While Adam was finishing up cooking dinner out on the grill, I busied myself by setting the plates and silverware, pulled two Cokes from the refrigerator and poured them over ice in glasses, and then, on second thought, pulled out a beer for Adam, popped the top and took it to him out on the deck.
Out of the blue I asked, "Can I have one?" I'd never before thought about drinking alcohol… it was just something that never crossed my mind. Adam didn't drink all that much, really he didn't, though when he did, said it helped him to relax.
I needed to relax.
"One what?" Adam said while dousing a bunch of flames with his beer.
Then it dawned on him what I was asking for… his eyes lit up like a burst of energy on the 4th of July, "No. You cannot have a beer… sheesh… do you want to get me into trouble?"
A sinking feeling settled into the pit of my stomach to the point of just about making me want to puke… I didn't want to cause him any MORE problems! He'd had enough problems because of ME…
"Go get me a plate. The kabobs are just about ready, please." Adam said seriously as he continued to fight the fire.
I grabbed a plate off the table, and in my hurry to get it to him, I fell to the floor. The plate went one way and I dropped like a rock, landing on my hip, the one that got operated on. For a moment, I was paralyzed with the fear that I'd fucked it up, then it began aching, but it wasn't too bad… I got up, and felt fine… at least physically, until I looked at the mess I'd made all over the floor. Shards of glass were everywhere… the broken, shattered plate was from the 'favorite' set of dishes that Adam had purchased in Italy on one of his photographic journeys. He was so proud of them. He'd not used them for everyday use before… they were saved for special occasions… and, well, I thought our day was special…
"I NEED A PLATE!!" Adam hollered from outside… apparently he hadn't heard the plate break…
I stood in place, unable to move, but, I wasn't able to move, not because my hip only ached 'a little', but because of seeing the mess all over the place… and knowing that I'd caused it. I caused every fucking thing to go bad, why were they going to extremes to make sure I was okay… I just didn't get it. I just didn't understand why they were going out of their way…
Everybody tells me to just be myself.
"I'm a fuck up. I can't do anything right. They were right – I'm a mistake waiting to happen." Those were the thoughts going through my head, and slicing my heart to ribbons.
"JAMES – GET ME A DAMN PLATE! DINNER IS BURNING!!!! Fuck…"
Then I heard the tongs bang hard on the metal grill, footsteps on the wood deck approaching, then I saw him enter the kitchen… he was glaring, and he was not happy. "I asked you to get me a plate."
"STOP! I broke a plate… glass is everywhere… don't come in…" I shouted angrily. No, wait, I screamed from the top of my lungs! I'd reached my juncture… I couldn't take any more.
"Are you okay? Are you hurt?" Adam asked decisively.
"I'm fine… I'M ALWAYS FINE!" I shouted, then took off for my bedroom, slammed shut the door, and then took a flying leap for my bed, I mean for Adam's bed in Adam's house. Why he had me around was anybody's guess.
Bed was not where I wanted to be. It was the absolute last place I wanted to be. Old feelings, determined feelings, those feelings of needing to be on my own began creeping into my psyche, and then took me over.
I got up, went to the dresser Adam had bought for 'the' room, opened one of the bottom drawers and fetched out a Wal-Mart bag, retrieved a handful of underwear, a pair of shorts, two shirts, three pairs of socks… and then stuffed them into the bag, put on my shoes, tied them up, went into the bathroom, peed, grabbed my toothbrush and toothpaste, a bar of soap, and the bottle of shampoo. I squeezed the stuff inside, headed for the door, opened it slightly ajar, looked into the common area to see if Adam was anywhere around. I didn't see him, so I crept out and headed for the front door. I put my hand on the knob to turn it, but, was stopped by Adam's voice, "Don't forget your bicycle. You'll get further that way. I told you before that I'm not forcing you to stay here… that staying here is your choice. James, by law I have to report you missing if you leave the property without permission… you do not have my permission to leave. You do have permission to help me clean up the glass. You have my permission to eat with me – the kabobs are very well done but they aren't a disaster. You do have permission to help me clean up the kitchen so that we can go swimming for an hour or two… but I understand if you need to leave… I've been there, done that, and what I found to be true was: wherever I went … well, I went along for the ride."
I turned around to look at him… but he'd already left and disappeared into the kitchen, which was not viewable from my vantage point.
I put my hand on the knob, turned it, opened the door, and then reached for the screen door with the thought that I'd make it on my own… I'd done it before … until the adults started fucking up my plans, and I got hit by that fucking car which slowed me down to a crawl.
Adam said very softly, "James."
The way he said it, not angrily, but what I would learn to mean as 'parentally'. I turned my head to the direction of his voice. In his hand he had the house phone. He was holding it out to see that he meant business, about calling the cops. I turned back to the door and squeezed the lever latch. It was then that I heard the 'beep beep' signaling the phone being turned on. Not turning back, I said, "I broke one of your Italy dishes… I'm sorry… I'll pay you back someday."
"It's just a plate."
"No, it's not just any old plate…"
"It's just a plate. I will not call the police because you broke a plate. Shit happens."
"I fuck everything up."
"You're a boy. Did I tell you about the time I purposefully smashed my mother's fine china?"
That got my attention. I still had my hand on the door knob, but, I turned to where I could see his face… "You did?"
"I did. She wasn't home. James, that's when I took off. I never returned. I ran, and I kept running. Is that what you're going to do? If you are, then I understand because I've been there done that. The only little problem is that I have to call the police if you leave. I have no choice. I am also responsible for feeding you… so if I have to, I'll drag you into the kitchen and force those delectable kabobs down your throat. Don't worry, I'll remove the skewers before cramming the food down into your empty stomach."
