Chapter 7 

Raymond & The Trucker       

 

          The seat bounced up and down as the truck bounced, and Raymond and I bounced together with it.  Neither of us was all that big, but we filled the passenger area of the seat beside the "doghouse," a black box-like affair where compartments held a variety of tools, maps and assorted junk.       

          Hank, the truck driver, was going to Salt Lake City after making a stop to pick up furniture in Lake Oswago just south of Portland.  He'd picked Raymond up at a truck stop near Spokane the day before.        

          They talked like they had known each other for years, but Raymond was one of those cocky, loud mouth guys you loved to hate.  I must admit after he put his arm over the back of the seat and his hand kept bouncing against the back of my arm, I was getting flustered.  He chattered and leaned on the dog house talking to the driver, but the two of us didn't have much to say to one another.  

          "Ray boy, why don't you sit on the doghouse a while. Give Billie Joe some sittin' room."       

          "He's all right, Hank," he said, looking over his back at me.  "Besides you promised we could stop so I could make some more money."         

          "Ray boy, we don't talk business in front of strangers."      

          Raymond looked over his shoulder at me again.        

          "He can get out if he's bashful. Maybe he wants to make some money too."  

          I waited for Hank to object or say something to Raymond. He didn't.   

          "We going to stop or what?"

          "You ask Billie Joe if he minds we take a break.  I'm all for it.  Need to relax for a few."          

          "Good.  It's settled.  Hit the next rest area."     

          "Ray boy, you are a man after my own heart."

          Hank spoke over Raymond's head to me.  "Billie Joe. you don't mind I take a break?"          

"No, sir. You're doing the driving.  I'm just glad to have the ride."         

          "Well good then.  Ray boy here wants to conduct business when we stop. You can go stretch your legs or sit there.  We'll do it back in the bunk."        

          "What?" I said, unable to hide my surprise.      

          "You a redneck there, Billie Joe," Raymond asked back at me.    

          "I can't see my neck.  Can you look and give me a reading."        

          "Got you, Ray boy.  He's a quick one.  Got you all right."  Hank laughed happily.     

          Raymond turned around facing me and pulled my jacket away from my neck. He put his hand down the back of my shirt.        

          "No.  It's not red.  Nice skin though, Billie Joe.  You use bubble bath or something?"          

          "Fuck you, Raymond.  Get your hands off me."   I swatted Raymond's hands away and he could see he wasn't endearing himself to me.  I took to watching the road, not too sure now about this ride.     

          The next rest area was only half an hour down the road, and we pulled into one of the long truck spaces.  It was late afternoon.  There were only two trucks back in the entire lot.   Raymond sat his butt back on the dog house and started to slide into the bunk. 

          Hank yelled, "Ray boy, you know you don't go on my sheets in street clothes.  I've told you that."    

          "Yeah, Hank.  You told me.  I forgot."      

          Raymond pulled off his shirt and unbuckled his pants and pulled them off along with his socks, tossing them all in the floor at my feet.  He had white boxers on and the front was poked out in a way that I recognized.  He slid up and back, scooting his butt into the bunk.  I could see his white balls up one of the legs of his shorts, and some really red hair on the side of them.  He looked at me after leaning on the back of the bunk with his legs sticking out, and made some stupid face before pulling it out of the front of his boxers.  It was maybe a little bigger than mine, but it didn't have a head at all.  Skin covered it all up.  It was pure white, and I could see red hair all around the hole in his boxers.          

          Hank undid his pants and took off his shirt.  He slid out of his pants and boots at the same time while moving his own butt into the bunk.

          "Ray boy, you've got it all wrong.  It's your turn remember.  I did yours last."         

          "Can't blame a guy for trying," Ray said. "Hey, Billie Joe, you do mine while I do Hank. I'll give you half the money."

          "Thanks! I'm fine," I said.      

          Hank closed the curtain as he leaned back with his head on the driver's pillows.  The truck was eight feet wide, so there was plenty enough room for them to stretch out, but the bunk looked to be about half as wide as a single bed. I heard sounds I knew.  They sounded crude compared to the slight, gentle sounds Carl and I made, but then I wasn't listening from the outside when we made love. I could feel the truck starting to rock, and then the curtain moved open two inches and Raymond's hand ran down my arm.  I moved, and as I did I could see Raymond going down on Hank.      

