Chapter 08

There are two ways to be fooled.  One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.  Søren Kierkegaard
There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true. Søren Kierkegaard

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Homo!: Chapter 08

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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 For 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.

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 or fictional places 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’s something I want to alert you to as I post each chapter, this is where I will I do so.

HOMO!

Part II – December 1974-January 1975

Chapter 8

In bed that evening I kept coming back to those words that had been a turn-on for me.

“You’ll still be the one wearing the pants, Jimmy; I’ll be the one wearing the panties.”

Knowing Jeff recognized we were different was important to me. I didn’t want him getting the wrong idea after all.

Maybe you should buy him a pair of panties for Christmas, Jimmy. If we move in together, you could make him wear them around the house so there’ll never be any doubt which one of us is the real man.

Visualizing Jeff in panties caused me to giggle, at least initially; soon enough it caused me to reach for my dick.

You wouldn’t have to be whacking off right now if you took him up on that offer, Jimmy. He’d be down on the floor getting his ass pounded.

Closing my eyes, I visualized Jeff on his hands and knees taking it from me doggy-style.

Here you go, Jeff, I said.

Then I exploded all over myself.

Shit, Jimmy, stop doing that! It’s too messy and a waste of good sperm.

****

I spent the next month weighing Jeff’s offer. Although I was pretty certain I was going to do it, I didn’t want to accept too quickly. Partly I wanted to keep Jeff guessing and I did a pretty good job of that. At times I recall feeling guilty at the anguish I was putting him through as he became more and more frantic to persuade me.

At the beginning, I think Jeff thought I would dismiss the idea outright. When I didn’t, it gave him hope and that made him desperate as well. It was obvious he wanted me to come to Washington with him; and the truth is it was hard coming up with a reason why I shouldn’t.

I would have to leave town, of course, but that wasn’t a problem. There was nothing to do in North Adams; never had been. The place was boring. The only reason I could think of for staying was Tommy. We were best friends after all, but Tommy had gone off to college and I had my doubts he would ever come back. There was nothing holding me there anymore.

I wouldn’t see very much of my parents once I left, but that wasn’t a problem either. I loved my mother and would miss her; my father, not at all. But I was an adult now and it was time for me to be on my own and I could always go home for an occasional visit at the holidays or whenever.

I would have to give up my job at McDonald’s as well, but that was a plus. I hated the job. Best of all, I would be getting some pussy every night. Maybe it wouldn’t be with a girl, but having sex with Jeff was fun and it’s not like it would be forever.

I would meet a girl someday and we would eventually get married and have kids. But it would be when I was able to support myself on my own without any help; and the girl would have to be extra special and like having fun at least as much as she wanted to have kids.

In the meantime, just thinking about getting my rocks off with Jeff on a regular basis was enough to drive me crazy. At times I wondered whether you could get addicted to sex and whether I should be worried about that. Not that it changed anything. I enjoyed fucking Jeff too much to worry about it a lot.

I explored the whole thing with Jeff on several more occasions over the course of the month and he was anxious to do whatever was needed to get my agreement. He said I could have my own room at whatever place he rented so I could have some privacy whenever I needed it; although both of us understood we would be sleeping together most of the time.

When I worried I might not be able to get used to sleeping all night in the same bed with someone, he even promised to buy a king-sized bed so there would be plenty of room for the two of us.

Most important of all, he reaffirmed over and over again how I would be in charge in the bedroom; how I would be making all the decisions about how often we did it and which way and everything else about the sex we would be having.

“Are you sure, Jeff?” I asked one final time. “I mean, I really like being in charge in bed.”

“That’s what I like too,” Jeff said, reassuring me. “You can trust me; count on it. I’ll do whatever you want within reason.”

“Within reason?” I asked, suddenly concerned. “What do you mean by that?”

“Nothing really; I mean, some guys are into some pretty disgusting stuff, Jimmy,” he said. “I don’t even want to mention any of that; and even though sometimes you get a little rough when we have sex, you’ve never hurt me, at least physically hurt me.”

“That’s what I’m talking about,” he continued. “I mean, I know we’re different and you don’t love me the same way I love you. But as long as I know you like me and care about me and don’t want to hurt me, I’ll do whatever you want. Have I ever not done something you asked?”

“No,” I said, conceding the point. “And of course I don’t want to hurt you. Where’s the fun in that? That’s what I like about you, Jeff. You understand sex is about having fun. The important thing is for you to remember what you told me one time.”

