“I’ll find you in the morning sun
And when the night is new
I’ll be looking at the moon
But I’ll be seeing you.”
(“I’ll be Seeing You” – Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal)
I finished my morning coffee, ate my breakfast, and sat down at the table to write a few notes concerning the wonderful experience at Drs. Randal and Wilson’s motor home. Those “few” notes grew in volume until I’d used an entire packet of five by seven note cards. In addition, my “short time” extended until noon. I’d become so engrossed in my work, I lost track of time. I still hadn’t showered or shaved or dressed beyond a light-weight robe I donned to cover my nakedness!
“What the hell time is that reception?” I asked aloud and began rummaging around, first the kitchen/living area and, finding it not there, traipsed back to the bedroom and found the invitation on the night stand next to my bed and read it aloud before getting into the shower.
You are cordially invited to
A reception honoring the marriage of
William Iverson and Daniel Fielding
hors-d’oeure 4:00 pm
Dinner – 7:00 pm
Dance – 8:00 to Midnight
Location- School Athletic Field
Open bar- beer only, mixed drinks available for purchase
No gifts please.
Free shuttle service, on the half hour, from the “Rusty Scupper,” “Danny’s,” Riverview Campground, and downtown
(catered by – The Rusty Scupper)
Evidently I failed to read the invitation closely when Bill gave it to me. I’d thought the reception was going to be at the “Rusty Scupper,” but now I see they’re going to cater the affair. That explains why they were closed for the day. I now wondered just how big this party was going to be.
I showered and shaved then dressed in a pair of cotton khaki pants and cotton polo shirt. I seriously thought about going commando prior to putting on the pants in case I got lucky, but knowing my luck with guys, I didn’t think that would happen so slipped on a pair of light, blue string bikinis. By then it was three o’clock; I had an hour or so before the reception began. Before I could sit down to wait, someone knocked on the camper door. Greeting me when I answered it was a smiling Dr. Wilson.
“Ross wanted to know if you’d join us for a light libation before we caught the shuttle to the reception?” he asked.
I agreed, responding, “Lead on Dr. Wilson.”
“Please call me Jim,” he insisted.
The inside of their motor home was every bit as nice as it appeared from the outside. It had four slide-outs; the living room, the kitchen/dining room, master bedroom, and spare bedroom.
“Nice,” is all I could say, because it was.
“We like it,” Ross acknowledged handing me a Brandy Old-fashioned Sweet.
I gave it a sip and smiled, “Perfect!”
Ross Randal was remarkably fit for his age, something I’d not really noticed in the fading light and darkness of night the evening before. Either it was a matter of genetics or he took great care of himself. I watched as he and Jim interacted reinforcing what I’d felt and seen the day before; they really loved each other dearly. Jim was quick to serve him and Ross doted on Jim, admiring him with his eyes, watching Jim’s moves, listening intently as he spoke. Jim’s broad smile when he looked at Ross, telegraphed his affection in return. The difference in age apparently meant little in their relationship!
I hoped I’d have the opportunity to ask them more about how Dan and Bill steered the two of them together, but we were interrupted by someone knocking on the motor home door. Jim answered it and I heard a woman say “Raymond fell off his bike and scraped his knee; could you take a look at it Dr. Jim?”
Jim let them in, smiled at the four or five year old boy, blood caked on his left knee and shins, standing by his mother’s side. He was doing his best to be brave, but the tears weren’t far away as he contemplated what the doctor might do.
“Well, Raymond,” Dr. Jim said softly with a smile, patting one of the dining room chairs, “why don’t you sit up here on this chairs and let Dr. Jim take a peek at that sore knee of yours?”
The lad quickly obeyed, with some help from Jim lifting him to the chair. Without anything else being said, a medical bag, wet warm washcloth, and clean towel appeared on the table, placed there by Dr. Ross.
Dr. Jim chattered away at the boy while he sprayed it with some sort of antiseptic, explaining, “This will help take away the pain so I can clean that sore spot up. Now you tell me if Dr. Jim is hurting you, won’t you Raymond?”
Raymond said not a word as he watched Jim clean up the wound, apply some cream antiseptic, and bandage it up.
“No stitches needed, Jeannie,” he said, “but why don’t you stop in the office on Tuesday and I’ll take a look at it, okay?”
After she left, profusely thanking him and apologizing for bothering him, which he didn’t mind he said, he turned to me and as in anticipating a question, said, “No, not all family members come to me for treatment. Jeannie and her husband and children happen to live in our town. He’s a teacher and she’s a stay-at-home mom with five kids under the age of eleven. They sometimes are strapped for cash, so I do what I can to ease the situation. They’re staying in one of the tent sites, but taking meals at her brother’s camper unit.”
