Justin's Life... April 9-13, 1996

Justin's Life... April 9-13, 1996

April 9, 1996


Friday afternoon after Frank left, Larry suggested we go to his house in La Jolla. I agreed and down the road we went. We arrived, hung around for a bit, went out to eat, then fell asleep.

Saturday afternoon, Larry said he wanted to go for a bike ride on the 21 speeds and I went along. I was a little reluctant at first because I'd had such difficulty the last time, almost falling and so forth, but I knew if I didn't go, Larry would harass me, and so I went.

As we rode down the streets of La Jolla at 15-18mph, I wobbled a couple of times, and even came close to falling, but somehow managed not to pull in front of a car or hit anything. Before long, though, Larry and I were on the boardwalk at the beach, riding through a crowd of people. --I'd rather have been on the road with the cars. At least there, I could simply get hit quickly and not embarrass myself as I almost hit several people.

Anyway, we were riding down the boardwalk at aroudn 3 miles per hour. Trying to keep my bike upright while moving at that speed and while trying not to hit anyone was too stressful and no fun at all. I was ready to go back to the house, but figured the mass of people would soon clear and I could become a car target once again.

A few minutes later, the crowd did disperse, but I had to continually pass and avoid the random pedestrians. On one of those occassions, another cyclist decided to ride his bike between myself & the pedestrian which pushed me into the bushes and I crashed. Larry being in front of me, he was completely unaware of what had happened and kept on riding. I, however, managed to re-near myself to him then almost wobbled into the wall. This sucked. I decided enough was enough and got off. I sat on the concrete wall at the edge of the beach, waiting for Larry to realize I was gone... 10 or so minutes later, he did.

He said that we still had a piece to go and I said that I wasn't moving, that I'd had enough. I asked him if I could lock the bike somewhere and go on the beach. He responded that it would get stolen. --Incidentally, I'm so sick of all these LA people thinking everything is going to get stolen.-- I sighed and agreed to sit in the same place until he returned. He continued on his bike ride as I sat, near the sand, watching people toss footballs and play volleyball.

When Larry returned over 40 minutes later, I got back on the bike and we rode towards the house. I was still having a difficult time and hit another bush when I was trying to follow Larry around a corner. 30 seconds after that, I was on the ground as I crashed into a curb. My hands and knees were bleeding and I was mad. I immediately got up and started walking, trying my best not to cry.

Larry saw what had happened from across the street and rode up beside me. I said, "I'm not doing this shit anymore and I'm not taking any shit from you about it." (as he'd already been harassing me for the earlier crash). He asked if I was ok and I fired back "What do you think?"

He rode a few feet in front of me for a minute or two, then left. I kept waiting for him to return, with the car, or on the bike to be with me, but he didn't. The odometer read 3.85 miles when we stopped. I hadn't even gotten half way back before the crash. For at least two miles, I walked with my hands and knees bleeding and Larry didn't even come back. I was alternating between pissed and "forget it"; thinking that if I was pissed, the result would keep building and that if I simply "forgot it", my anger would explode later.

When I finally arrived back at the house, Larry was on the phone telling someone that he wished they were there. He never even acknowledged my presence.

I cleaned up my wounds then headed back out to get something to eat. I wasn't hungry, but I knew if I was in the house when he got off the phone, I would have blown up. What kind of guy leaves his friends when they're injured? If the situation had been reversed, I would have definitely walked/rode with him or brought the car back to pick him up. I was utterly amazed.

When I finally came back from Jack In The Box, I had calmed (yet remained dumbfounded). I told him that I was amazed he left and he just harassed me about being a baby. I gave up and said that I was going back to the beach... with a heavily implied "by myself." I, however, didn't feel like walking the three miles back and ended up staying in the lounge chair.

After a few hours had passed, Larry and I were back to normal and he suggested we go to a gay bar. That sounded like more fun than anything else I could do in La Jolla, so I agreed.

A quick drive later, we were walking down a brightly lit sidewalk where guys were walking in pairs and a few were hugging. As Larry turned into the entrance of a bar, I looked up to see a sign that read "Rich's", --kinda ironic seeing that Rich was Larry's boyfriend the last time I was in LA. The doorman asked for my ID then remarked how he'd already seen a Massachusetts ID earlier that night. I thought for a second that he wasn't going to let me in, but since I'd already gotten in 5 or 6 places with it, I didn't think that for long. A couple seconds later, he handed my ID back to me and and I went inside.

Larry paid the cover charges then we walked to the bar where he ordered me a Mai Tai. As the bartender was preparing it, I looked around to find a near packed place and a dancefloor full of people. --In Boston, the crowd isn't sparse, but no where near what I saw there.--

We squeezed through to watch the go-go boys on the dancefloor and moved from place to place, just taking in the sights. Before long, the scene had gotten old to Larry and since I was heading back to Boston, anything but a one night stand was impossible for me. It seemed a waste of time to stay there any longer and so, Larry suggested we head to a gay country-western bar that was nearby. I jumped at the opportunity. I mean, coming from Kentucky, I'd seen my share of cowboy-hat-wearing, boot-stomping guys, but the thought of two of them dancing together and it not being a farce was too koool.

