Postcards From the Ledge (and Other Extraordinary Folk): Slugger ~ Part C

Ken Painter By Ken Painter, 7th Dec 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>General Fiction

Join me in a stroll through an eclectic collection of short stories filled with gay and straight characters in the mid-Michigan communities of Lansing and East Lansing and surrounding areas as they laugh, love, and find their lives intertwined in inexplicable ways. (Some of the stories - not all - contain softcore male/male sex scenes, and some of the material contained has been previously published on Wikinut by this author and have been modified from it's original form.)

Cover Boys

Wil and Yale made the cover of Tuesday morning’s weekly edition of Sports Idol and the picture, of course, was The Kiss. Whoever had captured that brief moment had caught it perfectly and captioned it with Wil’s challenging question to the attendees, “What would you do if you were us?”

Reading the article aloud together naked in bed after classes that afternoon the guys discovered a lot of positive info about themselves from their friends and family about town, terms like the Bobby & Ken Dolls of our campus, positive role models for our youth (thanks to Pastor Jayne), cute couple, the nicest guys you’d ever want to know, and this nugget about Wil from his old high school principal, Mr. Petersen, a real leader among men yet a truly gentle soul. That one brought tears to both of their eyes. It was sort of like getting to read your own obituary while yet alive.

True, the article clearly outlined the mantle which Wil would be carrying as the first openly gay professional baseball player should any team decide to ink him to a deal, and a good portion of the article went on to discuss which teams were in the mix and the pros and cons for each. In the final analysis, the common opinion here seemed to focus as best bets upon the Detroit Tigers because of the local home area sphere of popularity and the New York Yankees because of the large-city cosmopolitan influence with it’s larger gay population plus the fact that they were also soon to lose their legendary shortstop Derek Jeter also another Michigan native. Could it be Kismet in the making? A point to ponder the article posed, and unless any other teams joined in the hunt their wagers were on either the Tigers or Yankees.

Teams in the Hunt

Wednesday saw many different developments occurring all curious to say the least. When Kent called Wil with the news at first Wil was rather philosophical about it, but after they’d ended their call, the more Wil thought about it, the better he liked this news. Actually it was quite good news, indeed.

It seems that among the four main contenders for Wil’s services in the pro draft, the Milwaukee Brewers had announced early that morning that they were dropping out of the race. At first Wil had received that as a negative, a loss, but then Kent had informed him that while they’d lost Milwaukee, they’d gained Los Angeles. The Dodgers had announced that very morning that they were in the hunt, so there was no net loss at the moment.

“What are the other three saying? Have you heard any rumblings? Wil was still a bit nervous.

“Oh the Yankees and Tigers are very vocal about how enthusiastic they are about your ass, well not your ass specifically,” Wil started chuckling on the other end. Mission accomplished, Kent thought. “You know what I mean, they both want your services . . . ahem . . . your baseball services,” Wil was laughing hysterically now, “and they’re both making it known loud and clear.” Kent chuckled and gave up.

“I get the picture, Dude. Don’t dig yourself in any deeper,” Wil said finally calming down again. “What about Atlanta?”

“Not a peep outta them one way or the other, so I say no news is good news.

“Until notified otherwise, I agree.”

After the call Wil got to thinking that losing the Brewers out of the bidding really wasn’t such a big deal. If he was honest with himself, he really had no desire to go to Milwaukee anyway. He’d visited there once a number of years ago, and though it might be an okay place to live he found the other areas infinitely more to his liking. While the city of Detroit itself was having its troubles it had a beautiful new stadium, the fans were the greatest, the suburbs were very nice, and it was near home. The other places would be new and uncharted for him and Yale, however they offered large metro areas with decent-sized gay populations with opportunities for new friendships. All to the good.

Wednesday afternoon brought an astounding surprise when the United Church of Christ announced via their website that their Justice and Witness committee would be sending a huge throng to both locations beginning Thursday in counter-demonstration to the Neanderthals. When Pastor Jayne called Wil with the news he was positively gleeful. It had been one of these that Yale had taken part in at Fort Wayne in Detroit the year prior. Jayne had assured him that because of the size and scope of this demonstration, thousands were planning on showing up at both locations. The Neanderthals would be dwarfed in comparison, swallowed up by their own abusive behavior. The UCC Justice and Witness folks had learned through the years to become perfect footstep followers of non-violent protest from the masters of old. By their sheer numbers the Neanderthals didn’t stand a chance. It would be a laugher this time.

