Jack and I went to Out & Proud all week after band practice. Felix was right. We were a draw. Soon all we had to do was autograph underwear. We were making a hundred bucks apiece. Pre-teen girls should never be given credit cards. Jack was a total exhibitionist, giving girls a private show as he tried to decide what colors and patterns he preferred. I finally told him it turned me on to see him wearing the same style I always wore. Jace signed that I was lying.
“Are you lying,” Jack asked. Now they were thinking alike. Probably because Jace was fucking him constantly. It kept Jack busy at night. He always returned the favor with me. I was enjoying his wiggle waggle hose dick that tickled my prostate just right. Whenever we started making out, he kept his eyes firmly shut. He continued to not wonder how I could fuck him in two place simultaneously. He was in seventh heaven. He didn’t want to jinx it by thinking too much. Good advice. Jace kept an eye on Robby with Max providing max-lovin’ to get him motivated, if multiple bong hits with a dog was motivation. I told Mr. Clark about our fight and asked him to visit him to beg him to come back for the performance that weekend. He was thrilled to do a home visit. I could only hope he survived Robby abuse. Sure enough Robby appeared the next day. I totally avoided him, which suited him fine.
Robby avoided making eye contact with Jack. Otherwise our performance director was back. He said nothing about the musical changes I had made and Jack singing his lines. At Nutrition I kept Jack near me, while Robby regaled the other boys about the heroic exploits that laid him up. What crap.
Finally at band rehearsal, he approached me.
“Still want to kill me?” he taunted, while everyone watched.
“I guess I owe you an apology,” he admitted.
“No, you owe Jack, but if you go near him I will kill you,” and I gave him my best Clint Eastwood dead-eye look.
“Tell him I’m sorry.”
“No. He doesn’t care. If you want me to care, you better change your ways.”
I grabbed Jack, and we went to Out & Proud early. It was Friday. Hippie promised to pick us up there when it was time to see his moms and go to youth group at the holy rollers church. There were more girls than ever, and even a few young boys. The boys were so cute when asking us to autograph their purchase. I asked their names and wrote ‘hang in there’ for encouragement. One boy hugged Jack, but looked nervously at me.
“Don’t I get a hug,” I insisted. I should have known he was only into Jack. I was an aging teen idol. We sang a couple of hymns. When we were asked if we had found Jesus, we admitted we were looking for him at Hippie’s church youth group that night. They all swore they’d be there with all their friends. Just then Hippie drove up with Anna. We said, “Off to find Jesus”
They yelled, “We’ll be there.”
I believed them because they all swarmed Hippie. Anna told them where and when it was.
“Hi, boys. I’ve been praying for you,” Anna greeted us. “Looking forward to tonight?”
“We’ve been practicing hymns all week with the girls. They all want to come. Maybe you can introduce them to your lost gay boys. They seem to like us especially.”
Anna was pleasantly surprised we were on her side. Hippie had his goofy grin on.
The moms were enthusiastic hosts, meeting Jack for the first time. I told them I had prayed to Jace, He had sent me Jack, who kicked me under the table. He said I was acting like Robby.
He was right. I figured all the pre-teens chasing gay boys at youth group would be enough entertainment for the night. Feeding the four of us teenagers was right up the moms’ alley. We finished off all of it, even the dump cake. Since taking the pledge, Anna had stopped trying to slim herself into teen anorexia. I enjoyed watching the country girl gorge herself.
At the church, we set up our practice amps and mics. We asked the youth leader if he minded if we played hymns for everyone. He was wide-eye with wonder that we were at his church. Of course, any thirty something unmarried male youth leader would be keeping up on pre-teen pop music. He knew all about us.
“Nothing occult, I hope,” he worried.
“I had to beat up that satanic boy for trying to pervert Jack. He’s been kicked out of False Gods.”
“Does your name mean you accept Jesus as the only true God.”
“It’s more about people putting themselves up on the altar.”
“That’s very interesting.”
“We’re here to learn from you. When do you want us to sing?”
“Can you do a hymn at the beginning; then some gospel to get the kids clapping at the end?”
“Sure. Is Elvis’s ‘Mama” tribute to his mother okay for a hymn.”
“Well, normally we don’t allow rock n roll, but Elvis was a saved soul. No one ever criticizes ‘Mama.”
As we set up, I noticed that the room was getting crowded. I recognized several faces from Out & Proud. Anna was introducing all the new girls to those gay boys she knew. The boys looked pretty uncomfortable, but those 12 year olds made them relaxed by saying they loved gays. One girl made her boyfriend pull up his shirt and show me his underwear. I pulled up my tee shirt and showed mine back. Felix would be proud.
I got up and introduced ourselves. I explained that Gregory was in our band and his betrothed Anna asked us to come that night.
“You may know that our guitarist and my best friend Jace was killed by his abusive brother. I know he’s looking down on all us tonight. He wants to tell everyone here that if they’re being abused or know anyone who is, please talk with a responsible adult and stop the evil that killed him.”
Jace was looking down – he sat on a bookcase in the corner.
“Also, I want you to meet Jack. He’s our new singer and tonight will be his first performance singing for False Gods. He’s in my English class. Next Sunday, we are performing Shakespeare’s play ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream,’ in which he has the lead. So let’s start his debut weekend with a beautiful Elvis hymn, ‘Mama,” which is dedicated to Gregory’s two moms.
We sang slow and easy,
“An angel sent from above is mama
And everyone fell in love with mama”
DUDLEY BROOKS, CHARLES O’CURRAN
Lyrics © IMAGEM U.S. LLC
All the pre-teen girls were crying at the end. their boyfriends or the gay boys were hugging them.
