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Finding Tim

A Fourth Alternate Reality

by Charlie
With editorial assistance from Dix and John


We were delighted to have the college decision behind us. Winters would be cold, but Grand Forks seemed to be a pleasant town, and the university suited Tim to a T. The Law School would suit my needs. And there was no question that both Tim and I were likely to be elephants in the UND puddle. The roller coaster speed was increasing.

Two things remained before we left Grand Forks. Tim wanted to talk again to Coach Knudsen about his announcement of where he would be going to school. "Coach, I'm going to make a public announcement at the last swim meet of the year that takes place at my high school, Southwest High. Key members of the press will be encouraged to be there-that'll include someone from the Grand Forks Herald. I'd like you to be there. Could you come?"

"I'd be delighted and honored. And when I'm asked why you are coming to UND, what do I answer?"

"Tell 'em you have the best damn swimming program north of Minneapolis, and you are delighted that I wanted to move north."

"Can you ever be serious?"

"I'm completely serious. They're looking for a quote not a dissertation on what makes Tim tick. They'll love that answer. It'll make the newspapers. As for what else to say, tell the truth. Say that I arrived at your doorstep and invited myself in. Say you don't know why. Say whatever seems to be best at the moment, but always tell the truth. I have nothing to hide. And be prepared for the 'gay question'."

"The 'gay question'?"

"Yes. It'll be something like, 'Do you anticipate any trouble at UND with that fact that Tim is gay-and lives with his lover, Charlie?'"

"You live with that constantly, don't you?"

"Yes. It is always part of the equation, whether picking schools or talking to the press. You have to be prepared. I'll answer that question by saying that I have received a delightful welcome during my visits to UND, from future teammates, students, faculty and administrators. I feel welcome."

Coach responded, "That's really true, isn't it? That was the critical question you needed answering on this trip, wasn't it?"

"One of three. The other two were, 'Will they be open to a gymnastics program?' and 'Can I relate to the diving coach?' I'm very comfortable with the answers to both of those questions. I'm going to enjoy four years at UND."

Our other task was to look at housing. Student apartments are student apartments and we figured that we would be condemned to living in one for our four years. As I drove us around town on Saturday, Tim yelled, "Stop."

I stopped the car and said, "What? Why?"

"Look at that old house. It's for sale."

It was big old frame house, just about four blocks off campus. It looked like it had been cut up for apartments. Pretty bad shape. But once a stately house, and large. Big yard to provide separation from neighbors, which looked like other houses cut up into apartments.

Tim said, "There is someone at home. Let's knock on the door." With that he was out the car door and running up the walk. I had no choice but to follow. An elderly man opened the door. His story was simple, he had bought the house before the war and had divided it into one large and four small apartments. He rented the four to students and lived in the large one. He was getting too old to maintain the place and was hoping to sell it. But it was run down and he was having no luck.

Tim bubbled with enthusiasm. I said, "Tim, we are apartment hunting, not house hunting."

"No, no. We are looking for a place to live, and this is it."

"Just how do you expect to pay for this, with Monopoly money?"

"No, Charlie, we borrow it." Said as if he was talking to a kindergartner.

"You know a really stupid banker, perhaps?"

"Charlie, let's look the house over."

We did. Oh, God, would it take work. And Tim clearly envisioned restoring it to a one family dwelling, which meant taking out all of the walls that had been added, restoring some doors and removing others. It needed a roof. The yard was a mess. It goes without saying that it needed painting, top to bottom, inside and out. No wonder the old bird couldn't sell it.

Tim said, "Charlie you have to envision this house as it was, and how it could be again. It was grand: spacious, light if the partitions are removed, well-proportioned. It looks like it had lovely woodwork, with most of it still there even if covered over or painted."

"And you are going to restore all of this while you practice diving, gymnastics, and maintain a straight-A average? As well as everything else that you have in mind for Grand Forks?"

"This is one of the things I have in mind, I just didn't know it until now. Let's talk to the old man."

We found him in his living room on the first floor. Tim walked up and introduced himself as "Tim" and introduced me as "my partner, Charlie."

"Glad to meet you. I'm Felix. You look familiar, where have I seen you before?"

"Tim smiled. Do you read Sports Illustrated?"

"That's it. You're the diver. The queer diver."

This didn't seem to be going too well.

"I prefer the word 'gay'."

"So do I, but I haven't gotten used to it yet," said Felix. "Gee, you guys were brave to come out so publically." He paused, with a wistful kind of look, and finally said, "I never could."

