After a night of ravishing Titania, all three of us were eating breakfast with Susan and Dad. Max seemed conflicted between laying at my dad’s feet or to be next to Casper, who was seated with no food in front of him. Old loyalties aside, Max knew who was most likely to give him scraps. He stayed with my dad.
Susan was in a bit of a titter about the Sunday dinner engagement with the Stones.
“Do your parents dress for dinner?” she asked Jack.
“I guess Sunday best would describe it, only because they will be returning from Church.”
She look more worried. “Should I wear a hat?”
“Certainly not in the house,” Jack advised.
“One more day of being Titania. I don’t think I can stand it,” I muttered.
“Well, for once we’re on the same side,” Dad conceded.
“We want to make a good impression,” Susan countered.
“I’ll just wear my dress uniform. It’s been awhile.”
“Perfect,” Jack spoke up. “Father Frank will wear collar and surplice. Your uniform will be a counterpoint.”
“Do they take these dress issues so seriously.”
“Well, there’ll be cocktails before dinner. Tim and I are expected to perform a song and dance. Today we’re doing Gene Kelly’s ‘I’ve Got Rhythm.’ Then Isabelle will announce dinner. The seating will put the women between two men. Since there will only be two women, Mummy may invite some of her garden club friends to attend to even the odds. General conversation should go first to your right, then to your left, and last across the table. Of course if someone decides to dominate the whole table, everyone will be forced to listen and speak up if there is a lull. The only faux pas is not participating at all, then Mummy will draw attention by asking you questions from the head of the table.”
“My goodness,” Susan exclaimed, “I can’t keep up, Jack.
“Not to worry, if someone feels awkward, everyone else tries to make you comfortable.”
“You still call her Mummy,” Dad cracked.
“I do forget to be more mature. Tim also corrects me.”
Dad and I smiled at our agreement.
I turned to Susan, “How are the wedding plans coming, Mummy?”
“Oh, Tim, you’re too funny.”
Jack and I rode over early to set up the costumes and props. The Stone’s record collection had all the show tunes from their era, all 78s. We found the ‘American in Paris’ album, all Gershwin hits. We decided to do ‘S’Wonderful;’ if asked to do an encore, we’d do ‘I’ve got Rhythm.’ Since it is set in Paris, we found French Navy striped jerseys to wear over boxy blue jeans, not too flattering. We looked like twelve-year olds. Casper set up the lights and props. We slicked our hair down with Brill Cream. Yuck.
My folks arrived exactly at 1pm, ahead of the church goers, so Jack gave them a tour of the house and grounds, seating them in the sitting room and preparing their drinks.
“Spectacular,” I observed.
“This is how the other half lives,” Dad groused.
“Maybe the half of the one percent.’
“Well, they are older, dear. All of their children but Jack are grown and gone. They must dote on you, Jack.”
“Not so much. They are so wrapped up in their own lives, they don’t have time to keep track of little me.”
“Oh, folks,” I spoke up, “Mummy refers to Jack as Johnny. Also, his gay uncles, Tam and Steve, will be here and probably Father Frank; he’s from the Franciscan Order.”
“No Father Joseph?” Dad asked.
“I think he’s probably still mad at us from Wednesday night,” Jack stated. “We made him uncomfortable by telling his youth group we are gay.”
“Jesus,” Dad exclaimed.
“Yes, Father?” I answered.
“That’s blasphemy,” he responded.
“Tim used his Teen Jesus talk to change three boys from haters to tolerant.”
“Teen Jesus? You go around calling yourself Jesus?”
“No, Dad. We get kids to realize that Jesus was a teenager Himself once. It gives them a new perspective.”
“I can believe that Father Joseph was upset. You will go to mass and apology to Father Joseph. You should seek absolution, as well.”
“We talked afterward. Father Frank said Father Joseph needed to think and pray about what had been said.”
“Well, he’s in an order. He doesn’t have to deal with parishioners and their children.”
“It’s Father Frank who is getting us to play at St Patrick’s.”
Jack interrupted, “This is how the conversation can become impolitic at dinner. Mommy always says a fine meal can be ruined by indigestible thoughts.”
The rest of us just stared at him,. Meanwhile the Stones and guests came into the sitting room. The Uncles and Father Frank were back.
“Sorry. We were detained at Church. Father Joseph couldn’t be convinced to come.” Dorothy announced.
“We were just discussing how Tim insulted Father Joseph. He will be in the confessional next Saturday to make his amends,” Dad proclaimed.
Mrs. Stone looked a bit shocked, but after a second’s hesitation, introduced my parents to the other guests.
“We had such a pleasant evening at the play last night.”
“Yes, Johnny. I enjoyed opening night immensely. Was that school official part of the cast? He was so Falstaffian.” Father Frank quipped.
Uncle Tam was over the top about Johnny in a dress and Uncle Steve praised his singing. All three turned to me and praised having the Doo Wop group come on at the end.
“All those old Gables racists were spinning in their graves.”
“Hopefully to the Four Tops,” I quipped but only got a reaction from Jack.
Father Frank turned to my parents. “I admire any parent who can get their teenager to confession, but I believe Father Joseph has come around quite a bit from his first reaction. No one has ever stood up in Church and said they were gay. I guess it’s from the mouths of the children that comes the truth. It will be a lively session in the confessional. I regret it will be strictly private.”
Dad was at a loss for words momentarily, so Jack jumped in.
“How do you like our costumes? Can anyone guess what we’ll perform soon?”
“Huh, French Sailor Boys. Something from Jean Genet?’ Tam quipped.
“Do we look like gutter snipes? But right locale,” Jack quipped back.
“Paris. Must be Gene Kelly, right?”
“Yes,” we both exclaimed, ‘from ‘An American in Paris.’ This is for you, Father.”
Casper had the phonograph cued and he started the soundtrack to “I got Rhythm.”
The Gershwin magic took over, as we glided around the room in our socks, singing and dancing. They insisted on an encore. We did ‘S’Wonderful.’
As conclusion, Jack’s dad served us aperitifs. We were toasted. My parents appreciated the music from the 1950s and relaxed with their cocktails. Mummy had decided to delay dinner until all the fractious conversation came to a consensus.
She broached the topic, “It’s my rule that we not go in to eat until all is copacetic. I believe Father you may have allies on your side, with Burt and Susan. I fear we may have ganged up on you last week.”
The good Father responded, “I first want to compliment the Castles on Tim’s maturity and self-confidence. He conducted an incredibly moving youth group at Church this week. You should have heard his story of escaping Father Joseph’s clutches by sliding down the Church’s drain pipe. The kids loved it. It made the good father seem almost human.”
Dad came right to the point, “Why were you sliding down drain pipes?”
I was ready to explain, but Father Frank stopped me. “Much more to the point was he had the kids eating out of his hand. He introduced Jack and himself as gay boyfriends. He instantly found out which children had a negative reaction. Then he turned their love of Jesus into an acceptance of everyone, as Jesus would. The lesson was a parable right out of the Bible’s playbook.”
“You’re comparing my son to Jesus.”
“The kids call him ‘Teen Jesus.’”
Dad turned red. “No son of mine is..”
The Father shut him off. “Apparently he has been going to Baptist youth group and rolling around on the floor and becoming possessed of the holy spirit. Those children have reported seeing an apparition which they call ‘Teen Jesus’ because it looks and dresses as a teenager.”
“Dad, I’ve never called myself that. I tell everyone it isn’t me.”
Susan moved over and held my hand. “Your dad wants you to follow what the Church says.”
“I took first communion. I have Jesus in my heart, as do all the Baptist and Catholic kids. It’s the haters who try to steal innocent hearts away, telling them to be hateful. Why do Catholics and Baptists hate each other? These are kids.”
“Your son has incredible charisma. He communicates with all these kids so directly that the whole room is infused with the Holy Spirit. I want to take him to New York and see how he does with even larger groups.”
“Tim, this is so like all your stunts. You present it as a fait de complis and dare me to forbid you,” Dad was not happy
“Oh, dear,” Mrs. Stone worried, “can we resolve this before we eat? I feel like we’re imposing on the Castle family. We only want to compliment Tim on all the good he does and on his parents for raising such a wonderful boy.”
Dad answered, “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be discourteous. Tim and I have come to an understanding that I will treat him as a responsible adult as long as he recognizes that I am trying to instill proper values. He has promised to not be manipulative in getting his own way.”
“Obviously we are stepping into personal matters that have no place at dinner.”
Isabelle came in and announced that dinner was served.
“My dear friends,” Mrs. Stone turned to my parents, “You have welcomed my sweet boy into your home. I fear we haven’t made you feel as welcome here. Father Frank, please delay any further plans, as they concern Johnny as well, until the two families have had time to come to sensible conclusions.”
Everyone agreed. We went into the dining room. Today’s main course was roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding. My pudding looked like a roll to me, but I knew to shut up.
