My week of Harvard draw to a close. We call Trudie and Joan at Smith. They’re leaving for their holidays. Trudie invited Joan to visit her family in White Plains. Jack instantly invites them to join us in the City for Christmas shopping – Mummy’s annual ritual of ice skating at Rockefeller Center, Park Avenue window shopping, and excursions to the wild environs of Greenwich Village for eclectic gifts. Jack sitting on Santa’s lap for a photo at F A O Schwartz has only been dropped in recent years. The plan is to take the train to the City for two days at the Dakota. I’ll fly to Ames for Christmas, meeting Jack in Miami in time for our New Year’s Eve performance. With plenty of Lampoon money in my bank account, I don’t feel like a poor relative mooching off the Stone’s hospitality. On Sunday we take AMTRAC out of South Station, Boston, to Penn Station, NYC. At the stop in White Plains, we jump off and meet our girlfriends, ready for our New York Christmas adventure. They’re breathless from excitement, chatting inanely about whether they brought the right outfits. Jack is the style maven, assuring them they need not worry. Spying the heavy suitcases they lug, I assume we’ll see many outfit changes over the next two days. I carry both suitcases for them.
Mummy is sitting in the limo outside the Penn Station, as excited as the girls are about our shopping adventure. Now that we have girlfriends, Mummy had great expectations that ran from gossiping over tea to forthcoming grandchildren, hopefully all girls. It is all so giddy. After we’re settled into separate bedrooms, Mummy announces tea is being served, I drag Jack away to 407 to get high with the 14-year-olds. He’s horrified that I’m smoking pot again. Jules and I are laughing, while Nina and Jack look on with disdain. Jules observes that Christmas is all about acting jolly, not actually being jolly. I suggest we dedicate the holiday to Jesus. He gives me a funny look. We both start laughing.
Returning to the Stone apartment, we find Father Frank enjoying his tea with the ‘girls.’ Trudie instantly discerns that I’m high, getting Joan to triple-team me with Jack. There’s no escape. Although we already attended Mass that morning at St Paul’s, Father Frank convinces us to take in the Vespers service at St Patrick’s for the holiday carols. My only respite will be Isabelle’s Sunday supper. I can’t wait and invade her kitchen. Trudie comes with me, apologizing for mocking me about my pot habit. I ask her if she wants to meet Julian Lennon and get high. We stick to speaking Spanish with Isabelle. I have the munchies and sample all the dishes as they come out.
Jace appears once we’re seated at St Patrick’s. He revels in revisiting the scene of his resurrection. It also makes him nervous that he may soon be absorbed by the spirit world. He’s sitting with Father Frank, engaged in a long discussion. Jack and I are with the girls, unable to listen in. The choir is good, although the carols are slow and ponderous. No wonder kids prefer the ‘smoking on a rubber cigar’ version of We Three Kings.
Leaving the Cathedral, Jack is anxious to hit the Sunday night music scene. The obvious spot is Max’s, but I’m not anxious to run into Monte and Paul, my three-way partners. We decide that CBGB’s is more authentic. Convincing the girls not to dress up in their red berets with blue and white outfits, we remind them about Boston’s Rat and to get into downscaled outfits. The cousins, Trent and Bent, are in Vermont for the holidays, to my relief. Trudie and I are sharing their bedroom (officially the girls are there while Jack and I slept in his room). I explain how lame the cousins are. Trudie goes through their underwear drawers, hoping to find hidden evidence of some kind of perversion. She gives up after only finding Brooks Brothers boxers of dull colors. The boys have no imagination. Even Abercrombie & Fitch would have been marginally hopeful.
We take the downtown subway, to Jack’s chagrin. It’s still early by City time to hit the clubs. We give the girls a tour of the Chelsea, from our slumming days. Bill Burroughs is home in his cubby hole. He demonstrates the magic typewriter from ’Naked Lunch.’ The girls both ask it what their chances are with the two of us. It types out ‘better get track shoes to keep up.’ They are momentarily discouraged but swear they’ll never give up. Love at eighteen. (sigh) Burroughs is highly amused. I notice that he has the original Gorey drawing of himself delivering the benediction at St Patrick’s, signed by the artist and hung among all the other detritus in his room.
We head for CBGB’s, with the girls hanging onto to us for dear life in the bowels of the Bowery. It’s not the safest place to be walking at midnight. We arrive just as the band is going on, my favorite, Television.
Tom Verlaine and Richard Hell are cool. The band is cool. The music is cool. The girls are unsure if they like it as much as they liked our performances at Rahar’s. The Neighborhoods have more energy than these New York scenesters.
“It’s mood music,” I explain.
We dance in the little space before the band. CBGB’s seems so small to me now, after the Whiskey and Starwood in Hollywood. It’s intimate. Remembering how two years previously we terrorized there makes me realize the world is growing smaller as I grew older.
“I bet you don’t remember kissing me on stage in ’73,” I challenge Johansen.
“Sure, ‘Trash,’ and I still don’t pick it up,” he jokes. “You were a little kid, then.”
I beam. He remembers me.
“I hear Andy is yer patron now.”
“I’m working in Hollywood on a movie.”
“We wanna play Hollywood,” Thunders pipes up.
“I can get you booked at the Whiskey, but you’d like the Starwood better.”
“Why’s that?” Johansen asks.
“The kids go there. The Whiskey don’t pay shit.”
“Kids really like us?”
“Yeah, they’s all perverts in Hollywood.”
The band is droning on as we talk.
The girls are nervous, not being asked to sit down. David gives me his number. I promise to have Tony call him. I lean over and kiss him.
“Now, we’re even,” I assert as flashbulbs go off. He stares at me and then at the girls, shaking his head.
We find a table.
Jack laughs, “Do you have to get your photo in the Post every time we go out?”
“Why go out if no one notices.”
The girls are used to my flaunting it. We watch the band and have a drink.
“Is this even rock n roll?” Trudie is the critic.
“It is if they think it is. At least they’re playing what they think rock is. It’s their way to rock out without expending too much energy.”
A couple of twenty-something guys come over, asking how we know the Dolls. I tell them we played here two years ago.”
“You’re the guys in False Gods. I thought you were gay teenagers. You have girlfriends?”
“We’re in college. We’ve grown up.”
“Weren’t you running around in your underwear last summer at Max’s?”
They were up-to-date on Page Six celebrity. “See. We have grown up.”
That wasn’t the answer they want. I pull out a joint. They have been hoping. I glance at the bar and see Bill Page giving me the evil eye. We retire to the ladies room and smoke out. The girls act as lookouts. The rest of the evening is a blur. We take a cab back to the Dakota at 4 am. Trudie claims I’m so stoned that she refuses to take advantage of me. Joan sleeps in the cousins’ room with her. Jack is pissed.
“You should have gotten stoned. Then, you’d see how funny this is,” I claim as I slip into bed with him. He is totally confused,. We go to sleep.