          Hank was maybe thirty.  He was older than my brother by a bit, and younger than my father by some.  That's why I say thirty.  He looked maybe a little larger than me, but he was getting attention on it, so I figured he was no bigger than me.  Raymond's idea of size obviously didn't include anyone like Carl.  I laughed to myself and felt a twitch in my stomach because I kept thinking about him.  I knew I would meet people and have opportunities, but it was too soon to even think of doing anything.  I knew I would, though, if the time was right.  I wasn't going to go without for a year!  I needed to do more than sit and wait now that I was learning just what it was I liked.

          "Feel all right, Hank."   

          "You are a pro, Ray boy. You know what to do all right."    

          "Want to do the other thing for another ten."   

          "Ray boy, I'm giving you all the extra money I got.  There isn't any more for frills.  I'm a trucker not a banker.  I don't usually pay anyone. There's guys in every truck stop just dying to climb up on a truckers bones. If you weren't so damn talented, I wouldn't pay you a dime.  Hell, I've done yours twice, and I don't do that shit with guys.  Not since I was fourteen back in Greenville."

          "Yeah, you treated me good.  Buying me food and all.  I'll give you the other on the house.  I know you're partial to that.  It's my 'thank you'."           

          My eyes became glued to the open curtain as I watched Raymond move around.  He pulled off his boxers and he was poking out really far.  The bright red hair around it was neat.  He leaned over Hank and his hole was right at the curtain.  It was absolutely pink. I swear.  Not a hair around it, and his skin was whiter than snow.  I swear it was.    

          I watched Raymond take a rubber from Hank and open it and roll it down in place.  He then ran his hand up and down to smooth it out.  

          "Lubricated.  All right!  I'll make short work of you, Hank."

          Raymond almost leaped up on it, and it immediately started to disappear.  I couldn't see Hank's face, but I could hear the moan.  Raymond's hand once more came out through the curtain as he bounced like he was on a trampoline. He grabbed my shoulder and held it almost like he was using me for balance. I didn't remove his hand, but I suppose I should have.  I didn't want him rolling out of the bunk into the front seat like that.  It was a good excuse to let someone touch me.  He had red hairs on the lower part of his leg, and his feet were almost red.  I could see the top of him, and it was red as well, and the skin was almost off the head, but still covered the ridge so tight you could see the pores in it through the skin.          

          "How's it going, Hank? We getting there?"       

          "Yeah.  You want me to go ahead?  We could do this awhile."     

          "You enjoy yourself. I'll give you a few more minutes."       

          I could hear Hank was a lot closer than he admitted.  His breathing got to be louder than Raymond's mouth.  I Watched Raymond lean way back across Hank's legs and grab below his knees with both hands as Hank got finished. I could see Hank's legs getting all jumpy.  Then all the motion stopped and Raymond just stayed leaning back over his legs and his stood straight out. His was longer than mine but thinner.  There were no marks on it.  Not a vein or blemish.  The bright  red hair was something I had only seen once in junior high in the showers. 

It made my mouth dry looking at it and listening to them doing it.  It also had me dying trying to keep from being turned on to their activity. Thinking about Carl made matters worse. I felt my bracelet and tried to keep my mind under control.  

           Raymond leaned out of the bunk putting his arm around my shoulder as Hank slid out over the back of his seat. He held up his pants, sliding down into them and his boots in a single slow motion. Raymond stayed naked and his body was still leaning against mine. Leaning out of the bunk, his hand dangled down on my chest as he looked out of the huge windshield.         

          "You're probably too small, but you want a go.  I'm still hard. I'll give you a freebie so you'll know if we should do anything after we hit the highway."  

          "I don't need no freebie."      

          "You a virgin boy, Billie Joe? You get a special if you are a virgin boy. 'B.J.'  You got the name for showing a fella a good time.  You won't be a virgin boy long.  Raymond will turn your ass every way but loose.  Ask Hank. I'm the best there is."    

          "None of your business what I am. And I don't need you to show me nothing."       

          "You are a virgin boy, B.J."    

          Raymond leaned forward and stuck his whole tongue in my ear slurping and slopping spit on the side of my face.  I smacked him in the head, which knocked him back in the bunk. He stuck his feet in the air. His pink hole obvious as he spread his legs for me.