“Tim, would you say Grace?”
I had everyone hold hands like we did with Hippie’s two moms and gave the benediction. I heard Dad whispering to Father Frank that I was turning into a regular little Baptist, at which they chuckled. Susan hushed him. I was embarrassed he had such poor table manners. Jack was stroking my leg with his foot and Casper was playing with my ear. I was thoroughly annoyed. I barely got through Grace. The food was excellent, though. Conversations were going on around me. I missed Max.
My silence caught Mrs. Stone’s attention. “Tim, why don’t you tell everyone what is happening with the band.”
“We have split the band into two separate performing groups. False Gods is now the older group, with Johnny taking over my lead singing role, while I am replacing Jace as lead guitarist and backup vocals. Hippie has improved so much on bass we haven’t needed a rhythm guitarist.”
“You have a friend named Hippie?”
“His real name is Gregory, but we started calling him Hippie Greg and now just Hippie. He’s the Baptist.”
“Well, let’s not get into that again,” Mrs. Stone remarked.
“We still have the two drummers. We had fired Robby, but he’s back on probation.”
“He was the pagan.”
“Oh, dear Father,” Mrs. Stone complained. “Politics and religion are verboten at the table.”
“The big news is we are playing our first live concert with a famous rock n roll band at the Marine Hydroplane Course next month. That band also has double drummers, so we’re going to have to be in top form to play with them.”
“Just like sports.”
“We plan to take Easter school break to travel to New York and play a few road houses and youth groups to make sure fans like our songs. Our manager is arranging for us to take drivers education so we all have IDs.”
“Oh, I’m not sure Johnny’s ready to drive.”
“Mummy, I need to have an ID. I promise I won’t actually drive, just enough to pass the test.”
“Mummy knows best.”
Mr. Stone spoke for the first time. “I’m quite enjoying this meal. I feel we’re a normal family, fighting, arguing and showing our real feelings. Our regular dinners can be quite sterile, dear.”
“Can I get my license, too, Daddy?”
“Of course. You are 16, right.
“Yes, yes. Oh Mummy, I won’t drive, I promise.”
“There. All settled,” he pronounced and turned to my dad for his turn.
Dad took the cue, “Well, I’ve already said you can take drivers ed., so I suppose you want permission to go to New York. Well, if there’s responsible adult supervision, I can’t stand in the way of your juggernaut music career.”
“We can drive,” the two uncles cried.
“You’re hardly responsible,” Uncle Steve said to Uncle Tam.
“You’re the responsible one. I just want to go to the road houses,” Uncle Tam responded.
“Thanks, Daddy,” I effused. He gave me a cold stare.
Casper stopped bugging me and ran around the table kissing everyone. No one noticed but my parents. Susan smiled and my dad looked flustered. Jack and I instantly realized he could feel Casper. Maybe he did have a heart.
I went back to telling about the Out-Crowd playing lots of parties for the kiddie set and Guido stealing their pay. How Michael was given a two-seater Alpha for his birthday, so he could only drive Jenna around, not all the band. I thanked Mr. Stone for rescuing our play when AP Spencer tried to shut it down.
“I thought he was playing a role in the play,” he protested.
“Oh, he was. He just didn’t know it.” Everyone laughed except Dad.
“The best news is my parents are finally getting married. I’ll no longer be illegitimate.”
Everyone roared as my parents beamed, though Dad did give me a look.
“A June wedding?”
“Yes, but it’s my second, so we’re not making a big deal.”
Mummy stood up, “We have to have the ceremony and reception here. No question about it. Father Frank can officiate. Since it’s a second marriage, he loves to do in-home weddings, unless the Pope deigns to grant a dispensation.”
Isabella brought in desert, English trifle. Jack had to explain what it was. I kissed him on the cheek, “Oh, my little English trifle.”
Everyone looked pleased except Dad again. Father Frank patted him on his sleeve. “You’ll get used to it. You should see what goes on in seminary.”
The meal ended in good cheer. The men went into the study. Mrs. Stone took Susan and the gays back to the sitting room. I sent Casper to spy on the men. He reported they were relaxed. Dad was recounting all my sins over the years, while Father Frank was defending me. Mr. Stone remained satisfied that good manners had proven the way to get what we wanted. I punched Jack at that news. Everyone stopped talking and stared. Jack defended me, “Oh, that’s just a love tap. I told him his dad had surrendered to good manners and we’d get our way.”
As everyone was leaving, Jack started to lead me upstairs to change.
“I think I’ll ride home and catch it from Dad. He’s sure to exact his price for our victory.”
Jack looked distressed, “Don’t you need moral support?”
“Better to face his anger alone, otherwise he’ll keep it bottled up. Who knows when he’ll explode.”
“I want to help you,” and he hugged me. “Will he ever accept me? I’m such a pitiful specimen compared to his real son.”
“It took him 16 years to accept me. Don’t expect miracles. Casper will stay with you so you won’t be alone.”
Casper looked up brightly.
“Just remember the sex pact,” I warned Casper.
I ran out and jumped into the car with my folks.
He was complaining to Susan, “God damn Franciscans, always interfering in people’s lives. No wonder they can’t serve in parishes.”
“Calm down, Tim just got in,” Susan warned.
“Where’s your Jack-in-the-box?”
“He’ll come over later. I knew we needed to have this out alone. It hurt him that I didn’t want him here for moral support.”
“They aren’t our people, Tim. They expect to get their way always by good manners. Did you see them take over our wedding.’
“I thought it was sweet, dear. I can’t imagine getting married in such splendor. We’ll pay the expenses, if that bothers you.”
“They must think we’re charity cases.”
“They’re genuine in their ways.”
“Well, they’ve certainly adopted you. Dressing you up as a little monkey to sing and dance for your supper.”
“Burt,” Susan interjected. ”You’re being unkind. They treat Tim like their own.”
“Remember back in Alaska. All the families treated me like one of their own. They were all military, like us,” I wondered if he even knew.
“That’s the military way. It’s different. These people use money to get what they want.”
“But all they want is for Jack, and now me, to be good and happy.”
“Well, being goodie 2 shoes is certainly paying off for you.”
I hugged him from behind. He did a Hippie and drove off the road. Luckily there were no curbs in the Gables.
Susan and I giggled.
“I love you, Dad. I’m learning to appreciate your curmudgeon ways.”
Susan laughed, “Me, too.” And she kissed him.
He glanced at me to make sure I wasn’t about to kiss him as well. Such a happy family.
“I worry about you, boy. And stop the Teen Jesus business.”
I called Jack to say the coast was clear. Isabelle told me he had left on his bike, saying he was going to the Watt’s. I jumped on mine, thinking how next year, I might be driving a car. Then I kissed my old bike. So many adventures and good/bad times together. I got there before them. I was instantly jealous, imagining Casper raping a willing Jack under some tree. Scott answered the door, surprised to see me.
“You here for Stu?”
“No. Coach Earl sent me. He chewed me out, even though I no longer pay dues. He says I’ve ruined your swimming career.”
“Really?” I’d forgotten how gullible he was.
“No, but Coach Earl says you’re having an off-year. Wanna go swim in the bay and tempt fate again?”
He smiled at me for the first time in 9 months, then pulled me into a hug.
“I miss you.”
Then we were supposed to cry, but instead we laughed and started wrestling on the front lawn. Of course, Jack and Casper rode up just in time to see us fagging off.
“You boys made up?” Jack asked.
“He admitted I was the best coach he ever had. I told him to get his ass in gear or he’d be an ex-All-American this year.”
Scott punched me. Jack punched me. Casper punched me, Stu, Mike Jr. and John ran out. We were all rolling around on the grass. Mr. Watt came out and turned the hose on us. We all ran into the house, dripping all over Mrs. Watt’s floors.
“What’s this all about?” she complained.
“Sleepover,” we announced, even though it was Sunday night.
“Against my better judgment,” she acceded.
“Thanks, Mom,” we all yelled.
Even Scott piled into Stu’s room, who sat on his bed like a king overseeing his court. Mrs. Watt broke up that hen-house. Scott asked Jack and me to stay in his room. Casper wanted to be with John. When he realized Scott and I were going to tell Jack all the exploits we’d had, he was sitting on Scott’s bed with us.
I sniffed a couple of times, “Do I smell pussy in this bed.” I teased.
“Long gone, Romeo. You missed your chance.”
Jack looked pained.
“Jack’s worried I’m not gay enough for him, that I’ll throw him over for some fish smelling cunt.”
“Oh, he’s gay enough. My butt is still proof.” Scott responded
“I know about that,” Jack grinned. “But what about Tina?”
“Oh, the ever missing New York girlfriend. She shows up in July for a week. He’s bewitched by the perpetual virgin.”
“We’re going to New York so I can meet her.”
“Whoa. You must really be worried to do that.”
