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Authors: C.D. Payne

Revoltingly Young (9 page)

BOOK: Revoltingly Young
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But he was just there.”

Well, he went back. He must have liked it. Ada didn’t seem too tickled either.”

My glamorous brother. I wonder what he’s up to?

No sign of Tyler yet. That big guy can really sleep. Must be hard keeping all those muscles charged up. Gives me time to note yesterday’s highlight, which was our evening excursion to the Barber College to hear the Pickled Punks. We went with Tyler’s B-list girlfriend Ericka Stabb and her bud (my date) Awanee Doma. Although Ericka only rates a B, Tyler often goes out with her to clubs because she has a driver’s license and a rad Mazda. She’s also adept at getting her friends into places with age restrictions. That girl can flirt. Awanee and I are both pretty shy, so it was a bit uncomfortable being thrown together. Still, we managed to relate a bit. Her father’s Mexican and her mother’s Vietnamese. Pretty attractive in an exotic way. Very thin and petite, although nature hadn’t skimped on her chest enhancements–not that I got anywhere near them. She in no way reminded me of Uma, which was good.

The Barber College used to be exactly that in the basement of a once fancy, now derelict building in Hollywood. They cleared out the barber chairs, but kept all the ornate pink marble and mirrors. All those hard surfaces make for a very loud environment when the Pickled Punks got cranked up. Tyler knew it was my kind of band–about 14 levels beyond maniacally frenzied. The place was jammed and hotter than blazes, so everyone got very sweaty and crazed. My eardrums are still pulsating. Needless to say, we have nothing like them (or the club) in Winnemucca.

In case you’re not up on your carnie lingo, “pickled punks” are those weird and scary fetuses they used to have floating in jars in carnival sideshows. In keeping with their name, the Pickled Punks featured a large backlit jar in front of their drummer. I worked my way up close, but found it contained nothing more than one tired-looking pig fetus. Not even a two-headed one. That was the sole disappointment I experienced from that band. Their music was so awesome, I bought one of their self-produced CDs. As I forked over my money I made a mental note to burn a copy for Stoney, then remembered I hate her guts. It’s hard losing your friends.

Afterwards we parked at Tyler’s high school in a private spot he knows behind the athletic building. Tyler and Ericka went at it (within limits) in the front seat, while Awanee and I chatted in the back seat. Sorry, but I’m just not capable of throwing myself at total strangers–even if they have very kissable lips and tiny, bare knees that call out for caressing.

9:12 p.m. Got blasted by the sun today, so I may zone out early. Tyler and I went with the B Team to the beach. The Pacific Ocean is another convenient amenity that’s lacking in Winnemucca. We parked in Santa Monica by the pier and walked all the way to Venice and back. Tyler walked a few blocks on his hands. Quite the showoff in more ways than one. I’m not sure he realizes that in this posture those strolling beside him have a straight shot down his baggy swim trunks at the prize sausage and two furry kiwis nestled within. I noticed Awanee was studying them with interest. Tyler reports that she, like everyone else in our party save Ms. Stabb, is a restive virgin. We camped on the sand and got pretty silly, so I feel like I’m breaking the ice with her a bit. Very sweet and cute as a button, but not many sparks–at least on my side. Too bad I can’t be like Tyler. He enjoys his girlfriends as one would a juicy steak or a fine cigar: with genuine pleasure, but little emotional involvement. Much more sensible than my approach, which is to fall like a brick and then try to cope with the catastrophe.

Tyler’s cell phone is constantly ringing with girls, girlfriends, and more girls checking in. To this credit, Tyler is very straightforward. He told them all he was hanging at the beach with Ericka. He even got a call from Stoney, who told him he shouldn’t believe a word I said about her. Well, the joke was on her because I hadn’t mentioned her once. I’m doing my best to put all things Winnemuccan out of mind.

To my horror I just calculated I’ve spent $48 in two days. I’ve got to throttle back on the extravagances. No way I can maintain a Bill Gates’ vacation lifestyle on Toby’s slave income.


