Stories of Man/Boy Love

Donnie and the Black Hole of Santa Monica
 by Anonymous

Jimmy was only 47 when he died of a heart attack.  At the funeral, Donnie, after their marriage of almost 20 years, still looked like an innocent little boy though he must have been in his mid-thirties.  During the service I remembered the story of how they had met.  When I got back home I decided, third party though I was, that it was one of the best such stories I'd ever heard.  It's not my story and I don't take credit.  It was Jim and Donnie's.

OME BATTLE-WEARY VETS, getting their G.I. money, went into such things as gas stations or hamburger joints.  With us it was interior decorating.  We had met in the Army, not in Anzio or on the beaches of Guam, but in a bar called Mutti's in Bavaria.  I was the toothpaste rationer for Company K, Jerry was the fastest typist in the CO's office and Guy was the butch one of the mob.  He drove a motorcycle and delivered important messages, many of them to flouncy-looking town houses in Munich.

I had lived in Santa Monica before the war and it seemed natural to return.  Besides, everyone we knew was heading for one coast or another.  So we pooled our resources and opened La Maison d'Trois.  I knew about interiors, Jerry was an artist and Guy handled all the ordering, shipping and moving.  As I said, he was butch, kind of.  Believe it or not, we actually prospered.  Guy was getting fed up with being the business end and he was a great outdoorser, so he suggested that we start giving our clients landscaping service.  Without my paying much attention, he made arrangements with a local greenhouse to supply us with plants, or whatever they supply you with.  When the first rosebushes arrived, so did Donnie.

I said "Wow!" Jerry mumbled "Mercy!" and Guy roared "Jesus Christ!!", which is a fair indication of how Donnie went over.  For his 15 years he had grown in all the right directions.  He muscled the rosebush off the truck and asked, "This for you guys?"Jerry said, "Heavens yes!" and Guy went over and heaved it inside the door, saying "Let a man handle it, sonny!".  I didn't say much of anything.  Later on that afternoon, when I was trying to concoct a Louis XIV interior, I kept seeing Donnie's hard little rear in those overly-tight work pants when I should have been seeing scalloped chair backs.  Two days later, when the truck came back with more bushes, Donnie saw a sign Jerry had made for the loading door at the rear of the shop: THROUGH THESE DOORS PASS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ROSEBUSHES IN THE WORLD.  "You guys dig roses?" he asked me.  I gulped and explained that it was a decorator's fetish.

Little by little we got to know Donnie better.  Guy would show him handstands and such athletic stuff and Jerry would explain the aesthetics of matching wallpaper and drapes.  I didn't do much except look.  He had been shipped out to his aunt in Santa Monica after his parents' divorce because they thought the climate would be "good for him.”  They had ditched him and he knew it.  His aunt was well enough off, but his father insisted he work, so he had gotten the job of helping a neighbor who ran a greenhouse.  He was a brash kid, all quips and sass, but I sensed he was a bit on the overly-sensitive side and covered it up with his disarming smile and sharp tongue.

He was rather envious of us, being in the war and all, and used to ask embarrassing questions about fighting the Germans.  I gave him a story about lobbing toothpaste tubes at them when the ammunition ran out.  Guy had actually monitored messages near the front and used to tell hair-raising tales of fighting off pockets of resisters.  Donnie would look at him with big eyes and then ask, "All those Germans wear khaki underwear, too?" He wasn't a dumb kid by any means, which should have told me something.

Now I'm no saint.  I have been accused of being slightly dull, but there were some moments that I did go a bit wild.  Wild enough so that when an occasion arose I even visited the Black Hole of Santa Monica.  The Black Hole was a concrete block john on the beach, so named because it had no electricity and after dark it was a black hole in more ways than one.  Anything went, or came, if you prefer, after sunset.  Occasionally I got the urge to go down there, if for nothing else than the sound of the surf, or whatever it was, incessantly lapping.

I never played the game fairly.  I always lit a match to see if I were going to be lowering my standards too much.  I had a traumatic experience once, being matchless, when I discovered that my only-too-willing partner had been -- Jerry!  I took so much ribbing around the Maison that I erased the Black Hole from my mind for a long time.