You could have knocked us over. Before Tim spoke Felix continued, "I was born in the last century. Nobody came out. We were still queer, mind you, just very quiet about it. I thought of marrying, but decided it wouldn't be fair to some girl. So I'm a very frustrated bachelor. I've been living here in this house for years, surrounded by boys, none of them queer. Well, I doubt that is true, I'm sure some There were two roommates that I really thought were. But nobody ever told me they were gay. In fact, in all my years of life you are the first two boys-well, men-that have told me they were gay. Sure, I've read of actors and artists and writers, but they were off in New York, California or Europe. Sure as Hell not in North Dakota."

"Why did you stay in North Dakota, and not go to Europe or New York or California?"

"My mother was here, and family, and friends. Just never wanted to move. I'm sexually frustrated, but otherwise I'm happy. Except that as I have gotten too old to do the work around the house things have been falling apart."

"We'd like to help put them back together."

Where did Tim get that "we"?

"Whatcha mean?"

"We want this house. We don't have any money. You can't sell the house because it's so run down. If you sell the house, you'll need a place to live. Let's make a deal. We'll take the house-some lawyer can work out the details to protect you-maintain it, fix it up, and give you a home in the third floor apartment for life. We'll pay the utilities; you live free. In addition we'll pay you $3,000 in ten payments over four years. No interest. We are going to be in Grand Forks for four years, then we'll be away. But we'll be back. While we are away someone else will live in the house, but you keep your apartment as long as you want it. When you can't climb the stairs, we'll put in one of those chairs that ride up a rail-the stairways are straight, that won't be a problem."

Tim looked at me, smiled, and seemed to say, "That's OK, right?"

Felix looked first at Tim, and then to me. "You're serious?"

I said, "Yes, I think he is. And I'll back him up."

"I think God sent you two boys to me. It is a super deal for me, I couldn't ask for more. And I'll help you with whatever I can. As long as I'm not on a ladder I'm a good painter. But I couldn't paint just the bottom of the house!"

"I'll find a lawyer to draw up papers." Once Tim made up his mind, he didn't hesitate. And Felix made it clear that we could have driven a much harder bargain for this 'fixer upper'."

"No need, the guy up the block is an attorney and a good friend. I'll bet he's home. I'll call him. Wait a minute! What are you doing in Grand Forks? My mind is beginning to work now. You are a national champion diver, headed to the Olympics, and a gymnast, I think. You're going to be going to Minnesota or Indiana or Michigan, not UND. What the Hell are you doing here?"

"Looking the place over, meeting the diving coach, deciding that this is where we are going. Charlie will be going to law school."

"You were talking to Larry? Larry Knudsen?"


"And he knows you are coming to UND?"


"I'll bet he wet his pants. I can't wait to call him."

"Felix. We have to ask one very important favor."

"What's that?"

"You can't tell anybody who is buying the house, or that we were in Grand Forks, for a month or so."

"Big secret, huh?"

"There'll be a press announcement at the right time. Coach Knudsen will be part of that. If the press gets hold of it in advance, it'll be a mess, and very uncomfortable for Coach Knudsen."

"Can I talk to Larry?"

"Sure. He knows. And your lawyer friend will know, but he is legally bound to keep quiet. Beyond that, no one. As soon as it is in the papers you can tell anyone anything. The house won't be a secret. Tell everybody about your new friends, Tim and Charlie, who'll be moving into the house."

I would love to have pictures of the Felix that first opened the door and the Felix that introduced us to his lawyer friend. He lost twenty years in age and five inches of stoop. The lawyer thought we were all crazy, of course. But we assured him we had a deal and he should write up the papers to be sure that Felix was protected.

The we heard Felix on the telephone. "Larry.... Felix Hanson here.... Hello, yourself. Say Larry, have you checked your fly lately; I'll bet it's wet.... Well, I understand that you have a new member of the diving team.... Never, mind how I found out.... No, you don't have to confirm it, Tim already has. Nice kid, isn't he? And I like Charlie, too.... Come by sometime and I'll tell you the whole story. Bring Ella. So long, Larry."

Tim and I guessed that Larry would be by very soon.

"How long have you known Larry?"

"Oh, he lived on the third floor right after the war. Really nice kid. We've stayed friends since he returned to take his coaching job. I guess he's a pretty good coach. The boys like him. Never had a champion like you though. I still don't know what the Hell you are doing at UND, but I'm glad you are doing it."

Tim simply bubbled all the way home. He was in seventh heaven. He loved the house. He loved Grand Forks. He loved Felix. He loved Coach Knudsen. He loved Prexy. He was happy as a lark. It took darkness and the slower traffic in Minneapolis to really calm him down. Then we got home, and he was bubbling again. "Dad! Mom!" In the door; herd everyone into the kitchen. "The place is wonderful; the school is wonderful; I like the coach; they'll let me start a gymnastics program; AND, Charlie and I bought a house."

