Sunday afternoon after church we went to a movie, a matinee showing of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which had released in December and had finally made it to Newberg in late February. It was a really cool sci-fi film about a positive encounter with aliens, totally believable and absolutely fun to watch.
We chatted about the special effects, the communication via musical tones, the imagery and especially the lighting on the way home. Supper went off easily, and Youth Fellowship did too. A lot of the kids said they were sorry to learn about my parent’s death, and that was sweet. We discussed the bullying situation at school, and it seemed to be quiet at present. As we walked home, I asked Jackson if he’d gotten his college short list put together.
“What do you mean?”
“It’s almost March. You’ve got all your applications submitted. You’ll start receiving acceptance or rejection letters in the next few weeks. You’ve visited all those campuses. You need to have a list of your main choices and the order you’d prefer.
“Well, Lover Boy, most of it is an exercise in which you engage your mind and stack rank the different schools, weighing the pros and cons, so you have an objective assessment and you’re not just working on feelings. Lots of people, maybe most, don’t do it. They kind of let the chips fall where they may. I’ve always thought it was important to do, whether it’s schools or any other set of data. Just like you want to know what’s best, it’s valuable to know how you think about the schools before you start getting acceptance or rejection letters.”
He looked at me, smiling wryly. “Always thinking, that’s my Sexy Man!”
The next day I made a long overdue phone call to Paul Gallagher. We hadn’t spoken since early January, and when we connected, he immediately told me to stop apologizing for the length of time between calls. “I have to assume you have stuff going on, as in you have a life too, so just fill me in on what’s happened!”
I did, most of it about my parents accidental death, and the realizations across that week of no longer having to live up to my father’s expectations, how that mapped to the Atonement of the Father concept, and finally about coming out to my brother and how that related to all the other stuff.
He was quiet initially. Then, after expressing his condolences for my parent’s untimely death, we discussed the implications and after that the opportunities. “I don’t mean to minimize the tragedy, or the impact, but you’ve been wrestling with this for a while, and you are now free to deal with it.”
“I understand that. I think I’ve pretty well mentally worked through a lot of it, especially the part about being free now that I no longer have to live up to his expectations. It was talking about that, actually, with my brother and his wife that got me around to telling then I’m gay and have a boyfriend. She understood, and he struggled, but where we left it is if he can accept it then we have a relationship. Anyway, there was plenty of discussion of mythology and my unwillingness to accepted being a depraved sinner and where that leaves me vis a vis the church, and that, of course, extends to Jackson as well.”
He paused, and then said, with what I took to be a smile in his voice, “Boy, if I was Jackson, I’d be saying there’s no paucity of excitement or stimulation if you’re in a relationship with David Ayers!”
“What do you mean? Am I supposed to be offended by that?”
“No way. It’s just that most people fumble along in life, they don’t spend any time analyzing what’s happening, why it happened, what to do about it, or anything like that. I’m paying you a compliment. Although as a therapist, you’re the worst kind of patient, because your type doesn’t come to that many sessions. You get some help, get to work on it, and that’s all I see of them. I earn far less from self-healers like you!”
“Right, Ha, ha! I take the compliment, but just because I do all the intellectual parsing doesn’t mean I know what I’m doing.”
“True, and if you were off track, or when you’re off track, I will tell you so. Right now, you’re not. You’re working through the problems and issues, and it seems to be going well. It sounds like the study group is helping frame the context for doing the work.”
“Boy, more than you know. But you want to know what’s been most important? It hasn’t been any of the academic or intellectual stuff. It’s been Jackson, at a very basic and organic level.”
Then I told him about the physical feeling game he played and sending the feelings down what phone line while I was in Philly, and finally about the challenges of not acting like a machine and getting in touch with my feelings.
“Wow! What a guy. I’ve been thinking about your invitation to come visit. After hearing what you just told me, I think I need to make the trip just to meet this amazing young man! Now, I have to ask, you said something about operating at a very basic and organic level. Do you want to expand on that?”
I hadn’t planned on it, but I told him about spending much of the flight home weeping for that poor fucked up kid, and how I’d broken down a couple of times talking to Jackson about stuff.
He let me finish then paused. “David, you know intellectually that this is healthy, correct?”
I agreed. He went on, “So is that a first for you? Being in touch with those kinds of feelings and emoting in a deeply emotional or physical manner?”
Now I paused, hesitant and embarrassed. Finally, I said, “Yes. I’ve never cried about stuff like this, not since I was a kid.”
“Don’t be embarrassed. You’re breaking down defensive mechanisms, and that means you’re getting in touch with the real you, that kid inside you, the real feelings you have in there.”
I didn’t have any response. Then he said, I’m sure in an effort to lighten it up, “If you’re not careful you’re going to experience, penthos, you know, the gift of tears.”
I said I didn’t know what he meant.
“Well, penthos is an early Christian concept, from the Desert Fathers in Egypt, and the original word and meaning has to do with mourning or contrition. Meaning a person being enough in touch with themselves to know where they’ve fallen short and being able to mourn for it, have real feelings of anguish or passion about it, and one of the manifestations is tears—crying. But the broader understanding is that it is what happens when a person reaches a point of personal integration, of being in touch with their emotions, with no defensive barriers between the physical and the emotional, so they can respond authentically.”
“I think I understand that intellectually. Do you want to expand on why you think I may be at risk for getting the gift of tears?”
“Sure. It’s just because I sense you getting in touch with yourself. Let me tell you a story. When I was senior in high school, we found a dog running on the street in front of our house. He was a cool Golden Retriever, and we tried to find his owner but no luck. He had a hanger around his neck. A hanger! Not a collar, a shirt hanger. Anyway, he was frightened, and we had to get a crate and he spent a lot of time in his crate, he even ate in there. That’s where he felt safe. I’d take him on hikes, and we’d go running and do stuff together, and we got closer and closer. He always slept in his crate. The door was open, but he’d go in there and stay there. Then one morning, really early, before the sun came up, something amazing happened. I woke up when this thing jumped up on the side of my bed. As in, from the floor jumped up on the side of my bed, and was lying next to me, and it was him. He was lying next to me, and he looked at me with those warm eyes and then he laid his head down on my shoulder and went back to sleep.”
“Wow. That dog came a long way, didn’t he?”
