Jace is always shy and stand-offish when we are with anyone else. When it’s just the two of us, he’s a different person. His guitar playing improves as well. He leaves it hidden in my room. When he lets it out of the closet, so is he. Flamboyant like Mick, screamin’ like Jimmy Paige, crazy like Hendrix, and wild like Gene Simmons. He needs a real amp so badly; it isn’t enough to run around my room playing acoustic while I spit out the lyrics. We end up lying on the floor, panting from running and jumping so much. I swear he can see the fans out there going crazy for him. But it never happens unless we’re alone. It bugs me, that he’s so uptight. What anyone else thinks is their crap, not ours. One night no one else comes over. We’re lying there panting after running through our set of guitar covers. I get up and put Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon’, on the stereo, starting after the ‘Money’ cut. I pull him to his wobbly feet and push him onto my bed. He never stops me from doing whatever I want. I lie down and we float away – ‘lunatics on the grass.’ Spacy space cadets. I reach over and hold his hand, hoping we’ll levitate. At least that his shorts might rise. We fall asleep. He wakes me as it’s getting light outside.
“Tim, wake up.”
I smile and got back the goofy grin.
“I gotta get home before school?”
“Why? Does your step-mom check up on you?”
“Naw, she’ll be too busy getting ready for work.”
“So, stay here. We’ll go to school together.”
“What if someone sees?”
“That we walk to school together? Maybe if I hold your books for you.”
He turns red, score one for the Dude.
“So, talk to me. We’ve got two hours before we have to get up.”
“Whadda ya mean?”
“Well, what’s the plan about an amp?”
“I dunno, maybe for Christmas.”
“Right, your parents???.”
“What can I do?”
“How do we get high?”
“’With a little help from my friends.’”
“How do we get by?”
“’With a little help from my friends.”
“I don’t need anybody.’”
“I just need someone to love.”
And I poke him.
(Could it be anybody?)
I want somebody to love.”
Writer(s): Paul Mccartney, John Lennon
Copyright: Sony/ATV Tunes LLC
And he leans over and kisses me.
Finally. Oh my gawd. I about die and goto heaven. It is not expected, nor is it that long. After the kiss, he has the goofy grin again. I love the goofy grin. Now it’s my turn. I don’t let go until he’s squirming under me with my tongue going in and out of his open mouth. Maybe his jaw is locked open, but I take it as an invitation to probe deeper. He remains still until I feel the stirring of his cock. He first tries to rearrange it, make it more comfortable. Finally he’s unable to stop squirming. His breathing suddenly becomes labored. I hope and fear he’s about to cum. With his hips bucking, it’s either stop him completely or let nature take its course. I pull his jeans down, take an impressively large cock down my throat, squeezing it and holding my breath, until he starts shooting at every thrust. And he’s still squirming while he bucks. Jace in XXX 3-D. I suck the length of his penis as it withdraws from my larynx. Somewhere along the line I’ve creamed my shorts. I hadn’t even noticed. I’m a mess. His dick looks as fresh as a newborn, all shined up and ready to sleep. Do I say anything? It will only spoil what happened. Goofy is as Goofy does. We both lay back in bed. He reaches and grabs my hand.
“This is what did it for me,” he indicates our hand holding. “Pink Floyd and us united.”
Not quite poetic, but I’ll write the lyrics.
“Let’s have a band,” I roll on top of him and shake him by the shoulders.”
“Just the two of us?”
“You’ve got to stop being shy in front of everyone but me. You’re a guitar hero, but nobody knows it.”
“What about an amp?”
“Listen, we’ll get Robby to solve all that. He can play his drums to something more than records. I’ll sing and you can teach me rhythm guitar. It’s your band, music man.”
He kisses me again. My god, three kisses in on day.
His Mr. Woody is awake again. I slap my limp, confused old dick, against his stiffy. It still doesn’t remember how it went off the first time. As it perks up, we’re dueling dicks in my bed. He wants to compare and grabs both dicks in his hands. I can see that I’m barely bigger. I keep moving mine against his. The friction causes us to be less interested in comparing and more into shining our proud shafts. He has no control over when he comes. His dick was in charge as we butt each other like rams in rut. Again he’s obviously ready to geyser. I’ve been ready for a while. I take charge with longer thrusts, as his stiffy rides me to climax. The cum is copious and a trip to the laundry room inevitable. Both our faces and chest are drenched in cum. I see a wad in his hair. He picks it out by a finger, swallows it, and pronounces it’s his by its taste.
“You don’t know what mine tastes like. How can you be sure?”
He leans down and licks a glob of it off my stomach.
“Yup, mine’s sweeter..”
We wrestle around, finally falling off the bed, continuing to smear ourselves on each other on the floor.
“Tim, is everything all right up there?” Susan calls up.
“I’m fine, just getting ready for school, Mom.” It’s the first time I call her Mom. It completely throws her off her game.
“Oh, Tim,” she sighs.
I’m so bad.
Jace’s face goes from panic to goofy grin.
We jump in the shower together. He begins soaping up my back. He knows the area well from all the massages he’s given me. Moving from my back, he thoroughly soaps both butt cheeks. When his thumb rubs near my asshole, I start to squirm. He likes that. It doesn’t take long for my soapy ass to be invaded by the thumb, then one and two fingers. I reach back and pull him by the hips close enough to feel his engorged cock. With no hesitation I grab his dick by the base and stick it in, pushing away his fingers. It feels like swallowing the Titanic, but his massaging has really opened me up. I grab the shower knobs and hold on as he rides me like at the rodeo. Each thrust hits me at a certain point that makes me squeeze and gasp. I look back. He has his eyes closed and is locked into the fucking. My dick is leaking long strings of pre-cum. A lifetime of seminal fluid is finally being drilled. I can’t stop myself from thrusting back. Jace does his best to control me while his dick is on its own Journey to Bountiful. His breathing reaches a climatic pitch. I take his hand, wrap it around my dick and show him how to do a reach-around. He’s a natural as I’m soon cumming, which pushes him over the edge. The shower is still warm. We uncouple and finish washing each other. How do I find these incredible fuckers?
We make it to home room, although my cool slouching walk is a little stiff. I try to hide it but it’s so obvious from Jace’s red face. Is there no modesty in this world? More obvious is my glow which I can’t suppress all day. Before we ditch, he takes me aside.
“You gonna be mad I don’t act like your boyfriend in front of everyone? I need to take this slow.”