We sat down and the group started. The leader asked if anyone was new. Three-quarters of the kids raised their hands. He asked them to all come down. We went with them. The girls and gays were all hanging on us, as we knelt and received a benediction to keep our hearts open and pure. Several girls snapped my waistband, which made me start to get hard. No 12-year-old girl ever misses that. Several started rocking and rolling their heads and babbling nonsense. Soon all the girls and boys were rolling around on the floor. Jace pulled Jack into the scrum and I followed. Those pre-teens were totally perverted. They all attacked my hard-on and then Jack’s, who couldn’t help himself. The girls were moaning in ecstasy as we crawled out from under the pile. It was the closest I’d ever gotten to finding religion. The gay boys were swarmed by girls. The youth leader had a look that signalled victory. He failed to notice the two boys going at each other in the corner.
We grabbed the guitar and mic. Hippie started singing ‘Amazing Grace.’
Some decorum was reestablished. We went through all the gospel songs we had rehearsed,
‘Who Am I,’
‘There is a Power,’
‘Abide with Me,’
The kids were on their feet and waving their hands in the air. When we stopped, they all grabbed us and we were transported as well.
The leader thanked us when everyone calmed down, saying there had never been a youth group like this one.
We went outside. All the visitors surrounded us.
“That was so much fun and all those lost gay boys,” we joked. We invited them to come down to the store.
“You’ll be back, next week?”
“ We love Jace, Tim. We’ll never forget.”
“We love you, Jack.”
“ We know you love Tim.”
“ He is so lucky to find love.”
One girl asked who she should talk to about her brother, who bullied her. I sent her back inside to see the youth leader. “Don’t stop reporting him until he stops.”
A not so shy boy dropped his jeans and asked me to sign the underwear that his girlfriend had gotten him on his butt. Soon there was a line. I didn’t mind we weren’t getting paid for the autographs. I signed with the message, ‘Praise the gays.’ They said their girlfriends made them be nice to everyone.
“Are they being nice to you?” I asked them.
“That’s why I have to wear this crazy underwear. I can’t go to gym no more.”
“Good,” I said, He laughed.
Hippie rescued us. After dropping off Anna, he pulled out a bag of pot.
“You evil bastard,” we cried.
“It’s for Max, so we all went to my room. Max was soon in the corner in his ‘Our Gang’ pose.
The pot made Jack extra amorous, so he climbed in my lap. At least, Hippie wasn’t driving. He actually seemed cool with it.
“How come Michael said you all worked on getting me laid?”
“We told the groupies we wouldn’t fuck them until you got laid.”
“Was I that hopeless.”
“Everyone’s hopeless when they’re still virgins.”
“Virgins forever,” he proclaimed. We just stared at him.
Jack looked at me, “Do you think I’ll always be a virgin?”
“You mean with girls?”
“Yeah, even though we do it every which way, I still haven’t been with a girl.”
Hippie got up to leave.
“Don’t go. We need your advice,” I asked. “Since you haven’t done it with a guy, do you feel you’ve missed out, like some kind of gay virginity?”
“I’ll let you know when I want my butt cherry popped.”
I turned to Jack, “See, he doesn’t feel he has missed anything by not trying it the gay way. Why do you want to try it the straight way, if you’re totally gay?”
“I don’t want you to be disappointed with me.”
“I don’t think you should fuck anyone you’re not attracted to.”
“I have to be high just to come on to anyone,” as he toked up the joint.
“You’re just shy. If you want more than me, I’ll feel inadequate.”
He hugged me and held on. I knew we were locked in on each other. Jace was hugging him, too.
Hippie asked, “You said Jace was looking down on us. Do you really believe in heaven”?
“I believe in Jace. I can feel him seeing me when I sign to him. Maybe part of him is in my heart, so I just know what he would think or do. Maybe Robby’s ceremony meant I can really contact the spirit world. I need to believe.”
We all sang Rod Stewart’s, ‘Need to believe,’
‘If I listen long enough to you,
I’ll find a way to believe that it’s all true.’
Massimo Leoni;Freddy Scherer;Hena Habeger;Marc Lynn;Stefano Lee
ARABELLA MUSIKVERLAG, GMBH
Hippie finally had to leave.
“Thanks guys for coming to my church. It will never be the same.”
“Just tell the girls we’ll come back sometime again. That’ll keep ‘em going every week.”
“You don’t really have to help me get laid. I have the groupies teaching me how to please Anna once the pledge is taken off.”
“The curse of the pledge.”
“Were those little girls actually attacking your dicks?”
“We had to get out of that scrum.”
“I won’t tell but maybe you should talk to someone about molesting little girls.”
“We just want their money.”
“See you tomorrow.”
“Youou helped Hippie get laid. Maybe you can help me, too?” Jack asked.
Jace got very interested, hoping he could fuck Edi and Jack together. What a perv.
I took his hands, “Nobody can be everything for another. I feel your love in my bones (and boner). I know you feel my love for you. If you really are attracted to someone else, I will help get you over being shy. Just don’t rush from one experience to another. You’ll hurt feelings and burn bridges that you’ll regret later.”
Jace was signing, “Orgy, orgy.”
“What is Jace signing?” he asked me.
“How did you know he was signing to me?”
“I can tell from your eyes. You weren’t looking at me.”
“Before he died, I told Jace that all boys get an orgy for their 16th birthday.”
“It’s was a joke.” Jace looked at me sharply. “But now he wants it anyway.” Jace nodded affirmatively.
“Well, if you tell me what to do, all three of us can have the orgy.”
“We consider that a three-way. We already do that.”
“You’re having sex with someone else?” he started to tear up.
“Calm down, crying isn’t sexy.”
“Who are you and Jace having sex with?”
“Who do you think?” I smiled at him.
He thought for once about all the positions and orgasms we had been having.
“You mean every time we have sex, he’s there?”
“You getting the picture. Remember the sex pact?”
“I thought I was special and not subject to his rules,” he pouted.
“I broke the rule once. The time I took you here from Robby’s. Jace was still at rehearsal, helping John.”
“You shoulda told me.”