“What’s that?” he asked.

“That I’m going to be the one wearing the pants in the relationship and you’ll be the one wearing the panties.”

“Absolutely,” he said, nodding his head in agreement.

“So don’t be surprised if I give you a pair of panties for Christmas,” I added, grinning at him.

“Uh, well, if that’s what you want,” he replied. “Just give me a heads up. I wouldn’t want to be opening something like that in front of my parents.”

That caused me to giggle; and seeing me giggle, Jeff started to giggle as well.

“Okay,” I finally said. “I’ll do it. I’ll come to Washington.”

“That’s great,” he responded, and I could see how excited he was. “You’ve just given me the best Christmas present I could have asked for; and, just so you know, I was thinking of driving down to Washington right after Christmas, on the 28th. Does that work for you, Jimmy?”

Although I had made my decision, I didn’t want to leave for Washington that early.

“Uh, well, I was thinking it’d be better if you went to Washington first, Jeff,” I replied. “Then I could come down later in January after you got settled in. That way no one would connect the two things. In fact, just so you know, I’m planning to tell my parents I’m moving to Florida.”

“Why?” he asked.

“It’ll just be easier that way,” I replied. “I can tell them there are plenty of McDonald’s in Florida, that Florida is a lot warmer than Massachusetts and I’m tired of being cold all the time. They’ll understand that, especially my father.”

“He keeps saying he’s going to move to Florida after he retires so he won’t be suspicious. And I can call them after I leave and tell them I didn’t have enough money to get to Florida and stopped in Washington instead.”

“That way they won’t know,” I concluded. “No one will know; just you and me. It’ll be our little secret.”

“Uh, well, sure,” Jeff responded. “I mean, I was kind of looking forward to the two of us driving down to Washington together, but I guess that’s okay. It’ll be hard getting through January without you though.”

“But think how happy you’ll be when I finally get there,” I said, rubbing his butt with my hand.

“Yeah,” he said, smiling wanly. “That’s true enough.”

“Oh, yeah,” I said. “There’s one other thing.”

“What?” he asked.

“Uh, well, I may need a little help paying for the bus ticket from Albany to Washington,” I replied. “I’ve decided to quit my job at McDonald’s effective December 21st and I’m not sure how much money I’ll still have by the end of January. So I may need some help with that.”

“No problem,” Jeff said, his eyes brightening.

Knowing I was quitting my job, I think he realized I wasn’t going to get cold feet in January and back out on him at the last moment.

“In fact, if you can give me the exact date when you’re coming, I’ll even buy a plane ticket for you,” he added. “Why tire yourself out on a long bus trip when flying will get you there quicker?”

“Sure,” I replied. “Let me think about that and get back to you with a specific date.”

“And thanks, Jeff,” I added. “That’s really nice of you to buy me a plane ticket. I’ll be sure to make it up to you.”

Then, leaning over, I kissed him on the lips, lightly, and Jeff almost swooned. It was still kind of weird, but by now I was getting used to kissing Jeff.

He really likes you an awful lot, Jimmy, I said to myself, and he’s a really nice guy as well. Maybe I don’t love him exactly the same way he loves me, but I do like him a lot. He’s a nice guy and deserves a friend as much as anyone.

This is going to work out just fine. You made the right decision.

****

What I told Jeff was the truth. Although I liked him and was pretty certain I had made the right decision, I didn’t want anyone else to know the two of us were more than just friends. That was part of the reason I had decided to wait until the end of January to go to Washington.

But there was another reason as well. Earlier in the week I had run into Tommy’s mother while walking home from work. She had mentioned he would be home from school the evening of December 23rd.

“That’s great, Mrs. Williams,” I said when she told me; “that’s the best news I’ve had in a long time.”

Even though Jeff and I had grown closer since August, I missed Tommy a lot. He was still my best friend so that was only natural.

“How’s he doing?” I asked.

“He seems to be doing just fine,” she reassured me. “From what I can tell he’s getting good grades, but he’s studying hard at the moment for his final examinations. He seems to have made some friends as well so that’s good.”

I wasn’t sure how good it was that Tommy was making new friends, but did my best to ignore that remark.

“How long is he going to be in North Adams?” I asked.

“Most of January,” his mother replied. “Once they finish final exams, they’ll be on winter break most of the month.”

“That’s great,” I said. “We’ll have plenty of time to catch up.”

“You will indeed,” his mother replied. “And I think Tommy’s looking forward to that as well. He told me to say hello from him if I ran into you, but I haven’t seen much of you the last couple of months.