My natural reticence seemed constantly in the way of my ever making out much.  Possibly I was a masochist, because I enjoyed watching the moon (or Donnie, if you won't accept my metaphor) as it passed through our sky every two or three days.  I had been pretty carefully inculcated with the idea that when a birth certificate says "under l5" you either leave it alone or pack your diddles for a nice long stay in the pokey.  Guy liked them small and weak and about his own age.  Jerry, while having less of a conscience than stupid me, was so passive that the other fellow did all, or most, of the work.  Since both were my junior by a few years and much more cruise-bait than I, I was the one that always seemed to like movies or listening to the radio.  Since we had taken over the Heavenly Landscaping (as Jerry called it) and Guy was busy planting and selling, I had given up some of my free time to do the bookkeeping.  I really didn't care.  There had been a fabulous German named Johann in Bavaria that had me reeling, but when we were shipped home, I knew that might be the last real thing for me for quite a spell.

Guy's affinity with Donnie didn't help much, though I had long grown used to Guy plucking the tender leaves from the top of the tree.  Donnie wasn't an athlete, but he had a springy build and was interested in surfing and tumbling, which were right in Guy's repertoire of Impressive Stunts.  They were constantly disappearing with their balsa boards in the direction of the beach for an afternoon.  It was preferable to having them play Jumping Bean in our warehouse, with Donnie in a pair of tight white gym shorts.  At such times I tried to hide myself in the midst of Chippendale and Fyffe, but it seemed that whatever I wanted was always in the warehouse.  It was like Dante unaccompanied by Virgil to go through there then.

The suspense was terrible.  Jerry and I kept wondering when-where-how Guy would Make It.  But Guy was strangely noncommittal about his progress, and after a few weeks of bouncing about on both dry land and water, I had to ask him point blank.

"It's the funniest game I ever played," Guy told me.  "Sometimes I think it's just at the point of getting there, when it freezes solid.  I think he knows the score and is just playing me along for a sucker.  If he were a few years older I'd like to toss him in the back seat some night and strong-arm him.”  Knowing Guy, I knew he might.  Despite this, the surfing and backroom antics kept going on.  It finally got to the point where I went to the Hole a couple of times without my matches.

As I've said, Maison d'Trois was making money.  Guy's little greenery experiment proved a great success, too.  So when the year came to an end, I took my nice fat bonus and went out and put it on a new Caddy convert.  Middle-class as hell, but what else did I have to spend it on?

The day they delivered it, I didn't feel like I should have, especially having never thought I'd get within a block of buying a car like that.  I drove it around, admired it, jammed the pedal to the floor and put the top up and down, but it was all just horseplay and didn't really give me a lift.  I guess I was depressed, not having anyone to impress with it.  Guy had taken Donnie to the beach, and the Fyffe chairs didn't appreciate the gleaming paint job or the horsepower.  I was in a stinking mood, considering I'd just saddled myself with 24 payments.

That night I motored down to the beach and sat looking at the Black Hole for a few minutes.  Two people came out, rather hastily, and then it looked dead.  Finally, in the dim moonlight, I saw someone who didn't look like he was a fat old Auntie go in.  I opened the door of the Caddy, groped for my matches, and went in too.

Trying to find a black cat in a coal bin at midnight was about the sensation.  I felt the rough surface of the cinder blocks slide past my hand; my hard-soled shoes made sounds like Dracula.  Whoever was in there couldn't help but know he had a visitor.  By that time my imagination and my pent-up glands had set me on edge.  I was ready to jump anybody, even if it turned out to be Sidney Greenstreet.  I stood for a moment at one of the little slots and could hear someone breathing nervously beside me.  I struck a match.  If it were Jerry again...

"WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING HERE!?" I yelled at the top of my lungs, not knowing what kind of an answer I wanted to hear.  I dropped the match to the floor as Donnie threw his arms around me and glued his mouth to mine.

I could go through all that old bit about pinwheels and skyrockets and rides to the moon and the rest, but why bother?...  I took him out to the car and kept tight hold of him.  Both of us were shaking.

"Man!  What a bus!" Donnie said when he got into the Caddy.  I opened the other door, slid in, and wheeled it out toward Malibu.  Donnie was purring over the chrome and gadgets.

"All right, young man," I said sternly, "what were you doing in that place?"

Donnie smiled his hundred-watter and replied slyly, "Well, what were YOU doing in there?"

"I know what I was doing in there.  Now tell me your side of the story.”  He loosened up and it all came out.  He had been having little soirees downtown and getting himself done and paid, mostly by people he wouldn't want to have known in the daytime.  He'd heard about the Hole and wondered if he could meet anyone he liked.

"How about Guy?" I said fearfully.  "You know he's been chasing you for weeks now."

"That big side of beef!" he laughed good-naturedly.  "He doesn't want a love affair, he wants a wrestling contract.  Besides, it was fun to keep anyone that hunky on the string for a while."

