The following contains scenes of sexual activity between males. If it is illegal for you to read this in your area or if you feel you may be offended by doing so, please do not continue. This story is complete fiction and any similarities between the story and reality are purely coincidental. There is no Madison, Oklahoma, Some of the characters in this story may engage in behavior which could be construed as illegal or unsafe. This is not an endorsement of such behavior. The author does not condone the violation of any law, not does he encourage unsafe behavior. Please do not copy or post this story without the knowledge or consent of the author.
Please send any comments to my new address, chriswriter @ operamail.com. Thank you for reading my story. If you like it, please let others know about it.
Lyrics to “Yesterday” written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, 1965.
Lyrics to “Wild Thing” written by Chip Taylor, 1965.
Lyrics and Music to “We’ll Sing in the Sunshine” by Gale Garnett, 1964.
A Curious Set of Misfits
“Sitting on the side,. Waiting for a sign. Hoping that my luck will change.
Reaching for a hand that can understand, someone who feels the same.
When you live in a cookie cutter world being different is a sin.
So you don't stand out and you don't fit in. Weird.”
Hanson. Copyright 1997, Jam 'N Bread Music
“My name is Sue! How do you do!”
Trapped in the back seat of the Patterson’s Chevy between Ricky and Trevor, leaving Madison on Main Street and heading toward Tulsa, Michael’s eyes grew wide and he looked to his left at Trevor as if to say, “What have we gotten ourselves into?”
Trevor’s eyes seemed to answer, “I have no idea, but I’m scared!”
Michael’s father, seated on the passenger side of the front seat, turned around and grinned at his son as Ricky and his dad sang along with Johnny Cash on the radio. They had just passed the Madison city limits and Michael had the horrible feeling that this was what they were going to have to listen to for the rest of the morning.
“So, um, how far is it to Tulsa?” Michael asked the men up front.
“Oh, probably half an hour,” Bill Patterson drawled in his best Okie accent. “But, Ah kin slow down a bit, if ya laak.”
“NO! Um, no. That’s OK. Go as fast as you want,” Michael blurted. The men in the front seat both chuckled.
“OK, Dad,” said Ricky with a grin. “Let’s give ‘em a break. Turn it to KAKC.”
“No, way, Rick,” his dad declared. I’ll compromise. How about 74.”
He turned the knob and suddenly Dean Martin was singing that everybody loves somebody sometime. Ricky clutched his head and shrieked in agony, Michael wasn’t too crazy about the song, either, but it did have a good, hard piano rhythm that he liked. Trevor simply watched dispassionately, as if he were a naturalist observing rare animals in their natural habitat.
Bill Patterson turned to Dave Griffin and asked, “Can you handle KAKC?”
Dave grinned and shrugged.
“Sure. It’s what Betsy and I listened to all the time when we were at TU.”
“Yeah, but back then it was Elvis and Chuck Berry and The Eisley Brothers. That was real music. Hell, now, it’s… oh, I don’t know, the Bloodsuckers and the Flower Petals and…”
“Ah, come on, Dad,” Ricky protested. “Get real.”
His dad sighed as Dave grinned.
“I can take it if you can take it.”
Bill shook his head and turned to 97.
“Yeah!” Ricky yellled, suddenly scrunching up his face and playing his air guitar as he bopped his head up and down, throwing his hair across his forehead. Michael grinned and joined in.
“You make my heart sing!”
Trevor shrugged and grinned at Michael’s father as he joined in, as well.
“You make everthang…”
All three boys leaned forward and sang, “Groovy. Wild Thang!”
After Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild,” to which the boys, once again, performed admirably, and a commercial for Sandy’s Hamburgers, the boys settled down as Michael and Ricky’s dads discussed their careers and life since Dave had left Madison.
“So, why would you give up such a great job and all your connections and your nice home to come back here?” Bill asked.
Ricky was commenting on something, but Michael was only nodding to let him think he was listening. He was, however, paying careful attention to the conversation in the front seat. He saw his father look off into the distance as the car slowed down to pass a black carriage from the Mennonite community just west of Madison.
“Well, Dad’s spent his whole life building his insurance business and he and Mom really need help. I have my whole career ahead of me.”
