Learning To Fly

Part Three

There is nothing wrong with obeying your parents. In fact, it's often better if you do. For example: if they say you should never ever try sticking another fork into an electrical outlet, you really should pay attention. And even in regard to the various social graces you're expected to acquire, there are ways of going along with them without losing your sense of dignity in the process. If a new word heard on the playground or on base is simply unacceptable, you can still think that word. So again, there's nothing wrong with obeying your parents and not doing stuff that would disappoint them...

But it's not very interesting.

Who's the most interesting character in Tom Sawyer: Tom, who was always full of mischief, or his half-brother Sid who had no troublesome, adventurous ways? It is difficult to have adventures if you're not adventurous, and often, this means doing things you wouldn't want your parents to know about, and more often than not, that includes almost everything that's related to sex. I didn't want my parents to be ashamed of me, but at the same time...

Well, at first I just wanted to do what Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn and Joe Harper did when they decided to run away and become pirates. So they ended up on that island, and in no time at all, they went whooping and prancing out on the bar, and chased each other round and round, shedding clothes as they went, until they were naked.

Put that way, it already sounded glorious, and that was before they were gripping and struggling till the best man ducked his neighbor...until... they all went under in a tangle of white legs and arms.

At not quite nine, the implications of gripping and struggling with arms and legs all tangled up seemed to be...


And so when James Davies entered the picture like a visitor from an entirely different world... when he seemed to be asking me whether or not he was moving a little too fast... if I'd been capable of giving him a half-intelligent answer at that point, I might have said something like, “Oh no. Quite the contrary. I'm starting to think that you're going a little too slow!”

I really liked the way he talked. I thought he was probably the most fascinating boy I'd ever met. Ever!


For two and a half hours, it was like the most wonderful dream I ever could have imagined, then for roughly two years and nine months, nothing else happened. Or, at least nothing like what happened with James, which is why I'll be summarizing at times, but I'm going to start with one constant: we stayed in touch. When he asked if I'd like to be his pen pal – he'd never had one before, but he thought it might be interesting because of us living in different countries – of course I wanted to. At first, we weren't writing about sex any, just ordinary stuff, but I always looked forward to hearing from him. It could make my entire day. And it wasn't long until it was almost like clockwork. One week, I'd have another letter from him; a week later, he'd have another from me. So there was always that.

I visited Tiergarten a few more times, but never with the idea of sharing any more social nudism with the Germans. After that afternoon with James, it would have only made me feel a little sad. And, besides, those Germans couldn't even speak my language.

And of course that was very unfair, because there was a much greater chance of one of them being able to speak half-intelligible English than there ever was of me being able to speak half-intelligible German. Remotely-intelligible, perhaps, but beyond that, no, not really.

Then, in August, I was in Atlanta, Georgia. My parents were only going to be there for a few weeks, but I'd be living with my grandparents (mom's side of the family), until Christmas break. Then I'd be flying back to West Berlin for Christmas, but after that, I'd be back with my grandparents until summer.

That's because there's a really good private school there. In fact it's one of the top-rated in the country, so of course you have to apply way in advance and everybody who applies isn't going to get in. Maybe about a third do, I'm not sure. But in the interest of furthering my education and also in not having to worry about constantly changing schools, my parents put in an application the year before. Only then there were all those transcripts to worry about and I had to take some tests, so I didn't think I needed to worry too much about being stuck with my fussy grandparents for close to nine months, because I didn't think I was going to make the cut in the first place. And if that disappointed my parents, I could still say I tried. I mean, it was a nice school, but still...

In late July the letter from the school came, and I'd been accepted.

No! That was my first reaction. I kept it inside, but actually that was my first, second, third, fourth... right on up to close to the fortieth reaction, because it's one thing to say something like, “I think I'd like going there” almost a year in advance when you're mostly saying that because you know that's what they want to hear, but I never really thought...

It took awhile to get used to it.


As it turned out, my grandparents weren't quite as fussy as I'd thought. They were capable of being that way, but they weren't always. Fact is, once you got to know them they were pretty nice, almost to the point of being loving. Or, at least, they always said they were very proud of me.

