Walking Jason home was also a good excuse to take Kyle for a late night trot. For him, the world was an endless collection of fascinating new smells, even in our own hood. "Did you know that a dog's sense of smell is forty times more sensitive than ours?" I asked as Kyle bounded from post to post.
"It needs to be. They hunt their food."
"Kyle's is in the fridge. Not a lot of hunting goes on there."
"In a million years, domesticated dogs will have lost their sense of smell."
"You believe in evolution?"
"I guess so. Hey, can you let me know what Kyle says? The one from South Africa?"
"Are you nervous?"
"Don't be. I'm a good judge. And thanks for the tear."
"Oh, yeah… that. I'm a bit embarrassed about that."
"There's nothing wrong with having feelings, dude. We've all got 'em."
"But there's such a thing as self-control."
"OK, so tell Kyle to stop sniffing posts."
"He's a dog."
"Flesh and blood, just like you and me, except that we're human."
We'd reached Jason's house where he paused and studied my eyes for some seconds before he spoke. "OK, so I'm human. And it's human to be scared."
"Of me? Or yourself?"
"Hey, man, tonight was a big fucking leap for you. I've been there. When I first met Kyle, I was freaking big time. He was a god."
"Are you scared of me?"
"I was when I first met you. You scared me shitless. I figured you'd think I was some kinda weirdo."
"You are," he laughed. "And now?"
"Am I still scared? No. Well, maybe a little. I don’t wanna lose you as a friend."
"I don't wanna lose you either. It's just that I don't know if I can keep up with you. You're just so fucking outrageous!"
"You think I'm outrageous? Hey, you should meet some of my buds. I'm a fucking angel compared to some of those dudes."
"Jason?" came the voice from the front door. "Do you realize what time it is?"
"K, Gran. I'm coming." He returned his attention to me, and smiled. "Thanks."
It was pretty late when I arrived home, but there was stuff I wanted to ask mom before I went to bed. Andy was a cool guy, but I hadn't developed the level of trust in him that I had in mom. After all, I'd known her all my life.
"It must be serious if you want to talk to me this late. Where do you want to talk?"
"Outside, in the barbecue area. I'll make the coffee."
"You won't sleep."
Once we were seated, I sipped on the coffee for a few moments, wondering where I should begin. "Mom, how does a person know when he's right?"
"Maybe 'know' is the wrong word, Daniel. Sometimes it's a feeling or intuition. Sometimes it's a guess. Life is not all about one plus one equals two."
"So what if you think you're right, and you meet somebody who thinks they're right, and then you convince them that you're right, but you think that maybe they're right, and you shouldn't have convinced them that you were right in the first place?"
"Goodness!" she laughed. "You want to run that past me again?"
"Jason is kinda… well, kinda religious. He gets the guilts about stuff."
"Sex is girl stuff too, y'know." Mom had a really neat laugh. It kinda put people at ease. "Lots of people feel guilty about sex. To begin with, you have to take your clothes off." Mom totally cracked for a full minute, and had me guffawing as well. When we'd both settled down, she continued. "My guess is that you've been a bit of a shock to Jason's system. Is that it?"
"Yeah, kinda. But it's more than that. He's beginning to think that I'm cool and that he isn't."
"Why is that?"
"I guess I've kinda intimidated him a bit."
"And you feel guilty?"
"Well, if that's the case, it seems to me that you're not entirely sure of yourself. If you had every confidence in your own standards, you wouldn't be feeling guilty."
"That's what I mean, mom. How does a guy know when he's right?"
"Let me tell you something, Daniel," she said after sipping more coffee. "When you're sure that you're absolutely right, it means that you're also sure that everybody who doesn't agree with you is absolutely wrong. When was the last time the republicans and the democrats agreed on everything?"
"That figures. But how can two different opinions be right?"
"Because they're opinions. Opinions aren't about being right or wrong. They're about opinions. I think I have the best son in the world, but I'll bet there are a lot of other mothers who would disagree with me."
"But what would happen if you convinced them that they were wrong?"