Ross indicated we’d better finish our drinks and hike over to the campground office if we wanted to catch the shuttle and ten minutes later we were on our way. The shuttle would run every half hour, picking people up and returning them, until the dance was over. Our bus was full, but I noticed another empty one coming into the campground and pull up to the office as we started down the highway. Evidently, the campground held the majority or at least a great many of the guests for the reception.
I was seated in front of Drs. Jim and Ross and my seat companion was a very polite, cute (adorable would be a better description) boy of about eight years of age. People I assumed were his parents and two siblings were seated across the aisle and one seat in front of me. As I turned to talk to Jim and Ross, I caught the boy’s eye, smiled at him, and he smiled back.
“If I may be so bold to ask,” I said to Jim and Ross, “are Dan and Bill paying for all of this?”
“Wait until you see the big tent and all the food,” the little boy said quickly and excitedly before Jim or Ross had a chance to respond.
“My great-grandfather,” the lad continued proudly, “said its gonna be one fuckin’ big shindig!”
“Samuel!” the man and woman scolded quickly.
I guessed that parentage right!
“Well, that’s what he said,” Samuel explained apologetically. “He also said he’d give his right gonad to see the bill!”
“Samuel, watch your mouth!” the father said sternly.
Undeterred, Samuel turned to Jim and asked, “Dr. Jim, what’s a gonad?”
This time, every head in the bus swiveled toward us; adults waiting expectantly for the next barrage from Samuel’s parents and youngsters straining to hear what Dr. Jim was going to say concerning “gonads!”
Before the parents could respond, Jim held up his hand to stave off anymore harsh words, crooked his finger, and motioned to Samuel to come closer; Samuel scooched up on his knees in the seat and turned facing Jim. Jim leaned forward and whispered something in Samuel’s ear.
Samuel’s eyes got really, really big; he rolled them from side to side, looked down at his crotch quickly, and without a word, nodded his understanding and sat down! He was quiet the rest of the ride! Many other parents breathed a sigh of relief, while the youngsters, in general, folded their arms in disgust at not learning what a “gonad” was. I think they all hoped it was something really naughty, like “wee wee” or “stinky” or something equally as bad!
“He’s my brother Samuel’s great-grandson,” whispered Dr. Ross in explanation to me. “He’s a chip off of the old block!”
The rest of the short trip was in relative quiet. The parking lot at the athletic field was filling fast and people were entering the large white tent erected in the center of the field. Several step vans were parked near one end of the tent and white clad waiters or servers were hustling around carrying covered metal warming and serving dishes. A low hum of large diesel generators could be heard in the background generating the electricity needed, very much like what one would hear at a carnival or circus.
Our invitations were checked by some of the same bouncers I’d seen at “Danny’s” the night Robbie was assaulted and one of them (the one that rushed in at the sounds of the struggle) recognized me, smiled, gave me a thumbs up, and mouthed a “thanks” to me! I nodded my appreciation for his thank you and headed toward the snack tables lined up on one side of a one portion of the large tent. The bar was on the other side of the tent and Drs. Jim and Ross walked in that direction. Waiting my turn to go through the appetizers line, I noticed the tent was divided by a light fencing; one third (the part I was in) contained the bar and appetizer area along with long tables about a foot wide, waist high, and covered with a white plastic table cloth.
The appetizers were simple, plentiful, and well prepared. I had my choice, among other detectible foods, fried cheese curds, chicken wings, raw veggies and dip, pickled fish, pickled eggs, pizza slices, olives (green and black), shrimp, cheese chunks, cream cheese and dried beef roll-ups, and Swedish meatballs. Small paper plates, napkins, and plastic dinner ware was provided and I placed a few items on my plate, intending to save some room for the dinner later. Holding it carefully, nibbling from it, I walked over to the bar (again waiting my turn), and when I ordered a Brandy Old-fashioned Sweet, a familiar voice behind me said, “Make that two and two tap beers.”
When I turned my head, Lee Fielding’s face came into view a mere five inches or so away. He was accompanied by Robbie Fielding and another young man.
Lee smiled at me and softly said, “Hi!” and I answered just as softly, “Hi!”
“May we join you?”
“Please!” I responded, suddenly giddy inside, delighted to see this handsome man again.
Robbie stepped forward, gave me a great big hug, saying as he did so, “I never really thanked you for saving my ass the other night.”
“No problem,” I replied, realizing that’s exactly what I saved.
“I didn’t get a chance to either,” said handsome young man with him and hugged me also. “Oh,” he added quickly, “I’m Tim Jackson, Robbie’s boyfriend.”
