It is Labor Day and the Boys of Summer finish it in grand style. Well, maybe not so grand but it is time for Pate and Timmy to focus on themselves.
“I don’t wanna get up.I want to stay in bed with you all day.Please, daddy.”
I chuckled because Timmy and I were feeling the same way.Neither of us wanted to face the day if it involved other people.
There was a light tap on the bedroom door and I heard, “I hate to disturb you boys, but do you want me to fix some breakfast?”
“Thanks, Granny.”We both said it at the same time and were laughing how we knew each other’s mind.I leaned in and kissed him while making goo-goo eyes.We rolled round on the bed and Timmy kept pecking me on the lips.I never wanted to get out of bed.
I then smelled the bacon frying and decided it was time to untwine myself from Timmy.We both got in lots of sloppy kisses as we giggled and playfully disengaged from the bed covers.There is love but then there is bacon.I was hungry and nothing quite satisfied my morning appetite like a rasher of bacon.By the time I got to the kitchen, Granny was putting a pan of biscuits in the oven.Timmy started setting the table.We didn’t know how many people would be eating so he stacked the crockery on the counter and each person could get what they wanted.
Jube popped his head into the kitchen and asked if he could shower in my bathroom.He looked like hell after having slept on the chaise all night.I told him to shower and then have breakfast before hitting the road.He gave me a hug, and a choked, “Thank you, dear friend.”He went into our bedroom and closed the door.
Louise gave me a sad smile and shook her head.
The three of us had said grace and were eating when Jube walked into the breakfast room.He sat and buttered a biscuit.Just as he sipped his coffee, Garry appeared at the table.He was dressed in some ridiculous outfit of flowing linen with a scarf loosely tied around his neck.He looked like an imitation of Isadora Duncan.He even wore Italian slip on loafers.He said he would be leaving in five minutes and wanted to thank Timmy and me for our hospitality.Timmy and I both nodded our heads not knowing exactly what to say.He never looked at Jube.He then told Granny to give his best to his Aunt Myrene.At that point, he walked out of the front door.Jube finished his biscuit and coffee and we heard the horn of his car blaring.I was startled.
“White trash.That boy is nothing but white trash.Just like his aunt.”
I was startled by what granny said.
“I have always thought only white trash people would pull up to someone’s house and blow the horn.They should get their skinny behinds out of the car, go knock on the door, and politely ask the person to come out.”
She got up from the table and hugged Jube.I saw him choking back tears.Jube went to the bedroom to pack his suitcase.The entire time Garry was sitting on the horn.We decided to eat our breakfast and pretend we didn’t hear it.
Jube came into the breakfast room and hugged me and then Timmy.He never said a word.The front door closed and Jube was gone.We sat in silence.We were sad for Jube and what he must be going through.
I got up to make another pot of French Press coffee and I heard noises from Art’s bedroom.A few minutes later he and Edward walked into the breakfast room.They shyly said good morning to us and apologized for not hearing the call to breakfast.While they were fixing their plates Blue and Tommy walked in the front door.
Granny got up and refilled the platters of bacon and biscuits.She said she would be a short order cook and prepare eggs the way that each person wanted them.She was in heaven because she was the center of attention again.She talked to each egg as she cracked the shell and cooked it.She was rather funny and soon we were all laughing at her antics.She coddled the eggs and thanked them for giving themselves to us so we would have strength to get through the day.I thought she wasn’t right in the head but she turned and looked at me with a twinkle in her eyes.She knew that humor was needed at that moment and it didn’t matter if she came across as half crazed.
As we were finishing breakfast, Louise asked what time church started.I suggested that she go to church with my parents at Kitty Hawk Methodist.
“I don’t know about that Methodist stuff.I will have Timmy take me to the Baptist church.That’s where I will go today.”
“I’m sorry, granny, but Timmy and I are heading north today so you need to go to church with my parents.”
“I told you I don’t know about those Methodist!”
“Tater salad,” I said.
She stared at me not comprehending.
