Monday, May 09, 2005

Small Town Boys - Chapter 2, Part 2


Danny’s visits home became fewer and fewer. Summers were spent in camp, and the only holiday he got to really spend at home was Christmas. By Christmas of their senior year, Donny hadn’t seen his twin in eight months, and when the word came through that Danny – now just Dan – had been accepted into the Air Force Academy, it was in the form of a letter. Donny got into Bowling Green State University and spent the summer after his senior year working with a construction crew. He got tanned and muscular and made enough money to buy a used Ford F150 for commuting to class. He took four classes – American Lit, Intro to Computers, Business Math, and American History – that first semester and did well enough, but it seemed just like high school without all the peer pressure. The classes were huge, the professors distant, and most of the time he felt like the only reason he was there was because it was something he was expected to do. He passed all the courses with 3.0 or better and felt nothing special. He got to know some of his classmates on a casual basis and even went out once or twice with some of them for a beer after classes on Friday, but it wasn’t like high school; they all had lives outside of class.

When summer came he went back to working construction. It was hard work, but the crew was friendly and he made good money, setting most of it aside since he was still living at home, chipping in to his mom’s grocery budget every week. The owner of the company told Donny he could stay on full time after the summer if he wanted to. He went back to BGSU, took some classes in English and the second level of computer programming and plowed through the winter. He signed up for the second semester as a matter of course and sat through the classes with an increasing sense of frustration and boredom. He wondered how his father, who worked in a bank in Perrysburg, endured the day-to-day life of working in an office and wondered if that was where he would end up as well.

The summer after his sophomore year the contractor got a job building an addition on a house in a nice suburb. One afternoon as they nailed up the framing the owner came home. Donny recognized him. He was Scott Welles, the older brother of Derek, one of his high school classmates. He drove a Mercedes convertible, and had the look of a country club tennis pro – athletic without being bulky, and summer-bleached blond hair. The Welles family was well-off – stockbrokers or something like that – and Scott was wearing a nice suit and tie when he pulled in the drive behind the company pick-up. Donny didn’t pay much attention, but Scott stood there and watched as he and the crew hauled the joists into place.

At the end of the day Donny was putting tools away when Scott came out of the house. He’d changed into shorts and a T-shirt.

“Donny or Danny?”

“Donny.” They shook hands.

“So Danny’s the one that went into the service.”


Scott looked up at the framing that outlined the new family room and kitchen on the back of the house. “You guys are doing a good job. I didn’t know this was your company.”

“Oh, I’m just working here for the summer. I’m going to BGSU. At least, I did last year.”

“Thinking about doing something else?”

Donny shrugged. “It’s crossed my mind.”

“What’s your major?”

“Haven’t decided on one. Took a couple of classes in English, though. But there’s not a lot you can do with a degree in that.”

“I majored in business and finance,” Scott said, “but y’know…I kinda wish I’d taken more English classes. Feel like I missed something.”

Donny looked at the house, the nice yard, and the car. “Well, not too much.”

Scott laughed. “You still live around here?”

“Yeah…still live with the folks.”

“No kidding. Hey, why don’t we get together sometime, have a couple of beers, go over old times?”


“Got any plans for tonight?”

“Not really.”

“Come on over about eight or so. We’ll go over old times, eh?”

“All right.”

“Great.” Scott clapped him on the shoulder. “See you then.”

Donny closed up the toolboxes and drove the truck back to the office. He was a little mystified by the invitation. He’d played football and took a couple of classes with Derek, but Scott was probably five or six years older. Nevertheless, he went home, took a shower, ate dinner, and showed up Scott’s house at three minutes after eight.

The house was appointed with family antiques and nicely upholstered furniture. Scott offered him a beer in a glass and they went out to the screened-in porch. The backyard had soft lights hidden in the bushes, and apart from the area where the new construction was going on, was well maintained. They sat on the old-fashioned glider and talked quietly. It turned out that they had a lot of mutual acquaintances, and soon Donny felt like he’d known Scott for a long time.

They each had another beer, then Scott brought out a couple of joints. They slowly smoked them, Donny savoring the blissful feeling of calm and quiet that came over him. It seemed very natural when Scott leaned over and patted Donny’s thigh, and then slowly slid his hand up to tickle the bulge in his jeans. Donny returned the favor.

The master bedroom was dim and cool. They slowly undressed, Scott revealing a Speedo tan line under his jockeys. Scott went to the bed, tossed back the covers, and took Donny’s hand, pulling him towards him, on top of him. Donny lost all sense of time and place, except for remembering all those times at the quarry, knowing that this was light-years beyond those fumbling and furious beating-off sessions with Craig.

