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Subject: Windows and Doors, Gay Adult-Youth Windows and Doors �2017 MCVT April 09, 2019 Boy bootstraps himself into a better life in a number of ways. Nifty won’t go obsolete with your fty/donate.html Adult content; 100% fiction, Mb, MM, pros, frot, first, self-realization. =============================================================== Texarkana, 1953 I was just old enough to remember, but remember I do. For years I relived the memory of seeing my two older brothers screaming and running away, leaving me completely alone to find the face of a man staring into our shabby bedroom. He was coming through the window, had the screen off, pulling it away. They ran to the bathroom, banging on the door hollering for our mother to come out of the shower. “Hey there.” I remember him smiling at me. His teeth were chipped and broken. My mother yelled for me and we all ran barefoot from the house to a neighbor’s porch. No 9-1-1 back then and we probably didn’t have a phone. That’s all I remember about that night except the fear of seeing a man at the window, coming in. That house was built on the side of a slope. He’d brought a ladder. Memphis, 1954 No fright here, much stillness. I was put in the attic of a house in a tired group of older houses, the downstairs was crowded with my brothers and a new sister. There was a wooden box with some pillows, blankets – that was my bed. I liked it, the winters were snowy and I was always warm. There was a round window that didn’t open, but I could see into all the other houses in the lavender skies of dusk in December. Calm people living peaceful lives. My illnesses were undefined but lengthy. Separated from my brothers, I wasn’t afraid to be alone. Never knew what made me sick, but I began puking blood occasionally in a little metal bucket, I was sick often and stayed in that little bed in the dark for days. I was weak and quiet, imagining the kennel of dalmatians that lived aside our back yard running through the woods with me. Whitehaven, 1957 We moved into a model home in an unfinished subdivision way outside of Memphis. Long, wide, sandy block with only a few houses. Seems the developer ran out of money before people ran that far out of the city to buy his houses. It was so far out, we had to attend a religious school for a semester and even prayed to a graven image. Rode my bike for miles along the highways during the summer. No one to bother us boys as we explored wide fields and strips of woodlands. Two twin beds and me on a cot in the corner of the room, the windows in our bedroom were high — I couldn’t see out of them even if I stood on my cot. They striped the outside wall over my bed. Being the youngest and smallest of the boys, I was the target of their jokes and tricks. They scared me by telling me about snakes and rabid dogs. Can’t tell you why, but I woke up one night. Maybe there were sounds — I may have been worried about a snake in the house. I lay on my bed and heard shuffling and scuffling, then I smelled something, Vee-Oh-Five. A popular hair oil at the time. My father used it, but he wasn’t home. Laying in my bed, I watched a small circle of light dance across the closet doors, around my brother’s model airplanes and I heard whispering. There were men at the window looking into our bedroom with a flashlight. The light went to my brothers, then it stopped. I saw the light flashing through another window in my mother’s room and around the hallway. Couldn’t wait and I was so frightened, I peed the bed. Caught hell and a whooping the next morning. She didn’t believe me. She called me a lazy fool — more trouble than I was worth. Almeda-Genoa Road, 1960 Always on the outskirts of a town, near railroad tracks or freeway, we moved into a clapboard house in a mixed enclave of immigrants from the bayous and countryside. Greeks, Germans — all manner of folk lived there. Blacks were close by on the other side of an old fence that was rotted and falling; heralding coming change. Hispanics were abundant, cathedral and school close by; I learned Street Spanish quickly. All our neighbors had a gaggle of kids. The streets were full of bike troupes in the heat of summer and even in the spring rains. Behind our house was a chain-link fence butting up to a large vacant lot. A convenience store sat catty-corner behind our back yard. I shared a room with my younger sis, she was still in a crib. My bed was by the windows on the corner of the house, I was kept away from her by a row of chairs covered with a blanket — spent most of my days with earaches and throat problems — I was still the puny one. A runt who read everything. At that time, sodas came in glass bottles that were stored in wooden crates. Each bottle carried a nickel deposit and the crates had value, I don’t remember how much. The convenience store stacked the crates of empty bottles behind their store for the vendor to pick up in the early morning. A crate of bottles was worth a dollar-twenty – good money when gas was twenty-five cents a gallon. A gang of teens decided to steal a bunch of the crates of bottles and sell them elsewhere. The sounds of tinkling glass woke me one night, I watched the boys fill the trunk of an old gray Studebaker long after the store closed. That happened several times through the summer. One night, I heard the teens stealing crates of empty bottles and woke up to watch them. Though it was dark, there was enough light to see them moving about and I thought it was fun to hear them cuss and joke around. The police sneaked up on them. The guys dropped their crates of bottles creating a big racket of breaking glass. Two of the guys jumped the chain-link fence and ran through our yard. They had to pass through the narrow space by my window. One of them stopped and looked toward the screen next to my bed, I froze, hoping they’d think I was asleep. “Maybe they got something…” One whispered as his face came close. “Those crackers?” The other said and pulled him along. For a moment, the attic fan sucked the smell of their sweat across me and back out into the humid night. Garden Villas, 1962 We moved up to a house with a smaller yard, but bigger garage. Important thing to have in those days — the cement was cool if we hosed it down and a lot of kids played there in the heat of midday. My brothers rebuilt auto parts and started street racing in a red ’57 Chevy. Sometimes I hid in the trunk to get into the races. The drag races were loud, smelled awful and there was plenty of music and kids like me sneaking around the coolers full of cold Schlitz. Because brother had a car, we had freedom and because I was small, brother used me to get next to the girls he wanted to fuck. I was so adorable, the girls said. I was still a ratty-looking skinny runt but he scored. I had to get lost while true love struggled to orgasm on the back seat. That brother also did something strange and very secret. In the classified section of the newspaper, he took out an ad, “Will do anything legal for money.” (These were common ads that showed up occasionally under the “Miscellaneous” column in print newspapers.) He had the phone number for one of his friends listed following that brief post. Brother got work, never really found out how much, but seems like several older women wanted his services in a cow town where alcoholism was rife, and there were no blue pills available yet. He was the good-looking one. One afternoon he asked me if I’d like to work, I could keep half the money. “How much?” “Twenty-five for the job. Twelve-fifty for you.” “Mowing?” I wondered how big the yard was — that was a lot of money. “Easier than that. Guy wants a kid to stand still for a few minutes. Want the money or not?” Stand still? Had to wonder about that, but I knew he had no conscience, “C’mon, easy money.” He grinned and humped against the steering wheel a few times. He wanted me to have sex with someone? “I’m no whore!” “This guy doesn’t want to fuck, just a rub. You were going to do it yourself anyway.” “Pimp.” I gave him a skunk-eye. “Pimp with car keys. Sell what you got sissy-boy.” … Several days later he picked me up after school and told me he had a “no-fuck” date for me. “Twenty-five for letting him rub on you. Don’t have to get naked, you’ll be outside. He has a couple of rules.” “Yeah?” I asked, thinking $12.50 after I paid him – I’d be in high cotton. “First, you got to have a pair of your dirty briefs in your right, front pocket. He wants to come up behind you, so you can’t see his face and he wants to — well, all he wants to do is, um, kind of hug you and rub himself against your butt – through your jeans, till he squirts. He likes to talk when he’s rubbing but you can’t say anything. Then he’ll leave.” “No fucking?” I asked. “No fucking.” He was grinning, I wasn’t sure why. “Ten minutes to be still, shut up and a pair of my dirty underpants?” I checked. “Right.” “You gonna be there?” “I’ll take you over and park down the street. The guys said this john is quick because wants you outside.” … The air was heavy and sticky on that Thursday afternoon along the Gulf Coast when pimp-bro took me down an alley in a seedy part of town. Old mismatched clapboard houses, and an oyster shell road lined with weeds, over-turned trashcans and a few loose cats greeted us. He stopped behind an ancient wooden garage that faced the alley where a tall mulberry tree shaded the spot and a big old gardenia bush grew near its base. Nervously, I wiped beads of sweat off my upper lip and brow. “He said to face the back of that garage and look down