The third floor is ours at last. I drag John Boy into our bedroom, to the laughs of ‘Gator and his harem. Together at last.
Sitting on the bedroom, John Boy eyes me warily.
“That’s the plan – mad, crazy fucking,” I announce loudly.
“Shh. They’ll hear,” John Boy warns.
“Maybe they need a push of encouragement.”
“They ain’t doin’ it themselves?”
“If you believe ‘Gator.”
“We should give ‘em lessons,” John Boy giggles.
Conspiring together makes me feel romantic which is all the encouragement my hard-on needs. Grabbing him, I twirl us around, and tuck him into a tight hug. I pull his head to french him long and deep. He wraps his legs around my waist while I walk us to the bed. Falling together, I rotate our bodies so he falls on top of me instead of me crushing him. He’s crushing badly. I’m so happy to be doing it that I’m about to climax less than a minute into our fucking. It feels too good to stop. I silently curse my passive reaction but can’t stop the explosion. Holding him firmly to my lap, I look back, expecting to see John Boy lost into the fucking. Instead, he’s crying.
I roll over, hugging his sobbing body.
“What’s wrong? It was great until I saw your tears,” I ask.
All I could think is we were two hapless bottoms, unable to satisfy each other. I kiss him gently, but that was the opposite of what he wants. He reaches his arms around me, hugging me as tightly as he can. It’s a disaster. The tears run out. He’s soon sound asleep on my chest. My proudest quality, my dick, let us down. The old me would have fucked Jack until he begged me to finish. I need to call Dr. Kam for advice. Maybe that’s what’s wrong. I’m over-analyzed and incapable of being a teen-age animal. I slap my dick and fall asleep locked in our embrace. I dream about bowling.
I awake early, to go milk the cows with ‘Gator. Jack is snuggled up next to me, as is his want. It feels nice to wake up in his embrace. Our failed sexscapade that night is now a dull memory. John Boy’s morning wood presses between my butt cheeks. Avoiding a repeat of the previous failure, I roll him over My previous reluctance to meet his need makes his eyes search wildly for my intention. He isn’t to be denied. My dick strains to be inside him.
I stare back intently as my dick knows what it wants.
“I love you, John Boy,” I shout.
He yells, “I love you. I love you.”
I go on forever with our love-fucking, crazy mad or sweet and sad. No stopping.
“We’re going to cum together,” I order.
“I’m ready,” he whispers.
“Now. I’m right on the edge.”
His balls retract into his groin. I massage them to keep him from climaxing. He’s squealing from pain and frustration. I hold still, feeling my dick make its upward turn in anticipation of an impending orgasm. I let his balls go as they snap against the base of his shaft. He explodes. I let loose inside John Boy. He shudders and cums a final mini-spurt. Knowing he’s done, I let loose my full orgasm, collapsing on top of him. I reach behind his head and pull his mouth to mine for more kissing. My dick remains deep inside, continuing to ride him until the stimulation makes me start shaking and shuddering.
“I love you so much,” John Boy whispers in an ear. My dick instantly gets the message and regains its full glory. I start rapid in and out thrusts. Never slowing down, I reach climax quickly, holding still as my straining dick releases time and again. John Boy cums as well, with a minimal result expelled. He’s done. I keep going after our mutual orgasm until he shudders from the over-stimulation. His breathing is ragged and uneven. It slowly returns to normal until he falls sound asleep. I pull us away from the mess, ready to go to sleep myself.
A quiet knock comes from the outside of our locked bedroom door.
“Andy,” ‘Gator whispers.
I pull on my briefs and let him in. He slyly grins at John Boy, spread-eagle on his back in the tossed sheets.
“Is that a surprise?” I counter.
“If’n yer a good Regis Catholic boy who thinks John Boy come here fer the bowlin.’”
“Oh. Ya thinks they heard us.”
“They was all gathered on the stairs. I tolds ‘em I has to work extree hard keeping two girls satisfied. They was shocked but John Boy’s secret is safe.”
“Thanks, ‘Gate. Yer the perfect excuse.”
“A bit of tittie squeezin’ may be good fer me. John Boy’s tits is small and hard as a pebble.”
He punches me as we laugh. I get dressed and find ‘Gator on the second floor. All the Regis boys volunteer to learn milking. His supposed prowess with the twins make him an instant hero to repressed Catholic boys. I figure that the Ames comfort girls are in for it after the tournament. Regis may be distracted at bowling with their focus on a new main event.
