Backseat Devil

Tag: Astrodome

Chapter 11 – Bright Blue Sparks

He is laying between Brit and Derrick in a king size bed staring at the sloped popcorn ceiling of her townhouse loft trying to talk out the world in real time.

Your religion sounds like a joke.

His religion does not!  I mean there are some areas I personally I don’t understand.  But look, you have done all this hard work for God and your church over the years… and you wanted to spend this small section of time to find out about yourself.  You are dedicating the rest of your life to working at the Watchtower factories.  It doesn’t sound like it’s in God’s best interest to punish you via your father.

And if he did… time to get a new god.

Brit throws a pillow at Derrick, You’re not helping.

Yes, but he has a point.  And you’re right too.  It’s just… a lot to process.  He goes into surgery tomorrow.

Brit bounces out of bed, Get dressed, boys.   I know exactly what you need.

Don’t say a makeover.

Please… yeah, don’t say a makeover.

We’re going to the zoo.

Four hours of walking around found Brit bounces out of the park with an ice cream in one hand and a stuffed bear in the other looking like the happiest puff of blonde curly hair in the world.  James freed his mind a little bit and was back to making jokes. Even Derrick has left the realms of his normal pouty demeanor to an area that almost resembles goofiness.  As the zoo was mostly empty it felt good to run around like he owned the place and relax among the energy of the wildlife and foliage.  The trio exiting are relaxed, engaging, and more balanced then when they entered.

There is a page that comes in and James talks on the pay phone while the other two make plans for the evening.

I have to over to the hospital.  Dad wants to go over a few things before his surgery tomorrow morning.   

Brit gives him a big hug.  Derrick sandwiches him in.

Keep your chin up.

Thanks, guys.

Let us know if  you need anything.

Will do.

The next two days progress at a pace so slow it seems that each exhalation of the lungs take a full minute to extinguish   One factor he hadn’t counted on is the idea of mortality that looms over a person’s head upon hearing the word “cancer”.  James and his mom didn’t talk through much of this time as his mother becomes an emotional vacuum of sorts in times of trauma so he really isn’t kept informed about the technicalities of the operation.  The surgeon is nice enough to seek out James, and give him updates the morning of the surgery.  He stands with David in the corridor and talks with the doctor about the procedure.  He assured both young men that something like colon cancer was not hereditary, and it is something neither should worry about until they are in their forties.  It is good to have David by his side as he is able to ask questions when James cannot.

When his father comes out of surgery he has the pleasure of hearing something along the lines of “I think we got all of it.”

Relief.

Not just relief, but movement, freedom to progress past the stagnate state of staring at blurs flying by, unremembered conversations and dump trucks filled with sympathy and well wishes piling up on top of him until he was buried alive with the weight of nicety and compassion.  It was comforting to an extent and it is completely understandable why his mother has a sort of addiction to this level of sentimentality, but he finds it uncomfortable and wanted to focus more on the movement of getting past this.  The influx of human emotions were neither helpful nor harmful as James was void of emotions until there is resolution, so the padded pillows of cards, flowers, and covered dishes are just reminders of how helpless he really was against the situation.  And with one sentence from the doctor, the air in the room begins to flow and he finally feels his own heart beat.

Upon seeing his father awake and cracking jokes, the rest of the internal organs made their appearance in full volume.

Geez, I’m starving.

You haven’t eaten much in two days.

I know.  It’s amazing I was able to cum.

What?

Nothing.  We have a ton of food at the house.

Soggy green bean salad and tuna casserole?  No thanks, scoffs David.

You know I have to eat all of that.

That’s because you’re nice.  I’m not.  So let’s get some real food.  My treat.

You mean your dad’s treat.

Whatever.  

“Real food” to David is the pecan-crusted pork chop at America’s Restaurant to which James answers with the duck tortellini in basil sauce.  A plate of grilled vegetables and potato-battered calamari is split between them.  It feels like the first meal of his lifetime as they eat in silence.  Riding home means new consumed energy is hard at work constructing a better, more peaceful him.

