tagGay MaleFailing Upward Ch. 02

Failing Upward Ch. 02

byel_wing©

Chapter 2 Boy Meets Llama

I only held the card up to the white light of the windshield for an instant and of course that's when the llama appeared. I never did find out whose llama it was, or where it went after I hit it doing about 45 mph. The beast ran off.

I wasn't as lucky.

Fuzzy llama karma-- Next thing I remember, I was taking baby steps in a yellowed hospital gown with my ass sticking out, being lead by a pretty student nurse. The words "gotta piss bad" fall out of my mouth. I remember, I should be embarrassed. I stopped, reached around and clutched the draft together. I flashed-back to five years ago, snapping the shower curtain shut with my sister's face screaming, 'don't use all the hot water.'

I suddenly I didn't feel the urge to pee anymore. I asked how long I've been here, and the cute nurse scratched her nose and said, "Three days."

Three days gone. A blank. Nothing. I was cold. So cold. The IV leaking into my veins, chilled like ice. Each step shot pain up my leg into my chest. Every breath felt like a long sharp needle driven into my right lung. All this because I was just going to read a little bit of the card.

"Sit down--" I moaned. "I need to sit." My confused, pained face tells the student nurse she'd better get someone who knows more than her.

As I tried to find comfort on the rock hard bed, my head throbbed more. I learned the rest of my story from the big night nurse named Bernice who the student nurse corralled to take care of me and tell me of my plight. Bernice was one of those employees who made it their business to know everything about everybody. She knew about Lenny, the night watchman, who took home McCall's Magazines on the sly to his mom. She knew about Jill, the dietitian, who ate off the patients' trays.

In her big deep voice, she told me I've been talking like a drunk to a bartender ever since I got here, and how happy she was to fill my glass. I confided about my parents and my family, about their death. Apparently, I told her about my boyfriend.

I corrected her, saying, "Don't you mean my girlfriend?" She winked at me. Not her, too.

She must have meant Sid. He did have a habit of making sweet puppy dog eyes at me. So what if he has a crush. He has always been the cuddly type-- touchy, feely. And I've always been a lot like that myself. Can I help it if I'm affectionate? I could see how Bernice might get the wrong impression.

I decided I'm a bit scared of her. She could easily beat me up. The way she just tossed me on my side to move my pillow like I was some twig. She could be dangerous if she wanted to be although I think she liked me enough to not snap me in half. Then she made some comment about "having lots of gay friends."

I said to her, "But I'm not gay."

She winked at me again and said, "Sure you aren't, hon. And that wasn't your boyfriend here visiting you either." I don't bother to argue with her about this. I decided, better to ignore her. I asked her to tell me what happened the night of the accident , and she gladly told me.

Seemed I knocked on a farmer's door, and he refused to let me in. Bernice said I gave a wonderful performance of Old MacDonald peeking through his moldy door curtains then pinching them shut. The farmer called the ambulance. Can't say as I blamed him for not letting me in. Most people don't go knockin' with blood all over their shirt and pants unless they're in some bad B film with a guy in a hockey mask close behind.

Bernice told me I kept saying, "damn prick, damn prick." She gave me a lecture, "You need to be more forgiving. You have no room to judge others." She must have thought I needed religion or something. Then I realized she thought I was referring to the farmer, not the thorn pricking my finger. Shit, that thorn hurt more than my concussion and the punctured lung together.

Bernice said I nagged her along with every nurse and half the orderlies on the floor for a mirror. At first they'd either get me a mirror or take me to the bathroom to show me my reflection. Later, tired of my requests, they ignored me. Still, I kept repeating, "Is my nose broken?"

I didn't feel the sharp pain in my head until then; I never knew a person had to recall pain like they recall a memory. I reached for my nose and a slicing pain shot through my skull. I asked her if it was broken. The nurse said no-- "but you look like shit." I didn't know nurses on duty were allowed to cuss, but who was gonna stop her?

"My head hurts. Do you think I could get something for this raging headache?" I asked her.

That's when I got lecture number two from Big Nurse Bernice on the evils of drugs. She assumed for some reason that I was under the dark influence of some illegal substance at the time of my accident. She said I came into the emergency room babbling about 'A llama, Glenda the Good Witch and Rock Hudson,' and in 'A highly agitated state.' Shit, I felt agitated right then, but not because I was strung out.

I did remember the llama and Glenda. Vaguely. North by Northwest, but that was Cary Grant not Rock.

Bernice went to get the doctor on call. He came in to check on me-- his name was Dr. Doctor. I started to laugh. Was I in some Marx Brother's film? He read over my charts, wondering why I'm giggling. I flashed to Groucho with a cigar, 'Either this man is dead, or my watch has stopped.'

Dr. Doctor told me I was in shock-- No shit, I think. Wonder why I'm laughing like an idiot? Flying twenty feet out the windshield into a row of trees might scramble your brain, too.