“We’ll save that for ‘The Dark Side of the Moon.”
Goofy grin again. “’Shine on You Crazy Diamond.’”
When we met for ditch hour at Nutrition, deciding to return to the garage, as it is closest to school. Jace misses Max, or, as he says, Max misses us. I’m silently grateful that my room was no longer everyone’s ashtray that never gets dumped. Standard procedure is to leave Jace’s and John’s garage before their folks get home from work and go to Robby’s for the evening.
Max s indeed a happy black lab when we return, sniffing everyone’s pockets for weed; when he find Robby, his tail wags furiously. He barks authoritatively, demanding his smoke. Max follows the joint around the room, catching his share as each person exhales. It ends when he falls over, unable to get back up. Jace sits with him in stoner heaven. I can’t keep my eyes off Jace. Instead of being annoyed, he just winks at me and grins.
Mary is the only one who knows how painful my break up with Scott has been. I ask her if Robby is her first boyfriend, or if she has been in love before. She tells me about Ned. He had been part of the group but moved away two years ago. They still write, hoping he’ll come back to Miami for college. She started going out with Robby after Ned left. What strikes me are her plans to go to college. We’re such a group of dropouts; it doesn’t seem likely anyone will graduate.
“You’re in all college-prep classes,” she reminds me.
“That’s before I started smoking out.”
“You just changed?”
“I don’t even think about tomorrow, let alone in two years. All that preppy crap is a waste of time.”
“Well, I’m not going to give anything up until I have to. All you guys do is get stoned and listen to music. I may as well stay at school. That’s boring, but so is this.”
I don’t have to agree with her, but she is the one person in the group with whom I can talk about my thoughts and feelings. Whenever I bring up Tina or my other Puerto Rican friends, she shuts me down. I’m stereotyping her by ethnicity. I admire her forthright attitude.
Jace and I go to Robby about our band plan, believing he can solve our logistical problems – no amp and no place to practice. Not knowing how well Jace plays, he’s enthusiastic but require that first we help him with his Halloween plans. When he asks Jace what kind of amp he wants, Jace instantly answers “Marshall Stacks.”
“At least you’re ambitious,” Robby remarks.
We agree to help in his preparations. The next night he leads me on an exploration beyond our regular neighborhood. Sitting high up in branches, he asks me to use my ‘second sight’ to find a special group of trees.
“What’s ‘second sight.’” I ask.
“Looking beyond what you see.”
“You mean see more than I see?”
“Yeah. Like when you close your eyes, you see an after image.”
I close my eyes. “All I can see is your ugly face.”
“Good, ‘cause you’re not really seeing my face. Your mind is creating it. Am I really ugly?”
“You’re grinning at me, really evil.”
“Great. Now do the same thing with the trees. Close your eyes and let your imagination take you in the direction of our Sacred Grove.”
“Yeah, we need to find a place where the spirits will speak to us.”
“I thought they spoke to us through our feet.”
“No, idiot. Our feet keep us in touch with the spirits, in the earth and in the trees. No one speaks to your feet.”
“Now, try it. Let your imagination lead us to the Grove.”
“Why can’t you do it yourself?”
“I am the ‘Drinker of the Blood.’ My powers are different. You are the ‘White One,’ the spirits speak to you.”
I like that I have an important role. Looking in all four directions, I create a picture of our surroundings in my mind. Closing my eyes, I search the picture, looking for a sign that would direct me. After long seconds, my imagination takes over. The picture became more primeval, with the colors brighter and the sky glowing. A brightening on the horizon makes me think it’s dawn, with the sun rising. When I open my eyes, I’m surprised to see I picture the sun rising in the south.
“Well,” Robby anxiously asks, “did you see the Grove?”
“No, but Nature played a trick on me. I saw the sun rising in the south.”
“That’s a sign. It’s in that direction.”
Before I can argue, he jumps to the next tree, in the direction I indicated. We climbe for a while, stopping only for me to check my imagination. We head for the rising sun. After several blocks, the trees abruptly stop. It’s Bird Road, with no overhanging branches.
“Where do we go now?” Robby demanded.
“My vision doesn’t show a gap. I’m seeing the trees before they built the road. It’s like a long time ago.”
“Really? This is good. But, still, where do we go from here?”
“Do we have to stay in the trees. Maybe the Earth can direct us as well.”
“I buy that. Let’s climb down.”
As soon as we were out of the trees, my vision is gone. It becomes fragmented memories, with no coherent order or direction. We cross Bird Road, but still there are no visions.
We sit on the curb in front of a house. Robby asks me how serious I am about the band.
“I am, mostly because Jace is so into it. He’s a master on guitar, able to play any song by just listening to it once.”
“Jace? Do I have to ask how it’s going with you two?”
Don’t kiss and tell ruled out sharing, even with Robby, but I figure I could be opaque.
“We’re doing a lot of practicing. It’s just that when we’re alone, he’s so much happier and open. He shuts down when anyone else is there.”
“By open, you mean his jeans?”
“Don’t even go there. He’s great with me. I don’t even miss my swim team friends now. You guys are my friends, especially you and Jace. I’m as excited about the band as he is. Can you get into it, too?”
“Let’s wait until after Samhain’s over. I’m up for it. Maybe we need a joint for inspiration” as Robby takes one out from behind his ear and lights it up. We sit there getting high in someone’s front yard. A voice yells at us from the house. Robby casually drops the joint. A kid our age comes out the front door.
“Hi. You guys want to share that?”
“Sure, man. What’s your name?” Robby finds the joint and hands it to him.
“Uh, George. Can we walk around the side of the house, so my dad don’t see me doing it?”
“It’s your house. Get stoned a lot?”
“Naw. I just moved here. I seen you guys at school and figured you was stoners.”
“That obvious, huh?”
“It’s how you walk and are always on the lookout for narcs.”
“Well, we gotta be careful.”
“But you’re just getting high in the street.”
“Yeah, school’s out, George. In case you didn’t notice.”
We all laugh. Once we were all under the trees in his side yard, we stop to finish off the joint.
“Wow, guys. This is really cool. I haven’t been high for months.”
“You can come over to my house anytime you want to get high,” I offer.
“Thanks, man. I don’t really have any friends here.”
“Now you do.”
“You probably don’t know this neighborhood too good either?” Robby observes.
