(Boyf Riends 16) “I found
you–in the bathroom at a formal event, crying in the bathroom over how you saw
yourself as ugly” (I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE ANON, I SEE IT AND I THINK ITS
“You know…” Jeremy smiled as
he fixed his tuxedo tie. “I never thought we’d make it here…” His eyes in awe
as he took in the chandeliers and grand, gold and champagne paisley wall
decals, this was easily the nicest place either boy had been. “Prom.”
They made it to their senior
prom, of course not without some flaw. Jeremy had missed his chance to ask
Christine, who was already going with a group of girls as they either had
passed up too many invitations or just got none. Michael, too, missed his
chance in asking anyone out. So as per usual, the friends were together again. “This
is going to be nuts…” Michael muttered to himself, and then nodded. He pinched
both sides of his bowtie and ran a hand through his hair. “Let’s make this the
best night two bros can have!” They were dateless, sure, but they survived to
see their senior prom.
Jeremy watched Michael bolt through the crowd of fancily dressed teenage
students and smiled. His best friend cleaned up pretty nice in a red suede suit
and bowtie. It wasn’t until he lost Michael on his sprint towards the pier side
ballroom that Jeremy felt a sweat start up. “MICHAEL! WA-WAIT!” He gulped
narrowing tripping over some girl’s excessively long gown. “S-sorry” He gulped,
holding up his hands defensively as her date gave Heere a look that made him
want to disappear. Squip-less Jeremy was working on the little dexterity he was
known for. He followed the herd to the ballroom, ooh’ing and awe’ing at the
dome shaped room, wall to ceiling windows giving them a perfect view of the
It wasn’t long before this
elegant ballroom turned into a massive, grinding house party. There was something
visually jarring watching formally dressed teens turn into gyrating, jittering
juveniles who were most likely looking to get a little something-something at
the end of the night. Jeremy felt himself nervously swaying side to side, off
beat, as he tried to locate safety.
His body was a small boat
lost in a sea of yachts. He was barely keeping himself up as beautiful, massive
ships swayed and moved along the endless ocean of a dance floor. “Jeremy!”
Called a beautiful red buoy in a bowtie coming to his way, he drew a small
breath of relief. He stopped swaying by the time Michael reunited with him. “They
have milkshake SHOTS” Michael beamed chugging a small glass of pure dairy
goodness down. “The music is kinda lame, what the top fuckboy hits of 2017?”
“H-Heh yeah…” Jeremy rubbed his arm a bit; usually he felt a little more ease
being around Michael. Something about the atmosphere was off putting. Maybe it
was something about the music? Or the fact they were two dateless guys. Or
perhaps how good Michael looked in his suit, clean cut, bright smile, and the
red was the same shade of Jeremy’s favorite drink.
“You ok? You look…” Michael looked Jeremy up and down, enjoying how nice he
looked in a plain black suit with a red tie. Shame his look didn’t match the
expression he wore; his delicate, wispy brown brows furrowed forming a small ‘v’
wrinkle between them. Michael wanted to iron out the worried line with his
thumb…but … “You look constipated” Jeremy internally flinched. Was it that
obvious he was uncomfortable? “We can bounce you know, prom isn’t that great,
the food looks meh at best. We can –“
“No, no!” Jeremy didn’t drag Michael out to prom just to bail. He wanted to be
here. He really did, there was just something bothering him. It had been since
they purchased the tickets and the suits together. “Actually, I think you might
be on to something.” He chuckled, looking for a good out, thankfully even when
Michael didn’t mean to he managed to give Jeremy an escape route from this boss
battle. “I’m going to hit the bathroom.”
“O-Ok Jeremy…” Michael watched as his small, lanky friend spun on his heel and
zipped through the dancing crowds. He weaseled his way through densely packed
bodies. He left a train of ‘sorrys’ and ‘excuse mes’ as he bumped and weaved to
the opposite end of the dance floor. He kept his eyes on the floor worried his
big feet would catch something, a dress or someone’s heels, and send him
careening to the floor. The last thing he needed was to fall flat on his face.