          "Hey!  Hey, you two!  Cut it!"

          Hank sort of yelled as he pulled onto as we eased back onto the Interstate heading south. 

          "Raymond, leave this boy alone.  He's a nice kid.  You don't be doing that shit to no clean-cut kid.  Redneck or not, he'll bust your ass. He’s tougher than you Ray boy. Take my word for it."        

          "You better listen to the man, Ray boy," I said with a surly edge on my words.

          "For the right price he can bust all he wants," Raymond said in a nasty voice right back and his hand shot out of the bunk at my face while I was staring between his legs. At the proper instant I brought my hand down on top of his, slapping his arm down against the top of the seat.  He let out a loud yelp.   

          As Hank shifted up through the gears, he watched the exchange out of the corner of his eye. 

          "Told you not to fuck with him. Knew right off he was a damn sight tougher than you, Ray boy. Leave well enough alone.”        

          "He broke my elbow. He broke my elbow!" Ray held his bent arm like it was seriously hurt. "I'm going to sue your ass."   

          "Shut the fuck up, asshole," I said. “I didn’t hurt you but the next time I’ll break it off.”  

          "Thank you, Billie Joe. I was about to make the same suggestion. Your approach will probably prove more effective than mine. I'm sometimes too tolerant for my own good."

          Hank smiled and guided the monster truck with his powerful looking hands.

          "Little creep knows Jujitsu or something," Raymond complained, rubbing his arm and scowling at me out of the bunk.     

          He still didn't close his legs or cover himself, and he was still standing up like he was ready to do more business. I got an eye full and turned around to watch our progress as we cut through the late afternoon.      

          "Karate.  Four years. Don't fuck with me. The next time I will break it."

          My comments were enough to keep Raymond’s arms and hands inside the confines of the bunk.

          "I was only joking around, Billy boy.  As you can plainly see I'm a lover not a fighter." 

          He grabbed himself as he spoke and yanked up and down, thrusting it out toward my face before having second thoughts and retreating.  

          "Billie Joe.  My name is Billie Joe.  I ain't your boy.  I ain't B.J. Ass hole."       

          "Jesus.  Sorry for living.  I'll keep my mouth shut," he settled back down in the bunk as he spoke.        

          "That's the best idea you've had," I said.

          The truck grew silent except for the sounds

of the road, the hum the engine made at speed, and an occasional hissing of air as the air brakes adjusted to the buildup of air pressure. Raymond stayed in the bunk with his legs sticking out across the doghouse. I used the corner of my eye to see him, and he was pulling on it at a pretty good clip.

He kept looking up to see if I was watching him, but I pretended I wasn't. He let one of his thighs lean against my arm for a hundred miles or so before sliding naked onto the doghouse, where it drooped down between his legs, leaning on his pink balls. Some loose skin rubbed the surface below him. I could see where the fat head was hidden by the delicate looking skin. I tried to keep my mind on the road, but couldn't.        

          "I need to get my drawers on.  Make some room will you?"         

          I slid against the door as his smooth leg slid down my bare arm. I lifted my hand out of the way but his entire crotch slid across it with it half standing up as quick as it touched my skin.  The hanging skin tightened up onto the head, showing about a quarter of an inch of it through the opening at the top of the skin.  He pressed his arm inside my arm so mine was trapped under his and against his skin.  I slowly slid my hand across his thigh, feeling the soft skin while wondering how he got so bold. He looked at me and smiled like he knew I liked touching him.    

          He put on his socks and then his shirt sitting there for another ten minutes before he pulled his pants up.  His boxers remained back in the bunk.  He was once more standing straight out of the open zipper.  He looked at my face and then looked at it, and took his hand and skinned the foreskin all the way off the head. It was darker red or nearly purple in color. He turned it toward me and squeezed so the head got thicker.  He looked to see if I was looking at it.  My eyes were glued to it.  I was fascinated by the red hair, the many colors his dick head turned, as well as the skin. Finally tucking himself away, he sat quietly beside me.

