- A Month Later, Jason's POV -
“JASON, ARE YOU READY TO GO?” Mom hollered through the closed bathroom door.
“Stop it... <giggles>... YEAH MOM, JUST ABOUT. Oh... 15 MINUTES MOM! That's it, ahhhh, geezus.”
It's hard to talk to your mom when you're being plugged from behind. Jeremy took hold of my ying yang, grasped it hard and began jacking me in earnest, in time with his thrusting in and out of my nether region.
BANG! BANG! BANG! On the door. Mom hollered, louder, “GET A MOVE ON IT. WE'RE LEAVING IN 20 MINUTES!”
To Jeremy I said breathlessly, “You heard her... get a move on it. OKAY MOM, GIVE IT A REST ALREADY. Please.”
Jeremy dove in with his 6.5 inch steel piston and fucked me for all he was worth. And, let me tell you what... Jeremy's worth a billion gazillion bucks, and pound me he did.
I was going over the edge... and there wasn't anything I could do about it except to squeeze down with every ounce of strength that I had... and that is exactly what I did. Jeremy moaned loudly and I was saying all kinds of unintelligent musings as we both went over the top... he shot his hot molten lava into my rectal vault and surely on up to my gullet while I splashed the shower door with a dose of white hot nectar ejecting from that which designates me as male.
Post orgasmic... we didn't dilly dally around. We finished washing our bodies, rinsed and then jumped out of the shower and began drying. Finished first, I cautiously opened the door and looked all around. The door to my bedroom was closed and nobody, especially mom was anywhere to be seen so we took off and got dressed in our Sunday best attire.
William needed help with his tie so grumpily (brotherly grumpy mind you) I fixed it up just right for him. After all I did for him all I got in thanksgiving was a goose in the butt. Just as I readied myself for a retaliatory reaction mom appeared... which put a damper on my plans. Mom hugged me and behind her back I flipped William to the bird. His eyes got big and then he flipped me off back... just as dad rounded the corner and saw him.
I about creamed my jeans at seeing William getting a massive scolding from dad. Mom thought it was pretty funny too: she jabbed me in the ribs and asked what was going on, and why I was laughing when William was getting busted. Dad said something about breaking William's finger if he ever saw that again. Mom, with severe consternation in her face released me and told dad, “When you get finished with him take care of Jason... he seems to think its all funny.”
Dad didn't think the whole situation was funny at all. In turn I got my ass reamed for instigating a fight with my little brother. After providing a good long “heartfelt” lecture he left and went downstairs. Mom followed him. Just as she was heading down the stairs William flipped me the bird yet again and then tore out before I could respond.
I don't forget things.
William would feel my wrath. Just not right then.
But he would soon be on the receiving end of a well defined and executed plan to 'get even'.
Jeremy whispered in my ear, “I love you. Be nice on your dad tonight, okay? Act right.”
“You know how William and I are... but yeah, you're right... you ready?” I replied while looking into the mirror hanging in the hallway. He straightened my tie a bit and then we were off to join the family.
Dad was celebrating his first year away from the booze. From what he'd been back on the farm he was a changed man. We were damned proud of him for bringing our family back together... our lives were in fact better than they'd ever been. Gone were the days of uncertainty, dealing with his moods that were topsy turvy at any given moment, anger, and going off by himself to escape his demons. We didn't know what happened to him to change... maybe it was our move to Hawaii to begin a new life. This and he was also seeing a bunch of friends who shared in his plight. Life was good.
He asked us to share in the celebration... mom, William and I would share for a few minutes... if we wanted to share that is... we weren't required to... I wanted to... William didn't want to talk in front of a bunch of people.
Lots of people were at the meeting on the beach. A big food spread was prepared for a pot luck type dinner afterward. A lot of the men came over to me to shake my hand. Many, but not all of the women offered hugs, saying that I was a lucky dude for having dad as my father. They looked at Jeremy with interest. I knew they were wondering who he was, what relationship he was to the family, and why he was there... but they didn't press their questions after I said that he was a close family friend.
