Greg Johnson came up to me after the game and told me he was impressed and then said, "Sorry, Matt, but you have a long way to go before you take the job from me."
I tended to agree. He'd gotten us a lead, and that was the only reason I got to play. I gave him a light punch in the shoulder. "Guess I won't have to use the pipe on you after all."
He patted me on the back and laughed. Jackass saw this and started to say something, but I think he was afraid of Greg, or at least afraid of what other guys might think if he linked Greg to anything gay.
I couldn't wait to see Dr. Walker. There was so much to talk about. He began with his usual question. "How was your week?"
"When are you going to get a new opening line?"
"Don't you like the question?"
"Yes and no. I should have a pat answer just like you have a pat question."
He smiled. "Don't avoid the question. How was your week?"
"Except for a few guys who love to harass me for being gay, it went pretty well. I got a chance to play in the game last night and scored a touchdown, actually, we scored a touchdown."
"How'd that make you feel?"
I smiled this time. "You just love asking these follow-up questions, don't you?"
He gave his usual pat answer. "I ask the questions here. So tell me, how did it make you feel?"
"Great! Thing would have been better if I didn't have to put up with Jackass Barnes and his cronies, but on the whole, great. Coach is on my side, but unfortunately, Greg Johnson is not only a good football player but also a hell of a nice guy. I keep telling myself that the job is mine, but it's a lie. It's really his and mine to take, if I can. But I have my doubts."
"I don't deserve it. Greg got the job because I was too busy with other things."
"Doc, can't you just let me relax a little?"
He took a sip of water. "We only have an hour, so you don't have time to relax. Anyway, what other things?"
"Sex mostly, and not thinking about school or football. The summer was lost. I should have been working on football during the summer and early fall, but my mind wasn't focused on that."
He looked at his notes. "So did you guys have sex on Sunday?"
I didn't answer at first. "Well, uh...uh, yeah."
"You and Andy, or the foursome you talked about?"
I thought I was ready to talk about it, but when he asked me, I wasn't. Long pause. "Foursome."
"Do you want to tell me about it?"
"Hell no. What are you, a voyeur?"
He crossed his legs. "I didn't mean the details but what it meant to you. How did it make you feel? Was it worth it? Would you do it again? Did you feel happy and satisfied after it was over?"
"I guess you're expecting me to answer all of them."
"Yep," he said matter-of-factly.
"What was the first one?"
"How did it make you feel?"
I rolled my head back, closed my eyes, and felt like I wanted to go to sleep right there in the chair. Walker waited me out. Finally, I lifted my head. "Physically, it was awesome. Mentally, it was stressful, and emotionally, it was draining."
He jotted something down. "That's descriptive, but it bring up some other questions."
I rolled my eyes. "I figured as much."
He looked at his notes. "Physically awesome, I understand. Why do you say it was mentally stressful?"
"I suppose mentally and emotionally could be wrapped into one. I kept thinking we shouldn't be doing this. But at the same time, I was loving it. Then there's the idea that we're not going to have these orgies anymore because we don't think we should, but I'm conflicted because they are so hot. Do you know what I mean?"
He smiled. "I've never done anything like that, so I can only imagine. Let's go to my next question. Did you think it was worth it?"
I let out a big breath. "I'm not sure. The memory of it is awesome, but the pleasure is gone except when I think about it now and then. It makes me horny thinking about it. But it's like getting on a bus with a few other people. You remember their faces. When you get to your destination, you get off. You watch the bus drive off, and you're left there standing alone. Every time you see a bus, you remember all the times you've ridden the bus and the faces of the people on the bus. You also remember that feeling of being alone as the bus drives off. It never ends."
"Matt, that's pretty profound."
"Thanks, Dr. Walker. You bring out the best in me."
"Glad to hear that. See, answering my questions isn't all that bad. So if I understand you right, you feel alone when everything is over?"