“Potato salad.Some use bread and butter pickles and others put homemade.It is still potato salad.Same with church.Baptist.Methodist.It is still church.You either go with my parents or you stay home.Shall I call my father and find out what time they are picking you up?”
“You drive a hard bargain, Peyton.I suppose God will forgive me for going to a Methodist church today.”
I quickly called dad and he said they would pick her up at 10:30 and they would take her to lunch afterwards at the Sea Ranch.I suggested she might enjoy a visit to the Elizabethan Garden’s also.My mother was a docent at the Gardens and enjoyed giving tours.I had Louise situated for the day so we could have boy time at the house.We weren’t going any further north than the bathrooms on the north side of the house.We made an effort of getting our swim suits on, beach towels stacked, drinks in the cooler, and sun tan lotion when my dad appeared at the front door to escort Louise to church.I told him to take his time and that Louise might just enjoy having dinner with them.My dad grinned because he knew I had my fill of granny.
We were all relieved when my dad pulled out of the driveway.Blue said he needed a cocktail.Tommy echoed his sentiments.I grabbed a beer and handed one to ET.Art grabbed two beers and looked at me not knowing what to do.I said that I knew it was against the law for a minor to be drinking in public but wasn’t sure about drinking on private property.
“I will plead ignorance and will cast a blind eye to your having a beer.”
Edward gave me a big smile and pulled me in for a hug.ET cleared his throat and said that perhaps we needed to go to the kitchen to get the bottle opener for the beers.
“Hell, you don’t need a bottle opener.These are twist tops.Let me show you.”Blue was doing his macho, know all routine.He missed ET trying to be subtle about Edward hugging me and me agreeing that he could drink.Timmy wanted to put distance between Edward and me.Jealousy can present in many ways.
“Everyone on the deck.Let’s grab some rays.It is a beautiful day and this is the last weekend of summer.”I wanted to focus attention on what we needed to do on a holiday weekend.
ET grabbed two towels and put them over chaises for us.Art pulled Edward into a hug and gave him a big kiss.They were like children as they grabbed towels, formed a space for just the two of them, got a supply of liquids and then Edward laid down and Art straddled his hips and started applying sun tan lotion to his back.Our eyes followed each hand movement.Edward moaned as Art’s hand massaged his back while applying the lotion.Edward’s ass would rise each time that Art’s hands would start heading south.Art looked over at us and winked.I snickered and ET slapped me up beside my head.Art said it was time for Edward to apply lotion to his back.Edward blushed and gave a shy smile.He adjusted his swimsuit and then straddled Art.Art was enjoying every second of the attention.As he should.I felt like an old man watching the two of them.Edward pulled Art’s swimsuit down his ass and liberally applied lotion to his butt and spent way too much time squirting lotion in his crack.
Tommy and Blue were constantly in and out of the house.They were wired and could not sit still.Finally, they settled down and assumed positions for maximum exposure for tanning.Their body language was fascinating as Blue would freely touch Tommy but at times Tommy would recoil if he thought someone was watching.Ahhh, Blue looked like the cat who just eaten cream.
Blue had put on house music for our listening pleasure.I recognized some of the music from my trips to DC and New York.The music had a beat and that was all I needed.I dozed off and on and relaxed for the first time in several days.An insistent melody would catch my attention and I would awaken to see who else was paying attention.There was generally quietude among us six guys while singers and percussionist filled the air.
I could tell that I was maxing out on sun time.I looked over and noticed that Timmy was not on his chaise.I stood and looked at Art and Edward.Edward was starting to burn so I gently pushed my foot against his until he awoke.I told him that he was going to burn so perhaps he and Art should come in the house.Blue and Tommy roused as they sensed movement on the deck.I told everyone that I would fix lunch in a few minutes.
When I walked into the kitchen, Timmy was standing at the sink with his back to the cabinet.His hips were pushed forward and he was on display through the fabric of his swimsuit.I smiled when I walked up to him and we did the sword dance.We were both breathless.He reached up and pushed my hair back from my face and kissed my eyelids.I picked him up and set him on the counter.We continued to kiss each other. He wrapped his legs around my hips as I pulled him in close.