The NY boys are awkward around farm equipment and animals. ‘Gator, his dad, and I each take one boy to show them the ropes. The fourth Regis boy stays back at Hyland House, to ‘protect’ John Boy.
My trainee is Seamus, fresh-faced and Irish-American. He practices on Bessie, who calmly accepts his initial fumbling with her teats. Irishmen come in two types: fishermen or farmers. Seamus quickly find his inner farm boy groove. Once he masters hooking up Bessie to the milking machine, we quickly work through our assigned cows. Another boy, Finn, encounters initial difficulty approaching his first cow. ‘Gator’s dad laughs as the boy gets kicked in the butt when he can’t attach the suction cups. More comfortable at fishing, he starts singing a sailor shanty
and the cows relax for him. All three boys are able to handle the milking by the time we’re due home for breakfast. Mrs. ‘Gator invites all of us in for breakfast. I decline, saying, “My mom will be disappointed if we miss her special weekend breakfast of blueberry pancakes.”
Driving home in the bed of ‘Gator’s pickup, I ask Seamus why the fourth boy needs to ‘protect’ Jack (as they called him).
“From the Baptists. We promised the Monseigneur we’d protect him.”
“Oh, those evil Baptists are from a hick town. We all sing in the local Baptist church choir. They love Jack.”
“It’s sure nice y’all wants ta protect ‘im.”
“Monseigneur told us he’s gonna be a saint someday.”
I laugh, remembering how intensely he needed to be fucked that morning.
“You cahn laugh all you wahnt, but we came heah to protect him. Bowling’s not a real high school spoht, anyways.”
I laugh. “Y’all kin sandbag it taday, then.”
“Naw. We’ll show you country boys how it’s done,” he brags.
Mom outdoes herself with pancakes, eggs, bacon, and cinnamon rolls. By the time we are stuffed, no one believes we can bowl our best games. But it’s time for the Iowa High School State Championships.
Ames Lanes is a beehive of activity. Their evening league organization oversees running the tournament. A long line of competitors snakes across the lobby to check-in. The Regis boys wear their blazers and ties and are carrying a banner that announces they are from New York City. A buzz is in the air about ‘foreigners’ invading Iowa. The more home-spun appearance of the country high schools’ teams adds to the disparity. Several out-of-town coaches object to non-Iowans in the tournament. It is explained that Regis is ineligible to be Iowa Champion, but with bowling a new high school sport, they would compete with the Iowa winner for national bowling championship status. Lane assignments are made and posted for each pair of competitors. After checking in, most high schoolers go straight to the bake sale. Quickly the muffins and cookies from the cheerleading squad are sold out. The French Club’s pattiseries are mostly overlooked until they are all that is left and are tentatively consumed by ravenous teenagers. The girls teach their customers to exclaim, ‘C’est magnifique.’
My personal concern is the appearance of a team from Harlan. I notice them looking and pointing at John Boy, who is oblivious as ever with his new teammates. I walk up to Seamus and point out the interest being paid John Boy by the Harlan team.
He goes immediately on military-alert. Regis has a large high school ROTC corps. The French Club girls are recruited as protectors. A Harlan boy casually walks by, hissing, “Devil’s spawn,” and “Satan worshipper.” The Regis boys surround him, causing the rest of the Harlan team to rush to his defense. It takes Coach Ball and several other coaches several minutes to separate the combatants. The Harlan coach refuses to discipline the boy who made the remarks, citing free speech. The tournament director decides to play the national anthem, signaling the start of the competition. The Regis boys, including John Boy, snap to attention and salute the American flag draped at the end of the lanes. After the recording ends, the Harlan coach goes to the announcer and insists on reciting the Lord’s Prayer. The Regis boys kneel and recite their Catholic version while most of the Iowan teams raise their eyes and wave their hands toward Heaven. A détente is established. John Boy is startled that he caused such a ruckus, while his protectors and fag hags surround him as guards.
