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    Mac Rountree
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

The Boys of Summer - 4. A Capital Weekend

Jimbo and Timmy head to Washington, DC for the opening of an art exhibit. They explore the nation's capital before heading back to the beach.

“Pate, you need to listen to what he has to say. He came to work crying this morning. I have not seen him like this since he started to work here. I told him to go home and get himself together.”

“Michelle, have you talked with Trace about this?”

“No, Blue made me promise to reach out to you and no one else.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Pate, he wants to come over and explain. He doesn’t want food or drink or drugs.” At that point, she giggled. “Well, who knows if he wants drugs. Half of the construction crew deal drugs on the side. The other half drop their tools as soon as they hear there are good waves rolling in. Hmmm, maybe it is the same half or maybe all of the crew. Some days I can’t keep track.”

There was silence on both ends of the line.

“Okay, tell him to come by after work. But no food and no drinks. He can tell me what he has to say and then leave.”

“Pate, you are the best. You really should have become a priest. You are so good with people”

I hung up the telephone and reoriented myself to work I had to do. It was a busy Monday and I didn’t need to be thinking of Blue or ET or anything other than the many tasks coming across my desk.

Roxanne knocked on my door and had a stack of messages in her hand. She also had a pony bottle of Coca-Cola and a dish of Virginia cocktail peanuts. Ahhh, it was time for lunch already and Roxanne knew just what to bring me on busy days.

“Pay attention to the top message first. I spoke with Felicia Preston. She has invited you and Timmy to a gallery opening of her work on Saturday night. It is in Arlington. Should I make a hotel reservation?” I told Roxanne to book a room for Friday and Saturday nights and that I would surprise Timmy with the trip. She smiled, closed my office door and left me to my afternoon’s work.

I realized that all of the noises in the office had ceased. Glancing up I noticed it was 6:00 p.m. Roxanne was the only person in the office when I opened my door.

“Well, you are alive.” She laughed as she acknowledged that I had been burrowed in my office all day. “I think you have earned your pay today. I made the hotel reservation for you. If you don’t need anything else I am going home.”

“You should have left already. Thanks for holding things together today. It was a successful workday and I feel that I got two weeks of work done in one day. Were there any messages that I should pay attention to?”

“Nothing that can’t wait until tomorrow. Enjoy your evening.” She grabbed her purse and walked out the front door. She turned and locked the door after exiting. I went back to my office and turned off the light. I went out the back door, locked it, jumped into the Jeep and drove home.

Blue’s truck was in the drive but he wasn’t in it. He was sitting on the front steps. I greeted him and told him to come in. We walked into the foyer and I kept walking to the living room doors, opened them and then walked onto the deck. I still didn’t want him in my house. I motioned for him to sit.

“Michelle said that you had something to tell me. I am listening.”

Blue fidgeted, looked at the deck and quietly started speaking. “I am sorry. I should not have taken the key. It is just that I felt at home here. You are like my daddy. I got carried away.”

I sat and didn’t speak.

“I had a screwed-up childhood and you were so generous with your time and food so I made an assumption that it would be okay.”

We sat in silence.

“My daddy is a busy, important person and he didn’t have much time for me or my brothers. I felt that I had met someone who would be my daddy. I took the key because when I am here nothing can hurt me. I didn’t ask for the key because I could not deal with the rejection if you said no. I was always rejected by my dad as he would leave for another diplomatic mission. Mother just popped pills, drank vodka and played tennis at the country club. I never had a stable home life. My parents finally divorced when I graduated from college. My mother now lives with her parents in Newport and my dad is still traveling the world as a diplomat. I no longer have a place to call home.”

He was looking me in the eyes as he finished his story. We sat in silence for a few minutes.

“I need a few facts. What is your real name? I doubt that your parents named you Blue.”

He shuddered. “My name is Jay Hebert Jay. Awful name. I was called Jay-Jay from the time I was a baby. I fucking hate the name. I decided to put Blue in front of Jay and so now I am Blue Jay. Do you know about blue jays? They are fucking mean birds. They are also scavengers. They will steal things to survive. Blue jays are survivors and I am just trying to survive day to day.”

