DISCLAIMER: The following story is a
fictional account involving teenage boys who are gay and trying to cope with
love and homophobia. Sexual activity takes place in this story and
there are references to gay sex, and anyone who is uncomfortable with this
should obviously not be reading it. With a few very obvious exceptions, all
characters are fictional and any resemblance to real people is purely
coincidental. Conversations with real individuals are strictly hypothetical and
not meant in any way to imply an actually conversation that has taken or might
take place. Although the senators in this story bear strong resemblances to
Senators Richard Lugar and Evan Bayh of Indiana, any references to their
beliefs are based on pure conjecture. Although the story takes place in actual
locations and establishments, the author takes full responsibility for all
events described and these are not in any way meant to reflect the activities
of real individuals or religious establishments, governmental nor school or
corporate policies. The author retains full copyright of this story, and of
stories based on these characters.
note that this is the twenty-first in a series of short stories known
collectively as Naptown Tales. The
series of stories can be found on my GayAuthors Page and on the Naptown
Tales Page at Awesome Dude.
Slightly modified versions of some of these stories that are suitable for
younger teens can also be found on the Altimexis Page at Codey's World. Please see the Introduction for important background on
Tale in Twelve Parts
Political Mayhem - Will
"Good morning, sweet-stuff," my girlfriend
said to me as my eyes fluttered open, the sunlight streaming into the small
one-bedroom apartment we were subletting in the Watergate complex. My parents
were paying a fortune for it, I knew, but I would have been happy with a tiny
belowground dive on Capitol Hill, just to be here in the District, as they
called it. Being `Inside the Beltway' meant everything. I pitied those who had
to commute in from the suburbs. Even those who lived across the river in
Arlington weren't treated the same. Sure, we Washingtonians lacked the vote -
`Taxation Without Representation' as our license plates proudly proclaimed, but
there was nothing like being a
But how in Hell did I let Sherrie talk me
into letting her come with me for the summer? At least back in Chicago, we each
had our own apartments, so I had my
privacy. I could sneak around and have an occasional fling with a guy without
her ever knowing about it. Now she was living with me for the entire summer,
which meant I'd have damn little chance to have any fun on my own.
Not only that, but her drug habit was
likely to drag me down with her, and
that was something I could never allow to happen. A little coke now and then
was one thing. A steady diet could really mess up my life. Not that I couldn't
afford the financial cost, but the political cost of getting caught could
literally end my career.
On the other hand, she was absolutely
beautiful, and she did help put an end to any speculation about my sexual
orientation, and that was worth a lot to me. I could only hope she didn't
expect to move in with me when we returned to Chicago.
Reaching down for my member, she grasped it
firmly and gave it a few strokes. It was hard all right - hard from the need
for my morning piss.
Pushing me onto my back, she straddled me
and sat down on it, but rather than making me harder, she only caused me to go
"Oh, aren't I turning you on, baby?" she
"I have to go piss, and sitting on my
bladder is only making it worse," I answered. "Let me, ah, relieve myself, and
I'll be right back."
Of course the last thing I wanted to do was to have sex in the morning,
especially with a woman, and so after I emptied my bladder, I turned on the
shower and got in. When she heard the shower running, she came into the
bathroom and opened the shower door to ask, "What the hell do you think you're
"Sorry, Love, but I just remembered that I
have to pick a couple of kids up at the airport. I don't have time to make love
this morning. We'll just have to wait until tonight."
She gave me her cute little pout, which I
actually found more disgusting than cute, and closed the shower door. Finally
alone, I lathered up and got down to doing what I really wanted to do. Thinking
about the boys I would finally be meeting today, it didn't take long. If David
Reynolds and Jeremy Kimball were even half as handsome as their pictures and
videos were, I'd likely jizz in my pants on the spot this morning. I just had
to remind myself that they were very likely a committed couple, and that as far
as they were concerned, I was 100% straight.
I'd only recently learned that they would
be arriving with friends of theirs who would be in the Summer Page Program in
the Senate. I had paged a full semester a couple of years ago, but on the House
side, so I knew exactly what their friends were in for. In fact, all four boys
would be sharing a room in Daniel Webster Hall. Man, that place is a bastion of
schemers, practical jokes and scandals as it is. If the other pages were to
learn about a couple of gay boys in their midst, it could lead to a real mess -
that was for sure. In any case, I'd be picking the four of them up at the
airport and helping them to get settled in at Daniel Webster Hall, as well as
showing David and Jeremy the ropes at the White House.
