After a night of ravishing Titania, all three of us are eating breakfast with Susan and Dad. Max seems conflicted between laying at my dad’s feet or to be next to Casper, who is seated with no food in front of him. Old loyalties aside, Max knows who is more likely to give him scraps. He stays with Dad.
Susan is in a bit of a titter about the Sunday dinner engagement with the Stones.
“Do your parents dress for dinner?” she asks Jack.
“I guess Sunday best would describe it, only because they will be returning from Church.”
She looks more worried. “Should I wear a hat?”
“Certainly not in the house,” Jack advises.
“One more day of being Titania. I don’t think I can stand it,” I mutter.
“Well, for once we’re on the same side,” Dad concedes.
“We want to make a good impression,” Susan counters.
“I’ll just wear my dress uniform. It’s been awhile.”
“Perfect,” Jack speaks 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 expect 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 exclaims, “I can’t keep up, Jack.
“Not to worry, if you feel awkward, everyone else tries to make you comfortable.”
“You still call her Mummy,” Dad cracks.
“I do forget to be more mature. Tim also corrects me.”
Dad and I smile at our agreement.
I turn to Susan, “How are the wedding plans coming, Mummy?”
“Oh, Tim, you’re too funny.”
Jack and I ride over early to set up the costumes and props. The Stone’s record collection has all the show tunes from their era, all 78s. We find the ‘American in Paris’ album, all Gershwin hits. We decide to do ‘S’Wonderful;’ if asked to do an encore, we’ll do ‘I’ve got Rhythm.’ Since it’s set in Paris, we find French Navy striped jerseys to wear over boxy blue jeans, not too flattering. We look like twelve-year olds. Casper sets up the lights and props. We slick our hair down with Brill Cream. Yuck.
My folks arrive exactly at 1pm, ahead of the church goers, so Jack gives them a tour of the house and grounds, seating them in the sitting room and preparing their drinks.
“Spectacular,” I observe.
“This is how the other half lives,” Dad grouses.
“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 speak up, “Mummy refers to Jack as Johnny. Also, his gay uncles, Tam and Steve, will be here and probably Father Frank; he’s of the Franciscan Order.”
“No Father Joseph?” Dad asks.
“I think he’s probably still mad at us from Wednesday night,” Jack states. “We made him uncomfortable by telling his youth group we’re gay.”
“Jesus,” Dad exclaims.
“Yes, Father?” I answer.
“That’s blasphemy,” he responds.
“Tim uses 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 will seek absolution, as well.”
“We talked afterwards. Father Frank said Father Joseph needs to think and pray about what we 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 interrupts, “This is how the conversation can become impolitic at dinner. Mommy says a fine meal can be ruined by indigestible thoughts.”
The rest of us just stare at him,. Meanwhile the Stones and guests come into the sitting room. The Uncles and Father Frank are back.
“Sorry. We were detained at Church. Father Joseph couldn’t be convinced to come.” Dorothy announces.
“We were just discussing how Tim insulted Father Joseph. He will be in the confessional next Saturday to make his amends,” Dad proclaims.
Mrs. Stone looks a bit shocked, but after a second’s hesitation, introduces 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’s so Falstaffian,” Father Frank quips.
Uncle Tam is over the top about Johnny in a dress and Uncle Steve praises his singing. All three turn to me and praise having the Doo Wop group come on at the end.
“All those old Gables racists are spinning in their graves.”
“Hopefully to the Four Tops,” I quip but only got a laugh from Jack.
Father Frank turns 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’ll be strictly private.”
Dad is at a loss for words momentarily, so Jack jumps in.
“How do you like our costumes? Can anyone guess what we’ll perform soon?”
“Huh, French Sailor Boys. Something from Jean Genet?’ Tam jokes.
“Do we look like gutter snipes? But right locale,” Jack wittily responds.
“Paris. Must be Gene Kelly, right?”
“Yes,” we both exclaim, ‘from ‘An American in Paris.’ This is for you, Father.”
Casper has the phonograph cued and he starts the soundtrack to “I got Rhythm.”
The Gershwin magic takes over, as we glide around the room in our socks, singing and dancing. They insist on an encore. We did ‘S’Wonderful.’
As conclusion, Jack’s dad serves us aperitifs. We are toasted. My parents appreciate the music from the 1950s and relax with their cocktails. Mummy has decided to delay dinner until all the fractious conversation comes to a consensus.
She broaches 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 responds, “I first want to compliment the Castles on Tim’s maturity and self-confidence. He conduct an incredibly moving youth group at Church this week. You should hear 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’m ready to explain, but Father Frank stops me. “Much more to the point is he had the kids eating out of his hand. He introduces Jack and himself as gay boyfriends. He instantly finds out which children have a negative reaction. Then he turns their love of Jesus into an acceptance of everyone, as Jesus would. The lesson is a parable right out of the Bible’s playbook.”
“You’re comparing my son to Jesus.”
“The kids call him ‘Teen Jesus.’”
Dad turns red. “No son of mine is..”
The Father shuts him off. “Apparently he goes to Baptist youth group, 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 moves over and holds 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 is not happy
“Oh, dear,” Mrs. Stone worries, “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 answers, “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be discourteous. Tim and I have come to an understanding that I treat him as a responsible adult as long as he recognizes that I’m trying to instill proper values. He promised not to be manipulative in getting his own way.”
“Obviously we are stepping into personal matters that have no place at dinner.”
Isabelle comes in and announces that dinner is 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 time to come to sensible conclusions.”
Everyone agrees. We go into the dining room. Today’s main course is roast beef with Yorkshire Pudding. My pudding looked like a roll to me, but I know to shut up.
