Categories > Cartoons > South Park


by GerardWayisSex 3 reviews

Evan is not like most people. Evan is a walking, human tribute to 80’s Goth Rock, from the black dye in his hair to the tips of his old, smudgy dress shoes.

Category: South Park - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Drama,Romance - Published: 2009-02-16 - Updated: 2009-02-16 - 4719 words - Complete

Evan is not like most people, possibly because Evan does not like most people. Currently in his Junior year of high school he makes a point of missing two-fifths of the school week nearly every week he can get away with it. He dislikes the vast majority of his peers, his superiors and his inferiors, keeping mostly to himself unless he really needs something; and even in that case he’d rather tick-tack his fingers on a computer keyboard in search of the answer rather than consult another human being for something. Possibly Evan’s only acts of audacity are that he wears black from head to toe, dressing like he’s perpetually heading to a funeral, and that he smokes at school, stepping out during passing periods just long enough to suck down the cylinder right to the filter; he can take a whole cigarette down in just under three minutes, or he can take around five if he thinks he deserves the break and doesn’t mind being late. He drinks coffee in the morning, just after he wakes up and puts on his white-collared shirt and black overcoat; he sips coffee as he walks to school, his legs cold because his black pants cut off just below the knee and even though his black socks cover the rest of the skin on his legs he’s still freezing; he buys watery, weak joe from the cafeteria after he puts his bag away in his locker, and he sucks down another cup during lunch while he smokes against the concrete back wall behind the school, the one in front of the teachers’ parking lot. Evan likes Souxsie and the Banshees, Jack Off Jill, and The Cure, his wild, Edward Scissorhands-esque tangle of hair a fashion tribute to Robert Smith. To any friend, stranger, or family member, Evan is a walking, human tribute to 80’s Goth Rock, from the black dye in his hair to the tips of his old, smudgy dress shoes. And if you don’t like Darkwave bands sampling Skinny Puppy’s “Far Too Frail” and finding problems with life, Evan doesn’t like you.

His mother didn’t seem to care, or even notice, his apathy and his fixation with poetry that didn’t rhyme; the only thing she’d ever briefly become aware of was the old, wooden cane he’d started carrying around (he’d found the old thing in the back of his closet and, assuming it had once belonged to someone who no longer needed it, claimed it as his own to use as an accessory). He’d just come in through the front door, the walking sound of his feet accompanied with the cane a loud thum-CLACK! Thum-CLACK! on their linoleum floor. She watched him come in and asked as if she was curious but didn’t really care what the answer was,

“Having trouble walking?”

The shortness of the cane forcing him to hunch over slightly as he walked, he answered in a voice like a dull pencil, “No.”

The woman had leaned her elbow on the edge of their ancient, forest-green couch, her chin supported by her fist, and had glimpsed over at him only briefly, asking, “Then why are you walking with a cane?"

Without even half a second hesitation, as if at some point he’d practiced this, he said in a pseudo-bored voice, “Because I don’t feel like walking around like a half-dead social conformist, feeding corporate America like the rest of this fucking society.”

And with a slow blink in his direction, his mother asked, “…But why are you carrying a cane?”

He simply rolled his eyes and thum-CLACK!’ed his way to his bedroom where the carpet on the floor muted the sound of his walking. In the privacy of his room he muttered to himself, “Conformist bitch.” The split from his dad left his mother giving less than half a shit about him since he was four, but it didn’t bother him much; “My parents are divorced” became his trump card excuse for bullshit behavior, and the only inconvenience the divide had caused that he could think of was that every other weekend and certain holidays his ability to slink off at two in the morning to underground concerts and local coffee shops was moderately hindered. In the spare room of his dad’s flat he practiced making smoke rings at the ceiling. After a while he’d give up because all that was coming out of his mouth were just lines of grey, no shapes at all.

In the morning he leaned on his cane, glaring pseudo-menacingly at the coffee machine as it slowly dripped the black mixture of hot water and ground beans into the glass pot. His dad, crunching cereal obnoxiously between his molars, seemed to say rather than ask,

“So…are ya like…Emo now?”

Evan brought a hand to his forehead, clenching his eyes shut tight, a wrinkle forming between the brows. “Jesus Christ,” he groaned, as if it was horribly troublesome. “I’m not a faggy Emo kid, I’m freaking Goth. You were alive in the eighties, can’t you tell?”

His dad munched the cereal absently at the kitchen table. He shrugged and admitted, “Looks the same to me.”

Evan poured his coffee and stepped outside to smoke.