at the ground like you dropped something near that bush. Get the money first. I’ll be back when I see him coming out of the alley.” “Why aren’t you doing this?” “I’m too big.” He looked away, “Remember the rules – no talking, no looking at him, give him your briefs and let him rub. But get that money first.” I got out of the car feeling very vulnerable. Twelve-fifty seemed like a miniscule amount in that moment, but I had the wad of underwear in my pocket, I saw myself crossing the stage for my diploma. I’d be able to afford the cost of graduation with this much money, robe rental and maybe a yearbook. My hands tensed into fists as I approached the garage. My brother’s old Ford rumbled away as I faced the garage, and then started looking on the ground, moving the dirt with the toe of my sneaker and waited, feeling more alone by the moment. I turned to walk down the alley to see a car approaching with only the driver. Quickly, I turned back to the garage, waiting for the mysterious Mr. Funds-for-Rub. Taking a deep breath, I entered into the world of whoredom. He turned the engine off of his pale blue Olds gliding close, I stared into the chips of paint peeling from the old wooden garage door. The car door opened and after only a second, shut. My heart was beating faster and I broke out in a full-body sweat when I heard his shoes on the oyster shell chips as he approached me. “Waiting for a date?” A soft voice said. “Yeah. Twenty-five.” I answered, with as much bravado as I could. He reached around me showing me the cash — two twenties. Whores don’t make change, do they? Probably not. I grabbed it all and tucked it into the change pocket of my jeans and handed him the wadded underwear, hoping he wouldn’t mind the few light skids. “Ah! Is this yours?” He asked as looked over my underwear. “Yep.” I heard him sniff. “Are you a virgin?” Crapola, what’s that about? I remembered to keep my mouth shut. “Hmmm. Bet you’re a good little virgin.” He asked, still sniffing. He continued and moved closer behind me slipping his right hand around me, placing it on the zipper of my jeans. “I bet you do this at night.” His fingers felt along my rod, then lower — he was inspecting my size. I blushed. “Think of a nice, hard cock pushing up your hole? God, that must make you hot. Betcha think about a hard, dripping cock, like mine…” I felt his hips behind me, rubbing and pushing into my butt. This was getting a little too close, and I was sweating hard. “Lean against the door, bitch.” With my hands on the garage door, I leaned forward and prepared myself for the worst. But his hand continued rubbing me harder and the welt of the seam inside my jeans was chafing my balls. His hips thrust against me and I felt his erection, somewhat blunted by his trousers and my jeans. He kept sniffing the dirty cotton briefs. “You like that? Want some meat? I bet you’re saving your sweet pussy for a big hard dick. Hard to wait when you’re young… Bet you’ve tried to make it with a girl, but you couldn’t get it up for her like you could with me.” He kept whispering weird stuff, stroking along my torso and his hands went between my legs. I focused on keeping myself standing and lifted my hands to steady myself against the door as his thrusts were stronger. His hand kept working my rod, which wasn’t afraid of anything at that moment. He pulled me against him hard. “God, I know you want my cum up your tight little ass. Got your fingers are up your hole every night? Huh? You got me so hot thinking about you fingering your ass till you hit it off.” Then he shut up but starting slamming his big shaft hard against me — he felt huge. His hand dropped my dirty underwear and came to my chest squeezing and pinching my nipples, but not quite enough to hurt. It felt electric, but I kept quiet waiting for some more aggressive moves so I could run if I had to. “I can smell you. I can smell your musk. Your dick is so hard. Bet you want it all the way…” He stopped and I felt him breathing hard on my neck. His hunching against my butt slowed. “Ugh, ugh, ugh.” He was ejaculating, but still holding me close and grunting in my ear. I shivered with strange feelings. We were both sweating from the stimulation and the humidity. Then, his breath became jerky and he pulled my hips tight against his groin. “Filthy little slut.” Was the last thing he said. … As quickly as he came, he left, taking my stinking briefs. With the slightest movement I could make, I saw him drive away in a light blue Oldsmobile sedan, chrome bumpers and trim glinting in the bright sunlight — big whitewalls spun slowly as he left. Maybe it was from guilt, the filthy suggestions or fear of the police driving down the alley – I felt shaky and somewhat empty. But he was gone and that was relief. On wobbly legs, I walked down the alley looking for my brother. He drove up behind me leaned over to open the car door. “Get the money?” “Don’t you care if I’m okay?” I snapped. “Did you get the money? I’m almost out of gas.” “Jerk.” I wasn’t about to let him know I got fifteen bucks extra. “Go to the station, I’ll get you three dollars’ worth out of your cut.” … Brother, being the local king of crap as well as the tsar of testosterone, was being an ass for the the weekend because our cousins from Vidor came into town. Saturday night, they all went out to roll queers for drinking money. I stayed in the car not wanting to get hit or thrown around. Mostly, I just smiled and went along with their drinking and smoking. They went with the girls, and I had to get lost again, so I drank all I could of their beer while they screwed. That continued through our last summer together. I got used by the man several more times. He liked me and was more aroused each time we met. Being smarter than brother, I upped my price and thrust back against his dick — still fully clothed, still sweaty and bought new underwear so my mom wouldn’t notice the losses. The oldest brother went into military service, pimp-bro got a girl pregnant. Had to marry her or leave town — he married. I got his room at the front of the house. After he left, girls came to the window asking for him. “He’s married now.” “What are you doing, honey?” I closed the window and let her see me lock it. … When the private-first class brother came home on leave, my two brothers put a scheme together. Seems pimp-bro got my john’s license plate number and knew he drove a baby-blue Oldsmobile with whitewalls. They usually rolled queers when they didn’t have enough to go drinking. That night, they were going to check on some hot spots to see if they could find him – he’d have cash on him. I couldn’t go and possibly ruin my profitable liaisons if he recognized me. I was in bed when I heard them come in, knocking furniture over and trying to stumble to bed. They were giggling a lot and talking stupid. Knowing if our parents awoke there’d be a big fight, I told them to hold it down or go back out and sleep in the car. I smelled beer and pussy on my brothers. “Saw your boyfriend tonight.” Pimp-bro sneered. “His name’s Sibley or Shively, something like that. He won’t need you next Thursday.” My brothers had rolled him and left him and another boy in the alley. Surprisingly, he tossed an old, empty brown leather wallet at me. It was the wallet of the man he’d robbed; my john’s wallet. “Hmmm.” I took it and went in my bedroom and hid it under my mattress. … Sunday afternoon, I took the wallet and went to the bus stop examining the contents of the wallet for where I might go. Not only would I graduate from high school, I dreamed about college. In the wallet, there wasn’t a driver’s license, probably stolen; licenses were only paper and without pictures at that time. A couple of credit cards for local department stores. Social security card and four business cards. “Silverson’s Bakery” it read with a north side address. Ritzy area. That afternoon, I rode the bus and walked past the bakery several times. The trunk end of his pale blue Oldsmobile was sticking out behind the building. “Yep. Sweet set-up he has going.” I thought as I waited at the bus stop across the street. “I bet Mr. Silverson needs to hire a filthy little slut for the next four years.” It crossed my mind that I could pressure him by saying I’d tell his wife. … Went around the back of the building — he’d left the back door open. Walked in and heard the radio playing upstairs. “Mr. Silverson,” I called out with false bravado — I had no idea what would pan out. “Come up.” He called back. When I stood in the doorway, “Who are you?” I noticed his lip was swollen and his face bruised. I went to him and gave him his wallet. “I found this.” “Do you work around the Silver Dollar Cafe?” He took the wallet and stared at me. “No. I found it near a bus stop. I live over there.” I lied — he looked in his wallet and shook his head. We were both being cagey, half-knowing the truth and half-knowing what we’d do about it. He cocked his head and narrowed his eyes, “Odd coincidence — you look like someone….” “Got to be careful, mister — lots of rough trade out there…” I looked around his office. Big, wooden desk and an adding machine, several notebooks open on the desk — comfy chair, leather loveseat, bookshelf filled with books and a lamp with a green glass shade. Seemed upscale to me. “What do you want? I don’t have any cash.” He didn’t look so scary, but like a tired man with a busted lip and swollen eyes. He didn’t have a wedding ring, so I thought for a moment, “I want a job.” I neared his chair. “What can you do?” We talked for a while, and I kept pushing for work kocaeli escort