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    Geron Kees
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Star Light, Star Bright - 2. Part 2

Part Two

I taught Benny how to use my 'scope, and we became a team on dark nights, observing the skies above the small patch of planet we shared together. The great thing about skywatching is that you can live just east of total obscurity, and still have a magnificent view of the sky. We scanned the neighboring moon, the craters and mountain ranges seeming incredibly close to our eyes under the powerful lenses of the telescope. It's easy to take the moon for granted when it just hangs in the sky; but once you see it close up, once you can view it as a place, it takes on a certain magic that never quite leaves you.

We caught the Draconids meteor shower together, which would have been a disappointment for me, alone, because the full moon was so bright that night that it washed out the sky. But shared with Benny, it was simply awesome in the extreme. I explained that what we were seeing occasionally tracking dimly across the sky were dust grains left behind by the last visit of comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner, which radiated from the constellation of Draco, the Dragon, one of the original 48 constellations defined by Ptolemy so long ago. Draco is easy to see, being a circumpolar constellation that is visible all year round, and despite the omnipotent moon that evening, we saw more than a few tracks in the sky.

Benny's delight was my delight. Every smile he offered, every time he pointed at a new track in the sky and oohed in wonder, filled me with warmth and affection. I found that Benny had a far less scientific approach to viewing the sky than did I. I could see the raw beauty, yes. But everything I saw also had an explanation, one tested and retested rigorously by many a mind before mine. I understood the sky in the scientific terms of the day, that being the best explanations that science had been able to come up with thus far to describe what we saw there above.

Benny's idea of the sky was less reasoned, less studied, formed more from reading science fiction novels, comic books, and seeing the popular movies of the times. He had far more romance in him than reason, more imagination than fact. He had read quite a bit about the science of the sky, but it was the part he imagined that held his attention, rather than the part that he knew to be true. But I could see he was learning from me, and enjoying our shared experience. And I could see that I was learning from him, in more ways than one.

I had discovered that caring about someone was a potent force, and that seeing them happy, and amazed, and having a good time, did far more to boost the heart and soul than any textbook ever could manage to do. Being with Benny changed my outlook, and started me along new trails of thought. I smiled a lot, I guess, and hummed and sang sometimes, and was generally ridiculously happy with the state of the world.

My parents commented on my apparent new happiness, and boldly asked if my new friend had anything to do with it. I told them it did, that he did, and they smiled at me, happy for my happiness. They made an effort to get to know Benny's parents, making it easier for Benny and I to be together, because there seems to be a rule that if one set of parents are good with a friendship, then the others are content, too. My folks knew that my relationship with Benny was gay, but Benny's parents did not, being a little overwhelmed with four kids, while my parents only had to deal with one.

In this respect I was nervous, but Benny seemed to think that if his parents found out, they would deal with it without disturbing our friendship. Benny kept saying he wanted to tell them, but I think he was just as scared as I was that they might separate us, and that was something neither of us could handle. His parents seemed to like me, and my parents, and so we just placed them finding out on a back burner and chose to worry about it only when it happened.

School became a more interesting place for me, too. I loved gym class now, because I got to be with Benny. He worked with me, and I went from average, geek-level performances in basketball and baseball to being sought after as a team mate. I had never really viewed these games as a competition done under a set of rules, and once I understood how everything worked, and how skill and the element of chance were involved, I got so I actually enjoyed the sporting element of it all. My body toughened up, and I felt wonderfully healthy.

I even developed an odd friendship with Gary Spain, having decided after finding Benny that mooning after someone who didn't moon back was probably painful, and feeling for Gary if that was the case. He was surprised the first time I talked to him in the locker room, having maintained his distance ever since Benny had threatened to expose him for the great wanking-in-the-towel-closet event.

"Haven't seen you around much," I commented one day, as I went by him at the end of his row of lockers. I was wrapped in a towel, coming back from the showers. Gary was also wrapped in a towel, but looked dry save for his hair. He had been just standing there, doing nothing, save looking. I was coming to think now that he got some sort of charge out of hanging around after his shower, just wrapped in a towel, while all these nearly-naked guys ambled past. I had never seen Gary displaying any wood, but I had never really been looking for it, either.

I went back to my locker, spun open the lock, opened the door and sat down. Benny wasn't back from the showers yet, so my dick (as I was coming to call it, as Benny thought the word 'penis' just too ridiculous for words) was at half-mast. I started drying myself, and only a moment later became aware that someone was standing nearby. I looked up, and it was Gary, watching me.