Norman and Betsy were tough nuts to crack, but that floored even them. I had imagined Norman calmly sitting down and saying, "Tim, start from the beginning." But even Norman couldn't pull that off. Instead he said, stuttering somewhat, "A House? What do you mean you bought a house? You don't have the money to buy a house. Charlie, help me out here. What is he talking about?"

I couldn't resist: "We bought a house. A big house in downtown Grand Forks, just off campus. The deal is closed, we can move in mid-summer."

I think it was the first time that I had seen Norman really lose it. "You what? You don't have that kind of money. Would somebody please tell me what is going on?"

I smiled and said, "I think we gotcha, Dad. It's all true, but it's a long story. Would you like us to start at the beginning?"

Norman relaxed. "I should know to expect either the absurd or the ridiculous from you two. I guess I lost it a little. Yes, start from the beginning."

We did. Mom and Dad got all the details. Norman's comment was, "And you actually signed the contract today; one day."

"Tim doesn't fool around."

"Charlie, you are supposed to add a little maturity to the mixture."

"I thought it was crazy. Perhaps. But Tim is in love with it. Who's to tell him 'No'?"

"Tomorrow. Tomorrow, we drive up and see this house and meet Felix."

Tim had been very quiet through all of this. Now he said, "You are getting up tight again Dad. Gotta have a little faith in your son."

"I do. You're right. But let's head up to North Dakota tomorrow and look at this house. At the very least your mother and I are very curious."

Hugs and kisses all around preceded bed, and other things.

The possibility of a second trip to Grand Forks later in the day didn't prevent Tim from wanting to maintain as much of his practice schedule as possible. He usually didn't start early on Sunday, but today he asked me to go with him to the pool for a couple of hours practice. I was tired, and though willing to get up with him, I didn't feel like doing laps, or anything constructive for that matter. I decided to just sit and look at Tim. I don't know why divers bother with swim suits; they cover almost nothing. Well, I guess diving without real protection of the gonads would be stupid, but not much was not revealed by his suit. This morning that suited me fine. I just sat and contemplated the few but important juicy nuggets that weren't revealed, and delighted in thinking about the interesting things that could be done with them.

About fifteen minutes before eight, his normal stopping time, I yelled for Tim to get out. He knew he was pushing me to even be there, so he didn't protest when I got him out early. As he got out, I grabbed him and pulled his suit off. Then I threw him back in the water, stripped myself as quickly as I could and jumped in with him. We spent about ten minutes grabbing at various parts of each other. His agility compensated for my size, particularly my longer arms. He could also stay under water longer than I could, so he would dive deep and attack me from underneath. The roughhouse slowly changed to more loving contact. That led us to the showers, and eventually each of us got sucked as we gloried in a hot shower rolling down our chest and tickling our balls. This was followed by a good lathering by the other person, and a thorough rub of key parts before rinsing. We were late to breakfast.

Norman said, "If Carl were here he would accuse you two of various kinds of escapades in the pool and showers, but I'm sure that that isn't the reason for your being late."

We both replied, "Oh, no, of course not."

Betsy said, "How did I ever get mixed up with this bunch of boys. Eat up, we want to leave for Grand Forks in about fifteen minutes. We did.

We were quizzed on the way up about our entire time the past three days. Sitting trapped in the car we didn't have any choice but to provide blow by blow details of the entire trip.

Betsy said, "I'm eager to meet Felix. How old is he?"

I said, "We aren't sure. He says he was born in the last century. My guess is that he is in his late seventies." We knew Felix for quite a while, and I'm not sure we learned his age before his funeral!

Felix opened the door to Tim's knock. He took one look at the group standing there and read the situation correctly. "Oh boy. The parents have come to check out the dirty old man. And his run-down house. Well, come on in; I can't be worse than the stories these two have told you about me."

Betsy said, "Actually Tim said that you weren't a dirty old man. However, I think he wishes you were."

It was all downhill from there. Felix was loveable; Norman and Betsy interested and enthusiastic. Norman went over the house in some detail and rendered the judgement that it was structurally sound, but needed a lot of cosmetic work. "Not that this means anything to these two independent cusses, but I approve."

He got a big kiss from Tim, Charlie, and Felix for that. With tears coming to his eyes, Felix said, "I presume that Tim has told you I'm gay and in the closet. When Tim and Charlie kissed you I just couldn't help myself. I hope I didn't offend."

