I feel flush with $90 in my pocket, but the rings I’ve gotten for everyone don’t seem enough. At least I can get Dad and Susan something nice. Jace and I ride to the Grove and window shop. I find a tie in Air Force blue with yellow stripes for Dad. For Susan I thought some perfume would be nice. Jace says it’s too difficult to pick out the scent she likes, as I’m clueless about her personal tastes.
“How about a ‘World’s Greatest Mom’ cup,” Jace suggests.
“Too manipulative. A mug would be a joke.”
We find an antique shop where there’s some nice knickknacks. I pick out a small desk mirror. She can keep herself looking good, so dad won’t return her for a newer model. We both laugh at that idea.
“I want to get something for you,” Jace says.
“You’re all I want, dude,” I reassure him.
“That’s not enough, and you already have me.”
We stand there arguing, until a young adult in snappy clothes walks up to us.
“Having a little argument, boys, about Christmas gifts?”
We look at him strangely, wondering why he’s talking to us.
“Come into my store,” he points us to an overly lit-up curio shop, “I know exactly what you need.”
“How do you know that?” Jace challenges him.
“Well, boys, forgive me if I’m wrong, but you seem obviously taken with each other. Fighting about what you’re getting each other for Christmas, my shop is meant for you.”
We look at the store’s name, ‘Out & Proud,’ and laugh.
“Are we that obvious?” I ask.
“You’re not going to tell me you’re in the closet?”
“Everybody knows,” we confess.
“I’m so proud of you. How old are you?”
“Fifteen and sixteen,” Jace answers.
“Good Lord. No wonder you’re so happy. Let me show you my best out & proud stock.”
He shows us earrings and bandannas. Then scarfs and oversized hats. Shoes with spats. A wide selection of underwear, which I shun, telling the clerk I don’t wear any. He actually blushes at my remark. Finally he finds us matching pairs of Ray Bans that are perfect at $25 each. I still have walking around money left. The clerk tells us his name, Felix. He asks what school we go to.
“Gables, but we mostly ditch. We have a band, called False Gods.”
“You have me fooled; you look like real gods in those shades.”
We sing to him, ‘get on your knees, we answer your pleas.”
Felix gets all fluttery, dropping to his knees. I’m afraid he wants to give both of us head.
“I pray that Santa will bring me a cute boy this year, just like you boys.”
“Your wish is our command.”
“Such good gods, you do please.”
He asks if we go to any of the gay clubs up in North Miami.
“We’re pretty local without a car.”
“I’ll give you a ride anytime you want,” he smiles coyly.
He asks us what kind of music we play. We say we mostly do covers.
“Do you do Abba?”
We checked each other and start to sing, “Mamma Mia, here I go again…’
“You are such cuties. Tonight’s amateur night at the Eros Lounge. I’ll drive you if you want to go.”
Jace asks, “Is there prize money?”
“Oh, honey, you’ll be the prize if you enter. Come by before 9 o’clock when I close the shop.”
“We’ll think about it,” I tell him.
We pedal home, wearing our new shades. We have the night off from rehearsal, still burned out from the frat gig. Sitting in my window, we discuss the pros and cons of doing a drag show.
“What if they want us to strip?” Jace asks.
“It’s for money, why not?”
“What if I get hard while I’m naked?”
“We’ll be sure to win.”
“You don’t care? What if someone sees us there?”
“How many people we know might be in a North Miami gay bar? If there is someone, are they going to say why they’re there?”
“We shouldn’t use our real names.”
“Okay. How about Max deBowser for you and Cry Baby for me,” and we start giggling.
“Do we have to wear dresses?”
“Not if it’s a strip club.
“What song do we do? Queen should get those old queens going.”
“Let’s do the Abba song we did for Felix.” We practiced our stripping while singing and dancing.
Finally it’s 8:30 pm. We have to decide to really go or not.
“What the hell,” we both agree.
Felix had a mischievous grin when we ride up as he locks the shop.
“I was sure you boys would chicken out.”
