My Father, My Son
(Revised)
by: Tom Borden

2000-2008 by the author

 

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent. Comments are appreciated at...

 

Jake rolled over on his side and faced Jumper. "Would ya like me to hug ya agin and git ya warm?"

Jumper smiled and nodded. Jake slipped his arm under Jumper's back and put his other arm over his chest. Jumper turned his head and nestled it into the crook of Jake's neck. They lay there for a long time, neither going to sleep. After awhile, tears began to come to Jumper's eyes again, and he said softly, "I'm sorry."

Soon Jake and Jumper were both sound asleep in each other's arms.

 

Chapter 61 

 

After sleeping for a couple of hours, Jumper woke up. Jake was still asleep and snoring loudly. At first, Jumper wasn't sure where he was. But with Jake's arm still around him, he remembered what had happened earlier. The sun had not yet risen, but he looked at Jake's face, dimly lit by the yard lights shining in the window. He suddenly had a feeling of peace come over him and hoped that Jake would not wake up and remove his arm. What a strange feeling, he thought, to have someone actually hugging him. It felt good. Jake's arm was strong. And Jumper felt good to have it around him.

Jumper could see two five-dollar bills sitting on the bed table, and wondered if Jake had fucked him, perhaps when he was asleep. He couldn't remember. He continued to lie awake, looking into Jake's sleeping face. He had rarely ever looked into a man's face that closely. He couldn't remember ever seeing the faces of the truck drivers who fucked him. With those guys, there was never any kindness shown to him. In fact, they rarely spoke to him as they went about taking what they wanted from him. But here he was, for the first time in his life, lying in the arms of a man who had done nothing to him but put his arm around him. It was a strange and wonderful feeling . . . something he had never felt before in his life. Jumper couldn't help it, but tears once again began to fill his eyes. Looking into Jake's sleeping face, he saw a gentleness and a kindness that he had never seen in any man's eyes before. His own father had nothing but cruelty and hatred showing in his face. Nestling his face closer to Jake's body, Jumper soon drifted back into sleep.

When Jumper again awoke, this time with the sun beaming in on his face, he saw Jake, propped up on one elbow looking down at him.

"Did ya sleep good?" Jake asked.

Jumper yawned and, looking up at Jake, said, "Yeah. Pretty good."

"Well, it's time we git you cleaned up," Jake said as he climbed out of bed. "You still got some of that fuckin' mud in yer ears. You go on in there and take a shower, boy. And make it snappy 'cuz I gotta take one, too."

Jumper got up and went into the bathroom and stood at the toilet. Jake walked in behind him and stood there with him. As he let go a powerful stream, Jake said, "My biggest piss of the day is in the mornin' like this. The only thing is, I always got a fuckin' hard-on when I git up, and I kinda have to let it git soft before I can pee. You got a pretty good hard-on yerself there, son."

Jumper said, "I can't piss with a hard-on, neither, but I think it's gittin' soft now."

As they both emptied their bladders into the toilet, Jake maneuvered his penis so that their streams crossed. Jumper laughed. Jake said, "Ever do that with another dude? It's tricky to git them streams to touch more than a second or two."

While Jumper was in the shower, Jake changed the sheets on his bed. Jumper still had some mud on his body when they went to bed, and the sheets were covered with it. After Jumper finished, he got dressed while Jake took his shower. After they had both dressed, they sat down. Neither of them spoke for a long time.

"Well, what ya got to say?" Jake finally said.

"Nothin'," said Jumper. "I thought we were gonna talk."

"We sure are. We're gonna talk about you and what ya wanna do. First off, I wanna tell ya, that was a fuckin' stupid thing you did last night. Runnin' off down that gravel road with no clothes on in all that rain and shit in the middle of the fuckin' night. That ain't no way to solve nothin'. I know you was mad. But I got yer money fer ya, right here. But if yer gonna stay here, that's the last money ya gonna earn that way. If ya wanna fuck someone or git fucked, that's okay. But nobody's gonna give ya money fer it. Ya gotta earn yer money by workin' fer it, like the rest of us. Even them fuckin' truckers earn their money by workin' fer it. That's the way we do things in this country."

"But that's the only way I know how," said Jumper.

"If ya stay here, we're gonna teach ya another way to earn yer fuckin' money," said Jake. "I'll arrange with Michael to give ya a good wage fer the work ya do here."

"But I don't know why I have to stay here. I lived okay before, and I made good money."

"Tell me somethin'," said Jake. "Do ya have any friends? Have ya ever had a good friend?"

"No."

"Would ya like to have me as yer friend?"

