One Summer Morning

by Biff Spork

Chapter 1

Boys like to collect things. When I was a young boy I had a rock collection. Whenever we went anywhere I would walk around to examine the different kinds of rocks. I saw myself as a supernaturally perceptive prospector perpetually on the brink of discovering a vast gold or gemstone mine overlooked by seasoned professionals. My father got me a field guide to rocks and minerals and we were able to identify some of the rocks I found. As my collection grew I heard my parents muttering, "Maybe he's going to be a geologist."

I labelled the more attractive specimens and mounted them on a square of plywood for display on my bedroom wall. I remember looking at this with satisfaction, certain that anyone who came into my room would be impressed. I imagined visitors exclaiming, "Wow, that's the most fantastic rock collection I've ever seen. You must know a lot about rocks!"

Modestly, I would look at the floor and say, "Oh, I just notice things from time to time, like granite and basalt, you know, when I'm out exploring. It's nothing, really...."

"But you have so many and they're all identified. You're really brilliant."

"Aw, shucks," I would mumble as I pulled out my dog-eared field guide. I didn't actually refer to that field guide often but I had spent considerable time carefully dog-earing its pages so I could use it as a prop during these long fantasies of visitors discovering my hidden geological genius. I had lengthy dialogues worked out in case the situation ever arose. In these, the wily visitor would cunningly try to trick me into displaying my expertise of the earth's mineral treasures while I humbly attempted to hide it. As I grew older and lurked within the damp portals of puberty many of these imaginary conversations ended with the worshipful visitor caressing my naked body. I can't quite remember how I got the visitor from, "That's a remarkable piece of hematite!" to "Your penis is so big, so hard, and so very beautiful..." but I did. The mind is a wonderful thing. However, nobody ever came into my room who was suitably awestruck.

In fact, generally, nobody came into my room except my mother and her attitude to my rock collection was distinctly cavalier. My mother had an expression she often wore when she was with me. It was a combination of 'I love you' and 'I've just about had it with you'. When my interest in rocks began to wane during onset puberty I noticed that although I continued to add rocks, the collection never seemed to get any bigger. However, since I had so many boxes and bags of nondescript rocks I could not be sure if some were missing. I never questioned my mother about this since it was in the category of 'We don't talk about that', like the mystery of how the semen-stained underpants that I hid under my mattress always found their way back into the underwear drawer clean and ready for further staining. Sperm-encrusted socks and t-shirts hidden elsewhere similarly managed to get laundered and back into their appropriate drawers, an amazing phenomenon I never allowed myself to think about.

I lost interest in rocks during my twelfth year. Sometimes at a lake or mountain I would see a beautiful wet rock glinting in the sun. But when later examined in my bedroom it seemed to have lost its sparkle and become dry and dull, as well as heavy and bulky. Many of my rocks were in that category. I had boxes of them tucked into all available spaces in my bedroom and I was getting ever blunter suggestions from my mother that it was time to downsize the collection. It occurs to me now that this may have been an example of transference: She may actually have become tired of digging out items of ejaculate-stiffened clothing from their hiding places and complained about the rock collection as a way of releasing the tension generated by this other unmentionable thing.

Two related events finally decided the fate of the rock collection. My architect father had designed a new house for us away from the urban sprawl. While my parents were helping to pack my possessions for the move I came to an agreement with them that most of my rock collection could be liberated to the wild. The second event was finding a pair of binoculars when my father and I were sorting items stored in our attic in preparation for our move. Apparently the binoculars had belonged to my grandfather and had come to our house after he died. My father said I could have them if I wanted. One glance through the lens was enough. My imagination immediately suggested many possibilities.

When we moved I didn't leave behind any weeping best friends. But here I must admit to lying earlier when I said that nobody ever entered my room except my mother. There was one boy, Reggie, who I invited over one afternoon when I had just turned twelve. He was a new kid at our school and lonely so I was able to interest him in joining a boys club I invented while talking to him. Reggie was a spindly kid, with a healthy crop of ear wax visibly extruding from the inner parts of his ears. He had nice white teeth but they seemed too large and too many for his mouth and overlapped and protruded at odd angles. His mouth reminded me of a Swiss Army Knife with all of its tools unfolded. Straight, straw-like, brown hair and damp nostrils were his other pertinent features. I wasn't too particular since I didn't have any real friends. He was a warm body who I hoped would participate eagerly in club activities.

Once Reggie and I were comfortably seated in my room with glasses of an orange beverage containing real flavor crystals I fell silent, giving him an opportunity to express his awe at my collection of rocks. I cast a fond and humble glance at the wall board of mounted specimens but he seemed not to see it. Nor did he mention the hundreds of pounds of rocks scattered around the room in boxes and bags. After waiting a minute I plunged ahead into a description of the main activity of our nascent boys club. This consisted of the two of us playing a game during which he would pretend to capture me, then tie me up on the bed and torment me to extract sensitive information. I would struggle and cry but not give up any secrets. He, in turn, would contrive ever more fiendish tortures while I begged and pleaded with him to release me. I secretly imagined this would be a lot of fun and might lead to him pulling my clothes off and doing things to me while I helplessly resisted.