“Where are you from?”

Again, there was a shudder. “Rye, New York. You are smart so I am sure you know of John Jay. We didn’t live in the family home but we had a large house in town. It was all about the family name. It didn’t matter about any of us and our needs – it was about being a Jay. Rye Country Day School, Brown, and then I was supposed to go to Harvard Law but I would have sooner cut my wrists. My parents are the last of a dying breed – the New England WASP. That makes me want to puke just to say it. I had to escape.”

“Why are you working construction? Surely with your education and family connections you could get a job in New York City. Why did you come to the Outer Banks?”

“I needed to get away. Growing up on Long Island Sound made me realize that I needed to be near the water. I heard there was good surfing on the Outer Banks so I came down. I also heard there were cute southern boys here.” He started grinning and his dimples were more pronounced. I was starting to feel sorry for him.

Just at that moment the doorbell rang. I told Jay to stay put and I went to the front door. Timmy was standing there with bags of groceries. He came in and I told him that I was speaking with Jay. His eyes grew big but he didn’t say a word. I told him to start unpacking the groceries and I would be with him in less than five minutes.

I took a deep breath and looked at Timmy. We both started smiling and then I kissed him. I walked back to the deck and told Jay that Timmy was home and that I needed to help fix supper. He gave me a hopeful look. I then thanked him for telling me his story and told him that he needed to leave. When we got to the front door he turned, extended his hand and said, “Pate, thank you for giving me the opportunity to explain. I hope that our friendship is not irreparably broken by my unfortunate behavior. I ask your forgiveness but I understand if you are not able to offer kindness at this time.” I fought my inner instinct and did not shake his hand. He then turned and walked out. I just stood looking at the back of my new friend and wondered if he had told me the truth.

Timmy was peeling potatoes when I walked into the kitchen. “I am starting on potato salad but I don’t know what else to do besides peeling potatoes, chopping celery and getting out the pickles.” He gave me a look of wanting to be praised. I was effusive about his potato peeling and we worked side by side grilling chicken, making the potato salad and slicing tomatoes. I was being very quiet so Timmy went to the library and put on some beach music. It caught my attention.

“That music is mighty bouncy for a Monday evening. What made you choose that music?”

ET walked up to me and grabbed my hand to dance. I immediately fell into the Carolina shag which any boy in North or South Carolina learned in elementary school. Well, not any Carolina boy because ET was completely lost. He stumbled so I grabbed him by the waist and spun him around.

“It is the Isley Brothers.” I started singing, “This old heart of mine, been broke a thousand times.”

I grabbed a dinner knife and pretended it was my microphone and continued to sing along while dancing with ET.

“Is this American Bandstand?” Trace was standing in the door way looking at the two of us. “How the fuck is a heterosexual male supposed to survive in this house?” We both grinned at him and shrugged our shoulders.

I grabbed Trace’s hand and he immediately started shagging with me. I dipped him at the end of the song and bent down to kiss him on the lips. We were both laughing when I pulled him up. “God, I love you Pate. You are the best of best friends.”

ET announced that the chicken was ready. The three of us stood around the island eating and enjoying our time as the day came to an end. We joked, laughed and ended up grabbing food from each other’s plates. Timmy jabbed at the last of the potato salad just as Trace was going in for the kill. Timmy grinned from ear to ear as he ate each bite with his mouth open. It was disgusting but also charming to see him eat and swallow the last of the food. He then high fived Trace and told him that next time he would let him have the last bite.

“Did Pate tell you that we are going to Washington DC for the weekend?” ET was excited in asking Trace the leading question.

“Why are you going to DC?”

“I told Pate about an artist, Felicia Preston. Pate called and she invited us to an opening at a gallery in Northern Virginia on Saturday night. We are leaving Friday afternoon and will have the entire weekend to explore the city. I want to go to the Capitol, the White House, the Smithsonian, the Mall, the Ford Theater, Arlington Cemetery, and the Jefferson, Lincoln and Washington monuments.”