"You aren't pissed?"
"Yeah, I'm pissed. Dinner is getting cold. If you leave, I'll make the phone call, then I'll sit down to eat while the cops are on their way… whether or not you stay, I eat."
My stomach grumbled. Then it grumbled again, and again. I was doing just fine until he mentioned that four letter F bomb. I had no money… I wondered where it was because I didn't have it in the hospital… from the ache in my hip I knew I wouldn't get far before They caught up with me.
I turned back to the door when Adam walked back into the kitchen. I opened the screen door, then shut it, then opened it again, closed it, opened it just a little further, looked back – Adam was not in sight… I could go… or I could stay. The words from the caseworker came back into my head – the only next alternative was Juvenile Hall where I'd stay until I was 18 years old. That would be 6 years, locked up. I leaned my head against the door jam, dropped the sack to the floor, and just stood there, unable to decide… I mean, I wanted to stay, kinda, maybe, sorta, and maybe I wanted to meet that family… but I'd have to come up with a plan to fuck up the initial meeting… so that they didn't want me, to prove my thoughts, what I knew to be true, true.
No, that didn't make any sense either. Nothing made any sense, really.
I'd never seen Adam angry, about anything, so I wasn't sure what he looked like when he was… he didn't look pissed… but then again he was usually always cool, calm and collected… except when he got excited about something… like when I rode my new bike for the first time, or the time when he caught me and Seth in an 'exciting' position… well, then again, he got pretty well pissed off at my mom… I had no doubt that he'd have hurt her, if he hadn't been handcuffed BECAUSE OF ME!
The smell of well done kabobs filtered through the air. Grumble. Growl.
Then the most unexpected thing happened: I guess I'd tuned out everything around me while I was 'thinking'. I felt myself being hugged from behind. Those huge, monster arms of Adam's encircled my arms together in front of my chest, and then they wrapped themselves around me completely. All of a sudden I felt safe and protected from 'out there'. I even felt safe from 'in there', you know, inside my head.
Very softly Adam said, "The family… they have special needs kids. One of the boys they took in doesn't talk. Something horrific happened to him… he lost his ability to speak. I don't know what happened to him, they wouldn't say. They have another boy who was stuck in a trash can, and left to die. His twin brother did die. There was nothing his older could do to help his little brother."
"They have two children of their own… they are older… I think one is 13 and the other is 16. I don't believe, not for one second, that you are the only child who had a crappy upbringing. Just like them, you have an opportunity of your young lifetime. And… You won't be living there like 'hand outs' or charity. All the children, even the ones who were abused, have jobs to do around the farm. You'll have plenty of wide open spaces. They have ponds to fish in. I do understand that they have a large creek running across their place… and that it is used… with kids around… you can bet that it is swam in, too."
"And, oh yeah, their mother saw a picture of you, taken at your birthday party back at the hospital… Tony said she cried at seeing you so frail and skinny… that was the only picture we had, James."
"You knew about them before…" I said, somewhat angrily.
"James, Tony's brother is their attorney. We had to get paperwork with the state cleared and put into order. Uhm, James, all the paperwork and stuff means nothing to you, really. I'll tell you what… if you don't like them and they don't like you, then I'll let you go, and I'll take you to wherever you want to go. Is that a deal?"
I turned around to face Adam. He wrapped his arms around my back and I put mine around his waist, squeezed, and then we headed into the kitchen. About halfway there, Adam stopped, looked deep into my eyes, and he saw something I didn't see… he said, leaving me no option but to answer, truthfully, "You're hurt. Did you get cut?"
"No. I didn't get cut. I kinda sorta fell… that's how the plate got broke…"
"You fell? You're limping, James. That's why I asked. How bad is it?" He said, then without waiting for a reply, he lowered my shorts, pushed my underwear up and looked carefully at my hip, leg and foot to make sure that nothing was cut, and to determine if I had any bruises.
"It just aches, some, not too bad… I can get around… it's no big deal." I replied faithfully.
"I'm going to get you into the orthopedic surgeon tomorrow morning to get checked out. You're only a couple of weeks out from a big operation… you have to go, James, there is no negotiation. Let's eat and I'll give you a couple of aspirins."
Adam nuked the kabobs which had gotten cold, for obvious reasons. They were pretty singed, but they weren't burned, and well, they tasted delicious. I ate two 12 inch kabobs by myself. My favorite – they had steak meat, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, zucchini, and generous portions of sliced tomatoes. And, geezus, Adam likes lots of garlic on his grilled food. So did I, for that matter.
As we were clearing away the dishes and putting them in the dishwasher, I asked, "When will I be going there, you know, for good?"
"That's a good question. Because we have to go through the 'channels' and 'rules' of the state, you'll be spending weekends with them for at least 6 months. This way, you'll get to know them, and they'll get to know you. Mr. Good said that if you are all getting along okay, then they'll consider a temporary placement at about 2 months. It all depends on how well you all mesh together, if you mesh, of course. James, give it a chance, okay? Do that for me."
"And, James, if you decide you need to get away from there… I'm only a phone call away. They will be obligated to report your absence. If you run from there, then all bets are off, you'll be spending the rest of your childhood locked up, and there would be nothing we could do about it. Give it your best shot. And, James…"
I looked deep into his eyes, nodded, and waited for him to continue.
"Just be yourself. Don't intentionally go into this to mess things up. I know you well enough to know that this has at least crossed your mind."