"I didn't realize I felt alone, and if you had told me I felt alone, I'd have disagreed, but that's what I said. It just came out, and I guess you're right. I felt alone. But that doesn't really answer your question as to whether I thought it was worth it or not. I think it was worth it."
Walker uncrossed his legs. "Would you still think it was worth it if others found out about it and their opinion of you sunk lower?"
"Maybe not, but hell, they probably figure we're doing foursomes all the time anyway."
"Do you really think that?"
I shook my head. "To be honest, Dr. Walker, I have no idea. I can only go by the harassment I get at school. The one thing I do know is that my parents would be very disappointed in me if they found out. And what they think is important to me. I think this is one of the biggest reasons I feel stressed and emotionally drained. I didn't realize that before. Your questions seem to work. Thanks, Doc."
"Think nothing of it. Okay, to the next question. Would you do it again?"
I closed my eyes and dropped my head as I thought about it. I felt trapped. "I'd like to say no, but I think I'd be lying."
He jotted something down again. That always makes me nervous. "That brings up another question. Why would you do it again?"
"It's great sex. Two people can never have that kind of sex."
"So you're saying that group sex is better than sex between two people who love each other sexually, emotionally, and mentally?" Shit! He was right, and I knew it as soon as the words were out of my mouth.
"Okay, Dr. Walker, I was wrong. The physical part of multiple partners is hard to compete with. But when our foursome was all done, there was no love lost because there never was any love, and maybe that's the reason I feel alone. Yeah, Andy and I and the others can say, "Shit, that was hot. Let's do it again whenever we can", but it will never satisfy the need for love or the need to feel that I'm a better person. When Andy and I have sex, I feel loved and don't feel any guilt."
Walker was quick to jump on that. "Guilt?"
I took a sip of water. "I'm not sure if guilt is the right word. But I don't feel bad about the sex Andy and I have. I don't have second thoughts. But on Sunday, we almost got caught by Colt's parents. They came home early and wanted to know what we were up to. Fortunately, we were in the hot tub, but our clothes were scattered all over their den where we'd had sex. They were suspicious, and after we left, Colt's parents forced the truth out of him by threatening to contact our parents. So while it may not have been guilt I felt, it still could have turned out bad. The other thing is, Andy's parents and my parents aren't happy about Andy and I having sex, but they accept it, so we don't have to worry about getting caught or all the crap that can come down with what we did at Colt's."
Walker nodded but didn't agree or disagree, and then he asked his fourth question. "Did you feel happy and satisfied after you were done?"
"Satisfied, yes. Happy, I don't know. I really don't think sex can make you happy. It can only satisfy your urges, and when it's done with the right person, it can make you feel...feel...I'm not sure what. I want to say whole. But that's not it either. When Andy and I are finished having sex, we lie there and talk. I feel content. That's the word, content."
I should have known it was coming.
He tapped his pen on his notepad. "What do you mean by content?"
I looked up at the ceiling to think, and then I looked at him. "I want to say satisfied, but satisfied is more about feeling physically satisfied after the sex. Content is more than being satisfied. I can't quite explain it."
"Let's see if I can help. You had your foursome on Sunday, right?"
"When you were done, did you feel content?"
"Did you feel satisfied?"
"Yes and no. We were getting ready to do it again when his parents arrived. I don't know if that means we weren't satisfied, but I guess we weren't."
"Do you and Andy have sex more than once when you get together?"
"What's the difference between the foursome and your sex with Andy?"
My mind was beginning to hurt. "When Andy and I have sex, we lay in bed afterward and talk and savor each other's company. We touch each other gently, maybe rub each other's chests or plant a kiss on the others lips or face. We may even take a nap, and when we wake up we decide if we're going to have sex again. Sometimes we have sex again after we'd laid there for a time. I hate to say savor again, but it's the perfect word; we savor our friendship and our love for one another. Each touch and each kiss is precious. We had none of that in our foursome. It was just hot sex, and to be honest, while I think we shouldn't, talking about it makes me want to do it again."