I burst out laughing. “Even with all of your energy I don’t think we can work all of those sites in plus a gallery opening. We will see how it goes once we get there.”

The next morning ET asked for Friday afternoon off from work and told Randolph he was going home to see his parents. I had let ET know he didn’t have to tell Randolph where he was going rather to just ask for the time off since he was going out of town.

I had the Jeep loaded at noon on Friday. I stopped by ET’s apartment and he threw his suitcase in the back and we hit the road. The traffic leaving the beach wasn’t too bad. We made good time until we got to Norfolk and then ran into the shipyard and military traffic. We were fortunate that there were no accidents and we slowly made our way across bridges and through tunnels. When we approached Williamsburg, I knew that we were halfway there and wouldn’t have difficult traffic again until we crossed the Occoquan Bridge.

I reached over and took ET’s hand in mine. “Let me know when you need to stop. There is an empty coke bottle in the back if you need it.” We both grinned.

I related that as a child we would travel and my dad would hate to stop because it always involved buying me something to eat and drink and my mother would take some time to put herself back together from riding for so long. My dad would be fuming by the time we would get back on the road and he would swear that he didn’t know which of us was slower. I chuckled at the memory.

We slid past Richmond and headed north to Fredericksburg. Luckily, the sun was still high in the sky when we reached Northern Virginia. I had been lost too many times on the highways in Northern Virginia and the District. I always stayed at the Crystal City Marriott because I knew exactly how to drive there. I would then park the car and use Metro the rest of the time.

After unpacking our clothes, we hopped in the shower and then dressed for dinner in Georgetown. We walked across the Key Bridge and found the Vietnamese restaurant I loved on M Street. Timmy had never had lemon grass and after a bowl of lemon grass soup wanted everything else to have lemon grass. I joked and told him that he would turn into a sour puss if he kept eating lemon grass. “Does it have the same affect as asparagus? Is my pee and other stuff going to smell?”

“Let’s go find out.” I smiled and we rose from our chairs and left the restaurant.

We stopped walking as we crossed Key Bridge back into Virginia. My arm was across ET’s shoulder as we looked at Roosevelt Island. It felt so right being with him in the city. I leaned over and kissed him. He pulled back and said we were in public. I misquoted some English woman who said it was okay as long as it didn’t frighten the horses. We then continued our walk back to the hotel with my arm thrown across his shoulder, his arm around my waist and my hard-on leading the way.

We walked across the lobby and took the elevator to our floor. I opened the draperies so we could look across the Potomac River to the District. The Washington Monument was lit in the distance.

“The Washington Monument is giving me ideas. There is something hard and tall in my pants. Don’t you want to worship my monument?” I unbuckled my belt and my trousers dropped to the floor. I had gone commando to the restaurant and I was ready for action. ET had stripped and was grabbing a bed spread to put on the floor in front of the windows. We didn’t turn on the lights so we could look across the Potomac to the district.

The love making was exquisite. We lay panting. I moved so that my head was on his shoulder. I kissed his neck and made my mark of ownership so the world would know that he was mine.

We awoke sometime during the night and stumbled into bed. His head was on my shoulder as we fell into a deep sleep.

“Don’t look at me.” I had just awoken and knew that he was already awake.

“I’m not.” He giggled as he said it.

“Yes, you are.” My eyes were closed but I could sense Timmy was looking at me. He was on his side, pressed against my body with his arm across my torso.

“I am just looking at how hot you are in the morning.”

“Argh, probably more like hell.” I could tell my eyes were puffy, I needed to shave and my breath smelled of lemon grass, garlic and semen.

Morning light filled the room.

“Call room service to order breakfast and I will start the shower.” I moaned as I got up from the bed. Sleeping on the floor was definitely for the young.

Timmy walked up to the toilet, started pissing and grinned. “Good morning, big guy. Little guy is full of piss and vinegar this morning.”

I turned on the shower and stepped into the warm water. I grabbed a bar of soap and started washing Timmy’s body. ET grabbed the bottle of body wash and did the same to me.

We were standing in front of the sink when ET noticed the hickey on his neck. He groaned and said that everyone would think he was white trash.

