Jack and I go to Out & Proud all week after band practice. Felix is right. We’re a draw. Soon all we have to do is autograph underwear. We’re making a hundred bucks apiece. Pre-teen girls should never be given credit cards. Jack is a total exhibitionist, giving girls a private show as he tries to decide what colors and patterns he prefers. I finally tell him it turns me on to see him wearing the same style I always wear Jace signs that I’m lying.
“Are you lying,” Jack asks. Now they’re thinking alike. Probably because Jace is fucking him constantly. It keeps Jack busy all night. He always returns the favor with me. I enjoy his wiggle waggle hose dick that tickles my prostate just right. Whenever we start making out, he keeps his eyes firmly shut. He continues not to wonder how I can fuck him in two place simultaneously. He’s in seventh heaven. He don’t want to jinx it by thinking too much. Good advice. Jace keeps an eye on Robby with Max providing max-lovin’ to get him motivated, if multiple bong hits with a dog can be motivation. I tell Mr. Clark about our fight and ask him to visit him to beg him to come back for the performance that weekend. He is thrilled to do a home visit. I can only hope he survives Robby abuse. Sure enough Robby appears the next day. I totally avoid him, which suits him fine.
Robby avoids making eye contact with Jack. Otherwise our performance director is back. He says nothing about the musical changes I’ve made and Jack singing his lines. At Nutrition I keep Jack near me, while Robby regales the other boys about the heroic exploits that laid him up. What crap.
Finally at band rehearsal, he approaches me.
“Still want to kill me?” he taunts, while everyone watches.
“I guess I owe you an apology,” he admits.
“No, you owe Jack, but if you go near him I will kill you,” and I give 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 grab Jack. We go to Out & Proud early. It’s Friday. Hippie promises to pick us up there when it’s time to see his moms and go to youth group at the holy rollers church. There were more girls than ever, even a few young boys. The boys are so cute when asking us to autograph their purchase. I ask their names and write ‘hang in there’ for encouragement. One boy hugs Jack, but looked nervously at me.
“Don’t I get a hug,” I insist. I should have known he is only into Jack. I’m an aging teen idol. We sing a couple of hymns. When we’re asked if we’ve found Jesus, we admit we’re looking for him at Hippie’s church youth group that night. They all swore they’ll be there with all their friends. Just then Hippie drives up with Anna. We say, “Off to find Jesus”
They yell, “We’ll be there.”
I believe them because they all swarm Hippie. Anna tells them where and when it is.
“Hi, boys. I’ve been praying for you,” Anna greets 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 is pleasantly surprised we are on her side. Hippie has his goofy grin on.
The moms are enthusiastic hosts, meeting Jack for the first time. I tell them I prayed to Jace, He sent me Jack, who kicks me under the table. He says I’m acting like Robby.
He’s right. I figure all the pre-teens chasing gay boys at youth group will be enough entertainment for the night. Feeding the four of us teenagers is right up the moms’ alley. We finish off all of it, even the dump cake. Since taking the pledge, Anna stopped trying to slim herself into teen anorexia. I enjoy watching the country girl gorge herself.
At the church, we set up our practice amps and mics. We ask the youth leader if he minds if we play hymns for everyone. He is wide-eye with wonder that we’re at his church. Of course, any thirty something unmarried male youth leader is up on pre-teen pop music. He knows all about us.
“Nothing occult, I hope,” he worries.
“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 is a saved soul. No one ever criticizes ‘Mama.”
As we set up, I notice that the room was getting crowded. I recognize several faces from Out & Proud. Anna is introducing all the new girls to those gay boys she knows. The boys look pretty uncomfortable, but the 12-year-old girls relax them by saying they love gays. One girl makes her boyfriend pull up his shirt and show me his underwear. I pull up my tee shirt and show mine back. Felix will be proud.
I get up and introduce ourselves. I explain that Gregory is 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 you’re being abused or know anyone who is, please talk with a responsible adult and stop the evil that killed him.”
Jace s looking down – he sits 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’re performing Shakespeare’s play ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream,’ in which he is the lead. So let’s start his debut weekend with a beautiful Elvis hymn, ‘Mama,” which is dedicated to Gregory’s two moms.
We sing 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 are crying at the end. their boyfriends or the gay boys are hugging them.
