Tanner's Tales #8

By John Yarer

This is the eighth and final installment of Tanner's Tales. I have had several conversations with Tanner over the last few weeks and we agree that we should end the series with this installment.

If, in the future, Tanner wishes to add further reminiscences to this series I've told him that I will be pleased to put his notes and comments into story form.

If readers wish to contact Tanner they may do so at the e-mail address below.


As with the earlier installment, this story is based on Tanner's experiences as he described them to me. I have tried to put his material into story form, more or less as he presented it to me in e-mail notes and telephone conversations. It is presented as a factual account but I have omitted or changed the names of certain universities, corporations and individuals.

Please refer to my introductory notes for Tanner's Tales #3, in which I discuss the topics of "S and M," "Fisting" and "Rough Sex." I would be interested in hearing from readers who have personal experience with the practice of fisting, both to satisfy my own curiosity and to confirm or correct any ideas expressed by Tanner and related in these stories.

As in the earlier installment, I have not attempted to convey the exact tone or the accent with which Tanner speaks. He was raised in the South and has recently spent most of his time in the New York City area. He still speaks with echoes of his original regional accent.

Andrew has again proofed this story and both Tanner and I want to express our thanks for all his help.

This work is copyrighted © by John Yager, et al, and may not be reproduced in any form without specific written permission from the author. It is assigned to the Nifty Archives under the terms of their submission agreement but it may not be copied or archived on any other site without the written permission of the author.

All the stories I have posted on NIFTY can be found under my name in the Prolific Authors list accessible from the NIFTY Home Page.

If you wish to send comments to me, you may contact me at the e-mail address below. If you wish to be placed on my list for notification of future postings you may also use this address.


The weekend of my college graduation Sean came into town. My folks and my brother and his wife were also there. I was the first member of my family to graduate from college and it was a big deal. We made it a big family celebration but after they left, Sean showed up.

"I came to give you your graduation present," he grinned, handing me a small box. Inside it I found two rings like the ones he wore in his nipples and a larger, heavier one like he wore in his cock. "The question is, are you man enough to go through with it," he added when I'd seen his present.

How could I chicken out on a challenge like that? He drove me into Dallas for two days of partying and before it was over I was wearing two tit rings and a PA. I still wear them all on some occasions but I keep the ring in my left nipple all the time. In fact, it's sort of become my trademark.

Following graduation, I stayed on with XXX Corp for six more years. I made public relations trips for them and helped out at conventions and exhibits. I socialized with their regular clients and went to bed with the top dogs.

I guess if I hadn't resigned, I'd still be working for XXX Corp. At least there was no pressure to leave. They were very good to me and I owe them a lot. The problem was drugs. I'd gotten into Speed and was really pushing the limits by the early 1990's. I'm not sure how many people knew, but Sean saw the problems coming and convinced me I had to slow down. By then he was starting his first health resort near Fort Myers, Florida and he offered to help.

By then the whole AIDS thing had become really big and I think Sean was afraid I'd be using drugs and get careless. From about 1985 I'd been insisting on condoms when I had sex with anyone I wasn't sure of. Bobby and I were always careful with everyone else but together we continued to go bareback.

When I left XXX Corp I checked into a residential drug rehab clinic near Dallas and spent a full month there. Sean had recommended the place because they had a high success rate and, just as important, placed a lot of emphasis on exercise and physical training. They had a great gym and a big weight room. I wasn't in bad physical shape when I arrived but when I left I was dry and in better physical condition than I'd been in for two or three years.

Sean offered me a place on his staff but I stupidly turned it down. I'd had an offer from a guy in LA who makes gay porn films and I wanted to try my hand at it, so to speak. I spent a year and a half in California and appeared in seven of his films. As you can probably guess, I was fine with the sex scenes but had a lot of trouble with speaking parts.

Try as hard as I could, I couldn't say memorized lines and sound natural on film. My lines sounded so stilted that I was really embarrassed by them. Fortunately TJ, the guy who owned the company, had mercy on me and kept me busy with sex shots that didn`t require many memorized lines. When I did have a speaking part, he'd sort of work me into more spontaneous scenes where I and some other guy would be adlibbing. It was all real conversation, not from a written script. A few of those films are still kicking around.

I also posed for a lot of nude photographs in LA and got good money for it. Some were of me posing alone and some were with other guys. One series was taking by a guy named Berry Caldwell, one of the top men in male erotic photography.

