Here’s a short story I wrote. It’s about masturbation.
A Story Somewhat Related to Mt. St. Helens
I remember the first time I found out about masturbation. I was in the seventh grade at the time on an end of the year field trip to Boston to see the liberty bell and all that. It was the first time I had been on an overnight field trip and I got put in a room with Joshua Riddley and Casey Cole. I wasn’t particularly thrilled about this because they were always the guys who said the most ridiculous and inappropriate things in class to anyone sitting near them and I was anything but that kind of guy. One time in Chemistry class, a girl named Cassie was complaining about the homework assignment, which led her to complain about the class in general, which led her to complain about the teacher.
“Hey Cassie,” Casey said in a volume that just about everyone could hear except for the teacher. “Why don’t you just go rub that little pink thing between your legs?”
I didn’t realize what it meant at the time, so I was among those who couldn’t help but giggle about it for the rest of the week, repeating it like it was a line from a favorite movie.
Joshua wasn’t any different. I don’t think he liked me very much, or at least he acted like he didn’t like me. He once asked me if I was gay while we were all playing a game of twenty-one at the basketball courts during lunch. I didn’t know what to say out of surprise, so I said nothing. I think he took that as a yes.
The first thing Casey and Joshua did when we got into our hotel rooms, with no supervision, was throw the coffee maker out the window to see it “bust into smithereens.” I immediately left the room for a while to go see what my friend David was up to. When he opened his door, he had his shirt off his cell phone in his hand.
“Hey Jeffery,” he said. “I’m talking to Lacey on the phone, so I can’t hang out right now.”
“Should’ve known,” I said sheepishly. David was always on the phone with his long-distance girlfriend Lacey. I’d never met her, but from David’s descriptions, she sounded like Helen of Troy on steroids. He was a lucky guy.
When I finally got bored enough from walking down the endless identical halls of the hotel, I headed back to my room, where I found Joshua and Casey lying in separate beds, with clothes and chips and bread crumbs strung out all over the floor.
“I kicked Joshua’s ass so you have to sleep with him,” Corey said with a large grin as I walked into the room.
“Just don’t try anything on me,” Joshua said with resentment.
I didn’t say anything and went into the bathroom to brush my teeth. As I turned the faucet off and was about to open the bathroom door, I heard the loud howling of the porn on the television outside. Dang it, I said and then undressed and took a long, hot shower to by myself some time.
I gave a sigh of relief as I was drying off as the faint sound of the TV sounded safe. But then I walked out of the bathroom to find Casey asleep in one bed and Joshua pumping away in the other bed to what was, as he later called it, “Late Night Skinamax.” Was I to turn around and walk back into the bathroom, revealing my fears to Joshua? No way. So, I continued on toward the bed.
Feeling far too awkward to climb in bed with Joshua, I took the bedspread that was on the floor and wrapped myself inside of it and slept in the little crevice between the bed and the wall. I made it a point to not have any possible view of the TV.
“Hey, Jeffery,” Joshua said not long after the subtle squeaking of the bed mattress ceased. “Why aren’t you watching this?”
I didn’t respond and pretended to be asleep.
“I know you’re awake,” he said. “You know the dudes are naked too, right? Whatever, you’re a fucking prude, gay or not.”
What the heck is his deal? I thought. What a disgusting a-hole.
The next night was almost the exact same, except for the fact that I could hear both Casey and Joshua pumping away while I lied there on the floor trying to pray, or think of home, or at least the latest episode of Even Stevens that I had watched. They did not make it easy though as they were having their contest to see who could “last longer” hollering at each other and the TV, and incrementally turning the volume up. That was when I decided though that I never wanted to be anything like them. I decided that I would never masterbate.
Once I got home, I asked my youth pastor about masturbation. He didn’t tell me much other than the Bible explicitly says not to do it.
Alright, I thought. That just confirms it. I will definitely never do it. Ever.
A year later, I had discovered that I was probably the only eighth grader to have never masturbated. Even David had done it, and continued to do it. He told me that it was impossible not to.
Yeah right, I thought. I will be the first man ever to never masturbate. Impossible my boot.
As the months passed, this idea became to consume me and I began to put all of my hopes and dreams into this one goal. Some kids that age were convinced that they were going to be the next Kobe Bryant or the next Rick Reilly, or Brad Pitt, or something. But I was going to be the first Jeffrey Hornsby: man who never masturbated. Not even once. Only I couldn’t really share my life goal, because I was too shy to even mutter the word masturbation. My parents, along with the rest of the world had to remain in the dark, but they’d find out when we were all dead and they’d be proud of me then. However, as the months continued to pass, my late blooming puberty began to hang over me like a very large, very perverted black cloud.