I explained, “He got so sad when we riding and you told him I had screwed girls with you.”
“I saw that, but we always did it together. It never stopped us from fucking each other, especially right after fucking the Lee sisters in North Carolina. We needed to feel clean again.”
Scott was really getting into it. Jack moved into my arms for security and comfort. Casper held his hand. Scott described all our exploits. I filled them in on how Joey got me to bang girls in New England and New York, so I wouldn’t think he had turned me gay. I told Scott and everyone about my trip to Hollywood. I never had a chance to tell him as that was the weekend he and Lydia were caught. Scott admitted he used Lydia. They had really been in love until she broke up with him. I told how I’d passed notes back and forth while they were grounded. Scott told about when her brother tried to keep them apart and that I’d stood up to the brother with him.
“Why does he fight so much?” Jack asked.
“We had fights when we were hating each other, but swimmers are lame and never hurt each other,” I answered.
“I saw him almost kill this guy who wanted to rape me. Tim rushed into the room and kept beating on him after he went down. Then he knocked Robby out with one blow when Robby made a crack about Casp.., er, Jace’s mom. Last week he knocked a redneck down with his guitar and held him with a foot to the neck until the police got there.”
“He’s definitely hot-blooded. It can work in the sack. Just keep him there. That’s where I screwed up.”
“So now you think you’re gay after all?” I teased him.
“I definitely lusted for you, but I guess it’s mostly girls for me.”
“The exception proves the rule,” Jack hoped.
“Maybe saving your life gave me an edge.”
“Yeah, I couldn’t stand being away from him for days. I even dragged him on vacation. Now my family treats him like a lost son. And I’m the prodigal one.”
“Let’s test it,” Jack wanted to remove all doubt. “You’ve kissed him, a lot it sounds like. So sitting here with me, kiss him Scott, so I can tell if you’re turned on.”
“These are the games girls play.” Scott demurred. “You’re torturing yourself, Jack. We’re over. The only thing that’s changed is now I’m not ashamed to admit we loved each other. I was the asshole and lost him. He moved on and now moved on again. He’s so hot-blooded. He’ll burn you up.”
“That’s what Coach said last week.”
“Why did he comment on my crappy swim year.”
“He saw you were with us and asked if we were friends again. He doesn’t miss much. They blame me for pushing you so hard at State that you can’t repeat it.”
“You scared the crap out of me. I was on pure adrenaline when I won that race. You gonna come back and count for me again?”
”Sure, but you know you have it in you to do it yourself.”
“I can’t find that groove, as they say.”
“Don’t tell Coach I had anything to do with it, but you need to swim with the college team now. You’re an All-American. Commit to Miami for college. He’ll kick your butt to get you to repeat it.”
“You’re right. I just mope all the time at practice. Last year was so much fun. Now I hate it.”
“Talk to Wilkie. He’s really a great guy. He’ll tell Coach. Diaz thinks I ruined you, so he’s given up on you. Challenge Coach to believe in you.”
He hugged me again. Jack watched for any rise from my jeans. Then he snapped my briefs and got a real reaction.
“When did you start wearing colored underwear?” Scott observed my latest style.
“We make $100 a day selling and signing underwear for pre-teen girls in the Grove.”
“Little girls wear boys underwear now?”
“No, they supposedly make their 12-year-old boyfriends wear them so they can pretend they’re like us.”
“You guys are sick.”
Casper lost interest and floated to Stu’s room and cuddled with John who was already asleep. John shifted in his sleep to make Casper comfortable.
Scott said we should all share his bed, instead of the floor. Jack insisted he sleep between us.
“I’m taking no chances,” he announced.
Later after we had been asleep, I saw that Scott had moved over and had a big hard-on nestled against Jack’s butt. I was glad it was Jack he was molesting, who remained totally oblivious.
Next morning we had breakfast with the Watt’s zoo. Scott in his dorky way convinced me that his amorous moves toward my boyfriend were entirely innocent. I was pleased to see John smiling some. I winked at Casper as the culprit. Coach Earl had warned me that as soon as John felt comfortable enough to talk about his abuse, he’d probably relapse from dragging up the bad memories. At least, he was finding real love in his new family. Maybe his guitar playing was another way to release the emotions. He was sounding better and better. Casper helped there, too. It made me love Casper as much as I loved Jace’s memory.
In English, Mr. Clark received a standing ovation for our play’s success. Robby jumped up to kiss him again, but we all threw paper and pens at him to defend poor Mr. Clark, who seemed conflicted over it all. Topics for the year’s final performance were discussed, but I was barely listening. Plans for the orgy crossed my mind, but I thought we needed to do more for Casper’s 16th birthday. The original idea was to find his crack-head mom. Now that idea had exploded into a tour of hillbilly road houses and a performance at St Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC. We still had the video of Jace’s Tribute to record. The gay uncles seemed ready to drive us on our road trip. All we needed to do was make Jace’s birthday the kickoff of False Gods’ Spring tour.
“What are you smiling about, Mr. Castle,” Mr. Clark asked.
“It’s Jace’s birthday on Wednesday. Our guitarist who died. I realized that he’s the one we have to concentrate on to get everything done before our Skynyrd concert.”
“Anything we can do to help?”
“Want to plan an orgy?” I asked.
The class roared “Yes.” His deer-caught-in-the-headlights look returned.
During Nutrition I called Mike Sr. to tell him what had transpired over the weekend. He put me on with Jay, the assistant. I told him, “Cancel the van and tell Guido’s brother to stuff it, we have two adult chaperons. More importantly, book the video recording studio for Wednesday, so we can record the Jace Tribute. And get us those drivers ed. IDs as soon as possible. Tell Mike Sr. that we’re booked to play St Patrick’s at Easter in New York City. And call that booking agent in Memphis and tell him to book us up the coast at real Southern road houses. False Gods is going on tour. We need those rooms at the Chelsea for Easter weekend, and maybe we can find a show for Good Friday in the Bowery. After Easter, we‘re doing the real tour, comin’ home. Sweet Home Alabama.”
“Sounds like you’re already lost.” And he hung up
I got pulled out of Biology for a call in the office. Mike Sr. called to confirm we were set to record on Wednesday. He had a big time New York Director coming down, but needed a firm date.
“Have your assistant book the studio and we’ll be there all day and night. I think I’m going to be sick and miss school that day. Who’s the director?”
“A guy from NYU, Martin Scorsese.”
“Sounds Italian, to me.”
“You’re damn right,” And we laughed.
I ditched the rest of the day, pulling Jack out as well. We climbed into Robby’s window, and even Hippie was there. We rolled on Robby and starting beating him up. Everyone went to their respective corners to watch. The faux fight went on long enough for Jack and me to get hard. Finally I held Robby down as Jack pulled out his semi-boner and waved it in Robby’s face, “You want some of this asshole. Bend over.”
Ricky knew well enough now to play along. I rolled him over and he stuck his butt into the air. I faked getting jealous, grabbed Jack, threw us both out the window, hoisted him over my shoulder, and ran home. We waited by our window for the whole gang to sneak through the trees so they could watch our show again. As Dave and Jazz stuck their heads out of the leaves, we snatched them and dragged them into our room, locking the window behind us. We all sat bouncing on the bed and got them to make all kinds of sex noises and scream that they were being raped. The others were banging on the window and yelling to get the police. Dad came out with the hose and sprayed the ones at our window, until they ran away.
What to do with our new co-conspirators? First things first, I pulled out a joint and we got wasted from Grant’s Ganja. Unlike the Colombian, it hit you hard right away. Naturally it also made Jack horny. Soon he was rubbing his hard dick up and down my back as we sat on the bed.
“What are you going to do with us?” the boys stammered.
“Make you watch us have sex.”
““Ew”, they screamed and ran down the stairs where the door was unlocked. We ran after them waving our dicks at their disappearing shadows. We stopped before we reached the front yard, considering we were buck-ass naked. Teen Jesus Rampage.
I called Robby and told him to have everyone ditch on Wednesday. It was Jace’s 16th. I’d booked a studio to celebrate.
At rehearsal we went over all the songs we planned to record, mostly Pink Floyd and the Velvet Underground. Robby pulled out the new Pink Floyd album. We lit up and played it through. The title song, ‘Wish You were Here:’
It really got to me. I knew it would be the song to finish the tribute, after ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ / ‘Brain Damage.’
The Jacettes were happy to have songs with prominent backup vocals. Iggy was recruited to do all the Syd Barrett insane vocals, laughs and evil grunts. We’d do the Beatles’ songs to go with the exit footage. For the dance footage of the kids, it had to be 50’s/60’s pop songs.
After agreement was reached, I pulled Dave and Jazz aside, “Wanna make some money?”
“We ain’t watchin’ you guys get it on.”
“No, I’m talking about you working at Out & Proud while we’re on Easter Break.”
“Yeah, pretending we’re gay so we can get raped.”