We sit down and the group starts. The leader asks if anyone is new. Three-quarters of the kids raise their hands. He asks them to all come down. We go with them. The girls and gays are all hanging on us, as we kneel and receive a benediction to keep our hearts open and pure. Several girls snap my waistband, which makes me start to get hard. No 12-year-old girl ever misses that. Several start rocking and rolling their heads and babbling nonsense. Soon all the girls and boys are rolling around on the floor. Jace pulls Jack into the scrum and I follow. These pre-teens are totally perverted. They all attacked my hard-on and then Jack’s, who can’t help himself. The girls are moaning in ecstasy as we crawl out from under the pile. It was the closest I’d ever been to finding religion. The gay boys are swarmed by girls. The youth leader has a look that signals victory. He fails to notice the two boys going at each other in the corner.
We grab the guitar and mic. Hippie starts singing ‘Amazing Grace.’
Some decorum is reestablished. We go through all the gospel songs we 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 stop, they all touch us and we’re transported as well.
The leader thanks us when everyone calms down, saying there had never been a youth group like this one.
We go outside. All the visitors surround us.
“That’s been so much fun and all those lost gay boys,” we joke. We invite 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 asks who she should talk to about her brother, who bullies her. I send her back inside to see the youth leader. “Don’t stop reporting him until he stops.”
A not so shy boy drops his jeans and asks me to sign on his butt the underwear that his girlfriend got him . Soon there’s a line. I don’t mind that we aren’t getting paid for the autographs. I sign with the message, ‘Praise the gays.’ They say their girlfriends make them be nice to everyone.
“Are they being nice to you?” I ask them.
“That’s why I have to wear this crazy underwear. I can’t go to gym no more.”
“Good,” I say. He laughs.
Hippie rescues us. After dropping off Anna, he pulls out a bag of pot.
“You devil,” we cry.
It’s for Max, so we all go to my room. Max is soon in the corner in his ‘Our Gang’ pose.
The pot makes Jack extra amorous, so he climbs in my lap. At least, Hippie wasn’t driving. He actually seems 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 proclaims. We just stared at him.
Jack looks 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 gets up to leave.
“Don’t go. We need your advice,” I ask. “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 turn to Jack, “See, he doesn’t feel he’s 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 tokes up the joint.
“You’re just shy. If you want more than me, I’ll feel inadequate.”
He hugs me and holds on. I know we’re locked in on each other. Jace is hugging him, too.
Hippie asks, “You said Jace is looking down on us. Do you really believe in heaven”?
“I believe in Jace. I can feel him 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 has 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.”
“You helped Hippie get laid. Maybe you can help me, too?” Jack asked.
Jace gets very interested, hoping he can fuck Edi and Jack together. What a perv.
I take 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 is signing, “Orgy, orgy.”
“What is Jace signing?” he ask me.
“How did you know he is signing to me?”
“I can tell from your eyes. You aren’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 looks at me sharply. “But now he wants it anyway.” Jace nods 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 starts to tear up.
“Calm down, crying isn’t sexy.”
“Who are you and Jace having sex with?”
“Who do you think?” I smile at him.
He thinks for once about all the positions and orgasms we have had.
“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 pouts.
“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 doesn’t like how this conversation is going.
“What name are you thinking of?”
“Casper, Casper the friendly ghost.”
Jace sits down with Max, who put his head in his lap. They both look disgruntled.
“Sign Jace to see if he likes Casper. Show me how.”
I have him sign the letters individually, using the universal like sign.
“What oes he say?” Jack wants an answer.
Jace moves over and kisses him on the lips.
“He kissed me,” Jack gets all excited and pulls me up. We hug and jump around.
“Casper loves me. Is he unhappy I changed his name?”
“Sign him,” and I show him the signs which he mirrors.
Casper/née Jace pushes him backwards, pulls his jeans off, throws his legs over his shoulder and enters him in one thrust.
“Fuck me, fuck me, Casper. Harder, deeper. Oh fuck, I’m cumming.” He geysers all over himself. Only thing I can think of is to jump Casper while he’s still inside Jack. We’re soon rocking and rolling on top of Jack, who quickly recovers from his premature enthusiasm. Casper is holding onto Jack’s long dick like it’s a saddle pommel, while my motion makes him jerk Jack off. Jack cums again, looking a little distressed that he’s so far ahead of us. I took my fingers, massaging Casper’s cock and stimulating Jack’s prostate. This time both he and Casper cum together. I roll off of them. They attack my dick, with Jack sitting on it and riding it like a bronco while Casper massages my ass and prostrate. My dick does its little turn. I go rigid inside Jack, while he continues to bounce up and down on me. Casper has three fingers inside me and is winding me up. I hold my breath until the first eruption, which spurs Jack to faster and faster bouncing and tightening of his ass as I continue to blow. I’m gasping for air. I relax from being rigid. Casper pulls Jack off of my cock and guides his dick to his pleasure hole.