Dad asked me if he could share the 'come to Jesus' talk we had had in the trees that one summer day a few weeks before he moved our family to Maui. He asked me to share because that was his pivotal moment when he realized that is actions and attitudes sucked big time. It was also my pivotal moment because it was the moment that I realized that dad really did love me and William, and that I had some changes to make too. After dad and I talked about what he'd share and what he wouldn't share I agreed. I was a bit nervous because none of dad's friends really drew the point A to point B line that said he had a son who happened to be gay.
(Since his story is his then he needs to take over from here. Love ya dad. I'm proud of ya! Jason).
Thank you all for having me here this evening to share my story on my first anniversary sober. I know we all do this one day at a time but I've really looked forward to this moment because I really never thought it'd happen.
I'd like to talk about the pivotal moment in my life when I realized help was needed, where I realized my life was unmanageable, and the deciding moment when the booze no longer worked.
I looked to Jason and silently requested his permission to continue since much of my story included his journey to self acceptance. To think that I had something to do with his turning point boggled my mind. Whenever I thought about our 'coming to Jesus' talk that day it often brought tears to my eyes... I had no doubt that it would again both today and in the future.
Jason smiled and nodded.
I took in a very deep breath, looked out over my brothers and sisters on this journey to living a decent sober life, to my wife, to my youngest son William, and Jeremy, Jason's partner for life.
I'm grateful that my beautiful wife stuck with me. She was and continues to be my rock. I love you more than I did when we got married. I hope we've turned things around (Alice nodded).
The morning that everything changed started out like most all mornings. I was pissed, hung over, over burdened with keeping a farm operation going that had long ago began sinking like the Titanic did in the early 1900's. My wife and boys were melancholic and disturbed. Jason took off like he did most every morning.
There was something different that morning however, in that he took off for the far south pasture like a running deer. I noticed that he was growing up and was running like he had been running from me... fast, sure footed – almost springy like.
I decided to go after him... not because I was pissed or anything... something was going on in his head that he needed to run away from. I related. So, I got my cell phone, went to the porch to see if I could see where he went to. He'd disappeared.
Alice told me, “Let him be, Horace. He has a lot on his mind.”
I need to go back for a minute. The night before I had talked to my childhood friend about most all of the stuff me and our family was going through with the farm failing, the kids growing up, and a bunch of other things that I don't really feel right about sharing. Jim told me that he and his family were going to Disneyland the following week and wanted to invite my boys to go with them, with our permission. Without consulting with my wife I made the decision to let them go. And she was none too happy when I told her after the fact, as she should have been a part of the decision.
Alice was nodding her head. She then gave me the 'look' she gives our kids when they have overstepped that which they know better. I sheepishly smiled at her. Enough time had passed since then that she could smile about it too.
What I'm getting at is that up to that point it seemed like decisions were either mine or my wife's... not together. She was pissed, and like other times when she was upset with me she took off and went to the kitchen where one could hear pots and pans banging the old black cast iron stove and swearing up a storm in her native German language. Oh Lordy.
While I felt going out in the kitchen would be a dangerous move on my part, I went anyway. Mind you I kept quiet as a mouse but one cannot keep anything away from her like I was trying to. I should have known better than to try and sneak anything past her, since, after all we define insanity as doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.
While she let me get a cup of coffee, she made it perfectly clear that I was not welcome in HER kitchen so I made my exit only to run into William as he came out of his bedroom in a mad dash to the bathroom.
“Morning, sir.” William said with fear in his voice. He was afraid because he'd overslept our early wake up calls. While I didn't ream his butt my eyes bore holes into his being.
I asked him what his plans were because he had chores to do and was still not dressed. He said he was going to the bathroom but would be out in a second or two but before he went in he said, “Dad, Jason and I have that fence to fix up by the road. We should have it done by noon.”
I got to thinking about what I felt I needed to do that morning, and it started with Jason. I told my youngest son, “I want you to stay up here at the house until your brother and I get back. He and I have some semi-adult stuff to talk about privately. I’ll talk to you later, but right now Jason and I have some business to take care of.”
