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Finding Tim

A Fourth Alternate Reality

by Charlie
With editorial assistance from Dix and John


We had about three weeks before we were due in Munich. Vlad and Tor had agreed to come at the same time as us - about a week before the competition. I'm not sure whether we were more eager to have time for sex or time for Tor and Tim to practice. I was pretty sure that there was going to be plenty of both.

Tim and I spent the three weeks in Sweden and Norway. I wanted to visit Narvik, north of the Arctic Circle. In the early days of World War II, Narvik had been the scene of both sea and land battles, crucial to the ultimate German occupation of Norway. On the verge of winning control of Narvik from the Germans, the European allies evacuated in order to make troops available elsewhere - the British were simply not able to maintain an additional front in the far north. The allied departure from Narvik opened the way for the German occupation of Norway. By the time we arrived in Narvik there was little evidence that a significant battle of the early war had been fought there. We did sense - in what we read and in talking to a few people - that they had a real sense of having been abandoned by the British during the war!

The Midnight Sun shines in Narvik until July 18, so we were able to see it for the first time in either of our lives. Of course, while it's light at midnight, it isn't much brighter at noon - it's just that the sun is low on the southern horizon at noon and on the northern horizon at midnight! Regardless of the explanation, it's very weird to go for three days without the sun ever setting. The third day we boarded the train again and headed south. To get to southern Norway, we had to ride into Sweden and head south there. Then back to the west to get to Oslo. Several days there, a train ride over the mountains to Bergen, a boat to Denmark, and back on the train to Germany. Two or three stops and we were meeting Tor and Vlad in Munich.

On our arrival in Munich we got a telephone call from Felix. Chrissy had been trying to reach us, and we were to call him in Washington. He gave us the number. I called Chrissy immediately - it was afternoon in Washington, and Chrissy was in his office at the court. "Well, how did it go in Boston?"

"My father was stunned. All I got out of him the evening I told him was, 'I have to think about this.' The next day we talked. He told me that after thinking about it all night he guessed he wasn't surprised. He knew I'd never had girlfriends, and he'd simply never bothered to put two and two together. Then he continued, 'You know, I know enough about this to know that you aren't ever going to change. So we're just going to have to figure out what it means for your life, and mine, I guess. You know, if your mother were still alive I think she would've figured it out. I'm a little slow.'

"Tim, by this time I was in tears. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. And all these years I'd been afraid of this moment. Dad continued, 'I doubt you want to strive to be the managing partner of a big Boston law firm - not the best place for a gay man, at least not a gay man who's out of the closet - I assume that that's where this is headed? Right?'

"I was in tears again. He was talking about me coming out without my ever mentioning it. Then Dad dropped his biggest bomb: "Christopher, I think that the safest place for you is in your own firm. And probably not in Boston - they're snobs here. And I'll have to be honest, I could be hurt by an out, gay, lawyer son. I could deal with it, but why should either of us? Where have you thought about practicing?'

"I told him Chicago. He was delighted. He's going to finance our practice."

"Our? I asked."

"Orville and I are going to set up shop in Chicago. Housekeeping and a law firm. Dad's going to be the silent financial partner in the law firm. Orville and I are going to pay for the house. Oh, God, Charlie, I'm in love."

I said, "It sounds wonderful, Chrissy, but this is a trans-Atlantic phone call, and I think we'd better end it. I'll see you in September. Give my love to Orville. And your Dad. Goodbye."

I shared this news with Tim. We were both overjoyed, and eager to see Chrissy and meet Orville in October.

Tor's story of the last three weeks was incredible. Immediately after we'd left he'd found a small circus that was performing around Stockholm. He'd convinced the owner - and the trapeze flyers - that they should let him practice with them for the next three weeks. He would pay his way with labor, and would perform to the extent that they might be able to use him.

Just like Tim, they had immediately put him to work on the trampoline, where he was quite good and very entertaining. As soon as the tent was up in the morning, and especially on those mornings when they didn't move, they taught him to fly. Unlike Tim's work on the single trapeze, Tor was soon flying between two, being caught by Karl; Karl of the biggest, strongest hands you had ever seen. Tor said that he'd never been as scared in his life as the first time they had him let go from one trapeze and be caught by Karl who was hanging from the other. No flips, no frills, just swing, let go, and be caught. And he was! And after his heart had gotten back to normal, he found he loved it. By the end of the first week, he was going back and forth easily. By the end of the second week he was doing a sommersault as he went back and forth. On the day before he had to leave for Munich he did a double! Karl insisted that Tor was the best pupil he'd ever had. Of course, Tor was in perfect physical shape and his gymnastics training was the best possible background for the trapeze. But still - a double in two weeks! Of course, there had been many misses with the attendant trip to the net and having to climb back up the ladder. But Tor had never tired. What's more, he overcame his fear.

"Now, Tim," said Tor, after he'd told about his circus work, "you must help me change my high bar routine to take advantage of how I have progressed."

Tim and Tor worked hours, and Tor made gigantic strides in his program. He seemed to have totally lost his fear: he was willing to try anything that Tim would. I was afraid that the two together would lose touch with reality and start trying stunts that really were dangerous. But that didn't happen. Both seemed to have a firm understanding of the limits of the human body, and though I'm quite certain that they were both convinced that their human bodies were the ultimate test of human limits, they pushed only so far. They could, and did, scare the Hell out of everybody watching!

The US coach, who had arrived with the rest of the US team about three days after Tim and I had arrived, was visibly upset at the whole thing. First, here was his star gymnast seemingly trying to kill himself on the high bar. And then the idea that Tim was coaching a member of the Swedish team was simply beyond his comprehension. Tim simply replied, "I want everybody to do their best. If their best is better than my best, then I'm happy that they get the medal. It sounded reasonable to Tim; to the coach and much of the rest of the team it sounded insane. Billy would have completely understood! As for the scare tactics on the high bar? Nobody could ground Tim.

