At present, I am just whittling, as I fashion the story because this one keeps coming.
You, Me and Brotherman (Rough Draft)
"Over these many past months, I found myself huddled over the sharp point of a pencil, whittled to a nub. The shavings fell from my mind's blade into a tall heap as memories filled the paper across which my pencil dragged. While sifting through those precious curls of my life, occasionally, I came across something special. As I came upon each newly discovered treasure, I devoured it slowly, relishing its every sweet or biter essence as I drew a map of my past."
"Brotherman was the one on my right. He was always there. On the right, I mean. Wearing that smile that made all the women melt. Me? I couldn’t have gotten a woman if I had hidden in the bushes in front of the girl’s dorm and ambushed one sneaking in after curfew. That’s a joke, officer." His lips never curved; they just maintained a straight line from cheek to cheek without a dimple on either side. I thought I saw a glint in his right eye, but that was probably a reflection from the flashlight with which he checked my pupils.
The campus cop shoved the flashlight back into its holster. "You're not supposed to be within a hundred feet of the Women's dorm after curfew."
Brotherman, a.k.a. Scott was the kind of guy who gets all the girls. They loved him, and all the guys wanted to be him. Even with him standing beside me, I still got no reaction. Not even the ricochet of a stray glance. The girls just didn't see anyone but "Brotherman."
I turned to the campus cop and said, "I swear, officer, I wasn't breaking into the dorm. I was knocking on the window of my girlfriend's room, trying to get her attention." His stare fell over me like muddy water, cascading over an earthen dam. If I had been just two feet taller or had a good lawyer, I'd have let him have it. Well, I thought, "I can plead stupidity or claim childlike ignorance because no one can contest either of those facts."
I should have told the campus cop that Scott was already inside. The only reason he caught me was that the girl closed the window on my fingers as Scott dragged his feet through it. She probably hadn't noticed me holding the screen open. Though, I thought she would have looked my way when I let the screen slam as I jerked my soon-to-be bloodied nubs out from under the closing sash. Some people just have a one-track mind.
The campus cop searched the area, and since there wasn't another soul around, he said, "If I catch you around here again, I'll cuff you and haul your butt down to the police station. Now, get outta here." He was probably in a hurry to get back to his still-warm cup of coffee and partially consumed sandwich.
As I shuffled through the moonlight toward the Men's dorm, I wondered if my reality was being the guy who left behind opportunities like this one while guys like Brotherman seized them. That was when my mind resolved around the fact that he possessed something with which I couldn't compete. It was "something" beyond my understanding. Then, I began to wonder how I could get a little bit of that "something" for myself?
Girl's eyes gravitate toward him in a crowd. How? Why? I saw nothing different about him. He was shorter than I was. His looks weren't that great, but he possessed a confidence that drew women to him like iron-filings to a magnet. They were all over him.
I heard that he had his first romantic encounter before he hit puberty. I knew that was biologically impossible because Biology was my major, but somehow, I believed it.
One girl said it was his "sleepy-blue-eyes," but his eyes looked grey to me. The results were always the same. Women became enthralled with his "aura" and got lost in his "dreamy eyes." They never noticed that his hand roamed up the leg of the girl sitting next to them at the movies. He was always searching for his next conquest, and all the girls seemed to love that about him.
Maybe it was because they thought he was more attracted to them than all the other girls. Maybe, they just didn't see reality, or perhaps they saw things from a different perspective. Somewhere too foreign for my feeble mind to recognize.
Who knew? For all I knew, they might have been standing inside the Twilight Zone looking out at me when they shrugged and said, "How can I be mad at him?"
All I knew was that I asked ten girls before every date I got, and that was during a good year. One time, two girls said, "yes," after they thought it over. I went to the dance alone because I was afraid to break either date. Scott would have made a late date with one and told her why. She would have still been happy to see him after the dance. What was that?
Well, tonight I was going to have my late date, and that was all there was to that story. I mean, this was still the 1960's, and I was a young rebel. Well, it was the late 60's, and I was a "wannabe" rebel, at least.