So obviously I was on my best behavior, whether it was boring or not. I used headphones when listening to my stereo because they didn't like loud music. And I always went to my room and supposedly to bed at 9:30 on school nights, and sometimes I actually went to bed, but I had headphones and, unless the batteries were needing to be replaced again, a good flashlight, so I could keep reading or whatever under cover. That's sort of a pun. Not undercover, under the cover.

Okay, never mind.

So. What else was there to do? Well, I had a little TV in my room, so I could watch what I wanted to watch and not what they wanted to watch – except after 9:30 on school nights and 10:30 otherwise – but as long as there wasn't a suspicious flickering light filtering out from beneath the doorway, I had my privacy. Even if they did expect me to keep my room almost spotless.

And needless to say, I jerked off a lot.

But aside from that, as we got to know each other better we came to like each other. They liked talking to me and, more and more, I liked talking to them.

School: at first I was mostly trying to be invisible, but within a few weeks I was starting to come out of my shell in class. And there really weren't any bad teachers. They all knew how to make whatever subject they were teaching interesting. And also within a few weeks I had some friends. Fifth grade isn't quite the same as junior high, but it's still important to have a group of friends. I had that, and I didn't have to worry about moving off to some place else. It wasn't going to happen that school year, or when I was in the sixth grade, or when I was in the seventh... I mean, it wouldn't always be the same friends... and there would probably be some new ones... as long as none of them ever knew the truth...

Yeah. That.

So okay. There is nothing wrong with wanting to fit in. There's nothing wrong with wanting to be accepted by your peers. And when you're part of a small circle of friends with lots of shared interests, there is nothing wrong with wanting to keep those friends.

Just as there's nothing wrong with wanting your parents and your grandparents to continue loving you. And I know: if they knew, maybe it would make no difference. Maybe they'd love you just as much. Maybe. Because in the fifth grade, you're afraid to find out.

And in the sixth grade, you're still afraid. So by the time you reach the seventh grade...


Well, I could go on with where things left off in the last paragraph – the one left hanging again – but if I did, we'd soon find ourselves in the middle of a tragedy.

Even if by their very nature seventh graders are the most tragic creatures in the entire universe. Caught between childhood and adulthood, nobody truly understands them, nobody appreciates them, nobody can really know just how awful their life really is...

Fucking tragic, that's what it is. (As you get older, you tend to cuss more.)

Or, at least, I did. Not at my grandparents – except for when there was no way of them hearing me – but as my life grew ever more tragic...

I could at least take some solace in knowing that there would a tangible result after I'd jerked off again.

Unless I'd jerked off too many times that day: in that case, there might not be anything beyond a pitiful little dribble. If there was even that much. Honestly, there were times when I had to wonder why I'd even bothered.

Adolescence is awkward, that's all you can say about it. Because, among other things, it's almost never going to be symmetrical. Parts of your body will be growing while other parts haven't gotten the message yet. Not even close. So your arms end up being way too long, or your legs, or your feet. It's always something.

And in my case it was my dick. It started growing when I was a little past twelve, which was almost exactly when it was supposed to start, but the problem was, the rest of me wasn't doing much of anything. I was 4'-11'' and all of 82 pounds, so while I really was looking forward to puberty, I still wasn't expecting it to happen anytime soon. It looked enormous! Everybody would be making fun of me in gym class! And I was too young to be an exhibit at the fair... and I thought that when it started growing, you were supposed to be getting some hair to go with it...

As it turns out, though, my penis was only slightly above the average size. Even if almost five inches really can appear to be a bit much when you're only 4'-11''. And of course, that was only when it was fully erect… even if it seemed to be getting that way with alarming regularity. There's a time and place for everything, and when you're standing in front of the class giving an oral book report, that's not one of those times. What is so goddamned erotic about Les Misérables? And in the showers after gym, that is really good!

