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  NIGHTSPOTS

BEING CONTINUED: Snapshot
by AK Miller
2013-12-25

This article shared 2758 times since Wed Dec 25, 2013
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The summer of 1988, Keith thought he was really hot shit.

He was about to start his senior year and he thought he was pretty cute. He wasn't old enough to drink, but he had a car and he was able to drive from his small Indiana town into Michigan, where you only had to be 18 to get into the bars. On the last Saturday night of summer, he drove for an hour to Kalamazoo to go to a gay bar creatively called The Zoo.

They gave people under 21 big Xs on both sides of their hands so bartenders knew not to serve them and patrons knew not to fuck them. Keith learned from working on his car that pumice soap would scrub off anything. So instead of sneaking in booze or drugs, Keith smuggled in a bar of Lava. It worked. His hands were pink, but it worked. After flirting with the whole room and dancing to Erasure, he fixed his hair and swaggered up to the bar for a beer. A tan, lean guy with bright green eyes offered to buy it for him. He was young looking too, but no Xs. His name was Stephen ( the way you say it with the "ph" ). He was a senior majoring in Theology with a minor in Photography at the Seventh Day Adventist college a couple of towns over. It was almost on the way home. So they drained two cans of Lowenbrau and drove their cars to Stephen's place, the attic room of an older woman's house. A creaky wooden staircase led up to a separate entrance which led into a partially paneled room with shag carpet, a small bed and a matching bare bulb and bare window set. In the corner was an ancient desk with multiple bibles on it. Late '70s Anne Frank. Keith made his best moves and they worked. Keith twisted Stephen around with the few tricks that he had learned so far until Stephen's cheeks turned pink. When they were done, Stephen began to cry softly and pulled Keith in to tell him that he loved him. Keith thanked him and explained that he needed to drive home and they quickly exchanged numbers. Stephen promised that he would call.

The following Monday was the first day of school. It was a tradition that the seniors dressed up on the first day. It was a total power trip, but also served a purpose. They had their yearbook photos taken early so the class could spend the year putting it together. Keith was pleased with the way he turned out. He was ready to be immortalized. He walked into the auditorium and up onto the stage where the photographer was set up. He followed the assistant's direction and sat on the freshly adjusted stool. He looked at the photographer and that's when Stephen found out that Keith was in high school. Stephen said "smile" as a tear welled up in one eye. And that's the end of the story. Keith never saw or spoke to Stephen again. But whenever Keith passes his senior portrait on his parent's wall when visiting, it's Stephen's face that he sees.


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