Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chapter 4 - Waking up in the house

His eyes were open in the nearly dark room as though he were in a trance. His chin crusted with dry saliva. His eyes were pealed back only slightly, matching his exposed mouth. He knew that he was there on the couch – he’d regained self realization. He rose or rather; he made the effort to rise. For what he thought would be ample energy to move his limbs did nothing but make them shift a bit and fall back to their station. He marshaled his will to move onto his side so that he could thrust his legs from their root and onto the ground where he hoped his body might follow. Gravity did not fail him as one leg and then the other poured out onto the floor stopped only by the compression of his knees into the rug beneath them. He genuflected at the settee, summoning the will to stand and to move toward the kitchen where he instinctively knew he needed to eat. His lips sat cracked and dry and he could not manage much to focus his eyes in the shadow rich setting.  The whole of his remaining strength propelled him up to a standing if not stable position where his legs moved as though being yanked about like a marionette toward the open, unlit doorway. Colliding into every wall in the corridor from his library to his kitchen where earlier he’d nimbly raced through – he managing to avoid the breakables along the way.  He completed his journey to the kitchen, barely aware of anything but his hunger.


Standing before the reflective grey mass that was the door of his stainless steel refrigerator, he swayed as though he may simply collapse to the ground, his bones having been turned to jelly. His arm lifted and hand extended to the nook in the door and he gave a tug. The door swung open. The light rolled over him, brighter than anything he could ever remember - as though the doors had somehow been hiding the sun behind them. He reached instinctively toward the shelf in the door and grabbed the container of orange juice, ripping off the lid and casting it away from his hand as he tilted back his head and raised it to his lips, letting the fluid drain into his mouth. Down it went as he drank the entire contents of the quarter full jug. He stood there for a moment and dropped the jug on the floor by his feet as his lips burned in the cracks as though they were being cut with glass. He reached for a small wedge of brie and shoved it down his throat not even tasting it. He grabbed everything he could get his hands on, grapes, pickles, roast beef, a beer – anything. He could feel the life returning to his body as the cramping began in his stomach from his ravenous glut through the refrigerator.


The ache in his stomach helped him to abruptly realize his surroundings. He turned his neck to analyze the room but as he did, he felt the muscles in his neck and shoulders twinge with stinging, tedious, pain.


“I am naked” he said, his modesty recovered, his voice cracking at a whisper. He looked down at himself wondering what the hell had happened to him. He took both hands and rubbed the better part of his body, testing each inch of skin and hair to see if it was injured or missing. He reached to his masculinity and found it was intact, reaching to his posterior, up and around to his ears, eyes, hair, neck and chest. “Still there” he thought as he felt along the oddly textured, scarred flesh of his torso. He picked gobs of crust out from his eyes and clearly could tell by the smell from his arms that he had slept past his deodorant. The harsh light of the refrigerator cast clean shadows upon his body. The contour of the pectoral muscles, the cast shadows out to his shoulders, the cleaving, radiant silhouette, the cut of his stomach muscles bristling with the hair of his torso - leading against the black background and the light tenderly licked the round of his leg. “How long have I been out?” He looked over at the clock. 11:45 PM it read. “I’ve been out for a while.” he said, his voice still dry and horse. He stood there in his nakedness, light pouring out of the cool, open doors.


“Mr. Bishop,” a voice gently questioned from behind him, “Sir… are you okay?” It paused only slightly and then continued, “Uh… I came because the driver called and said he could not reach you. I was a little worried about you.”


Justin’s backbone found itself. The sound of the young man’s tenor words involuntarily clenched the muscles firm in his naked backside. Even in the shadow, the white flesh contrasted against the otherwise ruddy, lightly browned skin. Justin’s head rose so that his chin was now slightly lifted and his hands fell upon the sides of his body grasping at the body of his hips, his fingers lay outside the hair of his crotch and his thumb pressed gently into the fleshy summit of his rear arch.


Chad. I think I am okay now.” He said this without ever turning his head to look at the younger man. He stood there proud as he would ever be. “I think I will need your assistance, however.” He paused as well, collecting his breath and forcing what would otherwise not be a possible steady, clear voice to come from his mouth. “How long have you been standing there, Chad?”

