you know, different?” he asked.

“You mean gay– when did I first think I might be gay?”

“Yeah, gay.”

“Well, part of me always knew I was different. Gay, well, I didn’t obsess on girls and their breasts like my friends, but I never thought much about it. I mean, I thought maybe it’d happen for me sometime– like I’d wake up with a huge boner dreaming on some girl? Never happened… Guess it was eighth grade, the day my best friend, Sam, said, ‘hey, I got some of my brother’s girly magazines,’ and he asked me if I wanted to go beat off with him while we ogled the pictures. I went along with him, snuck up to his bedroom, and Sam locked the door. He got them out, flipped through the pages. Problem was I didn’t get off looking at the pictures– I got off watching Sam. Next night I had that wet dream, except the object of my boner wasn’t a buxom blonde, it was my best friend, Sam.”

Heath nodded and took another swig of beer.

“Women never did it for me” I said. “I tried to get into them, believe me. I kept it to myself in high school. After I got out of Roaring Spring, Pennsylvania, I went off to college. It helped that I had this uncle who was out.”

We sat quiet after that. I tapped my foot, waiting. I was expecting him to make a grand confession– or maybe hoping he would. He sat tight-lipped, thinking.

Then he turned on TV, and we watched the Packers, which is good because I love the Packers.

Another thing we had in common.

After a few hours, I stumbled back upstairs and sat down to write.

Still nothing.

I went to bed wondering about Hec.

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