Robby reconvenes the clubhouse in his room. Through the purple haze of Colombian Gold we sit around, the self-satisfied, smug assholes we think we are not. Several of the English class kids followed us there and are being initiated into the rites of stoner life. Jack, the understudy, sits with me. I realize he followed me around throughout the whole protest.
“You know, I’m not the greatest role model,” I warn him.
“You’re just the greatest,” he counters. Abruptly he cuddles up next to me. His first time getting high has broken down all his inhibitions.
“Oh, look at the new Jace,” Robby mocks.
I look over at Jace who is startled but then gets that mischievous glint in his eyes. I know what he’s thinking, but I’m not ready for another boyfriend. I just put my arm around him, and he falls asleep. Crisis averted.
Jace signs, “What’s wrong with you? We can enjoy him as much as we enjoy Flo.”
“Pervert,” I sign.
“Why. He’s in your class. Afraid of a little hero-worship.”
“It would just be sex for me. It’s you I love.”
Jace grin goes dim for a second. “I feel sad for you. You know I’m dead.”
“Not to me,” I grin.
That makes him look really sad.
Robby interrupts, “Are you signing to get Jace’s permission?” pointing at the sleeping boy.
“He’s all for it. I’m the one who refuses to treat him like skank.”
“You feel like you’re cheating on Jace?”
“We never cheat. We have a sex pact to never exclude each other.”
All this talk wakes up the poor boy. Instead of being embarrassed in front of his friends, he reaches around and embraces me, even swinging a leg on top of me. All his friends gasp, which only encourages him to tighten his grip. From the frying pan into the fire.
“I give up,” I say, picking him up and carrying him all the way to my house. Still asleep, he lays in my bed. I sit in an easy chair and watch Jace fuck the hell out of him. He never opens his eyes. Robby can’t help himself and flies over to observe from my window. I move over and lay in his arms, watching my boyfriend get laid while Robby gets hard from Jack writhing and squirming from Jace’s expert fucking technique. It looks like a vivid wet dream. While this is going on, Robby wants to talk about the show. I hush him, not wanting to distract Jace, who is oblivious. How strange. One boy thinks he’s being fucked by me as I watch my dead boyfriend get off, oblivious that Robby is sitting with me watching what he can’t see. There must be a horror movie here somewhere.
Jace is finally done and looks over at me.
He signs, “You were supposed to join us.”
I nod toward Robby, which is the first time Jace notices him. “Oh,” he signs.
I kick Robby out and get into bed with both of them. When I get in, Jack reaches over and pulls me into the jism pool. We fall asleep together. Jace spreads himself over both of us like a human blanket. I wake up a couple of hours later from Jack trying to loosen himself from the cum that sticks us together.
I smile at him, “Did you have fun.”
He’s mortified about what happened, sure that I hate him for attacking me. I assure him that nothing happened between us. He looks at the dried cum, the fact that he is naked, and shakes his head.
“I put you to bed after taking off your clothes. You then proceeded to have an extremely vivid wet dream. At the end, you pulled me into it. We went to sleep.”
He’s mortified and starts to sniffle. I take him into my arms as he sobs and give him a deep French kiss. He looks up at me in awe and throws himself at me again.
“Hold it, boy. You need to wait for me to want you as much as you seem to want me.”
Now he’s crying again, so we have to go through the whole routine. I’m more modest with my kiss.
“I can’t help myself,” he confesses. “I’ve fantasized about you all year. Even if it was a dream, you fucked me. I thought you really love me and want me too.”
Jace is near hysterics. I throw him a nasty look.
“Jack, look at my dick,” which was bulging inside my briefs. “I obviously want you, but I’m not ready. It’s not you.” He has a long skinny dick which is leaking pre-cum onto my bed sheets.
“I’ll never smoke pot again,” he moans.
“You may need to when you have to explain to your friends in class about what you did tonight.”
He turns bright red.”
“Okay, Jack, tell them that we’re boyfriends now. They can go fuck themselves if they don’t like it.”
