Two Sound Blokes
CHAPTER 1: a short story
Two Sound Blokes
They each gulped down another mouthful of the too sweet chablis. They each watched the intoxicating fluid sluice back and forth inside the pale green bottle like a miniature sea being drawn to their mouths by a miniature moon. It was the wine.
They sat on a rock together facing the sea. The sound of rushing water became an element of their every thought, every movement, every feeling, every wave was hypnotic and the rhythm all around them gave them such a sense of freedom that the silence was strangely familiar and comfortable between them, the kind of calm silence that surrounded each of them when he was alone and happy. They might not have had this freedom to be silent if they’d been sitting next to a quiet tranquil lake or pond. It was the sea.
When they talked, they talked easily, having been made friends by the wine and when they looked up from the water, they saw each other’s face lit up by the cool bluewhite glow of the full moon. It was the place.
They each drew another mouthful from the pale green bottle.
Danny: It reminds me of my night light.
John: What does?
Danny: The moon. It reminds me of my nightlight. Almost like it’s out of place, like it’s not really supposed to be there, like it’s cheating the dark. My nightlight’s still plugged in from when I was little. I change the bulb every now and then. Sometimes it stays burnt out for a year at a time. But sooner or later, I always replace the bulb.
They lapsed into another rhythmic silence. Their chests grew warmer, their words softer from the too sweet chablis, their conversation was quiet and felt confidential. They grew bolder - not much - but bolder as they secretly watched each other’s lips on the mouth of the bottle. John held it between his knees as he leaned his head back to look at the moon floating directly above them. It was the moon.
John: This wine is pretty bad.
Danny: Serves its purpose, doesn’t it?
John smiled and looked over at Danny who was already turning away to look up at the moon.
John: If you mean it gets you pissed, then yeah, it serves it’s purpose.
Danny: I mean it makes me feel good. I like to get fucked up. I can do and say things I wouldn’t otherwise.
John: It can also make you do and say things you might regret the next day.
Danny: Maybe. Maybe not.
Again John smiled and looked at Danny and again Danny was turning away to look up at the moon. John leaned back to look up again.
John: No shadows. See? If you sit up straight and fold your hands in your lap, there are no shadows even though it’s a full moon.
They sat up straight with their hands folded in their laps, looking down around themselves for any stray shadows, adjusting their positions, pulling in their elbows and knees until they were both hunched up into balls on their rock, casting no shadows whatsoever. John turned his head carefully so as not to break formation and looked at Danny with a very serious look on his face. Danny acknowledged him out of the corner of his eye.
John: You’re such a prat.
They looked at each other in silence for a few more seconds before bursting into the laughter that the wine had queued up, laughter just waiting for the slightest provocation.
Danny: You’re the prat. It was your idea.
John: I’m the prat? No one held a gun to your head and told you to get all hunched up like a walnut. You look ridiculous.
Danny: A walnut?
John: A turtle.
Danny: Turtles are flat, John Dixon.
John: I know that, Danny… what’s your last name?
Danny: Withheld to protect the innocent.
John: Innocent of what?
Danny: Innocent of anything I might say or do. I’ll deny all of it. It was the wine.
Danny turned to look at John just before John looked away again. They continued to chat and tease each other and eventually, as it so often did with seventeen year old boys, the conversation followed that ancient preordained pathway that led it at last to the subject of sex.
John: So, have you done it?
Danny: Had sex?
Danny: I’m not sure.
John: Get out.
John laughed and leaned over to push Danny’s shoulder, trying to knock him off the rock. They tussled for a moment as John pushed against Danny and Danny grabbed on to him and tried to pull him over. They finally righted themselves, still laughing and teasing. John took a big swig of wine and handed the bottle to Danny who also helped himself once again to the too sweet chablis. It was the wine.
John: So? Have you or haven’t you?
Danny: Seriously, I’m not sure.
John: You’ve either fucked someone or you haven’t.
Danny: If we’re talking specifically about fucking then no, I haven’t.
John: Why not?
Danny: I don’t meet that many girls I want to fuck.
John: Picky, eh?
Danny: I suppose. Are you?
John: What? Picky?
John looked up at the moon again, took a deep quiet breath, held it for a few seconds and let it out silently.
John: I’m not sure.
Danny turned to face John.
Danny: What do you mean?