There he goes telling me to be myself. Annoyed, I said, "I don't know who I am or what I'm supposed to be… things are pretty messed up, you know."
Adam tossed my hair down into my eyes, gave me a nuggie, and then said, "You're okay for being a punk kid. Your brain is way overheated, which means only one thing!"
Without time to react or respond, Adam picked me up, carried me like a sack of potatoes, and gingerly tossed keys, pocket change, his wallet, and his glasses to the floor on our way to the pool, where he jumped into the water – with me screaming and crying "NO!"
Too late. Clothes and all, filters or no filters, we went to the bottom, fully dressed, shoes and all.
No more than 30 minutes later, flashes of light off in the southwest sky drove us from the pool. Adam carefully explained that being around water during a thunderstorm was an absolute no no because it is a great conductor for electrical current. Knowing that Adam's a stickler for dragging water through the house, as soon as we entered the kitchen, with some difficulty, I stripped bare to the skin and put my clothes into the laundry room, and took off for the bathroom to take a quick shower before the storm hit.
First thing was first, though. I sat down on toilet, and was positive that I was about to give birth to a 10 pound baby. The first one felt like it was going to tear me in half. Slowly, excruciatingly sharply painful, I gave birth to that fucker, and much to my dismay, I had to scream in order for it to drop. I tried to muffle it, but, still it came out much louder than I'd intended. My bedroom door was closed, as was the bathroom door, so, I didn't get Adam's attention, which was a good thing, really, I guess. The rest of the bombs departed successfully, without so much drama involved.
The thunder was getting louder and louder, and I heard rain drops hitting the ceiling windows, so I jumped into the shower, nearly literally, washed down very quickly, saving my hair for another time, then jumped out and dried off. I wrapped a towel around my midsection, then bypassing my room, I half-ran, half walked into the family room where Adam was watching the local news channel. I sat down next to him, drew his arms around me, and melted into his side, jumping with each crash of thunder. The weather man came on and said that we were having a normal summer-time thunderstorm, and that there was nothing to worry about. Easy for him to say.
Thirty minutes, or so, later, the storm was history. All you could hear were rumbles of thunder off in the distance, and they were getting fainter and fainter as the minutes went by.
I didn't realize I was so sleepy until I was awakened by Adam carrying me to my bedroom where he stood me in front of the toilet. Autopilot took over. During the process, my towel fell off and landed on the floor around my feet… I didn't care. He'd seen me before, so seeing me again was no big deal. I never even really thought about, so I'm wondering why I even wrote this down, now.
Finished peeing, I had to sit down, and there I blew some serious air into the sewer system, and dropped a couple of tiny turd droplets into the water, that was all there was to it, thankfully, as I didn't want a repeat performance, especially since Adam was patiently waiting in the doorway for me to finish up. I tore off some tissue paper, wiped, and then was ready to drop it in when Adam exclaimed, "I'm sorry, James, I didn't mean to watch you… but your paper has blood on it, lots of it. I'm going to get us dressed then I'm taking you to the ER. That's not normal."
I didn't want to go to any ER… not then… not ever. I said, "I gave birth to a grownup turd earlier… it stings, but I'm okay. No hospitals. Please. Seriously, I'm fine."
"Why didn't you call me?" Adam said 'parentally' … that's the second time I'd heard that tone in his voice that evening…
"I didn't know I was bleeding." I said while tearing off another piece of paper, wiped again, then looked at the paper and saw that it was streaked with blood.
Then, in front of God, Adam, and whoever else who might have been watching from above, if you believe that stuff, I grabbed the jar of hand lotion, scooped up a small amount, and then applied it to my hole, which provided immediate relief from the burn and itch 'back there'. In the process, I boned up at about 50 percent full staff. "There, I'm good to go… watch out, please…" I said then muscled my way between him and the sink where I washed my hands, adequately. I then leaned across the vanity and flushed.
I then walked into my bedroom, drew the covers down, crawled in, pulled the covers up and over my belly. Adam followed, and once I got comfortable he said, "You drive a hard bargain, James. Now, I don't know what I'm looking for, but, I want to see your butt, roll over on your side, no arguments, or I'll take you to the ER, I'll manhandle you if necessary." Although Adam said the last part of his speech lightheartedly, the look in his eyes said he'd do just that.
The weight of the covers had caressed my dick, causing it to extend to its fullest extension, so I rolled over completely onto my stomach, burying my hardness into the soft down mattress like thing. I reached around, separated my butt cheeks, thus exposing myself to the world… or at least to Adam's eyes. Nobody, other than a doctor and Seth had I given permission to see my most private place in the whole world. He separated my cheeks a little bit more then pulled the covers to cover me up. He said, "Like I said, I don't know what I was looking for… but I don't see anything bad wrong… we'll have the doctor take a peek down there tomorrow."
"Thanks, Adam. I'm okay, seriously. I just had a seriously serious monster shit… and it nearly tore me in half. Don't worry; I don't do that all the time."
Adam sat down on the edge of the bed, looked into my eyes, and humbly asked, "James, your private life is yours… but does, I mean, well, does it hurt when you and Seth… he's a lot bigger… I mean… oh hell…"
I snickered, but then seriously said, "That's pretty private and personal… uhm, well, you've been honest with me… sometimes it hurts… he's gentle though, but, that turd wasn't. Adam?"
I turned onto my back.
"Mmm hmm." Adam replied while pulling the covers up and over my chest. He leaned in and kissed my cheek with his lips… quickly.
I replied, having second thoughts, "Nevermind…"
"What? You started it, remember?"