Without taking his eyes off
the floor he hurried into the bathroom and sighed. Why was this not as great as
he thought? What was throwing him off? “Come on…prom…this is fun” He glared at
his reflection in the mirror, his blue eyes focusing everything in him to bring
a pleasant feeling…that was until the door opened. He jumped at the sight of
Christine waddling in her red dress. “C-C-Chri-nn?!” Jeremy’s voice cracked so
bad the rest of her name got lost somewhere between his throat and his lips.
“Jeremy what are you doing hanging out in the girls’ bathroom? At a formal
event?” She blinked a few times, “doesn’t matter do you have a pin or something—of
course you don’t who would. UGH” She rubbed her face and groaned.
Christine turned fully and exposed her ripped lacing ribbon to her corset top. “I
have no idea how I managed to rip the STRING to the corset…I’ve been asking
around for pins or anything to keep my top from falling off…” Her voice sounded
so defeated and low, it was unlike her. “So much for prom huh…”
Jeremy bit the inside of his
cheek, he mulled over solutions for a second before glancing down at his thin,
neck tie. “Hey…” He slowly undid his tie and folded it in half length wise. “You
think this might work?”
Willing to try Jeremy positioned himself by the sinks while Christine stood in
front of him with her back to him. He started threading the tie like a new
string, lacing her back up with care.
“I saw Michael out there, he looks really neat. He was taking to Rich.” She
giggled, “did you come here with Michael ?”
“Yup, just bros flying solo.” Jeremy muttered, he was more than aware how nice
Michael cleaned up for prom. “I’m surprised he’s having so much fun…” Prom was
more Jeremy’s idea, Michael agreed because they were both dateless…and Jeremy
was in need of some moral support tonight.
“Oh…really? I thought…” She
paused but didn’t let the thought die, much to Jeremy’s dismay. “I thought you
guys came together, you know…but it makes sense. Why not, you two are just
friends right? Must be nice to just hang with your friends.” Christine chimed
her voice back to its chipper tone. Once
Jeremy was done she spun around and paused. “You should probably get out of the
girl’s bathroom…and join us, maybe you can squeeze a little boogey-oogy- woogy
time. I might ask Michael to dance since we’re going twinsies on the red.”
“Y-Yea sure.” He watched Christine, in her newly laced dress exit. She looked
equally as amazing in red. Jeremy could picture Christine and Michael dancing
together. A perfect red pair of bubbling smiles and giggles…he felt envy build
up inside him the longer he thought about how much fun Michael was having. How
well he was blending in. The last party Jeremy was at, Michael had stowed away
and wasn’t anywhere to be seen for the longest time.
Jeremy looked over his
shoulder and felt heat build around his face. His eyes started to water when a
very old and familiar thought crossed his mind. “You look like shit.” He whispered
to himself. Just as he sniffled back the heated tears the door swung open.
“Jeremy! There you are” Michael laughed, “dude why are you in the girl’s
bathroom, by yourself? At…prom?” Michael’s smile was forced, one look and he
felt an old memory surface. Being alone in the bathroom with a sorry face?
Michael knew that feeling a little too well. “You ok? You look…well did you at
least use the bathroom?” He thumbed to one of the stalls. “Or are you planning
on using the little boy’s room?”
“I’m…” Jeremy sighed, “I’m not fine.” He admitted softly. “…this sucks.”
“This was your idea, its prom, we have no dates of course it sucks.” Michael
chuckled, “but hey we’re …in it together, right?”
“Oh yeah, that makes me feel better” Jeremy groaned, “Going to Prom with my bro
who looks ten times better than me.” Who gave Michael the right to look nice?
And why was he saying “my bro” like it was a bad thing. Why…did prom feel so
strange all of the sudden. He felt a hand touch his shoulder and slowly he
brought his eyes up to Michael’s.
“Don’t tell me you’re crying
in the bathroom because you see yourself as ugly?” He spoke softly, “Jeremy you
look great, any girl out there would be stoked to dance with you. Like man, you’re
like …suaver than 007 in Goldeneye cover! You’re like…” He started to babble
and ramble, Jeremy felt his cheeks flush a bit.
