Note: This story is the third in a series. While it’s not necessary to read the previous two to enjoy this entry, you can find them here:
A horn blared, severing the stillness of the suburban night. I just had time to leap out of the way as tires screeched and a sports car peeled through the intersection, xenon headlights searing my vision. “Eat shit, faggot!” called a too-familiar voice as it passed, something wet and heavy splashing against my chest, coating me in a lukewarm goo. A cacophony of laughter followed, only waning when the car finally disappeared around the block’s far corner.
Opting to stay prone on the grassy strip where I’d fallen, I closed my eyes, focusing on the wetness that was beginning to permeate my sweater. But before I could wallow too deeply in my embarrassment, an elephantine finger prodded my torso. “Don’t worry,” said Lognar, suckling at his finger. “It’s not real shit.”
I opened my eyes. Staring down at me, razor-fangs curled into a cartoonish grin, was the monster that had been living in my closet since I was a boy. “They didn’t see you, did they?” I asked, propping myself up.
Lognar shook his head. “What do I keep telling you, Maxy? It’s only cats, kids, and you.”
“Well that’s some relief,” I said, pushing myself up and peeling off my sweater. The sticky substance, most likely a chocolate milkshake, had only soaked through to my t-shirt in a few scarce spots.
“Who was that, anyway?” asked Lognar, tasting the residue again.
“Casey Holbruk,” I said with disdain. “A senior who’s made it his personal mission to make sure dweebs like me are kept miserable.”
As we continued on our midnight pilgrimage to the Gas n’ Grub, Lognar snatched the hoodie from me, stuffing a soaked sleeve into his mouth. “What was that word he called you? Faggot?”
“It’s uh—it’s just a pejorative thing,” I said, embarrassment warming my cheeks and neck.
“About how you’re Asian?”
“No, a different kind of pejorative.”
“Dude,” said Lognar, my sweater now balled inside a cheek where he sucked at it like a hard candy. “How many times have I explained the ins and outs of monster culture to you? Throw me a bone here.”
I scratched at my head, trying to find the best way to phrase things. “It means a guy who—erm—who likes to—it’s a guy who does other guys.”
“What, like fucking?” the monster asked loudly.
“Shh,” I said, forgetting that no one else in the slumbering neighborhood could hear him. “But yes, to put it crudely.”
Puzzlement fixed itself on Lognar’s face. “Well, do you?”
“What? No,” I said, fervor betraying my lack of confidence. “I mean, I don’t fuck anybody, but if I did, they wouldn’t be dudes.”
There were a few more moments of silence as Lognar seemed to continue to ponder this before asking, “Why not?”
“I don’t know,” I said, squirming a bit. “It’s just—it’s kind of gross.”
“Well, yeah,” said Lognar. “But all sex is gross, you get slimy and sticky and when it’s all over you smell like a goblin’s undercarriage.” Then, shaking his head, “But wait a second, why would this Casey guy care what you’re into?”
“It’s a thing,” I explained. “Like being racist or sexist or something.”
“Are you kidding me? You’re telling me humans discriminate against each other not only regarding race, religion, and regional sports franchises, but also based on who they choose to bump uglies with?”
“How is this news to you?” I asked. “It’s not like you’re a stranger to human culture, you couldn’t shut up when we were talking about Tolkien and Harry Potter.”
“Yes, but those things concern monsters, this is just coming out of left field,” he argued. “I mean, I’m beginning to think your kind actually goes out of their way to treat each other like shit.”
I shrugged. “I mean, it’s not like all of us are pricks about it. I don’t know any gay people, but if I did, I don’t think I’d care.”
“You’re sure you don’t know any gay people?” Lognar asked, raising his eyebrows.
I almost gave him an answer before I saw the monster’s subtle, suggestive smile. “Oh,” I said, taken slightly aback by this sudden revelation. “You are?”
“Of course I am,” he said. “Well, I guess it’s a bit more complicated than that. I mean, I’ll swing in whatever direction the wind is filling my sails: north, east, south or turquoise.”
“Alright,” I said, looking him over. It seemed like it should have felt weirder with the way some people made such a big deal of having gay friends. But Lognar was still just Lognar. “And there’s no stigma against it in the monster world?”
“Stigma? Why would there be any stigma?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “The people who hate it here always talk about how it’s ‘unnatural’ or an ‘abomination’ or whatever.”
“Unnatural?” Lognar laughed. “Someone should tell them that being alive is unnatural, poking around a few holes for purposes other than reproduction is going to make it any moreso.”
“Wait, what?” I asked, more than a little confused at this point.
“Look up there,” Lognar said, pointing to the stars overhead. “Your scientists have space-telescopes, don’t they? Tell me, how many of those stars up there have they found with life spinning around them?”
“Exactly,” said Lognar. “For all the billions of stars out there and all the million worlds that spin around them, we know of only this one that has ever harbored the smallest fart of sentient activity. So, if life is really that rare among the vast scale of nature, how can we possibly call it natural? Life is the abomination, an affront against the great cosmic indifference, and sex is just another part of that protest. It isn’t about following the rules or conforming to social norms, it’s about doing whatever weird thing turns your crank with whoever is warm, wet, and willing.”
Lognar stopped to look up at the sky himself, his eyes following a satellite that blinked its way across the night. “You know,” he said. “I’m not I’ll ever understand how humans can achieve such incredible things with one part of their minds and fail to grasp even the simplest of concepts with another.”
We took the rest of the block in silence, both of us contemplating quietly until we turned the corner and the fluorescent beacon of the Gas n’ Grub came into view. “Well we might not be paragons of ethical virtue,” I said, piping up. “But we are getting pretty damn good at making flavored corn chips.”
Lognar shook his head, yet there was no mistaking the small grin that was creeping up one side of it. “You know kid, if all humans were as chill as you, I don’t think I’d need weed,” he said. “But they aren’t, so why don’t you pack us a bowl and I can really get in touch with my stomach before we go in there?”