3 – Blog a22 – G L O R I A

All that drama. It’s after 5pm when we finally reach Tina’s. I suggest meeting at the same pizza place from the kidnapping. It is rush hour as Jack and I take the IRT and get there in an hour. Tina and Pete are waiting. I am so happy to see them. I make the introductions, informing them that Jack’s the band’s singer and that we are boyfriends. That is a shock. Tina seems comfortable, although she needs to digest the news. Pete looks crestfallen.
“I hope you didn’t feel that way about me.”
“Jeez, Pete, we were kids then. That’ll never change.” And I hug him, even though he feels a bit stiff about it.
“So, what about us? You just like boys now?” Tina is direct.
“No way. I have relationships with girls still. With Jack, we’re together all the time. Even our parents know. The main point of coming to New York was for you guys to meet him. It’s never been about sex with us, Tina. We are in each other’s hearts. So is Pete. I hope you’ll find a way to let Jack in, trusting what my heart has already done so.”
They look nervously at each other. I am a bit jealous that they are so close. Long distance relationships suck.
Tina takes the lead. “Tim, I trust you completely. If Jack has your love, then he has mine.”
Pete nods in agreement.
Jack’s worried look disappears and he smiles. “This is great. I want to know all about you. Obviously Tim is as important to you as he is to me. He has a huge heart. Wait ‘til you see him work with church youth groups. They flock to him.”
“Church?” Pete asks.
“Yeah. That’s how we get to play at St Patrick’s on Easter. We teach kids to trust each other by sharing the Jesus they hold in their hearts, opening their hearts to other kids as they are supposed to. He even changes the haters.”
“What about doubters?”
“You mean someone who no longer believes as they did as a child?”
“Yeah. Life’s not as nice as it seems when you’re little.”
“You protect your heart by trusting those who are open. The haters, the doubters, the scared, or the bullies, you have to get them to open up.”
“Come to youth group at St Patrick’s on Saturday with us and see how it works.”
“You want us to come to Church? I guess you may win over the parents yet.”
“Good. Get them to hear us perform on Easter.”
“That’s Park Avenue. They’ll feel uncomfortable.”
“See, adults have an even harder time from all the years of putting up barriers in their hearts.”
I reach out and hold Tina’s hand, looking into her eyes. She smiles in an open and trusting manner. Casper places his hands over her’s.
“Wow,” she says. “I can really feel a spiritual presence right now.”
“That’s the ghost of my boyfriend, Jace. We call him Teen Jesus.You have a trusting heart, so you can feel him. He’s sitting here with his hands on our’s.”
Pete places his hands on top of ours. “I feel him, too.”
“Now all you need to do is let him into your heart. You’ll be able to know if anyone is open and trusting, those who also share this love.”
Pete reaches out and takes Jack’s hand and places it on top of the other hands.”
Jack kisses me. I kiss Tina. Tina kisses Pete. Pete is unsure about kissing Jack to complete the circle.
“Com’n, Pete,” Jack tells him. “Just grab Tim’s hand. You don’t have to kiss me.”
“I want to, but what if someone sees me?”
“You don’t have to touch to receive the spiritual energy. I’ve always known how you feel about me. Just as I know how Tina’s always feels.” I reassure him.
He is absolutely glowing. Casper starts to glow as well. It feels so good being with the four people I love and I know love me. We all sit there until the pizzas comes. Pizza trumps love.

I finally relax. We have been non-stop for a week. Sure, there is lots to do in the next few days. The original idea was to get together with the people I love here in the Bronx. My need for others to love me seems insatiable. Surrounded by Jack, Tina, Pete, and Casper, I feel complete. We should have brought Max as well.
“How about a tour of all those friends that come to Miami Beach every year. I wanna slap around that brother of yours for what he caused last fall.”
“Good luck,” Tina says. “He thinks he’s the one who stood up to the gangs. Cockier than ever.”
“Your Dad still think I’m a threat?”
“To my virginity? For sure.”
“And how’s that working out for you?”
She gives me a look that does not need explaining.
“Maybe I need to come around more,” I assert.
She winks at Jack. “You look well taken care of in that department.”
“Boys are so much easier than girls,” I explain.

