These events occurred somewhere in a place I've been. A place where time passes dreamily. A place where our heart's desires are fulfilled. Where every yearning heart is held and kept and lifted up in loving embrace. Please play safe and be kind to yourselves and to one-another.
Our community always felt like a small town. In truth, it is a semi-rural enclave on the outskirts of a large northern city. But it is one of those places that people don't seem to move away from. Or they do, but only for a while, and then they're back again. Our parents and grandparents came here and put down roots -- and boy, what roots! Most of the people in this story still live in the same houses, these grand old cozy big homes that once rang out with the shouts of their parents' voices as children. Grandma's cooking smells are still there, in the walls somewhere, if your nose is keen enough.
Anyway, a few years have passed -- not a lot -- and some of us have moved away. But the place just keeps drawing us back. Some to raise a family, some to heal. And I still see these people in the course of a day and often we have a moment to stop, perhaps to touch, and to look each other in the face and smile, remembering how we were.
I have to admit, when Derek came unglued like that, it sorta shook me up. It's pretty hard to explain, and I don't think anyone is going to believe me, either. But, I was WITH him when the pit opened for him. I could FEEL it. Scared crap outta me. Wasn't even my pit.
Dry humping with Derek: I know it sounds kinda dorky. But, you know… I guess I had this drive to be WITH someone, more than to, like, suck his dick. I mean, that, too… But being WITH him was... so... absolutely earth-shaking, that the mechanics of our lovemaking were almost a distraction. So I guess the rubbing and stuff was about as close to the Ken-doll love experience as you can get and still share a climax together. I don't know. I just have a really tender spot for these times with Derek.
Derek's a pretty "fringe" guy, in his way. A 13 year old professional ice dancer, really. Gets paid to partner these little honeys. Never really gets the spotlight, himself. Or only as a… counterpart… a sort of momentary consort to the real stars: the girls in the glittery skating skirts.
But Fuck, is he good! And something about that discipline, about the movement with the music, about the relinquishment of… something -- control of some part of himself -- to focus on the discipline... something about that encouraged and enabled Derek to indulge himself in a very perilous habit of his.
Which brings us to Dustin.
The day after Derek's… pyrotechnics, Dustin crawled into my lap and sat there sideways, halfway turned around at the waist, holding my body, with his ear against my tummy.
"You really like Derek, don't you?" he said, into the silence.
"Yes," I said, sort of wistfully, aching, "Yeah, a lot." I had a little catch in my throat, and Dusti picked it up. No use trying to hide things from Dustin.
"Are you being sad?"
"NO! starting to cry just a little, "No! Not at all, really. I... I'm ... "
Dustin took his little head off my chest and looked up at me. Not the athleticism of CONNECTION. Soft. His mouth a tiny pink O.
"You love him." A statement of truth. I nodded, grimacing to hold it back.
"You have more twinkle now." I had to sob. Only about 3 quick ones, and then felt better. Twinkle!
Lawnmowers. Droning. Air hissing, in the silence between the sounds.
"I love you, Dusti," I said, smoothing his hair. It stuck up all weird from his sleep.
"I know," he said, littleboy simply, "I can always feel that stuff." Matter of fact.
"What are you gonna do about it?" A littleboy's eyes, now, searching my face.
"I dunno, Dusti," I sighed, suddenly content not to know. "I just don't know."
"Will you marry him?" Dusti asked, examining my face.
"Ohhh, Dusti… " Sigh, "Probably not -- for a lot of reasons."
"Cuz you're both the boy?" he asked.
"Yah. That's part of it. Most of it, maybe. But he's so -- we're both so young. It's so hard to guess what's down the road for either of us."
"Did you talk to Mommy?"
"No, Honey, I can't... "
"Cuz you think she'll be mad?"
"Well, not really mad... upset, maybe. She doesn't... wouldn't understand."
"You mean about loving a boy?" he asked, his eyes simple, littleboy direct.
