STANDARD WARNING: This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to individuals, living or dead, is pure coincidence. Do not read this story if you are offended by man-to-man romance or sex. Do not read if you are underage according to the laws in the country, state/province, county, city/town/village or township where you live. There is sex between males. You have been warned!
Copyright 2001 by Nick Archer.
Permission is granted to Nifty Archives, ASSGM, and gaywritings,
to post one copy. No part may be copied, reproduced, republished,
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By Nick Archer
Prelude/ Somewhere in America
All these things are happening right now somewhere in America. From the sweeping plains to the forests of Maine; form the ocean shores to a darkened door; from the cities smell to a boys hell. From the peaceful green of planted fields serene to a cold, calculated murder scene -- all these things are somewhere in America.
Somewhere in America there is a gay man bundled against the cold. Hes wearing a heavy winter coat and mittens and a hat sure to mess his hair. Somewhere else in America there is a gay man on a warm beach soaking in the sun. His hair is sure to be mussed as well with sand and Coppertone Cocoa Butter N Aloe.
Somewhere in America there is a gay man spending thousands of dollars on a new home entertainment system with his Visa Platinum without batting an eyelash. And somewhere in America there is a gay man wondering how he will pay the rent after he has paid for all his AIDS prescriptions.
Somewhere in America there is a young adolescent boy who is just waking up after his first wet dream. After a few moments of terror, he realizes he is not sick or diseased; his body is simply maturing. His body is responding naturally to the increased levels of hormones in his bloodstream. His seminal vesicles have started to produce sperm, but the boy has not yet begun to masturbate and so his body releases the build-up in a nocturnal emission. As he cleans himself up, he has a second revelation; the dream that spurred the wet dream was not about a girl, but about another boy in his class.
Somewhere in America there is a gay man standing at a church alter in a tuxedo. He is marrying a woman. He has convinced himself he loves her. They do have a good time. They both like Tom Hanks movies and watching Survivor on TV. They have already agreed that she will keep the checkbook and he will do the laundry since he always forgets to deduct and she hates the smell of bleach. He must get married. His parents expect it of him so does his church. Deep down in his heart of hearts he knows he is gay. He recalls the one night of gay passion when he was in college with Harry, the blond, shy, beautiful farm boy from Gibson City. When he ran into Harry a year later, he had turned into the campus queen. Not prayer, nor counseling, nor prescription drugs could erase that beautiful night from his mind. It felt so right. But he couldnt give into temptation. He just cant. And so he is getting married. Never mind that he will be divorced within five years. By that time, he will have two small children and whole new set of problems.
Somewhere in America there is a gay couple that has been together for over twenty years. They are preparing Sunday brunch. They are no longer slim and young but they are still in love. They chat easily as one poaches eggs and the other grills sausage. It is a dance developed and perfected over years. Each has a job to do and he does it expertly. They are each others best friend, confidante and partner. Still, there are clouds in the back of their minds. If one of them should become ill, the other has no say about his medical treatment. If one has a bill in collections, the other cannot discuss a repayment plan. And unless one works for a small minority of progressive companies that offer medical benefits to domestic partners, insurance could be a problem. Beyond the practical matters there is a deep desire to validate and seal their relationship with a legal bond. But none of these things are evident to their guests as they graciously serve them brunch this Sunday afternoon.
Somewhere in America there is a boy who is crying into his pillow because he is lonely. Hes not sure if he is gay he may be, he may not be. All he knows right now is he doesnt fit in. He tries to play sports, he really does. But he is just too clumsy and uncoordinated and all the other kids recognize this by choosing him last for any team. His parents are no better. His father is proud to be a mans man union member and hunter, beer-drinker and country music listener. He is talented, the boy tells himself, he really is. He can dance and sing and remember all sorts of song lyrics. He can write poems and act and do all sorts of funny voices and accents that make even his father laugh. But the other boys dont consider these talents worthy of their attention. They mock and jeer him. He throws a baseball like a girl, he hates to be tackled in football and basketball well, that hoop might as well be seven stories up. He wants to be held and cherished; instinctively he knows that it is every childs right. But his father pushed him out of his lap every time he tries to sit there. All he wants is to be held. All he wants is someone to love him for what he is, and not demand he change into someone he is not. And so he is crying out his loneliness and pain.
