1973 and the conclusion of the Vietnam War meant all my base friends’ parents were getting discharged or transferred and leaving Alaska. It was also the year of Watergate.
The hearings ran endlessly on TV. The adults preferred this lulling sense of disaster to the rapidly approaching disruption to their own lives. It must have been soothing that the President was also losing his job. My dad retired after twenty years and had taken a job with Teledyne in Miami. For me, it was just another move, no big deal.
First, came the annual summer vacation to our New England relatives. Since his family was moving too, Tom the snowmobile thrasher, got to come with me south. Dad drove 100 mph on the Al-Can Highway south to Haynes while Mom moaned about hitting a moose and dying. Tom and I sat in the back of the station wagon, playing cards and farting. We stopped in Great Falls MT where our Elmendorf friends had relocated in order to catch up on the latest Watergate news. The highlight was going to the drive-in to see “Deliverance,” pretty normal outdoors adventure action with Burt Reynolds, until the hillbillies raped the fat guy. As he squealed like a pig, Tom & I watched in wide-eyed wonder. The parents kept quiet. Heading east we left Tom at his grandparents who lived twenty miles off the Interstate at an old railroad water stop. By then, it was a bunch of retirees living in trailers around the town’s one attraction, a pool hall & bar. It was cool because they let us in at night to play pool. The bartender asked Tom if we wanted a drink. He ordered two beers. All the old-timers watched as we were served root beers, big time laugh in the sticks. When we got ready to leave, Tom gave me a big hug. I realized we’d never see each other again. He was cool for someone a year younger. I was fourteen that summer, ready to turn fifteen and go to high school.
We eventually got to New England, just in time for Fourth of July, the summer highlight in Stockbridge MA. Aunt Helen was my dad’s big sister. She lived in the old house that had been my grandparents, with her husband Terry and my cousins. In the room over the garage you could still smell the cherry pipe tobacco Grandpa had smoked. My older cousin Joey lived up there now. The tobacco smell nicely masked the pot he smoked. Joey was 19, out of high school, and a hippie. As he was five years older, he’d always ignored me. I remember when he had to babysit my cousins and me. He would tickle me, not stopping until I had pee’d my pants. He always brought it up; I was six when that happened. When Joey was in high school, he stopped being a pain and just ignored me; he changed then, with long hair and a teen attitude. Uncle Terry always harassed him, while Aunt Helen usually took his side. It made him even more distant. This year Joey would be a lot cooler to me, perhaps because I was finally going to high school.
My other cousins, Jeff and Jerry, were ten and eight. They’d always spent most of my visits hanging onto me like I was their personal plaything. This year I asked Mom if I could sleep somewhere other than their room. I said I needed my privacy. I thought it sounded cool. When we arrived, Mom announced, in front of everyone, “Timmy thinks he’s too old to stay with the boys this year.”
“Why Timmy, don’t you know how much the boys look forward to your visit?”
“Yes, Aunt Helen. I just thought I could sleep on the porch this summer, it being so hot and all.”
So Jeff pipes in, “Can’t we all sleep on the porch, Mom?”
“Well, okay, but I don’t want a mess. No loud noises to bother the neighbors. Is that all right with you, Timmy?”
“Yes, Aunt Helen.”
“Just call me Helen, if you want.”
“Yes, Aunt Helen.” So much for privacy.
Except this time, Joey took me aside later. “I know what’s up. You can hang out in my room this year. It’s cool.”
“Really?” Now I knew what the boys felt about me staying with them.
“Yeah. I said it was cool.”
Joey had converted the room over the garage from Grandpa’s weekly poker den of iniquity to his own complete hippie pad. With a water-bed and posters of Hendrix, The Who, and Dr Zigzag, lit up by a black-light, it was cool. The ceiling was covered by madras cloth. It even had a bong which he told Aunt Helen was part of a lamp. The first night Joey said he was going out and not even to ask about tagging along. Stockbridge was famous because the painter, Norman Rockwell, had lived there. He had illustrated all those American magazines of the ‘30s and ‘40s. They were the pictures you see on doctor’s walls of families doing normal things during the Depression, like eating Thanksgiving dinner.