“He did. But do you know what I did? It took a few minutes for me to think about what had happened, but when I did, I started crying. It was so sweet, so wonderful, that he’d suddenly reached the point of not being so fearful that he could leave his crate and be with a person, that he could trust me like that. I was just blown away. I’m sure part of it was that he had chosen to jump up and lie next to me, but the bigger thing was understanding that he had just had a major transition or conversion or transformation, and that I was part of helping him. He’d moved to a new place, and healthier and happier new place…and he trusted me. He trusted me enough to leave his crate and hop up next to me on my bed. One of the things that made going to college in my hometown so great was that I wasn’t separated from this amazing dog. Now, ask yourself how many people could show their feelings the same totally honest way that dog did.?”
“Point taken. I’ll have to keep thinking about that one.”
We spoke a little longer, and one other thing he encouraged me to do was think about the limitations that my father might have had. “It’s important to try to understand the things that made him what he was. I know he didn’t tell you about them. But there’s a good chance that he learned to be a father by modeling what his father showed and did to him. If that’s true, to the degree that’s true, he’s not totally responsible for the kind of father he was. Just think about that.”
There was plenty to think about now! Somehow, I couldn’t believe that Bud had learned to be such a bastard from his father. But I remembered my grandfather as haughty and distant, and maybe that’s where much of my father’s approach came from.
It was the next Wednesday when they were walking out of school and heading for band practice at Will’s house when they were accosted by the jock bully group. It was led by the same bully that had verbally accosted Josh and then later Jackson and Will about being fairies for wearing bracelets. This time he had five other football players with him, and they had cornered Will and Tom and Jackson half a block off school property.
They had it planned because half of them were suddenly there, standing in front of them and blocking their progress when the other half appeared from behind and boxed them in. It had started with the usual taunts, “Look, it’s the fairy with the bracelet and his other fairy buddies who started wearing a bracelet too.”
Jackson told me later that they started out just being silent to see where it would go.
“So, we know you two are fairies cause you wear those bracelets.” Then he looked at Tom. “Are you a fairy too, like these other light weights.”
Tom had joined in to wear the bracelet to support his friends, but he didn’t suffer fools.
“So, since you’re such a genius, why don’t you answer a question I have for you first? Why does wearing a bracelet make you a fairy? You’re not a bigot, are you? I mean you know the bracelets Will and Jackson are wearing are Native American, don’t you? They’re worn by warriors in the Tlingit tribe in northern Washington and British Columbia. You’re not bigoted against Native Americans, are you?”
That had caught them off guard. They’d expected an excuse or a dodge or cowering, and instead they got a confrontation. The bully with the mouth didn’t have an immediate answer, and Tom went on.
“So, did you hear me say that they’re warriors? I’m talking about Native American men, and you think they’re fairies? These guys swung war clubs and rowed across the Salish Sea in dugout canoes. Can you do that? These are real men. They didn’t play football, but they survived and thrived in the wild northwest. Could you do that? And, yeah, for the record, I wear one too because I respect them. Who do you respect?”
They hadn’t expected a verbal onslaught and were still on their heels.
“Like I said, I wear one, too. See? It’s right here. It’s a wolf. Oh yeah, you probably think a wolf is a fairy animal, right? Will, what’s your bracelet?
Will had figured out where Tom was going. He raised his arm, pulled back his sleeve and flashed his bracelet. “Mine’s a bear. I don’t think it’s a fairy bear. You know, they’re brown bears, like grizzlies.”
Tom turned to the group. “So, we’re talking about two top predators. You think they’re sissy animals? Have you ever seen one? What would you do if you ran into one in the woods? Shit your pants and run away? Jackson, what’s your bracelet?”
Jackson followed Will, and flashed his bracelet and said, “Mine is an Eagle. You know, the bird of prey that drops out of the sky and grabs salmon out of the river. The one that’s our national symbol. Pretty sure it’s not a fairy bird. At least the last time I checked.”
The whole group of jocks had stayed silent. They hadn’t expected this, but the best part as Jackson told the story was that the boys had adlibbed, and the jocks were speechless.
“So, what are you going to do?” Tom was challenging them now, and Will and Jackson stepped up too. “Yeah, what are you going to do? Try to turn these animals into fairies so you guys feel more macho and butch, or what?”
There was stuttering, and finally one asked where they were going, heading away from school like a group of fairies.
“We’re going to band practice. Maybe you know our band, The Jaybirds. We’re playing at the school dance next Friday night. Are you big macho dudes bringing dates to the dance? Why don’t you give us your names, and maybe we can make an announcement about how masculine you are, like real jocks, trying to beat up the band members, and let everyone know about it. Especially let your dates know about it.”
Tom was in their face now, and Will and Jackson stood shoulder to shoulder with him and stared them down. The challenge of public embarrassment finally did it, and with some lame comments about not meaning any harm, one of them said, “Let’s get out of here,” and they all disappeared.
When he told me later that night, I immediately asked if he wasn’t in a panic that it could have escalated into a brawl where they all got hurt.
“Well, it was three against six, but I learned a few things. First, they’re not that smart. I don’t know if that’s true of all bullies, but these guys are about as bright as an ox. Second, they just didn’t know how to handle something they didn’t expect. We figured they thought we’d all get scared and intimidated and who knows what then. But when Tom hit them with that Native American warrior and predator animal stuff, it blew their minds. We got laughing about it at band practice. It was like we were telling them our heroes were more macho, and meaner, than theirs. If you’re a jock bully, is there any worse hit to your ego than that?”
“I can’t argue with that. I just don’t want any of your guys to get hurt over something like this, especially something Will and Tom did to stand in solidarity with us.”
He kissed me then, and said, “I know, David, but guess what? This proved the strength of solidarity.”
“And how did band practice go?”
“Well, we were late getting started, but once we got going practice was good. We’re ready for next Friday’s school dance. We’ve got some fine tuning to do, but we’re there. Are you going to come?”
“Well, yeah. But how do I do that? I’m not a student?”
“Easy. Miss Albright, you know, Susan, is one of the teacher monitors. Somehow I think she can get you in as another adult monitor!”
“Good plan. You set it up with her and I’ll be there. Oh, don’t forget, and no pressure here, but your Dad said he wanted to come down to hear you sing. You should let him know. If he’s not scheduled to fly, maybe he’ll come down. That would be cool.”
“You’re right, and I’d forgotten that. It’s too late to call tonight, but I will tomorrow. Now, are you finished down here for the night? I’ve had a confrontation and a hot band practice and still feel the adrenaline flowing, and I’m thinking there’s something I’d like to do with that pair of boxers I know you’re wearing under those trousers.”
I grinned and we headed upstairs.
