Why’s ya always gots ta be so mean,” Tommy whined at me. The twins had calmed him down after I ‘rejected’ him.
“It’s jist what big brothers do. It don’t means I don’t loves ya.”
He rushed into my arms, hugging me as if he’d never let go. Finally he relaxed.
‘Gator walked into the third floor music room pity party.
“Why’s ya cryin’, homo #2?” he asked.
“Huck don’t loves me much as he loves homo #1.”
“Git over here,” he ordered Tommy. “I don’t loves ya but I shur likes ya, Little Buddy.”
Tommy ran over and ‘Gator threw him into the air several times.
“Jack’s staying and is goin’ ta school with us.” I told ‘Gator
“Whatever floats yer boat,” he kidded me, winking at the girls. The twins both turned bright red. He had his charms, too.
I decided to stay home from church to be with Michael and Robby before they left. Jack went with the twins, happy to take my place in the choir. ‘Gator decided to go to church with the moms. Tommy joined us on the porch for a traditional wake and bake. He sat as close to me as possible. Michael and Robby moved away.
“Hey, being gay ain’t infectious.”
“Ya think? Then whys everyone turn gay ‘round you?”
“Bein’ a teen means yer always horny. It ain’t gender specific?”
“So that explains lonely farmers and their favorite sheep.”
We all laughed. Tommy kept his mouth shut, sliding an arm around my waist, and snuggling into me.
“Since ya’s rejectin’ ‘im, I’ll take ‘im up.” Robby was acting pervy.
Tommy tightened his grip on me.
“No way,” I defended Tommy. “I’s jist sendin’ ‘im home to be fattened up fer his 16th birthday orgy.”
“Jack ain’t ever allowin’ that.”
“He’ll be off to sum fancy college by then.”
“No long term plans.”
“Shit, I gots ta survive high school hell with a boyfriend to ignite homo fears.”
“Ya thinks the whole school’s gonna turn queer?”
“Fuck no. Startin’ Monday, I’ll be fightin’ rednecks jist to keep walkin’ in the halls.”
“They gots rednecks in Iowa?”
“Does the pope shit in the woods?”
“Does the lone wolf run scared on the prairie?”
”Ya ain’t gonna be ‘lone with Jack at yer side.”
“Fat lotta good that does me. He throws a punch and runs ‘round behind me fer protection”
“Maybe yer football friends will protect ya.”
“They’s gotta a strict survival of the fittest code. If’n I cain’t protect m’self, I’s jist roadkill ta them.”
“Andy Armadildo, flat on his back a’side the highway.”
We kept hittin’ the joint, making these images more and more vivid. Good preparation for my upcoming battles.
Tommy was asleep, like he always did at Sawgrass Camp singalongs. I picked him up and deposited him on a living room coach. We had the munchies and raided the kitchen, as everyone else had gone to church. There was plenty of pumpkin pie to gorge on.
“Why’s y’all so mean ta Hippie’s bride at her wedding?” I challenged them.
“That bitch? We gots tired o’ her always sayin’ she was prayin’ fer us. We blew up her weddin’ cake with cherry bombs. It splattered half her church-goin’ guests.”
“Ya cain’t accept she makes Hippie happy?”
“Wait ‘til the baby comes and see hows happy Hippie is.”
“Hippie ain’t phased by nothin’.”
The church crowd came in the door. ‘Gator saw the decimated pie on the counter and made a bee-line for it.
“Y’all better not’a et the whole pie.”
“Munchies, man,” Robby countered.
“Y’all’s a bunch a potheads,” ‘Gator claimed the remains of the pie. “Looks like ya drugged my little buddy,” as he pointed at the sleeping Tommy.
“Well, why don’ts ya take ‘im upstairs and satisfy his homo needs,” Robby challenged him.
Gator gave Robby a mean look, grabbed him and tossed him up in the air like he always did with Tommy. Robby was quick enough to grab one of the old gaslight pipes that still ran across the ceiling. ‘Gator had expected to catch him on the descent. He roared when it didn’t happen and started chasing Robby around the living and dining rooms, trying to grab his feet. Robby was too nimble. Michael, Jack and I started doing the monkeyshines dance, squawking like apes. The girls walked in and instantly joined in.
“Stop destroying our home,” Molly commanded as Mon and she were the last to enter. Robby fell into ‘Gator’s arms. Tommy woke up and ran to ‘Gator who tossed him up several times without destroying anything else. Between Christmas partying and the jungle moves, the downstairs was a shambles. The twins ordered all the guys to start cleaning up. The moms stood at the doorway with their hands on their hips, glaring at us. Christmas spirit was not in the air.
After the downstairs was back to normal, the moms went into the kitchen to prepare Christmas dinner. They counted the ten current guests, adding enough food to accommodate an even dozen They assumed more uninvited guests were sure to show up.
I felt guilty for not taking advantage of church time to molest Tommy. I lured him out to the car, with Robby in tow. The usual joint appeared, with Robby giving Tommy a shotgun hit. At the finish, he kissed Tommy. Tommy instinctively slapped his face. I kicked Robby out of the car. Some things never change.
Rather than discuss our ‘breakup,’ I just attacked him. That’s all it took for him to instantly cum. At least I got his dick out of his pants in time to avoid creaming his shorts. Unfortunately, he sprayed all over the back seat; boy sex stank was sure to linger and upset Angie.
Tommy went for my dick. Soon it was a 69 session. His dick never deflated. I came sooner than he. He lay back with me going at him, watching my head bob up and down. I sensed he was getting close, so I slid his trousers down. Once he started to orgasm, I pulled back and entered him up to my balls. Hitting his prostate caused copious jizz to spray, most of it on me. We used an old towel to wipe up what we could. Clear evidence of our debauchery was smeared across my shirt. We ran into the house and upstairs to the bathroom for clean-up and a shower together. The warm water had us going at it again. I hurried our climaxes, worried the Twins would be unhappy at the desecration of their bathroom. The sheepish looks on our faces was clear testimony of our evil-doing. The twins looked resigned instead of upset. I had no excuse, except that you can’t make all the people happy all the time.
The feast the moms prepared erased any thoughts of our misbehavior. Wine was served to everyone. We toasted the moms, the guests, and Christmas in general. I noticed that the cheerleader girlfriends had arrived in our absence. More witnesses to my crimes. At least school was on holiday for another ten days.
