Ahh! Lovely, handsome, dapper Will. Brooks Brothers Will. Dark Irish Will. My Will...
When I arrived at school, that first year, I couldn't believe the air. At that altitude it's so soft. Can't hold the heat. September evenings, with the air whisper light upon the skin. Two thousand miles from home. A new city, a new life. Perhaps, soon, a new me?
The university made all freshmen live in the dorms. The one I was in was ancient, but blessedly small. Not one of the massive warrens, but also not one of the country club dorms. Arriving, it was... unexpected. To have, not one, but two roommates. To have to rest on the stairs, from the altitude. To require twelve hours of sleep a night, for the same reason.
In high school, I had taken my College Boards, placed about as high as you can, gotten into the university of my choice, and then decided to find out what the psychedelic revolution was all about. It was about some strange experiences! But I was going into engineering school, so I quit with the drugs and cut my hair in mid-summer, and arrived at school having been straight for an eternity: six whole weeks.
That spring, I had... thawed... emotionally. Before: arch geek. Living, as far as anyone else knew, from the neck up. Classical music. Associating mostly with adults. Highly educated adults. Getting my A's, lusting after the boys and never, ever telling anyone. Except Doug. And Pete. But they had been long before. The last three years of high school had been one long stay in the closet. I had learned, well, the lesson of other kids' unabashed cruelty and had no temptation, whatsoever, to trust them with my secret. Any urge for understanding, any urge for contact, paled into insignificance before the certainty -- the bone certainty -- of ostracism and ruin, if I confided in anyone. I never once actually dated in high school. I'd had sex -- not plenty of it -- starting in junior high. A lot of it, frequently, all kinds of it -- all with boys -- but not "plenty" of it. No such thing at 13, 14, 15, 16. Never plenty. That spring, I did some acid and heard Janis. Really connected. Grokked her steamy raw emotion. Understood the blues, and they unlocked me. Grew my hair, joined the anti-war movement and manned the barricades.
As an 11 year old, before I had ever had a partner, I discovered the parents' vibrator. And this soft flannel towel. I would fold it narrow and long, place it under my butt and pull it up, over my balls, cupping them, and up the length of my hard cock, over the top and down to my pubes. Placing the coil spring hand straps around my swaddled penis, I would flip the switch and be instantly transported. To a land of hypnotically intense sensation. A solid wall of sexual intensity. It was a drug. My partner was a machine. It knew no mercy. If it is sex you want, sex it will be! 250 Watts of it. Feelings so intense that any thought of holding back was instantly extinguished. I gave myself to it completely, without reservation, and it made every bit of me glad, saturated my senses with everything they were capable of processing.
If the excitation phase was intense, the orgasm was beyond description. Swept aloft in a relentless ecstasy. Cruelly intense. Beyond my power to refuse. Drawing me, each day, back again to the vibrator. I got an early taste of addiction. To helplessness, in the face of a pleasure larger than my life.
One day, it rose up in me, possessed me, ran through every fiber of me, carried me away. It was a machine. If, in the intensity of my ecstasy, I had little muscle control, what did that matter? I had merely to clutch the blazing motor to my dick, as it vibrated the very moorings of my boyhood, stimulated every tiny sensitive bit, all the way to the spine. Took everything: testicles, phallus, prostate, sphincters, the deep internal shaft. Everything. Took everything up and over. Seized me in its rough, mechanical hands, impaled me, sucked me and fucked me and shook everything that could experience sex, shook everything to the bone, and as I was carried upon the crest of the breaking wave of ecstasy, I cried out from the very soul, in rapture and exaltation, cried out in a rapture that was beyond the merely natural. My 11 year old soul was being fucked to bits by a demonic lover that knew only "On."
The sound of my rapture rose within me. Rose from the marrow. I filled my boy lungs and cried out, totally unrestrained, cried out the greatest ecstasy of my life, screamed the exaltation of my unholy climax, as it rose and rose, and rose, possessing me, erasing me. I threw my head back and bellowed "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" for all the world to hear: my communion with the lightning. Surely, it carried out across the neighborhood. Unmistakable, what those cries were. I think the next door lady from Quebec heard me. Perhaps her family back in Montreal, as well. Whew! Where was I?
Oh, yeah. So I wasn't into playing footsie and copping sweaty, furtive little feels from the girls in high school. I mean sex was about feeling great and cumming. Often! Fuck going to the prom.
I was an avid spelunker (caver) in high school. I led long caving trips, expeditions, attended various National Speleological Society trips and functions. Went to a charming thing we had back then: teen coffee houses. These things provided enough cover that my folks couldn't really tell whether I didn't like girls, or just didn't like dates. I was just intimidated by all the... whatever, surrounding girls. The answer is that, if you had cut through all the crap, I could have been pretty content fucking girls. I just didn't want to have to date them. Or talk to them, mostly. You didn't have to date boys. So boys it was. And I learned to deeply appreciate boys. Their taut bodies. Their open sexuality. Their sensibilities. I think I was just a little older, when I truly began to appreciate the innate, fundamental beauty of boys. As beings, and not just as bodies and buddies.
So high school, at least most of 10th and all of 11th and 12th were a total dry spell. I suffered like the damned. Fifteen was the year from hell. Immeasurably horny and overworked at school. My grades were great and my soul was in hell, slowly turning on a spit.
