Me and Caleb, we grew up together. I remember the day I met Caleb like it was yesterday. We was at church. I liked church then. It wasn't like later, when me and Caleb would sneak off and go down to the river. This was when we was real young and had to stay where they put us. Anyway, we was in Sunday school class like always (me, Johnny, Billy, Andy-Ray, and Clyde), when Miss Marlin come in with this wee little tow headed boy named Caleb. She said his family just moved into the Jacobsen farm down the road from ours and he would be a new boy in our class. Now, that seemed real strange to me, because no one had been in the Jacobsen place as long as I could remember and the windows was broke and the grass around there was real high and there weren't no cows or nothin' around there. I felt sorry for Caleb right off. I felt sorry for me, too, because, if he lived on the Jacobsen farm which was right near our place, I was going to have to be his friend and I didn't want to be friends with no one poor. I just knew I was going to have to figure out a way to get out of that. Me and Andy had been friends for a long time even though he lived pretty far away from me and I didn't see any reason to change friends in the middle of the stream.
I remember we went on with the lesson. It was one of my favorite ones about David and Goliath and the sling shot. I liked that one because I had a sling shot and I was pretty good with it, too. And I knew if they had sent me out there to fight Goliath that I could have done just what David did. Anyway, while Miss Jones was talking about the other stuff they always talked about when they talked about David which wasn't nearly as interesting as the sling shot part, I looked over at the new kid Caleb, and he looked back at me and give me such an evil eye and such a shit eatin' grin thorough all that hair that was down over his eyes, that I knew that, poor or not, we was going to be great friends after all. Andy would just have to start playing with Clyde. Clyde lived closer to Andy anyway.
I was right about Caleb. We became really good friends. He was little all right, but we was the same age, and for a wee little guy, he could do some amazing things. He could shimmy up a pole faster than anyone I ever saw. Matter of fact, he could shimmy up anything faster than anyone I ever saw. And run…those little legs just went flyin' down the road. I considered myself to be one of the fastest runners around, but even I had trouble keeping up with Caleb. I didn't like his hair though. It was always falling down over his eyes and he was always brushing it out of there and eventually it got to driving me crazy and I just couldn't stand it no more.
"Caleb, why don't you cut your hair?"
"It's always down into your eyes, and you're always brushin' it out of there. Just cut it and we won't have to spend nearly so much time with you stoppin' to brush it out of there."
And so he did that. The next day he had his Mama cut his hair out of his eyes and we had a lot more time for playin' and a lot less time for brushin'. And the funniest thing…I had never noticed it before, but Caleb had the bluest eyes I think I had ever seen. My Daddy and my brother Mick both had blue eyes, and my Grandma Sally, but none of them had blue eyes like Caleb. One day when we was playin', I just stopped and looked at them for the longest time and Caleb looked up and said, "What?", and I just said, "Oh, nothing", and we went back to playin'.
Oh, and that part about Caleb being poor? They weren't. They had plenty of money and fixed up that farm really nice and brought in lots of cows and stuff. My Daddy said that Caleb's Daddy, Mr. Whitfield, was makin' a real nice dairy farm over there and that we could sure use a real good dairy farm around these parts and that Mr. and Mrs. Whitfield was real good church goin' folks. As a matter of fact, my Daddy and Mama became really good friends with Mr. and Mrs. Whitfield, which suited me just fine, because it meant that Me and Caleb could play together just that much more.
It's funny how life is. I mean, you're livin' your life just fine and everything seems just perfect, and then, you're in Sunday School Class and this wee little tow-headed kid comes in and things are even more perfect than they were before. That's the way I thought about Caleb, and I think that's the way he thought about me. Oh, I mean we played with the other kids. We played with them a lot. But we were never as happy as when we was just together kind of doin' nothing or something or thinkin' about doin' something. We both liked to whittle, and we'd sit out under the big oak tree behind Caleb's house and spend hours whittlin'. I say we both liked to whittle, only the truth is that only one of us liked to whittle and the other one pretended to like to whittle, so he could sit with the other one and watch him whittle. I never seen such whittlin' in my entire life. Caleb could whittle a horse like nothin' you ever seen. I mean, it looked exactly like a little horse. Everyone noticed and everyone wanted Caleb to make them this or that, so Caleb spent a lot of time whittlin' and I spent a lot of time watchin' him whittle. I didn't mind though. It was fun being with my friend, and who cared if people thought my horses was pigs, or cats or somethin' else?
