Justin's Life... July 4-5, 1996

Justin's Life... July 4-5, 1996

July 4, 1996


Although my lack of a diary entry for over a week would indicate otherwise, my plane made it to California fine.

June 25, 1996

12:14PM Written in a notepad on the plane.

I've been sitting in the plane for about half an hour. The flight was supposed to leave at 7:45PM, but we were told that the captain's running late. Hopefully, the later departure will at least mean less of a stopover in Chicago.


Well, we made it into the air and I've been intermittently glancing at a red head a couple rows ahead. I don't know whether he's going to Chicago or LA, but perhaps if he does go on to LA, I can hope to bump into him there.

In other news, I've have to say this is the kooolest plane I've ever been on. It's a really new United A-320 with everything from an audio channel with the communications of the cockpit to LCD TV screens which lowered near the air vents and which are now showing Seinfeld.


The drink cart: I've already checked her out to know that she gives the whole can.

And speaking of Coke, whatever happened to New Coke? Remember when Coke changed its formula then a week later brought it back as Coca-Cola Classic. And what about clear Pepsi?


The flight's gone okay so far. In fact, it's been remarkably less boring than normal. I think the TV really makes a difference. The shows (Now an NBC Newsmagazine.) require a lot less involvement than a movie and have a lot more variety. I mean, with a movie, you either like it or not; with several different shows, you may like one and not the other, but at least your attention will be kept for part of the flight. (I'm rambling... maybe I am bored. )


I think we're now over Lake Michigan (at least I hope it's Lake Michigan and not Lake Erie ) I can't recall realizing that I was over that much water before. Yee-haa!


Well, I guess it was Michigan for the co-pilot just announced that we'll be landing shortly.


We landed and I got off the plane for a quick restroom break. I looked around the gift shop, bought a bag of Doritos, then got back on board. I'm now waiting while the new passengers board and it looks like the red head stayed in Chicago.


The plane just took off. In 4 more hours, I'll be in LA!


Before I left today, I got e-mail from Curt saying that he was sorry that I was lonely which he'd read online and that he was sure I'd have fun in CA. I'd started not to include that two line diary entry because I knew he'd think it was discounting him, but recently I've come to realize a few things. From time to time in life, people enter your life with whom you don't really have anything in common but with whom you hang around nonetheless. To each other, you serve a purpose, but you really have nothing in common except being lonely. Curt and I have that type of relationship. He's gotten me through lonely times in Boston and I've helped with his loneliness and coming out, but honestly, we have nothing in common except being lonely and gay. Over the last few weeks, our conversations have grown weaker. A "What's cooking?" from him gets a "Nothing exciting." from me and then it's stalemate. Today's conversation was the epitome of that. He called to wish me a nice trip and I told him to have fun, but the conversation went no further, and I'm not blaming him. I'm simply saying how things are. We just don't have common interests. He lists off times of his runners and they're simply meaningless numbers to me, and while I'm not an expert in anything Curt doesn't understand, I'm sure there are times when the things I say are just as meaningless to him.


White Squall is playing on the TV now, but I didn't purchase a headset. The scenery in it was nice, but the movie itself was too exhaustive/depressing.

I'm now wondering what I'll do for the next three hours.


Well, I was searching through my carry-on, looking for something to do, when I found a script (programming, that is) which I printed out earlier today so that I could debug it on the plane. Sorta crazy, I know, debugging a script by looking at it on paper, but I think I found the problem. -- I was going to say something about how I found it ironic that I'm debugging a perl script when I've never read a word about how perl works, but then I remembered that's how I taught myself almost everything about computers: looking at it, thinking what it should do, then figuring out that it does.


I'm about to go stir crazy. I can't find anything to do and I can't sleep. I tried listening to the country music channel by putting my ear as close to the armrest as possible (that's where the air-powered headphones connect) but felt like the flight attendants would think I was cheap if they figured out what I was going. If I knew when the plane was landing, it would help, but...


