Wussy Mag is a print-only publication. This piece appeared in Vol. 4: THE SEX ISSUE in 2017 .
The dream started in a theme park, in the kiddie rides. One ride resembled a giant caterpillar, with rounded, pea-green carts filled with squealing kids. The cart at the front was particularly horrifying. The caterpillar had a clownish face and wide, yellow lips leering under black antennas. The ride came to a halt just as the alarm sounded.
At first it was distant, from some other end of the park, but it grew closer. We heard whistles in the distance. Something was happening. Then we saw it, all at once. On the horizon was a dark cloud, and from that cloud, a wispy claw of smoke hooked down from the sky. I could not tell how many miles away it was, and, as I have never seen a tornado before, I was not sure at first why people around me were gasping and shouting.
A man in an orange vest was yelling for everyone to run to the castle. It was true, there was a castle in the middle of the park, just like at Magic Kingdom. I could see it in the distance. This one looked like the Emerald City, a spiky concoction of buttresses and spires, all emerald-green and twinkling in the May sun. The picture before me was like a postcard, with colorful roller coasters looping in the distance over the trees. The wind picked up, and I ran.
Plastic bags skittered across the ground as the sky began to darken. I passed children holding snow cones, still laughing and unaware. The man in front of me ripped a small girl from her stroller and slung her over his shoulder. Somewhere, a woman screamed. The girl on his shoulder stared at me with her finger in her mouth, and I gazed at her wonderful brown eyes. Can children outrun a tornado?
Somehow we got there. Over the plastic river, through the square adorned with peonies and box bushes. Others were with us. I pulled open a heavy wooden door, like a real castle door, complete with twisted ironwork. Inside the castle was a deserted shopping mall. Lifeless storefronts filled with stuffed animals lined both sides of a wide hall. We kept running. Our footstep echoed on the marble floor.
We came to an enormous room, a ballroom or banquet hall, the sort of place where one could envision musical performances happening with actors in colorful period costumes. The electricity was out and hundreds of people were huddled there in the dark, crying and screaming into their cell phones. It felt like a disaster movie. I had no one to call, no one I needed to reach.
There were no personnel, no staff in uniform telling us to please keep calm. A teenage boy beside me had blood running down his face.
I walked into an empty shop. There was a wall of candy, jars of over-sized lollipops and gallons of taffy. There was a door marked STAFF ONLY. I pushed it open and found a set of stairs going down. At the bottom of the stairs was a door. Under the door was sliver of blue, silvery light.
I stepped down the stairs and pushed open the door open to find an enormous indoor swimming pool. The eerie light was produced by safety lights along the wall. There were rows of plastic chairs, folded stacks of white towels. The shadows of two men stood at the far end of the room.
I couldn't see their faces, but I know they saw me. I watched them disappear into a dark doorway at the back of the room. I can't say why I chose to follow them, but I did. Doing so felt important.
The room they entered was a locker room, or smelled like one. I couldn't see more than a few feet ahead of me. I don't think they were in the room, hiding somewhere in the dark, because at the back was another door, this one framed in a strange, reddish light.
I pushed the door open and found another set of steps going down. These were made of stone, and seemed as though they would lead to a basement or cellar. I understood that I was going down, down into another world, where the rules might be different. At the bottom of the stairs was a heavy black door. I pushed it open and found a dark hallway lined with doors.
The hallway was illuminated with one red light bulb hanging from the ceiling on a black cord. That's when I heard the groan. It was a man's groan, low and guttural, like a growl. The doors lining the hallway were cracked, and from those slivers of darkness I heard familiar wet slapping sounds, the throaty gasps and whimpers of sex. The air was heavy with sweat and a sweet hint of shit that I've smelled so many times.
A group of men were huddled at the end of the hall, maybe twenty feet away. They were naked, and their backs were to me. They were standing around someone in the middle, a man on his knees. I realized someone was standing behind me.
He was standing in the corner. I was so dark, I could barely see him, but I knew he was looking at me. His pants were at his ankles and he was stroking his cock. "It gets big," he said.
It gets big. I've been here before, I realized. This was the first time I got high at at gay dance party and wandered, by accident, into the backroom. At the time, I did not understand where I was or what I was seeing. The thrill of that, the wonder of discovering it, is a feeling I've chased ever since. How cruel it is that we are only ever confused once before we learn the rules.
The first time I was here, facing this man in the dark, I was too scared to kneel and suck it. He stood over me and asked me, "Do you like to get fucked?" I said no and left.
I was older now. The families up in the castle had more important things to worry about. They would never find us.
A leather sling hung on metal chains. I stripped and climbed in. The men were watching me. The man with his cock out came in close. He was a giant of a man. Even now in my memory he seems to morph into the whole room, the light, the others, swallowing the dark, and me. The other men became shadows, moving in. I leaned back and lifted my legs. He grabbed my ankles and pulled my feet through the stirrups. A pair of hands lift my head, and some fabric came over my eyes, probably a sock. I was to be blindfolded for this. This was religion, something human eyes don't need to see, only feel.
I was going to get fucked. I have never wanted anything more in my entire life.