I'm back, I guess. This is a little chapter in the Seinfeld mode -- it doesn't appear to be about much at all. But at least the boys are talking.
The more I read over what I've written the less I feel compelled to disclaim it. Bottom line: it's a romance even Gary Bauer could love.
Please write. I love hearing from long-time readers and those who are just now stumbling upon "Fifteen." (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I leave Billy sleeping and slip out into the morning. It's only 7:00 AM, but the air is hot and heavier than chowder. I tell myself that I'm happier than I've ever been, that I should be singing in the shower, waiting in the steam for my boy to pull back the curtain and join me. Instead I'm in a funk, a blue place. I can't shake the sense that I've lost something important -- though I can't for the life of me figure out what it is. I'm not a morning person, I guess.
I buy a USA Today at the Starbuck's on Charles and sit down with a Grande Latte like some Monday businessman to study the news. Bombs and bluster in tidy paragraphs. And a photo that makes me smile and lifts the fog like the hand of God. Two brothers on the National Mall holding up crudely lettered signs decrying gay marriage: GOD CREATED ADAM AND EVE, NOT ADAM AND STEVE one says. The little boy, maybe 10, is grinning broadly at the camera. His sign says: NO SEX IS BETTER THAN HOMO SEX. Out of the mouths of babes, I think. The older boy is another story. He doesn't want to be there, I can see it in his eyes. He'd rather be anywhere else, if I know him. It's like he's trying to tell me not to blame him for the stupid sign. His mother behind him is church-drunk and raging; his father is at the office shuffling microchips, hating faggots almost as much as he hates himself. NO SEX is what he gets. My money is on it.
I wish I could pull the older brother out of the photo and sit him down beside me, tell him how it really is for Adam and Steve, regale him with stories about last night. I wouldn't spare a single detail. He'd shake his head. He'd furrow his brow. There'd be a longing in his heart and a lump in his pants.
"What did you and Billy do last night, Aidan?" the boy asks, sipping his Mocha and leaning in conspiratorially.
"We made love," I tell him. I draw out, then bite down on the word "love", making it sound more dangerous than a strafing of f-bombs.
"No sex is better than homo sex," he chants. "No sex! No sex! No sex!" Three times, like Dorothy's heels. But he doesn't send me back to Kansas.
"We made love, Sign Boy. We bathed each other in sighs. We gave each other a world of kisses. We sucked each other's dicks, and then, because I finally decided that I could, I fucked him."
"In the butt?"
"In the butt, Sign Boy. That's how Adam and Steve do it."
"That's sodomy. That's not love. That's a sin."
"So you say."
"The Bible says, Aidan. Look what God did to Gomorrah."
"Do I look like a pillar of salt? Huh?" It's probably not the right story, but then in my house we're not too big on the Old Testament
"In the butt? Really?"
"In the butt."
"Did it hurt?"
"Yes, I think it did."
"You told me it was love."
"So I did."
"So am I, Sign Boy. So am I."
"Can you love someone and hurt him, too?"
"Billy cried. But I think it was from too much joy."
"That doesn't make sense, Aidan. My mother was right: homos are nasty people."
"It's a paradox, Sign Boy, a bloody paradox."
"Hasn't anybody ever given you a present and it was completely unexpected and you liked it so much that you didn't know what to say so you cried?"
"Or you slammed your knee into the asphalt playing basketball, then bit down hard on your on your fingers to kill the pain?"
"I see. I guess."
"Well, that's the paradox."
"Aidan?" He wants to go back to the shallow end. "What does sex feel like? You know, the way you and Billy do it. Homo sex. I gotta know. I gotta know so I can tell the guys on my block. Is it worth it? I mean, that my folks get all psycho about it."
"You really want to know?"
"Now we're talkin'. Now we're talkin'."
"God loves you Aidan. You know that? He hates the sin, but He loves you."
"Shut up, Sign Boy. God doesn't hate anything. He doesn't have time to hate because He's so busy loving. Don't give me this crap if you want to hear about last night."
"Sorry. I guess I sound like my mom."
"It's okay. Now listen."
"Aidan? How old are you?"
And in that instant I remember, I swear, that in three days it'll be my birthday. "Fifteen. For the moment."
"Wow. For fifteen, you're really old."
"And you're not real."
"I know. I'm just a boy in a photograph holding a sign. But you're talking with me, so that's got to count for something."
"Shut up, please. Or I'll send you back to the Supreme Court and those self-righteous cretins. Now, do you want to hear about it or not?"
