CHAPTER TWO: REALITIES
Peter is almost glad to be back in school, he has missed so much work that he enjoys the heroic effort of catching up, and the special help he gets from Ms. Candice, his favourite teacher. And he gets excused from gym classes for an extra week.
Peter is one of Ms. Candices pets, and he doesnt mind at all. Shes above average boobed, has straight dark blond hair and only wears eye shadow. Shes taken a special interest in Peter ever since in a current events, class discussion he had said, "l like the way the cruise missile can sneak up on them even if its not that fast, and I think the Americans should give us some if they want to test it in Canada. Ms. Candice interrupted him to state that the cruise missile was designed to kill people. Peter already knew that, and he wanted to tell her that was why he liked the MX better, but she went on to explain to the class the dangers of escalation, how each side would build more and more terrible weapons, capable of killing more and more people. Peter was enthralled, it corresponded to his own view of historical progress, which he had once recounted to himself when forced to put his own accomplishments in perspective. First there was the wheel, then gunpowder, and then the atomic bombs, rockets and spaceships, and now theres the miniature death ray camera gun. Ms. Candice then started talking about disarmament and the need for peace talks, but Peter knows you cant trust the Commies, he reads The Readers Digest.
And Ms. Candice does special things for Peter, like the time she gave him a free ticket for that movie at the Moose Hall about Hiroshima. Peter was however disappointed that he didnt get to see the bomb go off, but some of the after pictures of the survivors inspired him for weeks. He figures real war movies should show things like that too. They should have some good footage from Viet Nam. Think how much better they could have made Apocalypse Now. Afterwards a man with a long pony tail tried to give him a peace pamphlet, so he left. Ms. Candice told me Im really a peace loving person, like I never get into fights or cause trouble, and she didnt catch me the time Kenny gave me a dollar for letting him copy my exam . And Ms. Candice, you know I once saw her with the sun behind, and she has all these fine fluffy hairs on her upper lip.
Theres a new kid in class, Balbir, another Paki, but he doesnt seem to fit in with the other East Indians. Hes a couple of years older than most kids, speaks bad English and tries very hard to make friends with the other boys. Soon Peter, who sometimes longs for a friend himself, is the only one left to try. Balbir follows him around, asks questions that Peter is flattered to answer, and gives him little things. Peter doesnt mind accepting the oranges and bananas, If they look good theyre probably Canadian anyway, but those funny looking little cakes, they may taste OK, but you know its because of what they eat that they smell the way they do. Peter cant decide for sure if Balbir smells but he doesnt want to take any chances.
Balbir, as it happens, lives on the block behind Peters place, and as neither has any extracurricular activities they often walk home together. In some ways Peter likes the idea of a bigger, stronger boy accompanying him, and he knows that, Pakis can be really tough and mean, but then he IS a Paki And its not fair that he has all those wispy hairs on his face like hes getting a beard, and I dont even have any on my arms.
And then, walking home with him one day, Balbir invites Peter over to his place, sounding formal in his broken English, and adds, We have much bottles of Coke pop in fridgerator. Thinking of the Cokes, It would be safe in bottles, Peter agrees, its a hot day and Peter is thirsty But Balbirs a Paki, and you know what that means, they do all sorts of weird things among themselves and they got strange practices which are against the Canadian Way of Life and they probably have orgies too! Maybe I should just stay on the front steps even if people can see me.
And besides, Balbir is not the kind of person Peter wants as a friend. I should have a friend who is like me only with more money so we could play video games, and someone who likes my death ray camera gun, and I could learn to play Dungeons and Dragons with, and who plays chess and whod do what I wanted and believed what I told him and whos got nice hair on his arms and we could watch TV together. He wouldnt be an East Indian. A Black perhaps? Therere only two at school, but everybody likes them and they have a lot of fun, but youd have to be into sports or music or something like that. A Chinese? Nobody seems to worry about them anymore, not like they used to, and they sure own a lot of places. They dont have as much fun but theyre smart. I figure Pakis are the worst because they look like us, maybe bigger noses. Its sure a good thing they got dark skin so you can tell them apart.