“God knows, I do love you Peyton Ruffin.You are my knight in shining armor.”
“And I love you too Timothy Lane Lockhart.You are my fair companion.”
We stood holding each other until I heard Blue ask, “Do we have to pay an admission fee for this show?”
Timmy blushed knowing that we had been caught.I laughed and said there wasn’t enough money in the world that would satisfy.Timmy’s swimsuit was on the floor so I bent over to pick it up. I slid the suit up his legs and then stood in front of him while he pulled it up his hips.He was still very modest and didn’t like for people to see his junk.I turned and Blue looked at my swimsuit and said, “Well, somebody is still excited.”I laughed again and said it was spoken for.
I raided the refrigerator and started putting together the makings for sandwiches.I sliced tomatoes for sandwiches.I cut up a Rocky Hock cantaloupe and a Hertford watermelon.Pitchers of sun tea were ready for consumption.We sat inside to have relief from the sun and the heat.After we finished, I said I wanted to go to the causeway to do some Jet Skiing.Art, Tommy and I had been on Jet Skis before.We rented three skies.Initially, Timmy was afraid to get on the ski with me, but I assured him I would take things easy.Before the afternoon was over Timmy was challenging the others to speed races.He had quelled his fear and now was enjoying the competition.Art was a fierce competitor. He and Edward were giving it their best to win the races we set up. Tommy and Blue were enjoying the experience and didn’t care who won.As we beached the craft at the end of the day we all agreed it had been a wonderful experience.We piled into the Jeep and took the beach road back to the house.Even though we had good tans, the sun, salt air and salt water had done a job on us.We were burned and our skin was tender to the touch.
Art and Edward went to a bedroom and I told Blue and Tommy to go home to change and come back for steaks on the grill.Timmy and I walked into the bathroom and I turned on the shower.We gently soaped each other and washed ourselves.We got out, brushed our teeth, combed our hair and dressed in gym shorts and tank tops.Timmy had picked out black shorts and pink tops.I joked that we looked like flamingos but he told me it made my tan “pop.”
Art and Edward came into the kitchen and were both raving about the fun day.Timmy was setting a table for us to eat outside and Art grabbed the charcoal and started a fire in the grill.I looked at Edward and asked, “Are you okay?”He smiled and said that he was.
“We need to talk.We can do it now or after dinner.”
“Can we talk after dinner?I would like Art and Timmy to be there.I am not so sure about Blue and Tommy.”
“I can make that happen.Don’t worry, no interrogation.I just need to know what a fugitive juvenile is doing in my house in Nags Head.”
Blue and Tommy came bopping in the door.They were high as kites.They also looked splendid in their beach boy way.Blue was wearing a pair of old jams and a sky-blue linen shirt.Tommy had on a pair of cutoff jeans and a matching shirt to Blue’s.They were both wearing flip flops.They made a handsome couple.
We sat down to steaks that I had bought at the charcuterie down the beach.Art had grilled the steaks to perfection and cooked corn on the cob.I had made potato salad and we had cantaloupe and watermelon left from lunch.A good Spanish Rioja accompanied the meal. We finished it off by sharing the last of the Hummingbird Cake and I pulled out a cherished bottle of Mandarine Napoleon to complete the repast.We were sated.
I looked at Blue and asked if he and Tommy could come to dinner on Monday night.He gave me an odd look because Monday was a night when they always came for dinner.I said that I just had a few things to talk about.Blue looked at me with an uneasy gaze and said, “Of course, big daddy, we will be right here.”Tommy said he wouldn’t miss it.Timmy gave me a questioning look.I said it was time to clean up dinner and that it had been a long day for everyone.Blue and Tommy took that as the clue for them to leave.
After making a pot of coffee, Art, Edward and Timmy joined me on the deck.
I looked at Edward and asked him to tell us how it was that he showed up my house. Edward pulled into Art and looked into his eyes.He then turned and looked at me.
