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
Weddings and Wonder - Trevor
was nice to settle back into a regular routine at work after the whirlwind of
the Medal Ceremony and the interviews. Things seemed to settle down, and
although there were still rumblings, within our own little world, they didn't
really affect us too much. Although Seth and a few of the other pages still
made occasional snide remarks, they pretty much gave us a wide berth and most
of the other pages treated us with respect. Neither Kurt nor I received any
advances from anyone on `The Hill' after Kurt made his comments on Nightline. I guess everyone was spooked
at the thought of getting caught in a scandal.
June 29, we were all invited to participate in a ceremony in the East
Room of the White House, celebrating Pride Month. A lot of national
LGBT leaders were there, and I was surprised that most of them
recognized us from all the publicity we'd had of late. Not
surprisingly, we were among the youngest participants there, but we
were far from the most vocal. One thing we could all agree on was that
the Obama administration wasn't doing nearly enough to advance gender
equality and our civil rights.
one point, David got up and told the story of a young Pakistani boy
named Altaf, who was forced to flee his native country along with his
mother when she discovered him in bed with his best friend. David told
how they fled first to London, where they fell in with a terrorist
cell, and how grateful they were when it was America that granted them
asylum because young Altaf was gay. David told how Altaf was befriended
by a Jewish boy named Randy, and how they fell in love.
Fourth of July weekend," David continued his story, "Randy and Altaf
will be getting married, but not in the state where they grew up
together, but rather in Connecticut, because it's one of the few places
where they can legally marry.
"Why is it that this beautiful union between a Muslim and a Jew cannot occur in the place of their choosing?" David asked.
they enter medical school together in a few years, one of the options
that should be open to them is to fund their medical education through
the army, but thanks to `Don't ask, don't tell', as an openly gay
couple, they are precluded from entering military service. How
preposterous is that?" David again asked.
President," he continued, "it's time to end apartheid based on sexual
orientation in this country and to extend civil rights to all Americans."
got a standing ovation - one that was well deserved. Even Obama
applauded, but his smile didn't seem to reach his eyes. It didn't seem
he was pleased with David's speech. Not one bit.
Once the applause died down, the President went
on to say, "As I said not long ago, I'm glad I didn't have to debate Mr.
Reynolds when I was running for president," which drew a round of laughter from
the crowd. "But seriously," he continued, "I think you know that if we were to
hold a national referendum on gay marriage today, or to bring the matter before
the Supreme Court, more than likely we would lose.
"That's why I'm encouraging a `grass-roots' approach. Once legislation is put forth, it must
be solid enough to stand up to those who would challenge it. One thing we must
not have," he said with conviction, "is a repeat of what happened in
California. That fiasco did nothing to create unity in the state of California
or in the rest of the United States.
"Thankfully, some states are going ahead with their own legislation
and it's working, bit by bit. Believe me when I say that the legislation will come and when it does happen,
it will be irreversible. The beginnings of something like this are always small,
but eventually momentum will build until those beginnings become so large and
overwhelming that the whole populace has no choice but to accept the
inevitable. I remember the civil
rights movement better than many of you, and I know the power of any grass-roots
movement . . . I know that it's the people of your generation that are going to
make this happen."
It might not have been what we wanted to hear, but it was honest,
and it was real. It was history in the making, and we were a part of it. How sick was that?
we knew it, the time had come for us to travel to New Haven to attend Randy and Altaf's wedding - something we'd all been looking
forward to. The festivities were lasting the entire Fourth of July weekend and,
although it was a shame we were going to miss the usual holiday festivities in
Washington, which I understood were quite lavish - unlike any Independence Day festivities anywhere else in the U.S., we
weren't going to miss the wedding festivities for anything. Randy and Altaf were our friends. This was also a great chance to get
ideas for our own wedding next year.
plan was to take the train up late Friday afternoon, taking off a little early
from work. New Haven was the next stop after New York. The entire trip would
take four hours, so we'd arrive in the late evening, just in time for the
Friday prayer service, which we really wanted to attend as a show of faith to
four of us went together in getting a great gift for them. We'd spent a little
more than we'd planned, but it would be worth it if it came out as we'd hoped.
Jeremy kicked in an extra $100 in the end. "If you've got it, why not spend
it?" he said - covering the total $500 cost. We were picking it up along the
way, from the artist herself, who lived in Hoboken. She was meeting us
trackside, in Newark.
were all excited when Friday morning arrived. Even though we packed the night
before, we still spent extra time making sure we hadn't forgotten anything. I
reminded the senator that I would be taking off early, and he replied, "Trevor,
you've only been reminding me every day this week!"
I just wanted to be sure," I said.
he said in return, "Maybe you should have taken the whole day off. I'm not sure
how useful you'll be to me under the circumstances."
worry, Senator," I assured him. "When I'm here, I'm unquestionably yours. You
can always count on me."
know that, Trevor," the senator agreed.
spite of being kept busy running errands, the day dragged on until the early
afternoon, when the four of us returned to Webster Hall. We grabbed our luggage
and ate a late lunch at Union Station before catching our train to New Haven.
we rolled along through Delaware, my cell phone rang. I looked at the caller ID
and smiled when I saw it was Sammy, but got a little worried wondering if
something was wrong back home.
Sammy," I answered, "Is everything OK?"
"Everythin's more than OK. I mean, every thing's more than OK, bro," he replied, correcting his English in
the process. Wow, he really was making an effort. Continuing, he asked me, "Guess where I am right now."
I don't know, sport. Maybe out back by the pool?" I suggested.
even close," he replied.
you over at Paul's?" I asked.
Paul's sittin' right next ta me. I mean, Paul's sitting right next to me, but, no, we're not at his place,
either," he replied.
you at the mall?" I asked.
we're not even in town," he replied. "We're in the car with Mom and Dad, and
we're surrounded by corn fields, and guess where we're headed."
I haven't a clue," I replied.
I'm going by Sam, now. I'm not a little kid any more, but anyway, WE'RE HEADED
TO CHICAGO!" he shouted, practically frying my cell phone and busting my ear
drum in the process.
"Chicago?" I asked.
isn't it great?" he responded. "We're gonna stay in this fancy hotel
overlooking Lake Michigan, and we're gonna spend a whole day at the Chicago Art
Institute and a day at the Field Museum. Mom and Dad say those are really sick
are, Sammy . . . I mean, Sam," I answered him. "It's been a few years since
I've been there, but they're prolly two of the best
museums in the Midwest. You'll go ape over them."
this huge Fourth of July festival going on along the waterfront in a place
called Grant Park, too," he went on to say. It's called A Taste of Chicago and they have food from all the best restaurants
in the city, and there'll be fireworks, and there'll be amusements, and we're
going to a place called Navy Pier. . . ."
sounds like you're gonna have a great time!" I enthused. "And we're all just
going to a plain old wedding."
bro, but it's for your good friends, and I know how much they mean ta you. I mean to you. Next year, it'll be you who's
getting married. That is so sick,
man. You guys have a good time, too," Sammy said, "OK?"
will," I replied, "And you have a great time in Chicago, and you and Paul be
sure to pig out without making yourselves sick, OK?"
will, and that's a promise," Sammy answered. "Goodbye, bro."
