“Tell me the news, ‘Gate. You seem ready to burst.” I knew he was ready to land a knockout punch himself. I had just arrived at the Ames Airport. The whole family was there.
“Jist takin’ your advice and example, Andy. I cain’t jist love one person,” he crowed with an arm around each of my twin sisters.
“And we swore never to exclude one another from our lives,” Angie explained how twin-think went along with his plan.
It was exactly what Jack and I had been thinking for quite a while. The twins were never going to be apart. ‘Gator was so larger than life, he needed two girls to satisfy his every need.
The moms looked somewhat shell-shocked by this development. Hell, ‘Gator was already part of the family. His feelings were never merely in the big brother category. It had seemed obvious to Jack and me that two girlfriends were better than one for the ‘Gate. And, the twins were used to sharing. The sleeping arrangements may be dicey. Was I supposed to protect my sisters from my best friend? I’d treat it as if I were just sharing him.
All my NYC news/gossip seemed trivial, just ‘a day in the life’ with the Beatles. I really felt I had come home.
The moms had prepared a Sunday night supper of beans and franks with cornbread. Was I crazy to be famished. It tasted better than my previous night’s dinner at ‘21’. I called Jack to tell him I was home and give him the news about ‘Gator and the twins.
“I knew it,” he crowed.
“How was your day? Miss me?”
“Totally. The kids ditched me for all their new friends from Youth Group. Dakota may be history.”
“You could jam with the cousins?”
“They’re avoiding me. Too close to gay for comfort. Catching them jacking off to us faking sex is making them reevaluate their sexuality.”
“Jesus. I got a three-way going here while my boyfriend is contemplating one there.”
“No way. They’re gross.”
“Maybe you’ll get back here in time for the State Bowling Championships. Your fag hag posse will want to know tomorrow in school.”
“Oh, la gloire.”
“Did you get enough sex last night to last until you’re back here?”
“I love it when you take charge like that. Crazy mad fucking.”
“I cain’t lets ya firgit me.”
“I even miss yer fake country accent.”
“No more losing your voice?”
“Naw. I was just tryin’ to get ya to stay. Didn’t work.”
“So you were faking?”
“No, but someone had to make me wake up and accept I can’t always get my way.”
“I don’t blames ya. I’m a’gonna miss ya like crazy ‘til ya’s back here. I already does.”
“You are so cute,” he gushed.
Then I called Flo and filled her in on my adventures. She was envious but not jealous. She truly loved me. Jace asked if he could go fulfill her virginal fantasies. I told him he was a perv and to go see Edi if that’s what he wanted.
The moms sat me down and asked if I was ready to be a normal kid.
“What’s that like?” I shrugged.
“Well, how about college next year. You could go to State and still live here. Or, you need to get applications in by April first for fancy schools. What are Jack’s plans.
“He’s already in at Harvard. Mummy took care of it.”
“Is that what you want?”
“Jack says I need to get into the real world, that college would be a waste of time for me.”
“You need to have a better plan than just ‘real life.’ College is to prepare you for being an adult.”
“I can tell I’m in trouble. How about I finish my therapy with Dr. Kam and hopefully am able to make a real choice for next year?”
“You don’t want to look at selective schools? Applications are due in a matter of days.”
“I just want Jack to be here and for us to be happy together.”
“You could apply to Harvard, too. Your grades are good. But you need to apply now.”
“I’m not sure if Jack really wants to go. It was Mummy who got him in.”
“How about just doing the application, in case that’s what you both want next fall?”
“Okay.” I gave in.
Molly knew how to back me into a corner.
I finally got upstairs where ‘Gator and the twins were waiting for me. I just shook my head.
“Too many moms?” ‘Gator laughed.
“They want me to be normal. I haven’t a clue.”
“How ‘bout playin us a song? Ya always let yer feelings out that a way.
‘(I shot the sheriff, but I didn’t shoot no deputy, oh no! Oh!
I shot the sheriff, but I didn’t shoot no deputy, ooh, ooh, ooh)
Yeah! All around in my home town,
They’re tryin’ to track me down,
They say they want to bring me in guilty
For the killing of a deputy,
For the life of a deputy, but I say
Oh, now, now, oh!
(I shot the sheriff) the sheriff
(But I swear it was in self-defense) Oh, no! (Oh, oh, ooh)
Yeah, I say, I shot the sheriff oh, Lord! (And they say it is a capital offense)
Yeah! (oh, oh, ooh) Yeah!
Sheriff John Brown always hated me,
For what, I don’t know,
Every time I plant a seed,
He said kill it before it grow,
He said kill them before they grow, and so I
Read it in the news! (I shot the sheriff) Oh, Lord!
(But I swear it was in self-defense)
Where was the deputy? (Oh, oh, ooh)
I say, I shot the sheriff,
But I swear it was in self-defense, yeah! (Ooh)
Freedom came my way one day
And I started out-of-town, yeah!
All of a sudden I saw sheriff John Brown
Aiming to shoot me down,
So I shot, I shot, I shot him down and I say,
If I am guilty I will pay!
I didn’t shoot no deputy (oh, no-oh) oh no!
(I shot the sheriff) I did!
But I didn’t shoot no deputy, oh (Oh, oh, ooh)
Reflexes had got the better of me
And what is to be must be,
Every day the bucket a-go a well,
One day the bottom a-go drop out,
One day the bottom a-go drop out, I say
I, I, I, I, shot the sheriff.
Lord, I didn’t shoot the deputy, no
I, I (shot the sheriff)
But I didn’t shoot no deputy, yeah
Lyrics © BLUE MOUNTAIN MUSIC LTD.
To my surprise, ‘Gator told me he was spending the night. He stripped down and jumped into my queen size bed.
“’Gate?” I questioned what his intentions were.
“Hush, ya ain’t havin’ ta cheat on yer boyfriend.”
“Goodnight, Jim Bob,” the twins called out.
“Goodnight, Mary Ellen,” I called back.
He hushed me with a finger to his lips. We lay there whispering about all the things I did in New York and how there was so little to do in Ames. Thirty minutes later, he hushed me, leaving me alone for the twins bedroom.
I was shocked.
All the moms’ talk about colleges and a normal life made me realize something about my future: I’d always believed there was no future.