“Tim, would you say Grace?”
I have everyone hold hands like we do with Hippie’s two moms and give the benediction. I hear Dad whispering to Father Frank that I’m turning into a regular little Baptist, at which they chuckle. Susan hushes him. I’m embarrassed he has such poor table manners. Jack is stroking my leg with his foot and Casper s playing with my ear. I’m thoroughly annoyed. I barely got through Grace. The food is excellent, though. Conversations go on around me. I miss Max.
My silence catches Mrs. Stone’s attention. “Tim, why don’t you tell everyone what is happening with the band.”
“Well, we 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 replace Jace as lead guitarist and backup vocals. Hippie 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 remarks.
“We still have the two drummers. We fired Robby, but he’s back on probation.”
“He’s the pagan?”
“Oh, dear Father,” Mrs. Stone complains. “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 speaks for the first time. “I’m quite enjoying this meal. I feel like 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’re 16, right.
“Yes, yes. Oh Mummy, I won’t drive, I promise.”
“There. All settled,” he pronounces and turns to my dad for his turn.
Dad takes the cue, “Well, I’ve already said you can take drivers ed., so I suppose you want permission to go to New York. If there’s responsible adult supervision, I can’t stand in the way of your juggernaut music career.”
“We can drive,” the two uncles cry.
“You’re hardly responsible,” Uncle Steve says to Uncle Tam.
“You’re the responsible one. I just want to go to the road houses,” Uncle Tam responds.
“Thanks, Daddy,” I effuse. He gives me a cold stare.
Casper stops bugging me and runs around the table kissing everyone. No one noticed but my parents. Susan smiles and Dad looks flustered. Jack and I instantly realize he can feel Casper. Maybe he does have a heart.
I go 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 the whole band. I thank Mr. Stone for rescuing our play when AP Spencer tried to shut it down.
“I thought it was his role in the play,” he protests.
“Oh, it was. He just didn’t know it.” Everyone laughs except Dad.
“The best news is my parents are finally getting married. I’ll no longer be illegitimate.”
Everyone roars as my parents beams, 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 stands 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 brings in desert, English trifle. Jack has to explain what it was. I kiss him on the cheek, “Oh, my little English trifle.”
Everyone looks pleased except Dad again. Father Frank pats him on his sleeve. “You’ll get used to it. You should see what goes on in seminary.”
The meal ends in good cheer. The men go into the study. Mrs. Stone takes Susan and the gays back to the sitting room. I send Casper to spy on the men. He reports they are relaxed. Dad is recounting all my sins over the years, while Father Frank is defending me. Mr. Stone remains satisfied that good manners prove the way to get what we want. I punch Jack at that news. Everyone stops talking and stares. Jack defends me, “Oh, that’s just a love tap. I told him his dad will surrender to good manners and we’ll get our way.”
As everyone leaves, Jack starts 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 looks 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 hugs 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 looks up brightly.
“Just remember the sex pact,” I warn Casper.
I run out and jump into the car with my folks.
He’s 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 warns.
“Where’s your Jack-in-the-box?”
“He’ll come over later. I know we needed to have this out alone. It hurt him that I don’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 think it’s 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 like a little monkey to sing and dance for your supper.”
“Burt,” Susan interjects. ”You’re being unkind. They treat Tim like their own.”
“Remember back in Alaska,” I assert. “All the families treated me like one of their own. They were all military, like us,” I wonder 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 hug him from behind. He does a Hippie and drives off the road. Luckily there are no curbs in the Gables.
Susan and I giggle.
“I love you, Dad. I’m learning to appreciate your curmudgeon ways.”
Susan laughs, “Me, too.” And she kisses him.
He glanced at me to make sure I’m not about to kiss him as well. Such a happy family.
“I worry about you, boy. And stop the Teen Jesus business.”
I call Jack to say the coast is clear. Isabelle tells me he left on his bike, saying he was going to the Watt’s. I jump on mine, thinking how next year, I might be driving a car. Then I kiss my old bike. So many adventures and good/bad times together. I get there before them. I’m instantly jealous, imagining Casper raping a willing Jack under some tree. Scott answers 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 is.
“No, but Coach Earl says you’re having an off-year. Wanna go swim in the bay and tempt fate again?”
He smiles at me for the first time in 9 months, then pulls me into a hug.
“I miss you.”
Then we’re supposed to cry, but instead we laugh and start wrestling on the front lawn. Of course, Jack and Casper ride up just in time to see us fagging off.
“You boys made up?” Jack nervously asks.
“He admits I’m the best coach he’s ever had. I told him to get his ass in gear or he’d be an ex-All-American this year.”
Scott punches me. Jack punches me. Casper punches me. Stu, Mike Jr. and John run out. We were all rolling around on the grass. Mr. Watt comes out and turned the hose on us. We all run into the house, dripping all over Mrs. Watt’s floors.
“What’s this all about?” she complains.
“Sleepover,” we announce, even though it’s Sunday night.
“Against my better judgment,” she accedes.
“Thanks, Mom,” we all yell.
Even Scott piles into Stu’s room, who sits on his bed like a king overseeing his court. Mrs. Watt breaks up that hen-house. Scott asks Jack and me to stay in his room. Casper wants to be with John. When he realizes Scott and I are going to tell Jack all the exploits we’ve had, he sits on Scott’s bed with us.
I sniff a couple of times, “Do I smell pussy in this bed.” I tease.
“Long gone, Romeo. You missed your chance.”
Jack looks 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 responds.
