Chapter 37

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

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Summer Boys, Summer Dreams: Chapter 37

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SUMMARY: 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 a crueler side of the game. Baseball is about to separate them even though neither wants that to happen. You can find a longer synopsis of the entire story here. Please note that italics are typically used to indicate what a character is thinking or saying to himself.

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.

NOTES: Please check these notes every week. If there is something I want to alert you to as I post each chapter, this is where I will I do so.

SUMMER BOYS, SUMMER DREAMS

Part IV – Winter

Chapter 37

The game went into extra innings that evening and eventually we lost. I hadn’t played as well as I should have. I couldn’t get what happened that afternoon out of my mind. I had never seen anything like that before in my life. Yeah, sure, I had spent more than my fair share of time in locker rooms where tasteless jokes were passed around like candy. I had heard all the gay slurs one time or another.

But this had been different. This was hate, pure and unadulterated; the whole thing seemed completely irrational and made me wonder where rage like that sprang from and why. In the end, I was never able to answer that question.

By the time I got back to the apartment building after the game it was close to midnight. Given the hour I thought about not stopping by, but I wanted to be sure Dennis was okay. When I got there, I knocked on the door. There was no response so I knocked again. When there still wasn’t any response, I turned and started to walk away; then I heard the door crack open ever so slightly.

Looking back I could see his eyes staring at me. He didn’t say anything, just opened the door and let me in.

“Um, well, I just wanted to see whether everything was okay and whether you still want me to spend the night here. I told my roommates I had a date this evening, but I can tell them it didn’t pan out if you’re tired.”

“I wasn’t expecting you, not after this afternoon and especially this late,” Dennis replied. “But sure; the offer is still good.”

Walking over to the couch, he sat down. He was naked except for a pair of shorts. I was pretty certain he had been in bed when I knocked, but now he was just sitting there staring at me.

“Um, well, how did the rally go?” I asked, trying to be polite.

“It went well, Ethan. There were lots of people there; people who aren’t ashamed to stand up for what’s right.”

He didn’t say it, but I thought that last comment was directed at me. I decided to ignore it.

“That’s good,” I said. “I’m glad to hear it went well.”

“Look, I’m sorry about what happened this afternoon, Dennis,” I continued. “I’m not apologizing for him, but I think Jason is sick. He definitely needs help. I thought it was best to get him away from you. That’s why I went off with him and Neil; to make sure nothing happened to you.”

“You didn’t exactly cover yourself in glory out there today, Ethan,” he replied.

Stung, I pushed back.

“Oh yeah, sure,” I said. “What did you want me to do, Dennis? Did you want me to tell him I was gay too? Hey, Jason, I’m a fag too. I play for Dennis’ team, not yours; and you’re kind of cute, too, Jason. Could I please suck your dick? Is that what you wanted me to say, Dennis? Do you think that would have helped?”

“Maybe,” he replied. “I’m not sure anything would help with someone like Jason, but at least it would have made him stop and think. It’s easy for him to hate me. I’m smaller than you; more effeminate. I’m the stereotype of everything he hates.”

“But you’re different, Ethan. You’re taller and stronger than me, in better shape; and Jason knows that too. He likes you and admires you. He idolizes you because you’re bigger, stronger and in better shape than he is. Jason wants to be you, Ethan; and maybe knowing you’re gay would make him stop and think.”

“I don’t think so,” I replied, even as I wondered whether he might be right.

“But, okay, maybe you have a point; maybe I didn’t cover myself in glory. I’m sorry. I’m human too, Dennis. I make mistakes. If you want me to leave, I will.”

He looked at me and sighed.

“No, I don’t want you to leave. I want you to take off your clothes, come to bed and hug me.”

So that’s what I did. I slept with Dennis that evening; and at some point during the night I became aroused and Dennis went down on me and for the first time in my life I finally understood just what a powerful experience that can be. I mean, Mark would help me get off using his hand, but he had never done what Dennis did and it was as different as night and day.

When he was finished, I offered to return the favor. But Dennis said he was tired and we should go to sleep and would I please just hold him?

I snuggled up behind him, wrapped his body into my arms, and that’s how the two of us fell asleep that evening.

