Mummy insisted we all have a nice dinner before I flew back to Ames. Daddy said I should use the Lear Jet, so I didn’t have to go commercial. Isabelle knew exactly what I wanted. We feasted on chicken cordon bleu. I wondered if she had been sent to Paris to produce such wonderful food. Jack waited until after we had left the dining room to make his last plea to go with me. When his request was rejected, he accepted the decision without going speechless. I was relieved he wasn’t acting dumb again.
I arrived home before midnight, ready to make classes in the morning. Only the moms came, as it was a school night. After an extended weekend of LA and NYC, I was ready for normalcy. Everyone was supposedly asleep, including ‘Gator in my bed. When the moms went back downstairs, the twins piled in with us, wanting to know everything. I moaned and passed out. They had to wait until morning for the sordid details of Andy World.
All too soon, ‘Gator was shaking me awake.
“Wanna go milkin’?”
I moaned and buried my head under the pillow.
“Ol’ Bessie’s been a’missin’ y’all,” he argued.
Appealing to my heart-strings, he knew how to get me up. There’d be no sleeping in and no Isabelle’s eggs Benedict for breakfast. Bessie did seem glad to see me. We were soon back at Hyland Street for Mom’s blueberry pancakes (since I’d missed their usual Sunday morning appearance). I had brought back the Post’s Page Six celebrity photos to regal everyone with our renewed fame.
“Now I knows why y’all wears them funky britches,” ‘Gator concluded.
The moms were less sure why Jack and I frequently had to undress in public. My attention addiction was obvious for all who knew me.
Molly decided to confiscate my proof of fame, declaring, “There’s no need in advertising what you look like under your street clothes.”
We all complained, to no avail. I would have to return to class as just another student ‘aiming high.’ I promised not to mention I had returned by private jet for fear of seeming snobby. I skipped the stories of Joey’s junkie ways in favor of my hanging out at nightclubs in Hollywood and New York. The twins even knew who Joan was, from her Runaways’ fame, calling me a ‘ch ch ch cherry bomb.’
My lack of sleep fatigue had disappeared by the time we got to school.
School took on its familiar routine. Mrs. McCarthy asked me to stay after English class. She had gotten a letter from Harvard Admissions, asking for further praise and details from her recommendation letter. She was ecstatic that one of her students might go to Harvard.
“I’m not sure I’ll go, if I actually get in.”
“It’s the best university in America.”
“I know, but I only applied because John Boy is going.”
She smiled like I was the cutest thing. “Well, that is something, but you need to see all the opportunities you’ll have there. Their student drama club is called Hasty Pudding. You’ll be doing Shakespeare and other great plays”
“We call it Crème Brulee. We did Shakespeare in 11th grade.”
“I know how brilliant you are, Andy. Don’t you want to meet other brilliant students?”
I almost threw up. “Well, I may not get in. Obviously they wrote you because they are not certain I belong there.”
“I will convince them.”
I gave her a hug which produced a big smile.
“Gator was attending Spring football practice at State (just as an observer), so it was just the three of us in the band room after classes were done. We were dispirited without ‘Gator to spur us on. I told the twins about my audition at the Troubadour, where I had done some of the Triplets’ songs. Angie was mad at me for chasing Joan out of the club. I omitted that I used a hard-on to scare her away.
“She’s a star, Andy. How did you meet her?”
“I saw her smoking outside a recording studio and liked her all-leather outfit. We hit it off. My friend had a beat-up Datsun. We drove around Hollywood. She sat on my lap.”
“Did she know you’re gay?”
“It was something else that came up.”
“Ew, gross,” they both exclaimed.
“I asked her and her friends to come to my audition so I had someone to sing to.”
“How did the audition go?”
“The club owner told me to grow up – too many antics.”
Then I told them the story about Joey disappearing at the airport in New York. Their reaction reflected everyone’s poor impression of my junkie cousin.
“It’s hard to explain why he means so much to me. You think I’m wild. He’s been that way since running away to New York City when he was fifteen. If something happens to him, I’d be crushed.”
“Andy? You’ve had a boyfriend shot and killed in front of you. John Boy almost died from snake bite. Your old band had a dealer who you said OD’d from heroin. Your cousin’s sick. He’ll probably die or at best end up in jail. You’ve done everything possible to save him. Now it’s up to him. You can’t save everyone,” Angie always spoke her mind.
“Joey’s the first person I ever loved. I stopped being a self-centered kid. The world opened up to me when I no longer thought just about myself.”
“You’re so deep,” Amy reflected. “I think I know what you mean. We love you, Andy, just like you and your cousin. We were just hicks from the sticks and never thought about anyone but ourselves. Now we have ‘Gator to deal with. Thanks a lot.”
“How’s that going?” I laughed, not really wanting to know.
“You really care?”
“Maybe just that it’s good?”
“It’s crazy. He’s incredible. His heart is so big. We don’t even think about his cheerleader/girlfriend. He tries really hard to understand us. With you, he can love you like the brother he never had. With us, he tries to appreciate the twin things between us and wants to share in it.”
We lapsed into silence for a while. I picked up a guitar and ran some chords, riffing off of myself. The twins started humming before coming up with random phrases to respond to my music and their feelings about their mutual boyfriend. We created a chorus based on the old daisy children’s rhyme:
‘he loves me/he loves me not
He loves you/ he loves me not
He loves me not/he loves you
He loves you/he loves me too’
It was fun just creating a mood together.
“Just fooling around. It’s called ‘Boyfriend Confusion.’ Andy, played some of our songs at an audition in Hollywood.”
“Gonna be a star, Andy?” he casually remarked, like it was predestined.
“Naw. They told me I’s too young and needs ta grow up.”
“Ya ready for farm chores, or is ya too famous for milkin’ cows.”
“Never, but maybe’s y’all can do the muckin’ out.”
Everyone laughed and our jam session ended. Ol’ Bessie was a’waitin’ my soft hands.
My Pizza Pit manager laid down the law. I had missed so many shifts, he was thinking of hiring a replacement. I promised better attendance. I felt it was unfair to fire me from a two-hour shift – the desperation of the minimum wage worker. I liked driving around Ames and the tips were good. Spring had definitely come to the prairie. My mood lifted. When I called Jack, he was upset that I wasn’t as miserable as he was from missing me. It wasn’t the hormones, as Jace had kept him busy all night long.
“Maybe you need more beauty sleep,” I suggested. My humor was not appreciated.