Tor and Tim were magnificent in the competition - especially on the high bar. On that no one even came close to them. Their moves were so spectacular that virtually everything going on in the gym stopped when either one of them mounted the bar. They were so closely matched that it wasn't clear who'd get the individual gold for the high bar until Tim's last routine, when he got the gold by the closest margin you could imagine. Tim and Tor dominated the entire meet, going one, two in the individual medley. Tim ended with four golds, a silver and a bronze. Tor had three silvers. For two athletes to so dominate an entire meet was unheard of. They carried their two teams into first and second place as well. After that showing, Tim's coach and teammates seemed willing to forgive his "consorting with the enemy."

By now the phrase "world champion" was almost routine to Tim. But at night after the medal ceremony he came back to the room - he and I had beaten Tor and Vlad back - and said, "Charlie, I can't believe that I'm a world champion. I still feel like a little kid back in Minneapolis; in love with my camp counselor and winning high school meets. Is all this for real?"

All I could do was kiss him. My wonderful kid. And I felt like we were back in Minneapolis, living with his parents, and going to high school diving and gymnastics meets. Then Vlad and Tor came bouncing in, ready to party with the teams, have a glorious victory dinner, and then retire to our room for a final night of....

Life was good.

The next morning Tim had a suggestion for the rest of our trip. "Charlie, there are six little countries in Europe. Luxembourg is the biggest and we've been there; then there are Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, the Vatican, and Andorra. Let's visit them all."

Well, we had about three weeks. We had to go somewhere; why not Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, the Vatican, and Andorra? Why not, indeed? So we said goodbye to Vlad, Tor, the US team, and the Swedish team, which we'd gotten to know almost as well as the US team. After insisting that Vlad and Tor visit us in Washington if they ever came to the US, we were off. Liechtenstein, nestled between Austria and Switzerland, was our first stop. We got there early the next day. There wasn't much to Liechtenstein but a castle, and it could've been in Austria or Switzerland. But it was in a separate country. We were staying in Vaduz, and it was about a mile walk to the Swiss border and about 5 miles to the Austrian border. We ran to Switzerland and walked - very fast - to the Austrian border. We spent the night, decided that the one thing that was important about each of the little countries was having sex, promptly took care of that issue for Liechtenstein, slept, rose early the next morning, boarded the train and set off for Italy.

There's no train to San Marino. The nearest railroad station was Rimini on the Adriatic coast. We headed there, arriving early afternoon. We found an inexpensive hotel and headed for the beach and water. We swam, ran, and sunned. We didn't have a lot of interest in seeing much of the town, but we did walk around a little before dinner. The next morning we boarded the bus for San Marino. The city of San Marino sits on a mountain, but you enter the country down on the plain and then climb the mountain. It was a quaint town, not significantly different from other European and Italian towns. However, it was special just because it was a nation unto itself - the third smallest in Europe. We walked all over the town, finding a hotel, and then continuing our walk. We entered the Basilica del Santo, near the Plazza Publico. Both Tim and I were immediately awed by the Basilica. Long and fairly narrow, it captured the eye and drew your vision forward to the altar. It was quite beautiful, but more importantly it seemed extraordinarily peaceful. The space was utterly silent, except as our footsteps sounded on the stone floor when we moved around. Without saying anything to each other, we both found that we were drawn to a pew and sat together, just absorbing the calm of the place.

Both Tim and I had grown up in churchgoing families, but had pretty much abandoned the church because of its attitude toward homosexuality. After the commitment service in the Unitarian Church we'd briefly considered attending or joining the Unitarians. But time pressures kept us from even visiting once while we were in Minneapolis. There was no Unitarian church or fellowship in Grand Forks. But, that didn't mean that we weren't religious. Both Tim and I felt a need that wasn't being met; a yearning for some kind of contact with God, or the divine, the unknown. We'd talked about this, but never acted upon it. Now, sitting in this church, we both seemed to feel drawn to...what? God? I don't know.

Of course, it was the building, the architecture, the art, that caught us. The religious institution of the Roman Catholic Church did nothing for us. Its positions on sex, women, marriage, and so many other things were simply of another era, another time, perhaps another world. They made no sense in the second half of the twentieth century. Nevertheless, in that place, at that time, we had a religious experience that we can't really explain. It wasn't repeated in any of the other churches or cathedrals we visited on the trip. We could never explain what it was about the San Marino Basilica that caught us up. But something did.

Dinner; hotel; sex; sleep; bus to Rimini; train to Rome. Rome! The site of Tim's first international athletic triumph! The Eternal City. Just being there again was a powerful experience. Here we were, two young men from the American Midwest, on our own in Europe, visiting the grand city of Rome. We felt overwhelmed. We found an old, but quite grand, hotel near the railroad station. We got a huge room with an equally huge bed, its own bath, and a view of the plaza in front of the railroad station. I think the room was cheaper because of the noise from the station, but we didn't care; we loved watching the activity that went on at all hours.

The shower was unique. The bathroom was large, with a pedestal sink and toilet. Off to the side was a shower head that simply aimed the water to an open area at the end of the bathroom. The water flowed to a drain not far from the toilet. If you were anywhere in the room when the shower was on, you got splashed! It was wonderful for two gay boys who loved to play in the shower. And play we did! If your imagination needs help thinking about that situation, you shouldn't really be bothering with this story! Our imaginations were equally fertile; and the hotel evidently had endless hot water! Oh, God, did we love Rome!

The next morning we headed for Vatican City - the smallest nation in Europe, and in fact the world. We crossed the totally unmarked border between Italy and Vatican City as we entered St. Peter's square. As we stood looking at the grand cathedral and square, Tim whispered in my ear: "OK, just exactly where and how are we going to have sex in this country?"

"Beats the Hell out of me, but keep your eyes open, maybe we'll get an idea. I want to do better than a men's room."

We walked around the museum, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's, and as much of the Vatican as was open to the public - not much. One time as we simply walked into a passageway from the street near St. Peter's, we were stopped by a Swiss Guard in the most preposterous costume you can imagine. He spoke no English, but easily communicated that where we were wasn't where we were supposed to be, and that the door to the rear was where we should be headed. We headed there, promptly.