"I don't know. Maybe."

"Do you like me? I mean, I haven't done nothin' bad to ya, have I?"

"No. I mean, Yeah I like ya."

"What is it ya like about me, huh?" said Jake.

"I don't know."

"Did it bother ya when I put my fuckin' arm around ya last night?"

"No. Nobody ever done that before."

"But did ya like me to do that."

"Yeah." Tears started welling up in Jumper's eyes. "Yeah, I liked you to do that."

"Come on up here and sit on the side of the bed with me. Come on," said Jake, patting the bed with his hand.

Jumper got up from the chair and sat next to Jake. Jake put his arm around Jumper's shoulder and pulled him tight against him. "Ya like me to hug ya like this?"

"Yeah," said Jumper, choking slightly on his tears.

"Ya never had nobody hug ya before, have ya?"

"No."

Jake reached up and pressed Jumper's head against his chest. "Well, you'll git lots of hugs if ya stay here, Jumper. That's a good reason to stay, ain't it?"

Jumper nodded his head and said, "Yes." Now Jumper was having the same warm feeling run through his body that he had had the night before when Jake held him tightly in the jeep and when he had put his arm around him in bed.

"If you'll be my friend, Jumper, I'll be yer friend. How 'bout that?"

Jumper said nothing, but reached out and put his arms around Jake's waist, pressing his cheek tight against Jake's chest. They sat there, saying nothing for a long time as Jake brushed Jumpers hair back from his forehead with his fingers.

Soon Jake said, "I guess I wasn't very nice t'other day when I gave y'all that fuckin' job shovelin' horseshit. I know that warn't no way to make ya love us down here. I tell ya what. I'll go in there and help ya finish that job this morning. I don't like shovelin' shit neither. But now that we're friends, we'll both git stinkin' dirty together, and we'll finish the job in half the time. Okay?"

Jumper looked up into Jake's face and smiled. His face was wet from his tears, and Jake wiped them away with his fingers.

Then Jake said, "And when we git done shovelin' horseshit, we can have some fun. How would ya like me to teach ya how to ride a horse?"

"I don't know. I ain't never seen a real horse until I was in that horse barn."

"Well, we'll go and get acquainted with one and you can stroke it and git to know it. And then maybe you can jist sit on it to see how it feels. He won't hurt ya."

"Have you ever been on a horse," asked Jumper.

"Oh, yeah! Back when I was a young cowboy, I rode the fuckin' range fer years. Right here on the Walker Ranch! That's all I knowed how to do. My horse was my best friend. His name was Obadiah. No particaler reason. Jist liked the sound of it. I read it once in the Bible. We'd ride together and sleep together and eat together. He'd round up them dogies all by hisself. I'd jist sit there and let him do his job."

"He rounded up dogs?" asked Jumper.

"No. Dogies is a name fer them stray calves or motherless calves out there in the range herd. They sometime got separated and had to be rejoined. And I was one of the best fuckin' ropers in the county, you know that? I even used to participate in the Goliad County rodeo that was held on the Fourth of July every year. I was a good fuckin' buckaroo. And I won myself a shitpot full of awards for my ropin', too. Them was the days! Don't git me wrong. Bein' out on the fuckin' range warn't always easy. The second day out, I'd git sweaty and nasty, and I'd stay that way for the next couple of months. My crotch was so fuckin' sweaty all the time, and my balls would itch so bad, I used lay all night on the ground scratchin' 'em. Then I'd jerk off and empty 'em out, and then they always felt better."

Jumper looked up and said, "You jerked off?"

"Sure," said Jake with laugh. "All guys jerk off. Look at my fuckin' right arm. It's bigger than my other'n 'cuz I always jerk off so much. You jerk yer dick, don't ya?"

"Yeah," said Jumper, holding both arms out in front of him.

"Ya see!" said Jake. "I knowed ya ain't lyin' cuz, even though yer arms are kinda skinny, your right one is bigger than yer other'n!"

Jumper laughed and looked down at Jake's arms again. Then suddenly he brought one of Jake's arms up to his face and pressed it against his cheek. Jumper wanted more than anything to have Jake put those strong arms around him again. Jake sensed that was what Jumper wanted and took the boy in his arms and held him tightly against his body.

Jake said, "I'll hug ya anytime ya want. Remember that. And ya know what huggin' somebody means? It means he loves ya, and this is a way to let ya know he loves ya."

After awhile Jake pushed Jumper away at arm's length and said, "Jumper, do ya like to be hugged by a good friend like me better that gittin' fucked by them truckers?"