Sam," I replied, and then hung up the phone.
take it the 'rents are taking Sammy and Paul to Chicago for the three day
weekend?" Jeremy asked.
I answered. "I got to do all sorts of things like that growing up, but this is
all knew to Sammy, or Sam as he wants to be called now. You should have heard
his enthusiasm. He's so appreciative, too. You know, Kurt and I were talking
about how cool it would be to take him to New York. He'd go positively ape in
New York and we've gotta talk the 'rents into it."
you guys go, we'd like to go with you," David chimed in.
already figured as much," I laughed. "Anyway, what I was going to say was that
there's actually a lot to see in the Midwest that can be done in day trips or
at most in a weekend. Sam's my bro. I should make more of an effort to take him
some of the places I got to see as a kid growing up. There are some really nice
art museums within a short drive in places like Columbus, Cincinnati and
Louisville. Columbus Indiana has some
world-class architecture he'd prolly enjoy. In a
weekend trip, we could hit Cleveland for their art museum, the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame and then stop at Cedar Point in Sandusky on the way back. Or we
could do the Henry Ford Museum, the Detroit Institute of Art and the
Toledo Museum of Art."
like you really love your little brother," Jeremy said with a smirk.
if he were my own flesh and blood, and never, ever doubt that," I replied.
OK, Trev," Jeremy clarified, "I feel the same way about Cliff."
that point, we entered New Jersey, and we checked with the conductor to verify
our exact position on the train. We then called the artist who made our wedding
gift to Randy and Altaf, relaying the information so she'd know exactly where to stand on the platform. It was indeed a
finely choreographed sequence as Kurt watched the seats, I waited in the
doorway to make sure the train didn't leave and David and Jeremy, the most
athletic in our group, found the artist, grabbed a very tall, wide and thin box
from her and brought it on board the train.
as David and Jeremy got it up the steps, the train started to pull away. I
waved at the artist and managed to hear her shout, "It's nice to meet you,
Trevor. Give my love to Randy and Altaf!" and then
she disappeared out of sight.
I re-entered the passenger compartment, I saw that David and Jeremy had
securely stowed the box behind the first seat. As I sat down, Jeremy showed me
a photo that the artist had given him of the completed artwork. "I really think
they'll love it," I agreed. "It's certainly unique."
included an etching kit and instructions inside the box," David added. "When we
told her about how Randy and Altaf plan to adopt and
raise gay kids who've been abandoned by their own parents, she thought they
might want to etch the names of their kids on the leaves. There are 28 leaves,
and I doubt they'll adopt that many kids, but it would literally become a
family tree for them. It gives special meaning to the term, `Tree of Life'."
a great idea!" I agreed. "I never
would have thought of that."
course the real credit still goes to Kurt," Jeremy reminded us. "He was the one
who thought of giving them an artistic representation of their common
my honey done good," I agreed, which only caused Kurt to blush, but he was
was ironic that after all the rushing to get the sculpture on board, we found
ourselves at Penn Station minutes later, where we sat for a full half-hour
layover. We knew that would be the case, but we hardly felt it would be
appropriate to ask the artist to lug a heavy and unwieldy box by herself on a
Path Train, just so we'd have an easier time of getting it on board. All in
all, our quick exchange act worked pretty well in the end.
a half-hour delay in NYC, during which we all grabbed a quick snack, we were
once again on our way. Next stop - New Haven, where the Amtrak station was
literally within walking distance of the hotel. Had it not been for the wedding
gift, we might well have walked it, but there was no way we could do that and
carry the box. The first SUV taxi we approached outright refused to take us
such a short distance, and so we agreed not to give him our business. The
second taxi, a minivan taxi, was also reluctant, but quickly changed his mind
when Jeremy pulled out a fifty-dollar bill.
no time at all, we were settled into our adjoining rooms. Kurt looked
absolutely adorable, but there was no time for romance, as a Friday evening
service would be starting in a matter of minutes. We barely had time to wash up
was really amazing how many of our friends and acquaintances from school were
attending the service. I noticed Debbie McLaughlin and Cathy Andrews right away
in the row in front of us, sitting next to each other.* Debbie had come so close
to committing suicide last December after the two of them had split up. In
fact, if I hadn't run into Debbie in the process of purchasing razor blades at
a CVS pharmacy . . . I shuddered to think what might have happened. It was
unfortunate that it was my parents' security company that had helped the girls'
parents obtain proof that their daughters were involved in a relationship, but
once my father discovered what one of his employees had done, he not only put a
stop to it, but did everything he could to make it right in the end.
the damage had already been done and Cathy couldn't handle living without her
parents' love. She made the choice to throw away four years of a loving
relationship and to deny whom she was, to return to her parents' home. That left
poor Debbie out on her own with no one, and too embarrassed to turn to her
friends until that fateful day when I found her at CVS. Fortunately for her, my
parents and her parents had been talking in the interim about what it's like to
be Evangelical Christians with a gay child, and Debbie's parents were more than
ready to welcome her home with open arms.
Cathy continued her downward spiral, dated boys and wound up getting pregnant.
Seeing the two girls together again gave me hope. I knew that deep down, they still loved each other very much. I had no doubt
that Cathy would make a very capable mother, but it would be great for the
child if it could have two mothers.
then, Cathy turned to Debbie and said, "Here we all are, having flown in from
the conservative Midwest to attend a gay wedding. Why is it that Randy and Altaf have to marry here? It's just so wrong that they
can't marry back in our home state."
won't be this way forever, Cathy," David, responded. "Mark my words, but it
will change if I have anything to do with it. Some day I'm going to be the
governor of our state. It'll be tough as a gay man getting elected, I know, but
if anyone can shift the focus off my being gay and onto the issues, I'm the one
was shocked. I mean, I knew David was interested in politics, but this was the
first time I'd heard David utter something so concrete about going into public
office. David Reynolds, the governor of our state. Obviously, I wasn't the only
one caught off guard, because his boyfriend immediately replied with, "You want
to be the governor? In our state?"
I've been thinking about what Paul said over Spring Break," David answered.
"Why not start as governor. Hey, I got elected Class President twice . . .
yeah, I could be governor."
sound serious about going into politics," Debbie commented.
he's serious all right," Jeremy agreed. "You know
we're doing internships at the White House this summer. That's why we weren't
on the flight with you guys. We took the train up from D.C. this afternoon."
and we're serving as pages in the Senate," Kurt threw in.
"Kinda sucks that we're missing all the Fourth of July
festivities in Washington this weekend," I added, "but, man, I wouldn't miss
this wedding for anything."
practically teared up, however, as he continued, "I
just don't like the other thing Paul said."
Levine?" Cathy asked.
his head, "Paul Manning, Trevor's foster brother's best friend," Jeremy
clarified. "He has Down's Syndrome and who knows, but
he had a pretty wild premonition during our trip to Washington during the
Spring Break. Out of the blue, he said . . ." Jeremy started to weep, "he said
David would be buried in Arlington Cemetery."
because Paul had this premonition," David countered, putting his arm around
Jeremy, "doesn't mean it's gonna happen. And besides, that's way in the future.
A lot could happen before then. Didn't he imply we'd be together all that time?
That's way longer than most couples are together."
guess you're right," Jeremy said, just before planting a quick peck on David's
lips. His doing that made me throw my arm around Kurt and snuggle up with him.