Fiddling around, I found a way to hear audio without anyone noticing. Lightly push a pen top into the jack: The sound's loud enough to be heard from the normal armrest position.

I think we just passed Las Vegas... at least I hope so.

July 4, 1996


At a little after 4AM, I arrived at LAX and walked to baggage claim. I'd talked with Larry earlier to know that he wouldn't be waiting at the gate and that, indeed, Val would be circling the airport to pick me up. At first I was sorta miffed that he wasn't picking me up himself, but I got over it soon enough. --I mean, I knew his days had been tiresome and going to the airport is a long, boring experience, so when he said he was sending Val and would be sleeping at home until I arrived, I understood.

Anyway, I walked to baggage claim, found my suitcases, then walked outside to find Val waiting in the passenger loading area. I got inside and we headed back to the house.

When we got here, I went into the bedroom and she went into the kitchen. Smiling from ear to ear, I kissed Larry on the forehead and said "Hey you" to wake him up, but had no luck. I shook him, but he stayed asleep. Finally, I shook him pretty hard while talking loudly and he woke up. He smiled a huge grin back and gave me a kiss. He said how it was great to see me and we talked for a couple minutes while I leaned over him.

Larry then told me to get my clothes off and get into the bed. I responded that I had to tell Val good-bye first, so I went back into the kitchen and said as much as she walked out the front door.

When I came back into Larry's bedroom, I talked to him a few more minutes before taking my clothes off. I knew he meant for me to take off my jeans and get into the bed, but over the course of the last few weeks, I've realized that I really do love Larry... more than anyone else in the world... and as I wrote, I've decided that being a 20 year old virgin is pointless. And so, I took all my clothes off and got into the bed, not really knowing what was to happen.

Larry was clothesless himself and so, the two of us hugged for a while. It felt so nice just to be in his arms and due to his larger body size, it was a completely new experience. (Not that Larry is "large", but all the guys I've "been with" before have been skinny. I've always been the bigger guy, but that's not the kase with Larry.) So, the two of us hugged and kissed a few times. Larry then moved down under the covers and kissed me there as well. He asked if I was uncomfortable and I said something like, "Not really, just a little bit."

The next thing I knew, Larry was going down on me and it felt nice... really nice. I let him continue, and even ventured to pull the cover back and watch, until I thought it was getting too close to the point where I'd lose control. I pulled him back up to my face and the two of us hugged again.

At least an hour later, I told Larry that I had to go downstairs because I wouldn't be able to sleep next to him. He pleaded for me to stay, but I said that I'd be awake all night and went downstairs.

The next morning, I woke to the sound of the bedroom door opening. When I opened my eyes, I saw Larry in a t-shirt and boxers walking towards the bed. I smiled: He smiled and asked how I was. I said fine and he asked if I was ok with what happened the night before. I said that I was and he crawled into the bed next to me. We hugged for a while then he once again disappeared under the covers. He asked if he could take my boxers off and I said yes. I hugged and watched as he went down on me again. This time, though, I wasn't able to gauge myself as well and said, "I'm going to come" less than two seconds before I did. It went into his mouth and I found the experience slightly unnerving. For one, that was it: My virginity status was gone; no if's, and's, or but's. But beyond that, I was worried that I'd made Larry uncomfortable. He hadn't been given any warning and thus had his mouth filled without much of a choice.

I apologized to Larry for not giving him more of a warning and he said that most of the time he could have figured it out without my verbal cues, but that he wasn't upset about it. I did, however, notice that he spit into a tissue.

Later Wednesday, I went to work with Larry and hung out at the office. I didn't really do much (and since Larry now uses his PC laptop, I couldn't write in the diary), but when I saw Don, I got a warm fuzzy feeling and hugged him.