“Nope, everybody will know that you are mine and that we are coupled.”

“Are we coupled, Pate?”

My voice caught in my throat and I couldn’t say it. We just looked at each other in the mirror.

There was a knock at the door and I wrapped a towel around my waist and opened it so the bell boy could roll the trolley of food into the room.

“Timmy, come out and see if this is what you ordered?” I knew that ET was hiding in the bathroom until the fellow left. He came out with a towel wrapped around his shoulders and his dick swinging free. He took the lids off of the different plates, smiled at the bell boy and said the order was correct. “Ahh, grapefruit juice. Perfect.” I thought the bell boy’s eyes would pop out. I signed the slip and added a generous gratuity. We were alone in the room and sat to eat. I looked ET in the eyes, “Sometimes you shock the hell of out me.”

“Back at you, big guy.”

“Touché.”

We ending up feeding each other breakfast. We were a mess and ended up in the shower again. We nearly drowned from our constant kissing while the water was raining on our heads. We knew that we had crossed a divide and needed to figure out the rules for the next phase of our life.

We dressed in khaki shorts, polo shirts, and sneakers. We would be walking a lot and needed to be comfortable. I had brought a canteen to fill with water and a small backpack for snacks. Our first stop was Arlington National Cemetery. We did the obligatory homage at the grave of the Kennedy’s and then walked to the Lee Mansion. We took the tour and then walked to the Grave of the Unknowns. It was always a religious experience for me to witness the honor bestowed by the guards at the grave. We sat in silence and watched the ritual of honoring the dead. Others would come and go but we continued to sit mesmerized. Midway through our time there I noticed that at some point Timmy had taken my hand and he was pressed into my shoulder. My sunglasses hid the tears in my eyes. We both knew it was time to go; we didn’t have to speak but intuitively knew the other was ready. We walked down to the Metro stop without speaking. We rode into the District and got off and walked to the Mall. We bought food from a vendor and found a place in the shade to eat. It was a typical hot and humid day in the nation’s capital. We chatted about our experience at Arlington and how moving it was to be there together. After finishing, we walked to the Washington monument. ET said that he was thankful for the size of the monument because my cock felt that big in his mouth last night. I laughed and told him that tonight I was planning for him to take a ride from the bottom to the top of the monument. He grabbed my hand, squeezed it, and said he was sure it would be a monumental experience. I groaned at his pun. We both laughed. From there we walked to the Lincoln monument. I stood on the steps where Martin Luther King had spoken and looked down the mall toward the Capitol. I gave a silent thank you to Abraham and Martin for their fighting for what was right. I also reflected on Mariam Anderson singing from the steps of the monument. So much had happened at this site to further the rights of the oppressed. We then walked to the Jefferson Memorial and around the reflecting pool. Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln. A trifecta of brilliant men who had influenced our lives in such significant ways. It was right to remember them this way.

It was mid-afternoon when I suggested we might want a nap before going to the gallery that evening. Timmy said we had to see the Smithsonian. I chuckled and said we would give it our best shot but it was huge complex and we couldn’t possibly see all of it at one visit. We ended up in the Air and Space Museum. The museum was so important to me as I lived near the First Flight Monument where the Wright Brothers had their first flight on the Outer Banks. We didn’t get to see very much by the time we needed to leave. We took the Metro back to the hotel. We hopped in the shower to rinse off and then climbed into bed for a nap. I kissed ET’s nose and then we fell asleep holding hands.

When we awoke the sun was low in the sky.

“OK, little guy it is time for us to think about getting ready.”

He climbed on top of me and said he needed a monumental experience before we went to look at artwork. My back was against the headboard and ET threw his arms around my neck and started kissing me. “Couple us, Pate. Yes, couple me. Couple us.” His moaning was a keening sound that was increasing in decibels and timbre. His voice went from low bass to high tenor. His body shuddered. His body fell against mine and I pulled him into my chest. His head rested on my shoulder. I felt him start to kiss my neck and knew that he was claiming me as his own. I let him complete this visible symbol of passion and coupling. Our bodies quieted. We did not move. Our hearts reached synchronicity. Our breathing matched. We were one.