The initial pairings are announced and competition is confined to the lanes. A large scoreboard is next to the announcer’s table. There are twelve high schools competing, each with five mixed pairs. All twenty lanes are in use. It takes three rounds of three games for each team to complete the competition. As each game finishes, the scores are posted and a running total kept on each school’s score. Ames decides to save our best bowlers for the last round. Surprisingly, we remain in the running after the first two rounds. Some schools have only one team in the final round. We are among those that have two pairs. As they are our best bowlers, the local fans are getting excited about our chances to win. The Regis team adopts John Boy’s etiquette rules. Along with the French Club girls, they praise their opponents with ‘ooh la la’s’ and ‘bonne chance.’ They win new friends with each round. Although scored separately from the Iowan teams, everyone keeps a close watch at their scores as they are posted. After two rounds, because they had already posted four of their five teams, Regis is far ahead. Ames, with two teams in the final round, seems out of contention. It’s ‘Gator and Amy plus Angie and me in the final round. ‘Gator’s intense competitiveness is infectious. If he rolls a strike, Amy somehow follows with another. Angie and I are in the next lane. Soon we are matching them ball for ball. John Boy and his partner, Ellen but now going by Eloise, are next to Angie and me. They catch the spirit of competition as well. Strike after strike is rolled. From being unable to break 100 in the Fall, I suddenly bowl a personal best 165 in my first game, Angie tops me with a 167, Amy is 180 and ‘Gator rolls a 187. Ames moves up in the rankings, leading all the schools who have two teams in the final round. If we keep it up, we’ll be the Iowa State Champs. All the cheerleaders and French Club girls are cheering us on. After two games, Ames has moved into first place on the board. The only team ahead of Ames is Regis. In disparagement of Harlan, all the local high schools are cheering for us against the ‘foreigners.’ Harlan crowds behind John Boy and Eloise, screaming invective and hatred at them. John Boy rises to the challenge and is bowling beyond his normal average. As the final game progresses, the score board is updated on every frame. Ames is posting four scores each frame to Regis’s two. Their lead steadily diminishes. It all comes down to the tenth frame. A strike in the tenth gives the bowler two more balls to be added to their final score. Amy and ‘Gator roll strikes. Angie and I followed with strikes. John Boy also has a strike but Eloise gets a 7-10 split on her first ball. She has to ‘pick-up’ the spare in order to get a final ball. The twins roll together in perfect synch. Their balls hit right in the pocket – strikes. John Boy rolls a strike. We all have two more balls except Eloise has to make her spare to get a final roll at all ten-pins.
John Boy huddles with Eloise, pumping her up for the crucial roll.
“Croissant,” he yells at the bake sale table. “Apportez un croissant a mon Eloise, si vous plais.”
The fag hags push through the gathered crowd with the French super food. As she munches on her croissant, John Boy coaches her on the only way to make a spare with single pins on opposite sides of the lane – send the ball teetering on the edge of the gutter so it nudges the number ten pin sideways, sliding across and taking out the seven pin on the other side of the lane.
“Eloise, Eloise, cut the cheese, cut the cheese,” an impromptu cheer is cried out and picked up by all the Iowans. She smiles and raises her hands to still the crowd. The Harlan boys are hissing and hurling insults at John Boy. The ball rolls slowly down the right side of the lane keeping a straight line above the gutter. The ten pin skitters across the lane but misses the remaining pin. She immediately rolls again, taking down the seven pin but she is through. “Merde,” cries the French Club.
The twins finish out their tenth frames. The scoreboard shows Ames behind Regis by 20 pins. If ‘Gator and I fail to strike or spare to close out the tenth frame, all John Boy needs is a single pin to win it for Regis. If we both throw strikes, there is nothing John Boy can do to catch us. ‘Gator is up first. The cheer, ‘strike out, strike out,’ exhorts him. He has never struck out at anything. Without a distracting thought, he throws two perfect strikes. The score is tied. ‘Gator has struck out. The twins run up and hug him simultaneously.
“You can do this, Andy,” ‘Gator comes up and pats me on the butt, “Get on the alley and knock ’em all down.” The butt pat is my acceptance as a true jock. I throw a good ball but the head pin fails to go down. I bowl out with a spare.
John Boy goes to the line. He turns to the screaming crowd and bows. The Harlan team is in a frenzy, shouting religious curses and prayers for him to fail, several girls are rolling on the floor, cursing in tongues. The Regis boys form a phalanx to guard their boy, unfurling their school banner – ‘Regis Knights.’ John Boy is nonplussed by the commotion. I walk over to him, whispering, “I want you to beat me, These hicks are arseholes,” in my best Julian Lennon impersonation. Then, I kiss him. The cheering stops, except for the Harlan team, which is silent from apoplexy, all writhing on the ground.
It’s too much for the boy. A strike would have won it; he gets another seven-ten split. If he must make both pins, or else Regis will lose. The crowd is still. One of his fag hags runs through the crowd with a croissant. John Boy raises it and exclaims, “Ah, la gloire.”