“Well, I have been exploring. There’s an old abandoned graveyard about a block away. It’ll be cool at night, stoned and all.”
Robby and I look at each other, nodding. George leads us down the street, then into an overgrown, vacant lot. As we walk on a path leading into the undergrowth, I can feel my feet tingling.
“Feel it, too, Robby,” I ask.
“Yup. This is it, man.”
“What?” George asks.
“This is where we’re going to have our Halloween party,” Robby tells him.
“Check it out. There’s even some old gravestones over here.”
There were several old stones, half-fallen over, even an old crypt, with the door missing. It is very spooky. Robby and I start to dance around each other. Our feet tingle and kept us dancing in a mad, whirling dervish manner. George looks at us in amazed glee. Settling down, we stretch out, with backs against the tombstones.
“Think there are ghosts watching us?” George asks.
“You must promise not to repeat what I tell you,” Robby looked at him seriously.
“We’ve been on a quest tonight, to find the perfect place for our Samhain ceremony (that’s the same as Halloween). We asked for a vision to guide us, but the spirits are so old, they knew not that roads are built in the forest. We were directed to this place, but Bird Road interrupted our vision. We were lost but found you. This is a sacred place, far more ancient than a burial-place for these poor souls. It was the spirits that rule this world that led us here, not mere ghosts.”
“You made a vow not to reveal our secrets. If you break this vow, the spirits of the underworld will haunt you until you are theirs.”
“Com’n you guys, you’re scaring me.”
“If you have nothing to be afraid of, then you can’t be scared. What are you afraid of?”
“Nothing. You guys are spooky.”
“Then run home and hide,” Robby yells at him.
He jumps and starting running to his house. Robby laughs. He gets up and runs after him, telling him not to be so afraid.
I sit in the darkness of the overgrown lot. All the thoughts about spirits and visions course through my pot-addled brain. I wonder what it is like to actually confront a spirit. Before I can laugh, I hear my name being called. I look up quickly, and swear I see a wispy, white presence, sitting on a limb above me. I hear my name again, but from a distance. Looking directly at the smoky apparition, I hear it speak to me in my head, not from the outside.
“You are willing to let a spirit inside you?”
“To converse,” I think without speaking the words.
“Do you trust any spirit to enter your mind, to control your thoughts?”
“Is that how to speak to a spirit?”
“How else? I am not of this world.
“What world are you from?”
“From beyond this realm.”
“Can you come into this world?”
“Only when you let me, like right now.”
“I’m letting you come into my mind?”
“There are dangers. You have to give me control. I’ll take over your body, and you’ll be trapped in the back of your mind until I leave.”
“Yes. Once I take control, you can only look out through your eyes and watch what I do with your body. Are you still willing to let me in?”
“No way, man. Isn’t there another way to communicate?”
“You must let me into your mind, like we are doing now. It’s only a matter of time before I take over.”
Again I hear my name called, this time, two voices, one is Robby’s. I shiver and consciously push the apparition out of my mind. Jumping up, I ran toward the voices. A quick backward look confirms that the spirit is still sitting on the limb. I run through the brush, not worried about finding the path. Soon I was on the street with Robby and George.
“You look like you saw a ghost,” George notes.
“I did. I swear, I just talked with a ghost.”
Sitting down I relate the whole conversation to them. George becomes even more nervous. Robby’s reaction is just the opposite.
“It’s ‘cause we split up. The spirits are able to break through to you, when you’re alone. This is great! All the signs say this year’s Samhain will be the greatest since the Druids left this world for Avalon and Tir-na-nOg.
I began to feel how cut and scratched I am from my flight through the brush. Pulling a green thorny leaf from my jeans, Robby cries out, “Look. Another sign. This is mistletoe, the holy plant of Wicca. We must gather more. This is the sacred place.”
He starts running home. I followed, after telling George to meet us at Nutrition the next day. Once we pass Bird Road, Robby is up into the trees, swinging branch to branch toward his home. I try to follow but can’t keep up. He comes back to me, reveling in our spiritual adventure and finding of the deserted cemetery. He is convinced I have special powers which enhance his own. I tell him it’s all the pot we consume.
“Don’t you see. The drug is a path to the inner world. It helps unlock the barriers we impose between the spirits and us.”
“I just had a spirit tell me to beware of breaking down those barriers.”
“You feel vulnerable because I wasn’t there to protect you.”
“I wasn’t thinking about you. I was freaking out. It’s your voice I recognized that got me to push the spirit out of my mind.”
“See. I told you. You need me to protect you. Who knows what we’d have seen if I’d been there, too.”
He’s definitely carried away by the experience. When we get to his house, he immediately calls Mary to come over. The two of them make me go over in detail what happened. Mary takes out her Tarot cards to help interpret it. Robby keeps making me take bong hits, so I didn’t care what’s going on. She has me shuffle the cards for the longest time. She lays out the first six cards in the shape of a cross. The top of the cross card reveals The Wheel of Fortune, depicting a man and wife reveling at the top of a wheel while their child tumbles into the abyss. Next come the four prediction cards. Making a cross at the top, the final one is The Hanged Man. Robby jumps up and down.
“You’re all hung up. You’re going nowhere.”
“Shut up, Robby, it’s more likely he’s hung up on some moral dilemma.”
“Maybe I’m just hung.”
“Shut up, both of you. You’re ‘sposed to take this seriously.”
“Then, what’s it say?” I ask tentatively.
Mary takes the top two cards and explains they both represent the future. The Wheel of Fortune is an influence, that I’m effected by Fate. The Hanging Man is an actual event, when I’ll get hung up on some problem. Then she reverses the card, making it look like the Man is standing on a beam, explaining that the reverse reading might be what would happen to me: I’ll be forced to balance the conflicts to get things to turn out as they should. I’d get hung for my mistakes by not planning for them beforehand. I agree I had taken this path.
“Just remember,” she warns, “Fate decrees we all pay for our choices eventually. Be prepared to accept what fate befalls you.”
It sounds pretty authentic, just like a real fortune-teller.
After the reading, Robby has a list of things for us to do. It’s mostly about the Halloween costumes we’ll wear. He wants us in white robes, carrying scythes, like Father Time. He refuses to hear that these are New Year’s Eve costumes. We also have to carry candles, keeping them lit while we walk around. He makes it sound important. I’m glad to have some new adventure to pursue in the next ten days. He also says we celebrate Samhain/Halloween on November 1st, not October 31st. When I finally leave Robby’s, I’m too high to go to bed, so I’m drawn back to the deserted cemetery. I want another look at the wispy ghost. I boldly walk down the overgrown path and find the gravestones and crypt. I try to invoke the ghost, actually calling out for it to come forth. It’s to no avail. I sit down, exhausted by the night’s experiences, especially the bong hits. Once my mind has calmed, I heard the familiar voice.
