In Skater's Time

by Rick Beck

Chapter 6

Where Skater's Go

There were rumors about a park back home. It was said to be a place where perverts went to practice their perversions. From time to time, a principal, or an executive in a well known firm, would be arrested there. So it had earned its reputation by the time I was hearing about it. I was warned to stay clear of that place if I knew what was good for me and I did. I always did what I was told to do, back then. I didn't know any better, so when someone told me something, I listened.

I know where the wild goose goes Do you know about the spot in the bushes?.

I was learning where California skaters went. I'd been in California for over a month, and not one skater mentioned the surf, the ocean, or surfing. I knew by listening to the Beach Boys, all authentic California boys surf. I didn't know if I could call myself a California boy yet, but the thought crossed my mind. I'd been in California for over a month.

I wasn't sure about Gordo when I met him, and he'd shown me things I was anxious to know about. Gordo wasn't as predictable as he seemed, and going off in the bushes with him had been enough to tell me that I was on the right track. Doing it in the bushes was a bit unsettling. What if someone walked up, while we were practicing our perversion? I'd definitely be embarrassed, if not arrested.

Pat was certainly different, and Gordo was like some overheated puppy. He panted, moaned, and knelt in the chair where Pat sat, feeding him his all day sucker. What I learned was, Gordo had a fab ass. As they got deeper into the deed, Gordo was so entirely lost in his lust, I got a few from the spot that interested me most, up between his legs to where his balls bounced on Pat's chin. Gordo had been able to feed Pat his entire cock, and pat had accepted that offering and given Gordo a good time, if the stoned look in his eye was any indication, when he tucked himself away, and said, "Later, Pat. You're the best there is at that."

I no longer took anyone's word on anything. If it was an experience I wanted to have, and it wasn't, I'd have it and decide for myself. I'd been intimate with Gordo. He'd been sexual with me, but he made it sound as though he was doing it for me, and he could take it or leave it, but he couldn't. Gordo took it as often as he could, and an audience was optional, but not crucial to his end goal.

That park back home, I started skating past it. Out of curiosity more than anything. I wanted to see what the perverts park looked like. I also thought, or hoped, I might see something that told me it was what I'd heard it was. I imagined it would be filled with leering old men, handling their equipment, drooling over anyone who happened by.

Like I said, I believed what I was told, and that's the picture I was left with, concerning that park. Other boys used it as a warning, "Stay away from Broad Branch Park, or some perv might eat your meat."

As I first dared to skate on the sidewalk surrounding the park, I saw a kid my age, standing next to a bench, where a guy Pat's age sat with a book. The kid had dark hair and eyes so blue, I could tell the color, when he looked up from the conversation they were having. I knew that kid. He was always hitchhiking near the high school just recently. Why would he come to the pervert's park?

As I watched from the cover of a couple of trees, the guy with the book stood up, shook hands with the kid, and they walked toward the woods. The older guy was looking around, but it was early afternoon, and they were the only ones in the park, except for me. I got as close as I dared, but I couldn't see what they were doing. I did want to see. I wanted to know the truth about that park, but truth was illusive, and while I only went to the park once, I dreamed about that pretty blue eyed boy, going into the woods with the other guy.

I still dreamed about the red headed boy I'd watched skating in the half pipe. I dreamed about John, Gordo, and I dreamed about Gordo coming to sit between Ralph and me on the lawn at the far corner of the mall. I never dreamed about what Gordo and I did in the bushes. I wasn't sorry. I'd found stuff out, but Gordo had so many faces, I heeded his warning not to get in over my head, not then, anyway. I still listened to what people said about half the time.

I typed innocuous words at the beginning and at the end of each paragraph I wrote. Should my parents one day find my journal, they might mistake it for the gym class nonsense. I was still living under their roof, but I needed to write down things that seemed important to me. Later on, I could go back and read what I wrote at a particular time in my life. It was private, and for my eyes only.

I closed the file and logged off my computer. I thought back to the events of that afternoon, and the memories they'd brought back to me. I understood that I was figuring out who I was, and where I belonged in a sexual context. Something that seemed so black and white a few months ago, was now alive with possibilities.

I never went back to Broad Branch park, because seeing a boy I knew, or at least had seen around my school, made me realize, someone who knew me from school could just as easily see me there, and what I was thinking about the blue eyed kid, they'd think about me. I found out the truth about that park, and I was almost certain that was why I'd gone there, but I still wondered about it.