          As we went bouncing up the road rubbing against each other, I got in the same condition as him. I realized his hand was on my thigh, and slowly moving each time we hit a big bump. I decided to stop fighting with him, and let him go. He stopped with his hand on the inside of my leg just below my nuts.  I don't know if he was afraid I'd belt him or if he had just lost interest. He couldn’t miss the bulge in my jeans, but we both stared out the windshield as the day started to darken.  His hand rested right against my nuts and moved up and down with the truck.

          Hank stayed focused on the road ahead as we closed in on the Oregon Stateline. It was almost dark when we crossed the Columbia River. Portland looked a little dirty from the Interstate, but quickly gave way to green hill and tall forests as we continued south. Hank pointed out the snowcapped Mt. Hood as the final hint of daylight lighted it for us. I'd only seen pictures, but I knew it right away. Of course it's the only peak there, so I didn't have to be exactly a geography whiz.  Like Mount Rainier, you can't get confused by other nearby mountains.       

          My eyes were drooping. I'd needed extra sleep ever since meeting Carl. We expended so much energy when we were awake that it required a lot more sleep just to keep up.  Now, bouncing around in the truck, I was exhausted. I could hardly hold my eyes open. I had to stay awake to enjoy Raymond's fingers now brushing against my still stiff pecker. We drove for a half an hour once we passed Portland. There was a truck stop to the left of the highway Hank seemed to be waiting for. 

There were a million trucks already parked out in back.  The lot covered one acre after another full of trucks and it was almost full, but we finally found a space about a mile from the entrance, where there were two restaurants, a motel, and a garage.       

          We ate, and I only got a burger with everything on it. Hank tried to pay, but I decided I didn't want to be obligated. He went to make some calls and came back to the table after fifteen or twenty minutes.    

          "I can't load until noon tomorrow. I'm getting a room for the night so I can get cleaned up. You boys come in and shower, and then you get to sleep in the truck. I need to pack in some hours. I've got to go to Salt Lake and then Dallas in the next three days. I need a good night's sleep. Can you two manage in the truck with out beating each other to a pulp?"     

          "Might be beating it off, but never beat each other to a pulp, Hank. I'm a lover, remember?"        

          "I remember, Ray boy.  I also remember Billie Joe almost had to kick your ass to keep you in line. I don't want no shit. You'll both hit the road tonight instead of after a good night's sleep and hot breakfast."    

          "It's cool," I said. “He won’t be any trouble.”    

          "No clothes in the bunk," Hank stressed.

          "I know, Hank. I'll remember this time. You just told me this afternoon and I'll keep the kid straight."          

          "Don't call me kid, asshole."  

          "It would be the first person you kept straight." Hank laughing before he headed toward the motel to check-in.        

          We all showered, and of course Raymond walked around naked for an hour and watched television until Hank told us to go to the truck so he could sleep. I was already falling asleep in the chair. I followed Raymond out so I'd know which truck it was. They all looked alike to me.

          "You hit the bunk. I'll start out up here.  It gets cold, and I'll climb back there, so don't be punching me out if I come to bed. Take off your clothes. He don't like no street clothes on his sheets."

          "Don't blame him. That would ruin a good sleep.  Clean sheets sound good."

          I slipped my money into my socks as I undressed.  I pushed the gold bracelet up almost to my elbow so it would stay put instead of hanging down in the palm of my hand.  Raymond grabbed a pillow and was scooting around the front seat when I turned out the overhead. I was sleeping before I got lying down completely.  All the life just went out of me as soon as I got prone.    

          I don't know when Raymond came to bed, but I immediately recognized the position I found myself in.  I had my hand on him, and his naked ass was pressed against me, and I was hanging out of my shorts and pressed right into that pink hole of his.  My head seemed to be right in the opening like I was preparing to dive in to him.  I felt the smooth skin on his.  It felt really different, and hard as a spike.  It didn't take all my effort to try to hold him, and I moved my hand up to see where that skin was on the top.  He moaned when my fingers touched him there, and some drops made my fingers sticky.  I jerked my hand away and he pressed back just a little and my head slipped right inside of him. He made a sound like "ouch," only it wasn't that. I yanked it out as quick as I felt the hole shut around me.          

          "Shit," I said.       

          "Fuck," he said.    "You might have the fucking AIDS," I yelled.    

          "I don't have AIDS, and if you'll look, you got a condom on. Jesus you're a pussy. It was just getting hot.  You're a lot bigger than I thought for a little guy."       