I started to grow boners all the time in the most inopportune times. In gym class, I had to make the occasional bathroom run so that I could just sit in the stall, waiting for it shrink back to its normal size. Unfortunately, the more I thought begged it to shrink back to its normal size, the longer the stubborn son of a bitch stayed firm.
“Are you alright?” David came into the bathroom and asked once.
“Yeah,” I said. “Just not feeling well.”
“Alright, Mr. Carlos asked me to come and check on you. You’ve missed almost the entire volleyball tournament.”
“I’ll be right out,” I said. But I wasn’t. I missed the rest of class and then had to fake sick as an excuse, which normally would have been great, but it led to an entire afternoon of being cooped up in my room with Jennie McDuff and her short gym shorts sticking to my every thought like a giant piece of suffocating saran wrap.
A few months later though, the confidence I built from resisting that long afternoon vanished when I woke up to find my boxer shorts soaking wet.
That’s weird, I haven’t peed the bed in like ten years, I thought at first, then quickly fell back asleep, too tired to pay any mind to my soaking wet midsection. It didn’t take me long the next morning though to realize that it wasn’t pee that left my boxer shorts so wet. I had had a wet dream. And it was absolutely devastating.
Does this mean I masturbated in my sleep? I thought. What does this mean? It’s over. My hopes and dreams dashed and I wasn’t even conscious to know how it felt!
For a few weeks, my life was shattered. I couldn’t believe that I couldn’t control myself.
You’re nothing special, I began to tell myself. You never even had it in you. You don’t deserve to succeed at anything.
It was the worst month of my life. All I could do was sulk around, thinking about what could have been. It was the one life goal I had set for myself. Nothing else mattered to me. I wanted to show myself, God, and everyone in heaven – once I arrived, of course – that it could be done. It could be done because I did it. I was the one who refused to give into temptation.
I was so distraught that my mom became concerned about me and quizzing me for a reason behind my mopiness.
“I broke up with my girlfriend,” I said as a cover. I had to give her something or else I would have to tell her the truth or maybe even get sent to some sort of counseling.
“I didn’t even know you were dating anyone,” she said.
“Well I was,” I answered. “But she sucks. I don’t like her any more.” I didn’t know why people broke up with one another at that point, so that was the best explanation I had in me.
Eventually, I started attempting to overcompensate for my failure of masturbation by sucking up to all my teachers and other adults and authority figures I came in contact with. Even if I didn’t have the answers in class, I would make sure to be the first one to raise my hand.
“What do you think that Shakespeare is trying to do with the first act of Hamlet here?” Mrs. Rice asked one day in English class. My hand shot up almost before she was even done asking the question.
“Hamlet is contemplating how he can join his father as a ghost without having to actually die.” I said with false confidence. I never really liked Shakespeare, but Mrs. Rice would never know that.
After this behavior persisted and after having had several wet dreams, I hit an even lower point than what I had thought would always be my life’s lowest point. I began to reek of bullshit and my teacher’s started avoiding my always-raised hand in class. Even my parents began to stop asking me about my day at dinner because they got sick of hearing my lies about how smart I was becoming.
“You know you’re becoming that guy, don’t you?” David told me one day when we were eating lunch.
“If by ‘that guy,’ you mean the guy that everyone else is jealous of, then yes.” I said, completely serious. David stopped going to lunch with me soon after.
Finally, one night I was at home alone. My parents were out at some kind of get-together with their other parent-friends. And there I was, just minding my own business, flipping through the movie channels, not having my friends over, or getting into the liquor cabinet like other kids my age would have, when boom. The sudden sound of cinematic sex filled every single one of my senses. My body was frozen as I let the remote fall to the floor in front of me and my dad’s recliner. For the next several minutes, I had no concept of a thought. There was just pure ecstasy and fake Hollywood orgasm.
After my eruption, which at the time felt comparable to Mount St. Helens, I remember feeling more confused than ever before. I was as pleased as kitten in a beautiful field of mice and as guilty as a mass murderer with the capacity for guilt.
This is what I’ve been doing in my sleep? I thought once finally able to form coherent thoughts. How did I never wake up?
Later that night as I was lying in bed having repeated the deed several times, I knew that I was heading down a dark and scary path.
This, I thought Is a turning point in your life Jeffery. All is freed. And I wasn’t entirely convinced whether it was negative or not.