Chapter 30

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 30

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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 IV – September-October 1982

Chapter 30

Excerpt from an interview with Jimmy Barnes – September 27, 1982

TW: So let’s begin with some personal information, Jimmy. How old are you?

JB: We’re the same age; twenty-five.

TW: Where were you born?

JB: You already know where, Tommy.

TW: But I have to get it on tape.

JB: Okay; I understand. I was born in North Adams, Massachusetts.

TW: And were you happy growing up in North Adams?

JB: Pretty much, I guess. It got boring the older I got, but it was okay. It helped we were best friends.

TW: How old were you when you had your first sexual experience?

JB: Uh, well, the first time I masturbated was when I was thirteen. Is that what you meant?

TW: No, I’m asking when you had your first sexual experience with another person.

JB: I see. That would have been when I was fourteen. It was with Jeff during the summer of 1971 and you were the one responsible for the two of us having sex.

TW: Me? What do you mean?

JB: That was the summer your father got you that job at the Transcript. Up until then the two of us had been inseparable during the summer. But that summer you had a job working all day so I ended up spending more time with Jeff. He was the playground supervisor at Houghton that year. I remember that annoyed you; me spending so much time with Jeff.

TW: I don’t recall that.

JB: I do. I remember one Sunday the two of us walking to the lake; and you were bitching about me spending all of my time with Jeff. And then at one point you started getting on my case because Jeff was older than us and you thought he might be a homo. Back then you were obsessed with homos.

TW: I don’t recall that; and if I was, it was only because Kevin was obsessed with them.

JB: Probably because he was a homo himself.

TW: I don’t know that for sure, Jimmy; and neither do you.

JB: For crying out loud, Tommy, get a clue. Kevin’s as old as Jeff and neither one of them is married or has a girlfriend. Kevin lives in San Francisco. You figure it out.

TW: That’s neither here nor there, Jimmy; and it doesn’t explain what you meant when you say I was responsible for you and Jeff having sex.

JB: Unlike you, Tommy, I didn’t really know a lot about homos back then. So I recall asking what was so bad about them and you said they were cocksuckers. Do you remember saying that?

TW: I can’t say for sure because it was a long time ago, but it’s possible I might have said something like that.

JB: You did; and I remember telling you it wasn’t nice to go around spreading rumors like that about Jeff. You agreed and that was pretty much the end of it. Except by then you had aroused my curiosity so I ended up spending the next week trying to figure out whether you were right about him.

TW: Why you were interested in finding out?

JB: Oh, jeez, Tommy, come on! I was fourteen years old and I was horny and up until then I had never actually had sex with anyone. Unlike you, I didn’t have anything against homos. I mean, I wasn’t interested in sucking another guy’s cock. But if some guy wanted to suck mine it wasn’t a problem. I was curious what it would feel like.

TW: Okay; I understand. And exactly what did you discover when you went in search of an answer?

JB: Uh, well, to make a long story short I eventually pressured Jeff into admitting he was different. I thought using that word would make it easier for him and I guess it did. And, uh, I remember telling him I was fine with him liking me and he could do whatever he wanted to show me how much he liked me.

TW: And what happened then?

JB: Then he started to cry and I felt bad about that. I told him I liked him and it was okay if he wanted to suck my cock. And finally he got down on his knees and that’s what he did.

TW: How did you feel about that?

JB: Part of me couldn’t believe he was actually doing it and part of me was just overwhelmed by the whole thing. It was a very powerful experience for me at the time.

TW: How so?

JB: I mean, here I was, fourteen years old, and here was this older guy, not an adult exactly but not a boy like you and me either; and he was down on his knees sucking my cock. Seeing him doing that gave me this overwhelming sense of being powerful; that even though I was just fourteen and he was older, I was the one in charge. I had never experienced anything like that before in my life and I liked it. I liked being in charge.

TW: And did you actually have sex that day?

