We Could Be Heroes

by Bensiamin

Chapter 17

We were both quiet, then I said, "Your Dad, wants to meet us? How does he even know about us?"

JC didn't pause for a second. "I told him. I told him I had a son, and I explained what happened back then with Lilly and how not knowing Jackson was the worst mistake of my life. Needless to say, he was surprised, but then excited. Parents always want more grandkids. Anyway, there was no way to have that conversation without telling him about you."

He looked at Jackson, "And, without telling him what a handsome young man you are, how talented you are, about your brother and Lois, and about your relationship. When I went down while you were in Philly," and then he looked at me, "I told him why. I told him it was because my son's boyfriend had to go back east to bury his parents. That rocked him back on his heels at first, but then he was cool. I mean, cool in his way, I don't know how accepting he is, but he didn't rant and rave or anything like that. He was a full Colonel when he retired, so he had plenty of people under him and that means he's seen a lot of stuff whether he approves of it all or not."

We were quiet. Jackson didn't seem to know what to say. Somehow it seemed like a retired Army officer as a grandfather wasn't quite what he'd expected. "I have to ask," I said softly to JC, "does he know about Jon?"

JC smiled. "He does now. One thing led to another after I got back from staying with you guys, and he wanted to know more about your relationship, and I mean honestly curious, not being strident or bigoted about it, and that led to talking about homosexuality and it being legal now here and in Oregon, and finally it got around to me telling him about Jon."

We were all silent. Jackson and I waiting for JC. He seemed to need to process in his mind how that conversation went and experiencing the connection with his lost brother. Finally, he said, "the good news is that he accepted it. He didn't flip out, he didn't criticize or degrade him, he just accepted it. That's pretty much as far as it went. Anyway, last time I saw him I told him you would both be here during Spring Break for a couple of days, and he didn't say much. Then this morning he called and asked if he could meet you. You don't know my Dad, but that's important: he asked."

I looked at Jackson. His face was blank. "You knew you had a grandfather. Do you want to meet him? I think this is more your decision than anyone else's."

"Yeah, I guess, but I don't want it to be a problem." He looked at JC. "Do you think it will be cool?"

"I do. I think he sincerely wants to meet you. He was a hard guy like I told you, old school military, but he's a gentleman. He's not going to pull rank or do something radical. That's not his style."

"Then, yeah, I think we should. I never knew I had a father or a grandfather, so of course I want to." Jackson was sounding more upbeat, like he could see the upside.

"Okay, let's do the dishes and I'll call Dad and tell him we'll be down by 11:00 AM. We can meet him at the retirement center, then all have lunch. That means we have an escape option. If, and I emphasize if, it gets heavy or uncomfortable, we just say it's time to go to lunch, and that puts us on neutral ground at some restaurant. How's that sound?"

"Like a plan."

It was 10;45 when we pulled into the retirement center in Lakewood and JC rang the intercom for his Dad's apartment. He rang us in, and we all went up. It appeared to be a building full of one-bedroom apartments. Each had a living room, kitchen and small dining room with bath and bedroom. It was warm and cozy.

JC said "Hi" to his Dad when the door opened. He was about the same height as JC, pretty close to ramrod straight, and had the same basic features as his son but older with combed back steel gray hair. Clearly this is where both JC and Jon got their looks. He had hazel eyes and smiled kindly as he stepped back and invited us into his apartment.

JC did the introductions, and we all shook hands. His name was Frank Dean, and he ushered us into the living room where he'd brought in a dining room chair to have enough seating for four men. As we all sat down, he said, "This is probably the first time there's been four men together in this apartment. It's not very big and I'm sorry we're kind of crowded."

We disabused him of the notion, and JC said we were all happy to come down and visit. "No, I'm the happy one. I'm the old guy living down here alone and you two are on Spring Break visiting JC up in Seattle, which has a lot more to offer than Lakewood. So, I appreciate that you're willing to take the time to come down here. Just so we're clear, my name is Frank. No 'Mr.' or 'Colonel' or anything like that, Okay?"

JC was quiet, I smiled at Frank and nodded. Jackson was silent, watching and listening. Frank looked his way and said, "Is that Okay with you, Son?"

Jackson smiled and said softly, "My name's not Son, Sir, it's Jackson, and I was really happy to find out that I'm your grandson."

You could see Frank do a double take. "Well, I stand corrected, and clearly you're Jack's son—though we've always called him JC. So, let me tell you I was equally happy to learn I have a grandson, Jackson. I have two granddaughters that live in McMinnville, and I don't see them very often, so for an old Army guy like me, finding out I had a grandson was pretty terrific."

It was quiet for a few moments, then Frank said, "Let's not be socially constipated. Where do we start? Jackson tell me something about yourself. What's been going on in your life for the last month?"

That opened the floodgates and led to the same conversation we'd had the night before with JC. Frank was more than pleased with the accomplishments, especially the college acceptance. Finally, he looked at me and said, "So, I understand from JC that you've had a hand in this? I mean beyond your relationship with my grandson. That's not really any my business, but I want to thank you."

"Frank, you don't need to thank me. I just did what any decent person would do when faced with a naïf in desperate circumstances, especially one who seemed unable to sort out even the most basic challenges of life for himself. I just stepped in and told him what to do."

Jackson was sputtering. "You what? I thought we were a team! We did this together, we…uhm…oh, I see, you're joking. Sorry. I didn't mean to be so sensitive."

Frank had watched it all. "So, you two are a team, is that right? Do want to tell me more about that? Wait a minute, does everyone want something to drink? I've got fresh-made iced tea in the fridge. Jackson, how about you come with me and help out with the iced tea. You know how it is with old guys and carrying a tray with glasses on it." He winked, and they disappeared into the kitchen.

JC looked at me and smiled encouragingly and kind of rolled his eyes. I smiled back letting him know it was all Okay.

They were gone way too long to just pour iced tea, and JC and I had started to talk about his job and flight schedules. He said he'd changed his schedule around, so he didn't fly again until Sunday.

When Frank and Jackson came back in the room, Jackson was carrying the tray with four glasses, and they were both laughing about something. After we were all served and were sitting, Frank said, "JC told me that Jackson sings with a local rock band, but he didn't say that Jackson had sung a love song to his boyfriend at a school dance."

I looked at Jackson like "you told him that?" and he just waved his hands like "what could I do?"