On the drive, Larry said that perhaps the genre had changed since he'd last been there, but I kept my hopes up. When we were parking the car, though, a cowboy-hat-wearing guy was talking to a woman.

We went inside and I saw a guy dancing with a women... but then I saw two women dancing together... and then two guys. Two cowboy-hat-wearing, boot-stomping guys doing the two step together. I couldn't help myself from staring.

After a couple of songs had passed, I saw a red headed guy standing by a post. A cute red headed guy in a country-western bar, that beat a cute red headed guy in a regular bar ten times over. I started staring at him and he looked in my direction. We caught glances a couple of times, but he didn't look long enough. Either he wasn't interested or he couldn't tell I was.

I kept staring until... his boyfriend came back. He was taken.

I walked over to where Larry was sitting, at a table a few feet from the bar, and sat down. He asked me if I wanted a drink and I said no. The two of us sat for a while and a guy on the other end of the bar started giving me the "eye." I couldn't tell exactly what he looked like, but I knew it would be a long time before I made it back to a gay country-western bar. I at least wanted to dance with someone.

Larry left the table so that I could flirt easier, but before I had time to make my way over to the guy at the bar or vice versa, I noticed something a little closer. The bartender, a bad boyishly cute guy in his early twenties who was shirtless & wearing bib overalls, came around to the patron side of the bar and stood next to a shirtless guy who was wearing denim shorts. Although the bartender was turned so that his back was almost directly towards me, I could see that he was unbuckling the patron's belt. I then saw him unzip the guy's zipper and cut the guy's underwear down each of the sides. The next thing I knew, the patron was facing back towards the bar and the bartender was pulling the guy's underwear out from the back. When he had them completely out, he sniffed them for a few seconds then the patron turned around to face him. He was hanging out of the front of his unzipped shorts!. I started to blush and felt my jeans get tight.

The bartender and he continued to talk as the patron unbuckled the bartender's overalls. I overheard him say that he wasn't wearing anything underneath and when the overalls dropped to his waistline, I could verify that fact. I couldn't see the bartender's front, but I could see the patron's hand massaging it. The bartender then looked in my direction and gave me a coy smile. I smiled back with a look of "WOW!" on my face and they continued for a few more seconds before closing shop. The bartender went back to work with the underwear tied around his neck and I went to tell Larry what had happened.

Once Larry & I'd returned to the table and I'd calmed down, I again noticed the guy at the other end of the bar giving me the eye. I gave him the eye back a couple of times then his female friend came over to speak to me. "What's your name? Where you from? Are you single?" she asked. I answered the questions then told her to ask her friend if he wanted to dance. She returned to the end of the bar and I decided I'd speed things along by going over there myself. I walked over to stand behind the "other end of the bar" guy and tapped him on his shoulder. Before he had a chance to turn around, I asked him if he wanted to dance... but when he turned around, I wanted to run. Apparently I needed contacts a lot worse than I thought. He looked like a worse version of Flea, the guy from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Eeewww! I'd gotten myself into the situation and had to figure a way out without being rude.

Unfortunately, the o-e-o-t-b guy said that he didn't know the two-step. I responded that neither did I (Thinking that if I got him to dance, I could leave after the song was over), but he wouldn't budge from the barstool. We talked for a minute or two and I tried not to say much, to appear boring. I kept quiet until the bartender came over to ask me if I wanted a drink, I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to thank him "for the show." The bartender smiled and went on his way.

A couple minutes later, I turned around to look at Larry and mouthed "Let's leave!" He, however, didn't understand me, so I excused myself and told Larry what was happening. When I returned to the bar, I said, "My friend wants to leave and since I'm staying with him and he's my ride, I have to go." The o-e-o-t-b guy pleaded with me to stay, and finally, I had to outright say, "Sorry. I have to go." and left.

As Larry and I drove back to the house, I kept thinking about the bartender/patron underwear deal. I'd never seen anything like it, but it was strangely erotic... What a night.

April 13, 1996


Sunday night, Larry and I returned to LA. Soon after we arrived, Frank called to say hi and by the end of the conversation, we'd tentatively agreed to have dinner Monday night.

Monday morning, I went to work with Larry and entertained a potential new employee when I wasn't writing e-mail or playing with the computer. Monday evening, Larry made plans to have dinner with the new guy and I probably would have gone along except for my hoping to have dinner with Frank instead. Larry drove me home, checked voice mail to find none, then left.