****

The rest of the week passed quickly enough with Dennis and me spending the evenings together sleeping like that. It quickly became apparent he was serious about wanting a relationship with me and he did everything he could to make that happen. Much as I had done with Mark, he would go out of his way to pleasure me in bed and I enjoyed being on the receiving end of that for a change. And yet I could never bring myself to tell him the one thing I wanted him to do more than anything else.

Someone once said perception is everything and maybe he was right about that. Instead of being honest with one another, we were content to let the perception we shared decide everything. I was the masculine one. He was effeminate. I was too embarrassed to ask him to do what I wanted. He was too clueless to understand what I longed for; and just like it affected what we did in bed, it affected everything else as well.

I was careful to avoid being seen together with Dennis in public. He was never deliberately flamboyant; and yet being somewhat effeminate, everyone immediately knew he was gay. I’m not sure why that embarrassed me, but it did. So whenever he suggested doing something together in public, I would find an excuse not to even though I was taking advantage of what he offered in the evenings.

We played our last game of the season on the road up in Aberdeen, Maryland. We were supposed to get back to the stadium by 3 p.m. and I was scheduled to leave for Ocean City on the bus an hour later. It had been on my mind to tell Dennis I would be leaving for home that afternoon, but I had delayed and delayed; and then finally that last evening together I told him I would stop by his place before he left for work the following day.

We ran into traffic near Baltimore and our bus didn’t get back to the stadium until 3:10 p.m. It took another fifteen minutes to get to the apartment. Fortunately I had packed everything I was bringing home before we left on the trip and one of my teammates had offered to drive me to the bus station. He helped me to bring my stuff down to his car. It was tight, but I still had ten minutes to say good-bye to Dennis.

“Listen, Kyle, I want to go back upstairs and say good-bye to someone,” I said.

“Is that right, Ethan?” he replied, grinning. “And just who would this someone be? Would it be that hot little babe you’ve been shagging all week? You’ve done a good job keeping that little bitch a secret from us, but I think I’ll just come along so I can tell the rest of the guys who you’ve been fucking this week.”

It caught me by surprise.

“Oh, come on, Kyle,” I responded. “That’s so juvenile. We’re not in high school, you know. I mean, hell, you don’t even know for sure that’s the person I’m saying good-bye to.”

“Maybe you’re right; I don’t,” he responded. “All the more reason you shouldn’t have any problem with me tagging along while you say good-bye.”

He wasn’t kidding. I could tell he was curious and determined to tag along and see who I had been spending my evenings with. He and the rest of the guys had been kidding me about it all week and I had played along with them because doing that had been helpful.

I mean, I had never been on a date since joining the team that spring. I had never brought one of those teenage girls who attended our games back to the apartment like they occasionally did. I hadn’t even flirted with them very much.

At first they passed it off as me being shy. But as the summer progressed I began to worry that maybe they were getting suspicious of me. Slipping away to meet Dennis every evening that last week had actually helped put those suspicions to rest; but now Kyle saw an opportunity to find out who I had been sleeping with and he wasn’t about to pass up the chance.

“Come on, Kyle,” I pleaded. “Do I hang around and be annoying when you have someone over to the apartment?”

“No, you don’t. But you’ve seen my taste in women so it’s only fair I get to see yours.”

I could see I was getting nowhere and time was rapidly slipping away.

“Well, forget about it then,” I said. “If you’re going to be like that, it isn’t that important. I’ll call her later. Just take me down to the bus station.”

He didn’t apologize for being so juvenile and I was ashamed I had let him intimidate me that way. In the end, I was sorry about never getting to say good-bye. Dennis would have said I hadn’t covered myself in glory that afternoon and I hadn’t. I knew it. I promised myself I would call him that evening and explain why I hadn’t stopped by.

But I didn’t call. I hadn’t been home that summer and Zachary was anxious to spend time with me so the two of us went swimming and then spent the rest of the evening wandering around town together. Later my mother was anxious to catch up on things and we just talked in the kitchen until well after midnight.

I didn’t call the next day or the day after that either and pretty soon enough days had passed so it would have been embarrassing to call at all. Later I traveled south to Florida to play winter league ball; and once spring training was over, the Blues decided to move me up to their Triple A affiliate in Portsmouth, Virginia.

