My week of Harvard drew to a close. We called Trudie and Joan at Smith. They were preparing to depart for their holidays. Trudie had invited Joan to visit her family in White Plains. Jack instantly invited them to join us 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 at F A O Schwartz had only been dropped in recent years. The plan was to take the train to the City for two days at the Dakota. I would fly to Ames for Christmas and then meet Jack in Miami in time for our New Year’s Eve performance. With plenty of Lampoon money in my bank account, I didn’t feel like a poor relative mooching off the Stone’s hospitality. On Sunday we took AMTRAC out of South Station, Boston, to Penn Station, NYC. At the stop in White Plains, we jumped off and greeted our girlfriends, who were ready for our New York Christmas adventure. They were breathless from excitement, chatting inanely about whether they had brought the right outfits. Jack was the style maven and assured them they need not worry. Spying the heavy suitcases they lugged, I assumed we’d see many outfit changes over the two days. I carried both suitcases for them.
Mummy was sitting in the limo outside the Penn Station, as excited as the girls were about our shopping adventure. Now that we had girlfriends, Mummy had great expectations that ran from gossiping over tea to forthcoming grandchildren, hopefully girls. It was all so giddy. After we were settled into separate bedrooms and Mummy announced tea was being served, I dragged Jack away to 703 to get high with the 14-year-olds. He was horrified that I was smoking pot again. Jules and I were laughing, while Nina and Jack looked on with disdain. Jules observed that Christmas was all about acting jolly, not actually being jolly. I suggested we dedicate the holiday to Jesus. He gave me a funny look and we both started laughing.
Returning to the Stone apartment, we found Father Frank enjoying his tea with the ‘girls.’ Trudie instantly discerned that I was high, getting Joan to triple-team me with Jack. There was no escape. Although we had already attended Mass that morning at St Paul’s, Father Frank convinced us to take in the Vespers service at St Patrick’s for the holiday carols. My only respite would be Isabelle’s Sunday supper. I couldn’t wait and invaded her kitchen. Trudie came with me, apologizing for mocking me about my pot habit. I asked her if she wanted to meet Julian Lennon and get high. We stuck with speaking Spanish with Isabelle. I had the munchies and sampled all the dishes as they came out.
Jace appeared once we were seated at St Patrick’s. He reveled in revisiting the scene of his resurrection. It also made him nervous that he may soon be absorbed by the spirit world. He was sitting with Father Frank, engaged in a long discussion. Jack and I were with the girls, unable to listen in. The choir was good, although the carols were slow and ponderous. No wonder kids preferred the ‘smoking on a rubber cigar’ version of We Three Kings.
Leaving the Cathedral, Jack was anxious to hit the Sunday night music scene. The obvious spot was Max’s, but I wasn’t anxious to run into Monte and Paul, my three-way partners. We decided that CBGB’s was more authentic. Convincing the girls not to dress up in their red berets with blue and white outfits, we reminded them about Boston’s Rat, to get them into downscaled outfits. The cousins, Trent and Bent, were in Vermont for the holidays, to my relief. Trudie and I were sharing their bedroom (officially the girls were there while Jack and I slept in his room). I explained how lame the cousins were. Trudie went through their underwear drawers, hoping to find hidden evidence of some kind of perversion. She gave up after only finding Brooks Brothers boxers of dull colors. The boys had no imagination. Even Abercrombie & Fitch would have been marginally hopeful.
We took the downtown subway, to Jack’s chagrin. It was still early by City time to hit the clubs. We gave the girls a tour of the Chelsea, from our slumming days. Bill Burroughs was home in his cubby hole. He demonstrated the magic typewriter from ’Naked Lunch.’ The girls both asked it what their chances were with the two of us. It typed out ‘better get track shoes to keep up.’ They were momentarily discouraged but swore they’d never give up. Love at eighteen. (sigh) Burroughs was highly amused. I noticed that he had 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 headed for CBGB’s, with the girls hanging onto to us for dear life in the bowels of the Bowery. It was not the safest place to be walking at midnight. We arrived just as the band was going on, my favorite, Television.
Tom Verlaine and Richard Hell were cool. The band was cool. The music was cool. The girls were unsure if they liked it as much as they liked our performances at Rahar’s. The Neighborhoods had more energy than these New York scenesters.
“It’s mood music,” I explained.
We danced in the little space before the band. CBGB’s seemed so small to me now, after the Whiskey and Starwood in Hollywood. It was intimate. Remembering how two years previously we terrorized there made me feel the world was growing smaller as I grew older.
“I bet you don’t remember kissing me on stage in ’73,” I challenged Johansen.
“Sure, ‘Trash,’ and I still don’t pick it up,” he joked. “You were a little kid, then.”
I beamed. He remembered me.
“I hear Andy is yer patron now.”
“I’m working in Hollywood on a movie.”
“We wanna play Hollywood,” Thunders piped up.
“I can get you booked at the Whiskey, but you’d like the Starwood better.”