He pulls his ball from the return rack, walks to the line and measures the spot to start his roll. He is determined to make the split. He bows to the crowd, turns, takes a breath, and launches his ball after a three-step approach. Instead of careful finesse, his ball flies with maximum force down the edge of the gutter. The ten pin spins wildly toward the seven. The whole crowd holds their breath. The pin spins around the standing seven pin, barely nudging it. It teeters but fails to go down. A huge cheer roars as the crowd jumps up and down. Ames has won by one pin. The whole building is rocking. John Boy hangs his head. He has failed. Then, one of the fag hags screams, “Voyez, voyez. Look,” pointing at the end of John Boy’s alley. The building’s shaking has the lane vibrating. The seven pin moves, slowly edging toward the left gutter. Someone screams, “Stop,” but it’s too late. The seven pin tumbles into the gutter. The score is tied.
Coaches rush to the scorer’s table. Coach Ball argues that the pin had been influenced by the crowd’s cheering, not John Boy’s bowling. The Regis team threatens to sue if it isn’t allowed. Their argument is delayed when the entire Harlan team, including the girls, mass to attack John Boy. The Regis Knights are right there to defend him. The French Club girls attack the Harlan girls, resulting in a scrum of hair pulling and screeching girls rolling on the floor. All the other Iowa teams are egging on the girls, enjoying a cat fight, as boys always do. Their girl teammates watch in disgust. The Ames crowd quickly lines up to defend John Boy, still a local in their minds. The announcer comes on the PA.
“The results of the first ever Iowa State High School Bowling Championships are now final.”
He stops until everyone is listening. “With a score of 1730 pins, Ames High School is Iowa State Champions.”
A subdued cheer goes up. The Iowa title is not in dispute.
“For the putative United States National High School Championship,” the announcer pauses for effect, “we have co-champions, the Regis High School Knights from New York City, and our local heroes, Ames High School Cyclones. We aim high.”
A big cheer breaks out from the Regis boys and all the local fans and team members, who stood up to defend John Boy. All the other Iowa teams look dispirited, plus the Harlan team goes back to their holy rolling and speaking in tongues in disgust at the outcome.
“After the awarding of team trophies and individual medals, everyone, winners and losers, is invited to the local Pizza Pit for a celebration. Ames High has planned a rock n roll surprise, so wear yer dancin’ shoes,” the announcer tells everyone.
I run over to hug John Boy.
“We both won. How ‘bout that?” I yell.
“Ain’t no thing,” I tell him. “We’ll celebrate like it’s 1999.
Ya don’ts needs ta speak, jist smile.” I push his lips into an idiot grin. Doomed to the sounds of silence.
“Like that?” I try to get him to respond.
He leans forward and opens his mouth, yet no words come out.
“Is he refusing to speak? Or, is he traumatized by the Harlan kids as well as the pressure of the bowling tournament?” I ask Jace.
“He’s trying to speak. It won’t work. I think he’s missing you already. He returns to the City tomorrow.”
“That sucks. Doesn’t he want to sing with the band at the Pizza Pit party today?”
I wait as Jace gets John Boy’s answer to my question.
“He’d forgotten about the party. He says he can still play guitar. Leaving you is all he can think about. He loves that everyone defended him from the Harlan witch hunters.”
“He needs to stay, then. This is more his home than the Dakota.”
“He knows that Mommy won’t relent once she learns he’s lost his speech again. She’ll blame Ames.”
“Let me try my way to cure him.”
I sit him on the john and throw his legs over my shoulders. He starts moaning, as well as ragged, rapid breathing. At least he can moan.
“What do you want?” I challenge him to tell me.
He mumbles and moans, unable to fully express his need to fuck.
“What do you want? Tell me you need me inside.”
His mumbling becomes urgent but still incoherent. Quickly, we’re done.
“Like that?” I demand.
He nods but still is speechless. I kind of like him that way. But I failed to cure him. I start to regret that he won’t sing when the band plays that afternoon.
“Ready for pizza?”
He nods. We straighten our clothes and march out of the bathroom. ‘Gator winks and the girls look embarrassed. Not many spectators and competitors don’t know what happened in there. Details are not requested.
“He’s still not talking,” I confess. John Boy shrugs and looks embarrassed.
“Kin ya still play guitar?” ‘Gator asks him directly, but John Boy merely nods.
“Then yer good to go,” ‘Gator is excited. It’s his musical debut. “It’s off to the Pit.”