“Oh, my god, I’m fucking Casper,” he cries. Soon he’s kissing him without missing a beat on Casper’s ass. His ecstasy makes me hard again. I roll behind them and stick my dick in with Jack’s and we fuck Casper in the same rhythm, until we all came together. That was it. Jack won’t let go of Casper, even though his dick has slipped out.
“I love you, I love you,” he repeat over and over. Casper gets all embarrassed at the emotion. Wispy tears appear.
“Open your eyes,” I tell Jack. “See those gray mini-clouds. They’re Casper’s tears.
Jack reaches up and tries to catch one. It vanished into thin air when touched. Jack instantly puts Casper back in a strangle hold. I guess Jace likes the new name.
We wake up in a dried pool of cum. Jack is 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 has that kind of look, indeed.
I take a shower, They’re still going at it when I get dressed. I go downstairs and have breakfast with Susan.
Your friend didn’t stay last night?” she asks.
“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 call 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 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 hold her hand as I sing to her.
Tears come to her eyes, and she hugs me.
Dad walks in and seeing us, complains, “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 looks at me, then laughs. “Well, maybe I’m not as sentimental as you.”
“The boys went to a Baptist church youth group last night and played hymns.”
He looks at me critically, then throws 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 needs 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 gives 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 laughs, and finally Dad gets 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 says.
“Now who is Casper?” Dad sounds exasperated.
“We decided to call Jace that now.”
“Like Casper, the Friendly Ghost?” Mom asks.
“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 complains.
“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 ask you for permission and don’t have to sneak around like before.”
“Look how that turned out,” he grouses.
“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 asks.
“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 lunges at me and gives me a big hug.
I stand there in shock, until they start laughing.
“I’m leaving. I’ll have breakfast with you again, in , say, 1990.”
We all laugh.
Upstairs, Max is lying on the landing, looking morose. Casper and Jack are still going at it. I figure a ghost has an unlimited supply of wispy cum, but I don’t want Jack firing blanks. I jumped in, got my licks, literally, and pull Jack into the shower. He scream, “Casper, Casper.” He hadn’t let go since Casper first attacked him. He’s acting like a love junkie.
“Calm down, Jack. We have dress rehearsal this morning. I throw him in the shower and turn only the cold water on. He screams again, but I quickly turned on the hot.
“You’re stealing my boyfriend,” I smile 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 comes over and just touches me. “Feel that?”
I took his hand and kiss him from the palm to his neck.
“Just checking that you still want me,” Casper says.
Jack comes out of the bathroom and catches us necking.
“Sweet,” he says and kisses us both.
I stare at him in disbelief. “You can 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 apologize.
“Hah, just working on my acting skills,” and he gives me a modest kiss.
“We’ll just say you’re a queen in training, then.”
We’re twenty minutes late to rehearsal. Mr. Clark s nervous as he knows Robby and I aren’t speaking, as well as Jack being somehow involved. He rushes Jack off to the dressing room, the girl’s bathroom, where the girls are doing hair and makeup. I trust them to protect Jack from Robby, telling the butchest girl to kick him out if he comes 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 reads 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 hear 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 looks great. The boys are totally comfortable as Tinkerbells. The all-girl crew works 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. rented from Spec’s. Robby and a fairy are on stage after the Prologue. He knows his lines, but he stops and corrects little details as we proceed. I just turn up my amp and the music keeps everyone dancing like bees, butterflies and wooden soldiers. He finally gives up trying to direct as well as play Puck. He does a good job once he lets go of control. Being left out makes him want to exert his will, but the play has its own life. We end in thirty minutes, perfect for the party.
Grant comes over to me and complains, “I sure don’t 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 looks 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 was 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 laugh 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 ’em 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 more fun and 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 walks over, back in his regular jeans and shirt. I fuss over the mascara still on his eye lashes. He stops me, “Casper likes it.” I look over and sign that he is stealing my boyfriend.
