Teeth like baseballs, eyes like jellied fire
I had not intended for the infestation of carnivorous vermin which descended on my home in late November… My most devout hope was to slither under the pile of cardboard boxes that have been left in my living room since the Amway debacle- I still kept a shotgun by the door to ward of the wild eyed zombies trying to claim payment for their dubious goods. Fifteen cases of soap and six fondue sets later, I had acheived no success in my home munitions endeavour- but before a limping, thorn browed JESUS I was not paying these Amway Moonies a single drachma- It would all go to their filthy foriegn cult leader for mass Amway weddings, and I’d have no part of it. Not when there are honest, god fearing patriots like myself willing to put our lives on the line, arming ourselves in secret until the Big Day.
My peace was shattered when the first of these animals forced the lock. The skills that Drew learned in juvenile hall were not limited to servicing the bigger boys- he monkeyed open my triple locked door with brutish ease. I was crouching by my window with my remington pump action, uncertain if the sirens wail was simply the disgusting and inevitable side effect of Rizzo’s depraved motor oil parties, or perhaps my swarthy illegal neighbors had once again misunderstood the special “arrangement” I have with Sierra and Zoe, and blamed me when one of their perpetually pregnant inbred spawn failed to return home from the cockfights. Did the twisted, savage people not have words for “never again” in whatever rain forest they built their huts in? Once shipped here as cheap labor and medical experiments, didn’t the government put some sort of tags on these people?
Sadly, the ugly truth was far worse- Drew had brought even more swine with him, a cloud of flies swarming in my jimmied front door, hurriedly avoiding the pursuing cops. Trombino slithered in behind, dragging some underage asian – obviously doped up. Her wide eyes showed an uncomprehending horror, but a dawning awareness that something was terribly, terribly wrong. The police were too close for me to fill these intruders full of the buckshot they so richly deserved- I was within my RIGHTS, for certain- but I did not want to have to explain any of the contents of my kitchen cupbords to whatever brutes these swarthy devils used to police each other. Besides, as vile and reprehensible as these cretins were, there was a code- no police. There were more of them than me already, swarming over and arond my furniture like crazed howler monkeys, and I have no doubt that Trombino’s little sweatshop bunny would slit my throat if she thought for a moment I was calling immgration. Dope or no dope, she had the cold eyes of a survivor. Rizzo watched her every move, and I knew that either a knife fight or card game would be determining her sleeping arrangements until they tired of her, and let the russian pimp her out from the back of his pontiac.
More of them piled in, pulling down the shades, ducking low and pulling sharpened screwdrivers and spoons from their pockets. Red lights began splashing the curtains as the police cruisers pulled up on the curb, knocking down my lawn jockey. The flamingos were fine- plastic and easy to replace, but those lawn jockeys were collector’s items. I began looking around for my lighter among the scattered pizza crusts and soap wrappers as I dragged the sofa by the front windows, determined to make a last stand against the laws blatant disregard for classic lawn adornment.I was about to ignite the couch and begin pumping shells through the windows while protected by my flaming barricade, but I recognized my best contact for crystal meth and rare animals among the cops, and held my fire.
Giaimo, the biggest of the group, his thick body hair and enormous strength had earned him the moniker “silverback” – but never within earshot of the tempermental sicilian brute – had gestured the rest of them to silence. Recognizing him as a bigger threat than the cops outside, they complied. There were too many of them, all twisted on some unknown combination of liquor, chemicals and broken homes, so I thought it best to go along with them. “But Your Honor, what choice did I have?”
Rivera pulled in the reins on Critical Jeff, who had become enraged at the sound of sirens, eyes rolling up in his head. Somewhere in his misshapen skull racial memories of misused authority were surfacing, disguising themselves as images of his family traditionally gouging each other with broken gin bottles in a drunken soiree which passed for holiday festivities among his people. Rivera sat on the pipe- weilding monster’s sunken chest, pinning him to the ground and crooning softly, stroking his hair and gently, lovingly wiping flecks of foam from his chin- deftly avoiding the snapping jaws and splintered teeth of the writhing savage.
“Shut him up!” hissed Formoso, making crude jabbing motions with the jagged shard of glass wrapped with duct tape he always carried. It held some special significance to him, but no one dared ask what. The flat eyed strongman had been seen sobbing quietly and rubbing the flat of the blade against his cheek on Valentines day – but the scar on Vlad’s throat made it clear that he was never to be asked about it again.