“We’re really boyfriends?”
“No. But that’s what we’ll tell everyone. You can believe what you want. Nothing happened with you and me last night. Except you pulled me into a pool of cum and we’re still stuck together.”
He reached to hug me, but our skin pulls so violently that we both yell, “Ouch.”
“Love hurts,” we both agree.
We maneuver ourselves into the shower, running the warm water until the cum loosens up. Jace is lathering him up for another go which makes him hug me hungrily. Jack bends over, pulls off my soaked briefs, and takes my straining dick into his mouth. What the hell. Jace is already inside him and pounding away. I can feel Jace’s rhythm through Jack, as he bobs on my dick. I get into the rhythm too. Soon we’re all cumming. Jack doesn’t need any stimulation, getting off on being fucked front and back. His skinny dick looks like a garden hose watering the flowers, whipping back and forth with the jism flying. He definitely is sweet. I decided to call him Sweet Pea and accept that we’re now boyfriends. He hasn’t captured my heart, but at least sex is a great start.
“Can I keep your underwear?” he asks.
“Need an autograph?”
“Oh,” Jack looks at me suddenly, “I forgot, you’re a rock star.”
“Not much of one, if you forgot.”
He kisses me quickly, “I’ll never forget this,” still clutching the dripping briefs.
Jace is in manic mood, hugging Max and running around. He signs, “Another 3-way, not an orgy.”
He’s keeping count.
After fucking for ten hours straight with only a break for a supposed wet dream, Jack is a little exhausted. Also, he doesn’t know how to face the class.
“Were you a virgin?” I ask.
“With girls or with guys?”
“Yeah, both, no one ever wanted me before.”
“All it took is a little pot. You want me, you got me.”
“Does that mean we’re really boyfriends.”
“Yeah, you win.”
He grabs my arm, and we walk into class a couple. The kids burst into cheers. Even Mr. Clark claps. I’m the one with the red face. Sweet Pea is no longer an understudy.
School is really buzzing about our bus sit-in. We’re all civil rights protesters, ready to go to Mississippi and die. At Nutrition, AP Spencer appears. Robby and I are whisked into his office. He outweighs us combined. As he walks, he pulls his pot-belly up like he really has a chest. But in his office, he uses the stomach to butt us into chairs in front of his desk. Sitting down, he glares at us, as if he’s conjuring up the worst punishment the school can mete out. We keep our mouths shut.
“You think you won, you little shits?” is the best he can do.
“We know you’re wrong. Since you didn’t listen to us, we thought the US Attorney might get your attention,” Robby states our position of dominance.
AP Spencer’s forehead veins pulse and burst (almost).
“You think you need the press, TV, and lawyers, so your friend can be in your play?”
“It’s more like a class action suit,” I inform him. “Every black kid in this school has been denied his right to an equal education for the last two years.”
He grinds his teeth. I believe I see spit come out his ears.
“Is this some cheap band publicity trick?”
“Our band is on hiatus since our guitarist was shot and died. It does so happen that the band’s manager is the lead attorney in the civil case that forced you to desegregate. We want you to go the next step and make all these black kids welcome here in the heart of Dixie Highway. If you think this is about publicity, you might want to get on the right side of the issue.”
“We’ve run this school for fifty years. You’re not going to tell us how it’s done.”
“Well, listen, Bull Connor, look around you. Things have changed.”
Robby and I sit on the floor and sing Bob Dylan’s ‘The Times They are A’changin’’
Gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’
Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
Keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
Don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they, they are a-changin’
Come senators, Congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand at the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it’s ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’
Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For your times they are a-changin’
The line it is drawn
And the curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Your old road
Will later be past
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’
SPECIAL RIDER MUSIC
“We’ve moved the sit-in to your office and won’t move until you agree to change the policies that keep others down. You can arrest us, but you can’t stop us.”
