Page 21 Share what we've

                          SHARING WHAT WE’VE BEEN GIVEN.                                2 – 8 – 10

                                                                    ROY GARDE

                                                                PART ONE – TESS.

Theresa Maria O’Kimble was the third youngest in a family of seven children. Her father worked as a laborer for their local town council in the county of Cork and he left his house, riding his bicycle, before seven every morning except Sundays.

To be able to get a lie-in on the day of rest – and, not at all incidentally, to be able to indulge in some lively action between the sheets with his wife knowing that their pleasure would be enhanced considerably seeing that both of them would be well rested – he insisted that his family members accompanied him to church on Saturday evenings.

The four eldest children left home for London or New York as soon as they possibly could and that left their sisters, Theresa Maria and Maria Theresa, and their brother, Peter Francis, behind.

Their mother pleaded with her husband, and by letter to her departed children, to see to it that Peter had the wherewithal to go to college and, sure enough, when he finished high school he was able to go off to Dublin to study for a teaching career.

Three years after he’d left home he moved back and got a job in town which he could get to on his bicycle every morning but he had the luxury of being able to leave more than an hour after his father.

With seven healthy and lusty children to bring up their mother had been very aware of the problems that could arise as they grew – and started feeling their oats and wanted to go on discovery trips and carry out intimate experiments  – and so she, as had her mother before her, saw to it that her daughters knew the rules and recognized the limits that were set for them as girls and that they were to keep them in mind as they, inevitably, ‘frolicked’ with the boys in town. She gave them plenty of leeway but even so when it was time for their weekly bath on Saturday afternoons – all of them had to use the same water to lessen the amount of work for her seeing that she had to heat it in buckets on top of the stove and so, logically, the girls went first – she, not at all surreptitiously, in turn, slipped a finger between their legs to search for concrete evidence that they’d been following the laid-down, as it were, basic rule.

Her leniency gave them a whole lot of freedom and it countenanced plenty of innocuous games of ‘doctor’ with friends in the warmer months and with their brothers in the cold and wet months. As their bodies and their libidos grew over the years the playing became a good deal less innocuous but, even so, none of her girls’ hymens ever got so much as probed at seriously until they’d left home.

When Peter came back from college Theresa, who was called ‘Tess’ by everyone, was seventeen and although he easily found girlfriends for himself in town the thought of bicycling to see one of them, or to look for a new one, in the cold-weather months was daunting and so he – uh – looked homeward to find relief.

Peter had always been Tess’s favorite to play doctor with because when it was his turn he was always gentle and considerate with her and he never tried to trick her into doing things that she didn’t want to do – like gripping her head and pulling it in the direction of his crotch – although all of the other boys did, along with other equally gross practices, towards the end of their ‘examination’ just about every time that they played the game.

Over time she’d developed a strong, healthy sense of all things sensual and she very much liked being able to lie back and let someone, anyone, cherish and caress and kiss her body but it was only when she was Peter’s ‘patient’ could she let her guard down enough to be able to enjoy his administrations fully and give him full right of way.

Because of that she was happy to have him home again and seeing that she’d blossomed into having extra large breasts and a nice bottom and a thick bush of pubic hair while he’d been away that made him happy too.

The two of them enjoyed each other’s attentions regularly from then on – that is, of course, when he was between girl friends – but the very fact that her body had developed so well made it difficult for him to stick inside the limits that she set and there always came the time, in the middle of an ‘examination,’ when he’d start moaning and writhing and be forced to stop what he was at and she’d commiserate with him and would eventually give in a little and stay still and let him cup her center with his free hand while he was masturbating into a rag. She realized from that how much stress he had to be under to be forced to do such an ugly, non-sharing thing in front of her in their safe room but, even so, when he was well into it she’d pull away and go back to her own room because she hated to be near him when he started groaning like a banshee as he lost control and his hand speeded up until it was a blur of motion just before she got to smell the pungent stink of his fluids. She fully understood why the Priests called what he was doing ‘self abuse’ and she’d wish fervently that she could help him ease his needs in a more genteel way.

One winter afternoon, on a school holiday, they happened to be alone in the house but he still signaled her with his eyes through long custom and she nodded and then went with him to his room. She let him get at her breasts for a while – he truly loved to handle them and she was proud of them – but when he moved his hand down and then under her skirt she held it still to get his attention and then she asked if they could talk about his off-putting habit.

He knew what she was referring to and he apologized profusely but then tried to regain some ground with her by cleverly going on to explain that his urge got to be so overwhelmingly strong because she had gotten to be so attractive that after seeing and touching her body he was left with little choice in the matter. He said that he guessed that, “It must be an ugly thing for you to have to see so, given the circumstances, it’s probably best if we try to not be alone together any more. It will be really hard for me because I really do like touching you.”

She hated the thought of being deprived of his loving touches and kisses and, especially, his expertise with his tongue, and she told him that and so, in an effort to avoid that terrible fate, he came up with a plea that if she could find it in herself to take over the task he would, “Take care of your needs properly, for as many times as you like, no matter how long it takes.” She asked for time to think about it and the next time that she’d taken her panties off for him she agreed to his request and on hearing that he whooped with joy and went at her with more enthusiasm than ever before and when she’d recovered from the orgasm that he’d given her – and had told him that one of that quality was enough thank you, “This time, anyway” – he got onto the bed and turned onto his back and presented her with the task at hand which she carried out awkwardly but, eventually, successfully.

She continued to do it for him every time that they found themselves alone for long enough to get it on and she soon got to be good at it but – in the way of all men, as she discovered later in her life – just when she’d become inured to doing it for him he decided that it was no longer enough and he used the same threat about how it would be best if they stayed away from each other and she capitulated again and had to let him progress into using parts of her body to get the desired and messy result.

And then, in less than a month of doing that, inevitably, it too became not enough for him and at that they had to accept the fact that, at their ages, there was nowhere else for them to go except doing the real thing and that was unthinkable and so they reluctantly decided that they’d better give up on their secret meetings.

They managed to keep away from each other for five whole days.

The relief that they both felt after they’d gotten naked again and could touch each other was so evident that they agreed that it would be cruel and unusual punishment to not enjoy each other’s bodies “but only for touching” although, as they both knew very well as they were saying it, after a few more sessions they’d be back at stage one and he’d get bored again.

Sure enough, it wasn’t long before she came to realize that no matter what she did for him, inside the new parameters that they’d agreed on, he began to ask her to meet up with him less and less often so she bravely made the decision, knowing that he would never ask her to do it himself, to take it into her mouth.

He loved it and was very grateful but she hated it so much that when the next time came around and he was eagerly waiting for her to get started she found that she couldn’t make her mouth open wide enough even though she was willing herself to do so.

On seeing that he had to back off and he sighed and then lifted her head away and made to get off the bed but she knew that she shouldn’t let him leave in that condition and so she kindly offered to let him follow a method that she’d read about in a porn magazine that her girl friend had ‘borrowed’ from her brother. It was the one where the guy puts it between the legs of a girl from behind and she uses hip movements and thigh squeezing to make it interesting for him.

He was eager to try it, and grateful, and when they’d done it, and had recovered, he was very gentle with her but they both knew that that particular maneuver wouldn’t work a second time and that it was lamentably true that it was unlikely that they’d find any more new positions and so they agreed that they should abstain again while they both thought about it and try to come up with something that would work for him and would be agreeable for her. Or, to admit defeat.

When the rest of the family had gone to bed several nights later they had the living room to themselves and he closed the door and then sat next to her on the couch and, proprietarily, took out one of her breasts for comforting reasons.

“Well?” he whispered. “Did you come up with anything?”