“It’s a hundred bucks a day.”
“I ain’t selling my ass for a hundred bucks.”
“Shut up, stupid. We sell gay underwear to 12-year-old girls. All you have to do is flash your briefs. They’ll run and buy the same ones for their little boyfriends.”
“Who wants our nasty old holey briefs?”
“Felix gets you to model the ones they sell there.”
“That’s totally gay.”
“Okay, I’ll just ask Stu and Mike Jr.”
“No way, we’ll do it just for the money.”
“You can play your songs and get more fans for the Out-Crowd.”
They were reluctant, but the power of money and some perverted sense of exhibitionism got them to go along.
We all rode to the store after practice. Felix sized them up and questioned whether they were gay enough. I quietly told him that was his job. He took them into the dressing room. They were putty in his hands.
We all walked into the Youth Center side. The place was packed. Different groups of kids were gathered in various corners. There even appeared to be a gay section, equally mixed with both girl and boy same-gender types. The hardcore was all girls. The more mixed group had girls with their boyfriends. It was a little people’s convention. Once they saw us, they surrounded us and wanted to know who Dave and Jazz were. We explained about the new band, the Out-Crowd, which had been playing kids shows for several months.
The boys wanted to know if Out meant out of the closet. Dave answered all the questions and explained they were straight but were our friends from the neighborhood.
“Out-Crowd means the opposite of the In-Crowd, so I’m sure there are fans who are gay. We’re just about making everyone feel included, not just gays.”
The nerdy kids surrounded Jazz who acted as uncomfortable as they did.
“Why don’t you play some songs. Jack and I’ll will sing and play guitar.”
We set up the equipment we now kept at the store. In a few minutes, we stared off with our signature ‘ABC,’ by the Jackson 5.
It was a radical change from the hymns Jack and I had been playing for them. Kids were dancing in their socks A couple of boys came up and we let them sing. Dave and Jazz got into it, so we went to speak with Felix.
“We’re going on tour for Easter to get ready for our concert debut in April. Hopefully Dave and Jazz will fill in for us.”
“But they’re not gay,” he complained.
“Yeah, but they’re more these kids’ age and can relate.”
“Next we’ll be opening in the mall.”
“Relax, Felix. You’re making a profit and providing a place for kids to be themselves.”
“Whoop dee doo.”
Felix gave us the briefs to wear that day. We went back to the Youth Center. We pulled up our tees and showed off the wares. Dave and Jazz showed off their’s. At first the girl buyers seemed confused, but in the end they decided to get both styles. Felix’s sales were double for the day. As we rode back to the Gables, Dave and Jazz were giddy with $100 in their pockets. Dave had collected a bunch of telephone numbers and was wondering if 12 was too young for him. I told him to have Guido pass the numbers along to Mike Sr.’s assistant so he could have a way to contact their fans. As they headed to Dave’s, he asked, “You guys wouldn’t really make us watch you fuck each other?”
“Would have been educational.”
“I’m a dropout, remember?”
“There’s no test at the end.
“What did you tell the youth group about me last week?”
“You heard about that?”
“My friends think you’re some kinda hero for being gay. Now they suspect me.”
“Sorry. It’s all that Teen Jesus stuff.”
“You gotta tell them I’m not gay.”
“The whole point is there’s nothing wrong with being gay.”
“Unless you’re forced to watch them do it.”
“You loved being chased down the street by two gay guys.”
“You’re worse than Robby.” And he punched me.
“I tell the kids to report anyone who abuses you.”
“You’ll be hearing from Father Joseph.”
“I’m sure I will.”
They rode off with Casper riding behind Dave, who was oblivious of the arms wrapped around him.
“Excited about the video shoot?” I asked Jack.
“What am I supposed to do? I wasn’t there. You played guitar and sang by yourself. I hardly knew you then. It was to die for when you used to say hi in English. I would get there early, hoping you wouldn’t ditch that day. When you came in the door, I’d look up and you’d smile. It felt like my balls would drop to the floor.”
“You were crushing. Sorry I was so oblivious.”
“But you chose me for Titania. It was the thrill of my life.”
“Not when we fucked the first time.”
“Well, you spoiled that by telling me it was a wet dream, and that it was really Casper. It felt totally different the first time we did it.”
“You mean when I fucked the shit out of you for thirty minutes after beating up Robby.”
“That wasn’t the first time. We’d been doing it with Casper.”
“Then the first time alone ‘cause I really had to ‘do’ you then and couldn’t stop.”
“Yeah, you were an animal. But what I meant was the way your dick felt the first time it was really inside me”
“You like that, huh? Now you got me going,” and I pulled him upstairs and threw him on the bed. He wrapped his legs around me and let me penetrate him to my balls at first thrust. For a virgin his ass was exceptionally limber, not loose. He rode me, squealing every time I hit his prostrate and moaning if I pulled out too far. I started out grunting, but as I reached my climax, my pitch was went higher and higher. We were two squealing pigs. I was on my knees, holding him firmly off the bed as he hung on. We slowly crawled forward and at the end his head was banging against the head-board with every thrust. I didn’t even notice when he came, but when we were done he said he had climaxed three times, his first multiple orgasms. Once was enough for me. I just kept kissing him and telling him I loved him so much. He started to sob. So I rolled him over and did him one more time, until the tears stopped. Collapsing, I drew him into a cuddle, with my dick still inside.
Sitting in the window was Casper. He’d been there long enough that the sex pact rule wasn’t broken.
“I’ve never seen you fucking before,” he signed. “You’re a stud.”
I motioned for him to join us. We had Jack in the middle, our love child. I looked longingly into his eyes. It gave me shivers that Casper was looking at me just as he had done after being shot.
“We love each other so much we couldn’t let go,” I signed.
“I should spend more time with John, so you love birds can be alone.”
“What about the pact?” I signed.
“Fuck the pact, you fuck so much better when it’s just the two of you. I’m a distraction. He deserves all of you.”
I started to sob. Losing him was happening all over again.
Jack woke up and seeing my tears, asked what the matter was.
“Casper thinks you deserve all of me. He says I fuck better when he’s not here to distract me.”
“No! I love Casper, too. I will be so sad if he leaves. It’s not fair. Does he want to leave?”
“No,” he signed. “I want Tim to be happy and for you to have all of him.”
“I love you, Casper. I will be destroyed if you leave. It’ll ruin everything.”
Casper held both of us together.
One happy family. And families celebrate birthdays. Wednesday was Casper’s 16th. I had told Mike Sr. we needed the studio to record the Jace Tribute, but really it was a celebration of his life, the Tom Sawyer episode where he and Huck get to go to their own funeral, dressed as girls. It was sounding familiar. Of course, only a few of us knew that Jace never left us.
The band was told to show up at the studio at 6 am and meet the recording crew. We walked in looking for coffee. A short man with bushy eyebrows met us. He looked Italian.
“Do you work for Mr. Antonio?” I asked.
“Yes, I do. And you work for me. Are you the singer?”
“Follow me to the editing room. I have a lot of ideas and need to know if you can do what I need. How old are you?”
“Perfect. Do as told and all will be well. Tell those other kids, there’s coffee in the front office.”
I yelled the directions to them and caught up a second later.”
“Good,” he said, “at least they follow directions. Are you the leader?”
“Well, this is how it goes. I’ve blocked out scenes to shoot in front of a green screen. I’ll mix your performance here today with the footage shot in January. Look at these stills and notice what you wore then. I’ll send for the same clothes if you still have them.”
I looked and recognized my usual white button down and black trousers. I wrote a note for Mom to give the outfit to the messenger.
“Now, I’ve blocked out all the songs for you to perform. Ever been filmed before.”
“Just my first communion.”
“Good boy. I’ll tell you what to do If you have a question, wait until we’ve done the scene my way. This is your band, but it’s my movie. Trust me and I’ll trust you. You have the song list you did?”
I handed him our set list.
“These Beatles songs are a problem. They never assign their rights to anyone.”
“Wasn’t ‘A Little Help from My Friends,” written by someone else?”
“I’ll have it checked. “Love’ is definitely out.
“Our band has a ‘Love’ song we wrote after listening to theirs. We could do that and see how it works.”
“Okay, we’ll do it. I‘ll decide if we use it. Take these mark ups and let every band member know where to stand and how to move. What are we going to do with your little boyfriend?”
“I thought he could sing with me. We harmonize well as he sings alto to my tenor.”
“Regular Lennon-McCartney buggers are you?”
“I don’t think the Beatles were gay.”
“Get over yourself. I meant that’s how they harmonized. But we can’t have an extra body in the shots.”
“Can he sing offstage? We’ve arranged the songs that way?”
“This isn’t a recording studio where we’re going to mix and overdub. We need it to be raw.”
“That’s fine, but doing a duet will bring out my emotions.”