Norman looked at Felix, and clearly understood the pent up emotions that he had lived with for years. He grabbed Felix and hugged him tight, saying, "My son has taught me a lot about loving. I wish that he could teach the whole world. For now, welcome to Tim's world, and Charlie's. You won't find two boys who'll treat you better."

"And they won't find a better dirty old man to live upstairs."

We all laughed. It was about two in the afternoon, but Norman said, "Felix, boys, let's go to dinner. That little thing we tried to call lunch eaten on the run coming up here doesn't count. And we can't stay until a regular dinner hour.

Felix' eyes lit up; it was clear that he probably hadn't eaten much, if any, lunch. He said, "There is an all-you-can-eat buffet on the edge of town, how about that?"

I'm not sure that that would've been Betsy's choice, and it made it hard for Tim and me to watch our weight as we should, but we all agreed that the buffet would be just the place. Felix made sure that Norman didn't waste his money on the buffet.

After lunch we met the lawyer who had drawn up the papers. He said to Norman, and to Tim and me, "You know, this was drawn up exactly as Tim directed me to. It carefully protects Felix' interests if the boys leave or don't do as they have promised. Essentially, Felix gets his house back free and clear, with the improvements all his. The boys don't have much protection if Felix becomes impossible to live with, or they need to leave Grand Forks and can't get a good tenant to live in the place and see to its maintenance."

Tim said, "We don't have any interests to protect. We are going to put sweat and time into the place, and a little money. Felix is putting up his life security."

"But there isn't much security in this house in the condition it's in."

"Then every nail driven and bucket of paint added increases Felix' security. That makes the work worthwhile in itself. But we are going to live here a long time, and we hope that Felix does too. As far as I'm concerned that contract will never again be looked at. But it's there to protect Felix. The deal doesn't work without it."

I said, "Tim speaks for me. At first I thought the whole thing was a little crazy. But so is everything that Tim touches. I support him completely."

Norman said, "I would like to meet the diving coach, but I guess its being Sunday kills that."

Felix picked up the phone immediately. "Larry, Felix here.... I need you over here... Those two boys are here with parents.... They're threatening to not let Tim go to UND.... I thought that would get you moving.... Step on it."

Betsy said, "Felix, we never...."

"I know, and so does Larry. He would've come just as quickly if I had just said there was someone here I wanted him to meet. But he needs to be teased a little, before that coaching job goes to his head-and now he is going to think that he must really be hot stuff since the world's best diver is on his team."

Tim said, "I'm not going to the Worlds this summer. Just Nationals. For a least a year you are going to have to stick with "the country's best diver."

"I know better," said Felix.

If Tim didn't love Felix before that, he certainly did now. And so did I. It was amazing how he had come to life in just a day. Worry about how he was going to end his days, alone and with inadequate funds, had been replaced by the idea of living upstairs above two exciting kids that would see that he and his house were cared for. How many other old people are there in this world facing the same prospect, but never "Finding Tim?"

Larry arrived, certainly surprised to see us, and equally surprised to learn of our house purchase. He said, "You are talking about a time frame of a lot more than four years. What do you have in mind?"

"Coach," said Tim. "I would really appreciate it if that little fact remained completely confidential." He turned to Felix, "Is that OK with you, Felix?"

"Of course. You tell me when to blab and when to keep mum. I'll get it right."

Larry said, "I'll respect that. But what's up?"

Tim said, "Charlie and I envision a role in this University after we finish grad school. I don't want to put four years of effort into this place and then just leave. I'm committed to building a gymnastics team. There'll be other things. I want to watch the fruits of my labor ripen over the years. But right now, as far as anybody else is concerned, I'm here for four years."

Larry said, "Am I hearing some of the real reason that you are here and not at Indiana?"


"Diving isn't going to be the center of your life the next four years, is it?"

"Of course not. Charlie is. He is the center; nothing comes close as second."

I said, "Larry, not to worry. Tim's commitment to diving may be third or fourth on his list of priorities, but it'll still be a stronger commitment than any other of your swimmers or divers. And he'll continue as national champion, and he'll be at the Mexico Olympics."

"Somehow that doesn't come off as bragging. In any others I would've to say that they were too full of themselves and just had to wait to be knocked down a peg. But you two seem to be utterly in control of your lives. You are going to take getting used to."

"Tim will be the most fun to coach of any diver you ever had. And not just because he's good. He's fun, dedicated, loveable, and enthusiastic. Enjoy the ride."

"I think I will. Is there anything else I can do for you folks?"

I replied, "Just keep mum for the next few weeks about who'll be on your team next year."

