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SUMMARY: What if you were homosexual but refused to admit it to anyone, especially yourself? The year is 1971 and fourteen year old Jimmy Barnes has discovered growing up in a small town can be boring in a way not even the solitary masturbation sessions he enjoys so much can relieve. When his best friend takes a job at the local newspaper, Jimmy finds himself on his own for the summer. What follows is a decade long saga with numerous twists and turns, a tale that’ll reveal the best and the worst of the nineteen-seventies and beyond.
WARNING: This story is a work of adult fiction and intended for mature audiences only. Unless otherwise noted, all of the characters in the story are fictional; any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. While some of the places described or mentioned in the story are fictional as well, others may be real. However, some liberties may have been taken with the truth to enhance the story. 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 you are fully capable of understanding and legally consenting to reading a work of adult fiction.
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NOTES: Please check these notes every week. If there’s something I want to alert you to as I post each chapter, this is where I will I do so.
Having reached our destination, Tommy and I staked out our place on the hill overlooking the lake. Then we raced down to the water and dove in.
“No running,” the lifeguard shouted after blowing his whistle, but by then the two of us were on our way out to the raft.
Once there we climbed the diving tower and took turns cannon-balling one another. Seeing which of us could make the biggest splash was fun for a while, but soon enough, exhausted, we swam back to shore. It was time to spend some time working on our tans.
Rolling on to my stomach, I rested my head on my arms and closed my eyes. Still bothered by our earlier conversation, I found myself thinking about stuff. Usually I tried to avoid that, but Tommy was a lot smarter than me, especially about sex, and that made me wonder whether he knew something about Jeff I was missing.
Like Tommy and me, Jeff had been born and raised in North Adams. He was older than us and most of what I knew about him he had told me himself. He had just finished his junior year at the University of Massachusetts that spring, but would be returning in the fall to finish up and get his diploma.
When I asked what he was studying, he told me he was majoring in something called political science. I had no idea what that was, but it sounded boring. Of course, anything that involved studying sounded boring to me.
Needing to raise money for school, Jeff had applied for a summer job as one of the playground supervisors in North Adams. That’s how we had met and become friends.
At the time I didn’t know much about Jeff. Our families attended the same church, Notre Dame. Being older than me, however, there was no reason I would have known him that well, at least until the summer of 1971 began. Even then it was only by accident I got to know him.
Back then the city opened the playgrounds at the elementary schools during the summer so kids who lived in the neighborhood would have somewhere to hang out. They were open from 9:00 to 12:00 in the morning and then again from 1:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon, five days a week beginning two weeks after school let out for the summer and continuing through the end of August.
To head off problems, the city would hire two supervisors for each school to keep an eye on the kids and make sure they stayed out of trouble. There was an older girl who spent the day supervising the younger girls and a male supervisor who did the same thing for the boys. I guess you could call it daycare before there was any such thing as daycare.
The activities offered were pretty basic, an assortment of arts and crafts, games, and supervised use of the playground facilities; the swings, teeter totters, and whatever courts were available at a particular school. At my neighborhood school, Houghton, that meant asphalt paved basketball courts; nothing else.
The big thing for the boys was summer league baseball, an informal league the city sponsored that pitted the different schools against one another. And since Kemp Park was just a five minute walk away from Houghton, that’s where the boys usually spent most of the morning trying to improve their baseball skills.
Being fourteen, almost fifteen, it was beneath my dignity to spend time at the playground. That was for little kids, not a teenager like me. But the truth is there wasn’t very much for teenagers to do in North Adams. It was a nice enough town, I suppose, but there just wasn’t a lot to do.
There was the lake, of course; that was the big thing. Once summer began, you could find me and Tommy there just about every day. Tommy and I were best friends and we made a good pairing. He was the smart one, the serious one, the hard worker.
I was the fun one, the athletic one, the kid who was easy-going and popular because I told jokes and could be counted on to keep everyone laughing.