Reggie sipped his orange beverage with a doubtful, unenthusiastic expression. I dug out some lengths of cord and lay down on my bed ready to be tied up. I removed one sock as a blunt hint that he might strip me at will. He tied my ankles to the lower bed posts while I wiggled my toes wantonly. I thought everything was going fine but then he said he had to go home. At school on following days he always managed to be on the other side of the playground and we never spoke again. Some kids are simply not interested in having fun. I revoked his trial membership in the club. The only satisfaction I got from this experience was the thought of how I would spurn him and sneer when he came to me on his knees after I was rich and famous and he was a starving and disease-ridden slum-dweller.

The binoculars became my constant companion as I explored our new community. They had a convenient leather strap so I could wear them around my neck and have them available instantly whenever needed. It was intoxicating to be able to look at people from far enough away so that they were unaware they were being watched. It was like being invisible. While up a tree I could look at someone's crotch a hundred yards away and it was as if I were within groping distance. Occasionally I saw movements under the fabric that suggested the genitals hidden within were stirring. I lived for these electric moments.

One climactic afternoon I was binoculing two young boys wrestling on their front lawn. Both were barefoot and wearing only worn, floppy shorts. After they had rolled around for a few minutes laughing and wrapping their naked limbs around each other they became sexually aroused. Their shorts were definitely tented. I was hidden in the branches of an oak tree and so felt safe to slide a hand inside my pants. The boys continued thrashing around and rubbing against each other, laughing gaily, unaware that they were under close observation. One pulled the other's shorts to one side so his penis popped out, as stiff as a nail. They fought over it, squealing and grappling for it. Though pummeled and pulled between grubby fists it still continued to bounce back and point valiantly skyward. I admired it hungrily.

With one hand on the binoculars and the other hand busy in my shorts I forgot I was twelve feet above the ground. My excitement peaked and the powerful convulsion I experienced made me lose my grip on the tree. I fell to the earth while writhing in a cataclysmic orgasm. I hit the ground so hard it knocked the wind out of me.

When I opened my eyes the wicked boys were standing bent over me, genuinely concerned for my well-being. The exposed boy's shorts were still twisted sideways and I could see his spunky little penis by looking up his leg. Despite the rough treatment it had endured it was still firm and, though slightly grass-stained, looked delicious. I passed out quite happily with that vision before me.

On the way to the hospital the ambulance attendant wrinkled his nose while he stared at the large, damp patch over my crotch and inquired suspiciously, "What were you doing up in that tree?"

"Resting," I replied and pretended to faint again to escape further obtuse questioning.

The hospital kept me overnight for observation but released me the next morning, warning my parents to be alert for any signs of a concussion such as faintness or sleepiness. I sustained a binoculars-shaped bruise on one side but the binoculars were thankfully undamaged.

For the next few days I could get anything I wanted simply by putting one hand to my head and stretching the other hand out to grasp a nearby chair or table as though I were about to fall. While convalescing I realized I wanted to record inspiring moments like the one that led to my accident. That sturdy wee penis arching up to the sky while war raged around it was burned into my memory but I wished I had a photographic memento of the event.

After doing a little research I seized the first opportunity to suggest in a faint voice that a "thirty-five millimeter single lens reflex full-frame camera with a telephoto zoom lens" would speed my recovery. It's not easy to make such a detailed and specific request while maintaining a faint voice and a trembling stance. I had to repeat it three times before my mother got it down on paper. The camera appeared a few days later and I rewarded my parents by trembling much less, speaking more vigorously, and hardly ever clutching at nearby furniture.

Such generally opportunistic spying led to an activity that ultimately transcended and replaced rock collecting: bird-watching. I discovered there were many different kinds of birds in our area. You may dismiss this as an obvious observation but I am quite sure that if you ask most people about small birds around their houses they will tell you that there's a lot of little brown birds, sparrows probably. Ducks and pigeons in the parks and seagulls on telephone poles complete the inventory of local birds for the general populace. It wasn't long before I discovered, thanks to the binoculars, that a half dozen different species of small birds regularly visited the trees around our house. The collector in me awoke afresh. How many bird species were there within biking distance from our house? Could I find and name them all?

In addition, while binoculating around the neighborhood I had sometimes worried that if challenged about looking at people's crotches, I had no plausible excuse. Bird-watching, however, as well as being satisfying in itself, was the perfect cover for clandestine crotch-watching and random photography.

My father proved his usefulness once again by providing a field guide to local birds. From this book, which soon became legitimately dog-eared, I learned the concept of the 'Life-List', a list of all the birds I would see during my life. I determined to start with those that were generally resident in my area – over one hundred species. I could expect to see another twenty or thirty migratory species during spring and fall migrations. Summer had just begun and a hundred species of birds were waiting to be discovered, to be collected.

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