I phoned Max when I got home Thursday night. It was late, but I knew he'd be up.
If I was going to have to go back down to the New Haven Police Department to help find Danny and to answer some more questions, I thought I could use the support of my goofy friend from MIT. Alan had a wrestling camp to go to this weekend, so the idea of bringing along my free-balling roommate was not really an option. Besides, I'm sure Max would enjoy meeting Officer Ruggazione. He would probably have the poor unsuspecting cop in the sack before the weekend was over.
"Hey Max, it's TJ."
"Yes, I see your phone number. This is quite late for you to call to me," Max said, showing off his grammatical challenges.
"Yup," I agreed. "Just got home. Crazy day, I'll tell you all about it later."
"Okay TJ, how's it goin? What can I do for you?" Max had lowered his voice and was trying to sound mysterious.
"Well, it's just that I was hoping you'd be free this weekend."
Max sighed heavily.
"Finally!" he cooed. "You have come to your senses and you want to make me your boyfriend. I accept the invitation."
He sighed again. "Oh well. Your lost," he said.
"Yes," I laughed. "My lost indeed. But maybe someday Max, you never know."
Max yelped. "You are a terrible teaser, TJ. Unless you mean to have business with me, you must not say these things."
"I'm sorry, Max. I know you need sex. You need it bad. I understand that, I really do. But actually, I called you about something pretty important."
"Okay, something important. That is okay too, Teej. What can I do for you, my sexy friend?"
I smiled. Someday I was probably going to actually have sex with Max. Eventually, just not this weekend. The dude was relentless, and I was of course very, very easy.
"Um, well, not much, you know, it's just that, I wanted to check in and just, you know..."
"Okay, you are checked in," Max said cheerfully. "Please speak to the phone."
"Okay then, well..." I started.
"I'm all ears, right. This is what you white guys say, yes?" Max said.
"Uh, good," I smiled.
"Well, actually not ALL ears. I am so much more than just ears, you know. I'm dick too. Part of me is dick, TJ. Ears and dick then." Max thought what he said was funny and he laughed into my ear.
"Uh good," I agreed, rolling my eyes, hoping that we could move on soon.
"Hmm, well maybe I am a lot more dick than I am all ears. Especially when I'm talking to you. More dick, yes. That's me."
"Yes Max," I said with a giggle. "You're ears and dick. Ears and dick, but more dick than ears. I got it. Can we talk about what I called you about?"
"Yes, of course, my good friend."
"Good," I said.
"And just so you know, TJ, my ears are much, much smaller than my dick. I assume that you would like it more that way," Max said.
"Yes Max, I definitely would like that better," I said, smiling.
"Even if you add both of my ears together..."
I sighed loudly into the phone. Max stopped.
"Too much?" Max asked.
"Yes Max, too much" I said. "This is important, can I talk now?"
"Yes, TJ, go ahead. Of course. Please talk. I will just pretend that you are not wearing any pants as I listen."
"Max!" I finally raised my voice.
"I'm here for you, my friend. Please proceed," Max said soberly. I wondered how long he could last without making a joke. Or not finding some way to work either one of our penises back into the conversation.
"So, um, you remember what I told you about my friend. About my friend Danny. He's been missing since last Saturday."
"I am so sorry TJ," Max said, now in his serious mode.
"It happened down In New Haven like I mentioned, when I went down there last weekend for that Invitational track meet?" I half asked. I knew that Max's mind was probably a jumble of more stuff in a single day than most people had to think about in a whole year.
"Yes, so sad."
"Danny was the guy from Oregon, remember? He and I went to high school together. We were pretty close friends."
"Oh yes! Yes I do. Of course. Terrible business. How could I forget? Oregon rains a lot. Any progress?"
"Um, I mean, we are pretty close friends. Not were."
"Yes. Present tense. Of course," Max agreed.
"Well, so it totally sucks. And no, there hasn't been much progress all week. He's still missing. This is so, so fucked!"
"Yes, this totally sucks. I'm so sorry, TJ." Max sounded as if he might cry. The dude was weird, but pretty empathic.
I sniffed. Taking my cue, Max seemed to sniff too, immediately after me.
"Uh, thank you. I'm still pretty freaked out about the whole thing. I can't even imagine..." my voice trailed off. What if somebody had hurt Danny? What if.....? My nose was running big time now.