People used to say Tommy was lucky to have me as his best friend because he was too much of a nerd to make friends on his own. But they were wrong about that. He was just quiet and shy. I always felt I was the lucky one to have him as my best friend; and not just because he helped me out in school.
Tommy made me feel good about myself, not stupid like my father used to call me all the time; not lazy and shiftless and someone who would never amount to anything when I grew up just because I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do in life when I got older.
He wanted to be a journalist like his father and I admired him for that. The only thing I knew for sure was I didn’t want to run some stupid mini-mart like my father when I grew up; standing on your feet all day and pretending to be nice to customers you didn’t actually like.
I guess I was lazy even back then.
Tommy used to say I shouldn’t worry that I didn’t know what I wanted to do; that I was only fourteen and most people didn’t figure out things like that until they got older.
He would say the important thing was I liked people and saw the best in them and never put anyone down because they didn’t play sports or weren’t popular like I was. He actually said he admired me although I never understood why.
Unlike me, Tommy was special. I knew he was going to grow up and do something important one day. I didn’t know what exactly, but it was going to take place on a much larger stage than North Adams could offer, that was for sure.
Whereas I would probably end up being stuck in North Adams all my life and never amount to anything; just like my father was always saying. I could never do anything right as far as he was concerned.
I guess that’s why I liked Tommy so much. He actually liked me in spite of my faults.
Like I said, we complimented one another well. He helped me out with our schoolwork; I probably would have flunked out otherwise. I was smart enough to do the work I guess; just not interested enough. Fortunately, Tommy made me do it; or at least enough of it to get by.
And then the other thing is I liked Tommy because he had taught me everything I knew about sex. He had explained what whacking off was all about; even showed me how. He had taught me the facts of life about babies and girls in a way even someone stupid like me could understand.
That was huge because I knew from the get-go I liked sex. I liked it a lot. And I was grateful to Tommy for teaching me how to whack off and for explaining everything else I knew about sex. Not that it was a one way street, of course. Being my friend helped Tommy as well.
Knowing how much I liked him, everyone accepted Tommy. He wasn’t unpopular exactly, but he was shy and nobody ever took much notice of him so hanging around with me helped expand his circle of friends; and once summer arrived the two of us were inseparable, of course. We spent most of our time at the lake with boys our age.
The boys would position themselves at the top of the hill overlooking the lake and spend hours working on our tans and rating the girls. None of us had girlfriends yet because they were interested in older boys.
But we knew we would soon enough because the older boys weren’t interested in them and the girls were starting to realize that and take an interest in us.
Me most of all.
And since the girls were beginning to do that, it was important for the boys to know how the different girls ranked looks-wise; which of them had the biggest tits, the sexiest eyes, legs and butts, and shit like that.
When we got hot, we would take a dip in the water to cool off or horse around or dive off the raft; and yet while I liked swimming as much as anyone else, there were only so many hours you could spend at the lake every day before you were completely bored out of your mind. In North Adams, being a teen meant being bored most of the time.
So when Tommy told me the new playground supervisor at Houghton was looking for someone to help with the baseball team, I didn’t dismiss the idea. Unlike Tommy, I didn’t have a job lined up; and while I would have preferred sleeping in late every morning, my mother wanted me out of the house and I liked baseball as much as anyone else.
I mean, I was too old to play on the team, at least technically too old. You weren’t supposed to be older than twelve or thirteen at the very most to play in the summer league. But the age rules were only loosely enforced back then and almost all the supervisors recruited one or two ringers to play for their teams.
As a ringer, your job was to practice with the team every morning and help the coach teach the game to the younger boys; and if one of the other schools actually decided to use one of their ringers in a game, you got to play as well.
Everyone knew that. No one complained.
The day the playground opened I happened to be talking to Tommy at his house. His younger brother Ricky was one of the boys on the team and he had mentioned how the new supervisor had asked the boys to spread the word he needed some helpers.
“At least that’s what he told Ricky and the rest of the boys,” Tommy said. “Knowing how good you are, Ricky asked me to mention it to you. He thinks you’d be perfect.”