“Well, sir…” he stammered. “I walked in about the time you were stooped in the refrigerator… enjoying a snack. If you are truly interested, mostly, all I saw was your bare back and nothing more than a plumber would show… at least until you stood up that is. Then, obviously, I see you now.”


“I see,” Justin, smirked a bit. Letting the embarrassment flow over him - embarrassing situations had never really been much of a deterrent for him, not since he and his mother were in church together. “Well, Mr. Chad, I am pleased to have provided for you what must be the finest show you’ve seen this evening. Say anything less than that and you’ll be without a job.” Justin’s arm raised, forefinger extended and motioned back and forth followed by a chuckle as his head lowered and shoulders bounced in response. “I’m not going to lie to you. I have not a fucking clue what the hell is going on any better than you do. So I shall not begin to condescend to you and concoct some implausible lie. Honestly, the last thing I remember is feeling light headed and going through the box of books you brought me. Would it be too much to trouble you for a hand please?”


“Uh… Sure…” His voice agreed still questioning. After a short unanswered moment, Chad moved like a gazelle to be at Justin’s side. He grasped his arm around Justin’s mid section and placed his shoulder down for him to take it. Chad was strong, but Justin could tell that he did not share his ability to overlook a thing such a modestly. Chad’s muscles quaked tensely at the awkward and unprecedented intimacy they were now sharing.


“You are quite the gentleman, Chad, thank you so very much. Now, if you please, I feel as though modesty requires I should clothe myself, don’t you? I wish to start by perhaps having you hand me that table cloth, just there in the foyer. Would you mind doing that for me please? You’ll make someone very lucky one day, I’m sure.” He giggled at his comment, hoping it would ease his rescuer’s anxiety. “And help me to that stool over by the island first if you would.”


“Yes, Mr. Bishop.” Chad responded to the light heartedness of his patient. “Why don’t I help you over the chair in the sitting room? Then, I think we should call for a doctor, sir.”


“Uh… How about this instead? How about we cut the crap for a little while and you call me Justin. I would say you are being a bit more like a friend than an arms length employee now, wouldn’t you?” He paused only for a breath, then said, “Then, lets rather, help me to my bedroom where I will bathe, and I will need some assistance from you in packing my luggage and I’ll also need you to get me new flight arrangements so that I can still be in London for tea with ValĂ©rio. I assure you, I will be eternally grateful for your help with this.”


“Let me understand. You have no idea why you are standing naked, practically helpless in your own kitchen and have not so much as packed a bag yet… yet you don’t think it a good idea to go to a doctor.... Justin?” The accent on the name and on inflection made Justin laugh though it revealed the cracking in his voice.


“How is that morsel of modesty coming then, Chad?” Chad looked down at the man’s exposed loins, turning his glance back to his employer’s eyes and then darted toward the foyer to grab the cloth that lay draped across the fine, thin legged Federalist table that greeted guests with a waft of potpourri in matching, Tiffany basket. Back quickly, Chad handed the material to Justin keeping constant eye contact with him to avoid a straying, uncomfortable look to take place again.


“Well,” another rolling laughter interrupting his response, “We could stay here, you with your arms occasionally around me, your face only degrees from knowing me in a more cherished sort of way while we debate the pros and cons of going to seek the care, I use the term loosely, of a physician, or you could simply comply. How about you make a quick decision then?”


Chad’s face reddened even in the dimly lit kitchen, clearly his discomfort was excruciating for the young man. “Fine, but not having a doctor to look you over is on your own head then.” He said, rolling his eyes.


“While you help me up to my room, why don’t I amuse you with a curious little story as to why I am not particularly interested in giving my body over to a doctor for a quick look-see?”  Justin’s voice regained its composure. “Stop off here and let’s get a quick cocktail you and me. Plus, I don’t need quite as much help as all of this; just a shoulder will do until we get to the stairs. You strike me as a ‘Vodka, Tonic, lime and a cherry’ kind of guy.”


“… Alright then,” Chad acquiesced. ‘God knows I could use a drink after this,’ he thought.