Postcards From the Ledge (and Other Extraordinary Folk): Some Men Go Just Where They Want ~ Part C

Ken Painter By Ken Painter, 11th 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.)

Mother and Son Talk

Gavin was not one to let grass grow under his feet, and so the very next evening he went over to his mom’s house after dinner on some pretext of checking in on her.

“You don’t need an excuse to come see me, Son. Come on ahead. I’m here,” Ramona had laughed into the phone, and Gavin had shown up a little while later.

“So what’s got your britches burning that makes you come up with some lame excuse like that to come see your mom,” Ramona said sticking a Vernor’s ginger ale in his hand. She always knew how to bring a smile to Gavin’s face, because he was already laughing.

“Well, Mom,” and he hesitated for just a moment to take a sip of his ginger ale to embolden himself during which time Ramona took advantage of the momentary silence.

“Wells are deep, Son. Don’t fall in.”

“Geez, Mom!” Gavin started laughing almost to the point of spitting foamy ginger ale out his nose. “You’re not gonna make this easy are you?”

“Son, you know me. I love you more than everything. Whatever you gotta say just spit it out!”

Giving up finally, Gavin said, “Okay Mom. I’m dating again. In fact I have been for quite awhile since about a month after Katie and I separated, and we’re really quite serious about each other.” He looked over at his mom who was smiling broadly back at him, and he wondered if the smile would fade when he got to the next part. “And I’d really like for you to meet him. His name is Harley. Harley Henderson.”

The smile did not fade. “Hallelujah! When can I meet him?” Ramona was ecstatic.

“You mean you’re not disappointed I’m in love with a guy?”

“Hell no! Should I be?”

Gavin started to cry if only from the release of the tension flowing from his tightened muscles. Full-on tears leaked down his cheeks, he had no control in stopping them. Certainly these were tears of joy. “Mom do you know how much I love you right now?” He got up and placed a huge bear hug around his 55-year-old mother’s diminutive frame.

After the hug and after Gavin had dried his eyes on his shirtsleeve, Ramona said, “Son, I think the time has finally come for you and I to have a long overdue talk.”

Gavin looked puzzled at his mom as he tentatively said, “Okay?”

“What do you remember about your father, Gavin? Anything? Anything at all?”

“Not anything really,” Gavin said trying to search his memory. “I can’t even recall what he looked like. We don’t have any pictures of him. And basically all I seem to remember is a man in the house, but that’s about it.”

“Well, I’m not surprised. We’ve never talked about him for a lot of reasons. For one, you never asked. I always hoped you wouldn’t, and since you didn’t I wasn’t going to bring the sonofabitch up. We divorced when you were about 3 ½ so I guess you could remember a man from your earliest of memories, but I’d always hoped you’d never recall anything else. He was a horrible person, Gavin. I hate to speak ill of him, I really do, because there was a time I was head-over-heels in love with him, but upon later reflection I believe it was all one-sided on my part. He really only did one only purely good thing in our marriage and that was to impregnate me with you!” Ramona paused to catch her breath for a moment, and she looked at Gavin who looked like he was seeing ghosts and then she plowed on.

“We’d no sooner gotten back from our honeymoon then he began getting drunk on the weekends. I’d never seen this side of him, of course, not when we were dating. But when he was drunk he was a totally different person, and he wanted to argue, and it was just horrible! Well, during the first year of our marriage that’s all it was, just arguments when he’d come home drunk, and I learned to live with it. Never liked it, but it was my lot in life, and I lived with it, and even after I got pregnant with you during our second year of marriage it was still just arguments though he took to getting drunk on one of the mid-week nights in addition to the weekends, usually a Wednesday, but sometimes it’d be a Tuesday or a Thursday. I could never predict his behavior other than the arguments. But after you were born though, things started getting worse. I think it was because, I couldn’t show him enough attention anymore. He had to share me with you, and that’s when all the shit started.”

Gavin was hooked now, and he looked warily at his mom. “What kind of shit, Mom?”

“The physically abusive kind of shit, Son. Not on you. It was all on me. It wasn’t much at first. Oh just a slap here, a slap there. No blood drawn at first. And not all the time at first, just once in awhile, and I kept justifying it, you see. I had a baby, I was a stay-at-home mom, and we needed his income. You know all the excuses a woman can make for keeping a sonofabitch abuser like that in the house. Women do it all the time! Well, it eventually started to get more regular, and some of the things he did started escalating, and it was when he broke my arm . . .”

“He broke your arm?!” Gavin loudly interrupted.

“Yes, Gavin, he broke my arm, but in the ER I vowed that was as far as it would go! You were there with me. It just so happened to be your third birthday. That’s what set him off I guess, because I was making a fuss over you instead of him. Anyway, the police were called, I signed an order of protection, and you and I were taken to a safe house after they patched me up. The cops picked him up at our house passed out in the bedroom. Don’t think he didn’t try to find us, but somehow he didn’t, and he got 2 years up in Ionia, and ornery cuss that he was he didn’t make it out, because one of the inmates there killed him in a knife fight about six months into his sentence.”

