South Africa
Part 94

Hiya B,

It's Monday and we've got a public holiday on Wednesday. Cool! I know what you're saying about me hassling Mark, but it's hard when he doesn't phone me. And even though I've got his number, I hate to call him 'cause then I'm doing exactly what you say I shouldn't. I think the big diff is that he doesn't feel the same way about me as I do about him. And why should he? I know there's really no future for the two of us together. Fact is, I know what I'm gonna have to do and that is eventually get married and have a million kids. Y'know, the funny thing is that when Steph and I are together, it's like we're in our own private little world 'cause we both make each other feel really special. And I told you before that it's not just the sex - which is fantastic... we can talk to each other about anything. Well, not quite anything, but you know what I mean. We really are good friends and lovers, and that is different to what I see other guys having [with their girlfriends]. And we do stuff together that would embarrass some other guys. Like when I parade in front of her with the sarong, and she arranges it in all sorts of styles for me to model. We both get turned on by the whole thing... just doing stuff together. And when I go surfing, and she can't go, she's quite happy for me to hang out with the guys. Actually, she's never bitched when it's been a boy's night out thing. So I guess it's just logical for me to start appreciating what I've got in Steph, and come to grips with the realities of Mark in my life. And that's not easy. Whenever I've told Mark that I love him, I don't think he realizes that I'm in love with him. Or if he does, he tries to make it go away 'cause it makes him uncomfortable.

We had a strong wind the whole weekend, so the surf really crapped out badly. Not a helluva lot has happened. Worked on Saturday, but the Brazilians [soccer team] didn't show. Found out they had a football match so they couldn't go surfing. I was telling Wingnut about them, and he said there's another team coming from Brazil later in the year... guys about the same age, and they're probably going to be putting out notices for local families to host them. Told my folks and they're cool about hosting a couple of players for a few nights. How cool is that?

Yesterday was a rad day at work. Graham was in such a fuck-around mood, and we were playing fighting and hitting each other. I've got bruises on my arms that look like I've been in a torture chamber. The juniors [on the swim team] wanted to know who beat me up. Actually, my arms are feeling damn tender, and I told Graham that if he hits me today, I'm gonna turn his nads into a bowtie.

Junior swimming went pretty well. The guys have shaped up nicely. Wingnut and Jason are still dissing each other every opportunity they get, and they're definitely heading toward a damn fight. Jason doesn't take any crap from Wingnut, and Wingnut doesn't take any crap from anybody.

No calls from Mark so far this week. I'm gonna wait and see if he calls, though. What was it you said? Set it free and if it comes back it's yours?

Cya B
Your friend
Kyle.

Over six weeks had elapsed before I sent another email to B. And with the passing of each week, it became increasingly difficult to write. What was I supposed to say? That I was sorry? How fucking lamo would that be? When I finally did write, I admitted that I didn't have any excuse 'cept that I'd been busy with all sorts of shit, mainly just trying to get my mind sorted out. Steph and I had become a real thing, and were madly in love with each other. I guessed I had Mark to thank for that. He'd made it pretty plain to me that while what he and I had was a very special friendship, he didn't see anything the way I did as far as our relationship was concerned. He was also worried about me, and how I'd survive the way I was. He was genuinely worried about me, specially with all the crap going on across the borders where gays were being declared illegal in Namibia and Zimbabwe.

I also hadn't checked Eudora for well over a month. I was shit scared about all the mails that were gonna be sitting there, waiting for me. And I was sure there'd be a couple from B as well... worried like he usually was when I didn't write for a while. But it wasn't just a matter of being sorry and having the guilts, it was also 'cause I felt that I'd dried up with the whole internet thing.

I'd also been hectically into surfing. Steph went with me most of the time, and she was one helluva surfer, which gave us that much more in common. Wingnut and Jason had also become huge buddies. Now that was one for the books! It happened on the school swim tour, and I wrote a huge mail about it [on diskette] that I was gonna send to B. Then we had a power failure. I just stared in total fucking disbelief at the PC monitor and thought, "Fuck it!" It was difficult to write a repeat email... the first had taken me about an hour on a Saturday morning. That's when I got to thinking about how fanatical I'd been about the whole internet thing.

I hadn't really changed much, though... not as a person. The night before, I'd gone to B's site and got the whole guilt trip in my head. I hardly slept 'cause I'd been such a prick about not writing.

The other downer was that my gran had been pretty sick, which was taking its toll at home. My dad had gone into a depression about it and was having a hard time. He was up at the hospital every damn night.

Still and all, I was panicking about writing an email to B. What the hell was I supposed to say? How was I supposed to say that I was sorry to someone who'd been so cool to me... someone I'd let down? I didn't know.

When I did finally write to him, I asked him not to apologize [on his site] on my behalf. I'd do that myself on my news page. I told him that I just wanted him to stop worrying about me for the moment; that that my head was fulla shit, and I had to sort myself out about where I was heading. I also told him that I owed him more than he would ever know... besides my life. And that I loved him.

Anyway, B wrote back and he was cool, which was a relief. He wasn't mad at me at all. Worried, yeah, but not mad.