The next day, Michael called and told me that our parent’s attorney had called him earlier to let him know that he had filed the paperwork to settle the estate, and that once all the assets were accounted for, it looked like the estate had a value of just under $200,000. Our parents lived modestly, and while he had done well and had no debts and some decent investments, most of their lifestyle came in the form of a very generous retirement plan from the pharmaceutical company he had worked for. That ended with his death. Still, we both had a substantial inheritance ahead of us. He also told me that he and Jane were making good progress on cleaning out our parent’s home and organizing an estate sale. Most importantly, the dictionary with stand had already been packed and shipped and was on its way to me!
We talked a while longer, and it was more positive and communicative then I could ever remember. I asked him if there was a chance he and Jane could come west for a visit in the summer, and he said they were considering it.
Sunday’s Gospel passage was in John, Chapter 4, 5-42, the story of the Samaritan woman. It’s a consistent encounter for Jesus in the Gospels, his contact with those outside the mainstream, in this case a woman who is Samaritan. Meaning, like the Good Samaritan, a second-class citizen considered by the Jews to not really be Jewish. And this boundary-crossing event is magnified because this Samaritan is a woman and Jesus speaks to her directly when he asks for a drink of water. I walked through the phases of the encounter, and chose to focus on the fact that once again Jesus fearlessly breaks social convention by speaking to an outsider, and ultimately that leads to him being able to speak to her about worship in Spirit and truth. I know my thinking was shaped by the events Jackson had shared about being confronted by the bullies. My concern was about outsiders, and in our case, these were just normal high school kids, yet they were being treated as outsiders for no good reason.
Youth Fellowship that evening was going well, but when we got to the discussion part, Josh raised his hand and when I asked him what was on his mind he said, “This isn’t about bullying, I mean not really, but it’s kind of related, I mean…uhm, well, I was called a faggot at school this week. What’s wrong with being gay? I mean I know it’s legal in Oregon, so why do people say stuff like that?”
My first thought was if he’d intentionally outed himself, then I realized he was just being honest about what had happened to him. Outing himself probably wasn’t part of the calculation. He was honestly struggling to understand what had happened.
“Josh, first let me say you’re a really honest person, and we all love you for that. If you want to discuss this here in Youth Fellowship, that’s fine. If you’d rather do it in private, that’s fine, too. Or both. It’s your call. As to your question, the reality is that regardless of the laws, the world is full of bigots. That extends to religious bigotry, racial bigotry, gender bigotry and sexual orientation bigotry. For example, when I was back east for my parent’s funeral, I had a heart-to-heart talk with my sister-in-law who’s active in the Equal Rights Amendment movement for women. Why? Because women are still treated like second class citizens. Your question is about bias concerning sexual orientation, and there’s still a lot of that.”
I watched him carefully as I answered, and I could tell he was hearing what I was saying, and also struggling with how much to discuss in public. Finally, he said, “I just don’t understand why people can’t accept other people for who they are. Skin color or gender or religion, or whatever. It just isn’t fair.”
“You’re right, Josh, it isn’t. The world isn’t fair. People are abused and used frequently.”
He was looking directly at me, when he said next, “Okay, there’s bigotry out there and I just got a dose. What does the church say about it?”
There was no dodging this one. “Our church has a complicated position on homosexuality. On the one hand it says we accept homosexuals into our churches.” I stopped there, not knowing if I should drop the bomb.
Josh wasn’t having it. “It doesn’t sound like that’s all of it if you say it’s complicated.”
“That’s not all of it. The Church’s doctrinal position is that homosexuality is a sin. Specifically, that it is a depraved sin. That’s the technical term.” I didn’t want to drop so much on them all that it blew their minds.
“Can you tell me what that means?” He was being really sincere, like he had a few weeks back when he was sharing about being bullied.
Jackson was smiling at me, encouraging me to get into it. I took a breath and looked at everyone.
“This was Josh’s question, and I’m not going to dodge it, but I want to know if you all want me to talk about it, to involve you, or if you’d prefer that Josh and I talk about it one-on-one?”
Everyone said, pretty much, “We want to know!”
So, that led to an explanation that while the Presbyterian Church had a public statement that appeared welcoming, the doctrinal position was simply that all homosexuals were depraved sinners, and then some more discussion about depravity. No one was happy with that. These were Josh’s friends, and even the ones that had just started figuring out that he was probably gay were repulsed by the doctrinal reality
I was hit with a lot of ‘how can that be’ kinds of questions, and that led to a summary discussion of how we were a church formed in the Reformation, had a very strict view of sexual immorality, and the consequences that go along with it. A couple of the girls asked questions and I was able to point out that there was parallel of sorts with the church’s view of women’s rights. “Now, being a woman isn’t considered to be a sin, but women in the Bible are pretty much second-class citizens. That’s created another type of problem, that we embrace women and say they’re equal to men in a lot of ways but won’t ordain them to the ministry. It’s not the same, but there’s a parallel there.”
I could see I had the girl’s attention with that comment.
I looked around, “Questions?”
The obvious question came next. “How can we say we welcome homosexuals and have that doctrinal position? Isn’t that hypocritical?”
I paused there. I couldn’t lie. “Yes, for me personally, that’s exactly was it is. But I don’t make the doctrinal decisions. I can tell you that it’s a complicated subject, that I don’t think the Bible verses used to make the doctrinal case hold up to scrutiny, but the bottom line is that I think we’re trying to have our cake and eat it too. We’re trying to appear welcoming or open, but deep down at the doctrinal level we haven’t changed. And, that’s a problem.”
I think Jackson sensed that I was starting to get flustered about how far this could go with these high school kids, and that I didn’t want to be the source of causing chaos in the youth fellowship.
Out of the blue he said, “But, you know, there is a way to deal with it. We’ve been talking about fellowship and staying together and taking care of each other. That happened to me and Will and Tom the other day, when a bunch of bullies started after me and Will because we wear these Native American bracelets. They’d were calling us fairies, which you all know means they were accusing us of being gay. Then Tom jumped on them about how he wore one, too because he respected Native American warriors, and they backed down. Again! So, it just goes to show if we stick together, we can take care of each other. That’s true whether it’s about wearing jewelry or being gay or being a minority. Josh, we’re all here for you.”
That got a cheer of support, and we wrapped fellowship up with a couple of songs that Will led. Will and Josh stayed behind after everyone left, and the four of us were left in the living room of the parsonage.
Josh smiled and said, “Thanks for helping me understand, and for all of you being so supportive. I know we can all make it if we help each other.”
