Some people have asked to read more...here's another chapter from the book...enjoy
Henry and Me
High School was…High School. Most people look at it is as a coming of age period. The problem for me was that I had already cum…several times and not by my own hand. The experiences in California had advanced me sexually beyond many kids my age and the things that were of interest to the people I was meeting were worlds away from where I felt I was headed. I didn’t feel I fit in right away and the few friends I had made in the short time I’d been there so far were hopelessly lost adolescents and the girls were indifferent to a, somewhat, geeky looking stranger.
Fortunately I met (or re-met) Jill. Her dad had been my grandparent’s landscaper while he was going to college to get his teaching degree. He would bring her along when he knew my brother, sister and I were going to be there and we’d play games or hang out in the tree house in the backyard while he worked. Once we moved to California I don’t remember seeing her when we’d come back for visits during the summers over the next five or six years.
Jill and I had a first period class together. I didn’t recognize her but thought she was cute and she didn’t have a clue as to who I was but we made eye contact that first morning that seemed familiar. I don’t think either of us could tell you why but when we saw each other and had barely sat down next to one another we started behaving like old friends and ended up talking a lot each morning at school for the first few days of the beginning of the year. There was an immediate connection and I felt like I’d known her my whole life which was bugging the hell out of me in the back of my mind. It wasn’t until I went with her after class one day to drop something off to her dad that I realized who she was and that he
was one of my teachers. It still
took a little more talking before the light went on in my head as to who he was and why I knew him. He thought it was funny…I was mortified.
Even so, I sensed she was a kindred spirit and quickly discovered over the remainder of that day her interests were very similar to mine and I wasn’t in a hurry to end what seemed to be a potentially interesting relationship over who her dad was. We liked the same movies, music, books, food, art and, eventually, the same curiosity about sex.
One afternoon while her parents were gone we were in her room having a very serious discussion about Iron Butterfly with “Inna Gadda Da Vida” pounding out of her phonograph while the smoke from a stick of Sandalwood incense floated around us. I was sitting on the edge of the bed watching her semi-dance around the room to the music while she talked. Then, without any notice, she walked over and gave me a kiss. That wasn’t really anything new at this point. We’d been kissing so much since day one our lips were raw most of the time but this time seemed different. More intimate. I don’t know what possessed me to do it but as she stepped closer I reached up under her brown and red checked mini dress and grabbed her ass. She didn’t resist. Instead she started breathing harder, kissing me harder so I slid my hands inside her panties…still no resistance. I grabbed her panties and started sliding them down her legs. She started shaking but just held onto me tighter and continued to kiss me. I hadn’t felt that since several months earlier when I first saw and touched my Jr. High girlfriend naked for the first time so I felt back in familiar territory for the moment. As her panties hit the floor she shuddered then moved to get onto the bed. There was no sense of shyness about her. She lay down with her legs spread slightly apart making no attempt to hide her pussy from me while I sat next to her and just looked at me with a never before seen look of anticipation on her face as I started working a finger in and around her pussy, stroking what little hair she had there. Something I had done many times before at that point with other girls…albeit clumsily. Then she grabbed my hand and guided it where she wanted me to touch her and at what speed and pressure. Just then the song winds out of a solo and back into a more intense version of the first few bars of the song. The next thing I know she has a death grip on my wrist and she’s bouncing all over the bed like she’s having a seizure before the song crashes to the end with her going completely still and hardly breathing as she lets go of her grip on my wrist. I sat there in shock not knowing what to do while I hear the record needle click along before the arm lifts up and over then shutting the player off with a very long silent moment following it. Before I could panic she sits up like a rocket and gives me a big passionate kiss before breathlessly exclaiming “Man, that was fantastic!” and flops back on the bed. A moment later we hear the backdoor close as I’m picking her panties up off the floor. She quickly grabs them from me and stuffs them behind her just as we hear a knock on the door and her mom sticks her head in and asks “Is everything alright?”
“Yeah Mom we’re fine.” And the door closes leaving both of us in a fit of giggles. The added excitement of nearly getting caught quickly became the first area we explored and sought out new and interesting ways to push that envelope. The world became our playground…literally. Nothing was too out of bounds to try.
One afternoon, with Richie Havens singing “Motherless Child” on the radio, we took the next step and while she lay on the bed in her dress minus her panties I went down on her. I’ll admit right now I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but I more than made up for that fact in earnest effort and was rewarded with my first blowjob from her while updates from the concert in a place called Woodstock were being broadcast between the songs that day. My cock had barely passed her lips and touched her tongue when Robert Plants voice began screaming over the radio as the beat pounded along with the few thrusts it took to cum. You would have had to use a stopwatch to time how long it took me to cum. Before we had barely started it was over, but I didn’t care! It was a blowjob! At least by now I knew enough to be proud about such things. I came in her mouth and all over her face. She looked amazing even though the look on her face was saying she wasn’t sure she liked that part just yet. (Eventually she loved it)
And so things progressed on into the fall, bringing an end to an adventurous summer. We both improved our sexual skills and experiences on a daily basis. I learned to really enjoy the moistness of her mouth around my cock and that I loved the taste of her pussy juices.