I’m up at daylight, having coffee with Daddy. He has the Post out, which he slides to me as I sit down.
“The Post seems to know when you boys are in town.”
“We’ll soon age out of celebrity.”
“They seem shocked that you boys had dates.”
“Making news by being normal.”
“I hear you shook up Universal Studios. They almost dropped your movie.”
“Revenge by the Dartmouth guy for being demoted. He contacted the Tabloids about our star.”
“Nobody believes the Tabloids.”
“Mike Antonio’s assistant saved the day. The National Lampoon threatened to shop the film and Universal backed down. Thanks for advice about legal representation.”
He smiled. “Edgar Bronfman called me about his son who keeps getting him to sell off the family assets so he can make it in the movie business.”
“Edgar Jr just wants to be important. I’ve found him a band that’s a sure hit. He’s better at music than movies.”
“I’ll tell his dad to have Universal start their own label.” He winks at me. We’re in business together. “You sure you have time for Christmas shopping with your girlfriends?”
“The movie’s on hiatus until January. We got the script approved. Mike’s assistant negotiated the music rights and we cast a band to play in the movie.” I showed him my bonus check.
“Professor Feldstein tells me he’s submitted your case study to the Harvard Business Review. I thought they only published MBA students?”
“I collaborated with a B School student. He says no one has done an entertainment industry case study before.”
“No one knows you’re a spy?”
“I work for my boss, the Director. My old Lampoon bosses are just out for themselves. I’m golden.”
“I see why Jack’s so upset. You’re having too much fun being an adult.”
“I don’t know what will happen with us. He needs to be on his own. He can’t just be my understudy. He played for 30,000 fans at The Game. He was in a funk because I didn’t show up. He’s oblivious to his own talents.”
“Will you return to Harvard?”
“It’s so ironic. They hired me to be a TA in the Religion Department. My dad won’t have to pay tuition. I’ve done everything wrong but they push me back on track.”
“You’ve learned that opportunities can come your way because you’re at Harvard.”
I thought about what he said. “My boss started working at Fox at 16 and skipped college. He’s the best director in Hollywood now. He says you can’t let opportunities get away.”
“What’s your dad say?”
“He’ll be so pleased not to pay tuition.”
“Com’n, Tim. What’s he really think?”
“That I’m always plotting three moves ahead. They can barely keep up with me today, let along next year.”
“Don’t give up on Harvard. They seem to like you.”
“You’re right. I already have enough credits to be a sophomore. They seem to give me enough rope to hang myself. I’ll just hang in there.”
Jack comes wandering in, not looking that pleased that his dad is treating me like a son.
“The girls will be in soon. We should order breakfast,” he is grumpy. He needs coffee.
“Take Mummy her coffee. I’ll send the girls in. Mummy will be so pleased.” Daddy grins.
It’s like Doug’s bedroom except Mummy doesn’t have her head planted in her pillow. We sit on the edge of her bed and sip coffee. The girls jump into the oversized queen bed. Mummy beams. Plans are set for our day of Christmas in Manhattan. The girls can wear their berets at last. Jack and I were told to wear sports coats; we compromised with top coats and scarfs. Soon we’re off to Rockefeller Center for ice skating. Mummy has a reserved table. We took turns between entertaining her or skating circles on the rink. The hot chocolate leaves something to be desired. I’m spoiled by Molly’s Iowa version.
“You will be there for Christmas?” Mummy is all about plans. “Will Johnny go, too?”
“I think he plans to go with you to the Gables.”
“Oh,” she is surprised. “Is all well between you two? You have been together now for almost two years.”
Trudie is all ears.
“Everyone thinks we’re breaking up. Having girlfriends now makes it easier to stay together.”
“That’s an interesting point of view.”
“Well, it means we’re growing up without growing apart.”
“My, Tim, does Johnny think as you do.”
“He’s just flying blind. It’s worked so far.”
“Have you always lived in Westchester?” Mummy asks.
Trudie goes into detail on suburban life north of the City. I pretend to be interested. Jack and Joan come off the rink and sit down. I whisper to Jack to follow me into NBC’s studios. We ask where the SNL rehearsal is going on. We walk in on Belushi in his samurai burger chef’s outfit, regaling random girls who are waiting on him in his dressing room.
“Tim, I need burgers and fries,” he yells.
“Cheeseburger, cheeseburger. Coke, not Pepsi,” I answer.
“Who’s your friend?” he points to Jack.
“Meet my boyfriend, Jack. We’re on Christmas break.”
Belushi gathers his maidens, points at me and tells them to attack. “Save this faggot from going to hell.’
I’m surrounded by purring sex-cats. Jack looked dismayed, until one sidles up to him.
“That’s better,” Belushi declare. The girls ran back to him. “But, I am the babe magnet.”
“I am the walrus,” I respond.
‘But I’m just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood’
Songwriters: BENNIE BENJAMIN, GLORIA CALDWELL, SOL MARCUS
© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., WARNER CHAPPELL MUSIC FRANCE
“Okay,” Belushi admits, “but don’t be fagging off with my best friend in front of me.”
“I’m his best friend. We’re roommates,” Jack disputes the comedian.
“How cute. Do you make his bed for him?”
“What do you do for him?”
‘We fuck sorority girls together. We don’t do anything for each other. That would be gay.”
We all laugh.
“Stop fighting over me,” I complain.
‘You’re right. You’re so not worth it,” Belushi decides.
“We need to get back to our girlfriends,” Jack proudly announces.
“I gotta see this,” Belushi gets up and the girls follow him.
Back we go to the skating rink. Mummy and the girls are obliviously enjoying their hot chocolate. We arrive with Belushi’s whores and a pack of SNL fans following the paparazzi snapping our photos. Joan and Trudie jump up to greet us with kisses. The cameras click repeatedly. Mummy looks horrified, then puts on her best hostess smile, unsure if she wants to be on Page Six.
I introduce Belushi to our patron, as a TV personality and the star of ‘my’ movie. I sounded like Chris Miller.
“Oh,” Mummy admitted, “I can’t stay up for late-night TV, but I’ll be sure to watch for you in Tim’s movie.”
“Look for a chubby guy in his underwear,” Belushi describes his role.
“That seems to be a Tim trademark,” Mummy is in the know.
Belushi is being besieged in tourist central and needs to herd his girls back to the studio as well as several fans he has his eye on.
It’s time for us to hit Park Avenue for shopping. Trudie and Joan are stunned by their brush with celebrity. Our limo awaits. No subway for Mummy.
“Where do we go first, Jack? FAO Schwartz on Fifth Avenue?” Mummy asks. I realize this was Jack’s Christmas tree; no Santa in a sleigh, but a limo with Mummy as Santa.
“Oh, Mummy. I’m not a little kid anymore.”
