Dermot - Chapter 3 - Lando
Thursday morning. Bright and early. Early, anyway. Too early.
Dr. Shipley was there again, doing his thing with the poking and checking.
There were several younger people in white coats with him. During a lull
between pokes, Dermot asked, "Who are those other dudes?"
That evoked smothered laughs from the 'other dudes.'
"These young people are interns. They have completed their classroom
work, and are now doing an internship. University Hospital is a teaching
hospital, where we help train new doctors. This is part of their
training," Dr. Shipley explained.
"Oh. How come I'm part of the training?" Dermot demanded, thinking
about being some kind of project or experiment again.
"These six young doctors need to know about emergency room cases. All
of them will work in an emergency room at some time or another. And they
wanted to see how you're coming along. They saw you before, but you were
out of it then, and didn't have such a smart mouth on you."
"Am I really that bad?" a somewhat subdued Dermot asked.
"I'll leave it to the interns. What do you guys think?" Dr. Shipley
adroitly avoided answering.
"I've seen worse," one said.
"Yeah, that old codger in 714," another confirmed.
"Kind of reminds me of my little brother," a female intern said.
"He's got a real garbage mouth," a fourth contributed, recalling
Dermot's complaints while he was being examined.
"Yeah, like my little brother," the previous intern stated, to the
laughter of the others.
"Seems like we'll let you live another day or so," Dr. Shipley
"Now, Dermot, a little later you will be taken up to see
Dr. Greenwell. He's the oral surgeon I told you about yesterday. He's
going to fit you for crowns on your damaged teeth, but he'll also give you
a complete dental exam. I suspect it's been a while since you saw a
"Yeah. Gee, I missed my six month check-up. Can't imagine why."
Dr. Shipley rolled his eyes, and said to his interns, "I told you he
had a smart mouth." Then, turning his attention back to Dermot, he said.
"Nurse is going to give you a sponge bath. I know you probably feel sticky
going without for the past few days. No! Never mind the smart remarks.
Try not to be too gross to the poor woman."
"You mean, some dame is going to be washing ALL of me?" Dermot said
with some trepidation.
"All we can reach without doing damage to your tender spots." There
was snickering from the interns. "Maybe that wasn't the best way to say
that. Without doing damage to the places where you have wounds, okay? And
then there's your hair. It needs something. I told you we had to shave a
section on your right side to treat a gash, but the rest is pretty long,
and, not to put too fine a point on it, it's greasy and smells bad. It
needs shampooing or something. But I'm not sure we can do that with you
still unable to move your left leg and right arm."
"Anybody got a mirror? I've wanted all along to see what I look like,
but the nurses wouldn't let me have one," Dermot said.
"They didn't want to frighten you," Shipley joked. "Now, you know you
have bandages, right," he warned, handing Dermot a small mirror.
"Yeah, yeah." Dermot took the mirror and studied himself. He
flinched at first glance, but came back strong, and spent several minutes
inspecting his face closely. He sighed heavily. "The ruins of a noble
edifice. Or least of a noble face."
The interns laughed again. Even Dr. Shipley, who was trying to be
stern, showed a smile.
"Cut it off."
"Well I didn't mean my head, Doc. As you have probably figured out by
now, I have not had the leisure to pay attention to such matters as hair
stylists of late. What you see is the result of serious neglect, not
"Well, maybe not as close as the spot where you did your little bit of
handiwork, but pretty close. If I'm doomed to stay in here for a while,
it'll make keeping it clean easier, and when it starts to grow out, it'll
be closer to the shaven spot, so I won't look totally lopsided."
And so it was, on that February morning, Dermot had the humiliation of
having his body sponged clean by a female nurse (and getting an erection,
despite everything), getting his hair cut off, and having all kinds of
molds stuck in his mouth and his teeth pricked and cleaned. Oddly enough,
when it was all over (but not before), he actually felt better. He didn't
even complain about the lunch.
It was shortly after three o'clock when the next incursion took place.
