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January 6, 2011 / Prof Cupcake.

Gang Land

first short story of 2011, wrote it a bit drunk. numbers confuse me, then i got sappy about the moon. whatever. im gona go make some toast.

 

They were five and six when they joined their first gang. The gang consisted of themselves and two others; Mr. Teddy, the younger one’s fearless stuffed animal that had weather many a war and Burt, the older one’s family dog. Together the four of them reeked havoc in the form of youthful revolt. They would for instance lay on their beds with their eyes closed during nap time, and not nap. However, some times the younger one would fall asleep and shamed he would always tell Mr. Teddy of his transgressions, who for the most part understood. The elder one often fell asleep as well, though in his defense he was taken to flights of fancy and sometimes for him the difference between day dreaming and simply dreaming was not a terribly well defined line. Yet even when he knew he had fallen asleep, maybe because he dreamed of dinosaurs in party hats or woke up having drooled on himself, he never told any one, not Mr. Teddy or Burt or his young gang friend. He however rationalized this out as ok by telling himself that he stuck by no ones rules, even his own.

 

They called their gang THE KNIGHTS. A word they both liked for it meant a knight, like the type who live in armor and rescue princess and night like the thing they were not afraid of. They both knew that when they were older they were going to be knights. Unlike their father’s who both worked in the mines and were often grumpy, they theorized that the benefits of being a knight were many and that no one they knew was one so their must surely be an opening in the job market. Based on the stories they had been read and the movies they had seen, they decided knights also had better holidays, more travel within work, great transport and their only discernable job description was to kill dragons and rescued maidens. What the maidens did once rescued they were not terribly sure of, and it seemed rather odd to take the princess out of one big tall tower that was dirty and smoke stained, and placing them in another big tall tower that was cleaner, though oddly reminiscent of the first. They assumed all of this would make sense when they were older, which it did.

 

Often they build forts, mostly from sheets and they were from then on as thick as thieves.

 

They were both 11, the only for the first two months, before the older one turned 12, when they joined their first real gang. Entry was not difficult as they were part of the founding core of boy who began the oak street gang, or OSG. Thus they escaped the mildly horrid hazing ritual that later members would be subjected to. Plus they were not even the youngest members, meaning they never got picked on by the other boys. The youngest member was 10, and had the unfortunate fate of being the younger brother of the oldest member who was 14 and dim. Yet in a time when a year seems like an infinite amount of time, 4 years was a lot of life to impress the younger boys with, even if already the fog of time was robbing him of his memories.

 

The 14 year old was for a time the most impressive boy the boys, now 11 and a fresh 12 had ever met. He had even kissed a girl and touched her boobies and vagina. The best friends were both convinced the older boy had kissed a girl and probably touched her boobies but they were not sure he had touched her vagina. They had spoken of the vagina before, and it seemed mythical to them, they were in fact not even sure what it was, but they knew it was special because older boys often talked about having had a lot of it. If a vagina was something a girl gave you, like a drink how could you touch it they wondered? They were not dumb boys, they just had few female friends and little motherly input so many of the finer things of female sexuality eluded them. They were not particularly fussed. Girls were stupid, and they often talked of throwing rocks at them, though they never did.

 

The OSG had 9 members, Mr. Teddy was not one, though he still lived in his owner’s room. Burt was still alive and an honorary member of the OSG, though not included in the gangs roster. Some times Burt came on patrol with the boys when his mother made them walk him for instance, but he was not an intricate member of the team, nor was he the muscle as he been back in the days of the KNIGHTS. He was ok with this. He liked the finer things in life; persian rugs, Raymond Chandler novels, napping.

