An ongoing journey...

I began writing from some of my earliest memories of thoughts and emotions, so each new entry builds upon the one before it. And each new entry represents an evolution at that
particular point in time.
Thank you for reading and hopefully sharing.

Illusion and Desire.

I pursued what I desired with such conviction,
though it was impossible attain.

In the end;
I would never be able to touch it,
and truly comprehend the sensation.

Could not immerse myself in it,
and experience any degree of comfort.

Or consume it,
and ever quench the thirsts
of my soul.

It was only a tantalizing mirage on the horizon
of a vast, barren desert.

And it only appeared to be
what I desperately wanted it to be.


I had just finished my freshman year in high school and was relieved it was finally over.
I spent my first six months at a school I hated. I had lots of reasons to dislike it, but for starters, I resented being there because most of my friends from junior high were in a different district and ended up going to another high school. Disappointing still, my friends were going to a school that was modernized, clean, bright, well landscaped, and was also an open-campus (no gates or walls). Adding to my school's many negatives, it was just plain ugly. The design was a product of the mental state of America at the time. It was built at the end-half of the forties; a time when the possibility of a nuclear war was very, very real. The structures resembled above-ground bomb shelters, and looked as though they might be able to withstand anything other than a direct hit.
Inside and out, the whole place was painted institutional gray and green, while darkly tinted, and narrow windows were set high at the roof-line. And encircling the whole compound were high cinder-block walls punctuated every hundred feet or so with iron gates. The view on either side of the barrier was depressing: On the inside looking out, freedom was tantalizingly near, but impossible to reach. When outside the walls, you regarded the place with dread, because you knew you'd have to finish your sentence there before you would ever be set free. Adding to the poison atmosphere was the high gang population which just made matters even worse.

I hated it there so much, I started cutting classes and getting into fights just to show the faculty how much I deserved to thrown out (a plan which could have backfired badly). I pleaded with my parents to get me moved to another school, and they finally agreed to meet with the principal after months of my begging. I was still devastated from the incident with Jesse, and still blamed him for the way I felt about myself, rather than having any empathy for him, or remorse for what I had done to him. And the episode only added to my determination to run away. As it eventually turned out, my transfer was accepted and I finished off the last two months relieved about having a fresh new start.

Over the summer, my parent's good friend Carol, who owned a well established dance studio, asked me if would like to work for her at her office. I had performed with her group before, and while I wasn't much of a dancer, I could sing to some degree and enjoyed working on her semi-professional productions. I liked Carol because she was friendly and easy to talk to. She was incredibly intuitive when it came to relating with children, as well as kids in their early teens. She seemed to understand us better than other adults; almost as if she had some ability to read our minds.

Carol at twenty-six, was talented, smart, and beautiful. The dance studio was very successful, and she was dynamic, and talented, as well as a discriminating director and producer.
There was nothing really to dislike about Carol, and she was pursued by men, both single and married. She was intelligent, had a great sense of humor, and was ferociously optimistic. She was easy to trust... and to confide in.
She kept whatever you told her in strictest confidence.
And she kept her own secrets as well.

I was spending more and more time with Carol... at her studio... and eventually at her home.
I accepted her interest in me with innocence and puppy dog trust. She complimented me, which was embarrassing at first; how I looked in clothes, how I spoke, my mannerisms, my personality. Could she sense how insecure I was? How ashamed I was about myself? Did she know I liked thinking about guys? And as time went by, my trust in her grew, as well as my infatuation with her, and my emotional dependence on her.

As the weeks went by, I started staying overnight at her home, along with other students from the studio whose parents trusted her as well as my own parents did. Her home was large and beautiful, decorated with intricately detailed antiques, with many pieces from 1950's soda shops. Her home was like Disneyland, a pleasure and delight for anyone to visit, especially kids. Finally, the other students stayed overnight less frequently, and I started staying at her house alone with her. And over time, our conversations turned more intimate, and more emotionally revealing, and more sexually expressive.

I could see how men maneuvered to become close to her. I could hear the comments they would make; sometimes charming and complimentary, sometimes overtly sexual. They wanted her, but she didn't really seem to respond. Why did she take me under her wing so easily? What did she see in me that I didn't see in myself? She was obviously moving closer, as if some kind of contact was imminent. What would I do? If something sexual between us happened between us, would I be finally be normal? Would I not think of guys the same way anymore?

One warm summer evening, on a night I would be with her alone, we were laying on Carol's king-sized four poster bed talking. The hand-crank windows were open, allowing a soft, gardenia scented cross breeze to flow through the large, rose tinted room. The sheer curtains fluttered gently, the room warmly lit by the antique, pink shaded bed-side lamps. As I lay on my stomach in tee shirt and jeans, she asked me questions about how I pictured my future life in the years to come:

"Do you think you'll get married?"