Will and Jackson gave him a high five, and I smiled. Then Josh looked at me and asked, “Pastor Dave, can I ask you why you wear one of those bracelets too? Are you into Native Americans, too?”
He was a study in innocence as he asked the question, but I could see in his eyes that there was more to it. How to answer this one?
“I got mine because Jackson got it for me. Will joined in and said he’d wear one after Jackson was bullied, as a show of support, and then Tom did too. I guess we’re forming a support group!”
Will and Jackson were quiet.
Josh smiled, and said, “That’s cool. It’s really neat that you guys all care about each other enough to do something like that.”
After school Monday, Jackson said Josh had asked him “where did you get your bracelet? It seems like yours started the chain of events.”
He was on the spot! Did he tell Josh that the first bracelet appeared when I’d given it to him, or did he avoid answering the question and let it kind of hang out there in the void. He decided on the latter, emphasizing how he’d bought one for me and how Tom and Will had come on board. He didn’t think Josh was convinced, but he was a smart and sensitive enough kid not to push for all the details…yet.
Monday dawned with high clouds and some broken sunlight, which is unusual for February in the north Willamette Valley. Maybe it was the sunlight, but we’d all woken early. I’d rolled onto my side, and there was my Lover Boy, already awake and looking at me with his eyes sparkling. One, and only one thought, came to my mind.
“Have I told you today that I love you?”
He smiled. “No, since you just woke up.”
“True, but I can’t think of a better or truer thing to say to start the day. I love you.”
He leaned over and kissed me, stroking the side of my face. “Me, too. Nothing feels better than waking up with you next to me…well, maybe there’s one thing…you know, when that beautiful cock of yours is inside me, and I feel like I’m connected, almost fused to you. Well, then, that feels right up there with what happens the next morning…which is this. You, looking at me, and loving me, and telling me you love me. Are we the luckiest guys in the world, or what?”
“We’re pretty high on the lucky scale.” I kissed him back and stroked his hair back from his forehead. “God, I love you.” And pulled him in for a hard hug.
Finally, I heard him say, “We better get up. I just heard Gary to go to the bathroom, and we’ve both got school. It is Monday, after all.”
I let him use the bathroom, and went downstairs to pee and start the coffee, then looked at the clock. We were half an hour ahead of our usual schedule. Whatever had happened with the time and the sunlight had happened to all three of us. So, I did what a breakfast cook would naturally do, I put some bacon in a frying pay, made the mix for pancakes, ran a banana over a grater and stirred it into the batter, and was ready when they came down.
“How does banana pancakes with bacon sound?”
They both acted surprised first, then started giggling. Finally, Jackson turned to Gary and said, “It’s Okay. He’s a new breakfast cook. We haven’t broken him in yet. That’s why he’s down here cooking barefoot and in boxers with a T-shirt. If the health department came by right now, they’d close this place down!”
That’s when I realized how I was dressed. “Sorry, guys. You can have a prepared breakfast like this,” and I spread my arms, “or you can have a do-it-yourself breakfast and I’ll go shower.”
Gary was on it. “No way you’re cutting out of here, Rev. I’m good with a prepared breakfast made in boxers. Do we call these Boxer Banana Pancakes?”
I grinned, feeling just a little stupid, but knowing it was all in good fun. “Just pour a couple of cups of coffee and sit down. I’ll take care of the rest. Would you feel better if I wore an apron? Maybe then you’d be more comfortable.”
“Oh, no! No way,“ Jackson chimed in, “an apron would make it too fem. You know, like you might be mistaken for a fairy or something!” He was wiggling his eyebrows, knowing Gary didn’t know what was behind the comment.
To Gary’s credit, I could see him getting concerned like the comments may have gone too far. “No worry,” I said, “Jackson is playing off something that happened last week, and we discussed in Youth Fellowship last night. Jackson…tell him the full story.”
And, he did, while I ladeled the pancake batter onto the grill. When I’d served them and then sat down with a plate to join them, Gary was smiling.
“So, let me see how this went. Jackson and Will and Tom stumped the bullies all by themselves, then you got to talk about the church’s position on homosexuality to the youth fellowship kids, and you both managed to avoid letting the cat out of the bag about who started the bracelet thing…or most importantly what happened when Jackson had JC put the bracelet on your wrist.”
I smiled wryly. “You’ve pretty well got it. It was hard though. Josh was so earnest. I don’t think he knew he was outing himself, but he really wanted to understand how people could be so cruel and intolerant. We’ll have to figure out how to play that out. So, you two, I still feel like I’m out of touch from being back east for the funeral. What’s on the schedule for today and this week?”
Gary gave us a rundown of his classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and how well the propagation projects were going. He said he may have to go down to campus both Tuesday and Thursday to stay on top of it.
“You’re really into this, aren’t you?”
He grinned. “Absolutely. I’ve learned so much, and now I’m doing something with it, and it’s working, and the plants are growing like crazy. If I had a greenhouse here, I wouldn’t need to do the other runs to campus, but it is what it is.”
I gave him a thumbs up. “Are you still meeting with Prof. McFall on Fridays?”
He grinned. “Sure am. He’s such a great person. Really positive and supportive. He’s full of suggestions and ideas. I still don’t know what he sees in me, why he spends the time with me.”
As soon as he finished, I saw him flinch, like he’d realized the implications of what he said. Jackson and I were quiet. Gary looked at both of us meekly. He was silent, too. Finally, he said, “that was the old Gary. That was stupid to say. I’m a different person today than I was a year ago. We all are, aren’t we? He’s helped me get to where I am, just like you two have, and it’s so great that he cares about me. I look forward to every Friday when we meet. I just feel so.., I don’t know.”
I thought I understood what he was saying. “Gary?” He looked at me.
“There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s not a competition. You can love lots of people in your life. Loving Prof. McFall doesn’t have any negative impacts on whether or not you love Jackson or me or Lois or anyone else. You know he’s doing what he’s doing because he loves you, don’t you?”
He didn’t say anything for a bit, then said softly, “Yeah, I do. It’s just hard to accept after all our shit.”
I pointed out the kitchen window. “Look, the sun is shining and it’s a new day. It’s a new day, Gary.”
To let him off the hook I turned to Jackson. “And what’s on your schedule this week?”
“The usual classes. World History is still fun, a lot or reading though. Psych is still interesting. English Lit is now into poetry, and we’ve all got to do a poetry reading in the next two weeks.”
“Really? Have you decided what you’re going to do?”
