I almost chuckled to myself since it was close to midnight and here we were, lying in bed after yet another awesome fuck, just like we’d been this morning.Just like then, I was on a high, but tonight Carullo seemed even more uptight.And people thought I was moody.“What’s bothering you?” I asked.He gave me an odd look, as if to question whether I actually wanted to hear him tell me, but I glared at him and he relented.I mean, I didn’t really want to hear him ramble on about stupid shit, but I wanted him to not be so fucking uptight, so if the price for that was listening to him whine, I’d pay it.
He sighed.“I’m worried about Toby and Tab,” he said.I restrained myself from getting pissed off that he’d let their issues ruin his mood.I’d thought his stress was over something important. “Tab is so pissed off about this she can barely see straight, and Toby just feels guilty.”It was like he’d totally immersed himself in their lives and their drama, so now in exchange for some home cooking he got a bunch of stress.It was amazing to me that he’d developed such close ties to these people in such a short period of time.This was a good reminder that there was a downside to having friends.
“I don’t see how you’re going to be able to solve either one of those problems,” I said.My response was logical but probably insensitive, so I decided I’d better ramble on some more to make sure I didn’t piss him off.“Tabitha said Toby is a shitty construction worker because he’s a perfectionist, but he’s not fast.I told her that he needed to work for rich people, who would appreciate quality over speed.”He nodded as he pondered my words.
“Sometimes you like it fast,” he said, and leaned down to nibble on my ear, making me giggle.
“Sometimes,” I agreed, and felt myself starting to get horny again.
“I just hope they can work things out, especially since they got this baby on the way.They want me to be the kid’s godfather.”He made it sound like that was a big deal.It was pretty important to Alex when it came to baptizing Freddy, so maybe there was more to this than I knew.
“That’s quite an honor,” I said, hoping I was right about that, even as I wondered if I even had a godfather.Religion wasn’t a big priority for my family, so they’d probably just forgotten that.It’s not like they paid that much attention to me anyway.
“Yep,” he said, then decided to change the subject, probably to get us out of this funky place where we worried about the strength of his friends’ marriage.“I think your plans for the condo are pretty kick ass, but you really don’t have to do that.”
“I’ve made some changes,” I said.“Want to see?”
He yawned, since it was late, but curiosity got the best of him.“OK, let’s look at them, then I have to get some sleep.Work in the morning.”
“Sucks to be you,” I teased.I pulled out the folder I’d gotten from the realtor and handed him a copy of the marked-up floorplan.
He looked at it, confused.“What’s this?”
“I decided that it made more sense to put the money into a house instead,” I said, like it was no big deal.
“A house?” he asked, getting annoyed.“You bought a house?”
“Well yeah,” I said.“I mean, we can stick a bunch of money in the condo, but this way you have more room, and there’s space for Tabitha and Toby if you want to include them.”
“You can’t just go around buying people houses!” he said, with his voice loud enough to almost be a shout.
“Do not yell at me,” I yelled, ironically enough.He glared at me and then collapsed back onto the bed, shaking his head.“I don’t get this.I figured you’d be happy.I can do something nice for you and help out your friends at the same time.”
“You don’t get it,” he agreed, with his voice quieter now, but even though his volume was lower, his tone told me he was pretty irritated.“I know you mean well, but you just walk in and start rearranging lives, like we’re all characters in Sim City.”I wasn’t into computer games, but I knew about that one because of Will.He took perverse pleasure in building a city and then watching a tornado rip it up.I really didn’t see why Carullo thought I couldn’t turn people into Sims.I’d watched my relatives do that plenty of times, to throw money at other people’s problems to make them go away.
“You’re saying you don’t want to be one of my Sims?” I asked playfully, trying to nudge him out of his bad mood.
“It makes me feel like I belong to you,” he said. “You dress me up, buy me a car, and buy me a house, and in exchange we fuck.”
“Really?” I asked, getting extremely pissed off at him.“So that’s it?That’s the deal? You fuck me because I buy you shit?Is that it?”
“No, that’s not what I meant,” he said, in full retreat now.
“Well that’s what you said!”I just glared at him.“I do nice things for you because you’re important to me and I like you, and I want to make your life better.And in return, you tell me that you’re not really my friend, you’re just a whore doing tricks.”I was so done with this bullshit.I started to roll over to get out of bed and leave, although I had no idea how I’d do that since I couldn’t drive, when he stopped me.I struggled, but that was pointless since he was so much stronger than I was.“Let me go!” I yelled.
