The Journal of Julian Corsair,
An Uncommonly Good Man
Copyright© 2014 – Nicholas Hall
Julian Corsair – Chapter Twenty-five – "When you love someone you leave every possibility open to them, and in spite of the memories of the past you are ready to be surprised, again and again surprised, at how different they are, how various, not a finished image." – (Max Frisch)
Midway through the afternoon, tires screeched in front of the house as a vehicle ground to a halt, followed by rapid, pounding footfalls hammering up the front steps, across the porch, and, with a "bang," the front door popped open.
"Guess what?" Pauley shouted, almost breathless with excitement.
"The road home was very bumpy and all of the up and down motion in the truck caused you to blow your load in your shorts?" I ventured.
Pauley giggled, stepped over quickly, embracing me; "Nothing that exciting!"
"What, then?" I inquired cautiously.
"Darnell Chandler called and asked if I'd stop by the bank to meet with him. Then guess what?"
"In spite of yourself, you gave in to temptation and better reason, let general horniness take over, bent him over his desk, and hammered him raw?"
"No; dammit, be serious!" he pleaded.
I quickly agreed to do as he requested. He just had to tell me what happened and there was no reason for me to keep delaying him.
"Dr. John, when he passed away, willed ten shares of bank stock to me," he announced excitedly. "They were held in trust, according to the provisions of his will, until I attained my twenty-fifth birthday – today!"
"All of the honorariums paid to bank directors/shareholders have been deposited and invested for me over the years and I've a tidy sum in cash and bank certificates of deposits. Not enough to quit work altogether, but it sure makes the future brighter. Now, maybe, I can go back and get my master's degree. I still want to teach full-time somewhere close by, you know."
I smiled, kissed him, and hugged him tighter, signifying how happy I was for him and how much I loved him. How well I knew of his love of teaching and this just might help him achieve that career. As I held him, I felt his hands sink to my waist, unbuckle, unzip, and begin opening my pants.
"Guess what?" he asked lustily.
I shrugged in response, although I had a darn good idea what was coming, if the hard rod poking my hand as I brushed his crotch was any indication.
"Now I'm going to bend you over and fuck you into Christmas! You're one hell of a lot better looking than Darnell Chandler."
By the time Ben came home from school on the bus, we both were sitting on the couch, looking contented and relaxed, both of us well and truly fucked! He looked at us, grinned a shit-eating grin, saying, "I smell sex and it wasn't me," and giggled his way toward his bedroom.
"I'm going to take a shower before we go out to eat," he shouted at us, "I don't want to stink."
"Oh, my God," I said suddenly. "I forgot to tell you your folks are going to join us for dinner, Pauley!"
"Any special reason; other than it's my birthday?" he questioned cautiously.
I relayed Tom's message to me and admitted I didn't have a clue what might be in the envelope or why his folks insisted on delivering it in person; tonight of all nights. As far as Pauley was concerned, there wasn't a problem with them joining us, but he really was looking forward to an evening with just the three of us. Now, not only did he have his birthday to celebrate but we all could celebrate his good fortune and give thanks for Dr. John's generous bequest of bank shares.
Tom and Rosa were waiting or us when we arrived. After we were seated, ordered our cocktails (Ben got a coke), and made our dinner orders, Tom produced a large, thick, rather official-looking envelope from M & I Bank and handed it to Pauley.
"Paul," he began as he handed it over, "Happy Birthday! I'm not entirely certain what's in the envelope, but I do know who made it happen and why."
Pauley furrowed his forehead and eyebrows, perplexed by his father's mysterious comments. He slowly read the address, looked carefully at the return address, and then cautiously pulled the little tab that opened the envelope.
Peering inside, he removed a sheaf of papers, neatly paper clipped or stapled together in groups. The cover letter included was addressed to him.
"What does it say?" asked the ever curious Ben.
"Patience, lad," his grandfather urged, "let Paul take his time."
Pauley began reading, then stopped, unable to continue, his eyes so full of tears. Handing the letter to me, he pleaded, "I can't read this, Matt. Would you, please?"
"Dear Mr. La Pont," it began, "Happy Twenty-fifth Birthday! Enclosed are copies of the provision of a trust established by your god-father, Dr. John Andrews, and held for you by our bank until this momentous day in your life. The provisions of the trust instructed the financial assets of the trust are to be turned over to you on this day. Documents included list the entrusted funds and investments in the trust account. Please advise our trust department, at your earliest convenience, what your disposition of these funds and investments will be."
