The next morning the cousins were furious after seeing all the photos on page six of the Post. They gave us half the page under the headline. ‘The Boys are Back in Town.’ They had the shot of us holding hands in the Park, singing a Capella in the Dakota Lobby, and dancing and kissing Andy at Max’s. I was glad to see that Jules and Nina weren’t named.
The topper was a call from Yoko, demanding we come immediately up to their apartment for interrogation. All artists are total control freaks. Jules wasn’t even her child. The cousins were beside themselves in gossip frenzy. We were a bit intimidated, meeting the woman who ‘broke up the Beatles.’ We went to 407. Nina answered the door. Jules was already at his father’s flat. Nina gave us the correct number.
“Well, you took your time,” Yoko looked up from her coffee. Jules was seated with her, looking uncomfortable
“Ohaiyou gozaimasu masen,” we both spoke, followed by a formal bow.
“How nice,” she softened, with a curt nod in response to our bows.
“I told you, Yoko,” Jules spoke up. “They’re very nice.”
“But they’re from Iowa, you said.”
“Jack’s parents have a flat in the Dakota. He’s here to recover from snakebite. Andy’s his lover and is staying until Jack gets settled.”
We remained in our bows, while they discussed us. Their sense of entitlement was worse than the cousins – the arrogance of the super-rich.. We decided to kowtow before them, Japanese style, keeping our heads down.
“Why is Julian’s picture in today’s Post? We do not wish to expose him to the paparazzi.”
“Gomenasai, sensei. We were just singing in the lobby. The photographer must have followed us. We were unaware that he was taking our picture.”
“Explain why they are taking your photos.”
“Our band played several concerts last Spring, including the Easter mass at St Patrick’s. I’ve known Andy Warhol since I was 14. We were photographed with him at events, including a luncheon at the Metropolitan Museum. He’s besieged by paparazzi. I doubt they even knew they were shooting Jules. He wasn’t identified in the Post.”
“Andy! Well, that explains it. He’s a complete publicity hound.”
“He’s doing a project with the Church on homeless youth. We think Julian and Nina would enjoy participating.”
“That is what you were asking me about, Jules? It might do you some good.”
“Well, you seem nice enough, and certainly polite,” as she noticed we were still bowing. “Julian is free to do as he requested. Please do not use our name for your cause.”
“Oh, I think Andy will just do their portraits as part of the exhibit. He has a new camera he got from Polaroid.”
“Really,” we had her interest. “Let me know when it’s shed-juled. I may want to come.”
“You may go.”
We rose, bowed and kowtowed out of the room. Jules came with us.”
“Well, you certainly kissed her ass,” Jules snarked, once we were out of hearing range.
“Do you and Nina want to come with us today to meet the Church people and afterward, meet Andy?”
“Sure, but not if the Dragon Lady has to come.”
“Let’s see what Andy wants. She may be an asset to the cause.”
“Naw, maybe she is just an ass.”
He came with us as we dressed for our day of meetings. The first one was with the Stones who were having breakfast.
“Did you speak with Father Frank?” I asked Daddy.
“Yes. He flew up from Miami last night. He’s at St Patrick’s. Tell him he should stay here while he’s in Manhattan.”
“Great. This is Julian Lennon. We’ve putting a band together for a performance for the youth group on Saturday, sort of a going away party for me.”
“Yes. I meant to ask you. Shall I book the Lear for your trip back.”
“No. Let me return by cattle car. I’m all about saving the planet. I have to leave on Sunday.”
“The plane just sits there.”
“You’re ruining me for real life. Airline food is my favorite.”
Jack had been quiet for too long. All the talk about my leaving had cost him his voice. We ran up to 407 and got Nina to sing to him. He relaxed and soon was singing with us.
It was mid-morning. I called Blair, at the Factory. He told us to come by in the late afternoon to meet with Andy and expect to socialize at Max’s afterward. I called Marty, but just left a message with his assistant. I also left a message at Aaron’s to call me when he was home from school. Finally, I called Jay and brought him up-to-date on the Scorsese-Warhol collaboration.
We had to get outside, ending up walking across the Park to St Patrick’s. Father Frank was there. We had to wait for him to be done with Cardinal Cook. It felt like waiting to see the school principal.
“How come you’re not in school today?” I asked them both.
“We don’t go. Our parents think it’s a waste of time,” Nina explained.
“What about making friends.”
“We just have each other. And, now you two. People I meet are only interested in me mean old da,” Jules claimed.
“Trouble with the parental unit?”
“He dumped me when he dumped me mum,” Jules scowled.
“Popularity breeds contempt,” I quoted someone. I didn’t pursue it. My own parental relations were none too stellar.
Father Frank finally was free. He hugged Jack and shook my hand. Jack introduced the kids as friends from The Dakota.
“Mummy wants you to stay there. No monastic cell for you,” Jack invited him.
“Once we clear up issues here with the archdiocese, I’ll gladly return to your world.”
“We’re here to investigate rumors that not all is well with the Jace’s Place program. Staff misbehavior.”
“How did you know that?”
“We met kids at the Emanu-el Temple location. They told us. There’s an inherent lack of trust in all these homeless kids. It makes them resist change and exposes them to abuse.”
He looked like he already knew.
“Can we meet the kids from St Patrick’s shelter? We brought Jules and Nina along, as we’re too old to really connect with these 12-15 year-old kids,” I explained
“I forget that you’re almost grown up, Johnny. Well, this is not news. I have been so frustrated by the archdiocese refusing to admit there are problems. Old disputes between different orders make it seem like the Church is covering up problems.”
“Let’s talk with the kids and get their perspectives. Aaron said they have trouble getting recently rescued kids to open up, even to other kids.”
“We were wrong to assume they will trust us. It’s all these kids have to give. When staff abuses the trust, all participants withhold their trust.
“After the meetings today, I thought we’d have a party tomorrow at youth group,” I couldn’t believe it was already Friday. “Jules and Nina are part of our new band, Dakota,” I picked the name.
“The other project we are working on is using Scorsese’s film about Jace with a portrait project Andy Warhol is doing. They are collaborating on a multi-media exhibition. We wants to show the kids at various Jace’s Place. It will be a traveling show at museums. We can expect fund-raising to result.”
Father Frank was impressed. “So you need the kids to trust that the project isn’t exploitative.”
“That’s where we all come in.”
“Let’s go talk with some kids.”
St Patrick’s had their shelter in an apartment building off 5th Avenue. We walked over and met with the staff. They were very resistant to allowing us to speak with individual residents.
“We need to protect their privacy,” Brother Ignatius, a Franciscan monk, tried to obstruct us.
“How about we have a group meeting, so we can meet them. I can describe how Jace’s Place came about?”
“Don’t expect them to bow down and be impressed,” Brother I. remarked. He appeared to be protective of his charges. The need to keep control was bubbling up around him.
As the monk was organizing a general meeting, Jules and Nina wandered off and sat with residents their own age. It didn’t take long for them to get the residents’ side of the story.
“Kids our age (12-13) are terrorized here. The older kids are allowed to sexually abuse the youngers. It is only a few, but there are Franciscan brothers who turn a blind eye and/or actively encourage it,” Nina reported.
