Eighteen – Chapter 13

Having tied up the locations for the upcoming ‘Animal House’ shoot, the last detail is to arrange lodging for the cast and crew. Landis is a stickler about getting all of us to bond. Having everyone stay in the same place is his idea of forced camaraderie. Our new friends at Phi Psi  recommend we check out the Rodeway Inn in Springfield. We pull in and take a double room. The clerk relaxes when we ask for twin beds. We meet with the Inn’s manager, who is pleased to reserve a block of rooms for the month of February. It’s their slow season. He gives us a great rate for the rooms and upgrades us the next two nights. I make sure that Miller’s single room will be far from ours. Checking out the bar, we spot a piano and mic, for more bonding at the end of each day’s shoot. Cruising Springfield assures us that there was little to distract the crew, beyond the local pizza parlor that I quickly spot. The Rodeway’s restaurant is adequate to keep us going. We end up back at Phi Psi, arriving with two cases of Olympia beer, which is cheered. Later we learn it’s secretly disdained as a Washington State brew. The boys prefer Anchor Steam, a Frisco local brew. Oregonians aren’t sure which way the wind blows, stuck in the middle of two cultures. I count more Pendleton flannels than tie-dyed shirts. I bring in my SG and amp to entertain the boys. Trevor is my adoring fan. He gets kidded, loudly proclaiming his masculinity. After two brews, he is sitting at my feet, staring intently up at me, as I play Deadhead songs.

“Anyone want to get up here with me and sing? I usually know your favorite songs,” I claim.

The older frat boys aren’t shy, glad to participate. We mostly do songs everyone knows. I turn it into a sing along, mostly early 70’s rock anthems – Fleetwood Mac, even Boston.

“No one into Glitter?” I ask, hitting the intro to ‘All the Young Dudes.’ I get booed, too close for comfort. Trevor turns bright red.

“Com’n up here, Trevor. I know you wanna sing,” I encourage him. He’s mortified. “How about some blues? Janis Joplin?”

“I can do ‘Bobby McGee,’” he admits. I gulp. It’s too close for comfort, thinking about Tommy.

“Well, get up here.” I start playing the main chords. I remembered the proper words, not my Sawgrass Campground version.

Halfway through the song, Trevor pulls a harmonica out of his pocket, while I keep singing

‘I pulled my harpoon out of my dirty red bandanna

And was playing soft

While Bobby sang the blues’

Songwriters: FRED FOSTER, FRED L FOSTER, KRIS KRISTOFFERSON

© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

When I sang ‘Holdin’ Bobby’s body next to mine,’ Trevor starts to shake and looks like he’ll pass out. I stop playing guitar and put an arm around him. We finish singing without accompaniment. The frat boys are too stunned to cheer us.

“I guess that’ll havta do,” I announce. The boys clap and Trevor tries to pull away from me, to run back into the closet. I won’t let him go, until the audience finishes clapping.

Landis gets up.

“Thanks for making us welcome to Eugene. We were a little put off by the clean-cut image over at Oregon State, but you boys make us feel at home. I hope you’ll consider being part of the production. We’re looking for students who know how to party, as well as those who look like they haven’t a clue.”

The Phi Psi’s are enthusiastic to learn they are needed as extras in a movie.

I walk Trevor outside. We sit on the front steps of the abandoned fraternity next door.

We talk awhile without mentioning his meltdown in front of his whole fraternity.

“How do you feel about what happened this afternoon?”  I figure I might as well grab the bull by the horns.

“I’m just a freshman. It’s left me pretty shook up.”

“I’m a freshman, too. I think being the same age is part of our attraction to each other.”

“You really like me?”  he isn’t being coy, just incredulous about what is happening.

“How can you doubt it. We had sex within an hour of meeting each other. Now, you pretty much let everyone know how you feel when we sang to each other.”

“It’s just so new for me.”

“You never had crushes in high school?”

“Never. I feel scandalized anytime I’m attracted to a guy. I train myself to not think about it.”

“Is there a gay support group on campus?”

“Yeah, but everyone will know if I go.”

“Seems like they’re going to know anyway. Why are you afraid of what others think?”

“I don’t want to be hated.”

I realize I knew nothing about him, except that he wants me, badly.

“Have you had girlfriends?”

“I don’t even have friends. Being in a frat is the first time I’ve felt normal.”

“Nobody’s totally normal. Let’s just act like being boyfriends is natural.”

“You’ll be my boyfriend?” He is so cute. It’s breaking my heart.  Easy sex never turns out that way.

“I’m going to be here all next month. We’ll find out if we’re really boyfriends.”

He starts crying. I hug him while he shakes.  I better slow it down.

“You have to enjoy it, not be so overwhelmed. We’re the same age, but I’ve been out since I was fourteen. You’ll get over being so confused by letting out your feelings, as you begin to feel comfortable.”

I tell him the story of how Joey supposedly molested me and, then set me up with girls to make me feel normal.

“How many guys have you been with?” he needs to know.

I relate my entire sex history. My high school years impress him that I genuinely loved anyone I went with. I exclude the hitchhiking trauma in Alabama. I tell him I have girlfriends but don’t provide details. It’s the sluttiness in the last few months that throws him off, especially Jake, at 42.

“I’ve never been with anyone, until you today. How can I ever satisfy you?”

He feels he’s a silly virgin. I look at him for the first time. He is not some twink boy. His good looks start with the seriousness in his eyes. His dark hair and a strong chin exuded confidence. He is feeling dismayed, but there is a strength in his expression that attracts me. He doubts me because I’m more experienced. He’ll catch up, if I gave him the chance. In the back of my mind, I like feeling this way; it pushes Jake into a less serious place. Oh, how easily I’m replacing him. The key for Trevor and me is whether he can accept my penchant for loving more than one person at a time. I grab the bull by the horns.

“What’s different about me is I can and seem to need to love and be loved by more than one person at a time. Can you deal with that?”

“I can’t say but I sure wanna try. Can I come home with you tonight?”

My dick knows the answer. I’ll have to get a separate room. Landis will joke that I’m using Trevor to get over being ignored in San Francisco.

“You gonna tell your frat friends?”

“If they ask.”

“Then okay. I really want you to be with me tonight.”

As expected, Landis is understanding. “Oh, to be eighteen again,” he moans. “That boy is a virgin, right? You better go easy on him. We go back to LA in a couple of days.”

I promise to play nice. “Do I need to get Sister Mary Boom Boom’s approval?” We laugh.

Trevor rides on my lap to the Rodeway Inn. I pay for a separate room. I get the one with the biggest bed. The clerk mumbles, “I knew it.” He calls it was the honeymoon suite. Trevor is totally mortified as I lead him to the elevator. The bulge in his jeans indicates he’ll get over any diffidence. As soon as the elevator door closes, I made my move. The second our lips touch, he shakes and a tell-tale wet stain spread across the front of his jeans. He’s just like a fourteen-year-old Tommy. I try not to laugh He starts crying. I use my ‘lick the lips’ move to reassure him. I’m afraid he’ll cum again as he presses himself against me. The elevator door opens on a shocked older couple. We instantly move apart.

“Going up?” I ask.

“No,” the husband quickly answers.

I push the close-door button. Trevor refuses to return to my arms. “Wait until the room,” he gasps.