Fortunately, though, it happens to almost everyone at that age. It doesn't matter if they're straight, gay or in the closet, it happens. And as it turned out, my penis wasn't even the largest in my gym class. Unless I compared its greatest possible length to my height, then it probably was. It could go to 8.145% of my overall height, and to me that seemed seemed to be a bit extreme. Even if I had no way of knowing how the others in my class scored. But if I had to guess, I'd say Joe Kinney would have only been in the neighborhood of 4.5%.

So I had to think that it could have been worse, and beyond that, it wasn't too much longer until I finally had some hair. Not a lot, but at least some.


And now a quick update on James.

I finally managed to ask if he was or wasn't gay. I had to, because never once did he mention anything about being gay when we were in Tiergarten: we were just having sex. And from what he'd told me about his school, I was getting the impression that most of the boys there were just having sex. They were at an age when they wanted to stick it into something and, with no girls, they'd simply stick it into each other. But they were very discreet about it, because being caught would almost certainly result in expulsion. Bottom line, though, most of those boys would eventually end up being unhappily married. And few might even end up being happily married, but I wasn't concerned about all those other boys - I just wanted to know about James.

So the gist of his reply was: “Well, of course I am, you silly twat!”

Only then he was wanting to know if I was.

And in reply I said I was pretty sure of it.

Only that led to him asking if I was having any sex, and I had to admit that I wasn't.

Excluding jerking off, of course. And, if nothing else, I often fancied myself. But no, I wasn't having sex with anyone because things in the U.S. weren't like they were in England. Or at least not like they seemed to be at most English boarding schools.

Only he was saying that, statistically, me being the only gay in my class was highly improbable, and I just needed to take a chance. “You finally made yourself go into the water head-first, and nothing bad came of that, so that's how you have to look at finding someone. It's not going to happen unless you take a chance! ”

And the gist of my reply was: “Well, that's easy for you to say.”

So. James was unapologetically gay and I was... well, gay. But at least I knew, and at least he knew, so if not for him being on one side of the Atlantic Ocean and me on the other side, it would have been wonderful.


And now a little about someone I've so far not mentioned: my favorite cousin, Dusty. He was the only one my age – so that was the first reason I liked him - but anyway, he's on my father's side of the family, most of whom still live in south-central Georgia. Rural south-central Georgia, and Dusty and his folks lived way out in the country. It wasn't really on a farm, but it was isolated enough that we could go skinny dipping in their pond. That first happened the summer I was eight, when I spent two weeks with him while my parents were on a cruise to the Bahamas. But the first time he said we didn't need to worry about swimming trunks because it was on their property and nobody was likely to see us anyway, it was awesome!

Once he managed to talk me into it, it was, and from then on, I often felt that we had a special bond.

I didn't get to see him every year, though, and that included the summer I was eleven. I'd been away from my parents for several months, so they wanted to spend some quality time with me. And I really didn't mind.

Then the next summer – when I was twelve – my parents decided to fly to Atlanta just before school ended. So they'd spend some time with my grandparents and they could all talk about how well I was doing in school. Then right after that, my parents and I drove down to visit my father's people for a few days. It's only a hundred miles or so. But the thing was, I only got to spend one night over at Dusty's, and that was the night before my parents and I were to head off for points west. Because that year we were going to drive all the way across the country, and I was really looking forward to it.

But anyway – back to that one night spent with Dusty – by the time it was over, I was glad I wasn't going to spending any more with him. It was a temporary thing, but in case it's been forgotten, that was when I was worried about my enormous penis. Not that it really was, but I thought so at the time, and what I thought about it was the most important thing, and I didn't want him seeing it. I didn't even want him seeing me in my underwear!

And so he didn't. I wore my pajamas that night. Those, and a bathrobe, which I quickly slipped off before diving under the cover. (I was sleeping on a mattress on the floor, while he was in his bed.) So naturally, after wondering why I was all at once so modest, he started picking at me, which only made things worse because at the time I was also very sensitive.