We went home and we went to bed and it was everything that the years of war and toothpaste had prepared me for.  All the way to the house I kept thinking of how they'd give me ten years for every one that Donnie had been around, but it was no use.  I was on the San Quentin Quail Express.  It didn't let you off when you pulled any of the available things to pull.  The topper came early in the morning when I rolled over and said in a voice akin to terror, "My God!  It's three o'clock!  What about your aunt?" I had visions of a stern California dowager leading a whole pack of vice-squadders to my door.

"Relax!" Donnie said sleepily, as he curled closer to me.  "She's in L.A.  getting soused at a party, or something like that.  She won't be home for at least another day-and-a-half.  Besides...”  he said tantalizingly.

"Besides...what?"

"Besides, I don't want to leave."

"Why not?"

"Because I'm in love with you, that's why!" The hole in my chest that had been there was suddenly filled by something that could have been Donnie's clenched fist.

Needless to say, I got to the office the next day about eleven.  I must have had a shit-eating grin written all over my puss, because when I sat down at the desk both Jerry and Guy were standing there, looking at me quizzically.

"Well, what is the trouble with you today, Mary?" Jerry exclaimed.  "That new car of yours must have come better equipped than the salesman said it did!"

"Let's have it, buster!" Guy demanded.  For his sake I really didn't want to say anything, but I managed to blurt out the pertinent details, omitting the business about the wrestling contract.

"Why that little son-of-a-bitch!" Guy roared.  "All that time surfing and doing all that stupid tumbling jazz!" He was fit to be tied.  "Day after day of getting waterlogged with that brat, so that you could go out to the Hole and take him home!" Then he stopped and put his hand on my shoulder.  "The best of everything," he said quietly, "and lots more in the future."

''I'll need it," I told them.  "He isn't exactly the easiest boy to make mind, and I have a feeling that sooner or later that aunt of his is going to wonder where her nice, innocent, jailbait nephew is spending his time.  The worst of it is, I haven't got the willpower to keep him away."

At work that day, I began to have doubts.  What if Donnie were just teasing me?  What if I had dreamed it all?  What if...well, you know how many ridiculous things you can think up about a person who's 12 years younger than you are.  Finally, about four in the afternoon, I asked Guy as casually as I could if any orders would be coming in from the greenhouse that day.

"He'll be here.  He called about an hour ago to tell you he wants to stay with you again tonight."

"Why didn't you tell me?"

"Because I was too waterlogged to remember," he muttered, and went back to work.

Along with the rosebushes came all I needed to make me forget how dull I was.  "If you go back there and start tumbling today with those white shorts on," I told Donnie, "I'm going to drag you into the office and rip them off.  You understand?"

"I sure do," he crooned.  "Come back in about half-an-hour when I'm good and sweaty; they'll be easier to get off then.”  We just fell on one another, right there in front of God and the rosebushes, and I didn't give more than half-a-second's thought to his aunt.

I guess the longer you go the more luck you think you have.  Whenever I'd get edgy about the aunt he'd simply bite my ear or...something...and tell me not to get all het up about her.  And so gradually I pushed away the image of my being led off with all concerned weeping, and abandoned myself to the only real warmth I had ever felt, the only thing that I didn't have to imagine but could just reach out and touch.  By the time we had put 40,000 miles on the Caddy it was just as natural as lighting a match.  Donnie would spend at least three wonderful nights a week with me, and the only knocking on my door at those hours was Guy and Jerry, coming to inspect my domesticity with Donnie.  Then the odometer turned over to 41,000 and things came to a halt.

I went home early on Wednesdays, usually.  Donnie didn't have afternoon classes, so he opened up with his key and had a late lunch fixed for the two of us.  That particular Wednesday it was raining, which in California should have warned me.  The dark thunderclouds had made driving slow and slippery.  When I got home there was the usual light in the kitchen.  I went into the unlit vestibule and fell flat on my face.  When I got up I was surrounded by 17 pieces of matched luggage and a tennis racquet.  Donnie waltzed out of the kitchen with an apron on.  I was so confused that I didn't notice he had nothing else on, which shows you how confused I was.

"I'm fixing a celebration!" he said, flipping the apron at me.

"Ouch, what?" I replied, feeling my skinned knee.

"It's ME!" he laughed.  I tried to laugh too, but somehow I cried instead.

"You what?  It looks like everything you own."

"It is," he said cheerfully.  "Now you're going to have to make an honest man out of me!"

"What do you mean?" I asked, knowing damn well what he meant. 