“I know you’re working and my husband says you were also volunteering for that fellow running for Congress; that Bresnahan fellow,” she added. “I didn’t know you were interested in politics, Jimmy.”

“I’m not really,” I replied. “But with Tommy not around, I’ve had more time on my hands so I figured I should do something about it. It got me out of the house; that’s for sure.”

“That’s nice to hear,” she said. “I voted for that fellow and so did my husband. I’m glad he won.”

“Me too,” I said. “Tell Tommy I’ll give him a call the night he gets home; assuming that’s okay with you, Mrs. Williams. I don’t want to mess with any family plans you might have.”

“No, that’s fine,” she said. “We won’t be doing anything that evening so feel free to call. I’m sure Tommy will appreciate it.”

So that’s what I did.

I called Tommy around 7:30 p.m. on December 23rd. His father picked up the phone.

“Hi, Mr. Williams,” I said. “It’s me; Jimmy. Is Tommy there?”

“He is,” his father said. “Tommy; it’s Jimmy. He’s calling for you.”

The next thing I knew Tommy was on the phone.

“Jimmy,” he said. “It’s so great to hear from you.”

“Tell me about it,” I replied. “How are you?”

“I’m great,” he said. “I’m glad to be home from school though. I’ve missed you. Have you missed me, Jimmy?”

“Uh, let me think about that,” I said, joking with him. “Tommy? Tommy who?”

“Oh, jeez, tell me you’re kidding,” he replied, almost as if he believed me.

“Of course I’ve missed you, doofus,” I said. “I’ve missed you a lot.”

After that we talked for a long time; so long I eventually heard Mr. Williams chastising Tommy.

“You’ll never get a scoop as a newsman if you let your phone get tied up that long, Tommy,” he said. “And, more importantly, neither will I. You need to wrap up that call. Jimmy will still be there tomorrow.”

“Okay,” I heard him reply. “Did you hear, Jimmy?”

“Yeah, I did. Sorry to keep you on the phone so long; it’s just that I missed you a lot. You know what I mean?”

“Tell me about it,” he said.

“Can we get together tomorrow?” I asked. “I know you’ve had a long day, but I want to see you.”

“I’d like to,” Tommy replied. “I just don’t know when. I’m exhausted from all the late-nighters I pulled so I’ll be sleeping in late in the morning. My mother has family plans for later in the day and my father wants me to pick up Kevin at the airport in Albany.”

“He’s flying in from San Francisco for Christmas Eve. By the time I get over there and back, I won’t have any time to see you. You know how it is on Christmas Eve; all those family Christmas traditions that were exciting when you were eight but not so much when you’re eighteen.”

“Yeah, I know,” I said, disappointed. “I mean, I really wanted to see you.”

“Unless you want to drive over to Albany with me?” he suddenly suggested. “I mean, you’re probably working so I guess you can’t.”

“It works,” I said. “I quit my job at McDonald’s earlier this week so I’m as free as a bird. I’d love to drive over to Albany with you although Kevin might not be happy to see me.”

“Why not?” Tommy asked.

“You know why; how I’m always razzing him for being so obsessed about homos.”

“Oh, yeah,” Tommy said. “He’s always telling me how I should get you to stop making fun of him for that. But he’ll live. I’m the one doing the driving so I should get to have my best friend come along.”

“When are you leaving?” I asked.

“Probably around noon,” he replied. “His plane gets in around 1:30 p.m. I can pick you up around noon if you want. It isn’t like Walker Street is out of the way. But why did you quit your job at McDonald’s; and what are you going to do now that you have? I’m curious.”

“I’ll tell you about it tomorrow,” I said. “See you around noon, Tommy.”

“See you.”

****

Opening the door to our house a little before noon the next day, I was surprised by what I saw. I had been expecting Tommy, but the Tommy standing before me was different from the one who had left for college the previous August. He was still thin, but in much better shape.

“Wow,” I said, staring at him. “You look good, Tommy. Have you been working out at college?”

“Some,” he replied, shrugging his shoulders.

But I could tell from the spreading grin on his face he was glad I had noticed the difference and appreciated my comment.

“Well, whatever you’re doing, keep it up,” I said. “You’re almost as muscular as me; not that I’m the most muscular guy in the world, but I liked keeping in shape in high school.”