“Who’s the supervisor this year?” I asked. “Is it that same doofus they hired last year, the dude with the horn-rimmed glasses that was always picking boogers out of his nose?”
“No,” Tommy responded. “It’s someone new. His name is Jeff and he lives across town. He’s home from college for the summer trying to make some money. I don’t know much about him, but Ricky likes him and I figured it was worth checking out.”
“I’m not as good as you, Jimmy, but there isn’t much to do in the mornings. My mother wants me out of the house, at least until I start at the Transcript next week.”
“Tell me about it,” I said. “My mother’s the same way. Do they still start practice at 10:00 o’clock?”
“Yeah,” Tommy responded. “You know how it is. The supervisor has to spend the first hour at the playground getting things set up for the day and making sure everything’s running smoothly. Then he walks the boys up to Kemp Park and they practice until noon.”
“Okay; I’ll come by your house a little before 10:00 tomorrow,” I said, “and then the two of us can head over there to check things out.”
“Ricky says they need a ringer to have any chance of winning,” Tommy replied. “I can go with you tomorrow and the rest of the week, but I won’t be able to help after that. It doesn’t pay much, but my father got me that job at the Transcript as a copy boy and sweeping the floor. He says it’ll be a good learning experience so I guess that’s where I’ll be spending the summer.”
Knowing how much he was looking forward to the job, I had bitten my tongue up until now. But that afternoon my frustration boiled over.
“Great,” I responded, annoyed. “That’s just great; as if this town wasn’t boring enough already, now I won’t even have you around to help kill the time.”
“I’ll be around some,” Tommy responded, “just not as much as I usually am. You’ll find some way of passing the time. The last time I checked, no one ever died of boredom in this city.”
“Who knows?” he added. “Maybe you’ll even find the girl of your dreams, Jimmy. That’s all you seem to think about these days; girls. What’s so special about girls?”
I had to laugh at that. Just because the girls were starting to show interest in me and I flirted with them, Tommy thought they were the only thing on my mind. It wasn’t true, but you had to play along to keep up your reputation. That was important if you were fourteen years old.
“I’m not the only one thinking about them, Tommy,” I replied. “You rate the girls as much as me and you’re pretty good at it. You like the tom-boys the best, just like me.”
“Yeah,” he responded. “But I’m not obsessed with girls like you are.”
“I’m not obsessed,” I said, shaking my fist by my groin in a motion both of us knew all too well. “Just bored. I’m not going to spend the rest of my life whacking off by myself.”
“Do you want to go in the water again?” Tommy asked, startling me. “I’m getting hot.”
“You go ahead,” I replied. “I’m going to work on my tan some more. I’ll join you later.”
Sitting up, I watched as he ran down to the lake and jumped in. Tommy wasn’t the strongest swimmer in the world and I worried about that so I kept my eye on him until he got out to the raft safely. Once he was there, I rolled over on to my stomach, closed my eyes again, and tried to pick up where I had left off daydreaming.
Practice was in full swing by the time we got to Kemp Park the next morning; and while the coach was trying his best to teach the kids the basics, he had his hands full. He could only work with a few of them at a time and it was obvious the rest of the boys were getting bored just tossing the ball back and forth while he did.
Eventually he noticed the two of us standing there.
“Let’s take a water break,” he shouted and all of the boys rushed off to the water fountain.
While they took turns drinking the stuff and spraying it on one another like little kids do, their coach turned around and walked over to Tommy and me.
“Hi,” he said, smiling at us. “My name is Jeff, Jeff Landry; and you are?”
“Tommy Williams. And this is my friend Jimmy; Jimmy Barnes.”
“Nice meeting you guys,” he responded, holding his hand out and shaking with us. “Do either of you play ball by any chance? I’m the new playground supervisor at Houghton and I’m looking for some assistant coaches to help me out.”
“These boys have the enthusiasm part down pretty well,” he continued, “but could use some help with the fundamentals. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough time to give them the individual attention they need. I could do more if I had a couple of assistants.”
