Chapter 8 A New Start at the House of George Part 1-10

A New Start at the House of George Part 1

When the waters finally part and it’s over, I realize that I have had enough. I don’t want to live like this anymore. I have lost what little was saved from the first flood and now I have nothing, nothing but the clothes on my back and even those are wet.

I am angry and I blame Kim for my losing all my things. I blame Kim for finding this stupid fucking apartment and I blame Kim for caring about me and helping me. I blame everyone except me for what my life has become. I blame Cindy just for being there and I blame the landlord for his lack of proper response. “Blame, Blame, Blame!” I blame everyone for everything. I take no responsibility for this current situation in which I find myself. I feel that I am going nowhere and I even blame Kim for that. Although my actions have nothing to do with her, I blame her for everything. I am angry and frustrated and I have nothing left. I need a change. I need to “run.” Life is easier if I just run.

The windows in the apartment no longer exist. I have smashed them all to smithereens with the mop. I let the water rush into the kitchen at a faster speed. I mean, why put off what was about to happen?  The buildup of the water and the flooding meant so much more than even I would understand until years later.

Kim, Cindy, and I decide to part ways while we are cleaning up from this current flood. Well actually, Cindy wants me out, Kim wants me out, and I want out. It’s the first time we all agree on something.

Kim and I were living in our own reality and it was one that was on the verge of getting really ugly. We fought all the time and recently it had gotten physical. Cindy and I really couldn’t stand looking at each other and she had just moved in, but in truth, she was the one paying the bills.

The final flooding pushed me over the edge and I needed out of this frying pan, so I ran to the gas station and used the phone. I’d forgotten how bad things had gotten between David and me over Joe. 

I contact Joe and ask if I can stay on his basement floor. Joe tells me that I can have the room in the basement for however long I need it. I tell him it will be a short stay. I walk to Joe’s house with nothing but the clothes on my back, still dripping with water.

True to fashion, Joe answers the door in his blue electric G-string. It is hard to act blasé when a ninety-year-old man in an electric blue G-string answers the door and walks outside onto the landing to greet you. “How are you?” Joe screams, and he throws his arms around my neck. “Mmmmmmm, you sure look yummy,” Joe says as he pats my ass. Then he takes my hand and swings me back to get a better look at me. I feel like a debutante at Joe’s private ball. The neighbors across the street look out at us from behind closed curtains.

At 90, Joe wears a hearing aid in each ear. He needs to talk loudly so he can hear himself. “Full house tonight, but you are more than welcome,” says Joe in his G-string as he swings me into the house. I am embarrassed as to what the neighbors think, not of Joe, but of me.

Joe’s house is filled to capacity with the normal circus that I always expect to find. Runaways who have nowhere else to go, recovering drug addicts who have just left rehab, and various youth on the fringe of society lie around in the living room.

Joe doesn’t live alone. He has a roommate named Gary. Gary has his own room on the main floor. Gary once told me that he has to lock his bedroom door all the time; things have gone missing one too many times for his liking. As I head into the kitchen I see my old roommate Adam sitting there with a big smile on his face.

A New Start at the House of George Part 2

Joe’s house does not disappoint with the coming and goings of Rent Boys and Daddies. It’s one daily drama after another as things go missing and I tell Joe that he needs a revolving door installed in the front of the house. With his hearing aids turned up full, Joe yells through entire television shows screaming, “What did they just say?” and “This show makes no sense!” before he storms out of the room only to return again and again to make senseless comments. It’s exhausting.

I have already been here a week and things seem to be looking up and falling into place for me. Today I come back from running random errands and Joe seems to be having a bondage party somewhere in the house. I am assuming this because now I can hear a strange man in the basement yelling, “Tell Daddy what you want!” and I can hear Joe screaming, “What? I can’t hear you!” My larger concern is that if Joe is in his 90s and the other guy is playing “Daddy” how old is this other guy? Is there a whole group down there? What will I see that I can’t un-see?