“I will give you the abbreviated version.The details are too sordid. Well, I met you, Timmy, Jube and Garry this summer.I was living with my uncle and aunt because my parents had kicked me out of their house.My dad came home early from work one afternoon and found me and my friend, Ricky, sucking each other.”Art shuddered at his own remembrance of being caught by his father.“When I told my parents I was gay they went ballistic.My dad wanted to send me to a military school.I told him I would enjoy that because of all of the good-looking guys around.He then totally lost it.I was sent to my room so my parents could talk.”
“I could hear them still talking when I fell asleep.When I got up the next morning, my dad had already left for the office.My mother told me to go to school and we would talk more that evening.I got to school and talked to my buddy, Ricky.Luckily, my parents had not told his parents.There was no talking after school.My father didn’t come for dinner and mother would just look at me and tear up.That weekend my mother told me to pack my clothes.I was going to be spending the rest of the school year with my uncle and aunt.”
“I met you this summer when I came here with my uncle and aunt.They are really great.However, they told me last week that I had to return to my parent’s house.I can’t do that.Nothing has changed.My father hasn’t spoken to me since he found Ricky and me doing the sex thing.”
“You were so nice this summer I decided I would come down here and get a job.It took all of my money to get here.Things are more expensive than I thought.”
Edward looked lost and Art was holding him close.
“Do you think your uncle and aunt are worried?”
Edward looked at me and his eyes filled with tears while he nodded in the affirmative.
“How do we do this?You are a minor and it won’t take long for law enforcement to be looking for you.Did you leave any clue about where you were going?”
Edward still couldn’t speak but shook his head in the negative.
“OK, I would like to call them so they know that you are safe. Can I do that, Edward?”
Edward looked at Art who said, “you can trust him.Let him call your uncle and aunt.”
Oh God, I didn’t want to be in the middle of this mess but felt an obligation to let his relatives know where he was.He couldn’t just hang out in my house.He was a minor and I was a gay man.Everyone knew about my sexuality and would automatically assume I was molesting the child.I took a deep breath and dialed the telephone.Edward was sitting beside me.
“Hello, is this Mrs. Spaulding?”
“Yes, it is.”
“Mrs. Spaulding, we met this summer when you were at Nags Head.Your nephew, Edward, had cake with us at the fireworks on July 4th.”
I heard her calling her husband and telling him to get on the other phone.
“Is Edward with you?”
“Yes ma’am, he showed up here last night.He is safe.”
Mr. Spaulding started loudly saying he was going to have me charged with kidnapping and child abuse.Mrs. Spaulding was the calm voice and told him to pipe down.
“You haven’t told me your name.”
“You are correct, Mrs. Spaulding. I apologize.My name is Pate Ruffin.Edward is safe and I asked him if I could call you to let you know that.”
“May I speak with him?”
“You may speak with him but remember he is a frightened boy who needs your support.He ran away because he was afraid you were going to return him to his parents.”
Tentatively, Edward took the telephone and said hello.He listened and I could see the tears starting to course down his face.He then started hyperventilating.I grabbed the phone.Mr. Spaulding was making clear that Edward was to return immediately.I told him that I was back on the phone and then he accused me of being a child molester and that he was calling the police as soon as we hung up.
I put the phone down and knew that it had been a mistake to call.My best of intentions had gone to hell and back.Edward was wrapped in Art’s arms.He was crying and saying that he would kill himself before going back.Timmy and I were looking at each other completely lost about what to do next.
The front door opened and Louise walked into the house.She heard noises in the library and found all of us talking.She came in and knew that she had interrupted a serious discussion.She looked at each of us and then announced she was going to bed.She knew not to enter the fray without an invitation.Timmy was about to speak when he looked at me and I made a negative head shake.I didn’t know where this was going but knew that containment was important.
I reached for the telephone because I had to talk with a certain person about the situation:Trace.His work involved the courts, juveniles, drugs and law enforcement.I called and asked him to meet me for breakfast the next morning at Sam and Omie’s.It was a sleepless night for all.