and left with a job cleaning and stocking the bakery after school three days a week — even got a shirt with “Silverson’s Bakery” over the pocket. … Yeah, I worked hard my last semester, even tossed a few bucks to my mom, but not much. I was saving for graduation, then I’d have to leave. Began scouting around for a room to rent near the campus and found some students from India who said they’d take me in for a while. They looked at me with pity, but it didn’t reduce my part of the rent. I’d have to get my high school diploma by mail. The small staff working in the bakery liked me, and I liked that job. An old African-American man drove the truck, sometimes I went out with him to pick up the racks and bring the back for the next morning — that work went quick so we stopped for a five-cent ice cream some days. One evening, before I left for home, Mr. Silverson called me upstairs as he closed his books for the day. Behind his office was a small room with a cot and a Kelvinator, a hot plate and a small bathroom. “You live here?” “I have a home in River Oaks, sometimes I stay late.” I suspected he used that small room for something else, but kept my mouth shut. “Going to air-condition and do some repairs in the bakery. You’ll get a two-week vacation.” “Oh.” I was counting on that money to help me get a car and move in with the Indian guys. “Going to disappoint your girlfriend?” He smiled. Staring at him, I didn’t have a girlfriend. “Nah, I want to go to college — getting a room with some students, work my way through.” He seemed surprised that I mentioned college. We talked through that afternoon about university I considered — it was a small, underfunded but historic college educating minority and foreign students. The military was always an option, though I doubted I could get in — I only stood five-foot-three. He told me that the old African-American driver was retiring and if I wanted the driver’s job, I had to get a driver’s license and surprisingly, if I wanted to go to school during the days, he’d rent the little room behind the office to me. “Looks like we need some security. Kids are selling pot in the alleyway.” He glanced out the window. “Neighborhood’s going downhill.” That took a big load off me, and I moved in immediately after I graduated. When he saw me with two brown, paper bags of everything I owned, he followed me to the little room and sat on the bed. “You seem more motivated than a lot of the boys…” He took my hand as he sat on the bed. “Why didn’t you blackmail me down that Sunday you brought my wallet?” “Who’s going to believe me?” I looked him in the eye — “A hillbilly who didn’t even own a wallet. The fuzz would never fall for that.” He thought about it, then stood and left. … Mr. Silverson brought the Houston Press every day and left it for me to read. In the classified section was a small ad for a business college. I asked Mr. Silverson about it — they had a two-year certificate program. We called and they sent out a big brown envelope with all their classes listed. One interested me, “Computing.” I wanted to learn about computers. Mr. Silverson kept track of all the business trends and said that was a good idea. He offered to help me with a loan as long as I stayed to work with him. If I got good grades and a good job, I could pay him back at a hundred a month. Since I had no other connections for a job and didn’t want to work construction or pumping gas, I agreed. We started a game when I began classes at the business school. With an imaginary hundred dollars, we bought stocks. Everyday I’d make a note of which one of us made money and if either of us had lost money. One week I lost half of my money, but my other stocks had covered that loss. We had a good time with that game and talked stocks and bonds, all kinds of investments. Mr. Silverson had been left a lot of money in a portfolio. He explained about treasury bonds and securities to me as I studied double-entry bookkeeping, loans and interest rates. Though it sounds boring, it was all new to me. … During the fall of the year, I was invited to Mr. Silverson’s house for a holiday party with the staff of the bakery — what a layout! A huge, white-columned, two-story colonial stood under tall oaks near Buffalo Bayou. Pool in the back yard and two groundskeepers who kept the azaleas, redwoods and dogwoods in order — an herb garden and a greenhouse. A catering company served a dinner of things with French names, I guessed. It was delicious! Then, to our surprise, he took pictures of everyone with his Polaroid and handed them out. Riding home with the lead baker and her husband, I heard them talk about Mr. Silverson and how peculiar he was. Wasn’t sure if it was an insult to me when they said he’d never married, never dated, “Never seen that man around a woman.” She said and glanced in the rearview mirror. Sure, I knew he liked boys — but he’d never hurt me. As I stepped over the threshold of the back door of the bakery, I knew it. I knew I was queer as Mr. Silverson — I was a sissy-boy. In that moment, I crossed the threshold in my mind into a new world I knew nothing about but sure I’d never fit into the world of men who married women, had children and families. Despondency hit hard. It all made sense — I knew I was only acting like my brothers, I wasn’t like them. No thrill in the idea of kissing and touching a woman. While I wanked, I’d trained myself to think of outer space, not the warm touch of a body. I’d avoided boys all my life, though I’d studied them. One hidden crush in each grade. Had to keep that top secret. It was probably my brothers’ reputation for violence that had kept me safe all those years — they knew but never said, or did they know? Didn’t make any difference now, but I faced another challenge. I had no clue where to start, how to flirt or attract a man I found appealing. Then I wondered if a hick could actually find a partner among the handsome, well-groomed men I saw on the pictures in magazines. I saw a steep learning curve rise in front of me. … In the newspaper I noticed an article about some kind of “gay cancer” spreading in New York. Though the article was short, it mentioned bath houses and bars. When I came upstairs after work, Mr. Silverson was finishing up his accounts for the day, ready to make his deposit on his way home. I brought out the newspaper with the article. “Did you see this?” I pointed to a photo of a man lying on a hospital bed. He glanced and looked back at his work. “I’m sure they’re saying `the wages of sin’ about that.” Then, looking at my face, “Do you feel sick?” I grinned, “No — but…” Really didn’t know how to broach the subject, “Are you a queer?” He smiled, “Never get a man to admit that in this town.” With that he went on with his work. What did that mean? I was sweating and stood there immobile as I thought about it. Finally, he looked around at me. “Let’s go to your room, seems you need a discussion.” “Need a discussion” meant someone had done something really stupid in the bakery. I’d only heard it a few times, and he was discrete with his corrections with me and my co-workers. He never yelled but explained the situation and asked us to make better decisions or slow down. I washed my face and hands while he went down to lock the shop. When he returned, he brought a chair, and sat it by the bed in front of me. “Queers get killed around here. Don’t ask anyone that unless you’re in the right place.” “Sorry.” “Don’t be sorry. I know you didn’t mean anything by it.” He took my hand. “Yes, I’m queer, and always have been. Does that bother you?” “No.” Couldn’t bring myself to say any more. “Why did you ask?” Silence. “Are you asking because you’re gay?” I nodded, looking at the floor. “You and the boys I buy for a little fun — I need a little… Well, I’m a gay man, yes, and I have preferences in the kind of men I like. Same as other men who like blondes or Latinas… Do you understand?” “You like boys?” “I like young men, around fifteen, sixteen — seventeen… Playing with boys is illegal — the police would be worse than the guys that roll us.” He lifted my chin, looking into my eyes. “When did you realize you were gay?” Tears filled my eyes. “After your holiday party — Helga and her husband were talking in the car on the way home.” He nodded, “I’m sure they know after all these years, but she won’t lose her job by saying anything.” He moved to the bed beside me, “How are you doing in school.” “Good. I like the computer.” “How much longer do you have to go? About a year or so?” “Yes, I’ll get my certificates in June next year. Why?” “I’m going to sell the bakery and my home. Before I get any older, I want to live where I can be who I am — it’ll get me killed here, but not in Frisco.” Looking into his eyes, I smiled, “San Francisco? Great!” We talked for a long time about San Francisco and the gay and lesbian citizens, their protests and fighting for the right to be legal. Yeah, homosexuals wouldn’t be illegal for being who they were — though it sounds silly now, men could get hassled by the cops if they held hands in public. “And the bath houses — I visited there during the Summer of Love and it was absolutely wonderful. I’m not going to die here in this hell hole — I’m going to live my life with gusto.” Then he looked at me, “And you’re going to be a CPA with your own office.” “I was thinking of getting on with the IRS. I like tax work.” “Really? Have you ever paid taxes before?” “Never made enough, but I will!” The next day I came in from school to find a large brown envelope on my bed, “Night Reading.” Peeking inside I saw a several