Armour: Kicking and Screaming

Hello readers and writers of LGBTQIA literature, please wander forth to a wonderful Facebook world called Rainbow Snippets, where authors and readers alike may share snippets (6 sentences preferably) from their favourite book, completed work, or work in progress!

This week’s snippet is yet another from my WIP, ARMOUR. As I write Armour, I am taking into consideration that the story spans from the 50s to 2011, and that asexuality did not even have a global representation until asexuality.org in 2006. The snippet for this week is about not knowing and questioning. Since at this time asexuality is only associated with amoebas, Derek would have no idea that Lloyd is asexual. Derek on the other hand is either gay or a homoromantic ace, because he has been in love with Lloyd since the tornado 3 years ago (1965)

A full month (August 1968) after the abduction of 7 year old Joey Rollins, his father, Simon Rollins, finally rings up the home of eldest son Derek Rollins in Galveston, TX, where the kidnapping took place, and then flies out from England to visit…and presumably, to lend some moral support and help in the search for Joey. It’s difficult to say where Simon’s visit would have lead if it had been allowed to be extended, but his deplorable behaviour, i.e. not even mentioning Joey’s name, upon arrival or in the hours following; wanting to see a “film” at a specific theatre in Houston, which means driving all the way back to the city they picked him up from, instead of enjoying the many attractions of Galveston (the ocean, the Pleasure Pier, various tours and cruises, etc.), saying at the last minute that it was a pornographic film he wanted to see; and worst of all, calling Derek and Lloyd “queers” because they touched hands to comfort each other and encourage each other not to “engage” Simon. But Simon has a personality I’ve modeled after several members of my family that I call “The Bullies”. Simon’s Bulloxology (weird nonconcern of the crisis at hand, narcissism, bigotry, possible sociopathology) is finely honed and well practiced, and Derek’s deep rooted hatred for his father is boiling to the surface. This long (sorry) snippet is from Derek’s POV, concluding with questioning himself his sexual identity:

And Simon keeps on layin’ the boots. “Feckin’ queers!”
“Oh, fuck you, Simple Simon!” Lloyd spits.
Dad just laughs. “You both need to lighten up. You’re too easily offended. A good triple X film will be right up your alley.”
“We’re not going to any theatre!” screams Lloyd. “We’re going home, or to the airport. You pick!”
“No!” I roar. “I’m picking! Airport! Put this dirty tooth back on the plane!”
When Lloyd pulls into the airport parking lot, Simon refuses to budge out of the backseat. “I’m not leavin’!”
I climb into the backseat and start kicking him. “Aye, you are! Get out! Get your arse out of this car! Get out! Get out!”
He protests. “I didn’t bring my baggage with me, blast you!”
“We’ll airmail it to you, asshole!” Lloyd is bent over laughing, holding the door open while I’m kicking my dad, shrieking like a banshee on Halloween.
Once the auld sod is back on the plane pouting that he didn’t get to torment us, Lloyd and I celebrate by having lunch in town, finding another theatre, and seeing The Love Bug after all.
“Sorry I didn’t help you more,” giggles Lloyd as we take our seats, “but you were doing a good job kicking Simon’s ass.”
“That’s all right, mate,” I say softly. “You still don’t look one hundred percent, and he’s not worth wasting your strength.”
“I’m sorry it was such a short…shitty visit…”
“Don’t apologise for that abomination,” I say. “Besides, your dad was no model citizen either.”
“Nope.”
“They think they’re such men. They call us queers and yet they never do anything to prove they’re he-men, do they?”
“I’d rather be queer than be like them,” Lloyd replies. “They’re both fucking losers.”
In the dark of the theatre, I wonder if I am queer. I steal sidelong glances at his thick, dark hair, his sweet face, that beautiful smile he only shows during unguarded moments. I want to take his hand again and tell him I love him, but I’m too shy.

This week’s song is “Malarone” by Linea Aspera. It’s a song about toxic relationships that make people feel poisoned, contaminated, ruined. This is Derek’s voice, telling Simon that he is a filthy protozoan. I relate so much to this song and how it applies to all of the toxic people I’ve had to sever ties with.

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