This story is about relationships between and among teenagers. This includes intimate relationships between young males. If you don't approve or are offended, then how come you're reading this? Go to some other Internet Site. (Of course some people actually
cultivate being offended; if that's the case, read right on). As far as detailed descriptive sex acts, I think you may find some good ones in other stories right here on Nifty, but as of now I do not envision a lot of explicit detail in this one.
If, for some legal reason, you are not allowed to read this in your area of the world because of illogical laws, again I will not ondone (publicly) anyone breaking the law, so either move or read sentence
four five. I definitely don't want the thought police after either of our derrieres.
Please, this story is sort of my property, so if you ever want to quote some of it (whatever for I wouldn't know), please e-mail me and also give proper attribution. As of now no one has permission to put this story on another Internet Site.
This story is almost entirely fictional, and autobiographical ONLY in the sense that many of the incidents in the story really happened, but in some cases to different people and under different circumstances. In other words I've simply adapted things that happened in my life to a fictional story. In fact, some aspects of both main characters are in part modeled from my own experiences. Some of my family members are also in this story, and perhaps (definitely) distorted a bit (a lot) at times and sometimes approaching caricature, but since I really don't expect them to sue, I'm taking the chance. All other characters are fictional, except as noted).
PLEASE give feedback. Constructive criticism appreciated.
Chapter 7 -- A Lot of White People
On Saturday I was really excited, and a bit anxious. I would see where White-boy (I better start thinking Rocco) lived and meet his parents, brother and two sisters. He never said much about his youngest sister, but said she is only seven. His sister's girlfriends were also supposed to be there. Rocco said, that in spite of what his mother thought, they were really pretty nice. But he didn't know them real well.
White-boy said: "My Mom was always complaining about Melva because she `wore too much makeup'."
"Well, she should see some of the girls at Lincoln." I remarked.
"But my Mom is like that. She's VERY conservative about some things. And she was always so worried about other kids `having a bad influence on us.' That's why my parents weren't thrilled about your not being Catholic. She never considered that I might have a GOOD influence on THEM!"
I met White-boy at noon in the park and we got to his house about 15 minutes later. And before we even got all the way he was fuming.
He remarked: "I can't believe the stares we're getting. I thought Mrs. Dengler was going to shout for the cops. How come YOU'RE not angry? I know I sure am."
"Well that's one of the reasons why I said we are always conscious of the fact that we are black. I guess we have this problem enough that I'm sort of used to it. Besides, most of those people would actually treat me pretty well. It's just that black kids in this neighborhood is just unusual. If these same people saw me downtown, they wouldn't even give me a glance."
"Hay Rocks!" We both turned. There were a couple boys in the yard we were passing by, and two adults.
"Hay Jimmy!" Rocco answered. This must be his good friend he played ball with. "This is Jade, a very good friend of mine. Jade this is Jimmy. And his younger brother Billy."
Then this older guy came over and asked Rocco: "Hello there son, whose your friend?" (I wondered if he called all boys, son. He seemed to have that personality). I guessed him to be Jimmy's father, and his mother also came over to us.
"Mr. Alexander, this is Jade Brown, Jade this is Mr. & Mrs. Alexander." Mr. Alexander extended his hand toward me and this always caused a bit of embarrassment for people, as he finally saw my hook.
He handled it pretty good. He simply smiled and gripped my hook anyway and never said anything. But Jimmy was not as nonplussed.
"Oh wow. Gees, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to stare." Jimmy turned red.
I was pretty used to it. "Oh, that's OK. It startles everyone the first time they see them. Rocco here almost fainted dead away!" I easily ducked Rocco's poor excuse for a roundhouse.
"Only because you hit me for staring," and he also started laughing. Jimmy seemed more at ease and then looked at Rocco: "So that's why you've been so scarce around here lately." And then to me: "I'm not sure how, but if we can figure out how you can play half ball with us we'd have a fourth." Just like that. I felt really good about Jimmy just then.
His Dad then said: "I'm sure Jimmy here could help you if anyone can. He's pretty ingenious at times." This Mr. Alexander I was also starting to like. (For a white guy that is). Rocco told me later that he liked Mr. Alexander a lot, "Even if he's a stuffed shirt at times."
Rocco talked Jimmy into coming with us. He turned to me and asked: "So how did you and Pebbles meet?"