I heard Max blowing his nose on the other end of the phone. Max was such a sweet guy, an emotional lightweight, just like me!
I sniffed again . My cheeks were streaked with tears. I wiped my eyes. On the other end of the line, Max sobbed.
The two of us were silent for a minute, the emotions running over us both. I heard Max blow his nose again. He was back so I went on.
"So anyway Max, well, I mean, they want to talk to me some more. The police down there in Connecticut. You know? In New Haven."
"Yes, New Haven is a large town in Connecticut. I love to read the maps from New England. New Haven is not the capitol, that is Hartford. It is the south central part of Connecticut, close to the intersection of Interstates 91 and 95. Very good area for mass transit if you do are not to drive a car." Max explained.
"Thanks Max, I had no idea you were such an expert on Connecticut," I said.
Max may have loved geography as much as he loved physics. He was continually quizzing me about state capitols when we ran together along the Charles. It was obnoxious since he knew every one of them, along with their populations, but if Max had to have still another quirk, then this one of Max's more endearing ones.
"So I'm going to catch the train down this weekend. That excellent train system you know. Metro North. Do you want to come with me? It could be pretty rough for me down there dealing with all these cops and stuff. So I could really use some company. I mean company with you. I'd like it if you would go down there with me."
"Yes, Max. Company for me. On the trip." I explained.
"Yes, yes," he squealed. "On a weekend out of town in South central Connecticut with you? This could be very much fun!" Max's voice couldn't hide the glee he was probably feeling at the prospect of a joint road trip with an object of his affection.
"It's business, Max. All business. I have to meet some detectives, you know. And then I thought I'd hook up with Danny's brother. His name is David. He goes to Oregon too. Did I mention that Danny's got a a twin?"
"Uh, yes. I think you did. The capital of Oregon is Salem. But this is not where you find the University, yes? So, do the brothers look very much alike? "
What? Of course they looked alike, they were twins! I could tell that Max was already concocting a Plan B for himself, just in case he didn't get the blissful romance that he was hoping to get with me.
"Yes they look alike Max. Of course they like alike. They are twins. That's what happens, with twins you know," I said, trying not to sound too exasperated.
"Of course, yes. Twins."
"But whatever, Max, what David looks like is not the most important thing here! Can you come down with me or not? I could really use a friend while I do this."
"Yes TJ, yes," Max said soberly. "I am your friend with you."
"Good. Thank you for this," I said. I meant it.
"So yes, I will come on the train to New Haven! I love Metro North. It is clean and very fast. And I believe it is a very nice city, this New Haven, well most parts anyhow. And this will be good for me to put a city face with the maps I have reviewed. I want to see how exactly those Interstate highways intersect there."
Come on, seriously? He wants to check out the freeways?
I giggled. I sort of thought New Haven was okay, but nothing compared to Boston. I mean, the parts right around Yale were all right, but wasn't too sure about the rest of the city, I think there were a few shadier sections of town.
"Well, in truth, I don't know actually the city of New Haven very well. In high school, my mother and my father wanted for me to attend Ivy League schools, so of course I visited all of them. Back then, we traveled to New Haven by car. We traveled on Interstate 95 along the Atlantic seacoast corridor, right? It was one of those college tours, and you are knowing how those can be, am I right? New Haven seemed quite brilliant then. I was only a high school student with wide eyes, as you were then too I think. But of course I didn't choose to go there, to Yale in New Haven. I matriculated at MIT here in Cambridge. But still there was a nice trip to Connecticut for my family and for myself. There was a highlight that I may have not mentioned. I do remember one particular boy with brown skin who was really packing. Down below the belt, if you know what I mean."
I chuckled. I knew exactly what he meant. And it was just like good old Max to hook up with some college boy while his parents were probably waiting for him back in the hotel. I'm sure Max would tell me the story this weekend, maybe even more than once.
"It's so cool that you got into Yale too," I said. Max was so freaking smart, it was ridiculous.
"Yes, TJ, I did. It is possible that my father and mother donated a large pool of money to Yale, and that may have made the trick," Max said. His folks were loaded. They probably gave enough on behalf of their precious Max to endow a chair in the family name.
