Conversations With Myself

A Novel by Altimexis

The Whispers of Time
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Book Two • Chapter 9 – Chop Suey

October 1990 – Chris 24

As I got dressed, the overwhelming sense of guilt returned. “I just can’t keep doing this,” I said.

“Why not?” Wang asked as he came up behind me, threw his arms around me, rubbed my nipples and kissed the base of my neck. “Your girlfriend cannot give you what I can,” he whispered seductively into my ear. “I understand that you have a child, and you want to do right by the mother of your child, but isn’t what you’re doing to her equally wrong? If you’re not willing to tell her the truth and leave her, why shouldn’t you at least be happy? Let me make you happy?” he said as he slid his hands down my chest and abdomen, slipping them under the elastic of my briefs and grasped my hardening member with one hand while he cupped my balls with the other.

“I need to go… Jen will wonder where I am,” I explained yet again as I turned around to face my lover.

“She never did in the past,” Wang countered. “She didn’t when you used to have sex with Paul.”

Yes, in the short time I’d gotten to know Wang, I’d told him virtually everything there was to know about me. He knew all about Frank, my first boyfriend, who ultimately broke my heart. He knew all about my years of trying to be straight and fucking everything that wore a skirt. He knew all about how I finally fell in love with Jen and how we moved in together, and he knew about the lengthy affair I’d had with Paul through much of graduate school, right up until Jen got pregnant. Wang knew me inside and out, and perhaps better than I did myself.

I’d bared my soul to Wang Lee without even intending to, but he was such a kind, caring, loving man and I found I couldn’t help myself. He told me about his life, too – how he’d grown up in rural China and how he’d felt when he realized he preferred boys to girls. He told me about the way his family acted when he brought them shame by being caught in bed with a friend – how they literally cut him free and expected him to fend for himself as an adult when he was just fourteen. He told me how he’d made his way to the coast, escaping from the People’s Republic into Hong Kong, where he got caught up in an organized crime syndicate and was sold into a life of child prostitution. He’d been forced to sell his body, not only as a means of survival on the streets of Hong Kong, but because he would have been killed if he hadn’t complied with the demands of the syndicate.

Wang’s big break came when a rich client took a liking to him and offered to buy him from the syndicate. The thought sickened me – that someone could be bought and sold like that in this day and age, but Wang really was a slave. Although the client, a middle-aged British man whom he came to call ‘Papa’, expected sexual favors from Wang, he was much more of a father to the boy than Wang’s real father had ever been. He taught Wang English and sent him to one of the best private schools in the municipality. Beyond a doubt, the way ‘Papa’ used Wang for sex was sick, but he truly loved the boy.

Wang had excelled in his studies, and when the time came for him to attend University, ‘Papa’ paid for Wang to go to school in the United States and to attend Stanford University, one of the finest private universities in the world. ‘Papa’ challenged every notion I had of pedophiles, or more correctly, pederasts. What he’d done to Wang had been reprehensible, but he’d literally given Wang his life back. He’d given Wang the start in life he’d have never had if he’d stayed in rural China.

Responding to Wang’s mention of Paul, I complained, “But that was before I got her pregnant. That was before Andy.”

“Number one,” Wang challenged, “you didn’t ‘get’ her pregnant. Last time I checked, it takes two to make a baby. Number two, if you’re miserable, Jen will be miserable, and so will Andy. You cannot live a lie. If you’re gay, you’re gay, and no amount of trying to live a lie will make it right. If you won’t leave her, at least let me satisfy your need for pleasure. You can do just what you used to do with Paul… staying for late-night experiments, doing research in the library. There are any number of excuses you can make up to spend time with me.”

“If it’s not fair to Jen, it’s not fair to you, either,” came my retort. “You deserve better. You deserve a boyfriend who doesn’t have a girlfriend on the side. Or in my case, you deserve not to be the boyfriend on the side while I keep my girlfriend and my son.”

“Why don’t you let me be the judge of what’s fair to me?” Wang countered, and then he leaned forward and brought his lips to mine.

We had just finished making love moments before, and yet the feel of his tongue in my mouth was more than I could resist. I was fully aroused once again, and when Wang moved to lower my briefs, I did not resist him. I let my briefs fall to the floor and stepped out of them, kicking them away in the process. Circling my arms around him, I pulled us together, relishing the feel of his skin against my skin, the feel of our members throbbing against each other, side-by-side, the taste of his tongue inside my mouth and the smell of his delicious scent. It wasn’t long before the eminent doctoral candidate, Wang Lee, was buried deep inside of me yet again.

