Having thought about it, I’d like to share with F2B’ers an excerpt of my own original writing about my experiences of abuse as a teenager. Anthony’s writing has been an enormous inspiration to me in the coming out phase of my life.
As yet unpublished, my story is a true and honest record with names and a couple of details changed to preserve anonimity. I warn that it is graphic, however in context, I don’t consider it inappropriate for this website. I have made no attempt to hide my own vulnerability or youthful gullibility.
I hope you appreciate it.
EXCERPT from KIT’s story
I had no idea where I was going as I crossed Ann Street that night. My feet felt as if they barely touched the ground as I brushed a tear from my eye. In my dazed mind I heard an engine nearby and I stopped still in the middle of the road, inches from death as a shiny black panel van swerved to miss me. Its wide tyres screeched and the horn blared as it zoomed up the street, the polished paintwork glistening under the street lights.
Around the corner I spotted a hotel and walked into the bottle shop. My last pay packet was waiting in my pocket and I was on autopilot even though I had never bought alcohol before. Besides, Salvos didn’t drink. I had always been taught that abstinence was the only alternative for a good Salvation Army boy. The varied selection on the shelves mesmerised me until I noticed the barman staring in my direction. I dodged his gaze, unsure if I should make a hasty retreat, but I was determined to go through with it.
‘J…J…J… Johnny Walker please.’ I stuttered as I pointed to the shelf, remembering that a school friend had mentioned the brand.
‘Red or black?’ He asked. I didn’t have a clue what the difference was.
‘Umm … err … red,’ I selected. Neither of us showed any concern that I was just seventeen. The legal drinking age in 1972 was twenty-one.
Further along the street I passed the derelict crypt of the cathedral that was never built. The overgrown foundations were an ugly blot on Brisbane’s landscape. The Queensland capital was a rambling sub-tropical city on a hundred hills, boasting few tall buildings and little urban design. Opposite the crypt was a park and I found a dark corner. I took a mouthful of whisky but it was bitter and I spat it out. I was tempted to tip the contents of the bottle on the ground and walk away, yet I couldn’t give in so easily. I had to escape my moment of hell and it didn’t matter if I got drunk or run over by a bus. I didn’t care if I died.
Sitting on the park bench by a neatly trimmed hedge, I scraped my shoes back and forth in the dirt and frequently swigged from my whisky bottle. A grimace crossed my face with each mouthful and I thought about the huge hole inside me. I couldn’t believe what a fool I was. It was less than an hour since I had run away from Rex. The fact that he was using me was as plain as the nose on my face, but I hadn’t realised it. All the money. All the deceit. All my futile hope that he actually cared about me…
Cars and trucks idled past now and again. Occasionally a bus. In the distance was the sound of a taxi honking its horn and the squeals of a car doing doughnuts. A few people wandered by on footpaths while across the park some Aboriginal teenagers played tag. It seemed that life carried on for everyone else while I just wanted to die.
I tried to work out where I had gone wrong in the couple of months since I met Rex. A kid at the Salvation Army youth camp said he was looking for boys with a driver’s licence and I had just passed my test. It was my chance to drive real cars and earn some money of my own. The Sunday after I rang Rex, he turned up on my doorstep and my eyes almost popped out at the sight of his limousine. It had leather seats, electric windows and a wood grain trim, luxury I had never seen before. The power surged through me as we took off like an aeroplane on the tarmac. It was a hot summer’s day and the chill of the air conditioner fanned my face and arms. Rex proudly explained the instruments that filled the dashboard.
He was a Sergeant Major in The Salvation Army, the most important local officer in his corps, the Salvo equivalent of a church. He was an influential man and my parents had complete faith in him. Nobody ever distrusted a Sergeant Major. He ran an automotive business out of town, so he was driving me down to the depot where his cars were stored for delivery. Rex was a tall, large man approaching middle age with a clump of neatly combed receding hair. He was very friendly and he talked to me like an adult. It was the first time I’d ever applied for a job.
Queensland homes on stilts flicked by surrounded by well-kept gardens, mango trees and picket fences. The grooves we straddled in the road were a legacy of the tracks of the trams that had been taken out of service three years earlier. Beside me the electric window zipped up and down as I pressed the button like a young boy with a new toy. We had been in the limo for about ten minutes when I found the recliner button. My seatback rolled down and I lay back.