MONDAY, July 18 – Urine-free again. I’m beginning to think the bed-wetting was all a myth. Good news: It’s now 3:26 p.m. and I’ve yet to spend a nickel. After breakfast Tyler and I walked over to his buddy Zack’s house to lift weights with him and Duncan (another teammate). That is, I walked and Tyler rode his skateboard. He also surfs, but his true passion in that line of neck-breaking activities is snowboarding. That’s another reason he envies me for living in snow-prone Winnemucca. I’ve told him he can come shovel out our driveway any time. On the way over he alerted me that he had told Zack and Duncan that I was a noted high-desert wrestler.

And why exactly did you say that, Tyler?”

Well, these guys have very narrow bandwidths, Noel. They can’t really relate to non-jocks. And I could hardly say you were a linebacker.”

But I know nothing about wrestling.”

Though I’m willing to experiment with Awanee, should she prove sports-minded.

Just say you’re in the flyweight division and are very competitive statewide.”

Won’t they notice my lack of muscles?”

Just keep your shirt on.”

I did, not that Zack and Duncan paid me much mind. They were more interested in ribbing Tyler for riding a skateboard. It seems your diehard jocks don’t go in for that form of transportation. Perhaps they find the wheels too silly and small. There was nothing small about Tyler’s buddies. Zack could pass for normal in dim light, but Duncan had a neck on him that would make a telephone pole envious. They all grunted away on giant weights in Zack’s garage, while the Nevada wrestler sat it out due to an alleged hamstring pull. Actually, I’m not sure where my hamstring is or if I even have one. I toyed with a barbell and tried to add appropriately macho remarks to a conversation that dealt chiefly with arcane football strategy, contouring the Latissimus dorsi, and pussy.

Now Tyler is at football practice and I’m catching up on my blog. He has football practice every afternoon this week, for which he was most apologetic. I don’t really mind. In truth, keeping up with my nephew can be pretty exhausting.

11:12 p.m. If I can get to bed without being charged, I will have experienced the perfect budget vacation day. Total expenditures: $0.00. I did go out for snacks with Joanie this afternoon, but she paid. I helped her arrange her newly acquired items in her sales space in the antique collective. This store is located in a considerably more mauve neighborhood than you will find in Winnemucca. There were guys walking around holding hands, which would rate as suicidal behavior in most of Nevada.

I was amazed at the outrageousness of Joanie’s prices, but she says her inventory turns over steadily. It’s kind of spooky hanging out in a building stuffed to the rafters with the detritus of countless dead people. Me, I prefer items that are new, modern, and come from the factory wrapped in three layers of sanitary plastic. Joanie says that’s because I’ve grown up in an old trailer surrounded by gloom and decay. People always react against what they’ve known as kids. Glad to hear it. That means as an adult I will be living amid swanky surroundings in a big city with throngs of nubile chicks at my beck and call.


TUESDAY, July 19 – A rather boring day until Tyler came home from football practice. There’s not much to do out here in the burbs with no car and the adults all off scrounging a living. I watched TV, checked my e-mail (terminally sparse) on Tyler’s computer, and snooped around. Not a photo of George F. Twisp on the premises. That guy is perhaps not greatly beloved. I did find an entry for him in Joanie’s address book. No phone number, but I made a note of his address. I also checked out the garage, where I discovered Bill’s elaborate shop (which explains why all the cars are parked outside). Joanie says one day she counted 38 gasoline-powered machines on their property–not counting Bill’s speedboat that he keeps in a storage lot. Tyler says from what he can tell his parents still have a functioning sex life because Bill is so good at figuring out how things work. Knowing him he probably has the shop manual for the female reproductive system.

After dinner Tyler asked me if I wanted to go meet a chick.

Sure,” I replied. “Is she from the A-list or the B-list?”

I don’t know. I haven’t met her yet. She sounds pretty cool on the telephone.”

So how did you hook up?”

She found me through She zeroed in on me ’cause of my name.”

Tyler or Twisp?”

Twisp. This girl claims her aunt was once married to a guy named Nick Twisp.”

Hmm. I think this is a chick we need to meet.”