There were times when I wondered why I had acted so cowardly. I guess I found the whole thing confusing in some ways. Dennis may have been more effeminate than me in his mannerisms, but I think he would have done what I wanted if I could have summoned the courage to ask him. He would have done just about anything for me because he liked me a lot. But I didn’t feel as passionately about him as he did about me.

I mean, I liked Dennis. He was a very nice boy; he had said I needed someone special in my life and he wanted to be that person and I appreciated that. But given everything else going on, I knew the whole thing would never work out. Like he had said about himself, I couldn’t see a way forward for the two of us so I took what was convenient for me and never really gave him a chance.

I never saw Dennis again after that brief time we shared together in Columbia. The whole thing made me feel guilty; ashamed of myself for using him like that. There were times when I found myself wondering about him. I even sat down and finally wrote him a letter once I got settled in Portsmouth. But the letter came back with a notation that there was no such person at the address I had sent it to. There was no forwarding address either.

In the end, hoping he had found some way forward for himself, I tried to forget about Dennis because the whole thing reflected so badly on me.

I’m never going to do something like that again I promised myself.

You need to stay focused, Ethan; on your career, of course, but more importantly on finding time for the people you really love; Hunter, Zachary and your Mom. You’ve been really terrible about that and that needs to change.

This year is going to be different I promised myself.

But like so many promises it turned out to be mostly a lie.

Yeah, sure, it had been a rapid ascent. I was playing AAA ball now, but everyone knew the next step would be harder and take a lot longer. If I was serious about making it all the way to the top and by now I was, I would have to concentrate completely and that’s what I did. I blocked everything out except baseball for the next couple of years.

I buried myself in the game completely and that had finally paid off. I had made it all the way to the top; and now here I was, sitting at home alone in my townhouse on a Friday evening drinking a beer and reminding myself just how unhappy I was.

****

Standing up, I walked over to the desk, flipped on the computer and sat down in front of it. It booted quickly and soon enough I was exploring familiar web sites, staring at pictures that turned me on, searching for videos that would show me what I wanted to see while I pretended what I was watching was happening to me. Feeling myself becoming aroused, I leaned back in the chair, reached down and began unzipping my pants.

Come on, Hunter, I whispered. Help me out here.

Suddenly I stopped.

This is pathetic, Ethan. Is this the best you can do on a Friday evening? Is this what you’re planning on doing for the rest of your life, sitting in front of a computer, staring at dirty pictures and masturbating while you think about Hunter?

I remember looking out the window and sighing. Then I typed in another address, one that took me to the site where the reviews of the bars, clubs and the rest of the stuff to do in Washington were waiting. It even included a special listing of what it called some happening locations, public places "where guys and girls are known to hang out and meet up late in the evening."

I mean, they made it sound like you could just go for a walk and eventually someone would find you, just like Donnie had found me in Arizona. I knew a couple of the guys on the team were using prostitutes to satisfy their needs. They even boasted about it and suggested they would be willing to introduce me to some of the girls if I wanted.

Prostitution was apparently a thriving business in Washington, one hidden away in the shadows beneath the public facade.

It wasn’t hard for guys to find what they were looking for. Management knew what they were doing and nobody cared as long as it stayed out of the press. It was just another business expense after all, something to write off. And yet somehow I knew it wouldn’t be the same if I did it and got caught; if I visited one of those parks, paid some dude to have sex with me, and then he turned out to be a cop and I got arrested and it came out in the press.

It wouldn’t be the same thing at all. It would be a very big deal, one that wouldn’t blow over in a couple of days; and, besides, what would my mother, Zachary and Hunter think if something like that happened? How could I ever explain it to them? Embarrassed just thinking about it, I ruled out the parks and the rest of the public places.

You need to make some friends, Ethan, people who are gay like you; people you can trust. It’s simple, really; make some friends and maybe you’ll eventually meet someone you like. He won’t be Hunter, but it’s never going to happen with Hunter. You know that; don’t you?

Turning back to the computer, I focused my attention on the detailed reviews of the city’s clubs, all the best ones. Washington seemed to have a club for just about everyone, but I ruled most of them out pretty quickly, especially the gay clubs.