John turned to face Danny.
John: I’m not sure what I mean. I suppose maybe I’m just… I don’t know.
Danny: Haven’t you ever been in love? Is that what you mean?
John: No, that’s not what I mean. I mean…well, to start with, no I’ve never been in love. I don’t think so anyway. But it’s not that. It’s something else, it’s like I’m looking for something in every girl I meet but I don’t know what it is and they don’t have it anyway. Not so far. Does that make sense?
Danny nodded. They were both quiet for a few minutes, passing the bottle back and forth.
Danny: Yeah, it makes sense. The same thing happens to m… fucking hell!!
A sudden large wave had washed in, splashing them. It was the sea.
Danny: Fuck. I’m soaking wet.
Danny: Dare you to jump in.
John: Grow up, Danny.
Danny: I dare you to jump in, "Johnny". You’re soaked anyway.
John: What… jump in with all my clothes on?
Danny: That’s up to you. If you like the feeling of walking around in the middle of the night in cold wet clothes, leave em on.
John: I dare you to jump in too then.
Danny: I dared you first.
Danny: So you have to do it first.
John: There aren’t any rules.
Danny: No rules at all?
John: No rules at all.
Danny: Then let’s both jump in.
John thought for a moment.
Danny: It’s gonna be cold.
John: I know that.
Danny: We’re gonna freeze our nuts off.
John: I know that.
Danny: I’ll tell you one thing, I’m sure as hell not doing it in my clothes.
John: So take them off.
Danny: Only if you do.
They tried to stare each other down to establish which of them was the Alpha male, but they’d drunk far too much of the too sweet chablis and everything was hilarious and they were too comfortable with each other to care enough to pursue it. Danny reached for the bottom of his sweatshirt and lifted it over his head. John did the same. They both took off their shoes and then their pants. It was a warm night but they still got chills from being naked as they faced each other. Danny reached down for the wine bottle and took another swallow. He handed it to John who did the same. It was the place.
Danny: Sports, eh?
Danny: You’re sporty, you do sports, right?
John: Why do you say that?
Danny: The way you’re built, you look like an athlete.
John: So do you.
Danny: Do you think? I think I look like a girl.
John: Get out.
Danny: I do. I mean look at me.
Danny began to turn around, slowly, his face still turned toward John, looking back over his shoulder.
Danny: I mean look at me. Not a single inch of muscle anywhere. No definition.
As Danny finally turned his face away from him, John’s eyes were set free to roam over the beautiful body before him for a luxurious two seconds. He ran his eyes down along the graceful curve of Danny’s back, over his perfectly rounded backside, into the beautifully mysterious shadow that ran from the top of his cheeks down to disappear between his legs and he had to conceal what looking at Danny’s naked body had done to his own since all of the bloodcells in his entire body had decided to have an instantaneous reunion in his penis. It was the moon.
Danny: See what I mean?
John: I… not really. You just look like a bloke to me.
Danny: You’re embarrassed.
John took an imperceptible step back, cursing his body for betraying him. Danny reached over, picked up the bottle and had another swallow.
John: Embarrassed about what?
Danny: About us being naked. Two sound blokes standing naked at the edge of a field on top of some rocks next to the sea bare arsed naked. You’re embarrassed.
John: No I’m not. Why would I be? I spend half my life in the changing room with naked blokes all around me. I’m not embarrassed.
Danny: Then turn around.
Danny: Because I did. Because I’m daring you to.
John: That again?
Danny laughed and twirled his finger in the air as if to say “go on, spin around”.
John : And what if I say no?
Danny: I’ve got the wine. And you won’t get any more of it.
Danny: Go on…. do it….
Danny shook the bottle in the air with both hands.
Danny: Shame for all this to go to waste. But I’ll have to chuck it into the water if you don’t.
John couldn’t stop his body from becoming even more aroused by Danny’s teasing and he seized upon the opportunity to turn away and have a stern word or two with his penis about timing.
John: Whatever, alright alright, I’ll turn around so you can get your cheap little thrills.
Danny: I’m not looking for cheap thrills, I’m just trying to humiliate you.
John: Then you’re failing miserably because I happen to think that I’m hot and I show my body off all the time.
Danny: Really. Then go for it.