Jumper nodded vigorously and said, "Jake, I ain't never liked to get fucked by them truckers. I hated it. But it was the only way I could live." He then threw his arms around Jake, and they sat holding onto each other for a long time, saying nothing.

Michael arose early that morning and was working on his books when he received a call from the hospital in Dallas that he had to pick up Jared that day or he would be remanded to a State facility. He went into the kitchen for a cup of coffee and found Jeff and Tony sitting at the kitchen table talking.

Michael said, "Have you seen Jake and Jumper yet this morning?"

"Not yet," said Tony. "I've already served breakfast to the crew, but he's never come out of his room."

Michael looked worried. "I wonder how it went last night. Jumper was really hysterical. But he was quiet as a lamb when Jake brought him back."

Just then, Jake came up on the verandah and into the kitchen. "I jist come over here to git some coffee and sweet rolls, if ya got em. I wanna take 'em back and that'll be mine and Jumper's breakfast."

Michael said, "Well, Jake. Are you going to tell us what happened?"

"I think he's gonna be okay. We had a long talk. Course I did most of the fuckin' talkin'. I told him he can leave anytime he wants, but I think he's gonna give it a fuckin' chance now. Was a fuckin' stupid thing he did last night, and I think he realized that now. Funny thing about him. It's obvious nobody never loved him. and he never loved nobody in his life. And when I caught him, I picked 'im up and held him pretty tight like. Then it hit me between the fuckin' eyes. That critter never been hugged by nobody neither. Never had a fuckin' hug from nobody. He held onto me like a baby porkapine hangin' onto his mama's back. I don't think he never cried in his life neither. But he cried a lot last night. That boy's lonely, Michael. He ain't got no idea 'bout havin' fun or nothin'. All he's ever done is jist try git by. He told me he hated gittin' fucked by them truck drivers, but it's all he knew. He ain't outta the fuckin' woods yet, but maybe we can do somethin' fer him. Maybe if he knew he had a home and someone that loved him and cared for him, maybe we can give him some kinda fuckin' life."

Michael got up and hugged Jake and said, "I might have known it would be you who could do this, Jake. Sit down a minute while Tony heats up the rolls. You know, Jake, you should have had kids of your own. They would have turned out to be the world's best."

Tony presented Jake with a mug of coffee, and Jake sat and looked into it for a few moments. Then he said, "Well, I never told nobody this, but I did have a son once. When I was a young horny bastard, I knocked up this cunt one night. Her fuckin' parents made a big fuckin' stink and made me marry her."

"I never knew you were married, Jake," said Jeff.

"Well it warn't fer long. She had a baby boy, and I went ape-shit over 'im. He was a good strong boy, and he looked jist like me. Then one day a few months later, that bitch's old man came after her and kidnapped her and the baby, and told me to fuckin' git lost. I never did knowed where they went. I was jist seventeen and didn't know shit about nothin'. First thing I knowed she divorced me, and I never seen 'em since. That's when I came to work here and spent all my fuckin' time out on the range. But I never fergot the little fucker. But that's water under the dam now."

"Over the dam, Jake," said Jeff rather indelicately.

Michael said, "Have you ever tried to find him, Jake?"

"Nah. Never knew how to do it. Besides, if he's still alive, he'd be like forty-four or forty-five years old now, and has his own fuckin' life. He don't need to know his old man's an old ignorant good fer nothin' cowpoke."

"Oh, Jake. Why didn't you ever tell us about that?" said Michael.

"Warn't no use to tell nobody. It's jist water under the . . . . whatever. Anyway, Michael, I wanna talk to you about wages fer Jumper fer the work I'm gonna git him to do."

"Okay, Jake, I'll put him down for whatever you think he's worth. Let's talk about it tomorrow. Right after lunch I'm having to drive up to Dallas to get Jared and bring him back here. I'm going to stay overnight there, and then drive him back tomorrow."

"Oh, Michael," said Jake, getting up from his chair. "I was one of them peoples what thought yer making a big fuckin' mistake doin' this. And I hope ya know what yer doin'. Maybe if he acts up, maybe you can let me handle it."

"Don't think that'll be necessary, Jake," said Michael. "His mind is pretty well gone. I don't know really what to expect once he's here. But I'm sure he won't be 'acting up.'"

It was late afternoon when Michael arrived in Dallas. After checking into the Adolphus Hotel on Commerce Street, he took a long shower and went immediately down to the hotel bar. Ordering his usual triple Scotch and water, he felt as though he wanted to get drunk and feel really good before having to get up in the morning and get Jared. As he sipped his drink, he listened idly to the piano player perched on a revolving platform in the center of the circular bar.