“We’ll just duck. You’ll be the only chicken on the menu tonight… Sorry Felix.”
He laughs. We chatter away during the drive to the other side of Miami. Once there, we start to walk in the bar. There’s a bouncer, who stops and asks us for IDs. Felix catches up and explains that we’re the entertainment that night.
“I’ll take 15% of any tips they make.”
“Sure, boss,” Felix agrees. In we go.
I’ve been around gay guys in New York and LA, but for Jace, this is another first experience. I notice he’s fully aroused even before we go in, which makes me semi-hard. The place is dimly lit. At 10 o’clock, it’s prime cruising time. Felix has us follow him while he finds the owner. Felix himself is a good ten years younger than everybody else. We’re ogled by everyone as we wind our way through the club. More than once I feel someone grab my ass. I notice by the time we find the owner that Jace is quite skittish from the cruising. After some discussion, they agree we can perform in amateur hour, but if we win and come again, we’ll need some kind of ID. We swear we’re eighteen. He doesn’t believe us. Felix sits us down, near the bar and buys us a couple of beers.
“Nervous?” he asks.
“Can we just sing or do we have to strip?” I ask Felix.
“It’s your act. You’ll be competing against single, older strippers. Since you’re a duo, you’ll have to be twice as good as them.”
“What’s the prize money?”
“Great, but look at Jace. If he doesn’t calm down, he’ll be fully hard the whole time.”
“You might get a bonus for that.”
“How about you jump up once we’re done with the song. We’ll split the money three ways?”
“If you guys are up there with hard-ons, there may be more than just me wanting to jump up.”
“Then you be our bouncer, if need be.” He weighs about 140 pounds and doesn’t look like a fighter.
Looking around we observe the crowd for the first time. I classify them as ‘rough trade,’ all in leather jackets, jeans and boots. We already have their attention. Everyone we look at stares really hard at us. I start planning a quick exit, if needed. Felix says there’s a back door, near the go-go platform. I tell him to follow us if we go for the exit. He’s our ride.
The first ‘amateur’ comes out as the DJ plays some slow, country-western song. He doesn’t really dance. As he strips, his paunchy belly looks like Jell-O in motion. He seems embarrassed but his friends are cheering him on. He stops when all he has left to strip off are his white jockey shorts. The next guy has on a lamee outfit, which he swiftly removes. His tiny lamee briefs didn’t excite anyone. When he tries to tease the crowd by removing the briefs, he gets little reaction. The third one has the tough guy look, mirroring most of the bar’s patrons. He quickly gets everything off and reveals a long wiener hot dog dick that he swings around to the music. He’s the clear front-runner, but the crowd really isn’t into it. We’re next. The MC announces we’re two boys come all the way from Coral Gables to compete. Someone boos at the Gables. We had told the DJ what to play. Jace and I stand back to back, rubbing our butts together, which gets some attention. Then we jump into Mamma Mia,
“Mamma mia, here I go again
My my, how can I resist you
Mamma mia, does it show again
My my, just how much I’ve missed you
Yes, I’ve been brokenhearted
Blue since the day we parted
Why, why did I ever let you go
Mamma mia, even if I say
Bye bye, leave me now or never
Mamma mia, it’s a game we play
Bye bye, doesn’t mean forever”
Mamma mia, here I go again ’ (we pull our tee shirts over our heads)
‘My my, how can I resist you
‘Mamma mia, does it show again’ (we roll our jeans down to show both our hard cocks)
‘My my, just how much I’ve missed you’ (we grind our cocks together)
‘Yes, I’ve been brokenhearted
Blue since the day we parted
Why, why did I ever let you go
Mamma mia, now I really know’ (we pull each other’s jeans down and step out naked)
‘My my, I could never let you go’ (we kiss and grind our bodies together)
Andersson, Benny / Anderson, Stig / Ulvaeus, Bjoern K
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group
Felix doesn’t jump up, but he’ scurries around the go-go platform collecting all the money patrons are throwing at us. We keep singing the chorus and are giving the crowd a good show. Then someone yells, “Raid.” Felix grabs both of us and we hustle out the back door. We run down the back alley, still naked, pausing only when we’re in Felix’s car to put on our jeans and tees. We drive away in a hurry.
