This is the final Part IV of a four part story. (See Part I for Index). It is a story 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? Find a different story. Or perhaps read on; you may be persuaded to think differently.
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 six. I definitely don't want the thought police after either of our butts.
Please, this story is sort of my property, so if you ever want to quote some of it, please e-mail me and also give proper attribution.
Note that an author welcomes any feedback. Constructive criticism is appreciated, and all e-mails will be answered.
Chapter 93 a -- "I Have a Dream" [MARTIN LUTHER KING, August 28, 1963]
What a summer!
At the beginning I had to keep focused on two things, just to be able to function. Jade, and our future together. Every time the grief of losing my family started to take hold, I kept concentrating on those two things. And keeping busy at work helped too. Eventually I was better able to put things into perspective. To give things a more realistic balance. But it took a lot of effort and a lot of help from Jade. It also helped that we had some good friends, like Consuela and Dan. And I got to do a lot of stuff with Tim too. We even talked it out with Dr. Krazenski.
We were also working all kinds of hours. We usually only had off Sundays. I had been staying in the apartment for just a couple of weeks when Mrs. Webster said it was stupid to waste good money when they had a perfectly good room there in their house. I was in their house so much in the past year I thought it felt almost like a second home, but this would have been radically different. I still wound up staying in the apartment. Mrs. Goldstein said that it would be better if I could show I was capable of living on my own, just in case my parents finally decided to try to do something.
And I think Jade and I have seen less of each other over the summer than when we were going to school. Well, I guess that's not really true, but it felt like it. I realized that it was our private time together that was lacking. At work we saw each other pretty often, but we rarely got to talk about private things there. Fortunately, Jade frequently would `sneak' over and stay the night with me. And those nights worked magic. Just those nights alone, almost made the whole thing worth it. Mrs. Webster must have known what was going on but didn't say anything. At least to me. And I'm pretty sure Jade would have told me if she said anything to him. Besides, we were married weren't we?
The bed in my apartment sagged so much in the middle, it was too uncomfortable for even one person to sleep comfortably, let alone two. So the first thing I did was to store the bed and frame in the basement, and haul over a mattress from Jade's house that we just put on the floor. The other thing I was learning how to do more was to cook. I found I even enjoyed cooking something special when Jade was coming over. Other times I just ate at the Webster's. After several weeks I finally got the nerve to even eat at my own house again.
Thinking back on the earlier part of the summer I remembered being quite frightened at times especially when I was all alone. It had been more than a week after I left home that I finally got the nerve to call. I did it during the day when I knew my Dad wouldn't be there.
Mom answered and after the usual "how are you doing's" and so on, we started talking about all kinds of things. My whole perspective started to change somewhat. I felt I still had at least part of my family after all. But I still almost felt like a stranger to my own Mom. I arranged to leave work a little early the next day, and BJ drove me to the nearest bus stop. I was determined to talk with my Mom face to face. I was thinking as the bus took me toward my neighborhood. Somehow it was if I were seeing it all from the eyes of a stranger. And I suddenly started feeling sorry for myself. I no longer had the security of my home and support of my parents, and it was scary! And even if I had been taking on adult responsibilities, I felt so immature at times. I so needed my family back! Even my ignoring Dad and my sometimes uncaring brother. And here I was running back to my Mom seeking the old security.
Why does religion and belief have to so cause so much intolerance? So much pain?
My emotions were all over the place this past summer. For obvious reasons. When I could put out of my mind the problems with my family, and how my Mom must be feeling, I wasn't too bad. And all those intimate times with Jade were wonderful. You might think we'd be doing all kinds of sex stuff but not so. Well, nothing new I mean. We were quite content with things as usual. We never did do anything beyond oral sex. Especially with Dr. Krazenski's words in our ears. And we even saw him and talked with him a few times. He said he was hoping to include us in some paper he was writing about gay teenagers and we readily agreed that he could write all he wanted. He even gave us some kinds of tests. I thought they were a bunch of nonsense, but the doctor took them very seriously. They were some kinds of personality test he said. One had him showing us all these blobs of ink and we had to tell him what we saw. He didn't like my first answer when I said just a blob o f ink. We had to try to see some object or something in the blob. I just made up something; the first thing that came to me even though the images weren't even slightly close. The next test was almost the opposite; this one we had to make a story out of pictures. The third was the only one that seemed to make any sense. We had to answer all these questions about which alternatives best described us or what we would choose under some circumstances. He said it was a way of typing people's personalities. I could have told him that without all the questions. (And I could have even done better giving him Jade's personality). Jade and I talked about it a lot afterwards and we concluded we both flunked.
