Chapter 10

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

Click on the link below to read Chapter 10 of Homo! in the pdf format (better formatting).

Homo!: Chapter 10

Or just read it below online in the html format.

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 III – March 1975

Chapter 10

By the time we reached home I had decided to teach Jeff a lesson. It was bad enough he had put his hand on my butt in front of Eric, but what bothered me even more was him calling me babe.

What the hell was that all about, Jimmy?

It was like he was deliberately trying to embarrass you; to make Eric think you were his girlfriend or something.

I didn’t know why he had done it, just that it could never happen again. Determined to let Jeff know that, I stopped at the second level as we walked up the stairs and headed for the bedroom that was mine. I had never actually slept in it up until then.

“Hey, where are you going?” Jeff asked, confused.

“I’m going to sleep in my room tonight,” I said. “It’s late and I’m kind of tired.”

“What’s this all about?” Jeff replied, grabbing my shoulder and turning me around so I was facing him. “We always sleep in the same bed. What’s the problem? I thought you had a good time tonight at the Hide and Seek.”

“I did,” I responded, “at least it was mostly good. I wasn’t happy when you put your hand on my back and rubbed my butt in front of Eric. That was embarrassing; and it was even more embarrassing having you call me babe in front of him. It’s like you were trying to show him you wear the pants in our relationship when both of us know you don’t.”

“I didn’t mean anything by that,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to embarrass you. I was just trying to show a little affection. What’s wrong with that?”

“Showing affection back here at the house is one thing,” I replied. “That’s fine. But showing it in front of other people isn’t something I appreciate. They could get the wrong idea.”

“And what idea would that be?” Jeff said, challenging me.

“Look, Jeff, you know what I mean.” I replied. “I like you; you know that. But I’m different from you.”

“Are you sure, Jimmy?” he asked. “Are you sure we’re so different?”

“I am.”

“How are you different, Jimmy?” he added, refusing to drop the matter.

That was the final straw as far as I was concerned; the one that brought out all the frustration and anger that had been building up inside me since arriving in Washington.

“I’m not a cocksucker for one thing,” I exploded.

He stared at me for a couple of moments and I could see tears beginning to well in his eyes. I wondered whether he was going to break down and cry, but he never did. That made me feel even guiltier.

“Not that there’s anything wrong with it,” I quickly added. “I know it isn’t something you have any control over, Jeff; that it’s the way you were born. I’m different and it just bothers me when you do things that could give people the wrong idea about me. But I shouldn’t have said that. I’m sorry.”

“I’m the one who should be sorry,” he replied, surprising me. “Maybe I shouldn’t have taken you to that bar. It was kind of overwhelming even for me. I can’t imagine how overwhelming it must have been for you.”

“Look,” he continued. “I understand the two of us are different in some ways, but you’re my only real friend in the world. I like you a lot and I think you like me too; maybe not exactly the same way, but I do think you like me.”

“We’re friends and I don’t want us to go to bed mad at each other. Please come to bed with me, Jimmy. We don’t have to do anything tonight if you don’t want to. I won’t touch you. But I like sharing the same bed with you. Could we do that? Please?”

Realizing I had overreacted, I was sorry for instigating the fight. I understood Jeff liked me and I liked him too. I just didn’t want him sending the wrong message to people.

“I’m not mad at you, Jeff,” I said. “I overreacted. I’m sorry. But yeah, sure, we can sleep together.”

With that we made our way to the top floor. While I stripped down in the bedroom, Jeff made his way to the bathroom. When he was finished, we switched places.

Staring into the mirror as I brushed my teeth, I didn’t like what I saw.

That was a pretty nasty thing to say, Jimmy; calling him a cocksucker like that. I mean, the reason he sucks your cock is because you want him to; the same with fucking him. He lets you do it because that’s what you want. Given everything he does for you, you ought to be more considerate of his feelings.

I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes now. I was sorry for what I had said.

It’s just so confusing, I recall thinking; all of this stuff is just so confusing. Guys dancing with guys, kissing guys, having sex with guys. What am I supposed to think about that?

Maybe Jeff’s right. Maybe we’re not so different after all.

Don’t be ridiculous, Jimmy, the face staring back at me in the mirror responded. Yeah, sure, all of this stuff is confusing and that can be frustrating at times. But you’re different from him. You shouldn’t take it out on him though. You need to make things right.