Cathy and Debbie smiled at us and turned back around, because the service was
getting ready to start.
service was a very nice combination of the Jewish and Muslim faiths, but my
boyfriend was particularly fascinated by it. The rabbi and imam who presided
over it did an outstanding job of pointing out the similarities and
differences. There were far more similarities than differences - the most
glaring difference being that wine in the Jewish faith, as in the Christian
faith, was considered a sacrament versus a sin in the Muslim faith. Otherwise nearly
everything had an identical parallel. Why then was there so much
animosity between the two peoples? Obviously Randy and Altaf had found a way.
night, back in our room, after the rehearsal dinner and festivities were over,
Kurt and I found our way, too. Unfortunately, we were too exhausted to do as
much as we might have liked, and we knew we wanted to get up early enough to
enjoy the Muslim Morning Prayer service, which was to be followed by a brunch
and then a Jewish Sabbath Prayer service. We therefore settled for a nice,
sensuous sixty-nine before going to sleep. God, I never tired of my boyfriend.
He's such a sexy, loving boy who means the world to me.
a traditional Muslim prayer service was a first for us, but the imam made all feel
welcome, and he explained everything as he went for the vast majority of us who
weren't Muslim. He also allowed men and women to pray together at the wedding
couple's insistence. Not too many people attended the Muslim service, which was
a shame, but we surmised that it was mostly because people were tired after the
last evening's festivities.
was a simple, but elegant affair. We certainly weren't hungry after last
night's dinner. A lot of our friends, including David and Jeremy, arrived late
- just to grab a quick bite before heading out for an afternoon on the town,
such as it was. We stuck it out and attended the Jewish Sabbath Service, and
then took advantage of the hotel's health club facilities before heading back
to our room to continue what we'd started last night.
I preferred to bottom, but nothing was more heavenly than the look on my baby's
face when I entered him, and I was anxious to see that look today.
out a large bath towel on our king-size bed, I had Kurt lie face down on it.
God, he looked so cute . . . and sexy. Opening a vial of scented bath oil that
was among the assortment of freebies that came with the room, I applied a
little to my palm, then started rubbing it into his back, kneading it between
his shoulder blades and up into his neck. He literally purred as I felt his
muscles relax under my hands. I lowered my body down and kissed the nape of his
neck. He hummed appreciatively.
poured some more oil onto my hands and started kneading his back muscles down
lower, working my way down to his delectable mounds, gently pulling them apart
and exposing his rosebud. I lovingly teased it with my tongue, which I knew
would drive him wild. Kurt loved to be rimmed, which was great, 'cause I loved
rimming him, but I was far from done with his massage.
out a little more oil, I massaged the backs of his thighs, and then his calves,
and finally the soles of his feet, lovingly caressing each of his toes. Kurt
had the sexiest toes. His feet were silky soft. I could almost see having a
foot fetish with Kurt's sexy feet.
Kurt to turn over, I massaged the insides of his legs and thighs from the
front, and then used my tongue to `massage' his beautiful sack, which begged
for attention. I let my hands take over while I used my tongue and my throat to
`massage' his glorious cock, which was as hard as I'd ever seen it. Yeah, he
was pretty close to the edge already, so I'd have to be careful.
a little more oil into my palm, I massaged his abdomen and his chest, paying
particular attention to his very firm nipples and his pecs.
I lay down on top of him, relishing the feel of our total body contact,
enhanced by the lubrication of the bath oil. It was time.
down, I lubricated my member with some of the bath oil, then inserted first one, and then two of my fingers into Kurt's hole. He was more
than ready by now. Pointing my cock at his entrance, I slowly pushed forward as
he himself thrust his pelvis back against me, eager to experience the wonder of
our union. The look on his face was priceless. If there was any pain, he
certainly didn't show it. What I saw was a sense of wonder . . . wonder that
something so blissful, sensual, sexual, and full of love could be happening.
our thrusts deepened and quickened, I could feel we were heading toward one
earth-shattering climax. I would have liked to have prolonged it, but it had been weeks and we had a lot of pent-up desire. Kurt's first
volley hit me in the chin, and that plus his sphincter clamping down on me sent
me over the edge in no time. As we came down from our high and kissed
passionately, I felt we were so close, we could crawl into each other's skin.
love you so much, Trevor," Kurt said as he started to recover, "I don't know
what I did to deserve you, but I'm the luckiest guy alive. You make me so happy
. . . I hope I can give you back one-tenth of what you've given me."
you kidding?" I replied. "You give me twenty times back in return what I give
you. You're a perfect ten in my book. I love you, Kurt. There are no words in
the English language that can describe what I feel for you."
at my boyfriend, I kissed him on the nose and then said, "Come on, let's get
washed up. We need to present our gift to Randy and Altaf before the picnic and Fourth of July festivities."
I guess it is getting late," my boyfriend agreed.
a shower together and making sure we were squeaky clean, I contacted David on
his cell phone and we made arrangements to present our wedding gift to Randy
and Altaf before the festivities were
to begin. The four of us met them in their hotel suite.
were all dressed in board shorts and T-shirts, prepared for the picnic that was
to follow, and Randy and Altaf were similarly
attired. They looked so happy. They were absolutely radiant.
is a very large box," Altaf said as we carried it
decided we could get you something nice if we pooled our resources," David
was all Kurt's idea," I said proudly as I wrapped my arm around my boyfriend's
might want to leave it in the box until you get it safely back to your
apartment," Jeremy suggested, "but here's a picture of the finished artwork,"
he said as he handed the picture the artist had given him to Randy.
a `Tree of Life' glass sculpture," Kurt explained. "The Tree of Life is a
common theme to many of the world's religions, but it's central to both Judaism
and Islam. It represents the `burning bush' through which God appeared to
Moses. It's also a metaphor for God's holy scripture. `It is a tree of life for
all who hold it fast. All its ways are ways of pleasantness and all its paths
are peace.' This symbolism is present in both religions."
designed to be hung on a wall," David explained. "It has a built-in backlight.
It uses six-watt LED's that should never burn out. It uses a lithium battery
that recharges itself from a solar panel on the front, so as long as it's not
in a completely dark corner, it should power itself. It's very environmentally
names and the date of your wedding have been inscribed in English, Hebrew and
Urdu," I added. "In addition, the artist included an etching kit so you can add
the names of the children you adopt to the leaves. As she put it, you will make
it a personal `family tree of life'. I like that idea very much."
Kurt, David and Jeremy," Randy said, "You have all left me speechless. I don't
know what to say. This is such an incredible gift."
Altaf reached his arm around Randy's waist and added, "I feel the same way. It is
beautiful, and so appropriate. It is a gift we will treasure for as long as we
live. We have received many, many gifts, but none more meaningful. Thank you."
Altaf then came up to us and kissed each of us on the cheek, followed by Randy, who
did the same.
"That was really
sweet," I said as we descended in the elevator and got off on our floor. "I
think they really liked it."
David agreed, "that was a really great idea."
As we approached
our rooms, Jeremy spoke to Kurt and me in a really hushed voice, "Guys, you
definitely will want to take a piss break before we head out."