So I arrived at college, a week before classes, for the compulsory orientation. Pre-enrolled, on the basis of my scores, in the honors program and ready to buckle down. With an enhanced appreciation of... dicks and stuff. Longing for them.
I met the kid in the room across the hall. Mark. Architecture School. Aggressively -- ostentatiously -- hip: he had been at Woodstock, after all. His hair, his jeans, were a political statement: he knew what was goin' down, man.
I had cut off my hair in mid-summer. Wanted to look like a real engineer, after all. Well, I did.
In the late sixties, the most important index of personal merit, of your inherent worth, was how hip you were -- measured by the things which showed how long you had been aware: long hair, old jeans, concerts you had been to, music you knew, values you espoused, and, of course, your "drug credentials." What drugs you had done, how often, in what amounts. Your vocabulary. Your knowledge of ritual: how to physically manipulate them, things to do, your comportment while high. Oddly enough, ability to hold it together, to avoid emergencies, to handle them when they did arise, were not really requisites of hipness, except among a certain few. Scientists and older heads, mostly.
At 19, you know you will never die, never age. Each generation invents adolescence, or so they believe. Creates it whole, from the ashes of their parents' decrepitude. Middle age being, of course, merely the result of the accumulated toxicity of moral failing. Of too many compromises. Of foolishly turning their back on their youth, out of sheer stupidity. Each generation invents this. Ours commercialized it. Enshrined it. Made religion of it. Welcome, you fresh young acolytes! Wanna buy a skateboard?
Our immediate predecessors, the kids who graduated a year or so before we were freshmen, were the Marrakech Express generation. The ones that James Michener wrote The Drifters about. The ones MASH was actually about. That movie was set in Korea, but the main characters, Sutherland and What's-his-name, with their sideburns and wire-rims, were actually our older siblings. The immediately pre-boomer generation, born right after the end of W.W.II and 'way too young for Korea. The Viet Nam war was on, and by the time we got out of college, it was no longer really worth traveling to Marrakech.
My sister, two weeks old when we dropped the Big One, had missed being part of the hip generation by maybe one or two years. She and her cohort belonged, culturally and emotionally, to the 50's. Bobby sox and 45's. Poodle skirts. Elvis. There was a watershed, just a couple of years later. We were there, when the Beatles hit the shore, followed their antics, knowing that it was all an enormous inside joke. Knowing that the kids a year or two younger would take it all so seriously.
We began turning 18, having to register, to confront our draft boards. Having to carry a draft card on your body, always, or face arrest. Began dying in the jungle. Became aware of the deep, cruel cynicism of The Establishment. But the 50's set were not spared, either. Every boy my sister had dated in high school was drafted and killed. Every single one. God how we must hate our boys. Look at what we do to them, what we turn them into. How we waste their lives.
By the time it was our turn to ride the Marrakech Express, it was too late. We'd manned the barricades. Taken bullets to stop that war. Had our bones broken. Gone to prison. But the kids we had wanted to travel and meet, to connect with, were walled off from us. The world had embraced the sport of hating Americans, and we stayed home in grief and disgust. In self loathing, we inflicted Disco upon ourselves.
When Richard Nixon was elected President, we descended, en masse, upon the National Mall, the ceremonial heart of America. That marvelous promenade of dirt and horse poop. That charmingly rural, early-1800's reminder to America of her frontier roots. Of the days of Chautauqua and the grand push West. And upon it, we pitched an enormous three-ring circus tent between the Capital and the Washington Monument. We held the Counter-Inaugural Ball. There must have been 25, 30 thousand kids in there. It was a celebration. A celebration of our liberated minds. An orgy of self congratulation. We were the solution. In our world, everyone would be free...
This one boy -- maybe my age, maybe a year younger than me -- he and I got pinned chest-to-chest, under the Big Top, for ten long minutes. Couldn't move, not even to get our own arms back to our sides. Not even to keep our feet beneath us. We held our heads back, hard, so our faces wouldn't touch.
I was so acutely aware of the irony. This intimate moment in the public vastness of the crowd. Him so cute, so young-teen hunky, that cheek so downy and tender, so full and kissable. His body so intimately pressed against me. We both held ourselves rigid for the whole time: amidst the liberation, amidst the joints circulating, the radical politics, the chants for freedom, for peace, for solidarity. "All men are our brothers." If we ran the world, everyone would live in freedom. There, in the very heart of love and liberation, this one thing was forbidden. Even to touch. Even to touch...
So Europe, North Africa -- these were a coming of age rite for our older siblings, but closed to us. At least not what they had been, when a horde of young Yanks swarmed overseas with a few thousand bucks in their jeans, a battered copy of Kerouac and a pack of rolling papers. It is so ironic: that we stayed home, but McDonald's -- barely becoming a part of out lives when I was 16 -- McDonald's, a faceless corporate Hun -- McDonald's, in truth not even a hamburger empire, but a giant real estate operation -- McDonald's didn't stay home. McDonald's was welcomed with open arms by those who spurned us as we grieved for our fallen friends, fallen at Kent State, fallen at Da Nang, fallen at our feet, arriving home in those silver boxes, coming home by the tens of thousands. Well, enjoy your quarter cheese. Maybe we coulda been something, together.
