Last week we finished Part III of our story. Not surprisingly perhaps, Jimmy and Bobbie ended up having sex although the form their coupling took seems to have been a bit of a surprise for Jimmy. Apparently a pleasant one though.
After that the two boys spent the Memorial Day weekend together taking turns in what seems to have been a veritable weekend orgy. Good for them 🙂
Although Bobbie had promised to explain his relationship with Charles more fully to Jimmy, he never did. All he ended up telling him was what Jimmy wanted to hear, that Charles was fine with the two of them having sex. And by then Jimmy’s thoughts were focused on a more immediate concern, i.e., what to tell Jeff about the weekend.
In the end, Jimmy decided not to tell Jeff anything. Like most of us, he seems to have been content to let things drift along. Eventually Jeff headed back to the district with Congressman Bresnahan for August. While also suggesting that Jimmy go home for a visit with his parents, Jeff seemed content to let Jimmy make his own decision.
Later, Bobbie invited Jimmy to the Delaware beaches. Once there, he informed Jimmy that he and Charles would be leaving Washington after their vacation and invited Jimmy to come live with them permanently. Although conflicted, Jimmy finally agreed and ended up leaving a note for Jeff at the townhouse before disappearing.
Part IV of the story, which begins this evening, moves the timeline forward about seven years, to May, 1982. But before moving on, perhaps it would be worthwhile to step back and take a look at the larger picture.
We first met Jimmy as a fourteen year old boy in 1971. Like most boys his age then and now, he seemed quite interested in sex, having been introduced to its wonders by his then best friend, Tommy. Living in a small town where there just wasn’t much to do, Jimmy seems to have spent most of his waking moments obsessing about sex as many fourteen year old boys often do.
With Tommy working and no longer available to spend carefree summer days with him, Jimmy volunteered to help out the new playground supervisor, Jeff.
When Tommy, perhaps a bit jealous, suggested Jeff’s interest in Jimmy might not be entirely platonic, Jimmy’s curiosity was aroused and he ended up persuading the older youth to give him a blow job. What followed was apparently a quite enjoyable summer for Jimmy, but Jeff eventually returned to college and graduate school.
Three years later, in 1974, Jimmy and Jeff ran into one another again when Jeff was back home campaigning for one of his professors, who was running for Congress. Jimmy had experimented with girls over for the years, but apparently found them wanting in a variety of ways.
In the absence of a current girlfriend, Jimmy once again ended up seducing Jeff, his experience fucking girls apparently put to good use. Later still Jimmy accepted Jeff’s invitation to go to Washington with him when Jeff’s boss was elected to Congress.
Washington was a much bigger city than North Adams, of course, and had a much more active gay scene as well. In an effort to make friends, Jimmy found himself drawn into that scene.
It’s the 1970s and gay people are in the process of liberating themselves, throwing off all the old restraints and reveling in their sexuality. There’s a club scene, a drag scene, a bath scene, a leather scene, and much more. Whatever you want is available, sometimes for free, sometimes for a price. But whatever your fancy, pretty much anything goes.
Is it surprising that a small town boy thrown into this environment would be affected by it? Probably not. Unanchored and caught between what he’s been taught all his life and the excitement all around him, Jimmy’s still trying to figure himself out like so many others in the 1970s.
And there’s the rub perhaps. Like Jimmy Barnes in that helpful public service announcement, there are dangers lurking out there for our Jimmy Barnes as well.
Perhaps the biggest danger of all is not some pedophile lurking in the shadows. Perhaps it’s just the difficulty of finding an appropriate balance between what he’s been taught to believe all his life, who he actually is, and what’s now available to him in the aftermath of Stonewall.
We’ll discover the results of Jimmy’s journey of self-discovery in Part IV. And we’ll also finally get a more well rounded look at Jeff as well.
Of course, you as a reader don’t necessarily have to read on. The story told in Parts I through III is a self-contained story, one all too typical of the 1970s. So feel free to stop if you wish. Or you can continue on. As Bobbie told Jimmy that memorable Friday evening, it’s your choice entirely.
In any event, I’ve now posted Chapter 19. Welcome to the 1980s.