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 condone (publicly) anyone breaking the law, so either move or read sentence four. I definitely don't want the thought police after either of our badonkadonks.
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).
I welcome any feedback. Constructive criticism appreciated.
Chapter 43 -- New Things
I looked out as soon as I woke up. It was snowing when we went to bed last night and I had a glimmer of hope of a snow day. There was a fair amount of snow already and the wind was howling. Possible I thought. When I got to the kitchen, my hopes faded. My sisters didn't have that we-don't-have-school look. Oh well.
But I felt pretty good. Maybe it was because I was determined to take control -- at least where I could. Our trip to the library was almost useless. But at least it was a beginning. I thought I should still be feeling anxious and at least somewhat worried about the big blowup with my Dad and my conversation with my Mom. And I did. But that was almost a month ago.
When I got to school I just sort of felt energized somehow. I wonder if it had something to do with puberty. To be fair, going through puberty should at least do something positive for you. I thought it quite ironic. I spent two years anxiously awaiting puberty, and found it caused many more difficulties than it solved. Or did it even solve any?
I almost laughed out loud walking down the hallway to my locker. I pictured an imagined scene in Biology class: "Mr. Richards, how does going through puberty exactly affect a person's psychological adjustment with being screwed over by his father?" I wondered if I'd even be allowed the get the entire sentence out. How come we can't even ask questions about the really important stuff? Like sex stuff? Maybe we should redefine school.
And then Geometry. My favorite class. Father Gault finally showed up his usual five minutes late. Then he joked around for 15 more minutes -- as usual.
Father Gault opened his briefcase and said: "OK, I have last week's test graded."
To think I had some vague worry about this class at the beginning of the year but it proved baseless. It was the thought of the proofs. But they were easy. Especially since we didn't have to learn the Postulates and Theorems by wrote. So doing the proofs was simple. Just draw a diagram representing the problem. Let it tell you the steps for the proof. Write them down, and read what's happening in the diagram for the reasons (by this I mean the postulates or theorems).
I realized I had missed some of what Father Gault said. He was saying just then: "I threw out two of the test. Price and Papariello, since you ruined the curve again, your tests don't count." (The only teacher to use my last name). "Instead I've made a special test for you two. You have three days to complete them." The word `special' was dripping with evil intent. And his smile was entirely too big. We went up for the new tests. "Holy Shit." I thought. This looked like a college course exam!
"Holy Shit!" I couldn't believe Price said it aloud.
"Mr. Price, do you think this will finally challenge you? I'm sure my hearing isn't very good, but I'm pretty sure that's exactly what you just said?"
"Yes Father. That's exactly what I said." Price even made an almost smile -- unusual for him.
Actually, Gault did this before. And then raked us over the coals when he had us show our answers on the board. But I enjoyed the attention. And it really was a great compliment.
"OK, I fully expect to lower each of your grades by this latest challenge."
"But is that fair?" Wrong thing to ask Price.
"OK, let's be fair." The teacher faced the class. "All those that agree, raise your hands. . . Those against. . . Price, you just lost. Isn't democracy great?" Most the class thought that hilarious.
We were about to get down to real class work when the speaker in the classroom coughed a couple times and then emitted a scratchy voice: "Father Gault, if convenient, could you meet me at the office?" It was the principal.
And so fate struck.
Much later that day I was talking to Jade when we were in my room. We had Critter upstairs and I decided a cat in your lap was a lot more satisfying. Too bad I was mildly allergic to cats and Mom wouldn't have one around.
"Now, White-boy, could you explain now how come I waited for you for over an hour in the wind and cold, with the snow swirling around, and you never showed?"
I wasn't sure if I was laughing or lamenting. I still though it was a great stunt. However I told him first about Father Gault's stunt with the tests in Geometry Class.
"Well. Then fate suddenly struck. The teacher had to leave for a few minutes, and so along with several other students, I went to the windows, and looked out at the snow. It was starting to snow pretty good again. We were on the second floor and had a good view. I looked down and saw an eight or ten foot drift immediately under the window. And a terrible idea (at the time I though great idea) suddenly appeared in my mind. I was going to get even with Father Gault for his second test."
"Several minutes later Father Gault got back. I was on the outside of the window standing on the ledge. Just as he entered the room I yelled out. `I can't take this anymore. No more.' I thrust my hand through the open window and dropped the test to the floor. `This is just too much. I can't take it anymore.' And I jumped!"
