A Special Place--Part Forty-nine--Luke
The first two weeks passed quickly and Janet, Douglas and I had become almost inseparable. We were doing charcoals before the first week ended and assisting students who asked for our help, some still working with pencil. Afternoons I spent with Mr. Adams who was an expert in casting bronze and was teaching me how to do the lost wax process. It was not easy, but it was new and exciting. He asked that I select a small piece to cast. I decided to try to do a sculpture based on the painting of Matt and it was going well.
The three of us usually hit the beach by 5:00 and, even with the sunscreen, I was actually developing a faint tan. Janet and Douglas were bronze. We also spent time at Douglas' place. He was right, his parents had spent tons of money on trash, but his room--which was huge and overlooked the gulf--was well-decorated with his work, none of which was trash. We also spent time at Rich's place, I especially, on the weekend.
I was missing Matt like crazy and couldn't wait to check my e-mail for his letters. One evening when I got back from Rich's place there was a long letter from Matt. He had told me earlier that his room-mate was gay and a playboy, but in this letter he told me Lucas had actually suggested they fuck each other. Matt went into detail about their conversation and his reaction to it. He wrote that he got hard when Lucas talked about it, but that it was just what anyone would expect of a horny eighteen-year-old. I'll admit I was uneasy, but also thought I would have probably gotten hard too. But, then, I knew Matt and how hot he was and could get, and here was a good-looking guy hitting on him. Was I jealous? No, I was a bit frightened. But I knew that, unlike my not telling Matt all about Janet, he had told all that had happened.
I still hadn't written him about my talk with Janet and saw no need to. That didn't mean she had given up. Well into the second week she was still, occasionally, hitting on me but by the end of that week, I was clearly out of the picture and Douglas was in. In fact, Janet was spending the weekend at Douglas' place and I was alone for the first time since I had arrived.
Saturday I slept late and was awakened by the phone about noon. It was Rich. "Luke, Josh is out of town this weekend and I thought--if you have no problem with a teacher and student going out--you might like to go to a gay nightclub. Ever been to one?" I told him I had not, just a teen club where gays were welcome. "Got a false I.D.?" he asked.
"Well, no, never had a need for one."
"You do now. Pick you up in half an hour and drop you off where you can have one in thirty minutes. Then we'll do some shopping for an outfit for you. See you in half an hour."
I got an I.D. which said I was twenty-one and then we went shopping. I expected to go to a mall, but Rich took me to a shop which catered to the gay community. I wasn't very comfortable, but before I knew it he had picked out an outfit for me--tight, and I do mean tight, black leather pants and a black leather vest. "Perfect," he said.
"But what about a shirt?"
"With a chest like yours, you want a shirt? Don't be foolish!"
Rich dropped me off at the dorm and I caught up on my e-mail. I wrote Larry and Eugene asking what Eugene was going to do now that his summer was free--I had expected him to mention it in an e-mail after he wrote about the trial ending, but he had not. Of course, I wrote all the others and a very long letter to Matt. I wrote him about Rich inviting me to go to a gay night club with him, but didn't mention the outfit I had bought. I don't know why I didn't since Matt was the one into clothes, but I just didn't think I needed to.
Rich was picking me up at 8:00 for dinner at the gay club, then we were going dancing. I showered and got dressed and was ready when he arrived. He was dressed in an outfit like mine which, I must say, looked good on him, but not as good as mine did on me! Maybe it was all my blond hair with a black headband that made the difference.
"Ready to party?" he asked when he came in.
"Let's party!" I replied.
We had a delightful meal, talking about nothing in particular. I did a lot of people-watching because no-one was dressed in what I would have considered standard attire. It was 9:30 before we finished dinner and then went next door to the dance club.
The club was packed with guys in even stranger dress than those in the restaurant--some might be more nearly called half-dressed. The music was loud and I couldn't believe the lights. As soon as we were inside, Rich said, "Let's dance!" and dance we did. After fifteen or twenty minutes, Rich said, "Time for a drink, and tonight's on me. Like beer?"
"As a matter of fact, I don't. I drink wine with the family and that's it."
"If not beer, then something tall and cold." Rich pushed his way to the bar and came back with a beer and a tall glass. "Think you'll like this," he said as he handed me the glass. It tasted like a tart lemonade and really was refreshing. "Hey, slow down!" he said. "I want you on your feet. That drink has a kick." We found a table with two chairs and sat down. There were two other guys sitting at the table, making out big time. Why did that make me uneasy? I didn't know why, but it did.
When we finished our drinks, we were back on the dance floor. Man, I love to dance and this was wild. Rich was good and I was having a great time. After dancing for at least half an hour, Rich got another round of drinks and this time we found a table with only one chair. Rich sat down and patted his lap for me to sit on him. As we were drinking our drinks, I felt Rich's hand on my thigh. I thought he had just forgotten where he was and who he was with, so I just moved my leg and kinda pushed his hand away. He seemed not to notice. He may not have noticed, but Little Luke did. When he suggested we dance again, Little Luke was still hard.
The DJ was playing a slow song and Rich pulled me close. Little Luke had taken notice and refused to behave. "I think I feel a very hard cock," Rich said.
"You're right. I'm a horny eighteen-year-old who has been separated from his lover for three weeks. What do you expect?"
