Gran was quite a large, buxom woman with a handsome face -- not what you'd expect an old lady to look like at all! And she had such a loud voice, she could've rounded up a fucking herd of cattle! But she seemed friendly enough as she invited me inside. Jason was sitting on the sofa being as quiet as a mouse while his gran did all the talking.
"So you're Daniel! That's all I've heard about since yesterday. Daniel this, Daniel that. Anyway, you can call me Gran. Everybody calls me Gran. Danged if I can remember my given name, sometimes. Well, I must say that you look like a fine young man. I worry about who Jason mixes with. Society's on a downward spiral. Too many drugs. Do you do drugs?"
"Do you cuss?"
"Well, at least you're honest. But don't let me hear any cussing around here! Do you cuss in front of your mother?"
"Good. Shows you've got respect. And that's another thing I sadly miss. People don't respect each other like they used to. Now, would you like some juice and cookies? Made them myself."
"Thanks, ma'm, I mean, Gran, but I've gotta get home for dinner. Jason said you wanted to meet me... so…"
"Well, just because I've met you doesn't mean I know you. Just remember this, young man, if you want to befriend my grandson, you'll have to measure up to the standards I've instilled in him. He's a God-fearing boy with not a blemish on his young soul, and that's the way I expect him to stay. Is that understood?"
"Yes, ma'm. I'd better be going. I've gotta be home by seven."
"Gran?" Jason said as he rose from the sofa. "Is it OK if I walk Daniel home? I'll be right back."
There was an obvious feeling of relief as the door closed behind us and the comparitive cool of the evening swept over my body as if I'd been released from some kinda official interrogation. I hadn't realized that I'd been sweating so much. "Whoa! She's one tough lady!"
"On the outside, maybe. She's a softie on the inside, and she's looked after me since I was a baby."
"No offence, dude, but it seems like she still treats you like one."
"She worries is all. She's convinced that it's a big, bad world out there and that I'm gonna be swallowed up by the devil."
"She said you were God-fearing. Is that right?"
"I guess so."
"It's just that the word 'fearing' seems kinda weird. I mean, why would you wanna create something that feared you?"
"Don't you fear God?"
"He could squash you right this second."
"You think he'd get a buzz outa that?"
"I'm not saying he would, just that he could."
"But if he did, would he feel good about it? Is he like masochistic or something?"
"Hey, how the fuck would I know? I'm not God!"
"Maybe you are, dude. Maybe we all are. There's this guy who writes me. He's some kinda mental giant or whatever and he's always quoting stuff outa books, mostly sayings from writers. Names, dates, the whole fucking ten yards. So there was this dude named Oscar Wilde who said conscience makes egotists of us all."
"What the fuck does that mean?"
"Fucked if I know, dude. I was hoping you'd know. You're the fucking genius."
"So why don't you ask the dude who writes you?"
"'Cause he'll think I'm a dork."
"Hey, Daniel," Jason said as we reached my front gate. "Can we talk some more later? I've got a feeling there's a lotta stuff I can learn from you."
"Ditto, dude. Catch you at school tomorrow. And, hey, keep going with those weights, man. You've got a wicked cool bod."
"Thanks. So have you," he smiled.
I'd just stacked the last of the dishes when mom came into the kitchen. "Andy and I are having a quiet drink out by the pool. Would you like to join us? Or are you going to play with that infernal computer again?"
"Sure, mom. Love to."
"And wipe that cheeky grin off your face."
Greg was already swimming nude in the pool, so I stripped and joined him for a few minutes before we both hauled ourselves outa the water and flicked it playfully all over mom and Andy. That was nothing, though, compared to the totally rad shower Kyle gave us all as he wriggled his wet body from shoulder to tail. How the fuck did dog's learn to do that? As for Greg and I, we didn't bother to towel ourselves -- being wet was a good way to cool off on a humid night. Besides, there were two tall glasses of Coke with ice waiting for us.
"Anybody heard of Oscar Wilde?" I asked.
"He was a famous author and playwright," Andy replied.
"I heard he was gay." Greg suddenly realized what he'd said, and blushed slightly.
"Well, yes," Andy continued, "he was jailed for being gay. But he also had a son."
"So, he was straight?"
"Being gay doesn't mean that a man doesn't have the wherewithall to have a son, Greg. He still has the necessary equipment."
"How come they put him in jail?" I asked.