In St. Peter's we found that we could go up on the roof to the foot of the dome. We could walk around pretty extensively, and we found a secluded area on the far side of the dome where we were quite alone. We decided that removing clothing wouldn't be the smartest thing we might do, but Tim came up behind me, slipped his hand around inside my belt in the front, grabbed my dick, and jacked me off quite easily. We turned around and I did the same thing to him. We couldn't decide if the sticky mess in both of our undershorts was erotic, annoying, or disgusting. In any event, we made our way back to the hotel, to the wonderful shower, and washed both ourselves and our undershorts. We were so delighted with the room, the bed, and the shower that we extended our stay another day. We took a sightseeing tour the next day that really did show us a lot of Rome - much more than we'd have seen on our own. The evening went pretty much as you might imagine, and the next day we were back in a train for an overnight trip to Monaco.

We both had visions of being the man who broke the bank in Monte Carlo. We also had visions of being one of the large horde of persons whose bank was broken in Monte Carlo! We each decided on a limit of $20 that we might lose in the casino. We both chose the roulette wheel, mainly because it's the easiest to understand. It also allows very small bets, which prolonged our gaming. In about two hours Tim was broke; well, the $20 was gone. On the other hand, I'd been pretty lucky, and had about $50 to my name. I gave Tim $21 to hold for me, so that no matter what happened to the rest, I'd come out a winner. I decided to try my luck at blackjack, and my luck held! Again, visions of breaking the bank had to give way to reality. At about $200 ahead I began to lose, and decided to quit. I left the casino almost $175 ahead; considering Tim's loss of $20, we'd made about $150. It more than paid the hotel bill in Monaco - which was more than a bit higher than the good deal we had in Rome. A lot smaller room, with a shower so tiny it was lucky one of us could get into it.

I fucked Tim, in honor of my winnings. I threatened not to let him come, in honor of his losses, but I couldn't resist sucking that wonderful little dick of his!

The next day started a really interesting adventure. We had only limited information about getting to Andorra, the tiny country nestled in the Pyrenees between France and Spain. There's no train service, so we'd have to take a train to the nearest point and take a bus. As far as we could tell from the map, we could approach from Toulouse heading to l'Hospitalet. Or we could approach from Perpignan, which was along the Mediterranean coast, convenient by train from Monaco. Going this way we'd switch to the bus at le Tour de Carol. None of this geography meant anything to us, and we couldn't read the French in the train literature we had. But it seemed the way to go, so off we went. There's regular train service along the coast so we got to Perpignan with no trouble. From there we found local service, on a decidedly downscale train. In Minnesota we called trains like this milk runs. As we left the coast the scenery was beautiful, the towns quaint, the few people on the train friendly, and the day incredibly enjoyable.

Our train ended at Villafranche, where we changed to what might be the oddest train in Europe. I suppose that's an exaggeration, and since then we have seen some pretty unusual trains, especially in the Alps. But it was the oddest train either Tim or I had ever seen. It had some open coaches, but most were closed with large windows. The seats were wooden, but surprisingly comfortable. It was an electric train that ran by power from a third rail. I leave safety issues to your imagination; at least the rail was partially covered by a wooden box. I don't think we moved over 20 or 25 miles per hour, but we did move, and eventually got to the little town of le Tour de Carol, a border town between France and Spain, with bus connections to Andorra. The bus was evidently timed to go with the train, and soon we were off to Andorra. We stayed in a little bed and breadfast we found in the main town, Andorra. We walked all over the country - up the main, and only, road through the country the first day, visiting the other little towns.

We learned a little about the country. It uses both French and Spanish currency, has two postal systems (one linked to the French Post Office issuing stamps in francs, the other linked to the Spanish Post Office issuing stamps in pesetas, and three languages: Catalan (the official language), French and Spanish. The chiefs of state are, jointly, the President of France and the Spanish Bishop of Urgell. Odd, odder, but perhaps not oddest!

The second day we headed into the countryside, which meant up. We followed an easy trail up into the mountains where meadows with flowers and sometimes sheep were common. It was cool, while most of Europe was boiling in a hot summer, and seemingly devoid of people. As we hiked up a little pass and turned into a huge meadow we were faced with a riot of wildflowers, mostly yellow, but a goodly number of orange and blue. It was almost hypnotic in its beauty. We walked into the flowers - there didn't seem to be a trail, we couldn't help but step on flowers in order to move through the field. Not far in I took Tim's hand, pulled him to me, we hugged and kissed, squeezing each other hard, as we had learned that we both loved. Soon we had no clothes on, but before that led to the obvious, I suggested that we walk a ways and enjoy the freedom of no clothes. We hadn't seen another soul since we'd left the road, so we figured we were pretty safe. And even if we were observed, we didn't think anything would come of our being found frolicking naked among the flowers! We put our shoes on again, and stuffed our clothes in our little day packs into which we had also put a small lunch.

We walked on through the field, enjoying the sun, the pleasant breeze, the incredible beauty of the place, the mountain views. Then we almost stumbled on a young couple, who'd been hidden in the flowers, coupling. They looked up and saw us at almost the same time we saw them. None of us had clothes on - though we had shoes and they didn't. We immediately put our day packs in front of our genitals, and they each grabbed a piece of clothing to cover up.

Then we all started laughing. Soon our attempts at covering up were defeated by our laughter, and we stood, while they sat, laughing and looking. As things settled down, we started to get dressed, but the boy said, "No, no. Leave your clothes off; we'll talk."

I don't know whether we were more surprised by the suggestion or by the perfect English. Tim answered with a tentative, "OK." followed by, "Your English is perfect."

"I'm half American, half Spanish. Name's Fred. This is Sarita; she's all Spanish, and speaks only a little English."

We introduced ourselves, and since first names were all they'd used, our lack of surnames wasn't noticed. There was no recognition of who we might be, for which we were thankful.

