Night Visions (Toby)
Originally posted to
TS in October 2000
Disclaimers: The usual. I don't own them, I don't have permission to
use them, and I'm not making any money off of them. I just really, *really* like
playing with them.
Spoilers: "You Bet Your Life."
Note: Part of a matched set. See "Night Visions (Chris)" for the other
Night Visions (Toby)
Life in Oz. To paraphrase the late Simon Adebisi, to whom I give most of the credit for my current situation: First I was fucked, then I
was loony, now I'm fucked again.
That's actually a good thing, though. And maybe I'm still just a little bit loony, if I can say that with a straight face. But the
fact is, I'm better now than I've been in four years. And if irony is the invisible companion I have to put up with these days, it's infinitely better than the alternatives, and certainly better than
Irony #1 is currently passed out beside me on his bunk, one heavy arm thrown possessively across my waist, his newly-shaven jaw slack in
post-coital exhaustion. The very first thing I made him do when he finally came to me, even before he'd spoken a single word, was to get
rid of that grotesque goatee-wannabe thing he had moldering on his chin. After all, symbolic facial hair is a Beecher trademark, and
copyright infringement may apply. Besides, I don't want any shadows, not even the five o'clock variety, coming between us now.
It all exploded with that *smile*...that screwed-up, psychotic smile of triumph he tossed at me from across the quad, after the
Adebisi-Said shit had hit the fan and was still settling and staining us all. Chris had tilted his head as if to say, "See what I do for you,
baby?" and suddenly it didn't matter what he'd said, or who I'd fucked, or who did what to whom; none of it mattered in light of the
fact that we would be together again. We *have* to be together -- it's the only way we can keep from killing each other. The moment
McManus returned to Em City, I knew it was only a matter of time before the triumvirate of Oswald do-gooders got together and finally,
FINALLY, figured it all out. It's a simple equation, really: put Beecher and Keller together, and everyone is happy. Toby stays safe,
sane, and drug-free, and Keller stops mindfucking with the clergy. Oh, but take one away, and look out -- the corpses start to fly. Case
closed, jury dismissed.
Which brings me to Irony # 2. The dissolution of Tobias. Who had I been, before I came to Oz? Some underdeveloped faceless white blob,
masquerading as a contented man, never even realizing that there was something seething under there, something black and jagged and
repulsive. Blaming my booze on the stress of my job, or maybe that alcoholic 'gene' they found - yeah, that's it Tobias, it's all your
parents' fault you're a drunk. Why don't you *sue* them or something? Fighting unimportant battles on behalf of nameless clients because it was SO much easier than standing up for your own damn self, in any
way that matters. The irony is that I had to get fucked, literally and figuratively, in order to learn how to be a man. Gen knew it, in
those last days; during those visits when we both tried so hard to pretend nothing was happening to me. What she wrote in that note, it
took me a long time to understand. It took me until NOW, to understand.
I didn't kill Gen by hitting that girl, or even by getting thrown in Oz. I killed Gen by killing Tobias. By cracking open the shell and
exposing the ugly, half-formed embryo beneath. Like some demented
Humpty Dumpty, Chris would probably say with a laugh.
But the greatest irony of all -- call it number three, four, five, infinity -- is
this: killing Tobias has somehow resulted in setting me, Toby, free. Because nothing Genevieve, or that cunt judge Lima, or even
Schillinger could do to *Tobias* is worse than what I've done to myself. There's no self-respect in being Toby - the crazy, dick-biting, face-shitting, hack-slicing slut of Oz. And Chris knows it.
He knows it, and he wants me anyway.
I sigh, and he stirs. I can feel his breath against my shoulder. I want to wake him up. Nights are all we have in this place, and we
have a lot to make up for. The past, and the future too. Nothing lasts in Oz.
"Toby, you crazy bitch." He mutters sleepily. "C'mere." His hand,
warm on my inner thigh. He knows.
* * *