Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part Two

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“Well...I wrote you one,” Preppy said, lighting another cigarette. “But I guess I only wrote DRE on the outside of the envelope,” he chuckled. “No address.”
“Why is that funny?” I asked.
“It’s funny because Doe didn’t want to open it and invade my privacy. When she cleaned out my music collection, like my old CD’s and shit, she noticed I had a lot of NWA stuff and old school Dre and Snoop.”
“Okay?” I asked, confused as to where he was going and how on earth west coast rappers played a part in the story.
“She told me she held my letter up to the light to see if it had an address inside, but all she could make out was the first line, which said Doc.”
Suddenly, I understood where he was going. “No, she didn’t,” I exclaimed with a squeal, covering my mouth with my hand.
“Oh yes she did. She sent my letter to Dr. Dre, the rapper, via the Dr. Dre fan club.”
“Holy shit!” I bent over, holding my stomach so the laughter wouldn’t split me in two.
“No, Doc, wait. That’s not the holy shit part. The holy shit what they sent back.”
“Do I want to know?” I asked, leaning in toward him.
“They send back an autographed headshot of Dr. Dre and...”
“And?” I egged him on, eager to hear the rest.
“And...a restraining order,” he finished.
We both burst out into a fit of laughter. After calming down I remembered that when I received the letter from Preppy it was delivered by a courier service out of L.A. I thought it was odd at the time, but had more pressing matters at hand. Like a letter from PREPPY. I could recite every word from that letter. I could describe how he slants his letters to the left and how his y’s dip so low below the line they run into the sentence below. So of course I remembered that my address WAS on the inside. Whoever must have opened it at the fan club must have had it forwarded it to me.
He thinks I never received it.
“What did the letter say?” I asked tentatively after our laughter had died down. I immediately regretted it. It wasn’t like he was really going to tell me.
I was right.
Preppy paused. “Nothing important. You know. This and that. Probably just some stuff about the weather.”
After a comfortable beat of silence Preppy was the one who spoke first, “Did you see what they did to this thing?” he asked, followed by a rap of his knuckles against the side of the metal tower.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“The paint? I guess they finally splurged on something that was able to cover the big black dick I spray painted way back when. They killed my fucking masterpiece.” He said, and with the new shift in topic I immediately felt lighter. “Bastards.”
“The shame,” I said, feigning shock. “Although they only covered it in the last week or two, because I saw it from the plane when I landed.”
“You saw it from the plane?” He asked with amazement in his voice. “And they had to go and cover it up. It was like a fucking landmark. Greatest thing to happen to this town since the tourists realized our little slum had a white sandy beach attached to it.” He laughed softly. “It was always good for a chuckle or two when I could see the faint outline of it on the postcards they sell at those little tourist trap shops.”
“Well,” I smacked my hands against my knees and stood up. I rummaged through the paint buckets, feeling Preppy’s eyes on me as I bent over to survey the tools at hand. “We’ll just need to fix that then won’t we?” When I turned back around I was holding a can of black spray paint, presumably what they’d used to darken the LOGAN’S BEACH lettering. “So what do you say?” I shook the can and it made that clacking sound that only spray paint cans made. “Shall we?”
“Another time, Doc. Come sit back down,” Preppy yawned and I reluctantly set down the paint and did as he asked, taking a seat in my spot just outside his shadowland.
“Did I do that?” he suddenly asked. Realizing I couldn’t see him he added, “Your neck, that was me wasn’t it.”
I shook my head. “No. I mean yes, you freaked out and went for my throat, but that just left some red marks. That was weeks ago. Those are all gone.” I covered the cut on my neck with my hand. “But this was from a fight with a weed-whacker. In case you didn’t already know...I didn’t win.”
“Fuck,” he groaned, sounding like he was in pain. He reared up on his feet in a crouched position, like he was either afraid to step into the light, or debating on staying or leaving.
“You don’t have to go,” I said, my voice a whisper.
A few seconds passed. A horn honked in the distance. “Will you lay with me?” he asked, sounding tired. “Just for a while? I haven’t been sleeping for shit.”
“Here?” I asked.
“Here. Turn around. On your side.”
I did as he asked and laid down on the cold platform onto my side facing away from him. He slowly moved up behind me, and then I felt him. The second his skin connected to mine it was like changing a lightbulb that had been burnt out for a long time. Bright and electric and warm was what I felt as he draped his arm over mine. His thumb brushed over my hand and I shivered. He exhaled in a deep sigh as if he could feel the new light between us. “We’re still the same you know,” he whispered.
I turned my head to ask him what he meant, but he stopped me with his hand, gently turning my face away from him. “Don’t look.”
“You don’t have to hide from me, Preppy. I’ve already seen you.”
“I know,” he replied, holding me tighter, and just like that I felt it. The light grew to a full electrical storm. There was a charge in the air, energy all around us. He laced his fingers with mine and I swear my heart stopped beating. “I know,” he repeated. He exhaled, his breath skating across the back of my neck, his lips against my skin. “But maybe I’m the one hiding from me.”
It was the last thing Preppy said before his breathing evened out. With Preppy wrapped around me I drifted off shortly after.
When I woke up the next day the sun was high in the sky, it’s hot rays burning holes in my retinas.
I was alone.
For a brief moment I thought it was all a dream until my eyes adjusted to the harsh light and landed on the newly spray-painted big black cock scrawled on the side of the tower.