Behind The Silver Screen
By Jerry Miller
Yes, Eric could be a smart ass, but as I sat there watching him eat his chili, I couldn't help but marvel at who he really was to me. Mike's brother, yes, Mike was the common thread in a relationship that began in grief and grew into a new love.
He lost his brother. I lost my lover. We had both known Mike in different ways. We were both limited by circumstances, but the help of their mother, we could piece together 'the Mike' we didn't know.
I never grew tired of looking at Eric. His eyes were always full of life and mischief. Reading his eyes wasn't as easy as it was with others. I loved the fact that the mystery of his eyes kept me guessing, that he continued to surprise me.
"This is the first time you've eaten at Gold Star Chili?" I asked.
"Oh yeah. This is good."
"Not too spicy?"
"Not at all. I can taste the slightly heavy cinnamon. I guess that's what makes it different than Mom's chili."
"You're not going to believe what else they put in their chili."
"What! You're kidding me."
"Nope. Mike and I came here so often that we became friends with one of the cooks. He told us that chocolate was part of the recipe."
"Why haven't I tasted it then?"
"I guess because it blends in with the spices."
"Wow! It still tastes great. We're coming back."
"Oh. And when did we decide that you were the boss of this relationship?" I asked with a smirk on my face.
Eric cracked up. He loved playing the boss even though most of the things with us were mutual. Looking back, I can't see a time when Mike or I ever had a problem figuring out what to do. We really didn't have time to argue.
"Ben's wife is due anytime with kid number two. I wonder what he will name this boy?" Eric asked.
"How do you know it's a boy?"
"My mother told me that if a woman is pregnant straight out in front, it's a boy. If she is pregnant all around, it's a girl. It's a boy," he said tossing another spoonful of chili and crackers into his mouth.
"Has your mother ever been wrong?" I asked immediately regretting it.
Eric stopped chewing and looked at me with a sudden look of sadness.
"I'm sorry, Eric. It wasn't meant that way."
After a few moments, Eric smiled and let me off the hook. We finished our meal and instead of crossing Main Street to the parking garage, we walked back towards the theater. I was still being drawn to it. We stood again under the marquee. I pointed out to Eric the concrete next to the box office where Mr. Denton would have celebrities, usually those who appeared with the Kent Players at Memorial Hall each year. They would put their hand and foot prints in the cement, like Grauman's Chinese Theater in California did with their sidewalk.
Mr. Denton was quite a guy with promotions. He would have only one sign made to advertise a movie. He would take it to one downtown shop, take a picture of it in the window, remove it and move on to another business, giving the impression to the corporate office that as many as twelve different businesses were involved with his promotion.
I was involved in a publicity stunt promoting THE WILD BUNCH, a great classic Sam Peckinpah western. There were four ushers, dressed as cowboys, sitting around a table playing poker. We had a hoot sitting there, smoking Swisher Sweet cigars and playing cards. Mr. Denton took a lot of pictures and ended it after about thirty minutes.
Eric finally had had enough of the old theater and told me it was time to leave. I relented, and he led me to the car. Walking away for the last time, I realized that when this theater was torn down, I would have even more closure about Mike. I never really sought out closure because Mike had lived every day in my heart and mind. After Ben had his talk with me last summer, I have allowed the healing of my loss.
We drove to the Dayton Mall Cinemas to see "Jaws", the new movie about sharks that would start an awesome career for the director and give the term 'Blockbuster' a whole new meaning.
Eric and I took seats in the middle of theater. This was a beautiful theater, only six years old. Its style was traditional, yet progressive. There wasn't a stage, so the screen went wall to wall with a travel curtain that crossed it. There was no balcony, but the auditorium seated nearly eight hundred.
While we waited for the movie, I began to wonder where the theater industry was heading. After the fifty-year tradition of showing movies in the downtown areas, the move to neighborhood theaters helped end the business of the downtown locations. If the progression continues, and at a more rapid pace, what's going to replace the neighborhood theaters I wondered.
I decided right then, I wanted my own theater.
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I looked over at Jay, dozing next to me. The nakedness of his body excited me. With his soft cock, the image was fundamentally beautiful. His face was peaceful. The fact he was there, next to me, still boggled my mind. I wondered what happened that brought him back to me.
