Chapter 30:     Jealousies

ART writes---

By high school graduation Adam had reached a height of 8'3", and
weighed 524 pounds, having maintained his growing average of 
three inches a year.  We were all wondering if or when he would 
peak out.  We had guessed at 8'0", although Adam himself had hoped
he would end up far under that, and now he despaired that he would
never stop growing--9', 10', 11'...  

But stop he did, at last!  

At 19 years old he was still 8'3", and had only taken on a few 
pounds, then even his weight leveled out at 527.  He was huge, but
happy that he wasn't going to get even more huge in the future. 
We were probably almost as relieved as he was.

Whenever we thought about Adam's future as an adult...well, we did
not know quite what to think.  He was most interested in music,
and good at it, but that seemed too trivial to be his only plan.

Not that his musical skills were amateurish, but he had no special 
sound to offer, no original material.  He could imitate anyone's 
songs, in many different styles, but there was nothing unique about 
his performance.  If you didn't know WHAT he was, just heard him on 
a CD or radio, you'd probably not pay much attention to it.

I can still remember the very first time I ever heard a Bob Dylan 
song, long long ago-- "Don't Think Twice" on a chintzy old car radio, 
along with two friends, none of us having ever heard of Dylan before. 
We all shut up to hear every word, looking at each other in wonder, 
and when it was finished we each said, "Wow, who was THAT?"  That's 
what Adam's music didn't have. 

We had no doubt that Adam could make it in show business as a
"singing sasquatch", he was talented, but we also feared that he 
would end up as a traveling freak show. That it might be his 
weirdness rather than his performance people would find 

Fortunately, he was also quite interested in Anthropology, and 
we encouraged his studies in that field.  Adam had a "racial 
minority" grant through the IPR to continue his studies at the 
University of Washington in Seattle.  His dyslexia was a technical
problem, but most of the field anthropologists were extremely 
enthusiastic about teaching Adam in the light of his special 
abilities-- especially as an agent they could send out in 
the field.

"Think of it," one senior professor of anthropology fantasized, "a 
dig in the worst jungle, under the most primitive conditions, with
savages and dangerous beasts all around--and we send in our field 
agent; one expertly trained superhuman sasquatch, who can simply 
stroll through all that wilderness without breaking a sweat! 
Ho ho ho!"  

Adam liked the idea too, he'd been doing just that in his search
for Sasquatches.  And that was, in fact, just exactly what IPR 
wanted him to succeed in: finding his own people.

He and Melly enrolled in several of the same classes so that they 
could study together, even though their relationship was strained 
to the utmost at this time.  But Adam couldn't study effectively 
without help and she wouldn't leave him in the lurch, so they 
made the best of it.  They were like an old married couple that 
was too established together to get a divorce.

