The California Zephyr
by Joe Butterman


Chapter 3: School Days

The first week of school wasn’t much. We only had half days on Monday and Tuesday and this was for Freshman Orientation, which I was one of. I used my afternoons to walk around downtown, checking things out; I began the process of opening a bank account, and picked-up my new suit and slacks. I visited amiably with the clerk at the men’s store while I tried everything on to ensure that it fit properly. He was very friendly and made something of a production of checking the fit in the seat of my pants. He didn’t hold a candle to any of my men, so all he got was a little feel. School started in earnest on Wednesday. No big deal. There were some very attractive boys in school, but I kept my distance and just looked. This was all virgin territory.

The days marched by.

I liked my Geometry Teacher, Mr. O’Flaherty, and I liked his class.  He didn’t dress well, clip on ties and desert boots, but teachers aren’t paid very well, so that makes it a little difficult for them to be properly attired and set a good example.  He always spent the first ten minutes, or so, of the period talking about the stock market.  This, I knew, was a part of what Bobbin did, so I paid close attention and found it very interesting.  I liked the rest of the subject matter too.  I saw the Oriental boy from the dry cleaners in the hall and we nodded, he smiled a little, I smiled a little back.

I tended to be argumentative, in a gentlemanly manner, with my English Teacher, Miss Graves.  She was a very pleasant lady; but, we were doing grammar this semester, and I found the exercise of diagramming sentences stupid.  I could see no reason for it and resolved not to learn it.  Fortunately, we also wrote a lot of essays, even some short stories and poems.  I thoroughly enjoyed this though, to my acute embarrassment, she several times read some of my offerings to the whole class.

I enjoyed Spanish and applied myself to it intensely. I was working for Roberto in this class. My Teacher, Mrs. Perlman, enjoyed her material and spoke regularly of the visits she made to Spain.  I told her that I wanted a Castillian accent, and she said that was what we were working on.  I particularly enjoyed this period because I was always “Carlos” in class.

My History class was a crashing bore.  I knew about Hadrian and Antinous, Alexander and Hephaistion, Socrates and Alcibiades, and wanted to learn more about the past; but the teacher, Mr. Stanford, had reduced the art of teaching to: either A), reading to us from the book; or B), letting us read to ourselves from the book.  I spent a lot of time looking out the window and dreaming of the game of King, or Ephebes; I started bringing in other things to do when we were supposed to be reading.  I was already several chapters ahead of the class anyway because I like history.

One day, after almost falling asleep in History, I was on my way to my locker when I saw Val being backed against the wall by two guys.  One of them was pointing and jabbing his finger at Val’s chest while he was talking animatedly.  I couldn’t hear what he was saying, but it was clearly not friendly.  I thought to walk by without noticing, but I thought of Papa’s tale of El Cid, I thought of my Daddy who would never permit such a thing; I thought of Roberto, who was my Cid, and who thought of me as his Cid, and knew that would not be the right thing to do.  What would Alexander and Hephaistion have done?   So I walked over and stood a couple feet away from Val, just looking at them.  The one stopped pointing and jabbing, the other looked at me surprised, “Whadda ya want?”

“Dunno,” I replied.  Somehow I thought Alexander might have come up with something a little better; I shrugged and nodded at Val, “He’s my friend.”  The one who had been doing all the pointing and jabbing looked me over very carefully.

“Well fuck ya both,” he said.  He glared at Val, “And don’t forget what I said Valerie.”  He turned and started down the hall; his buddy followed and then added, over his shoulder, “Cocksuckers.”  I laughed.  Not because of any great wit and originality on his part, but at the thought of sucking Val’s cock.  I looked at Val, who looked back at me round eyed, “See ya,” I said and went on to P.E.

As I was walking home, I was considering how to walk to best effect.  I did not want to seem hurried, neither would it be proper to slouch along like some hang jongeren; clearly I should be erect, but not too military.  I set a moderate pace, since I carried my books in my left hand, I kept my left arm straight down my side as I would if I were riding, I let my right arm swing naturally, but cupped my fingers against my thumb so that they would be organized.

“Chuck,” I heard a call behind me, “hey, Chuck.  Wait-up.”  Affronted, I turned to see Val jogging to catch up with me.  He faced me, breathing harder than he should have been.

I stared at him, every inch my Grandfather’s grandson, “Do.  Not.  Ever!  Call.  Me.  Chuck!”  I enunciated this clearly and calmly.  Poor Val seemed to crumple before me and now I felt sorry for him again – twice in one day.