Unfortunately, since I am staying in the room in the basement, I need to go down there. I brace myself for what I might see, and true to fashion, Joe doesn’t disappoint. As I enter the basement landing, I can see Joe standing with another (even older) man in ass-less chaps on all fours in front of him. They are both in full leather Daddy S&M gear. Joe is busy shaving the testicles of the man on all fours with a razor. As he sees me sneaking down the stairs Joe pauses and screams, “Hello, Geoff! How was your day?” I avert my eyes and slide against the wall to disappear. “Good, I’m fine,” I mutter, as I feel along the wall in the hopes of getting to the bedroom without engaging in any more conversation.

“Oh Geoff, this is Walter,” Joe says, as he takes a riding crop in his other hand. He snaps it one quick slap against Walter’s ass as he introduces him and then spells W-A-L-T-E-R, giving each letter a slap. Walter, red faced and sweaty, puts his hand out to shake my hand grimacing as Joe brings the crop down again and again. I try to act like this is an everyday occurrence as I put my hand out to meet him. I touch his warm hand and feel the loose skin. It’s like shaking an uncooked turkey thigh. Suddenly, I can feel bile rising in my throat. “Nice to meet you, Walter,” I say, pulling my hand back. “Need your shoes licked?” Joe asks. “No thanks,” I reply, forcing a smile, and quickly dash into the bedroom area. “You can come back and play if you want,” Joe screams after me. I can hear Walter second that with a “Hmmmmm” as the crop slaps down one more time.

“Yuck, yuck, yuckity-yuck,” I say to myself under my breath as I shake off the heebie-jeebies and refrain from vomiting. Once I am in the bedroom I turn on a Walkman that I borrowed from Joe. Duran Duran sings about “Girls on Film.” I turn it up as loud as it goes, trying to drown out the sound of the riding crop slapping Walter’s ass again and again.

There is good news and a light at the end of the tunnel. I have landed a job during the graveyard shift at Denny’s on Wolf Road in Colonie. I will need to take the bus until I can buy a car, but this is great news. I also have a lead on a house several blocks away from Joe’s. I found a listing at the Gay Community Center on the Roommate Wanted board. It seems promising.

A New Start at the House of George Part 3

I have set up an interview with the owner of the house. He is looking for a roommate for one of his “additional bedrooms”. His name is George and his house is located off Central Avenue, about a 15-minute walk from Joe’s house. George’s house is in a pretty residential area. There is a gas station on the corner and a Denny’s two blocks away.

I make a mental note to see if I can be transferred from the Colonie Denny’s to the Central Avenue Denny’s. I begin my Denny’s training at the end of this week, so it might take me awhile to work out a transfer.

The house sits on the corner of the block a little way back from the street. A short brick path leads from the sidewalk to the front door. The house looks huge from the outside but it is all one level. There is no way, from standing outside, that I think there is any room in this house for more than one bedroom.

I walk around to get a look at the side and back of the house. An above-ground swimming pool sits in the backyard, surrounded by a four-foot tall metal fence with a metal gate that leads to the street. Large bushes have been planted to give some privacy to people when they swim. From where I am standing I can see a pool deck built into the side and attached to the house.

I walk back around to the front of the house, walk up the brick path, step onto the porch, and ring the doorbell. Looking at my watch, I see that I am right on schedule. Nothing happens after I press the button. I can hear someone inside the house screaming “Fuck You! Fuck You!” but no one comes to the door.

I wait another couple of minutes and ring the bell again. Silence, followed by someone inside the house screaming, “Fuck You Fuck You!” Then I hear a whistle followed by silence, and someone screams, “Cocksucker, Cocksucker!”

Leaning to one side, I see a little sewindow and I peer into it. I can see a figure heading towards the door but I can hear another voice screaming out, “Shut the fuck up!” I’m not really sure that I want to go in here, but the minute I turn to walk away, the front door opens. “You must be Geoff,” says a rather gruff voice. I turn back and see a man standing there, holding the screen door open with one hand and putting out his other hand, coaxing me to come inside.

The man stands about six-foot-one and I guess his age to be late 60s to early 70s. His hair is shoe-polish black and he sports a pencil-thin moustache that is the same color as his hair. His eyes have no sparkle to them. The skin on his face is weathered and the creases on his face create several little frown lines.

He tries to smile to put me at ease. It seems calculated and cold.