“I’ll be starting a new job next week,” Tommy said, “but I could help out this week if you want. My little brother Ricky is your shortstop and he’s looking forward to the summer league.”
“Ricky’s probably my best player at the moment,” Jeff responded. “I could use a ton more like him; and I do appreciate the offer to help, if only this week.”
“No problem,” Tommy replied.
“But the guy you really need is Jimmy here,” he added, pointing at me. “He’s the best ballplayer in our neighborhood and doesn’t have a summer job either. He could probably help out all summer if you want.”
“That would be great,” Jeff said, smiling at me. “Would you be willing to show me what you’ve got if I tossed a little batting practice for you, Jimmy?”
“Sure,” I said, shrugging my shoulders.
Walking over to home plate, I picked up a couple of bats and checked them out. By the time I had settled on one, Jeff had taken his place on the mound. While the younger boys looked on, Tommy waited behind home plate, ready to toss back any balls I let pass.
The first pitch Jeff threw was slow; way too slow, as if he was tossing it to one of the younger boys.
“You can put more on it,” I volunteered, letting it pass.
The next pitch came in faster. Swinging, I got all of it and watched as the ball sailed over the left field fence.
“Wow,” I heard one of the younger kids shout from somewhere nearby.
The next pitch was faster still and again I got the whole thing. It sailed over the fence as well.
“Okay, I’ve seen enough, Jimmy,” Jeff said, grinning. “You’re a great hitter, that’s for sure. I could definitely use someone like you as my assistant manager if you’re interested. I wish I could tell you it was a paying job, but it isn’t. All I can offer is a free ice cream cone after our games.”
“I also wish I could tell you you’ll play every game, but I can’t do that either. I think you’re probably a little too old for this league; I’m guessing fifteen or sixteen. But from what I hear, all the teams have at least one ringer and you could be ours. I won’t be able to play you though unless one of our opponents tries to take advantage of us.”
“I know it isn’t much of an offer,” he continued, “but just take a look at the boys over there. It’s pretty obvious they’re in awe of you, Jimmy, and they should be. You’re a terrific ballplayer and you’ll have your own fan club if you’re willing to help out.”
“I would need you every morning though. I’m looking for someone mature like you I can count on. So what do you think, Jimmy? Do you want the job?”
“Um, well, sure,” I responded. “I guess that’d be fine.”
I had liked Jeff immediately just from the way he talked to Tommy and me; like grown-ups. I was flattered he thought I was good enough to be his assistant coach; and no one had ever praised me like that before, especially in front of other kids.
He had been honest and upfront about how little there was in it for me. He hadn’t tried to bullshit me like the dude the previous year. Most impressively, he had treated us as equals, not little kids. He had thought I was mature enough.
Me; Jimmy Barnes. Mature? Who would have thought it?
No one had ever called me mature or taken me seriously before; at least no adult had ever done that. No one had ever treated me that way and I liked that.
That first week I showed up for practice at 10:00 o’clock every morning with Tommy and did whatever Jeff asked. He was right. The other boys looked up to me as much as they did to him and it was fun helping them out. I liked seeing how much they improved just from someone showing a little interest in them.
By the second week I was getting to the playground by 9:00 a.m. and helping Jeff get the equipment out of the school and set up for the kids to play with. The third week brought still another change. By then I was spending my afternoons at the playground as well.
There were more boys than usual that summer spending the day at the playground and Jeff was having trouble keeping an eye on all of them. He was especially having problems at the end of the day because the boys were getting into the school and it was taking forever to get them out.
He would chase them out one door, only to have them slip back in through another; and even though he had reported the problem to the school system, they hadn’t sent anyone yet to fix the locks on the doors.
He was spending a lot of time barricading the doors every evening to keep the boys out of the school. But they were finding their way back in and removing the barricades. Knowing that, I volunteered to help out. Jeff appreciated that.
The fourth week Jeff started inviting me to go swimming with him at the end of the day. He said it was the least he could do for all the help I was providing and that swimming was more fun when you did it with a friend.