“ ‘Fraid not,” she replied. “But, you know, I really did think hard about it and I even went to my friend’s house two days ago and I asked her if I could look through her father’s Kama Sutra again but, just as I remembered, all of the positions in it are too complicated and the majority of them called for – uh – the man putting it into the woman’s – uh – thing. So that’s no good is it?”

“Isn’t it?”

“What do you mean, ‘Isn’t it?’- – – Oh! Our doing it properly, you mean! Oh no, no, no. You know that I couldn’t let that happen because of the risks and not to mention the rules that I’ve been hearing about all my life. And anyway, there’s another reason why I couldn’t let you do it and it’s because Mama still checks me, and Maria, with her finger every Saturday night – – – So that’s out, right? You’ve got to agree with me there, surely.”

“What did you say? – – – God in heaven, I don’t believe it! Really? Are you saying that she still feels to see if your hymens are intact?”

  “Shhhh, speak quietly. Yes she does indeed and not secretly either. The minute that either of us sits down in the bath water she comes over and we have to open up to let her feel.”

“Wow! This is the twenty-first century for fuck’s sake. I wouldn’t stand for that, I can tell you.”

“Shhhh, keep your voice down I said. Well, the thing is that we’ve had to let her do it since we were about twelve so we’re used to it. She tells us that as long as we’re living under her roof she’s going to check on us as long as we live here. She says, ‘If there’s one thing that’s for sure it is that I don’t want to have to bring up any more babies in this house and, besides that, the shame of it would kill your father, so it would.’

“But listen to me, Peter dear, there’s something that I don’t understand. Why do you want to put it in there so badly seeing that you can do anything else that you want and up to now I always – uh – make you – uh – finish in one way or another every time that we – uh – get together? Right?”

“Tis true, so it is, but it’s not the same any other way because I have to be able to feel warm, wet, soft flesh all around my dick to get proper satisfaction. That’s why having you take it in your mouth is halfway decent but, when you really get down to it, that way isn’t good enough either because I’m not in charge and I’ve got to just keep still and I can’t vary the speed and the depth and the timing and there’s no thrusting and all of that is needed to get it done properly.”

“I see, I think. – – – – But tell me, have you had enough time to come up with anything? I doubt it because, let’s face it Peter, there is no other way that we haven’t tried already, is there?”

“You’re wrong there, Tess. There is another way but you’re going to have to trust me about it. Will you?”

“Of course I will. Haven’t I always? Another way? Please tell at once. I really want to know.”

“Well. Uh, have you ever heard of ‘anal intercourse’?”

“Arrrrgh! What did you say?”

“Shhhh! Now it’s your turn to be told to keep your voice down. Listen, it’s getting to be more and popular now, all over, because it’s satisfying in a different way for both the man and the woman and it’s guaranteed to be 100% safe as far as contraception is concerned. Are you brave enough to try it?”

“Wow. I’m really shocked – – – Uh, is it even possible to do it that way? It won’t hurt me? Won’t it hurt you too? It’s only a tiny hole, you know. Well, mine is at least. I doubt if I can get one finger in there no matter about your huge – uh – thing.”

“I promise that it will only hurt you – uh, that is, it will only hurt us – the first time and after that it will be great for both of us. Please, Tess? And you know what? It will solve our problem entirely and by doing it that way we can have some really nice loving as often as we want. Oh, be Jaysus! Just talking about it has made me rock hard. Here, look for yourself. See? It’s going to burst I think. Will you be nice and hold it tight for me, please? – – – Ah, that’s better. Thank you. Now please Tess. Can we try doing it right now. Please?”

“But if it will hurt us both won’t the whole house hear us shouting with the pain?”

“I’ve thought about that and I think that seeing that this door is closed and if we go into the bathroom and close that door too we’ll be all right for the noise but, just in case, maybe you should keep all your clothes on and just take your panties off and I’ll do it with just my fly open. Yes? Please? – – – Oh, but wait a minute, there’s something I nearly forgot. Will you look what I’ve got here, Tess. A jar of Vaseline it is and putting some of it on me and some in you will help get it done a lot easier. Please say yes, Tess. Please.”

She thought for a minute and then, to give him her answer, she kissed his mouth and then stood up and slipped her panties off and tucked them under a cushion and then, for all her show of bravery, it was with a great deal of apprehension that she led him to the bathroom.

Once the door was closed behind them she looked to him for guidance and he suggested, in a hoarse whisper, that she could bend over and put her hands on the toilet lid cover and lean on them but the disdainful look that came to her face told him that she didn’t want the toilet to play any part in what was about to happen and so he led her over to the bathtub and asked if that would do.

 It would and it did.

He applied some lubrication and then, to find the optimum height and the best angle of approach, he re-positioned her legs until it seemed about right and when he’d located his target, he asked her to brace herself and then he steadily increased the pressure until in it went and even though she’d anticipated some pain never in her life had she experienced that much and how she kept herself from screaming and waking up the entire household she never knew.

When his fluids had been transferred into her keeping he collapsed on top of her because his knees could hold out no longer. She had to support him for a few long-lasting minutes until he’d mustered the strength to ease out of her and then he moved away, on wobbly legs, and sat on the toilet lid cover whereupon he sprawled back and seemed to be out of it completely.

She was hurting still so she turned and eased her bottom down onto the cold porcelain of the bath surround in an effort to use its coolness to try to soothe her pain.

After a while she made the mistake of looking over at Peter and was disgusted with what she saw. Not only was there what she’d expected to see but superimposed over all that was a sheen of bright red blood that she presumed was her own.

She was, as always, very aware that they didn’t have the house to themselves and so she worried that someone might come downstairs, there was only one bathroom in the house, and so she forced herself to do the disagreeable task of cleaning him up because, once done, that would let them both get out of there and go and sit in the living room.

She washed him, trying not to look at what she was doing, and then she dried him and then ‘arranged his clothing’ and then supported him into the living room and onto the couch. She collected her panties and then went into the bathroom again and she got a tube of balm from the medicine cabinet and kept it at hand and when she’d wiped and washed away the Vaseline and what blood there was she positioned a hand mirror and she steeled herself to see blood oozing from multiple tears but she was surprised to see that she hadn’t been torn at all.

She immediately became worried for him because if the blood wasn’t hers then it had to be his and so she hurried to dry herself and then she pulled on her panties and then went out and over to the couch.

He was still very weak – although the silly grin on his face told her that he was sublimely content with his lot, so that was something positive – and she told him what she’d found and so he unzipped and took out his penis, which was smaller than she’d ever seen it before – by then she was almost as familiar as he was with the various phases that it went through – and when he twisted it around he cried out with pain and they both saw that he’d ripped the sinew that connects the foreskin to the shaft.

She was pleased to see that the bleeding had stopped and so she could apply the balm right then.

While they were waiting for him to get enough strength back to be able to climb the stairs to their rooms he kissed her sweetly and, of course, searched out a breast to hold as he poured superlatives on her along with profuse thanks for letting him have, “The best fuck ever.” and while she liked hearing him say it again his choice of words surprised her because – alone amongst the boys and men that she’d had anything to do with excepting only her father and the Priests – he never used swear words and especially not the four letter ones and so she put it down to the fact that having recently experienced euphoria his brain was still partially addled.

Over the following three days he never attempted to trap her in an empty room, or anywhere else where there was some privacy, to get a friendly feel nor did he pass her the signal that he always used to get her to stick around in the living room until everyone else had gone to bed – which had become their favorite time and locale for serious, protracted love play – and that worried her so she made the signal herself.

He was sweet with her and he did all the things that she liked best and he saw to it that she got a satisfying orgasm but he didn’t get even a half-hard on himself and, as she well knew, that meant that he didn’t have any motivation or drive and thus no need to have one himself.