"Don't get after the boy, David. I was quizzing him. JC told me about the band and him singing a song at that school dance he couldn't make it down to Newberg for, and Jon used to play guitar, so I figured there's some connection in there. I asked Jackson about it. That's how I found out. Anyway, I think it's family knowledge, and being the oldest member of this family, shouldn't I know?"

That was a pretty hard one to rebut. We all nodded. Frank went on, "I would like to say something to all of you, if that's acceptable."

We all nodded again, not knowing where this was going.

"JC told me about Jon being gay. I didn't know. Meaning he and I never discussed it, but I had had suspicions. He hardly dated, never had a steady girlfriend, stuff like that. However, he was a good soldier. You don't get into Airborne be being a wuss. But it's all water under the bridge now. What I want you to know is that when I look back, I don't know how I would have handled it then if I'd have known and we had talked about it. I can only hope I would have handled it well, in a way that was best for him. But things have changed since then, times have changed. I lost one of my sons, and I lament the fact, knowing what I know now, that he could never talk to me about something that personal. I take full responsibility for that. I'm sure I was the intimidating Army officer that was in command and expected masculine behavior and everything that goes along with that model. Which means that I wasn't a very good father, and it's only been in the last few years that JC and I have really gotten close."

JC was starting to object, and Frank waved him down. "JC, it's true and you know it. I was always the distant Dad, and probably the command and control person at home like I was on base. I'm sorry, but I was. I've spent a lot of time thinking about this since your mother died, and now especially since you told me about Jon. I wish I'd have been more open and a better father, but I was what I was. "

He looked at Jackson and me. "I really wanted to meet both of you, for the obvious reason that you're JC's son and my grandson. Beyond that, I really didn't know what I'd say or how I'd handle today. But when I opened the door it was almost, for a moment, like Jon was standing there."

He looked at Jackson. "You look a lot like he did as a teenager. Same hair, same eyes."

He became pensive, and we could see the emotion. We waited, giving him space.

"I don't want to make the same mistake again. That's all. You're JC's son. You're my grandson. I want you to know I love you and accept you just as you are. That means you and your boyfriend, Okay? Life's too short to get hung up on shit like that. Losing Jon left a hole in my heart. I don't ever want to feel that again. Or anything close to it. Are you and David Okay with what I've said? I'm told I'm an opinionated son of a bitch, and hard old guy to boot, and I may never be this open or honest again, so you better let me know. Because I want you two to be Okay with me."

He was smiling when he said that, but we knew he was being both honest and candid.

He and Jackson were looking directly at each other. There was a connection going on, and it was uncannily like the one that occurred between him and JC after Lilly's funeral. Finally, Jackson said, "I'm Okay with it. Can I have a hug?"

That did it. The tears appeared in Frank's eyes, and Jackson walked over to his grandfather, and eventually both JC and I joined them.

Lunch was pleasant and we carried on the conversation about school, the final quarter before graduation and summer, the mowing business Jackson and his brother had, and then the next phase of life beginning with the start of college.

When we said goodbye back at the retirement center, Frank took my hand and apologized if he'd ignored me. "If I did, I'm sorry. I know I've been pretty focused on this new grandson I have, and I sure didn't mean to not include you."

"Frank, you didn't exclude me. You did what's natural and right—he's your grandson. I feel just as welcomed and accepted by you as he does. I want you to know something too. I had the misfortune to have a distant and strained relationship with my parents. It never got resolved, and you know they died in an accident last month. JC said something to us when we visited him after Christmas. He said we were building a family. I've found that to be an amazingly uplifting and encouraging proposition. Especially so after my parent's death. Jackson never had a real father, let alone a grandfather. So, to have you, Jackson's grandfather, as part of this new family is terrific. For him and by extension for me."

Frank was quiet, and we all waited. His eyes got a little misty. "Thanks for telling me that. I think I understand kind of what you're saying. Maybe it applies to me in a way too. That I get a second chance with this new family. I hope so."

There wasn't much you could do after a statement like that other than a group hug. That's what we did, to everyone's satisfaction.

On the drive back to Seattle I asked JC how much of what just happened Frank had told him about, or he anticipated. "Very little. I was as surprised by much of it, just like you were."

"He didn't just seem welcoming to us, there was an openness there too. Based on what you'd told us previously, it just wasn't what I expected."

"I agree. He's never been the kind of guy to bare his soul and talk it out with you, but it sure seems like he's been doing some serious and deep thinking in the last few weeks. He blew my mind when he said what he did about maybe building a new family applies to him and how it could be a second chance. The officer who was my Dad when I was Jackson's age would never have said that. He'd have dismissed it as a crazy notion, some kind of liberal pinko idea."

"It could just be that he's been forced to get in touch with himself and his needs since your mother died and then finding out about Jon. Had he ever told you before that Jon's death left a hole in his heart?"

"No, that was new too. He didn't have much choice. He was a senior officer, he had to have the stiff upper lip. But he never said anything like that to me. I don't know how he talked about Jon's death with my mom. My impression was that he accepted it as a cost of war and the price a person, especially an officer, pays when their son goes to war."

"What did you make of his response to Jackson's kind of play on words about his name when your Dad called him 'Son?' I didn't expect what happened."

"I didn't either. I expected some kind of reaction to being corrected about not calling him Son, but I think that was quickly taken over with the connection between my name and his, between Jack and Jackson."

Jackson was riding in the back seat of JC's car, and said. " I was just trying to get clear what I wanted to be called, just like he did when we walked in. You know, he's actually pretty funny for an old guy. I mean he has a cool sense of humor."

I reached back over the front seat and touched his face. "Meaning?"

"Well, to start, he's funny in a dry kind of way. I mean when we got in the kitchen to do the iced tea he said, 'normally if you were dating a girl, I'd be asking you how it was going and if you were getting it on. I guess I can't do that if you're dating a guy, can I?' But he was giving me the eye, if you know what I mean, like he was pulling my leg. So, I said, 'Sure you can ask.' That kind of called his bluff, but then he realized he'd started it and he said, 'well, are you?' I, of course, had to ask him if it was any of his business?"

JC said, "You did what?"

"I asked if it was any of his business. You know, if David and I were having sex."

"Yeah, I get that part. But you told my Dad it wasn't any of his business"

"No, I asked him if it was any of his business, but in a friendly and funny way, you know, just to see what would happen. And you know what happened?"

"Uh, no. We weren't in the kitchen with you!"

"Well, his eyes got wide and he said, 'You're right, it's not any of my business, but I was just curious if it was the same."

"The same!"

"Yeah, that's what he said. I know he didn't mean are hetero and homo sex the same. He was meaning the fun and joy of getting it on."