For the next couple of weeks, we had the most outasight weather. The surf had been pumping. One week we had good, solid, 6-feet waves at the local, with glassy conditions. That, and perfect weather. Wingnut, Steve and I were totally raving every damn night 'til dark. The only prob was that it would get icy cold after the winter sun had set. Brrrr!

Meantime, Mark had been phoning me about three times a week, which was totally cool. About mid May, he phoned to tell me that he was going down to Durban to crew a yacht that was being sailed around to Cape Town.

"Hey, Kyle, do you think your folks will let me stay over with you for a couple of days before I head back to Joburg?"

Hello? Was this Mark talking? What a fuckwit question! "You sure you can trust me?"

"Hmmm. Maybe I should bring Candy with me."

"That's cool. I'm sure she'll enjoy watching."

Then he quickly changed the subject. Chicken shit. But our convos were generally about the weather and what we'd been up to around the 'hood. The main thing, though, as far as I was concerned, was that he was staying in touch.

Work at the shop had been pretty hectic. We'd been getting lots of overseas visitors. Met a few Aussie guys the other day. "Owyagoin' mate?" They were cool, and in their mid twenties. They were following the surf all over, and staying until July. After that, they planned to head for the north shore of Hawaii. What a life! And yes, one of the guys was a fucking hunk! But I kept myself nice and didn't say anything. Shuddup, B. Anyway, despite the way I felt about Steph, there was nothing I could do about turning my head when a good-looking dude walked by.

Late in May, Mark phoned on a Monday night. He'd been water skiing over the weekend. Candy, a few friends, and he had gone down to the Vaal River and camped out. He was sounding pretty relaxed, and was definitely enjoying life up there in Joburg. And me? I was totally cool on the phone, and never mentioned sex once. The only reference to sex was when he said that fingers had walked into the bathroom while Mark was showering, and spoke to him through the sliding glass door. He asked if Mark wanted him to wash his back, but Mark replied by saying that he was quite capable of washing his own back.

"He was watching me through the frosted-glass shower-doors, and the water had gone fucking ice cold 'cause I wasn't gonna come out while he was there! I eventually did come out, though, with a towel wrapped around my waist. Fingers was still there, and he quizzed me about why I was still so shy around him. But I told him it wasn't like that."

Yeah, right. I remembered what it was like with Mark in the early days when we'd shower after boxing or swim training. Eeek!

He also told me that work on the boat was going crazy. "We're hardly anywhere with the damn thing. It's slow 'cause of the high quality work we're doing. We haven't even started moving on the interior yet. We're still doing fairing and shit like that."

"What's fairing?"

"Exterior finishes... sorta like the fairing on a motorbike."

It was early June when I responded to an email from B. Sure, I missed all the funny stuff he used to write, and which used to make me giggle in the comp room at school. But in those days life was a lot less complicated. Since then, I'd had a few dramas so B's emails had begun to reflect the seriousness of my probs. Humor wasn't always appropriate.

"Often, when I think about your humor, I still smile stupidly, and guys try to figure out what's going through my head. The sad part is that I could never speak to anyone about it. Paul couldn't handle the fact that I was so into the net and your stories. Said I needed to get back down to earth. I spoke about it a long time ago to Steve and, although he could see where I was coming from, he couldn't understand why I was spending so much time on the comp, and getting so wrapped up in it. Steve couldn't figure how the two of us could get off with each other, and yet I could still fantasize about a picture."

"That's something I could never speak to Mark about. First of all, I think it would create a massive fallout 'cause, in spite of everything, I think that Mark has convinced himself that I'm a total straight, and that what we've done together has nothing to do with anything 'cept the feelings we share."

"I would never speak about it to Wingnut, either. Well, to start with, the opportunity has never arisen. And I don't want him convincing himself that what I share with him is a gay sexual thing. He would hate me for that 'cause he sees the things we do as a natural progression [of friendship] thing. And now I'm convinced that he and Jason have a sexual relationship going. He never really talks about it, and I'm not gonna ask him about it. I guess I was like him, anyway [when Paul and I were grommets]. The nice thing is that I can, in fact, talk to Wingnut about his bod, and he talks about mine. He makes me feel good 'cause he still likes to touch me, and loves it when I touch him."

So what was my plan for the weekend? Well, I was waiting for a tall, well-built, fucking good looking dude with black, spiky hair to knock on my door and say, "Hi, Kyle." I hadn't heard from Mark for about a week, so I was hoping he'd already gone to Durban to crew the yacht that was gonna bring him to Cape Town. I'd wait and see.

Anyway, when I wrote to B, I told him to put a smile on his grumpy dial. I was sitting at the back of the internet cafe, which was pretty empty 'cept for the guy who ran the place. He was fucking around with one of the comps. He had the insides ripped out and was trying to fix something.

"Soooooo..... B. I've just whipped out the old thingamejiggy thingy, and I've stroked it into a boner. And now I'm fucking battling to get it back into my pants! Hehehehe. Oh, my fuck! I've gotta go before someone comes in here. How the fuck do you stroke these things DOWN? See what I do for you? Dammit! Down boy!!!!"

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 Mark Part 95