After she’d come down, as it were, she unzipped him and saw that the tear had healed well – also that his foreskin was in the retracted position although it was setting a precedent by doing so – and so, puzzled, she asked him about both things.

“Well, it looks like I’ve given myself a circumcision because it’s been like that since the night that – well, you know when – and if I force it up into its normal position it shrinks back again as soon as I let go of it. Here, try for yourself – – – it’s all right, Tess, you don’t have to be that gentle because it’s healed completely already – – – there, now let go – – – see? Oh, by the way, has your – uh – has it healed, ah, no I mean is it still sore? No. Good, I’m really glad to hear that because that means that it’s nice and flexible, right?

“As for the other thing – my not getting it up – I’m as worried as you are. Much more worried than you are, in fact, because it hasn’t so much as stirred, no matter about lifting its head up to look around, since – uh – that same time. But there, not to worry because I’ve asked around, very discretely of course, and it seems that doing it that way takes it out of the guy no end. One of the ones I asked, he’s gay and so he should know, told me that it’s so intense the first time that it takes several days before it’s – uh – ready for action again and that that détente happens every time but doesn’t last as long and eventually it gets back to normal.”

“Whew! Am I ever pleased to hear that. I got really worried for you. Ha! For me, too!”

“That goes for me in spades, because doing it that way is nothing short of being fantastic. Never in life could I have even guessed how good it feels.”

Tess didn’t have to strike a crass bargain with Peter to ensure that she got what she considered to be her fair share of loving from then on because although he stayed sublimely content for days after having her bend over for him on Saturday nights, or sometimes Sunday afternoons, and again on Wednesdays, he still found it pleasant, aesthetically, to get to explore her body and, cerebrally only, to continue to generate orgasms for her just about every night after the rest of their family had gone upstairs.

Tess was delighted to find that another benefit – separate from knowing that he got so much pleasure from her that it was doubtful if he’d ever lose interest again – showed itself, mundanely, every morning when she found that that she no longer had to keep to a non-binding diet – and no longer had to take various syrups and no longer had to sit on the toilet and strain for a half hour – because as long as she got reamed out once a week by Peter she only had to settle herself nicely on the toilet for a minute or two every morning before – Whoooosh.

Because of her ‘cure’, and because her mother was a gourmet cook, Tess started to put on weight and most of it accumulated in her hips and, surprisingly, in her breasts. She was forced to begin doing a whole lot of exercises to get rid of, or to control, her burgeoning belly but there were none that she knew of that could reduce breast size and, besides that, she enjoyed being whistled at for the first time in her life although she was careful about not showing that.

Her breasts kept growing but, to her consternation, they began to form a strangely tubular shape and although her bra centralized them – and, of course, held them up – when she took it off they sagged and when she was lying on her back they were inclined to fall away from the center of her chest and loll about on either side of it.

Tess and Peter kept up their mutually agreeable arrangement for over two years but then, as all too often happens, life intervened in the form of a student of his who cornered him at her graduation party and confessed that she’d been in love with him ever since he’d come to teach at the school but had known better than to let him know it until that moment.

She was beautiful and young and fresh and eager and so, of course, he succumbed and they started dating.

On their first date they went to the movies and she insisted that they walked down the center aisle for a few rows before finding seats. As soon as the lights went down she stood up and took his hand and led him back up to the last row where the ushers knew better than to shine their flashlights, ever.

She saw to it that he started in on kissing her and she waited until, inevitably, one of his hands ‘inadvertently’ brushed’ her nearest breast and she grabbed it and held it there and used her other hand to unclasp her bra.

Steamy was the word for the atmosphere around them and when the closing credits came up neither of them had any idea what the plot of the movie had been.

They decided to skip dinner altogether because they were in a lather of sweat and musk and so he drove her home and it was in the driveway of her place that changed their lives and sealed their futures.

They did some serious necking in the car until the windows fogged up and then they got out of it and stood against a wall that was in an alcove to one side of her front door and even after all of the kissing and feeling that they’d done that night they were still loath to let go of the other one. After a while it came to him that her bottom was just about the only part of her that he hadn’t been able to touch or fondle in the cinema or the car and so he decided to do so right then and he reached down and slipped his hand up her dress and then inside her panties and as soon as he got to hold one of her buttocks squarely he felt it change in an instant from being soft, warm, smooth flesh into hard, cool, smooth marble and then back again into a receptive mode an instant later.

Before he could get worried about the strange reaction her groans and moans told him that, far from offending her and turning her off, he was in contact with her most erogenous zone. The noises that were coming at him kept increasing in volume and so he reluctantly took his hand away to get her to calm down before her parents heard and after doing so he had to hold her up for a while or she would have surely melted down to the floor.

When she could talk she thanked him and her voice’s huskiness confirmed what he’d already guessed at and it was that reaction of hers that made him determine, on the spot, that this was the woman who he was going to marry because – well – given his experience with Tess that’s obvious, right?

There was no way that he could let Tess down gently and she took the news hard although she was level headed enough to not let anyone even guess as to how distressed she was.

She didn’t much miss being reamed out regularly by him but she did miss, intensely, not getting any more loving from her favorite man in the whole world.

Then, to her distress, she found that, within a fortnight, her ‘problem’ had returned more seriously than ever before.

About one month after hearing Peter’s devastating news she became too depressed, and too lethargic, to want to keep her job in the restaurant where she worked as a waitress and so she quit and stayed home but her mother wouldn’t put up with laziness like that from anyone living in her house and so she had to think seriously about leaving and she decided to get far away from Peter and his fiancé by going to New York where she had a married sister who, she knew, would put her up gladly.

She also had another brother over there who was single.

She got herself a tourist visa and a two-way ticket on Aerlingus and she was met at JFK by her sister and she was offered a room in her apartment.

She kept the return ticket until it expired after one full year.

She was dismayed to find that her other brother had a fiancé too and that they were always kissing and could hardly keep their hands off each other in public even though they’d been engaged for months by then.

Because of the nature of her complaint she could only function well after noon-time and so she was happy when she found a job as a waitress in a restaurant that was owned and used by Irish-Americans where, although she was heavily exploited, she was relatively safe from the immigration people and she was allowed to take a shift that let her work from four until midnight.


                                                      PART TWO – ASA.

Asa Johanssonbergen was the only boy in his family. He had four younger sisters and they all lived in a small town that was in the north of their Scandinavian country. It was because of not having brothers, his mother always said, that made him unpopular at school. She figured that because his sisters always spoiled him rotten at home he couldn’t adjust properly to his peers.

She was wrong.

He wasn’t popular at school because there were only five other boys in his class and an even number is needed for most games but he was so inept at all of them that he was never called on to play hockey or football or any other team game.

Because he wasn’t any good at sports – which led him, inevitably, to believe, defensibly, that he didn’t want to play any of them anyway – he found diversion by playing solitary games and he found gratification by eating and consequently he soon picked up nick-names, the least offensive of which was – ‘lard-ass.’ (Clearly that was not a play on his name because if it could have been no mother in the entire country would have ever named her son ‘Asa’ and it is a popular name there.)

He was the eldest child of Liev and Ingibejorg Johanssonbergen and when he got to be eighteen years old, when his eldest sister was fourteen, his mother informed his father that there was something strange about him.

Both parents, and all of the people that they knew well enough to share intimate information with, admitted to having played ‘doctor’ when they got to be nine or ten or so, and on through their early teens, with their siblings and cousins and, sometimes, with friends. The game not only appealed to something that was stirring deep inside them it was intriguing too in that they had to do it out of sight of adults – which added excitement to it – and also because it cost nothing and was ever present and very convenient and needed no equipment of any kind and was never boring and so it was a much welcomed way to help pass the long dark nights that people who live as far north as they did have to suffer through for way over a half of every year.