“Come on, Dave. You know that once you leave a big corporation like that, you can’t just start back where you left off. Come on. You hate Madison. What’s the real reason?”
Dave was silent. Even Trevor and Ricky had stopped their conversation to listen and Michael had stopped breathing. Dave took a deep breath.
“I don’t hate Madison,” he replied softly. “I’ll tell you sometime, but not now.”
As Tommy James came on the radio with “Crimson and Clover,” Trevor sensed this was an uncomfortable moment. Sitting on Michael’s left, with Ricky on Michael’s right, Trevor turned to the other boys and asked, “So what grade are you in?”
“Sixth,” they both answered, Ricky eagerly, Michael reluctantly as he looked up at his father gazing quietly into the distance.
“Cool,” Trevor replied. “We’ll be in the same class.”
“Well,” Ricky replied. “You and me will. Michael’s going to St. Augustine’s.”
“You’re Catholic?” Trevor asked, looking at Michael curiously, who nodded.
“I’m Unitarian,” Trevor announced.
Michael noticed Bill Patterson’s eyes in the rear view mirror grow wider just a bit.
“What’s a Unitarian?” Ricky asked.
“Well,” Trevor paused for a moment, “Unitarians believe in the unity of God instead of the trinity.”
Michael’s eyes grew wide as he looked up at his father. Trevor continued.
“And, we don’t accept dogma and ritual.”
“What’s dogma?” Ricky asked.
“It’s like the rules of what you have to believe. It’s when the church tells you you have to believe something or you’re going to Hell.”
“Like, Jesus Christ is the Son of God,” said Ricky’s dad flatly.
“Yeah,” Trevor replied.
“What?” Ricky asked incredulously. “You don’t think Jesus was the Son of God?”
“We’re all the son of God.”
“Well yeah. But, I mean, you don’t think Jesus is your Savior?”
Even Michael looked at Trevor with surprise.
“Well, no. We think he was a good man and we like what he taught.”
“Wow,” said Ricky with wonder in his voice. “I ain’t never met anyone who didn’t accept Jesus as his savior. Y’all aren’t gonna be real popular in Madison.”
“Catholics aren’t either.”
“Now, don’t go listenin’ to Daniel and Tad. Madison ain’t like that anymore. We like Catholics, now. But, I don’t know ‘bout Unitarians.”
“Hey, Trevor’s a good guy,” said Michael.
“Oh, I know,” Ricky replied. “I just don’t know what people in Madison are gonna think about people who don’t think Jesus is their savior. Where’s your church?”
“We don’t really have a church,” Trevor replied. “We meet in a house over by the college.”
“That figures,” Bill snorted softly.
“Why?” Michael demanded, turning to Ricky. “You gonna burn it down?”
“No, I’m not! I just wanted to know!” Ricky replied hotly. “That was forty years ago that they burned down St. Augustine’s. Madison ain’t like that now.”
Ricky crossed his arms and turned angrily toward the window. Trevor frowned and looked down at his lap. Michael sighed.
“Mikey, settle down there,” his father warned, turning back. “That was uncalled for. You owe Ricky an apology.”
Michael wasn’t quite ready to apologize and Ricky wasn’t quite ready to accept. There was a moment of angry silence as Trevor nervously looked out the window at the horses grazing in the field to their left.
Dave knew his son and knew the battle that was simmering in the boy’s head. He gave him a chance to sort things out and then smiled with relief when Michael frowned and softly said, “I’m sorry, Ricky.”
Ricky, however, was silent.
“Rick,” said his father in a warning tone.
“Oh, alright. I’m sorry, too.”
Michael and Ricky almost grinned at each other before Ricky slightly elbowed Michael, who elbowed back. Ricky couldn’t let that provocation stand. He elbowed back harder, which resulted in retaliation upon retaliation until the two were laughing and wrestling as if nothing had happened. Trevor smiled and saw Michael’s father give him a reassuring wink.
“Madison really has changed,” Bill said to Dave. “It’s really not as bad as it was when we were growing up. A lot of rough edges have been smoothed over.”
Dave, however, simply shrugged.
“The times,” he said, “they are a changin’.”