“Why’s that?” Johansen asked.
“The kids go there and the Whiskey don’t pay shit.”
“Kids really like us?”
“Yeah, they’s all perverts in Hollywood.”
The band was droning on as we talked.
The girls were nervous, not being asked to sit down. David gave me his number. I promised to have Tony call him. I leaned over and kissed him.
“Now, we’re even,” I asserted as flashbulbs went off. He stared at me and then at the girls, shaking his head.
We found a table.
Jack laughed, “Do you have to get your photo in the Post every time we go out?”
“Why go out if no one notices.”
The girls were used to my flaunting it. We watched the band and had a drink.
“Is this even rock n roll?” Trudie was 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 came over, asking how we knew the Dolls. I told them we had 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’ve grown up.”
That wasn’t the answer they wanted. I pulled out a joint. They had been hoping. I glanced at the bar and saw Bill Page giving me the evil eye. We retired to the ladies room and smoked out. The girls acted as lookouts. The rest of the evening was a blur. We took a cab back to the Dakota at 4 am. Trudie claimed I was so stoned that she refused to take advantage of me. Joan slept in the cousins’ room with her. Jack was pissed.
“You should have gotten stoned. Then, you’d see how funny this is,” I claimed as I slipped into bed with him. He was totally confused, and we went to sleep.
I was up at daylight, having coffee with Daddy. He had the Post out, which he slid to me as I sat down.
“The Post seems to know when you boys are in town.”
“We’ll soon age out of celebrity.”
“They seemed 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 winked at me. We were 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 told 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 came wandering in, not looking that pleased that his dad was treating me like a son.
“The girls will be in soon. We should order breakfast,” he was grumpy. He needed coffee.
“Take Mummy her coffee. I’ll send the girls in. Mummy will be so pleased.” Daddy grinned.
It was like Doug’s bedroom except Mummy didn’t have her head planted in her pillow. We sat on the edge of her bed and sipped coffee. The girls jumped into the oversized queen bed. Mummy beamed. Plans were set for our day of Christmas in Manhattan. The girls could wear their berets at last. Jack and I were told to wear sports coats; we compromised with top coats and scarfs. Soon we were off to Rockefeller Center for ice skating. Mummy had a reserved table. We took turns between entertaining her or skating circles on the rink. The hot chocolate left something to be desired. I was spoiled by Molly’s Iowa version.
“You will be there for Christmas?” Mummy was all about plans. “Will Johnny go, too?”
“I think he plans to go with you to the Gables.”
“Oh,” she was surprised. “Is all well between you two? You have been together now for almost two years.”
Trudie was 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 asked.
Trudie went into detail on suburban life north of the City. I pretended to be interested. Jack and Joan came off the rink and sat down. I whispered to Jack to follow me and led him into NBC’s studios. We asked where the SNL rehearsal was going on and soon walked in on Belushi in his samurai burger chef’s outfit, regaling random girls who were waiting on him in his dressing room.
“Tim, I need burgers and fries,” he yelled.
“Cheeseburger, cheeseburger. Coke, not Pepsi,” I answered.
“Who’s your friend?” he pointed to Jack.
“Meet my boyfriend, Jack. We’re on Christmas break.”
Belushi gathered his maidens, pointed at me and told them to attack. “Save this faggot from going to hell.’
I was surrounded by purring sex-cats. Jack looked dismayed, until one sidled up to him.
“That’s better,” Belushi declared. The girls ran back to him. “But, I am the babe magnet.”
“I am the walrus,” I responded.
‘But I’m just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood’
“Okay,” Belushi admitted, “but don’t be fagging off with my best friend in front of me.”
“I’m his best friend. We’re roommates,” Jack disputed 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 laughed.
“Stop fighting over me,” I complained.
‘You’re right. You’re so not worth it,” Belushi decided.
“We need to get back to our girlfriends,” Jack proudly announced.
“I gotta see this,” Belushi got up and the girls followed him.
Back we went to the skating rink. Mummy and the girls were obliviously enjoying their hot chocolate. We arrived with Belushi’s whores and a pack of SNL fans following the paparazzi snapping our photos. Joan and Trudie jumped up to greet us with kisses. The cameras clicked. Mummy looked horrified, then put on her best hostess smile, unsure if she wanted to be on Page Six.
I introduced 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 described his role.
“That seems to be a Tim trademark,” Mummy was in the know.
Belushi was being besieged in tourist central and needed to herd his girls back to the studio as well as several fans he had his eye on. It was time for us to hit Park Avenue for shopping. Trudie and Joan were stunned by their brush with celebrity. Our limo awaited. No subway for Mummy.
“Where do we go first, Jack? FAO Schwartz on Fifth Avenue?” Mummy asked. I realized 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 moaned.
“We will,” the girls squealed.
“I love these girls,” Mummy effused.
