1 – Blog 01 – Summer Vacation 1973

The conclusion of the Vietnam War means all my base friends’ parents are being discharged or transferred and leaving Alaska. It’s also the year of Watergate. The hearings run endlessly on TV. The adults prefer this lulling sense of disaster to the rapidly approaching disruption in their own lives. It must be soothing that the President is also losing his job. My dad retires after twenty years and has a job with Teledyne in Miami. For me, it is just another move, no big deal.



First comes the annual summer vacation to our New England relatives. Since his family is moving too, Tom the snowmobile thrasher, gets to come with me south. Dad drives 100 mph on the Al-Can Highway south to Haynes. Mom moans about hitting a moose and dying. Tom and I sit in the back of the station wagon, playing cards and farting. We stop to catch up on the latest Watergate news in Great Falls MT, where other Elmendorf friends relocated. The highlight is going to the drive-in to see “Deliverance,” pretty normal outdoors adventure action with Burt Reynolds, until the hillbillies rape the fat guy. As he squeals like a pig, Tom & I watch in wide-eyed wonder. The parents keep quiet. Heading east we leave Tom at his grandparents, who live twenty miles off the Interstate at an old railroad water stop. Now it’s a bunch of retirees living in trailers around the town’s one attraction, a pool hall & bar. It’s cool because they let us in at night to play pool. The bartender asks Tom if we want a drink. He orders two beers. All the old-timers smile as we get root beers, big time laugh in the sticks. When we get ready to leave, Tom gives me a big hug. I realize we will never see each other again. He is cool for someone a year younger. I am fourteen that summer, ready to turn fifteen and go to high school.

We eventually get to New England, just in time for the summer highlight in Stockbridge MA, the Fourth of July celebration. Aunt Helen is my dad’s big sister. She lives, with her husband Terry and my cousins, in the old house that was my grandparents. In the room over the garage you can still smell the cherry pipe tobacco Grandpa smoked. My older cousin Joey lives up there now. The tobacco smell nicely masks the pot he smokes. Joey is19, out of high school, and a hippie. As he is five years older, he always ignores me. I remember when he had to babysit my cousins and me.  He tickled me non-stop until I pee’d my pants. He always brings it up; I was six when that happened. When Joey was in high school, he stops being a pain and just ignores me; he changes then, with long hair and a teen attitude. Uncle Terry now harasses him, while Aunt Helen usually takes his side. It makes him even more distant. This year Joey is a lot cooler to me, maybe because I am finally going to high school.

My other cousins, Jeff and Jerry, are ten and eight. They always spend most of my visits hanging on to me like I am their personal plaything. This year I ask Mom if I can sleep somewhere other than the boys’ room. I say I need my privacy. I believe that sounds cool. When we arrive, Mom announces, in front of everyone, “Timmy thinks he’s too old to stay with the boys this year.”
“Why Timmy, don’t you know how much the boys look forward to your visit?”
“Yes, Aunt Helen. I just thought I could sleep on the porch this summer, it being so hot and all.”
So Jeff pipes in, “Can we all sleep on the porch, Mom?”
“Well, okay, but I don’t want a mess. No loud noises to bother the neighbors. Is that all right with you, Timmy?”
“Yes, Aunt Helen.”
“Just call me Helen, if you want.”
“Yes, Aunt Helen.” So much for privacy.
Except this time, Joey takes me aside. “I know what’s up. You can hang out in my room this year. It’ll be cool.”
“Really?” Now I know what the boys feel about me staying with them.
“Yeah, I said it’s cool.”
Joey converted the room over the garage from Grandpa’s weekly poker den of iniquity into his own complete hippie pad. With a water-bed and posters of Jimi Hendrix, The Who, and Dr Zigzag, lit up by a black-light, it is cool. The ceiling is covered by a madras cloth. He even has a bong which he tells Aunt Helen is a lamp. The first night Joey says he is going out and not even to ask about tagging along. Stockbridge is famous because the painter Norman Rockwell lives here. He illustrated all those American magazines of the ‘30s and ‘40s. They are the pictures you see on doctor’s walls of families doing normal things during the Depression, like eating Thanksgiving dinner.

Of more fleeting fame is Alice’s Restaurant; you know the Arlo Guthrie song: ‘Walk right in, it’s around the back, just a half mile from the railroad tracks. You can get anything you want from Alice’s Restaurant…… exceptin’ Alice.’