"I was laughing as I re-entered the classroom. It took a while since I had to go a ways to get to the nearest door. I was no longer laughing when I saw Father Brand sitting in the teacher's chair. The entire class was unaccustomedly quiet. Father Brand said: `Mr. Papariello (oh, yeah, he also used my last name), could I make a suggestion? How about coming to my office and explain just why you thought to end it all.' It sounded like a joke, but no smile came close to his face."
"So your life was near termination, when you received CPR. And you were late because you were hospitalized as a precaution."
"Funny. I got three days Jug starting today. Actually I think I got off easy."
"Well, glad to see you are all the way back to your normal weird self." We were both smiling. "I can just see it now. You're 26 and before a judge, and the prosecutor asks: `Because of the unusual circumstances of this case, your Honor, we request that you allow us to prosecute Mr. Papariello as a minor!'"
I pretended I didn't understand why Jade was laughing. "I hope you're considering a career not requiring the slightest amount of humor."
"Well I guess I'll just meet you at my place when you get out these next couple days. What did your Mom say?"
"Why should she say anything?"
"OK." Jade said slowly, figuring out what I really meant. "But what if she finds out later?"
"Actually, after chewing me out, I hope she'll laugh."
We worked together for a while when Jade brought out a list of books by some current American authors. He had to pick one and write a report on it. And since I needed to do a similar thing, although my teacher just said he had to approve the book we picked, we though it a neat idea to use the same book.
I looked at the list.
However Jade said: "You don't actually need to see the list."
"OK, which one did you already pick?"
"Nobody Knows my Name by James Baldwin."
"Never heard of him. His book any good?"
"Of course, I picked it didn't I? Truthfully, I'm not certain, but he's a Negro, and currently making speeches, and creating a lot of controversy. So I thought I'd try it. So we are going to read it together?"
I smiled. It was usually me doing this to Jade. "Only fair. How do I get a copy?"
"It's just new. Should find it in the library. On second thought how about taking my copy? I think they will have some copies for sale at my school."
I was reading it at Jug the next day. In spite of being a type of book I'd never have picked on my own, it was somewhat interesting, if a bit difficult to follow in places. (At least the first ten pages or so). It was a series of essays.
Earlier that day, I had gotten it OK'd by my English teacher, in spite of the apparent disinclination to approve it as shown by his expression.
"I'm not sure about that book. Your parents OK for you to read that kind of book?"
"You mean it's pornographic?" I way annoyed and couldn't resist baiting him.
He actually blushed. "Well no. But it has a lot of radical ideas."
"Wow. You mean like Rosseau on political freedom or what Thomas Paine wrote right before the Revolutionary War?" (I just happen to remember something Jade had mentioned about Rosseau last year; I never really read anything by him).
I was talking about what happened with Jade later that day. I met him at his house. "He capitulated. I shouldn't have been so sarcastic, but he implied he approved of censorship. Now I better do a good job."
"What's frustrating to me is even though it's on our book list, I think the only other person in my class that picked it was Consuelo. And there are six other colored kids in my class."
"Well that book is really different. And I'm sure I would never have picked it on my own." I didn't mention I was starting to have a few misgivings about the book. I thought it was awfully difficult to understand.
Jade was apparently distracted by something else as he never answered. A few moments later he did say: "Holy smoke! This is the test?" Jade had picked up some papers I had dropped to the floor.
"Like how I so casually got you to look at it?" I didn't actually. In spite of Jug, and the test, and the horrible song playing on the radio, I was in a good mood, and couldn't stop making remarks like that.
Jade studied it for a while. "And you can do these problems?"
"Actually no. Or not all of them. The teacher really doesn't expect us to get some of them. But that's half the idea. Even three or four of the ten is really good. He just likes to have fun with us. He makes us go to the board and he keeps asking us questions and it's like a trial by blood. And he has the only knife. That last proof, # 9, I don't think God knows how to do. And none of them are readily apparent. It's technically due the day after tomorrow, but we can always wheedle a couple more days. I hope to put some time on it this weekend. It's a challenge. It's fun."
Jade read a little further. "Holy smoke, this last one isn't even Geometry. It says `You have 12 coins, one of which is counterfeit and too heavy. With only three weighings on a balance scale, determine which one is the counterfeit.' Damn!"