Melly told Adam that she was sleeping with Peter. Adam never lied, so she would not lie to him either, they had one of those ruthlessly honest relationships. In that same spirit, Adam didn't try to pretend that he felt good about it--and their relationship became even more strained. And although Melly's new relationship with Peter was a success, young lovers riding the wave of fresh infatuation and giddy sex, there was a problem built into it--Adam, of course. Because almost right from the first, Peter was jealous of Adam. Once he realized how much time she spent helping him study and saw the way she had "that squatch" on her mind all the time, Peter became more and more insecure about what Melly felt for him. "You know, I swear you love that monkey-boy more than me!" he finally challenged. Melly never answered such charges, she knew Peter would be very upset if she admitted the truth: that he was right. She would only say "Don't call Adam that!" Peter was generally used to being the dominator in his affairs with women, but with Melly everything was turned around. Not only was Melly the boss, not nearly as subjugated to him as he wanted, but he was also himself more in love than he'd ever planned to be. Nor did it help his self-esteem that she seemed more dedicated to an "apelike" Bigfoot. Peter had been planning to join the Marines for 4 years and become an officer, had in fact started the paperwork recently before meeting Melly, but dropped that plan--since he couldn't leave her. So now he was between plans, feeling somewhat lost and unsure of his future. Peter talked with Doug sometimes when he was over at the house to pick up or drop Melly off. Doug was very friendly to Peter, glad to have a fine-looking HUMAN guy hanging around Melly to get her mind off Adam at last. They both agreed that Melly was slightly unbalanced when it came to the squatch. "Sometimes I wonder what I should do, Doug. I mean, it's crazy but I get jealous of that pet Bigfoot of hers. Like he's really her boy friend or something...and I'm just the pet." "Hang in there, Peter," was Doug's advice, "she's a lot better than she was about him, believe me. I think she's wearing down now, they don't seem to be getting along so well these days." "Well, that's good news--she doesn't tell me that. But you say it was worse before? She...they weren't ever...?" Peter couldn't even ask the question. He didn't need to, Doug answered, "No, they've never had sex, if that's what you want to know. I'm sure of that. And they never will either, that's been...arranged." Peter was obviously relieved, but he did wonder about one thing: "I thought you were really good friends with Adam and the Forest family." "Oh, I am, and I love Adam like a son, he's really a special person. But I still love Melly more, and I don't think he's very good for her." "Amen to that. I'll be good for her. God, I love your daughter, Doug, hope you don't mind my saying." "I could tell anyway. Fine with me. Just get her away from Adam, will you?" "I sure as hell hope to." Peter hesitated, then added, "You know, my Pop still thinks Adam is going to come after him some day. To get revenge. I grew up worrying about that too--it's really hard for me to be friends with that Bigfoot." "Adam won't do anything to anyone, he's a sasquatch. They're big, but nonviolent." "He attacked my Pop once. Cracked some ribs, Pop limped around for two weeks." "I heard about that. But what I also heard was that your father was beating Adam up when he was only 8 years old, and that Adam hit back just once to defend himself. Seemed fair enough. It also seems that your Pop was actually lucky that an 8-year-old squatch had so much self control." "That's the version you heard, maybe. I got a different one." "Yes, well, I'm sure you did. But one thing you'd better know about Adam that might save you problems in the future: he never says anything untrue--never, ever lies--and he never breaks his promises." "A real boy scout, eh?" "Well, he's not really human, so he doesn't have our moral weaknesses." "You make it sound like he's better than us." "Oh, he IS. No doubt about it, Peter." Peter grinned, "Well if he's so great, why isn't he good enough for YOUR daughter?" "Oh, HE is," Doug admitted, "it's just ME who's not good enough to accept that."