"We could take care of that," he said as he looked at me and smiled. "You know you are a damn handsome man and I am very attracted to you."
"Here's where the dance ends," I said as I backed away from him and started off the floor.
I found a table and sat down. What had I gotten myself into? Rich came over with another drink and said, "I'm sorry, Luke. I really am. I thought you'd like to have a little fun. I didn't mean to offend you."
I took the drink and said, "It's ok. I was just horny as hell and kinda forgot where I was, but you've got to know that Matt and I have pledged to be faithful to each other. It's tempting, but no thanks."
"I understand and, again, I'm sorry. Friends?"
"Friends." We finished our drinks and I said, "Wanta dance?"
I was feeling strange as we walked to the dance floor, but was really enjoying myself as the DJ played some really hot numbers. I was also sweating big time. The room was hot and we had been dancing for another half hour when Rich said, "Break and another drink?"
"Not right now, I've got to piss." I was kinda woozy, I guess from the heat.
As I started toward the john, Rich said, "Just remember, a lot of people come here to get laid."
I knew what he meant as soon as I opened the door to the john. I also knew, at once, the difference between making love and fucking.
When I got back to the table, Rich had another drink for me and I downed it. The place was hot and I was sweating from the heat and the dancing. I was feeling very strange and needed some air. "I need to get out of here," I said as I stood up and started walking toward the door. Not only was I feeling pretty strange, but things seemed to be moving around. As soon as I got outside, I threw up. I felt like shit. "Rich, take me home, please," I said.
I managed to keep down whatever was left until Rich stopped the car in front of the dorm. "Don't think you need to be seen helping a half-dressed and more than half-drunk student to his dorm," I said. "I can make it on my own." Rich nodded in agreement and I opened the door, got out, puked and dragged myself to my room. I undressed, falling when I tried to take off my pants, took a cold shower and hit the bed. The damn thing started spinning and I didn't make it to the bathroom before I threw up again. I finally managed to get to the bathroom and thought I'd wash out my mouth and then realized I was thirsty. I drank a glass of water only to have it come right back up. Fortunately, I was at the basin. "To hell with the mess," I thought as I dragged my body to the bed and crashed big time.
A Special Place--Part Forty-nine--Bill
The week in camp had been great! I found I was excited about everything we did. I played basketball, swam, and Mary Kathryn, Linda and I ran every morning before Morning Prayer and breakfast. The sessions on church history and theology I ate with a spoon. I had never taken religion very seriously, but I found talking and thinking about it very interesting. I especially liked the afternoon sessions when we went to the cabins to relax and talk about how what we had learned related to everyday life. Evening almost always included some activity--campfires, square and line dancing (I had always thought of them as really square, but I had great fun). Then there were the bull sessions in the cabin after lights out when the counselors were at a counselors' meeting and we were on our own. Our counselor was a priest who was my kind of guy, he could relate to us and we to him easily, but he was always the adult.
One night--well, every night in one form or another--sex came up. But one particular night one of the super-macho guys started talking about fucking. I knew he was just a loud mouth--guys learn to tell the difference in the tenth grade, I think--and I finally had had it so I said, "You know what? I think you are just bullshitting. I have probably fucked more girls than you will have when you are in the nursing home. And you know something else? I'm ashamed of it and I wish I hadn't."
"You don't like to fuck, but you did. Are you some kind of queer of something?"
"If I ever hear you use that word again, I'll beat the shit out of you. I don't like words that put people down."
"You like queers?" he asked, and the next minute he was on the floor.
"I don't like people who use words that hurt--queer, nigger, sissy, faggot--you know them all, I suspect. If you mean do I like gays, I don't know. I haven't met them all, but I have four gay friends and I wouldn't trade a thousand bigoted rednecks like you for one of them."
"I guess that's why you don't like to fuck. I guess you're going to tell me you're not fucking Linda. I've seen you two making out."
"It's none of your damn business, but I'll tell you I'm not fucking Linda and never intend to. I do intend to make mad passionate love to her all the way one day, but I'll never fuck her. You want to know the difference?" I then told him the difference--I was still holding him on the floor. "I guess you will never know the difference since you seem intent on fucking, but maybe if you ever get to do either--both--you'll discover the difference." I let him up off the floor and he got in his bed, pouting. The rest of us talked about the difference between fucking and making love.
The only ninth grader in our group, who had been very shy and seldom said anything, said, "Bill, thank you. I think if I get nothing else out of this summer, I have just learned something very important."
Several other guys agreed with him, including one who never boasted about fucking around. He said, "Bill, I know that empty feeling," turned over and went to sleep.
The next day, after the three of us had finished lunch, Linda told me the girls in her cabin were all talking about what had happened the night before. "Thanks, Bill. I think maybe you have found your niche. You're a basketball star so young guys will listen to you and you have your head screwed on straight so you have something to say. Think about it." I did then and for a long, long time afterward.
A Special Place--Part Forty-nine--Jacob
I never paid much attention to the news, but my Aunt Mendy had asked me about this Rev. McBride from Concord who was being tried in Lexington for child pornography and I told her the whole mess. She remembered he had been tried in Concord for child sexual abuse, but didn't remember much about it. "They started picking the jury today," she told me. "It was on the news." Well, I certainly paid attention to the news then.