"And you said what?"

"I said, 'Well they not the same because they can't be, you know, anatomically.' And then he looked at me with an Oh Fuck ! look and said, 'I really screwed that up, didn't I?' and I told him, 'no, it's just not your scene,' and he looked at me like he really felt foolish."

"No shit. He said that and you told him that too."

"Yeah, and you know what, I knew he wasn't being nosy like a detective or something. He was trying to be cool and connect with me. I think he's cool, and he was trying, and he was so candid he was actually funny. Like when he said, 'I really screwed that up,' he was being honest. So, anyway, I finally used that as a point of departure. David, you know about points of departure from literature, right?"

I looked at him like, 'give me a break!', but I knew this was a set up for what he was about to say.

"So, I used his comment about really screwing it up as a point of departure, and said, 'Since you asked about us getting it on, and introduced the idea of screwing into the conversation, albeit in the sense of screwing it up, I can happily tell you that we do get it on, and it's fabulous."

"What," simultaneously front the front seat!

"Then he got a kind of conspiratorial grin on his face and said, 'I'm sorry if I'm being nosy, but how does an eighteen-year old and an ordained minister have fabulous sex? I mean how do you guys know what to do?"

"You're shitting me, he said that to you, to your face?"

"Yeah, and it was hilarious, but I didn't crack up, you know how you have to control your responses some time. You don't want to embarrass the person asking the funny questions."

"So, what did you say, come on, out with it?"

"You're both going to love this! I told him that David and I studied a textbook I found at Powell's Bookstore call The Joy of Gay Sex. His expression was priceless, like he didn't know if he should piss his pants or be embarrassed."

"Are you kidding me," from JC.

"Jackson, tell me you didn't say that," from me.

"I did, and then I started laughing, and he started laughing. Then he said tell me more, and I reminded him it was private, but I told him about singing the Bowie song for you at the school dance, and he hugged me, and we carried the iced tea in. That's why we were laughing! Pretty funny, huh?"

JC glanced at me, his eyes asking, 'what do you make of that?"

I said, "In certain circles it would be described as baptism by fire. In others, more like be careful what you ask for. One thing's for sure, we now know that, like it or not, Frank is now pretty squared away on gay relationships, and probably won't be asking too many more leading questions about guys getting it on."

We all kind of cracked up, and JC said, "Honest to god, I'd never have predicted this would have happened, even if my life depended on it. That was my father, I can't believe it."

Jackson' voice came from the back seat. "He's a cool guy. He's had a hard life. He's lonely. He wants to be part of this new family. Can we make that happen?"

It was easy for JC and me to say yes to that question. It would take some work to make it happen, but Frank had certainly given every indication he was serious.

JC changed the conversation. "Okay, listen you guys, it's about 2:30 PM, or 1430 hours as we say. We've got the afternoon ahead of us and a high cloud deck with no rain. I talked to my boss and he talked to his. Would you guys like to go for a helicopter ride?

From the back seat, "What? Are you serious? That would be far out. David, are you up for it?"

I nodded. "How does this work?"

"Like the National Guard, we occasionally do a thing we call a Boss Ride. For the Guard it really is a Boss Ride, meaning they take a boss out for a ride on a Huey because the Guard boys have to leave work and go on active duty for a period of time each summer. It lets the boss understand what the employee is doing when they're on active duty and away from work. We do something similar, but it's not bosses. We depend a lot on grants to purchase equipment, so we take donors out for a ride on Life Flight choppers to understand what it's like and what we need."

From the back seat, "Wow, that's so cool""

"So, my boss agreed that I could take a certain two visitors from Oregon up for a short Life Flight chopper ride. If you are interested, of course."

I was thrilled, and Jackson was almost creaming his jeans in the back seat.

"I'll take that as a yes. Let me start by saying that it's as safe as can be. We do this frequently enough to know how to fly people that aren't used to being crew members. Usually there's a pilot and copilot, with one or two flight nurses in the back. There'll be an available pilot who'll fly copilot with me, and you guys will be in the back, directly behind us, where the flight nurses sit. Sound good?"

"Oh yeah!"

We took the exit off of I-5 to get us to Boeing Field, south of downtown Seattle. JC pulled into the employee parking lot, and we all walked through the employee entrance to the Life Flight center. He had us take a seat while he checked to see if there were any emergency flights that could have changed his planning for the afternoon. Fortunately, things, were quiet, and five minutes later he walked out to get us and lead us into the flight lounge and introduced us to a fellow pilot who would copilot our short flight. "Things are quiet, so we're good to go. We'll only be up and about for fifteen or twenty minutes, so all should be good. Mike here has already done the walk about on our Jet Ranger, and prepped her, so she's ready to fly in case of a call."

JC turned it over to Mike. "Have either of you flow in a chopper before?" We shook our heads. "Okay, that's commonly the case. You'll be riding where the flight nurses sit, in the bay behind the cockpit. You'll be strapped in with waist and shoulder harnesses, facing the rear. But the side doors have big windows, so you'll see a lot. You'll also be wearing helmets with sound protection, since choppers are noisy. Okay?"

We nodded.

"It'll be just like being a passenger in a limo. Especially with JC at the controls. He's the smoothest chopper pilot we have. Nothing like getting your wings under fire in Vietnam to make for a great and smooth flying pilot." He looked at JC, "Ain't that right, Chief?"

JC just smiled and said, "Let's go. We'll exit through that door into the hangar, and the Ranger is already prepped and waiting outside. We'll pass through the hangar, don't touch anything, straight to the Ranger, and Mike and I will get you onboard, seated and strapped in. Ready?"

JC's demeanor had changed. He was all business now. We did just as he'd said, and when we approached the Ranger, Mike slid open the bay door on the co-pilots side and motioned us in. There was a bench seat with harnesses for three, and he had us sit. JC opened the bay door on the pilot's side, and between he and Mike they strapped us in. Mike handed us the helmets, made sure they were secure, then climbed into the copilot's seat. JC climbed into the pilot's seat and turned to us and smiled.

"This is a Bell 206 Jet Ranger. Specifically, it is a Long Ranger, the extended version that is used for medical transport and corporate applications. It was originally designed for the military, and that's why I love it. You can guess why, since I trained and flew Huey med-evac helicopters. Any way, it's is amazingly dependable and safe. We'll take off to the east, then fly south out of the flight pattern of SeaTac Airport. I thought it might be a thrill for you guys to see Mount Rainier, so we'll go south of Tacoma and Olympia, skirt the north side of Rainier, then head north over the east side of Lake Washington, cross the northern end of Seattle and slide back south to Boeing Field. Sound like a plan?"