The rest of the drive into the city was more pleasant. They merged onto the interstate at the outskirts of Tulsa and all three boys looked eagerly out the windows as they approached the airport. A huge 707 roared overhead as it took off to the south.
“Wow,” said Ricky with a huge grin on his face.
“Ah, I’ve seen lots of them in St. Louis,” Michael bragged.
“Yeah,” Ricky replied sarcastically. “All the best stuff is in St. Louis.”
He gave Michael a big toothy grin to signify that he was teasing. Michael rolled his eyes and grinned back.
The car was exiting the freeway and heading toward the terminal when they turned onto a side road. Ricky pointed to a long building on the other side of the airport.
“That’s the McDonnell-Douglas plant,” he declared proudly. “That used to be the biggest building in the world. They work on the DC-8 and DC-9 there.”
“Wow,” said Michael. Trevor simply looked on curiously.
“And, the F-4, like what you got in your room,” Ricky added. Michael was impressed.
“McDonnell-Douglas’s headquarters is…”
“Let me guess,” Ricky interrupted. “In St. Louis?”
There was a large crowd of people along a fence and as the men followed the excited boys from the parking lot toward the reception area, Bill chuckled.
“This would be like us getting excited to see Joe DiMaggio or Ted Williams.” Dave grinned.
“Weren’t you with us in what, ’46 or ’47 when a bunch of us went up to St. Louis to see the Cards play the Dodgers?”
“Yep, middle of June in ’47. You got carsick and threw up on Pete Jernigan.”
“Yeah, but they won. Three-nothing, wasn’t it?”
The jets with the NASA logo’s were already taxiing up to the reception area and Ricky was forcing his way forward to the fence.
“Those are T-38’s!” he explained excitedly to his friends. “NASA lets the astronauts fly them everywhere! Ain’t that cool?”
Soon, the astronauts were being greeted by the mayor of Tulsa and after a few perfunctory remarks, they made their way toward the crowd.
“I think Ricky’s gonna wet his pants,” Bill chuckled as Dave grinned.
As Colonel Stafford and Captain Cernan, two of the three crew members of the last flight, Apollo 10, made their way down the fence, shaking hands and signing autographs, Michael grinned at Ricky’s growing excitement. And, when Colonel Stafford reached Ricky, he eagerly extended his hand and declared, “I’m gonna be an astronaut! I’m goin’ into the Air Force!”
“Good for you!” Colonel Stafford said with a grin.
“Don’t do that!” Captain Cernan said as he shook Ricky’s hand. “Go Navy!”
“Don’t listen to him,” Colonel Stafford grinned as he moved on to the next hand.
Ricky tried to ask the astronauts a question, but the Mayor of Tulsa was right behind and grabbed his hand, demanding, “How are ya? How are ya?” before the boy could say anything else. In a second, the astronauts were too far away and the opportunity was lost.
“Oh, man!” Ricky declared with disappointment as they made their way back to the car. “That old politician got in the way and I didn’t get to ask them what it was like to fly the lunar module so close to the moon!”
“Yeah,” said Michael, “but you still got to meet them.”
“Yeah,” said Ricky with a smile. “I got to meet men who have been around the moon!”
Bill squeezed his son’s shoulder affectionately as they reached the car and smiled at him.
The ride back to Madison was much smoother and freer of controversy than the ride into Tulsa had been. They stopped at a Sandy’s and loaded up on fifteen cent cheeseburgers and chocolate shakes and as they neared Madison, the boys grew increasingly excited discussing the huge neighborhood picnic and cook-out for the afternoon.
“Dad! Dad! STOP!” Ricky yelled as they came to the outskirts of town. “Fireworks!”
“Ooops,” Bill said with a grin as they nearly passed the OK Fireworks stand at the side of the road.
“Yeah,” said Dave with a grin. “I forgot, too.”
Michael and Ricky could barely contain their excitement as the car stopped in the dusty gravel at the side of the road. Trevor was more reserved, but smiled at the excitement of the others.
“Dad! Dad! Get some of those,” Ricky demanded excitedly as he stood at the counter. “And, one of those, too!”
“Dad!” Michael called. “Look at that skyrocket! Can we get some of those?”
Trevor stood back and smiled as he watched Ricky and Michael’s excitement. Dave glanced back and smiled.
