The seniors' trip up the mountain was a totally cool experience, made even cooler by Kyle. He had a pretty intimate knowledge of the mountain and its caves. He liked to refer to it as 'his mountain', and had been introduced to it as a lighty by his dad. During the trip, I reminded him again about Alan, and how losing his rag everytime Alan taunted him was just giving Alan the ammunition he needed. "It'll happen again and again if you keep getting sucked in by that fuckwit bully."
"Hey, Mark! You wanna check out the Boomslang cave? Boomslang means tree snake 'cause all the caverns are like…"
"Yeah, I know what Boomslang means. You're not the only one who does Afrikaans at school, y'know."
What I hadn't realized was that we had to crawl on our bellies to get through most of the tunnels. Boomslang wasn't the kinda place you would wanna be if you suffered from claustrophobia. No fucking way! What also occurred to me was that one little earth tremor and we'd be buried for some bunch of archeologists to unearth in a few thousand years. But it was well worth the trouble of inching our way on our elbows and knees just to see the caverns at the end of the tunnels. They were like nature's cathedrals -- totally awesome -- and had a kinda spooky presence about them, especially when we spoke 'cause our voices would reverberate off the towering limestone walls. If we'd been prehistoric cavemen, we would've been on our knees worshiping whoever.
When we finally emerged through a small opening that led us back to our starting point, I couldn't help noticing the way Kyle was checking me out. "What's wrong?"
"Wrong? Nothing's wrong."
"So why are you looking at me like that?"
"You wouldn't understand."
"It's just the way you're shirtless, and all covered in sand and dirt. Looks fucking horny."
"You're crazy." What was it with that dude? If Carol had seen me dirty from head to toe, she'd have bundled me into the shower in a second. But not Kyle. Nope. He thought I looked horny. He had to be a sandwich short of a fucking picnic.
We were pretty late leaving the mountain, so we didn't bother going back to school. Instead, I went with Kyle to his house, and followed him out to the backyard.
"Hey, you can wash most of the crap off in the pool."
"I thought you liked me covered in crap? Have you got a pair of shorts you can lend me?"
"Shorts? Just get naked, bro, and jump in."
"What if your folks come home?"
"They won't be home for a while yet… besides, you'd make my mom so horny, my dad would pay you to do again."
"You are so fulla fucking shit, Kyle."
"Yeah, I know. Look who I pick for friends."
I began to undress, but took my time. When I'd gotten down to my boxers, Kyle was already in the water. Then I dumped my boxers, and dove into the deep end. After I'd surfaced, and flicked the water from my face, I saw that Kyle was sitting on the edge of the pool, drip drying. He didn't have a boner, which I thought was unusual. That spiky haired dude was hardly ever soft.
"Come take a seat here," he beckoned.
I was instinctively gonna chirp him about it, but I thought 'what the hell', then lifted myself outa the water and sat alongside him. I guessed the fact that neither of us had a boner kinda relaxed me a little. But as soon as I'd planted my buns on the tiles, he slipped back into the pool. I watched him swim underwater for a few yards, then turn, and surface between my legs. Most of his hair was wet, and clinging to his scalp and forehead, but the rest of it was just like him -- rebellious -- and insisted on being spiky despite the water.
When he placed his hands on my thighs, I immediately freaked. I could feel my body shaking.
"You cold or something," he grinned. "I just wanted to see if you could lift me outa the water with your legs."
Whew! "You're a light weight, Kyle. I can do that any day of the week."
He arranged himself so that my lower legs were under his armpits, then I raised him outa the water. We both looked at my thigh muscles, which seemed as though they were gonna burst outa my skin. Then our attention was diverted to my crotch. Damn! I'd started to get a boner! But why? It had to be because of the physical contact. Anyway, I wasn't the only one. I could see his hardon rippling below the surface.
We sat talking for a while, then Kyle went inside the house to get a couple of glasses of juice. While he was gone, I felt even weirder being alone and naked. What if his mom suddenly appeared at the back door and saw me sitting there without a stitch on? Did she really think I was a hunk? What would she say? What would she do? Fuck! What would I do!
Whoa! It was a total fucking relief to see the familiar sight of my crazy bud emerging from the door, carrying two glasses of juice. He managed to keep them steady, but, as he walked toward me, his semi bounced around like it was trying to escape from the rest of his bod. He also had a tracksuit thrown over his shoulder.
After taking a sip of juice, I tried on his old tracky, which I filled with ease, and gave Kyle yet another excuse to gawk at me.
"Jeez! Your bod fills places mine never did."
"Don't you have anything in my size?"
"No… I'm not that fat."
Feeling comfortable with the attention I was getting from Kyle, which sometimes felt like the equivalent of about five million Carols, was something I was learning to deal with, but, at the same time, also had difficulty with, especially when I was stone cold sober. I hadn't quite conquered my old homophobic habits, and there were still a few renegade thoughts lurking in the darkest corners of my mind. Every now and again, they would surface and freak the fuck outa me.
On Friday night, Carol, Steph, Kyle and I went to Corners for a while, then raged again at the Purple Turtle. Steve was also with us, but he didn't bring a girl. Hell, he didn't need to. Half the girls in the joint were making no secret of the fact that they were in awe of the surfer dude with the long, blonde hair. One chick that he was rocking with on the dance floor had her hands seriously into his cargoes, while he had his hands seriously up her blouse. But that was the way it always was with Steve. If she'd freaked, there'd be another waiting in the queue. A very long queue.