He pinned me down, with his full weight on top of me, and it infuriated me that I was hard as a rock at having him dominate me like that.“Listen to me!Let me explain!”
“What is there to explain?” I demanded.
“I didn’t pick my words well,” he said. “I’m sorry.”That really pissed me off, because it was really hard for me to stay mad at him when he apologized.He knew that and built on it.“I’m really sorry.You did a nice thing for me, and it freaked me out, and I didn’t react like I should have.”
“I did,” I said, so annoyed that he’d taken the wind out of my sails.“Now let me up.”
“You don’t really want that,” he said, as he ground his own hard dick against mine.“Do you?”
“No,” I moaned, and then he kept me pinned down in one form or another and fucked my brains out.Afterward, he fell asleep almost immediately, while I stayed awake with my moods ranging from confused to annoyed to elated.
October 12, 2003
CA Highway 17
Scotts Valley, CA
“Dude, I don’t know what part of this weekend has been the most amazing, but driving this car is definitely one of them,” Colin said as he downshifted the Ferrari and tore around a slow-moving SUV.
“If you say it’s better than meeting me, I may have to cut your dick off later,” I said, kind of joking.
He glanced over at me and grinned, showing me his dimples.This guy was just too fucking adorable.“You are the best part of this awesome weekend.Better than the Ferrari, and better than surfing.”
“Good answer,” I said.The Ferrari climbed up Highway 17 effortlessly, and I decided this was probably one of the most fun roads to drive on if there was no traffic. As usual, though, there was traffic.We didn’t say anything, we just enjoyed the ride.Today we’d gotten some awesome waves, and for some reason, Colin was an entirely different surfer.He had good timing, good form, and was pretty creative with his maneuvers.“You surfed a hell of a lot better today than yesterday.What’s with that?”
“Guess I was more chill,” he said casually.
“Because your parents weren’t there?” I asked.He gave me a dirty look, even though that was an obvious conclusion.
“Dude, I wish I had a relationship with my dad like you have with yours,” he said.I paused and stared at him incredulously for a good ten seconds, then started laughing.My reaction annoyed him, and that just made me laugh even harder.“What the fuck is so funny?” he demanded.I finally got my laughter under control and pondered how to answer him.
“We’re good right now, but we’ve had some hellacious fights,” I told him.I thought I’d mentioned that before, but I wasn’t sure that even mattered.I’d pretty much guessed where he was coming from.He wanted me to bare my soul a little bit before he bared his, so to make things easier, I obliged him.“When I was 14, my father and I really got into it.”
I shrugged.“I have this deal where I need to be in control of my own life, and I get pretty defensive when that’s challenged.And he challenged that.”If my relatives had heard me explain things that way, they’d have found that description to be the understatement of the year.
“I mean, he is your father,” Colin reasoned.“He sort of does have control over you.”
“No, he really doesn’t,” I said, sounding cocky, but then realized that I was being sincere.“I destroyed his entire wardrobe, Robbie’s too, then poured acid all over their cars.I cut most of their shoes in half, and ran away for a couple of weeks, and they couldn’t find me until I decided to come home.”
“You mean with all their money and connections, they couldn’t track you down?” he asked, surprised.
“I’m pretty organized and pretty thorough when I plan shit,” I said.
“And you’re fucking brilliant,” he said with admiration.
“Thanks,” I said dismissively, even though it was a huge ego boost to hear that from him, so big it made me blush a little bit.“I tried to work things out with him, but it just didn’t work.I ended up filing for emancipation, going to court and everything.So I’ve legally been an adult since then, and that’s why he doesn’t have much control over me.”
“Jesus Christ!” he exclaimed.
“We fought with each other right before 9-11,” I said sadly, remembering that horrible time.“Then we fought like crazy earlier this summer when he was dating this guy named Marc.”
“Was he a douche?” Colin asked, referring to Marc.I told him about all the drama this past summer, then didn’t say anything, pausing to let him know it was his turn to talk.He drove on for a mile or two in silence, then finally spoke.“My dad’s pissed at me.”
“What for?” I asked, as he seemed to want me to.
“For being gay,” he said bitterly, but there was obviously a lot of sadness buried there as well.
“I didn’t think your father had a problem with gay people?” I asked, confused.I wasn’t getting a homophobic vibe from my new uncle at all.
“He doesn’t have a problem with gay people, he has a problem with me being gay and being in the navy,” he spat.
“How’d he find out you were gay?” I asked.
“He said he had his suspicions, but when he saw us together, that pretty much gave it away,” he said, and gave me a cute-as-fuck grin.