He blinked at me as our eyes made contact. "Did you say something to me?"

I nodded. "I said, 'I haven't seen you around much', because I haven't."

He looked around nervously. "Ben isn't back yet?"

"Nope. Still getting wet." I smiled then, causing Gary's eyebrows to raise sharply. "Don't worry about him. He won't bother you."

Gary came a little closer. "Did you want something?"

"Not particularly. I just wanted to say I don't have a problem with you coming here to talk to Jerry, as long as you don't say ignorant shit to me."

He winced at that, and scratched his head. "I was just playing."

I shook my head. "It wasn't funny. I got so I hated to see you. Is that what you wanted?"

Gary looked shocked. "No! No, man." He looked crestfallen. "That wasn't what I wanted."

I felt some sympathy for him then. Maybe Benny had been right. I could imagine what it would have been like to feel something for Benny, but to never see that realized.

How lonely it would have been.

"Where's Jerry today?" I asked. I had come to understand that Jerry Creed was Gary's one true friend. And one friend is always better than none at all, I had also come to understand.

"He left early. He had to go to the dentist."

"Oh." I smiled. "Jerry's cool."

He was, too. He was a bit of a jock, but he had paid attention when Benny had started training me, and had made positive comments whenever I did something right. I had gotten so that I smiled at him when I saw him, and he would nod and give me the thumbs up. I had Jerry pegged as a fairly simple guy that enjoyed the world as he saw it.

That he liked Gary had come to count as something, and I was aware that Jerry missed having Gary come by after his shower to talk. They seemed so different to me that there had to be some dynamic going on there that I had missed. Jerry had always laughed at Gary's comments to me, which made me think he saw them as something quite different than the harassment that I was feeling by them. That implied to me a more intimate knowledge of Gary as a person; if Jerry didn't see Gary as being mean, then he probably wasn't trying to be. But whatever the case, having Gary afraid to come around was gnawing at my conscience.

Gary brightened at that. "Jerry's my best bud."

The light that had appeared in Gary's face with that one comment shone with layered meaning. That Gary was a loyal friend to Jerry was apparent, and that he placed a lot of value on that friendship, paramount. That I had seen everything Gary did and said as a merciless attack now seemed to have been more my fault than his. What that said about my own emotional development before I had met Benny suddenly struck home.

And, what it said about my emotional development now.

I sighed. "Look. I know Jerry misses having you come around to talk. I don't mind if you do it, just as long as you lay off the comments. Okay?"

Gary suddenly smiled, and it actually made him very appealing. "Okay."

I heard footsteps, and Benny came around the end of the lockers. Like everyone else, he was wrapped in a towel. He grinned at me...and then spied Gary.

The speed with which his grin vanished was alarming. He glared, and took a step towards Gary, whose eye's widened. Gary stepped back, until his back came up against a locker door.

"What did I tell you..!" Benny began angrily, his eyes narrowing down.

"It's okay," I interjected.

Benny froze, his eyes darting to me. "What?"

"I said that it was okay," I repeated. "Gary and I were just talking."

Benny's eyes went back to Gary, who just nodded.

"Talking," Benny repeated, like he didn't get it. His eyes came back to touch mine. "Talking?"

I nodded. "Yeah. I was explaining to him how I didn't like the way he talked to me, and he said he was sorry." I looked up at Gary. "Right?"

Gary nodded vigorously. "Like he said."

Benny crossed his arms a moment, staring at me. "You're okay?"

I nodded. "I told Gary that it was cool if he came around to talk to Jerry as long as he laid off the stupid comments. He said he would."

Benny gave a small laugh, and uncrossed his arms. He stepped over the bench and came to sit by me. "You serious?"

"Sure. It was mostly a misunderstanding."

Benny shook his head at me, but his eyes held warmth again. He sighed, and looked over at Gary. "Come around here a minute."

Gary looked unhappy, but nodded and came around to our side of the bench.

"Right here," Benny said, pointing at the floor two feet away from him.

Gary moved closer, looking extremely nervous now. "Maybe I should go," he said then.

"In a second," Benny agreed. He pointed at Gary's middle. "But first - open your towel."

"What?" Gary and I said it at the same time.

"No, Benny," I said then. "Don't make him do that."

Benny looked up at Gary. "You want to be free of the towel closet curse? I promise never to mention it to a soul...if you just open your towel."

