"SAILOR BOY" — © 1995 - 1999 by Charles Dobie


Charles Dobie

He had heard what went on in that place, but was always afraid to see for himself. From his window in the bus he peered through the entrance as people spilled in and out. Very disapointing; just a grungy bar filled with grungy Friday night drinkers. Two of them were waiting at the bus stop. It was easy to tell; they were old and ugly and drunk and almost falling over each other. He thought he'd seen them before; most likely stumbling around the streets. Them, not him.

The bus was nearly empty, but he knew they would sit near him, or at least look him over as they passed. He slightly spread his legs and reached into his pants, adjusting his erection so that it lay hotly against him, diagonal to his zipper. His jeans bulged as he flexed his stomach and for one horrifying moment he thought he was going to come.

They shared a joke with the driver, then lurched down the isle smirking as the bus surged into traffic. He nearly snorted with laughter when he heard their gasps as they passed him. They flopped into the seat behind him and a hand brushed his shoulder as one of them grabbed at the back of his seat for support. "Sorry," a voice said, but he ignored it.

He wanted to hear what they talked about, but mostly they giggled and shushed each other like a couple of girls. They stank of cigarettes and beer, and he found them as disgusting as he had expected. No way! No way would he let himself get like that! Fit only for back alleys and bus station toilets. He decided to get off at Bloor Street. After all, it was Friday night. What if they got off too? What if they followed him? He would have to run like he'd had to do before.

He pulled the bell cord, stood up and turned slowly around, pretending to read the transom advertisements. He stretched his body luxuriously and let his t-shirt slide out of his jeans. The air felt cool on his skin. They were slavering over him like hard core perverts; he thought their tongues would flop out onto the floor. Talk about low-life trash!

The bus pulled up to the Bloor Street stop. "What a waste!" one of them said as he stepped out. "What a pitiful, bloody waste!"

He stood on the sidewalk and tried to ignore the knot of panic in his stomach. He saw them watching from the window so he pretended a decision and strode quickly away.

Where to now? He had never been so alone, not since he moved to Toronto. He glanced at his watch. Nearly closing time. Soon the sidewalks would be filled with obnoxious drunks and prancing queers, all so obvious and sickening. How could people live like that night after night?

"Um, sir? Excuse me, sir."

The voice startled him. The two men from the bus stood behind him, staggering slightly. One grinned crookedly, urged on by the other. "You in the navy?"

"Huh?" he said stupidly.

"I seen your tattoo, so I thought maybe you're in the navy or somethin'. I mean, I used to be in the navy, so I thought maybe . . ."

"No. Not now. I mean . . . I . . . I gotta be somewhere. I'm late." He whirled and sprinted away from them, dodging pedestrians.

He was nearly into the next block when the shout reached him. It was more like a long, high pitched, drawn out, yodeling wail, and it cut through the street noise like a knife: "Heyyyy ssaaaiiilllorrr boyyyy! People around him stopped in their tracks and roared.

And he ran blindly away, convinced this was how it would be for the rest of his life.



"SAILOR BOY" — © 1987 - 1999 by Charles Dobie