I recently went back to Saint Augustine to see my good friend Leah before she moved to New York. “I’m glad I’m leaving,” she said to me as we lay in her bed drinking warm Rolling Rock. “I’m sick of all of these fucking guys who walk around with no shoes and then don’t call me back after I open myself up to them. It’s the same thing every time. They just fall off the face of the earth.”
It was true that the small beach town was home to hundreds of adolescent males who wandered around barefoot contemplating all the ways they could make themselves more appealing. They cut their jeans up past their knee, wore shirts without sleeves, and didn’t shower. To the girls attending Flagler College, they were irresistible. To me they looked and smelt like stray dogs.
Driving to Leah’s house, I passed my old community college and thought about my last semester there before moving to Gainesville. For whatever reason, Dustin, a fellow student from my writing class came to mind. In a conversation we had had, he explained to me that he moved from Pennsylvania because he nearly beat a man to death with a dildo. “We called it the fissure,” he said. “It was so massive. Any woman who used it would have split herself in half.”
Before moving to Saint Augustine, Dustin had a job in a sex shop selling X-rated videos, costumes and sex-toys; dildos among them. The story goes that, one day, coming out of the back room after eating the sack lunch his fiancé made for him (everyday, before he went to peddle erotica), he saw his manager backed against the wall behind the front counter with his hands up. A man wearing a hoodie was pointing a gun at him with one hand, stuffing bills from the cash register into his pocket with the other. According to Dustin, to this day he still has no idea what happened. He doesn’t even remember doing it. One minute he watching the holdup, the next minute his manager was pulling him off of the man whom he had been beating senselessly with a giant, rubber dick.
“I think they had to life flight the guy,” he said.
The point I think Dustin was trying to make is this: People find themselves in new places all the time because sometimes things just happen.