Pauley's head rested in the palm of his hands as I methodically sorted through the papers in the stack. There were copies of a savings account, with the deposits and interests earned over the years listed since Pauley was born; a listing of government and other bonds and securities purchased by Dr. John in Pauley and his names; a portfolio of various stock purchases made in the same manner; and a property portfolio with copies of records and deeds of several land holdings, again, made in both names. In all purchases of dual names, the right of survivorship was designated, thus they all belonged to Pauley. The trust department and attorneys gave a full written account of all activity of the trust since it was established. If the bottom line was correct, Pauley going back for his masters or PhD was a given, plus he'd be in secure financial position as a moderately wealthy young man.
"Can you believe this?" an astonished Pauley, eyes fountaining with moisture, said to me and the others at the table.
"Yes, I can!" volunteered Tom. "Dr. John favored you above all the rest. We all knew it, just the way he fawned over you, bought you things, and defended your every little misdeed. There was no jealously on the part of your brothers and sister, since he established trust funds for them, also to be paid at age twenty-five. He was so generous to our family. It was his generosity that provided a place for us to live and me to retire early after he passed away."
"Why didn't I know?" Pauley asked choking back the tears. "No one said a word; not Hugh – no one!"
"Would it have made any difference," Rosa asked.
"Well, then why discuss it? It's sometimes best just to hold some things close to your heart and let things happen the way they're supposed to."
"Dr. John once said," Tom added, "what's the sense of being wealthy if you can't spend it on those you love. When I questioned him on it, he responded with a quote from Pierre Corneille, `The manner of giving is more than the gift' and told me we'd speak no more of it; so we didn't."
"Dr. John gave to Rosa and me because he felt I was the son and our children the grandchildren, he never had. He did love our family so, Pauley, and he loved you most of all, a `precious child of promise' he called you."
Throughout the rest of our meal, Pauley would look at the envelope, then to me, and his eyes would fill with tears again. It was quite an emotionally evening for him and the rest of us. Ben's continuing comment was merely, "Awesome!" every now and again.
Returning home, I expected Pauley to collapse after all of the stress of experiencing his new-found wealth, but he just wanted the three of us to sit, as we often did, and read some more of Julian's journal. I think it was an effort on his part to slowly absorb the reality of the situation by doing those things we ordinarily would do. We were quickly running out of pages and Julian's written journey, guiding us through his life, would soon end.
When John passed away I was so grief stricken! He'd been my life, my lover, my companion, and without him I was so lost and lonely. I drifted for about five years, trying to continue my life without him. I wandered up to the lake during the summers, but it wasn't the same without him there, laughing, swimming, loving each other or during the winter, when snow fell and we sat inside in the warmth, huddled next to each other, reading or just enjoying each other's company. Tom and Rosa included me in family functions, trying to raise my spirits, and I really appreciated it. I could see they missed him dearly as well. I felt so sorry for little Paul; he was lost without his Uncle John. I don't think I ever heard him speak of him again, such was his sorrow. He is so much like the rest of the La Pont's; close-mouthed. His great-grandfather, for all of the covert intelligence work he and John conducted during the war, never spoke of his experiences to anyone. I doubt if he and John ever discussed with each other their past work with the military.
I did continue to donate money, food, and my time to the Salvation Army holiday meals program. There was a great deal of satisfaction serving the meals to those who needed it and had so much less. Those events helped keep me centered and carry on. I missed him every day, but finally decided I needed more to live for ; not another lover, but someone to share things with, dote on, care for, visit with, a companion so to speak, so after much thought, I traveled down to the office of the campus newspaper and placed an advert:
Male companion for crotchety,
old, retired university professor.
Successful candidate must enjoy chess,
discussing politics, great literature, and
economic chaos as well as being a
patient listener to lies, tall tales, and other
exaggerated nonsense. I am an excellent cook
and enjoy fine wines (the only perks with this job).
This is an unpaid position.
Please apply in person at
2001 West College Avenue."
I remember, after placing the ad and paying the fee, overhearing one of the young men behind the counter comment to the others, "Who in the hell is going to answer a help wanted ad when the candidates know there isn't any pay attached to it? A person would have to be pretty desperate to apply or a damned fool." Rather than rebut his remarks, I smiled, left the campus building housing the small newspaper office, whistling to myself, and crossed the street in front of the Humanities Building to the faculty parking lot. Enjoying University life after so many years of working there, I made full use of the staff parking lot and free admission to all university events retired employees were entitled to.