Neither of us wanted this time to end. Finally, he kissed my neck and pulled back from me. Tears were running down his cheeks. I gently reached up and wiped them from his face. I then kissed him with all of the tenderness I had.

We were once again in the shower. We tenderly handled the other; washing each other’s hair, stroking flanks, tending to each other, and shaving. We stood naked in front of the mirror and looked at the other through the looking glass. I sensed joy but also completeness. I turned my head and looked at the passion mark on my neck. Timmy did the same. We didn’t need to speak of it.

I wore linen slacks, a white silk shirt and navy blazer along with Weejuns to the art gallery. Timmy wore his khaki’s, white button down, rep tie and navy blazer. I had convinced him to purchase a pair of Weejuns instead of wearing the brogans. We were definitely prepped out.

The Clarendon Courthouse Metro stop was down the street from the gallery so it was easy for us to travel from the hotel. We walked in and a very striking looking woman cleared a path as she headed to us. She grabbed Timmy and told him it was wonderful to see him again. She then hugged me and said, “You must be Pate.” She then noticed the hickey on my neck, turned to Timmy and pushed back the collar of his shirt to look at his neck. We were both blushing as she said it was nice that we matched. She then let loose with a laugh that was heard across the gallery.

“Come gentlemen, let me show you some of my new paintings.”

I was mesmerized by her paintings. The show was primarily watercolors. Not just watercolors but WATERCOLORS. I stood in front of the paintings and looked through the layers of color and noticed the pen and ink drawing behind the water color. There were strips of color layered on top of the watercolor. The paintings became three dimensional. I lacked language to express to Felicia what I was seeing and experiencing. Timmy held my hand as I would stand in front of a painting and start hyperventilating. He slowly stroked my hand until my breathing returned to normal.

“She is amazing. How did the two of you meet?”

“I took a painting class from her one summer. She and I hit it off and have stayed in touch since then.”

“I want everything in the show!”

“Slow down, big guy. Your brain is trying to process what you are seeing. I had that same experience the first time I saw her work. It took me a few days to start to intellectually process what I was seeing. I then had an even higher appreciation for her technique as well as her use of colors and layering. You don’t want or need everything in the show.”

I then turned and saw a painting that I knew had to be mine. It was of Chinese box kites. I stood immobile; my body was not able to move. I finally uttered, “have them put a sold sticker on that painting. Please.” Timmy asked if I wanted to know how much it cost?

“No, I don’t care what it cost. I have to look at it every day. Please have them mark it sold.”

Timmy talked to the gallery owner who quickly put a sold sticker on the painting. People applauded when they saw the sold sticker affixed. I then moved away and looked at other paintings knowing the box kite painting was mine.

Felicia walked up and put her arm through mine. “You bought the best painting I have here tonight. You should know that you paid my mortgage for the next two years.” She let out another whooping laugh. I tried not to blanche at what I had just done. I had no idea what her mortgage was and whether I had the money to back up my irrational action.

Timmy approached me, put his arm through mine and walked me to a quieter part of the gallery. “After the show, we have been invited to dinner with Felicia, her husband Tom, and Andre the gallery owner. Andre is treating us. Of course, he can afford to treat everyone after you bought that painting.” ET was smiling at me. I approached Andre, pulled out my checkbook and told him I was ready to pay. I tried not to choke when he told me the total amount. I wrote the check thinking I had made a huge mistake. After handing over the check, I walked back to the center of the gallery and looked at the painting again. I had not made a mistake. It was worth every penny I had paid. I knew that I would love that painting for the rest of my life.

Dinner was raucous as we ate at a Spanish Tapas restaurant in Shirlington. The table was filled with small plates and bottles of good Spanish red wine. It felt so European to be in this restaurant. People of many ethnicities and cultures were eating. The range of languages made me think of Pentecost and the variety of languages used in the church service. It was certainly like the Tower of Babel. I reveled in being among highly intelligent people who shamelessly name dropped about international artists. They ran with a rarified set. I was totally engaged and hated to leave to return to the hotel. But leave we did and dropped our clothes on the floor on the way to the bed. It had been a fulfilling day and we were exhausted.