The thing was that I sounded harsher than I intended. The look of fear and sadness on his face is something that I hope I never forget. He asked me if he could use the restroom. My heart sunk even deeper into my chest as I thought ‘who in their right mind has to ask permission to relieve themselves?’ Immediately I answered yes. At the same time I asked myself what in the hell had I become? My boys were afraid of me. They're walking on eggshells, just as I had done as a boy myself. How many nights had I cried myself to sleep wanting nothing more than my father to accept me and love me in a way that I understood.
The healing adult relationship with my father never happened. I spent a good long time hating him and wishing for him to die. He did die. I'm ashamed to tell you that I never did cry. These days I feel no need to because I came to a point of acceptance... you guys and gals taught me all about acceptance of things I can't change.
I reached my hand to William. He flinched as if I were going to hit him. All I wanted to do is to pat his back and tell him that everything was going to be okay. I must have given him 'the look' because he stood in place, his eyes looking like bright light bulbs just waiting to blind him. Maybe he knew something that I didn't know. Cautiously, he allowed a pat on his back. He looked at me really strange like and then went on into the bathroom, locking the door behind him. How many times had I told the boys to not lock the bathroom door, for any reason, what if they needed us because they fell in the shower, got a bad case of the cramps, or just needed to talk privately?
I started to say something through the door but I just stood there for a minute or two and didn't say anything.
Putting that all aside, at least for the moment, I passed through the kitchen on my way to the barn and on beyond. Alice told me in no uncertain words, along with a few German expletives thrown in for good measure for me to leave Jason alone, to let him be, that he'd do his chores to my specifications – he always had even when he was a little tyke.
Much to Alice's disapproval I left the house anyway and headed toward the direction I'd seen Jason go. All I heard was silence, save for the breeze blowing quite a clip.When I got to the barn I saw and heard its door banging against the frame. Immediately, I got angry at him for being so irresponsible. At first I lost focus of why I was there in the first place but then remembered why and at what he'd left that morning.
I went into the building. Because of the wind blowing wildly he did not hear me until I called out his name. It was then that I heard some noise from what sounded like activity in the loft. The rest of the story is between me and Jason.
(I did not and needed not tell them that when Jason appeared and he was zipping up his pants, and trying to cover up a wet splotch on his jeans).
I gave him quite a ration for leaving the door open, despite my resolution to not give it to him just a few minutes before.
In any event I walked out without saying anything, and waited at the door until he came down.
While I was waiting I saw a red fox sitting at the corner of the barn. He looked at me intently and did not move. I started to walk to it but the fox just sat on its haunches with his eyes never leaving mine. To think that fox wasn't afraid of me... something inside of me snapped – I became calm and realized my anger was not the way to deal with the situation.
Jason appeared in the doorway and stood away probably 3 feet or more. The look in his eyes... well, he was afraid.(Both Jason and William were looking at me intently. William then did something I'd not seen him do... he turned to Jason and patted his arm then whispered something into his ear).
Jason's demeanor changed from fear to determination. I suppose it was a determination to please me once again. “I’m sorry for taking so long, sir. I was up in the loft checking the hay to see if it was ripe or not. As soon as we fix the fencing we'll get right on loading the truck up with some bales to take into the fields. Can I go now, sir?”
I replied that no he couldn't go anywhere, without me. I told him that from time to time a boy needs time to his self, you know to collect his thoughts, to dream, to just play, and to decide who and what he is, then become okay with what he finds.
He was shocked at hearing me say something like that. He continued to look at me like I'd lost my last marble. To him, to his way of thinking I probably had indeed lost my last marble when I walked to him and pulled him into a sideways, semi hug, and then led him out of the barn and began walking toward a pasture south of the house and barn.
“Come on, boy. We have a chore long overdue that needs to be done sooner rather than later. Fences and weeds can wait this one out a spell. This one chore will hopefully last a lifetime; it cannot be put off any longer.”
Jason was scared nearly out of his boots. He was quick to profusely apologize... though he didn't know what he was apologizing for... he didn't have anything to apologize for but he didn't know that.
“Yes, sir. What tools should I bring?”
“The only tools that are required are honesty, open mindedness and willingness. Tongue and ears are a prerequisite, of course.“ I replied. Jason visibly squirmed inside of his boots.