Drying myself off and applying my
deodorant, I looked at myself in the mirror and decided to forego shaving
today. I had a thin layer of stubble on my face - just enough to look stylishly
sexy without looking unkempt. I threw some gel into my dark blond hair and
massaged it until it was perfectly messy, but not too messy, and combed it until it looked like I had just gotten out
of bed. It was hard getting just the right look, but I wanted to look perfect
for David and Jeremy, even if they were a lot taller than I was.
Grabbing a pop tart from the kitchen, I
quickly scarffed it down, kissed Sherrie on the cheek, and headed out of the
apartment. I actually had lots of time until the boys' flight landed at Regan
National Airport, but I didn't tell Sherrie that. I just had to get out of the
apartment. I had a car, a Porsche 911, but it just wasn't going to be big
enough for the five of us plus the boys' luggage. My plan, therefore, was to
take the Metro from the Foggy Bottom station to the airport and hail a taxi - a
minivan taxi, to transport all of us and their luggage to their residence hall.
After I had them all settled in, I figured
I would take them out to lunch to someplace nice - my treat. I knew of a really
great steakhouse near Capitol Hill, and every teenager loves steak, after all.
Arriving at the airport with plenty of time
to spare, I wandered around the US Airways terminal a bit while waiting for the
boys' flight to arrive. Browsing in some of the shops, I decided I'd better
have some sort of sign to help them find me once they did get here, and so I
bought some heavy white cardboard and a black marker at a stationery store and
put together a makeshift sign similar to those I'd seen other people using.
Checking the marquee one more time to see
that their flight was on time, I got in position outside of security, where I
expected them to exit, and waited. Hundreds of people came through that way as
I held up my sign, but even so, I had no difficulty spotting David as he made
his way through the crowd with Jeremy and their friends. David was even more
stunning in person, but then the same could be said for Jeremy. With them were
two other boys who, although not nearly as attractive, were very cute in their
own rights. One of them looked to be a bit older - perhaps seventeen or
eighteen. He wore glasses and had curly, reddish-brown hair. He looked a bit
geeky, but more than that, had a sophisticated, mature, studious look. The
other boy looked to be quite young. Since he was going to be a page, I knew he
had to be sixteen, but he didn't look to be a day past fourteen, if even that.
He had straight blond hair, vivid blue eyes and a smattering of freckles across
the bridge of his nose, that made him look cute as a button. Young as he looked
to be, however, there was a certain worldly look to him - almost a haunted feel
that made it seem as if he'd escaped from the clutches of the devil himself,
and was wise beyond his years.
"Hey guys, I'm Will Kramer," I said as I
extended my hand to shake David's.
Each of the four boys then introduced
themselves to me, including the two I didn't have prior information about,
Trevor and Kurt.
"Listen," I said, "I know you guys prolly
have a lot of luggage, and five of us would have never fit in my 911 anyway, so
I thought we'd just take a minivan taxi once you collect your things.
"The line for a taxi can take a half-hour
or longer," I said, "so why don't we get you a porter to help you collect your
stuff and I can do the waiting for you in the meantime," I suggested.
"A 911, huh?" David said with a grin as he
nudged Jeremy in the ribs. "Guess who just got a Boxter for his sixteenth
Poor Jeremy's face lit up bright red from
the ribbing he was getting from his boyfriend, but in that instant I knew a lot
about these two. The Boxter cost about half as much as the 911 my parents
bought me for my sixteenth birthday,
but it was still nothing to sneeze
at. Jeremy's reaction to his boyfriend's teasing said a lot about the kind of
person he was - he wasn't some spoiled rich kid - if anything, he was
embarrassed by the toys his parents lavished on him. I'd have been willing to
bet anything he'd trade all his toys for just a little more time with his
parents. In short, Jeremy was a lot like me. Something told me we'd be getting
to know each other very well, not as lovers or anything like that, but as
confidants, and as friends.
David may have loved Jeremy, but he hadn't
a clue what it was like to grow up in that kind of environment. I wondered if
he even had his own car. Not that he
was poor - not by a long shot - but he was never given the chance to take what
he had for granted, and I was willing to bet his parents were always there when
he needed them. Kids like Jeremy and I were jealous as hell of kids like David,
but David was probably oblivious of the fact.
