When I got off the plane, no one was there to meet me. I waited, and then called Lydia; her phone kept getting a busy signal. Finally, I took a cab, blowing some of the money Doug had given me. It was past nine when I finally arrived home. As I walked in, Dad jumped up from the couch, from his expression I knew I was in for it.
“Where have you been, young man.”
“It’s a long story, but I was with Joey.”
“Joey? What’s he doing here? I’ve been looking for you all day. Do you know what your friend has done?”
“I thought he was at Lydia’s all weekend.”
“That’s right. Do you know what they were doing there?”
“Just hanging out?”
“Either you’re stupid or you’re lying to me. They were screwing. That’s right, your friend raped that poor girl.”
Oh, shit. They got caught. And I thought I was in trouble. I flashed on the thought of what Dad would think if he knew what I had done all weekend.
“I knew they seemed to be getting pretty close,” I ventured as an excuse for seeming stupid but not involved in this teen crisis.
“You think that’s okay, being close as an excuse to screw?”
“Dad, it’s none of our business.”
“None of our business?” He looked at me incredulously. “Young man, you convinced me to let him live under my roof. Who do you think is responsible for all this?”
“You can’t expect kids to not love each other.”
“Well, ask Lydia’s parents what they think. They blame me for not supervising all of you better.”
“You talked to Lydia’s parents?”
“They talked to me, and I’m surprised the police haven’t been here.”
“Dad, this is out of control. So what if they screwed. It’s no one’s business but their own. That’s why they haven’t told me.” Again I wasn’t exactly lying, but I did know.
“You have a lot to learn, young man. None of you is old enough to have sex. What if she’s pregnant.”
“Dad, Coach gave all of us the talk. I’m sure they wouldn’t take any risks.”
“You’re not to defend them. You’ve got to learn what’s right in this household. Now go upstairs and think about your responsibilities around here.”
“What about Scott?”
“I already told you that he couldn’t stay here. You ignored me. Now look what happened. I had his parents come over and get his stuff. There’ll be no more roommates for you. Now move it.”
His military attitude just sucked sometimes. I went upstairs and locked the door. My exhausted nerves were on overdrive. The line was still busy at Lydia’s; they must have her receiver off the hook. I called the Watts and spoke with Mr. Watt. He asked where I had been all weekend, and I repeated my story about being with my cousin. He noted that my dad had no clue where we were and voiced his concern that there was so little supervision in my house. Then he apologized for seeming to blame me for what was obviously not my fault. He explained that Scott had to be punished for his actions; he was grounded for the rest of the summer; no swim team for at least awhile; and, no more staying with me. I asked to speak with him, but he had also lost his phone privileges. I suddenly couldn’t breathe and was gulping for air. Knowing I was about to cry, he put Mrs. Watt on the line.
“Can I still call you Mom?” I managed to blurt out.
“Oh, Tim. Of course. You’re such a good kid. This is not your fault,” she tried to calm me.
“But it is. If I hadn’t gotten so serious with Tina, he wouldn’t have felt left out and gotten together with Lydia as boyfriend & girlfriend.”
“Dear boy. This is just what happens at your age, except we should have known he wasn’t being supervised. You all are too young for what they were doing.”
“Is it so wrong to love someone?”
“Of course not, but that’s why parents have to be so protective. I’m not ready to be a grandma.”
I kinda laughed and stopped gulping for air.
“Can I see him. He’s my best friend.”
“Well, wait a bit. Everything’s too confusing right now, and he has to be punished.”
“My dad said the police are involved.”
“Oh, my goodness, no. It’s up to the parents to settle this.”
I just sighed and was about to really cry, so I said goodbye.
“I’m sure you will be able to see all of us soon. You’re still a part of the family.”
I sat in my room, feeling totally abandoned. I had to do something. I went down the back stairs, got my bike and rode to Lydia’s. I knew she was suffering the most and would probably be punished the most. Her window was dark, but the window was half-open. I dropped my bike and quietly whispered to her. In a moment she was at the window. I saw that she had been crying. She said nothing, just indicating I must be quiet. She went into her room and came back out the window. She got on my handlebars, and I rode to the trees by the library where we could talk.
“When did you get back?”
“About an hour ago. I knew something was up when you guys didn’t pick me up. My dad told me everything. This is so not fair.”