"Oh. That one was simple. In fact you can actually do it with 13 coins, and the counterfeit can be either heavier or lighter. You don't even need to know which."
"All right. This might be interesting. Let me work on it a while."
I needed to share some decision with Jade. But didn't know how exactly to say it. Well just get it out. "Jade." He looked up and instantly knew this was serious. "I've decided to go to Father Hearn again mostly to ask if he could help with our plan. I need to find out how our religion comes to its position on homosexuality. I'm hoping he can help us to find something written on this subject."
"White-boy, I know you have to do this. Good luck. Think I should come?"
"I've been thinking about that. But I don't think that would be a good idea. He even mentioned that he thought I shouldn`t be associating with you. You might be an `occasion of sin'."
Jade looked at me a while, "No sweat White-boy. We'll talk about it later. And we can read whatever you find together."
"Thanks for understanding."
I got home just before dinner. The snow was just starting to turn to slush and I went upstairs to change shoes. When I went into the kitchen, everyone was just sitting down for dinner.
"You're late." My Dad was glaring at me. I deliberately looked at the clock. I was five minutes early. My father must have gotten home early. I had even spent five minutes up in my room.
I started to reply but looked at Mom. "OK Mom," I thought, "I'll try not to cause any problems. So I said: "I was up changing my shoes which were wet. I won't be late again."
He stared for a few moments. "Be sure you aren't."
Escape. It almost seemed it was my father that was the teenager. What the hell is REALLY his problem with me?
February 6, 1961
God, why can't my parents ever believe me? Why does Dad hate me so much? (Or does he?) How can I survive? What will happen when they find out that I am a homosexual? How can I ever let Mom find out and not hurt her? And most important of all, why should it have to cause anyone pain to find out their son is a homosexual? Why do you make us this way?
You know I am trying to do what is right.
That was really a dumb thing I did at school yesterday. Oh well.
I hope my talk with Father Hearn will help. If I ever get up the nerve to talk to him again.
I don't know if I will be making too many more entries. It just doesn't seem that important to write these things down anymore.
Chapter 44 -- How Do You Define Girlfriend?
Had a great time with Consuelo yesterday. It's really hard to define our relationship. I guess we're just good friends. And she hasn't even talked about doing anything more than just getting together now and then. We also work together all the time on the newspaper.
Rocco seems to get a little edgy when Consuelo and I "go out." It's amusing to see how he reacts. Just last week I handed him a dictionary, and asked him to look up the word "jealousy."
"Here it is." And he read it aloud. "Think that's the right word?"
As I've said before, White-boy tends to be a little naive. "Definitely." I kept making notes. He frequently would just watch me write; he said it always intrigued him how I could do it so well. "By the way, Consuelo and I have a date two Sundays from now." I tried to be nonchalant about it, and looked at him trying not to be obvious. The succession of expressions that shown on his face were great. But I guess I wasn't subtle enough. The final expression was a big smile.
"Very cute. I haven't a single jealous bone in my body. Go on all the dates you want. Actually I'd be a lot happier for you if it were a guy. I want you to eventually find someone. You deserve it." He said it without the slightest smile. Damn. He really meant it! I will not . . . I won't say it. I'll just keep it in my heart.
"White-boy, you should have seen your face. If not your bones, then everything else is jealous. You may not have thunk it, but your face showed it."
"I know you as well as you think you know me. What else is going on?"
"Well we are writing a joint article for our school newspaper. It's supposed to be something about race relations at our school, about how we all get along. And surprisingly, we usually do. Thankfully those problems we had earlier in the year seem to have stopped. However, we just don't mix. Anyway, Consuelo has gotten Carlotta interested. And I've just gotten you interested. So we're all meeting at Carlotta's house Sunday after tomorrow at noon. Carlotta said she'd have lunch ready. Also soda, juice, and snacks later. Plus lots of 45s on the record player. It's a sort of party plus work thing."
"You already told her I'd be there, if I know you." White-boy tried to put on his you-made-me-do-something-again look, but couldn't keep his face straight. Finally he conceded. "How are we getting over there? The buses don't run too well on Sundays."
"Well, I figured we can get the bus on Rawn Ave near my house and that gets to within 6 blocks of her house without a transfer."