By week’s end, I was comfortably back into my routine. Jack had his Regis Knight Corps at his beck and call. His appearance on Page Six had been noted by the Monseigneur at Regis. The Knights were also charged with keeping him out of further trouble. To allay his boredom, I suggested he take the Knights to the Stone family farm in Vermont. Their milking skills need not go to waste. Even Jack reported it had been fun. Jace reported that the Regis boys were experiencing repressed attraction to their fairy charge, but no overt activity had occurred. I should think about unforeseen consequences when I send Jack off to the country with repressed ROTC cadets.
In mid-April my application to Harvard was approved. Ames High’s teachers and staff acted as if they were on a sugar high. Even students came up and congratulated me. Jack was allowed to come for the weekend. He was over the moon I had been accepted. Dad was the only nay sayer, with an annual cost over $6000 for tuition, room and board. I pointed out that he was already paying more than that in child support. What I didn’t bring up was our old argument about getting an athletic scholarship for swimming. Jack pointed out that Harvard only gave aid for those from poor families. Everyone assumed I was enthusiastic about four more years of studying. What happened to the days of the ditch pad at Jace’s garage?
Jack arrived with just one Regis Knight, Seamus, to protect him. Bessie would be pleased. Seamus had taken a shine to ‘Gator, as everyone generally did. They sat up discussing the intricacies of farming on the prairie. I was glad to sleep in on Saturday morning when ‘Gator dragged Seamus for milking. I was slightly jealous that Bessie might not even notice the difference. With no one to protect him, Jace and I made short work of fucking John Boy, our morning delight. We were making up for lost time, with an evening and now a morning fuckfest. Taking a break, we fantasized about rooming together in college. We ended up singing the Shondells ‘Love that Dirty Water.’
I hated how I had to try to be as ‘rah rah’ as Jack. Once he stopped celebrating and noticed my lesser enthusiasm, he had a Jack minor meltdown. I assured him that it was still months away and I would be perfectly happy as long as we were together.
“You’re just doing it for me,” he sniffed.
“I could always go back to Florida when I’m 18 and go to junior high with Tommy.”
He gave me a dirty look. Then he laughed, “Tommy’s still in junior high?”
“He just turned 15. What’d ya think?”
“I thought he was my big rival.”
“You made me be so mean to him. He felt abused.”
“Good,” never one to forget a grudge.
We showered and went down for breakfast. ‘Gator and Seamus were already tucking into eggs, bacon and biscuits with gravy.
“How’s ol’ Bessie?” I asked.
“Didn’t miss y’all one bit,” Seamus was picking up a drawl. “’Gator here told me a chicken joke. Wanna hear it?”
‘Gator looked uncomfortable, so naturally we had to hear his farm joke.
“Ethan, a chicken rancher, decided it was time to replace his old rooster who was not keeping the hens fully satisfied.”
The moms quickly left the dining room to finish cleanup in the kitchen.
“That old rooster’s name was Red. The first day a young rooster arrived, old Red challenged him to a race around the barnyard to prove who was the fittest. Red quickly got out into the lead but as they approached the hallway mark, Red was tiring. Just as he passed the Ethan’s porch, ‘BAM,’ the young rooster was blown away by a shotgun blast. The next four days, new roosters appeared. Old Red raced the young studs, and each day ‘BAM’ Ethan blew away the new bird.
“I ain’t buying no more roosters from that Perdue Ranch,” Ethan complained. “They’s ain’t got nothin’ but faggot roosters trying ta git at my old rooster, Red.”
The girls and I burst into giggles and laughter. ‘Gator was relieved we didn’t take offense. Jack looked distressed at the anti-gay joke. I punched him on the arm.
“Just think ‘bout ol’ Robert Maplethorpe chasing ya ’round the Dakota.”
Now, Seamus finally figured out that it wasn’t the Baptists he had to defend Jack from.
“I’m sorry,” he apologized. “I didn’t know.”
Jack laughed. “Don’t tell the Monseigneur. We’ll all be in trouble.”
“I likes ya, Jack. Jist not in that way.”
“Well, we won’t tell Monseigneur ‘bout ya bein’ sweet on ol’ Bessie, either.”
Seamus’s hair and complexion turned even redder.
‘Gator had organized the first barn party of the year that Saturday night, to show the ‘real’ Iowa to the New Yorkers. We agreed to perform an acoustic set by The Triplets Plus 1, with special guest, John Boy. ‘Gator promised to keep his drumming under control, by mostly riding his high hat and snare drum. He made us promise we’d play some covers by favorite stadium rockers, like Boston, Journey, and Electric Light Orchestra. ELO’s current hit ‘Evil Woman’ was nixed by our feminist bass section as misogynistic. We agreed to ‘Don’t Bring Me Down,’ as a compromise. We put Seamus on the spot, insisting he sing one song. He chose ‘Danny Boy.’ After rehearsing all afternoon, the moms put on a barbecue dinner when ‘Gator and Seamus returned from milking. I was starting to miss Bessie. John Boy took the edge off with a quick blow job in the third floor bathroom. The girls didn’t say anything, even though I knew they knew what was up. After we were stuffed from ribs, mashed potato and coleslaw, we left for the barn party. ‘Gator and Seamus went in his truck, so they could pick up their cheerleader/comfort girlfriends. The twins drove the station wagon while John Boy and I made out in the back seat. Before it got too hot and heavy, I realized the twins were depressed that their boyfriend was off getting laid that night. No wonder they weren’t excited about our performance. We jumped into the front seat and tried to cheer them up.
“Let’s do ‘Evil Woman’ and dedicate it to ‘Gator’s comfort girl.”
“Ew, we don’t want to even acknowledge that she exists,” Angie disagreed.
“I thought you liked him working off his hormones elsewhere.”
“We’re not listening.”
John Boy and I started singing,
‘You made a fool of me, But them broken dreams have got to end.
Evil woman. Evil woman. Evil woman. Evil woman’
Songwriters: JEFF LYNNE
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
John Boy and I were bouncing up and down on the bench seat. I looked over and Angie was driving 80 miles an hour, on an unpaved back country road.
“Slow down, slow down,” we screamed.
“Then stop mocking us. ‘Gator’s lovelife is none y’all’s biznuss.”
We shut up. Angie slowed down. I guessed that their sex lives were unsatisfactory but I didn’t want to know.
Once we found the barn, we off-loaded our equipment and set up inside the circle of vehicle headlights. Instead of helping with the drum set-up, ‘Gator led his comfort girl hand-in-hand away from the crowd. We knew where that was leading. Seamus was right behind them with his girl. The four of us remained with the equipment. Lame stadium rock was blasting from several pick-up truck radios. Gator had us promising we’d play that crap.