And then the guilt returned, but I could hardly go home. It was almost one o’clock in the morning. Jen had to be worried sick over me by now – not that this sort of thing hadn’t happened all the time before she got pregnant – I’d just made a promise to myself that I’d be faithful to her once Andy came along. How miserably I’d failed at that.

Lifting the telephone by Wang’s bedside, I reluctantly dialed my own phone number.

“Jen?” I said when she answered, “I’m so, so sorry. I was working on a project… it’s that thing Rankin worked out for me at Livermore to tide me over until I start in his lab… and I completely lost track of the time.”

“I understand,” she said, “I just wish you’d have called. I’ve been worried sick, and little Andy’s been crying the whole time. I think he senses my nervousness.”

“I know, sweetheart,” I said. “You know how oblivious of the time I get when I’m in the midst of an experiment.”

“Do I ever,” she acknowledged, making me feel guiltier than ever. “Does your experiment have long to go?” she asked.

“It’ll take another couple of hours or so,” I replied, lying through my teeth.

“Then don’t try to come home when it’s done,” she said. “There won’t be much point, and I don’t want you on the road so late at night when you’re so tired. Is there a place you can rest?” she asked.

Looking over at my new lover as he lay on his side, smiling at me with his beautiful brown eyes and his sexy body, I replied, “Yes, one of the students lives nearby, and he’s offered me a place to stay.”

“That’s good,” Jen acknowledged. “As soon as your experiment’s done, I want you to go home with the student and get some rest, OK?”

“I’ll definitely make it a point to take the student up on his offer and spend what’s left of the night with him,” I replied, and then I added, “By the way, his name’s Wang Lee,” and then I gave her his phone number in case she needed to reach me in an emergency.


July 1979 • Chris-13

“Hey Chris, wait up!” I heard a voice call out from behind me.

Turning around, I saw one of my cabin mates, Jeff Simonson running to catch up with me. It was my second week out of eight at Bible camp, and we were both enjoying a little free time down by the lake. My parents were convinced that there was nothing like a little sun, recreation and sports, laced with heavy doses of religion to cure the gay out of me. All I had to do was put my faith in our savior, Jesus Christ.

Like me, Jeff was thirteen, but he came from Kansas City, on the other side of the state from St. Louis. The camp was located in northern Arkansas, in the Ozarks, and was about the same distance from both cities. Jeff wasn’t a particularly handsome looking boy, but he was very, very cute. He was a good six inches taller than me, and he had brilliant red curly hair, blue eyes and a face and shoulders that were heavily freckled. A light dusting of peach fuzz on his upper lip and a voice that was a good deal deeper than mine made it clear he was well into puberty.

The thing I really liked about Jeff was that he always had a smile on his face, no matter how many times they asked us to recite passages from the Bible, no matter how many laps they made us run to help strengthen the ‘temple’ of the bodies God gave us, that smile was always there. It made it hard to feel sorry for myself when he always seemed to be so happy.

It didn’t take me long to realize that I was developing a crush on Jeff, even as I was getting over the loss of Frank. I sometimes lay awake at night wondering if Jeff could possibly be gay, but then reason would quickly tell me he couldn’t possibly be. In a way it would almost be worse if I knew he was gay, as by design there was absolutely no privacy in the camp. There was no way for us to get together in any way other than ordinary friendship. There was no place we could go to kiss, or do other things. The entire compound was surrounded by a high fence to keep us from wandering off, and the washrooms even lacked stalls – the toilets were out in the open and everyone could see you when you took a dump. It was disgusting.

When Jeff reached me, he didn’t slow down in the slightest. He slammed into me, throwing us both to the ground, and then he wrapped his arms around me and started us rolling in the sand. He rolled us right into the lake, where he immediately started wrestling with me in the water.

When I was finally able to come up for air, I said just loudly enough for him to hear, “What the fuck did you do that for?”

Feigning a look of shock on his face, he said, “I’m gonna tell Pastor Jenkins you said, ‘fuck’! What a shitty thing to do, you bastard,” and then he grinned the wickedest grin.

“Like you don’t say ‘fuck’, shithead,” I replied, and then I dunked him, which was probly a mistake, given his greater height. It wasn’t long before he had me underwater and wouldn’t let me up. I knew he’d never deliberately hurt me, but by the time it seemed a minute had passed, I was beginning to panic. I increased my thrashing in the water, which only made things worse, and finally I brought my foot up to his crotch and gave a forceful shove.

That did it – he immediately let me go and I surfaced, gasping for air. Jeff, in the meantime, was sputtering in pain. When he finally got his breath back, he practically shouted, “You asshole! Why the fuck did you kick me like that?”