He explained I should get a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt. Who was he, Ralph Nader? I thought, what's going on here? First I'm lectured by Bernice the nurse on the evils of drugs and now Dr. Doctor on proper seat restraints. Weren't these health professionals? So, was I unsafe at any speed? My mind saw in some skewed way, I was fortunate. Bernice told me about my car-- landing upside down in the river bed after going down the ravine. My poor dead Mustang's top, crushed down into the driver's seat. My car was most likely totaled. If I hadn't gone out the windshield, I might have been totaled, too.

Then there was the cost of replacing or repairing my car. My head hurt more. How much would that cost on top of my hospital bills?

Money. And lack of it. So the next question to the doctor was how long much longer I had to stay. He was noncommittal-- "A few more days," he said, shrugging. After all, he was a doctor-- probably owned a two-hundred thousand dollar house at least. He wouldn't be concerned. Keeping me and my sore body in the hospital lined his pockets, but it was costing me. My deductible was high, but when I worked for eight-ninety-five an hour at a greenhouse, I guess I should count myself lucky to have any insurance at all. After Dr. Doctor left, I was alone in my room. I still got no peace. Taking a simple breath hurt. My finger throbbed-- I imagined I was Giovanni, in Rappaccini's Daughter, and the thorn like some poison coursing through my veins. I decided sleep was the only answer, but the cold streak of pain refused to fade. I pressed the call button and begged for "good" drugs so I could sleep.

Bernice was kind. She gave me a shot in my IV.

I woke, and my IV was gone. It was morning. The nurse on duty told me they were sending me home-- but only after a psychologist visited me to talk to me about my drug problem.

What the fuck was this? I had no drug problem. But I was too tired and in too much pain to argue with the prim little psychologist who flitted into my room. I just sat, listened and answered her questions about my 'so called' problem. I was fine with it all until she asked me what drug I'd taken the night of the accident because toxicology said the substance in my system was "unknown." I looked at her-- some washed-up preppy wanna-be do-gooder trying to feel my pain-- and thought, God, I guess there's a place in the world for women like this. Just not in my world. Especially not today.

"Listen," I said. "I don't take drugs. I admit I've smoked pot before, but not in a while. That day I was working and on a delivery. I was straight."

My eye twitched when I said the word straight.

She scratched something down on her little note pad, and I heard her mumble "taking drugs at work." I frowned. She looked up.

"The first step is admitting you have a problem," she said.

I groaned. Silence. She was waiting for me to either have some epiphany, rant or crack. I didn't give. I could wait as long as she could. Maybe. I stared up at the clock on the wall.

But I decided I wanted to go home. So I simply said, "I have no drug problem. I didn't take any drugs." I held my mouth firm. At least I hoped it looked firm to her, so she'd bug off. She wrote a bit more on her prissy pad and wrinkled her nose one more time.

"Have it your way, Mr. Grant," she said to me all righteous-like, then left my room. I picked up the phone to call for a ride, hoping Lynn was home. The phone rang and rang. Lynn hadn't left her machine on, so I tried her cell phone. No answer either. I tried each of the guys from the band, one by one. All either were working or not able to pick me up. My list of friends grew shorter and shorter. I looked at the prescription in my hand for pain killer and wondered why they're sending me home so soon, but they always send you home early when you belong to an HMO and your insurance sucks.

I resorted to calling Alan. He couldn't or wouldn't take me home, but he told me Sid would be glad to.

I didn't want Sid to, and I couldn't say why. Well, yes maybe I could say why, but I wasn't gay no matter how beautiful a man he was. Or that he was kind to small animals and children. Or that his nose looked cute when it twitched. I wasn't having those feelings, and I didn't want Sid to get the wrong idea about me.

I sat feeling sorry for myself because I had no friends to take me home. I didn't want to wait so I called Yellow Cab.

I called a nurse who helped me find my clothes. She took me for a ride in the wheelchair, down to the lonely lobby. I waited for the taxi in the front of the hospital like some invalid. I thought, what no goodbye from Bernice? The strange nurse handed me my flowers I got, making me feel more rejected than I already was. You'd expect from working at a flower shop, I'd get lots of people sending me flowers. Hell, no.

Two stinking deliveries? I felt bitter. I worked in a flower shop because I liked flowers. Maybe some guys would feel offended by getting them. Not me.

I held onto the planter I with my good hand-- a gift from the band. The card read, "Get Well Soon" with all their names on it-- none of them in their own handwriting. I held an arrangement of a dozen red carnations steady between my legs. At least the staff at Keller's all signed their names-- even Alan.

The cab pulled up, and I struggled in. What little cash I had left in my wallet, I ended up handing to the driver. I felt even more pitiful.

I got home, and I found more flowers sitting inside my enclosed porch-- Alan, what a lazy son of a bitch. Couldn't even wait to give them to me in person.

Man I hurt when I kneeled to pick the suckers up-- three yellow roses in a bud vase with no card attached. Stupid Alan probably lost the card. Then I remembered I needed to tell Mr. Keller about the sick roses. I didn't really need to tell him about the "misplaced" card. I couldn't remember what happened to it; what it said, or if I read it even after all the agony the card had cost me.

All I remembered was the card, the light, and the llama.

Why did the llama cross the road? To get to its llama mama.