Together, we closed the barn door and secured it with a chain lock so that it didn't blow open. The door was old, heavy, and in need of rebuilding but at the same time it did what it was designed to do.
“Let's go for a walk. We have some things to talk about. Don't worry; you're not in any trouble, boy. We just need to talk.” As we took off, Jason very cautiously walked probably 2 or 3 feet away, I said, “When I was a young boy and had a problem to work out I headed deep into the woods, sat on a stump of a long ago fallen down tree and listened to the birds do their bird things, frogs do their frog things, the crickets do its cricket things and mainly I listened to the wind blow through the trees high above my head. I did my best thinking there because I felt like somebody when I was alone.”
Jason looked at me knowingly. He said, “Yes, sir. I’ve done that a few times, but not recently.”
“Do you think that stump'll allow two people to sit on its rim?”
“I think so, sir. I haven’t been down there for quite a while actually.”
“I understand. I haven’t been here in a coons’ age either.”
Arriving at the edge of the woods didn't take too long. We then made our way into the tree line by stepping through the broken limbs, tree branches, and high weeds with cockleburs, thistle and other such things, surely to keep humans away.
We arrived at the destination no worse for the wear. For a brief fleeting second I thought I saw a smile had crossed Jason’s face, but then just as quickly was replaced with his ‘normal’ stoic face and movement as if he were on a mission to some unknown place far away, like he was afraid.
Jason waited until I was seated before facing me with a questioning look on his face. He seemed to answer his own question and sat down on the grass in front of me. His gaze then went to his lap. He quickly looked up to me with fear in his eyes at seeing what he saw. Quickly, he averted his gaze to the bottom of the stump where my feet were located.
There are parts of my story, of Jason's story that I do not talk about. I will say that Jason thought he was going to be beat for something but I just told him everything was okay, to not worry. He shrugged his shoulders disbelieving my words.
I wondered where my family's smiles and good natured fun had disappeared to. I started realizing some things when Jason asked, “Sir, may I ask you question?”
“Yes, of course you can.”
“Why did we come here?” Jason asked sadly.
It was true. I had indeed saw a tear drop from his eye a while ago because another one dropped down his cheek that he quickly wiped away hoping against all hope that it had not been noticed.
But notice I did. My throat constricted. My chest took on heaviness, like it was going to stop doing what it was designed to do – breathe. I recovered quickly though. I'd taught Jason and William to look a man in his eyes when they were talking to one another. Jason noted my time lapse but didn't say anything or move... I think he was confused. (Jason, in the audience, nodded. While I wouldn't swear to it... did I see that his eyes had become wet?)
When I was recovered, I said to Jason, “Long ago, <cough> a friend and I came down here, which by its appearance has not changed all that much with the passage of time. It's the same as I remembered it would be, as if no time had passed at all. It was here where we pledged solidarity and companionship to each other forevermore plus a million years at least.”
“So what does that have to do with us being here now, dad?” Jason asked softly with an uncomprehendingly innocent look on his face, his eyes looking up deeply into mine for an answer to his question, a question that meant a lot to him.
“We’ve never been here before, Jason. Not together anyway. Not you and I. In fact, I've not been here with your mother since the day I proposed to her, and I’ve never been here with William either.”
“William is spooked by this place. He doesn’t like it. I tried to bring him, but he refused. He ran away back to the house, crying.” Jason said.
“You're a strong son, Jason. You're strong a person. You're going to be a strong man, but gentle.” I said. Jason looked down to the ground somewhere in the middle of that triangle made from his two leg calves and the front of his jeans.
A realization came over him because he looked back up into my eyes... then his gaze disappeared back into the grass again, “I don’t know about that, sir.”
“Jason, look up here at me. We need to reach an understanding. I’m not all that good at words that require putting my feelings out on the table. You need to see my eyes so that you know I am telling you the absolute and unvarnished truth.”
Jason looked up at me, frightened.
“You're not in trouble, Jason. Just know that I’m winging this one, okay?”
Jason nodded then he stared off behind me, just over my shoulder and behind my ear. He then picked a blade of water grass from the ground, stuck in his mouth and with slightly pursed lips started sucking on it gently.