“I won’t sit on Santa’s lap this year,” Jack moans.
“We will,” the girls squeal.
“I love these girls,” Mummy effuses.
The limo lets us out in front. All four teens rush to get into the Santa line. We are all taller that the rest of the line up. Nice to be looked up to, even though one child bursts into tears. We tell Santa we just want a group picture, which is the whole point. Mummy waits for us in the VIP lounge, hidden away on the first floor. She has been coming with her boys every year since 1940. The girls love the over-stuffed animals. I’m entranced by the train set-up. Jack finds it a bit passé, having been there every Christmas until his Escape from Switzerland the previous year. Soon we gather Mummy from her espresso and take the limo up Fifth Avenue. The driver inches along as we window shopped from the backseat. The girls want to open the sun roof, just like my twin sisters in Iowa. Excitement overcomes the cold air. We stop at Zabar’s on Broadway and 80th. Mummy has a long list of family and friends to receive Christmas gift baskets. I see that both sets of my parents were on the list. It’s the first time I’ve felt weird about having two pairs. The girls protest that it isn’t necessary to include their parents. Mummy isn’t about to exclude any potential in-laws for Jack. We then head for the Village to discover unique stores where we could find (and afford) gifts for our friends. I soon over-use my bank card, adding gifts for my Hollywood friends Jake, Alice & Nicky, Doug/Jimmy/Tony, John and Debbie Landis; for the Ames Iowa family and friends, and all the Miami band crew, including baby clothes for Little Greg. I make a serious dent into my Christmas bonus. By then, I’m exhausted. The girls berate me for not keeping up. At the next shop, Jack and I let the girls pick out the gifts they like for themselves. They get two gifts from each of us. It’s weird having Mummy grinning in the background while the girls kiss and hug us. Bisexual dating is complicated in the 70’s.
It’s late as we head back to the Dakota with the sun already setting. The driver takes us by Rockefeller Center again to view the lit Christmas tree. All the lights in stores and on the streets made New York a winter wonderland. We walk the girls into Central Park, all four of us hand-in-hand. We note how our first date had started with a walk around Smith.
“You sang that monkey song to us,” Joan notes.
“You want an encore,” I ask.
“No!” they scream.
Jack and I turn them around and sing a duet of ‘White Christmas’
Jace appears and sprinkles snowflakes all around us. The 15-year-old romantic. The girls are entranced. Jace is between Jack and me, arms on both our shoulders, singing away the Christmas blues. I’m so sad that the girls can’t see him. I can’t stop the tears. Everyone thinks I’m being maudlin.
Back at the Dakota, Isabelle prepared a signature feast after our day of Christmas shopping and celebration. Jack’s two older brothers and their wives join us, meeting me for the first time. They are better prepared for Jack having a boyfriend than both of us having girlfriends. Good manners are a family trait and the introductions go well. Edgar Jr (Eddie) and Rick are versions of what an older Jack will look like. They lack his fey beauty but know they’re handsome and well-bred. Their wives are a bit stand-offish but take to Joan and Trudie. I can catch snippets of their gossipy conversation about Jack and me. To our girlfriends credit, they are forthright about their feelings on dating a gay couple. The fact that they are Smith roommates helps explain how we manage to get along so well. Jack’s sisters-in-laws laugh hilariously when they learn about the weekend we met the girls’ parents.
Jack announces that the five of us have rehearsed a short Christmas entertainment. No one questions who the fifth party is. Jace is ready with copious snowflakes which his ghostly hands keep cold. The four of us repeat the singing of Bing Crosby’s ‘White Christmas.” The brothers both spent time at the Vermont family farm, making it a home state favorite from the movie. As the song picks up steam, Jace starts sprinkling his snowflakes over us and on the guests. I tell everyone later that I learned cutting edge Hollywood special effects. Suspension of disbelief is a Stone family trait. Over dinner, which I took seriously while everyone else spends engaging in small talk, the brothers attempt to bully Jack into applying to Porcellian.
“I’ve already accepted at Fox,” he declares, to everyone’s surprise, including me. I’m pleased he is striking out on his own. “Tim has been asked also, and the Mower girls will have associate memberships as Fox’s first female members.”
“Who are the Mower girls?” Rick asks.
“We have ‘Cliffies on the third floor. They’re our best friends.”
“Our fag brother is quite the feminist,” Eddie (Edgar Jr). snidely remarks.
Everyone laughs, somewhat nervously, so I sit down. The brothers look ill-at-ease until their wives make them sit. Such well-trained lap dogs.
“When the boys were in high school,” Mummy rises to my defense, “they performed in the streets. Tim often defended Jack from bigoted ruffians. The Miami Police call him Teen Jesus.”
I don’t correct her impression. The brothers just slink further into their chairs.
“No doubt Jack couldn’t defend himself.”
“He swings a mean guitar,” I assert.
“Let’s have you boys play something, rather than using your instruments for fighting.”
Jack has his MOOG nearby. I run and got my SG and a practice amp.
“This is the song we wrote about the girls and performed for Joan and Trudie’s parents at Smith’s Freshman Parents weekend.
We play our version of ‘Sunday Afternoon.’
The Moody Rudes are a hit with an older crowd. The girls are more impressed with ‘their song’ in a less stressful context. I even manage a few tears at the memory of our breakup with our girlfriends. Everyone notices. I scored points for being the ‘sensitive’ one. Jack is skeptical as he sees how quickly I supplant him in the hearts of his family and loved ones. For once he allows his heart-felt feelings to warn me that he knows I’m a fake.
The ‘adults’ re done in. My in-laws need to drive back to Connecticut. I suggest to the girls that we visit Nina and Jules in 407 and maybe play more music.
“You just want to get stoned,” Trudie is on my case as usual.
“True, but when did it become such a sin.”
“They’re just little kids. Drugs are inappropriate for children who are still developing.”
“They’re the ones who have the pot,” I argue.
“Don’t encourage them.”
“I do want to play guitar with them. Paul McCartney teaches Julian. It’s like being taught by the Beatles.”
“You’re just a fame junkie,” Trudie decides.
“Well, watch how pot affects Jack. Joan may want to stay in our room tonight.”
The girls look at each other and scream. Jack is conflicted about which side he’s on. Hormones are hormones. No matter who sleeps with whom, there will be pheromones in the air.
The kids are surrounded by their junior high acolytes. I’m relieved not to see Aaron and Paul there. Jack and I had brought our instruments. Jules was intrigued by Jack’s MOOG.
“Maybe you can replace Linda in Wings. The critics love to criticize her singing,” I tell Jules.