“You still want me to take control?”
“No, but I want to converse. How can I regain control, once you’ve taken over?”
“It’s not me that would take control. I’m the guardian, to warn you of the dangers of entering the spirit world.”
“Then who do I speak to, to give over control.”
“The spirit world enters you, once you ask it in. It’s not just one spirit. It’s the power of the whole spirit realm.”
“You mean I’d be possessed by evil?”
“It’s neither good nor evil. It is power in its purest state. Your will is lost once you accept it.”
“Can’t I just push it out of my mind, like I did with you earlier?”
“All you can do is observe the loss of will, watching the spirits direct your body.”
“What if my friends physically control my body, not allowing the spirits to act?”
“There are ways to exorcise the spirits, but that knowledge has been lost. Don’t foolishly oppose the spirits.”
“Can the spirits help me?”
“The spirits don’t recognize you as an individual person. You possess a modicum of soul, yearning to join the greater body of souls in the spirit world.”
“Why don’t the spirits come and take over all the souls in the world?”
“There’s no need, since everyone in your world dies. Their souls are already committed to the spirits.”
“But don’t the spirits desire to control this world?”
“The spirits can’t see your world. They only exist as pure energy. Matter doesn’t matter to them.”
There are a hundred questions in my head, but I feel a terrible fatigue from this conversation. I look for the apparition of the guardian, but it is nowhere to be seen.
“You won’t see me again. Once we’ve spoken like this, I can no longer serve as guardian to you. When you are here, you have in a sense already crossed over.”
“But you still speak to me?”
“Everything I have to say has been imparted to you. How and when you remember it is up to you.”
“You are my friend, always with me?”
“I am a message. How you interpret it is your choice. Because you face death, choice is the only difference between your world and ours.”
“You mean I can choose to live?”
“No. Your only choice is when to die.”
“So death is choosing to let the spirits in?”
“No. Dying is giving up the chance to bring the spirits into your world.”
“So the spirits can come into this world?”
“This world of space and time, of energy and matter, doesn’t exist to the spirits. They are only aware of pure energy. It only exists here when your soul gives up the body and departs. Once you become pure energy, you enter the spirit world and are absorbed. That is why you, the singular, is really you, the plural.”
These thoughts inspire thousands of questions, but the guardian spirit starts to slip away.
“Wait. Can I always talk with you?”
“That is not part of my message. I can only serve as a warning. What you desire to know requires you enter the spirit world. The final warning is, once you lose your soul, this knowledge means nothing, because this world does not exist for the spirits.”
It has almost faded, but I ask a final question.
“Friend, how can I call you, if I don’t know your name?”
“I am called Guardian, but I was named Charon by the Romans; as an animal, I was called Cerberus; in medicine, I am Cerebellum. Your Wicca friend would call me God of the Oak.”
“I will call you Friend, Guardian.”
It is gone. More questions arise, but I push them away.
I barely make it home, I’m so exhausted. Jace is sitting on my bed, practicing guitar chords. He often comes over at night, usually to practice guitar and often sleeping with me. He is seldom in the mood for sex before we goto sleep, but he appears to be someone who is horny when waking up, the joys of morning wood. I’m giving him time and space to work out what he wants and if he is really gay. It doesn’t seem that way. Also, I’m not interested in another intense relationship, so soon after Scott. This night I’m glad to fall into his arms and go to sleep while my back is expertly massaged. I awake at ten o’clock to Robby and Michael shaking me from a dreamless sleep. Jace is long gone. I can tell that Robby noticed from the bed covers that someone else had been there. He doesn’t say anything. I try to explain to Robby what I learned. He is incensed that I went back to the cemetery without him, warning me I need his protection. I need to mull over all these thoughts before choosing whom I need as protector/guardian.
Mary comes over after school. She senses that I had an extraordinary experience. I finally ask her to walk with me to get away from the drugged confusion in a room of heavy metal noise. She listens to my memories from the night in the graveyard and advises me to go slowly with experiencing more. She recites what she calls a Santeria prayer to protect me. I hadn’t known how many protectors I had. My confusion is heightened by the fatigue I still feel from the experience. She suggested I go easy on the pot smoking to clear my head. When we return to my room, Robby tries to get me high again.
“I need to cool it for a while,” I tell him.
“You need to maintain your high, man.”
“I’m just trying to maintain my head here.”
“If you come down, man, you won’t be able to return to this high.”
Robby’s theory about getting high is based on maintaining your high. Others use ‘maintaining’ to mean a facade that you have everything under control. Robby means you have to maintain a ‘super’ high and never become sober. He claims your brain creates a new consciousness that helps you operate in the high state. Once you sober up, you lose the ‘super-high.’ I need to take a break, which pissed him off. Mary takes my side, which only makes matters worse.
“Tomorrow, we begin the Samhain celebration,” he complains, “and both of you want to be straight. Great.”
“I’ve gotta be able to think about all of this, Robby,” I argue. “My head’s really dull.”
“All you gotta do is follow what I say.”
“Let him find his own way, Robby,” Mary adds.
“You’re both fucked, ganging up on me.”
He stomps out of my room, with the others following, knowing where the pot will be. I want to be alone for once. Remembering how swimming cleared my head in Hollywood, I grab my suit and headed for the University pool. I laugh about searching for my Speedo, when I had never been without it for two years. It is still early and practice wouldn’t start for half an hour. I slip into a lane and begin taking easy, slow strokes. Watching all the air bubbles through my goggles, I’m mesmerized by this underwater world, weightless and incommunicado. My muscles respond to the challenge. After a long layoff, my lungs feel inadequate to the task. I keep my pace slow and easy. It’s Stu who interrupts my reverie, diving into my lane and making faces as we swim together. I stop at the wall so we can talk.
“Hi Tim, can you swim again?”
“I just came to loosen up. What’s going on?”
“I miss you, Tim. Is your back still bad? It’s all my fault.”
“Why is it your fault? I hit my back on the trampoline. Anyway, a lot has happened since then. What’s going on with you?”