I had accepted my illusions in life, closed myself off and just existed by breathing and functioning. I realized that by releasing some of those repressed sexual feelings with Jay, I had, in some ways, let go of Mike.
"What ya thinking about?" Jay asked.
"You were sleeping."
Jay sat up next to me and put his arm around me. "Are you okay, Mike?"
With his body next to mine, his arm around my shoulders, I did feel some comfort.
"I'm okay, Jay," I said, not quite sure what 'okay' was.
"You were thinking about him?"
I put my hand on his thigh, noticing how much more hair he had on his legs than the last time I saw him.
"Yeah. I was."
"I can't compete with him," he said.
Closing my eyes, I felt conflicted. Here I was, lying naked with another guy, but thinking about Mike.
"I don't expect you to," I said.
I moved my hand from his thigh to his cock. My fingers lightly stroked the surface below the head.
"We aren't kids anymore, Jay. That was a different world when we jacked off together. I've lived a lifetime already since then."
"We both went in different directions. I moved on to avoid the truth. You went on to live the truth about yourself. You found something incredible and I faltered," he said.
I turned my face to his and said, "We can't look back in hindsight. It won't change anything."
I wrapped my fingers around his cock and said, "This is what we were about before, Jay. Just two guys who jacked each other off. We weren't in love. We were getting off. I liked it a lot. When I sucked you off, I wanted to feel what it was like to have this cock in my mouth. I gave you pleasure that you hadn't experienced before. I wanted us to share that. But the one thing I learned with Mike is, that things don't happen until one is ready. Not before."
"I wasn't ready."
Jay's cock got hard in my hand. I started to slowly stroke him.
"I have had the last four years to do a lot of thinking about my life. Today, I didn't know I was ready. Hadn't thought about it. Then you kissed me and immediately I wanted it. Holding you like this confirms that feeling."
I moved myself out of his embrace and slid my face towards his cock.
"The last night we were together, five years ago I had the desire. I was ready to suck your cock. I have never forgotten what your cock looked like or tasted like. You don't forget the first time you take a cock into your mouth. It's that moment of discovery to see if you really like it. The feel of it on your lips as it glides across your tongue into your mouth. When you've wrapped your lips around it and realize that you're hooked, your destiny is confirmed." I turned to face him and said, "Is that how it was for you?"
Jay looked down at me. I saw his face studying mine.
"With the first guy I was scared when I did it. He was so big. I didn't really think I could take it all. I was so overwhelmed with his size that when I did take the head in my mouth I wasn't sure this was what I wanted," he said.
"But you did do it, didn't you?"
"Yeah, I did. After the awkwardness, I started to enjoy what I was doing. You're right. I had wanted to try it for so long and when I did I regretted not doing it sooner. Regretted not doing it with you."
I turned my face to look at his cock, still hard, leaking precum. My tongue reached out and licked it off his head. I took him in my mouth. This time without the earlier urgency, just taking my time. I heard him gasp as my mouth slid all the way down and my fingers started to massage his testicles. I had missed the feeling of intimacy that one shares when making love.
Jay's hands began to brush through my hair. When I ran a finger down past his balls, towards his rectum, he spread his legs for me. I continued to lovingly suck on him as a finger encircled his virgin rectum. With my other hand stroking the base of his cock, my mouth moved up and down giving him as many sensations as possible.
"Oh! Mike!" he moaned. I was succeeding. I felt him reaching the point of awe before cumming. When he flooded my mouth, I remained steadfast in my manipulations. Slowly I brought my motions to a quiet stillness. I moved myself next to Jay and kissed him. He licked my lips and the inside of my mouth, tasting himself, I am sure.
"Mike, you're incredible," he said returning to his normal breathing.
"It's nice to hear that again."
"I still have a lot to learn."
"I don't think there is ever a time you can say you know it all. I learned to know what Mike liked. I will learn what you like and you will with me."
"Yeah. Well let me get started."
Jay pulled away from me and moved down to concentrate on my mid-section. Lying down between my legs, he had full access to all my regions. Using his imagination, he explored everywhere. I closed my eyes to enjoy the pleasure he was giving me. I made sure to let him know he was doing great.
