A Life Well Lived
by Jim Cook


Chapter Seven : In The Spotlight

I knew morning would come way too soon, and it did. The ringing phone slowly pulled me from my state of unconsciousness.

“Hello, yes…yes thank you Manny” I spoke, my words all thick with morning mouth.

Hanging up the phone, I so much wanted to roll over and reclaim my place in dreamland. Before my eyes could close again for the second time, I forced my unwilling body from its resting place.

All I could manage was one foot in front of the other, as I stumbled toward the bathroom and a wakeful shower.

As my breakfast of ham and eggs, two cups of coffee and a cigarette settled. I stood at the front desk bidding my two new friends good-bye.

“How much is a stamp for a local letter?” I asked, handing Helmut a letter I had written for Heinz.

“One mark and fifty Pfennigs’ (pennies)” Helmut informed me, making change from the two marks I’d handed him.

“You want we should mail this, for you?” he asked, recognizing who it was addressed to. I just nodded in the affirmative and thanked him.

“Herr Cook…Herr Cook” came a cry from Manny, as he scurried from the elevator toward me waving a paper bag in the air.

“Here, for the train” he smiled, adding “I make better lunch than on that damn train, besides…Es ist zu teuer (It’s too expensive)…I save you some little money” he winked.

Taking the bag from him, I pulled him into a hug kissing his cheek.

“Ah Du, meine liebe freund (Oh you, my lovely friend) I said, giving his cheek another peck. Something I thought I wouldn’t see, Manny actually blushed. Helmut just stood back grinning ear to ear.

“Ach, Du (Oh, you)” Manny said, still a bit pink. With a gentle slap to my shoulder, he scurried off back upstairs to finish serving breakfast to their other guests.

After another quick round of good-byes, I loaded myself up like the proverbial pack mule and headed off to catch my train.

By the time I came in sight of the station, I was already tired. Sorry now for having turned down Helmut’s offer of calling a taxi.

Having arrived at an empty track #16, I let the bags fall at my feet, while I stood panting out of breath.

Eight thirty, I’m early. With twenty minutes to kill, I thought of having another cup of coffee and a smoke while I waited. Then dismissed that idea, knowing I would have to lug everything over to the little café near the station’s entrance.

As if answering an unasked prayer. A small cart, being pushed by a Grey haired slightly over weight lady clad in a white apron, came up the concourse and rolled to a stop next to me.

“Guten Morgen Mein Herr, wurden Sie sich etwas pflegen (Good morning Sir, would you care for something)?” she offered. The twinkle in her eyes and her rosy cheeks reminded me of my own grandmother Cook.

“Was Haben Sie, vielleicht ein Kaffee (What do you have, maybe a coffee)?” I asked her, as my gaze wandered over the cart.

“Kaffee…Ja, mit Milch und Zucker (Coffee…yes, with milk and sugar)?” she inquired, holding up a Styrofoam cup.

“Schwarz mit einem kleinen Zucker, Bitte (Black with a little sugar, Please)” I told her, digging in my pocket for a couple of Marks, having read the price list on the side of her cart.

“Zwei Mark, Bitte (Two Marks, please)” she informed me, as she handed over my piping hot beverage.

I gave her the two Marks and a fifty pfennig coin as a tip. “Dank Sie, Sehr Viel (Thank you, very much)” she nodded, with a big grin.

Looking up, I became aware the concourse had filled with travelers. My little German grandma soon had her cart surrounded by would be patrons.

Astoundingly, she worked with such haste filling the requests of her customers; I could only chuckle to myself at her nimble dexterity.

Minutes ahead of its scheduled departure, the dark green cars making up my train slowly advanced up the track. The huge DBB (Deutsche Bundes Bahn) stenciled on the side of each car, did add a certain air.

My first European travels by rail having only been aboard a TEE (Trans-European-Express), I guess left me quite spoiled. The layout of the two trains are as different as night and day. The long sleek TEE being open (No doors to open between cars), overstuffed seating, with bar and open dinning areas, all very plush. In the words of Thurston Howell III “It’s Very Top Drawer”.

As I boarded I counted six or seven individual compartments to a car. Each could seat six comfortably, or eight if needed. In first class the bench seats were sofa like, thickly padded and quite comfortable. With the armrests up I would be able to stretch out and sleep very well, when the time came.

I tossed my luggage up in the overhead racks, and claimed a spot next to the window. Setting my lunch on the table under the partially opened window, I stuck my head through the opening and watched down the track as people boarded.

The concourse emptied as the last of the stragglers came on board. With a sharp blast of its whistle, we began to move. My German grandma, pushing her cart back up the now barren concourse, returned my wave as we slipped passed one another.

Until we slowed to a crawl, passing through the high barbwire gates of the DDR (Deutsche Democratic Republic) border control station, I’d almost forgotten about the armed soldiers of East Germany. Admittedly the banners, flags and military display were very impressive; still it left me with a sense of foreboding in the pit of my stomach. Knowing they had shot many people, young and old fleeing to the west, only added to the trepidation I felt.