“And you did a good job of it too,” Tommy said. “I always admired how terrific you looked, but I never worked out back then because the guys who did were so cruel. There was nothing more they liked than picking on skinny guys like me. But I don’t run into that at college so that’s why I’ve been working out.”

He was right. I knew it. I knew exactly the guys he was talking about. No matter how much I appealed to them to lay off Tommy, they never did and I felt guilty I hadn’t been more help to him back then.

“In any event, we should get going,” Tommy said. “If we get there late, Kevin will be all over my case for keeping him waiting.”

“Not if I have anything to say about it,” I replied.

Climbing into the car, the two of us headed off. As we crossed the bridge and headed west toward Williamstown, I turned to Tommy.

“So how the heck are you?” I asked, gently punching his shoulder. “And how’s college?”

“I’m good,” Tommy said. “And I really like college. You have to hit the books, no doubt about it, because the courses are hard; at least they’re hard for me. But I think I did pretty well the first semester. I suspect quite a few guys are going to flunk out, but I’m pretty sure I won’t be one of them. I think I got good grades all around.”

“No surprise there,” I said. “You’re really smart, Tommy. That’s the thing I always admired about you; how smart you are.”

“I’m not that smart,” he said. “I just work hard.”

“Both,” I replied. “You’re smart and you work hard; unlike me.”

“Do you have a girlfriend?” I asked. “I can’t imagine you don’t given the shape you’re in.”

“Not really,” Tommy responded. “Like I said, I spent a lot of time studying this past semester because I didn’t want to embarrass myself by flunking out. When I did have some free time I was either at the gym or working for the campus newspaper.”

“That was it mostly,” he added. “I didn’t want to take on too much first semester. And next semester I’m going be working for the campus radio station as well. I won’t have a lot of time for dating; none really.”

“What about you, Jimmy?” he asked, glancing over at me. “You must have a new girlfriend by now.”

“Not really,” I said. “I haven’t been dating. You know how it is. Working all the time leaves you tired; I don’t have a lot of energy for all the work that goes into having a girlfriend. They can be pretty demanding.”

“Isn’t that the truth?” Tommy responded. “By the way, speaking about work, why did you quit your job?”

“Oh, I’m thinking about making a change,” I said, waving the question off. “I’ll tell you more some other time.”

After that we chatted up a storm until we reached Albany. We found our way to the airport, getting there about ten minutes before Kevin’s plane was due. Eventually it arrived and Kevin emerged through a door along with the other passengers.

“Kevin,” Tommy shouted, waving so his brother would see us.

“I figured Dad would make you do it,” Kevin said when he joined us. “Pick me up, I mean. He was always too busy to have time for me, but never mind. At least he sent you and didn’t make me take the bus.”

“Although I wasn’t expecting you to bring along the bane of my life,” he added, nodding at me.

“I love you, too, Kevin,” I replied, blowing a kiss at him.

“Not that I’m trying to pick you up or anything,” I added. “I’m not one of those homos you’re so worried about all the time.”

“Give it a break, Jimmy, would you?” Kevin replied, shooting me a nasty look. “I’m not as obsessed as you always thought I was about gay people. Wasn’t back then; ain’t now.”

“Gay?” I asked.

“That’s a better term for describing people who are homosexual,” he said; “a more polite and tolerant term, one I learned out in San Francisco.”

“I’m glad to hear that,” I replied, trying to square this new found tolerance for homos with the Kevin I knew growing up.

But maybe he’s changed, Jimmy; and he’s home for Christmas after all. Give him a break.

The ride back to North Adams was less lively. Trying to make conversation, I asked Kevin a question.

“So what do you do out there in San Francisco, Kevin?” I asked.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” he said, defensively.

“Jeez,” I said. “You really hate me, don’t you, Kevin? I was just asking what kind of job you have.”

“I work in a bookstore,” he said; “and I’m taking some classes at the local college. I’m just trying to figure myself out. If there was more to figure out in your case, you’d do the same thing. But you’re not the brightest bulb in the world, Jimmy; never have been.”

“Hey, cut the crap,” Tommy interjected. “He was just trying to make conversation and be polite. Stop turning everything he says into an accusation. You’re too sensitive, Kevin; always have been. You need to grow up and stop picking on Jimmy. He’s a lot smarter than you think and I’m tired of you always picking on him. He’s my best friend.”

“Jerk,” Kevin muttered under his breath.

“Yeah, you are,” Tommy replied, pushing back. “You always have been. That’s why no one likes you.”

That put a damper on things, but eventually we got back to North Adams. Instead of dropping me off at my house, Tommy drove back to his.

