THE JACE EXPERIENCE Chapter 7

The D&D boys dispersed to their homes having to explain the unexpected sleepover and subsequent church visit. The boy, Isaac, who had felt Casper, was Jewish. He stuck around after the others left. We were lounging by the pool, baking out the last of the night’s pot hangover. After trying on some of Jack’s swim suits, which were so tight on me that my dick insisted on growing to noticeable size, I just wore the gay briefs. I couldn’t tell the difference between them and my old Speedos. Jack couldn’t help himself from snapping their waistband, while we reclined together on a chaise. Isaac seemed oblivious to our flirting.
“It’s the Jesus thing that I can’t figure out,” he admitted. “Gay isn’t an issue for me.”
“Well, Jesus was Jewish. The gay issue is all conjecture.”
“We think Jesus was just a man. Worshiping him violates the commandment about revering no other God than God.”
“That’s the theme of our band, False Gods. Come to practice and hear our songs. But do you want Jesus in your heart?”
“We’re taught that Christians, especially Catholics, despise us as the killers of Christ.”
“Many Church teachings make it hard to love Jesus, but since 1965 the Church has declared that Jews are not responsible for refusing to accept Him.”
“The Church now welcomes us?”
“I believe the Church lost its way and there are many haters who resist changes. I’m less concerned with the church and more concerned about the kids who come to it with pure hearts and become mean-spirited and hard-hearted.”
“What I felt last night was a kiss that meant I was accepted?”
“From what I’ve seen, those who feel this spirit are those who want to accept him into their hearts.”
“I do.”
Casper was sitting with Jack and me. He moved over to lay with Isaac, caressing his hair and embracing him.
“Wow. That’s incredible. It’s the same feeling but ten times stronger, all over my body.”
“Accept it into your heart and you’ll always know where to find it. For you, it’s not just Jesus. It’s wanting to be accepted and the ability to let those you love into your heart. It could be a rabbi who teaches you because he cares about you.”
Casper had Isaac reach over and touch my hand.
“That’s so amazing,” he enthused.
“What will you tell your parents and Jewish friends?”
“That I went to Church and people, some people, welcomed me and accepted me even though I didn’t have Jesus in my heart.”
“They’ll be fearful.”
“I’ll just be calm and open to them.”
“There are haters. You’ll have to protect your heart from them.”
“I’m used to doing that.”
“Don’t hate back.”
“That’s your secret. So many people hate you for being gay, but you don’t hate them back.”
“We don’t discriminate.”
“Will girls like me now?”
“Well, you’ll always be a nerd.
“Yeah. Maybe there are nerd girls out there.”
“Not playing D&D,” Jack added.
Isaac got up, “I’m think I can face my folks. I know they love me. It should be easy now. Thanks Jack and Tim.”
“Say good-bye to my mom. She’s a stickler for etiquette.”
“Sure. I’ll thank her, too.”

We lay there awhile, soaking in the sun. I got too warm and jumped in the pool, yelling to Jack to join me. I did a few laps before he eased himself in. Tim 273 I immediately attacked him, but he panicked from fear of the water. I put him on my back and did butterfly to give him a ride like the dolphins do at Marineland. tim-713 He had his arms around my neck, his hardening boner urging me on. We slipped into the hot tub. With the bubbles on, no one knew we were getting each other off with our feet, first time at Chez Stone. Lying on the chaise together, I realized it was for decorum’s sake that we restrained ourselves here. Embracing in each other’s arms on the deck was just fagging off. Having sex was to remain private. I luxuriated in doing nothing. I needed a day off. Being Teen Jesus was exhausting.
After several hours of playing in the pool and mostly just laying out, Mr. Stone came out and sat with us.
“Jack,” he said tentatively.
“Dad,” he answered with a big smile.
Dad had a whole speech prepared. “We’re so proud of you, son.”
“That I could get a girlfriend?”
“That’s silly. I can see you love Tim. I’m glad that doesn’t stop you from liking girls as well.”
“You love Mum. It’s a good example to follow.”
“In our self-involved way, we do love each other. I’m impressed that all your friends seem changed by your example. All those pagans at Church today. I felt like Father Flaherty from Boy’s Town.”
“You both are good sports.”
“The mark of the truly genteel.”
“You guys are just alike,” I noted.
“I’m officially middle class, now. I’m one of the guys.”
We all laughed.
He pulled out a credit card. “This is a BankAmeriCard, Jack. I’ve given your brothers one. Use it in an emergency, but also, if you need to buy something or pay for services.”
The passing of privilege from the older to the younger generation for the very rich. Not quite middle class yet.
“It’s okay to use on our road trip to New York?”
“That’s why I’m giving it to you now. If I get a bill that says you took everyone to dinner at Sardi’s, I will yell at you.”
Jack jumped out of my arms and into his dad’s. “Thanks, Dad. I’m free. Free at last.”
I didn’t quite see the parallel with Dr King, but I shared the enthusiasm.
“Don’t let Robby know you have it,” I warned Jack.
“Right.”

We were sitting on our bed in my house doing homework later that evening. Max was whining about getting to Robby’s for his fix. Once Jack got high, homework would be over. I had to make copies of all Robby’s exercises and papers, as English was the only class he cared about. He must listen in class, at least, since he was passing the tests without too much copying from me. I should get two diplomas.
I called the Watt’s.
“Hi, Mom.”
“Tim. How are you?”
“Teen Jesus took 8 D&D kids to Catholic Mass today.” aussie02
“Way to go, Teen Jesus.”
“Can we talk about John a bit?”
“Sure. He’s had an up and down week. Did something happen?”
“Remember how Martin had you chatting about Jace during the movie shoot?”
“It was nice to remember him on his birthday. Gosh, Tim, he would have been only 16.”
“Well, no one told you, but Martin was filming all the reminiscences like that.”
“I’m in the movie?”
“Probably. He’ll make sure it’s the good stuff you said. But he got John to open up as well.”
“Was he okay about that?”
“He was happy and really liked Martin. He was really smiling.”
“Well, it may have been too much. The last few days, he’s refusing to talk. Even Stu has given up on him.”
“Coach Earl warned me that once he got comfortable enough to open up, all the bad memories might come rushing back and he’d relapse.”
“Are you going to tell me what happened to him before Jace was shot?”
“Jace told me, but I promised him and later John I would guard their secret. It’s horrific.”
“My poor boy. Should we send him to a shrink?”
“It has to be someone he trusts. It may mean years of weekly sessions.”
“How about I read to him. Scott always perked up when I read him ‘The Little Prince,’ even as a teenager.” little prince
“That’s great. I’ll have Casper spend nights with him. John seems better after Casper’s been there.”
“Thanks for letting me know. I love our extended family.”
“That’s why you’re Mom.”
“Love ya, Tim.”
“Me, too, Mom.”