It was just like Juvie in Miami. I so wanted to knock the abusers senseless. It was a systemic problem. Rape was your punishment for being sent to Juvie. Exploitation was unending for homeless kids. We had only taken the problem off the streets. No longer visible, these kids were forgotten and abused. I was so mad.
We were introduced to the assembly as band mates of Jace, the patron saint of the shelters. Unlike the Emanu-el group, there was little reaction from the kids. The oldest ones looked defiant. The youngers were obviously terrorized.
I lit into them all.
“I’m really disappointed with you. Everyone. Staff as well. It took guts to leave the streets. Everyone has their own story. But everyone here continues the abuse. Abuser, abused, enabler, whatever your role, this is your last chance to break the cycle of exploitation. Either you learn how to trust and love in this life, or you’ll end up on the margins, hated or hating yourselves. I won’t allow it. I’m calling out the abusers. If they refuse to change, they will be kicked out of this program. I am calling out the enablers, the staff who encourage or look the other way. If they don’t find it in their hearts to start protecting you, they will leave as well. And I call out the abused, for not standing up for themselves and for others who are victims. They have no hope. We will find a way to energize the strength in your hearts to resist the abuse. When we are done here today, everyone will be changed. For the better or the worse, it’s up to you.
“My best friend Jace died at the hands of his abusive older brother when he was 15. Until he learned to stand up for himself, his life was miserable. His parents wanted to send him to drug rehab, not to help him, but to get him out of their lives. He stood up to them, with the help of his friends. We discovered he had incredible musical talent. He got the kids in our neighborhood to form a band. He taught us to play from our hearts. It was so much fun. When he died, it affected so many people. 10,000 came to his tribute. We played for six hours. It inspired Jace’s Place. We kept his spirit alive, coming to this cathedral, St Patrick’s, last Easter. I saw him resurrected. We went into Times Square and brought 80 kids to be sheltered.
“I didn’t know that the abuse would follow you here. I now know what is going on. Jace and I will fix this before you leave the room. It will go like this. I will pick out those kids who remain hard-hearted and untrusting. The remaining kids will vote on whether the hard-hearted are abusers. Those who receive abuser votes will be given a chance to open their hearts to Jace. He will find the love you still have there and leave a part of his love. You will learn who you can trust or not. Those who are just hard-hearted or closed off will be helped to find love in their hearts. They will be paired with others who are trusting, learning from them to first trust themselves and then to trust others. Those who reject Jace will be placed at other agencies and leave today. The same will be done for staff. Any staff member who is an abuser or enabler will leave immediately. Those who are unsure if they are open-hearted and trusting will be asked to accept Jace into their hearts, much as you accept Jesus as a child. It is all about trust. If Jace trusts you, you will decide who stays. Many of you have a hard time trusting, yourself or others. Jace will teach you how to trust.”
Chaos is relative. The shelter had been in chaos. Now it was in greater chaos. Jace was floating above the group. The individual glow from a trusting heart was coming from many younger and some older kids. More kids were resistant than I expected. Even the staff had several hard-hearted people. Why would anyone want to work with kids if they had no love in their hearts? I knew the reason. It scared me to think that they were actual abusers.
The younger kids were seated in the front. I went through the first few rows and only picked boys to be put to the test. Toward the back there were many. I’d work with them after showing that the mistrusting could change. When I had five boys up front, I started.
“Look at these boys. Who has been abused? Just raise your hand if you know what they’ve done.”
No hands were raised. I turned to the five.
‘Who wants to have Jace in your heart and to be trusting?” I asked.
They were extremely nervous. No one said they wanted to change.
I asked the whole group if anyone wanted any of the hard-hearted to trust them and be their friend. All but one had a friend. I nodded to Jace. He chose a trusting boy to touch. The boy jumped up.
“Come and ask the last boy to trust you to be his friend,” I told him. Jace prodded other and five came up.
Jace hovered over each boy until they started to glow. All five pairs opened up. I told them to go sit with their partners. I chose another five from the middle rows. We repeated the exercise and all five passed. The next group was chosen. There was a rustling among a section of the younger ones. Three boys looked at each other and all of them stood up and accused one of the five of bullying. He turned red. Jace hovered. The glow was barely there. I got the three accusers to come up and stand before the bully. They glared at him.
“Do you want to stay here by being open-hearted and trusting?” I asked the bully. He looked at his accusers, hoping they would forgive him.
“Will any of you trust him enough to forgive him?”
One boy stepped forward. The glow around the bully blossomed. They both smiled. I sent all four of them to sit down. There were plenty of trusting kids to help the other four closed-hearted ones. They quickly accepted each other and were seated. We slowly worked our way toward the back rows. Finally there was a group of five mistrusting boys, all seated together. When they came up, the tell-tale rustling confirmed that there were abusers in this group.
“I sense that at least one of you is an abuser. The others are at the very least enablers, allowing the abuse to stay secret,” I pronounced.
Turning to the seated kids. “Is there anyone or a group of you that wants to help change these boys to be trusted.”
One of the trusting boys their age came up.
”I trust George,” he pointed to one of the accused.
“Can you trust your friend, George?” I asked him.
They both smiled.
“Do you want Jace in your heart to tell you who you can trust?”
He nodded. Jace placed his hands on his shoulder. The glow popped up. I told them to sit down.
Turning to the other four, “Is there no one out there who you trust and you can ask to come up for you?”
They shook their heads.
“Do you trust each other?”
Two of them looked at each other.
“Try it,” I suggested.
They faced each other, starting to laugh from nervousness.
“This is so gay,” one of them blurted out.
“Nothing to do with that. If you want a normal life, you must be able to trust. Start by trusting your friends.”
“Youse gawna make us hold hands.”
“No. Just look directly at each other and see if you trust each other.”
Jace was hovering while I searched for a sign of the glow. No such luck.
“Jace is going to touch your shoulders. If you feel it, say so.”
One of them jumped as soon as Jace touched him.
“You can feel him. It means you are open to his loving heart. Now see if you can trust your friend. Just look at him.”
They at least tried. Jace touched the one who had previously been impervious to the touch. The boy jumped.
“Both of you can trust, but you need to work on it. If you’re religious, ask your heart if Jesus is there. If not, just think about Jace. He changed from an angry, depressed, pot-smoking rebel by standing up to his abusers. His friends learned what musical talent he had. If you stay here, realize that almost everyone is open-hearted and trusting now. And, it’s not gay to trust your friends.”
We were down to the last two. I had isolated them from their friends. I called everyone, young and old, to make a circle around the two.
“These people want to trust you. If you can find it in your heart to trust them, they will reach out.”
In the back, the same group of younger boys who had glared at the bully, were glaring at the remaining two.
“You three come up here and confront these two. You obviously are mad at them.
“You raped our friend,” the littlest one pointed to the biggest boy. “He ran away because of you.”
The truth will out.
“Is that true?” I gave him the chance to deny it.
“I didn’t mean to,” a confession without contrition.
“How old are you?” I asked the rapist.
“Fourteen,” he answered.
“Do you know what you did is so wrong?”
“Yes. I don’t know why I did it.”