“Come on, Trevor. You need to get in on this, too.”
“Nah, that’s OK. I don’t have any money. Besides, I think my Dad got some already.”
“Ah, come on! Don’t worry about it.”
Trevor hesitated for a moment and then grinned.
He slowly approached and Michael turned back, smiled, and moved to the side to give him room.
“Come on,” Trevor, find something good,” Bill said.
“What do you recommend?” Trevor asked.
“Well, something loud,” Ricky’s dad suggested. “That’s how boys celebrate the Fourth of July. You blow stuff up!”
“Well, how about a couple of M-80’s?”
“Now you’re talking. None of those sissy cherry bombs. Go for some real destructive power! Shame we can’t get any napalm.”
Dave grinned and shook his head.
It seemed that every boy and girl in Western Hills had converged on the thirteen hundred block of Sequoyah Avenue. There were bicycles and tricycles everywhere, boys playing catch in all the yards, girls on many of the front porches giggling at the boys, card tables and picnic tables in each of the yards, and parents sitting around in lawn furniture drinking beer and eating hot dogs and hamburgers. Though most of the houses had gas grills in the back, the residents along the block had brought charcoalers out to the front and were feeding any kids who happened to come by, whether they were their own or not. Some had brought portable radios out and Porter Wagoner could be heard from one yard, the Rolling Stones from another, and Elvis from a third. Younger children ran around with sparklers and, every once in awhile, a pop bottle rocket would whiz up from behind someone’s house and burst.
Michael and Trevor were sitting on the curb in front of the Griffin house eating hot dogs and drinking Cokes as Ricky played catch in the street with two of his friends, Kenny and Ronnie. Michael’s mother and grandparents were sitting behind them in lawn chairs watching the proceedings and listening to Elvis on the radio. Daniel and Tad approached.
“Hey!” Michael called as he waived them over. “This is my new friend, Trevor. He’s really cool. Trevor, this is Daniel and Tad.”
Daniel smiled. Tad and Trevor’s eyes met for a moment and Tad smiled.
A thought suddenly occurred to Michael, one he hadn’t thought of before and he grinned.
“Tad, guess what Trevor’s last name is!”
A hot breeze tossed Tad’s black hair across his forehead and as he tossed his head to put it back in place, he replied, “What?”
“Rrrrrenfied,” he replied, trilling the “r.” Tad’s eyes grew wide and he grinned.
“Renfield!” Tad declared in his best Bela Lugosi voice, “Finally! You have come.”
Trevor hunched his shoulders and began kneading his hands before his chin.
“Yes, master,” he replied, with a strange laugh. “I am here to serve you!”
Suddenly, he began reaching out and grabbing imaginary flies and putting them in his mouth with a wild-eyed look of mania. Daniel raised a curious eyebrow.
“Didn’t ever see Dracula?” Michael asked Daniel.
“Ah. Hmm. Yes. Well.”
Michael turned to Trevor.
“Tad loves scary movies and vampires and stuff.”
“Cool,” said Trevor with a shy glance back up at Tad. “You look a little like a vampire.”
Tad responded by baring his teeth and giving another of his trademark guttural hisses.
Daniel had been looking around and suddenly took off running toward one of the yards up the street. Michael looked in the direction he was running and saw the tall older blond guy he had seen outside the church the day before. The older boy had been speaking seriously with some adults, but when he looked toward the source of the yell, his face seemed to brighten. He held a hamburger in the air and waved with it toward the running boy.
“Who’s that?” Michael asked.
“That’s Eric. He’s like Daniel’s best friend. He’s almost like his older brother. They do everything together.”
“That’s neat,” said Michael wistfully. “I wish I had an older brother sometimes.”
Tad looked down at the street for a moment and then softly replied, “It’s not always neat.”
Michael and Trevor both looked at Tad with surprise, but seeing the pain on his face he obviously sought to hide, Michael thought for a moment and then asked, “Tad, you want a hot dog? Mom’s just cooked some. They’re good.”
Tad’s face changed to a smile, just as abruptly as it had turned darker earlier.
