“Does Jesus love me?”
The man fidgeted restlessly in his chair. From where my sixteen-year-old self knelt between his legs, naked on his kitchen floor, I could watch the struggle on his face. It played out like a medieval morality drama—the hope, the anxiety, the mortal fear of damnation.
His legs were as white as eggshells, save for the stretches on his inner thighs where the summer heat and moisture had caused a rash of tiny red pimples to break out. They looked all the more naked in contrast to the short-sleeved collared shirt he still wore. His knees parted as I tugged at the massive folds of sack holding his nuts. “Does Jesus love me?” I repeated, before filling my mouth with his dick.
It wasn’t a pretty dick at all, measuring five inches at the most, with a head that was smaller than the base and ended almost in a point. It was also the most desperately and furiously purple dick I’d ever seen. Its engorgement looked almost painful.
“Son, the Lord loves us all,” gasped out the man. His hands held the back of my head, pulling me down onto his inches. I couldn’t have struggled away at that point had I wanted. “He loves the homosexual, even as he despises his deeds.” Homosexshul, he always pronounced it.
I felt his dick spurt out more and more precum as I pulled back. The salty fluid covered my lips when I separated from him. I licked them in a way I meant to be provocative, and stared him at the eye. “You mean, he hates when I suck dick?”
“Don’t say it like that, son,” begged the man.
“Why not? It’s what I’m doing.” I wiped the moisture from around my mouth onto the back of my hand. “I’m sucking your dick. You’re putting your dick in my mouth.”
Despite the fact that he’d been doing so for a good ten minutes, my companion seemed utterly unwilling to admit to it. In fact, he seemed exasperated with me. “Don’t talk about it, son,” he begged.
“You want me to stop?” I settled back on my haunches. My clothes lay in a pile on the floor, in front of an old and rusted dishwasher—the type that rolled across a kitchen floor and hooked into its faucet via a hose. Nothing in his kitchen was new. Not the appliances, which had been perhaps new at roughly the time Lucy was moving in next to the Mertzes. Not the floral wallpaper, which was peeling from the wall. Definitely not the linoleum, which was cracked and yellow as old teeth. I grabbed for my T-shirt as if I was planning to leave.
I knew he wouldn’t let me. “Don’t,” he said, in a voice made husky from desire. “Just . . . don’t stop.”
“Don’t stop what?”
Again, I watched the morality drama play out on his face. He was struggling to say the words. Some part of me, deep inside, got off on that. “Don’t stop . . . sucking . . . my . . . dick,” he finally said. He had to force out the last three words. After a moment, I nodded, dropped my T-shirt on the dirty floor, and went back to what I’d been doing.
Make him say the words, is what Jim had told me. I hadn’t understood. These assholes get away with everything because they don’t admit to any of it. Not even to themselves. If you want to fuck with his head, make him say the words. Don’t get into the trap of doing things to speed things along. Make him say what he wants. Make him say the fucking words. They have to face up to it, once they say the words.
Jim had worn a cruel sneer on his face when he’d given me the advice. His face was full of contempt for the man who’d had sex with me in his boat of a Cadillac and then lectured me about my relationship to the Lord, after. He knew that culture, it was pretty plain. It wasn’t unusual, though. Virginia in the nineteen-seventies was very much a staunch bastion of mainstream Protestant religion—the types of good, genteel folk who dressed up for church on Sunday but upon whom the sermon made as little impression as the butter they spread upon their biscuits during their hot Sunday dinners, after. But there was growing at the time an increasingly evangelical grassroots Christianity as well, that demanded total adherence to its increasingly conservative mindset. Everyone knew someone who’d survived that sort of religion.
Earl, my sexual mentor of sorts, had argued with him that evening. “The kid’s not like that,” he kept telling Jim. “He doesn’t have that capacity.” A few minutes earlier, he’d said I wasn’t capable of adult insights. Those words had still smarted. Finally, he stood up. His soft dick swung between his legs as he walked in the direction of the stairs. “I’m going to the bedroom,” he announced. To me, he added, “If you want to come up when you’re done listening to bad advice, I’ll be around.”
I knew an order when I heard it. I rose to follow, but Jim stopped me before I did. “Fuck with him,” he advised. “Meet up with that preacher man again and fuck with his head. It’ll be fun. I promise.”
I should’ve known better than to trust him. Jim was a man who’d gone out of his way to sabotage me at every opportunity. He’d cut me down verbally. He’d pinched me too hard during sex, and let the tip of his lit cigarettes accidentally rest against my naked skin, from time to time. I had no reason to trust him, but when he’d caught sight of my momentary resentment of Earl, somehow he’d managed to insinuate a notion into my head. Maybe it would be fun to fuck around with the preacher man. More than that: maybe it would be right to fuck with him. Maybe it was what he deserved.
So I laid in wait for the guy. I knew what day of the week he was likely to cruise the park from the first time we met, and wasn’t surprised when he showed up at the same time, a week later. I sucked him in his car again that day, just as I did the week after. The third week he showed up, I made up some story about seeing the cops drive through a few minutes before and how I was worried about doing it there. Maybe, I didn’t know, if his wife wasn’t home, he could maybe take me there? When he’d hesitated, I’d shrugged and turned as if to climb on my bike and head home. But he’d invited me, and there I was, dirtying my knees and shins on the filthy linoleum of his Lakeside kitchen.
“So Jesus doesn’t like it when I do this?” I asked, going all the way down on his dick until it plugged my throat. He was so hard, it was like wrapping my lips around a concrete shaft.
“Jesus weeps for the homosexshul sin,” gasped out the preacher man. “Truly, you must repent of doing such things—“ It was an effort to get out the words, with my determined sucking. “If you wish to reach the kingdom of heaven.”
I shut up then. I’d decided to bring him off. My lips pursed out to take his length, and my throat opened to accommodate him. All I needed to do was pull at his nuts, and globs of creamy sperm were coating my tonsils. I swallowed every drop of the foul-tasting stuff, then backed off. He stared at me. His legs were still trembling.
It was then that I realized he feared whatever I might have to say. “Then what does he think of you?” I asked, calm, cool, and cruel. Tight with Jesus he might have been, but I was flushed with the glory of the righteous, and I knew I had the upper hand.
Then, like the little prick I was being at that moment, I picked up my clothes, put them on without hurry, and exited.