The limo let us out front. All four teens rushed to get into the Santa line. We were all taller that the rest of the line up. Nice to be looked up to, even though one child burst into tears. We told Santa we just wanted a group picture, which was the whole point. Mummy waited for us in the VIP lounge, hidden away on the first floor. She had been coming with her boys every year since 1940. The girls loved the over-stuffed animals. I was entranced by the train set-up. Jack found it a bit passé, having been there every Christmas until his escape from the Swiss Seminary the previous year. Soon we gathered Mummy from her espresso and took the limo up Fifth Avenue. The driver inched along as we window shopped from the backseat. The girls wanted to open the sun roof, just as my twin sisters had done in Iowa in January. Excitement overcame the cold air. We stopped at Zabar’s on Broadway and 80th. Mummy had a long list of family and friends to receive Christmas gift baskets. I saw that both sets of my parents were on the list. It was the first time I felt weird about having two pairs. The girls protested that it wasn’t necessary to include their parents. Mummy wasn’t about to exclude any potential in-laws for Jack. We then headed for the Village to discover unique stores where we could find (and afford) gifts for our friends. I was soon over-using 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 made a serious dent into my Christmas bonus. By then, I was exhausted. The girls berated me for not keeping up. At the next shop, Jack and I let the girls pick out the gifts they liked for themselves. They got two gifts from each of us. It was weird having Mummy grinning in the background while the girls kissed and hugged us. Bisexual dating was complicated in the 70’s.
It was late as we headed back to the Dakota with the sun already setting. The driver took us by Rockefeller Center to view the lit Christmas tree. All the lights in stores and on the streets made New York a winter wonderland. We walked the girls into Central Park, all four of us hand-in-hand. We noted how our first date had started with a walk around Smith.
“You sang that monkey song to us,” Joan noted.
“You want an encore,” I asked.
“No!” they screamed.
Jack and I turned them around and sang a duet of ‘White Christmas’
Jace appeared and sprinkled snowflakes all around us. The 15-year-old romantic. The girls were entranced. Jace was between Jack and me, arms on both our shoulders, singing away the Christmas blues. I was so sad that the girls couldn’t see him. I couldn’t stop the tears. Everyone thought I was being maudlin.
Back at the Dakota, Isabelle had prepared a signature feast after our day of Christmas shopping and celebration. Jack’s two older brothers joined us, meeting me for the first time. They were better prepared for Jack having a boyfriend than both of us having girlfriends. Good manners were a family trait and the introductions went well. Edgar Jr (Eddie) and Rick were a vision of what an older Jack would look like. They lacked his fey beauty but knew they were handsome and well-bred. Their wives were a bit stand-offish but took to Joan and Trudie. I could catch snippets of their gossipy conversation about Jack and me. To our girlfriends credit, they were forthright about their feelings on dating a gay couple. The fact that they were Smith roommates helped explain how we managed to get along so well. Jack’s sisters-in-laws laughed hilariously when they learned about the weekend we met the girls’ parents.
Jack announced that the five of us had rehearsed a short Christmas entertainment. No one questioned who the fifth party was. Jace was ready with copious snowflakes which his ghostly hands kept cold. The four of us repeated the singing of Bing Crosby’s ‘White Christmas.” The brothers had both spent time at the Vermont family farm, making it a home state favorite from the movie. As the song picked up steam, Jace started sprinkling his snowflakes over us and on the guests. I told everyone later that I had learned cutting edge Hollywood special effects. Suspension of disbelief was a Stone family trait. Over dinner, which I took seriously while everyone else spent engaging in small talk, the brothers attempted to bully Jack into applying to Porcellian.
“I’ve already accepted at Fox,” he declared, to everyone’s surprise, including me. I was pleased he was 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 asked.
“We have ‘Cliffies on the third floor. They’re our best friends.”
“Our fag brother is quite the feminist,” Eddie (Edgar Jr). snidely remarked.
Everyone laughed, somewhat nervously, so I sat down. The brothers looked ill-at-ease until their wives made them sit. Such well-trained lap dogs.
“When the boys were in high school,” Mummy rose to our defense, “they performed in the streets. Tim often defended Jack from bigoted ruffians. The Miami Police call him Teen Jesus.”
I didn’t correct her impression. The brothers just slunk further into their chairs.
“No doubt Jack couldn’t defend himself.”
“He swings a mean guitar,” I asserted.
“Let’s have you boys play something, rather than using your instrument for fighting.”
Jack had his MOOG nearby and I ran 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 played our version of ‘Sunday Afternoon.’
The Moody Rudes were a hit with an older crowd. The girls were more impressed with ‘their song’ in a less stressful context. I even managed a few tears at the memory of our breakup with our girlfriends. Everyone noticed and I scored points for being the ‘sensitive’ one. Jack was skeptical as he saw how quickly I had supplanted him in the hearts of his family and loved ones. For once he allowed his heart-felt feelings to warn me that he knew I was a fake.
The ‘adults’ were done in. My in-laws needed to drive back to Connecticut. I suggested to the girls that we visit Nina and Jules in 703 and maybe play more music.