JB: I did. I mean, jeez, I was fourteen years old, Tommy, so I didn’t last very long. I ejaculated into his mouth pretty quickly; and I remember feeling kind of ashamed I had done that. But, then again, being honest, I also knew I wanted to do it. It wouldn’t have been as much fun if I didn’t. So, yeah, I definitely wanted to cum in his mouth to see what that would be like. Sorry about that, Jeff.

TW: Was Jeff upset when you did it?

JB: No. That’s the amazing thing. He was fine with me doing it. If anything, he seemed to enjoy letting me do it.

TW: Is there anything else you want to tell me about that first time?

JB: Not really. It was just such a powerful experience. I mean, I was worried at the time Jeff might want me to do the same thing to him and I had already decided I wasn’t going to do that because I wasn’t a homo. Not that there was anything wrong with homos, at least that’s how I felt about it. But I just knew I wasn’t one myself.

TW: I see. You had just had sex with another guy and it never crossed your mind you might be a homo?

JB: Not really; I mean, the reason it didn’t is because you were smart, Tommy, and you told me homos were cocksuckers who liked to wear tutus and stuff like that; and I didn’t really have any interest in sucking Jeff’s cock and wasn’t interested in dressing up like a girl. So that meant I wasn’t a homo, at least according to you.

TW: Really?

JB: I mean, yeah, maybe that sounds kind of stupid now, but to me it was just some youthful experimentation, some youthful curiosity. It didn’t have anything to do with me being a homo; at least that’s what I thought at the time. I know better now.

TW: Okay; so what happened next? Did anything change after that first experience? Did you admire Jeff less; respect him less?

JB: Not really; if anything, I liked him more because he was willing to help me out without asking for anything in return. So we ended up doing it a lot that summer, didn’t we, Jeff?

TW: For the record, Jeff nodded his head in agreement.

TW: And was it always the same? Was it always with you standing up and Jeff on his knees?

JB: Yeah, pretty much; because I really liked the sense of power I got from seeing Jeff down on his knees. But one thing did change. In the beginning I would just stand there and let Jeff suck my cock. As the summer progressed, I began holding Jeff’s head in place on my cock with my hands and started pumping my cock in and out of his mouth like I was fucking it. I enjoyed that.

Excerpt from an interview with Jeff Landry – September 28, 1982

TW: How old were you when you had sex with Jimmy the first time, Jeff?

JL: I was twenty-one.

TW: Do you disagree with anything Jimmy said about that encounter?

JL: No; he described it accurately.

TW: Some people would say it was wrong for someone your age to have sex with someone as young as Jimmy. Do you think they’re right about that?

JL: I don’t know; maybe. Looking back on it now, I’ve often felt guilty about the whole thing.

TW: Why?

JL: Because Jimmy was young; and even though he knew what he was doing and wanted it to happen, there are times when I feel like that by going along with what he wanted I set him on the path to contracting AIDS. And I feel guilty about that.

TW: But you don’t think having sex with him when he was fourteen was wrong?

JL: I don’t know. Maybe it was. It’s hard to explain, I guess, but I was very unhappy before I met Jimmy. I had grown up Catholic and struggled my whole life with being homosexual. I felt like it was wrong and that I was a sinner; and being in high school didn’t help. Your brother Kevin made it a living hell for me by spreading rumors.

TW: So you’re blaming my brother for what happened?

JB: No. But it was a very difficult time for me. Things were bad. On the one hand, a lot of boys taunted me about it and called me mean names. That was hard. But then you had other boys who would come up to me in private and suggest we go to the bathroom or find some other place where we could be alone. It was pretty obvious what they wanted. I never did anything like that, but I was very lonely and unhappy.

TW: In other words, it was hard knowing you were homosexual?

JL: Incredibly hard. Self-hatred always is. And then Jimmy came along and he was so cute; so funny, masculine and mischievous, all in one. And then he told me he understood I was different but that it didn’t matter to him. That was just about the nicest thing anyone had ever said to me in my whole life; and I wanted to make him happy so I did what he wanted. And he liked that so much I wanted to keep making him happy after that.