I lick his top lip again. He instantly cums. I worry he’ll be done before we get into the room.

It isn’t an issue. Once behind closed doors, I pull down his jeans. He remains ready to go, if just a bit sticky. I lick the sweet jizz from his lower abdomen. He starts to shake again, ready to go off a third time. I pull away and sit behind him on the bed. I massage his shoulders and back, while he shivers, finally calming down without cumming. He relaxes and leans back into my arms.

“Maybe we should talk,” I suggest.

He shakes his head, pushing back into my arms.

“I don’t wanna exhaust your sperm bank before I even get off,” I complain. “I’m pre-cumming like a mother-fucker.”

He laughs, turning around so we sat facing each other with our legs wrapped behind each other’s butts. He attacks my jeans, giggling when he pulls them and my Out and About briefs down. When my dick pops up, glistening from the pre-cum, he looks panicked by its size.

“It’s already been inside you once,” I remind him. He is bug-eyed  and stunned that he easily handled the size of it.

Let’s do it again,” he suggests. That thought makes him geyser again, the third time. I lean over and take his pulsing dick into my mouth. I realize he has a lifetime of jizz built up, ready to tell the world, ‘here I am.” I don’t need to count how many times he gets off. He falls backward, pulling me with him as his dick continues to go off down my throat.  Once the pulsing stops, I kept the depleted shaft in my mouth, cleaning it with my tongue, like a cat lapping milk. I reach up and pinch his hard as pebbles nipples, making him squirm from the pain and stimulation. The tip of his dick is knocking against my tonsils, as he jerks. His legs wrap around my back, pulling me off his dick. He wants to be kissed. I scoot up and we frenched intensely. I hook my arms under his knees, lifting his butt off the bed.  My tongue is thrusting into his mouth, rolled up like a taquito. His tongue wraps around it and squeezes as I thrust. He groans every time I pull it back and moans as it thrusts inward again. I don’t need to be told what he really want. I started rocking our bodies in synch with my french kissing.

“Fuck me. Fuck me,” he begs.

Remembering how I handled Tommy’s first time, which we called panther fucking, I stick just the tip of my dick inside his ass. He grabs it with his anal lips and squeezes in sync with my tongue thrusts. His breathing is ragged and wheezing. He starts to shake, about to cum. I pull out and rotate so he was on top of me, his straining dick at the lips of my asshole. He’s stunned for a second. His breathing returns to normal. I pull him fully inside me.

“Sweet, Jesus,” he swears, suddenly doing what he subconsciously needs. He doesn’t need lessons. He’s thrusting like a bull on a young heifer. We rock back and forth on the honeymoon bed. Once his breathing became ragged again, I roll him backwards, expelling his dick and sticking mine just inside his anal lips.

“Holy, shit,” he knows he wants to be fucked as much as he needs to fuck me. He grabs my butt cheeks, pulling me fully inside. He grunts at my size. It doesn’t slow him down, squeezing me as I thrust, and only complaining as I pull back. He is so good at this double fucking that I forget to hold back and realize I have gone far past my point of no return. I double the speed of my thrusts, then fully inside, I hold myself rigid without breathing. After ten seconds a first blast erupts inside Trevor.  I pull out, my dick squirting everywhere. Rolling back, I impale myself on his straining dick. The pulses of my orgasm inspires him to his orgasm deep inside me. I continue to spray him and the bedspread. He has cum all over his face and in his hair,  with his head thrown back, as he empties himself inside me. I instinctually knew he is a good top and bottom. I want badly to kiss him, but wait until his orgasm is done. We lay there in a heap, covered in cum and kissing like mad. We have gone at it for over an hour.

“Oh, my god,” he finally speaks, cuddling up next to me. “I never imagined it can be this good.”

“What? Fucking or being fucked?”

“Both. It’s just total fucking. I want you so much. And, I want you to want me so much. Oh, my god.”

It is Revelations, without having to go through the Rapture or follow the strictures of Romans I & II.

I pull him into the shower, soaping him up and rinsing him down. His breathing is still rapid. I turn him around and lick his asshole clean.  I feel him trying to suck my entire head into his butt. I quickly substitute my dick. He holds onto the faucets while I pump him with the hot water running over both of us. He is so relaxed that I finally just cum, not caring that he isn’t ready again. He erupts spontaneously, as I’m spasming out in his ass. This time he washes me, then mounts me from behind, and cleans me up after he was done. I love hotel showers – unlimited hot water. We crawl back into bed. He’s done but wants to talk.

“Don’t expect it to always be so intense,” I school him, as we calm down.

He looks sad, thinking his first time will never be better.

“Every time should be unique. Don’t rate yourself. I gave a 72-year-old a hand job, ‘cause I felt sorry for him. Just a helping hand. He gave up paying for it with prostitutes after that. He can’t stand doing it with anyone who doesn’t care.”

“You are so nice. Should I be jealous?”

“It was just sympathy sex. And, don’t be jealous. My love life is complicated. You’re fresh news. I need that.”

“Do you love me?” Oh, my god.

“Of course, but I love people too easily. Are you possessive and demanding?”

“I’ve never loved anyone… before.”

He’s a goner. I promise myself that I’ll do my best to love him back. The joys of being eighteen – the future is unlimited – but responsibility always sneaks up on you.

“Will you tell your boyfriends?” he asks. Is he testing me? Teasing me? Or, was he just being innocent. Why not?

“Well, Jack’s on the East Coast in our dorm room. No calls after ten. But Jake’s in LA. I should call him anyway.”

“Let me listen.”

“Okay, but if it goes well, you can speak with him, too.” Trevor’s eyes widen.

 

“Hey, Jake. I’m in Eugene. Miss me?”

“I figured you fell into the sewers of gay Frisco, never to return.”

“Sounds like you’ve miss me.”

“You are such a tease. How’s the trip going.”

“More exciting than I expected. The queens of San Francisco found me boring, but Oregon has been great.”

“Did you go to Reed?”

“Yeah. I tripped on mushrooms. Landis rejected it as too hippie. We found the perfect location in Eugene.”

“At Oregon State?”

“Naw. Oregon University. Not so clean-cut.”

“Did you get to perform for the boys?”

“Yeah. We did a sing along.”

“I’ll bet they love you.”

“Well, just one, really.”

“Oh, found someone new. Should I be jealous.”

“Yeah. His name is Trevor. No need to be jealous. He’s my age.”

“Oh, you like my maturity. Not letting me out to pasture yet.”

“You want to talk with him? He’s right here.”

“You passing him around?”

“No, he wants to know you, that I’m not cheating on you.”

“I thought we were cheating on Jack.”

“That’s another story. Trevor just lost his virginity. He’s full of questions.”

“And, I’m the answer man?”

“He’s really sweet, but love confuses him.”

“Ah, love at first sight.”

“No, more like love at first bite.”

Trevor grabs the phone. I like that.

“Hi. And I fucked him, too.”

“Good for you,” Jake knows how to handle virgins. “Will I get him back, now that you’re dominating him?”

Trevor laughs. “Actually, he fucked me a lot. I can’t stop loving him.”

“It seems to work that way.”

“You’re not jealous?”

“I’m the one  who he cheats with on his roommate. I miss him but I’m happy for him. You sound nice, if a little inexperienced. Next time, don’t fall in love so quickly.”