Tim got brave, "I don't think you finished what you were doing."

"No, we didn't. But we have all day. We certainly weren't expecting company."

I said, "Neither were we, or we'd have had our clothes on."

"Are you homosexuals? Well, I guess that's obvious."

"Doesn't that bother you?"

"No. I guess I should say, 'Some of my best friends're homosexuals,' or something like that. But honestly, I don't know any homosexuals. I assume you're nice people, right."

I thought to myself, "This guy's meeting gays for the first time; he's sitting there naked with his girl friend; we're naked and staring at him as hard as he's staring at us; this scene wouldn't play in a novel - it would be considered too improbable."

Tim must've been thinking about the same thing when he said, "This is somewhat of an unusual situation. Where do we go from here? Perhaps it's time to put some clothes on."

"No, no," said Fred again. Then there was an exchange in Spanish between the two of them. "Sarita wants to know if you have lunch in your bags."

I said, "We do."

Fred said, "Let's eat." He opened his pack - larger than ours - and got out a large cloth, about the same size as the one they'd been laying on to fuck. He put it next to theirs and invited us to sit down. We all got out our sandwiches and proceeded to eat one of the stranger lunches Tim and I have ever eaten. Fred talked about himself and Sarita. There were engaged, and would be married in the fall in Barcelona, where they lived. He worked in a bookstore there and she worked for the telephone company. He'd graduated about three years before from St. Mary's College in Maryland - a small school, but part of the public college system of Maryland - I'd never heard of it. His mother was Spanish and his father American. He'd grown up in both countries as his family had gone back and forth.

Sarita had grown up in Barcelona, hadn't gone to college, had worked for the telephone company for five years, and seemed to be incredibly happy having caught the handsome American who was also Spanish. They seemed happy together.

It was all very normal, except that we were all naked and seemed to have no inhibitions. Then Sarita surprised us all by saying, "OK. Lunch is over. Fred and me finish what we were doing. Then we watch you. OK?"

Fred seemed as surprised as we were. But we both remembered that it had been Fred who'd insisted that we leave our clothes off. He said, "Would that bother you, I mean our watching you two have sex?"

I decided to leave that for Tim to answer.

Tim waited for me, and then realized that I was leaving it up to him. He said, "OK, but let's continue our hike for a little while. Do you know this area? Where can we hike to where we won't run into more people?"

Fred replied, "I didn't expect to run into anybody here. But the higher we go the less likely to meet anyone. If we go that way, pointing upward, there're some nice secluded areas on up. It might take us a half an hour to get where I'm thinking of."

We gathered up our things and set off. From time to time Sarita would move close to Fred and either goose him, or tweak his dick. She seemed totally uninhibited by our presence. Fred would tweak her tits, and once he stopped and kissed her, letting his hand roam pretty pointedly at her genitals. They didn't seem to have many inhibitions.

Then Sarita approached me and pointed to my dick. "Can I?"

Tim was watching, and he said, "That's mine. And, 'Yes, you may'."

She tickled my balls and then tweaked my dick, leaving me pretty aroused and quite hard. Tim got the same treatment, after she'd asked me for permission. She turned to Fred and said something in Spanish. Fred grinned and then said, "She told me to ask if I could do the same thing. I'm not sure I want to."

Tim moved over to Fred and tweaked his dick. "I know you aren't gay, but it's fun. Come here, Charlie, tickle his balls. I did, and we soon were joined by Sarita. The three of us got Fred pretty excited pretty fast. Then he turned and we set off hiking. Soon we entered a wooded area where the ground under some old trees was bare except for a thick, soft layer of leaves. Fred didn't bother with a cloth, but took Sarita and helped her to the ground. Then he mounted her missionary style and they took their time in what looked like a perfectly wonderful fuck. When they were finished they kissed, long and hard, and then turned, sat up, and clearly were waiting for us.

We'd been sitting as we watched; Tim push me down on my back, and knelt above my head, with his lips just meeting mine. We kissed, and then he crawled forward to where he could suck my nipples, and I could his. He moved further and we were sucking dicks. As I sucked I played with Tim's balls, but Tim was holding himself up with his hand, so he couldn't play with my balls. He said, "Fred and Sarita, tickle his balls for me."

They got on opposite sides of us and each tickled one of my balls. My God, what a sensation. Tim got dessert pretty swiftly, and I got mine very soon after. Tim collapsed on me, wiggled around so we were face to face, and we kissed. I think what I finally swallowed was half Tim and half me. At least that was the goal.

Fred said, "That was quite an experience. I've never touched another man's balls before."

Tim said, "And I'll bet no man has touched yours. We can fix that, can't we Charlie?"

We did, and before long Fred came in our expert hands. Sarita just laughed.

We got dressed and headed back to town. They were staying at one of the other little villages, so once we got to the main road we headed in different directions. We didn't exchange names or addresses. We never saw them again. It was a perfectly delightful encounter, and I think that they were as pleased with it all as we were. We slept that night spooned together, quietly talking about the strange events of the day, but not feeling the need for more sex. Lots of kisses, though.

Our time in Europe was drawing to a close. We'd done the six little countries, Andorra being the last. Now we headed to Spain - by bus to Urgel and then train to Madrid. A quick visit there, then an equally quick visit to Lisbon. Then a fast train to Paris for our final stop. We were there three days. Back home as we told of our trip people couldn't believe that we spent as much time in Andorra as we did in Paris! Honestly, we enjoyed Andorra more.

The big event in Paris was a visit to the American Express Co. office to pick up mail. There was the letter from Felix. I stared at the envelope, knowing what was inside, and not being sure I wanted to open it. Tim observed all this, grabbed the envelope, tore it open, glanced at the letter, passed it to me, and said, "When're you going to come to terms with the fact that you're wonderful?"