“Sorry,” I said, worried that I was the cause of these problems.
“It’s no big deal,” he said.“It was probably good for me, because it reminds me that I have to not be so obvious around guys I like.”For a split second I got jealous, then that emotion faded.Our relationship wasn’t like that, where we were at a point to be exclusive, and I wasn’t sure we’d ever get to that point.
“So he doesn’t want you to join the navy because he thinks you’ll be unhappy?” I asked, wondering if Mike’s rationale was the same as mine. I could see him being worried about his son in an environment where he had to hide who he really was.
“No, he doesn’t want me to join the navy if I’m gay because that may damage his career,” he said, even more bitterly, as if that were possible.“God forbid that someone would find out his son likes dick and decide to delay him getting his flag.”
“Flag?” I asked, confused.
“Flag rank, when he gets promoted to rear admiral,” he said.
“Dude, you’d make a great rear admiral,” I joked.
“I’m glad you think so,” he said, cracking me up.
“Why would that damage his career?” I asked.
“Going into the navy, I have a lot of huge advantages because of our heritage.I run into officers that still remember our grandfather, and my father is a rising star, so all that influence gets me perks,” he said.I rebelled against the notion that he’d have that much privilege in the navy, then mentally slapped myself since I had the same advantages in other fields where my family was influential.
“Alright, I can see that, but why would that damage him?” I didn’t get the connection.
“Because he’s putting his influence behind me, and if it comes out that I’m gay and I get dishonorably discharged, it makes it look like he deceived the navy, that he lied,” he said.“No one’s going to believe he didn’t know I was gay when I joined the Navy.”
“He’s worried that you’ll be obvious at some point and out yourself,” I concluded, finally coming around to what he was saying.
“Yeah, and don’t ask don’t tell only works if you don’t’ tell,” he said.
“You know, maybe if guys like him had worked harder to make it easier for sailors to be gay, he wouldn’t be in this situation,” I said.I mean, he was part of the hierarchy, so couldn’t he do something about it.
“If he could change that rule, he would,” Colin said, which seemed to remind him of some of his father’s positive qualities and mellow him out.“Wonder if he told my mom?Guess I have to have a talk with her.”
“She already knows,” I said, dropping that bomb on him.
“What?” he asked, and looked at me when he did, causing the Ferrari to swerve briefly out of our lane and onto the shoulder. That was pretty fucking scary, since there wasn’t much room between the road and the huge concrete median, and he’d come really close to sideswiping that massive structure.
“Fucking drive,” I snapped, since he’d totally freaked me out.
“Sorry,” he said sheepishly, and then applied himself to driving even better.He slowed down a bit, and even pulled over into the slow lane and drove really mellow, so much that it was annoying the fuck out of me.Driving slowly was something that grated on my nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard.I distracted myself from that by watching him more closely.I was willing to bet his reaction just now was how he was at home, where his parents bitched about something, and he resolved to do a better job, then totally focused on doing just that.He was like a parent’s wet dream. He must totally crave approval from his father.I’d kind of been comparing his relationship with his father to my relationship with mine, but it was probably more accurate to compare it to my relationship with Grand.And if Grand had admonished me about something, especially about school, I’d be pretty fucked up, and I’d probably work my ass off to get back into his good graces.“How do you know my mom knows?” he asked, pulling me out of my mental daydream.
“She told my father on their drive over to Santa Cruz, and he told me, and now I’m telling you,” I said.
“Dude, I feel like I’m in middle school again,” he said, which made me laugh.
“That’s just what I said!”We laughed for a bit, then I told him what I’d heard.“She busted you fucking around when you were in high school, but she didn’t say anything to you about it.”
He thought about that for a bit.“I was messing around with a friend of mine.I think I was blowing him, and I thought I heard the door.I kind of spazzed until my buddy told me I was hearing things.”
“He probably just wanted you to get back to work,” I said with a leer.
“That’s exactly what he wanted,” he said in a cocky way, as if he gave great head.He still had a lot of work to do in that area.“I wonder why she never said anything to me.”
“She told my dad that she had tried to raise it as an issue, but you didn’t seem to want to talk about it,” I said, then decided to try and help out my new aunt, who seemed to be a good person.“I told him I thought that was pretty fucking cool, for her to let you figure things out without pressuring you or forcing you to have an embarrassing as fuck conversation.”
“True that,” he said.“I kind of remember her hinting around about it now.I guess I shut her down pretty hard.”