“Do you want to come in and spend the rest of the afternoon here?” he asked. “I know I said my mother had family plans, but then Kevin ruined everything by telling my mother he didn’t want to do all the stuff we usually do on Christmas Eve. In any event, I’m free.”

“Oh, jeez, I can’t,” I said.

After Tommy told me he wasn’t available, I had promised Jeff I would spend the afternoon with him. I felt bad about that now.

“You need to come in for a moment, at least,” Tommy said, disappointed. “I’ve got a Christmas present for you.”

“For me?” I asked, surprised.

Tommy and I had always exchanged presents growing up, small ones; and I had gotten one for Tommy this year as well, but held off bringing it over because I wasn’t sure Tommy would still want to do something like that now that we were older. If he didn’t, I was planning to give it to him just before he went back to UMass.

“Yeah, for you,” Tommy said. “Did you think I forgot? I didn’t. It isn’t much though, Jimmy. I apologize. What with final exams and everything, I didn’t have time to shop for something better so I just picked this up at the campus store. You can open it now if you want.”

I quickly pulled off the wrapping paper and opened the box. It was a UMass sweatshirt.

“It’s kind of stupid, I know,” Tommy said. “But I’ve had my eye on this one for a while. I think that rose color will look great on you; and just knowing you’re wearing it will make me feel better when I get lonely at school.”

“Thanks,” I said, pulling the sweatshirt over my head and trying it on.

It fit perfectly.

“You look fantastic,” Tommy said, smiling at me.

“Thanks. I love it. I really do. It’s good to know you haven’t forgotten about me now that you’re in college. And, uh, I have a gift for you too back at my place. Do you want to drive over and get it?”

“Sure,” he said. “Why not?”

So that’s what we did. We drove to my place and I gave him the gift I had spent a ton of money on.

“What is it?” he asked, curious because the shape of the box didn’t reveal very much. “It looks kind of like a book.”

“Uh, well, you can open it now if you want,” I said.

I had actually spent some time wrapping the thing and he was surprised when he opened it. It was a picture of the two of us together when we were younger. We were at the lake and had fallen asleep on a blanket for some reason. I guess we were tired. We were also half-naked in our swimsuits and were snuggled up close together.

My mother thought we looked cute like that and had taken the picture. Although both of us had been embarrassed when we first saw it, it was my favorite picture of the two of us now. It reminded me how simple life had been back then and how happy the two of us were being best friends.

I knew Tommy had also grown fond of that picture as well so I had taken it to the Modern Studio and they had blown it up and framed it really nice. It had cost a ton of money to do all of that and I had been saving for weeks.

“This is incredible,” Tommy said, and I could tell immediately he liked it. “This was always my favorite picture of the two of us. Thank you, Jimmy. This is the best Christmas present I’ve ever gotten.”

Then, surprisingly, he threw his arms around me and gave me a hug.

That was special.

“Give me a call tomorrow,” Tommy said, “sometime after 2 o’clock. We can talk some more and figure out what to do over Winter Break.”

“Sure,” I replied. “And have a Merry Christmas, Tommy.”

“You too,” he said.

Years later I recall thinking that had been my best Christmas ever.

****

Christmas afternoon Tommy and I decided to take a walk up to the lake. Jeff was mad at me for spending the time with Tommy because he was leaving in a couple of days, but I told him we’d get together that evening and I’d make everything better for him.

It was bitterly cold as we walked and there was snow on the ground. By then the trees at the lake had lost all their foliage and the place was pretty desolate. That was how I was feeling as well.

“Um, I wanted to ask something,” I finally said. “I mean, you’re still interested in journalism, right?”

“Absolutely,” he replied. “I love it.”

“So I’ve been thinking about that and I got to wondering whether you’d be coming back to North Adams after you graduate from college. You know, maybe working for the Transcript like your father?”

“No,” Tommy said. “My father enjoys working for the Transcript, but North Adams is a pretty small town. A lot of the news in the paper is births and deaths; more deaths than births to be honest.”

“You know how small and boring this town is, Jimmy,” he added. “I want to be a journalist somewhere a lot bigger where I can make a real difference. Why do you ask?”

“Oh, no reason really,” I replied. “That’s what I thought you’d say. You’re so smart, Tommy. Your talents would be wasted in a place like this. I just thought I’d ask. I mean, the truth is I’ve been thinking of leaving North Adams myself,” I continued.