“That’s exciting,” I note while Jace giggles. “We didn’t plan that grand finale though.”
“Hey,” Jace asks. “Did we win the contest?”
“Hands down,” Felix answers, “or should I say pants down. I’ll collect the prize next time I’m up here, but here’s the split of your tips.”
That remark seems much funnier while we speed down I-95 toward home. Felix collected over $200 in tips. He gives us $100 each and keeps the over.
“You guys know how to put on a show. I’ll give you that.”
“Probably our only illegal show for a while. We’re not really into getting busted.”
“I can set up private shows if you’re willing to go all the way.”
“We just did it for fun, Felix. We’re too young to get jaded,” I decide. Jace looks a bit unhappy with my decision. Later I’ll give him Joey’s rules about selling innocence.
It’s past midnight when we get home. Jace is still worked up from our show.
“We’ve played parties, frat houses, and now gay bars. When will we get an actual show?”
“I think we need to work on our own songs before we are ready to go public. When we play covers, we’re ‘sposed to pay some company that collects fees. We can avoid that by staying with strictly private shows.”
“You mean all these songs in my head belong to someone I’m ‘sposed to pay to play?’
“Yeah, we are the entertainment, but some business person or corporation gets paid if we do covers.’’
“Pay to play sucks,” he grumbles.
“Well, look at it this way; we’re just having crazy fun. You’ve gotten very business oriented of late.”
“Somebody’s has to be.”
“Usually it’s the band manager. In the long run he defrauds us of the big bucks.”
“Why are we the ones who get exploited?”
“’Cause we like it.’ Oops, now I owe Mick Jagger 50 cents.”
I figure Jace is complaining because he’s all worked up. I move behind him and start giving him a back and neck massage. He’s really tense.
“I know where this leads,” he grins. ”How about we go back to the part where we take each other’s clothes off?”
I put my hands under his sweaty tee-shirt and slowly raise it over his head. He gets up and drags me to the middle of the room, unbuttoning my jeans, and rolling them down so just my dick sticks out.
“This is the part they missed at the gay bar.”
Once we both get off, he collapses and rolls off me. I cuddle up next to him, whispering in his ear, “Seems like performing for gay guys got you worked up.”
“No, it’s strictly you. Those guys are not attractive.”
“He’s cool. A little faggy.”
“Well, if he wasn’t ‘out & proud,’ we’d never be in that club tonight.”
“You like being pimped out, don’t you.”
“Well, I ain’t going to pimp myself.”
“Then all those guys got a cheap thrill tonight. I’m amazed that they gave us some much in tips.”
“I bet they hoped to give us more than just their tips.” Jace smiles.
In the morning I’m stiff from not moving all night. It feels like I’m one big hard-on. We go straight to the garage. Nobody is there yet, so we play toss and fetch with Max. When the dog gives up looking for weed, he also gives up the game. As we leave, I see someone looking out the dining room window – it’s John.
“Hey Jace, your punk ass brother’s watching us. Go yell at the dining room window; we gotta find out what’s up.”
When he comes back, he says the garage is a total bust now. The cops are watching it for drug activity.
“I’m gonna beat his ass when I see him,” Jace is pissed. I hadn’t seen this part of his personality.
“You ain’t gonna do that, Jace.”
“Yeah, but just for once, I need to get all this aggression out. I’d never hurt John. Just wish I could, though, make me feel stronger.
“You’re such a wimp. Do I gots to defend ya?”
“What the fuck you tryin’ ta say?”
“Are we two sissy boys lost in Florida?”
Jace looks really shocked. “You? That’s not Tim talking? I know you fucked a hillbilly, but that good ol’ boy talk don’t cut it in Miami.”