“Let’s play those songs like we would do it – no long guitar or drum solos, no standing around like statues, and play the song fast.”
We all looked at each other and laughed.
“’Gator was told to tone down his drumming.”
“Won’t he be surprised.”
We waited for the ‘boys’ to return from their respective dates. Friends came by to say hi to John Boy, sharing beers and pot with us. I was pissed enough at ‘Gator to not care that pot meant I’d be fagging out with John Boy. He half dragged me off in a deserted direction. Once we were clear of the party, he was all over my ass, humping and grabbing me. We flopped down in a bed of alfalfa. We went at each other in our makeshift nest. I was beginning to see why people liked barn parties. I felt a twinge of empathy for the twins, but everyone else was fucking. How great is that? Jace soon appeared and offered himself as meat in our three-way sausage sandwich. We were glowing. Unfortunately, the glow could be seen by those just outside the circle of vehicle headlights. John Boy and I came quickly, causing Jace to float above us, jerking off. He glowed as he hovered. I heard whispering and murmuring converging on our love nest. Jace spotted them first. I saw him jerking it to a climax, while the looky-loos just saw a glowing ball of golden light. It suddenly exploded, with a burst of ghostly sperm. They imagined the light was shooting at them. Screaming and clawing to get away, they escaped back to the party. Jace disappeared in a puff of golden light. We put on our clothes and wandered back to the headlight circle.
“There they are. They’re alright,” the panicked teens rushed up to us. “What was it like? Was ya abducted by aliens?”
“What are you talking about?” I stopped them from touching and feeling us up.
“You both were lying naked on the ground and the flying saucer took off. Don’t you remember?”
“I don’t remember anything,” John Boy lied.
“Ya both was abducted by aliens. They must’ve wiped yer memories.”
“No way,” I shrugged. “I ain’t never seen no aliens.”
“That flying saucer took off faster ‘then I ever seen. Bet its half-way to Mars by now. Holy shit,” the ugliest boy exclaimed, jumping up and down.
The girls were in heated discussion with ‘Gator. We ran over and told them to get ready to play. The panicked kids were telling all their friends about the flying saucer and aliens. They began pointing at us.
“Y’all come over and we’ll tell ya all ‘bout it,” I yelled as we picked up our guitars.
I whispered to ‘Gator and the girls, “Purple People Eater
‘Well I saw the thing comin’ out of the sky It had the one long horn, one big eye. I commenced to shakin’ and I said “ooh-eee” It looks like a purple eater to me
It was a one-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple people eater (One-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple people eater) A one-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple people eater Sure looks strange to me (One eye?)
Well he came down to earth and he lit in a tree I said Mr. Purple People Eater, don’t eat me. I heard him say in a voice so gruff <I wouldn’t eat you ’cause you’re so tough>’
Songwriters: S. WOOLEY
© DOTSON-WOOLEY ENTERTAINMENT
Just as soon as we ended, Jace appeared above our heads as a ball of light going hundred miles an hour and swooped down on the crowd. Everyone screamed. He landed on a pick-up’s roof and proceeded to jerk off until the ball exploded with silvery ghostly sperm. After scattering, the crowd sneaked to their vehicles and took off in a cloud of prairie dust.
“What the hell?” ‘Gator was the only one not in on the joke.
“Jace made an entrance as an alien spacecraft,” Angie explained. “And stop humping Andy,” she yelled at John Boy. He stopped, looking chagrined.
’Gator looked confused, “Ya mean I jist saw Jace”
“No, “Gate. You saw the glow that happens when he makes us happy, like at Christmas.”
“He thinks it makes us happy that our friends and fans ran away like in a horror movie.”
“He was pretending to be the purple people eater.”
“How’s I gonna ‘splain it all?”
“The aliens liked our choice of songs?” John Boy suggested.
Now everyone laughed.
“That was the shortest concert ever,” ‘Gator proclaimed.
“And the most exciting,” I declared.
The twins rode home with ‘Gator, coming into the Hyland House about half an hour after John Boy and I arrived. I figured they needed to work out the hurt feelings and hormonal urges together. John Boy spilled the beans to the moms about our aborted performance. They were none too pleased about us creating more controversy with our show. I omitted explaining what Jace did to cause the silvery sperm to shoot out from his glowing ball of light. I’d have to quiz the twins to make sure they weren‘t able to see him yet. Jace was lurking about, shamed by the reactions to his pyrotechnics.
Upstairs, the six of us, including Jace, sat on the floor and reflected on the stunt he had pulled.
“We can’t tell anyone what really happened,” I laid down the law.
“What did happen? I can guess why people saw you two naked in the field.”
“Splendor in the grass,” John Boy quoted Wordsworth. “nothing can bring back the hour.. of glory in the flower.”
“What made Jace start glowing?” Amy asked.
“He gets all happy when we’re all having sex,” John Boy was direct.
“Y’all? Like all three of you? How’s that work?” Angie jumped in.
“He’s forever 15. He can’t help hisself.”
“You have sex with a ghost?”
“We all can feel him. I had to let him fuck me for 24 hours non-stop so I can see him like Andy does.”
“Too much information, John Boy,” I stopped him.
‘Gator was speechless for once. It was barely midnight but we were ready to sleep. He went right in with the twins, leaving John Boy to share our bed alone with me. That is, until Jace popped up, glowing from his space alien impersonation. He had even made his skin appear purple.
“You are so juvenile,” John Boy observed.
“He’s been 15 for two years. Don’t get judgmental,” I chastised John Boy.
Jace turned from purple to blue.
“I cain’t ever be growed up,” he lamented.
“We don’t wants y’all ta ever change,” I declared. “We loves ya jist the way ya is.”
“But you two are already changing, goin’ ta Harvahd in a few months. John Boy was quoting Romantic poetry to the twins.”
“You’re learning right along with us. How’d y’all knows Wordsworth’s a Romantic.”
“I don’t knows, and I ain’t goin’ to class ta find out.”
“Y’all kin teach us’n how to have ghost sex. Yer dick feels like silk when ya puts it in me,” John Boy tried to mollify Jace.