I needed a beer, maybe even two. The seat being guarded by my small bag, kept company by Manny’s lunch, I went in search of a little libation. Even though still early in the am, the bar was almost filled. Most appeared to be enjoying a coffee, some with a little brandy blended in.

Fortune smiled, a small table at the end of the car was unoccupied. The hesitation I felt in ordering a beer so early was abated, when I observed the nearby table with three guys enjoying a beer. I felt more at ease, noticing there were others, mostly men imbibing too.

Sipping my beer I lit a cigarette, watching the lush farmland race by. Green fields, houses, people on bicycles, pastures filled with cows, tractors hauling carts of hay, sped passed.

Lost in my own thoughts…my mind wandered back to the very first time I was ever on a train, without supervision. I had reached the tender age of twelve and a half.

“Mom…please, hurry…please, I’ll miss the train” I begged, urging her along. Union Station, downtown Los Angeles eight thirty am, another beautiful southern California day was just beginning.

My exuberance bringing a smile to her face, “We’re early, thirty minutes early, Jimmy. You’re not about to miss it” she reassured me, in spite of my hurrying a few steps ahead.

Walking down what could only be described as a large tunnel like hall from the main passenger terminal, you went from track 1, 2, 3 et. . Moving through the “Tunnel” approaching your track, the signs at each told you the train, the departure time and the numbering of the cars. So you knew whether you needed to go up the right or left ramp to find your correct car, saving you a long walk checking car numbers.

At the entrance leading up to the Pullman cars on track #7, I impatiently waited for mom to catch up.

Union Pacific’s The City of Los Angeles stood patiently waiting, its magnificent diesel power quietly resting. The bright golden yellow train, lined with red stripes running along the top and bottom of the cars appeared so sleek and modern. Each car suspended on gleaming silver undercarriages.

Dressed in a freshly ironed white coat, brass buttons gleaming in the bright California sun, a colored porter waited, standing almost at attention. His broad smile an open invitation to be of service, he tipped his hat at our approach.

“Young Sir, may I be of assistance?” he asked, noticing the ticket in my outstretched hand. His manner not in the least patronizing, “Yes Master Cook, car 1040, roomette 10. May I take your luggage to your room sir?” he offered, replacing his hat and reaching for the two bags at my feet.

“Please sir…Thank you” I replied feeling more grown up than my years. Mom and I followed him up into the car and along the corridor in search of #10.

Having said our good-byes, I received a kiss on the cheek from my departing mother. Alone, and with great expectations I sat gazing from my window.

I spied mom and the porter conversing, somewhat animated on his part. The porter kept nodding and smiling, I suppose reassuring her I would be well looked after.

As mom disappeared, lost in the shadows down the ramp. The porter picked up the little step stool placing back aboard. Checking first up then down the track, with a wave of his arm he ascended the stairs and closed the lower half of the door.

Imperceptibly at first, the massive diesels began moving us away from the terminal into the maze of gleaming steel tracks surrounding the station.

Opening the door, I moved out into the passageway between the cars. Coming up next to the porter, he grinned, allowing me to look out the open upper half of the door.

The warm breeze blowing in the vestibule from the open doorway, had strands of my hair dancing about my face.

The City of Los Angeles wound its way along the dry Los Angeles riverbed, always moving closer to Pasadena, our next stop.

My first experience in a dinning car, a delicious chicken lunch served on fine china as we neared Las Vegas, was all and more than I imagined. Ordering from the menu, paying and tipping, made me feel quite the man about town, albeit a very young one.

Speeding through the sun baked Nevada desert, I sat playing solitaire in the air-conditioned club car. Occasionally gnawing on the ice in my near empty coke glass. The one drawback I hadn’t counted on, being so young, I was lost in a sea of adults.

“Wanna play a little rummy or gin?” came a young man’s voice behind me. So startled I bumped the table, nearly knocking my glass over.

Steadying my coke before it toppled, I glanced up over my shoulder finding a handsomely cute face wearing an impish grin.

“Gotcha, huh…? Hey sorry…didn’t mean to spook ya” he chuckled, attempting to apologize.

“Huh…Ah, umm…what…I…Oh yeah, sure” I said, my nerves calming barely enough to allow my brain to remember what he had asked.

“I’m going to grab a coke first, let me get one for you…least I can do” he offered, seeing my glass held nothing but a little ice.

Before I could get any words out of my mouth, he was off glass in hand toward the bar.

Only as he walked away, well really limping away, did I notice his left foot was in a cast. The rubber heel on the cast, made crutches apparently unnecessary.

Resulting from the messy divorce his parents had just gone through, John, broken ankle not withstanding, was bound for Chicago. Sentenced to spend the summer in his fathers care, leastwise that was John’s thinking.

His father’s job always came before the wants or needs John or his mother might have had. He knew this was only David’s, his father, way of retribution against his mother for having sought and received a divorce decree.

We were so involved in cards, Rummy to be exact. Only when a white coat clad waiter from the dinning car made his way through playing his little hand held glockenspiel, to announce dinner. Did we fully realize just how much time we’d spent actually enjoying each other’s company. Grinning at one another, we both reached the same conclusion. It was time to replenish our empty bellies with what ever the dinning car had to offer.