Jace appears and is helping Jules with the settings. The sound brightens up from its Moody Rudes depths. Instead of sounding dirge-like, the notes are sharp and ringing, like carillon bells. Nina starts singing single lines
‘So this is Christmas’
‘And what have you done’
He changed the chord
‘Another year over’
Then back to the original
‘And a new one just begun’
‘And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young’
‘A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear’
‘And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong’
‘And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let’s stop all the fight’
‘A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear’
Jules and Nina alone sang
‘And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
‘And so this is Christmas
‘I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young
‘A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear’
While the youngsters sang back up
‘War is over
If you want it
War is over
Songwriters: JOHN WINSTON LENNON, YOKO ONO
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Peermusic Publishing, Downtown Music Publishing
We applaud ourselves for being in the holiday spirit and being so original. Nina runs downstairs and collects her and Julian’s parents (plus baby Sean). We sing the Christmas song for them. All the parents clap, except John.
Julian pulled out a two-page lyric sheet. “It was just lying around. We play our own music.”
“Well, don’t take credit where it isn’t due.”
“It’s Christmas, Da. We’re just spreading cheer.”
John relaxes and decides he liked playing with Julian and his son’s friends. He goes over to Jack’s MOOG and rips into “Good Golly, Miss Molly’
All the kids were on their feet, bopping and rocking. We treat them to a medley of 50’s dance hits.
After over an hour, Yoko orders a limo and the junior high kids are delivered home. Jules’ crash pad is busted, at least for a night. John puts an arm on his wayward son’s shoulders and leads him to his real bedroom downstairs. Nina leaves with her parents. We all go to Jack’s, splitting into our separate sex dens. Trudie is reluctant to go at it instantly. It has been a long and exciting day that went on forever. I practice infinite lovemaking, not pressuring her for penetration or other overly stimulating activity. She is putty to my hands. We fall asleep with her hand on my dick.. It remains well-behaved. I wake up early as usual. Trudie is also awake, staring at me.
“Didn’t you feel attracted to me last night,” her doubts assail her.
“You boys go out again last night?” he’s surprised I can sleep in, forsaking my country ways.
“Just upstairs. We put on a dance party with John and Yoko for their son’s friends.”
“Well, Jack and Joan are in the dining room. You’d best get your order in before it’s time for Isabelle to start lunch.”
We hustle away, with Daddy smiling into his newspaper. Our hetero-normal behavior is still a novelty to the parents.
Father Frank asks us to visit the St Patrick’s Jace’s Place Shelter. He explains about the changes and wants our input for the challenges they faced. The four of us walk across Central Park and found Father Frank in his office. I discuss my involvement with the Dignity Group at St Viktor in West Hollywood. He explains that it is a trial project for the American Catholic Church. His opinion is that it will be short-lived with entrenched opposition in conservative circles. ‘Love the sinner, hate the sin’ is the universal prescription for deviancy. I just thought ‘how deviant of them.’
The big change in New York is the opening of an all-girls Jace’s Place. The exploitation of homeless boys may be the most egregious vice in American cities but the number of teen girls being exploited dwarfs the male numbers. Success with the boys makes it obvious that the larger problem needs attention. Jace appears, touting his recent heterosexual activity as a better understanding of how the feminine mind works. Even Father Frank laughs at him. The Archdiocese had found another apartment building which is being renovated as an all-female shelter. An order of nuns is designated to supervise the shelter. I recommended the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in San Francisco, but Father Frank was up on transvestite comedy groups and just laughs at me. I have several actual suggestions.
“You’ll need to find counselors who have experienced the sex trade in order to gain the confidence of these abused teen girls. Also, remember it is by standing up for themselves that has made the boys’ shelter effective. Teaching assertiveness to girls is a more complicated concept. I suggest that you bring in feminist drama co-ops to put on role-playing and actual drama productions to allow the girls a safe way to assert themselves.” My Hollywood bias is showing.
“What about mixed co-ed social activities to teach the boys how to be respectful and the girls not to fear males of their own age,” Jack suggests
“Jace always believed in the same age sex rule, encouraging teens to only explore their sexuality with others their age,” I add.
“The Church is not ready to encourage teenage sexuality,” Father Frank asserts.
We smile for having an expert of being a girl, instead of our warped points of view. Not being a Catholic makes her more optimistic about Church views on sexuality.
I call Paul and Aaron to get them to meet us at the Jewish Jace’s Place. They are taken aback to find we both have girlfriends now, raising questions about their own sexuality.
“How come all your friends in New York are so young?” the girls want to know.
I promise to take them to the Bronx to meet Tina and Pete. They are uncomfortable about going to the ‘Ghetto.’ I also note that they had met my 72 year-old friend, William Burroughs. We end up teaching the Temple E-Manuel kids the Sham 69 ‘Kids are United’ song. I laugh at my use of punk music as gospel. I worry that song may offend the kids at Abyssinian Baptist as British punks were pretty racist. I’ll go slowly.
It turns out the Jewish Jace’s Place has already incorporated homeless girls into the program. We listen to the counselors explain the issues that come up and how they handle them. They find that the more confident, assertive girls have no problem living with the boys, just as we had found in our college dorm. The less confident and needy boys are a better fit in the mostly girls shelter. They endorses as many co-ed activities as possible, including sports. Good sportsmanship is a basic tenet of gender equity. Father Frank takes notes . The Temple counselors all volunteer to assist the Catholic and Baptist Jace’s Places in making the transition from single sex living arrangements. I notice that Paul and Aaron are taking notes on how well we get along with our girlfriends, as well as when we need to deal with issues as just guys. It makes me sad that they feel the need to test their sexuality when it has been so firmly established since first grade. Best to encourage open skepticism, rather than dogmatic adherence to what they always believe. At fifteen, it’s best to be flexible. They will always be best friends.
The girls were taking the train to White Plains that evening. After leaving St Patrick’s, we cross Central Park to Tavern on the Green for a farewell late lunch. It win’t busy. We sit by a window, sheltered from the December weather yet still enjoying the Park. Jack and Joan are back to the soul stares with each other. Trudie whispers that she missed being ravished the previous night. She appreciates my sensitivity to her feelings as well as her total satisfaction with morning sex. We laugh at how Jack and Joan are both virginal in their first love affairs, gay sex not counting for Jack. Trudie and I are more grounded which means we know from experience that it isn’t all red roses. I tell her how we passed out black roses at the Moody Rudes first Mower concert.
“You are so Goth,” she decides.
“We had lost our girlfriends,” I explain. “Or, we thought so.”
We tak the subway to Penn Station and wait on the platform saying goodbye. It’s a familiar feeling, mirroring the departures from Harvard Square. Trudie asks me to whisper how I plan to ravish Jack after they leave. I play it off, knowing she will shock Joan with graphic descriptions if I reveal our secrets. I whisper that Jack and I have been going through a rough patch with me being away in Hollywood. She asks me if I’m cheating on him. I tell her I never kiss and tell. She’s shocked realizing taking it as a semi-confession that I’m fooling around. She swears that it didn’t bother her that I other lovers, as long as they aren’t girls. I just thank her and don’t correct her misconception of my slutty ways. It’s time for the train to depart. Longing kisses overcome any suspicions of a deceitful heart. I promise to call more regularly once I’m back in Hollywood. She is surprised that I had my own phone when I write her the number.
