Searching for Swimmers–Chapter 7
Ross sat on Jason’s stoop. He’d been waiting for Jason for close to half an hour and considered sending him a text to meet him at their bar around the corner. There was a package on his doormat and the longer Ross waited, the more tempted he was to open it. He didn’t think Jason would mind. They were good friends after all. Surely Jason would open it in front of him as soon as he got there. What would be the harm in helping him out? Ross knew that he either had to go to the bar or open the package, because his impatience and curiosity were growing by the minute. Ross had just lifted the corner of the paper the box was packaged in, when Jason showed up.
“About time, fucker,” Ross said, slightly startled.
“I had to stop and get my medicine.” Jason held up a medium prescription medicine bottle filled with green leafy buds. “You know how chatty Dinyar can get.”
Dinyar worked the counter of Jason’s marijuana dispensary. And while most workplaces frowned on employees using their medicine in the workplace, the dispensary looked the other way; a policy that Dinyar embraced. He was very professional and knowledgeable about the product, but could sometimes get a bit carried away with the conversation.
“Well, I guess in that case, I forgive you. Clearly, you are a sick man.” Ross held out the package. “You got something.”
Jason grabbed the box and opened his front door. He put the box on his kitchen table and then walked into the living room.
“So, you going to open your package?” Ross asked.
“Yeah, in fact I’m going to open it right now.” Jason pulled the prescription bottle from his pocket and extracted a glass pipe out of a small, wooden box on his coffee table. “But if you want to smoke any of it, I’m going to have to see your ID card.”
“Firstly, fuck you. You know I have one. Secondly, I mean the fucking package in your kitchen. Gonna open it?”
“Later. Let’s get stoned.”
Ross and Jason sat down on the couch. Jason loaded the pipe after minimally breaking up the weed. He gave Ross the green hit, then the two sparked the bowl, and passed the pipe back and forth until the green bud was nothing but ash. They leaned back into the couch and smiled. Jason got up to put on some music. He turned on professional sound system to his Yamaha P-450 turntable and let it warm up. He had rescued the 1980s equipment from a pawnshop over a decade ago. He selected some cool Miles from the standing rack of albums and set the stylus down on the vinyl.
Ross sat there staring at the package on the kitchen table. He had to know its contents. “So, we’ve smoked, feeling relaxed. Guess it’s time to open your package,” Ross said as casually as possible.
“What?” Jason responded. He was a bit out of sorts, his mind distracted by the record player. Finally the vinyl was playing and his brain caught up with the words. “I’ll open it later. Besides, what do you give a damn about it?”
“I wouldn’t say I give a damn,” Ross said, “just curious is all.”
Since Ross had been a child and had dealt with the strange ritual of Christmas, where wrapped gifts with his name on them would lay under a tree in the living room, sometimes as long as a month before he was able to have the satisfaction of opening them, he’d had issues with wrapped boxes. When he was twelve he’d tried to unwrap and re-wrap the presents while his parents were gone, presumably buying him more presents. His parents came home to shredded Christmas paper strewn about the living room and Ross sitting amongst stacks of toys and video games. He didn’t get to play with those toys until damn near summertime. Since that incident, Ross’ curiosity hadn’t diminished, it had just been cautioned against rash action.
“Well, don’t worry about it, Ross. Probably just the cheese grater I ordered online.”
“Well, you know I love cheese.”
“Just didn’t know you liked it grated.”
“Don’t concern yourself with my preferred cheese presentation.”
“I’m not.” Ross could tell that Jason wasn’t telling the truth. If he even owned a cheese grater, there’s no way Jason would ever pay more than two bucks for it. It had to be something else, something private. “We’re friends, right?”
“Wouldn’t let you smoke my medicine if we weren’t.”
“Might even say close friends.”
“So, friend to friend, you can tell me what’s really in that package.”
Jason didn’t respond.
“Is it, is it a fleshlight?”
“What the hell’s a fleshlight?”
“Come on, you know. It’s like a dildo but for men.”
“You know, it’s a vag made of molded silicon and rubber. You squirt a little lube into the cunt and then you stick –”
“Enough. I get the picture. It’s not a fleshlight.”
Ross got up from the couch and moved to the kitchen table. He picked up the package.
“Put the damn thing down,” Jason said.
“Don’t worry, I’m just listening.” Ross lightly shook the package. “You’re telling the truth. Yeah, not heavy enough for a fleshlight.”
“Please don’t ever tell me how you know that.” Jason got up and walked over to Ross.
“Look, if you don’t open it, I will.”
“The hell you will,” Jason said, yanking the package from Ross’ grasp.
“Come on, Jase, it can’t be that bad.”
“Fine, here. Open the damn thing,” Jason shouted, shoving the package into Ross’ hands.
“Well, I don’t know if I should.”
Jason yanked the package back. “Fine, you pussy.” Jason tore the brown paper from the box then opened the plain, white box. The box contained two vials, a specimen cup, a pipette, a biohazard bag and a Styrofoam box. “There, you happy?”
“What the hell is this?” Ross asked as he sorted through the contents of the box. “Damn, Jason, you’re into some freaky shit.”
Jason smacked Ross’ hand. “It’s the mail-in sperm kit.”
“You mean, your dumb-ass actually ordered one?” Ross laughed.
“Well, I was drunk.”
“That’s a first. So what are you gonna to tell your kid about his conception?” Ross adopted a baby voice. “Well, Daddy got drunk and ordered a spunk kit, then he spewed his gunk into a jar. Ten years later mommy stuffed it up her vag, and now we have you.
“I just can’t believe you really did it, drunk or not.”
“Well, I guess there’s something else I should disclose. When I submitted the paperwork it required a witness’ signature and well, I forged your name.”
“Oh that? Big deal. I don’t have to witness you giving your sample, do I?”
“Not unless you want to.”
“Ha, ha. Very funny.” Ross picked up the specimen cup. “Damn, do you have to fill this whole thing?”
Jason yanked the cup away. “No, that’s just where my, uh, specimen goes so I can easily put it into the vials.”
“There are two vials?”
“Yeah, they had a buy one get one free deal.”