In those days I took a detour into what I thought was Lonely Lane. It turned out to be Lonely Highway. And life is full of speed traps. So I made myself comfortable in singlehood.
( I could launch into a long diatribe about the evils of relationships but something tells me someone might hold it against me sometime in the future. Besides, here on “My Life and Times,” I am format-restricted to mildly embarrassing narratives of my past indiscretions. No bitch tirades. Company policy.)
The transition in my life from having many taken-for-granted potential friends-with-benefits was new. Nothing comes easy in the real world. And regret has a way of mauling your ass just when the deed is already not done and there is no convenient time machine nearby to go back to the past and catch tail.
The Boys are mostly buddies of mine sourced from class, the swimming team, the soccer team and assorted random acquaintances. At some point there was an aspiring rock band called NaiRobbeRock (keyword: aspiring) whose biggest anything was our name. We would sit about in someone’s room at the end of the day and talk for hours. Now do not confuse man talk for girly gossip. We made fun of one another in each other’s faces and laughed raucously.
Anyone who knows Boys will tell you that they stick to their beliefs only to the extent that the gang has not shredded those beliefs to bullshit. Peer pressure. This results in some very animated arguments most which end as friendly fistfights and brotherly vendettas. You know how we do.
Between The Boys, deals over girls were made which had many parallels with human trafficking. Sometimes the line got blurry. For example Tweak and Stitchie would exchange partners and rate them, negotiations being done in The secretive Boys’ presence. Confidentiality was an unspoken rule.
Boys have a competitive edge because they can get away with dissecting taboo topics whereas civilized society must give Parental Advisory warnings first and then censor even the word ‘God.’ Not Boys. They spent their night times hating on gays and wondering what was wrong with lesbians. Yet we all knew many friends of both persuasions. On certain topics, bleeding heart liberals don’t butt in when the Boys are frothing at the mouth with intolerance.
The world is a cycle. What goes around comes around. The Boys, we who rattled out rabid homophobic rhetoric, became victims of homophobia. Not to say that we were actually getting it on among ourselves, hell no. But we became very suspicious characters after a while; sitting up in one room all night and laughing for who knew what all the time and otherwise having an uncommonly good time. My room earned a nasty reputation especially after we started transnighting there for video games and politically incorrect anti-establishment banter in the era of the Waki List. My semi-buddy Angela wanted to pass by my place one night for a late visit, but at the prospect of sitting therein with a swarm of seemingly stoned dudes laughing with one another with too much familiarity, she opted out. I wondered where the rumors came from...
Life in a hostel block with two hundred other students is a series of gray situations. Nowadays the place has degenerated to fistfights between drunken boys I don’t know over drunken girls I don’t know. Freshmen. Most of The Boys graduated. One feels old and out of place in a place one has called home for years. I looked at the past with nostalgia saw it would never be the same and moved out.
Big mistake. Some home it was.