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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. July 1, 2016: Have a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend. I’ll be away for a few days, but should be able to respond if anyone has any comments on the story so far.
Standing outside the house trying to figure out what to do next, I was having trouble coming up with ideas; at least ideas that interested me. Unlike Tommy, who had a date, I didn’t have a girlfriend I could take to the movies. I didn’t have a car either, which would have helped. And it was Friday night in a town where there just wasn’t much to do.
There was the lake, of course, but it would be closed by the time I got there. Not that it mattered if you wanted to go swimming badly enough. You could walk halfway around the lake and go skinny dipping in the unsupervised section.
Three or four years ago I might have done something like that, but I was eighteen years old and going swimming by myself on a Friday night was the last thing I wanted to do.
There was also the miniature golf course down on Curran Highway, but it was too far away to walk and there wouldn’t be anyone to play with even if I could get there. Besides, miniature golf was stupid. By now even I realized that.
The other possibility was Noel Field. There was usually something going on down there in the evening. Even if nothing was happening, that’s where a lot of the kids my age liked to hang out.
Maybe someone with wheels will be there, Jimmy; someone you could hitch a ride to New York with.
Probably not, I replied, skeptical.
I had already checked with my closest friends and they weren’t interested. The accident my mother had mentioned was still fresh in everyone’s mind and they were too scared of getting in trouble with their parents to risk driving to New York.
There were still a couple of guys I knew who might be willing to risk it, but no guarantee they’d be at Noel Field by the time I got there. For a moment I wondered whether I should bother going anywhere. Noel Field was almost three miles away and I had been on my feet all day.
What else is there to do on a Friday night, Jimmy? Plop yourself in front of the television with Mom and Dad and get old prematurely?
On that encouraging note, I set off for Noel Field. I decided to go by way of East Main Street; at least I’d be walking down a hill that way. On the way past Notre Dame at the bottom of the hill I ran into our parish priest.
“You haven’t been to Confession in a long time, Jimmy,” he said, chastising me.
“I’ll do it tomorrow, Father,” I lied.
“We could go over to the Church and do it right now if you want,” he replied.
Give me a break, Father. Do you really think I’m going to tell you what I’ve been up to since the last time I went to Confession?
“Uh, well, I would, Father, but I promised to meet someone downtown. In fact, I’m already late,” I added, breaking into a run and dashing off.
Soon enough I was approaching the library.
You could stop in there, Jimmy. Who knows? There might be some lonely girl in there who’d rather not be.
Be serious, Jimmy, I responded. It’s August and school hasn’t even started. What kind of girl would be at the library at this hour on a Friday night in August? And where would we do it even if she wasn’t a dog?
Those librarians are hawks. They have those little mirrors all over the place and they’d know in a minute if you tried something funny.
Maybe she’d have her own car? the voice responded.
Yeah; and maybe the man in the moon gives free blow jobs on Friday nights.
By now I had reached Main Street. Most of the stores were already closed or in the process of doing so. Looking across the street I spotted a large sign above one of the storefronts that had been empty until recently.
BRESNAHAN FOR CONGRESS
There was a light on inside so I crossed the street and peaked in. A solitary figure was sitting at a long card table looking through some stuff. Another look revealed it was Jeff.
For a moment I thought about going inside and saying hello, but then I had second thoughts. Whatever else might be the case, I was conflicted about how I felt about Jeff. On the one hand, I still had fond memories of the fun summer we had spent together three years ago.
It had been the best summer I ever had. Mostly that was because of the sex; I’d be lying if I denied that. That had been the first real sex I has ever had with someone and it had been awesome. Eventually the summer had ended, however, and Jeff had gone back to school. After that I never saw him again and that still bothered me.
I don’t know what I was thinking exactly, but somehow I assumed we had made a connection that summer and Jeff would come back on the weekends to see me; at least some weekends. I knew he liked me, liked me a lot. All I had to do was to show him my innocent boy smile and he would be down on his knees in a flash.