I was impressed someone older like Jeff considered me a friend and happy to finally have someone to cool off with at the end of the day.
Tommy wasn’t around anymore. Tied up working at the paper, he and I were mostly seeing one another on the weekends. I rarely saw him in the evenings because he was usually too tired from working; plus Jeff had a car and having a car in town like North Adams made a huge difference.
Soon enough I was meeting Jeff at the school after dinner and we would spend the evenings together. Some nights we would drive down to the hot dog stand on Curran Highway and play miniature golf. Other nights we would drive to one of the neighboring towns to see what was happening there.
One night we even went to a drive in movie together. That was fun although my father was mad when I got home late. I had to lie about what I was doing.
Usually the only time I wasn’t seeing Jeff was on the weekends by now. He was working a second job to pay for school and by the time he got off he was pretty tired. Sometimes I would see him up at the lake on Saturday or Sunday evening sitting by himself.
Leaving the other guys momentarily, I would say hello and we would talk for a while and then I would invite him to join me and my friends. But for whatever reason he was reluctant to do that.
And yet by now I already knew this was shaping up to be my best summer ever. Not being tied down to the same boring neighborhood in a town that was already much too boring was exciting, liberating even. I liked Jeff for making that possible.
Lying face down on the hill at the lake, I wasn’t aware of Tommy’s stealthy approach until I felt the water dripping on to my back, drop by drop.
“One more drop and you die, Tommy,” I said.
Hearing that, he proceeded to dump the entire cup of water on my back. That caused me to shriek.
Jumping up, I started chasing Tommy toward the lake. Soon enough we were horsing around in the water, all of our worldly cares forgotten. Later we walked home together. I remember sighing when I reached my house.
Everything’s changing, Jimmy. Tommy’s right. We don’t get to see one another nearly enough anymore. I like having Jeff around to do things with, but he’ll be leaving in the Fall to go back to school. One of these days you need to figure out exactly where you fit into the scheme of things like Tommy has.
And then it suddenly occurred to me that maybe I could be a coach someday.
You should ask Jeff about that, Jimmy. He keeps saying you’re a terrific coach.
But I was home now and Jeff wasn’t around; only my father was there at the house.
“Hey Dad, I was just thinking how much I enjoy coaching the Houghton summer league baseball team. Is that something you think I could do for a living when I grow up; coaching I mean?”
The old man just glared at me, mad I had interrupted the television program he was watching.
“No,” he replied, setting the bottle of beer he was drinking down on the table next to the chair where he was sitting.
“Why not?” I asked.
“Because you’d have to be smart to do something like that,” he replied. “Coaching is just a part-time job. Coaches have to be able to teach something else in school.”
“Maybe I could do that too,” I volunteered, looking for some encouragement.
“When was the last time you looked at your report card, Jimmy?” my father responded. “Because the last time I checked it was pretty apparent you’re too stupid to be able to teach anything else. So you can forget about that brilliant idea, dummy.”
“Uh, well, okay; thanks for the help, Dad,” I replied.
As much as he liked putting me down, I liked pretending I was too stupid to know he was doing it. It annoyed him and that helped take the sting out of his words.
Walking up to my room I lay down on my bed.
Forget about what you’re going to do when you grow up, Jimmy. It can wait. For now summer is here and so is Jeff. That car of his may be broken down, but no matter what Tommy says it gets you out of the house in the evening and away from the old man.
And what’s summer for after all? It’s for having fun!
It was late, after midnight, and my parents were already asleep. Like them I was in bed, but I was still awake and playing with myself. Tommy had been the one who taught me about whacking off; how I could play with something I had only known was capable of one thing and make it do something else entirely that was more fun.
A lot more fun!
At the beginning, I had been much too eager to experience the result the strokes inevitably produced. The pleasure was so intense, the explosion so powerful!
Unable to control myself, the whole thing was usually over in a matter of moments.
But by now I had learned how to prolong the experience; to repeatedly bring myself to the point of explosion and then back off, only to resume my labors again and again until I was barely capable of restraining a scream at the moment I finally permitted the explosion to take place.