I turned to the other, “Did you know about this?”
“Yeah. I was there. I don’t know why we did it.”
“Because you could. Now look at all these other kids. They hate you now. But they’re surrounding you, not to punish you, but to forgive you.”
“What can I do?” the rapist sniffed. Tears for once were a good sign.
“You first must want to gain these kids’ trust. Then you must build their trust in you. The first step is to find the kid who ran away. He’s the primary victim. The betrayal of every other one’s trust is the secondary effect. Then you have to figure out why you could do something so hateful.”
Maybe I should have mentioned he could go to jail for his crime. Teen Jesus got a pass on that one.
All the kids had been judged. None had to leave. Even the tough guys had shown they could open their hearts. We needed Dr. Kam to work on their psyches.
I turned to the staff, standing together at the side.
“Is there any adult here who is guilty of abuse and knows they should leave immediately?”
No one stepped forward.
I turned to the kids.
“Does anyone know about an abusive staff member? Just raise a hand.”
There was some rustling but no one was prepared to step up.
Jace was hovering and three staff members lacked any glow about them. I motioned for all three to come forward.
“I sense that none of you is very trusting and open. I wonder why you want to work with kids if you can’t love them?”
They shook their heads.
I pointed to one, turned toward the kids, and asked, “Raise your hand if you want him to stay.”
No raised hands.
“Not anyone who feels he can be trusted?”
Still no response.
“Go to the Cathedral office. They’ll find you a better job.”
It was the same with number 2. He was dismissed.
Number 3 had several votes to keep him. I asked his defenders to come and explain to everyone else why we should keep him. I had them face the staff member. The glow popped up over him.
“I think you’re a tough guy with a soft spot in your heart for the kids. Learn to be more open. The kids deserve having you on their side.”
I looked around. Jules and Nina were sitting up front with kids their age. Jules was definitely agitated by what he had observed. I had to admit it seemed like something out of ‘1984.’ We had to talk.
Jace was hovering. There were a couple of kids without a glow. Based on Jules’ reaction I decided not to convert any more kids. The corruption of abuse had been eliminated. They would have to open up on their own.
“What’s up, Jules. It was too much, huh?”
“You’re scary, mate. You reminded me of me old headmaster at Grammar School. Not nice.”
“Someone had to bust some chops.”
“The ends don’t justify the means. It was like mind control. Clockwork Orange.”
“Real horrorshow, eh?”
He just stared at me.
I gathered Nina and him. We all went into the office to meet with Father Frank. I could tell that Brother Ignatius was seething.
“That was interesting,” Father Frank suggested.
“We need to send kids out to find the kid who ran away.”
“It’s a big city. I’m not sure we should send these kids out on the streets.”
“I tore new assholes out there. They need a project to build themselves back up. Let them try to find the boy. His friends may know where to start.”
Brother Ignatius looked shocked at my language. Jules was giggling. Nina punched him.
“Brother Ignatius,” I addressed him, “can you organize the search?”
He was glad to be rid of me, leaving us alone in his office. I turned to Father Frank.
“I feel you’ve been frustrated by the obstacles keeping the shelters from really working.”
“You kicked butt, as you said. But turning around the Church on these issues is a huge task. The Cardinals won’t accept that there is abuse and that priests allow it to happen.”
“Instead of trying to convince Cardinal Cooke to change things, we have started to empower the kids. Jace’s Place will succeed if kids learn they can stand up for themselves. Brother Ignatius has to go.”
“I gave up on that and retreated to Miami. He’s too entrenched with the Cardinal’s staff.”
“Well, if we can’t fire him, he can be promoted to a position where he no longer hurts the program.”
“The old Peter Principle.”
“He is a dick.”
“How do you know? You just met him.”
“I can size up a bureaucrat.”
“Does Jace tell you?”
“No. Many people are closed-hearted, but it’s his action and reaction that tell me. He’s pissed I dismissed two of his staff. Instead of organizing a search party, I bet he’s at the Cardinal’s office trying to get me removed from ‘his’ facility.”
“You’re good at this, Tim.”
“Let’s head him off at the pass. I trust Cardinal Cooke to know an obstructionist.”
I turned my attention to Jules and Nina.
“Can you organize the search party?”
They perked up, bored by all the office politics.
“Find that staff guy with the tough exterior and soft spot. He will protect you on the street. Take the boy’s friends. They may know where to look.”
They ran off to get organized.
Sure enough, when we reached Cardinal Cook’s office, Brother Ignatius was in with his eminence. I brushed past the assistants, with Father Frank and Jack in tow.
“You said you would organize a search party for the boy who was raped.” I accused the brother.
That got the Cardinal’s attention.
“In good time, son. You are too impatient and impertinent.” Brother Ignatius put me off.
I directed my ire toward the Cardinal.
“A twelve year-old is raped by an older boy. The victim runs away to the streets. The rapist confesses and repents. Why isn’t it important to rescue the victim?”
“Everyone sit down,” Cardinal Cooke turned down the temperature in his office. “Brother Ignatius says you were running a Baptist revival at the shelter. You attempted to fire two staff members and turn the children against each other.”
“I identified who the abusers and enablers were. Those who were staff were told to come here and look for reassignment, away from working with children.”
“That does sound high-handed,” the Cardinal remarked.
“How would you treat child rapists and their protectors?”
He blanched. “I’m sure it was an isolated incident.”
“I was at the Emanu-el shelter yesterday. They told me what is going on here at St Patrick’s. I have two more days before I have to go home. Jack is staying to treat a medical condition from a Baptist ritual. He will continue to monitor this situation. If the good brother is fearful that we are running a revival, it is because we can see into his heart and know it is closed to the love of Jesus.”
The Cardinal appeared to be considering what I said, taking a moment to calm everyone down.
“I want to speak with Tim separately. He never told me what happened here at Easter. After we talk, I’ll decide what to do at the shelter.”
Once we were alone, he went back to Jace’s resurrection.
“You asked me to save you one of Jace’s mini-diamonds,” as he brought out a small wooden box. Inside was a sparkling diamond.
“It’s the last one. All the others disintegrated. I kept this one for you.”
“They pop like soap-bubbles when touched by anyone who’s heart is closed to Jace.”
“I guess I still believe in your miracle,” as he handed me the gem.
Jace joined us, with a glow that emanated from the diamond. We both smiled.
“I ran away last Easter because I didn’t create this miracle. I just kept Jace’s spirit alive until he could ascend to heaven. Now his spirit is here with us. Can you sense him?”
“I see him smiling at you.”
“We really love each other. I know he died but he remains alive in my life. Since Easter he has touched many lives.”
“He is Teen Jesus?”
“He is a parable that says you can make many mistakes, as all teenagers do, and not lose the love of the Jesus in your heart.”
“I can’t dispute that.”
“The Church teaches that Jesus is disappointed in kids when they do wrong.”
“The Church is about forgiveness and redemption.”
“Then why do so many kids feel they have lost Jesus’s love?”
“Doctrine is meant to protect children from sin.”
“Jace wanted to protect the children from sin, not keep them ignorant.”
“The Church can only interpret a message that is 2,000 years old.”