“It’s my first time. I don’t even have friends.”

“That’s another problem. But, Tim is good to love. You’ll find friends appreciate you more if you’re not a virgin. How did you meet Tim?”

“He came to our fraternity. They’re going to use us in the movie.”

“If you’re in a frat, you must have friends.”

“Not real friends. I didn’t even know I’m gay.”

“Tim tends to bring that out.”

“You’re nice.” He hands me back the phone.

“You going to tell your girlfriend, Joan, too?”

“You’re full of advice. Maybe. I haven’t seen her since we decided to go out.”

“When do I get to see you again? I have needs, too.”

“I like that. We’re pretty done up here. The rest of the crew arrives in the morning. We just have to make sure they’re on board with our decisions. I’ll be back at the end of the week.”

“Anna’s?”

“I love that place. How about Mongolian Barbecue?”

“It’s a date. I love you, Tim. Don’t let me slow you down.”

“I love you, too. I’ll be back soon.”

As soon as I hang up, Trevor wraps himself around me.  At first I worry he was horny again but he’s just being affectionate, making sure I know how much he wants me.

We lay in bed and talk all night. He grew up in Astoria. His father is a Baptist minister. His parents expect him to toe the line. His older brother is rebellious and fought with his father, finally getting kicked out. His dad never worries about Trevor who never causes problems and is an obedient member of the Church’s youth group. No one ever takes him seriously, just glad he isn’t like his brother. He has a romantic streak, telling me all about Astoria,  where the Columbia River runs into the Pacific.  It sounds nice. Pretty soon we drift into sleep. I wake up early, as usual, with Trevor wrapped around me..

It’s been two days since I slept with anyone. It feels good.

I go to the restaurant and have breakfast. Landis joins me. The crew arrives that morning, driving from Portland in a rental car.

Where’s that boy?” he asks.

“Oh, Trevor? He’s still asleep.”

“You better take him back to school,” John acts paternal, tossing me the keys to the Roadster. “And best not to advertise to the crew that he’s your boyfriend. Miller especially may squawk.”

“Right. Thanks, Dad.”

Landis shakes his head and smiles. He’s my prince, too.

I wake Trevor with a friendly kiss. He’s in shock until he realizes it’s me. He panics from being late to his morning classes. The freshman joys of eight o’clock classes. As we hurry back to Eugene, we chat about both being freshman. He perks up from finding we had things in common. He jokes about how clueless his roommate is. I tell him the story of how Minehan had become our roommate.

“You can sneak into Harvard,” he’s amazed.

“Only if you have the balls to try and not care if you get caught.”

“You sure he isn’t in love with you, like Jack was in high school.?”

“No way. He’s like my best friend. He freaks out when we get too close. The day he met us at the club, he mocked us for being gay, like all Harvard students.”

“He’s a redneck?”

“The Boston version – an Irish Catholic snapper.”

“I wanna go to Harvard.”

“It’s not worth it. Everyone’s so stuck up about how smart they are. It makes them stupid.”

I let him off near his classroom. He gives me a chaste kiss, winking to let me know he’s saving himself for later.

On the way back, I stop and got Landis his donut and coffee. We have a busy day of work ahead. He’s already on the phone, dealing with production details in LA. The crew is due to arrive by lunch. He takes a break to eat his donut.

“The suits want to cut the budget,” he complains.

“You want me to call Jay in Miami? He loves breach of contract.”

Landis looks at me and shakes his head. “Maybe you should be director.”

“No way. You’re the best director in Hollywood. Remember?”

He calms down. “Make sure Jay has the production contracts.  I’ll deal with the suits. We may need PJ in New York to shop the film around, or at least get out the word that Universal is being difficult.”

I love that he actually listens to me.  No suit is going to give an 18 year-old the time of day.

“Better call Debbie after you finish your donut. She needs to design the bed sheet togas.”

“Right.” He has his marching orders.

Everything is back on track by the time the crew arrives and checks in. I order sandwiches and we gather in Landis’s room, the suite. John goes over the locations we scouted and explains why we chose Oregon University, for its funky charm. The abandoned house can be turned into a shabby frat, with the adjacent frats supplying real student extras. Everything is to be done on the cheap.

“We chose the Rodeway,” John explains, ‘so everyone will be stuck with each other. You’ll either bond or go home. The actors will go by their character’s names  and the crew can choose frat names for themselves. I want the film to have authentic camaraderie.”

Miller pipes up, “Looks like you two have already established your own gay camaraderie.” He points out that only one bed was slept in.

Landis is perturbed.

“I have my own room,” I jump to his defense. “I paid for it myself.”

“This is exactly what I don’t need on the set,” Landis is furious, turning on Miller. “You either get with the program or we’re having another boxing match.”

Everyone else laughs. Miller seems stunned that his comment is offensive. I make a fist and punch my opposite hand for emphasis.  Miller jumps.

We drive to the frat location. The set people take pictures and made drawings. I look around Phi Psi for Trevor, finally asking if he’s there.

“Not until later. They have pledge duty tonight.”

I get the house phone number so I can call him. They give me a big grin.

“You made our preacher’s boy come out of his shell,” the Phi Psi remarks, referring to Trevor’s harmonica skills.

I turn slightly red, “He has talent.”

They all laugh. I don’t mean to out the boy.

Next we drive to the Lake club and repeat the scouting. I go and get pizza for everyone. It’s warm enough to eat outside, about ten yards away from the spot where Trevor and I first fucked. Sweet memories are made of these. Once back at the Rodeway, we review the day’s work in Landis’s suite. Miller has been so quiet that Landis has to ask him what he thinks. They discuss the need for several bedroom locations. I suggest we use the Phi Psi house, as it’s already set up with student bedrooms. It means going back to Eugene. I secretly smile.

The Phi Psi brothers have their freshmen pledges lined up in the front room and are hazing them for their inadequacies. Trevor is on his knees,  asking for forgiveness, as we walk in. The house manager comes over. We ask if we can use several bedrooms in the movie. The rest of our group goes off to investigate possibilities. I stayed  downstairs, enjoying Trevor’s travails. Hazing supposedly was a bonding ritual. It seemed inane. All the freshmen were harassed in turn. Trevor had spotted me. He flashed me a big smile.  I check his jeans to see how happy he really is to see me. Once all the pledges are properly ‘punished,’ they are released. Trevor comes running over.

“You came back?” he assumes I’m there strictly for him.

“We’re checking bedrooms for location sites.”

“The bedrooms are all a mess,” he admits.

“Perfect,” I laugh. “The whole crew is upstairs.”

Trevor drags me next door to the porch of the abandoned frat. In a secluded corner we furiously make out.

“Can I come back with you tonight?” he breathlessly asks.

My bulge is the only answer he needs, as I nods.

“Everybody was kidding me about you tonight.”

“Were they jealous?”

“They said you asked about me this afternoon.”

“I just said I like your harmonica playing.”

“They said that wasn’t the only thing I was blowing.”

“Did we do that?”

“You’re so bad,” he laughs.

It’s my cue to be Tom Petty.

Trevor is thrilled. He brings out his harmonica and blows blues to accompany me. We end with big smiles, but are stunned when five guys clap after our performance. Out of the closet and onto the porch. He’s mortified.