In the end, I focused on clubs that catered to what was called a "mixed" or "diverse" crowd, gays and straights, guys and girls, black, brown, yellow, and white. The only requirements for those places were you had to be young and hip and have money; at least enough money to pay for the overpriced drinks and the cover they charged.

I knew I wasn’t exactly the hippest dude in the world, but I was young and had money. Even if someone recognized me, maybe it wouldn’t be that big a deal.

Or would it?

I recalled a conversation I had with Mark a long time ago.

"You think you’re no one, Ethan," he said, "but the truth is you’re someone important to many people. They know everything about you. They know what you look like. They know who you play for. They know all your stats. They know more about you than you know about yourself. Eventually someone will recognize you and it only takes the wrong one to make all the difference."

At some level I knew Mark was right, but I was tired of being alone. How would I ever meet someone if I just stayed home every night by myself? Looking through the list of bars and clubs once again, I kept returning to one named Buzz. A teammate had mentioned it to me soon after I joined the team.

The review didn’t say very much, just that it was one of the largest dance clubs in Washington, one it described as high energy; features a plush lounge, two floors, multiple rooms, amazing video, state of the art LED lighting, and multiple dance floors and seating areas. Checking its own web site, the place claimed to have something for everyone, "gay, straight and everything in between."

One room was apparently dedicated to those into drag queens, another to people who enjoyed comedy routines, and still a third was said to feature an in-house dance troupe that performed elaborately choreographed dance routines.

And then I noticed the following: "Friday night features go-go boys, surprise performance artists, and nationally recognized DJs and performers. Don’t waste your time anywhere else. We have the hottest current lighting and special effects; when added to our enormous video installation, they’ll provide you with spectacular visual excitement all night long."

Pushing the chair back from the computer, I stood up and started pacing back and forth. It was almost 11 p.m. and I knew I should be getting ready for bed. We had an afternoon game the next day and I would have to be at the park earlier than usual. I walked down to the bedroom and stripped off my shirt. By now I was tense and irritable. I didn’t want to go to bed.

What the fuck do you want, Ethan, a voice whispered? Come on, dude; be honest about it for a change. What do you want to happen tonight?

The answer came back swiftly in the form of a visual image.

I could see myself down on the floor on my hands and knees. Someone was fucking me from behind and I was enjoying it.

I want to be fucked. That’s what I want. I’ve never been fucked before except in my fantasies. I want to be fucked for real. I want to feel another guy’s hips grinding against my ass. I want to feel his dick plunging back and forth inside me, hitting my spot in the process and driving me crazy with pleasure.

The answer had come swiftly enough and it shocked me.

I found myself protesting.

No; that’s not what I want, I said, backing off.

Yeah, sure, I’ll admit it; I’m horny. I mean, for crying out loud, I’m twenty-one years old. It’s normal for someone my age to be horny. But it isn’t really about sex. I just need a friend; you know, someone to talk to, someone who likes me. Someone I like and can do stuff with like Hunter and I used to do; maybe someone who would like sleeping in the same bed with me, holding me, whatever.

But it isn’t really about sex that much; not really. It’s about having a friend.

Everyone else has friends. Why shouldn’t I have one?

Thinking about it that way made me feel better about things. It was just time to start making some friends.

Why not tonight?

But what if someone recognizes you, Ethan, the voice whispered? What if someone sees you leaving that place with a dude?

What’s so strange about that and why would they care if I do? It isn’t like it’s a gay bar after all; what’s so strange about two guys leaving a club together? Besides, no one cares about that shit anymore.

I mean, why would anyone recognize me? It’s not like I’m a star after all. Yeah, I’m the starting shortstop. Some people know who I am. But I’m not in the same class with the big boys, the team stars. If I have any following at all, it’s a niche following at best; small boys who can identify with someone smaller and still boyish like them.

It’s not like any of those kids will be hanging out at a D.C. club on a Friday night. Most of them are at home in bed, clutching their gloves to their bodies like I used to do in Rehoboth Beach. Maybe a few have a hand working a dick, but they aren’t thinking about you, Ethan. They’re thinking about some girl at their school.

I mean, for crying out loud, most hip people don’t even like sports very much.

Do they?

And so what if they do and someone recognizes me; what’s the big deal? Not everyone who goes to a club like that is gay. The crowd is diverse. Get in, have a quick drink, see what it’s like, and then leave. Even if I don’t meet anyone, I’ll have gotten a sense of how things work at a place like that and can go back some other evening when it’s less busy and make some new friends.