“No, not yet. The teacher said we have a lot of license. She wants it to be interesting and engaging, not just some rote reading of a favorite poem out of a book. I want it to be different and fun and creative too. Any ideas?”
I looked at him, probably like a deer in the headlights. “Poetry? What do I know about reciting poetry?” We were quiet, then I felt myself starting to giggle. They both looked at me like I was on drugs or something.
“What’s up? Come on, give it up?” Jackson was on this one.
“Well, I never had any creative poetry reading sessions, but I did have one kind of outrageous one in seminary.”
“Come on, all the details.”
I told them how I’d gotten pretty close to my New Testament Theology professor who was a great guy as well as a serious academic, and also played the trombone…and had been in a brass quintet when he was in college and seminary. I’d purchased one of their albums and it was good, and we’d even talked about it in class a couple of times. Maybe most importantly, he had a great sense of humor, and we’d even joked around about different stuff before class started sometimes. When finals week arrived my second year, everyone was suddenly very serious, including this professor. The final in this class was half of the quarter’s grade, so we knew it was a big deal, and I decided to take the edge off of it. I had a portable tape recorder and had recorded a track off of a comedy record I had by Spike Jones and his orchestra.
“Yeah, so what happened?”
“Well, the setup was that my fried the professor played by trombone. The classical piece is The Flight of the Bumblebee by Rimsky-Korsakov. But Spike Jones was a band leader and a comedian, and he did this bit where there’s a trombone player with a piano accompaniment and they’re performing The Flight of the Bumblebee. But there’s a problem. A little bit into it the pianist sneezes. It throws things off, but they get going again. Then he sneezes again and again, and finally it gets contagious and the trombone player sneezes too, and it all falls apart.”
“That sounds wild.”
“It was wild, and funny. And it was hilarious at seminary because everyone was supposed to be so serious, and it was finals and all that. And, on top of it, the Prof. had a great sense of humor and laughed along with all the rest of us. Then we took the final exam and that was it.”
“So, what’s the point?”
“The point is just that it doesn’t matter if the thing you want to do is outside the norm or even outrageous. If it’s on subject and if you do it well, it can be a success. I’m sure the President of the Seminary would have suspended me, he was so strict, but the Prof. was cool, and it took the edge off and we all laughed and then took the exam. He kidded me about it for the next year and a half.
Watch the YouTube Video of the Spike Jones band members perform The Flight of the Bumblebee
Gary was chuckling, and he seemed to see the humor in it. I could see a gleam starting to fire up in Jackson’s eyes, like he’d just had an epiphany.
“Are you going to let us in on what you’re thinking?”
“Well, no. I mean, not completely, but you just gave me the key. Will and I have been looking at older Bob Dylan lyrics, and I think you just gave me a different way to approach them as poetry. I’ll let you know.”
It was clear he wasn’t going to say anymore.
“Gary, when do you trade in the Electra and get the pickup?”
“Lois said it’d be this week or next. It’s had a mechanical overhaul and a paint job. Is that cool or what? And then there’s the trailer!”
“I guess you’ll get a real test of its operation driving it to class.” I waved them off to school and washed the dishes.
Wednesday was band practice, and Gary was studying at Lois’ house, so I was alone reading in the living room when Jackson came home. He walked over and dropped into his comfortable position, head in my lap, and pulled my head down for a kiss.
“I’ve missed you. How was band practice?”
“Great! We’re ready for Friday. Miss Albright was there. She is so cool. What other music teacher and choir director would show up for a rock bank practice session? She’s been so much help. I don’t think I could do half of what I’m supposed to do without her, especially the David Bowie song. You know what else is cool? She’s getting turned on to soft rock and roll. Is that radical?”
He was grinning, and I had to agree. Six months ago, she probably would have said it was a type of music associated with the Devil’s spawn, but now she was coaching her student and getting hip along the way.
“David, I have to ask you something. Something really personal that may make you uncomfortable, but I don’t know what to do.”
“Well, after practice tonight, Will gave me a ride home and he told me he and his girlfriend aren’t getting along, and he said he wished his relationship was like ours.”
“Really?” I could feel some type of concern start to rise in my brain.
“Yeah, and that’s cool, but that’s not the main part. We were talking about stuff, you know how it goes, and he starts asking what it’s like to kiss a guy. And I was like, Wow! That’s weird! But I thought he was just, you know, curious. But then we kept talking and I think part of his not getting along with his girlfriend is he wants it to be more physical, you know, like sex and she doesn’t. So, then he was asking me if we had sex? Like he hadn’t figured that out already! And I didn’t get specific, but told him we did, you know cause he’s my best friend and I can’t lie to him. And then he asked me if guys give better blow jobs than girls do.”
“What, he asked you that?” The alarm bells were going off in the back of my head.
“Yeah, and I didn’t know what to say cause I’ve only ever done anything with you. So, I told him I didn’t know, cause I didn’t have a way to compare. And the he gets all kind of dreamy and says how great you are and how great it must be to make love to you, and I think I know where this conversation is going and I tell him to hurry up and get me home, I mean he asked me at the end what it feels like to have your dick sucked by a guy, and I figured the next thing was that he was going to ask me if I’d suck his dick.”
I could feel something like panic rising in my chest now. I just looked at him. “Would you?”
“What?” There was an air of offense in his question.
“Well no, but you know we were talking, and he was asking and he’s my best friend. I mean you’re my boyfriend and lover. But I couldn’t lie to him or just shut him down, could I?”
“I don’t know. That sounds like a pretty presumptuous conversation. I mean, he knows about our relationship, doesn’t he?”
“Yeah, but not any details, and he’s covering for us in a way by wearing the bracelet to protect me at school. Really, David, don’t flip out. I think he’s just thinking all this stuff because he’s hurting in his relationship right now.”
“Okay, I can accept that. If he asked you to, would you kiss him? I mean, you’re a great kisser. You could probably show him a thing or two about certain techniques. Like, for instance, how to use your tongue.” I was grinning and wiggling my eyebrows.
“Are you suggesting I should do this? Like lead him on or give him lessons?”
“No, I’m just exploring the range of possibilities that his comments opened up. After kissing, do you think he’s asking you to suck his dick?”
“No! No! That’s not what I said. What I said was I thought I could imagine him asking that based on how the conversation was going, but that’s not what happened.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I guess I jumped to wrong conclusions. Do you think that’s where he wants it to go?”
