Circling several islands, on the way home, I knew from past experience these islands generally produced Northern Pike. My past successes proved providential. The lily pads along the shores and in the small bays coupled with trolling the reed beds just off of the islands in places, produced several Northern. We boated and kept several five pound plus fish and released quite a few smaller ones. It was crowding three in the afternoon when we finally reached the dock at home. Matt and Jacob hadn’t arrived yet, but knowing how punctual they usually are, it wouldn’t be long before they drove down the lane.
Boat docked and secured, life jackets stowed in cabinets, fishing gear stored in their racks, and bait taken care of, we hustled to clean our combined catch of walleyes and Northern. Ray volunteered to wash and bag the fillets and hustled to the house, returning with freezer bags, and a couple of large plastic bowls. Using the electric fillet knife, I quickly removed the meaty fillet from each side of the walleyes while Carl and Rick, using standard fillet knives, slipped the flesh from the skins and handed the fillets to Ray to wash and bag.
The walleyes were done in short order and I was ready to start on the Northern Pike when I heard a horn honk and saw Matt and Jacob’s SUV coming down the lane.
“We’ll finish up, Uncle Levi,” Elgee volunteered, taking the electric fillet knife from me. “You go meet Matt and Jacob.”
He’d become quite proficient at cleaning and removing the flesh from Northern Pike, using the five cut method I taught him. I was very confident the fish fillets would be bone free.
Matt was the first to emerge from the vehicle when he parked in front of the house and was followed by Jacob. Both hugged me tightly, Jacob a little longer than Matt so I suspect he was checking my heart beat and physical appearance. Just can’t separate the doctor part of him from the family part of him. Matt, meanwhile, gave a wave and instructed their two passengers to “come and meet Uncle Levi.”
Both boys were unfamiliar to me since neither visited here before. They were handsome young men, in their mid-teens I thought, well-built, but not overly so, average height, perhaps a little below weight for their height and build; one was slightly darker than the other in complexion, one dark hair, the other light brown. The darker of the two was lankier, perhaps lithe, leggy, with the looks and build of a runner, if I was to guess.
The two stood quietly, sort of shifting from one foot to the other, uncertain what was expected of them or happen next, while giving me the “once over” evidently trying to decide what my position was in the hierarchy of things, how I might view them, or if they’d like me. They gave every appearance of being shy, but I saw a certain sadness in the eyes of the lighter of the two.
“Sebastian,” Matt instructed, pointing at the darker complexioned lad, “Meet your Great-uncle Levi Moore. He’s the head of our family and this is his place, Spirit View Farm.”
Turning to me, “Uncle Levi, meet Sebastian Lindquist, one of Mark’s grandsons and my great-nephew.”
Sebastian stepped forward, extended his hand, shook it while saying, “Nice to meet you.” He offered no more than just that.
Jacob instructed the other lad to step forward. “Adam, meet your Great-Uncle Levi. You know now he’s our family head.”
“Uncle Levi, meet Adam Erickson, one of Bethany’s grandsons and my great-nephew.” Adam offered no more than had Sebastian.
Perhaps they were shy or just reluctant to say too much to me until they knew me better. I decided to probe with a couple of questions of my own to see if I couldn’t gain a little more information since they offered so little on their own.
“What grade in school, guys?”
“Senior this fall,” offered Adam.
“Junior this fall,” responded Sebastian.
“Ames,” answered Adam.
“Davenport,” was Sebastian’s response.
I was about to ask some more when I noticed their eyes shift from me toward the lake. Turning slightly, I saw my crew tumbling from the fish house and heading in our direction.
“May as well meet the rest of my company,” and waved Elgee and crew to join us.
Evidently cleaning fish wasn’t only messy, but hot work as well since all four of them were shirtless. Elgee and Rick carried the knives, while Carl and Ray each carried a bowl of packaged fish fillets, ready for the freezer.
Pointing at Elgee, “My great-nephew Lyle Gilbert Moore, Elgee for short.” I moved from him to each of the others. “Enrique Amato De la Fuente – Rick, Elgee’s fiancé; Carlos De la Fuente, - Carl; and Raymon De la Fuente – Ray. Boys,” pointing first at Matt, “Meet Matt, Jacob, Adam, and Sebastian. I’ll let you hash out the relationships later.”