I assume that this man is George. He is wearing a dark blue security guard uniform and big black clompy shoes. Handcuffs hanging from his utility belt swing along with a club. Suddenly, everything about this man says “serial killer” to me. “I’m sorry, I think that I need to … ,” I say, stepping back off the stoop. “Nonsense,” he says. Taking a step closer to me on the porch, he reaches out his hand and catches my elbow. “You came this far, you might as well see the room.” He slowly pulls me into the house, closing the door behind me.

A New Start at the House of George Part 4

The first room immediately to my right after entering the House of George, is the living room. Directly in front of me are two La-Z-Boy rockers with an end table between them. The ashtray on the table is filled to capacity with smoked cigarettes. In the corner behind one of the La-Z-Boy rockers sits a giant cage. In the cage sits a giant parrot. “This is George Jr.,” says George, presenting the bird with a sweep of his arm.

“Hi, George Jr.,” I say, taking a step closer to the cage. “Fuck You, Cocksucker,” the bird screams as he bounces up and down. “I would watch my hand near George Jr.,” George says, before pulling me gently back from the cage. “Faggot, Faggot, Cocksucker,” the bird screams before grasping the bars with his beak. He moves one foot at a time to hang onto the side of the cage and flaps his wings. “Cocksucker, Cocksucker!” he screams again.

“Isn’t that cute?” George asks me, “I taught him that.” “Fuck You, Fuck You!” screams George Jr., apparently to both of us. The bird never stops talking as George gives me the tour of the living room. On the opposite side of the room is a large giant wooden box, roughly the size of a coffin, with a movie screen attached to it. “This is my favorite thing,” George says, as he strokes the top of the box with the sleeve of his jacket. “The latest in home stereos. Everything is attached and runs through speakers located all over the house.” George reaches down, lifting the lid of the box. “This is a laser disc player.” The lid creaks open as I take a step forward. Inside the box are three light units that will project onto the screen as soon as the unit is  turned on. Next to the television, George makes another proud sweep of a shelf with his arm. “This is my Laser Disc collection.”

I notice that the first two titles on the shelf are the Texas Chain Saw Massacre and I Spit On Your Grave. The discs are the same size as a vinyl record; they have a hard plastic casing. “How do you play these?” I ask. “Well, the disc is inside and you click it into the player,” George says, pulling out Spit On Your Grave. The cover of the disc shows a girl who has clearly been through a rough situation, holding a knife. George begins to ramble on, explaining how to turn the television on with the speakers, how to make the sound go throughout the house, and how to turn on the cable. I have stopped listening and stare at the cover of Spit On Your Grave. In the background George Jr. is screaming, “Cocksucker, Cocksucker!”

The tour continues. The next room on this floor is the laundry room. George goes through all the rules and regulations of doing laundry and with a smile adds, “That’s if you decide to live here.” I’m not listening but looking around at everything. Something doesn’t seem right about George, about the house, and about the bird. My Spidey sense is tingling again and I do what I do best: I try to ignore it.

The last room on this floor is the kitchen. There is a stove, a refrigerator, and a long counter top. “I work late and stop on my way home to pick up food,” George says, opening the fridge, which is half empty except for takeout boxes.

“Where are the bedrooms?” I ask. “Next stop on our tour, in the basement!” George steps forward to the end of the kitchen and opens a door. I see a flight of stairs.

A New Start at the House of George Part 5

George motions with his hand to the staircase. The stairs go down about five steps to a landing. The landing has a door that opens to the backyard and to the pool area. “Hey, why don’t we check this out on our way downstairs?” George says, pausing to open the door to the backyard. There is also a second door, a screen door, which he props open. I follow him outside.

The backyard is almost bricked in, with little patches of grass poking out here and there. The pool is a four-foot above-ground poolsurrounded by a wooden deck. Various towels and swim trunks hang haphazardly over the pool rail, drying in the sun. Several plants and trees have been positioned to give whoever is in the pool complete privacy.

As I round the deck I notice someone standing in the pool against the far wall. He looks to be in his early fifties, hair parted in the middle, slightly feathered. He sports thick round glasses and a ’70s porn moustache. His arms are spread out and resting on the pool deck as his body stays open and to the front. He smiles as our eyes meet. He is not what I consider handsome or even attractive, but he has a smile that lights up his eyes.