“I don’t know. I really don’t think so. He’s straight. At least I think he’s straight. I think he’s toying with ideas because he can’t get what he wants in his own relationship. I took it as a compliment that he wished his relationship was like ours. Deep down I don’t think he meant that about sex. I think he meant it about the nature of our relationship. Our love. How connected we are. And, yes, sex is part of it, but not all of it. Right?”
I had to do a double take. “Jackson, I’m sorry. I misunderstood and jumped to the wrong conclusions. I didn’t mean to imply you’d go off and suck some guys cock, Will’s or anyone else’s. That’s not what I meant.”
“I know you didn’t. I’m just telling you what happened. No secrets, right?”
“Right. And I think I’m just pretty tender right now.”
“I know you’re going through a ton of shit, even if you aren’t in touch with all the feelings yet, so no foul, no harm. Okay?”
“But there’s something else to consider. He’s not a stupid guy. Subconsciously he did this for a reason. Maybe he’s trying to work something out he doesn’t even know about consciously.”
“What are you saying, that he may be gay?”
“No, I don’t think so, but he may be struggling with his identity somehow. He’s your friend, if he needs help you need to be there for him. Like you’re here for me now.”
He was looking straight up at me, his eyes sparking. I felt something break and started to sob. He pulled my head down to his, my forehead on his.
“David, it’s Okay, I love you so much. Just let it go, Okay. Feel it and work it through.”
I reached my arms around his shoulders and pulled him up to me, clasping him like a mother holds a new-born baby.
“I’d be lost without you.”
“I love you, too.”
“I’m sorry if I’m so touchy and sensitive and emotional.”
“David, your parents just died. You went back east to bury them. You’re entitled to feel this way. Come on. Lighten up on yourself, Okay? You’re human, too. And guess what?”
He made me say “What””
“I love you more than anything in the world. Even if you are emotionally messed up right now. You know, like I was emotionally messed up only three months ago after my Mom died. And by the way, there’s not another cock in the world that I would suck without your explicit permission.”
He grinned as he said it, and I had to grin back, letting go of my paranoia.
“You’re right. I’m the one that’s messed up right now. Thanks for stepping up and taking care of me. When I talked to Paul Gallagher last week, he said similar things about how great it was that you were holding me accountable and making me work through my feelings while also supporting me.
I leaned back, smiling wanly, I’m sure.
“That’s why I love you, Rev. What we’ve got is called reciprocity, right? You take care of me, and I’ll take care of you. Isn’t that what lovers do?”
I was feeling better already. He’d talked me up and out of my pit of sensitivity and self-pity and paranoia. “You know what? If Will needs lessons in kissing, I’m Okay with you giving them to him!”
I could see his eyes widen, and then he grinned and pulled me down for another kiss.
The next day a delivery van pulled up out front, and what was inside was my father’s dictionary stand with the massive dictionary to sit atop it. I had the delivery people unpack it and take it down the street to the parsonage and set it up in the office.
Jackson thought it was great that Michael had completed that part of the estate settlement so quickly. And, he was right.
Before I left the office and headed home, I called Paul and described what Jackson had told me the night before about Will. “I think you’re right, he’s probably not gay, but he may be bisexual. I also think you’re right that he’s struggling with his identity, and most of what happened was subconscious. I think there’s two issues for you guys out there.”
He waited. “Go on, I’m all ears.”
“Jackson is his best friend and he, and both of you, have to decide if Jackson is up to entering into this dialogue to help his friend explore and understand who he really is—knowing that it could turn into more than you anticipate. That may sound shocking but consider the reality that there is no one besides your best friends who are better positioned to help a person do that. You two have to talk about it, decide yes or no, and then what the boundaries are. Do you follow what I’m saying?”
“I think so, it’s just new to me.”
“Understood. But ask yourself how different and maybe better you own life might have been if you’d had someone like this who accepted who you were and was willing to help you explore and understand it. If we took the gay part and the sex part out of it, isn’t it really just helping people discover and develop themselves? You know, like the church is supposed to do?”
“Yeah, but couldn’t it get out of hand?”
“It could. That’s why I said what I did about setting boundaries. If you guys decide to help, Jackson has to decide what the boundaries are. Kissing? Letting him feel what it’s like to hold a guy, to be held by one. Whatever. I’m not suggesting a trial orgy or anything. I’m talking about identity exploration. There is something different that concerns you.”
“I’m already involved in and concerned about what you just described.”
“David, let go for a minute and be the kids pastor, please. It’ll be hard but step away from your relationship. If it wasn’t Jackson, and two high school boys in youth fellowship came to you to talk about the same situation, what would you do?”
The bell rang. “I don’t know. I’m not a sex therapist or anything like that.”
“You don’t need to be. It may be a new area for you, but you just need some of the terminology to help one or both of them answers the questions they’re starting to ask about themselves.”
“That makes sense, so what are they?”
“For a young man trying to answer the sexual identity question, it pretty well comes down to two main things. First, how do they react, consciously or unconsciously when they see another young man that fits their profile of sexy, if they have one. You know, like the average guy is at the beach and a sexy girl walks by in a bikini and certain mental and physical things happen, right? Then five minutes later an equally sexy guy could walk by in a Speedo and you and I would react a certain way, while the average guy wouldn’t. If I remember correctly, you had an experience like that last year. It had something to do with a pair of tight cutoffs and a green T-shirt, didn’t it?”
I could imagine the smile on his face as he asked that question! “Yes, it did, and I understand what you’re saying. Try to help them figure out what sets off that reaction, what turns them on.”
“Right. And the second thing, and this is usually in confidential counseling, when they’re willing to open up and discuss the possibilities, is to ask what it is they think about when they’re masturbating. A lot of guys can’t give an answer, which seems strange but is true. They claim they’re just relieving pressure or something like that. But the reality is that there’s always something going on in their mind whether they know it or not, whether they’re in touch with it or not.”
I paused, mentally racing. “I was one of those guys. I can say now that I was so compartmentalized and emotionally shut down that I would have told you I didn’t think of anything, I just jacked off because I needed to.”
Paul chuckled on the other end of the line. “We don’t have a way to go back and relive it and test them, but I’m guessing we both know what you were thinking about even if you can’t remember it. By the way, I’ve been there, too! Seriously, though, and this is important. You’ve got a potentially delicate situation on your hands. This is your boyfriend’s best friend. That is important and has to be handled properly. What you and Jackson do could make an absolutely huge difference in this young man’s life.”
“No pressure, right?”
“Look, I know you can handle the minister and counseling part of it. I know there’ll also be paranoia and feeling merging on jealousy because this involves your boyfriend and lover. That said, Jackson’s in the arena too, and if he wants to help his friend, you should assist. If he wants to call me and talk about it, I’m open to do that too.”