All we could do was grin and nod our heads. The flight went just as JC described it, with no conversation during flight. It was noisy, even with the helmets. As we approached certain points of interest, JC or Mike would wave and then point, and we just stared, figuring we'd get an update on the details later. When we got to Rainier it was amazing. We'd both seen Mount Hood from the Willamette Valley, and it is impressive with its 11,250-foot height. Rainier, in comparison is 14,400, so not only almost 3,000 feet higher, but a massive mountain in comparison to Hood's delicate profile. The flight over the north side gave us a sense of the size, the complexity and the glaciers on the upper slopes. The rest of the flight was just amazing in terms of seeing things from an elevation that you would never otherwise be able to experience.

It seemed like we were back in no time, and JC and Mike reversed the order of things by which we'd boarded, and soon we were back in the flight lounge. Jackson was grinning widely. "That' was so cool. Wow!"

"We're glad you enjoyed it. As we say to most of our Boss Flight personnel, even though it's bad for business, we hope this is the only time you'll have to fly in one of our helicopters."

Jackson looked confused.

"Life Flight, Jackson. We transport injured or very sick patients. You don't want to qualify for a Life Flight call!"

"Oh, got it."

On the way home we talked about his job, the risk, the kinds of pickups he'd had to do and stuff like that. Most of his work was highway and other accident transport plus inter-hospital transport. They only infrequently had to transport patients off places like Rainier or other mountains. "We've got limited capabilities. Once we're talking higher altitudes or heavier loads, the call goes to the Air National Guard for their military grade choppers. What did you think of the view of the Seattle area from upstairs?"

We oohed and aahed and talked about how great it all seemed up in the air. It was after 5:30 when we pulled in his driveway.

As we walked in the kitchen JC said he had a couple of nice bottles of wine if we were interested, and even Jackson smiled. He was growing up and developing a more mature palette. We sipped the wine and continued the conversation, and then JC went to work. He had three steaks and started the charcoal. I got potato duty, Jackson had salad duty, and off we went. In thirty minutes, we had dinner ready and settled down to enjoy it with a second bottle of wine.

After cleaning up, we retreated to the living room. Most of the conversation was about the chopper ride JC had given us, how amazing the view was from that perspective, and how few people ever had the opportunity."

At one point I asked, "You said the Jet Ranger was originally designed for the military. How does it compare to what you flew in Vietnam?"

He grinned. "Kind of like ancient to modern. There's a huge development cycle from aircraft design to production and then refinement. Bell originally designed the Ranger for a military competition as an observation chopper in 1960. They didn't get the contract but did turn it into a commercial version that released in 1962. But the Long Ranger, what we flew today, only released in 1975. The Huey was originally designed in the early 1950's and came into its own with further development in the '60s and the Vietnam War. So, the Jet Ranger is technically a generation ahead, but there's been so much advancement in avionics and stuff, that the difference is an order of magnitude."

Jackson said, "What does that mean in practical terms?"

"We flew the Huey by the seat of our pants. We fly the Jet Ranger by the instruments, and it has a more advanced design and more power. That said, though, there was something special about the Huey med-evac choppers. Yes, they were more basic machines, but they were incredibly dependable. And they would take an amazing amount of abuse…and even enemy fire. We knew they were Huey helicopters, but almost everyone else called them Dust-offs because when we came in to pick up the wounded, we created a huge cloud of dust. But you know what, we saved a lot of lives, and lots of people told me the best sound they ever heard in Vietnam was the whop-whop-whop sound of a Dust-off coming in for them.

"We typically evacuated patients from the combat zone, at a divisional clearing station to an Army hospital. You saw how that worked in the TV series MASH. In combat, though, things changed. We'd get calls to pick up wounded from right next to a battle site on the frontline and fly to the divisional clearing station, then often transport some of the same patients, after they were stabilized, on to the Army hospital. That's the thing about combat. Everything can change with the situation, and you need to be able to adjust and go with the flow. The medical aid-men we had on board were amazing. They weren't docs, don't get me wrong, but they were astonishingly competent did amazing work stabilizing and saving the wounded in the worst situation, flying over the jungle with open doors, working on wounded soldiers on stretchers with less equipment and medicines than they really needed."

"That's pretty heavy," Jackson said, "but isn't that what makes you so good at what you do now? I heard Mike talk about you getting your wings under fire in Vietnam and call you Chief."

"Yes, the Army training I got, plus the combat training in 'Nam certainly honed my skills. It's a hard way to get good skills though. I enlisted and was Army all the way, but war is far from the best way to learn how to do things like this."

It was getting late and had been a long day. JC said, "I know you're heading home in the morning. If you were impressed with Mount Rainier, and it's the biggest volcano in the Cascades, I've got a suggestion for you. On the way home take a short side trip and drive up to Mount St. Helens. You can drive up to a couple of visitor's centers, and it's pretty spectacular and educational. Going south after Rainier it goes Adams, St. Helens then Hood. You guys live in the Northwest. You need to learn more about the Cascades and the country in general."

We took his suggestion the next day, and on the way, home saw the volcano in its old form before it blew it's top two years later. We were home by mid-afternoon which gave me time to complete my sermon and organize dinner.

We caught up with Susan and Ellen after church, during coffee hour, and filled them in on the Spring Break trip. They were quite pleased to hear about the new family connection, and Jackson told them that if The Jaybirds played for Homecoming he was going to try and get JC to bring his grandfather down, and could they somehow get into the dance to hear him sing? Susan said she thought she could work it out, and then asked about his college acceptance and if he'd made any final decisions? She was pleased to learn the number of admittances he'd received, and thrilled that the one from Lewis and Clark included the scholarship and that it was the school he really wanted to attend. She was beaming when he thanked her for the letter of recommendation and the scholarship recommendation on top of it. She told him that she was friends with the choir instructor and could vouch for what a good experience it would be. The conversation then turned to the next day, and Spring term starting, and the final quarter of study getting under way. Which, in turn, lead to Jackson needing to finish up the advance reading assignments he had that he hadn't done while we were traveling, so the afternoon and evening was just that for him.

During the afternoon Fred called. He hadn't made it home from seminary for Spring Break, but wanted to stay in touch, which I appreciated. Among other things, he told me that the Metropolitan Community Church had purchased an old church building in northwest Portland at the end of the year, and had recently taken possession and moved in. Besides worship services, it promised to become a gay community center. I made a mental note to visit at some point.