"Too bad we couldn't bring our cars with
us," Trevor lamented as he shouldered his backpack, deliberately trying to take
some of the attention off of Jeremy. I immediately realized that Trevor knew
what it was to have money, but I could tell by the look on his face that his
parents weren't the kind to flaunt it. I was willing to bet his parents bought
him a car, but a sensible car . . .
something sporty, but safe, and definitely not extravagant. Maybe a low-end
Audi or Lexus if they wanted to impress, but more likely a Jetta if I was
reading things right.
"Had to leave the Jetta back home?" I
teased him. The look of shock on his face was priceless. BINGO!
"How did you know?" he asked once he'd
"Let's just say I have a knack for reading
people," I said as I pointed at Jeremy and said, "Rich kid with parents who are
never around, probably had a nanny, has lots of fancy toys given to him to make
up for the lack of time with his parents, but didn't let it make him a spoiled
brat. Generous to a fault, socially liberal, almost to the point of feeling
guilty." Patting him on the shoulder, I said, "Your story could be my story,
Turning to his boyfriend, I continued,
"You, on the other hand, come from affluent parents who aren't nearly so
generous, are more than likely Republicans, but who are pretty much around when you need them. If they even gave you a car
for your birthday, you're responsible for getting a job to pay for your own gas
and insurance. Ah, but you didn't get a car, did you?" I said as I noticed the
look on his face.
"My dad lost his job a few months ago,"
David explained. "He was the regional manager for a major division of one of
the big three national banks. Well, we all know how the banking industry has
been doing recently, and they made him one of the scapegoats in taking the
government's bailout money. The top execs got huge bonuses," David said with
bitterness, "and my dad got canned. The one good thing that came of it is that
it saved us from moving. We were all set to move into a huge McMansion we
didn't need and I certainly didn't want. It would have meant changing school
districts and moving away from Jeremy, so there was a definite silver lining to
my dad losing his job. And besides, my dad got a much better job in public
fundraising, and he's much happier now.
"So what if I have to wait to get my own
car. My boyfriend's got a Porsche Boxter. In a couple of years, we'll be
getting married and going away to college, so I really don't need my own car,
"Whoa," I said, "getting married? You and
Jeremy have it all figured out!"
"We do!" David said with emphasis. "We've been together for two years already. Neither
of us is going anywhere."
"You mean you've never even been tempted?" I asked.
"Look at David, man," Jeremy said. "I know
you're prolly straight, but anyone can appreciate how handsome he is, and when
you get to know him, you'll realize that his beauty extends inside, too. Why would I be tempted?"
"Listen," I said, "Your baggage will be
coming off the carousel any minute now. Like I said, let's get you a porter,
and I'll get in line for a taxi." I signaled for a porter to join the group,
and as I did so, I noticed that Trevor and Kurt were holding hands. Oh man,
they were all four gay, and out! How
could they be so comfortable in public like that? "As soon as you have all your
luggage, just exit through those doors," I said pointing directly behind me,
"and come find me in the taxi line."
Standing at the back of a taxi line gave me
some time to think about the coming weeks as I slowly inched forward. Two gay
teenage couples. Two couples that were out. Two couples from the Midwest, from
the Bible Belt. How in the world did they manage to be so confident, so
self-assured? David was obviously going into politics or at least some form of
public service, and Jeremy probably was as well. For all I knew, Trevor and
Kurt were too, and yet they were openly gay, and didn't care if anyone, or even
everyone, knew. What they were doing flew in the face of everything I had
assumed about being gay and in public service. Could Americans ever accept
people like them? Would they vote for them? Logic told me the answer was `no',
and yet I knew that David had been elected his class president in a very
conservative school. He had a dazzling personality and a way of making people
feel like idiots for making an issue of his sexuality. Perhaps I was just
making the gay issue too much of a big deal.
Finally, the four boys emerged from the
terminal, with the porter in tow, with a cart piled high with their luggage.
They had entirely too much luggage for the summer, but then I did, too. Fifteen
minutes later, we'd loaded up a minivan taxi and Jeremy insisted on tipping the
porter, even though I felt it was my responsibility. He tipped him with a
fifty-dollar bill, which was a generous but appropriate tip for the amount of
luggage they had.
The trip across the Potomac and to Webster
Hall only took fifteen minutes, but by the time we'd unloaded all the luggage,
the fare and tip came to another fifty dollars, which Jeremy again insisted on
paying, although I strongly felt it was my responsibility because we couldn't
all fit in my car.