magazines and a quarter-page newsprint publication. Never saw any kind of print material for gay men. Wow! … Nate, Mr. Silverson, began bringing dinner occasionally after he made his bank deposit. He told me about when he went to UT in Austin — brought another student home with him one weekend and his parents blew a gasket seeing him with a freshman who was fully out. From that point on, he had to be more than discrete. He’d dated a few women, but it never worked out — said dating was more for the family than himself. He had several sisters who married and gave them grandchildren. Nate had visited bathhouses in Dallas and Austin, but always had to come back to manage the bakery for his family. He did well, the bakery had an excellent reputation. We opened at four in the morning and worked a sixteen-hour day often, though I was only part-time, I was recruited to work overtime during the holidays. That year, during the week before New Year’s, he told me he didn’t want me to work downstairs — another man sat in his office with him. His accountant. Nate told me to help him with the quarterly report and the tax slips for the employees, Nate and the business. The accountant had no slack about him and we got on the desk and began. He was orderly and I began to understand why he started where he did, building the information to fill in the forms. By about midnight, we had the forms ready. Instead of a detailed explanation, he’d mention the line number on the form that would need that specific figure. As we worked toward Nate’s income, I was floored with the amounts he earned from his portfolio. He kept the bakery for all the deductions. I needed a bakery if I had a portfolio! “If you don’t mind my asking, how much did you just earn for getting all this in order?” I asked. “It’s complicated, but I’ve earned what I’m worth to keep Nate out of an audit.” He winked, “When changes in tax law come up, I review them through the summer and adjust my techniques. If you read them closely, they’re mostly designed to guard the wealth of the rich. Lots of loopholes for people in real estate and business.” He winked at me and smiled, “Nate said you’re interested in going into tax work.” “Yep. I was thinking about the rush before April fifteenth, doing the 1040s for people.” “I’ll tell Nate to let you come work with me for a while. Ten-forties are quick and bring in cash. I like dealing in cash.” He handed me a card and left. “That might work out after Nate leaves.” I thought and was very grateful I hadn’t tried to shake him down when I found his wallet. He was helping me forward. … As the months passed, Nate was gone often and I took on the role of closing the books and making the deposits for the day — damn, we bought a lot of butter and flour. Fruit fillings and cream cheese were expensive, but I didn’t linger on those costs. I tried cruising around the Silver Dollar Café — lot of guys hung around there and it was the epicenter of the Montrose Area — a small gay and lesbian center had opened there in an old house. Though some parts of the city were liberal, there were always guys like my brothers hanging around. Went in some of the bars and felt uncomfortable about the dangers entering and leaving. I didn’t want anyone to recognize they guy that drove for Silverson’s Bakery either. Started working on my resume and with help from the business school, I sent it out to some of the accounting and bookkeeping services around town and began looking for a small apartment. By this time there were several good computerized programs and I was proficient with two of them. Nate’s accountant called me in for an interview and I got in as a tax assistant and assigned to a team of three people who did nothing but talk tax law changes and ways to get around them. The bakery and my only home were sold. New owners were keeping on the same staff, but they didn’t want a roomer in the building. I was concerned about moving from a manual laborer into the world of finance. Figured little by little, I’d get clothes that looked like the guys in the accounting office, till then, the weather was hot enough for slacks, short-sleeved shirt and a tie and wait for suits to come on sale at Foley’s. Found a garage apartment near the accounting office and put a deposit down on it. Quiet, secluded with a kitchenette and a shower — furnished with clean, but worn furniture. Two rooms, and at ninety dollars a month, I’d be able to afford a car later. Heavy melancholia came as I packed what I had, leaving my first real home, I thought about my life. Brothers were married now, and my little sis was starting high school. They didn’t contact me much, I suspected my parents were still having problems, and I was sure I never wanted anything like them around me again. A dark thought hit — I had no idea how full-fledged adults act in a relationship. Maybe I’d have to take Nate’s path and buy a little pleasure every Thursday afternoon. Must have been midnight when I heard keys jangle and the door open downstairs. What was Nate doing here so late? I got up and pulled on my jeans, rinsed my face and went into the office. He was shuffling through some papers and put them in his briefcase. I’d only see him once or maybe twice before he left. “Thanks, Nate. I’m going to miss you and the bakery and this little room.” He turned slowly and thought for a few moments. “It’s been good. You’re a good man — helped me with a lot of things. Find yourself someone to love while you’re young.” He took me in his arms and squeezed. “You can have it all, just be careful.” He kissed my forehead and moved to back away. Didn’t let him, simply being embraced felt so good — never had that before. Maybe it was wrong, but I looked up to his face, “I really want to know — I really want to…” The words were stuck inside my throat. He looked down, “What?” I whispered what I wanted, looking away. We both stood very still for a long time. “Me?” He chuckled and kissed my forehead again. I nodded. “Will you wait for Saturday? We’ll go to Galveston. Leave a note for the staff, I’ll be by at ten.” … Thought I was going to die before Saturday came. My graduation from business college wasn’t this anxiety-provoking. I was excited. Got a haircut and cleaned up Friday night and left notes for the staff to run the route without me. Nate had a big Mercedes with a sunroof. He pulled up and honked. I jumped downstairs with a brown paper bag with my towel and my cut offs. “Shoulda asked your ol’ skinflint boss for a raise.” “He was paying for my education. I have to pay him back, even though I saw he used my tuition for a tax deduction under `employee training.'” “Be discrete and you’ll go far.” He winked, “I don’t expect you to pay me anything — just maybe help another kid along when you’re rolling in bucks of your own.” We stayed at a small place — a row of separate cottages near the beach and went to the Galvez for lunch. Really nice. Thought I might feel out of place, but kids and families in their bathing clothes ran through the lobby and all over making a racket. We walked along the seawall back to our cabin. Inside I asked if we were going to surf. He popped a cassette into his player and Mancini filled the room. “Hope not. Too much crude oil on the beach. Let’s relax for a while.” Taking me in his arms, we swayed to the music and he gently pulled me against him. “I’m more than just an old perv in a back alley — and this is going to be special for both of us.” He lifted my chin and kissed me the way my brothers did with the girls they got drunk. His kisses made me drunk — that kiss made my head empty and when my tongue got the technique down, I didn’t want to stop. “Slow down.” He whispered and put my hands on his rear. “I’m telling you what I want.” I was already breathing hard. In the mirror behind him I saw my face was brilliant red with eagerness. “I want…” “Slow down, we’re going to work up to it.” His fingers went to my shirt and he unbuttoned, then to my jeans where he slipped his hands into my briefs. I was mesmerized and stood still, it felt so good to feel him rub my skin, pressing our erections together. Then, he brought my hands to his shirt, and put my fingers on the buttons. Grateful, I was so grateful he was patiently showing me how to make love. This wasn’t the frantic, brutal sex my brothers had, but a gentle, slow back-and-forth. I took a deep breath trying to steady myself for this build-up but I wasn’t sure if my dick would wait. Between the kissing and the undressing, I was straining to cum. He wouldn’t let me but kept pinching my nipples and squeezing my package. As soon as the hot water of the shower hit my skin, standing next to a naked man covered with dark hair in the most interesting pattern across his wide shoulders — it happened. He only smiled, “How long have you been waiting, boy?” “All my life.” I smiled and blushed, then kissed him again. His hands reached around me and he washed my cleft, roughly, and told me he was going to put his cock inside me as he slipped a finger inside. I gasped; he quietly reassured me that this was what I `really wanted.’ He was slow, and in the soapy water, he continued with another finger, telling me all the while how good it would feel and that I’d cum like I never had before. I doubted that was possible, but he tickled something deep inside me and I looked into his eyes. For the first time I felt a man stroke along my body, caresses — I was being caressed and kissed and the feel darıca escort of his hand on my rod was amazing. He had to pinch my dick often to keep me from cumming again and again. After another urgent blast, he gave up, holding me against him, kissing me, chuckling. In my embarrassment, I went into being playful and enjoyed his playground thick with dark, curly hair. He had a lot more than me, but it was his balls that fascinated me, so big and red, leading up to a thick, veined erection and shiny dark purplish knob adorning it like a royal scepter. He was beautiful — I doubted I’d ever be like him, but he let me kiss and lick, and the first taste of a man on my tongue was heaven — I couldn’t taste or smell him enough. He held my head and I looked up at him as I licked and sucked, enjoying the delicate taste of the heavy stream of sex juice he was making for me. Turning me over, I thought he might cuddle next to me, but he didn’t. His eyes were on mine as his head lowered, and he kissed my nipple lightly. A bolt of lightning shot through me from my chest. Had to suck in a quick breath — then he continued kissing, and suddenly began sucking hard on my nipple while his hand went to my other. Twisting, almost pinching, then he turned back, “I’m telling you what I want.” He laid back and brought my lips to his chest, skin moist in the cool, dark air. The air conditioner hummed as I hummed and sucked, looking up at his responses. He liked me to bite, harder than I would have wanted, but I nipped and nibbled till his hand came to my head. “Suck my cock.” Sucking gently at first, he grasped the base of his erection and held it for me, swirling it in my mouth a little, moaning, “More.” He found my hand and put it on his nuts and patted my fingers telling me what he wanted. Maybe I got carried away with my fingers, I continued sucking and licking along his shaft, and my fingertips were obsessed with the big orbs. His musk rose around my face and I was so aroused feeling him twitch and hearing him groan. Wasn’t long before I felt his hands in my hair and his hips jerking. Glancing upward, he was holding his lower lip behind his front teeth and shoving my face into his groin. I gagged and sputtered but he didn’t let go. At first, I thought I’d bit the inside of my cheek, there was a salty taste in my mouth. When I realized it was his cum, I sucked harder. When he relaxed his hand, I started sucking and didn’t stop. I wanted all I could get. … His fingers stroked my face, over my eyes. “Let’s rest. We have more later.” The Tijuana Brass played while he rested. I couldn’t stop touching him. He was dozing so I laid there inhaling his smell and knew that this was the only kind of love I wanted. We went out for dinner – shrimp sandwiches with fries on the seawall. On the way back to the cottage, he brought a bottle of rum. We drank several rum `n cokes and he turned the news off. He put his toiletry case by the bed and we showered. I was trembling, he was smiling. On the bed he took me in his arms and we kissed, then he reached over and found a small tube of petroleum jelly. As he rubbed it on my hole, he explained what he was going to do. Mixed feeling churned inside me, there was pain and feeling uncomfortable with one finger, but he looked into my eyes, “Do you want me to stop?” “No.” He looked into my eyes as three fingers began tugging in and out my hole. I think tears ran down my cheeks. “Yes, yes. It gets better.” He whispered and kissed my tears. More lube and more tears for a few more moments. Then he told me it was time. He gently laid my on my back and bent my knees, I watched him rub his erection with grease and he put it at my hole, looking into my eyes. “Hold your knees back and press against my dick.” He said softly as he neared. Looking down, it was hard to imagine his whole, erect cock inside me. My breathing became faster. He stopped. “You’ve got to relax and push back.” Between the lube and his determination, it only took a second. My eyes were wide and my jaw fell open. He chuckled, waiting. Grabbing the headboard over me, he slowly slid inside, I was consumed with new sensations, it wasn’t feeling like I thought it would. Every stroke he went deeper, and a deep plane of satisfaction formed inside me feeling filled with a hot, smooth cock. I lifted my knees and suddenly I felt it. That tingle he’d teased me with in the shower. My god, the feeling of satisfaction and that incredible rub. I looked down to see my dick straining, skin hot and so tight. My balls tightened and I grimaced with a cum I could feel coursing up through the deepest parts of me and spread sparks like hot pinpricks all over my skin. When I felt my own cum hit my face, Nate began pumping into me like a madman, he was so hard it hurt, but I didn’t say anything — I wanted all of it. All of him. Just a few strokes later, his body tensed above me and he went rigid, shoved a few more times and one last push. His cum was dripping out my hole as he pulled back a little. I didn’t want him to leave my ass and looked up with dreamy eyes. He smiled and lowered himself onto my chest. I grabbed him and hugged him and reveled in the smell of his sweat. Mixed extremes of pain and amazement rushed through me for the next moments, and it satisfied me in a discomfiting way. When is gift dripped out my ass, I smiled — that’s what I really wanted to know. Had problems keeping my knees underneath my hips as I walked to the bath. He washed me and him, giving me a kiss every now and then. Then he kissed my hand and told me to be gentle with him. We had a few more drinks, and I was breathing hard while he teased me, telling me how much he’d like to stay, but he couldn’t. Frisco offered him freedom. Finally, after a hot session of stroking, he handed me the tube of petroleum jelly. It took several awkward attempts and for the first time in my life, I felt a tight hole gripping my cock and I thought I’d died, gone to heaven. He’d look up at me and smiled as he grasped my rod with his ass. Tears streamed for a moment with the incredible onrush of pleasure — overwhelmed, I cried, and pumped into his hot channel like a man on his last mission. Couldn’t have lasted longer than a few moments, and I knew I needed more of this. It was the touch of his skin, his sweat, his smell, and that incredible, heart-pounding release that I was immediately addicted to. Not so sure about love, but I was fully and completely in lust. He took me in his arms and told me I had to be more careful than other men, “As long as we’re considered evil, and as long as you live in the bible belt, you’ve got to keep it hidden. You’ll be beaten or worse. Be discrete but find someone to love.” Our last shower together was quiet and we dressed quickly and left. Before we left, he kissed me in the cottage and I wondered if my liaisons would always be in shabby rooms or alleyways. … Every Sunday night we called long distance. Nate was opening a candy shop near the Castro District, and had bought an historic Victorian house on a steep hillside. Looked nice in the photos he sent. My brothers, by comparison to my clients at the accounting firm, were only nickel and dime hustlers. I was discrete about my work and gained a number of widows and cranky folks that the other tax team didn’t want to deal with. I kept on task learning more every year, and my rates increased. Bought an old house in the Heights, ancient and cavernous with pecan trees and beveled glass in the door. Needed a lot of work, but I figured in five years, I’d have the remodeling completed and the house in fine shape. Had three bedrooms and a bathtub up on feet big enough for several people to bathe at the same time. The first thing I did was to erect a six-foot cedar fence around the edge and I got a dog. No one coming to look in my windows ever again. … Nate and I called, and from the sound of what he said, I became concerned that he would get AIDS, he was sowing a lot of oats and probably a lot of weed as well. Photos showed he’d gained weight, his hair thinned, but he was still the man I’d met in his office that Sunday afternoon. He was happier, and very busy making San Francisco his own. For me, things were slower. I worked up the courage to visit the GLBT Center on a weekend and found a few nice folks there. Felt strange to meet my high-school art teacher there. Though he’d had thousands of students he remembered me. I waited for him to recognize me; he kept glancing. During a break in the program, he approached me and asked. Blushing, I admitted I was his student — he came back later, “You’re the one who won the key.” He’d mounted and submitted one of my pieces of artwork to a competition and I’d won. “Yeah, still got that little gold key.” I said. That started a conversation that went on into the Silver Dollar Café. He was white-haired now, still wore it in a flat-top and still drinking heavily. Maybe that was an opportunity, but one I didn’t chance — he was a top-notch bitch when he was hung over — I remembered my Monday morning classes with him. … There was a rustle in the accounting office — something that didn’t happen often. The owner, that same guy that hired me, took on a partner. That means he sold half of the business — he was divorcing his wife of many years. Lots of divorces going on at that time, but he was a philanderer and openly sexual in the office. Didn’t know they were “swingers” but they had frequented the private parties for years. You know I kept my head down and the work moving through — though I was curious. He was incredibly tanned, muscled and so damn charming. I fell in a very silent and reserved way. We kept our trysts inside the fence, inside the house and it didn’t take long for me to come to detest him. He still acted like