He thought for a while. “Okay, we’ll make out like you’re singing to the dead guitarist. Tell your boyfriend we’ll take lots of footage of him but not while you’re playing. Half this documentary’s going to be you guys doing this recording session. It’ll all be impromptu, so he can be in it. Make this work today, or we shit-can the whole project. There’s no time for re-shoots.”
“Jesus, what kinds rock n roller are you. Call me Martin.”
I went back and gave everyone their marching orders. Robby was the only one to complain.
“There’s the door,” I told him. “We don’t need a second drummer.”
I took Jack aside and explained how I was to be singing to a dead Jace. He would be the second voice. He didn’t care that he wasn’t in the video.
I showed Martin the new Pink Floyd album. We listened to ‘Wish You Were Here.” He agreed it was perfect for the last song, making a note to obtain the rights.
He took Jack and stuck him at the far end of the room on top of spare speakers.
“Ya gotta look like you’re singing to the dead.” He explained to me.
Casper sat next to him. I wouldn’t have to stretch to nail that scene.
Martin told me it was good to cry a lot. “So, don’t hold back.”
I panicked, thinking how hard I had worked to stop crying.
We started with ‘Shine on, You Crazy Diamond.’
It was the song we dedicated to our first real night together. The tears came easily. Martin didn’t say a word about my crying, neither mocking me or encouraging the water works. He just let them come easily. After doing the Pink Floyd, we moved on to the Lou Reed songs. Martin took a much greater interest in their performance, stopping us several times. Obviously he was much more into a New York sound, than arty English rock. On ‘Walk on the Wild Side,” he captured the girls doing the doo da doo backup vocals.
He even changed the lighting so they looked more Black than Hispanic. He asked me for a song with the girls, so Mary and I did our duet in ‘Free Bird.’
Where are those two boys who did the pop songs?”
“Still in school?”
“At 4 in the afternoon?” We’d been recording for ten hours. It felt like we’d just started.
“Then they’re at the University pool for swim team.”
Off went another assistant. I called Mrs. Watt and asked her to bring Stu and Mike Jr.’s outfits to the studio.
“They boys were devastated they weren’t asked to be in the movie.”
“I didn’t think about it, since they’re in the other band. It was the director who wants them.’
“My baby’s going to be high as a kite for weeks. I can’t stand it.”
“Not exactly high, I believe. But stick around and watch. I know you love seeing them perform.”
“And we’re having a party to celebrate Jace’s 16th birthday.”
The boys came running in, Stu doing his rounds introducing himself to everyone. When he met Martin, he asked if he got to wear makeup.
“Why, so you’ll look thirteen?
John straggled after them.
Mom Watt came in and gave the boys their outfits. Martin made her sign releases and hired her as chaperone on the set. He set her in a director’s chair, and soon they were chatting away. I noticed that a camera was recording this scene, but Mom didn’t notice. I went over to listen and heard her retell the ‘Proud Mary’ song. How Jace taught all the kids to sing ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ when we went out to carol for Christmas. She then made me come over and had me sit in her lap, as she told Martin all my Stu adventures, when he was ten. I was squirming to get away, but she knew how to control that behavior. She even told about our adventures with the hillbillies in North Carolina. I couldn’t remember if I had any editorial control on this project. I doubted it.
Once we finished with the boys’ pop songs including the Max version of ‘Ben,’ they went home with Mom. I asked John to stay, since it was a celebration of his brother. Martin then asked what we had done when we finished at Viscaya.
“Toked up,” Robby yelled, pulling a joint from behind his ear. Martin lit him up with his cigar lighter, then moved back so we could be filmed committing a felony. He took John and seated him next to his director’s chair. Somehow he got John to open up and talk about Jace. Maybe he was a pretty good director after all.
We started talking about Jace. Max appeared once he smelled la mota. He had been sleeping in a corner. Max put on a show as we all gave him shotgun hits. He stumbled, rolled over, stuck his legs in the air. Casper came down and rubbed his belly, until he returned to his corner, putting a paw on his head ‘Our Gang’ style. Everyone had Max stories. Robby told how Max came over and made him get up and give him bong hits when he was so depressed after being kicked out of the band. Martin asked why he was kicked out, and Robby showed restraint (for once) and said, “I have a mean streak but Tim is making me work on it. He thinks he’s ‘Teen Jesus.’
“And you’re my Judas.” I laughed.
“So, trouble in paradise?”
“Robby’s an instigator and everyone was telling me I had to ‘grow a pair’ to straighten him out.’
“Yeah, knocked me down and kicked the crap out of me so I was in bed for a week. Max came and rescued me. We both needed our weed.”
Everyone was telling funny stories about Jace, until Edi burst into tears, saying she missed him so much. Casper was beside her, giving hugs and kisses.
“I feel like he’s right here, with me, trying to reach me and make me feel better.”
“Flo revealed the underwear selling gig we had at the gay shop in the Gables, pulling up my shirt and snapping my waistband. Edi pulled up Jack’s. He stood up and twirled around so everyone could see, the little perverted extrovert.
We hadn’t finished recording. We now got to do our Love song to replace the Beatles song at the end of the concert. Martin had gotten us stoned, so we’d be relaxed. He explained, it would show us leaving the castle and meeting a thousand fans who waited for us to finish the kids’ party. The rougher the recording, the more authentic it would be. He didn’t know we always played stoned.
“And when we do an album of the movie’s music, we can use your song as the single, since we don’t have to pay anybody for the rights.”
We set up. I had Jack come up so I could sing with him. Instead of copying the Beatles’s opening of dut da dat da dah, we went da dah dat,
“Love, love, love
“I never feel this way.
Just happy full of play.
I wake up every day,
You’re by my side,
You reach and touch,
I say goodbye.
There’s no future,
But we have now.
We’re perfect for each other,
I never think of another.”
Can’t be love, but who can say
I know you’re here to stay?
There’s no future,
But we have now.
‘We can’t live by ourselves.
We need people that we love
We hate those who hate themselves
We know what they’re made of.
Love, love, love
I need your love
I need your love
I need your love
I need you
We were so stoned, I couldn’t tell if it was any good. Martin said, “Great, That’s a wrap.”
Iggy jumped up from the hole he had been hiding in, “You haven’t done my song.”
“Who’s this?” Martin asked.
“This is Iggy,” I introduced him. “He yells at us from the crowd that we haven’t done any American metal. We let him do the Stooges’ ‘Search and Destroy,’ and if the crowd likes him, he does Iggy Pop’s ‘I Wanna be Your Dog.”
Martin then had a big birthday cake brought out, stenciled ‘Happy 16th Jace.’ Mom Watt had come through. It lasted about a New York minute as everyone had the munchies.
Martin pulled me aside.
“You guys were great. I wish Hollywood stars were as easy to direct.”
“Can I see it when the editing’s done.”
“If you come to the City.”
“We’ll be there for Easter. We’re playing St Patrick’s.”
“Playing? like your Southern Death Rock?”
“We promised to stick with hymns. It’s the Teen Jesus thing.”
“This will be your next movie. Kid Rocker goes straight to Heaven, bypassing several Popes to sainthood.”
“You can shoot it.”
“I will film, if you’re really playing the Cathedral on Easter Sunday.”
“Maybe we’ll do the Southern Death Rock show on Good Friday, if I can get Andy Warhol to let us play the Factory. I met him once.”
“How old were you then?”
“Fourteen. When he found out, he screamed and said to come back when I was legal; he’d make me a star.”
“I’m going to make you a star. Why don’t you let me book you at CBGB’s that night. Andy can try to resurrect you for Sunday.”
I smiled, “It’s a deal.”
The film crew left, which let us celebrate with bong hits. I called Grant and told him to bring his crew over. He was impressed big time we had a studio. Jack had been quiet for a while, but the pot brought him over to my side.
“Wanna go explore?” I suggestively suggested.
His stoned eyes perked up, knowing what I wanted. Casper was wrapped up with John who was smiling as part of the group. I needed to be alone with Jack. I had realized he was becoming strictly a bottom in our love-making. Because he was slight and obviously loved getting fucked, it might be his natural role. But I knew he had to fuck me as well. It wasn’t a problem with Casper or Jace. Scott was a total top. He was so enamored of me, he let me fuck him and enjoyed it. Could Jack enjoy being a top?
“You’ve got that look. What’s up?” he asked as we settled into a dark control room away from every one.
“Do you like fucking? I mean being the fucker.”
“Sure, I love fucking you. Maybe I like getting fucked too much?”
“No. You never hold back and are open, literally, to anything.”
“What’s this about? Do you think I’m a queenie bottom?”
“I guess it might be seeing Scott again.”
“He’d offered himself to me like he owed it to me. He was so straight. He just naturally wanted to top.”
“You were the queenie bottom?”
“No. I had to assert my desire to top him. Maybe that’s why we went looking for girls.”
“You want to see me assert my top abilities right now?” He had that glint in his eyes I loved.
