The Reunion Show – part 17
By now, you know the rules.
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Since we had met in 1997 we had done
everything together. When Freddie called us the year before we
found the bonds to invite us to be in his wedding, we did it
together. Same thing with Charlie a few months after that.
Together. Everything was done together. That is until
2001. I didn’t know it but that would turn out to be a nightmare
year. One of the worst in my life.
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The apple dropped, or in the case of
the live broadcast from Underground Atlanta, the peach dropped.
We were officially in the new millennium. I know, lots of people
thought that 2000 was the first year but it wasn’t. In a few
weeks our new president would be sworn into office. The liberals
and democrats (same thing, right?) were kvetching themselves to death
about the whole thing, but I was just glad to hear something in the
news other than “dimpled chads.” Crime in Italy!
Scott and I were invited to a New
Years’ party over at Charlie and Stacy’s new house near Piedmont
Park. Over the years we had occasionally hung out with him and
talked to him on the phone quite a bit. The three of us had all
become friends and Stacy was really cool too. It didn’t bother
her that her husband was really good friends with a gay couple.
That wasn’t always the case, unfortunately. We’d met a couple of
really nice married guys in our neighborhood but their wives weren’t
exactly thrilled. I guess they’d imagined us with
their husbands and it didn’t go over too well in their minds.
Silly broads. Trix are for kids.
By now Scott and I had been together
for three-and-a-half years and it was obvious to anyone with a pulse
that we were exclusive to each other and in it for the rest of our
lives. We kept working at our passion, which was restoring old
homes and selling them. One great thing about having all of that
money was that we were able to purchase more houses at once, and we
added four crews to The Renovators. We were having a great time
but I felt that something was missing in our relationship. We were
still best friends and liked
doing stuff together; just hanging out with him made me happy.
The one thing that we had done
different recently is that we each found a hobby that was separate from
the other. Once a week Scott and Charlie met to play
handball. I always thought it was cool to watch the sport, but I
was such a pussy and normally ran away from fast-moving projectiles
heading my way. Scott was always into sports so it was nothing
for him to pick it up. And no, the two of them didn’t go off and
bump uglies. I know that’s what some of you are thinking
eventually happened that brought the nightmare into our lives, but it
The hobby that I found that I really
enjoyed was singing. Surprise! But I wasn’t a lounge lizard
or anything like that. I decided to try singing in a barbershop
chorus. Scott had been in one before we’d met and I thought I’d
try it out. For the most part I could sing the lead parts in
songs, but the range in many songs tended to be a bit higher than I
could comfortably sing. I decided to try out the baritone part
and loved it. For those of you unfamiliar with the male singing
parts in barbershop, the bass is on the bottom, next up in the range
are the baritones, then the leads and finally the tenors. The
reason I loved singing baritone was because the part’s really kind of
bizarre when you hear it alone. It’s one of the more difficult
harmonies but it’s the one that gives barbershop it’s distinctive
sound. My friend Nick was thrilled because it was almost the only
type of music that he listened to, so that was a good boost to my
ego. But I digress. I also helped form a quartet and pretty
much met once a week with them as well as the chorus.
So Scott and I had a couple of
hobbies apart from each other. I could gush and bullshit you with
us spending every waking moment together because love is nirvana, and
when the moon is in the seventh house, and Jupiter lines with
Mars....But let’s get real. We
weren’t each others’ identity and I believe that it’s healthy to have
some time to yourself.
But still, there was something that I
wanted to give him.
After the apple/peach dropped we hugged and gave each other a quick
kiss. Nothing gross or sloppy – we’d save that for home.
“Scott, can we talk?” I asked him.
He kind of squnched his eyebrows down
a little bit. “Everything ok?”
“Yeah, everything’s cool. I
just want to talk to you alone.”
He reached around and squeezed an ass
I laughed and headed out onto the
back patio. Scott and Stacy had really decked it out nicely with
a trellis, or arbor, little twinkle lights and an outdoor
fireplace. There were people out here too but I was able to find
a little secluded spot for us to sit on a plant ledge.
“So what’s up?” he asked, sitting
“Look man, we’ve been together for
three-and-a-half years now-“
“Uh-oh, this isn’t a Dear John speech
is it?” he grinned. Perfect fucking teeth.