“I’m trying! Come on, baby, be quiet…” crooned Rivera. “Somebody pass me a blanket“.
Giaimo grunted an acknowledgement and yanked off his jacket, revealing the criss crossed holsters and vast sweatstains beneath. He tossed the reeking garment to Rivera, who draped it over Critical Jeff’s violently shaking head- abruptly, the twitching ceased as the darkness put the ill tempered thug beneath into the drooling state which passes for sleep among those of his particular genetic and cultural disposition. the big sicilian drew forth two pistols, crouched behind the medical table and held a quick conference with Vlad- the scarred russian pimp had connections, and Giaimo knew this would not turn out well…
OK, maybe it did not happen exactly like that- but this did:
I had some friends over for Thanksgiving, and had a great time. Sierra and Zoe worked their butts off to allow me to make a home for the people most important to me – many of whom, predictably, I slandered in the narrative above. Among those who came over was Drew, his cousin, or friend, or some guy he knew whose name escapes me, and Carlos.
Ah, Carlos. Let us talk about Carlos.
Carlos is a platypus.
He is an Afro-China-Rican-Gay-Actor-Dancer-Puppeteer, an exotically beautiful little bastard who queens and fusses like Scott Thompson and Elton John’s bastard child on a paranoid coke binge. Funny motherfucker, and very entertaining to have around. Smart, too. But this Platypus loves to get drunk. Very, very, very drunk. Very drunk. Oh, yes.
Oh, yes indeed.
Act I: We’re All Stars Now… In the Los Show.
My friends are a batch of smart, charming, funny people on the whole. There are a few exceptions. Thud, for instance. That’s why we call him “Thud”. But funny bastards, most of them. Carlos is in the funny category- and he very rarely comes to the city to hang out, so he’s the center of attention for a good part of the evening. It’s been so long, you see, that we have forgotten about the lasttime he was here.
But then, slowly, the horror begins…
You see, if he’s not lit already before he arrives, Carlos will be shortly. Usually, this coincides Carlos’ lowering inhibitions and clouding judgement with the fact that the novelty of his arrival has just begun to lose it’s lustre, and he is no longer the center of attention. This, my friends, is where the trouble starts. The Los Show. The stories get diverted back to their natural focus of attention- Carlos. Dialog, anecdote, give and take, all of it- it reverts, forcibly if necessary, to the natural fulcrum of all things: Carlos. Subtle at first, but with a glib persistance, all verbal exchange turns a surely as summer turns to autumn back to the one and only thing to talk about: Carlos
Act II: I’m ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille
As Carlos steadly and relentlessly pounds down liquor, the subtle part quickly slips away, leaving a sort of gay platypus Nora Desmond, endlessly looking for the director. Conversation deteriorates to louder and louder non-sequitors, all directing conversation back to, and eventually merely announcing, Carlos’ presence. Careening around the room, looking for the movie cameras some twisted part of him knows must be there, the once exotic and charming Carlos has begun his decent into jabbering foriegn devil. It’s about this time that Drew decides he has to go, taking his cousin/ buddy/ friend/ love muffin whatsizname with him. This is probably best for whatzisname, because Carlos is beginning to turn a baleful and jaundiced eye towrds the inebriated and hapless boy, who is already looking a little frightened at the rest of the goings on, and has no concept of the hell which might await him if he remains near Carlos much longer. Carlos collects straight boys the way other people collect stamps, and has already notched his bedposts down to toothpicks keeping count. Drew attempts gamely to get ‘Los to leave with him, but no dice. Carlos is here to stay.
Drew takes me a side and gives me a quick rundown.
“Don’t trust him.”
“Don’t get him wet.”
“Don’t expose him to bright light.”
“Don’t feed him after midnight.”
and “Don’t trust him.”
Act III: Absolutely Fabulous
Stumbling through my house as the party winds down, Carlos appears to be at a loss- perhaps it is because I don’t have a lampshade of an appropriate size for him to wear.
But no- it is his car keys he is seeking. Now, there is no way I am letting this drunken savage drive, despite his limp wristed protests. This apparent concern ignites the next stage. Flattery:
“Flagg, you are fabulous.”
“Flagg, YOU are Fabulous.”
“I love you. You know I do.”
“You are fabulous, Flagg. Fabulous.”