Maybe I tell you this so you'll understand. That we were so politicized, so very politicized, that maybe -- for some of us, and for that brief moment, and despite our lack of enlightenment -- there was something that partially eclipsed the orientation thing. Whether you were with the youth movement, and against the war, was certainly bigger than your sexuality. But not much. And only sometimes. And better not count on it.
"Daddy?" The little girl asked, "Were the sixties cool?"
"I dunno, honey. It's... it's complicated."
The kid across the hall had scant use for me: my jeans weren't even blue, for god's sake! And the short hair! But we were reasonably civil, and it turns out that our homes were perhaps 15 minutes apart, outside Washington, D.C., in the Maryland suburbs. I was a high school debate champion, and had spent many hours in the US Capitol and its associated offices, gathering evidence, getting various bills -- the latest versions, printed last night, still redolent of the ink -- from the various House and Senate committee staff. I think Mark was a little annoyed that I wasn't impressed. That he had lived almost right near the very street that ran perhaps a dozen miles further south, eventually quite close to the very seat of power. One of them. He had been used to taking a certain bit of celebrity from that. Naah! I knew which staff dining room to sneak into on Tuesdays, fer Crissake, for the sirloin special. DC and politics came easy to me, but he certainly had me beat on "hip." I was a little intimidated by that.
Mark's roommate was still missing in action.
Sunday afternoon arrived. Classes were to start tomorrow. We got back from lunch and there was Mark's roommate's stuff: a well worn leather suitcase -- monogrammed -- and a pair of skis: K-2 Comps. 207's. Markers with long thongs. Old Lange boots. The kind they used to fit to your feet with a blowtorch. Racers' boots, well worn. The leather on the poles all stretched. This was definitely hip. More than hip. This was serious gear. The skier's equivalent of very old jeans.
It must have been eight or so, when Will finally showed up. We were all gathered in his room, yakking. Perched on the dressers and the desks and the beds and the heaters. Place was packed. He appeared in the door, a splendid boy. He was listing, just slightly, to his right. Dazed on hashish, though I didn't recognize it at the time. I welcomed him, sort of on behalf of everybody, and asked him who he was. He let out a funny little derisive snort, saying that he lived there. I felt pretty dumb. He was cute and somehow fine-grained. We all cleared out and I didn't really see him for a couple of days.
I just caught a glimpse. He was talking pretty intently with someone and didn't look around as I came up. Somehow, I admired that: the idea that he was so self-assured that he didn't need to see who was looking at him. That combination of admiration -- later overshadowed by helpless love -- and a sense of not really measuring up, was to mark the next five years of my life.
Taking him in: taller than me, maybe 5'11". Dark brown hair, grown out over the summer, but still marked unmistakably, somehow. Or maybe it was the grooming. The posture? Something polished, fine grained. Something I had never been exposed to, before. I later learned to recognize it: Prep School. Old Money. Eastern. Very good family and all that.
His hair was pulled behind his ears, which were perfect, regular. The nose was straight, the eyes clear, intense and blue-grey, eyebrows sleek and well separated. The skin that Dark Irish shade. Somehow pigmented, yet fair, with a blush of youth in the cheek. And a thin, boyish mustache. A darkly beautiful boy.
Will had a certain elegance of carriage. Partly, it was that he was a very fine skier. A good all around athlete, but a very good ski racer and a superlative recreational skier. His limbs were long and slender, coltish, in a way. His feet were elegantly small and his hands capable, slender and well formed. And he had the self assurance to totally ignore me.
In due course, we -- Mark and Will and I -- met up with Bruce, who turned us on to Margaret, who sold us 3 paper grocery bags full of fresh weed. She was very bright indeed -- a natural business woman at 15, 16 and had amassed sufficient clientele, that an Italian fellow dropped by her home one day. Met her family, played with her younger brother and sister -- made sure she saw that -- and then made Margaret an employment offer. One that she had no choice but to accept.
The weed was the product of some of her pre-employment contacts, and was immeasurably bad. But the various rituals of drying and weighing and trying -- and then getting the fuck rid of it -- brought Will and me together on any number of occasions. In fact, we scored some so-called pumpkinseed mescaline the next weekend, and tripped together. You may know this, you may not, but in a lot of ways, sex is less intimate than tripping together. But in a very different fashion. So much for the straight haircut: the bad boy was aloft again. Somewhere, in there, I began to see the cracks in Mark's hip exterior: a certain coarseness, a callow quality, an uncertainty, a subtle striving, set off all the more by Will's seamless, unconscious elegance.
Will brought with him his excellent sound system, a big reel-to-reel. His habit of rolling his own cigarettes. And another, laudable habit: he always disappeared, to study. This all made him 'way beyond hip. He had the new music first. He had this cool cigarette ritual. And you never saw him study. So much in possession of himself.
I looked up to Will. He started out in Chemical Engineering, like me. We were both aghast, when we met our classmates. This was the late 60's. Woodstock had just happened, the Summer of Love. Hendrix was touring, Janice, Cream , then Blind Faith. Well, these guys were certainly oblivious to those goings on! Oh, my God! Entire auditoria filled with the quintessence of nerdismo. Boys so fucking nerdy, you couldn't bring yourself to IMAGINE them naked. I would have been embarrassed. How can you run around in that boy-body and make it look so thoroughly homely! Every ugly scrotum, every skanky pee-pee, every acne-d buttock in North America was right there. All those wasted Y chromosomes!