“’Cause I didn’t like being drowned,” I replied. “I really do like to breathe now and then.”

“You wimp,” came his retort. “You were only under water for like thirty seconds. I’ve seen you swim under water for three or four times as long.”

“It was more like a minute,” I countered, “and I didn’t like it.”

“A minute my ass, you cunt,” he replied.

“Who are you calling a ‘cunt’?” I challenged.

“If the foo shits,” he replied.

Within seconds, we were wrestling in the water again, and I loved it. We had a certain give and take, and being with Jeff made me more self-confident and more outgoing. We seemed to complement each other very well.

As we wrestled, I felt myself get hard as I often did, and I could have sworn I felt Jeff get hard, too, but neither one of us brought it up to the other. Boys just didn’t do that.


October 1983 • Chris-17

“You don’t understand… You can’t understand!” Frank practically cried.

“No, I don’t,” I replied. “In three months, you’ll be an adult and able to do whatever you want. You’re parents will have no say in the matter. All you have to do is to hold out until then.”

“If only it were that simple,” Frank sighed. “You just don’t know what it was like in that place, and my parents were gonna send me back there. They’d actually enrolled me in the damn place. It was a done deal.

“It’s not just that they employ strict discipline… which they do… but there’s the constant hazing. Those of us who are sent there because we’re gay have to wear a pink armband, so everyone knows. We have to earn the ‘right’ to have the armband removed. That means putting up with being called ‘faggot’ by everyone, and being tripped and used as a punching bag while the adults look the other way. They actually encourage the other students to do this. They have carte blanche to bully us as much as they want.

“The last time I was there, I suffered a broken arm and two cracked ribs, and was always covered with bruises. I was constantly spat on, right into my face, and even pissed on. And if I complained, I was the one punished, and the time for wearing the fucking armband was extended.

“Sometimes the upperclassmen would round up all the ‘faggots’ and strip us naked and make us run laps in the snow in our bare feet while everyone else jeered at us and watched. One time I slipped and fell, and sprained my ankle in the process. Not only wouldn’t anyone help me up, but the one kid who did try to help me, who was also gay, was reprimanded for trying. I had to crawl in the freezing rain to the infirmary, and ended up getting pneumonia.

“Yes, I’ll be eighteen in three months, but that doesn’t matter in that place. It’s like a prison… there’s no escape once you’re there. Some parents even resort to kidnapping their adult children and placing them there”

“But that’s illegal!” I shouted.

“Maybe,” Frank continued, “but I’ve heard they can get a court order to committed due to ‘mental illness’, so just because I’ll be eighteen doesn’t matter. Chris, I can’t go back there. Not for anything. Please understand… I had to sever my ties with you. I had to promise never to see you again. If I didn’t, they would have sent me to that awful place. They still might. I can’t even apply to Stanford or they’ll send me back there for sure.

“The only reason I’m here now is because of that ingenious letter you sent me, and to say goodbye. Speaking of which, you owe me $67.50. My parents will insist on seeing the money.”

“Frank, why don’t you run away?” I asked. “You could stay at Professor Dawson’s house. I’m sure he’d put you up.”

“Are you kidding?” Frank asked. “That’s the first place my parents would look.”

“Then bide your time until your eighteenth birthday, and leave home then,” I suggested. “They’ll have no power over you once you’re an adult.”

“Knowing them, they’ll still try to get a court order to send me back there,” Frank countered. “But even if not, I just can’t do it. I know this is hard to understand, Chris, but in spite of everything they’ve done to me… done to us… they’re still my parents. I still love them, and I don’t want to break my ties with them… not permanently.”

“But what about me?” I implored him. “Don’t you love me?

“Of course I love you, Chris,” he replied. “You can’t imagine how much this hurts, but I can’t give up on my parents’ love, no matter how wrongheaded they may be. Don’t you see? If I leave home to be with you, I’ll always resent you for causing me to lose my parents. It will tear us apart.”

“But they’re the ones doing this, Frank… not me,” I countered.

“I know, but it doesn’t change anything,” he acknowledged, and then added, “I really have to go. I borrowed my mom’s car and she’ll wonder what’s taking so long if I don’t return home soon. Please, just give me the money and I’ll be on my way.”

After I shelled out the $67.50 from my own wallet, he asked, “Before I leave, can I have a goodbye hug?”

I considered it, but I wasn’t in the mood to hug him and replied, “No, Frank. I feel hurt… I feel angry. I just can’t.”

“Then goodbye, Chris, and good luck,” he said. “Always know that I still love you.”

“I love you too, Frank, but I don’t like you very much right now,” I replied.