We sing all the peace protest songs, we can remember. Of course, the office staff is listening to what is transpiring. Soon the word spreads that we are singing protest songs inside AP Spencer’s office. All the kids at Nutrition storm the office. Kids are leaving classes all over the school. By the time AP Spencer has sense enough to call the Police, it’s out of his control.
“You have about thirty minutes before the Press finds out we’re singing in your office to lead the protest. Because of you, we’re making this a band thing.’
Before he could stop me, I pick up his phone and call Mike Sr.
“I’ve got Assistant Principal Spencer here, Mike,” I tell him. “We want him to make an announcement that buses will be added for late runs to Hialeah. Oh, and that the school welcomes all students.”
“You promised to tell me in advance.”
“He pulled us into his office and threatened us. We are conducting a sit-in and singing Dylan songs. There are about a thousand kids occupying the school office. We want him to agree to our requests.”
“Demands, you mean.”
“Okay. Remember the frat guy that resisted giving me our bar percentage. I need you to tell the AP what will happen, if this isn’t resolved.’
“Damn you, Tim. Listen before you leap.”
“I’m told to eat them before they eat you.”
“Jesus, put him on.”
“Mr. Antonio,” I announce, handing the phone to AP Spencer. He doesn’t even wait to listen.
“Mr. Antonio, I’m afraid things are getting out my control. I will go outside and indicate that the kids are right. Extra buses will be scheduled. We’ll have a big dance to welcome our bused students. Should of done so last year…..Thank you, sir.”
He hangs up and leads us through the crowd in the office and outside to the quad.
With his arms around Robby and me, “Attention. Attention. We have resolved the bus problem. Starting today extra buses will transport any student from outside the district to home at 4pm and 5 pm. We want everyone to recognize how important it is to be welcoming to all students, wherever they’re from.”
Robby and I shrug him off our shoulders. Stepping forward we start everyone singing “We Shall Overcome (Pop version).’
Then everyone cheers and disperses. A swarm of people surround Grant. Robby holds up his hand, “Behold, the Changeling.”
All the drama kids squeak a cheer. Then a skinny black kid raises his hands, “Hey, Whaddabout me?”
Everyone picks him up, carrying him around on their shoulders.
AP Spencer looks disgusted and storms off. Jack runs up and gives me a big kiss. Not much left to coming out.
The next year, Gables wins all the city titles in football, basketball and baseball. Nobody cares. It’s 1976, time to celebrate freedom for the 200th time.
Our friend Jimmy Olsen, intrepid as always, shows up to get photos of the whole school singing. He promises to write a positive story, telling how one English class needing a black kid to play a Shakespearean role changed a school’s policy of de facto segregation. He slightly mentions that it is False Gods who leads the blacks to freedom. Robby is proud. I just shake my head. I’m just the guitarist. Jace romps around the Quad, chasing AP Spencer and delivering a kick to his butt. Spencer doesn’t care and doesn’t feel a thing. We double up laughing. The class change bell rings twice and twice as long.
Mike Sr. really gives it to me that night in his home office.
“I will not run to the Assistant US Attorney just because you crave publicity.”
“It’s for a good cause.”
“Really, or is it your ego-driven need to get attention. Have you forgotten that you have your father’s attention now and don’t need everyone to make up for your deprived childhood?’
He has me there, so I shut up and look contrite.
“You’re a hundred percent right. But how can I hold Robby back? He comes up with stuff that is just a bit over the top. Then, it blows up in our faces. Thank you for saving my ass again.
I look up and see he’s serious. “Sorry, my sorry butt?..no, in a sling?”
“Just say you mean it, Tim.”
“That’s what Dad says when I run trips on him.”
“I’m not your dad, but I deserve an apology.”
“You’re right. Dad is there for me now, even if I had to be a gun-toting Second Amendment nut to get him there. But Mr. Antonio, I’ve made everything difficult for you, when all you want is for Michael to be a good son. You told me he was able to break Robby’s grip on him. I’ll see if he’ll help me do the same.”