Those yellow metal Pickett slide rules dangling from their belt-holsters. Weird Sears Roebuck slacks. Incomprehensible hair cuts. Christ, guys: don't you know that boys are s'posed to be wash-and-wear cute? How did you manage to bury every single vestige of teen-boy cuteness? Eager budding engineers, lapping up the jargon like homely puppies, all anxiety and halitosis. Once in a while, a glimpse of possible cuteness, 'till you made eye contact and saw the... emotional vacuum. Did they even masturbate? What did they think about? Popular Mechanics? The Sears Catalogue? Lifts-and-Separates? My mind knows that at least one of them -- Hell! -- Ten of them! -- Thirty! -- had to have been gay. My heart believes otherwise. Barbie's soul mates. Track shoe Barbie. Pizza face Barbie. Stink breath, square butt Barbie. Arrgh!
So, Will and I soon came to realize that we were not fated to become chemical engineers. We were forced to take this intro class: Intro to Chem. E. They were teaching us how to operate our Log-Log-Dupli-Trig slide rules. The Prof. had a cowboy hat and a beard, and khaki slacks that ended at mid calf. Ge-hic. Socialized at 16 years. Gaw-lee. Moose Buns Montana. Some role model. The class roaring at his humor: jokes from the Red Skelton cutout bin.
Pretty soon, we found ourselves doing a couple of hits of hash before class. Then instead of class. Standing in line with Will, to drop that class and transfer into a straight chemistry major. God, he was handsome! Self assured. I wanted him.
That fall, the Black Panthers were everywhere, rapping their oh-so-articulate Marxist message of CIA conspiracy. We tolerated their paranoia: after all, it was politically correct to be tolerant. Little did we suspect which bits would eventually prove to be true.
By Christmas, my hair was back down beyond my jaw. Great protective coloration. You're hip: if the hair passes inspection, we won't look too closely. Won't get paranoid if you gaze at that guy's bulge, over there. Obviously, you are just... basking in the general gestalt of his hipness. Cool. Everybody look what's goin' down! Not here: look over there! Now I was back on the inside, where I could really appreciate what an outsider I would always and forever be.
Christmas came. I spent it in Mexico, with my folks. Coming into Loss Angeleez. Bringin' in a couple-a keys... Will used to grin at that song. I smuggled weed into Mexico -- a few J's -- and came back empty handed. Chicken. How un-heroic. Anti-romantic. Returning from Acapulco to La Guardia. The New York Jets had just won: the Customs guy was busy talking about the game and didn't even look in my bags. Pity. Sorry, Arlo.
Spring break came, and Will and I had an adventure. We checked some thin army sleeping bags out of the Mountain Recreation Department of the university, took my cheap little orange tent and went backpacking in Rocky Mountain National Park at the height of the snow season. No snowshoes, no skis. At the park entrance, the ranger took our names, quizzed us about our experience. We lied.
Hiking in, we set up camp and dropped acid. We were in a small glacial valley, flanked by hills formed from the lateral moraines. It blizzarded the first night. Three fluffy feet. We spent the whole ten days at 10,000 feet. We took a few hikes, tripped again, took pictures and spent a whole lot of time together, huddling close, by a tiny fire. So close. That cheek. Those eyes. The wonderful strong, solid... ...boyness of him! I wanted him so bad, I almost smothered. My admiration and desire for Will just rose with each passing day.
The rangers found us while we were tripping, and were charmed. Thrilled that wholesome kids like us were doing the hardman thing. It was so cold at night that the air hurt. We had to sleep with our boots and the drinking water in our bags, lest they freeze. We weren't getting real sleep. You'd drift off, and a puff of air would enter and burn your face. After a few frozen days, we hiked and drove into Estes Park, had a real meal and dried our stuff at a laundromat. I bought a plastic tarp and a newspaper. We hiked back and made a newspaper nest: we climbed into our bags and filled the tent with two feet of crumpled newspaper, wrapped in plastic, each night after that. Warm at last, we got our first real sleep. I dozed and yearned for Will's arms. Will told me later that he'd lusted after me silently, each night, as well.
Another blizzard hit -- a big one -- and we packed out, returning to the dorms a day or two early. Somehow, there was something new in our relationship. We could have been sick of each other. Instead, there was a lack of barriers, a subtle tenderness in our regard for one another. I felt a... hum. I know now, that it was the gentle sound of impending love.
We spent a great deal of time together, in the mountains, that spring. By some fluke in the weather patterns, there was 7 feet of snow on the hills, where normally there would be none. We became proficient at walking on the snow crust, without falling through. We both became slimmer, harder.
We saw nature roll over and do the kind of tricks she only does when you're tripping. Not hallucinations: real stuff that you could catch with a camera. Clouds converging from the four quarters, decking in, rapidly. Converging to form a thousand foot vortex, directly above us. The sky covered over, but for the vortex. Looking straight up. Up through the vortex, right up through the cloud deck. To the cerulean vault of clear sky above. Nature as a real-life metaphor for spiritual liberation. This performance just for you. No laws of nature were broken, in the making of this magic. Only the laws of likelihood. And only just for you.