I wondered it would be like to have grown up in a family like Max did. With so much money you couldn't possibly spend it all. You were pretty much forced to give some of it away, to places like Yale. My parents on the other hand helped me fill out the student load applications. Once I got out of BU, I was going to start my life in debt, big time.
"No Max, I'm sure you got in on your own, you were a pretty smart dude back then in high school, right. Plus, you had like perfect SAT scores too, didn't you?" I said, already knowing the answer.
"Well," Max started to object. It was so cute that Max tried to portray himself as just a regular guy. He didn't want anybody to be intimidated by his brain, or by his family money. Maybe that was why Max worked the sex angle as hard as he did.
"Come on, Max, you're like the brightest guy I've met here in Boston. I'm sure Albert Einstein would be thrilled to have a brain as big as yours."
It was a perfect set-up for Max's goofy sense of humor. Both of us knew it. And, again, right on cue, Max moved the conversation exactly where I thought he would.
"TJ, let's leave the size of my brain out of this. If my anatomy is your preference, I have another idea. Can we please talk about the size of my male genitalia, instead? I think you'll agree with me. That is much more of interest to me."
Pause. He meant 'to you,' meaning me. But he said 'to me,' meaning him. I totally got it.
"And of interest to you, I mean. Right?"
He had taken the bait. Max was pretty predictable.
"Uh, yes it is of interest. But I like your brain most of all," I said.
"Aw, that is very sweet thing of you to say."
"Maybe later Max. Plus we'll have the whole weekend anyhow. We can do all the talking about all of the penises in the whole world. All of them that you'd like," I said.
"Oh," Max said. "Okay, that would be nice. There are a lot of penises in the world that I would enjoy to discuss."
"So I'll book us a room at a cheap hotel someplace in New Haven," I said.
"No, no TJ, let me do that, I like to reserve hotel rooms. It's one of my favorites of things to do."
Okay, no problem.
"I have heard that you must use caution in certain geographical vicinities when you are staying at the hotel in New Haven. So let me find us a nice place for us to stay. That is safe, of course. And clean."
"Uh, okay," I agreed.
"Great. And I will do my very well best to find a room with more than one bed, but you know how that might not turn out well. It is quite late for such reservations, TJ. The two beds in a room go first, so it is entirely possible that I will be unsuccessful to find one."
"Oh, yeah right," I said, sarcastically. Somehow, I didn't see New Haven hotels all filling up this weekend.
"And my treat for you, too. I mean on the payment of the hotel room. Okay?"
"Uh..." I generally didn't like to have Max buy stuff for me. I liked to do it on my own. But, he did have like a thousand times more money than me. So, okay.
"Yes, TJ, I insist. It would be my pleasure. You've got so many big things on your mind this week, let me do this one thing for you. We can say that this is the first of many thousands of weekends together."
"Traveling about these United States. We will someday see them all."
"What? Them all what?" I asked.
"The states. We will travel to them all."
"No, we won't," I said.
"Yes. They all have hotels right? We should see them together."
"No, we shouldn't," I said.
"Hmm. You are a touch cracker," he said. "But let's decide this question later. First things first. I must book the room in the New Haven hotel now."
Actually, the idea of staying close to downtown New Haven in a nicer hotel than I could have afforded on my own sounded pretty good to me. That way Max and I would be within easy walking distance of the police department. And it would be just a quick trip over to see Officer Ruggazione.
"Mmm, okay. Thanks a lot, Max. You're a great friend. I really appreciate you taking care of the hotel this weekend."
"My pleasure. Seriously," he said.
"Two beds, okay Max?"
"One," he countered. "Remember TJ, it is late. As I have said."
"Two beds!" I said again, raising my voice a little higher.
"Well, I'll try TJ, but you know what I am saying already. Late bookings in hotels in major cities, can be quite challenging."
He sighed heavily. "Okay, TJ, two beds. I promise to try, my friend."
"You are a 'kill the joy,' TJ," Max said, sadly.
"Sorry Max," I said.
"I will have you make it up to me. You will try my cock this weekend, TJ?" Max asked, feigning innocence.
"No, I will not try it," I said with a laugh.
"You really should."
Max sighed. We agreed to meet tomorrow at the Back Bay train station.
