Operation: Save Mac
"Well, what if it was my fault?" A spiraling Mac McDonald asked. The exhaustion srung from his voice and he was a sight to behold. There was a build-up of burgandy color under his eyes, the hair he once never would've let anyone see with a single fly hair was now a mess of fluff on top of his head. He couldn't stop picking at the label on his beer, and the only person who would've protested drinking at ten in the morning was gone.
Frank sat across from Mac, his eyes started to glaze over from the same spiel he had given Mac for the past three days now. "If he wants to leave, let him. He's been a selfish bastard since the day he was born." The self-tourment started fourty-eight hours after Dennis left after the mother of his child. Every time a door opened those first two days, Mac would perk up like a puppy, but then it set in that his friend had actually abandoned him for some kid he didn't even know. His best friend.
Dee and Charlie had caught on and knew to steer clear of Mac by now, but they still watched from the other side of the bar, providing their own commentary as if they were David Attenborough. "It's pretty unfair," Charlie croaked.
Dee gave him quite a concerned look. That seemed like a pretty advanced thought of empathy for a guy like Charlie. She proceeded with caution. "Yeah, he has to mope around while Dennis probably hasn't even given him a second thought. That's gotta burn."
"No, I meant it's kinda unfair to us." He continued to watch the pair across the room while Dee now studied Charlie to figure out what cogs were turning in his head. "I always thought we would get a fun one and I think Dennis may have ruined that for us."
"A fun one?" She echoed back.
"Yeah, you know what I mean. A fun gay dude." The other shoe just dropped. "We had to wait around forever for Mac to even come out, and now he's so sad about Dennis he's never gonna become a fun gay dude."
"That's what you're concerned about? Dennis is gone and Mac is over there in shambles and you're worried you won't have a flaming homosexual friend?"
Charlie was already getting tired of the holes getting shot in his case. "All I'm saying is that Mac has been a buzzkill all of his life. And you remember Country Mac? He was gay and embraced it and he was cool as hell! You're telling me you don't want that?"
She rolled her eyes, but also silently agreed Charlie had a point. Country Mac was gay and cool as hell. Then a little lightbulb went off. "You know, if Dennis comes back, Mac isn't our only shot at having a fun gay in the group."
"You think Dennis knows other gay guys?"
"No," her voice turned into a whisper, "Dennis is the other shot."
He looked at Dee and almost started laughing, while she gave back a blank expression. "C'mon," was all he could come back with.
"I had a bedroom down the hall from him. And then I've had to live with them both together! They're so codependant. Dennis will be back here soon enough and it'll be because of Mac."
"Well," Charlie began to dispute back, "When you say it like that, you could make anyone sound gay. You could make Frank sound gay."
"Charlie, you're a boy half his age that he shares a bed with every night for the past ten years."
His voice went up a few octaves. "You've shared a bed with Old Black Man!"
Dee began to point and shout back, "That wasn't on my own free will!"
Mac's giant, pathetic eyes met Dee and Charlie's and they both piped down in sync. They spent the next few moments back in silence, eyes glued to Mac as he rambled to Frank as if they were trying to crack the code to his woes. What could seem like a sweet sentiment in another friendship was soured by the egos of the gang. Mac's attitude was really just bringing the energy of the rest of the group down and that was the sincere general concern of the other three.
"Maybe we should get him his own place, then he could have a sense of independence, y'know?" It was Dee's turn to push her own personal agenda. That very first night Dennis had left she had a conniption with Frank that since he was gone to no longer carry out his part of the deal, she, Mac, and Old Black Man should all be off the hook, too. Mac was back to sleeping in a hammock in the corner of her apartment. She started to notice these whimpers at night she'd never heard from anyone back when they had to share the bed.
Charlie glanced over at her. "It doesn't really seem like he wants to be alone right now."
"Yeah," Dee sighed out, "But he's kinda cramping my style. I've got some dudes I wanna take back to my place, so I need you to ask Frank about paying for the deposit."
"I'll ask him, but you don't have to make up some guy."
"I-" Dee began to stammer, "I wasn't!" Dee muttered under her breath, "You son of a bitch." The fluster in her voice was accompanied by a scowl on her face. "If you really want to get Mac off our back, we have to get him some new friends, or even if we just found a placeholder for Dennis."
"How are we supposed to do that?"
"We just have to find some other gay guys." There was a sudden sense of hope in Dee's eyes. If this plan really went swimmingly, she could get Mac out her apartment and her life as long as her brother stayed away with his lame excuse for a family. "Y'know, birds of a feather."
Charlie slowly finished the clique for her, "They eat the same food." All Dee could do was stare back at him. Charlie was a paradox of being way too hard to insult anymore, but still it was impecably easy.
Dee reached into her back pocket for her cellphone and started filing through it. "I should have Carmen's number in here somewhere. I'm sure half the guys she's dated were gay after they broke up."