Sherman, Garry / Guthrie, Arlo
Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, THE BICYCLE MUSIC COMPANY, Royalty Network

It’s still right there in Stockbridge. Arlo lives somewhere near.
So I ask Joey, “Are you still hanging out at Alice’s?”
“Naw, not so much, but you know the line about getting what you want? That’s me that’s getting’ it now.”
“Forget it. Gotta go.”

It feels cool just being accepted for the first time. Joey is changed. His hair is not so long and wild. He doe not wear bell-bottoms anymore. Now he’s being cool to me. I hang out with Jeff and Jerry that night. It takes them about a minute to forgive me for not staying with them on the porch. All they say is “How can you stand Joey? He’s a weirdo and everything.”

I tell them someday they will grow up.

When Joey gets back that night, I am already asleep on the old leather couch. In the morning, he sleeps until noon. Aunt Helen makes us breakfast while Uncle Terry comments about it being lunchtime and why is he not looking for a job. Joey just takes the food to his room over the garage. When I go up there later, he is listening to music on headphones. He asks if I want to listen.
“Here’s a song about Alaska.”

Except it is about a prostitute who is as cold as Alaska.
“Who that’s?” I ask.
“Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground.”
“Oh. ‘Walk on the Wild Side?’”

“You’ve heard that?”
“Sure. I’m not that uncool. I smoke pot.”
“So, what happens?”

“What do you mean?”

“What happens when you smoke pot?”
“I throw up.”
“Great. No, what happens to you? Does it change your life?”
“I guess. I’m growing up.”
“No. Doesn’t anything cosmic happen?”
“I looked at the stars, start to spin out, and threw up. Then we listened to Black Sabbath all night. I thought you liked Heavy Metal, too?”
“That was last year. Now I’m into Glitter.”
“You know. T-Rex, Bowie, some Alice Cooper. I’m going to see some bands at the Fillmore East this weekend.”
“You’re going to New York?”
“Yeah, but don’t even ask. I had to kill to get a ticket. Anyway, it seems like Sabbath is too much for you.”
“That happened before we listened to the music.”
“Well, it’s not that cool to do drugs.”
“Well, you’re the expert.”
“Oh, a wise ass.”
“It runs in the family.”
“So does this,” and he pops me on the arm. “Remember, shit runs downhill around here.”
Some things never change.

Later that night, Joey asks me to go out with him. Of course, we go to Alice’s. Joey parks me at a table and proceeds to visit just about everyone there. I wonder why several people give him money. He tells me he’s buying them things at the concert in New York. A couple of his friends come by to talk with me, like, “What’s up?” “What’s happening?” It’s boring. Being at Alice’s reminds me of a junior high dating disaster last year. When the movie “Alice’s Restaurant” came to Anchorage, I was jazzed and got everyone to go. I asked Julie to go with me. She’s the teen queen we all immortalize on the Bobby Sherman song, “Julie Julie Julie, do you love me?”

I plan on impressing everyone with my personal connection to Alice’s. Part way through the movie, Julie gets offended by the foul language and insists we leave. The mom driving agrees, so we all leave. I do not see any advantage in noting my personal experience with such a disgusting place and group of people. Needless to say, Julie moves on to bigger junior high conquests. While driving home in Joey’s van, I tell him the whole story. We laugh at how uptight the whole world is, except, of course, for us. I really feel part of his world when he brings out the bong and swears me to total secrecy. I also agree to go outside if I need to barf.

“So, was this Julie the main squeeze in your school? Was she a slut?”
“No way. She was the ice queen of Alaska, like Caroline in the Lou Reed song.”
“So, have you gotten laid yet?” The question of death for all 14-year-old virgins.
“Naw. It hasn’t come up yet.” And, we really laugh at that one.
“So, it doesn’t work?”
“No. It checks out fine. It’s waiting to be discovered. So, tell me about your conquests.”
“I don’t kiss and tell, man.”
“Well, you don’t look like a virgin, but you never know.”
“You’ll find getting laid is different from what you think. I’ll leave it to your imagination.”
He gets out a couple of headphones and turns on his stereo. I am so tripped out listening to the Moody Blues’ “Knights in White Satin,” that I fall off the stool where I am rocking back and forth.

“Got to learn to ride before you fly,” Joey warns me.