“It’s okay, Trevor. We wondered if you had any personality, Mr. Preacher’s boy. You’ll survive.”

I assume they’re all Deadheads, so I start singing “A Touch of Gray.’

They all come over and sing with me while Trevor blows his harp. Pretty soon more brothers come over and finally the movie crew joins us. Trevor and I end our mini-concert with ‘Bobby McGee.’ Everyone sings along.

 

 

It brings me back to the campground and Tommy. Now I’m crying and more embarrassed than Trevor who keeps blowing the harp.

“Fags,” Miller snorts.

Everyone turns on him.

“What’s wrong with you?” one of the older frat boys challenges Miller. “They’re just boys.”

Landis grabs Miller and pulls him away to the van. I can hear John yelling but don’t pick out his words. I love having a defender.

Trevor starts playing ‘Piece of My Heart.’ I sing

 

‘I want you to come on, come on, come on, come on

And take it, take another little piece of my heart now, baby

Break it, break another little bit of my heart now, darling

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Have a, have another little piece of my heart now, baby

You know you got it, if it makes you feel good, ooh yes it does, yeah’

Songwriters: JERRY RAGOVOY, BERT BERNS, ROBERT MCDONALD LIVINGSTON

© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., THE ROYALTY NETWORK INC.

 

Trevor looked lovingly at me as I sing the lyrics to him. When we finish, instead of applause, there’s a communal holding of breath, waiting to see what we’re going to do next. I want to kiss him, but it will have to wait. I promised John not to press any more gay buttons. I hug Trevor.  Everyone sighs in relief, no screams of shock.

It’s time to go back to the Rodeway. Trevor just follows me into the van. His frat buddies shake their heads and laugh. Trevor keeps his head down. Nobody says much in the van.

“You guys are just going to sit here and say nothing. This is Trevor. He helped us find the club we were at this afternoon.

One of the set directors steps up. “Hi, Trevor. I’m Pete. I do sets. Are you Tim’s boyfriend now?”

Miller snorts again, unable to contain himself.

“Jeez, Pete. We just met,” I jump in.

“It’s okay,” Trevor is finding his feet. “I’ve never had a boyfriend. So, I don’t know.”

“What’s that kid you had at the boxing match gonna think?” Pete asks me.

“You had a fight?” Trevor is shocked.

“Ask Miller about that,” Pete suggests. The rest of the crew laughs.

“That’s Jack, my college roommate,” I answer the original question.

Nobody, especially Miller, wants to learn any more. Trevor moves closer to me in the van.

When we get to the Inn, Landis tells everyone to hang out at the bar. I sit down at the piano. Jace pops up, just in time to help me tinkle the keys.

“You boys have any more songs we should hear?” Pete asks.

“How about a protest song?” Trevor speaks up’

“Yeah. Bob Dylan.”

“Well, since you really wanna know about me. Anyone know this one?” Trevor blows the chords to a song I don’t know. Jace helps me pick out the notes. Trevor starts singing, ‘Sing if You’re Glad to be Gay.’

‘So sit back and watch as they close all our clubs

Arrest us for meeting and raid all our pubs

Make sure your boyfriend’s at least 21

So only your friends and your brothers get done

Lie to your workman’s, lie to your folks

Put down the queens and tell anti-queer jokes

Gay Lib’s ridiculous, join their laughter

‘The buggers are legal now, what more are they after?

Sing if you’re glad to be gay Sing if you’re happy that way’

Songwriters: THOMAS GILES ROBINSON

© CONEXION MEDIA GROUP, INC.

 

That stops the conversation. I get up from the piano and hug Trevor. He looks into my eyes for approval. Coming out is so powerful, especially to a friendly audience.

“Well, another one bites the dust,” I quip to the crew. “If we’re obnoxious, it’s ‘cause we don’t know what to do.”

I sit back down and pounded out ‘Bangladesh’ with Trevor joining me. The Beatles are more familiar. Everyone gathers around the piano and sings along.

 

Landis looks pleased. It’s just what he wants, although not exactly how he planned it. The mood becomes raucous, with Pete and the guys yelling, “Gay sex. Gay sex.”

It instantly brings back my PTSD.  I try to leave, fainting after I stand up too fast. I wake up on my back with my head in Landis’s lap and Trevor in tears, standing above me.

I’m okay.

“Sorry. I had a flashback to my senior year in Iowa. I’m really okay,” as I try to stand up without much success. Landis picks me up and carries me to the honeymoon suite. He’s a bit shocked at how garish it was, with the heart-shaped bed and ceiling mirrors. Trevor is visibly upset, not by the bed, but by my breakdown.

“What is going on?” Landis demands once he’s sure I’m not damaged.

“I have PTSD. I get flashbacks.”

“And pass out?”

“Last time I knocked out two football players and put down three more who were trying to rape Jack.”

“At Harvard?”

“No. High School. Long story, but I have a shrink there. I thought I was cured. The cries of ‘Gay Sex’ were what the jocks were chanting before they attacked us.”

“You sure didn’t look like you could beat up anyone tonight.”

“Miller missed his chance,” I joke. “In Iowa, after the fight, it hit me. I threw up, passed out, came to and attacked my best friend, passed out again and woke up in the hospital.”

Trevor looks bereft.

“Come here, boyfriend, I need company.”

He perks up.

That is Landis’s cue to leave.

Trevor and I are alone in the honeymoon suite. He’s tentative at first, worried I’ll relapse.

“Just don’t shout ‘Gay sex,’ when you’re horny.”

We fuck like rabbits for about an hour.  No one counts orgasms. Finally laying there exhausted, we start talking about ourselves. Someone told Trevor that I’m a rich bitch, living in New York City.

“That’s Jack. I’m strictly a hometown kid. Hanging out with football players, milking cows  every morning and night, and singing in the Baptist Church choir.”

“You’re a Baptist, too,” Trevor is hopeful.

“Catholic, but my second mom and twin sisters are Baptist, so that’s where I attend.”

“I’m in the choir.”

“You know what they say about choir boys?”

“What?”

“Pure of heart but wild in the sack.”

We kiss for the longest time.  You know how that ends up.

In the morning, the crew looks hung over. Trevor and I are too bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for them. We sit with Landis and Miller.

“No more flashbacks?” Landis asks.

“Just good ones,” I joke. Trevor turns red.

“You have something to say Miller?” Landis prompts.

He turns to Trevor. “I’m sorry for being mean. You’re a nice kid.”

“It’s okay,” Trevor agrees. “I’m sure my fraternity brothers will say worse things, once you guys leave.”

“That reminds me, Tim,” Landis remembers. “You have to fly back today. Your lawyer friend showed up with contracts to be signed. He also wants to meet with Junior Bronfman.”

“Oh, crap. I never told him we were coming up here.”

“There’s a ticket for you at Western Airlines. You can fly out of Eugene. We need to leave after you eat.”

Trevor looks distraught, I grab his hand, under the table, and give it a squeeze. We quickly finish our pancakes and run back to the suite to pack. It takes one minute, after which we passionately make out. Trevor cums three times without any prompting. I lend him a fresh pair of jeans. He looks so longingly at my gay briefs that I give him two pairs. We both laugh, but underneath, we’re dreading our separation. Young love.