So far it was just the three of us in our row. But others would be coming back any minute.

Gary stared. "You promise never to tell anyone about the closet?"

Benny whipped a finger back and forth across his chest. "Cross my heart and hope to die."

Gary looked about nervously, but his hands went to where the towel was folded over itself at his side.

"You don't have to," I said sharply. "Come on, Benny."

"Wait," Gary said. He tugged at the fold, and then opened his towel to display what was underneath.

I gaped, I guess.

Gary was wearing a jock strap, the heavy waistband of which was restraining an erection about the size of Benny's and my own when they were full blown hungry. Gary's dick was pinned against his abdomen, and I saw now that when the towel was cinched around Gary's waist, very little trace of the boner would show.

Briefly, I did note that the visible head of Gary's dick was quite cute, but the thought came and went just as I gave forth a startled laugh.

"Close up!" Benny ordered quickly, as we heard voices coming closer.

Gary refastened his towel and stepped back, just as two guys in towels went past the end of our row of lockers, laughing and carrying on. They didn't even spare us a glance, though, and then were gone.

Benny turned to look at me. "The whole time this guy was making fun of you having a boner, he was hiding his own."

Gary's face reddened, and his eyes dropped to the floor. "I'm sorry," he whispered.

I understood then, that Gary likely was gay, just as Benny had told me. And that Gary had liked me, and that was why he was always around, checking me out. And that he was dreadfully scared that someone might find out about what he liked, even though he had so boldly stepped out in pointing out what he considered to be similar traits in others.

The complex angles of such a psyche were fascinating, but I wasn't about to try to understand them all now. Gary was plainly distraught at knowing that his secret was out, and the look on his face was something to be pitied.

"It's okay," I said, quietly. "It's okay, Gary."

He looked at me, shock apparent in his eyes. "Really?"

I nodded, and pulled my fingers across my lips as if sealing a zipper. "Won't go any farther."

Benny raised a finger and pointed it at Gary. "As long as you be cool," he qualified my statement. "You leave my boyfriend alone, you got me?" he finished, in a whisper.

It was touch and go whose eyebrows hit the ceiling first: mine or Gary's.

Gary's jaw dropped, and his eyes went back and forth between us, demanding to know if he was being kidded. "Serious?"

Benny looked at me questioningly. I gnawed at my lip a moment, but I could see that this was somehow important to Benny. So I looked up at Gary and nodded. "Yup."

Gary shook his head slowly, and then closed his mouth. And then he grinned. "That is so cool," he whispered. He simply looked delighted, like we were some fabulous new toy he had been presented with. But then he sighed, and his expression grew wistful. "You guys are so lucky," he said softly.

Benny smiled at me at that, and I smiled back. "That would be true," Benny said. He looked back up at Gary. "See? Now you know our secret, and we know three of yours. That makes us even, and safe from each other."

I couldn't help laughing at the asymmetry of that statement, but I nodded at Gary. "You be cool, and so will we."

Gary grinned. But the bell suddenly rang, signaling five minutes to our next classes, and a horde of guys in towels came running back to their lockers then.

"We'll talk some more later, okay?" I said to Gary. He grinned, nodded, and hurried off.

I smiled at Benny, and leaned close to him. "You're a sweetie, you know that?"

He beamed at me. "I do try."

"You were protecting me," I pointed out.

He looked pleased with himself. "You're worth it."

I nodded. "And you're going to tell me how you knew about what Gary had under his towel, right?"

His smile grew crooked, and then slid away. "Um...okay. Not now, though?"

I nodded, and we both hurried to get dressed. I had already decided I would not press him on how he knew about Gary's jock strap, because whatever it was, it just didn't matter to us.

But I was kind of enjoying the slightly worried look on Benny's face, and let him stew until we were out in the hall and on our way to our next classes.

As we went to take separate hallways, I grabbed his arm and pulled him up. "Stop worrying. It doesn't matter."

He stared at me, and then smiled. "Oh, you're going to know. I intend to tell you. Later."

He quirked his lips at me, not a kiss by any means, but enough of a suggestion of one to convey the message quite clearly. And then he pulled away from me and hustled up the other hallway. I stood there at the junction, watching him, knowing I would probably be late to class, but not caring. My Benny.

He got to the door of his next class, and turned back my way, just as if he somehow knew that I would still be there. He smiled, and held a hand up to the side of his mouth to call to me.

"Just as soon as I figure out what to say!"


