Green Room II
Neither Brett nor I ever told Kyle that Brett beat me to a pulp when he learned of my sexual encounter with Melanie. At the time, she and Kyle were an item. I pleaded with Brett to leave me be; that I'd already copped a severe hiding from Kyle, but Brett's response was brief and to the point: "You ain't seen nothin' yet, asshole." His fists became blurred pistons that hammered me mercilessly till I dropped to the floor.
Kyle and I were tight until Brett arrived on the scene. I hated that. One night, Brett stayed over at my place. I thought he wanted some action with me. Hahaha! Imagine if I'd pulled a stunt like that! What a mess I'd be right now. Instead we got Susan and Melanie to drop by and we had a massive orgy. Brett organized Melanie to join us and we both had sex with her. Yeah, how's that? And yeah, even with Susan. This was still in the early days. We were so badly up the tracks, though, Brett didn't notice me into Susan.
Hey, I'm getting carried away here...happens when I shoot up. Woohoo! Check out the colors! Anyway, back to Graham ... he slept over and didn't wake until about noon. Then he dozed off and on until about 8 or 9pm. By then I'd already gotten off with the housekeeper. What the fuck? That's what household help is for! Hahahahaha! It was either that or rape Kyle's little mate. But he wouldn't have appreciated that.
Graham left for home later that night, but only after I'd managed to get him into the right frame of mind. Then I wrote G and told him all the shit I wrote above. I included some poems Kyle wrote for me. He always made me feel like a god. I wish I felt that way about myself. The other day I wrote a poem during one of my binges. Thought G might like to read it. Whoa! This screen is swimming! Doing the fly, I think. Maybe it's Kyle telling me to pull myself together AGAIN!!!!!
ODE TO KYLE
What kind of friend would do what you did?
You left me alone, to look after the kid.
We talk about you all the time in my bed.
And we whisper about the tears that we shed.
I loved you my friend, more than you knew.
I didn't always show it cos of the fists that flew.
A jealous heart cries now for what could have been,
But your love for all was boundless.
That was clearly to be seen.
Kyle, my Kyle, I loved you so much.
My body still trembles, as I remember your touch.
Your lips on mine, and the taste of our love,
Is there a chance now,
It might come from above?
The kid still loves you, and whispers your name.
He tries to love me and make it the same.
His heart is aching and longing for your hand
Much as is mine, but I must take a stand.
I have come to love him, as if he were you.
I hope you forgive me the things that I do.
He knows it's not you cos it can't be the same,
But his rush of love makes him call out your name.
I'm so sorry Kyle, that I wasn't there for you
You would've been safe, if it were just us two.
I can hear the screech of tires as your driver drove his race
I get tears in my eyes at the metal embrace.
I'm trying so hard to do what you would like
But it's almost impossible, just one more spike.
It's bad now, I know that you're watching dear friend
But I hate that your life
In a flash
Had to end.
I look at the ocean and think of good things
But it's hard when it's hazy, my love still clings.
Colorful images and tears fall like rain,
I can't wait and
Maybe quite soon, I'll meet you again.
When I next emailed G I wished I could tell him I was okay, but I wasn't. "I'm sorry to you and Kyle and Graham and Brett and Melanie and Rick. You don't know me too well, and probably don't like what you do know. So I'm gonna tell you straight what a fucked-up cunt I am." Then I told G about some bad shit I did with one of my cousins. "When I got back to Byron Bay I went on one of the worse binges of my life. I wanted to kill myself because I knew there was something wrong with me, but I couldn't speak to anyone."
The same thing almost happened the other night with Graham. But it's different with him, I think I'm in love with him. It's like he's taken Kyle's place, and I want him so badly. But I screwed up."
No, I don't see what Kyle saw in me. I know I'm good looking, and that I have a good body...not from hard work, though, I'm just lucky. I never had a responsibility before, not like the one you and Kyle have given me. And I'm fucking terrified. Graham is such a nice kid. He even looks like Kyle because he has the same kinda lips Kyle had."
I also told G about Melanie's phone call. She said she never wanted to see me again, and that she couldn't understand what Kyle liked about me. I cussed at her and called her a whore. She slammed down the phone.
The following night, Brett called from Fremantle and warned me to stay away from Melanie or he'd come to Byron and deal with me personally. "Yeah, well come then! I'm ready for you!" Hahahaha. Yeah, right...I'd run a mile if I thought that hunk was after me. If Brett lost a fight he needed to be seriously outnumbered.