What in the world
was he getting at? We were only going to be a few blocks away, at the Fourth of July picnic Randy and Altaf were throwing for the wedding
I must have looked
at Jeremy kind of funny, as he laughed and continued, "We need to get going,
too, 'cause we have a bit of a drive ahead of us."
Now I knew there was something up, as there
was no way we needed to drive to get to the park. Kurt beat me to asking about
it, though. "What's up, Jer? I thought we were all gonna freshen up and meet
downstairs in, like, an hour or two for Randy and Altaf's Fourth of July
David giggled as
Jeremy explained, "I didn't want to say anything before, 'cause I wasn't sure I
could get you guys an invite, and I definitely didn't want to say anything in
front of anyone else, 'cause I didn't want to make it look like we're sneakin'
out on the wedding festivities . . . but that's exactly what we're gonna do."
"Why?" I asked.
With a devious
smile, Jeremy said, "There isn't time to explain, but meet us out here in ten
minutes. Wear some dressy casual clothes . . . maybe khakis and a polo shirt,
but not shorts, 'cause it'll get chilly later on. We're going to a party . . .
a picnic in the sky . . . and we're gonna have fun!"
As Kurt and I
entered our room, I said, "I wonder what that's about."
"Whatever it is,"
Kurt said, "knowing Jer, it'll be with rich people."
right," I agreed. "We'd better brush our teeth and put on some cologne . . .
and wear our ECCOs or Birkenstocks - not sneakers. It's a good thing we already showered."
agreed as he gave me a quick peck before heading into the bathroom.
Ten minutes later,
we were all heading out the front door of the hotel and onto the street.
"We don't want to
be seen leaving in a limo," Jeremy said, "so we're gonna walk over to Yale
University Hospital. It's not unusual for limos to pick people up there, and
none of our friends should be there to see us. That's where I told our driver
to meet us."
"Oh, OK," I said.
About five minutes
later, we were all sitting pretty inside a huge Continental stretch limo. As we got
underway, I finally asked, "All right, Jer, what's this all about?"
"That's a fair
question, and we have about an hour until we arrive in New York, so there's
plenty of time for me to answer it."
"New York?" I exclaimed.
"Yeah, buds, New
York. You see, while it's true we're missing one hell of a show down in
Washington for the Fourth of July, this year the biggest show isn't in
Washington. It turns out that 2009 marks the four hundredth anniversary of
Henry Hudson's `discovery' of the Hudson River. 'Course the native Americans
were there long before that, but for Europeans, Hudson's discovery marked the
finding of one of the best natural harbors in the world and certainly the best
in the New World. That discovery led to the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam,
which became the British colony of New York and the American city of New York,
one of the greatest centers of trade in the world.
Hudson's discovery, Macy's has moved their Fourth of July fireworks
extravaganza from its usual location on the East River, over to the Hudson
River. Not only that, but they're making it fucking huge, man. It'll be one
of the largest fireworks displays in history and the largest display this year,
anywhere in the U.S., in spite of the economic downturn.
"So instead of
missing the fireworks in Washington, we're gonna be seeing an even better show in New York!"
"Yeah, but how are
we gonna get anywhere near enough to see it?" Kurt asked.
Jeremy smiled and
said, "My dad has a client who has a business associate with a penthouse
apartment, right on Fifth Avenue overlooking Central Park. When I told Dad
about the wedding and where we'd be this weekend, he insisted on contacting his
client and, well, not only did the client come through for us, but he got us
invited to his business associate's party! Turns out the client will be there,
too. It should be a real sweet party."
"Are we gonna be
the only kids there?" Kurt asked.
"I wondered about
that, too," David chimed in. "There'll be several other kids there besides us, I
"Just as long as
there's no drugs," I stated emphatically.
"I told Jer the
same thing," David agreed.
"I expect there'll
be some booze there," Jeremy noted, "and I wouldn't be surprised if there's
some pot. Like I told David, we're prolly gonna be
around the stuff in college and we're gonna have to learn to stay away from it,
even when it's all around us. If there's pot, we'll steer clear of it, 'cause
we can't afford to test positive. If there's anything stronger like coke, we'll
all leave. You have my word on that."
"That makes me
feel a lot better," Kurt said, and I heartily agreed.
Before long, the
dazzling skyline of New York City was before us, and then we were crossing over
the newly renamed RFK Bridge, formerly the Triboro Bridge, into Manhattan.
Traffic on the FDR, the highway that runs along the East River, was
bumper-to-bumper as might be expected, but it didn't take all that long before
we were pulling up in front of a very posh looking building on Fifth Avenue.
Jeremy led the way
and told the doorman who we were. The doorman crossed our names off a list and
then `granted' us access to one of the elevators, pushing the button to the 35th floor, the top floor, for us. When we reached the top, there was no hallway -
the elevator opened directly into the penthouse apartment.
Even before we'd
gone a few feet, a servant dressed in a white tux approached us with a tray of hors
d'oeuvres. There were stuffed mushrooms, pigs in a blanket, and some things I
wasn't sure about. David immediately asked what everything was, and which
things contained any meat. We all went to town grabbing a few napkins full of
food. Hey, we're teenagers, after all. It took all of thirteen seconds for us
to devour the tiny entrees in our hands. I sure hoped there'd be some real food, such as burgers or hot dogs,
It wasn't long
before Jeremy spotted someone he recognized. "Hey Zach," he practically
shouted. Well, as discretely as he could without being rude. "Zachary Taylor,"
Jeremy spoke a little louder this time. Suddenly, a boy of about fourteen or
fifteen looked up from across the room and spotted us. He was slender,
had shoulder length, light brown hair, and was wearing shorts with a Purdue
University sweatshirt. When he got closer, I could see he still had some peach
fuzz on his upper lip, so maybe he was even a bit younger, like thirteen. He
was cute, though.
said, "I didn't know you'd be here.
It's good to see someone from back home." Turning back to us, Jer said, "Guys,
this is Zach Taylor. He's the son of one of my dad's clients, and he'll be a
freshman at Carmel High in the fall." Lowering his voice, Jeremy added, "He's
also gay," which caused Zach's eyes to get big as saucers. Jer went on to say,
everyone here, so don't worry about it, Zach. Your secret's safe with
all of us. In fact, Trevor here's the president of the North Central
GSA, which is why I didn't think you'd mind me outing you to the rest
of my friends. When you're ready to come out, he can help. He's helped
lots of kids come out . . . to their parents . . . to their friends.
Hell, his boyfriend came out on the front page of The Star!"
registered a look of recognition and said to my boyfriend, "You're Kurt
To which Kurt
answered, "One and the same."
And then he looked
up at me and said, "And I saw you on television with Kurt, too. You guys are
Zach," Jeremy countered, "once you've seen them naked, they're really quite
Kurt started to
laugh hysterically when he heard that, and pretty soon, the rest of us were in
hysterics, which probably had all the adults in the room wondering what in the
world us teenagers were up to.
Once we'd settled
down, Zach asked if we'd seen the view yet, to which David answered that we'd
just arrived. Zach then led us all out to the penthouse's terrace, which was abso-fucking-lutely enormous. It wrapped around the whole
western end of the building, affording a spectacular view of Central Park, the
Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was just to the north of us, and Midtown
Manhattan, which was a little to the south. I guess they called where we were
the Upper East Side. The Empire State Building, down in Midtown, towered above
all, lit up in red, white and blue for the holiday.