I had walked into the woods that lay between the Women's Dorm and the Men's Dorm. As soon as I stepped under the canopy of trees, which blanketed the moonlight, I jumped behind the trunk of a tall pine tree.
I watched as the campus cop jumped into his scooter-cart and drove away. I raised one foot out of the shadowless veil and into the moonlight. Suddenly, a hand grabbed my shoulder, jerking me back under the curtain of the obscurity, and I almost pissed myself.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you. He always makes a circle around the girl's dorm, twice, before he returns to his cup of coffee at the campus-cop shack." Scott's Cool-Hand-Luke voice announced.
I turned to Scott, "What are you doing here? I thought you were inside your date's room. You know, the one who slammed the window on my fingers." I said as I pointed toward the Girl's Dormitory with a scraped, bloodied finger.
"I was, then I sneaked out the back door," Scott said with a smirk. "Now it's time for my after-date-date, and she's been waiting for almost an hour. I think she's ready by now. Don't you?"
It was past midnight. Curfew had come and gone. All the girls were inside, and the place was locked and shuttered like a prison. "How are you going to get into that fortress?" I asked.
Scott reached out, grabbed a handful of gravel from the planter area around the perimeter of the woods, and drew them back into the bushes. "Here, you take some. I'll show you which window to pelt with these, but please, only use one at a time, and just gently toss them."
I shot him a look of understanding and nodded my head. "Good plan. But why don't you throw the pebbles? I'm not your 'pebble boy.' Hell, I'm not the one who's going to be sneaking in through her window."
I swear, that guy had a grin that exuded confidence and could make anyone feel stupid. Especially me. I wanted to slap it away, but he also made you think he was always in control. Somehow, he made me believe that he was thinking of me, even though I was the one helping him sneak into "his" girl's room. I just looked at him and shrugged my shoulders as a smile grew across his face.
"Well, because you're going to throw your pebbles at the window, where your girl is waiting for you. I'm going to be throwing my pebbles at the window, where my girl is waiting for me." Scott said with an arched eyebrow and a grin, slowly stretching across his face.
"But, but..." I stuttered.
"I know. Just leave it to me. I've already set things up, and you'll be pleased with the girl I've picked out for you. She's real nice." Scott said as his smirk widened.
"Oh, sure! I've been there. You're setting me up with your 'leftovers?" I said in a quiet but emphatic scream.
The look on his face as he shook his head was so, so knowing, and at the same time annoying. I suddenly released all my doubts with an exhale and a grin. I had forgotten what he was capable of and to whom I spoke. "Oh, wait! You arranged all of this while you were in the first girl's room? While I was waiting for you outside? Being confronted by the Campus Police!"
That guy could say more with a smug smile than I could by reciting one of Shakespeare's soliloquies. Scott shook his head while he spoke, "Listen, both girls know we're coming. They have both windows unlatched, and once they hear us at their window, they'll open it and help us get in. They're both experienced with the procedure." He smiled that knowing smile again.
I immediately turned and took half a step toward the girl's dorm as his hand clutched my shoulder again. "What's the hurry?" Scott said as he twirled me and pointed in the direction of the campus cop, who was making his last circle around the dorm. "There's plenty of time, and believe me, you don't want to get in a hurry with these girls. If you know what I mean?"
After the cop made his last round, we made our way across the lawn to the dorm. Scott gently tossed a pebble to the window where his date waited. Then he motioned for me to do the same.
I lifted a pebble from my palm and gently chucked it at the window, which Scott had pointed out. When I turned to smile at Scott, I saw his feet dangling from his girl's window. His feet kicked twice and then slid between the curtains, and the screen slammed behind him.
"Well, are you just going to sit there watching him or get up here before someone sees you?" I heard a girl's voice ask from above me. She held the screen on the outside of her window, outward, beckoning me with her other hand.
As my face hit the floor of her dorm room, the girl shut the window while whispering, "I take it that you've never done this before?"
I rolled over, looking straight up her nightgown, between her legs. "Uh, not exactly."
