Palouse by vwl






Chapter 38

Vice President Asher – January 1996

A Week Later




        “I’m Micah Kingman. I’m here to see Vice President Asher,” Micah said as he entered the office of the Vice President for Student Life. The grandmotherly secretary, whose name was Alice according to the placard on her desk, asked him to take a seat in one of the white plastic chairs arranged along the wall. He sat, setting his backpack down beside him.

          After five minutes he began to thumb through the magazines and pamphlets that were arrayed on the table alongside his seat. Most of what was on the table were tracts on Seventh Day Adventist principles. Lying on top a little too conspicuously was one on homosexuality. Micah picked it up, read a few pages and decided that he had heard the same things all his life, though in bits and pieces, and put it back: homosexuality was wrong; man should not lie with man; heterosexuality is what the Bible intended; Jesus would still love you, even if you sinned, which you shouldn’t do; there was hope for redemption through Jesus and God, etc., etc.

          It was as if his setting-down of the tract was the signal for the vice president to call him into his office. “Sit down, please, Micah,” he offered after he stood briefly at the door. “You probably know why I asked you in.” Vice President Asher was a short, bulbous man: portly, bald on top, gray-fringed on the sides, with a round, florid face behind the distraction of a heavy gray mustache that he would stroke nervously from time to time. His upper body was bursting through his too-small jacket. His chair seat was raised, Micah noticed, making him seem taller than he was.

          “It’s not about my grades, is it, sir?”

          “No, your grades are fine. They could be better. No, I understand you went to a party two weeks ago at the Wainwright’s barn.”

          “Yes, I did. It was a good party. I know parties and dancing are forbidden on campus, but this party wasn’t on campus. I’m sorry if I broke any college rules.” But Micah knew that wasn’t the entire direction of this conversation. He knew what was coming.

          “I understand that you danced –”

          “Yes, my friend David and I danced with several women.”

          “And you danced with each other, is that right?

          “We did, for the last dance.”

          “And you kissed this man afterwards, is that right?”

          Micah thought there was no sense in denying it, because there were plenty of witnesses. “Yes.”

          Vice President Asher obviously expected Micah to say more. He waited. Micah looked him squarely in the eyes, not offering anything more.

          “You realize that the church does not approve.”

          “I realize that’s the current stance – by the way, ably outlined in the pamphlet you left for me on the table.” The vice president turned more florid. “But there is a group of gay and lesbian Adventists, called the Kinship, that is trying to change the church’s view. I think it might be time to have a chapter at Walla Walla College. What do you think?” The smugness of the vice president crumbled, and his bald head got even redder.

          “There will not be a Kinship chapter on this campus as long as I am vice president.”

          “Okaaay.” Well, Asher knew what Kinship was, anyway, Micah thought.

          “Do you realize that homosexuality is unnatural and that you could get AIDS or syphilis and other serious diseases?”

          “As to your first point, I don’t think that love is unnatural at all – whether it be between a man and a woman, a man and a man or a woman and a woman. As to your second point, as young people, especially, we have to be careful about diseases, unless we opt for celibacy, which is as fragile as a crystal glass in an earthquake.”

          “You’re too young to know what you’re getting into.”

          “Look, sir, I have a brother who is in a long-term loving relationship with another man. I have sponsors in Seattle who have been in a good relationship for over ten years. On the other hand, I know many heterosexual couples whose long-term relationships have been shattered by infidelity – I suspect some at this college. I’m looking for a stable, loving, long-term relationship, and I think I’ve found it – with another man.” Micah wanted to add, ‘So sue me,” but he thought that might be too flip.

          “Are you sure, Mr. Kingman, that this is the college you want to attend?”

          Ah, thought Micah, the purpose of this meeting is finally revealed. “I’m sure this is where I want to attend. This school believes, doesn’t it,” Micah opened a piece of paper, “‘that every person is created in the image of God as a being of inestimable value and worth, imbued with powers of intelligence, stewardship, and creativity akin to those of the Creator?’ Isn’t that what we believe here? Isn’t that what’s in the mission statement?” Micah was stoking the blood pressure that the vice president was trying to control, and Micah was relishing it in a perverse way.

          “We have decided to forbid all off-campus dances, which is partly due to your and this…,” Vice President Asher looked at a note that he had made… “David’s activities.”

          Blackmail, Micah thought, and he knew David’s name. Make sure that the whole campus knows that the reason their off-campus dances were forbidden was because of Micah and David. Thank-you-very-much, Mr. Vice President. “Let’s see now. Most of the students are 18 or older, so they are adults. How is it you can forbid them from going to a place of their choosing?” Micah didn’t wait for an answer. “Are we through, sir?”

          The vice president for student affairs nodded. Micah picked up his backpack and left the room. After he left the outer office – Alice’s domain – the accumulation of fear, nerves, sadness, daring, and angry rebellion caused his body to shake almost uncontrollably and to force him near to tears. He quickly went outside on rubbery legs and found a bench where he could compose himself. He looked at his watch. David was still in class, but he would be through in 40 minutes. Micah ran to his pickup, trying to use up some nervous energy, started it, backed up and drove to the Whitman campus. He walked to the building where David would be emerging from class and sat on the stairway railing.

          When he heard the college bells ring, signaling the end of class, he stood and waited anxiously for David to emerge. When David came through the door, talking to some fellow students, Micah ran to him and pulled him into a fierce embrace. “Hold me tightly,” Micah said plaintively.