"This'll be a
great vantage point for viewing the fireworks," Zach said. "Any further south
and all the buildings of Midtown would be in the way. Much further north, and
we'd be too far away to see much of anything. They're gonna be shooting the
fireworks off from three barges along a twenty-five block stretch of the river.
It'll be awesome."
"Oh there you are,
Zach!" a cute blond girl said as she came up to us and threw her arms around
the poor boy, practically pulling him down to the ground with her. It was
obvious she had been drinking. She looked to be around Zach's age.
"Oh, hi Valerie,"
Zach replied as he rolled his eyes at us. "Val, I'd like you to meet some
friends of mine," he said as he pulled her upright. "This is Jeremy. He's the
son of one of my dad's business associates, and the tall guy next to him is
David, his boyfriend."
"Wait a minute,"
she said, "are you telling me they're . . . they're gay?"
Valerie," Zach stated as if it were the most natural and obvious thing in the
world. "I've known Jer for a few years now, and he and David have been on the
front page of The Star like three or
four times. Everyone back home knows
"I don't read The Star," Valerie admitted, "and I'm
surprised you hang out with fags."
Zach said, "I can only hope you said that 'cause you've had too much to drink.
These guys are my friends. So are Trevor and Kurt," he said, nodding in our
direction. "They're gay, too. And you know what else. I know you've been
interested in me for a while, but there's a reason I haven't asked you out. I'm
not the kind of guy who's willing to use a girl for cover. I haven't asked you
out, 'cause I'm gay, and I'm proud."
Even as drunk as
she might have been, Valerie looked stone cold sober as a look of revulsion
took over her face. "Wait 'til my parents hear about this!"
"I think I'm gonna
throw up," Zach said as he started to sway on his feet. David grabbed him
before he fell to the floor, then lifted him effortlessly and carried him
inside. Man I had no idea David was that athletic. Kurt went in search of a
soda while Jeremy went in search of Zach's father. I wasn't so sure that was
the best idea, but he was right - Zach prolly needed him.
David and I stayed with Zach until he came to.
happened?" he said when he found himself staring up at us.
"You passed out,"
David said quietly, stating the obvious.
"Zach, of the
various ways I'd recommend for coming out, that was definitely not one of
them," I said with a laugh, trying to diffuse the tension.
"Oh shit," Zach
said. "Not only are my parents going to know, but everyone's gonna know by the time school starts."
"Is that a bad thing?" David asked. "Jeremy
accidentally outed himself in the eighth grade, and thanks to that, the two of
us became boyfriends. We both agreed we'd be out in high school, so when Barry
Smith asked me what I was doing hanging with `that faggot' at the Fashion Mall,
I told him then and there that we were boyfriends. That was it . . . by school
orientation a week later, everyone knew about us, and we're talking a class size of nearly a thousand kids. Not
everyone's been OK with it, but I was elected to the Freshman Student Council,
and then became the Freshman Class Treasurer, and was elected the Sophomore and
Junior Class Presidents. I guess you could say that Jer and I are pretty
popular at school."
I laughed at that
and said, "That's an understatement. David and Jeremy are two of the most
popular kids at school, so being gay and out doesn't mean you can't be popular.
On the contrary, even I'm pretty popular in spite of my geekiness and being out. I hear Carmel High has a
great GSA, too."
Just then, Jeremy
arrived on the scene with a man I presumed to be Zach's father, in tow. The man
got down on the floor, kneeling in front of Zach and he said, "Zach, I heard
about what happened. I heard about it before Jeremy found me, so you don't have
to worry about telling me now," he said with a laugh. "It's probably not the
way you wanted your mom and me to find out, huh?"
said, "You know, I've known about Jeremy and David since I've been using
Kimball's firm, and while I'd naturally rather my son be straight, because I'd
hate to see you having to deal with all the crap gay people have to deal with in
this world, I love you for the
wonderful son you are, no matter what you are. Someday, when you bring home the
man of your dreams, your mom and I will love him no less than we would have
loved the woman of your dreams. Never doubt that."
Zach leapt into
his father's arms and hugged him tightly, crying on his shoulder. I think we
all had tears in our eyes. Finally Kurt showed up with a Sprite in his hand. Geez, how hard was it to find the
It was at that moment
that we heard the first unmistakable booming sound of fireworks going off. We
all rushed out onto the terrace to see what I could only describe as the most
breathtaking site I could imagine. The entire southwestern skyline was
illuminated with brilliant plumes of colored light. The whole thing was
perfectly synchronized, so that the exact same color and the same design of
firework was shot off, two from each barge at the same time, creating a curtain
of light along the entire horizon. Our view of it all was magnificent.
The show was only about
a half-hour long, but it was one we'd all never forget as rainbows of
brilliant light cascaded across the sky, made all the more sweet by the
father-son moment we'd witnessed just moments before the display began.
The remainder of
the party was interesting to say the least. I had my first taste of beer, which
I didn't particularly like at all. As the young man who brought it to me said,
it's an acquired taste. He then brought me a different drink, a pale ale, which
was decidedly better, but stronger. As the young man continued to be friendly
with me, it became increasingly apparent that he was interested in more than
pleasant conversation, which was really curious, given that he was there with his wife.
"Oh, my wife knows
I'm gay," he explained when I confronted him. "We both get something out of the
relationship we want. I need a wife for expediency and to provide biological
children, and she gains access to my money, and power."
"And what happens after the divorce?" I asked, recognizing
where this would likely lead.
"Then I will have
my freedom, and she will still have my money and power, and we'll both have the children we need."
sadly be caught in the middle of nowhere,' I thought to myself.
"So how about a
little fun, Trevor," he asked. "The age of consent in New York is seventeen,
and you're seventeen, and at twenty-five, I'm not that old, now, am I?"
flattered . . . really, I am," I answered, "but I don't think my fiancé would appreciate it," I said as I
nodded my head toward the terrace, where Kurt was engaged in a conversation
"The blond kid?"
the man asked.
"He's one in a
million," I answered.
"You can't imagine
how much I envy you. Congratulations, and good luck," he said as he shook my
I think we all managed
to get a little tipsy, but none of us got drunk and, fortunately, there were no
drugs at the party. There was a lot of food, though, and we were all stuffed to
the gills before it was time to leave.
There were around
a dozen other teenagers at the party, and about fifty or sixty adults. With
what happened at the beginning, it was no secret to anyone that Zach or the
rest of us were gay, but none of the other kids were gay or at least, would
admit to it. Valerie was the only one who seemed to have a problem with it, and
Zach gained more and more confidence as the night went on, even to the point of
dancing with the rest of us openly.
"Remind you of
anything?" David asked me as the two of us watched Zach and Jeremy dancing
"Yeah," I replied
as I remembered how I outed myself by dancing with David at Homecoming, "the
best thing I ever did in my life." Beyond a doubt, I meant it, too.
