Ding, dong. Dinnnng, d-d-d-ding ding ding dinnnnng dong. Dinnnnnnnnnnnng, dong.
Nate flung his legs over the edge of the couch and rose to his feet. “Who in the hell?” he hissed through his teeth as he stomped across his creaking, uneven old living room floor.
He didn’t check the peephole before he opened the door. Mistake number one, he’d later come to recognize.
“Oh. That’s a…that’s a gun. Okay.” In the back of his mind, the classic Beastie Boys track “Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun” from their highly underrated 1989 album “Paul’s Botique” began playing, and it was at times like these, he realized, that he hated his brain.
“Nate Hudson,” said the short, chunky, sweaty, disheveled, and finally, curly–haired man standing on Nate Hudson’s front step and pointing a pistol in his face. “Took a long time to track you down.” He squinted and bit his lower lip. “You are him, right? Nate Hudson?”
Nate didn’t know how to answer. What if he said yes, and got shot for his honesty? Now that would be some shit. What if he said no and got shot so that the the guy could continue his search for Nate Hudson with no witnesses left behind?
“Um, yeah,” he said, halfheartedly raising his arms to adopt a posture of surrender. “Just…just calm down, don’t shoot…it’s gonna be–”
“Shut the fuck up!”
Nate shut the fuck up.
His assailant motioned at him with the gun. “Get in the house. Is there anyone else here?”
Nate shook his head.
“Good, now get in the fucking house.”
They walked to living room where “Game of Thrones” was still playing on Nate’s wall-mounted television. Keeping his weapon raised and his eyes on Nate, the gunman walked over to the TV, knelt down, and unplugged it.
“Satanic garbage,” he said. “Sit down.”
“Come on, man, what’s this all about? What’d I–”
“Are you deaf? I said sit down.”
“You don’t know who I am, do you?” Said the gunman, now circling the couch like a shark.
“I…I don’t…did we go to high school or something together? I don’t know man, whoever you are you must look way different.”
The gunman pulled out his phone, swiped it open with his thumb. “Nobody knows who I am. They only know me as this.”
On the screen was a grainy, washed-out picture of a plump little kid standing in front of a Catholic Priest. The priest had a hand on the one of the kid’s shoulders. The location of the other hand was clearly subject to interpretation, as the IMPACT font caption at the top of the screen read “WHERE HIS OTHER HAND DOE LOL.”
It was him. That was the kid. Butt touch boy. Nate had found that pic of this dorky kid online while perusing a Catholic School’s MySpace page in 2005, looking for pics of some chick he knew who went there. The plan was to locate and save pics of said chick in her schoolgirl uniform for masturbatory purposes. He didn’t find those, but he found a pic of the guy now standing in his living room that made him laugh, and he made a stupid meme out of it. It went viral, and he was extremely pleased with himself about it for awhile, even though most people didn’t really believe he’d made it up. He’d achieved at least some small measure of fame. More than most people ever did, anyway.
The internet came up with all kinds of crazy captions for it, and it had a good solid run of at least two years before it became passé. Towards the end, “boy” gradually changed to “boi,” which Nate loved and wished he’d come up with himself. Butt touch boi. Lol.
“My name is Mason,” he said, slipping his phone back into his pocket. I was never molested by anybody.”
“Ok man, I’m sorry,” said Nate. “It was just a joke, dude.” He immediately chastised himself, internally.
Don’t say that. What the fuck’s wrong with you? He’s crazy; he didn’t think it was funny or he wouldn’t have come all the way over here like this. Unless it was the exact opposite and he thought it was the funniest shit ever, and came to thank me. Oh, right, the gun.
Mason picked up a fireplace poker and smashed a potted cactus that was sitting on the mantle.
“I’m not a joke!”
Just like in Batman. Jack Nicholson? Let’s get nuts? No, shut up. This is serious. You need figure out a way to diffuse this, pronto.
“Okay, okay. Like you said yourself, that’s not you. It’s making a joke out of a hypothetical situation and you’re just…” He paused; shrugged. “You’re just there, kinda. I mean it coulda been any kid, ya know? What was that, like 12 years ago? Nobody even remembers it now.”
“Kids at school all saw it. They all laughed at me and talked about how I got molested and they thought it was real funny. But I didn’t get molested! Nobody touched me!”
“No, no,” agreed Nate. “I know that. Look, I’m sorry kids gave you shit about it but, you know, it’s just…life goes on, one of those things, man.”
“You make people think I’m a homo! I’m not one of them. Im not! Im not!”
