Mark was so fulla shit this morning; totally bouncy like he was on something. It was like totally infectious and put me in a good mood as well.
Cape Town, South Africa
I did a really stupid thing. I skipped school yesterday. YES, I KNOW!
On Monday I went to swim practice and Mark and I were like fucking strangers. It’s not like he suddenly started hanging out with other guys; it’s like when I first met him and he just hung out alone. Wingnut chatted to him and the little bugger is totally confused about what’s happening.
“You and Mark still friends?”
“You’re not acting like it. You guys are going on like a coupla grommets.”
“Yeah, well, it’ll sort itself out.”
“So what’s the fight all about anyway?”
“I don’t want to get into that, OK.”
“Your face still looks like a piano fell onya.”
“Your face is gonna look like that if you keep asking questions.”
“Oooh! I’m shaking in my boots.”
So I chased him almost all the way home before he gave up and I gave him a mousy on his arm.
In the morning I told him to go ahead [to school] and I’d catch up with him l8er. And when he came around after school I just said that I’d gotten sick [in the morning] and was puking.
Yesterday arvie I took a walk down to the beach and the wind was pumping – still is. The surf was just a total storm mush. Even the fishermen weren’t around. It felt cool, though, just being there and feeling the wind.
“So why weren’t you at school today?” It was Mark. He’d been to my house and my mom told him I’d probably gone down to the beach.
“I was sick this morning.”
“Yeah, right.” He sat down next to me and stared at the surf. His face still had a bit of a bruise but it looked better. “I’m giving up my prefect’s badge, Cody.”
That got my attention. “What the fuck for?”
“Cos the next time I want to be able to give you a good fucking hiding and knock the shit right out of you without worrying about my position at school.”
OK, so that got a smile outta me. “Don’t do that. If anyone deserves to wear that badge you do. Must be one of the few good prefects in the school.”
“Can I be honest with you, Code? As a friend?”
“I’m not in the mood for any heavy shit right now.”
“You’re never in the mood. You think everything is supposed to be OK and happy, and [that] it’s all a big game. The problem is that when something heavy does come down you handle it like a bull in a china shop.”
“Like everything, Code. You let Alan get to you – this whole fuckup with Steve, your best friend. Steph’s been at Carol’s every fucking day crying her eyes out. Wingnut comes to me every day and asks when we’re gonna speak to each other.”
“He’s a persistent bugger.”
“He’s just confused, Code. And he’s feeling it as well. He says you’ve been miserable at home, and abrupt with him.”
“He said that?”
“No, he said it was like he was in the way.”
“You’re OK, though, right?”
“For sure, I’m fine. I’m surrounded by friends so I’m doing OK. I’m not sleeping at night, and Carol is telling me that I’m a million miles away. But, hey, I’ll live.”
“You’re used to being a loner, anyway, so it shouldn’t be hassling you.”
“Is that what you want, Code? You want us to go our separate ways and maybe back to how it was?”
“Thought maybe you wanted that. I dunno. My brain is pretty fried and I’m not thinking str8.”
“I haven’t had a real friend as far as I can remember. Oh, I’ve had guys that I hang out with and fight with and that kinda thing, but I’ve never had a real friend – until you came along. Fuck knows why, but I like you – more than anyone I’ve met besides Carol. You taught me what real friendship is about. Your friends grow out of fucking trees. But me? They come once in a blue moon.”
“Was that a blue moon? I thought it was my nuts that were blue. You were staring, huh?”
He laughed at that, but his eyes were brimming with tears. So were mine but we weren’t gonna start crying.
“I’m here cos you’re my friend, Code. Pulling this stunt today – staying out of school – that’s not the Cody I know. The Cody I know hits his probs right between the eyes, and faces everything. I want us to be friends, Code. Right about now I need a friend, and can’t afford to have you just walk away. And if I know you like I do, then I think what’s happened is eating you up big time cos you need friends, too.”
“Yep – pretty much.”
We were quiet for a long time, just staring at the surf and letting the wind almost blow us off the rocks. Then he hit me on the back and stood up. “Let’s go home, buddy.”
I took his hand, and he pulled me up. It was good to feel that strength and know that he’s my friend.
Mark stayed for supper and it was like old times. Wingnut jumped the fence when he saw us coming from the beach. He just smiled and said hi.
Mark stayed until quite l8 before he went home. We just chilled in my room, listening to music. We never spoke about what happened [the fight or its cause].
That’s about it up to now. Still a lot to sort out [with Steph and Steve], but it’s looking better.
This is gonna be quick cos I’ve gotta get my ass down to the pool. Had a totally totally totally awesome day yesterday. It was like nothing could go wrong. Mark was totally full of it [shit] at swimming, and he was giving Wingnut the going over, and pushing him harder and harder [at training], and at one time I thought Wingnut was gonna get outta the pool and tell him to get fucked, but he didn’t. When Mark told him to do it [the laps] again, back into the water he went.
When Mark was sitting with me, and we were watching the juniors and trying to pick up their mistakes, he [Wingnut] came up to the stand and stared at us, all dripping wet and looking like a little god.
“So, are you guys friends now?”
Mark just told him that we never stopped being friends, and that we just had a fight – that’s not like not being friends.
“Oh, so are you two going to make me your target now? You need someone to screw around and it’s gonna be me, huh? Just cos you’re not giving each other a hard time [anymore].”
Mark picked him up and threw him over his shoulder, and took him down to the pool and jumped in with Wingnut [still] on his shoulder. He got outta the pool holding Wingnut’s Speedos.