Oh my god. I’m being Floyd, who I let fuck me once. Now a little bit of him cums out every once in a while. We walk Max back to my room, but the dog insists we look for pot. If ever there is clear case of pot abuse, then Max would be the first conviction. Also for animal abuse. Max leads us to Robby’s window for a joint. We pile into the room where all the other ditchers are lying about. When Robby sees me, he gets that evil look on his face that says he has found his target of abuse and is ready to pounce.
“Hey, did you hear about them gay boys in North Miami who got busted by the police for doing a sex act at a gay bar. The police say they were from the Gables. Must’ve been some of your friends, gay-bo.”
“How’d you hear that?” Jace asks.
“It’s on the news. Said they’re still looking for the boys.”
Jace isn’t shy, “Guess what. You’ve found them. We’re right here.”
Everybody is asking us questions at once.
Robby stands up. “Quiet. Now tell us you’re just putting us on.”
“We went to a gay bar last night with a guy we met in the Grove, for their amateur contest. We won fifty bucks for singing an ABBA song. Then we made a whole lot more from tips when we stripped. Someone yelled ‘raid,’ so we took off running bare ass through the alley.”
For once Robby is at a loss for words.
“You gonna spark that joint. Max is waiting outside for sloppy seconds.” Max barks when he hears his name.
Robby asks, “Max gonna be part of your sex act next time?”
They all howl with laughter, making Max howl back. Each time someone takes a hit, they stick their head out the window. Max has his front paws up on the side of the house, waiting for his hits. Jace has to carry Max up the stairs to my room.
“We’ve hit the news,” Jace proclaims. “Bad publicity is better than none”
“Probably best we don’t tell anyone else about our ‘sex act.’” Then I ask him, ”Of all these shows, parties, frats, and gay bars, which one was the best?”
“We made the most money at the frat, we got the biggest tips at the gay bar, and the party was a hassle getting our friends in and being paid the least.”
“So what are we doing for Christmas?” “Party.”
“We’re gonna pah-tay.”
He has the right attitude for where we are at as a new band. The more we play, the better we get. And we’re gaining fans.
We have to figure out how to pay the backup singers. Mary has been getting a full share, while Flo and Edi miss out. I decide if they rehearse with us, they should get a full share when we perform. Jace thinks they aren’t as important as the musicians, but I argue it’s a slippery slope to pay anyone less than all the others. Jace rubs my butt crack,
“This is what I call a slippery slope.”
I slap him away. He tackles me for a wrestling match which ends when he blows a load in his jeans without even knowing he’s hard. Young love.
Before the next gig, I go back to the head shop and purchase two additional spoon rings. Now all eight of us will have one. That night at rehearsal, I call a band meeting. Of course, the meeting is called to disorder by smoking a doobie first.
“All right. Everyone mellow? Let’s talk about our look for the parties we’ve booked.”
Robby pipes up, “We ain’t going naked, if that’s what you’re thinking.”
“Yeah. How much did you make at the gay bar?” Michael wants to know.
“What are you talking about. We’d never do a show without the rest of you,” I lie.
“And we’ll never do a show like that.”
“Well, that settles that. There ain’t no Gay Gods.”
“You’re lying,” Hippie Greg decides.
“Okay, settle down, The question isn’t whether we go naked but what to wear at these parties.” I note, “Jace and I have been wearing suits and white dress shirts.”
“Too Mod,” says Michael
“Drummers don’t have to wear anything special. No one sees you behind your kits.” They both have elaborate drum sets, with double bass drums, three sets of tom toms, a snare, high hat, and three cymbals – thirteen different drums.
Hippie Greg doesn’t have a black suit, so we agree to just wear white dress shirts, black trousers, and no shoes.
Then I announce, “I have a present for everyone, pulling out the five ring boxes. “Merry Christmas.”
They all look pleased and slip their rings on various fingers, squeezing the ring tight.
Looking over at Flo and Edi, who look left out, “I propose that the two girls be official members of the Jacettes.”
Everyone cheers. Jace and I get on our knees, holding out the two extra rings I bought and propose, “Will you join our band?”
Everyone is happy, except Hippie Greg who is worried his ring will interfere with his bass playing.