“I’ll come with,” he announces.

I shake my head. “I’ll be back in a month. Don’t throw away your college plans over a two-day crush.”

He starts to cry.  I lick his tears and then his upper lip.  He’s about to cum again. I take him in my mouth. I’m not about to give him another pair of jeans.

He’s despondent all the way to the Eugene airport. Landis sits with us while we wait for boarding.

“Trevor,” Landis tries to cheer him up, “we need you on the crew, if only to sing and play harmonica.”

He laughs. “My frat brothers will make my life miserable if I get special attention. Just let me be one of the extras.”

“Extra with benefits,” I declare.

 

I find myself back at my desk by early afternoon. Jay checked into the Ambassador Hotel in the mid-Wilshire district.  I call him.

“You know Bobby Kennedy was assassinated there?”

“Hi, Tim. How are you?”

“Better, now that I’m back at work. I failed to tell you I was on a location trip in Oregon. I just got back.”

“You said you’re working 18 hours a day. I figured you’d be happy to see me.”

“I always am. Can you come up to Universal Studios, or do you want to meet there?”

“Tell me what you need to get done. Then we can get started.”

He needs to meet with Universal’s legal staff over production issues. He asks me to get Joan and Tom to meet him at my office before jointly meeting with Bronfman on their contract issues. Finally, he and Doug need to meet with Otis and tie down his contract. It will be a busy couple of days. I suggest we have dinner with Jake Stern and discuss the terms of his work on the score. All these meetings should have been scheduled before he arrived. My being on a road trip means we’ll be scrambling. We agree to first meet with the studio people to establish a good working relationship before any real negotiating. I get on the phone while he takes a cab to Studio City. 

“Hi, boyfriend,” he greets me, walking into Landis’s office which I have taken over. “Are you the Director now,” he points to the sign on the door.

“I’m the Great Pretender.”

“Please don’t sing that song.”

“No. I’m all work today. I did sing several times in Oregon. I’m now an official frat boy.”

“Who better to do a frat movie?”

“What are our marching orders?”

“We need to meet with the Universal Legal Department and go over the contracts we want to use with actors, musicians, and publishing houses.”

“I set up a dinner with the composer. You’ll like him. He’s an actual adult.”

“I guess your days as Max deBowser are over. You’ll get used to dealing with adults, like the legal department.”

“That’s your job.”

“You seem to need to control all aspects.”

“Just learning the business.”

“The latest 18-year-old movie mogul. I hear you’re in the Harvard Business Review.” 

“Really. I didn’t know it had been published.” I know Seth will be pleased. I had totally forgotten him.

“Yeah. We got a check. Mike wasn’t happy he didn’t know about it.”

“Oh, well. Someone has to be in control of me. When we first started the band, I felt he was my substitute-dad.”

“He’s a great dad.”

“Let’s talk about the artists.”

“Joan Jett, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Otis Day and Doug Weston, your composer friend, Jake Stern, and then, all the actors not already signed, including extras. The production company will hire the crew. Everyone has to be under contract, even you.”

“You’ll be here for weeks.”

“No, my wife’s due soon. You and Landis will do the hiring. I’m here to get the paperwork straight, so all you’ll have to do is get signatures.”

“You’re boring me.”

“Good. Paperwork is boring. Wait until you need to fire someone or make them do their job. It’s all in how the paperwork is written.”

“Okay. Okay. Let’s go meet the suits.

A panel of three lawyers met us in their conference room.

I could tell they were not impressed with our team, an eighteen-year-old and a twenty-something barely out of law school. They pass a large stack of contract documents, each many pages long. Jay hands them our proposed contracts, none more than a single page each. The legal eagles snort and only briefly perused the first one. Jay reads through several of theirs, while they wait for our approval. Finally he slides their documents back to them.

“These contracts don’t meet our needs. Morals clauses, drug policies, dress codes, etc won’t work with the staff we plan to hire. Everyone will work on an ‘as needed’ basis and subject to ‘at will’ termination. All these potential causes for termination are redundant. We don’t need cause to fire someone.”

“Is that what they’re teaching in law school now?’ one of the suits sneers.

“Yes, but it is also standard practice now, even here in California.”

“I assume you’re licensed to practice law in California.”

“I’ve passed the bar in New York and California, as well as in Florida. Entertainment law is my specialty.”

That shuts them up.

“Jesus,” the senior lawyer exclaims, “we’re not going to war over a B movie for kids. Just accept our boiler plate forms.”

“I didn’t spend all this time creating modern contracts to give in to your outdated ones.”

They argue for several minutes before the suits give up.

“You should review section IV in the production company contract about final control of the creative material. There should be no question on both sides on our control of the final editing product,” Jay warns them.

They shuffled the contracts and quickly read the article that gives Landis total control of the movie.

“There’s no way we’re giving up final cut to a young director.”

Jay turns to me, “How have your discussions with other studios been going? You told me Universal was threatening to pull the plug after tabloid reports about the main star.”

“Paramount loves use. We had a knockdown, dragged-out fight at United Artists but in the end I was declared the winner,” I stretch the truth, in true-Hollywood style.

The suits are in shock. “We need to take this to the executive board. How long are you in town?”

“I have another day of meetings with artists I represent. Landis will be back. I know he is just as adamant about total control. He can discuss your decision. I have to be back in  Miami before the end of the week. I work for Michael Antonio, as well my entertainment clients.”

Mike Sr.’s name gets their attention. We aren’t some small town lawyers. It’s already known that he was running for Miami Mayor.

The suits get up and left the room without saying goodbye. I’m worried.

“We got their attention,” Jay reassures me. “They’d only be polite if they thought we’ve been bamboozled.”

No bamboozling allowed on our side, just the teenage Jay & Max team.

No time to celebrate, we next meet with Edgar Jr. He knows me too well to be bamboozled.

“How did the legal department treat you,” he asks.

“They walked out when we demanded total control for Landis,” Jay answers before I had a chance to introduce him.

“Good for you,” Edgar, the creative guy, is on our side.

“Call your dad,” I suggest.

Edgar shook his head. “I can handle it.”

“We want you to sign Joan and Tom,” Jay put us all on a first-name basis.

“Yeah. Tim’s been bugging me. I can be their agent.’

“We already represent them,” Jay establishes the situation, “Tim says you’re creating a record label here at Universal.”

“I’ve decided to acquire established, smaller labels to create a group.”

“Don’t you want some successful artists of your own,” I pipe up.

“Like Elton John? Of course.” 

“That isn’t going to happen. You need up-and-comers, not someone who wants a big paycheck for his back catalog,” I advise.

“Jesus, kid. This is the big time. When did you grow big balls. What happened to your partner? at least I can talk to him.”

“Why? Because you both went to Collegiate? He’s in college. Like you, I don’t need four years of lectures to know what music is going to sell.”

Edgar and Jay both burst out laughing.

“I’ve learned not to underestimate you. What’s the whole story with Joan and Tom?”

“We’re hiring them as PAs on the movie so they’ll learn enough about film production to create videos that people actually want to see, over and over again, like 45s used to be.”

“The voice of the future,” Jay backs me up.

“You need to buy their contracts. Their current labels have given up on them.”

“I’m trying to acquire labels, not steal their talent, only to end up owning them anyway,” Edgar has a point.

