Thursday, September 7, 2023

Cee One Eff One (Part 2 of 2 Parts), Post #247

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Got more hits than usual on last week’s post—the first half of this story—but not many comments. Have you figured things out yet? Well, let’s get to it. Here goes, the finale.

* * * *

Cee One Eff One

I popped a lid off a brew and retreated to my recliner to watch the news or a comedy or just to get some noise in the room. Memories from my youth intruded too much for serious TV watching, so it was probably the noise thing.

Four of us had bummed around. Dave and Hal and Robert and me. And the hanger-on, Bug. A couple of years younger

than we were, he was a skinny kid who didn’t get along with his own peers and tried to attach himself to us. Got picked on a lot if I remembered correctly. Gus was… That’s it! His name was Gus. Gus… Gus… Dammit the last name wouldn’t come.

At any rate, Gus had been kinda an oddball. Not exactly a mama’s boy, but not far from it. Guess maybe that’s why he seemed to attach himself to me rather than my buddies. Come to think of it, he always seemed to get along better with Dave and Hal and Bob than with me. Seemed like he was trying too hard or something.

From the vantage point of today, I looked back to wonder if he’d sensed in me what I didn’t know until later. Not until college. That’s when I found out I was gay. Fought it, denied it like crazy, but finally had to admit it when the school’s hunky quarterback picked me up in a college bar one night and turned me every which way but loose. After that, I knew the truth about myself. The jock came back for refills occasionally, but not as often as I would have liked. That’s when I learned the other side of the coin. Whenever the footballer came around, it was just for one thing, to be serviced, and nothing else. At times, he acted downright hostile. I didn’t realize until later he was angry with himself. In his eyes, I was a weakness he succumbed to. By the time he graduated—a couple of years ahead of me—I was glad to see him go… although I missed him terribly.

Had Bug—or Gus—seen my future clearer than I had? Or was he struggling to face his own. Now, ten years later, I regretted the disdain with which I’d treated the kid. I should have looked on him as someone to mentor, not torment. And torment him, I did. I locked him in restrooms, stole his clothes at the swimming hole and left him to cover himself as best he could while walking home. I was a real bastard to him. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps subconsciously I knew I was going to be bullied, so wanted to get in a little of my own while I could. God! How petty can a man be?

I was so moved by my belated recognition of how I’d treated Bug… no, he’d be Gus from now on… that I sent him a long email apologizing for my behavior. I got no reply.


A few days later, my phone beeped a text alert, but before I could answer it, the phone rang. I recognized Gus’ blocked number and forgot all about answering the text. “Hello,” I said, likely a little too breathlessly. “Glad you called.”

“So you’re remembering the old days, huh?”

“Yeah. Notice you didn’t say the ‘good old days.’”

“Not for me they weren’t. In that whole town, there was only one guy I thought could understand me. What I was going through. That was you. But instead of understanding, you were the biggest bully in school.”

“I know that now. Used you to slay my dragons, although I didn’t even know there were dragons at that point. Slow developer, I guess. At any rate, I apologized in my email, and do so again in person. Sorry, Gus.”

“Not Bug?”

“No. You’re Gus from now on.”

“Oh, I have been for years. I left ‘Bug’ behind when I left that little town.”

“So where are you?”


“Here? You mean in Dallas?”

“Yep. Not half a mile away.”

“Great! Visiting or permanent?”


“Wonderful. I’d like to see how little Bug morphed into Gus.”

“Oh, you can. Just open your text. I sent you some photos. I’ll call you back after you’ve had a chance to look at them.”

“Wait! I can….”

But he was gone. So I opened the text and drew a sharp breath.

The first photo was a bust of a shirtless, buffed, curly haired young man who was not only downright handsome, but sexy, as well. You know what I’m talking about. Some handsome guys look too perfect to even think about earthy things. This guy not only made you think about them, but lust to accomplish them.

The second photo made me gasp aloud. Full frontal nude of the same guy, only without his head showing. I understood. Didn’t want to be subject to blackmail, but that mole was there, silently testifying this was Bug… Gus. And he wasn’t just buffed. He was tennis court buffed, distance runner buffed. And equipment that would make any man proud.

The third photo took the wind out of my sales. Gus and an equally attractive young man stared at me through the camera lenses, both naked, arms thrown over one another’s shoulders. The look of intimacy was obvious. This was his boyfriend. His date the other night that left him drained.

The phone rang before I’d recovered from the last snap. My answer wasn’t as breathy.

“What do you think?”

“I think a bug morphed into a butterfly,” I said. “You’re one hell of a good-looking guy, Gus.”

“And I could have been yours.”

My breath caught in my throat. “What do you mean?”

“I would have done anything for you, Mars… back in the day. Anything you wanted. Top, bottom, anything in between. I hung in there to the bitter end, putting up with your bullying, your cruelty, hoping you’d look inside and see the real me.”

“Bug… Gus, I—”

“Too late, bro. Doesn’t matter if you’re a semi-famous author some of the world admires. I know who you really are. So go to bed tonight knowing I’m within walking distance, naked and in bed with a hunky, wonderful guy who wouldn’t bully a soul. By the way, I’m changing my phone number, and as far as the email address, it was created just for you. A little lesson you should have learned back when we were younger. If you see one who’s willing, you better fuck him while you can… but in the right way.


Guess I was wrong. It’s not “Poor Mars.” It’s Mars, the bastard. But you know, the subconscious is a powerful thing. As I writer, I have to wonder how often Bug showed up in his novels in some form or the other. Lots, would be my guess

 Until next week,

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Twitter: @markwildyr

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See you later.



 New posts the first and third Thursday of the month at 6:00 a.m., US Mountain time.

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