I’ll need to go back a few years to begin to explain this story. Blank was a roommate, one with an identity crisis. Half the time, I could’ve sworn he was gay. His parties were invariably full of bare chested guidos whom had NAIRed their entire bodies, I’d seen photos of him dancing naked around a Christmas tree with his friends, and whenever he did ecstasy, it was always with another dude, who we called the ecstasy friend. But that’s neither here nor there.
Blank’s identity crisis stemmed from the fact that I don’t think he realized he may have had these tendencies. Or the fact that if he did realize he had these tendencies, that he buried them under machismo, weapons mailorder catalogs and “I fucked four girls this weekend” proclamations. I didn’t care if he was gay. In fact, I would’ve preferred it. His family would kill him and his friends would disown him, but at least we would’ve had a reason for having NAIR FOR MEN in the bathroom.
Blank also had a girl that came around every so often. Well, not anymore, but at one time, she was around a few nights a week with a bag of lingerie that she would dress Blank up in. Again, I’m not here to judge. Based on the sounds coming from his room during the lingerie escapades, I think it’s safe to say that they were having a good time. But again, that’s neither here nor there.
A few months into the living arrangement, Blank and his girl went out early in the evening to a friend’s party. Blank went straight for shots and got fall down drunk pretty damn fast. His girl was in charge of getting him home, which she did no problem. Soon after, Blank passed out for the night, so his girl decided she was going to go home. When Blank, in a drunken state realized that she was leaving, he motioned for his closet. He emerged with a handgun and pointed it at his head, saying, “If you leave me, I’m going to kill myself.” Then he laid down on his bed again with the handgun at his side.
I was in the living room, drinking a few beers with my friends when Blank’s girl came in. She asked me to step into the hallway to speak with her, visibly shaken. She couldn’t even say the word “gun.” She had to make the shape of a gun with her hand and point it at her head for me to figure out what she was talking about. We went upstairs, crept into his room and hid the gun as best as possible from him. Afterwards, I escorted her to her car, gave her a hug and told her that it’s probably not a good idea to be hanging around our house. She agreed and that was that. She exited the parking lot and I went back inside. And that was hopefully the last I would ever see of this girl again.
A few weeks ahead, on a summer Saturday night, I had had a few drinks with friends. Ten miles from home and terrified of driving drunk. I went back to my car, sat inside and said “No.” It didn’t feel right and I knew I wasn’t ready. So I got back out of my car, pulled my bike from the trunk and decided to go ride around town, sweating myself up, slowly sobering. I pedaled all over the town before deciding to get a bottle of water. The time was nearing 4AM at this point, and the first edition of that morning’s Sunday papers had arrived at the convenience store. I was drinking my water and reading the headlines on a newspaper stand propped up in front of the store when I heard, “Is that, no it couldn’t be. It is, Brian Tunney.” I looked up and it was Blank’s girl, leaving the same convenience store with a bottle of juice and a new dude.
I saw that it was her and said, “Yes it is.” And then I said, “How are you?”
She smiled and responded “Good, what are you doing out here?”
“Sobering up and reading about North Korea,” I answered.
She responded, “Good” and motioned to start walking away with her new friend, then disappeared around the corner.
She had moved on, devising a surefire way out of wrong and into right. I knew we all struggled from time to time and that lingerie on men might be popular in certain bars, but somewhere down the line, things eventually cleared up.
But for the life of me, I hadn’t figured out a way to say anything about the gun til just now.