However Peter decides he can stay for just one Coke, because my mother is expecting me and I have a lot of things to do. he lies as they turn onto on to Balbirs street.
Balbirs house is an old company house much like Peters except it has been freshly painted, orange with blue trim. Balbir goes in first and moments later motions Peter in from the threshold. An older man with a big mustache in an ancient double breasted suit is introduced as his father, a woman in a pale plum sari and two smaller children stay in the background.
It is good to meet you, Master Peter. his father greets him. Please to sit down. he indicates the largest upholstered chair in the living room.
"Thankyou, I cant stay very long. Peter thinks he can smell something different about the house, but then he hasnt been in many other boys houses so he cant be certain.
It is seldom we have visitors, please to make yourself at home.
His wife comes in and sets down a tray in front of him with one glass of what Peter guesses is Coke and a cloth napkin. Peter would have preferred it in a bottle, safer. Peter thanks the woman who nods back. Please to excuse my wife, she not to speak English yet, and gesturing in a friendly way, Please to bottoms up as you say.
Arent you and Balbir going to have any? Peters perplexed.
My wife come now. And she reappears with another tray with one glass and sets it in front of Balbir. I not want to drink Coke. he explains. Balbir follows as Peter gingerly takes a sip. It tastes all right. My son say you Peter is friend. It is good.
We walk home from school a lot. Peter cant think of anything else.
It is good, my son to have good Canadian friend, good to help to speak English in the Canadian way. My son say you not same other boys.
Peter has another sip as Balbir follows. He knows what his father means, it is only fear of getting hurt that has kept Peter from joining other boys in Paki and Raghead baiting. Well, ah me and Balbir. We Neither the truth nor any lie he can conceive of seems the right thing to say, we see each other a lot, and walk home a lot.
Ill tell to my father, Balbir takes over, you make help to me at school, you say to me things, you not to make fun to me.
Yes, you good boy, you friend to my son. We are thankful to you . Balbirs father pauses and then his eyes light up, You like maybe, to see movie? Peter knows Friday the Thirteenth is playing at the Odeon. Good idea? I pay for movie. You show my son, the good time.
Well, Peter hesitates, and makes some calculations. Sure, OK. Ten dollars would do it. That would leave plenty left over for refreshments.
On his way home Peter wonders if he is doing the right thing, going to a movie with a Paki. But with student cards it will only be two seventy five each and he is already mentally spending the rest.
Peter returns to Balbirs house after dinner and they make the seven oclock showing. Balbir doesnt understand the movie and persists in asking questions. Peter thinks there could be more gory scenes and details. He leaves Balbir at his gate and detours back to the 7-Eleven to spend the change he has pocketed.
After the Donkey Kong machine has quickly relieved him of his fortune, two of the tough Schoolside kids come up to him. Have a good time at the movies? one asks. Peter tries to ignore him. We saw you and your Paki friend.
We just happened to get there at the same time. Peter protests.
From where we sat we thought you were holding hands. the other comments.
Peter wants to tell them to Fuck off, but all he can express is an indignant, Thats not true, it was just a coincidence.
Oh, we thought you were a Paki lover, it looked so sweet.
I dont like them fucking Pakis anymore than you do. It was just a coincidence. And for emphasis Peter adds, I could hardly stand the smell, and besides they take jobs away from people. I think all them fucking Pakis and Ragheads should be sent back where they came from. That should do it, and he turns to leave and there in front of him is Balbir in a rage with tears in his eyes. Peter runs around the other side of the counter and out the door with Balbir and the boys laughter chasing him. Luckily Peter knows the neighbourhood better and makes it home safely. Balbir is another boy he will have to avoid.