After a week of his father’s recovery he saw something he had never seen before in anyone with such supernatural potency.  Steve was beaming with heartfelt appreciation for everything and everyone he came in contact with.  His smile can be felt from the other side of the construction site and with each “congratulations” and “welcome back” he would return with talking to each person individually with grinning gratitude.

Take life by the horns.

Yes sir.

Again this is good encouragement that James needed at the time but with adverse application.  A few weeks later he finds himself at the front desk of Feathers once again.  Enter a tall, thin man in his mid-forties with dark blonde and slight grey messy hair escorted by a young James-height swimmer-built kid with bright blue eyes, a gorgeous smile, and light blonde hair under a blue tartan Scottish cap.

Hello there.  My name is Jack and this is my friend… for today, umm…

Ollie.

Yes!  Ollie.  This facility, it’s just like a brothel or what?

James tries to contain his annoyance.  This is often a question asked a little later in the conversation not right away, and not with such blatant lack of decorum about the matter even if it was just a preventative measure to keep the cops from busting the place.  Added to the tension was the fact that he really wanted to rip the clothes off Ollie right then, and there and it is slowly turning into animosity that this person… this… Jack… would be fucking Ollie sometime later in the day and he would not.

(Professionally) No.  This is a private modeling and fetish facility where you can get a hot oil back rub or private dance with any of our models.  We have a variety of theme rooms.  You pick a model and a…

I just want to get fucked.

Anything you want you will need to discuss with the model you choose.  We have the best dungeon in Houston.  I’m sure there are more than a few things that can make it up your ass if you were looking for that.  But we are not intending…

But, I mean, “private modeling” is ambiguous at best and you have condoms on the desk.  There has to be someone who can fuck me.

Our point is to offer a safe place for people to explore fetishes.

What if my fetish is to be fucked in the best dungeon in Houston?

James was almost laughing at this point.  If this was a cop, he was good.  I’m not going to discuss sex with you here because we are not selling sex, as prostitution is illegal in the state of Texas.  So if you are going to insist on this particular subject I am forced to respond with “try an escort.”

Jack smiles at the maneuver.  What about you?  Do you escort?

(Pause.)

One night out at the Rich’s an older muscle guy had approached James and asked him to dance.  He said ‘no’ lying by saying he was “working” and waiting for a client.  The man replied by saying he didn’t need to pay for it, but still patted James on the ass as he walked away.  James thought he was in the clear.  As the night went on and the non-existent client failed to show up, the man returned, and this time he was more persistent, so much so… he was willing to pay.  James had no choice but to maintain the lie.  Everyone at Feathers and the Gold Room has clients on the side… it is where the real money was at.

He felt his pager in his pocket as he mulls over the question Jack asked.  No, I do not.

Jack thinks for a second.  Ollie is staring at James with the biggest smile.  Any hardened exasperation somewhat melted into timid nervousness.  This of course, is noticed by Jack.

Okay, here’s the deal.  It’s my birthday today and I’m having a party over at my place all night and I want you to be there.  I know you don’t want to talk sex because of legality reasons, but I am inviting you to my home and I want you to bring someone with a big dick.  I will pay them $100.00 per inch.  You will get $200.00 for every person you bring me.

He takes out a business card holder and removes a card.  On the reverse he writes down “$100.00/inch” and his cell number sliding it through the reception slot.  Okay?  That is for you.  Ollie will be there and he is helping out with party supplies and such, all of which I will share with you.

Billy walks into the reception as Jack shimmers with delight.  Who is this?

This is Billy.  If you would like to see more of Billy, it will be a $40.00 membership fee good for six months, plus a $40.00 entrance fee for today.  That goes for both of you.  Plus whatever you would like to spend on yourself with the model.

You mean a tip?

Oh, for Christ’s sake man!  We just went through this with sex, don’t make me dance around the subject of tips.  