“Are you really coming back to Harvard?” she asks.
She is right about my ravishing Jack after they leave. First we entertain Jack’s parents, plus the Lennons and Bernsteins who have become closer friends with Mummy and Daddy. We sing only show tunes about New York, ending with Bernstein’s ‘New York, It’s a Wonderful Town.’
He laughs at our chutzpah at singing his song and out-Sinatraing Sinatra. The guests stay for dinner. For the first time in my life, I enjoy the adult company more than the kids we had been with that day. I feel so old, I let Jack take over for the first ravishing.
“What’s wrong?” he asks. “Are you mad at me?”
“No. It’s just a shock to be back to my old life. Hollywood is so different. I have to work every day and often at night. Here I have so much free time. I feel out of sync. Come here, you slut. It’s time for payback.”
He giggles and presents his butt for my pleasure. We quickly find our groove. I laugh at how reluctant he was when we first got together to have sex at his house in the Gables. He’s shameless now, with his parents just a few yards away. We’ve become an old married couple, with girlfriends on the side and cheating whenever the opportunity arises. At least, that is how I see it, if I were honest with myself. Jack is probably deluded and unhinged from the truth, trusting I will never leave him but ready to accept it when it happens.
The plan is I go to Ames for Christmas while the Stones go to Miami. I rejoin them for the New Year’s Eve party at Michael’s. At the last moment, Jack makes a desperate plea to go to Ames with me. I tell him he was being insecure and to handle being separated for the actual holiday. It’s a matter of just a few days. His parents tell him he needs to accept that not everything is going to go his way. The nerd is spinning in place. I kiss him goodbye at La Guardia and head west to the plains. It’s a great relief to leave his neediness behind.
The whole crew comes out for my arrival. I’m nervous that the twins are still mad at me for standing them up at Harvard. ‘Gator assures me that it was no big deal, as the girls enjoyed meeting all my friends, especially the 3D girls from Mower. Jack’s sense of good manners means they never felt out-of-place. I rush over and hug my twin sisters. No passive-aggressive punishment for my bad manners. Off we go to the Hyland House for Pizza Pit and a sing along. For once I have performance fatigue, refraining from debuting my English Oi Boi rock preference. I think we ended with ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ in honor of the missing Jack.
Angie tells a long story about meeting my girlfriend at Harvard. She declares that Trudie has a solid sense of values and takes no gruff from my wayward gay ways. Not sure that I’ll see everyone again before Christmas I pass out all the presents I had brought. In typical Iowa ways, they all assure me that they won’t open them until Christmas morning. Noah is surprised and please that I remembered a present for him. ‘Gator slaps him on the back, “’course, he remembered. You’re the better half of a horse’s ass.”
With everyone on their way home, my two moms sit me down at the dining room table and quiz me on my college life. They’re quite pleased that as a Mower-certified feminist, I stood up for the girls in my dorm. I brought out the copy of the 100th year anniversary Lampoon edition. They love the Boston Bossie article. I ask about Dr Kam. Molly assures me that he’ll see me as soon as I want to.
“Everything okay?” she asks.
“Definitely, but I need to stay grounded. My boss in Hollywood wants me to stay on permanently. He’s not a Harvard grad, in fact he never went to college.”
The moms look concerned. I assure them that Dr Kam will straighten out my priorities. They ask how dating is going. I relate all our adventures in the City, including Burroughs’ admonition that the girls need to be able to keep up.
The moms well understand.
Lying in bed with ‘Gator is so strange. He insists it’s only for old times’ sake. He and the twins usually stay out at the ‘Gator ranch. I promise to accompany them in the morning to reconnect with my old bossie Bessie, the milker. Before I fall asleep, ‘Gator sneaks out to join the twins. I’m alone in bed for the first time since Hollywood. I feel lonely until Jace joins me. He lets me fuck him, so I won’t forget how to do it properly. Once I finish, I let him fuck me. I go instantly to sleep after a second orgasm.
Mom’s blueberry pancakes are better than Du-Par’s, or, at least I say so. I put all the family presents under the tree. The twins plan a tour of all our teachers, friends and choir members to show I haven’t forgotten my roots – all seven months of living in Iowa. Mrs. McCarthy is effusive with her interest in my Harvard life. I show her the Lampoon issue I helped produce. She is thrilled that I’m going to be a TA the next fall. When I tell her about my Hollywood work/study, she declares that she always knew I was destined for greatness – my greatest fan. I reluctantly admit that ‘my’ movie is a B grade frat farce. She swears I’m her only student who even knows what a farce is. Coach ‘Red’ Ball tells me I looked scrawnier than ever. He warns his latest football team not to underestimate me. We sit and discuss ‘Gator’s first year as a starting linebacker at Iowa State. My boy has lived up to his reputation and was voted a second string Big Ten Conference all-star. Even Noah gets notices as an up-and-coming defense-man from Ames High. He promises that bowling is starting soon and Ames is psyched to defend its national title. He had been scouting the competition and it looks like the Regis boys will not compete for lack of female bowlers. The French Club has volunteered to serve again but the national organizing committee ruled against them as they do not attend high school close enough to practice together. Jack will be disappointed.
“How is your boyfriend?” Coach Ball isn’t embarrassed by gayness.
“We’re doing great, especially since we have girlfriends now.
I meet with Choir Master Ring at Ames First Baptist. The girls get me to promise I’ll sing with them at the Christmas Eve service. I tell him about our efforts to bring spiritual music to the St Paul’s Boy’s Choir in Cambridge.
“Catholics have a long way to go to rival Baptist gospel spirituals.”
I counter his argument with the boys’ love of Pink Floyd and how it moved all the parishioners.
“Good. Catholics could use a little more enthusiasm.”
I refrain from discussing my holy rolling at the Whiskey, especially the humping part. I tell him about Hippie and Anna’s little Greg. Praise the Lord.
The moms and I spend Christmas Eve at ‘Gator’s family ranch. Both families are still easing into the idea of bigamy. I suggest to ‘Gator that Noah join their three-way to even the odds and prevent legal problems when they finally grew into adults. The Iowa State coach has noted that the ever-energetic ‘Gator plays both offense and defense, making him the both ways and three-ways expert. ‘Gator just rides the waves of gridiron stardom.
By Christmas morning, I’m worn out. The gift exchanges go well. I get rhinestone shirts and cowboy boots. The twins love the spoon rings I had found, to match the one I wear from the band. ‘Gator gets his as well. The moms are confused by the Picasso print I get them of a Cubist nude. I explain that the fractured depiction of one woman makes it look like two women overlapping each other.