The truth was, a guy my age, and a man not that much older than me, were practicing their particular perversion at a time that I was told, 'Just say no.' I didn't want to rush back to see more, although I wish I saw more, while I was there. In my dreams, I did see more. I saw everything. In my dreams, I saw the opposite of what I imagined the man was doing to the boy that day.

It was all too new, too rude, too straight and to the point for me to gain any understanding of the meeting between the man and boy.

At the same time as my experience with Broad Branch Park, I was running around with Tally Bowls. I'd gone by her house one time, and she was out with her mother. Her father invited me in, because I was Tally's friend.

Somehow we got to talking about him only having the one child. Most of my friends had a brother or a sister. Everyone I knew, except for Tally.

As I sat at the kitchen table drinking a glass of tea he fixed for me, I asked him about it.

"Do you ever wish you had a son?" I asked.

"A son," he said. "No, my wife and I only wanted the one child. If it had been a boy, I'd have been fine with it, but I'm glad it was a girl. Boys are complicated."

"Huh? Boys are complicated? I thought girls were complicated. Boys like sports and games, and hanging' out. That's pretty basic."

"Yeah, it is, but then, you get to what's going on behind those blank expressions on their faces. Girl's needs are fairly basic. Girls are direct and simple. Girls will pretty much spell out what's on their mind. Boys are this jumble of confusion and contradictions. They're laughing one minute, mad as a hornet the next," he said.

"Boys are all hormones, grossness, and then, there's their confusion about what they actually want, which is nothing like what they say they want. Believe me, I know, I was a boy once, and I wouldn't want to raise one. No offense, Z, you're cool, but I that I have no idea what's going on behind those eyes," he said.

It was another wild pitch. How could my friends father see the same world I saw, and arrive at the conclusion that boys were mysteries. Boys were tough. Boys controlled their own destiny, They knew where they intended to go.

"I thought, ...with all the hair and makeup stuff, it would be a nightmare," I said. "They need just the right dress, just the right color. It needs to be perfect, before they'll step out of the house."

"Tally can climb a tree faster than any boy. She's a crack shot with nerves of steel. Tally can wrap a boy around her little finger, and then let go of him before they can get to his car. Tally is smarter than I am, and her thoughts are so sophisticated, I'm convinced she is reincarnated from a scientist or a doctor."

"Boys look at girls as if they're someone to be worshiped," I said.

"That's the mistake boys make, because they're clueless. But you see, the hair and makeup comes with all girls; most anyway. It's something you need to be aware of and adapt to. It's always the same. They can get quiet, and that's a sign they want to talk. When you think they'll never shut up, that's a sign all is going well. Boys, not a chance. You never know what's on a boy's mind."

"I never thought of it that way," I said, because I hadn't. It wasn't what I was told was true, and I began to wonder, how much I was told was true.

Boys, for the most part, were an enigma. I never met two alike. They were all different, which seemed odd, because we spend so much time trying to be the same. A boy doesn't want to stand out, be different, or attract attention to himself. We dressed alike, did the same things, but none of us were really alike.

The truth about Broad Branch Park, I hadn't felt at all afraid to go there. Once I had the idea, I went. The truth about Broad Branch Park was, I wanted to be there. I wanted to know what went on in the woods, and I wanted someone to show me how to be gay, or acknowledge some people were gay.

Being a pervert, once you admitted it to yourself, was a matter of choices. Away from that park, you didn't know who the perverts were. I'm not sorry I didn't go back, like I wasn't sorry about Gordo, but Gordo had been a means to an end, nothing more.

I wouldn't ditch him, because he was the only one I knew who got me to the end of who I was. Because I had to keep that a secret from most people, it left me feeling like I was wrong. It was confusing, because it took me away from my life for long enough to show me I wanted more of that euphoria.

Gordo was the vehicle that took me back to Broadbranch Park. I'd gone there to find out what it was that kept me on edge about who I was. I didn't go back, but I wanted to go back. I wanted to go back and go in the woods with the kid with stunning blue eyes. I knew he and I were alike, except he did something about it, while I only imagined it. How did he get so bold?

There had to be a way to know a pervert from a regular guy, but if there was one, I didn't know how. That guy was just sitting there reading his book. He seemed like a regular guy. Then, the boy walked up, and he looked like a regular kid, until they went into the woods together.

