The Bagboy, Chap. 8
by Bob Nelson
Brief synopsis: Ralph's Daddy had shot at Bob and Greg for being gay. Ralph had said, "You might's well shoot me too, 'cuz I'm queer, too!" As he and Greg took Bob to the hospital, Ralph tried to figure out how he felt about a lot of things. Later, when Greg hugged him, Ralph developed a "stiffie!" He liked the feeling, but was ashamed and scared that Greg would hate him. Or, almost worse, leave him here away from his home in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He collapsed onto the floor, moaning, as self-hate, pain and fear raced around deep in his gut. Greg's Mama and Daddy were so happy he'd save their boy they insisted that Ralph stay with them. He needed a place to stay that was safe from his "Daddy."
This chapter is told by Ralph.
Oh, Jesus, oh Hell ! What am I going to DO? We're on our way to Greg's Daddy's house. They want me there because my "Daddy" would kill me, soon as look at me. He will if he can find me. He will come -- he's a damn fine hunter and good shot. Greg and his folks in danger, too! Best if I'd stayed out in the hills; worked my way down fifty - sixty miles -- camped till I make a shelter. Might of found an old cabin. Only need my rifle, bullets, knife, blanket. Maybe skillet and coffee pot Don't need much to get along -- never had much! "Daddy" only gave me leftovers if he was too full to finish his vittles. Then beat me again! So sick and tired of beatings! Lucky he came to the cabin, get me to "help him!" Not real happy about helping him, with no supper and no breakfast, but I went. Didn't know he wanted me to help him kill two men -- until we got near Grandpa's old cabin. Still don't know why I admitted I'm queer! - - guess it was first thing that came to mind. Needed something to shake him up and ruin his aim. It surely did! That and the scattergun stock up alongside his head! The shock and hate in his face let me know he finally paid attention to me! Got the drop on him & got the guns.
Everything looked OK for the three of us
after "Daddy" was hog-tied. Did he holler and cuss! All of
a sudden I gave out and almost fell down. Mr. Greg caught me
and gave me a hug -- that hug -- THE HUG! First one I
remember since Momma moved out. Man, did it feel good!!
Later, when Mr. Bob was in surgery, I got so scared guess I whimpered.
Mr. Greg heard it and gave me
another hug. It felt even better
than the first one! That big, shiny room with little rooms on one
side: each little room had a privy seat with water in the bottom of a white
bucket. Inside the building! Mr. Greg told me to pee
in one of the privy buckets, then he pushed a button made the water swirl
around and go out. More water came in for the next time!! Never
saw nothing like that before! Mr. Greg made water came
out of a pipe in the wall - - from a spring? Filled up two of the
shelf-basins, set in a row and we washed up. Some soft, runny slick
stuff made bubbles and cleaned us up good -- he called it soap. Guess
it was, but sure not like the lye soap Daddy makes - - no, like he made
before I left the mountains. Pieces of soft, clean paper to
dry off with, and then just throw away!!! Never heard of such waste!
It felt so good -- clean face, neck, arms and hands! When
Mr. Greg held his arms open and smiled, I just fell right onto his chest
and gave him as big a hug as he was giving me. Then it happened !!!
Popped that stiffie just like I was 12 years old, again, lookin'
at cousins Lukie and Jake when they were in the swimmin' hole!
They didn't know I was there and could see them swimming naked! Never
told them, neither! But with Mr. Greg and me hugging, my stiffie
was harder than it had ever been! He had to
feel it! Oh, wished I could die!! So ashamed I
fell back onto a couple of chairs and curled up into a ball, waiting for
him to hit me or cuss me. But he just came over and petted
me like a scared pup -- that's what I felt like. He petted
me till I settled down, then picked me up and said it was OK, because he'd
gotten hard, too. It was OK?!?
"We're where? At your home, Miz Johnson? Yes'm. It was a real nice ride." I didn't want her to know I'd never been in a motor car before, except Mr. Greg's. I'd only seen a double hand count of such things.
"Er, ah, well, - uh - jus' wait a minute, could ya? I think I caught a cramp in my leg. Yeh, Cousin Greg, that one near you."
I might fool his folks with that excuse, but cousin Greg got a real clear look at my lap as we came under that last lantern, real slow, just before we stopped. Is he laughing at me??? No, just smiling and patting me on the knee.
"Go ahead and open up the house, folks. I'll help Ralph with his cramp. If it's too bad for him to stand up or walk by himself, I'll help him in. We'll be in soon."
How will he help me with my cramp, since it's a bent stiffie, not a cramp! Like maybe rub the stiffness out of it??? No WAY! But he ain't in any hurry to get out! Now why is he smiling that big smile?
"Huh?" (Oh, a real smart way to talk! He'll think I'm a dumb Hill Billy!!)
"I said, it looks like we both have another problem, cousin Ralph -- or the same one we had in that Men's toilet -- where you used the privy in that little room."