"No, you started it…"
And so it went… we got into a word battle of "you started it…" "No, you started it…"
After calling a truce, once again, he took off, shut the ceiling light off, exited my room, leaving the door wide open "… in case I needed him". Okay. Kewl. Whatever.
I drew up my legs so that my feet were flat on the mattress, reached down to that which designates me as male, teased it into a full erection, and then had my way with myself, and ended up with three or four drops of a salty like fluid on my belly, which I quickly lapped up. And then sleep found my tired and satiated mind and body.
Damn… Adam's voice brought me up and out of a coma. He was saying such things as to get up, that it was getting late, that we needed to leave within the hour so that I could be seen in the orthopedic surgeon's office at noon. I looked at the clock. It read 10:15am. Sheesh, I'd never slept that late in all my life. As soon as I acknowledged 'awake' he took off and I bounded out of bed, and fell flat on my face as I got tangled up in the covers which I'd tossed off sometime during the night. No harm done though my hip was stiff and sore… kind of like it was right after the surgery. I'm glad Adam didn't see me fall… I didn't want him to have a cow.
I went into the bathroom, peed, then tore off some tissue paper, wiped my butt, and found that it didn't have any more blood on it. Nevertheless, I reached for the hand cream, scooped a finger full out, and then applied it to and inside my hole… yeah! It was clean. In the meantime, I sat down on the toilet, expelled some gas, took hold of my appendage, and brought myself to a successful conclusion, and then took a quick shower.
Naked and starved, I took off for the kitchen where a bowl of cold cereal awaited devastation. In short order, that was finished. Adam shooed me off to get dressed because we needed to leave.
Dr. Kleinfelter was waiting for us. He was in the office between surgeries, and he made a point to let me know that he was giving up his lunch to see two patients. I thought he was a total asshole but he thoroughly examined my leg and hip, ordered an x-ray, which took us to the hospital to have done because their machine was down and out of order.
An hour later, his demeanor had changed entirely; in fact he was welcoming and congenial. He showed me the x-rays, explained about the two screws the doctors in Kansas City put in there to stabilize the fracture, and then explained that I'd just bruised the muscles, and that he saw nothing wrong or bad on the display monitor.
Adam cleared his throat as I began putting on my jeans. I looked to see why he was doing that, and then I remembered what he'd said the night before. I said, "Doctor, I have a little problem… I gave birth to a hella turd last night. Anyway, I'm bleeding down there a little bit… could, would you take a look to make sure nothing bad happened… you know…"
Without waiting for an answer, I dropped my underwear to the floor, bent over the exam table, and pulled my cheeks apart. I heard him scoot the roller chair and felt him push my hand away and spread them himself. He muttered something about his being a bone doctor, not a butt doctor, but he then scrounged around and found lube and a glove. Obviously, the guy wasn't experienced in that 'area' of the anatomy as his examination was rough and inexperienced, and quick, in fact, so quick that it hurt when he removed his finger because I squeezed down hard.
After removing the glove, he said, "You have a large fissure on your right side. You need to see a surgeon, a regular surgeon… I'm a bone surgeon. I don't see these very often, in fact, to be perfectly honest, I haven't performed a rectal examination since I was in med school… you can get dressed."
"Thanks, doctor, but I'd rather not see a butt surgeon… This hasn't happened before… I'll just be more careful next time… you know, I'll eat some prunes or something…" I said while snapping the top snap on my jeans.
That cracked him up… what was so funny? Even Adam chuckled. Adam pointed to my zipper. I had a fully fledged bone sticking out from the opening, which I'd forgotten to zip up. Heh heh heh… I turned around, carefully pushed it inside the boy cave and zipped up. He wrote a prescription for some cortisone cream to put on 3 times a day and after each crapola… before, too, if I could manage it.
As we got in the truck to leave the parking lot I said to Adam, "Can we go to my farm? I want to show it to you."
Adam started the huge engines of that truck and said, "Take me to your leader… your wish is my command!"
"Kewl… can we drive by the house… just one more time… I want to put that part of my life behind me… please?"
"Are you sure that's a good idea… you went through so much there… I'm just thinking of you…"
"Yeah, it's fine. They can't hurt me anymore, right Adam?" I asked, hoping against all hope, that my parents, those people who gave birth to me, had no more control over me, in any way.
"Like I've said again and again, James, if anybody hurts you or tries to hurt you then they have me to answer to…. that goes for Tony, too! Okay, just this once. We're not stopping, do you hear me?" Adam said 'parentally' … sheesh, that's the 3rd time in two days that he used that tone of voice while speaking to me… I nodded.
We drove by the park, where I'd run away to, where we'd done photo shoots… mostly good memories were in the park, unlike the place where I'd lived for 11 years of my life.
I guess Adam saw something in me that I couldn't see. He said, turning on the block before the street I'd lived on, "No, you're not yet ready to see your old house. Let's go home."
I really didn't feel bad that we didn't go by there. He was right… I wasn't yet ready.
A sudden sense of nausea came up and over me, and then a violent urge to puke… I screamed, "STOP!" Before he'd even stopped the car, I opened the door, leaned out and lost it. Meanwhile he grabbed hold of a belt loop to keep me from falling out of the still moving vehicle, until he pulled to a curb and stopped.
The nausea passed.
I checked around to make sure my clothes, and especially Adam's truck wasn't splattered – thankfully, they weren't. I closed the door, and we were on our way, stopping at the pharmacy to get the prescription filled and a bottle of Gatorade.
When we got back to the truck, I scrunched down in the seat, unsnapped my jeans, took them down around my ankles. Adam handed me the tube after he'd gnawed off the pressure cuff holding the stuff in. I asked, "How much am I supposed to do?"