"What would you name your children?"

"What do you want your first real girlfriend to be like?"

They were tough questions for a fifteen year-old boy to answer without just saying,
"I dunno."

Did she realize just how really complicated those simple questions were for me?

She laid her hand lightly on my back.
I jolted slightly, not expecting the touch.
And without commenting, she went on...

"Have you ever been in love?"

"Have you ever kissed a girl?"

"Who do you think is prettiest at the studio?"

Even at my age, I knew the last question was a loaded one.

"I think you're beautiful Carol. You know that."

I was telling the truth, she really was beautiful. But there was something "off" about what was happening at the moment. Something wasn't right on many, many different levels.
I felt myself slowly slipping into another dimension. Like gentle waves washing up on the beach, each successive one advancing slightly more than the last.

She wrote something on my back with her fingertip.

I knew this game. As a child my mother did this to me to comfort me after a nightmare, or when I was sick. It would usually lull me to sleep.

She wrote it again.

"Did you get get it?"
"No..." I said.

She wrote it slowly.
And I felt...


I fell backward into the dreamy dimension which opened wide to envelope me.

Carol's hand rested on my back,
and I laid still as stone.

I felt a rush of warmth flow all through my body,
and she drew her face slowly down to mine.
Her eyes were penetrating,
and she seemed to be searching
mine for acceptance.
I was accepting, but unsure.

And she tilted my face towards hers,
and then kissed my lips very lightly.
And then again.

I laid still and she moved closer to lay beside me,
keeping her face close to mine.
She rubbed my back gently with her fingertips,
up and down. Down and back up.

She asked,
"Would you like to sleep with me?"

A burst of adrenaline shot through my body,
a strange mixture of excitement and fear.
And I rolled over on my back and closed my eyes.
I could feel the warmth of her body,
and smell her gentle perfume.

She rubbed my chest the same way she had my back,
with her fingertips so lightly,
and I tingled with tiny electric charges.
She kissed me again,
and with my eyes still closed,
I reached up and touched her shoulder,
pulling her closer to me.
And kissed again,
and again.

We were laying naked together, now in the dark.
She was breathing deeply and I could tell she was asleep.
I felt so strange, as if it really hadn't happened at all. And I thought to myself, "I not a virgin anymore." I thought, "Maybe I already wasn't a virgin. Maybe I lost virginity when Michael (a teenage boy who molested me when I was six) made me suck him and stuck his dick in me, or maybe I lost it when I was with Jesse." In any case, I felt I was more of a "man" now that I had actually been with a woman. And while I enjoyed having sex with her, I didn't really feel completely satisfied for some reason. The experience with Jesse seemed so much more...
I didn't know.

I couldn't put a word to it at the time,
but the word was "passionate".

Carol and I continued our relationship over the summer, and although I felt like I loved her more each day, there was a component missing... an important one. But I could not, and would not, accept what it was.

Eric, a friend of Carol's, was an aspiring singer and sometimes performed in her productions. He was a college student and frequently crashed at Carol's house and did minor home repairs for her. Eric was tall and thick, a broad shouldered guy, with curly brown hair, and a friendly, easy-going personality. I liked him, but sometimes he would irritate me by making it obvious he was saying secretive things about me to Carol. When I would ask Carol what he had said, she would just brush off the whole thing by saying, "Don't worry about it. Eric's full of it. You just have to get used to him". Eric would just wink and give me a big, broad smile.

By this time, I was back at school, but my parents would often drop me off at Carol's on the weekends. I would help Eric fix things around the house; patching stucco, painting, minor plumbing, tree trimming, etc. Once while Carol was visiting her relatives back east, she asked Eric if he would watch the house, take care of the dogs, and do some repairs for her. She gave him a key, and then suggested I should come by and help him over the weekend. He thought it was a good idea, and he told my parents to drop me off at her house on Saturday, and he would drive me back Sunday.
After I got there, he set me work mowing the lawn, which was huge because her house was set on two long, deep lots. When I was about half way through, Eric came out and brought me something to drink. It was hot, and I had taken my shirt off and tucked it down the back of my pants. He said we would break for lunch soon, and I downed my glass of tea. As he talked about where we should go for lunch, and what we needed to do next, I felt him staring at me, scanning; my chest, shoulders, and arms. It made me self-conscious, and my discomfort seemed to amuse him. He smiled that broad smile of his, and a strange feeling washed over me. It wasn't a bad feeling, I was actually a little excited.