(Laughing) Okay, okay.  I get it.  I want him in the dungeon.  He pulls out a wad of cash and pulls out $80.00 and hands it through the reception slot.  Entrance for one, please.  

James puts the money in the register and pulls out the application fee.  I need you to fill this out.

I don’t have time for this.  Jack takes out his driver’s license and hands it to Ollie.  Fill this out, please.

Okay.

Wait, I need to have the person…

Look.  It’s my birthday, and I’m horny.  I’m going to pay you a lot of money for a lot of dick.  So I think  you can let me grant me this one thing and let my friend here, fill out the paperwork.

Private time with Ollie?  Yes, please.  He buzzes the horny man in and Billy takes off with him down the hall.

You are a strapping man.  How big are you exactly??

Wouldn’t you rather have James? He’s better in the dungeon than…

James is for later.  (Fading.) Right now I want you.

Ollie fills out the paperwork carefully, making sure his handwriting is precise and accurate, which was difficult because he was looking at James and smiling most of the time.

Can you come out here and talk or no?

The door is on a buzzer system, if I go out there, I’m locked out.

Oh.  Too bad.

I can stand at the door though.  

Seeing Ollie’s reaction was something that froze James.  He was safely behind glass, distant, away from whatever he was desiring, but once the door opened he, his energy, his eyes were going to be live and in person in front of him.  It made him nervous to the point where he had to be reminded of what he was doing.

So?

Oh yeah.  Sorry.

He takes off around the corner and the opens the door with trepidation.  Ollie moves in close.  James can smell his Irish Spring… a scent that normally sent him into hives is now something tickling the nose playfully.

Are you going to come over to Jack’s tonight?

I don’t know.  Would you notice if I wasn’t there?

Ollie moves in closer.  Yeah.

James couldn’t focus.  He was smiling.  I… well… 

Am I making you uncomfortable?

Yes… NO!  I mean… I’m nervous.

I’m sorry.  Ollie backs up a little to give James room to breathe.  It worked.

This was the first time where he understood the phrase “when sparks fly”.  He had been noticing intense energies from people who were focused on him, who instantly fell in love or wanted to save him from all… this.  Now, it’s different and he was feeling the same attraction toward someone else and the combination of the two energies made it difficult to inhale at first.  Once he had a little space to breathe he was able to regain composure.

It’s okay.  It’s just that… when you’re close, all I want to do is kiss you.

Ollie’s square jawline transforms into one round grin.  He moves back in closer.  I have no problem with that. 

Audacity, in all it’s forms, is something James is trying to become a master of, but it’s easier when one’s emotions are kept out of the line of fire.  This is completely different.  His heart is pounding with the force of a jackhammer while his dick was throbbing uncontrollably.  He forgets everything he ever knew about the technicalities of kissing – all charts, graphs, instructions, practice sessions and techniques disappeared from reach at this pivotal moment when everything else seemed like a rehearsal for this one performance.  He wants to impress, as he has spent his life impressing people and going above and beyond.  He wants to impress, as he knows this guy has had a lot of sex and somehow he has to compare with history.  He wants to impress so these blue eyes will come back for more.  He wants to impress… but he forgets how.

James has spent his entire life void of this uncomfortable giddiness.  He has already come to the conclusion that it was a myth or at the very least something homosexuals do not have the capacity of knowing.  How does one come face to face with a feeling they didn’t know exists and yet still… function?  He was frozen staring at the scene afraid to attack it with force for fear it may disappear at any moment.  It was blowing up his brain uncontrollably and yet he didn’t give a flying fuck.  He tried to be the top guy in control once more, and with his right hand placed behind Ollie’s head, he pulls him in and kisses him with a softness that surprised both guys standing in the doorway.  He tasted like metal and cigarettes mixed with a soft gummy tongue that took the breath right out from the lungs and replaced it with warm coy saliva.