I laughed. “Actually quite the
opposite.” His eyebrows raised a bit. “Look, I know that
we’re crazy for each other. We’re each other’s best friend,
lover, all that good stuff. I know we’ve talked about this
before, and that we’re gonna spend the rest of our lives
together. But I know that we can’t get married.”
“Ok?” he said, sort of confused.
“Scott, there’s nothing else I have
to give you that you don’t already have. You’ve got my heart and
you’ve somehow” (rolling my eyes, smiling) “wormed your way into my
soul. I hope that doesn’t sound cheesy” I said chuckling.
He just smiled back. “I can’t imagine, and don’t wanna imagine,
anything happening to split us up. You made me open up and I
allowed myself to love and be loved. It’s an incredible gift and
I…” (here’s where I choked up a bit) “and I can’t imagine giving myself
to anyone else. You’re a sweet, and an incredible man.”
He grinned at that too.
“Plus,” I continued, “you’re a
fucking fantastic lay!” He burst out laughing at that. “We
pretty much have enough money to buy anything that we want, but I
wanted to give you….give us…these.” I reached into my pocket and
pulled out two rings. He just stared at my palm, looking at
them. I could see that he was blinking tears away. He’s not
a weepy type of guy but I figured he’d get teary eyed at this. I
was right. Hell, I teared up too. Just a little bit.
“We both know what these rings symbolize to married couples, and I know
we can’t get married, but I wanted us to have the same type of ring
that other married men have.”
“Damn, Logan,” he said. Scott
pulled my face to his and kissed me a lot more passionately than when
the peach dropped. Damn what a kisser! We broke our kiss
and sat back. “What are they?” he asked. The lighting
outside was sort of dim and romantic so he was having a hard time
“They’re both platinum.”
“Wow. I thought they may have
been white gold in this light.” I handed him one ring.
“I had them engraved.” Holding
the ring in his fingers he looked up at me. “Yours says ‘One
Heartbeat,’ mine says ‘Different Names.’ It might sound kinda
dopey but I thought that it described us,” I nervously smiled and said.
“Put it on,” he said. I went to
put my ring on. “No. Put mine on me.”
Duh! I’m so slow
sometimes. I took his ring from him and slipped it onto his left
ring finger. “One heartbeat,” I said. With his other hand
he wiped at his eyes.
Then he took my ring and slipped it
on my finger. “Different names,” he said looking into my
eyes. I leaned in and kissed him again. We leaned our
“I love you, Scott Dell,” I said.
“I love you too, Mike Logan.”
Suddenly he jumped up and shouted: “I LOVE….THIS MAN!!!!” I
had to die laughing as he mimicked a recent commercial that we’d seen
on television. That sure got everyone’s attention.
“Um Scott, I think we already knew
that,” Charlie said, leaning against the door frame going into his
“Just wanted to be sure,” Scott
said. I just kept laughing.
“So what’s up with y’all now?”
Charlie asked, coming over to us.
“Mike just gave me a ring.”
“Oh yeah? Cool.” Now
there’s a man of many words. “Congrats, y’all! So I guess
I’m not in the running anymore?” he joked.
“Sorry pal, he’s all mine,” I said
pulling Scott to me.
“Damn!” he snapped his fingers in
mock anger. We both laughed at him.
Scott and I stayed a little while
longer but left around 1:00 to go back home. Luckily we were only
about twenty minutes from home because Scott kept groping me and
working me up the whole way home. We barely made it up the stairs
and into the bedroom with our clothes still on. He was like a mad
man. First he made love to me with as much, if not more, passion
then he’d ever done before. Afterwards he kept rubbing me and
feeling me up until I was ready to go again, but this time he wanted me
to make love to him. Needless to say I obliged. Once I had
finished cumming in his ass he pulled off of me and pushed me onto my
stomach on the bed and then proceeded to tear me up. Goddamn that
bastard was really pounding at me. I doubted if I’d be able to
walk right the next day. Because he’d already cum once his
duration was seemingly endless. I didn’t mind. Literally I
just lay there while he fucked into me with all the gusto he had.
My cock had hardened again and with all of the rubbing into the
mattress I blew my second load about thirty minutes after he started
givin’ it to me the second time. This got him to the point of no
return and he blew his cum, or what was left of it, into me.