What had disturbed Ingibejorg was that when she was giving her daughters their weekly bath one Saturday evening she saw that the strange looking cones that had started growing under her eldest one’s nipples a few months before were now showing definite signs of becoming bona fide breasts and so she knew that it was time to give her the mandatory ‘birds and bees’ speech and so, when they were alone later that night, she gave her the basic facts about the differences between boys and girls and when she got to the crucial part about how babies are conceived she was interrupted by, “Really Mamma, that’s not possible. I’ve seen Asa’s and that tiny thing couldn’t possibly push its way into me.”

She stored that piece of information away for later as she answered the child by saying, “Whoa there, that’s not true at all, believe me on that and I should know, right? Uh, let’s see. How can I phrase this – uh – well – – do you remember back in August when we were pickling those English gherkins? Yes? Well, that’s how big a man’s – uh – thing grows to be when he gets to be excited although some of them are thinner and more like a skinned banana. So, listen to me child, I want you to know that, whatever size it gets to be, given a half chance the man, or boy, will want to push it into you and if you let that happen it will start a baby growing inside you and you don’t want that to happen do you? No, you don’t. You have to wait until you find a man who loves you and wants to marry you and start a family together. Yes? Good.

“So, I want you to promise me that when you play doctor from now on and you see that Asa’s, or any other boy’s, thing is big and hard you must keep your legs tightly closed and if one of them tries to make you open them you should tell him that if he doesn’t stop you’ll go and tell your parents and then they’ll tell his parents. All right? You understand?”

“Yes Mamma, but what do you mean, ‘The next time you play doctors?’ What game is that?”

“What! Are you telling me that you’ve never even heard of it, child?”

“No, never. What is it?”

“Well – – – uh – – – Oh, my word! Will you look at the time! Go up to bed now and I’ll tell you what you want to know to-morrow.”

When Liev and Ingibejorg were discussing the new found fact that Ars was alarmingly aloof about sensual things – she’d told her husband about it after their daughter had admitted that she’d never seen a boy with an erection and how she’d almost burst out with, “What are you telling me? I can hardly believe it because at your age I’d seen them by the score” – and, although they agreed that they had to take steps to get their girls to join groups of their peers where they could get an all important education about what boys have and what they want to do with them, their major concern that day was for Asa because if he was a budding homosexual they figured that they should, however regretfully, find like-minded friends for him in an attempt to give him some peace of mind or, if it was only indifference that he felt, then perhaps some form of therapy from a professional would be called for.

After thinking about it for a while Liev decided that he should find out what the boy’s true inclination was once and for all and so he figured that he should talk to his brother, Eduard, who was living in the city and who had come out of the closet years earlier and was living an openly gay life.

When Eduard had arrived, and had shared a meal with the family, the two brothers went to a bar and Liev explained what his problem was – or rather, what Asa’s problem was – and he asked for advice and help.

When Eduard agreed that something definitely had to be done they worked on a strategy and they came up with a plan in which Liev would ask to be given the use of his friend’s fishing hut for a week – the one that they’d often spent time at when they were youngsters but that his children had never used because they were far more interested in their electronic games and TV and the rest of it – and he’d urge Asa to go on a fishing and hunting trip with Eduard for five or six days. Liev also agreed to borrow a friend’s half-track vehicle to get them out to the hut and back again in case a heavy snowfall came.

Eduard left his car at Liev’s house and he and his nephew drove off in the half-track early the next morning.

  When they got to the hut they moved their stuff into it and then they used a saw to cut out the cap of ice that had grown over the fishing hole and they got on with fishing for lunch.

The lake was teaming with fish and they had a busy time catching and releasing until they’d caught two that were good eating ones and that weighed better than a pound and a half each.

After lunch they put on orange vests and they took a rifle each and before they left they lit a lantern, which they hung in a window, in case they needed help to find the hut again in the dark.

They saw lots of reindeer tracks but none of the animals so they made a map of the directions that the various tracks showed that they’d taken and they worked out what was the best area to find them the next day. Not only would a young buck solve their immediate meat problem but being able to take some of it home with them would please Asa’s parents because some parts of the animal were their all-time favorite food.

For dinner that night they cooked two rabbits that they’d shot and they used some of the carrots and onions, that Asa’s mother had forced on them, to make a one-pot-stew and the fresh bread that they’d brought went very well with it.

When they’d run out of things to say they did some reading and then Asa’s uncle told him that he was going to turn in and when he brought out the sleeping bag that he’d borrowed from his brother he explained that it was a double one and that that was standard practice because in the extreme cold they’d need each other’s body heat when the stove had died down in the night. He went on to tell him that the bag was made of a new, super efficient material that keeps the heat in and the cold out and so they wouldn’t have to wear their long johns.

When Asa got into the sleeping bag his uncle extinguished the lantern and they snuggled down into the down and his uncle indicated that they should take up the spoon position and they settled into it and soon warmed up so nicely that they had to open up some of the cover.

Asa had been apprehensive on hearing that they’d be sharing the sleeping bag but he decided that it was best to go along because his uncle had to know about those things.

When his hands had warmed up enough Eduard slipped one of them over Asa’s back and he used it to smooth his chest and he waited to see how he reacted.

Asa went rigid but he didn’t protest because, again, he trusted his uncle to do the right thing but then he felt little kisses on his neck as the hand slipped down to his belly and it alarmed him enough to grab the hand and push it back and away as he grumbled a protest.

That reaction was enough for Eduard to rule out latent homosexuality but then he was faced with a dilemma. He himself was solidly gay and he liked younger men best and he had a very young one in his bed and so, as would be expected, he’d been sporting an erection that could have been used to break concrete ever since he’d watched Asa getting undressed.

He rationalized the justification of using force to find out if there was any potential for acquiring homosexuality in his nephew by thinking: I’m on a mission; I’ve been charged with finding out the truth about this young man; It could affect his long range health; Resolving it once and for all must be done this very minute – but common sense seeped in and got him to reject that action out of hand and he decided to simply tell the truth and find out what that would bring him.

He said, “Asa, I’ve got to tell you the truth about why we’re here together.”

He told him what his parents were worrying about and what they’d asked him to do so that they’d then know how best to help him.

Asa burst out with, “I don’t understand any of that. Why can’t they just leave me alone?”

“Well, I agree but they told me that you show no interest in girls and never have and you’ve got to admit that that is not usual for a youth who is old enough to be getting definite – uh – needs and urges that only girls can help him with. Yes?”

“Sure. I’ve heard about those needs for years now but I’ve never felt any of them. I like girls but I don’t particularly want to touch them and when I saw, by accident and up close, what my eldest sister has between her legs I didn’t feel any curiosity about it nor any attraction to it either. Is that wrong? It can’t be, can it?”

“No, no. You’ve got that right, I guess, but tell me something. Do you have what are called wet dreams? – – – No! – – – Oh, you don’t know what they are. Well, let me put it this way – do you ever wake up to find that your underpants or your pajamas are wet with – uh – fluids other than urine?”

“Ugh! No, never have.”

“Well now! That’s strange indeed and it brings us back to your parents and this – uh – experiment. I’m already sure that you aren’t inherently homosexual – more’s the pity as far as I’m concerned because I equate being ‘gay’ with being ‘enlightened’ – but let’s leave that aside, shall we? Well, what we don’t yet know is if you are truly asexual – that is whether you are totally indifferent to all forms of stimulation. So, to find that out for sure there are two other things that we can try. Do you want me to go ahead with the first one?”