“That one is Bill,” says George jabbing his thumb in Bill’s direction. “My ex who won’t leave,” snarls George, walking around to the side of the pool. “I own half the house,” snorts Bill, extending his arm as he walks through the water to get to me. “She,” Bill drawls, pausing briefly without looking at George but nodding his head in George’s direction, “can’t seem to get it into her pretty, dizzy head, that I’m not leaving until I get paid to do so.”

Bill is now standing directly in front of me, his hand still extended. I reach out to shake it. “Charmed,” Bill purrs as he flips the back of his hand up for me to kiss it. Then in a baby voice Bill pulls his hand out of mine. “I would join you on dry land but somewhere my bathing suit got lost and I have one heck of a time finding it.” Bill crosses his arms as if he is hiding breasts that I can’t see. “Beneath this top layer of water, I am au naturel.” Bill slides down so his shoulders dip beneath the water. He takes his right index finger and makes a “no, no” motion in my direction.

“Too bad you resemble Ethel Merman instead of Esther Williams,” snarks George, loud enough for anyone in the neighborhood to hear.  “I’m Marilyn Monroe,” Bill purrs as he starts to turn around and walk back to his original resting place.

“You never could figure that out could you?” Bills screams at George. Bill then stops mid-walk and glances at me over his shoulder. “Dirty Boy, I can read your thoughts and the answer is yes, I could be yours.”

“Stay right there,” George announces to Bill, walking back to the screen door. “I have to get an extension cord and a toaster. Won’t take me a minute.” Bill snaps back at George, “You know that I can’t ever die. Wicked witches never really die. I will keep coming back and back again.”  This said, Bill slides his back against the wall, puts his head back and closes his eyes. “And close the door on your way in,” says Bill, throwing his final dig at George out of the corner of his mouth.

A New Start at the House of George Part 6

“And that is my ex!” George says, stepping into the house before closing and locking the screen door from the inside. Then he does the same to the metal door that leads into the house. Then he turns the deadbolt. Raising one finger to his lips, he turns to me and says in a low voice, ““Shhhhh … Our little secret.”

“Tell me where on the doll he touched you?” I imagine the police department will be asking me later. That is if I can get out of this h\House of Crazy. We have only just begun the tour and I am heading into the basement with a man wearing a security guard uniform. My brain whispers that he is also carrying a club and handcuffs.

I am always prepared. Always. I watch a lot of horror movies. I know some things. Important things. Like, never let the security guard with a club and handcuffs ever get behind you. Look for a pitchfork when you walk into a room. You might need this to kill him if he turns into something else like a Vampire or a Wolfman. It is twenty steps down to the basement, no more and no less. I do the math. “How fast will I need to hit the steps to do two at a time?” 

George opens a door at the bottom of the stairs and we walk into a shared bathroom. Large room, yellow shag carpeting, dingy lighting, glassed-in shower (exposed), toilet (exposed), and a sink. This is clearly a display room in which to clean and kill bodies before you turn them into … what? I scan for clues.

George gets a twinkle in his eye. “Shower, toilet, and sink, lots of room and right across from my bedroom.” George slaps his hand on the wall. “No one goes into my room but me.”

I try not to shit my pants and focus on the task at hand. It’s clear that I just jumped, because the twinkle in George’s eyes gets bigger. Or did his moustache move? Twitch? Maybe it didn’t. I can’t tell. I am wired like a jumpy cat, just waiting for George to kill me. “The bedroom is at the other end of the basement,” George says, extending his arm and pointing. I look in that direction. The hallway is dark and a crack of light is coming from somewhere down that dark and spooky corridor.

“At the other end of the hallway?” I ask. “Yes, at the other end of the hallway.” George continues pointing. “Rule number one is to never let the killer get behind you,” my brain screams. George continues to point as he steps behind me.

A New Start at the House of George Part 7

There is no way that I feel comfortable walking down this hallway with George now directly in back of me. “I can’t see anything,” I mumble, as I slowly edge forward.

“Yeah, I put the light in the middle of this hallway and I should have installed it closer to the front, near the door,” George says with a little laugh. “Just a little bit further,” he says.

