Every day was a good day when you were Tommy Dawkins. But today, he decided as he threw back the duvet and sat up, was an especially good day.
From downstairs, he could hear the faint strains of whatever music channel Dean had fallen asleep to, and he sang along softly as he made his way to the bathroom.
"Life's not worth a damn... 'til you can shout out..."
Standing under the hot spray of the shower, he pondered the new turn his life had taken the instant he woke up that morning, and what exciting developments it would bring. He made sure to scrub particularly hard with the coconut shower creme he'd found hiding behind his usual supermarket-brand gel: the buzzing in his stomach told him that this would be a fabulous day, and he wanted to greet it smelling clean and fresh. And coconut-scented.
He couldn't hear the TV anymore, but he sang anyway, head bobbing to the beat only he could hear.
"And so what if I love each feather and each spangle...why not try to see things from a different angle?"
Feeling decidedly perky after his shower, he wrapped a fluffy towel around his hips and grooved back into his bedroom, fingers clicking in time with the Britney song just audible from the living room TV. Unable to help himself, he began to sing out loud, not surprised that he suddenly knew all the words to a song he'd never really cared for before. Really feeling the beat now, he danced on over to the full-length mirror, enjoying the way his still-wet skin shone as he moved.
"Oh yeah, today is gonna be a great day!"
He could have danced all day, but when he heard his mother calling him from the kitchen, he decided to put away his groove and get ready for school.
"Coming, mother!" he called sweetly as he boogied on over to the closet. Opening it up, he wished fervently that he'd taken his mother up on her offer of a shopping trip the week before. He had nothing to wear!
With a sigh, he pulled out a pair of blue jeans. They were an old pair, a little tight, and he hadn't worn them in a while, but something told him they might not look so bad after all. Whistling merrily, he tugged them on over the white boxer-briefs he'd pulled out of a drawer, and set about looking for a shirt. He already had one in mind: his favourite white T-shirt, which his mother had shrank in the laundry a while back. He'd shoved it to the back of the closet, deciding it might do for football practise or yard work or something, but today, he decided, it was coming back out.
Downstairs, he bopped around the kitchen to the beat of the ABBA track blaring from the transistor radio on the counter top, oblivious to his parents' stares as they suddenly lost all interest in their breakfast.
"There's bacon under the grill," his mother stuttered, seemingly amazed at the overnight transformation in her son.
"Thanks, mother, but I think I'll just have some of this yoghurt," he answered, pulling the tub out of the fridge and digging around in a drawer for a spoon. "Mmm, this is delightful," he squealed around a mouthful.
Not even school could bring him down. He strutted down the hallway, his head nodding in time to the music running through his head, not stopping when he reached his locker.
"Don't say no, just shake it my way," he sang to himself as he tried to find his chemistry book for his first class.
A metallic thud snapped him out of his disco haze, and he looked around to see Lori leaning against the locker beside his. She sighed dramatically: obviously something was wrong.
"Spill it, sister," he told her.
"Tommy, I think I made a mistake about college." She chewed anxiously on a fingernail, blue eyes shining up at him.
"You did?" Tommy had to admit, the thought of spending three years in an all girls' school suddenly turned his stomach, but he'd been sure Lori would love it there.
"I'm not sure I want to go to a girls only school anymore," she whined. "I mean, I know I've spent most of my life being more butch than Sporty Spice, but suddenly the thought of three years without men isn't that appealing."
This was definitely wrong, Tommy decided. If he didn't know better, he'd swear Lori had woken up straight!
"I'm beginning to think," she continued, inching a little closer to him, "that unless I can have one last fling, one night with someone who can really make me feel like a woman, that I might have to turn down Havermill's offer."
Tommy tried to ponder her problem and not the strains of 'Man, I Feel Like A Woman', which were already floating around his mind.
"Well, if it's a real man you're looking for," he told her, as she leaned even closer, "I think Dalton Bradford's free this weekend."
If he noticed her outraged glare, he didn't care, as he snapped his locker shut and walked off down the corridor, giving in to Shania Twain as his fingers began to click of their own accord.
He was supposed to have football practise after school, and although the idea of running around a field with a dozen or so sweaty young men had a strange new appeal he'd never noticed before, the thought of all those grass stains was too much to bear.
Besides, he had a mission.
It didn't take him long to find his way over to the Factory after school. Thursday was Seventies night, and those tunes were too much to resist.
He schmoozed his way over to the bar and ordered one of those pink sodas he'd seen Merton drink from time to time, then turned away to look at the dance floor, just as Merton of all people walked through the door.
His friend hadn't noticed him: evidently he was too caught up in the thumping disco beat emanating from the speakers, judging by the way his head bobbed and his hips swayed as he made his way through the crowd. Tommy wondered why he'd never noticed Merton's hips before: goodness knew he'd grabbed them enough times whenever he had something urgent to tell the Goth. But he'd noticed them tonight, and that was the important thing, he decided.
He waved the other boy over to the bar, and Merton climbed into the stool next to him.
"Hey, Mert," he called over the music, "didn't see you in school today. Lookin' good, though." He tugged on the sleeve of Merton's shirt, then decided that the cool silk actually felt pretty nice, and he couldn't stop himself running a hand along Merton's forearm.
"Well, I had a lot of work to do today," the Goth told him, leaning closer to make himself heard. "Your mom called me this morning."
"She did?" That was a surprise: normally his parents barely acknowledged his best friend. Apparently he was a little too strange for their tastes.
"Yeah. She wanted some advice. She was worried 'cause you woke up gay." Well, Tommy thought, that certainly explained a lot of things.
"She called you for advice?" Despite a complete turn-around in his sexuality, it seemed Tommy still couldn't catch a clue.
"Well, she wanted to talk to someone who had experience in this kind of thing."
Slowly, like the movement of a glacier, enlightenment dawned.
"This is all new to me too, you know. Any chance you could give me some advice?" He quirked an eyebrow at Merton, who responded with a crooked smile.
"I could definitely teach you a few things."