          "I got my spurt of growth there before it hit my legs, that's all."

          "Nice spurt.  You're okay.  Sex wise I mean.  You're a jerk otherwise."

          "Is that all you think about?"          

          "Sex?  Sure.  Tell me it isn't all you think about!  Go ahead.  You got on a hard quick as I touched you.  I just backed up against you.  You grabbed my pecker, and you were trying to screw me before I knew what was what.  I know where Hank keeps a box of condoms. I just made sure you didn't give me the AIDS."   

          "I've only been with...."         

          "With what? Who were you with, Billie Joe? Boy or girl? Or was it… let me see… I'm psychic you know.   I'm seeing it now. Here it is.  Yes! Billie Joe loves… it’s coming… maybe… Billie Joe loves Carl. That's it. You acting like you're so innocent. I looked at your hardware. I knew what you was when I read that. I just climbed in bed and planted my ass up next to you.  You did the rest except the condom. I did that to be sure. I mean I don't mind helping you out. We're going to be on the road together. We're going to need to share."

          "Road together? I never said nothing about that.  You got to be joking me."

          "Two guys that look like us are a lot safer together. You might get along okay alone, but sooner or later Willy Weirdo is going to pick you up, and none of that fancy shit is going to stop him from taking what he wants off you. That's why I make business deals. Instead of them having to take it off a me, I sell it to them. I get by, and they get off. Fair exchange."          

          "That's gross."    

          "You get hungry enough, nothing's gross. You sell it to them, and just maybe they don't take it. You're not at home in Iowa City or whatever now, kid. This is the highway, and you need someone like me to watch your back. I know the road. You need me"        

          "I need you like I need another hole in my head."     

          "You are right, Billie boy.  When someone wants to buy you food, you take it.  Every dime they spend on you is a dime you don't need to make. It doesn't seem like much now, because you got money in your pocket. On the road it will run out fast. If someone is nice enough, fool enough, or whatever, to spend money on you, don't spend your own. That's not road wise. Use your head you might make it. Think you can't learn from the pro because I tell it like it is. Listen to me and you’ll make it to California."         

          "I see your point on that one. Thanks. Yeah, I can do that okay. I don't mind someone buying me a burger or something. That's cool. I didn't say you couldn't help me out. I just don't like your style."   

          "I went through all the trouble of dressing you up there. Why don't we get back to getting proper use out of that thing? You didn't seem to be all that worked up until you thought about the AIDS.  I've been tested. I never take it up my rear without a condom. I don't shoot drugs, and I've never had a blood transfusion."          

          "What's with the sex thing. Why are you so bold about it."

          "Son, I'm a faggot. I suck dick. I get screwed.  It's what I do. It's better than sitting around making small talk.  My step-daddy told me when I was eleven that because my momma didn't give it to him any more, her youngest son would be expected to take up the slack."        

"Eleven?" I blurted, having a different slant on Raymond’s audacity.

          "Yeah! I been around,” he said like some college educated professor. “I woke up and I was eleven and my mother’s husband was up in me. I was more scared than hurt. He was a little man. Needle dick, I called him, never to his face. He'd come into my room and put a gallon of Vaseline up my hole, and he’d be going to town by the time I woke up. I started protesting and he put his hand on my mouth and explained the facts of life to me. The more I struggled the better he liked it, but I knew better than to tell anyone that I was his new girl.  

          "Two, three times a week he had a go at me. Then he wanted me to give him head with my mother in the house.  He'd be drunk and sitting there watching television when I’d come in. He'd point to it.  I'd have to go over and unzip him and do it until he finished up. Then I'd get a washcloth and clean him all off, and put him away and zip him up.  My mother caught us just once.  She was supposed to be out someplace.  She came in the door and there I was just taking care of business.  She looked at us as if stunned by what she saw. I guess she came to the conclusion, 'better him than me,' because she never said anything before closing the door as she left.  When I was sixteen I like split.         

          "I didn't mind the sex so much. It was better than a beating if he hadn't been so mean to me otherwise. He wasn’t half bad looking. I liked it from that first night.  A lot of the wiggling and squirming was trying to get it further up me.  I felt like someone finally wanted me for something."   

