After showering, and washing my shorts, I wandered though the house, past the kitchen where Ned was fixing lunch, then into the yard where I hung the towel and shorts to dry.
"Oh!" he said from the back door. "You're uh… not wearing any clothes."
"They'll be dry in an hour… besides, my shorts were beginning to look like they'd been in a fight with my fucking dog… and smelled even worse."
"Would you like to eat inside or out? It's cooler in the kitchen. I've made some chicken and salad sandwiches… thankfully before I saw you like… that."
"You got another towel? I can wrap it around my waist."
"Waist? Oh! That waist!" Ned's bulging green eyes were almost on springs as he eyed my crotch. "Uh, no… I mean, it's not a problem. My goodness! You certainly weren't at the wrong end of the queue, Daniel."
"Never mind." The old dude turned to go back through the door, but instead collided with the architrave. He gave me a silly grin, then asked me to follow him into the kitchen. "I made three for you, and one for me. I'm sure you're starving. I eat like a sparrow… drink like a fish, though. Where would you like to sit?"
I heaved my bare butt onto the kitchen bench next to the plate of sandwiches, and dangled my legs over the side. "This'll do."
"Fine. Uh… no problem at all." The poor dude was as nervous as all fucking hell, and hardly knew which way to look. For me, it was way cool fun to freak him out. "Ceer or boke? Coke! Beer or Coke?"
"Coke, thanks. Mmmm, you make wicked sandwiches." I took another bite, chewed and swallowed. "So what do you do with your stories?"
"Bleh! This is terrible!" Ned spat a mouthful of Coke into the sink. "How do you drink that stuff?"
"That was supposed to be my drink," I cracked. "Are you always this nervous?"
"Your drink?" He studied the can. "Of course! How silly of me. Nervous? Why no. I'm usually very calm… cool as a cucumber. I must be having an off day or something."
"You sure you don't want me to wear a towel?"
"Towel? No, no, no! Don't be silly. You're my guest… well, my gardener… guest gardener… whatever. I want you to feel comfortable."
"So what do you do with the stories?" I asked as he sat at the kitchen table and took a bite of his sandwich.
"I have a web site."
"Cool! Can I see it?"
"It's adults only."
"So how come you write about teens? By the way, you don't need to keep looking at your sandwich."
"Sorry. I hadn't realized… no, that's a lie. It's just that… well, you… I mean, it's a little disconcerting."
"Hey, why don't I get a towel from the bathroom… I'll be back in a sec."
"No, no, no, no, no! I'm alright. Honest. And you're fine. Just fine. Relax. I'm relaxed. Well, I'm working at it. What was the question? Teens? Oh, yes… teens. Well, they're outrageous. Actually, you remind me of the kind of characters I write about."
"What I mean is, how come it's an adult site, and you write about teens? Why can't teens read your stuff?"
Ned's eyes had wandered down to my blonde pubes and semi again before he realized that he was gawking. "Huh? Oh, yes… well, that's the incongruity of the law, isn't it. Teens are not allowed to read about the very things they do."
"How do you know what they do?"
"As absurd as it may seem, Daniel, I didn’t emerge from my mother's womb looking like this. I was once a teen, too, y'know. Think of me as an ex-teen. Very ex. Besides, I chat to a few teens on the net, and I have a pretty fair idea of what's going on."
"When I read those couple of paragraphs off your screen, I noticed a lotta cussing. But you haven't cussed since I've been here."
"I haven't stubbed my toe yet. Actually, I don't cuss a lot, but my characters do. Do you?"
"All the fucking time," I grinned. "All the guys do. But I don't cuss in front of my mom… or my step dad."
"Well, you can speak freely here… think of it as research… my research."
"But you said you were a teen once. How come you need research?"
"Things were a lot different back then… and no dinosaur jokes, please. They needn't have been different, but they were for me… at least, they were when I was your age. I had plenty of opportunities to… well, to live the kind of lifestyle you do, and my characters do, but I was screwed up about right and wrong, religion, family and social pressures… whatever. But let's not talk about that. There's no point in dwelling on the past, or on things that can't be changed."
"Is that why you write the stories?"
"To change the past? In a way, I suppose. But I write mainly to dispel the myths, the preconceptions, the prejudices, the phobias… the crap, in other words. But I also try to keep it entertaining."
Ned was getting so engrossed in answering my questions, that I began to wonder if he was still conscious of the fact that I was sitting naked on his kitchen bench. To test him, I raised one knee, and rested my heel on the edge of the bench to expose my asshole.
"Oh, my God!"
"Uh, nothing. I need another drink… a scotch. Anything for you?"