When I got home from work, she told me the defense lawyer has said Eugene had been purchased as a boy sex toy for some Concord matron's gay son and that he was gay and had invited McBride's attention. I was furious! I knew the whole story and told my aunt what had happened. "Well, is he gay?" she asked.
"What has that got to do with something which happened to him when he was twelve?" I asked and I guess she knew I was pissed. "That bastard McBride not only raped him, but video taped it and sold copies of the tape. Now you tell me what his being straight or gay has to do with that."
"Well, I just wondered." I didn't answer. It was none of her business and I was sure she would never drop it if I told her he was gay and was one of my best friends.
The evening news carried a repeat of the lawyer's statement and announced that Eugene, Millie and Jason had all filed libel suits against him. "Good," I said. "That lawyer needs to publicly eat his words." After the news I called Eugene and told him I was with him and hoped everything turned out ok. When I asked how things were going, he told me about Millie and that he was having a rough time, but he had the support of Millie and Larry and now Anthony and Jason. When I asked about Jason, he couldn't say enough about his big brother. I was glad.
The next day, I couldn't wait for the news and when I learned that McBride had accepted a plea bargain again, I was very relieved for Eugene. I called again and suggested he and Larry come over Friday or Saturday night to celebrate. They decided Friday night was best and said they would pick me up at 7:30.
I had e-mailed Paula the news as it happened, but when the trial was over I decided that was a good excuse to call her. I was dying to hear her voice. While I waited for someone to get her to the phone, I thought how great it would have been had we gotten together earlier but then was just glad we had finally done so.
She was ecstatic at the news of McBride and said she had written Millie a note when she learned of the broken hip.
I asked her how camp was going and she became very excited. The camp was great; she loved working with the kids and was really enjoying being among so many Jewish adults and kids. "Being Jewish in small-town Concord is pretty lonely at times," she said. "We get to synagogue more often now than we did when we could barely pay the grocery bill," she said. "Since it requires that we drive to Lexington, we couldn't afford to do it very often before. I really don't have anyone to talk to about my religion and it is important to me." I didn't comment. Being essentially heathen, I was sure I couldn't understand her feelings. After that, we talked about how we missed each other and how being separated intensified our love for each other. I finally realized my aunt was going to kill me over the phone bill and reluctantly said, "Goodnight, Paula, I love you, girl."
"Goodnight my red-headed love," she said and we hung up.
I dreamed of Paula every night and that night my dreams of her were more vivid than ever.
Friday night the guys came over and we went out and had a great time. I enjoyed dancing since there seemed to be women going to waste every dance. The guys and I kinda caught up on what had been going on with the rest of the Fellowship and generally had a good time. After the club closed, we went to the ice-cream parlor and sat and talked until it closed. Much of that conversation revolved around Paula's comment about religion. Eugene said, "You know, when there was a discussion about the music for the concert, I said I was nothing--and that was true, so true that I had to be baptized before I could be confirmed, but religion is becoming a very important part of my life. In fact, come to think of it, the Fellowship is a pretty religious bunch--and I think seriously, not just for show. You're here in Lexington, why don't you contact the rabbi and at least see if you can get some understanding of Paula's religion. Can't hurt. You don't have to become Jewish, just find out where Paula is." Well, I decided that made a great deal of sense and called and made an appointment with the rabbi who, much to my surprise, was a woman.
After our first meeting, we met on a weekly basis. When my aunt found out I had been to see a rabbi, she started in on Jews and I just walked off. I had to live in the house for the summer and she had proven she was a bigger redneck than my dad, and that took some doing. I sure as hell didn't let her know I was, for all intents and purposes, studying Judaism with a rabbi. She would have shit her pants or kicked me out. But it took a lot of effort to control my red-headed temper.
A Special Place--Part Forty-nine--Mary Kathryn
Saturday morning, campers started leaving after breakfast. Parents who had to pick up campers were told that everyone had to be gone by 10:00 so the camp could be ready for the third and fourth grade camp starting Sunday. Of course there were two or three still around at 10:30, but they were told to wait on the porch of the lodge. Those of us who were staying were free after 9:30. Two of the male counselors were leaving and Bill and Howwy, another rising senior camper, were taking their place. Bill and Linda came by and said they were going for a walk and asked if I wanted to go along. "Very sweet and very nice of you, but if I were Linda and Bill were Michael and I asked Linda and she said she would, I'd kill her on the spot," I laughed.
Bill grinned and said, "I was prepared in case you said yes. We'll be good," he said as the two of them started down a trail. I was getting ready to feel sorry for myself when the four female counselors came walking up from checking the cabins. Mrs. Allison's husband was waiting for her. She gave him a peck on the cheek and immediately started bitching about something or other, then got pissed because he hadn't gone to the cabin to pick up her stuff. "I had to drag all this here myself," she whined. I felt like busting her one. He kept saying, "My Pet this and My Pet that," until they finally had everything in the car and left.
"Now that's one priest who truly wears a dog collar," Ann laughed. "If I have ever seen a man on a leash, he's it."
"Dog collar?" I asked.
"Yea, that's what priests' collars are often called."
"Well, I can tell you one thing I have learned at camp this week. If Michael Andrews puts on a dog collar he's going to have to find another woman to lead him around!"
"What do you mean?" Susan asked.
"Mary Kathryn's man, who at sixteen she claims she'll marry, is at a Benedictine Abbey thinking about his vocation. He thinks he wants to be a priest and Mary Kathryn has a problem with that," Cindy said.
