Quasi-suburbia in June is a hot and torrid Shangri-La for row after row of lawn sprinklers. The water from them drenches the sidewalks of the quiet, historical side of the city of Peekskill. Earthworms crawl from their earthen refuges in between the cracks to bake in the heat. The smell of freshly cut grass attacks the olfactory glands in a fury of sharpness. In the 90-degree June weather, half-naked children dance around these sprinklers like Amazons, trampling on the freshly cut grass, and ignoring the nation of earthworms stuck to their bare feet. As their mothers call them at noon, they run home, unknowingly vandalizing spider webs as they jump up and down, trying to reach the apples on the side of the street. .
The child is gone. Mike thought this as he walked home from school on an idle June afternoon. Sixteen years, six months, and seven days of life had made this boy forty, a sage among his fellow teenagers. His pace was fast, stepping out of the range of the Walsh's turtle-shaped sprinkler, and hoping to get into the house to escape the intensity of the heat. Looking at the sky, he grimaced. It was clouded over, giving the impression that a blessing of rain was to come. And yet, for two days, it had been like it was today, and not a single drop had ever come to provide relief for the students stuck in classrooms without air conditioning, much less windows that opened properly. This whole charade of clouds, not providing a suitable enough reprieve from the June heat, angered the boy as he fumbled for his keys in the back pocket of his Eastpak. And yet he knew, much to his dismay, that he did not have control over the weather. Nearing the end of his third year in high school, Mike was just starting to regain mastery over the reigns of his life. Good things were happening, and the reason that they were happening was because he was making them do so. His newfound control had led him to audition for his school's production of "Fiddler on the Roof", forcing him to sing, dance, and act--things he had never done before, not even in the confines of his room. In the process of doing so, he had found a natural knack for the art, and therefore discovering a renewal of self-faith and self-esteem. Somehow after he graduated from middle school in the eight-grade, he had lost confidence in himself. Even though he was the student in his class to receive the most awards and furthermore the most praises for all of his accomplishments, Mike never felt fulfilled. He was a die-hard perfectionist, even more so today as he entered his room immediately feeling the heat that had risen from the first floor. The fan he turned on along with the CD player to play tunes from Fiddler. "Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match, find me a find, catch me a catch..." He laughed as he sang lying down in his bed feeling content and tired after the day of review for final exams. His eyelids started growing heavy while he lay back, head on a pillow, staring at his blue ceiling. Life was sweet, he thought, there is to be less than a week left of school and then the summer to look forward to. As sleep began to pervade his consciousness, he thought of all the people he would miss over the three-month reprieve, of the classes, especially orchestra, in which he played the viola. He sighed, as he thought about that class, especially how horrible the violinists were, and particularly of that cellist, that one brave sleepy-eyed soul that decided to not follow the rest of his friends and stay, the sole cello player of his high school orchestra.
Downstairs in the kitchen the family was gathered around the table. Mike's father sat at the head, flanked by his mother, his two sisters, Julianne and Victoria, taking the side seats. Ryan was still at school; busily making up missed work. A nervous breakdown in school had forced the boy to be admitted to the hospital for a one-week excursion from the stresses of home and class. Mike was still asleep in his room as the Fiddler fiddled his tunes on the radio, and while his computer downloaded the latest version of Netscape. They sat there, with silence breathing in and out of them, attacking their buttered peas and chicken legs. The little girls left the table early to catch a show on the Tele, deserting two half-plates of peas to be left for Mike. Only when the hastily eaten dinner came to a conclusion did the remaining seated start a conversation. "You need to call AT&T and talk to them about the bill. They never told us that Poughkeepsie was out of our unlimited calling range," said Lourdes, sighing as she set her plate in the sink. Her husband, a man of forty-two, complete with graying hair and a pot belly, replied, "Why don't you do it since you're so good at talking?" When he realized what he had said, he apologized, "You know I didn't mean it that way. It's just that you're so much better at dealing with these types of matters." Ignoring him she proceeded up the stairs leading to the second floor, "Do it. We can't pay for that bill. If you want me to call, then you wash and dry the clothes, iron them, and when you're done, give the girls a bath, wash the dishes, and vacuum our room." Angered, the man rose, only to fall back down again into his seat. He grabbed his crutches and walked to the den, trying not to put any pressure on his left knee, which was newly operated on. In a grimace of pain, he sat down, and picked up the phone.
"Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, God took a Daniel once again...stood by his side and miracle of miracles, walked him through the lions' den..." The sound of his computer logging him off his Internet service woke the boy up from his slumber. Hastily Mike turned off his radio and flicked his monitor on. Ninety-nine percent downloaded. The little papers were still flying on that little box window in his computer despite the fact that his Internet provider's main window read, "Thank you, log on again soon." Ninety-nine percent downloaded. What an annoyance, he thought, it was that he didn't have his own phone line. His computer he flicked off without bothering to log off, knowing that the haphazardness of the acts will have its consequences later. Pulling on some shorts, he turned off the fan, pushed in his desk chair, and opened the shades. It was a beautiful day outside, and yet boiling hot. A view of the woods outside his window was a temporary reprieve from the anger he felt against the unknown assault on his Internet download. He considered the fact that he should become the second Thoreau and go into a hermitage at Walden Pond when he remembered that he had an ass to grill. It was probably his brother, Ryan, calling one of his many girlfriends again. Tina, Jenny, Olga, anyone...pick any girl's name and Mike's playboy of a seventh grade brother would know her, that is, if she attended Blue Mountain Middle School. Ha...girls, he thought, such a waste. Boobs were aesthetically pleasing to him, however, but not sexually arousing. He tried incessantly to stimulate himself while watching his dad's copies of greasy porn flicks from the 1970s but found himself staring at the men more than at the lusciously spread, sky-clad painted whores. But he kept his options open. He was a junior, soon to be a senior, in high school, still in the closet and deemed "straight" and full of talent by his incognizant parents. Little did they know... Perhaps, though, some girl might come into his life and change his outlook on the concept of vagina. Until then, it was men that floated his boat, tickled his pickle, and mooed his cow.
Peeking into his brother's empty room, he remembered that Ryan had stayed after school. Now that it was narrowed down that one of his parents probably picked up the phone, Mike grew disappointed at the fact that he now had nobody to scream at. Sullenly he walked downstairs and grabbed a Kool-Aid squeeze bottle from his freezer. The coldness of the kitchen, due to the massive air conditioner chilling the whole floor from the living room, along with the drink, refreshed him. He slumped into the couch and turned the Tele on. No shows. Oh, but Carson Daly was on MTV. What a hottie, he thought. But oh, he goes out with that really happy girl. What a waste of a man made to be a queen. The basement door opened and from the netherworld emerged Mike's father. "I thought I told you not to go online right after school," the father said, "important people might call us from that time until ten p.m." He was tempted to say, "Oh, important eh? Important as in those women you cheated on Mom with, eh? Asshole." But he shut his mouth and just nodded, paying attention to the flickering images on the screen. The behemoth ascended the stairs to the second floor and in a few seconds returned with a folder. Mike immediately noticed it as one of his school folders he had been given at the beginning of the year. He had always wondered what happened to that folder because one day in December it had just disappeared from his drawer. When he remembered what was in that folder, he quickly assessed the situation and looked for a safe exit.
There was no exit. "Faggot." Mike lay on the floor crying, trying to gather up the strewn pictures of his childhood fantasies into his hands. Why, he wondered would he do this now, at such a point in his life where he did not need it? He wanted to die, and he probably was though, as he was bleeding profusely from a wound caused by a wineglass that his father had thrown at him. Why, he begged to a god that he did not fully believe in, was he forced to live in a household where his voice was not heard? Yes, other people had it worse than him, he realized, but at the same time, he wanted to feel selfish and cry. In the shower, the cold water didn't relieve any of the mental anguish and physical pain that accompanied the episode before the Tele. Getting into his deep and pensive thoughts again, Mike felt trapped. He felt that his arms and legs were held back by something, as if they were glued to an invisible wall, or rather, a spider web held him fast in its sticky embrace. He wanted to go out, be free from his house, his mother who loved fiercely, and his father who loved abusively. He wanted to get away from his violent brother with the mental problem, and his sisters that were quick to learn all the street language and mannerisms from the same brother. He wanted to get away from it all, to be free, to be loved unconditionally, and to feel love for someone that way. What a stupid idea, he thought, as the cold water cascaded down his back. Love. What he needed at that moment, or so he thought, was a telephone to file physical abuse claims against his father. He turned off the shower and smiled. Though he hated his father sometimes, he understood that...actually, he didn't know what he understood, and he didn't know why he didn't bust his father's ass. All he knew was that his mother loved the man, and out of respect for her wishes to keep the family together, he was keeping his mouth shut. What a selfish person he thought he was at that point. Light's off and the towel pulled off the rack to dry his shivering body. He opened the bathroom door and heard the phone ringing in his room.
