I was so stoked when a monster wave started forming.“Catch this one!” I yelled, even as I got in position.My shout out certainly wasn’t for my father, who didn’t need my advice on which wave to catch.And it wasn’t for Beverly, who tended to read the ocean pretty well.Rather it was for Colin, who had a decent technique, but always seemed to catch the wrong wave.Then again, even when he caught the right wave, he usually caught it too soon or too late.I snickered to myself, thinking that his timing was as bad in the water as it was in bed.All those thoughts passed from my mind as the wave lifted me up.In a flash, I was vertical, then I was tearing down the face, nearly knocking Colin into the trough.He wasn’t very good at figuring out the surfer right of way either.
I carved the face of the wave up with my board, and did an aerial at the end that was one of my better maneuvers, at least here in Santa Cruz.I pulled myself back up onto my board and dealt with being pounded by the wave right after the one I rode, only to find my father paddling toward me.“We need to go up,” Dad said, and sounded sad about that.“By the way, that was one amazing ride you had.”
“Thanks,” I said. “I figured you were too busy to watch me.”
“I missed the peak and ended up lagging,” he said.“But it worked out just fine, cause I got to watch you.”
“Thanks,” I said.
Colin came swimming up to us.“Dude, you rocked that wave!”
“Fuckin’ right,” I said, and high fived him.Even though he was only a competent surfer, and even though his timing was off, he was a lot of fun to be out here with.He’d started out our day in a pretty shitty mood, but after about an hour, he seemed to work his way out of it.He was really upbeat, he really enjoyed himself, and every once in a while, he’d get lucky and he’d actually have a good run.
His mother was a die hard, and while we’d been heading to the beach, she’d headed back out.She saw us, caught the next wave, and did a really nice job with it.She made it to the beach, looking euphoric.“I haven’t had this much fun in the surf for a long time!”
“Today kicked it,” Colin agreed.
“I thought I saw Mike and Jake waving at us from up on the cliff, and they’re probably doing that because they want us to get cleaned up for dinner,” Dad said.
“Food is always good,” I said, and got a nod from Colin.Beverly was the only one who wasn’t that thrilled about calling it a day, but she didn’t argue about it.We hiked up the hill, carrying our boards, and went into the surf room that had been renovated this summer.There were two separate rooms, presumably for men and for women, with places to hang up wetsuits and to wash off and stack our boards.My father, Colin, and I rinsed off our boards, then Dad went out to talk to Jake, thoughtfully giving Colin and me time to change out of our wetsuits together.“Here,” I said, tossing him a towel.“We can shower in the house.”
“This is really convenient,” he said.“Shit, usually I have to pour my salty board and my salty ass in my car and drive home.”
“You have a cute salty ass,” I teased.We walked toward the house, with me hoping there wouldn’t be anything erotic to suddenly pop in my mind, since it was hard to hide an erection wearing just a towel.
We walked into the house and the tension levels went up noticeably.“Why don’t you guys get cleaned up, then we’ll get dinner,” Mike said, only his suggestions sounded more like orders.
“Sounds good,” I said, since Colin didn’t respond to him.I’d snagged the two rooms with a Jack and Jill bath between them. Since we weren’t technically a couple, I showed him which room was his, then made a point of exiting and going in the door to my room.Of course, we met in the same shower anyway.
“I like this room,” he said.He kissed me, we jacked off together, then finished cleaning up.His short hair took almost no maintenance, which made me not a little jealous, since it took me an extra ten minutes to finish getting ready.
“Hello,” I said casually, as I walked into the great room.
“Hey,” Jake said.“I just checked on your father.He should be ready shortly.”
“You look great,” I said to Beverly, “and you beat both me and my dad.”
“Thank you,” she said.She seemed much happier than she had this morning.The surf could do that to you.“The navy trains you not to waste too much time on things like make up.”
I laughed.“Well your routine works.It’s fast and effective.”
“Every navy wife’s dream,” she said.We’d scarfed down some food before we got in the water, and now that it was 6:00, I was starving.I broke out some of the snacks we bought and set it out on the table.I would have felt like a pig if Colin didn’t attack the food as aggressively as I did.Even Beverly was snagging some.Jake and Mike barely nibbled.