Returning to the darkened bedroom, I could see Jeff clinging to his side of the bed. His eyes were closed, but I was pretty certain he wasn’t asleep; that he was just pretending. He was trying to make good on his promise not to touch me.

Climbing into bed, I rolled over to him, facing his back.

“Uh, well, I’m sorry, Jeff; I shouldn’t have said what I did,” I whispered into his ear. “Can I give you a hug to make it better?”

“If you want,” he said.

Moving closer, I wrapped my arms around him. His body tensed momentarily, then slowly relaxed.

“How about a kiss; can I give you a good night kiss?” I asked.

He didn’t say anything in response so I leaned down and gave him a kiss on his cheek.

Rolling on to his back, he looked up at me.

“Thank you,” he said. “I love you, Jimmy. I love you so much. I know you don’t like hearing that word, but it’s the truth. I’m not asking you to love me. I just want us to be friends; that’s all. Is that asking so much?”

“No,” I responded.

Then leaning down I pressed my lips against his and stated kissing him passionately, even as my hand started rubbing his thigh and his cock quickly snapped to attention.

Within moments everything was better. Forgiven, I positioned myself over his body, lifted his legs and placed them on to my shoulders. Jeff liked taking it from me that way because he liked seeing the smile on my face while I was doing it to him.

What happened next was predictable, as was the ultimate outcome. As always, it was awesome; so intense, so powerful, so much better than when I had done it with girls for some reason. I wasn’t sure why anymore. Whatever it was, it was satisfying in addition to being fun.

I felt better; a lot better.

Finished, I rolled up behind Jeff and wrapped my arms around his body. And that’s how we fell asleep that evening, with me hugging him tightly.

****

I was the first to wake up Saturday morning. Staring at Jeff I remember wondering again whether I should go back to North Adams. I was still conflicted about that.

After Tommy had gone back to school, I had flown to Washington. Jeff was waiting when I arrived and drove me back to the place he had rented for us on Capitol Hill. It was a lot different from houses in North Adams. It was attached to other houses on both sides for one thing; it was also taller than an ordinary house but less wide. Jeff called it a townhouse.

Unlike Jeff, I hadn’t brought much with me; mostly just clothes. Being older, Jeff had a lot more stuff and his mother had loaded him down with other things. Dishes, pots and pans, silverware; all of the stuff of everyday living I had always taken for granted.

He had also bought some furniture for the place before I arrived. He needed more, but you could see he was into quality, not quantity. That was especially true of the bedroom we shared. It had totally overwhelmed me the first time I saw it.

The bed was huge for one thing and comfortable as well. But he had also had the walls and ceiling covered with mirrors and it didn’t take long to figure out why. They gave you a perfect view of everything going on in the bed from every possible angle. That turned out to be a turn-on for me; a big one!

I liked watching myself do it to him.

Jeff hadn’t unpacked a lot of the stuff he brought because he said he wanted my opinion where everything should go. It was our house, he insisted, not just his. I appreciated that even though I knew it wasn’t true.

Getting the house organized had taken a couple of days and Jeff was grateful for the help I provided. I didn’t mind doing it because there wasn’t much else to do during the day while he was at work.

So it was a nice place and I liked it; and I liked being in a larger city as well. And then there was the sex, of course. We were having sex every evening and it was definitely the hottest sex I had ever had. And yet once the initial excitement wore off, I found myself bored again.

Jeff was working most of the day and sometimes into the evening as well. Not knowing the city at all, I spent most of my time at the house watching television and waiting for Jeff to get home from work. Worse still, I didn’t have any friends.

I felt isolated, alone; and I missed Tommy, of course. Not having a best friend, even if he was off at school, was hard. I even sat down and wrote him a letter with our address in Washington. I didn’t include the telephone number though because I didn’t want to risk Jeff answering the phone if he called for some reason.

Sometimes I would walk down to the National Mall and do a little exploring, but it was the middle of winter after all and it was cold; not as cold as North Adams, but cold enough to keep me inside most days. That added to my frustration.