"It's creepy to think this place was once a
funeral home," Kurt said as we carried the luggage inside. "Think how many
ghosts there may yet be lurking. . . ."
"Yeah, right," Trevor said with a smirk.
"Frankly, this whole town has so much
history, you could say that about every street corner. You just have too active
an imagination, honey."
"Shhh . . ." I whispered, "There's nothing
wrong with you guys being gay, but you might not want to advertise it, either,"
I cautioned. "This place has a history of rumors, practical jokes, and
out-and-out scandals. There's no point in fueling the flames."
"Well we have no intention of hiding our
relationships," David proclaimed, "so everyone's likely to know about us before
the week's out anyway."
"In that case, I fear you're gonna be in
for a rough time," I said.
"So we've already been told," Jeremy sighed
as he put down his backpack. "Can't say I'm looking forward to what may happen,
but after two years of being out, I'm
not about to go back into the closet 'cause of what might happen."
"Have you discussed this with anyone?" I
asked, more out of curiosity than concern.
"Rahm knows," David revealed.
"And we told both our sponsoring senators,"
Trevor answered, surprising me. They cautioned us against it, but said they'd
support us so long as we didn't violate the code of ethics..
"The code of ethics means no sex," I
"Or at least we can't get caught having sex in Webster Hall,"
David clarified. "Yes, we know we'll have to be extremely discreet."
"In any case, let's get you guys checked
in, and then we can get some lunch."
"Food sounds good," Kurt said with a laugh
as his stomach rumbled.
I introduced the guys to the Sergeant at
Arms and we began the lengthy process of getting them checked into their dorm
room, getting them all of their keys, having Trevor and Kurt fitted for their
page uniforms, getting them all their government identification badges and
filling out all of the paperwork for emergency contacts, health insurance,
security clearances and so on. In addition, tax information had to be filed for
Trevor and Kurt so they could be paid. Because internships were considered
volunteer positions, however, although David and Jeremy would receive full
government benefits, they would not be receiving any pay.
I showed the boys how to access the
Capitol, the Senate Office buildings, the Supreme Court, the Library of
Congress, the various law libraries, then a host of different buildings
associated with each of the different government agencies such as Interior,
Agriculture and Defense, and of course the White House itself. I showed them
how to gain access to the three buildings that made up the Library of Congress,
where they'd undoubtedly be spending much of their time, and to the various
dining rooms and cafeterias in which they were permitted to dine either alone
or as the guest of a congressman or senator. Finally, I showed them how to
access the underground passages and the tiny automated trolley system that
connected the Capitol building with the various office buildings. By the time
we'd finished our impromptu tour, it was early afternoon and we were all more
"Hey," I said, "I know of a great steak
place a short distance from here. They make the most succulent, juicy steaks
you'll find in town. What do you say? My treat?"
The reaction was not at all what I
expected. David practically turned green, and Jeremy almost looked sick
himself. Trevor and Kurt looked like they were doing everything in their power
to keep from laughing their heads off.
"There was a time when nothing would have
made me happier," Jeremy said, "but now the thought of taking even a bit of
that much meat makes me nauseous, and it's all David's fault. Don't get me
wrong . . . I still enjoy eating meat, but having a vegetarian for a boyfriend
definitely limits your opportunities to eat much of it."
"What did I tell you, Jer," David chimed
in. "After more than a year without eating steak, you're body doesn't even make
the enzymes to digest the stuff any more. The thought of eating it makes you sick, doesn't it? Just like I said
"Yeah, it does," Jeremy practically fumed,
"and it's all thanks to you!"
"But think how much healthier you are because you're eating less meat, particularly red meat. You've already cut your risk
of heart disease, colon cancer and stroke, not to mention the tremendous
reduction in the size of your footprint on this earth. It takes far less in the
way of natural resources to sustain you when you don't eat red meat. Now if you
could just give up poultry, your impact on the planet would be even less, and
if the two of us could learn to give
up seafood, we'd be doing the planet a huge favor."
"So I take it you're not interested in
going out for steak?" I asked, hoping to lighten the mood.
At that point, Trevor and Kurt lost it, and
pretty soon, everyone was laughing.
"So what kind of food will you guys eat?" I asked. "What do you like?"
"I'll eat pretty much everything but meat," David explained. "I do eat
all kinds of fish and seafood, and I'm not a vegan by any means, and eat all
sorts of dairy products. I think you'll find that as a group we're game for
anything and everything . . . even sushi."