The next morning is the Fourth of July. We both sleep past noon. When we do come down, the boys look disappointed in me.

Uncle Terry’s comment to my dad, “Looks like Joey’s found a convert. Once he sucks his blood, they won’t get up until after sunset.”

I realize how easy it is to ignore adults. I do try to play with Jeff and Jerry, but they remain distant. I guess they write me off as another victim to teenage doom and gloom.
When I go up to the room, the door is locked.  I yell to Joey to let me in. He tells me to cool it for a minute. After five minutes he comes down and unlocks the outside door. He has a towel wrapped around his head and his face looks funny.
“I’m getting ready to go to New York.”
“I thought the concert was tomorrow?”
“Yeah. Things ta do, places ta be, people ta see. I leave in a couple of hours. Here, take a toke on this joint.”
“Jeez, let me in so no one sees.”
After getting high, I ask what he’s doing.
“ I toldja, getting’ ready for da City, doin’ my hair, face, outfit. So, whadda ya think?” and he takes the towel off his head. He’s cut off most of his hair. What remains sticks straight up and is dyed bright red.
“Oh, Man, you’re crazed.” For years I have tried to grow out my hair, with little success without parental permission. “I’ll never cut my hair.”
“That’s because ya neva had any to cut. Check out this make-up,” as he sits in front of the mirror and begins to apply mascara to his eyes. I stand there wide-eyed for the half hour it takes to do his face. I totally forget about the joint. When he’s done, there is a stripe, like a lightning bolt running down the center of his face, with heavy blue eye shadow over a pancake base, and a light dusting of glitter in his hair. I ask where his false eyelashes are. I’m about to ask about his false tits, but his glare stops me.
“You tell anyone and you die. You’re just a hick from the sticks; whadda ya know?”
“No, Joey, man. It’s cool. I just never saw a guy in makeup before.”

He picks up an album cover and throws it at me.  It’s David Bowie. He looks even cooler.
“Man, you really got the look. What are you going to do tonight?”
“Just hang at St Mark’s.”
“Man, I wish I could go.”
“Yeah, but ya woodn’t make yaself up.”
“Yes, I would!” I jump at the possibility of going.
“Well, ya betta learn how it’s done. ” He sits me down in front of his mirror and starts to put pancake base on my face. Soon I look like a ghost, then a skull with blackened eyes, and finally a clown with stripes running every which way.
“The hair’s wrong,” he says, as he reaches for the shears.
“No way man, the hair stays.”
“Then smoke more of this,” as he shoves the joint in my face. Soon I look like a poodle home from the doggie salon. The facial makeup does look better. I am too stoned to care. By this time, he has put on long, tight jeans, a body shirt that make it obvious he has no muscles, and tall six-inch platform boots with glitter on the heels.
“Do I look hot or what,” he pushes me away from the mirror. “Well, gotta go. Later days and better lays. Turn off the stereo when ya leave. And don’t touch my stash.”

Then he’s gone. I half expected him to ask me along. I am too stoned to care. I just stare at myself in the mirror for half an hour. Then Jeff yells from outside, “Hey, Timmy, let me up. I saw the weirdo leave. Come on.”
“No way Jose. I promised Joey I wouldn’t.”
“Aw, man. Well come on. We’re ready to go to the fireworks.”
Oh, shit. “I’ll be down in a minute.” I jump out of my clothes and into the shower. After about twenty minutes of scrubbing, I think I look okay. When I meet everyone on the porch, I’ve forgotten about my hair.
“What happened to you? Get caught in a lawnmower?
“He’s joining the Army.”
“Timmy, what has come over you?”
”I’ll bet the weirdo did it. He’s under his spell.”
“It’s okay. Just ask next time you want a haircut. We can afford to pay for a decent one.”

It goes on like that endlessly. I feel distant from them, for the first time. The fireworks help. They never seemed so vivid and bright.   I actually flinch from the explosions once or twice. I split from the family and meet kids I knew several years before. It seems easy to hang out with them, my normal shyness gone. When I get home that night, I put the Lou Reed album on the stereo, stick earphones on, turn on the black light, falling into a dreamless sleep on Joey’s waterbed. I don’t care that he never changes the sheets. I come down late for breakfast to the same derision normally reserved for Joey. I say I was up late with the kids I met at the fireworks. My mom inspects my hair. Aunt Helen makes me breakfast. When I start to take my plate up to the room, she stops me, “Whoa cowboy. You’re not Joey yet.”
I stay at the house and actually enjoy playing Monopoly with everyone for the rest of the day. Instead of watching the Watergate hearings on TV, I go to bed early. I put on the headphones, and smoke the remainder of yesterday’s joint.
Swiftly I reach la-la land.