“When you get a chance, talk to her about it,” I said.“I mean, now that it’s out there, it shouldn’t be too painful.”
“Good point,” he agreed.
“So how did you leave things with your father?” I asked.
“He told me I should reconsider my plans for joining the navy, and I told him that I was loving it, and there was no way I was doing that,” he said.
“That’s it?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he said, only it sounded more like ‘duh’.“We both made our points, we disagreed, so there’s nothing more to argue about.”I stared at him a bit amazed at how they handled that.Shit, that kind of a conversation with my father would have probably sparked a major battle, but then I remembered to compare the situation to me and Grand; we would both agree to disagree, then pout about it.
October 13, 2003
I lay in Carullo’s bed, trying to figure out what to do.He had a digital clock that looked like it was from the last decade, informing me that it was 10:00am.I’d promised him that I’d be here when they delivered the washer and dryer, and I’d more or less told him that I’d stick around and have dinner with him, but I was still really annoyed with him, so those commitments were fighting against my desire to call for my car and head back to New York.My bladder forced me out of bed, so I got up, sighed, and went into his nasty bathroom to pee.When I was done, I looked in the mirror expecting to see my pudgy reflection staring back at me, only the view of my face was blocked by an envelope taped in the middle of it.It said “Jay” on it and reminded me of the note he’d taped to the mirror in Tribeca when he left.That added sadness to my annoyance, sending my moods reeling.I ripped the note off the mirror and took it back into the bedroom, then paused to take my morning pills.I wondered how long it would take these fucking pills to work; I wondered if these fucking pills would ever work.I grumbled to myself then read his note.
I was planning to come by and pick you up around noon and take you to lunch.You’re welcome to stay as long as you want, but please don’t plan to leave before 7pm tonight.I know that’s asking a lot, but I’d really appreciate it if you could work your schedule out to do that.
It dawned on me that Carullo was doing a pretty good job of playing me, of saying just what I wanted to hear to make me happy.That was probably a good thing, I decided, laughing as I did.I used my better mood to propel me into action and managed to get ready in time to let the delivery guy in to install the washer and dryer.There were two guys, and one of them seemed to want to have an extended conversation with me, but I was civil and no more, and he finally got the message.They finished up and I ushered them out, pausing to admire the new appliances, even though I had no clue how they even worked.Darius was probably the only one of the three of us brothers who knew how to do laundry.
I went back up to the kitchen and since I was here alone, I had time to really digest how awful this condo was.I ran my Gucci loafer across the nasty linoleum, then let my eyes move up to take in the hideous oak-colored cabinets and green Formica countertops.It was stunning to me that I was trying to save him from this squalor, and all I got was a ration of crap for it.That was so typical of my life.My brothers do shit like this for friends or people they’re dating, and everyone thinks they’re the most awesome people in the world, while I do it and I get bitched at for trying to turn people into my Sims.I didn’t see what was so terrible about letting me make Carullo’s life better and helping out his friends.Shit, he should be falling down onto his knees, thanking me for saving him from existing in this dump and for helping out his friend who couldn’t even hold down a job.My mind went round and round on that topic, until I had worked myself into a veritable fury.Fuck Carullo, fuck his friends, and fuck Connecticut.It was time for me to go home.
I’d already set up my car to pick me up at 7:00, but I so didn’t want to be here.I reached for my phone and was about to change the time when I felt the whole house shaking from the garage door going up.It was like this place was built out of sticks.That had to be Carullo, so I decided to wait to call until I had a chance to yell at him and work off some of my anger.I heard the downstairs door open, and then I heard him talking.“Holy shit!These are fucking awesome!”He must have noticed the new washer and dryer.I stood up and glared at the stairway, even as I heard his feet pounding as he ran up them.He had the total inability to do anything in a quiet or deliberate manner.
The door to the stairs flung open and Carullo burst into the room.He was carrying a bouquet of flowers, red roses, and had a huge smile on his face.“That washer and dryer are amazing!” he said to me this time.“I’m actually looking forward to doing laundry.” His happiness was starting to erase my anger and my bad mood, which ironically enough irritated me even more.God, I was such a convoluted mess inside.
“I’m glad you like them,” I said coldly.
“Next time you come visit, you’ll have to try them out,” he said, refusing to let my crankiness bother him.It was so frustrating to have my bad mood be completely ignored.
“I’ve never done laundry before, so I wouldn’t have a clue what to do,” I said with disdain.
“I’ll teach you,” he said playfully.