“I waited until I knew you’d believe Jace is with me. You would be like all the others, thinking I was a mental case, trying to keep Jace’s memory alive.”
He settled into my arms, “Tell me everything. How Jace fucks me when we’re fucking.”
“The way I understand it, Jace can be felt by anyone who desires him, even though they think he’s dead.”
“I do love him, I swear.”
“We know. If you didn’t always close your eyes during sex you might have figured out I can’t be fucking you while you give me head.”
“It just felt so good, I didn’t think about it. You’re an incredible lover.”
“Not that incredible.”
“Does he love me as much as you do.”
“He loves fucking you, and he knows you want him. That’s pretty much how I feel.”
“So for my virginity fuck, I had a three-way. I’m incredible. Can I tell my friends?”
“I’ve never told anybody about Jace. I just say he’s in my heart. I know what he would think and do. I told you about the no kiss and tell rule. This is a good reason to learn it. People aren’t ready for the new Jace.”
“Let’s give him a new name. People can be in on what they think is a joke.”
Jace didn’t like how this conversation was going.
“What name are you thinking of?”
“Casper, Casper the friendly ghost.”
Jace sat down with Max, who put his head in his lap. They both looked disgruntled.
“Sign Jace to see if he likes Casper. Show me how.”
I had him sign the letters out using the universal like sign.
“What did he say?” Jack wanted an answer.
Jace moved over and kissed him on the lips.
“He kissed me,” Jack got all excited and pulled me up. We hugged and jumped around.
“Casper loves me. Is he unhappy I changed his name?”
“Sign him,” and I showed the signs which he mirrored.
Casper/née Jace pushed him over, pull his jeans off, threw his legs over his shoulder and entered him in one thrust.
“Fuck me, fuck me, Casper. Harder, deeper. Oh fuck, I’m cumming.” He geysered all over himself. Only thing I could think of was to jump Casper while he was still inside Jack. We were soon rocking and rolling on top of Jack, who quickly recovered from his premature enthusiasm. Casper was holding onto Jack’s long dick like it was a saddle pommel while my motion made him jerk Jack off. Jack came again, looking a little distressed that he was so far ahead of us. I took my fingers, massaging Casper’s cock and stimulating Jack’s prostate. This time both he and Casper came together. I rolled off of them. They attacked my dick, with Jack sitting on it and riding it like a bronco while Casper massaged my ass and prostrate. My dick did its little turn. I went rigid inside Jack, while Jace continued to bounce up and down on me. Casper had three fingers inside me and was winding me up. I held my breath until the first eruption, which spurred Jack to faster and faster bouncing and tightening of his ass as I continued to blow. I was gasping for air. I relaxed from being rigid. Casper pulled Jack off of my cock and guided his dick to his pleasure hole.
“Oh, my god, I’m fucking Casper,” he cried. Soon he was kissing him without missing a beat on Casper’s ass. His ecstasy made me hard again. I rolled behind them and stuck my dick in with Jack’s and we fucked Casper in the same rhythm, until we all came together. That was it. Jack wouldn’t let go of Casper, even though his dick had slipped out.
“I love you, I love you,” he repeated over and over. Casper got all embarrassed at the emotion. Wispy tears appeared.
“Open your eyes,” I told Jack. “See those gray mini-clouds. They’re Casper’s tears.
Jack reached up and tried to catch one. It vanished into thin air when he touched it. Jack instantly put Casper back in a strangle hold. I guess Jace liked the new name.
We woke up in a dried pool of cum. Jack was looking at me.
“I’m going to fuck him so much, he’ll have to know I love him and let me see him.”
”I’m not sure it works that way, but you’re free to try.”
“You aren’t jealous are you? I just want all of us together.”
“It’s like making a baby. If you do it enough, it has to happen.”
“I don’t care. I can feel him. I know he wants me.”
Casper had that kind of look, indeed.
I took a shower, They were still going at it when I got dressed. I went downstairs and had breakfast with Susan.
Your friend didn’t stay last night?” she asked.
“He’s still in bed. We went to church youth group.Hippie came by, so we talked a lot.”
“You went to church?”
“Just youth group. It was kind of wild, everybody rolling around on the floor and babbling.”
“Speaking in tongues?”
“Yeah. They looked like they were going to bite their tongues.”
“It’s a tradition in some older churches. Tongues means lost languages from bible times.”
“We called them holy rollers.”
“That’s another tradition. Was it strange.”
“Naw, we got down with them. It did freak me out when all these little girls started grabbing me.”
“That doesn’t sound like a church.”
“We got them to calm down by singing and playing gospel songs for them.”
“My, Tim. Your band is completely different from what I had imagined.”
“You think we play satanic music?”
“No. Just that those people don’t approve of rock n roll and dancing.”
“Well, they liked us. We played Elvis’s ‘Mama.””
“Oh, that’s such a sweet song.”
‘An angel sent from above is mama
And everyone fell in love with mama.’
I held her hand and sang to her.
Tears came to her eyes, and she hugged me.
Dad walked in and seeing us, complained, “What’s he done now, dear.”
“Oh honey, he just sang me that song by Elvis, ‘Mama,’ do you remember it?”
“I remember Elvis went into the Army and served his country. He wrote that song when his mother died. She was overweight.”
“That’s a good description of the song, Dad.”
He looked at me, then laughed. “Well, maybe I’m not as sentimental as you.”
“The boys went to a Baptist church youth group last night and played hymns.”
He looked at me critically, then threw up his hands, “Well, I can’t complain about that.”
“There were holy rollers and speaking in tongues.”
“My, they must’ve been afraid the Devil was in their midst.”
“We went because Hippie, our bass player, belongs. He and his girlfriend took the Pledge.”
“They’re getting married? I ‘spose you’ll make a big production out of it.”
“No. The Pledge is just that they won’t have sex until they’re married.”
“Doesn’t sound like your band.”