“I’m sorry…I’m, uh, I didn’t mean nuthin’.  I just wanted to say thanks, for today.”

“You’re welcome,” like I said, feeling sorry for him, I invited, “come on, let’s go,” and I resumed the walk, “you can call me Charles, like when we were introduced.”

“Thanks,” he said, “thanks.”  We walked on.  “Why do they do that to me,” he asked.

“Do what?”

“Yuh know, shove me around and tease me ‘n stuff.”

“Dunno,” I paused, “but it might be cuz ya ask ‘em to.”

“Ask ‘em to?  What does that mean?”

I stopped and regarded him carefully.  “Well.  Look at you.  You look stompzinnig.  That’s a Dutch word.  So for the benefit of any Prussian boys who might be loitering around, it means ‘stupid’.”  He looked dazed.  I don’t guess this was quite the response he was looking for.  “Would you like me to tell you why?”  He looked hopeful and nodded.  “Let’s start with your hair.  Either cut it short and wear a crew cut, or let it grow out in a style you like; but right now it’s goin’ every which-way at once and ya look like white trash.  You’d be right at home sloppin’ hawgs, but guess what?  Ain’t no hawgs heah.  Next there’s your shirt.  If you want to wear a white shirt, that’s fine.  Not very cool, but okay, I suppose, if you really wanna.   However, you can only wear it once.  Then it must be washed and ironed.  Preferably by a proper Chinese laundry, they know how to do these things. If you try and wear it twice, well, you just look rumpled and dirty.”  I waved one finger in front of his nose, “You can carry one pen in your pocket.  A gentleman can use, but never carries, a wooden pencil.”  I pointed to his belt, a beat to death, narrow brown thing with the gilt flaking off the buckle, “where in the hell’dja find that?  Your belt should be almost as wide as your belt loops and you never wear a brown belt with black shoes, or a black belt with brown shoes.  Your pants look like they’re Salvation Army surplus, for the sweet love of Jesus.  Come on,” I resumed our walk, “we’ll start working on you in the morning.”  He hurried to catch up, “Gosh thanks, Charles.”  I actually rolled my eyes, but he couldn’t see that.

The Arndt household was arranged so that there were three bedrooms and a full bath downstairs.  One of these bedrooms was Mr. Arndt’s “den” though it was clearly just a bedroom doing duty as an office, another was mine, and the third was Val’s.  Mr. and Mrs. Arndt had a bedroom upstairs.  I had yet to detect a single item of charm or grace in the entire house; I was half afraid that if I looked in their room I’d find that their bed consisted of a mattress on the floor.  So I never looked.  It was getting late, Mr. Arndt had, in his normal way, drank steadily after dinner and then gone to bed.  I had done my homework, taken a shower, and was now in my bathrobe, lying on my bed, reading from the literature textbook that we’d not gotten to yet, engrossed as we were, with diagramming sentences.  There was a knock at my door.  I got off the bed and opened it.  It was Val in his bathrobe.  I let him in.  He looked distressed, “Can we talk Charles?”

“Sure.”  I sat on the bed and waited.  There was only my desk chair, which was where it belonged, tucked into the desk, and the bed.  He sat on the bed beside me and I noticed that he had a boner.  This is interesting, I thought.

“There’s more I gotta tell ya.”  I waited.  “Those two guys, Sam and Larry, there’s another reason they were pissed at me.”

“Okay,” I waited some more.  He looked at the floor and blushed furiously.

“Last year,” he stopped and looked at me as if he were about ready to cry.  Somehow I felt sorry for him and wanted to comfort him, but didn’t know quite how.  “Last year,” he gathered himself almost visibly, he plunged, “Last year I sucked them both off a buncha times.”  He looked at me and he was terrified.  Now I really felt sorry for him, I thought about how good my sex had been with Johnny, and with Gary, and with Roberto, and here was poor Val, terrified and on the verge of tears, confessing to me, talking to me about sex.  Me, who had never treated him with anything but distant disinterest, I had no idea why nor what to say.

“So?”  I said calmly.  He began to look hopeful.

“They want me to do it again this year.”

“Are yuh gonna?”



“’Cause they’re asshole pricks.  They say they’re gonna tell my parents and everyone if I don’t suck ‘em off whenever and wherever they wanna.  That’s why I hadda tell ya about it. I’m scared to death. You’re my only friend.”