And it’s not like I didn’t like him. He was a nice guy. He had shown me the world was a lot bigger place than the tiny neighborhood in a small town that had been my world up until then. He had taken me places and shown me things I was never aware of before.
So, yeah, it’s not like I didn’t like him. I did.
We were different, of course. He was a homo and I wasn’t, but I didn’t have anything against homos and was perfectly fine with what happened as long as Jeff understood we were different.
But Jeff hadn’t come home on the weekends to see me once he went back to school. It was as if he had fallen off the edge of the world. I never really saw him again after that summer and by the beginning of November I had pretty much recognized I never would.
So I had gone out and gotten my first girlfriend, Jane Bergeron. Plain Jane Bergeron is what the boys called her and that description was accurate. But plain as Jane was, she also had a reputation for being nice to her boyfriends and that turned out to be correct as well.
She didn’t put out for me, at least not her pussy, but she was willing to suck me off because she liked me. Not that she was especially good at it, at least compared to Jeff. But it was a mouth after all and a mouth was better than a hand.
There were more girlfriends after plain Jane. But even now, three years later, I was still kind of annoyed that Jeff had dumped me like that. He could have at least said something.
So I decided not to say hello and continued on to Noel Field where there were three guys in particular I knew might be up for a drive over to Petersburg. Of the three, Ronnie Pasierbiak was the one I knew best. He was kind of like me, stupid but fun-loving, and he was the most curious guy I ever knew.
The first time I had ever driven him over to Petersburg Ronnie had insisted on stopping at the porno shop right across the border as you entered New York. The place had been there forever and every boy who drove over to Petersburg had stopped there at least once.
But most of the time it was only once because there was always some kind of wrapper that made it impossible for you to get a look at the good stuff; the stuff you wanted to see. They did that to force you to buy the magazines and they were way too expensive. The place was really for older men with good paying jobs, not kids like us.
Like I said, we stopped there one Saturday evening because Ronnie had never been inside the place; and then once he was he discovered the small section in the back room where they kept the magazines aimed at the homos.
Or maybe I pointed it out to him. I can’t remember.
Ronnie asked me what homos did and I just shrugged my shoulders and told him to buy a magazine if he wanted to find out. He was too embarrassed to buy it himself, but said he’d give me the money if I’d buy it for him.
So that’s what we did. I picked out a magazine for him and he gave me the money. But he wasn’t too happy when he got back to the car and started looking through it.
“Shit, Jimmy,” he said, absorbed in the magazine as I continued driving along. “I don’t believe this.”
“Believe what?” I asked.
“There’s this bodybuilder in these pictures and he’s got his cock stuck up some young boy’s ass. Here, look,” he added, holding the magazine up for me to glance at as I drove.
Glancing over, I couldn’t believe it either. It was a shock even for me. I nearly drove the car off the road that evening.
Later, on the drive home, Ronnie rolled down the window.
“What are you doing, Ronnie?” I asked.
“I’m going to throw this disgusting magazine out the window. My father would kill me if he knew I had been looking at something like this.”
“Jesus, Ronnie, you spent more on that freaking magazine than you did on beer tonight,” I said. “Don’t throw it away. We can put it in some freshman’s locker and scare the shit out of him.”
The kid I had in mind was this good looking boy who was kind of shy and withdrawn. I had always thought he might be a homo and wondered how he would react to something like that.
So that’s what we did. Not wanting to hold on to the thing, Ronnie tossed the magazine into the back of my Dad’s car. I found a good hiding place for it and that’s where it stayed while Ronnie and I came up with a plan to get into the kid’s locker.
While we did that, I managed to look through the whole thing myself. It was an eye opener, that’s for sure; and I guess it turned out to be a pretty good prank as well, at least in a sick kind of way.
The kid we picked on nearly shit his pants when he discovered the thing. He was a good looking kid, but I don’t think he was ever right after that. He knocked up some girl a few weeks later and ended up on the wrong end of a shotgun marriage.
