Falling Off a Log
"Mom said you called."
"I been calling for an hour. Where'd ya go?"
"Nick came over for supper and I walked him home. Part way."
"What'd ya practice today?"
"Oh, Scott - you're not gonna believe it! Ya know how we've been ... or I've been .. not playing my best? We'll they're doin' it too. Nick and Keith. Nick is Soooo good! I showed him our song and we really rocked! We played it over and over, almost got the cops called on us. An' we didn't just stand there like idiots. We worked on MOVES! Wait'll you see! I wish you did come! It was a blast!"
"It sounds it! GUESS WHAT!"
"My Dad got me - got us - a PA System! It's not real big, but it's got a neat mixer and everything. We're gonna sound way good now!"
"I don't believe it! It's all perfect. Now we know that those guys are just as good as us. We got equipment! This is gonna be sooo great! I can't wait 'til practice tomorrow!"
"Me either. So, you get along with Nick OK?"
"We got along great. He told me about his problems and why he acts crummy sometimes. He's really lonely, Scott - like we used to be. I told him we'd be his friends. That we wanted to be his friends - and Keith's. And guess what? He's kinda jealous of us. The way we're always glad to see each other and stuff. Make sure you act like that to him tomorrow. He's really a nice guy. I like him a lot."
"Sounds like you both opened up. Did you hug and kiss, too?"
"You did? Should I be jealous?" Scott didn't have a jealous bone in his body. I knew I'd eventually tell him everything that happened that night, but didn't really want to right now with the evidence still glued to my underpants. He'd probably think it was cool that somebody actually got me off. He'd also probably pout a little that I'd stopped both times I got close with him, but I knew that he'd never be mad. He'd actually probably be as glad as me that we hadn't gone that far.
I was also positive that he'd accept Nick as a friend. We'd always wished that we weren't so damn shy and that we could do things with other kids. We just weren't into sports or anything, so there was never any common ground with anyone. Now there was the music, and it looked like all we needed.
"You should be real jealous, Scott. He wants to fix me up with his sister. Wants me to have wild sex with her, make movies of it, and make us famous porn stars."
"Yeah, sure he does. Who's his sister?"
"Mandy's his sister? I thought she was his girlfriend. She's beautiful."
"Sorry, pal. He offered her to me first."
"Lotta good it'll do ya. By the time you stop stuttering her tits'll be down to her knees."
"Hey. I'm gettin' better. You are, too. Now we got other friends and we're still the best. And I haven't been measuring, but Mom says I need new pants. Mine are gettin' too short."
"Hey, mine are, too. We gotta measure up tomorrow. We haven't done it in a long time."
"I gotta go. I wanta take my shower tonight. How we gonna get the PA to Keith's house?"
"It's in Davey's car already. He'll bring it after school."
"Perfect. Ok, see ya in the morning."
I said goodnight to my parents and went upstairs. I got undressed except for my underpants. I took a close look at my pants, but there was no evidence of anything. I had to shower in my underwear for a while until I could get them off. I was wondering why they had to kill horses to make glue. There must be millions of fourteen-year-olds in the world. Just set up beat-off tanks here and there, with maybe a few dirty pictures, and they'd have all the glue they ever needed. I stuffed my jockeys in the middle of the wastebasket. Under a lot of used kleenex and toilet roll tubes. They'd never be seen again.
I put on clean undies and climbed into bed chuckling about the idea of beat-off parlors. We could call them Wank Tanks. Make them cool enough we could charge admission AND sell the glue! We'd be rich, maybe. Famous for sure!
I laid down and forced myself to have some thoughts about what I did with Nick earlier. I came up kind of empty about the whole thing. I'd enjoyed it, and I'd gotten off. I learned something new about kissing. That was good stuff to know. There just didn't seem to be any emotion attached - pro or con. I wasn't ashamed. I wasn't embarassed. I didn't feel guilty. Looking back, the most significant thing might have been that I wasn't planning to to it again. Not a thought in that direction.
I was happy to have a new friend, and I thought Nick was going to be a really good one. I'd seen the look on his face just before we left. I'd had that look once. It was when Scott and I first knew - really KNEW - that we were actually going to be friends. True friends. For a lonely kid, it's the most amazing feeling you can have, and I was smiling in the dark knowing that I, Joseph Goldman, had made another person feel that way.
As I drifted off to sleep, I thought of my Dad. About how he always made me feel wanted. Cherished. Loved. I guessed some of his qualities must have rubbed off on me. I also figured I'd better have a talk with him pretty soon.
About man stuff.
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