July 26th, 2016



I started Elmhurst College in 1962, when I was 20 years old  The first semester, when I was in the Junior class, I lived at home, driving back and forth the 30 miles from Des Plaines to Elmhurst.  But I quickly got tired of that — Chicago suburban driving is brutal in the winter — and moved to a dorm on campus for my Senior year.

Across the hall from my room — rooms in this dorm were single, each with its own bath — lived a freshman, Gary.  He was young, rather pretty, and an enthusiast for his new life away from his home in Indiana, where he was a leader in the DeMolays, a Catholic youth group that you can participate in for the rest of your life.  He was very proud of his leadership position in the DeMolays  (pronounced ‘dee-mo-lay’), and talked about it constantly.  He was probably feeling very insecure, what with being so very far way from home in Indiana.  I didn’t think of it this way, but he was probably ripe for the picking.

Gary was a lean, with straw-color hair, an angular face with a beautiful smile when he chose to show it.  A little shorter than me, he was quiet most of the time, breaking into animation only when talking about DeMolay, so I let him rattle on when he wanted, as it seemed to put him at ease.

One Wednesday evening, I invited him in to my room and offered him a drink.  I was almost of legal age then (21), and so pretty able to get the stuff with my fake ID.  I had only rum (Barcardi, of course), and the only mixer available was Coke from the machine in the basement.  So rm-and-Coke it was; I hated the drink (I got sick on it when I was 16), but he didn’t seem to mind.  One drink led to another, which led to the floor …

The massage didn’t last very long, as I soon got down to business, and gave him the pleasure.  I won’t go into details here (you’ll have to buy the book).  He didn’t hang around long after, that night, nor probably did I want him to, because I was hesitant to face his questions and accusations.  He left, closing the door quietly behind him.

Well, I was worried about the repercussions, of course.  Not from the authorities — we were both legally adults, after all (I didn’t even know about the sodomy laws) — but rather because I knew the troubles that could develop with rumors and innuendo in the  student body; my last year at Wabash had taught  me that.

I spent my usual weekend of taking the train to downtown Chicago and going to the gay bars on North Clark Street, with diversionary Saturdays/Sundays with Terry the window dresser. But the next week, I was particularly on edge, wondering what the fallout of the previous Wednesday night might bring.

Knock-knock on my door.

“It’s Wednesday night!” said Gary, smiling brightly. “Time for a cocktail?”

Holy shit, it didn’t take the kid long to learn!  So, in he came, and then: drinks, massage, fellatio, thanks-so-much and out-the-door.  Relieved I was; this was going to be all right.

This went on for months, the weekly Wednesday night soirees.  I then found a lover at college (Charlie) and then another (blonde David), and I was no longer ready to receive on Wednesday evenings.  We remained on pleasant speaking terms.  He was probably as glad to call it quits as I was, and put it all into a past that came be re-imagined in the glowing light of youthful exuberance.


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