“Pass along my thanks Pastor Jayne,” Wil said as they ended their call, and he phoned Yale with the good news.

The Neanderthals Again

Thursday morning at 10 a.m. found at least fifteen hundred jubilant, expectant, yet respectful UCC’ers mostly from around Michigan, northern Indiana, and northwestern Ohio milling about looking for any representatives of the Neanderthal Baptist Church like proverbial needles in the haystack, but it would appear that nary a one had shown when suddenly someone appeared on the fringe of the crowd waving a tablet in hand and shouting that they’d just pulled up the Neanderthal’s website where a brief post had gone up a short time earlier to the effect that they were canceling their demonstration in both East Lansing and New York City for the next two days as being “of little importance to the church’s long-term goals, a mere blip of insignificance in God’s Plan, and therefore not worth their precious time.” Instead, they were turning their attention to a military funeral in Charleston, South Carolina on Friday afternoon and had outlined their stated plans for such.

A whoop and a holler went up from the gathered crowd both on campus and as it turned out also among the just over four thousand who had gathered in New York City where the same message had almost simultaneously been discovered and announced. It was a great morning, and everyone could go home. God’s Plan, indeed!

When asked on camera just a few moments later by a news reporter for his thoughts, Kent Jamison’s reply was merely to shrug his shoulders and smile. His lips were sealed, judiciously non-committal as he walked away waving back to the camera thus taking the high road to the very end.

D-Day Arrives

The pro baseball draft was scheduled to begin Friday at noon. Kent had vowed to keep in touch with Wil by phone with developments as he heard them from his connections in New York.

As the afternoon wore on, Kent informed Wil that three teams were obviously in the hunt, the Dodgers, Tigers, and Yankees. The Braves had still been silent, and it was becoming apparent to everyone concerned that while they’d expressed their interest early on, after the announcement it would appear that their interest had waned but perhaps didn’t want to look bigoted by saying anything. However, as the old adage goes sometimes silence speaks louder than words.

At any rate, Wil was happy to hear that three were interested still, and about 4:30 Kent called back to inform him that it was down to two, the Tigers and Yankees.

At 6:00 the good news came to Will that he’d been drafted by the New York Yankees, and yes, it was Kismet that had finally caused the deal. Ultimately, while the Tigers would have loved to have had Wil, their infield was set for at least the foreseeable future. Detroit felt secure with its current roster, but the Yankees were losing Jeter at the end of this season and left with that gaping hole. Wil was their hope for the future, and what they’d just informed Kent only moments before was that Yankee scouts had been combing the hills all over the mid-Michigan area, and they couldn’t find a soul who had a bad word to say about Wilson Biggerstaff. Take that, Neanderthals! They just had to have him on their roster. The fact that he would be their gay poster child only made him more attractive, if he felt he could handle it. Could he handle it?

“Yes, Kent, I believe so,” Wil said thoughtfully. “Yale and I have discussed this at length should the Yankees be the team.”

“Well, Joe Sutherland of the Yankees says the New York media is going to love you, just eat the two of you up especially if you guys can keep your small town innocence,” Kent laughed.

“Well, I know I can,” Wil laughed in reply, “but I’m not so sure about Yale. After all he’s from big old Traverse City.”

“Oh Geez,” Kent laughed. “What’s it got, twenty-thousand?”

Wil was laughing hard now. “Thereabouts.”

“That’s exactly what I’m talking about Wil. You two guys just be yourselves and try not to get too jaded in the Big Apple, and you’ll be okay. More than okay.”

“Got it.”

The Next Question

At an intimate dinner a little over a week later they all gathered to celebrate the contract that Kent had just brokered and Wil had just signed with the Yankees and to announce to his family that he and Yale would be leaving that weekend for New York to tape that in-depth interview with Frank Buckland for Worldwide United Sports System. Frank was well-respected by everyone worldwide, the Oprah of global sports, so it had been a no-brainer to give him the exclusive. And now Wil had a multi-million dollar, multi-year deal, and the signing bonus alone made him, made them, he and Yale millionaires. He’d presented Yale with a wedding ring earlier in the day not wanting to do the honors in public at the dinner with his family and Kent along with Kent’s girlfriend Jackie in attendance to observe. No, he wanted that moment to be just for him and Yale, and they’d both cried. So tonight’s party was a celebration on so many levels.

