Authors: C. D. Payne
Heartfelt thanks from the author
to Bob Warden, Larry London, Jan Pazdirek,
John Hack, Karen Copstead, Judy Cress, Lisa Harper,
Rick Reynolds, Willis Herr, COSMEP,
Leslie Davisson, Melanie Curry, Cody’s Bookstore,
my agent Winifred Golden, and my editor
Youth in Revolt
Youth in Bondage
Youth in Exile
WEDNESDAY, July 18
— My name is Nick. Someday, if I grow up to become a gangster, perhaps I will be known as Nick the Prick. This may cause some embarrassment for my family, but when your don gives you your mafia sobriquet you don’t ask questions.
I am 14 years old (nearly) and live in Oakland, a large torpid city across the bay from San Francisco. I am writing this in the tenuous privacy of my bedroom on my annoyingly obsolete AT clone. My friend Lefty gave me a bootleg copy of WordPerfect, so I’m doing some writing to try and learn the command codes. My ambition is someday to be able to move entire paragraphs in a single bound.
My last name, which I loathe, is Twisp. Even John Wayne on a horse would look effeminate pronouncing that name. As soon as I turn 21 I’m going to jettison it for something a bit more macho. Right now, I’m leaning toward Dillinger. “Nick Dillinger.” I think that strikes just the right note of hirsute virility.
I am an only child except for my big sister Joanie, who has left the bosom of her family to live in Los Angeles and sling hash at 35,000 feet.
The next thing you should know about me is that I am obsessed with sex. When I close my eyes, ranks of creamy thighs slowly part like some X-rated Busby Berkeley extravaganza. Lately I have become morbidly aware of my penis. Once a remote region accessed indifferently for businesslike micturition, it has developed—seemingly overnight—into a gaudy Las Vegas of the body, complete with pulsing neon, star-studded floor shows, exotic animal acts, and throngs of drunken conventioneers perpetually on the prowl for depraved thrills. I walk about in a state of obsessive expectancy, ever conscious of an urgent clamor rising from my tumescent loins. Any stimulus can trigger the show—a rhythmic rumble from the radiator, the word “titular” in a newspaper editorial, even the smell of the old vinyl in Mr. Ferguson’s Toyota.
As much as I think about sex, I can only with extreme difficulty conceive of myself actually performing the act. And here’s another thing I wonder about. How could you ever look a girl in the eye after you’ve had your winkie up her wendell? I mean, doesn’t that render normal social conversation impossible? Apparently not.
THURSDAY, July 19
— My mother just left for work. She gives people driver’s tests at the Department of Motor Vehicles. As you might expect, she is extremely well informed on all the arcane rules of the road (like who has to back up when two cars meet on a one-lane mountain road). She used to keep Dad up to date as he drove along on all the motor statutes he was violating. That’s one of the reasons they got divorced.
I’m not speaking to her right now. Last Monday I came back from two miserable days in my dad’s custody to find she had painted my bedroom a ghastly pink. She said she had read this color was widely used in hospitals to calm mental patients. I told her I wasn’t mentally ill, I was just a teenager. Meanwhile, I am now embarrassed to invite my friends over. When you’re a slight, unathletic teen who reads a lot and likes Frank Sinatra, you really don’t want the word to get around that you wank your winkie in a room that looks like Dolly Parton’s boudoir.
FRIDAY, July 20
— I got a headache from reading, so I thought I’d try typing for a while. I’m still using the F3 (help) key a lot. Too bad life doesn’t have an F3 key. I’d press it and tell them to send over two chicks—sixteen years old and more than usually horny.
This summer I’m reading Charles Dickens. I’ve read
David Coppertone, Great Expectorations, Little Dorrito
, and now I’m deep into
A Tale of Two Townies
. Sydney Carton is so cool. If he were alive today I believe he would be endorsing fine scotch on the backs of magazines. I like Chuck a lot, but let’s face it, you could read him for years and never come to a dirty part.
I am boning up (you’ll pardon the expression) on Dickens in anticipation of taking Miss Satron’s English Literature class next term. I’m going be in the ninth grade at St. Vitus Academy. This, they tell the parents, is the most elite and rigorous prep school in the entire East Bay. Only 40 scholarly wankers are admitted each year from literally dozens of applications.
Ravishing Miss Satron has wonderful bone structure and wears tight sweaters. She is also said to be extremely well read. Needless to say, she looms like a titan in my masturbatory fantasies.
I am back to talking to my mother (my birthday is coming up soon). She says she will buy new paint for my bedroom, but I have to apply it myself. (Personally, I’d prefer a tasteful decoupage of
outtakes.) She’s suggesting off-white this time, but I’m insisting on manly khaki.
SUNDAY, July 22
— Dad was supposed to pick me up at 10 A.M. for some father-son bonding experiences. At 11:15 Mom called his rented bachelor’s
bungalow and found him still in bed. (Doubtless with his latest bimbette.) Mom gave him one of her canned high-volume diatribes. At 12:10 he screeched into the driveway, blasting the horn.
The drive over to Marin went about as I expected. First, you should know Dad pilots a leased BMW 318i (the cheap one). He would dearly love to move up to a more prestigious model, but—as he often reminds me—he is burdened with crippling child-support payments. In the journey of 16 miles he changed lanes 82 times, honked the horn seven times, and flipped the bird to four drivers (mostly confused old ladies). Dad is more cautious with men now after he was chased for 15 miles on the Nimitz freeway by a carful of Iranians swinging lead pipes out the windows.