Those shots ended up in a big, fancy book, what I guess you'd call a coffee table book. A lot of those photos are also out there on the internet. For that series the photographer took me up to northern California for three days of shooting. He'd had me going to a tanning salon in LA for two weeks before the trip, so I had a great overall tan. He also insisted on shaving me before I started tanning, so for those shots I was completely smooth and beautifully tanned with no swimsuit lines.

Another first for me connected with those shots was that they used a pump on my cock. I'd heard about guys doing that, but I'd never done it before. I mean, it's not like I don't have a big one already. But I have to admit, it was a turn-on. They greased my dick and then put this clear plastic tube over it, making sure the seal was tight with lots of lube around the base where the tube pressed against the smooth, shaved skin of my groin. Then, real slow, they used a hand pump to draw air out of the tube. I mean, I was hard already. Who wouldn't be with a couple of guys greasing up your cock and then fitting this tube over it? I just laid back and watched as the air pressure in the tube dropped and my cock began to get longer and thicker than it had ever been before. It was amazing. Not only was the sight of my cock growing in the tube really hot, but the feeling of it expanding like that was amazing. By the time they'd finished my cock was a good twelve inches long and as thick as a beer can. As they removed the tube they snapped a black leather cock ring around it so it stayed hard for quite a while.

I've had my cock pumped quite a few times since but it's never been as hot as that first time. I don't know if any of you guys have tried it, but it is a really strange feeling. When the tube is removed and you can touch your super-sized cock, it doesn't feel like your own cock at all. If has a sort of hard but spongy feeling and it's very sensitive to being touched.

One of the sequences of still shots Berry took was of me being blown. I couldn't believe the feel of the other guy's mouth on my cock. It was like he'd been wired and every time he pulled me into his throat I felt as if electricity was running through him and then into me. When I came it felt as if I was blasting the head of my cock down his throat. I think they are some of the hottest photographs anyone ever took of me.

I'd never experienced pumping before but the fact is, Bobby and I had messed around a little with shaving when we'd been living together in college. We'd always found it kind of hot. Neither of us had much body hair anyway and shaving the little we had was never any big deal. He'd done it for swimming meets before we started doing it together.

After I'd been shaved for those photos in northern California and seen how hot they were, I just started doing it all the time. It only took a couple of shaves a week to keep me completely hairless, except for the hair on my head, and I've continued to do it to this day. It sure shows off my big dick and my honed physique and it turned out that a lot of men loved me completely smooth.

I may just as well be honest about my other activities in LA. I knew a few older men there from my XXX Corp days and the word soon got out that I was in LA and available. It wasn't long before I was getting half a dozen calls a week from guys who wanted me and were willing to pay my rather steep fees. I was popular enough to be demanding so I limited my appointments to three nights a week and charged top dollar. Having sex with other men for pay wasn't exactly new to me, after all, and I had no compunction about it. I still don't. I figure if I have what they want and they'll pay what I want, so it's a simple exchange and nobody gets hurt.

California was great but the people I was dealing with in the gay porn film industry were mostly a bunch of pricks. I guess I'm just a southerner at heart and basically a small town guy. I didn't like the rush and the frustrations of living in LA but the money was great and I kept it up as long as I could. Most important of all, I stayed clean.

One thing which made LA tolerable was that Bobby was there. He and Pam were married by then. They invited me out to their place in the Valley a lot and that really helped. I stayed dry and off drugs as long as I was there, which was amazing, considering how much stuff was just lying around on the movie sets, or on locations.

Then in May, 1996, I had a real scare. I first learned that a guy I'd acted with a lot in TJ's films had been diagnosed with AIDS. Within two weeks I got another call from a client, a guy in his fifties who'd been paying me top dollar to fuck him about twice a month. He'd gone in for tests and also shown up HIV+. He was a married man and I guess it was a real scare for his wife as well. I don't know how that ended.

The guy I'd acted with was named Sam, although he didn't use his real name in films. He'd been around a lot, had sex with a lot of different men, so we always used condoms when we were having sex in the films. Over the previous year I figured I'd fucked him a dozen or more times and he'd fucked me at least five or six times, but each time using condoms. In fact, TJ had been insisting that all the guys in his films use condoms when they fucked, but not when we were engaging in oral sex.

At any rate, I got tested immediately. It was a rough few days waiting for the results. Needless to say, my tests came back negative, but it made me rethink a lot of things.

In August of 1996, I moved to New York. I'd been offered a position with a public relations firm there. They knew me from my XXX Corp days and it looked like a real good job.