“I know about that,” Jack grins. “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 explain, “He got so sad when we were 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 is really getting into it. Jack moves into my arms for security and comfort. Casper holds his hand. Scott describes all our exploits. I fill them in on how Joey got me to bang girls in New England and New York, so I won’t think he turned me gay. I tell Scott and everyone about my trip to Hollywood. I never had the chance to tell him as that was the weekend he and Lydia were caught. Scott admits he used Lydia. They were really in love until she broke up with him. I tell how I’d passed notes back and forth while they were grounded. Scott tells 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 asks.
“We had fights when we were hating each other, but swimmers are lame and can’t hurt each other,” I answer.
“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 tease him.
“I definitely lusted for you, but I guess it’s mostly girls for me.”
“The exception proves the rule,” Jack hopes.
“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 wants 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 demurs. “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 an 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 hugs me again. Jack watches for any rise from my jeans. Then he snaps my briefs and gets a real reaction.
“When did you start wearing colored underwear?” Scott observes 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 loses interest and floats to Stu’s room to cuddle with John who’s already asleep. John shifts in his sleep to make Casper comfortable.
Scott says we can all share his bed, instead of the floor. Jack insists he sleep between us.
“I’m taking no chances,” he announces.
Later after we had been asleep, I see that Scott had moved over and has a big hard-on nestled against Jack’s butt. I’m glad it’s Jack he’s molesting, who remains totally oblivious.
Next morning we has breakfast with the Watt’s zoo. Scott in his dorky way convinces me that his amorous moves toward my boyfriend was entirely innocent. I’m pleased to see John smiling some. I wink at Casper, the culprit. Coach Earl warned me that as soon as John feels comfortable enough to talk about his abuse, he’ll probably relapse from dragging up the bad memories. At least, he’s finding real love in his new family. Maybe his guitar playing is another way to release the emotions. He’s sounding better and better. Casper helps there, too. It makes me love Casper as much as I love Jace’s memory.
In English, Mr. Clark receives a standing ovation for our play’s success. Robby jumps up to kiss him again, but we all throw paper and pens at him to defend poor Mr. Clark, who seems conflicted over it all. Topics for the year’s final performance are discussed, but I’m barely listening. Plans for the orgy cross my mind, but I think we need to do more for Casper’s 16th birthday. The original idea was to find his crack-head mom. Now that idea has exploded into a tour of hillbilly road houses and a performance at St Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC. We still have the video of Jace’s Tribute to record. The gay uncles seem ready to drive us on our road trip. We need to make Jace’s birthday the kickoff of False Gods’ Spring Tour.
“What are you smiling about, Mr. Castle,” Mr. Clark asks.
“It’s Jace’s birthday on Wednesday. Our guitarist who died. I realize 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 ask.
The class roars “Yes.” His deer-caught-in-the-headlights look returns.
During Nutrition I call Mike Sr. to tell him what had transpired over the weekend. He puts me on with Jay, the assistant.
I tell 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 hangs up
I got pull out of Biology for a call in the office. Mike Sr. calls to confirm we’re set to record on Wednesday. He has a big time New York Director coming down, and needs a firm date from us .
“Have your assistant book the studio. 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 laugh.
I ditch the rest of the day, pulling Jack out as well. We climb into Robby’s wind, Even Hippie’s there. We roll on Robby and start beating him up. Everyone goes to their respective corners to watch. The faux fight goes on long enough for Jack and me to get hard. Finally I hold Robby down as Jack pulls out his semi-boner and waves it in Robby’s face, “You want some of this asshole. Bend over.”
Ricky knows well enough now to play along. I roll him over and he sticks his butt into the air. I fake getting jealous, grab Jack, throw us both out the window, hoist him over my shoulder, and run home. We wait by our window for the whole gang to sneak through the trees so they could watch our show again. As Dave and Jazz stick their heads out of the leaves, we snatch them and drag them into our room, locking the window behind us. We all sit bouncing on the bed and get them to make all kinds of sex noises and scream that they were being raped. The others are banging on the window and yelling to get the police. Dad comes out with the hose and sprays the ones at our window, until they run away.
What to do with our new co-conspirators? First things first, I pull out a joint and we got wasted from Grant’s Ganja. Unlike the Colombian, it hits you hard right away. Naturally it also makes Jack horny. Soon he’s rubbing his hard dick up and down my back as we sit on the bed.
“What are you going to do with us?” the boys stammer.
“Make you watch us have sex.”
““Ew”, they scream and ran down the stairs where the door is unlocked. We run after them waving our dicks at their disappearing shadows. We stop before we reach the front yard, considering we’re buck-ass naked. Teen Jesus Rampage.
I call Robby and tell him to have everyone ditch on Wednesday. It ‘s Jace’s 16th. I’ve booked a studio to celebrate.
At rehearsal we go over all the songs we plan to record, mostly Pink Floyd and the Velvet Underground. Robby pulls out the new Pink Floyd album. We light up and play it through. The title song is ‘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 are happy to do songs with prominent backup vocals.We recruit Iggy to do all the Syd Barrett insane vocals, laughs and evil grunts. We’ll 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 is reached, I pull 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’re reluctant, but the power of money and some perverted sense of exhibitionism gets them to go along.
We all ride to the store after practice. Felix sizes them up and questions whether they’re gay enough. I quietly tell him that’s his job. He takes them into the dressing room. They are putty in his hands.
We all walk into the Youth Center side. The place is packed. Different groups of kids are gathered in various corners. There even appears to be a gay section, equally mixed with both girl and boy same-gender types. The hardcore is all girls. A more mixed group has girls with their boyfriends. It’s a little people’s convention. Once they see us, we’re surrounded. They want to know who Dave and Jazz are. We explain about the new band, the Out-Crowd, which has been playing kids shows for several months.
