The Fullness Of Time - Real Time
(c) Ray Levasseur 1987, 2000, all rights reserved
Jason's lament, looking back
Jason sat in his deck chair, long muscular legs crossed at the ankles and cradled on a low redwood end table, staring out over the ocean as he drank his morning coffee. It was a cool dry Saturday morning in late August, unusual weather for this time if year. The entire Summer had been much cooler than normal this year, but he sat shirtless and in cut off Levis soaking in the premature dwindling sunlight of the first millennium's Summer. He was an unusual specimen of a man, 6'1", 185 pounds, had a 45" chest and 29" waist. He had a true washboard stomach, a full head of dark brown hair, with just a hint of gray in the temples. His skin was totally lacking of any wrinkles, the face of a boy. Jay sported a full, neatly trimmed mustache. What made him so unusual was that he was 55 years old. Most people would place him somewhere in his 30's to early 40's at best.
Yes Jason Jarreau was different and on some deep level he knew that he was not like many other people. It was not just due to the fact that he was gay, Jason came to that conclusion when he was in his teens, but never acted on his desires until he was almost 24, back in the Summer of 1969. It was shortly after the Stonewall riots in New York City that Jay finally accepted this facet of his being.
One thing made it difficult for him to come out then, he was a Navy Fighter pilot, flying F4 Phantoms over the Vietnamese jungles as the drag queens and other sexual outlaws broke free of their oppression, "we're mad as hell and we're not going to get pushed around or bullied any more!" It was after returning from one of many sortees that Jay was sititng in the officer's mess with, Travis Johnson, a friend and fellow fighter jock that he heard about Stonewall. Travis was a tall wirey black man, as well as an outspoken advocate of civil and other rights. It was also common scuttlebutt that Travis was also a homosexual, but the guys respected his team spirit and chutzpah. "Hey Jay, my man! Get a load of this!" passing jay the Village Voice that a friend had sent him in the mail. There, in black and white was and article all about the Stonewall uprising, "right on my brothers," he exclaimed. Jay read the article, giving it much thought afterward, to the point of rumination. As much as he lived to fly, Jason knew that he would turn down an extension of his Naval career.
A month earlier one other incident troubled Jay even more deeply. It was after a late night bombing mission when he was returning to the ship that it happened again, the numbness in his exteminities and mind and the music that seemed to eminate from nowhere and everywhere all at once. It was softly at first that he heard Jimi Hendrix singing , "Purple haze all around my brain." The music grew louder and louder but did not come from outside his head. He began to feel an overwhelming heaviness and just before he blacked out, his F4 was enveloped in an almost blinding pure white light. It was not an unpleasant feeling at all, like going under general anesthesia, but he tried his best to fight it, "NO! NO! LET ME ALONE! NOT AGAIN!, PLEASE NO NO!" The last thought he had was the fear of crashing into the South China Sea in the inky blackness.
Two hours later, his F4 was still airborne, almost 75 miles off course and flying dangerously low. A voice inside his head shouted, "JASON WAKE UP!" He snapped bolt upright, managing to maintain control of the aircraft, 'whew! that was too fucking close,' he thought to himself. Flight deck control was on the radio squawking at him, "Double Nuts come in, 00, do you read me. We have you on radar and you are way off course, please respond, over." He got on the radio, "this is Double Nuts, Roger I copy control. Lost instruments and radio, just ragained all systems, over."
There was a brief pause then, "Roger Roger Double Nuts, we tracked two other craft in your immediate area, do you confirm other traffic? over" Jay checked his instruments and radar, plus took what visuals he could in the night sky. "negative tower, no other traffic confirmed within visual or instrument range, over"
Jay was directed back to the carrier, and after making a normal landing let out a sigh of relief. The flight deck crew helped him out of the cockpit, "everything all right sir?" Jay removed his helmet and assured them, "yeah I'm fine, check the bird over boys, I was having some system problems." All the other planes had been tied down for the evening since, he was flying the last sortee of the night. A whopper of a headache was creeping out from behind his eyes.