Our prime rib dinners having been transferred from plate to stomach, left us feeling very full and a tad lazy. Even our waiter stared wide eyed at the amount we were able to put away, especially when the desserts also disappeared.

With the patrons gone and the tables cleared. John and I thought we’d stay and continue our game upstairs here in the dome car, while watching the sun sink below the horizon in its entire orange and purple splendor.

As will often happen when two boys are alone, our conversion became sexual and very graphic. In the beginning, I think we were each putting out feelers trying to ascertain the others sexual orientation. Although not totally certain, I was convinced John would be willing to mess around. So I invited him to come to my compartment.

“Wow this is neat” John told me, his eyes wandering around the roomette. Adding “My dad is so cheap; all he would pay for is a coach seat. See though, he always goes first class when he travels. So it’s not like he can’t afford it”.

John averted my eyes looking at the floor, saying almost in a whisper “I think he enjoys making things difficult for me, not to mention mom.”

“All the way to Chicago, damn…shit, John (kids love to swear when adults aren’t present), that’s four days. Man I feel for ya guy” a bewildered sadness in my voice.

“Wish you were going to Portland, then you could just stay here with me” I suggested, not even really knowing if it would be possible.

“Portland..Portland Maine, boy you gotta long way to go too. Then you’re just changing trains in Chicago?” John stated shaking his head, I guessed at the long trek he thought lay ahead of me.

“No…no, not Maine…Oregon, Portland Oregon” I said with a little giggle, wondering how he could be so dumb not to know this car went to Portland Oregon. Then I thought to myself, being in coach, maybe he didn’t know.

“We’re heading east to Chicago, how in the hell are you gonna get to Portland Oregon, its back to the west” he stated obviously not believing me. It took awhile, even the producing of my ticket to convince John that this car was indeed on its way to Oregon.

He kept wondering why I was so anxious to prolong my time aboard a train. When the Coast Daylight traveled straight up the coast to Portland in just over twenty four hours. Instead of the four days I would spend going there this way.

Telling him, with my parent’s approval, I simply wanted an adventure all on my own. John was eager to admit he was envious.

I went on to explain, when this train pulled into Green River Wyoming, my car would be disconnected from The City of Los Angeles and sidelined. Awaiting the arrival of the west bound City of Portland, coming from Chicago some four hours later. With the reconnection of my car, I would be greeting my grandparents in Portland two days later.

Our card game continued into the wee hours, delayed at times by short forays to the snack bar. Upon its closing I decided it was time to put my plan, getting John naked in my bed, into action.

Failing to get him completely in the buff, I was however able to talk him into my bed. Only our tighty whities stood as a barrier between our almost naked bodies.

John’s being two years plus a couple of months older, was quite apparent by the size of his package. Even though I’d matured early for my twelve years, already having hair around dick and being able to cum, my bulge appeared nowhere near his.

Luckily his cast proved not to be a problem getting undressed. We lay side by side trying our best to make the other as horny as possible, exaggerating our sexual exploits. At least I know some of mine were, just a tad here and there.

Stretching up towards my bellybutton the head of Jimmy Jr. began leaking, a wet spot appearing just below the waistband. Developing its own damp circle, Johnny’s Jr. had grown off to the left side in his underwear.

To scared, or maybe just too shy, I feared being the first to reach for the others dick. That dilemma resolved its self when John slipped his hand under the waistband of my underwear, and began slowly fisting my swollen cock.

Taking my cue, I worked my fingers around John’s already slick meat. John like me was circumcised.

Our groping and fondling soon found both pairs of tighty whities tossed to the floor. His five and three quarters, left me and my twelve year old (plus two months) four inches feeling wholly inadequate. But as John kept saying, anything over a mouth full was a waste.

He really seems to enjoy my cock between those sensual lips of his. With his almost six inches buried in my throat, he took to fucking my mouth like a duck takes to water.

Swirling my tongue around his cock head, with the occasional dip into the oozing slit, kept his fluid flowing freely into my waiting mouth. If his boy nectar tastes so great, Hummm… how’s his cum going to taste? I found myself wondering.

An accidental encounter with my cousin Jake who was then sixteen, spending the weekend at our place, transformed me into a cock hound at the age of ten.

At that early an age, I knew nothing of being Bi or gay. Only that I was sorely temped by cock, any cock.

Even though we had both filled each others mouth with cum once already. Our sixty-nine continued its fevered pace, until we had swallowed another load.

Although I’ve sucked cock and been sucked more than once. I’d never kissed another boy, until John kissed me. After I received a few lessons in the fine etiquette of smooching. We tongue wrestled naked, bathed in the light of the full moon.

Entering the window and reflected too by the white sheets on the bed moonlight flooded the room, as The City of Los Angeles raced through the night.

John’s boner stood shining proudly, leaking pre-cum, in the glow of the moonlight. Unable to resist, I swirled my tongue around licking up his oozing boy sauce. From the first time I had devoured Jake’s (my cousin) fluid, I’ve been hooked.

