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The Plague Years
I will not be surprised if most of you young people will have no interest in how a sad young boy became a sad old man. Some of you will find out for yourselves, and others will have the good fortune to die young. Me, I was a boy during the plague years, so there are not many sweet memories. Still, there are a few. Bittersweet, I suppose. It's human nature to grasp at straws, and when we're young, it's our nature to grasp at whatever happiness we can.
I found a little happiness during those awful years, and I suppose I'll just leave out most of the rest. K has been gone for a very long time, and when I die, not too far in the future, I suppose nobody will remember him at all. Hence, I share my memories, and wonder whether the two of us, who shared some happy and horrible days, might leave some little impression on somebody, somewhere.
The world was a far more crowded place when I was little. Look around you at the relics left behind, and you may be able to imagine how it was in those days. In the cities, there were more people passing by than anybody could count. Today we see the houses, and the great towers, and the bones. So many bones.
If there are people who know what brought the plague, or what it was, I have not met them. All I know is that a man would be standing on his feet one minute and dead on the ground the next. It was fast. Some of the dead looked frightened. Some looked surprised. Some looked just like their ordinary selves, only dead.
In the early days, there were enough survivors to bury the dead. There were those big machines you sometimes see rusting in the fields that could dig holes big enough to hold a thousand cadavers. Soon, though, there was nobody left who remembered how to work the machines, or who wanted to bother collecting corpses. The stench of rotting flesh was everywhere, and the survivors just ran away, off into the fields and farmlands.
K found me on the road, sitting next to my mother. We started out in her car, then ran out of fuel. We were walking when she looked at me and said "I'm sorry" before she dropped. I sat there all night, shivering. It was morning when K rolled up on his motorcycle. I remember how he looked at me, long and hard. Then he said, "You'll come with me."
We rode for a few hours, to a neighborhood with lots of big houses set fairly far apart from each other. K rolled up to one and knocked on the door. There was no answer, so he broke through a glass pane on the front door with his big flashlight, and let us in. The power grid had been down for months, of course, so there was no alarm. We quickly looked through the house. There were a lot of costly looking furnishings, and no cadavers.
"Snowbirds," he said. "Probably dropping dead in Florida. We'll stay a while."
They'd left some useful things behind. The gas stove still worked if you lit it with a match. There were gallons of bottled water, and boxes of pasta, and cans of pork and beans, and lots of other things to eat that they probably bought in bulk at one of those super stores. Well, you young people don't remember super stores, but I suppose you've seen the remnants.
There was a big pack of batteries to use in K's flashlight. There was a riding lawnmower in the garage, and a can of gasoline with enough left in it to fill the tank of K's bike. We ate pasta and beans for lunch, and more for supper. K spiced his with red pepper flakes.
Later we went up to bed, in the very big bed in the biggest bedroom. K told me to take off my clothes.
"But it's cold," I protested.
"There are plenty of blankets," he replied, "and I'll keep you warm enough."
I stripped to my underpants. "Those too," he said. Hesitantly, I dropped them. I was nine years old, and still got embarrassed.
"Now climb into bed, Little Willie."
I did as he said. I seem to have forgotten what my real name was back then, but it was not William, the name I use now. K called me "Little Willie" because of my little willie, and he made my little willie and I feel happy those few years we were together. I eventually found out that, before the plague years, men like K were thought of as a plague in and of themselves -- but after ninety-five percent of humanity had dropped dead, that didn't seem to matter so much.
K was just as naked as I was when he wrapped me up in his arms, under our giant pile of blankets and quilts. It was winter, and the temperature dropped fast when the sun went down. I remember how it felt strange being held like that by a man. I never knew my father.
His big hands enveloped my bottom, and squeezed me. I thought about it for a few seconds, and decided it felt good. I felt his hard penis against my belly, and didn't mind at all. When he pulled me up so he could kiss me with his soft lips and scratchy, unshaven face, I just melted into him. I thought, perhaps, he loved me, and maybe he did. I was ready to love him right back. He would take care of me, and I was still too little to take care of myself. Not everybody who died in those years died of the plague.
And yes, I wrapped my arms around him, and returned his kisses, and I felt safe. And yes, not long after, he took one hand off my bottom and diddled my little willie, and it got all stiff, and that felt pretty good too. Then he put his big, hard penis between my legs, and rubbed the sticky stuff that came out of it into my crack. That was about all he did that first night; and after a little while, both of us fell asleep.
In the morning, he ducked down under the covers and tickled my little willie with his tongue. I got all stiff again, and I was giggling like crazy, not even two days after my mother dropped dead. I suppose I should have been ashamed of that, but I wasn't. It was just the best feeling I'd had in weeks or months, and it made me happy. When he tried to stop, I pushed his head down and yelled, "Do it some more!"
"Well," he said, "you're a little stinky down there. We'll get cleaned up, and then I'll do it some more."
So we wrapped ourselves in blankets and went down to the kitchen. K heated some water on the stove, and washed us with a dish towel and dish soap. It still was pretty cold in the kitchen, so by the time we were rinsed off, I was freezing again. He pulled me against him and wrapped us in a blanket, and then he kissed me some more. I remember saying, "You need a shave."