"Until you feel it. You'll know."
God, that stuff felt good… cool, soothing.
I handed him the tube and got myself together while he started up the engine, put it in gear, and slowly started backing out of the parking place. I put on my seat-belt, and said, "Adam, can we go home and get the photography equipment… I'd like to take pictures of my farm so that I can remember it? You can take pictures of me there, too… if you want to…"
An hour and a half later, we arrived. The place had grown over … I mean the weeds had grown up… I almost missed the place… but saw it too late to safely stop and turn in. Adam took us to the next intersection half a mile later, turned around and soon found somewhere to park on what used to be somewhat of a driveway. When he shut down the powerful engine, I opened the door, slid out, ran around to the other side, grabbed his hand and took him into the 'house' where I showed him around. Someone else had been there since my last visit… beer bottles were scattered about in 'my' room, you know, the room where I'd stripped and hid my clothes… were old blankets were scattered about in both bedrooms. I wondered why they were there, but then Adam took my hand and led me out, saying, nonchalantly, "Looks like a party house. No worry. You have more to show me, don't you?"
"Oh yeah, definitely. Let's get the camera." I said happily, feeling at 'home' there at someone else's farmstead, even though it was abandoned, obviously.
I showed him the sheds that were nearly falling down, the already fallen down barn, the pond where I'd swam to my hearts' content. It was all there. All the good memories were flooding my brain. It was my 'safe place', and I'd taken Adam to see it, to see what was so important to me.
With the peace and harmony traveling through my veins, I took hold of Adam's wrist and led him to 'my place'.
The walk was surreal, calm, peaceful, and slow, too. I took my time, savoring each and every footstep.
The canopy of leaves adorning the trees left the area entirely shaded, yet, the air was totally warm, and the picturesque view made it inviting. Immediately, Adam walked to the fallen tree… my tree… the one where I'd lain and took a long restful and peaceful nap, and forgot all the turmoil going on in my life during that time period. Lots of good memories were forefront in my mind, and had largely, but not completely, overtaken the bad ones… After thinking for a few minutes, I asked Adam, "When will the bad memories go away?"
Adam patted my back, put his hand on my shoulder and around my neck, and replied, "Some memories never go away. In time, though, they'll fade so that they aren't like concrete blocks weighing you down. I once read a story on the internet. The author, and I hope I get it right, said, 'Sometimes bad things have to happen, in order for good things to happen. (© ACFan, CSUProductions, CornerCafe.us).' I've found this to be true in most all situations I've experienced in life."
"I hope so. I'm scared. What if they don't like me?" I said as I crawled up onto the flat part of the fallen down tree, you know where I'd taken the nap. I laid down on my back and looked up into the tree canopy.
"James, I want you to think about what I'm about to say as hard as you can. Are you listening very carefully?"
I nodded. In his eyes, I saw truth. Very softly he continued solemnly, "From here on out, I want you to ask yourself 'What if they DO like me?' Turn your questions around, and try to put them in a positive perspective. Things have a way of working out. A lot of our troubles seem to come from deep down within ourselves. I've found that being positive, even when I don't necessarily feel positive, seems to balance things in my head, so that we can keep going in a forward direction."
A slow trickle of tears began flowing from my eyes, running down the right side of my face and neck. I brushed them away… I couldn't think of anything to say… nothing seemed to make any sense… I didn't feel particularly afraid, yet, something was holding me back… and I didn't know what it could be. I mean, Adam's words made some sense; I just didn't feel that they were absolutely true.
Interrupting my confusion, if only for a moment, or two, or three or four, Adam softly said, "Have you ever heard the saying 'time takes time'?"
"No, what does that mean?" I replied thoughtfully.
"It means that time heals all wounds. Though the scar will never go away, the raw and painful memories will pass on by, so that we can get on with our lives as best as we can. You're probably too young, right now, to fully realize that things will get better. If they don't get better, then I can safely assure you that they get 'different', and 'different' is okay… it's a part of the healing process; it's going in a positive direction. You'll see for yourself."
Once again, tears began leaking from my eyes and running down the side of my face. My throat constricted. My lungs became tight. I tried to fight out and out crying… so while I could still breathe, I quickly asked, "Why? Why did my Dad hate me so bad? Why… why… did he…" Then a sob escaped my chest. Then, before I totally lost it, even though I didn't want to lose it, Adam pulled me into his arms, lifted me from the fallen down mighty tree trunk, and held me tight.
He said, "He's a sick man, James. He was taking his demons out on you. And I think he's a damn coward. I know it doesn't seem like that to you, not now, maybe you'll never understand… in case nobody's ever told you this… you are a brave boy. You have a lot of courage. You've had tremendous bravery because you have courageously survived all you've been through. Now, turn that bravery and courage to the future so that the past doesn't drown you. Don't let those bad things weigh you down like you're struggling in quicksand."
"I just don't understand why they hated me. I tried to be a good boy, but, they always hated me. I can't get it out of my head… it's like it is quicksand…"
Adam sat me down on the tree trunk then sat down beside me, put his arm around my shoulders, pulled me into his side, thought for a moment, then said, "James, I know how you are about handouts and charity… I'm the same way… or I have been anyway, until you came along… it's like this… I may not say it right… I don't consider giving you love and encouragement to be who you really are… charity or a handout… I've got peace in my heart… I never thought of myself as a giving person… I still don't, not really…. you see, you've given me purpose in my life… I've always, since my Son died, pushed away kids… I mean, sure, I've done many photo shoots of young people, boys and girls alike, but none, not one, took my heart, twisted and turned it in such a way that I feel okay, somewhat, about when my son went away. Like him, you've given me a whole lot more than I could ever give. These gifts have not been charity, James. They came from the real you, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Anyway, I'm being totally selfish for telling you this… what I'm trying to say, I think, is that it's okay to give and receive gifts because, deep down, it is who we are… it's inside of us just waiting to come out."
