Dirty Knives | By: Kevin Sheldon | | Category: Short Story - Surreal Bookmark and Share

Dirty Knives

I’m not gay. I’m sorry. I’m not. I wish I was. I try, sometimes, but I’ve already given it my all, and nothing. I’m straight. I thought I was close for a while. I mean, I’m into theater, even musicals. I’m friendly, and funny, and even gentle. And I’m neat. I’m damned neat. But I was just fooling myself. I’m straight. I didn’t want to disappoint you. I know you’re all expecting me to stand up here and be gay: do the whole voice thing, and the hands, and stuff, and...and be flaming, and...gay. But I can’t. I was thinking of pretending for a while. I’m a good actor, I thought I could pull it off. Feigned homosexuality. But I couldn’t. My performance was fine, of course, but I didn’t have...the heart. I couldn’t...find the character. Not that you care. I mean, nobody really embodies a character here, right? You just want to see the image, the histrionic expressions of a homosexual interior. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I...oh, sorry. Sorry, sorry...you already look disappointed. And bored. I know you were all hoping for me to be gay, hoping you’d hear my tragic tale about forlorn love, about prejudice and scorn. How it’s so difficult to be me and you...just couldn’t understand. Heh, that was pretty good, eh? Told you I could perform. But, you see, I realize it’s unusual, but drama can be found in other sources, too. It doesn’t have to be a gay story. Seriously. I mean, Shakespeare...he wrote what, like, 9,000 plays, and none of them were about being gay. I mean, a lot of them had fairies, but in an entirely different context. My life can be tragic, too. My life is tragic, it’s very tragic, just not about gay things. About straight things. And general things, that I’m sure you’re aware can hit everybody. So, I’m sorry I’m not gay, I know you’re all a bit disappointed, and I know you’re all a bit skeptical about me. How could I have anything important to say if I’m not gay, right? Well, I hope you’ll give me a chance, think about me on equal grounds and not penalize me for not being a sexual orientation minority. Okay? Well, I guess stunned silence is the best I can hope for right now. I guess the first thing I should address is why I’m here at at homosexual support group meeting.
You see, earlier, I mentioned about how I was trying to be gay. I am. Well, I was. I gave up last night out of futility. I dig all the shtick, it’s just...the whole men thing. I mean, men are disgusting. I’m disgusting. I don’t like me. Why would I like other men? I mean...well, ironically, the least disgusting men are probably the gay ones, but still, we're just, big...and smelly...and...oh, I just don’t get it. But I tried. You see, I became really fed up with the whole women thing. Women and love and pain and rejection and sex and romance and birthdays and valentines and sex and flowers and candy and kissing and sex and parents and friends and pocketbooks and lipstick and blah, blah, blah. I mean, come on, you all know what I mean, right? I mean, you got out of this whole stock car circuit a while ago, right? Well, except you lesbians. But you’ll learn. Anyway, I thought that maybe the gay life would be a welcome change. A break from all that feminine shite. I thought about the idea of going on a date and then coming home and cracking open a beer and watching the game, and I thought “Damn, that’s my kinda life partner!” And...oh, who am I kidding. I hate sports. I don’t even know what sport “the game” would be referring to. And I don’t drink beer. I drink...dacquiris. See what I mean! I’m so close, dammit. But, I digress. Really, it was a specific girl. She’s...nice, and friendly, and...oh, fuck it. She’s a bitch. But she’s hot. I mean, really, really, fucking gorgeous, you know the type. When they just walk into a room and...okay, no you probably don’t know what I’m talking about. But you girls do. You know, when they just walk into a room, and all you know is that you want to be next to them, like right away, but if you try, you know you’ll get beaten to a bloody pulp by everyone else in the room, racing to get to her first. Yeah, one of them. Her name is Shawna. No, wait...her name is Emily. I called her Shawna before I found out what her name was. Anyway, she was at this bar that I was at. The Smoky Gun. I haven’t seen any of you there before, but that’s probably not surprising. It...doesn’t exactly cater to the...sensitive crowd. So she was sitting there, talking to like, 9 guys at the same time, and I, having learned my lesson many times before, didn’t try to be one of them. But then, then...I fell. I was drunk, and the floor was slippery, and my stool just...it was really slippery. Don’t look at me like that. Anyway, I fell, and I was dazed, and...I think...was I singing? I think I started singing something. Like...