Although we’d already popped our nut three times, our boy meat remained hard…Ah…Youth. We played, sucked and groped each other until the Grey dawn began to lighten the horizon.

My reverie was broken suddenly… “ Entschuldigen Sie mich (excuse me), Another drink sir, beer wasn’t it?” an older gentleman clad in a white coat asked.

Startled, I looked up. “Ah.. um.. yeah, yes please, Bitte” I responded, a bit shaken.

I managed to light a cigarette, calming my nerves. With a chuckle, I felt my half hard dick twitch. Yes, I could still see John’s cock. My first train trip had been an eye opening experience. My mind now back in the present, I continued gazing as the countryside slipped by.

I don’t remember exactly how long I stayed in the bar car. Suffice it to say long enough to have four more glasses of beer, before I made my way back to my compartment.

The lunch Manny had taken such care to prepare, was very pleasing to the palate. And knocking the buzz from the beer down a bit didn’t hurt either. Like other lunches or dinners friends had made for me to eat aboard the different trains I had taken. This one also included much more than I could possibly devour in a single sitting.

With a bit of an over stuffed feeling, I replaced the uneaten goodies and settled my head back on the cushion. Intending only to rest my eyes a short while, I let them close.

What seemed like only moments later, although in reality more than a few hours had passed. I opened my eyes to find another armed DDR soldier strolling passed my window. We were at the final check point before crossing into West Germany.

East German flags and banners waved good-bye as we slowly rolled passed the barbwire gates and fences. Although being the fourth time I’d gone through one of these check points, I still never the less found it a bit unnerving.

If I were to be honest with myself, I guess there was a certain adrenalin rush about it though. As the distance grew, the adrenalin lessened. With a deep breath, I once again closed my eyes.

Nope… not going to work. No way would I be able to doze off again, even though I had the compartment to myself.

The rest of the afternoon managed to sneak by, as I sat watching the world from my window. Small quaint villages with cobblestone streets, major metropolises crowned by Gothic cathedrals. It seemed as if I were caught up in a beautiful travel log,but; without any of the boring commercials.

As the evening wore on and it became too dark to see very much, I decided to venture back to the bar car, before; making my way to the dinning car for dinner. The bar car was standing room only. I found a little nook at the end of the bar. Although I was forced to stand, that was ok. It let me work out the stiffness, from sitting so long.

This time I limited myself to just two beers, before I found my way to the dinning car. Oh!, have I mentioned I very much enjoy German beer?

Dinner was a delicious variety of Saurbratten, red cabbage and Spaetzle (a very tasty German noodle dish). I finished with coffee and Apfelstrudel (apple strudel). I was so over stuffed, I felt like indulging in the old Arabic custom of belching while rubbing ones stomach.

Being way too full to even think about returning to the bar car. I went back to my compartment to allow my dinner to digest a little, before imbibing any more.

The best laid plans of mice and men… alas, I slipped off into a dreamless slumber. Needless to say I never made it to the lounge car. I slept until we pulled into a large brightly lit station. Loud speakers booming announcements brought me to my senses. Having forgotten to pull down the shade over the window, it appeared as though it were high noon. A quick check of my watch let me know it was a little before two in the morning.

Looking back down the track a sign reading, Karlsruhe HBF, told me we were not far from the Swiss border. Just a few hours, maybe. With a slight jerk, we were once again on the move. I settled back down, trying to return to my dreamless slumber. The border and Basel Switzerland, though only hours away, still gave me plenty of time to get a bit more sleep.

After breakfast in the dinning car I began collecting my belongings. We had already crossed the Swiss border, Lausanne was not far off now. I managed to catch the conductor, and learned I was still an hour and a half hours from my destination.

Leaving my gathered belongings too mark my seat, I returned to the bar car for a beer, unable too come up with a better way to kill time.

With a beer and cigarette, I started browsing through the section on Lausanne in my Formmer’s “Europe on Five Dollars a Day”(Remember this is 1964, now it’s Formmer’s on $50.00 a day…Chuckle, Chuckle).

I discovered a few places to eat that sounded inexpensive, and seven hotels were listed. Now all I needed to figure out was where “Holiday on Ice” was playing, some Sport Halle I would imagine.

The only problem, finding a hotel that was as near to the show as possible. If I were lucky, maybe even within walking distance.

Overhearing a tourist, an American I think, talking to the bartender. I learned we were now only about twenty minutes from Lausanne. It was time, I closed my little book. Took the last swallow from my glass before heading back to my compartment.

I stepped off the train a little after one in the afternoon. Although my stomach growled a bit, I decided to get settled before looking for a place to have lunch. Between the Taxi driver’s English and my German, we found that one of the hotels on my list was within three blocks of the Sport Halle.

For twelve marks a night, I managed a clean, albeit, quite small room.

Taped in the front window of the hotel was a poster for “Holiday on Ice”. This being a Saturday, there were three performances. The first beginning at 12:30 pm., a second at 5:00 and an evening performance starting at 9 pm. Being after two already, I’d missed the early show. A bit too early for the 5 pm show, I went looking for a place to avenge my hunger.

