The COGs, Cavers, and their partners had all joined the Gang. However, we assumed, correctly as it turned out, that two other groups would be interested in joining the Gang and we were looking forward to having them. Those were the Marauders and a number of the members of Tim's and my sailing team.
You know that the Marauders were committed to continuing their lives in The Wheelhouse and as cyclists for Fred's Sports and NTAC for at least another four years until the Athens Olympics. It was time for them to join the Gang and none of us could think of a group more suited to being members of the Gang than the six Marauders. Since the entire Gang had assembled for the "wedding" of Adrian and Jake, we decided that the next day would be a good time for them to join. One hundred and three Gang members–that is all of them–gathered in the NTAC Veledrome to receive our new members. It was now traditional that new members would join naked, and the Marauders were enthusiastic about that idea. So as we gathered, they entered on their bicycles riding at top speed and completely naked–they'd padded their pedals so that they could be barefooted. After several circuits around the track they stopped for the numbering ceremony. We'd never found an obvious solution to the three digits/two buns quandary. Rather than worry about it, it was decided that we would simply put the first two digits on the left bun and the final digit on the right one. Nels and Mary did the honors, with Mary marking the three straight boys and Nels the two gay boys and one straight girl. So we added Jojo (107), Als (108), Jinx (109), Coleman (110), Jake (111), and Adrian (112).
Sid took lots of photos, of the bicycle riding and up close and personal. We still hadn't seen the results of his efforts with all of the COGs, but figured that all would be exposed in good time.
The sailors and their support team numbered eleven. Tim and I, Auggie and Lynn, and just recently Perry and Norman were already members of the Gang. The others were invited: two enthusiastically said, "Yes," two felt that further discussion was needed, and the last said, "No." That last was Goose, who was headed back to the Bahamas after having a wonderful four years with us, but he saw his future back at home. Gene and Curtis were enthusiastic joiners, and they'd accepted headquarters jobs with Fred's Sports that would locate them in Grand Forks. On the other hand, David and Millie very much liked the idea of being part of the Gang, after all they'd been pretty much exposed to us for four years, but they weren't making their home in Grand Forks. They'd be on the move with the Marauders for a while, and then maybe with a different team. They had no idea where they'd finally settle down.
That left us with a decision to make. Ever since Grand Forks had become the center of the Gang, all of our new members had made the decision to live in Grand Forks either before being invited to be part of the Gang, or as part of the discussion with us about becoming a part of the Gang. But Millie and David had proven to be pretty special people, and we didn't see any reason that they shouldn't be part of the Gang. After all, the Marauders were, and–at least for a while–David and Millie would be providing support to them. And that would keep them coming back to Grand Forks fairly frequently. So, after a bit of navel gazing on everyone's part, we decided that the four, Gene, Curtis, David, and Millie, in that order (the order in which they met some member of the Gang) would be invited to be numbers 113, 114, 115, and 116. The ceremony took place at The Hideout, and after the assembly of the entire Gang several times recently, we decided that we'd keep it small. Almost all of the Grand Forks members were there, but the out-of-towners didn't come–at our suggestion.
With well over a hundred of us living in Grand Forks there were too many to assemble all at once to see Sid's new pictures. We were also wondering where he was going to get the wall space for the new Gang members. He decided to have a special showing in which each of four groups (COGs, Cavers, Marauders, and sailors) would have a special showing to see their pictures and see Gangland for the first time–yes, some people belonged in more than one group and they got two invitations. The COGs had heard enough accidental references to Gangland that they knew of its existence, and they'd pretty much guessed that it was in The Carl, but none had seen it. When they, along with their partners who'd joined the Gang with them, were invited to meet one evening in the lobby of The Carl they had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen. It took three elevator loads to get them all to the fourth floor, and the instructions on how to get into the utility closet had to be repeated three times because of the narrow hall. Then they filed in and realized that never in their wildest dreams had they accurately conceptualized Gangland. The bed, the shower, the pornography collection, and...the pictures. They couldn't keep their eyes off them. One large picture was covered and Shel was invited to step forward and remove the drape. It was a picture of all of them. Not a stitch of clothing in sight. The poses were graphic and pornographic. Fucking, 69, masturbating, blowing, you name it. Sid had outdone himself. He told the gathered COGs, "When we started out we tried to keep this all in good taste. The mantra was erotic, but not pornographic. But that has evolved. Your lot simply didn't seem to fit into any frame but this. I hope you like it."