In the seventh grade Evan discovered hairspray, back-combing, and feeling sorry for himself for no particular reason, which carried over all the way until he was in high school. Something about having a firm distaste for pop-culture gave him an odd sense of purpose, like it was his calling, or even just a hobby that he could mull over when he was feeling bored or particularly angsty. No one said anything directly to him about it, they just talked amongst themselves in the lunchroom and the back of the classroom. He’d never let anyone know, but there was this small amount of satisfaction he got every time someone said to one of their friends, Woah, look at that guy! He’s SCARY! It made him feel different from everyone else. And for a long time he was different, the only one who was able to stray from the throngs of conforming pop-princess zombies and corporate rap-stars. He was the only one. It didn’t bother him too much. Just a little.

Henrietta came to him midway through his sophomore year, and meeting her was like hitting a brick wall. She seemed to come out of nowhere and slam into him right between the eyes. He first saw her standing outside the main entrance to the school building, the long, stick-like cigarette holder between her first and middle fingers, the bottom of her black dress wet with snow that had gathered and melted there. She seemed to be waiting for something. Or someone, he didn’t know or really care.

He stood about two and a half feet away from her and barked in a voice that was more a command than a greeting, “Hey.”

She looked up at him as if he was irritating and tapped the ash off the end of her cigarette. She was overweight; a mess of curves and anatomical dips and hills squished inside a black dress. “Yeah?”

Cocking his head to the side, like she was interesting and he wanted to consider her, he drawled dully, “I like your dress. It’s really…” He looked her up and down. “…black.”

She breathed in her cigarette, raising her eyebrow at him and looking curious. “You have a problem?” A faux-gold cross on a line of thin chain sat itself on her chest, just above her long line of cleavage.

“Do I look like I have a problem?” His voice was slightly nasally. She blinked thoughtfully, her eyelashes thick and plentiful, abundant like the compact bristles on the end of a broom. Smoke curled up and out of her mouth like tendrils. She tapped the remaining bit of her cigarette onto the concrete and smashed it out with the toe of her shoe.

“No,” she replied, wiping her nose on her knuckles. Goosebumps rose on the back of her arms, exposed to the cold. “I’m Henrietta,” she said without looking at him.

“Evan,” he said back. He pressed his nails into the underside of the hook of the cane. “Wanna hang out?”

And after a brief pause, she said, “For sure.”

They were an inseparable duo, sans romance, spending free periods lurking in the empty gymnasium during fourth and fifth period, scritch-scratching quasi-poetic words with black pen into their respective composition notebooks. Sometimes they hung out in Henrietta’s silver 1980’s sedan during their lunch period, every window rolled up tight to the hood, so they could get more or less clam baked on their own cigarette smoke. Evan would lean back in his seat, his head tilted against the aged, dirty fabric, and blow his smoke towards the front window. He’d cough and clench his eyes shut against the smoke around their heads, then purr softly and monotonously, like the engine of a car,

“This is so awesome.”

Henrietta either murmured, “Sh’yeah” or nothing at all; she was a woman of few words.

A couple of times he even went over to Henrietta’s house; her room was like a cave or a dungeon, a candle-lit place of warm security; a womb. The walls, as purple and dark as irises after dusk, smelled like water on roses and musk. If he spent too much time in there with her his skull would start to constrict around his brain, squeezing like a python. Every forty-five minutes to an hour Henrietta’s mother would knock on the door and come in anyway, even if her daughter said no.

“Hey, Henrietta, baby, how’s my girl doing?” She was all crow’s feet and Shirley Temple curls; all Martha Stewart Living and Good House Keeping. She waved at him, flexing her thin, arthritic fingers in an informal Hello. Evan felt nothing towards her at all.

Henrietta, her back to the door, twisted around and hissed like oil in a fryer. Her curves, her unshapeliness, were conspicuous beneath the fabric of her dress, like waves, or fissures and rises in the earth. She was chewing gum. “Mom! Get out!” She sounded small and young, spoiled and frustrated. In her aggression her brows became sharp angles above her eyes, her dainty fingers curling around the navy carpeting as if she might pull it free from its base like it was hair from a scalp.

“Oh, alright hon,” she obliged with a blissful, unaware smile. Her voice was almost a soft hoo, like that of an owl. “Oh, but I made some of those cookies you really love. The peanut-butter ones with the big Hershey kiss in the middle? I know how much you love those so I whipped a batch together this morning!”