“We got worried about Hippie because he never showed any interest in girls. We told all the groupies to attack him, which they did. He had no idea what to do. That’s when we met his two moms because they thought he’d been molested.”
“Oh, the two moms. No wonder he needed help.”
“Dad, you met them. They’re nice. We had dinner there last night.”
“Well, you sure get around.”
“Hippie has a car, which reminds me, I need drivers ed.”
“Sign yourself up at school.”
“Really? Can I get a car.”
“There’s no way a boy your age should get a car. We can’t afford it.” Mom gave him her look. “Well, we’ll just see.”
“Yeah, I’ll be riding off to college on my bike.”
“You can always go right here at the University.”
“And after, work at Teladyne. Do they have bike racks for employees too retarded to drive.”
Susan laughed, and finally Dad got the joke.
“What kind of name is Hippie, anyway?”
“His real name is Gregory, but he has real long hair and doesn’t say much, like a country boy. So we called him Hippie Greg, and at some point it just became Hippie. You remember how he sang ‘Amazing Grace’ at Casper’s memorial?”
“That was so sweet,” Mom said.
“Now who is Casper?” Dad sounded exasperated.
“We decided to call Jace that now.”
“Like Casper, the Friendly Ghost?” Mom asked.
“No wonder I don’t bother to keep up with you all. You can’t stop from changing everything.”
“It’s been nice, a family meal. I’ve got to get Jack up for dress rehearsal today.”
“He’s still here?” Dad complained.
“We got back from church and Hippie wanted to talk. It was late. Jack’s going to be here a lot. He’s taking my place in the band.”
“Well, he can’t just live here like those other two boys.”
“Isn’t it better that I asked you for permission and don’t have to sneak around like before.”
“Look how that turned out,” he groused.
“Honey, that one boy died. We were trying to save him. Maybe that’s why Tim goes to church now.”
“I must say your behavior is much improved. Why are you going to school today? It’s Saturday.”
“It’s dress rehearsal for the play next weekend. You’re going? It’s at Michael’s. I even wrote a new Prologue for the play.”
“You’re rewriting Shakespeare?”
“We’re only doing one-third of the play, so we had to explain the changes. I also wrote the music and will play it.”
“You’re not in the play?” Mom asked.
“I’m a minstrel. Robby wanted me to play a woman, so I’m playing guitar instead.”
“What’s Robby got to do with it?”
“He’s the director and insisted that only boys play all the roles.”
“You can’t change everything and expect it all to work out in this life.”
“Actually when Shakespeare wrote his plays, women weren’t allowed to be on stage.”
“That’s right, dear.”
“Now you always side with him?”
“He sang me the sweetest song before you came down.”
“You little manipulative so and so,” and he lunged at me and gave me a big hug.
I stood there in shock, until they started laughing.
“I’m leaving. I’ll have breakfast with you again, in , say, 1990.”
We all laughed.
Upstairs, Max was lying on the landing, looking morose. Casper and Jack were still going at it. I figured a ghost had an unlimited supply of wispy jism, but I didn’t want Jack firing blanks. I jumped in, got my licks, literally, and pulled Jack into the shower. He screamed, “Casper, Casper.” He hadn’t let go since Casper first attacked him. He was acting like a love junkie.
“Calm down, Jack. We have dress rehearsal this morning. I threw him in the shower and turned only the cold water on. He screamed again, but I quickly turned on the hot.
“You’re stealing my boyfriend,” I smiled at Casper.
“Casper? Casper? I’m going to fuck him until he’s forgotten his name.”
“He’ll forget me if you keep at it like this morning.”
“What a sweet ass.”
“That’s what they used to say about you.”
Casper came over and just touched me. “Feel that?”
I took his hand and kissed from the palm to his neck.
“Just checking that you still want me,” Casper said.
Jack came out of the bathroom and caught us necking.
“Sweet,” he said and kissed us both.
I stared at him in disbelief. “You see Casper?”
“I told you. Getting fucked a lot by the same person makes you soul mates.”
“Do I need to catch up?”
“How about right now?”
“You’re insatiable. That long rubbery thing will dry up and fall off.”
“Then I’ll really be Queen Titania.”
“Then you’ll be Robby’s whore.”
He looked at me with the saddest eyes.
“Sorry. Robby’s dead to me,” I apologized.
“Hah, just working on my acting skills,” and he gave me a modest kiss.
“We’ll just say you’re a queen in training, then.”
We were twenty minutes late to rehearsal. Mr. Clark was nervous as he knew Robby and I weren’t speaking, as well as Jack being somehow involved. He rushed Jack off to the dressing room, the girl’s bathroom, where the girls were doing hair and makeup. I trusted them to protect Jack from Robby, telling the butchest girl to kick him out if he came in.
“Mr. Clark, I wrote your Prologue for next week.”
“Who should do it? Robby will be on stage as Puck.”
“You have to do it. This is your play.” I brought out what I had written:
A Midsummer’s Night Dream Prologue
Good eve, gents and dames.
Welcome to medieval England
Where fairies and royalty cavort
And love is treated as sport
“Tis the summer solstice
And King Oberon wants justice
From his wanton Queen
Who’s not all she seems
A changeling has been found
An Indian lad for the crown
To be slave for love
Or King’s page or none.
We are in the bard Bill’s house
The speeches may sound rough
To modern ear to hear
Listen as gay youth appear.
Thank you, one and all,
Enjoy our play ‘til curtain fall.
He read it through, and looking at me, “I thought Robby did all the writing in your band?”
“He does all the talking. Do you like it?”
“It’s great. It hadn’t occurred to me we need to do this.”
“It’s your moment to shine. I heard Michael’s dad is going all out and has a stage with traditional seating and a pit built-in their back yard. Do you have a knave’s costume to wear?”
“I’m surprised you don’t want me in a dress as well.”