Caleb and I was friends forever, and, as we grew up, Caleb wasn't so wee little anymore. Mr. Whitfield was this great big tall man, and it looked like Caleb was tryin' to catch up to him as fast as he could. He just got taller and taller until, by the time we was in about the sixth grade, I was the wee little one and Caleb was the big one. Everyone said that Caleb was just tall for his age, but I told Caleb that he was gonna be Goliath one day and that I would probably have to kill him with my sling shot. He would just laugh and laugh when I said that, but I don't think it worried him none, because he just kept on growin' until, finally he was about 6'2". I only ever got to be 5'9". I always told Caleb that he was only my best friend because I needed someone to look up to.
I never thought much about bodies and stuff really. I mean, what was there to think about? Everyone had one. Only difference in 'em was that girls had tits and boys had peckers. That pretty much summed it up in my mind. I had sisters and brothers and I had seen both kinds. I was glad that I was the pecker havin' kind. I don't know what I would have done with tits, and I probably couldn't knit any more than I could whittle. Besides, my pecker gave me endless hours of pleasure. I just loved holdin' that little guy when I was a kid, and rubbin' him when I got older. I had to share a room with Mickey and Eddie, my big brothers, so there wasn't nearly as much rubbin' as I wanted there to be, but I got plenty in. Besides, when they thought I was asleep, I noticed that there was plenty of rubbin' goin' on under their covers, too.
Anyway, I'm talkin' about bodies and things because we all used to go skinny dippin' a lot in the summers. There was a place down to Apple Creek that had a rope swing and stuff, and we would spend lots of afternoons down there swimmin'…when our Daddies didn't have chores for us to do. That was our favorite thing to do in the summers. We had done that all of our lives, and so seein' each other's peckers was no big thing. Well, it was a big thing where Clyde was concerned. He had like the biggest pecker I think God had ever created. We was all amazed by it and made fun of him for it, only, we all really would have like to have had one just like it. Later on, when we was in high school, we called Clyde, "Clyde the Woman Pleaser", but as far as I know, none of us ever let the girls find out why we called him that. Patty Petit knew, but not because any of us ever told her.
Anyway, there was this one day that was different. We was down at the creek swimmin' like always and Caleb was standin' up on the big rock gettin' ready to dive in. The sun was shinin' on him and his body was wet and he had his arms above his head gettin' ready to dive, and my pecker sprang a boner. I didn't understand that exactly. I had seen Caleb naked lots of times before. Heck, I had touched his pecker before and he had touched mine. We had even watched each other beat off a time or two. But this was different. I had never just sprung a boner lookin' at him before. I remember thinkin' that he was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, and then divin' into the creek as fast as I could so the water would shrink my boner. But I was changed some way that day, and I wasn't sure just how. I felt the same towards Caleb after that, but different too. When I was around him after that, my body felt kind of warm and glowy and I kind of liked being close to him. We was still friends like we was before, and I could tell nothin' had changed for Caleb, but I got to pretendin' a lot. I got to actin' the way it used to be, and, at the same time, pushin' aside the way it was now. Now, when I whacked off, nothin' worked but to see Caleb that day on that rock getting' ready to dive into the creek. I was a goddamn fag.
Well, I wasn't goin' to tell anyone about it, but everyone noticed that something was different about me. I had gone from this really funny and fun to be around person, to this really quiet and leave me alone person. The divin' thing had happened the summer of our sophomore year, and I jut didn't know how I was goin' to make it through the rest of high school. I finally figured out that I had probably loved Caleb since that day he walked into Sunday School class, but didn't know that because I was a little kid. And that was why I liked to sit beside him when he whittled and watch him brush the hair out of his eyes and be close to him when he spent the night. My Mama started sayin', "Jeb, what is the matter with you, honey. Is there somethin' I can do?" And I would hear Mama and Daddy talkin' and one of them sayin', "I don't know, Mary. I don't know what's the matter. If he won't talk about it, there's nothing much we can do." And I knew that everyone knew, and I knew that everyone didn't know why, and I was glad that they didn't know why…especially Caleb.