My hunger abated, I stood outside the “Artist’s entrance an hour early. I was hoping to catch one of the kids I knew before they went in. Two cigarettes and thirty minutes later, and still no one. As I began to give up hope. Shirley, with one of the white Poodles from the show in tow, stepped out through the door.

“Jim, isn’t it?” she asked, with a smile of recognition.

“Hi Shirley, out walking the dog?” I answered, thanking my stars I remembered her name.

“Yeah, I forgot to take him out earlier” she grinned a bit sheepishly.

“Where is everyone? Already inside I’ll bet, guess I missed them” I asked, a little disheartened.

“On matinée days, we almost never leave the building between shows” she informed me, with a chuckle.

“Come on in, we have an hour before the next show. I’m sure George will be glad to see you” she added.

Having left his mark on the wall by the door, the little ball of white fluff yipped, informing Shirley he had finished his business. She knocked on the door, a guard opened it from the inside, allowing us in.

I followed Shirley over to where the other six dogs were kept. As soon as she opened the door to his box, he was up and inside without a word being spoken.

I had to chuckle to myself as I remembered the cute comedy act the dogs were in, an exploding box with the dogs running everywhere.

From behind me, “Hey Jim, what are you doing here?” a bit startled, I turned to see George headed my way. The big grin told me he was happy to see me.

“Well… I am on my to Rome, but; I decided to make a short stop here.” I smiled, adding, “It’s kinda on the way.”

“Really a shame you don’t skate, Jim. You could audition for Peter Turner, the shows director, and maybe join the show.” Shirley stated, adding with a wink “Traveling with us can really be a lot of fun.”

“No one growing up in southern California learns to ice skate”, I told her, adding with a chuckle “Well almost no one, anyway.” remembering Shirley too was from California.

Sitting in the little snack-bar area, that travels with the show, I received quite a few ‘Hey, what are you doing here’ … ‘ Nice to see ya, again’… ‘Staying with us long?’

George, Shirley, Tina and I sat and chewed the proverbial “Fat” for over an hour, before a stagehand called “Curtain… fifteen minutes.”

George and Shirley told me to just go out front and find any seat that was empty, as they left to freshen their makeup and get into their opening number costumes. I slipped through the side curtain and discovered the auditorium filled.

Having sat next to the ice the first time I saw the show. I hiked up the front, until I had a great view down onto the ice. I ended up sitting just off to the side of one of the center spotlights.

My perspective from up here was totally different. All the colored spotlights stood out, the color patterns were much more obvious than they were down on the ground level. Ah, this might prove to be an interesting experience, I thought.

All during the show I couldn’t help but notice the cute guy decked out with headphones, working the spotlight. I sat in amazement watching all of the spotlights changing color at the same exact instant. Some one color and others another. I became so fascinated, I spent more time watching the spotlight guy than the show.

As the lights came up for intermission, I made my way down and backstage. Shirley and George were already sitting having a coffee and cigarette when I pulled up a chair, joining them.

Not more than three minutes later the spotlight guy walks up to the snack-bar and gets a pastry and a coffee. Standing off to one side, he put his coffee up on one of the shows big blue crates, while he munched his pastry.

When I looked up and realized he had caught me staring, I smiled and he nodded.

“Weren’t you just up operating the spotlight?” I asked, knowing full well he was.

“Oui, that was me” he smiled.

“Jim, meet Julian.. he is… make that was… our head spotlight operator” George offered. Then added “Julian is leaving us here in Lausanne, to go back to school.”

“Been with us …. what a year and a half, Julian?” George inquired of him.

“Oui, almost year and a half… is right” Julian replied in a cute French accent.

“Going back to school, Julian? What are you going to study?” I asked, my curiosity aroused.

“To be a pharmacist, and own my own Pharmacie, I think maybe you say drugstore” he responded, seeming quite proud.

“Five minutes” the stage manager announced. Bringing our little conference to an abrupt end. George and Shirley made a hasty retreat to their dressing rooms.

Julian deposited his trash in the waste container. Smiling, he pointed up. I smiled back with a nod, allowing Julian to lead the way back upstairs.

Now that we were acquainted, I moved up a row sitting next to Julian’s spot position. I did continue watching the show, however; I found myself mostly observing Julian’s mastery with the spotlight.

I enjoyed watching him change and adjust the rods, keeping the brightest light he could. Although it didn’t appear terribly complicated, it did seem to require a bit of knowledge and some expertise.

By the end of the show, I’d learned quite a little. All the lighting cues are given via the headphones, by the shows director. That a combination of the spotlights primary colors, achieved all the other color variations.

The leavers could even be preset with the color or colors for the next change, allowing the instant change with the push of a single button. It really was, very intriguing.

I asked Julian a few more questions as we descended the stairs heading backstage. We arrived before the rest of the gang had finished getting out of their costumes.

Slowly a sea of bathrobes began flowing towards the snack bar. Only then did I remember there was still another show to go.