It was time for the boys to go back to Miami. The fancy red Alfa looked bedraggled, with snow and salt stains. I felt badly that I had considered asking them to take Tommy along. Hippie would take him home in just a few more days. He probably was safer with the church people. At least someone would be praying for him. After protracted good-byes, the Alfa tore away from the curb in a blaze of packed snow, fish-tailing up South Hyland. Michael must have let Robby drive, license or not.
It wasn’t until Christmas night that we finally had our gift exchange. With my tips from pizza delivery, I had the funds to get gifts for everyone, even ‘Gator. I gave the moms a single gift, a framed self-portrait of the Mexican artist, Frieda. It had been over $100, but I felt it was exactly what they needed to show I supported their lesbian lifestyle. I had ordered the twins customized bowling shirts, with Ames High Bowling embroidered on the back of the pastel blue polyester shirts. They got me a dog collar and leash, as well as one for Jack. They were confirming our roles in the family. Everyone had gotten gifts for Tommy, mostly hair product and makeup since they had been dressing him every morning. There had not been time for me to get something for Jack as he had just arrived on Christmas Eve. Instead, I sang him our love song,
“I never feel this way.
Just happy full of play.
I wake up every day,
You’re by my side,
You reach and touch,
I say goodbye.
There’s no future,
But we have now.
“We’re perfect for each other,
I never think of another.
Can’t be love, but who can say
I know you’re here to stay?”
There’s no future,
But we have now.
We can’t live by ourselves.
We need people that we love
We hate those who hate themselves
We know what they’re made of.
Love, love, love
I need your love
I need your love
I need your love
I need you”
The moms and twins clapped and shed a few tears. Jack just beamed. Tommy was grief-stricken at the line ‘I never think of another.’ Again I was being his mean big brother. All of us surrounded him.
“I love you, too, Tommy. I wrote this song before I met you.”
“It’s not fair,” he sobbed.
The twins just held him, until he calmed down.
“Here, Jack, have this mascara. Since I’m going to be crying all the time, I cain’t use it. Merry Christmas,” he sniffed.
He was so cute.
The next few days of vacation, we concentrated on making his visit a happy one. ‘Gator was the ringleader. We went sledding on the one hill in town now covered with a foot of snow. The skating pond was cleared and snow-free. Tommy on skates was an instant disaster. He liked taking pratfalls, wildly waving his arms until he toppled over. There was a hot chocolate stand at the pond to keep us warm. We had to leave after we played ‘snap the whip’ and sent Tommy crashing into the hot chocolate drinkers. He was covered in cocoa. ‘Gator had us out to the family farm. Instead of riding the cows home or a hayride, he got us on his dirt bikes. The snow on the ground created rooster-tails as we spun out crisscrossing the frozen fields. ‘Gator’s folks were soft-spoken farmers. He had no brothers or sisters. It made me realize why he had latched onto our ever-growing family. We ended up in the barn, climbing to the roof on the stacked hay bales. ‘Gator tossed Tommy up, then tossed him over the edge, where he fell into a huge pile of loose hay. He screamed all the way down. We all jumped after him, making him scream louder as each of us landed next to him. “Gator did a double flip before landing. We repeated the stunt several more times; everyone tried to replicate the Tommy scream, to no avail.
Then it was time for Hippie and Anna to pick up Tommy for the ride back to Florida. He went into a total funk, refusing even the twins’ solicitous attention. Everyone thought I was a jerk for ignoring his emotional meltdown.
After placing his suitcase in Hippie’s station wagon, he turned to face me, offering a final chance to choose him over Jack.
I pulled him into a stiff hug.
“Ya knows I’m just being yer big brother when I’s mean like this?”
“Yer always bein’ mean ta me.”
“And ya knows I love ya, not jist as a brother?”
“Then why’s ya sendin’ me away?” He started crying.
I pulled him into a tight embrace and kissed him on the lips in front of everyone.
“It’s time ya havta grow up. Yer goin’ back to foster parents that really loves ya. Ya got tons of friends in Florida. Ya hadda wonderful time here. Look at ‘Gator. He loves ya, too. Ya wants ta have adventures, ya say. Well, this is yer great adventure, becoming more than a boy. Learn to be loved. Ya do that, we’ll be brothers and lovers fer shure.”
He sobbed in my arms. I just held him. When he shook me to release the hug, I let him go. Anger surged to his face. He walked away from me without looking back, slamming the car door. I hugged both Anna and Hippie, telling them to come back soon..
We waved good-bye as Hippie drove away. Suddenly Tommy jumped into the back of the station wagon, waving like mad. ‘Gator and I jumped up and down, waving back. I saw the tears streaming down Tommy’s face. We kept waving and jumping until we could no longer see him. I burst into tears. It was ‘Gator who held me, until Jack rushed over. He had been staying back, feeling like the villain in this drama. No one blamed him. He was still my boyfriend.
I had lost track of Jace. In my heart I knew he was staying with Tommy for the meanwhile. I called his foster parents and spoke with Auntie Em.
“Tommy’s on his way home. He’ll be there tomorrow.”
“Oh, we’s missin’ him sumthin’ terribl’. But we’s holding off Christmas fer when he gets here.”
“He’ll need sumthin’ to cheer him up. He’s pretty mad at me, but I’m sure he perk up once he’s home.”
“That’s right. This is his home now “
“He really had a great time, jist hard fer ‘im, to leave. Ask ‘im ‘bouts his friend, ‘Gator.”
“Oh, was he tellin’ that ‘Gatorsurus story? We’s must’ve heard it a dozen times.”
“The captain of the football time took a shine to him. Now ever’body calls’ ‘im ‘Gator.”
“Very nice of y’all ta call, Huck. We can’t wait ta see that boy tomorrow. Thank yer mom fer putting ‘im up.”
“I was so happy we was tagether agin.”
More bowling team members showed up, both guys and girls (some now the boys’ girlfriends). The tension of my dueling boyfriends had evaporated. All the teens were upstairs on the third floor. We played and everyone sang to the popular songs we all knew. There was no heavy metal, glitter, drug or what was called FM rock in Iowa. We even did the Archies’ ‘Sugar, Sugar.’ No one seemed to notice that Jack and I were happily ensnared with each other. We both relaxed and were ourselves.
Jack asked if I wanted to speak with Mummy, as he wanted to call and wish them Merry Christmas.
“Good time to ask their permission to stay here,” I noted.
“No to Deerfield,” he joked.
After I wished them holiday greetings, I got the moms to discuss plans with the Stones for Jack to move here. It went well. They really trusted me, after all the times I had defended Jack from haters.