Inside his mouth, he swirled his tongue all over the head of my penis, sending my sensitive head into spasms. His fingers worked my balls and rectum like I did him. He licked his way down, wetting my hole with his saliva. When his mouth went back to my cock, he slowly slid a finger inside me. He found my prostate and sent me over and was as relentless as I was at keeping the sensations going.
When I couldn't take anymore I pulled him up to me. He laid over me, his cock next to mine and I wrapped my arms around him and kissed him deeply. His cock was hard rubbing on mine.
"You're going to go again?" I asked.
Jay was humping me with his cock on mine. I was hard too. I loved watching his face enjoying the motions of cock-to-cock contact. It didn't take him long to reach his orgasm. His cum shot out all over us. He collapsed on me. I ran my hands over his back while he recovered.
"I wish you had been my first," he whispered to me.
We enjoyed ourselves taking our first shower. We went out for dinner and talked. I told him of my interest in managing movie theaters and he told me of his with the fire department. We made no commitments other than seeing each other as often as we could. Since Jay had an early morning, he dropped me off and went home. I called Ben because I had to talk to him.
Ben picked me up and took me back to his apartment. I needed my car badly. I would pick it up the next day. After I kissed little Mikey and his mother, Debbie, Ben and I sat down in the kitchen.
"What's up, Mike?" Ben asked.
"It's about Jay."
Ben looked a little surprised.
"Ben, I ran into him yesterday."
Ben didn't look happy about that. "What did he want?"
Ben shook his head and said, "No, I don't want you getting hurt again."
"We spent the day together, Ben."
Ben's face screwed up, his imagination clicked, realizing what I meant.
"Where's it going, Mike?"
"I don't know, yet," I said. "He told me that you knew about him."
"Yes, I knew." Ben looked me right in the eye and said, "He told me he that he had stopped denying that he was gay and wanted to get in contact with you. I told him you were not in any shape to rekindled your friendship with him."
"When was this?"
"About three years ago."
I reached over and took his hand and said, "You constantly amaze me how you always looked out for me."
"I did it because I love you, Mike."
"I love you for that, Ben."
"Anyway, he would call every so often to check on you. I kept telling him that it wasn't time yet. Jay always accepted that."
"Mike, are you sure you want this with Jay?"
"I don't know, yet."
"Do you love him?"
"I'm not in love with him. Not now at least. Today was the first time I had been with anyone since Mike."
"Again, I don't want you getting hurt again."
"I don't either."
"Will you promise me not to rush it?"
"No problem there. I don't want to."
"Okay. Will you be able to go to Betty's for Sunday dinner next week?"
"I think so. Do you think I should bring Jay?"
"Okay. Okay." I retreated from my joke.
"Mike, I know it's your life. But, I'm concerned about this. You're my best friend, like my own brother, so don't get hurt again."
"Are you tired of picking up the pieces, Ben?"
"That's not funny, Mike," he said looking hurt.
"You better be."
I went over to him and put my arms around him. "You're the best friend I have ever had. You didn't just pick up the pieces, we shared everything and I dare to think where I would be now without you there for me. I love you, Ben."
"I love you, too, Mike."
"Does Debbie know about that?" I asked with a giggle.
"Not like that, you perv."
I kissed his cheek and whispered, "Not like that."
"Debbie knows how I feel about you. She thinks it makes me a better man, husband and father."
"Very smart woman there, Ben."
"Does this thing with Jay mean you are over Mike?" Ben asked.
"No. I will never be completely over Mike. Are you?"
"It's different for me."
"I grieved for him, yes. But I also grieved for you and what you were going through. Am I over Mike?" Shaking his head no, he said, "I will never forget."
"That's why we have Mikey, isn't it?"
Ben gave me a huge smile. The pride was written all over his face. "Yes," he said.
"He's getting so big, isn't he?"
"Yeah, he is."
"I can't wait to take him to his first movie."
"Yeah, but it will be a drive-in first."
"I agree. Some Disney movie and I'm buying him popcorn with butter too."
"Oh, no," he said laughing. "You can clean him up then."
The end of Chapter 10