"What's the problem, Mary Kathryn?"
"You just saw that bitch and you ask what the problem is? You heard what she said about sex. I bet she has little teas and all the blue haired ladies come and then make fun of her behind her back. No, thank you. I'm more like you three. I couldn't put up with being a priest's wife. No way, Jose!" By the time I had finished, all three were laughing so hard they had tears in their eyes. "What's so damn funny? I love a man more than life itself and he's sitting up there with a bunch of monks trying to decide whether I'm going to have him or God gets him!" That only made them laugh harder.
Finally Susan got control enough to say, "Mary Kathryn, you have a bigger problem than you think. I AM a priest's wife and, to make matters even worse, I'm a priest. Jack is a priest who is a hospital chaplain and I am rector of the local parish. When I'm gone, he does the parish, supplies on Sundays when a parish is without a priest or the priest needs a break and he helps me out. I guess that makes me a priest's wife priest."
"You're lying," I said in utter disbelief. "You're not at all like a priest's wife!"
"I'm not? Jack's sure going to be surprised when he finds that out," she laughed.
"Well... I don't know what to say," I said.
"Stereotypes will always get you in trouble," Cindy said.
"I'm glad Michael doesn't know this. He's death on stereotypes and I need something to hold over his head. I mean, Susan, you are great but that means the score is one to one--you and Mrs. Allison."
"Hate to break the news, Mary Kathryn, but you've got the wrong score. I make it two to one--and it depends on whether you give the Allison team a point or the Susan team," Ann laughed.
"Not you too!" I was absolutely beside myself. My carefully constructed argument was going up in smoke before my eyes because I really admired the two women. "Well, I think you two are great and it sure changes my thinking--some--but I don't know you as well as I do Cindy. I mean spending a week in the cabin with someone doesn't leave a lot to the imagination about a person. Oh, I don't mean you two are not great, it's just, well, maybe you kinda, you know, have a special camp face. I mean, you know, maybe Cindy does too, but you know, when you practically live with someone twenty-four hours a day, you know."
"I know what you mean, Mary Kathryn. I have lived in the cabin with you a week and never once heard you say 'you know' and now it's practically half your words. Methinks you are trying hard to hold on to something and covering up with 'you know'. Well, I don't like to hear that so I'll just settle the whole thing. I'm a priest's wife as well. All the women counselors in senior high camp have traditionally been clergy wives and usually there hasn't been a single 'Mrs. Allison' and wouldn't have been this year but, bless her heart, good old standby Ernestine slipped off a ladder while doing a roof repair on her house and broke a leg. First time she hasn't been here in at least twenty years. She was a priest's wife. He retired two years ago and died last year. She's sixty-seven and would have been here anyway, except she was finally convinced she'd be more valuable next year."
"And she still comes to camp?"
"Comes to camp, repairs roofs, takes in stray kids, gives the school board hell because they won't adopt a policy on bullying and name-calling, fights to keep prayer out of school, you name it."
"Holy shit," I said without thinking, blushed and said, "Sorry, that's what Michael would have said."
Cindy laughed. "That's what John calls the bulletin, newsletter and committee reports. He hates them. When our oldest was about six, he walked into church one morning and, having learned to read pretty well, wanted a bulletin--usually kids don't get one--looked at the usher and said in a loud voice, "Give me one of those holy shits, please".
"Wish I could stay for next week, Mary Kathryn," Ann said. "You and Susan and Cindy will be peers next week--you'll be counselors. You'll also meet some other clergy wives who help with the program. Some you will like and others will be a pain in the ass. They're just people and have all the good things and all the bad things which make people people. I'll be back for middle school and there will be another wife replacing Cindy or Susan. I'm not sure who the fourth counselor will be that week. Right now I'm going to run. I've been away from my man a week and I'm ready to get home." We hugged and she left.
"Guess we should have told you before, but after I learned you were having a problem, we decided not to. I'm surprised someone didn't tell you," Cindy said. "Next week when we are counselors and not camper and counselor, we'll do some talking. Susan?"
"I'd love to have a chance to talk to a young woman who's trying to decide where to go with her life, especially when it seems so determined by a man."
"Thanks," was all I could say and I was relieved when the bell rang for lunch.
We would have lunch, then a training session from 1:00 until 5:00 and had been told we were free Saturday night. At lunch, Bill and Linda invited me to go into town to a movie with them. Before I could object, Bill said, "And you'll drive'.
A Special Place--Part Forty-nine--Matt
I had to get up earlier than usual on Sunday morning to meet Woody and drive to Chattanooga. On the trip down we talked about the program, what I thought I had learned, that sort of thing. Finally Woody asked me about next year. I had told him, of course, that I was going to Oberlin, but that was about it. "Five of us have bought a house on Lake Erie near Lorraine since there was no campus housing available because we were accepted after the deadline. With our scholarships, we could afford to buy a house that an Oberlin professor made available to us." I told him about the house and the rest of the Oberlin Five.
"Sounds great," he said.
"The whole Fellowship"--and I had to explain--"will be going up the middle of August after we all finish our summer programs. Our parents are going too, at least most of them, and we are going to paint and do whatever else needs doing. You'll have to come up and spend some time with us."
"I'd love it," he said. "It would be kinda like visiting a grandson."