“Just the same. Scott and Lydia are ‘going together’ now. He won’t even talk to me.”
“Well, you’ll have a girlfriend someday.”
“But when you were around, it was like I had two brothers. Now I have none.”
I just laugh. Then pushing off the wall, I swim a quick lap with Stu following. I tell Stu I have to go and beat a swift retreat before the others show up. Stu gives me a sad look, having hoped I’d returned for good. After showering and dressing, I watch the group going through their regular warm-up routine. It seems like nothing has changed. Riding my bike home, I know I have changed too much to ever be part of that group again. It isn’t a loss, but growth. I can’t define what I have grown into. My head has cleared but not completely.
Robby is sitting in my window when I get home; no respite here.
“Gonna be a jock-head on us now?” he accuses me when he sees my wet hair.
“No. I know that’s finished. I just needed to clear my head.”
“You still gonna stay straight?”
“Give it a rest, Robby. I’m beat from last night.”
“Well, Mary told me the things you wouldn’t say.”
“You didn’t want to listen, man.”
“No. You just wanna get on Mary’s good side.”
“She was at least willing to listen.” My headache is returning.
“Just remember, man, she’s my girlfriend, not yours.”
“I have a girlfriend, man.”
“Why’d you come over and wait for me, just to put me down?”
“No. I need your little faggot ass to help me with Samhain.”
“I said I would. Why you so jealous?”
“Forget it, man. Listen, tomorrow we’re going to wear the white robes to school. And we’re gonna have a candle ceremony at Nutrition.”
“Whatever. Just tell me what to do, mastah.”
“Shut up. I’m the Drinker of the Blood. Remember””
“Yeah, and I’m the sucker of the cocks.”
“Take this seriously, man. You’re the White One.”
“Guess that makes me the mastah cock sucker.”
We both finally laugh. Robby takes me to the abandoned lot to gather mistletoe. We walk there, avoiding George’s house. After finishing, we sit by the open crypt. Robby takes out a joint. Without a word, he lights it. Before passing it to me, he gives me an inquiring look. Without hesitation, I take it and we both got high. It feels better having a choice.
“What are you gonna do with the mistletoe?” I ask.
“Everything has a role. At tomorrow’s ceremony during Nutrition, we’ll pass out the mistletoe for each of the faithful to wear. Then we’ll light the candle, signifying the start of Samhain. I’ll give the candle to you. To get a robe, you’ve got to keep it lit for a whole day. The next day we’ll pass out another candle. If they keep it lit for a day, they get a robe. Each day we’ll pass out candles and robes. All the robed believers will march around school together. On the day before Samhain, we’ll all light our candles, leading to the Samhain celebration at midnight.”
“So, Halloween, the day before Samhain, we’ll all be marching around in robes and candles?”
“Right, but don’t use the word Halloween, it profanes our celebration.”
“You worked all this out yourself?”
“This is an ancient ritual, except I doubt we’ll have a human sacrifice.”
“Well, that’s reassuring.”
“But I still carry my sickle. I may need it.”
I give him a doubtful look, but he is playing it all serious. He asks me to call forth my guardian, but my heart isn’t into it. Nothing happens. He explain that the role of the White One is to speak to the spirits, whereas the Drinker of the Blood has to control the ceremony of sacrifice. I’m glad he understands our separate roles. Just as I’m ready to give up on my guardian, I hear a voice calling out our names. The pot makes me hope it’s the spirits, but I realize the voice was coming from the street, not from in my head. We both answer and soon George appears.
“What are you guys doing?”
“Planning our ceremony. Meet us at Nutrition tomorrow, and you can take part.”
“Really?” he’s so happy to be asked. I realize my doubts won’t be reflected in the others. Robby has the charm to lead others astray.
Next morning I dress in my white robe, feeling as foolish as a kid dressed up as a cowboy. I ignore the weird looks I receive in the halls. In class my teachers avoid singling me out. At ten, Robby and I march into the school cafeteria, where the others wait. He takes the mistletoe out of a book bag, and then pins a sprig on everyone from our stoner group. Without a word, he directs the group outside to the quad. He lined\s everyone into a semi-circle, facing east. Taking out a large, white devotional candle, he lifts it high over our heads. Pointing to the crescent moon that rises in the morning sky, he dedicates us to the coming Samhain ceremony. Then he lowers the candle to be lighted. Once the ceremony is complete, we march single file out of school. Everyone watches, and no one interferes, including staff. We all march to Jace’s and John’s garage, where we proceed to get high. Robby is in ecstatic about the success of the ceremony. In the ensuing days we hold similar ceremonies, every morning, bringing in someone new with a robe and candle. The moon is yet to rise during the final days. Robby swears we will renew our vows in the light of the full moon on Samhain. Once all the high school stoners are inducted, we march to the junior high and induct Dave, John and Jazz. No one interferes, playing along with our Halloween hi-jinks. On the 31st, we all light our candles and walk single file to Coral Gables Elementary. We form a circle around a bushy tree that grows in the school yard. It is recess time, and at least 200 kids surround us. Robby has us chant a nonsensical phrase, until it reaches a high pitch. Taking his long sickle, he swipes at the purplish flowers growing on the tree. After cutting about a dozen flowers, he motions for me to pick them up. We depart, the kids and teachers applaud our performance. We march single file to the garage. As soon as I pick up the flowers, my feet began to tingle, and I feel a strong foreboding. After we arrived, I tell Robby.
“There’s something wrong with these flowers.”
“The spirits are beginning to speak to you,” he answers.
“But they’re warning me.”
“These flowers are powerful magic. They’re called Deadly Nightshade, or Belladonna. It’s better’n acid, man.”