"I wouldn't try. But you're saying that you have with Jason?"
"Daniel, you have a very strong, not to mention persuasive, personality. You're a natural leader."
"But I don't wanna lead. I just want other dudes to… well..."
"Agree with you?" she smiled. "The only reason other dudes, as you call them, agree with you is because they want to. If, by your example, you show them an alternative point of view that they consider is better or more desirable than theirs, they'll voluntarily adopt yours."
"So it's not like I'm forcing them or anything?"
"In your case, no. I can't see you putting a gun to anybody's head."
"But what if I'm wrong and Jason is right? And what if Jason changes when he shouldn't have?"
"That will be Jason's decision. Are you telling me that nobody has influenced you?"
There was a rush of faces that crowded my brain: Kyle, Paul, Dick, Jo, Freddie, Jade, Greg… "Yeah, I guess I've been influenced."
"You guess? Nobody goes through life without being influenced by others, unless there's something wrong with them. We're like sponges that absorb everything around us. Some we take on board, some we reject. So when you influence a boy like Jason, he's not only getting the benefit of you, but also everybody who's influenced you."
"Benefit? Are you saying that I'm right and he's wrong?"
"No. What I'm saying is that if you thought he was right, he would influence you more than you influence him."
"But he does influence me."
"OK, then it's mutual."
"But maybe not as much."
"In that case, I gather that you're quite content to be who you are."
"I guess I am," I grinned, then gave mom a huge hug.
Back in my room, I clicked through Jason's pics again. Whoa! Fucking awesome! That dude was one hot mutha! Meantime, there was still no reply from Kyle, dammit. Then there was an unexpected knock at the door.
"Daniel? It's me, Greg."
I clicked on Desktop. "OK."
"Hey, you kept me awake with all that stuff with your mom," he said as he invited himself in and plonked his ass on my bed. He was dressed in his PJ shorts. "You OK now?"
"You heard it all?"
"Yeah. Hey, what are you doing with the comp?"
"Nothing. Just checking for mail."
"I never would've guessed that you'd have doubts about yourself. You're not the type."
"Are you saying that you don't?" Just then, Kyle's mail downloaded.
"You gonna open it?"
"Since when have we stopped sharing stuff? I'm your bro, remember?"
"You'll fucking freak."
"I'm used to it."
WOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! hey that jason dudes a total hunk! i nearly fell off the fuckin comp chair! damn his skins so fuckin smooth i could eat off it! and hes got such a wicked bod - and those armpits! awesome! did you get to smell em? how the fuck didya talk him into posin for those pics? totally outasight! anyway im gladya did! he reminds me a lot of mark - same kinda build but marks kinda more aggro lookin. hey remember that strip thingy the swim team did for the girls? i gotta tellya jason wouldve juiced the girls panties big time. hes a fuckin 10! tell jason from me that i think he rules but dont tell him i think your pics are hotter hehehe. hey ive gotta jack off!
ps: when areya gonna send me some pics of greg? :)
"Can I see Jason's pics?"
"They're nothing special. Just a few shots."
"Was he nude?"
"He wasn't wearing much."
"Like what? As in nothing?"
"He might be pissed if I show them to you."
"He won't know."
"But I will."
"Hey, it's no biggie. I'm just curious."
"Well, he kinda freaked when I said I might show them to you. But he didn't exactly say that I shouldn't."
"K, so lemme see!"
After I'd clicked through all of Jason's pics, Greg finally made a comment. "He looks pretty cool for a guy."
"What's this 'for a guy' bullshit?"
"Hey, I'm straight, remember? Have you still got the camera?"
"Kyle said he wanted to see some pics of me."
"Are you serious?"
"Why? Don't you think I'm a 10? You're always raving about how I'm a god and shit. I wanna know what Kyle thinks. I've only ever had one guy's opinion -- yours." A wide, cheeky grin spread across my bro's adorable face as his ego took control. "I wouldn't mind a second."
"I can't guarantee what Kyle's reaction will be."
"I'll risk it."
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Diary Part 128