Shel said, "Like it? We love it? Right, guys?"
All were in agreement. It was clear in that moment, as Sid reported to us later, that the sexual aspects of the Gang were going to increase as it moved down through the generations. That seems to match the trends in society, and none of us, neither Tim's and my generation, nor that of our parents, seem upset. As we have all said to each other for years, sex is good, sex is fun, sex is natural as long as everyone is comfortable. Clearly this new group had a wide comfort zone.
The Cavers and Marauders each had their own picture. Interestingly there are six men's events and four women's events in gymnastics, and we had among the Cavers exactly six men and four women–each was portrayed in an interesting montage exhibiting one of the events. Sid had done his best (and Sid was really good at this sort of thing) to emphasize the sexual aspect of the pose. I particularly liked the Dylan on the parallel bars, with his dick and balls swinging free as he moved around. Sid's perspective on Lorrie's vault made it seem that she was leading with her pubic hair.... Well, you get the idea.
For the Marauders–yeah, you guessed it. The Marauders were all tearing around the velodrome track, naked, on their bicycles–in the order of their joining numbers. They were heading right to left in the picture, putting the numbers in order, lowest to highest, left to right. Jojo was in the lead; his left leg was in the extreme down position and his right leg up. That fully exposed his genitalia, which was sort of flopped over the seat toward the viewer. Als was next, and there isn't much about a woman's privates that can be shown at that distance. Her flopping tits were another matter. Then came Jinx, in the same pose as Jojo, except that you could detect a very slight rise in his dick. That became more pronounced with Coleman and Jake, and Adrian, in the rear, was flying a full masted boner of huge proportions. In real life, as Sid well knew, he carried the largest penis among the Marauders, at least when hard. I know, it's absurd to talk about riding a bicyle at full speed with a full hard-on, but Sid somehow made it look realistic. He admitted that none of the photos that he'd taken of them riding naked could be produced to suggest that his painting had anything to do with reality. We loved it.
With the sailors Sid decided that he needed to do two paintings. Putting just the four together, when it'd been an eleven person team, didn't seem appropriate. Besides, he knew exactly the pose he wanted for each of the couples. David and Millie were shown walking along a nude bathing beach, fully nude, and being watched closely by other bathers who were more suggested in the background than actually portrayed. Gene and Curtis, the men of the hand job, were shown giving each other a hand job. They were delighted, saying that Sid had portrayed them perfectly, even though he'd never seen them do it–he had good sources and had, of course, seen and photographed them naked. You might think that they might've been a little embarrassed to have their limited sexual repertoire exposed for all the Gang to see. But they were delighted. They had no qualms about explaining their sexual preference, and were, in fact, kind of proud of it. They pointed out that the picture, and the explanations that would be offered to explain it, would save them having to decline sexual invitations outside their comfort zone. However, since hand jobs were within almost everyone's comfort zone, over the years Gene and Curtis never lacked for sexual adventures, that is, manual sexual adventures.
Gangland became a busy place! The COGs especially liked to drop by in the evening and see who was there, it being assumed that everyone there had roughly the same intentions–a correct assumption. Tim and I enjoyed dropping by, but our earlier hours meant that we missed a great many opportunities. However, word got around that we did drop in from time to time and a number of the newcomers to the Gang–especially the COGs–would stop by hoping to find us in.
We encountered a strange dynamic–especially with the COGs. The idea of having sex with Uncle Tim and Uncle Charlie was exciting; the fact that they actually could have sex with Uncle Tim and Uncle Charlie was even more exciting; but the reality that here were Uncle Tim and Uncle Charlie, ready and willing, was a little off-putting. Virtually all sexual encounters in Gangland began in the shower. That meant getting naked and touching each other in newly unforbidden places. And that was often where the adventure ended. Massaging Tim's balls, or soaping my dick seemed to be sufficient. After all, these kids weren't starved for sex–it was a very sexual group. Once they got into the formerly forbidden zone with Tim and me, that seemed to satisfy most of them.