The following Christmas, though, my parents decided it would be nice to spend it with my grandparents for a change, so on Christmas Eve my parents and I drove down to see his folks for just that one day, and I was back to getting along okay with him. Mostly because even though I knew he hadn't forgotten anything about how I'd been acting back in the summer, he wasn't making any cracks about it. And beyond that, after discovering that he'd be out of school for Spring break the same week I'd be out, he was asking if there was any way I could come down there that week, and after thinking about it for only a second or so, I said I'd really like to.


And now, to briefly summarize school life up until the Spring break that year: my grades remained top-notch, I finally reached the five foot even mark and I was still jerking off a lot.

Aside from that, nothing happened, so on to Spring break at Dusty's.


On Christmas Eve when I saw Dusty, I was saying that I knew he hadn't forgotten how I'd acted back in the summer, but at least he wasn't making any cracks about it. But I wasn't really expecting him to, because most of the time other kinfolk including several aunts and uncles were fairly close by. And besides, we were only there for a few hours.

I figured it would be different if it was just me and him, though. Especially if I was spending the night. Then I was almost positive something more would be said. Thing is, though, I really liked him. It hadn't reached the point of worshiping the ground he walked on, but I did like him, and I didn't want him to think I was a sissy. Even if I'd probably acted that way the summer before. So in the first place, I wanted him to know I was all over that.

Then in the second place, he'd gone out his way to be immodest the summer before. If I was going to be all modest, well, then by God, he'd show me...

So I was really, really hoping he'd show me some more.

And sure enough, the first night, when it was time for us to get ready for bed, he did. Not right off, but eventually, he did, because I had a plan.

Starting with: pretending to be uncertain again. I'd pulled my shirt off, but that's all. So almost anybody would have thought I was stalling.

And actually I was a little.

But Dusty was hurriedly getting out of his clothes. Until he was down to his undershorts. And then he turned his back, opened his drawer, pulled out his slightly oversized Georgia Tech basketball shorts, and then...

You just better not look at me,” he said mockingly, and with that, he hurriedly jerked his undies down and off, and then quickly jerked his basketball shorts on.

Then he turned and added, “That was close!” So he was still teasing me.

So good! I shrugged nonchalantly. Or at least I was trying my damnedest. But anyway, “Yeah, well, nice butt.” As if I was teasing him.

And in reply, “You wish.”

I had no idea what that was supposed to mean, but still pretending... “My grandparents... sometimes, they're even fussier than my mom... but anyway, since they went to the trouble of packing my pajamas, I guess I might as well wear them.” And with that, I sighed and put my top on. And then I buttoned it. Except for the bottom two buttons. I could almost sense him smirking.

At least until I pulled my jeans and undies off without bothering to turn my back. By then, I think it was usually about three inches soft. I hadn't ever measured it in that condition, so that's why I'm not sure, but I did have some hair and I wanted him to see it and I also wanted him to know that I was past being modest. And I guess that was obvious enough, because I still hadn't pulled my bottoms on. Because I was pretending to look for them in my suitcase.

Only I couldn't find them because I'd stuffed them into the dirty clothes bag at my grandparents.

So, “Shit. They forgot to pack my pajama bottoms. So it looks like I'm not going to be wearing any.” And then my dick started straightening out. Slowly, but still...

That really wasn't how I'd planned it. If things went as I hoped, then it wasn't going to be a problem, but... “Well, apparently, it thinks it's real funny,” I said hurriedly, and with that I dived into bed. With him. Because he'd mentioned that. Said we didn't need to go to all the trouble of pulling that old mattress back out, because there was room enough for both of us in his bed.

So there I was, naked from the waist down and with a hard-on. I think it went all the way up in about two seconds. But he was right, there was room for both of us. So I definitely wasn't trying to invade his personal space – depending, of course, on whether things went as I hoped or not – but almost under my breath I muttered, “Stupid dick! It's always doing that to me. One time it happened while I was giving a book report! Right in front of the whole damn class! I put my hand in my pocket real quick, but the way some girls were giggling... it sucks, you know?”

Yeah, it's happened to me too,” Dusty said shakily.

Shakily. Almost the way I might have sounded when I was asking James if he'd ever felt like he was about to pee even if he didn't really. So that could mean... if I carefully put it just the right way...