“That would be nice,” I demurely smiled at him.
He ripped his shirt off, beat on his chest and yelled like Tarzan, pushing me to the floor and pulled down my trousers and briefs. He looked at my rock hard dick, skipped giving me head, and covered his fingers with spit, which he shoved up my rectum. I rolled back and my legs went up into the air. Another glob of spit went on his twitching dick. He entered me, pumping about halfway down his cock, then slowly pumping until his balls were slapping my ass.
“Wow,’ I screeched. “More.”
I put my legs on his shoulders and my dick was rubbing against his pumping abs. I was going over the edge, way too soon. In 30 seconds I was pumping cum onto our stomachs. He barely noticed, keeping up the deep thrusting, changing to short strokes deep inside my ass as I finished my orgasm. I’d never had a dick so far up my ass. I was moaning and groaning as the last spurts finished, with him moving the tip of his hose deep inside me to tickle the last jism out.
“I love you. I love you,” he firmly asserted as he went back to deep thrusts. My dick never went down and my heart raced as he declared his love.
“I need you. I need you so much.” I replied.
He sped up his pace, throwing his head back with his eyes closed as he reached his limit. He had me fully under his control. I relaxed, just responding to his thrusts. I went over the edge again as he went rigid for a second. I felt his hose jerk and spurt from the tip to his balls, stimulating my guts, rectum, ass and thighs.
“Ah, yes, yes, oh no, yes, ah ah oh, ooh, ooh,” He screamed with each jerk and ejaculation. My whole body continued to shake and shiver as he finished. Our bellies were covered with a mixture of frothy cum from my first climax and clear, stringy liquid from the most recent one. I locked my legs around his waist and squeezed as hard as I could. He slapped me across the face and we unlocked.
“I can’t breathe,” he said, collapsing on top of me.
He slapped me again, “Take that bitch.”
“Anytime, mastah.” I quipped.
He rolled off, still breathing like he couldn’t get enough air. After five deep breaths, he jumped up, pulling on his jeans. He ran out of the control booth. I hurriedly put on my clothes and got back to our studio in time to see him tackle Casper, who was sitting with John. He dragged him into the space behind some spare amps. John looked distressed at what appeared to be spastic actions on Jack’s part, unable to see his brother being dragged away. I hurried over and kept the others from investigating what Jack was doing humping and groaning in the corner.
Robby figured out what was happening.
“Looks like Jack has grown a pair. From the looks of Tim, he just took it out on him.”
Everyone laughed. I glanced back and saw Casper with his ass stuck up taking Jack doggy style. That wasn’t going to last long, I thought. Soon Jack was howling so much that stoned Max came over and was licking Casper’s face. It was true Max lovin’ doggy style.
Jack finished and pulling his jeans up, with a deranged look on his face. He zeroed in on Edi, grabbing her hand and dragged her back to the control booth. Everyone followed them, with Mary and Flo looking highly concerned. The door was locked and with no lights on, we could barely make them out. At first, Edi was saying, “No, No.’
Then it was, “Not there, move it back a little.”
Then, “Yeah, that’s how to do it. Oh, Jack, oh, Jack.”
This went on for quite a while. We tried knocking on the door. We were sure he was raping her at first, but her cries of pleasure changed our minds. I smiled and realized Jack had changed to anal, thereby saving her virginity. It was his instinctual response. Casper and I had done well in bringing up our boy. Finally, they came out. Edi looked totally flustered and immediately ran to the Ladies with Mary and Flo. Jack sauntered over to me and gave me a big kiss. Turning to everyone, he announced, “Don’t worry, I saved her virginity by using the back door.”
Everyone was in hysterics. The girls didn’t come out for twenty minutes, but when they did, all went to Jack and kissed him in approval of his thoughtful technique. It must be his superior breeding. Casper was sitting with us, with a satisfied look. I knew what he felt like.
“You satisfied that you got your orgy, birthday boy?” I signed.
“Well, it was a three-way until Robby and Mary got it on while you all were so concerned about Edi. It was an orgy. A great one.”
John had totally ignored our behavior, a typical kid. I went over and asked what he had talked about with Martin.
“He’s the first adult who really listened.”
“Did you talk about Jace?”
“Yeah, I told how he had tried to defend me against Jeff, even though he was only ten. How my mom never believed him when Jeff lied about the things he did to us.”
“You talked about the abuse?”
“”Naw. Not ready for that, yet. But I think Martin knew and didn’t press it. He did ask if he could put what I said in the movie. I didn’t care as long as it wasn’t going to make people think I was a gay.”
He moved over and let me put my arm around him.
“You make me feel safe. I wish you had been there to defend me, like you did for Jace. I was so happy when you beat Jeff down and told him to stop abusing us.”
“You feel safe at the Watt’s. Right?”
“Yeah, they’re a real family. Why would they take in a loser like me?”
It was what Coach had warned me about him regressing when he started talking about the abuse.
“You’re a great kid, John. Every time I see you, I see Jace loving you, showing you to how to play, holding you in your sleep, just happy to be with you.”
“Really, you see him? I swear I can feel him near me.”
“I know he’s in my heart. he tells me he’ll always love you, like he loves me.
Casper was holding John and crying. The blue wispy tears were falling around us, glittering in the dim light.
Jack had been glowing from the spotlight on his new studly self. When he saw the tears, he came over and hugged John, who settled into his arms as well.
“Jace?” Jack asked.
“Yeah, John can feel his love right now.”
The others started gathering around. They all whispered, “Jace?”
I hadn’t cried so much in forever. I swore I’d go back to the new me tomorrow. All ten of us were gathered around Casper and John, crying and laughing. Max came over and licked the blue tears away. Somehow Martin knew to have a camera taking stills every 15 seconds. This was the picture on the back of the Jace Tribute album. If you traced the empty spot in the middle of the huddle, you could just make out Jace’s outline. It’s like playing a Beatles album backwards.
There was only one thing left to do – pizza and beer at Sorrento’s. We locked up the studio and all jumped into Hippie’s poor, overload station wagon. Jack and I lay with Flo and Edi on the floor in the way back, leaving room for everyone up front.
Flo looked at me, snapping my waistband, “My turn,” and she went down on me. Jack rolled over and was kissing me, while Edi gave him head. Jace signed, “This is a real orgy,” and jumped in. Everyone up front ignored the swaying and bouncing of the wagon, blaming Hippie for bad driving. He didn’t go off the road, but admitted it made him feel better when he looked in the rear-view mirror, able to see the girls going down on us. His prayers had been answered.
Jack was over the moon, no longer a silly virgin. I was a little sore, but it was worth it for the ride he gave me. Pot was definitely a wonder drug for that boy. At least he didn’t need to call his nerdy friends to tell all. When I asked about them he insisted I come to their next game night. Sounded about as much fun as a Baptist hoedown, so I readily agreed. Jack hosted them in an attic game room, where his robber barons had run their weekly poker games. It was on Saturday night. I’d stay over and go to church with the Stones before Sunday dinner. I was starting to experience culture shock from hanging out with the ultra-rich and doing so much with the parents. I hardly had a chance to be a rebel. Maybe Teen Jesus was taking over, possessing me like the Guardian had warned. Max to the rescue. Instead of going to my room, we all trooped over to Robby’s for midnight madness. Jack was becoming a preppy stoner. Max was satisfied. Dave was through telling me to stay out of his church group if I continued to tell stories about him. We attacked Robby to rev up our hormones, until I threw Jack over my shoulder and returned the hard fucking favor until we both passed out.
Surprisingly refreshed in the morning we were only fifteen minutes late to English. Although we both were slightly stiff, Jack managed to strut into class and proclaimed, “I have a girlfriend.”
Even Mr. Clark gasped. The girls all looked sad for me, so Jack said, “Tim’s fine with it because she’s his girlfriend’s best friend.”
Now the girls had no sympathy for me. The drama class’s (somewhat) straight boys were congratulating Jack and wanting details, but he was not kissing and telling.
“So you had the orgy,” a boy remembered.
“I thought you were both sick yesterday,” Mr. Clark complained.
“We took a sick day to record the soundtrack to our movie and after, five of us had an orgy.”
“Did you have to pay the girls?”
“We all got it on in the back of Hippie’s station wagon. I’d already been laid, so it was easy to do it again,” Jack provided details
“Enough,” I whispered. ‘How are you going to explain that Edi was/is Jace’s girlfriend.”
“If you got laid, how come you’re walking funny?”
“The orgy, Tim was there.”
“Jack!” I hissed.
“Enough of me, what did we miss yesterday.”
“Not as much as we missed,” quipped Mr. Clark.
The rest of the week zipped by. It was Saturday night. I found myself sitting with a group of zitty teen boys pretending I was a warrior elf. Dungeon Master Jack was torturing my elf with multiple Orc attacks. I was on my fifth replacement arm and considering a suicidal attack just to escape a deviously complicated cave. Finally Jack asked if we were ready for snacks. I pulled out a joint from behind my ear, “I invoke this magic spell to overcome the Orc attack.”