“I bet they’re filled with rat poison,” Henrietta spat. “I’ll choke and die and spit blood on your carpet and you’ll leave me in a ditch for the lepers and scum.” With a scowl on her face, over her small, pretty nose, she spit her gum into the ashtray by her side. Her mother seemed to glow pink and yellow, and chuckled like an elf, like a Mrs. Clause.

“My baby is so creative,” she fawned. She looked over at Evan, who was leaning against the end of Henrietta’s bed. “You kids feel free to come down later and have some of those cookies. You too, Evan, you’re always welcome here.”

She closed the door. He had the strangest urge to say thank you. He didn’t.

Several weeks later, while his small town stewed in the belly of a north-western winter and they expected nothing but black-outs and snow weeks that would eventually melt their school year into July, Evan and Henrietta met the two people who would come to be the finishing pair in their Self-Pity Quartet. The smaller boy, who was no more than ten or eleven, came barely up to Evan’s chest, even when he was hunched over his cane. His hair was a drapery, a curtain in front of his eyes, and Evan found himself wanting to attach a chord to the side of the boy’s head that he could pull to part the tresses in the middle. He wore thick, smelly black lipstick and mascara. Evan thought this looked stupid but Kindergoth, as he came to be known for his height and youth, liked the same CDs and hated the same political figures as Evan so he figured that it didn’t really matter what the kid looked like. The name ‘Kindergoth’ actually began as an insult; as The Gothic Four were making their way down the sidewalks that needed to be repaved towards the local Denny’s for evening coffee, a boy of about Evan’s age rolled down the window to his car as he past and yelled, “FUCKIN GOTH KIDS. ESPECIALLY YOU KINDERGOTH!” and he pointed at the shortest of their group. They didn’t laugh or scowl or even curse; they just stood there on the sidewalk looking dumb and confused, and in that strange moment of spontaneity, it stuck. The name was glued like dust on flypaper and if Kindergoth had been born with another name, Evan didn’t know what it was.

But there was no one in their group, their quasi-gang, their Alternative Squad, that confused Evan as much as Dylan.

Dylan was Kindergoth’s older brother, sixteen years old and the quickest to complain whenever something got tough or unfair or just plain irritating. His hair was damaged and unwashed, brown at the roots where his old black dye-job was growing out, and red that seemed to explode at the crown of his head and drip down his long bangs towards his nose, like someone had stood above him and accidentally splashed paint out of the side of a bucket and onto his head. Dylan was like an overused razorblade: abrasive in all the wrong places and a little bit rusty.

Dylan was small, hunched and shrugging, with black nails and eyes alive and rimmed with blended, smoky golden brown. He cracked his knuckles when he was nervous, like when he stood apprehensively beside Evan as he bought cigarettes with his fake ID; he gave a sudden, brief wet cough after he smoked, and bounced on the balls of his feet when he was excited. He was awkward, painfully cute, and made Evan angry because he couldn’t understand why he made him feel the way he did. When Evan sneezed and Dylan muttered Gesundheit in his exaggerated bored voice Evan’s entire body seized up into a solid mass of excitement; when Dylan playfully knocked Kindergoth over the side of the head with his fist, Evan churned with envy. Dylan made him stupid, confused and special, happier than he’d been since the fifth grade, and not so isolated as he’d once been. They agreed on all the same things and bitched about the same people. Yes, Evan still identified with Henrietta, and he thought Kindergoth was, in the least, entertaining, but neither of them were Dylan.

The defining moment in their relationship happened in late April, as the school year began to wind to a close. Dylan had his feet up on Evan’s dashboard- his mother’s dashboard, but it wasn’t like it mattered. The smell of tobacco and old cologne pulsed off him like heat. They were stopped at a red light and Evan was leaning with his elbow out of the open window, blowing a line of smoke out into the night sky. His scalp was sticky with old hairspray and sweat, and he hadn’t showered in about two days. The boy beside him wriggled inside his seat and Evan could hear the pop sound of knuckles cracking. The light turned green and Evan asked as he pushed on the gas pedal,

“What’s up, Dylan?” The other boy exhaled through his nose. He hesitated, then said as if he was somewhat embarrassed to ask,

“Hey. Can I crash at your house tonight?” He coughed, then cleared his throat. “My mom’s new boyfriend and my aunt are staying at our house. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. It’s like this giant…” He paused and clawed his hands in a circular pantomime. “…ball of stress. I hate it.”