"It just isn't practical for me to live someplace else and try to be your lover," he said with painstaking care.  "That makes good sense, doesn't it?"

"Sure," I replied, feeling my throat go dry as a Fyffe chamber pot.  "Sure, it makes sense to me.  And you.  How much sense will it make to your aunt when she drags me off to prison?  Jesus, how soon do you think she'll find out?  Maybe we've got time to get this all back to your place before she knows!"

"Oh, I've told her all about it!"

"ALL about it?" I said, wondering how I'd like a number instead of a name.

"ALL about it.  Why lie?''

"Why?  Why, I don't know...don't know anything...at all," I mumbled.  How long would it take to get into Mexico?

"I've got to finish fixing the soup," Donnie said as he turned around, trooping back into the kitchen, giving me the last view of my most cherished possession.

"Stir it carefully, honey, I'm in it right up to my neck.”  I sat down on one of the 17 pieces of matched luggage.

What could I do?  If I ran off to Mexico it would leave the business to ruin, and worse, leave Donnie and me without each other.  If I took him with me, it was a sure-fire way of getting caught.  If I stayed, I went bye-bye to the pokey.  Simple, huh?  There was only one thing to do.  I had to go see Donnie's aunt.  If I made a clean breast of it, told her how much we meant to each other, maybe, just maybe, she might not send me up for anything more than corrupting a minor.  Feeling like the Marquis de Sade going before the Legion of Decency, I took my twisted hat in hand and without saying anything took off for the house near the office that I knew she owned.  It was a ten minute drive that took five-and-a-half years off my life.

It was one of those big, modern, overly-expensive houses that kept us in the business we were in.  I pulled the Caddy up the driveway and rang the bell, expecting a frothing Valkyrie to open the door and hurl imprecations at me in a grand operatic manner.  Instead a maid opened up and smiled at me.  "I've come to see Mrs.  Silverton," I said meekly.  She giggled.  "Oh, you mean Miss Silverton," she said as she let me in.  Well, at least there would be only one to face.  I followed the maid into the house that had obviously been decorated much more expensively than our firm could ever manage.”  Just a minute,"she said.

During that minute I had an hour to think, but I didn't.  I was scared out Of my mind.  I could feel myself composing dozens of different ways to begin telling the aunt how much I loved him and how much he loved me, but somehow all of them either made me out to be a lecher or just inarticulate.  Finally the maid came back.  "Miss Silverton will see you in the study," she chimed.  She led me to the doorway of a large, oak-paneled room filled with books.  I was surprised that no three-headed dog barked at me as I tiptoed in, my hat in hand.

The first thing I remember was the lighted end of a cigarette.  NO, come to think of it, the first thing was a foot.  It was bare.  It protruded from the leg of the tightest pair of yellow lounging pajamas that I think I've ever seen.  The color of her long hair almost matched the pajamas, or as nearly as any bottle could make it.  The aforementioned cigarette glowed from a long ebony holder which was clamped between frighteningly reddened lips.  Two massacred eyes gazed at me pitilessly.  I was too scared to speak.  The aunt remained silent.  I sweated.  Then she smiled, malevolently.  My hat was now in a square knot.  Still she said nothing.  I swallowed.  I had to say something!  I did.

"You see, Miss Silverton, it's like this about Donnie.  He isn't just a kid, you know, and well we decided that sometimes you just can't help yourself when it comes to falling in love, and believe me we really do feel that way about one another and there really isn't anything bad about it as we both think we know what we're doing and besides I hope you understand that I had no intention of him ever really leaving home at all or I would have done something to have stopped him though God knows I really do love him enough to feel that maybe he knows what he's doing despite the fact that he's only 15 and God Miss Silverton it never occurred to me that he was actually that young when he started telling me how much he loved me you know I would do just about for him including sending him back home here to you where I'm sure he belongs and would be much better off while he had to go to school every day and...you see...I do really do care for him...he's too young...but he knows...what he's doing...l'll send him back...if..only...you won't...some drastic action...  the police...everyone will suffer for..."

She looked at me.

'Please, Miss Silverton!  ' I implored.  A moment of dreadful silence.

"You really love him?"

Startled, I said, "Oh God, yes!" trying to keep the lust out of my voice.

"Well, for Christ's sake, keep the little fruit!" she roared at me.

So what could I do?

I kept the little fruit!

From NAMBLA Journal Six, Pgs. 10 - 11, 1983.
Copyright © NAMBLA, 2008

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Stories of Man/Boy Love