As Michael was about to order another drink, the bartender placed one in front of him, saying, "The gentleman over there at the end of the bar sent this to you with his regards." Michael looked that way and saw a young man smiling at him. He was immaculately dressed in coat and tie. Michael waved his hand slightly and mouthed the words, 'thank you.' Although he didn't recognize the man, Michael thought that there was something familiar about him.

As Michael continued to keep his eyes on the piano player, he suddenly felt a hand on his arm and looked up. The young man was standing next to him and said, "I don't suppose you recognize me, Mr. Walker, but I'm Ted Kennedy. No, not that Ted Kennedy, God forbid. I was a friend of your son, Jeff, when we were in high school together."

Michael then recognized the boy and said, "Oh, yes, now I recognize you! Thank you for the drink. Won't you sit down and join me? What brings you way up here to Dallas?"

"I'm going to school here," said Ted. "I'm a senior at SMU. And may I ask what brings you here, Mr. Walker?"

"Well, my brother is in the hospital here, and I'm here to bring him back to the ranch tomorrow."

There was a rather uneasy pause and Ted said, "I recognized you because I would see you in Goliad every now and then. You know, my dad is the manager of the Cock and Bull Lounge.""

Michael could feel the blood suddenly rush to his head. The Cock and Bull Lounge, known by all who patronized it as The Cock and Balls Lounge. 'My God, his dad is the manager of a gay bar,' he thought.

"I've seen you there several times," said Ted. That's how I recognized you. I hope I'm not making you uncomfortable."

"No, no, Ted," stammered Michael. "Does that mean you're . . . .?"

"Yeah, Dad and I learned about each other a long time ago, way back when I was about fourteen or fifteen."

"Well, that's nice," said Michael, not really sure how to respond. Then, putting on a cheery voice, he said, "Okay! Let me get the next round here. Bartender!"

Michael and Ted talked for a long time about Ted's classes, the ranching business, what Jeff was doing with himself these days, plus a great deal of just small talk. After several drinks, Michael could feel them. Excusing himself to go to the restroom, he tried to walk a straight line, but was having a great deal of trouble keeping his balance. He felt as though he was walking blindly among the tables as he made his way to the restroom. As he stood at the urinal, he leaned his head against the wall to steady himself. His penis was almost hard, and he was having difficulty getting a stream going. Finally he made his way back to the bar, but his eyes were blurring and he wasn't sure where he had been sitting. Ted walked over to him and led him back to his barstool.

Michael said, with a definite slur to his voice, "It was great talking to you, but I think I've got to go to bed now."

As Michael started to walk off, Ted took him by the arm and said, "Mr. Walker, I think I'd better take you to your room to make sure you get there alright."

Michael smiled and said, "Oh that is so kind of you."

"What floor are you on, Mr. Walker?"

As Michael fumbled for his key, he said, "Oh boy, I think I've forgotten."

"Let me see your key," said Ted.

When Michael didn't respond, Ted reached into Michael's pocket and pulled out the magnetized card used for a key. As he did so, his hand glided over Michael's hard-on. "There's no room number on this card," Ted said. "Let's inquire at the desk."

After learning that Michael's room was 849 on the eighth floor, Ted walked Michael to the elevator and up to the room. "Here, Mr. Walker, let me open the door for you."

As soon as they entered the room, Michael headed for the bed and collapsed on it. Ted stood over him and thought to himself, "My God, I have Michael Walker all to myself. How many guys over at the Cock and Balls used to drool over the sight of him. I can hardly believe I'm standing here!"

"Are you awake, Mr. Walker?" asked Ted.

Michael's eyelids fluttered and then closed. "Yeah, I'm here."

"Let me help you out of those clothes. You don't want to mess up your clothes by sleeping in them."

"Okay."

Ted's hands shook as he pulled off each item of Michael's clothing. After pulling off Michael's boxers, he stood and looked down at Michael is all his nakedness. Ted still could hardly believe that he was doing this to Michael Walker, of all people. Just wait, he thought, until he could tell his dad about this!

"Are you comfortable, Mr. Walker?"

Without opening his eyes, Michael murmured, "Yeah, I'm very comfortable."

"May I lie down with you for a little while, Mr. Walker?"

"Sure. Be my guest."

Ted had not planned on anything like this happening. He thought for a moment that it might not be right to go any further. The idea of taking advantage of a man when he was drunk did not seem like the right thing to do. But there was no turning back now, he thought. Stripping off all his clothes, Ted lay down next to Michael.