On Sunday morning, we reversed our roles from the day before. The same bell boy brought food and Timmy was waiting with a towel wrapped around his waist. I came out from the bathroom with the towel around my neck. I could see the fellow’s Adam’s Apple bob up and down. I tasted the grapefruit juice and smiled at ET. We then started laughing and apologized for our gauche behavior. The bell boy said he had seen many things at the hotel but we had made his day. He said he went home the day before and had very hot sex with his boyfriend while thinking of us. He said it would be another good night of sex at home. I gave him a generous tip and thanked him for being a willing victim of my sick sense of humor. He laughed and said he would be a victim anytime we wanted.

We dressed in our “Sunday church clothes” and I drove up Wisconsin Avenue to the National Cathedral. We had a hard time finding a place to park and arrived just as the verger organized the procession to start down the center aisle. We quickly found empty seats and knelt before I stood in front of my chair. I then crossed myself. I was singing “St. Patrick’s Breastplate,” the processional hymn, without using the hymnal. I turned to the page in the 1982 hymnal for Timmy and pointed to the right place in the lyrics. He tried to share the hymnal but I indicated that I didn’t need it. At the end of the hymn, I pulled the Book of Common Prayer from the rack, opened it to the right page, and handed it to Timmy. Again, I didn’t need it to follow the service. Poor Timothy was having a hard time; he didn’t know when to stand, kneel or sit. I just whispered for him to follow me. He tried but it was obvious it was his first time at an Episcopal service. He followed me in line for communion and mimicked my every move. At the end of the service, I sat and listened to the postlude. The music ended and I knelt, crossed myself and then stood.

Timmy just stared at me.

“Let me give you a tour.” I grabbed his hand and pulled him to the Woodrow Wilson Chapel. I explained about the chapel and that the dogwood tree growing in the chapel was real. I then pointed out the stained glass window and a moon rock in it. The congregation had cleared out and I told him I wanted to see the chapels in the undercroft. We went down the stone steps and went from chapel to chapel. We ended up in the gift shop and I purchased a prayer bracelet for each of us. I made a big fuss of putting it on him.

“Most people will think it is a surfer’s bracelet. We will know these are prayer bracelets. Let’s leave and have lunch at Dupont Circle before we head home.”

We walked out of the Cathedral never saying a word. I was fairly bouncing from the excitement of being at the service.

It was almost impossible to find a parking place at Dupont Circle but I managed to snag a space in front of Lambda Rising. We then walked to Annie’s Steak House. ET’s mouth was hanging open seeking all of the gay couples everywhere. They were out, proud, and openly showing affection. We stood in line at Annie’s. The hostess said she had a table for four and the couple in front of us asked if we wanted to be a part of a four top. We agreed knowing that otherwise it would take a while to get a table. After enjoying the food and the company of our erstwhile friends we made our way back to Lambda Rising. I started building a stack of books on the counter. Timmy walked around as if in a foreign land; he had no idea about the canon of gay literature. I made my purchase and Timmy helped me take the bags to the Jeep.

I started the Jeep and loosened my tie. “Let’s head home, little man, but before we do let me drive you by the White House and the Capitol.” I turned to him and gave him a kiss before pulling out of the parking space and started maneuvering through the traffic. We looked at the different buildings we passed and had to ride around the White House twice before Timmy would let me drive down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol. He gawked like any good tourist and I too was moved by the beauty and majesty of our capitol building.

After crossing the Potomac, I felt that we were finally on the right road to head home. I eased us onto Interstate 95 South and felt the release of tension from driving in the city. I turned and smiled at Timmy and asked him if he had a good time.

“Yesterday was overwhelming but I was able to make sense of it but today has completely left me befuddled.”

“What part of today left you befuddled?”