“We know how to share,” he signs back. Jack does 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 looks 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 ride to Michael’s where there’s all sorts of activity, mostly preparations for next week’s party. An authentic Elizabethan Globe Theatre stage with surrounding seats is going up. I ask Mike Sr. if there is going to be a pit where the kids can stand in front while the adults are 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, who 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 catch up with the Out-Crowd where Jack is already high and unconsciously hitting on Michael.
“Take him somewhere else,” he orders me.
I grabbed a joint that Iggy had put out and take both of them outside, lite it up, and join the crowd.
“Stop hitting on Michael,” I tell him.
“I wasn’t. He’s just so nice.”
“Well, he won’t be if you keep rubbing him.”
Michael and I laugh, as Jack looks mortified.
“Come here. You totally ignored me today. First Casper, then Robby, and now Michael?”
He jumps into my arms. Jenna walks out looking for Michael.
“Come here, and join the love birds,” he orders her.
She looks as mortified at Jack, but runs into Michael’s arms.
“We’re getting Tim stoned because his boyfriend’s been hitting on everyone but him today.”
She is usually shy around me. When I kiss Jack, she stares, until Michael starts making out with her. The two couples are in their own worlds. Then we hear Dave shout, “Gelato alert.” Michael and Jenna sit up and try to look unturned on.
“Gelato alert?” I ask.
Jenna pipes up, “That means Guido is awake and on the prowl.”
Shortly the Italian hit man comes around the corner. We give him his hit and he goes back to his post, asleep. Jenna abstains, but the rest of us continue 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 defers to Michael.
“Well, I bet you dragged me over to tell me what you did to Robby to make him so subdued,” Michael complains.
“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 stick 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 says I can take driver’s ed. this spring. Let’s go together,” I change the subject.
“Do we really want to be on the road when Hippie’s out there?”
“He’s a good driver except when Robby’s licking his ear.”
Properly baked, Jack and I ride to the Grove. The crowd outside Out & Proud has grown considerably. Felix runs up to us when we arrive. He had dollar signs in his eyes. He’s panicked that the police will 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’ll 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 change into the day’s product, pulling them up so they show. I have the Fender Mustang and practice amp there. We drag 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?”
This draws a big cheer.
“Did you have fun?”
“Is church okay?”
“Who saw Jesus?”
A group of girls push forward a shy girl with glasses.
“What’s your name, honey?”
“Well, this song’s for you, Jane.
We sing our version of ‘Amazing Jane.” All her friends are holding her up as she cries while we sing softly.
“Now tell us what you saw,” as I point 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 hug her and ask if she knows what Elvis’s mama’s name is.”
“Not Presley, but it is Grace.”
We play the guitars this time and sing much louder to ‘Amazing Grace.’
Most of the kids are singing along. A lot of girls are crying. Then we do ‘Mama.’
I ask 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 is a normal boy, just shy. So we trust him and then you two are 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 start to shake like a seizure, the whole group at once. We’re waving our hands to God. Soon we start falling down and shaking on the ground. Then we see you guys rolling around with us, which freaks us out more. People are 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’re transfixed by the hymns. I feel Him come into me. He isn’t like the Jesus in books. He’s our age, dressed like a teenager. Like in the bible he doesn’t wear shoes. He looks so happy. I just thought he might be Jesus.”
A big ‘ah,’ goes out when she’s 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 is crying again, but nods that she is ready. Casper is going along with me reluctantly. I take his hand, and then take her’s.
She gasped. “That’s the angel from last night.”
“Well, he’s now in your heart with Jesus.” Casper makes a face but touches her.
She faints. Her friends lift her up. I tell them to take her someplace quiet, and that she is fine, just overwhelmed.
The crowd goes hush, looking at Jack and me in wide-eyed belief. This is crazy magic.
“Hey, when you have someone in your heart, you need to share them with others, family, friends, schoolmates, strangers. Jace is always in my heart. Jane wants 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 play ‘Teddy Bear,’
‘Blue Suade Shoes’
‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy,’
and ‘Love Me Tender.”
The mood lifts.
“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 finds me. He just grabs me and won’t let go. We barely know each other from school. But he wants me in his heart. I find out how big his heart is once I’m in there. He even lets Jace in because he knows I’ll always love him, too. Just a big love fest.” I grab Jack. We kiss 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 rush up and kiss me, but Jack chases them away.