"You serious about sushi?" I asked, as I
hadn't expected that from a group of Midwestern high school students. They all
nodded their heads. "I think I have the perfect place for a late lunch. There's
a place in Arlington that has an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet. We'll have to
take the Metro to get there, but it's a very quick ride and for less than ten
bucks, the buffet's a bargain . . . it makes it well worth spending money on
the metro fare to get there.
"That sounds great," David agreed.
Fifteen minutes later, we were sipping miso
soup and chowing down on sushi. What could be better than that?
"So, um," I began to speak, "I know David
and Jeremy have been together for about two years, or so I've gathered."
"Two years this July," David said with
"How long have you and Kurt been
boyfriends?" I asked Trevor.
"Officially," he answered, "we've been
steady boyfriends for a year now, but I've had my eyes on this little guy since
the first time I laid eyes on him the previous December."
"Same here," Kurt said. "Only I'd had my
eyes on Trevor for a lot longer than
that. I think ever since I started to realize I was gay, I was attracted to
Trevor Austin. Hell, to be truthful, he was prolly one of the reasons I
realized I was gay in the first place."
"Really?" Trevor interrupted. "You never
told me that before. That's sooo sweet," he said as he gave his boyfriend a peck on the lips.
"It's true, Trev. You captivated me from
the start. Trouble was, I sure couldn't say or do anything with my father
spoutin' his message of hate every week from the pulpit and my jock brothers
reinforcing that message at home."
"Wait a minute," I asked, "your father is
some sort of preacher?"
"Worse," Kurt answered, "he was the head
minister of the Hope Evangelical Covenant Church. No way, no how, he could ever
be seen having a gay son, so when my hormones started to kick in and I started
having feelings for boys and particularly for Trevor, I was scared shitless. I
was petrified, actually.
"Thankfully, there were rumors about Jeremy
being gay, and he and David were my lifeline to sanity. Little did I know,
however, that my old man was tracking my telephone and internet usage, and was
already making plans to ship me off to the Christian Academy down south for a
"No way were we gonna let that happen," Trevor cut in.
"So how did you two get involved?" I asked.
Kurt smiled and said, "A miracle happened.
Trevor came out. He was gay! For me, it was a dream come true.
Not only that, but his Evangelical Christian parents were accepting."
"For the most part," Trevor interrupted.
"You have to admit, they've been great
about us," Kurt pointed out.
"If by being great, you mean looking the
other way when you stay overnight then, yeah, they have been great," Trevor
agreed, "but they still consider our relationship to be a sin."
"But they're still willing to go along with
the engagement," Kurt again interrupted. Engagement?
"All right, I agree. They're far from
perfect, but they are surprisingly supportive for right-wing Christian
fundamentalists. I really can't complain, and for that I'm grateful. Go ahead
babe . . . I know we must be confusing the Hell out of poor Will," Trevor concluded.
"So anyway," Kurt resumed, "Trevor came out
and my dad made an example of him as one of his flock that had been led astray
by a club of `perverts' in the high school who needed to be stopped. My father
wanted revenge and he started a petition drive to disband the GSA, to ban
certain `gay-friendly' textbooks and to recall the school board. We ended up
tossing around a lot of ideas including a counter petition drive of our own,
but in the end, we got the local newspaper to do a front-page story on the plight
of the community's gay teens."
"And guess who came out on the front page
of the local paper as part of that story." Jeremy added.
"You're kidding me." I barked as the
reality of what Kurt had done came to me.
"Hey, if you're gonna come out, you might
as well tell everyone at once," Kurt said with a sly smile. "In any case, my
old man left town the next morning, never to be seen again. He just couldn't
take the heat of a good old-fashioned church scandal."
"Sadly, it took me another half year to get
the courage to ask Kurt out, but then he was still in middle school. We didn't
really see each other again outside of church until we met up at a church-run
summer camp, where we volunteered last summer."
"Wait a minute," I asked, "Aren't you
sixteen, Kurt? Aren't you a junior in high school?"
"Please don't tell anyone," Kurt answered,
'cause they bent the rules for me, with our senator being so senior and all,
but I'm just a sophomore, and I'm just fifteen-and-a-half."
"Yeah, but how many pages do you know that
have a Congressional Gold Medal?" Trevor asked.
"What?" I asked.