“I know, and I don’t blame you one bit,” Frank said, and then he turned around and walked out the door, and out of my life for the last time. I was hurt. I was devastated. I wouldn’t take him back if he came crawling on all fours. He wasn’t the man I thought he was.


July 1979 • Chris-13

“What an asshole,” Jeff said as we headed off to lunch. We’d just finished yet another marathon Bible reading session. For the past two hours, we’d discussed the evidence in the Bible that homosexuality is a grave sin. It was Jeff who actually tried to bring up a counterargument, using Jesus’ own words, and when that backfired on him, he asked why the Bible’s acceptance of slavery wasn’t just as valid. That earned him detention – who ever heard of detention at a summer camp?  It also earned him the derision of the other kids as they called him ‘queer’ and ‘faggot’. Even though I didn’t take part in any of it, I didn’t exactly stick up for my friend, either. I just didn’t know if I could handle being labeled what I knew I really was.

Finally, getting my courage back, I replied, “Asshole doesn’t begin to cover it,” and then as an afterthought, I added, “Maybe he’s taken it up the ass one too many times.”

We both burst out laughing, getting stares from everyone around us.

“I don’t understand why so many people make such a big deal of homosexuality,” Jeff went on. “The way they talk about it, you’d think it’s on a par with rape and murder. And people keep quoting the Bible out of context,” he added. “Some people think the Bible was talking about male rape… not gay sex… but then you have to wonder if the Bible condones female rape, which is a chilling thought.

“What people forget is that the Bible was written by men… inspired by God, but even if it does represent God’s actual words, we’ve had nearly two millennia since then to fuck it up. There’s no way God would condone slavery, and there’s no way he would condone the hatred of a whole group of people, just ’cause of who they love.”

Did I dare agree with Jeff? Might I be exposing myself if I said something?

But then Jeff leaned closer to me and whispered, “And besides, I have to stand up for my best friend.”

“Your best friend’s gay?” I practically shouted, causing people around us to stop and stare.

“We’ll talk later, when we don’t have an audience,” he replied, “but, yeah, he is, and the one thing I do know is that he’s a great person. He ain’t no sinner.”

It wasn’t until later that afternoon, during our free time, that I had a chance to talk to Jeff again. The first thing I asked was, “I’m surprised you still have your free time. When do you serve detention?”

“This evening after dinner,” he answered. “I have to clean all the toilets and urinals in our cabin.”

“Fuck!” I said.

“Yeah, fuck,” he agreed. “The worst part is that it’s for something I did that isn’t even wrong. I just have a different interpretation of the Bible than the people who run this camp… that’s all. It’s nothing more than a difference of opinion. I’m being penalized for using my right of free speech.”

“Kids don’t have rights,” I challenged, and Jeff agreed.

“I’d never be here in the first place if I had a say in it,” he went on, “but my parents think I don’t take my religious studies seriously enough.”

“I’m not exactly here by choice, either,” I added.

“Yeah, and I can pretty much guess why.

That certainly steered the conversation in a direction I didn’t want to go, so rather than respond to it, I changed the subject. “So your best friend really is gay?” I asked innocently enough.

Stopping and turning to me, he asked in return, “Well, you are my best friend, aren’t you?”

When the significance of what he said hit me, my faced caught fire and my heart started pounding, and I started to feel faint.

“Hey, don’t worry about it,” Jeff said as he squeezed my shoulder. “I think I’ve made it clear that I’m OK with it.”

Finally, regaining my composure, I asked, “How?”

“It isn’t that you act queer, Chris, but I’ve noticed how you look at me,” he answered. “You look at me the way my girlfriend looks at me.”

“So you’re not —”

“Gay? No, I’m sorry, Chris.” My face fell, but I was surprised he was saying he was sorry he wasn’t gay.

“In many ways, I wish I could give you what you want,” he continued. “You’re a great guy, and you deserve to be happy.”

“Aren’t you creeped out by me?” I asked.

“Why would I be?” he replied. “I know you’d never do anything to me unless I wanted it, and besides, it’s not like there’s even a remote chance we could do anything here, even if we wanted to.” Jeff was sure right about that. There was absolutely no privacy in the camp.

“I realize you can’t exactly stick up for yourself,” Jeff went on, “which is part of the reason I came to the defense of gays today. I’d like to think I would have done it anyway, but having a gay best friend made it that much more real, you know? The problem is that now everyone thinks I’m gay.

“’Course I don’t really care about that,” he continued. “Let the other kids think what they want. I know what I am, and that’s all that matters.  I’m worried, though, that everyone will assume you’re my boyfriend by association. What I’m getting at is that you need to distance yourself a little from me, Chris. I’m not saying we can’t still hang out together and be best friends, but you need to have some other friends, too. You need to diversify your friendships for your own sake.”