“If Jack and Tim both have to be in exile until they are eighteen, why not let them be together?” Mr. Stone concluded. “We will of course send the same monthly support allowance as Tim’s father has been sending.”
Mummy promised to send important literature, so we wouldn’t become uncultured in the wasteland.
“It’s called the heartland, Mummy.”
They insisted on coming to visit. The moms invited them to stay at the Hyland House. The Stones demurred, “We wouldn’t want to impose. You already are raising our baby boy. And to be honest, at our age, it’s so much easier to stay at a hotel.”
Jack and I ran upstairs, hand-in-hand.
“I get to stay and go to Ames High,” he announced proudly. “I’ll be a Cyclone.”
Although that was our school nickname, no one ever called themselves that.
As everyone laughed, Angie asked, “So Mummy approves?”
Jack turned red. “Mother and Father are coming to visit. They will be pleased if we perform for them. What should we choose to do.”
“Something from the thirties or fifties?” I suggested. “We usually did show tunes before dinner in Miami,” I explained.
“How about something from ‘The Music Man,’ to welcome them, right here in River City,” Amy suggested.
Angie ran down and got the show’s album from the moms. After listening to all the tunes, we chose ’76 Trombones,’ ‘Ya Got Trouble, (Right Here in River City),’ ‘Gary, Indiana’, ‘Iowa Stubborn’, and ending with ‘Til There was You.’
‘Gator and Noah promised to revive Bunny as local lore. I called the chorus people from Little Prairie and asked them to come over to work on the songs. Jack and I would double up as the Music Man. The twins would be the romantic heroines. We practiced by singing to the record sound track, until the moms kicked everyone out at ten o’clock.
When it was just the six of us, the moms sat us down to lay out ground rules.
“First,” Molly asked, “Do you girls want the boys to move down to the second floor.”
“If they are going to be doing it all the time.”
“Well, you’re all teenagers. We don’t condone any of you having sex. But you’re seventeen. We don’t want to know about your sex lives.”
“As long as they’re not sexist pigs, they can stay up on the third with us.” Angie decided.
“Y’all already come in unannounced in the mornin’ and pull our covers off to check. I doubt you can embarrass us anymore than that.”
“As I said, we don’t wanna know. Sounds fine, though.”
Both Jack and I made faces at the sex police girls.
After we got into bed that night, both girls came and sat at the end of our bed.
“Jist so’s ya knows, we’s always slept tagether,” Angie announced.
“Ya mean ya wants all four o’us sleepin’ tagether?” Jack looked worried.
“Don’tcha worry, sweet pea, ya kin have Andy all ta yerself. We jist wants ya ta know we don’ts thinks its weird.”
“Should we be comin’ in the mornin’ and checkin on ya’s?” I joked.
They threw our pillows at us and flounced out of the bedroom.
Turning out the light, we lay there whispering about everything until we fell asleep. In the morning we woke up early. Jack insisted on knowing what Tommy and I did in the car before he left. It made him so horny, we ran to the bathroom, locked the door and fucked each other in the shower.
Later the girls complained that the hot water had run out before they finished showering. The moms agreed to purchase a new water heater, accepting that it was needed for four showers each morning. We didn’t correct them that it would only be three showers. The extra support money meant the budget would not be so tight. I was remiss in not telling the moms that Jack was much more high maintenance than I was. They seemed to have already understood that.
The remainder of Christmas vacation went by quickly. The upcoming Music Man performance had our full posse of bowling team and chorus often at the house. Nightly dinners for 15 to 20 teenagers was eating into the added support money. Mom was in her element, which pleased Molly. I started calling her Moms Mabley, to which she replied I had discovered her secret ambition to appear on the ‘chitlin’ circuit.’ It shocked me to find out Mom had a sense of humor. It wasn’t that Dad had oppressed her, more that she suppressed herself.
The Stones breezed into Ames just before New Year’s Eve. They took the six of us out to dinner. They were staying at the Ames Hotel with a two bedroom suite. Jack and I promised we’d spend the night with them. The thought of sharing a bathroom with sixty-year-olds grossed us out. The ‘Music Man’ skit was on for New Year’s Eve. We were excited to again be performing for them. I remembered the ‘Oklahoma’ skit we had done in their living room, with the D&D nerds and Dave as dancers. This year’s skit promised to be much more polished, although I loved doing impromptu performances.
The next day, the moms hosted a luncheon for the Stones, after which all the kids who were performing that night came by to meet the honored guests.
“Johnny, you have so many new friends here. They all seem so nice and clean, and polite.”
“And all white,” Jack added.
“Well, it is the heartland.” Mummy conceded. “Have you been going to Church?”
Jack got all red and admitted, “Yes, I’m in the choir.”
“Oh, Father Frank will be pleased.”
“I doubt it,” I interjected.
“It’s a Baptist church.” Jack confessed.
“Oh, dear,” Mummy was aghast. “Did those monks ruin you for Catholic services?”
“They didn’t help. And Father Frank made me leave Miami thinking I was a criminal.”
“We saw what happened to Tim. We had to protect you.”
“His name is now Andy, and he has protected me much better that anyone.”
“We love Tim like our own.”
“Oh, Mummy. I’m so happy here. I hated Switzerland. I had to escape, just as Andy had to escape the juvenile justice system. I had a BankAmericard. He had to hide in the Everglades for four months.”
“Oh, dear. All by himself?”
Jack couldn’t help himself. “He got a new boyfriend to replace me.”
“That’s not true, Jack,” I interrupted. “The juvenile prison messed me up. I no longer could feel you in my heart.”
“It’s fine now,” Jack’s sense of ownership reared its ugly head.
“How about a tour of the local ‘sights?” I offered as penance for jilting Jack.
“No farms, please,” Mr. Stone requested.
“Your father, Johnny, is allergic to cows. He spent many summers at the family farm, riding cows in to be milked,” Mummy explained.
“Sounds fun,” Jack kidded his father.
“Not when you have to muck out the barn every morning.”
“Ew,” we both exclaimed.
“Iowa State University is just around the corner, where my moms teach and take classes. I also want to show Jack our high school where he starts this next week. It’s on the other side of the University.”
The twins looked antsy. “Why don’t you both come and give us a tour? I’ve only been here a few months. You grew up here,” I suggested.
