Excerpt from We Don’t Say Gay at Tranquility Bay
Except for a brief scolding from the principal at the foot of the flagpole that day, nothing had been said or done about Nick’s boxer shorts, except to remove them from the public eye. The video had received over five thousand hits already and the Chirps were there for anyone looking over a shoulder to read, but no one had said a thing. Brent was confused by the blindness of the adult world, but grateful.
In his experience adults did a lot of telling but not much doing. His Dad, for instance, would tell him to do things like mow the lawn, rake the leaves, pull weeds, clean the garage, but he didn’t actually do any of those things himself. Mom told him all the time to brush his teeth, change his underwear, eat vegetables, keep up with his homework, but again she never actually checked to see if he did any of those things.
Granted, they were busy with Dad’s career and there had even been some talk of him running for political office, state congressman or something. They spent every night networking to build contacts and were never home. He’d been ordering in dinners since sixth grade and couldn’t remember his father ever actually attending one of his games. He hired someone to be there though. Some guy named Alex, who worked in his office mailroom, showed up and recorded every game. He’d forward the video and Dad watched it in his office the next day. He always sent Brent an email pointing out his mistakes and how to improve before the next game.
They never wanted kids; Mom called me a ‘whoops baby’ that one time. They do what parents should do so there’s no gossip but they don’t know who the real Brent is, what I think or feel. They don’t care…now…but they’ll be proud of me one day. I’ll make them notice me.
But that could wait now that I’ve got Julian to brag about me. His cousin, the up and coming new phenom in hockey, Mr. Popularity himself, sent Chirps that could go to a guy’s head.
As the YouCue video got more hits his reputation on campus skyrocketed, and not just among the jocks. Now that I’m trending, they all want me. Overnight he’d become the celebrity of the senior class. The popular guys urged him to come to their uptown parties. The geeks wanted to be his partner in class. Even the druggies offered him doobies when he walked by. And best of all Shannon, the junior varsity head cheerleader, let him feel her up in the back seat of Stan’s old rebuilt Buick after they’d won the football game last week.
With a little luck I might beat Julian and score first. Can I arrange photos, or video?
Yeah, video would be good. He’d have to take it down pretty quick, but he could get something up on his YouCue channel at least long enough for his buddies on the football team to see.
It felt good to be the king. He strolled across campus, nodding this way and that to his adoring fans, or as he preferred to think of them, my loyal subjects.
WE DON’T SAY GAY AT TRANQUILITY BAY
Expected Publication Date: June 1, 2022