One evening my parents were throwing another summer party (which they did quite frequently back then). Jill and I snuck out to the shed in the backyard with half a bottle of wine we stole from the party, a blanket, and my transistor radio. That night, with Richie Havens, once again, singing “Motherless Child” from the Woodstock Soundtrack album way playing on the radio. An album I bought the day it hit the shelves almost as much for the photos as the music that showed us thousands of people frolicking in the mud naked on the cover, we lost our virginity.
My cock had entered uncharted territory. With a little fumbling, and more than one missed shot, I finally entered NIRVANA. Her legs shot open from the initial pain and loss of her “cherry” but she held on tight and the passion swelled to new heights in both of us. We made so much noise my dad came out to see what was going on and we almost got caught. If it hadn’t been for the timely entry of a cat from behind the shed we would have surely been caught, literally, with our pants down. There we were crouched down in the shed with our bare butts showing peering through a crack in the shed door hoping he’d just go back in…which he did. How appropriate it was at that moment we were hearing Crosby, Stills and Nash just then. They had just taken the stage and were talking to the audience trying to get the courage to play when David Crosby blurts out “I don’t know about you…but we’re scared shitless up here!” (The radio bleeped that part but we knew the words by heart and broke out laughing.) We sat there quietly holding each other afterwards and drank the wine and talked about Woodstock more to give us something to talk about other than what we had just done. That was an awkward conversation best left for another day at that moment. And POOF…in an instant our childhood was gone. Neither of us had any regrets, but we were innocent no more.
We would break up a short time later. Our lives would eventually go in separate directions after college, but we would run into each other now and then over the years after that. She looked even more beautiful than when we were in school. Jill married a man of great wealth and it showed. We’d always be glad to see one another and promise to call and catch up, but we never did. Then she would walk away alone.
I saw the movie Woodstock when it came out. I saw all of the people dancing naked in the rain and mud getting high, making love. I saw Richie Havens take the stage alone with just his guitar to confront four hundred thousand people and WOW them with his songs. I sat there in the dark and thought about Jill and what she and I had experienced together that summer and fall and felt a kindred spirit to those people in the mud. I was too young to be there, but on the other side of the country I had had my own festival of awakening.
The other night my wife and I were at a party drinking and playing the night away with old and new friends/ playmates. While my wife was off in a room occupied by several women and her who were doing their damndest to see who could make whom cum the hardest while being cheered on by various husbands and boyfriends. I was getting to know a rather attractive, leggy, woman in a cute little school girl skirt better in a hallway just outside an empty bedroom. Our conversation was quickly progressing from less talking to more playing which prompted me to move her from the wall she was leaning on to a vacant bed through the door behind me. Our hands began to explore each other’s bodies as we un-did, un-zipped, and un-hooked clothing in record speed while attempting to gracefully free ourselves of the confines of our attire. My fingers found the beginning of her inner thigh just above her knee and they began a long slow caress up the length of her thigh to her pussy. I could feel the heat between her legs intensifying as my fingers inched slowly closer. Suddenly her back arched off of the bed and a quick gasp escaped her mouth. I began to hear the opening bass and organ refrain of “Inna Gadda Da Vida” echoing in my head as her body began to quiver and her breathing became harder. Thirty-five years start flying away and the fifteen year old starts to return by the time I’m sliding my cock inside her. The thrusts, the movement, the experience is the man I am today, but the passion and enthusiasm is very much the boy
of my youth. “Whole Lotta Love” is now playing in my head and the rhythm of my motion matching the beat in my head. Before long we both begin to cum hard and collapsed in a heap on the bed sweating and breathing heavily. We untangle ourselves from each other and just lay there for a moment giving each other kisses and “thank-you’s” before I begin to jump up off the bed and go in search of a drink and my wife. Her husband magically appears through the door just as I’m getting up and slides on to the bed next to her and quietly holds her while she continues to gain her composure once more. “It looks like you two had a good time.” He says to her.
“Fabulous!” she gasps out, still trying to catch her breath as she did so.
I exit the bedroom and down the hall towards the kitchen and the bar while the thoughts that had accompanied me moments earlier were not lost to me in any way. Our host (a fellow photographer) has framed photos he took of various rock stars performing in concerts. The visual imagery seems very appropriate at the moment and validates my thoughts. I stop at a photo of Jerry Garcia as I found myself quoting from a Grateful Dead song…”what a long, strange trip it’s been.” I thought about how all of this had begun for me and I gave Jill, that girlfriend of the past, a silent toast.