Jack had been listening. “John’s not talking?”
“Yeah. Coach told me that might happen. It means he’s getting stronger but still not able to deal with the memories.”
Jack was polite enough not to ask what those memories were. Casper had gotten very sad, so we sent him off to be with John.
“Sex pact is suspended for tonight,” he signed.
Time to hit Robby’s and the love weed. Max was out the door. Since his rescue of Robby, he now had front door privileges there. We burst into the room, startling the stoners and tackling Robby. Tim 117 This time everyone joined in, even the girls. Max was barking and finally Robby’s mom banged on the door.
After massive bong hits, Jack had to be restrained, until we got to our room. Pot definitely made him aggressive. He had my face in a pillow while he plowed my ass from behind. Tim 22 Each thrust made me groan, which got higher and higher in pitch.
“You sound like a little boy,” he complained.
I dropped the moans to grunts until he spilled his load somewhere in the depths of my belly. Every time he cums, the tip of his garden hose whips around like a real hose when nobody is holding it. Skinny or not, it’s totally exciting. I didn’t want to say it, but he was a better fuck when Casper was gone. Maybe he felt he had to please both of us and always ended up in the middle of our 3-ways. Casper generally was the top with Jack. I should talk to him. I was still intensely in love with Casper, having him come back from the dead. I was really falling for Jack, too. We all had to avoid screwing it up. I never tried to freeze my feelings about people and events, always looking around the bend of time to what was coming next. Being alone with Jack was better for both of us, but any reduction in my need for Casper would destroy me. Feelings and relationships have to change and grow. Can Casper change since he’s dead? Again I was over thinking it. I had to concern myself with John, out of love for Casper. And, stop thinking so much. Then I realized I was getting head from Jack Tim 85 while being a million miles away. Since I hadn’t gotten off, I started fingering Jack’s ass, which caused a big smile on his face. I got off quickly once I was inside him. And, he was ready to go again once I went limp, rolling me on my back and putting my legs around his waist. He teased me with his dick prodding and rubbing my butt hole. The stimulation quickly made me hard.  Mission accomplished, He threw my legs over his shoulders and plowed me like a trooper Tim 61 – a Cossack, not a State Highway Patrolman. I used to limit Jace to one anal session a night, but judging from Jack’s determination, he was going to beat his topping record of three this night. I might as well as enjoy it. Be careful for what you wish for. The second I relaxed and gave in to the pounding, I felt a totally new sensation. I was being worked and loved it. Soon I was squeezing back, totally into it. Jack sensed these new feelings, dominance/submission. He rode me like he was in the Kentucky Derby. As he went over the edge, he raised his arms, pushing my legs higher (causing my prostate to be doubly stroked), and letting the garden hose whip and spray my insides. He yelled out, “Take that and that and that.” I had created a monster and he was in our bed. In my passive mode, I cuddled up to him and he took me in his arms. I started to purr like a cat. Max growled. We laughed.
“You really liked that, getting fucked like a whore,” he asserted.
“Mmmh,” I purred. He kissed the top of my head. “Maybe we should use lube next time before we start.”
He massaged my ass, kissing and licking it. I knew where that was going. I rolled over and stuck my ass up when I saw he was already hard again. So was I. That was all the invitation he needed. Tim 26 Grabbing my hair he pulled me back until my ass was fully arched. Sliding the hose easily through my well-stretched and lubed anal chamber he found all the right spots. Having eased me into the proper position, he stroked my neck with his thumbs, and asked, “Ready?” Tim 24
“Do it,” I replied.
He went from zero to sixty instantly, driving in and out of my ass like he was packing a musket. He pulled my hair each time he drove in, so I arched fully to take him. Tim 23 Reaching around, he grabbed my straining dick and griped it in a vise-like jerk off. I relaxed as before, happy to make him do all the work. He again sensed my submission, which made him rock his whole body in celebration of his dominance. I felt all warm in my lower belly from knowing I was giving him all he wanted. His thighs were slapping my ass which sounded like a pumping oil well, with gushes and squishes sounding gross as he went in and out. I visualized my poor ass looking like an open-pit mine, it was so loose. He switched to rapid ins/outs deep inside me. My prostrate went from being tickled to feeling it was in a Cuisineart turning out a smoothie. That thought made me climax suddenly. Jack changed back to deep thrusts and pulling my hair back as far as it went. My ass was ready for his load. It came again and again, until he collapsed on my back, pushing me forward and down. The little head start he had given me was enough for my cock to be ready for him. I rolled over and sat him on my dick. His hole was soaked in sweat and I entered easily. Tim 53 I got his legs squeezing me and pulled him close to my chest. I felt his dick hardening against my stomach. I held his eyes open. We stared at each other the entire time I fucked him. His mind was deep into the fuck until he became alert that he was about to cum again. I bounced him faster and faster and beat him to the punch, but not by much. After we finished he collapsed against me, sound asleep. I found a towel and cleaned our stomachs and asses from the spilled seed which was smeared there and dripping out. Trying to save our sheets was a Sisyphean task. I accepted the 3-2 dominance loss with grace, remembering that feeling of falling when I gave in to him and relaxed. He was teaching me now. My dreams had Jack sitting in a circle with his D&D buddies telling each one they had to wait their turn for him to fuck them. The gay hater was the most anxious to be fucked. Boys.

Monday morning, the week before Easter Break: As we walked into Mr. Clark’s English class, Robby pointed at me, “Looks like someone isn’t walking too straight today. Someone’s bed buddy too frisky last night.
Everyone stayed silent, waiting for my come back.”
“No. Max had too much of your love weed and had his way with both of us.”
That got a laugh, but for once Mr. Clark knew we had gone over the line. “Settle down, or we’ll have a pop quiz.”
Robby, needing the last word, “Tim has already popped.”