Julian and I took a seat waiting for Shirley and George to make their appearance.

Pointing to a long row of tables pushed together, loaded with food. Julian said “Dinner” adding “The show always provides dinner on matinée days. It’s a ‘help yourself’ buffet”.

“Come on guys, lets grab some ‘Eats’ before it’s all gone” Shirley said, walking up behind us.

Julian stood, and followed Shirley’s lead toward the buffet.

Not being a cast member, I lit a cigarette and decided to just buy an open face sandwich and a coffee from the snack bar.

“Hey Jim, aren’t you at least a little hungry?” George asked, heading over to me in his bathrobe.

“Remember, I’m not with the show. Even though I seem to be around here a lot” I reminded him, with a chuckle.

“That food is not only for the cast,but; their visitors as well.” George chided me. Grabbing me by the arm, he tugged me toward Shirley and Julian, already dishing up their plates.

“You sure about this, George? I inquired, not wanting anyone pissed at me.

“Yep.. positive” he added, grinning with a nod.

Julian and Shirley passed us as they went looking for a free table. “Want us to save you guys a spot? Shirley yelled back over her shoulder.

“Yeah, please” a smiling George hollered back.

Standing there taking in the aroma from the delicious looking food spread about the table, I was thankful George had talked me into eating. Although he didn’t really have to twist my arm all that much.

The mouth watering array consisted of everything from sliced roast beef, mashed potatoes with gravy. Also chicken breasts, stuffed with ham and swiss cheese,Cordon Blu I think it’s called. Different vegetable dishes, like asparagus tips in a cream sauce, were also scattered about the table.

Even having made a second trip to refill our plates, the cast still had over forty-five minutes to relax before the last show.

“Hey Jim, I was just kinda thinking… I know you said you don’t skate, but; are you good with your hands?” George asked a bit hesitatingly. Shirley began to snicker, making us all chuckle.

“Yeah George… you’re thinking what I am, I’ll bet” Shirley said slapping her knee.

I’m sure the confusion was quite apparent on my face. “Huh..” I asked puzzled.

“Hey… I thought of it first” George pouted. Only adding to my confusion.

“You would like to join the show…Right?” George inquired, a big smile crossing his face.

“You can make me a skating professional, in ten easy lessons… Yeah right” I stated with a little scowl.

“No… no, BUT… Julian is leaving us here in Lausanne. Think you could work a spotlight?” George beamed, proud of himself.

That caught Julian’s attention, causing him to nod with a smile. “Oui, maybe possible, I can teach” Julian offered with a grin.

“Well, I am good with my hands” I snickered toward Shirley, wiggling my fingers. Adding “I’ve fixed and even built a lot of things, I’ll bet I could pick it up. You think they’ll hire me though?”

“Never know unless we ask Peter though” Shirley chimed in.

“I’ll go feel him out” George offered.

“Careful… George, He’s straight remember” Shirley chided.

“I said ‘out’…NOT Up. Feel him ‘OUT’ ” George reprimanded her with a wink.

A tall slim guy in his mid-to-late thirties approached our little group, telling those he passed “Fifteen Minutes, everyone.”

“Speak of the devil.. Peter, can I talk to you a little later, maybe after the opening number?” George inquired of him.

“Sure.. if not, at intermission” Peter said before turning to leave, again saying “Fifteen minutes, everyone”.

The area emptied as a flurry of bathrobes departed. “Well teacher, wanna show me how they work?” I asked Julian with a wink.

“Oui, I teach wonderful, you see.” Julian smiled, patting my shoulder. “Oui, mon ami (Yes, my friend). You can do it” he added with an ear to ear smile.

As we went out the far side curtain, on our way back upstairs, I saw Peter with a clipboard in the orchestra alcove making notes.

The overture began as we reached Julian’s light station. He told me he had set up his spotlight with new rods before leaving at the end of the last show. Now all he need do, was turn it on… he was ready.

Julian handed me the headset, telling me to wear them, as he knew the show colors by heart. Suddenly the earphones came alive. “I’Attention, la couleur deux. Pret, Pret… Maintenant” (Attention, color two… ready…ready…Now) And the ice was bathed in a pale blue, with tiny bubbles floating down like snow flakes.

I had no idea that counting to ten in French would come in so handy, until now. Startled by a tap on the back I turned to see Julian give me a thumbs up, accompanied by a cheesy grin. During the entire first half of the performance, I listened. I was becoming more and more aware of how things were done. When the lights came up at intermission. Julian had me change the rods, while over my shoulder giving me step by step instructions. Then he had me clean the mirror, and adjust the brightness to it’s maximum output. It reminded me a bit of an Arc Welder.

By the time we made our way backstage, there was only enough time remaining for a quick cup of coffee and a cigarette.

“Where ya been, I talked to Peter… I’ll tell you about it after the show” George told me as he rushed back to his dressing room, five minutes having been called.