Students on the UW Campus had become accustomed to seeing a real live sasquatch going about his business for several years, Adam coming for tests at the IPR Center. So now he that was a student himself on campus every day, he no longer attracted big crowds and TV cameras. He was merely the local squatch. One Friday Adam didn't have the class he usually had, so he went to the Hub cafeteria to get something to eat. He found Melly there and sitting with her was a visitor to the campus: his very own rival, Peter Sinsley. Peter was holding Melly's hand on the table between them. He was telling a joke, Melly laughed, they were getting along. Adam felt a surge of jealousy, which he promptly suppressed as much as possible. He decided he didn't want to see anymore and was about to leave when Peter noticed him and said something to Melly, who turned to look. It was Peter who waved him over to them. "Adam, join us, man." That seemed so unlike the Peter he remembered that Adam wondered if he actually had changed. So he squatted down at their table, as he usually did, since there were no chairs which could take his weight. Peter felt suddenly nervous when he saw how big Adam had become; he hadn't seen him up close in several years. "Hello, Mell," Adam said. He said nothing to Peter, just nodded. Melly leaned over and kissed Adam on the cheek, but he wasn't up to returning the gesture. Peter frowned when he saw that, was in fact almost shocked. Adam was tempted to give Melly a kiss back just to show off for Peter, but he didn't like to indulge in false gestures, and that's what it would have been. He wasn't feeling good enough about Melly to kiss her just then. "I've got a ride back home with Peter, so you don't have to wait for me after your last class," Melly said, trying to sound casual about it. Adam nodded, showing no emotion whatsoever. "Okay, I have go over to the IPR Center sometime anyway, I'll do it today." Then there was silence, no one said anything. Very awkward. Adam looked at Peter, then at Melly, back at Peter, who had slipped Melly's hand free, not sure how Adam would react about that. "Well, see you later," Adam said to no one, and started to get up "Wait, Addy," Melly said, "since I've got you both here, why don't we see if we can get off to a fresh start? Maybe you two could be friends." Adam looked at Melly as if she was out of her mind. So did Peter, but then he took the cue and did what Melly wanted him to do. "Uh...she's right, Adam," Peter said, "Look, I know there's been some shit in the past between you and me, I'd like to apologize for that. I can only say that it was all my fault. My Pop, you know, was telling me all these incredibly BAD things about you and well, I was young and believed it--you know how you believe your Pop when you're a kid." "And now?" Adam's baritone seemed a bit lower than usual, and he looked more ready than relaxed. Peter could not speak for a moment, probably with fear. He had quit taunting Adam in school years ago because his father had convinced him that Adam was a truly dangerous beast disguised as "almost human", and when IT finally did get angry enough to retaliate for any and all offenses, all would be over for both Felix and Peter Sinsley. But Peter braved his way through the conversation. "What can I say? I've changed. Gotta grow up sometime, I've had reason to work out my illusions and hangups and you were one of them. I know how badly I'd treated you and realize how cool you really were through all of that--you could have unscrewed my head any time you got mad enough, only you never did. After all that crap I pulled on you any normal guy would have done something back to me out of meanness, but you're not mean. If I called you an animal, I take it all back: you've proved that you're a better man than me. Shake?" Peter stuck his hand forward. Adam looked down at the proffered hand, not certain what to do with it. Another hand, Melly's settled gently on his arm. "Come on, Adam. For me." Adam reached forward slowly, reluctantly, just to please Melly. His hand was twice the size of Peter's and just before he would have closed his fingers around that smaller hand he stopped. Peter's hand was shaking, only slightly, but quite visibly. Peter was being brave, but his teeth were clenched, eyes wincing. Adam withdrew his hand without making contact. "Peter doesn't really want me to take his hand. He's afraid of me." "No, he's not," Melly said, as if that could make it so. "You know that I can smell emotions; fear, dislike. He just wants to look good to you," Adam said to Melly, then addressing Peter, "I can also smell lies, it's a bitter stink." Peter started to bristle, then realized Just What he was talking to and carefully asked, "Are you calling me a liar?" Adam looked down at Peter carefully, didn't mind intimidating him at all, but he gave him a way out anyway. "No, Peter, not really. Everybody in this culture tells lies all the time, little untruths, bragging, wishing. Why shouldn't you too? I'm just letting you know that I can smell when someone is deceptive." "Addy, be nice," Melly suggested, but timidly. Adam looked at her without emotion, "I AM being nice," he said, then got up and left the cafeteria.