          "That's awful," I said, not believing anyone could treat someone that way.   

          "Not really.  I said I didn't mind it. That was always better than him being mad at me."

          "You were a kid.  He put it up your ass at eleven. I’d a got me a butcher knife and he’d only have gotten it up there once.” 

          “It was no big thing, Billie boy,” Raymond said casually, giving me a big smile and measuring my reaction.

          “So that's why you're so sex crazy."         

          "I like sex.  I’m good at it. Why not do it when you can. Practice makes perfect. Guys like Hank can’t get enough of guys like me."

          "So you stayed there all that time and didn’t tell anyone?”          

          "Five years.  He wasn't the only one. I met guys that gave me that look. I had this tight pair of cutoff jeans. I mean I cut them so high you could see everything if you looked a minute.”

          "Not just your stepfather?"   

          "No, I met guys. I told you I liked it. I’d put on my cutoffs and go out and there’s a certain look a guy will give you if he’s thinking about wants he wants to…. Do I need to draw you a picture.”

           “Why'd you leave home if you were having such a good time?"

          “Supply and demand, Billie boy. Why give away something I could sell?”

          “You’re full of shit.”     

          "I was tired of being used that for nothing. Like I said, if he'd been nice to me I might have stayed."

          “How’d you stay alive out on the road?”  

          "Here, there. A guy in Spokane kept me three months. Old guy. He was okay and I kept house for him.  He mostly did it to me. Blowjob stuff.  He liked doing that, so I didn't hardly ever do nothing to him. He took care of me like I was his wife."          

          "What happened?"       

          "They get tired of you, Billie boy. Older gay men are like that. I don’t know if they get tired of it or if it’s the need they have to keep on searching for it. Whatever it is, older gay guys mostly want something new after they’ve had it too easy. He wanted something else. I moved on. I been with a dude in Oregon once. I stayed with a preacher in Salt Lake City. Real religious guy, only he got horny a lot, and I took care of business when he asked me."          

          He looked right in my eyes before he added, "You can stay alive on the road if you're cool. You can't survive alone for long. I figured you was gay when you let me touch you while I was with Hank. I could see you watching me. That's why I didn't put my clothes on. I can tell when someone is interested. The eyes tell all, Billie boy. I mean B.J. Then you let me feel you up this afternoon. You were in distress there for awhile. I figured I'd let it ache awhile.  I saw your bracelet. I slipped it down on your wrist to get a good look. Nice piece a work. I don't know why I turned it over, but I must admit it surprised me.  Who's Carl?"

          "My lover," I said, and the words came out easy.       

          "Ouch! I thought we could be friends. Lover? Bad news."    

          "Why's it such bad news?"     

          "All that loyalty stuff.  You think you have to be true to him. I know the symptoms. I been down that road. Your first lover?"   

          "First anything," I said, disliking his tone but lacking his skill with words.      

          "Oh boy! Fasten your seatbelt…." 

          He leaned his head back against my shoulder. I wanted to smack the shit out of him, he irritated me that much, but I sensed he was right about hitching alone. As distasteful as I found Raymond, I wanted to find a way to get along with him. It wasn’t going to be easy. 

          "I guess you got it bad, huh? Is that where you're heading? To meet up with your husband?" 

          "Fuck you. He's a soldier. He went overseas. We didn't make any rules up for each other.”

          “How completely adult of you. He bought you that bobble, which could be in my bag if I wasn’t such a nice boy, and he couldn’t spring for a plane ticket home. What, he paid two, three hundred bucks for that jewelry.”

 

I decided to find guys like me to see what it means to be gay. He knew what I was going to do."       

          "Didn't tell you not to? Be true blue to me, Billie boy."       

          "No. He wanted me to say I would wait, but I told him it was all so new that if I promised him that and then couldn't keep the promise, I'd never feel right around him again. He told me to do what I had to do as long as I was waiting when he came off the plane.  That's what I told him. So I aim to find out what being gay means."  

          "It means people spit on you. They kick shit out of you if you go to the wrong places. It means you're going to hell right after you die of AIDS. Welcome to my world."

          “You got it?” I asked, alarmed.

          “Nah, I ain’t never been no where gay. I been with husbands and old dudes too scared to go looking for love in all the right places,” he said sarcastically.