Will's body was becoming more toothsome than ever. Elegantly handsome face, flashing eyes. Perfectly formed butt. I had only seen him naked once. We'd barged into their room, Mark and me, talking, and Will was just finishing drying off from his shower. Already had a shirt on and he was drying his lower body. Leaning forward, his wonderful dick was displayed, lying in the valley between his thighs, as he reached to dry his feet. I made eye contact, thus assuring him that I wasn't checking him out. And as soon as he looked back down, I scoped him out big time, of course. Cute! Thick. Cut. Pink. Almost 5" soft. So soft...
He always wore those eastern prep school clothes. Abercrombie and Fitch, Brooks Brothers. These Rugby shirts that could stop a bullet. Sailing gear. He and I went down and got fitted by the premier technical boot maker in North America. Hans was fferry cherman. Undt he knew his business. Those Lowa Civettas fit me to this day, ten sets of Vibram Gold-Seal soles later. And I never wore them in town. All good, honest, mountain miles. The year I was a freshman, nobody had heard of wearing hiking boots, as part of the "uniform." Somebody discovered the look and a couple of years later, of course, even Sears was selling them.
That spring, we bagged our first peak: the easternmost point of the continental divide. Despite having been up all the night before, tripping on MDA. No sooner had the last of the visuals faded, but we were in Will's BMW. He had imported his own car and fought it through the certification process to be able to register it in the States. Didn't have BMW's here. The day was beautiful. Clear. Light filigree of high cirrus. Wind gusting zero to ninety. Wham! Knock you flat. Hope it knocks you flat! Can't afford to tumble: it's 800 feet down, over that edge, right there. We carried ski poles for balance, since we had no ice axes. Gaining the summit, the world spread out at our feet, we were hooked. Skied down the glacier on our boot heels, using our poles. Bruce led us to the summit and Will captured the triumph on his new Nikon F.
If I was impressed with Will, we were both impressed with Bruce. When we'd met him, he was an unassuming lad, with a shock of sandy hair and a lot of great dope connections. What we didn't know was that he was a serious hardman mountaineer. He had been caught out alone and under equipped, at altitude, when the weather turned suddenly nasty. He had walked and run nearly 30 miles to save his life. He got hypothermia, naturally, then pneumonia. Then this and that, and had lost almost 40 pounds, mostly of muscle, when we met him. He signed up for weight training, and by spring, his chest was a massive twin slab of muscle, his abdomen a rippling washboard. He showed off: the one-hand pull-ups, one-hand push-ups. He was also very bright, and competed at everything.
I think I puzzled him. Every conversation with Bruce became a competition. One-upmanship. I couldn't afford to get into sexual chat with him. I also couldn't afford to be caught avoiding the subject. He was very bright, somewhat experienced, and very adroit at asking questions. And not shy: entirely too likely to find out. Not likely to be sympathetic, if he did. It would be a failing. So I just would not compete, wouldn't go there. He knew I was bright. Knew I was a lot of things. There was one thing he was NOT going to learn about me. It's one thing to come out to someone. It is another thing, entirely, to have your secret stolen from you, by force, by trickery. He never got it.
Bruce had gone on Outward Bound. His instructor had been none other than Rusty Bailey, the legendary British hardman. Held the speed record for dual ascents of Kilimanjaro and something else -- the tallest peak in the Atlas Mountains -- solo. Twenty-four hours between climbs by Ferrari. Bruce liked where Rusty was coming from. Cooked his breakfast on a hot stone. Fed the scraps to his dog. Wore shorts always, unless a blizzard forced him into wind pants. So Bruce led us to our first summit, let us try his ice axe. We were mountaineers, from that day on. Members, together, in... something.
We both applied to Outward Bound for, not this, but the next summer. We spent the spring, 15 months in advance, breaking in our boots properly. We did longer and longer hikes, had our own brush with hypothermia, racing before the storm. Arriving at the car rimed in ice. Were forced to buy gaiters, ice axes, a rope. New packs, cooking stuff. These huge down jackets. I made a mountain parka.
Late in the spring, we came into some really good contacts for acid. 1200 mike blotter. Twelve way hits, though we never split them. We got it 45 minutes out of the reaction flask. That's important with acid, as it happens, because it degrades at room temperature. The psychoactive form exists in equilibrium, once it gets to 25 degrees Centigrade, with a non-psychoactive form that causes most all of the physical side effects. So you want it fresh. You want it cold. And you want it never, ever, to have been to body temperature in some Bozo's wallet, before time to drop it. It took twelve minutes to come on. We bought quite a lot, sealed it up and used a spray bottle to freeze it to the freezer coils of the dorm fridge.
Finals came and went. Will and I drove home. First, to his place. Twenty four hours in his BMW. Straight through and no sleep. We had our stash of acid on dry ice, in a styrofoam shipping case, in the back seat. Their home was a mansion, in a dark, brooding eastern style. Great, silent rooms. Dimly lit oil paintings on the walls. Mom, in her fox hunting attire. The whole family, faithfully rendered in oil. Posed together: Mom, Dad, big sister, little brother. All smiling. And Will, at 7. Standing a little apart. His little mouth a moue of sadness and dismay. The pain in his little boy soul so faithfully captured. Rendered in oil. Displayed. Had anyone knelt to ask this boy what burden of grief pressed down upon his soul? Perfectly captured on canvas.