I thought that Rocco was going to explode. Jimmy started laughing like mad.
I couldn't help myself: "PEBBLES!?" I asked.
Rocco then said to him: "Jimmy, remember the time you snuck into that old farmhouse and broke your arm falling through the floor, AFTER you assured your Dad you'd never go near the place?"
"OK, OK, I get the message." Turning to me: "You better be careful, Pebbles, (ducking away from Rocco's roundhouse) I mean Rocks here likes to blackmail people."
I was curious about the nick name: "Who's going to tell me? This should be interesting."
"All right, it was Stan who started that." Jade new some about most my friends. "My nickname here has sometimes been Rocks, rather than Rocky. A while ago Stan said that I was so small I should be called Pebbles instead. That's the name of one of the characters on the new TV show The Flintstones."
I was pleasantly surprised how Jimmy didn't seem phased that I was black. Actually all the people at the "not-quite party" were also pretty nice. Rocco introduced me to his parents and they were very polite. And just asked the usual questions.
"So I heard that your mother is a nurse. Where does she work?"
"How are the teachers at Lincoln?"
"Any brothers or sisters?"
Rocco was getting more agitated than me. They were obviously probing. But I really didn't care.
And then his brother Carl came by. He started apparently showing off by quoting something he said was by Lincoln about freedom. Well here was a subject that I've read about extensively.
I replied. "I obviously would agree, but he was actually paraphrasing something Voltaire wrote years before." I sort of chuckled as Rocco was obviously impressed, and Carl seemed put out, and turned red.
Carl then said: "Of course, that was in his Candide."
I said: "I'm glad you read him too." And Carl was pleased again.
But Rocco saw my expression and knew something was not quite right.
Everyone ate some cake, and both Dolores' girlfriends were polite. They didn't know what to make of my hooks so didn't offer to shake my hand.
Some time later we were out in the driveway, and Jimmy was trying to see if I could hold the stick bat some way, but after a while we both gave up. I thanked Jimmy and he said he hadn't given up yet. He would think on it. He said his father was an engineer and that's what he wanted to be. It was obvious that he really admired his father. I started to have gloomy thoughts again, and Rocco could instantly see. (I think he had ESP at times).
Later I was explaining about the problem. "Well I told you I've tried before but just can't get in an even swing, or even keep a good grip on a bat. I guess I will just have to enjoy other things besides sports."
And then Jimmy said: "There ARE no other things," and smiled, indicating it was mostly a joke. But it was obvious that Jimmy was pretty big on sports. Rocco said Jimmy was really good, and I thought with his size he should be good at football too.
On the way home I looked at Rocco and remarked: "Your brother, I think, was wrong about the title of the book. But I didn't see any reason to correct him." I said that almost out of the blue, but Rocco knew what I was talking about right off.
"That's because you're a nicer person than I am. I would like to have seen you clobber him. His head is too swelled. And who is Voltaire anyway? And stop ESP-ing me."
"Well Voltaire wrote a million essays and the only one I've ever read was his Treatise on Tolerance and I'm pretty sure that's where that quote comes from, but since I have never even seen his work Cadide, something similar might be in there too. So I wasn't completely sure anyway."
"And you keep saying I'M wierd. I didn't even know who Voltaire was. I bet, besides my brother, you're the only high school student that as ever read things by him. Many don't even get beyond Mad Magazine."
We talked a bit more. When we were ready to split up, Rocco asked: "Well?"
I knew exactly what he was asking. "I think your parents are pretty typical. Your sister and her friends are really nice, and Mariann is a typical seven year old. She wants all the attention. You should try to appreciate her more."
"I know. But boy is she spoiled."
We walked a bit moreand then Rocco then asked: "You suddenly got a sad look once at Jimmy's house. Mind talking about it?"
"When I saw the great relationship between Jimmy and his father I suddenly got sad. I was thinking I only had my Mama." I couldn't stop my eyes from tearing. I NEVER cry in front of people. What the hell is White-boy doing to me?
Rocco looked stunned at first, then he grabbed me and asked: "OK what's REALLY the matter?"
I could see that he realized there was more. How I didn't know. But I just blurted out: "My Mama's dying. That's why she's been so sick lately. I saw things from the hospital and doctor in her bedroom. Some degenerative liver disease. She only has about six months."
"Oh gees." Rocco looked like he was about to cry himself. "You know you'll always have me here."