          He grew solemn as he seemed to calculate his answer. 

          "Personally, I think the hell part comes first," I said.  “Then you die.”

          “Maybe,” he said seriously, giving up his wiseass answers.

          "I just want to love somebody and be left alone."      

          "You want to be left alone, Billie boy? Go home.  Find yourself some nice little girl-friend. Give me that bracelet, and settle down and make babies. Everyone will think you are just peachy keen. They'll leave you alone. They find out you are a fucking fag and they're going to make you miserable even if they decide to let you breathe the same air as they do."    

          "I like guys. I like Carl. I don't like girls. Not that way."      

          "You like me?"    

          "You're a loud mouth wise ass."     

          "Yeah, but all this red hair tickles your fancy. I see it in your face. I felt it in your pants, B.J."          

          "My name is Billie Joe."         

          "What's in a name, Billie boy?"       

          "Respect. Something you don't seem to be acquainted with."

          "Sure I am. I respected my stepfather every time he shoved it to me. I respected my friends every time they shoved it to me until they were tired of me, and then I respected the road, and here I am. You earn respect."     

          "You've had it rough, but you're on your own.  You can do what you want. Your decisions are all yours. It’s up to you to create the life you want to have."

          “Is that what you’re doing? You’re a regular philosopher, Billie.”

          “I know what I’m not going to let happen to me. That’s my philosophy. I want to find the gay community and make my mark on it. That’s what I’m going to do.”

          “Do one more thing if you believe what you’re telling me. Don’t tell anyone your age. Anyone on the road or that knows the road is going to believe you’re younger. Go with that, Billie Joe. How old are you?”

          “Seventeen. I’ll be seventeen in August anyway.”

          “You’re    going on sixteen in August.”

          “No, I’m not!”

          “Work with me here, Billie Joe. The younger people think you are the more they’ll be willing to help you. You can sell fifteen. You’ve got big ideas and you aren’t built all that big. Think fifteen and you are fifteen. I’m trying to tell you how to survive on the road.”

          “Carl kept calling me kid,” I lamented. He’s a couple months older than me is all.”

          “I’m sure he didn’t mean anything by  it. How old are you anyway?”

          “Six…. Fifteen. Almost sixteen.”

          “Take my word for it. Play as young as you can get away with. Keep your eyes open for trouble, because you’re pretty smart, but go with fifteen. Take my word for it, you’ll stay safer.”

          ‘Yeah, I can do that. Sounds like a good idea.”

          “Don’t sell fifteen with one dude and then tell someone else the truth. You’ll screw yourself up. Once you settle on fifteen stick with it. People’ll be more willing to give you a hand, an extra buck, or maybe even give you a place to stay to get you out of traffic.”

          “That’s cool. You’re not seventeen?”

          “No.”

          “How old are you?”

          “I’m seventeen,” he said with a smirk.

          “I wish I was fifteen. My life was a lot easier last year. I could do all kinds of neat stuff with my friend, Ralphie,” I said distantly, going back to before the trouble started.

          "I can’t do much for you but I can grant you that wish on account I’m a fairy you know. Poof, you’re fifteen,” he said sounding silly but way more likeable. “Now I can do what Hank wants. Or what the next guy wants. I can't do what I want as long as I belong to the road, Billie. You need to learn how it is out here."    

          "Hank seems okay. You started it with him. You make trouble for yourself if you don’t like it."      

          "He's cool. He's one of the good ones. Married, three kids, and stuck out on the road. Most guys are like him. I got what he wants and he has what I’m looking for. Jingle.”

          “You ask for it. Wait until you find a guy you like before you start wiggling your ass. It might be more fun that way.” 

“I knew what he wanted when he picked me up.  That's what most guys want when they pick you up.  We're pretty little boys, and they want us to make them feel youn--g and alive. Give them a shot of our youth without putting into question their manhood. You’ll learn, Billie Joe."          

          "You're one cynical son of a bitch"  

          "I suppose. I learned that on the road too. I came out here expecting a big party."          

          "You could tone it down a bit you know, and maybe someone would like you a little better for something besides your mouth and asshole."      

          "You don't seem to mind my ass."  

          "Interesting, I suppose. I was just surprised. I saw you with Hank. I've only done it with Carl."