“No, Mr. Clark that’s not something I want to visualize. Traditional Elizabethan dress will look great.”
“So all the boys in dresses isn’t your idea.”
“I don’t want to talk about Robby right now.”
“You going to tell me what happened.”
”I grew a pair.”
“Well, you certainly have talent. Is everything okay with Jack. I feel he’s involved.”
“Okay, but please keep this to yourself. Jack and I are boyfriends. I had to stop Robby from crossing the line with him.”
“My goodness. This is not boyhood adventures.”
“Shakespeare’s not all fairies and changelings.”
“You’re right. I admire all you’ve done this year. That boy who died, was he your boyfriend, too?”
“Yes, but that’s too many questions. You’re my teacher.”
“Well, I need to get my serious boots on and get out there.”
You go, girl.
Rehearsal looked great. The boys were totally comfortable as Tinkerbells. The all-girl crew worked like a sports team, right on cue, and sharp as tacks. When Mr. Clark read the Prologue, everyone cheered him. I played the overture on a mandolin that Mike Sr. had borrowed from Spec’s. Robby and a fairy were on stage after the Prologue. He knew his lines, but he tried to stop and correct little details as we proceeded. I just turned up my amp and the music kept everyone dancing like bees, butterflies and wooden soldiers. He finally gave up trying to direct as well as play Puck. He did a good job once he let go of control. Being left out made him want to exert his will, but the play had its own life. We ended at thirty minutes, perfect for the party.
Grant came over to me and complained, “I’m not sure I like being referred to as a slave.”
“You’re a changeling, found unclaimed in the woods by the fairies. The Queen and King are fighting to claim you.”
“Yeah, to be their slave.”
He looked at me, “Well, that’s cool. But love slave for the King?”
“It’s called a page. No one wants to think we cast you to be a slave.”
“I thought it is about the color of my skin.”
“That’s’why they say Indian. In the 1600s blacks were really slaves, but not in England. They were the first nation to outlaw slavery.”
“That’s cool. Just that all this role confusion. My parents aren’t going to be happy I play a love slave to a boy who’s a queen.”
We both laughed at his description.
“That’s why Shakespeare’s so great. He wrote this almost 400 years ago. All the role bending, fairies, queens, and boys as girls is current to today. Notice how happy all the girls are doing the boys’ normal stage crew jobs. All these boys are comfortable being girls on stage. None of them is gay. They’re going to get kidded and laughed at when we do this at school. In Shakespeare’s time, the audience stood in front and threw rotten vegetables at the actors. It was much less fun, but it was all for laughs.”
“Well, all I know is my parents are over the moon about going to a party in the Gables and at Mr. Antonio’s house. He’s a huge hero in the Black community. You’re my hero for getting us to really go to this school.”
“That’s what it’s about, not being a hero but being friends. You get high?”
“Not in front of my folks.”
“Well, after we perform, stick with Jack and me as we get the kids’ band ready. You’ll see the whole affair through different eyes.”
Jack walked over, back in his regular jeans and shirt. I fussed over the mascara still on his eye lashes. He stopped me, “Casper likes it.” I looked over and signed that he was stealing my boyfriend.
“We know how to share,” he signed back. Jack did a half-decent job of signing ‘share.’
“What were you talking with Grant about?”
“He thinks his parents will be upset that he plays a black slave to a queen who’s a boy.”
“Ew, he’s right.”
“Well, I explained that he’s a love slave and that you’re my boyfriend, so he doesn’t need to make love to you.”
“Where’s Casper?” Jack looked around.
“We’re staying away from the bedroom. Time to make some money,”
“My butt’s too worn out for street hustling.”
“What happened to that innocent boy who just couldn’t help himself when he got high?”
“He needs to get high now.”
We rode to Michael’s where there was all sorts of activity, mostly preparations for next week’s party. An authentic Elizabethan Globe Theatre stage with surrounding seats was going up. I asked Mike Sr. if there was going to be a pit where the kids could stand in front while the adults were seated.
“You are nothing if not detailed oriented.”
“Thanks. It’s important that the actors get used to insults and jeers while performing. It’ll be ten times worse when we perform for the high school kids.”
“You want rotten fruits and vegetables provided?”
“No, I trust the contractor knows what he’s doing. Hey, the black kid, Grant, whom we got into the play says his parents are over the moon about coming here. You really are their hero.”
“I’ll make sure to meet them. It’s really all about their generation. You kids expect change to happen all the time. The parents grew up without that hope.”
“Why do you and my dad always harp on the same things?”
“You like having a real dad now?”
“Maybe somehow you made that happen, too.”
“I just can see in your heart what pure things you want for everyone.” Before I could tear up, “I heard you, as we said, grew some balls with Robby.”
“Well, maybe I went a little too far.”
“No, he deserved it. I’m lucky he didn’t end up hospitalized.”
“Jesus, and another call to my office?”
“No, we sent Casper’s dog, Max, to the rescue. It got him out of bed and going again.”
“Oh, that’s Jace’s new name.”
“The friendly ghost?”
“Yeah. It’s Jack idea.”
“So Jack doesn’t compete with a ghost?”
“Yeah, except now he’s learning to sign to Casper and doesn’t seem that interested in me.”
“It’s all for you, Tim. If you demand love, all you get is resentment.”
“I still love him even with a new name.”
“He’s in your heart.”
“There and everywhere.”
I caught up with the Out-Crowd where Jack was already high and unconsciously hitting on Michael.
“Take him somewhere else,” he ordered me.
I grabbed a joint that Iggy had put out and took both of them outside, lit it up, and joined the crowd.
“Stop hitting on Michael,” I told him.
“I wasn’t. He’s just so nice.”
“Well, he won’t be if you keep rubbing him.”
Michael and I laughed, as Jack looked mortified.
“Come here. You totally ignored me today. First Casper, then Robby, and now Michael?”