"Oh, I knew what you meant right away, cousin Greg. But how are we gonna get these stiffies down, or get somethin' to cover 'em up, so we can get into your house?" (I was so flusterated, again that it was ten times worse than when we had them in the hospital! Now my stiffie was hard as a rock !!)
He laughed! No, not a real big laugh -- kind of -- warm and friendly, like we were sharing a secret.
"Sorry, Ralph, I can't help giggling. It's kind of funny, but I guess not to you. I'm sorry you're embarassed. It's perfectly normal for your 'stiffie' to pop up when you're near somebody you like, as I said back at the hospital. We'll be all right. We can carry these bags in to my room and check out what clothes are in here that might fit you. Then we'll lay out your pallet. If we keep busy, our stiffies will get softer. Then we'll go eat a meatloaf sandwich -- or two."
"OK, cousin Greg. That sandwich sounds so good I'll just think of that. Food always takes my mind off everything else."
When we got out he gave me some clothes stuffed inside a slick, thin, kind of shiny bag, but it seemed too weak to hold much. Maybe they don't have croaker sacks or tote bags down here. So I just held it in front of me, real easy. That plus the thought of the sandwich seemed to work. My stiffie had wilted, thank Goodness!
Both our stiffies had gone down -- Greg took me right straight into the kitchen. We were really hungry. There was a roast from an animal shot real close with a scattergun, or one with real tough meat that somebody chopped and chopped with a cleaver. No muscle meat you could see, even where it was cut.. but it surely smelled good! Greg cut us each a slice. He laid the meat on slices of real bread. Half a loaf still not cut. Its smell all of a sudden reminded me of my Momma's bread and how she'd hold me on her lap until the fresh loaf was cool enough to cut. That was so hard to wait! It smelled so good I wanted to grab two handfuls and just eat it plain, without any butter or long sweetenin'. Hmm. Hadn't thought of that word since she left. I'm sure it still means honey or molasses..
"Here, Cousin Ralph. I put a little butter on one slice, then the meat, then just ketchup, and covered it with the other slice. See how you like that. If you want mustard, too, we can take the top slice off and add it."
"OK, Cousin Greg. Lemme see if I like it your way, with ketchup," I said before I took a big bite. Hmmm, this meat really tastes good! It must have some secret herbs in it, because I've never tasted anything like it! And it's so easy to chew! Almost like it was chewed once, then cooked. "Yeah, Cousin, I like a meatloaf sandwich your way, with ketchup! I'm gonna call it a Greg sandwich, OK?"
Greg smiled, then began chuckling before he answered me, "Sounds good to me, Cousin! Now we'll tell Mom what that means so we can order it this way from Room Service."
"Whatcha mean 'Room Service' cousin Greg?"
"That's when you order food from your hotel room, they make it in their kitchen, then a bell boy -- a young man who works for the hotel -- brings it to your room. That way you don't have to get dressed to go out to eat, even to a McDonald's."
"Whoa, Cousin Greg, your words are almost like a runaway team -- out of control, nobody drivin' 'em, and just runnin' Hell bent for leather down the trace. I didn't understand about half o' that you jus' said!"
"Thanks, Cuz, for helping me remember that we have to start teaching you the names of things we see and use every day, down here. But we'll take it slow, starting tomorrow. Now let's finish our sandwiches and drink our milk, and I'll raid the cookie jar -- I mean I'll see if I can find some of Mom's cookies."
"Mmm Hmmm!" I wanted to tell him Yes! but I still remember Mama telling me not to talk with food in my mouth. <Gulp, gulp> "Ah, that's sure better Cuz. Oh, is it OK if I call you 'Cuz', too? It's shorter and seems friendlier."
"Sure, Ralph! That will make me feel even better about having you here. You're already closer than a cousin - - - more like a little brother. I always wanted a little brother, but there was just my older sister, Patty, then me. So *I* was the 'little brother' - - until now! No, I guess it's too soon to change you again, from not knowing you, to having you rescue me, to being my cousin. Let's wait to see if we both want to be brothers, OK? I hope you aren't mad at me for thinking of it." He a worried look, and maybe scared.
WOW! That's the first time I'd seem Cousin Greg nervous or scared -- except when he and Bob thought my "Daddy" was going to kill them. No, I'll call him Cain, his given name!! I am SO happy that Cain told me he's not my daddy!!! Oh, Greg's getting worried, waiting for my answer!
"Oh, Yeah, Cousin Greg.... we are gettin' real friendly-like, an' maybe in a week or two we can feel like real brothers," I said. Then, quieter, looking down at the kitchen floor, "I always wanted a big brother."