Near the end of the summer, Dr. Krazenski said that some lady psychologist by the name of Evelyn Hooker was going to be in the city for a couple of days and wanted to talk with us. I thought it a bit weird that a stranger from Los Angeles would want to talk with two boys, but Dr. Krazenski seemed to think it was perfectly natural. Jade and I did get interested when Dr. Krazenski said that this lady was trying to prove that we were not sick. I mean that Jade and I were not mentally ill just because we were gay. I couldn't understand what was so earth shaking about that. For us it never needed proving. We never even considered we were sick. We could have just told her that outright.
But at the last minute her plans had to change and we never did get to talk with her. I had never heard of a lady being a psychologist before but I told Jade that times were changing. We knew a lady lawyer. And a male nurse. I wondered if there would ever be a lady priest? Or minister?
And it was sure surprising. As much as I had always wanted to get out of my house, and away from all the problems I had there, I started feeling homesick.
Yesterday, Jade and I had been sitting in front of the TV, watching part of Martin Luther King's latest speech. I was mesmerized. What a charismatic speaker. I wondered why I hadn't paid much attention to him before. His refrain kept echoing through my brain even now -- hours later: "I have a dream!"
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - March on Washington
He made you believe that it was possible. Jade and I talked about the thrust of the Civil Rights movement and what it could mean for him and everyone else. We were both cautiously optimistic. Then I started thinking I also had a dream. But the possible fruition of my dream was almost non-existent. Will Jade and I ever be able to freely live undisturbed in our society? Or how about with the same dignity and regard as any other couple? Could we ever even think about raising some foster kids? I guess I had better be more realistic. I figured my dream was just that -- a dream.
When busy at work I was usually in an upbeat mood. I was right now wheeling to the other end of the warehouse with the small forklift to get to the longer finishing nails we used for the tongue and groove flooring. There were a couple different lengths depending what they were being nailed into. I finally found a few kegs but had to move the pallet of the other finishing nails to get at them. I temporarily put the pallet on top of the new flooring nails used in the new nailers. I better remember to put the palate back after the truck was loaded. As I went out to the truck I started fantasizing about my future with Jade.
I imagined us being together after college. I taught at a nearby community college and was involved in a lot of things having to do with kids. I was hurrying home from baseball practice. I was a coach of the neighborhood little league team. I got home and put my large station wagon into our two car garage and noticed that Jade wasn't there yet. I tossed my school books and papers hastily onto the big dining room table where Jade and I prepared our classes and talked about how to maybe help some of the kids that were having problems.
I opened the oven to check the roast that had automatically started an hour ago, and got out some stuff for the salad that Jade insisted we eat. I started the percolator for the coffee. I was trying out a new blend. While that was going on, I quickly went to our bedroom to change out of my dusty clothes. (I was coaching baseball, wasn't I)?
I had dinner on the table just in time as Jade got home. He was teaching at the new junior college. I could hear him park his old beat up Ford in the garage. I would try to talk him into buying that new car since we could now afford it. During dinner, we talked about our plans for the next couple of weeks. I of course had the scout trip this weekend, and we were going into the mountains. The kids would be thrilled. I was the Assistant Scoutmaster, and my station wagon would soon be filled with yelling kids. We also talked about the new counseling program I and a couple of other teachers were trying to start at the school. Later that evening Jade did his best to distract me from grading papers. He eventually succeeded and soon was pulling me away from the table, past the TV set that hadn't even been turned on. Maybe we could get a color set someday? But right now I was getting all excited by what Jade had in store. . .
A sudden loud horn brought me out of my reverie. I had the keg of nails on the truck and apparently forgot about everything else. I was just sitting there with the forks of the lift still well off the ground. Before I could pull away, Uncle Bill had gotten out of his new pickup and was grinning as he came over to me.
"Well, Rocco, how long where you there daydreaming? Make sure to tell Valley to deduct the appropriate time from your time card." His big smile showed that he was kidding. I felt secure knowing I was a good and fast worker. I really was good with the big forklift and loved running it when needed.
He got up next to me on the smaller fork I was presently using and we went into the warehouse. I brought him to the office. We were talking about my upcoming camping trip. I told him that was what I was thinking about. Not a complete lie. I had been thinking about it earlier.
Before I could escape he told me to load the small fork onto the flatbed at the concrete dock. There was literally tons of wood and supplies that needed distributing at the new job site. That's what I'd be doing the rest of the day. And maybe even a good part of tomorrow. I hoped it wasn't as muddy as it had been. Last week I got the fork stuck a couple of times and had to get the truck to pull it out. As I went out to the dock I was thinking there was something I was forgetting but couldn't bring it to mind. Well, I guess it couldn't have been that important. I started thinking about our upcoming vacation and trip with Jade to Rickets Glenn State Park. I made sure I stayed away from other thoughts that had been causing me a lot of worry recently. Like if I should tell Mom about Jade and me.
NO! Right now concentrate on the upcoming camping trip!