She almost smiled at my defiant tone, but she didn’t really want to talk about it.
“How was New York?”
I went into great detail about our adventure in the Bronx. I almost told her about going to LA, but felt it would only confuse her if I told her everything about what I did there. Then I figured what the hell.
“I feel so bad about this because I’ve been doing far worse, but I’m not the one in trouble. Promise not to tell anyone about what I’m going to say?’
“If you promise not to talk about me.”
“Of course. You know I don’t gossip.”
“Why do you think I would?”
Does a bear shit in the woods? I thought.
“I just want you to promise.”
“Okay. You’re the only one on my side, Tim. Oh,” she moaned, “when will I see Scott again?”
I put an arm around her and gave her a hug. This was kid’s hug day. We sat here awhile, and then I told her how I got the airfare to go help Tina. She was shocked I would have sex with someone for money.
“I told you what I did was far worse than you guys. All you did was be in love, like Romeo and Juliet.”
“Didn’t they die for their love?”
“That was just the play. What I mean is you guys were doing what is natural and getting punished because you’re young. What I did was way past weird, so nobody would understand it.”
We sat there awhile, until she started questioning me.
“Then what Scott said about you and your cousin is true?”
“Yes, but I didn’t want everyone to think I was a fag.”
“Does Tina know?”
“Don’t you want her to be your girlfriend?”
“She is my girlfriend.”
“Then you’ve got to tell her.”
“I will. We don’t have secrets. Our relationship hasn’t gone as far as yours.”
“Don’t you wonder if you really like girls?”
“You know I like you. When you and Scott became boyfriend/girlfriend, I was jealous it wasn’t me.”
“Really? Maybe you were jealous that Scott was with me so much.”
“Yes. I felt excluded.”
“You have Tina.”
“She’s fifteen hundred miles away.”
“So, you were jealous, huh?”
“Yeah, and I think you’re glad.”
She laughed for the first time, and then looked at me weird.
“I’ve got to get back. If my dad finds me out of my room, he’ll kill me.”
“Friends?” I asked.
“The best,” she laughed.
I rode her home, and then back to my house. As I passed the library, I heard the familiar whistle. I looked up and saw Robby, sitting in a tree, with that ‘cat who swallowed the canary’ look on his face.
“What are you so happy about.”
“You. What a little stud, moving in on your boyfriend’s girlfriend. I’ll remember not to trust you.”
“You were up there?”
“Like you didn’t think I would hear you.”
“You’re too conceited. I was trying to make her feel better.”
“Why didn’t you tell her you’ve been fucking her boyfriend?”
“You asshole,” then I started to laugh. “You really think I’m trying to snake her?”
“I remember not too long ago when you were shedding tears because she was getting between you and your bed-buddy.”
“Man, you make like it’s a soap opera.”
He swung down from the tree.
“Ride me home and we’ll get stoned. I at least deserve to hear about your big adventure.”
He got on my handlebars and we went the short distance to his house. Sitting in his room and getting high, I relaxed for the first time since leaving LA. I recounted the whole story. He laughed his ass off about Doug and the tee-pee. I could see Robby with a whip. He even knew who Doug was and told me he’d never blow a chance to be part of the LA music scene. He reminded me of Tony’s hopes when he first came to Hollywood.
“Tim, my man, you love getting into shit.”
“You love hearing about it.”
He slapped me on the shoulder, “We’re going to be quite a team.”
We smiled at each other, and then I went home.
Morning workout had become a perennial bitch. The easy laps in Doug’s pool hadn’t helped my conditioning. Coach was all over my ass, which he noted was not unusual lately. Neither Scott nor Lydia was there. People asked if I knew what was up, as team gossip was relentless. I remembered my pledge to dedicate myself to my swimming this summer. No matter how much I liked Robby and his group, I had to stop getting stoned and staying up late. This Spartan regime of training was what I needed, or so I thought.
Like last summer, Stu and I were best buddies again. I asked him to have Scott call me. He said he’d try, but their mom had Scott under her eagle eye. I went home and waited by the phone, but there was no call. I slept until afternoon workout. I was really muscle-sore now, but I worked through the pain. I rode over to Lydia’s and we talked through the window. We both really missed Scott. I made sure I wasn’t flirting with her, and we cut short the talk. She was too afraid to sneak out. I went home and got to bed early. My dreams remained scattered and fitful, but I felt better in the morning. I was able to handle the distance workout and Coach didn’t mess with me for once. This remained my daily routine all week. On Friday, Stu asked if I’d go riding with him like we used to do on Saturdays. It sounded okay, and about eight other younger kids said they’d like to go, so we set up our Tour de Dade Sud for the morning. I felt like my old self. That night, Robby showed up at my window sill, soon after it got dark.
