Just have fun with him, show him how to have a good time the way only you can.
I love you all. You leave the best comments ever. Thanks so much for sticking with this, I know I’m not a great person to have to rely on strength of character.
Have A Good Time
As soon as I step onto the plane I can tell the flight is going to be a disaster.
As the air hostess finishes giving directions to my seat (“Just straight ahead!”) and I set off down the aisle, next thing I know there’s a hand on my back and I’m falling, falling, falling into some old woman’s boobs.
“Omigod,” I mutter from beneath the folds of wrinkly flesh. “I am so, so sorry.”
“That’s quite alright moonpie,” the woman titters, batting her eyelashes like there’s no tomorrow. “Sweet young thing like you, you’ve got good taste. Tell ya what, when the plane gets going I’ll meet yous in the toilets if you’re that eager.”
She seems to know more than I do because I have an awfully bad taste in my mouth, partly at her words, partly because I just implanted my face into her breasts. With all the dignity I can muster I rise steadily, politely but firmly turn down the offer and spin round to face my entire party in side-splitting hysterics.
“Damn, you actually amaze me,” even Mikey chortles. “Even a Neanderthal like you should find it easy to travel across a totally flat surface.”
Cynthia blinks innocently. I scowl, directing my answer her way. “I guess there must have been some kind of occult evil force behind me.”
Queue the wicked smile. I want to stand there glaring at her by I’m also anxious to get away from Little Miss Senior Citizen.
“What seat are you?” Gerard asks me.
I check my ticket. “40B.”
“Awesome,” he grins. “I’m 40A. Travel buddies!”
Queue the girly hug and the jumping up and down. Cynthia’s glowing like an angry cartoon character but there’s nothing she can do but accept her fate and sit next to the dribbling fat guy. Ooh, ‘aint karma a bitch?
Unfortunately the dribbling fat guy happens to be behind us which gives Cynthia the perfect opportunity to dig her pointed boots into the back of my seat for the entire journey. But I can ignore it, throwing myself into a deep and meaningful conversation about whether or not cavemen jacked off. I don’t need to give her the satisfaction of knowing that the kicking of my chair is fucking annoying and slightly painful due to my very sensitive skin.
La di da di da.
Ho hum, caveman cum.
Okay, getting a leetle bit repetitive now.
Okay. That’s it. I whirl round in my seat until I can just make out Cynthia’s ugly smug face through the crack. “What is your problem?” I hiss.
“You’re my problem,” she snarls back. Oh how clever she is. What on earth’s a guy to do in the presence of such intelligence?
“Move your leg,” I growl in my best Nick Cave impression. “Before I snap it like a toothpick.”
“That’s not very nice,” she says in a stupidly innocent, girly little voice. “You’ll never get anywhere in life if you talk to people like that.”
Stuck up little bitch. “Cynthia,” I say very carefully. “Would you be so kind as to stop kicking my chair, please? Only I’m already very short and my mom says I’ve only got a couple of months left of growth so I really do need this spine intact.”
I wait patiently as Cynthia surveys me, appearing to be thinking deeply. “No,” she says finally. “No, I don’t think I will. Thank you for asking so nicely, though.”
The kicking is resumed.
As I predicted, the rest of the flight continues in a similarly shitty fashion. Sure, I get to sit next to Gerard and we have a helluva time leading the rest of the plane (and by that I mean no one else) in rousing choruses of We Will Rock You, Livin’ On A Prayer and The Court of King Caracticus but it is frequently punctuated by Cynthia’s little sniffs and insisting that she’s actually terrified of flying which results in my travel buddy having to constantly pat her on the knee and reassure her that it’s going to be okay. I try to help by telling her that if the plane does crash then at least she’ll have a quick death if the fat guy falls on top of her. She doesn’t seem to appreciate it much.
But the final straw happens as the food cart arrives. Whenever I ask my darling mother, full of warmth and affection as she is, if I can have some food money she pokes me in the gut and calls me Chubby Mc Chubster-pants. So I rely heavily upon Gerard for candy as his mom actually likes him. He is my candy man and he will give me candy because that is what candymen do.
Except it seems as though someone has got other ideas.
“Geeeeeeeeerard,” says Cynthia, putting on her meekest, girliest, most sickening mask. “Pretty please would you lend me a teensy bit of money for candy?”
“No,” I growl before Gerard has a chance to reply. “It’s mine.”
“I did kinda promise him some,” he says apologetically.
“But I haven’t had breakfast,” she wails. “You know how important it is for a recovering”- she mouths the word “anorexic” making it more obvious than not- “to eat early.”
He bites his lip, looking at her nervously. “That is true,” he admits. “Sorry, Frank. Her needs are greater than yours.”
I slump back in my chair, watching powerlessly as Gerard hands over the money and a wickedly greedy grin replaces the sweet, girly plea. I cannot believe this. First she steals my boyfriend, then she steals my holiday and now she’s stolen my goddamn travel candy!
“I need to go pee,” I state enigmatically and hurry away so that I don’t have to watch Cynthia eat my candy. There is only one person who will understand my sorrow right now and she’s sitting next to Craig the Weather Guy.
“Cam!” I sniff sorrowfully. “I need help. Hey, Craig.”
“Hi,” says Craig the Weather Guy.
“What’s up?” asks Cam, putting down the timeless classic she’s reading. “You’ve gone all pale and shaky.”