Evan took a sympathetic drag on his cigarette and warmth spread through his chest like a fungus. “Get whatcha mean, man.” He exhaled. “…Sure, you can stay. My mom won’t give a shit.” There was a pregnant pause between them where Evan could only hear the sound of tires on the road and the popping of Dylan’s knuckles. Tension tugged like a metal wire between them. His voice thick with the lung-butter on his vocal chords, Evan asked drearily,

“So what’s your brother’s excuse for not hanging out with us tonight?” Beside him, Dylan Hmm?’d and after taking a moment to clear his throat with a thick, wet hack, he elaborated, waving his free hand in a circular gesture, “Henrietta’s doing something with her mom, but Kinder doesn’t have a legitimate reason for staying home. I don’t remember your brother being one to miss out on a coffee run.” His eyes briefly slid over to Dylan. The boy wasn’t looking at him; he was staring out the front window. Evan looked back to the road. They were almost home.

Dylan wiped his nose on the back of his hand and slunk down even further in his seat, his arms folded across his chest and his purple shoes pressing against the glass. Either he hadn’t heard Evan speak or he was acting like he hadn’t. He fidgeted again and before Evan could repeat himself, Dylan said,

“I didn’t tell him.”

Turning into his neighborhood, Evan dropped the butt of his cigarette out the window and immediately wanted another one. “What?”

The wire of tension between them snapped and Dylan said bluntly, “I didn’t tell him we were going out. I didn’t ask him to go. I just went.

Evan pulled into his driveway. He shifted the gear into Park. They were both quiet. He could feel that Dylan wanted to get out of the car, like he was subconsciously trying to pull away from the other boy. With a blink and a hand shoved into his pocket for his carton of tobacco, Evan shrugged and said, “Well, okay.” His coat swished around the backs of his knees as he stepped out of the car and slammed the door shut. Dylan didn’t get out of the car right away, and for a brief moment Evan thought he might not get out at all; he might just sit there with his mouth a sour line and his feet propped up on the dashboard until the next morning when Evan would drive him home. But he didn’t; Dylan moved so suddenly that it was like shattering a statue with a sledgehammer and he jerked on the door handle and swung his legs out of the vehicle. The light above the closed garage door had turned on, a violent, artificial yellow, and it cast their faces in dramatic shadow.

Evan used the spare key under the old potted plant beside the front steps to get in the house. The garage door light dimmed into darkness as he opened the door. The living room light was off, the house so dark that when Evan stepped inside he was overcome with the sensation that he’d gone temporarily blind, and he took it to mean that, since he had the car and she couldn’t go anywhere, his mother was in bed. Dylan smacked into Evan’s back and cursed.

“Dude,” Evan carped in a low voice. He tapped his cane on the ground abruptly and he could feel Dylan give a startled jump against his back as the wood smacked obnoxiously against the floor. “I’m right here.” He tapped his cane again and stepped forward. The shorter boy reached up suddenly and gripped Evan’s back, his fingers strong and machine-like as they clutched Evan’s overcoat. Evan reached out blindly in the dark, forgetting the geography of his house in the blackness and finding it difficult to maneuver around walls and furniture and the force of being tugged backwards by someone smaller than himself. His fingers hit wood, and he brought his hand down and around the brass doorknob.

“Thank God,” he breathed. “‘Hate it when it’s God damn dark…” He groped around the wall inside the door and flicked on the light.

His room was nothing like Henrietta’s. He thought it would have been nice to have a sort of theme like she did, but instead all he had was an old dresser that desperately needed to be replaced, a tiny, square television that didn’t work more than it did, and a bed against the wall. A pile of unwashed clothes had congregated against the wall. He walked in and assumed that Dylan was following him, but when he turned the smaller boy was leaning against the doorframe, crack-crack-crack-ing his knuckles away. Evan tried to run his fingers through his hair, was stopped by a knot, and asked, Whatsit? Dylan blinked and looked around the room.

“I was wondering if you had something I could wear to bed.”

Evan coughed, the sound dry and somewhat sickly. “…Uh…yeah. Don’t worry ‘bout it.” He went to the dresser and pulled open the top drawer. His dug through it, then pulled out a red and black plaid, flannel pajama top and bottoms. “These like, don’t fit me at all anymore. They’ll probably fit you since you’re fucking minuscule.” He tossed them to the other boy, who caught them.

“Okay,” he said. “…Thanks. I’ll like…go change…er somethin’…”

He disappeared in the bathroom down the hall.