A particular summer of love, the passions of youth and great music largely shaped the beginning of who and what I am today. The time was golden as were the experiences. For all of the experiences I have had since. For all of the love and happiness I have now with my wife, family and friends, those moments have never lost their luster. They have been built upon, and always will be special, but never replaced.
Our experimentation had gone on for about a year as we learned every possible pleasurable way (and place) we could find to get each other off. Then Jill and I broke up. No fanfare, no broken hearts, just a realization we’d gone as far as we could at the time. We both felt it was time to learn more from other people and we couldn’t see how we could do that together. From time to time after that until college we would remain somewhat close and “touch base” with each other to see what we had learned but we never had a full time relationship together again.
(Jill died of cancer a few years back. I didn’t know that until recently. The first thing I did was find a copy of the Woodstock soundtrack and put on “Motherless Child”…)
My sophomore year in high school started off with a resounding THUD. I was bored from day one. I couldn’t relate to the friends I had made the year before. My relationship with Jill was winding down and the pool of potential girlfriends didn’t do a thing for me. As the school year started I was getting this ever growing feeling of being a “stranger in a strange land” to borrow the title of a book we would end up reading that year that seemed almost all the more apropos after reading it.
Fall was fast approaching and I knew things were going to change for me yet again, it always seemed to happen that time of year for me…I just couldn’t imagine how.
I had a new young English teacher who was making English fun for the first time and I was actually looking forward to his class every day. We were reading serious authors and serious books from Orwell, Bradbury, Bellows, Thurber and more. Gone were the lame assed pre-teen books and the cutesy Kipling stories of the past few years. We had discussions on what the authors thought or might have thought and he wanted us to pick a book, read it and write about it but not like the typical book report. He wanted us to write about what we
thought about it, what we liked or didn’t like about it, what we thought the author was trying to say. I was excited…and stumped. I had no idea what I wanted to read or write about.
I had taken a part time job as a grocery bagger at a nearby store. Next door was a five and dime I liked to hang out in because of Bambi. Bambi was a year or so older than I was and went to a different school but she was the textbook version of the Playboy centerfold of that era. Blonde, curvy, big boobed, beautiful and… she liked me.
So I’d hang out and talk to her from time to time. She was worldly compared to what I, and most everyone I went to school with, was at that point. Her last boyfriend was a professional baseball player who took her all sorts of places and hip parties and she wasn’t at all bashful about talking about her exploits so it was always entertaining to listen to her. She would eventually be my date to the prom the next year because none of the girls I knew interested me as much as she did even though we weren’t dating. (She made the sixteenth hole at the Country Club quite a memorable place that night with grass stained knees for several days afterwards as a souvenir.)
That afternoon I’m looking through the circular racks of paperbacks while we were talking desperately trying to come up with a book to read when a title hits me so hard it almost knocks me over “Tropic of Cancer” by Henry Miller. I couldn’t grab it off the rack fast enough. I quickly said “I gotta go” to Bambi, dropped the buck and a quarter on the counter jumped on my bike and raced home leaving her mid-sentence about one of her exploits. I read the entire book twice in two days, had the outline for my report, notes, footnotes and quotations, the whole thing by the following Wednesday…which was a good thing because my dad found the book and took it away from me (I found it still in the top drawer of his dresser several years later, very well read).
I vividly remember the day I turned the report in and watching my teacher as he looked through the reports. When he saw mine his eyes nearly popped out of his head and his jaw crashed to the desk. When he finally gained his composure he signaled for me to come to his desk. Once I got there he leans over and whispers “Are you sure you want to use this as your report?” I emphatically said “Yes!” and he suggested we talk after class. When we talked he said during my oral discussion I couldn’t use any profanity and should refrain from any detailed descriptions of the sex acts or any references to the sex acts at all. That not only told me he’s already read the book but that he was willing to see what I’d do with it without getting either of us in trouble. I promised I would do what he asked.
I kept my word. I talked about all the usual bullshit stuff like how it took me away to another time and place I had only seen pictures of and how raw and honest it was to me. I loved his use of free association and his “everyman” language instead of lofty prose which amazed my teacher and confused my classmates. Most all of whom went out and got the book later when I mentioned it had been involved in an obscenity trial during my report which created a small disturbance. (Some parents who found their kids with the book were outraged and made some noise which caused my teacher and the school to apologize and say they wouldn’t let that happen again and the whole issue quickly went away. Here, nearly forty years later, the teacher would have been fired, possibly the principal too and I would have been on the six o’clock news in a “How could this have happened?” segment.) I found myself the most popular guy in school for a while. I was “That guy with the book report”.
Needless to say I got an A on the report and the teacher became an unexpectedly lifelong friend. He even ended up teaching two of my children many years later.