“You guys were hitting this earlier,” I accused.
“Well yeah,” Jake said, making me chuckle.“What do you think we did while you were in the water?”
“I figured that we were so impressive, you’d spend your whole day watching us,” I said, pretending to be that cocky.
“You figured wrong,” Jake countered.“Mike and I went for a long jog on the beach.”
“Cool,” I said, wondering how that conversation went.
“Sorry I’m the last one,” Dad said, as he strode confidently into the room.He was wearing jeans and a long sleeve shirt, since it was already getting cooler now that it was the evening.The rest of us had mirrored his wardrobe except Mike, who wore khakis, and Beverly who was wearing a sweater top.“Jake was nice enough to make reservations on the wharf.”
“Cool,” I said, because I was hungry and didn’t want to wait.Jake handed me and Mike each a card with the restaurant info and directions on it.“You’re very organized,” I said, in a mocking way.
“I didn’t want you to get lost,” he said.
“You’re with me,” I said to Colin.We went out to my car, while his father and Beverly took the Enzo.I decided to drive since I knew where I was going.“Did you like the Enzo?”
“Driving that car will be something I will always remember,” he said.“Would have been great if I’d been with you, or pretty much anyone but my father.”
“Bummer,” I said.I waited for him to tell me why he felt that way, but let it go.I didn’t want to pry into his business that much.I talked about Santa Cruz on the way down there, and he was pretty surprised by the flashiness that was the Boardwalk.
“This is like a carnival!”
“Yeah, it’s pretty much a cheesy amusement park,” I said.We had a really nice dinner, because even though there was obviously an issue brewing between Colin and his parents, the rest of us were upbeat enough to keep them from arguing or being grumpy.By the time we’d finished stuffing ourselves, though, I was ready to be done with family time.
“Your mother and I were thinking we should head back,” Mike said to Colin.
“Can’t we go back tomorrow?” Colin asked politely.I wondered if he were like me, in that if he were being that nice, it meant he really wanted to stay. I didn’t think there was any way they’d go for that, but it was worth a try.
“Your brother will be all by himself,” Beverly said.
“I doubt that,” I said, jumping into the conversation.“He’ll probably be hanging out with Darius, John, Ryan, and Marie.Grand and Stef will be there to supervise them.”My dad gave me an odd look, since Grand and Stef probably wouldn’t pay any attention to what they did unless they fucked up the house.
“I feel as if we deserted him,” Beverly said.
“Well then why don’t you and Dad go back tonight, and I’ll come back tomorrow,” Colin said, then hurriedly looked at me for backup.“As long as that’s okay with you.”
“I’m totally fine with that,” I said.“I’ve missed the water.This has been so good for me.I’d love to stay until tomorrow evening.”
“You’ll need to be back by dinner,” Mike said, basically agreeing to our plan.“Aunt Kat and Maji will be joining us.”
“If that woman tells me my aura is black again, I’m going to throat punch her,” Beverly growled, which was so funny I couldn’t stop laughing.
“Maybe she’ll leave you alone and focus on Will,” Mike said, shutting me up, and making me wonder what the fuck she was going to tell me about my aura.“As long as that’s alright with you,” Mike said to my father, “I think we’ll head back to Palo Alto.”That was even better, since that meant we didn’t have to deal with them coming back to the beach house.
“That’s fine with me,” Dad said, then started talking to Jake.“I think we’ll stick around too.”
“You can keep them out of trouble,” Beverly said, gesturing at Colin and me.I frowned at that, so annoyed since I was hoping to have the place to ourselves.
“Why don’t you ride back with me, and Colin can chauffer Jake back in your car?” Dad suggested.
“Fine,” I said grudgingly, then smiled to make it look like I was teasing him.“But I’m driving your car.”He was about to argue, but I stared at him boldly, daring him to argue, since he’d had a beer and three glasses of wine at dinner.We spent forever saying goodbye and going over directions back to Escorial and how the gates would open for them automatically, and then finally we were free to go back to the beach house.
“Here you go,” I said, handing Colin my keys.“See if you can scare the shit out of Jake.”