"Would you like me to massage you a little bit, Mr. Walker. It will help you relax and go to sleep."

Michael nodded and said nothing. Ted began running his hands over Michael's chest and stomach. Then down over the soft hair on what Ted thought were two of the most perfectly shaped legs. Michael's penis was standing up hard and rigid. Ted slowly lowered his head and touched the tip of his tongue to Michael's penis head, causing Michael to moan slightly, still with his eyes closed. Cupping Michael's large ball sack in one hand, Ted took all of Michael's penis into his mouth, running his lips up and down the full length of it. Each time he brought his lips down to the base of it, he could feel Michael's thick pubic hair tickle his nose and cheeks.

As Michael's moans became more urgent, Ted said, "Would you like to take my penis, too, Mr. Walker?"

"Yeah," was Michael's muffled reply.

Ted got on his hands and knees, straddling Michael's body in a sixty-nine. With Michael still on his back, Ted was able to fuck Michael's mouth as he sucked his penis. Michael reached up and held onto Ted's hips as Ted fucked his mouth. Just to know that he had his penis in Michael Walker's mouth brought Ted almost to a climax. He stopped the fucking action and just sank his hard rod deep into Michael's mouth. He could feel Michael's tongue circling and swirling around his penis. Soon he saw Michael's legs begin to tense and the muscles in his thighs begin to bulge erotically. He felt Michael's penis begin to enlarge and could see his balls begin to pull up into his body. Ted just let himself go and let the orgasm begin, knowing that he would be flooding Michael Walker's mouth and throat with his sperm. As the throbbing of his penis began and his orgasm took hold of him, he felt Michael's penis begin to throb violently, throwing shot after shot of his hot, thick cum into his mouth. As he swallowed it, while he was pumping out his own sperm, Ted felt almost delirious with the idea that it was Michael Walker's sperm in his mouth and that his own penis was shooting sperm down Michael Walker's throat.

Soon, Michael let go of Ted's hips and allowed his hands to flop down on the bed. As they separated themselves from each other's penises, Ted sat up and said, "That was wonderful, Mr. Walker. Mr. Walker?"

Michael had fallen into a deep sleep. Some of Ted's cum was running out of the corner of his mouth. Ted leaned over and kissed Michael on the lips, licking up some of his own cum. Then crouching on the bed between Michael's legs, Ted leaned over and licked and sucked on Michael's balls for a few minutes. Then he ran his hands lightly over Michael's entire body, reveling in the idea that he was touching Michael Walker's skin. After about a half hour, Ted was hard again and found himself in an erotic frenzy every bit as powerful as he was when he first climbed into Michael's bed. Still crouching between Michael's legs, he began to jack off while looking at Michael's body. It was not long before Ted's second orgasm swept over him and he shot several ropes of sperm onto Michael's wilting penis and balls. He then leaned over and licked and sucked up all his cum off of Michael's sleeping body.

Ted soon got up and put his clothes back on. Taking one of his cards from his wallet, he wrote Michael a note of thanks and left it on the bedside table before tip-toeing out of the room and closing the door quietly behind him.

When Michael awoke, he looked at his watch and saw that it was 10:00 a.m. His head ached, and his mouth was dry, and he felt generally miserable. He lay there staring at the ceiling, remembering that he had talked to Ted Kennedy at the bar, but anything that happened after that was fuzzy in his mind. He did vaguely remember going up the elevator with Ted, but that was all. He remembered sucking someone's dick, but dismissed it as only an erotic dream. Finally, Michael managed to sit up on the side of the bed, and his head began to pound worse than ever.

Seeing the card on the bed table, he read it. "Mr. Walker, I want to thank you for a wonderful time tonight. I hung your clothes up in the closet so they wouldn't get wrinkled. Lying in bed with you tonight has given me a memory I will always cherish. Love, Ted."

Michael stared at the card. He couldn't believe that he had gone to bed with Ted. Holding his head, he thought that he needed to swear off of drinking so much. But he'd sworn off of drinking many times before. He thought to himself that maybe Karl and he were a good match. Karl had an addiction to sex, and he had a drinking problem!

Michael took several aspirin, then had his shower and got dressed. His mouth tasted like he'd been sucking on an old rag all night. In the hotel dining room, he ordered a pot of coffee and a full breakfast of eggs, bacon, and biscuits. It was noon by the time Michael finally checked out of the hotel. He had an old-fashioned hangover, and couldn't wait until he could get in his car and sit down.