He looked down at his notes and quietly said, "Yes, the never-ending hunger."
I tossed him a friendly look. "Are you actually giving me an opinion?"
"No, posing a hidden question. What do you think of that statement?"
"Hmm. Good question," I said. "Are you asking me if this hunger for group sex will ever end?"
"What do you think?"
I smiled. "I should have expected that. Can you help me out?"
"I think maybe it comes back to being content as opposed to being satisfied. Does that help?"
"It helps some. When you're content, you don't have that never-ending hunger. You're content, so you don't need more. I guess you could say you're happy, maybe even fulfilled. I'm not sure if they're the same, but that's what I think. I could be satisfied but not content. My horniness was satisfied on Sunday, but the hunger was still there. Still is and I don't know what I'm going to do about it."
He said, "Displacement."
"You know, Doc, I understand displacement. The problem is, I'm not sure I want to displace that hunger. Just thinking about it turns me on."
He looked unsure of himself for the first time in all our sessions. "I'm not here to tell you what to do. All the choices in life are yours to make. I can only guide you. You need to decide what you're going to do. I'm not going to tell you."
I gave him a light kick in the foot. "So I have you stumped, huh?"
"No, you're the one who's stumped, not me," he said. "You're the one who has a decision to make. You can make it now or twenty years from now. It's up to you."
His cleverness made me smile. "Doctor Walker, you are spot-on. All I know is that my life has been out of control. I've tried this displacement thing of yours, and it's made a difference in my grades and in football. My confidence is better. I can't say the foursome did any of that for me. But none of this makes me want it any less."
He kicked me in the foot this time. "This is why you need to decide. Do you want sex to be the driving force in your life, or do you want school, friendship, love, self-confidence, and a life you can be proud of?"
"That's an easy answer. I want the latter. But that doesn't make it any easier. All I know is that when I'm in my twenties I don't want to be hanging out at gay bars trying to pick up guys or having them pick me up. I don't want to be selling myself for money or get so down and depressed that I start taking drugs. So in a way, I guess I'm willing to do anything to avoid that kind of life. Even give up foursomes and my never-ending hunger."
"Good," he said as he put down his notepad. "This is a good place to stop."
He walked me to the door, and to his surprise and mine, I spun around, hugged him, and said, "I love you, Dr. Walker."
He didn't know what to say. I was somewhat embarrassed myself and said, "I guess that kind of breaks the doctor-patient relationship, doesn't it?"
"Kinda," he said with a smile. "But I accept your hug and your words as sincere. This must mean you're content and happy."
"I am, Doc. Thanks."
I headed down the hall with a bounce in my step. He watched me for a second or so and then closed his office door.
I was getting ready to head to Dr. Walker's when Thomas called and told me Randy Barnson was found dead in one of those big trash containers. He'd been kicked, beaten, and stabbed. His face was mutilated almost beyond recognition. Thomas tried calling Matt, but Matt's phone must have been off because he was at Dr. Walker's. It's too bad, because I'm sure he'd have wanted to talk to Dr. Walker about it. That could have been me!
So when I got to Doc Walker's, Randy was the only thing on my mind. When he asked me how my week went, I said, "Great, until I heard Randy Barnson was killed. He was found in a trash container. He'd been beaten to death." I expected him to ask, "How does that make you feel?", but he didn't. Although I was ready to answer that question if I had to.
"Was he a good friend of yours?" he asked.
"Not really. But we did have sex a few times. He, Thomas, Matt, and I had our first foursome together. As you know, Thomas and Randy were both used by Dillon Burke."
"Dillon recruited them when they were only eighth graders. I'd say he seduced them. He wasn't eighteen yet, but he groomed them like any pedophile. It's odd when you think about it. He and Thomas both got screwed over by Dillon, but Randy went off the deep end. I blame Dillon."
