Monday, February 07, 2005
They look like Willis and Perry, two average American guys who have been best friends ever since the first week of freshman year, when they lived down the hall from each other. They were both hiding out in the shower stalls calling their mothers on their cordlesses when they simultaneously realized that the echoes of girlish sobbing weren't emanating solely from their own mucus-filled heads. They soon bonded over the fact that they both hated their respective meathead roommates, that they both wanted to major in pre-med or mechanical engineering or special events coordinating (Psych! There's no such major!), that they both preferred cashmere to wool, and that 500 thread-count silk sheets were the only way to go because they make your naked body feel absolutely DELICIOUS when you wake up in the morning. The two were often seen in the cafeteria line having punching contests or pulling each other into headlocks for no particular reason other than, "What? It's FUNNY." They were always the shoulder for each other to cry on when they couldn't seem to get girlfriends, because all the girls they met were too crazy, too prudish, too aggressive or just plain girly. Perry in particular, had a rough time getting dates because he would always jokingly refer to girls as bitches and hos, which he convincingly played off as an affectation of just another white boy who wanted to be black.
No one ever said anything when the two spent more time chasing each other around during football games in the quad, trying to slap each other's butts rather than actually playing. No one ever said anything when they synchronized their Halloween costumes with Willis' "Gay Punk Rocker" complementing Perry's "Gay Guido." No one even said anything when they got matching ass tattoos , with Willis getting "Joanie" and Perry getting, "Chachi," both claiming it was an inside joke (their friends just rolled their eyes). No one ever said anything until one day, the Portuegese exchange student who didn't know any better innocently asked, "You two do sexy together, yes?"
"We're best friends," said Perry, as equally offended as confused, while everyone within earshot avoided eye contact with him. Perry and Willis looked at each other, ready to laugh off the comment, when in that moment, like Adam and Eve just after biting into the forbidden fruit, something changed.
Whatever happened between them after that, no one knows. Willis showed up to class the next day with a black eye; Perry joined a frat and began dating and having wild exhibitionist sex with the hall whore who would take off her top for anyone who fed her enough peach schnapps. Neither ever spoke of the other.
20 years later, Perry, now married with 3 kids, would run into a girl who had lived in his hall during that fateful year. "What ever happened to Willis?," she would ask. "You guys were...tight."
"I don't know," said Perry. "Fag," he added, furtively under his breath.
"Excuse me?" said the girl, but Perry was already changing the subject to the wild boys-only cruise to Rio de Janeiro he was looking forward to taking in August with hundreds of past and present members of his fraternity. Shortly after she left, he hurried to his car and was seen sobbing into the steering wheel, his tears falling from his face and drenching his seafoam and mochachino Roberto Cavalli cashmere sweater as he dialed his mother's phone number into his cellphone.