Mid-morning, the Labor Day Sunday, the day before classes. Ford’s dorm room, third floor Jewett, west wing, quad side. The two quad side windows frame a mahogany drop leaf table holding a large silver tray laden with liquor bottles and decanters full to varying levels. On either side of the table are black Windsor school chairs emblazoned with Ford’s prep school logo. A simple brass table lamp sits center on the table behind the cocktail tray. Above the tray, between the windows, hangs a framed poster of Madame X.
Against the south wall the standard dorm issue dresser, pine stained walnut, and above the matching mirror. Against the north wall is a queen size bed on a simple frame, draped in Polo sheets in shades of dark gray with tiny little yellow dots. On the floor a finished piece of pearl gray wool carpeting a shade lighter than the color of the plaster above the wainscoting.
On the east wall is the closet and door to the hallway. The rooms is disheveled. Clothing on the floor, toiletries askew on the dresser, and a couple of overflowing ashtrays on the table.
“Theh.” Ford rolls over, reaches into the pants crumpled by his bed, drags out a half full pack of cigarettes, retrieves one, props himself up, and lights it.
He savors the minty smoky comfort of the cigarette and slowly pulls himself upright. Ouch. Too much fun last night. Danced with that cute exchange student. Then… god knows.
He finishes his cigarette, stubs it out in an half empty cocktail glass and turns to get back under the covers. What!? Someone there.
Ford ease out of bed and into the Windsor chair by the window, lights another cigarette and peers at the boy. Dirty blond hair, longish but not too long. Dead white skin like alabaster. And those lips, so plump. The boy from the Mug?
He looks like an angel sleeping there. Nice chest, too. I want to trace that dapple of hair leading down his center to the sheets. Yum. I’ll just unwrap him. He is in my bed after all.
But how did he get here? Ford studies the bed. Did we have sex? Sheets still look fresh. I remember kissing him. A good sloppy kisser. But then…
Theh. I do need a boyfriend. Maybe now I’ve got one.
I’d better freshen up before he wakes up. God knows if I look half as bad as I feel he run screaming to where ever it is he came from.
Ford sneaks around the bed to his closet, throws on a robe, grabs a towel checks his kit (Alka Seltzer, exfoliating scrub, hydrating cream, instant repair and restoration lotion et cetera) slips on shoes-I really do need decent house slippers- grabs a pair of fresh khakis and a boxed shirt, new boxers, and takes one more look at the room. Cocktail glasses on the mahogany drop leaf table-no coasters-, ashtray overflowing, crumbled clothes on the floor (except for the boy’s neatly folded on the dressers-maybe he wasn’t so trashed last night), total disaster, theh…with a shudder he opens the door and dashes down the hall to the shower.
Fifteen minutes later, showered, shaved and appropriately attired, Ford returns to an empty room. Theh.
Ford drops his kit on the dresser, tosses his towel on the bed, hangs his robe on the door, spins on the well-worn heels of his oxblood penny loafers and dashes down the hall. Annoying. And rude. He can’t have gotten too far.
As Ford rounds the corner past the bathrooms, a distinctly British voice says, “There you are. I just popped into the loo.”
Ford stops, turns and sees a boy smiling at him. Ah yes, it is the boy from the mug. Not bad. Maybe a bit too English looking, but I’ve certainly done worse.
Ford smiles back at the boy and murmurs, “Good morning.”
Simon kisses Ford on the lips. “Mm. Minty fresh. Morning sunshine. Quite a friendly place, this.”
Simon runs his hand down Ford’s back, raises his eyebrows suggestively and strides down the hall to Ford’s room. Ford hurries after him.
Back in Ford’s room, Ford scoop up the pile of his clothes from last night and toss them into the closet, pulls the comforter mostly over the bed and then shrug apologetically, “Oh, well. I’ll just leave it for the maids. As if.”
Simon smiles indulgently and pats his knee, “Come here.”
Ford goes over to Simon. Simon pulls out a pack of cigarettes and offers one to Ford. “Fag?”
Simon lights Ford’s cigarette and his own. Ford takes a deep drag and chokes.
“Mind that fag. They’re a bit stronger than you yanks are used to.”
Ford lands in the other chair and coughs in agreement. They smoke quietly Simon looks vaguely out the window at the quad. His mood darkens and his energy drains.
Ford considers Simon’s boyfriend potential. Blond, mostly, well spoken, decent clothes, J. Press, and Gucci loafers (better than my sleazy old Cole Hahns). Good body (at least what I saw of it). Smart, with manners, Mummy’ll approve. Too good to be true.
Simon stubs his cigarette out and stands, “I should go.”
Ford starts to rise. Simon leans down and kisses him. Ford kisses him back and pulls Simon to him. They kiss for a while. Simon pulls away, “Got to go. Thanks. I’ll call you. Maybe we can do dinner.”
Simon goes out the door. Ford leaps up and topples his ashtray into his lap. Madly brushing the ashes off of his khakis, Ford races out into the hall. “Bye. See you soon.”
Simon waves back, slipping around the corner and out of Ford’s sight.
Ford retreats back into this room and lights another cigarette, one of his own B&H Ultra Light Menthol, much better. Theh. Dinner? Does he even know my name?
Ford looks out the window and sees Simon running off toward the dining hall. Late for breakfast?
Ford surveys his room. I should have gone to Williams. The boys are at least reliably horny and I’d have a maid to clean up this dump.
Ford lights another cigarette and peers out the window, gorgeous day. Almost noon., not really time to pull myself together for Sally’s lawn party. I could just nap and then go to the Mug later.
That’s it. Yes. Ford smiles. But what’ll I wear?
Ford tears through his closet and drawers with a series of no’s and maybes until he settles on baggy khaki shorts, a polo button down shirt with sleeves rolled up, tennis sweater across his shoulders, and Docksides on his feet. His wardrobe plotted, Ford re-sets his new Sony Sleep Machine with progressive alarm, pulls the shades, takes a melatonin, puts on his mask and falls instantly asleep.