Adam squeezed firmly, shuddered, and then I looked up into his eyes. They were wet.
He turned his attention to something that moved in the bushes, about twenty feet away… it was then, when I followed his gaze, that we saw a deer and her babies watching us very carefully. As if she saw that we were safe to be around, she turned her attentions to eating grass and other vegetation on the ground. One of her babies searched for and found her teat, a source of nourishment. Then another of the three, seeing its brother or sister, searched for and found another teat. Happy as they could be, they suckled as if their lives depended on their mothers' abilities to feed and sustain them. I guess the littlest one sucked too hard because the mother quickly turned to it, nudged it hard with her snoot, and grimaced as though she was in pain. The little one, scared, it seemed, then went the other side, the side where its brother (I saw its testicles hanging) was sucking away, and found a nearby teat to feed from.
I slowly slid from Adam's protective arms, took off my shirt, shoes, socks, and then my pants, and then my underwear. I then got back up on the tree, laid out on my back, spread my arms, looked up into the trees and felt really good as the warm summer breeze caressed and brought comfort to my skin, mind, and sense of self. Although I was hard as a rock, I had no need to pay any attention to it… it was just hard, that's all.
I closed my eyes.
Sometime later, couldn't tell you when or how long my eyes had been closed, I felt my legs being lifted. I looked down; Adam was putting on my underwear. I rose up so that he could slide them up and over my hips. Fully awake, then, I jumped down, pulled on the rest of my clothes, then we took off for the house but we didn't go inside. Instead, we silently went to the truck, got in, and drove off into town where we stopped at a mom and pop restaurant, enjoyed a fine dinner of fried chicken and genuine gravy on mashed potatoes, talking about this and that between bites of food. We were full, but, not overly so – YET. The waitress offered a tray of various pies and pastries. Adam grabbed a piece of lemon meringue pie. I grabbed a piece of banana cream. By the time we were finished, we were stuffed to the gills, and I mean we were literally ready to pop open.
While he paid for the meal, I took off for the restroom, peed, and washed my hands and face. I needed to take a serious dump, but, wanted to wait until we got home… in case it hurt to go again.
Just as I was walking out, Adam entered, went to a urinal, did his thing, washed his hands, and then we took off. Although we were headed in the direction of his home, we first stopped at the photography studio where he gathered his best camera and put it into the backseat of the truck. And then, he drove out of the parking lot, not in the direction of his home, but rather we headed back up the farm road to where we'd been before.
When we arrived, I could wait no longer. While he sat up the camera, I went into the house, and did my thing over the sewer pipe. Just so you know, I aimed my butt perfectly. Just thought I'd say it. I used the corner of one of the blankets to wipe with… that would show 'them', whoever 'them' was.
I then stripped to bare skin, neatly folded my clothes and sat them on the dilapidated dressers, took off, found Adam carrying the camera and a tripod toward the house. When he saw me, his eyes got big and round as saucers. He started to say something, but refrained. I grabbed the tripod and lens pack. I led us to the pond, sat the tripod securely, and then went into the pond. It was full from the rains and storms, so it didn't take long or very far before I was up to my neck with water all around. Because it had been so hot, lately, the water temperature was 'just right'. Adam was snapping off shots as I goofed off and played around. As I frolicked, I also felt a tremendous urge to pee, so I stopped what I was doing, stood still, urged myself to release… it was strange though… my tummy didn't feel like it needed to pee but my penis sure did. I reached down to squeeze it a few times… sometimes that got things started… but, something was very different, though I was hard as a pencil, I felt that my penis wasn't alone. I looked down into the water, but, it was too cloudy to see anything.
I headed to shore… Adam was clicking away as I walked toward it. Once my dick broke the surface, I screamed bloody murder at seeing a black slimy critter hanging off it… no it was hugging it… frantically I began pulling at it, but Adam hollered, "DON'T. Come here!"
When I arrived, Adam began laughing his fool head off. I was terrified… what the fuck was he laughing about, huh? I saw not one good goddamned thing – funny. I screamed, "Get that motherfucking thing off me!"
While I was screaming and cursing my fool head off, Adam led us to his truck. He lifted me into the back seat and had me sit on the edge. He spread my legs and looked into my eyes, "James, I've never touched your privates before… and I wouldn't start now… but, you see, that little critter is a leach. It's not going to hurt you, but it needs to come off. Now, just calm down. I need to siphon some diesel fuel, then I'll apply it to the critter. He'll let go… promise."
His words were soothing and reassuring. When he returned, seeing some comedy in the whole thing, I slid down, walked to where his camera was located, pulled it off the tripod, then handed it to Adam, "Take a picture of it… this is scrapbook material!"
"Geezus, I can't take a picture of you like that. Come on; let's get that thing off you."
I thought differently… if he wasn't going to take the picture – I was, and did, three of them. Finally, he grabbed the camera, sat it in the front seat, and then got busy with the diesel fuel. Soon the leach released its hold. It had gotten fat… Adam said it had been sucking blood from the skin of my penis. All I saw was a little red mark where it's face (do they have faces? LOL) was embedded. He took it to the pond and released it into its natural habitat, returned and then urged me to get dressed while he got the camera stuff together and loaded into the truck.