I had just finished eating my breakfast and taken a sip of coffee when Trace said, “You need to climb off that cross, Pate.”
“What the fuck?”
Trace and I were obviously at a stand-off.
“You invited me to breakfast to help you figure out what to do and I am telling you: climb down from that cross.”
I slumped against the back of my chair.I glared at Trace.
“OK, let me spell this out to you.First, you owe Edward nothing.Why are you in the middle of his business?Now, don’t interrupt me.I know you are going to tell me he showed up at your house and thus you now have to figure out how to make his life right.Did he ask you to do that or was he just looking for a port in a storm?”
Trace interrupted me in a whiney, mocking voice.“You don’t understand.Is that what you were going to say?I know you too well my friend.I do understand.”
We each stared at the table.I reached for my coffee cup and Trace reached out and took my hand.
“I love you Pate.You have done nothing wrong.You are a strong, faithful person who is trying to help others.All I am saying is you don’t have to.If you choose to help don’t make yourself a martyr if it doesn’t work.Don’t beat yourself up.I want you to take care of yourself.”
I nodded my head.I knew if I spoke I would sound like a whimpering child.
“OK, let’s talk about possible next steps for you.It is your choice of what to do but I am going to lay out some options for you.First, about Edward.You are in a vulnerable position concerning this child.He is a child in the eyes of the law.I expect his uncle has already called the police to retrieve him.Just tell the police what you know.Don’t interpret and apply meaning to the situation.He showed up and asked for refuge.You provided a place for him to sleep.You called his uncle and aunt.You had him talk to them.End of story. There is no need for you to explain his story.For God’s sake, don’t let them know that Art has been fucking Edward and that they are in love.”
I agreed.The facts and just the facts was my new mantra.
“Where is Edward going? He can’t stay with you?”
“I don’t know and that is probably a good thing.”
Trace nodded his head in agreement.
“I keep some money at the house that I will give him so he can go back to Ohio or wherever he and Art want to go.”
“And no advice.No direction.No Pate wisdom.Nothing.”
Trace was giving me a verbal directive that was reinforced by directly looking into my eyes.
He was about to get up from his seat when I put my hand on top of his.He looked at me questioningly?
Trace’s eyes enlarged, he shook his head while chuckling and said that I never did things halfway.He eased himself back into his chair.
I then told him about my encounter with the police chief.
“You have been given a big gift, Pate.I mean it.You have been given the hugest gift anyone could give.My guess is you will owe the police chief a blow job as a thank you present.I heard he is hung big. You will enjoy it.”Trace laughed and winked at me.
“Help me figure out what to do about this.”
“Let me just start by saying that I am glad that I am not your attorney.”He mimicked my attorney, “Your honor, my client is innocent.He is just plumb goodhearted but stupid and gets caught up in some bad situations not of his own making.Well not intentionally, anyway.He is a good ole boy and wasn’t screwing some seventeen year old boy who showed up at this house.Hell, he already has a boyfriend.You mean that is still against the law even when one is of age?Well, I’ll be doggone.Anyway, he didn’t take that child’s virginity.He wasn’t part of the drug ring either.It is all just so circumstantial.You see, he is just a nice guy who gets himself in the damnest situations.He can’t say no and thinks he can solve everyone’s problems by being such a nice man and helping them.You are right that he has no boundaries when he sees people in need.But, your honor he doesn’t deserve twenty years for housing a minor fugitive and that his house has been used by a drug ring.”
Trace just looked at me after he finished his soliloquy.
I mouthed, “Twenty years?”
He nodded.“If you are lucky.Big Bubba out at Butner prison will get a long time to enjoy your butt.I am glad you have kept it nice and plump for his use.I guess he will fuck the fat off of it though.”
He just looked at me and started smiling while shaking his head.I could tell he thought I was the biggest fuck up on the east coast.
“Does Timmy know everything?”
“I haven’t told him about Blue and Tommy.”
