I'm 26 years old. living in West Hollywood, but back in Rock Island for the holidays. After the traditional Christmas Eve pizza and gift-unwrapping, at my parents' house, Fred picks me up.
He's my ex-boyfriend, 34, tall, athletic, with a stern, rugged face, a smooth chest, and impressive beneath-the-belt gifts.
When we met, he was student clergy. During my sophomore year in college, he got a church assignment, and talked me into moving to Omaha with him. I lasted for a miserable month. Now he's working as a mental health counselor in Kansas City.
He's home for the holidays, staying at his parents' farmhouse, about 30 miles south of Rock Island.
We're going to spend the night together, and then have the traditional Christmas morning breakfast and present-unwrapping at his house.
"I told my parents you might have a friend with you," Fred tells me. "I didn't know if you were bringing Raul home from West Hollywood."
"We broke up a couple of weeks ago, so I'm single again. I just met [My Celebrity Boyfriend], but we haven't arranged a date yet."
"That's ok. Who knows? You might make a friend tonight!"
"I'd rather have you to myself. We haven't seen each other since last Christmas." We may be broken up, but Fred is enormously attractive, and I'm feeling especially vulnerable tonight.
"So we'll share. That's all the rage in West Hollywood, right?"
We go out to JR's, the biggest of Rock Island's 3 gay bars, a sort of country-western disco. It draws both gay men and lesbians.
It's crowded. A lot of people home for the holidays and trying to escape from their crazy fundamentalist relatives. I grew up in Rock Island, but I don't see any of my old high school friends.
But Fred does. "Hey, I knew that guy!" he exclaims, gesturing at a short, rather buffed ginger guy in a black lumberjack shirt [top photo]. "Scotty, from high school! He was a few years younger than me, my little brother's age. Cute! I had no idea he was gay!"
"Did he knew that you were?"
He grinned. "Let's go find out."
"Well, I was hoping..."
Scotty says that he doesn't remember Fred at all -- even in a small high school, there are rigid barriers between classes. But he is happy to reunite.
Like us, Scotty is back in Rock Island spending Christmas with his family. He is doing some kind of marketing work for Hallmark Cards in Kansas City.
"What a coincidence!" Fred exclaims. "I'm in Kansas City, too. A counselor at Prairie Ridge [Psychiatric Hospital]."
"You should get together after the holidays," I suggest.
"Or now," Fred said, fondling Scotty's chest. "I told my parents I would be having a friend spend the night."
"If you don't mind two of us," I added.
Scotty seem to see me for the first time. "Oh, no, two is great."
In the morning, we have breakfast and open Christmas presents. Fred's parents think that Scotty is my boyfriend Raul, and ask him about his Hispanic heritage.
I don't know if Fred and Scotty date back in Kansas City or not. I don't hear from him again except for brief post cards for over a year, when he appears outside the French Quarter with Matt the Cute Young Thing.
I'm 30 years old, living with Lane. He can't get off work for two weeks (and doesn't want to leave West Hollywood)., so I'm back in Rock Island alone, free to cruise other guys, as long as I bring a close friend along.
After our traditional Christmas Eve pizza and present unwrapping, Dick picks me up.
He's my old grade school bully, now my only gay friend in Rock Island: tall, tan, thickly-muscled, with a gigantic Kielbasa+ beneath the belt. We always get together when I'm in town at Christmastime and during the summer, sometimes for dinner, sometimes to spend the night.
We rarely cruise together, but Dick has just broken up with his boyfriend (I'm not the only one who has relationship problems at Christmas). So he's anxious to meet someone, and suggests JR's. But he doesn't want to leave me out: "You can spend the night too, of course. Whichever of us meets someone, the other will share, ok?"
"Sure, sounds great."
We go to JR's. It's crowded again. Dick chats with a couple of guys he knows, and I scan the room.
There's Scotty the Ginger Boy again! A little older, of course, with longer hair and a short red beard. I take Dick's arm. "Hey, I know that guy! Fred and I hooked up with him a few years ago."
"Not bad, not bad. How was he in the sack?"
"Well, I don't know, really. He and Fred were so into each other that I hardly got my mouth on anything of his. Or Fred's. And I had been looking forward to being with Fred again for weeks."
We walk over and start talking to Scott, who doesn't remember me until I mention Fred. No, they didn't stay in contact in Kansas City. He got busy, you know?
This guy is a bit of a jerk.
But Dick is working his magic, and within a few minutes, Scotty has agreed to come home with him.
"Boomer will be there too, of course. You're into both of us, right?"
"Who?" Scotty asks, confused.
I raise my hand. "Remember me from your night with Fred?"
"Oh, sure, two of you will be fine," he murmurs.
Now this guy is totally into Dick. How am I going to get any activity?
We go back to Dick's house, across the street from Denkmann School, go into the bedroom, and strip.
Scotty tries to kiss Dick, but instead Dick kneels and goes down on me. And stays there. No matter how much Scotty tries to draw him to his feet. Finally Scotty lies down on the bed, and I get to kiss and go down on him, while Dick stays firmly attached to me.
"Hey, could I get some of that?" Scotty asks, grabbing at Dick's enormous Kielbasa.
"Sure, be my guest." Dick moves up, lies on his stomach, and starts kissing me. Scotty isn't into anal, so he has no place to go but onto me.
We fall asleep in each other's arms, with Scotty between us. I have access to him all night.
The best Christmas gift ever. And don't feel sorry for Scotty -- he got a lot of action.
See also: Topped by the Mayor; The Muscle Bear with the Pierced Penis