A while passed while I waited for Frank to call, then I phoned his number. I left a message to say that I was home and would like to see him. Thirty or so minutes later, I called again and Frank said he was on the phone with his best friend and would call me as soon as he got off with her.

When Frank called back 15 minutes later, he sounded tired and yawned several times. I, nevertheless, asked if he'd like to get something to eat. He responded that he was in bed but that he was hungry. I said that I'd be happy to bring a pizza over, but he said no, that he hasn't come out to his parents (with whom he lives) and thus having a guy over wasn't an option. We talked for a while longer and finally he agreed to come over. Out of customary politeness, I told him that he didn't have to... and he said ok, that he wouldn't.

I then had to express that I really did want him to come over. He said ok, that he would come over, and I asked him what he wanted on his pizza.

Shortly after the Jalepeno & Pepperoni pizza arrived, Frank knocked at the door. He came inside, we talked for a bit, and ate. Once we were done, we went into Larry's room and randomly played a couple of laserdiscs while we layed on the bed.

Around 10:30PM, Larry arrived and the three us hung out, watching TV, until midnight when Frank said he needed to head home. We all walked to the door where Frank said good-bye to Larry then gave him a kiss on the cheek. He then asked if I'd walk him to his car, and the two of us went outside. As Frank and I were nearing his car, he said that he'd probably go with me to the airport on Wednesday night. I said that I'd like that, and Frank kissed me on the lips then got in his car. It was a koool, relaxed night.

Tuesday morning, I went to work with Larry and installed some computer software. Tuesday evening, I told Larry that I wanted to do something special for my last night in LA and so we went to the Universal Citywalk to have dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. During dinner, we talked about everything from moving to LA to getting into USC... with nothing being concluded. Afterwards, I got a wax mold of my hand at one of the Citywalk carts and we headed home.

On Wednesday, I was pretty down about my flight home. At around 7PM, I'd given up on Frank. I called his number to say good-bye and to tell him I had a great time on voice mail. However, at a few minutes before 7:30PM, someone knocked on the door. It was Frank after all.

The three of us ate pizza at a local restuarant then drove on to the airport. While Frank was parking the car, Larry and I stood in line to get my new ticket. (I was originally scheduled to return the previous Wednesday.) When we finally got to an attendant, it just so happened that he was gay. The first thing out of Larry's mouth was a flirtacious, "I think you were the guy who took care of us last time." He responded, "How could anyone forget a face like this?" And the $50 change fee was never to be heard from again.

The three of us made it the gate and took a few pictures before the plane began to board. I first said good-bye to Larry. We hugged, said that we loved the other, then kissed on the cheeks. I then said good-bye to Frank. We hugged then he kissed me on the lips. He pushed me back to say that he'd had a nice time then kissed me once again. I, too, said that I had a really nice time then walked towards the plane.

As I stood in line and turned to see them walking away, all I could think was how much I wanted to stay in LA. I wanted to run back to them, screaming and crying, "I don't want to go" like I did when I was little and my parents were leaving me somewhere. I, nonetheless, fought back the tears and boarded the plane.

Fortunately, I wasn't able to dwell on leaving for long. The man in the seat next to me, whose name now escapes me, and his wife, Kim, introduced themselves. They were flying into Boston for the marathon on Monday and had never been here before. We talked about the differences between the two cities, about their plans while in New England, and about what I'd done in California. Before long, Kim had fallen asleep and her husband & I continued talking. For at least three of the five hours in the trip, he & I talked about everything from his career to my college plans to earthquakes and riots. It was much better than watching the inflight movie or sleeping.

As the plane was landing, we exchanged business cards. Kim said they'd check out my web site when they returned to California and we said good-bye as we exited the plane. We bumped into each other a few more times before we wished the other luck and said good-bye one final time at baggage claim. It was such an odd experience to meet someone and have such a nice time in such a short period. I wonder if it was the same for them --and I wonder if they'll find this.

Anyway, I caught a cab, came home, and fell asleep shortly thereafter.

12:42AM Technically April 14, 1996

When I woke Thursday afternoon, I had voice mail from Larry & Frank which they'd left the night before. Instead of making me happy, it only made me lonelier. I mean, I'd spent the last four weeks almost attached to Larry's hip: Being alone was quite a change.

At around 8PM, I'd had about all I could take of sitting around by myself. I couldn't call Curt, though, because he was out of town. And I couldn't call Rob because we weren't on the best of terms. Finally, I decided to call Helen and Erika to see what they were doing. Two minutes into the conversation, they invited me over.

When I got to BU a few minutes later, the three of us caught up on the others' lives. For the most part, I talked about my trip west while they asked me questions. After a couple of hours, I said that I was heading home and left.

Yesterday afternoon, someone buzzed my door. When I said "Hello?" a guy responded, "Dutch Flower Garden". I went downstairs to find a glass globe crammed with rose, tulips, and other flowers. The card read, "Welcome back to Boston. -Curt" How sweet.