I worked on commission and I just never could get an active enough client list to generate the income I needed. I kept at it full time for just over two years, drawing down my savings as I went along, thinking in time I'd be able to earn a good living from the work. The reality is, it just didn't happen.

In February, 1997, I got a call from an older man whom I'd known through XXX Corp. He'd been a top executive with one of our major suppliers and I'd had sex with him several times. We'd been together the first time when Bill had asked me to go to Larry's hotel room at a convention in Fort Worth. Several other encounters had followed. I'd always found him a kind and appreciative lover.

Larry had retired in 1995 but was still a major stockholder in his old company. He was in New York for a few days and had gone to some trouble to get my number.

"Look, Tanner," he'd begun, "I understand you have a straight job and you aren't keeping old guys like me happy for fees, but would you be willing to at least go with me to a couple of parties this weekend?"

"Sure," I laughed, remembering the guy. He had to be in his mid-sixties but the last time I'd seen him he was still a very good looking man. "So are you looking for an escort, or do we just call this a date?"

"I was never big on titles, Tanner. You can call it what ever you want." He was silent for a moment and I almost thought the phone line had gone dead. Tanner?" he asked a few seconds later."

"Yeah, Larry."

"I talked to Bill a few days ago. I told him I was going to be in New York and said I'd heard you were here."

"So it was Bill who gave you my number."

"Yeah." He was silent again. "Look, Tanner, Bill said he wasn't sure how well things were going for you. He'd heard the PR job wasn't paying as well as you'd hoped."

"Yeah, Larry, things have been a little slow."

"Well, don't get this wrong, but I'd like to pay you for your time."

"So you do want an escort," I said, letting a little chuckle accompany my words.

"Yeah, I guess so. At least I'd like to help out if you'd let me."

"Thanks, Larry. I'll leave it up to you."

I met Larry the next evening at his hotel. He had a huge suite at one of the newest and flashest hotels in the city and it was clear that he was still awash in big money. I'd dressed in my most elegant dark suit and tie, as Larry had requested, and it turned out he was having a private dinner party for eight other men. It looked to me as if it was an equal split between older men and younger paid "escorts."

While we were having drinks I went into the little serving kitchen for water and one of the other younger men followed me. I'd met him when he and his date had arrived and fortunately remembered his name was Jeff.

"So are you new to New York, or just new to the game, Tanner?" he asked, out of earshot of any of the other men.

"I'm in PR," I said. "Larry and I are just old friends."

"Oh, sorry. I guess I messed up there. I took you for one of us."

Jeff was a little shorter than me but obviously very well built. His thousand dollar suite hung on his sculpted physique like it had been made to measure. He was a very good looking guy. "What exactly do you mean?" I asked.

"You know, the paid help, the professional boys."

"Oh, so you are from an escort service."

"Yeah, Sebastian's, the best agency in town."


"Absolutely. If you ever want to get into play, you should give us a ring."

"Are you in the phone book?" I was a little surprised by the guy's openness.

"Sure, and the Yellow Pages. Just look under `Professional Services.'"

"Look, Jeff, I don't want to be overly curious, but can you tell me exactly what services you offer and what you charge?"

He grinned broadly and asked, "you interested as a possible player or as a possible client?"

"Player, I guess. I have a feeling I couldn't afford to be a client."

"Well, I guess I could just give you the menu. It all depends on what the client wants and what he's wiling to pay."

"Well, what did Mr. Warren pay for, Jeff? What's he going to get for his money tonight?"

He laughed and gave me a friendly pat on the shoulder. "Mr. Warren is one of my best clients. He comes to town about once a month and books me for the entire weekend."


"Professional courtesy, Tanner. Professional courtesy and professional confidentiality. But, if for example, you were to call from Chicago and say you were going to be here from Friday afternoon until late Sunday and you wanted my undivided attention for the weekend, the fee would be $5,000 and that would buy you any personal services you wanted."

"Five thousand?" I responded in awe. I was barely making that much a month and it wasn't covering the cost of living in New York.

"Yeah, the agency gets thirty percent but the clients know that and their tips more than cover the difference. I work every weekend and with a couple of one-nighters during the week I clear about $35,000 a month. Very little of that gets reported to the IRS.

"You've got to be kidding," I said, hurriedly doing the math in my head.

"No, not at all. And from what I've seen, a good looking guy like you could do at least as well, maybe even better, assuming you are willing to meet the client's demands."

"And are some clients especially demanding?"