After I booked two tickets on Amtrak to New Haven, I phoned David Leeman to let him know exactly when I'd be coming down. I didn't mention that my wacky friend Max was coming too.
David sounded pretty sad, of course.
David was missing classes, and had even missed a few mid-terms. He had no idea what would happen to him in school if we all were unable to find Danny soon. David had been in New Haven all week. He said that he had been through like a billion interviews with the police detectives. If he agreed with my assessment that Officer Ruggazione was hot, he didn't mention that to me on the phone. After a few days haunting the streets and alleyways around Yale, David had become a local expert on bad college food. He laughed describing the one great universal truths of life in a college town-wherever in the world you were, if there was a major university, there was bound to be cheap pizza, way too many fried chicken wings, and lousy beer by the keg-load. Trying to eat healthy as a college athlete, David reported that he had discovered at least a few of the more reasonably edible eateries could be found in the New Haven area. I'm not sure that eating was too high on my list this weekend, but it was good that David found a distraction.
I cracked open my Math notes and tried to concentrate on integral equations. I didn't last long, before I was sound asleep.
The following morning, I was still dressed but Alan had managed to get my shoes off of my feet and get my comforter over me. I'd gotten pretty lucky to have Alan as my roommate, my first one ever. We'd hooked up on line before school started last fall and seemed to hit it off over the phone, and met in person for the very first time when I arrived at after I'd arrived campus from Logan Airport.
Of course, when we had been talking over the summer, Alan had failed to mention that he preferred not to wear clothes when he studied or when he yakked on the phone to his family back in Texas. But, me being a giver, somehow, I'd figured out how to adapt to having a mostly naked roommate.
Friday morning, I had a Math lecture and an Inorganic Chemistry lecture. In the middle, I had a couple hours to kill so I thought I'd grab a coffee at Peet's. It was warm this morning, so I balled up my fleece jacket into my backpack and made my way down Comm Ave.
As usual, the line was all the way to the door. Peet's was famous for their high octane coffee. Just like Starbuck's, it was a comfortable place with lots of tables and comfortable chairs, not that I'd ever been lucky enough to get one. But the coffee buzz was among the best I'd ever had, so it was worth the trouble even if all you could do was stand outside the door and pour the stuff inside of you. After I'd gotten my coffee and a scone, I was back outside leaning against the wall of the building, trying to look busy and bored at the same time. I sucked in a little rocket fuel and I was nibbling on the lid of my cup when a voice interrupted me.
"Hey, aren't you in my Freshman English class?"
I looked over my lid and say twelve perfectly straight and perfectly white teeth. Jeremy M. He was wearing a tight black shirt, his upper arms bursting out of his short sleeves. He was standing just two feet away from me and he smelled like grapefruit.
Jeremy M was talking to me? Luckily there was no coffee still in my mouth or I definitely would have choked on it. I pulled the cup away from my face and smiled.
"Um, well I might be. I'm in English," I said.
Jeremy M rubbed his chin thoughtfully, There was no stubble, he was perfectly clean shaven. Not a single red hair on his head was out of place. It looked like he had just come from a hair stylist. I'd never noticed his eyes before. This close I could see that they were a deep green. I wondered whether he wore those colored contact lenses.
"You guys had an essay test yesterday, right? On David Copperfield?" Jeremy M asked.
I cleared my throat.
"Yes, that's right. Yesterday. Are you in that class too?"
Jeremy M chuckled.
"No, no, I thought everybody in there knew me. I'm one of the T.A.'s"
Pause, pause, pause. This time, rub my chin. Look as if you're really thinking about it.
"Oh, yes, I do think I've seen you in there," I said, with a nod. Not really an Oscar worthy acting performance, but at least I wouldn't be broadcasting that he was the only boy I on campus tht I'd been jerking off too for several weeks now.
"Yeah, I've seen you too," Jeremy M said.
A breath stuck in my throat.
"You like to sit in the back, right?" he asked.
I took too big a sip of my coffee before answering. My tongue and palate caught fire. I choked and coughed. I turned my face away so that I wouldn't spew coffee all over Jeremy M's nice black t-shirt and then doubled over.
"Whoa, whoa," he said, patting me on the back.
I coughed again.
"Little sips, my friend. The coffee at this place can be pretty deadly," Jeremy M said to me with a sympathetic look. His little hand was on my shoulder, ready to pat me again if I choked again.