“You intimidate me.”
“God, you are fabulous.”
“I love you.”
“You know I love you.”
“I love you- you know why? Because you are fabulous.”
You get the picture. In the meantime, he was doing his best gone with the Wind: He drapes his arms around me like Scarlett O’Hara, and he flamed like Atlanta when Sherman marched through. My apartment was Tara, and the sweeping epic was just hitting it’s stride.
Act IV: The Game’s Afoot!
Soon, the pursuit of car keys boiled down to the sort of gritty, grim battle of wills one can only find in Tom and Jerry. Moriarty to his Holmes, a battle of wits began as I watched him weave a delicate plot of intrigue. Surely, I have met my match. the Joker to my Dark Knight, our lethal waltz ensues- what cruel game was he playing?
First, the search for car keys. I wanted them, he had them. Despite my apparent fabulousness, he was unable to relinquish them to my well loved fabulous intimidating fabulousness. Only Soulhuntre, Rizzo and Formoso remained to keep me company and provide moral support as I attempted to wrangle the slippery platypus- but not too hard. Carlos is a martial artist, and oft the story is told of him flicking Drew’s brother Ron skyward, with a blurring movement and a slurred “I may suck dick, but I can still kick your ass.” Zoe was in bed, and Sierra was trying to keep up with the damage that the drunken AfroChinaRican was inflicting on my apartment, looking for all the world like Mindy and Buttons. Eventually, I was able to secure the keys, but only on the somewhat nebulous concept that I was to put them in Carlos’ backpack. Good as my word, I did so. But while Carlos was occupied with the lurching, spinning porcelain-and-chrome funhouse which is my bathroom, I moved the backpack. I moved it one whole foot.
Tumbling back down the steps and into another party cup of vodka and god-knows-what, the incoherent platypus began making “I’m leaving” noises again, for the third or fourth time that night. The five of us watched as Carlos made a beeline for the spot his bag had been resting mere moments before. Turning to me, his eyes pinwheeling wildly in his skull, ‘Los demanded to know where his bag was. I could see it. Formoso, Soulhuntre, Rizzo and Sierra could see it. ‘Los could not see it. Luckily, he was too busy sailing around the room and crashing into my lap like the Exxon Valdez to concentrate on it. I’d love to tell you what he said during this stage of things, but it was largely incoherent. Even one such as myself , possessed with an high degree of fabulousness and totally, utterly fabulous fabulosity was unable to make out the wet lipped, bleary eyed slobber Carlos was spouting through his vodka haze.
Eventually, it became clear even to Carlos that I was not going to let him go, get in his car, and drive into the river. I was getting very tired, however, and it did seem like the most expedient solution. However, the implacable gaze of Soul, Rizzo and Formoso were upon me- so I could not just say that he slipped the leash and got away. Luckily, I still had my wits about me to avoid Carlos’ next clever, clever snare.
After finding his bag- it only took an hour and a half of thrashing around my apartment like a salmon- ‘Los pulls out his phone. Calling on all his years of training as an actor, he delivers this little passion play:
“Yesh? Hello? I needsh a car.”
“Flagg, what’s your addressh here?”
Staring in wonder at the steel trap mind which can deduce out of thin air the number of the closest car service in a neighborhood he’s never been in before, I give him an address, which he promptly mangles. But wait- Master Thespian adds the final bit of realism :
“What? How long? A half hour? NO! FIFTEEN MINUTESH! FIFTEEN MINUTESH! FUCK YOU!”
I wander upstairs and get my boots, which I bring down and don while ‘Los drools and blathers incomprehensible platypus drama, which involves waving your arms around a lot and getting loud. Gamely, my four compadres allow him to bounce off them like the incoherent gay pinball he had become while I made ready for the coupe de grace with which to end his cunning plan: Eventually, he notices that I am getting ready to go outside.
“Whatsh that for?”
“I’m going to walk you to the cab. You’re my guest.”
Suddenly Los realizes that if I walk outside with him, he will be unable to leap into his car and plow it, Kennedy style, into the river.
Sagging, defeated, he slumps onto the couch and begins to drool. Oddly enough, no car ever came.