We didn't get back
to New Haven until the sky was already starting to lighten. We only had a few
hours of sleep before it was time to go down and grab what was left of Sunday
Brunch. Poor Kurt slept through the Sunday Christian prayer service, which I
knew he really wanted to attend. I only hoped he wouldn't
snore during the wedding. I only hoped I wouldn't, either.
wedding ceremony combined elements of both a
traditional Jewish ceremony and a traditional Northern Pakistani one - it
brought tears to my eyes - it was so beautiful. The vows Randy and Altaf chose were extraordinary. They vowed in front of God
and us all to take in as many gay kids as they could . . . to give them a
loving home. How cool was that? What wonderful young men they were.*
reception was huge, with a monstrous
dinner with lots of courses, followed by lots of dancing, including all the
traditional Jewish group dances you see in the movies. But then something
horrible happened - Cathy Andrews started bleeding profusely. Something was
horribly wrong with her pregnancy.
Altaf's mother is a pediatric nurse and she knew instantly
what was wrong. Altaf wasn't wasting any time - he
insisted on driving her to Yale University Hospital, which was just three
blocks away. What a way to interrupt a wedding! We were all in shock. It wasn't
long before the whole group of us ended up over at Yale Medical Center, which sure wasn't equipped to handle the few
hundred of us who descended on them en
much posturing, Randy's parents finally convinced all of us to return to the
hotel, where they made arrangements for all who wanted to stay over to do so at
their expense. They would make sure we were all kept informed with frequent
progress reports from the hospital. Needless to say, the charter flight that
was supposed to return with most of the wedding attendees left that evening
with less than half its passengers. Most everyone who didn't have to return
home was staying at least overnight. Kurt and I each called our senators to let
them know we'd be at least a day delayed in our return. They were
more than understanding. David and Jeremy called Will to let him know of
their delay as well.
wasn't until after midnight that we finally got word back from the hospital.
Both baby and mother were fine, although Cathy ended up having to have an
hysterectomy to keep her from bleeding to death. She'd had a healthy baby boy
who was in surprisingly good shape for an infant born nearly two months early.
We'd all be able to go see mother and child come morning, but only in small
and I slept fitfully - we were so keyed up with everything that had happened -
but we were up early Monday morning to see Cathy. Before getting ready, we
called over to the hospital to see when we would be able to see her, and were
informed there was so much interest that we had to sign up for a time slot. They
were actually taking reservations! We figured we'd better coordinate our visit
with David and Jeremy, so we woke them up and opened the connecting doors
between our rooms. Soon we had a very groggy and naked David and Jeremy in our room - not that we didn't
see them that way every day at Webster Hall, but it was still very funny.
the hospital back, we were surprised to find that visitation times were already
solidly booked through 3:10 that afternoon. They were allowing visitors blocks of ten minutes each, with no more than two
visitors at a time so as not to wear poor Cathy out. We booked 3:10 for Dave
and Jer, and 3:20 for Kurt and me. Checkout was at
noon, so we'd have to check our luggage with the bell captain. That still left
us a hell of a lot of time to kill, but there was little reason for us to stay
another night. We then reserved an early evening train back to DC, so we could
still salvage the rest of the week.
arrangements complete, we showered and dressed in comfortable clothes, and then
packed up our stuff. We were way too keyed up
to go back to sleep, even though we felt exhausted, and hardly in the mood to make love, so we headed downstairs and
grabbed some breakfast.
now, the shops were all opening, so we spent our time just browsing the shops
in and around the hotel, then checked out at noon, browsed some more of the
shops and finally, when it was time, headed to the Medical Center.
We all stopped briefly on the Pediatrics floor to see
if we could catch a glimpse of Cathy's baby in the Neonatal ICU. They did allow
us to look in through a window, but he was so tiny in his incubator, there
wasn't much we could see. We continued on to the Gynecology floor, where Cathy was staying, and at the appointed time, David and Jeremy
went inside just as Paul Levine and Sam Arnold came out of the room.
it `s good to see you guys," Paul said to us as he slipped his arm around his
boyfriend's waist. "You been taking good care of my
you have to do is look at the website to know it," I said in retort. "You know,
the website that didn't even exist when I joined."
hardly even was a GSA when I started
out," Paul chided me."
I know, man. We're all grateful for everything you did." I said as I held up my
hands. "Had it not been for you, the GSA would have never gained traction.
Without a strong GSA, David and Jeremy would have never come out . . . well, Jer was outed, but that's beside
the point. Having someone charismatic like David being out was the spark that
lit the flame. He made it cool to be
out. He paved the way for me to come
out, and to take over as GSA president when you graduated.
to your paving the way, Will Smith and Jim Wilson, two football jocks came out,
and Will's brother, Barry joined the GSA . . . he's my VP, man. We have more
straight members than gay members, and that's all your doing.
get me wrong . . . I'm proud of what I've done with the GSA website. It's a top
ten resource for gay teens, nationwide . . . maybe even worldwide, but I could
have never gotten there had it not been for you."
a good guy, Trevor," Paul said, "and I really was just kidding you. I've heard that David's brother's trying to
get GSAs started in all the middle schools. That's a
pretty gutsy move, particularly for a straight boy."
don't know how well you know Brad, if at all," I said, "but he's very much a
younger version of his older brother. He's going places, too. He has the same,
`Take me as I am or leave me,' attitude, but in some ways he's more pragmatic.
I fully expect to see them both in
politics some day.
what's the story between you and Sam," I asked, nodding in Sam's direction.
time, it was Sam who answered. "We were both miserable. We were pursuing our
life dreams separately, but it meant nothing if we were apart. We thought we were doing the right thing . . . that we would
always regret it if we didn't follow through with our original plans. What a
crock of shit that turned out to be!"
transferring to the University of Rochester in the fall," Paul explained. "The
Eastman School of Music is still second to none, so Sam's still getting the
education he's always wanted, and as far as I'm concerned, what good is an
education from MIT if I flunk out because all I can think about is how much I
miss Sam? Besides, the reality is that at MIT, the classes are humongous,
you're taught mostly by TAs because the professors don't give a shit, and even
then, they eat up and chew out young professors, just because they're MIT and
can get away with it.
a small school that actually cares about their faculty and that goes the extra
mile for their students because they have to, to attract the best. The classes are actually taught by professors as well
as TAs and the class sizes are much more reasonable. You can actually get to
know your professors and they try to keep their professors around a while. The
atmosphere is so much more collegial. I know I'm going to enjoy it there a
whole lot more than I did in Boston, and it's not just because Sam will be
there's one other thing, too," Sam added. "Even though New York State doesn't
allow gay marriage, they recognize it, so if we marry here in Connecticut or in
Massachusetts, New York will recognize us as a legally married couple, so
attending school together in Rochester is just as good from a gay marriage
standpoint as it is in Boston."
sounds wonderful," I agreed.
me in the ribs, Kurt whispered to me, "You sure you still want to go to MIT?"
back, I told him, "Comp Sci's a little different than
Engineering. Although I'm sure many of the same issues remain, as long as
you're there by my side, the MIT degree's worth a little hassle."
then, the door opened, signifying it was our turn to see Cathy.
was great talking to you guys," Kurt chimed in, just before we entered the
room, leaving David and Jer to talk to our old
we entered the room, I was surprised, and pleased, to see that Debbie was there, and that she and Cathy were holding hands. It was
actually Debbie who spoke first by saying, "Trevor, Kurt, it's so good to see
great to see the both of you," Kurt said.
are you doing, Cathy? How's the little one?" I asked as I took her wan hand in
mine. She looked so pale, but she looked up at me and she smiled.
you've always been one of my closest friends. I want to thank you for saving my
fiancé's life. I couldn't imagine going through this without her, now."
fiancé?" I asked.
she answered with the most radiant smile I'd seen on her face since she and
Debbie had broken up. "I've done some pretty foolish things, but getting
pregnant pales in comparison to breaking up with Debbie in the first place.