I always felt a little guilty about that.
By that time I had reached Noel Field and run into Ray Stasiowski.
“Hey, Ray,” I said. “Have you seen Ronnie Pasierbiak tonight?”
“You just missed him, Jimmy,” Ray replied. “He left twenty minutes ago; said he was going over to New York.”
“What about Frankie Lathrup?” I asked.
“Frankie won’t be back until Sunday, Jimmy. He and his family are on vacation at the Cape this week.”
“Shit, with my luck I guess Carl DeMarco isn’t around either,” I said.
“He’s got a date with plain Jane tonight,” Ray replied. “Do you believe that? Carl must be pretty desperate to go on a date with her. There’s not a boy in town that hasn’t had that bitch.”
“Hey, watch your mouth, Ray,” I said. “Jane’s a nice girl; a nympho for sure but still a nice girl.”
Ray just laughed.
So that was it. There was no one around to take me to Petersburg. With nothing better to do, I hung out with the rest of the guys for a while and shot the breeze. Eventually, I turned around and headed back toward Main Street.
When I finally got to Main Street, however, I was surprised to see the lights still on in the old storefront where the Bresnahan campaign headquarters was located. Looking in again, I could see Jeff still hard at work by himself.
Jesus, Jeff, only a loser spends Friday night working on some stupid political campaign.
Pushing the door open, I walked in. There wasn’t very much there, just a bunch of long tables and a couple dozen old metal folding chairs.
Jeff glanced up from the table where he was seated and just from the look on his face I could tell he was startled to see me.
“What are you doing here, Jimmy?” he exclaimed, surprised.
“I was on my way home from Noel Field and spotted the sign above the door,” I said. “Then I remembered Tommy telling me you were working for some guy running for Congress. Was he right about that?”
“He was,” Jeff responded. “Professor Bresnahan was a teacher of mine at UMass, at least until he decided to run for Congress earlier this year. He took a leave of absence from school, ran in the Democratic primary this spring, and won. Now he’s running against some Nixon loyalist the GOP nominated.”
“Is that right?” I asked, pretending to be interested. “Not that I know anything about politics, but maybe I could persuade my parents to vote for this guy if you tell me what’s so great about him.”
“Oh sure,” Jeff responded, eager to convince me. “The main thing is he’s very progressive on all the issues. He’s was against the Vietnam War from day one and he’s been a big supporter of civil rights for African Americans. And he’s come out publicly for Nixon’s impeachment over the Watergate scandal.”
That triggered a bell.
“Oh, jeez, sorry, Jeff,” I replied; “I may not be able to help you out after all. My father’s a big fan of Tricky Dick. God only knows why. My mother doesn’t like him that much, though, and neither do I. I mean, all you have to do is look at the guy to know he’s a crook.”
“He is,” Jeff said, nodding his head in agreement.
I think he was happy to know I wasn’t a big fan of Tricky Dick.
“Here,” he said, frantically pulling some pieces of paper together. “I’ve got a bunch of literature you can give your parents about Professor Bresnahan. I wrote a lot of it myself and I think it’s pretty persuasive. Maybe they’ll like what they read, especially your mother.”
“Why don’t you hold on to it for now, Jeff,” I responded. “I’ll probably just lose it between now and the time I get home.”
“Oh, sure, of course,” he said. “That was stupid of me. I can’t imagine you’d want to be carrying this stuff around.”
“Do you and your family still live off of Union Street?” he asked.
“We do,” I replied.
“I’ll have a volunteer drop this stuff off on your doorstep the next time we make a sweep through that neighborhood,” Jeff said.
“That makes sense,” I replied.
“How much do you get paid for running this campaign?” I asked, curious.
“Nothing,” Jeff responded. “I’m a volunteer like everyone else working on the campaign. But if Professor Bresnahan wins, he’s already told me he wants me to be his chief legislative assistant in Washington. That’s something I’d really like to do.”