“This is just like the movie. We want you to give the talent creative control. The whole business is run by lawyers and accountants. (sorry, Jay) What makes dollars and sense doesn’t create the best product.”

Edgar thinks for two seconds and smiles. “You’re right. But you negotiate with their labels and I’ll pay the buyouts. We’ll keep Joan and Tom busy with the movie until I get the Universal Music Group established. You want to be my legal department, Jay?”

“I’ll represent you. I can’t leave Mike. He’s connected.”

“I understand. You can represent me until all these negotiations are done.” They swap business cards. It seems so adult to me. Looks like I’ve found a multi-million-dollar client for Mike Sr.

“Let’s do dinner,” Edgar suggests.

“We’re meeting with my composer at Musso & Frank tonight. You’ll like him. He’s twice our ages. Meet us there at six-thirty.”

Jay and I walk back to my office. Joan and Tom  are in deep conversation, waiting for us. I assume it’s about drugs. Luckily, they’re too broke to afford any. I kiss Joan and introduced her as my girlfriend. Jay looks worried but turns his attention to Tom, his long-lost friend from Lynyrd Skynyrd and Gainesville.

“How’s Mudcrutch doing,” he asks.

“We’re now the Heartbreakers. How’d the meeting with Universal go?”

“Excellent. Bronfman agreed to buy out your contracts. You’ll be the first artists on his Universal label while he acquires small labels like Shelter. You’ll get paid to  work on Tim’s movie to learn how to make music videos from your songs. Just don’t tell anyone until everything’s set. Shelter can’t know he’s stealing their artists while he’s acquiring them.”

“More Hollywood lawyer bullshit,” Tom knows. Joan nods. They don’t want to know any more than necessary.

“You’re Tim’s girlfriend?” Jay is surprised. He turns to me, “What about Jack.”

“He’s still learning to appreciate girls.”

“What about me?” Jay is confused. “I thought we were crushing?”

“You’re married and pregnant. You’re off the market, no matter how horny you get.”

“You like girls now? How does that work?”

“He’s in love with my dildo.” Joan jokes.

“That explains everything,” Tom has a clue.

“Enough about me. Sign these contracts, so you can get paid. Then go out and score.”

They quickly sign and took their contracts to the finance department to try to get advances.

I send a long fax to Landis at the Rodeway Inn, detailing our discussions and the status of negotiations. It has been a long day. I finally call Jake, explaining the change of our dinner date to a business dinner. I promise an extended sex session after we complete the business. He’s excited about discussing his score with Bronfman, whom he considered an artist’s agent. I tell him to drink Canadian Club at dinner.

I drive Jay to the Ambassador and go up to his room with him.

“I guess I feel more comfortable now that you’re straight,” he jokes.

I grab him and kiss him on the cheek.

“Not that straight.”

We laugh.

“That’s the old Max deBowser, I love.”

“Don’t be too disappointed. I’m saving you for your wife.”

“Let’s go see where Kennedy was shot.”

“I don’t think they give tours of the kitchen,” I warn.

“We’ll find our own way.”

One kiss and his spirit of adventure is born. We don’t find the way to the kitchen. We do locate the Coconut Grove nightclub. A security guard stops us from going further. I tell the guard that we were scouting locations for a live music performance. He contacts the catering and a special events planner takes us on a tour. The stage area is perfect for a dance band, like on ‘I Love Lucy’s  Ricky Ricardo Band. I visualize The Weirdos playing for a thousand screaming fans,  enough to wake the dead, possibly even Bobby Kennedy. Jay and I sit there at a dance floor dinner table discussing my fantasies.

“No interest in bringing the old band out here?”

“My musical tastes have evolved. ‘False Gods’ is really a cover band.”

“You wrote your own songs, about your lives in Coral Gables. It was true to your roots.”

“Right, entitled rich kids.”

“It was pretty exciting.”

“I got so upset when the police shot Max.”

“You still upset?”

“He’s another ghost in my life. He now hangs out with my Dad’s new puppy.” 

“You are so weird.”

I didn’t dispute that. It was time to go to Musso & Frank’s. It’s a quiet Tuesday night, so we get one of the premium leather banquettes.  A photographer comes by, before the others arrive, asking who we were, in Hollywood terms. I explain that it’s a business meeting about the music for ‘Animal House.’ The paparazzi writes down all the attendees. I’m happy to now be appearing in the Hollywood press.

Edgar arrives, noting, “You’ve learned how to score a decent table.”

“It’s a quiet night,” I explain.

Jake soon joins us. He slides in next to me and gives me a modest kiss.  Jay takes note and smiles. Edgar just shakes his head, good Canadian that he is. He’s happier when Jake and I both order Seven and Sevens. No one asks me for an ID. Normally a strictly beer consumer, I’m talking a mile a minute, touting Seagram’s Seven as a social lubricant.  The adults sit back and enjoy my lack of social manners. Jay and Edgar are discussing the upcoming visits to different music labels, to which Edgar wants Jay to accompany him. Jake and I were going over the scores to several Greek operas we want to use for melodies and leitmotifs. Edgar soon is spouting his operatic knowledge which seems limited to strictly German, especially Wagner.

“Aren’t you Jewish” I ask.

“Now that Hitler’s gone, it’s okay to spout Goethe’s Man and Superman philosophy.”

“I think some other studio is doing ‘Superman’ this year. Jerry Goldsmith is doing the music,” Jake pipes up.

“No. They’ve hired John Williams and the London Symphony Orchestra. I doubt Universal will pay that level of costs,” Edgar belittles our B movie budget.

“I plan to steal certain themes from operas already in the public domain.”

“That’s more like it.”

They go back and forth, as Jay and I enjoy their creative ideas. I just want a cheap soundtrack, heavy on early rock n roll hits.

I describe the various main characters and how they relate to Greek mythic characters. Everyone loves the drunken Dean’s wife as Medusa or Clytemnestra or even Electra. We’re having a second round of drinks and became slightly boisterous. Our photographer is taking photos without us noticing. Finally we order our meal. The conversation becomes more inclusive.

Jay asks, “How did you meet Tim?”

We both laugh.

“I picked him up in the library,” Jake answers honestly but omitted that the library is in a gay club.

“He’s tutoring me in classical music. I’ve been corrupting him with rock n roll.”

“I flew to Miami and attended his five-hour performance at a Globe Theater replica in Coral Gables.”

“I was there,” Jay notes. “That’s my boss’s house. He plans to have Tim as the godparent for his first grandchild.”

“Mike Antonio?” Edgar asks. “Isn’t he running for Mayor.”

“He hasn’t announced yet.”

What a small world it is. I can’t help myself and sang the Disneyland ride theme song.

Jake and I finally escape our new and old friends. Jay is trapped with Edgar, his new client, for further drinking at the restaurant bar. Jake took a cab to the restaurant. It’s a warm night for January. The Santa Ana winds are blowing. The Wreck’s top is down. Before we get to Jake’s, he tells me to continue up Western into Griffith  Park. We stop at the Observatory and sit on the car’s hood, our arms around each other,  looking out at the LA basin below us.

“I heard that the telescope no longer works due to the light pollution,” I remark.

“It still works. It’s just outdated.”

“Like someone I know,” I kid him.

