Summer Boys, Summer Dreams

a home run ... just like the story itself :-)

From Connected, Chapter 45

Two boys growing up together in an idyllic beachfront community share a passion for baseball. One excels at the game and plays it with reckless abandon; the other, less talented, studies the game and those who play it, hoping someday to share what he learns with others.

Best friends since childhood, the two have seen how baseball can bring them closer together. Now, having just graduated from high school, it’s about to show them another side of the game, a crueler side.

Baseball is about to separate them even though neither of them wants that to happen.

As the story opens, it’s early June in Delaware on the east coast of the United States. Memorial Day has come and gone and with its passage tourists have begun flooding into the coastal community of Rehoboth Beach seeking to escape the pressures of everyday life in contemporary America.

With the town coming alive and spring rapidly ending, we catch a glimpse of Ethan Williams at home in bed trying to rest before the final non-professional game of his budding career. It’s the day before major league baseball’s annual draft of youthful talent, but Ethan’s mind isn’t on baseball this June afternoon. It’s on his best friend, Hunter Allen.

To help his mother financially, Ethan has entered the draft straight out of high school; but the prospect of being drafted to play major league ball only depresses him because he knows he’s gay and that being drafted is going to take him away from Hunter, the person he loves.

Hunter is also depressed this day, but tries to hide it from Ethan. Physically attracted to his talented companion but less certain of his sexuality and confused by his feelings, he tries to bolster Ethan’s spirits even as his own spirits are draining away at the prospect of being separated from Ethan and the dream they’ve shared over the years of going to college together.

Yet, even as the two boys are about to set off in different directions, neither is able to summon the courage to reveal his true feelings.

Amidst the customary rhythms of a hard fought contest, each boy somehow copes with what the next day will bring, mixing memories of their youth with anxieties about what the future holds for them.

Part I spells out the results of the annual draft, the effect that has on each of the boys, and their ultimate separation after a final night spent partying together and one last visit to a special place on the boardwalk.

In Part II we follow Ethan as he struggles to adjust to playing minor league baseball. He makes new friends and some enemies as well along the way; as his loneliness deepens, he finds himself pulled in different directions, between the demands of his career and his need for friendship and love. He copes with these pressures in various ways, some predictable, some more surprising.

Part III moves the story forward in time and provides a glimpse of what has become of Hunter. Separated from Ethan, his college years at the University of Delaware have not been the happy experience he was hoping for. As his senior year begins, he’s looking to change all of that. He’s decided to rent an apartment off campus, but needs a part-time job and a roommate to make that work financially.

Both pose surprises for Hunter, but in entirely different ways. The rest of Part III spells out how he addresses those challenges, the effect they have on his life, and what follows, including an unexpected turn of events that shifts the focus of the story back to Ethan in Parts IV and V.

Still trying to cope with his loneliness, which has only grown stronger with the passage of time, Ethan makes a series of choices that pose both personal and professional risks. As the results of his choices threaten to end his playing career, Ethan is forced to come to grips with who he is as a person and what he wants out of life.

Summer Boys, Summer Dreams is a story about adolescent boys in search of fulfillment and struggling to come to grips with their sexual identities. It’s about what it means to be a boy in America struggling to become a man. It’s a love story as well, but not just about two boys. It’s a story about an America that never was and never will be, an America that exists in the imagination only but somehow continues to inspire new generations of boys even today.

In the end, Summer Boys, Summer Dreams is a story about baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet; and if you retreat into a darkened bedroom some warm summer evening, tune your radio to some far away station, and close your eyes for just a moment, you can still find it happening in parts of America today, just a little differently than you would have ever imagined.

From Connected, Chapter 45

Warning: This story is a work of adult fiction and intended for mature audiences only. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Unless otherwise indicated by context, all of the characters, leagues, stadiums, teams and clubs portrayed or mentioned in this story are fictional, not depictions of real people, leagues, stadiums, teams and clubs. Please note that the story may describe, depict or otherwise include graphic portrayals of relationships between men and/or adolescent boys that are homosexual in nature. If you do not like or approve of such discussions or it is illegal for you to read such material, consider yourself warned. If you continue to read this story, you are asserting that you are fully capable of understanding and legally consenting to reading a work of adult fiction.

Notice: This story is my property and protected by the copyright laws of the United States and other countries. It may not be reproduced in any form without my written permission. You may download a single copy to read offline and to share with others as long as you credit me as the author. However, you may not use this work for commercial purposes or to profit from it in any way. You may not use any of the characters, leagues, stadiums, teams, clubs, or other fictional locations described in the story in your own work without my explicit permission. Nor may you use, alter, transform, or build upon the story in any way. If you share this story with others, you must make clear the terms under which it is licensed to them. The best way to do that is by linking to this web page.

Book Cover: Although I have no plans to e-publish the story at this time, I created the graphic above as a possible cover should there be any interest in having me do so. I have minimal talents, skills and abilities as a blogger and even less as a graphic artist. If you think you can come up with something better, feel free to e-mail me and let’s talk about it.

Let Me Know: I’ve disabled commenting on this page to keep it focused solely on the synopsis itself rather than an extended discussion of the story. However, if you have a comment on the synopsis, feel free to e-mail me directly or to post it here. As a general rule, if you have a question or comment about an individual chapter, please comment at the end of the chapter. If you have a question or comment about any of my postings on the main part of the blog, please post them immediately following the posting over there. Thanks.

Read Chapter 1 of Summer Boys, Summer Dreams