* * * * * * *


My mom and dad had already told me that Benny could sleep over one night. We had already been to bed together countless times in the afternoons after school at my house, but so far we had not slept all night together, and both of us really wanted to do that.

Oddly enough, the first chance to do just that came at Benny's house, not mine. Benny's parents wanted to go to Boston to see an ailing aunt, and had resigned themselves to dragging along the two youngest kids, but had decided that the two oldest - Benny and his sister, Angelica, could stay home. Angelica was assigned the role of house-sitter, one that she was less-than-thrilled to assume. She was sixteen, popular, and thought the idea of sitting at home with her little brother a repulsive way to spend the weekend.

Benny had worked a deal with her, where Angelica could go out on Saturday evening and stay out until all hours, in exchange for Benny being allowed to have me over for the night, unreported. It made me uneasy to join in with what I considered an unholy alliance at best...but Benny really wanted me to stay over, and I really wanted to be with him. So I told my folks I had been asked, and they said I could go. What was left unsaid was not a lie, although I doubt my parents would have let me go if they knew that no one would be at Benny's house Saturday night but him and me.

Sometimes, having a more mature perspective on the world is a curse, not a joy. My parents gave me a great deal of freedom, because they were convinced I was both smart enough and mature enough not to do stupid things with it. Generally, I was. This seemed a small crime against that trust, and it really was. But it didn't stop me from realizing that I had a conscience, and that I was ever so slightly abusing it in this case.

But once decided, I was all for it. Being with Benny easily overcame all the side issues. My folks drove me over in the early afternoon and left me at the door with Benny and Angelica, toting my little overnight bag. Benny's eyes were joyful, which was enough for me to decide that I had made the right choice. His sister was nice enough to me, but obviously in a hurry to get going, and, after extracting one further promise from Benny to not leave the house and not to destroy anything important, she was gone.

Benny stuck his tongue out after her, and shut the front door. "Is this great, or what?"

I shrugged. "As long as your folks don't call tonight and ask to talk to Angelica."

Benny frowned. "You have to think of that?" But then he brightened. "They'll call her phone, and she's got it with her. As long as the party noises aren't too loud, she'll be fine." He reached out and gave my shoulder a little push. "No more negative waves, okay?"

I grinned. "Okay."

We went to his room, which was filled with afternoon sunshine. There we changed into knee-length shorts, already knowing that a relaxed evening was in store. We left our shirts and shoes off, the better to see you by, my dear.

Benny's room was kind of the antithesis of mine, an ode to pop culture of all kinds. The walls were covered with pictures: bands I did not know, race car drivers, sports figures, and cut-outs of some Japanese girl-band. Among the pics were a few of cute guys, hidden in plain sight among the others.

The carpeted floor was littered with sports equipment, and Benny's bicycle stood against the wall beneath the room's single window. A big bookcase full of books - mostly science fiction novels, but a few real texts on the heavens - stood near the bed, beside a flat screen TV on a small stand. Benny also had an Xbox, something he had tried to interest me in, but which seemed to me to be too much like mindless entertainment for people with too much free time on their hands.

We laughed about that, Benny saying that his 'airhead' was much lighter and easier to carry around than my 'deadhead', which was so stuffed full of junk that I couldn't seem to find space in it to have fun with.

We weren't serious, though. Benny and I complemented each other pretty well, with me pushing his intellect a little, and he pushing my imagination back in return.

We looked at some of his astronomy books, a couple of which were borderline science at best. My first glimpses of some of the titles he had had induced horror; they were more than fifty years old, which in scientific terms was equivalent to stone age knives and axes. But I had since become a little charmed with Benny's ideas on science, realizing that even the ridiculous things he sometimes thought about the universe showed a striking curiosity and a real desire to understand. Allowing for the whimsical side of his thinking had become second nature to me by now.

He had a genuine interest in what lay beyond Earth's atmosphere, yes. But where I was concerned with things like spectroscopic studies of planetary atmospheres, he was much more concerned as to whether Ewoks lived on the surface below. Ewoks were a species of furry aliens that lived upon the forest moon of Endor. Had I seen the Star Wars film, Return of the Jedi, before meeting Benny, I would have known this. I hadn't, so I didn't.