Maybe they just wanted to talk. You believe that one, and I got some swamp property I'll sell you cheap. Has an incredible view, too. You can never have too much swap property.

I became afraid to write these thoughts down. I became afraid not to write these thoughts down.

After we left Pat's, who could have been the guy in that park with the book, I stayed close behind Gordo, waiting for some sign of what was on his mind now.

As quick as Gordo hit the parking lot, his skateboard slammed down, and he was off like a shot.

I had trouble keeping up, as he zipped out in between cars, propelling himself along the edge of the street on a downhill stretch, where he picked up speed. The traffic wasn't heavy, but I spent more time looking over my shoulder than I did watching Gordo. I was sure someone was going to run right over me.

Once I saw no more cars behind me, I looked ahead to see a transit bus forced out into the oncoming lane to avoid running over Gordo. Its horn blared, as Gordo skated around parked cars, picking up speed on a downhill run, as the bus struggled to get around him.

Gordo's suicide run didn't impress me. I wasn't going to try to keep up. I'd had just about enough of Gordo for one afternoon. I needed to slow down. I needed to slow my life down. The thought came to me, Gordo is crazy.

I know one guy in California who knew my secret, and he's looney tunes.

I watched from the sidewalk a half block away. At the first cross street, Gordo cut across the back of one car, barely clearing the car that followed the first car. Once again, horns blared. Brakes screeched. Tire rubber was added to what was already in the intersection.

Stopping cars brought traffic to a standstill. Drivers were yelling, as Gordo tipped his skateboard up onto the sidewalk, and left the chaotic scene behind. I could hear the clacking of his skateboard as he stayed on the sidewalk for the next block. The sound and Gordo were soon gone.

I watched until he went out of site, and then I was on my way to somewhere else. He probably wouldn't remember that I was with him, When he got to where he was going, which could be anywhere. Who could know what he had on his mind.

As for me, I was happy being alive and I was in no hurry to go anywhere, though where I'd been had me wound so tight I didn't know if I'd ever unwrap myself from the images that were forever recorded inside my brain. I didn't want such trashy behavior to turn me on, but it had.

I'd never seen anything like what I'd just seen and I don't mean the movie none of us watched. Neither of them seemed to care much that another guy was sitting there watching what they did. Gordo was dangerous and not just with his skateboard.

I wondered if that was why he took me up there. Did he realize I wanted to do just what he got done? Was this his way of letting me know or was it just another of those random events that leads you to the next crossroad?

I wanted to think that I could never do such a thing, especially with someone watching. Pat had no idea why he was doing what he was doing, except he had to do it, and Gordo, I doubt he thought beyond the feel good that went with having his dick swallowed by a pro.

It was then that the image of the blue eyed dreamboat, going into the woods with the man at Broad Branch Park, came back to me. Is what I just saw Gordo doing with Pat's mouth, what the boy did to the older man's mouth?

I couldn't visualize it, until now, because I didn't know anything. What I saw in the park, I could see the man's shoulders, I couldn't see the blue eyed boy. This made it hard to visualize the blue eyed boy having Gordo's role in whatever was going on out of my view.

Gordo and I had done it, and I was happy we did. Doing it, and watching it being done, were different angles on the same act of lust. Seeing it being done told me more than I learned from going a round with Gordo. Watching it being done gave me a better idea of how to do it.

Which way would I be going, when all was said and done? I didn't write that thought down in my journal. It was too vague, an incomplete thought.

I couldn't wait to get to California, because I knew my destiny was here. Now, I wasn't sure that I'd end up doing the thing that seemed trashy to me, when I first watched it. It was incongruous, because Pat was married, and Gordo wasn't gay. I was gay. I didn't think I wanted to be on either end of what Pat and Gordo did, even if it did arouse me.

I was both repulsed and attracted to the same event. Maybe I was crazy, and if I was, Gordo and I might be made for each other. If everyone was as confused as I was, how did anyone figure out what to do with whom?

The following week, I mowed two lawns, and trimmed the shrubs, that bordered Mrs. White's yard, after breakfast. I was making good money, but how long do you need to wait for the grass to grow, and shrubs you do twice a year. I needed a real job, but my mission to figure out what went where with whom, had me less than anxious to tie my days up. I was afraid I'd miss something.