There was no Youth Fellowship that night because of Spring Break, and I had the next two chapters in the Campbell book to read for Study Group on Wednesday, so I did that, and we read side by side on the living room couch, holding hands and otherwise making as much romance out of the situation as was possible. It was a pleasure to be home, to be together in our environment, to read together and play around while we were at it. Gary came home early from a date and went upstairs to his room to finish some homework, and by the time 9:00 PM came around Jackson was running his fingers up my arms, and I had my hand on this thigh, and we looked at each other, closed the books, kissed briefly and headed upstairs to let the physical stimulation take its natural course.

Band practice resumed on Thursday, and while Jackson's other classes resumed as normal, choir started off strong with an intense focus, in as much as the Spring Choir Concert was the first week of May, leaving four weeks to finish up the preparation and practice to perform. There would also be some time management challenges for both Gary and Jackson because their lawn mowing business would start to ramp up. We talked about the choir concert I knew it was going to be another mixed selection of songs, ranging from sacred to secular and from classical to contemporary pop, but he wouldn't give me the details. I accepted that. He was performing, I wasn't, and if he wanted it to be a surprise, then so be it.

Jackson came from band practice pumped. Will had driven him home, as usual, and he said they hadn't talked about sexuality, which was cool because what had happened between them wasn't a big deal any longer, and he seemed to be on top of his struggles. The big news was that The Jaybirds had been selected to play at the Homecoming Dance the end of May. There was a requirement for more slow dance songs than they currently had, so they had some new tunes to learn.

The days were lengthening and there was more sun and less clouds and rain, and it looked like it would be an earlier and drier Spring than usual. The farmers might be unhappy about that, but two boys with a lawn mowing business who were looking to start making money were thrilled because customers were calling to find out when they could start mowing and do the associated spring cleanups. All day Saturdays and some Sunday afternoons booked up pretty quickly. Gary was able to do a smaller job or two on Tuesday or Thursday afternoons, but things got busy fast, and having a pickup to haul the trimmings and cuttings and post-winter yard debris, plus a trailer to haul the riding mower and equipment was suddenly looking like a huge operational improvement.

The next Sunday at Youth Fellowship I asked Justin how things had been going with school resuming. I hadn't had the opportunity to speak with him one-on-one as I'd planned. His response was that the bullying and gay baiting had quieted down. Will said, "You know why, don't you?"

Justin looked at him questioningly, and he continued, "Because Jackson co-opted them at the dance. They were all there with their girlfriends, and that wasn't long after they'd jumped us about wearing bracelets, remember? Anyway, very subtly Jackson threatened to embarrass them in public, but then he turned it around and made them out to be football heroes, claiming they were real warriors. All of a sudden, he had control of them. It was kind of amazing."

"So that's what happened! I didn't know about the dance thing since I'm not a Junior. But that makes sense. If you can co-opt the leaders, all the rest of the tribe will quiet down too. Way to go, Jackson!"

Jackson smiled and said, "It really wasn't planned, but when I was talking between songs, I saw an opportunity, and it worked. Not just for us but for anyone who gets bullied. It's a culture that has to be stopped."

I really had nothing to add, but thought to myself, "That's my boy!"

Study group on Wednesday night began pleasantly as usual, Prof. Higgins starting off by commenting that we spent little time last month discussing Zen Buddhism, the main subject of Chapter 7, so we should know that after discussing the move from India to Japan, and its further development there, the goal of Zen can be summarized as releasing the individual from the net of his conception into the freedom of no mind, and the idea that "God" is contained in every individual, available to all for wisdom, but since Buddhism doesn't believe in a God-head, as such, this is a concept more akin to a distributed divinity."

There was a little discussion about the distributed divinity vs. the Christian God-head model, but then we moved onto the subjects at hand, Campbell's discussion of love in mythology…or conversely, the mythology of love. I had a pretty good idea where the minister's in the group would be going for a comparison, and I was surprised that both students were there too, and that was C.S. Lewis' The Four Loves . It didn't make for a one-to-one comparison, because Campbell was talking about love from a philosophical point of view as it appears in mythology, and Lewis was defining how the four Greek words for love appear in the New Testament and the meaning they carried. There was some correlation, but for me, while you could compare Campbell's discussion of love as compassion with charis (charity), where it broke down was trying to equate Lewis' discussion of eros with Campbell's discussion of passion. For Lewis, eros was pretty much just "sexual love," whereas Campbell was discussing passion in a different way, as that of serving the individual in contrast to compassion which serves the other.

Reading Campbell's discussion had really given me pause, because Lewis' treatment of eros essentially came down to an intellectualized version of "just enough sex with your wife to satisfy your needs and procreate." It was limiting and narrow, whereas Campbells contrast between compassion and passion was wide and exciting.

For Campbell it was a both/and proposition, whereas for Lewis it seemed more like nothing more than a necessary concession to our fallen and physical natures. Campbell built his case on a discussion of compassion from the German philosopher Schopenhauer who asks the hypothetical question of how a person can "so forget himself and his own safety that he will put himself and his life in jeopardy to save another from death or pain—as though that other's life were his own, that other's danger his own?"

Schopenhauer's point is that when this is the case, the person doing the saving and the other are, in fact, one. That person has moved to the greater, truer truth, "that we are all one in the ground of our being." For Schopenhauer this is the one and only inspiration of moral action, and it is founded on the metaphysically valid insight that "for a moment one is selfless, boundless, without ego." Campbell's contemporary illustration was TV newscasts of "heroic helicopter rescues, under fire, in Vietnam, of young men wounded in enemy territory: their fellows forgetful of their own safety, putting their young lives in peril as though the lives to be rescued were their own."

He called that an "authentic rendition of Love." I thought immediately and only of JC.

In the context of this understanding of compassion, it wasn't just about falling prey to the urges of the flesh, or caving into negative sexual urges. Rather, it was about personal fulfillment. And the fulfillment of the other. The corollary being found in enabling the other, rescuing the other, fulfilling the other.

I only shared a little of my thoughts about that because I could see those taking the Lewis line of reasoning were adamant and defensive, and I didn't want to turn the study group into a strident debate. When it was over, Prof. Higgins asked if I could stay for a few minutes.

We sat in his study, and he poured us both a glass of wine. "You were quiet tonight, you seemed reluctant to engage the others."