Finally he collapsed on my back and held onto my shoulders,
“I love you. So. Fucking.
Much,” he panted.
I smiled to myself. “I love you
too, Scotty,” I mumbled before I drifted off to sleep.
The phone was ringing. Goddamit
why do people have to call me this early? It’s 8:30.
Shit! 8:30! Okay, so that was a little later than I had
been getting up. But I still hate mornings. Even Scott
knows to leave me alone for about an hour before he’ll talk to
me. I picked up the phone.
“Hello?” I said, trying to not sound
like shit. It wasn’t easy. I definitely sounded like shit.
“Can I speak to Scott.” It was
more said than asked. I tried to place the woman’s voice.
It sounded vaguely familiar.
“Sure. Hold on please.” I
looked over but Scott wasn’t in bed. “Scott?” I hollered towards
the bathroom. No answer. “Just one sec. Lemme find
him.” No response. I made my way downstairs and looked
around for him. He was in the kitchen fixing breakfast.
“Hey man, phone.”
He picked up the kitchen extension
and I hung up. “Hello?….Well, hey, how’s it…say what?” his face
fell and the spatula clattered to the floor. He walked slowly out
of the kitchen towards the front of the house. I followed him,
giving him a little bit of space. “No, I…I’m here.” I
stopped at the doorway to the study and he leaned with his back against
the wall across from the stairs. “I just. What happened?”
he asked as his voice cracked. His eyes tightened and he slid
slowly down to the floor. Scott’s other hand was on his forehead
and I could see his mouth turning down as the tears rolled off of his
face. “How?….Oh God!” his voice wavered. I’m on full alert
now but I stayed where I was. “Do you know…did he know or was it
sudden…Mom. Mom…did he KNOW what was happening?” His eyes
tightened again and fresh tears streamed down. Suddenly his
demeanor changed and his eyes snapped open. “It’s his fuckin’
fault. He did this. You’d better keep him away from
John…then FIGURE OUT HOW!!!”
Shit! I’d never seen him this
angry. Sure he’d gotten irritated at our trades from time to
time, but I was the one who usually showed temper. With me it
comes from having an Italian and Irish background. Scott, on the
other hand, was one of the most level headed guys on the planet.
He clicked the phone off and tossed
it across the foyer, then he sat there just staring into space.
I waited for him to speak.
“He was beaten and stabbed to death,”
the tears were really cascading down his cheeks. “Bad
trick. Mom said the police think it was a blitz attack.
They don’t think he knew what hit him.”
I took a deep breath and blew it
through my nose. “When did it hap—“
“Early this morning.” He shook
his head slightly, raised his eyebrows a bit and said, “It’s his fault,
“Do what?” I asked, puzzled.
“It’s his fault. And he’s gotta
pay.” He stood up and wiped the tears from his face.
“Scott! He’s dead…how can he
“I’m talking about Frank, Mike.
Goddamn, don’t you get anything
without having it explained to you!”
I blinked and raised my head a bit,
but I didn’t say anything. I knew that Scott hadn’t seen John in
years. They had spoken on the telephone a few times and Scott
tried to convince him to go into rehab but to no avail. Scott’s
sister had never really been in touch with him either. Sadly, it
looked like his life of drugs and prostitution had caught up with him.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I didn’t
I just nodded. I knew.
Then Scott got this crazy look on his
face. “He’s gotta pay. He has to die,” he said
matter-of-factly. That’s what scared me. He said it like he
was saying he was going to go clean the oven. Reaching into his
pocket for his keys he said, “It ends now.” Oh shit!
“Hey, Scott, you can’t go and do
something like that,” I laughed nervously. “That’s…insane, hoss.”
“Oh, fuck that! What he did to
us was insane! What happened to John was INSANE! What I’m gonna do, is
enTIREly sane.” He
headed towards the front door but I grabbed his arm and swung him back
“No you don’t. You’re not going
anywhere. Gimme the keys.”
“I don’t need you to save me, Mike,”
he growled. I knew that at that moment he very well could have
killed Frank with his bare hands. The sheer hatred in his eyes
was something I’d never seen before and it scared the shit out of me.
“I’m not saving anyone—“
“Except Frank!” Now I knew he
was talking without any sense.
