When NotePapers Cry
“No I’m not,” he stated.
“I’m the only one,” Jules stated.
“Not anymore,” I reply.
They exchange looks of shock. It doesn’t really matter to me. I’d been tired hiding my sexuality back when I decided I just didn’t give a fuck what people thought of me.
They went back to eating and I went back to pretending like this person Ty didn’t have his eyes fixated on me. He wasn’t the only one though. They all did. Ty, Jules and Monte all snuck stares at me. Hell, I would have thought they were all gay.
I was two seconds from asking for my face back from these fucking Eye Pirates when Jules leaned in real close to me, almost like he was going to tell a secret joke.
“You’re kind of…cute…” Jules whispered in my ear.
As if it was a joke I kind of laughed, “Taken.”
Taken was easier then telling him that even if I didn’t have my boyfriend Sampson in my life that I still wouldn’t want to be with him because he wasn’t my type. He was a lady…a short trip to the movie start to pick up Rent away from getting in drag and singing up and down the street. No ma’am.
“By another guy…” Ty asked.
It seemed like he was opening up or perhaps just curious. I crossed my arms and gave him this look of wonderment.
“Yes, can you imagine? Two men…isn’t that just disgusting!” I stated.
Ty shook his head and raised his hands, “I didn’t mean nothing by it. I swear bro…”
“I was just joking…kind of stuck up huh?” I asked, “Why would you give me the better of, ‘I swear’? I’m not Judge Judy. Man, lighten up. You sure you don’t get things up that ass?”
Jules and Monte laughed but Ty just got quiet. He was so stuck up. For a minute I felt bad asking him the last question. He didn’t look too tough though. None of these people actually looked really tough. He was bigger then me and his hand did seem heavy, but all of these kids looked…diplomatic.
“Welcome to Thomas Prep,” Monte stated, “Everyone hear acts stuck up. It’s like 2nd nature to us. Strict rules, strict behavior codes…strict everything.”
“Freedom comes here to die,” Jules stated.
I started to laugh. It was a hysterical notion. It matched the long faces on Monte, Jules and Ty’s faces. They were almost like clones of Droopy Dog or something.
They didn’t laugh with me. No…as a matter of fact, Jules let out a sigh.
“You aren’t joking,” I asked.
“It’s a behavioral school.”
“Or boys who have parents that just don’t want to deal,” Ty stated.
“You seem to take that personal,” I asked, “Would it be forward to ask if that is the case with you?”
“Yes, I’m afraid it would be too forward,” Ty replied.
“Everyone…they are coming this way,” Jules stated.
I realized who it was that he was talking about. Vivian was walking with a man. He was a heavy set man. He was very dark man and I wouldn’t have been surprised by his skin tone if he was African or some exotic islander. He wore a suit and had a very lazy strut as though he had a lot of burden.
I realized the transformation. Jules let go of his extreme feminine ways and began to act more masculine. He had his legs cross but uncrossed them. His bent wrist unbent itself and he sat almost like they would in the military. The rest of the boys did the same thing.
Dr. Lopez sent me to a reform school! What a bitch!
“Hey, Vivian,” I said, “What’s going on?”
“Ms. Trials…” she corrected me again and turned to the man beside her, “Syn, I’d like you to meet Alexander Baron. Mr. Baron is the founder and principle of Thomas Prep.”
“So whose Thomas?”
As I asked the question I got almost demeaning stares from both Mr. Baron and Vivian. They looked at me almost like I was…stupid. I disliked that. I disliked it passionately.
“What shoes are you wearing?” Baron asked.
“Why isn’t my question answered first?” I asked, “Isn’t it as important as yours? Or was it a dumb question?”
“Syn…” Ms. Trials asked.
“I was asking our most respectable principle,” I interrupted her, “Or don’t I even deserve a reply.”