"Okay, I guess I do," he said. "I wouldn't want to scratch up that pretty skin of yours."
I was thinking that, since I was a boy, I wasn't supposed to be "pretty," but he went upstairs to the big bathroom and came back with a razor and some shave gel, and used the last of the warm water to shave himself. Then he asked, "Still want me to lick you some more?"
I was too embarrassed to say "Yes" out loud, but I nodded my head. We went back up to the big bed and the big pile of blankets, and I guess getting clean made me a lot more tasty. K started on my nipples, which were very ticklish, but in a good way. Then he started licking and kissing my belly, which tickled even more, so I was giggling like crazy. I thought he would go straight to my willie then, but he didn't. He flipped me over and started licking my crack, which I thought was very weird because that's where the shit comes out, but then he'd been extra careful washing me back there. It was kind of a funny sensation, but I still liked it. Ever since, I've liked it when guys lick my ass. Okay, it's been a long time now, but I remember.
Finally, he flipped me back over, and sucked up my little willie. I was very little back then, so he got my willie and my ballsack in his mouth at the same time, and still managed to snake his tongue up to my hole. I guess I liked all of it, but the best was when he was running his tongue around little willie's head. My heart was thumping, and I was humping at his mouth without a clue why I was doing it, but I was doing it. I was doing it hard.
I remember grabbing his needing a haircut short hair and pulling his head up against me and pumping over and over against his mouth. I'd never felt anything like that before. Maybe I turned queer that night. Maybe I was queer all along. I guess I'll never know.
We stayed at the "snowbird" house until most of the pasta and beans and marinated mushrooms and cans of tuna and other mismatched stuff was gone, which was almost a week. Then we put what was left in K's saddlebags, and headed out on the road. In that week or so we were there, I learned how to be K's little cocksucker. I didn't like sucking his as much as I liked him sucking mine, but it was okay, and he was good to me. What bothered me most was thinking how he might just drop dead, like my mother had. We'd only had the plague for about a year then, and I guess only about half of us were gone, but you still saw fresh corpses almost every day, even when we got out in the country.
There still was plenty of stuff, though. We scavenged gas station convenience stores and dead people's houses and, one time, even a Wal-Mart, although it already had been picked over pretty good. That was our life: finding stuff to eat and drink and to wear and gas for K's bike. We went south that first winter because it was just too cold up north. The dead bodies were stinkier down there, but at least we didn't have to freeze. We'd find someplace to sleep at night, and get sexy.
I think I must have been eleven or probably twelve -- nobody much bothered with calendars by then -- when K decided I was big enough to take his dick up my ass. I was nervous about that, but he told me his was not all that big compared to a lot of other men, so I figured we could try it. He'd been loosening me up with his tongue since the first day we'd met, and he promised to pull right out if it hurt too much.
I guess he'd been planning on it because he'd grabbed a tube of lube when we'd scavenged that last drug store. Naturally, all the drugs you could get high on already were gone, but we found some antibiotics not too far out of date. They didn't work against plague, of course, but they were good for other things that made you sick.
Anyway, we were staying at a motel that night. There was a dead lady in the office, but all the keys to the rooms were there, and in the room we picked, the bed was even made up. I have heard that some boys, and men too, love getting fucked -- that there is some place up there that gets you really hot when it's rubbed. Well, either I don't have one, or K's dick just wasn't long enough to reach it. It didn't hurt, but I lost my boner while he was fucking me, and I much preferred just getting licked. I figured I could go along with it, though, if he liked it so much. It turned out I didn't have to, though.
The next morning, K had some trouble starting the bike, and said he probably needed some new spark plugs. I was sleepy, and didn't want to get out of bed, so he said he'd find some and come back for me later. He never came back. Maybe he finally dropped dead, or maybe he wiped out the bike, or maybe some asshole wanted the bike and killed him for it. Maybe it was because I was growing a little hair over my dick, and I was getting too old for his taste. I never found out, and I'll never know.
When K didn't make it back, I waited another night. I had a couple of cans of ravioli, but I was still hungry. I went to the motel office, and the dead lady smelled pretty bad, but I found some pork rinds and little bitty bottles of bourbon and gin. After I drank them, I wound up staying another night, and felt like crap the next day. It was partly because of the little bottles, but mostly because I knew K wasn't coming back. I was on my own, out in the middle of nowhere, with nothing to eat and just a dead lady to keep me company. I figured if I dropped over dead right then, it would be okay.
There weren't a whole lot of people left by then, but most of them were breeders, and almost all of them passed on the immunity. I suppose I got it from my father, who I never knew. I guess you breeders think it was pretty lucky that some people were immune to the plague, and that the human race could go on, but the way I see it, in the long run, it doesn't much matter. Someday, some other plague will come along, or an asteroid will hit the planet, or the sun will die, and that will be the end of us. Why put off the inevitable?
Maybe it's just our nature. I'm very fucking old now, and still putting off the inevitable. It was fifty years ago I walked away from that motel. I don't know why, but I'm still walking.