It was late; but the more I thought about it, the more the whole thing made sense.

You have to start somewhere, Ethan. Why not Buzz?

Stripping off my pants and briefs, I walked down to the bathroom and took a quick shower. Then, returning to the bedroom, I pulled on my favorite pair of briefs, the red ones that always made me feel incredibly sexy, a fresh pair of jeans, and a t-shirt that clung tightly to my chest.

I looked in the mirror.

You look fine, Ethan. You’ll fit in; don’t worry about it. Have a little fun for a change.

After taking one final look in the mirror, I walked down to the garage beneath the townhouse. Ten minutes of driving brought me to 8th Street. Locating the place wasn’t that hard. I was even able to find a parking place nearby, a miracle in itself I would later learn.

Then I remember walking up and down 8th Street checking the place out from a distance. There wasn’t that much to see and not many people sharing the sidewalk with me. Unlike me, moreover, those who were sharing it seemed intent on getting from one place to another.

Mostly they seemed to be headed for Buzz. Finally, I walked up on the other side of the street, stopped and stared across at the entrance.

I don’t know what I was expecting to happen. Some people were going in, some coming out. It seemed to be a younger crowd, about my age or a little older, mostly twenty-somethings. There were people at the front entrance checking identification.

This is stupid, Ethan. Either go in or go home. Don’t just stand here like an idiot calling attention to yourself.

I crossed the street and handed my license to the dude checking identification. That made me nervous. I wondered whether he would recognize me, but he didn’t seem to. He just flashed a small light in my face, looked at the license, and finally motioned for me to enter. Walking in, I was overwhelmed by audio and visual stimulation. The place was loud, incredibly loud.

It was dark as well and yet lights were sweeping in every direction providing enough illumination to make your way around without stumbling over the rest of the crowd. The place was mobbed. Everywhere you looked there were people. They were laughing and drinking and dancing and talking and carrying on.

I remember feeling out of place.

A lot of the guys were shirtless and tatted, something I hated. Many were preening and seemed more interested in showing themselves off than in actually talking to anyone. A lot were wearing short shorts or incredibly tight fitting pants that didn’t leave much to the imagination. There were a lot of girls present as well; and while some of them were into the slut look, most of the girls were actually dressed more tastefully than the guys.

Walking over to one of bars, I ordered a beer and stared at the television up above. It was tuned to a replay of the Blues game that evening and I was thankful for that at least. No one would recognize me from that.

Having paid for my drink, I walked around exploring the place for a while and finally looked for a corner where I could hide while checking the people out more discreetly. That the place I chose happened to be in the same area where the go-go boys were performing was just a coincidence I remember telling myself. But since I was already there and didn’t have anything better to do, I found myself staring up occasionally and watching those dudes shake their booties.

Initially it was just a quick glance every once in a while, but soon enough I was staring at them full time. I remember being kind of disappointed at first. Most were in their mid-twenties and not even in as good shape as I was; and while they were showing a lot of skin, I remember thinking they weren’t nearly as good looking as the dudes back home at the beach. None of them interested me, at least at first.

Then I spotted him down near the end of the line. He was younger than the rest of them, perhaps my age or a little younger. He was thinner as well and had a fantastic body, one my eyes quickly locked on to. He was cuter, sexier, and hotter than the rest of them. He seemed to have more than his fair share of the sexual energy that pervaded the place; a lot more. And he was definitely as good a dancer as the rest of them.

Jesus, that kid is freaking volcanic, I recall thinking.

And then I could feel myself going hard as I stood there staring at him.

It was embarrassing. I looked around to see whether anyone had noticed.

As best I could tell, no one had.

Finding a better position from which to view him discreetly, my eyes focused on that booty of his as the music continued to play. I remember being mesmerized by the thing. Like the rest of him, it was totally awesome. I couldn’t take my eyes off it at first.

Eventually I forced myself to look at the rest of him. Like Hunter, he was perfect.

He was about the same height as me and his body was totally smooth. There was hair on his head, of course, sandy brown hair that seemed to shake in every direction as he danced. At times it threatened to engulf his eyes; and while I assumed he had hair beneath those short-shorts he was wearing, that was it. The rest of his body was totally hairless and that was a huge attraction for me.