“The weight of those years keeps the Church from accepting it has lost its way. When you are on the wrong road, it is hard to turn around and retrace your steps.”
“I have a great affection for you, Tim. It hurt that you avoided me after Easter.”
“Well, it wasn’t that hard for me to retrace my steps. We have to protect these kids. Will you get together with Abyssinian Baptist and Temple Emanu-el’s leaders to evaluate what needs to change to make Jace’s Place succeed?”
“What do I do with Brother Ignatius?”
“ Promote him to a position where he can’t harm kids.”
“The kids are out looking for the boy who ran away. If we find him, we’ll play a concert to celebrate the revival of Jace’s spirit at Youth Group tomorrow.”
He hugged me. I gave him the diamond back, too many people in my life find it hard to believe.
Cardinal Cooke had Brother Ignatius return to his office.
“We have to find that boy,” I told Father Frank and Jack.
“What about the good Brother?”
“He gets the promotion he deserves.”
At the shelter, the staff member, Eric, had called in to say they were canvasing at Times Square. We asked for volunteers from the kids to help search. They were glad to get out of classes early on Friday. Teams were organized, with a staff member responsible to protect the kids on each team. I called Aaron and spoke with his father. He agreed to create teams from Emanu-el youths to search. A photo of the boy was reproduced and copies sent to the Temple. We called Reverend Butts at Abyssinian Baptist. He agreed to organize a search in Harlem. At least the boy would stand out there. Photos were sent to Pastor Butts, asking if any kids knew the boy or had a clue where to look for him. It was a needle in a haystack task. 10 million residents in New York, one runaway 12 year-old. I even called Tina’s dad and asked to have Tina and Pete search in the Bronx.
We met Eric and the team with Nina and Jules at Times Square. They were excited by the challenge and enjoyed meeting kids their own age. No one knew them for their famous parents for once. No leads had turned up in Times Square. Each team was required to check-in every hour in order to share leads. I had an idea.
“Let’s go to Battery Park. I hustled there.”
They were all shocked.
“My cousin would shake down perverts who tried to pick me up when I was 14.”
Only the rich kids were surprised, including Jack.
“You hustled?” he whispered.
“Joey just used me as bait.”
Jace and Jack were shocked. Jules and Nina thought I was cool again.
We came out of the subway and walked to the ferry landing. The three friends of the boy spotted him instantly. He was leaning against the same railing where I had been picked up three years ago. Running up to him, it was a bitter-sweet reunion. The boy was mortified that his friends had caught him hustling. They quickly convinced him to return to the shelter.
“This boy made Dan confess what he did to you,” as they introduced me to the victim, Thomas.
“I hate Dan,” Thomas vehemently spat out the name.
“This is our band, Dakota, Thomas. We’re going to play tomorrow at Youth Group. Dan will confess to everyone and ask your forgiveness.”
“I’ll never forgive him,” the boy started to cry. His friend walked him around the Park, getting him to calm down.
Just another challenge for Teen Jesus.
Eric and Father Frank took Thomas and his friends back to the shelter. Since we were in Lower Manhattan, I decided to drop in on Andy at the Factory. I hoped he’d do portraits of Nina and Jules. Blair was flustered that we had shown up unannounced. I was over assistants playing defense and brushed past him like ‘Gator blitzing a quarterback. Andy looked up and smiled.
“My favorite boyfriends,” he laughed, “and who are these urchins?”
“They’re in our new band, ‘Dakota.’ Jules and Nina. They’ve been rescuing homeless kids all morning.”
“Jesus, they’re younger than you were when I met you.”
“Three years ago, Andy. You were going to make me a star.”
“What a trashy pickup line.”
“What a trashy movie.”
“So, what did Scorsese say?”
“He’s busy but we can use the footage. When it comes to editing, it’ll be interesting to see you work together. He’s a genius in the editing room.”
“I just want to take the Polaroids. You havta tell him how to edit it.”
“Wanna take the kids Big Shot portraits?”
We went down to the studio. The Big Shot was so retro, you couldn’t adjust the focal length. The subject had to move until they were in focus. For adults, it meant only head shots fit in each frame. Nina and Jules were small enough that they both fit into the same frame.
To get candid shots, Andy talked with them. When he asked about getting parental permission to use their portraits in the Jace’s Place project, Jules demurred.
“You’ll never get their permission. They never agree to anything I want.”
“A bit young to be rebelling,” Andy remarked.
“It’s my evil step-mother. She’s an artist. She has to control everything, including me.”
“She’s an artist? Do I know her?”
“Yoko Ono, Beatles buster.”
“Oh, I know Yoko. She’ll let me do it. I’ll ask her for you. And, you Nina. Are your parents famous too.”
“Yeah. My dad’s Leonard Bernstein. They’re normal, Jewish parents. Give me a release.”
All the banter was taking place as Andy continued to shoot the kids. He did individual shots, but the paired ones seemed most expressive. They talked about going to the shelter and the search for the runaway in Times Square, and finding him in Battery Park.
“That’s where Tim hustled when he was 14.” Jules couldn’t help himself.
“I was just bait for one of Joey’s scams. He scared this guy who tried to pick me up so much that they guy dropped his wallet and ran. Joey gave me $40 as his partner in crime.”
“That was the day we met?”
“You and I were strictly after hours friends.”
“Now we’re in the paper every day.”
“I can’t go home to Miami because Andy and I were photographed making out.” Jack added.
“We don’t make out,” the kids announced.
“Goodness,” Andy screamed. “You don’t want to be celebrities and turn out like your parents?”
“My parents are nice,” Nina defended them.
“Your dad’s a composer. He’s famous, not a jet-setting celebrity.”
“My parents are cunts,” Jules declared.
“Just as I said,” Andy agreed. “Let’s go for cocktails at Max’s.”
Over drinks, and Cokes for the kids, we discussed the art project. Only Jack had actually seen the finished film, and his impression was prejudiced by its failure to obtain a distribution deal. I called Marty’s assistant who reluctantly agreed to send a copy to the Dakota. Jack called Mummy to confirm they had a projector and screen for a 16 mm film. She was disappointed we had missed the cocktail hour but suggested we all come for dinner. We mentioned that Andy was with us. She was thrilled, which was a surprise.
“Oh, she’s just as much a celebrity whore as anyone,” Jack confirmed.
Andy had me call Blair to order a car for all of us. Nina called her parents, but they were otherwise engaged that evening. They did promise to stop by on their way out. Julian said his parents were too busy taking care of his baby brother to be able to attend. I was thrilled to be seeing the film, my debut. I was determined not to become star-struck on myself. I’d view the film footage as part of Andy’s exhibit. We wanted his eye to frame it and Marty’s expertise to edit.
Mummy whipped up a fabulous dinner party. The staff was pleased to be put through their paces. Though, I missed Isabelle.
The cocktail hour had been extended. We were asked to repeat the previous night’s performance of “Somewhere’ from ‘Westside Story’. Just to make the evening perfect, the Bernsteins dropped by as we were ready to perform. The composer complimented us as it was the first time he had heard it performed on guitar. He kissed Nina and said her voice was ‘exquisite, much nicer than Natalie Wood in that horrid Hollywood version.’ We were all thrilled as they rushed off.