In between the scary moments, I tried to make conversation with Lacey, Dad’s latest bimbette. She is 19, a newly minted alumna of Stanfort (with a “t”) Institute of Cosmetology, and voluptuous in the extreme. Since I am frighteningly inarticulate around girls, I force myself to practice with Dad’s bimbettes. Lacey, however, seemed more interested in laughing like a maniac and urging my father to “step on it, honey! Make that turbo scream!”
When we got to Kentfield, I learned that not only did Dad not have any activities planned, he wanted me to mow his damn lawn. For free! “Why?” said Dad. “Because, pal, I’d like to have something to show for my $583 a month in child support besides a canceled check.” How about a loving relationship with your only son, you creep!
Finally, I agreed to do it for $5, pointing out that a gardener would charge at least $50. “Yeah,” said Dad, “but you’re not Japanese.”
While I was gassing up the mower, Lacey came out on the patio in a weensy bikini for some al fresco power tanning. You didn’t have to be a geologist to see that her body has more dramatic outcroppings than the coastline of Albania. Later, Dad came out and invited Lacey in for a “nap.” Like all of Dad’s bimbettes, she didn’t have to be asked twice. As they were going in, arm in arm, I detected what looked to me like a smug glance in my direction from Dad. What a competitive asshole! Perhaps that’s why I’m so uncompetitive. I’ve curbed my aggressiveness in reaction to his relentless excesses. Fortunately, I am writing all these revelations down in a notebook for use someday when I go into analysis. They should prove a real timesaver.
I just remembered. I never got my five bucks!
MONDAY, July 23
— Today I finished
A Tale of Two Sissies
. What a noble and moving sacrifice. Could I ever perform such a deed for the woman I love? Probably not.
Since my pile of reading material had dwindled dangerously, I went to
the library. I arrived to find the building full of unwashed people talking to themselves. Why do the homeless take such a keen interest in literature? Will this be my destiny someday? Reading Turgenev while residing in the back seat of a ’72 Dodge Polara?
One particularly repellent fellow asked me for a quarter. I gave him my standard reply: “I hear McDanold’s is hiring.” Not very compassionate, but what do you expect from the spoiled offspring of two would-be yuppies?
The atmosphere was so dreary, I came back without a book. I’d go to the bookstores in Berkeley, but Dad is late (as usual) with my allowance—penurious as it is. I have 63 cents to my name.
TUESDAY, July 24
— Nothing in the house to read except
magazine. We get this because Dad is a copywriter for an obscure ad agency in Marin that handles agricultural accounts. Were he free of familial responsibilities, Dad would be in Paris, penning a Lasting Work of Important Fiction. Instead, he goads bug-fearing farmers into despoiling the earth (and their Mexican farmworkers) with mega-death herbicides. I was fooling around in Dad’s office one day and discovered his thesaurus fell open naturally to entry 360: “Death — noun.”
I wrote this poem about his plight:
A writer of promise named Dad
Is quite literarily mad;
His kids are so grasping
They’ve made him a has been.
Now the hack bends his muse to an ad.
Noting I was bored, Mom suggested I go over to the park and find a pickup game of basketball. She is, of course, completely out of her mind. Short honkie teens do not play basketball on the public courts of Oakland.
WEDNESDAY, July 25
— One more week to my birthday. Mom finally asked me what I wanted. “A 386 motherboard,” I replied firmly and decisively. Most of the members of Byte Backers (St. V’s computer club) have already upgraded. Some even have 586s!
She looked doubtful. “That sounds like something else for your computer. You spend too much time at that machine. You should get outside in the fresh air. Have some fun.”
“Doing what?” I asked. “Stealing rebounds from future NBA stars?”
She told me to watch my smart mouth. I’ve heard that line before.
FRIDAY, July 27
— My friend Lefty called up to say he was back from his vacation in Nice. (I’ll be lucky if we go to Modesto for ours.) I invited him over, but cautioned him that if word got out I had a pink bedroom, I would be forced to tell Millie Filbert (who he’s had a crush on for years) why he’s called Lefty even though he is right-handed.
In case you haven’t heard, Lefty’s erect member takes a sudden and dramatic turn to the east about midway up the shaft. Although this worries him a lot, he’s never been able to bring it up (so to speak) with his parents.
“It would kill them to know I even get hard-ons,” Lefty says. He worries this abnormality will lead to targeting errors when he gets older. “What if I shove it up the wrong hole?” Lefty’s grasp of female anatomy is somewhat tenuous; he imagines there are orifices galore down there.
Meanwhile, he pursues a treatment of his own devising. Every night before going to bed he tapes his dick to his right leg. Then, lying in bed, he mentally undresses Millie—thus putting counter-rotational tension on the shaft. So far, this has not straightened out the bow.
After telling me about his trip (strange food, unintelligible natives, cute girls without tops arrayed like cordwood on sunny beaches), he got to the real news: he has found his older sister Martha’s diary. And a real page-turner it is. She writes she “went all the way” with Carlo, an Italian waiter at their hotel in France. And did a few other semi-kinky things with him as well. Now all she can do is “think about sweet fat cock.” Under this sizzling confession, Lefty has penciled in: “For a good time, call Nick Twisp,” followed by my phone number.
I’m ready if she calls. My Conduit Of Carnal Knowledge may not be particularly “fat,” but it probably qualifies under a broad definition of “sweet.” And I’m sure I’m better read than that guy Carlo.