Sometime in the middle of the night I awake to Joey swaying unsteadily by the bed. He is buck-ass naked. In the black-lit room, his skinny, white body seems to glow like a zombie’s. Until he falls into bed, he does not know that I still am in it.
“Joey, it’s me. How come you’re home?”
“Aw, man. What’s happenin’? Give me back my bed. Naw, just move over. I’m too fucked up to care. Shit. What a trip. I am so wasted.”
He is all sweaty, but touching him, he is cold.
“Are you sick?”
“Yeah, I’m sick. I itch all over. Be a good little cousin and scratch my back. Yeah, up and down. With your nails. Now, over on the right side. That feels great. Just keep it up. Long strokes. All over my back. Now do my scalp. Yeah, use your nails. Hands on both sides of my head. Now, my back again. Aw, that feels so good. Do my shoulders. Up and down my arms. Careful inside my elbow. I got a cut there. Yeah. You’re the greatest.”

This scratching seems to go on for hours. Joey has an unquenchable itch. He lapses into what seems sleep, but if I stop, he says he just nodded out. I keep scratching him. I do his chest and stomach, all the way down to his pubic hairs, then his legs and feet. The more he moans and tells me to keep going, the harder I scratch, and the deeper he moans. His body starts to writhe like a snake. He says it feels so good. As I start to scratch higher on the fronts of his legs, he begins to carelessly caress my chopped hair. He rolls over and says to do behind his knees, then higher on the back of his thighs. He arches his back, and, then taking my hands, he lays them on the white mounds of his butt. I scratch back and forth, watching them jiggle like jello. My thumbs rub the top of his butt crack, slowly working down into the fine pubic hairs of his ass. Joey arches more and more as my thumbs scratch the pubic hair. His breathing becomes deeper. Then his feet reach around behind my legs and pull me tight against his body. He takes my right hand and sticks the middle and forefingers into his mouth, first sucking on them, then covering them with spit. Firmly he places my fingers in his ass. I massage his hole with the wet fingers. Slowly the hole expands as he arches back and forth, pushing himself onto my fingers. While my fingers work in and out, the other hand keeps rubbing and scratching his left butt cheek, pulling it aside while my right fingers move inside his butt hole. The spit makes sucking noises as I push and pull my fingers into and out his ass. His butt hole clenches and loosens when I touch certain spots. His legs wrap around the back of my thighs and his heels hold me against him. The water-bed is moving in steady waves. Finally, lying on top of Joey, I realize I have the worst hard-on ever; it is so rock hard, I fear that the skin will break. Joey spits into his own hand, wipes it all over my dick, grabs it by the shaft, and sticks the head into his butt, while arching to take it. As soon as I enter him, his whole body relaxes. It feels like I am pushing into the water-bed and that he may drown. At the end of that first thrust, I grab him around the stomach and pull him out of the water-bed. His butt tightens on my dick, squeezing it hard. I thrust again. He loosens his butt to receive my entire dick. As soon as my thrust ends, his butt squeezes even harder than the first time. I feel my dick being squeezed out his asshole. I thrust strongly. He groans as we go into the water-bed again. His butt relaxes to receive even more of my dick. Again and again I thrust into him; again. Again he tightens and threatens to push me out his butt. I grab him first by the shoulders, then by the hips, holding on for all my worth. His legs reach around behind my calves, his feet rubbing from my knees to my ankles. Each time he tries to push me out, I thrust harder. The water-bed is like a sea storm, as we slosh back and forth, side to side. My breathing becomes as heavy as his, pulling in air in the rhythm of our fucking. My feet find the sides of the water-bed frame as a brace for my thrusts. I hold Joey so he cannot move, thrusting faster and faster. My dick which I had totally ignored, suddenly feels incredibly great. I can feel the head grow even larger. I pull it completely out of him, as he gasps, then thrust it completely in; in and out; again and again. Joey squeezes as hard as he can, but his asshole is wet and loose. He pushes his butt back and forth in unison with my fucking. I suddenly know I’m about to cum, but it feels ten times stronger than when I masturbate. My thrusts become faster and faster. Joey stops moving as he readies to receive my orgasm. My breathing is short and hoarse. I moan in high-pitched squeaks.
Joey laughs, “Slow down.”
“I can’t. I’m going to cum.”
With that I thrust as deeply as possible, holding on to Joey with all my might, my dick throbbing inside him, my teeth clenching, fingers pressing into his chest, and my hips pushing my hard-on as far as possible into Joey and the water-bed. For seconds we remain locked immobile,  then he slowly starts to fuck back. His butt hole tightens and releases as he moves up and down my rigid, motionless hard-on. I’m more than ready to explode as his motion increases. I begin to thrust again, in and out as he tightens and loosens. I start to cry with tears streaming down my face onto his back. In the final frenzy, I pull my dick fully out of him, and then, thrust its full length up his butt. His tightened buns clench, milking my hard-on. I explode inside him, again and again while he continues to spurt ejaculate onto the water-bed. As we finally slow and stop, my whole body shakes, then relaxes.