"Yes, a few are, but they pay extra for extra service." He looked at me thoughtfully and then said, "look, Tanner, we're sort or dancing around the barn here. You do understand what we are talking about, don't you?"

"Yes, I understand."

"Good. Let's stop using unnecessary words then. To put it simply, we are talking about male prostitution. It's just dressed up in custom tailored suits and polite language."

"I understand." It struck me that I'd been engaged in male prostitution in one form or another for over ten years and in all that time no one had ever called it by its real name. I guess we all thought by avoiding using the word prostitution, we were somehow avoiding the shame of it all. The problem with that was that I felt no shame, no matter what you called it. As I've said before, having sex for money had never bothered me at all.

"I have clients who want to take me out to five star restaurants," Jeff went on.

"Others are into opera or the theater. But at the end of the evening they want to go back to their hotel and fuck. It isn't just the sex they pay for, it's the whole package. They usually want a little romance and a lot of fantasy. Most of it`s just plain vanilla sex, but there are a few who want some leather or even some real rough stuff."

"I understand."

"Well, if you are ever interested in giving up public relations for private relations, just give Sebastian's a ring. I'm sure they'd love to add you to their stable of hunks."

With that we returned to the living room and moments later dinner was served.

Larry's guests had all left by about eleven o'clock and I was curious to see what came next. He pulled off his tie and removed his jacket. "Let's relax, Tanner. It's been a long time since I've seen you and I must say, you are looking great."

"Thanks, Larry. You look great, too, not a day older."

"Well, I am several days older, but that doesn't mean I've given up on life." He paused and looked me over, his eyes moving slowly down from my head to my feet. "I was sort of hoping you'd be willing to stay over."

"I was sort of hoping you'd ask." He had already told me he had another function the following evening he wanted me to attend with him. "I live a long way out in New Jersey and it would be nice to avoid the long commute."

"Well, good then. Stay over with me and we'll have a nice, relaxing day tomorrow, ending with that damn banquet tomorrow night."

"That sounds good," I said with a smile.

"Do you want a drink?"

"No thanks, I'm fine. I sort of gave up anything heavier than an occasional beer or a glass of wine."

"Good for you." He sat on the arm of a sofa looking across at me. "This is a one bedroom suite, Tanner."

"I know."

"You know?"

"Yeah, I checked it out earlier, one bedroom with a king-size bed."

"That's okay with you, sharing the bed with me, I mean?"

"Yeah, Larry, I was sort of looking forward to it." I got up and walked over to him. I put my hands on either side of his face and stooped down to kiss him.

"Um," he said when we broke for air, "that was nice."

"Yeah. Now let's stop talking and go to bed."

We had a wonderful time. I just gave myself up to him, trying to think of anything and everything I could do to make it as good for him as possible. We spent a long time just kissing and touching and fondling each other. Eventually I rolled onto my back and pulled him over onto me. He looked down into my eyes questioningly. I smiled and said, "I sort of thought you'd want to fuck me."

"You okay with that?"

"Absolutely," I said, "but I have one question."

"What's that?"

"Well, Larry, I guess I want to know what you want from this. Is there some special turn-on for you, some fantasy you're kicking around in your head?"

"Hum," he said, looking away for a moment and then turning back. "Nobody ever asked me that before."

"Well," I said, "I'm asking."

"When I was a young man, about twenty-five," he began, "I had a friend named Sam Carter. Sam was a beautiful man. In a lot of ways you remind me of him. We spent a lot of time knocking around west Texas looking for deals. We got to know one another real well and I began to realize Sam had a lot of feelings for me. I had a lot of feelings for him, too, but the problem was that caring for another man was just too far from everything we'd ever been taught or ever thought about ourselves. We were friends for almost three years, living together, and in all that time I never worked up the nerve to tell him how I felt about him and he never worked up the nerve to tell me how he felt about me.

"Then Sam got an offer from an oil company which was doing a big job down in Venezuela. He took it and headed off on his own. About a year after Sam left, I hit it big. In two years I'd made my first million. About three years after we'd parted company I got word that Sam had been killed on an oil rig down in one of those South American oil fields. He died never knowing how I felt about him and I lived on never knowing what it would have been like to make a real life with him.

"I guess in some way, Tanner, being with you is sort of like exploring all the `what-ifs.' In some sense I guess my fantasy is you being him and me being able to do with you what I dreamed of doing with Sam."

