Phillip is 16 and new in town with his first job: working for the Y. With no friends and his Dad stuck in London (or was that Hong Kong or Singapore?), he resolves to make a few. One of the new fiends older brother Andy is known to be a real asshole and, he wants to have a talk to Phillip.
In the long days of summer, it wasn’t dark yet. Phillip decided to see just where Andy was headed, so he put on some Speedos and jumped in his pool and got wet.
Then he went and opened the garage and waited. It wasn’t long before Andy came riding up on a mountain bike. He pulled his bike into the garage and Phillip pushed the button to make the door close. He really did look a lot like his younger brother.
Phillip said, “Hi Andy. Care to take a dip?”
Andy said, “I didn’t really wear anything to swim in.”
It seemed as if Andy wanted Phillip to offer an opportunity for after dark skinny dip, but he decided against it.
Andy asked “Have you got anything to drink?”
“Sure. Follow me.”
Andy followed Phillip to the pool house where he wrapped a towel around his waist and went inside. He went to the bar and pulled out a pair of red cups, put in some ice and asked, “Is Coke OK?”
Andy said, “Sure... some rum would be sweet. I kind of need it to say what I need to.”
“I don’t want to send you home smelling like a still. I haven’t had any booze around the kids but, we’re big boys.”
Phillip punched in the lock code to the liquor cabinet. He nor his father had bothered with it as it was left over from the previous owner. He took a two shot glasses of rum and mixed Andy a double. He made himself single.
The pool house had been designed to entertain. Since Phillip had only recently begun having guests, it hadn’t seen much use. There was some lounge furniture and a nice boom-box. He punched play and a classic rock station played on low volume.
Phillip sat in a chair adjacent to the couch. Andy took that as an invitation and took a seat at the end of the couch. He took a good strong gulp of his drink and said, “Bryan thinks a lot of you. It seems like he changed for the better almost overnight as soon as he met you.”
“I’m glad I could help but, I’m not really a miracle worker or a therapist. I’m just a friend that’s willing to listen.”
Andy asked, “Are you a friend?”
“If you are anything like Bryan, I’d be glad to be your friend Andy.”
A lot of tension seemed to bleed off of Andy, and he said, “That’s sort of my problem. I keep fucking up with my friends. I’m such an asshole, even my little brother, a cooler little brother no one could hope for, fantasizes about stabbing me and, I can’t blame him. You see, I’m gay, and I really suck at it.”
Phillip said, “Now we’re getting somewhere. Andy, what does being gay mean to you?”
He sighed and said, “When I jerk off all I can think of is cock. You see, I don’t want to be gay. It’s, no pun intended, a pain in the ass. People put you down, harass you, and discriminate against you. I fought it. I decided I didn’t want to be gay anymore and... I fucked up with my best friend.”
At that point Andy broke down and sobbed.
Phillip stood, moved to sit beside him and put his arm around him and said, “It ain’t easy being green.”
Andy started laughing. He got the old Muppets reference and said, “Oh, now that was bad.”
“It’s better laughing than crying.”
Phillip said, “So, you’re struggling with being gay and, as you are thrashing around basically wrestling with yourself, you are banging into other people and hurting them.”
Andy said, “Damn. You nailed it. What can I do?”
“I understand this because I’ve been there too. I fought this battle when I was about fourteen: you have to surrender to win.”
Andy said, “Come again?”
“Only you can decide to stop the war inside you. You have to stop fighting being gay and take the next step. Fighting yourself only makes you and everyone around you miserable.”
“So, What is the next step?”
Phillip said, “Being the best person you can be. Not a gay person, not a straight person: just a good person. There are so many people that don’t even try to be a good person, just the effort makes you stand out.”
Andy whistled and said, “Holy shit. That makes almost too much sense. Now, how do I dig myself out of the hole I’ve dug with my friends and family?”
“Pick a few easy battles to start with. Get a few wins under your belt. Start with Bryan. He’s a really sweet kid. Apologize for being a jerk to him. Be honest. Tell him what’s been going on inside your head. It’s not like he doesn’t know.”
Andy sighed and said, “You’re good at this.”
Phillip said, “You knew this already. You just needed someone to say duh, hey try this.”
Andy howled with laughter and said, “I see why they like you. You have a clue stick but, you only beat people with it gently.”
“I was ready to spank you for abusing a perfectly good little brother. Go home and talk to Bryan. I think you understand now: if you stop fighting with yourself, you’ll stop fighting with everybody else.”
Andy said, “Spanking? I’m a little kinky. Does that come with the service?”
“Get over my knee miscreant!”
Phillip and Andy wrestled and played like kids and, a new friendship was kindled.