“Why?” I asked, bored.
“I don’t know,” he replied. “I mean, when I was younger, I was always fascinated by political campaigns for some reason. And now that I’m older I’ve become more interested in public service; you know, having the chance to make a difference for our country like President Kennedy was always talking about.”
“Being a legislative assistant to Professor Bresnahan would give me a chance to do that,” he added. “It’d be a dream come true, at least for me.”
“Well, then, I hope he wins,” I replied. “It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy and would get you out of this two-bit town, that’s for sure.”
“Thanks,” he responded. “That means a lot.”
“So what’s new with you, Jimmy?” he asked. “It’s been a long time.”
“Almost three years,” I responded. “That’s the last time I saw you, Jeff; three years ago just before you went back to college. I never heard from you after that. It was kind of disappointing at the time. I thought we were supposed to be best friends.”
I wasn’t going to make a big deal about it, but wanted him to know I was still kind of upset about him dumping me like that without a word.
“Uh, well, I’m sorry, Jimmy,” he said. “It wasn’t intentional. The truth is I only got home once that semester after I went back to school. It was around Christmas and I was debating whether I should call and say hello.”
“But then I ran into Tommy and he told me you had a girlfriend. I figured . . . um . . . well, uh, I just figured maybe you wouldn’t want to see me again; you having a girlfriend and all, I mean.”
Knowing Jeff, I could see how that made sense to him.
“After that I went back to UMass and got my degree; and then I spent the next two years working on my Master’s. It was a busy time and I hardly ever got home. It wasn’t like I was ignoring you. I just thought you had moved on with your life and I was happy for you. I didn’t think you’d want to see me again.”
“Still feeling guilty about that summer, Jeff, aren’t you?” I replied. coming straight to the point.
“Kind of,” he said.
“I don’t know why,” I responded. “You didn’t do anything wrong. Everything we did was exactly what I wanted to happen. I think I told you that a million times that summer trying to reassure you.”
“I know,” Jeff responded. “But for some reason I always felt guilty. You were younger than me and I worried I was being a bad influence on you. You know what I mean?”
“Yeah, I know that’s how you felt,” I said, shrugging my shoulders. “But you shouldn’t have. I mean I’ve had a ton of girlfriends the last few years. I’ve had sex with a lot of them. But just because we’re different doesn’t mean I feel bad about anything we did. We had a lot of fun together that summer and that’s the point of sex, don’t you think; to have fun?”
“Uh, well, sure; I guess so,” he said. “And thanks for telling me that. I feel a little less guilty now knowing everything turned out okay for you.”
“Speaking of fun, Jeff,” I said, “do you still have a car?”
“I do,” he responded. “Not the same one I had when I was the supervisor at the playground. I have an old Buick now. The thing is a tank, but it runs really well. Do you need a ride home or something?”
“Yeah, I’m looking for a ride, but not home,” I said. “I’m sure you must have been to the Rendezvous in Petersburg before and I was wondering whether you’d like to go there tonight with me. We could catch up on old times if you did that. What do you think, Jeff?”
“Um, well, I don’t know,” Jeff responded, cautiously. “To tell the truth, I’ve never been to that place. But, uh, it’s not like I have any big plans for the evening either. I was just going to spend a couple hours here stuffing the envelopes our volunteers addressed earlier this evening.”
“Sounds like an exciting Friday night you’ve got planned there, Jeff,” I said, laughing. “Do you really think that guy you’re supporting would expect you to spend Friday night here working on his campaign?”
“He doesn’t,” Jeff replied, “but I would feel guilty if I didn’t spend a little more time here.”
“I’ll tell you what,” I said, surprising myself. “If you show me what needs to be done, I’ll stay and help out. Maybe we can finish up sooner and be on our way to New York if I help. Is that fair or what?”
“Uh, well, sure; that would work, I suppose,” Jeff said. “But uh . . .”