“Okay, man, I’m really sorry, ya know? I was a kid, kids do dumb shit like that. I know better now. Come on, thirteen years ago, dude. It’s over. You don’t need to shoot me and go to jail for the rest of your life. Go out and live, man.”
Mason lowered the gun, and his tone, a little. “You have to do something for me.”
Nate’s minds raced with possibilities, none of them the least bit pleasant.
“Pee your pants.
“I can get you some water if you don’t have to pee now, or some coffee is even better ’cause it makes you pee more and faster.”
Kinda Fetlife shit is this?
“Um, I mean, I actually have to pee pretty bad right now.”
“Start peein, then.”
Nate hadn’t pissed his pants since he was a kid doing it for attention long after he’d graduated from Fran Hudson’s school of potty training. Felt weird now; warm and soothing for a moment before quickly becoming itchy and unbearable.
“Spread your legs out so I can see it.”
Nate reluctantly obeyed, and Mason whipped out his phone to take a pic.
“Now all your friends are gonna think you pee your pants! Ha! Nate pees his pants, guess no girls will ever like him anymore ’cause he’s a baby!”
Is this it? All he wanted to do was make a response meme? Don’t tell him that there’s already been much worse pics of you posted online. ‘Member when Chad and them put shoe polish on your face while you were passed out drunk and put a watermelon rind on your chest and a KFC drumstick in your mouth and everybody almost got expelled because of it?
Mason lowered his gun to his side, smirking with much more self-satisfaction than the circumstances justified, in Nate’s estimation. But that observation was, of course, secondary to the relief he felt at no longer having a gun pointed at his face.
“You ruined my life. You made it so no girls wanted me and everybody just said I was retarded and gay.”
I mean, retarded, I can see it.
“Whoa, hold on now, you’re not gay,” said Nate in his best approximation of a TV cop “jumper on the roof” reassuring talkdown voice. “I mean, you’re not…you know, retarded either.” He was absolutely dying to get out of his wet jeans. Piss was pretty concentrated and it didn’t exactly smell good, either.
“Everybody called me ‘butt touch boy” and people wanted to take pictures with me and they put my face on pornography with homosexuals doing anal sex together like it was me but it wasn’t me!” His hand was shaking. “I’m a nice guy! No girls want nice guys, they just want rich guys with fancy cars. And I don’t have that stuff and they think I like to get molested. I hate them, they’re all just bitches!” He pinched his eyes shut and slapped himself in the head with his free hand three times in quick succession.
“Man, nobody even knows what you look like now,” said Nate. You were a kid back then, dude. I mean I didn’t recognize you. It’s an old meme dude, c’mon!”
“I never even got to have sex with a girl,” Mason went on. “I’m never gonna have sex! It’s all your fault!” He smiled and tapped at the pocket his phone was in. “But now I’m gonna ruin your life too. You’re gonna be pissy pants boy.”
Nathan tried not to laugh, but a little snort got past his admittedly poorly-manned inner defense forces and escaped through his nose.
“Oh you’re gonna think it’s real funny when they start wanting you to piss your pants and take a pic with you and stare at you all day. They’re gonna say all kinds of stuff until one day you wake up and you’re not Nate Hudson anymore, you’re just pissy boy. Piss piss piss piss piss. Pssssss! Ha!”
Nate sighed. The best course of action to take, he decided, was just to go with it. Humor him.
“You’re right, man. Gonna be rough, I guess, but I deserve it. So…I guess we’re even now, huh?”
“Yeah,” said Mason. “We’re even. I want your PlayStation 4, though.”
Nate supposed, after a moment of panic that quickly subsided, that losing a PlayStation was preferable to losing his life.
“Um, alright, okay. You a gamer?”
“My PlayStation broke,” Mason replied. I don’t have any video games and I don’t have any friends.”
Nate thought for a moment. “You know what? I don’t have any friends either. I mean I have some, but they’re all shit. Hey, why don’t we order a pizza(call the cops), lemme go change outta these pants, put that gun away and play some video games? Whaddaya think, man?”
Mason snorted. “I don’t play with pissy pants boys.” He tucked his gun into his waist and, went over to the PlayStation, unplugged it, scooped up an armload of games from the coffee table and strolled out the front door.
Nate stared at the unplugged TV on the wall and the dustless rectangle on the table below it where the PlayStation had sat.
Game Of Thrones. Shit. He threw up his hands and let them fall to the couch cushions on either side of him. “How the fuck am I supposed to watch the season finale now?”