 

The OSG got up to things that typical gangs filled with youthful boys do. They spied on girls, and pledged that they would never ever go to their birthday parties and rebelled against their sisters by sneaking bugs into their rooms. Yet for a gang of youthful boys set upon revolting there were rather professionally set up. One of the gang members had a father who worked for a company on their board of directors. He often talked of their meetings over dinner to his wife who was silently stewing her hatred for her husband, a man who once had been interesting and was now so dull that she went out of her way to incorrectly iron his pants every time she did the laundry in the hopes of giving his character some flair.  However his son was enraptured upon him, as man young men are on their fathers, and told the gang all about this board and how it worked. His though his father sounded like he had the coolest job, and being the only one who was not a miner or a drunk, the other boys, though they never admitted it out loud, agreed. The gang decided that this board system was a good way of doing things and adopted its style. All of the boys were happy as they got titles and each of them thought there titles were the best. The still eleven year old was the treasurer, something he liked as it meant he was in charge of leading expeditions to find gold in their back yards. Even though they never found any, they once found part of a cat skeleton and that was very cool. The now 12 year old, was chief financial officer. He liked this as it meant he could wear his headdress to their meetings and no one could say he was silly. He was wearing it because it was a symbol of his position. The youngest one, who was still 10 was the secretary. He hated this, as he just carried everyone else’s stuff. If the boys had been mature maybe they would have realized just how important a real secretary is, and how, with out them, nothing would ever get done for all of the people who consider them selves boss’s are not terribly good at dealing with their own life, and managing their own affairs. But they were not, and the youngest boy often felt laughed at.  He would grow up to be an academic and he rarely though of his time in the OSG, except on cold nights when the wind was biting and seemed to whisper to him words of wisdom.

 

They were 15 and 16 when they joined their first, real gang. It was real because unlike before there were other gangs out there and they needed to hold down the home turf. Boundaries in gang land are very important. Who controls the playground, or the arcade for instance are serious matters. The boys felt they needed to give back to their community. It had been community service week at school and though the boys had not liked picking the trash from the sides of the road they did feel they could give back more to the community if they defended its honor. The gang was large, and had many members, most of the boys in the area wanted to be in it, or feared if they were not they would be called names or worse. So most of them were. Though they were young, still just 15 and 16, they both managed to become members. The 16 year old did for he was by far the fast runner in the area and they realized they needed some one fast to sneak into enemy territory and spy. The 15 year old got in because he was nearly glued to the hip of the 16 year old. Yet it quickly became apparent to the other members that the 15 year old was more then a thing glued to a bone, he was a strategists and brilliant at it. It came from years of reading delightful novels about mice battling rats and hares fighting toads. Though they were simply stories about animals for the most part, they taught a young boy about cunning, and feigning, and fighting with wits when weapons wont win. As such, he and the 16 year old grew apart. The dynamic changed. The 15 year old would say run and the 16 year old would say how far. And often he did run, and often it was far, and often there was a gap of more then space between them.

 

Yet as things changed and as things grew, a night watch was set up under the direction of the 15 year old, in order to patrol the neighborhood at night and catch the other gangs if they wandered onto their turf and tried to do such devilish things as spray paint a wall or kick over a flower box. At first members were paired with members on a complex rotating calendar, with members going on in 2’s twice fortnightly to do their share of spying and safe guarding. The 15 year old never went for he was a strategist and strategist don’t have to enter the fray. Yet one April, unexpectedly one of the gang members in a non-gang related altercation fell and broke his leg. Though every one knew he had been pushed, and everyone knew it was by his father, no one dared to mention it, there were some things you did not talk about, even in a gang. Being wise and not wanting to rewrite the Rota the younger strategist took the boy with the broken legs patrolling shifts. His partner in patrol that night was fortuitously his old pal the boy now nearly a man who was for just two more months 16.

 

At first things were clipped. Why had they grown apart, neither of them really new, but it was not long before they were teasing each other about the nights they had spent talking about the KNIGHTS with a stuffed toy and a dog, which now that they were in a REAL gang, seemed shameful and yet bitter sweetly funny. It was the first night of many that the boys went out together on patrol. The young strategist, began writing himself into the Rota for patrol often, even when the boy with the broken leg became the boy whose leg was once broken. He did not always pair him with his older and very good friend. Though as time went on he made sure they spent more and more nights together. something neither one of them ever though to complain about, though it was not something they drew undue attention to.