Excerpt from an interview with Jimmy Barnes – October 3, 1982

TW: The last time we talked about your first sexual experience. So what happened at the end of the summer when Jeff went back to school?

JB: That was hard because I really missed those blow jobs he gave me; and he had said he would try to get back from school to visit me occasionally but never did. Later on I learned it was because the first time he came back he ran into you and you told Jeff I was dating a girl, which was true. And eventually I had sex with a girl. To me that was more proof I wasn’t a homo.

TW: Did you enjoy having sex with girls?

JB: I did. I mean, mostly I did.

TW: Mostly?

JB: The thing about having sex with girls, Tommy, is that they’re always looking for a boyfriend to marry them and help them have babies. I understand where they’re coming from, but I was too young to think about getting married and having babies. I couldn’t even support myself at the time for crying out loud. So that made me realize I needed to be careful when I had sex with girls; that I needed to use a condom. Most of the time they were fine with that because they understood they were too young to get married as well; but by our senior year the girl I was dating was after me to stop using a condom. And I knew what that meant.

TW: What?

JB: It meant she wanted to get married after we graduated and have babies; and that’s not what I wanted. So we broke up just before Christmas our senior year.

TW: How did you feel about that?

JB: I was sorry I guess. I mean, I’ve always been a really horny guy and suddenly I wasn’t having sex with anyone.

TW: And when did that change?

JB: It wasn’t until later that year after we graduated from high school; and the funny thing is it was you again Tommy that got Jeff and me together.

TW: Why do you say that?

JB: It was sometime in August and I was working full time at McDonald’s; and I was frustrated by that time because I hated that job and you were getting ready to head off to college. I was happy for you in one way because I knew how smart you were and how much you wanted to be a journalist. But I was also getting depressed because I realized I was going to be stuck in a dead end job in a dead end town after you left. And then you mentioned one evening how Jeff was back in town running the campaign in the Berkshires for that teacher of his, John Bresnahan. I ran into him that evening and one thing led to another and the next day we ended up having sex up in the woods near the lake.

TW: He gave you a blow job again?

JB: No. It wasn’t like before. I mean, I ended up, uh . . . fucking him.

TW: I see. Was that his idea or yours?

JB: It was mine. Having fucked a girl, I wanted to see what it would be like to fuck a guy.

TW: I see. And did you enjoy having that kind of sex with Jeff?

JB: I did. I mean, it totally blew me away. To me it was a lot more intense than having sex with a girl; a lot better.

TW: Why was it better?

JB: I don’t know. It just was. I mean, I didn’t have to use a condom for one thing and, uh, Jeff was really tight so that made the whole thing very intense. I never told you that at the time, Jeff, but your ass was incredibly tight and fucking it felt really good.

TW: For the record, Jimmy giggled after saying this and Jeff blushed.

TW: And how long did that go on?

JB: Until after the election. Bresnahan won and I remember being depressed about that because Jeff had already told me he was going to Washington with Bresnahan if he got elected; and by then I really was into fucking him and I knew I was going to miss it a lot. But then Jeff asked me whether I wanted to come to Washington and live with him. It was like the answer to my prayers when he did.

TW: So you went to Washington with Jeff and moved into his place?

JB: Yes.

TW: And how did you feel about that?

JB: Actually I had mixed feelings, at least at the beginning. On the one hand, I wasn’t working at McDonald’s. I wasn’t working at all actually; and while that probably sounds great, it was hard in a way because I was in a strange town and didn’t have any friends except for Jeff. Jeff was the other plus. I mean, he was as horny as me, at least at first, and we were having sex every night and I enjoyed it. But it was frustrating not having friends. So then Jeff started taking me to the gay bars in Washington and I met some boys about my age. Having friends made things better.