“Sound of Music,” but I can’t be sure. I was drunk, stop looking at me like that. And then, she was picking me up, and she was laughing, and leading me out of the bar, and taking me home. Her home, not mine, and next thing I knew...it was morning. Well, afternoon, but I was waking up, and she was at work, and there was a note, and all I remembered was the sex. I mean, I couldn’t recall specific events or...phases of intercourse, just this feeling. Like God. It was very similar to what I imagine God must feel like. Not having sex with God, just like God, like tying his shoes or making breakfast or something. It was better than any physical pleasure I’ve ever experienced. It’s even better than when you and a girl get...oh, yeah, sorry. I keep forgetting this isn’t the optimal audience for understanding this story. But...well, I’m not really in posession of intimate knowledge of how ya’ll get...intimate, but I figure you must have some idea of what I’m saying. You know what it’s like when it’s...good. I mean, really, really good, like...perfect. Perfection. Well, that was her. We started seeing each other. A lot. She worked at a department store. But she was free evenings.
When I say “free,” I mean, “not working.” Not necessarily “available.” I mean, she had things to do. Like, a social life. Friends and stuff. And yeah, some of the friends were guys, but, I mean, so what? Girls can have guy friends, right? As far as I knew, they were part of your denomination anyway. And yeah, some of them spent the night at her place, big deal. I have girls stay over all the time. That’s what the couch is for. I mean, we can’t expect her to kick her friends out at 4 AM after a night of binging and throw them on the Manhattan Subway, can we? If I sound defensive at all, it’s because of my friends. Well, no, it’s because of her friends. I don’t really have any. It’s just they way they always laughed whenever I entered the room, or the Smoky Gun, or...well, always. And their looks. I can’t stand those looks. Like...like they know something I don’t. Or that they know that I know, but I can’t do anything about it. I hate feeling helpless. I hate feeling helpless. My mother...died when I was 8. Slit her throat with a kitchen knife. I found the body. The knife was dirty. I was supposed to do the dishes the night before. I didn’t. Anyway, I didn’t mean that to depress you, I just thought you should have a little background. You should know why I really don’t like feeling helpless. So their laughing, and their looks, and...well, I knew what was going on. I did. I mean, I should have seen it coming. A girl like that, with me. I couldn’t even get the fat girl to go to the prom with me. And I tried. I sang Burt Bacharach songs outside her window at 3 in the morning. She had me arrested. So you see, I’ve always been pathetic. And I hate it. It doesn’t get better after high school. It gets worse. Every goddamn day of my life, it gets worse. I have nobody. Absolutely nobody. Not a girl, or a friend. I just had Shawna...Emily, and her friends. They were pretending to be my friends, too. But the way they laughed. Of course, there was nothing I could do. About them, and their laughter. Laughing at me because I was helpless again. I thought that maybe, just maybe, if I could prove them wrong, if I could show them that I wasn’t helpless, they would stop laughing. At least, maybe I wouldn’t hear them laughing anymore. See, they thought I was helpless because I was a loser...am a loser. And because of her. Well, I thought about sleeping around, but then I remembered the affair with the fat girl. And then I thought about turning gay out of spite, that was probably the first time I thought of it, but it was a new idea at the time, and it didn’t catch on in my head. So finally I just decided to end it. I thought it was the strong thing to do. You see, I still had the knife. The knife that I had forgotten to clean. It was part of a gift set my mother had gotten for Christmas, it had her name engraved on it. You guys would like it, it’s very elegant. Nice stylish letters: S-H-A-W-N-A. And it was still dirty. Moreso, actually, because of the blood. I thought it would be an extra sign of strength, using the same knife. You know, tying it in with my past, coming full circle, being all theatrical and shit, you guys are down with that, right? I don’t know if she appreciated my dramticism. I never got a chance to ask her. She wasn’t much in the condition for...talking, anyway. You generally need a throat for that.
What? Now you all look scared. Sorry, I didn’t mean to creep you out, I just thought you should know the back story, why I’m here. Because, you see, I thought there might be others, after Shawna...Emily. Dammit. But there weren’t. And of course, all of her friends really avoided me after I got out of jail. But at least they stopped laughing, and that’s the important part. So what it comes down to, is that I need someone. Anyone. I read about this homosexual support group thing and thought it sounded better than a gay bar. I’m hoping that, even though I gave up last night, maybe you guys can help me. I really want to join. You all look like nice people. This looks like a great place. And I know you usually don’t hang around with my type, but I want to be gay. Really, I do. Please don’t be biased against me just because I refused to stand up here and do the whole gay thing like everybody else does. Maybe you can even reward me for my daring and originality. So please, would anybody here spend some time with me? I could really use a friend.

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