Caleb stayed my friend. I wanted him to go away. I needed him to go away…far, far away…but he just kept hangin' around. I could tell he was worried about me, and that made everything worse. How awful is it to be in love with someone you can never love and who can never love you and they just won't go away? Every time I saw him I wanted to cry. And every time I saw him, he was nicer to me than he was the last time I saw him.
"Jeb, what the hell is goin' on?
"What do you mean, Cabe?"
"You know what I mean. One day you was Jeb, and the next day you was someone else. Where did you go, Jeb, and how can I get you to come back?"
"You can't, Cabe. You just got to move on. I ain't never comin' back. You got to find some new friends and have some fun."
"You're my friend, Jeb. You been my friend since I was four years old. How'm I supposed to make a new one at this late date?"
"You got other friends."
"You know what I mean. Not like you, Jeb. We been blood brothers forever. I want to help whatever it is that's happened inside you."
"You can't, Cabe. Now go away and have some fun."
"You're my brother, Jeb, and I love you."
I wish he hadn't ever said that, 'cause I just cried and cried and cried after that. He didn't see me, 'cause he'd already gone. What was I goin' to do? That was the end of our junior year and I talked my Daddy into lettin' me go up to Pennsylvania to work on my Uncle Jeb's farm for the summer that year. I was named after Uncle Jeb, and he'd always taken a special liking to me because of that. It was good for me to do that. There were days up there in Pennsylvania that I actually forgot about everything and had a good time. I actually laughed and played around and stuff. I never forgot about Caleb, but the pain wasn't so bad when I didn't have to see him every day. I got to thinkin' that just maybe I would be all right after we graduated and split up and all. I would get married and buy a farm and have a brood of kids and get old and die and never think about Caleb again.
Senior year was hard, but not near has hard as our junior year had been. Caleb had taken my advice and found some other friends. I'd see him with them, laughing and all, and I even surprised myself at how glad I was that he was havin' a good time. He started seein' Amy Welch, and I was even happy about that. I liked Amy, and she'd make him a good wife if he wanted her. He tried to stay close with me. He would always come and talk to me at lunch time, and he would stop by the house on week ends to see if I wanted to do this or that with him. He never gave up on me. Sometimes I wanted to yell, "Damnit, Cabe, why don't you just go away and stay away from me?" But I just couldn't force myself to say it. As much as I didn't want to be around him, I did. And any little time I could see or talk to him was as much pleasure, kind of, as it was pain. Just one more year and then this would all be behind me.
Finally, it was the night of our graduation. Caleb was the valedictorian of our class. He was real smart. And I was right behind him…I was second. I was real smart, too. I forgot to tell you that. I guess our being smart really didn't have anything to do with anything…but we were. Anyway, while he was giving his speech, I got to look at him, and listen to him, and to love him for one last time. Amy was sittin' beside me and leaned over and handed me her handkerchief to wipe my tears with. That was funny, because I didn't know I was crying. Other people, mostly girls, were crying too, so I knew nobody would really know why. They would think I was just sad because it was our graduation. What I really wanted to do was to run out of there and find a place and just sit and cry my eyes out, but I knew I couldn't do that. My speech was next and I had to get hold of myself and give it. I did that and everyone said afterward that my speech was really good, but to me everything was just a big whirl that night. Daddy and Mama had a party for me at the house with all the relatives and such, and that made it easier for me because I had to smile and be pleasant and be grateful for all of the nice graduation presents. I was going to Morehead State on a scholarship the next year and everyone thought that was wonderful. Caleb was going to Tennessee, and I thought that might be just far away to make everything all right.
I was just falling asleep, when a rock hit the window. I slept alone now that Mickey and Eddie were gone. Who in the world? I walked over to the window and looked out, and there stood Caleb, his beautiful face looking up at me in the moonlight.
"What the hell you want, Caleb?"
"I want you to come out and talk to me."
"I ain't got nothin' to say to you."
"Ah, Jeb, come on out. It's our graduation night. We need to talk."
"I took her home. Jeb, we really need to talk. Please come out here and talk to me."
I closed the window and went back to bed. There was no way I was going out there. There was no way I could go out there. I pulled the covers up over my head and started to cry again. I was really tired of crying and couldn't wait to get to Morehead so I could get busy studying and stop this stupid crying. There was a knock at my door.
"I think you should go talk to him."