I liked achieving the release after teasing myself like that. Indeed, I liked everything about whacking off. By now there was hardly a night when I didn’t do it at least once; often I did it more than once and then again in the morning. I was fourteen, almost fifteen, and addicted to whacking off, but lately something about it had become a bit too routine.
Don’t get me wrong. I still liked it, but something seemed missing so I tried a variety of things to intensify the experience. Sometimes when I knew I was alone in the house I would lay down in front of a mirror and watch myself do it; or I would wear the jock I wore beneath my swimsuit and cum in it, then go swimming that way once it dried out.
Other times I would go down to the woods behind Kemp Park and walk east until I was certain I was alone. Finding a spot hidden away in the woods, I would strip off my clothes and wait patiently until someone wandered by on the main path.
Usually it was another boy like myself; sometimes older than me, sometimes younger. As they passed by I would begin stroking rapidly and complete the deed before they disappeared into the distance. There was something exciting about that.
There were even times when Tommy and I whacked off together in the woods early on. We would just sit there and watch one another do it.
I had suggested one time we help one another out with the whacking, but Tommy was concerned someone might think we were homos if we did that. I thought that was kind of stupid, but realized his brother had spooked him by always babbling on about fairies.
And we had stopped doing that after a while because Tommy thought we were too old to be whacking off together like that. Someone might get the wrong idea.
Like I said, all of those things helped, at least at first, but they just didn’t help enough anymore as far as I was concerned. There was still something missing. Maybe that’s why I found myself going over our conversation that afternoon again even as I laid there whacking off.
Could Tommy be right, I wondered? Could Jeff be a homo?
No way, Jimmy! Jeff’s just like you; normal.
But what if he was? Would he like sucking cocks like Kevin told Tommy? And would he be interested in sucking mine if he did?
It didn’t seem like a big deal to me. I mean, it wasn’t something I would do, sucking another boy’s cock. I wasn’t a homo after all. But what if Jeff was a homo and actually liked doing something like that? Why should I care if he wanted to do that to me?
Heck, it might even be fun.
Closing my eyes I visualized myself in the woods leaning against a tree.
Jeff was there and we were talking about something; and then the next thing I knew he was kneeling down in front of me.
Seeing him looking up at me, I smiled and slowly unzipped my pants. Reaching in, I realized I was already stiff and struggled to pull it out through the zipper.
Pointing it directly at him he just stared at it for a moment.
“Go ahead, Jeff,” I whispered. “I know you like it and it isn’t a problem for me if that’s what you want to do. I like you, Jeff. We’re friends. Go ahead and do it. Suck my cock, Jeff.”
And then, unbelievably, he was actually doing it.
He was sucking my cock!
I was staring down at him while he did it and holding his head in place.
Awesome, I recall thinking. Jeff’s a homo and likes sucking cocks and he’s a pretty darn good cocksucker too.
With my eyes closed it seemed so real; the pleasure was so intense and I had never enjoyed anything in my life as much as I was enjoying what Jeff was doing right now.
“Shit,” I exclaimed, suddenly realizing I had just blown a load all over myself in bed. “That’s what you get for dreaming about stuff like that, Jimmy.”
I was surprised at just how big a load I had blown. It was massive, bigger than any I had ever experienced before in my life. That was probably because I hadn’t whacked off that morning. But whatever the reason it was all over the place; not just on my stomach and chest as usual, but on my face and even in one of my eyes and in my hair.
Fortunately, it hadn’t splattered on to the sheets. I was grateful for that. My mother wouldn’t know. But it was all over me and that was a problem.
“You need to be more careful, Jimmy.”
Cleaning myself up as best I could with the old t-shirt I kept hidden away for that purpose, I settled down and closed my eyes.
Could Tommy be right I wondered?
I didn’t know whether Jeff was a homo, but suddenly I realized I needed to find out.
If he was, I wanted the two of us to become even better friends than we already were.
I wanted him to be my best friend for the summer.