The boys want to know if Out means out of the closet. Dave answers all the questions and explains they’re straight but are 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 surround Jazz who acts as uncomfortable as they do.
“Why don’t you play some songs. Jack and I’ll will sing and play guitar,” I suggest.
We set up the equipment, now kept at the store. In a few minutes, we start off with our signature ‘ABC,’ by the Jackson 5.
It’s a radical change from the hymns Jack and I had been playing for them. Kids are dancing in their socks A couple of boys come up and we let them sing. Dave and Jazz are into it, so we go to speak with Felix.
“We’re going on tour for Easter to get ready for our concert debut in April. Hopefully Dave and Jazz can fill in for us.”
“But they’re not gay,” he complains.
“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 gives us the briefs to wear that day. We go back to the Youth Center. We pull up our tees and show off the wares. Dave and Jazz show off their’s. At first the girl buyers seem confused, but in the end they decide to get both styles. Felix’s sales are double for the day. As we ride back to the Gables, Dave and Jazz are giddy with $100 in their pockets. Dave has collected a bunch of telephone numbers and is wondering if 12 was too young for him. I tell him to have Guido pass the numbers along to Mike Sr.’s assistant so he has a way to contact their fans. As they head to Dave’s, he asks, “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 punches me.
“I tell the kids to report anyone who abuses them.”
“You’ll be hearing from Father Joseph.”
“I’m sure I will.”
They ride off with Casper riding behind Dave, who was oblivious of the arms wrapped around him.
“Excited about the video shoot?” I ask 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’s 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’re 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.” I pull him upstairs and throw him on the bed. He wraps his legs around me and lets me penetrate him to my balls at first thrust. For a virgin his ass is exceptionally limber, not loose. He rides me, squealing every time I hit his prostrate and moaning if I pull out too far. I start out grunting, but as I reached my climax, my pitch goes went higher and higher. We were two squealing pigs. I’m on my knees, holding him firmly off the bed as he hangs on. We slowly crawl forward and at the end his head is banging against the head-board with every thrust. I don’t even notice when he cums. When we’re done he says he climaxed three times, his first multiple orgasms. Once is enough for me. I just keep kissing him and telling him I love him so much. He start to sob. So I roll him over and do him one more time, until the tears stop. Collapsing, I draw him into a cuddle, with my dick still inside.
Sitting in the window is Casper. He’s been there long enough that the sex pact rule wasn’t broken.
“I’ve never seen you fucking before,” he signs. “You’re a stud.”
I motion for him to join us. We hold Jack in the middle, our love child. I look longingly into his eyes. It gives me shivers that Casper is looking at me just as he had done after being shot.
“We love each other so much we couldn’t let go,” I sign.
“I should spend more time with John, so you love birds can be alone.”
“What about the pact?” I sign.
“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 start to sob. Losing him is happening all over again.
Jack wakes up. Seeing my tears, He asks what the matter is.
“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’ll be so sad if he leaves. It’s not fair. Does he want to leave?”
“No,” he signs. “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 holds both of us together.
One happy family. And families celebrate birthdays. Wednesday was Casper’s 16th. I told Mike Sr. we need the studio to record the Jace Tribute, but really it’s a celebration of his life, the Tom Sawyer episode where he and Huck get to go to their own funeral, dressed as girls. It’s sounding familiar. Of course, only a few of us know that Jace never left us.
The band is told to show up at the studio at 6 am to meet the recording crew. We walk in looking for coffee. A short man with bushy eyebrows meets us. He looks Italian.
“Do you work for Mr. Antonio?” I ask.
“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 yell the directions to them and catch up a second later.
“Good,” he says, “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 everyone’s clothes if you all still have them.”
I look and recognize my usual white button down and black trousers. I write 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 hand 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 the 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 harmonize. 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 thinks for a while. “Okay, we’ll make 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 give everyone their marching orders. Robby is the only one to complain.
“There’s the door,” I tell him. “We don’t need a second drummer.”
I take Jack aside and explain how I’m to be singing to a dead Jace. He’ll be the second voice. He doesn’t care that he isn’t in the video.
I show Martin the new Pink Floyd album. We listen to ‘Wish You Were Here.” He agrees it’s perfect for the last song, making a note to obtain the rights.
He takes Jack and stick him at the far end of the room on top of spare speakers.
“Ya gotta look like you’re singing to the dead.” Martin explains to me.
Casper sits next to Jack. I won’t have to stretch to nail that scene.
Martin tells me it’s good to cry a lot. “So, don’t hold back.”
I panic, thinking how hard I had worked to stop crying.
We start with ‘Shine on, You Crazy Diamond.’
It was the song we dedicated to our first real night together. The tears come easily. Martin doesn’t say a word about my crying, neither mocking me or encouraging the water works. He just lets them come easily. After doing the Pink Floyd, we move on to the Lou Reed songs. Martin takes a greater interest in their performance, stopping us several times. Obviously he’s much more into a New York sound, than arty English rock. On ‘Walk on the Wild Side,” he captures the girls doing the doo da doo backup vocals.
He even changes the lighting so they looked more Black than Hispanic. He asks me for a song with the girls, so Mary and I do our duet from ‘Free Bird.’
Where are those two boys who do the pop songs?”
“Still in school?”
“At 4 in the afternoon?” We’ve been recording for ten hours. It feels like we just started.
“Then they’re at the University pool for swim team.”
Off went another assistant. I call Mrs. Watt and ask 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 come running in, Stu doing the rounds introducing himself to everyone. When he meets Martin, he ask if he gets to wear makeup.