We get up and pay the bill. Tina and Pete take us around to say hi to the original summer gang of 1973. They remember I promised to visit. “What took you so long, Huerto?” one asks.
“You know, Tina. Always putting me off.”
Finally we are at her house. Her dad actually seems happy to see me with my improved high school Spanish. I tell him we are singing at St Patrick’s on Easter and invite their family to come. He thanks me and wishes me well. No leaving the neighborhood is his rule. Tina’s little brother, Beto, acts shy. I slap him around, telling him to stay away from the gangs. Then he hugs me, calling me ‘hermano.’ We leave, walking Pete to his house. He feels comfortable enough to put an arm on both our shoulders as we walk up his stoop.
“Better pay her more attention, Huerto. I might move in on your amiga,” he advises me.
“There’s no prize for second place, Pete,” I kid him.
“She’ll never be second in my heart,” he admits and blushes.
“Timing, my friend,” I advise.
“Don’t break her heart,” he warns.
“?tu es son hermano o son amigo?”
“E, yo tam bien.”
“Bring Tina to Max’s Kansas City in Union Square tonight. We’ll sing for you both.”
“Si, es posible.”
“Adios, Pete,” Jack smiles at him.
“Si, a Dios.”

It’s nine o’clock by the time we got back to the Chelsea. Robby and Iggy are still pretty much out of it. Michael and Hippie have been watching them sleep. Jack and I relieve them, so they can go eat.
“Don’t forget the show with Patti Smith tonight.”
“Yeah. What time?”
“She said after midnight.”
“Why so late?”
“Nothing happens in the City until late.”
After they leave, Jack and I talk about our visit to the Bronx.
“Looks like Pete’s waiting to move in on your lady,” Jack observes.
“Oh. He’s just being a good friend.”
“You wrap all the girls around your little finger.”
“Tina doesn’t get too involved emotionally. Even though we talk on the phone, she keeps away from being too personal.”
“Was it disappointing tonight?”
“Nah. I finally relaxed. It feels great. The band’s been non-stop for a whole week.”
“There weren’t real sparks between you two.”
“That’s what bothers me. I feel her slipping away.”
“She handled the gay thing pretty well.”
“Maybe. She didn’t react. She likes you, though.”
“Perfect manners always gets the ladies.”
“Not getting conceited, are we?”
“I just know who I love and who I want to be with all the time.”
“Me, too. I never doubt that I’m gay. I just like girls as well. Now I wonder if I can get emotionally involved with them.”
“Well, Flo and Edi will be here tomorrow. They’re always fun. You aren’t giving up on girls because of me, are you?”
“Between you and Casper, there’s little sperm available.”
“Let’s keep it that way.”
Casper has been listening. He floats down and puts an arm around each of us. I worry I’m not paying him enough attention.

When Michael and Hippie come back, Jack and I are sound asleep at the foot of Robby’s bed. Casper is there too. Michael is concerned that adding a performance tonight with Patti Smith at Max’s will be too much. We performed day and night for a week. I suggest we just go to the show. I promised Pete to sing for Tina if they show up. Jack and I suggest we sing some Spanish songs. ‘Oye Como Va.’ ‘La Bamba,’ and ‘La Cucaracha,’ are the only ones we know. We’re not even sure that we pronounce the Spanish properly. At least these are familiar pop songs. Max is lying on Iggy’s bed. He has been whining for a while. Obviously, with the pot connections down all day, no one provided the addicted dog with his pot fix. Michael smoked out Andy and friends at lunch, but Max missed that. Truthfully, we are all coming down and increasingly lethargic. Robby wakes up and staring at us through squinty eyes declares, “What’s wrong with you? Did someone die?”
We all laugh and tell him we are out of pot. He reaches behind his ear but is out as well.
“We had to smoke out those dealers we met in Washington Square. They were insatiable.”
Now we are really depressed.
“Have no fear my Samhein peers. My supply is right here,” Robby smiles and pulls out his stash box. It is bong hits all around.  I grab Jack and Casper. We rush back to our room and proceeded to fuck for an hour. It’s almost midnight. We go to gather everyone. Only Max is not comatose. Robby tries to get up. His balance is shot and he cannot walk. New York dope kicks his ass. Iggy has not woken up again. Michael is asleep in the bed with Robby. Hippie asks for our room key. Max comes with us, excited to get out.