“Ya can’t get no worse,” Robby jokes.
“My next proposal is how we split the money from each gig. I say everyone in the band gets the same amount, an equal share.”
This idea is not universally welcome, but finally they all agree.
Dave asks, “What about the roadies?”
“You get in for free to parties you’d never be invited to, and you get first pick of the groupies who want to meet us hard-working musicians.”
“Next, do we want to keep Michael’s dad as manager, by making it official?”
Someone yells, “Pizza and beer.”
Jace yells, “Marshall Stacks, Marshal Stacks.”
Hippie Greg ask, “Who’s this Marshall Stack?”
“I take it that’s an affirmative. Now we have to decide what songs we’ll do at the dance party for Michael’s girlfriend on New Year’s.”
This question leads to a jam session in which we only do 50s and 60s pop oldies, including early Beatles hits. The girls/Jacettes are really into it. They promise to practice synchronized moves for each song. They keep flashing their fingers like they’re showing off engagement rings. When we finish, I feel well-organized. Except for the constant arguments between Robby and Michael about drum solos, we’re harmonic. I act as leader but everyone has a say. No one is making more money than the rest of us. At the end of practice, Robby asks us how much we made at the gay bar.
“$125 each, mostly from tips,” Jace answers, forgetting our appearance is supposed to be a secret.
Robby challenges us, “Show us all what you did for $125.”
Never too shy to put on a show, we started singing ‘Mamma Mia,’ wiggling our butts to the chorus:
“Mamma mia, here I go again
My my, how can I resist you
Mamma mia, does it show again
My my, just how much I’ve missed you.’
“Is that all you had to do for $125?”
“Well, it was a contest with a $50 prize. We had to camp it up and strip down. You wanna see that?”
Everybody but Robby goes, “Ow, no way.”
“We’ll show you the non-porno part:”
‘Mamma mia, here I go again ’ (we pulled our tee shirts over our heads).
‘My my, how can I resist you (we waved the shirts and tossed them).
Mamma mia, does it show again’ (we rolled our jeans down).
“Stop, stop, enough,” everyone yells.
“Once we got everything off, we sang the whole song through. That’s when the cops showed up. We hightailed it out the back door, running bare ass down the alley to the car.”
“You was naked in the street?” Hippie Greg gasps.
“Yeah, we was runnin’ wild in the streets.”
I noticed that Jace is hard again; he doesn’t even know it. That dick has a mind of its own. Flo and Edi notice it while we’re talking. They’re more embarrassed than we are. His hard-on has obviously told my dick to wake up too.
I ask, “Do you like your rings?”
“Oh, yes,” Flo says and gives me a big kiss. Rubbing up against me, my hard-on is sending signal’s to Jace’s dick to keep up.
“Where’s my kiss?” he asks Edi, with his hands on his hips. She runs over and gives him a demure peck on the lips. The old Jace would have settled for just that. The newer, improved version takes Edi into an embrace, French-kissing her firmly and deeply. She comes up gasping. She then runs to the bathroom, with Flo following her.
“You better work on your technique.” I kid him.
“No. Now she knows where I stand. I made a statement.”
Since no one is noticing, I pull him in an embrace and French him as strongly as he has just done Edi. I could taste her on his lips. It’s kinda citrus fruity.
“Can you taste Flo?” I ask.
“Yeah, sort like mint. ‘Double your pleasure, double the fun with Double Mint, Double Mint, Double Mint gum.’” He sings.
“Your girlfriend tasted like Juicy Fruit.”
He gives me that devilish grin and said, “Maybe we can do both of them for my 16th birthday orgy.”
“Did I hear the word ‘orgy,’” Robby asks.
“We’re talking about what we saw last night at the gay bar,” I lie.
“Oh, that’s so gross.” Changing the subject, he asks, “Since you got all that cash, how about a Sorrento’s pizza and beer run?”
“Since we had to strip for the money, you’ll have to strip for the pizza,” I tell him.
“Okay,” as he starts to pull down his jeans.
