Gentry eyed Zach from across the table, and pulled into his backpack for the neat tissue packet he stored in the front pocket, the most isolated pocket in the case, and contented himself with it. He dabbed his nose once, folded it, then stood up, used the clean end to open the door, leaned out just so and disposed it into the trash. Then he hurriedly ducked back inside, making sure not to step on the thin line where the carpet ended and a new carpet was hurriedly pushed to it. Most people did not notice this line, but to him it was clear because the tiny blue carpet fibers leaned in the opposite direction. They were like ends of a magnet, unnaturally smushed together. For the hundredth time, he wondered why they couldn’t have turned the carpeting in the correct direction before putting it in; at least then it would have appeared more unified. Now it looked off, and looking at it skewed his sense of direction since typically, North was the direction the carpet fibers pointed towards. Now North was South and South was North and everything pissed him the fuck off. After grunting at the incompetent carpeting, he moved back to the table, pulled out another tissue, and repeated the previous actions. By the fifth tissue Zach hissed at him to “stop moving around.” Then he paused and sweetly added “please.”
Gentry reluctantly sauntered back to his seat. It would’ve been tiring to explain that keeping tissues on a table allowed billions of germs to creep on the surface, adding to the already large colonization that sprawled throughout the library. Instead of clarifying the evils of Germ colonialism, Gentry nestled into his seat, lolling himself into a familiar comfort as he studied Zach scribble answers on the blue-lined paper without the slightest twinge of distraction.
Gone were the heavy layers of black and the thick rimmed glasses. Gone was the scruffy, coarse hair that fell over his face. It might have been cut shorter, or perhaps it just appeared that was because it was stubbornly gelled up to defy gravity and reveal the wide blue eyes it once hid. What a damn shame; Now everyone could look at them.
And in place of what was gone, there were unseemly new additions. A t-shirt with some trendy slogan hugged his chest, a bright rainbow bracelet hung loosely on a limp wrist, and a lip piercing which glistened in the fluorescent light.
Lip piercings; why ruin a perfectly good pair of lips? What a perversion of nature.
“What are you staring at?”
“I’m a lot of things, nothing isn’t one of them.”
And then there was that attitude.
But that had always been there.
“What’s with the piercing?”
“I felt like getting one.”
“The last time I had metal near my mouth was the headgear from my braces. It doesn’t look good.”
“I like it, and I also happen to not give a shit about what you like.”
Zach didn’t so much as look up as he squiggled on that measly piece of paper. Ugly, messy, dirty lines that weren’t even important. A part of Gentry was irritated, but his voice and mannerisms didn’t betray this when he asked,
“What about that rainbow wristband?”
“Did Mikey give that to you?”
Now at this, Zach glanced up.
“Yes.” He replied flatly.
Ah, the irritation was blooming all right.
“Is that… lip gloss? Since when do you wear lip gloss?”
“I get kissed more often now, my lips need the protection.”
Gentry scoffed at this saucy reply, and Zach resumed the scribbling he passed off as writing. All points, peaks and valleys. Like a stock market graph. Up, down, up…
Or maybe it was more like a lie detector, something to check your pulse…
Gentry leaned back cross-armed in his seat, slouching slightly and maintained a moment of thoughtful silence before asking,
“What is he trying to do, turn you into The SuperFag?”
“I don’t know what he wants to do, but I know you’re jealous.”
“I’m not jealous.” Gentry protested, “I just thought being gay meant liking guys, not girls.”
“If you think I’m such a girl, bend over and find out.”