"That's going to be tough."

Felix said, "How are you going to explain why you wet your pants?"

"Felix, you are a dirty old man?" said Betsy.

"I warned you."

Coach said, "Felix takes getting used to. He was my landlord for my last two years of college. I wish it had been four years. He was great. Sort of a father confessor, banker, consumer advocate, and stern task master when finals came around. But you're going to be his landlord-I don't know how he'll handle that."

"I won't change a bit. I'm too old and set in my ways."

Tim said, "Don't ever change, Felix. You're too loveable."

Norman said, "I think we need to be heading to Minneapolis. Coach, Felix, it was delightful to get to know you. I'm sure that we'll be meeting again, often."

We left Coach and Felix to their own conversation, which must have been interesting. In the months to come Felix would be a bridge for Tim to build a personal relationship with Larry as well as a professional one with his Coach. For now all we knew was that these two men certainly seemed to be delightful, and if they were harbingers of things to come in Grand Forks, Tim had made the right choice of schools.

The conversation on the way home confirmed that Norman and Betsy were feeling the same way as we were regarding our prospects at UND.

Monday night at dinner we did some calendar checking. The regional gymnastics meet in Madison would be in two weeks. Two years ago Norman, Betsy and I had thought of a surprise reunion of the Gang at that meet. Obviously events had moved much more quickly than we anticipated. The Weekend had been the occasion of the reunion. The forthcoming regional meet was not much more than one of Tim's local meets. Ronnie did come to watch, and we enjoyed dinner with him.

Events were piling up so tight it wasn't clear that everything would fit onto the calendar. Hal was soon going to Chicago to compete in a marathon needed to qualify for Boston. And there was Boston at the end of April-to which we were committed. I needed to enter a real competitive archery meet-there were several in the region that I could choose from, giving me some date flexibility. Jim's state wrestling meet was coming up, we weren't sure exactly when. Tim had either diving or gymnastics meets almost every weekend, often after school, and sometimes two on a weekend. I was given the assignment of calling everybody and getting exact dates for everything.

With evening and morning calls I got all of the information. By some miracle, we could squeeze everything in. Tim insisted that we had to go to Chicago as well as Boston with Hal. No way was he going to miss Jim's meet. Luckily those three trips did not conflict with important meets at home-but both of his teams would miss him for one meet-at least. By going to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, I could fit an archery meet into a relatively unscheduled weekend-luckily it was a Sunday meet, we would drive there after Tim finished a diving meet a week from Saturday.

I shared my information at dinner. Norman said, "I get tired just listening to that schedule. Tim, Charlie, you can't do it all."

Tim said, "And just what would you have us leave out?"

"Do you need to go to Chicago with Hal? He'll easily qualify, and you are going to be with him in Boston."

I came to Tim's rescue. "Asking Tim to not support his friend would be like asking him to stop diving. Except that he would sooner stop diving."

"Charlie's right. Besides, he just laid out a calendar that makes it work. It'll cut into my practice schedule, but that won't matter much. Diving Nationals are around the fourth of July; I'll be really intense with diving practice right after graduation in early June. I'll be fine."

Betsy said, "I don't understand how keeping the schedule you do doesn't kill you, but you seem to thrive on it. I gave up worrying about it years ago-I learned that it didn't do any good. As for changing you, I gave up on that even earlier. But I'm breathless just thinking about your next two months. And I suppose you'll be up and practicing by six every day."

"Yes. My morning practice is really a form of relaxation. It is the time when my mind closes to everything but the immediate moment. I almost forget Charlie-but not quite. I think without those two hours every day I would stress out."

"Wouldn't sleeping be better for you?"

"I don't know; I've never seriously tried sleeping longer. But I seem to thrive on the six to seven hours a night that I get."

I chirped in, "Of course, not all the time that he is in bed is he sleeping!"

Norman said, "Obviously. They say at eighteen you are at your most virile. Both you guys are going to find it harder and harder to get it up."



I said, "That's why we can't miss any opportunities now."

"Bingo!" said Tim. "So it's off to bed. Well, actually, to the bedroom for study. Come and sit with me Charlie, please."

I was delighted. As we got into his room he started taking off his clothes. Well, with Tim starting to take off his clothes and actually having them off are practically the same thing. Completely naked, he faced me. "I'm going to study like this. I only have about an hour's work. By the end of that hour I expect you to be naked, hot, and hard. Then I want to fuck you. Please."

I said, "Let's see just how sexy your studying is. But I'll admit that you have me started on two out of the three."