“We’re pretty messy,” Elgee apologized, “so please excuse us for not shaking hands.”
“No problem,” Adam answered.
I noticed something I was certain the others hadn’t. Ray gave a shy smile and a slight wave of his hand, to Sebastian who smiled and sort of waved back. They knew each other, somehow, some way!
“We’re going swimming after we put things away and bury the fish guts,” Rick announced. “Care to join us? It’s bare-assed naked so if you’re shy I’d advise you swim with your eyes closed,” and laughed.
“I’ll help with burying the fish guts,” Adam volunteered.
“I’ll help put the fish, knives, and stuff away,” Sebastian said, taking the large bowl from Ray.
That confirmed it as far as I was concerned! Time and patience would reveal all. Ray was bound to say something, sooner or later.
It didn’t’ take long for guts to be buried and clean up to take place in the kitchen, along with depositing the packages of fish in the freezer, and the crew gathered on the porch. Elgee and Rick quickly slipped off their clothes, making no attempt to conceal their nakedness or male attributes from Matt and Jacob or the others, for that matter. Carl and Ray quickly followed suit. Sebastian looked at Adam, sort of shrugged his shoulders in that “what the hell” manner and dropped his shorts and peeled off his shirt and shoes and socks. Ray’s eyes immediately focused on Sebastian’s crotch and the larger than average appendage swinging back and forth over two ample balls. Sebastian’s eyes were riveted to Ray’s smaller, but delightfully beautiful, young, uncut cock, and slowly licked his lips.
Naked, junk bouncing, except for Ray’s, the group ran to the lake. Sebastian and Ray brought up the rear, staying in relatively close contact with each other.
“God,” Matt commented in admiration as he saw Rick’s maleness, “that boy is really hung!”
“As if you’re not,” guffawed Jacob.
I couldn’t help comment that Sebastian was no slouch in that department either.
Boys in the water, I turned to Matt and Jacob. “Now, what’s going on? You’ve never had these two up here before. Something amiss?”
“Somewhat,” Jacob volunteered, “but nothing catastrophic if that’s what you mean.”
“Okay, you guys, explain what ‘somewhat but not catastrophic,’ means.”
“We were hoping,” Matt explained, “after Adam finished his senior year of high school, you could find him a place on a ‘Popper’ for that summer.”
Adam’s parents divorced about five years previously, leaving Adam and three young brothers in his mother’s care (Bethany’s daughter). He wanted to go to college and although some money was going to be provided by his father and hopefully scholarships and loans, he’d be able to attend, but there wouldn’t be anything for extras. Additionally, it’d strap his mother in taking care of his younger brothers.
“If he could earn enough,” Jacob added, “he wouldn’t have to borrow much, if any, for college and it’d help relieve the financial situation at home.”
College costs rose tremendously in the past several years and I could well understand their concerns over costs and increases in student debt. Matt and Jacob were seeking a way to avoid that trap for Adam.
“Actually,” I replied, “Popper One will have an open spot next summer. He’d be paired up with one of Bill and Linda’s grandsons. This business is as much yours as it is mine, so what do you think?”
“Great!” smiled Matt, both of them pleased.
“Done is done,” I said, “Get him ready for it ‘cause you guys know it is damned hard work.” I paused before zeroing in on Sebastian. “Now, how about Sebastian, you know the one who seems so enamored with Ray and vice versa,” looking out toward the lake noting Ray and Sebastian were standing face to face about six inches apart. From the porch, it appeared the top of Ray’s head came up the chin of Sebastian.
“That’s a bit of a different story,” Matt offered thoughtfully. “Mark called a couple of weeks ago reporting, according to Sebastian’s parents, he appeared to be suffering from bouts of depression. He’s a loner, makes few if any close friends, and tends to stay by himself. His school work is good to excellent and his only outside activity is running track. Seems like, in good weather, after school or early in the morning during the summer, he strips to running shorts and tennis shoes and runs. In the winter, he uses the indoor track at school and does the same. Doesn’t bother anyone, not impolite, just quiet and withdrawn. You’ve seen how much of a conversationalist he is. Hardly said a word all the way up. Mark kind of thinks, from what he’s observed, Sebastian might be struggling with his sexual orientation or identity and feels he’s unable to discuss it with anyone. Hence, Mark thought being around some gay married guys or a widowed gay Great-uncle might do him some good. We never expected you’d have a young engaged gay couple, his age or so, visiting here.”