Oh well, we didn't take very many pictures, which is okay, the memories are locked deep inside my head. (To this day.)
We took off for the shop. He uploaded the pictures we did take to the computer. Although he was trying to be serious, we both broke down laughing our asses off at seeing the pictures of leach vs. penis. Immediately, I prepared an email, with the picture, to Seth and then sent it… much to Adam's dismay. I didn't see what the big deal was. It was all too funny!
Seth must have been sitting at his computer because he immediately responded on IM:
"Dude, what the fuck is that on your dick? That's just fucking gross!"
"It's a fucking leach. I was swimming in a farm pond… LOL!"
He responded: "LOL… I'll have to kiss it… does it hurt?"
Adam was watching us write. "You'll have to kiss it twice!"
Seth wrote: "That's not all I'll do with you! I'm itching!!!!!"
Adam snickered, then walked away. Soon, I heard the sound of water hitting the toilet bowl. Quickly, I wrote back, "Me too. I want you to fuck my brains out! Bye. Adam's coming."
I closed IM, and began the editing task… you know, cropping and cutting, and whatnot. When they were perfect, I started to print the 'best' shot, but then Adam entered. He quickly looked at what was printing. His eyes got big. He terminated the print job, all the while telling me that printing out a naked penis, a penis with no hair around it, was and could be construed as child pornography, something he didn't want to deal with, not then, not ever. That scared the shit out of me. Quickly, I created a folder on the computer, moved the pictures into it, and then gave it password protection. I gave the password to Adam, at his insistence.
Much to my dismay, he pulled me out of the chair, logged in as an administrator, went to the folder, deleted it, then erased the Recycle Bin, and then ran some software so that the pictures would be -gone-, and untraceable.
Once the procedures were finished, he looked into my eyes, and said, "James, do you remember us talking about good memories, funny memories…?"
I nodded. He continued, "This has to be one of those good memories, a memory we lock away in our minds. How can we EVER forget THAT memory?" To emphasize his point, he began laughing uncontrollably. The laughter was infectious. I saw his point. This point is why I'm writing about it now!
We arrived home at about 6pm. I took off for the shower, washed up good, put some antibiotic cream on the bite mark… and well, let's just say that I rubbed the ointment in 'very good'. Add to that some rich and creamy natural protein elixir.
Tony called at about 7:00, and said that they were about half an hour out. Adam pulled out two more steaks, stoked the grill with charcoal, and then we went about putting potatoes for baking into the middle of the inferno, wrapped in aluminum foil, of course, to keep them from burning up. He did that while I made up a crisp green salad, sprinkled gobs of Parmesan cheese and then lightly added a vinegar base salad dressing all over it. Adam was somewhat dismayed that I'd put the salad dressing on so early, as it would like cause the crispness to become soggy. He stuck the bowl in the freezer, saying that doing so might keep the leaves crisp.
Sure enough, about 30 minutes later, Tony and Seth arrived. Seth, first thing, grabbed my arm and led us into my bedroom, closed the door, and within 30 seconds my pants were around my ankles, and, well, let's just say that Seth kissed the sore and made it all well.
A knock on the door interrupted his getting undressed while I prepared my back side with a tube of lubrication he brought to our bed… damn…
But… the saving grace was the excellent steaks, and yes, the salad came out perfect. While I watched everybody shoveling in the food, I thought, no, I realized that having family around, though they were not my 'official' family – well, yes they were, they were MY chosen family… it made everything okay. Things started making sense inside my head, and inside my heart.
We didn't talk about the impending visit to the family, other than Tony saying we'd needed to be on the road by 8:30 the following morning, and that we should get a good rest, a good shower, and making ourselves presentable to meet new folks.
As it were, I was too damned sore for Seth to do as I wanted him to do… but, nevertheless, we had a fun filled, exciting, and then restful time.
We took out on the 54 going westbound, then about an hour later, we took off headed northwest on a farm-to-market road. Not having really thought of exactly where the family lived, I asked, "Where are we going… I mean, what town to they live in?"
Tony replied, "They live on a farm not too far from Garden City. That's the nearest town. I've never been there, myself. I talked to the man this morning… they're really looking forward to meeting you. James, just be you. You've got nothing to worry about. Trust me."
I sat back in the seat. Seth put his hand on top of mine, squeezed lightly. I looked toward him. His eyes were brimming with tears. One escaped, rolled down his cheek, and landed on his black jeans. Then another. And then another. And then another. He released my hand, reached into the console, retrieved a wad of Kleenex, and used them to wipe his eyes dry, and to blow his nose.
When he was finished getting himself back together, I had no idea what had gotten him so upset, and wouldn't know for some time, I took his hand in mine, squeezed lightly, and then began looking out the windows to see farmsteads passing by. I began wondering what actually living on a farm would be like… would I like it?
We drove into town. The sign indicated that we were in Garden City. Adam pulled into a parking lot of a Burger King, parked the truck, then pulled out his cell phone, punched in some numbers, and then waited.
Then he began speaking, "Hi, this is Adam Wright. We're in the parking lot of Burger King. Could you give us precise directions to your home?"
He began furiously writing on a piece of paper Tony pulled from his brief case. I couldn't read his face because he was mostly facing away, concentrating, and writing.
"Okay, thank you. We'll see you in about 20 minutes. We're all anxious to meet you, and I know James is kind of nervous about all of this."
"Yes, that's what we've been telling him all along… his anxiety is quite understandable, too."
"Okay, we're on our way. Thank you again."