“Well, it started when we went to the Cathedral. We were late and you didn’t seem to be perturbed at all. You walked in, held my hand until we got to those seats and then you knelt and crossed yourself. You knew every word during the service, you were up and down like a jack in the box, and you knew every hymn. I was struggling to keep up and you were able to assist me while participating in the service. I could swear that preacher knew you when he gave you communion. I could see it is his eyes that he wanted to talk with you. How is that possible when you are so nasty about the church? I was amazed that you said we needed to pack church clothes but I was even more amazed when I was the one who didn’t know what to do in church.”

I drove on without speaking.

“Ricky, you have some ‘splaining to do.” Timmy laughed as he tried to channel Lucille Ball.

The sigh was deep and from the very depth of my being. “There is so much about me you don’t know. There is a lot about you I don’t know. We will discover things about each other that may fracture who we are as a couple or solidify us but I will try to be honest. I can’t promise because there are things I don’t understand about myself or why I do the things I do. I am trying to forge meaning of who I am. I heard this philosopher guy talk about forging meaning and it made so much sense when he was saying it but trying to put it into practice has been much harder.”

I hesitated and Timmy squeezed my hand and stared at me; waiting for me to continue.

“Yes, I know the liturgy. Yes, I know that shit-head priest. He and I were in college together. Yes, I know more about the church than I let on but the church rejected me and I haven’t healed yet. We have a long drive ahead of us and I would rather us talk about wonderful things rather than the dark places in our lives. Agreed?”

There was a long pause before Timmy leaned across the console and kissed me on the lips. Just like the night we drove back from Richmond.

“Okay, big guy, tell me where you are going to hang your latest art acquisition. You paid way too money for it to hang in a guest bedroom. I need to see it when I come to visit. What do you think?”

We talked about the notion of not seeing things in the same setting after a period of time.

“Maybe I should take everything out of the house and re-conceptualize what is in each room. I love my house but I don’t see things anymore. People have a very positive reaction to the house when they come to visit but I don’t pay attention anymore. When I first moved in, I unpacked possessions and placed each piece to its best advantage. Maybe when Trace moves out I will rethink how to live in the house.”

“If you would like, I would be happy to help. I love your house and the way you have it decorated. The essence of who you are as a person is exemplified by each and everything you have. It is very Pate. Your house is like a museum….in a good way. It is curated and only the best has found its way into your life”

I took my eyes off the road and looked at Timmy. “You are the best and you are part of my life. Thank you for that.”

We both were quiet as we approached the Richmond interchanges.

“Let’s take the slow boat to China. I would rather get off the interstate and take the back roads. We could stop at a diner for dinner. Are you okay with that?”

I eased the Jeep off the interstate and headed to Route 5. Big southern Virginia plantations lined the river and we were on the River Road. We could see entrances to some of the houses that were not visible from the road but we were able to see others. We talked about Sherwood Forest the home of President John Tyler. There was Westover, Shirley, Carter’s Grove, Evelynton and so many others we lost track. We pulled into Williamsburg and stopped at the Chickahominy House where we ate ham biscuits, Brunswick stew and buttermilk pie. We agreed to come back for a weekend of playing tourists. I drove around the edge of the historic district so Timmy could see some of the buildings. The restored 18th century village was quiet on a Sunday night and we had a sense of what it must have been like to live there two hundred years prior.

Route 60 took us to the James River Bridge and we crossed to the southside. Only another hundred miles and we would be home. I looked over and Timmy had his eyes closed. I could hear a slight snore. We had a jam packed three days and it would be nice to be home. We were both exhausted.

Timmy opened his eyes when the Jeep reached the Point Harbor Bridge. I reached out and touched the side of his face. He turned and kissed the palm of my hand.

We were back to our reality and we had to figure out how to be a couple. I knew we had many things to discuss and to discover who we were separately and together. My soul was filled with gladness.

Copyright © 2019 Mac Rountree; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Blue (Jay) appears to have several demons chasing him, all at the same time.  

So pleased Pate and ET are coupled now, but those marks might be difficult to hide... 

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I think that Pate needs to sort himself out if he is going to be in a relationship with Tim. 
Jay’s childhood sounded dreadful, his father was just awful.

 

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