Peter goes to his room early that night, Mom and Alex are watching that stupid quiz show with all those stupid celebrities. Why cant they watch something decent like Charlies Angels. He sits down on his bed and thinks he should think about something mean to do to Balbir for chasing him, but for once his imagination fails him. He tries to get something going with his miniaturized death ray camera gun, but it all turns out to be not very interesting reruns of previous fantasies. He gets out his chess set and tries to set up some interesting plays but he cant think of any new ones. He wishes he had someone to play with, someone almost as good as me. Finally he takes off his jeans and gaunch opens his shirt and starts playing with his penis. Even this is not as much fun as its supposed to be, he complains to himself, maybe when youre older and can shoot cum? But he feels a bit better after he gets it hard and plays little tickly games with it. Then he lies back and watches it lean over and go soft.
It seems like his chest and belly are a vast rolling prairie stretching in front of him. He imagines buffalo herds roaming there. Raising his knees slightly he makes hills and in the distance his toes form craggy peaks. It reminds him of the picture of Alberta on the Canadian Scenes calendar. Its a barren prairie and Peter thinks it would look better with some little trees, especially around the clump of rocks at the base of the two hills. Its not fair, Tom has had a great big bush there for years and even Alex has more hair on his body. Peter feels cheated. Maybe Ill never have hair down there, that could happen. Maybe Im one of those homofrodites who got no hair and never have to shave. Hes heard about them and believes he saw one at The Theatre Coffee Shop once. Peter doesnt want to be any kind of homo. He makes his almost daily check for real hairs not just peach fuzz on his arms and legs. And he tries not to think of all the boys hes seen in the gym changing room who are bigger and hairier down there than him, and he succeeds. Pictures from one of Toms Hustler magazines, the Texas Longhorn and that incredible nineteen inch Black guy float through his mind. Peter finds his old foot ruler with inches on it, Its funny they never use metric for peckers, and he holds it to himself. With some pushing and pulling he measures himself at just over three inches. He knows hell never get any chics with a small cock.
Peter decides to pretend his nipples are volcanoes, They look more real if you pinch them first, and he imagines them sending up smoke like Mt. St. Helens. And then he watches the long rock, wills it to rise up from the clump, and gives a little squirt and sees a golden pond form in the depression of his navel. After a while he mops it up with Kleenex and goes to the window, opens It and pees out. There is no light in Mr. Hicks room but Peter thinks he might be watching, sometimes hes almost positive after. He sprays his pee from side to side on the Wall like a watersprinkler. Sometimes he sees how high up the Wall he can pee, he can easily reach the rotten boards below Mr. Hicks windowsill and the highest level hes ever reached, which hes marked with a pencil, is almost even with the bottom of the glass.
When hes finished he strolls over to look at himself in the mirror, the old full length mirror with the silvering badly scratched at the bottom thats screwed on to his closet door. He tucks his genitals between his legs and modestly covers his bosom with his shirt. She looks back at him seductively. Peter flutters his eyes and She responds by running her tongue around her lips. With his wrist held in front of him Peter places his puckered lips inches in front of the glass and coos, Hello. She flutters back at him. Usually Peters mirror friend is He, and he goes through all the muscle man poses hes learnt from Tom, but sometimes his friend is a she. Then slowly removing his shirt and using it as an accessory he goes through several of his nose in the air poses that fashion magazines are so fond of. Peter imagines that hes beautiful and irresistible. With exquisite sophistication he smokes an imaginary cigarette, knocking off the ash with his little finger, then leaning closer he blows smoke in Shes face and asks gallantly, Would you care to dance, my dear? You have such a beautiful nose. And he studies his own, which he thinks is remarkably well formed, in the mirror. He quickly slips a tape in his Walkman and puts it on. And he takes She in his arms and bends her over backwards, rubbing his crotch into hers. Peter and She dance out and around with long strides circling the room. He checks Mr. Hicks window and is sure he can detect the silhouette of his head in the lower left hand corner. Inspired, he feels he has a real audience now, he breaks into a combination disco-belly dance coyly maneuvering the box of Kleenex in front of his genitals before with a magnificent gesture he sends the box sailing on to the bed. And turning up the volume he rolls his eyes, gyrates his hips to the beat, and fondles himself outrageously from his chest to his knees, working himself into a goggle-eyed frenzy. The song ends. Peter slows to a sway, closes his eyes, and mouth open gently strokes himself hard with the tips of his fingers, spasmodically twitching at the end of each stroke, and then these die down to a motionless pose he holds for a minute. Then slowly turning his back to the window he bends over, reaches under and lazily fingers his ass. He turns around again, bows deeply to the audience, and closes his curtains for the first time in weeks. The applause is deafening. He bows again to the mirror and She blows him a kiss.