One of the last questions my teacher asked during my report was “Did you like the book?” My answer was “Yes and No…I liked it overall but something about it disturbed me and I don’t know what it is.”
When I got home I went through my desk and found the letter Henry had sent me a few years earlier. With his full address in hand (444 Ocampo Dr) I sent him another letter asking him about the book. Now that I had read it I understood what all of the flap was about it. Some things still confused me about it (and would for a few years yet to come). He sent back a three paged letter answering my questions and a polite but stern warning not to try and live my life through his books (books? I didn’t know he had more than one). I was still young and had plenty of time to make my own life my own way.
I took the letter to school and showed it to my teacher who read it to the class (in a somewhat edited fashion) which prompted a new, albeit brief, discussion about the book. Most of the class had read the book by that time and they had questions of their own (which unfortunately couldn’t be answered at that moment). It was probably the best classroom discussion I ever had again and caused other people in the class to start writing their
favorite authors. Something we all continued to do for the rest of the year and something our teacher continually did until he retired nearly thirty years later.
I never wrote Henry again after that last letter. Part of me wishes I had. I did eventually read all of his books though yet it still left me feeling strangely about his writing.
A few years before he died I was in LA on business and stopped by the west coast office of Playboy looking for freelance work as an illustrator. I didn’t get any work that trip but I had a great conversation with one of the editors. During our talk I mentioned how much the magazine had influenced me (part truth…part bullshit to try and get work), especially that September ’64 issue with Henry in it. He got this funny smile on his face and laughed as he said “Strange you should mention that Doc. He was sitting in the chair you’re sitting in now not more than ten or fifteen minutes ago before you walked in. He may have walked past you in the lobby as you were coming in.”
I didn’t remember or hear a word he said after that and I left with a need to see if I could meet Miller in person. Armed with a road map and a full tank of gas I drove to Pacific Palisades and drove by his home which was much larger than I would have imagined. I, somehow, expected it to be a small nondescript bungalow common in that part of LA. I had imagined him in my mind to live and be the way he was when he wrote those books. Instead his home was an intimidating house flanked by similar homes throughout the neighborhood in a well to do subdivision a mere six blocks off of Pacific Coast Highway and the beach. I suddenly felt like I was intruding just by driving down the street so I didn’t stop. His fame had served him well, as it often does for creative people brave enough to survive and excel at their craft. I had failed to account for that in my opinion of him. No longer was he the occasionally caustic, struggling, despondent, impoverished man in his books reliant on everyone he knew to survive. He was now, by outward appearances, a respected elder statesman of sexual enlightenment reaping the rewards of those struggles and I should leave him alone. He had nothing to offer me he hadn’t already given me or that I couldn’t find for myself without his help. I had figured out why his books disturbed me a few years earlier. Henry was, as near as I could figure out, a swinger. They didn’t call it that back then but he and his close circle of friends would have qualified for the moniker. His friends like Lawrence Durrell, Anais Nin and their spouses as well as Henry, his wife June, along with June’s live-in lover for a while artist Jean Kronski (to be replaced off and on by Anais Nin for several years), and others preferred to call themselves “Bohemians”. He was definitely a Hedonist. He sought pleasure in everything and everyone. That was the only common thread between himself and a swinger today.
Most swingers have never heard of Henry Miller. The few that have had only a passing knowledge of who he was and what he represented to the Lifestyle, most swingers would be shocked, appalled, insulted and possibly sickened from the subjects he wrote about and by his selective lack of a moral compass. That part of him represented things that swingers today would steer a very wide path around. The society he lived in at the time of his writing was what might be called today morally corrupt but back then seemed rather commonplace and people really didn’t seem to know any better. They pretended they did, but the truth shows otherwise. Miller spent his life being un-apologetic about what he saw, did and wrote about, sometimes coming off as sleazy. In spite of that we owed him a great deal of respect for showing us where not
to go and what not
to do in our own searches for pleasure.
The honesty he showed us, even though there were times we might have preferred not to see it, taught us the importance of such honesty in relationships.
As I drove away from Henry’s house that day the light went on in my head just like it had several years before when on that trip back from Vegas I thought I knew what he had been saying. Now maybe I also knew what he was doing as well, I was now ready for what would lay ahead of me.
It was now time to close that book and chapter and start writing my own.
Those memories are still fresh as I sit here this morning listening to the ocean find the shore.
Con finally has risen from the dead and comes out on the balcony in just her heels to flop down in the chair next to me. “I’m Starrrrrrving!” she says dramatically as she drapes a leg over mine before saying “Let’s get something to eat.”
“How about if I order something from Room Service?” I ask.
“Perfect!” Con is many things but a good cook wasn’t one of those things. She’s great at ordering from a menu and excels at ordering room service. Besides…I want to get this conversation over with…privately.