Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, November 7, 2013


by John Grochalski

we were all eighteen years-old
just out of high school

we were going to the beach in delaware
to drink beer and fuck eighteen year-old girls
right out of their bikini bottoms

calvin was going to have his sister
buy us a case of guinness

so that we could celebrate being eighteen
by drinking good beer in delaware
and fucking eighteen year-old girls
in colby’s uncle’s trailer

when we left for the beach
calvin snuck the case of guinness in a gym bag
and slid it into colby’s trunk

while his mother lectured us boys about
drinking beer at the beach
and tried to warn us off of eighteen year-old girls

because calvin’s mother didn’t want a drunk for a son
or a grandkid before her fiftieth birthday

but none of us listened to her

we were too excited to get out of high school
too excited to get out of pittsburgh for the week
anxious for the beach and beer
and the firm bodies of eighteen year-old girls

when we got to the beach
colby flipped open his trunk and slid out the gym bag

we crowded around a table
and opened it like we were unveiling a treasure

it wasn’t a case of guinness
it was a case of genesee cream ale in dented cans

calvin, said his sister must’ve misheard him
still, we had a couple cans anyway
and celebrated being eighteen

it didn’t get any better for us at the beach
because most of the eighteen year-old girls were still in school

the beach was littered with older, sagging couples
college women who were out of our league

so we drove around delaware

we bought a used television set
and sat at colby’s uncle’s trailer drinking the genesee
and watching tv

that night i got a horrible pain in my testicles
it kept me up all night and into the morning

i laid on the couch watching tv
and thinking that i was going to die

when colby woke up he joked that maybe it was the shitty beer
that caused my pains

still, my old man had to drive five hours
from pittsburgh to delaware to pick me up

we hid the genesee back in calvin’s gym bag
which was a shame because the first thing my old man said
when he got to delaware was
i could sure use a beer

and he couldn’t even have one at home
because the pain in my testicles got so bad
we had to go straight to the emergency room

the doctor said that it could be a twisted vein
or a venereal disease

which made me think about
all of those eighteen year-old girls
i wouldn’t be fucking in colby’s uncle’s trailer

the beer i wouldn’t be drinking because i needed surgery

i was less picky about genesee versus guinness
while in a hospital gown
when i woke up from the surgery
my parents and the doctor told me
that the vein had been twisted
and that i’d lost a testicle

i’d still be able to have kids, the doctor said

while i wondered how’d explain having one nut
to an eighteen year-old girl
or one that was older

when calvin and colby came back from the beach
they visited me

colby said the week was pretty much a drag
calvin said they still had a few can of guinness left

genesee, colby reminded him

it was still good, calvin said

i told them that i’d had a hernia operation
instead of losing a testicle

because i didn’t know how to explain that shit
to two eighteen year-old guys

then we all talked about being out of high school
and being eighteen years-old
and how many eighteen year-old girls there were in pittsburgh
for us to try and fuck all summer

before colby went away to college

and calvin went and got a full-time job
for some trucking company located down
by a make-shift beach on the allegheny river

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