“Ya mean like this,” and Jace pulled out a semi-hard-on. John Boy had a full hard-on to match. I moaned and rolled over. It was my turn to be fucked. With Jace in my mouth and John Boy up my ass, I was fully occupied jerking myself as they went at me. John Boy took my hands off my dick and gave me a full reach around. I reached behind and, gripping his hips, pulled him fully into my ass on every thrust. My tongue was wrapped around Jace’s straining dick. Looking up at the ghostly face fucker, I recognized from his faraway look that he was heavily into the blow job. The tell tales signs told me he was close to exploding down my throat. I spun him around and mounted his humping ass, dragging John Boy down on top of us. The change put John Boy over the edge. My ass was milking the blasts of orgasmic sperm while I went at the now post-coital Jace. I thought about milking Bessie to keep myself from going over the edge. With my hands firmly holding John Boy’s hips against my butt, his dick never went down but was shaking with the over-stimulation to his depleted sperm bank. He squirmed to break my grip, until he relaxed and realized he was ready to go again. As he regained his fuck-ability, I pushed him from my ass. Without a hesitation he rolled around me and took Jace’s head by the ears, pulling him to his knees and thrusting his revived member into waiting lips. John Boy and I kissed long and deep as we continued to vigorously fuck Jace from both ends. Our frenching tongues became desperate as we reached a simultaneous climax. My reach around brought Jace off again. He had always been persistent but quick. We collapsed in an exhausted fuck bundle. Only then, did we hear the multiple moans coming from the twins’ bed room. The pitch of moans was not at ‘Gator’s masculine bass level. We all laughed that no one had missed out on the night of the first barn party of 1976. All three of us started singing the Stones’ ‘Satisfaction.’
The other room joined in. Two three-ways simultaneously on the third floor confirmed mutual satisfaction. Just as I settled back to fall asleep, I realized we hadn’t seen Seamus, the Regis Knight, since before the flying saucer incident. I banged on the twins’ door.
“Get up. Seamus is missing.”
“I know where he is and what he’s doing,” ‘Gator laughed.
“He should be back by now,” I argued.
“Alright. Alright. I’m getting’ up,” “Gator relented.
Throwing on our clothes, the five of us rushed downstairs and out the front door.
“Stop,” John Boy ordered. “There he is,” pointing to his missing Knight, sleeping it off on the porch divan.
‘Gator shook him awake. “Why ya out here, boy? Y’all scared the daylights outta us’n.”
“I dunno,” was all Seamus could say.
“Maybe he got abducted by the space aliens,” John Boy couldn’t help creating drama. “What do you remember, Shame? How’d ya get here?”
“Last I remember was floating away on a cloud with that girl.”
“Her name is Cindy,” ‘Gator said sharply.
“Yeah, Cindy. Well, I don’t remember anything else,” he admitted.
I figured he had conveniently forgotten what he otherwise would have to confess.
“Ya don’ts remember no space ship and aliens?” ‘Gator pressed the guilty one.
“Just being woke up by you, ‘Gator. Is it time to go milking?”
We walked him to his room on the second floor. At least, we didn’t have to explain all the moaning and groaning that had happened earlier up on the third floor.
Sunday morning with Mom’s blueberry pancakes was a good way to start the week. ‘Gator and Seamus came back from milking in time to eat their fair share. Even church was tolerable. Seamus, John Boy and I went to Catholic services early, back in time to sing with First Baptist’s choir. Seamus had recovered enough to be on high alert about the Baptists. Cindy his comfort girl attended, making him feel even more sinful, when she smiled and waved to him. Baptists are so forgiving.
Rumors of John Boy and me being abducted were forgotten after ‘Gator told everyone it was Seamus who had been taken into the flying saucer and later left on the Hyland House porch. Seamus was even interviewed by the local newspaper when we were trying to eat our Sunday dinner. The moms kept quiet, even though they were partially in on Jace’s silvery ball of light. They seemed to be relieved that neither John Boy nor I were the center of attention.
The Lear had to be back at Teterboro Airport for a Sunday night trip. It meant John Boy and his Knight had to leave shortly after midday dinner. The hubbub about aliens was getting old. I worried that we would reap what we had sown in the minds of country folk. I couldn’t quite say it was all in good fun. Seamus was sticking to his story that he remembered nothing. When Cindy came with us to the Ames Airport, he barely could look at her – Catholic guilt runs deep, especially when someone plans to lie in the confessional. ‘Gator explained to Cindy that all New Yorkers are snobby.
“Look at John Boy,” he pointed to our co-conspirator.
We hugged at the gate after stealing kisses in the Men’s room. He finally accepted that Tommy was really too young for me. He agreed with my scheme to send Jace, the permanent 15-year-old, to Florida in order to cheer up my own personal Tom Sawyer. It was a plan that made the three of us sad. I feared I was out-growing Jace. I promised he could come to Harvard with us in the Fall. I called Tommy, who was pouty from my not calling him enough (like never). He complained that he didn’t want no ghosts in his life.
“Just see how it goes. He’ll love ya if’n y’all gives ‘im a chance.”
“I gots plenty of chances fer sex. I only wants you, Huck.”
“It’s only until I turn 18 in July,” I still was living day-to-day. July was months away. Harvard was not even on my radar. Jack even talked civilly with Tommy, telling him why he was called John Boy in Iowa. They almost bonded. Just what I needed – two boyfriends and a ghost.
Their leaving early meant I got time to spend milking Ol’ Bessie. She totally ignored me, obviously missing Seamus, the new kid in town.
I didn’t care. She was my Bessie, a true bossie, not quite me bonnie lassie. Maybe I was high from not being sad seeing John Boy go home. She needed me to milk here dry. ‘Gator just smiled, knowing I was so happy. He never suspected it was from a blow job in the bathroom, but he knew I was okay. Angie took some convincing that I wasn’t about to have a meltdown or nervous breakdown. I guess it was nice she cared so much, but too much brings you down. I worried that she would miss the chance to be happy by not recognizing it coming down the road. When I went off to deliver pizza, she finally accepted I was okay as well. Amy never doubted it.
“Hey, Amy. I fixed the Tommy problem with John Boy,” I confided with her. “We sent Jace to rid ‘im of his sexual frustrations. They’re both 15 now. Tommy even talked nice to John Boy.”
“You’re being evil. He’s just a boy.”
“So’s Jace. He’s trapped in a 15-year-old’s body. They’s perfect fer each other.”
She laughed. “That’s so true.”
TOMMY’S NIGHT OF HORROR
“Ol’ Huck done it agin,” Tommy murmured to himself. “I don’t need no ghost to make me happy.”
“I’s goin’ out,” he shouted to Auntie Em, as he ran out the door. It was late, but he knew where friends were smoking dope and hanging out. He wanted to stop obsessing on Huck. It always brought him down. The old cemetery off Dixie Highway in North Lauderdale was the regular spot.
Soon he was kicking back with four boys his age and a couple of girls, who didn’t smoke but liked hanging out with the boys. One girl, Tray, was talking non-stop to his left ear. He was high and had stopped listening. They’d had sex, a couple of times. It wasn’t bad, just not as intense as when he did it with Huck.