Ollie leans in and James backs up against the door frame.  As soon as their raging hard-ons touched, James knew he was good to go, and once the trigger is let loose, the soft passionate embrace turned into an animistic cannibalization of this complete stranger by pushing him against the door itself and penning him with a force that seemed to vibrate throughout the building as he held on to the door with one hand and the guy’s head with the other.  James did not know where this was coming from but it was hot, and he felt there would be little control left if this went too far.

He pauses for a moment… and goes back to the soft passionate kissing before releasing Ollie from his grip, his lips, and his eyes.

Whereas James is a little frightened by this force he tries not to show it as Ollie seems very much in control, and smiles with a slight smug glad to see you had that in  you sense of satisfaction.   This kid did not seem as overwhelmed by the lengthy exchange, and this worried him, I am no where near this guy’s league.  He had been experimenting with the boundaries of people both mentally and physically but never really considered testing his own and this… force was something overpowering and exciting.  This guy had boundaries that made it feel as if James was throwing a Nerf ball on the field of the Astrodome… and this of course, makes him a challenge.

He puts their heads together and stare into each other’s eyes.

Dude, that was hot.

Thanks.

What’s your name?

James.

I really want  you to come tonight, James.

Okay, he says like a lost puppy.

They kiss some more, slower, almost lip lovemaking in the music of appreciation.  The more they grind the more erect he becomes.  He didn’t even know this level of erection was possible.  How have I been missing out on this for so long?  WHY have I been missing out on this for so long?

Time had faded into oblivion and is only resurrected due to a noise that comes from the dungeon.  I’m pretty sure that’s Billy’s orgasm. 

Ollie snapped to attention.  The mesmerizing exchange halted and a shift in the room occurred.  Neither person was sure if they were doing something wrong, but there was a realization that they just might be.  Jack was apparently paying Ollie for the day and night so this could be a douche move on James’s part.  The guys kiss each other once more and go to their respective stations, one behind the reception desk and the other on the lobby side of the window.

Well that was well worth it.  You will get another thousand if you come to my party tonight.

The  door to the lobby swings open and Jack looks well stuffed.

Hope you had a good time.

I did, and thank you.  This, is for you.  He takes out the now reduced wad of cash and extracts two $100.00 bills and hands it through the window.  Will I be seeing you this evening?

He’ll be there.  (Wink.)

I MAY show up.  (Smiling at Ollie.)  Where is this place?

I will draw you a map.  Ollie, take my phone and call your guy for the… stuff.  

Ollie takes the phone and dials as he walks to the opposite corner of the lobby.  Jack draws a map and gives verbal directions James doesn’t hear.  The guys leave.  Billy has been standing behind James without his noticing.

What was that all about?

His party tonight.  I don’t know, you going?

No.

How did you get a thousand dollars when you’re nine inches?

I was talking about the exchange between you and his guy friend, escort, boy, whatever.

Billy, I don’t know what you’re talking about.

You could see those sparks from space.

Really?  

James, don’t take this the wrong way, but sometimes you’re the dumbest smart guy I know.

(Laughing.)  I know, I know.  This is the first time I’m letting stuff… I don’t know… emotions just… get some exercise.

 It’s adorable, actually.  Good to know you’re human.

Did you just call me “adorable”?

Shut it.  So you going to see him again?

Yep.  I guess I’m going to a party tonight.

James P. Perez © 2013

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Chapter 1 – Total Immersion

On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will?

The small crowd sitting in front of the stage responds with Yes!

Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization?

Yes!

James barely remembers the questions. He remembers the scene set in the summer of 1985. Coincidentally it was the first year those particular questions were asked as the questions asked to baptism candidates have changed several times over the course of Jehovah’s Witness history. Every time James drafts a pool on AutoCAD he thinks back to that year.

He thinks back to the big day while drafting a concrete detail for the baptism pool permanently imbedding itself stage left. This flashback distraction also means he is probably going to make a few mistakes he’s not going to catch until later… if he catches them at all.

James’s mother, Blanche was talking to Brother Benco in the back of the Kingdom Hall near the literature dispensary in early 1985 in a small town in Texas named Victoria.