a boss, but what irked me was that he actually expected that I wash his clothes, cook and serve dinner and he was brutal in bed. He insulted me often. Got myself into a sticky situation — he was still my boss, and now he honked at the gate every Tuesday night for his boy-fuck. How could I make him leave without losing my job? I was stuck, wanting to keep my job for the incredible paycheck, and that routine taught me that I was better with no lover than a jerk. On that Sunday night when I spoke with Nate, I poured it out to him. He wasn’t upset at all. “I knew that old goat had it in him.” He advised me about what to do: Distraction; give him a new toy. Now this was probably the shadiest, nastiest thing I’d ever done in my life, but I invited my younger sister to my office — take her out to lunch. I’d bailed her out of jail twice for prostitution and knew she was looking for the depot for the gravy train. Being an audacious red-headed, heavy-breasted trick, I figured my boss would give her some attention. I invited her to come on Tuesday and made her wait for me till the boss walked through. Sure enough, he took the bait and had to find out who this woman was. She was pale, with a huge mane of red curls and wore a “trolling” blouse open almost to her navel. Quickly, I asked if he’d like to join us for lunch — “New place with avocado sandwiches on home-made bread and fruit smoothies.” He didn’t even hear me. “Sure.” He didn’t take his eyes off her as he whispered me he may be late tonight… They deserved each other — two hungry piranhas in a small tank. I left and went back to the office alone and didn’t see anything of my boss till next week when he slipped a piece of paper on my desk from the health clinic. Came up positive for the clap and I only shook my head — this probably wasn’t his first time. “Really sorry about that — you didn’t use a condom?” I wondered how much my sister would shake him down for if she told him she needed an abortion… He didn’t come over again, occasionally he called and I grew the balls to tell him I was busy. “Found the woman of my dreams.” I figured that would obfuscate things enough for him not to call again. Nate laughed when I told him, “But I’m alone again. Really sucks.” “Get into the gym — get into the bars.” “Things haven’t changed as much here as they have there. You know what it’s like.” The next week a package arrived with a vibrating dildo and some other toys I’d never seen before. Was Nate saying I was a total wash-out?” … During the holidays, Nate visited. Almost ten years since I’d seen him — but meeting him at the airport, I looked enough like family to embrace him. He was entering his fifties, me, my thirties, but I’d taken up jogging — I could do that without much comment. Often went to Memorial Park and took the long trail. Nate had grown a beard, had an earring and sported a few extra pounds, but looked great to me. Looked like a present, he arrived in a lavender cashmere sweater and navy slacks. His white-haired chest clearly visible in the V-neck of the sweater. Couldn’t wait to get him home. I needed his affection among other things. He offered me poppers, “Please, don’t make me any hornier.” I wanted all the feelings I’d had before, but he was a slower lover now, and I was much more appreciative. We went out a few times, to his old haunts, then tried a few new ones. Yeah, I looked like his kid when we entered the spa. He showed me how a swing worked and I thought I would die with pleasure. We went to the bookstore for the gloryholes. Had to walk out — too much like people at windows. I had reservations at the Galvez and walked through the lobby with him, got our keys and went upstairs. We went out that night for dinner and to a gay bar that opened on the main street. I felt safe enough in the holiday rush though the weather was gray. Don’t remember much of our conversations through that weekend, but I do remember I told him I missed him when he left. He suggested we meet for Mardi Gras, “Sounds like fun.” Didn’t thin February would ever come, and I boarded the plane noticing how many other party-goers were riding with me. Sat beside a nice guy who filled me in on all the best places to go and things to do — talked non-stop. I suspected amphetamines but didn’t say anything. Parades, music, it was a riot for hours at night. Yeah, I got drunk and not sure if I can remember, but I have a faint recollection of sloppy sex and giggling in a room with several other men. Kinda goofy behavior for me and I let loose for a while — even danced naked for Nate while he stroked his rod with a rental-boy. I flew home and felt empty without Nate by my side. I was socially and emotionally stunted — stuck somewhere between the love ballads of the sixties and the unknowing boy who worked in a bakery. When I got home, I left a message on his phone, “When you get it of your system, call me.” … A few more years passed and I built my courage as well as my shoulders thinking I’d increase my odds of finding a guy. Also began building my portfolio, I made my plans to move into a Friendswood or Pearland — small towns that were being engulfed by the city. Bought a condo leasing it out to cover the payments. I’d have enough to retire in comfort in the condo, maybe keep a few clients… That was a while away and I hoped I wouldn’t be alone. At least I had my dog — but he didn’t like jogging with me. Every year I attended the tax update conference and became the tax team leader at work as the old timers retired and moved on. Had a group of seven well-trained accountants working on the newest programs to get our work in and out in record time — still December to April we were swamped. As was my custom, I had a small lunch catered for my team and the part-timers who’d come in to get all the returns out. I announced the high-producers and gave them all the stats and how many delayed returns we’d have to finish up and congratulated everyone. Seemed to make everyone happy after so many long days. As I stayed to clean the lunch room, someone came in behind me. I hoped it wasn’t my supervisor with a complaint. “I love you.” “Nate?” I turned slowly to see a gaunt face and bald head without an earring. “Finally came to your senses.” I grabbed his hand and shook it. “You look great,” He smiled weakly, “Need some help…” Looking around, I gave him my keys, “Blue Audi parked out back — let’s talk at home.” I wanted to kiss him but waited. You know what I thought — AIDS and my stomach clenched painfully. Told my team I wouldn’t be in the next day when I texted a ride-share. Nate had dinner cooking when I came in — even set the table with candles. Putting on a CD of the London Symphony, I took him in my arms and swayed, kissing his cheek and enjoying the smell of him. “Are you okay?” “Later.” Had a fine dinner of salad and chicken breast, asparagus and French bread. Kind of a light meal compared to what he usually ate. “Are you on a diet?” “Yep. Seems like pastries and chocolate take a toll on your body.” He chuckled. “Those pastries kept me from starving.” I winked. “Probably fed a lot of people from the stale pastries — they went to a group home for men with mental illnesses. Used to be several blocks over from here. Probably shut down now.” “So you came for the hurricane season, or are you looking to move back?” “Not sure yet. I have several appointments next week.” … As we sat together on the couch, I asked him, “What happened? Not saying you look like death warmed over, but — how bad is it?” Expecting he’d admit to AIDS, I was surprised. He’d fallen, hurt his back in his condo. Had several surgeries and a rod installed. He could walk and move about though was somewhat limited. Then he admitted the worse, “Got addicted to the pain killers and went out on the street when the doctor cut me off. I’m going over to Methodist and see if they’ll take me into a program for it.” “Are you using now?” “Yes.” He heaved a very heavy sigh. “I knew you wouldn’t have any here so if you don’t mind me staying for a few days…” Didn’t want to hear all about his pancreas and liver and the abuse he’d given them through the years. Didn’t want to hear about the Hep N or the other issues he was dealing with, but here he was, a little worse for the wear and holding me gently, speaking softly. I stayed quiet as he explained how he’d bought and used; I knew the danger he put himself in buying on the streets. “The supervisor at the candy store told me to get out of town for a while and gave me the name of a doctor at Methodist Medical. I called him and got an appointment to go in for an exam to see if I qualify for something like chelation therapy — experimental program.” As he readied for bed, I looked up the program at Methodist. Seems it was an intensive program with counseling and medical treatments, and noted it was in-patient, so he’d be in the hospital with a number of other people for a while. “Have you read about the program?” I asked when he came to bed. He pulled out a brochure, “They sent me this.” I read through it — though it was brightly colored and touted some positive outcomes, it stated clearly that there may be the need for on-going treatments and counseling was an imperative for inclusion in the program. Leaning my head on his shoulder, “What time do you have to be there tomorrow?” “Nine.” “I’ll drop you off if you let me stay for a while. I’m gölcük escort going to beg they give you methadone.” “I wouldn’t want a junkie in the house either.” “Got enough for tomorrow morning?” “Hope so.” He was almost asleep when I kissed his cheek and wondered what would