There were three serious exceptions: Auggie, Max and Shel, the three youngest COGs except for Milt who was not yet old enough to join the Gang. You can easily imagine that nothing short of the whole enchilada was going to satisfy either Auggie or Shel. Neither Auggie nor Shel waited for an encounter at Gangland, and both showed, along with their partners, an ability to engage in fully mature, satisfying, and exotic sex. Both knew that fucking was not going to happen with either of us (except that Auggie insisted that both of us fuck Lynn, who seemed more than eager for the experience).
Max was a surprise. We went over to Gangland fairly early one evening and found Max sitting alone on a easy chair, reading (or oogling) some piece of pornography that Carl had included in the Gangland library. Max looked up and said, "'Bout time you two showed up. I've been here three evenings waiting to see if you'd show."
"Well, here we are."
"I know that you've helped Marty give Fred the S&M he likes from time to time."
"How do you know that?"
"I have big ears, and from your question it's obvious that my ears weren't deceiving me."
"Here I am. I am, at least for this evening, a complete masochist. It has been a masturbatory fantasy for years. Problem is, we have a little bit of a biological problem. Sex with you guys would be incest."
Tim said, "Tell us about your fantasy."
"It begins with you saying, 'I think he's serious. This could be fun. Are you ready, Charlie?'"
I guess there's a little bit of sadist in everyone. At least as Max fantasized it that evening Tim and I certainly explored ours. Tim went over to Max, unzipped his fly, inserted his hand and rather roughly grabbed his balls and pulled him to the bed. He pushed him down on his back and the two of us undressed him. Tim then signaled me to pull his feet up over his shoulders and Tim spanked him. He got his ass really red, but Max just grinned through it.
Tim said, "If nothing else, I'm going to get that grin off your face." With that he grabbed Max's balls and squeezed them pretty hard. Max just laughed, and it seemed that the harder Tim squeezed the more Max laughed. Tim didn't want to cause any real damage, so he tried a new tack: tickling. Max was vulnerable, and clearly found the tickling worse that the spanking or squeezing, but his response was still laughing–well, he was being tickled!
We weren't into whips or chains, and didn't have any regardless. We pinched nipples, squeezed his dick, shoved his face into each other's asses, made him suck us two at a time, and ended up shaving Max's pubic hair with a razor we found among the toiletries in the room. We found that toothpaste on his balls came very close to reaching the limit of his endurance, and we washed it off in a cold shower, but that was harder on me than on him, I think, and I turned on the warm water pretty quickly. Then we dried him off and finally scored some points: We put his clothes back on and sent him home without an orgasm! He protested loudly, but we told him, "Nothing until tomorrow night. Same time, same place."
Max said, "It's really an interesting fantasy, isn't it? But, as much as I'd love to explore it with you, Tim is my biological father, and it would clearly be incest. Since it is hard to imagine how a baby would come from that scenario, I'm not sure just why it would be wrong, but clearly the standards of the world tell us that father-son sex is a no-no, and I don't want to push that line."
Tim said, "I am really glad that you don't. But you have already pushed the line with your fantasy."
Max looked around Gangland, staring at the pictures. "This is the perfect environment for sex. And to think I had to wait all these years to see it. I can't wait until I can bring Milt to see this place."
I asked, "Do you and Milt have sex together?"
"Sure. With each other and with a lot of the COGs. Milt's first ejaculation was in my mouth. But recently, we've been more involved with dating girls–but neither of us is in a long-term relationship."
"Does Milt know you're here tonight?"
"He knows I'm with you two, and he knows why, but not where."
I said, "I'm not exactly sure I know why, Max."
"My joining the Gang opens a lot of doors, but I thought it would be a good idea to us to talk and completely shut one door. I didn't realize that I was going to detail my fantasy life to you, but the conversation just ran that way. Another night I will meet different members of the Gang. I am looking forward to all of them."