Rocco added: "And it goes past Homesburg Prison. Monster stone walls with barbed wire on top. My Mom says that she remembers the sirens only once. That was when Willie Sutton escaped. Supposed to have robbed over a hundred banks." And then he got one of his this-time-I-got-you-beat smiles. "That place is positively macabre." He then changed to his I'm-smarter-than-everyone-else smile.
I never heard that word "OK, I concede. Now I'm only up by 8 points. You've been making a comeback."
"Morbid, grotesque, gruesome." That guy, Vincent Price used that word on TV the other night. He was introducing one of those weird shows. He used the phrase "Tales of the Macabre." I got curious and looked it up.
"Wait a minute," I retorted, "spell it."
"No wonder, you didn't pronounce it all, there's an `r-e' on the end."
"Want to bet for another point? It can actually be pronounced both ways."
"You look too smug. You obviously looked it up. No, I'll concede. And since I'm such a nice guy, I'll also give you another point. And getting back to the party thing, Mr. Romaro said he would bring us back that evening."
"Yeah. We thought we'd get a pizza for dinner."
"Pizza! I've never had store bought pizza. I hope it's good. Gees, Jade you just looked at me as if I just invented the lie."
"You live one and a half blocks from Shef's Pizza, supposedly the best pizza place in either Mayfair or Homesburg, or so I've been told, and never had a bought pizza?!"
"I've always had better things to do with the little money I had. And Mom wouldn't go to a, quote, pizza joint, unquote, even if St. Peter said it was OK. . . It would need at least God Himself. . . . And then He'd get an argument."
"One more thing, Jimmy called yesterday. Teague had called him. Big half-ball challenge in my alley Saturday. If the weather stays good. WE are providing lemonade and soda."
"Soda? My finances are pretty low."
"OK. No soda. How about Kool-Aid?"
"OK, and Jimmy, MY close friend, called YOU? Now I am jealous."
"Actually he said he was calling everyone. You weren't home and he gave a message to your brother."
"Figures. Never got any message. You know Carl actually complained to Mom and Dad because I refused to keep his log during the last 6-meter band contest. And it backfired! Mom said that I might be more inclined to help if he let me use the equipment at times. You should have seen his expression. You'd `a thought Einstein himself came back and said that E = mc squared was just a joke; that he made it up!"
I looked up and Rocco read my mind again.
"No of course not. I can't even touch his equipment. And he's also all worried about not getting any scholarship offers yet. I really hope he gets one . . . hopefully from Anchorage, Alaska."
"By the way. How're you doing on the report on Baldwin? So far, I've got the first 4 essays read and took some notes."
"Pretty good. I'm on the sixth, but I skipped two. But he seems to wander all over the place sometimes with his thoughts. Get out your notes and let's start writing."
So we worked on the Baldwin paper for a while.
Rocco looked up: "So what's with Consuelo? Is she just going out with only you? Is she dating anyone else?"
I looked up myself a bit surprised he actually brought up that subject. "I'm not quite sure myself. We do a lot of stuff together, but don't hardly date. Really. And as far as I know, she isn't dating anyone else. We've actually never brought up the subject of sex since we first talked, and believe me, in our school, that itself is unusual. So I just don't know."
"You think it possible she's like us?"
"No, I don't think so. She sure likes looking around at the guys."
"Yeah, and I do the same. I mean at girls. It's part of the BIG LIE. What do you think?"
"I really don't think so, but I guess I can't be sure. But you've been with her a lot. What do you think?"
"I think you're much cuter than she is." Damn! What prompted me to say that?
"Thanks, but it doesn't answer the question."
"Don't know. Not even a guess. How about we ask her?"
"Right. `Oh hi Consuelo, I just been wondering. Do you happen to be a lesbian? My boyfriend and I just been wondering.' Sure. How about I think on it a bit more -- like a hundred years?"
"I just had a thought. I wonder if she's been wondering about you. Or even us?"
"Damn, I hope not. But I doubt it. You hear the words now and then, but I never actually heard someone seriously say they thought someone was homosexual or lesbian. Besides, she's really smart and a really nice person. I figure she'd come to me about anything first."
"Guess you're right. But I get paranoid at times. I think it's actually a lot easier in an all boys' school. But wow. According to Kinsey, at least two to four hundred are homosexual in my school alone. Sometimes I think about that and look at some of the kids wondering the halls, or sitting next to me in class. And I don't even have a suspicion. I know a few that never date, but my brother never dates, and he's definitely normal."