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

Ken Painter By Ken Painter, 14th 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 its original form.)

Starting a New Life

Gavin and Harley would begin the tradition that year as so many other couples throughout the country do, Thanksgiving dinner with one family and Christmas dinner with the other. And as far as Christmas was concerned not to leave Ramona entirely bereft, they spent Christmas Eve with her. It worked like a charm. And Ramona was quite taken with Harley. She loved how he doted on Gavin, and she could tell how deeply in love he was with her son. The Hendersons noted the very same thing with regard to Gavin. His mannerisms were very telling in the depth of his devotion for their son. Harley’s mom later told her son that “Gavin loves you more than Stella ever did. You can see it in his eyes.”

Gavin’s divorce from Katie became final on the 5th of January, and he celebrated that weekend with Harley, quietly, and very exhaustingly in bed. On Sunday after brunch, Harley made Gavin cry when he got down on one knee and presented him with a golden ring and popped the question.

“You know I can’t move in with you till summer though, right? I’m gonna finish out the
school year first.”

“Of course, Gavin. Sure I want you with me now. Forever. But I’d never expect you to leave in the middle of the school year. I know you‘d already mentioned that once awhile back, and I haven’t forgotten it.”

Gavin sunk into his partner’s embrace, kissing him longingly on the lips to reassure Harley that he himself felt reassured. And then looking up, “I know. We just want each other so bad. All the time. Thanks for understanding though.”

Harley responded by smacking Gavin’s ass with his right hand, and they both giggled.

The months really flew by for both of them. Since Christmas dinner with the Hendersons, Gavin had begun alternating visits with Harley in Wyoming, and so on those Wyoming weekends together they had started to scout around the area for potential apartments they could rent having decided that if they found one to their liking they would take it and Harley could move in while waiting for Gavin to join him in June. As happenstance or fate would dictate they located a perfect one-bedroom place in a rehabbed older house which had two other tenants in other converted apartments. The place was convenient for Harley too in that it was situated just outside of town on the main road and only about three miles from the ranch. Gavin was able to help his lover move in the first of April during his spring break from school. How convenient was that?

With the logistics of a budding life together settled Gavin opened up to his principal at Evergreen High and gave her the doleful news that he would be leaving at the end of the school year, and why. Time to fess up to Amanda Hein his superior but if he dared say also friend for the past six years. She had been very understanding when he went through his divorce. He’d given her the Reader’s Digest Condensed version at the time, but he’d never opened up to anyone about his switching teams to play for the other side much less the fact that he’d met a man, a cowboy, and fallen in love and was going to move in with him almost half the mitten away which necessitated his resignation from his happy teaching position at his old, beloved, and comfortable surroundings.

“Wow,” was her first response, but being the even-tempered individual she was, she listened judiciously before giving any input at all, and only after Gavin had finished his tale did she commit herself.

“Of course, Gavin, you have my full support. My only question, and forgive me, please, but I need to ask it if only because you’ve been here so long a decade or so I think, and that’s, having considered all the angles on this you are absolutely certain you want to resign?”

“Yes Amanda, I’m absolutely certain of everything, and I want to resign. Harley and I just have to be together, and that’s where his ranch is, although I’d really appreciate a letter of recommendation from you if you’d be so kind. It would help in my job search up there which I’d like to get going on as soon as possible now.”

“Not a problem, Gavin. I’ll start the paperwork for your resignation today, and I’ll work on a letter of recommendation and have it to you in a day or two. Do you mind if I ask, are you going to announce anything about any of this to the staff here? This is quite a bombshell, you know.”

“Yeah, I know,” Gavin grinned sheepishly. “I probably should have said something sooner, but I’m still so new to all of this,” he said as he looked out her window reflectingly at the spring lawn. “Harley’s in virtually the same situation minus being on a large faculty,” Gavin chuckled. “We’re both feeling our way as we go to a certain extent. I thought I’d tell my three or four closest friends on the staff, and it’ll make its way around from there. They’ll be surprised, of course, probably shocked, but that’s okay, I guess. I was too at the beginning when I first started feeling this way even before I met Harley,” he laughed. “One thing I’m learning is life can turn on a dime.”

“Yes it can, and that sounds like a reasonable plan. Let me know whatever you need. I’ll be happy to help in any way I can.”

“Thanks Amanda.”

The rest of the school year galloped by. Gavin’s teacher staff friends were very surprised but supportive. One thing that most good teachers had learned from the classroom is never to be too shocked by anything. It is said that it takes seven years for one to reach the master teacher stage so by the time one gets through the first decade, unfortunately, many have become jaded by it all. The good ones however, are more likely to have become somewhat all-knowing not really having seen it all, but pretty damn close to it and therefore surprised but not really shocked by anything.