Benny remedied that for me. I became acquainted with Star Wars, Star Trek, Riddick, and Ripley, among others, and I in turn acquainted him with Hubble, Drake, Sagan, and Hawking, among others. Out of that group, Benny most liked Drake and Sagan, who both held out positive hopes that there was other life 'out there'. He was an eager explorer, my Benny was, but he didn't always know scientific fact from fantasy, and it was a little duel and dance we sometimes played on our nights out skywatching, while I tried to explain the way that something worked, while he wondered if there was anyone living out there that knew what I was talking about.

When we went to his house we mostly watched movies, and, on the odd occasion when we chanced to be there alone, kissed each other until bruises threatened, and sucked each other's dicks. Both were forms of entertainment that left me feeling good after it was over. Benny's house was the opposite of mine. My house was safe to have sex in, and therefore kind of dull. Benny's house, you never knew who might walk in, and so it was both thrilling and a little dangerous. Even though we locked the door of his room when we played, there was always the chance of being caught doing the nasty, and so we both kind of looked forward to the times when we were alone there and knew that we likely could play.

Like now.

There we were, standing in Benny's room, just wearing shorts, the house totally empty. Benny grinned at me, his thoughts not hard to read at all. But when I approached him, he grabbed a soccer ball off the floor and held it between us, keeping me at arm's length. I backed him up to the wall by the window, and reached across the ball and rubbed his nipples playfully. He laughed, but tried to cover it, and pressed back against me with the ball. "Is that all you ever think about?" he asked, pretending scorn.

"Mostly," I returned, nodding, and pinched his nipples again. "You make my horns grow."

"What about tonight?" he asked, a small pout forming on his lips. "If you suck out all my cum now, I won't have any for tonight, and I want to have some to give you when we're in bed."

I laughed at the idea. "Yeah, right. I've seen you shoot four times in one day. I don't think you not having any semen left to share is going to be a problem."

He wrinkled his nose at me. "There you go again, sounding like some biologist. 'Penis'. 'Testicles'. 'Semen'." He shook his head. "You make it sound yucky when you use those words."

I nodded. "Okay. I'm sorry. I'll try to watch that." I sighed. "What's really going on?"

He held the ball against his chest and watched me, while I watched him back.

"Do you love me?" he blurted then, looking anything but happy.

I had quietly resolved the love or lust - results to be determined later - problem in my own mind. I did lust after Benny, yes. He was very sexy, very appealing, and his body satisfied something inside me that I now thought of as desire. Desire and lust were synonymous in most dictionaries, even.

But I also loved Benny, and very, very much. I could no longer imagine a day without him at my side.

"Yes," I answered, nodding. "I love you."

Benny frowned. "Well, how come you never say it?"

I smiled. "How come you never say you love me?"

The pout returned. "I was waiting for you."

The thing is, I really had no excuse for not telling Benny I loved him. The fact that he never said it to me had made me think he was uncomfortable with putting a name to what we were doing together. I had again underestimated him, thinking in my mind that boys of thirteen might not be mature enough to go around saying they loved each other. I had not wanted to push him into anything before he was ready for it.

And besides, I could tell that Benny loved me, in the way he kissed me, and touched me, and made love to me. I just had assumed that the reverse was also true.

I reached out, and gently took the ball from him, and dropped it on the floor. I stepped closer, put my hands on his waist, and drew him to me, slid my arms around him, and kissed him like there was no tomorrow. He was a little stiff at first, but I just put as much passion into my kiss as I could, and soon he was snuggled against me, his hands around my back on the waistband of my shorts, pulling me against him.

I laid my lips against his ear, and whispered, "I love you more than anything."

I felt him tense, and then relax against me, and then he hugged me even harder. "I love you, Griff."

We held each other for a time, standing in the warmth of the afternoon sun as it came in through the window and painted the carpet beneath our feet in vivid colors. I could feel Benny's dick, hard against me, just as mine was pressed against him. I could hear the little rasp in his breathing that signaled his arousal, and I could feel the touch of his hands, gentle against my skin, wanting more.

I pushed my face into the crook of his neck and rubbed and kissed his shoulder, and he laid his head back against the wall and sighed. I felt his hands flex on my back, and then they were sliding down, pushing my shorts and underwear down in back. He came off the wall and leaned into me, nuzzling his face into my neck, his hands cupping my buns and his fingers squeezing them gently.

That he had been worried that I didn't love him was troubling. I was familiar with insecurities, but my reasoning powers were usually enough to steer me around most of them. That it might not be as true for Benny was something I had failed to consider. I held him, thinking how much he had come to be centered in my life, and realized I needed to take more care to notice the state of his feelings.