“You just want to get stoned,” Trudie was 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 argued.
“Don’t encourage them.”
“I do want to play guitar with them. Paul McCartney teaches Julian. It’s like being tutored by the Beatles.”
“You’re just a fame junkie,” Trudie decided.
“Well, watch how pot affects Jack. Joan may want to stay in our room tonight.”
The girls looked at each other and screamed. Jack was conflicted about which side he was on. Hormones were hormones. No matter who slept with whom, there would be pheromones in the air.
The kids were surrounded by their junior high acolytes. I was 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 told Jules.
Jace had appeared and was helping Jules with the settings. The sound brightened up from its Moody Rudes depths. Instead of sounding dirge-like, the notes were sharp and ringing, like carillon bells. Nina started 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 applauded ourselves for being in the holiday spirit and being so original. Nina ran downstairs and collected her and Julian’s parents (plus baby Sean). We sang the Christmas song for them. All the parents clapped, 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 relaxed and decided he liked playing with Julian and his son’s friends. He went over to Jack’s MOOG and ripped into “Good Golly, Miss Molly’
All the kids were on their feet, bopping and rocking. We treated them to a medley of 50’s dance hits.
After over an hour, Yoko ordered a limo and the junior high kids were delivered home. Jules’ crash pad was busted, at least for a night. John put an arm on his wayward son’s shoulders and led him to his real bedroom downstairs. Nina left with her parents. We all went to Jack’s, splitting into our separate sex dens. Trudie was reluctant to go at it instantly. It had been a long and exciting day that went on forever. I practiced infinite lovemaking, not pressuring her for penetration or other overly stimulating activity. She was putty to my hands. We fell asleep with her hand on my dick.. It remained well-behaved. I woke up early as usual. Trudie was also awake, staring at me.
“Didn’t you feel attracted to me last night,” her doubts assailed her.
I pulled her closer and proceeded to ravish the reluctant Smithie. Her doubts were answered. When we finally got dressed and went to look for breakfast it was past ten. Daddy was reading his Times in the sitting room.
“You boys go out again last night?” he was surprised I could 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 hustled away, with Daddy smiling into his newspaper. Our hetero-normal behavior was still a novelty to the parents.
Father Frank had asked if we’d visit the St Patrick’s Jace’s Place Shelter. He explained there had been changes and wanted our input for the challenges they faced. The four of us walked across Central Park and found Father Frank in his office. I discussed my involvement with the Dignity Group at St Viktor in West Hollywood. He explained that it was a trial project for the American Catholic Church. His opinion was that it would be short-lived with entrenched opposition in conservative circles. ‘Love the sinner, hate the sin’ was the universal prescription for deviancy. I just thought ‘how deviant of them.’
The big change in New York was 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 dwarfed the male numbers. Success with the boys made it obvious that the larger problem needed attention. Jace appeared, touting his recent heterosexual activity as a better understanding of how the feminine mind works. Even Father Frank laughed at him. The Archdiocese had found another apartment building which was being renovated as an all-female shelter. An order of nuns was 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 laughed at me. I had 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 was 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 suggested
“Jace always believed in the same age sex rule, encouraging teens to only explore their sexuality with others their age,” I added.
“The Church is not ready to encourage teenage sexuality,” Father Frank asserted.
We smiled for having an expert of being a girl, instead of our warped points of view. Not being a Catholic made her more optimistic about Church views on sexuality.
I called Paul and Aaron to get them to meet us at the Temple’s Jace’s Place. They were taken aback to find we both had girlfriends now, raising questions about their own sexuality.
“How come all your friends in New York are so young?” the girls wanted to know.
I promised to take them to the Bronx to meet Tina and Pete. They were uncomfortable about going to the ‘Ghetto.’ I also noted that they had met my 72 year-old friend, William Burroughs. We ended up teaching the Temple E-Manuel kids the Sham 69 ‘Kids are United’ song. I laughed at my use of punk music as gospel. I worried that song may offend the kids at Abyssinian Baptist as British punks were pretty racist. I’d go slowly.
It turned out the Jewish Jace’s Place had already incorporated homeless girls into the program. We listened to the counselors explain the issues that had come up and how they had handled them. They recommended that the more confident, assertive girls had no problem living with the boys, just as we had found in our college dorm. The less confident and needy boys were a better fit in the mostly girls shelter. They were enthusiastic about as many co-ed activities as possible, including sports. Good sportsmanship was a basic tenet of gender equity. Father Frank took notes and the Temple counselors all volunteered to assist the Catholic and Baptist Jace’s Places in making the transition from single sex living arrangements. I noticed that Paul and Aaron were taking notes on how well we got along with our girlfriends, as well as when we needed to deal with issues as just guys. It made me sad that they felt the need to test their sexuality when it had been so firmly established from first grade. Best to encourage open skepticism, rather than dogmatic adherence to what they had always believed. At fifteen, it was best to be flexible. They would always be best friends.