It wasn't long after that night that we got a call from Hal. He'd just gotten a telephone call from Coach–to Hal there was only one "Coach", Herb Johnson, his original running coach in high school–that his wife Phyllis had collapsed in the kitchen and been rushed to the hospital. Coach had called Hal immediately upon their reaching the hospital (he had followed the ambulance in his car). He'd called and then raced after the stretcher as it was taken out of the ambulance.
Hal immediately called us, and we quickly discussed the proper response for the Gang. We decided that Hal, Sue, and I would head to the hospital to be with Herb and Phyllis. Tim would alert the Gang, but tell them to not go to the hospital until we had more information.
Well, we soon had more information. Herb and the ER doctor were talking as Hal, Sue and I arrived. Phyllis had had a massive stroke. The question was whether to try to sustain her or let her go. Luckily, Herb and Phyllis had discussed end-of-life issues and Herb knew her wishes, which mirrored his own, and had been reflected in a written "living will" and health care power of attorney, which named Herb, and Hal if Herb couldn't serve. Herb simply asked the doctor if there was any chance her brain would function again at anything close to normal. The doctor shook his head, but had to point out that there was always a chance. Herb silenced him and said, "I'm talking about likelihood, not far-fetched possibilities."
The doctor replied, "No likelihood at all."
"Then let her go. All of us want to be with her."
We followed the doctor, who signaled to the team working on Phyllis that they should stop. Herb kissed Phyllis, but she was far beyond being able to respond. Very shortly the doctor put his hand on Herb's shoulder and said, "She's gone."
Hal spoke up, "Doctor, please clear your team out of the room. We all want a few minutes with Mrs. Johnson–in private."
By this time most of the medical personnel had left, and now the rest followed the doctor out. Herb and Hal were on opposite sides of the table, both in tears. Sue comforted Hal and I held Herb. It took about ten minutes for the one-sided goodbyes to be complete. The four of us walked out into the ER waiting room and thanked the doctor and his team for their efforts, and for their understanding. I called Tim and suggested that he get those in the Gang that knew Hal and Herb the best over to Hal's house. We would head there.
Herb was in a daze. While he and Phyllis had casually discussed end of life issues, both of them seemed to be in good health at ages 73 (Herb) and 81 (Phyllis). Knowing that women usually outlive men, they had both expected to have at least another decade of life together. Now here was Herb, facing that expected decade alone. He simply wasn't prepared. Hell, it appeared that he wasn't going to be able to make it through the first night alone. And, as you have already guessed, nobody in the Gang expected him to. The question was simply whether Hal and/or Sue would go to his house and spend the night with him, or he'd come to their house for that first night. Future nights would be dealt with as they came to pass.
Herb was at Hal's house, and Hal quietly asked him whether he'd like to spend the night with him and Sue. He thought for a little and said, "I'm not ready to go back to the house without Phyllis, can I stay here?"
"I don't think Phyllis would mind."
"I'm sure she wouldn't."
Eventually everyone went home, and Hal asked Herb whether he'd prefer the guest room, where there was a double bed, or joining Hal and Sue in their big king. Herb had replied that he needed to be faithful to Phyllis, and that he would sleep in the guest room.
It wasn't long before Hal heard Herb crying in the guest room. It didn't stop and Hal couldn't take it. He walked over to their guest room and climbed into bed with Herb. He wrapped his arms around him and hugged him tight. Slowly the crying stopped and they got to sleep. In the morning Herb was distressed to find Hal in bed with him. "Hal, we shouldn't be in bed together."
"Herb, nothing happened last night except that you were held and loved by someone who has loved both you and Phyllis for years. You know she wouldn't have wanted you to be alone last night."
"I know, Hal. But I can't believe that she's gone, and you and the Gang can't take her place."
"No one's going to take her place. But you're going to have to make a place for yourself in the world without Phyllis. But right now, you need to take a day at a time. Phyllis is going to have to be your center of attention for the next few days as you, with the help of all of us, are going to have to say a very public goodbye to her. Once you get through that, you're going to have to say a private goodbye and make peace with the fact that your life is going to go on, and that Phyllis isn't going to be a part of it. That's really going to be tough, and you're going to need all the love and support the Gang can offer."