And so as the last days of school drew to a close Gavin’s teacher friends threw him a farewell bash in the teacher’s lounge so that nobody had an excuse not to attend, but at least had to make their presence known in some small way by passing through at one time or another during the course of the afternoon on the last day of school. It was a total surprise to Gavin especially when Harley showed up. How Amanda arranged that must have taken some finagling. But at least anybody who cared got to meet the other blushing bridegroom not that there was going to be a church wedding, but only a small commitment ceremony on the ranch in August. And then it all came to an end, eleven years of teaching Chemistry at Lansing Evergreen High School. Closed. One book of his life written. What would the next one read? Only the adventuresome Joker of the Universe had a clue.

Prenuptial Bliss

The next several weeks of prenuptial bliss were just that, pure bliss. Gavin moved in immediately with Harley into their little love nest, their upper apartment in the older house a couple miles east of Wyoming and about three miles west of the ranch. Oh sure, living together meant getting used to each other’s idiosyncrasies, but they began the gradual adjustment. There really weren’t that many to make. Neither smoked, both drank only a little and never to excess. Both cussed somewhat, but that was just the usual expletives, and never in mixed company. They both had somewhat the same sense of humor and fairly similar temperaments. All of these things they’d found out about each other during their courtship. Their only real adjustment happened to be their different levels of neatness with Gavin being the quicker-picker-upper and Harley carrying a more lackadaisical response time. One could not call Gavin OCD nor could one label Harley a pure slob. Neither would innocent bystanders if they would have observed during the first six or seven weeks of their adjustment period prior to their commitment ceremony call any of the minor disagreements between Harley and Gavin anything more than that. They never erupted into full-scale wars. Neither ever slept on the sofa. Make-up sex was a foreign concept to them. Full-on making love, long and loud, however, was not. The tenants in the two apartments below them they were certain were getting an earful, and they couldn’t care less. Thus far no one had complained. The lovers kept both their television and their music turned down though just to be safe.

Gavin had spent the better part of the summer putting in his best effort trying to locate a teaching job for the fall. He’d actually begun prior to the end of the school year as soon as he’d secured the letter of recommendation from his principal sending out personal cover letters and resumes to individual school superintendents in Wyoming, Grand Rapids and the surrounding area. He’d managed to secure five interviews, two in Grand Rapids, two in Wyoming, and one down in Grandville though that one was the longest drive of them all, so he was more open to the other four.

The last week in July Gavin got a call from the assistant principal of the Pines Junior High School in Wyoming to come in for a final interview, and he ran right over. This was an 8th grade Science position that he’d been rather interested in, and the school was located only four miles from their apartment. After an affable yet in-depth interview with both the assistant and senior principal Gavin was hired for the position beginning the last week in August. Of course, he wouldn’t be tenured yet. He’d be probationary just like all other newbies which he fully understood. After three years he’d be up for tenure, but that was at the discretion of the school board. Gavin informed them he fully understood the drill, and they told him how impressed they were with his credentials, that they were the lucky ones. Unfortunately, Gavin understood that he wouldn’t be given credit for his eleven years of classroom experience on the pay scale. His Master’s Degree, yes, so he’d be in the 3rd lane, but the best they could offer him would be the 3rd step, commensurate with a 3rd year teacher even though this would be his twelfth. Basically they were getting a master teacher for almost free though Gavin understood. This varies from district to district, but Gavin knew going in he’d never be given credit for all of his years of experience. He was lucky they weren’t making him start over at the very beginning just like a rookie teacher. They had to pay him for his master’s degree though. Some districts give step increases go up to year ten, some to year twelve. This one went to twelve, so if he should get to stay he would be getting many years of pay raises at least. It was all good he thought as he left the building almost skipping on his happy way out to his car.

Sweet Jubilation

On Saturday, August 1st, Harley and Gavin held a small commitment ceremony at the Double H Ranch just a few miles east of Wyoming with a few family members and very close friends in attendance. Of course, the Hendersons were there, as well as Harley’s older brother Henry and younger sister Beth. Ramona was there, of course, and she even brought Liz Lomax along. Surprise, surprise! Harley’s cowboy friends, Bill and Bob were both there, and Amanda Hein drove up from Lansing along with three of Gavin’s teacher friends from Evergreen High.