“Hey, man, missed ya,” he announced himself. I went over and we sat in the window for a while. He brought out a joint, but I waved it off, although it didn’t stop him from lighting up. I told him about my plans to go bike riding and, on a whim, asked him to come.
“How old are these kids,” he asked.
“Ten to fourteen.”
“You sure I won’t go crazy, tie them up, and torture ‘em?”
“It might be amusing. Take Mary along, too.”
“Sure. It’s no big deal. If she can stand a bunch of boys.”
Once he knew I wasn’t going to get stoned with him, he was gone.
Next morning I was up bright and early, feeling more cheerful than I had recently. I got my bike out and rode to Robby’s window. He was still asleep and yelled for me to go away. I said we’d come by later, once the kids from South Dade had been gathered. He mumbled sure or something like that and went back to sleep. It was only seven am, the best time of the day to ride. By the time I got to Stu’s, I had already picked up Mike and several other kids. He was ready and anxious to go. Mrs. Watt pulled me aside and gave me a lecture on being responsible for Stu and the other younger kids. I asked to see Scott, but he was at his father’s office, cleaning up. I felt they were blowing the incident out of proportion. Soon the whole group of us was tooling down back roads. We visited Coach Earl, although he didn’t have any sodas this time. He looked happy that we were back on track. We picked up Dusty and went over to his uncle’s for swimming and diving in his pond. By two o’clock we started to drop off kids and work our way back to Coral Gables. At the Watts’, I saw Scott’s dad’s car in the drive and figured Scott was home. I took Stu aside and asked him to get Scott to sneak out and meet me at the local park. He looked at me funny, like I was asking him to rob a bank.
“Com’n, Stu, you gotta be on our side.”
“Mom’ll kill me if she finds out.”
“Has that ever stopped you?”
He laughed and agreed. I gave him a slap on the back. Then I rode the rest of the kids home. Mike was the last. He was a quiet kid, already tall and good-looking for thirteen. Before we got to his house, he asked me about Scott and Lydia. I should’ve told him it wasn’t cool to talk about, but I felt he was honestly concerned. After having him swear not to gossip, I explained they had been caught in bed together.
“That’s not too cool,” he commented.
“What, that they did that, or that they got caught?”
He thought then said, “Both, I guess. Why can’t they come to practice?’
“They’re being punished.”
“Why? I think workout is punishment enough.”
“Isn’t it weird that parents take away what we work so hard to do? They must think practice is like playing.”
“My folks just want me to keep busy.”
“Mine want me to get a job to pay the dues.”
“You’re kidding. Are your folks broke?” Mike was from a really rich family. He was like me in that he had no brothers or sisters his age; his half-brothers were already adults, all grown up and gone.
“They just want me to understand the value of money. If I have a job, I won’t have time to work out. They just don’t understand.
He gave me a sympathetic look and waved goodbye.
I had to hurry to get back to Scott’s neighborhood at the time I had told Stu to tell Scott to meet me. I rode as fast as I could and was sweating when I got there. Scott was sitting on a bench, waiting for me. He looked pretty miserable, but perked up when he saw me. I wanted to hug him, but he was hanging back, so I let it pass.
“Get on my handlebars. We’ll ride over to Matheson Hammock.”
“That’s too far. I snuck out and we’ll get caught if we stay away too long. I know a school where we can talk. He jumped on my handlebars and we were there in a few minutes. Leaning my bike on a tree, we sprawled out under it. Nobody said anything at first. Finally, I broke the ice.
“I know you don’t know what to say about you and Lydia, but first I have a confession. I knew you were doing it. It was no big shock to me.”
“You knew? I thought something was up with you. You’ve been strange lately.”
“I’ve been strange. Why couldn’t you tell me?”
He looked away, and then turned back with more emotion. “I think I love her more than I love you. I was so confused about it.”
“Well, so you’re not a fag, at least not a total one.”