"Mom, I need a check for $56...for my viola rental," asked the boy with the wet hair, "Mr. Andrews called a few minutes ago. You didn't pay for it yet." His mom was sitting at the black kitchen table, eating a Danish pastry filled with fruit. In between gulps of frosty milk she managed to say, "I remember issuing a check for 50 something dollars in September! What is your teacher talking about?" "I don't know. I asked him to check his receipt copies and he didn't find my name in the book. Maybe you paid for Ryan's cello rental back then and thought it was for me. I just need a check mom, please?" "Ok, manong, I'll leave it on the kitchen table."
The next morning, Mike rose early, despite protests from the rest of his body. On the kitchen table he found a check made out to the Hudson River High School Treasurer for fifty-six dollars. He looked out his front door's window and, to his dismay, found that his mom had left for work already. His choices were simple. He either had to walk to the school, which was several miles away, or ask his slumbering father for a ride. Crossing his fingers, Mike chose the latter and knocked politely on his parents' bedroom. "Good morning, Dad, can you please give me a ride to the school?" To his surprise, his father was awake and watching TV, not snoring under the plain green comforter. The man nodded his head and said, "Ok, be ready in five minutes. I'll be in the car." Fifteen minutes later, Mike found himself at the piazza of his high school building. The parking lot was empty save for a few cars, which dotted the concrete, like multi-hued flies on a bleached-white skeleton of a fish. "Please pick me up at ten," implored Mike, "and thanks, dad." He shut the car door and entered the school, heading towards the basement, where the orchestra suite was located. Through the empty halls he could hear echoes of his footsteps. On occasion, the scraping of rusty floor-waxers run by custodians would pervade the silence. The plastic wooden door opened and in entered the viola player to the orchestra suite. "Hey there, Mr. Andrews, I've got your check. Sorry about the delay...but sir, it's not as if these violas were that good quality anyways." The teacher, a 5'10" cellist slash high school orchestra conductor replied, "True, true, definitely true. Besides, ALL of the instruments are already paid for. The school board just wants more money...as if they didn't have enough already in their own pockets." "And where does all this money go?" asked the student, "Have we seen anything down here since I came here three years ago? No. What a bunch of idiots those imbeciles are. Haha, Mr. A., idiot and imbecile...two words you know well." Andrews threw a piece of chalk at the laughing boy and said, "Oh shut up and give me the envelope. Oh, and next time you want to come in, do knock. For crissakes you scared the bejesuz out of me and for all I know, you could have walked into me naked." Mike stopped laughing, looked at his semi-bald teacher, and imagined him with his shirt off and his potbelly, dancing around crying, "Damn, I'm sexy!" He laughed. "What a disgusting scenario that would be." Suddenly, the door to the computer room in the suite opened and there emerged Clay Bolier, the sole cellist in the high school orchestra. The two boys jumped at the sight of each other, and after the initial shyness greeted each other. They had never really talked to each other throughout the course of the year. Ever since last year's seniors had graduated, Clay was left as the only cello player in the orchestra. Mike felt bad for the poor French boy and even wished he could learn the cello just to help him out. But he was already trying to keep the viola and violin sections afloat under the huge loss of last year's class. Andrews noticed Mike's sudden quietness as Clay entered the room and queried jokingly, "What happened Mike? Choking on something you shouldn't be choking on again, eh?" "Shut up, sir, or rather, Madame, and go eat some food. Enjoy your summer, Mr. Andrews, and you too, Clay," replied Mike, not making eye contact to either of the seated men. He got up to walk to the door when Clay suddenly burst through and asked, "Hey, Mike...wait up. Do you have a car?" "No, not really. My father drove me here today." "Ohh," said Clay as he sat back down, "it's ok, never mind." Not passing an opportunity to help out a friend, Mike replied, "We'd love to give you a ride." He then realized he had sounded too eager and then added, "Only if you sit on my lap, of course." "Michael, please keep your desires for Clement here outside of school," jorted Andrews, "In my book, you'll burn in Hell once you die." "Mr. A., just because you like men doesn't mean everyone else does. Oh and stop your Bible preaching and eat your toe, for crying out loud, I can get ya fired you know" laughed Mike, "come on Clay, my dad's waiting. Enjoy your summer, Mr. A., don't eat too much." Oh, the thoughts that were flying through Mike's head the moment he left the orchestra suite with the cute little French boy by his side! He wanted to grab him by the sides, and make wild, passionate love to him with vigor so passionate and intense that even his insatiable little horny self would be satisfied. But no, he had to hold on to his penis for just a little longer or at least until he truly found out what Clay was like. Besides, it's not as if he would have done anything had he found out Clay was gay. If ever such a situation was to be, the shyness in him would have prevented him from doing anything until Clay would make a move. But now the only moving the boy was doing was following the other with the dirty thoughts towards the foyer.