I read the letter and the enclosed notice from the Bar Examiners. I had passed. No, Tim wouldn't want me to put it that way: I had the top score for the session. A phenomenal score, made more so by the fact that I'd taken it just two weeks after graduation. Sherm would be delighted. In fact, he already was. Felix had listed all of the people he'd told. Not to be on Felix' list was to live in Outer Mongolia. Tim at least understood my embarrassment at hearing of Felix' town crier routine. I hadn't really been worried, but that didn't mean that from time to time on the trip I hadn't stewed about what failing to pass would do to my Washington career.

Neither of us was particularly attracted to Paris. I know, "Paris is for lovers." While we didn't feel hostility, we never felt that "Paris was for gay lovers." Too big, too impersonal. Americans were not generally liked. Our departure wasn't sad - except that it meant that the trip had finally come to an end. We took the train to Luxembourg where we connected with Icelandic Airlines to Reykjavik and New York. We had one day in New York. We'd both been there before, so we headed to our favorite spots: the Empire State Building and the United Nations. We'd found a flight to Chicago that left about 1:30 a.m., making about three stops. It was virtually a cargo flight, except that at its last stop, Cleveland, it filled with passengers and became a regular early morning flight to Chicago. We got in there about 7:45 and quickly connected to Minneapolis.

The very late departure from New York meant that we could see a New York show, and would you believe that we chose Oh! Calcutta? It wasn't the first off-Broadway show to feature nudity, but it was the first that was both financially successful and avoided a brush with the law. It was also our first exposure to nudity and frank sex on the stage. They didn't do anything that the Gang hadn't done, and they didn't say anything that the Gang hadn't said, but the Gang hadn't done it or said it on stage to a large audience! And, let's face it, Tim and I were children of the Midwest. This was New York, and things were different. With our move to the East Coast soon at hand, we were going to learn just how different. Oh! Calcutta was just a taste.

We were back at Mom and Dad's home in Minneapolis. It would soon be the middle of September and we had a week to get to Washington. The first stop was Grand Forks where we found Billy and Sara settled into our house. They were, with our permission, living in our bedroom. They'd indicated that they would move out when we were in town, but we said that we'd either stay in the guestroom or with Felix. Much to his delight we choose Felix. We rented a small U-Haul trailer and packed up what we would need in Washington - mainly books, clothes, and some athletic equipment for Tim. We didn't need furniture, dishes, or linens as they would be supplied in Winston House. We visited as many people as we could on campus, being careful to say goodbye to Tim's coaches and Prexy. I said my farewells to the folks at the Red Cross. We were invited for dinner at Fred Milson's and who did we find there but my mom? After a hug, kiss, and the usual greetings, I said, "I thought you'd be at the cabin."

"Fred and I were there quite a bit this summer. We even got down to Indianapolis a couple of times. And I've spent quite a bit of time here."

I said, "Fred, when're you going to marry this lady?"

"I've asked, and there's a standing offer. She seems to like the present relationship. She says it's very '1970s'."

Mom said, "I figure if I can have a gay son, I can have a straight boyfriend. Tell you what. When you and Tim manage to get married, Fred and I will."

"Mom, you know Tim and I would get married in a minute."

"So will Fred and I. Deal?"

Tim said, "Deal. And I hope it happens real soon, but it won't."

Fred said, "You're right, Tim. The world isn't ready. It will be someday, however. And your mom and I are happy the way we are. Besides, it riles up all the right people!"


Mom said, "Your sister-in-law for sure."

"I assume you mean Anita?"

"Of course. She'll hardly speak to me, and she won't speak to Fred."

"I think I'm the lucky one," said Fred.

"Wayne and Irma made it to the cabin this summer. The four of us had a good time. Oh, yes. A young man named Dick came by the cabin looking for you. I told him where you were and that I didn't expect you to make it to Michigan this summer. He looked disappointed, but asked me to tell you that he had come by. He seemed eager to have me tell you that things were going well for him."

I said, "We'll call him on the telephone as soon as things settle down for us. He's a nice young man and I'm glad things are going well."

Mom asked, "Is he gay? Does going well relate to his being gay?"

"Yes, he's gay," said Tim. "But I don't know specifically what he's referring to when he says things are going well. Probably something to do with his sexuality."

The conversation turned to our trip through Europe. Tim and I could talk on and on about the trip, and I think we did. I won't repeat the conversations here.

Hal and Sue were in town and the four of us went to the Western, which I don't think Tim and I had visited since his high school days. It hadn't changed - including some of the waitresses. We were recognized, and they made a big fuss over us. Somebody knew Hal, and the fact of his Olympic Gold outweighed the fact that he was from St. Paul, and they made a fuss over him as well. Finally we got a booth in a corner and were able to have some private conversation.

Hal was eager to talk about the Vietnam War. The anti-war movement was growing throughout the country, and especially on campuses. In general, this had passed North Dakota by, but we weren't unaware of what was going on in the world. However, with the schedules Tim and I had, we simply didn't have time to be more than "aware" of the war. Hal wasn't so isolated. The most important thing on Hal's mind was his lottery number. It hadn't been clear, as he had a sort of "middle" number, but now that he was out of college he was subject to the draft, and his lottery number had been high enough to keep him out. "Charlie, I feel guilty that someone else is going and I'm not, but there's simply no way that I could go to Vietnam. This war is evil."

"I know how you feel, Hal. Tim and I feel guilty as well. After all, we're being kept out because we're gay, and that's an even poorer excuse than you have. At least you were in the lottery and avoided the draft fair and square. Some straight kid may get killed because the Army's prejudices against gays kept us, and others, from going to Vietnam. But we feel the same way as you - there's no way that we could go to Vietnam."

Tim said, "What about the rest of the gang?"