What I wanted was someone to spend an evening with, engaging in quiet conversation, a heated discussion, or a challenging game of chess followed by a glass of fine wine. With the beginning of the fall term and recent retirements, I thought there must be a widower, a divorcee, someone out there who'd like to share my company. I am not a bad sort, actually, I didn't think.
Somewhat dejected after the advertisement ran for two weeks with no one applying, I was preparing to leave the house to renew it for one more week, when the front door bell chimed. Opening the door, I was surprised to see a young man standing there, a rather young looking young man, resplendent with a smile, reminding me how I hate door-to-door or telephone solicitations, those bane's of restful naps, interrupters of quiet evenings, disrupters of mealtime, causes of indigestion, and harbingers of malfeasance!
"I gave at the office, I don't like cookies, I recently bought a new vacuum sweeper, and my driveway doesn't need to be seal coated." I said to the young gentleman facing me and, started to close the door, when the lad, before I could get the door shut, hurriedly stammered,
"Dr. Corsair, I am responding to your advertisement for a part-time companion."
Taken aback by the young man's announcement, I looked at him and looked again. Standing before me was a stripling, a hobbledehoy, a young colt; not at all what I anticipated would apply for the position of part-time companion. Frankly, I expected applicants to be much older, not fresh out of high school, grade school, or wherever the hell he was fresh from, so frowning a bit, raising my left eyebrow to signify my concern, shooting a menacing glance in his direction, I queried gruffly, "How old are you?"
"Seventeen, sir, and a freshman here at the University."
"How on earth did you get my name? It wasn't in the advertisement."
"I asked at the newspaper office and I can play chess, like to eat, but can't tell a fine wine from a bad one." he chattered quickly.
"Humph! Well, stop your yawping, come in, sit down, so we might have a chat to see if you're still interested, or if I'm at all interested in retaining your services. You may renege on your willingness to accept my offer once you've had the opportunity to meet me and visit awhile."
Frankly, my expectations weren't very high for a successful conclusion to our visit, but since he'd made this much of an effort, a visit with him would be the courteous thing to do, thus motioning the applicant to the couch in the living room, seating myself in a chair facing him, assuming my most serious professorial face, I inquired,
"Please tell me something about yourself such as your name, where you're from, if you have any brothers and sisters, whether or not you're an axe murderer, and all of that other pertinent data."
"My name is Mathew Sutton Burroughs, but my parents call me Matt. I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, went to school in White Bear Lake, and graduated from high school there. My father is a flight engineer for American Airlines, is gone a great deal, and my mother is a paralegal with a law firm in the Twin Cities. I didn't take time to participate in organized sports in high school; I'd rather read and do other things instead. I'm a freshman here at the University, live in a dormitory, have a dorky roommate, and I am contemplating History as a major. I'm currently carrying eighteen semester hours. I love to read, and I'm not an axe murderer."
This, if you remember, Matt, was the first time I met you. All sorts of thoughts raced through my mind, especially my first assumption; "Does this boy even breathe when he chatters?"
"Why is that?"
"Why I'm not an axe murderer?"
"No, Dufus, why do you love to read?"
"Oh! Reading takes me to places I'd like to go or where I'll never go. Once I learned how to read, the whole world became mine to explore, taste, and experience, all in my own sweet time."
I paused, took a deep breath, and looked at you with a totally different perspective than when I first encountered you on the doorstep. You appeared to be bright, certainly not a dullard, well read, demonstrated a reasonable ability to carry on a conversation, was intriguing, so I pressed on,
"What would your response be to a dinner with English Pot Roast as an entree?"
"Sir, would you be serving Yorkshire Pudding as a side accompanied with a light sauce?"
"After dinner, how about a fine Bordeaux followed by a discussion of Lord Byron?"
"Sir, would we be discussing his first book of poetry, which failed miserably, or something which I enjoy such as `When We Two Were Parted'? Concerning the Bordeaux, I don't have a clue."
Dinner went well, which I felt, after our brief introduction, was a foregone conclusion, the discussion of Byron's poetry after the meal was exceedingly stimulating, enlightening, and refreshing. You announced, as the evening drew late, you should return to your dormitory since you had some studying which needed to be done, declined my offer of a ride, preferring, "to take the night air", and we set next Wednesday evening as your next visit.
I eagerly awaited your appearance on Wednesday afternoon, so when the doorbell rang announcing your arrival, I answered the chiming tocsin with haste, unbridled enthusiasm even, and escorted you to your proper place at the dining table. Finishing our meal, after carrying our spent dishes to the dishwasher in the kitchen, I posed a possible discussion question; "How about a discussion of the establishment of Iran as a political state to round out our evening?"