Debbie is my soul mate. She always has been, and always will be. She'll make a
wonderful mother for young Timothy Lawrence, and any other children we may
choose to have someday. We belong together, so we've decided to get married.
know it's short notice, but we've arranged to get married this Friday evening
at the same hotel where Randy and Altaf were
crap!" Kurt exclaimed.
understand if you can't make it," Debbie said calmly. "We know you work."
we'll be there," Kurt countered. "We'll definitely be
there, one way or the other. A wedding happens only once in your life, God
willing. We wouldn't miss it for anything."
sentiments exactly," I added.
ceremony's not until 8:00," Debbie clarified, "which should make it easier for
people to attend."
like Randy and Altaf's prayer service," I noted.
"That's perfect . . . we can still get in a good six hours' worth of work in
the morning before we catch the train. The senators can hardly complain about
that. Thanks for being so considerate . . . and I think this is terrific news. . . .
tell me about . . . what was his name again?" I asked.
Lawrence," Cathy answered. "We named him after two of our closest friends."
yeah," I said, "Tim and Larry, your `boyfriends' for all those years. You know
they had a very good reason for keeping their relationship a secret, just as
you did, don't you?"
I do," Cathy confided, "but I really used to think they were straight."
I said, "It's funny, I don't know why, but kids feel comfortable coming out to me.
There must be nearly a dozen closeted kids even now who have taken me into
their confidence and told me and no one else that they're gay. I have done
everything I can to help them to open up . . . to teachers, clergy and parents
. . . anyone who might be able to help them without violating their trust, but
often I'm the only one they'll trust enough to unload upon."
it's quite a burden, but I don't know anyone who's handled it better," Kurt
said as he gave me a quick peck on the lips.
can sure attest to that," Debbie said with a smile.
then, there was a knock on the door. Sighing, Debbie said, "Well, it looks like it's time for the next couple. Anyway, have a safe
trip back to Washington."
girls," I said.
luck with the wedding plans," Kurt added. "We'll see you on Friday."
we exited the room, waiting outside were a bunch of people - the entire Wilson
clan from what we could see, including Will and Barry Smith, Will's boyfriend,
the boyfriend's sisters and parents and Barry's latest girlfriend. I wondered
if all of them were going in to visit, or if only some of them were going in as
the designated visitors.
we left the hospital, I asked David and Jeremy if they were planning to attend
the wedding on Friday. "Are you shitting me?" David answered. "We wouldn't miss
it even if the world came to an end."
here," I agreed, "so let's see if we can make a room reservation when we get
back to the hotel, and then we can plan to take the same train up next Friday."
like a plan," David concurred.
we got back to the hotel, Mr. Credit Card himself, Jeremy headed straight for
the front desk to make the room reservation while the rest of us retrieved the
luggage. "All set," was all he said moments later as we walked the few short
blocks to the Amtrak station. Since we had time until our train arrived, we
made our reservations and bought our tickets for Friday's wedding as well. We'd
take an early afternoon train from DC to New Haven on Friday, arriving just in
time for the wedding, stay overnight to sleep off the effects of any reception,
sleep in and then return on an early afternoon train to DC on Saturday.
all we had to do was buy a gift. . . .
as we were, it was scarcely a day later that we all found ourselves headed out
on the Red Line train to White Flint, with Will leading the way in search of
another perfect gift.
to me again why we aren't just heading across the Potomac to Pentagon City?" I asked.
nothing wrong with Pentagon City,
Trev," Will explained, "The Fashion Mall is fine . . . it's your typical Simon Mall . . ."
know the Simons," Jeremy interrupted."
am I not surprised?" David sighed."
live on a huge estate, on Ditch Road, between 106th and 116 Streets, near the McMansion your parents almost bought," he added.
we were almost neighbors," David said sarcastically.
dad does a lot of business with them, and they share a lot of clients. He
considers them friends, although I'm not really sure why," Jeremy added. "I
think I see what Will's saying, though. The Simons build a nice, generic, Main
Street-killing mall. Nothing to write home about."
Will agreed. "The anchors at Pentagon
City are Macy's and Nordstrom, which are nice stores,
particularly Nordstrom, but you're
probably looking for something a bit more up-scale for a wedding gift. You can
always go back there if you don't find what you're looking for where we're going.
anchor stores at White Flint are Bloomingdales and Lord and Taylor, and there are a whole lot of really nice specialty
shops at White Flint. It's truly the
nicest, richest mall in the metro area. And if you don't find what you're
looking for there, on the way back, there's the Mazza Gallerie right here at Friendship Heights, right on the DC
line. The anchor stores here are Nieman
Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. As
you can see, you have lots of options."
first order of business is food!" Kurt blurted out. "I'm starving!"
a very nice, upscale food court at White
Flint," Will suggested, "but I have something much better in mind . . . my
treat . . . and we're almost there. We'll get off at the next stop after this
were, literally, stopped at the Friendship Heights metro station at the moment
and people had just finished boarding. The door chimes sounded and we all heard
the standard announcement, "Doors closing . . . please stand clear of the
train lurched forward and after a moment, the announcement came overhead, "Next
the train came to a stop, we all got off and headed to the exit. Inserting our
metro farecards as we'd all gotten used to doing, we
exited the turnstiles and headed up a short escalator, then approached the
longest escalator I'd ever seen in my life.
isn't it?" Will said as we all stepped onto it, "And it isn't even the longest
one in the system." He motioned for all of us to stand over to the right and I
was flabbergasted when some people passed us on the left and started walking up
the escalator steps. How could anyone hike up such a steep incline? The
escalator had to be at least five or six stories high, but some people were
we got to the top, there was another short escalator, and then we were in a
courtyard among a complex of buildings. The smell was incredible - I definitely
smelled Chinese food, and Italian, and maybe Thai, and French . . .
think I'm smelling hundreds of restaurants," I said.
you are, Trevor," Will said. "Welcome to Downtown Bethesda, restaurant capitol
of metro DC.
what's your fancy? We've got Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese,
Ethiopian, Nigerian, Generic Mediterranean, Lebanese, Persian, French, Italian,
German and others. Oh yes, and some of them are even vegetarian. I've got a
Lebanese vegetarian, an Afghan vegetarian, a Japanese vegetarian and a couple
of American vegetarian selections, so what'll it be?" Will asked.
David said, "It sounds like you really did your homework on my behalf. Since
time is of the essence, what do you think would be the fastest?"
the American style grill, not only is it closest, but it's a diner and has
great service, and there are many types of selections that even meat eaters
will like, too."
all agreed it sounded great, so that's where we headed. The food was excellent,
it was reasonably priced and the service was fast. In no time at all, we were
back on the Metro and headed to White Flint. In a way, it was a shame we didn't
have more time to spend in Bethesda. It certainly smelled like there were many
great restaurants there that were worthy of checking out.
White Flint Mall was definitely one of the most elegant enclosed shopping malls I'd ever seen.