I spent the rest of the show with the earphones on telling Julian what color number and when to change it, by a show of fingers. Of course because he had them memorized, it was just for my benefit. Only some of the color combinations were a bit tricky, especially when mixing three colors in quick succession. Even though I wasn’t working the light, by the end of the show I was a little tired. I’m sure it was most of it was just nerves.

Julian and I stayed after the final curtain, allowing me a little time to work the spotlight.

Experience had shown me it would take a good thirty minutes for George to remove his make-up and take a shower.

Julian would call out a color change. Using his index finger, he would point and say ‘Now’. All the while I would make a figure eight on the ice with the light. After about twenty minutes, I was doing quite well. Surprising us both with the ease and flow I managed.

After changing the rods and cleaning the mirror, we called the lesson quits.

On the way down stairs, Julian patted me on the back saying “I knew you could manage it”. Snickering he added “I teach wonderful, no?”

“Yes, my friend you certainly do” I offered in praise, returning the pat on the back.

“Hey guy, where ya been” asked an already dressed George, standing by the snack table, having a cigarette.

“Julian showed me how to change the rods and work the spotlight. I said, adding “He’s a WONDERFUL teacher” with a wink to Julian. Causing Julian to break up laughing.

“Huh….” inquired George.

“Inside joke” I replied, with a giggle. George just shrugged.

“I know we have two shows tomorrow… BUT, anyone feel like going out… even just for a couple?” George asked, as Shirley joined our little band.

“Did I hear right… Go Out… are you nuts George? We have two tomorrow, after doing three today. Not to mention our having to be here by noon tomorrow.” Shirley huffed, almost seeming to ruffle feathers, if she were to have any.

“How about you Jim, feel like going for a little libation?” George whined, pleading with his puppy dog eyes.

Julian and even Shirley snickered.

“What about you Julian, I owe you a few drinks for the ‘Wonderful’ spotlight lessons?” I once again chided Julian.

“Really shouldn’t, I’m kind of worn out” Julian offered as an excuse.

“So teach is pooped” snorted Shirley, with a little chuckle.

Julian just smiled.

“You go, I’ll go…” I told Julian.

“Well… this girl is going to bed” Shirley emphatically stated.

“Come on Julian, it’ll be us three musketeers. We won’t stay out late… well not too late, anyway” George begged, chuckling.

“ OK …ok, not too late… though” Julian tried exacting a promise from George.

“Anything you say” George complied, winking in my direction.

“Where to..” Julian asked, leading the way out the back door, followed closely by Shirley.

“You know… he’s straight, …supposedly” George whispered in my ear, pointing in Julian’s’ direction.

As we reached the sidewalk out front of the building, Shirley bade us farewell, before moving off in the opposite direction.

There was still a lone taxi waiting, which we commandeered. Having received the address from George, our taxi driver delivered up us three musketeers out front of a brightly neon lit club. With some long French name I couldn’t make out.

Due only to the fact that George allowed a cute guy to talk him into going home with him. Did I find myself sitting alone with Julian. Our time alone together was proving very interesting, at least to me. The fact that he didn’t have a girlfriend, albeit being on the road with the show didn’t help that situation, I never the less found promising.

Julian admitted, that while a few of the guys in the show had come on to him, he was sure he was straight. He liked girls and that’s what he jacked off thinking about. Even though he’s been with a few women, he’s still a bit curious what doing it with a guy would be like.

My heart skip a beat upon hearing that bit of information. Was this kid coming on to me? Hey wait a minute, aren’t I supposed to be the one trying to get into the pants of this straight guy?

He wasn’t leaving, and I was beginning to run out of clever things to keep the conversation going. By one am, I began running down. The idea of crawling into bed sounded better with each passing minute, with or without him.

Almost out of desperation, I placed my hand over his. Smiling, I gazed into those sparkling emerald eyes of his, “You want to come to my hotel with me?” there finally I’d said it. Our eyes remained locked, as he placed his other hand atop mine.

“Oui, …I wondered if you were going to ask me?” he smiled. “I would like to know what’s like” he added, giving my hand a soft squeeze.

“In this, you would be the ‘Wonderful’ teacher, I think” Julian winked.

Slipping my hand from his, I cupped my hand behind his head, as I stood.

Ever so gently my fingers massaged his neck. “Are you sure, you really want to do this?” I smiled down at him.

With only a nod and a grin, he rose to his feet. I followed close behind, as we made our way from the club in search of a taxi.

Roaming about, even this early in the morning, it wasn’t cold. Maybe a little bit chilly, but; brisk and refreshing after being inside a hot smoky bar. Our trek took us up and over a couple of blocks before we managed to flag down an unoccupied taxi.

As we rode towards my hotel, the silence became deafening. Lost in my own thoughts, I chuckled inwardly, hoping a smile didn’t cross my face. I wondered how George would take this little twist of fate.

This was not love or anything like it, least wise not on my part. From my side it was just two horny guys, one a bit curious about male sex.

A quick glance to the side revealed Julian, head turned, quietly staring out into the darkness. Maybe he was beginning to have some misgivings about his decision to explore sex with a male. I would ask only once more if….. was he sure?