Dermot had finished the Peters mystery, and decided it was pretty good,
even if he could not really warm to the main character, and even if he felt
like he had been dropped into the middle of things. A glance at the front
pages confirmed that this was one of a series, so he hoped the major
players were better introduced in previous volumes. He was pondering this,
and trying to decide whether to begin the Sayers book, when he heard noises
in the corridor heralding another arrival. It did not sound like Mr. Lyle,
and he hoped it was not that priest again.
As Dermot eyed the doorway, a beautiful boy burst through. There was
no other way to describe him. He was simply beautiful. Well muscled,
blond, with a grin on his face and a lively step.
Dermot knew before the boy spoke that this had to be Mr. Lyle's son.
There was something about the way he moved, the way he held himself.
Latest hairstyle, coiffed by an expensive stylist, and equally expensive
clothing, to be sure, but it was something else which made the link
certain. An air of self-confidence, maybe.
"Hi! I'm Lando!"
Dermot could not help himself. He grinned back, as much as he could
with his sore lips, and extended his left hand. "Hi, I'm Dermot."
Lando shook hands awkwardly, his right to Dermot's left. "Kind of
knew that. Did you know that's what's on the card next to your door? Just
Dermot, nothing else?"
"Makes sense. That's all I told anybody."
"Yeah, Dad said you were kind of close with your information. I
thinks he expects me to worm more out of you," Lando said disingenuously.
"Think you'll manage?"
"Maybe. We'll see."
"And if you do, will you tell your father?"
"Yep, unless you give me a good reason not to," he replied without the
"So, you came around to grill me? Give me the third degree?"
"That, and I'm curious. Dad told us all about finding you, and about
visiting you here, so I wanted to see for myself. Besides, Dad has a
bitching case this afternoon, and might not get home until late."
"I didn't know the courts stayed open all night," Dermot enquired.
"They don't. Not except some of the minor police courts. They stay
open in the evening, anyway. But when Dad finishes in court, he goes back
to his office and goes over everything, to make sure he's got it all down,
and to prepare for the next step, whatever that might be. You know, next
day in court, or appeal, or settlement."
"I guess there's more to the lawyer thing than I realized."
"Yeah. I sometimes wish Dad had a different job, one where he could
come home at five o'clock every day, and not work on weekends. One where
he could spend more time with us kids."
"At least you have a dad," Dermot said bitterly.
"Yeah. Sorry. I hear you lost your dad in the war."
"I don't remember telling anyone that," Dermot said, surprised.
"Well, that's what Dad told me. You must have told someone."
"Maybe. Sometimes I say more than I intend."
Lando grinned. "I'm hoping to get you to do a lot of that this
"Well, just think. If I come home with a lot more info than Dad did,
then I win the Dermot Sweepstakes."
Dermot laughed. "The Dermot Sweeps, huh? What's the grand prize?"
"Don't know yet, but it must be something awesome. You've been
stumping Dad ever since he found you Saturday morning."
"Good to know I'm good for something," Dermot replied, without the
sarcasm he had intended to put into it. "Hey, that reminds me. I've been
wondering something. Maybe you can tell me."
"Oh, oh. Dad said you were good at getting more information than you
gave out. Let's see. Shoot."
"What the hell was your dad doing in that alley at one o'clock in the
"Oh, that's no mystery. At our parish we have this thing called
Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. Got any idea what that is?"
"Tell me," Dermot urged.
"Well, you know we Catholics believe in what is called real presence.
That is, Our Lord is truly present in the consecrated wafer that we receive
in Communion. Well, we also have a wafer - it's called a host - in an
elaborate device called a monstrance. And this is sitting on an altar in a
side chapel of our church, and someone is praying there all the time."
"I guess so, for someone who doesn't believe. Anyhow, we've been
doing this at St. George for about twelve years."
"Whoa! Wait up! You mean there's been somebody in that church every
day for twelve years?"
"Yeah?" Lando replied, his voice questioning why this was a cause of
"Every day? Around the clock?"