We had pre-positioned our equipment. My manager, Tom, is excited there will be live music in his restaurant. He probably envisions the Pit as a dinner club with live mood music. The tables are arranged to clear a decent space for the crowd. A buffet of various pizza pies is laid out. The bake sale is a huge success. It will be unlimited pizza for all the bowlers and their supporters. Tom promises to keep the buffet well stocked. The twins request veggies.
“Ya means veggie pizzas?” Tom isn’t sure of the concept.
“How about salad ingredients and dressings for a salad buffet.”
“We kin call it a salad bar,” Tom enthuses. “They does that up there in Wisconsin.”
It takes about a New York minute for the Pit to fill up and everyone to get their first slice. We are in no rush, except for ‘Gator who’s revved up as tight as a drum, ready to play drums for the first time in public.
“Calm down, Gate. Have a slice and revel in being a national champion.”
His eyes light up. “Hell, we’s State Champs in football. Now I’s a national champ. Cain’t git much better than that.” He has a slice in each hand. Tom promises unlimited pizza. He may come to regret that. Once we have our fill of pizza, we gather to set-up the guitars, basses and drums.
“How’s it gonna go, Captain?” ‘Gator is antsy to start his first show.
“We gots ta git ‘em dancing.’” I explain our strategy. “Let’s do the Jacksons’ ‘ABC.’”
“Cain’t we do a Osmonds song?” He complains.
The twins burst out laughing while John Boy mugs he’s about to vomit.
“We’ll do the Jacksons,” I decide. ‘Gator does his own mugging.
“Welcome bowlers and hangers-on. Welcome to the Pit. Part of bowlin’ is pizza afterwards. Ol’ Tom has promised to keep the slices a’comin,’ so we need y’all dancin’ to maintain yer slender physiques. No need to be lookin’ like linemen.” as I wink at ‘Gator. “Give a hand for Tom and the Pizza Pit.”
“Here’s a catchy tune by the Jackson 5,” I shout over the cheers for Tom. “Let’s get all the bowlin’ partners up here fer dancing.’”
“Now, that’s the tune we first played way back in 11th grade. John Boy and his Regis Knights didn’t come all this way to hear 60’s pop. Here’s the song about our days in Miami, ‘Sneakin’ Around.”
‘ Sneaking around
Never been caught
All over town
Better than not.
Thrill’s in the chase
No time to waste
Folks on my case
All is in haste.
Waiting’s the worst
You were my first
I need you now
We’re on the prowl.
Back of an alley
Sprawled in the dirt
No time to dally
Who will cum first.
shaka shaka love?
shaka shaka love shaka shaka
Shaka shaka love shaka shaka.’
That one word, cum, gets everyone’s attention, but the dancers never stop moving. The coaches look startled, but no one is ready to shut us down yet.
I pull John Boy over. “Ya ready ta sing yet?”
“Well, then, we’ll do the monkeyshines and see if’n y’all can grunt like a monkey.”
“This here song always gets us in and outta trouble when Southern boys are ready to attack and cause trouble whiles we’s playin’.”
Makes a stand
To take his joy
Going hand to hand
Flying out free
Branch to branch
Through the trees
“Free to be
A monkey like me
Ha ha ha
He he he
Haw haw haw
Chee chee chee’
John Boy is off and swinging, up onto tables, mocking boys in front of their girlfriends, shimmying with the girls, and escaping from their boyfriends who tend to give chase after being disrespected. He tries singing the monkey words, but ends up grunting and scratching himself like a monkey. In the back of the Pit, the Harlan team huddles, unsure of what they are seeing. Once John Boy notices them, he can’t help himself from openly mocking them. He finds his voice, “Ha ha ha, He he he, Haw haw haw, Chee chee chee.” He is proving Darwin’s Theory of De-evolution, right to their faces. The girls drop to the floor, holy rolling and speaking tongues. John Boy flops down with the girls, going into spasms and convulsions in a dance he later names ‘the Snake.’ It’s too much for the Harlan boys, and they attack. The Regis Knights are right there to defend their boy. A serious brawl breaks out in the back, with real punches thrown and woe to anyone who goes down; kicks and punches hail all around.
Tom has a meltdown seeing his Pizza Pit damaged by a brawl. He dials 911 and the Ames PD is quickly summoned. Knowing that the approaching sirens will blame us, we quickly take down our amps and drums, watching from outside as the cops make quick work of separating the brawlers. Police brutality isn’t required to restore the peace. Justice is meted out with wrist slaps, telling the Regis boys they aren’t welcome in Iowa if they act like gangsters and the Harlan hicks to keep their religious intolerance back home in the sticks.
‘Gator is pissed as he didn’t get enough free pizza.