Pablo Michael’s Picture Choice: Both
Title: Jamison’s Cottage
I walked around the back of our house toward the farmhand’s cottage. Nothing hindered me from re-entering Jamison’s living domicile. He always welcomed me into the small cottage, understanding his place was my escape into the fantasies he encouraged.
I peered through the antique wrought-iron gilded window set in the door, only to peer into a vacuum of darkness. My foolish expectations desired to visualize Jamison lying naked on his bed, like he often did on a hot evening after work. Sometimes, I thought he was teasing me, but I knew him better. He wanted to allow me to be comfortable with his natural habits, so I could grow to be an uninhibited man. But longing for him, my heart still skipped multiple beats remembering the first time I saw him nude.
That first summer, on a very hot day when we had a slow day without chores, Jamison told me to jump in his car. He had said, "I'm taking you for a ride. With all the windows down, our hair flying like strands of straw around our faces, we drove for a couple of hours until we traveled slowly of a narrow, dirt road, dust billowing behind us hiding our past. He parked the car under the shade of willow trees, disembarking on a trail by a stream. Hiking along the meandering path, we stopped near a deep pool bordered by smooth, rounded slabs of rock.
"Take off your clothes," Jamison had mentioned, as he shed his boots, socks, and trousers. He was already shirtless from the start of our trip. "We're going skinny dipping. The water's cold, so don't be surprised if your ball sack shrinks half its size." He laughed, finally dropping his white Jockey shorts.
I was down to my undershorts and t-shirt when he begged, "Don't let me find you hiding in your underwear. This is something men do together." He dove into the still water sending a ring of waves bounding over the rocky shelf beside me.
Overwhelmed with his body's masculine beauty not to mention his long, thick dick, in a semi-flaccid state, before he went beneath the water's surface, I rushed to remove my remaining clothes and jumped head first to conceal my erection before he surfaced. The drop in temperature from one hundred to apparently fifty degrees grabbed my balls and dick like a frigid, metal vice, shrinking them to a smaller size and shape, like Jamison told me.
We splashed around in the water for nearly an hour, until we surfaced under the willows on a flat slab of rock.
I can visualize Jamison's nude body, so perfect to a fourteen-year-old boy, like me, still going through adolescent changes. He acted carefree and natural but never suggested anything sexual that afternoon. He treated me like his little brother, but still there was that unique glimmer of bonding I later recognized, existing between gay men whose love is strictly platonic.
We talked about dreams we shared, his usually experienced with men and in my case with other boys until the breezes began cooling the afternoon.
After school and on weekends during the winters when it was raining or the Tule fog shrouded the faint rays of diminished sunlight, I stared through this door’s window, hoping summer would return. At first Jamison observed with patience. But one Friday evening, he inserted a disc into his DVD player. We watched Auntie Mame, both of us laughing hysterically. Afterward, he said, “Your parents and Elena are like Vera Charles screaming at you about your chimes, those damn bells.” Of course, the chimes were put in storage every fall until spring arrived. “So when the popcorn buds of the flowering cherry tree burst into those white snowball clusters of blossoms, we will hang your chimes again, and soon go to the swimming hole.”
We returned to that swimming hole over the years after we hung the chimes and the days became warmer. When I turned sixteen, Jamison allowed me to drive. I had hoped we would have gone after I turned eighteen, but he had already departed after hearing my dad was going to rent out the farm, and we'd be moving to California.
Having no need to explore the farmhand’s cottage. I turned and gazed at the beautiful white flowering cherry tree. A gust of wind blew a flurry of white petals in swirls to the surrounding ground, while I heard the chimes sing, “Those damn Bells.”
I understood what Jamison wanted me to do before signing the papers for the final sale. I heard his voice. “Life is a banquet. Live. Dammit! Scott, live! The message is Live.”
I did that after my eighteenth birthday with Tad, my high school friend. I’m going to live again today. I’ll look him up, before I sign the papers. Maybe he’s still enjoying life, like that day we spent here in the cottage making love with Jamison’s aura glowing around us.
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Pablo Michaels writes LGBT fiction and has published with Naughty Nights Press, http://naughtynightspress.blogspot.com You can follow him at @bell2mike