The girls were taking the train to White Plains that evening. After leaving St Patrick’s, we crossed Central Park to Tavern on the Green for a farewell late lunch. It wasn’t busy and we sat by a window, sheltered from the December weather but still enjoying the Park. Jack and Joan were back to the soul stares with each other. Trudie whispered that she missed being ravished the previous night but appreciated my sensitivity to her feelings as well as her total satisfaction with morning sex. We laughed at how Jack and Joan were both virginal in their first love affairs, gay sex not counting for Jack. Trudie and I were more grounded which meant we knew from experience that it wasn’t all red roses. I told her how we passed out black roses at the Moody Rudes first Mower concert.
“You are so Goth,” she decided.
We took the subway to Penn Station and waited on the platform saying goodbye. It was a familiar feeling, mirroring the departures from Harvard Square. Trudie asked me to whisper how I planned to ravish Jack after they had left. I played it off, knowing she would shock Joan with graphic descriptions if I revealed our secrets. I whispered that Jack and I had been going through a rough patch with me being away in Hollywood. She asked me if I was cheating on him. I told her I never kiss and tell. She was shocked realizing it was a semi-confession that I had been fooling around. She swore that it didn’t bother her that I had other lovers, as long as they weren’t girls. I just thanked her and didn’t correct her misconception of my slutty ways. It was time for the train to depart. Longing kisses overcame any suspicions of a deceitful heart. I promised to call more regularly once I was back in Hollywood. She was surprised that I had my own private phone when I wrote her the number.
“Are you really coming back to Harvard?” she asked.
She was right about my ravishing Jack after they left. First we entertained Jack’s parents, plus the Lennons and Bernsteins who had become closer friends with Mummy and Daddy. We sang only show tunes about New York, ending with Bernstein’s ‘New York, It’s a Wonderful Town.’
He laughed at our chutzpah at singing his song and out-Sinatraing Sinatra. The guests stayed for dinner. For the first time in my life, I enjoyed the adult company more than the kids we had been with that day. I felt so old, I let Jack take over for the first ravishing.
“What’s wrong?” he asked. “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 giggled and presented his butt for my pleasure. We quickly found our groove. I laughed at how reluctant he was when we first got together to have sex at his house in the Gables. He was shameless now, with his parents just a few yards away. We’d become an old married couple, with girlfriends on the side and cheating whenever the opportunity arose. At least, that is how I saw it, if I were honest with myself. Jack was probably deluded and unhinged from the truth, trusting I would never leave him but ready to accept it when it happened.
The plan was I go to Ames for Christmas while the Stones went to Miami. I would rejoin them for the New Year’s Eve party at Michael’s. At the last moment, Jack made a desperate plea to go to Ames with me. I told him he was being insecure and to handle being separated for the actual holiday. It was a matter of just a few days. His parents told him he needed to accept that not everything was going to go his way. The nerd was spinning in place. I kissed him goodbye at La Guardia and headed west to the plains. It was a great relief to leave his neediness behind.
The whole crew came out for my arrival. I was nervous that the twins would berate me for standing them up at Harvard. ‘Gator assured me that it was no big deal, as the girls had enjoyed meeting all my friends, especially the 3D girls from Mower. Jack’s sense of good manners meant they never felt out-of-place. I rushed over and hugged my twin sisters. No passive-aggressive punishment for my bad manners. Off we went to the Hyland House for Pizza Pit and a sing along. For once I had 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 told a long story about meeting my girlfriend at Harvard, assuring everyone that Trudie has a solid sense of values and would take no gruff from my wayward gay ways. Not sure that I would see everyone again before Christmas I passed out all the presents I had brought. In typical Iowa ways, they all assured me that they wouldn’t open them until Christmas morning. Noah was surprised and pleased that I had remembered a present for him. ‘Gator slapped him on the back, “Of course, he remembered. You’re the better half of a horse’s ass.”
With everyone on their way home, my two moms sat me down at the dining room table and quizzed me on my college life. They were 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 loved the Boston Bossie article. I asked about Dr Kam and Molly assured me that he would see me as soon as I wanted.
“Everything okay?” she asked.
“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 looked concerned. I assured them that Dr Kam would straighten out my priorities. They asked how dating was going. I related all our adventures in the City, including Burroughs’ admonition that the girls needed to be able to keep up.
The moms well understood.
Laying in bed with ‘Gator was so strange. He insisted it was only for old times’ sake. He and the twins usually stayed out at the ‘Gator ranch. I promised to accompany them in the morning to reconnect with my old bossie Bessie, the milker. Before I fell asleep, ‘Gator snuck out to join the twins. I was alone in bed for the first time since Hollywood. I felt lonely until Jace joined me. He let me fuck him, so I wouldn’t forget how to do it properly. Once I was finished, I let him fuck me. I went instantly to sleep after a second orgasm.