With a shrug, John began to turn, as slowly as Danny had, while Danny took his turn, running his eyes over John’s body, following the same course down the strong back, into the curve, then back out and over two perfect mounds of flesh, imagining his hands on them, lingering in the little shadow, trying to see between John’s legs. He of course found himself in the same predicament as John, and tried to casually cover himself. When John had turned all the way round, he looked into Danny’s eyes. They were both smiling, both tingling with excitement, both feeling something strong and mysterious. It was the wine. Danny broke first.
Danny: It’s time to do it.
Once again John took an imperceptible step back.
Danny: Not “it”, you tosser! I mean it’s time to jump.
John: You still on about that?
Danny: Come on. I dare you.
John: On a count of three.
They both turned to the water that was breaking a few feet below them.
Danny: Look at how dark it is.
John: Looks fucking cold to me.
Danny: Let’s get it over with then.
John: Ready when you are mate.
Danny: Alright then… this is it… one… two… three!
Danny watched as John launched himself off of the rocks and out into the water, his long strong legs leading the rest of his body, long and pale, disappearing into the blackness. Danny sighed out loud as though he’d just witnessed something transcendental and whispered to himself.
Danny: Thank you god…
John shot up from under water already shouting.
John: Bloody fucking hell!!! You son of a bitch!! It’s like ice! You’re coming in you wanker!!!
Danny reached down and grabbed John’s pile of clothes.
Danny: Now who’s a prat, hmmmmmm?
John: You’re coming in here one way or another, you just don’t realize it yet.
Danny: If you try and make me get in that ice water I’ll… I’ll just run right over to Gernard’s Head and toss your clothes right into the sea and you’ll have to face everyone stark naked so don’t even think about it.
John stretched out on his back and floated, buoyed by the salt water, looking up at the moon. Danny was now entirely sure that he’d died and gone to heaven… hot? hot? What a ridiculously puny word to describe such a vision. He watched as the moonlight glisten off of John’s chest and thighs… running his eyes up and down and up and… ice cold water hit him in the face as John flipped over in a flash and started splashing him.
Danny: Fuck off Dixon. Give it up, it’s too late, I already won the bet.
John: What bet?
Danny: I bet all of the girls from your school that I could get you to take your clothes off and jump into the sea.
John: Get out. You did not.
Danny: I could have.
John pulled himself up out of the water onto a rock below where they’d been sitting, stood up and shivered. He shook his hair at Danny, sprinkling him with cool droplets. Danny touched one with his fingertip and licked it. It was the sea.
John jumped from boulder to boulder until he was standing on their rock again.
John: What did you expect, peppermint? Now give me my clothes.
Danny held the clothes behind his back.
Danny: Can’t. I don’t trust you. I have to keep them for insurance.
John: Suit yourself.
Danny: I always do.
Danny tossed John’s clothes down with his own.
Danny: See how much I trust you?
John: I won’t throw you in… but I could if I wanted to.
Danny: Doubt it. Brains over brawn.
John: Irrelevant since I have both.
Danny leaned into John, pushing him off balance but not before he felt John’s sea-cooled skin against his own and not before John felt the warmth of Danny’s skin. Danny grabbed John’s arm and stopped him from tipping over. They sat down on the rock again, resuming their positions, watching the waves roll in, one after the other, solid and rhythmic and their skin wanted more, another touch. As they sat in their sexy kinetic silence, the inch that separated them slowly dwindled away to nothing and once again they both held their breath, warm skin touching cool skin touching warm skin… giving them each beautiful images of their bodies stretched out together and touching full length, from their lips down to their toes. The warmth of Danny’s skin made John shiver. Danny looked at him shyly and whispered. It was the place.
With all of the forces of the ocean surrounding them, they sat together in their own sanctuary, as thought they were floating together in the eye of a storm. John nodded. All of the teasing and bravado had given way to something gentle and quiet. Danny picked up his sweatshirt and put it over John’s shoulders. John didn’t resist but he didn’t dare look at Danny, he didn’t dare see his own excitement mirrored on Danny’s face so he closed his eyes. Danny was so near that they could smell each other and he looked up to try and catch John’s eyes but saw that they were closed and smiled. They might be hidden but they were saying yes. He began to rub the soft lining of his sweatshirt gently against John’s skin, quietly, gently drying the sea-cool skin that he longed to taste, reaching around and rubbing the soft fabric over John’s back as John gradually leaned into him.