"Franklin and Phil are gay, and the Army has admitted it. Ronnie and Kyle are exempt thanks to strings pulled by the laboratory where they work. They're considered a vital national laboratory, and key scientists are exempt. Evidently they're good enough to fall into that category. The military aspects of that laboratory are Top Secret, so I don't know much. Jim and Andy both got lottery numbers so high that they have known for some time that they wouldn't be drafted. Tom's joining the Air Force. It's a four year commitment, but he'll go to Officer Candidate School at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio and become an officer. He thinks his business degree may keep him stateside in some kind of paper-shuffling job. Who knows? He certainly doesn't. But it seems to be the best deal he can find. He doesn't want any part of Vietnam, nor of Canada. He's made a Faustian bargain and he knows it. He hopes it works out for the best. After OCS Nancy will be able to join him."

Tim said, "I can't believe what this war's doing to a whole generation."

I said, "It destroyed Johnson's presidency. And with his leadership on domestic issues, it should've been one of the best presidencies in a long time; perhaps second only to Roosevelt. It kept Hubert Humphrey from being president, and he'd have made a good one."

Hal said, "I think we should talk about happier things. Tell me about your plans for Washington."

Tim said, "We're going to take the city by storm. We'd be regular visitors at the White House if there were someone there we could stand to visit. I'd turn down invitations from Nixon. You know, Charlie's already had a command performance for the Chief Justice. That was after the two of us had lunch with the Chief Justice's wife."

Sue said, "Whoa, slow down. Let's have this in small bites, in a logical order."

We told the story in great detail. Hal responded with, "You really are going to take that city by storm. Sue and I are going to have to come and visit."

I said, "OK. Now tell us what you two are going to be doing this year."

Hal said, "We're off to Duke. It's where Sue's wanted to go for four years, and now she's going to get her chance. I'm looking for a Master's in Phys Ed."

"And I'm going for a Master's in Social Work. And we're going to run like the devil through the North Carolina countryside. Hal's looking forward to running in the western North Carolina mountains."

"That's a ways from Durham," I said.

"Yeah, but a lot closer than Norman is to something you can call a mountain. And without my being involved in college track, we're going to have a lot more free time."

"Hal, you're as dedicated to running as Tim is to diving and gymnastics. You'll never have any free time."

"Running is free time. It's when I think. When I plan. It's how I relax."

"No one else on earth could call running a marathon in two and a half hours a form of relaxation."

"It is, Charlie. It is."

Sue said, "He comes home and pumps his iron to keep his arms in shape."

Hal said, "Now that's work. I hate it, but I have to keep my whole body fit, and running doesn't do much for the biceps."

I said, "Hal, do you ever play shortstop anymore?"

He said, "Yeah, I played on the dorm baseball team. Shortstop. But they didn't like me to hit - I struck out too often!"

Same old Hal.

The next day we were en route to Madison where we planned to spend the night with Ronnie's parents, Frank and Adele. We needed to relax a little before what we knew would be an immediate whirlwind upon our arrival in Washington, so we were going to take our time driving across country. Of course, pulling the U-Haul was going to insure a fairly slow trip.

Frank and Adele had always insisted that we stop some time when we were headed through Madison, a reasonable expectation since Madison was on the main road from either Grand Forks or Minneapolis to Chicago and points east. We knew that Frank and Adele really meant their invitation, and we were delighted to have a chance to see them again. We arrived about four in the afternoon, had a chance to clean up, and then found ourselves deep in conversation as we waited to go out to dinner. Adele had said that she refused to cook for us, as then she'd miss out on much of the conversation.

There was a lot of conversation, centering on our trip to Europe, our plans for Washington, and reports on Ronnie's life in California. We were amazed and delighted at how comfortable they seemed at Ronnie's living arrangements - threesomes aren't necessarily accepted by family, especially parents. But Frank and Adele spoke of Kyle and Sharon as if they were their own children, and certainly welcome in the family. The three had spent three weeks in Madison in August, and everybody had had a chance to get to know each other better. We all agreed that it was sad that Kyle and Sharon were certain that their parents would be unable to accept who their children loved.

Dinner was at a delightful little family restaurant on the east side of town. We had pot roast, served family style. Lots of it, and delicious. Homemade pies were the speciality for dessert, and Tim and I split slices of blueberry and banana cream. Wonderful!

Then back home for more conversation before bedtime. We talked of the Gang's plans for the future, and how long it'd take before everyone descended upon Grand Forks. We all agreed that it would be most of a decade before we all managed to get there, and it wasn't clear that Merle and Tina were ever going to leave New York. It appeared that all the rest would eventually make it to North Dakota.

Then Frank said, "You know, I'm still laughing about what you two did to Ronnie the last time you were here. He was so certain that you'd go upstairs before you'd let him strip you, and then he was caught in his own web."

Adele said, "That was one sexy experience. Frank and I really got our libidos charged. Sex that night was better then it'd been in years."

These were parents of our friend and contemporary - old enough to be our parents. It wasn't exactly the conversation that we'd expected. Frank said, "Adele's been daydreaming about you two ever since. And you can bet that in those dreams you weren't wearing any clothes. I'm certainly the winner; those daydreams lead to some of the grandest sex we have ever had."

Adele said, "You've done your share of daydreaming as well; admit it."

"Yeah, I have. I guess watching Ronnie strip you two, and then get manhandled by you both, did get me aroused."

"Believe me, boys, it did," said Adele. "He was so hot that night he almost came before he entered me. Tim, you have always said that there's a little gay in everybody. That night proved it to Frank."

I said, "Just what kind of daydreams are we talking about?"

"I can't believe you need to ask that question," said Adele. She was sitting in a big overstuffed chair. There was room for Tim beside her, and she patted the seat, and motioned for him to sit down.

Tim glanced at me and got an affirmative nod. He got up from his seat and walked over to Adele's chair. He sat beside her, slightly on his side so he was partly facing her. He gently leaned over and kissed her, and she responded eagerly. They lay that way quite a while. Frank and I were sitting at opposite ends of the couch, and we just watched quietly, sometimes glancing at each other. Adele slowly reached out, took Tim's hand, and drew it to her crotch. Tim told me later that this was accompanied by the invasion of his mouth by her tongue. He moved his hand up to her breasts and massaged, while her hand found his crotch.