"Basically, because of Victorian hypocracy. He lived during the reign of Queen Victoria of England in the late 19th century."
"So being gay was against the law?"
"As he found out, much to his chagrin."
"So are you saying that gay is cool?"
"Gay is, period. That's it. It exists. It's neither cool, as you put it, nor uncool. It's how individuals conduct themselves that makes things cool or uncool."
"So a gay person can be cool?"
"Or equally uncool. It depends on the person. Why are you asking these questions?"
"I heard that Oscar said something that sounds pretty neat, but I don't really understand it. He said that conscience makes egotists of us all."
"Déjà vu," mom laughed. "I remember your father discussing that very subject with one of his gay friends at a party when you were only about two or three, and I'll never forget his friend's explanation."
"So what did he say?"
"He said that our minds are moulded and shaped by society -- school, parents, friends, culture, environment, etc. So we develop a code of behaviour according to the rules we're taught. That is what becomes our conscience, which dictates how we differentiate between right and wrong, good and evil. We become so convinced that our conscience is correct in all its findings -- its virtual infallibility -- that we become egotists. We don't stop to think that there might be another perspective which is equally or more relevant."
"So if I think some dude is a geek, I'm an egotist?"
"You're judging him according to your own set of standards, or conscience. Does that make you right?"
"So how do I know when I'm right?"
"You don't. Not really," Andy interrupted. "Being right is a personal thing. It's an opinion. When you get a majority of people with the same opinion, it's called a consensus. But even a consensus can be wrong. Galileo proved that when he was labeled a heretic and excommunicated from the Church after announcing that the earth was round, and that it revolved around the sun. He went against popular opinion."
"I think I'm more confused than ever," I laughed.
"Confusion is good. It forces you to look for answers."
"But what if the answers are wrong?"
"Wrong for whom? In your heart you'll know what is right for you. But always remember this: what's right for you, may not be right for someone else. There's always a temptation to inflict your opinions on other people as a sort of justification that you're right. But that's the kind of attitude that leads to dictatorships at worst, or to intolerance at best."
"How come you know all this sh… stuff?"
Andy cracked big time. "I guess I've been around."
"I never realized you were so f… wise!"
"Hey, it's all relative. If I were sitting with Einstein right now, he'd probably think I was a f… jerk."
"You almost cussed."
"So did you."
"Do you cuss?"
"I don't think there are too many people who've settled for "ouch" when they've stubbed their toe. But I tend not to use profanity for profanity's sake. That's more of a teen thing."
Greg and I glanced at each other. "A teen thing?"
"Hey, you guys spend your formative years being told when, how and what to do by everybody from teachers to parents to peers. So you rebel. It's perfectly natural."
"And then what?"
"Well, I guess as you get older, you run out of things to rebel against," he chuckled.
"So it's kinda dull being older?"
"No, son. Just different." Andy looked at mom who returned his smile, then placed her hand on his knee. "I'm the happiest man in the world right now. And at this moment I'm looking at two naked, healthy boys who have become brothers. And I know that you love each other like brothers. Maybe you're even closer than brothers born of the same parents. I kinda get that feeling about you two larrikins."
"I wasn't a larrikin before I met Daniel," Greg laughed.
It was sometime after eleven when there was a soft knock at my door. "Daniel? Can I come in?" Greg saw that I was almost asleep but turned on the light and sat on the side of my bed anyway. "That was pretty awesome stuff my dad was saying."
"Is that what you came in here to tell me?"
"Guess not. Can I be honest?"
"I'm kinda hanging to be blown," we both said in unison, then cracked up totally.
"Hey, Greg, seriously, I've been doing a lotta thinking lately and I'm gonna try to go a week without sex."
"Y'see? Even you think I'm some kinda sex maniac who can't last a fucking minute without it. So I'm gonna prove to myself that I can."
"A minute? OK," he laughed, then stood and dropped his shorts. "I saw you looking at my bod tonight, bro. I know you love it. Are you still gonna say no?"
Damn! A guy had to be crazy to say no to Greg. He was a living, walking boy god with skin that screamed to be licked all over, and a dick that was meant to be sucked dry. "I'm sorry, bro. I just wanna sort some stuff out in my head, and I need some space."
"OK, dude. But I hope you're not changing into something weird."
"I'm already weird."
"Yeah? Well, bro, if you're weird, I'll take weird any day. 'Night."
"'Night, bro. Sleep tight."
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Diary Part 120