“Give those back here!” Wingnut shouted, and all the other guys were laughing.
Wingnut couldn’t get outta the pool until he got a towel from one of his friends. He laughed like hell about it. He better [had], else the guys woulda really taken the mickey outta him.
And the sun was shining! :)
Yesterday after school when we were walking home, Wingnut and Mark were taking the piss outta each other. Wingnut was saying that Mark must watch his back or super-glue his Speedos to his backside. Wingnut was told that his face would be seriously rearranged if he tried that.
“Oh, yeah? And I suppose you’ll get Cody to help cos you’ve got no chance on your own.”
Then we got talking about homework and shit. It was a cool day.
Wingnut came around a bit l8er and made str8 for the plastic bags and picked up the dog crap. I hadta put the mower over the grass, and it was cool having him around to empty the grass-catcher and also to scoop the grass outta the pool. We were talking about how it sucked cos there hasn’t been surf for a while. Then he asked if I would help him with some algebra. He’s got this mental block about remembering to change the sign as soon as the equation changes sides. I remember it took me ages to get that into my skull, but once you’ve got it then everything kinda falls into place.
L8er that night, Mark phoned. He was at Carol’s house.
“Hey, Code, howzit going?”
“Tops. Listen, Code, I’m at Carol’s house and Steph is here. Do you want to speak to her? She didn’t want to phone [you] in case you put the phone down on her. Hey, if you’re not up to it, I can tell her you’re not at home or something.”
I said it would be OK, and a few secs l8er she was on the phone. “Hi.”
“So – how are things with you?”
“Getting there. You?”
“Not that great.”
“I just wanted to say sorry, Cody. I really screwed things up for us.”
“Hey, it’s cool. Live and learn.”
“I want us to be friends again. I don’t expect it to be like [it was] before, but we can still speak to each other, and maybe even go out some time.”
“Yeah, well, I guess it’s gonna be like starting over. Let’s just take one step at a time.”
“Have you seen Steve?”
“Nope. Wingnut’s seen him in the surf and he’s been cool with him, but he hasn’t tried to contact me.”
“He phones me a lot.”
“What’s he want?”
“Oh – he wants me to go out with him now that we’re [you and I] are not together any more.”
“I told him no. Doesn’t stop him from trying, though. You know Steve.”
“Nope. Thought I did but I don’t. How doya feel about him?”
“I don’t feel anything for him, Cody. He’s just a friend.”
“Well, I’m just taking things one at a time for the moment, and see how they turn out. I guess we can give it a try, Steph.”
“OK. Maybe I’ll call you tomorrow.”
This morning, during swim training, Mark and I sat together in between our sessions. He said that Steph was a lot better after the phone call. He suggested that maybe we started out as friends again. I told him that that was what Steph and I had said, anyway.
“Oh, fuck, Code. I think girls were put on this planet to give us a hard time.”
“Oh? I thought it was the other way around, hehehe.”
“You know what I mean. They can be so fulla shit. Carol says she can’t understand what the big deal is, and why can’t everyone just be friends. She thinks you’re treating Steph a bit rough. Anyway, I’m staying out of it, otherwise I’ll just lose my cool, anyway. And you don’t want to be around when Carol and I start arguing.”
“Oh, fucking hell. She starts throwing things at me when she really loses it. The best part is afterwards when we make up, though, cos then she’s like an animal.”
“You really like her, huh?”
“Carol is everything that’s good about me. She’s helped me a lot. I was totally off the rails before I met her. It was my mission to get plastered and look for fights.”
“So what’s changed?”
“Hehehe, yeah, right. You haven’t seen me when I’m in the mood to do damage. If you see the signals, just leave me alone. Well, you don’t know when to leave me alone, so you’re always going to get hammered. Must say that your face looks better now. I like the new shape.”
“Didn’t realize I did that much damage, though – I must admit. Didn’t mean to give you stitches.”
“You didn’t. Steve did.”
“You’re kidding! I didn’t even know he hit you.”
“The bruise on your ribs a lucky punch, too?”
“What can I say? I forgot all the boxing training you gave me.”
“I didn’t think he had it in him to hit you.”
“Neither did I. I thought he’d just stand there and let me smack him.”
“He never said a word about hitting you when he called me.”
“He phones just to check how it’s going with me. He wants to go out on Friday or Saturday night. Want to come along?”
“I dunno. Things are definitely different with Steve and me now.”
“I guess so. I didn’t know that he’d beaten you so badly, though. I thought it was me. I didn’t think Steve had it in him to hit anyone, and definitely not you. But I guess you thought you could just walk in and smack him around, anyway.”
“I didn’t realize how much bigger and stronger he’d become.”
“He also knew what was coming when you pitched up [arrived] at his house, I guess. It’s weird that he hasn’t said anything about it.”
“Oh, he said that you were there and you guys had a bit of a push and shove. That’s about it. That’s when I found out he was going to ask Steph to go steady with him now that you guys weren’t together.”
The convo wasn’t going anywhere, so I turned it around to swimming. We spoke about the guys on the team and how we thought they were gonna do [perform on the tour]. One thing’s for sure – Mark and Ross are gonna kick some serious ass. Mark has become quite confident in his swimming, and it just gets better and better.
Normal story in the showers. Mark goes last, closely followed by Cody.
“Code, why don’t you shower with the other guys?”
“Yeah, fucking right. YOU?”
“OK, honest. I come in after you so I can see you naked.”
“Fuck off – and point your damn woody somewhere else.”
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Codeman Part 75