The highlight of the tour was the limo that the Stones had arranged for their visit. The twins had only seen limos in the movies. Every time they saw one of their friends, we opened the sun roof so they could stand up and wave. It was a nice sunny day but really too cold for sun roofs. Mummy declared that the twins were the cutest young ladies. Her definition of ladies didn’t jibe with my knowledge of the twins.
We walked into the football stadium and narrated our experience as the marching band’s fight squad. The Stones nodded when we explained how we were banned for playing rock n roll. The twins liked being cast as ‘bad girls.”
Next we parked at Ames High (shoots low). It was pretty generic. I showed off the football stadium, explaining that our friend ‘Gator was the team captain.
“Not many alligators in Iowa,” Mr. Stone noted.
“His name is Brock. My first day we got in an argument and arm wrestled to see who was toughest. He won. I started calling him ‘Gator because he reminded me of the story Tommy told about a huge alligator that chased us in the Everglades. We called it ‘Gatorsaurus.”
Thinking of Tommy made me gulp. I had to blink away tears. Jack was right on it, giving me a hug right on the football field.
“Was Tommy your new boyfriend?” Mummy always spotted teen drama.
“He’s just a kid. Jack exaggerates. I never stopped being his boyfriend. Tommy and I just had adventures. We called each other Tom & Huck. He’s really fun for a fifteen-year old.”
I missed him already. That turned on the tear faucet. I promised myself I’d call him that night.
“Oh, Tim. Was it really hard for you?”
“He had a nervous breakdown when he got here.” Jack defended me.
“Well, I’m sure it’s nice to be with your mother again.” Mummy’s manners were impeccable.
“Wanna see where we all hang out?” I changed our attention away from my fragile soul.
We went to the Pizza Pit. My boss was impressed that a limo had come to the Pit. He provided curb service, with sample slices. We ordered several larges to bring to the house. While awaiting our order, I asked the Stones about my dad and Susan’s wedding. Apparently it was perfect, no cherry bombs in the wedding cake. It was a dazzling day in June, with the service conducted at the Stone’s by Father Joseph, assisted by Father Frank. Over two hundred guests attended the reception. People asked about me and were told I was still recuperating from the band’s fiasco. The Antonio’s and Lombardi’s attended, just not Michael or Jenna.
“Thank you for being so nice to my parents.’
“Not at all, Tim. We consider you family,” Mr. Stone remarked.
Although I was sad that I missed it, having Jack more than made up for all my travails.
We arrived home with enough pizza to satisfy all the teenagers who were part of ‘The Music Man’ revue.
The adults sat drinking while we prepared everyone upstairs. Our English teacher, Mrs. McCarthy, had been invited to attend, pleased that we were still interested in prairie culture, even if school was on holiday. Everyone had dressed ‘country’ with the boys in colorful cowboy shirts and the girls in gingham, as we wore for the Christmas Assembly.
I asked Mom if she would oversee the recorded music. She was pleased to be part of the show, manning the phonograph. She keyed up the Overture as we trooped down to take our places. The chorus was standing on the stairs as we sung to the recorded music.
We started with ‘Iowa Stubborn’
“Oh, there’s nothing halfway
About the Iowa way to treat you,
When we treat you
Which we may not do at all.
There’s an Iowa kind of special
We’ve never been without.
That we recall.
We can be cold
As our falling thermometers in December
If you ask about our weather in July.
And we’re so by God stubborn
We could stand touchin’ noses
For a week at a time
And never see eye-to-eye.
But what the heck, you’re welcome,
Music: Meredith Willson
Lyrics: Meredith Willson
That segue led us into ‘Trouble’
“Ya got trouble, my friend, right here,
I say, trouble right here in River City.
Trouble, oh we got trouble,
Right here in River City!
With a capital “T”
That rhymes with “P”
And that stands for Pool,
We’ve surely got trouble!
Right here in River City,
Gotta figger out a way
To keep the young ones moral after school!
Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble…”
Meredith Wilson lyrics
Bunny continued his antics, running around looking distressed and lifting his front hoof to his head. We set up for the romantic double duet between us and the twins, ‘Til There Was You’
“There were bells on the hill
But I never heard them ringing,
No, I never heard them at all
Till there was you.
There were birds in the sky
But I never saw them winging
No, I never saw them at all
Till there was you.
And there was music,
And there were wonderful roses,
They tell me,
In sweet fragrant meadows of dawn, and dew.
There was love all around
But I never heard it singing
No, I never heard it at all
Till there was you!
Music: Meredith Willson
Lyrics: Meredith Willson
All four of us ended the song holding hands.
Bunny next led the chorus down the stairs, as we broke into ’76 Trombones.’
“Seventy six trombones led the big parade,
With a hundred & ten cornets close at hand.
They were followed by rows and rows,
Of the finest virtuosos,
The cream of every famous band.”
Music: Meredith Willson
Lyrics: Meredith Willson
With a cymbal crash, we all bowed to the audience of five adults. They jumped up, applauding and hugging the four leads. Mrs. McCarthy, relieved we hadn’t played any heavy metal, insisted we perform for school assembly. The Stones praised the improvement in our production aesthetics.
Mom announced that pizza was served. Hungry teenagers devoured every slice. A second order was phoned in, My manager was so bedazzled by the limo that he gave me the rest of vacation off, so I could be with who he called my rich in-laws.
When we got back, ‘Gator was still basking in his virtuoso performance’s glory.
“There’s a New Year’s team party tonight. Everyone’s invited.”
He gave me the address after we said we had to go out with Jack’s parents and the other adults. The chorus was very skittish about going to what they assumed had to be an orgy. I told them we’d call once we got there later, if it was fun .
Dinner for the eight of us, four parents and four teenagers, was a production. The fancy French restaurant had us in a private dining room. Samples of the appetizers and entries were brought out for tasting. We got wines as if we were adults, different vintages for each course, as well as champagne for toasting. I restrained myself from noting that they were wasting their money on teens who always preferred pizza to anything else. The food was perfection.
The wine boosted our recklessness to the point that we dared to attend the football team’s New Year’s Eve bash. I promised to stay away from beer and pot, as well as to stifle my crying jags.
When we arrived, there was a big commotion in the back of the house, with cheering and groans indicating a performance was happening. As we approached the scene, Noah ran over and warned us off.
“Ya ain’t gonna wanna go in there. The cheerleaders are initiating the freshmen on the team.”
I thought he meant like frat hazing, “What are they making them do?”
“Jist ordinary missionary position. It’s the requirement that the upperclassman watch that makes it sick.”
“I’m so outta here,” Angie exclaimed.
