Green Room II
Chapter 23

When next Graham visited, he thought big bro had climbed into me. I explained that my facial damage was the result of sparring with my dad, but avoided any further comment about our relationship. Actually, the mood between my dad and me has improved. We're not the greatest of friends, but he asked if I wanted to train with him after work. We held the bag for each other. He didn't say a helluva lot but he did thank me afterwards. It's weird that we don't know what to say to each other.

Earlier, Graham and I worked out in the gym. I showed him how to use the equipment properly before he killed himself. He chose the heaviest weights and risked a bloody hernia. He stayed only a short time  because of a cycling appointment. But his attitude was cool.

Yesterday, we trained again. I worked out on the step and rowing machines, which severely tested my fitness level. Graham challenged me to situps and pushups, and creamed me. I managed about 70 crunches to his 120. Ditto with pushups. My stamina is stuffed. The grommet hardly raised a sweat while I gasped. Not exactly hero material, G.

I walked him home, then headed for the beach with my board. Got a few looks there ... at my face, G. I'm the personification of a gargoyle. Surf was lousy but I paddled a lot. Paddle, rest, paddle, rest, paddle again. But I felt great after that! I figure the salt water did the trick.

I thought about where I'm at and where I'm headed. Hell, I don't know where I'm headed, except to Fremantle in a few weeks. I need to lay my hands on the airfare. Fingers offered to fork out, but I can't handle that. I don't want to sound like a beggar.

A lady friend of mine is due in Byron in a week or two. She offered money in return for a night out with me. Stop raising your bushies, G. She and I had a relationship once, and she treated me like a king. She always spent a load of money on me. Kyle disapproved of the relationship because she's over 40. He said I was her male whore. Hey, if her ex-husband couldn't satisfy her, I will. One thing I know how to do is show a woman a good time.

The other option is a `job' with someone else. A businessman on a visit could earn me $500 a night. But all they do is play and ogle. This woman is okay. I know her. She loves me. Why not, huh? And she's outrageous in bed.

I could take over Bob's route and make a fortune. But we both know that's not an option. Right? And, no, I can't ask my folks for the money.

Saturday: I'll meet my lady friend tonight. I didn't think it would happen so fast but she made a plan to spend the weekend in Byron. I'll stay over at her hotel tonight.

Last night, we spoke for ages on the phone. Yeah, she was cool. I'll make enough money for the airfare to Fremantle. She doesn't know what the cash is for, otherwise she'd want to connect over there. She's from Perth. Hey, I've got other plans. Hahahaha!

She's happy to join me at the start of Graham's cycle tour. Then we'll take a taxi to the finish line and wait there.

Sunday: Watched Graham at the start and finish of the tour today. His folks were among the crowd. He was stuffed, but half an hour later he looked as if he could do it all again with ease. He had a good ride and was stoked to see me at the finish line. I phoned a few minutes ago to ask how he was doing. He slept after the tour, and is now catching up with homework.

It was an awesome night last night. My lady friend and I dined at a posh restaurant. I explained my facial damage by lying about a fight at school. C'mon, G, you didn't expect me to bust my dad to her, did you? I told her if she thought I looked bad, she should see the other guy. Hahahahaha!

From the restaurant we crossed the road to her hotel. We dressed in bathrobes and ordered drinks, then relaxed on the balcony overlooking the beach and chatted about all kinds of things. The evening was laid back and her company was most enjoyable.

For her age, she has the most smashing bod. She's beautiful as well as energetic. Over the years I've known her, we've become great friends. When we were naked on the bed, we spent ages exploring each other's bodies. She knows all the right buttons to make me horny, and I know quite a few of hers as well.

I'd be bullshitting if I said the sex wasn't special. I've always enjoyed sex with her. We slept, but not for longer than a few minutes at a time. I can't even remember how many times I entered her. One time, still inside her, I dozed off. Hahahaha!

As the sun rose, she ordered breakfast. We sat starkers on the bed while we ate, laughed and joked. She wanted to resurrect the old days. But I was honest and explained that I had a lot on my plate that needed to be sorted out. Getting back together would cramp my style. She laughed and said it was cool. "I'll hire you each time I'm in town."

Naturally, Graham tried to charm my lady friend at the end of the tour, but he was too stuffed. Hahahaha! I worried about his folks, though, and what they thought of my lady. But on reflection, she looks in her 20s anyhow.

After we made love several more times at the hotel, she ordered a taxi to bring me home. And here I am. She gave me enough money for the airfare, plus. Am I supposed to feel guilty? Nope, because we had a really awesome time together. It's not like I gave her a receipt for tax deductions.

School tomorrow, and I know some of the guys who saw me with my lady friend will quiz me. They were all hard just ogling her.