Of more fleeting fame was Alice’s Restaurant; you know the Arlo Guthrie song: ‘Walk right in, it’s around the back, just a half mile from the railroad tracks. You can get anything you want from Alice’s Restaurant, exceptin’ Alice.’
Sherman, Garry / Guthrie, Arlo
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, THE BICYCLE MUSIC COMPANY, Royalty Network
It was still right there in Stockbridge. Arlo lived somewhere near.
So I asked Joey, “Are you still hanging out at Alice’s?”
“Naw, not so much, but you know the line about getting what you want? It’s me that’s getting’ it now.”
“Forget it. Gotta go.”
It felt cool just being accepted for the first time. Joey seemed to have changed. His hair wasn’t so long and wild. He didn’t wear bell-bottoms anymore. Now he was being cool to me. I hung out with Jeff and Jerry that night. It took them about a minute to forgive me for not staying with them on the porch. All they could say was “How can you stand Joey?” He was a weirdo and everything. I told them someday they’d grow up.
When Joey got back that night, I was already asleep on the old leather couch. In the morning, he slept until noon. Aunt Helen made him breakfast while Uncle Terry made comments about it being lunchtime and why wasn’t he looking for a job. Joey just took the food to the room over the garage. When I went up there later he was listening to music on headphones. He asked if I wanted to listen.
“Here’s a song about Alaska.”
– Except it was about a prostitute who was as cold as Alaska.
“Who that’s?” I asked.
“Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground.”
“Oh. ‘Walk on the Wild Side?’”
“You’ve heard that?”
“Sure. I’m not that uncool. I smoked pot this year.”
“So, what happened?”
“I threw up.”
“Great. No, what happened? Did it change your life?”
“I guess. I’m growing up.”
“No. Didn’t anything cosmic happen?”
“I looked at the stars, started to spin out, and threw up. Then we listened to Black Sabbath all night. I thought you liked Heavy Metal, too?”
“That was last year. Now I’m into Glitter.”
“You know. T-Rex, Bowie, some Alice Cooper. I’m going to see some bands at the Fillmore East this weekend.”
“You’re going to New York!”
“Yeah, but don’t even ask. I had to kill to get a ticket. Anyway, it seems like Sabbath is too much for you.”
“That happened before we listened to the music.”
“Well, it’s not that cool to do drugs.”
“Well, you’re the expert.”
“Oh, a wise ass.”
“It runs in the family.”
“So does this,” and he popped me on the arm. “Remember, shit runs downhill around here.”
Some things never change.
Later that night, Joey asked me to go out with him. Of course, we went to Alice’s, where Joey parked me at a table and proceeded to visit just about everyone there. I was intrigued when several people gave him money. He told me he was buying them things from the concert in New York. A couple of his friends came by to talk with me, like, “What’s up?” “What’s happening?” It was boring. Being at Alice’s reminded me of a junior high dating disaster that year. When the movie “Alice’s Restaurant” came to Anchorage, I was jazzed and got everyone to go. I asked Julie to go with me. She was the teen queen we all immortalized, from the Bobby Sherman song, “Julie Julie Julie, do you love me?”
I had planned on impressing everyone with my personal connection to Alice’s. Part way through the movie, Julie got offended by the swear words and insisted we leave. The mom driving agreed, so we all left. I didn’t see any advantage in noting my personal experience with such a disgusting place and group of people. Needless to say, Julie moved on to bigger junior high conquests. While driving home in Joey’s van, I told him the whole story. We laughed at how uptight the whole world was, except of course, for us. I really felt part of his world when he brought out the bong and swore me to total secrecy. I also agreed to go outside if I needed to throw up.