Next morning, I phoned Graham, but he'd already gone surfing with his mates. I was being deserted, big time. I wrote G and explained that the reason I told him all the bad stuff about me was not because I wanted him to hate me. Hell, I had enough enemies already. I was screaming for help, but nobody listened except Kyle. Anyway, I apologized to G for doing what I did to Graham and Melanie. "I don't know how, but I'll stay away from the grommet. I do love him, though."
By Monday, my mood had improved. I wrote G again to tell him that my folks were returning from overseas, and that I was actually looking forward to it. Initially, they wanted me to join them on the trip but I figured I could do more good here. Yeah, right...like that happened. Hahahaha!
I contemplated admission to a rehab tank, or maybe going away for a while until school resumed. I was repeating Year 12 because, with Kyle's death and other things (like being constantly smashed) I failed to write the previous year's exams. I preferred college on the Gold Coast but that would entail public transport. I didn't own a car, and my dad refused to give me one. "You're not getting a car until you pull yourself together and show some responsibility, or you'll end up like your friend." He didn't even know Kyle's name. IT'S KYLE, DAD! IT'S FUCKING KYLE AND HE WAS MY BEST MATE! Yeah, right, like I'd say that to my father?
Dad wanted me to take a business degree course when I attended university. Kyle used to tell me he couldn't visualize me working in an office...not without board shorts and a nose smeared with zinc cream. One day he saw me wearing a tux. "Yeah, I can see it now," he laughed. When I think of his laugh I miss him so much. Sometimes I expect him to knock on my door to tell me the surf is outasight and to move my ass.
"You would have loved him, G. No, I know you do--but more so if you'd met him. He lit up every place he went. Sure, some guys didn't get along with him, and the feeling was mutual, but what the hell. That's normal, right? I fantasized about Kyle all the time, even while screwing my girlfriend."
Kyle's eyes formed deep lines when he laughed. One time, he and I were sitting on our boards on the back line. The sea was flat, so we told jokes. We laughed so much our stomachs hurt."
My house is almost always vacant except for the staff, but for Kyle it was no biggie to walk through the house with his skin-splitter pointing skywards, then dive into the pool."
I have a lot of mending to do. I want to go around to Kyle's house this afternoon just to say g'day and to check Kyle's room. I'll ask his folks if there's any chores they need doing around the house, but I need to check the vibe, first. I was never as close to the Ts as Kyle's other friends were. I think his folks knew I was always trashed."
I made a list of people I hurt. It's long, so it's gonna take some time. My first challenge is to contact my drug boss to tell him I won't sell for him any more. That could be pretty painful but I probably deserve what I get in return for cutting the ties. I never say prayers--not because I'm a non-believer--but there's another word for it. I prayed to Kyle and asked him to help me get through this. I told him how much I miss him, and how sorry I am for all the hurt I caused. I told him to leave all the angels alone, but he won't listen. That's not his style. I told him how good the surf is, but he knows that already. "So why aren't you surfing with Graham?" I heard him ask. `Because I hurt him like I hurt you so many times, and I don't want to hurt him again.' Kyle didn't answer that one. He just shook his head.
Okay, so this is the first day of the rest of my life. First job, phone Brett."
"I've actually got nothing to say to you, Stuart."
"I'm just calling to say that I'm sorry. Okay?"
"Tell that to Melanie, but I doubt she'll take your call."
"This is already hard enough. Don't make it harder for me, Brett. I'm sorry for being such a dick over the years."
"What do you want, Stuart? Huh?"
"I just wanna talk."
"About?" Brett was abrupt and non-communicative.
"I wish you were still here in Byron Bay. It's hard not having you or Kyle around."
"You got a lot of friends. Give them a call."
"I'm depressed. I just need someone to talk to."
"You're going to kill yourself with those drugs."
"I've been clean for three days now, except for one joint."
"Not for three days."
"That's pretty good...for you."
"Stay busy. Go for a surf or something."
Suddenly, a thought entered my head. Did Kyle put it there? "Brett, can I come to Fremantle and stay a few days? Please?" My request was met with dead silence. "Brett?"
"I'm here, but I don't think that's a good idea."
"Hey, I can lend a hand with the yacht. I'm desperate. There's other stuff I need to tell you as well, and I'd rather tell you to your face. What's a few days? Maybe five days? I won't get in the way between you and Candy. Promise."
"Are you any good at sanding? Are you any good at anything?"
"Can I come?"
"When I get an air ticket. I'll let you know. Is it okay?"
"Yeah, it'll save me the trip to Byron. I can beat you up over here. You'll be sleeping on the couch."