“And,” I said with a sudden realization who he was, “the person who wrote the campus newspaper article that brought me here!”
“Really!” I confirmed.
Drinks in hand, the four of us headed for one of the long tables so we’d have a place to put our drinks and appetizers as we visited. I should qualify that since I was the only one who had any appetizers. Lee nibbled from my plate while Robbie and Tim headed for the appetizer table to load up a couple of plates for all of us to share. While they were gone, I peeked under the table to check how they were constructed. They were narrow, high sawhorses with two by twelves on them. Ingenious, I thought.
Lee bent over to see what I was looking at. When he did, his face was just a couple of inches from mine. When he moistened his lips with his tongue, I swallowed hard, a sudden dryness coming to my throat!
“I wondered what you were looking at,” he said, “and was disappointed you found the table construction more interesting than how I was constructed,” and grinned.
God, I was so embarrassed, because I did take a peek and could see the faint outline of his manhood hanging down inside his left pant leg (not a long ways but more than mine would have)!
“These tables are used for the annual Catfish Days Festival,” he explained as Robbie and Tim returned. The boys stood next to each other, across the table from us, drinking beer and snacking. At one point, Tim casually slipped his hand around Robbie’s back and at first I thought he was just giving him a light hug, you know, like lovers do, until Robbie’s eyes suddenly widened and Tim grinned! It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out a digit just got buried in a warm place!
When Lee went back to the bar for refills, insisting on paying again, I looked at Robbie and Tim and was about to ask if they were of age, when Robbie smiled, saying, “Don’t ask; Lee’s my cousin and he’s our chaperone tonight!”
No way was I going to enter into a family affair; if Lee was taking care of them, so be it! If he needed help, I was more than willing to assist. The way the boys were headed, I figured they’d be shit-faced before the evening was over and we’d have to take them home, wherever that was! By our third round (Lee still insisted on buying) I figured I’d had about enough, when dinner was announced.
“Join us, please?” Lee asked.
I was all too happy to; he led us to a table near the front, but not a reserved one. There were several tables with reserved signs on them near us however. Each table seated eight and a quick count of the tables in the dining area led me to believe there was seating for over three hundred. Four other young men joined us, cousins and their dates I learned as we visited, completing our table.
The head table was comprised of Dan and Bill, Ross and Jim, and the rest of the gentlemen I’d visited with the night before. Additionally, there was also an elderly man and woman with them. Lee saw me scrutinizing the group and informed me it consisted of the wedding party. The man and woman was Dan’s cousin Samuel, Ross’s brother, and his wife. It would be interesting, I thought, to have a visit with Samuel Senior about his great-grandson’s comments on the bus.
On two sides of the dining area were long tables where the food was waiting to be served. Dr. Ross, acting as emcee or host, stepped up to the microphone and announced after the head table was served, each table would be announced in turn to go through either line where the servers would help them with their choices.
When our turn came, I was more than pleasantly surprised at the variety of entrée’s; roast beef, ham, fried chicken, fish (broiled and deep fried), and barbequed ribs. There were several vegetable choices, mashed potatoes and gravy, several cold salads including a potato salad and a couple of macaroni salads, lettuce and ingredients for building your own, and hard rolls with butter available. Heavy, compartmentalized paper chenille-type plates and plastic dinnerware were used for our dinner. Once we were seated, waiters scurried about pouring water, coffee, iced tea, or soda.
I couldn’t help but wonder, as Samuel spouted out on the bus, what this cost, but I wasn’t willing to give a right gonad to find out! Yet, it was their celebration of marriage and a long life together, so what the hell! How lucky could two people be? It was like any other wedding reception, even though it was for a gay couple, and it was fun!
Dr. Ross continued as the emcee, toasts were made, stories told, and we all had a good time, laughing and rejoicing in their happiness. I especially enjoyed laughing and visiting with Lee. He was so nice to look at and listen to.
Soon, dinner and tributes were over and Dr. Ross announced we’d have to leave our tables and retire to the bar area while the tables were cleared and then moved along the sides so there would be room to dance. I realized at that point, the dining area had a wooden floor!
“It’s the same floor the town uses for the big Catfish Days dance,” Robbie said, anticipating my question.
The dividing fence had been removed separating the bar from the dining area so we just stood sipping the drinks Lee got for us. The crowd was thinning, parents with smaller children were leaving or older children were taking the small ones so the parents could stay. Young Samuel and his parents were leaving and when he saw me, he gave me a wave!
“The older ones will babysit the younger ones,” Lee explained. “There’s activities planned at the campground for those staying there, which is really the majority of the relatives, from out of town so there will be plenty for them to do and enjoy. It also gives some of the parents a chance to get away and enjoy themselves here,” and left to replenish our drinks.