Grant and his boy Clyde came up to us at Nutrition.
“Bin hearin’ ‘bout yer Easter plans. Goin’ to New York?”
“Yeah. You need to transfer to Mr. Clark’s English class so you can speak the language.”
“I’m the street prophet, speakin’ the words and sounds of my peeps.”
“How’s that workin’ fer ya?”
We all laughed.
“Anyway,” he toned it down, “We’re throwin’ y’all a ghetto farewell. Bon voyage on Thursday night – a send off.”
“That’s really cool, man.”
“Here’s a flyer. Maybe you’ll play?”
“Why not. Your crew doin’ Doo Wop?”
“’Course. We’re the home boys.”
“Any Ganja?”
“Any presidents?”
“Yeah, we’ll be flush.”
“Just don’t be flashing it in my neighborhood.”
“’Course.”
“See ya, then.”
“Not if we see you first.”

Dave said everything was good at Out & Proud and flashed me his Jacksons.
“You puttin’ that in your college fund?”
“Shit, this is my pizza and beer fund.”
“Can we come by and get a sendoff today?”
“Sure, but don’t cut into our commissions.”
“You like being an underwear model?”
“Sure,”and he flashed me the day’s special. At least it wasn’t paisley. Tim 143

When we showed up, all the kids surrounded us. Someone yelled, “Teen Jesus.”
“I’m not Teen Jesus,” I complained. “How y’all doin.’”
“Jimmy had his older brother busted for beatin’ on him,” someone announced.
Everyone was patting Jimmy on the back.
“It’s good you’re standing up for each other. But it’s sad that Jimmy’s brother’s an asshole.”
“That’s right.”
“How are Dave and Jazz doing? You enjoy having ‘em play every day.”
Right on cue, the Out-Crowd started tuning up. The kids were kicking off their shoes and the sock hop started.
Felix came over to say goodbye.
“We’ll be back in two weeks. You want us back? The kids like the sock hop.”
“Your jobs are safe. Those boys don’t sell shit. Jazz is a spazz Tim 604 who will never look good modelling anything. Dave stares real hard at anyone who looks at him when he shows his briefs.”
“Not exactly gay boys. They said they still are making their commissions.”
“I still pay ‘em, but its more for keeping all the kids in the youth center than bringing in business.”
“We’ll shop Soho and bring back what’s hot.”
“Cool. I hear you’re playing road houses on the way up. It won’t be like the old Eros Lounge.”
“Yeah, they won’t be throwing money at us, just beer.”
“Well, be careful.”
“No problem, guard dog Max will protect us.” Tim 314

I called Mike Sr.’s assistant, Jay, to check on all the arrangements. He had the Chelsea booked for five nights, in case we needed to stay longer in New York. St Patrick’s had called with all kinds of restrictions on us for their Easter High Mass. He had directed them to Martin Scorsese’s production company, which was negotiating the rights to film there. The Church had asked if we would speak at their youth group on Saturday which Jay knew we’d want to do. The booking agent in Memphis had sent a list of road houses willing to book us. Since Easter week was slow, all we had to do was show up and we could play. They’d pay us $300 for two sets, but only if we finished both sets. It seemed dire. Father Frank had contacted the Church and had a schedule of youth groups along the whole East Coast. Jay had called Hippie’s Baptist church which had provided the same. Jack called the uncles who were all gassed up and ready to go. I bet they were.
I spoke with Mike Sr.
“Thanks for arranging our tour. Jay is great. There’s one last favor.”
“Here it comes,” he joked.
“Can you call Jace and John’s parents and get Jace’s real mother’s address and contact info. This whole tour idea started when he wanted to find her. He never really knew her. He doesn’t even know her name. Maybe his dad knows where she is.”
“I’ll try, but I’m not their favorite attorney.”
“But maybe the most charming one.”
“I’ll let you know.”
Casper hugged me for trying.

Thursday English turned into a send-off, as we planned to leave from Hialeah after the ghetto party and to ditch Friday classes. Jack and I sang our latest song about Miami:

SOUTH FLORIDA

“Go deep to the South
When you can go no more
Find our city to make a score
Come to our cool house

We bewilder with our drug
Whether it be love
Or just need of a hug
We’re free to meet the need

Miami’s here to serve
keeps you safe and sound
Southern man beats you down
That’s just what you deserve

Miami drug
Life too rough?
Take the time
Follow our sign

Girls are free
Always please
Jack your shit
Get into it.”

The kids loved it. Mr. Clark said it was drug oriented and misogynistic.
“Just what those rednecks want,” Robby defended us

Mike Sr. talked with me while the equipment was being loaded into the De Soto and Chrysler convertibles. He had received a packet of info from Jace’s dad on his mom. It seems they were being more helpful.
“I should tell you what’s happening with John,” I said, as he was his legal guardian. I related his opening up, then regressing. How the Watts were giving him room, but that he had stopped talking this week. Mike Sr. wanted to have him professionally evaluated but agreed to wait until we got back, to let the Watts deal with it in their old-fashioned way, ‘love the child, spare the shrink.’

Casper was going ape shit about seeing the info on his mom. We ran into the bathroom and he devoured it all. Her last address was near Daytona. There was no phone number. There were a lot of pictures, mostly old. She was a dead ringer for Jace, long, stringy blonde hair, deep blue eyes, long horsey face. Tim 385 The pictures were from when she was just a year or so older than he was. The likeness was striking. I warned Casper that she will seem much older, especially if she’s had a rough life. He didn’t care, but was worried she wouldn’t see or feel him.
“She will definitely feel you,” I assured him. “Seeing you is harder, but we’ll sign for you.’
“We’re going to find her?”
“Definitely. We’ll start looking tomorrow in Daytona. Maybe we’ll play a club, and she’ll be there.”
He looked so hopeful. It broke my heart. He had so little family.

Mike Sr. had really come through
“I’m aghast that I’m trusting my 16-year-old to another 16-year-old to go on a two-week tour of the Eastern US. We’ll be in New York for Easter. I wouldn’t miss St Patrick’s for the life of me.” Then he hugged me.
I knew better than to say we had responsible adults to chaperon us.
Mary came over with her father. We spoke in Spanish, the gist of which was that none of the girls could go with us. Mike Sr. explained how miraculous it was to perform at the Cathedral in New York. Her father had thought St Patrick’s was a bar. He still refused to relent. Mike Sr. said they could travel with his family just for the Easter performance. No tour of the South for the Jacettes. They were devastated. Jack was even comforting Edi, drawing nasty looks from the parents.
Finally we had packed everything. Everyone piled into the convertibles for the party at Grant’s house. Suddenly I was nervous. All the details were fine, but the responsibility of everything was too much. Jack bucked me up. Casper signed that the only important thing was to find his mom. Everything else was a lark. The same feeling I got when I let go, when Jack fucked me, started in my stomach. I’d fallen into the adult trap of worrying about the unknown. We had a ghetto party awaiting us. Let’s go.