Occasionally Jeff would bring home one or two guys he worked with on Capitol Hill and introduce them to me. It was apparent they were different like Jeff. They were nice enough, but mostly they liked talking about politics or what was happening in Congress at the moment. I would try to listen politely, but the things they talked about just didn’t interest me.

Not having any money coming in was a problem as well. If I asked for something, Jeff would buy it but I didn’t like doing that. I began pressing Jeff to find me a job on the Hill like he had promised. But the biggest problem of all was not having any friends my own age.

Jeff tried to make up for that by showing me around Washington on the weekends. We visited a lot of the tourist sites and that was okay; and there were movies to take in as well, which we usually did after dining out in the evening. There were a ton of restaurants in Washington and it gave me a break from cooking for Jeff and myself at home.

Jeff even bought memberships for both of us in a health club. That helped pass some of the time as well. But it just wasn’t enough. Something was missing. Finally I told Jeff I was thinking of going home. That’s when he suggested we visit the Hide and Seek.

Now, the morning after we had done that, I was still trying to decide how I felt about the place. To be honest, it made me nervous at first. I had never been anywhere like that before and felt out of place.

It was different, confusing. Strange most of all. It made me uncomfortable. And yet the longer I was there, the more relaxed I became. The music, the lights, all the people; it was exciting, not boring. Everyone was having a good time. Everyone seemed happy.

At some point I realized I liked being there. It was fun.

And then I had met Eric and he had made me feel welcome. He was the first person in Washington I could relate to; someone my own age. He had never come out and said it directly, but Eric had suggested he was gay. And yet for all of that he seemed normal enough to me.

Maybe he’s just pretending to be gay because his friend is gay and he likes spending time at the Hide and Seek, I said to myself.

But what if he isn’t pretending, Jimmy; what if he really is gay?

In North Adams everything had seemed simple, but now I wasn’t sure anymore.

Why should I care if he’s gay or not? I mean, Eric’s cool. He knew everyone in the place and everyone liked him. Why can’t I like him too?

It isn’t a big deal if he’s gay. It’s not like he’s weird or something like that drag queen we met. He could be a really good friend, Jimmy.

Assuming you stay in Washington, that is.

****

“How long have you been awake?” Jeff asked, looking over at me.

“I’m not sure,” I replied, startled.

“I guess we should get up,” he said, sighing. “We need to get some groceries and then I was thinking we could go to this new mall in Virginia. I hear it has a ton of stores, a lot more than North Adams.”

“Sure; that sounds like fun,” I replied, lying.

Shopping wasn’t my idea of fun, but I didn’t have anything else to suggest.

When we finally got to the place, I was astonished at just how many stores there were. At one of them, a place called Woodward & Lothrop, I saw a pair of pants I liked. Jeff must have noticed me staring at them because the next thing I knew he was encouraging me to try them on.

Not having the money to buy them, I resisted at first. But eventually I gave in and tried them on in the changing room. To me they seemed to fit perfectly, but I wanted Jeff’s opinion. Stepping outside I looked over at him.

“Wow; those are fantastic,” he said. “They look really good on you, Jimmy; not just good, fantastic.”

“I’m going to buy them for you,” he added, surprising me.

“Yeah, but they’re expensive; way too expensive,” I replied. “Why don’t we wait until I get a job? Then I can buy them myself.”

“It isn’t your fault you don’t have a job yet,” he responded. “And I want to make up for embarrassing you last night. I’m going to buy those pants for you no matter what you say.”

“And this leather belt, too,” he added, plucking one from the rack. “And this shirt goes with those pants perfectly. Try it on to make sure it’s the right size.”

“But it’s purple,” I protested.

“Try it on,” he insisted, so that’s what I did.

Emerging from the changing room, I saw a smile spread across his face.

“Perfect,” he said.

I looked into the mirror and wasn’t sure what to think. I mean, Jeff was right; the pants and the shirt were a good match and the belt drew your eyes to my hips and groin. It was a different look than I was used to and that made me wonder.

“That boy you met last night; what was his name?” Jeff asked.

“Eric,” I replied.

“Don’t take my word for it, Jimmy,” Jeff said. “Eric will love how you look in that outfit. I guarantee it.”

“Do you really think so?” I asked, taking another look in the mirror.

“Like I said, I guarantee it; and if I’m wrong about that we can always return this stuff and get something else instead.”

