GUYS AND VOICES

By Keith Littlefield

Brandon Nazaro woke up, hung over, at the foot of the bar in the whorehouse entry way. He couldn't remember a thing he had done last night, after he came back from the city and got drunk in the whorehouse. In nearby Redmond, only a three hour drive, he had been arrested for "indecent behavior" in a public restroom. When he was brought back to Dwibe however, he boasted to everyone that he had been in a bar-fight with a pansy. Then he went to go get drunk and laid at the Wilted Rose. He didn't remember much about last night, but when he felt the bruise on his jaw he assumed that he had been in another fight with Hans.

Feeling a little sheepish and embarrassed about what may have happened the night before only served to make him act more arrogant in the presence of people. Other than still being a little drunk, he felt fine, until he saw the Madame of the whore house walk by and glare at him. "Whata yah lookin at whore," he said to her as she walked past without paying any notice. Inside he was shaking and was scared stiff though. His worst fear was that someone would figure out he was gay. If he had said why he really was arrested or why he never bought any of the girls at the Wilted Rose, well he would probably be taken out and shot. While thinking this he spit out his tobacco and started to swagger instead of stumble around drunk. He looked around and out of the corner of his eye he thought he saw someone looking through a window at him. He could feel eyes bearing into the back of his head. Does someone know? Maybe someone saw me in Redmond leaving the bar with that man. I could never come back to this town again. Oh shit! they know, they must all know! They always been trying to get me, they always have hated me! Oh gawd, I'm completely screwed!

Then all hell broke loose, he heard a voice, but couldn't tell where it was coming from. The voice was saying "I know what you really are!" As soon as he heard this, his arrogant composure broke a little and he sped off to his trailer. When inside his trailer, he drank half a bottle of bourbon and went to sleep.

When he woke up it was time for him to meet his lover in Redmond. He was scared to death of the people in Dwibe putting two and two together, but this was the only important thing in his life. I have to go, but if I went everyone would know. Everyone would know who I really am. Everyone of them spies on me. They've been trying to get me for years! If I go, they would kill me!

Then Brandon looked in the mirror and saw two things, a bruise on his face and a hickey on his neck. Wild possibilities started occurring to him as to what could have happened the night before. Did my boyfriend come to town? Did someone walk in on the two of us? If one person knew then the whole town would know! That's what happened, I know it! Maybe someone watched us. That's where the bruise on my face came from. Hans must have seen us and tried to beat us up.

Scared to death and shaking, Brandon finished the bottle of bourbon, and then another three. Threw up, and then passed out for the rest of the night.

During the night he dreamed horrible dreams. He was chased, people snickered or threw things at him as he walked through the street. In one dream, he was in a rodeo and the bull threw him off and screamed, "Get away from me, you stupid fairy!"

Brandon woke up the next morning just as drunk as he was the night before, but instead of being scared he was angry, violently angry. He stepped outside to get some breakfast at the Greasy Spoon. Walking past people, he felt their eyes bore into the back of his head. They know, they must know. "Hey woman get me some eggs." he said to Ida. Hans feeling unusually snide this morning, and without any knowledge of how drunk and angry Brandon really was, asked Brandon "How are zu veeling dis fine morning? "Get away from me kraut." was the best Brandon could reply. "Oh zen zu are not feeling as gay as zu normally are?"

Brandon's body went cold and limp at the sound of the word gay. Was he being accused? Were people lining up now to take turns battering him? Were they searching for a rope this very instant?

Brandon lost control of his senses and his hands itched to take hold of something in his life. He reached toward Hans with a trembling conscience and an intent to kill. Even though Hans was dead, Brandon could still hear his voice.

Three days later at his trial, his prior arrest for indecent behavior was announced to the people in Dwibe. Brandon tried to commit suicide, but failed at that as well. but since then, in the darkness of his cell, he can still hear the voice which has now split into many voices, saying "I know. I know what you really are."

Now Brandon crouches in the corner of a padded cell trying to make the voices be quiet.