"I suspect you'll end up with at least five grandchildren next year."
"What is your plan of study, Matt?"
I explained that I expected to do dual enrollment and get an engineering degree as well as one in organ.
"In case I can't make it as an organist, I won't starve to death," I laughed.
"Matt, you could make it as an organist right now. Not one of the best, but good enough to live well. With four more years of organ and composition, you won't have to worry. What I'd like to see you do is an apprenticeship with an organ builder. An organist who understands his instrument is a rarity. Usually, they know basically how they work, but I mean really know an organ. What do you think of that?"
"I haven't, but I'm sure enjoying the workshop I'm doing here which includes some study of organ building."
"If you are interested, I am positive I can get you an apprenticeship with Holtkemp, an organ builder in the area. Maybe not the best known in the world, but known and respected. I'm sure you could make arrangements to get college credit for that."
"I'd love that, Woody, if you could."
"Can and will. We'll make it final when you come up to your house."
The service went well. The choir was about the same as St. Mary's and the service was little different. Not quite as high church, but high enough.
At the coffee hour following Mass, everyone told me how good I was, but I knew I was a visitor and only nice things would be said. I did give weight to Woody's "Good Job!" After the coffee hour, a couple who had known Woody previously asked us to have dinner with them. They insisted we ride the incline to the top of Lookout Mountain where we ate in a restaurant which overlooked Chattanooga and the Tennessee River below.
On the way back, I told Woody about the episode at the river and he just said, "Matt, Lucas will be Lucas. Maybe one of these years he'll meet someone and fall in love. I hope so. His present lifestyle really upsets me and it also worries me. But I can tell you this: he will not give up on you. You are really driving him nuts. First, because you are so damn handsome. If you were ugly--well, I've always said if suddenly all men were ugly, Lucas would become a monk. Second, you haven't fallen victim to his charms and that is a real challenge to him. Good luck this last week."
As I opened the door Monday after my last session, I thought Lucas had struck it lucky because of the shouts and groans but, as soon as I turned the corner, I saw he was watching a porno flick. "Join me," he said, "this is a hot one". I had never seen a porno flick before--honest--so I sat down and started watching. Two guys were fucking like bunnies. On the one hand, I found it kinda boring and disgusting and on the other--well, Chili Pepper got hard as a rock and started streaming pre-cum. Suddenly I felt Lucas hand on my hard cock. I pushed it away without comment, but half a minute later it was back. "Now try to tell me you're not hot and ready to at least jerk off," he laughed.
"Right on both counts, but take your hand away."
"Matt, you're going to get your rocks off tonight. You know that and I know that. Now I want you to tell me the difference between our doing each other and doing ourselves. There is no difference and you can't tell me otherwise."
"Lucas, you're right, I can't tell you otherwise. I can't tell you anything about being in love and being faithful. Maybe one day you will understand. And you may even be right that there is no difference, but I think there is and Luke thinks there is and that makes it true for us. So I guess I better go before this goes any further." I got up and went to my room and closed the door. Of course, Lucas was right, I did get my rocks off, but I did it and Luke and I had certainly understood that would happen.
The next morning, Lucas didn't mention the night before nor did I. But it wasn't his last attempt at seduction. All week he kept making suggestive remarks, making sure we were in the bathroom at the same time every morning and suggesting we go swimming every day. I made a point of being sure Woody and Stinky could go with us before I agreed to go. I knew I was being tempted big time because I kept an erection too often and too long not to be aware of what was going on. Every time he asked about going swimming, I said, "Sure, Woody and Stinky have already suggested it."
Each time he said, "Shit!"
Lucas was leaving Saturday afternoon since he wasn't performing Sunday in the closing concert as I was. He came into the bathroom while I was drying after my shower and immediately saw that I hadn't gotten Chili Pepper under control. He reached out and stroked him a couple times and it felt good. I reached out for his cock...
After breakfast, Lucas said goodbye and left. After he was gone, I lay on my bed for a long time, trying to decide what I was going to write to Luke. I had been absolutely forthright with him to this point and I couldn't convince myself I should not do so now. I was more than a little ashamed of myself and sick at my stomach as I sat down at the computer to e-mail Luke. What would he say? What would he think? What would he do? I tried to imagine that I was in his place and he in mine but for the first time I really didn't know my Luke. As I finished the letter I was in tears, went to my room and escaped reality by sleeping until time for the closing concert. After dinner, I asked Woody to come to the room and sat and talked until all hours. When he left he said, "Matt, remember you love Luke and he loves you. There will be hard and painful times in your relationship. This is one of them."
A Special Place--Part Forty-nine--Luke
When I woke up Saturday morning, I felt as though a flock of buzzards had spent the night in my mouth, my head was pounding as if someone was inside with a jackhammer and the stench in the room sent me rushing to the john for another good puke. I finally managed to get it together enough to clean up the mess from the night before, shower and brush my teeth--twice--but that was it. I closed the blinds and crawled in bed and pulled the covers over my head. When I woke up, I was feeling better, but not in tip-top shape. I did manage to crawl out of bed and get a Coke, which I kept down. A couple aspirin helped and soon I felt like finding something to eat. By then it was 6:00. I decided I'd go to a movie and caught a bus to a theater.