Excerpt from an interview with Jeff Landry – October 4, 1982

TW: In my last interview with Jimmy he explained how the two of you reconnected the summer after he had graduated from high school. What went through your mind when he walked into the Bresnahan campaign headquarters that August?

JL: A lot of different things, I guess, but mostly I was nervous.

TW: Why?

JL: After that summer with Jimmy many years earlier I never had sex again while I was in school. I had decided I wanted to go into public service and try to make the world a better place. I suppose that was a residual effect of being raised Catholic. And graduate school was where I met John Bresnahan, a man I admired very much because he was right on all the important issues of the day. When he decided to run for office, I was the first person to volunteer; and he indicated early on he wanted me to be his legislative assistant if he got elected. I would have worked hard for him even if he had never said that, but knowing I might have a chance to go to Washington and to influence public policy strengthened my commitment. So when Jimmy walked back into my life it made me nervous.

TW: Why?

JL: Because I felt like it would ruin my chances of ever working for the Congressman if it came out that I was a homosexual. Seeing Jimmy only intensified that concern.

TW: Did you think Jimmy was going to blackmail you?

JL: No; that wasn’t it. But seeing Jimmy aroused a lot of feelings I had been keeping firmly in check for many years. I loved Jimmy. But I was convinced he was straight and worried about what might happen if it ever came out what we had done years earlier.

TW: Did you think Jimmy wanted to pick up where the two of you had left off?

JL: It crossed my mind. And when he invited me to join him in the woods the next day, I decided not to. But I couldn’t get in touch with him to let him know that the next morning. So then I decided to meet him and tell him I wasn’t interested in picking up where we left off.

TW: But that’s not how it turned out, is it, Jeff?

JL: No. He sweet talked me into having one joint, which turned out to be more than one joint; and the truth is Jimmy knew I loved him and that he could wrap me around his little finger and get me to do whatever he wanted. And what he wanted that day was to fuck me.

TW: And that’s not what you wanted?

JL: I don’t know. Maybe it was. Jimmy understood me better back then than I understood myself. I guess I wanted him to fuck me and I enjoyed the whole thing as much as he did. I mean, the thing is, I loved Jimmy. I would have done anything for him.

TW: Later on, after Bresnahan won the election, you invited Jimmy to come live with you in Washington.

JL: Right. I thought I could have it all; that I could work for the Congressman and have a loving relationship with Jimmy.

TW: Didn’t it bother you he didn’t consider himself homosexual?

JL: From the beginning I understood at some level that Jimmy couldn’t admit to himself he was gay; and for a long time he even had me convinced he wasn’t. Later on I just assumed he was bisexual, but it didn’t seem important to get the labels all sorted out. He enjoyed fucking me and I enjoyed letting him do it to me. I thought it was working out pretty well.

TW: What did you think when you got that note from him saying he was leaving?

JL: It was devastating. I blamed myself.

TW: Why?

JL: Because Jimmy enjoyed having sex more than anyone I ever met in my life and I was fine with that. But working for Bresnahan took a toll and I started begging off from having sex every night; and then there were all the weekends when I would go back to the district with the Congressman. And finally that August recess period. I felt like I had let Jimmy down.

TW: Did you try to find him and get him to change his mind?

JL: I tried. But I could never find out where he had gone and finally I resigned myself to having lost the love of my life.

Excerpt from an interview with Jimmy Barnes – October 10, 1982

TW: So why did you decide to leave Jeff, Jimmy?

JB: I don’t know. Looking back on it now, I have trouble understanding that myself. I guess it was a combination of things. Jeff was busy working and he was tired a lot and we started having sex less often, which was a bummer. So then I began wondering whether Jeff was losing interest in me; and about the same time I met this boy named Bobbie who was from Bennington originally. And that was really strange.

TW: How so?