Looking up at me intently, Jason asked “Permission to speak freely, sir? And I mean freely?”
“Absolutely, please do. I also ask your permission to speak freely. We both have some stuff to talk about. We might as well be honest about our concerns.”
Jason nodded then spoke very slowly “Sir, I've tried to be a good son by following the rules, standing in line, shouldering up to whatever it was that you needed me to do, listening to and obeying your orders because I knew doing so would make me a good man in your eyes. It's nice to know that I succeeded. I know that you love me in your own way, as do I you. Perhaps I am just a dumb fuck for not understanding why we're here.”
“You will not speak of yourself in that manner. Do you understand?”
“No dad. We came down here... and I don't know why. All I've heard is fuckin go to bed, fuckin fix that fuckin fence, you fuck, and you left the god damned fuckin gate open AGAIN! Shit for brains. Put the fuckin toilet seat down god damn it. Put the fuckin toilet lid up. Stop beating on your brother... and oh yeah, close the fuckin barn door. What the fuck dad?” Jason screamed, his eyes blazing like two red hot pokers.
Despite my protests and direct orders for him to stay, Jason got up and walked away.
As he walked towards the open field, he stumbled and fell hard against broken tree limbs in his way, got up and trudged ahead falling again then took off at a gallop once he made it out of the physical obstacle course laid out before him.
As he ran, he looked like a running deer until he stopped in the middle of the field, went to his knees, bowed his head and then beat the ground with his fists until his rage was expended. I watched him as he sat back on his butt with his head down shaking back and forth, then quiet. He was quiet.
“Good Lord, what have I done?” I said bowing my head reverently as a Paul Simon song came into my head which sang:
Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Within the sound of silence
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
"Fools", said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you"
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
In the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls"
And whispered in the sounds of silence
(© Paul Simon (from the single Sounds of Silence)) Sounds of Silence
Slowly, with my head hanging low, with the tune still playing through my mind I headed to where Jason sobbed out cries of how worthless he was, how nobody loved him, how nobody understood him, and how he was surely a failure in our eyes.
(By that time tears were freely flowing down my cheeks and onto my suit jacket. Jason's eyes were wet. William was looking at me with only love in his eyes. Alice... well Alice got up from her seat and walked to the podium and took my arm in hers.)
“Jason, William, will you please join us? To you in the audience, this alcoholism stuff is a family disease; it affects our families in the same way even though they don't drink into oblivion.” Alice said as I groped for words to say as the tears in Jason's eyes began flowing freely and dripping onto his nice suit jacket.
Both boys got up from their seats, Jason was reluctant, as he had always been when his emotions got the best of him. I met them halfway, gave William a deep, deep hug then pulled Jason in for an even firmer hug. I wiped the tears from his eyes and said, “I love you, son. I'm sorry. I'm trying to make it right for your mom, brother, you and myself too. It's all going to take time but we'll be okay with time.”
Jason nodded into my chest, and then we took off for the podium where Alice and William were waiting patiently. William took his place in front of me while Jason and Alice stood at each side. Their undying love broke me down to the point where I couldn't speak until the moment passed. When the moment passed, or when I thought it had, I tried speaking again but once again got choked up.
Jason reached for the microphone, turned it toward him, and said, “What happened next was dad taking me into his arms, holding me tight and then told me that he loved me, William, mom, and our family then apologized for being such an ass and that he was going to get some help with his problems. He really wasn't angry at us so much as he was angry at himself and his dad. I understand that now because, well I've been there, and luckily dad and I made our peace that day.”
Jason put his arm around my back. I know it sounds the opposite of a father-son relationship but the boy gave me strength and the ability to get hold of my emotions so I could continue the talk.
Anyway, thanks, uhm, my son and I – we're getting ourselves back into the ability to talk. I believe we are given those moments but a few times in life... well, we made it count. It was the beginning of our new life, and the beginning of the end to our old life. Jason wanted to say a few words so here's my son Jason K. I love you boy. And that goes for you too young man (speaking to William).
I then did something that probably embarrassed William. I picked him up, slung him over my shoulder then grabbed Alice's hand, and then returned us to our seats in the audience.