Dinner was served.
Mummy seated Nina next to here, to avoid her being ‘overwhelmed’ by the mostly male company. Maybe Jack was no longer her favorite daughter.
Daddy listened to our discussion on the art project, as we had coffee and brandy.
“Have you considered how the financial side of the exhibition will be structured?” He sounded like an actual investment banker.
“Usually I get an upfront fee for an exhibit, plus any sales less commissions on individual pieces,” Andy explained.
“Seems like the intent is to raise funds for the project as well as generate publicity and fame for the artist.”
“You’re not asking that I forego my sales for charity?”
“Certainly not, but if the exhibit is curated to be a showcase for the charity, the commercial side of the exhibit may have to be muted. On the other hand, this is an exhibit that is unlike any other. It is a performance piece with varied elements – motion picture film, Polaroid Big Shots, silk screened paintings, as well as non-professional models and a spiritual presence.”
“What do you think, Tim? What’s the point of view?”
“Jace wanted to protect kids.”
“Is it working?”
I frowned. The day’s experience made me worry.
“I think we need to spotlight the kids who are being protected as well as those still out there being abused.”
“So, we should be raising money to fund the shelters.”
“That’s secondary to showing how kids suffer from abuse and how they can stand up for themselves. It’s not about saving the children. It’s about them saving themselves.”
I related our experiences at St Patrick’s shelter that day. I hoped it was instructive.
Andy got it. “You got the kids to stand up and identify the abusers. Then they went out and rescued one of their own.”
“If Jules and Nina hadn’t been able to communicate with the kids their age, we would have been clueless to the problems.”
The kids beamed. Jules looked less conflicted about the ‘1984’ aspects of my ‘Jace is Watching You’ revival.
The movie was set up and ready to show, while we were settling into the couches and chairs. There was a knock on the door and Jules’ dad walked in.
“Sorry to interrupt. The baby’s driving me crazy. Are you watching a cinema?”
“Sit over here, Da,” Julian made space between him and Nina.
The credits rolled.
“Ah, Scorsese. I love him. I never heard of this one. What’s it called.”
“’Evil Rocker Dad’, “ Nina piped up.
Everyone, including John, laughed.
Suddenly, Trent and Brett arrived with several of their ‘A’ list Collegiate friends. When they saw Andy Warhol and John Lennon in their living room, they quickly shut up and spread out on the floor. They were experts on spotting celebrity.
Jack had seen the movie many times. He reached over and hugged me tightly as the tears were flowing down my cheeks. I suppressed the sobs, only because he was squeezing me. Under a still of Jace, were the dates” ‘ b. March 18, 1959 – d. December 28, 1974’. The plot moved back and forth between the recording studio’s 16th birthday orgy and the concert footage with our dubbed music tracks. The Stones were taken aback when Jack went off with Edi for their part in the orgy. He turned quite red. His cousins were staring intently at him. He ignored them. After some concert footage, Mrs. Watt’s long reminiscence about Jace Christmas caroling was followed by John’s tearful story of how they had been abused and how Jace and I stood up to their violent brother. There were many shots of Jack and me making out, which was old news, even to the Collegiate kids who believed we were now married, at least in Europe. The final concert scene was the parking lot with many lit Bics and us playing ‘With a Little Help from our Friends.’ After the closing credits was a copy of the Miami Herald article with the headline “Teen Rocker’s Brother Convicted of Manslaughter.’
An appendage came on after the credits. It was the recording of the Easter service at St Patrick’s. As Jack and I played Pink Floyd’s ‘Crazy Diamond’,
the glow around the crucifix exploded and diamonds burst out. The final credit told of Jace’s request to protect the children and described the creation of Jace’s Places at the three places of worship.
The lights came on.
“Why didn’t they play my song, ‘(All you need is) Love’?” John asked.
“We did, but you don’t sell the rights for movies,” I answered.
He looked at me, then at Jules, and back at me. “This is your movie? We did band movies. Yer trying to kip our idea?”
“Someone shot the footage without sound. Scorsese got us to record the songs and put it together. He took it to Cannes but no one picked it up. It got an award for the most amount of fagging off.”
John laughed, “At least ya got that right.”
Andy spoke up. “I may use it for my new portraits exhibit, John.”
“Oh, hi Andy. You’re here? How’d they get you involved?”
“I discovered Tim when he was 14. But he’s not my youngest protégées,” as he pointed to Jules and Nina.
“We went to teen homeless shelters today and then rescued a street kid in Battery Park, Da.” Jules looked hopeful for approval.
“How in blazes did ya get to Battery Park?”
“We took the subway.”
“Oh, bloody hell. Does your mother know about this?”
Jules was crestfallen.
“We spoke with her this morning. She was concerned that Julian was on the Post’s gossip page.” I stepped in.
“Why were you in the Post?” he demanded of Jules.
“We were just singing in the Dakota lobby. The paparazzi is stalking Tim and Jack. We’re performing tomorrow afternoon at St Patrick’s.”
“You’re going to Church?” There was no pleasing this celebrity.
“It’s for the homeless kids. Jace’s Place.”
“That’s what this is all about, promoting a movie that wasn’t picked up?”
“It’s about my exhibit of Big Shot Polaroid portraits,” Andy interjected.
“Yoko may be jealous.” John joked.
“You could always do some of your sketches?” I asked.
He glared at me. “You seem to have the same performance junkie gene that I do. Please avoid infecting Jules.”
“Too late,” I joked, which made him frown.
“All I wanted was to stop being annoyed by a screaming baby. Instead my other son is screaming for attention. I must be the father of the year.”
Everyone laughed as he stomped out. Jules started to follow him, but Nina held him back.
“How long can we keep this copy?” Andy asked.
“You can take it to the Factory. Just don’t let anyone else get hold of it. I understand Marty rents it out to friends who enjoy teenage faggots.”
“Are you leaving?” I asked Andy. “Try to make our performance at St Patrick’s tomorrow. I’ll call Blair.”
“I can’t leave without thanking our hosts,” he turned to the Stones. Manners must still exist in Pittsburgh, if not in Liverpool. “It’s been a wonderful evening.”
Laying in bed, I was the needy one, hanging on to Jack.
“You liked seeing the movie, didn’t you?” he asked.
Jace snuggled in on the other side of me, hoping I was up for a three-way fuck sandwich. Jack was definitely revved up. I was so used to my reduced libido that it didn’t bother me that all I wanted was to fall asleep surrounded by those who I truly loved. It had been a long day. Jules was right; I was old.
I woke up just as dawn was breaking over Central Park. Jack smiled at me and we moved over to the window to wait for the sun. Mid-winter but there was no snow in NYC.
“I guess I’m not the only one with residual symptoms.”
“Sorry to not be into it last night.”
“You slept right through Jace and me going at it.”
“I’m glad you didn’t miss out. Yesterday was weird. So much to do. Jules thinks I’m old.”
Jack tweaked my dick by snapping my briefs. I was back!
