Personal Experience  /  Stories of Man/Boy Love

M I K E
 by Martin Andras

[Original publication note]: This short, short story is offered as a glimpse at the problems, difficulties, negative sides of relationships between men & boys.  If we expect to make a genuine contribution to our understanding of our lives, we must look for the bad with the good, and seek to explain both.  NAMBLA NEWS encourages readers to send us your own actual experiences, including those which show that we are not saints any more than we are sinners, or that we are in fact both.

Mike was 13, and already a bit of a queen.  For an 18-year-old suburban- raised college sophomore like me, Mike was an embarrassment.  He was skinny, freckle-faced, & as lively as a boy should be at his age.  He talked endlessly in a soprano voice; while he talked his hands floated in mid-air as if weightless.  His hip swung out from under his torso in the faintest indication that he might as soon identify with his mother as his father.  He wore flower-printed shirts & much-too-tight corduroy pants.  He seemed a bit too clean & well-groomed, but he made up for that by being boisterous & aggressive.  He was affectionate & compassionate, & happened to take a liking to me.  But the most embarrassing thing about Mike was that I loved him.

I met Mike at a local gay-youth dance.  We danced a few dances.  We fooled around a little in a dark corner, kissing and necking like I used to do with my high school girlfriend.  But I did something I had never done with a girl: I invited Mike back to my dorm room.  I was pretty adventurous in the few months after I "came out".  If I was a homosexual or a bisexual or whatever the hell I was, I wasn't going to be ashamed of it.  If other guys could bring back girls, which they actually seldom did, I could bring back guys.  Mike & I made love in my bed.  I thanked God my roommate stayed out all nite.  When we awoke, we made love again, and Mike went away, home.

I was unsettled about Mike.  I worried about his youth.  It was hard enough being a homosexual; I didn't want to be a child molester as well.  I was also put off by Mike's subtle femininity.  Homosexuality for me had nothing to do with being a woman.  I was a man.  If I wanted a man sexually, it was because he was a man.  If I loved Mike, I would take to bed both a mere child and a queen.  These fears were overwhelming in the face of my attraction to Mike; his figure, his energy, his lust.  The fear of loving him grew when he showed up at my dorm the next day.  We made love, we talked & he left.  But I was tense the whole time & my joy was strained.

Before I describe our next and final encounter, let me backtrack.  As a child I had usually found it easier to carry on conversations with adults than with my child-peers.  But as much as adults would talk with me, they never relinquished their dominion over me because I was a child.  I resented these adults who deprived me of my rights: the right to choose my bed-time, the right to drive, to vote, & to drink.  I was never aware enough to know that I was deprived of the right to have sex, but I knew that all my expression of feelings and beliefs was severely restricted.  I hated adults for exercising their powers over me.  I vowed when I grew up I would judge all people by their merits, not by age.  My fear of loving Mike, even while I was still a teenager, was a first betrayal of this vow.

My other fear also challenged my childhood attitudes.  I had always been a diehard pacifist & a liberal.  Bigotry was something I hated intensely.  To mistreat or restrict someone on the basis of color, religion, nationality, or even physical or mental malady, were practices I denounced in classroom debates and school yard altercations.  I probably defended the rights of homosexuals and transvestites long before I had any idea that defense might be reflexive.  Now I was afraid to love a boy because he was somewhat effeminate.  My fears of loving Mike in his youth & in his femininity made a mockery of my personal morality.

Although I was aware of the hypocrisies, I could not overcome the power of the fears they hid.  My fear of loving Mike was strong.  The next time he showed up at school, he found me talking with a professor.  He began talking enthusiastically to me, but discreetly in respect of the professor listening in.  I had no valid reason to be embarrassed by this talkative young boy.  But Mike's natural exuberance, which drew me to love him, & his slender body, which beckoned me to embrace him, filled me with tension.  I wondered if the professor guessed that this boy was a faggot, my faggot, and that we were involved in carnal sin.  I might as well have drawn a sword and dropped Mike's tender body to the ground; what I did was every bit as heartless & unnecessary.  I told Mike to get lost.  I told him he was a punk kid & that I didn't need him hanging around.  I told him he wasted my time & made me sick.  And I told him again to go away.  My memory of his reaction is drawn out in my mind like the eternally slow-motion projection of the Zapruder Kennedy assassination film.  In the seconds between the end of my verbal barrage and turning back to my professor to continue as if nothing had happened, I witnessed the death of a spirited boy.  His stomach caved in as if my words had hit him there.  He took a small step backward with each foot.  His face drew back in pain & I thought I saw his freckles disappear.  His eyes & mouth opened up wide and gave his face a stupid, gazed look.  I thought he might vomit.  But no violent counter reaction came; he did not rebound from his recoil.  I saw the shock, the disbelief, & the dismay in his eyes before he went back the way he had come along the sidewalk.  Our relationship was over, not because I had ceased to love Mike, but because in my fear I had murdered a boy's spirit.  Though Mike lives on, I killed the boy.

Like all evil men, I would be punished.

From the NAMBLA NEWS,  No. 1, Pgs. 9 - 10, Spring, 1979.
Copyright © NAMBLA, 2008

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