"Yeah? Twenty-four seven. That's why it's called PERPETUAL
Eucharistic Adoration, dum dum. Anyway, our family does this. Most of the
time, there's more than one of us there, but last Friday night it just
happened that Dad was there alone because Mom was feeling under the
weather, my sister's too young to be out at that hour, and Mark and I both
had some activity at our schools. I'm at Baltimore, but Mark attends the
University here. He wants to be the next member of Lyle, Lyle, Lyle, and
"That's one hell of a lot of Lyles," Dermot commented.
"Well, the firm has been around for more than a century. I'm not sure
just who the various Lyles are. Maybe Grandad is one of them, but I don't
think Dad is. Anyway, you have successfully distracted me from what I was
"More like you distracted yourself," Dermot protested.
"Maybe. Point is, Dad was at Eucharistic Adoration alone on Friday
from midnight to one, and found you as he was leaving to come home. Does
that answer your question?"
"Yeah, 'though it raises lots of others."
"No more answers until you give me some. After all, I'm here to pry
information out of you. It'll ruin my reputation if I come home without a
single new fact."
Dermot laughed. "What do you most want to know?"
"Well, I'm not sure what Dad, or the police, or anyone else most wants
to know, but I most want to know what it's like to be a hustler."
"Geez. No respect for a guy's privacy. How'd you come up with that?"
"I put together some things Dad said, and some things Sgt. Flaherty
"The police sent you in here, too?"
"No," Lando said, blushing. "I was listening in when Dad and
Sgt. Flaherty were talking. I don't think they know I heard that part."
"You're something else!"
"Well, okay." Dermot became very serious. "I'm not going to shit
you, Lando, but there are parts of this that I don't want you to repeat,
"Okay. I told you I'd keep it to myself if you gave me a good
"Being a hustler sucks big time. Don't go making wise cracks. I can
see your evil mind at work. But seriously, I would never do it if I didn't
have to, and I'd quit today if I could. The only reason I'm hustling is I
don't know what else to do. Nine months ago, my uncle, with whom I was
living since my dad went off to war, and then was killed ...."
Dermot paused a while here to collect himself. Lando, seeing this was
very emotional, and considering what it would be like to loose his father,
kept quiet and waited.
"Yeah, okay. Nine months ago my shitass bastard of an uncle found me
kissing another guy. We weren't having sex, just kissing, but that was
enough. I'm going to skip over part of this, okay?" Lando nodded. "Just
because I'm gay, I was kicked out. No wallet. No money. No
identification. He said I had disgraced the family name, so I couldn't use
it any more. In fact, I have not used a family name most of the time since
then. I did at first. I tried getting jobs. It was summer, and lots of
teens were getting jobs. But I had no identification. No Social Security
number. I could remember it, but they wanted to see the card. Picture ID.
Besides, I was fifteen, and most places don't hire anyone under sixteen.
So, after a while, when I was hungry, and some creep offered me twenty
bucks to let him suck me off, I did. And it's been downhill ever since.
Sounds hot, huh? Sucking and getting sucked, fucking and getting fucked.
Let me tell you, ninety nine times out of a hundred, it ain't. You go with
whoever pays. Old, ugly, fat, smelly. And that's not the worst. There
are sick people out there. They not only want to suck or fuck, but they
want to hurt. They get off inflicting pain. Not all my bruises and cuts
came from that beating. Dr. Shipley hasn't said anything, but I'm sure he
knows. I have scars on my back that are months old. Besides all that, I'm
homeless. I'm hungry and cold most of the time. And I stink so much even
I can smell it."
There was a lengthy silence following this recital. Dermot wondered
whether he had totally grossed out his visitor. Then, looking more
closely, he saw that Lando was crying.
"Here. Use this," Dermot said, handing Lando a tissue. "I've had to
make use of them more than once since I landed here."
Lando wiped his eyes. "God, that's awful! I mean, I kind of knew you
were on your own and all, but I had no idea ...."
"See what happens when you're outted. Why aren't you grossed out
about me being gay, like everyone else?"