Deep breath. Deeeep breath. “She,” sniff “She took my travel candy.”
Cam’s eyes widen to the size of footballs. “She did not.”
“She did!” I nod emphatically. “She did and she bought it with Gerard’s money and she’s eating it behind me and I don’t know what to do!”
“Frank!” says Cam urgently, grasping my sweaty hands. “Be calm. Breathe. Get a hold of yourself. I know it’s hard...but you can survive this journey without candy.”
Is she crazy? “EIGHT HOURS WITHOUT CANDY?! Think about what you are saying, woman! Eight hours? I can barely go five minutes! And she’s eating it behind me? How am I supposed to resist that?! What if she’s got chocolate? What if she’s...Omigod!! What if she’s got GUMMY BEARS?!”
A sharp pain sears across my face, causing me to stop and stare at Cam who’s hand is raised in mid-slap. “Pull yourself together, man!” she tells me, 0 trace of compassion in her voice. “Don’t you see? You have an excellent opportunity here! You and Gerard are travel buddies! You’re travel buddies...in Italy! This is your chance to perfect the next step on the list. Ignore Cynthia and just have fun with him, show him how to have a good time the way only you can. Show him that you’re the one he’s most comfortable with, the one he doesn’t have to pretend a round. And for Godsake, get a hold of yourself!”
“You’re right,” I nod, choosing to ignore the burning sensation in my left cheek. “I can have fun. Who needs gummy bears? I’m the biggest ball of fun you ever saw! Thanks Cam, you’re a legend. Bye, Craig.”
“Bye,” says Craig the Weather Guy.
Still resolutely ignoring Cynthia (who is incidentally pigging out on chocolate in a very non-recovering anorexic kind of way) I slide myself back in next to Gerard and enjoy another hour of music sharing and spit-balling random people (I got Saggy Boobs twice) before Gerard announces that he is tired and is going to go to sleep.
“Have fun with that,” I reply, turning the front page of my book to make the marmoset dance.
Within minutes Gerard is indeed fast asleep. What’s more he’s got his head on my shoulder. I’d like to turn around and rub it in Cynthia’s face but I don’t want to move him or wake him up. The slightly added weight, the warmth of his body against mine, it all feels so natural. Like this is how it should be forever.
So instead I close the book and then I close my eyes and when I next open them I am in Italy and Gerard is smiling like the floodlights celebrating our arrival.
“...Curfew at 10, I don’t want any fools wondering the streets of Italy in bikini vests and fake tan,” Mr James finishes grimly.
“What about on Wednesday?” someone asks.
“Wednesday...” Mr James sighs and his shoulders sag in resignation. “Wednesday you can do whatever the hell you like as long as you don’t get arrested.”
“What’s happening on Wednesday?” I ask Cam in an undertone.
“Private party,” Cam whispers back. “One of the younger models invited us back to their apartment in the hope of more publicity. Guess she thinks she’ll make the Tabloids by letting a bunch of high schoolers on ecstasy run around her living room.”
Mr James assigns us our rooms, revelling in the massive groan that issues when he tells us all roommates will be same sex. Not that I have a problem with this. I just inch a little closer towards Gerard in the hope that Cynthia won’t notice.
“That’s great!” she says suddenly. “Then Frank can share with Raoul! How romantic!”
Can I skewer her now?
“Oh fuck off,” I grunt huffily as Raoul attempts to put an arm around me. Cynthia grins her wicked smile and being the mature man I am I stick my tongue out in defiance.
“So for the time being, go do whatever,” Mr James shrugs. “Dinner at half six. If you miss it, you starve or buy pizza.”
Yes! Free! I grab Gerard’s arm instinctively. “Let’s pretend to be tourists from a made-up country with low moral standards!”
Gerard nods quickly and we race out of the hotel before anyone has a chance to call us immature or politically incorrect.
Once outside we put on fake accents and facial hair before walking up to people asking directions to gladiator fights and virgin sacrifices until someone calls the police on us and we have to run away for fear of getting done for harassment. It was totally worth it because we’re both laughing so hard it hurts and having the best time two very childish sixteen year old boys can have, despite the fact that I can’t run very fast (smoking, candy, etc) and my head is ringing slightly from when some random woman hit me over the head with her handbag.
“Hey look,” Gerard points suddenly towards a giant ice cream parlour. “It’s Cam, Ray and the tape worm!”
We wave them over and they approach, taking in the fake moustaches warily. “I see you guys found some way to pass the time?” Cam grins wryly.
“I think there’s a strong chance we could actually become fugitives by the end of this week,” says Gerard.
“I think you look like faggy out of work porn stars,” says the tape worm, ie Mikey-child. I resist the urge to tread on his face.
We proceed to walk around the market square, taking in the sights and sounds of a different place and just being generally happy to be together. It seems hard to believe that Gerard only moved here a few months ago, he might as well have been with us all along. Even Cam and Ray act as natural around him as if we’d known him for years, as if he’s one of those people you could never not know. As if without him we’d be lost.
“Jesus Christ,” Ray stops in his tracks causing me to tear my gaze away from the cuteness of Gerard’s ear.
“Walk away,” he tells us through gritted teeth. “Walk away now.”
“Is he having another episode? Cam, I told you to mash the pills up in his food!”
“I did! It must be all the tomato in the air. It’s driving him crazy.”
“No. Worse. Much, much worse,” he points a shaking finger ahead, just beyond the square and my heart drops in my chest.