“Yes please, I do indeed. I want this ‘experiment’ to be done with and over with and then the question need never be brought up again. And I do mean by everybody.”

“Well, for this first one I want you to make your mind go blank and then try to convince yourself that I’m a girl of your own age, a very pretty girl, and then just relax and let whatever happens next proceed. OK?”

“OK. I’ll try.”

“Good, move over to the far side and then make your mind blank.”

He gave him some time to settle into the necessary mode and then he put his hand into his underpants and caressed what he found there and expertly subjected it to what should have made it turn into a bone-hard rod.


“Well,” he said when he had to admit defeat, “that proves that you don’t have any normal responses in your penis and, combined with knowing that you have no need for the natural release and relief mechanisms of Mother Nature, that means that you might need medical attention and your parents will want to – perfectly understandably, you must agree – will want to know how to best help you in that regard. That’s reasonable, right?”

“Yes. I guess so – – – So – – – We can now say that I’m not homosexual but am asexual, right? Well, I guess that I’ll just have to learn to live with it, won’t I? That shouldn’t cause much of a problem for me because seeing that I’ve never experienced those urges that you talked about I wont miss them, right? But didn’t you say that there was one more test? What is it and what will this one prove? But anyway, whatever it is, can we please do it and get it over with so that we can forget about this stuff and get some sleep?”

“Of course we can. However, this last test is the fundamental one, as it were. It’s the absolute test. It will answer the core question for all time, you could say, and I wouldn’t dare recommend it for anyone who didn’t have gay tendencies already but in your case I can because, seeing that we know that you won’t respond to it, it can’t affect you physically in that once it’s over and done with that’s it as far as you’re concerned, yes? Uh, however, it might affect you mentally so we have to talk about that part before I go ahead with it.”

“Jesus! What is it, exactly?”

“As I said – a bit facetiously I know but you didn’t pick up on it – doing it will answer the core question for you. Do you see? The core? No? Well then, I’ll have to spell it out for you.

“Uh – it’s the act that distinguishes gay men from straight men. You know what that is don’t you? You must do, surely.”

“Oh, you mean ‘that.’ ”

“Yes, I do mean – ‘that.’ Do you think that you’ll be able to handle it?”

“You mean mentally, like you just said? Well, let me think about it for a minute – – – – – – – – – – – Well, I guess that I’m kind of indifferent about it really. I’m just not very interested is all. I’d rather not do it because it seems gross but if, as you say, it will answer the ‘core question’ then I guess that we should go ahead with it. I don’t think that it’ll matter much to me one way or the other except for one thing – will it hurt?”

Eduard tried hard to keep the relief and the glee out of his voice as he answered the last question in a placating way and as he was speaking he was also reaching for his jar of Vaseline.

When Eduard was doing his second favorite thing in the whole world, and was relishing every moment of it, something extraordinary happened which brought him back down to earth with a bang. Asa began to shout and to call out that he was to stop moving and it startled and confused his uncle because it was unprecedented in his extensive experience because once the initial pain had been dealt with, as clearly had already happened with Asa, then pleasure should have taken it’s place and it should be flooding his whole being and coming at him so intensely that by now he should be calling out encouragement and praise not pleas for the action to stop. Or, failing that and given his already proven predilections, he should be stoically accepting what was happening to him seeing that he’d agreed about letting it happen and be patiently waiting for it to end.

When he could collect his faculties enough to comply with Asa’s demand about stopping he asked, with impatience and rancor, what the problem was. “Why do you want me to stop? It can’t be hurting you now because, as you’ve shown already, the pain is no longer there.”

“Yes, the pain has gone away but that’s not my problem now. For the first time in my life I have an erection and it feels as if it’s going to burst and your weight on top of me is crushing it so will you please get off?”

Eduard, even in his befuddled state, didn’t believe him for a second and so he reached down and under to feel for himself.

What his hand encountered – it would have been difficult for it to miss – was a positive erection that was growing even as he was holding it.

Knowing of its presence increased his ardor immeasurably – it’s the nature of the beast – and he wanted to start moving again and keep in contact with it but he needed space so he told Asa to turn with him and they successfully ended up on their sides without having disconnected.

He took Asa’s erection in hand, as it were, and began to coordinate his massages with his strokes but he forgot that it was the first erection that Asa had ever had and so, understandably, he was desperate to find out what it felt like to ejaculate and so he pushed Eduard’s hand away and took over, albeit in an irregular and mostly inept way.

Eduard put his hand on top of Asa’s hand and succeeded in partially regulating it but doing so halted his preferred method of procedure and so he couldn’t slip into the plain of near euphoria that he was accustomed to under similar circumstances.

He knew that he’d have to give in so he stayed still and he let the boy get on with it and when he’d ejaculated, and had calmed a little, he got him to turn with him again and, knowing that he could, he cast aside all restraints and considerations and moved to get it done.

When they woke up in the morning it wasn’t difficult for Eduard to persuade Asa to go through the whole procedure again and Asa had enough sense that time to let the provider of the catalyst direct operations and consequently it went much smoother and it went on longer and by the time that it ended he thought that he’d never recover because he figured that it was surely impossible to have that much pleasure and ever return to the mundane world.

After breakfast – left-over rabbit stew – they got their gear together and they drove to the spot that they’d decided on the day before and they fashioned a hide from branches and snow and in not too long a time a suitable buck came within range and Eduard whispered that they were both to take aim and were to shoot on his count of three.

The buck staggered and then tried to run but it had only gone about two meters before it collapsed in a heap and didn’t move again. When they got to it they saw that both shots had been lethal ones and they congratulated each other and they both knew that that had brought them closer together in that each of them knew that the other one could provide meat in an emergency and that’s a good thing to know when you’re many miles from a grocery store or a restaurant.

They butchered the animal and ten minutes after they’d gutted it they saw three huge birds circling above them and a few minutes later they spotted a white fox approaching and then they saw it hunker down in the snow, waiting. They sawed off the deer’s antlers in one piece to add to the collection back at the hut where the biggest ones were hung on the walls, inside, and the smaller ones were hung on nails on the outside. They then skinned the carcass and cut off both hind legs and, after chopping away the shins, they put the legs and the pelt on their sled. They then cut out the tongue because that was Asa’s mother favorite part and then they removed the choicest cuts of meat and as they were stacking that on the sled they became aware that there were lots of gray-colored movements in the trees and that made them decide that they already had enough meat thank-you and so they pulled the sled over to their vehicle and loaded it and drove back to their hut.

When they got back they stored the meat appropriately in the ingenious inside/outside meat locker and then they did some more precise butchering and when that was done and they’d washed up Eduard saw from the look in Asa’s eyes and in his manner that the need was building in him to find relief yet again so he trimmed two choice steaks and put them on the stove’s hot plate but shortly after that the sizzling and the aroma that filled the hut were collectively successful in substituting one hunger in him for another.

They both ate too much and so when they went to bed after clearing the table and cleaning up, it was to rest but when they woke up Asa was needy again and his eyes showed it and so Eduard didn’t have to use any of his powers of persuasion to be allowed to provide them both with a happy ending.

When they were eating breakfast the next morning, which had become just like all of their other meals – that is fish or meat because they’d run out of eggs and ham and bacon and bread after just two days due to the huge appetites that the cold was giving them – Eduard told him that he’d been thinking about his, Asa’a, future love life and how it would be uniquely his because whereas most youths reacted positively to a flash of a woman’s thigh or a low cut dress things were different for Asa because those sights had never set him off. He went on to say that and although he, Eduard, had been studying and teaching Descartes for better than twenty years, and knew as much as any man about his theories on the separation of mind from physical realities, he had no idea what it was that had triggered Asa’s independent urge to want to do more rutting after finding out, in spades, what had to happen to give himself an erection and, by having one, having the means to assuage those urges. He warned him that he’d have to tread very carefully until he’d come to terms with his strange situation seeing that those strong urges of his were awakened permanently and the means to satisfy them would be difficult to come by in the everyday world.