As we walk over to Max’s Kansas City, Jack asks if I am going to confession tomorrow, Good Friday.
“I may not make it to our gig at CBGB’s if I confess, repent, and do contrition for all my sins.”
“You don’t generalize them all?” he asks.
“Isn’t that cheating?”
“Well, Father Frank arrives tomorrow. He can hear our confessions. Then we’ll go to Mass. If we don’t take the Eucharist, people will notice. How will we be able to speak at the youth group on Saturday, if we haven’t renounced our sins?”
“Will you renounce me?”
“God, no. I feel blessed every time I think about you and what we do.”
“The devil’s work, I’m sure.”
“This is Maundy Thursday. The Gospel according to John states, ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you.”
Casper gets all excited. He signs, “See. Our love is blessed, not sinful.”
Teen Jesus has spoken. Casper kisses us both. That glow we felt with Tina and Pete returns. Casper hugs Max. He positively shines from the glow.

As we walk into Max’s, the glow increases. People turn to watch us as we walk the dog toward Andy’s and Jon Landau’s table.
Jon asks, “Who’s dog?”
“This is Max. He’s a trained pot sniffer. He’s the band’s star power.
“You boys look divine,” Andy observes.
“We celebrated Holy Thursday with the last joint. Now we’re spreading the Gospel according to John to love one another,” Jack smiles. We both kiss Andy on opposite cheeks. Photo flashes go off all over the bar. We look at Jon. He seems uneasy about being kissed but relents.
“It’s Maundy Thursday,” we announce and blow kisses to the room.
Finally seated, Andy is still breathless. “Can I kiss you back?”
“Of course,” we both answer. More flashes go off.
Jon states “I’ll just say that I’m totally under your spell. But more kissing is off-limits.”
As I had said to Pete, “No problem. We can feel your love without a kiss. For gays it’s more important. Despair not your sexual preference.”
Everyone laughs.

Meanwhile, Patti and her band are setting up. They observe the whole scene at Andy’s table. She gets on the mic and complains, “What about me?’
Max and I rush up on stage. I French kiss her for twenty seconds. Robert appears, seeming a bit put off. Jack comes up and kisses him. I look out from the stage. Tina and Pete are sitting way in the back by themselves. They wave. I tell them to come up, too. All six of us are hugging.
I introduce them to Patti and Robert, “This is my girlfriend Tina and her boyfriend, Pete. They came here from the Bronx to see you.”
Pete turned bright red, but Tina just holds his hand.
“Interesting developments from the Bronx. Why don’t you guys do your portion of my show, while we set up. Where’s the rest of your band?”
“We celebrated the Last Supper with our last joint. The others passed out.  We’re here to celebrate John the Apostle’s new Commandment to love one another.”
“Ah, the new Beatles. So what blissed-out crap are you going to do a Capella?”
I turn on the mic. “You asked earlier why I go to the Bronx. My Bronx friends are just as reserved about coming here. So, to make them comfortable, Jack and I are going to sing the only Spanish songs we know and hope all you Manhattanites will sing to them as well.”
I plug in my SG and do the lead riff into ‘La Bamba.’ Jack ululates “la la la la la la Bamba,” and we all come in for the verse, including Patti, Tina and Pete.

‘Arriba y arriba
Y arriba y arriba, por ti seré
Por ti seré
Por ti seré
Yo no soy marinero
Yo no soy marinero, soy capitán
Soy capitán
Soy capitán
Para bailar la bamba
Para bailar la bamba
Se necesita una poca de gracia
Una poca de gracia pa(ra) mi pa(ra) ti
Arriba, arriba
R-r-r-r-r, haha!
Para bailar la bamba
Para bailar la bamba
Se necesita una poca de gracia
Una poca de gracia pa(ra) mi pa(ra) ti
Arriba y arriba
Y arriba y arriba, por ti seré
Por ti seré
Por ti seré

Ritchie Valens
Published by

Everyone is standing up and singing the words as if they know them. Tina is standing between Pete and me with her arms around our waists, singing into the mic, while I play guitar. At the end of the song, I keep going and we do the whole song again.
Next we do ‘Oye Como Va,’ which only a few people know the words. Tina and Pete make it a duet.