He laughs and proceeds to kiss me passionately.  His sex appeal is not out of date. We soon are down the hill at his apartment. It seems like forever that we’ve been apart. It’s less than a week. I’m being sentimental. I let him take the lead, giving in to his kisses and letting him lift me and pull me into the bedroom.  He lays me on my back and proceeds to sit on the rigid shaft sticking straight up. I guess he’s missed my cucumber dick.  Maybe he’s been practicing because he slide easily down its eight inches and wide girth. As he bounces up and down, I just roll with the punches, holding on to his stiff dick as if it was a horse saddle pommel.  It doesn’t take long for him to orgasm all over me, his butt squeezing and releasing in bursts.  Once he relaxes, I roll him off me, throwing his legs up into the air and fuck him thoroughly with long, powerful thrusts.

“I love it,” he shouts.

“Say it again,” I answer.

“I love it. I love it. I love it.”

I’m on my knees, holding his butt off the bed,  going in and out as fast as I can. All of a sudden, some primal urge takes over. I’m going in and out at twice what I had thought was my fastest pace. I’m out of control. Jake’s head is banging against the headboard. I can’t stop. He’s screaming. I’m in a panic, thinking I’m hurting him. But, I can’t stop. With one final thrust I cum, jerking with each eruption deep inside Jake. I collapse. He continues to moan. He has cum again. Finally I’m able to control myself.

“I’m so sorry. So sorry,” I cry. “I was hurting you,” I wail.

“Don’t ever stop. That’s the best fucking I’ve ever had,” he cuddles me, wiping away my tears.

I can’t stop crying.

“You fucked my brains out,” Jake crows. “I love it.”

“Really?” I whimper.

“You are too sensitive,” he remonstrates. “What happened to the superficial teenager I love.”

“You love me.”

“Jesus, Tim. Calm down. Last time we fucked, you couldn’t stop shaking. This time you’re crying. I feel like a child abuser.”

I laugh, the tears still rolling down my cheeks. “No, it was more like elder abuse on my part.”

“We’re both criminals,” he declares. “I need another drink.”

We sit naked on his patio, drinking seven and sevens – all part of the Seagram family.

 

I wake up with a mild hangover. It’s already nine. My country wake-up time is a fading memory. I call the studio and left a message for Landis (if he checks in) that I’m taking a day off. Jake and I have coffee on his patio. It helps. The Santa Ana’s were still blowing. The view across downtown LA is crystal clear. It’s warm and getting warmer.

“Beach day?” I ask.

“Perfect,” he doesn’t have a job to which he has to report. “Wait, here. I have a surprise.”

He comes back with a rectangular box with VOIT on the side.

“I was told you should use these in the surf.”

They were swim fins, blue with solid heel straps.

“We’re going to the beach,” he declares.

I kiss him as thanks. He makes me so happy. Although, I believe I’m such a great swimmer, I won’t need the fins.

We drive to Du-Par’s on Ventura Boulevard for their pancakes. Jake just has coffee, so I finish his flapjacks. I call them ‘flapjakes.’ It’s really hot in the Valley at just 10 am. We drive up Laurel Canyon and turn west on Mulholland Drive. When we’re close to Deadman’s Curve, I sped up. Jake whoops and hollers as we skid around the twisty road. He can act crazy, too. I slow down and we stop at the overlook. We make out for a couple of minutes, until another car pulls into the parking area. We calm down. It’s another hour’s drive to the Kanen Road turnoff and descent to Zuma Beach. Jake promises to take me to the gay Mexican Restaurant in Santa Monica after our day at the beach.

The sand is so hot on our feet, that we run all the way to the water’s edge. We cool our feet off in the cold water. The air is approaching 100 degrees while the water is barely 60. Finally sitting on the wet sand, I look out at the breaking waves. They’re much bigger than the last time. Jake explains that in the winter, the North Pacific experiences massive winter storms. The swells travel thousands of miles before breaking on west-facing California beaches.

“That wave has traveled all that way and just ends on this beach?”

“It doesn’t just stop. They crash with tremendous force and energy. You be careful out there.”

“I look out and see an approaching swell, 3 dark lines of deeper water moving toward us.  I can’t tell how large the faces of the waves are. Suddenly a single board surfer appears from the right, paddling furiously with his arms and hands to stay ahead of the approaching wave. As the wave peaks and begins to crest, the surfer jumps to his feet and points the board across the face of the wave. He seems to be dropping straight down, with a trail from his wake following him.  He continues down the face of the wave which is massive in relation to his six-foot frame. It looks like he’s being chased by a three-story house. He rides faster and faster to stay ahead of the approaching monster, a faceless ogre trying to eat him. Before he reaches the bottom of the wave he turns upward, allowing the wave to catch up. Then he turns downward again, gaining enough speed to out-race the implacable wave that never changes speed.  Finally the wave seems to lose energy and the surfer goes back over the top, flying over the wave with his surfboard falling loosely below him. He drops ten feet into the water behind the dying wave. A wave of sorrow sweeps over me for the defeat of this aquatic monster. Traveling all that distance for days to be defeated by a minuscule human on a plastic board, dying like an exhausted beast. I wait to see the conquering hero reemerge from the ocean he dropped into, retrieving his board and paddling northwest to challenge the next monster.

I’m totally exhilarated. I have to get out there. Jake hands me my new fins. He warns me not to go where the surfer was. It’s too dangerous and without a board, the waves will easily swallow me up. I notice that after these monsters break far from shore, they reform where I bodysurfed before. Not as huge and dangerous, I believe I can master these reformed monsters.

I strap on the fins and awkwardly duck-walk into the water.  My ankles ache and balls shrink into my belly, knowing what shock is soon to come. When the water is up to my knees, small shore break waves sweep over me. I dive in face first. The shock of cold water is intense. All the nerves on my face contract in agony. I have an ice cream headache all over my head. I know to keep my blood pumping by swimming strongly. It becomes hard to breathe, the cold shocking my heart and lungs. I’m suddenly fearful for my life. I roll over and look back at Jake. He looks concerned. I wave and shout, ‘It’s really cold.”

He yells to come back to shore. I shake my head and roll over, stroking fast and firmly  to keep my circulation going. It’s what I need to keep alive. I feel like a primitive man, facing unknown and deadly danger. I know I’m alive.

It takes a while to reach the ‘outside’ where the reforming waves are cresting. Once there I duck dive under the white water.  The first few times, I fail to go deep enough. The swirling whitewash grabs me and pushes me ten yards back toward the beach. I need to dive deep enough to escape its reach. After several waves I have lost almost all the distance I had swum. Finally I learn to go as deep as possible. On the sandy bottom, I use my hands to grasp the hard sand, keeping myself from being pulled backwards. As soon as the roaring wave passes overhead, I push-off the bottom, quickly reaching the surface. I’m able to gasp several breaths before the next rush of whitewater hits me. I dive to the bottom again. The next time I come up, I’m able to take several arm strokes to move further outside. I dive again and this time I crawl a yard or so on the sandy bottom before popping up. I’m making progress. The elation gives me strength. I forget about the head ache and the numbing cold. After about ten minutes I reach a dead zone. The swells come through but don’t crest and break yet. I hear the thunderous roar as they crash ten yards inside of where I bob. I have defeated them. I am safe.