Tyler recruited thick-necked Duncan to do the driving. He pilots (insanely) one of those small Japanese pickups. Of course, the skinny wrestler had to sit in the middle. I felt like a third testicle in a very tight scrotum. We snaked through many winding canyons in Bel Air before locating Miss Veeva Saunders’ street. I had never seen such a ritzy neighborhood.

How much do you suppose these houses go for?” I asked.

Millions and millions,” replied Tyler. “Unless it’s a fixer.”

The Saunders’ manse was not a fixer. It rambled across a ridge-top with a mind-boggling 360-degree view that extended all the way to the luminous aqua waters of the Pacific. A very handsome middle-aged man answered our knock.

Noel?” he asked.

Uh, yeah,” I said, surprised that he knew my name.

And you must be Tyler,” he said, smiling at my nephew.

Uh, right,” he replied. “We’ve come to see Veeva.”

The man shook everyone’s hand and welcomed us in. “Upstairs, fellows. Third door on the right.”

We trooped up a curving staircase that must have given the carpenters fits to build.

That’s weird, Noel,” whispered Tyler. “I never mentioned your name to Veeva.”

Yeah, well he seemed to know who we are,” I whispered back.

We found the door, met the chick, and made the fumbled introductions. Veeva was a nervous, edgy blonde on the thin side. Very intense blue eyes. Extraordinarily neat and orderly teeth like the braces had just come off. Not yet beautiful, but you could tell she was working up to it. Her boudoir was like no kid’s room I’d ever seen. More like an elegant apartment where Gloria Vanderbilt or Jackie O might hang out.

Veeva draped her bony frame on a divan and motioned for us to take a seat. I sat on a curvy armchair upholstered in silver and cream striped silk. Very thin legs like maybe it was the sideline of some pencil factory. Not comfortable but oddly stimulating to the spine.

Your room’s, uh, very nice,” said Tyler.

Oh, thank you,” she replied. “I collaborated with Mother’s decorator. We’re still looking for a few final accessories to pull it all together. No theme, exactly, but the inspiration was Manhattan in the forties. I really wanted some Ruhlmann pieces, but even the reproductions are fabulously beyond our reach. Of course, working with a decorator was fun, but you have to reign them in. Their tastes can be so hideous if unsupervised.”

Say, how old are you?” demanded Duncan.

Fourteen. Not that it matters. What are you–the bodyguard?”

Duncan’s my driver,” explained Tyler.

There was something about this chick that brought out the pretentiousness in a guy.

Was that your father who let us in?” I asked.

Yes. Paul Saunders, the impresario. You’ve probably heard of him. Isn’t he marvelous? My friends say I’m such a daddy’s girl. It’s true, of course. I dread how daunting it will be to find a husband who could measure up to him in any way. Connie is so fortunate.”

Who’s Connie?” I asked.

My mother,” she replied, nodding toward a photo in a silver frame on an anorexic sideboard. “She’s rather insane.”

Your mother’s Asian?” asked Tyler, surprised.

She’s Polish on both sides. Fortunately for their children, Daddy is as WASP as they come. My mother is an enthusiast for cosmetic surgery. Years ago she was going through a Chinese phase. She says when I’m 16 she’ll let them attend to my horrible nose.”

It looks fine to me,” I said.

Veeva rested her azure gaze upon me. “I think it’s marvelous that Nick Twisp has a baby brother. I can imagine he looked just like you at your age: weedy and rather endearingly useless.”

I made a note of that comment for later deciphering.

You’ve met my brother?” I asked.

Several times, but years ago. He once juggled half my Barbie collection. You can imagine the impression that made on a young girl. Mother still phones him occasionally, but is very tightlipped about their chats. That is so like her. She can be such a selfish bitch. She gave me that photo of herself for my birthday. Of course, I have to leave it out for a requisite time, then into a drawer it’s going. The frame I rather like. I may use it for my boyfriend’s photo.”

Who’s your boyfriend?” demanded Duncan.

I don’t have one currently. My standards are impossibly high. To be frank, though, you’re not in the running.”

BOOK: Revoltingly Young
9.3Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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