I had trouble now with my own emotions. "It really hurts! Why does God have to be so mean?"
"I don't know. I wish I could say something. But PLEASE, I'll ALWAYS be here for you -- you know that! . . . Where will you live?"
"Probably with Uncle Mike. He lives nearby. Though we really don't see him much. I know from my Mama that he and my Dad, they were brothers, never got along. But we don't know why."
We talked about it some more. I felt better just sharing the news but still hurt a lot.
Chapter 8 -- The Single Most Embarrassing Moment in the History of Mankind
So there we were. I was leaning over with a big wad of toilet paper in my right hand, and my left holding onto the back top of the toilet. Jade was 3/4 naked with only a tee shirt on and his Fruit of the Looms at his ankles, and bent over so I could get good access to his butt. We were really joking around. Probably both of us were a bit nervous and very self conscious, and trying to hide the fact even from ourselves. Besides the task at hand, I was trying to will my boner to relax. I would be so embarrassed. At least Jade couldn't see it.
And so at precisely the WRONG moment I said: "Yes definitely, the ONLY word to describe your butt is cute!" And then came some deep throated laughing from behind us. We both turned. Jade pulled up his underpants in .005 seconds. I looked at the paper in my hand and suddenly dropped it into the toilet. I looked at this small black woman -- fairly good looking except her face seemed a bit drawn. She had on a white nurses uniform with that funny hat they wore in her hand. But now she seemed anything but a nurse or even a Mom. I looked at Jade at noticed a weird expression mingling with normal very black complexion and suddenly realized he was blushing and I mean BLUSHING. All this happened in .5 seconds. And before my brain could even start to re-function, I heard a loud high pitched "MAMA. PLEASE!" And the woman disappeared. Jade turned to me and said: "I will NEVER live past this moment. Why did your saying I had a cute butt have to coincide with my Mama opening that door?"
And I never did get to do what I was going to do. Jade cleaned up, after I left the bathroom for the living room. I was so thankful his Mama went to her bedroom. I could still hear a couple of chuckles from behind the closed door. Finally Jade came out and we both went into the kitchen. "Well White-boy, that was my Mama. She must have left work early. She usually works 12 hour shifts, four days a week at the hospital, and then when she can get it some home nursing." I knew most of this already. I guess Jade was really embarrassed, as I could well imagine.
I couldn't help it, I had to make a joke of it: "Does this mean that I don't get to see your butt again, especially now that your mother knows that I think it's cute?"
I can't believe I actually said that. If anything I was more embarrassed and more scared than Jade was. Maybe just a defense mechanism had set in and I simply had to make a joke out of it since some of the aspects were too scary to even think about.
And the whole thing started so innocently. Soon after we first met and I got curious one day, when we were pretty far from anywhere in Pennypack Park, we both at the same time had to take a pee. But as boys are apt to do when the coast is clear we simply went behind a tree so to speak. Well I think Jade had not near the inhibitions I surely had. So when I went in the tall weeds several steps I turned my back and started going. A second or two later Jade, as nonchalant as possible, walked up next to me, and also started to go. I could not fight my curiosity so I peeked. He saw me, smiled, and said "ever see a black one before?"
"Damn Jade, except in pictures, I've never seen anyone's before. Well I just remembered I saw my brothers when we were camping once, but that's all. And I guess the first time we met, I saw you peeing."
So anyway my curiosity overcame my inhibitions, and I watched him finish. His penis was about twice the size of mine, maybe even three times the size. And black as coal. But what fascinated me was the skin at the end. He wasn't circumcised. He was just as curious about mine. So we compared. I was very small, and mentioned I had not even gotten close to puberty yet. (No birds & bees talk, I just read up on sex stuff at the public library when I got curious one day).
Well a few days later, Jade was squirming around while we were eating a snack, and I asked him what was the matter.
"A bad case of very sore butt."
And he lifted up his hooks and said "Because of these."
I was totally puzzled, but said jokingly: "OK, so stop hooking your butt!" He stuck out his tongue. I then added: "OK I give, how can your hooks have anything to do with your sore butt?"
"OK, but don't say you didn't ask. After you take a dump, what do you do next?"
"All right what's the punch line? I wipe myself."
"And how well could you get that done if the stuff coming out was pretty squishy and all you had was two hooks for hands? I frequently have to use a wet washcloth."