Dancing under bright lights was hard work and you could see his body glistening from all of the energy he was putting into the routine. But what I mostly noticed was that his skin was totally unblemished; no birth marks, no tats, no scars or blemishes, just smooth, beautiful, skin. The longer I stared, the more I found myself wanting to lick it.

He wasn’t exactly ripped, but he was definitely in great shape. While thin and lean, he was also defined and muscular in a way appropriate to his body; and just by the way he was dancing, you knew he was incredibly flexible as well. There wasn’t an ounce of fat on the kid.

To me his booty was perfect as well; small and cute and something I would have gladly stared at all night. Unlike the rest of the guys, you could tell how tight it was just by the fact that it didn’t jiggle at all while he danced. It was incredibly firm, just like the rest of his body, and flowed perfectly into his thighs, which were lean as well.

Because he was wearing short-shorts it was hard to know how amply endowed he was. Later I would learn we were almost identical; his, however, seemed to be a perfect complement to his hips. He had the most incredible hips in the world, ones that seemingly could keep going for hours and hours and drew your attention to his thin waist. In some ways, his hips were probably his very best feature.

They never quit!

His eyes were surveying the crowd, his body drawing energy from it. At one point I thought he looked over in my direction. I was probably wrong about that because his eyes moved on quickly enough, but just looking in my direction had given me an excellent view of his face.

It was deceptive.

When I looked at it the first time, no single feature stood out. His eyes were nice, but didn’t draw you in immediately like some did. His nose and mouth seemed to be exactly right for his face; his lips closer to thin than full.

And yet, like I said, his face was deceptive.

Although each of its parts seemed average when studied individually, the face as a whole was greater than the sum of its parts; and the longer I stood there staring at it, the more seductive it became.

It worked its magic slowly, deliberately; but if you were paying any attention at all like I was, you would soon find yourself unable to turn away. The longer I stared, the more sexual it became. In the end, there was something incredibly seductive about it, something that aroused and excited me.

Later I would learn that once those eyes that seemed so average locked on to you they became mesmerizing. They would slowly pull you into his soul and then refuse to release you. In the end, they’d overpower you, disarm you and totally own you. You were helpless before them and have to do whatever they commanded

Similarly, with a lick of his tongue those lips that seemed so average would move ever so slightly and you would find yourself drawn to them as well. Like the eyes, they would eventually overpower you to the point where you ached from wanting to kiss them.

In the end, you would realize too late it was the most beautiful face in the world, one you were powerless to resist; and best of all from my point of view, it was attached to the perfect body.

By now I was totally aroused. He was the kind of guy I dreamed about whenever I surfed the web in search of images or videos to satisfy my lust; and now here he was only a few feet away from me in real life and I wanted him.

I wanted him more than anyone I could ever recall wanting since leaving Rehoboth Beach. To me he was perfect, someone who would be able to fulfill me in a way I had never been fulfilled before.

And then came the doubts; wave after wave of doubts.

What makes you think that’s ever going to happen?

What do you mean, I asked? It could happen.

Oh, yeah, right, Ethan. You ran away from Donnie when you had the chance. You couldn’t even bring yourself to ask Dennis to do it to you. What makes you think tonight is going to be any different?

It isn’t the same, I said. I’m older now, more mature; besides, it isn’t even about sex. It’s about making a new friend.

Oh yeah, right; give me a break, Ethan! Both of us know what you want, but that dude can go home with anyone. What makes you think he’ll even notice you in this crowd? And what if he does? Why would he go home with you? That kid is the best looking dude in this place. Why would he be interested in you?

Stop being so negative; it’s not like I’m some kind of dog.

And what if he does go home with you, Ethan? What then?

Um, well, we’ll talk and get to know one another better. Maybe he’ll like me and stay the night.

Good luck with that, Ethan. It isn’t like you haven’t wanted the same thing to happen before and it never has. Face it, dude. You don’t have a clue how to make it happen and you’ll find some excuse to make sure it doesn’t happen tonight either.

You’re wrong, I replied.

Tonight is going to be different.