Twenty minutes later we were at Grant’s. He had a lookout and knew the moment we pulled up. All his friends were car buffs and soon Tam and Steve had their hoods up and showing off their massive V-8 engines. Gas was now over a buck, but the Uncles said not to worry . They had it covered. The girls were all loving Max.
Clyde jumped in, standing in the back, threw out his arms, and began singing the De Soto jingle,
“It’s delightful, it’s delovely, it’s DeSoto,” DeSoto01 never realizing he was singing a show song by Cole Porter. Jack jumped in with him and sang the original’s first verse:

 

“The night is young, the skies are clear
So if you want to go walking, dear,
It’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s de-lovely.
I understand the reason why
You’re sentimental, ’cause so am I,
It’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s de-lovely.
You can tell at a glance
What a swell night this is for romance,
You can hear dear Mother Nature
Murmuring low,
“Let yourself go!””

Songwriters
PORTER, COLE
Published by
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Clyde was not to be upstaged and kissed Jack right there. Everyone cheered. Grant slapped me on the back, “I told you.”
Jack ran over to me and blew a kiss toward Clyde.

Everyone went into the backyard for the Bar-B-Q, leaving the lookout to guard the vehicles. All our black classmates were there, including the Doo Wop crew. We knew most everyone, so few introductions were made. Grant asked where the girls were, and I explained how their parents had put their foot down.
“But Michael’s dad is flying them up for the St Patrick’s Easter Mass.”
Grant’s mother joined our conversation, “I once attended services at Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church. Their choir was heaven-sent.”
“Mama asked me if you would perform your version of ‘Amazing Grace’ tonight, as a warm-up for New York?”
“Of course, but you have to join us.”
His mother beamed. He couldn’t refuse.
“How about after the Doo Wop crew?” she suggested. “You boys always get everyone movin’.”
Hippie and I went out and got our guitars.
“You don’t have any problem performing here, do you?”
He gave me a funny look. “We Baptists may have gone our separate ways, but we still worship the same God.”
“Praise the Lord.”
“Praise the gays,” and we giggled.
Grant’s mama was right. The Doo Wop crew got all the kids moving, just like the Out-Crowd, but with better dancing moves.
When they were done, Hippie and I hooked up to the amps and stepped up with Grant, His crew stayed with us and hummed and added nonsense words in the background. Hippie started and Grant came in on the second line;

they sang to each other, while Jack and I did the high parts and finishes on guitar. Tim 115 We sang it through twice, with the whole crowd singing at the end. There was lots of hands and arms in the air, but no holy rolling.
I grabbed Grant, “You have to come with. This will be so great to do in New York.”
“Mama ain’t gonna let me go.”
“What if Martin books us also at the Harlem Abyssinian Baptist? And you and your mama can fly up with Michael’s family and the girls?”
“You crazy, boy,” he looked at me wide-eyed. “Mama, com’n here.”
I worried she would succumb to her fried chicken diet, but the tears of joy were worth it, at least to me.
I called Mike Sr. and explained we already had a change. He agreed to call Martin and seemed confident it would happen.
“Shall I get him to book a temple in case Passover happens to coincide?”
He only complained a little that this holiday was already costing him an arm, and I was taking a leg.
“Com’n. Mike. You can start your campaign for DA from the Abyssinian Baptist Church.”
“Don’t be cynical.”
“And you thought you would get away with just buying me a guitar?”

With the parents and kids mostly gone, I gathered the high schoolers and Grant’s crew around the amps.
“Wanna hear our new song about Miami? It’s called ‘South Florida.’”
It sounded great in the open air, temperature 78 degrees, winds off the water at 5 mph and the feeling that the old Miami was about to become the new trendy Miami Vice. We were about to find out what the rest of the country thought about it.
“Onward Kimo Sabe, the second star to the right, and straight on till morning.” Jack told the Uncles and we departed.

Somewhere in the middle of the night we arrived in Daytona. The Uncles got 2 rooms at a moderate motel near downtown and led us like little kids to our room. Michael and Hippie were tucked into opposite sides of their bed with Robby in the middle, while Jack and I were separated by the invisible Casper, who tossed and turned all night in anticipation of looking for his mom in the morning. Her name was Carol, Carol Conning if she had not remarried, or Carol Fleming, if she went back to her maiden name. As we ate breakfast in a coffee shop, I went through the phone book. There were no Connings and the Flemings all had male names attached. We jumped into the De Soto and searched out the address Jace’s dad had given. It was a small bungalow in a sketchy part of town. Jack and I went to the door, but no one answered. The house was obviously occupied, so we concluded the homeowner or renter was at work. I went to the neighbors, finally finding someone who knew the residents. I showed them the photo.
“I believe there was a woman who stayed there several years ago. She looked similar to the picture but much older.”
“The photo is 16 years old.”
“Well, that could very well be her.”
Encouraged we went back to the cottage and left a note, saying we’d be back at six pm. Casper was deflated but anxious to return later.

The Uncles insisted we see the sights, taking both cars out on the hard-packed sand by the ocean. Apparently anyone could drive on the beach. The original car races were held there. The Daytona 500 was at the newly built Speedway. The Uncles were giddy driving fast on the sand, 1Daytona sands while we whooped it up, yelling at other cars doing as we were. Our classic ’50s cars were the toast of the beach. The Uncles needed a nap from the excitement and from driving most of the night. I looked at what the booking agent had prepared for the Daytona area. There was a bar & grill west of town that had booked us for that night. Uncle Tam tossed me the keys, and armed with my driver’s permit we headed to check it out. The De Soto wasn’t easy to drive, so Hippie took over after I kept going onto the sandy roadside.