We pulled a chaise over by the window and watched the breaking dawn coming up. Jack was happy to let me fuck him. I threw his legs over my shoulder and went down on his butt, licking all around the entry and slobbering enough spit to allow a greased entry. He squirmed until I had fully entered him. My stomach muscles were rippling as I rocked against his straining dick. His dick started the twisting back and forth that meant he was about to go over the edge. I thrust as deeply as possible and held myself rigid and straining. The first spurt from Jack’s dick caused his ass to squeeze me over the edge. I rode him deeper with every spurt, letting loose deep inside him.
Our door flew open and the cousins burst in. They were shocked to see us in coital climax. The sun was up as well, spotlighting our lovemaking.
“Jesus,” they both cried and ran out. We had forgotten to lock the door.
Barely finished we started to laugh. I was deep inside Jack. We both were covered in his cum. Shower time.
It was an embarrassing breakfast. I wondered why the cousins lived alone at the Dakota. As we went up to 407 to meet Nina and Jules, Jack explained that his parents didn’t get along with the cousins’ parents. While the Stones were in town, they chose to be in Vermont at the farm that Daddy despised. The brothers had to stay in the City for school. The trials and tribulations of the very rich.
Jules answered the door quickly. He was as excited about performing as Jack had been about greeting the dawn. Nina was her relaxed self. She was a bit older than Jules, probably his best female friend when they got older, not the girl next door. Having now met his dad, it didn’t seem odd that he was so needy for friends at the Dakota. Being in a band and about to perform for his peers was obviously a highlight of his 7th grade year. I wondered why he didn’t want to attend school. No one wanted to ask these questions. We just got into the music. Nina had brought her Moog, which was fun to play with. On simple songs, such as ‘Help from my Friends,’ she played the bass guitar notes. She switched it to organ mode on the more psychedelic songs, such as Hendrix’s ‘Are You Experienced.’
We were having so much fun that the time flew by. Youth Group at St Patrick’s was scheduled for 1 pm. The Dakota concierge staff helped us move the drums, amps and instruments into a Town Car. We arrived with plenty of time to set up. Father Frank greeted us.
“I invited the Jace’s Place kids from here, Emanu-el and Abyssinian Baptist to attend. We’re going to do it in the Cathedral.”
Jace was ecstatic to be returning to his place of ascension. He flew up to the crucifix and sat on the crossbeam. The sun came out and bathed the nave in golden light. Catholics know how to put on a show.
The Cathedral holds 3,000 parishioners. The homeless kids numbered about 300 and adding the youth group attendees, we would have a total of 500. I hoped we could play loud enough to not be diminished by the size of the room. We set up in the Nave and checked the sound system. At Easter, we had added amps due to the inadequate Cathedral electronics. I was pleased to see they had been upgraded. It took a while to get our levels right. Jules would have to thunder from the drums for us to really rock. Kids were already arriving during our sound check. Jack reminded me not to preach to the kids. I saw his parents and the cousins seated toward the back. I told Jack it was up to him to talk with the kids.
“You do it best. What will I say?” he complained.
“Ask Teen Jesus.”
He smiled. Jace came down from on high and stood with him.
We were set to perform. Jack asked Father Frank to speak, while we sat in the Choir seats beside the pulpit.
It was 1 pm. Father Frank walked to the far pews and got the kids to move up front. There were quite a few adults, mostly youth group parents who were intrigued (and shocked) that rock and roll was being played at the Cathedral. Cardinal Cooke and his staff stayed at the back. Once the kids had been gathered up front, Father Frank turned and started our introduction.
“I never knew Jace while he was alive, but I feel I got to know his spirit through Johnny and Tim. They kept Jace’s band going after his death. They were inspired by the musical talent Jace discovered once he stood up for himself. He found the strength needed to confront his older brother who abused him. He found his love of music, rock and roll. He and his friends went on a musical journey. That journey brought them here last Easter where Jace reenacted the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Jace’s message was to protect the children.
“Seated here today are many children who have chosen to become part of the Jace’s Place project, standing up to abuse by banding together and defending each other. They are no longer victims of abuse, rather they are defenders of youth against abuse. So, stand up here, in the eyes of your peers and community, if you have conquered abuse.”
The kids who were listening, about half, stood up. The rest stood up because everyone else was standing. The youth group, their parents, Church staff and other adults stood up and applauded them. Even Mummy and Daddy were there. The cousins stood but looked confused, wondering if they were victims of being rich. Then I saw that Jules’ and Nina’s parents were there with Cardinal Cook. His eminence looked pleased. Jules was shook up and trembling. I reached over and held his hand until he calmed down.
“Isn’t this what you want?” I whispered.
He nodded and looked like a little boy for once.
Father Frank went on.
“Some might question the use of rock and roll at Church. I have to commend Cardinal Cooke, the youngest American Cardinal, for seeing the joy and inspiration in today’s young people and their music.
“The name of the band is ‘Dakota.’ I may need volunteers afterward to chase away the devil, but I know you’re in for a treat.”
We ran out from behind the pulpit to enthusiastic clapping.
Jack grabbed a mic as we got set. “Hi. I’m Jack. I play guitar with my boyfriend Tim. Nina’s on Moog. Jules play drums and guitar. We all sing ‘cause we like to. This song is for the kids who came in from the streets, ‘Street Fightin’ Man,’ by the Stones.
All four of us sang. A few brave kids jumped out of their seats and were shaking it in the pews. I noticed that Jules’ dad had a wry smile when we didn’t play Beatles to start.
Jack had the mic again. “This song is what all these kids need.” He turned and whispered, ‘Gimme Shelter.’
“How about Bowie to tell us who we are,” Jack shouted. We jumped into “Heroes.”
The kids were out of the pews and running down front. The beat was slow as they gyrated, jumping up and down.
Jack ran over to Jules and asked if he could remember all the words to Donovan’s Atlantis. He vigorously nodded.
“Let’s slow it down. Jules will do his memories of coming to New York from England and where he lost he way – ‘way down below the ocean’. You need to be lost before you can be found, ‘Atlantis.’
Jules spoke the intro in his high boyish voice with a Liverpool/Irish lilt echoing throughout the Cathedral.
‘The continent of Atlantis was an island
Which lay before the great flood
In the area we now call the Atlantic Ocean.
So great an area of land,
That from her western shores
Those beautiful sailors journeyed
To the South and the North Americas with ease,
In their ships with painted sails.
To the East Africa was a neighbour,
Across a short strait of sea miles.
The great Egyptian age is
But a remnant of The Atlantian culture.
The antediluvian kings colonised the world
All the Gods who play in the mythological dramas
In all legends from all lands were from far Atlantis.
Knowing her fate,
Atlantis sent out ships to all corners of the Earth.
On board were the Twelve:
The poet, the physician, The farmer, the scientist,
The magician and the other so-called Gods of our legends.
Though Gods they were –
And as the elders of our time choose to remain blind
Let us rejoice
And let us sing
And dance and ring in the new Hail Atlantis!’
Donovan, Gabriel Mekler
The dancing slowed down which allowed more kids into the aisles and in front in the nave.
“You might get the impression we have a bit of a British invasion in this band, so to provide some balance, Nina will sing this song, on how tough it is to be a kid in New York City.
We let Nina solo on ‘Officer Krupke.’
“It’s tough out there. Ya havta have friends ya can count on. Right, Jules?”