October 1990 • Chris-24

I want you out of here NOW!” my girlfriend shouted at me. “You LIED to me! How could you do this to me, and… and with a guy!

“But Wang really is a physics student —” I tried to explain.

“A masters student who’s just started work on his PhD in a lab that has nothing to do with your area!” Jen countered. “And don’t you dare even suggest that he just provided a place for you to crash. His address is in Santa-fucking-Clara! I looked it up. That’s like more than an hour’s drive from here in the complete opposite direction from Livermore! You’d have had to have gone right by our apartment to get to his place, so why did you stay there?

Thinking quickly, I said, “The lab where we did the experiment is at a satellite facility, down in San Jose.”

“That’s just bullshit and you know it,” Jen challenged me. “Look me in the eyes and tell my you never had sex with him.”

I couldn’t do it, I tried to look up, but I couldn’t.

You BASTARD,” she shouted at me as she pounded her fists on my chest. “You Goddamn fucking faggot BASTARD!

I couldn’t believe her vehemence, and to call me a faggot was – it just was sooo out of character for her. We both had gay friends including our mutual friend Paul, who unbeknownst to Jen, was my former lover. Paul had just started as a new assistant professor at MIT, but I’d already broken up with him the moment I found out Jen was pregnant. How could she use that word?

And then, as if she were reading my mind, she asked, “I bet you were doing it with Paul, too, weren’t you?”

Again I couldn’t look her in the face.

You FUCKING BASTARD!” she screamed yet again as she pummeled my chest. “You FUCKING FAGGOT BASTARD!

The sound of a baby’s cry brought us both back to reality. I started to follow Jen toward the source of the crying, but she abruptly turned to face me and said, “Don’t you dare think of getting near my son. MY son. You gave up your right to a son when you fucked around.

“When I’m finished with Andy, I want you gone. If you’re still here when I come back out, I won’t be held responsible for what I may do, but if you value your balls, I suggest you gather what you need and get out now.


“So she really threatened to cut them off?” Wang asked as he winced.

“I’m not sure if she intended to cut them off, crush them or otherwise mutilate them,” I clarified, “but she made it clear I’d be singing with a much higher voice if I didn’t leave immediately.”

“Ouch!” he exclaimed again as he visibly winced. If nothing else, Wang Lee was incredibly cute. In fact, he was adorable. I was like putty in his hands.

“You know you can stay here as long as you want,” he told me with a look of sympathy in his eyes. “Actually, I wouldn’t mind if you stayed here forever.”

“Really?” I asked in surprise. “You’d really like me to live with you forever?”

“That’s what I said, isn’t it?” Wang reiterated. “Chris, I love you. You make me feel alive. The only reason I agreed to share you with your girlfriend was because I’d have lost you completely, otherwise. She was the mother of your son, and your son naturally came first.”

“My son still comes first,” I replied, which caused Wang’s entire countenance to turn dark, or perhaps more accurately, sad. “He’s my own flesh and blood, and it’s not right that Jen should keep me from seeing him. He’s my son, and I’ll do whatever it takes to get custody. Hell, I’ll get full custody if I can, but at the least I have the right as his father to see him, to watch him grow and to teach him to be a good boy. Jen can’t teach him how to be a boy, no matter what she thinks.”

“Most boys end up learning mostly from their peers,” Wang pointed out.

“But there’s no substitute for the bond between a father and his son. I am not going to let Andy grow up without a father.”

“Even if it means losing me?” Wang asked with obvious trepidation in his voice.

After thinking for a moment, I answered, “No, but it won’t come to that. You have to understand that I’m going to fight to be with my son, but the only way I’ll ever give up on you is if you give up on me first. I… I love you, too.”

“You don’t know how much I’ve wanted to hear you say that,” Wang said as he embraced me, and then kissed me. “I will never, ever give up on you, Dr. Christopher Michaels.” We kissed again, and the kissing deepened and became more passionate, and led to much, much more.

The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of David of Hope and Anthony Camacho in editing this story, as well as the support of Awesome Dude for hosting it.
This story is purely fictional and any resemblance of characters to real individuals other than named historical figures is purely coincidental and unintentional. Some characters may be gay and at times engage in homosexual acts. Because the story explores characters at various stages of their lives, they may be underage during early sexual explorations. Obviously, anyone uncomfortable with this should not be reading the story, and the reader assumes responsibility for the legality of reading this type of story where they live. The author retains full copyright, and permission must be obtained prior to duplication of the story in any form.