The Tree of Life
Recollections on Being Gay
Well, it all began in 1942 August 27th, 2:53 AM to be precise. When I came out of that womb I didn't know what to think. I was so confused that it has never been the same since.
No, I'm not blaming my mother or father for how I turned out. You see, I always knew I was different but didn't have anyone to tell me just how different. Even so, the experience of being gay is something I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. And although it took many years for me to come to terms with it I always recognized a difference and nurtured that experience.
As I look back and begin to try to decipher what brought me to this point in time it becomes a great revelation that I enjoyed that difference and reveled in it. But it is difficult to piece together. Of course, growing up in a small town (village really) was so intense is it any wonder that I can hardly remember any of it?
A few things I do remember, or at least I think I remember, or it may be that they have been repeated so many times that I don't really remember at all, but...
I remember once roaming the field behind our house with my dog, Trouble. Apparently, my parents were rather frantic but finally spotted the dog and knew I couldn't be far behind. I remember standing on the front porch babbling (I couldn't yet talk) and pointing down at a wiggly thing in front of the screen door. It was a snake. This was the first of my many encounters with snakes. I remember drowning a whole brood of chicks along with a friend (girl). I'm not sure whose idea that was. I remember my younger sister getting lost on H... Street, the main street of J...C..., and mom and I finally finding her in the arms of a policeman. I remember playing in the school yard with a friend (male) along the edge of the playground which was grown almost waist deep with wonderful tall grass. We crawled on our hands and knees pretending we were lions. And I remember the first time I discovered the wonderful feeling of masturbation again on the edge of the school yard.
I had no idea what was happening but it felt so good I did it over and over. I don't remember who was brave enough to discover this feat but the trees along the edge of the ball field were tall and limber (Maple, I think) and we would climb up as high as the branches would hold us and slide down the branches as if they were a slide, the upper branches being shorter then the lower ones. In this fashion we could slide all the way to the ground. It was great fun and no one ever seemed to get hurt. Anyway, one day just as the bell rang to go back to class I decided to make one more slide. As I reached up with both arms to catch the branch above and pull myself up I raised both legs at the same time to grab the trunk of the tree and as I did a warm heavenly feeling came over me. I kept doing it for what seemed an eternity and then it happened. I came. Oh, it felt so wonderful. But I did not know what it was called. I liked it so much that I kept climbing and it happened again. Then I slide down those branches in such an ecstasy I didn't care if the teacher was calling me and scolding me for being late.
It didn't matter that I was all wet and slippery inside my pants. It didn't show. So every chance I got I reenacted the scene until I discovered I could do it with my hands. After that there was no stopping me. I remember once being discovered by my dad in the very act. I was in bed and trying to be very quiet. Suddenly the door opened and dad came in. He said men could go blind from doing that then left as suddenly as he appeared.
Well, needless to say that didn't scare me at all. I figured if it felt so good how could anything bad happen. So I continued as often as possible.
Apparently dad didn't tell mom about it because years later after dad died I asked mom about it and if they really believed those old tales about men going blind and hair growing on ones palm from masturbating too much. She couldn't believe dad said such a thing.
Once I remember walking in on my mom and dad when they were having sex. They were both in bed (together) and although I didn't really see anything mom was very angry and scolded me for not knocking before entering. Dad said nothing. I just left closing the door behind me without saying anything but I knew what they were doing even with my limited knowledge.
And, boy was my knowledge limited. I did not play around with the "boys" as I've heard other guys did when they were young. The town I grew up in, E..., was small, really small...100 people...I'm not kidding. The joke was that there were more dogs in town than people. We all went to a one room red brick school house. (It is still standing today but has been converted into a house.) There was one teacher for all eight grades.
I remember turning back the clock one day at the instigation of a friend so that we got out early. I got caught but everyone thought of it more as a practical joke and the consequences were not serious. I got off with only a mild scolding. I remember feeling rather smug about it and thinking how it felt to affect the whole school (although only a small school) and in effect the whole community.
My education was pretty erratic because some of these teachers were good but most were terrible, especially the men teachers. If our parents knew what went on with some of these teachers they would be flabbergasted not that anything terrible happened like sexual molestation but education was certainly not part of it.