"Yeah, sorry about that," I said hoarsely.
He patted me lightly. My left shoulder sent a message of alert down to my dick. Jeremy M waited for the red color to drain from my face before removing his hand.
I nodded and smiled weakly.
"So, what did you think of our little quiz yesterday?" he asked me.
I gamely tried another sip of coffee again before answering.
"Um, it was pretty good, I guess. I mean, Copperfield is a tough read. It's an awesome book, but it can be pretty tough to get through," I said.
He smiled and flipped his head back slightly. Nothing moved on his head. His neck was perfectly symmetrical, hairless, and slightly more tinted than most red haired guys I'd known. I wondered if he played some kind of outdoor sports. Maybe lacrosse? I had no idea what that really was, but it was probably played outside.
"Yeah, I agree with you. Dickens can be so wordy some times, but the characters are so rich, so well developed."
"Yeah, uh huh," I agreed.
"So, how did you find the test?" Jeremy M asked me again.
"Not bad. I think I did all right."
He seemed to consider my answer before saying anything else. I put my cup to my mouth but thought better of drinking more of the coffee for the time being.
"Well, if you'd ever like to go over any of the books you guys are reading in class, I am happy to help out with any questions," Jeremy M offered.
Gulp. I took a bite of the lid.
"You would? I mean, you would do that? For me?"
Jeremy M laughed again. He shifted his back pack from one shoulder to the other. It was hard not to notice how tight his shirt was on his chest. It had to be an size small but he filled it out perfectly. There was a small little patch of white writing in the center of his shirt, over his breastbone. I couldn't make out what the letters were saying.
"Yes, no problem. I'm a T.A., it's my job," he said.
"Thank you," I said.
He lifted his fist up in front of my face.
"I'm Jeremy," he offered.
"TJ," I said in return. We fist bumped.
"Give me your phone," he said.
"Why?" I asked.
"I'll give you my number. You can call me if you'd like to go over some of the English stuff," he answered.
"Oh yeah, right," I said. I dug my phone out of my pocket and handed it to him. He pushed some buttons on his screen and transferred his number to me. I heard the happy little ding from my phone saying I'd gotten a text.
Jeremy M handed me back my phone. He put his away into his pocket and stood before me with a grin.
"What?" I said.
He backed away but kept smiling and looking into my eyes. He had on a simple pair of blue jeans with a black belt, partly covered by the bottom of his black shirt. The jeans were obviously made for him. Nothing could have fit him-or anybody-any more perfectly than his jeans did.
My cock was awake now, demanding to be set free. I shoved a hand into my pocket to calm things down.
"You should take it easy on those rowing machines," Jeremy said. "They can wear you out!"
As he turned to walk away, he allowed his fist, the same one I had just bumped, to open up into a little slow motion explosion. He was fifty feet down the street, his tight ass etched indelibly onto my memory bank. And now I had a boner.
After my Friday classes, I slipped back to my dorm room to grab my stuff and then met up with Max at the train station on Dartmouth Street in Back Bay.
Max was early and sitting on a cement bench right by the Dunkin' Donuts. He was wearing yellow pants, a black vest, and a houndstooth beret. He looked as if Sherlock Holmes had smashed into up a bumblebee.
"Really Max?" I said. "Where one earth did you find those?" I asked, pointing to the yellow pants he had on.
He laughed. "Oh, these old things! You know TJ, these are old pants and I do not wear them very commonly. And, it is not every weekend that I travel on the train to south central Connecticut. "
"Right," I smiled.
He squeezed me on both butt cheeks as we hugged. I winced.
"Thank you for coming Max. I really appreciate it," I said.
"Yes. You said to me this already."
I nodded. I gently suggested the proper arrangement of the words in that sentence and gave Max a peck on the cheek.
"You said this to me already," he repeated dutifully. "What would I do without you?" he asked.
He pretended to be wounded by my correcting his English, and sighed about as heavily as it was possible to sigh. If Max hadn't been such an intellectual superstar at MIT, the premier math and science institution on the planet, he might have had a career as a Shakespearean actor. Nobody was more dramatic than Max.
We caught up on each other's weeks while we waited for the train to arrive. After we boarded, Max dug around in his back pack and pulled out a silk scarf. He began tying it around his neck. I glared at him.