Jason began speaking by thanking the audience and his friends for being there for him as he worked his own problems out with their help and guidance.
Yeah dad, our talk was kind of emotional... no it was emotional... that talk down there was and still is the deepest conversation we've ever had. It made us okay with each other, that we could see things through without going all ballistic and stuff.
Do you remember carrying me up to the barn? Yeah, my dad picked me up and carried me to the barn... worse yet was that he climbed the stairs leading to the loft, and then he tossed me into the hay (Jason was grinning from ear to ear).
We rough housed around for a while then he pulled me into his arms and held on tight. For the first time in a long time I felt safe talking to him about some things that were bugging me... you know about personal things, “Dad, there's something that I need to tell you about me. Please don’t hate me. I can't change what I'm thinking and feeling even though I've tried. Believe me when I tell you I wish it wasn't true... anyway, I came to grips with it about 2 months ago up here in this loft. It, my acceptance came... dad, I was ready to... uhm, well, as you know it's a long way down from up here...”
The crowd hushed; you could have heard a pin drop onto the tiled floor... I nodded with encouragement for him to continue as it was his pivotal moment.
He continued after recovering: Dad told me that he couldn't ever hate me, that he loved me regardless no matter what and more importantly that God loved me just as I am, and always would, despite what the preachers were saying in our Sunday school classes and in the preachers' sermons. Dad said God don't make no junk.
Their words kept going through my mind. Dad, I had to test you out to see where you really were... I told him that because the preachers said the Bible said it was wrong, depraved and damned to hell for all eternity. So, I’ve been real confused between what I hear and what I know inside of myself. I hear what you say about God loving me and you loving me, but I need to know for sure. I don’t know how to say it without it sounding nasty and filthy and sinful.
I told dad that I didn't like girls THAT way. I tried but it didn't work, no matter how hard I'd tried.
Dad asked me if I was gay. I had to say yes, that I thought I was. He never took his arms from around me instead, if anything, his grip tightened. I got pretty upset because he didn't say anything.
“It is kind of embarrassing, dad but I've been with two girls... and well it didn't work out.”
Dad looked at me real shocked like because he hadn't even known that I'd had two girlfriends and had tried... you know...
(Whether or not anyone else in the room understood... I did and that was all that had mattered to my oldest son. Although I'd been taught the same things he had been taught there comes a time in your life where you have to determine, for yourself, if it was true or a lie or simply a perception held by unknowing individuals).
Anyway, that was the day I came out, and is the day where our lives changed, and that was the day when we decided that having the farm was not the most important things in our lives, that instead our family was and is still today the most important asset a person can ever have. Thanks.”
With that Jason walked to his family and pulled me into a deep, deep hug and held on while Alice and William joined in. Nobody was in a hurry to release.
My friends began clapping. With that Jason buried his face into my chest, held on tight, and shook... my boy was sobbing, and he was holding onto me for love and support. I buried my face into his gold auburn hair and shed a few tears of my own. I repeated the same thing with William and then Alice as Jason recovered from his emotional moment.
Jason turned to Jeremy who replaced my arms with his. Jason had always been discreet with his emotions and displays of affection but he changed that day when he made the first move to and completed a chaste kiss on his boyfriend's lips. You could barely tell they did unless you were paying attention.
I walked back to the podium, cleared my throat and took a sip of water then continued.
You guys and gals have taught me so much about acceptance of things I cannot change. These lessons in life 101 have been invaluable to our family because we've all had to accept things that were not pleasant. The most notable, was the loss of the family farm. It had been in our family for at least 3 generations, possibly 4. That was hard to handle, especially when we signed the deed over to a corporate company to farm the property.
But, on the flip side a new opportunity presented itself just at the right time. Not only do we have more pay and benefits but we have a beautiful home here in Maui, good strong and long lasting friends, and a great big extended family. My wife and I are better than we've ever been... I never really knew the toll that juggling bills, the kids, my booze, and her own issues, had put on her. Alice, I love you and thank you for sticking with me.
Thank you for having me speak. This really means the world to my family. Thank you again.
*** To be continued