JB: The thing is, Bobbie was kind of like me in some ways. We were the same age and from the same area originally and he seemed very normal and down to earth. And he was totally hot; very cute and masculine as well. But he had this older dude who was his sugar daddy. His name was Charles. I didn’t know it at the time, but basically Charles was a very weird guy. All I knew at the time was that he was incredibly rich and Bobbie was his boy. Except Charles liked having Bobbie dress up as a girl.

TW: Really?

JB: Really; and the first time I saw him dressed up like that it blew my mind because Bobbie was totally passable as a girl. In fact there were times when I couldn’t decide whether I liked him more as a girl or a boy; and I was sexually attracted to him both ways as well. In any event, one thing led to another and we ended up becoming best friends. And then Jeff went back to the district with the Congressman over the Memorial Day weekend; and I ended up spending the night with Bobbie because Charles was out of town as well. That should have been a tip-off right there. In any event, Bobbie came into the room where I was staying and he was wearing these incredible black vinyl short-shorts and he looked really hot; and then we started making out in bed and one thing led to another and we ended up having sex.

TW: Just like that?

JB: Yeah; pretty much. I mean, I had been thinking about it for a while so I guess it wasn’t a big surprise when it actually happened; although a lot of surprising things happened that night.

TW: Like what?

JB: Uh, well, he introduced me to some things I had never experienced before that evening like poppers; and then one thing led to another and, uh, he started rimming me.

TW: Poppers? Rimming?

JB: I’ll tell you later. The important thing is it’s really mind-blowing, at least it was for me. I don’t know how long he did it. He could have done it all night as far as I was concerned because it just felt so good. And then at some point he stopped and just asked what I wanted to do. I don’t know why exactly, but I told him I wanted him to fuck me. So that’s what he did and it felt really good. And then he came inside me. To make a long story short, that was the first time it dawned on me that maybe I was a homo after all. And then a couple months later he told me that Charles and him wanted me to come live with the two of them in New York and how great that would be. So that’s what I did.

TW: You left Jeff?

JB: I did; and part of me felt bad about that, but I had this nagging fear Jeff was going to dump me. I mean, who was I after all? I was nothing. I wasn’t smart like Jeff. I didn’t have a good job like Jeff. I was nothing; just a good-looking kid and good-looking kids were a dime a dozen in Washington. Like I said, I was worried Jeff might dump me and what would I do if that happened?

TW: So what happened after you left Jeff?

JB: A lot. But to make a long story short, we got to New York and took off for London shortly thereafter. And it was all kind of a blur after that. Everything seemed normal at first and it was exciting being places like London I had only heard about growing up. And Charles was buying me stuff; clothes, whatever I wanted and asked Bobbie for. But then things started to get weird.

TW: How so?

JB: For one thing, Bobbie finally told me Charles was a voyeur and wanted to watch the two of us having sex. That was pretty shocking and I resisted at first. But Bobbie was begging and pleading with me so finally I agreed to do that; to let him fuck me while Charles watched.

TW: How did you feel about that?

JB: Not great; and it just kept getting weirder and weirder. Charles liked Bobbie to wear female clothing in bed and for me to wear jocks and masculine stuff like that. But when push came to shove Bobbie was the one fucking me while we were dressed up like that. I thought it was kind of sick myself, but Bobbie kept insisting it was just harmless fun; no big deal.

TW: And how long did that go on?

JB: I don’t know; maybe a year or eighteen months. We were traveling all the time and it all kind of blurred together. And it just kept getting weirder and weirder. Charles would have Bobbie get dressed up like a girl and then walk me around the house like I was his poodle. I mean, he would leash and collar me and I was down on my hands and knees pretending to be a dog. And then he’d fuck me doggy-style in front of Charles and Charles would taunt me for being a naughty dog. Charles was a very sick dude. So finally I decided the whole thing was crazy and told Bobbie I thought we should run away together; maybe go back to Massachusetts or Vermont and get jobs so we could live together without Charles.

TW: Was Bobbie receptive to that?

JB: No. He just laughed at me. He said we’d be crazy to do something like that; that Charles was a millionaire many times over and it would be foolish to give up everything just because he had a few strange quirks. As much as I tried to persuade him, I couldn’t.