"Shit, Dermot, I'm gay, too."
"No way!" the surprised boy responded.
"Your gaydar isn't working," Lando managed to joke.
"Never did. I think that gaydar thing is a myth. You're really gay?"
"Really, as in homosexual. I like other guys. Let's not get into
some of the other names for us."
"I've heard them all. You'd be surprised at the sickos out there who
pay to get sucked off, or to fuck my ass, but who claim they're straight
and they hate gays. I think maybe the guys who beat me up are like that.
They sure knew all the fucking names."
"Wow, Dermot. You know so much more than I do. All I've had to go on
are a few hook-ups with some guys at school, and the web. They don't go
into the down side much on those web sites."
"Never had a chance to check them out."
"Not even before, you know, before you got kicked out?" Lando asked.
"We didn't have a computer. My uncle said we couldn't afford one. I
think he was just too stupid to know how to use one, and didn't want to
admit it. And my cousin Zach is just as dumb as he is. Oh, shit!"
"I just mentioned a name. Look, you said you would not repeat
anything I asked you not to, right?"
"Right, if you give me a good reason."
"Okay. Nothing about my uncle or my cousin, okay? From that they
might be able to identify me."
"But why are you so afraid of being identified?"
"I'm still a minor. If I'm identified, Social Services will take
over, and put me back with Uncle Steve and Zach."
"Come on. Not if you tell them about being kicked out," Lando
"It happened. Sort of. After they told us my dad was killed in Iraq,
my uncle got meaner than before. He started beating me for just about
anything, and he let Zach pick on me all the time. After a bad beating, I
went to Social Services. They put me back with Uncle Steve, and he beat me
worse than before. Told them I was a clumsy problem kid, and got the
bruises falling down the basement steps. They believed him."
"Wow. Gruesome. But what about those homeless shelters? Can't you
"Same problem. If you're a kid, they turn you over to Social
"I see the problem here. Looks like being in the hospital is your
"Yeah, except for the lousy food, and being bored out of my skull,
it's not too bad. But sooner or later they'll kick me out, too. Then, I
guess, it's back to the same old misery."
"No! We've got to find something else. We've got to."
"Believe me, I tried."
The two boys silently pondered Dermot's situation for several minutes,
but, as no solution came to either of them, they eventually put that aside.
After all, it would be several weeks, at least, before Dermot had to
contemplate leaving the hospital, and that was eons away.
"I've been thinking," Lando began.
"Oh, oh. Dangerous." They had rapidly reached the point where they
could joke around with each other, at least where really touchy issues were
"Listen, carrot top ... hey! What happened to your hair? Dad said
you had long red hair."
"I did, but I had it cut off this morning."
"I'm not sure I like the skinhead thing."
"Well, see here?" Dermot pointed with his left hand, awkwardly, to
the place on the right side of his skull where there was a bandage. Lando
nodded. "They had to shave this area to get to a place where those goons
tried to bash in my head. So I was kind of unbalanced. Plus, I never
intended to grow it really long. I just didn't have money for a barber.
Other incidentals, like eating, kept getting in the way. So, when Doc
Shipley told me this morning that my hair smelled bad, I decided to have
then cut it off. But I don't plan on keeping it this short. Just sort of
let it all grow out together."
"Yeah," Lando said, giving Dermot's head a close visual going over.
"Yeah, I can sort of tell that the area around the bandage is shorter than
the rest." He ran his fingers over the outline of the shaved area. Dermot
felt a frisson of sensation surge through his body in a way he had not
experienced before. "Anyway, what I started to say, was, I haven't had all
that much experience, with, you know, sex, and stuff. Would you mind
telling me some stuff? Not, like, anything really painful or anything, but
Dermot was looking somewhere between angry and pained.
"This is not a topic I want to talk about," he responded tersely, that
frisson definitely gone. "I kind of thought I made the point that my
experiences were not all that pleasant. Not fond memories I want to
Lando blushed scarlet. "Sorry. That was stupid of me. I let my
lurid imagination get the better of my common sense. My interest was
entirely salacious. I'm sorry."