"Please, Jeb. Caleb has been so worried about you. The least you can do is go say good-bye."
"Caleb is leavin' Sunday, after church, for Memphis. He's goin' to spend the summer there workin' in his grandfather's store."
Caleb…leaving? This was it. Now I really started to cry. This was it. My life was over. I might as well just lay here and die.
"Don't you think you should say good-bye?"
"No, Mama, I don't."
"Well, I do."
And with that, the door opened, and in walked Caleb. I took one look at him and started to cry like a little baby. I just couldn't stop. Nothing mattered to me anymore. Caleb was leaving. I would never see him again. I couldn't speak. I couldn't move. All I could do was cry. Mama and Caleb looked at each other. Mama looked so sad, like she didn't know what to do. She gave Caleb a kiss on the cheek and left, closing the door behind her. Caleb didn't do anything for awhile. He just stood there and looked at me, like he was tryin' to figure out just what to do. Then he sat down on the edge of the bed and took my head in his hands and just held it. I didn't think it was possible, but I started crying even more. I tried not to, but the more I tried to stop, the worse it got. And then Caleb kissed me. Slowly and tenderly he leaned down and kissed me on the lips. It was a long kiss…a soft kiss…a wonderful kiss. I stopped crying and just looked up at him for the longest time. I guess I was askin' him just what was goin' on here? He answered me by kissin' me first on one eye and then on the other.
Then, without sayin' a word, he got up from the bed and walked over and stood about five feet from it. He never took his eyes off of me, nor did I take mine from his. He didn't smile exactly, but the way his eyes and mouth worked together I guess amounted to a little smile. At least, I felt warm like he was smilin' at me. And then he started to undress himself. It didn't seem unnatural to me at all…him undressin' right there in front of me. Heck we'd been naked together hundreds of times when we was kids. But this one was different. This one made my dick hard. This one made my heart beat faster. Cabe and I were goin' to have sex together. I knew that now, and I didn't know if I could stand it or not.
He never changed expression while he unbuttoned his clean white shirt, the one he had worn at graduation. Then, he let it drop to the floor and started to take off his undershirt. I started to get out of bed and go over to him, but he motioned for me to stay where I was. He took off his undershirt and I remember thinkin' that God must have filled my room with light because there was a glow that was comin' off of Cabe like nothin' I ever saw before. His skin was gold and it seemed to light up the whole room. I wanted to touch him so bad I thought I'd die, but I knew he wanted me to stay where I was, so I did. Then he bent over and took off his shoes and socks.
When he pulled off his belt and started to unbutton his pants I like to fainted. Here he was, the same ole Caleb that I'd seen naked thousands of times and all of a sudden, I just couldn't wait until he got his pants off so I could see his dick. That didn't make any sense to me, but then, nothin' was makin' any sense to me right at that moment. The only thing thinkin' was my pecker and you might say it had a one track mind. My brain was just screamin', "Jesus, Caleb, get those pants off. I can't take this much longer!" But, of course nothin' was comin' out. The room was completely silent except for my breathin' which was getting' faster and faster and louder and louder.
Caleb dropped his pants and his underwear to the floor at the same time, and there he was…standin' there naked…the most beautiful thing that ever walked the earth.
"God, Caleb, you're the most beautiful thing I ever saw."
Caleb just smiled. He motioned for me to get out of bed then. I sleep in the raw, so I wouldn't be doin' any of that unbuttonin' and droppin' stuff…I was ready. My pecker was hard and drippin' to beat the band. I started to run over to him and wrap my arms around him and kiss him, but that's not what he wanted. I could tell he wanted this to be all slow and romantic like, and, if that's what he wanted, that's what he was gonna get. I walked to him slowly, lookin' him right in the eyes, and, I couldn't believe it…there was tears runnin' down his cheeks. And there it was…. Caleb loved me just like I loved him!
That was it. I didn't care if we ever had sex after that happened. I just sat down on the floor right then and started cryin' again. The fact that Caleb loved me too just did me in. I was a basket case all over again. I heard Caleb laugh a real soft laugh and felt him kneel down beside me. He took my face in his hands again and kissed me again, only this time his tongue went in my mouth.
"Holy shit, Caleb. Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit."