"Ah, man, he's not here! What time is it, Clay?" asked Mike in disgust. "Fifteen after ten," replied the Clay. "Shit, man, he couldn't wait. Do you have a quarter so I can call him?" Clay dug into his jean shorts, fished out a quarter, and flipped it over to the worried junior. "Thanks, man. Stay here, I'll be back in a second." Mike ran to the public phone inside the building. His thoughts were in a flurry. On one side, he was angered by the fact that his father either did not stay long enough for him to go out or show up at all. On the other hand, he was with Clay, the boy that had inflamed his loins for so many nights. Of course, he wasn't sure what exactly was going to happen; he only hoped that he would end up in bed with Clay. His thoughts only caused him to get more excited, thus provoking a response from his crotch. With his right index finger, he pressed the buttons for his house, and with his left hand, he strove to quench his dick's hunger. "Hello, dad, it's me, Mike. I know, I know...I'm sorry, we ended up talking about renting my viola for the summer. All the clocks were turned off for the summer." Mike stopped stroking his dick. It was fully hard by now, straining against his Old Navies. "No, dad, come on! I was only fifteen minutes late! Dad? Dad?!!" He took his hand out of his pants and put down the phone slowly. His father had hung up on him. Big deal. It looked, though, that he was in for a good exercise. He only hoped that Clay would be in the same mood to go along with him. Hell, he didn't even know where the boy lived! As he walked to the foyer, he pondered the possible excuses he could tell Clay. Perhaps he would tell him that his father had been caught up in some business at home, or that his mother was too engrossed with his sister's activities to pick him up. Or perhaps not. Clay didn't give him the opportunity to lie once more because he seemed to judge, from Mike's countenance, the situation. "Father hung up on you, I see," smiled Clay, "don't worry, it happens to me all the time." "I'm really sorry, dude, I didn't mean to leave you stranded along with me." Clay laughed, "Ha! Me worry? Please. Come on with me down to the phone. I can call my girlfriend and she can give us both rides." Mike saw red. He had heard the dreaded 'g' word and would have melted on the spot had Clay not pulled him by the arm towards the telephone. "Let me see...Mike...dammit, man, I can't remember...73...9...24...no, it's 25...42...yes!" Clay's conversation on the telephone was typical of a boyfriend's parlance towards his significant other. Mike faced opposite of Clay and tried to conceal his disappointment at hearing the words that were coming from his quasi-obsession's mouth. He started walking slowly towards the door until Clay caught up with him. Together they exited the school and sat on the steps to wait for Helene, the bitch of which Mike already had ill feelings towards.