          "You ever seen a guy could do it to himself? Suck his own pecker."       

          "Shit no! Nobody can do that," I advised him.   

          "Want to bet on it?"     

          "What do you want to bet?"  

          "I can suck myself off, you butt fuck me."         

          "Nobody can do that," I said confidently.

          "You can't lose then. If I can't do it, I suck you off. You can't lose if you lose, B.J."  

          "Go ahead. Let me see it.  I dare you."    

          I watched Raymond spin around and press his back against the side of the bed with his legs shooting up across the ceiling and then he wiggled until his feet settled in back of his head. He was all the time yanking on himself, and I watched him pulling it down to his mouth. There it was maybe a half an inch from his lips, but he wasn't quite able to get to the top of it.       

          "Press down a little on the back of my legs."    

          I put my hand on the back of his leg, and as quick as I touched him the top two inches slipped between his lips.       

          "I'll be!  You can do that!!"    

          "Go ahead and rub me there.  It's okay.  Open the curtain a little so some light comes in. You can touch it.  I see you're watching it."

          I looked at the pink hole.  I placed my fingers on it.  It was hot, and smooth, and the way he had his legs made just a tiny piece of it open.  I slid my finger into it . . . just the tip.  I realized I was sticking straight up out of my briefs.  The rubber still covered me.          

          "Damn nice little package you got there.  You're thicker than old Hank or me.  If I scoot around the other way, you can do it while I suck myself."

          "Do what?"          

          "You lost the bet.  You aren't going back out on the bet."   

          "I suppose not."  

          "Just lean your back up on the top and you can slide right down.  I'll show you when I cum.  You can see how much it turns me on doing both ends at the same time. Todd and I did this all the time."   

          "Sucking your own pecker.  I've seen it all now!"

          "I still got a few tricks I can teach you.  Let's go.  You got me all worked up.  Get in there and show me if you know how to screw."         

          I didn't think any more about it.  A bet was a bet.   I had known I wanted to have sex with Raymond when I first saw him naked.  He was right about the red hair, and the pink hole made it better.  I slid in easy but steady.  He moaned until my dark hair was against his pure white skin.      

          The sounds were quiet, but they made me hot listening to him doing it to himself.   I got carried away after a few minutes and really shoved it to him.  I must have filled that condom up, because it was squishy and my thing was all wet when I pulled up out of him.  It was nothing like Carl.  I didn't care about him at all, or if he liked it, but I knew he did.  His ass was hot and I fell back on the bunk in a puddle of wet sticky liquid.  

          "Shit. You done it all over the bunk."       

          "What could I do.  You were going wild up there on top.  I didn't want to break your concentration.  I haven't got it like that since I was raped my first month out."      

          "You been raped?"       

          "Yep."        

          "Did they hurt you?"     

          "Yep."        

          "Damn.  You have been around."    

          "Yeah, and I know when I've had it by someone that knows how to do it.  I take back what I said about you.  Carl must have taught you well."   

          "We taught each other."        

          "You tired?"        

          "I thought I'd sleep all night. I was laid up in a motel room for four days with Carl.  We didn't sleep half the time.  It caught up with me riding."        

          "Do you mind if I stay back, and maybe you can hold me for a few minutes."

          The request hit me like a bullet.  With all the bravado and arrogance Raymond gave off, he needed some one to hold him.  I knew what it was like being held, and I knew what it was like to do the holding.  There was no way I could turn him down.  The idea wasn't all that distasteful to me.  There was something about him that made me want to be close to him.  I wanted to hold him, comfort him.  I didn't like being alone, and when I left Seattle I knew I was going some place where I could hold men and be held by them.  It didn't replace Carl, but at least it gave me a feeling of warmth and sharing, and, like Raymond, I needed more than anything to be held or to hold someone I liked being with.        

          We cleaned up Raymond's mess, and slept on top of the second sheet. He peeled my underwear off and reached around for my hand. He put it under his arm and across his chest where he held my hand in his.  He backed up against the front of me, and I felt embarrassed that I stood up as soon as I slid into the crack of his smooth white butt. We'd have to get up and hit the road in the morning.  I wanted to get the best night's sleep I could. I felt his smooth warmth, and it drifted further and further away from me before I could think about sleeping.