"Thank you, Hal. But I'm not sure that I can make peace with the loss of Phyllis."
"That isn't today's problem. Today you have to deal with funeral arrangements, legal matters, burial plans, contacting family, it goes on and on. Perhaps the main reason for all of the claptrap that goes with death in America is to keep people busy during a very difficult time. It forces them to put off dealing with very deep, personal issues that are probably best put off for a while."
"Hal, the first day you came to the track, I knew you had an incredible inner strength. You still do. Thank you for being my friend all these years."
"Herb, it's been my pleasure and delight. You've done so much for me through the years, perhaps I can pay you back a little in the days to come. I know that if it were me, I'd need someone to lean on; I look forward to being the person that you lean on."
Herb did make it through the next few days–with a lot of support from Hal, Sue, and all of the Gang–especially the original eight and their wives and partners. Those were the ones that knew Herb the best. The size of the Gang alone assured that there would be a large crowd at the funeral, which was held in the largest funeral home in town–Herb and Sue hadn't been involved in a church in Grand Forks, and even though they'd been active members in the Methodist church back in Minneapolis, Herb didn't feel comfortable approaching an unknown minister about doing a funeral. Herb asked Hal if he'd lead the funeral service, and, of course, Hal agreed. Several of us spoke, we sang some familiar hymns, and Hal arranged for several other Gang members to read short readings that he and Herb selected–from the Bible and other sources.
Herb talked with Hal, Tim, and me about where Phyllis should be buried. Both he and Phyllis were from Minneapolis, and he wondered if he should take Phyllis back there to be buried in the cemetery where all of their parents were buried. I sensed that really wasn't what he wanted to do. I asked, "Are there living relatives back in Minneapolis that were close to you and Phyllis?"
"No, not really. Our children are spread all over the map. They don't get to Minneapolis often, and then only to visit us. They'd never come for a graveside visit. Since they left for college, our life has centered around my students."
"And the student you're closest to is Hal, right?"
"Do you think you'd want to have a memorial service in Minneapolis? Certainly Phyllis had many friends there."
"Phyllis was 81; many of those friends are dead. I'll write notes to the ones we've kept in touch with. I think I'd like to have her buried here. Not just because she would be near me, but because I can't think that either one of us would want to be buried anywhere but near the Gang. You know, Charlie, being part of the Gang has meant an incredible amount to me. And it did to Phyllis as well."
The week's events included meeting Herb's children for the first time, a funeral, visitation, burial, and so many other details, it left us all tired. After Herb's family had gone home, we organized a gathering of the original eight of the Gang, their partners, Herb, Hal's parents, Tim's parents, Carl and Carol, and Sid and Cathy. It took place in the evening on the day all of Herb's children left for their homes. We gathered in Gangland–Carl's gift to the Gang and the reason he was part of the group. We gathered at Sid's invitation. We knew that it was going to be an emotional low for all of us, but something that we had to do. We came in and there was that wonderful picture of Phyllis naked, pulling Herb's penis toward her (Herb was naked in the picture next to hers). And there was the black matte which Sid had carefully added to the picture. This tradition had been part of the portraits right from the beginning, as Felix's picture had been hung with a black matte. It was sad, but it also symbolized the need to move on with life. We all shed a tear as we looked at the portrait of the once vibrant Phyllis. Herb gently kissed her through the glass of the portrait. Hal hugged him, and we all gathered round him and touched his shoulders. Hal said, "Phyllis, wherever you are, know that you are loved, in death as well as life. Know that Herb will gather strength from your memory to go forward with his life, secure in the knowledge that that's what you'd want him to do. Thank you, Phyllis, for being his friend and his love, and for letting him go as he moves forward into a new phase of his life. We love you, Phyllis, and we love you, Herb. Amen."
Hal said, "Herb, it's time for you to move back to your house. For tonight I'm going to be with you. We'll talk tonight about the future."