When I got back, I tumbled into bed again and slept late Sunday morning. By the time Douglas brought Janet back, I was feeling human. They suggested we hit a pizza place and, as we sat down, Douglas said, "Got a false I.D.? Want a beer?"
"Yes and a very definite no," I smiled. I then told them about Friday night.
"Man, you were drunker than a skunk. You must have been drinking doubles," Douglas said.
"Double misery at least," I laughed.
Week four the three of us were doing oils. Oils were not my favorite medium, but one in which I needed to work. I was enjoying learning and Rich was very helpful. He never mentioned the previous Friday night, nor did I.
Friday at break, Douglas said Janet was again spending the weekend at his place. "You're welcome to come with us."
"Think I'll stay here and work in the sculpture studio tomorrow. There will be no-one there, probably, and I get more work done when I'm alone. Thanks anyway."
"We are thinking about coming back for a concert Saturday night. Not a big one and the groups are nothing special, but if we can't find something more interesting, we'll come in. I'm sure there will be tickets available--we haven't bothered to get any. As I said, it's not a big deal but maybe you'll discover you like our kind of music," Douglas laughed.
"Not sure I can take all the noise," I laughed, "but it will be different. But I'm not sure."
"Why don't we come by and check? If you find something more interesting, leave a note on your door, otherwise, we'll probably see you Saturday night--unless Janet makes my life so interesting I forget!" Douglas laughed.
Saturday morning, I went to the sculpture studio and worked until about 2:00. I was so involved I forgot lunch. I walked over to the student center and got a snack--actually a huge snack--and then went to the dorm, took a nap, then started to get ready for the concert. I wasn't very excited about it, but at least it would be a new experience and I had nothing better to do. I showered and got dressed and realized I hadn't checked my e-mail. I went downstairs and there were several letters from the members of the Fellowship and one from Matt. I decided I'd read all the others first and save Matt's for dessert. After catching up on all that had been going on with the Fellowship--I laughed big time when I read Mary Kathryn's postscript to mine, going into detail about being knocked for a loop about clergy wives. I then opened Matt's:
"My Bright Angel, Love of my Life, my Yonghon Tongmu,
It has really been a week. After the performance tomorrow, I'll pack and be ready to leave early Monday morning. How I wish--oh how I wish--you'd be waiting for me so I could tell you what I have to tell you in person, but you won't be and I can't keep it from you any longer. I tried to call but there was no answer, then remembered you had said you would probably spend the weekend with Janet and Douglas at his place."
I was suddenly very uneasy and confused. What was Matt talking about? What couldn't wait?
I should have known it was about Lucas.
"...has kept up his campaign to get me in bed with him all week. He asked if I wanted to watch a porno flick with him earlier this week. I was curious since I had never seen one, so I sat down beside him and started watching it. As I watched, I got hot--kinda disgusted as well--but hot nonetheless. He noticed and reached over and put his hand on my hard Chili Pepper. I pushed his hand away twice and finally just left. But I have to admit, Yonghon Tongmu, I was very tempted, very tempted to do what he suggested--wanted--for us to jerk each other off. But I didn't. Instead, I went to my room and closed the door.
This morning while I was drying myself, he came into the bathroom. Chili Pepper was making known his need for attention. He was hard and there was no way to hide it. When Lucas reached out and took my cock in his hand, it felt so good, so damn good. He had talked so much about our jerking each other off and how he didn't see how that was not being unfaithful to you--no more unfaithful than my whacking off myself that I guess I had started believing it. Before I knew it, I was reaching for his hard, hot cock..."
I didn't know what happened. I loved Matt. We had talked about his slipping and I had assured myself I could handle it when it happened. I was wrong. Sure, he had only got into a mutual jerk-off session, but he had let Lucas take my place. I just plain lost it. I was so angry, so hurt, so indignant, so everything that I saw red. I slammed my fist on the keyboard, jumped up and screamed, "Well, fuck you Matt Greywolf," and ran to my room, tears streaming down my face. I was hyperventilating while trying to tell myself it didn't really matter. I mean all Matt had done was jerk off Lucas and be jerked off by him. No big deal--hell, yes it was a big deal!!
I kept talking to myself, telling myself that it was no big deal, but the longer I talked, the bigger deal it became. What if Matt had only told part of the story? Talk to myself as I would, I still felt betrayed, rejected, even unimportant to Matt's life. Sure, down inside I probably knew that wasn't true, but I wasn't dealing with deep inside. I was dealing with immediate, emotional, irrational thoughts and feeling. "I knew it. Just knew that hot-to-trot Matt would get laid--even if it was just a jerk-off session. But why would I think he stopped there?" I didn't know the voice in my head talking, convincing me that I shouldn't trust anything Matt said. When I reached my room, I had worked myself into a real rage. Cool Luke, ha! I was anything but cool. I was fucking, raging angry. I realized I had been pounding my fist in the wall in my blind, unthinking anger.
It wouldn't hurt so much, but I loved Matt. I still loved Matt, but he had been unfaithful. He couldn't be trusted. He had let a fuck-happy playboy touch what was mine! I was cussing, screaming and crying and still pounding the wall when the phone rang. I started just to let it ring, but finally picked it up. It was Rich.
"How you doing, Luke?" he asked.
"Not very fucking damn good," I said. "Matt's been playing around with his fucking room-mate."