"I was," I said, smiling, "I didn't want to turn your study group into a shouting debate. I knew where the ministers, and to my surprise the students were coming from. They are rock solid on the C.S. Lewis interpretation, and in my view, it misses the point. It's too tied to what we discussed last month about the 'God in the sky' concept and the literalism that came from Judaism into Christianity and Islam."

"That's quite perceptive of you, and I thank you for holding your counsel. They were defensive, and, would not have budged. I think they've found your candor about the changes that you are going through to be threatening."

I laughed, "They should hear Jackson and I talk about the theological corruption of total depravity and the related doctrinal views that derive from it. Then they'd be really scandalized."

"And where are you now, if I may be so bold as to ask?"

I knew what he was getting at. "I'm liberated to be open minded and make the right decisions for me…for my partner and me. I've been through Atonement with the Father, and don't have to live up to any false expectations. I know who and what I am, and not only accept it but am happy with it, and that frees me to believe accordingly. I also have you to thank for a much broader understanding of mythology and religion and tribalism, and how they relate, so I'd have to say I am now post-Christian. What I mean by that is that I accept what Campbell says at the end of the book, that it's very hard to completely sever all ties with the religion, the mythology one was raised in, because it's each person's back story. I'm also rock sold on the need to understand it all metaphorically and I also fully acknowledge that we need to create a new mythology for the time we live in."

He laughed now too. "Had you said that an hour ago, you would have scandalized half the study group."

"Well, that's the way it is."

"How is Jackson? Didn't you go off somewhere for Spring Break?"

I told him about the Olympic Peninsula, the time with JC and his new grandfather, the expanding dynamic of building a new family…and of course, his being thrilled at being accepted at Lewis and Clark with a scholarship. Higgins smiled. I decided not to pursue what he might have had to do with any of it.

"And, so what are you, the Presbyterian minister in Newberg, Oregon, going to do when your boyfriend moves to southwest Portland in the Fall to start college?"

"Funny you should ask. We've discussed it quite a bit, and I'm going to resign and move with him. The relationship means more to me than anything."

"Really? You're that serious."

"Never more so!"

"So, how will this work?"

"I'll be receiving my inheritance shortly, it's not a lot, but enough to buy a house somewhere in Portland for us to live in, then I'll set about finding a job."

"What kind of job?"

"Well, it won't be church ministry. My belief systems don't fit the model anymore, and it's just too hypocritical to try and continue it. So, I'll look for something related. There are plenty of non-church ministry position. For instance, hospital chaplaincy. I spent time doing that my last year in seminary. At any rate, I'll cross that bridge when it comes along. First, it's getting Jackson and Gary through their last quarter of school and graduated, then they'll have a busy summer with their lawn mowing business, we'll buy a house and be ready for Fall. How's that for a plan?"

He smiled. "It sounds like a wonderful plan to me. Would you be offended if I stay in touch with you over the next few weeks? I believe I know of a non-church ministry position that may be opening up, and should that happen I want to make you aware of it so you can consider it?"

I nodded and smiled. "I haven't said anything yet to our Session, as our plan has only really solidified in the last two weeks. I certainly haven't started a search or anything, like that, so I'd be interested in learning about this possibility, if and when it comes along. My thinking was to start looking in May or June, giving me the summer to work it out."

"I will happily stay in touch with you. And, give my regards to Jackson. I'm looking forward to having him in the student body and on campus. He's one sharp young man."

Jackson was still up, studying in the living room, when I got home. I passed along Prof. Higgin's greetings, and then told him how study's group had gone.

"Good decision not turning it into an argument. No point, huh, and who's going to win anyway? Dad called while you were gone just to check in, and he says Hi. He's still amazed how things went with Frank last weekend."

"I'm sure. Ah well, hope springs eternal, and we all change over time." I sat down next to him and hugged him close, whispering into his ear "Remember what I told you the other night about how you'd changed…here," as I ran my hand over his crotch.

He grinned at that, his eyes sparkling. "You made my day with that comment. You don't know. You've got a beautiful cock and it's probably always seemed normal to you. I always was small and worried about a small cock too, so to have you tell me I've grown, that I'm Okay…that I've grown into you…that's like "Wow!" the best news of the year."

"How much more studying to you have to do?"

"I've got two more chapters of World History to read. I'm done with everything else. Why?"

I wiggled my eyebrows. "I'd like to spend some time creating pleasure for you with that now larger and perfectly sized cock you have between your legs. See, this one here, that seems to be growing."

"No, don't' do that. If you give me a hard on now, I'll never get this reading done. You have to wait, Rev."

I sat back. "Okay, deal, I'll go look at my sermon material while you finish up. Where's Gary?"

"He was here for supper and he's been upstairs studying. He likes it better in his room I like it better down here."

I gave him an hour and a quarter, then walked back in the living room, kneeling down between his legs, running my hands up his thighs, and watching his cock grow inside his Levis.

"You're lucky I've finished my reading," he said softly.

"No, you're lucky you've finished your reading," I said, as I stroked his cockhead now outlined in his jeans, "because there's no way I'm letting you do anything else now."

He leaned over and kissed me and we headed upstairs.

The next three weeks passed with a pretty steady routine of homework for Gary and Jackson, interspersed with spring cleanup jobs and getting their mowing customers going for the year. It was standard church work for me, and the reports from Jackson on choir practice were positive as they prepared for their Spring concert.

Prof. Higgins had called to let me know that the position he had heard about was indeed opening up. It was a Campus Ministry and Counseling position at Lewis and Clark! It wasn't a Lewis and Clark employee position, since the campus ministry was sponsored by a foundation and the person in the position would be an employee there, but it was a campus-based position that he thought I was well suited for. When I went to thank him, I was too formal, and he let me know it was time to start using his first name, which turned out to be Carter.

"David, you told me you did some counseling at seminary, and I know you also have in your time in Newberg. That is a terrific adjunct to this Campus Ministry position. It can include informal worship services, if you so choose, but the main formal part is Youth Fellowship, which you already do, and working with students as they sort out their spiritual paths and struggles."

"What makes you think I'm good at that?"

He laughed. "You are joking, are you not? I've been watching you do this very thing in your own life for the past six months or so. I, for one, think you know what you're doing. Right now, we know the position is opening up. As soon as it does and is advertised, I'll call you and we'll get the application process started. How does that sound?

I was thrilled. "It sounds amazing. It almost sounds like too much. I mean the timing, being on the same campus with you and Jackson, but we'll see what happens. What will be, will be. And, thank you, I can't tell you how much your confidence in me means."