"Geesh, I never ever would have thought of that."
"And before you ask, my Mama stopped wiping my butt years ago. It was too embarrassing."
So anyway, days later, at his house for the very first time, he said he had to go to the bathroom, and I made what I thought was merely a snide remark, "Do you need me to help wipe your butt?"
"Actually as a matter of fact . . ."
I don't think I need record the entire conversation. Needless to say he actually got me to overcome my extreme reluctance, saying that he was really sore again. And I have to admit that for some reason I do not want to allow myself to dwell on, I was intensely curious. So. . .
Eventually his Mama came into the kitchen as I was helping Jade to set his kitchen table for dinner. Jade said he normally reheats something his mother had in the freezer or refrigerator for these occasions when he had to get his own dinner in the little toaster oven they had. But now he said his mother was there so plans changed. I would leave in a few minutes but Jade made me stay to at least talk with his mother a bit. I thought I'd be too embarrassed to actually face her, but she came in with such a pleasant smile, and her welcome to me felt so genuine, that I immediately liked her.
"Please accept my apology, but as soon as I saw what was happening I couldn't help myself. Noel has too often complained, and I knew he had roped his poor unsuspecting friend into helping him. I just thought it too funny. But I'm sorry if I embarrassed you. I've told Noel I see so many bare butts at work one more wouldn't phase me in the least, but he won't let me near."
Jade was still fighting and with desperation changed the subject: "Well. . . Rocco and I will be doing some assignments together after school starting Monday. He threatened me, a poor disabled defenseless person, with grievous bodily harm when I tried to hide one of my assignments from him, until he saw it. And when I told him about the trouble I have writing, well. . . he said he would help."
"Why this is very kind of you, but what about your own studies?"
"Rocco said he gets most of them done at school."
"Well, anyone who can get my son interested in school work again, I welcome with open arms. Noel has mentioned his small white friend quite a few times. I thought it strange that he would find a white boy for a friend, but I guess the Lord works in mysterious ways."
I was somewhat embarrassed. Suddenly I realized that I was almost late for supper, and said I was late getting home. His Mama offered to drive me. I did not know they had a car, but what I saw wasn't much. It was an ancient Henry Jr, a car not made any more.
Jade's mother was really friendly and her smile made me relax.
"Mrs. Brown, thanks for the ride. I've only seen a Henry Jr once before. I suspect it's older than I am."
She chuckled a bit. "Just about. I just keep praying it keeps gettin' older without dyin'. I work some odd hours so I need it to get to work. If I can ask you a question, how did you and Noel meet? He just says that you discovered each other in the wilderness."
I chuckled. "That's about what I said to Jade when I first saw him. We were actually just in the thick bushes in the Park and you can imagine that you're in the wilderness. Then we just got to talking. Nothing really unusual."
"I been his Mama a bit longer than you been his friend, and it's much more than unusual. Noel hasn't let anyone else close to him since. . . well for years. And how did you come to call him Jade?"
"Yeah, I suspected that he keep people away from him by what he said. He said something about loosing all his friends after he lost his hands. And he mentioned that his full name was Jade Noel Brown, but most people used his middle name. I said I really liked the name Jade, I would use that since. . . (And I stopped. I almost said since he called me White-boy).
"He talked about that!? MY Noel actually talked about losing his hands and then loosing his friends?"
"Why yes, nothing really deep, I just mentioned I could understand how it could happen."
Mrs. Brown was pretty quiet until she pulled up near my house, she turned and got this strange look. Not bad strange, more like a worried strange look.
"Just a minute if you don't mind. Please let me say something. I think you are a very nice boy and Jade has said some things about you that would probably surprise you greatly. I've never seen him take to another person so well since . . . well for years. And to think it's a white boy. Who woulda ever thought. I don't mean anything bad by that, please understan'. But its just so surprisin' that a white boy would even try to befriend a black boy."
"He could of been green for all I cared," I thought. I felt a bit embarrassed. If only she knew how much Jade meant to me in just a short time. Besides, it was Jade who befriended me when I was so lonely. "Well, Jade keeps saying I'm weird. And Jade and I seem to have so much in common."
She stared a bit, but finally said, "In common, you say. Rocco, I need to get back home and I'm sure we'll talk some more. But Noel needs someone right now."