George now places one hand on my shoulder and I physically jump. “A little jumpy?” George asks with his hand still on me. “No,” I respond “No, not at all.” Actually, I can hear my own heartbeat loud in my ears. I am afraid that George will turn on the lights and I’ll find myself in the middle of a torture chamber with other victims tied up. My brain reminds me that I was warned.

“Wait, I think the switch is somewhere on this wall.” George stops and takes his hand off my shoulder. I can hear his hand moving across the wall, feeling for the light switch. It’s the sound of dry calloused hands on wood. “Here it is!” George yells excitedly. The switch makes a click and nothing happens, then another click and again nothing happens. “Motherfucker!” George yells, “Are you fucking kidding me?” He continues flipping the light switch up and down, up and down, and still nothing happens.

“Good Christ,” George screams, “the lights must have blown out. Wait here, I’ll fix this.” With that said, I am left alone in the dark. I can hear George moving his hand up and down the wall, moving farther away from me. “Motherfucker, God of Hell,” George screams as he crashes into random crap in the dark. I don’t move. “This is it,” I think to myself, “He is going to leave me here in the dark and come back later to kill me.

Minutes suddenly feel like hours in the dark. I figure that I will turn around and head back in the direction I came. “Just move slow,” I say out loud as I turn around and slowly inch back the way I came.

That’s when I hear a large “clack” and the lights come on, bathing the whole basement around me in a sick yellow light. I let out a scream when I see that someone is directly in front of me. It takes a minute to realize that it is a mirror and I am looking at my own reflection.

“Are you okay?” I hear George yell from the end of the basement. “I’m okay,” I yell back. George appears and is walking towards me. “Well, the light wasn’t out, the circuit breaker was thrown and … ” he stops. “Did you scream at your own reflection?” I say nothing as George’s nose crinkles up and his eyes twinkle, then he laughs and laughs. He starts laughing so hard that he begins to cough.

“You must have thought I was some sort of killer or something, leaving you alone in the dark!” George is killing himself laughing. He slides down the wall and sits on the floor. “You should see your face!” George laughs harder, pointing at me. Somehow I wonder if he really is a killer and this is the way he likes to play.

A New Start at the House of George Part 8

The bedrooms are at the end of the hallway. There are two of them and they are separated by a wall, but there is no door to either room. Both rooms have curtains hanging from a bar to provide privacy and keep people out.

I am worried that if I live here, I will hear every sound in the house and have little to no privacy. The actual bedroom is a nice size. It has a large double bed, a dresser, hanging closet, and a tiny little window at the very top of the wall. There is no way to look out from where I am standing.

“The rent is $300.00 a month including utilities,” George says, while holding back the curtain. I follow his eyes as they move to the top of the wall and focus on the window. “There is no one in the other room, and I’m not looking to rent it out.”

My brain is fighting with itself right now. One side is telling me to run and the other side is commenting on how great it would be to have a pool and a tiny window at the top of my wall.

“It’s very quiet down here and you would have no one to bother you. I’m rarely home and the only other people who live here are Bill who you met, and my boyfriend Freddie. He’ll be here later.” George rattles this off as if he is reading a grocery list aloud.

“So, you want someone immediately?” I ask, already knowing the answer. “As soon as possible,” George says, trying to look extra friendly. A thin smile quickly flashes across his face but then disappears just as quickly when I start to look away. “I don’t need a security deposit and if you want to move out, I would love a thirty day notice.” George now steps into the room, and the curtain swings closed behind him.

 “You have access to everything in the house and I want you to make this your home. That is, if you want to.” George opens his arms and slides that last bit in hoping to make the deal, hoping that I will take the bait. He slides across the room and grabs my elbow. “Here, sit down on the bed, check out the room while I switch the wash to the dryer and I will be right back.” He quickly slides out of the room.

Three hundred dollars would be perfect for me. I would have a nice place to live, all the comforts that I need, plus a pool. I think that I might be overreacting a little bit. I mean George looks and acts like a serial killer, but wouldn’t have Bill told me to run for my life? Or wouldn’t he have mouthed out of the corner of his mouth, “Please help me!” when George wasn’t looking. 