After acquiring a hot dog and a can of Shasta root beer, Tad joined Trevor and Michael on the curb. Ricky gave Tad a smile and a wave before sending a pitch to Ronnie. And, then, with easy confidence and completely un-self- consciously, he whipped his sweaty tee-shirt over his head and threw it into the grass in his front yard just before catching a pitch from Kenny.
“Wow,” Trevor said with a wistful, almost husky quality to his voice. “He’s really got muscles.”
“Yeah,” both Tad and Michael responded at the same time and with the same tone of wonder in their voices. Ricky was unaware of their stares and carefree as he caught and threw the baseball with Ronnie and Kenny. For the first time since they had met the previous weekend, Michael looked closely at Ricky’s body, at the deep rich tan all over, the firm tummy and the developing chest. His arms looked strong and as he held his gloved left hand up, Michael suddenly felt The Feeling seem to explode inside him. He became ferociously hard in just a couple of seconds. He swallowed in awe.
Trevor and Tad were strangely silent. Michael looked at them, fearful they might notice he was hard, but their attention seemed to be locked on Ricky. Suddenly, Trevor turned and their eyes met. It was several seconds before Michael realized what was happening and quickly, with a blush, turned away and resumed watching Ricky.
“Hey, Tad!” Daniel called from up the street, “Come here!”
Tad seemed almost reluctant as he looked toward Tad and Eric. Craig had joined them and was holding a box of fireworks. Slowly, Tad rose and said, “I’ll see ya later.”
“See ya,” both Michael and Trevor responded. Suddenly, after only a few steps, Tad turned and looked at Trevor.
“Nice to meet you,” he said softly. Trevor smiled and Tad walked away.
“He’s nice,” Trevor said softly.
“Yeah, he’s OK,” Michael responded.
Some older boys joined Ricky and his friends playing catch. Trevor and Michael heard some voices behind them and turned. Michael saw Trevor’s mother in a summery dress speaking with his parents and grandparents as an older man whom he assumed was Trevor’s father shook his grandfather’s hand.
“So, where’s your brother?” Michael asked.
“He’s spending the summer in France. He’s hiking across the country with some friends.”
Michael smiled wistfully.
“That would be neat. I’d like to do that. I bet it’s cool seeing all the old buildings and stuff.”
“Yeah, he sends us post cards and letters with pictures. We just got a picture of him in Chartres. There’s a really old, really huge cathedral there.”
“Sounds really cool,” said Michael looking off. He watched Ricky flexing as he reached to catch a wild throw from Kenny and wondered if his other friend would find it cool.
“Um, Michael,” Trevor said softly.
Trevor was looking down at the asphalt below their feet. He frowned and furrowed his forehead until he finally spoke.
“Thank you for taking up for me in the car this morning.”
Michael smiled and shrugged.
“Nyeh, don’t mention it. Listen, Ricky’s a good guy. I think he’s just embarrassed about Madison sometimes.”
Trevor shook his head.
“I don’t think it’s just that. I remember when we lived in Oklahoma City. Dad was a teacher in this high school before he went to OU to get his doctorate. Some parents got really angry when they learned he was a Unitarian. They said only ‘real Christians’ should teach. They tried to get him fired. People don’t like people who are different. Colin got beat-up at school a couple of years ago because he was against the war.”
“He’s my brother. He wrote a letter to the school paper and the principal wouldn’t let them print it, so he picketed outside the school before class and some kids beat him up and called him a Communist. People hate people who are different from them.”
Michael sighed and looked off at the clear blue sky.
“And, I can tell Ricky doesn’t really like me,” Trevor continued. “I think he’s trying to be nice to me because you and I are friends, not because he likes me.”
Michael couldn’t deny it because in his heart he was afraid Trevor was right.
“Ricky just doesn’t know you,” he offered. “Maybe when he sees what a cool guy you are, he’ll like you.”
“But, I don’t think he likes the things I’m interested in. I mean, Ricky wouldn’t like to look at art books like you and I did yesterday.”
“He likes to go fishing and so do you,” Michael suggested hopefully. “Maybe that’s a way you could become friends.”
“I think Daniel and Tad are cool. I think they’ll probably like to be friends with me.”
“Yeah,” Michael agreed. “They are really nice.”