“It’s a skill I’d never use,” I said, still refusing to be cajoled out of my anger. He finally got that and mellowed out, then spoke to me seriously.
“I didn’t know if you liked flowers or not, but they seemed like a good way to apologize for being a fucking ingrate, and to thank you for coming to visit,” he said, handing me the roses.The only time I’d gotten flowers before was when I’d gotten a bouquet after a skating performance.I took them and looked at them, kind of stunned by the gesture, then inhaled their pleasant aroma.It was such a nice thing to do, and it reminded me of what a really good person Carullo was.I felt my anger transform into guilt, and then as if to further damn me as someone who was completely fucked up, tears started flowing out of my eyes.“What’s wrong?” he asked, gently.He took the roses from my hand and put them on the table, then hugged me, letting me bury my head into his shoulder.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I’m just so fucking moody.Sometimes my emotions just rage out of control.”
“I have the perfect cure,” he said.He lifted me up and tossed me over his shoulder, once again worrying me that he’d hurt himself by toting my obese ass around, and hauled me up to the bedroom. In what was an organized frenzy, we undressed, and he treated me to some serious sexual healing.We were lying there in bed, panting after it was over, with me almost euphoric after that romp.
“Thanks,” I said.“I’m better now.”
He laughed.“Any time.It was truly my pleasure.”
“What time to do you have to be back at work?” I asked, assuming he’d just taken a lunch break.
“I took the afternoon off to spend with you,” he said.
“Really?” I asked, completely shocked.
“I did,” he affirmed.
“You didn’t have to do that,” I lied.
“I know I didn’t have to, I wanted to,” he said.“Let’s get dressed and I’ll take you out to get some food.”
I had been ignoring the fact that I hadn’t eaten anything all day and I was starving as a result, so that was an easy sell.“It should only take me fifteen minutes to get ready.”
“Fifteen minutes?” he challenged, since I rarely got ready for anything that quickly.
“Fifteen minutes,” I confirmed, vowing to slash various steps in my grooming process to make that deadline.
“Prove it,” he said, and looked at his watch.“Go!”
I gave him a dirty look, but he just tapped the face of his watch as he smirked at me, so I jumped out of bed, threw on my clothes, and managed to finish getting ready just in time.Of course, it had only taken him five minutes, and he was in the kitchen waiting for me.“Made it,” I announced, as I arrived downstairs, ready to go.
“Good job!” he said, giving me a huge grin.“Will you bring that info on the house?”
“Alright,” I said a bit apprehensively.Was he planning to argue about this at lunch? I ran up and grabbed the folder, then we went to the basement and got into the Acura.
“I love this thing,” he said, referring to his car.“Thanks again.”
“I like it too,” I said, since it was a much more pleasant ride than his Buick.“You’re welcome.”
“The people you bought the house from called Toby this morning and offered him a job,” John said.
“What a coincidence,” I said, like I had nothing to do with it.We pulled up to an Italian restaurant, and he ushered us in where he was greeted by the person who seemed to be in charge.It was a little more upscale than the place he’d taken me to in Little Italy, but not much.They did have a few separate little rooms, and the manager led us to one of them.It was very private, which I thought was probably a good idea, since we had a record of arguing at restaurants.
“I found this place when I first moved up here,” he said pleasantly.“Had to make sure there was decent Italian food around.It’s pretty good.”
“I’ve learned to trust you on these things,” I said with a smile, determined to make things pleasant.I scanned the menu and found something that looked like it wouldn’t fatten me up too much, then we ordered.
“Thank you for all that you’ve done for me this weekend,” he said, and reached over to hold my hands as he did.“I feel really bad about how I reacted.”
“I just wanted to do something nice for you,” I said defensively. “I wasn’t trying to make either one of us whores.”
He shook his head.“You buying me a house and a car, it just seemed like a big commitment, even for friends.”
“I wasn’t asking you for anything in return,” I snapped.“That’s not how this works.”
“I get that now, and I’m sorry that I made you feel that way,” he said, and a tear fell out of his left eye, making me mellow out considerably.“It’s just that when it happened, it freaked me out.I told you how I have these weird commitment issues because of…because of Joey.”
I nodded, then leaned over to wipe away his tears.“We both are pretty fucked up and have issues.I’ll make you a deal.You put up with my weirdness, and I’ll put up with yours.”
He smiled.“Deal,” he said.He made me stand up and gave me a big hug, in addition to shaking my hand as if to seal the arrangement.“Now show me those plans of that house you’re building me.”
“As long as you realize you have limited input on decorating,” I joked.