Herb said, "Hal, tonight I want to be alone."
Tim said, "Why, Herb? To say a private goodbye to Phyllis, or to slip into a state of mourning?"
"Tim, I can't say goodbye to Phyllis. She is too much a part of my life."
"We love you, Coach, and we aren't going to let this end your life. Now you either get Hal tonight, or me. Which is it?"
"You don't give me much choice."
"I don't know, you have your pick of two."
"But being alone isn't allowed."
"I'd like to be alone with my sorrow."
"That is precisely what we want to avoid. Now, do you want me or Hal?"
Hal did go with him back to his house. He'd been in and out all week, but hadn't slept there since Phyllis died. Going in and up to their bedroom was tough. Hal let him make that trip alone, but soon joined him in the bedroom. Hal asked, "Would you rather sleep over in the guest room?"
"No, I don't think so. I'm closer to Phyllis here."
"Coach, you've got to listen to Tim, to me, to all of the Gang. You need to be listening to what you know Phyllis would be saying to you. It's time to look forward and stop looking backward."
"Look forward to what? A decade of loneliness?"
"You don't give this Gang that you're a part of much credit. We don't believe in lonely. If you're lonely it's your own damn fault, and you know it. Now it's time to snap out of this blue funk."
"How can you say then when Phyllis has only been gone a few days?"
"Coach, let me rephrase that. Phyllis has been dead a few days. Gone is a euphemism for dead. You used it because you haven't yet come to terms with her death. That's what I'm here for."
"Hal, that's callous. You're not like that."
"It's not callous, it's reality. You have two choices in front of you. Two paths through life. The first is a circular path in which you try to relive the happy times of the past. The second is a path into the future, with new growth, new adventures. It's a path you'd hoped to share with Phyllis. Always remember that. Always remember the good times with her. But remember them, don't get bogged down in them."
"What's ahead for me? I'm 73, and the path ahead was going to be a gentle slowing with Phyllis, some travel, times together on the porch with our memories, visiting our children and grandchildren, enjoying the successes of the Gang. Phyllis was going to be central to all of that."
"Well, now she isn't. Deal with that. Let's think about the future as we go to sleep tonight."
"I feel guilty sleeping with you."
"Guilty because you're taking me away from Sue, or guilty because you're betraying Phyllis?"
"Well, first of all, Sue sent me here. She loves you and knows that I'm needed here. More important, don't you really think that Phyllis would want me to be here? In your mind now, Coach, not your heart. You've got to let your mind do the thinking for the next little while."
"OK, yes. Phyllis would want me to have someone here, and she'd be the first to say that it ought to be you. You've become the most important person in my life next to Phyllis."
"Let's head to bed and think about the future." Hal started taking his clothes off, and Herb reluctantly followed, but left his boxers on. Hal said, "I don't remember you wearing boxers at night. I'm pretty sure that you and Phyllis slept nude after your encounters with the Gang. Why the boxers?"
"You know perfectly well, Hal. I'm sending you a message."
"Yeah, I got the message, but it's the wrong message." Hal walked over and jerked down Hal's boxers, and before Herb could react, Hal had hold of his dick, gently pulling him toward the shower. Hal let go and went into the bathroom, turned on the shower, and waited for it to get warm. Then he went back to the bedroom, where he'd left Herb simply standing just outside the bathroom door. He got behind Herb and pushed him gently on the butt, goosing him a little in the process. They were soon in the shower together. Hal took the soap and soaped up both of them, paying particular attention to both of their genitals.
Herb said, "Hal, I'm not ready for this."
"But I am. I haven't fucked you since that night in Boston. And you've never fucked me. Tonight I want to be fucked. By you. On that bed in there. With that he took the hand shower and rinsed them both, ending up kneeling in front of Herb, and sucking his dick. "OK, you're good and hard now. Let me dry you off; you can dry me; and then it's fuck time."
"Hal, I can't"
"Oh, yes, you can. This is step one of moving down that second path. And I don't intend to give you any choice." By that time Hal had both of them dry and laid down on the bed. "Do you want me on my back or front?"