Everyone froze and looked at Jack, the final authority.
“Spark it up. Those who do not partake will fall under a thirty minute time out spell.”
I inhaled and passed the joint to Jack. The pot spell worked instantly. He jumped into my lap, kissed me and announced that we were boyfriends.
I was sure that the power of the pot spell would scare off the rest of our gaming crew, but it only encouraged them. I wasn’t ready for another orgy. Whereas Jack got horny, the rest of them just got silly, giggling and falling off their chairs. We sat around on the floor in a circle, as they pestered Jack about what had happened to him. They had only heard rumors.
“Yes,” he was involved with Teen Jesus and going to Baptist and Catholic youth groups.
“No,” he wasn’t selling his ass at a gay shop in the Grove, just selling and signing underwear to pre-teens. He pulled up his shirt to show off the day’s garish briefs.
“That is so gay,” they complimented him.
“Yes,” he played a girl in the Shakespeare performance class, but that was how it was done in Elizabethan times.
“Yes, he was in a rock band and we’d just shot a documentary about the New Year’s Eve show at Viscaya. In true nerd style, they knew who Martin Scorsese was. And the band was opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd at a concert in the Bay. They hadn’t heard of that band.
“You haven’t heard the latest. I have a girlfriend.” This was the biggest shock. They all looked at me in sympathy.
“It’s okay,” I said. “She’s my girlfriend’s girlfriend.”
They refused to believe this, saying we were putting them on about everything. Casper had been dozing in the corner until the joint came out. He furiously signed, “Teen Jesus.”
“So you don’t believe in Teen Jesus?” I asked.
They all shook their heads. Casper picked up the D&D dice. He madly shook them up and scattered them on the floor inside our circle.
The boys all screamed and moved away. Casper went around and found one boy who could feel his presence and started kissing him. Soon the boy was writhing on the floor from the stimulation. I grabbed him away from Casper and sat him between Jack and me, keeping Casper away. It looked like I was fighting the devil for his soul. It was worse than when Robby tortured Dave and Jazz about being burned by hell fire. They were blubbering incoherently.
“Enough,” I signed to Casper who thought it all was hilarious.
“What happened to you?” I asked the boy.
“Someone was kissing me. It was too scary. Kinda sexy though,” and he giggled. The rest of them crawled back, believing Jack and I would protect them.”
“The first time he did it to me, I thought I had a wet dream with Tim in it. I’d never been high before and ended up in his bed,” Jack confessed all.
Their eyes got big again. I noticed that two boys were holding each other. These nerdy boys are all alike. Another boy noticed also.
“Look who’s also queer,” He pointed and looked superior.
“Is that a bad thing?” Jack asked.
“Sure, if you wanna ever have a girlfriend and get married.”
“Why do that if you’re queer?” Jack responded.
“Everybody should get married,” he believed.
“Not if you’re queer,” several people answered.
I pulled the queer-baiter over and had him sit with us.
“My last boyfriend died fighting with his brother over their dog. His older brother shot him when he meant to shoot the dog.”
“Max?” several kids asked.
“Yes, the famous star of our band. Max had been protecting Jace. When his brother shot, Jace took the bullet for his dog. He loved Max so much.”
“Yes, but love makes you do crazy stuff. I beat a redneck with my guitar to protect Jack.”
“The police came and locked him up. His friends had run away.”
I looked at the hater, “Do you have anyone in your heart, who you truly love. If you go to church, then maybe Jesus.”
“I only felt that way for a couple of years, when I was a kid.”
“He’s no longer there.”
“I dunno. I know He thinks being queer is evil.”
“Who told you that?”
“It’s in the Bible.”
“So you no longer love Jesus because he’s a man?”
“Jesus ain’t queer.”
“Then why’s he not in your heart?”
“Aw, I just grew up. Now, that church stuff’s for kids.”
“Maybe you just hardened your heart?”
He looked at me and gulped, “I wish I still was a kid.”
“We‘re all still kids. Why do you want to be so hard-hearted?”
“I dunno. My brothers said I had to grow up.”
“My boyfriend was killed by his brother, who had evil in his heart and abused him since he was ten.”
Several boys gasped. One actually teared up.
“My brothers never abuse me. They’re toughening me up.”
“Teen Jesus is about stopping the abuse, physical, mental and sexual. Do you think I have you in my heart right now?”
“Yeah, you ain’t being gay or anything but I feel you like me.
“Do you like me back.”
“As long as you don’t try anything gay.”
“Jack would kick my butt.”
Everyone laughed and Jack hugged me. The hater didn’t flinch as I kissed Jack.
“Does everybody feel the same way I do? We just want to like each other and not worry if it’s gay or not. Face it, tonight’s date night and here we all are. The big secret is, if you show how much you like your friends, girls will naturally feel closer to you. You might have to change game night to a weekday.”
A disbelieving cheer went up, barely.
“All I am saying is don’t give up being a kid because someone older tells you to harden your heart or you read that in a book. Jesus isn’t the only person in our hearts. If it’s your mom or grandparents or a dead friend, don’t leave them lonely in there. Let others in and see if you can hold them there.”
“I got high and just grabbed Tim and his heart let me hold him. If it’s a girlfriend you want, just let her in and see if she stays. Just don’t break up the old gang ‘cause you’re horny,” Jack explained
Everyone laughed. We went back to playing D&D but Jack couldn’t be his old mean Dungeon Master. We were burned from the pot. Jack asked if anyone wanted to stay over. We all went to bed, after the much delayed snacks were devoured. Munchies still ruled.
We woke up with the two boys who got outed in bed with us. All the others were spread out on the floor, although it looked like a couple had inched their way together. Nobody pointed at them. The straight boy was sleeping head to toe with two others. Maybe sexual energy flowed differently for straights.
Jack called Isabelle on the intercom. He told her six other boys from the game night had stayed over and would want breakfast. She told him that Mummy was planning to eat in thirty minutes. Everyone was waking up. One boy asked if he could go to church with Jack’s family, and all the rest asked also.
“Mummy will be so pleased.”
We all took showers and Jack opened his closets for church outfits. He wanted me to wear all white.
“I’m not Teen Jesus,” I whispered.
“Then maybe Teen John the Baptist.’
“Father Frank already suspects I’m a Baptist.”
When we trooped into the dining room, Mr. Stone was sipping his coffee and reading the Sunday Herald. He smiled at our shiny faces, hiding it behind the newspaper.
“No picture of you this week, Johnny.”
“I’m just Jack now, Dad.”
“Oh, okay, Jack.”
Mummy made her entrance, stopping at the door when she saw all seven of us.
“What sweet faces for a Sunday morning. Anyone wants to go to Church with us?”
We all answered, “Yes,” and she sat down beaming.
“Father Joseph will be so pleased. Any reason for this teenage conversion?”
They all pointed at me, “Teen Jesus.”
“Oh, Christ,” Mr. Stone murmured.
Uncles Tam and Steve were called to provide backup transportation. I called my parents and told them I was going to Mass with the Stones, in case they wanted to attend.
“Did ‘Mummy’ put you up to this?” Dad asked.
“No. Jack had friends stay over last night. They all want to go. She’s over the moon about it. At least it’s a chance to see them on neutral ground. You may be joint in-laws someday.”
“We’ll be there,” he curtly said.
Mummy was in her element, leading our large entourage into the church. I saw Dave with his folks, looking shocked when he saw Jack and me. I waved, but he slumped in his seat. I guess it was as much of a shock seeing me there as if Robby had come with the hoards from Hell. Father Frank had reserved two pews for us, including my folks. So much for being on neutral ground. Mummy leaned over after we were seated and asked my parents to come back for dinner. They had to talk about the wedding plans. Dad looked trapped, but he always did in church. Father Joseph spoke about the Stations of the Cross Masses that were being said since it was Lent. It got me to think about our trip to New York for Easter. I wanted to see Tina. I was confident she and Jack would get along. I wondered if we should bring the Jacettes, especially if Martin could get us a gig at CBGB’s. That was really exciting. Can you imagine, Good Friday at CBGB’s and Easter Mass at St Patrick’s? All these daydreams took me out of the present, until Father Joseph thanked the Stones for bringing a large youth group to Mass. He hoped everyone felt welcomed. The Mass ended with everyone hugging and showing peace signs to everyone. The nerds took it like another D&D adventure, hoping the Hounds of Hades would burst out from behind the altar. Mummy made us wait outside for Father Frank to join us. I saw Dave again and waved him over. He tried to slip away, but his parents came over with him.
“Hi,” he said half-heartedly. “These are my parents. Meet Tim and Jack from our bands.”