The two were silent as Ricky caught another wild throw. He triumphantly held the ball in the air as he proudly turned around to show off his surprise catch. He grinned at Michael and Trevor and Michael gave him a thumbs-up. When the boys in the street resumed their game of catch, Trevor looked nervously at Michael and, almost whispering, asked, “You want to come over and see my room?”
“Sure!” Michael replied happily.
As they stood and Michael walked over to the adults, Ricky turned his head after catching a pitch from Ronnie and watched as Trevor slowly circled the adults. He frowned and then turned his attention back to the catch as some boys up the street set off a series of M-80’s.
Michael’s grandfather introduced him to new Superintendent of the Madison Public Schools, Dr. Theodore H. Renfield. Michael smiled politely, shook his hand, and said, “Pleased to meet you, Dr. Renfield.
However, Trevor’s father grinned and replied, “Don’t think of me as Dr. Renfield, the Superintendent. You can think of me as Trevor’s long-suffering Dad.”
All the adults dutifully laughed as Trevor rolled his eyes.
“I doubt Trevor has been the cause of much suffering,” said Michael’s father with a benevolent smile. “In fact, he was the only sane person in the car this morning!”
“Well, that’s frightening!” Trevor’s mother contributed, eliciting yet more condescending chuckles from the grown-ups. Now, it was Michael’s turn to roll his eyes.
“Actually,” Dr. Renfield continued, “Trevor’s never really been much of a troublemaker. Now, Colin…”
“Trevor has a brother?” Michael’s mother asked.
“He’ll be a sophomore at Washington University this fall,” Mrs. Renfield replied. Trevor’s father frowned.
“We’ve always taught him to think for himself. And, he certainly has.”
“Uh, oh,” said Michael’s dad.
“Yeah, uh, oh is right.”
Trevor was frowning.
“Colin had strong opinions,” he said defensively. “And, he fights for what he believes in.”
“Ooops,” said Dave with a grin and a raised eyebrow. “Anti-war protestor?”
Dr. Renfield nodded.
“Trevor’s very protective of his brother,” he said with a smile.
Feeling this was an appropriate time to end this particular conversation, Trevor announced, “I’m going to show Michael my room,” as he started off toward his house. Michael looked uncomfortably at his parents.
“May I go over to Trevor’s?” he asked.
His father smiled his assent and the two boys took off.
When they had turned the corner, Michael saw a look of irritation on Trevor’s face.
“What’s the matter?”
“Oh, my parents always act so liberal and open-minded, but when Colin acts liberal and open-minded, they start acting old-fashioned. And, now that Dad’s part of The Establishment, he’s just going to get worse.”
“What’s ‘The Establishment?’”
They stopped on Shawnee and waited for a couple of cars to pass before crossing. As they walked along the edge of the drainage ditch, Michael looked at the sunflowers growing along the rusty barbed-wire fence enclosing the hayfield.
“You know,” Trevor replied. “The Establishment. The people who run things. The people who run the corporations and the politicians.”
“Your dad’s not in The Establishment. He’s a teacher who’s the Superintendent.”
“He’s going to run the schools in Madison. He’s The Establishment. “Course, he says he wants to reform the schools here. He says he wants to bring them into the Twentieth Century.”
“I have a feeling Dad’ll probably agree. I don’t think he likes the schools in Madison. He said he was unhappy we didn’t have a Catholic high school.”
“Oh, Dad talks real liberal, but underneath, he’s really a conservative.”
“What’s liberal and conservative mean?” Michael asked.
They had crossed the intersection at Twelfth and walked into the wide front lawn of Trevor’s house past several purple crepe myrtles and the infamous oak tree.
“Liberals believe in change and conservatives believe in the leaving things the way they are.”
As they climbed the stairs to the wide front porch, Michael replied thoughtfully, “I think I’m both. I want to change lots of things, but I want a lot of things to stay the same.”
“You’re a bourgeois moderate,” said Trevor with a grin as he sat on the waist-high sandstone wall around the porch. The shade provided by the porch was cool and Michael happily sat beside his friend.
“What’s that mean?”
“Well, Colin says the middle class can’t make up it’s mind whether to change things or stay the same. They’re sheep and so we need to raise their consciousness.”
Michael thought for a moment.