John: shhhh… don’t say anything.
Danny: Is this alright… I mean…
John nodded, eyes still closed, whispering.
John: Don’t stop.
Danny smiled and brought the soft fabric around and started to dry John’s chest, rubbing it gently in small circles, allowing his fingertips to touch the smooth skin, stealing secrets for later when he was alone in his bed, and the sweatshirt gradually fell away as Danny’s fingertips mimicked it’s soft circles and he prayed that John hadn’t noticed but of course he had and was holding his breath, leaning against Danny, their faces so close. John turned toward Danny, his closed eyes confiding that his lips were ready to consummate this delicate courtship. Danny closed the tiny breath of space between them and pressed his lips to John’s. It was the moon.
The sea caught it’s breath as Danny kissed John, their lips trembling slightly from the cool air and the excitement of kissing a boy for the very first time. Their bodies said yes, this, this is it, this is what’s always been missing. John reached up and touched Danny’s cheek as he opened his lips. Danny parted his and the tips of their tongues met and began a shy courtship all their own, twirling, darting, swirling around each other. John sighed out loud into Danny’s mouth as fingertips brushed against his skin, warm soft gentle fingertips following a quiet urgent path down. Danny had begun once again the gentle circular motion, exploring a little lower each time he closed a circle, holding his breath and praying that his touch was hypnotizing this beautiful boy, hypnotizing John into allowing him to steal a touch, just one touch, to run his hypnotic fingertips up and down an erection for the first time, touch one that wasn’t his own, he’d learned all he could from his own, now he longed for one that had been grown just for him, because of him, one that his touch had created, he longed to touch John there.
They’d abandoned any effort to hide themselves, they wanted to see and be seen, their lonely erections were hot and swollen and longing to meet, longing to parry, demanding a duel, a warm wet duel like the one their mouths were now engaged in. As Danny’s fingertips finally found their reward for having undertaken such a hazardous journey and began their shy exploration, they both moaned softly into each other’s mouths. Danny began to engage in the tactile flirtations that his fantasies had taught him, that he used on himself, luring himself teasing himself closer and closer to the inevitable. John’s breathing had become halted as he abandoned himself to the sensations that had only been hinted at, alluded to in his dreams, only in his dreams about boys. He’d been touched before but never like this, never by a boy. His entire body was beginning to move against Danny’s fingertips with that unconscious rhythm, so natural and familiar, the rhythm he’d awakened to so many mornings, finding himself still moving, still pressed hard against his bed after warm wet dreams of touching boys, that natural familiar rhythm of sex… His entire body was trying to crowd itself up against those fingertips, to move against the touch of another boy, the fingers and lips and tongue of a living breathing beautiful… He jerked back to reality as though he’d been slapped. Danny was suddenly being pushed away and the cool air from the sea flowed into the space between them again. John leaped to his feet and began a frantic search for his clothes, stammering.
John: Where’s my… fuck… where the fuck are my pants…
Danny: Here they are but…
Danny held them out and John grabbed them and stabbed his legs into them.
John’s hands had begun to shake and he had to will them to function and to hurry please hurry…
Danny: John, I’m sorry, I… we can just sit here and…
John: It’s not you, It’s… I’m sorry mate, it’s not… fuck, my fucking zip is caught… son of a fucking bitch… where’s my other shoe, I can’t…
Through his tears Danny could see John’s shoe where it had fallen down between two rocks while they were wrestling around. They both reached down for it at once and John pushed Danny’s arm out of the way, still stammering “it’s not… it’s not your fault… I’m sorry mate” over and over. He gathered up the rest of his clothing and ran up the rocks, leaping from one to the next, holding his pants up with one hand, still muttering his tangled apology.
Danny: Wait John, you don’t have to go, we can just sit here an talk, I mean…. can’t we just…
John was already out of hearing distance and soon Danny could barely make out his shape moving across the field in the moonlight, running. It was only when John had disappeared completely that Danny accepted that he was gone and only then did he turn back to look out over the water and whisper to himself “who’s fault is it then?”. The tears began in earnest. He picked up his pile of clothes, started to stand up but simply couldn’t. He hugged his clothes tight to his chest as he cried, rocking forward and back and asking the wine and the moon and the sea “whose fault is it then, whose bloody fault is it?”.