The man’s eyes were slanting at me. He let out a “humph” and turned around, walking away from me. I couldn’t believe he had just ignored me. It took everything from me not to get up and follow this man down the hall.
The nerve of these people! He was so entrapped in his grandeur that he felt like he didn’t even have to answer my question.
“You’ve made a mistake,” she stated.
“No, he’s made a mistake,” I retorted, “I just asked him a simple question. You would think I asked for his firstborn by the look he gave me. He is no one’s Pharaoh.”
Ms. Fields shook her head, “Your question was irrelevant at the time. You will fold child. Your shoes have been reported by Etienne. I will have shoes assigned to you then and that is what you will wear.”
She smirked a little bit, “All you delinquents are the same. You all come in wrinkled but you all leave ironed…refined and folded.”
She walked away saying that. That word…Fold…it sent me into nostalgia. Noah Fold. He was the one who had come and said that a flood was coming. Who knows if his real name was actually Noah. I felt that would be too ironic. Who said his real name was even fold? Still, no matter his name, how did he know that the storm was going to come? He said flood and he was right. There was a flood, but it was due to a storm. Could it all have been a coincidence or did God really want to punish people like me…people living too freely…
“Hey…hey…wake up,” Jules said snapping at me, having rediscovered his feminine ways with his ‘fierce’ snap.
I came back from my thoughts of Noah Fold and the storm. I couldn’t believe it had killed so many people. A lot of my friends that I’d known were dead now. The ones that were alive had been displaced. My home was gone. It was the worst storm for decades.
“Watch out for Etienne,” Monte stated, “He is the worst snitch in the school. They room him with all the real bad transfers.”
“So you must be real bad huh?” Ty asked me.
I looked him deep in his eyes challenging him. He couldn’t handle it. I could see him hesitating on whether or not to break the stare.
“The worst,” I stated, just before his eyes wavered.
“No one talks to the Baron like that,” Monte continued, “They are going to really drench you in holy water this weekend.”
“Yeah, I’m used to it,” Jules said, “They’ve been trying to wash the cunt off of me for ever now.”
“I don’t go to church.”
“You don’t believe in God?” Ty asked.
It seemed like all the questions he asked me was when he found some shock appeal to it or something. It was amusing really.
“I believe in him…just as well as the most devout Christian does…but my interpretation of what he represents is different,” I explained to them, “Mines is a private God. I wouldn’t be able to hear him too well in a room full of people singing and carrying on…”
“And homosexuality…do you feel like it is a sin?” Jules asked.
“They say it is…so hey…”
“It’s not,” Ty argued, “It’s love. God is love. God wouldn’t in any way stop the spread of love.”
“Damn…we got a Shakespeare here,” I stated.
“Ty talks about love all the time,” Jules explained and shook his head, “You would think he wasn’t a virgin.”
“What’s that? Oh! Seriously you are a virgin!” I stated.
Ty punched Jules hard in his arm. Jules started to whine in a high pitched girly tone. Ty definitely was strong because Jules would not stop whining for the life of him.
“That’s what you get,” Ty stated.
Monte shook his head, “Jules you got a big mouth.”
“Why try to hide that?” I asked, “Virginity is purity. You should be proud to not have been touched. I mean, you are very attractive…it’s just hard to believe…”
I turned to Monte, “And what’s your story. I knew I was attracted to this table for some reason. You guys are the outcasts aren’t you. Forced to hang out with one another but don’t fit in with any other group huh. So we have the fag…we have the virgin…and what about you…”
“Geek,” Ty and Jules stated in unison.
“Ok just because I love sci-fi, get good grades and follow politics doesn’t make a geek. Ok…ok maybe I’m a little bit of a geek.”
We all laughed a bit. It was fine because we were the only ones laughing in the cafeteria. Everyone else seemed so …dull.
I got back to my room. The next day would be the start of classes for me. You think I would go to my room and rest so that I could get ready class. Etienne didn’t speak to me at all when I got to the room. He must have known I knew about him snitching.