Geronimo!” he half-whispered, and with that, he was practically on top of me. Not so carefully. And he was hard as a brick.

Except he didn't grab my dick – I mean, he touched it, but actually he was yanking on my pubes. Like he was trying to pull them out. And even though I had a half-decent rectangle by then, it was still a fairly recent development, so I managed, “Hey! Leave my hair alone!” and then to demonstrate how serious I was about it, I shoved my hand inside the front of his shorts and started yanking at his! I knew he had some, because he'd already started growing a few hairs back in the summer.

Okay, okay!” he managed, and then, with almost no hesitation at all, he wrapped his hand around my erection. “How's this feel?” he asked. Still sounded a little shaky, though.

And I'm sure I did too. My carefully laid plans had just been shot all to hell. But I didn't care. “I don't... know,” I squeaked, “does it... feel anything... like... this?” … and then I wrapped my hand around his erection. It was about four inches, but...oh, WOW!

And then he started pulling on mine. So I started pulling on his. And at some point, I probably should have been taking the initiative, but actually... he wasn't giving me any time!

Even if he could have waited a little longer before managing, “You... know... this doesn't... oh shit... this doesn't... um... make us like gay... or any...” (gasp), “ anything, it's just until we...start going with... girls... okay?”

So was I supposed to tell him I didn't think it was okay? Then? We were jerking each other off right then, and I hadn't had any kind of sex with another boy since James! So...

Cool with me,” I panted.

You think... we oughta... get the blanket out of... our way?”

... Good idea.”


If things had stayed just the way they were as of that Spring break - if it had never gone beyond jerking each other off - I still could have lived with it. Because, aside from that one time with James, it was something I'd never come close to experiencing. And not only that, things did seem to be escalating. I mean, it did quite a bit the next morning when we woke up and did it again.

I woke up first, and there we were, right up against each other, with him completely naked and all I had on was my pajama top. And then I remembered that just before falling asleep, he'd said I looked kind of sexy like that.

So that in itself was a fairly good indication that things between us could have gone a lot further a lot sooner...

But right then I was worrying about whether he'd be having any second thoughts once he was awake again. I've heard about that happening.

I needn't have worried, though, because his eyes suddenly popped open and after yawning, he giggled and then it seemed as if he was asking if I was having any second thoughts. As in: ”You're not like uptight or anything about what we did last night are you, because... well, because it's like I said, we're just getting our rocks off until we start dating and stuff, so you're still okay with that?”

So it still wasn't the perfect message, but it was way too early to be worrying any more about it and in reply I said, “If you're not worried about it, then I'm not either. … So you want to do it again? Right now?”

And of course he did, but this time, as though the thought had just occurred to me, I said, “You know, if we're going to, then we might as well get as much out of it as we can. Because the way I've always heard it, the idea's not supposed to be how fast you can get off, it's like... well, how long can you make it keep feeling better and better and better before it finally happens, know what I mean?”

So that led to what amounted to some heavy petting, and as the week continued, some awfully heavy petting. And we weren't limiting ourselves to only doing it right after waking up and just before going to sleep again that night, either. No, we were at it... well, not constantly, but sometimes it almost seemed that way.

Like the last full day I was there that Spring break for example, which was Saturday. I'd had a wonderful week, but the next day I'd be getting on a bus in Macon and on my way back to Atlanta. And to explain one other thing, Aunt Laurie – his mom– worked days, Monday through Friday and then a half day on Saturday, at a cotton mill. And now might also be a good time to explain that she was the black sheep of the family, in that she'd never married and apparently had no intention of ever doing so.

But anyway, we'd already experimented quite a bit on trying to prolong things while we were jerking each other off. When one of us felt like we were getting close, that person would mention it and then the other person would sort of clamp down and limit himself to some gentle stroking. It was always on erogenous zones, though, so it didn't always go exactly as planned. Because if one of us was getting close, then the other was never all that far away either. Not that it ever detracted from our overall enjoyment, but still...