“So, was this Julie the main squeeze in your school? Was she a slut?”
“No way. She was the ice queen of Alaska, like the Lou Reed song.”
“So, have you gotten laid yet?” The question of death for all 14-year-old virgins.
“Naw. It hasn’t come up yet.” And, we really laughed at that idea.
“So, it doesn’t work?”
“No. It checks out fine. It’s waiting to be discovered. So, tell me about your conquests.”
“I don’t kiss and tell, man.”
“Well, you don’t look like a virgin, but you never know.”
“You’ll find getting laid is different from what you think. I’ll leave it to your imagination.”
He got out a couple of headphones and turned on his stereo. I got so tripped out listening to the Moody Blues’ “Knights in White Satin,” that I fell off the stool where I had been rocking back and forth.
The next morning was the Fourth of July. We both slept past noon. When we did come down, the boys looked disappointed in me. Uncle Terry’s comment to my dad, “Looks like Joey’s found a convert. Once he sucks his blood, they won’t get up until after sunset.”
I realized how easy it is to ignore adults. I did try to play more with Jeff and Jerry, but they remained aloof. I guess they had written me off as another victim to teenage doom and gloom.
When I went up to the room, the door was locked, When I yelled to Joey to let me in, he told me to cool it for a minute. After five minutes he came down and unlocked the outside door. He had a towel wrapped around his head and his face looked funny.
“I’m getting ready to go to New York.”
“I thought the concert was tomorrow?”
“Yeah. Things ta do, places ta be, people ta see. I leave in a couple of hours. Here, take a toke on this joint.”
“Jeez, let me in so no one sees.”
After getting high, I asked what he was doing.
“ I toldja, getting’ ready for da City, doin’ my hair, face, outfit. So, whadda ya think?” and he took the towel off his head. He’d cut off most of his hair, so what remained stuck straight up and was dyed bright red.
“Oh, Man, you’re crazed.” For years I’d tried to grow out my hair, with little success without parental permission. “I’d never cut my hair.”
“That’s because ya neva had any to cut. Check out this make-up,” as he sat in front of the mirror and began to apply mascara to his eyes. I stood there wide-eyed for the half hour it took to do his face. I totally forgot about the joint. When he was done, there was a stripe, like a lightning bolt running down the center of his face, with heavy blue eye shadow over a pancake base, and a light dusting of glitter in his hair. I asked where his false eyelashes were. I was about to ask about his false tits, but his glare stopped me.
“You tell anyone and you die. You’re just a hick from the sticks; whadda ya know?”
“No, Joey, man. It’s cool. I just never saw a guy in makeup before.”
He picked up an album cover and threw it at me. It was David Bowie. He looked even cooler.
“Man, you really got the look. What are you going to do tonight?”
“Just hang at St Mark’s.”
“Man, I wish I could go.”
“Yeah, but ya woodn’t make yaself up.”
“Yes! I would.” I jumped at the possibility of going.
“Well, ya betta learn how it’s done,” and he sat me down in front of his mirror and started to put pancake base on my face. Soon I looked like a ghost, then a skull with blackened eyes, and finally a clown with stripes running every which way.
“The hair’s wrong,” he said, as he reached for the shears.
“No way man, the hair stays.”
“Then smoke some more of this,” as he shoved the joint in my face. Soon I looked like a poodle home from the doggie salon. The facial makeup did look better. I was too stoned to care. By this time, he had put on long, tight jeans, a body shirt that made it obvious he had no muscles and tall six-inch platform boots with glitter on the heels.
“Do I look hot or what,” he pushed me away from the mirror. “Well, gotta go. Later days and better lays. Turn off the stereo when ya leave. And don’t touch my stash.”
Then he was gone. I half expected him to ask me along. I was too stoned to care. I just stared at myself in the mirror for half an hour. Then Jeff yelled from outside, “Hey, Timmy, let me up. I saw the weirdo leave. Come on.”
