* Warning, the following contains material that may or may not be your cup of tea (pun intended). If you are squeamish about such things, you can skip this (and read part one first to know what I mean)
** I've been asking myself about the appropriateness of writing this story. It's a true story, so I feel that I can tell it. If it weren't true, I wouldn't be writing about this particular topic. Do I have to be careful about writing about what happened to ME when I was 13? I don't think I do, so here is part 2.
There are moments in life that impact us in a way that nothing else can. They are often tragic events, the loss of a child or the diagnosis of disease, and some are chameleon memories, starting out horrible but serving some greater understanding that can only later be appreciated. The loss of a job perhaps or the discovery of a cheating spouse might fall into this category. Still others herald the loss of innocence by direct experience. What to make of that? Do we cherish those moments that opened our eyes and thickened our skin, or do we nostalgically reflect on our unjaded youth? At Peppertree Park that late October afternoon, Eric was about to know something he could never have imagined.
The stall wall was scratched and marked with initials and phone numbers and the hole carved into it was crudely made, perhaps with a pocketknife. When Eric turned and looked at the hole, he saw a huge erection slowly being pet by someone standing at the urinal on the other side of the wall. This was the first time he had ever seen an adult male with an erection. Eric immediately turned away and his attention stood up. His heart beat quickly as a hummingbird's even as a large knot seemed to be constricting his windpipe. Eric was no longer in control of his senses. He slowly turned again to see and, BAM, his heart shot again and he thought he would explode down there. Flushed and panicky, he stood up and pulled up his pants and scurried out of the bathroom and headed for home.
Eric spent the rest of the afternoon "reflecting" on the experience. He was going to have this routine for another two weeks and the thought thrilled him. Did he think about why the other men were there? Did he imagine interacting with them? No. For some reason, he thought that men simply went there to stand at the urinal like that while someone watched from the stall. Ah the naivete. The next two days were rainy and Eric did not go to the park on his way home. But on the third day, a brisk but sunny afternoon, he went again to the bathroom at Peppertree Park. This time was going to be different but he didn't know it yet.
Gary was thirty-two that year and had recently risen to partner in the law firm where he worked. His wife had birthed their daughter ten years before, and though he had once been in love with her, he sought to serve his desire in other ways now. Gary was really just another gay man living a straight life which was not all that uncommon at the time. Peppertree Park was Gary's friday afternoon "treat" before going home for the weekend. He liked to park his car in the second spot from the bathroom so that he could see who came and went without having to look them in the eye. He saw Eric walking toward the bathroom and found himself shamefully excited by the boy's young age. He was quite surprised by his reaction on seeing Eric go into the bathroom. Without thinking, he got out of the car and followed the boy in.