He took my hand and pulled me till he could place it on his dick. "Hot and hard." But with that he turned, sat down at his desk, opened a book, and was lost.

But he was right, watching him was sexy, and soon I was beginning to strip myself in anticipation. There was a knock on the door. Without even thinking about the situation we were in Tim called, "Come in." His mother walked in, looked around, and smiled. Tim was at his desk, nude, with his back to Betsy. She was more or less at my side, as I stood there naked except for Jockey shorts and pants down about my knees.

Betsy looked at me, then at Tim, then back at me, and my obvious tent. She smiled and said, "You seem to be embarrassed, Charlie. Gee, I don't think you guys are quite as liberated as you think you are." Then she turned to Tim and asked him a question about Carl's summer plans-obviously the reason she had come upstairs. Answer received, she turned, kissed me on the cheek, and left, smacking my butt as she went by.

I said to Tim, "Do you believe that?"

"Yes." He was immediately lost in his book again!

Tim and I had found little desire for anal sex. I had fucked him once, to our mutual enjoyment, but neither of us had expressed a desire to repeat. At that time we had talked about Tim fucking me, but nothing had ever come of it. Well, here it was. I was certainly willing, and even eager to try a new experience. Even if I hadn't been, I would've granted Tim's wish. Contemplation kept me completely aroused for the hour.

Tim's studying was just on schedule. He had read for about a half hour and then wrote some paper, about two pages. Then he closed his books, packed up everything for the next day, turned and faced me, and said, "OK?"

It was as if the hour hadn't existed. I said, "OK" and he pulled me down on the bed. He was all over me with hands and mouth. I was completely aroused by his ministrations, and if he had kept them up much longer I would've come. But he turned his attention to my anus, pushing my knees up over his shoulders. KY and fingers quickly mixed, and he was soon exploring inside me. With two fingers in he found my prostate-a completely new experience for us.

My body's jerking told Tim that he had found his target. He asked, "How do you like that Charlie?"

"It's different. It's sexy. But frankly my dick in your mouth is more exciting-at least to this little gay boy."

"Little you aren't-that's me. Gay you are. But according to conventional wisdom you are in the minority of big gay boys, most of whom prefer fucking."

"How about you?"

"How many times have I asked you to fuck me since that one time?"


"Is that a sufficient answer?"

"For now. How about when you are on top?"

"We haven't gotten there yet. Are you ready?"

"For you? Always and all the time."

"Here we go. Tell me if it hurts, you want me to slow down or speed up, whatever."

"This is your show. I'll tell you if I have a problem."

He was hard as a rock. He pushed his penis up against my anus, and slowly pushed it in. He would back up and push, but generally he just pushed in. It hurt a little but not much. The fact that I was much bigger certainly helped in that department. The fact that he was slow and loving made a bigger difference. Soon he was all the way in, with his pubic hair hard against me. "OK?"


He pulled out about half-way and pushed in again. Several times. It didn't hurt; it didn't turn me on; it didn't turn me off. "Would you like my hand on your dick," he asked.

"This is your show."

His hand found my dick and stroked it as he pushed in and out of my butt. "Can I go faster? Harder."

"Yes. It's your show."

"I don't want to hurt you."

"If you don't hear from me, go anyway you want. No holding back unless I ask."

All at once he was frantically banging in and out. It hurt a little, but not much. He was so involved in his own actions that his hand came off my dick and held up his torso. Push; pull. Push; pull. Push; pull. PUSH. Collapse on top of Charlie. We grabbed each other and kissed as hard as we ever had. We held it a long time, and then slowly relaxed.

"Charlie, you haven't come. Do you want to fuck me?"

"Suck me."

He did, with as much violence as he had fucked me. It was wonderful. Soon we were hugging and kissing again. Then we fell, exhausted, side by side on the bed.



"Did you like that?"


"Both the fucking and the sucking?"


"So did I," he said.

"Is that what you would like to do every night?"

"No. I like everything."

"So do I."

"I guess we just fuck when we feel like it."

"Right. We have only felt like it two or three times since your birthday."

"We'll just have to see how often we feel like it."


"Did you feel pushed into doing that?"

"No, Tim, I felt invited. Asking isn't pushing."

"But I didn't ask. I just said I wanted to fuck you."

"You said, 'Please,' as you always do. Between lovers, that's asking. And never hesitate to ask."

"But then you shouldn't hesitate to say, 'No.'"

"Tim, I learned the hard way in college that saying 'No,' to the reasonable requests of your lover is the wrong thing to do. I'll always say 'Yes,' if I can."

"But, Charlie, knowing that makes it hard for me to ask for things."