As my hand came to rest on his leg, Julian turned with a start. “You seem a little nervous, Julian, want to call this off? It’s not too late…Yet” I tried sounding reassuring. The words were no sooner passed my lips than the taxi came to an abrupt stop in front of the hotel.

Entering the hotel I draped an arm about Julian’s shoulders, giving him a gentle hug. Julian’s eyes found mine.

As if answering an unspoken question, “I’m sure, yes… I want this” Julian said, hugging me back.

We were both quiet the rest of the way to my room. Opening the door, I flipped on the light and sat on the bed.

Holding up a bottle of brandy, “A little something to ‘Help’ your nerves?” I offered, waving the bottle. With a kinda scrunched up smile, he nodded in the affirmative.

With a few sips of brandy under his belt, Julian stood and removed his shirt.

“Guess it’s now or never” he said a bit nervously. Claiming a seat on the bed next to me, he pulled off his shoes and popped the top button of his jean’s. He remained seated while he worked his Jeans off.

His slightly pink color lead me understand he’s a little embarrassed to stand up clad only in his black bikini briefs.

Not until he spoke did I realize I was sitting on the bed still fully clothed.

“Hey, not fair… your turn” Julian chided, still retaining a bit of a pink glow.

“Huh… Oh yeah, OK” I said, adding “Nice show” with a little wiggle of my eye brows.

Watching his blush deepen a tad more, I began to disrobe… slowly. After tossing my clothes on a chair, I hauled Julian to his feet so I could pull back the covers.

In nothing but our underwear, we stood admiring each other a moment before I took his hand. I almost felt as if I were leading a lamb to the slaughter. He was a virgin after all, least wise as far as male sex was concerned.

Even though I hadn’t touched his package yet, I swear he was more than half hard. The bulge in those black bikini’s was straining to be released.

I got up and turned off the overhead light, leaving only the dim light from the partially open bathroom door. I thought this would allow him too relax more, being in a semi-darkened room.

Laying side by side, I slipped an arm under his neck and pulled him close. With my other hand, I drew lazy circles across his chest. My fingers lingered, taking turns circling his nipples, causing him to shudder slightly.

Locking my lips on the closest nipple, my tongue swirled and lapped until it was hard and erect. I deliberately avoided touching his throbbing member, wanting to build his anticipation higher. The low moaning told me I was succeeding.

I stayed way away from any kissing. He might want sex with a guy, but; I think kissing would have taken it too far for him to handle. My hands roamed at will, eliciting groans from his slightly quivering body.

Scooting down, I began sucking in and around his belly button, his package remained as yet untouched. Slowly I nibbled my way down through the little trail hair that disappeared under the waist band of his briefs.

Bending over, I licked my way up and down the inside of his thighs. Without the slightest touch to the bulge, that I see could flexing with every movement of my tongue.

I glanced up as I sucked and nipped the insides of his legs. His eyes were tightly shut, his mouth hung open. While his spread arms were clutching the bed, he writhed in the pleasure he was receiving.

Now was the time, I eased my fingers over his pulsing crotch, bestowing a gentle squeeze. In an instant he grabbed and held hand absolutely still, “Oh..No, No Don’t move, or I’ll cum” he choked out. My head buried between his legs, he couldn’t see the grin begin to creep across my face. My mouth cupped his balls, through the thin material. I exhaled, my warm breath brought forth another moan. He was ready.

Using both hands, I lowered his briefs to his knees. In one fell swoop, I slid his whole uncircumcised six and a half inches down my throat, to the root. While at the same moment, I tongued his warm balls. Grabbing and holding my head, his hips bucked. Cum began flowing from him in spasms, accompanied by muffled snorts and grunts.

As the twitching subsided, my throat mussels milked the remaining cum from those damp, over heated, sperm makers.

What I’d hoped, his cock never lost its firmness, as his breathing began returning to normal.

My hand slipped and slid his foreskin around and over the gland. I mercilessly worked my tongue in and out of the slit, sucking and siphoning out whatever I could.

“No more, stop…I can’t stand it” he pleaded, forcing my mouth from his cock. With a final squeeze of his young cock, I crawled back up beside him.

“Bet you’ve never been sucked like that” I snickered, slowly rubbing his flat belly.

“Mon Dieu, (My God) I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breathe” Julian whispered, adding “Where… Where did you ever learn… that.”

“Natural talent??” I offered, with a snicker.

Faking a pout, I added “What, you don’t believe me, I’m crushed”

“OH, you have talent, real ‘Talent’” he assured me, as he ruffled my chest hair.

“Want a little more brandy, before round two” I asked, gently nudging him with my elbow.

Propping himself on his elbows, he stared a bit incredulously. “Round two…?” Julian squeaked out.

Taking hold of his still very hard dick, and giving it a hearty wiggle, “Yep… I think you are up for it” I smirked, with a wink.

“Hum… yeah, maybe I am.” he chuckled, offering me his empty glass.

I slipped from the bed to retrieve the brandy, my cock bobbing to and fro as I walked.

Because I hadn’t cum, I was more than ready for round two. This would be ‘My’ round.


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