The one teacher I greatly admired was Mr. M... He was what I thought of then as quite handsome and rugged. He was also an artist. That stuck in my mind and I wanted to be like him...and I wanted to be with him (I would have loved to have been molested by him). He told us stories of traveling through the Okeefenokee swamp and loosing a truck in quicksand. My fantasy life revolved around him for a long time. Once, for Halloween he made a diorama using soap and twigs and earth to make a scene in a cardboard box of a grave yard. I was so impressed with that that I could imagine him taking me there and our traveling together. Often after he discovered I had some talent for drawing he allowed me to draw scenes of the countryside on the blackboard with colored chalk.
He wasn't the first man I fantasized about though. There was an older boy in the eighth grade whom I idolized. He was lanky, had long sideburns and was defiant of authority, not that that all goes together, although at that time perhaps it did. I remember his getting a whipping from one of the female teachers, whom I suppose was one of the better ones. She was tough and although he could have overpowered her with little effort she was not afraid of him. Another older boy whom I took a strong liking for was the brother of the kid I prowled around in the grass with. He was much more handsome and not so unruly. His body was of a more classically proportioned type. One day in the Winter, both he and his younger brother came to school wearing knee high lace up boots. I nearly died I was so struck with them both and I could imagine them getting it on together. Probably my fantasy is better than real life but I always wanted an older brother like that who would teach me the facts of life.
It was my fantasy life that kept me going during these early years. It was only a short distance from our house to the various creeks and woods and I spent many a long hot sunny afternoon in them usually with my dog. There was one favorite place I would go. The train ran along the edge of town and I would walk down the tracks for about a mile to where a railroad bridge was built over a creek. The creek ran through a tunnel under the tracks which came out of a high cut onto wide open fields that were little used for farming then. The tunnel was made of concrete but the facing was built up with wonderfully large stones with a keystone at top which reminded me of the keep of a castle. One could walk fully erect through the cool dark dampness of the tunnel to the other side where the ground fell away and was quite steep. There was an old one room log cabin, barely still standing, on the hillside that my mother told me she had stayed at when she was a young girl. There was never anyone around the roads were two or three miles away. It was very isolated but I felt quite safe there having visited the site many times and never having seen a single soul.
The water in the creek outside the tunnel was usually about chest deep at its deepest part and ran through the tunnel which was higher and acted as a dam, the water running through the tunnel only when the creek became swollen after a hard rain. I often would take my shirt off and wade into the warm water fully clothed with my boots on and masturbate in the middle of the creek. It was such a delicious experience. I can still feel the midday sun relentlessly beating down on my young body soaked with sweat and finding sweet relief in the middle of a small creek in the middle of Missouri in the middle of the USA.
The rest of the day I would roam the hillsides and woods seeking out those secret places I had become familiar with imagining myself some great explorer seeking relief from the vicissitudes of life. The solitude I experienced there exhilarated me and aroused my most basic primal feelings. Sometimes I sought out the oozing mud of Mother Earth and would sink my legs into it just to experience the clinging helpless feeling of entrapment to feel the smooth fingers of the mud creeping up my legs. And then really feeling trapped and frightened because it was difficult to extract my body from the cloying mud without great effort.
Sometimes, when I found a tree with a low branch, I would hang upside down and masturbate, my body writhing until I reached the point of orgasm and feel the totality of my body become one great cock which exploded into the air and shot outward fertilizing the earth with my seed bringing great relief once again to a body agile and strong enough to accomplish the feat.
These experiences were usually performed early in the day and I would always be out long enough for my boots and pants to dry before I felt the urgency to return home in the late afternoon.
These excursions into the woods usually ended up as masturbatory experiences. I was always alone and no one ever caught me. I always went with the idea of seeking out a secret place for such an adventure. I would roam several miles away from home and often would be out most of the day. As I think back on those jaunts it makes me homesick to think that I haven't felt that kind of satisfaction since. The intensity and utter abandon and isolation in the woods combined to make one primal animal experience. My mind reels now at the sheer gaul of practicing this type of self-indulgence and I did not experience it again until much later when I began experimenting with S&M.
Last updated: 8/1/2003 12:31 am