And I laid back and he laid on top of me and we kissed and kissed and kissed until we couldn't kiss any more. And then Cabe blew me. He sucked my dick. Only it wasn't like I thought it would be. Oh, it felt like I thought it would. I thought I would die three or four times. But, it was different because I loved Caleb and he loved me and it was more than some guy's mouth on another guy's dick. Cabe was makin' love to me. I can't describe the feelin' exactly, but if you've felt it, you know what I mean.
And then it was my turn. Caleb laid back on the floor and pulled me on top of him. He was so warm and soft under me. Not real soft, you understand. Caleb is real hard. But his skin was so warm and nice, I just rubbed my dick around it for awhile. I especially liked it when our dicks rubbed together. And then I sucked him. Suckin' that dick was unbelievable. I was tastin' Caleb, and pullin' that part of him right inside me. And I was lickin' his balls and tastin' them, too, and makin' him squirm and moan and I was cryin' the whole time I was doin' it. It was the strangest feelin' to be doin' all that stuff and cryin' at the same time.
Then we kissed some more…a long time…and held on to each other like we would never let each other go…ever.
And then Cabe reached down and took my dick in his hand and started to jack me off, and at the same time, he took my hand and put it on his dick and I started to jack him off. And we got just as close to each other as we could, and we rubbed and we kissed and we beat and we beat and we got faster and faster and faster, and I said, "Caleb I love you. I always have and I always will." And then we shot off at almost exactly the same time, and then we just held on to each other for dear life for about an hour. I'll never forget how all that felt…me and Caleb holdin' on like that. And then he said it.
"We can never do this again."
"We can never do this again, Jeb."
"But I love you, Caleb, and you love me. We always have, haven't we? Tell me that you love me, Caleb. You gotta tell me that you love me."
And then he grabbed me and held me again.
"Yeah, Jeb, I love you, but we can't live like this. No one can live like this."
"Like what, Cabe?"
"Like what we just did. Two men…."
"You mean suckin' and stuff?"
And I thought about it for a second.
"Well, yes we can, Cabe. We can go away somewhere where no one knows us. Then we can. We can pretend to be brothers or something'. No one has to know."
"No, Jeb, I can't."
And then I knew what Cabe was sayin'. This was "hello", and "I love you" and "good-bye" all at the same time. And I understood it all, too. To have each other we'd have to give up everything else and Caleb wasn't gonna do that. God, that made me hurt inside. It was almost worse than not thinkin' he loved me…knowin' that he did, but wouldn't. No, I think it was worse. I coulda got over the first one. I would never get over this.
"You got your mind made up, Caleb?"
"Yeah, I guess so."
"You kiss me one more time, then?"
"Make it a good one, Caleb, 'cause this one's gotta last me the rest of my life."
And we kissed and we cried and we held and Caleb got up and got dressed and walked out the door. I didn't leave my room the next day. I couldn't. Finally, somethin' inside me decided that it didn't want to lay there any longer, so I got up out of there and went down stairs.
"You feelin' better now, Jeb?"
"You goin' to church this morning?"
"I guess so, Mama."
"Good. They're givin' out the senior Bibles this morning. I wouldn't want you to miss that."
"You're daddy and I will be so proud."
And we got our BIBLES at church that Sunday after graduation. Caleb went to Memphis that afternoon. That fall he went to Tennessee and majored in agriculture and after he graduated, came back home to run his daddy's farm. He married Amy and they had a bunch of kids and lived happily ever after, I guess. At least they were successful. Caleb turned that place into one of the biggest dairy farms in Kentucky. I went on to the Morehead and ended up majorin' in political science for Pete's sake. I don't know why exactly, 'cause you can't do nothin' with a degree in political science. Well, you can and I did. I taught the stuff for years. We'd see each other at homecomings and such. We'd smile and shake hands and I'd kiss Amy and play with his kids, but we'd both know. There was a sadness we shared underneath it all…and a love. I never stopped lovin' Cabe and I know he never stopped lovin' me. Part of me understood all of that, but part of me couldn't quite ever get a hold on it.
And when Caleb died, after the funeral, when everyone else had gone back to the church to eat, I went back to the cemetery with my rose and I laid it carefully on his grave. And then I sat down on the ground right beside that grave, and together, me and Caleb, we had ourselves one last cry.
The Badpuppy.com model in these pictures is Martin Kaspar
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