I understand my foreboding. I hadn’t experienced psychedelics. All the others smile knowingly. Robby gets Mary to stand up, and says a prayer; he calls her the Lover of the Mother, who will prepare a potion from the flowers. She separates the flowers from the stems, then cut them into bits and places the bits in a large bowl. Robby has her chew a handful of these bits, then spits them back into the bowl. We watch half-disgusted, half-entranced. Jace puts Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven”
on the stereo. We all sway to its slow beat. Ricky places his sickle over the bowl, slicing the tip of his middle finger, letting his blood run into the bowl. Motioning to me, he takes my han. Soon I’m bleeding into the bowl. Everyone follows, until he cuts a finger on each of Mary’s hands. She is mixing the flower, spit, and blood concoction while bleeding into the bowl and absorbing the mixture into her bloodstream. We watch as a transformation comes over Mary. Her eyes are blank as if blind, as if looking inward at her own dreams. She begins chanting her own incantations, with no relation to the heavy metal music blasting on the stereo. Robby takes the concoction away. She is completely unaware. She begins calling out various people. When anyone responds, she ignores them. We realize she’s in her own world, experiencing a reality completely separate from our’s. Her blind eyes were terrifying. I swear that no amount of pot can convince me to take this ‘trip.’ The focus Robby has created all morning remains unbroken by our concentration on her trip. She speaks more and more about her mother. We know she is experiencing a memory or reaction to her feelings about her family life. She alternates between grief and joy, speaking mostly in Spanish. I knew enough of what she is saying to be embarrassed by its personal nature. She is fighting for acceptance from her mother. With my messed up family, I wonder what kind of trip I’ll have. Finally she lapses into a daze. Robby has us lead her outside. We make a sitting circle around her as she lay face down on the ground. Robby invokes the spirits to infuse her with the energy of the Earth, saying from then on she will be known as The Lover of the Mother. First he, then everyone in turn, lies on her and embraces her prone body. He has us remain in a circle contemplating the lit candles. He leads Mary into the garage. I remain fixated on my candle, until I perceive the flame growing. It appears to flare to a height twice the candle’s length. It looks like an elongated onion, with two peaks at the top and two holes in the middle. Just as the two holes appear to be eyes, it returns to its normal height. I have received a picture, and then lost it. Again I fixate until the flame grows to an abnormal height. Flickering, I can see a long face, with twin horns on the head and a goatee on its chin. Below the two eyes a mouth opened and leers at me – the Devil.
“Yes,” it answers my mind, “You called me forth.”
“I don’t want the Devil,” I whine.
The others jump up and gather around me.
“Who are you talking with?” Dave’s voice wavers.
My concentration broken, the vision disappears.
“Did you guys see the flame grow?” I asks.
“Just blowing in the wind.”
“You didn’t see it grow to twice the candle’s height?”
“No way, man. You been doing acid too much?”
“I’ve never done it. But I saw the Devil’s face in the flame.”
“No, man. Let me concentrate again. I’ve seen it twice already.”
“Okay. Shut up you guys,” Dave says, his serious expression exposing his worry.
I fixate on the candle again. As it flickers, I feel myself drawn closer even though I haven’t moved. The flame grows. Again I see the leering face, now with horns and a goatee.
“I’m still here,” it states.
“What do you want?” I ask, barely hearing the others hushing themselves to keep quiet.
“That’s my question. You brought me out. What is it you want?”
“Nothing. I don’t want anything from the Devil.” I hear Dave’s sharp intake of air but it barely touches me. The flame flickers down but grows again.
“You know what my powers are, yet want nothing?”
“I know there’s a price.”
“But what’s my protection worth without a price?”
“I don’t need protection.”
“I am here when you need me.”
The flame abruptly shrinks to its regular height. And I lean back out of the trance.
“What happened?” Dave breathlessly asks.
“The Devil said he’d protect me.”
“Is that good or evil?”
“I guess evil.”
“Then did you accept his help against good?”
“I didn’t accept anything He just said I know how to get him back.”
“Good. Your soul’s safe,” Dave concludes.
Everyone just stares at me. Robby had given me a couple of joints, so I light one and soon we relax. I’m confused by my vision which includes what I, a non-religious type, call the boogeyman. I figure it’s the pot which makes me susceptible to all these religious, pagan and traditional ideas which fascinate Robby, Dave, and Mary. I wonder where Robby is, when he comes stumbling out of the garage.
“Go to her, man,” he tells me. “She won’t speak to me.”
I start questioning him, but he drags me to the garage. Once inside, I see Mary lying on the floor, stripped of her clothes, mumbling incoherently.
“You raped her,” I accuse him.
“She’s my girlfriend, you idiot.”
“So what? You still raped her. Look at her. She hasn’t a clue what’s going on.”
“She’s the Lover of the Mother. She needs love. I tried to have sex, but she rejected me,” he half-cries.
Mary is still in her own world. Her eyes are searching blindly into her imagination. Then she calms down and smiles. I sit and hold her hand. Instead of trying to direct her, I let her take me into her own world. I close my eyes and try to imagine what she is experiencing. Taking my hands, she places them on her large, exposed breasts, having me squeeze and stroke the nipples. It’s not an unpleasant task. Suddenly, I’m pulled away. Robby jerks me to my feet, as I open my eyes.
“You fuck, that’s my girlfriend.”
“Then you make love to her,” I tell him. “Just close your eyes and let her take the lead.” I push him toward her. He sits with her, but soon they are struggling on the ground. Robby won’t let her lead in lovemaking. It’s so typical of him. He tells me to get out, which I’m glad to do.
Outside, everyone is relaxed from the pot, anticipating the trip to come that night. They ask if Mary and Robby are okay. I tell them she is teaching him how to make love, so we should stay out of the garage. Dave and Jazz pull their white robes over their heads and run around pretending they are ghosts.
We all go to my house to eat and finally return to Jace’s garage as it gets dark. In the twilight, we can see kids in their costumes, trick or treating, reassuring us that all we experienced is normal. I’m not sure who to worry about more, Robby or Mary. As soon as it’s fully dark, they both appear in their robes. He gets us into a single file. We walk to the deserted graveyard, me leading with a candle in my hands. Following me is Mary, holding the bowl of blood, spit and belladonna. Next comes Robby, with his sickle. The rest of the group all hold lit candles. Once we reach the tombstones and crypt, a circle forms around Mary, Robby, and me. Waiting until we were perfectly still, Robby begins another incantation, mixing English and magic words. He motions for me to sit in front of Mary. Taking a handful of the concoction, he stuffs it into my mouth. It tastes bitter and the thought of blood and spit makes me want to puke. He holds my mouth shut until I swallow.
“Spirits of the other world, Mael, God of Night, God of the Oak, and Great Mother, hear our cries as we beseech thee,” he prays. Then directing the others, a cacophony of cries and howls are screamed by the circle around me.
“Send a vision to our White One. Connect him to the spirit world. Through the divine blood he has received, let him pass the barrier of death and be one with the spirits that guide us.”
More howls and screams ring out, as I sit perfectly still in the circle.