We all agreed. Unfortunately a couple of team members recognized me and knew about Jack.
“Hey, Andy. Is this your boyfriend?” one innocently asked.
“This is Jack. He just moved to Ames,” I explained.
They corralled us and pushed through the crowd outside a back bedroom. There was a trembling fourteen year-old, half-naked with a scowling cheerleader waiting for him on the bed. The upperclassmen were taunting him. He grabbed his clothes and ran out of the bedroom. The crowd was in an angry, frustrated mood.
Our new friend held up our arms, yelling, “Gay sex. Gay sex.”
The crowd perked up, anxious to humiliate anyone unlucky enough to catch their attention. We were surrounded by chanting, deranged Neanderthals, all yelling “Gay sex.”
I decided to throw them a sop, grabbing Jack and Frenching him for 30 seconds.
The chanting stopped, as individual players gasped or shouted out obscenities.
“That’s it, boys. If that ain’t enough of a thrill then ya better think ‘bout getting’ it on with yer best friends.”
“Fuck you, faggot,” someone yelled.
I grabbed Jack by the hand. We pushed toward the door, only to be blocked by the offensive line. Hands grabbed us, pulling at our clothes. The chant of “Gay sex,” started up again.
My mind went instantly back to that motel room in Georgia, with four burly men holding me down. I went berserk. This time I fought back like a banshee. I kicked the first guy in the balls and put him down with an uppercut. I was grabbed from behind, trapping my arms. I reached down and grabbed a semi-hard dick. Yanking the dick and its balls hard, the jerk let me go. I whirled with an elbow to his jaw. Down he went. Three guys were on top of Jack, pulling on his trousers. The adrenaline surged again. Kicking and swinging at them, I pulled Jack to his feet. I backed us up to a wall, crouching to take on the next attacker.
“What the fuck, ‘Gator screamed, running into the room. Jack and I both were in fighter stance, with five guys lying on the floor in front of us.
‘Gator laughed, “You pussies want a piece of me, too. Ol’ Andy’ll tear yer heads off.”
He threw his arms around both of us, walking us out of the fuck room.
Looking back at the disgruntled crowd, “Y’all is lame faggots. I only like fightin’ faggots.”
Jack giggled, but I was somewhere else, fighting the demons of my rape. I ran outside and threw up – all that expensive food. I kept seeing myself, tied to the bed, one guy going at my ass, the three others masturbating and spitting on me. I passed out.
I came to in the car. ‘Gator was holding me down. I thought he was one of the truckers. I thrashed to get away from him.
I woke up, strapped to a hospital bed. Jack was hovering, looking fearful. The girls were crying. They all cared. I calmed down, taking deep breaths.
“You okay?” ‘Gator asked.
“Yeah. Just had a flashback to another fight where I didn’t win,” I explained.
Everyone exhaled at once, in relief that I was myself again.
“Jack says you put all five guys down by yerself,” ‘Gator was impressed.
“Ain’t gonna be much o’ a team once ya graduate,” I kidded him.
The girls and Jack ran over to hug me. The moms arrived, breathless from worry.
“What happened?” Molly demanded.
“Just a fight. I bin in ‘em before.”
“Then why are you in the hospital?”
“I went a little crazy. I even hit ‘Gator here. Sorry ‘Gate, I thoughts ya’s were an attacker.”
“Are you hurt?” Mom was solicitous.
“They never landed a blow. It’s my screwed up head again. Jist like last times. I passed out after t’was all over.”
I looked for Jace, but he wasn’t there. I asked my heart where he was. He wasn’t there either. I got really worried. I motioned for Jack to sit beside me.
“I can’t find Jace,” I whispered. “He ain’t in my heart no more.”
Jack looked at me thoughtfully. “I can still feel him. He’s just scared. The violence made him face his death again.”
“Is he afraid o’ me?”
“No. You’re always the protector. He feels badly that he needs your protection still.”
Angie came over. “Why are you guys whispering?”
“Talking about Jace. The fight scared him. Andy can’t feel him right now,” Jack explained.
“I can feel him. He’s worried,” she responded.
“He said the fight brought back his own death.”
“How did he die?” Amy asked.
“His brother shot him last Christmas.”
The moms went out to talk with the doctor. I just wanted to go home. I would see Dr. Kamikaze to deal with the flashbacks. Was I ready to tell him about the rape? I must need to. I needed to stop the berserk business.
I woke up cuddled with Jack. Jace still wasn’t with me. I started to tear-up. I realized that since Jace hadn’t been with me in that motel room, my flashback last night was the first time he had experienced the rape. I saw why he was so freaked out. There were no shrinks for ghosts. Maybe we could work on it together. I woke Jack up.
“I have something to tell you. But first, Jace still isn’t in my heart.”
“He’s still upset. He feels he really never dealt with being killed, since he found you immediately after his body died.”
“It’s also something that happened to me while I had him locked out of my heart last fall. My flashback last night was the first time he experienced it. I was raped.”
“What,” he was too shocked for words.
“You’re the first person I’ve told. Don’t freak out. I’d been wandering aimless in the South. After it was all over I knew to come here, to Ames.”
“Oh, Tim, er Andy, I knew you’d changed. Was it really terrible?”
“Pretty much. Four beefy truckers tied me to a bed and serially raped me for twelve straight hours.”
Jack turned white and silently hugged me. His good manners kept him from asking more details. I knew I had to go into the whole mess to be over it. Dr. Kamikaze would be able to help me. I was glad that I told it to Jack first.
It was early. We lay there being close.
The girls cautiously came into our room.
“Feeling better,” Amy asked.
“Yeah, this helps,” I indicated the still sleeping Jack.
“’Gator says you totally kicked ass in the fight,” Angie needed an explanation for my breakdown.
“I’m so sorry we took you there. It must have been terrible. After I went outside, it brought back unpleasant memories. That’s why I go to see Dr. Kamikaze.”
“Are you okay?”
“I will be when Jace returns. He doesn’t like me fighting.”
“We’ll be the center of attention for even daring to go to a football party.”
“Well, don’t tell anyone about the fight. It’ll make ‘Gator look bad. Those were his boys, his teammates.”
“The moms must know.”
“They weren’t there.”
“We gotta tell ‘em.”
“Cain’t we let ‘Gator take care of it. He stopped it. I wanted to take on all o’ ‘em.”
“Shut up, Andy,”
I knew I was still acting crazy.
“Get ‘Gator over here to talk with her,” Amy proposed.