He was reading a book on his bed with his nightlight on.
I jumped down and asked him raising an interested eyebrow, “What you reading? 101 ways to snitch…”
“He…he…he, very funny,” he stated.
“Whatever I’m out of here…”
“Wait you don’t know the regulations yet,” he stated and as I was halfway down the hall he continued, “The red marked hallways, the courtyard and the kitchen are off limits after dark! Curfew is at 10!”
I sighed. They definitely gave me the most uppity person to live with in a school full of uppity ass people.
I continued to walk down the hall. That was when I saw…him…
Ty. He was standing by the glass of a dark hallway. The hallways everywhere were extremely dark lit up by only candle lights. They were real quiet too. You would think a school like this would have students running all over the place doing what it was that guys did. It wasn’t like that though.
Ty had been talking to some guy but as I appeared the guy turned and disappeared into the shadows.
“Why did that guy take off like that?” I asked.
“He probably thought you were the Baron,” Ty replied his voice still low almost like a whisper.
“Why would he be up here? He is probably off some where fucking out the brains of Vivian Trails.”
He didn’t even find this slightly amusing, “He’s married.”
“Married people cheat…duh.”
“How would you know?”
“Maybe I should formally introduce myself,” he stated and reached his hand out to shake mine, “My name is Ty Baron.”
Shit…damn if I wasn’t immune to the consequences of saying something rude, I would have felt somewhat embarrassed. Instead I just shrugged off my own stupidity and didn’t apologize.
“That …man…is your daddy.”
He smiled and shook his head, “Yeah, imagine. It sucks worse then you could imagine. If it wasn’t for my mother I’d be half robot and the other half of me would be insane.”
We stood at the window and we remained silently. It was awkward standing there with him but it would even be more awkward to just leave. From the window I could see the same lake. It was the lake that sat beautifully in the middle.
Finally after moments he began to speak, “You see that lake.”
He smiled, “Well Louisiana is good for stories. A lot of stories. There is an old lady that stays on the other side of that lake. Her name is Madame Tini. A lot of people say she is a medicine woman…you know what that is?”
“She does voodoo?”
“Yeah, she lives in the old ways. She is old too…I don’t know how old. We aren’t allowed to go over there. Anyway, back in the day she used to own that lake, but my grandfather took it from her legally. They say she put a curse on my entire family. The curse was an inability to find love. It must be why my grandmother committed suicide in that very lake a week after the curse was made. That must be why my parents are married now and there is no true love. It must be why I’m a virgin. I hated my father for not giving her back the rights to her lake, but he won’t listen. When I inherit all of this, that is the first thing I’m going to do…I’m going to give her lake and I am going to fall in love…”
His eyes were big. I didn’t get it. His eyes were huge almost like a little kid on Christmas. I could see the hope building up in him. I didn’t get it. I rather…disliked it.
“I don’t believe in fairytales. Besides you dream too much of love,” I told him
staring at Madame Tini’s lake.
“Aren’t you in love?” he asked me.
“Tell me about it.”
I thought of Sampson. He wasn’t here. He wasn’t where he should be. He said he would be right back…but he wasn’t here. Where was he?
“We argued all the time. We argued…all of the damn time. Every second. It took us forever to admit our feelings to one another. When we finally did…it was over. The storm came. He could be dead now for all I know. I’ve tried to contact him…but nothing. I guess love is the only thing keeping me holding on.”
“Any type of love is good,” he replied, “We should look for him.”
Ty smiled at me. He has a beautiful smile. I really couldn’t believe he was a virgin. It was almost like saying…Tyra Banks was a version. He was too beautiful to be a virgin. His body was too toned to be a virgin. His teeth too white. His dimples too deep. Dimples…they seemed to paralyze me at times.
“We’ll find him. We’ll go online and search. He will come. You know. I’m sure he will and everything will be back to normal.”
“I mean…I guess.”