“I think I understand it is a modernist approach,” Molly tries to explain my odd sense of art. The twins and I sing John Lennon’s ‘This is Christmas.’
‘Gator comes by with my final gift to the moms, which he helped pick out. It’s a black lab male puppy, all squirming and nervous, rushing around to everyone.
“Since we’ve all moved out, I know you needed a new son to take care of,” I announce. The pup is instantly named Max 2. Jace and Max 1 gives their enthusiastic approval. The puppy knows exactly where Max 1 is sitting. He teaches the puppy to find that secret spot where all dogs keep secret doggy knowledge.
We attend Baptist services on Christmas Eve, so we all go to the Catholic mass together. Not much singing. I watch Jace fly about the altar and settle on the crucifix. We rededicated ourselves to each other. Jace gives me a heart attack by pretending to again be absorbed by the crucifix. He laughs at my panic. I tell him not to scare me like that, or else he’ll lose his place at the dinner table.
That night I call Tommy in Fort Lauderdale. The boy isn’t home, but Auntie Em is happy to chat with me.
“That boy is growing up so fast, I’s a’fraid he’s gonna be gone and fergettin’ us too soon.”
“That boy has too much love in his heart ta ever ferget y’all. You’s the parents he’s always needed.”
“Fur goodness sakes, Huck, (she doesn’t know my real name) that boy has made our old lives blossom and bloom afta we’s givin’ up thinkin’ we’d eva have a child in our lives.”
“He is a blessin.’”
“And a devil.”
“That’s the boy I know. Please, ma’am tell ‘em I’s gonna be in Miami next week. He’s gots to come to our show on New Year’s Eve.”
“He’ll be mighty pleased to see ya. He’s stopped talkin’ ‘bout you’s as much as at first but I knows he has love fer y’all in his heart.”
“I know that, Auntie Em. And, I be lovin’ y’all fer takin’ him in and lovin’’em like I does.”
“Bless ya, Huck.”
We hang up and I laugh and laugh. That boy is a constant source of joy. He’s out cattin’ around, ‘course.
The next day, we all go ice skating. Northern Plains winds have removed any snow, making the ice perfect. Without Tommy to cut-up, it’s less exciting. Patrons at the hot chocolate stand keep a wary eye on us. Soon it starts to snow. We make plans to invite all out friends the next day out to the ‘Gator ranch for sledding and ATV riding. Molly has scheduled me to meet Dr Kam that afternoon. As I walk away from the skating pond, my friends are enveloped in the flurry of snow coming down. They slowly disappear.
My mood for Dr Kam was tinged with sadness. He soon ha my spirits revived, playing and singing with his samisen. I tell him about playing the sitar at Jake’s. He demands I relate any celebrity news about John and Yoko. I go over all my accomplishments at Harvard and subsequent Hollywood work. Then he asks how my relationship with Jack is going.
“Not so great,” I sighed. “We’ve been going through break-ups and make-ups.”
“How’s the sex?”
“It hasn’t changed, but I have.”
I explain the vibrating problem, after cheating. Jimmy’s pseudo-psych explanation that I have daddy issues makes Dr Kam laugh.
“Maybe, but it’s not a bad thing to start shaking and vibrating when the sex has been good.”
“Really? It freaks me out. I can’t stop.”
“Well, maybe it is a control issue. Has it only happened with one partner?”
“No. Another time it was a girl in the corner of a club. Other times my friends touch me and it starts up.”
“Is it only after orgasms?”
“It starts when I’m about to cum and then it won’t stop, sometimes for hours.”
“Is it like a seizure?”
“How nice. It doesn’t sound like a relapse of your PTSD. Do other people notice?”
“They think I’m putting out a super-sexual vibe. People stop on the street.”
“What does Jack think?”
“It doesn’t happen with him.”
“That’s the problem. Sounds like your erogenous sensitivity has increased without Jack coming along. Do you really think you’re breaking up?”
“He’s so insecure, he seems to always be on guard. We no longer communicate through our hearts. He fears he’ll find out I no longer love him.”
“So, being college roommates isn’t all it was cracked up to be?”
“We have a straight kid living with us, and then, Harvard separated us by sending me to Hollywood.”
“Life sometimes gets in the way of prior plans.”
“I wish he would find his own way. He’s such a well-mannered boy, it’s like he doesn’t have any passions of his own.”
“College is where you’re supposed to find yourself.”
“That’s what everyone says. I never lost myself, especially after I found friends who actually get me.”
“You’re not hard to understand. You make sure everyone knows what you’re about.”
“I definitely have a slutty reputation.”
“More than ever. It works great in Hollywood. I’m very popular.”
“Popularity breeds contempt.”
“My, we are full of clichés today.”
“LA is the superficial capitol of the world.”
“I don’t think you’re really worried about it. Jack is a bigger problem. Sounds like he’s not communicating and your relationship suffers. You need to have heart-to-heart talks. Do you really know what he’s going through.”
“That’s the problem. He just wants to follow me. If I stay in Hollywood, he’ll quit Harvard. That’s a big mistake for him.”
“But not for you?”
“No. It seems like it’s my destiny. I don’t need to find myself.”
“All you can do is let him know. This separation is a test. You’re eighteen. You think you’ve found your life partner? It seldom works out that way. Don’t think you’re completely grown up yet. You’ll have many lovers.”
“How’s Dr Kam?”
“A genius, as always.”
“You seem less buoyant than usual. Did you have a serious talk.”
“Yeah. He says I’m pretty much cured from the PTSD. My recent weird behavior is apparently pretty normal.”
“Are you having physical symptoms.”
“I’m not sure you want to know.”
“It’s okay, Tim. I won’t tell anyone else.”
“I get the shakes during and after sex.”
“That’s hot. What happens?”
“I purr like a cat.”
She can’t stop laughing. “And that’s a problem.”
“I can’t make it stop for the longest time.”
“What do your partners think?”
“They start shaking too.”
“I don’t understand teen sexuality but it sounds pretty great. Please refrain from sharing your secret with the twins.”
“It’s not something to be shared with everyone.”
“Have some pie,” she puts a slice of blueberry pie in front of me.
After my pie, I go and take a long bath. It’s chilly after I get out. I started to shiver but the shakes go away as soon as I warm up enough. I’m on edge for no reason. I call Jake in Hollywood. He’s pleased. we relate holiday stories. I had forgotten that he is Jewish.
“Did you eat Chinese on Christmas night?”
“Of course, it’s a gathering of the tribe.”
“I went to both Catholic and Baptist services.”
“You’re such a good boy.”
“Can I ask you a personal question?”
“Can I refuse to answer.”
“It’s about me. Does the vibrating and shaking I do bother you when we have sex?”
“Why would it?”
“I can’t stop it from happening. Even when I leave, I still vibrate.”
“You’re just a big dildo,” he jokes.