TW: What happened then?

JB: Finally I had enough and decided to leave and that’s what I did. I was on my own after that in New York City. Finding boyfriends wasn’t that hard. Keeping them was. And, you know, some of them were into stuff I don’t even want to mention. And none of them was as decent as Jeff. That was the hardest thing; to know what a mistake I had made.

TW: Did you ever thinking of coming back to Washington and trying to make up with Jeff?

JB: I did. I thought about that a lot. But I was pretty ashamed of myself by then; for what I had done to Jeff and for what I was doing in New York to survive. And why would Jeff take me back after all for that matter? I was just a nothing who had stabbed him in the back and broken his heart. So I just ended up staying in New York and having sex with lots of guys.

TW: What do you mean by lots?

JB: I didn’t keep count, Tommy, but it was a ton. I was dependent on them for survival. I kept hoping I would find someone like Jeff who really cared about me. But I never did.

Excerpt from an interview with Jimmy Barnes – October 24, 1982

TW: You mentioned you experimented with a lot of different things in New York.

JB: Right.

TW: Like what?

JB: Just about everything. I don’t think there was anything I didn’t do.

TW: I don’t mean to be prying excessively, Jimmy, but what’s the one thing you did you consider most shocking.

JB: Probably fisting; although felching was another thing that was pretty shocking.

TW: Fisting?

JB: It’s where one guy sticks his fist up another guy’s ass.

TW: You did that?

JB: Yeah, I did; more than once actually. The first time I did it was with this guy who was about the same size as me, maybe an inch or two taller but not much heavier. He was maybe twenty-five and a pretty nice guy, but he wanted to experiment with that. So we did. And we didn’t have much luck at first because he wasn’t a big guy and he had a pretty tight ass. The first time we tried I remember him finally telling me to stop because it was hurting too much so I did.

TW: So you didn’t actually do that to him?

JB: Not that first night. But he was totally fascinated with the idea and we kept trying; and it was maybe the fifth or sixth time we tried that it happened. The night it happened I kept getting close to being all the way in and then he would tell me to stop because it was hurting too much. And then we would start again after a little while even though by now I was telling him maybe it just couldn’t be done. I was lying. I knew by then I could do it, but I didn’t want to hurt him. But he kept begging me to do it. And so that last time we started I got close, just like the other times; and then he told me to stop again, that it was hurting too much. I told him I would and started to pull back and he relaxed. And then I just pushed forward as fast and as hard as I could and my hand slid in. He screamed at first, but later on he was happy I had done it. And when I finally pulled out I went to the bathroom to wash off my hand and my wrist. I could see the blood on them and looked in the mirror and remember asking myself where was the fun in what I had just done? Because to me sex had always been about having fun but what I had done that night was no fun at all.

Excerpt from an interview with Jimmy Barnes – October 26, 1982

JB: And then one night this one guy who fucked me told me I had this purple spot on the back of one of my legs and I should see a doctor about that And that’s how I discovered I had gay cancer, which they now call AIDS.

TW: Why did you come back to Washington, Jimmy?

JB: The word gets around pretty quick that you have the cancer and it was becoming harder to find anyone who was interested in having sex with me or putting me up. So I thought it might be easier going back to Washington; and that’s when I was put in touch with the Clinic. The doctors and Ned told me I needed to stop having sex with guys because I was making them sick.

TW: I see.

JB: So that’s what I did. I stopped having sex with guys.

TW: Just like that?

JB: When you’ve done everything, it isn’t as hard as you may think; especially when you’re ashamed of yourself and it isn’t fun anymore. In any event, after that Ned eventually brought me back together with Jeff. I didn’t want to do that at first, but it’s been the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

TW: Why do you say that?