Such a refined family. With one deep peculiarity: no one ever acknowledged what the others had said.
"Hi, honey, I'm home." Silence.
"I got an A on the spelling test, mom!" Silence. Heard, that is all. No reply.
Never a "Hi, sweetie, welcome home. I love you." Not even a "Hi," back.
An A? Why not, "That's wonderful, honey" ?
I had to repress the urge to run around the house, completing the conversations:
"Sir: your wife heard you arrive and greet her."
"I told your husband that you heard him say he was home, so now he knows."
I wanted to run, shouting, through the great room, skid on my heels through the billiards, pelt into the kitchen, acknowledging, completing, laying old ghosts to rest, breathing back life into the greyness. It was deeply creepy.
We talked politics. His dad was behind Nixon 100%. Hated my politics. Despised me. Threatened Will: no oceanography camp in Bermuda, if this is what you choose to believe.
We left, after three days, went to my place, eight hours further east. Six hours on the Pennsylvania Turnpike: ka-thump ik, ka-thump ik, ka-thump ik, ka-thump ik. Maddening. Exhausting. My folks greeted him warmly, but were disconcerted by his tendency to sit smoking, silent.
We went caving for a week. The first night, we stayed at Brandywine National Rec Area. The regular campground was full. We were overflow: assigned to the picnic grounds. We set up camp and -- you guessed it -- dropped acid. One by one, the neighbors "happened" by, to scope us out. Two strange college boys, in a weird car. Didn't even sound right. Not like a Chevy. Weird stove. Weird clothes. Were they European? It became a regular parade. We were trying to have a couple of tokes, and Will was pissed.
Will taught me that. Taught me "pissed." Before that, I knew anger, but I didn't know "pissed:" impotent, internalized anger. Anger displayed, but not articulated. Anger as a political pose. Pissed.
Earlier that spring, my dad was supposed to have sent in my dorm application and a deposit. I was going to stay in the dorms, just move from the spartan dorms to the country club ones with the salad bar and theater and stuff. Spend my time on other things than keeping house. When I'd gotten home, the application forms were still on my desk. He hadn't sent the forms in, figuring we'd have a chance to talk about it, over the summer. The deadline had passed. I called the housing office, but no dice: I had nowhere to live for Fall term.
Tripping at Brandywine, Will looked at me, looked away. "You know," he said, "My sister is in summer school (at the university), and she's going to look for a place for me, for next fall. I could have her look for a place for both of us." Roommates with Will? Oh, yes! Absolutely.
Summer came, and I worked in a chemical company, then as a camp counselor for the 600 most disadvantaged children the Washington (DC) Evening Star could locate and ship off to Camp Pleasant. It was quite an education. Run by the Panthers. Kill Whitey! Burn his House! Rape his Women! The Panthers would have the boys chant this stuff. We would make like it was OK, to be expected. We were the minority, here.
There was this one boy -- I swear to God, his name was Rufus -- who liked the other boys. A whole lot. My co-counselor was Tommy, the swishiest fellow I'd ever met, but aggressively straight. He was in a committed relationship of six-odd years' standing to his fiancé -- since he was 14 -- and just had no comprehension of sex play among boys. All our campers -- 99% of them, anyway -- were Black. Very. That meant that, at night, looking in from the lighted hall, they couldn't be seen, except for their teeth, eyes -- and their Jockey shorts! There would be a commotion and you'd look in, seeing nothing but a milling mass of stuffed undies and an occasional grin. Soon, the boys caught on, and knew to strip and keep their mouths closed, when they made mischief.
So we got back from something or other, and there was a suspicious silence from one of the sleeping wings. No snores, no movement. No nothing. None of the normal sounds of 16 boys sleeping. Our eyes adjusted from the flashlights to the darkness and we just walked in, suddenly. To find Rufus slowly stroking the erect penis of one of the other campers, before a rapt audience. The strokee was helpless in the face of the intense feelings. Lying there, humiliated and helpless. His maiden voyage on display, exposed for all his friends to see. As Rufus stroked him slowly, slowly, caressing his little thing as he lay there helpless, overwhelmed. Humiliated, but caught up. Paralyzed by the power of a knowing hand on his blazing penis.
Tommy sent Rufus' ass packing to another cottage. One with all older boys. One with a mean-ass Panther counselor who, oddly, didn't seem as torqued as Tommy was. Tommy put the lack of outrage together in the same inexplicable category with "Kill Whitey." Jes' a solidarity thing: Whitey don't know shit. Rufus now lived in his counselor's private room. The door was locked at night. There were no further incidents, but there was a visible change in Rufus. Suddenly, he was acting out and talking dirty. Hmmm. I put it in the category with "Hurry up and get done, kids. Morning comes real early, around here."
Fall term came soon. Heading back to school, to the wonderful, soft air. What a relief. Will's sister had a house, and we met up there. Sure, enough, she had not found us a place-- hadn't looked -- so we had to take what we could find fast and could afford. It ended up being a studio a mile's walk from campus. We had to put our beds a foot apart. Bummer!