Rex glanced at me frequently, looking me up and down as he drove. My new striped T-shirt hung loosely and I knotted it around my thumb to let the air conditioning cool my tanned abdomen. I’d worn my best denim shorts, deciding my new boss mightn’t like my favourite sawn-off jeans with frayed ends. My legs and arms were golden brown from too much summer camp. My thick seventies style brown hair concealed my ears and eyes and hung loosely around the back and sides of my neck. My thongs lay where I’d kicked them off on the floor of the car. He made some fantastic offers of money if I agreed to work for him. I’d be driving cars out from the depot after school or on weekends. I couldn’t believe my luck.
‘Where do you like doing it?’ Rex said unexpectedly. ‘In bed? In the shower? … or do you prefer being in front of a mirror?’
Doing what? I thought as I sat bolt upright and raised the seat back as my cheeks blushed with embarrassment. It seemed perfectly obvious what Rex meant but Salvo local officers never talked that way. Masturbation was supposed to be a sin and I was worried that Rex assumed the things I did. I figured I’d done everything he suggested and more … but I tried to ignore him.
‘How far is it to the depot?’ I asked anxiously, changing the subject. Rex turned down a side street and headed towards the river. I knew we were going in the wrong direction.
‘All boys like a bit of fun,’ Rex persevered, ‘there’s no point having a penis if you don’t enjoy it.’ I glared at him with a frown on my face. With that his left hand drifted from the steering wheel and moved straight towards the front of my pants. I instinctively intercepted it and pushed him away.
‘Come on,’ he said calmly, ‘you seem like a very normal boy. Take your hands away, you’ll like it.’
The car was moving quickly as the ground scurried by. I kept glancing out the window, wondering if I should jump. Many of the houses looked deserted since it was the middle of the Christmas holidays. The grass was lush and long from recent summer rains. It seemed so wrong because men in my world didn’t do this. They preached against it. I was frightened.
‘You don’t need to do anything stupid,’ Rex said, ‘boys have always enjoyed a bit of fun. Don’t you know it was the same in Bible times?’ I stared at him in disbelief.
He fought off my resistance with one hand while he steered the limo with the other. He ran through a list of Bible characters to prove his point. The boy David had loved his friend Jonathan, a story that was remotely familiar to me. Paul had loved young Timothy, which I’d never heard before. And Barnabas had fought with Paul over the younger Mark. Rex was suggesting they all got up to a bit of mischief behind the scenes as his hand finally found its target. I was in a state of shock as I contemplated what Rex’s ‘fun’ meant. His slant on Bible stories was very different to everything I’d ever been taught.
‘And why do you think John called himself the disciple Jesus loved?’ he asked me. ‘I’m sure they had plenty of fun with each other. It’s perfectly normal.’
My penis was already excited by Rex’s attention and a strange cloud filled my head. It was as if my brain had relocated along with my blood flow. I didn’t believe that Jesus could ever have done what Rex was doing to me, yet Rex spoke with such authority that I was confused. Am I the last person on earth to be told, I wondered. Rex knew exactly what he wanted. He stopped by the river and unbuttoned my pants.
Half way into the bottle I was quite drunk as I relived my times with Rex and I noticed the Aboriginal boys coming closer. They were about my age and they saw my whisky bottle.
‘How about a drink?’ one boy asked.
‘Sure,’ I said as I held it out, ‘it’ll put … hairzz on yerrr chest.’ I could hear the slur in my words.
‘You pissed man,’ the kid said in a broad bush accent as I peered into his cute brown face. The whites of his eyes and teeth glistened in the faded light as they contrasted against his dark skin. I remembered the crush I had on an indigenous boy when I lived in the country in my early teens. However, my eyes slipped out of focus.
‘Sorry, man,’ I said as I tried to stand up, tripping and falling over my feet. Two Aboriginal boys helped me up again.
‘You better sit down, man,’ one of them said.
‘No, I’m fine,’ I insisted as I steadied myself. I left them my bottle as I set out along the old bitumen path that led to the street.
To be continued…
Thank you for reading. Kit.