I thought about writing a tribute to Kyle. But all the words are so lame compared to the way he was. He shared something special inside himself. And how do you put that into words?

Your friend sounds like a very sophisticated lady to me. If she wants to spend her money on a surfergod that's her prerogative. Most of all, she's not possessive. She doesn't want you as her permanent toy boy. She understands the limits of the `relationship' and is content with the current arrangement. So it's a win-win. You got your airfare without resorting to anything sinister. And I loved your line about tax deductions.

Bob quit selling and got off Scott free. Well, not entirely--they played mind games ... bound and blindfolded him and threatened all kinds of `punishment'. But nothing happened. He says he doesn't know how long he stood there blindfolded, hands on a table, waiting for the pain to start. He eventually removed the blindfold and saw that he was alone in the room. How's that? Not a scratch! So what the hell did they have against me, for Christ sake?

Bob phoned at 1am. He was on the verge of tears because he got such a fright at the thought of what might have been. I'd waited all night for that call--or a call from the syndicate to say Bob was lying somewhere in a gutter, and to fetch him.

Yesterday, I enjoyed a good surf. It's going well. Just about back to top form, like I was before Kyle's death. It was a solid 3 feet off a small reef break.

Last night, I visited Kyle's folks. Just dropped by. It was cool--even shared a beer with Mr. T. I needed to explain the condition of my face, and the guy I battled at school. Mr. T reminisced about Kyle, and how he often arrived home cut and bleeding, school clothes ripped. "He makes you look like a saint, Stuart, the way he always got into fights. He took no crap from anyone, not even Brett."

It was a pleasant and entertaining evening. I left about 10. Mr. T gave me a ride back to my place and insisted I visit more often. Not sure why I visited in the first place--just one of those impulsive things.

I chose not to visit Kyle's room. I was emotionally unprepared to handle that.

I finished my school work about midnight, and was about to turn in when I noticed a reefer in my desk drawer. I'd had such a cool evening, it felt right to go down to the garden and pool, sit and smoke it. I didn't smoke it all, though. My tolerance level has diminished. I used to smoke 3 reefers a night and drink all night, and be okay. Now? Weird.

Wednesday afternoon, Graham and I surfed at the local. Had a rave session in a 3-4 foot swell that seriously cooked. As we showered at the beach afterwards, Graham said he watched my one ride where I floated for ages. He thought it was pretty rad. ONE RIDE? Bloody hell, I floated almost every second ride. THE SURFERGOD IS BACK!!!! Anyway, I my concentration was elsewhere as I ogled Graham's pecs and abs.

A few of the grommets checked me out. Actually, a few of the regs checked me out as well, probably waiting for me to fall on my ass. That happened, but not often.

I studied my bod's reflection in my bedroom mirror. I'm getting back into good shape. Actually, there's more muscle there now due to the training and boxing. My face is still not hundreds--my eye features a huge bruise. However, the bruises on my ribs have almost disappeared.

Bob accompanied me home from school, then drove to the travel office where I booked my ticket to Fremantle. I leave Wednesday next week.

We argued about the stash which is still in my closet. He wants me to give it to him so that he can get rid of it, but I refused. Now he wants to check if it's still there, and that I haven't used it.

Last night, I phoned Fremantle. Brett was out. Guess who answered? Fingers went on and on and on about how much he missed me and yadda, yadda, yadda. Hahahaha! I can't wait to see him again.

Bob accompanied me home from school again next day, and asked to see the stash in my closet. "Why don't you just give it to me so I can get rid of it?"

"Just leave it, and stop hassling. Okay?"

"As long as it's there, you have not stopped using--not until you get rid of it."

"You're like a stress machine, bro. Drop it."

At the moment, I still battle with feelings and temptations within myself. The thought of connecting with a dealer still haunts me. Fuck knows how I've resisted the crack stash so far. But it needs to stay where it is. Maybe it's hard for people to understand that, and fuck knows I could use it. I hope Bob is wrong, and that I continue to resist it.

Not sure I understand the crack thing, and why it needs to remain there. I can only guess you can't trust the `New Stuart' yet. I know other addicts who say the craving never really leaves you, even if it becomes manageable. A good analogy is marriage. Just because you're married doesn't stop you fantasizing about another woman. But if you were to dabble, you would lose your wife. In your case, you'll lose Graham and Brett, not to mention Kyle's folks and your own. I guess you have a way to go yet before the `New Stuart' dominates the old. Answer? Just keep doing what you're doing. You're traveling better than most of us expected.

Meanwhile, your enemy still lurks in your closet. It understands your vulnerability to paranoia, and your reluctance to completely divorce yourself from your past.