“Very funny,” Jake said.They strolled back to my close parking place, while Dad and I had to damn near walk back to the Boardwalk to retrieve his.
“You got a shitty parking place,” I said, after we’d been walking for five minutes.
“Yeah, well I did my best,” he said.“Did you have a nice ride over with Jake?”
“Is this like middle school, where I’m supposed to tell you everything he said?” I asked.
“Look, I get that you want to spend time with Colin.We’re not going to bother you.I have my own evening planned out,” Dad said.We got to the car and I held out my hand for the keys.He was about to argue, but he grudgingly handed them to me.
“Oh yeah?What are you going to do?” I asked, now that he’d piqued my curiosity.I fired up the Porsche and put the top down, then started driving down the pier.
“I’m gonna shove my hand up his ass,” he said.I started laughing at how he’d phrased that.
“Let’s hope he likes it,” I said.
“He’ll like it,” Dad said.
“You ready for that?” I asked him.
He nodded firmly.“I am.I couldn’t do that with someone unless I loved him.”
“You two are cute together,” I said in a cutesy way to give him shit.
“We are,” he said.“Almost as cute as you and Colin.”I frowned at him, so he laughed at me.
“We were that obvious?”
“You probably were,” he said.“I wouldn’t worry about it.”
“Shit,” I said, freaking out about it.“What if his parents find out?”
“Beverly already knows he’s at least bisexual,” Dad told me.I just stared at him, shocked, until I remembered I was driving and refocused on the road.“She busted him with a friend.They didn’t see her, and she didn’t say anything to him.”
I thought about that and decided that was a pretty cool approach.“So he doesn’t know that she knows?” He gave me a look that told me that now I was the one who was acting like I was in middle school, and that just about set me off since he was right.
“I’m not sure, but Colin knows that Mike knows,” Dad said.“They had a talk about it on the drive over here.So in that regard, I guess you were a little obvious for him to pick up on it.”
“Colin was pretty tense when they got here,” I said.“Must not have gone real well.”
“I don’t know,” Dad said.“I heard that from Jake, who spent the afternoon with Mike.”
“Christ, this is like some big soap opera,” I said.
“So what did Jake say about me?” Dad asked.“I mean, if we’re going to talk about what everyone said, shouldn’t I get to find out what Jake was thinking?”
“What makes you think we talked about you at all?” I asked.
“Seriously?” he challenged.We got lucky because we had just pulled up to the gates, and he fumed while I said nothing as I waited for them to finish opening.
“Look Dad, you obviously love Jake, and I’m guessing he’ll be around a lot.I really like him, and I have a good relationship with him.It’s not worth screwing that up just to tell you stuff that you’ll probably hear from him anyway,” I said.
“You’re probably right,” he grumbled.“Even if I don’t like it.”
I pulled into the garage, turned off the car, and handed him his keys.“Go wash your hands.”He rolled his eyes and headed for his bedroom, while I went into mine, took off all my clothes, and hung out on the bed wearing a bathrobe.I waited about twenty minutes and Colin still hadn’t shown up, so I took off the robe and climbed in bed.That was the prelude to me drifting off to sleep, probably since I hadn’t gotten much of that the night before.I was awakened when I felt a body get into the bed with me.“Hey,” I said in a drowsy way.“Where have you been?”
“I’m sorry I kept you waiting,” he said.He kissed me, fully waking me up, then rolled me over and started working on my ass, getting me ready, using the same moves I’d used with him last night.He fumbled a lot, but I made him stop and showed him how to use his fingers, until he decided I was ready.He gently slid his cock in my ass, and even though I couldn’t see his face, I could feel him smiling at my moans.He went really slow, pacing himself, kind of like I’d done with him last night, only this time he was in control.I lay there and didn’t move too much because I wanted him to be able to last as long as he could.I was really impressed with how well it worked.I’d surreptitiously glanced at the clock when we started, and he didn’t blow until ten minutes later.
“Dude, that was awesome!” I said enthusiastically as he slid out of me.“Shit, you’ve already got some serious endurance.”
“So do you,” he said, and started stroking my dick.I was so fired up, it didn’t take him long to get me off.