“Doesn’t look like he’s struggling now,” I said pointing out toward the lake where Ray, standing waist deep was wrapped up in Sebastian’s arms, his head resting on Sebastian’s chest. “I’m willing to bet each has something in his hand that isn’t attached to his own body but someone else’s.”
Matt and Jacob both smiled and bobbed their heads in agreement!
“Why do I have the impression they’ve met before?” I pondered. “Perhaps fleeting, just in passing, but they have met!”
We agreed not to press the issue, but let Ray and Sebastian, continue without questions or interference and see where it led the two of them. Ray was not “out” as far as I knew, at least not until now, and Sebastian certainly didn’t seem to “struggle” with his sexual identity or preferences. Two peas in a pod!
I fired up the gas grill and Matt and Jacob set up the tables and chairs on the porch so we could eat and relax afterwards relatively bug free.
“Don’t be expecting my crew to dress after swimming,” I advised, “so be aware not all of the meat will be on the plate.”
“They’re regular nudists, it sounds like,” mused Matt.
“No different than you and Jacob were at that age,” I retorted. “Also, they’re going to want to know all about Mark.”
I went on to explain I’d been spending time telling them our story and I’d reached the point of their high school and college days. We visited quite some time until I decided to put the steaks on. The boys had been in the water long enough, I thought, although I wasn’t certain about Ray and Sebastian! Matt and Jacob put out the sides and gave a wave and a shout to the crew dinner was ready. I’d placed a number of large Turkish beach towels out on a chair so they could dry themselves, which they did, thinking they could also use the towels to cover themselves when they ate, if they didn’t want to put clothes on. I was surprised they did just that, by wrapping the towels around their waists providing some modicum of decency. Not that it made any difference as far as we were concerned, but the towels did provide a cover up of any part standing up while they ate. Ray’s towel was way too big for him, but he made do.
There was constant chatter among the boys as they ate, continuing to learn more about each other and become better acquainted. Ray and Sebastian did little but grin at each other, so Matt, Jacob, and I assumed they were well familiar with each other. The crew decided not to swim after we ate, instead helping to clean up and putting things away, while Matt, Jacob, and I fixed after dinner drinks and settled on the porch. Clean up complete, they settled on the floor in front of the three of us. Elgee took his usual place between Rick’s outspread legs, his head resting on Rick’s chest. Ray assumed the same position in between Sebastian’s legs, a shit-eating grin on each of their faces.
“Okay,” Elgee began, “how did Mark come about?”
“Well, it’s usually when a sperm fertilizes an egg,” advised a very straight-faced Jacob, “and it divides into two identical embryos instead of just one.”
“I know that,” Elgee snorted in disgust. “I mean how did Matt find out he had a twin brother?”
Matt and Jacob both laughed at Elgee’s impatience and eagerness to discover the answer to that particular question and more, if he could wheedle it out of them. My relaying of my continuing story of our family history and his eagerness, brought them to the understanding of his need for connection to us. I wasn’t certain how interested the others were, but Rick definitely was since he was to marry into this hodge-podge of a family in the next spring after high school graduation.
“Our senior year of high school, Jacob and I convinced Uncle Levi and Dad to buy another ‘Popper’ and let us run it on our own,” Matt began.
I remembered well the misgivings David and I had concerning the idea, but after all, Matt and Jacob worked all through high school on the carnival circuit and Matt certainly hadn’t forgotten any of his street smarts he’d gained while on the street or in “the system” so we gave them the go ahead. It meant we’d have to hire some extra help for us, if we were going to continue to run not only the “Popper” but a gaming joint as well. It was then we decided to “keep it in the family” and hire only relatives, preferably gay males but straight males could apply as well, who wanted to earn some bucks for college.
We were surprised how many applied to work with us. We sorted through the applicants and decided to bring on board a couple of second year college nephews we thought might be able to handle the type of operation we ran in case we wanted to expand in the future. The summer was not only profitable for Matt and Jacob but for us as well. We were more than pleased with our “trainees” and decided to work them another year or two, depending on their future plans.