I could feel my face get hot and knew that meant I was blushing. I hate when I do that! It makes me look like one of the littlest Jukes kids, up at the top of our holler. Cute little guys with real light colored hair, real blue eyes, and real pale skin that's milky white unless they get flustered and then it turns red. I used to laugh at them when it happened. But it ain't so funny now that it's me! I turned away from Cousin Greg a bit, then turned back to find him up real close to me, his face right up to mine, looking me deep, deep in my eyes and leaning so close I thought our chests and shoulders -- and faces -- were gonna come together.... I moved back a little, but Greg moved even closer, then he looked like he was gonna reach out and grab me into a hug, again!! My mouth and my eyes popped open in surprise, so I closed my mouth....
Then Cousin Greg gave me the biggest scare and the wildest feeling I'd ever had. He leaned forward and puckered up his mouth like he was gonna KISS me! Right on the lips! It was such a shock, so unexpected that I jumped back and pushed him back at the same time. As soon as I did, I felt the total fool, because that's one of the very things I've thought of every time he's hugged me, or whenever I got a stiffie, today. WHY did I push him away? Now he's standing there looking like a little kid who just got a slap in the face... hurt, scared and about to cry... like I feel inside. OH HELL!!!! The more I like him, and the more he shows that he likes me, the more I do stupid stuff to make him think I don't like him, or don't want to do what he starts. Oh, good goshamatunkey!!
Several emotions flashed across Ralph's face so fast Greg couldn't tell what the boy was feeling. The last look, though was PANIC !! Oh, Hell, I'll bet he thought I was going to kiss him! I got close to his lips and started to say "Why don't we get a shower and go to bed." when he lurched back and thrust me away! He's strong! Was he in panic because I'm showing my more of my feelings, and they'r'e getting deeper for him? It's not Love. I just reaffirmed today that I do love Bob. He's my Lover! But can't I love two guys? In different ways? Or is it brotherly love for Ralph?? Maybe I'm fooling myself and making it really hard on this kid who's had to grow up so fast. Up until this morning he was living a carefree, primitive life, no contact with civilization! When Bob was safely out of surgery I gave Ralph a second hug and he popped a hardon. Hell, it might have been the first time he'd ever had one that he pushed into another person! I'll bet he's still a virgin!! No wonder he's backing off, scared. Hell, he's freaked out! He's put his hand up to keep me back and now he's looking frantic --- to run?
"Ralph, Ralph!! I'm sorry! I must have scared you when I leaned forward. Did it look like I was going to kiss you? I didn't think -- I just leaned forward to say 'Why don't we go to bed.' Gee, no! Just to sleep. You are such a wonderful guy, and I'm so glad to have you here! Can we forget it, or pretend it didn't happen, yet? I want to do a lot of things with you, but only when you want to!"
Oh, Hell, that didn't calm him down. He's still in the panic-escape mode!
"Cousin Greg, it's all right. You just scared me - - I mean surprised me! Yeah, some day - - but right now I gotta find the men's toilet !" he said with a flash of pride that he'd remembered the word.
"Sure, Cuz. There's one right here, off the kitchen. This door. There, now the light's on, all the things are just about like the hospital. I'll close the door... what?"
"I jus' asked what that other door is, Cousin Greg. Do y'all use this to go through to somewhere else?"
"Oh, that other door is to outside. We come into this bathroom (another name for it) to wash up if we get dirty working outside and don't want to carry the dirt into any part of the house. OK?"
He seemed mollified by my explanation, so I closed the door and went back to make us each another "Greg Sandwich." If he was like me, one sandwich was definitely not enough... There. Two Dagwoods coming up! No, he won't have any idea what that means! Hmm, it's been a long time since I heard his stream hitting the water in the commode.
"Ralph..... Cousin Ralph..... RALPH !! Are you OK? Having trouble unlocking the door?" I twisted the knob. The door opened easily --- to an empty bathroom!!! Ralph was GONE !!
"HELP! MOM!! DAD!!! Ralph is GONE !! He went outside from the kitchen bathroom!!"
Then I saw the outer door was not shut all the way and it dawned on me that he was afraid I'd hear it shut and immediately know what was going on. -- pretty sharp for a "primitive!" A clever, woods-wise, but very scared young man. We've got to FIND him! I raced through into the back yard. "Ralph! Ralph!"
Any ideas of where Ralph is going? Does he even know?? How will he find his way home from a Lynchburg subdivision? What would "Daddy" do if he's stilll there?
This story is not just about sex, as you see from the tiny steps toward it. Yeah, sex is important in our lives, but not the only thing. A wise man said, "Now about sex. We all need it and want it, just too many argue what kind and how much. When we involve others (the best kinds of sex do), we should always ask ourselves first, Is this purely selfish? Will it hurt my partner(s), me, or others?" If so, do I really need to do it, now - - or ever? We die from lack of love, not lack of sex.
There are some surprises ahead, but I'd
like to hear what YOU think regarding the sex and love for more than one
guy at one time. Ever been there? Did it work, or did
you have to get out? How good or bad was it? I need some real
life experiences to be able to tell a realistic story, here.
Please write me:
NailsB69@hotmail.com or NelsBeck@hovac.com