“Hi, Mr. and Mrs. O’Toole, Let me introduce you to my parents. Mum and Dad, this is Dave from our band and his parents, the O’Tooles.”
Jack took Dave and introduced him to the D&D crowd. Dave perked up.
“How do you play D&D?” he asked.
“Our new rules are you hang around until Tim brings out a joint. Then everyone fags off.”
“Sounds like our band practices.” Dave laughed.
“What’s it like being in a band?”
‘We’re in the younger band and play kids’ parties, just oldies so they can dance. I’m the drummer. I get to do what I want, just as long as I keep the beat.”
“You can play D&D if you come to our practices. I wanna learn.”
“We should. Tim’s making us chase girls on Saturdays from now on. He said if we fag off a little, the girls will flock to us.”
“Seems to work, look at Jack. Last week he was a whiny queen and this week he almost raped a girl and she liked it.”
“You were there?”
“No. They were supposed to have an orgy, so we weren’t invited. My guitarist was there because it was a tribute to his brother who was killed.”
“Was that Jace?”
“Yeah, you heard about it. It was our big time fame thing.”
“Tim told us about it to make me like him after I mocked him for being a fag. Now I’m supposed to act like a fag to get girls.”
“These older guys are always playing tricks on me. Their friend Robby had Tim throw holy water that was bubbling from an Alka-Seltzer and told me it was hellfire. He summoned the devil to cast us into Hell.”
“What did you do?”
“I started saying Hail Marys but I was so scared I forgot the words.”
“They always so mean?”
“Naw, I was a kid then. Now Robby’s teaching me the drums, so it’s cool.”
“Can we really play D&D at your practice?”
“Sure, just ask Jack for the address. Come during Easter Break. The older guys are going to New York and play St Patrick’s.”
“Yeah, Tim always comes up with shit. He’s got me and Jazz, my bass player, selling underwear at a gay shop in the Grove. We get a hundred bucks a day for modelling.” And he pulled out his shirt to show pink and purple paisley briefs.”
“Watch your language,” Dave’s father warned, “you’re at church. And tuck your shirt in,” slapping Dave across the back of his head.
Mummy had asked Dave’s folks to join them at dinner, so he was roped into our new D&D posse. It was weird to see him without Jazz, who was Jewish. The uncles made extra effort to be nice to Dave, who was instantly suspicious. He made it to the Stone’s without being molested. He and the straight boy had bonded over their testosterone.
Jack asked me what song and dance we should do for everyone.
“Let’s get everyone into the act. Something simple like ‘Oklahoma.’ They probably don’t dance or even know the words. We’ll just rehearse them while the adults are having cocktails and perform after dinner. I saw Jack doing this with his 3rd grade friends, putting on a show, and all the kids letting him down by failing to meet his production standards. It made me sad, but here he gets another chance. At least I’d be on his side.
We took all the kids, including Dave, up to find cowboy costumes. There were lots. I had a hint of where Jack’s dress up fetish came from. There were even Stetson hats.
Jack became the director.
“Nobody has to learn all the words. But at the end we all spell out Oklahoma and yell ‘Oklahoma!’ We’ll stand at the top of stairs in the sitting room in a line. Just sway and move in rhythm.”
He had me sing the lines, another mindless show tune my folks had imprinted on to me, while he got everyone line dancing, keeping their arms swaying and not overdoing it. He ran down and got the show album which we listened and moved to on his stereo. At the grand finale, we yelled out the letters and the State’s name. The first time half the kids didn’t know how to spell Oklahoma, so we practiced that.
“Anyone who gets lost, just stop singing but mouth it like you still are.”
Isabelle called up that dinner was served. All eight of us trooped down to eat. There were seventeen place settings at the table. Mummy ushered the kids to all sit at one end, with Jack at the foot of the table. She sat at Mr. Stone’s side. Uncle Tam remarked, “I can guess what’s coming after dinner.”
“Well, don’t spoil it for the rest of us,” Mummy warned.
Father Frank raised his glass, “Here’s to Dorothy Stone and her brood, may it grow ever larger.”
“Heavens, no,’ she protested. Even the kids raised their glasses. Sadly, it was punch, not wine.
Dave asked if the D&D guys could play at Michael’s during band practice, now that Tim had ruined their Saturday game night.
“I was only trying to help.”
“Sure Teen Jesus, that’s why you’ll end up crucified.”
“Who’s being crucified?” Father Frank broke away from the adult conversation.
“Isn’t that what happened to Teen Jesus when he grew up.”
“I’m glad you remember. But maybe Teen Jesus will never grow up.”
“Like Peter Pan?”
“Different era. Don’t you want to grow up?”
“Tim says we should keep our hearts young and open to others, Father.”
“You’re definitely too young to be hard-hearted.”
“I didn’t like him because he’s gay, but he made me think I didn’t have to be gay to love Jesus.”
The adult conversation had stopped at their end. The O’Toole’s were agitated. I was sure Dave never spoke about us being gay. Father steered the subject away from us, “Well, Jesus wasn’t gay, so loving him is like making him your best friend.”
“Tim said everyone’s heart is full of the love they receive from family, friends and other loving people. When we close our hearts, we make those already in our hearts lonely.”
Mummy interrupted, as her no politics or religion rule was being violated. “Please let’s enjoy our meal and discuss more serious matters after desert. And Teen Jesus is welcome here,” she quipped. Casper did several flips up the table and smacked a kiss on her cheeks.
“Ow, that’s a surprise,” she remarked without explanation. Jack and I thought the spectacle was highly amusing, but only because we saw Casper’s part.
I whispered over to the boy who had spoken up for me, “Thanks.” His eyes were shining.
Jack answered Dave’s question, “Well, I think it’d be great to welcome my friends to practice. Do you want to learn how to play?”
“Sure,” said Dave.
“And Tim only asked why all the guys didn’t have dates on a Saturday night.”
“’Cause they’re nerds?” Dave joked.
“At least we’re not stoners.’
“ Sounds to me like you may have been last night.”
All the D&D crew turned red and shut up.
“I’ll call you and give directions and when we’re practicing there,” Jack promised.
“But you’re going to New York.”
“What?” all the other D&Ders asked.
“Yeah, I’m singing ‘Amazing Grace ‘ at St Patrick’s on Easter Sunday,” Jack couldn’t help bragging.
“Our little saint,” the uncles coo’d.
The meal was steak, with the adults getting special vegetables and Delmonico potatoes. The kids got extra steak and French fries. For dessert, we had crème Brulee. I showed the kids how to crack the glaze. I had tears in my eyes when I looked at Casper who reacted the same way. He went and cracked the glaze for the boy who could feel his presence. The boy reached out and touched Casper’s hand, looking up in his direction. I hoped so sensitive a boy wouldn’t be identified as gay, unless of course, he was.
Mummy announced that coffee would be served in the sitting room, while Jack and Tim put on a performance. All the kids got up and trooped up to the sitting room stairs, stopping behind the door to the living room. Casper put the song on the phonograph.
He flung the doors open and we all trooped out to form our encore line, with Jack and me in the middle. He and I sang all the verses, with the kids swaying and humming behind us. At the finale, everyone raised their Stetsons, spelling out Oklahoma and tossing them up at the final ‘Oklahoma!.’
The adults all clapped. We all bowed and ran down to be greeted by our fans, the gay Uncles. The O’Toole’s were thunderstruck that Dave could act so angelic. They gave all their praise to Father Frank, telling him how frustrated Father Joseph had been with Dave.
“I’m sure that he never gave up on him, but that’s why he’s in a parish and me in the Order.”
“Wait ‘til we tell his older brothers.” Mr O’Toole said.
“Please don’t, Dad. They’ll kid me forever.” Dave looked genuinely pained.
Dave’s mother hugged him and said she’d protect him, her baby.”
“That’s exactly what I don’t need,” as he stomped off.
“You ready to drive to New York?” I asked the Uncles. They had matching 50’s Chrysler convertibles, a DeSoto and a New Yorker. “I really like your cars. They’re so big, everyone will fit easily? What if we bring the three girl singers? Will that depress you?”
“We love girls. But how will that affect the sleeping arrangements.”
“Well, before, we all planned to each sleep with you guys on different nights.” They squealed. “But now we all have girlfriends, so it’s complicated..”
“Johnny has a girlfriend?!!” they squealed even higher.
“Johnny has a girlfriend” echoed around the house.
Isabelle came out of the kitchen, “Johnny has a girlfriend? Gracias Dios. No more messy sheets.”
“Stop it. Yes, I like girls now, “Jack announced. “Tim has converted me. And she’s saving herself for her wedding.”
“Oh,” general relief sounded.
“My god, you’d think I was retarded,” He complained as he led us upstairs to change.
“Another interesting Sunday dinner,” Mr. Stone remarked. “I’m beginning to enjoy being middle class.”
“Never,” cried the Uncles.
“And he’s to be called Jack from now on.”