“I don’t want to dance with
anybody out there…” He kept his eyes on the tiled ground. “…I don’t know I just
do think its … we’re here together so are we really ‘dateless’?”
“a-ah..no I guess…I mean…”
Michael’s babbling was now cut short. The silence hung heavy; there was a
strange understanding happening. Michael started to realize what about prom
wasn’t jiving well with Jeremy. Neither knew how to say it, how to cross that
line of verbalizing that feeling. Suddenly the blasting bass sounds died into a
slow, ancient ballad. “Heh Whitney…”
“Bet everyone on the dance floor is screaming the lyrics out..” Jeremy added,
it was a slow dance song. He looked back at Michael after staring off towards
the door and noticed there was a clammy, shaky hand outstretched towards him.
Michael didn’t say a word, nor did Jeremy. He kept staring at the hand as the
song ticked by. Slowly Jeremy placed his hand in Michael’s, after waiting so
long he flinched before grasping his hand.
Michael wasn’t sure how to
hold Jeremy…his heart made it hard to keep beat with the song. They settled on
awkwardly holding each other’s waist and swaying back and forth.
“I’m glad.” Jeremy spoke up,
“I’m glad I’m here with my favorite person…” He kept his head down, his face
redder than Michael’s suit.
Jeremy might have said this
before but it sounded so much more…than before. No this was different this was…Instead
of saying the millions of things he could have said Michael opened his mouth
and started to sing, off key, “…I don’t have to look, very much further. I don’t
wanna have to go where you don’t followwww”
“Oh jeez, Michael, I’m trying to say like…” This was what he was missing, the
worries slid away from him. A truly genuine smile formed on Jeremy’s nervous
and slightly sweaty face. He didn’t want to be dateless at prom, he didn’t want
to be here with his bro…He wanted to be here with Michael. Jeremy couldn’t get
another word past Michael who was belting every note as if to drown out the
giddiness. “God, Michael…” Jeremy cautiously leaned into Michael’s chest and
resorted to hugging him as they swayed to the Whitney Houston song in the
middle of the girl’s bathroom.
Slowly, Michael’s arms
wrapped around Jeremy’s small frame and locked him into a tight hug.
Tucked away in a small creek just a bit downstream from Cincinnati, Ohio rests a 114 year old ghost ship known as the Celt. It simply fascinates me the history that this one ship has and upon first glance of this rusted hulk you would never imagine so. Originally setting sail back in 1902 as a luxury yacht of a wealthy railroad executive, Celt was 180 feet long and powered by steam. The ship changed hands in 1917 when the US Navy started renting small, quick vessels to outmaneuver German U-boats during World War I. It was during this time that it was renamed the USS Sachem (SP-192) and was used as a coastal patrol boat after being outfitted with depth charges and machine guns. One of the most notable things about it’s life during WWI is that it was loaned to Thomas Edison while he conducted US Government funded experiments onboard in New York as head of the Naval Consulting Board.
After the end of WWI the Sachem changed owners a couple of times before landing back in the hands of the Navy for $65,000 in 1942. The Navy then changed the name to USS Phenakite (PYc-25) and used the vessel to patrol the waters off of the Florida Keys. Phenakite was used for a brief time after WWII to train soldiers to test sonar equipment before being decommissioned and returned to the previous owner in 1945. Subsequently it was sold to Circle Line of NYC and renamed Sightseer but was soon renamed Circle Line V and served as a tour boat until 1983. In 1986 a Cincinnati local named Robert Miller bought the ship for a mere $7,500 and before leaving the New York Harbor it had a cameo in Madonna’s video for ‘Papa Don’t Preach’. After traveling up the Hudson, through the Great Lakes, down the Mississippi and into the Ohio River, the ship settled in a small creek next to Miller’s property in Northern Kentucky where it has rested since.
Seafarers have been telling each other stories of monsters of the deep for as long as humanity has been crossing the waves.
Many of these tales can be written off as simply the wondrous work of the human imagination, failing that they could be the eyes of a tired sailor deceiving him or her, perhaps still just mistaken identity. Lord knows humans have coined some truly odd creatures due to mis-remembering appearance in the days before cameras.