I looked back at the clock and then turned to face him.“Dude, it’s been an hour and a half since I got in bed.What did you do?”
“I was talking to Jake,” he said.“You told me I should ask him about his life in the military being gay and shit, and he told me that you mentioned my problem.”His tone when he uttered that last phrase told me how annoyed he was that I’d done that.
“I told you I’d do some research,” I said.“Normally I talk to Stef about stuff like that, but since I was in the car with Jake, it seemed like a good idea.”
“Hard to be pissed at you for doing that since he really helped me out,” Colin said.
“I noticed,” I teased, referring to how long he lasted.“You must have had a pretty intense day.First you talk to your father, and now Jake.”
“Yeah, I kind of did, but in the end, it was good,” he said.“I want to sleep, and I want to think about it, then I’ll tell you what happened.”
I was going to tell him he didn’t have to tell me what happened, but I was too curious for that.“Cool,” I said simply, and we drifted off to sleep.
October 11, 2003
Santa Cruz, CA
I was a little frustrated because Jake wasn’t back yet, but I decided to put the extra time to good use.I got a towel from the bathroom, along with some paper towels, and set out the special lube I used when I fisted Robbie.When he still didn’t get home, I spent some time getting my stuff organized for the next day, and then brushed my teeth again, more to kill time than to ward off halitosis.When he still wasn’t home, I wandered out into the main areas of the house, looking for him.I even checked the deck; it was while I was out there that I saw the headlights of my car as it drove toward the house.I knew Colin was driving since he was going at a decent speed.
I wondered if I should stay out here and pretend I was just enjoying the fresh air, or if I should go in and greet them.Or maybe I should go back to my room?I got irritated with myself for acting like a teenager going on his first date, and that gave me the impetus to go into the main house.I got there just when they walked in.“Hey!” Jake said enthusiastically.“Did you miss me?”
“What makes you think I missed you?” I challenged playfully.
“You mean you weren’t wandering around looking for me?” he asked.It was sometimes a little annoying that he could read me so well.
“Goodnight Colin,” I said, and led Jake back to our room.
“Night,” he said casually, and went into his room.
We walked into our room and Jake looked a little confused, since there was a towel on the bed.“What’s this?” he asked.
I swallowed a little nervously before I spoke.“I was thinking that, you know, if you want to try it, we could maybe, you know, try fisting.”I grimaced at what an idiot I was being.
He got this big smile on his face, but that was replaced almost instantly by a frown.“Did you talk to Will?” he demanded in a really aggressive way.
“Of course I talked to Will,” I said, confused.“I rode home with him.”
“That just ruins this, it ruins everything,” he said, and stormed out of our room.I heard the door slam, and wondered where he’d go, since he didn’t have a car here.Then again, the door that slammed wasn’t to the garage, it was to the deck.I stood there, stunned, for a couple of minutes, then walked out to the deck.“Just leave me alone!” he almost shouted.
“Will didn’t tell me anything,” I said.When he was like this, a little irrational, I found that a firm but calm approach worked best.I almost laughed when I thought that it was really my firm father voice.
“Sure he didn’t,” he said.
“I asked him what the two of you talked about, and he told me that he had a good relationship with you, one he valued, and that he wasn’t going to blow it by betraying a confidence,” I said, maintaining my firm father approach.
“Shit,” he said, and put his head in his hands.
I sat next to him, and put my arm around him. “Tell me what this is about.”
“I was talking to Will, telling him how shitty I was in a relationship, because every time I’d feel myself getting closer to someone, I’d freak out and run away,” he said, almost like he was talking to himself.“I guess I just proved that.”
I didn’t understand how all this was related, and he was confusing the shit out of me, but I decided to let him ramble on while I tried to guess what he was talking about.“It’s fine,” I said soothingly.
“I have to get a grip on this,” he said.
“I think that’s really easy,” I mused.“You just have to promise not to run away when you get freaked out.”
“But that’s the thing, it’s like it’s a subconscious deal, where I don’t realize it until after it happened, if then,” he said, sounding despondent.
“I get it, but that’s what I mean,” I said, trying to explain myself.“Your subconscious is probably driving you away emotionally, but as long as you force yourself to stay physically here, we can work it out.”