He laughed, then he reached out and we hugged for a long time. “Tim, had you been around, this wouldn’t have happened.”
“That’s bullshit. You guys got caught, that’s all. If I told you all I did last weekend, you’d realize you’re pretty innocent.”
“Yeah. Tell me about New York. Did Tina’s problems get solved?”
I saw how self-centered we all are; he’d forgotten about what Tina went through.
“Well, first I better tell you what Lydia said.”
“What. You talked to her?”
“Sure, man. I’m not grounded. When I couldn’t call her, I rode over. She’s okay. But she’s afraid her dad will file charges against you.”
“Charges, What for?”
“I guess he thinks you raped her.”
He looked bewildered and dazed.
“Why can’t it be like in North Carolina?”
“You mean the sisters?”
“Yeah. Fucking was fun, not so serious.”
“Well, one of them was married, remember?”
“Sure, that made it even better.”
“You might have feel differently if old Sheriff Billy Bob had caught us doing his wife.”
“Yeah, but the difference is we didn’t get caught. ‘If you do the crime, be prepared to do the time.’”
“You’re so full of it.”
“Maybe that’s why I don’t get caught.”
He grabbed me and we wrestled on the ground for several minutes.
“Why can’t it be like this forever?” he asked when we were done horsing around.
“It could be if you still loved me. There’s room for me in your heart too.” I casually said, but held my breath for his response.
“Lydia makes it different now. Why do we have to grow up?”
I felt my heart shudder.
“What we did with the sisters was kid’s stuff. You wouldn’t have said that while doing Lydia.”
“How is she taking it?”
“She was crying when I got there, but I made her laugh.”
“By telling her about you and me.”
“No, man, I wouldn’t do that. Your reputation’s safe. But I did tell her about this weekend, how I’d had sex with an old man to get the airfare to New York.”
“What’d she say.”
“Just brought up all those things you said last spring about me and Joey and that I need to tell Tina if I want her to really be my girlfriend.”
“When the time’s right. You guys know that Tina and I are special, but she’s not ready to have sex. Her father watches her like a hawk. The virgin bride thing.”
“You think you’ll marry her?”
“I treat her special. She’s still fourteen. Saving herself is a big thing for her.”
“Not if she meets my big thing.”
Now I jumped him. It was good to horse around. It was my day to just be a kid again.
“How soon you gonna get off being grounded?”
“Maybe all summer. My folks are really p.o.’d. They’ve already said I can’t stay at your house ever again.”
“Yeah, my dad said the same.”
We looked at each other, accepting that things would never be like it had been.
“I liked being boyfriends, Scott.” After I said it, the feeling in my stomach told me how much I would miss him, but I didn’t cry.
“Yeah. I never thought I’d be a fag. You’re something, Tim.”
“Good training for your girlfriend,” I joked.
We just thought about it for a while. Then we got up and walked back toward his house.
“Try to get your folks to let you come to practice. At least we can see each other there.”
“How about going to Gulliver this year” Ask you dad.”
‘Yeah, that’d be great. I will.”
At the corner of his street, I stopped, so he could sneak back into the house.
“Bye, Scott. We’ll work this out. Any message for Lydia?”
“Tell her I love her as much as I love you.”
I smiled. “You’re crazy. You gonna tell her everything?”
“She should know.”
“There’s hope for you yet.”
“That’s ‘cause you’re my friend. And also, friend, she’s my girlfriend, so don’t try to scam.”
“You know me.”
“Love ya, Scott.”
“Me, too. I mean you.”
“Yeah, but also yourself, too.”
We laughed and I rode off. Half a block away, I looked back. He was still standing there and waved to me, when he saw me look. I waved back. I knew it’s never going to be the same. I felt really sick. Riding home, I reviewed the day. The kids had lifted my spirits, especially Stu and Mike. But I knew I was different from them now. Things didn’t change in their lives. Too much was changing in mine. Change is inevitable. All I could hope was to steer it once it was set in motion. Years later I would surf big Pacific waves. You never think you control those waves; all you do is hang on and hope to survive. I rode home determined to survive. It was my first surfing lesson.
I rode directly to Lydia’s and told her I had seen Scott, passing along all the things we had talked about that concerned her. I stayed outside her window where we could talk without her being out of her room. She was hurting about Scott. I wondered what would be different if I had been her boyfriend. It was the wrong attitude to have. Scott was her first and only; the pain and hurt were authentic. My strange experiences were making it hard to appreciate what was normal for others. More days like today of being with normal kids, riding bikes would give me the confidence that things will naturally turn out well.