“Why, so you’ll look thirteen?
John straggles in after them.
Mom Watt comes in and gives the boys their outfits. Martin makes her sign releases and hires her as chaperone on the set. He sits her in a director’s chair, and soon they’re chatting away. I notice that a camera is recording this scene, but Mom doesn’t notice. I went over to listen and hear her retell the ‘Proud Mary’ story and how Jace taught all the kids to sing ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ when we go carol for Christmas. She then makes me come over and sit in her lap, as she tells Martin all my Stu adventures, when he was ten. I’m squirming to get away, but she knows how to control that behavior. She even tells about our adventures with the hillbillies in North Carolina. I can’t remember if I have any editorial control on this project. I doubt it.
Once we finish with the boys’ pop songs including the Max version of ‘Ben,’ they go home with Mom Watt. I ask John to stay, since it’s a celebration for his brother. Martin then asks what we did when we finished at Viscaya.
“Toked up,” Robby yells, pulling a joint from behind his ear. Martin lights him up with his cigar lighter, then moves back so we can be filmed committing a felony. He takes John and seats him next to his director’s chair. Somehow he gets John to open up and talk about Jace. Maybe he is a pretty good director after all.
We starts talking about Jace. Max appeared once he smelled la mota. He’s been sleeping in a corner. Max puts on a show as we all gave him shotgun hits. He stumbles, rolls over, and sticks his legs in the air. Casper comes down and rubs his belly, until he returns to his corner, putting a paw on his head ‘Our Gang’ style. Everyone has Max stories. Robby tells 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 asks why he was kicked out, and Robby shows restraint (for once) and says, “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 laugh.
“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 is telling funny stories about Jace, until Edi burst into tears, saying she misses him so much. Casper is 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 reveals the underwear selling gig we have at the gay shop in the Gables, pulling up my shirt and snapping my waistband. Edi pulls up Jack’s. He stands up and twirls around so everyone can see, the little perverted extrovert.
We haven’t finished recording. We now do our Love song to replace the Beatles song at the end of the concert. Martin has gotten us stoned, so we’ll be relaxed. He explains, it will show us leaving the castle and meeting a thousand fans who are waiting for us to finish the kids’ party. The rougher the recording, the more authentic it will be. He doesn’t know we always play 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 have Jack come up so I can 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’re so stoned, I can’t tell if it’s any good.
Martin says, “Great, That’s a wrap.”
Iggy jumps up from the hole he had been hiding in, “You haven’t done my song.”
“Who’s this?” Martin asks.
“That’s Iggy,” I introduce 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 has a big birthday cake brought out, stenciled ‘Happy 16th Jace.’ Mom Watt has come through. It lasts about a New York minute as everyone has the munchies.
Martin pulls 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’m legal; he’ll 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 smile, “It’s a deal.”
The film crew leaves, which lets us celebrate with bong hits. I call Grant and tell him to bring his crew over. He’s impressed big time we have a studio. Jack has been quiet for a while, but the pot brings him to my side.
“Wanna go explore?” I suggestively suggest.
His stoned eyes perk up, knowing what I want. Casper is wrapped up with John who was smiling as part of the group. I want to be alone with Jack. I have realized he is becoming strictly a bottom in our love-making. Because he’s slight and obviously loved getting fucked, it might be his natural role. But I know he has to fuck me as well. It wasn’t a problem with Casper or Jace. And 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 asks as we settle into the 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 offer 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 has that glint in his eyes I love.
“That would be nice,” I demurely smile at him.
He ripped his shirt off, beats on his chest and yells like Tarzan, pushing me to the floor and pulling down my trousers and briefs. He looks at my rock hard dick, skips giving me head, and covers his fingers with spit, which he shoves up my rectum. I roll back and my legs go up into the air. Another glob of spit goes on his twitching dick. He enters me, pumping about halfway down his cock, then slowly pumping until his balls re slapping my ass.
“Wow,’ I screech. “More.”
I put my legs on his shoulders and my dick is rubbing against his pumping abs. I’m going over the edge, way too soon. In 30 seconds I’m pumping cum onto our stomachs. He barely notices, keeping up the deep thrusting, changing to short strokes deep inside my ass as I finish my orgasm. I’ve never had a dick so far up my ass. I’m moaning and groaning as the last spurts finish, with him moving the tip of his hose deep inside me to tickle the last cum out.
“I love you. I love you,” he firmly asserts as he goes back to deep thrusts. My dick never goes down and my heart races as he declares his love.
“I need you. I need you so much.” I reply.
He speeds up his pace, throwing his head back with his eyes closed as he reaches his limit. He has me fully under his control. I relax, just responding to his thrusts. I went over the edge again as he goes rigid for a second. I feel 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 screams with each jerk and ejaculation. My whole body continue to shake and shiver as he finishes. Our bellies are covered with a mixture of frothy cum from my first climax and clear, stringy liquid from the most recent one. I lock my legs around his waist and squeeze as hard as I can. He slaps me across the face and we unlocked.
“I can’t breathe,” he says, collapsing on top of me. He slaps me again, “Take that bitch.”
“Anytime, mastah.” I quip.
He rolls off, still breathing like he couldn’t get enough air. After five deep breaths, he jumps up, pulling on his jeans. He runs out of the control booth. I hurriedly put on my clothes and get back to our studio in time to see him tackle Casper, who was sitting with John. He drag him into a space behind some spare amps. John looks distressed at what appears to be spastic actions on Jack’s part, unable to see his brother being dragged away. I hurry over and kept the others from investigating what Jack is doing humping and groaning in the corner.