“No way Jose. I promised Joey I wouldn’t.”
“Aw, man. Well come on. We’re ready to go to the fireworks.”
Oh, shit. “I’ll be down in a minute.” I jumped out of my clothes and into the shower. After about twenty minutes of scrubbing, I thought I looked okay. When I met everyone on the porch, I had forgotten about my hair.
“What happened to you? Get caught in a lawnmower?
“He’s joining the Army.”
“Timmy, what has come over you?”
”I’ll bet the weirdo did it. He’s under his spell.”
“It’s okay. Just ask next time you want a haircut. We can afford to pay for a decent one.”
It went on like that endlessly. I felt removed from them, for the first time. The fireworks helped. They never seemed so vivid and bright. I actually flinched from the explosions once or twice. I split from the family and met kids I’d known several years before. It seemed easy to hang out with them, my normal shyness gone. When I got home that night, I put the Lou Reed album on the stereo, stuck earphones on, turned on the black light, and fell into a dreamless sleep on Joey’s waterbed. I didn’t care that he never changed the sheets. I came down late for breakfast to the same derision normally reserved for Joey. I said I’d been up late with the kids I met at the fireworks. My mom inspected my hair. Aunt Helen made me breakfast. When I started to take my plate up to the room, she stopped me, “Hold on. You’re not Joey yet.”
I stayed in the house and actually enjoyed playing Monopoly with everyone for the rest of the day. Instead of watching the Watergate hearings on TV, I went to bed early. I put on the headphones, and smoked the remainder of yesterday’s joint.
Swiftly I reached la-la land.
Sometime in the middle of the night I awoke with Joey swaying unsteadily by the bed. He was buck-ass naked, and in the black-lit room, his skinny, white body seemed to glow like a zombie. Until he fell into bed, he didn’t know that I was there, too.
“Joey, it’s me. How come you’re home?”
“Aw, man. What’s happening? Give me back my bed. No, just move over. I’m too fucked up to care. Shit. What a trip. I am too wasted.”
He was all sweaty, but touching him, he was cold.
“Are you sick?”
“Yeah, I’m sick. I itch all over. Be a good little cousin and scratch my back. Yeah, up and down. With your nails. Now, over on the right side. That feels great. Just keep it up. Long strokes. All over my back. Now do my scalp. Yeah, use your nails. Hands on both sides of my head. Now, my back again. Aw, that feels so good. Do my shoulders. Up and down my arms. Careful inside my elbow. I got a cut there. More and more on my back. Yes. You’re the greatest.”
This scratching seemed to go on for hours. Joey had an unquenchable itch. He would lapse into what seemed sleep, but if I stopped, he said he had just nodded out. I kept scratching him. I did his chest and stomach, all the way down to his pubic hairs, then his legs and feet. The more he moaned and told me to keep going, the harder I scratched, and, the harder he moaned. His body started to writhe like a snake. He said it felt so good. As I started to scratch higher on the fronts of his legs, he began to carelessly caress my chopped hair. He rolled over and said to do behind his knees, then higher on the back of his thighs. He arched his back, then taking my hands, he lay them on the white mounds of his butt. I scratched back and forth, watching them jiggle like jello. My thumbs scratched the top of his butt crack, slowly working down into the fine pubic hairs of his ass. Joey arched more and more as my thumbs scratched the pubic hair. His breathing became deeper. Then his feet reached around behind my legs and pulled me tight against his body. He took my right hand and stuck the middle and fore finger into his mouth, first sucking on them, then covering them with spit. Firmly he placed my fingers in his ass. I massaged his hole with the wet fingers. Slowly the hole expanded as he arched his back and pushed himself onto my fingers. While my fingers worked in and out, the other hand kept rubbing and scratching his left butt, pulling it aside while my right fingers moved inside his butt hole. The spit made sucking noises as I pushed and pulled my fingers into his ass. His butt hole clenched and loosened when I touched certain spots. His legs wrapped around the back of