“Paul, you’re the best. When are you coming out to Oregon to visit?”
“Could be next summer. Who knows! Now, I’ve got to go. Hang in there, brother, you’re doing good work.”
The rest of the week moved along pretty normally, and suddenly it was Friday night. Jackson had spoken to Susan about me being at the school dance as another adult monitor, and she’d not only agreed, but embraced the idea. JC had called the day before to say he couldn’t shift his schedule around to be with us this weekend, but Jackson made him feel good about it, and they talked about possibilities for Spring Break.
I met Susan outside the auditorium well before the dance started, and when we walked in, we could see the band setting up their instruments and equipment.
“Jackson is pretty impressed with the coaching you’ve given him. I mean even going to band practice. That’s outside the norm for a music teacher and choir director, isn’t it?”
She smiled, then said, “Only if you have a literalist view of those jobs. I’ve always had the view that one does what is best for the student, what helps them advance. So, going to band practice was simply part of the formula. I can tell you though, that he’s a natural. He learns fast, he has a very good voice, and I don’t know yet if he knows that he loves to sing, but I think he’s figuring out that when he sings, something different, perhaps something magical happens.”
“Wow. That’s saying something.”
“Well, yes. But on the other hand, for most people singing is a mechanical thing. For performers, for people who can really sing, it is something else. It’s transcendent. When they sing, they are transported to another place, another plane. You’ve seen it, whether you’ve seen Pavarotti or Sinatra or whomever. Jackson has some of that natural ability. That’s all.”
“So, I shouldn’t be worried about tonight?”
“Not at all. When he gets into the groove, into the voice, he’s there, and it’s wonderful to experience. It’s not like he’s forcing something that’s unnatural. Rather, he’s being natural, he’s just letting the real him out. Will is much the same way, but he has a different voice and he also plays guitar.”
I didn’t know what to say. She took my hand and quietly said, “It’s like much of his relationship with you, and yours with him. You bring out the best in each other. The relationship you have together is that between two pure souls.”
I was speechless. “Now I’m getting embarrassed.”
“Stop it. It’s true. Just accept it.”
We were silent then, watching the band do their sound check, and shortly after, watching the students start to arrive for the dance.
The Jaybirds played two set of covers. It ranged across the popular songs to some older Eagles tunes, a Buffalo Springfield song, and up to more recent popular songs. They even threw in The Association’s Never My Love, which was a stretch because it was over ten years old and the original has such intricate harmonies, but it was such a great love song for slow dancing.
Most of the jock bullying crew was there with their dates, and there was a little bit of banter between them during the song introductions that Will or Jackson did. Right before the intermission, though, something unusual happened.
Jackson had the mic and said “We’re going to do one more song, then take a short break, then we’ll be back for the second half. Before we do though, we want to recognize the main guys from our football team that are here. They worked hard last season, and while they didn’t take state (that got a lot of laughter!) they still did a great job for our school. Whether they know it or not, they’re warriors. Football warriors. How about a round of applause for them?”
I knew right them that he had the bully crowd under control. I thought to myself that his Psych teacher should be here to see a perfect example of co-opting an adversary! When they came back, the second set went smoothly, alternating between slow and faster songs until they got to the last song of the evening.
Jackson had the mic and paused to get everyone’s attention. “Just so you know, it was my birthday last October, and one of the gifts I got was the new David Bowie album. It’s called Heroes, and it’s so new you may not have heard the title song yet.”
He went on to tell the audience the story of the song, about Berlin, the couple kissing at the wall, and then said, “We’re going to perform it now for you, for the first time in public for us, and also the first time it’s ever been performed in Newberg! You need to know a couple of things. This would never have happened without one of my favorite people, Miss Albright, our music teacher and choir director, who coached us all on how to pull this off. Are you getting what I’m saying? Our CHOIR DIRECTOR helped this rock band work out how to sing this song.”
There was a raucous round of applause following that. “So, here’s to the hippest choir director in the state of Oregon, Miss Albright.”
Susan was blushing, probably afraid she’d never live it down, but she waved to the crowd.
Then Jackson went on. “David Bowie wrote this song in Berlin, and he watched what was happening with the Wall and all that, and it’s basically a song about two people coming together in spite of all the obstacles. Obstacles like the Berlin Wall, guards with machine guns, all that stuff. That’s what he’s singing about. But in spite of all that, the lovers could be together, and they could be Heroes, even if just for one day.”
“So, we’re going to perform it for you, for the first time.” There was another raucous round of applause and hollering at that.
“Are you ready? Do you want to hear David Bowies’ newest song?” He was getting the crowd going now.
“Okay, here we go, and I’m dedicating this song to my hero. To the most important person in my life.”
Then off they went, but the telling thing for me was that he made the lyric switch that he had pointed out to me made no sense to him the first time he’d heard the song when I gave him the album Paul had brought back from Berlin for me to give him for his birthday.
His point then had been that the line Though nothing, nothing will keep us together, didn’t’ really make sense since this was a love song about two lovers having a chance to be “us,” to be together. He changed the lyrics here to:
This love, this love will keep us together.”
He didn’t bother changing anything in the line that says, “I will be King, you will be Queen.”. It was unnecessary. But secretly I was thinking it could be “I will be King, and you will be Prince,” and both of us could interchange those roles. What he’d done with the simple change to “this love, this love will keep us together,” was enough for me.
It was a small band performance, and it didn’t have the backing of studio musicians, but they’d worked at it, and it was lyrical and rhythmic, and the lyrics were delivered with punch where needed, with nice back up from Will and Tom too. It was magical. Of course, I was the most biased person in the audience, and pretty well unable to make an objective assessment.
The high school audience got into it immediately because they’d been set up, and the rhythm of the song was easy to follow. They got right with it, loved the way the song developed, and were singing along on the chorus in no time. Most were standing there watching and listening, not even trying to dance. As Jackson hit the high notes, and then as he delivered the lyrics’ punch, you could see the audience react.
Susan was smiling widely, happy as a clam at how her student was performing well. Most of the student audience was swaying to the rhythm of the song, slowly singing along with the chorus and starting to sing along with “we could be heroes, just for one day.”
When it was over, they went nuts. Hooting and hollering, jumping up and down, and otherwise expressing their appreciation. It was a wonderful experience because Jackson and the band had delivered something new and really cool for them in this little farm town in the Willamette Valley, and they had heard and engaged and appreciated what had been performed for them, and let the band know how great it had been.