Robby figures out what’s happening.
“Looks like Jack has grown a pair. From the looks of Tim, Jack just took it out on him.”
Everyone laughs. I glance back and see Casper with his ass stuck up taking Jack doggy style. That isn’t going to last long. Soon Jack is howling so much that a stoned Max comes over, licking Casper’s face. It’s true Max lovin’ doggy style.
Jack finishes, pulling up his jeans, with a deranged look on his face. He zeroes in on Edi, grabbing her hand, he drags her back to the control booth. Everyone follows them, with Mary and Flo looking highly concerned. The door is locked. With no lights on, we can 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 try knocking on the door. We’re sure he was raping her at first, but her cries of pleasure change our minds. I smile and realize Jack has changed to anal, thereby saving her virginity. It’s his instinctual response. Casper and I have done well in bringing up our boy. Finally, they come out. Edi looks totally flustered and immediately runs to the Ladies with Mary and Flo. Jack saunters over to me and gave me a big kiss. Turning to everyone, he announces, “Don’t worry, I saved her virginity by using the back door.”
Everyone is in hysterics. The girls don’t come out for twenty minutes, but when they do, the go to Jack and kiss him in approval of his thoughtful technique. It must be his superior breeding. Casper is sitting with us, with a satisfied look. I know what he feels like.
“You satisfied that you got your orgy, birthday boy?” I sign.
“Well, it was a three-way until Robby and Mary got it on while you all were so concerned about Edi. It is an orgy. A great one.”
John totally ignores our behavior, a typical kid. I go over and ask what he talked about with Martin.
“He’s the first adult who really listens.”
“Did you talk about Jace?”
“Yeah, I told how he 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 don’t care as long as it isn’t going to make people think I’m a gay.”
He moves over and lets me put my arm around him.
“You make me feel safe. I wish you had always 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’s what Coach ha warned me about him regressing when he starts 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 is holding John and crying. The blue wispy tears are falling around us, glittering in the dim light.
Jack is glowing from the spotlight on his new studly self. When he sees the tears, he comes over and hugs John, who settles into his arms as well.
“Jace?” Jack asks.
“Yeah, John can feel his love right now.”
The others started gathering around. They all whispered, “Jace?”
I haven’t cried so much in forever. I swear I’ll go back to the new me tomorrow. All ten of us are gathered around Casper and John, crying and laughing. Max comes over and licks the blue tears away. Somehow Martin knew to have a camera taking stills every 15 seconds. This is the picture on the back of the Jace Tribute album. If you trace the empty spot in the middle of the huddle, you can 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 jump 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 looks at me, snapping my waistband, “My turn,” and she goes down on me. Jack rolls over, kissing me, while Edi gives him head. Jace signs, “This is a real orgy,” and jumps in. Everyone up front ignores the swaying and bouncing of the station wagon, blaming Hippie for bad driving. He doesn’t go off the road, but admits it made him feel better when he looked in the rear-view mirror, able to see the girls going down on us. His prayers have been answered.
Jack is over the moon, no longer a silly virgin. I’m a little sore, but it’s worth it for the ride he gave me. Pot is definitely a wonder drug for that boy. At least he doesn’t need to call his nerdy friends to tell all. When I ask about them he insists I come to their next game night. Sounds about as much fun as a Baptist hoedown, so I readily agree. Jack hosts them in an attic game room, where his robber baron ancesters ran their weekly poker games. It’s on Saturday nights. I’ll stay over and go to church with the Stones before Sunday dinner. I’m starting to experience culture shock from hanging out with the ultra-rich and doing so much with the parents. I hardly have a chance to be a rebel. Maybe Teen Jesus is taking over, possessing me like the Guardian warned. Max to the rescue. Instead of going to my room, we all troop over to Robby’s for midnight madness. Jack is becoming a preppy stoner. Max is satisfied. Dave is over telling me to stay out of his church group if I continue to tell stories about him. We attack Robby to rev up our hormones, until I throw Jack over my shoulder and return the hard fucking favor until we both pass out.
Surprisingly refreshed in the morning we are only fifteen minutes late to English. Although we both are slightly stiff, Jack manages to strut into class and proclaim, “I have a girlfriend.”
Even Mr. Clark gasps. The girls all looked sad for me, so Jack says, “Tim’s fine with it because she’s his girlfriend’s best friend.”
Now the girls have 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 remembers.
“I thought you were both sick yesterday,” Mr. Clark complains.
“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 provides details
“Enough,” I whisper. ‘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 hiss.
“Enough of me, what did we miss yesterday.”
“Not as much as we missed,” quips Mr. Clark.
The rest of the week zips by. It’s Saturday night. I find myself sitting with a group of zitty teen boys pretending I’m a warrior elf. Dungeon Master Jack is torturing my elf with multiple Orc attacks. I’m on my fifth replacement arm, considering a suicide attack just to escape a deviously complicated cave. Finally Jack asks if we’re ready for snacks. I pull out a joint from behind my ear, “I invoke this magic spell to overcome the Orc attack.”
Everyone freezes and looks at Jack, the final authority.
“Spark it up. Those who do not partake will fall under a thirty minute time out spell.”
I inhale and pass the joint to Jack. The pot spell works instantly. He jumps into my lap, kisses me and announces that we’re boyfriends.
I’m sure that the power of the pot spell will scare off the rest of our gaming crew, but it only encourages them. I’m not ready for another orgy. Whereas Jack gets horny, the rest of them just get silly, giggling and falling off their chairs. We sit around on the floor in a circle, as they pester Jack about what has happened to him. They have only heard rumors.
“Yes,” he is involved with Teen Jesus and going to Baptist and Catholic youth groups.
“No,” he isn’t selling his ass at a gay shop in the Grove, just selling and signing underwear to pre-teens. He pulls up his shirt to show off the day’s garish briefs.
“That is so gay,” they compliment him.
“Yes,” he plays a girl in the Shakespeare performance class, but that s how it was done in Elizabethan times.
“Yes, he’s in a rock band and we’ just shot a documentary about the New Year’s Eve show at Viscaya. In true nerd style, they know who Martin Scorsese is.
Yes, the band is opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd at a concert in the Bay. They haven’t heard of that band.
“You haven’t heard the latest. I have a girlfriend.” This is the biggest shock. They all look at me in sympathy.
“It’s okay,” I say. “She’s my girlfriend’s girlfriend.”
They refuse to believe this, saying we’re putting them on about everything. Casper has been dozing in the corner until the joint came out. He furiously signs, “Teen Jesus.”
“So you don’t believe in Teen Jesus?” I ask.
They all shake their heads. Casper picks up the D&D dice. He madly shakes them and scatters them on the floor inside our circle.
The boys all scream and move away. Casper floats above us and finds one boy who can feel his presence and starts kissing him. Soon the boy is writhing on the floor from the stimulation. I grab him away from Casper and sit him between Jack and me, keeping Casper away. It looks like I was fighting the devil for his soul. It’s worse than when Robby tortured Dave and Jazz about being burned by hell fire. They’re blubbering incoherently.
“Enough,” I sign to Casper who thinks it all is hilarious.
“What happened to you?” I ask the boy.
“Someone was kissing me. It was too scary. Kinda sexy though,” and he giggles. 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 end up in his bed,” Jack confesses all.
Their eyes get big again. I noticed that two boys are holding each other. These nerdy boys are all alike. Another boy notice also.
“Look who’s also queer,” He points and looks superior.
“Is that a bad thing?” Jack asks.
“Sure, if you wanna ever have a girlfriend and get married.”
“Why do that if you’re queer?” Jack responds.
“Everybody should get married,” he believes.
“Not if you’re queer,” several people answer.
I pulled the queer-baiter over and have 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 ask.
“Yes, the famous star of our band. Max was 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 look 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 looks at me and gulps, “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 say I have 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 gasp. One actually tears 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 laughs and Jack hugs me. The hater doesn’t flinch as I kiss 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 goes 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 explains
Everyone laughs. We go back to playing D&D but Jack can’t be his old mean Dungeon Master. We’re burned from the pot. Jack asks if anyone wants to stay over. We all go to bed, after the much delayed snacks are devoured. Munchies still rules.
We wake up with the two boys who got outed in bed with us. All the others are spread out on the floor, although it looks like a couple inched their way together. Nobody points at them. The straight boy is sleeping head to toe with two others. Maybe sexual energy flows differently for straights.
Jack calls Isabelle on the intercom. He tells her six other boys from the game night stayed over and want breakfast. She tells him that Mummy plans to eat in thirty minutes. Everyone is waking up. One boy asks if he can go to church with Jack’s family. All the rest ask also.
“Mummy will be so pleased.”
We all take showers and Jack opens his closets for church outfits. He wants me to wear all white.
“I’m not Teen Jesus,” I whisper.
“Then maybe Teen John the Baptist.’
“Father Frank already suspects I’m a Baptist.”
When we troop into the dining room, Mr. Stone was sipping his coffee and reading the Sunday Herald. He smiles at our shiny faces, hiding behind the newspaper.
“No picture of you this week, Johnny.”
“I’m just Jack now, Dad.”
“Oh, okay, Jack.”
Mummy makes her entrance, stopping at the door when she sees all seven of us.
“What sweet faces for a Sunday morning. Anyone want to go to Church with us?”
We all answer, “Yes,” and she sits 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 murmurs.
Uncles Tam and Steve are called to provide backup transportation. I call my parents and tell them I’m going to Mass with the Stones, in case they want to attend.
“Did ‘Mummy’ put you up to this?” Dad asks.
“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 says.
Mummy is in her element, leading our large entourage into the church. I see Dave with his folks, looking shocked when he sees Jack and me. I wave, but he slumps in his seat. I guess it’s as much of a shock seeing me there as if Robby has come with the hoards from Hell. Father Frank has reserved two pews for us, including my folks. So much for being on neutral ground. Mummy leans over after we were seated and asks my parents to come back for dinner. They have to talk about the wedding plans. Dad looks trapped, but he always does in church. Father Joseph speaks about the Stations of the Cross Masses that are being said since it’s Lent. It gets me to think about our trip to New York for Easter. I want to see Tina. I’m confident she and Jack will get along. I wonder if we should bring the Jacettes, especially if Martin can get us a gig at CBGB’s. That’s really exciting. Can you imagine, Good Friday at CBGB’s and Easter Mass at St Patrick’s? All these daydreams take me out of the present, until Father Joseph thanks the Stones for bringing a large youth group to Mass. He hopes everyone feels welcomed. The Mass end with everyone hugging and showing peace signs. The nerds take it like another D&D adventure, hoping the Hounds of Hades will burst out from behind the altar. Mummy makes us wait outside for Father Frank to join us. I see Dave again and waved him over. He tries to slip away, but his parents come over with him.
“Hi,” he says 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 takes Dave and introduces him to the D&D crowd. Dave perks up.
“How do you play D&D?” he asks.
“Our new rules are you hang around until Tim brings out a joint. Then everyone fags off.”
“Sounds like our band practices.” Dave laughs.