Mom’s blueberry pancakes were better than Du-Par’s, or, at least I said so. I put all the family presents under the tree. The twins had planned a tour of all our teachers, friends and choir members to show I hadn’t forgotten my roots – all seven months of living in Iowa. Mrs. McCarthy was effusive with her interest in my Harvard life. I showed her the Lampoon issue I had helped produce. She was thrilled that I was going to be a TA the next semester. When I told her about my Hollywood work/study, she declared that she had always known I was destined for greatness – my greatest fan. I reluctantly admitted that ‘my’ movie was a B grade frat farce. She swore I was her only student who ever knew what a farce was. Coach ‘Red’ Ball told me I looked scrawnier than ever but he had warned his latest football team not to underestimate me. We sat and discussed ‘Gator’s first year as a starting linebacker at Iowa State. My boy had lived up to his reputation and was voted a second string Big Ten Conference all-star. Even Noah got noticed as an up-and-coming defenseman from Ames High. He promised that bowling was starting soon and Ames was psyched to defend its national title. He had been scouting the competition and it looked like the Regis boys would not compete for lack of female bowlers. The French Club had volunteered to serve again but the national organizing committee had ruled against them as they did not attend high school close enough to practice together. Jack would be disappointed.
“How is your boyfriend?” Coach Ball wasn’t embarrassed by gayness.
“We’re doing great, especially since we have girlfriends now.
I met with Choir Master Ring at Ames First Baptist. The girls got me to promise I’d sing with them at the Christmas Eve service. I told 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 countered 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 refrained from discussing my holy rolling at the Whiskey, especially the humping part. I told him about Hippie and Anna’s little Greg. Praise the Lord.
The moms and I spent Christmas Eve at ‘Gator’s family ranch. Both families were still easing into the idea of bigamy. I suggested 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 had suggested that the ever-energetic ‘Gator play both offense and defense, making him the both ways and three-ways expert. ‘Gator just rode the waves of gridiron stardom.
By Christmas morning, I was worn out. The gift exchanges went well. I got rhinestone shirts and cowboy boots. The twins loved the spoon rings I had found, to match the one I wore from the band. ‘Gator got his as well. The moms were confused by the Picasso print I got them of a Cubist nude. I explained that the fractured depiction of one woman made it look like two women overlapping each other.
“I think I understand it is a modernist approach,” Molly tried to explain my odd sense of art. The twins and I sang John Lennon’s ‘This is Christmas.’
‘Gator came by with my final gift to the moms, which he had helped pick out. It was a black lab male puppy, all squirming and nervous, rushing around to everyone.
“Since we all have moved out, I knew you needed a new son to take care of,” I announced. The pup was instantly named Max 2. Jace and Max 1 gave their enthusiastic approval.
We had attended Baptist services on Christmas Eve, so we all went to the Catholic mass together. Not much singing. I watched Jace fly about the altar and settle on the crucifix. We rededicated ourselves to each other. Jace gave me a heart attack by pretending to again be absorbed by the crucifix. He laughed at my panic. I told him not to scare me like that, or else he’d lose his place at the dinner table.
That night I called Tommy in Fort Lauderdale. The boy wasn’t home, but Auntie Em was 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 didn’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 and 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 hung up and I laughed and laughed. That boy was a constant source of joy. He was out cattin’ around, ‘course.
The next day, we all went ice skating. Northern Plains winds had removed any snow, making the ice perfect. Without Tommy to cut-up, it was less exciting. Patrons at the hot chocolate stand kept a wary eye on us. Soon it started to snow. We made plans to invite all out friends out to the ‘Gator ranch for sledding and ATV riding the next day. Molly had scheduled me to meet Dr Kam that afternoon. As I walked away from the skating pond, my friends disappeared into the flurry of snow coming down. They slowly disappeared.
My mood for Dr Kam was tinged with sadness. He soon had my spirits revived, playing and singing with his samisen. He demanded I relate any celebrity news about John and Yoko. I went over all my accomplishments at Harvard and subsequent Hollywood work. Then he asked how my relationship with Jack was 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 explained the vibrating problem, after cheating. Jimmy’s pseudo-psych explanation that I had daddy issues made 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 and 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 had a straight kid living with us, and then, Harvard separated us by sending me to Hollywood.”
“Life sometimes gets in the way of your other 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, but I’ve 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’re 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 and 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 couldn’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 put a slice of blueberry pie in front of me.
After my reward I went and took a long bath. It was chilly after I got out. I started to shiver but the shakes went away as soon as I got warm enough. I was on edge for no reason. I called Jake in Hollywood. He was pleased and we related holiday stories. I found out that he was Jewish.
“Did you eat Chinese on Christmas night?”
“Of course, it was 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 joked.
We laughed and I felt better.
“I’ll be back after New Year’s,” I promised. “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 had gotten as hard as a rock. As always my dick did 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 gave him my home numbers in Ames and Coral Gables. In for a penny, in for a pound. I worried there was 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 enjoyed milking my favorite cow but I missed the sense of connection we used to have. She seemed to perk up when Seamus visited her while I was doing the milking. I wasn’t jealous but realized our relationship was over. Not with Seamus. He reveled in his newly acquired country ways. I could relate with that.