“Get up, Jack,” I shook him, knowing he was already half-awake. We got dressed while the girls left to start breakfast. We had three more days of vacation. I suddenly felt good about the fight, but there was no Tommy to share it with. Before eating, I called him.
“What are you doing?”
“Yeah. I needs ta talk with ma Hillybilly Brother.”
I heard him yell to Auntie Em to wait while he talked with me.
“We’s having Christmas on New Years, Huck. Ain’t it grand? Two Christmases.”
“I gots in a big fight last night. Ended up in the hospital fer a couple o’ hours.”
“Man, ya loves ta fight.”
I knocked out two guys and kicked the asses of three guys tryin’ ta rape Jack.”
“Poor Jack,” he mocked.
I laughed. Jace came popping back into my heart.
“Kin ya feel that,” I asked Tommy.
“Yeah, in my heart. What’s that?”
“Jace came back afta ya made me laugh.”
“Where’s he bin?”
“It’s complicated. But, thanks, ya brought ‘im back to me. Must mean, he’s in ya heart, too.”.
“Does that mean he loves me?”
“Must be. I gots ta get off the phone. Thanks. Love ya.”
“Jace is back,” I announced walking into the kitchen.
“While you’s was in the bathroom jist now?” Angie was always tracking me.
“He just popped up.”
“You do that on the second floor bathroom from now on.”
“I weren’t in the bathroom. I called Tommy. He made me laugh and Jace came back. Even he felt him.”
Jack kept his mouth shut. Good manners again.
“Why’d ya call Tommy, just to brag about yer fight?” Amy asked.
“Yeah. He’s the only one besides Jack that’s seen me fight before. I realized that one fight will stop any further fighting, ‘less our victims need to git even. Jack and I just got a pass from all the shit-storm that was bound to happen after we outed ourselves.”
“Language,” yelled Molly as the moms came down the stairs
‘Shitzsturm,” Jack quipped.
Molly gave him that look that told him he was no longer a guest.
“You going to explain yourselves?”
“I told you. It was just a fight. I got sick afterward. Bad memories from fighting and not winning.”
“We won’t let you fight, Andy.
“I’m going to see Dr. Kamikaze. He’ll tell you if I’m sick in the head.”
Turning her glare on the girls, “What are you doing at a party where there’s fighting.?”
“They are our friends, or were our friends.”
“You know what caused the fight?”
They didn’t know what to say.
Luckily ‘Gator came in unannounced.
“I am so sorry. This is all my fault. What happened is wrong. I will make sure it never happens again. The whole cheer squad has been suspended.”
“Will someone tell me what happened last night?”
All four of us mentally tried to shut ‘Gator up. But we didn’t want him to lie.
“Well, I can say how proud of Andy I am for sticking up for Jack, who held his own as well. They took on at least twenty boys and after knocking out five of them, the rest didn’t have the stomach to jump in.”
“What started the fight?”
“Andy kissed Jack after they taunted him.”
“You girls saw this?” Molly asked.
“We never went back where the fight was.”
“We got jumped. When I get angry, I have a one-two knockout punch.”
“You knocked out five people.”
“Just two. The other three just didn’t get up.”
“You are on restriction, young man, for the rest of vacation – no leaving the house, no guests, no pizza delivery, no phone, and you’re sleeping on the second floor where we can keep an eye on you.”
“You will remember there will be no fighting while you live here.”
“You’d kick me out?” I whined.
“Never, but do it again. You’ll wish you got thrown out.”
Everyone was speechless. Secretly I liked her decisiveness. No wonder Mom loves her. It also felt good to be punished unjustly. My likability rating continued its climb – just aiming high.
“I better leave, then. I’m so sorry. I will fix this.” ‘Gator turned to go.
“Oh, good heavens, ‘Gator. You’re as much a part of this family as the rest of the bunch. You don’t have to leave.”
He smiled. We all had breakfast.
Jace sat with me and started stroking my dick. Jack started to giggle. Always paying attention Angie noticed the bulge and that I was giggling too.
“Why are you so happy, Mr. Restriction Retard?” she started her interrogation.
“Seems like I did everything purfect, even taking unjust punishment fer doin’ right.”
“Language,” Molly interjected. Now I had two Muller-Castles on my case. I was downright giddy from all the protection.
Up on the third floor, we all sat around and went over the full story of what happened.
“What was goin’ on in that room before we got there?”Angie was chief detective on the case. “I know it was more than the usual comfort girl business.”
“That is so sleazy,” Amy commented.
“It’s hazing of the freshman on the team. They gots to lose their virginity a’fore they becomes sophomores.”
“That’s real mature,” Jack commented.
“It’s a tradition. The cheerleaders started it.”
“One way to keep fags off the team,” I concluded. “They havta do the deed in front of the whole team?”
“So’s we knows they didn’t cheat and says they done it when they didn’t,” ‘Gator explained.
“They all were mocking that boy ‘cause he refused to get on the bed. He ran out humiliated,” I told what I’d seen.
“After that, we were dragged into the room, with everyone yelling ‘gay sex; gay sex,’” Jack added.
“We kissed for a long time, figuring that would gross them out enough to not want anything more.”
“They told me you was mockin’ ‘em by kissin’.”
“I jist showed ‘em what it’s like. We tried to leave but got jumped.”
“Then you turned into Mighty Mouse, knocking out two o’ my boys and kicking the asses of three more.”
“Yeah. I kinda went berserk. They attacked Jack, pullin’ off his clothes. We ended up backed against the wall. You showed up. We was saved.”
“Nobody wanted to fuck with you after you took down five guys.”
“Good. Maybe any redneck asshole who wants to fuck with Jack or me will now think twice.”
“After last night, anyone who fucks with you will answer to the whole football team. They’s sworn ta defend ya if need be, but none thinks ya needs the help.”
“I thinks yer the only friend I has on the team.”
“No way after last night. Ya earned tons o’ respect. They love ya fer kickin’ their asses. Ain’t it strange?”
Angie stopped the love fest. “What are you gonna do about the sex hazing. That’s sick.”
“I’ll make sure it stops. Maybe we’s gots a new tradition – a designated faggot to beat the crap outta ever’one.”
“I ain’t comin’ back to show ‘im how.”
“What’s the secret, Andy? How’dcha kick so much butt?”
“The knockout punch. Once they go down, they stay down.”
“Yer a scrawny one. Ya must have some muscle behind yer punches.”