happen next. … The next morning I encouraged him to take a change of clothes, “You may have to do the treadmill.” We were met in a small, sleek office where Nate went back immediately, starting a series of blood tests and examinations. While he was in the back, I asked to speak with the nurse, “Mr. Silverson still needs his medications — can you give him something to help with that?” She told me that Nate would be going into a detox before he could enter the program. “Methadone?” “Probably.” I could only agree. He stayed for thirty days in detox. Visiting nightly, I noticed that he was in mixed company, the only common denominator was their bitching and whining, uncontrolled behaviors. Drug sick and pissed, they wandered around until a nurse took them to their room for an injection. Nate and I sat side-by-side watching that and attended a twelve-step program for an hour. Through the month, Nate’s color came back and he began asking me to bring him food and snacks — all sugary. “The nurse says you have to curb the sugar — so sugar-free okay?” He agreed but didn’t like the idea. Grumbled and whined and I held firm. Nate had to go to group therapy in detox but in the next part of his therapy, he’d have to be with a counselor one-on-one. It didn’t seem to bother him, not even when he asked me to join him one afternoon. The counselor spoke mostly about “lifestyle changes,” the program used a holistic approach that involved almost every part of his life. They were pouring the money on these first guinea pigs to fine-tune their therapy. I wondered if they were on the right track. Nate looked better, but he was seemed tired. Two months in-patient, then two months at home, Nate slowly improved. Leased his home in Frisco to a couple. All his clothes were too large for him now, and sometimes he seemed a shadow walking down the hallway, but his old zip was coming back. He smiled often and we had a sauna and hot tub installed outside. Instead of quietly lurking along the edges, I attended the Pride Parade and Festival with him. We had to stop and rest often, it was a steaming hot day, the crepe paper drooped and dripped bright colors along the floats. The impact of the societal changes was evident, I was able to feel the arm of a male friend around my waist in public. We were both smiling, and he kissed me right in front of a crowd of hundreds. Of course, they didn’t look twice, but it was a thrill for me. I decided early on that if he wanted to get off the drugs, it would be entirely his job. Didn’t steer him away from a few old friends in the beer garden when he saw them and stopped to talk. Didn’t take his arm when he went behind a few of the tents to see what was going on. Nope. I let him make all those decisions for himself. We toured the booths and got a seat for the music and speeches. He fell asleep, so I brought the car around and took him home. He’d come a long way with his health and went to bed immediately when we were home. That’s when I began thinking. Being around Nate relaxed me to have the courage to be more of who I am. Did I need his protective wing over me? I was more than that, or was I? Either way, even with my lack of any great role model for being a spouse, I decided to ask Nate to marry me, I loved him, and wanted him with me. It wasn’t a lust-driven relationship I wanted, but a steady, stick-together-through-it-all kind. He’d pulled me through my hard times, and well, I’d helped him where I could. Yeah, it crossed my mind that I was asking when he wasn’t doing so well with his health, but he could turn me down and move on. Thinking further, I decided to ask him to give us six months or a year to see if things worked out. We could marry in another state and have a wedding in the back yard. Yes, with the dog, but he was my pal though all the empty times, and now it seemed, Nate’s best friend. On my computer that night, I heard Nate taking all his pills, then taking the dog out for a while. He came back in with a fistful of irises and long vines of honeysuckle. He put them in an antique glass pitcher the way only a gay man comfortable with himself could. Beautiful, graceful, with a spontaneous, subtle joy. “I’m going down to Brownsville for a few days.” He said softly. “Brownsville? Why?” “Got to get some surgery — going in for a full lift.” He pinched the loose skin on his face. “You look great. Distinguished, and noble.” That last descriptor was a lie, but “Don’t go.” In the back of my mind I saw him wheedling more pain-killers from some plastic surgeon in Mexico. Maybe staying down there longer and getting into trouble or causing more health problems. “I think there’s a real popular guy in town. Saw his ad in Out Smart. Why don’t you give him a call tomorrow? If you get an infection or something happens down there, I won’t be with you to help.” Glancing at me, “You won’t come?” I went to the doctor’s website, “If you stay here for your surgery, I’ll be right beside you all the way.” We both knew what the other was thinking. He wanted one last dance with his devils and it could be his last dance. He leaned over my ear, “Go blue tonight?” “Sounds good.” Opiates and methadone do a number on a man’s equipment. … In bed, I immediately began sucking his nipples and running my fingertips through the damp hair on his chest. “Nate, have you ever thought about a permanent partner?” Silence. I sucked a deep breath, “I’d like to marry you, we can have an engagement to see if it works out…” Listening to his heartbeat I heard it speed for a few beats. Silence. “Did you hear me?” “Yes.” I waited for a long time, when he finally spoke I was shocked at what he said. When he was a young man, he kept expecting to wake up with two different colored eyes. There was a boy in his school who had a brown eye and a blue eye. That boy kept his head down, the other kids taunted him saying he had an `evil eye.’ The boy was shunned and bullies were harsh. “When I was old enough to know better, I wasn’t worried about my eye color and having to keep my head down, but I knew there was something different inside me, something that didn’t sit right. Thank god for puberty — I was horny all the time when I was around the boys at school, but they were hard, too. I dreamed about boys and, I’ll admit it now, even my dad. He was my idol, my ideal. Handsome and strong — he’d come home from the bakery coated in flour and smelling all-male. He loved me when I was small. Then, he and mom sat me down when I was about fourteen and told me I’d go to hell for all my interest in boys. They tried to scare me, but it didn’t work. Being gay hurt me, not because I’m gay, because it separated me from my dad. I really needed him. Instead, he taught me the bakery and put me to work. That part was okay, but I wanted a man and suddenly my dad was distant, and I believe he told the others at the bakery to let me work alone. After a few failed dates with women, I gave up and he seldom spoke with me again. He didn’t know any more than I did about being gay. I was as alone as you were when I graduated and left for college, but I had money and a sex-drive that wouldn’t stop. Free, white and twenty-one without any self-discipline, but I’m paying the piper now.” Never knew that much about him, and it made sense — he was born into tougher times than me for homosexuals. I turned away from him, “Make love with me the way you wanted your dad to make love to you when you were a kid. He turned and grabbed me against him. With one hand, he grabbed my shaft, the other went to my hole. He gently fingered me telling me it wouldn’t hurt. “I’d never hurt my boy.” Playing his glans along my cleft, he told me how perfect I was, and that what he would give me would make me complete and perfectly his. So slowly he entered me, gently and lovingly, and that lasted about thirty strokes. I pushed back against him needing to fill me and that incredible satisfaction. I grabbed his hand and shoved it up and down my dick. So ready to be emptied and filled at the same time. He plowed into me deeply, as deep as he could before As we lay sweating, his dick popped out of my ass. My cum hit my chin. He met me in the shower, “Did you really ask me to marry you?” “Yeah. We’ll get engaged first and marry in Colorado next year.” “Don’t know if I’m marriage material.” He gave me a quick kiss. “You may be sorry.” “Is that a `yes?'” “Gotta think about it.” … It must have read like a financial report, but I wrote out all my feelings and all my fears about being gay and meeting Nate. That was on the advice from my counselor. I went to the GLBT center and started going to counseling. To my surprise, I wasn’t the only kid in the world to feel so odd inside myself, then to be perplexed about where my life would take me. Seems that when the full meaning of being homosexual in our nation at the time overwhelmed many children and it turned out bad for them. But I’d been given safe haven, alone and working, but a safe place for finding out who I was carving a place out for myself. Times were changing, I was one of the lucky ones to be able to find a place, make a home for myself and a dog. It was little room above the bakery and education that turned my corner and someone who believed in me enough to finish my schooling and start in a profession. “Sell what you got sissy.” I remembered. I might have had to resort to that again at the very time the epidemic hit if not for Nate. Carefully, I wrote out what I expected from a partner and a marriage and how I would cope with our differences and how would I handle arguments? With brochures stuck inside my