“I hope he rots in hell! It’s
you I’m trying to save from jail, stupid ass! I’m sure you’d have
He shook his head and smiled kinda
crazy. “I’m going, Mikey,” he sneered, “and you’re not gonna STOP
ME!” he roared.
“NO!” I grabbed his arm again.
This time he shoved me back towards the stairs. My head snapped
on my neck a bit and I was in shock. He’d never done anything
like that, nor had he ever talked to me that way.
Scott got right up in my face and
jabbed his finger into the air in front of it. “I told you YEARS
ago,” he seethed, spit hitting me in the face, “that you always ran
away from your FUCKING problems like a PUSSY! And now you want me
to be like a PUSSY too! Well FUCK THAT!” and he shoved me with
each loud word to emphasize his point, sort of smacking my chest with
his open palms.
Now, let me ask you this. Have
you ever pissed off an Italian? I mean, ever really pissed one
off? One from New York, to boot? I knew that he was crazy
with anger and
grief, but all of this was bullshit. I slowly dropped my head and looked
at him from just beneath my eyebrows. I could feel the muscles
between my lips and my nose twitching as I snarled back, “I told you
never, ever, call me a PUSSY. You got THAT?!” and I did the
unexpected. I jacked his jaw at ‘pussy’ and ‘that.’ My hand
hurt like a mother fucker! I was angrier than I’d ever been but I
him and didn’t want him to go to jail. I honest to God knew he
was going to find Frank and kill him. It was that simple. I
had to get his attention and cleaning his clock was just the way to do
it at that moment.
Scott looked back at me. I
didn’t know what to think and I backed up, tripping on the lower step
and then falling onto my ass and elbows. As he stepped towards me
I started crawling backwards up the staircase. I was
history. I knew it. I’d gotten physical and no matter the
reason…well fuck that! But I was also determined not to lose this
guy to jail because of his rage.
All of a sudden his face changed and
all of the pain he was feeling showed at one moment. He put his
face in his hands and dropped to his knees. “Oh God, Mike…” he
sobbed. His body was racked with sobs. I leaned forward and
caught him before he fell forward onto the stairs and held him.
“I’m so sorry..” he cried. I pulled him to me and let him
cry. I shed a few tears myself but I knew he needed me to be
strong for him. “God, I’m so sorry,” he kept saying.
“Hey,” I softly said, “you didn’t do
anything. I’m the one who hit you. I’m sorry—“
“No! You did exactly what I
needed.” Looking up he smiled through his tears. “If it
wasn’t for you I’d probably be on my way over there right now.
It’s just not fair,” he said with a bit of a whimper.
I held his face to my shoulder and
stroked his hair. “I know. It’s not.” While John’s
death was an absolute tragedy I couldn’t help but thank God that Scott
had not made the same bad choices that John had. John walked the
streets for a long time and it wasn’t surprising what had happened to
him. But I
kept those thoughts to myself. My role as Scott’s friend at that
moment was to keep my mouth shut. “Sorry about clocking you.”
“Aww fuck! No shit. Who
taught you to hit like that?” he laughed a bit.
I smiled. “Self preservation,
baby.” Scott had a questioning look on his face. “I love
you, Scott. And I’m not going to lose you. Call me selfish
but I need you. And I ain’t. Letting. Go. For
He smiled and I held him close again.
“Logan, you’re full of surprises,
pal.” I smiled at that.
Then the enormity of the loss hit my
man like a ton of bricks and he started bawling. At that point I
started crying too. I didn’t know John, but Scott’s loss was my
loss. We stayed there on the stairs, me sitting and him on his
knees in my arms on the steps. As I held him I rocked him
back and forth. Sometimes even grown men need coddling.
It was a shitty day for a
funeral. Not that there’s ever a lovely day for one, mind
you. But it was exceptionally shitty that day. We actually
had a lot of freezing rain and even some sleet.. Januarys in
Atlanta were no picnic. Scott and Jackie had made the all of the
funeral arrangements, but he and I had picked the cemetery and
location. Scott wanted a cemetery plot way out in the country
where John would be as far as possible from the problems that had
plagued him so horribly in life, and we picked a really nice one north
of the city near Buford.