"When we met Adam in the cafeteria, You KISSED him," Peter reminded Melly later in his car on the way back to Monroe, and there was a definite intonation of disgust, "that was kind of hard to take." "A kiss on the cheek? Why? You know he's been like my big brother," Melly said, preferring not to say anything imprudent, but unwilling to lie. "Yeah, well. But you haven't ever..." Peter was frowning, the idea first hitting him now, "...had a thing with him, have you?" "You know I was a virgin-- popped my cherry yourself." "Oh yeah, that's right. But that's not what I mean anyway--I KNOW you'd never SCREW a Bigfoot, no decent girl could ever do that, but you seem to like him too much...maybe you'd gotten really close sometime." "We practically grew up together, that's pretty close. But Peter, don't you get too pushy about my relationship with Addy, we've done nothing to be ashamed of, let it go at that." "Yeah yeah, okay..." he said, but couldn't let it go at all, "it's just that if I ever thought that you and THAT THING were...well, don't know what I'd do." "Peter, I said let it go. If you get after me about Addy you'll just piss me off and there will be no sex for you tonight. Got that?" "Uh, yeah, okay. Forget it." Peter Sinsley, former debaucher and libertine, was pussy-whipped.
But he obviously couldn't forget it. He went asking around town, high school graduates who had gone to school with Melly and Adam or had jobs in the local shops and restaurants. It was easy to trace the history of Adam and Melly. Later on, it was me tracing Peter's tracks to ascertain what had really happened, and that too was rather easy, Monroe is a small town. Of course, I can't tell you what Peter was thinking, other than what he said to people and what those people then told me.
According to his friend Marty Rocken: "Peter was totally screwed up over Melly, never seen him like that before--a girl was calling the shots and he was rolling over for her. Shit, was he in love! He dropped his plans to go into the Marines because he couldn't leave her. But he was always complaining about how she was way too into that bigfoot, it freaked him out...just the thought of her having ever kissed Adam on the mouth made him sick...and if he suspected them of maybe ever having had sex, shit man! "I remember Melly from way back in school--hey, far back as 2nd grade--how that little tiny girl had defended her "big twin brother" from Peter and me and the guys. We used to pick on Adam because he was weird, or maybe because Peter wanted us to, I dunno. Mainly because he was a pushover, he'd do anything not to cause trouble, a giant wimp. I guess we were the school heavies then, but Melly wasn't afraid of us. Hell, she didn't need to be --once we sort of threatened her just a little and suddenly Adam was ready to take us on, maybe get violent, so we all backed way off--even then he was a BIG mother fucker! She was also a tough little bitch who didn't give a shit about snitching to teachers if anyone messed with her pet bigfoot. "It was weird--we could mess with Adam and he wouldn't do shit, but mess with Melly and Adam would squash us flat. Even back then Melly had the power. "And then she had it over Peter."
"Peter hated Adam," Lissandra Cunnings told me, "for lots of reasons, his father and all. But most of all he was jealous that Mel liked Adam too much. Mel said she loved Adam as a brother, which Peter couldn't quite swallow. He said sometimes she got too sad when she talked about Adam, like there was some great tragic secret that only she and he shared. "But whenever Peter called Mel on it, she turned on him and put him in his place. She wouldn't allow him to mess with whatever she and Adam had going on, not at all. "You know how in a love affair the power is always with the one who cares LEAST, the one who's not desperate? Well, Mel was on top, she had Peter crawling and he couldn't stand that--but he couldn't do a thing about it either, because he was so desperate. I thought that was great: Peter really deserved it."
Peter had asked around if Adam and Melly had ever been "going together" or "dating", but from all reports their relationship seemed to have been as brotherly /sisterly as Melly had said. However, Peter was convinced that NO GUY could get close to a girl as scrumptious as Melly without becoming aroused, not even a squatch. He didn't seem to mind if Adam was hurting for Melly and perhaps he enjoyed the thought that Adam might be jealous of him. That was cool, although maybe a little dangerous too. The impression I got from asking around was that Peter eventually convinced himself that Melly's relationship with Adam was about POWER: she ruled a monster and he could respect that. This was what he had told several drinking buddies, guys he worked with on the logging crews. It wasn't because Melly liked Adam more than him, or because she was hot for squatch cock or anything. Of course she defended him, took care of him, he was like a thoroughbred stallion, a good dog, a valuable slave. It seems that he had just about resolved any conflict in his mind about Adam--until the last time he had talked to Lissandra. So I talked to Lissandra too.