I arrived at Miami International with much less fanfare. Jack was the only one to greet me. We hopped into his pink Cabriolet and roared off to the Gables. We went to Michael’s where the old crew was waiting. They needed my direction about what music we’d play for New Year’s Eve. We all agreed to let the Out Crowd play dance tunes for the party portion of the entertainment. At ten o’clock False Gods would put on an original concert of our own music, leading up to the midnight countdown. Jack and I played the Triplets and Sitting Band songs. Jack complained that I had sped up the tempo on all our songs. I explained that Hollywood bands were all about speed to get people off their asses. We agreed to do my favorite Heartbreakers covers – ‘Won’t Back Down’ and ‘Yer So Bad.’ These real rock n roll songs were met with greater enthusiasm. I worried that False Gods was cursed to stay a cover band. Michael and Jenna had practiced a couple of love songs. We’d play them at the countdown to midnight, so everyone would be in the mood for their New Year’s kiss. Robby was a no-show, supposedly disdaining our attempt at a reunion. I knew I could convince him to join us by accusing him of always being self-centered. The Jacettes also needed to be encouraged. Hippie stated that Anna and Little Greg would only come ‘if that demon-worshipping Robby wasn’t there.’ Typical band bullshit. We all promised to practice daily to get up to speed. The Out Crowd showed off their latest greatest hits. I couldn’t believe Stu was fourteen. He’d always be nine for me. He kept giving me the biggest grins. Mike Jr was still his constant companion, best friends for life. Mike also had a coterie of female fans, hopefully not yet groupies. He was cool as a cucumber.
Winston, Susan and Dad greeted me as Jack and I walked in. Susan had prepared a feast for dinner – just steak and potatoes with Creme Brule for dessert. She set out a place for Jace, who expertly cracked the glaze on everyone’s dessert.
The phone rang. It was Tommy, ever anxious to see me. Jace had 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 got off the phone, Jack was 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 needed our sexual reunion to start soon. I put him off by reminding him how pot would affect his libido. He was miffed to be delayed. Max appeared as we headed for his favorite dealer’s house. Winston immediately wanted to come with us.
“Dad, we’re going to walk Winston,” I announced. Susan handed me a plastic bag to keep the neighborhood pristine.
“Thanks, Mom,” I told he, “We need a second one for Max.”
“Of course,” she laughed.
Both dogs knew what to do on the way to Robby’s. We used the front door. Robby’s mom petted both dogs. Rocky, the cat, hissed.
We burst into the smoke-filled pot den. The kids expected us to attack Robby who grimaced at our challenge to his place of authority. I kept back as Jack and Robby went at it. The dogs were egging them on. Robby sensed victory until Jack pulled a reverse nelson on him. He cried ‘Uncle.’
“Not until you agree to play with us on Friday night,” I had my own conditions.
“I ain’t playin with them losers,” Robby contended.
“Is this your plan for New Year’s?” as I pointed 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 appeared. Jack and I settled on the bed, with a couple of 14-year-olds. Jack’s amorous needs came storming out as he attacked me. The junior high kids were unprepared for this behavior. Looking shocked and worried they moved away from us.
“Ya gonna tell us how superior y’all are goin’ ta Harvard and all,” Robby ragged.
“Naw. I thought you were going away, too?”
“Mr. Clark promised me 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 was crawling up my back. It was time to answer his needs.
“Come to practice at Michael’s tomorrow night,” we jumped out the window. Max complained he’d 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 ordered Max. He went into his Spot pose, Winston sat and stared at him. The bed was our domain. Jack eyed me warily, wondering how I was going to act, hoping for ravishing, but worried I was less than lusty. It wasn’t a moment to be a New Romantic. I used my teeth to undo his jeans’ buttons, licking his belly button up to his rigid nipples. I bit hard and twisted both of them as he writhed in pain and stimulation. I pulled his jeans down to his knees, lifted his legs and stuck my head and shoulder through his upper thighs. It rotated him backward so his butt was pushed against my stomach while his knees were hooked on the back of my neck. I rocked him back and forth, so his dick was flopping against his stomach. I took it into my mouth and sucked it deeply down my throat. As it hardened, my throat squeezed the shaft, while my tongue licked the head. He threw his head back and moaned. Reaching around his elevated legs, I pinched his pebble-hard nipples, twisting and pulling them. I loved torturing him. His pot-driven horniness loved being abused. He longed for the penetration that was coming soon . Winston stood up and came over to investigate our lovemaking. Max barked once and Winston returned to their corner.
“Good boy, Winston,” I told him
Jack was thrown off his fucking rhythm. I returned to deep-throating his long skinny dick. Placing both hands on his butt cheeks, I began exploring his butthole. He was pulsing in anticipation. I placed the tip of my dick just inside his anal ring, stabbing him with quick, short probes. Jack grabbed my butt and tried to pull me in deeper. I resisted, looking him in the eye and shaking my head. He kept pulling me. I pulled back and let go of the first orgasm, just inside his butt-hole. He moaned in disappointment.