“I can try,” he said skeptically.
“So what was this all about?” I asked a little more forcefully, since I was losing patience fast at being in the dark on this whole deal.
“I told Will that I had a way to know when you were in love with me,” he said.
“Well fuck, you can damn near read my mind as it is,” I said in a fake grumble.
“I told him that I’d know you loved me when you stuck your fist in my ass,” he said lovingly, but the words were so incongruent with the tone, I started laughing.He laughed with me, and then told me about his conversation with Will in the grocery store, and how the other patrons had reacted.
“So that’s why this upset you,” I said, understanding him now.“You thought that Will told me, so I wasn’t doing this of my own volition?”
“Yeah,” he said, and looked down, embarrassed for being such an idiot.
“You know,” I said, not a little annoyed, “I can figure things out on my own without having to tap other people for information.”
“Yes, you can,” he said.“I’m sorry about this. I reacted badly and ruined what should have been a beautiful moment.”
I smiled, stood up, and held out my hand to help him up as well.“That’s fine,” I said.I led him to the bedroom, and then made love to him.The mood to advance our relationship had vanished.
October 11, 2003
After we’d picked up the MDX, I’d been in such a good mood at having one of my plans actually work out that I’d made Carullo stop at Best Buy and get a new, huge television for his living room.That had prompted a party, which if I’d known that was going to happen, I wouldn’t have bought the damn thing in the first place.There were five guys arrayed around the television, spending most of the time shouting at it, unless a commercial came on, then they’d shout at each other.Two of the women were in the kitchen, while a third one sat in a big recliner with her boyfriend, pretty much in his lap.I decided that the women in the kitchen had the right idea.
“I’ll be in the kitchen,” I told Carullo.He just nodded, and a couple of his friends snickered, probably because they were surprised that someone as small as me could give a shit about football anyway.They weren’t right about that, since I certainly wasn’t small, at least not anymore.I wondered how long it would take me to shed my obesity.They were right that I didn’t give a shit about football, but that didn’t mean I didn’t know anything about it.I’d actually spent a reasonable amount of time learning about it when I was going to Zach’s games with Will, and I’d continued that when I was living with Carullo just so I’d have a clue what the fuck he was talking about.
I had begun to mentally draw out how I’d redesign Carullo’s condo, but I needed to write it down, to visualize it.I stopped in my tracks before I even got to the kitchen and reversed my path, going up the stairs.I got my notepad and came downstairs where I almost ran into one of the guys there who had evidently gotten up to get beers for everyone.“Shit!” he said, and juggled the cans, dropping one of them.We were lucky it didn’t explode when it landed.
“Here,” I said, put down my notepad, and handed out the beers.They were nice enough, and all said thank you.I went into the kitchen and got the clumsy oaf a new beer that hadn’t landed on the floor, and to prevent him from opening the beer that had and spraying foam all over the room in some sign of adolescent bravado.
“Thanks,” he said, as he looked me up and down and snickered.“Guess you don’t like football all that much.” My eyes bored into his as I used the same death stare I gave people who pissed me off, and watched him wither under my gaze.That actually softened my mood a bit, since it was pleasant to know that it worked on someone; it had absolutely no effect on my family members.
“Why do you say that?” I challenged.Carullo got up and I thought he was going to come over and defend me from his caveman friend, but instead he just walked over to the TV and began fumbling around with his DVD player, totally leaving me to the wolves.
“I mean, you don’t actually have the size for it,” he said.Was he blind? Could he not see how fat I had become?
“That doesn’t mean I don’t understand the game,” I said, pointing at the blank screen.“The first half, the reason Stanford got their asses kicked is because their defensive line was so porous USC walked right through them.They’re so bad it’s like USC doesn’t even need Matt Leinart’s arm.”
“Oh,” the Oaf said, and rest of them snickered at him now.
“I don’t think any of you douchebags has played in the pros, or did I get that wrong?” Carullo demanded of everyone loudly.I looked at him, stunned at how pissed he’d gotten.“What about college?”He glared at all of them individually.His loud voice had prompted the two women in the kitchen to come into the room.