We laugh. I feel better.
“I’ll be back after New Year’s,” I promise. “We’re doing a show on New Year’s Eve. You’d love it. Our drummer’s dad built a Globe Theater replica in their back yard.”
“Can I come? I’ve gotta see that. I don’t have plans for New Year’s Eve.”
“Oh, my god. Jack’ll have kittens if you show up.”
“I’ll say I’m on business in the Grove.”
“Get a hotel there. We can have a secret tryst.” I’ve gotten as hard as a rock. As always my dick does my thinking for me.
“This is too exciting. I don’t want to be breaking you up from your boyfriend.”
“It’s not you. We’ve been rocky for months.”
“Well, I can’t wait to see you.”
I give him my home numbers in Ames and Coral Gables. In for a penny, in for a pound. I worry that there is no one to confide in. Maybe I just like having a secret life.
Everyone had a great time sledding and riding the ATVs the next day. I enjoy milking my favorite cow, although I miss the sense of connection we used to have. She seems to perk up when Seamus visits her while I’m doing the milking. I’m not jealous but realize our relationship is over. Not with Seamus. He revels in his newly acquired country ways. I can relate with that.
I arrive at Miami International with much less fanfare. Jack is the only one to greet me. We hop into his pink Cabriolet and roar off to the Gables. We go to Michael’s where the old crew is waiting. They need direction about what music we’ll play for New Year’s Eve. We all agree to let the Out Crowd play dance tunes for the party portion of the entertainment. At ten o’clock False Gods will put on an original concert of our own music, leading up to the midnight countdown. Jack and I play the Triplets and Sitting Band songs. Jack complains that I speed up the tempo on all our songs. I explain that Hollywood bands are all about speed to get people off their asses. We agree to do my favorite Heartbreakers covers – ‘Won’t Back Down’ and ‘Yer So Bad.’ These real rock n roll songs are met with greater enthusiasm. I worry that False Gods is cursed to stay a cover band. Michael and Jenna have practiced a couple of love songs. Well play them at the countdown to midnight, so everyone will be in the mood for their New Year’s kiss. Robby is a no-show, supposedly disdaining our attempt at a reunion. I know I can convince him to join us by confronting him for always being self-centered. The Jacettes also need to be encouraged. Hippie states that Anna and Little Greg will only attend ‘if that demon-worshipping” Robby isn’t there.’ Typical band bullshit. We all promise to practice daily to get up to speed. The Out Crowd shows off their latest greatest hits. I can’t believe Stu is fourteen. He’ll always be nine to me. He keeps giving me the biggest grins. Mike Jr is still his constant companion, best friends for life. He also has a coterie of female fans, hopefully not yet groupies. He’s as cool as a cucumber.
Winston, Susan and Dad greet me as Jack and I walk in to my house. Susan has prepared a feast for dinner – just steak and potatoes with Creme Brule for dessert. She sets out a place for Jace, who expertly cracks the glaze on everyone’s dessert.
The phone rings. It’s Tommy, ever anxious to see me. Jace tipped him off on my arrival.
“Howdy, Huck. When kin I come see ya?”
“Kin ya git ol’ Vic ta drive ya down?”
“No need. I gots my license now. Auntie Em lets me use her car. I jist gotta be home by ten.”
“The band’s rehearsing every night for our show on New Year’s. Meet us at Michael’s. You remember the way.”
“Ol’ Jace kin navigate. What time tomorra?”
“I’ll be there. I still luvs ya Huck.”
“Me, too. I kin hardly wait.”
As I get off the phone, Jack is giving me a wry look.
“Tryin’ to make me jealous?”
“Naw. He’s still a kid. But no need fer ya to drive up there and git ‘im. He’s gots his license.”
Time to invade Robby’s ass and get him to play the party. Jack needs our sexual reunion to start soon. I put him off by reminding him how pot will ramp up his libido. He’s miffed to be delayed. Max appears as we headed for his favorite dealer’s house. Winston immediately wants to come with us.
“Dad, we’re going to walk Winston,” I announce. Susan hands me a plastic bag to keep the neighborhood pristine.
“Thanks, Mom,” I tell her, “We need a second one for Max.”
“Of course,” she laughs.
Both dogs knew what to do on the way to Robby’s. We use the front door. Robby’s mom pets both dogs. Rocky, the cat, hisses.
We burst into the smoke-filled pot den. The kids expect us to attack Robby who grimaces at our challenge to his place of authority. I keep back as Jack and Robby go at it. The dogs are egging them on. Robby senses victory until Jack pulls a reverse nelson on him. He cries ‘Uncle.’
“Not until you agree to play with us on Friday night,” I have my own conditions.
“I ain’t playin with them losers,” Robby contends.
“Is this your plan for New Year’s?” as I point to the kids cowering in the corner. “Smoking out the junior high crowd?”
“We’re hosting a hundred people at Michael’s. Y’all gotta come.”
“If you insist.”
The bong appears. Jack and I settle on the bed, with a couple of 14-year-olds. Jack’s amorous needs come storming out as he attacks me. The junior high kids are unprepared for this behavior. Looking shocked and worried they move away from us.
“Ya gonna tell us how superior y’all are goin’ ta Harvard and all,” Robby rags.
“Naw. I thought you were going away, too?”
“Mr. Clark promised he’d get me into Rollins, where he teaches now. I’m takin’ a break from school until I’m ready.”
“Gonna hook up there with Jace’s brother, Jeff?”
“Fuck. I hate that asshole.”
“Don’t worry. He’s still in jail. Maybe he’ll be out by the time you start.”
Jack is crawling up my back. It’s time to answer his needs.
“Come to practice at Michael’s tomorrow night,” we jump out the window. Max complains he’s not had enough second-hand smoke. Winston pushed him out the window, having nothing to do with doggy drug habits.
“Get in the corner,” I order Max. He goes into his Spot pose, Winston sits and stares at him. The bed is our domain. Jack eyes me warily, wondering how I’m going to act, hoping for ravishing, but worried I’m less than lusty. It isn’t a moment to be a New Romantic. I use my teeth to undo his jeans, licking his belly button up to his rigid nipples. I bit hard and twist both of them as he writhes in pain and stimulation. I pull his jeans down to his knees, lift his legs and stick my head and shoulder through his upper thighs. It rotate him backward so his butt pushes against my stomach while his knees were hooked on the back of my neck. I rock him back and forth, with his dick flopping against his stomach. I take it into my mouth and sucked him deeply down my throat. As it hardens, my throat squeezes the shaft, while my tongue licks the head. He throws his head back and moans. Reaching around his elevated legs, I pinched his pebble-hard nipples, twisting and pulling them. I love torturing him. His pot-driven horniness loves being abused. He longs for the penetration coming soon . Winston gets up to investigate our lovemaking. Max barks once and Winston returns to their corner.