“Damn, I’s getting’ ta be a total fag,” he thought. “Maybe I just need to practice more, like when I’s 14 and always cum too soon around Huck. Hell, all Huck had ta do was sound sexy and I instantly came. I’s too lame ta control my dick.”
“Com’n Tray, let’s go explore this here cemetery.”
“Weirdo,” one of his nameless friends remarked, winking at Tommy to show he knew what was up.
He grabbed Tray’s hand and they wandered away from the group, walking between the falling down tombstones.
“It ain’t likely they kin feel me.”
“It’s like disrespectful,” she answered.
“Hows ’bout we do it, right here, on top of a grave?” Tommy teased her.
“Ew, that’s sick.”
“I knows y’all wants it.”
“It’s too scary. I want ya ta be romantic.”
“I’ll shows ya romantic,” Tommy draw her into his arms and frenched her deep and hard, his tongue thrust in synch with his mildly humping hips. He put both hands on her booty and drew her in tight.”
“Oh, Tommy,” she squeaked. “That feels so good.”
“Let’s lay down.”
“I said I ain’t doin’ it on a grave.”
“Over here, then. It’s just open grass.” Tommy kissed her cheek and licked her bottom lip, just as Huck always did. Her breathing sped up, causing him to pant.
The grass felt cool but dry as they lay down.
“Y’all gots protection?” Tray asked.
“Sure,” Tommy was breathing heavily as he pulled out the rubber he always carried.
“Let me put it on ya,” she took the condom and unwrapped it.
Tommy slid his jeans and briefs down past his knees as Tray unrolled the rubber on his stiff hard-on.
“Ouch, stop. You got it inside out. Turn it over so it rolls down easy.”
“Y’all’s so big. I cain’t do it.”
“Here,” he took the partially unrolled rubber. “I’ll do it,” as he laughed about being called big. He knew what big really was.
“Damn, I ain’t ‘sposed to be thinking ‘bouts ol’ Huck,” he chastised himself.
With the rubber fully on, he went to work on Tray’s pussy. He knew girls liked it when he went down on them. “Ain’t not different from a blow job, ‘cept it don’t require choking on a shaft halfway down yer throat,” he thought. Again he was thinking about dick. Shit.
Tray’s squirming and heavy breathing captured his full attention. She was ready. Just as he was about to slip it in, a funny feeling came over him. It was like he was being watched.
“Damn, perverts,” he thought. “They must’ve sneaked after us. Well, I’ll jist give ‘em a show.”
His dick slid all the way past her labia and deep into her warm, wet pussy. He started a slow and steady rhythm, perfect for not cumming too soon. Deep inside her, he got on his knees, pulling her ass off the grass for deeper penetration. Tray was huffing and puffing on her way to the first orgasm.
“I bets I kin makes her cum four times, jist like ol’ Huck told me he did with Jack-off.” Tommy thought. “Shit, I cain’t stop thinkin’ ‘bouts ‘im.”
Tommy’s ass started pulsing, just from the thought of Huck. He wanted to be fucked himself, even while he was pumping away with Tray. He moaned in pleasure but also regretted he needed dick so badly.
Jace had been watching this porno scene for some time. He could read all of Tommy’s thoughts and feelings. The moment was right for Teen Jesus to save the boy’s conflicted soul. Poised on his knees behind Tommy’s pumping butt, he bent down and started licking the puckering butthole in front of him.
“Ah, ah,” Tommy moaned as he imagined Huck was making his asshole feel so tingly and excited. He thrust fully into Tray, holding himself there as the butt licking he was receiving massaged his hole and made him relax. Pulling back he felt as if a tongue was entering his anal cavity. He arched to receive it, fully pulling his dick out of Tray. She screamed in need of the missing dick. He reentered her, thrusting deeply as Jace followed him downward, tongue moving inside Tommy with slight, rapid thrusts. It was more than Tommy could take. Out of control, Tommy’s dick filled the condom with bursts of teen sperm. Tray could feel the shots through the condom and arched with her second orgasm. Jace waited until Tommy’s bursts slowed, then removing his tongue, thrust his straining dick fully up Tommy’s ass.
“Oh, oh oh, ouch, oh, ah, ah,” Tommy couldn’t stop from screaming until his initial resistance to the stiff dick was overcome by the pleasure it was causing. He remained deep inside Tray, writhing in pleasure from the penetration. Tray was the receiver to this hail Mary pass. She had cum when Tommy was simultaneously exploding inside her. Now she came a third time as he kept pumping with a dick that refused to go limp. Jace grasped Tommy’s shoulders to pull himself into the boy’s body as he thrust deep into his ass. Jace was on auto pilot until he reached his own orgasm. Just as he began to cum, he pulled out, leaned back on his knees and sprayed ejaculate over Tommy’s back, head, and onto Tray’s startled face. Wide-eyed she only saw a wispy white glow with a flood of ghostly drops flying over Tommy’s back and falling directly on her. The drops burst the second they hit her.
Tray screamed and pushed Tommy’s writhing body off of her.
Trying to get up and run, she tripped over her half-undone jeans. Screaming and shaking, she ran away, pulling on her clothes.
Tommy continued to writhe, deep into his final orgasm, unaware that Tray had run off,. Jace was stroking Tommy’s butt with his fingers while deep inside him. Finally, the writhing stopped, replaced by shaking and shuddering, until he was still. Jace lay down and cuddled the fucked-out boy.
“I needed that, I so needed that,” Tommy mumbled.
“I guess,” Jace answered.
“What?” Tommy was startled. Realizing he was being held and cuddled, he freaked and jumped up.
“Who’s here?” he demanded.
“Its Jace. Tim sent me. Ask him in your heart to trust me.”
All the negative thoughts of violation, anger, and resistance, disappeared when Tommy thought of his Huck. For the first time, he wanted Jace to be real.
“Ya scared me,” Tommy whispered. Then he laughed. “Y’all scared the fuck out of Tray. That might be the most excitin’ fuck o’ her life.”
“You weren’t complainin.’”
“That was sumtin’ else. I think you raped me.”
“And you liked it.”
“But I ain’t yer bitch.”
“I’ll play bitch next time.”
“Wiseass. Y’all thinks we be doin’ that agin?”
“I know it. You loved it.”
“I jist was thinkin’ of ol’ Huck. I neva wanna do’s it wid no one else.”
“It’s him that’s in yer heart. He sent me away, just like he rejected you. Same reason – he’s got too old fer me.”