Well, practice makes perfect, and we were still working on it. But then another thing we tried was simply grinding on each other. Face to face, of course, but here the idea was to go at it slowly. So it was more like writhing, I guess, and it always ended up being pretty messy.

So okay, we were getting more adventuresome, and that leads to Saturday morning, when Dusty came up with the bright idea of us pulling and rubbing on each other for two minutes and then running all the way to the barn and back. And then once back inside, we'd pull and rub for two more minutes. We were using the microwave as a timer. So when it dinged, we'd take off running again. And so on and so on, with the idea being that eventually one of us would probably be losing it somewhere between the house and the barn. So the one who lost it first would be the loser, and he'd then have to finish the other person off right then and there, no matter where that was. And he'd be on his knees in front of the winner, so actually...

I could see some potential there. Penalties! It seemed as fair as it could possibly be, and the loser would only be doing it because he'd lost, not because he really wanted to.

We'll not get into that now, though, because I still didn't have the nerve. I was who I was, and that's all there was to it. Later on, after I'd told James about it, he said I was waffling, but he still had to admit it was probably a good thing one of us wasn't outside on his knees sucking the other off when Aunt Laurie got home an hour earlier than we were expecting.

But as you might imagine, it was still embarrassing. We'd almost reached the back gate, with our erections leading the way and right on the verge – or at least mine was - when we heard her driving up. So there was no way we could possibly make it back to the house before she got inside and noticed all our clothes in the middle of the floor.

So we dove behind the hedge. And then of course I crouched, but Dusty started giggling! Breathlessly, but I thought he was having a nervous breakdown or something. So I was trying to calm him down and also trying to calm myself down - with very little success, when...

Dusty yelled, “In case you're wondering, momma, we're out back and we'd really appreciate it if you was to throw our clothes outside. Okay?”

And then I looked thunderstruck. I'm absolutely sure of it.

But, “I was wondering about that, and I'm guessing you're also going to tell me that Colin's about to die from embarrassment, so you can tell him I promise not to look. Soon as you get your clothes back on, I'll be waiting in the kitchen.”

We'd both lost our erections by then - and it wasn't due to either of us having an orgasm – but at any rate, it wasn't long until we were dressed again. Only I was still horribly embarrassed, even if Dusty was telling me not to worry too much about it. So of course I was still wondering if he'd lost his mind.

Only, as it turned out, he hadn't, because once we were back inside and seated at the kitchen table, and after Dusty told her we were just playing a dare game, Aunt Laurie said, “Well, don't worry Colin, I ain't telling your folks. Because I got a pretty good idea of how your momma is. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but some people are just particular about certain things, and I reckon your grandparents up in Atlanta are about the same way.

But I know when you're the age you and Dusty are, your hormones are acting up. Lots around here would be taking a belt to their kids if they was to drive up and see their bare behinds going through the back gate, but I don't always see it that way. I know how it was with your daddy, `cause believe it or not, he was once your age himself.”

Then after I looked up with a mixture of embarrassment and ???? - with the additional embarrassment coming from her mentioning that she'd apparently already seen my behind and the question marks coming from just what you'd expect, she continued...

What you have to remember, Colin, is your daddy's my kid brother. Me and him are the two youngest, remember?”

Then she started chuckling, and finished with, “Tell you what. Sometime after you're all grown up, ask him about the time he got caught riding his bicycle through the middle of Barnesville naked. We'd just moved there. So what your daddy told the policeman was, it was his initiation. And matter of fact, it was. He was twelve then, and he wanted to be a part of the neighborhood gang – just some boys about your age – but I'll never forget that policeman knocking on our front door, holding Billy by his ear. Still naked as the day he was born, because he'd left all his clothes back at the clubhouse.”

So finally, after a pregnant pause, I asked, “How did grandma and granddaddy take it?”

Not too well at first. And back then it was spare the rod and spoil the child - something I've been sorely tempted to do to Dusty a time or two - take a switch to him... but anyways, I know how boys can get at your age, and I know how you want to make it a great big secret. So with me getting off early today, it was an accident and I'm just going to try to forget I ever saw it, all right?”