Lissandra and Melly had been close in High School but since graduation had not seen so much of each other, their lives having gone in radically different directions: Melly was diligently studying anthropology at the UW and going steady with a boyfriend (Peter); Lissandra was working at Clara’s Hairstyling Salon in Monroe by day and partying with a crowd of new guys every night. There was an endless swirl of fast cars and motorcycles out in front of the apartment she shared with Susie Lipsinger and inside a constant thump of rock'n'roll music, free-flowing alcohol and other intoxicants. Life in the fast lane. Lissandra was more famous for being sexually promiscuous than she actually deserved to be, but Susie was usually ready for anything so there was no short supply of horny men hanging around every night. Maybe a few of them got lucky but many of them got into fights instead. After almost two years of that lifestyle Lissandra was quite weary of it but Susie's motto was still "Gotta Party Hearty" so their roommating days were numbered. Peter found Lissandra at work in Clara’s Salon, drearily doing shampoos and clipping hair (yes, her years of training as a vain teenager interested only in looking good had prepared her for a profession of sorts, although she was fired soon after--much to her relief.) She was surprised to see Peter come into the shop, saying he needed to talk to her. They weren't friends, had perhaps never been except for their one brief fling 4 years before, but in a town the size of Monroe you see the same people year after year, unless they move away or die, so they talked once in a while. "Hi, Lissy, how're they hanging?" "They're not hanging, they're nice and firm. Not that they're any of your business." "Yeah, they look firm all right. Shit, now I'm turned on. But hey, I need to ask you—what do you know about Melly and her pet Bigfoot?" "Aha, Peter, sneaking and spying on Mel behind her back? Feeling totally insecure, I hope?" "Yeah, well..." Peter suddenly dropped his usual smart-alecky style, shrugged and spoke in a confidential tone, as if he and Lissandra were actually close friends. He looked worried and vulnerable. "'s just that I really don't know what to think about her and him. I'm kinda worried that he's jealous of ME...and he's so god damned BIG, you know. And weird! Who knows what he could do? So I'm digging up a little background to see where I stand." "He's never hurt anyone." "Don't give me that. My Pop came home black and blue once from that Bigfoot beating him up." "Oh, yeah, I remember that," Lissandra said, "but I also saw Mr. Forest just after your dad had beat the shit out of him, so maybe your Pop was lucky that Freakfoot didn't totally wipe him--I'm sure he could have." "So are you friends with Adam too?" Peter asked, irritated. "Me? No, I don't think so, I've probably insulted him about a thousand times too often." "Hmm, that reminds me: wasn't Adam kind of hot for YOU back in school?" "Oh yeah! Kinda pathetic-like tho, he was way too shy to say anything, but he'd keep looking at me, almost drooling. Sometimes I even caught him smelling me! Kinda perverted-- tho actually I sorta dug it." "So he DOES get hot for human chicks? Ever get aggressive?" "Naw. No balls, I guess. Then Melly came back to school and he lost all interest in me." "Yeah? So you think Adam was hot for Melly? "Maybe, Mel IS totally hot; she gets most guys horny without even trying. You were a pushover, for example." "You think he actually wants to SCREW her?" Peter was becoming upset. Lissandra was becoming irritated with Peter's desperate questioning, so she decided to tease him a little, play him for a while. ("Besides," she told me, "I always did have a mean streak-- gotta do something about that some day!") "Who knows?" she shrugged, "But then again, maybe it’s her who’s hot." "Her hot? For HIM?" Peter was visibly shocked. "Oh yeah, who knows, maybe she RILLY CRAVES his big hairy dick." "Craves sex with a..." Peter's lip curled into a sneer of disgust, "..with a fucking APE? How could she?" (Lissandra's words to me: "I wasn't out to cause Mel trouble, I'd just wanted to twist Peter's tit, maybe get a little payback for him having burned me way back when. So I just made shit up out of half-guesses. I totally didn’t KNOW that it was TRUE! Mel had never told me those things—if she had I’d never had whispered a WORD to anyone! "But when I saw that really sicko expression on Peter’s face I just knew something had totally CLICKED for him. He looked SO grossed out, so HATING--shit, he looked INSANE! He scared me, suddenly it wasn't a fun game to play anymore.") “Okay, I’m just bullshitting you,” she told Peter, trying to fix it, “as far as I know nothing’s going on between them. Brother and Sister.” “No, everything you said is true, I can see that now.” “Rilly? I was just fantasizing!” Peter seemed to be lost in some unpleasant fantasy for a minute, then asked Lissandra, "How would you like to help me fuck that Bigfoot over?" "What for? He hasn't done anything to me," she said, wanting out of the game now, then shook her head, "and besides, how smart can it be to get a giant Wookie pissed off at you?" Peter gave her a parting glance that convinced her that he was indeed on the brink of madness, as on his way out the door he said, "Oh, but I WANT him to be pissed off at me."

Chapter 31

Adam out of Eden