“Well, that’s a plan I approve of.”
He gives me good advice. It makes me think about what we’re doing. Sure enough, all the papers and TV stations run follow ups on the Gables busing story. They refer to our English class as headed by two members of False Gods,’ the local teen band that held a mass memorial for their slain guitarist at Viscaya over Christmas, calling it the Miami Woodstock. Jeez, we’re only a cover band.
That thought makes me realize that with all our side projects, we haven’t finished our own set of songs. Mike Sr. calls me. Al Kooper’s Sounds of the South Label, is inquiring if we’ll open for Lynyrd Skynyrd in April at the Biscayne Bay Hydroplane course. It scares the crap out me that we’re not ready. It is just what we need to stop getting into trouble. I tell him ‘definitely yes.’ I scream at everyone in the music room, “We’re opening for Skynyrd.”
“When? Where?” several people ask.
“Their new album comes out in April. Their first stop on the tour is here at the Hydroplane Stadium in Biscayne Bay.”
I think about all the projects we have going: Michael’s birthday party where I’m playing the music in the play and helping the Out-Crowd with their first show; the recording of the Viscaya video, plus Jimmy wants us to record the protest songs for the footage from yesterday; write and rehearse a full set of songs for False Gods’ first real show. And, oh, I have a new boyfriend. Jack is my shadow all day, sitting with me, looking happily possessive. I take him over to the Jacettes, who have been eying him since we came in.
“Hey. This is Jack. He’s my new boyfriend. Meet Mary, Edi and my girlfriend Flo, .”
His face falls and looks like a rabbit caught in the headlights.
Flo takes the lead, “Welcome to the club Jack-off.”
Everyone laughs. Flo motions us aside.
“Well, I didn’t have you by myself for long,” she complains.
Jack stammers, “Do we share him?”
“No, honey, we’re all in this together. Maybe now he’ll stop talking with his dead boyfriend. It’s hard to compete with that.”
“Jace approves wholeheartedly with both of you,” I assert. I start singing Rod Stewart, “You’re in my heart. You’re in my soul. You are my lover. You are my best friend.”
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Jack still looks crestfallen. Flo picks him up and gives him a big hug. Now he definitely looks distressed.
“You don’t like girls?” she asks him.
“I don’t know. I never had a girlfriend. I never had a boyfriend until this morning.”
“Well, honey ‘buckle your seat belt. We’re in for a bumpy ride.’”
He grins, then grabs my hand and pulls me into the corner.
“Do I have to go with her, too?” he asks.
“Well, nothing could stop you from ‘going’ with me last night. You’ll find your own way. I like both boys and girls. Just be friends with Flo. It’ll all work out.”
“Can I come home with you tonight?”
“Yes, you better. Anyway, Flo’s under her parents’ watchful eye, so it’s much harder for us to be together.”
“It’s not a competition. If you want me to really love you, you’ll know what I want, not just what you want.”
“You don’t love me?”
“I hardly know you. You’re crushing badly on me, which I obviously like. Get to know me better and you’ll be more confident about it. It’s a long and winding road. We’ve barely started.”
“What do you mean that Jace’s approves of me.”
“I just know in my heart what he thinks.” I see Jace give him a kiss on his neck which makes him twitch. I’m not about to get into the why of that.
Next, I address the Out-Crowd.
“You guys are ready to be on your own. Michael, Hippie and I will still be there for you, but it’s time to cut the cord. We have to be in the recording studio plus write a full set of songs. All we have now are six songs, half of which are about sex. Work out your own set of songs for the party. Remember you’re playing for 10-14 year olds.”
“Love songs. The girls go bat shit for love songs,” Michael knows what he wants them to practice.
They set up to rehearse.
Michael leads Hippie, Robby, Jack and me to a quiet room away from the others.
“How do we have six songs?” Michael asks.
“Jace and I wrote songs about what we thought and felt.”
“That’s why half of them are about sex,” Robby cracks.