“How old are y’all?”
“Fifteen. I ain’t aged a day since I died.”
“We’s the same age?”
“That’s why Tim sent me. He’s getting too old. Going ta college an’ all.”
“Y’alls a country boy, too?’
“Naw, but I sure as shit loves country boy ass.”
Tommy laughed. “I guess I do feels y’all in my heart too.”
“I knows that. Y’all had to trust me fer y’all to feel me and hear me, as well as fuck ya.”
“I’m taking y’alls home wid me. We ain’t finished yet.”
“Bring it on, White Boy.”
“That bother you?” Jace laughed.
“Yeah. Y’all don’ts seem Black.”
“Wanna find out. I’ll fuck ya day and night and then you can see my skin color.”
“That so? I don’t care. You fucked me already. Y’all better be happy, for its never happenin’ agin.”
“Hell, if that’s what floats yer boat. Let’s go scare the crap outta yer stoner friends. Yer fuck buddy thought she saw a zombie. Think y’all can play a zombie for them?”
Tommy thought about it and smiled. “Why not?” He roughed up his shirt and jeans, smearing dirt on them, on his face and in his hair. He approached the stoner group with his arms held out in front and a dead look on his face.
Tracy was frantically telling the group what she thought she had seen. Tommy approached her from behind.
“Shit. It’s Tommy,” one of the boys screamed at a high pitch. “He got turned into a zombie, too.”
They scrambled to get up and run away. Tracy whirled around, shrieking and falling into a dead faint at the sight of the possessed Tommy. Tommy picked her up as if to carry her away. One boy turned around to save her. Jace grabbed a fallen branch and started beating the rescuer, who only saw a waving branch flying at him. Tommy let go of Tracy, who was dragged away by the terrified rescuer. As the stoners disappeared into the darkness, Tommy and Jace fell into a hysterical heap, hugging each other and gasping for breath.
Finally calming down enough, Tommy realized he was hugging something he couldn’t see. Momentarily as frightened as his friends, he pushed Jace away.
“Y’all didn’t enjoy it?” Jace asked.
“Same as y’alls.”
Tommy laughed. “I guess. How’s I gonna ‘splain it all tamorra?”
“Too much pot.”
“Ya got that right. I ain’t tellin’ I’s got a ghost livin’ with me?”
“That mean I kin stay?”
“Yeah, but I ain’t lettin’ ya fuck me ‘til I’s fucked y’all a bunch.”
“How’s y’all gonna fuck someone ya cain’t see?”
“I gots the magic dick,” Tommy bragged.
“That’s what Tim always says.”
“I caught it from ‘im.”
“I hear that’s not all ya caughts.”
“What that ol’ boy say ‘bouts our summer tagetha?”
“Don’t know nothin’ ‘bout that. Jist that he locked me outta his heart when y’all was in juvie.”
“Ol’ Huck was my hero the second I met ‘im there. He beat up three bullies the first night. The next night he let another bully fuck him so my friend ‘scaped. Then he turned the tables and fucked the hell outta the bully ‘til he yelled ‘Uncle.’”
“Y’all liked that?”
“I turned faggot then and there. I creamed my pants. I love him. He rescued me time and agin. Even beat down my older brother when he came to bust us in hospital. That’s how I ended up with my foster parents.”
“He beat up my older brother, too. That’s why I died. Jeff gots a gun and shot me.”
“It was ol’ Huck’s fault?”
“Naw. He’s jist defendin’ me. He’s my hero, too.”
“And he sent y’all to me. I thinks I rilly likes ya.”
Jace popped into view.
“Y’all ain’t Black,” Tommy observed. “I thoughts I hadda let ya fuck me to see ya.”
“I was just joshin’ ya. All y’all needed was to trust me, then love me. I’m glad y’all kin see me now. Y’all kin be pretty hard-hearted.”
“Stubborn as a mule.”
“Naw, fuckin’ gay.”
“Ya givin’ up girls?’
“Let’s git home and settle that in the bedroom.”
“Let’s write our own adventures. ‘Hillbilly Brothers, fuck all the others.’”
Tommy was pretty burned when he got home, falling asleep in Jace’s arms before anything could start between them. Jace spent the night, with no urgent Teen Jesus calls to answer. In the morning, Tommy sulked when Jace refused to go to school with him. All his plotted out zombie antics needed an invisible partner to bewitch his friends and enemies. Jace feigned he needed his sleep. Once Tommy left, he caught up on less urgent Teen Jesus tasks. Jace returned and waited for Tommy to get home from school. The boy was so horny thinking about Jace at school all day, it took two blow jobs to calm him down.
Lying on their bed, Tommy asked, “What’s we gonna do tanight?”
“Let’s go visit my old band. I gots payback due on Robby fer tryin’ to rape Jack last year. Michael’s his best friend. He kin see me. We all kin pay ol’ Robby a visit and fuck ‘im up. Ya knows enyone wid a car.”
“There’s ol’ Vic from the Sawgrass Campground. He got ta play wid yer band when I’s momentarily laid up in hospital. He’s 23 but still cool. I’ll call ‘im.”
Vic was up for it. Soon he was driving Tommy to Coral Gables down I-95. Jace rode along without Vic being aware he was there. Tommy had to ride pussy, which pleased homophiliac Vic, who slung an arm around the boy.
They banged on Michael’s back door. Jenna and he answered. They both rushed to Jace, Jenna hugging him and Michael pounding him on the back. Vic was totally confused; Tommy said he’d explain later.
“How’d you end up with ol’ Vic and Tommy? I thought you were hand-cuffed to Tim for life.”
“He sent me to Tommy ‘cause he’s also 15. I ain’t aged since I died.”
“Never get ta be 16?”
“It sucks. Tim’s goin’ to Harvahd in the Fall. So I’m bonding with Tommy ‘cause he’s my age.”
“We wants to start back up the Hillbilly Brothers,” Tommy made it known what he wanted.
“You can try talking the Out Crowd members into going country. They’re your age. They’ll be here later.”
“We gots biznuss with ol’ Robby first. We needs ya to get us into his house.,” Jace declared.
“You want me to set him up for a beat down? He is my friend.”
“He don’t deserves it?”
“A little payback may be a good thing.”
“Let’s go, then.”
“Y’all gots ta pull yer punches. Tim and I did this ta git our dicks hard,” Jace whispered to Tommy.
“I ain’t fuckin’ ‘im.”
“No, but we shure is fuckin’ him up. Jist play along.”
