copyright © 2003 N. David Philips

N. David Philips

Lights up on a mid-20s average "Joe". He’s not attractive, but he’s not unattractive, either. He’s not straight, but he’s not gay, either. He’s not afraid, but he’s not confident, either. He is, at least to some extent, an enigmatic variant of an everyman.

"My First Time" or "Sometimes the Truth Can Be Too Much"

My first time? About a year ago. Chris and I had been living together for about a year and a half. Well, maybe living together isn’t exactly the right expression. We’d been sharing an apartment for about a year and a half. It was a convenience thing, really. It wasn’t like we had a lot in common — different jobs, different interests, different friends. Most of the time, we didn’t even talk. Except late on Saturday nights. We always went to a little bar around the corner on Saturday nights. It wasn’t even a conscious thing in the beginning. We were both just sitting around one Saturday night, and Chris asked me if I wanted to go grab a beer around the corner. Same thing the next week. And the next. And the next. And, after that, it was like a habit. That’s the only time we ever talked…always after at least a couple of beers…and usually after at least a couple of beers too many. I think. No, I know we said things to each other in that bar that we never would have said to anyone else…or even said to each other the rest of the time…like talking about our first times…or his first time, at least. That little bar’s where I found out his first time had been with another man…back when he was nineteen…and where he told me that he’d kill me if I ever mentioned it again…I knew he could do it, and I knew that he meant it. For some reason, though, he never stopped short of telling me everything he was thinking those nights. One night he spent an hour telling how proud he was of his dick and naming all the girls he’d fucked with it like they were some kinda grocery list. That was three months before my first time. That little bar’s where he found out I was still a virgin…even though I was twenty-three. Where he asked me about the first time I made out. No dice. Where he asked me about the first time I’d kissed somebody. No dice. He emptied another glass and called me a fucking liar. See, I never told him I fought with my sexuality for years and still wasn’t sure how to define it. I never told him how closely I walked the line of androgyny — or how much I liked to cross it. I always stopped short of telling him everything. It was a cold night. No clouds. He didn’t say anything else until we were back at the apartment. "It’s time you learned," he said. I knew what he meant, but I didn’t think he was serious. I tried to walk away from him, but he pulled me back. "Don’t be embarrassed. Relax. Just do what I’m doing. It doesn’t mean anything." I knew he was drunk. I also knew he was stronger than me, so I just gave in. I didn’t want it to mean anything to me, either…I wanted it to disgust me…but it did…and it didn’t. It sure as hell didn’t mean anything to him. I think maybe that’s why it took him so long to realize what was happening when I moved my hands down his back and started feeling his ass…and then when I actually kissed him, he just stepped back. He didn’t do anything for a minute. And then he backhanded me. Hard. Really hard. I waited for him to hit me again, but he didn’t move. He just looked at me, totally sober. "Chris…I…I…" He turned his back to me. "Get up. Get out. Get outta my fuckin’ sight." That was the last thing he ever said to me...just a cold, commanding whisper. Sometimes the truth can be too much.

Lights slowly fade to black as the speaker sits silently.


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