He demurred. "No need to thank me. My job is easy, trying to match the best candidates to the appropriate job openings."

I told him about the Choir Recital the first Friday in May and invited he and his wife to attend if they could, and they stay and join us for dinner. He said he'd check on his academic schedule and with his wife about their social schedule and let me know.

When I told Jackson about the possibility, stressing "probability," he was ecstatic.

"Whoa, slow down cowboy! There will be lots of other applicants, and no guarantee that I'm going to get the job. The best part for me is that Higgins has confidence in me, and it proves the point that there are non-church ministry jobs to be had.

Susan and Ellen invited us all over for dinner the weekend before the Choir Concert, and it required two cars now that the Electra had been traded in on the International pickup. Gary joked that Jackson and I could ride in the bed while he and Lois enjoyed the seat in the cab. We declined and decided to ride out in style in the El Camino.

It was a pleasant evening, much of it focused on the end of school, the upcoming concert, and then the future. The dinner they prepared was wonderful, and most important, as usual, they made Gary and Lois and Jackson feel as equals and between the two of them stimulated a wide range of conversation. Gary was full of detail about actual work in the fields on campus and on actual job sites doing land scaping and was incredibly optimistic about where his future was going.

Which, of course, created the opening for Susan to ask about their plans for future and the likelihood of wedding bells. They both blushed, and admitted they'd been talking about it, but hadn't made a formal decision. We'd adjourned into the living room, and I knew the elephant in the room was about Jackson and me. Everyone knew he'd been accepted at Lewis and Clark, where he wanted to attend, but the unspoken thing was about my future. After the conversation about Gary and Lois I decided it was time to clear the air with this set of friends.

I said that I was pretty certain they all had questions now that Jackson was going to Lewis and Clark in Portland and what that meant for me. I started to try and explain the importance of the relationship, that coming first for me, and they all just shut me down.

"David, don't you think we can see? We can see the two of you. We're you're closest friends and family. We know what people in love look like," Ellen said, and continued, "we look at Lois and Gary, and it just resonates. Then we look at you too, and it's the same thing. So, don't act as if we're surprised that you plan on going where Jackson goes."

All the pressure was off, and I filled them in on the current plan to buy a house in Portland in the coming months and be moved there before school started.

"We'll miss your presence, and hate the nuisance of finding a new minster, but it's what you need to do," Susan said, "and we'll be in to visit, and you're always welcome here."

I wasn't surprised but was thrilled that they saw it that way and accepted it. No resistance, no argument, just do what's best for the relationship

I saw the opportunity, now that we were all here openly talking about love and relationships and the future, and looked over at Gary and Lois and said, "So, if that means Jackson and I will be moving out sometime by the end of the summer, then it just wouldn't do for Gary to be living in that house alone, would it. You two should start thinking seriously about how to address that fact. You know, the saying, 'nature hates a vacuum,' and I'm told that Cupid hates one too!"

Susan and Ellen laughed, Gary and Lois didn't get the literary analogy, but Jackson snickered.

Ellen stepped in and said kindly, "David is making the not-so-subtle suggestion that you two should think about getting married in a timeline that correlates with their move to Portland. Personally, I think it's a fabulous idea. I've wondered what's taking you two so long, it being so obvious that you are totally in love and absolutely perfect for each other."

Talk about putting them on the spot. They were both blushing and stammering, and Susan came to their rescue. "Hush, all of you. Can't you see you're embarrassing them. Enough said, let them decide when's the right time for them." Then she turned to Gary and Lois and said, "Just know that what everyone is saying this because they love you and see you two together as the right thing."

That took the pressure off, and they smiled, and Susan changed the subject to the Spring Choir Recital, practice of the new songs and hymns, and Jackson quickly intervened when it got specific. "You can't get too specific, remember, we decided that there were going to be some surprises about what songs and who sings what?"

She took the hint and turned the conversation back to general comments, and shortly after that we all headed home.

Jackson was silent for a while as we drove home, then eventually said, "Do you think Gary and Lois will get married?"

"Eventually, yes. I don't know when, and I don't know what the issues are or what's holding them up from deciding, but eventually yes."

"I think I know."


"Yeah. He's a very practical guy. He's been working at the bike shop part time all winter, remember, to keep paying off the riding mower. I'm still pissed about that, the fucker, he didn't even tell me, and then when I found out I felt like such a low life. But anyway, I think a big part of it is financial. He hasn't finished school yet and this is just the second year of the mowing business, and we own the house together. That's complicated."

"Okay, it's complicated, but not that complicated. What are you getting at?"

"It's a new business, not making money yet. He wants to be able to provide for his wife, not have it some iffy or maybe kind of deal. That's what I see from him working to pay off the mower."

We were quiet. Finally, he said, "Can I try out an idea on you?"

"Of course, anything."

"I think he's hung up about the financial stuff and stability, and another complicating part is me leaving to go to college. We own the house together. We both have the lawn mowing business. He wants it to become a landscaping business. He's done more work, spent more time mowing than me, and he's been paying off the equipment all winter. It should be his business."

"I can see why you'd say that. Would he agree?"

"It would probably take some persuading, but I think so in the end."


"What do you mean 'and?' What does that mean?"

"It just means I know you're not done yet. I can see it in your face."

"You're supposed to be driving with your eyes on the road."

"Yeah, but I can see your face reflected in the windshield."

"Oh! Okay, here's the other part. We're together, and they're together, right? Gary and I own the house together because of Mom's will and trust and stuff. If you're going to buy a house and we live there, then why don't I give Gary my half and then he doesn't have to worry about the financial stuff. If he owns the business and owns the house, maybe he'll chill about the money stuff and do what his heart wants, and that's marry Lois."

"That's a pretty radical proposal."

"Not that radical. In my mind it's the right thing to do. He's done more work than me on the business, and what's the big deal on the house? He's going to be living here, not me. I'm going to be leaving…for the big city with my sexy boyfriend."

He'd reached over now and was sliding his left hand down inside the waist of my pants, slipping his fingers under my boxers.

"Whoa, I'm driving!"

"You mean you can't multi-task. Just watch the road, and I'll take care of this part. Anyway, let's talk to Spencer, Okay? I just know if the financial part was out of the picture, things would change for them."

"You're pretty perceptive. Do you have ESP?"

He paused, then said slyly, "No, but I have ESL."

"ESL? What's that?"

I should have known because his hand had pulled out of my waist and had unzipped my pants and reached in to take hold on my hardening cock.