He and I bought three cemetery plots
together; one for him, one for myself and one for John. Scott
wanted to be with his brother in death since in life he was unable to
take care of him as he’d wanted. We had a magnolia tree planted
near our plots. For those of you unfamiliar with that tree, it’s
indigenous to the south and it’s low, sheltering branches can extend
twenty to thirty feet from the trunk. I understood the symbolism
that Scott felt it displayed.
Jackie and her family were there as
well as Scott and myself, and their mother. Charlie and Stacy
came for support, as did Freddie and his wife Alaina. It was good
to see them again but I hated that it was for this reason, a
funeral. John and Jackie’s minister officiated the graveside
service. Scott’s mother stood there crying. According to
Jackie, her mom had quit drinking a couple of years ago and left
Frank. I guess the confrontation at the studio several years
previous had some effect on her. Scott and Jackie asked if I
would sing a song and I hesitantly agreed. I wasn’t really sure
would be appropriate at first, since I didn’t know John at all.
After thinking about it for a while (during the planning of the
funeral) I decided upon “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.”
Precious Lord, take my hand,
Lead me on, let me stand.
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn.
Through the storm, through the night,
Lead me on to the light.
Take my hand, precious Lord and lead
When my way grows drear,
Precious Lord linger near.
When my live is almost gone,
At the river I will stand.
Guide my feet, hold my hand.
Take my hand, precious Lord and lead
Once the funeral was over we all
turned to go back to our
cars when something caught Scott’s attention. I looked across the
sloping hills of the cemetery and saw someone standing near the
woods. Oh crap! Frank.
“Charlie, Freddie, John,” I said and
nodded in Frank’s direction. Then I stepped in front of Scott,
whose eyes were wide with anger. “Scott.” He didn’t look at
me. “Scott,” I said more urgently. Slowly he faced
me. “Wait right here. I’ll handle it. Guys, don’t let
Scott move.” My eyes never left his.
Then I turned away from them and with
my hands in my pockets strode over the couple hundred yards towards
where Frank was standing. I could feel questioning eyes on my
back and Frank’s hostile glare to my front. Finally I reached
him. We stood there, staring at each other for a moment.
Finally I said calmly, “I cannot
believe you have the audacity to show up here, now. Scott can
hardly contain himself. He’d like to kill you with his bare
hands. You’ll notice that there are three men there making sure
he won’t head over here to do just that.” Stepping closer I
continued. “Several of the guys on our crews are rehabilitated
criminals, all from prison. What’s the one thing that all guys in
prison hate?” I waited a moment. “Baby rapers. Guys
in prison hate baby
rapers. Guys in prison kill
rapers.” His eyes widened a bit at this. “I never want to
see you near me, or Scott, or any of the others, because if I do I’m
gonna make a phone call to my former-prisoner emplyees and I’m gonna
just two words to them: baby. Raper. And may God help
you at that point, because there’ll be nobody on earth who can.”
I stepped in even closer. “And if you ever come near me or Scott,
I’m warning you, I keep a gun. Stay away from us. Got
it?” Frank just stared. I glared at him for one last
moment then turned and walked away.
When I got back to the group the guys
were still standing in front of Scott. “Let’s go,” I said.
We got to our cars and I turned to
look back. Frank was gone. Scott asked, “What did you say
“Just get in the car, okay?” I
said. “I’ll tell you later.”
We headed home.
In February of 2001 the quartet that
I sang with had won the right to perform in a competition with four
other quartets from our region. There were a total of six regions
in the country that competed and they’d send their five best to another
level of competition. The best quartet from each of the six
regions faced off, or competed against each other for the grand prize,
which is a gold medal. Sounds dopey but barber shoppers are
really quite an organized group.
In May our quartet came in first
place for our region. We were ecstatic! It takes a lot of
hard work and we were on our way to the final competition which was to
be held in the fall. It was doubly awesome because it was to be
held in New York City. I hadn’t been there since I was four and I
wanted to take Scott to all of the sites: Statue of Liberty,
Empire State Building, World Trade Center, Radio City, Central Park.
We were going to make a vacation out
of it, and I booked our tickets. September 7th through September
14th. The competition was only for two days and we’d have the
rest of the week to go sight-seeing.
It promised to be an awesome trip.
It turned into a nightmare.
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Okay y’all, that’s it for this
part. I hope y’all are still hooked. Let me know your