"What?" he asked, shrugging his shoulders. "It's a cravat."
"A cravat you Cretin. They are commonly worn just so. By sophisticated members of the bourgeoisie. At least, this is what I read. Their purpose is to keep the neck in a warm place in case of a chill."
"Max, it's May. It's already warm out." I laughed.
"One never knows," In the Sherlock Holmes bumblebee get-up, by simply adding the scarf, Max had gone entirely British on me . He looked ridiculous, but I felt a warm gush of emotion for my silly, compassionate friend.
I rolled my eyes and stole his hat. I put it on my head. Max scanned me from the nose up and back down again. He smirked and nodded. "Suits you. Keep it. I will buy another one for myself when we arrive at our destination."
"Thanks Max." I just might, but I doubted New Haven was loaded up with good shops to buy a Sherlock Holmes beret.
Mostly I wanted my traveling companion to look just slightly less ridiculous. My borrowing the beret would only slightly dull the crazy outfit Max had chosen to wear for our train ride. But, since I had the beret on, Max was now only costumed in his tight yellow pants, his Saturday Night Fever vest, and his matching yellow cravat. To the casual observer, we probably looked like just a couple of urban hipsters on their way down the I-95 corridor to play a gig at CBGB in NYC. Cool. I was clearly the less hip of the two of us however.
It was nearly a two hour trip down to New Haven. This was not the express.
Max and I talked a little. For a bit, we watched the Rhode Island coast. Max fell asleep a few times, but would then seem to wake up suddenly and we'd resume the conversation right where we left off.
As Rhode Island fell away, we had more of the same in Connecticut. It was neat going over the bridge outside of New London. There were a ton of sailboats in the harbor, and we caught a glimpse of some kind of Navy vessel out toward Long Island Sound.
Max and I talked about everything. But we always seemed to cycle back to men. One of Max's many favorite topics. Mine too.
The boy back home in Max's hometown that broke Max's heart. The boy back home in my hometown that nobody would have ever believed would be fucking me. The boys Max had been lusting over at MIT. The wrestlers and runners at BU that I'd been hooking up with whenever I could, my roommate Alan was always coming home and telling me about one or another of his wrestling teammates that I should be sucking off.
After we finished the stories of our sexual triumphs in college. I admit I had my doubts about some of Max's stories, we moved on to bigger and better things. Max's description of the ideal penis.
We talked about school as well. Max loved it at MIT. He wanted to design satellites. I had no worries that he would do that. Probably his first job right out of college.
And as for me, I loved it at BU too.
It was my first time away from boring old Apple Valley and I was having a blast. My pre-med classes were tough but I was hanging in there so far. The competition to get into medical school was pretty ridiculous, but if things kept going like they had been so far, I had a fighting chance. Just over three years to go! Ack!
On the other hand, Max seemed to be focusing on the extra-curriculars at MIT. It was a given that he would excel at whatever he did. His matter-of-fact description of his uncanny academic abilities wasn't meant to sound arrogant at all. It was just a simple declaration of the superior properties of his mind. Max pointed both palms to the ceiling of the train as he talked about himself in the third person.
"Basically, Max is smart dude. And there's not a whole lot Max can do about it. I've tried to fight it and I have failed utterly."
"Utterly failed," I said.
Okay, I guess.
Instead, the real challenge for Max seemed to be his ongoing goal of going to bed with nearly every male member of the MIT freshman class.
"You see, Teej, it just boils down to economics. On my laptop I have a spreadsheet that tracks my progress. It lists the boys I have met and shared with their carnal relations."
I smiled. Max was unique.
"Then, there are, of course, those sad, unfortunate ones that I know but have not yet shared such carnal knowledge of me. And, then, there is the last category."
"The last category, what do you mean?" I asked.
"The last category is my favorite one," Max said. "In this category are those boys with whom Max has no snowball's chance in hell to exist that I might ever bed down with."
I decided not to correct his grammar on this phrase. Anybody could figure out what he was talking about.
"Economics," I mused. "So how many so far Max? How many boys at MIT have you conquered?"
Max squinted his eyes behind his Harry Potter glasses and seemed to be engaged in some form of higher math.
"Well, so far, um, it's actually not a large number. But remember the school year is not yet over. There is still time." He looked at me with a big grin.