And, at the same time, I had the thought that Benny was my first love, but likely not my last. We were thirteen, just starting out in life. The road ahead was long.

It was sad to consider that Benny might be a fleeting moment in my life. I loved him so much now, it was hard to believe that that would not last forever. But reason told me that, like childhood, this too, must someday end.

But not now, surely. For now Benny was everything, and I decided that I would go with that premise until the day arrived that it no longer worked.

I smiled. "If I dragged you to the bed and ripped your clothes off, would you be mad?"

He giggled. "Just take them off. My mom'll get mad if you rip them."

It sounded like a deal to me. Still holding him, I began to move to the bed, and he went right along with me, still giggling. We arrived, and I toppled us onto the mattress. He laughed again as I scrambled upright and pulled his clothing down and off, and then again as I lifted his legs, lay down between them, and let them drape over my shoulders. I pushed my face right up to his crotch, and blew gently upon his equipment. He raised his head, and grinned down at me. "I feel a draft!"

I laughed then, too, at his playfulness. I lowered my head, gently rubbed my lips up the underneath of his shaft, kissed his balls, and then the insides of his thighs. He shuddered, and sighed, and smiled, and was so obviously happy that everything else just faded away. I took him into my mouth and spent the next twenty minutes trying to please his body in ways it had never been pleased before. His skin smelled clean, faintly of soap, and with a hint of musk about it that was just as sexy as could be. The warmth and softness of his skin had me breathing rapidly with desire, and when he finally gave a small gasp and shot off, I drank it straight down without even opening my eyes.

The science of biology has always fascinated me, and my understanding of how it works is considerable for someone my age.

But I am still learning about the magic of it, divorced from fact, expressed in the wonder and joy that can be felt when making love to someone truly loved. The books cannot capture that, not ever.

That's the way it should be, I think. There really is no lightning in a bottle, and I don't think there ever will be. Some forces are far too potent ever to be captured. They can only be enjoyed, briefly, and then put away...until the next time they are called forth.


* * * * * * *


We ordered pizza for dinner, and paid for it out of the funds that Benny's parents had left expressly for that purpose. We watched the latest Star Trek movie while we ate, the premise of which was pretty ridiculous, but which still managed to stir me and pique my sense of wonder. We had seen it before, but Benny liked it, and so we watched it again. That our universe might be home to such shenanigans between races was entirely without basis in scientific fact...yet the idea still pulled at something inside me.

Even Richard Feynman, one of the better scientific minds ever to grace our world, had known of wonder. While at MIT he he had considered the philosophical question, how does the stream of consciousness end when you go to sleep?

To try to answer that question, he had begun observing himself each night as he drifted off, and then would record his observations in the morning when he awoke. He performed the same process for his afternoon naps. After a month of observations, he submitted his theme.

The first thing he had understood was that the experiment could never be a valid one, because he could not be both subject and observer. That fact aside, even the act of observing upset the normal flow that would lead to sleep, interfering with the results. And who could record the moment when consciousness ended, after that same conscious stream resumed hours later, with the great unknown that was sleep wedged so firmly in between?

The answer was simple. No one could. Feynman had viewed the entire experiment as a simple thought game, and had recorded the results merely to demonstrate what his conscious mind came up with in the way of answers about the moment between waking thought and the sleeping mind.

The paper he turned in contained a small poem, surely not the finest poem, but one that illustrated his genuine muse at the idea of conscious thought itself:

"I wonder why. I wonder why.
I wonder why I wonder.
I wonder why I wonder why
I wonder why I wonder!"

That simple verse expressed so many things, and I had always liked it. And now I saw that it was a common theme in human thinking, to question the why of things, and to imagine the answers. Much of the science of yesterday can be viewed as pure superstition today; and yet, in its time, those ideas seemed to fit the criteria as the minds in existence then saw things. Back then, those were the answers. Only time, and experience, and observation, and the rise of technology, and therefore an increase in our ability to measure and examine and know, had put the lie to those facts, and relegated them to the world of superstition.

So what about the science of now? Benny had gotten me thinking, and I had been surprised at the answers I had come up with. Science was science in its time, and remained science in later times only if proved to be valid. And every day of the year, every year, ideas that had once been viewed as facts were being found to be untrue. Or invalid, which amounted to the same thing.