They both realized that the huge change in his life would mean a huge set back for Asa – the disappointment that he felt shocked his libido into near remission for half a day – and for the rest of their time together they contented themselves with doing it just once at bed time and the rest of the time was spent reading except for when they were fishing for their lunch or when they were cross country skiing in the afternoon while slabs of reindeer meat were slow-cooking for dinner.

When they got back to Asa’s parents’ home Eduard took his brother to a bar so that they could talk privately and Eduard related most of what had happened and although Asa’s father was relieved to hear that Asa wasn’t gay he still didn’t know how to best help him.

Eduard told him that he knew a reliable psychiatrist in the city and suggested that Asa be encouraged to live there and find a job, when he’d finished high school, and they left it at that and then they got on the right side of a large quantity of schnapps.

In his car, on the way back to the city the next morning, Eduard used his car phone to call his current lover and he asked him – trying, unsuccessfully, to keep desperate need out of his voice – to please be waiting at his apartment when he got there in two or three hours time and that he was to be kind enough to not make any other arrangements for the rest of the day and night.

Life became more difficult than it had ever been for Asa because before their trip his total indifference to practicing sex in general had buffered him from the vagaries of finding suitable partners but under his new circumstances he was reluctant to return to a celibate life style. There was, he well knew, only one way that he’d be able to participate again and the effort that was required to get it done was daunting because, knowing the stipulations that he’d have to confront prospective collaborators with, he fully expected to not find anyone who’d oblige him.

  However, his needs and urges kept on mounting and one night he decided to check out the scene in the bar in the village center and although he knew better than to ask the two obviously gay, or at least obviously effeminate, men who were in there for help he got the bright idea that if he sat with them for a while someone who was cruising for regular irregular sex would see him doing so and think that that branded him and might get them try to discretely pick him up later.

It worked brilliantly.

He got to be surreptitiously propositioned by men who he’d never have suspected of being closeted gays and he was delighted when one of them was the pleasant and agreeable bank manager.

When he’d responded appropriately to his querying glance the two of them ‘happened’ to meet up in the corridor where the toilets were and Asa felt a piece of paper being pushed into his hand as they passed each other.

When he arrived at the designated spot – the barn behind the man’s house – at the designated hour, which was at ten thirty that same night, he was welcomed by a quiet voice that came from inside the open door and because it was pitch dark he stood still once inside and waited to be guided somewhere.

The somewhere turned out to be three bails of hay and when they got there he felt a hand reach to unzip him and he held on to it and whispered that there were preconditions.

“Preconditions?” was whispered back at him, “what on earth are you talking about?”

“Let me tell you what they are now before this goes any further.”

He then listed them using the words that he’d put together earlier:

“First of all, don’t be worried about whether I’m going to let you do it to me or not because I am. You’ll have to use a condom because I don’t know your history, yet.

“Second, I don’t do blow jobs nor do I jerk anyone off nor do I do the fucking, ever.

“Third, when you’re all the way inside me you can reach around and jerk me off if you want to but if you don’t then you have to let me make enough space, as you keep going at it, to be able to do it for myself.

“There, that’s it. Not very complicated is it? So, do you want to go ahead with it or not?”

When he’d found two more compliant partners they set up a roster and they all followed it happily and successfully until he graduated from high school in June of that year and could leave home for the city.

Eduard let him sleep at his place, and he obliged him that night, but in the morning he pointedly told him that they were going out after breakfast to look at some studio apartments and that he was to pick one before the day’s end.

That done he questioned him as to his inclinations as far as finding a job was concerned and when he didn’t show enthusiasm for any particular line of work he made some phone calls and got him an apprenticeship at a jobbing printer’s shop. He also gave him the telephone number of the psychiatrist that he wanted him to call to set up a series of appointments.

By the end of his first year in the city Asa and his uncle had only seen each other around a half dozen times and, usually, that was when other members of the family came to town.

He hadn’t liked his job in the printing shop so he’d soon quit and then he’d found a whole series of other ones in various fields none of which lasted longer than a few months and some of ended in days or weeks. Eventually he was reduced to asking for a job flipping hamburger patties but instead of being just one more step downward for him it opened up a whole new interest in his life.

He liked, not so much the fast food business, but the food business itself. As the weeks went by he got to be innovative with the laid down formulas although that was strictly forbidden. He’d experiment with the basic chopped meat mixture by adding onion and garlic, and various herbs, until it suited his own taste. One day he had to take a day off to see a doctor about a persistent cold and his substitute served up patties using the original formula and many customers complained and so the manager investigated and the result of that was that the ‘anarchist’ was fired the moment that he showed up for work the next morning.

Even so, he knew that he’d found his calling and from then he looked for jobs only in restaurants and café’s and he learned by doing and he saved up to be able to pay for a course in cooking at a technical school.

His love life proceeded satisfactorily in that, in the city, there were many, many men who were that way inclined and he’d take one home with him at regular intervals and would lay down his ‘pre-conditions’ before getting undressed and the ones who only wanted to cut another notch in their belts – and the ones who simply wanted a hole, any hole, to get off in – accepted his terms at once but some of them – maybe one in ten – would balk and say something like, “What the fuck? What’s this ‘Pre-conditions’ shit?’ We aren’t in fucking high school any more, man. I’m out of here.” Or, “What? No cock sucking? That’s what I live for, man! No way. I’m gonna find me somebody who knows up from fucking down, man. So long.”

After several years had gone by, in which he’d worked his way up to being the head chef in a small but popular restaurant, he got set up by a vice-squad cop, in the bar there, and he had to call his uncle to come and get him out of jail.

Eduard was furious with him at first but a bit later, when he’d calmed down, he realized that something was definitely wrong because although there was a law in the books against propositioning for sex in a public place it was rarely, if ever, used and then only when it was either inexcusably blatant or was seen by a highly placed official who felt that he had to report it. Because he knew that Asa would never let himself be blatant, or even daring, about finding a partner for the night he began to suspect that the arrest might have been directed at him, Eduard, because Asa was a relative of the perpetrator and could well be the first step in some kind of vendetta so, to head that off before a second step could be taken, he asked a lawyer friend of his to investigate and that same day the man lucked into finding a tape that had been taken by a hidden security camera that was installed in the bar and it clearly showed the vice-squad member giving Asa, who was having his usual quiet drink after finishing work before going home, the semi-secret come-on signal and that, of course, meant that it was a clear case of entrapment.

When Asa had to appear in front of a magistrate the lawyer showed the tape in court and when he’d freeze-framed the crucial part and had told the straight men who were present what to look for – the Magistrate pretended to be one of them – they were all outraged and the Magistrate dismissed the case and ordered that Asa’s arrest be expunged from his record and he made the vice-squad department pay his court expenses along with a ludicrously small token sum, this being Europe, for detaining him for four hours.

Asa had long been thinking about immigrating to the USA and that episode made up his mind for him and in short order, as it were, he went to the American embassy and filled out the necessary papers.

                                                         PART THREE.

                                                             T AND A.

After nearly two years of keeping a low profile up in the Bronx Tess lucked into being one of the winners in a lottery that gave her the right to apply for a green card and when she had it in hand she could – and she did so the very next day without looking back – leave the sweatshop where she’d been cowering from the dreaded IMS up to then and she found a job as a waitress in an upscale restaurant in midtown Manhattan.