Next thing I know, it is morning. I wake up curled up next to Joey. Suffice to say that I remember fully getting it on with Joey.
“You awake, man?” he asks.
“What time is it?”
“About six. You slept like the dead.”
“You mean we slept all day?”
“No, man. It’s morning. I didn’t sleep yet.”
“Man, I gotta piss.”
“Go ahead and water Helen’s flowers out the window.”
“How can you call her Helen?”
“That’s what she wants. She’s entering her cool stage.”
“Well, she’s cool to you.”
“Cooler than good old dad. He so wants me outta here.”
“My folks can care less what I do.”
“Don’t knock it. What are you looking for?”
“My underwear. What did you do with it?”
“They’re probably under the water-bed. It turned over last night. Just piss out the window. No one’s gonna see you. You look better without them.”
“You really are a fag.”
“Go piss. We got things to do today.”
“We do?”
“Yeah. You’re my new partner, little dude. I’ll explain later. Let’s get some coffee. You do look good, especially your little white butt.”
It is my chance for an answer to a burning question, “So tell me– what’s sexier, boxers or briefs?”
“Nothing’s sexier. Just pull those jeans on over that hard-on. You’ll know what I mean.”
He’s right. Going commando is the best. The end of another junior high quandary.

We go to Alice’s where Joey explains our business of the day. The reason he was so high last night was the heroin he scored in New York. It is very hush-hush, as the local hypes are seriously into keeping a low profile. We sit there all morning and conduct business. It is cool to be part of the crowd. Joey keeps calling me ‘dude.’ Seems that there are a lot of hypes in Stockbridge that summer. When I ask Joey what it is like to score in New York, he says it is like going to another planet, the Planet of the Zombies.   He promises to take me next time, but I figure my folks will nix it.

I am wrong.

We get back to the house. Our folks are upset that we missed Sunday dinner.
We go upstairs so Joey can count his money and smoke a joint. Once I am high, all I want to talk about is what we did last night.
“So, Joey, um, that wasn’t the first time for you?”
“You mean getting fucked?”
“Yeah, like it’s the first time for me with a girl or a guy. That was not how I expected it. I mean, with a guy. I guess I want to know, am I still a virgin?”
“Calm down. Yeah, if you haven’t fucked a girl, but you sure didn’t act like a virgin. So don’t sweat it.”
“ Well, neither did you act like the first time.”
“I do that all the time in New York, at least a few times, anyway.”
“Really? What’s it like to get fucked?”
“The thing,” he answers, “is not to get fucked in the head about it and start acting like a queen.”
“What’s a queen?”
“Man, I forget you’re from the sticks. Like in the song: “shaved his legs, then he was a she. I say hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side.’”
“’and the colored girls go, doo, de doo, de doo, de doo, de de dooo,’” I sing with him.

Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, SONY ATV MUSIC PUB LLC

“When you go to the City you’ll see things you can’t imagine.”
“I don’t want to get fucked!”
“Well, you’re still a virgin, man.”
“It’s just more complicated than I thought. In Alaska, you fuck a chick and you’re experienced: ‘Are you experienced?’”