Neither of those things happened, so I’m feeling better and better. I stand, pull back the curtain, and find George standing on the other side. “You’ll take it?” he asks.

A New Start at the House of George Part 9

Everything in my brain is telling me not to take the room, but when George asks me if I want to take it, I answer with an enthusiastic, “Yes!” “Good, good,” George mumbles, sliding one hand around my shoulder to draw me in closer to him. To anyone who would see us like this on the street, we would look like two old friends.

“So, you’ll be moving in this weekend?” George asks, walking me towards the staircase. “Sure, sure,” I respond as we climb onto the landing. George pauses, then stops and takes a step back down the stairs to turn out the lights. I climb the stairs and pause to take one more look out the window at the swimming pool. I have already planned that I will be spending most of my days lying by it.

Standing on the other side of the glass, getting ready to get into the pool, is a guy in his early twenties. His dark hair is cut short and it’s slightly wavy. He is wearing a pair of cut-off blue jean shorts and a tank t-shirt with red stripes on it. On his upper lip sits a thin little moustache. He reaches down, grabs the bottom of his t-shirt, and slides it over his head. Just as the t-shirt comes off, our eyes meet and he flashes me a dazzling smile. I can see a twinkle in his brown eyes as he turns around. He grabs the waist of his shorts and drops them to his ankles. He is wearing nothing under his shorts. He turns back over his shoulder, smiles at me, and walks to the pool.

“You like the pool?” George asks, as he steps behind me. I pause and swallow deeply. “Yes, yes, I do,” I stammer. From where I am standing, the boy with the moustache comes into view. He is waist-deep in the water, the sun reflecting off his smile.

“Ah!” Says George.  He begins to rap on the window. The boy in the pool turns to look around for the knocking sound. “That’s my boyfriend, Freddie.” George squeals like a schoolgirl. The boy raises his hand and waves at George. The difference in their age is easily forty-plus years. George swings open the door to the backyard and leaves me standing in the dark stairway. “Wait right here, I just want to say hello!” He literally runs through the door to get to Freddie.

Bill saunters down the steps from the kitchen a stalk of celery in one hand and his robe draped around his shoulders. “God, I hate that cunt,” Bill says, crunching off a big section of the celery. “George?” I ask, still looking out the window. “Well yes, him too!  But I really hate the new Mrs. George Thurgood the third!” Bill uses the end of the celery, rapping on the window to drive the point home. “He got all my furs, jewelry, and my easy life. I hate him.”

Bill pauses and looks like he’s reflecting in the past. Then he sighs, “Just wait, there will be a new one in a couple of weeks.” That said, Bill continues down the stairs into the basement. “See you this weekend,” He yells back over his shoulder without ever looking up. “How does he know?” I ask myself.

A New Start at the House of George Part 10

Joe was very sweet to me when I told him that I had been looking at apartments and planned on moving out this coming weekend. I was pretty excited when I got back to the house and wanted to tell everyone my news. Joe was in the basement, of course, and nobody else seemed to be around.

Cautiously, I head into the basement. “Joe, are you here?” I yell from the landing. “Umfffffmmmmmmm!” I hear in response.  “Joe?” I yell again. “Yes, I am! Sorry, in the back,” Joe yells. As I round the corner I immediately see Joe tied to a basement pillar. His pants are around his ankles and a ball gag hangs around his neck. Standing three feet from him in ass-less chaps is some rough trade looking kid with a leather military hat on his head.

I pretend to see nothing and plow right ahead. I tell Joe my news. “Wonderful!” he exclaims. Then he tells me that he has met George at the Waterworks Pub but knows very little about him.

“Oh, where are my manners?” Joe asks me. “Geoff, this is Patrick. Patrick, this is Geoff.” The rough trade boy in the ass-less chaps extends his hand to me. “Pleasure,” I say grasping back firmly.

I climb out of the basement to find Adam sitting on the couch with his feet up. “I would have told you not to go down there,” he says, not looking at me. “You weren’t around to warn me,” I  reply. I still pretend that I saw nothing out of the ordinary in the basement. “I was hiding in the bathroom,” Adam responds. “That kid gives me the creeps! If he had killed and eaten Joe in the basement, I wouldn’t have been surprised.”