For the last several months every Saturday at 5:00am Sey and Mike had been going fishing in the river. It was brutally cold that morning and both men were bundled in warm clothes and armed with thermoses of coffee compliments of Tasha.
As they carried their coffee and gear toward the river Sey said "Damn Mike. She is so good to me. What women would get up, make breakfast and coffee this early on Saturday morning AND help you pack your tackle box? Hell I even got a little morning love!" He grinned and winked. "I'm a lucky man."
Michael agreed, "Yes you are a luck man Sey."
When does the baby making commence?" Mike was curious about the details of Kenny donating sperm. He had twisted visions of a turkey baster and candlelight. He wondered what role Kenny would play in the future of the baby. Sey answered "We want to make sure Kenny is settled in and doesn't feel pressured. Once he lets us know he is ready, we will talk about the details".
They took their casting rods, which were modified, fly fishing rods and waded out into the river. Both began casting. Mike asked "So you're not curious about my night out?"
Sey chuckled. "Hell yeah, I'm curious!" Mike quickly relayed the events of the prior evening in a clinical and concise manner. Sey processed the information for a few minutes before replying "So that's it? I'm glad I'm not in the dating market anymore. But I would not classify that as anything more than a fuck." Mike silently agreed.
Sey pulled in a trout, and reset his tackle and recast.
Mike took a deep breath and asked "So Kennys gay?" Sey glanced sideways at Mike and said "There is a place for everyone in the tribe, Mike".
Mike immediately felt misunderstood and replied "I just didn't know is all. It caught me off guard." Sey was confused and asked "What caught you off guard? What happened?"
Michael answered, "Nothing really happened. Maybe I just sensed it about him. And it surprised me. I don't know". Mike refocused on his casting and dropped the subject.
Sunday afternoon there were traditional tribal dances, food and storytelling. Of the 2000 people living on the Nooksack tribal lands, at least 600 attended from the four main villages. Mike walked through the crowds and mingled politely. He stopped to watch a dance exhibition and was startled to see that Kenny was one of the dancers.
He recovered, but slid his sunglasses from his head down over his eyes to hide his gaze. Despite the cold, Kenny was dressed in traditional tribal attire and was bare-chested. For a man as lean and wiry as he was, he was extremely well built. The word sexy burnt into Mike's brain. As Kenny turned toward Mike in a dance move, he recognized Mike in the crowd. It clearly threw him off a step and he hesitated for a moment. Kenny immediately recovered an threw himself back into the flow of the dance.
The dance culminated in a frenzy of very sensual moves where the male dancers were celebrating a good hunting season and being rewarded by coming back to their lovers embraces. The dance abruptly stopped with a thundering of percussion. It was quite electrifying for Michael to watch.
Mike pulled his coat tightly around his body hiding his raging erection. Easing backward, he turned back toward the village and toward his trailer. Mike slammed the door as he entered the trailer. This is fucking ridiculous, he thought.
He pondered his next steps. He was a scientist for god sake. He logged into the university library system and started querying the various academic databases on sexuality. He spent the rest of the evening reading various articles about variations in sexuality before falling into bed exhausted at 2:00am.
Mike woke up at 7:00am and walked to Sey's house and knocked on the door. Sey answered. "Hey Mike! Good morning. Want to come in for breakfast?" Mike cautiously looked into the house before entering. Sey picked up on it and rolled his eyes and said "dude he does not live here, he lives with my parents".
Mike felt terrible that he was that obvious. "Sey it is not what you think." No way was he going to tell the truth until he knew what the truth was. "I have to go to Seattle to the University for some meetings. I'll be back in a day or so. And save me a plate Friday night. I'll finish with Janet early. What's for White Night this week?" Sey smiled and answered "don't know yet, bro. We'll know when we see it on our plate". Mike fist bumps Sey and heads down the steps to pack up for Seattle.