Her love life had been sparse indeed until she’d, reluctantly, realized she’d have to give up her virginity because becoming ‘a friend with benefits’ had become the nearly universal current custom for teenagers and women in their early twenties and she was persuaded to re-consider her case when her first real boy friend, after being invited to her bed, laughed out loud when he heard the restrictions that she wanted him to put on him and it was only because of his urgent need to get relief that he stayed still to let her give him what he called a ‘hand job’ and he left her bed immediately afterwards.

The next morning, rueful but determined, she went to her local library and read up on the art of using contraceptives and that night she found the same guy in the same bar – when he saw her he scowled at her but she persisted – and, when she got him alone for a moment, she whispered that she was sorry about what had happened but that she was, “now ready to give it up. Please?”

She found out that she liked doing it conventionally so much, and became good at it quickly because he turned out to be a demanding and all-encompassing lover, that she wanted to make it keep happening and because of that she decided to not take the risk of losing him altogether by asking him to please oblige her and use one of his many erections to deal with her chronic complaint which was still plaguing her. She determined, on their third get together, that on their fourth date she’d ask him to oblige her but there never was a fourth time because he simply faded from her life.

Over the next few months she offered ‘friendship with benefits’ to a series of other men and a few of them kindly obliged her by letting her turn over for them but it was all too demeaning and far too haphazard for her liking – and for her health – and so she began to despair.

One day, on the way to her job, she had to pick up what turned out to be a porn magazine from a seat on the subway to be able to sit down and she was horrified with what she saw when she casually opened it. However, instead of throwing it away – none of the people sitting in adjacent seats were looking her way – she slipped it into her handbag because she’d seen an ad – it was for ‘Sexual Toys’ – that had a picture of a formidable dildo in it. The second that she saw it she’d realized its potential and so she decided to keep the magazine to be able to check out the ad later.

When she got home that night she held her nose and leafed through it and found that there were dozens of like-minded offers. She picked one whose store address was conveniently near the one subway stop that she knew in Manhattan and she went there on a Wednesday afternoon because she guessed that that would be the quietest time of all. When she got there she hesitated outside but then she saw that some of the customers going in were just like her and were nonchalant about being seen so she took a deep breath and followed their example.

She didn’t know if it was the vast selection of ‘toys’ that were on sale or the way that the staff and customers were handling and discussing the merits of some of them that appalled her the most but, as with everything, she eventually became inured enough to do some browsing and she bravely picked a solid, plastic phallus that was marked $24. 95. She took out a twenty dollar bill and a ten and she plonked them down on the counter and then she backed off and held out her purchase until the cashier had rung up the item, plus tax, and had nodded affirmatively and had given her a wan, knowing smile which embarrassed Tess but also let her hightail it out of there with her dignity more or less intact.

She was disappointed to find that while the model that she’d bought could be made to work, therapeutically speaking, it was far too big for her comfort zone so she went back to the same store a few days later and, now much bolder, she checked out all the merchandise that was on offer and she decided on a bubble-packed set of three different sized phalluses because the middle one, as far as she could recall, was close to what Peter had sported.

Peter’s facsimile suited her perfectly well and she was relieved, as it were, about that because it meant that she could afford to pick and choose her bed partners from then on and if she couldn’t find an attractive one when she needed to she’d shrug philosophically and go to her bed alone and would open the drawer in her bedside table and say hello to her humming aid, which she called ‘BFF’ and which was the vibrator that her sister had given her as a present on her last birthday, and to her silent probing one which she called ‘Peter’s peter.’

Because she was attractive and a personable and skillful waitress the customers in her new restaurant liked her and because of that she kept getting offers of better and better jobs and once she found out that loyalty is a one-way street in the restaurant business she blithely changed employers often.

In the course of time she was offered a job by the owner of a two star restaurant, called The Apollo, in Manhattan and even though the starting salary was only fair, and she’d been told that she’d have to follow an onerous company policy which was that every new female employee had to spend six months as a waitress to see how she fitted in and how she got on with everybody on the staff before being considered for promotion, she was assured that when the trial period was over she’d be invited to take over the prestigious job of replacing the woman who was manning the reception desk – she was being promoted to the management team – and that she would then go onwards and upwards herself if she proved out.

When she was about a halfway through her trial period a new sous chef came to work in her restaurant and his name was Asa Saunders.

When Asa Johanssonbergen first arrived in New York as an immigrant he took a lowly job that he’d picked from the ads in a trade paper and he stayed there while he assessed the possibilities.

Five years later he’d made three moves, all upward of course, and seeing that that is the amount of time needed before aliens can apply for citizenship he did so the day after he’d qualified. He already knew that he could pick any name that he wanted for himself, when he’d passed the test and his application had been approved, and that was important to him because ever since arriving in his new country he’d found that every time that he gave someone his name he could see derision being suppressed in the eyes of whoever it was because of the length and awkwardness of his surname so, he changed it from, ‘Asa Johanssonbergen,’ to, ‘Asa Saunders,’ and he picked ‘Saunders’ because ‘Saunders Of The River’ had been the name of one of the books that he’d bought to improve his English while waiting for his visa to come through and he liked the hero enough to want to take the name for himself. Luckily for him he didn’t have much problem with using English because when he was growing up there were so many American and English films, and shows, on television, with sub-titles, that he, along with many others throughout Scandinavia, got to be familiar with the language.

One big and unfortunate side effect of his chosen profession is that, for some people, the constant proximity to good food leads to obesity and because his genes made him vulnerable his body shape began to resemble, more and more, a pear in that his behind grew massively. Because of that, although his expertise was always recognized at once along with his ability to produce, all of his new bosses saw to it that he was given the workstation that was nearest to an end wall to avoid making his colleagues have to push past him.

His first change of job after becoming Asa Saunders was to become the sous chef at the Apollo restaurant where, of course, his prestige saw to it that he was given a great deal of responsibility from day one and his weight problem no longer affected him adversely because he spent most of his time on a wide high stool behind a large desk that was situated so that he could keep an eye on all of the workstations and, indeed, on every plate as it was being readied and then presented.

Tess had, from the beginning, put her best efforts into her lowly new starting job to try to get everyone, staff and clients, to like her and she’d succeeded admirably. However, in the last month of her ‘apprenticeship’ something dismaying happened.

Rather than having central-air the Apollo was cooled by three big, separate units and one day in July, when the temperature outside was touching one hundred degrees, a city-wide brown-out not only made them shut one unit off because it was making a loud growling noise but it also reduced the efficiency of the other two machines and so, by the middle of the lunchtime rush, the temperature inside got to be close to ninety degrees and diners were encouraged, “this one time,” to take their jackets off.

Tess was, as usual, hustling to impress everyone and so she quickly got to be overheated and consequently she had to sneak into the staff rest room and take off everything that was under her waitress’s tunic except for her panties.

She went back to work and it wasn’t long before her tunic got to be soaked through with sweat but it didn’t get to be transparent and so it wasn’t that that caused her downfall.

To clear a table she’d brought a big round tray to put the dirty dishes on and when she’d loaded it she lifted it and stepped back and she didn’t see that one of her colleagues, Maureen, was hurrying past her and consequently they collided.

Tess managed to avoid dropping her tray but Maureen couldn’t keep hold of hers and so there was a tremendous crash as it, along with its plates of food, hit the ground.

Of course, everyone in the place stopped what they were doing and looked over and then kept their eyes on the action.

Tess immediately put her tray back onto the table and then bent over to help Maureen to clean up the mess.

When she could straighten up she did so a little over-exuberantly which caused her unfettered, large, tubular breasts to flop to both sides of her chest and then swing back inward where they collided and promptly swung back out again and all of that made for an alarming, if interesting, sight.