Somewhere in America, another boy has had enough. He has been teased and taunted for the last time. They call him faggot and fairy and queer. They push him into the lockers. They pick up his lunch tray from under his face and toss the contents into the garbage. They hide his backpack. The teachers look the other way. He has complained to them constantly, but they are now tired of hearing him. No one understands his anguish. No one understands the torment. So he is going to end his life. He just has to figure out a way to do it.
Somewhere in America there is another boy in a similar situation. The difference is that this boy is plotting to bring a weapon to school. No one is going to laugh at him again. Hes going to see to that.
Somewhere in America there is a teacher or youth worker who is not using his talents to their fullest capacity. He leads a double life. In school, he is an energetic teacher whose creative lessons inspire his students. But his students dont know about his personal life, and he makes sure it stays that way. Because this teacher is gay. Even in 1994, it is not good for teachers to be gay. He never talks about his personal life in the teachers lounge. When his coworkers are chattering about weddings and babies and showers, he eats his lunch in silence.
Somewhere in America a gay teacher is missing the opportunity to be a role model. He is missing the chance to show parents, teachers and students that gay men are less likely to molest children than straight men. He is missing the opportunity to reach out to frightened, questioning boys and girls that are surely in his classes.
Somewhere in America, a fundamentalist Christian minister is railing against homosexuals from the pulpit. In the back of the church, a man wipes his forehead. He knows the minister is talking about him! The minister is calling on down the wrath of God on people like him. What the perspiring man doesnt know is that the minister is having sexual fantasies about a little girl in a frilly pink dress in the front row.
Somewhere in America, a Catholic priest delivers a homily. In the back of his mind, he is worried about the altar boy he groped. Will the boy tell his parents? Will the diocese stand behind him? If the priests diocese is like most in America, it will sinfully sweep the priests misdeeds under the carpet. The priest will be sent to a retreat, and perhaps some treatment, then to another parish where he will likely repeat his behaviors.
Somewhere in America, an eighteen-year-old boy enters a hospital emergency room with deep lacerations on his buttocks. The doctor will use the same number of stitches as the boys age to repair the damage. The boy is a prostitute. He was paid handsomely to let his client whip him with a belt. The client, however, got carried away. So the hustler will spend most of the extra money he earned on medical treatment. Then, he'll go back out on the street to do it again. He will think twice before letting someone whip him again. Then again, if he was cold and hungry and needing a place to sleep as he was last night, he may forget his promise to himself.
Somewhere in America, in a leafy suburb of Chicago, a male couple struggles against all these situations. They work hard to undo the damage that their natural families and society has done to three boys. Its not easy. In some ways they are still hiding. Brian has not come out to his classmates, and that challenge looms on the horizon. They are caring and nurturing parents, but they can never replace the mothers that the boys have lost.
But they have courageously faced down the predatory stereotype of gay men. The boys have made progress in overcoming their personal demons. They have help, of course.
They have the assistance of Bill Ronkowski. Although he works at Catholic St. Lukes School for Boys, he has the confidence of his superiors and they trust him completely. Bill knows the basic rules. It is done discreetly. Without fanfare or publicity and with complete trust in Matt Rosato he was able to place two boys who were questioning their sexuality with Matt.
They have Leah Levin, their next door neighbor. She believes in Matt and Tim and is fostering a son as well.
They have Matts mom, Gloria and the parish priest Father Grimes and Matts best friend Marty Connor. All these people form a circle of love around Matt and Tim and their sons.
They also protect against the wind.
Somewhere in America, two gay men lit a candle of hope and love against the darkness. And their friends surround them with love and compassion and shield that candle against the buffeting winds that try to snuff it out.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it. As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome. I read and respond to all email (even if it takes a few days) Just click on one of the links below. And don't forget to check out my website (Chapters are always posted there earlier than here) and my other story here on Nifty, Pocketful of Stars, in the Young Friends section.
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