"It's true," Trevor stated and I noticed
immediately how Kurt was turning red. "In fact, Kurt'll be getting his medal in
a ceremony next Sunday. One of the counselors at that summer camp last year was
a pedophile. He raped several kids . . . in fact, Jeremy and I each have foster
brothers our parents took in 'cause they're HIV-positive as a result, and it
was Kurt's idea for us to foster
them. But anyway, Kurt risked his own life
and endured being raped himself to save a lot of those kids and to catch the
fucker. My foster brother, Sammy, woulda prolly been killed had it not been for
Kurt's quick thinking and bravery."
Taking Kurt's hand in his own, Trevor
continued, "My love could have easily lost his life on that day, but thanks to
his cool, quick thinking, he came through the ordeal with nothing more than his
emotional scars, and the guy who did all of this will spend the rest of his
life behind bars, ironically getting the life-sustaining treatment he needs.
"The amazing thing is that even after all
of that, even after making sure that all of the boys who had been abused were
assured of receiving counseling until they turned eighteen and even after
making sure that all of the boys who tested HIV-positive who needed it were
placed in good homes, he still wanted
to do more. Even after all of this, he insisted on organizing a roundtable at
school for victims of rape and sexual abuse. It was really amazing, too. My
foster brother got involved, and we got a female student who had been raped to
come forward, as well as one who had been a victim of incest. The whole thing
was recorded on DVD and we've even been approached by WGBH in Boston. They're
gonna be making his story into a Frontline documentary."
Tearing up, Trevor reached around and
grabbed Kurt in a tight hug and said, "Needless to say, I'm never letting Kurt
go. A boy like this is truly one in a million or more. He's the light of my
life. I couldn't live without him. He talks about how great my parents are, but
since his dad left, his mother has been great, too. She's agreed to let him go
with me when I leave for college, and to give her permission for him to marry
me, even though he'll only be sixteen, going on seventeen at the time."
Reaching around and grabbing Trevor in a
tight hug, Kurt said, "I feel just as strongly about Trevor, Will. Trevor's
truly one in a million, too. He may not have gotten the recognition, but his
role in the camp scandal was no less significant. The only reason he couldn't
stop the pedophile counselor is because he was framed by the counselor and was
under arrest at the time. Why do you think I was so motivated to catch the guy,
after all? And Trevor's done his share of other good deeds, too, such as the
time he kept a lesbian girl from slitting her wrists. In fact, Trevor's the
president of our school's GSA, and has done more to help kids come to terms
with being gay than anyone else I know. He's built an awesome website, too. In
less than a year, it's become a top-ten resource for gay teens, and he's done
it all in raw code."
Turning to face Trevor directly, Kurt said,
"I'm not letting you go, either. I love you more than life itself," and then he
leaned his head on his boyfriend's shoulder.
It took every ounce of willpower to keep
from crying, seeing how much the two couples were in love. Here I was, living a
superficial lie, and these two couples were living the lives they were meant to
and still pursuing their dreams, including lives in public service, no less.
"So tell us a little about yourself, Will,"
Jeremy asked of me.
"Truly, there isn't much to tell." I
replied grabbing hold of my emotions. "My parents own one of the largest
purveyors of organic farming products in America. What started out as a simple idea
has turned into a mammoth corporation worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Organic farming is no longer a niche market. People want to eat healthier
foods, and foods labeled as `organic' are automatically perceived as being
healthy. We personally own tens of thousands of acres outright, some of which
meet the definition of organic in every sense of the word, but a lot of which
have been stretched to `qualify' as organic through every conceivable loophole
my parents could lobby for using whatever PACS contributions they saw fit to
distribute. The contributions more than paid for the added revenues of
returning the land to use earlier than would have otherwise been permitted.
"We also certify produce as `organically
grown' under our label through a franchise program subscribed to by thousands
upon thousands of farmers who pay us hefty royalties and use our products. We
actually make far more money from our franchise service than from our own
farms. Of course, we have ways of cutting corners with our franchises, too, and
I would dare say that the majority of our franchises can receive a
certification if the price is right so long as the irregularities aren't too
"I used to believe in what my parents were
doing . . . really believe what they were doing was the future of farming in
America, until I got older and discovered what they were really doing to boost profits. Then I learned that they ran a
business like any other and that their true loyalty was to the shareholders
"There have been times when I've actually
thought of going to the public, but what good would that do. People are still better off eating my parents' produce
than traditional non-organic produce. I figure it's better to work from within
the company to tighten up their standards, or to tighten up federal oversight
and regulation than to destroy the company and make organic products less
available to the public, or more expensive."
