Mar 24, 2014

"You guys are gay?" --- This is heaven (teaser)

Context:  The happy ending happened an hour ago. John and Alex return from the gay beach. The Georgia Beach Festival (vampire-themed this year) is on. 


We are about to turn the corner of Nick’s Restaurant but held back by a bunch of kids coming from the opposite direction. Teens, mostly, tribal in appearance, piercings, pipe jeans, some Cherokee heads, smudgy mascara, third generation prep school punks who have seen an ocean before and are too cool to remember. They look at us, we look at them, Alex’s arm is still on my shoulder. There’s something expressive about their body talk, as if they barely know each other. One or two are homophobic (if I read them well). “You know where the beach is?” a pale-faced girl without piercings asks Alex (we are standing on the boardwalk). Alex explains about the beach (“This is the beach”).

"This is the beach," (seen with the eyes of Peggy Noonan's statue; in reality this is the beach of Rehoboth Beach, DE, the model for Georgia Beach)

“You locals?” Yes we are. They’ve just arrived per overnight ride in second-hand passenger vans still misparked near the curb, they explain. “Where’s the festival?” The festival is on the grounds of the Surfside Field, between Lake Gerard Park and the beach, half a mile to the north, at least that’s where it was last year.
“That’s where the gay beach is?” one of the homophobes asks. He’s dressed for the occasion, artificial fangs that shine in the sun when he opens his mouth (if they are artificial, that is).
“Taylor, come on,” the second homophobe says, “you can do your sodomy later, when your penis is grown.” Alex is patient, he explains about the gay beach.
“You guys are gay?” the girl asks.
“You guys are vampires?” Alex asks back.
“Yup,” the second homophobe says.
“Real ones?” Alex asks.


There’s some tribal confusion, they haven’t decided yet.
“Yup,” Taylor insists.
“You should be lying in your coffin,” Alex says and points at the sky.
“That’s so yesterday,” the girl replies. “Don’t you seen how my skin sparkles in the sun?” There’s something about her makeup, I realize, some silver dust in her mascara perhaps. “You should read Twilight,” she adds.
“Haven’t read Twilight,” Alex say. “Where are your fangs?”
“I’m still a virgin, “she says. “What’s your name?”
“Alex,” he replies, “What’s yours.”
“Juliette.” And now the virgin puts a hand on Alex’s pecs (he’s still top-naked, the T-shirt dangling from his right hand), makes a seductive step forward---she’s a bit over the top, perhaps fatigue from the night ride or peer pressure from the tribe, this doesn’t look like her normal routine---and asks, the voice a bit slower: “Alex, will you buy me an ice cream.”
“Ice cream is not good for virgins,” Alex replies.
“I’ll do anything for ice cream,” she says.
“Yeah, I guess,” he says. “Let’s see where this goes,” he says to me, “let’s buy her an ice cream.”
“We have no money,” I say, “we didn’t bring any money.” The tribe erupts in laughter. More fangs shine.

“Alex!” I hear a female voice calling. “Alex. John!” It’s Alice, who has risen from a terrace table of Nick’s restaurant. The man who sits next to her we know as well, it’s Godehart Wagner. Godehart waves his hand.
“Sorry,” Alex says to the girl, “stay in touch.”


Go here for a teaser of the previous chapter of This is heaven, and here for a choice of chapters of the Green Eyes.

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