He jumped into my arms. Jenna walked out looking for Michael.
“Come here, and join the love birds,” he ordered her.
She looked as mortified at Jack, but ran into Michael’s arms.
“We’re getting Tim stoned because his boyfriend’s been hitting on everyone but him today.”
She was usually shy around me. When I kissed Jack, she stared, until Michael started making out with her. The two couples were in their own worlds. Then we heard Dave shout, “Gelato alert.” Michael and Jenna sat up and tried to look unturned on.
“Gelato alert?” I asked.
Jenna piped up, “That means Guido is awake and on the prowl.”
Shortly the Italian hit man came around the corner. We gave him his hit and he went back to his post, asleep. Jenna abstained, but the rest of us continued to get high.
“You guys should come with us to Out & Proud. All our 10 to 12-year-old fans hang out hoping we’ll appear. We sell the girls our underwear which they make their 12-year-old boyfriends wear. We told them to come to Hippie’s church youth group last night. We were all rolling around on the ground and speaking in tongues.
“You guys were in church?”
“Yeah. Hippie alert: he’s taken the Pledge and is engaged to this church girl. We came to rescue him but ended up singing and playing Elvis gospel songs for them.”
“What happens at the store.”
“You met Felix. He pays us to model gay underwear. Then we autograph them as souvenirs. We’ve been making a hundred bucks a day. There’ll be fifty pre-teens there today. They’ll go crazy if you show up. You two are way more popular than we are after Viscaya. Romeo and Juliet of Miami.
“It sounds perverted.”
“They’re just little kids, with their parents’ credit cards. The boys are a trip. Their girlfriends make them act gay for their amusement. We sing “Amazing Grace” for them, changing it to ‘Amazing Jenna,” or whatever their names are.”
“You guys are crazy,” Jenna deferred to Michael.
“Well, I bet you dragged me over to tell me what you did to Robby to make him so subdued,” Michael complained.
“It’s more what Robby did. I caught him and beat him down so bad he was in bed for a week.”
“We can assume you’re not going to tell us what he did. I’m glad you stuck up for yourself with him. He’s my best friend but he does everything to the limit and beyond. He’ll really hurt someone or himself someday, if we don’t stop him from pushing others around. It wasn’t about Max, was it.”
“No, wonder dog morphed into a rescue dog. We let him into Robby’s yard and Robby’s mom let him into his room. We watched through the window as Max made him get up. They shared bong hits every day until he recovered.”
“Make sure Max comes to the party. He’s the heart and soul of our band.”
“Michael, my dad said I could take driver’s end this spring. Let’s go together,” I changed the subject.
“Do we really want to be on the road when Hippie’s out there?”
“He’s a better driver when Robby’s not licking his ear.”
Properly baked, Jack and I rode to the Grove. The crowd outside Out & Proud had grown considerably. Felix ran up to us when we arrived. He had dollar signs in his eyes. He was panicked that the police would shut him down.
“No modelling today,” Jack looked disappointed. “You have to play. Kids are saying a teen Jesus appeared at a church last night. Can you play some of those hymns?”
“You want Teen Jesus to appear here?”
“Jesus, no. He’d kick all my gay customer’s asses.”
“Suffer the little children.”
“Just get everyone focused on the store before all these kids cause a riot.”
“You’re really afraid of them?”
“You’ve never faced a 12-year-old girl banshee, have you.”
“Okay, we’ll do our best. What kind of underwear do you have the most?”
“Jesus, only alcoholic old men wear those. What do you have for gays?”
“I have an order that’s about to go out to the Gay Men’s Chorus.”
“Go get us a couple, size 26 and 28.”
We changed into the day’s product, pulling them up so they showed. I had been keeping the Fender Mustang and practice amp there. We dragged them out to the curb and set up.”
“Hey, y’all. We didn’t expect a crowd today. Have you all bought something?” No response. “Were any of you at the church last night?”
That drew a big cheer.
“Did you have fun?”
“Is church okay?”
“Who saw Jesus?”
A group of girls pushed forward a shy girl with glasses.
“What’s your name, honey?”
“Well, this song’s for you, Jane.
We sang our version of ‘Amazing Jane.” All her friends were holding her up as she cried while we sang softly.
“Now tell us what you saw,” As I pointed the mic to her.
“It was so nice when you sang the Elvis song “Mama,’ because my mama died when I was four (Sniffle).”
I hugged her and asked if she knew what Elvis’s mama’s name was.”
“Not Presley, but it was Grace.”
We played the guitars this time and sang much louder to ‘Amazing Grace.’
Most of the kids were singing along. A lot of girls were crying. Then we did ‘Mama.’
I asked Jane, “Tell us what you saw last night?”
“After you played these hymns, you two and the other band member Gregory came up for the benediction. Everyone was freaking out because someone had told us you were devil worshipers. We had asked Gregory, but he’s very shy with girls. He took the Pledge with Anna. She assured us the he was a normal boy, just shy. So we trusted him and then you two were so beautiful. Not that Gregory’s ugly, but you both had the glow, you know, like angels come down to be with us. So we started to shake like a seizure, the whole group at once. We were waving our hands to God. Soon we started falling down and shaking on the ground. Then we saw you guys rolling around with us, which freaked us out more. People were speaking in tongues. You had gotten off the floor and were speaking with the youth leader. It was then I saw a shadow, sitting on the bookcase, watching us and you with the leader. When you started to play the gospel hymns, he jumped down and was standing right behind you and the new singer, Jack. He had his arms around both of you. We were transfixed by the hymns. I felt Him come into me. He wasn’t like the Jesus in books. He was your age and dressed like a teenager. Like in the bible he didn’t wear shoes. He looked so happy. I just thought he might be Jesus.”
A big ‘ah,’ went out when she was done.
“Have you accepted Jesus into your heart?”
“Yes, I was saved last year when I turned 13.
“Well, if Jesus is in your heart, where would an angel go when he entered you.”