When Michael reached the hospital, he began to feel worse than ever now that the moment was on him to take Jared home. He found Jared fully dressed and sitting in a lounge area on his floor staring blankly out the window. At the desk, as he was signing several papers, the doctor approached him.

"Mr. Walker, your brother is all ready to go. Here are some prescriptions that you should have filled. One of them is a blood thinner to help prevent clotting in the brain. He had multi-infarc-dimentia, which means he will have very small multiple strokes that will affect the brain. You'll find, however, that as time goes on, the good cells in his brain will begin to take over to some extent from the damaged cells which will manifest itself in an obvious improvement in his mental capacity. But then as the minor strokes occur, he will become worse again. You'll notice that he walks very slowly and unsteady. You know, every muscle in the body is controlled by the brain. Luckily, he can still walk, but it's difficult for him. Also, here are the names of two doctors located in Goliad, who specialize in this sort of thing. If you feel it is needed, you can contact one of them. Mr. Walker, good luck with your brother. It may be rough going at times, but God is with you for wanting to take care of him, rather than having him put in an institution."

Michael stepped over to Jared and said, "You can come with me, Jared. I'll drive you back down to the ranch."

Jared looked at Michael with little expression and got up. Michael took his arm and they walked slowly out to the parking lot, with Jared saying nothing. Michael felt as though he wanted to cry, but he didn't know why exactly. Maybe it was just seeing his brother like this and not knowing what problems he will be facing with Jared living at the ranch.

As they drove, Michael attempted to make conversation, but with little success. "Jared, how do you feel today?"

"Fine. How are you?"

It was obvious that Jared had no idea who Michael was. He also didn't have enough thinking power left to care where he was going. Jared just continued to stare out the window.

"Are you hungry?" Michael asked.

"Yes."

When Michael drove into the yard behind the house, it was clear that Jared didn't recognize anything. Jeff came out to meet them.

Michael said, "Jeff, I'm afraid he doesn't recognize anything and doesn't know who I am. I have to hold onto him as he walks."

As they walked into the kitchen, they found Tony busy with preparing dinner for the crew.

"Sit down here at the table, Jared," said Michael. "Could you make him a sandwich or something real quick, Tony? As soon as he's eaten something, I'll take him to his room. Now that Jumper will be staying with Jake, he can have his room here in the house. You know, that room was Jared's room when he was growing up. It has all those family photos on the wall. Maybe it will help to bring back some memory."

Jeff said, "For God's sake, Dad. What do you want to bring his memory back for? He might just remember all the stuff he was mad about. And then we'll have trouble all over again with him."

Michael held up his hand and said, "Jeff! Just don't talk to me about it. Please!"

When Jared was through eating, Michael took him to his old room. "Jared, I don't know if you remember your room. This was your room when you were growing up."

Jared said nothing, but walked over to a chair near the window and sat down and stared, without recognition, out over the rangeland.

Michael left Jared's room and walked back to his office. There he found Jeff waiting for him. Jeff said, "I hope you know what you're doing, Dad. He's gonna be nothing but trouble to you. You should have had him sent to an institution. He can sit and stare out the window just as well there!"

"Sit down, Jeff!" said Michael angrily. "I've heard enough out of you! I haven't had an easy time of it, running this ranch alone without Karl. And don't you think I've agonized plenty over what to do about Jared? Whatever he was, he's still my brother. I won't ask you to lift a finger to help me with him, Jeff. You don't have to worry about that! This is something I don't expect you to understand. He's not well, and I'm not going to abandon him!"

"Okay, Dad," said Jeff. "You can get mad at me all you want. But let me tell you. I happen to care for you, in case you haven't noticed! I've watched that man do everything in his power to hurt you, over and over again. If you don't expect me to be upset about that, then okay."

Then as tears began to well up in his eyes, Jeff continued. "I've lain in bed crying many times hating what he has done to you. There were times I wanted to kill him just to save you any more hurt. He never loved you, Dad. No matter what you say, I'll never stop hating him. And I'll tell you another thing. I'm glad he messed himself up when he tried to kill himself! I just wish he'd succeeded! But no! Here he is back in your life, ready to make your life miserable again. It's almost as though he planned it this way! I just don't think I can stand to watch you suffer over that bastard anymore!"

As tears began to run down his cheeks, Jeff whirled around and left Michael's office. Michael jumped up from his desk and ran after him. In the hall, he saw Jeff opening Jared's door. Michael grabbed him by the arm and prevented him from entering.

"Jeff!" shouted Michael. "For God's sake, what do you think you're doing!"