“I can make up my mind. It’s just that there are some things I want to change and some things I want to stay the same. That’s not being boozh… whatever.”
“What do you want to change?”
“Well, I don’t tell my parents, but I want to end the war and bring everyone home.”
“And, I guess I want to help poor people and let black people be equal to us.”
“Well, you’re a liberal. But, what do you want to stay the same?”
Michael thought harder.
“Well, I don’t like all the protests and the riots and stuff. I don’t think blacks should burn down neighborhoods and loot and stuff. And, the college students shouldn’t like take over buildings and stuff. They should go to class. It costs a lot of money to go to college.”
“If they don’t riot and protest, how can they change anything?”
“Well, why can’t they talk about it and have meetings and stuff?
“What if The Establishment won’t listen.”
“Well, I don’t know, but protests and riots are wrong.”
“Colin says that sometimes the tree of liberty must be nourished with the blood of patriots.”
“Colin sounds like a Communist.”
“No, Colin sounds like Thomas Jefferson.”
“Thomas Jefferson said that? Thomas Jefferson who wrote the Declaration of Independence? Thomas Jefferson the President?”
Trevor smiled and nodded.
“Wow,” said Michael softly.
Trevor jumped down off the wall.
Michael followed him into the house.
“Boy, it sure is hot in here,” he said as they entered the living room. Then he stopped and looked around in amazement. A lot of the furniture was old, like from the twenties and thirties, and there was a huge old-fashioned radio in the corner and a really old television, gigantic with a small perfectly round screen, and a Victrola in the corner. There were lots of family pictures on the long mantle above the fireplace and bookshelves everywhere with small white statues of people’s heads on the shelves and lots of the tables.
“Wow, this is pretty cool. I mean it’s really hot in here but your parents have lots of cool stuff in here.”
“Yeah, come here.”
Trevor ran over to the radio and turned it on, waiting for the tubes to warm up, and then turned a small knob a couple of clicks and then the large knob in the middle. Around the dial, Michael saw the words “London,” “Paris,” Berlin,” “Rio” and “Moscow.”
“You can get London and Paris and Moscow with this?” he asked excitedly.
“Sure. It’s an old shortwave. Well, it was everything back in the thirties, but it’s also a shortwave. Listen.
“… at nine o’clock, Greenwich Mean Time. You are listening to the BBC World Service and this is a bulletin of the World News. The Prime Minister Harold Wilson today met with representatives of…”
“Oh, wow! This is way cool,” said Michael on his knees before the giant radio. He turned the knob and heard words that sounded like, “Govoreet Moskva,” He turned again and heard French; again and heard something completely different from anything else he had ever heard.
“Man, this is far out.”
“I know,” replied Trevor.
Michael sat back at looked at all the books and strange items on the shelves and unusual art on the walls and smiled. Trevor smiled, as well, and said, “You really grok this place, don’t you?”
Trevor grinned and began walking toward the door to the right.
Michael stood and followed and when he entered the room Trevor had entered, he exclaimed, again, “Wow. Far out.”
On one wall was a colorful and psychedelic Peter Max poster. On another were several prints that looked very strange, classical images of animals turning into buildings or things twisting around into themselves or turning into other things. One a third wall, by the closet, was a poster with a picture of woods around a pond and the caption, “Walden.” In one corner was a fishing pole and next to the bed were an acoustic guitar and a stand almost overflowing with sheet music.
Michael gave Trevor a huge grin.
“This is too cool. I love your room!”
“You really grok it.”
Michael looked curiously at his friend.
“What does ‘grok’ mean?”
Trevor walked over to his desk.
“You like to read, don’t you?”
Michael nodded. Trevor picked up a hardback book.
“This is Stranger In a Strange Land , by Robert Heinlein. Colin gave it to me. He says everyone in college is reading it. It is so cool. That’s where it comes from. It means you understand something. But, it’s deeper than just understanding it. It’s like you almost are what you understand. You know what I mean?”
Michael was thoughtful.
Trevor held the book out to him. It looked old, with tears in it’s dust jacket and the pages had yellowed slightly.
“You can borrow it, if you like. It’s kinda special to me, but if you promise to take care of it, I’ll let you read it.”
Michael smiled and held the book as if it were a treasure. He set it down on the desk again and turned toward the guitar.
Trevor seemed eager to share his life with Michael and he quickly picked up the guitar, holding it as if it were a part of him. He grinned and sat on the bed. Slowly, he started strumming and tuning the guitar. Then…
“’Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away, now it looks as though their here to stay, oh, I believe in yesterday…’”
Almost hypnotically, Michael pulled the chair from Trevor’s desk and sat. He was amazed as he listened to Trevor. His voice was so… beautiful, so… pure. He looked so… pretty as he sang. Boys weren’t pretty, but… Trevor was pretty. This was… just so… beautiful.
When he finished, Trevor smiled and almost blushed as his blue eyes looked at Michael under his dark blond lashes. His slender arms held the guitar with love and Michael was almost breathless.
“You are so…. Good.”
He had to stop himself from saying “beautiful.” Trevor’s smile grew.
“I’m glad you liked it.”
Michael nodded slowly.
“It was beautiful.”
Trevor looked down and strummed a bit more before he looked up and said, “This is one of my favorites.”
After a few introductory chords, he softly sang, “’We’ll sing in the sunshine, we’ll laugh every da-a-ay, we’ll sing in the sunshine, then I’ll be on my way…’”
Michael had heard this song before, but not for a long time.
“’My Daddy he once told me, hey don’t you love you any man, just take what they may give you, and give but what you can... ‘”
Michael realized that Trevor’s voice had made him hard again. Rigidly hard, intensely hard. As he looked at Trevor’s thick golden hair, the smooth skin of his cheeks, those two almost imperceptible brown dots, his slender arms and fingers holding the guitar as if it were a part of him, listening to that clear, saintly voice, he felt something he had never experienced before. Was it love? Was it sex? Was it something else?
He was trembling as Trevor finished the song and he felt hot and flushed.
Trevor sat looking at Michael and smiled. The two boys said nothing for several seconds, their eyes locked on each other. Finally, Michael took a breath and said, “I think I grok you.”
Trevor’s smile grew wider.
“I think you do.”
He set the guitar back in its holder beside the bed and stood up. The rise in his shorts was unmistakable, pointing upward and to the left. Trevor made no attempt to hide it. Neither did Michael attempt to hide the fact that he was staring directly at it.
Trevor held his hand out and Michael stood, his own rigid penis pushing outward against the constraining fabric of his shorts. Both boys were looking at the other’s crotch. Their eyes both looked upward at the same moment.
“Boys! Trevor! Michael!”
Trevor’s eyes closed and all the breath in his lungs flowed out of his mouth.
“In here, Mom,” he called as he sat back down on the bed. Michael sank back onto the chair. Trevor picked up the guitar and held it over his shorts as his mother appeared at the door.
“What are you boys still doing inside on such a beautiful day?”
“I was just singing a few songs for Michael.”
“Oh, Trevor!” she declared excitedly, “you have to bring your guitar over to the cookout! Everyone would love to here you sing! You are so talented. It would be a great way for you to get acquainted with everyone! I’m going to just whip up some of my famous potato salad and some cole slaw to take over to Michael’s parents. Now come on boys!”
Reluctantly, Michael stood, carefully holding his guitar in front as Michael stood, jamming his hands into his pockets.
Accompanied by the sounds of cabinets slamming and pots clanging in the kitchen, Trevor and Michael slowly made their way to the front door. As Michael stepped out onto the front porch, Trevor came up beside him and said, softly, “Do you think, um, that, um, you might want to maybe, you know, like, maybe sleepover tonight? I could like sing some more songs and the moon is past full and is real cool right now and we could lay in the back yard and look at the stars and it would be really cool. You want to?”
Michael wanted to scream, “Yes! Yes! I would LOVE to spend the night with you!”
Instead, he replied softly, evenly, “Sure. Sounds cool.”
And, together, they crossed the yard as gnats and other bugs jumped up from the tall grass and a blue jay squawked from above them and the searing afternoon sun baked them in the heat of an Oklahoma summer.
And, so, we come to the frustrating conclusion of Chapter Five. I hope you enjoyed it and will write to me at chriswriter @ operamail.com. Thank you so much for the support I have received. It is truly gratifying. Thanks!!!