“Then don’t.You know you have fucked up my holiday weekend and I will make you pay bigtime.Let’s figure out what you are going to say tonight.Only tell them what you know.Again, your role is not to help them concoct a way out of their problem.You can make lots of empathetic noises but you are not to talk about what they are to do.You don’t want to know their plans and actions.If something would happen you need to be able to swear in court that you did not know their plans.Understood?”
“How do I tell them and not help them figure this out?”
“How about – it’s none of your fucking business?”
“Well that was blunt.”
Trace just smiled at me.He had taken the drinking straws and made a cross.He propped it on the table and pointed to it.“Get off the cross, buddy. You have fed Blue and shepherded him through the summer.He allowed it because you gave him food, you gave him liquor, and I bet you even bought him things when he came to you with those puppy dog eyes.You were the go-to daddy when he wanted things.”
“Who told you?”
Trace laughed and told me I was the perfect co-dependent.“You are an easy case Pate.Gosh, you are so textbook.Start focusing on yourself and the hard work that requires and quit focusing on others.You owe it to yourself and probably Timmy.”
“OK, I may need a booster shot while I am in the middle of this.This is new behavior for me.”
Trace gave me a knowing look acknowledging that I had spoken the truth.
“You are buying breakfast.You are getting a good price for this counseling session.Now I am going to enjoy the last day of the holiday weekend.By the way, the feds have been on the beach most of the summer and I guess they have your house under surveillance.You might want to meet Blue and Tommy someplace else.You have some nice things that you wouldn’t want to get busted during a raid.”
I couldn’t speak but nodded my head.
I drove back to the house and sat in the Jeep thinking.I wasn’t prepared for what the day was presenting. It was truly a FUBAR weekend.I got out of the Jeep and started looking at the houses around and every vehicle that drove past wondering if the feds were already staked out and getting ready to make their move.
Timmy met me at door.His eyes were wide.“Art and Edward are gone.They ate breakfast and said they were going to walk on the beach.The next thing I know I heard Art’s truck start and they left.They have cleared out all of their belongings.”
I knew that my voice would betray me so I just nodded my head.
Later that morning Louise, Timmy and I were eating a sandwich when I suggested that Timmy drive Louise back to Bear Swamp.“You can come back in a few weeks but Timmy and I have to return to work tomorrow and I need a few days to recover from summer.”
Louise looked at me trying to intuit meaning into what I had said.She kept staring into my eyes and then slowly started nodding her head.“You are right, Pate.I appreciate your hospitality and your love of my grandson.I think it is best if Timmy takes me home today and perhaps he could stay a couple of days to help me with some chores.He can call his office tomorrow and tell them that I took sick and he had to bring me home to take care of me.”
Timmy was about to speak when I interrupted.“I think that is exactly right, Louise.You do look a little peaked.I think you are coming down with something that can only be treated at home and that Timmy is the person to provide the treatment.”
Louise rose from the table and asked if I minded if she started packing immediately so they could get home.I allowed as that was probably a good idea.
Timmy threw some clothes in a gym bag.I told him that no matter what happened I loved him.He wanted to speak and I took my finger and put it to his lips to shush him.
“I will call you in a couple of days.Do not come back until I call.OK?”
We were in the foyer when Louise came down the hallway dragging her suitcase.I reached for it but instead she grabbed me and held on.
“You are a good man, Peyton Ruffin.I love you and thank you again for loving my grandson.You take care of yourself and think of only one thing.”
“What is that?”
“You and Timmy, of course.That is what’s important.You may care for other people but put you and Timmy first.Will you do that for an old woman?”
I agreed and watched as Timmy backed his vehicle out of my driveway.He was headed to safety.
That night I met Blue and Tommy at the Tale of the Whale.I had called earlier in the day and left a message for them to meet me at the popular restaurant on the causeway to Manteo.They asked after Timmy and I relayed that his grandmother was ill and that he had to take her home.The entire time we were eating I was looking around the restaurant trying to figure out who the feds were.I knew I looked paranoid because that was the way I felt.The restaurant was not very busy it being Labor Day Monday evening.Most tourists had returned home that day.When dessert arrived, I knew it was time to deliver my message.I leaned in and spoke in a softer tone.