Jeff slammed the door shut and hurried down to his own room with Michael close behind. Michael took hold of Jeff by both shoulders. "Jeff, please!" Michael said. "I don't know what you were thinking of doing. But please sit down and let me say something. I understand how you feel, Jeff. I really do. And I know that it's bothered you to see how Jared has treated me. But that's all over now. Please see it from my point of view. You probably didn't know it, but I hated to see my own brother go to prison. That's right. I hated to see it happen. Not because I thought he didn't deserve it, but because . . . he's my brother. He's my brother, Jeff!"

Jeff slowly collapsed into Michael's arms. "Dad, you'd do all you could to put the fire out in Hell just to keep the devil from burning up, wouldn't you? I'm glad you understand how I feel. And I understand how you feel. I do. I really do. But I'll never get over the hurt of seeing you treated so badly by that man."

Tears started rolling down Jeff's cheeks again, and Michael tried to kiss them away as fast as they came. "Come on, Jeff. No more tears. Please. Everything's going to work out okay."

Michael led Jeff toward the bed, and they both fell back onto it. They lay there silently for a long time, with Michael holding his son tightly in his arms.

The next morning, Michael went into Jared's room on his way to the kitchen for breakfast. Jared was lying naked on the bed asleep. The spread had not been pulled back. Jared' clothes lay in a heap on the floor by the window. Michael looked down at his brother. It was the first time that he had seen Jared's naked body since they were in school together. He was thinner now, but still had the body that Michael had admired when they were young. He thought about how much fun they used to have riding out to the stream at the west line of their property and then stripping down and jacking each other off. Jared never had any interest in any other kind of physical activity with Michael, but Michael had been satisfied with just the opportunity to hold Jared's penis when it was hard and watching him shoot his cum.

Michael saw the photo of Ol' Ben lying on the bed next to Jared. He had taken it off the wall. As Michael looked down at his brother's sleeping body, a terrible sadness swept over him at the thought of the chasm that had come between them and how it all led to the desperate condition Jared was now suffering.

Jared began to stir and opened his eyes. Looking at Michael, he said, "Clayton, get ready now. We have to leave for the Grand Canyon. Are you ready?"

Michael didn't know what to say. After a few moments, he said, "Jared, I'm not Clayton. I'm Michael, your brother."

"Aren't you Clayton?" said Jared as he closed his eyes again.

"No."

"Where's my Dad?" said Jared. Then pointing at the photograph, he said, "See. This is my dad. Do you know where he is?"

"Jared, he's dead. He died about three years ago," said Michael. Michael didn't know what to do or what to say. He suddenly felt totally incompetent to handle this. Jared closed his eyes again and appeared to drift off to sleep. Michael walked out and closed the door. He joined Jeff and Paul at the kitchen table.

"Jeff, I don't know what to do," said Michael. "I looked in on Jared. He thought I was Clayton. And then he asked where Ol' Ben was. I don't think I know where to go from here. I need some help."

"Dad, let's start giving him his medication. You said that one of the prescriptions is supposed to be kind of a sedative and keep him calm."

When they finished their breakfast, Jeff and Paul went into Jared's room with Michael. They found Jared sitting in the chair by the window, still naked. Paul said, "Jared, we're going to help you get into your clothes. Now stand up."

Jared stood up and the three of them started to dress him. Jeff said, "Jared, can you put your clothes on yourself?"

Jared nodded and said, "Yes." He then began dressing himself. When he finished, Michael brought him a glass of water and the medication. Jared swallowed the tablet without hesitation and sat down to continue looking out of the window. Michael replaced Ol' Ben's picture on the wall.

As they left the room, Michael said, "I think he needs a full-time nurse, or at least someone to come in regularly to give him his medication, and maybe see that he's dressed and bathed."

"Dad, I think that's the only answer," said Jeff. "Now don't get upset when I say this. But I think you're going to make yourself nuts if you have to be attending to him constantly, because it looks like he's going to need endless attention. Paul and I will be going back to school shortly, and everyone else around here is always so busy."

Michael said, "I'm going to call Caleb. He's been a long-time resident of Goliad, and he seems to know everybody in town and has a lot of connections. Maybe he can give me some advice on this and recommend someone."

Michael explained the situation to Caleb over the phone. Caleb said, "I had hoped, Michael, that you would have decided to have him institutionalized. But I understand your feelings about it. You know there is the Visiting Nurse program that you could tap into. Let me check it out and see if I can't arrange for something. Are you going to be around there all day?"

"Yes, I'll be here all day."

"Well, I'll give you a call a little later and let you know."

"You're a great friend, Caleb," said Michael. "I wish I could reach out and give you a big hug!"