Imagination was the great tool. It had been imagination that had created mathematics, rules by which imagination could be governed, and checked for validity. And it was imagination that created the theories that those same mathematics could eventually prove or disprove. Sometimes that process was lengthy, and turbid, and even not always solved to the liking of everyone involved. Because even mathematics evolved, sometimes purely of necessity, to explain newly observed data. Science was always at war against wonder, even as it was inspired by it time and again. Perspective, that mainstay of each human pixel in the grand picture of everything, often reared its ugly head, which gave fuel to preconception, which in science could be the seeds that ended great careers.

The bottom line was, who was I to read books on science, and then discount all those imaginative scenarios that appeared in the realm of science fiction now, but which could just as easily be the science of tomorrow? The answer: I was no one. Or, surely, at least not someone qualified to judge.

Benny loved those views of the universe above and around us, peopled with strange lifeforms flitting about in star ships, traveling between worlds equally strange in nature. And I was finding that, because I loved Benny, I was now allowing myself to give those heretofore fictional worlds some play in my own imagination.

And finding that I enjoyed them, too.

So I could snuggle with Benny on the bed and watch Star Trek, and laugh along with Benny at the parts that were funny, and ooh along with Benny at the parts that were wondrous, and reach the end of the movie with a sense of satisfaction at the idea that I had briefly explored the stars above - or one such possible scenario - even if only through my eyes and ears, and inside my own imagination.

That was one of the gifts I received from Benny.

Just one of many, as it turned out.


* * * * * * *


After the movie, we went out into Benny's backyard to look at the sky. It was a chilly night, but there was no wind. The Taurids meteor shower was to peak this evening, but again we were saddled with a full moon, which would limit viewing of the traces. The Taurids was a composite meteor shower, composed of remnant dust grains left behind from the visits of both asteroid 2004 TG10, and comet 2P Encke. The shower had been running since September, but this night was the peak, the night that the most traces could be seen.

We got down on our backs in the leaf-strewn grass and put our heads together, and stared upwards into the glow of the moon. There were stars well away from that glow, but the sky around the moon had been swept nearly clean of them by our satellite's reflected sunlight.

"Darn moon," Benny objected. "That's twice now it's messed up a shower for us."

I laughed. "It happens. No one can control the orbits of moons." I leaned my head over and kissed his cheek. "Just wait until the Geminids shower next month. The moon will be waning, just a small crescent on that night, and the show will be pretty good. The Geminids is the best show of the year."

Benny sighed. "I can't wait for that."

I nodded. "There's still plenty to see." I pointed out Sirius, and Arcturus, and Vega, the three brightest stars.

Benny nodded, snuggling closer. "I love stars. I always wonder what planets might be around them, and who might live on them."

"I know." I grinned. "Ewoks, right?"

He laughed. "And others. They might be beyond our imaginations, really."

I agreed. The stars were beautiful, and mysterious, and probably unknowable, at least in our lifetimes.

"Wanna wish?" Benny asked, rubbing the side of his head against mine.

"Wish?"

"Yeah. You know: Star Light, Star Bright?"

I laughed, vaguely remembering the old verse. "What do we wish for?"

Benny tsked me. "Dummy. That's the secret part. You wish for something, and I'll wish for something. It gets spoiled if you tell."

"Oh." I nodded. "Okay. You say it, and I'll wish with you."

He sighed, and snuggled even closer, and recited the verse:

"Star light, star bright,
first star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
have the wish I wish tonight."

He nodded. "Now make a wish!"

I did just that, getting into the spirit of the moment. I wished, and I wished hard.

After a further moment of silence, Benny gave another sigh. "I love you." He nodded. "Always remember: wishes count."

I turned my head and closed my eyes, and pressed my lips into Benny's cheek. "I know they do. And I love you, too."

It was a night we both would remember, in times to come.

Copyright © 2017-2019 Geron Kees; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments



Is there a reason why Jerry Creed is so nice to Gary? Is it possible that Jerry like likes Gary? Will Gary get lucky too?  ;–)

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Instead of Ewoks on Endor, I’d rather find Vulcans, Hobbits, or Elves. A planet like Pern (although I’d prefer not to have to deal with Thread), Pandora, or Gethen would be more interesting. I’m not really interested in a planet full of Teddy Bears that looks suspiciously like Northern California!  ;–)

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9 hours ago, droughtquake said:

Is there a reason why Jerry Creed is so nice to Gary? Is it possible that Jerry like likes Gary? Will Gary get lucky too?  ;–)

That would be telling...and spoiling! :)

 

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9 hours ago, droughtquake said:

Instead of Ewoks on Endor, I’d rather find Vulcans, Hobbits, or Elves. A planet like Pern (although I’d prefer not to have to deal with Thread), Pandora, or Gethen would be more interesting. I’m not really interested in a planet full of Teddy Bears that looks suspiciously like Northern California!  ;–)

Agreed. But Griff's exposure to science fiction had to begin somewhere, and most kids have heard of Star Wars. I only wanted to touch on the sci-fi angle, not dwell on it, so I stayed with something familiar to just about every reader. For some reason, people remember those goofy teddybears, while some of the more interesting Star Wars aliens draw a blank. I'd have used Wookies, which I like much better, if I had really considered it. :)

 

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27 minutes ago, Geron Kees said:

I'd have used Wookies, which I like much better, if I had really considered it. :)

I wondered about that! I was going to mention Wookies, but thought I’d mention a few things from other franchises. And show off the range of stories I’ve read at the same time. But I forgot to include Ringworld, one of the most unique ‘planets’ ever written about!  ;–)

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I like Larry Niven, when he's good. That's mostly his older stuff. But Ringworld is definitely a gem. 

 

I just felt that the best science fiction might be too obscure for the average reader here for me to go that route in the story. People that don't read sci-fi don't know the details. Many people here would have just blinked in confusion had I mentioned a Pierson's Puppeteer or a Kzin.

 

But even my dog knows what an Ewok is. :)

 

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2 hours ago, Geron Kees said:

But even my dog knows what an Ewok is. :)

I’m sure your dog could identify with an Ewok – same general conversation ability and IQ.  ;–)

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9 minutes ago, droughtquake said:

I’m sure your dog could identify with an Ewok – same general conversation ability and IQ.  ;–)

6 minutes ago, Ivor Slipper said:

Now I remember what inspired this story and can picture it much better now!:lol:

@Geron Kees' dog having a conversation with an Ewok?  ;–)

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59 minutes ago, droughtquake said:

I’m sure your dog could identify with an Ewok – same general conversation ability and IQ.  ;–)

My dog is smarter than an Ewok. His agent told him so! :)

 

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56 minutes ago, Ivor Slipper said:

Now I remember what inspired this story and can picture it much better now!:lol:

What? Will someone tell me??!  ;)

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Geron Kees said:

My dog is smarter than an Ewok. His agent told him so! :)

But is your dog’s agent smarter than an Ewok?  ;–)

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Just now, droughtquake said:

But is your dog’s agent smarter than an Ewok?  ;–)

My dog's agent is an Ewok! He's from the Zurk <squeak> murba tribe. They're cannibals! 

 

And not very bright, either. The perfect agent! :)

 

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11 minutes ago, Geron Kees said:

My dog's agent is an Ewok! He's from the Zurk <squeak> murba tribe. They're cannibals! 

 

And not very bright, either. The perfect agent! :)

I’m sure you can get around the rights issues by never mentioning the species name in your next big series…  ;–)

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"I wonder why. I wonder why.
I wonder why I wonder.
I wonder why I wonder why
I wonder why I wonder!"

 

This may be a simple poem, but it is simply magnificent.

Astronomy and stargazing are also interests of mine so I’m glad it another reason the boys are bonded.

Ben and Grif are two halves of the same whole, a true complement to each other.

 I read this chapter with a sad foreboding, thinking that Griffin was right in his fears about the future....😔

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19 hours ago, droughtquake said:

I’m sure you can get around the rights issues by never mentioning the species name in your next big series…  ;–)

It's nice to know I will be having a next big series. 

 

What shall we call it? :)

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23 minutes ago, FanLit said:

"I wonder why. I wonder why.
I wonder why I wonder.
I wonder why I wonder why
I wonder why I wonder!"

 

This may be a simple poem, but it is simply magnificent.

Astronomy and stargazing is also an interest of mine so I’m glad it another reason the boys are bonded.

Ben and Grif are two halves of the same whole, a true complement to each other.

 I read this chapter with a sad foreboding, thinking that Griffin was right in his fears about the future....😔

Richard Feynman was a one-of-a-kind, with a very interesting mind. I always thought that small verse to be his signature, of a sort.

 

No. I did want to show that Griffin was enough of a thoughtful person to suppose that his relationship with Benny might not last, but it very quickly came to be that he could not imagine the two of them apart. This thought was sort of the opposite construction of what young people feel in their first 'serious' relationship, that it will be forever - only later to find out that it is not.

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