“But what?” I asked.
“Um, I mean, I’m just wondering whether you really want me to go there with you,” Jeff finally said. “Will anyone else from North Adams be there?”
“Maybe,” I said, confused by why that would matter. “Probably not many though. There was a big accident a couple of weeks ago and a couple of kids were killed. People are staying away from the place, but why do you ask?”
“Uh, well, it’s just that some of the guys my age in North Adams . . . let’s just say they’re not my friends and, uh, sometimes they say nasty things about me. You know what I mean? If they saw you with me, they might think . . . they might think, you know, bad things about you; might say nasty stuff. I wouldn’t want to do that to you. I like you too much.”
I remember being surprised he cared about my reputation that much.
“Look, Jeff, I don’t know how you feel, but I still consider you a friend,” I said. “You don’t have to worry about that. I don’t care what someone might think. Everyone in town knows my reputation with girls. They wouldn’t believe any of that shit; and, honestly, I wouldn’t care either.”
I was telling the truth, at least mostly. I wasn’t different like Jeff and all my friends knew that. No one had ever suggested I might be a homo. At the same time, Jeff was a nice guy and I didn’t understand why so many guys hated people like him. Hating seemed like a waste of time.
“Uh, well, I’m not that big on drinking either,” he said. “I wouldn’t want you to get hurt because I was intoxicated. I would probably be a stick in the mud and not drink anything if I drove you there. You might not have a good time being around me.”
“I don’t actually drink that much myself,” I lied, desperate by now to get him to agree. “So that’s not a problem. Come on, Jeff; you’ll have a good time.”
“Are you sure you want me to go, Jimmy?” he asked, looking me in the eyes.
“Hey, Jeff, we were best friends once. Of course I want you to go with me.”
“Well, um, maybe it would be okay,” he replied. “But when would I need to get you home? What time’s your curfew?”
“I’m eighteen now, Jeff,” I responded. “I work at McDonald’s full-time. I don’t have a curfew anymore. But the bar closes at 2:00 p.m. if that’s what you want to know.”
“Come on; let’s get to work on this stuff,” I added, knowing he’d feel obligated to take me if I helped out.
Sitting down next to him, I watched as he set some brochures and pieces of paper in front of me. He wanted me to put them together in a certain order and then hand them to him. As I did, he would fold them carefully, stuff them into an envelope, seal it, and set the envelope aside in a box.
There were times when our hands touched as we did that and I deliberately didn’t pull mine away. I waited for Jeff to do that and he did whenever it happened. But I could sense his nervousness with us being so close like that and I was pretty certain he still had feelings for me.
It wasn’t just me, Jeff. You had a good time too that summer. You need to remember that. You need to remember just how good it was; how much you enjoyed it.
We spent about forty-five minutes doing that; and then seeing how bored I was, Jeff said we had done enough. We closed up the place and took off for New York.
We didn’t run into anyone from North Adams at the Rendezvous and we didn’t even stay until closing time. I nursed a couple of beers because money was tight for me at the time. True to his word, Jeff had nothing at all. He seemed uncomfortable and out of place at the bar, clinging to me as if I was his only friend in the world.
Maybe you are, Jimmy. Hard as it is to believe, maybe you still are his only friend.
We talked a lot that evening, mostly about what had happened over the course of the last three years; and while we avoided any mention of that special summer the two of us had shared long ago, I sensed it was there in the background for both of us.
It was about 1:45 a.m. in the morning by the time we got back to North Adams. The drive home along the winding back roads had gone uneventfully and now we were headed up Union Street toward my home. Whatever buzz the beer had provided for me was long since gone.
If I was being honest with myself, I had known all along what I wanted to do the moment I ran into Jeff earlier that evening; that it wasn’t just about getting a ride over to Petersburg and drinking a couple of beers. Tommy was right. I hadn’t been getting any for a long time now and that was driving me crazy.