You see, going to New York would prove to be a blessing in so many ways. Wil would have to earn it, of course, but he would, they both felt certain. He would step into Derek Jeter’s shoes at least to a degree. Filling them? Only time would tell. Kismet after all. But more than that. Yale felt there would be ample opportunities for him to find a teaching position within the New York Public School system. And in New York they could get married, legally. They couldn’t do that in Michigan. Michigan hadn’t evolved quite that far yet. Yes, there were some good pockets like East Lansing, but the pockets were few. New York, however, had arrived. And much of the UCC had arrived or was in the process of arriving. ONA, open and affirming. The United Church of Christ had openly sanctioned same-sex marriage way back in 2005 and was the first mainline denomination to do so. That meant that Wil and Yale could get legally married in New York, but they also could have a church wedding in their church with their friends and family though they’d have to chose one in which to join when they arrived. And they were arriving weren’t they? Sometime after graduation in June.

The decision to announce had been so difficult, too difficult rather. But in the end it was all working out so well. Their dreams really were coming true.

The most recent issue of Sports Idol had called Wilson Biggerstaff “incredibly brave.” When he read that he looked at Yale and said, “I don’t feel incredibly brave. Do you think we’re incredibly brave?”

“You know, Babe, someone, and I have no idea who said this, but someone once said bravery is just prayers working overtime. I kind of think that applies to us.”

Looking so longingly into his fiance’s eyes, Wil responded, “God, I love you. You always know what to say.” And he wrapped his arms warmly around Yale.

“I love you too, Wil,” Yale said as he sank into the embrace. “But I’m not God.”

Certainly the sounds of insane laughter could be heard outside their window as they nestled deeper into the sheets and began to roll around.

Hometown Hero

By Wilson Biggerstaff

The stadium’s empty, the fans have gone home
And our hometown hero faces silence alone
With demons inside him he’s wrestled for years
The mood of his battle gives way to his tears

The bright lights of stardom have shined on his face
Now his uniform hangs on his back in disgrace
The thrill of his movements filled arenas and halls
But the scoreboard is dark as another star falls

It may have been steroids, it may have been crack
It may have been money thrown down on the track
It may have been sex or perhaps it was booze
But he fell for the lie there was nothing to lose

Now the writers of fortune don’t sing words of praise
And the lights of the city burn red through the haze
While he’s feeling that no one cares what he’s about
It hurts most in Mudville now that Casey’s struck out

He’s our hometown hero, and he’s larger than life
He makes lots of money, but it comes with a price
He’s our hometown hero, he’s got nothing to lose
But his fame and his name and his game
And his game has been making big news

The stadium’s empty, the fans have gone home . . .

(Written by Wil during the 3 - 4 month struggle of indecision prior to the big announcement. Published by Sports Idol magazine upon Wil and Yale’s graduation from Michigan State and part of the featured article that week under the title of “The Faces of New Gay Heroes?”).

(This concludes the 4th story "Slugger." Up next: Part A of 4 parts of our 5th story "Some Men Go Just Where They Want" featuring gay cowboys and country music.

Link to the next story . . . Here

Link to "Slugger" ~ Part A . . . Here


Erotica, Gay Community, Gay Couples, Gay Experience, Gay Lesbian And Bisexual, Gay Love, Gay Marriage, Gay Marriage Rights, Gay Men, Gay Rights, Gays, Lgbt, Lgbt Community, Short Fiction, Short Poem, Short Stories, Sports, Sports Entertainment

Meet the author

author avatar Ken Painter
Retired Chicago public school teacher. Singer, songwriter, musician, author, & opinionated old curmudgeon. Married to my husband & living in Colorado, USA. Also a father & grandfather.

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author avatar Retired
8th Dec 2014 (#)

They are lovely short stories and enjoyed reading them. =)

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author avatar Jeff Armstrong
7th Jan 2015 (#)

Your writing sucks!

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