Anyway, at around 4PM, I told Larry that I'd need to head to USC soon. I'd arranged earlier to meet at 5PM with a friend of Dan's to tour the area and get a feel for what apartment buildings were decent and which ones were death traps. Larry had originally planned to go to a nightclub with Lance, his boyfriend, (yep, just keep reading, I'll explain how it all fits together in a minute... ), but when he found out that the touring would only be an hour long, he said he'd go as well. --And sometime during the day, perhaps on our way to meet Cindy, (it's really been too long to remember the chronology) Larry told me that he and Lance had talked earlier about if something happened between Larry and myself when I arrived. Lance had said that he wouldn't be jealous because he knew how much Larry loved me and vice versa. Furthermore, Lance had already said that he wanted to have the same relationship with me as Larry did.

So Larry and I drove to USC and found Cindy waiting across from the rose garden. She got into the car and we proceeded to drive around the area... and it was scary. Cindy told of how she used to live here "and two bullets were lodged into the outer wall." and how someone was killed on the corner opposite her house the past Saturday. "You can still see the blood on the sidewalk," even. The subject of gangs entered the conversation and I even noticed broken bottles cemented to the top of the wall by her house to cut any would-be intruders. I couldn't imagine living there. Boston may be cramped, but you don't have to worry about getting killed on your way to the grocery store.

After being sufficiently scared, we went back to Cindy's house and were supposed to meet Dan at sometime between 6 and 6:30PM for dinner. By this time, Larry had changed his mind about the nightclub. He said he would go to his house to get Lance and then call Dan, Cindy, and I so that we could meet at a restaurant.

An hour or so later, Larry and Dan agreed on a downtown Mexican restaurant (Kachina, I think) and Cindy & I rode there with Dan.

Before Larry and Lance arrived, Dan and I talked about my plans for the immediate future, about housing, and about Lance. Dan asked me what I thought of him and I responded that I hadn't met him yet. I explained that he didn't seem too bright on the phone, but that Larry liked him and I harassed Larry about it. I added that Larry didn't expect us to like each other too well.

Larry and Lance soon arrived and after Lance shook my hand, he sat in the seat on the opposite side of Larry. I must admit, I was a tad jealous. I wanted to be the center of Larry's attention and seeing Lance wearing one of Larry's shirts wasn't too fulfilling of that desire.

Thoughout dinner, Lance didn't say much, but I also must admit that I was watching him like a hawk. I was expecting him to screw up, to say something stupid, and I was going to call him on it right then and there. He did come into conversation once to talk about his medication for his strained back which I thought was a weird dinner topic, but it wasn't anything that I could jump on.

Dinner seemed to drag on forever, and not because of Lance. Larry and Don (who also showed for dinner a tad later) always talk on and on, but I'm sure it probably had something to do with the overwhelming feeling of everyone planning my life. Living on campus was the latest "This is what you should do Justin." I mean, I knew as much, but it's annoying when several people tell you to do something.

Anyway, dinner ended at around 11PM, and Larry said he wanted to show us some waterfalls. We followed him for a while then Dan said Cindy wanted to go home. I thought it was painfully obvious that she was ready to leave for quite some time, and even tried to involve her more in the dinner conversation because of her visible boredom. Larry pressed on to say that he just wanted to show Dan one more thing, but Dan said that he really needed to leave. He said good-bye to Lance, Don, and Larry then told me that he'd take me to a taping of a TV show sometime soon. Koool.

July 5, 1996


After Dan left, Larry, Don, Lance and I walked around the area a while more before heading back to the parking garage. When we got there, Don said good-bye and gave me a hug. It was something I wasn't expecting, but it was definitely nice.

And now, the details get a little fuzzy: Too much has happened since. The three of us rode back to Larry's house and talked in the bedroom. I think Larry was playing on his computer, talking to Lance and I, when Lance went into the bathroom and came back out in his boxers. And what happened from there could be anyone's guess. Most likely, the three of us ended up in bed with our boxers on, hands went roaming, boxers came off and the three of us had fun in one form or another. You see, the reason I can't remember the specifics of what happened Wednesday night is because something similar has happened almost every night since.