“He’d be with Jesus, right in my heart.”
“Then you are doubly blessed.”
“Thank you, Jesus.”
“You know I have an angel in my heart?”
“Yes, your guitarist and best friend, Jace.”
“We just need to let them in. Can I put Jace into your heart?”
She was crying now, but nodded she was ready. Casper was going along with me but reluctantly. I took his hand, then took her’s.
She gasped. “That’s the angel from last night.”
“Well, he’s now in your heart with Jesus.” Casper made a face but touched her.
She fainted. Her friends lifted her up. I told them to take her someplace quiet, and that she was fine, just overwhelmed.
The crowd was very hushed. Looking at Jack and me with wide-eyed belief. This was crazy magic.
“Hey, when you have someone in your heart, you need to share them with others, family, friends, schoolmates, strangers. Jace will always be in my heart. Jane wanted someone to share her heart with Jesus. I didn’t lose Jace. He’s just sharing right now. But, hey, it’s Saturday. Church is for tomorrow. Anyone want to hear more Elvis?”
We played ‘Teddy Bear,’
‘Blue Suade Shoes’
‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy,’
and ‘Love Me Tender.”
The mood lifted.
“Y’all a bit happier now? Well, we didn’t come down here to be sad. Sometimes Church seems like a sad place, because people take it so serious. If there is a Teen Jesus around here, I’ll bet he likes those Elvis songs as much as you do. Unhappy people just can’t help themselves from taking happiness away from others. It’s usually not their fault they are unhappy, but they shouldn’t spread unhappiness to others, especially kids. You know I was devastated when my boyfriend and band mate was killed. At first everyone tried to cheer me up. Eventually I was alone without him.” Turning to Jack, “Then this guy found me. He just grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. We barely knew each other from school. But he wanted me in his heart. I found out how big his heart was once I was in there. He’s even let Jace in because he knows I’ll always love him, too. Just a big love fest.” I grabbed Jack and kissed in front of a hundred screaming girls.
“I’m not supposed to say boyfriend because that’s illegal in Florida. Yeah, if you love your friend, they can separate you and even put you in jail. I don’t care right now. I love all of you. Jack won’t let you have me, but I do love you. I hope you’ll let me in your hearts.” More screaming. Several boys rushed up and kissed me, but Jack chased them away.
“Love can be tricky, so this songs for you, Jack, and our dog Max,” and we sang ‘Hound Dog.”
People yelled ‘Max’ and everyone laughed. Jack sulked that I was calling him a dog, but he really enjoyed singing it with me, as we pointed at each other.
“Last night we had a message for all the kids at the church. If someone is bullying you in any way, tell a responsible adult until they make that person stop. There are haters in the world, plus there are those who don’t do what’s needed to stop the hate. Don’t let any hater or enabler near your heart.
Jack spoke up, “Now we didn’t just come here to entertain you and heal the world. Felix needs your business to keep this shop open. We’ll sign any clothing you buy to make it special if you like us and want to keep something we wear close to you or your boyfriend.” We both lifted our tees so they all could see the underwear we were wearing. The kids rushed in. We put away the guitar and amp, set up a table and began signing the underwear. “Just hang in there’ seemed like the right message to sign, plus a few ‘Praise the gays’ for obvious gay boys. Soon, Jane came up with her friends.
“You feel better , honey.”
“You make me feel so happy, thank you.
One of her friends asked, “So you don’t think it was Teen Jesus she saw?”
I got them to come closer, “Sometimes I see Jace and what she said she saw is what I see, so he probably was with us. What’s important is to keep your heart open. It gives us hope and we’re better people.”
“Do you think I’ll ever see my mother?”
“Just keep loving her and keeping her close. For Jace, if someone wants him, he can touch them.”
“She could hold me?”
“That’s what he does best. You hold on to those you love and your heart is bound to grow. There’s always room for more love. Just think how many people I let into my heart today. I’m not fat yet.”
Felix closed the shop at 6pm. We all were exhausted. We each made over two hundred dollars that day.
“What will the Gay Men’s Chorus do without fresh underwear?” I asked.
“Those queens never keep their draws on, anyway.”
Jack needed to peruse the remaining selection to satisfy his fetish. He came up with a system where whatever color we wore would say how horny he was that day. Red ones meant I could tear his clothes off immediately. White meant hands off. I praised his ingenuity but knew he’d be running on red for quite a while. Hippie came by and gave us a ride home. He had never met Felix before. He didn’t get a great impression when Felix asked him to show his underwear. I explained how it was a way to make money and showed him the two hundred bucks.
“I’d feel like a prostitute; anyway, mine all have holes in them.
“Too much information, Hippie,” we yelled.
He told Felix he was the one who wasn’t gay in the band.
“Doesn’t matter to these 12-year-olds. They just want to dress up their boyfriends like Ken Dolls.”
“Who’s Ken Doll?” Hippie asked.
Ignorance is bliss.
He came into the house with us, so I asked Susan if all three of us could eat with them. She said to wait thirty minutes and come down. Hippie was shy, but I told him we owed him for the meals his moms had hosted.
“You can say grace, if you want,” knowing I was overdoing the good boy role. Dad would see right through me anyway.
We sat talking about the bands. Hippie was sad we weren’t doing the kids shows anymore.
“You can always sit in with Jazz. He needs a lot of confidence building.”
“He’ll do fine. Playing bass is easy.’
“Remember when you thought we were going to fire you.”
“Michael’s dad wanted to.”
“He also told all of us to get music lessons.”
“Typical bass player. Says what he thinks. Doesn’t mince his words.”
What he really wanted to know was what we thought about Anna .
“I like a girl who puts away her food and doesn’t want to look like a toothpick.”
“Well, since we got the Pledge she don’t need to care about attracting a mate. She’s stuck with me.”
“Sounds like you think you’re not a catch.”