composition book where I kept all my writing, I went home and told Nate I was seeing a counselor and why, “I’ve never seen how adults handle all the personal things between them — good intentions aren’t enough. Don’t know how to argue or fight without being insulting.” “Got the same problem. Maybe we should both get whistles and call a time out, like in football.” He replied as he flipped through the sports channels. “How angry will you be if I go back to the drugs?” He asked, nonchalantly. Had to think about that, “Not sure. Are you planning to?” “Not right now, but there may be some stressors, or something comes up.” “How do I handle it?” He opened his wallet and showed me a phone number, “This is my sponsor — the meetings… I go while you’re at work. Call him — he’ll come over and help me out if I haven’t already called him.” “Why do you go while I’m at work?” “Maybe I’m vain, you know, I don’t want you to think I can’t control it.” “If the meetings help you manage — I’m all for it.” “What would you do if I ran into some kind of problem?” I asked. “Ask what’s wrong — try to fix it, but I think you need some testosterone — you’re always so mousey.” “Mousey?” What the hell! He wanted me to appear more assertive in public. I’ll admit I was shy and reticent — way quieter in comparison, but that was my way. “Mr. Mousey asked you to marry him, not become his endocrinologist. How many men have you asked to marry you?” He grinned, “Touché.” Seems that conversation opened up a lot of topics like, who didn’t clean the hot tub, and who had to pick up after the dog, maybe needing more room in the bath. It was a beautiful old house, but it had its idiosyncrasies. I’ll admit the pantry was larger than the bathroom — but there was an outhouse when the old Victorian was first built. He had a lot of complaints, but they were small and mostly about the house, but he didn’t complain about the bed or the bedroom. The rest wasn’t important, only inconvenient. “So, we’re engaged?” “Let me think about it.” … Life rocked along with dinners — Nate was a great cook, loved to eat. He seemed to forget about his diet those nights. Kept all of his appointments, though never shared the results of his blood tests. He seemed happy, and I noticed that the further away from the drugs, the more of himself opened up. Nate contacted his sisters and asked them to send photos from their childhoods and began scrapbooking. What a mess — bits of paper and glitter, and all kids of crud littered the kitchen table where he assembled page after page of his memories. Instead of screaming when he just walked away, I got the hand-held vacuum and cleaned it up after him. He did great laundry though. Since I wasn’t getting any answers, I got a strip of paper and measured his left ring finger, went to the jeweler and bought him an engagement ring. When I showed him, that I was ready for an engagement he accused me of pressuring him. “Check the year on the calendar, boy. We don’t have forever. You told me to find someone to love, and I keep trying to get a commitment that he’ll stay.” Out of the blue, one night the issue was resolved. I was thinking in traditional, customary terms — there were other ways. During a dinner with Nate’s sponsor and a young man new to sobriety, I mentioned that Nate was stalling on making a decision. “Buy an MG or a truck?” His sponsor chuckled. “Making a commitment to a relationship. He won’t make a decision.” The young man spoke up explaining that his parents had a contract instead of a marriage, and they renewed it every year on January first. “It was a hoot! They brought up all their complaints and argued until they got it all worked out. My sister and I laughed so hard during their contract renewal — Mom was always hollering `control issue’ at Dad, and he countered with `manipulation!’ It was the highlight of the year to hear them. I wanted a contract with them too, but they said one in the house was enough.” Though I was thinking about dumping all my consternation about Nate’s delays on my counselor, I brought it up later. Again, no comment, so I went online and looked at contracts, especially the contracts with an `escape clause.’ “I’m just an old dog and always will be.” He told me when I showed him the contract. It was then I realized that he may not feel worth a partner. After some discussion, he saw a relationship as one person dressing down the other with judgements and insults as often as possible. Then, again, maybe he was afraid of hurting or burdening me as he aged. I asked. “It’s getting stuck with one fuck. Boring.” Maybe that was his old mind-set talking, he went to meetings and events, and was home every night. Drugs and booze were out and it didn’t seem to bother him. Maybe he was sneaking around but I doubted that. Taking a big chance, “I know I can’t ask you for fidelity, spread your seed, farmer Nate. That’s part of who you are — part of the man I love.” He grunted and looked away. Sex was incredibly quiet and rich that night. … That next year, was busy with his sisters visiting, yeah. Seems they’d calmed down and the work GLBT activists were doing made a difference. They were a noisy bunch at times and filled the old house with laughter and music. They liked me, or if they didn’t, they said nothing, but I think they were glad to see Nate happy and fairly healthy. Alcoholism and extreme religiosity had decimated my family. The one red-headed sister met a man and parlayed his wealth into a house and a small business, though only part of it was legit. I invited her to visit, she always had a reason not to come. No loss. Nate and I settled into a comfortable life, he occasionally brought up the contract I’d showed him. “But you didn’t sign it — we’re not held to any commitment — still free, white and twenty-one as far as I’m concerned.” I told him in my mousiest voice. I thought I heard him say, “I signed it in my mind.” He was a touchy old fart about his freedom, so I said nothing. This was as close as I’d get to marriage, and I accepted it and loved him through all his bull and the escapades with scuba diving and the beach at Padre Island. Stepping back, my marriage hadn’t turned out like my parent’s — it was better. Nate, despite all his goofy scrapbooking was fun after dinner with friends, and we now had three dogs he’d trained to dance and actually heel. He was active at his twelve-step program and became a sponsor himself. No, he didn’t go back to the drugs or the anonymous sex, that I knew of — but I don’t think so. God, it was good to come home to find him pottering with the garden hose, watering the herbs. Good to wake up with someone next to me with a, well, half-hard shaft and smelling like my favorite musk. All that gave me all I needed and the good outweighed the little spats. I found out that sometimes when he felt low, he’d try to bait me into anger — I didn’t fall for it. It only meant he wanted reassurance for his masculinity; a play to shore his ego. Ten years of work and we moved to Pearland to get out of the smog. Made a bundle on that old house and set us up in a place without stairs or steps, but it was better; cozier. Through those years, I’d become more assertive, stronger inside myself beside Nate. Another education on taking care of an aging partner, and it was difficult but still good. In some ways better. … My partner, husband and spouse, (but don’t call him that,) began a scrapbook on our lives together. Goofy picture from my high school yearbook, and me at the holiday dinners when I worked at the bakery. Funny looking kid — and the distinguished Nate Silverson. Plenty of photos from Frisco, and a few from me at the accounting office. All in all, it reflected our lives, and it could never show the deep, unnamed currents of shame that constantly battered our psyches through those early years. We weren’t without family. Two of Nate’s nephews came to stay with us. One still in college, the other looking for work. Suddenly, we lived in Twinkcity. They were gorgeous, and so open about their sexuality — not gay, but undecided. Couldn’t figure that out, but they couldn’t either yet. Things had really changed since I was young and I enjoyed their company. We flew to Florida, San Diego, Cancun and anywhere with a beach — on Nate’s insistence. Yeah, I’d come in and find them napping on the bed and it didn’t smell like scrapbook paste, oh well. Fortunately, one of them stayed with us while he finished school and afterward, grabbing a big place in our hearts for those years. He was a quiet kid that I liked, studied Physics — applied to work for NASA before he started on his Masters. He was a joy to us. … Nate passed with his family around him, all the guys he sponsored, family of Helga, the baker came along with a lot of people I didn’t know. We had a buffet catered and he passed while we toasted his generosity and love. Kind of an oblique love I got from him and it was the best he could offer. How could I not appreciate that? Products of our times, partly, and our natures and all our dreams, our resources. He’d done well, and so had I. Human nature dictates constant needs and wants, always something else, and I wanted more, but got more than I thought I could have with few trade-offs. Now, I had his nephew, the Physicist to help along the way Nate had helped me; a pleasure to help him. Enough of life, there’s a young, naked man in my hot tub telling me to bring the sun screen. I’ll look at his skin, the way he smiles, and the corners of his eyes and see hints of my Nate again. Fin. Windows
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