jerry, lionel, keith , and dean were the four funlovers.
they would have been the four amigos but they thought that name was already taken.
they had some great times together.
you wouldn’t believe some of the shit they did.
but none of them really knew the others.
they all had secret lives. secret lives that they kept from each other, and from the world.
jerry was filled with futility and sorrow. he was secretly a liberal. his dream was to go on a peace demonstration or a peace march, maybe even to washington d c.
he filled up notebooks with a comic strip about a superhero named rainman who saved the world from global warming.
when he was with the guys, or at a company party, he laughed at jokes about hillary clinton and al gore along with everybody else.
keith dreamed of marrying a nice girl and living on a farm and having seven or eight daughters who would form a world famous singing group like the trapp sisters.
he, keith, would get old and fat and have a long white beard and everyone in the world would know who he was and call him “daddy keith”.
in real life he went to the gym with the guys and listened to rap music and to howard stern and talked about bitches and hos.
lionel was secretly a buddhist. when he was fourteen years old he had a secret friendship with a geeky kid named vince. lionel let vince hang out with him when none of his other friends were around.
vince had given lionel old paperback copies of “the dharma bums” and “zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance” and reading them had changed lionel forever.
but he never let anybody know. he only did his buddhist things after midnight, when the world was asleep.
dean had the most terrible secret of all, by a country mile.
he was a closet racist and homophobe.
like jerry, he drew comics in secret, but his were much more elaborate. he drew whole graphic novels about a group of superheroes called “the hunters”. each of the hunters was an outrageous and unconscionable stereotype - of a black, a jew, a muslim, a mexican, an asian, a gay man, and a lesbian. the villains and the secondary characters were stereotypes of other marginalized groups or just feminists. dean did nor know why he drew these comics, and he wanted to stop, but he just could not help himself.
their four lives went on, day by day.
keith got engaged to a girl named laurene.
the four funlovers had a bachelor party at grady’s, their favorite bar.
they got totally shitfaced, even more than usual.
jerry was the one most likely to get obnoxious when he got wasted, and to make unseemly remarks to women, and hostile ones to men.
true to form, when it was almost closing time, jerry kept staring at a young woman who was sitting at an adjoining table with a slightly older man, and loudly repeating, “oh yeah… oh yeah…”
the young woman was visibly annoyed, and the man turned to the funlovers’ table and said good-naturedly to keith, lionel and dean, “i think your friend needs some fresh air. it’s almost closing time, anyway.”
jerry’s predictable response was “fuck you,asshole! fuck you! don’t talk to my friends, say it to my face like a fucking man!” and he lurched toward the man, but could not get to his feet.
the other three got jerry outside, but they were all too far gone for the night air to do them much good.
jerry, calmed down a little bit, wanted to find another bar.
they had all come in dean’s car. jerry was the only one who thought he could drive, but dean would not give him the keys.
jerry staggered away down the street, mumbling, “faggots… bunch of faggots…”
it was a warm night. there was a park across from the bar, and lionel went over and passed out on the grass, between a park bench and some bushes.
dean and keith settled into the front and back seats of dean’s car and fell asleep.
on his own, jerry was lost. he was sure there was another bar around somewhere, but where was it?
as he stumbled along, he saw a figure approach.
a young woman. alone.
what a skank, thought jerry. he grabbed his crotch.
“hey sweetie,” he addressed the young woman.
she swerved to walk around him.
jerry kept his hand on his crotch. “hey, sweetie, want to meet my friend henry? he’s a big boy. he knows how to have a good time.”
“yes, i’m sure you and henry have lots of fun together. just the two of you.”