Lando was so obviously embarrassed at allowing his prurient interests
to jeopardize the relationship they were establishing that Dermot decided
to forgive him, but not before he made the most of it. He kind of liked
the idea of making this perfect rich boy squirm.
"Look, I thought I made it clear to your dad that I won't be some kind
of social experiment or civic project. I'm not going to be supplying your
jerk-off material either. You can go access your porn sites on your
computer. I'm not a substitute. I did what I did because I had to. It
was hell. I've never had sex that I really enjoyed. So shove it!"
"Again, I'm sorry, Dermot. Really. I goofed. What can I do to make
it up to you?"
"Tell me about your sex life," Dermot said, with a wicked grin.
"What! You're .... Oh. You're making a point. Okay. I get it.
You are not an experiment. You're privacy is just as important as mine.
Okay. I accept that." With a small hesitant voice, Lando asked, "Do you
really want to hear about my sex life?"
"Naw. You got the point. Maybe some day, if we're still in contact,
if I ever do have a really great sexual experience, I'll tell you about
"Never really enjoyed sex? I mean, that's kind of hard to believe. I
mean, wow! I mean ...."
"I guess when I cum, there's the physical sensation that's supposed to
be so great. The problem is, for me it's always accompanied by worry about
whether my trick will pay, or maybe beat me up. If a trick doesn't pay
what we agreed on, I can't exactly take him to the Better Business Bureau,
you know. Then, there's the worry about getting caught by the cops.
Besides, its all anonymous. You don't get to know your partners in my
business, and I wouldn't want to know most of them anyway."
"I'm sorry ... again. I should not have made you go through all this
again. Let's talk about something entirely different."
"Ummmm, school?" Lando hazarded.
"Haven't been in school since last May. I kind of liked school. It
was a safe place, away from Uncle Steve and Zach. And I was doing pretty
"Name your favorite and worst subjects."
"Favorite is history. I even thought I might be a history teacher
some day. Ditch that, now. Worst, no question. Math. I hate math."
"How come? Not my best subject, but I don't hate it. Don't hate any
of them, actually, 'though some of the teachers are better than others.
This year I'm doing geometry, and that's kind of cool."
"Did algebra last year. All those exes and whys and it doesn't seem
to have anything to do with the real world. I mean, who cares about those
"Ummm, like I said, not my favorite, but I think scientists and
engineers and people like that use that stuff all the time," Lando defended
the discipline, mostly because he had a hopeless crush on his freshman
algebra teacher last year.
"I guess. Anyway, let's NOT talk about math."
"Okay. Literature is my favorite. We're reading Shakespeare's ROMEO
AND JULIET, and, man, that stuff is awesome. I guess teenagers had it
rough in those days, too. We're not finished in class, but I know how it
turns out. My dad bought a movie version, and it's pretty close to the
words in our text. And that guy who played Romeo, Leonard Whiting, has a
"How do you know he's got a cute ass?" Dermot asked, clearly
interested in the classics.
"'Cause he shows it."
"Not for long, but if you've got it at home, you can rewind, and
rewind, and ...."
"When does Romeo show his ass? I don't remember that?"
"After he spends the night with Juliet. There's this scene, you know,
and he says it's a nightingale and she says it's a lark, and ...."
"Oh, yeah. I remember."
"How come? Did you do ROMEO AND JULIET in freshman year?" Lando
"No. We did JULIUS CAESAR. But, in case it hasn't occurred to you,
I've had lots of spare time on my hands for the past few months. I spend
some of it in the public library. Especially when it's cold out."
"Oh, yeah. Sorry. We always seem to get back to that."
"Tell me about it."
"Hey, how about I bring in my copy of ROMEO AND JULIET, and the
remote. Does that thing on the wall play anything but the cartoon
"I think so, but you better ask the nurse. I told her to turn it off
and keep it off. I think she wanted to watch her soaps in my room, or
The boys giggled, as they plotted viewing Romeo's ass.