If you recall, the evening grew late, the discussion drew to a close, and I again offered you a ride to the dormitory, which you declined, but you did make an unusual request.
"Would you be offended or inconvenienced if I came again on Friday? I really don't have to if you'd prefer not, but I've really enjoyed myself. My roommate likes to go out and hit the bars on Fridays, but I'm just not into that scene."
I agreed, quickly, since I was really enjoying your intellect, curiosity, and vibrancy.
The next Friday, as we were clearing the table and putting the soiled dishes in the dishwasher, I remember how you hesitated a moment, coughed to clear your throat, and speaking so softly I had to strain to hear, stuttered out,
"Dr. Corsair, this is, uh, the third time I've been here and, you know, uh, you've never asked to do anything, other than dishes, discussion, uh, you know, uh, did you expect me to do anything else, like uh, ....?"
I was taken aback by your embarrassed inquiry, dropped the wineglass I was holding, shattering it, pissing me off, and causing me to utter a bit of an expletive!
I half-way thought that might deter any further inquiry, but you proceeded on to the end.
"I just figured, uh you know, you being single and all that, there might be some reason why you are being so nice to me and...."
I laughed to myself as you struggled for words, clearly uncomfortable with this one-sided conversation, apprehensive of what my response might be.
"Maybe, I'd just better leave now."
Lightning outside flashed sharply, briefly illuminating the kitchen with bright light, followed by a loud clap of thunder startling both us, easing the growing tension. A storm formed while we were eating dinner, sending torrents of rain cascading from the rooftop, splashing against the windowpane, clearly nasty, drenching, and forbidding.
I slowly, sadly, shook my head, smiled, looked you directly in the eyes said calmly, "Don't be silly, Matt! You're not going anywhere in this storm!" continuing, "So, that's what has been going through your mind? Because I'm single and live alone you imagined I wanted to f..., uh, that I was seeking sexual favors from you?'
I stopped in mid-word, not wanting to say crudely what had entered my mind, then thinking just a second or so, I nodded ever so slightly to reassure him all was well.
"I must admit, you're a comely young man whom both males and females would find attractive and make every attempt to bed you, but not I! That wasn't the purpose of my advertisement. Yes, I'm a gay man, but after so many years of an intense relationship with a man I truly loved and lost to death five years ago, I'm not seeking another lover or a paramour to satisfy any sexual needs I might have."
With that out of the way, setting the ground rules for our relationship, we retired to the living room, each assuming our now familiar places. I proceeded to give you a brief history of my relationship with John Andrews, leaving out all of the spicy stuff, naturally. You didn't seem to be bothered by sharing an evening with an openly gay man so I took this as a good sign and maybe just a hint that you might be gay as well.
Noting the hour, I said, "I've kept you late and the storm doesn't seem to be abating so, you're welcome to stay the night. The guestroom upstairs is available, has a private bath which should be supplied with fresh towels, soap, and washcloths but, I'm afraid I don't have pajamas that would fit you so you'll just have to make do. Should you need anything else, my room is just across the hall."
You quickly assented. Going up the stairs to the second floor, I indicated where the light switches were in the hall, then in the bedroom, pointed out the bathroom, towels, extra blankets, where the various accouterments were located and bidding you goodnight, retired to my own room.
I was pleasantly surprised, as I busied myself making preparations for breakfast the next morning, when you popped down the stairs, looked about the kitchen, went to the cupboard, retrieved a cup and filled it with the aromatic brew from the coffee maker, and joined me in morning coffee. You seated yourself at the table and greeted me with, "Good morning, Dr. J.! The smell of coffee brewing brought me back to the land of the living. I love the smell and the taste of freshly brewed coffee."
I agreed, but offering I'd hoped my snoring hadn't kept you awake. You indicated you never heard a thing and slept better that night than you had in a long time. While I fixed breakfast, you enjoyed your coffee, and then set the table for us.
Once we ate our breakfast and cleanup was complete, you stood quietly by the sink, demurely, turned slowly, faced me, with some hesitation asked, "Would you mind terribly if I went back to the dorm, got some clean clothes and my textbooks, came back and spent the weekend?"
I looked at my young charge a moment, smiled, and replied, giving you a hug, responding, "I'd like that very much."
To be continued:
Thank you for reading Julian Corsair– Chapter Twenty-five -"When you love someone you leave every possibility open to them, and in spite of the memories of the past you are ready to be surprised, again and again surprised, at how different they are, how various, not a finished image." – (Max Frisch)
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