"Hal, I can't do this."
"You have some sort of sexual malfunction.? It isn't erectile dysfuction–whatever that is–because you were quite hard back there in the shower."
"You know what I mean?"
"Yeah, and I'm ignoring you. Now, on my back or on my front?"
"Your back, I want you to see my face. It's trying to send you a message."
"Your face is saying to me, 'Help me. Get this old man to move forward with his life.'"
"You can't see that in my face."
"No, I can't. I see a lonely old man who's trying his best to stay that way. I'm looking for a spark of the exciting old man that I know is there, if I can just find it. God dammit, Coach, fuck me. Fuck me hard. Fuck me now." While he was talking Hal had taken out a tube of KY that he'd brought with him, and put some on his hands. Now he took Herb's dick and covered it with KY, and then wiped his hands on his own ass. He put his feet up in the air and said, "Now," in a voice of some considerable authority.
Herb had been fucked, exactly once. He'd never fucked a man. He was a little awkward, but took his hand to aim his penis and pushed. Hal easily relaxed and let him enter. They lay there for a while, and then Hal began to flex his muscles and push up against Herb. Herb got the message and began pumping in and out, very slowly. Hal said, "Harder, faster. Oh, God, that feels good."
Herb slowly came to life, really got into it, and soon was pumping semen into Hal's anus with vigor. Hal squeezed him tight, and slowly he relaxed.
Herb rolled off of Hal and they lay side by side. Herb said, "Hal, I think it's time for you to fuck me; are you up to it?"
"I'd love to, Coach. They changed positions and Hal did unto Coach what Coach had just done unto Hal. The fell contentedly to sleep, holding each other tightly.
The next morning Herb said to Hal, "Thank you for last night. I was awake a lot last night, thinking, talking to Phyllis. You're right, Hal, Phyllis wants me to get on with my life. She told me that I'm a coach, and that I should go back to coaching. Could you use an assistant with that high school team you coach?"
"Of course; the kids will be honored, and you have a lot to teach them. But first, Coach, let me ask you a question."
"What's that, Hal?"
"The Gang's going to have someone sleeping with you for a while. Until you find a new partner. Oh, and by the way, the high school kids you'll be coaching are off limits."
"The question is, 'Do you want men, women, or both? Young, middle-aged, or your age?'"
"What is this, some kind of a sexual smorgasbord?"
"I like that image. Maybe we should get the whole Gang over here, have them strip down, and let you take your pick?"
"I'm afraid that if I said that, you'd actually do it. That's scary."
"I have a better idea. We already have the smorgasbord prepared. We just need to go over to Gangland and look at the pictures on the wall. You can take your pick!"
"And you think anybody I picked would just leave their partner and come over here to entertain me for a night."
"Not entertain you. Love you. And, believe me, they all do, and they all would."
"I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think I'd like to explore my gay side. Before I got to know Tim and Charlie well, it never occurred to me that I had a gay side. But after nights with you, I know that Tim is right when he says there's a little bit of gay and straight in everybody, you just have to not be afraid to let it out."
Hal said, "Coach, tonight you're going to go to bed making love to long legs of steel, Jody Matthews. He watched me fuck you the first time, and I know he'd like to share the experience. I'm going to suggest that his parents, Franz and Anna, come along. I think you'd like to get to know them better, and I know they'd like to see their son express his love the best way he knows how. I don't think they've ever had that experience with Jody, and it'd be a gift to them."
That night, Jody, Anna, and Franz showed up at Herb's for a prearranged dinner–delivered by Jerry's as arranged by Hal. Anna seemed very edgy, and Franz wasn't much better. Jody was worse. Herb realized instantly the position that Hal had put him into. Despite assurances from Anna and Franz that they were OK with the goings on in the Gang, and despite their own strange relationship to each other and to their son [see Episode 120], and despite some very interesting sexual encounters, they'd always had some misgivings about the sexual antics within the Gang. Herb realized that Hal had engineered this evening–night–so that Herb would have the task of putting the Matthews family at ease with Gang sexuality, their own sexuality, and their son's sexuality.