I figured I'd made some progress on the being gay thing. I didn't know why there weren't books that explain the different ways people are gay. If you accept the proposition that all boys are horny all the time, all you need is to read up on what you do, once you accept that proposition.

I once again saw Pat, stuffed full of Gordo, and the money that changed hands. That wasn't a job, and it wasn't, well, it probably was in the category of what you did if you were horny, but the way I saw it, Gordo should have paid Pat for taking care of the problem. For him it was at least for ten or twenty minutes. It left a sour taste in my mouth, and not because i did that to Gordo. It wasn't for me. Now if I could read about what was out there, I'd decide what was for me, or did you have to do stuff, before you knew which way your desires leaned?

Who was it that made sex so complicated?

By that time, I'd managed to skate over to Alisha Jensen's house. She'd gone with her mother, to visit a sick aunt, or something like that. Alisha was cool, and she had a swimming pool in her backyard. That made her very popular with the local boys, who hung out by her pool.

I wanted to check to see if she was home yet, and when the next pool party would be held. I needed someone I didn't want to jump, to talk to, and it didn't hurt that when Alisha's parents were away, the guys skinny dipped. I'd only been there once, but there were a couple of guys that totally did it for me. Seeing boys naked was my second favorite thing.

It was maybe three in the afternoon by then, and it was quiet at the front door.

I skated up to the front door, setting my board to one side, and I knocked. I heard some rustling inside, but no one answered. The curtain parted at the front window, and just as I was about to knock again, the door swung open.

"Z," Mr. Jansen said. "What brings you by on a pleasant Saturday afternoon?"

"I was just checking to see if Alisha was home," I said.

"No, won't be back until next week, I'm afraid," he said.

He was dressed in blue shorts that looked more like boxer shorts. I was a little flustered when I check to see if I got a view of anything.

"Oh! I'm sorry. I," I said, at a loss for words.

"Try back next week, Z," he said, ready to close the door, but someone else was there.

"Hey, we going to get this done, or what?"

He was a rough looking kid, a little older than me. He had a pair of white socks on and white briefs. They were no ordinary briefs. They were stuffed with what could only be an erect penis that was barely contained. The boys chest was hairless and it had a nice design. His arms were maybe a bit thicker than mine. He was maybe a year or two older than me.

"...uh," I said, looking the boy over.

He was feeling himself through his tighty-whities.

I couldn't move.

"Ah," Mr. Jansen said. "My nephew's here and he's trying on some clothes. Try back next week."

I stood staring at the closed door. I thought about how crazy it was that I'd just seen the father of one of the only girls I knew, in what I'd call a compromising situation. I was dumbfounded. What were the rules, anyway?

The door had closed slowly. I was sure Mr. Jensen was right then seeing his life flash in front of his eyes. He didn't know if I'd say anything to his daughter. I wouldn't, but he didn't know that. I wasn't looking forward to running into Alisha's father at the next pool party. I'd be sure to keep my swimsuit on.

I wished I could tell him I understood, but I'd be lying. It was another brick in the wall of life. I never thought I came to the Golden State to get an education on people not being what they seemed. Was I simply on a trajectory that had me discovering new and inventive ways people got off.

It didn't keep me from feeling bad for Mr. Jensen. He'd always been nice to me. There had to be an easier way to get lust satisfied, and somehow, I was positive that Mr. Jensen's nephew was Puerto Rican.

Back home, a kid bag east, when I was a sophomore in high school, committed suicide. I did my best to imagine what it would be like, being dead. I was alive, and so I kept going through the motions, because I was. If you are dead, well, you do what dead people do, I guess. For the life of me, I could figure out why anyone alive, wanted to be dead. If you were alive, you were supposed to live. I thought.

Why was a kid who was alive, want to be dead. What happened that made him feel like not living was a better deal. I didn't know the kid. I wish I did, and then I would have helped him. I'd have been nice to him and we'd have talked about being alive, but I didn't know him, and no one could talk to him now. Why didn't the people who knew him talk to him? Maybe, if I knew him, I wouldn't have known to talk to him either.

I think that's called empathy. I wanted to help people who needed a friend, or someone to talk to. The problem was, how did you know who needed you?

For some reason, the experience with Pat, and then Mr. Jensen, made me think they might have thought about suicide. I don't know why I thought about the kid who committed suicide.

Other than that, it had been an uneventful week. Not much to write about..

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