“I know you want to tell all your buddies that you’ve done it. But it’ll be hard to explain last night in detail. You’re a natural, bro. When it’s time to do it with a chick, you’ll be great. So you’re experienced. It’s just something you can’t brag about. – your first lesson in kissing and not telling.”
“You still haven’t told me what it was like for you.”
“When I get high like last night, it’s something I want to do. It feels so good. You just let go. I mean, you were the top. I just responded to it.”
“The second I think about cumming, it goes off.”
“You went off all right, all over my couch, your pants, and your hair – ‘Cumface.’ Here, put away your dick. We have things to do.”
“Yeah, places to go, people to see.”
“You catch on real quick, dick. We gotta see my military buddies. They’re not like your GI Joe types. They’re Viet Vets.”

Joey drives his VW Bug into the countryside near Stockbridge. We park up a dirt road with no houses, just abandoned fields and broken-down stone walls. We hike a recent path into the woods, until we reach a clearing where there is an abandoned shed.
“Welcome to the hooch of Frank and John,” Joey announces, as two guys with long beards and worn fatigues come out of the shed.
“Joey, man, you’re a sight for twisted eyes. We knew you’d come through,” says the taller guy.
“Hey man, it’s the first of the month. I know you got your checks. Where Uncle Sam pays, the dope man stays. I got you some of New York City’s finest Persian Brown. I’ll take the cash now, please.”
“And you’ll take it all, you draft-dodging faggot. But right now you’re holding; we’re flush and need a fix. Let’s see what you brought.”

Joey goes with them into the shed, while I scope out the ‘hooch.’ It’s an open shed used to store hay when the land was farmed. It looks 50 years old. There is a cooking fire in front and an old commode set up out back as a latrine. These guys aren’t guerrilla warfare experts. They are just camping out. From the trash that accumulated, they have been here awhile. About twenty minutes later, the three of them come stumbling out of the shed. Glancing strangely at me, they ask Joey who I am. They had not noticed me when we came up on their camp. Joey introduces me as in the military, which they seem to buy.
“Did you go to ‘Nam, man,” John asks.
“Joey’s putting you on. I’m fourteen, just a military brat.”
Frank thinks out loud, “He looks like that Kruikshank kid from California that got fragged by mistake.”
“No, man. That kid was blond. He looks older. I’ll bet he’s an MP, come to make us go to Reserve meetings.”
I play along, “Yeah, you guys got to follow me into town, hup, two, three, four.”
“How come you ain’t got no gun? MPs gotta have a gun. Frank, get this MP a gun. Joey one too. He’s a turncoat for bringing the MPs out here.”
Soon as said, it is done. Frank brings out at least ten weapons. 45s, a M-16, a grenade launcher, boxes of ammo.
“Choose your weapon. You’ll never take us alive.”
They each grab two rifles and run into the woods. Joey and I look at each other and laugh. Grabbing guns, we run after them. Just as we start off, the assholes started shooting, kicking up dust by our feet.
“They’re fucking shooting real bullets at us,” I scream at Joey.
“No fear; they’ll never kill their dealer. They’re too self-centered to do that, and they’re really good shots.”
“What makes you think they know what they’re doing. They’ll shoot me, and you’ll still get them their dope.”
“Shut up and get behind some cover before they do hit us,” as more dust kicks up. “We’re ‘sposed to be chasing them.”
We make it behind a big tree as shots rip by. Joey has me take off my white tee-shirt, which he attaches to a branch and holds up. Instantly three or four shots tear through my shirt.
I freak out. “You dumb mother-fucking sons o’bitches. You’re going to shoot us, you psycho, hyped-up Viet Vet losers.”
“Listen to the whiner, the little wimp. If you can’t take the heat, don’t come into the kitchen.”
“You slant-eyed mother-fucking gook. You’re gonna die,” they go on as if they’re still in Vietnam. I lose it, jumping out from behind the tree. “I’m only fourteen, you old bastards. Stop this shit.”
For a second, my jumping out makes them stop, then they let loose with their weapons again. I barely make it back behind the tree.
Joey looks strangely at me. “You shouldn’t call them old. They hate that.”
“What are we gonna do, Joey. They still think they’re fighting the War.”
“Calm down and think about it. It’s just like in the movies.”
“You’re as fucked up as they are.”
“What can we do? Just sit here hoping they snap out of it? Or, figure some way to get their weapons and stop this shit? I’m for action, and I got a plan. I know where they’ll eventually go. It’s a bunker they built to store all their weapons and ammo. You hold them down with gunfire, so I can sneak around and surprise them there. They’ll surrender their weapons. All you have to do is shoot in their direction so they don’t realize I’m gone. Watch to see if they move, then chase them over that hill.”
“Chase them?”
“Don’t worry. I’ve got the grenade launcher. I’ll use it after you’ve loosened them up with these two M-16s. Just make sure you chase them when they move. Start shooting, so I can get outta there. If they attack you, I’ll come back and get them from behind. Don’t freeze up. I’m counting on you.”
I get the rifles and ammo. When Joey is ready, I move on my belly to the side of the covering tree and let off a burst of fire.  Joey takes off in a roundabout way to the hill behind the vets. My shooting surprises them. No return fire comes for a minute, before they start again. Once they stop, I fire back. They are yelling to each other when Joey drops a grenade into the trees above them. Screaming, they started running away from me. I jump from behind the trees and fire off all the rounds in both rifles. I see dirt flying, but quite far from where Frank and John are running. Yelling for them to stop, I hope Joey will hear that they are heading his way. Cresting the hill I see their goal. I stop to reload and cautiously move toward the bunker. The two dive inside. Then I hear Joey yell for them to drop their weapons. Covering the entrance, I step out front just as John backs out.
Oh, shit. “Drop your gun asshole.”
He looks at me for the longest second, then raising his rifle, he takes solid aim at my head. Looking down that barrel, I can’t pull my trigger that will save me. His gun goes click; he’s out of ammo. Swinging my rifle, I hit him squarely above the ear, and he goes down.   Joey pushes Frank out of the bunker, smiling as I stand glaring over John. Pushing Frank to the ground, he turns around and fires a grenade into the bunker. The entire cache of weapons and ammo go up in a deafening roar, knocking us backward and leaving a gaping hole where the bunker had been. Frank and John are too dazed to fight anymore. While I cover them, Joey retrieves a rope from the shed. He ties their arms and legs together like hog-tied cows, then throws the remaining rope over a branch about ten feet off the ground.
“Help me pull them up.”
First John, then Frank are suspended from the branch, swinging upside down about eight feet off the ground.
“Let’s go. This place stinks,” Joey said.
“You’re gonna just leave them like that?”
“Damn straight. They’re so fucked up they would kill and eat our bodies for dinner. You got a better idea?”
“We can lower them so when they swing back and forth, they eat dirt. As long as they don’t struggle, they’ll be on the ground. I heard you can strangle from being suspended in the air.”
“Okay, what a kind-hearted dude. It’s a plan, man.”