Michael got us past Robby’s mom. We burst into the bedroom. Robby was still in his arm-chair lording it over a collection of 14 to 15-year-olds. Nothing ever changes in Stonerville. Robby recognized Tommy but was unsure if the older Vic was an undercover cop or not.
“What’s you want, boy. You still Tim’s reject.”
“Jist another reason ta fuck y’all up,” Tommy jumped into Robby’s face. He made air punches at Robby while remaining out of his reach. Jace swatted Robby every time Tommy swung at him.
Maybe Robby failed to ‘maintain’ that day, looking dazed and confused at the blows that were falling down on him.
Michael couldn’t help himself and threw mock blows alongside Tommy. Jace doubled his frenzy, slapping and pushing the confused Robby. The junior stoners scattered to the room’s corners, expecting another Robby magic freak show.
“Ya want me. Ya still want me,” Tommy yelled at Robby. The punching had excited the bulge in his jeans. He grabbed and started humping Jace, who continued the faux beat-down on Robby. Michael and Jenna could see Jace and decided they didn’t need to watch the two 15-year-olds go at it. They grabbed the confused Vic and left the scene. Vic had the presence of mind to grab an unlighted joint for later.
“We’re going back to the music room. These boys are going to get the Out Crowd to play some country, if you’re coming,” Michael informed Robby, who continued to duck and cover up from blows he couldn’t see coming. Jace pulled Tommy away and followed him to Vic’s truck, where they jumped into the bed, continuing to hump each other.
“That ain’t the sweet little brother I remember from last summer,” Vic noted.
“Ya ain’t seen the half of it,” Michael laughed. Jenna was studiously trying to avoid watching the fag scene in the truck’s bed.
Back at Michael’s, the Out Crowd was setting up for their rehearsal. Dave looked up from the drums and nodded to Michael, his mentor.
“Who’s your friend? He looks our age,” Dave asked, nodding at Tommy.
“This is Tommy. He’s Tim’s old boyfriend from juvie. I met him in Iowa at Christmas.”
“Hey,” Dave walked over. “So, yer a fag, too.”
“Jist when’s I’s with Huck. I calls Tim Huck, ‘cause we’s Tom & Huck, livin’ large in the Everglades.”
“Well, I ain’t a fag, even though I work in a fag underwear shop.”
“Yup. Jist like Tim’s. But I ain’t into underwear, so there’s no worry fer y’all.”
Everyone laughed. John had been tuning the fender Mustang. He looked over his shoulder to see why everyone was laughing. He dropped the guitar, creating an amplified crash.
“You kin see me?” Jace answered.
A confused John ran over. “Why’d everyone say you’s dead.”
“I am dead and a ghost. You jist couldn’t see me. Tim didn’t tell no one ‘cause he knew they’d think he’s crazy. Something’s changed, and now you can see me. What’s different about you?”
“Nothin’, just I really belong in the Watt family. Scott even hates me sometimes. Why did you abandon me?” he cried.
“I didn’t. Many nights I slept right next to you on the floor in Stu’s room.”
“Really? Some nights I was so relaxed and happy. Others I just felt rejected.”
“Oh, John. I never stopped bein’ yer brother.”
“Why ya talks like this, like a country hick?”
“Tim’s the country boy. Ya should hear ‘im carryin’ on.”
“He was so nice ta me. He knew, ya know, about everything with Jeff.”
“Y’all kin talk ‘bout it now?”
“Not really. I don’t wanna but it ain’t important now. I got a family that really loves me, even Scott, the dickhead.”
Stu came over. “Why aren’t you with Tim? Did you guys fight? Tim loves to fight.”
“Naw. He sent me to be with Tommy. I ain’t growed up like he done. I’ll be 15 forever. Now he has Jack and they’s goin’ off ta sum fancy college. I ain’t ever goin’ ta school agin.”
“Can ya be in the band now that we’re your age?”
“I’s here ta help Tommy. He’s Tim boyfriend from juvie.”
“Hi,” Tommy came over. “Y’all must be Stu. Yer brother usta call ya ‘Stupid.”
“I ain’t stupid. Tim was my big brother. He likes boys now?”
“We was more like brothers, livin’ large with alligators and even a panther that came at night ta hear us sing tagether.”
“Jist country music. Tim hadda pinch me to hit the high notes. We’s gots a band, The Hillbilly Brothers. We only played fer our friends at the Sawgrass Campground off Alligator Alley. Now he’s in a band wid his twins sisters in Iowa. They calls it The Triplets.”
“And he’s in Dakota with John Lennon’s son Julian,” added Jace.
“That boy can’t stop hisself from showin’ off.”
“Yeah, he played False Gods songs in a one man show in Hollywood last week, chasin’ Joan Jett from the Runaways around the Troubadour.”
“He’s playin’ our songs,” Robby piped up.
“Y’all kin hear me now?” Jace asked Robby.
“Once I stopped being pissed that you were hitting me and started enjoying the abuse, you came into focus.”
“Must mean y’all likes me,” Jace concluded. “At least likes being abused.”
“Next time I’ll wring yer scrawny neck.”
“Try it,” Jace dared him. Robby tried to grab Jace by the neck but his hands went right through the wispy ghost. Half the people laughed and several screamed. Ghostly delight.
While the reunion was going on, Vic had been setting up with a spare electric guitar. It was beat up and out of tune, just what Vic was used to. He started the leads to ‘One Toke.”
The Out Crowd kids looked at each other, and then grabbed their instruments, joining Vic. Tommy and Stu joined Mike Jr. at the mic. Jace was right there to pinch Tommy and keep the harmony sweet. Robby pulled out a joint from behind his ear, lit up and walked over to each player, providing shotgun hits. In the corner came the demanding bark from the familiar pot addict, Max. All the ghosts were there. The music stopped while Max got his shotgun hit. He rolled over with his legs wiggling in the air.
Tim’s week had been routine and easy. He explained to Dr. Kam that Jace was with Tommy in Florida.
“Do you miss him?”
“Sure thing, but I know Tommy needs someone to love, so it’s okay.”
“So your answer is that you do miss him?”
“Yeah, but I got lots of love from my family, and even ‘Gator loves me. He just doesn’t think ‘bout it.”
“So you don’t miss him?”
“We have slowly moved apart. He’s still 15. I guess I’ve forgotten what that’s like.”
“You’ve grown up?”
“’Course. He’s forever in my heart, just like all those adventures and times together.”
“What’s the plan, man? Go to Harvard and go all Ivy League.”
“That what y’all thinks? I’ll be some rich bitch livin’ off John Boy’s trust fund?”