She knelt into the floor beside me."Well, hell. It's my first time too. Julie talked me into it. I've never even thought about doing this. I'm not that kind of girl. Damn, why am I telling you all this? You don't care. You're only here for one thing, and I'm afraid I'm going to disappoint you with that."
My eyes widened, and it was several seconds before I spoke, but then my answer just blurted out. "You can't...disappoint me."
Her expression transformed from anger into a smile of pleasant-surprise as she sank to her knees beside me. "You're not disappointed?"
I still laid on my back, staring upward at her. Only now, her face was a couple of feet from mine, and she lifted my head into her lap. I saw that she was beautiful. Soft, curly blonde hair, draping almost to her shoulders. Huge blue eyes, which immediately swallowed my attention as they searched my face. Her warm, welcoming smile came closer and closer until a shiver ran through me as her silky lips brushed my cheek with a kiss.
Then, from just beyond the haze, hovering in front of my eyes, she spoke. "Are you alright? You look kinda dazed. Did you hit your head?"
My eyes focused on her lips, which squeezed into a tight smile. As they parted, a glint caught my attention. The room was utterly dark, but the lights from the courtyard around the dorm seeped through the curtains, showing me the braces, which guarded her smile.
She noticed my attention falling to her smile and cupped her hand over her mouth, "I'm sorry," she said as she turned away. Then she steadied herself with her hand on the bed as she attempted to lift herself from the floor.
I reached up, grabbing her hips, and pulled her atop me. We lay there for a few seconds, face to face before I lifted my head and kissed her. She relented in my arms, releasing her body to my control, and I wrapped her in an embrace.
She whispered, "Most guys don't want to kiss a girl with braces. They're afraid I might cut their lips or something." Then she smiled a big metallic smile.
I said, "I just got mine out last month, so I'm not frightened by a little metal behind those silky soft lips." I brushed my fingers over her lips as I spoke. "You're too beautiful to ignore, and I'm not stupid enough to pass up a chance like this."
She pushed away from me and said, "A chance like what? Just exactly what are you expecting here?"
I smiled the most sincere smile in my possession, "A chance to be with the most beautiful woman in this school. Even if we only talk."
I don't know what I was lucky enough to have said, but whatever it was, it resulted in the first best night of my life.
"You, Me and Brotherman"
"This evening, I found myself following the same deeply worn path to my front porch where I sat night after night. I watched while a deep-azure ocean spat the moon over an inky blue-grey horizon. Silver drifts gathered around the moon's shoulders as I sipped my elixir from its tumbler, and my mind meandered through precious moments—"
***The Morning After The First Best Night***
"Well, I'm still a virgin," I thought, as I walked across the campus toward the Frat house. The sun's light stretched into the night over the tops of some distant trees, and my mood floated above it. Anticipation swelled inside me with fresh hopes for the coming new day.
"Where the hell have you been, Jeff?" Scott said as he ran up from behind. "I've been waiting out here for almost an hour. I thought we agreed we'd be out of there and back at the Frat house before dawn?"
I kept walking, but with a broad smile, lighting my path. "Well, the sun's not quite up yet, is it? Besides, I was busy." I answered.
"You? You were busy? So, did you finally get some?" Scott asked with an unfamiliar dumbfounded look on his face. "I Don't believe that. I know that girl. She's from around here, and I went to high school with her. She's a goody-two-shoes if ever there was one. That's why I fixed you up with her." Scott almost laughed, and I saw the strain in his face as he choked it down to a grin.
"What the hell do you mean?" I asked at first, then, "Oh, I get it. You didn't think I could get anywhere with her, is that it?" I halted at the edge of the expansive lawn bordering the campus, just before we reached the sidewalk and the street beyond.
On the other side of the road sat our Fraternity house. I turned back to him just before he caught up to me. "Well, you're right. She's a nice girl, and I like her. We talked all night, and I'm okay with that. But I'm not okay with the fact that you tried to make me believe she was going to put out. But she didn't because she wouldn't, and I'm glad." I said, stepping into the street that lay between us and the Frat house.