She would have been a lot more successful in making us believe she'd soon be forgetting if she hadn't kept looking like she was on the verge of busting out laughing again for the rest of the day, but overall...

It was amazing. James seemed to be from a different world, and apparently, Dusty was too.

But speaking of James...


I'd already been getting some hints. He'd met someone new, and while he wasn't completely sure, he thought this time, there might be something special going on between them. It started out slow, because at first this other boy – Trevor - was shy. If I thought I was, he really was! But James was patient and said that even though he'd love to have sex with him, it would only be if and when Trevor wanted to. And eventually,Trevor wanted to very much, and after that, he became a different person. I mean, he was still shy, but only when they weren't having sex, because when they were, he was insatiable!

Aside from that, though, he was very sweet and gentle. And caring. He cared a lot.

But the gist of my initial reaction was, “Sweet? Did he just say this Trevor person is sweet?

That's only what I thought to myself, though. But I harbored thoughts like that until I finally realized that I really wasn't being fair. Until then, I'd hung onto the hope that one day it would somehow be James and myself, not James and some interloper named Trevor, but from the start, I had to know my hopes weren't very realistic.

And, besides, we were still writing. It wasn't as often as before, but once I told him about Dusty, he was telling me he thought he was the one for me. Just from the way I was describing him. And also, he was saying he was sure lots of boys would say they were going to eventually be interested in girls, but in many cases it was only a cover. He thought it was more likely to be the case in the U.S. than in Europe, because by and large, Americans seemed to be a lot more puritanical. And he'd heard this was especially true in places like rural Georgia. So taking all that into consideration, the fact that we'd been feeling each other off with so much enthusiasm seemed to be a dead give-away.

So the gist of my reply to that was: “Okay, I'll think about it then. Very seriously, all right?”

Then a few days later, late the first Sunday morning in May, he called me. All the way from London. He'd done that a couple of times, but this time, he quickly came to the point. “Don't just think about it, do it.”

So (gulp)... “Okay, next time I'm down there, then.”


… “I hereby solemnly... I promise, James.” But already, I was close to having a panic attack.

Very good. Now. When's next time to be?”

Um...” (and for a moment, I was thinking about fibbing... a little... but after a deep breath, “Next weekend. I'm taking a bus down Friday afternoon, and we're going to camp out that night and Saturday...” (No, wait! That's too soon!)

So I hurriedly amended, “But really, once summer vacation starts, it'll probably be better, because I'm going to be down there for most of June. We've already planned it, because my folks aren't going to be here in the States until early July...”

This weekend, Colin.”

Well, um...”

It's going to be all right. From what you've told me, it will be.”

Um... well... okay, I will then.”

And then after talking about how miserable their weather was and how nice ours was – just general stuff... we said our goodbyes and then I had a panic attack. Once in my room, it sure felt that way. But...

Friday night, May 11th, 1979

Much to my relief, I'd already decided that I'd probably not be outing myself until sometime the next day.

Or possibly Sunday morning. After at least two cups of coffee.

Unless of course, I decided at the last moment to be dishonorable and not mention it at all.

But the first thing that happened that night was: I finally jumped off the old railroad bridge. We were camping not too far away from it as it turned out, but anyway, the first time I saw Dusty do it was the summer we were eight. Only I wasn't about to do it then, and as of that night, I still wasn't about to. Of course, Dusty said he'd done it tons of times, and there were no rocks anywhere near the splashdown point and the current wasn't all that strong and it really wasn't all that far down anyway. Possibly thirty feet or so. Which, curiously enough, is about the same height as an Olympic high dive platform, which just might have been the height of the high dive platform James was at first afraid to dive off of.

But it still didn't matter, because I wasn't jumping off that rickety old bridge. I'd walk out on it, but then I'd look down at the dark water rippling below, and... uh uh!

And besides, by then I had an explanation. In a past life, I'd probably been aboard a ship captured by pirates and they'd forced me to walk the plank... or maybe in a more recent past life, I'd been involved with the Mafia and had ended up with cement boots... but whatever, that's why I was so afraid of jumping off that bridge. It had to be it!