Suddenly I see a bigger swell approaching. I calculate it will crash before it reaches me. I thrash my arms and sprint as fast as possible, head down and not breathing. I feel the extra push from the fins Jake gave me. ‘Thank you, Jake.’ I look up in time to catch my breath and see how the wave is forming. Forming makes me think of Safety’s   band. They will never know this thrill. I was over being fearful for my life. I’m exultant. The wave is going to pass me by. As it lifts me above the fray I see two additional waves closely following. Again I feel they will tumble me if I don’t move further outside. I thrash and sprint to safety. Finally, there’s a break. I’m far from shore. Jake is a stick figure on the beach,  still watching and probably still worried. I raise my arm and wave. He waves back. I feel a sense of relief in the confidence of his waving.

Laying on my back, I rest until my breathing returns to normal. I realize I’m no longer cold. I’m pumped from the exertion and exhilaration. I look up the coast. In front of cliffs on the shore, the waves are breaking far outside. I catch a glimpse of the skilled board surfer. He’s testing waves far bigger than  test me. It takes brazen confidence to ride and conquer those monsters. I steel myself to actually challenge the mini-monsters that I face. A line of three swells approaches. I begin to estimate where they will crest and break. I’m safe enough outside. When the first one approaches, I turn and stroke to match its speed. I’m too slow. It passes me by. The next one approaches, just as fast. This time I use my new fins, kicking as strongly as possible. I feel the wave lift me up above the water in front of us, the mini-monster and me. I feel it momentarily slow and lift me higher as it crests. I perch on the edge of the lip. The distance to the water below seems immense, at least the height from my window at home to the ground below. I chicken out, pulling back at the last-minute, and sliding down the backside of the wave. As if to mock my challenge, I was now inside the breaking point of the third wave. It crashes on top of me, sending me spinning to the bottom and bouncing off the sand with a hard thump to my shoulder. ‘Shit.’ I come up gasping for breath. Sure enough, another set was lining up to crush me. I swim furiously into their faces, diving under the breaking lips. On the third wave, I dive into rather than under the wave. I took two butterfly kicks and a butterfly pull, exiting the back of the wave, and flying completely out of the water. “Did Jake see that?’ I look back. He is standing still, hands on hips, willing me to come in. It’s my first ride, except I was going 180 degrees in the wrong direction. I heard a thunderous crash and roar as the wave finally breaks.

Should I go in? Maybe I can ride some of those inside waves that I easily passed through on my way outside. Jake is telling me to give up. I’m not prepared for these large outside mini-monsters. I am resolute and steel myself for a second attempt. I lay on my back watching the ocean for the next swell. It doesn’t take long. Another set of three waves approaches. I figure I’ll wait for the third and final one, to avoid being caught inside if I fail to catch the first ones. My patience is rewarded. I wait and am in the perfect position to catch the third wave. Again I look a long way down into the trough before me. I have two seconds to decide which direction to go, left, right or straight ahead. Straight was over the falls and not my natural direction. I know the swell is coming from the north. I lean to my right and go toward the south, down the coast. I’m sliding along at the right speed, just barely kicking my new fins. I put out my right hand. The spray of my speed hit me in the face causing me to turn upwards on the wave and momentarily slow down. It tumbled me and I’m being held under by tons of water which only wants to keep me down. I spin around and swim toward the surface. I shoot my arm in the air. I  rode it for at least 3 seconds. Jake waves again with real enthusiasm. Knowing how to act like a real surfer, I give him a modest nod. Suddenly I know I have to swim back to the safe zone. Luckily no swell interrupts my furious sprint to safety.

The next set comes and I again took the third wave. This time I take off to my left and quickly rush down the face of the wave seeing the curl coming right at me.  I turn almost at the bottom, rushing up the face, much like I had observed the board surfer on the point break. My speed is incredible. Without turning back to see where the curl is, I go over the lip and tumble into the white water from a previous wave. I sprint again to the outside. Now I have enough time to catch my breath before the next set. I’m having fun. I can do this, despite the danger. That’s when I make another rookie mistake. The next set approaches. I’m in the perfect spot to catch the first wave. What the hell, I can deal with the following waves, as long as I get a decent ride. Maybe I’m worried about being caught inside. As I go to exit over the breaking edge, it catches me and throws me back into the trough, a good ten feet.  ‘Crack,’ my head hits the hard sandy bottom. I black out.

Coming to, I realize the wave caught me and I’m riding left toward the point and the breaking curl. I look to my right and Jace is there, easily riding the wave. He reaches over and puts a hand on my shoulder, slightly pushing me down and getting a better a ride for himself. Then I hear a familiar bark. Max is furiously dog-paddling to stay with us. Using my left arm, I reach forward and he has his paws on my forearm. The three us were riding past the point, out to sea. It is a triple tandem. Jace is singing ‘Surfing Safari.’

The curl slowly closes down of us. Looking back toward shore I only imagine that Jake is waving at me. It’s all good.   

 

LA Times January 7, 1977

Malibu, CA

TEEN ROCKER DIES IN MALIBU SURF DROWNING

Tim Castle, 18, legendary singer, guitarist and songwriter of the Southern Blues band False Gods was identified after his body washed ashore at Zuma Beach on Wednesday. Accompanied by his companion, composer Jake Stern of Hollywood, he was reportedly bodysurfing in perilous conditions. Lifeguards called in LA County surf rescue authorities after Mr. Stern notified them of Castle’s disappearance. The body had been in the water for several hours. Efforts to revive the youth were unsuccessful. He was declared dead at the hospital. The authorities said the death was an accident. Warning signs had been posted for heavy surf conditions. In addition to being a musician, Castle was a champion swimmer in high school.

Castle was a Harvard sophomore on the staff of the Harvard Lampoon. He was in Los Angeles working on the Lampoon’s production of the upcoming movie ‘Animal House.’ The movie’s director’s John Landis stated that his entire staff is devastated by the loss of Castle who was the music coordinator on the movie. “Tim was an inspiration to all aspects of the production. My wife and I are personally devastated by his death. We treated him like a son. He was young, bold, and a musical genius.

His many accomplishments included rewriting Shakespeare’s ‘Midsummer’s Night Dream, as a musical comedy, directing a Christmas episode of ‘Little House on the Prairie,’ and as the writer of a humorous parody of feminism at Harvard in the Lampoon. He also published a business case study on the movie’s development in the Harvard Business Review. He is credited, along with his Harvard roommate, Jack Stone, for ending de facto segregation at Coral Gables High School. The band False Gods earned notoriety for inciting a riot when opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1975, as well as playing at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Easter that same year. Cardinal Cooke of New York issued a statement that Castle is being considered for sainthood after a possible miracle at that Easter performance and the subsequent establishment of teen homeless shelters in New York by various religious denominations. Los Angeles music fans remember him as guitarist and backup singer in last summer’s Cabaret performances by Lisa Minnelli and Elton John at the Troubadour. He also wrote the parody of Crocodile Rock that was performed by Elton.

Castle is survived by his father and stepmother in Coral Gables, FL and his mother, stepmother and twin sisters in Ames, IA.

The accompanying photo of Castle was taken the night before his death at a business meeting for the movie at Musso & Frank, Hollywood.