"Mike, hun, you need a man, your dick is all wubbied up because you're being so damn shy," squealed Ruth, "and I think I have the right guy for you." "Ya know what," Mike implored his best friend, "I'm beginning to regret outing myself to you. If you're going to be introd..." "No need to worry, babe, this guy, ugh, he's gorgeous. If he was straight I'd accidentally trip and fuck him. But then he's not...so you can do the tripping yourself! He'll be here in five minutes." "WHAT?!!!" "That's right, babe, make yourself pretty...now shoo, I've got some legs to shave." Mike ran from the room in a flurry of teen angst and locked himself into the bathroom. Quickly he adjusted his hair, rinsed his face, dabbed a couple of drops of essential oils on his wrists and ear lobes, and straightened out his clothes. He opened the door to face a complete stranger. Ruth jumped from behind the stranger and said, "Mike, this is Vinny. Vinny this is Mike. Now go talk." The fag hag pushed them both into a room and closed the door behind them. The awkwardness of the situation made Mike quieter than he normally was. And as they sat, Indian-style, across from each other, all that came out of his mouth was a few incomprehensible "uh's" and "a-duh's". Vinny finally broke the silence with a disparate, "I know you don't like me already," and looked away. Mike was taken by this and declared, "Oh no!" And thus the ice was broken. Two hours later, Ruth opened the door to find the two joking about the trivialities of high school. She felt rather proud to have brought such two smart little gay boys together. "Boys, momma Ruth says it's time for you's to go. So scat!" She smiled and handed each boy his belongings. To Mike she whispered, "I wanna know all about it tomorrow, k?" Mike smiled, blew a kiss, and mouthed a "thank you" as he left the house with Vinny.
As they neared his home, Mike apologized for being so quiet earlier during the night. He thought that he didn't provide enough entertainment for the latter boy, who had, of course, thought otherwise. Mike's insecurity had begun to bother him. Besides taken aback by the boy's inherent appearance, he was also itching with the desire to grab this boy and just plain outright kiss him. And thus he did so, while the car was stopped at a red light. Mike jumped back and tried to recoil at the seductiveness of the situation. He eased into it eventually just as Vinny pulled back, and as the light turned green. "Woah," whispered Mike, breathless, "wow." "Good, ain't it?" asked Vinny. "Very. I'd like to try it more," Mike replied foolishly. After all, he had never kissed a girl or a guy in his 16 years of life. Couldn't he make up for it all in just one night? He wanted to find out. Vinny pulled over in front of a darkened church and shut off the engines. He caressed Mike's face with his right hand and pulled it closer towards his. Gently he kissed the boy's forehead, nose, and finally, his mouth. Both lips parted open and Mike was introduced to the world of French kissing. Wanting, and needing, to feel what a male body besides his felt like, Mike lifted off Vinny's shirt and started caressing his hard chest, toying with the nipples. He had read all these books about sex, seen so many movies, and now he was actually about to experience what a taste of it was. The shirts came off, and then the pants. They moved to the back seat, two branches of a quivering tree, exploring each other's body sensually and slowly. Mike explored every sensuous curve of Vinny's anatomy, every ripple of his abdomen, following the downward path until he reached the opening of the boy's boxers. Through the cloth, he grabbed hold of the bulge that was starting to harden underneath. With his mouth, he nursed it until it was hard, almost seven inches, he judged with his inexperience. His hands eased the fabric off inch by inch, until finally Vinny's cock lay hard and thick, long and throbbing in Mike's hand. Slowly, he began stroking it, all the while staring at Vinny's piercing blue eyes in the light of the church lamps. "Does that feel good?" he implored. "Uh-huh," groaned Vinny as his breathing began to come in quicker gasps and his heart rate accelerated. Mike took the dick he was stroking and put it in his mouth. It tasted sweet, and yet sour at the same time. The taste was electrifying. As he pulled it out again he asked, "Does this feel good?" And again, Vinny replied, "Uh-huh. Oh, baby, don't stop!" So Mike complied and continued the service to this stranger he had only met several hours earlier. His cock was hard and thick--Mike found that he couldn't fit it all in his mouth. Oh, how he wanted to make this guy cum so bad! He wanted to feel the hot jizz shoot up in his mouth. How he wanted to taste the fluid, the essence of the man whose loins he was pumping at the very moment! He let the cock slip out of his mouth purposely and allowed it to plop harmlessly against Vinny's stomach. His mouth found its way further downwards to gingerly caress his balls, while, with his left hand, he stroked Vinny once more. At the base, he felt the contractions coming, the familiar tension of the crotch and heard, "Ohhh..." as Vinny's breathing came forth in pleasure-filled gasps. Mike stopped the testicular assault and moved upwards only to be stopped as the back seat held witness to the biggest teenage orgasm Mike had ever experienced in his life. Loads, if not gallons, of white hot man lava had erupted on Vinny's chest and Mike's hair. They both laughed after figuring this and as they were cleaning up it was once mentioned by Mike, "I never said I needed any hair gel."s