“What’s going on?” one of the women asked John forcefully.Her name was Tabitha, and her husband’s name was Toby.She was about three months pregnant, and lived in the condo next door.Of all the people here, Carullo was tightest with them. He told me that most nights he went over and ate dinner with them.It sounded like they’d all but adopted him, and acted like his surrogate family.
“Dipshit here was trying to insinuate that Jay was too big of a pussy to play football, like that’s the only thing that’s a sport, and like any of these guys did anything except play in high school, if that,” he said to her.
She shook her head at their idiocy.“Did they finally figure that out?”
“No, but they will now,” he said, and hit play on his DVD player.We were all staring at the screen, and when the video came on I just about shit a brick: it was my performance at the US Nationals.
“Holy shit, that’s you?” One of the guys asked me as ‘Jeremy Schluter’ came on below me on the screen.I just nodded, even as I watched myself perform, noting every error I’d made.It was stunningly lucky that I’d won that medal, but if it weren’t for the bitchy ass commentators pointing out all my errors, the people in this room never would have figured that out.This was obviously the DVD they cut with highlights of the competition, but the upside of that was they all got to see me ‘crowned’ as the US National Champion.
“How the hell do you do that?” the Oaf asked me, now duly impressed.
“Lots of practice,” I said with a smile, since he was nicer now.
“That was last year,” one of the women asked.“I haven’t seen you on television lately. Aren’t you skating this year?” I was impressed that she followed the sport enough to notice that.
“I tore my ACL, and after that, I decided to retire,” I said.
“Bummer,” Toby said sympathetically.
The game came back on, and that stopped the worshipful attention I was getting, which was a little disappointing since I didn’t usually get that anymore, not in my role as Bellona’s serf.I went into the kitchen followed by Tabitha and the other woman who had been with her before.After they’d talked for about five minutes, I remembered her name was Rhoda.I largely ignored them, focusing on my drafting.
“What are you doing?” Tabitha asked me, pulling me out of my decorating haze.
“I promised John I’d help him redecorate his condo, so I’m drawing up some plans,” I said.
“Show me,” she demanded, and slid over so she was sitting next to me.We bored Rhoda, so she vanished back into the living room.
“The kitchen is too small,” I said.
“I know it, but how do you get around that without giving up the bathroom and pantry?” she asked. “We have the same floorplan, and I’ve tried to figure out how to fix that.”
“You move them,” I said.She looked at me like I was a heretic.“Walls can be torn down.”
“Don’t they hold up the place?” she asked, referring to the upstairs.
“No, not usually, and even if they do, you can put a beam in to replace them,” I said.I’d done enough work with Stef on our projects to know exactly how that worked.“So what we do is tear all this down, and have a big kitchen with an island opening into the living room.It’s all one big space.”
“What about the bathroom and pantry?”
“We’d be sitting in them right now,” I said, making her laugh.
“This is incredible!Is this what you do now?Interior design?”
“No, I’m more involved in the fashion scene,” I said casually.
She stood up.“Alright, tell me, does this outfit work for me?”
“Do you want my honest answer?” I asked, since it didn’t.
“I don’t know, do I?” she challenged, then sighed.“OK, give me your honest answer.”
“It doesn’t work for you,” I said.“You need to wear a bigger top, and you need to avoid horizontal stripes and plaids.Your jeans look good, I like them.”That was a bit of an exaggeration, but I didn’t want her to get pissed at me.“Instead of tennis shoes, wear dressier shoes.It will make you look a lot more elegant, while still being casual.”
She stared at me, blinking, then finally spoke again.“What about colors?Should I wear dark or light colors?”
“You have skin and eyes that can let you do either, depending on what color you pick for your hair.Right now, it’s a light brown, so you could go either way, but light colors would probably work better,” I said.
“I used to dye it blond,” she said.“I don’t now that I’m pregnant.I heard that’s bad for the baby.”I knew nothing about that, and had no use for babies whatsoever.
She went and tracked down Rhoda, and that resulted in me helping these frumpy blue-collar Connecticut women with a fashion makeover.I decided that at least it was more fun than watching Stanford get their asses kicked at football.