Dylan was never invited to sleep over at a friend’s house or to a birthday party. He hadn’t even had a play date, a short period of time where he relaxed with a friend, a movie, and a bowl of popcorn. In elementary school Dylan played alone with his plastic dinosaurs at recess and when he got too old for recess he sat quietly in his assigned seat during study hall, not talking to anyone, even when the teacher left the room. Wearing Evan’s old flannel pajamas he looked like a cartoon character, with his eyes too large and self-aware, conscious of his awkwardness. The sleeves were too long and so were the pant legs; they tucked under his feet when he walked and swung down past his arms. They sat at the end of Evan’s bed, Evan still in his day clothes and Dylan with dark circles under his eyes where the black liner hadn’t completely washed off. The TV against the wall flickered. Neither of them was watching it.

Someone on the television fell off a skateboard and slammed his nose on a cement wall. Dylan hadn’t been watching, he’d been staring at the off-white wall and chewing mindlessly on the excess fabric of the sleeve that hung off his hands, but even so he furrowed his eyebrows slightly and growled, “Stupid.” But almost immediately his face relaxed. He held the sleeve between his front teeth for a moment, then released it. He exhaled, then in a soft voice asked,

“…D’you ever wonder what it would be like if we weren’t like us?”

Evan turned his head to look at Dylan and asked what.

Dylan situated himself on his haunches but didn’t look up at Evan; he was looking at the wall, looking as if looking past it, his eyes tired but far away.

“What would it be like,” he repeated, “If we weren’t like us. What would it be like if we were like them?” He nodded towards the television. Two girls were dancing around a bedroom playfully, advertising facial wash in their underwear. “Not that I’d want to be like that,” Dylan added. “I just sometimes wonder what it would be like if we just wore normal clothes and listened to Fall Out Boy and hung out at Jamba Juice.”

Evan tried to imagine himself in clothes from the Gap, Henrietta in blue jeans that flared out around her ankles, Kindergoth with light-colored hair; Dylan not being like Dylan at all. He cringed, a crease forming above his nose.

“I don’t want to be that,” he said. “I don’t want to be someone who does something and doesn’t know why- it’s stupid. We wouldn’t be any happier than we are now.” He blinked slowly, tired. “No one’s really as happy as they look. It’s all smoke and mirrors.”

Dylan returned to chewing on the fabric of Evan’s old pajamas. “Sometimes I wonder if we mean the things we say.” He said it listlessly.

“I do,” Evan said. He glared at the television. He contemplated turning it off. “I always do.”

Beside him, Dylan sighed. It even sounded refreshed. “Yeah,” he replied. “Me too. I wouldn’t change us for all the money or superficial fame we could get. They can keep their corporate fascism and their plastic pop-stars. I don’t care. I don’t need it.”

Evan reached out to give the other boy a non-offensive tap on the shoulder with his fist, a gesture emulating the one he’d seen Dylan doing to his brother numerous times, but instead his rested his palm there. He could feel Dylan become languid under his hand, like his touch was warm and made him melt. Evan bent his index finger, stroking Dylan’s shoulder through the flannel pajamas, amused by the feel, the shape, of another human being’s body. It felt like a fireplace had been lit inside Evan’s body; he was entirely warm from head to toe. It wasn’t sexual or passionate, but rather a natural, comfortable heat. Dylan suddenly reached up and put his hand on Evan’s, his fingertips on the other boy’s knuckles. His mouth his come open, his lips parting from each other so slightly that maybe only a piece of paper could have slid between them. He turned, faced him, and Evan didn’t know what to do.

It was very brief. What they did was quick and experimental, a little too dry, and resulting in nothing but a jolt of emotional electricity. It ended before Evan was ready for it to, and yet he wasn’t ready to do it again. He could feel that he would want it later, in the middle of the night or sometime next week when he should have been in his trigonometry class; he would want it like he wanted a cigarette, but it wouldn’t be the same want. Dylan touched his lips, touched them with the same fingers he’d touched Evan’s knuckles with only a minute before, and breathed onto them. His eyes darted over to Evan and they both sat themselves up briskly.

“Let’s not tell anybody about that,” Evan said. He straightened his coat with his long fingers.

“Yeah,” Dylan agreed, his voice flat. “…Really conformist.”

So conformist.”

Evan didn’t like most people because Evan was not like most people. He didn’t make friends or act modestly; he didn’t legally purchase alcohol or turn in his homework on time. Evan painted his nails black and listened to music that was around before he was born; he took long drives in the middle of the night and didn't like the sun, spring, or anything of the like. Evan liked hairspray and button-up shirts. But out of all the things that Evan did and didn't like, Evan liked Dylan the most.
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