This last really took me by surprise; I’d only known him for what, a month or so now?  When I stuck-up for him in the hall, it wasn’t out of friendship, it was out of duty.  Really, I barely knew him, but I considered his problem.

“They won’t.”

“How do ya know that?”  But he looked really hopeful.

“Because they’d be admitting that they did it too.  And if they did it too, people would think that they liked it.  You did say it happened a lot didn’cha?”

“Oh yeah, I don’t know, sometimes a coupla times a week.”

“See, that’s good.  If they only did it once, it would be different.  But tell them to go fuck themselves.  And if they threaten you again, threaten ‘em right back, tell ‘em that you’ll admit it; tell ‘em you don’t give a fuck: that you’ll just say sure, I’m a queer – I sucked them off and they sucked me off.  They sure as hell don’t want that story going around.  It’ll be okay, you’ll see.  Ya just gotta stand up for yourself.  They’ll think about that story and you’ll never hear about it again.”

“You won’t tell on me will ya?”  His eyes still looked a little teary, but there was a glimmer of joy in his eyes. They were a very pretty blue, now that I looked closely.


He reached over and untied my bathrobe; he stopped and looked at me, waiting to see if I said anything.  I smiled at him.  He opened my robe and stared at me.  I had a half-woodie on.  He devoured it with his eyes.  “I’ll suck you off whenever ya want,” he said a little breathlessly.

“Okay,” I replied reasonably enough.  It’d been a long time.  “Take off your robe; I wanna see all of you.”  He shrugged out of it instantly.  He really wasn’t too bad.  His boner was rampant and drooling; he had a nice thatch of dark brown pubic hair that trailed lightly off pointing to his belly button; you could see soft hair developing in the center of his chest, and on his arms and legs.  He was a little thin, and he slouched a little in his shoulders.  In the next instant, he had me in his mouth and I was steel hard in an instant and no longer thinking about his posture.  I slid forward on the bed and told him to do my balls.  He did.  But then went right back to my boner.  He knew what he was doing.  It had been over a month since I’d had the real thing; it seemed only minutes before I erupted into his mouth and clamped his head to me.  I held him in place until I was completely drained.  I released my hold, but caressed his head.  He held me in his mouth, and then backed slowly off, and then he kissed and nuzzled all around my groin.

He stood up and picked-up his bathrobe.  His dick was still standing tall.  “Thanks, Charles, thanks for everything.  I’ll suck ya every night if ya want.”

“Okay,” but I was shaking my head no, “put the bathrobe down, go to the bathroom and get that jar of Vaseline, or some kinda lotion, then come right back here.”  He looked mystified, but he dropped his robe, peeked out the door to see that everything was dark, and went to the bathroom.  I turned the ceiling light off, and turned the nightstand light to its lowest setting, I turned down the covers.  He was back; jar in hand, still looking bewildered. I beckoned him to me so that we were only inches apart, took the Vaseline, and languorously applied it to him.  His eyes closed and he moaned with pleasure.  “Now look,” I said, he opened his eyes and looked as I stepped back and applied some more Vaseline to my semi-hard dick, balls, and pubic hair – what there was of it.  “Now come here,” I lay on my back on the bed, waved my cock at him, and said, “Fuck me here.”  He was on me in a flash, and I enjoyed the feel of his boner as it moved against, beside, on and around, my sex.  I wrapped my legs around his butt and my arms around his back, but I didn’t hug him too hard, until after he came, and then I really clenched him to me until he came down.  When he started to stir a little, I whispered, “Go and get some Kleenex, and clean us up.”  I lay sprawled on the bed; he came back with a warm damp washcloth, and lovingly wiped me clean.  Then he stood beside the bed and wiped himself.

“Get in bed with me.”  He did.  I turned the light off.  “You’re gonna sleep here tonight; I wake up before the sun, so you can be back in your bed before anyone else is up if ya need to.  Here’s what we’re gonna do.  I’m gonna call you Two Shoes.  Don’t ask me why, it just seems right; but I’m only gonna call ya that when we’re together, or when you want me to, otherwise, never when others are around.  You can call me Charlie, anytime you want.  Kay?”  But he never answered; he sobbed on my shoulder and hugged me.  I kissed him on the forehead.  I felt like his older brother, even thought he was older than me.  He felt real comfortable snuggling against me.  He made an excellent peasant boy.  We slept.


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