JB: Because I finally realized how much I love Jeff and know he loves me as well. And I don’t care what anyone thinks about that. It’s been the best thing that ever happened to me; being loved by Jeff. And meeting Mark and Leo and becoming friends with them and knowing they love me too. It’s hard to explain exactly, but for the first time in my life I feel like I’m part of a family. I was really never part of a family back in North Adams, but now I am and that’s very comforting.

TW: Would you change anything if you could, Jimmy?

JB: There are a lot of things I would change, Tommy. But if changing them meant I would never have met Jeff, Leo or Mark, I wouldn’t change them. I’m going to die. I know that. But at least I’m going to die knowing the people I love the most love me as well. Not everyone gets to experience that.

6 thoughts on “Chapter 30

  1. Thanks for the great work Kit…powerful thing you’ve got going here…lucky to experience the talent you have at putting things into words. I don’t know you but feel like I do. Merry Christmas my friend.

    1. Thanks, Jordan. This was kind of an odd chapter, a pause designed to better help readers understand why Jimmy and so many others became infected. The first fruits of the struggle for liberation proved to be a mixed blessing at best. A personal tragedy for many, it also provided an opportunity for people to do truly heroic things (although I doubt it seemed that way at the time).

      Merry Christmas to you as well, my friend. Share the spirit!

    1. Hard to know whether I got it right, Captain. Never having been there myself, I don’t know how honest people are at the end of their lives. But if you can’t be honest when you’re talking to your best friend as death closes in, I don’t know when you can be.

      Suffice it to say the Jimmy described here is not the same person doing the describing. He’s disappointed with who he was, I think, and leaves it to us to decide how to judge him.

      One of the things I haven’t done very well in Part IV is to show the influence Jimmy’s had on Leo. If I had done a better job of that, it would make judging him easier I think.

  2. Enjoyed the last three chapters. Great writing and personally I believe that doing this Chapter with the question and answer format was the only way to do it.

    So much of what you write is so close to either my own life or of people that I have known. Loving relationships are a 2 way street and for some of us putting our personal life ahead of professional was not the way we saw it at the time. When I was running my own business one thing I stressed to my workers especially foreman was home life comes first. Don’t do what I did.

    Charles and Bobbie to some it may seem unusual but in real life I have known more than I like to admit. And this was nothing compared to what some endured.

    I hope Tommy digs a little deeper into what Jimmy did over the years, he would be helping Jimmy in a big way. Full disclosure is the only way to go in situations like this. Half measures do not work. And revealing all to Leo (if he hasn’t already done so) and Mark will help them survive the years coming up for them and they will make it through healthy. Bit more on the full disclosure there are juvenile sex offenders programs in some Juvenile institutions and that is part of the program. They have to disclose everything to all kids in the sex offenders program. Once they have done that their life is out there to all and it allows them to start their recovers.

    The only thing that I question and it just could be location and that is drug use. Very few of the ones I knew that were selling themselves on the street like Jimmy were not heavily involved. Even if they didn’t use intravenous drugs just the fact they were using drugs lowered there inhibitions and many guys used that to talk them into sex without condoms. And the rents I knew in B.C. insisted on the use of condoms to prevent STD long before AIDS ever came along.

    Anyway great story keep up the good work.

    On another note the “Twoonies for Teens” campaign which Andrew started off hoping to raise 100, then 6,000 last I heard had reached $38,420 and with corporate sponsors tripling every dollar he brought in that makes 115,260 for Covenant House in Vancouver.

    1. Too much here for me to comment in any meaningful way, James, especially being pressed for time as I try to get the next chapter up to speed. Perhaps I could have written it with Jimmy getting more into drugs after he left Bobbie and Charles, but I guess I was a little played out by that point.

      In any event, how he could have avoided AIDs the way I wrote is hard to see.

      That’s great news about “Twoonies for Teens.” James was the secret Santa for me on that. Let’s hope the post did some good.

      I should also mention that it’s within striking distance of $40,000 now and peop0le can still contribute. Let’s see if we can’t get there before the New Year, people!

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