 Maureen, who was a bit of a wit and who was always on the look out for any opportunity to practice it, could see the name tag on Tess’s tunic – as could many diners in the vicinity and it read, ‘Tess O’Kimbel’ – and she shouted out, gleefully, “Head for the hills everybody, it’s ‘Tits Akimbo!’ herself, so it is.”

Blushing madly, Tess took charge of her over-mobile mammary glands by corralling them with her upper arms but, as conscientious as she undoubtedly was, she couldn’t bring herself to pick up her tray and take it to the kitchen because of her distress. Also, the laughter that was going on all around her didn’t help her case at all so she hurried away to the locker room to get out of sight and to put her bra back on.

It was a full half hour before she could bring herself to show her face again, she figured that there’d be new customers in the place by then and so only Maureen would remember what had happened, and the first thing she did was to find her and pull her to one side and tell her to never repeat the new, hateful nick-name that she’d given her.

Maureen apologized and promised to do as asked but by then all of the staff had already heard about it and, although they were careful about trying to never use the name when Tess was around, occasionally they slipped up and let it out. It got to be stuck fast to her and it always brought smiles to the faces of everyone who heard it but it caused deep despair in her and so, because of that and because she doubted if she’d ever be able to get the respect that she’d need to be able to control the staff when she was given a managerial position, she started looking for a new job which she found without much difficulty.

By the time that Asa had been working in the Apollo for a few months he’d settled in nicely and was liked by everyone, especially management, because he was amiable but firm and also had the expertise to deal with every problem that came up and he kept an eagle eye on the various stages of the preparations and as a direct result the kitchen staff did its job smoothly, as far as the customers knew, because all of the inevitable problems were dealt with and rectified in good time, Also, he personally checked every plate of food visually before it was taken into the dining room.

He’d long known that he had to keep away from certain foods himself – like broccoli and cauliflower and most legumes – because they gave him a gas problem but one day at lunch time when the last order had been dealt with, and his staff was cleaning up and he could at last relax, he began to assemble his own lunch and he rationalized that, although he knew that avocado was firmly on his banned list, perhaps guacamole, which he loved and there was a lot of it left over, wouldn’t aggravate his stomach and generate flatulence seeing that its state as a raw vegetable had been fundamentally altered.

He got through the afternoon quite normally but when he came back to the kitchen to oversee his staff’s preparations for dinner he bent over his desk and reached to retrieve his proposed menu and a huge amount of gas escaped from him with a thunderous roar. It astonished him and his shock, and his embarrassment, made him stay in place for several long seconds.

A stunned silence was evident throughout the kitchen – the noise that he’d generated had been really impressive – and while no one on his staff would have dared to laugh or comment on it that rule didn’t apply to a newly hired pot and pan scourer, named Elvis Harris, who had recently been discharged from the army for insolence – in his first week in boot-camp he’d told his drill sergeant to go fuck himself and then, when he got out of the hospital, he told the panel of officers, which included the Camp Commander, that had called him in front of it for an ‘assessment of his future in the army’ to do the same thing, collectively.

Elvis shouted, “Jesus H. Christ! What the hell was that?” as he looked over to where the explosive emission had come from and he saw the size of Asa’s rear end and he took in the plaque on the desk that said, ‘Sous Chef, Asa Saunders.’ and he chuckled and delightedly called out, “Everybody take cover right now for crisake. It came from Sioux Chief Ass Asunder and it looks like he’s fixin’ to blow again!”

Asa, blushing a fiery red, pulled himself together enough to stand up straight and then leave the kitchen and he paused only to delegate his responsibility for that night to the man he was training to take over altogether after he, himself, had gone on to higher things – he also told him that he didn’t want to see the face of the new employee in his kitchen ever again – before going home.

Like Tess, Asa realized that he’d have to leave The Apollo because he knew that after what had happened he couldn’t hope to maintain the discipline that’s essential to get a kitchen staff to perform both efficiently and willingly.

He easily found another job in an equally prestigious restaurant but it was difficult for him to get back up to the level of contentment that he’d once known.

Both Tess and Asa had once belonged to the same union and so, a couple of years after their embarrassing episodes at the Apollo, when they saw each other in the regular pre-Christmas party that was thrown at their old union’s Head Office – they were both in management by then but the union rules were flexible as far as well-liked ex-members were concerned – and they gravitated towards each other solely because it was good to see a familiar face.

After they’d gotten themselves drinks they found a quiet spot and swapped latest moves and titles and some shop talk and then they progressed to asking each other more personal questions and they found a rapport that was strange to them because they’d never felt even a hint of it when he was the high and mighty Sous Chef in the Apollo and she was a lowly waitress.

They got on so well that the question “Shall we blow this joint?” inevitably came up and then, out on the street, a clock in a closed store told them how late it was – neither of them could believe it because it was trying to tell them that they’d nursed one drink from nine until after midnight – and with that the question changed into becoming, “My place or yours?”

In his case he wanted to be with her some more to continue their interesting conversation whereas she wanted to find out what it would feel like to be in bed with someone who had stirred up hitherto unbeknownst passionate stirrings in her very core, and was giving off pleasurable vibes the whole time, just by being near her.

They’d picked her place because it was nearer and when they were sitting side by side on her sofa, with drinks to hand, she was surprised to find, as the night wore on, that he really did only want to talk some more, just as he’d said.

She wanted to talk some more too but only after getting it on and so she started letting some thigh show along with enhanced cleavage and when that caused no visible effect on him she then uncrossed her legs and, after turning towards him, she held them just so knowing that he could then see all the way up to her crotch.

When that didn’t work either her heart sank and she was forced to doubt his masculinity. She didn’t need any more platonic friends, thank you, no matter how much of a rapport there was between them.

Finally, at around two o’clock, she asked him straight out if he wanted to “continue this conversation in the bedroom?” and at that he was forced to confess that although he did want to, “very much indeed,” he couldn’t oblige her because he needed a certain stimulus to be able to perform.

“Oh? And what is this ‘stimulus,’ may I ask? Is it Viagra? If so, take a half dozen right now, you hear me? And please tell me, Asa, how is that a problem?”

“No, it isn’t that.”

“Then what is it, for crisake?”

“I can’t say.”

“Of course you can. Tell me.”

“No. I can’t, really. Please believe me.”

“Yes you can. Tell me.”


“Listen to me, Asa, you’re beginning to annoy me now. I like you and I want to go to bed with you and I don’t care what it is that I have to do to turn you on and so I want you to tell me right now what it is. You hear me? Right this very minute so don’t say anything else except what it is.”

“Oh, dear me. Well, can I whisper it?”

“You can whisper it or shout it from the roof tops but I want you to tell me right now. Right now so go ahead.”

“All right, I like you so much that I will tell you although I’ve never dared to even hint at it to any other living soul on this side of the Atlan- “


“Huh? Oh, sorry. Well, here goes . . . the thing is that I need to have a . . . oh, first I want you to know that I’m not now nor ever have been gay, nor ever will be, come to that and I have to insist on you telling me that you believe that before I go on. Will you, please?”

“Sure I will. And, for what it’s worth, if I’d even thought that you were gay you wouldn’t be sitting here right now. But listen, this is all getting to be way too weird for me so get on with it, please?”

He leaned forward to be able to whisper his dark secret and when she heard what it was she was appalled for a moment, and then disbelieving for a few more, and then puzzled and then her face lit up and she said, in glee, “Brother, have you ever come to the right place to get that little problem taken care of.”

She took his hand and led him to the bedroom and she ended his bewilderment, and delighted him no end, when she opened the top drawer of her bedside table to let him see what she kept in there.