"Tim, I remember your parents talking about raising you. They said they always tried to say 'Yes' to your requests, and that if they had to say "No" they always gave a reason. And you and Carl learned not to ask for things that you knew they couldn't say 'Yes' to. Do you hesitate to ask your parents for reasonable things, just because you think they'll say 'Yes"?


"Then don't hesitate to ask me in the same way. It would hurt me a lot if I thought you held back."

"I'll say the same thing to you, Charlie."

"I know, Tim. Now suck me again, and we'll go to sleep."

He did, and we did. The alarm went off ten minutes early the next morning. Tim shook me awake and said, "You got an extra one last night. Suck me now. Hard." I did. His ten minutes early was about four minutes more than was needed! That was OK, I got four extra minutes in the shower.

Study (Tim), practice (both of us), eat (with Betsy and Norman), make love (both of us), sleep (when we weren't doing the other things) made up our days, and nights. I concentrated on my archery, in anticipation of the meet in Cedar Rapids, now about a week away. My scores had risen, and I was now often breaking 1200 and 1225 rarely. My personal best was 1232. I was going to need a fairly consistent 1250 to be a serious Olympic contender. However, my scores were good enough that I would look quite good at the regional meet in Cedar Rapids.

The meet weekend arrived. Norman and Betsy were coming with us following Tim's swim meet. Tina, Hal and Sue were all at the meet and told us that they were coming to Cedar Rapids as well! That was certainly more than I expected. In any case, the meet ended a little early and we were off in Hal's folks' big station wagon by 3:00 p.m. Tim knew about all of this, but hadn't given me a clue. I just thought it would be he and I, and I had thought Mom and Dad might come, but they hadn't said anything. Now we were seven strong.

At a little over half-way we were in Decorah, Iowa, about the only town of significance we would pass through in Iowa. We found a pleasant looking café on the main street and stopped for dinner. Norman played host, and invited us to eat well-he led off by ordering a steak. I think all of the boys followed suit. I started conversation by expressing surprise that Hal and Sue and Tina had decided to come. Hal wouldn't even discuss the matter: "Charlie, we've been supported by you in so many ways, how could we not come? When Tim told us of this meet, we simply cleared our calendar. My parents wanted to come, but Dad had a commitment that he simply couldn't get out of."

"Your parents?"

"Of course. They feel a tremendous debt to you-I think even more than I do. I think that the old Hal worried them more than it did me."

Norman said, "You folks need to be thinking about sleeping arrangements for tonight. You are going to be my guests."

Hal said, "You really don't have to pay for us, we have the money. But thanks. The three of us were planning on sharing a room. I don't see why that should change just because you are kind enough to pay the bill."

Norman said, "I've given up worrying about the sleeping arrangements with you kids."

Betsy said, "It's not the world I grew up in. And I'm happy about that, Tim and Charlie wouldn't have made it in my world."

Tim said, "Are we bunking with you?"

Norman said, "It's up to you. However you feel comfortable."

"As in Nevis?"

"As in Nevis. That was you and your brother, remember."

"You treat Charlie like a son, remember."

"I do. Betsy does. We'll be comfortable sharing a room with you. How about you, Charlie."

"I'd be delighted."

"It's settled."

Dinner ended, and we were back in the wagon for the last two and a half hours. We arrived about 9:30, and checked into the Cedar Rapids Hotel. Dad checked the whole party in, asked for two double rooms, and nothing was said about who was in the party. The rooms were adjoining with connecting doors. We gathered in Hal's for brief conversation and plans for the next day. Tim said, "Breakfast will be at a restaurant that was recommended to me by Coach Nelson. 7:00 a.m. so that we can get Charlie to the meet before 9:00.

Hal said, "OK, everyone out. I have two beautiful women to sleep with and I want to get started."

As we left I heard Tina say, "I'm not sleeping alone. There is room in here for three of us." I didn't hear the replies, but I could guess!

Settled in our room Tim sat on the bed and said, "Look, everybody. Charlie knows the whole story of Nevis. We are all one family; the same rules apply here."

It was definitely time for bed and we quickly started undressing. Tim was, of course, the first one undressed. He sat down on the bed and stared at the rest of us. "This is going to be amusing," he said. "All you people talk a progressive line, but let's see how embarrassed you all are as you try to live it out."

To my surprise, Betsy was the next undressed. She simply said, "Women have an advantage," and walked to the bathroom. But before she went in she turned and looked at me and said, "No, I'm not going to let you off that easy. Charles, I'm going to stand here until you are naked as a jaybird and willing to face me-just like Tim. You too, Norman."