"Man, I had no idea this stuff was going
on," David said.
"Welcome to the real world," I answered him
with a smirk.
"That tells us a lot about your parents and your parents' business," Jeremy protested, "but it
still doesn't tell us anything about you."
"Me? What can I say about me?" I contemplated.
"Well, I grew up in Iowa, so we're all fellow Midwesterners. I had a strong
political upbringing, but like you, Jeremy, I hardly ever saw my parents
growing up. I had a nanny and never lacked for toys . . . and girls. Unlike
you, Jer, my father made sure the right girls from the right families were
always around, paraded in front of me like cattle, so I'd never be tempted to
hook up with the `wrong kind'."
Laughing, Jeremy said, "I never gave my
father a chance. I outed myself in the eighth grade. Some time I'll tell you
the story. It's a good one."
"I'm sure it is," I said. "I can't even
fathom coming out that young," but then realized I might have said too much.
Quickly glossing it over, I continued, "So anyway, after finishing high school,
I started prelaw at the University of Chicago. My parents bought me a sick
condo on Lake Shore Boulevard with a spectacular view of the lake. Why they
think it's worth it to spend a million bucks on a place I may well only live in
for four years is beyond me, but I'm not complaining.
"Oh, I forgot to mention that I paged for a
semester during my junior year of high school, during the fall semester, so I
actually attended the page school. What everyone is telling you is the truth,
guys. You really do need to watch your backs.
"Rahm Emanuel is a personal friend of the
family, which is how I ended up with the Summer Internship at the White House.
My girlfriend decided to follow me out here. It's too bad in a way . . . I was
hoping for a little freedom, if you know what I mean. Not to mention she has a
bit of a drug habit I'd rather not get involved with. I just hope she doesn't
try to move in with me when we return to Chicago."
"How'd the two of you meet?" Trevor asked.
"She's in my class," I answered honestly,
"she's a bit wild and crazy, her parents know my parents and would be a good
connection for the future, and she's not half bad looking."
"Not bad for a girl, I take it," Trevor, said, seeming to push the issue.
I gave him a half-smile, but he just kept
staring at me, and I couldn't seem to break eye contact. I tried, but I
couldn't do it. My eyes were watering up and I finally had to wipe them on my
"Tell me, Will," Trevor asked, "Do you
remember a song that came out last summer? It was called, `Why Do I Feel This
Oh Yeah, I remembered the song all right. That
song really had touched a nerve in me. It could have been written about me. The
lyrics were written by Brian Philips, a gay teen who had killed himself rather
than face his parents - parents who just couldn't face having a gay son -
parents who'd hoped their son would be president one day. Yeah, I remembered
And as I heard the song playing in my head,
the wonderful guitar harmonies echoing inside as Brian's poignant rhymes
ushered forth, a dam burst and the tears flowed as they hadn't flowed since I
was a little kid.
Trevor came around to me and pulled me into
him, placing my head on his shoulder as he soothed me by rubbing his hands on
my back. "It's OK, Will. It's going to be fine."
Jerking my head up, I practically shouted,
"It's not OK!"
"Will," Trevor countered in his soothing
voice, "I've counseled many gay teens, and at nineteen you're still a teenager.
You're still coming to terms with who you are, and what it means to your
"We all knew Brian Philips." Trevor explained, shocking the hell out of me. "He was a friend
of ours and, yet, none of us knew he was gay. He kept all that pain and
suffering inside of him until he couldn't take it anymore. To Brian, being gay
and out and being in politics were
incompatible. He never conceived it could possibly be otherwise.
"Look at the people at this table. None of
us look gay, and yet we're all out, everyone knows about us at school, and
we're popular. David was elected Sophomore Class President by a landslide, and no one even bothered to
run against him for Junior Class President. David's a great debater and he wins
elections. Jeremy's the best swimmer in the state and we're all rooting for him
to make the Olympic team in 2012. Kurt wants to be a gay Christian Evangelist
theologian, and he's going to do it, too. You can be what you want to be if you
set your mind to it. It doesn't' matter if you're gay or straight, or in the
closet or out. What matters is that
you believe in yourself, and nothing more."
What Trevor was saying made a lot of sense,
but I knew I could never pull it off - not the way they did. Although I knew
I'd never pull a Brian Philips - that wasn't my style - I just didn't have the
`take-me-as-I-am' attitude that these guys had.