Tomorrow was the first day of Organic Chem. lab. I had read the experiment. It called for us to make a wind screen for a mini-bunsen burner. Will thought I was nuts, but I went out and bought two cans of Pepsi and asked him if he wanted me to make him a screen. OK. Drink this. So I had done that, too.
It was the Monday night of the second week of classes. We had our books, had the place arranged. Had our studying done. Had a gram of pretty good hash. Had had some. His bed was against one wall. There was a small gap -- maybe a foot -- then my bed, then the couch, all lined up. The couch was parallel to my bed, with a retractable bamboo curtain running between my bed and the couch back. The bamboo was pulled back, giving access to the couch from my bed.
Why I was rubbing Will's back, I'm not really sure. I think he complained about his muscles and I offered. I was lying on the bed, behind the couch, with my right arm draped over the back of the couch. I couldn't see what I was doing, just feel.
We were stoned, and there was a certain thickness in the air. There's a sort of realm of sensation-connectedness, that's there. Dogs can feel it and tell if you are scared. Well, I could feel it, too, and I kept that channel open, kept a link to Will, to his body and his feelings. Anton Mesmer would have called it "Animal Magnetism." Others have called it the "Mesmeric Rapport." Most people who have ever made love must have experienced it. Sort of languid, syrupy vibes with a very strong sense of connection. Well, I was stoned and I was horny and I was really in rapport with this boy. I was rubbing him by feel, lying behind the couch.
Somehow, that made it safe. We didn't have to look at one another. I didn't have to admit to the seduction in progress. He didn't have to admit to his acquiescence in his seduction. It was just an arm, after all. I kneaded his back, had him pop his waist band. Kneaded a bit lower, then back up. After a while, I ended up tickling him, lightly. He got goose bumps, but didn't complain. I kept it up.
I was really horny now. Hell, I was usually horny -- but always, around Will. I wanted him. Nothing was said, during any of this. So I kept tickling, gently, lower, to the waist band of his briefs. Along the elastic. At first in back, then along the sides; barely rolling the elastic, now, as my finger tip slid just slightly under the waistband. Still no objection. Around the right side, and back. Around and back, rolling the elastic. Back and forth, back and forth, eventually finding his zipper. Sliding it down, now, gently caressing the skin along the elastic. Back around the waistband, to tickle his back, again. Back along the elastic to the side, around towards the... Bumping into his raging hardon. Sliding beneath the waistband, around to the front, beneath the fabric, into his heat, onto the soft flesh of his tender young cock, wet with copious amounts of his precum. He wanted this!
I was unable to resist: I popped my head over the couch, only to discover that Will had actually shifted position quite a bit, to make his dick available. His always-immaculate clothing and hair was in beautiful, wanton disarray. His wonderful prick, swelling there, straight up, the bottom pressing out against the white cotton. His cheeks deeply ruddy, his eyes deep, intense. I flopped back down, behind the couch, for an instant.
I was back up the next instant, playfully grabbing his chubby boyhood again, stroking. Enjoying it. Eager. Marveling.
"Wanna go to bed?" he asked.
"Uh, YES," I said. He was on his feet, sliding off the pants, as I hastened to do the same.
"What d'ya wanna do?" he asked. Open, but obviously a little scared. Virginal.
"We could do 'the reciprocal suck,' " in a softly joking tone. Those exact words.
"Okay." Getting into bed, facing my feet. We'd left our shirts on. His was a light grey knit polo, with a very fine stripe. Very soft and boyish. I was in a regular athletic grey tee shirt.
Lying there, facing his dick, was the first time I'd noticed. How long his legs really were. What lovely thighs he had. His froggy muscles. The soft pattern of his hair. His penis, turned up markedly at the tip, when erect. Rather like Richard Nixon's nose, the rest of the time.
He touched me. Took my raging dick into his hand: "So soft," He murmured.
I knew he meant the skin. I was still getting into position, as Will took me in. So much for reluctance. His lips engulfed me, exploring my erectness halfway, then most of the way, while I was still getting settled. At first, I hardly felt it, so absorbed I was in connecting with his treasure, absorbing his smell. I slid into position, his left thigh beneath my ear, and took him into my mouth. It had been so long...
So soft. So wonderfully delicate. His tender penis between my lips. Will's. At last. This was connection. Communion. Life, itself. Tenderness. Together. The frankness of this act. Truth. Emotional salvation. Rescue. Reaching up to guide his right thigh down. Down to cover my right ear. Both ears covered by his long, coltish thighs, his warm penis in my mouth, my mouth treasuring it, at long last. His lovely nuts before my eyes. His rigid, leaking, tender penis. Mute testimony that he was here willingly, here with me, that he wanted this. Both ears covered. Safe in my tiny world, no sounds, just the dick in my mouth and his lovely smell, the taste -- like plastic bags, if truth be known -- but a boy taste. His taste, soon unnoticed. No sounds -- just my own heart pounding -- the dick in mouth, my throat, and his hot, wet mouth pleasuring me, filling my entire body with joyous freedom. Filling my world. Making me adore him.