 

In their time wandering the beat they came across little activity of the other gang. In fact it was more like living in the fear of oppression that had given life to not only this gang, but the others in the area. And sure, this gang’s park had a pond, but the gang to the west had a park with a water feature. For the most part all of the gangs in the area were relatively happy just being gangs training to fight gangs, they all knew they never would fight. It was sort of like the west’s fear of communism, or that’s what the younger one decided it was like one night.

 

At the beginning of their time on the beat together they often talked of fucking up the other gang, or about fucking girls, both of which they felt they knew much more about now then they had as youngersters. Yet as the weeks limped by their conversations moved away from gangs and women and war.

 

They spoke of the moon, and how it was a wonder to behold, late at night in the crisp air of the park. The moon was not only a woman or a rock to them but a wishing well of wisdom, there was nothing about yourself you could not learn by it. It even told the ticking time of their friendship with its waxing and waning., its near palpable lust.

 

The park at night they both thought looks like the dusk without the sun. Or maybe more like space with many suns setting in far away street lamps casting bizarre death throw glows of light on to paths that weave their way snake wise through the grass. They spoke often of nature. On this subject they could agree. They marveled at its awful power.

 

 

The older one talked of his body and the feel of his masculinity, how he cherished the muscles that ran through his legs and how he could feel his food become energy becoming sweat as he ran and ran. And one night when he was drunk and the younger one asked why he ran he looked over the corpses of beer bottles and spoke honestly of the heaviness in his heart. He said he ran from a beast in the pathways of his mind, but when his body ran with him he could out run it.

 

He spoke of the growth of hair, and how the smoothness of his youth was turning into a dark and tangled garden, an un-landscaped paradise on which his hands roamed like two early humans in a garden of discovery. He spoke of his love for the feel of his own flesh.

 

The younger one spoke of much, but often he said what lay on the surface of his thoughts, he was then still a boy who fancied hi self a water strider, gliding on his emotions without ever flirting within them. Sure when the beer supplies ran low or when the occasional gin bottle was passed by his lips he would look at his friend and speak what he felt, but for the most part he was happy to lay in the grass with him and speak of nature and other things besides himself.

 

They rarely watched for rival gangs at all on these months were they found within each other themselves again. Life was good, they had their friendship and they had their gang, though this one simply seemed like more paperwork and meetings then fun. Discussions on what their latest tag should be or which boys should lead the skirmish into enemy lands to buy booze from the corner store that never carded the boys, would go on for hours. They were big issues, life and death issue, real grown up people issues to the gang, but in the light of the laughter that the two boys shared the gang seemed as silly as when they talked to their toys. The others noticed a bit. That the boys were often looking at each other, walking close to one another and letting laughter light their eyes when the other spoke. But the other boys did not question it much. In a gang your all brother, your all family.

 

They were both 17, when they fell in love. It was not planed. They had been in love by then for far to long for them to have really noticed it anyway but on an unexpectedly cold night, when the boys hands met as if blind moles in the grass they knew then what has always been between them. If realization could take form, theirs would have been fire for in burned through the reservations of their bodies and flushed them with longing so no sooner had they touched then their bodies ached and pull them forward and within one another. There first kisses were harsh and fevered muggings of each other’s mouths.  But in the moment when a hand slipped through the back of a pair of jeans and lay on the curve of an ass, in that moment when a moan escaped from ones mouth and both lungs slowness descended upon them. Their where shutters of fear and remorse, and pride and love and of fear. Fear, fear, so much fear, what if the other did not want what one wanted, what if this was for a moment not a world, what if when the sun rose on the park would it burn brighter then their love and leave them lost without each other? What if they could never go back, what if they were made to make each other moan? They did begin to kiss again, much more timidly this time, without the passion of brashness and desire far beyond their years. They came quickly within their own clothes, though they lay with each other far longer then most do these days after fucking. They whispered their names, Scott, Daniel, and felt for the first time that some one was calling them home.

 

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