I called Tina when I got home. Since getting back we had spoken several times, and she was my ally in the soap opera of Scott and Lydia. When I tried to get her reaction to Lydia having sex for the first time, she hushed me because her father was near and she couldn’t speak about sex on the phone. His English was not great, but he knew she was speaking to a boy and was being hyper-vigilant. Also, she wasn’t comfortable with the topic. She did want to know all the details about the swim team and all the kids. It was pleasant, easy conversation, but she wasn’t touching my inner feelings. After hanging up, I went to my window to contemplate my life and luck. Without me noticing, Robby snuck up beside me. It startled me, as he had found a way to come over the other side of the roof. He looked and acted like a monkey with almost simian expressions.
“Hey,” he glared at me, “you were supposed to come by and get us for bike riding.”
I’d totally forgotten.
“I thought you couldn’t go out into the sunlight.
“Very funny. Want me to swallow some holy water?” He brought out a small plastic bottle, half full.
“Where’d you get that?”
“The church, of course.”
“Which one, Dave’s”
“Right. I was lurking in the shadows until the sun went down. I filched it.”
“In Alaska, we’d say ‘ kyped it.’ Let me see that,” as I grabbed the bottle and sprinkled a few drops on him.
“Ouch, that burns,” he mock-screamed, jumping around on my window sill.
We sat there laughing.
“Give it back. I’m saving it for a trick I’m doing on Dave.”
“Whadya gonna do?”
“You been to Brooklyn or something?” he asked. “You sound weird.”
“I was in the Bronx last week.”
“Da Broinx?” he tried to fracture the word.
“No, man. Da Broonx.”
“What did..whadya do there?”
“Rescued my girlfriend’s brother from a couple of gangs.”
“Right. It was Mighty Dick to the rescue.”
“Believe it or not, as you like. What makes you think I’m Mighty Dick?”
“Your boyfriend told me. Where’s he been anyway?”
I looked at him quickly, and then said, “It’s pretty much over, man.”
“Why? Youse was da perfect couple.”
I laughed. “How come you’re so interested in us?”
“Take it from the Peeping Tom. You were the hottest thing going in this neighborhood.”
I got slightly red, “You actually watched us?”
“Sure, but what really impressed me was when I was a jerk and said you were a fag, you didn’t lie or deny it.”
“You just caught me off-guard. Nobody seems to care too much.”
“You don’t know what they say when you’re not around.”
“Well, I don’t care.”
We lapsed into silence, and then Robby looked at me as if he’d been thinking too much. “I’ve fooled around, too, man. You guys acted like it was fun and were a normal couple.”
“We felt we were in love.”
“Then you were. Why’d it end?”
“Once we both got girlfriends, we weren’t as close. While I was gone, Scott got caught with his and so he’s banned from staying here anymore.
“You’re really not fags if you have girlfriends.”
“I don’t know what to call it, but I really was in love and wanted him, so I know I’m at least gay. Who knows what will happen next?”
“You want to be my boyfriend?”
“What? You’ve got a girlfriend.”
“Yeah. I was just goofing on you.”
He looked embarrassed, which was a first. I reached over and gave him a hug, which made him more uncomfortable. Then we both laughed.
“Your turn,” I challenged him. “Tell me how you fooled around.”
“I just let myself get picked up in the Grove.”
“So what happened?”
“I was riding my bike. This guy in a sports car drove by real slow, checking me out. He stopped at the corner. I pulled up next to his car and we started talking. He told me he thought I was a girl at first, ‘cause of my long hair. He asked if I fooled round, so I told him I would for fifty bucks. We went to his place and did it. I got out of there as soon as I could. He wanted me to give him head, but I just let him do it to me.”
“You’re a pro.”
“You mean like a prostitute?”
“No. man, like a gigolo.”
I saw that he was nervous talking about it. It just seemed cool to me. He was getting antsy, so I suggested he show me how to get from my room to his room through the trees. He had me remove my shoes, so we were both barefooted. He led me up the tallest tree in the neighborhood, where we stopped at the top and surveyed the treetop world.
“Check the other tall trees. They’re like a network of getting around. From each one you can figure how to get from there to the next big tree.”