“We have to sing about gay sex?” Hippie looks worried. The moms will not approve.
“We have to write about what our real feelings are. No Beatles’ ‘I saw her standing there’ crap.”
“Well, with a new boyfriend, we should have plenty more sex songs.”
Jack turns bright red. He’s so cute.
“Well, hey, let’s make some introductions. Robby already knows Jack from class. He cast him as my understudy in the play. Now that I’m doing the music, he’s gets the lead now.”
“What role is that?” Michael asks.
“I’m Titania, Queen of the fairies.” Jack looks mortified.
Hippie’s mouth drops open. “You play a girl?”
“All the girls’ roles are played by boys.” Jack defends himself.
“My moms won’t let me see that.”
“Well, tell them all the girls take the boys’ roles as stage hands. They act all butch, that’ll get them to watch it. They are coming to Michael’s party, right?” I assume.
“Oh, yeah. They’re being all girly about it, wondering what to wear.”
“Hippie moms, can’t decide to be butch or fem?”
Michael goes over and hugs Jack. “Welcome, but I’ve got a girlfriend. Watch out for Tim, he’ll be turning you straight.”
“Yeah, he just told me he has a girlfriend.
We all sing the Kinks’ Lola,
“Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
It’s a mixed up muddled up, shook up world
Except for Lola, L-L-Lola”
© DAVIES, RAYMOND DOUGLAS
© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
Jack sings in a clear tenor alto.
“You’ve got competition, Tim,” Robby jokes.
“Just another added voice,” I remark.
“You mean I’m in the band?” Jack is incredulous.
“No, but keep singing like that and you will be.” I smile, then grin at him.
He starts to cry.
“Oh, god, another one,” Michael notes.
I see how he is overwhelmed and give him a big hug. When he starts humping me, Hippie jumps up and runs out of the room, yelling, “Fags, fags, everywhere.”
We all laugh and Jack calms down.
“I don’t know what I’m doing?” he confesses.
“You’re doing fine. Tim’s a sex maniac. If you can’t keep up, there’s always Flo.’ Robby observes.
That gets Jack to stop sobbing.
“Robby, take Jack around and introduce him to the others in the Out-Crowd. I need to speak with Michael.
“What about,” Robby demands.
“Just things his dad told me. Go on.”
“Com’n Titania, it’s your big debut.”
Michael asks what’s up.
“Your dad told me you figured out how to control Robby when you were ten or eleven. He told me I have to stop Robby getting us into trouble, especially when it involves him.”
“Good old dad bringing out his angry side?”
“Pretty much. He keeps having to rescue me from Robby’s schemes. He told me to grow a pair.”
“Well, when I was in 4th grade and Robby in 5th, he’d been telling me pretty much what to do. I felt like he was an older brother.”
“Which you never had.”
“Yeah, well, then he lit me on fire by accident. After rolling me up in a rug and ‘saving’ me, I beat the crap out of him.”
“That works but I’m not going to try it, after what happened when I beat up Jace’s older brother.”
“Jeff was always an asshole.”
“Does your dad know about the fire?”
“No, but when he saw Robby with a black eye, he winked at me. Now I just laugh at Robby’s shit.”
“Like when I poured holy water on him and he was burned by hell fire.”
“Pretty much. I saw that coming and enjoyed the show. The Robby magic mean show.”
“Yeah, but Dave and Jazz running up the street screaming was pretty good.”
“At their expense.”
“I don’t see it that way. You need to temper my need for pranks or I’ll end up as Robby’s assistant in the mean show.
“Okay, but since you don’t listen to anyone, even my dad, you’ll have to trust me.”
“I trust you a lot more than I do Robby.”
“That’s a start.”
“Wanna write a song?”
“How about ‘Look before You Leap?’”
set you’re your buddy on fire,
Better buy a rug.
send your friends to hell,
Better get a priest.
beat up a bully,
Better get a gun.
Look before you leap
Better to say no
Than end up in the shit heap
No place to go.