“Yes, that is what we have to do,” Ty stated and put his hand on my shoulder, “We’ll find your boyfriend.”
I didn’t sleep that night. The idea of Ty helping me out to find my boyfriend worried me. I wasn’t sure what that would mean. Of course I wanted to see Sampson but the first thing we would have to deal with is why he didn’t come back. He’d left to go find Byron. He’d left me to go find Byron. Why?
Who was Byron to him? Byron was his ex. I’d introduced the two when we were all just friends. He’d shown me more affection then he did Byron and Byron always suspected there was something going on between Sampson and I. In the long run, Byron drove himself mad from jealousy and ended up leaving. He left to find sanctuary with Noah Fold…the whole Fold movement. Like the others he felt homosexuality…any sexuality was the root of evil in the town and God would send down a flood to wash that away.
Knocks landed hard and fast on my door.
I woke up lazily out of my bed and walked to the door. My room was silent. Where was fat ass, lame ass Etienne? What time was it?
I opened the door to see Ty standing there.
“What the hell…hurry up. You are so late!”
“Class started 20 minutes ago. I asked for a pass to go to the bathroom so that I can come get you…come on.”
It didn’t sound like I cared too much…I wasn’t really sure if I did. It was so fucking early. I looked at the time. 6 am. What school in the world had classes at 6 am? I pulled off my shirt and without even realizing that he was there I pulled off my pajamas. I had completely forgotten that I didn’t have anything under them. I looked over at the mirror that was against the wall of my bed.
Did he notice the mirror there?
No. If he knew, he wouldn’t have been staring like he did…I watched as his eyes scaled my body. Was it interest or just curiosity? Was there a difference. His eyes ran from the bottom of the back of my thighs to my ass and then seemed to get stuck there.
It was much like me not to wear any underwear to go to sleep and for the while I was just as curious as he was. I was curious at his reaction but I couldn’t read his face. It was just a blank stare as though he didn’t understand how to react himself.
Then he realized the mirror.
We stared at each other in the mirror for quick second but then he turned around.
“Sorry,” he stated and turned, “You should hurry though.”
I got dressed in my prep uniform and joined him out of the room. It didn’t take long at all. I wish I had a chance to take a shower though. That was really what I needed. I needed a long hot shower.
He led me down the hallway.
“How did you know we had the same class?” I asked.
“You are a senior. This is a small school. All the seniors have classes together,” he replied to me.
It sounded at first like he was being a smart ass as though I had asked the dumbest question in the world. I thought about getting smart right back…but he flashed me a smile. Ty had this…smile. I had noticed it before too. When he did it; I forgot my cruel intentions and just…smiled back.
“This teacher going to be an asshole?” I asked him.
“No…not this one. We get to call him Peter. He’s so cool. He used to be a drama teacher on that boat the Westinghouse. Remember the boat that Oprah was discussing.”
“We are taking drama.”
“No…this is ethics…”
A drama teacher teaching ethics. How strange was that? We stood right outside the class and yet we didn’t go in. I had stood in front of the door blocking his way into it.
“Why did you come and get me?” I asked.
It had been bugging me. I just didn’t get it. Ty just shrugged his shoulders in a cute way. Cute? Why the hell did I think it was ‘cute’? I watched as he turned around and walked into the class. I couldn’t help but to stare down at his ass. Hell…he’d done it to me. His ass was round too. I could see the print through it. God… I wanted to grab it…no. What the hell was I saying?
I walked into the class laughing at my behavior as I walked in the class.
I sat next to the window as I normally did. The seat closest to the window. Then I saw a quirky looking man standing at the front of the class.
I was prepared to ignore him. I was going to look out the window and dream like I usually did. What could these classes teach me? I’d study the textbook when the time came and I’d pass the class with an A, like I usually did.
Till then…it would be my imagination soaring into the blue sky.