The interesting thing about Steve was that he didn't boast about his popularity. Except for that one time when he tried to hurt Kyle by fucking Steph, for whatever reason -- probably jealousy -- he was a pretty cool guy. He'd no doubt fucked more chicks than I'd had hot dinners, but it was never a topic of convo. He probably figured that chicks were a bit like waves. You ride every one that comes your way, but you don't bother bragging about it. There's always the next wave. The only exception to that was some middle-aged divorcee he'd met -- a hot looker, according to him -- who'd shown him tricks that blew his mind totally. He hardly stopped talking about that woman for weeks!
Kyle, on the other hand, was more of a one girl, one guy type of dude. He and Steph seemed to get along like a house on fire, and I had no doubt that she thought the sun shone out of the guy's ring. Hell, she was rubbing herself up against him on the dance floor and driving the poor guy crazy. I figured he was thinking that he was gonna get his end in later, for sure.
Meantime, Carol and I had an argument, so I hit the booze. Steve didn't need an excuse. And Kyle? He told me that Steph had asked him to stay sober. He figured she wanted him to be able to 'perform' when they got home. Well, that's not the way it turned out. Carol didn't wanna know me, and Steve was staggering around the joint, banging into walls. So I asked Kyle if we could crash at his place.
"But what about Steph?"
"She can wait. We're your buds, remember? And buds come first."
Anyway, as I remember, it was about 3 am when Kyle dragged out the spare mattress in his room. He'd only just gotten it organized, when the lights went out. The lights in my head, that was.
Next morning, I woke to the sound of a couple of Salvation Army drummers practicing between my ears. "Never again!"
"That's what you said the last time," Kyle grinned.
Anyway, things were back to normal again on Saturday night. Kyle, Steph, Wingnut, Candy, Carol and I went to the movies. It was funny having the grommet and his girl with us. In a way, they looked outa place 'cause they were so much younger than us… but they were cool, and I guessed we older dudes were kinda like big bros and sisters to them… like an adopted family.
On Sunday night, though, the innocent little grommet -- yeah, right -- showed his true colors. Kyle and I were walking home to his place after we'd had pizza and seen the girls home, when we spotted Wingnut. He was falling more than walking, and puking at every second step.
"Shit! He can't go home like that! His folks will kill him!" Kyle said as he grabbed the kid, and tried to steady him.
"So what are you gonna do?"
"Take him to my place."
Damn! I was sleeping over at Kyle's that night. "He'll never get there."
"You can carry him."
"Crap! He's covered in puke. You carry him."
"Hi, Kyle," the grommet slurred.
"Yeah," he giggled. "I went with Candy to a friend's house party, and we found a bottle of vodka."
"You stink, bro. I have to get these clothes off."
I watched Kyle remove the wobbling kid's shirt, t, and cargoes, then throw them over his shoulder.
Kyle handed the kid's clothes to me, but I chose to hold them between my thumb and forefinger at an arm's length. Ew! They were fucking putrid! Then Kyle bent down, placed his shoulder against his bud's stomach, and lifted him. Oops! Wrong move! The pressure on the kid's stomach was too much. Kyle's shirt and jeans were immediately soaked in puke. I didn't comment or laugh, though. If I had, he would've planted me for sure. Kyle was not a happy boy!
When we got home, we threw the grommet's clothes into the washing machine, then Kyle phoned the kid's folks to explain -- make that lie - that we'd met Wingnut on our way home from pizza, and that he'd fallen asleep on the spare mattress. "So I figured he could sleep here for the night."
Once Wingnut had been put to bed, Kyle asked me if I wanted to shower with him.
"Nah… it's cool. You're the one covered in puke, buddy."
"Should've been you."
"Anyway, I'm gonna hit the sack. I'm fucked."
"You're not even gonna wait for me to get into bed?"
"Just hurry up, then. OK?" Hmmm, Kyle was up to one of his tricks again, but there wasn't much we could do with the grommet sleeping in the same room.
I flipped through one of Kyle's surfer mags while I waited, and began to realize what surfing meant to him. It's wasn't so much a sport but a culture… almost a religion. I thumbed through page after page of pics of huge waves that made the surfers look like midgets, and ads for wetsuits and clothing that seemed to be a kinda uniform for the surfing elite. Even the surfing language was different. Then I looked around his room. His board was hanging on the wall. Surfing posters were all over the fucking place. His room was like some kinda shrine to surfing… no, maybe it was more like a shrine to him.
Kyle wasn't your ordinary, average dude. He had a special quality that became very apparent when he was dressed in his boardies, and carrying his stick under his arm. He was instantly transformed from a schoolboy in uniform to a kinda godlike figure... tanned, adventurous, and cheeky as all hell.
There was something about surfing that wasn't like any other sport, such as boxing or swimming… something magical and wondrous… some sort of intimate communication with nature… a connection… a harmony… a oneness. Then I looked at a pic of a dude riding a wave. They seemed to be made for each other, and the combination of the two had an obvious synergy… achieving an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects.
And yet, this acrobat bud of mine, this lunatic dude who could keep a speeding, gyrating lump of fibreglass stuck to his bare feet, was in the shower washing off his friend's puke. I had to laugh at the contrasts. Kyle was the kinda dude who could stand on a pedestal one minute, and be ordinary the next. But it was those contrasts, his ability to be many things, including crazy, that made him so damn special.
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