I feel Sign Boy's hand brushing against my cheek and the tears start to gather in my purple eyes. I try to pull him close to me, but of course he isn't there, never has been. It's all about me figuring things out. I hope I wasn't talking out loud.
And suddenly I realize I haven't lost anything at all except the last toys of my childhood.
What Billy and I did in that motel bed defied logic and gravity. It was art and war and prayer. It was a ballet of pain, a pas de deux with switchblades. And as I fucked Billy I heard voices from outside the room pleading with me to stop. As if I could.
I turned the bedside light on. I needed to look at Billy, to read the real story behind blue eyes. Glassy with desire, they told me only, "I trust you Aidan."
I spent half an hour preparing him, my lips exploring every ridge and cranny, my tongue a divining rod. I tasted the sugar of the bubble bath and the salt of his boy sweat. I jabbed at the little pucker with first one, then several fingers creamy with lotion, hesitant for a while, then bolder as I learned to read the special Braille of lovers. Billy would buck a bit, then go stiff, close his eyes, then open them again as if to remind himself of the journey we were about to take.
"Now," he whispered, and I thought to myself: making love doesn't need a soundtrack. It doesn't really want epic moans and groans and screams to waken the living. It really needs silence and patience.
Billy slid himself to the end of the bed and pulled his legs back over his shoulders. I tucked a pillow under his butt, stared at the glistening dime-sized hole that was my destination, then down at my lathered, swollen dick, its moist red head poised inches from the gateway. Inches, I think. Guys talk about inches as if they were Microsoft shares, as if with a couple more they'd never have to worry again about anything. They don't know. At the moment, I'd gladly settle for less, for a happy little-boy dick that I could drive recklessly into the waiting dark.
"Now, Aidan. It's okay now." I pulled back my foreskin and pushed against the tiny pucker. Miraculously, it gave for an instant, then abruptly spit me out. "It's okay," Billy whimpered. "Don't stop." And I pushed a little harder this time, lodging the head within the warm walls, afraid that any sudden motion might elicit such a cry that I'd never be able to follow through.
"Oh my God, Aidan. You're in me."
"Not quite Billy. Does it hurt too much?"
"No. I mean yes, but --" and again we were in that place due north of the last word. I pushed a little bit more, then suddenly I felt him push back even harder, but this time instead of expelling me, he pulled me in deeper. Another stunning paradox. Then I withdrew a few inches and reloaded, feeling again my dick being sucked all the way in by a magnificent vacuum. Now I was buried in Billy's ass, and we found a fascinating rhythm, and I managed to forget that I had to be killing him. Soon I was driving into him, conscienceless, my balls slapping time against his butt cheeks, pulling way back then plunging to the hilt where I'd linger in his grip for the longest second. Back and forth, mixing speeds, churning, pistoning, I was a fucking natural, an engine of fate, energy transmogrified, primal and eternal.
And when I couldn't stand the pleasure any longer, I pulled out my dick, and shot thick, ropy globs all over Billy's tummy. Billy pulled me on top of him and we lay motionless in the mess of our love for fifteen silent minutes. He was crying, Sign Boy. Billy was crying. But they were tears of joy, I promise you.
"Where'd you go, Aidan?" Billy's awake now, propped up in the bed, his hands clasped behind his head.
"I couldn't sleep. I don't sleep so well."
"You pissed off about something?"
"Not at all. I get this way."
"You're tough on yourself, you know that? You gotta learn how to chill."
"I don't chill, Billy. I don't know how. Maybe you can teach me."
"That's a laugh. Me teach you anything. You're so fucking smart it's scary."
"Yeah. I scare myself all the time, the places I go."
"Last night? That scare you?"
"Because it did."
"You sound like Sign Boy."
"Never mind. It's an inside joke."
"Aidan. There's no more inside jokes, you know. We're in this thing together."
"I know that. I just don't know a lot of other stuff." I roll onto the bed next to him, and pull him clumsily to me. "Billy Rowland. I don't know what I'm doing here in this motel with you. I have no idea where we're going next. But at this moment, I can't think of any place I'd rather be." I brush a stray blond curl from his forehead and kiss him like the good father I never had.
"You know, Aidan. I'm never going to forget last night."
"I hurt you, didn't I?"
"Not so much." But he winces at the memory. "It would've hurt a lot more if you had told me no."
"That's what I thought. Not that I was thinking."
"You're really too big, you know. It's gonna take some getting used to." Then he jabs my ribs and with a smile as wide as tomorrow, he tells me he's going to return the favor, and I better not be a baby about it.
Homo sex is so much better than no sex.