9 thoughts on “Chapter 37

  1. I didn’t want to give away how the memory sequence ended before you read this chapter, but I will say that I could have ended it in a much more dramatic way.

    I considered a number of possibilities, including having Dennis commit suicide or die at the hands of an enraged Jason. In both cases I could have made Ethan culpable in some way.

    I chose to end it with a whimper more than a bang because I think that’s more representative of what happens most of the time in real life. If you think it would have packed more punch if I had gone with one of the alternative endings, feel free to let me know.

  2. I liked the way it ended. Ethan was conflicted the whole chapter, knowing what he wanted, but afraid to take a chance and act. There are some football players that have come out, but I haven’t heard of any gay big league baseball players.

    I will just have to wait to see what happens. I’m glad you didn’t end Dennis’ life. Let’s hope he found happiness somehow.

    Thanks, Kit. Another great chapter.

    George

    1. That’s the great thing, George. You get to fill in all the details about what happened next for Dennis. That’s a good enough reason alone to keep him alive.

      Unlike Ethan, I’m going to bed 🙂

      Kit

  3. Oh my gosh. You’re killing me, Kit. What a cliffhanger. Like the “Who Shot JR” episode on “Dallas” years ago. I’m all keyed up now and panting. Lol.

    Seriously, you sure know how to capture the gritty reality of ugly confrontations with mean biggots as well as those awkward, nervous, and desperately hopeful encounters in dark noisy boom-boom clubs. And you revealed one of those sad times we may all experience when we are too fearful to do the right thing for someone else. I still suffer guilt over a friend I let down once a long time ago. Lack of courage. Not a proud moment.

    The Buzz club scene reminded me of the first time I stood across the street from a gay club trying to summon the courage to enter. A beautiful boy walked in and finally gave me the adrenaline I needed. But when I stepped inside I froze in place, stunned by the noise, blinded by the smoke and the flashing lights and in awe of the crush of boys and men. Mercifully, I was rescued by a cute little guy who trotted right up, grabbed my hand and asked “you wanna dance?” Without an answer I just followed him as he dragged me into the circling melee. Then he asked “lead or follow?”, and I knew for sure I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. You might guess it was Texas and everyone was in tight Wranglers and boots. What a fun night it was.

    But 37 was a very serious chapter, and it made me hurt for Ethan like I hurt when I was eaten up by the same desires and the same dilemma. I waited way too long to do anything about it, but eventually I did and life has been wonderful ever since. I hope Ethan and other young men longing for love and fullfilment will choose happiness over career and compassion over fear, and do so earlier than I did.

    You said you didn’t have time to fine tune this chapter, but Kit, nothing is missing or out of place. Honestly, you have the studied perception of an anthropologist when you define our unique culture with such uncanny familiarity. Very well-done, my friend. You earned your stripes on this one.

    1. I think you managed to capture those moments of hesitation, surprise, and shock in many fewer word than me, Dean. But whether that cute little guy will be as nice as the one you ran into is hard to say. It would be great to think that everyone in clubs like Buzz are good people. But we know gay people are no different that way than anyone else. Some are are selfish and some are cruel and some are so jaded it’s hard to even tell the difference.

      Like I said, we’ll have to see. Maybe Ethan will get lucky, but who really knows?

      In any event, thanks for the extended comment drawn from personal experience. Those are always the best and I appreciate it very much.

  4. Hi Kit

    Again I loved the way you tell the story and weave in the deep feelings of Ethan. I really felt sorry for Dennis, life has been so unfair for him and I just hope that one day he may find happiness.

    You are good at showing the inner conflict that is going on in Ethan. Many of us have had the same experience. Perhaps we are not famous sportsmen, but we have had the same mixed emotions and you capture it so well.

    You have given a hint that they get together as you said the Ethan finds out that they are the same size in the trouser department, but I will wait to see how he manages to link up with the so good looking dancer

    1. But will it be a good experience or a bad one, Graham? You exhaust yourself working up the courage to take that first chance. But what happens once you have is up to the luck of the draw.

      Of course, that’s what so amazing about life as well. Sometimes it feeds us ups; sometimes downs. But as long as we keep plugging away, as long as we keep hope alive, the possibility of finding the person we’re looking for remains.

      Let’s root for Dennis and Ethan. For better or worse, they’re us.

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