“I know you live day to day. I was still hoping we’d take that Shikoko Island pilgrimage in Japan this summer.”
“Ahso desu. Gomenasai. Yuko.”
“John Boy coming?”
“He’s already bought our kimonos.”
“Tradition dictates a white pilgrims costume with a white broad-brimmed hat. It looks like a full body diaper.”
“John Boy will be disappointed.”
“It may do him good to lose a little ego.”
“You think he’s conceited?”
“No, just self-centered.”
That night I called the selfish bastard and told him about the plans for the Japanese pilgrimage. The lack of garish dress distressed him. I told him he would be among thousands of similarly dressed pilgrims.
“Is it like the Hajj to Mecca?”
“A Buddhist version, more self-denying.”
“Am I hearing a message here?”
“Even Daddy thinks you need to be less demanding after the snake bite hysterics.”
“I was not hysterical.”
“Quite the opposite. You went speechless, your version of reverse psychology.”
“I guess you think it’d be good for me, this pilgrimage.”
“No, Jack. It’s one of those cultural experiences you wanted to pursue, like when you got locked up in a Swiss monastery.”
“That didn’t go well.”
“So, you’ve been learning Japanese. This will be a true test of your proficiency.”
“Maybe Yoko will come.”
“You decide for yourself. What are your plans for this summer?”
“God, Tim. You never plan ahead. Isn’t your credo to live only for today?”
“Well, we had to plan ahead for the Skynyrd concert.”
“That went really well.”
“Maybe we weren’t that prepared. We had never played a big venue. Our antics got out of control.”
“You mean Robby got out of control.”
“I have to agree with Dad that I set it all in motion. What if the police had shot any one of the kids in the boat?”
“Well, you’ve sure changed. Maybe Iowa makes you less exciting.”
“Let’s go to Japan together then. I met one of the Runaways in Hollywood. They’re going to tour Japan this summer.”
“Do I have competition?”
“She’s hot like a firecracker.”
“Yeah, I know the song – ‘Cherry Bomb.’
“No competition. She’s too much like Joey – drugs.”
“You seem to attract the type.”
“Speaking of which, I caught up with Tom Petty there. He’s got a new band, ‘The Heartbreakers.”
“He’s too straight. How are they doing?”
“It’s tough to make it in the music business.”
“I bet he ends up living in some broken down motel, doing drugs, and waiting for success to find him. I love his songs, though.”
“Maybe we should just go to Hollywood this summer. It’s easy to make connections there.”
“Yeah. How many times did you sell your ass last weekend?”
“I was just window dressing for my friends. We had a three-way in the Pussycat Theater and afterward my friends were selling their phone numbers for hook-ups. We’ll just get you stoned and let you loose on the natives.
“You know I’ll follow you anywhere. Japan seems about as far as you can get from New York.”
“Probably as different as you can get from Iowa.”
“Always aiming high.”
“God, I graduate in a month. Last year I was sure I was a dropout.”
“How’s Jace doing with Tommy?”
“I haven’t heard.”
“I’ll bet Tommy won’t even know he’s there. He’s only gay for you.”
“Don’t be jealous.”
“I won that contest fair and square.”
“Tommy’s barely out of puberty. Not exactly a fair contest.”
“He had your attention all summer. I’ll go to Japan. It’ll be our ‘Summer Place.’”
After hanging up, I called Tommy to see if Jace had shown up. He was all excited about going to Michael’s and playing with the Out Crowd.
“How did you get to see Jace?”
“I was fuckin’ my girlfriend in the cemetery, but I was thinking about y’all Huck. Suddenly I was being fucked in my back door. It felt so good. ‘Cept it weren’t you. Jace cummed all over Tray and me. She thought he was a zombie. We scared the fuck outta my stoner friends. We bin havin’ a’ventures ever since. He’s my age, ain’t he. It’s jist like we was last summer. He gots yer sense of a’venture.”
“Sounds like he may stay there.”
“Oh yeah. He likes being with kids his age, like me. We’s partners. I ain’t lettin’ ‘im fuck me agin ‘tils I’s fucked him day and night.”
“Maybe y’all kin see him then.”
“Oh, I see and hear ‘im alright. He acted at first like he’s Black, which didn’t make me so happy. He showed me hisself then. He’s rilly cool.”
“Ain’t missin’ me?”
“I always love ya Huck but yer right, best when the other guy’s my age. We’s blazin’ red rockets on the 4th o’ July.”
By the time I got upstairs for bed, ‘Gator was sound asleep. I tucked in with him and he pulled me close with an arm around my chest. He hadn’t told me about his progress with the twins. I knew it was all good. All my friends were happy. I fell asleep quickly. I woke up at dawn, alone but sure that ‘Gator would soon be up to take me milking. Ol’ Bessie was the only one who loved me exclusively, at least, now that Seamus was gone. Our hearts grow large but seldom stay true to just one. I allowed myself a few tears for sending Jace away. I wanted to blame Jack for being so possessive. Maybe he was just being normal, a concept foreign to me.
I told Dr. Kam that week about missing Jace.
“You were the one to suggest he go to Tommy.”
“It was a neat solution to two problems.”
“Hooking up your two spurned lovers? Did you think it was a simple solution.”
“They’re happy, it seems.”
“Why are you complaining? Was Jace going to Harvard with you and John Boy?”
“He complained and said he wasn’t going to ever take classes.”
“So the only tradeoff is you miss him already?”
“We were so in love at 15. I’ll never feel that way again.”
“They say ‘you can never go home again.’ Maybe it means you can never be that young and innocent again.”
“You’re right, as always. I’ll get over missing him eventually.”
“Why can’t he come visit when you want him?”
I thought about it. Was that depriving Tommy of his new best friend, Casper, the Friendly Ghost?
“Maybe I can let him know to come to me when we miss each other. Our heart’s will never be apart.”
“Ask him to come mix it up on our Shikoko Pilgrimage. It will be pretty boring a lot of the time.”
“He’ll love the communal baths. Maybe he can get a Kabuki costume to wear. He’s still wearing the clothes he had on when he died.”
“You figure that out and you may be visited by other ghosts with fashion problems.”
‘Gator found me singing to Bessie as she contentedly was milked.
“Y’all gonna hook up any of t’other the cows? I swears, yer lovin’ Bessie makes me think you’ve got perverted thoughts ‘bout my milkers.”
“I’s only gots eyes fer her,” I swore.
“Com’n with me. Y’all gots ta up yer game. Yer ready to deal with less contented cows.”
He led me to another section of the milking barn. The cows looked at me suspiciously. My lazy, hazy, crazy days with Bessie were over.