“With two moms. They have to pray for me all the time.”
“They prayed for us and got Teen Jesus to come to youth group. The power of prayer is mighty.”
“You sure don’t take it serious.”
“Well, I don’t put it down. You saw me as the devil’s apprentice when Robby scared Dave and Jazz.”
“Scared the crap out of me.”
“You didn’t run.”
“Robby’s just a flim-flam man. I don’t take him serious.”
“So you need to believe if you’re serious about Anna .”
“But she orders you around and doesn’t give you any leeway.”
“No leaning in the church.”
“You want some advice about girls?
They both started paying full attention. A gay boy and a straight boy, both clueless about girls. We kept discussing girls until Mom called us down to supper.
“I’m Susan, Hippie,” she introduced herself. He said she could call him Gregory if it suited her.
My dad noticed his country manner and introduced himself. “I understand you took Tim and Jack to church last night.
“The girls there had been after me since they learned I was in their band.”
When Mom had seated herself, he asked, “Do you want me to say grace?”
“That would be nice, Hippie,” Susan answered. He had us hold hands and we blessed everything and everyone, including the cow we were about to eat. Hippie grace.
“How long have you known Tim?” Mom asked.
“Well, last year he was in the jock crowd and this fall I spent time in Iowa with my PiPa and MiMa. So only since Thanksgiving. They asked me to join the band because I drive.
“Well, I heard you sing at Viscaya. You have a beautiful voice.”
“God’s gift, as they say in choir.”
“A choirboy,” my Dad observed. “Don’t you feel it odd to be playing the devil’s music?”
“Only Robby’s really is into the pagan worship. I just ignore him. He likes to be mean. Everyone is very nice. Tim really knows how to organize it all. I thought I should be fired for my guitar playing. He just told me to hold the strings down when I was lost on stage. He would show me when to come back in. Rock n Roll is the simplest music. It’s fun if you don’t listen to the lyrics.”
“You don’t listen to the songs.”
“Not the bad words.”
“We met your two moms. They seem very nice, and the boys love their food. What’s a dump cake.”
‘You mix up batter and throw in everything sweet to fill up the pan and cook at 400 until the cake bounces back.”
“You’re a very sensible boy. I admire that.” Dad praised him without thinking how it made me feel..
“Well, my MiMa taught me all about women’s chores. My PiPa is good with cars and mechanics. I guess I’m ready for the Apocalypse.”
That was a conversation stopper.
“When’s it coming,” I asked.
“Tim, don’t make fun.”
“I think it would be good to know.”
“Well, it don’t matter to Tim and Jack, ‘cause they’ll just go straight to Hell.”
I was thinking maybe he was laying it on too thickly, when he winked at me. The bastard.
“Why do you say that, Gregory. They’re your friends.”
“All gays are going to Hell. It’s not their fault.
Susan turned white, Dad turned red, and Jack turned green. Christmas with my ex-family in March.
“Is everyone in your life gay, Hippie?” I asked.
“Not Anna . She prays for everyone.”
I saw Dad was ready to make his usual stressed out exit.
“Sit down, Dad. Hippie’s making fun of me. They don’t say grace at his house. He chases girls like a heathen, we have a song that mocks the Apocalypse as hokum to keep everyone in line. It’s just time for you to accept what everyone else knows. I’m attracted to boys, as much as to girls. Sometimes more, some girls I like more than boys. I’m gay but it’s not a problem.”
Susan started to come to my defense, but I motioned for her to let my dad speak.
“I’ve seen a great change in you since Jace was shot. I’m more concerned about you being a good person and having a sense of values. You fought me over learning a sense of responsibility. I think you’ll agree I was right. You have grown up to be a fine young man. I’m so proud of you. When you gave speeches at my conventions about what a great dad I was, I swore I would try harder to really be that. I even love Max. Susan is so proud of you and happy that you accept her. Your sex life is a mystery to me and that’s fine. If you think I’d punish you for that, you’re wrong. All parents wants grandkids, but who knows what you’ll be like when it comes time for that. Jack, you’re welcome in this house which is more Tim’s than mine. If I seem inflexible or down right mean, well, fathers sometimes are. But I love my son. That extends to anyone he loves, too.”
He looked at Mom and asked, “Should we tell them?”
She nodded. I thought maybe she was pregnant but as they say that was putting the cart before the horse.
“We’re getting married. I want you to be my best man. We waited to make sure you would accept Susan.”
“I love her. She’s Mom.”
I was so happy, I started hitting Hippie who had sat through the whole drama as if it was a lifetime movie. “You bastard, you outed me to my family and now they have to get married.”
“It was about time you grew a pair.” He hit me back. Was that a love tap?
Dad brought out champagne, domestic as he still had military taste. There were all these plans to discuss, but all I wanted was to push Hippie out the door and get with Jack upstairs. The damn underwear was about to burst. I had dreaded the gay conversation for so long. But I had grown a pair, to go with my big dick, and stated my case. They already knew, of course. It was just a question of how happy they’d be. Maybe when you’re happy with someone, no other issues can touch you. Then I realized I hadn’t acknowledged Casper. When I looked him in the eye, I knew he was hurt. I signed he’d get first crack at Jack. Jack was watching and signed that they had agreed it was my turn to be double-teamed. With all the frantic signing, Hippie realized he better leave before he got dragged in too.
“You’re a sly one, Hippie.”
“All’s well that ends well.”
“Did it help to talk about Anna ?”
“I wonder why I think two gay guys can give me girl advice. Better than my two moms telling me all guys are assholes.”
“Sounds like Marge.”
“They used to call her Large Marge, you know.”
“What do they call her now?”
“What’s a MiMa and PiPa?”
“That’s what grandparents are called in Texas.”
“I thought they live in Iowa.”
“Yeah, they got kicked out of Texas because of my two moms.”
I hit him again. Hippie is as Hippie does.