I was trying to keep my eyes on the road, and felt my cock in his hand, as it stood out through the fly in my pants.

"It means Extra Sensory Lips. Let me show you."

And he leaned over and took my cock in his mouth!

"My god, you're going to kill us."

Whatever he said in response was muffled by my cock being in his mouth. All I could think of was staying in the lane while being incredibly turned on by the outrageous thing that was happening, and loving the amazing sensations of his tongue swirling around my cockhead followed by some strong suction that before long took me right over the top.

I did manage to stay on the road and not kill us both in a wreck, but it was more due to no traffic than my ability to maintain my driving skills while cumming in my boyfriend's mouth.

When we finally stumbled into the house, I had to grab him and pull him to me in a tight and loving embrace. "I don't know where that came from, but it was amazing. You are quite the lover, Lover Boy."

He wiggled his eyebrows. "Ready for bed? Gary will be late, since he's taking Lois home."

I was in and out of the bathroom first and was lying in bed while Jackson did his ablutions. He came out of the bathroom, turning off the light, and crossed to the bed with just the soft light from the bedside lamp on him.

As he slid into bed, wrapping his arms around me, it finally clicked. "I just figured out what you did, you little manipulator."

"What?" The height of innocence in his voice.

"You gave me a blow job so I'd cum and have that great feeling directly connected with your suggestion that you give Gary your half of the house. Don't even try to tell me that isn't true."

He tried looking at me straight faced, all innocent and angelic, but it didn't work. Within about ten seconds he started to smile, then it turned into a grin, then he started to sputter, and it was all over.

When he'd recovered, he said, "You're not mad, are you?"

"Mad, no. I think the idea is lovely, and your maneuver to close the deal, well, it blew my mind, so to speak. By the way, you don't need my permission. You're the half-owner not me. It's your decision, not mine. I'll do whatever I can to help what you do want to do."

He smiled, kissed his fingertips, and placed them on mine.

"Now, however, you have to do what I say. So, here's what you're going to do. You're going to take those boxers and that T-shirt off and lay there naked with your legs spread wide apart. Then I'm going to crawl in between those lovely legs you have, and kiss my way up to your balls and do a little tongue play there, and then I'm going to take that entire cock of yours into my mouth and see if I can't give you a mind blowing orgasm like you gave me a little while ago. The difference being that there's no risk of us both dying during this blow job."

He smiled like an innocent little angel as he shimmied out of his boxers and tossed his T-shirt aside.

Talk about crazy spring breaks! I mean I'm just in high school and the crazy ones you hear about are college student spending the whole time drunk and getting laid and thrown in jail and shit but still. Who'd have figured this one out. A drive up the coast, away-from-home holiday sex with my boyfriend, time with my Dad, then meeting my grandfather who's a retired Full-Bird Colonel who quizzes me about if David and I are fucking each other, and then a helicopter ride! Too crazy.

Not that it was bad. It was actually all really good. I mean, David planned a nice trip and the drive up was really cool and romantic. I loved the time he ran his hand up my thigh and was talking about the age of consent in Washington was seventeen and if we'd live there last year we could have been legally fucking right away. Ha, ha. But he was right, it was way better for both of us the way it went, where we were, what we had to work through cause than tested us and if it was real. Guess what? It was!

Then we had those two cool days in the lodge on Lake Crescent. It was so beautiful even if it was wet, and that great hike out to Cape Flattery, like to the end of the world or something. That was really neat. And then the time with Dad till he sprung on us that this grandfather I'd never met and only just heard about wanted to meet me. I mean, like, what? I'm eighteen and gay and he's like pushing seventy and a retired Army Colonel. Give me a break! God when we got there, he was nice, but so hard core. Like standing as if he was always at attention, and that steel gray hair. He just looked hard. But he had a nice smile, and he's got those eyes. Like JC, and I guess like me. I didn't know what to think, but he did this "don't call me Colonel" thing, and then when he called me "Son" it just seemed right to straighten him out on that. And it was cool!

I couldn't believe it when we were in the kitchen and he's asking me about getting it on with David. Like my new grandfather is asking if I'm fucking my boyfriend and vice versa? But I knew he didn't really know what he was asking. He comes off as so hard, and he was trying to be cool and hip, but I saw the pain. He gave it away when he told me that when he first saw me, he thought he was looking at Jon. I mean fuck! I'd had my shit in my life, but he had a son die. That's pretty different. And I could see in his eyes, just like I saw in JC's that we were connected, and he was lonely and hurting and just wanted to be loved. Like we all do. So, I decided to play around and fuck with his mind a little and see what happened. And he was funny and cool, and we ended up laughing away, especially when I told him if I was getting fucked was none of his business. Anyway, we bonded. And I've got a really cool grandfather to go along with a really cool father, on top on a fabulous boyfriend. Everyone should be so lucky,

It's pretty amazing really, in four months to go from just me and David after Bud gets tossed in jail and then Mom dies, and then along comes my Dad, and now this. Kind of crazy, like in the movies. But I'm digging it, and I'm happy. They're good guys, good men, and different. I mean different than almost all the others I've met. They sure are different than Bud, that's for sure. I've never been appreciated and respected and loved before. Not by men. Not before David, anyway. JC and Frank are going to come down to Newberg soon, hopefully for the band gig. That will be cool.

Oh, and I'm probably the only kid in high school that's ridden in a helicopter. That was pretty outrageous. JC came through on that one in a big way. What a mindblower and flying next to the top of Mount Ranier was totally over the top. I'm not sure I'd want to be a chopper pilot, but it was cool to do the trip.

Then there's the deal with Gary. I've got to convince David that I have to do this. I know Gary. He's got hang-ups, and we've got to help him get past them or it could screw things up with Lois. That'd be terrible. It's just a mowing business and my share of the house. Big deal. I don't know how we'll drop the proposition on Gary, but I'm sure we've got to do this. Anyway, I'm leaving for college, so it's stupid not to do it.

I've also got to remember no more blowjobs in the car! I mean I was fun, and I think I made my point, but I guess David's right, I could have killed us both. That would have been a total waste. But I think I made my point. At least David's taking me serious about this money stuff with Gary.

Anyway, we're back from Washington and spring break. School starts tomorrow, and I've still got some reading to do, but if I didn't write this tonight, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't happen. It's going to be busy with school and band and choir practice plus mowing! That's Okay, cause I know I can do it. I will do it, cause I know there's a piece of the choir recital and the Homecoming dance that I'm doing for my Sexy Man, and I've got to do that right.

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