"Thomas and Randy were just kids. I was fifteen. They were only thirteen. It screwed Randy up. Matt and I were a bit screwed up by it all too, but thanks to you and our parents, we're now on the right track. Randy couldn't get his act together. He quit coming to school. His parents seemed helpless to do anything about it because he'd just run off. I guess he lived by selling himself. I know how that can be. I'm lucky I'm still alive."
"Andy, every day we make decisions that can make our life better or worse, or like Matt talks about, tie knots that we can't untie. Randy did that. If he'd have lived, maybe he'd have changed, but we'll never know now. Are you going to call his parents?"
I looked down at my hands, which I was ringing in an attempt to settle myself. "I don't know if I can. Their son is dead. What can I say to make things better?"
"It doesn't make any difference what you say. It's the fact you took the time to call. You can also go to the funeral."
I wanted to joke with Walker and tell him that if it didn't make any difference what I said, if it would be okay to say, "If your son wasn't selling himself and you'd done a better job of parenting, and if Dillon hadn't gotten a hold of him, he might be alive." I knew what he meant and decided this was too serious an event to joke about it.
"I think you're right, Dr. Walker. I'll call and try to say something other than I'm sorry for your loss. I'll tell them something like Randy was a good friend. I'm sorry to hear about the tragic way he died."
Walker nodded. "I'm sure that will be fine. You'll also feel good about it."
"All I know is that I'm happy I stopped when I did. I was almost killed. Randy wasn't so lucky. Talk about consequences."
"You're right, Andy. There are consequences to every decision we make. Some are unintended."
I laughed. "You're right there, Doc. The unintended ones do the most harm. Rarely have I experienced any positive unintended consequences. I can't remember if I mentioned Jason Settles before. He's gay or is trying to decide if he's gay, I'm not sure which. Let's just say he's confused. I'd talked to him before, and as a part of trying to make the world a better place, I took the time to talk to him when he was standing at his locker. He got all nervous because he didn't want to be seen talking to a gay boy, so I suggested we meet during lunch in the dugout of the baseball field. He decided not to come, and when I went to look for him, I found him in the bathroom crying. That isn't even the bad part. Four idiots came in and accused us of fooling around. They ripped Jason's shirt off and threw it in the toilet. Jason passed out and hit his head on the ground. Talk about unintended consequences. Jason had no idea that when he decided not to meet me in the dugout, all this crap was going to happen. And I didn't know when I decided to talk to him in the hall that morning, any of it would happen either. So much for good intentions. But it sure proved the point about unintended consequences."
He jotted something down. "So does that mean you shouldn't do anything? You should never make a decision because it might have unintended consequences?"
"Hell no. You'd just be sitting around all your life doing nothing. I'm a doer. Matt often tells me that. Sometimes you just have to take chances. That doesn't mean you make decisions without thinking though. I used to do that, and it got me in a lot of bad places. I think before I act now, but I still make some bad decisions, like the foursome on Sunday."
"How did that go?"
"Great! Hot sex, even though Colt's parents found out. Matt and I told ourselves beforehand that this would be our last foursome, but you know I'm not so sure now."
Matt and I talked afterward, and the rest of my session with Dr. Walker was similar to Matt's, so I'm not going to go through the whole thing. The conclusion was that we thought the foursome was hot and both had to decide what we were going to do next. Yes, another one of those important decisions.
Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come. -- Robert H. Schuller
When you invest your time, you make a goal and a decision of something that you want to accomplish. Whether it's make good grades in school, be a good athlete, be a good person, go down and do some community service and help somebody who's in need, whatever it is you choose to do, you're investing your time in that. -- Nick Saban
It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped. -- Tony Robbins
If you like this story, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I answer all emails.
I'd like to thank Lisa for taking the time to edit Knots 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. As the author, I take final responsibility for all parts of the story, including any errors.
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author's imagination and are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales, is purely coincidental and no slanderous intent is implied.