We sit under a tree awhile, laughing at their predicament. They won’t stop struggling and eat a lot of dirt. Joey finally motions to go.
“They’ll either figure out how to help each other out of this, or they’ll swing forever.”
All this time they say nothing, cursing and mumbling to themselves. Pretty pitiful.
Walking to the car, my legs begin to tremble. I sit down hard. Joey has to help me to the Bug.
“Hey, finally got the shakes, huh.”
“Man, how did that all go down? I mean, I’ve never seen anyone go off like that. Was it Vietnam flashbacks?”
“That plus the speedballs they shot up while you were outside. Normal freaks shoot the coke, then the heroin to bring them down. They shoot the dope, get wasted, then the coke, and they are off on their trip. Well,” he says, punching me in the arm, “we taught them a new meaning of dirt bags. You look pretty pale.”
I lean over and puke my guts out. I am not even smoking pot. Joey keeps quiet, and then drives home. He puts an arm around me.
“You’re pretty cool, little dude. You saved our asses out there. No wonder they lost the War. Two stoned teenagers beat their butts. He slaps me five, real jive-like. I fall asleep with my head on his shoulder, until we get to the main road. A fire engine and cop car roar by, going where we’ve been.
“Guess we know where they’re going. I hope they don’t shake down the hooch. There’s needles and shit all over that place.”
They don’t bust them, at least as far as we find out.

