More Than Everything Excerpt

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Charlie “Chase” Rhodes

It’s funny how when you’re a kid you think you have it all figured out. You think you know who you’re going to be when you grow up, what you’re going to do. And yet, you can’t actually see yourself as a grown-up. I mean, grown-ups are old. And they’re constantly saying shit we think we’ll never say and doing shit we think we’ll never do.

When I think back to how many times I said I’d never do this and I’d never say that, I want to cringe. Because you know what? I do all of it now.

Just this morning, when I was getting the kids off to school and they were fighting with each other over who got to hold a spatula—yeah, I know—I told them to stop talking to each other. No, really, I did. This was me: “Bobby, Stephi! You put down that spatula right now and go wait for me in the car. And I don’t want to hear you say a word to each other! Do you understand me?” Um, yeah, excellent life lesson: don’t talk to your sibling.

It was only a step above my useful “because I said so” conversations. “Why do I have to eat the peas? I hate peas.” And I’m thinking, I fucking hated peas when I was your age too, kid. Still don’t love them. I’m just waiting for you to go to bed so I can eat ice cream straight from the carton. But what I say is, “Because I said so, Bobby. Now eat your peas.”

So, yeah, I’m doing all the things I never thought I’d do, saying all the things I never thought I’d say. But you know the really crazy part about it? I’m happy. I mean, like deliriously fucking happy. And I figure happiness like this needs to be documented.

Thankfully, the PTA was selling these scrapbooks as a fundraiser last fall. Because when I decided to become a suburban housewife, I was told there were two requirements: learning to scrapbook and having a vagina. I was fucked on the second one, obviously. I mean, I can rock a pink sweater and low-slung white jeans better than some trophy wives with the most expensive racks money can buy, but a vagina? Thanks, but no thanks. I’m pretty attached to my dick. But I’ve always been creative; hell, I was a dancer and choreographer for years, so I was sure I could zigzag scissor and star-stamp just about anybody under the table.

So here I am. Eight thirty on a Friday morning—a time when, in my old life, I would have been sleeping off the bender from the post-show party the night before, and instead, I’m sitting in my bright-yellow kitchen, at the round wooden table I got at this amazing antique store that opens only one weekend a month and I’m always there when the doors open, like clockwork. Anyway, I’m sitting at my table, drinking my nonfat, sugar-free, extra-caffeine (okay, I’m making up the last one, but don’t you wish it was an option) latte, and I’m putting together an album of the life I never saw coming. The life I never knew I always wanted.

Confused? Well, hopefully I can help clear it up for you. Oh, and don’t freak out about flashbacks, okay? Think of it more like you’re hearing a story from beginning to end, with a little bit of narration in the middle. It’ll be okay; I promise. Just follow along.

Chapter 1

Charlie “Chase” Rhodes

The first time I saw Scott Boone, I knew the bisexual label I’d been trying on for size in my head was bullshit. I was gay. It wasn’t a total shocker or anything. I’d asked my parents for an Easy-Bake Oven for my eighth birthday. By the time I turned twelve, I knew asking for the Barbie Styling Head I actually wanted was a straight shot to strange looks and “Shh, he’s walking up” conversations, so I asked for money instead. Then I bought the hairstyling Barbie toy I actually wanted and hid it in my closet. Someone should put that story on Urban Dictionary as an example of irony. But I digress.

Scott Boone was everything I wasn’t. He was tall, broad-chested, athletic, überbutch, right-handed. Again with the digression.

Anywho, I was a scrawny fifteen-year-old, sitting in my bedroom in my mother’s second-story Brooklyn apartment—my father had moved out by then—and I was not teaching myself how to do a new french twist on the Barbie Styling Head, which I’d dyed an amazing shade of auburn, when I saw a truck piled high with furniture pull up out front and the most gorgeous guy I’d ever seen hop out.

I can’t say for sure, but I think I might have started drooling. I definitely sprung a boner. Because, here’s the deal: it was summer in the city, so it was hot as a motherfucker and Mr. All-American was wearing cutoff jeans, Pumas without socks, and nothing else. I almost broke my neck running to get my camera so I could snap a picture of the wet-dream-come-to-life who was moving into my apartment building.

Since starting at the beginning seems like as good a place as any, that’s the first picture I’m putting into the album: Scott Boone at age sixteen, blond hair cut jock short, no shirt, shiny with sweat, and the fodder for almost all of my masturbatory fantasies for years to come.

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