At about this time Frank slid over next to me, leaned over, and kissed me on the lips. His hand roamed first, and then both of us were massaging each other's genitalia. I decided that we were moving pretty fast and said, "Tim has shared a bit of advice with a lot of his friends - and their parents - and I think it applies here."

Adele said, "What's that?" With the beginning of conversation we had all separated a little and were sort of waiting.

Tim said, "Talk before you act. And if you can't talk about cunts, dicks, clits, and fucking then you shouldn't be touching them or doing it."

"That's putting it pretty bluntly," said Frank.

I said, "We tend to think of that as advice for teenagers, but it's good advice for the folks in this room as well."

Adele said, "The POGs all say that you two deliver good advice - to parents and their children. And that sounds like good advice."

Frank said, "So, I guess we talk."

Tim said, "I'm very uncomfortable. I certainly don't want to suggest that there was anything uncomfortable about what Adele and I were just doing. But then I think about our ages, and our relationship. I don't know."

I said, "Well, the only other time that I can remember our talking about even the possibility of sex with our parents' generation was in the van going to Boston with Hal, his parents, his coach, and his coach's wife. Coach Johnson refused to think about sex with Hal, or his friends, not so much because of age, but because of the position of trust created by his status as Hal's coach. That still didn't stop you from a little hanky panky in the middle seat!"

Tim said, "OK, I'll admit that. And Frank and Adele have no such position with us. And we are all clearly adults. But...."

Adele said, "And you two are Ronnie's friends. But let me point out that Ronnie's in a sexual relationship that's far stranger than anything the four of us might get involved in. He could hardly be critical of us, and he wouldn't be."

Frank said, "We've daydreamed, and, yes, we've talked a little about whether we'd enjoy actually having some kind of sexual relationship with you, if it worked out. But, boys, you have to understand: you two are two of the most handsome, sexy, and arousing male specimens either of us have ever seen. Besides, except for Ronnie, you're also the only ones we've seen naked. We're twenty to twenty-five years older than you, we can't possibly arouse you like you arouse us."

Adele said, "But, then, Ronnie has told us about Felix, and that got our hopes up."

I said, "Be honest, have you two talked to Ronnie about this?"


"And Kyle and Sharon?"


I said, "That must've been quite a conversation."

"Ronnie concluded, 'Three-way, cross generational - sex is sex. It's fun. As long as it's loving and not abusive, go for it."

Tim said, "That sounds like Ronnie."

I said, "Well, Tim's advice is talk about it before you do it. Just what do you two have in mind?"

Adele said, "Well, Frank and I have inter.... Wait, I'll use the same term I'd use with Frank. Frank and I fuck pretty regularly. But we don't do much else. And we rarely get out of the Frank-on-top position. The world thinks that it's up to the parents' generation to teach the children about the birds and the bees. I'm pretty sure that you two know more than we do. We'd like to leave it up to you two to be teachers. We promise to be good pupils."

They were. Actually we didn't do that much. We stood Adele up in the middle of the room and we guided Frank in undressing her. We had sort of a group grope, which Adele clearly loved, and we headed upstairs. When we got upstairs in their bedroom we all three stripped Frank. His dick was kind of little, and very cute. We told him so. Nobody likes to be told their dick is little, but he knew it. And he brightened up a lot when we spoke of how cute it was. Adele affirmed the cute. She said, "Frank, I don't have enough experience to talk about size. It's certainly big enough for me, and it was big enough to produce Ronnie."

"Now you two undress us," said Tim. They did, beginning with Tim. (Well, if you had a choice wouldn't you undress Tim first? Be honest.) I lay next to Adele and kissed her, sucked her nipples, worked down past her navel to her cunt, and drove my tongue in as far as I could. Then I eased out, turned to Frank, and said, "Your turn. Do the same thing."

I was pretty sure that Frank and Adele were new to oral sex. It soon became clear that was correct. Frank's movements down Adele's body got slower and slower the closer to her cunt he came. But he was a good sport and finally got there. Adele was very supportive, had great patience, and became so aroused when he finally hit her clit, that he got the message loud and clear. That gave him the courage to drive his tongue inside. We didn't let him stay long, because we didn't want her to have an orgasm yet.

Then we got Adele to do the same for Frank, ending with him in her mouth, but not coming. We eased Adele off, and Tim said, "Look, Frank is only going to come once, and it should be in your cunt, not your mouth. We want you to experience a dick coming in your moth, but it should be one of ours, or both. Then Frank is going to fuck you.

Adele said, "Oh, God. Are you really going to let me suck you like that?"

I said, "Yes, and Frank is going to as well."

Frank looked a little green at that. Tim said, "Yes, Frank, a little gay sex will be good for you. Remember your daydreams."

"I do. Lay down, Charlie. Let me experiment. Adele's been dreaming of sucking Tim, I know. She's told me so."

He moved from lips, to nipples, on down. He slowly took me in his mouth, and even more slowly began to use his tongue and moved his head up and down. Tim said, "Frank, he'll come before long. When he does, just hold him in your mouth. Continue stroking with your tongue. Relax. Then if you're comfortable, swallow it. If not, kiss him, and let him suck his cum out of your mouth."

It went just that way, until I had about half of my cum. Then Frank seemed to realize he was missing something and closed his mouth, swallowing the rest.

"I never thought I'd be able to do that. The idea used to disgust me. I knew that was what you and Tim did, and that Ronnie had joined in. But I was sure that I could never do it. Then all of a sudden it seemed like the opportunity was passing me by, and I couldn't let that happen."

I kissed Frank and said, "Thank you. It was wonderful."

Adele clearly wanted a visual experience. She was looking at Tim all over, quite closely and carefully. His nipples, his navel, his buns, his ass, his balls, his dick. She seemed quite comfortable moving his various parts around to get a good look, and had him quite aroused. Then she took him in her mouth, sucked hard, and was rewarded with a full load deep down her throat. He pulled out a little so that part would be in her mouth and not down her throat; he wanted her to have a good taste. Then he pulled out, took her in his arms and kissed her hard. They fell onto the bed and hugged and kissed for several minutes. Frank and I sat nearby, held hands, and watched. We were both content to see our partners so obviously happy.