"That's quite a story, Larry," I whispered, looking up into his wise old eyes. "I'd be honored if you'd let me help you work it out." I lifted my lips to him and kissed him gently. He kissed me back, softly at first and then with growing passion. "If you want, Larry, at least for tonight, maybe you could call me Sam."

I gave myself to him, letting him fuck me with all the stamina he could muster. I didn't come all night but it was one of the most fulfilling sexual experiences I'd ever had, just knowing I'd done everything I could to satisfy him.

The next day we slept late and when we did finally wake up, Larry called down and ordered a huge breakfast from room service. When the guy delivered it we were still in bed and we let him serve us there, not at all ashamed to be seen together, naked in the big disheveled bed.

We spent all Saturday together, going to a museum together to see some paintings of the western United States. Larry told me he collected western art, something I'd never known about him.

That evening we went to the banquet, where Larry spoke. I stayed close to him all evening, doting on him like a lover. Everyone who saw the affection between us smiled. A few people, including a couple of women, made remarks to Larry about what a sexy old goat he was to have a young guy like me in tow.

That night, back in his suite, Larry asked me to fuck him, which I did, feeling happy and proud to be with him.

When I woke the next morning he'd packed and gone. There was an envelope on the dresser with a note saying he'd call when he was coming back to New York and hoped I'd have time for him. In the envelope was $5,000 in cash. I guess Jeff had been right. It seemed to be the standard rate for the top escorts and I didn't have any agency like Sebastian's taking its cut.

A week later Larry called to say an old friend of his was coming into town and he'd recommended he call me. "Was that all right?" he asked.

I assured him it was.

"Same rates?" he asked.

I told him what he'd left the week before was very generous.

"Good, my time with you was worth every penny of it." He was silent for a moment and then added, "Tanner, my buddy Dale may ask for some sort of special services."

"Yeah, Larry? What do you think he wants?"

"I'll let him do his own asking. I just wanted to let you know he may not have tastes as simple as mine."

"Thanks for warning me, Larry. I imagine I can take care of him."

It turned out that Dale was into pain, receiving it and causing it. I'd seen that side of man to man sex before. Several of the XXX Corp clients I'd taken care of liked it a little rough. Dale liked it a lot rougher than I'd ever gotten or given before and after he let me in on his interests, I told him I'd go along with it so long as he didn't hurt me in any serious way or leave any bruises or scars that wouldn't heal soon or that would be visible in regular business garb in the meantime. I was still doing my PR day job and couldn't afford to show up to see clients looking like I'd been in a street fight.

"That's fine," Dale said. "And I expect to pay extra."

Before the weekend was over he'd tied me to the bed in his hotel suite and gotten into some heavy duty bondage. When I left him late on Sunday afternoon, my cock and balls were swollen and red. My buttocks were bruised and raw and I had $7,500 in cash in my pocket.

That weekend with Dale got me thinking. If there were men willing to pay that much for no more pain and suffering than I'd endured in a lot of football games, I could make a significant income by just finding them and catering to their desires. I also had to admit to myself that I'd rather enjoyed the weekend.

Another thing I decided after those first two experiences with Larry and then with Dale, and my conversation with Jeff at Larry's party, was that I wasn't about to sign up with Sebastian's or any other escort agency. Why should I give them a thirty percent cut of what I made when I could find my own clients? No, I reasoned, I would remain independent.

Over the next few weeks I put out some feelers. I had some cards printed and made a few calls. Dale came back into town and I spent another weekend with him. That Saturday night he took me to a club in the West Village which caters exclusively to men interested in leather and rough sex. Rather than call it by its real name I'll refer to it as "The Bait." Those of you who know it will recognize it. As things turned out I spent a lot of time there over the next few years.

Dale and I had a few drinks, standing at the bar. Several men hit on me, much to Dale's amusement. He didn't realize it, but I managed to pass cards to the more affluent looking men, thinking they might prove to be future clients.

Later we went down into the basement of the club where there was a sort of dungeon or playroom. I couldn't help remembering the play room at Caspian Lodge, which was much better equipped. There were a bunch of men standing around a sling where a young, almost pretty guy was being fisted by an older guy in full leather. It all looked sort of depressing and dull. Nevertheless, I made a point of walking around to see every corner of the big room. I figured I might well be spending time here in the future and wanted to know as much about the club as possible. I also took the opportunity to check out the men standing around the guy watching the show. Several of them were about Dale's age, dressed in full leather and looking a little sad, a little desperate. Well, if nothing else, I thought to myself, I sure could liven things up a lot around here.