I hadn’t brought that many clothes with me from North Adams and a lot of what I had brought were old and didn’t fit very well anymore. These things fit perfectly and looked a lot more like the things I had seen guys wearing at the Hide and Seek the previous evening.

Maybe he’s right, Jimmy. Why don’t you see what Eric thinks?

“Okay,” I said. “You can buy this stuff for me. I’ll pay you back when I start working. And, uh, thanks, Jeff. I really appreciate it.”

“And do you promise to show me just how much you appreciate it tonight?” he responded, grinning at me.

“I do,” I replied, returning his grin. “Whatever you want, however you want it; you can count on it, Jeff.”

That caused him to blush, but I knew he was happy and that made happy as well.

Later that evening Jeff took me out to dinner, insisting he didn’t want me cooking for us on the weekend and even threatening to do the cooking himself if I insisted on us staying at home. Jeff was good at a lot of things, but his cooking skills were still kind of primitive in spite of my efforts to teach him. Not wanting to risk his cooking, I gave in.

He took me to some fancy place in Georgetown on the other side of Washington. It was the first time I had been to that part of town in the evening and it was crowded with people. The restaurant itself had been recommended by some guy Jeff worked with. The food was good but expensive. I was shocked at the bill, forty dollars. I could have cooked the same thing for a lot less, but Jeff didn’t seem to mind.

After that we took in a movie, The Great Waldo Pepper, starring Robert Redford. Jeff had a thing for Redford. When I asked why, he told me Redford was very good looking and masculine, just like me. That made me feel good.

We stopped at a place to have a bite to eat after the movie was over and then headed for home. But I wasn’t ready to call it an evening.

“Do you want to go back to the Hide and Seek tonight?” I asked. “We don’t have to if you’re tired, but I kind of liked that place. It was fun.”

“Sure,” Jeff replied. “We can do that if you want. I liked it as well.”

****

If anything, the Hide and Seek was even more crowded than the previous evening. Many of the faces seemed familiar, but there were also a lot of new guys as well.

Where do they all come from? I recall thinking, as Jeff headed off to buy us some drinks.

I was pondering that when I felt a tap on my shoulder. Turning around, Eric was standing there smiling at me.

“You’re back,” he said. “I gathered you enjoyed it last night.”

“I did,” I responded. “It was fun.”

“Is Jeff with you?” he asked.

“He is,” I said.

“The reason I ask is because Bob and I were thinking of going to another bar, a place across town called Exiles & Castaways. Would you guys like to join us?”

“I don’t know,” I said. “It’s up to Jeff. I don’t know whether he’s familiar with that place or would know how to get there.”

“That’s not a problem,” Eric replied. “I thought you might make an appearance tonight so I had Bob drive us here. The four of us could drive there together in his car if you and Jeff are interested. Exiles & Castaways is a fun place. You’ll like it, Jimmy.”

At that point Jeff joined us with the drinks he had purchased.

“Nice to see you again, Eric,” he said. “I was hoping you’d be here. Jimmy was telling me today you were the first genuine friend he’s made in Washington other than me.”

“That’s true,” I interjected, “but Eric and Bob were thinking of going to another bar across town right now; some place called Exiles & Castaways. Eric says all of us could go in Bob’s car. Could we do that, Jeff? Please.”

“Uh, well, I suppose,” he replied. “I mean, I just bought these drinks for the two of us and they’re not cheap.”

“That’s not a problem,” Eric interjected. “It’ll take me at least fifteen or twenty minutes to round up Bob and get him to bring the car around. We’ll bring the two of you back here at the end of the night, of course, but I think the two of you will like this place. It’s smaller and more intimate; and it also attracts a different crowd than this place.”

So that’s what we did. While Jeff and I worked on the drinks he had bought, Eric headed off in search of Bob. True to his word, he rejoined us twenty minutes later.

“Bob’s bringing the car around,” he said, “but we don’t have to rush if you haven’t finished your drinks.”

“No; that’s okay, Eric,” Jeff said. “We were just finishing up.”

Walking out the front door, Eric led us to a car idling nearby. It was a Cadillac, one of those big ones with plenty of room for all of us.

“Wow,” I said impressed. “This is amazing. Bob must have a lot of money to be able to own a Cadillac.”