After lunch, I finished the front yard and then the back. It wasn't easy doing the back yard because her dogs liked to play, and weren't afraid of the sound of the mower. I swept, washed down the patio and driveway, and after helping Eric replace a spring on the garage door, I was tired and sweaty. After I took a long shower, I sat wearing shorts, my body still damp from the steamy heat, on a large, "L" shaped window seat which faced the back yard. By this hour, it was getting dark and the old fashioned, streetlight-style lamp posts Carol had installed to light the back yard were illuminating the area where I sat. It was the type of night I had always liked - It was windy and clear, and the air seemed unusually fresh, slightly cool, and crisp. The light played through the leaves of the trees, now beginning to turn amber, and rustled in the breeze.

I turned to see Eric watching me enjoying the moment. He had taken a shower too and his button up shirt hung open, probably feeling damp like me after the hot shower.

"Carol's got a nice place, hasn't she?" He asked.
"I like all the homes around here." I said.

Carol lived in an area where most of the home had been built in the twenties, which I liked better than the cookie-cutter suburban home my parents lived in. My parent's home was very nice, but these homes had more detail and character.
Eric came over and sat at the other end of the window seat, so we were both facing each other with our backs against corners. We sat in the dark room, with the lamp posts outside illuminating our profiles. My legs were stretched out across the large seat, but gave Eric enough room to be comfortable. We both stared outside admiring the night.

Eric asked, "Carol's a babe isn't she?"
"Yeah, she is." I said smiling.

Eric was grinning at me. He had caught me off-guard.
I averted my eye contact with him, glancing back outside.

"You've been banging her how long?" He asked.

My head snapped back. He was still smiling.
I didn't say anything. I just looked back outside.

After a few seconds he said, "I'm not gonna get you guys in trouble." He swung one leg up to nudge mine. "Really."
I stayed quiet, but I was a relieved... a little.

"Do you like it?" he asked.

"Do I like it?" I asked myself. "What does he mean by that? Why would he ask that?"
I answered by shrugging.

He said, "I thought maybe she wasn't really your type. You know what I mean?"
Surprised, I thought, "Jesus Christ! Can everyone read my mind? What... do I look like a fag? Act like one?" And stayed quiet, heat rising in my face.

He said, "I told Carol I thought you might be different. You know?"
I looked at him sharply and he wasn't smiling anymore.
"I don't think there anything wrong with you. I think you're a nice guy. I think you're very good looking, Chuck."

Eric moved his leg up to the window seat so that it was now resting between my legs. The look on his face was the same look Jesse had on his that night. The look in his eyes... hungry. Eric moved his foot so it was almost touching my crotch, lightly brushing the inside of my thigh. "Oh Jesus." I thought, "I was getting hard already."

A flurry of conflicting thoughts and feelings suddenly crammed into my brain, boiling in excitement and doubt. What do I do? What does this make me? I know what I want to do, but if I do, what about Carol? What does this mean about Eric and I? Does this mean I'm really a fag?

I looked at him, and he moved so quickly I was stunned. He came at me hard and I was startled, but electrified, his mouth on my chest and belly, sucking and licking. His hands gripped my hips and pulled me down hard so I was prone on the window seat. The inside of my head blazed with sparks as I held his head as he moved lower and lower. He was feeling every inch of my body while his head remained down hungrily gorging himself. Suddenly, snorting with a quick angry move, he yanked off my shorts.

Afterward, Eric seemed nervous and distant. And after Carol came back from her trip, Eric all but disappeared completely. When I did meet him, his conversations were short and distant, and he wouldn't hold eye contact with me. I didn't quite understand what was wrong with him, but I noticed Carol stopped inviting him over. In fact, Carol was having me over less and less, and even though we had sex occasionally, she seemed to be pulling away from me as well. As the school year progressed, she suddenly decided she might move to Minnesota to be closer to family. When I heard this news, I was devastated, heartbroken, confused. I called her on the phone to talk to her, but she acted like nothing had ever happened between us. Hadn't what we shared between us meant anything to her? Later she sold her business, her house, moved to Minnesota, and married a man much older than she was. Once, years later, she came back for a visit, and the first question she asked me when I was alone with her was if I had told anyone what went on between us. After a single day's visit, I never saw or heard from her again.

I later realized the whole episode had left me completely unable to relate to girls who were my own age. Girls in high school were not anywhere near as sophisticated, or emotionally mature than Carol had been. Girls in high school were still, for the most part, innocent. Even if they had extensive sexual experience, they didn't have the worldliness of a twenty-six year old woman. And girls in high school, to me, just seemed like little girls. And high school boys just seemed like little boys... still attractive, but still.

I walked away from the experience with many scars. Some self-inflicted.
Ones that showed only when I opened my heart and revealed them to someone.

Many scars would follow.
Many scars would heal.

1 comment:

  1. I can relate, the trick is to keep your heart open even when it gets stepped on a bit. I tell myself that every day but sometimes it seems quite impossible to take my own advice. Reading what you write helps.