The Rainbow Coalition
On his new red BMX, Freddie rode wheelies down the road
and swooped in front of my battered Schwinn whenever he
spotted me. “Whose bike do you like better, retard?” “I like
yours, Freddie.” “Mine? Why?” “It’s big and looks very
nice.” “Wanna touch it?” “No, that’s okay.” He laughed.
Bike was local slang for penis, I learned a few years later.
Jack tied me to a tree after St. Benedict CCD, all stale sweat
and orange hair falling into his face. He wrapped me in his
clothesline, knotting the cords. He called me St. Sebastian
and brought the lawn darts out of his garage. One-two-three,
a shaft flew between my legs, into the oak with a sharp bite.
He would have stuck me good if his mom hadn’t seen.
Alone at recess in winter, I sat and read fantasy novels, until
Mike C. would come and snatch my book away, tipping me
over, facedown into the yellow snow. I felt his weight at my
back, wrestling me, mounting me, writhing about for a grip,
for better purchase on the slippery ski pants. Or at other times,
he pulled them straight down, filling the back with ice crystals.
Jimmy, he of the mean, green eyes, dropped his hot dog on
the ground at lunch at camp. I smirked and he saw me. Here
he came, knowing he was faster and stronger, that he could
catch me, then do what he wanted. Here he was, holding me
down, hot dog clenched in a fist and dripping warm mayo.
“Eat my dirty weiner!” he panted as it hit the back of my throat.
Always around when bullying occurred, laughing, pointing
with chubby fingers, offering helpful suggestions on how
best to squeeze out more tears, Mike M. was the henchman
nonpareil. When they found him hanging in the garage, his
face was blue. His parents had found out what he did with
the smaller boys, neighborhood boys even younger than I.
Indigo bruises would flock to my buttocks after Kurt whipped
me with a smooth, thick stick. I don’t know where he found
it, but out it would come from his pants, having been nestled
down one pantleg, and hit me. Sometimes, I saw it coming;
sometimes, it came a surprise. I spent most of that school year
feeling blood pool in lines in the back of my underwear.
Mark’s rage and purple shoulder acne came from the steroids
he poked into his ass. He hated me with passion and fidelity,
holding me close in his arms, pressing my lips to his pustules
until I licked creamy discharges off their tips. People thought
we must be very good friends because we were always
together, the gymrat and the wimp, gross unlikely partners.
No brides for seven predatory brothers, just me. These are
the guys who made me the man I am today, who broadened
my horizons with a spectrum of experiences, opening my eyes
to the wonder of future failed marriages and midmorning
bottles. I see them when I look to the sky, when rain thickens
air that would otherwise stay wasted on sunlight alone.
All Lyda Wants
All Lyda wants is a loving heart, someone to accept her and her two daughters.
All Lyda wants is fidelity and commitment, two loyal souls united as one.
All Lyda wants is for one of his body parts to be as beautiful as her eyes.
All Lyda wants is the ability to hold an intelligent conversation on a variety of topics, both trivial and profound.
All Lyda wants is a well-evolved sense of humor that verges on the mildly scandalous but remains ultimately respectful.
All Lyda wants is a pretty face.
All Lyda wants is a pair of kind hands attached to nice arms and broad shoulders.
All Lyda wants are washboard abs, unhairy nipples, and a fetching collarbone dimple.
All Lyda wants is to have her mind blown in a completely brand-new way every time they have sex.
All Lyda wants is a fantastic dresser, fashion-forward, classic, and trendy at once.
All Lyda wants is unbounded compassion for the downtrodden, for the maltreated, for the way her anxiety disorder provokes insecurity and caustic comments.
All Lyda wants is a six-figure income and a generous spirit; she’s had enough of unpaid loans and Dutch-treat dates.
All Lyda wants is someone to counterbalance the weight of her self-regard.
All Lyda wants is a smack-talking gigolo who’s good to his mother and hers.
All Lyda wants is a man who never gets lost, despite her penchant for giving deliberately bad directions.
All Lyda wants is a ten-inch cock wrapped in bacon, covered in mustard and onions, and served on a poppy-seed bun.
All Lyda wants is the man who long ago moved beyond becoming the man her father could only ever hope to become.
All Lyda wants is a reason to run.