This time he returned with four beers. He winked, saying “Liquor then beer, in the clear; beer then liquor, never sicker.”
“Yeah,” giggled Robbie, clearly on the off side of sober, “candy’s dandy but liquor’s quicker.”
“I don’t think it will take either,” Lee acknowledged looking at the two lovers.
When the band began to warm up, Lee found us a table and we sat back, ready to enjoy the evening. The first song, the band played was “I’ll Be Seeing You” by Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal, one of Bill and Dan’s favorites Lee said, and Bill and Dan had the first dance.
I watched as the two of them danced, arms around each other, Bill’s head resting on Dan’s chest as they literally glided across the dance floor. Soon they were joined by the other members of the wedding party and when the song started over, everyone else who wished was invited to dance as well.
“Dance?” Lee asked.
Now I’ve danced with my sisters and girls in high school, but never with a man. I nodded, thinking, in for a penny, in for a pound. Robbie and Tim beat us to the dance floor!
When Lee took me in his arms, I confessed I’d never danced with a man before.
“Me either,” he said, “so we’ll learn together. Just relax and go with the flow.”
It took a couple of minutes, but soon we were dancing as if we’d been together for years. He was light on his feet, graceful and danced beautifully. He was quick to disregard my mistakes and almost unnoticeably corrected them giving everyone the impression I was just as experienced as he was. When my head rested on his shoulder, he gave a deep sigh of satisfaction and lowered his head down so his lips were just brushing the side of my head. As we continued to dance the next several slow songs, our bodies meshed together and I could feel the hardness of his desire!
My own smaller stiffness pressed hard in my briefs and leaning up against him when we danced certainly didn’t decrease the pressure or the increasing desire I felt for him. As we danced, dance after dance, we talked; or he talked and I listened. Lee wasn’t lengthy in his commentary, but what he said and the way he said it was additional music to my ears, beyond the band’s current contribution.
Lee was born to the Fielding’s across the river near the Upper Iowa River and was one of five children. He was a cousin to Danny, although distant, through his father and grandfather. He attended college first in La Crosse and transferred to Winona State with a major in art education. His first and only teaching job was in a small school district not far from Waverly, Iowa where he lived in and shared an apartment with Robbie.
“Robbie wanted to attend Wartburg,” he explained, “and his Mom thought he would be better off living with me so I agreed. Unfortunately, that will come to a halt this next year and he’ll have to find a place on his own or move into the dorms.”
Falling enrollment and consolidation of the school district with another cost Lee his job and he was currently unemployed.
“My thought,” he shared aloud, “was to come back here and open a small art gallery and framing shop. I work mainly in water colors, oils, and acrylics; mainly landscapes, wildlife – you know, still-life as my subjects.”
No, I didn’t know since I was not an artist; a writer, but not an artist, but I acted as though I knew. Shit, if he said he painted pointed peckers prodding the prince of paupers, I would’ve believed him! Lee anticipated a slow but steadily increasing market with tourist traffic and La Crosse so close.
“I haven’t prepared a business plan or really done a market survey, so all of this just might be a pipe dream!” he sighed, hopefully but still in disappointing reality.
A thought began coursing through my head, but I decided to mull it over before I mentioned it to Lee.
“I’d like to see some of your work,” I mentioned casually, not wanting to appear too eager. What I really wanted to see was how what he had tucked in his britches worked!
His lips brushed my cheek as he said, “Robbie hauled it all back in the pickup. Speaking of Robbie,” he continued with a slight snicker, “look over there,” and pointed at Robbie and Tim.
They were standing still, leaning on each other, near our table.
“They’re asleep on their feet,” I said in amazement.
“Those boys are drunk as skunks!” Lee snorted and led me over to the couple.
He looked at them and started to separate the couple, saying to me, “You take Robbie and I’ll take Tim, okay?”
“What’sup cuz?” Robbie slurred.
“You’re drunk, you little shit,” Lee growled, holding him upright until I could grab him.
“Chad,” he confessed, “I can’t let them drive home in this condition and I’ll be damned if I’ll take a chance either; I’ve about got a snoot full as well! What the hell am I going to do with them?”I took a deep breath and made the commitment I’d been mulling over the past hour or so. “Let’s catch the shuttle to the campground and you all can stay at my place.”
Thank you for reading “ Fielding Boy” – Chapter Eight-
“I’ll find you in the morning sun
And when the night is new
I’ll be looking at the moon
But I’ll be seeing you.”
(“I’ll be Seeing You” – Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal)
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