A NOTE: This is the third story from an April stop along a river in eastern Pennsylvania. For the story just before this one, which explains Jerry’s behavior, see On The Road #8, Ann & Jerry part 2
I have been purposefully vague about Ann and Jerry’s identity and the location of their summer cabins in the Pocono Mountains. With this story you’ll understand why I am protecting these delightful folks, whom I cherish. If you should recognize them I’d love for you to get hold of me and tell me your experiences with them.
Jerry and I spent a second day fixing up their cabins, tightening screws and checking wires and clearing brush. But mostly I remember Jerry always eager to get out the chess set. After breakfast and after lunch. The minute a break was declared. To this day I doubt he cared that much about getting the cabins in order for their guests — he had a chess partner!
At one point we had put up the kings and rooks and pawns and I found myself in the garage. I don’t remember if I was looking for a tool or getting paint, but I do remember concentrating on something when in walked Jerry. As matter-of-factly as if we were discussing what color to paint the screen door he told me he’d always thought of having sex with a guy and he’d like to get it on with me.
That, my friends, caught me off guard. I was in my early twenties and had never been propositioned by a man in his seventies before. Much less a man who’s wife had been cooking me meals and with whom we’d all been sharing stories and the comforts of their home.
But mostly I reacted to his age. I couldn’t imagine sex with him, no matter how much I had come to like him. To be kind (I told myself it was to be kind. Actually it was from years of making it a default reaction to lie about my sexual intent. But that’s another story) I told him I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that because he was married.
“It’s because I’m too old, isn’t it?” Jerry asked.
I lied, no, it’s because he was married and I liked Ann and wouldn’t feel right about it. Some of which was true. But mostly it was a lie. I was reacting to his age.
And that, dear reader, is one of the regrets I carry from my hitch hiking days. Not being honest to Jerry. Why wouldn’t I have been? He was certainly honest and open with me.
And, of course, I’m curious what it would have been like to smile and have fun instead of defaulting to my usual excuse-finding escaping when the dicy and much desired reality of lust comes dancing about.
Wow. What 20-year old wouldn’t be caught off guard by a proposition like that? And now, at our age, we cringe even more over an incident like this because we can see it all too clearly from both sides. We are taught from an early age to tell little white lies to protect other people’s feelings. It’s something I still catch myself doing, much as I loathe it. Diplomacy, it seems, requires a bit of white cover-up. I gotta tell you, I expected Jerry to propose a 3-some! 😉
Right you are, Rangewriter. I criticize myself for the white lies that pop to the forefront, just as I criticize myself for not being together and responsive to people being attracted to me. But these are the things that make us who we are and, very likely, have protected us to be getting along in the world. Still . . . seems I could be more bold and on-point.
This story brought a slight ouch to me. An older man trying to be honest and have a little sex – well that’s from the autobiography – the gay world has a simple solution – if you play you pay – one way or another, if you play you pay. About you an Jerry – wellllll. I’ll tell you a story about my old friend John McMinn who is an slave master from way back to the old days. He once had an older man (long time married) come to him and say how much he wanted to do a true slave scene for a few days. John is cool, so says ok. In return he gave John a pile of gold trinkets -cuff links, tie bars that sort of thing (John showed me the stash and it was, as near as I could tell real gold). So there was an enlightened gentleman – one way or another — see above. Do you suppose if he gave you $20 you would have sucked his dick? J
Ah, Jim. You forget I’ve never been smart enough to make money on my talents. Plus, they had given me the warm bed and clean clothes and hot pancakes I was interested in. No, the money would have made no difference. Guess I needed a manager / handler on the road ?
Actually only tried the hustling thing once, a friend of a friend in San Francisco. Didn’t like and and was awful at it. Always had my head shoved way too far up my . . . ah, consciousness.
As Rangewriter said, now that we are looking at it from the other side, well, actually I’ve thought of years I should have tried it. And, of course, the incident does keep me from being frustrated now when I’m attracted to some young stud. I do understand their lack of interest. Drat!