I came back upstairs and started Eudora so that I could send Curt a "Thank You" e-mail... but when Eudora started, it retreived mail off the server. In the download was a letter from my parents' pastor. I double-taked, my pulse quickened, and then I read:

----- Edited for clarity and to remove identifying details (i.e. names) -----

I'm sure you're a bit surprised to receive e-mail from me. I'm more than a little surprised by your website which has prompted this letter. As you may recall, you told me sometime last year (I think it was during your Christmas break) that you were now designing web pages for the Internet. My son overheard me telling someone this a few days ago and asked if we could do a search on your name and see if you had a website advertising your new endeavor. We located the site this past Sunday night with very little effort. The four of us were more than a little shocked by what we found. Fortunately, my children didn't see it all--namely the pornography you have posted in your diary and in your "art gallery." They saw and read enough, however, to raise some important questions which I feel compelled to share with you.

First, let me say that your sexual choices are yours to make and no one elses. I personally find a "three-way" relationship morally offensive (as would your family, I guess), but that's your business not mine. Based on the few diary entries I read, I assume you have not outright told your parents that you are a homosexual. They may already suspect that this is true. I know others who have wondered about this for quite some time. If you are going to "out" yourself in such a flagrantly public way, don't you think you owe it to your family to be honest with them before they learn this some other way? I believe your mother and father love you very much. Both of them frequently talk about you at church in conversations with me and others. Your father has at times asked for prayer for you when you were undergoing a particularly stressful semester at school or were traveling home to Kentucky or returning to Boston. I suspect your parents (especially your Dad) would be devastated to find out what you've done and are doing on the Internet from someone other than you.

That leads me to my second concern. I don't know how to be diplomatic about this, but I find it outrageous and irresponsible that you would share intimate family details (such as financial information, etc.) in such a public way through private diary entries. Most folks may view this as harmless fiction, but are you so naive to think that persons here won't find this and immediately know who this family is? What possible motivation or reason would justify the humiliation of your parents? Again, if you find it amusing or personally fulfilling to share your lusts and sexual fantasies on the Internet, I suppose you're free to do so. In my opinion, however, it is morally reprehensible that you would include your parents and your brother in this as well. Have your asked for their permission to include such information in a public forum? If you did, do you think they would approve?

As your family's pastor I have been unsure what my responsibilities are to them with regard to these matters. I only hope that you will re-think what you are doing and make appropriate changes before it's too late. You are obviously a bright and gifted young man. Your family has struggled to give you every advantage possible. The fact that you went away to school in Boston is but one indication of this. I would think that your love for them would require a more mature response with your life. Give it some thought and prayer.

After I read the letter a couple times, I forwarded it to Larry and called to tell him what had happened. I then began my response... but because there were so many points to address, I had to put that on hold: I had other things to attend to.

Once my errands had been run, I resumed responding to the pastor's e-mail. I was explaining why I keep my diary online when I wrote to say that on occasion my words have touched people to the point of crying. I then searched for the word "cried" in the e-mail I've received, as to include a snippet of a letter, when Rob's very first letter popped up. I re-read part of it and started to remember some of the nice times we had together. I picked up the phone and called him.

We talked for a few minutes about life then I asked him if he'd like to see a movie with me. He said that he would and I agreed to be at his place at 6:30PM so we could go to the 7PM showing of Primal Fear.

When Rob walked out of his apartment, we smiled and acted as if we were old friends who hadn't seen each other in years. His hair had gone back to it's natural color and mine had been cut off. We nudged each other on the way to the theatre, and during the movie, he reached over to hold my hand.

Once the movie was over, I went to the bathroom and Rob started talking with a couple of his friends. When I came out, Rob introduced me to Eric & Erica and the four of us talked for a bit longer. Erica soon asked if we'd like to hang out for a while and we agreed.

We walked down Newbury Street to eventually end up at the Espresso Royale Cafe. Until we'd arrived there, I could tell that neither Erica or Eric knew Rob & I were gay. When we were walking down the stairs to the entrance, though, I heard Erica ask if we were "together." Rob answered "sort of" and the two of them continued talking as Eric and I went inside to order the hot chocolates.

When we returned, it was obvious that the cat was out of the bag, so to speak, and for the next hour or so, the subject of being gay dominated the conversation. --At one point, Eric even asked if I minded talking about gay things.-- After the gay topic had been exhausted, however, and after Rob & I had thoroughly discussed our relationship, Eric & Erica discussed their relationship in detail.

Having been outside for a good while, Eric became cold and we moved the get-together to Tower Records. When they closed about twenty minutes later, the four of us parted ways. I walked Rob back to his apartment, gave him a hug, and went on back to mine. It was really nice to see him again.

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© 1996 Justin Clouse

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