Yes, Blanche. Feel free to ask anything.

Brother Benco, James wants to get baptized but I’m afraid he’s just too young.

James, what do you think?

Ten-year old James is sitting between the towering brother and his mother, glancing at the tall beige metal water fountain next to the black-letter-on-gold-background “Men’s” sign set in the signature style of the Kingdom Hall’s aesthetic at the time, carried out in the carpet and the dark stained wall paneling.

It wasn’t that James wasn’t paying attention. He was taking the idea of baptism seriously, but his mind wandered back to a year earlier in a large double-wide mobile home farm-house-type set on several acres of heavily wooded property ten minutes outside the Victoria city limits. The things with the 19-year-old Ministerial Servant who would baby sit James some weekends became intimate after the young man penned James to his mattress face to face, refusing to let him free unless he received a kiss… a French kiss.  Twice.

It was confusing, but James didn’t mind the amorous aspects to the request.  However, from that point forward James would suffer from an intense form of physical and emotional claustrophobia – being trapped in a corner or in a room with no way to move except at the will of someone else’s desires.  After it was apparent that nether of the participating parties were going to go to the elders, the abuser lighted up on his “force” and eventually the intimate nature of the relationship between them grew with a slow progression.  In a confused state after his tenth birthday James woke up in the middle of the night sitting on the edge of the twin sized bed. He could smell the signature mix of potpourri and teenage sweat floating against the fragrance of old wood walls, and its slight hint of moisture of the humidity-drenched structure. Turning to the man in the bed one night, James decided that if he got baptized this… this… everything would have to end.

Jehovah must see to it.

James lifts his hand and slaps the man across the face. He wakes up.

What was that?

Nothing.  Go back to bed.

Are you upset with me?

No. Why would I be upset?

Because we can’t be doing… this.  What we do.

Well, you’re the adult.  You stop it.

He grunts an eye roll and turns over to face away from the boy, the window, and the large longhorn horns that were mounted above it. Arguing with a child can be so difficult sometimes. James wanted to get baptized. Then he would be an adult, an adult who can make adult decisions.

At the Kingdom Hall a year later James stands in front of his mother and Brother Benco and decides how he wants to answer the question.

I want to dedicate my life to Jehovah. Is there any reason why I should wait to tell Jehovah that my life belongs to him? I mean, Samuel was five years old when his mother sent him to live at the house of God. I’m already twice that age!

James was golden.

There are a series of over 120 questions set out in the back of the Organized to Accomplish Our Ministry book, and the answers are given via scriptures. It is up to the student to present the answers well in the three or four settings it takes to answer all the questions. One elder is assigned to each setting.

About two weeks went by and James was approved to start his questioning process with Brother Tylich, a tall statuesque man of impeccable grace and design in his red brick ranch style house with white trim and white sectional sofa. A week later he was sitting in front of Brother Benco in his newly built, modern stucco and brick house with his over stuffed couch and matching Lazy-Boy chair. And a week from that point James found himself at the Hasdorff residence nestled in a 1960’s style home with the best of the era’s interior design of classic green and brown taste, angled legs on all the furniture, and the most beautiful stainless steel starburst clock sitting over the sofa. It was precise and orderly as the TVLand rerun it was lifted from, and comforting as if it were an old friend.

It wasn’t long and James and his mother were waiting in the kitchen of their Crouch Road home built by hand by James’s father, Steve. The large, three foot deep terracotta colored linoleum counter top in the back of the simple 2-story A-frame was the only working phone at the time. James paced back and forth until the phone finally gave its frightening bell scream.

In a few months time the Perez family are entering into the parking lot of the Astrodome in Houston, the same venue that had Judy Garland and the Supremes performing on opening night. At the Saturday morning session the baptismal candidates are asked to sit in front of the stage. Walking into the Astrodome on the field level is the emotional equivalent of seeing the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls for the first time. The expanse is overwhelming in its breath. The curve skylights were so far away it seemed impossible that anything, including sound, could ever reach them. The massive curved trusses seemed to be made of toothpicks painted grey. For the first time in his life, James felt the soft cushion of the world famous AstroTurf installed after the grass kept dying from lack of sunlight in 1966, the same year Jehovah’s Witnesses released the book Life Everlasting – In Freedom of the Sons of God that pointed to 1975 as the implied ‘end of the world’.