“Really; where are you thinking of going?” Tommy asked, looking shocked.

“It doesn’t matter really,” I said, shrugging my shoulders; “maybe Florida. It’s warm there; or maybe somewhere bigger like New York or Washington. There’s nothing keeping me in North Adams. If I thought you were coming back, I might stay here. I mean, we’re best friends after all. But I realize this place is too small for someone like you.”

“What will you do if you move?” Tommy asked.

“I’m not sure about that either,” I lied, dismissing the question. “You know, that’s the thing Tommy. If I could do anything in the world, I would stop time and make it be June 12, 1970, forever.”

“Why?” Tommy asked.

“You don’t remember, do you?”

“Remember what?”

“June 12, 1970, is the day you led me down to the woods behind Kemp Field and told me all about how to masturbate. I mean, I’m not complaining; if you hadn’t done that, I probably still wouldn’t have figured it out to this day. That’s why I’m always saying you’re smart. You taught me about masturbation and how to do it.”

“Uh, well, I don’t know whether to apologize or do something else,” Tommy replied, embarrassed. “Kevin was the one who taught me about it and I figured I should let you know; I mean, us being best friends and all. Honestly, I’m a little embarrassed right about now you still remember that.”

“You shouldn’t be,” I replied. “I mean, even before that afternoon, we had been best friends growing up; and what happened that day didn’t change anything. But then we got older and here we are, talking about going our separate ways. That’s why I’d like to stop time. If I could, we’d be best friends forever.”

“We are best friends, Jimmy, and always will be, at least if I have anything to say about it,” Tommy said. “It’s just that things change.”

“That’s the point,” I responded. “Things change and that means even friendships don’t stand still.”

“Wow,” Tommy said. “I’ve never seen you so . . . so . . . so philosophical. You’re showing me something I would have never guessed about you, Jimmy. That it isn’t just about having fun; that you really do take things seriously at times.”

“Oh, well, don’t get all goofy about it,” I replied. “I’m still the same old doofus you always knew. I don’t even know what the word philosophical means.”

“I wonder about that,” Tommy said. “You know, unlike most people, I never considered you a doofus. But I do like knowing you have a serious side; that you care about things, care about me. Promise you’ll let me know whenever you get settled in if you move. We’re best friends. We have to stay in touch.”

“Promise me we will! You have to promise, Jimmy.”

“I will,” I promised. “I’ll send you my address if I move.”

Tommy and I spent the next couple of weeks reliving old times together. We had a lot of fun doing that. And I was there the day he packed up the car and headed back to Amherst for his second semester. When he was finished packing, I stepped forward and hugged him.

“Best friends forever,” he whispered into my ear. “Promise me.”

“We can hope, can’t we?” I responded.

End of Part II

4 thoughts on “Chapter 08

  1. Kevin ! In San Francisco ! It seems our young Jimmy Barnes isn’t the only one learning more about himself. And Tommy? I assume he is straight because he is the character in the story I am most attracted to. Hahaha.

    Oddly, finishing this week’s chapter has left me with an uneasy feeling in my stomach. Some s**t is going to happen and (except for Nixon) I can’t figure out who it is going to happen to. So I am nervous for all of them.

    1. Oh, come on, Tim. You must have suspected by now 🙂

      People like Kevin who are obsessed with homos often have something else going on they’re not telling us about. And if Kevin is gay, can we really be sure about Tommy?

      He doesn’t have a girlfriend. He doesn’t have time for dating. He thinks Jimmy looks good in a rose colored sweatshirt and he’s going to be comforted knowing Jimmy is wearing it when he gets lonely at college.

      He hasn’t come out and kissed Jimmy, of course; just hugged him. And he loves that picture of the two of them half-naked and cuddling together at the lake when they were younger. I don’t know. It looks a little suspicious to me, but perhaps the author is trying to throw us off.

      He’s been known to do that after all 🙂

      As for Richard Nixon, he’s already resigned and gotten his full and unconditional pardon by the time this chapter takes place. But I suspect the sh*t will be hitting the fan for H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and John Dean in the not too distant future; and that Gerald Ford probably didn’t do himself very much good if he decides to run for reelection by granting Nixon the pardon.

      Good to know you’re thinking about what’s going on around this time. That will serve you well down the road 🙂

  2. I’m feeling bad for Jeff. It seems like Jimmy is using him altho it could be his way of coping with the decision to move in with him. Making all of his demands and not giving in return. Interesting developments between Tommy and his brother. Makes you go hmm.

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