We complied. And neither of us was even a little soft. Tim giggled, and came over and kissed me.

We rotated through the bathroom and all settled in bed. All of us slept nude. Noises in the night made it clear that we all went to sleep doing what came naturally.

Six in the morning came early. We rotated quickly through the shower, dressed without paying much attention to each other, and met Hal, Sue and Tina in the lobby. Tim knew the way to the restaurant so he drove. When we got there, the front door was guarded by two huge men who looked remarkably like Franklin and Phil, and, in fact, were Franklin and Phil. "What are you doing here?" I asked.

"Come to watch you win your match," said Franklin. "Let's go in and eat."

He led the way to a back room, and when I entered I couldn't believe my eyes. The whole Gang was here, not just the original 8, but the whole 14. Nobody was missing. Even more, Mike was there; my parents were there; Hal's parents were there; Franklin's parents were there. My eyes were so full of tears I couldn't see, and I was far beyond speech. I finally got out, "Thank you all. I hope that I can recover before I have to shoot my first arrow."

Tom stood and spoke, "There is a breakfast buffet at the side table; go fill your plates. Charlie, you and Tim first. Then I have some things to say. But we don't have a lot of time, so get your food and start eating."

It was a simple buffet, featuring scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and French toast. Tim filled my plate for me, knowing better than I what would be the best meal for an athlete two hours before the match. Soon everyone-I counted, there were 23-had breakfast and started eating. Tom rose again. "I promised the Gang that I wouldn't make a speech. But they all agreed that some things needed saying, and I was elected to say them. Charlie, it is our honor to support you today at your first real archery competition. You are starting down your own personal road to Mexico City. There is no way that you would let any of us travel such a road alone, and there is no way that we are going to let you travel that road alone. Or even with Tim. We had some telephone calls talking about who should be here; maybe just a few of us. Maybe Hal and Tim were enough. But nobody was willing to be left out. So we are all here. Half the parents of the Gang are here, yours, Tim's, Hal's and Franklin's. The others would've liked to be here and send you their love and support. But when we got down to it, we thought a cheering section of 22 for one archer was close to overdoing it. The Michigan parents will be there when you compete in Ohio or Michigan. Ronnie's folks really wanted to come, but their schedule simply wouldn't allow it. We all love you, Charlie. Go out and poke a lot of holes in the middle of those targets today."

I couldn't have given a speech if I had wanted to. "Thank you. I love you all," was all I could get out.

We drove in a caravan to the outskirts of town where the Cedar Rapids Archery Club was located. There I was hit with the second surprise of the day. Virtually the whole club from Des Moines was there. A couple were competing, but they made it clear that they were there for me. The club president said, "We are going with you all the way to Mexico, Charlie."

I wasn't able to say anything more to them than I had the Gang.

I registered for the match. I was told that since I had no record in F.I.T.A. competition that I would have to shoot "unclassified." That meant that I could only complete for the overall awards, not some of the lesser awards for novice and middle competitors-even if I was a novice. I didn't mind, I was really only there to see how my scores would hold up in real competition.

The President of the local club came up to me and said, "You know, you are quite the phenomenon. You are the first archer on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and you have never competed in a major archery meet. It's about time."

It was said kindly, and I replied. "It is about time. I'm glad to be here. But I didn't want to come until I felt I could make a respectable showing. As for the cover of SI, blame Tim for that. He was the one that told them that I was, or would be, a world class archer. I'm not sure that I believe that at all."

Tim walked over. "Don't let him fool you. He's terrific. He is going to lead the American archers in Mexico City. And he is coming home with a medal."

I don't think the President recognized Tim right away, and he was a little taken aback by Tim's comments. But he smiled and simply said, "Well, let's see how well he does today."

I would like to be able to tell you that I scored a 1240 and a personal best, perhaps getting one of the top four medals. I think that might've been what would have happened had the seven of us from the station wagon simply driven over and had me shoot. But this match proved, to me at least, Tim's firmly held belief that love and support were a major part of all success, including-and especially-athletic success. I walked on cloud nine through the entire match. Arrow after arrow went straight home into the ten ring. I could hardly miss. I didn't shoot a single arrow less than an eight, and they were rare-even at the longest distance. When the scores were added I had a 1257, far and away my personal best, the best for the match (by 12 points, a runaway), and very possibly a score high enough to medal at the Olympics! No one could believe it, first of all me. Except one person: Tim. He simply said, "I told you so. I told the whole world so." Then he kissed me, hard and long just as they were ready to hand me my medal. Mike got the picture, along with many more that day.

The kiss meant far more to me than the medal.

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