He sang the into to ‘A Little Help from my Friends’, his high voice pleading throughout the Cathedral’s vaulted ceiling.
‘What would you do if I sang out of tune?
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song
I will try not to sing out of key’
Songwriters: JOHN LENNON, PAUL MCCARTNEY
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
It was too much for John. He came running down the crowded aisle, yelling, “I didn’t give you permission to play my song.”
“Hey, it’s Joe Cocker’s song.” Jack disputed him.
“Right,” John snorted, going up to Jules and giving him a big hug. Next he picked up Jules’ guitar. “I know where this is going. This is my song, ‘Love is all you need’. God Save the Queen.”
It would be nice to say that all the kids started hugging each other. They just ignored the family dynamics and danced to the beat. Father Frank had set up a photographer to take some stills. It was a record of the performance but the stills fail to capture the moment for the Lennons, the Stones, and the Bernsteins. I wanted to jam with a Beatle, but I kept my mouth shut. It was all about the kids.
The Stones took everyone to ’21.’ I had hoped for Sardi’s, but I was just a kid from Iowa. When John and Yoko said they’d come, I called Blair to get Andy to meet us there. All three sets of parents sat together, while we were relegated to a separate table. We were in a private dining room as we were too many for the front room. Andy arrived shortly, sitting with us, after greeting the adults. John and Yoko decided they wanted to be at the kids’ table, too.
“Tell me about using the Polaroid Big Shot,” Yoko quizzed Andy.
“It creates depth and fine detail you can’t get with other cameras. The only problem is there is no focal length adjustment. The frame will only fit a single head shot.”
“Is it worth the effort?” John asked.
“Each print is stunning. Yesterday I did Julian and Nina. They’re so young, both heads fit into a single frame.”
“I’m not sure I want Julian’s photo to become public,” John was either being protective or jealous.
“Why not let me do you both? It can be a family collage.”
“Only if you let me do you,” Yoko countered. Artists are shameless self-promoters.
I turned to Julian, who was bored with the adult conversation.
“Will you look after Jack while I’m away?”
“You’re coming back?” they both exclaimed.
I looked at Jack. “Can I come back?”
He opened his mouth but nothing came out.
Jace popped up. “You’ve done it again. He can’t deal with you leaving.”
“Jack’s lost his speech again,” I told the table.
“We’ll sing for him,” Nina suggested.
“What’s wrong with him?” John asked.
“He’s snake-bit,” Julian explained, which shut up his parents.
“Last time we sang ‘A Little Help from My Friends,’ he got his voice back and joined in,” Nina remarked.
“Well, we’ll all sing ‘Help,’ then,” John decided. He started in, with all of us singing along to the Beatle.
‘Help, I need somebody
Help, not just anybody
Help, you know I need someone
‘When I was younger, so much younger than today
I never needed anybody’s help in any way
But now these days are gone I’m not so self-assured
Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors
Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being ’round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me?
And now my life has changed in oh so many ways
My independence seems to vanish in the haze
But every now and then I feel so insecure
I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before.’
‘Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being ’round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me?’
LENNON, JOHN / MCCARTNEY, PAUL
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
The rest of us continued, even Yoko in her other-worldly singing voice.
Once we were done, Jack looked so satisfied.
“Now you have to stay,” he announced.
“Did you just lose your voice again?” Mummy asked.
“I can’t stand that Tim is leaving,” was his excuse.
“You can’t always get your way, Jack,” Daddy pronounced.
“But it makes me so sad.”
“Grow up, kid. Privilege doesn’t mean you get to tell everyone what to do.” John told Jack.
“I’ll be back, Jack. I need my family, too,” I begged.
“Then let me go back with Tim. He knows how to get my speech back,” Jack turned to his father.
“No!” the kids cried. “We just started the band.”
Mummy put her foot down. “This argument is ruining my meal. We’ll discuss this at home.”
“Finally someone shows some sense,” Yoko approved.
As the adults discussed and argued about the bill, I announced that Jack and I would walk to the Dakota. The kids came along. Since we were holding hands, Julian had Nina’s hand as we walked up Central Park West. It was a pleasant spring evening, for March at least.
“Why do you fight so much,” Nina asked.
“It’s just bickering,” Jack explained. “You should see Tim really fight. He knocked out two football players and subdued three more when we got jumped on New Year’s Eve. He’s my hero,” as he hugged me.
“Me football mates is always fighting,” Julian bragged.
“That’s English football. American football players are humongous. My best friend is called ‘Gator after ‘Gatorsaurous.”
“American football is lame. You wear armor padding and play stops after ten seconds of action,” Julian argued.
“That’s ‘cause it’s so intense. English football goes on forever and nobody ever scores.”
“I can’t believe we’re arguing about sports when Tim is leaving tomorrow,” Jack complained with Nina nodding her head in agreement.
“Ya havta leave, mate?” Jules asked me. “ Everyone else in New York is arseholes.”
“Yeah,” I didn’t explain but pulled him into a hug.
He was a little stiff. Nina was a more enthusiastic hugger, after he shrugged me away.
Jack whistled ‘We’re Off to See the Wizard,” as all four of skipped up the boulevard.
Once at the Dakota, Julian’s sang froid evaporated inside the elevator. He grabbed me in a big hug.
“Thank you. Thank you. I never really felt like I had a dad until today. You make everything so special. I know you must go, but I will miss you so.”
I held him by the shoulders, “Sounds like the first two lines of a song. Let’s have breakfast together tomorrow at the Tavern on the Green. Yes?”
He and Nina both hugged me.
“Hey, what about me? I’ll have to pay for it.” Jack complained.
They both hugged him, complaining, “But you’re not leaving.”
We left them smiling on the elevator.
After a long discussion, it was agreed that Jack could go back to Iowa after the doctors had cleared him. He promised he would graduate in June and go off to college in the fall. Neither of us had done anything about college applications.
“Oh, you have early admission to Harvard, Jack,” Mummy informed him.
“Boston? Ew, they still burn witches there,” he joked.
I kept my mouth shut. I’d have him for at least the next six months. I was more interested in our next eight hours in bed. I figured I could sleep on the plane. For the first time since the Chelsea in April, I was definitely up for some hardcore, mad fucking.
“Lock the door,” I ordered once we were alone in the bedroom.
He gave me a look as he caught the lust in my eyes. He quickly secured our room from the cousins.
Grabbing him roughly, I undid the top buttons of his Oxford shirt and pulled it halfway down his arms, trapping them to prevent any resistance. The sparkle was in his eyes now. I pulled down his pants and briefs, turning him around, and pushed him prone on the bed. On my knees, I gave his asshole a thorough cleaning and lube with my tongue. He was quickly moaning, murmuring, ‘fuck me, fuck me.”