"I need to get back to work."
"Fuck the work."
"So I did." He grabbed a bottle of scotch from the top of the fridge, poured half a glass, then took a swig. "Oh, yes, that's better! Whew!" Then he sat down again. "About the work… just do what you feel like doing. Besides, you might finish it too soon. I'm enjoying your company. I'll rig up the hose outside so you can cool off from time to time. You can work naked if you like… it'll save having to wash your shorts again. Oh! Did you choose a Coke or a beer?"
"I didn't. But I'll have a beer… thanks. I'll get it."
"No, no, no, no, no! You're my guest! Stay where you are. Keep your foot on the… I mean, don't move. I'll get it. No trouble at all."
It was pretty hard trying to keep a straight face while this guy was carrying on like some… some what? "You said you write about teens 'cause they're outrageous," I said as he popped the can of beer, and handed it to me. "Is that all?"
"No. That's not all." He poured another half-glass of scotch, then resumed his seat at the table. "Hey, that reminds me of a joke. A guy was feeling a bit off color, so he went to his doc who asked him if he drank alcohol. "Never touch the stuff." So the doc asked him if he smoked. "No way! Smoking is bad for you." Then the doc asked him if he had sex. "Sex? No way! Sex is a sin!" The doc stroked his chin for a moment, then said, "I think I know what's wrong with you. Your halo's too tight."
"Hey, that's a pretty neat joke," I chuckled. "But you didn't answer my question."
"I'm trying to avoid it."
Ned took another swig of scotch, placed his glass on the table, then used his thumb and middle finger to turn the glass in circles while he studied it. "What do you think of yourself?"
He raised his eyes to mine. "Are you proud, cocky, confident, arrogant, adventurous, daring?"
"I'm just a regular guy."
"Yeah, right. And I'm Napoleon. There's a magic about teens that seems to vanish when they reach so-called adulthood. Well, at least that's the way I see it. I guess I'm guilty of idealizing teens… perhaps I'm seeing them as I would prefer to, rather than as they really are. I mean, when I look at you… oh, my God!"
"Nothing. What was I saying?"
"When you look at me."
"Oh, yes… Jesus." He dragged his eyes away from my semi, which was getting pretty hard, then took another swig. "Anyway, I'm not sure this is gonna make any sense, Daniel, but when I write my stories, in a way I'm like a science fiction writer… I write about situations and places about which I have little or no personal experience… and probably never will have… scratch probably."
"From what I saw on the screen, you know a fucking helluva lot about sex."
"A sci-fi writer knows a helluva lot about space. It doesn't mean that he's been there."
"So how come you're such an expert? I mean, about sex?"
"Who is the greater expert on chocolate cake? The guy who eats it whenever he feels like it? Or the guy who's eaten it maybe once or twice in his life, and never will again?"
"You've only had sex once or twice?"
"Depends on what kind of sex you're talking about… one night stands, or the real thing. Anyway, this isn't the sort of convo I should be having with a young fella like yourself."
"Yes it is! Hey, I don't get to talk to… well, older guys. Older guys don't talk like you do… well, none that I know. It's kinda like you still think like a teen."
"I've never let it go… probably because I had so much unfinished business to attend to."
"And that's why you write the stories?"
"Partly… and partly because I like to entertain people, including myself."
"Can I ask you something personal?"
"Are you pissed that things weren't so good when you were a teen?"
"Sometimes I feel like an alien… a robot living amongst humans. I write about teens like you, living an idyllic life, and occasionally I get a little depressed about having missed out on so much… especially when guys like you take so much for granted. But I do my best to ignore the things I can't change, such as the past, and I get on with my life. Y'see, Daniel, each of us has the opportunity to make a difference… not just to our own lives, but, more importantly, to the lives of others. And we can only do that if we let go of the past, and focus on what's happening now. Ultimately, it's what you do for others that comes back to you tenfold."
"I think I know what you mean… me and my buds are like that… we all kinda learn from each other, as well as lean on each other."
"I'm sure you do, and that's the way it should be. Anyway, I suppose you'd better stop teasing the hell outa me, and get back to work."
"You knew I was teasing?"
Ned finally found the garden hose buried beneath a mountain of overgrowth, hooked it up to the tap, then hung the nozzle over a branch of a tree. "There you go! Shower when ever you feel like it. Meantime, I'd better get back to my story."
"What's it about?"
"A naked gardener?"
"Yep," he grinned.
"Oh, and hey, I'm sorry about teasing you."
"Don't be. It's a real talent, son. Talent is to be used, and shared. Don't ever forget that."
Copyright © 2000 All rights reserved. mrbstories
Diary Part 135