The stage was set at second base and the words “1985 Integrity Keepers District Convention” in twelve inch high white letters held up with a double wire prop provided a semi-circle announcement around the pitcher’s mound. The other three bases were decorated with various plants and flowers while next to home plate two above ground swimming pools were being filled with water. A young man who had been studying for a year found James earlier and the two entered into the arena together.

So many years later he cannot remember the guy’s name but he was in his 20’s, reddish blonde hair, ecstatic and joyous. If the young ten year old were overwhelmed, this man provided the excitement James was suppose to be feeling. Both had their bags of swimsuits and their bibles, note pads, pens, and programs. Both had palatable anticipation of the beginning of their new life. Careful to avoid the perfectly placed white lettering, the two found their seats on the left side closest to third base, in the middle just six or seven seats from the one center aisle.

The Saturday morning session starts and the first major wave of bizarre is standing in the center of 48,000 people as he hears the mighty surge of voices in the opening song.  James thought if he was ever going to be a rock star, this feeling would be impossibly addictive.

The talk comes to dedicating oneself to Jehovah and the organizational structure of receiving spiritual knowledge, but the language of the technicalities is always vague enough to mean “general Christian”. The candidates are asked to stand and are asked the two questions.

Having answered “yes” to these questions, candidates are in a right heart condition to undergo Christian baptism.

During the song, they are escorted off the field and into the dressing rooms.

The water was cold. He could tell because the ‘soon-to-be-brother’ who was taking care of him went first in pool #1, and his nipples had an immediate reaction through his tight white tee-shirt. Due to the lack of logos or exposed skin, the normal observer would see very little of the scene other than people dedicating their lives to Jehovah. But up close, it seemed a little less subtle than what was intended.

The setting is exciting and tense. Baptism is a symbol, like a wedding ring (it is explained). It proves to others that you are in dedication to this idea, this concept, this religious blanket of hope and redemption. It has no bearing on whether it’s reality or even at the age of ten what you know or what you are running from. It is a public celebration like a wedding or a funeral whether or not the reality of the inward soul knows what they are doing, it is being done and people in the masses are celebrating its existence.

It’s confusing if you are not confident, and no ten year old is that confident.

The young (now) brother exits the pool, drenched from the total immersion necessity of the process. There were three brothers assigned in each pool and three brothers outside the pool watching to verify that the person being baptized clears the surface of the water like referees at an Olympic event. He has the biggest smile on his face and is beaming from his bright brown eyes. He looks up at James as they pass on the stair into the pool. The brother stops to watch his young friend who is beyond neck deep in the water as he is pointed to a brother who will perform the baptism. James looks at his friend who is waiting for him. The brother has all his wet clothes clinging tightly to him.

James holds his breath and is submerged… then lifted out of the water by a foot so everyone can see the rise from his dramatic plunge for his life before God.  James emerges as someone who can now be called “brother” in the Jehovah’s Witness Organization.

The cheers are lost to water in the ear mixed with the vastness of the building. It was a 16mm film projector stuck in looping brokenness. He couldn’t breathe. There was a lot of energy directed on him and he couldn’t tell which end was up and which way to safety.  With a head rush and so much going on, he couldn’t find his bearings.

A hand came into view and grabbed him. A large arm with reddish blonde hair pulls him up the stair.

I gotcha.

Thank you.

No problem, James. Congratulations!

You too.

James was spitting out water.  Tens of thousands of people and only one person noticed that he was drowning.  He was thankful for his new brother.  When they were safely on the concrete shy of the AstroTurf, they hugged. This was the new James, and he was ready for adult decisions.

 James P. Perez © 2013