The Justice of the Peace performed the ceremony in the backyard and thankfully the weather though a tad muggy as only Michigan in August can be, stayed dry.

Placing the gold ring on Gavin’s ring finger of his left hand Harley chokingly spoke the simple words he had written:

“I promise to cherish and love you forever as I already have for so long now. You are my life, my love, my past, my present, and my future. I am nothing without you.”

These simple words just turned the waterworks on for Gavin, and he almost couldn’t make it into the beginning of his vows, but as the tears began slowing at the bottom of his chin, and he made no move to clear them, he eventually began as he placed the second gold ring on Harley’s finger with the simple words he too had written.

“I’ve loved and cherished you for so long now, and I promise to continue doing so forever. I cannot imagine a life without you in it. You are my whole life, now and forever, and you are the very air that I breathe."

The JOP conferred couplehood upon them, and they embraced in a huge, hungry kiss that brought a lively round of applause from the onlookers. Everyone appeared to be pleased, and if there were any misgivings no one looked the part at least.

And the best part of the afternoon was yet to be enjoyed in the barn where everyone walked off immediately to enjoy the potluck reception with as much food as any Thanksgiving celebration! And what Harley and Gavin didn’t know (because Bill and Bob hadn’t told them just that they’d booked a band for the reception) was the biggest surprise when the Rainbow Chaps sat down to enjoy a bit of dinner with them while a couple of their roadies quickly began setting up their equipment for the entertainment portion of the evening. Oh hell yeah! Thank you Bill and Bob! What a present indeed!

And they all danced the night away in sweet jubilation.

Did I Leave My Wife For This?

By Gavin McDermott

You left your dirty socks there in the kitchen
And an empty stack of beer cans by our bed
I thought I’d roped a stud, but I must have caught a dud
From the way things might be looking here instead
And I really hate to sound like I am bitchin’
But your breath tastes just like Skoal when we kiss
I guess I had a dream, and as hard as it may seem
Did I leave my wife for this?

I always love our wrestling competition
But do you always have to be the one to win?
And I cannot understand how my big rodeo man
Thinks 8 seconds is enough to make me grin
Now as long as I have gotten your attention
Could you wipe the toilet seat off when you miss?
I really ain’t no prude, but then you really ain’t no dude
Did I leave my wife for this?

But then I see your dimpled cheeks in the lamplight
And your smile grinning at me, ear-to-ear
You know I can’t resist no buckin’ cowboy
And you soon remind the reasons why I’m here

Okay . . . . .
So please take all your beer cans to the kitchen
And I can learn to love the Skoal in your kiss
Well, it might be on your breath, but it ain’t the kiss of death
Did I leave my wife for this?
Hell yeah, I did!
I left my wife for this!

(This song was written by Gavin during his first summer vacation from school in the year after he and Harley held their commitment ceremony. Harley had joined Bill and Bob in a few amateur events on the gay rodeo circuit, and while they were away one weekend Gavin penned this little ditty embellishing a few things obviously since Harley never chewed Skoal a day in his life although he’d been known to piss on the seat a time or two. However, Skoal was one of the co-sponsors on the circuit, and Gavin thought, what the hell! And as for the 8 seconds part . . . never! Harley really got a laugh out of it though, so much so he said they ought to take it to their friends the Rainbow Chaps and see what they thought of it since they managed to stay in touch as sort of acquaintances since the ceremony.

And so they did exactly that running down to Lansing one weekend with Gavin singing for the boys in a fairly decent a cappella which they quickly provided a back-up for and had a demo laid down in no time. Well, don’t you know, it proved to be so good that it got the Rainbow Chaps a label deal? The song got a huge number of downloads off the Net and went on to become the genesis for their first album. It even led to the Chaps to getting noticed by the CMO (Country Music Organization) the next year in the category as nominees for the Zenith Award, and Did I Leave My Wife For This? was nominated for Best Song of the Year an award which goes to the songwriter . . . Gavin. Never had gay acts been nominated. Nashville was set on its ear! Absolutely unprecedented! And Gavin had written it on a lark in the first place. Simply amazing!)

(This concludes the 5th story "Some Men Go Just Where They Want." Up next: "Some Men Never Go (Story 2)." )

Link to the Part A of the next story "Some Men Never Go (Story 2)" . . . Here

Link to Part A of this story . . . 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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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
15th Dec 2014 (#)

lots to read...most interesting...thank you

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author avatar Ken Painter
15th Dec 2014 (#)

You're welcome. All of these stories have 2nd and in some cases 3rd parts before they reach their conclusions in this book as well as overlapping into other stories so please be watchful.

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