Thursday, Larry and I looked at university-owned housing. Parkside, the residence hall to which I'd been assigned, was a dump. In fact, I had to quiet Larry when he kept telling the student guide that he couldn't believe people actually lived there. I was a tad embarrassed, but Larry's verbal dissapprovement proved positive when he asked if Parkside was the only residence where someone could have a bedroom to himself: The guide said almost any apartment could be "bought-out" for 1.5 times the rent. We asked the guide for his personal opinion of the residence halls then headed to one of his recommendations, Webb Tower. The RA on-call showed us a sample apartment and it was much nicer. I still wasn't convinced that I wanted to live on-campus, but living in Webb would definitely beat living in Parkside.

On the way back from USC Thursday, Larry and I discussed his and Lance's impending trip to Hawaii. We'd talked about it a couple times before, but Thursday was the big conversation. My position was that Larry misled me the last time he was in Hawaii, said that I'd be going if I were in California, and promised that I would be going soon. Here Larry was going, again, while I was in California, but he was leaving me home alone. I mean, I wasn't looking for a free trip or anything like that: I just missed being the center of Larry's world. I didn't want to kick Lance from the spotlight, either. I just wanted to be taken along and be treated more like I used to be and less like a family member. Larry's position was that he needed a getaway with Lance. But he went on to give me some crap about how it would be $3000 to take me along and how the flight was sold-out. I was hurt to the point of crying. I know $3000 bucks is a good chuck of change to Larry, but he was acting like it was $20,000. And I had a hard time believing it would be $3000 anyway.

When we got to the office, I signed on EAAsy Sabre and found that a flight to Hawaii was a whopping $418... I didn't get upset, but instead wrote on a sheet of paper, "By the way, a flight cost $415-$418 on three different airlines including Continental." He was on the phone, so I handed him the paper then went into the other room to make a few calls about USC housing.

An hour or so later, I was back out front sitting by the fax when it started receiving. One of the office employees came to get it and said "Hawaii," which was more than enough to pique my interest. I looked at the fax and it was an itinerary for a flight from LAX to Hawaii for "Clouse/Justin"... paid in full.

I kept quiet about seeing the fax for one, because I felt a tad guilty for pressuring Larry into it and for two, because I thought my actual going could have been dependent on my behavior the next few days. (I thought perhaps Larry went ahead and ordered the ticket, but wanted to see if I'd annoy him to death before actually deciding if I'd go.) I kept my normal mood and when the day was finally over at around 6PM, no one had said a word about the ticket.

The rest of Thursday is a blank, but because of schedules Friday morning, I remember Lance came over and spent the night.

Friday, Larry was registered to go to USC Orientation with me, but when he found that he wouldn't be with me all day but instead with the parents part of the time, he opted out. He woke up and drove me to USC, nonetheless, to arrive at 7:45AM.

While I was standing in line to get my name button and information packet, the transfer student behind me asked if she was in the right line. I explained that she was and a conversation between us began. We talked for a while then the student in front of us joined in. Her name was Fara and for the next few hours, she and I stuck together.

We walked through the tour, sat through the introduction, almost nodded off through the class choice explanation, then parted ways when it came time to separate the individual colleges. Before I left, I gave her my business card for the web page and told her to check it out... I haven't heard from her since.

After being taken with the rest of the communications/journalism majors, I sat in a room and we all introduced ourselves. In the room of 11 people, there was only one other guy and my ewww-gross-he's-gay--dar went off. We learned about housing, parking, and other basic university things before heading for lunch.

When we got to the table designated for "Communications" (the journalism majors were seated elsewhere), a woman looked up and said "Justin Clouse." My name badge only said "Justin", so I sorta double-taked. Another girl arrived and Adrienne said her last name as well. I joked that we'd been checked upon and we proceeded to have a nice relaxed lunch: We talked about everything from class selection to speeding tickets. The only flaw was this bleach blond "I'm the center of attention and I can't believe you don't realize it" cheerleader wanna-be who wouldn't shut up. I wanted to say, "Who cares?!?" more than a few times but managed not to.