“You have to be gone from the beach before this weekend.Preferably sooner. I think tomorrow morning would be good.If you are here this weekend, you will be arrested for being part of a drug ring.If you have stashed anything at my house I want you to remove it tonight.I will leave the garage and house unlocked.You should know that you are being surveilled and I don’t want your drug shit at my house.You can stay or leave but after dinner I cannot have contact with you for a while.I am being viewed as an accessory to your drug dealing.”
Blue was about to speak when I told him to tell me nothing.He was cool under fire.He leaned back in his chair.He looked very continental at that moment: suave, debonair and totally together.Tommy however became very agitated.He was twisting in his seat looking around the restaurant.Blue lit a cigarette and said that he wanted us to have a last cup of coffee together.He was Rick in Casablanca.He knew how to keep his shit together when it was hitting the fan and splattering everyone else.
Blue talked about the nattiest pair of sunglasses he had seen that day.He chuckled and said it was a shame that he wasn’t going to be able to finagle me into buying them for him.He let out a loud laugh.“Damn, they are half price and they look so good on me.Oh well, another day.” He flicked cigarette ashes onto his dessert plate and then pushed it away.He stood, looked around the room, put on a public face and slowly walked toward the exit.
I was nonplussed by his attitude.Internally I was a wreck and he acted like he owned the world.I gave a wan smile. He said, “It has been a fun summer but the Boys of Summer need to move on. Best of luck.”
I noticed a buff, beach guy get up to leave as I was settling our bill.When we got to the parking lot, he was sitting in his car watching us.I nodded my head to him and he nodded back.I hugged Blue and Tommy like always before we got into our vehicles.I drove down the beach road to the house.I turned off the Jeep lights and unlocked the garage.I went upstairs and grabbed a couple of blankets.I confirmed that the front door was unlocked and walked through the house turning off lights.I walked across the deck and down the steps to the beach.I found a place about a half mile down from the house and curled up under the blankets to sleep.The inky sky was filled with stars and I prayed for each of my friends.
I replayed parts of my conversations with Trace and Louise.I was codependent.I needed to take care of me.I didn’t know how to do that.The clouds had covered the stars and I could barely make them out.I then realized it was the tears in my eyes that were the problem….or the solution.Maybe I needed to wash away my way of looking at the world and begin again in a new way.
Sometime during the night, I fell asleep.I awoke when I felt a dog’s cold nose on my face.A big yellow lab was sniffing me.He then lifted his leg and pissed on my blanket.I yelped and he ran away.Isn’t that life, I wondered.Someone comes around and you feel like you have a good handle on the fellow and then a certain level of jiggery-pokery ensues.I knew that I needed to spend some time with my English authors again, especially the Mitford sisters, to remember those arcane terms that they bandied about.
I slowly unfolded myself and arose from my makeshift bed.I stretched with my arms over my head and turned to face the ocean.I scratched my navel and enjoyed feeling my furry stomach.It had been a wonderful summer but it was over.It was time to settle down for the fall and winter with a constant companion.I walked down the ridge line through the golden oats. My hands would hit a stalk and disengage the seed which would fall to the ground.Surely summer was over if the oats had turned golden but summer would return again and those seeds would sprout to welcome the warming sun.
I stopped and looked at the ocean.God, I had to piss.I opened my fly and let loose with a torrent. I felt better already.I then zipped up and started heading home.Home where Timmy was…………but he wasn’t there.I sent him away to be safe.I sat on the dune and started planning how I was going to deal with life this fall.I was successful in my business but had to learn a new way of living.A new way of being that involved ET and me.I heard a voice in my head and knew that I was channeling Van Morrison:
I've been all around the world
Marching to the beat of a different drum.
But just lately I have realized
Baby the best is yet to come.
Someone like you makes it all worth while
Someone like you keeps me satisfied.
Someone exactly like you.
Yeah baby, the best is yet to come.With me and ET.