Watch and listen again on YouTube to an alternate take of the earliest version of David Bowie singing Heroes in the late 1970’s
Leaning against a side wall, I was quietly reveling in what he had done. That the song was dedicated to his hero, that he’d changed the lyrics to describe our relationship, and knowing deep down that like me, he was focused on the central message that “we could be us” not just for one day, but hopefully for the rest of our lives.
I saw Susan look at me, but I couldn’t say anything. I knew if I started to try and talk about it, I would break down. I was still that emotionally fragile. I just smiled at her, knowing my eyes were red, and she squeezed my hand back, and whispered in my ear, “Just like I told you, a relationship between two pure souls, and he just put it into song!”
I was still standing next to Susan a few minutes later, watching the band break down their instrument and sound system when Lois and Gary came up to us.
She gave me a hug and said, “That was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard. I mean the song and what Jackson said about it and about his hero.”
I swallowed hard, choking up, and managed to squeak out, “If I have to talk about it now, I’m going to start crying.” She hugged me again and said, “That’s cool, but we’ll talk tomorrow, Okay?” Then she kissed me on the cheek, and I saw Gary giving me a thumbs up.
“Are you cooking breakfast in your boxers tomorrow morning,” he asked?
“For you, my favorite bro, I’m happy to. Maybe you want to invite Susan and Ellen too?”
Gary grinned and asked Susan if she’d been told I cooked breakfast earlier in the week in boxers and a T-shirt?
She was nonplussed, and said, “I’m sure the quality of the food was as good as ever, am I right?”
Gary grinned. “Yeah, but it’s just the idea. Anyway, did you hear, you’re both invited for breakfast tomorrow morning! See you at home, Rev!” He took Lois’ hand and they headed out of the auditorium.
“Amazing transformation with Gary,” Susan said to me when they were out of hearing range.
“Yeah, he’s really starting to come into himself, and it’s great to watch, and it’s happening in tandem with Lois and that’s wonderful. You should have been at the house when Jackson gave him the lecture about being open and honest with her about their future and what he hoped for and making sure he shared it, so they were both part of it. It was classic.”
Susan paused, looking straight at me, with an expression of both candor and love, “Very good to hear. They are made for each other. And, on a related note, about you and Jackson and your future relationship?”
“God, Susan. Talk about putting me on the spot. Here in the school auditorium, to boot! I’ll tell you everything I know and feel, but I don’t think this is the place. Do you want to come to our house for breakfast tomorrow?”
She smiled. “I’ll have to confer with Ellen, and it likely won’t work. We’ll catch up some time. You’ve made me feel comfortable enough just saying you’ll tell me all of it and inviting me for breakfast. I’ll take a rain check. Maybe you and Jackson and I can get together and catch up on all of that soon.”
I kissed her on the cheek. “We will. And I want you to be sure to know that you and Ellen are not only our best friends, but you saved us, and assured that we got to this point in our relationship, and we will love you both forever for that!”
Jackson insisted that he do his part as a band member in terms of breaking down the sound system, loading it up and hauling it back to Will’s house. He wouldn’t have any part of me helping or even carrying part of the equipment in the El Camino. He was part of the band and doing his share of the work.
I was in bed reading when I heard him come up the stairs an hour later.
As he walked in the bedroom door, he looked a little tired, but still pumped.
I smiled widely at him, and he smiled back saying, “It was a great night, but seeing you sitting there in bed like that really frosts the cake!”
“Come on, give me a break. You were the star tonight, you killed it with Heroes, and you’re trying to tell me that seeing me sitting here in bed tops that?”
He paused, his thoughts coalescing, and then he said, “You’re missing something. I’m telling you that the highlight of my night is that I sang about my hero tonight, and then as I walk into my bedroom, my hero is right here before me!”
That hit hard, as I knew there was probably nothing he could have said tonight that would be more substantive than that. I held out my arms, and he gracefully walked across the room to me. He stopped at the side of the bed and reached out his hands and touched them to mine, holding that finger-to-finger touch for ten or fifteen seconds, then he withdrew his hand and slowly started unbuttoning his shirt, staring directly at me.
He dropped the shirt on the floor, still holding my gaze, and I could tell by the motion of his legs that he was pulling off his shoes and socks. His holding gaze continued, and his eyes were sparkling as he undid the snap on his Levis and let them drop to the floor. He was standing there now, dressed only in his boxers. He was gorgeous, radiant in fact.
Then he pushed his boxers down and stepped out of them, and I could see he was half hard. He reached out his hands again, and I responded, and he touched his to mine.
“This is what I’ve wanted all night. To be with my Sexy Man. To be with my hero.”
“You are so beautiful. You were wonderful tonight. You had the audience in the palm of your hand. You handled the bullies like a pro. You sang beautifully. And on top of all that, you dedicated that song to me and made me feel like the most important person on the planet.”
“As far as I’m concerned, you are.”
He stepped closer, running his hands down my arms, then across my shoulders and up my neck to hold my jaw and stroke my cheeks with his thumbs.
“You’re my Sexy Man. There’s no place else on this planet that I want to be right now than right here.”
I was right on the edge. He’d had the great night, he’d had a killer performance, he’d created a whole new fan base he hadn’t had before. He’d been cheered while on stage. But he’d just told me that being here, naked in front of me, was where he wanted to be.
“I hope you’re naked under those sheets!”
I gulped and said, “I can be in about three seconds,” and proceeded to accomplish the task.
He leaned over and drew back the sheets and tossed them aside, sitting down on the edge of the bed as he rubbed his fingertips into my pubes. He was still holding my gaze, not releasing me, and I felt myself get hard.
Then his hand had my cock, holding it firmly in his firmness and warmth, ever so slowly starting to stroke, his eyes blazing now.
“All that talk with Will about kissing and sucking cocks and stuff, remember?”
I nodded. Our eyes were still locked together.
“It made me have to think about it. To question. And I realized that there’s only one guy I want to kiss. And there’s only one cock I want to suck. And they both are called David. Will you kiss me now, and then make love to me. I mean kiss me like there’s no tomorrow, and fuck me like it’s the end of the world? Because that’s how I feel. You’re my hero and you’re my lover and you’re my best friend, and there’s nothing I want more right now than to feel you move inside of me.”
I smiled, the implication of what he’d just said slowly expanding across my brain. I pulled him to me and kissed him as deeply as I knew how.
When we came up for air I said, “You know with us that it won’t be ‘just for one day,’ don’t you?”