After the Prom | E. Christopher Clark

After the Prom

It wasn’t the noise of them fucking that was keeping Matt awake; it was his own Goddamned erection. With a pillow over his head, he could escape the rhythmic creak of the old floorboards, the piercing squeaks of the poorly-assembled brass bed, and the shrill yelps of Michael’s saucy little minx. But, pillow or no, he couldn’t ignore Wee Willie Winkie standing at attention, eager to be recognized, unwilling to stand down.

A Monty Python tune hummed through his aching brain. It’s swell to have a stiffy; it’s divine to own a dick. “From the tiniest little tadger,” he sang, under his breath. “To the world’s biggest prick.”

Maybe it was divine to own a dick, to have the choice to fill or be filled without the need for strapped-on attachments. But was it really swell to have a stiffy? Having a penis—well, that was something he’d always enjoyed. But the stiffy part, Mr. Happy’s annoying habit of seeking attention at the worst possible times—baseball games, family dinners, those few mortifying minutes during confirmation—that, he could do without. He’d like to have a cock which responded only to the whims of, say, a remote control. Something small and thin that he could carry in his back pocket. A pause button for those drunken evenings when holding the piss back even one more moment seemed impossible. Rewind for those nights when a guy was hitting the spot too hard and too fast, fast-forward for those twilit trysts which were never over soon enough. A simple on-off switch to keep him out of trouble. And when he found the right guy, he would hand the device over, as a token of his love and affection. It would be a much more practical gift than a gold ring.

Unless, of course, it was a gold cock-ring. That would be… well, that would be…

Matt held the pillow tighter over his own head, hoping to drown out the sound of his own thoughts as well as he was drowning out the sound of his teenaged cousin’s post-prom humpfest. A gold cock-ring?!? He was full of shit, and he fucking knew it. He’d never even seen a cock-ring. And, aside from his own, he hadn’t seen any cock, ringed or not, in nearly six years. That was the real crux of the problem. Of course he was hard now, with what was going on in the room down the hall. Because, despite his loud proclamations to the contrary, Matthew Silver had been living the monastic life since his banishment to the Cape all those years ago. Garry Kent, who had been the first, had also been the last.

Garry, Garry, Garry. Now there was one time where having a stiffy was very swell indeed. Just the recollection of that first time had Matt throbbing anew. Camp Wah-Tut-Ca in wintertime… a half-dozen boys gathered in a cabin just up the hill from the lake where they would swim come summer… all of them watching their two patrol leaders wrestling on the floor, choosing sides, chanting “Matty, Matty” or “Garry, Garry”… all of it in good fun, good fun that wouldn’t be tolerated by the scoutmaster when he came back from wherever it was he was… and then there was the stiffy, the thick, hot slab of meat pressing against Garry’s ass as Matt tried to hold him down. He was sure that Garry would out him to the group—“Silver’s got a boner!”—but he didn’t. Garry tapped the knotted wood floorboards, signaling his submission, and Matt stood up, victorious. Luckily, his khaki trousers billowed out in just the right way, hiding the evidence from the now-cheering crowd. But he couldn’t deny what had happened with Garry, could he?

Garry clapped him on the shoulder. “Good match,” he said, panting. And then he squeezed. Gently, but still a squeeze.

Later, gathering firewood from the back of Mr. Stern’s oversized van, that maroon behemoth which had conveyed the lot of them from the parking lot at Aldersgate Church in Chelmsford all the way up to the wilds of Northwood, Matt and Garry made small talk, and Matt thought he might be safe, thought that maybe Garry hadn’t noticed. But then Garry asked, “Wrestling was exciting, huh?” and Matt knew that Garry knew, and Matt wondered if Garry knew that Matt knew that Garry knew.

A shrug was all that Matt gave him. “The younger kids seemed to enjoy it.”

Garry leaned against the open van door. “Seemed like you enjoyed it, too,” he said with a smirk.

“I’m sorry,” said Matt, stuttering, his arms full.

And then there was another shoulder squeeze, this one firmer, more prolonged. “Don’t be sorry,” said Garry. “I enjoyed it, too.”

And that was when the logs fell out his arms and onto the steel-toed boots Dad had just given him for Christmas, the steel-toes of which seemed to increase the pain rather than lessen it. Finally, something else throbbed in memory: his bare feet beneath the thin cotton sheet, a covering which seemed hardly enough now that he was traveling back in time, to another year, to another season entirely.

“You okay?” asked Garry, as he helped to collect the fallen logs.

“Are you…?” asked Matt, his face screwed up in pain both physical and mental.

“Don’t look so disgusted,” said Garry. “You are, too.”

Was he really? Matt had wondered then, and he was wondering again now. The only man he had ever been with was Garry. And with Garry, so much of it had been about the danger, from that first fumbling night at the back of Mr. Stern’s van, where they’d exchanged nothing more than their confessions, to that last evening, in the spring, after their prom, when they’d ditched the girls they’d been obliged to bring by their parents, by the social code of their prissy little town, and come down here, down the Cape, just as Michael and Robin had tonight, to engage in a night of debauchery that they would never forget. Matt wondered if all he had really been after was the danger, the secrets, the lies. He wondered if he would still choose a man after all these years, or if the allure was gone. Grampy had accepted him for who he was, and the rest of the family knew now, even if they didn’t approve. What was there left to drive him back to that aborted life he’d left behind all those years ago.


Matt lifted the pillow from his face. The house was silent, save for the occasional creak of a shutter in the wind. They were done, Michael and Robin. Matt reached beneath the covers, felt around. He was done, too.

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