Luckily, Herb had heard the whole story of the Matthews family, and especially the part that they all slept in the same bed and had watched each other have sex (in Jody's case masturbating). He also knew the story of their fucking in front of both Jody and Sid the night that they were posing for their Gangland portrait. Herb said, "Let's pretend that I'm Sid and we're going to recreate the evening you posed for your portraits."
Anna said, "Whoa. I guess I could ask how you know about that, but I realize there are no secrets in the Gang. I'll have to admit that the portrait Sid did of the three of us was spectacular, but completely pornographic. I've been a little queasy ever since about being a porn star. And with my son watching."
Jody said, "And I'm here tonight, too. And tonight it's not to have a picture taken, but to help Herb not be lonely."
Herb said, "Good conversation is all I need to not be lonely."
Jody said, "Good conversation and a good fuck."
Franz asked, "Just who is he going to fuck? In the scene we're supposed to be recreating, I fucked Anna, or maybe Anna fucked me."
Jody said, "Mom, will you please get on top of Herb, just like you were on top of Dad. Really give it to him. Then, Dad, I remember you telling that you and your roommate in college jacked off together. It was your gay side coming out. You need to explore that with Herb. And I'm going to have great fun jacking myself off as I watch all of this."
Events followed that path exactly, except that Jody hadn't climaxed when Herb finished off Franz, so Herb moved over to Jody and sucked him till he came. They all fell on the bed together, but Herb's bed wasn't the California King that the Matthews were used to, so Herb and Jody went to the guest room together to spend the night.
The next morning at breakfast Herb said, "I think we need to deconstruct the events of last night. My first comment would be that you, Franz and Anna, have gone much farther with your son than is the norm in the Gang. I realize that you've just watched each other, but for most of the Gang that is generally avoided."
Anna said, "I can't believe that we're out in front of the Gang on anything."
Franz said, "It's not necessarily out in front. We've always had qualms about our sleeping with Jody and our having him observe our sex. I think I'm hearing that the Gang thinks that we're right to have those qualms."
Herb said, "Not at all. The Gang has never argued that family sex is bad, except in that it shouldn't lead to children. I don't think that watching is going to produce a child."
"At our age, nothing else is going to produce a child, either."
Jody said, "Mom, Dad, watching you two fuck has simply confirmed for me how much you love each other, and that I was conceived in love. Do you have any idea how affirming that is for a boy? And I had that confirmation as a teenager. Last night simply added to it."
Franz said, "You know, I've never been involved in oral sex. I certainly am aware that it exists, and that it's a real option for any couple, particularly a gay couple. But when you sucked Jody last night, Herb, that was a new experience for me."
"Well, was it erotic or disgusting?" asked Jody.
Anne chimed in, "I can't speak for Franz, but for me it was totally erotic. It's outside my experience, and pretty much outside my thoughts. I don't think that I've ever had a sexual fantasy about sucking a dick–and I've had a lot of sexual fantasies."
Franz said, "I'd like to hear about some of those."
"Maybe. Some other time, lover."
"Do your fantasies include whips?"
"Yes, lover, they do."
"I was afraid of that."
"Fantasy isn't reality. I have no interest in whipping anyone and certainly not in being whipped. But in a dream, getting whipped doesn't hurt."
Herb said, "Clearly this conversation is stirring the Matthews' sexual pot. That can only be good."
Anna said, "I think last night and this morning really cleared the air. Thank you, Herb."
Herb silently thought, "Thank you, Hal. You've shown me that I can still be useful in this world. And tonight I want both Jody and Gayle (his wife) here. I'm going to fuck Gayle, if she'll have me, and Jody's going to fuck me. And then I'm going to call Hal and thank him. And tell him how right he was. I'm also going to tell him that I'll extend my own invitations to spend the night–as needed."
Jody sensed that Herb needed to be alone. The four of them finished breakfast quickly and the Matthews left, but not before Herb had asked Jody to come by with Gayle that evening. I'll leave the events to your imagination, but will report that Jody told Hal the next day that, "All seemed to be well with Herb."
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