Travis was waiting for him by the island, "Hey Jay! you had us all worried. We all thought you got shot down or hit the drink. Old man wants to see you in the wardroom on the double." The two pilots exchanged an innocent brotherly hug and backslap."
The Old Man is a term used referring to one's commanding officer, in this case Captain Joshua Reede, squadron commander for Jay's fighter wing. Jay knocked on the door, "enter." The meeting with the Captain was a teqns eone and Jason had a lot of questions to answer. He knew enough not to be brutally honest about what really happened up there. Jay could face being permantently grounded as being unfit to fly. He had lost two hours out of his life while flying back to the ship and there was no logical explanation he could give for the two other craft that showed up on the radar screens that tracked him. He merely vanished, then reappeared two hours later, way off course and low on fuel. The captain leaned across the table, "what did you see up there? what happened?"
Jay knew the old man was waiting for a story of UFOs and little green men, but denied anything like that happening, "I hit turbulance sir, and would like to report an instrument malfunction." A few drops of blood dripped from Jason's nose, the captain handing him a handkerchief, "I want you to report to sick bay for a check up." Jay knew that the captain knew he was not being honest. After his recovery a few chase planes were launched and choppers scoured the surrounding ocean, beaming search lights down on the water. The ship was supposed to be in a stand down condition for another 12 hours, they knew something worth investigating was out there. Radar has tracked the two other craft making some impossible maneuvers, shortly after Jay's Phantom reappeared on screen.
He could have made the Navy a career like his own father had, but his gay identity was getting more difficult to keep under wraps. He felt more and more compelled to spread his wings in a different direction, away from the ever watchful eye of Uncle Sam.
Travis was leaving the Navy at the end of this cruise to persue a career in law. He had completed his obligation, and as much as he loved flying, Travis wanted to return to civilian life and his home in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Jay was assigned to a desk job until the end of his current cruise. He did fly again when the ship returned to San Diego, but mostly training and qual flights. He would resign when his current hitch was completed, opting not to follow in his late father's footsteps.
Jay moved back to Medford, Massachusetts, returning to college to complete a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering, concentrating on computer science. His life would continue to get, shall we say more interesting from here. He and Travis did go on to remain very close friends, with Travis showing him the ins and outs of gay life in Boston and beyond during the early 70's.
Jay did get married to a wonderful woman who was understanding, but the marriage ended 6 years later. He had sired a son and daughter. He and his ex wife did remain very good friends, and still are in close contact.
This September day was too good to waste. He could sit here quite contentedly all day in his deck chair, drinking coffee and staring out over the ocean. His peaceful contemplation was broken by the cordless phone ringing by his feet, "hello this is Jay."
"Well hello stud muffin, Marcus here. I havn't seen you in the rooms lately and you usually are on chat on a Saturday morning. What's up?"
"Well hello dear. I really was not in the mood to deal with that cast of characters today, so I'm out here on the deck taking in the early morning sun."
"Naked I suppose, and with some hunk at your feet," Marcus said, half playfully, half in sarcasm. "I was wondering what you had planned for today and if you'd be coming into town."
"No stud at my feet, never is, although I wish. What do you have in mind? I'm pretty open today."
"Remember I told you about a chat buddy of mine, John, goes by the nickname of "Cape Ann Survivor" online. He's coming into town. I'll be having lunch with him and was wondering if you'd like to join us. You two may have a lot to talk about. He's the guy who had terminal cancer and I think met up with that mysterious friend of yours, Lance. Interested?"
Jay looked at his watch, "hmmm It's 9AM now. I want to hit the gym, then sure, I'd love to meet John, anyway I haven't seen you for a while. I can be in town by about noon. That ok?"