Even the top looked bored. As Sean had taught me years before, there is an element of showmanship to sex performed for an audience and the guys in the bar that night didn't have a clue.

Dale spoke to a couple of men he'd met there before and they agreed it was an off night. About eleven we went back to Dale's suite and played our own games. That night Dale wanted me to be the top, the master. I tied him to the bed and gave him a real working over. I figured I could be as rough with him as he'd been with me a few weeks earlier. He loved it. If fact, he loved it so much he asked me to save the next weekend for him. He had to go to LA on business but he was back the following Friday night. For each of those weekends I spent with him he gave me $7,500.

On Tuesday afternoon I decided to call my New Jersey number and check my machine before I left my office. It was a good thing I did. There were two messages from men I'd handed cards the previous Saturday night at The Bait.

"Hi, Tanner," the first voice said, "I'm the guy you handed a card last Saturday night." The card said:


All the man you need,

if you're man enough to take it.

Below the message was my New Jersey phone number. It was a simple card but for as long as I've stayed in New York, it's done the trick.

I returned the calls and made dates with one guy for that night and the second guy for Thursday night. Dale came back into town the following Friday and had booked me for the entire weekend. The following Monday I resigned my PR job.

Within a month I had formed what I call my "A List." It's made up of mostly older men like Larry and Dale who have plenty of money and usually wanted me to themselves for an entire weekend at a time.

My other list, my "B List," was made up of a more diverse group of men, some older and well off, some younger with high earnings. They wanted me for an evening, sometimes for the entire night, but not for an entire weekend. Over the last few years I've had a few of my "B List" men move up to the "A List" and a smaller number move the other way. The one thing they all have in common is their rather particular tastes.

Some men, like Larry, want me to help them recreate a moment, a lost love. Like Larry, most of them are gentle, kind and generous. The others are into some specific fetish or they want what they think of as rough sex. Not too rough, of course, but rough enough to let them think they've had a walk in the dark corners and the wild back streets of man to man sexuality.

Most of them think their tastes are unique. In reality, very few of them are more than little boys wanting a safe adventure. There are a few, however, who are into strange and dangerous things. Those I pass on to a few other men I know who are less worried than me about finding a dead body in my bed or having to explain some bizarre injury to the people in an hospital emergency room.

My fees, you ask? They are unreasonably high, but willingly paid by discriminating clients.

Has this life affected me? Yes. At times I've felt I was being sucked into a black hole.

Can I continue to live the way I have for the last five years? I don't think so.

I'll be forty in less than two years, and while I still have a body most thirty-year-old men would envy, it's clear I can't stay young for ever. I have avoided the worst excesses of this odd corner of the world but I can't claim to have remained completely dry or completely clean.

About six months ago, about the time I began communicating with Yager, I decided it was time to get out, to make my exit. I began to make a few calls, to renew a few old friendships and ask for friendly advice from the two or three men I know really care about me.

A month ago I had a call from Sean. We'd been communicating by e-mail but it was the first time I'd heard his voice in almost a year. He made me an offer, a chance to move to Florida and work with him. I won't be working for him, but learning the business with the hope of starting my own health resort along the model which he has made a success. I've saved plenty of money to make a clean start. By the time you read this I will be in Fort Meyers.

Are there other stories I could tell? Sure, many, but not for now. Maybe sometime when I get into that new life I want and need, I can look back on the last few years and share a few more experiences, but for now, please be patient. Don't ask for more until I'm ready.

I also want to express my appreciation to all of you who've written. I answered a few messages and then became overwhelmed by the number of messages you sent. Yager warned me about giving out the e-mail address. I guess I had no idea how many of you were reading these stories and how many of you would feel moved to write. I don't expect to answer any more of your messages individually but I want to thank all of you who have written, or who care to write after reading this. Even though I don't expect to respond, I will read all your messages.

I also want to thank John Yager for writing up these experiences. He's made me sound a lot more articulate than I am. I've gotten to know John rather well over the last few months and feel amazingly close to him, considering that we have never actually met fact to face. I feel as if I have sort of poured out my soul to him. I have also bitched, moaned, cussed him out and generally made his life hell.

John, I can only say I am sorry for all the times I've been a real pain. I also have to admit there is a lot of feeling on my part for you, buddy, which I can only call love.

Well, Tanner, for now, goodbye. I wish you well. I'll never open my in-box again without the hope of finding a message there from you.

All the best,

John Yager