“Good boy, Winston,” I tell him
Jack’s fucking rhythm is thrown off. I return to deep-throating his long skinny dick. Placing both hands on his butt cheeks, I begin exploring his butthole. He’s pulsing in anticipation. I place the tip of my dick just inside his anal ring, stabbing him with quick, short probes. Jack grabs my but, trying to pull me in deeper. I resist, looking him in the eye and shaking my head. He keeps pulling me. I pull back and let go of my first orgasm, just inside his butt-hole. He moans in disappointment.
His body slumps as he gives me complete control. I penetrate him with my spent dick. It remains hard. His disappointment turns to satisfied moans and groans. I quickly regain my need to fuck him. We go at it for so long that Jack cums twice. As he rushes for his third orgasm, he starts begging me to cum. I kiss him to stop him from talking. Frenching him with the same rhythm as my dick is going in and out of his butt makes us a rocking sex machine. I finally approach my point of no return, speeding up my thrusts and going as far in as my dick will go. His butt is over his head as I continue to kiss him. Eventually I’m on my feet rocking into him. As I let loose, he screams in ecstasy. The dogs start howling as I pull out and spray all over him. Finished, I go down on him, engulfing his dick. It goes off for the fourth time. It whips back and forth in my throat, knocking my tonsils to and fro. Thinking about the Ann sisters singing the bubblegum song makes me laugh. I flop down next to Jack. We lay there panting and exhausted. Jack loves being ravished. He cuddles up with me.
Dad knocks on the door. “Why is Winston howling?”
I wanted to tell him that Max was there too, but I’m too exhausted to tease him. “He was singing along with Jack and me,” I explain.
“I love Winston, Dad. But I know he’s your dog.”
Max barks. I swear Dad hears him. He led Winston back to his part of the house.
Jack and I wrap around each other and go to sleep.
The next morning we have the house to ourselves. No extra time off during the holidays for the military-industrial complex. I offer to cook breakfast, but don’t complain when Jack knows Isabelle will do a better job. After Eggs Benedict, English muffins, French coffee, and Florida fresh-squeezed OJ, we join Mummy and Daddy by the pool. I figure I need to lay the groundwork for the arrival of Jake at Friday night’s New Year’s Eve show.
I know Mummy can smooth the way.
“Mummy, you’ll be pleased to know one of my musicians friends is coming out from LA for our performance at the Antonio’s. He’s a classical composer.”
“My Tim, your musical training is coming along.”
“We’re working on a score for the movie that incorporates Greek operatic elements.”
“Which operas?” I tweaked her interest.
“Orestes, Ariadne, and several others. We’re assigning leitmotifs from the operas to our main characters.”
“Will you use the Minotaur in Handel’s ‘Theseus’ for Belushi?” Jack cracks.
“That’s a good idea,” I concede.
“Very impressive, Tim,” Mummy praises me.
“The composer wants to see a real rock n roll show, since the movie has a dance party scene. He’s coming to see us play.”
“Is he a renowned composer?”
“He’s classically trained and has worked in Hollywood for years.”
“He’s not your age?”
“No. He’s 42. He’s been teaching me about classical music. It was the popular music of society before our era of recorded music.”
“You’re to be commended for broadening your musical knowledge.”
“He feels classical has become an ancient art form, no longer au courant.”
Mummy beams at my attempt to be sophisticated.
“Since he is older than everyone, even my parents, I was hoping you might take him under your wings at our show,” I suggest.
“It sounds very interesting, to have an actual composer in our party,” Mummy knows how to rule social events.
“That would be wonderful. Thank you for looking out for my friend.”
Oh, the lies we weave when first we must deceive. Jack is oblivious, bored with talk about opera.
He’s more concerned about the arrival of Tommy for band rehearsal at Michael’s. He’s there waiting for us, anxious to be a part of our show. He rushes to greet me, with a hug but no kisses. He’s now too mature for that. Stu recognizes a kindred spirit and takes him over to meet the other Out-Crowd members. With no musical talent and difficulty holding a tune, I’m at a loss as to how to use his stage presence and natural country humor. Michael suggests he recite a Mark Twain tall tale. He even finds a book from which to choose a story.
“I don’t need no Mark Twain ta git a laff,” Tommy complains.
“We’ll work on it so as y’all kin git more’n just one laff,” I argue.
As long as we’re working together, Tommy is happy.
Everyone sits down in the music room. Robby passes around a couple of ‘Robby specials’ to relax the mood. Everyone is talking at once in our usual chaos style of organization. Michael finally puts his foot down. We decide the order of acts, starting with a jazz ensemble led by his dad’s college quartet as everyone arrived and cocktails were served to the adults; next come the Hillbilly Brothers doing “One Toke..” provided by Robby to everyone backstage before coming out to perform; next, the Harvard Sitting Band’s Moody Rudes blues; followed by an extended dance party for the kids by the Out-Crowd; then the False Gods’ set would culminate with ‘Curfew must not ring tonight’ just as the New Year is ushered in. After the midnight kissing ends, I’ll show off Hollywood songs from Tom Petty, our ally in chaos from the Skynyrd show. I’ll finish with the Triplets ‘Don’t Fuck with Me” anthem. That should pretty much cover the width and depth of my rock n roll experiences. Tommy can tell an on-the-road yarn from Mark Twain before we do the Hillbilly Brothers stoner song and finish with his ‘Gatorsaurus tale if people want an encore after midnight. There is some griping by those who feel I’ve taken over the spotlight. Before we descend into arguing about it all, I say we need to play, not talk anymore. Robby pulls out another ‘special’ to motivate us, but the Out-Crowd kids just go to set up. John stares back at us with a look of regret but stays with his band mates, including Tommy. John is explaining to Tommy how they were related as soul brothers since he had been my boyfriend for a short while. Tommy’s happy to join the extended foster family.
Michael and Jenna complain that we excluded their love songs. They’re added before the midnight kisses, bumping ‘Curfew’ to after midnight has chimed. Michael promises to get a Chinese gong to really ring in 1977. We go outside to review the restoration of the Globe replica. Just seeing the pit, where so much of the action and humor comes from, reminds me of all my punk shows – Shakespeare as punk precursor. I tell everyone we need to make sure there are plenty of kids to fill up the pit. Jack sits down and draws up a flyer to pass out, highlighting the Out-Crowd’s dance party. Our preparations are finalized. We just have to practice enough to play competently. Hippie is looking depressed. He complains that we aren’t playing any of his music. We agree to have him sing ‘Amazing Grace’ to open the show. Then Anna can take Little Greg home before the devil himself appears. She can start praying for all of us again.
After the kids play a few songs, just to prove they’re improving, the older group has a start and stop rehearsal. The kids leave, as it’s late for them. We finally quit by ten in order to hit Sorrento’s for pizza, beer and pot. I admit it beats Two Guys from Italy, hands down.