"You didn't want someone who 'put out.' You wanted someone you might date. That's who I set you up with." Scott said, with that "grin," sitting prominently astride his face.
That was what I wanted. I knew that, so how was I supposed to be angry with him? "You smug bastard. If you weren't my best friend, I'd whip your ass right here. But you're right. I like her, Scott. We talked all night, and I could have kept going. I've got a date with her tonight, and I hope to pick the conversation up from where we left off. Maybe tonight will turn into an all-niter. And, she doesn't have to have sex with me either."
"Yeah. Just what I thought. After you calm down, you can thank me." Scott's words flew at me from a proud smirk as he passed me in the street and stepped into the yard of the Frat house.
That damn smile begged me to slap it away, but I didn't. After all, Scott had probably done me the biggest favor of my life last night, so I owed him. But I wasn't about to admit that. Not until I picked her up, and then she went with me. I still wasn't too cocky because I had been there before—not that many times, but a few.
We stepped through the back door of the Frat House and immediately began stumbling over bodies, strewn across the floor of the kitchen. Scott stepped up to the refrigerator, opened it, and pulled out a beer. "Say, why don't I call Billy? The four of us can drive down to Stafford's Spillway tonight."
Scott took a deep tug on his beer, then finished. "You know how the sky is clear and full of stars this time of year. There's no better place to lay in the grass and—"
"I told you, all I want to do is talk. Damn, you got a one-track mind." I snapped back at him.
He shook his head as he swallowed another mouthful of beer. "I was going to say... 'watch the sky.' You just keep your mind mired in smut." Then he grinned.
Scott turned toward the poolroom and stepped through the doorway. As he did, I glanced at the sign he walked beneath. "House Rule: No passing out in the kitchen, No sex in the kitchen, No puking in the kitchen, and the ONLY thing stored in the refrigerator is beer. No leftovers! (occasionally a coke or two, but only when there is a planned party, and only beginning the day before the party.)"
Every room we walked through displayed devastation. With bodies strewn everywhere, guys and girls, beer bottles too, and torn pillows. The ping-pong table had collapsed on one end with a couple, leaning against the fallen half of the table, embracing each other, asleep, and half-naked. All the windows stood wide-opened, and we figured that was because of the smell: "odor-de-puke."
We wandered further into the house, casually stepping over prostrate bodies in silence, and carrying on a back-and-forth banter. As we weaved our way up the staircase, kicking aside bottles, I almost broke my ankle when, at the last minute, I attempted to avoid a puddle of puke. When we arrived at the doorway of the first bedroom, we turned inside.
I immediately said, "Okay. We'll go to the Spillway. But if—"
"I know, I know, there will be no funny business," Scott said as he pulled his T-shirt over his head, then tossed it in the corner of the room. As he lifted the sheet and crawled underneath, he finished his thought, "Besides, I told you, I'm going to ask Billy. She's as straight-laced as any girl on campus." Scott said with a satisfied smile perched under his already dreaming eyes.
—just before dusk, we drove into the circle in front of the Women's Dormitory, parked and jumped out of Scott's car. Before we reached the front door, the girls came walking out. Billy ran up to Scott and laid a soft kiss on his neck.
Sherry smiled at me, her hips swaying as she stepped up to me and said, "Where are you taking us tonight?"
Scott jumped in, "I thought we'd go to The Pizza Shop and get a Pizza to go. Then go out to Stafford's Spillway, search the stars, and eat while listening to the water trickle over the dam. That usually makes for a relaxing meal in the open air. What do ya think?"
Billy immediately shot back, "Sounds lovely to me. I like that place, and the stars shine much better outside the city's lights. What do ya think, Sherry?"
"Sounds okay to me. I like pepperoni on my pizza." Sherry whispered with her head on my shoulder.
"You know, in all the world, I'll bet there have been only a few 'Brotherman's.' They stand out in people's minds and memories, representing precious musings of days long gone. Most of those memories are prized yet fleeting. Still, as I linger inside my memories, clutching my youth, I rediscover how 'you and me' were the many, and 'Brotherman' was one of the few..."
Still Not the End