He knows exactly what he is going to Seattle for; to talk to the chair of sociology. She is a colleague and friend specializing in gender studies and sexuality. About 4 hours after leaving Nooksack tribal lands he knocks on Dr. Kendrick's office door. As she looks up, she breaks into a smile. "Long time, no see Michael!" She gets up to hug his neck. "I was so sorry to hear about your wife." Mike thanked her and says "It's really good to see you Dr. Kendrick." She answered "Mike, please call me Kelly. Sit down, let's catch up".
Michael took a seat in her office and pondered how to begin. "Kelly... I have a question. It's rather personal in nature... very personal and very concerning for me. He cleared his throat and stumbled a bit. Kelly sensed his unease and got up, walked around her desk and shut her office door. Instead of returning to her desk, she sat down in a chair right next to him and turned it to face Michael.
"Michael. Talk to me".
Mike sighed. He tried to formulate the words. Struggling, he began to talk in free form, haltingly.
"My wife died. You know that. I loved her, very much. <pause>
I love women. I really do. <pause>
I have never dug guys. Nothing against it, but I just didn't.
Then last week, I met him".
At this point Mike looks up at Kelly and flushed, but continues "He said I was his perfect type..."
..."but even before he said that, we kind of looked at each other ...at a party the day before..."
..."then yesterday, I saw him dance and I got an erection," Mike winced uncomfortably and continued..."I had a strong reaction."
When I went back to my trailer, I did research for hours online using the University Library research databases. There were so many studies and so much data. I got so tired, I was exhausted trying to understand it all....so I went to bed".
Mike stopped and exhaled a long breath and rubbed his eyes again. "This morning I came here". Mike's face was splotchy and he was sweating. Mike blurted "I also have a new female lover that I met online. We just fuck, no strings attached, once a week". Mike rubs his face with his hands again. He stopped talking but continued to sit there looking bewildered and confused.
Kelly waited to make sure Michael was finished talking. She reassuringly reached across to Mike and held his hand and looked him right in the eye. "Mike, you're perfectly normal. There is nothing wrong with you. You're not losing your mind. Let's get that settled right now. It is not uncommon for heterosexual people to have crushes on or even fall in love with members of the same sex at some point during their lifetime. Sexuality can be a very liquid thing. There are many who believe that you fall in love with the soul of a person, not necessarily their body parts.
But I think what you're confused about is the immediate and profound arousal you felt for this young man because it has never happened before. Mike exhaled with relief as he listened to Kelly, his eyes never leaving her face. It had been the right decision to come see her. He knew she would have answers.
"Mike, May I ask a few questions? Have you met this young man before?"
Kelly words had such a calming effect on Mike he was able to answer normally "yes, more than 5 years ago. He was barely an adult and I don't remember much about him from that time frame. He's 25 now. He's the younger brother of my best friend. He's very good looking"
Mike thought, who am I kidding? Kenny was sexy as hell.
To Kelly, "This has all just happened this past week. It's crazy. I've barely exchanged 10 sentences with him and interacted with him only 3 or 4 times". He looked to Kelly for some explanation about how this could happen so quickly.
Kelly put her hand on Mikes's reassuringly, and answered "I'm going to give you some reading material. It's written in plain English, not scholar speak. It won't make you feel so exhausted after reading it." Kelly smiled.
"And I'm also going to give you some advice. The best course of action is always an honest one. Play things by ear. Don't make decisions before you have to. You don't have to have all the answers up front. Tell him what you feel, when you feel it. If you unsure about the depth or longevity of your attraction to him but want to explore the relationship, just say so. If it feels risky or frightening, get to know him slowly. Your next steps will become clearer to you over time. There is no right or wrong answer about attraction or sexuality. Sometimes it just is what it is."
"Michael, what do you know about the character of this man?" Mike answered without hesitation "He is very beloved by the tribe and his family. And he just completed 7 years of education to come back and work on the reservation for free".
Kelly answered, "Well, he doesn't sound like an asshole" She chuckled, "Sounds like someone worth getting to know." Michael breathed out a slow relieved breath. Kelly had righted his thinking.
What was he afraid of?