Patti takes over her mic, “Well, I guess I’ve gotta get my ass up to the Bronx now. Everyone this is Tim and Jack from False Gods. They play CBGB’s tomorrow night. They’re a hella bunch of fun.”
People keep shouting more. I escort Pete and Tina to Andy’s table, but Patti tells me to come back up.
“You gotta ‘nother Spanish ditty?”
“Pete’s my best friend. It looks like while I’ve been gone, he may have snaked my girlfriend Tina. This song’s for you, buddy.”
Jack and I sing ‘La Cucaracha,”

Spanish                                                 English
La cucaracha, la cucaracha,             The cockroach, the cockroach,
ya no puede caminar                         can’t walk anymore
porque le falta, porque no tiene     because it’s lacking, because it
marihuana pa’ fumar.                       doesn’t have marijuana to smoke.”

We sit down to many laughs and cheers.

Patti’s band takes the stage and does their set.
She begins by riping into a cover of ‘Gloria,’ G L O R I A.



After they’re done, she and Robert join us.
“You just about stole my show, asshole.”
“People come to rock out with you. We’re just kids having fun. It’s no competition. We won’t be 16 forever.”
“Our best song tonight was a cover. Our own songs are too much like poetry.”
“We are just a cover band in Miami. It’s what people want, to rock out to the songs they love. You want to be an artist, learn to paint. You wanna be popular, rock out like kids.”
She leans over and kisses me again. Then she whispers, “You’re showing me how to be a pop artist. I’ll win ‘em over. Then I’ll kill ‘em with my poetry.”
Remembering that morning’s bathroom encounter, “Try Pissing me a River.”
She laughs.

Andy pulls me over. I sit on the arm of his chair.   I know not to be too physical with him but crave the closeness.
“I promised I’d make you a star when you grew up. Looks like you did it on your own, without growing up.”
“Am I still too young for you at 16?”
“Let’s just say you’re living up to your potential.”
I kiss him. Casper waves and points to Jack who’s kissing Robert. My jealousy flares. Casper knew what to do, knocking Robert’s drink into his lap. He stands up quickly.
“Looks like he’s already cum, Jack. You better get your ass over here if you want longer lasting lust,” I order him.
Jack titters and rushes over, whispering, “You really are jealous?”
“Nah, it was Casper who did that. But my jealousy prompted the joke about your sluttiness.”
He hugs me and does not let go.”
I do not want to be making out in front of Andy, so we move to an empty seat.
Tina asks me, “Why did you say Pete is my boyfriend? Are we breaking up?”
“No. My feelings are just the same. But I can see how protective Pete is of you.”
I take Pete’s hand and place it on Tina’s. “He loves you, too. He would never make any moves, because of me. Jack is willing to share me with you. I love Pete as a brother. He’s here with you all the time. What we have is special. But we can share it with him as I have shared it with Jack.”
“It’s not exactly like one big happy family, is it?” she mocks me.
“Nah. We’re teenagers. Until we figure it all out, let’s just love each other and not worry about the future.”
Tina looks at Pete for the first time. He swallows and kisses her for the first time. Jack kisses me for the infinite time. Andy claps his hands, “Bravo.”  He is NYC’s greatest hostess.

We beg off going to the Factory. The Miami supporters are arriving in a few hours. Tina and Pete are anxious not to be too late getting home. I promise we will see them after Mass the next day. They shake their heads in amazement. I find them a cab and give the driver a twenty to take them all the way home.
“You always take care of me, Tim.”
‘That’s ‘cause I luv ya.” I joke. I see they both are holding hands. Little steps. Pete pulls me into the window and the two of them kiss me on both cheeks.
“Hey. Whadabout me,” Jack complains. He gets two kisses as well.  “John the Apostle rules.”

We walk arm in arm to the Chelsea. Max on a leash is leading the way. Casper is riding on his back.



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