What sounds do llama's make when struck by a car going 45? Snap, crackle and pop.

Now, this haunted bud vase minus one card? Shit. Then I remembered-- my beloved guitar was in the backseat! Save me from myself! Must be it was bad Karma trying to read a customer's card. Probably bad Karma sent directly from the Dali Llama himself. Not that I haven't been guilty of reading a card before (or any of my compatriots either), but one punctured lung, two black eyes, my dead Mustang and one hell of a head ache seemed a high enough price... Not my guitar, too! And look-- my finger was festering. Instant Karma gonna get you... Well, maybe I'd shine on, but it'd have to be later.

Right now I had to go puke.

------------------

I had a few visitors that week. Lynn came by after stopping at the hospital and finding out I was discharged. She made me lunch. Some of the guys from the band came over with Bud Lites, but I didn't think mixing my pain killers with beer was a good idea. So much for my 'drug' addiction. I called Keller on Friday and told him I thought I could come back to work Monday. I also thought I should pass on the info about about Mrs. Lancaster's roses.

Then there were the flowers with no card.

I wasn't sure I wanted to know who they were from-- three yellow roses. The same as my delivery that day. Was this some kind of sick joke?

When I accused Alan of losing the card, Mr. Keller got all weird and put Alan on the phone. Couldn't Keller just look up the order and tell me what the card said?

I heard him in the background on the canned intercom calling Alan out of the greenhouses to the workroom.

"What's up, Wes?" he asked.

"Where is the card to the roses I got?" I asked. "There isn't a card. Who are they from?"

"I'm not supposed to say."

I think I knew.

"The flowers aren't from me," Alan said. "Although you do have a nice ass. If you're worried about the secret admirer from the bar the other night, sorry to disappoint you. It ain't him."

That was me. Three yellow roses in a vase and an over-active imagination.

"What's the big secret then?"

"Wes has a boyfriend!" Alan teased. "And I'm not telling who. I promised him I wouldn't say."

"Him? Fuck. Very funny Alan. Stop with the fag jokes. I'm sick of them." I waited for an answer. "Well, who then? It's not like we have so many mutual friends. I'm really not up for your crap. I had an accident, remember? Unlike some people, who will remain nameless that have unreal accidents and make others do their work for them. You know-- and then suffer because of it..."

"Is this some type of guilt trip?"

"No, blackmail. How would you like me to tell Keller about..."

"All right," he interrupted. "Sid sent them, ok? So, he likes you. Is that a big surprise?"

"Sid? Shit. No," I held my head; it started to pound. I need more Vicodine. "He knows I'm straight."

"He didn't want you to get the wrong idea, you know-- 'cause you're friends and all," Alan paused. "Wow, Wes. I'm sorry. I'm just having fun with you. I was telling Sid about what happened before the accident-- about the delivery. I guess I do feel guilty. Fuck. I sent the flowers."

"Thanks," I said. "I'm not sure if you mean it, or you're just messing with me more."

"Well, I'm sorry," Alan said. " Gimme a break. Like I was saying, I told Sid, and he felt bad. He told you that when he came up to the hospital."

"I don't remember Sid visiting me," I said. "But I don't remember much right after the accident."

Bernice seem to think my boyfriend visited me. Must have been Sid...

"You know he's gonna be pissed at me for telling you."

"Telling me what?" I asked.

"Shit. I didn't tell you. Well, don't tell him." So, Sid did send the flowers. I knew it was too thoughtful for Alan to have done.

"I won't tell." Truth was, I was pretty sure Sid had a crush on me. I'd been wondering about it for sometime.

"You know, he probably did want you to find out," Alan said. "Do you think he'd really trust me with a real secret? Someday you'll figure it out. Everyone in the world has, but you."

"Figure out what?" I asked.

"Wes," Alan whispered. "You are gay."

That was it. I hollered into the receiver: "I don't like guys' hairy assholes." Then punctuated it with: "Fuck you."

"Told ya!" Alan taunted. "I'm irresistible. Sorry, can't have me. I am straight-- as much as you might want me. I gotta go. Need to finish watering the back houses," Alan paused. "Hope you feel better soon."

"You readin' that off a card it the shop?" I shouted.

"Have a nice day!"

Report Story

byel_wing© 6 comments/ 24877 views/ 12 favorites
1 Pages:1

Please Rate This Submission:

Please Rate This Submission:

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Please wait
Favorite Author Favorite Story

hearthshshsgsv, GayEmoLover and 10 other people favorited this story! 

Recent
Comments
by Anonymous

If the above comment contains any ads, links, or breaks Literotica rules, please report it.

There are no recent comments (6 older comments) - Click here to add a comment to this story or Show more comments or Read All User Comments (6)

Add a
Comment

Post a public comment on this submission (click here to send private anonymous feedback to the author instead).

Post comment as (click to select):

You may also listen to a recording of the characters.

Preview comment

Forgot your password?

Please wait

Change picture

Your current user avatar, all sizes:

Default size User Picture  Medium size User Picture  Small size User Picture  Tiny size User Picture

You have a new user avatar waiting for moderation.

Select new user avatar:

   Cancel