my thighs and his heels held me down on him. The water-bed was moving in steady waves. Finally, lying on top of Joey, I realized I had the worst hard-on ever; it was so rock hard, I was afraid the skin would break. Joey spit into his own hand, wiped it all over my dick, grabbed it by the shaft, and stuck the head into his butt, while arching to take it. As soon as I entered him, his whole body relaxed. I thought I was pushing into the water-bed and that he had drowned. At the end of that first thrust I grabbed him around the stomach and pulled him out of the water-bed. His butt tightened on my dick, squeezing it hard. I thrust again. He loosened his butt to receive my entire dick. As soon as my thrust ended, his butt squeezed even harder than the first time. I felt my dick being squeezed out his asshole. I thrust strongly. He groaned as we went down into the water-bed again. His butt relaxed to receive even more of my dick. Again and again I thrust into him; again and again he tightened and threatened to push me out his butt. I grabbed him first by the shoulders, then by the hips, holding on for all my worth. His legs reached around behind my calves, his feet rubbing from my knees to my ankles. Each time he tried to push me out, I thrust harder. The water-bed was like a sea storm, as we sloshed back and forth, side to side. My breathing became as heavy as his, pulling in air in the rhythm of our fucking. My feet found the sides of the water-bed frame as a brace for my thrusts. I held Joey so he couldn’t move, thrusting faster and faster. My dick which I had totally disregarded suddenly felt incredibly great. I could feel the head grow even larger. I pulled it completely out of him, as he gasped, then thrust it completely in; in and out; again and again. Joey squeezed as hard as he could but his asshole was wet and loose. He pushed his butt back and forth in unison with my fucking. I suddenly knew I was about to cum, but it felt ten times stronger than when I masturbated. My thrusts became faster and faster. Joey stopped moving as he readied to receive my orgasm. My breathing was short and hoarse. I moaned in high-pitched squeaks.
Joey laughed, “Slow down.”
“I can’t. I’m going to cum.”
With that I thrust as deeply as possible, holding on to Joey with all my might, my dick throbbing inside him, my teeth clenching, fingers pressing his chest, and my butt pushing my hard-on as far as possible into Joey and the water-bed. For seconds we remained locked immobile, then he slowly started to fuck back. His butt hole tightened and released as he moved up and down my rigid, motionless hard-on. I was more than ready to explode as his motion increased. I began to thrust again, in and out as he tightened and loosened. I started to cry with tears streaming down my face onto his back. In the final frenzy, I pulled my dick fully out of him, and then thrust its full length up his butt. His tightened buns clenched, milking my hard-on, and I exploded inside him, again and again while he continued to spurt ejaculate on the water-bed. As we finally slowed and stopped, my whole body shook, then relaxed.
Next I knew it was morning. I woke up curled up next to Joey.
“You awake, man?”
“What time is it?”
“About six. You slept like the dead.”
“You mean we slept all day?”
“No. It’s morning. I didn’t sleep yet.”
“Man I gotta piss.”
“Go ahead and water Helen’s flowers out the window.”
“How can you call her Helen?”
“That’s what she wants. She’s entering her cool stage.”
“Well, she’s cool to you.”
“Cooler than good old dad. He so wants me outta here.”
“My folks could care less what I do.”
“Don’t knock it. What are you looking for?”
“My underwear. What did you do with it?”
“They’re probably under the water-bed. It turned over last night. Just piss out the window. No one’s gonna see you. You look better without them.”
“You really are a fag.”
“Go piss. We got things to do today.”
“Yeah. You’re my new partner, dude. I’ll explain later. Let’s get some coffee. You do look good, especially your little white butt.”
It was my chance for the answer to a burning question, “So answer – what’s sexier, boxers or briefs?”
“Nothing’s sexier. Just pull those jeans on over that hard-on and you’ll know what I mean.”
He was right. Wearing nothing felt best. So ended another junior high mystery.