“Uncle Levi worked on his Master’s Degree when Matt and I started on our Bachelor’s Degree program. We lived at home with Uncle Levi and David,” Jacob said. “Our intentions were to seek admission to the University of Iowa at Iowa City after our Bachelor’s program. I was in pre-med and Matt in pre-law.”
I’d already decided I wanted to go to Iowa City for my PhD so it made sense for us to seek to purchase a place for me to live while there and for the boys to live when they enrolled. We located a nice duplex out in University Heights, pricey but what isn’t in a university town? We had sufficient property by this time to leverage a small farm we had, bought the duplex, and I moved there, during the week, leaving on weekends to go home to Cedar Falls and on holidays, and days when I had no classes or research to do. The other half of the duplex we rented out, reducing our costs. The rent mainly made the payments and paid the taxes.
During the interim period from when I was awarded my PhD until Matt and Jacob moved to Iowa City, we rented out the entire duplex, increasing our revenue stream without increasing our expenditures. I returned home to Cedar Falls to live and picked up a part-time instructor’s position at a small private college in a community not far from home. I enjoyed it tremendously; the small classes, the campus, and the community.
“During the summer after our first year at U. of I.,” Jacob continued, “we were working a date on the carnie circuit in Muscatine. I’d slipped back to the camper to fix some lunch for us. On the way back to the “Popper” I thought I spotted Matt walking down the midway. I was about to shout at him wondering why he’d left the joint, but stopped when I saw a very attractive young lady on his arm. There was no way it could’ve been Matt and they seemed to evaporate into the crowd. I figured it was just my imagination. Yet, it still nagged at me after living with Matt all of these years.”
Jacob was witness, as David and I had been, several times over the years since Matt and him began sleeping together and were now a couple, Matt’s nighttime wandering while asleep, hunting, seeking someone or something, usually around his birthday. Matt would crawl out of bed, stand a couple of minutes, appear to looking around, muttering “where are you?” oft time crying as though he’d lost something precious to him. Jacob would ease him back into bed, hold him close, speaking tenderly to him reassuring him all was right with the world, he was safe in Jacob’s arms, and wait for him to settle back down into a deep sleep. Matt would have absolutely no memory of it in the morning.
Our lives took a dramatic and unanticipated change in the spring of Matt and Jacob’s second year at the University!
“It was during our second year in Iowa City, during the springtime,” Jacob relayed to his young audience. “I was in medical school and Matt in law school. I was leaving a coffee shop while on a short break between classes when I spotted Matt walking in the door. I asked him what he was doing here. I thought he had classes.”
“I beg your pardon,” the young man replied. “I think you’ve mistaken me for someone else.”
“Come on, now,” Jacob laughed, “it’s me, Jacob, your boyfriend and roommate.”
The young man shook his head slowly, responding, “I’m sorry, but I’ve never seen you before this very moment.”
Jacob was certain something was drastically wrong; something must’ve happened to cause Matt to act this way. He paused, puzzled, wondering what to do next. It was then he spotted the wedding band on the young man’s left hand. It hit him like a lightning strike on a golf course! It wasn’t Matt, but a look-alike, a twin!
“Oh, my god!” he gasped aloud to the young man, “He’s been hunting for his twin brother all this time and you’re him.”
“What did you just say?” the young man asked in astonishment. “Who’s been looking for what?”
Jacob, not really hearing what the questions were, was momentarily confused, trying to collect his thoughts, wild ideas racing through his head, and at his shock at seeing someone exactly like Matt continued on as if nothing had been asked.
“Excuse me,” he asked the stranger who looked like Matt, “I find it quite difficult to address you when I don’t know your name and keep seeing and hearing someone I know quite intimately coming from you.” Quite intimately to the point he was willing to bet this stranger was so identical to Matt he sported the same prodigious cock Matt did! “Could I please ask your name?”
“Mark Linquist, and you are?”
“Well, Jacob Tucker, who are we talking about?”
“Matt Coleman, my boyfriend and mate.” Jacob dug around in his pocket, producing his wallet. “I have several pictures of him,” and opened it for Mark to view.
Mark looked them over carefully before muttering a low oath and announced, “Do you mind if I sit down?”
They sat at an empty table facing each other. Neither said anything until Mark asked, with a deep sigh, “Again, what did you mean when you said Matt was looking for someone. Was it at night?”