So anyway, from lunch, we went to the Annenberg school and proceeded to pick classes. Early on, I realized I could schedule my week so that I would just have classes on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The idea of having a four day weekend, every weekend sounded great to me. Furthermore, I even arranged my classes so that I started the days at 11AM, 11AM, and 10AM. No early classes, even. What more could I have wanted? I just knew when I tried to register, the classes would be full or some other thing would stop me... and I was right.

The meeting time of the philosophy class I'd picked had been changed. If I chose to take it, I'd have a single one-hour class on Monday: I'd never make it. So I decided to take another class and found one that fit the timeslot exactly. I re-keyed my entry into the touch-tone registration and presto! A three day week!

I got my picture for my student ID then called Larry to pick me up. He said during the drive to USC that if I got out early, perhaps we'd all go down to Lance's house on the way to La Jolla. The program wasn't scheduled to end until 5PM, but I was done by 3PM. I was psyched.

Larry said to call him back in five minutes, so I went to the bookstore for a quick lookaround then called his cell phone again. He said he was sending Val to pick me up and when he got off work, we'd head south.

Several hours later, around 7PM, Larry finished work and arrived at the house. We packed for the weekend then headed out.

Once we arrived at Lance's apartment, we each hugged him and hung out for a while. We eventually ordered dinner to be delivered and watched TV & fixed drinks while we waited.

When dinner came, Lance ate a few bites then said he wanted to go to the apartment complex's hot tub before it closed at 11PM. Larry had packed trunks for both me and himself, but I had no desire to get into the hot tub for ten minutes and neither did Larry. I did, however, say that I'd go along and sit by Lance while Larry decided to stay and finish dinner.

After a quick car ride, we got to the hot tub and found several teenage girls sitting in and around it. Lance said that he didn't really want to get in, but I said that he'd complained about his back. He soon decided to hang his legs in from the side.

For several minutes, we sat there talking about Larry, being gay, and life. At a few minutes after 11PM, the guard came towards the hot tub but was diverted by the girls who began flirting. In fact, it was nearly 11:30PM before we decided to head back.

And on the way back, we drove past two guys walking. Lance said something like, "We should kiss in front of them." I said back that he was just trying to have an excuse to kiss me and Lance smiled, stopped the car, then leaned over to kiss me. We kissed a few times then Lance drove back to his garage. And before getting out of the car, we kissed a couple times more.

When we got back to the apartment, Larry was asleep. Lance and I tried to wake him up, but when he didn't readily arise, we hugged a few more times. We then both shook him and he woke. We told him about the girls at the hot tub and about the guard... then he fell back asleep. Lance and I ate dinner, hugged a few more times, kissed a few more times, then woke Larry again. He smilingly asked if we'd run off and how come it had taken us so long to get back. When I explained that we'd been back for a while and had even told him about the hot tub, he couldn't remember any of it.

Larry and Lance then left to go check on Larry's dogs. (Larry had left them in the back of the Explorer near the complex office and wanted to move Lance's car to that parking space and move the Explorer into the garage.) For a few minutes, they were gone then Lance came back. He said that Larry was fretting over the dogs.

Long story short, Larry eventually decided that he couldn't leave the dogs in the back of the Explorer overnight and decided to go on to La Jolla. He woke Lance to tell him then went to the parking area to move the Explorer out of the garage and Lance's car back into it. He gave me a note to put on Lance's bathroom mirror when I ran the keys back upstairs.

I placed the note by the sink, wrote a note of my own to apologize for leaving, left it on the bed, then locked the door behind me as I left.

After about thirty minutes of driving, Larry said that he was too sleepy to continue and thus, I inherited the job. By the time we got to La Jolla a couple hours later, I was so sleepy I could barely stand it... but we made it fine and went to bed.

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© 1996 Justin Clouse

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