"There is another way, you know," David
chimed it. "Not all of the power is centered in Washington. Just ask your
parents. In fact, the vast majority of power in America is decentralized in the
fifty statehouses throughout America. The trouble is, it's pretty hard to
achieve much or to amass much power at the individual state level, or working
state-by-state, but that's if you're used to working with the legislative or
executive branches of government, as you apparently are.
"The third branch of government, the
judicial branch, wields an unbelievable amount of power in this country, and
it's the least regulated branch of all. Some judges are elected, but most are
appointed, they are seldom removed from office, and they have wide latitude in
making their decisions.
"Let us say that instead of trying to become
an elected official, you instead become a great legal scholar, studying the
law, learning all you can, arguing great cases and securing for yourself a
position at a respectable law school. You would of course continue to analyze
the great judicial decisions and write your own opinions and publish them in
the best law journals, making a name for yourself, eventually securing for
yourself a position at one of the most prestigious law schools in the nation .
. . perhaps Harvard or Yale. Not only would you continue to write and publish
valued opinions, but you would be training the brightest legal minds in America
. . . the very people who will go on to become our nations elected officials .
. . our future senators and representatives . . . and presidents . . . the
people who will eventually make federal judicial appointments.
"In time, these people will remember their
great law professors when it comes time to make appointments to the Supreme
Court. Indeed, someone at this table may one day need to make such a decision.
Chief Justice William Kramer has a certain ring to it, don't you think?" David
Until that moment, I'd never seriously
thought about a career as a federal judge. It certainly was very much a
hit-or-miss proposition, and that alone made it unappealing. No, my original
plan to stay in the closet and follow my dreams was the only way. These boys could never understand.
"Well, for better or for worse, I still
have a girlfriend to get back to." I sighed. "You've given me food for thought,
however. Let's head back to Webster Hall."
Heading back to the Rosslyn Metro station,
and boarding our train, as we began the long stretch of the tunnel under the
Potomac, the announcer said, "Next Stop, Foggy Bottom," an announcement I was
generally oblivious of.
Trevor, however, immediately picked up on
it and said, "Isn't that your metro stop, Will?"
"Well, yeah, but I'd hate to make you guys
go back to Webster Hall on your own, at least until you know your way around
better." Then making a snap decision, I asked them, "but would you like to see
"Give us a chance to `break into' the
Watergate? We'd love to." There were nods of agreement from everyone else, too,
so we got off at the next stop and took the escalator up to the surface.
"Just be warned," I cautioned them as I
took out my cell phone, "my girlfriend is not expecting you and she may not be pleased to see you."
As we exited in the midst of the George
Washington University Medical Center complex, I dialed my home phone number.
When my girlfriend didn't pick up the phone, I reasoned that she was probably
out, but left a message on our voice mail, just in case she returned before we
Heading west, toward the Potomac, I tried
dialing her cell phone, but it too went to voice mail, which was really strange. `Maybe her battery was
low,' I reasoned.
Turning around, I pointed out to my charges
that it was only two blocks east to Pennsylvania Avenue, and three more blocks
to the White House. "Yeah, my parents chose a great location for an apartment
for my stay during the summer internship," I said. "Just don't even ask how
much it cost."
Continuing on west, we soon came to a
sprawling complex of curvaceous, ultra-modern buildings, right on the Potomac
River. We were right next to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
"I've seen pictures," David said, "but it's
nothing like what I expected."
"Wait `til you see inside," I said, but I
have to tell you, my apartment's really tiny, and I don't have a river view. It
just wasn't worth paying that kind of money for just the summer . . . even my
parents aren't that stupid," I said with a smile.
We entered my building and took an elevator
up to the third floor. Opening the door to my apartment, we were immediately
assaulted by the smell of vomit.
"God, what has my girlfriend been up to?" I
Trevor grabbed hold of my arm and stopped
me from going any further. Trembling, I moved much more slowly into the
apartment, followed by the boys. I knew they were getting into something they'd
be better off steering clear of, but I was glad to have them there. I needed them there.
She was in the bedroom, her still form
spread out on the bed lying on her back in a pool of her own vomit. Multiple
lines of coke were still visible on the nightstand.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the invaluable assistance of Trab and Alastair in proofreading our stories, as well as Gay Authors, Awesome Dude and Codey's World for hosting them.