The Summerville Lights

Portrait of a Second Life Avatar used by my Teen Alternate Bobby

 

I read about how the fags in New York was liberating themselves and talking about Gay pride.

| asked Momma if she was proud of me being Gay and she said she didn’t really give a which way cause she was sure my Sister would give her Grandchildren.

I was living with friends ’cause seeing Momma always hurt.

One day I walked into a Burger King and Momma was there.

“Where you been keeping yourself, Miss High and Mighty?” She had goop on her chin.

I gave her a drop dead look and said, “Gay boys don’t have to act like girls no more so don’t call me Miss.”

Momma smirked. “You think callin’ yourself a man makes you one?” Then her mood changed and she looked sad. “Why you been treating me like trash?”

I could never fight with Momma. If she cried, I cried. That was a rule.

“Aww Momma!” I said, “I just don’t think you’re proud of me being gay is all.”

“Well Bobby,” Momma’s eyes welled up. “That ain’t something a Momma’s proud of, but you’ll always be my little baby.”

I walked out.

I wasn’t gonna be her little baby.

***

I imagined living in New York.

There I am in the kitchen of a sweet little apartment on Christopher Street fixin’ up some spaghetti when my construction worker husband comes home all sweaty from work. He takes me right there on the stove.

Later we go to the Cathedral of St. Patrick and pray gratefully to God.

I decided to discuss the idea of moving with my Sister.

Rachel was on the outs with Momma.

A few weeks after I asked Momma if she was proud of me being gay, Rachel called her to say she was a dyke and had moved in with a woman named Theresa.

Momma was pissed.

She’d get drunk and call Rachel at all hours and tell her she was gonna pay someone to rape her.

Theresa opened the door.

She was tall and slender and pale. She had long, thick red hair.

“You’re Bobby, right? Wassup?”

I felt uncomfortable and looked down at my feet.

“I need to talk to Rachel.” I said.

“Rachel went to the store. Come on in and I’ll fix you an iced tea.”

Rachel and Theresa had been decorating.

They put down a new kind of linoleum that stayed clean no matter how dirty it got.

“It’s fixed up pretty.” I said.

Theresa motioned for me to sit on the sofa and went into the kitchen.

The walls was covered with pictures of kids and kittens with big freaked out eyes.

Theresa brought me an iced tea and said how hot the day was and I agreed.

Then I leaned back and didn’t say nothing.

Theresa sat across from me.

We sipped our tea.

Theresa examined me as if I was a new kind of bug. Finally she spoke:

“Me and Rachel went out to see the Summerville Lights last night.”

“Oh yeah”, I said, “What’s that?”

“It’s a railroad track in Summerville and it’s haunted.”

“Oh Yeah?” I said, “How’s that?”

“Ok!” She took a big gulp of tea:

“This dude worked for the railroads switchin’ tracks. One night he went out to the tracks all drunk an passed out. This train come along an chopped off his head. Now he comes every night at midnight to look for his head. He swings a lantern back and forth across the tracks. That’s why it’s called the Summerville lights.”

“Didja see ‘im?” I asked.

Theresa took another gulp of her tea and loudly smacked her lips. “This tea sure feels good goin’ down Bobby!”

“Did – you – see – him?” I asked again.

Theresa grinned. “We waited and waited and finally these lights come flashin’ up outta the bushes and swooped down low over the car an’ took off!”

“Wow! Sounds like you seen a flying saucer!” I had always wanted to get abducted.

Silence.

“When did Rachel leave?” I asked.

“She’ll be back any time.” Theresa narrowed her eyes and the grin came back. “You woulda made a pretty girl, Bobby. Anyone ever tell you that?”

I felt a horrible compulsion to stand. “You didn’t know me when I was all fem,” I said. “But you woulda thought I was pretty.”

“I bet”, she said. “I sometimes like to do it with boys. Just to remind myself of unpleasantness.”

“I ain’t never done it with a girl”, I lied, “but I’m sure if I did it would be just as unpleasant.”

Theresa jumped up and grabbed the empty glass from my hand.

For a second I thought she was gonna smash it and cut me.

“Relax Bobby.” She said gently.  “I’ll go and fix us some more tea.”

RG 2015

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