Leap, leap, leap
You fuckin’ freak
Leap, leap, leap
Strip and streak.”
We go back to the music room. Robby’s still introducing Jack to all the youngsters, some of whom don’t know or acknowledge that I’m gay. He’s enjoying the gossip, so we show Hippie the new song. I explain it’s about all the mean things that Robby and other bullies pull on us and how to deal with it.
“How about, ‘Lick my ear while driving , I go off the road.”
“and back seat orgy,” I add.
“What’s that about?” Michael asks.
“Going home from Sorrento’s after a gig. You went with the adults.”
“How many times did Hippie go up the curb?”
“About ten times. Robby was relentless. Hippie finally kicked us all out and left us rolling around on someone’s lawn. He just drove around the block and we settled down.” I kid Hippie. “You thought you had to give blow jobs to be in the band,”
“Weren’t we popular?” Michael comments. “You gonna let Johnny sing with you. He has a good voice.”
“Let’s see how the boyfriend thing works out. Do you think we were better when Jace and I both sang?”
“Of course. Your guitar sounds incredible, just as good as Jace, but it limits your singing and moving around.”
“You think we harmonize well together?”
“Oh yeah, You can hump him while he sings in that upper range.”
I start singing Roy Orbison’s ‘Crying,”
“Cry.y.y.ing over you, crying over you
Yes, now you’re gone and from this moment on”
As if on cue, Jack walked over and sang with me:
“I’ll be crying, crying, crying, crying
Yeah crying, crying, over you”
ROY ORBISON, JOE MELSON
Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC
When I join Jack, he looks distressed, so I end with a smile.
“What’s wrong?” I ask.
“Most of these kids don’t even know you’re gay. Robby went into details about Jace and now I just found out about Stu’s brother. I don’t have a chance.”
“Everyone come over here and listen up.” I yell. When they all gather around Jack and me, I explain where it stands, giving Robby the evil eye.
“Jack’s my boyfriend. He really wants to be, so we’re giving it a try. Whatever Robby tells you about me, it’s sure to be an exaggeration, to satisfy his nasty need to make everyone except him look bad. We have two bands now, based on age, but also based on our friendships with each other. I want Jack to be in the older band with me. It will be just like when Jace and I played and sang. Everybody seemed pretty happy about Jace and me, but it didn’t end so well. The same for whatever I had with Stu’s brother. I love all you guys and girls. I think that’s more important than anything. So what do you think about giving Jack a chance to sing with us and to be my boyfriend as well?”
There was silence as they all looked at each other. Iggy jumps up. “Fuck yeah, as long as I get to be Iggy Pop.”
“That’s the point, we’re free to be ourselves, even if it’s an asshole like Iggy Pop.”
Someone yells, “Yeah, free to be me.”
They all surround Jack. A chastened Robby brings out his bong. Bong hits all around. Jack’s second stoned rush makes him even hornier than the first time. I drag him into the bathroom for a blow job to calm him down. He can’t believe I would blow him. Jace is sitting below us on the floor, fingering him. He blows in about 30 seconds. I tell him ‘later’ for pay-back. He never lets go of me the entire practice. Everyone is used to me getting hard in public, but the two of us make all the straight guys look away. The Jacettes just keep giggling. Jack is relieved that Flo isn’t jealous. She knows how to share. She has 8 brothers and sisters. Jack adds his own verses to the compilation of bullying incidents we all endured. I keep an eye on John to see if he wants to add any of the bullying abuse I know about. He isn’t ready. After practice, Jack and I come over to him, so I can make a personal introduction.
“You’re Jace’s brother?” Jack finds out.
“Yeah,” John says with his head down.
“I know I’ll never replace Jace in Tim’s heart. I’m trying to find another piece of it for me.”
“Are you and Tim ‘brothers’ now,” he asks.
“We’re working on it.” I concede.
“Well, you can be my brother, too,” he tells Jack, who knows not to hug him.
“Thanks.” We both say.