Is That What You’re Wearing?
The humid summer weather came back to campus at the end of the month. Temperatures were in the low 80s by noon. Ben walked out of Spanish class and was trying to tie his jacket around his waist with little luck when he spotted Jeremy, in his Lycra shorts, sitting on the wall by the Fine Arts Center reflecting pool (empty as always due to leaks).
“Well hey,” Ben said. “Are you heading to the gym?”
Jeremy gave him a puzzled look. “No, why?”
Jeremy, Ben had learned, took things seriously and didn’t get sarcasm. But then, you’d need to be serious with Arturo as a boyfriend. Ben had learned that Arturo wasn’t just being friendly when he’d seek out the new kid in the room. There was an inappropriate hand on the ass, or brush against the crotch, usually followed by a “just kidding.” But Arturo wasn’t always kidding. Apparently that monogamy didn’t exclude groping green undergrads, but Jeremy never acknowledged if he saw anything.
Jeremy kept his distance from most of the other guys his age. Ben had yet to see him acknowledge either Richard or Tobe.
“So where are you off to?” Jeremy asked him.
“To the fabulous dining hall,” Ben said. Stop with the adjectives, you sound like an idiot. “Are you on the meal plan?”
“I am, but I ate. I’ve got to study for a chemistry test.”
“Hard sciences, ugh,” Ben said.
Jeremy didn’t react. “Are you going to the party Saturday?” he asked.
“No where? Here on campus?”
“No, in Hampstead at Josh and Sharon’s. Have you met either one?”
“I’m not sure; I’ve been introduced to so many people so far…”
“Josh has a ponytail, he’s Richard’s boyfriend?”
“I don’t know Richard all that well.”
is short, shaved head,” Jeremy continued. “About two hundred pounds …” Sharon
Ben had definitely seen her in the UGLBA office. She’d struck Ben as being unfriendly and moody.
“What time does it start?”
“No idea. I figure Arturo and I will get there at about nine or so, but call me and I’ll give you directions. I’d go with you, but Arturo and I are going to see La Femme Nikita beforehand. Hold out your hand …”
Ben stuck out his hand, palm up. Jeremy turned it over. “You won’t sweat it off on this side,” he said, taking out a pen. He wrote his number down. It occurred to Ben too late that he could have just used a piece of notebook paper, but it was nice to have Jeremy holding his arm. The pen tickled.
“I’ll write it down as soon as I get back to the dorm,” Ben said. “Thanks.”
“You should go. A lot of us will be there, and it’s easy to get to.”
“But the buses?” Ben asked. The idea of going to a party alone made him uneasy.
“What about the buses?” Jeremy asked.
“I can barely afford a can of soda at the snack store, how much does it cost?”
“You are new. Dummy, during the school year, all the buses are free,” Jeremy started walking backwards, still talking. “Call me tonight.”
Ben nodded. He looked down at the number on his hand. Jeremy had nice handwriting.
Sex and the Single Undergrad
“I think I ought to be paid extra just to put up with Sabra leering at my tits the entire time,” Julia said.
“You don’t have tits,” Maria said.
“That’s what makes it extra annoying.”
“Does she mentally undress you with her eyes?”
“She does everything. I must turn her on. She’s always, always nervous when I talk to her, she looks away, she stammers …” Julia said. She was exaggerating. Sabra had barely glanced her way most of the time but she needed to keep Maria amused. They didn’t have much to say unless they tried to outdo one another.
Working at the Center was proving to be as fun as a dirt nap. Macon Brigham was ineffective. He’d developed a nervous tic that made him blink and wince as though somebody invisible was constantly throwing a punch at him. He had also been claiming to have the highest IQ recorded. Carlos, the lone grad student employee, was convinced that
had lied about his car accident to make people feel sorry for him but Carlos was another story. Macon
When Sabra was in the office, Carlos made a show of huddling over the file cabinet. When Sabra was out, Carlos sat on the couch reading old issues of The Advocate that would be missing the pull-out personal ads by the time they went back on the shelf.
Julia had only worked with Ben that first day he was there; she had no idea of his work ethic.
“The newsletter comes out once a month, so I barely ever have to be there, but I still get keys to the office so I can use the office whenever I want, to use the computer or whatever after hours.” Not that she planned one spending too much time in a University office that had been converted from a resident director’s apartment.
Maria snubbed her cigarette out on the steps. “Cedrick fucked me in the ass the other night,” she said.
Julia wasn’t sure how she was supposed to respond to that. “And how is Cedrick?”
“He’s great,” Maria said. “You should definitely meet him, maybe Jonah could come too.”
“Jonah’s so busy DJing that I barely see him,” Julia said. “So you’ve been dating Cedrick nearly three weeks? A new record.”
“Going to some fancy restaurant in Hampstead to celebrate that you can’t afford?”
“There’s no such thing as a fancy restaurant in Hampstead,” Maria reached for her cigarette case and opened it. “Empty.” She threw the back in her bag, then continued to stare into it frowning. “Oh wait, wait, I have something to show you, did you read this one today …” Maria pulled a copy of The Patriot out.
“Why do you read that shit?” Julia asked.
“I don’t, but I bumped into Terri in the Student Union and she was on the warpath,” Maria said. “It’s here in their editorials.”
“The entire paper is an editorial, it’s a lame paper run by stupid white men,” Julia said. “The Young Conservatives suck.”
“It’s still more amusing than The Daily Centaur, and it only comes out once a month.” Maria unfolded the paper, and read the headline. “’Gays begin annual recruiting drive’ and look, there’s a photo of Ryan and Macon at the table.”
Julia took the paper from her.
“Oh damn, I just missed having my picture taken that day and I was looking so pretty. I can pretty much figure out what the article says.”
“You should respond to it in that newsletter you’re working on,” Maria said.
“Maybe. I have some pretty definite ideas of what I’ll do, but I don’t want the newsletter to give these idiots any more publicity.” Which was somewhat untrue; Julia would have loved to respond, but Sabra was making it clear that she had the ultimate veto power and had said she didn’t want to be caught in the “petty battles” between student groups.
Julia was sick of thinking about Sabra. Time to change the subject. “So, how well did Cedrick fit inside your butt?”