“No, no. At Sorrento’s.”
Robby doesn’t strip, but I pay the bill and Jace pays the tip. Sorrento’s is a perfect place for us, privileged white kids in a Hispanic neighborhood eating Italian food. We’re invisible there. Another time Iggy brought a pound of pot and divided it into ounces right in our booth. We always smoke a doobie like it’s an appetizer, which it most definitely is. None of us wears shoes. We do as we wish because we’re entitled. These musings make me think we need to broaden our appeal. At least the Jacettes are all Hispanic, but in a sense they’re fully assimilated. Robby keeps ragging on Hippie Greg for his sloppy bass playing. He meets a Cuban kid who says he’ll play bass for us. I insist we meet him at his home, in a Spanish neighborhood near the Orange Bowl. His name is Joe, but when we met his family, they all call him Jose. I use my high school Spanish to impress his parents. It just embarrasses him, especially the fact he has to share his bedroom with two younger brothers. He plays great and has Peter Frampton hair and white skin with freckles. He dresses as we do and is our age. He badly wants to be assimilated into our white boy culture. Robby is totally fixated on him. His parents notice and nix his chance to join. We all feel terrible for him. He promises to come to our shows, but never does. We’re all kids. The cards are stacked in our favor because of our race. Hippie Greg never knew we wanted to replace him. He has a car and license, which none of us has yet managed. And bass players are not that important; they’re like the foundation that establishes the beat and the major chord of a song, but you don’t really see or hear them.
Feeling frisky and energized after a night of endless sex, we ride to the Grove and see Felix at ‘Out & Proud.’ He has our fifty bucks from amateur night and fills us in on the consequences of our performance. The cops found a score of customers who were holding pot and poppers. They threaten to close the club if anyone underage is found there again. Any hint of sex acts will get the owner arrested. The owner says he made twice the usual amount from the bar that night.
“Do they want us back?” Jace asks.
Felix says we’re shut down.
“Well, we made the most of that gig,” I pronounce.
Felix enjoys our company and isn’t concerned about the status of a sleazy bar in North Miami. He explains that he lives with a ‘sugar daddy’ in the Grove, who is financing “Out & Proud.” He asks if we’ll hang out at the store, as we’re sure to bring in the right kind of customers. He’ll even pay us for performing (music only) on the sidewalk in front. We negotiate an agreement to each be paid 5% of the store’s receipts when we perform there. Jace is becoming a good negotiator. I appreciate that he sees music as a career and wants to learn how it works for his future. I’m having too much fun to be serious about it. We do a couple of a Capella songs for Felix, including the Chordettes’ Lollypop song
and Little Antony’s ‘Tears on my Pillow,’
“You don’t remember me,
but I remember you,
it was not so long ago,
you broke my heart in two.
Tears on my pillow,
pain in my heart.
Caused by you, you.’’
Writer(s): Sylvester Bradford, Al Lewis
When we sing to a couple walking by, they want to donate, thinking we’re buskers. We tell them we’re hired to bring customers into “Out & Proud.” Naturally they go inside and shop. After a couple of hours we tell Felix we have to go. He pays us each $20 from the 400 bucks he had in sales that afternoon. I’m thinking pizza and beer while Jace is dreaming ‘Marshall Stacks, Marshall Stacks.’ We decide to visit Jill, keeping up on our responsibilities as her gay parents, now that Wilkie is in London. She lets us in and seems pretty downhearted. We sing ‘Tears on my Pillow,’ which makes her shed a tear. Then we do the Beatles’ ’She Loves You,’ but change it to He Loves You.
We make her cry and laugh, like good gay parents. Before leaving, we give her the address of the Saturday night’s party gig. We tell her she has to hang out with us, so no straight guys will make her forget Wilkie.
“Thanks, you guys. It means a lot to me.”
“It’s our responsibility. David doesn’t want you unhappy and missing him by yourself; we’re your gay parents to keep you from crying on some scheming student’s shoulder.”
“Come back anytime.” She gives both of us a hug.