Volume Two: The Great Mate-Swap of 1994
As I’ve told you, the Dredge House was always full of people. Mostly beautiful people, but sometimes people like you and me. Randoms, we call them. It was ridiculous how many times I would come home and see a living room full of strangers watching my television (13″ with no cable), playing my stereo or my guitar, and drinking beer that was undoubtedly from my fridge. Back then we did indeed have a beer fridge. Ask me how I afforded that on such a humble wage. Well, it came with the house. For rent. This is not to say that I had a normal fridge plus a beer fridge. No, we just had different priorities, and thus, called our primary source of food refrigeration the Beer Fridge. There was simply no room for anything in it other than a few ketchup packets and Beer. The Ones were always cold at the Dredge House.
So I’d walk in the door and everyone would look up and I’d scan their faces, looking for someone familiar. Some of them would smile, and an occasional voice would pipe up, “You must be Space.” To which I would reply, “Well if I must, then so be it.” And having not seen any familiar faces, I’d remark, “Where’s X?” And fill in X with a name of someone who lived there with me. Most of the time this was TJ. Stu was really never there. Not when I got home from work. And most of the time, this remark was met with something like, “Oh he left to go to Fry Street.” Oh. So he left to go to Fry Street and left my house full of strangers.
I’d go to my room to change and occasionally be interrupted by a curious girl. I know this part may be a little unbelievable, but trust me, it’s true. Remember, I had all the elements that made a god in Denton. I had a truck, a house, a job, a band, and long hair. That’s really all it took. Women are attracted to power. And in that area, which is typically full of people who still live with mum, I had it all. Shrug. So in a few cases, I remember a strange but strangely attractive girl popping into my room and closing the door while I stand there only in boxers. “So this is your house?” Ahem. “Yeah, and that’s my door you just completely failed to knock on. So you’ve now caught me in a bit of a disadvantaged state. Don’t you think it fair to even the playing field?” If they caught on, they’d whip their clothes off. If not, I’d ask them to directly. And you’d not believe me if I told you how many times that worked. Well, maybe you would, because it only happened like three or four times. But it worked every time.
Obviously, they had come in there for a reason. They had that one thing on their minds, which happened to be the same one thing that was always and forever on mine. So I had very little work to do in order to get what I wanted. But let me get to the title track of my story. The great mate-swap.
I came home in much the same fashion one evening and greeted the crowd of strangers. I think there was one girl there I knew. I’d probably showered with her before. Something innocuous, you know. But this time I had swung by Fry Street on my way home and picked up some beer. And a girlfriend for the evening. So she was holding my hand as I walked through the living room. Back into the master bedroom, we went and closed the door. And here’s where it gets dirty.
I started messing with her. We got naked. But immediately evident was the sound of my roommate – just the other side of the paper-thin wall – getting it on with someone. The bed was banging up against the wall. So I banged on the wall and told them to chill the shit out. Then this girl, who we shall call Tanya – mainly because that was her name – pushed me onto the bed, and crawled on my lap, straddling me. I would spare you the details, but this part is important. So she’s sitting with her nakedness smashed against my chest, facing me, legs wrapped round me like pipe cleaners. And I might have had my hands against her butt. You know, to support her position. Well, we were kissing, and I decided it would be funny to bite her tongue. She yelped. Loudly. And slapped me. But she was laughing too. And then she said, “Ow, you freakin’ dork!”
The motion on the other side of the wall suddenly desisted. Then I heard his door open. Then I saw my door open. And there’s TJ staring at me. Tanya is looking back over her shoulder. She sees him standing there and hops up off of me (we were actually connected at that point) and starts fumbling around. “Oh my God oh my God!” And TJ says, “Tanya? what the hell are you doing here?” And as she’s turning around looking for clothing, TJ looks at me and shakes his head. He was smirking a bit. He’s standing there with his dick pointing at me like an accusation though, and I’m not in much different a predicament myself.
So she grabs her things, all the while trying to explain this more than obvious situation away. She’d been cheating on him. But wait, what about that poor sock in there he was showing the stars? So he grabs Tanya by the wrist and pulls her into his bedroom and closes the door. what the hell? So I banged on the wall and said, “Well hey, at least send that other jill in here, you cobbler!” The door opened and a naked girl gets pushed into the hall. Stumbling, disoriented, confused. She sees me sitting there on the bed like a message spike so I smiled (perhaps a little embarrassed) at her. She straightened.
After some careful coaxing, she came in and shut the door. “Yeah but I don’t know you!” and all that. Blah, blah, blah. “Yeah, and nor did you know him, I’m sure.” We worked all that out. And I think she didn’t really care whence the pleasure came. She just – just like the rest of us – didn’t want it cut short.
When all was said and done, the four of us met in the living room and sipped Cold Ones while we watched the shitty television. Arms around our new (albeit temporary) lovers and swimming in smirks. The girl with whom I sat that evening I don’t think ever made it back out to the Dredge House again. I think she was probably a little humiliated about being passed around. But in the end, that’s exactly what she had come for. So to speak, of course.