I wasn’t about to take his orders. Pushing him fully onto the bed, I spun him around, threw his legs over my shoulders, and started humping his stiff dick and scrotum. I hurried myself to climax as he begged to be penetrated, “Fuck me, Fuck me.” I ignored his pleas, shooting five blasts of cum over his stomach, onto his face, and into his hair. He involuntarily came as I was finishing. Taking his spurting dick into my mouth, I kept the jizz inside my lips without swallowing. Dripping it on his stomach and chest, I painted my name between his hard nipples. He was writhing beneath me, exactly what I needed to stay hard. Since he was no longer begging to be fucked, I turned him upside down, pulled on his hips to get his butt arched below me, and entered him completely in one stroke. He gasped and moaned at every thrust. My balls were slapping against his spit and sweat covered ass. I kept thrusting faster and faster. I restrained from reaching a climax, until after he went off below me. Pushing him down into the pooled cum, I rolled him on his back so he was completely covered in his own ejaculate and slime. I collapsed on top of him and went instantly asleep. By the time I woke up, he had rolled us on our sides. The sticky glue of jism had hardened. What woke me was Jack trying to detach himself from me. We were stuck together.
“Isn’t this what you want, glued together forever?” I mocked him.
“Let’s just shower. I feel gross,” he whined.
I ripped ourselves apart as we both screamed. He was crying under me, when the cousins pounded on the door, asking what was going on.
“Go fag off on each other,” I yelled at them. Jack giggled.
Our next session was similar, except I was just trying to get off, not hurt him. I stayed impassive and detached, fucking his ass to climax after about five minutes. He felt like a rag doll under me, as my thrusting knocked him about the bed. After I came, I made him give me head to stay hard. By this time he was whimpering. I found it exciting and soon was going at his ass again. I watched a table clock. After six minutes I let myself go off, thrusting once with each blast of cum deep inside him. He remained limp under me. Again I fell asleep with my dick deep inside his ass. It woke me up as he tried to sneak out of the bed. I grabbed him and was ready to go again. He groaned in frustration and exhaustion. Instead of penetrating him, I slid my dick across his slimy butt crack, squeezing the cheeks against my thrusting dick. I took my time reaching a climax, spurting on his back. I rolled him to face me, sliding his butt in the cesspool of cum and slime on the bed sheets. His breathing made his whole body heave back and forth. I was hard again. He groaned until I gave him head to straighten out his dick. I sat on it, taking it up the butt in one motion. His hips started bucking as I rode him like rodeo bronco. I started yelling and whooping it up, like Scott used to do. He couldn’t stop his hips from bucking and thrusting. Just as he was about to come, I exploded into his face. He was tossing his head back and forth as his dick reached its climax. We were done.
In the morning, I dragged Jack to the window overlooking Central Park, wrapped up together in a blanket on the chaise facing the dawn. He was very compliant after our night of mad fucking.
“This is how it’s going to work,” I ordered. “You’ll join me after Father Frank and you straighten out the mess at St Patrick’s. Your good manners will serve you well dealing with Cardinal Cooke’s staff. Refuse to deal with Brother Ignatius. Since Aaron and Paul attend Youth Group at St Patrick’s, they can serve as liaison with Emanu-el. That staff can help train the St Patrick’s staff on spotting possible abusers.”
Jack just nodded that he understood.
“Take Aaron and Paul to Abyssinian Baptist in Harlem and help them root out any problems. Nina and Jules can help you by getting the kids singing. Those Baptists love to sing. No snakes allowed.”
He laughed, which was a good sign.
“Cooperate with the shrinks at Columbia-Presbyterian, so they clear you to return to Ames. I will be waiting for you. My shrink Dr. Kamikaze is genius. You’ll love him.”
Jack hadn’t said a word. I kissed him, making him moan. I wasn’t sure if he was still horny or his butt was aching.
We went up to 407 and took the kids for breakfast at Tavern on the Green. Again we walked down Central Park West, hand-in-hand. We had dressed for Church, although no one had said we’d actually go that Sunday morning. The restaurant had recently reopened. We sat in the Crystal Room, overlooking the Park. Tables were crowded together, lacking the intimacy of Saturday night’s dining at ’21.’ We agreed not to sing, even though I knew Jack had lost his speaking voice (again). The rest of us could speak with him through Jace, who said Jack was mortified that he was acting out again. I proposed that all three of us hold Jack’s hands and ask him to speak.
“Tell me what you liked best about last night,” I asked, thinking he’d say something about singing with Jules’ father.
“Mad, crazy fucking,” he croaked, causing heads to turn in the restaurant.
Jules and Nina turned bright red.
“Well, at least that’s got you speaking again,” I rationalized. “Now you know Nina and Jules can cure you if you get stuck again.
“Once I get over you leaving, I should be fine,” he spoke in a more normal voice. “Mummy and Dad said I can go to Iowa when I’m cured.”
“Oh, no,” the kids cried. “You can’t leave. You’re our only friends.”
“What about Aaron and Paul?” Jack asked.
“Well, they’re our new friends. You’re our old friends.” Nina made the distinction between 3 day and 2 day friends.
We all laughed.”
“Come to Iowa. We’re avoiding snakes from now on.” I suggested.
“I want to meet a real Red Indian,” Jules was only twelve.
“They were all sent further west. How about a real ‘Gator?”
“He’s my best friend, the football player.”
“Oh no, not more sports,” Nina complained.
We pigged out on the Sunday brunch. Needing a walk in the Park to settle our stomachs, we first went to the Bethesda Memorial fountain. Jack and I told the story of our walk in the park with NYC kids on Monday after Easter, ending with Michael sweeping Jena off her feet. Then we went to mass at St Patrick’s. We promised not to tell Jules’ parents.
“You should visit us in Iowa. You’ll love my shrink. He’s Japanese and very zen.”
“Sorry. I have enough problems dealing with Yoko. I’m not turning Japanese.”
The Youth Group kids who also attended that mass came up to us after.
“One of the kids asked Jules, “Who was the old hippie who came up and played with you?”
“That’s me old da,” Jules slipped into Liverpudlian.
“He looks like the guy in the Beatles.”
“Yeah. He’s an ex-Beatle.”
“Oh, too bad. They were really great.”
The kids were mostly 12 and 13. They asked our kids to come with them to brunch. Nina and Jules beamed. New friends were popping up all over.
“You don’t mind if we not see you off?” Nina asked.
“Off with ya, now. I can make my plane by m’self.” I shoved them off to their new friends.
Jack and I walked back to the Dakota. Jack had an arm around my waist. We cuddled all the way. No one said a thing. It was noon when we arrived, just in time to collect my farm clothes and head to La Guardia. I thanked the Stones, assuring them that Jack was safe in Ames. They promised to visit often.
We rode to the airport in Queens by town car. Jack had gotten very quiet. Jace was sitting with him, promising to stay and keep his butt loose and limber. Jack could at least laugh. We held hands through the check-in process. The Stones had paid for a first class seat, since I refused to use their private jet. We shocked the terminal with a long, longing kiss, nothing salacious but totally heart-felt. We both were crying as I got on-board. The steward was kind enough to not bother me until I’d stopped crying.
“Sad farewell with a girlfriend?” he asked.
“My boyfriend. He stops speaking when we’re apart.”
“That is so cute,” he gushed. All male flight attendants are gay.
After switching to a commuter flight in Chicago, it was after dark when I landed in Ames. No Jetway there. I could see my family waving from inside the terminal. The surprise was ‘Gator, who had an arm around each twin. He’d finally seen the light.