          “This is my boyfriend, Micah,” David said to his companions. “I’m pretty sure he needs me. I’ll see you all later.” David led Micah to a bench, wrapped his arm around Micah’s shoulder and pulled him into a long hug. After several minutes enjoying David’s warmth, Micah related what had happened.

          About halfway through the Micah’s narration, David began to beam: he was proud of how Micah had stood up for what he was. He was proud of his boyfriend putting a seemingly pompous ass like Vice President for Student Affairs Asher in his place. David’s attitude soon permeated Micah’s insecurity, and Micah slowly came down from his nerves high.

          “I wish I had been there,” David said. “So, what do we do?”

          The word ‘we’ did not go unnoticed by Micah.

          “I’ve been thinking about something,” David continued. “I’m willing to bet that you could transfer to Whitman. Your grades are good. Your talent is…well, incredible. You could probably get a scholarship. You could move into my apartment and save money on room and board. And, I could be closer to you.”

          “I couldn’t possibly afford it.”

          “If you can get in, you can get the money. That’s what good small, liberal-arts colleges do. Of course, you may be a bit in debt at the end of your senior year, but you can worry about that later. Think about it, Bright Eyes.” David leaned over and kissed Micah.

          “I will.”

          Micah’s stomach made an audible grumble.

          “Nerves?” David asked.


          “Let’s go get some pizza, then.”

          “If we can go back to your place afterward. I have a debt to repay.”

* * * * *

But I have grown thoughtful now.

And you have lost

Your early-morning freshness of


At being so utterly mine.

    Siegfried Sassoon


* * * * *

          “How do I do this?” Micah asked as he and David sat side by side on David’s bed in the apartment lit only from the outside lights filtering through the windows.

          “First, you kiss me, dufus.”

          For the next few minutes, neither noticed the sounds of the street outside.

          “And what do I call what I just did?”


          “Our tongues touching.”


          “Not a French kiss?”


          “How do you know about French kisses?”


          “I’m not that innocent,” Micah said. “I had a girlfriend, you know.”


          “You kissed her like we do?”


          “Well…not exactly. I liked her; I even loved her, I think. But I love you, and I don’t have to think. I…I…


          “What are you doing?”


          “I’m shutting you up.” And David shut him up.


          “Next you unbutton my shirt and take it off,” David felt Micah’s fingers loosen each button slowly, one by one, lingering softly on his chest after each one. David reached for Micah’s shirt.

          “Uh-uh. It’s my night for you.” Micah quickly stripped to the waist. He could feel the heat of David when he kissed him again.

          Micah undid David’s belt, unbuttoned his pants and pulled them and his boxers down and off. He did the same and pushed David back onto the bed, climbing on top of him. “This is frontage. I remember that much.”

          “Frottage,” but you can keep moving like that – for a while – and maybe that’ll be all that is necessary.

          Micah felt the full warmth of David’s body as he moved, but eventually he lifted himself off and knelt beside David. His hand moved softly up and down David’s body, feeling his hair, his forehead, his face, his chest, and then moving to his feet and legs, slowly moving toward David’s hardness.

          “What’s this?”

          “That’s my perineum – or taint.”

          “It’s hard.”

          “It’s supposed to be hard when the rest of that region is hard. Your fingering is..exceptional.”

          “It’s the violin.” Micah shuffled around. “And what’s this?”

          “That’s your lips on my balls, and – ooh – that’s your mouth on my balls.”

          “But why aren’t they hard, too.”

          “God, I don’t know, but keep doing what you’re doing.”

          “And what’s this?”

          “That’s your tongue licking up my penis, and – oh, God – that’s you taking me in your mouth. And now you’re sucking me – harder and harder and deeper and deeper – and caressing my thighs and my balls, and I’m on overload, and I’d rather you didn’t stop.”

          The sounds became soft and intimate until David could hold back no more. The volume increased, the warnings were given to Micah, and for the next few moments, David’s focus was entirely inward as if nothing existed outside of the feelings he was experiencing.

          Micah backed off, his mouth still tasting David and moved back on top of him. “And what’s this?”

          A few minutes later, David was able to answer: “A kiss of love.”

          “And now we’ll finish with some frontage.” Ten minutes later, a satisfied Micah asked: “Did I do okay?”

          “I love you, Micah. Yes!” And then, after a few minutes of snuggling, Micah heard softly, “But its frottage.”

* * * * *

          The next few days were taken up with Micah’s application to get into Whitman for the next year. David and Micah assembled information on all the music honors that Micah had won; they got transcripts of his good grades from Walla Walla College. They got recommendations from Jake and Robbie in Seattle and from professors at Walla Walla College who were accepting of Micah’s sexuality. Fortunately, Whitman was a small college, so it was easy to get access to the admissions process. It didn’t hurt that David’s parents were large donors to the college. It didn’t hurt that an Academy Award winning actor was giving him an outstanding recommendation. It didn’t hurt that the Whitman String Quartet was losing its violinist to graduation in May. It didn’t hurt that the admissions director was gay and fully aware of how homophobic Walla Walla College was. Micah’s acceptance came quickly.

          Micah was admitted on the condition that he completed the rest of the term at Walla Walla College with acceptable grades, and that his parents would maintain the same financial assistance as they did at Walla Walla College. Moreover, he was offered a job as tutor in the music department, which would pay for some of his expenses, but because of the college fund he had accumulated, he wasn’t eligible for more scholarship money.