“Love can be tricky, so this songs for you, Jack, and our dog Max,” and we sing ‘Hound Dog.”
People yell ‘Max’ and everyone laughs. Jack sulks that I was calling him a dog, but he really enjoys singing it with me, as we point 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 speaks 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 lift our tees so they all can see the underwear we’re wearing. The kids rush in. We put away the guitar and amp, set up a table and began signing the underwear. “Just hang in there’ seems like the right message to sign, plus a few ‘Praise the gays’ for obvious gay boys. Soon, Jane comes up with her friends.
“You feel better, honey.”
“You make me feel so happy, thank you.
One of her friends asks, “So do you think it was Teen Jesus she saw?”
I get them to come closer, “Sometimes I see Jace and what she says she saw is what I see, so he probably is 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 closes the shop at 6pm. We’re exhausted. We each make over two hundred dollars that day.
“What will the Gay Men’s Chorus do without fresh underwear?” I ask.
“Those queens never keep their drawers on, anyway.”
Jack needs to peruse the remaining selection to satisfy his fetish. He comes up with a system where whatever color we wear says how horny we are that day. Red ones mean I can tear his clothes off immediately. White means hands off. I praise his ingenuity but we know he’ll be running on red for quite a while. Hippie c0mes by and gives us a ride home. He had never met Felix before. He doesn’t make a great impression when Felix asks him to show his underwear. I explain how it is a way to make money and show him the two hundred bucks.
“I’d feel like a prostitute; anyway, mine all have holes in them.
“Too much information, Hippie,” we yell.
He tells Felix he’s the one who isn’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 Dahl?” Hippie asks.
Ignorance is bliss.
He comes into the house with us. I ask Susan if all three of us can eat with them. She says to wait thirty minutes and come down. Hippie is shy, but I tell him we owe him for the meals his moms cooked for us.
“You can say grace, if you want,” knowing I was overdoing the good boy role. Dad will see right through me anyway.
We sit talking about the bands. Hippie is sad we aren’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 wants to know was what we think 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’ll 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 start paying full attention. A gay boy and a straight boy, both clueless about girls. We keep discussing girls until Mom calls us down to supper.
“I’m Susan, Hippie,” she introduces herself. He says she can call him Gregory if it suits her.
My dad notices his country manner and introduces himself. “I understand you took Tim and Jack to church last night.
“The girls there have been after me since they learned I was in their band.”
When Mom seats herself, he asks, “Do you want me to say grace?”
“That would be nice, Hippie,” Susan answers. He had us hold hands and we bless everything and everyone, including the cow we are about to eat. Hippie grace.
“How long have you known Tim?” Mom asks.
“Well, last year we was in the jock crowd together. Then this fall I was in Iowa with my PiPa and MiMa. I’ve only been the band 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 observes. “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 showed 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. The boys love their food. What’s a dump cake.”
‘You mix up batter and throw in everything sweet to fill up the pan. Cook at 400 until the cake bounces back.”
“You’re a very sensible boy. I admire that.” Dad praises him without thinking how it makes 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’s a conversation stopper.
“When’s it coming,” I ask.
“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’m thinking maybe he’s laying it on too thickly, when he winks 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 turns white, Dad turns red, and Jack turns green. Christmas with my ex-family in March.
“Is everyone in your life gay, Hippie?” I ask.
“Not Anna. She prays for everyone.”
I see Dad is 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, and some girls I like more than boys. I’m gay but it’s not a problem.”
Susan starts to come to my defense, but I motion 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 looks at Mom and asks, “Should we tell them?”
She nods. I worry maybe she’s pregnant, but as they say, that’s putting the cart before the horse.
“We’re getting married. I want you to be my best man. We waited to make sure you accept Susan.”
“I love her. She’s Mom.”
I’m so happy, I start 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 hits me back. Was that a love tap?
Dad brings out champagne, domestic, as he still has military taste. There are all these plans to discuss, but all I want is to push Hippie out the door and get with Jack upstairs. The damn underwear is 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’s just a question of how happy they’ll be. Maybe when you’re happy with someone, no other issues can touch you. Then I realize I hadn’t acknowledged Casper. When I look him in the eye, I know he’s hurt. I sign he’ll get first crack at Jack. Jack is watching and signs that they had agreed it was my turn to be double-teamed. With all the frantic signing, Hippie realizes he better leave before he gets dragged into it.
“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.