I looked around and plotted several routes in my head, seeing the pattern of trees for the first time. He asked why I didn’t always go barefoot.
“I ride my bike everywhere. I need sneakers to ride.”
“So, if you learn to ride without sneakers, you’ll go barefoot?”
“What about when I’m going into a restaurant or somewhere.”
“There’s always a way, if there’s a will.”
“Isn’t it ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way?”
“Whatever, just try to always be barefoot. You’ll feel what’s going on around you.”
“Yeah, like dog shit.”
“If that’s what happening for you, man.”
He placed his feet on mine. I could feel his warmth and the pulse of his blood. My face started to blush.
“See,” He noted and grinned, “I can feel your pulse get faster.
I was lying in the upper branches of a tree and getting a hard-on. He grinned as my shorts started to bulge. He shifted his feet to my crotch, gripping my straining dick with the soles and heels of his feet. I did the same to him and soon the tree branches were creaking as we rubbed each other off with our feet. I stared into his grinning face and grinned back at him. He took one foot and snagged the waist of my shorts pulling them and my Speedo down. With my big toe I unsnapped his jeans and pulled them down. Simultaneously both our dicks were freed from our clothes. Our feet went back to massaging them. His dick was skinny and almost as long as mine. He already knew what mine looked like. He remained intent on getting me to cum. I twitched mine several times which excited him even more. He slid down the branch he was on and grabbed my dick with both hands and stuck his feet under my butt. As I slid to reach his dick, he stuck his big toe up my ass. It was such a surprise that my dick twitched and throbbed five or six times. He moved his toe to massage the gland inside my butt and I oozed pre-cum as my butt tightened and relaxed with a sensation that spread from my stomach to my whole body. We stroked each other’s dicks in an increasing tempo that matched the probing of his toe. I started to moan, as my dick did its backward twist. Throwing my head upward and arching my back, while still stroking his cock, my butt tightened and held me rigid for at least fifteen seconds. Then spurt after spurt of white cum flew away from me in every direction, splattering in the trees all around us. Robby dodged several wads of cum, but I hung on to his straining dick, until he went rigid as I felt his orgasm coming on. It was like a wave that kept building and getting stronger, until it finally broke free with a large wad of cum that arched out of him directly at me. I watched it come but was helpless to avoid it. It landed on my chest and seeped down my stomach and into the pubic hairs already soaked from my random bursts. I felt another wave coming from him, building as before, with increased throbs. This time it spurted out in multiple bursts. It geysered from his dick and spread over my hands and into his pubs. Finally done, I momentarily forgot I was high up in the trees and collapsed backward with no grip to keep me from falling. He grabbed my flailing arm and held me back. We laughed, looking at each other streaked with cum.
“I can see the TV report, ‘Two boys found dead after fall from tree resulting in one boy’s foot stuck up the other’s ass. Photos at eleven.’” I joked, breathlessly.
When I moved to hug him, he moved back in disgust from all the cum I would spread on him. We both laughed and pulled up our pants.
“Now you owe me fifty bucks,” he claimed.
“Since you took longer, you owe me sixty.”
“No way, you got off better. I’ll pay you forty. You owe me ten.”
I scooped up a handful of slimy cum, “Here, ten quarts.”
He rolled away and quickly descended. I followed him and the chase was on. It was no race, as he knew every branch in the area. He kept me just behind him. We started to laugh and the dogs in the neighborhood started to bark at the noise we made. He dropped into a yard, but the growls of a German shepherd stopped me. Up the tree I went to the top, where I looked over and saw him grinning back at me a hundred yards away. I gave him the finger, which he returned. Then we waved goodbye and turned toward our respective houses. After I was on my roof and seated on my window sill, he swung over my roof and sat beside me.
“You can never get around as well as I do.”
“I’m just following your lead.”
“In climbing and for sex?”
“I may have learned a few tricks myself.”
He leaned over and gave me a quick kiss on my cheek, then was gone. I sat there stunned, until I saw him waving from his yard. He put his finger to his lips to stop me from yelling out. Then he went in his window. My usual self-analysis took over. Sex was getting to be too easy. And I had been thinking I’d returned to normal. I let the cool breeze bring my body temperature down, staring out into my ever weirder world. I slept like a log and felt great for Monday morning workout, five hours later.