"That makes two of us. I came home this afternoon and found Josh riding the ass of a fifteen-year-old student of his. I think you and I deserve to go out and have a good time, forgetting two-timing boyfriends. Pick you up in half an hour?"
"Damn fucking right," I answered. I thought to myself, "Matt has screwed around so why shouldn't I go out and have a good time? I mean, at least I'm not screwing around." I hung up the phone, changed into the leather outfit and left a note for Janet and Douglas saying I was going out with Rich.
When we got to the club Rich went straight to the bar and ordered drinks. After last weekend, I should have had better sense, but I was still not thinking, just reacting to my hurt and feeling betrayed, so I downed mine in a couple of gulps. "Man, you are pissed," Rich said. "Well, so am I. Josh and I had an agreement that we wouldn't fuck around and I find him in the bed riding the ass of jailbait. Fucking bastard!" He ordered another round of drinks. As we drank the second drink, our anger at our lovers fed on each other until we were both being totally irrational. The alcohol didn't help make us reasonable.
I drank the second one a bit slower then than the first and when I finished it said, "Let's fucking dance." The tune was slow and Rich pulled me to himself and ground his hips against my soon rock-hard cock. When he wasn't doing that, he had his hand on Little Luke. It felt good. In my hurt and anger, I said to myself, "Two can play the fucking around game," and ground back. But it didn't work. It made me feel I was betraying Matt; it made me... Well, it finally made me say, "I wish you wouldn't" and Rich stopped. But I was hot and ready. I could feel the precum in my briefs.
When the song ended and before the next one started, we were back at the bar. Strange, I wasn't feeling the alcohol as I had before. Maybe the drinks weren't as strong, I don't know. We finished our drinks and danced again. Again Rich kept grinding his hips into mine and groping me. I said nothing. We hit the bar again and this time didn't leave. I don't know how many drinks I had but I was feeling no pain when Rich said, "Let's cut out of here. Joe, we're leaving," he said to the bartender.
"Not on your own, you're not. I'll call a cab."
"No need. We're ok." As he spoke, I slid off the bar stool and into the floor. Strange, I still didn't feel drunk.
"No way Jose," Joe said and Rich allowed him to call a cab.
When we got to Rich's place, he had to help me from the cab and the two of us kept falling down and laughing as we walked to his second-floor apartment. I should say he kept falling down because I couldn't have stood if my life depended on it. When we reached his door, he was practically carrying me so he just hauled me to the bedroom and tossed me on the bed.
He lay beside me and started running his hands over my body. I knew I shouldn't allow him, but it did feel good! Soon he was all over me, kissing me, sucking my nipples and Little Luke was not reacting as expected. I was hot and getting hotter in my mind, but still... When Rich said, "To hell with two-timing boyfriends. Two can play that game as well as one." I didn't answer because, when he said it, a knife sliced through my heart. Not only because Matt was a two-timer, but also because he was calling Matt names and I still loved Matt. God, if only I didn't. If only I could say as Rich said, "To hell with him." While I couldn't say that, I also couldn't tell Rich to stop. My mind was all mixed up and the alcohol only made it worse.
When Rich reached down, unzipped my tight pants and slipped his hand inside my briefs, he said, "Fuck, you're so drunk you're not hard! I guess I'll have to give your cock mouth-to-cock resuscitation!
As his hot mouth sucked Little Luke inside, I groaned. I had forgotten just what an incredible feeling that was. As he started working magic with his tongue, I groaned, then looked down... I looked down and, as I did, I saw the medallion--symbolizing Matt's and my promise made what seemed ages ago, yet as fresh as the moment--lying on my chest. I may have been stinking drunk, feeling betrayed and hot and horny as hell, but that did it. I screamed "No!" rolled off the bed and staggered toward the door.
"Where the hell do you think you're going?" Rich shouted. "We're just having a little fun the way our boyfriends did."
I didn't answer. I just snapped my pants--they were falling down as much as super-tight pants could--and half staggered, half ran through the door. I headed down the stairs, tripped over my own feet and rolled and tumbled down them. I picked myself up at the bottom of the stairs and walked, ran, stumbled, staggered, crawled toward my dorm. I was not only so drunk I could hardly stand, but also crying so hard I couldn't see. My Sarang Hanun Pomul had been unfaithful to me and my teacher had seduced me. But I had let Rich seduce me. It hadn't been a hard job because I had encouraged him. Hadn't I let him grope me and grind his hips into mine at the club? I was as guilty of being unfaithful as Matt. No, I was worse. I let Rich take Little Luke into his mouth. I was willing to have him make love to my body and almost let him give me a blow job. Why? Because I was drunk? Because I was horny? Because... I had to be honest with myself even though it hurt. Yes, I was drunk. Yes, I was horny, but that wasn't the reason I had submitted to Rich. I did it for revenge. I wanted to get even with Matt. I wanted to hurt him as he had hurt me. I had allowed my hurt, anger and feeling of betrayal to overcome my love for Matt, my promise to him, the very light of my life.
I was nearly to the dorm, crawling on my knees, when I finally saw what I had done. My self-hatred, self-loathing overcame me and I started puking--not because I was drunk, but because of what I had done. I felt I was trying to puke up the filth and rottenness I had inside from what I had done. To make matters worse, I heard Matt's voice in my head saying over and over and over, "Luke, I don't know what I would do if you were unfaithful. I know I will never stop loving you, but I don't know how I would handle you being unfaithful. I don't know how I could handle that." Matt had been unfaithful to me. I knew that, but I kept hearing his voice saying the same thing over and over and over. "I don't know how I could handle your being unfaithful."