The roadhouse was a square concrete box with a big parking lot and no neighbors. We all piled out and walked in together.
“Gonna need ta see some ID boys,” The bartender said.
We all showed our new permits.
“I mean IDs saying y’all is 18.”
“We’re the band that was booked for tonight, sir.”
“Hey Jake, com’n out here,” he yelled.
A big bellied man sauntered to the bar.
“These boys say you booked ‘em for tonight’s band.”
“Y’all from Ry Cooper’s Songs of the South Studio.”
“We’re from Miami and Ry booked us to open Lynyrd Skynyrd’s tour there next month.”
“You don’t say. Why would such a famous opening act wanna play this dump?”
‘We’s drivin’ up north for an Easter show and need to try out our new songs with a real audience.”
“They don’t have real audiences in New York?”
“Not real Southern audiences, sir. “ I looked at him hopefully. Bennie 01
“Think you can smile and look pretty and I’m gonna let you play here.”
“No, sir.”
“Least you got manners. You play good enuff to get these local boys drinking and you gets 20% of the bar take.
“We get 25% in Miami.”
“Maybe they throw their money away down there.”
“Maybe you should pay us what the studio agent said, $300 for two sets.”
“You play real good, you’ll make more’n that.”
“We’ll play good alright and we have a deal – 25%.”
I stuck my hand out and we shook.
“How old are you boys.”
“Their IDs say they’re all 16 but that one must be a retard ‘cause he’s 17,” the bartender said pointing at Robby.
“I ain’t retarded, I just ditched all year and got put back.”
“Well, shit, he’s feisty anyway. Must be the drummer.”
“Number one drummer,” Robby responded. Tim 328
“How many drummers you got?”
“Two.”
“Well, ya must be Skynyrd clones then.”
‘We’ll play Skynyrd, and then you can tell us if we’re just clones,” Robby was getting riled up.
“Yeah, we know 15 minutes of Free Bird guitar solo.”
“We do it as a duet and I just do an intro on the guitar,” I explained.
“Well, you be sure to play it ‘cause those boys are locals and fans that may take exception to you Miami boys changin’ the lyrics.”
“We’ll do that. We’ll play lots of covers and take requests, but we want to see how our new songs hold up against hits.”
“Well, this ain’t band camp, so you just get ever’one drinkin’ and it’ll work out fine. But no drinking yerselves.”
“Just stick some cold ones outside fer when we take a break,” Robby insisted.

“I told you that drummer’s a firecracker.”
“Be here at eight, ready to do two sets.”
“Yes, sir.”
“And stop bein’ such a kiss ass.” The manager told me.
“Yes, sir.”Bennie 03
“Jesus!”
”Yes?”
“Get outta my bar.”

We jumped into the De Soto and tore out of the parking lot, fishtailing as we whooped it up. It was our first commercial gig. We drove back to Daytona and passed by Casper’s mom’s old place – still no one there. Casper signed for me to go to the local police station to ask if his mom was known there. They checked their records but no one with her names showed up. One cop said her picture looked like a runaway he had known several years ago. They had nothing about her at the address we had. Next we went to the pier, after returning the De Soto. We forgot to clean out the trash we’d accumulated from 7/11. The Uncles were not pleased, but maybe more upset that we woke them up.

The pier had all sorts of shops on it, with tourists milling about, afraid to spend their vacation dollars. At the head of the pier a group of teens was hanging out, passing out ‘Jesus Saves’ pamphlets, with a seedie looking man in his late twenties supervising . I recognized him from my first week in Miami Beach. He was the pimp who tried to trap me.
“Remember me?” I said as we walked up.
“Remind me,” he answered, looking away to avoid my stare.
“You were pimping girls in South Beach, Miami two years ago. Y’all still go by Chuck?”
The kids started walking away, apparently aware of his past.
“Y’all runaways? He pimping you, too?”
They all started running away. A shopkeeper came out and thanked me.
“He brings those kids here every day, and I see him take the girls off somewhere. I suspected it was prostitution.’
“If he comes back, have the police check his ID. I’ll bet he has a record and isn’t supposed to be around children.”
Teen Jesus to the rescue.
A more legitimate teen group was also working the pier. We talked. When they found out we were driving to New York for Easter services, they invited us back to their church. It was just a storefront. They knew about the other group, but didn’t think it was their responsibility to tell the police. They had no evidence.
“Are there many runaways here?” I asked.
“Lots during the winter. They’re mostly abused or bullied at home and come here looking for friends. The adults who exploit them are scum.”
“Could they sleep here?”
“The police say if we shelter runaways, it’s a crime. All we have is what you see. They’d have to sleep on the floor.”
“We pay a city tax for our motel. There must be money to save the runaways from prostitution. It doesn’t make for a nice visit for the tourists.”
“The police just want to make them leave Daytona. It’s hopeless.”
“There’s always hope if you have Jesus in your heart.”
“It’s hard.”
We gave them all the money we had on us. Time to wake up the Uncles and go eat.

Luckily I had a large petty cash fund, mostly in traveler’s cheques. We replenished our wallets and hit the pizza joints; they were everywhere in Daytona. We swore none were better than Sorrento’s but that didn’t stop us from pigging out.
It was nearly 6 pm and Casper was as anxious as ever to resume the search for his mother. The Uncles were in the midst of their cocktail hour and tossed me the keys again. I only drove off the road twice but Hippie said he better drive back. A twenty-something man answered the door and let us in. He had taken over the place from a couple who had moved further from town. I showed him the photo.
“Yeah, that could be her if she cleaned up real good.”
“They leave a forwarding address?”
“What’s it to ya?”
“She’s my friend’s mother.”
‘So, what’s it to you?” He wasn’t a hater, more of a skeptic, not worth the effort to change.
“My friend wants me to tell her something.”
“Listen, kid. This is a bad neighborhood. If she left, there may be a reason she wouldn’t want anyone to know where she went.”
“We just want to meet her. Her son was our guitarist. He was shot and killed on New Year’s.”
“Well, she goes by Candy, her old man is Bill. Last I seen ‘em was about two years ago.”
“Thanks. Was she working?”
“She’s got a couple of kids. Little ones.”
I signed Casper, “She’s got 2 kids.”
He got very excited and created a whirlwind of rosy wisps of clouds.
“How about her old man?”
“He kinda lives off her welfare check and does odd jobs.”
Great.
“Any last names?”
“Didn’t know and didn’t wanna know.”
“Thanks. It’s more than we knew before.”
‘Hope you find her.” He said, a little less cynically.
We knocked on other doors, but no one remembered her.
We drove back to the motel to pick up the equipment van (the Chrysler) and the Uncles.
When we described the Bar & Grill, they lost their enthusiasm.
“We’ll go out in two cars. Once you are set, we’ll take the DeSoto back to the city and find ‘our’ kind of bar.”
“Actually, best we just take the Chrysler. We ‘re going more for a rough trade look and you might get hurt.”
“Fine,” they shrieked.
We loaded up. With Max in the back seat, we flew out the highway to the bar. We parked at the back, banging to open the door and unload the equipment. Max was left to guard the car. They had a PA with two mics, so all we needed were the drums and amps. Checking the bar, we saw it was already busy. I watched to see how much they were charging for drinks. It was Friday night and the place was crowded. You didn’t notice how rundown it really was. Scanning the crowd, I’d place the average age about thirty. No need for show tunes and Sinatra.
“Metal or Country?” I asked everyone. The jukebox was playing country.
“Metal,” everybody agreed.
The bartender came by with four cold beers and placed them by the back door, turned around and winked. We tuned up, but our volume was below the crowd’s din. We decided to start with “Smoke on the Water,’ which was slow and heavy. We could turn it up until they had to hear us.
Robby grabbed the beers, and we went back to the car and toked up.  A couple of local boys wandered over to share our weed. They wanted our beers, but we told them the bartender would 86 us if we shared.
“You boys ain’t expectin’ to get in there?” the bright one remarked.
All the more incentive for them to stick around and for us to get in there and play.
“Okay, after Smoke, Whole Lotta Lovin, Stairway, and Paranoid. Then we stop and take requests.”
“Yer the band?” their brilliance was amazing. We all went in together, They stood by the side, expecting a bouncer at any moment.
We picked up our instruments. Hippie and I played the first riff and we turned up the amps to ten. People stopped talking. Jack stepped up, “We all went down to Montreux….”

 

Girls were bobbing and weaving with their drinks in their hands. The guys held onto them.
“Yeah, Deep Purple,” someone yelled. “Sucks,” a nay sayer answered.
We did the two Zeppelin songs and then ripped into our usual opener, Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid.’

Hippie and I turned our amps down to 4 and Jack did his first intro.
“We’re from Miami. Gimme a beer. We play metal. What do you wanna hear.”
A poet and he didn’t know it.
Someone yelled “Aerosmith.
Jack turned around and mouthed, ‘Walk this Way,’ and yelled into the mic,

“one two three four…Backstroke lover always hidin’ ‘neath the cover…Walk this way, talk this way
Walk this way, talk this way
Walk this way, talk this way
Walk this way, talk this way
Ah, just give me a kiss”

Songwriters: STEVEN TYLER, JOE PERRY
© BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

He was strutting across the small stage, hands on his hips and staring daringly at the crowd.

“Stones,” someone yelled when we finished.
We did ‘Sympathy for the Devil,” starting out slow and quietly,

which even the Stones couldn’t perform in 1975. I started to hear a cry for ‘Free Bird,” the loyal locals.

“ZZ Top,” and we did ‘Gimme All your Lovin’.’

Followed by ‘Tush.’

“’CSNY,’  someone dared us and we did ‘Southern Man’, changing the lyrics:

“Southern man, better keep your head
Don’t forget what your good book said
Southern change’s don’t come fast
Now your crosses are burning last
Southern man
I saw prisons and I saw shacks
Tall white gives a smackin’
Southern man, when they pay you them back?
I heard screamin’ and bullwhips crackin’
How long? How long?

Southern man, better keep your head
Don’t forget what your good book said
Southern changes don’t come fast
Now your crosses burn at last
Southern man

Lily Belle, your hair is golden brown
I’ve seen your man’s still comin’ round
Swear by God, I’m gonna cut him down
I heard screamin’ and bullwhips crackin’
How long? How long?”

Song Writer: Neil Young
Published by
BROKEN ARROW MUSIC

Apparently our drunk fans weren’t listening as their automatic response to Neil Young was to throw things at us. We quickly went into ‘Sweet Home, Alabama’

and rejoined the fold. They cheered us but continued to throw beer, as we ducked and weaved. Tim 363

Next I went into Leon Russell’s ‘Honky Tonk Women,”

Jack switched gears and sang low as I provided the heavy back beat and Hippie was flying around the stage, some Southern gene. I played the piano notes individually on my guitar, just like a honky-tonk piano.
“Gimme gimme gimme the honky-tonk blues.”
We even got a few cheers from the crowd.
I stepped up to the mic, “Did someone yell ‘Free Bird?”

A big cheer went up. Jack and I got up to the mic for our duet. He put his arm around my shoulder as I played a 15 second guitar intro. Casper looked disgusted when we started singing to each other:

 

 

“If I leave here tomorrow” (I sang to Jack)
“Would you still remember me?” (He sang back)
“For I must be traveling on, now,” (I returned.)
“’Cause there’s too many places,” (He returned)
“I’ve got to see.” (We both sang)
“But, if I stayed here with you, girl” (Me )
“Things just couldn’t be the same” (Jack)
“’Cause I’m as free as a bird now” (Me)
“And this bird, you can not change.” (He finished.)
… and together we sang the long chorus:

“Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
And the bird you cannot change
And this bird you cannot change
Lord knows, I can’t change
Lord help me, I can’t change
Lord I can’t change
Won’t you fly high, free bird, yeah?”

Songwriters
VAN ZANT, RONNIE / COLLINS, ALLEN
Published by
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

“Did we pass the audition?” I asked. People clapped and stomped the affirmative.
“Can’t a 16-year-old get a beer around here?” I asked, and we all ran off the stage. There were four cold ones by the back door.
“I think that went quite well,” Jack remarked about his performance as lead singer.
“Quite,” I quipped.
“Why the disgusted look?” I signed Casper.
“You cut the guitar solos,” he complained. He was a purist.
“Well, next time you can have Allen Collins do it for your appreciation.”
“Don’t ask for what you may not want,” he signed back.

Our fellow backdoor mates came around from the front, showing they had stamps to get back in. They brought along several more buddies.
“Y’all hadda pay ta git in?” I asked the newbies.
“Five bucks.”
“Were we worth it?”
“We were just huntin’ pussy.”
“How’d that work fer ya?”
Casper was signing for me to cool the Southern jive.
“Speakin’ of that. You boys ever see this chick?” I showed them the photo, “Her name’s Candy.”
“Sure, man. She’s always here. Her old man’s the bartender.” Our ‘four-frosties-by-the-door’ man.
“If you see her, can y’all tell her to come talk with us.”
“Out of your league, boys. She’s gotta be thirty at least.”
“We just wanna talk to her.”
Casper was already gone, looking for her. Good hunting, brother.
“Y’all gots guts to play ‘Southern Man.’ No one does that and lives.”
“You hear how we changed the lyrics?”
“Maybe, but Neil Young will remember.”
So much for editing.
Robby pulled out the obligatory joint Tim 89 and we got ready to play our own song set. I just felt excited, not nervous. Fuck ‘em if they hate us. We’re from Miami.
The whole crew piled in with us and a bouncer came by to check their stamps, but they had it covered.