Part of the deep satisfaction of making love is the acknowledgment. Out in the world, others might acknowledge your gender -- rarely your overt sexuality. Your lover is the one person who can do just that. Not just acknowledge it, but draw you out, permit, cajole, entice you to express, to be your sexual self, to fully manifest your sex, show it, demonstrate it, drop your life away and become it. Rising to the limit that it simply cannot surpass: you open, you blossom, you reach that peak, that place, the edge, and cum, spewing forth a billion years of life's joy. Ahh, heaven! Being taken there by someone you care about.
And that was the delight, after that long dry spell. I had changed emotionally, deepened. Endured a lot of loneliness, learned a lot about myself. I brought a lot more to the... "table," there in bed. And one of the deep, secret needs that was being met was the need to have my sexuality acknowledged. My homo-sexuality, to be exact. My deep eroticism for another male, my longing and my need to connect with him sexually, to celebrate each other's boyness.
Males are made to be active partners. A female, at her most un-male, can just lie there and be acted upon -- and of course, so can a guy. But she could be in a persistent vegetative state, and still function, as a receptacle, at least. Part of the delight of a boy, or of a man, is the fact that he is active. He is at his sexiest, his most male, as he goes about doing the doing of sex. So it was also so wonderful to be held and to be taken care of, sexually. An active male partner, there to see to it that I went where I needed to go. How wonderful and safe, somehow.
So, Will and I sucked and enjoyed, for what seemed like an hour, until he started to have achy balls. So I increased my pressure, the frequency, got my hand in there and stroked his eager shaft, while holding the head between my lips, sliding, sliding, licking, pumping, until he swelled impossibly and shot a tiny load of very thin juice into my mouth.
Will began to try valiantly to make me cum. Both his arms were tired by now, and I finally told him to quit. We had both been excited for so long that the fluids were all engorged and the semen was diluted with them, and the whole apparatus was too full to work right. I waddled around the place, unable to even bring my thighs together. Got him some tissues. Went into the bathroom and managed to whack off after a few minutes, squirting a few meager drops. Just enough to get things headed back toward normal.
Will seemed reasonably okay with it. He passed out, like a boy is meant to, and slept through 'till morning. I went to sleep with a smile on my face and a very warm heart.
I woke the next day, about twelve feet tall. My limbs, like my heart, felt light, expansive. I was suffused with optimism. Our first class was the organic lab for chem. majors. We were issued all our glassware and other equipment and began some inane thing like a distillation. The windows were open, and a breeze kept blowing through the lab, putting out everybody's burners, generally messing up the temperature control and screwing up the distillations. Will and I had our little Pepsi wind screens, which won us some odd looks, until finally the instructor happened to come 'round and see them. He stopped the class, called all the students together and commended us publicly for having prepared. I secretly loved it, but Will was horrified at the spectacle. We went our separate ways, for the balance of the school day.
When he got home that evening, I greeted Will with a cheery hello and a warm smile. He seemed a little reserved. I told him how great I'd felt all day. He said he'd felt like shit. It was pretty hard to get Will to talk, when he wasn't feeling like it, but apparently it was a guilt and self-image thing: cock sucker. It was not enough to make him hold back, though.
After our showers, he asked if I wanted to do anything together. Of course! Who did you think you were talking to? Did you even need to ask? I've always been the easiest guy on the planet. I was lying on my bed, and Will ended up crawling over me and lying down on me, for all of ten seconds, before planting himself harder and silently cumming between us. Said just the thought of touching a body had set him off. Of course, he wasn't just touching a body. He was, for once in his life, able -- allowed -- to press his hot and eager prick against the silken skin of a willing lover. Someone eagerly accepting him, in his urgent sexuality. His blazing maleness. We all need someone we can cream on. That album came out about then.
Well, he needed that, and there I was for him. It did very little for me sexually. But I was very reassured, that his feelings were so strong. So beyond his control. That boded well for his continued willingness, his continued availability.
Within a day or two, we had a pattern going, of these lovely, gentle, comforting 69's every night. I was in heaven, not having to worry, anymore. Love was not in full blossom, quite yet. We hadn't even fully bonded with each other's bodies; we were still learning, exploring. It was "magic comfort." It was a ground wire for the constant current of male energy that, denied, builds up to become such a threatening sensation.
It's really odd, how that works. When you have a partner, being horny is a good thing. You just can't wait to slip into his arms, when evening brings you back together, and murmur "Oooh! I've been horny for you, all day!" Oh, God, you turn me on! Make it worse: the release will only be the better for it.
The same sensations that are really quite pleasant, knowing that celebration and release await, at home, become quite threatening, knowing that there is no one for you. For a few years, early on, a hand -- or a vibrator -- are sufficient. But then, emotion -- the need for connection -- gains a more prominent place, and you are horny for some one.
Especially at first. Perhaps always, at first -- and certainly, at times, later -- you are horny specifically for his body. To hold it, to feel it. To taste it. To excite it. To bring it beyond the edge of control. But then, adding a person into the mix, bringing him the pleasure, bringing him beyond control, beyond himself, out of himself. Out, together with you. Him together with you. To share together the rawness of your sheer sexuality. Together, without barriers. With him.
Not to have that comfort to come home to: I always found that deeply dangerous, at some spiritual level. Dangerous to be horny.
So, what Will meant to me, right then, was shelter. Surcease. Freedom
to be horny. Joyously. Knowing Will was there for me, when evening fell.