"Yeah, with Daddy being gone and everything, I... just haven't gotten around to telling her that I... " I ran out of steam.
"She knows, Brand," Dustin assured me.
"WHAT? What makes you say that?" I said, practically spilling him off my lap. I wanted to stand up.
Dusti had been playing with my fingers, lifting and looking at them. "She knows, Brand. We talked about it."
"Ohh, God! What did she say?" My heart was sick with dread.
"She said you'd be useless for the next month or so." Dustin said, considering. "I don't think you're useless, Brand," he smiled.
"Oh, God!......Uh... I hope not. Are you about ready to get set for the park, Big One?"
"Ice cream, afterwards?" He gave me the puppy dog look.
Funny about Dusti. What a weird blend of littleguy innocence and sheer laser-beam intensity. I think these young kids like Dustin, if we can generalize about them, actually choose to ignore a lot of stuff, like the sex on TV. The teen and grownup stuff. They can see it. It just doesn't belong... It's more like they don't belong to it.
Anyway, we were at the park, and Dustin and I were doing a see-saw. I was basically sitting on the fulcrum, balancing him with one part of my butt. He was jumping, jumping, and he'd go up 'till he was real slow and then barely start to fall and it would pick up and he'd land and gather and jump. And you could see the sheer joy of the flight for him. Didn't matter he was a genius, the sheer physical joy. Pure littleboy, giggly blond fun.
Afterwards, on the way for ice cream, I guess Dustin must have seen me lost in thought for a minute, cuz he said, "Are you worried about Derek?"
"Not really. Well, a little."
"Brand, what's 'volume'?" Typical Dustin. You get used to it.
"Uh, well. It's the amount of space something takes up. Like a cup of water. If you had 2 cups of water, they would take up twice as much volume."
"Oh," he said, turning inward for a split second. "How about 'volume' on the TV?"
"Ahh! Yeah. Sorry! It means how loud. See, when you turn on the faucet, they talk about the volume of water... "
He cut me off: "They do that all the time! It's not the volume, it's how fast the volume!" He looked a little pissed, disgusted.
"Yah, you got it. So I guess they talk the same way about the sound. You know, like how much pours out."
"I understand," he said, kicking a rock. "It just doesn't make much sense, really."
"Well, you're right. But it means how loud, for whatever the reason, anyway," I assured him.
"Okay, " he said, apparently satisfied.
Rounding the corner out of the park, he looked back at the rink for a moment and said, "Derek. He turns his volume up way loud."
"You mean his skating music?"
"No, he lives like that." Dustin was kicking leaves. Shit! The leaves! They were still green, but some were drying up and falling.
"How do you mean?"
"He feels everything really loud."
I just had to laugh! That was precisely the thing about Derek. His emotions were on LOUD, his life was on LOUD! Fine, 'till the shit hit the fan: that was on loud, too. But I figure that's why loving him was so... grand. It was stronger, louder, more intense.
He even looked louder, somehow. He was God's billboard for Levi's. When God was handing out the things that made Derek a boy, he pasted them right out front. You put a skater's butt in there, and it almost hurt to look. His legs filled the jeans almost a little too much. And then they tapered in at the top and this perfectly round butt. Unnh!
And then in front... It made my heart race. Part of the reason it was cool just to grind with him. God, he was beautiful! Then the compact, muscular upper body and the almost delicate jaw. And wrists, and hands. But these massive ankles, and a strong back and chest. Tiny little tits. He didn't lift weights. Musta been from hefting all those girls around.
Anyway, talking with Dustin made me feel better about Derek. Better about what I brought to this... relationship? Was that what it was, yet? Guess so. We had shared our joy, plumbed his sorrow. Pledged our fidelity.
I felt so fucking lucky just to have him, it was almost prayerful:
Lord God, thank You! Hold my baby and protect him. Hold him and keep him from the Pit. I know that you can see into my heart, God. Please make me worthy. Ohh, please!
Whew! Ice cream time!