“He does,” Eric replied.

Looking over, I could see Jeff seemed a little dejected at what I had said.

“But I like Jeff’s car better,” I quickly added. “He lets me drive it sometimes and it’s a lot sportier than a Cadillac.”

That was true enough, but Jeff’s car wasn’t as luxurious as a Cadillac. It was like Jeff; more practical for a big city like Washington, but with a little hint of daring.

Soon enough we were at Exiles & Castaways. It was a lot smaller than the Hide and Seek, but what it lacked in size it more than made up for in the crowd. It was a younger crowd than the one at the Hide and Seek; a lot younger.

Jeff must have noticed the same thing because he commented on it.

“Jeez, there are a lot of young boys here tonight,” he said. “Where do they all come from and what’s the big attraction? This place is okay; it’s smaller and I guess you could say it’s more intimate. But the light system isn’t as elaborate as the one at Hide and Seek and the dance floor is tinier.”

“Quite a few of these boys are regulars at a nearby bar,” Eric responded, “a place called the Café Palermo. That’s where they hang out and, uh . . . work. They prefer this place on the weekends at this time of night though. It draws a different crowd; one that wouldn’t be caught dead at the Palermo.”

“Plus there are a couple of other places nearby, including Outlaws. That’s Washington’s main leather bar. I was just thinking of suggesting we go there to take a look. It’s just down the block on the other side of the street.”

“But we just got here,” Jeff protested and I could sense he was tired of running around from one place to another.

“He’s got a point, Eric,” I said. “Maybe we should hang around here a while before going off someplace else.”

“You’re right,” Eric responded. “I’m one of those people who likes hopping from bar to bar to see where the beautiful people are hanging out on any particular night. But we can stay here and explore this place, at least for a while until you get bored.”

So that’s what he did. We spent the next hour hanging around Exiles & Castaways and I found myself liking the place. What I mostly liked was the younger crowd. I was also surprised at the number of winks and smiles I seemed to draw from boys my own age.

At one point I wandered off with Eric and asked him about that.

“Why are all these boys our age winking at me?” I asked.

“You’re new,” he replied. “They’re just trying to let you know they’re available to get together later this evening if you’re interested.”

“Get together for what?” I asked.

Eric shook his head and laughed.

“What do you think, Jimmy?” he replied. “These boys are as horny as you. A lot of them are hustlers though. If you keep an eye on them, you’ll probably see them coming and going with older men. They’re probably going to a car or the hotel above the Café Palermo and having sex with them. That’s how they survive on the streets.”

Hearing that shocked me.

“But . . . but that would be prostitution, wouldn’t it?” I asked.

“Hustling is the preferred term,” Eric said, nonchalantly. “It’s less harsh.”

“I see,” I replied, although I didn’t really see what the difference was.

“Are they, uh, different; sorry, I mean gay?” I asked.

“Some of them would tell you no,” Eric responded, “but the truth is I know just about all of them and most are gay. They just don’t admit it.”

“Are they friends of yours?” I asked, curious by now.

“Of course,” Eric said. “I’m not into hustling myself and neither are the boys I introduced you to last night. But I don’t hold it against them. Everyone is different, but all of us need to find some way to survive.”

“It’s, uh . . . it’s amazing what I learn hanging around with you, Eric,” I said, shaking my head. “I’m beginning to think I’ve still got a lot to learn.”

“You do,” he replied, “and I’m happy to teach you. Jeff seems like a really nice guy, but I doubt he understands the gay scene, at least the scene here in Washington. Someone has to help you figure things out and I’m perfect for that. I know all of the different scenes in Washington and can help you navigate them.”

“Thanks,” I said. “I appreciate it. But tell me this. I don’t have any money so why would those boys, those hustlers, be interested in me? I mean, not that I would pay them for sex even if I had the money. That would be wrong.”

“They wouldn’t ask you for money,” Eric replied. “They just ask older guys for money, but they like to have fun as well. As for your question, that’s easy. Like I said before, you’re the new boy in town and everyone likes someone new and different, if only for a little while.”

“Enjoy it while it lasts, Jimmy, and don’t come around these bars too often. If you do, you’ll be old and stale like the rest of us soon enough.”

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Chapter 10

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s