"Actually, Mrs. Brown, it's me got lucky. Jade's . . . I mean . . . It's hard to say what I want to. . . but Jade is more than he lets on. That's not exactly what I mean. I mean, inside Jade's different then he first seems."
"Well, I just want to say this. Noel has been hurt so deeply so many times, I just can't bear to see him hurt again. I would ask you, please don't ever hurt him. I believe he thinks so much of you that I'm not sure he could recover. He's a very sensitive boy and different from most boys. Jus', please don't ever let him down."
I've never had an adult say things like this to me and felt embarrassed again, and I didn't need to be a detective to figure out there was something unusual going on here that hasn't been said, but I had no idea what. I suspected it had something to do with her dying, but there seemed to be something else also.
"Mrs. Brown, I like Jade so much and he's my best friend in just a few weeks. I can't ever imagine hurting him." And I noticed tears forming in the corner of her eyes. And couldn't say anything else. What a weird day. I thanked her for giving me the ride and ran to the house without looking back. I had a lot to think about.
September 30, 1959
I was finally in Jade's "house" today. I finally twisted Jade's hook enough (that's a private joke) and he gave in. I guess it helped that his mother was much better and back to work. He said that the place really got messed up for a while. When I got there I couldn't figure out how. They didn't have a lot there, and there were only 4 rooms including the bathroom, a kitchen, one bedroom, and a living room. Jade slept in the living room, on a sofa bed. It couldn't have been very comfortable. He showed me around -- it only took 26 seconds -- and actually, though small, it was really nice on the inside. (The outside literally looked like a shack). He said the rent was pretty low and they had fixed it up a lot. But wow, Jade simply did not have anything! No record player, no TV, no bike, not even a bedroom or privacy! His dresser was next to the couch and he had a small desk next to the other wall with some personal stuff on it, but that was it. Boy, and I thought I didn't have much. Compared to Jade my family was rich. He had all his school work on his desk, but hid something when I started over to him. I can almost read his mind. I had a pretty good idea it was a test or an assignment he did not want me to see. I eventually got my way. And this eventually lead to our agreeing to "tutoring" sessions. Actually they were more like writing out his papers and assignments, he actually didn't need tutoring, just help writing. I enjoyed it. Being with Jade was most of the enjoyment.
In just a couple weeks you would think that Jade and I had been friends for years. It's funny, I simply did not think of his being black, or his hooks much any more. We just found a whole lot of things that we could both do. I used most of my birthday money, and bought a board game called Railroad. It was a complicated game where you tried to build financial empires. I had already received the game Tactics II for my birthday. It was a war game, and that was even more complicated and could take more than a day to complete. We played these games, plus Scrabble, Backgammon, and even Chess. We also did a lot of "exploring" in the Park. Since Pennypack Park was over 10 miles long, there was a lot of exploring available just there. Finally I got a serious case of athletic withdraw and racked my brain until it finally eked out a thought. Perhaps we could figure a way for him to hold a badminton racket. After a little trial and error we managed to attach most of a racket to one of his hooks. (He had a couple of attachments and replacements. One just for eating but he said he didn't use it much). He got really angry with me when he realized I was holding back a bit. We talked about it and I finally admitted I'd be mad if he did the same). So we played a lot last Saturday, and finally he got to where I was only winning by 3 to 7 points. I really hoped he could start winning soon.
I finally met his mother. Boy were my preconceived image and ideas about her totally wrong. She was very good looking, with young looking skin, small frame and no grey hair. She did however look a bit too thin. She came in on us just last Saturday. And her unannounced entry caused quite a situation. All I am going to say is this. 1) I am still allowed to see Jade. 2) His Mom (or as he calls her -- Mama) can really laugh loud for someone so small. 3) I now know that even really black skinned people like Jade can actually blush. 4) I will never NEVER use the word "cute' in a sentence again. And 5) NOBODY will find out from me what happened after we played badminton last Saturday! NOBODY!
But the weirdest thing was things she said after she brought me home in her old car. My gosh I had only seen a Henry Jr once before. I don't think they made them since the 40s. But it was what she said about Jade being so hurt and not to hurt him and then especially that one sentence "He thinks so much of you that I'm not sure he could recover." I couldn't imaging ANYONE liking me that much. And then she said he was "different" from most boys. She can't mean anything like my secret can she?
I will have to really think about some things. And how can I get him a bike?
Copyright 2006 by Rocco Paperiello