"Michael. I'm ready for a big hug anytime you want to give it to me! By the way, Steve and I are going to have you over for dinner one evening. Steve turned out to be a fabulous cook. I got two for one there . . . a great lover and a great cook! Only trouble is, I'm putting on some weight around the middle. Anyway, I'll give you a call a little later."

Later in the afternoon, Michael found Clayton and Tony in the kitchen preparing the evening meal for the crew. Michael said, "Clayton, you know that Jared is here now. When I went into his room this morning, he thought I was you. He called me 'Clayton.' He was talking about you and he going off on a trip, to the Grand Canyon or something. You can do what you want, Clayton, but it might be a good idea if you didn't get too close to him, or at least don't tell him your name."

"Don't worry, Dad," said Clayton, waving his hand. "I saw you taking him to his room yesterday, and I ducked out of sight. As you know, I have no interest in having him know who I am."

"That's probably best, Clayton."

A large semi-tractor truck pulled up into the yard with a load of cattle feed. Jake instructed the two men in the truck where he wanted it unloaded. As the men set themselves to unloading the truck, Jake came up onto the veranda and walked into the kitchen. Michael said, "Well, Jake, how's it coming with Jumper?"

"Well, shit!" Jake said as he collapsed in a chair. "Me and him shoveled horse shit most of the mornin'. I thought if I did it with him, he'd do okay. But he kept slowin' down, and I had to keep pushin' him. It ended up I shoveled most of the fuckin' shit myself. Then I wanted him to help me load up a pile of fence posts onto the truck, and he fuckin' refused to do it. He started talkin' 'bout leavin' and goin' back to his fuckin' truckers. He kept saying gittin' fucked was easier. And he didn't believe me when I told him he could make more fuckin' money here."

"How much do you think we need to pay him, Jake," asked Michael.

"I'd say give 'im 'bout ten bucks an hour. But the fuckin' trouble is, if I can't make 'im work more'n two hours a day, that gives 'im twenty bucks. But if he goes back and gits fucked by fifteen truckers at five bucks, he can make seventy-five bucks."

"Do you want me to talk with him, Jake?" asked Michael.

"Well, I thought I got 'im to thinkin' 'bout me as his friend. But I don't know now. I think if anybody can git 'im straightened out, it's probably me. I'm gonna talk with him agin tonight and see what happens."

One of the drivers came up and knocked on the door. Jake signed some papers and took the receipt for the feed that was unloaded. As he stood there watching the truck turning around and heading out down the gravel road, he was startled to see Jumper sitting in between the two drivers.

Jake ran out into the yard and called for the truck to stop. But it was too late. The truck disappeared around the bend and was gone.

Michael and Jeff heard Jake shouting and rushed out onto the verandah. "What's the matter, Jake," shouted Jeff.

Jake took off his had and threw it violently onto the ground. "That fuckin' little shit-head jist took off with them drivers! I'll be fucked! Goddamn that little fuckin' asshole!"

Michael shouted, "Should we go after him?"

Jeff said, "Dad! Please! He didn't want to be here. You'll go after him and, even if he comes back with you, he'll leave again."

Michael said, "Aw, Jake. Come on in here again. Have a beer with me. You did everything you could for Jumper. I guess everybody was right. It was a mistake thinking I could bring him here and change his life."

"Dad, you live in a dream world sometimes," said Jeff, putting his arm around Michael's shoulder. "You just can't fix everybody's lives. You've got a big heart, Dad. But you can't fix everything."

Tony opened a couple of bottles of Lone Star beer for Michael and Jake. They sat for a long time at the table talking about Jumper and all the effort Jake had put out to help the boy. Soon, the phone rang. It was Caleb.

"Michael, I think I've got you fixed up with a visiting nurse. There are a lot of them around, but they're all so damned busy, it's hard to find one who'll drive all the way out there to the ranch every day. But I was able to arrange for one. It's a male nurse, and he's only been out of nursing school since May. But he has good recommendations from the program, as well as from the one family he worked with over the last couple of months. His name is Marcus J. Filmore, III. I've done a lot of legal work for his grandfather, old Marcus Filmore. You know, the big Filmore ranch over near Victoria. They're good people. They're sending young Marcus over to see you in the morning so you can interview him. Now I warn you, Michael. He's a good looking young lad. You keep your hands off him, now you hear me?"

"Caleb, I'm surprised at you," said Michael. "You know I've got will-power that can never be broken!"

"Yeah, sure, Michael! Anyway, I think you'll be pleased with him. Just let me know what you think."
 

To be continued...

 

Posted: 10/03/08