His body slumped as he gave me complete control. I penetrated him with my spent dick. It remained hard. His disappointment turned to satisfied moans and groans. I quickly regained my need to fuck him. We went at it for so long that Jack came twice. As he rushed toward his third orgasm, he started begging me to cum. I kissed him to stop him from talking. Frenching him with the same rhythm as my dick was going in and out of his butt made us a rocking sex machine. I finally approached the point of no return, speeding up my thrusts and going as far in as my dick would go. His butt was over his head as I continued to kiss him. Eventually I was on my feet rocking into him. As I let loose, he screamed in ecstasy. The dogs started howling as I pulled out and sprayed all over him. Finished, I went down on him, engulfing his dick. It went off for the fourth time. It whipped back and forth in my throat, knocking my tonsils to and fro. Thinking about the Ann sisters singing the bubblegum song made me laugh. I flopped down next to Jack. We lay there panting and exhausted. Jack loved being ravished. He cuddled up with me.
Dad knocked on the door. “Why is Winston howling?”
I wanted to tell him that Max was there too, but I was too exhausted to tease him. “He was singing along with Jack and me,” I explained.
“I love Winston, Dad. But I know he’s your dog.”
Max barked. I swore Dad heard him. He led Winston back to his part of the house.
Jack and I wrapped around each other and went to sleep.
The next morning we had the house to ourselves. No extra time off during the holidays for the military-industrial complex. I offered to cook breakfast, but didn’t complain when Jack decided Isabelle would do a better job. After Eggs Benedict, English muffins, French coffee, and Florida fresh-squeezed OJ, we joined Mummy and Daddy by the pool. I figured I needed to lay the groundwork for the arrival of Jake at Friday night’s New Year’s Eve show.
I knew Mummy would smooth the way.
“Mummy, you’ll be pleased to know one of my musicians friends is coming 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 had 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 cracked.
“That’s a good idea,” I conceded.
“Very impressive, Tim,” Mummy praised 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 the 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 beamed 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 suggested.
“It sounds very interesting, to have an actual composer in our party,” Mummy knew 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 was oblivious, bored with talk about opera.
He was more concerned about the arrival of Tommy for band rehearsal at Michael’s. Tommy was there waiting for us, anxious to be a part of our show. He rushed to greet us, with a hug but no kisses. He was too mature for that. Stu recognized a kindred spirit and took him over to meet the other Out-Crowd members. With no musical talent and difficulty holding a tune, I was at a loss as to how to use his stage presence and natural country humor. Michael suggested he could recite a Mark Twain tall tale. He even found a book from which to choose a story.
“I don’t need no Mark Twain ta git a laff,” Tommy complained.
“We’ll work on it so as y’all kin git more’n just one laff,” I argued.
As long as we were to be working together, Tommy was happy.
Everyone sat down in the music room. Robby passed around a couple of ‘Robby specials’ to relax the mood. Everyone was talking at once in our usual chaos style of organization. Michael finally put his foot down. We decided 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 came 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 was ushered in. After the midnight kissing was done, I’d show off Hollywood songs from Tom Petty, our ally in chaos from the Skynyrd show. I would 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 could tell his on-the-road yarn from Mark Twain before we did the Hillbilly Brothers stoner song and finish with his ‘Gatorsaurus tale if people wanted an encore after midnight. There was some griping by those who felt I’d taken over the spotlight. Before we descended into arguing about it all, I said we needed to play, not talk anymore. Robby pulled out another ‘special’ to motivate us, but the Out-Crowd kids just went to set up. John stared back at us with a look of regret but stayed with his band mates, including Tommy. John was explaining to Tommy how they were related as soul brothers since he had been my boyfriend for a short while. Tommy was glad to join the extended foster family.
Michael and Jenna complained that we had excluded their love songs. They were added before the midnight kisses, bumping ‘Curfew’ to after midnight had chimed. Michael promised to get a Chinese gong to really ring in 1977. We went outside to review the restoration of the Globe replica. Just seeing the pit, where so much of the action and humor came from, reminded me of all the punk shows I’d recently attended – Shakespeare as punk precursor. I told everyone we needed to make sure there were plenty of kids to fill up the pit. Jack sat down and drew up a flyer to pass out, highlighting the Out-Crowd’s dance party. Our preparations were finalized. We just had to practice enough to play competently. Hippie was looking depressed. He complained that we weren’t playing any of his music. It was agreed to have him sing ‘Amazing Grace’ to open the show. Then Anna could take Little Greg home before the devil himself appeared. She could start praying for all of us again.
After the kids had played a few songs, just to prove they had kept improving, the older group had a start and stop rehearsal. The kids left, as it was late for them. We finally quit by ten in order to hit Sorrento’s for pizza, beer and pot. I admitted it beat Two Guys from Italy, hands down.