I was finally able to get on my feet long enough to get up the steps at the dorm. Once inside, I passed a mirror in the hall. I was a mess. Holding onto the handrail, I got myself to my room, and had taken out my key when I saw a note sticking in the door. I took it, opened the door and went inside. I tossed the note on the bed, went to the bathroom to wash out my mouth and wash my face. When I returned, I opened the note. It was from Janet.
Douglas and I came by to see if you wanted to go to the concert. We asked a guy watching TV if he had seen you before we came up. He said you had been sitting at one of the computers, then suddenly shouted something and pounded your fist into the keyboard and left. 'It's still up,' he said. 'No-one has touched it.'
When Douglas and I looked at the e-mail still on the screen, we were afraid you hadn't scrolled down, that you hadn't read the whole message. Sorry to invade your privacy, but we wanted to make sure you saw the whole message and knew the whole story from Matt. We printed the message and logged you out.
We'll be in around noon to see about you. Luke, we both care about you and hope you haven't done anything more foolish than getting a little drunk.
Janet and Douglas"
In the envelope was the message they had printed out. I read again what I had read before, but there was more.
"This morning while I was drying myself, he came into the bathroom. Chili Pepper was making known his need for attention. He was hard and there was no way to hide it. When Lucas reached out and took my cock in his hand, it felt so good, so damn good. He had talked so much about our jerking each other off and how he didn't see how that was not being unfaithful to you--no more unfaithful than my whacking off myself that I guess I had started believing it. Before I knew it, I was reaching for his hard, hot cock..."
Luke, my Bright Angel, my Yonghon Tongmu, how can you forgive me? For a moment there was no question about what I would do. Then, just before my hand reached Lucas' cock, I saw your ring on my finger--'until death do us part'. I took my hand back, said to Lucas, 'You'll have to take care of that yourself. I have a soulmate.' Luke, all he did was laugh and say, 'I almost made it. I almost got a good jack off and Luke would never have known.'
I said, 'But I would have and that's what counts, Lucas. That's what counts.'
Yonghon Tongmu, I guess technically I was not unfaithful to you because I never actually touched Lucas, but in my heart of hearts I know I would have had I not been reminded that you mean more to me than anything in the world. Please, please forgive me, Luke. I love you so much I will die if you cannot and will not. I wanted so much to tell you this in person, but I couldn't keep it to myself and from you. I couldn't pretend it never happened.
I know there is a possibility you won't see this until Sunday night or Monday since you are probably with Janet and Douglas. I will be in agony until I hear from you.
A very sorry Matt"
What had I done? Matt had not been unfaithful. He had resisted temptation at the very brink of giving in to Lucas, but he had not. Had I not done the same? No, because when I finally said no, my cock was in Rich's mouth and I was loving it. No, it wasn't the same and I couldn't convince myself otherwise. Why had I not trusted Matt's love? Why had I, cool Luke, not been able to be faithful? Why? Why? Why? I fell to the floor weeping my eyes out. Again I heard Matt's voice over and over and over in my head, getting louder and louder, except this time he was saying, "Luke, I will never stop loving you, but I can't handle your being unfaithful. I can't handle it. I love you, Luke, but it's over." His voice was pounding and pounding in my head. Another voice, my own, was screaming, "You are worthless. You had destroyed the only reason you have for living. Luke, you are worthless and have a worthless life ahead of you."
Finally I could stand it no longer. I had to get away, run away. I rushed out of my room and into the night. It was raining and even in Florida rain is cold, and I was still dressed in nothing more than pants and an open vest.
Matt's e-mail and the cold rain soon had me sober enough to walk and I did, aimlessly in the rain. But I wasn't able to think clearly with the voice, my own voice, screaming in my head how worthless I had made my life. I walked and ran, trying to escape, not knowing where I was or where I was going and didn't care. I finally realized I was walking down a highway, along a causeway. The wind was strong and the rain was pouring down like my tears. When I came to a bridge, I crawled under it and curled into a fetal position, making my shaking body as small as possible, but I couldn't stop the voices in my head, Matt's and my own: "Luke, I'll always love you, but you have been unfaithful," and "Luke, you have killed the only thing which makes your life worth living. You have destroyed the good in your life."
I couldn't stand it any longer. I crawled from under the bridge and started walking again. At the next bridge, I stopped. I couldn't go on. I had taken everything from my pocket when we went to the club except my key and the fake I.D. The key I had tossed on the bed with the envelope so all I had was the fake I.D. I took it from my pocket, looked at it and realized that it was proof of a lie which had resulted in disaster so I tossed it into the dark waters of the sea as they crashed against the causeway and rushed under the bridge, but the wind caught it and blew it back over my head. It was coming back to haunt me.
That did it. I forgot all I had learned, all the good things in my life, all the people who loved and cared for me, even Matt who said he would never stop loving me--regardless. I forgot all as I decided to wash away the voices in my head and my shame. "No-one would ever know," I thought as I took off my pants and vest, folded them and put them on the edge of the bridge. "The waves will wash me out to sea and carry away my dirty secret," I thought as I climbed atop the bridge rail.