Or maybe not, because I still wasn't really dogmatic about my belief in reincarnation, and not too surprisingly Dusty was ignoring it and dragging me back to the then and there. And according to him, nothing bad was going to come of it. After I did it just once, I'd see, and he'd almost bet anything that after that, I'd be wanting to do it again, because it almost felt like you were flying. And not only that, during Spring break, I'd said I would. The next time I was down there, which just happened to be right then!

Friday night, May 11th. That was when I was surely going to die.

Only, “You are not going to die, Colin! I've done it hundreds of times, and... I just now remembered something else. Last time, you said if you didn't this time, you'd kiss my ass instead, so I guess you'd better be jumping off tonight.”

When did I say that?”

I'm not sure, but you did.”

I still think he was lying, but: “Um... the soft fleshy part, right?”

You wish. Now get your clothes off and let's go!”

And with that, he started undressing. So I wasn't exactly sure what we were talking about any more.

And apparently I was looking unsure too, because he explained, “We're not getting our clothes wet, because we still might need to sleep in them before the night's over, so hurry up!”


So I hadn't seen him naked since Spring break. I mean, I'd never reached the point of being tired of seeing him that way, but...

I guessed I could at least walk out to the bridge with him.

And so we did. Neither of us had a hint of an erection, though. I didn't know what his reason was, but personally, I was trying to think of another good excuse.

I was thinking very hard about that until we reached where we were supposedly going to jump. Because while a small part of me wanted to stop being a pussy, for the most part, I was still on “he” and not “we”.

I was until he said, “Okay, here's what we're going to do. We're going to climb up together, and then we'll hold hands and on the count of three, Geronimo!”

We were going to hold hands. How romantic.

Except we'd never actually held hands before, so it did sound romantic.

And besides, if on the count of three, one of us didn't jump, one or both of us could end up banging our heads on the side of the bridge or maybe something else that would be equally awkward... and possibly life-threatening, so...

One... two... three, Geronimo! Oh SHIT!” (He did the count, I was responsible for the other part.)

He was right, though. The second time we jumped off, it felt like we were flying. The first time, I was still mostly on petrified, but the second time was awesome!

And us jumping off together again was another nice touch. In fact, if we were still going to be holding hands, I'm pretty sure he could have talked me into making a third jump that night.

But fortunately, he thought the water was every bit as cold as I did. In a few more weeks it would be nice, but not in early May when it was still sometimes getting down into the mid to high fifties at night. And on that night it was maybe around sixty. Still not exactly like jumping into the Caribbean.

We had a camp fire, though, and after rubbing each other all over and warming ourselves up – in more than just one way – we were inside the tent and under the cover... and still rubbing on each other. Except now, we weren't as frantic about it. So I still wasn't sure if right then was the best time to bring that other subject up. Oh by the way. I really should have mentioned this earlier, but...

Because if – in spite of all signs to the contrary – the other boy still isn't quite ready for that admission...

Oh, hell. Let's just get it over with.

So I took a deep breath and: “Um, Dusty, there's something I need to tell you, all right?”

He was stroking on my chest right then. And almost certainly about to get back to slowly rubbing around my nipples. But, “Well, I guess there's something I need to tell you too.”


When I first jumped off that bridge, I was scared, but deep inside I knew it was going to be all right. I knew, because we were still holding hands. He'd survived the plunge tons of times, so there was no reason to think he wouldn't again. Or that we wouldn't.

And it was the same way inside the tent. All at once, I just knew. We both did. It was going to be all right. It would almost be like we were flying.


And it was.

Once again, thanks to my two editors: David Clarke and Tracy Nagurski. They're both very opinionated, but it's worked out for the best. In spite of my being at times, a difficult patient.

So thanks also, for their patience.


Copyright 2012: all rights reserved. Please do not reprint, repost or otherwise reproduce this or any part thereof anywhere without my written permission.

J.J. Janicki