We spent some time browsing the general gift sections of Bloomingdales and Lord and
Taylor, just to get some ideas, and then we started working our way around
the various smaller stores of the mall. The trouble was, we didn't have any
idea what to get the girls. At the same time, we needed to get a baby gift,
too, and wondered if we should get a wedding gift that served both purposes,
but nixed that idea rather quickly. Cathy and Debbie deserved a true wedding
gift, so that meant shopping for two gifts, which made our work doubly difficult. At least with Randy and Altaf, we'd had plenty of time to think on it.
is ridiculous," Will said, "The stores will all be closing in like, a half
hour, and you guys are no closer to having an idea of what to get your friends
than you were when we left The District a few hours ago."
we should just give them a gift certificate to Saks Fifth Avenue," Kurt suggested. "I mean, it's not like we had much advance warning anyway, so they could hardly blame
would be so lame," Jeremy countered. "Could we at least get the baby gift
tonight? I saw a toy store with some huge stuffed animals that would be perfect
for the kid, particularly as he gets a little older. What do you guys think
about that as a start?"
good to me," I said.
back to the store, we all settled on a large stuffed kangaroo with a smaller
baby kangaroo inside the pouch. It was adorable, and the two together were just
under a hundred dollars, plus another $25 to have it shipped back home. It was
a perfect baby gift from the four of us.
still left us with the wedding gift to buy, and the stores were about to close.
to sleep on it and give it another try tomorrow?" Will suggested.
choice do we have?" David sighed.
must be someplace else we can try to
shop for what we're looking for. Let's all give it some thought overnight," I
added, but then another thought occurred to me as we all boarded the Metro for
our return home, as the sound of the door chime and `Doors Closing' fading into
the background. "You know," I said, "when Debbie and Cathy lived on their own
when their parents first kicked them out, they had absolutely nothing. They
slept on an air mattress, and sat on folding chairs. They may be a little
better off now that their parents have accepted the relationship, but they'll
still probably be getting their own place, and starting out with almost
been living with their parents, and they're gonna want to get their own place
again, particularly as they head off to college. They'll need everything, from
sheets, to dishes, to towels, and even a comforter to go on their bed. Heck,
they'll even need a bed, as they sure won't want to sleep on an air mattress
why a lot of couples set up gift registries," Will chimed in. "They pick out
the things they know they're going to need, and even choose the patterns of the
china they want, so people can get them what they really want."
Debbie and Cathy didn't have time to do that," David sighed.
really nice comforter would be perfect, and in the right price range," Jeremy
suggested, "but I'd hate to second-guess their tastes, and what if it doesn't
match their color scheme?"
we all sound so gay?" I laughed. "Seriously, I like the idea of a comforter,
but Jer's right . . . the style and color scheme is a personal thing. Given the fact that we
didn't have much notice, I think we're justified in giving a gift certificate.
I think it's the best solution, and it would allow them to get something they
really want and need. What would make it special and unique is the choice of
"Saks Fifth Avenue has nice things, and a
great selection, and they're right in the Fashion
Mall at Keystone at the Crossing," Jeremy suggested.
thought you said that would be lame," Kurt reminded Jeremy.
I changed my mind," Jeremy replied.
but $500 doesn't go very far at Saks,"
Kurt pointed out, bless his heart. That was exactly what I was thinking, too.
"We are talking $500, aren't we?" he
went on to confirm. We all nodded and vocalized the affirmative.
they could fill their home with a whole lot of shit from Bed Bath and Beyond or Target,"
Will pointed out, "but that's not exactly the sort of stuff you'd want someone
to remember you for, twenty years from now."
was thinking of something a bit more in the mid-range," I suggested. "Macy's is a possibility, but I was
thinking of Nordstrom's, now that we
have a store downtown back home. Nordstrom's is definitely more upscale than Macy's,
but down to earth compared to Saks or Bloomingdales and its ilk. The nice
thing about Nordstrom's is that if
they don't have what you're looking for, they'll go the extra mile to get it
for you. And since there's a store right over in Pentagon City, it'll be very easy for us to take care of it. A gift
certificate from Nordstrom's would be classy . . . not tacky."
could take care of it tomorrow after work," Jeremy volunteered. "I'd be more
than happy to do it."
go with you," David added, "We can make it a date, have dinner, take in a
movie, get some snuggling time."
mind if we double-date?" I asked.
guys are always welcome, Trevor,"
David answered. "You don't even have to ask. You guys are our best friends in
the world. We'll all pick out a movie when we get back to Webster."
we talked about some of the movies we were interested in seeing, I noticed that
Will was staring down at the floor.
you and your girlfriend like to go with us, Will?" I asked.
you kidding?" he laughed. "The last thing Sherrie would want to do is triple
date with a bunch of `high school faggots'." Putting up his hands, he said,
"Her words, not mine." The look on his face spoke volumes.
to Randy and Altaf's wedding, Debbie and Cathy's was almost anticlimactic. Theirs by necessity was a
much simpler affair, even though it was held in the same hotel. I was amazed at
how many of our friends either stayed for the entire week so they could attend
their wedding, or returned as we did to attend it as well.
so soon after her surgery, Cathy still looked pale, but she was positively
radiant, nonetheless. Both brides were given away by their fathers, and both
chose to have best men at their side - Larry in Debbie's case and Tim in
Cathy's. Larry and Tim were themselves a gay couple who would be getting
married over the Christmas break. It was an odd juxtaposition on this day,
however, seeing two brides and two men in formal attire at their sides - it
truly looked like a double wedding.
and Cathy literally cried when they saw the gift certificate. "You don't know
how much this means to us, guys," Cathy said. "There's so much we're going to
need for our new household. It's hard to know where to even begin. This is
absolutely perfect. I absolutely love shopping at Nordstrom's . . ."
do, too," Debbie interrupted.
would have never shopped there ordinarily, because it's just so pricey . . .
not like, Bloomingdales or Saks Fifth Avenue, but Nordstrom's is just a luxury we can't
afford right now except for an occasional sale."
I think my better half is trying to say," Debbie continued, "is that thanks to
you, we can now afford to buy a few nice things at Nordstrom's for our place. Thanks a million, guys. You're all
terrific." She then leaned over and kissed each of us on the cheek, and Cathy
did the same.
wedding reception was a simple, but elegant dinner without dancing, since Cathy
wasn't up to dancing, yet. After the dinner, Kurt and I retired to our room and
took full advantage of our privacy. Unless we wanted to go to a dive back in
Washington, this could well be the last chance we'd get to make love until we
returned home. Needless to say, we didn't get much sleep in spite of the late
checkout time, and ended up sleeping most of the way back on the train to
Washington. It seemed to me that David and Jeremy did the same.
awaited us back in Washington, however, was far from the peaceful rest we'd
been expecting. When we got back to our room in Webster Hall, we found it
crawling with federal agents. They'd already seized our laptops and the moment
we entered our room, they showed us their search warrant and demanded we turn
over the overnight bags we had with us, too. They'd pretty much tossed the
place. This did not bode well. . . .
*For Debbie and Cathy's story and more details of Randy and Altaf's wedding, please see my 2009 Summer Anthology story, The Future Starts Now.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the invaluable assistance of Alastair in proofreading our stories, as well as Gay Authors, Awesome Dude and Codey's World for hosting them.