"Max, it's May. There's still time, yes, but you'd better get cracking."
Max liked my double entendre. He chuckled.
"Yes. I'd better get cracking," he agreed.
"So how many is it? So far? How many have you shared your carnal secrets with? Are we talking hundreds here?"
Max looked down at his lap.
Max's face was sad, his eyes misted.
"Two," he said. He turned away and covered his eyes with his forearm. "Oh the agony of it all!"
I burst out laughing. Max raised two fingers up in a peace sign, and that made me laugh ever harder. He waggled the tips of his fingers back and forth and then joined in laughing as well. The giggling fit went on for like two minutes and huge tears ran down both of our faces before we managed to get ourselves under control.
"Come on Max," I said. "Two? Seriously? What have you been doing with your time? Since last fall? What a wasted opportunity!"
"I know, I know. I am a failing."
"Well, I wouldn't take it that far exactly," I said, trying to sound upbeat. "You're doing well in school, right? The guys will....come. I guess."
"They will not come. Or cum," Max protested. "They will not come so far."
"Have not come," I corrected.
"Yes. They have not come. And I have not come."
"Well, maybe I can help you."
Max brightened. "Yes! Yes, please help me!"
"Okay, hmm, let's see, where do I start?" I asked, rhetorically. Max was going to be a big rehabilitation project. I was thinking about exactly how I should phrase my comments about Max's choice of the yellow pants, the black vest, and the cravat.
"I know exactly where you can start," he responded quickly. Max stood up and nodded toward the front of the train. "Let's go."
"Take off your clothes, TJ," Max commanded.
"We will use the bathroom in this coach." He nodded again toward the front of the train, this time more emphatically. "I have hand sanitizer in my back pack, we will fuck first and then clean up with my sanitizer. It will all be very healthy," he explained.
"Max," I said. I tried to frown, but it probably came across as some form of agreement. He reached into his pulled out a green bottle of cucumber-scented hand cleaner. He presented me the sanitizer with a smile.
I laughed and took it.
"Good then it's all settled," Max said with an even bigger grin. "Do you want me to be on top? I assume this is true since you are a bottom boy?"
"What? You don't like the cucumber essence?"
I shook my head. The guy was hopeless.
"Max, we are not going to have sex on this train," I said.
"Really? We are not?"
He looked crestfallen, and pursed his lips into a pout.
"Really," I answered.
"But, but, you said you would be there helping me?"
I exhaled. "Yes, I will help you. Gladly. But I didn't mean me! I didn't mean that you and I would just go...do it...I mean, right here, right now. On the Amtrak train."
"No. What I meant was that I would work with you. You know, give you tips, pointers. Help you polish your image. Help get you in shape so that you can bed down, er share carnal relations with all the rest of those boys in your freshman class."
"Hmm. That is very nice TJ, but I don't need tips. I need dick. The whole burrito."
"Enchilada," I corrected.
"It's not 'the whole burrito,' Max. It's 'the whole enchilada.'"
"Oh. Then yes, I need that. I need the penis enchilada. The dick enchilada. I love the cuisine of Mexico!"
"Of course you do Max. The dick enchilada. That sounds totally delicious. We all need that Max, god knows. But it's just that. Well, we're friends Max. And I'd kind of like to keep it that way. I really like being friends with you. You're one of my best buds here in Boston."
Max looked happy and sad at the same time.
"No enchilada for you, my friend," I said. "At least not now. Not mine."
Max looked horrified. I wondered if I'd gone too far.
"Not now on this train," I added. Maybe that would give him a little hope. For another time.
"No?" He crossed his arms across his chest.
Max shrugged and looked away.
"But I definitely want Mexican food for dinner tonight in New Haven, okay TJ? All of discussion of Mexican cuisine has made me desire it."
"Maybe a taco Max, or a tostada."
"But no enchilada." Max agreed finally.
The rest of the ride Max was in a sullen mood. I tried to cheer him up by telling him stories about the guys I'd managed to sleep with in Boston. He smiled and listened politely, but his heart wasn't in it. The poor guy just needed to have sex. With somebody.
Maybe when we got to New Haven, I could figure out a way to get Max laid. I looked down at the yellow pants. It was going to be a challenge however.