That night I sleep in Joey’s waterbed; no sex but it feels right. I am not ready for more soldiering. I throw out my tee-shirt with the bullet holes. Next day Joey has more deliveries to make. He tells me I will enjoy these people a lot more. We drive to Pittsfield where a college-type lives with his supposed girlfriend, Tyler and Linda. They live in his mother’s large old house on the good side of the mill town. When we arrive, Tyler says Linda’s out feeding the slugs, so we go to see what is up. The slugs are humongous.  Linda is a dark-haired chick about twenty-five, who talks fast through an over-sized nose with a nasal accent. She explains about the slugs; they eat fungus or slime. You need to keep track of them, or they invade your neighbors’ gardens. It seems logical to me. I ask if she races her slugs; she laughs, “It’s snails that race in ‘Alice in Wonderland’.”

I say she’s Linda in Delusionland. Everyone laughs. The three go off to do their dope deal, leaving me with the slugs. They don’t make a mad dash for the neighbors.

Soon Linda comes out and asks me to follow her to a cottage in the back. She says it is where she stays when Tyler’s mother is home. It is pretty simple with just a bed. Weird psychology and Greek mythology books lie about.
She looks at me, “Joey said I should ‘do’ ya ‘cause ya neva been laid.”
“Don’t ya wanna ‘do’ me so yer not a virgin no more?”
“I kinda wanna decide when that will happen myself. I mean you’re pretty and everything, but really I just find you interesting and strange in a cool way.”
“You’re cool, too. Tyler don’t mind. He just wants ta please Joey; he’s the coolest dealer in the Berkshires.”
“If I pass, will it hurt your feelings?”
“Naw, but don’t tell Joey. Tyler wants to please him. We just wanna keep him happy. Let me give you some Zen massage I know. Maybe it’ll make you wanna do it.”

She takes my hand, cracking each knuckle, and pressing extra hard into the muscle by my thumb. Then she repeats it on my left hand. She says the pain and the hurt cleanse my body of tension and bad diet salts, saying I seem really tense. Then she works on my arms, stretching out the biceps and triceps. From behind my back, she has me straighten up as she twists my head from side to side. Placing one hand on my forehead and the other at the base of my skull, she lifts my head away from my shoulders, turning it left and right. Then she lifts my skull straight up and holds it for thirty seconds. She removes my tee-shirt and starts on my back, rubbing beside my backbone with long strokes up and down. With each push toward my head I feel a tingling up my neck and into my scalp. With each push down my back, the tingling and warmth shoot into my buttocks and legs.  Taking her thumbs she pushes into the upper flesh on both sides of my butt, hitting a nerve that causes me to twitch. She reaches around, unbuttons my jeans, pulling them down to expose my butt and thighs. For five minutes she rubs up the inside of my thighs, up both cheeks to that nerve spot, letting her thumbs casually scratch the fuzz around my butt hole as she massages past it. When she rolls me over, my dick flops onto my stomach. Ignoring the obvious, she rubs the lower half of my stomach, letting her fingers scratch the pubic hairs below the dick shaft. I let out a low moan each time she touches the shaft. When I reach to grab her, she shakes her head.

“No. Zen massage requires you to lie absolutely still.”

She moves from my stomach to my feet, strongly kneading the arches, then rubbing the tops of each leg as she sits on my ankles. She uses the tops of my feet to turn herself on. Again she says not to move as I start to get aroused. My moans become louder. Lydia takes off her top. Her bra-less tits flop free. Leaning over me, she places my throbbing dick between her tits, squeezing it as each nipple rubs my stomach. More moaning from me. I can hear giggling outside the cottage door. I am too into it to care that our performance has an audience. As the pre-cum starts to ooze, she pushes her belly against the front of my dick. With her hand stroking the shaft, she proceeds to jerk me off. As I slow and finally stop cumming, her hands dig into the pool of cum on my belly. She spreads it all over me, into the pubic hairs and onto my nipples. She digs her fingers into the butt nerve spots, making me tense every muscle from my back to my toes. More cum oozes out as I give a final moan.
Rolling off me, she whispers in my ear, “Some girl is going to be very happy when you’re really devirginized. Don’t tell the guys we didn’t go all the way. Tyler really needs to keep Joey happy.”
We walk out the door with the two of them sitting there, with conspiratorial/guilty looks on their faces. Actually, we all look that way.

In the VW, Joey expects a blow-by-blow recounting. I just tell him, “Hey, you’re the one who says to never kiss and tell.”
“You’re learning from the master,” he laughs. “I guess I get the water-bed back for myself.”
“No way, man. Just ‘cause I’m not a fag don’t mean I don’t love ya. Dig?”
“Dig it.”

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