I jumped up to the mic. Tim 115
“We’re False Gods. Hope you liked that first set of Southern Comfort rock. Lots of Skynyrd fans here tonight. Go out and support their new album coming out next month. We’re supporting them by opening at the hydroplane concert in Miami. Come and see who does the better Free Bird.”
A few scattered boos came from the back.
“Okay. We can’t play their hit without paying them, so see how you like our songs.” and I turned around and mouthed ‘South Florida.’

“Go deep to the South
When you can go no more
Find our city where to score
Come to our cool house

We bewilder with our drug
Whether it be love
Or just need of a hug
We’re free to meet the need

Miami’s here to serve
Keeps you safe and sound
Southern man beats you down
That’s what you deserve

Miami drug
Life too rough?
Take the time
Follow our sign

Girls are free
Always please
Jack your shit
Get into it.”

They were into it, so we repeated the ending chorus, “Get into it.” Tim 259

“How about a little ‘Sex Part 1?’”

“ He’s the boy who breaks all the rules.
He takes his time until you’re primed,
then gets it done 60 seconds flat.
Out the door always wanting more.
Don’t tell him you’ll do it later when you know
he’s gonna do you now.
Love it.”

“Part 2:

“You who acts so true,
finding me sometimes blue,
take me in your arms,
calm me with your charm,

I need you to give,
what we need to live.
Take my hands,
shake my hips,
all that we can,
kiss my lips,
invade my mind,
don’t leave my side,
forget my pride,
I need you inside.”
take me inside
take me inside.
take me inside.
take me.
take me.

• You act so true,
• With me so blue,
• take me
• calm me
• you need me,
• a reason to love.
o Take my hands ,
o Take my hips,
o all you can,
o kiss my lips,
o invade my mind,
o don’t leave my side,
o forget my pride,
o I need you inside.
take me inside.
take me inside.
take me inside.
take me.
take me.
take me.
take me.

The guys were butt-bumping their girlfriends or elbowing their buddies. No beer flying yet.

“How about ‘Love?’ Tim 101

“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.
Don’t ask,
Some way,
Somehow.”

“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.
Don’t ask,
some way,
somehow.”
‘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”

“Too slow,” someone yelled
We played ‘Paranoid’ to perk up the crowd.

 

 

“Too fast,” someone else yelled.

“This is ‘Sneakin’, When you’re 16 you gotta be fast.

Tim 232

Sneaking around
Never been caught
All over town
Better than not.

Thrill’s in the chase
No time to waste
Folks on my case
All is in haste.

Waiting’s the worst
You are my first
I need you now
We’re on the prowl.

Back of an alley
Sprawled in the dirt
No time to dally
Who will cum first.

shaka shaka love?
‘shaka shaka love shaka shaka
Shaka shaka love shaka shaka.”

The crowd turned the heat up and you could feel their excitement as they pressed forward toward us. I ran forward, stopped and played riffs, moving the neck of my guitar like I was fucking Casper, who took it up the ass with a huge surprise on his face. Miroku04a

“This song we wrote about Robby and Michael, our double drummers. When Robby was ten he set Michael on fire. Michael was nine and when Robby told him he had saved his life by rolling him up in a rug. Michael punched him out.”
Everyone cheered and we did ‘Look before You Leap.’ Tim 231

‘Look before You Leap?’”

‘Wanna
set you’re your buddy on fire,
Better buy a rug.
Wanna
send your friends to hell,
Better get a priest.
Wanna
Beat up a bully,
Better get a gun.

Look before you leap
Better to say no
End up in the shit heap
No place to go.

Leap, leap, leap
You fuckin’ freak
Leap, leap, leap
Strip and streak.”

Wanna
Beat up your friend
Get new friends
Wanna
Steal a new car
You won’t get far
Wanna
Rape some sweet lass
A beating comes fast

Look before you leap
Better to say no
End up in the shit heap
No place to go.

Leap, leap, leap
You fuckin’ freak
Leap, leap, leap
Strip and streak.”

Now came the final test, ‘False Gods.’
“Boys, this is our band’s song, ‘False Gods,.’ You can worship us from afar after we get famous. Get on your knees.” Tim 228

“Where others feared to tread,
they gave us up for dead,
memories linger on eternally,
as Lucifer’s proud plea,
a world of our own,
on high a black throne,
we sing to make them see,
to be happy for eternity
…we are False Gods, we are False Gods…
a world meek and blind,
laugh at all of mankind,
fools misunderstand,
we’re of Satan’s band,
a world of endless flaws,
facades and miracles applause,
eulogized but despised,
shed your false disguise,
fall to your knees,
utter useless pleas,
cause
…we are False Gods, we are False Gods…

pray in foreign tongues,
shoot useless guns,
sacrifice hallowed sheep,
shun cold, dark streets,
you’re just nasty fleas,
Set your minds to be

…False Gods, False Gods…

We will live eternally
To hear your painful screams
Just wait 20 years or so
You will know just what we mean

….We are False Gods, False Gods..”

… False Gods”

SONGWRITER: David Delgado/Tar Larner
© MIB

 

Southern boys love their death rock and bible prophecies. Everyone was yelling for more as we walked off. Finally I went up to the mic, “Well, nobody’s gotten me a beer, so we’ll be back with our star performer, Max.”

There were four more beers by the door. I went back and found the bartender.
“Bill?” I began tentatively. “You hooked up with Candy?”
“I’m not Bill. That’s her ex. If you want a piece of him get in line.”
“Naw, we gotta meet Candy. She here tonight?”
“Somewhere. She don’t pull them tricks no more.”
“That’s good. We’re friends of her son.”
“Those boys ain’t out of pre-school.”
“No. Her first son. He just turned 16.”
“From the asshole dad who never sends her check.”
“We really need to meet her. It’s all good. He was our original guitarist.”
“You rock pretty good.”
“Thanks, but he taught me all I know.”
“I’ll find her. You sure this ain’t about child support or nothin.’”
“No. We hate her asshole ex-husband. It’s a long story, but Jace made us promise we’d find her.”
“Y’all playin’ another set?”
“You still selling drinks?”
“We may run out.”
“We’ll finish up strong. We’d never played those last songs before. Whatcha think?”
“It ain’t band camp, kid. All I can say is after you played Southern Man sales went way up and have stayed that way. You comin’ back Saturday night?”
“Sure,” I grinned.
“Well, get out there, and I’ll find Candy.”