It was almost midnight. They lay in the darkness, the dampness of their sweat making the sheets cool. Scott whispered, “Jesus, where’d you learn to do that?”

Donny grinned in the dark. “Would you believe…out at Lorenzen’s quarry?”

Scott shook his head. “With who?”

“Not telling.”

“Well, whoever he was, he was one lucky fucker.”

Donny got out of bed and slowly started to get dressed. He was feeling groggy from the beer, the pot, and the exertion. Light from the streetlight had turned his clothes into a gray crumpled pile at the foot of the bed. He pulled on his briefs.

“Is your brother hung like you?” Scott asked, then added, “I guess he’d have to be—you’re twins.”

“I guess,” replied Donny. “I’ve never seen him with a hard-on.”

“You mean you never…explored each other?” Donny shook his head. “I thought all brothers did that.”

“Did you with Derek?”

“No,” admitted Scott. “When he was fourteen, I was nineteen. That would have been weird.”

Donny tucked in his shirt and buckled his belt. “So… how’d you know that I wouldn’t beat the shit out of you tonight when you went for my cock?”

“I took a risk, I admit that. But when you see this gorgeous hunk of construction worker standing shirtless on your roof in all his masculine glory, you take your shots.”

Donny chuckled softly.

“And besides,” Scott said, reaching over and patting Donny’s bulge, “I had a feeling. Just a gut one, but I thought…yeah, he might be.”

Scott pulled on his robe and walked Donny to the door. “This was fun,” he said, opening the door. “Let’s do it again sometime, okay?”



Donny drove home slowly. He had a bad case of cottonmouth, so in the dim light of the range hood light he drank a quart of ice water and ate a dozen Fig Newtons. He went to bed and woke up five hours later wondering what it was exactly that told Scott that “he might be.”

It took three weeks to get the framing up and sided and another week to get the windows and doors installed. Then electricians and plumbers and finish carpenters came in. Donny’s crew was done, and they packed up their gear and moved onto the next job. But for the rest of the summer he returned to Scott’s, and the routine was the same: beers on the porch, idle conversation, then sex in the master bedroom.

They never talked outside of the house and they never called each other – Scott had his job at the brokerage house, and Donny was now a crew chief – Donny just knew that there were nights when he could come over. Weekends were out of bounds: Scott spent them with his family at a nearby lakeside resort, and Donny worked in his parents’ yard. Nobody ever asked Donny what he did after work.

When the fall semester started, Donny signed up for two courses, American History and Intro to Computing, and took them in the evening. He had enough work with the crew through October that it made it lucrative to keep working, though he had to often leave the job site early to get to class. Visits to Scott’s house became few and far between – sometimes as long as ten days apart.

Two nights before Thanksgiving Donny stopped by. Scott greeted him at the door and took him into the living room. “Want a beer?” he asked.

“Sure,” said Donny.

They sat in the living room. Scott had the CD player on.

“How’s school going?”

Donny shook his head. “I think I’ve about had it. I just can’t get into it.”

“Gonna quit?”

“Probably. After this semester.”

“Then what? Keep building houses?”

“Don’t know…maybe, maybe not. I’ve got some dough saved up. Maybe I’ll just start looking for something else to do.”

“Like what?”

“Who knows?”


Scott tousled Donny’s hair.

An hour later Donny pulled the covers back over them, having been kicked off the bed. He found his cigarettes and lit one.

“Guess what,” said Scott.

“You’re pregnant?”

“I got a promotion offer.”

“To what?”

“Not so much to what but to where.”



Donny put out the cigarette and got out of bed. “You gonna take it?” he asked as he got dressed.

“Yeah. It’s a big step and a lot more money. Best part is I don’t have to keep grinding money out of clients.”

“So you’re gonna move to Chicago.”

“That’s the plan. Got a realtor coming over in the morning to list this place.”

Donny sat on the bed to lace up his boots. “When do you go?”

“After the first of the year.”

“Well that’s great. I’m happy for you.”

Scott reached out and grabbed Donny’s hand. “Hey. You’re not pissed or anything?”

Donny shrugged. “Why should I be? It’s not like we were in love or anything.”


Two days after Christmas Scott closed a deal on the house. The movers were coming the next day, and packing boxes stood three and four high in the halls and living room. Donny came over for one last visit, then said goodbye. Scott hugged him, told him he’d be in touch – he would visit his folks for sure and they’d get together – and then closed the door. Donny walked down the sidewalk to his truck past the Century 21 sign with the “Sold, But We Have Others” plastered across the top. It was beginning to snow.

Chapter Guide



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