Act V: The Longest Yard
It was far from over. The real trials were only beginning. Seeing as he was going to be unable to plummet into the river as he planned, ‘Los began to scan the room for something to fuck. Like my own personal slasher flick, the Platypus That Would Not Die, he just continued to stagger on, no matter what lethal quantities of vodka and vodka he was swilling. I had long ago given up hope of sobering this mincing monster up- now, my only hope was to help him slam down enough hooch to pass out, and allow me a moment’s rest.
Drew’s little boymeat cousin? Carlos inquired after him, then spent twenty minutes cursing Drew for abandoning him- especially with his preferred bit of man-ass in tow.
Soulhuntre? Too big, too hairy, too scary, and he has those prison eyes. Nope.
Rizzo? No- they’ve been through this before, and Rizzo always turns him down.
Hmmm… big shoulders,long hair, v-shape, looks good in denim…
‘Los leans over conspiratorially:
“Do I get to fuck that tonight?”
He points at Formoso.
I weigh my love of Formoso against the mayhem which would be bound to ensue. This is a tough one.
That was a very, very difficult descison to make, and I hope God was watching. Maybe it will help.
This left only one male left to fuck – yours truly. If I thought it had anything to do with me, I’d of been flattered. However, I believe Carlos was pursuing this out of the principle of the thing. Banging straight men is a Higher Calling, and as God as his witness, he was not going to abandon his duties. The few. The proud. The GayAfroChinaRicanPlatypusManfuckers.
I spent the next two hours in a bedroom farce, with ‘Los hopping on my lap, planting the occasional kiss, grabbing my crotch and drunkenly molesting me. That kid was a whole frat house bent on date rape, and for once, I was the popular cheerleader. I would pluck him off my lap, or pull his hand from my crotch, or his arms from my neck – and there he’d be again, hopping on my lap, bouncing merrily, burbling incomprehensably, and groping for my package to see if his drunken gyrations were arousing me. I can tell you with all certainty- if he had been even a fraction as enticing as he thought he was, he would of had us all. However, he was drunk, drooling and incomprehensable – not enticing. Oh, no. His hair, so well groomed at his arrival, had taken on the matted, greasy look one gets when one passes out in a dumpster behind a chinese take-out place. (Don’t ask how I know that.) His skin, once an exotic and unique AfroChinaRican shade of manmeat caramel- highly prized among boyfuckers, I’m certain- had taken a sallow, DeForrest Kelley/ Scatman Crothers look. His once pouty lips were now merely a chapped portal for the gleaming ribbon of vodka- drool which accompanyed each seductive utterance. How could I resist this spectacle? I don’t know where I found the will.. He pulled out all the stops when he attempted to get me to slap his face and rough him up a bit- the cunning predator that he is- but I endured. Now, I’m all for rough trade- trust me on this- but this was not the time, place, or gender. No, I persevered through the typhoon of seduction and saliva, while my friends sat like Mt. Rushmore, impassively watching the drama ensue. I continued to extracate myself from the clutches of the horny ‘Los. This explained the cryptic hints Drew had left me- ‘Los started the evening as Gizmo, but I had let him get the vodka after midnight, and he was now Spike, the evil platypus gremlin queen. Luckily, I had an angle. Rizzo, Formoso or Soulhuntre would distract the amorous ‘Los for a moment, and I would slip away and spike his drink with even more vodka. My theory is he would pass out before he actually managed to sink a hand down my pants. My only concern was vomit; but I should not have worried, because Carlos metabolizes vodka the way whales chuff down plankton- and in about the same quantities.
It was a close one, but Absolut Inevitability finally caught up with him. By 5:30 he was passed out on the couch, and I remained virginal to the Arts of Platypus Love – and a blessed ignorance it is indeed. Soulhuntre went home, Rizzo took Formoso to his place, where he would be safe from the the nocturnal emissions of the possible sleepwalking inibriate AfroChinaRican, and Sierra and I crashed downstairs where I could keep an eye on him.
He was still drunk when he left the next morning- but it was somewhere between Act Iand Act II drunk, and I figured he’d make it in daylight. Off he toddled, blinking and still pretty crocked, into the light of day – with, I suspect, a vastly incomplete memory of the previous evening. Well, ‘Los, now you know.
I, on the other hand, remain fabulous.
My thanks to my friends for being there- they are the most important people in my life.
My thanks to Rizzo, Formoso, Soulhuntre and Sierra, for staying awake through the Long, Long ‘Los Show.
My thanks to Carlos. Now that it’s over, it’s fucking funny.