I raced out back and got my beer from Jack, who was holding off the hoards. Our backstage was so way-backstage, any one got in. Robby had endless joints for them. When someone claimed it was ‘weak,’ I showed him where to hold the Robby special hole so it would draw.
“Fuckin’ city boys,” he complained. Then he looked at me, “Sorry. Y’all ‘s cool.”
“Hey,” I announced to the band. “There’s a good chance that Jace’s mom is actually inside here tonight. The bartender’s her old man. He’s looking for her.”
Everyone cheered. Jack hugged me, losing 10% of our new posse.
“You boys ain’t faggots, are you?”
“Who’s askin’? We’re picky about who we let fuck us.”
That confused them.
“We ain’t gonna fuck you. We’re gonna fuck you up.”
Just at that moment, a Harley roared around the corner, skidding to a stop next to the Chrysler. All in black leather and no helmet was Iggy. Tim 300
“Am I missing the action?” he yelled.
Max barked as Iggy knocked down the local who was ready to fight. All hell broke out. Robby jumped on the back of one of the harassers and dug his fingers into his eye sockets. It was like the rodeo with Robby bull riding. Michael was wielding his drum sticks like nun-chucks. I punched the nearest guy in the gut and put him down with an upper cut. Tim 112 Hippie stood there waiting for inspiration on how to fight. I got tackledimg938 and ended up grappling a guy twice my size.  The original group who sneaked in with us decided it was a free for all and attacked their friends who were intent on getting us. Jack was hiding in the car. But the excitement (and the pot) got the best of him and he copied Robby’s move and launched himself from the car’s hood and hung on to someone who wasn’t really attacking anyone. The bouncers came storming out, well prepared for some action. We rushed back on stage, picking up our instruments. I mouthed ‘Wish You Were Here,” our new Pink Floyd anthem.

“We’re back, after a little Daytona hospitality in the parking lot. (a few cheers) And this song is dedicated to Candy, if she’s out there. A little English Pink Floyd about what we feel for her son, Jace. Tim 352

• “So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell,
Blue sky’s from pain.
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

And did they get you to trade
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We’re just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl,
Year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
And how we found
The same old fears.

Wish you were here.

Songwriters: WATERS, ROGER/GILMOUR, DAVID JON
© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., IMAGEM U.S. LLC

A tall lady with long straight, blonde hair came running up. Tim 233
“You’re friends with my long-lost baby?”
“He sent us to find you. We all love him so much. Stay here. We have to talk after we’re done.”
She looked around anxiously, then totally relaxed with an angelic expression. Casper was hugging her. Tim 448 He was still in her heart.

We played mostly blues and country for the last set. People were ready to sit down and enjoy the show. Bar business was down, but there was a finished feeling to these songs. We even did a few Fats Domino New Orleans style blues hits from the 50s. We got our biggest applause after we finished. We did Zeppelin’s ‘Ramble On’

and ‘Good Times Bad Times’ as encore”

As we finished the Zeppelin, Iggy came charging through the crowd backed by his new friends from the fight.
“Enough of this English shit. We’re Americans. We want American metal.”
He jumped on stage and attempted to pull the mic away from me. The bouncers were on their way.
“Okay. Okay,” as I gave him the mic. He mouthed ‘Raw Power’ to the band and jumped around to face his fans.

 

 

He ripped through it and went right into ‘I Wanna be Your Dog.’ Max ran on stage and barked with Iggy.

The crowd loved it. The bouncers finally got there and hauled Iggy away. His posse left to keep him from a beating. The show was stopped. We were done.

Instead of leaving the stage, we all circled Candy, Jace’s mom. Everyone was crying. The Bartender came over and was holding Candy. Her look showed she knew it wasn’t good news. Casper kept hugging her, but the angelic look was gone.
I swallowed and started to explain.
“Candy, Jace started and was the inspiration for this band. He never stopped wanting to find you. He was angry and troubled but the inspiration he found to create this band changed him. He was a musical prodigy. When he died ten thousand people came out to his memorial.”
“He died?”
“His stepbrother shot him after years of abusing him. It’s partially my fault because I beat the bully up and told him to stop. Instead he got a gun, and Jace was shot, dying at the hospital.”
Casper was tucked up in her lap. Tim 42
Pointing to Max. “This dog loved Jace and Jace loved him because he had been protecting Jace and his younger brother. Jace was holding Max back when his older  brother tried to kill the dog and instead shot Jace.”
At first she hugged me, but ended caressing Max. He gets all the ladies. Tim 316
Nate, the bartender, came over. She sobbed in his arms.
“We can feel Jace all around us. We have him in our hearts. If you still have him in your heart, take some of his love from us and you will always feel him there.”
That angelic smile came back, as she cradled Casper in her arms. Nate let each one of us hug her and try to express the love we felt for Jace. He gave us their home address and said to come by after 1 pm so we all could talk. I ran over and kissed her on the forehead.
“I loved him the most,” I confessed. I did my version of the goofy grin and Candy instantly recognized it. “That’s Jace’s smile.” j togo 01
“I know. We were happy together.” The tears were spilling but I didn’t sob.

Jake, the bar owner, came over and settled with us. I figured there were 120 people in the bar buying $3 well drinks at one per hour for 5 hours. The take would be $1800, so we were due $450. The owner smiled at me, “Best night of the season,” and handed me $500.
“Comin’ back tomorrow, Nate says.”
“Yup, wouldn’t miss it.”
“Tell me, you gonna do all those covers in concert?”
“Nope. Playing here was the first time we did a set of only our own songs.”
“The second set?”
“Yup.”
“Well with double drums you give Skynyrd a challenge, just don’t play Free Bird, you look like fags.”
“That would be correct, sir. Usually the duet is with Robby’s girlfriend but the parents wouldn’t let any of the girls come.”
“Good thing.”
“Any more advice?”
“Don’t listen to big fat good ol’ boys.”
“No, sir, we’ll be back.”

I went back outside where everyone was hanging at the Chrysler and getting high.
“That was intense,” Michael said.
“I saved yer asses,” was Iggy’s point of view, everyone pounded him on the back. We all compared our injuries, hors de combat. Jack might get a black eye. We all had scrapes and bruises.
“Y’all wanna come back tomorrow?”
Unanimous yes.
“Is Iggy part of the band?”
Somewhat less enthusiastic but still unanimous.
“He deserves a new name. How about ‘Nick,’ for in the nick of time.”
“Yay Nick.”
I wasn’t sure if he saved us or started the fight.
“Still trying to steal my job.” I accused him.
“Already did,’ he observed.

As we were ready to leave, Casper signed he was going home with his mom. I was so happy for him. We kissed until he started licking my ear. Jack grabbed him too, and they twirled around and kissed. Tim 84Gays!