“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 warns, “you’re still at church. And tuck your shirt in,” slapping Dave across the back of his head.
Mummy asks Dave’s folks to join them at dinner, so he’s roped into our new D&D posse. It’s weird to see him without Jazz, who’s Jewish. The uncles make extra effort to be nice to Dave, who’s instantly suspicious. He makes it to the Stone’s without being molested. He and the straight boy bond over their testosterone.
Jack asks 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 rehearse them while the adults are having cocktails and perform after dinner. I see 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 makes me sad, but here he gets another chance. At least I’ll be on his side.
We take all the kids, including Dave, up to find cowboy costumes. There were lots. I get a hint of where Jack’s dress up fetish comes from. There are even Stetson hats.
Jack becomes 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 has me sing the lines, another mindless show tune my folks imprinted on to me, while he gets everyone line dancing, keeping their arms swaying and not overdoing it. He runs down and gets the show album on his stereo. At the grand finale, we yell out the letters and the State’s name. The first time half the kids don’t know how to spell Oklahoma, so we practice that.
“Anyone who gets lost, just stop singing but mouth it like you still are.”
Isabelle calls up that dinner is served. All eight of us troop down to eat. There were seventeen place settings at the table. Mummy ushers the kids to all sit at one end, with Jack at the foot of the table. She sits at Mr. Stone’s side. Uncle Tam remarks, “I can guess what’s coming after dinner.”
“Well, don’t spoil it for the rest of us,” Mummy warns.
Father Frank raises his glass, “Here’s to Dorothy Stone and her brood, may it grow ever larger.”
“Heavens, no,’ she protests. Even the kids raise their glasses. Sadly, it’s punch, not wine.
Dave asks if the D&D guys can play at Michael’s during band practice, now that Tim has ruined their Saturday game night.
“I’m only trying to help.”
“Sure Teen Jesus, that’s why you’ll end up crucified.”
“Who’s being crucified?” Father Frank breaks 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 has stopped at their end. The O’Toole’s are agitated. I’m sure Dave never spoke about us being gay. Father steers the subject away from us, “Well, Jesus wasn’t gay, so loving him is like making him your best friend.”
“Tim says everyone’s heart is full of the love they receive from family, friends and other loving people. When we close our heart, we make those already in our heart lonely.”
Mummy interrupts, as her no politics or religion rule was being violated. “Please let’s enjoy our meal and discuss more serious matters after dessert. And Teen Jesus is welcome here,” she quips. Casper does several flips up the table and smacked a kiss on her cheeks.
“Ow, that’s a surprise,” she remarks without explanation. Jack and I think the spectacle is highly amusing, but only because we saw Casper’s part.
I whisper over to the boy who spoke up for me, “Thanks.” His eyes are shining.
Jack answers Dave’s question, “Well, I think it’ll be great to welcome my friends to practice. Do you want to learn how to play?”
“Sure,” says Dave.
“And Tim only asked why all the guys don’t have dates on a Saturday night.”
“’Cause they’re nerds?” Dave jokes.
“At least we’re not stoners.’
“ Sounds to me like you may have been last night.”
All the D&D boys turn red and shut up.
“I’ll call you and give directions when we’re practicing there,” Jack promises.
“But you’re going to New York.”
“What?” all the other D&Ders aske.
“Yeah, I’m singing ‘Amazing Grace ‘ at St Patrick’s on Easter Sunday,” Jack can’t help bragging.
“Our little saint,” the uncles coo.
The meal is steak, with the adults getting special vegetables and Delmonico potatoes. The kids get extra steak and French fries. For dessert, we have crème Brulee. I show the kids how to crack the glaze. I have tears in my eyes when I look at Casper who reacts the same way. He cracks the glaze for the boy who can feel his presence. The boy reaches out and touches Casper’s hand, looking up in his direction. I hope so sensitive a boy won’t be identified as gay, unless of course, he is.
Mummy announces that coffee is served in the sitting room, while Jack and Tim put on a performance. All the kids get up and troop up the sitting room stairs, stopping behind the door to the living room. Casper puts the song on the phonograph.
He flu\ings the doors open. We all troop out to form our encore line, with Jack and me in the middle. He and I sing all the verses, with the kids swaying and humming behind us. At the finale, everyone raises their Stetsons, spelling out Oklahoma and tossing them up at the final ‘Oklahoma!.’
The adults all clap. We bow and run down to be greeted by our fans, the gay Uncles. The O’Toole’s are thunderstruck that Dave acts so angelic. They give all their praise to Father Frank, telling him how frustrated Father Joseph has 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 says.
“Please don’t, Dad. They’ll kid me forever.” Dave looks genuinely pained.
Dave’s mother hugs him and says she’ll protect him, her baby.”
“That’s exactly what I don’t need,” as he stomps off.
“You ready to drive to New York?” I ask the Uncles. They have 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 squeal. “But now we all have girlfriends, so it’s complicated..”
“Johnny has a girlfriend?!!” they squeal even higher.
“Johnny has a girlfriend” echoes around the house.
Isabelle comes out of the kitchen, “Johnny has a girlfriend? Gracias Dios. No more messy sheets.”
“Stop it. Yes, I like girls now, “Jack announces. “Tim has converted me. And she’s saving herself for her wedding.”
“Oh,” general relief sounds.
“My god, you think I’m retarded,” He complain as he leads us upstairs to change.
“Another interesting Sunday dinner,” Mr. Stone remarks. “I’m beginning to enjoy being middle class.”
“Never,” cry the Uncles.
“And he’s to be called Jack from now on.” Daddy decrees.