“Let all the followers of this Druid tribe taste the divine blood, connect with the spirits, and help draw the spirits into our seer of visions.”
Robby leads Mary to each robed figure, taking a handful of the elixir and sticking it into their open mouths. After swallowing, the initiates howl or scream. When it comes to Dave’s turn, Robby invokes ‘the father, the son and the holy ghost,’ causing Dave to choke on his unholy Eucharist. All Dave can utter are low moans, not howls or screams. His moans are more eerie than the full-throated screams and howls. At this point, I have full use of my senses, including a clear memory of the events. Soon my perception changes to a more dream-like state. I remember the group dancing around me. As if by some outside direction, I snap my eyes open. Instead of sitting on the ground, I float above the group, yet I see myself still sitting in the circle. I’m in a dream, but I’m hearing the others as they surround me. This split perception breaks when I hear the guardian spirit speak to me. Looking into the trees, I see him on his familiar branch.
“Break free of this world,” he calls to me. “Leave this world of hurt and pain.”
He motions for me to follow him. My head is spinning, but once I lean toward him, my sight blacks out. I feel that I’m falling into a deep well. That sensation fades. I know I’m moving through a light-less tunnel. There is no up, down, or sideways. My guardian is gone; no wispy ghost; no reassuring voice. I’m alone and still moving. At last, I sense wispy arms of clouds moving with me, probing my body as it fall, then holding me by an arm, leg, and under my head. My motion slows to a stop. The probing continues, yet it was without intelligence. Suddenly I feel my arms and legs being pulled in opposite directions, trying to separate from my body. Before ripping apart, I exert my will to draw away from each wispy arm. Once I break free, the falling restarts. Again the arms reach out to me. Instead of pulling away, I concentrate on the arm holding my head, tucking into a fetal position. I’m pulled rapidly in a different directions, until we stop. Checking myself I’m horrified to see my right foot and left hand wa gone, yet I can still walk and use my missing hand.
“Talk to me,” I whisper.
At the sound of my voice, light and color return. It resembles the underwater reef I explored with Scott and Stu. I’m weightless and can’t discern up from down.
“You are strongly attached to your body,” A voice booms from everywhere.
“It’s strongly attached to me.”
A great belly laugh shakes my underwater world.
“Am I inside you?” I ask, thinking of Jonah and the whale.
“No. You are we.”
Thinking about this answer, I ask, “Then why am I I?”
“Don’t you mean me?”
“Like we are me?”
“No. You are we. “
“Can we be happy, have feelings?”
The calm blue colors around me change to iridescent pinks, greens and purples. The world moves in sharp bounces, like giggles. My mood irresistibly changes to joy and hilarity. I want to contemplate what ‘m seeing, but the changes continue, without explanation.
“What is happening?”
“Life goes on.”
“You mean I’m dead?”
“You died, but we go on.”
“Who are you?”
“You are we.”
“We are Tim?”
“Names have no meaning. Had you followed your leg or hand, you would be they. They are they now.”
“Can I be they?”
“There is no they, I, or you. There is only we.”
“What about me?”
“Once you are fully we, there will no longer be past, present, or future. We will just be?”
“How do I give up time?”
“Forget your body, like you’ve forgotten your hand and leg.”
“Where is my body?”
“With your friends.”
“Are they we?”
“They will be.”
“I thought there is no future?”
“Once they are we, there won’t be.”
“Where are we?”
“There is no space and time.”
“Are we going to talk in riddles forever?”
“There is only forever.”
“But I want to be then.”
“Where my body is.”
“You shall go there as we have other things to do then talk to you.”
I’m hurtling through space again, until I suddenly reappear above the circle of white-robed Druids. But the scene is different. The forest is the same as it appeared in my original vision when we found the Grove. My friends are different. They are grown men. Mary is an old woman, almost a shrew. To my dismay, my body is no longer in the middle. It is stretched between two trees, with my arms and legs tied to separate branches. I watch in horror, as Robby, or the old Druid with a sickle, raises it, and then splits me into two halves, which fall asunder. I feel a rushing sensation dragging me back into the bottomless well. Yet the horror of what I saw done to my body drags me toward the twitching remains on the ground. With a thud, I fall to earth. Opening my eyes, I have returned to my own time, but my friends have gone from the carefully orchestrated ceremony into chaos. No one has their robes on. Their clothes are covered in dirt as they run helter-skelter, crashing into bushes and trees. Most are screaming at no one in particular. I see Robby and Mary huddled inside the crypt. I crawl in with them, but we don’t speak, just stare in wide-eyed disbelief at the scene around us. I fall back into my nightmare of death. I watch the old Druid sunder my head into pieces with the sickle. I travel to the underwater reef, which has turned into a primeval soup of surging tides, alive with prehistoric creatures and protozoan. Primitive feelings wash over me, then slow and are extinguished. I absorb the energy of stars and watch this energy flow out of me in many directions. I watch my shadow moving freely away from me. I am no more.
I wake up for good in Mary’s arms, who in turn is wrapped in Robby’s. Looking out of the crypt I see everyone else collapsed in solitary piles, exhausted from their drug-induced trances. I crawl out of the crypt in time to see two faces peering out of the undergrowth.
These are not phantom spirits, but two ten-year-olds in their Halloween costumes. They have discovered our party. Iggy burst out of the brush behind them, scooping them up under each arm and dragging them into the clearing.
“What ho, me droogies, a bit of spy-spies.”
When Robby and Mary emerged from the crypt, the boys start to scream, which awakens the others. Robby leans over my seated body and asks me what to do with the boys. All I can think of was my dream and I mumble, “Tied to branches. Split in two.”
“Grab the ropes,” Robby orders and quickly the two boys are strung up between two trees. We dance around them until Robby holds up the sickle. We chant and urge him on. Tears wae running down the boys’ cheeks. Robby holds the sickle aloft, still the group. He then cuts the boys’ costumes off, leaving them naked in their underwear. He says a deep-throated incantation.
“In the name of Mael and the Great Mother, I liberate your souls.”
He swings the sickle downward four times. With each slice, he cuts a rope that binds the boys to the trees. Both collapse at their release. In the split second it takes them to realize they are not dead, they sweep their eyes over the drug-crazed teenagers circling them. With one look at each other, they jump up and run off into the woods.
Robby gathers everyone quickly, has all the robes and candles collected, and then tells everyone to leave immediately. He wisely says we have been exposed. The cops will not be far behind. We all run across Bird Road without being hit and make for our homes.