“Would it be possible for me to meet Matt Coleman?”
“How about dinner tonight at our apartment?”
“Okay, but we’ll have to bring the little ones with us.”
“Two boys, ages four and two.”
Jacob gave him their address, set the time for six, and they parted. At home he did little more than tell Matt, currently engrossed in a case law book preparing for an exam, they were having company for dinner and it was someone he met, wife and family.
Matt sort of grunted an okay, and returned to his studies. Jacob fixed a nice pot roast with vegetables, planned on ice cream for dessert, and waited the arrival of their guests.
“The doorbell rang,” Jacob said, “at the appointed hour. I answered it and invited Mark, his lovely wife, Miriam, sons Lucas age four, and John, age two to come in and join us. They stepped into the living room, Matt set aside his book and rose from the couch, and the brothers confronted each other for the first time since leaving the womb.”
“Not a word was spoken as Matt and Mark seemed to take each other’s measure. Faces expressionless, Matt stepped forward and advanced on Mark, who’d left his wife’s side and his sons. The most remarkable scene unfolded in front of Miriam and me. The brothers stepped forward, for there was no doubt now they were brothers, identical twin brothers to every detail, until they were close enough for each to touch the other. With hands, eyes, finger tips, they explored, touched, each other’s faces, hair, lips, ears, eyes, noses, ran their hands over the others shoulders, down the sides to the waists and back up, as if trying to re-familiarize one for the other, recapturing what must have been lost.”
“I finally found you!” Mark exclaimed softly, taking Matt into his arms, pulling his head close so their cheeks resting one against the other’s, securing their bodies together, pressing the sides of their faces together. “I’ve looked so long and missed you so!”
Matt nodded, squeezed his brother tightly, choking back a sob, “And I found you! You were the first to leave and I never felt you again or heard your heart beat.”
“Well, I’ll be,” Miriam exclaimed, “all these years on his birthday when he wandered around at night, he really was seeking someone, his brother.”
“Matt the same way,” I acknowledged.
“Maybe we both can get some sleep now,” she laughed softly.
We both knew, from Mark and Matt’s conversation, what they were saying to each other. Mark was the oldest of the two, in terms of birth order and was apparently whisked away shortly after birth.
The twins separated, smiling at each other, holding hands as if fearful they’d be separated again.
“Matt,” Mark said, “I’d like you to meet my wife, Miriam, and my sons, your nephews, Lucas or Luke age four and John, age two.”
Matt greeted them warmly before saying, “I would like you to meet Jacob Tucker, the love of my life, my boyfriend, my partner in life’s journey.”
It was a great evening with Matt and Mark doing most of the talking. One would’ve thought Luke and John might be confused which one was their father, but not so. They also never hesitated to go to their “Uncle Matt.” Neither did the other seven boys Miriam and Mark had over the years.
Matt, dropped off at a fire station in Davenport led an entirely different life than Mark did. Whereas Matt spent his early childhood, until David claimed him, either in foster care or on the street, Mark, dropped off at a fire station in Muscatine, was adopted by an older childless couple of undetermined, but substantial wealth.
Matt and Mark, in spite of being brothers one might say, from the very beginning, became fast and true friends. Acting and thinking as some twins seem to do, they’d finish each other’s sentences, enjoyed the same activities, act in like manners and seemed to anticipate the other’s wants and needs. The only difference, one was gay and one was straight. They had much to catch up on concerning their lives and by midnight of their first meeting, Mariam and I both had to bring it to a halt. The children needed to be put to bed, although they seemed to sleep well on our bed, and she had to work the next day. She was a teacher and did some substitute work to “help out at home” while admitting she really didn’t have to since Mark’s parents made certain they were well taken care of financially. Both Mark and Miriam were astounded how Jacob and Matt made their money in the summer. Yes, there was much to catch up on and over the years they did.
Mark completed his pharmacy degree, Matt completed his law degree and was admitted to the bar, about the same time Jacob finished medical school and his residency. Mark settled in Davenport and Matt and Jacob relocated in Cedar Falls and moved in with us. Mother and Dad Coleman welcomed Mark and Miriam and all of their children as grandchildren and enjoyed them immensely when we all vacationed at Spirit View in August.
Our lives tragically changed again in 1972 when Dad Coleman died suddenly of a massive heart attack!