I’m not sure exactly when the idea occurred to me, but as the night progressed it came into clearer focus. It wasn’t just about getting sucked off any more. I was thinking bigger now, a lot bigger, and I had been thinking about how to make it happen on the drive home.
Approaching the street I lived on, I decided to up the pressure on Jeff.
“Don’t take me home,” I said. “Just keep driving up the Trail for a while. There’s someplace I want to show you.”
He looked at me for a moment and I could sense he was nervous, but he did as I said and eventually we reached the isolated spot off of West Shaft Road I was looking for. I directed him down it and told him to turn off the car.
“What’s this place?” he asked, and by now it was obvious he was even more nervous. “It’s pretty quiet and dark here.”
“This is the place I used to bring my girlfriends,” I replied, grinning at him. “Hardly anyone in town knows about this spot, let alone comes here. I wanted to bring you here because it has a lot of good memories for me; kind of like my memories of you.”
“I see,” he responded, his hands fiddling with the steering wheel.
At some point during the evening I had recalled that what worked best with Jeff was making him nervous and then keeping the pressure on him. By now I was certain he was thinking I was going to ask him to suck my cock and I probably would have if it had been three years ago. But I had something different in mind now and it required more patience.
“If you’re worried, I didn’t bring you here to have sex,” I finally replied, grinning at him. “I thought we could smoke a joint though.”
“Have you ever smoked pot, Jeff?” I asked, pulling the little box where I kept the joints out of my pants.
“Uh, well, once or twice at school,” he responded, nervously.
“Did you like it?”
“I guess,” he said; “I honestly don’t recall much about how I reacted except waking up alone in my room the next morning. But, uh, I’m not sure we should be smoking pot here, Jimmy. The police might come by; and, uh, I’ve never driven a car when I was high. I wouldn’t want to risk getting you hurt in an accident, especially on roads I’m not that familiar with.”
Knowing Jeff, I had figured he would say something like that and was actually happy about his reaction. I needed more time to get the stuff I needed together for what I had planned. But part of the plan involved getting Jeff to smoke pot with me. It would get him nice and relaxed and lower his inhibitions.
“How about tomorrow then,” I suggested. “We could meet at our special place behind the lake, the one we used to go to back in 1971. It’s quiet and secluded; no one would ever see us doing it if we smoked there and it would be fun getting high with you.”
“I don’t know,” he said, fidgeting with the wheel.
He was smart enough to know I wasn’t just inviting him there to smoke a joint and he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do quite yet.
“It isn’t a big deal, Jeff,” I said. “Why don’t you think about it overnight? If you decide you’re up for some fun, you could join me there. Why don’t we say around 8:00 p.m.? If you don’t come, I’ll just smoke these joints myself. It’s not a big deal. It would be more fun smoking with you, but I’ll understand if you don’t show up. It’s completely up to you.”
“Um, well, thanks,” he responded.
I could see his body relaxing now as I eased off the pressure.
“I’ll think about it, Jimmy,” he continued. “I promise; and, uh, if I decide not to come, I’ll give you a call at your house so you’ll know in advance.”
“That would be great,” I responded, improvising, “but I won’t be at home most of the day tomorrow. You might not be able to get in touch with me. Just do whatever you want. I’ll be there one way or the other.”
It was a nice touch because I knew that would up the pressure on him even more the next day.
After that he took me back to my house. He was still nervous when we got there. He was fidgeting with the steering wheel now more than ever, not sure what he should say or do. I could have asked him to suck my cock right then and he would have done it. I was pretty certain of that.
But I was looking for more now so I just leaned over and gave him a quick peck on his cheek. It was an innocent kiss and that’s why Jeff liked me so much. He thought I was innocent and he wasn’t completely wrong about that.
There were still some things I was innocent about. But that was going to change the following day if I had anything to say about it.
“It’s been nice seeing you again, Jeff,” I said. “I like you and want us to be friends again; best friends just like we used to be.”
Then I opened the door to his car and walked away before he could say anything.