I find Jace who looks about as worse for wear as I do and leads him to my room. I need to remember as much as possible about my trip/dream, which I relate in detail to him. He says we need to write a song about my trip. I say it should be about religion and pagan worship. Jace says we’ll call them false gods. I say we’ll be the false gods, and others can foolishly worship us; we’ll live eternally and laugh at others painful screams. Jace gets his guitar and plays a basic E chord, singing ‘We are false gods, we are false gods,’ each word a quarter note. I speed it up with double quarter notes. Dahda dahda, dahda dahda, ‘We are false gods, we are false gods.’ I jump up and sing, “We found your world so meek and blind, We stand here laughing at your kind.” Jace does an A chord slide up and down twice with eight beats. I sing another couplet, ‘We will live eternally and hear your pitiful screams, Just wait 20 years or so and you will know just what we mean.’ Jace switches back to the faster chorus, “We are false gods, we are false gods.” And repeat it over and over, until I can’t sing another note.
“Write it down, write it down,” Jace ordered. “It’s our first song other than covers.”
“Robby promised us an amp now that fucking Samhain is over.”
“Maybe not but something with a couple hundred watts to start.”
“We’ve already started. We won’t be stopped.”
“Because we’re false gods.”
“Fall to your knees.”
“You useless fleas.”
We break into hysterics. After, Jace makes me write that stupid fleas lyric as well. I sit on my bed writing. He grabs the notebook, to make sure I had copied my own lyrics exactly and throws it on the floor. He jumps me, ripping off my filthy clothes. I kiss him deep into his mouth, sucking his tongue as it thrusts in and out. What the hell, I’d let him fuck me for five minutes. The serious lovemaking can be done later. I wrap my legs around his waist, pull down his pants, and grab his dick, which is leaking pre-cum like he is ready to blow. I smeared the head against my anus. He blows about five wads of jism, as I tried to get the Titanic inside me. This is too good to be true. Once he finish, I jump on his back. With a gob of his own cum, I lubricated myself and his asshole, and mount him in one stroke. He moan so loudly, I’m sure my folks can hear what is happening. The door is locked and I wn’t stop. As I go in and out several times, he is squirming, trying to accommodate my size. I must’ve hit his prostate because the complaining moans become satisfied sighs. His dick is leaking again. I pulled his hair back to get his butt in the extended position perfect for doggy style and proceed to fuck him to quick climax, which is almost as fast as he had been. The little upward twist of my dick when it’s ready to blow must have found his prostate again because his eyes roll back into his head. I kiss him during the final thrusts, and let loose the full arsenal. I’m shaking and shivering by the time I finish. He’s ready to go again and finish what he started but went off too soon. I roll over on my back, with my dick popping as it pulls out. It reminds me that he has just been de-virginized. We don’t stop for a souvenir picture. He jumps on me fully erect. I position my legs up so my feet hang over his shoulders. He takes me as aggressively as I did him. I’m able to slow his rhythm down just a bit, so I fuck back as he thrusts into me. Looking into his faraway eyes as he mindlessly fucks me is a tremendous turn-on. Too late, I realize I have passed my point of no return and will cum before he does. I grab his head and kiss him as deeply as possible as I squeeze and rock, with the jism spraying everywhere. The look of surprise turns to determination as he hurries to catch up. It feels like I’ve died and come back to life, except I had already done that tonight. My bad habit kicks in after he finished fucking me. The next thing I know I was waking up at first light. I look over at Jace, a sleeping angel with a goofy grin, and realize I had blown fucking all night long. Then I look at us and the bed covers. Besides the jism stains everywhere, we’re covered in dirt from head to toey. It has soiled the sheets to possibly a point of no return. No regrets, I think. He stirs and opens his eyes.
“You fell asleep,” he notes.
“Yeah, that’s not best practices for mature fucking. Sorry.”
“Who gives a flying fuck about practices. We got off three times in about twenty minutes. Gotta be a record.” He grabs me and I get a morning kiss. We’re setting new firsts left and right.
“That song.” he notes. “We should change it to ‘We are fucking gods’.”
“That’s kinda a mixed message.”
“What, that we’re fags?” Another first.
“No, no. More that we’re so egotistical we think we’re god, like John Lennon.”
“He is god.”
“Maybe now we can write a sex song that’s not a love song.”
“Not yet ‘cause everything I do is to show you I love you.” Too many firsts, stop.
“How about a love song that talks about sex, but the chorus is “This is not a love song?”
“I think someone else will do that in a few years.”
“I’m still trippin’ space and time, from last night.”
“I’ve forgotten everything from before we got home (home? another first) last night”
“Stop. Before we go any further, let’s go over all the things we’ve just done for the first time. 1. Write our first song. 2. You get fucked 3. I finish before you do. 4. I die and goto Hell, in my dreams. 4. You call yourself a fag 5. You call this place home 6. You say you love me. Now I’m going to say it. If you freak out, remember you said it first. I’ve been in love with you since before I broke up with Scott. I love how we got here in our own way. That’s number seven.”
He looks at me, gets the goofy grin going, but then becomes serious.
“Well, maybe I got carried away just now, but 1. We’re going to write lots of songs. 2. I love being fucked, but don’t tell anyone 3. I like fucking until I’m done; none of that 60 minute-man shit. 4. You didn’t die, so don’t let a bad trip stop you from being the sweetest person I’ve ever known, except for Max. 4. I know what I want. If that’s being a fag, that’s fine. 5. Can I really live here? Not all the time but as much as possible; I hate my house since my dad got remarried. 6. We love each other and that will keep us together more than any rules or best practices, as you call them.”
“Man, that was a speech. I agree with everything. But we have totally gotten ahead of ourselves. I don’t think being able to say we love each other changes anything. Let’s not get all gay pride about it. If anyone asks we can tell them but let’s keep it on the down low. I know you prefer it.”
“Yeah, but I ain’t ashamed of being a fag. And I ain’t never had anyone love me before,. You gotta let me handle it. Teach me how you walk into our lives and tell everyone you’re gay, and they don’t hate or kill you.”
“I don’t hate myself, so I don’t attract the haters. Maybe I attract lovers of any sexual preference.”
”Am I a lover.”
“Come here, lover boy.’”
We kiss but cut it short because we really stink up the joint. Showering together rules.