“Wow! And I never asked!”

“Well, I was prepared to give you an age-appropriate version depending on what age you were if you ever did,” Ramona chuckled.

“You know, I always wondered in the back of my mind, but you always made me feel so secure, so loved that ultimately I never felt any real urge to know.”

“That’s what I was hoping, Gavin. And after the experience with him, I never would have married another man!”

“So that’s why you never dated anyone?”

“Well, that leads me to part two of this story.” Ramona shot a sheepish glance at her only child.

“There’s more?” Gavin queried.

“Oh yeah.” Ramona blushed.

“Come on, Mom. Spill it,” Gavin implored.

“Well, you know those Thursday night poker parties that I go to with my lady friends?”

“Yeah,” Gavin answered. “You’ve been doing that since what, I must have been something like twelve? What about 20 years now?”

“That’s right. You’re good. Twenty years last month actually. But the real truth is there was no poker involved, and there was only one lady involved and her name is Liz Lomax. And we’ve been having a weekly love affair for 20 years now.”

Gavin was stunned. His mouth fell open as he looked at his smiling mother first in disbelief which quickly turned into wonder and amazement and then happiness as it all sunk deeper into his consciousness. “Hallelujah, Mom!” And Gavin’s faced beamed. “And you kept it from me all these years why?”

“It’s not what you’re thinking, Son. It’s not that we don’t have sex. We do and it’s pleasurable, very much so. But we’re not a couple, and we never will be. We’re great friends, and we always will be, and yes, if you want to throw a label on it I guess you could call us lesbians though I hate all the labels folks feel the absolute need to throw around because they want to stereotype everybody, and you know me, I don’t fit in anybody’s box!”

“No Mom, you most certainly do not. But if I get what you’re saying, you and Liz never had any desire to move in together?”

“That’s right. We both wanted to lead our separate lives. And she’s a wonderful person, and we think the world of each other, and we do oftentimes go out together on a date, but live together? No. We talked about it at one point many, many years ago, but we recognized that we’d probably wind up wanting to kill each other, and we didn’t want to ruin a beautiful friendship.”

“Wow! That’s deep. And mature.”

“So how do you feel about moving in with your guy, what’s his name, Harley?”

“Oh, Mom, we’re so deep in love we can’t imagine a life without living together, but it’s gonna mean a sacrifice on my part if we do.”

“Why’s that, Son?”

And Gavin launched into the logistical problem with Harley’s ranch up in Wyoming near Grand Rapids and his tenured teaching position there in Lansing. He’d have to give up his job and start over again in the Grand Rapids - Wyoming area.

“Is this guy worth it?” Ramona asked.

“I’d like you to meet him at Thanksgiving and form your own opinion if that’s all right, Mom? We wouldn’t be doing anything before the end of this school year anyway. I’m not about to leave in the middle of the school year.”

“Sounds like a good plan to me. Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings at my house, and you’re bringing the pies!” Ramona threw the dessert challenge to her son.


Gavin left his mom’s house with his head buzzing from the news he’d just heard. He’d told his mom about his own gay relationship only to be shocked to learn about his drunken, abusive father who had died in the state pen many years earlier, and then found out his own beloved mother had been in a lesbian love affair for two decades. Geez, life was a hoot! Too good to miss!

Comparing Notes

Gavin called Harley immediately upon reaching the peace and sanctity of his apartment and was astounded to find out that Harley too had visited his parents that evening to spill the beans.

“They already knew I was gay,” Harley laughed.

“They what! How?”

“My mom. I guess she had a sort of sixth sense about it or something,” Harley chuckled again in the phone. “Says that I was always more sensitive than my older brother, Henry. I don’t know. I never stopped to think about it. Anyway, when Stella and I split up, she and my dad had a long talk about it, and she convinced him that she was right about it. And he said it didn’t matter to him just so long as I was happy. Damn, Gavin, I love them so much!” Harley’s voice was getting thick on the line. “So how did your meeting go with your mom?”

“Harley, my love, you’re not gonna believe this? Are you sitting down” And Gavin began his story at the very beginning and told it all the way through to the very end without skipping a thing, Harley never interrupted except to punctuate the narrative here and there at the appropriate moments with the occasional “Oh, my God’ or Oh, Shit.” Other than that he stayed with Gavin throughout the entire tale.

Finally Harley laughed, “Wow! Gavin! You sure know how to one-up a guy!”

“I assure you, Dude, I could never write copy like that in a million years!”

“Well, I like the idea about meeting your mom on Thanksgiving,” Harley said. “My folks usually have the whole family around over here on that day, but they can do without one of their three kids, and we’ll just have to trade off and show up for Christmas here if that’s all right with you.”

“Sounds like a fair deal to me,” Gavin said with a smile in his voice.

(End of Part C of "Some Men Go Just Where They Want." Next up: Part D which is the conclusion.)

Link to Part D of "Some Men Go Just Where They Want" . . . Here


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 Stories

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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