Peter goes to sleep listening to a new punk tape Tom had given him a few days ago. The song is strange and Peter cant make sense out of it.
I wanta be, an East Indian,
Cause I really like, the colour of their skin
Id never vote, for the KKK
Cause Id rather be dead, than from the USA.
You dont, understand, me and my, Trans Am.
You always put me down,
Cause I only look good in, Orange.
I wanta be an East Indian
And when Peter goes to the corner store next day to buy some cigarettes for Mom, Mr. Hicks magically appears and buys two big Oh Henry chocolate bars which he unobtrusively slips into Peters bands. Have you ever thought of trying out for a team in the Little League? he asks in a friendly way.
No. Peter replies innocently.
You dont have to be big and strong, theres lots of kids your size. Its mainly a game of skill and intelligence You know I manage the Acme Fuel Blue Jays, and if you are interested I could give you extra coaching.
Thank you, but I have so many other things to keep me busy. And he adds graciously, Perhaps some other time.
Let me know if you change your mind.
The fucking pervert. Peter thinks as he munches an Oh Henry on the way home. At least its better than the lousy little Eatmore bars he usually hands out. Peter smiles to himself because hes certain, the fucking pervert was watching.
ahn ahn ahn
WHACK blasting through me
WHACK blasting me
AHH - WHACK
AHhhh _ HELD me cant move
WHACK WHACK WHACK
AHH - clamped mm, mm, mm. me cant breathe
WHACK WHACK WHACK
me bursting inside
ooooo - ooo - oo - o
A few nights later the Dream comes back to him, the dream where hes being banged and hit, with flashes of pain each reverberating on and on. The dream where he cant move his arms or legs, where he cant do anything except to sort of scream. And then, just as it always ends, he feels his mouth held shut, and he CANT SCREAM or even breathe. And he screams awake and sobs.
Mom comes in from her room across the hall and tries to comfort him. Peter, whats the matter? No answer. Was it that dream again? she asks putting her arm around him. Peter remains silent, he has his sobs under control. You must try not to think about it. Peter squirms to free himself.
Im OK, you go back to bed, Im all right. he says as calmly as he can manage.
You mustnt worry about that dream, its over, its all in the past Youre a big boy now. Youre almost fourteen, a Teenager! Peter wishes she would leave. Why being a teenager is a whole new world . Why soon youll be going to parties, and dancing, and dating . and girls! Its the most exciting time of your life. Peter picks up his large plastic Robotman model he made from a kit, and pretends to study it. Think of the Future! I dont know what theyll do next. Peter notices that they put the control panel decal on upside-down. These dreams are just a passing phase. Im sure lots of children have them. Suddenly Peter wishes he had his death ray camera gun, he wouldnt turn it up to quite full power. Maybe you would like some hot chocolate to help you settle down? . or perhaps a bowl of Fruit Loops? She tries to make it sound tempting. Peter turns Robotman over and decides hell add a pecker, he has some leftover plastic rod. Well I dont know what I can do for you. And in a desperate tone that demands a response, Peter, please let me help you, PETER?
Peter, after glancing up at her asks, Have you ever wondered why spiders have eight legs?
Peter! Youre impossible! And after hovering around uncertainly she leaves.
A surge of energy and satisfaction, so unusual for so soon after the Dream, engulfs him as his Walkman conveys in stereo hifidelity the message of the Dayglo Abortions:
I killed mommy with my automatic,
I killed mommy with my automatic,
I killed mommy
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