The engine groaned to life. I felt a little bump when he put the transmission in reverse. Slowly, carefully, he backed out of the parking spot, put the truck in Drive, and then worked our way out of the parking lot and onto a road leading north and west out of town.
I didn't realize I was nearly squeezing Seth's hand to death, until he took my hand in his and began massaging it with his thumb and index finger. I looked to him… tears were, once again, freely flowing from his eyes and running down his cheeks, landing on his white shirt, making a large wet spot readily apparent.
Against all rules, I unbuckled my seat belt, scooted over to sit next to him. I pulled his head into my chest, and he began sobbing, nearly uncontrollably. Tony turned around in the Captain's chair and saw his son upset as all hell. He also saw me stroking Seth's head and face and neck… a look of comfort overtook him. He nodded then swiveled around, deep in contemplation.
We made a few turns, right and left. We crossed a 'blacktop'. Then about a mile further up the road, Adam slowed the vehicle. After another half mile or so, he turned the vehicle right. I looked out. Seth looked up, quickly wiped his eyes dry and used the hem of his shirt to wipe the tears and snot away. I giggled because his shirt … well, you could tell exactly what was on the bottom of his shirt.
As we went around a small bend, a house was right in front of us, and we were getting closer and closer. Finally, and it definitely seemed like forever, we stopped. Adam put the truck in park, turned off the engine, and said, "We're here."
I sat still… none of us moved for what seemed to be an hour… but it was no more than maybe a minute, no more.
A woman, she was really, really pretty, stuck her head out the door of the house. She smiled brightly, then turned into the house. A few seconds later, a man, a huge, and I mean huge, man exited the house and walked to the truck. Adam opened the door to his side, got out, shook hands with the man. Tony exited the vehicle, closed the door, and then walked to where Adam and the man were standing. They also shook hands. Meanwhile, the man constantly and consistently looked toward the inside of the truck… looking for what?
Seth broke our silence… he said, "I think he's looking for you. Are you ready? Dad and I kinda sorta met the same way… neither of us knew what to say… I was scared shitless… he was scared shitless, too."
"Go with me?"
"Of course. Come on. You'll never know… you know…" Without another word said, without invitation, without hesitation, our lips came together, some tongue slipped out… but it was quick. I reached for the door handle, pulled it up, pushed open the door, exited the vehicle, and turned to Seth who was right behind me. I closed the door when he got out. I looked toward the man. I couldn't read him. I mean… his eyes… they were strong… yet I could only see nervousness in them.
But our sizing each other was interrupted by a little 3 or 4 year old kid running from behind a tree with his pants wide open. He ran over, stopped in front of me, and gazed into my eyes with surprising intensity. He stood there just staring into my eyes.
Automatically, as if on auto-pilot, I reached out my hand to him. He took my middle finger and held it firmly.
I looked to the man then to the woman… they seemed to be just as surprised as I was.
The woman walked toward us. She then leaned down and zipped the boy's zipper closed. She stood up, looked into my eyes and said, "Welcome. We're really glad you're here. This big guy is my husband, Dan. This squirt here is Kevin."
"I'm not a squirt!" Kevin whined to his mother.
Dan walked to us. He was huge. His hands looked like they would have strangled a full size bear… they were humongous as were his arms, and, damn, he must have been 7 feet tall… yet, I didn't feel intimidated, not at all.
He said, "My name's Dan Richardson. Pleased to meet you, James. It seems that you have found a friend for life."
He leaned down to kiss Kevin's head, then picked him up and put the boy on his hip.
The boy, Kevin, frantically stuck his hand down into a pocket, wiggled around, and finally returned with a little critter. He held it up for me to see, he said, "Froggy!"
To be continued
(Edited & Reposted October 6, 2012)
Hey everybody, James here.
Now, you have a picture of why that little bundle of 'boy' is most always sitting on my lap, or tugging on my fingers to follow him, or why I take his hand in mine and take him along while I do chores, or just go off to think and ponder various things on my mind.
Over the next several weeks, beginning that next first weekend, after meeting them, Adam would take me to their home so that I could spend the weekend. Most times, the family would all pile into their vehicle on Sunday afternoons, after church and the pot luck dinner, and haul me to Adam's place, where I'd called home.
I didn't get to see Seth very much… sometimes his Dad would come to Adam's, alone, saying that Seth had a cold, or was visiting his mother and sister in Oklahoma City. We'd talk on the phone, and be just fine, cutting up and acting all crazy and shit, like we always had been, yet, there was something different about us.
I think he got tired of hearing of the life that I was telling him all about, which, unfortunately, did not include him. Oh, Dan and Vera had told us that he was more than welcome to come with me to visit. I kind of liked that idea.
Anyway, I'm getting into the future, so I'll put down the keyboard, now, while I still can, LOL. It's way past my bedtime, and we're getting up really, really early in the morning to take care of chores so that we can attend the city celebration it has every year.
Catch ya later, James.
I don't really have a lot to say, yet. I am still digesting all the various iterations of the connected stories. As I said before, I am still new to all of these wonderful stories.
There is a huge body of material to comprehend. I know that I love all the boys, and the more I read, the more I am hooked.
I have to wonder what is happening with Seth. Something definitely seems to be a problem. I hope things can get straightened out, with the two of them. They belong together.
I was very pleased to see the quote about bad things sometimes having to happen for good things to be able to.
That quote originated with a young boy named Timmy, in a story called Memories. It has been quoted and requoted many times, in many of the stories in that series, as well as a few other places.
I, for one, am ready for more chapters of all of Joe's stories.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher