Mike and Danny: In Love
by Rock Lane Cooper
Note that these stories, including this one, are not an endorsement of unsafe sex. They take place many years before the appearance of AIDS and before it was standard practice to use condoms to reduce the risk of infection from sexually transmitted diseases. Remember always: that was then, this is now. Sex is precious, and so are life and health.
The Johnny Cash tape had played through the last song on one side and it was running on to the end before it switched over. There was only the sound of the engine and the wind in the windows. We passed the exit for Kearney, and I knew we were less than fifty miles from Mike's farm, having driven there countless times from my job at the college.
Randy was still waiting for me to say yes to a blowjob.
"I got somebody to be faithful to," I finally said, and the words sounded strange coming from me. I'd said this to myself before but hardly to anybody else, let alone a guy who was a complete stranger. "We live together."
"He lives in Lincoln?"
"Then maybe you don't live together," he said, like he was playing a trump card.
"We do when we can."
"Well, then you're no different from me."
"This guy isn't in prison. We can be together whenever we want." I was thinking of the last time Mike and I had spent the night in my room at the dormitory, naked and sweaty with lovemaking. Less than a week ago.
"How do you know he doesn't fool around when you're away?"
"He just doesn't. That's the kind of man he is." I chose the word "man" because I meant more than just his gender. Mike has always been older and wiser than me, somebody so sure about what's right and what's not that, even when I haven't really agreed with him, I've admired him and loved him.
Randy shrugged. "Must be one of a kind."
The tape flipped over now and started another song.
"I'd like to meet this guy," he finally said. "What's his name?"
"Mike," I said. "How about your guy?"
"His people have some name for him, but he calls himself Wallace." He laughed. "I call him Running Bare." And he spelled it for me, B-A-R-E, so I'd get the joke.
I thought I'd keep him talking about his friend and maybe get him off the subject of blowjobs. Just saying Mike's name had dampened my interest in playing this game. It was like I had suddenly put him in the backseat with us, listening to every word I was saying.
"How'd you and Wallace find out about each other?" I asked.
"Hell if I remember exactly. Let me think." He scratched his head, ruffling up his hair. "Rodeo in Reno I guess it was. We was cowboying together that first summer and when Fourth of July come around, we went into town for some fun."
Wallace's people were down from the reservation and sleeping in cars and tents near the rodeo grounds. They let a white boy join them as long as he minded his own businesswhich meant speaking when spoken to. And since Wallace was the only one who spoke more than a word to him, he hadn't said much.
He knew enough about Indians to give them their ground. They'd been fucked over plenty since the white man had moved in on them, and though it happened a long time ago, you couldn't really blame them for still being a little pissed off.
Anyway, he was outnumbered. He'd heard somewhere that Custer's men who were killed at the Little Big Horn had been found naked with arrows shoved up their dicks. Those were Sioux and Crow and these were Paiute, but sitting up late around the fire with themsparks lifting with the wood smoke into the trees and the darkness abovehe wondered if the thought of that day ever crossed their minds as he sat there with his levi's buttoned up real tight.
When the fire died down and the men drifted off to their wives and girlfriends, he and Wallace got up, too. They had a couple blankets and the bed of a pickup to sleep on, but there was a bottle of Thunderbird between them, and they'd finished it off before turning in. Then they pulled off their boots and lay down together, looking up at a sky full of stars.
Not a word was said between them. They had come to understand somehow, as the bottle of wine passed back and forth, that they had nobody but each other for the night. Hands reached under shirts and then into jeans, and before long there was the sound of unbuckled belts and flies coming open.
Some spit at the right time in the right places, and each of them had taken the other, tears rolling from Randy's eyes as he'd let Wallace enter him, breathing hard and sinking his teeth into his fist, but making not another sound as the pain at first finally gave way to something intense, head-swimming, and delirious.
When Wallace was done, pressed warm and wet into his backside, Randy had whispered, "Stay there, stay there." And Wallace had not moved, not an inch of himself, while Randy had let the feeling of being pierced to his core become an unforgettable memory of something he had never experienced beforea melting of someone else into him and the desire to have it last and last.
Then, after he didn't know how long, he had finally floated back to the present, aware of the rough wooden bed of the pickup, and he had sighed, "OK, my turn." And he had let Wallace get under him, stroking his long back and his butt, finally reaching between his legs to touch him there, his fingers searching for the way into him, then guiding his dick, stiff by now as a broom handle, right to the spot.
Thrusting gently, he had been so close to coming that it had all been over in seconds. Lying on top of him afterwards, dreamy sleep suddenly overtaking him, Randy had let his body sink into the warmth of skin, muscle and boneand a wish that he and Wallace could keep on doing this forever.
"That was your first time?" I asked, kind of carried away by the firelight and the stars.
"Hell, no," he said. "I'd done that before with another guy. There was this rancher from over by Winnemucca. Bought a six-pack of beer for me one night at a liquor store. Took me for a ride in his car and gave me twenty bucks when he was done."
"How old were you?"
"Not old enough to be buyin' beer, that's for sure."
I looked at him, imagining him a dozen years younger, and the thought of him getting into an older man's car on some lonely Nevada night gave me a chill.
"And Indians," he went on. "Wallace could tell you some stories. If you can believe him, the young braves spend time before they get married sorta practicing on each other."
I thought I knew a little about Indians, and this didn't really fit into the picture. I must have given Randy a funny look.
"That's what he told me, and he don't lie," he said. "You gonna tell me how you and Mike got together?"
I hadn't thought of this, that he'd turn the question around on me.
"I dunno," I said. "There's not much to tell." I was trying to think of some way out of talking about Mike altogetherespecially with the idea of him able to overhear me from the back seat.
"Is that what he'd say?"
"I don't know that either," I said, but I had to admit it was an interesting question.
"Wallace used to say I fucked him like a bull," he said and laughed. "You think that's some kinda compliment, right?"
"It could be."
"You ever seen a cow get fucked by a bull?"
"No, I haven't."
"Some huffing and puffing, and it's all over before you know it."
I laughed because I knew what he was talking about.
"You have that problem, too?" he said.
"Yeah, a little."
"Wallace could last forever," he said. "Not that I minded." Then he added, "Course sittin' on a horse all the next day could pose a problem."
We were coming up on a long flatbed with one of those huge New Holland harvesters on back and a truck following with flashing lights and an OVERSIZE LOAD sign.
This made him laugh. "Since it looks like you're not gonna show me, how big is your dick anyway?"
"It's nothing special," I said. And it's not.
"Six? Seven? More'n that?"
"Let's just say it's pretty much standard issue."
"I like a dick that's not too big," he said. "Just long enough to reach my tonsils." He twisted in his seat to lean out the window now and waved at the truck driver as we passed.
Glancing over at him, I could see his broad, naked back, right down to where his jeans pulled away from his waist, showing a strip of his underwear.
"You should get a look at this guy," he said over his shoulder. "Mean-lookin' fucker. Tattoos all up and down his arm."
Then he lifted himself, shouting something I couldn't hear, and I could see the shape of his butt, where a faded Cope ring showed in one back pocket.
"What was we talking about?" he said when he settled back again. "Oh, yeah, cock size. Wallace was about perfect that way. But, hell, he was happy if I just grabbed his dick with both hands and ran my tongue around his foreskin. Many's the time I got him to come just doing that."
I realized, as I began to feel a swelling in my crotch, that he was cranking me up with all this talk. He was going to get me to give in to a blowjob one way or another.
"You got your foreskin?" he asked me.
"Me neither. Fuckin' shame, too." He was stroking his thighs now like his palms were sweaty. "The damn things look weird, but just watching the way they work, I'm thinking the Good Lord didn't engineer a man's dick that way for nothin'."
And he explained in detail what he'd learned from Wallace about jerking off someone with a foreskin.
"I was just doing it to him like I do myself, and he cussed me out for being so bad at it." And paying attention as Wallace showed him, he had seen how pumping the skin back and forth over the knob real nice and easy was enough all by itself to get a guy's eyes rolling in his head.
For a long time, he'd thought it was just an Indian thing. Then when he found himself with his first long-haul trucker he'd learned that it was the equipment that made the difference, not where the guy came from.
"You wanna know how big I am?" he said.
"Seven and three-quarters," he said, real straight-faced. Then he laughed, "Naw, that's just my hat size. I'm pretty much like you. Anyhow, nobody's choked on me yet."
He sighed, like this might be a heavy cross to bear. Bigger, they like to say, is always better.
Since we were talking about it, I glanced down to where his crotch filled out with a good-size bulge. There was that threadbare patch of denim again.
I focused my eyes back on the road, but it was too late. He'd finally worn me down. And I'd recognized an old impulse in me, to reach over and touch a man I hardly knew between his legs.
It was an impulse that went back to my old friend Matthew in high schoolthe one I sat next to in biologyand there was kind of a movie running in my head that I felt right down to the nervous pit in my stomach, a movie of men I'd wanted to touch and didn't, or almost did, right up to the time that urge disappeared in the orgy of touching that came with knowing Mike.
There'd been the boyI forgot his namewho showed up with crazy Frank that first Fourth of July weekend on the farm. Maybe the same Fourth of July that Randy and Wallace had sex in the back of that pickup. I'd put the moves on him to no avail. He was aching too much with a broken heart for someone else.
There'd even been Mike's old friend Don, straight as a cattle prod, who when I first met him had me wanting to get a feel of his handsome, rangy body. Of course, after I'd learned what a pain in the ass he was, I didn't care anymore. But the first imprint of that curiosity, I realized, had never left me.
After all the years of thinking that the love of a true man had got me to outgrow that horny part of me, here it was bigger than life again. And the thought of Mike observing from the back seat vanished like a mist on a hot summer day. I was on my own with my sleazy desires, and they were swirling around in me like all the ills of humanity about to spring from Pandora's box.
For reasons I could not fathombut to be honest, it wouldn't be hard to guess some of themthis half-naked guy, so completely ready to have sex with me that he couldn't stop talking about it, had found his way into my own buttoned-up levi's. If I wasn't going to be really sorry, I needed to get rid of him fast.
"I got to make a stop up ahead," I said. "Something I need to take care of in Grand Island."
"I don't care. I'll come along with you," he said.
"It may take a while. They got a big truck stop right by the exit. How about I drop you off there?"
He thought about this for a moment. "You still got that blowjob coming, you know," he said.
We were back to that again. I just shook my head. By now I didn't trust myself to even say anything.
"I'm one helluva cocksucker," he said and leaned closer to me. "It's all in the suction. You just clamp down real tight and pull back hard and slow. It'll make you feel like the top of your head could cave in."
This made me laugh.
"No?" he said.
He sighed, sat for a moment and then bent forward to peer at the tape player. "How do you stop this thing?" he wanted to know.
I couldn't tell what he was up to with this, but I pointed to one of the knobs and he switched it off.
"I don't take a ride for free, not from a good man anyway," he said. "I'm gonna sing you something."
With that he hummed a bit to himself to find, I guess, the right key. Then he cleared his throat and said, "This is called `The Wild Buckaroo'." And in a high lonesome-cowboy voice, his eyes squinting as he concentrated on the words, heand there's no other word for itburst into song.
I've been bustin' broncos since I was a
I work for John Taylor up north at Lovelock
Out here in Nevada, the cowboys stand tall,
One evenin' in Vegas, I walked up the street,
We stopped at a pool hall and got pretty tight,
So I lays down beside him at the side of the road
He turned to me then with a big grin on his face. "Sounds better with my guitar, but you get the idea."
"Where the hell did you learn that?" I said.
"Made the fucker up," he said. "Tune's old as the hills. I just added some new words."
"I got more of 'em."
When we got to the Grand Island exit, I pulled into the truck stop. It was one of those huge places with acres of asphalt parkingthe size of a small farmand a stone's throw from the Oregon Trail, where wagon trains used to come lumbering by on the way out west. A hundred years ago, the whole place would have looked to those weary pioneers like some other-world installation from a Jules Verne novel.
I left him by the entrance, where he could walk over and flag down a truck that was heading back to the highway.
He got his bag and his hat from the back seat and took his time standing in the open door as he put on his tee shirt. Then reached across to me to shake my hand.
"Thanks for the ride, Danny," he said. "Nice meetin' you."
I wished him well, and he held my hand in his grip a moment longer, just smiling at me. I was aware of his long, strong arm and his chest, his nipples visible inside his tee shirt, and I knew I would not forget this image. He was a corker, and in another time and place, I would have been even sorrier to see him go.
He closed the door firmly then and took a step back as I pulled away. Once I was on the road, I looked over to him one more time, and he stood therewild buckaroowith his bag beside him and waving to me with his hat in his hand.
It was about ten miles to the farm. I had a cooler in the trunk with film I'd shot in the Sandhills for this course I was taking at the university, and I figured I could refill the ice packs from Mike's refrigerator. Mostly, though, I just wanted to surprise Mike, wherever he was, and be with him for a while, because (a) I missed him, (b) I wanted his arms around me, and (c) I needed to get a grip on myself.
But when I got to the farm, there was no sign of him. His pickup was gone, and I couldn't see Rusty anywhere either. I decided they'd gone somewhere together.
I walked from the car to the fence by the barn and climbed up to where I could see across the fields all the way down to the river, but he wasn't anywhere out there either. I knew he was renting ground a couple miles away, but I wasn't sure where it was, and there was no guarantee he'd be there, even if I could find it.
Way down the road I could see our neighbor Tully's pickup, parked along his pasture fence. He kept milk cows there, and maybe he was checking on them for some reason, but if that's what he was doing, I couldn't see him. It was like the whole countryside had been deserted.
I went inside the house, where the familiar rooms were empty and silent. While I got some ice for the cooler, I started talking to myself just so I wouldn't feel completely alone. And I kept that up until I was done.
Then, after pacing around the house, thinking about Mike and wishing he was here, I found myself standing in the doorway to our bedroom. The silly painting of me still hung on the wall, my dick looking big as an over-ripe banana. And there on the floor were Mike's work clothes where he had stepped out of them.
Without much thinking, I picked up his shirt and pressed my face into it, breathing in the smell of him. Then I picked up his jeans, too, and lay down on the bed with them in my arms, my head on his pillow.
My balls ached with yearning for him, and I felt sorry for both of us that we never had enough time togetherand that today I'd missed him. I rolled onto my stomach, getting hard in my pants and feeling the rumpled sheets and the mattress under me, thinking of the many times we had held each other naked here, laughed and cried, and made each other come.
I must have nodded off at this point. Lately I'd been running on very little sleep, and it could have been I was just plain tired from drivingI'd been out to the Sandhills and back, part of the time with an old geezer who had done his level best to try every last ounce of my patience.
But sometime later I became aware that there were voices whispering in the room. And when I opened my eyes, I found two guys standing in the doorway, looking at me.
"Danny?" one of them said.
I'd taken off my glasses, and when I found them again I had to think hard before I recognized him as Rich, the boynot a boy anymorewho had been a friend of Mike's nephew Kirk. The other guy I didn't know at all.
"Hey," Rich said. "It's good to see you."
As I sat up, he came over to me.
"You home now for good?" he said.
I was having trouble getting two brain cells to rub together and produce a clear thought. "No," I finally said. "Just stopped by for a little while."
"Mike isn't here," he said. "Said he wouldn't be back till tonight. We've been sorta looking after things while he's gone."
I looked at the guy in the doorway.
"This here's Ty," Rich said. "Do you know him?"
"You and me talked on the phone," the guy said.
I remembered now the seminary student who'd got into some trouble at a church in town.
"What you said helped me a lot. I really want to thank you for that." He beamed with a smile I could only describe as angelic. You don't see many of those, leastwise on another guy.
"No problem," I said, unable to think of a single thing I had said to him. Remembering only that I hadn't wanted to talk to him at all, but Mike had just handed the phone over to him.
I was almost fully awake now and realized I was still holding onto Mike's shirt. I put it down absently as I could, like I was unaware of what I was doing. No need to appear any more pathetic than I already was.
I looked at my watch and saw I'd been sleeping longer than I thought. "Shit, I need to get back to Lincoln," I said and got up from the bed.
They followed me out to the kitchen, and I picked up the cooler I'd left there on the table. When I turned to say goodbye, I saw them standing side by side. They may have been sorry to see me go, but it didn't show on their faces. It was more like they were going to be happy to be alone together as soon as I was gone.
"You two guys living here now?" I said.
"Yeah," Rich said. "Till Mike throws us out anyways."
"That won't be for a long time." Mike's generosity could outlast just about anybody. I turned again to go.
"What do you want me to tell him when he gets back?" Rich said.
I thought of all the possibilities, all the things I would have told Mike if he'd been here, and I just said, "Tell him I'll call tonight if I can."
When I got out to the car I looked back at the house, and they were standing together on the porch watching me go. Rich had stepped behind Ty and was holding him with both arms around his shoulders.
As I drove away, I felt my heart sink like a stone. After my dust had settled on Mike's driveway, the two of them would probably still be standing in the same place, blissfully hugging each other and locked in a kiss.
Nothing like someone else's happiness to knock the wind out of your sails. And Mike, if he had heard me say that, would have set me straight in a minute.
There are two exits for Grand Island, and I could have gone to the other one to get on the interstate again, but I drove back through town and out to the truck stop, to reassure myself that Randy had got another ride.
As I approached on the road, there was no sign of him at the place where I'd left him. I felt a kind of relief and was already thinking ahead to everything I had to do in Lincolndrop off the film for overnight processing and locate my partner Scott to find out what he'd got done while I was away, hoping he'd booked some time on one of the editing tables like I'd asked him.
And then, as I was about to drive on by, I saw Randy. He stepped out from behind a parked car and was giving me a big old wave.
I could have pretended I didn't see him. It would have been easy enough to keep on goingbut I didn't.
I braked by the side of the road, and he came jogging over to me, his long legs in his boots, and swinging his bag. In a minute, he'd opened the door and jumped in beside me.
"Hey, pardner," he said. "I was hopin' I'd see you again."
Continued . . .
© 2007 Rock Lane Cooper