  Frank was then placed on his back, and we helped Adele to straddle him, cowgirl style. Tim goosed her a little to get her going up and down, and very quickly both of them got into a healthy rhythm. Frank's orgasm was soon upon him. He went limp before Adele climaxed. With a little help from the two of us, Frank quickly had his tongue on her clit and her climax followed.

Then reality set in. For all of us. Adele spoke first, "I don't believe this. I don't know whether to be embarrassed, ashamed, excited, or triumphant. I guess I'm all four. I just had sex with two Olympic gold medal studs. I just had sex with my son's two best friends. While my husband watched. I just watched my husband have the first homosexual experience of his life. And he liked it. Wow! I don't know what to think."

I said, "It's all true. And we could all say similar things. But remember, we talked first. Nothing abusive happened. Nothing was done behind anybody's back. And, Holy Shit, was it fun!

Frank said, "I'll second that."

Tim said, "And now we're all going to sleep together in this bed. Stark naked. And maybe by morning we'll be recharged and ready to go again."

We did and we were. But we decided that we'd have sex with our partners as the others watched. Both couples did 69. A first for Frank and Adele. The shower held two: I showered with Adele and Frank showered with Tim. We dressed, had breakfast, encouraged them to visit us in Washington (with obvious intent), said goodbye, and headed toward Chicago.

In the car I said, "I still can't get over last night."

"And this morning."

"Clearly they had most of that in mind before we came."

"Sure, but I think we took them a lot farther than they had dreamed. I think their daydreams were limited by a very constrained set of experiences."

"That's for sure." After lengthy silence, I said, "Well, partner, lover, we've broken through some kind of barrier."

"I started it on the trip to Boston."

"You never, in your wildest dreams, thought it'd go as far as it did last night."

"You're right about that. I wonder if there are other POGs that might respond positively to cross generational opportunities?"

"I think your parents might. Dad did that skinny dipping, remember?"

"Yes. They're pretty open-minded, but I don't know."

"Remember, we aren't talking about sex with us. Father-son, Mother-son seem out of bounds. But I'll bet your mom could be tempted by a fuck from Hal. He's one sexy guy, and she knows him well."

"That's Hal's problem, or hers. I'm not going there. It's interesting that Frank and Adele had talked about this with Ronnie, Kyle, and Sharon. It'll be interesting to compare notes with them."

"The other obvious candidates are Franklin's folks. And they talked about moving to Grand Forks when Franklin did. Who knows?"

We soon got to Chicago, drove right through on the expressway, and headed for Indianapolis where we stayed that night in my house - well the house I grew up in; it wasn't "mine" any more. Mom was still in Grand Forks - or maybe the cabin in Michigan - with Fred. We had a lovely dinner with Wayne and Irma at a local restaurant. Gill and Anita had said they had something else planned. Wayne told us at dinner that Gill totally blamed Tim and me for Mom's "affair" with this "Fred creep." Gill and Anita wanted nothing to do with us. He went on, "You know, Mom's happier than she's been since Dad died. It's wonderful. I don't know what's wrong with Gill and Anita, but Mom's right to just ignore them. I'll admit, it took a little getting used to, but they're so happy."

Tim said, "You know it was Charlie that encouraged the present relationship."

"Tim helped."

Irma said, "Well, I'm glad. Wayne and I have talked about it. Yes, it's unconventional - at least for her generation. Some of their friends here are a little upset. Mom doesn't seem to care. She's so happy with Fred, she doesn't seem to give a fig about what the folks here think. It's a new Mom. It's so wonderful she's happy. That's a hard thing for a widow to accomplish. She's lucky."

I told Tim, as we rolled on toward West Virginia, "You know, I was surprised by Wayne and Irma last night. They seem completely at ease with Mom and Fred."

Tim said, "I'm sorry for Gill and Anita. They're the losers in that. It's too bad."

"People have to make their own choices. Gill and Anita have chosen to distance themselves from the family. It's their choice, and I think their loss as well."

Despite the fact that the main road runs through the northern little nub of West Virginia, we never entered that state. We headed just north of it, to East Liverpool, Ohio. You'll never guess where Tim took me sightseeing! We went looking for the survey marker which marked the beginning point for the survey system established in 1785 for the old Northwest Territories (which included our cabin in Michigan), and which was extended to most of the rest of the United States, including North Dakota. Tim had become familiar with the system as he worked with the old survey records of North Dakota for his University ecology project.

The survey grid started at the point where Virginia (now West Virginia), Ohio, and Pennsylvania meet. Well, that point actually lies underwater in the Ohio River. From that point the border between Ohio and Pennsylvania heads straight north to Lake Erie. Just north of the Ohio River, in September of 1785, a guy named Thomas Hutchins, the Geographer of the United States, set the beginning marker for the Northwest Territory survey. Now, the nearest road was Harvey Street, also State Route 39, which heads east out of East Liverpool and enters Pennsylvania. Near the border is a concrete obelisk about four feet high which tells the story and indicates the marker is about 500 feet south.

You don't think Tim was satisfied with that, do you? Of course not. We parked and trudged south, across a railroad track into a field. We eventually did find the marker - it took about a half hour of searching, with a good amount of that time involving a sometimes heated discussion of whether the search was worth it. It was to Tim. Finally, there was the little USGS cap, with a very small stake next to it, marking its location. I made Tim kiss it, and he didn't even object! I still have the picture.

Since we were now north of the Ohio River, we missed West Virginia altogether. We also gained some of the worst roads in Pennsylvania. We overnighted in a little mom and pop set of tourist cabins, took a long walk through the countryside, went to bed, and wondered what tomorrow, and Washington, D.C. would bring for us.

Those thoughts were exciting, much more so than the desultory attempts we made at arousing each other. Soon we gave up, spooned together, and slept.

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