“Ya just gotta know yer punch will do the job. I used a kick to the balls to double over the first one and straightened him up and out with an uppercut. The other one pinned my arms; I yanked his balls so hard he let go and I took ‘im out with an elbow to the jaw. Took about ten seconds. Then I took the guys on Jack by surprise, kicking and punching them ‘til they went down and stayed there.”
“Ain’t the first time he’s saved me from the haters,” Jack added. “We’s a team.”
“I’s so ashamed o’ my boys. They’s knows y’all’s my friends.”
“They was all in a sexual frenzy, like a pack o’ dogs on a bitch in heat.”
The twins turned bright red.
“I’s gonna kick their butts ta Sunday. We’ll stop this, okay girls?” ‘Gator knew to stop me from gloating anymore.
“People get hurt, ‘Gator, even though y’all think it’s jist sex.”
“Coach and I will devise a plan to stop it all.”
“You devising now, ‘Gator,” I joked, amazed that his vocabulary had improved.
“Yeah. I’m devising that the bowlin’ team will be mandatory, so those boys gots to find a girl to partner with, not just some comfort girl cheerleader ta take advantage of.”
“Yeah. Let’s go bowling taday.”
Good idea, except I was on restriction and couldn’t go. Jack filled in as Angie’s partner.
I used the time alone to write a new song:
Don’t fuck with me
I’ll take ya down
Gots ta be free
Hate gits me wound
Hate sees me seethe
Can’t seem to breathe
Yer arms on me
I gots ta be free.
Get outta my face
This ain’t the place
To make a stand
To be a man
Your nose I’ll crunch
My knockout punch
Will put ya down
Yer out cold bound.
At dinner, Jack asked the moms if he could sleep on the second floor with me.
“No hanky panky, boys,” Molly warned us.
In bed together, I told Jack we wouldn’t fool around, out of respect for the moms, who slept across the hall.
“I want to be in your arms. If you get all hot and bothered, there’s always showering together.”
Lying in bed, we told each other the stories of being apart. With Swamp Boy gone, Jack reveled in the security of our relationship. He was rightfully proud that he had fought for me and won. Over several nights of pillow talk, he related how monastic life had made him more sure of himself. My poor, shy understudy had come out of his cocoon, fully blossomed.
First he told me all about the Cannes Film Festival and Pink Floyd concert in Nice’s Bull Ring. He had only played a peripheral part in Scorsese’s Jace Tribute film. It was problematic that I was incarcerated and unable to do publicity interviews at its premiere in France. He did lots of interviews about me. When asked specifics about our sex lives, he invoked the ‘no kiss and tell’ rule. Martin was unable to get a distribution deal. All the business meetings bored Jack. When the Cannes screening was over, he went immediately to Nice, arriving for sound check with Pink Floyd. David Gilmore and Jack jammed on Floyd riffs and leads, hitting it off instantly. Sid Barrett was in attendance, although no longer in the band. When Gilmore and Jack were jamming, Sid joined in, singing gibberish plus making funny noises. Jack showed them our Monkey Song. All three were jumping around the stage during sound check. Even though the band members were all in their twenties, Jack felt fully comfortable playing with them. With him and Gilmore trading leads and doing riffs from different Floyd songs, it really got Barrett going. When they went on stage, Jack was introduced as an additional guitarist and singer. Then Gilmore announced that Sid had joined them as a percussionist. The roar in the bull ring went on for at least a minute.
“I never before felt that rush of everyone’s enthusiasm pouring down on us on stage.”
“Yeah, I sang to 15,000 football fans. It feels like you’re outside yourself, while still feeling the audience.”
“I asked them to do ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ first. Usually it’s their finale. They seemed to want me to make suggestions.”
“Did Barrett act ‘the lunatic on the grass?’”
“Jace egged him on. Sid picked up one of Gilmore’s guitars as they started ‘Wish You Were Here.’
“Did he play guitar?”
“ Yeah. He and I sat together, creating effects on all those pedals and with the tremolo bar. On stage it sounded like bad Hendrix. The audience was going nuts.”
“What did Gilmore do?”
“He said that was why he wanted me on stage, to break Sid out of his shell, his paranoid delusions.”
“It blows me away. Last year we were playing air guitar to those songs. Now you and Jace played a Sid Barrett reunion gig.”
“The laser light show came on. Jace went crazy, flying up into the laser beams. I kept seeing glimpses of him illuminated in the sky. He loved showing off.”
“Andy showed up backstage to gather me. He was my guardian for the rest of Cannes. He invited the band including Sid to come back to Jackie O’s yacht. The press found out we were jammin’ for Jackie O and Andy. All those photos of me making out with Andy got into the papers.
“You were doin’ it with Andy.”
“There’s only one Andy in my life. Anyway he’s got this medical device he wears. He’s prohibited from having sex. I threatened to shake up his shitbag, which he thought was hilarious. He’s so sweet. I just made out with him and cuddled a lot.”
“What did you say when they told you to go to Switzerland?”
“Great. It’s what I wanted after I lost you. I now speak five languages.”
“’Blowjobs for pot’ in rainbow-colored tongues. Why’d you leave Cannes?”
“I was yesterday’s news. Without you to plug the film, the whole story is over people’s heads.”
“Kicked off the ship, like a stowaway?”
I told Jack my stories about juvie, all the 16 year-old molesters raping 12 year-olds. He reveled in my accounts of all the fights I got in. He was shocked I used sex to dominate the abusers. He refused to believe I didn’t get off on subduing boys with my dick.
“Those assholes were getting re-arrested so they could get at defenseless little boys.”
“That how you met Swamp Boy?”
“Yeah. He was much smaller then. He was the leader of the abused, begging for my help in the first days I was locked up. He’d sleep at the end of my bunk.”
“You’re a sucker for rescuing the hopeless.”
Jace slapped him for denigrating how he and I got together.
“Sorry, Jace. It’s just that Andy’s must have a big heart to let us all in it.”
They kissed and made up, while I went to see what the twins were doing.
During my restriction weekend, we continued to tell our tales of separation. Jack’s initiation into monastery life was similar in ways to my life in juvie. With the dorm door locked at night, a pecking order of molesters dictated who was preyed upon and who were the predators. Showing that he had learned from the several fights we had with haters, Jack fended off one of the minor molesters on his first night. There were some boys our age who refrain from the whole ‘Wild Boys’ sex scene. Jack joined them. He wasn’t hassled anymore. That group’s neutrality about the sex abuse going on around them was a prime lesson in Swiss amorality – they didn’t care what their neighbors did as long as it didn’t affect themselves. A Swiss attitude going back way before the Nazis and their plundered gold. He had no real friends and pined for me. Jace and he broke the sex pact rule regularly.