That was until I realized he was reciting,
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
The man around the room seemed to search the room for some sort of reaction on the faces of the people he read to. They didn’t seem to give one. Most of them seemed to want to fit in…afraid of being spotted and being called on. They are almost afraid of being individuals. Rows of young men sitting the way they were supposed to sit, doing what they were supposed to do.
I spoke…without raising my hand, “Robert Frost.”
“Syn Clinton,” he addressed me almost as though he were correcting me. He came over to me and smiled. He smiled so close…with such an intensity in his eyes that it annoyed me.
“Do you have to stand so close?”
He smiled and backed away from me a few steps, “I apologize. But you missed roll.”
“It went…Jonathan Bryant…Thomas Car….Dylan Clayton…Syn Clinton….Syn Clinton…Syn Clinton…”
I looked across the room to where Ty was sitting. They seemed used to this behavior. Was this man crazy? Why was he repeating roll?
“Um…present,” I stated.
“But you weren’t and I’m not mad, of course. It’s not that. You won’t be disciplined. Missing it is your own discipline. How do you know what we discussed in the first half of class couldn’t have changed your life for the better?”
“How do you know what I was doing for the first half of class didn’t change my life for the better?” I retort.
Suddenly Etienne raises his hand from the back of class and the teacher nods for his comment.
“Sir, would you like me to escort Mr. Clinton to the Dean’s office?” Etienne asked.
Who asks that? He was the biggest snitch in the world. He looked for reasons to tell on people. My mouth dropped open. I wanted to run across the room and kick him in his forehead. He then turns to me almost like a mother would turn to a child. My expression didn’t hide my shock. It had dropped open to a sort of smile. I was so pissed off that I was smiling!
“My name is Peter and why would I send him away,” Peter explained and then shook his head, “No…Etienne why don’t you take a walk? I feel like the role of teacher and student may be less precise. Maybe Syn and I can learn something from one another.”
For the first time…in my life…I felt like this was a teacher that…I could possibly like. It was a strange feeling. I wasn’t exactly sure what it all meant at first. I’d never trusted most adults. They’d do anything to manipulate situations. I never trusted much of anyone…besides Sampson really.
Sampson…my mind shifted to him once again…
“However Mr. Clinton, I didn’t want the author. I wanted the response to it. The first thing that pops into your head. Everybody try this one.
We dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.”
It was by Maya Angelou. It was called Touched by an Angel. I thought about shouting out the first thing on my mind…but it was no point. I’d just talk about Sampson. They didn’t want to hear about that…
It was Ty who raised his hand, “Love costs all we are. You fall in love and you are encompassed by the fact that it is what you have. There are those that love so strong that they are not complete unless they are in love. You know? Like, people seek it as though they look for life itself. It is as though you haven’t taken a breath unless you’ve taken a breath while in love. Love is just…it. You know? I mean…uh… to obtain love you must give up the highest price. You must give up yourself. You must lose yourself. You must lose yourself in love. No longer do you live for yourself any longer. No longer is your mind your own. You spend hours on hours thinking about that person. No longer is your heart your own. You spend hours and hours loving that person. You’ve sold it. Once that equivalent exchange has been presented to the universe though…it lasts forever…forever.”
I stood there and I thought.
Why did he have to talk about love in that way? His eyes got all big…all bright.
I knew what Ty meant. I knew what he meant as though he’d microphones to my sould.
Sampson. I sit there and I scratch on a note
Like the song. I can’t see it coming down my eyes…so I got to make this note paper cry. Where are you Sampson? You wouldn’t abandon me. You said you’d come back. You didn’t get washed away with the storm. You are too good of a swimmer. I’m missing you. Yet even now as this boy is talking, I fight with all my might the urge to cry. I love you. I love you like he is describing. And make no mistake I am still Syn, with or without you. Still, I’d rather be Syn with you. And look…the paper is crying. I see a tear on it…Fuck…no…it was tear that came from my eyes and just…fell…