"Arrghh, you gym bunnies, makes me tired just to see you carry on online about those perfect buff bodies of yours. I get a workout just watching." After a brief pause adding, "Noonish would be fine, gives me a chance to shower and look presentable."
"So is John yet another of your livery stable full of playmates?" Jay knew that this would get Marcus's goat since Marc was one of the grande damms of the Boston area online cummunities.
"No, Jesus H. Christ, I don't sleep with everyone I meet online, just some.You two may get along though, but you can't do the deed here. He's a cyclist and runner, and I'll bet he has a really big schwantz. These slim wirey guys with bubble butts usually have big ones. But then, YOU, with that disgusting 9 inch thing, I hate you!!!"
Jay knew that Marc was being playful in his usual way, "ok then, I'll see you about noon, Ciao."
"Kisses my dear, see you soon."
Jay knew Marcus from when he lived in the South End. Jay had sold his South End townhouse in 1998 for what he thought was an unbelievable amount of money, 2.6 million dollars. He was asking $850,000, but the real estate broker insisted he ask for at least 1.5 million. He had paid $85,000 for it in 1982, which to him then was highway robbery, since it was uninhabitable when he bought it, but had over the years transformed it into a beautiful home. Yuppies are like hungry dogs that have been thrown a piece of prime beef when they get into bidding wars. The bids opened at 1.5 millions and closed at $2,650,000. Jay took this money, and bought a rather nice house in Rockport, which also serves as his software consulting firm's main office.
Marcus was a lawyer and owned a townhouse in Union Park, where he handled mostly medical cases; patients rights, malpractice. Marcus had a dry, sense of humor, bordering on biting sarcasm, but was a very intelligent and wise man. He was a short man, a bit on the heavy side, with a head full of gray hair and nicely trimmed beard. He looked lawyerly, as Jay often told him.
Jay had planned a day at the beach or logging a few hours upsrairs, as he referred to flying. He had never outgrown his love of flying as it was in his blood, and owned a Cherokee that he had gotten a great bargain on back in the late 80's. He used to keep it at Stow, but moved the plane to newburyport when he left the city. The meeting that Marcus proposed sounded too interesting to pass up. Jay headed for his health club and after his usual 90 minute workout drove into the city. The boys were all out in force on such a beautiful day, "taking their nipples out for an airing" as Marcus was fond of saying.
Marc greeted him at the door with a warm hug, "dressed like a Tijuana street walker as usual I see." Marc hated the way Jay got away with dressing during warm weather, cutoffs that barely covered his butt and string tank top.
"John just got here 15 minutes ago. Come on in, we're sitting in the garden. You know where the coffee is, made it fresh less than an hour ago. Jay poured himself a cup of coffee and joined the others in Marc's garden.
"Jay this is John, also known as Cape Ann Survivor, John this is Jay, who when he is online calls himself DarkStar." The two men shook hands, then sat down. John was a lean, wirey guy, looking very much like a cyclist or runner. Jay noticed his legs right off. John was wearing gray bike shorts and a "Cape Ann Cycle Sports" tee shirt.
"So what do you do for a living?" John opened.
"I worked for a large computer company for over 20 years, until the downsizing frenzy of the 90's finally got me. I do independent consulting now. I enjoy it, pays the rent and keeps me supplied with toys. How about you?"
"Sounds similar to me. I was a network specialist with a big company. When they began to go under, let a lot of us go. I'm currently with an ISP on the North Shore. Marcus told me you also live on the North Shore. I live in Manchester."
"We're almost neighbors then," Jay replied, with Marc adding, "anything further than a 10 minute walk from Union Park is not neighbors in my book."
The three continued exchanging small talk until Marcus asked, "Is anyone at all hungry? There is a new Italian place that opened just a few blocks from here, "Guido's Grotto," very foofy, very gay."
"Sounds good to me, being 1/2 Italian," Jay replied.
"Love Italian, pure bred Italian here," John concurred.
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