Wednesday 13 September 2006

Night Flight Mike, Part Seventeen

Night Flight Mike is a novella of twenty short chapters, posted over twenty business days -- by me, your fickle host, Cheeseburger Brown. Readers who may be subject to access surveillance or content filtering please be advised that this work of fiction contains profanity and describes adult situations, but is relatively free of political subversion.

Warning: do not overcook.

And now, today's chapter:


One by one the upstairs tables began to empty as their denizens headed down below in anticipation of Cherry Nuk-Nuk taking the stage.

Father and his Serbian friend made out on the largely abandoned dancefloor and then retired to the bar to discuss how neither of them were homosexual. The Serb explained how he had always felt a great affection for his male friends and that, being European, he was less hesitant than most North Americans to express that affection. Father, for his part, confessed that he had been plagued throughout his life by a feeling that he was not sufficiently manly and he therefore sought a kind of masculine affirmation from his fellow men.

"Why should you feel unmasculine?" asked the Serb, waving for the Goan bartender's attention.

"I'm infertile," said Father -- simple words never uttered outside of a doctor's office or the marital bed. To speak them gave him a weird thrill. "I contracted mumps as a teenager and my testicles were damaged," he went on to explain. "I had to take hormone supplements in order to finish growing properly. But I always felt scrawny. I always felt like a boy."

"You're not scrawny now," the Serb pointed out.

The surly Goan brought them two more highballs. "I work hard on my body," said Father.

"It can be hard to know how to be a man in today's world," philosophized the Serb.

"I want to be somebody my kids can look up to," said Father.

"You're a good man."

"I'm trying to be."

"You're very sensitive."

"I owe it to my kids to care."

"Let's make the next round doubles."

"These are doubles."

"Let's get two at once, then."

"Yeah, alright."

Later on Father tried to get up to go the washroom but stumbled against the bar. The Serb propped him up against his shoulder and escorted him around the corner and into the men's room. They spilled into one another and ended up squeezed between two sinks. They kissed a bit, stubble against stubble, and then asked each other's names. "I'm Drago," said the Serb.

"Jules," said Jules.

Two white boys with rural hair sallied into the washroom then and, after taking one look at Drago and Jules in one another's arms, began talking loudly about how nobody had apprised of them of the fact that Coriander's catered to gays. "Fucking faggots'r gettin' faggot germs on the sink, bra!" exclaimed one to the other theatrically.

"That's fuckin' unsanitary, you cocksucking bitches," noted the second fellow. "I don't want no AIDS on my soap."

"Why don't you leave us alone?" said Drago quietly.

"Why don't you fuck a pussy you fuckin' degenerate?"

"Fuck you," said Jules.

"Excuse me, queer?"

Jules clarified his position by putting the boy into a Half Nelson, spinning him into a Majistral Cradle, and then pounding his body against the tiled wall a couple of times. Without missing a beat his partner was twisted into a very slick Blizzard Suplex by Drago and then forced to the floor. Some pressure was applied to the boys limbs until their eyes watered and one of them began to moan plaintively.

"Get," commanded Jules crisply; "The fuck. Out of here."

The boys fled, the door flapping violently back and forth in their wake. Jules and Drago cracked up laughing. They sat on the floor and howled. They gasped for breath and tried to recover but then made the mistake of looking at one another again and set off into fresh peals.

Then the door banged open again and one of the boys ran inside. He was carrying a beer bottle, and he struck Jules across the back of the head with every ounce of his farmboy strength. He ran away before Jules collapsed with a look of stunned curiosity half-bloomed on his slackening features.

He was bleeding, but not badly. It was suddenly very quiet.

Drago checked his companion's pulse and breathing, and then dragged him over to one side of the washroom rather than having him sprawled out in the middle of the grimy floor. He propped him up against the wall and dabbed at the wound at the back of his scalp with a folded compress of moist paper towel.

Then Drago checked his watch, stole Jules' wallet, and left.


Mark said...

So, now Mom and Dad both get some bar action, but Dad got robbed. Mean old Drago (is that name a coincidence, or was this your inspiration?)

Anonymous said...

Well, I haven't posted since SOS, but I think I've read about everything you've written in between.

The one thing I've noticed is this - Lately it seems that all your characters have huge repressed issues. Everybody is a pimp, a hooker, an addict, unfaithful, violent, degenerate, murderous... I'm just curious if there is a reason for that, or if that's just the story?

I'm just curious if there will ever be normal people in here. Seems like the last decent people you wrote with real parts of a story were Dr. Pemma (sort of) and the boy on the Neago (sp?).

It's not really a complaint, just something I noticed. It just seems a bit overdone that every single person has to be a deviant. Maybe that's just the vein these people run in. I'm glad it's not the one I do.


Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear Mark,

Nah, Drago just happens to be one of my stock Serbian names. I've known as Drago (and his sister Draga).

Dear Pneuma,

Simply put, characters with issues are more interesting than characters who are even-keeled, content and generally lucky. Also, in this story, I meant for the emsemble to stand in stark contrast to Mike's own untarnished innocence.

Cheeseburger Brown

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear Simon,

Thanks for catching that! Fixed.

Cheeseburger Brown

gl. said...

the threads are unravelling even as the loose ends are being tied up...

Sash said...

I was right about the Serbian - ok, I didn't guess the wallet stealing part, but I knew he was gay. I'm at a university studying music, so I'm pretty sure I can spot a gay man at least 100 yards away.

Awaiting the next installment...

Ray Merkler said...

I was just going through the stories I haven't read yet, and I have to ask: Is that Drago Zoranovic? If so, did you already know that it was him when you wrote this?

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear Ray,

No, it's just another guy named Drago. I'd forgotten that I'd given that name to Dr. Zoran.

In fiction, everyone in the universe is supposed to have a unique name. I goofed.

Cheeseburger Brown