“I had a dream where you came with Jace. You didn’t get turned on. It woke me up.”
“I was in that dream. Jace brought me along. I was just watching. You rushed over, and freaked when I wasn’t hard.”
“You’re fine now.”
I didn’t want to say that it was due to Tommy revving up my libido.
My restriction came off on Sunday night after we had a house meeting to discuss the upcoming winter term. Our report cards had come in the mail. All three of us had received straight A’s, including an A+ in English from Mrs. McCarthy. I suspected she was trying to win approval from the moms due to some unconscious homoerotic yearning. She was married. Jack accused me of being jaded and cynical. ‘Gator was at the meeting, the newest member of the ‘family.’
“We won’t let you fight anymore, Andy,” Mom announced.”I know you’re defending Jack and yourself, as well as protecting the twins, But fighting only leads to more trouble.”
“He ain’t gonna havta fight no more,” ‘Gator asserted, as Molly shook her head at his grammar, “he proved hisself New Year’s Eve. Ain’t no one gonna even look twice at ‘im.”
“Thank you, ‘Gator. I hope you and your teammates will protect our kids.”
“I gots ta protect them from Andy. He’s the killer.”
“Let’s not make him a target. And please can we get you to speak properly. I love you, ‘Gator, but your country speech just grates.”
“Sorry, ma’am. I kin do better.”
We all laughed, which confused him. ‘Gator was increasingly a presence at the house, yet he had to be at the farm for evening and morning chores. He couldn’t sleep over. He always made breakfast with us in the morning, his chores done by rising at 4 am. I had no doubt he was straight and wondered how he viewed the twins. His cheerleader girlfriend was nice but fairly bland. She really didn’t keep up with his highly energetic comings and goings. Angie was his bowling partner, yet he paid as much attention to Amy as he did to her. He hung all over me, and to a growing degree, Jack. I figured he and I were alike, having missed out on brothers and sisters, getting family outside our own homes. Knowing I could defend myself made me more of an equal, like how his posse looked up to him as leader and defender. He was Prince Hal or maybe my Falstaff. Much that I disdained Shakespeare, I was reminded that his portrayals were as astute now as in the 16th Century.
“Are you listening, or just running around with Jace in Fantasyland?” Molly observed my musings.
“Want to hear the new song Jack and I are working on?” I returned to the business at hand.
“After we all agree on how you kids will start school tomorrow.”
“We’re safe, Mom,” I called her for the first time. “The word is out not to aggravate me. The football team will always back me up. The bowling team was a joke at first, but now it’s time to make it happen. It’s a real co-ed sport and will teach the football goons (sorry, ‘Gator, not you) how to work equally with their girl partners. That’s the way to keep traditions like hazing from happening because the boys will stop seeing girls (and gays) as objects to be abused.”
“You may have intimidated your classmates, Andy, with your fists, but you and Jack need to think about what image you want to project.”
“In Miami, we outed ourselves by kissing in front of everyone at Nutrition. At first, everyone was silent until our friends applauded. Someone yelled, “More girls for us,” and after that we were just another couple.”
“You may not get the same reception here.”
“There will always be haters. We look for friends from the kids with open hearts.”
“I hope you find real acceptance, but I don’t recommend kissing in public to make yourself popular.”
“How about we just hold hands, just like other couples?”
“Let’s see how that goes. Anyway, I want to get more organized this year.”
Mom took the lead, bringing out a scheduling board with all our names on it and each day broken down by the hour.
“Good going, Mom,” I complimented her. “You’re the head organizer.”
Each of us, including ‘Gator, wrote in all the activities we were committed to. With choir, church, bowling, Pizza Pit job, Dr. Kamikaze, school, and homework, there was little time for the band and being carefree teenagers. I suggested Jack get a job (to the horror of the little lord of the manor) at the Pizza Pit; I knew my boss needed a counterman as business was really picking up. That way we’d be together the whole day. Jack asked to join the bowling team, stating his average was 149, twice what the rest of the team averaged.
“You need to find a girl to partner with,” I told him.
“Gator said he’d find him a comfort girl, which I nixed,” Angie stated.
“Have no fear, my goods manners will win someone dear.”
What a lame poet. He ran upstairs and brought down his guitar and practice amp. We played ‘Don’t Fuck with Me,” to the girls and moms. It was instantly banned at Hyland House.
It was our last night banned to the second floor bedroom. Jack and I lay in bed giggling and tickling each other. Considering we both had experienced evil sex abuse while separated, we were in better sync about abstaining from nightly debauchery. Jace was often away, on Teen Jesus duty. Aaron and Paul were reported to be doing better, after Aaron refused to attend synagogue until they accepted their relationship. Once he started attending mass with Paul, his family and congregation totally caved. The boys spent their weekends going back and forth to Sabbath and Sunday services as well as Catholic Youth Group on Thursday and Jewish Social Services volunteering on Saturday nights at the new Jace’s Place run by his Jewish congregation. They were too busy to get in trouble, except with each other. We told Jace we didn’t want to know those details.
We started talking about ‘Gator. We agreed he needed a real girlfriend. Comfort girl could never keep up. She was like a milk maid, keeping the milk flowing and avoiding a buildup of testosterone. The image of ‘Gator as a cow made us laugh, but making him a bull caused problems for the milk maid.
“What if ‘Gator is like you and needs more than one person to love?” Jack suggested.
“He and I seem pretty simpatico.”
“Except you like boys.”
“I like girls, too.”
“Ya needs a girlfriend, too?” Jack’s eyes glistened.
“I kin barely take cares o’ you,” I admitted.
“Let’s keep it that way,” Jack was still too possessive. I wasn’t complaining with Tommy gone, just not forgotten.
“How’s ‘bout the twins? I see a three-way in the making,” he joked.
“That’s a monkey-wrench in our happy little family. I ain’t gonna pimp my sisters out, even to ‘Gator.”
“Naw, good manners will get ya whats ya want.” It was Jack’s philosophy.
“How’s that work?”
“Propinquity. Jist keep ‘em together a lot.”
“Stop using slang when ya use big words. They don’t fits yer good ol’ boy dumb persona.”
We laughed, tucked in with each other in a single bed. I soon was dreaming of ‘Gator’s wedding to the twins. It was a great reception, followed by his arrest for bigamy.