Posted October 6, 2021

The Brilliant Boy Billionaire

The Amazing Journey of a Remarkable Kid, by Altimexis

PART SEVEN – Midwestern Medley

Chapter 6: From Beale Street to Meridian Street

I’d planned a six-week extravaganza encompassing some of the preeminent Midwestern cities, starting with Kansas City and ending with Des Moines. The more I planned, however, the larger my definition of Midwest became to the point that I was planning to include parts of Arkansas and even Alabama. Clearly there had to be a limit or I’d end up spending only a day in any one place and seeing very little in the long run. I probably should have excluded everything south of the Mason-Dixon line, but technically, Kentucky was the South, and yet I’d grown up right by the border with Kentucky. Further, with my love of jazz and blues and given the significance of Memphis as the place where Martin Luther King spent his final hours, I couldn’t not go there. The first leg of my journey from Springfield, hence, involved a seven-and-a-half-hour drive to Memphis, including a stop in Champaign to drop off Tom’s bike and then a stop in Mount Vernon to recharge the Tesla while I filled my stomach at the nearby Double Overtime Grill. I ordered a Santa Fe Wrap, consisting of a blackened chicken breast with lettuce, tomato, corn, black beans and salsa, which was served with a pickle spear and fries. It was pretty good for a place that was well off the beaten path.

My route took me right by New Madrid, Missouri, famous as the epicenter of one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded in the continental U.S. Who would’ve ever thought there was a major fault in the middle of nowhere, right on the Mississippi River? When I got to Memphis, I checked into The Central Station, Curio Collection by Hilton, which was converted to a hotel from the original main railroad station in Memphis. It was historic, beautiful and a bit pricey but in a great location. I’d planned to spend two-and-a-half days in Memphis, and even that wasn’t enough. The profusion of restaurants and clubs alone was enough to keep me going all night, every night, much to my detriment. Going to one of the gay clubs resulted in one of my more memorable hookups of all time. Without getting into details, I learned things about erogenous zones I would have never found on my own.

Of course, Beale Street as the birthplace of the blues was a destination in and of itself, but the National Civil Rights Museum and the adjacent Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, were sites that everyone in America should visit at some time in their lives, preferably while they’re still kids or with their kids. The museum was exceptional and incorporated the original hotel room behind a glass panel, exactly as it had been on the night the reverend was shot. You could almost feel the history of the place. No visit to Memphis would be complete without a trip to Graceland, and although I wasn’t a fan of Elvis style of rock and roll, his influence on music and particularly on culture could be felt to this day. There were also the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the historic Sun Studio and the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum. The Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art was a bit of a curiosity, but the collection was outstanding. The Asian art dated back to the Qing Dynasty and was among the finest collections of art from China in the world. The Judaica was actually a collection of art related to the Holocaust and was quite thought-provoking. Rounding out my time in Memphis were the Memphis Zoo and the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum.

Continuing on a music-related theme, I left the birthplace of the blues behind and headed to Nashville, the home of country music and the Grand Ole Opry, and checked into the Drury Plaza Hotel downtown. Ironically, the one thing I had no interest in seeing was the Grand Ole Opry and Opryland, as I was not in any way a fan of country music. I grew up with country music, and although I appreciated the art form, my tastes in music lay elsewhere. The hotel was excellent, and even though I wasn’t on the VIP floor this time, the breakfasts were very good; however, I chose to forego the evening snacks in favor of dining at Nashville’s more memorable restaurants. Again, I spent two-and-a-half days seeing such music-related sites as the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Johnny Cash Museum, The National Museum of African American Music and the Ryman Auditorium. Additionally, there were the Belle Meade Plantation, The Shelby Bottoms Nature Center, Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, the Belmont Mansion and, of course, The Hermitage, home of the second-worst demagogue in American history, Andrew Jackson. On Tuesday evening I took a dinner cruise on a riverboat on the Cumberland River, and I spent Tuesday and Wednesday nights on Broadway, enjoying Nashville nightlife.

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On Thursday, I drove the short distance to Mammoth Cave National Park and stayed overnight at the Lodge at Mammoth Cave. Friday morning, I took an all-day tour of the second-largest cave in the world. Known as the Wild Cave tour, it involved traditional spelunking, with crawling through narrow passages and climbing up steep walkways. We even wore hardhats with headlamps, as only part of the tour route was illuminated. Much of the ground in Southern Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee is riddled with caves, some of them enormous. It was a stunningly beautiful world unto itself. However, even the least-developed sections of Mammoth Cave were highly developed compared to the largest cave in the world, Son Doong Cave, which wasn’t even discovered until 2009 and which I’d visited when I was in Vietnam. It boggled the mind to think that something that huge was right under our feet during all of human civilization and yet not discovered until my lifetime. After the tour, I cleaned myself up as best I could in the Visitor Center men’s room, and then headed to Louisville, checking into the historic and elegant Brown Hotel. Located downtown, it bordered Old Louisville, a neighborhood with the largest concentration of Victorian architecture in the U.S.

It’s kind of funny, but Louisville is right on the Ohio River and directly across from New Albany, Indiana. It’s less than an hour’s drive from where I grew up, yet I’d never been there before. There’s even an historic old railroad truss bridge across the Ohio. Known as the Big Four Bridge, it was long ago converted to pedestrian and bicycle use only. I walked the entire length of the bridge and back, crossing into Indiana for the first time since I left home four years ago. It was a strange feeling to step onto the soil of the state where I was born, but then again, just as I might never know my original name or birth date, I had no way of knowing where I was actually born. According to my birth certificate from my stolen identity, it was Wyoming. For all I knew, it might have been Kalamazoo, Michigan, or Nome, Alaska, or Helsinki, Finland, or maybe even Louisville.

During my two days in Louisville, of course I saw Churchill Downs and visited the Kentucky Derby Museum as well as the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum. Those were must-see places for tourists visiting the city. I also visited historic Frankfort Avenue with its quaint shops, the Mohammad Ali Center, which was way more interesting than I’d expected, the Conrad-Caldwell House and Museum, Whitehall House and Gardens, the Frazier History Museum, and a restored historic movie theater, the Louisville Palace.

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On Monday I drove the short distance to Cincinnati but elected to stay across the river in Covington, Kentucky, at the Courtyard by Marriott. The view of the Cincinnati riverfront from my room was amazing, and I was just minutes from downtown. Indeed, the two cities are connected by the historic John A. Roebling Bridge, which looks a lot like the Brooklyn Bridge, for good reason as Roebling designed them both. When completed in 1867, just after the Civil War, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world.

I’d allowed myself three days to spend in Cincinnati and wished I'd allowed for more, concluding in the end that Cincinnati’s one of the most under-appreciated cities in America. The Cincinnati Zoo and the Cincinnati Museum of Art by themselves were worth the trip, being truly world class. However, there was also something about the city that seemed oddly familiar, even though I’d never been there before. Omaha was presently my home, and for a time I’d lived in Kansas City. Soon I hoped to move to New York, yet no place in the world felt more like home to me than Cincinnati. How weird!

Of course, I visited Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Bengals, and The Great American Ballpark, home of the Reds. Both were seemingly anachronistic, being among the last major open-air stadiums in the U.S. and certainly among the few to have escaped the sale of their naming rights, at least so far. Both stadiums were uniquely picturesque, being right on the Ohio River and visible from my hotel room. While visiting the ballparks, naturally I visited the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum. I wasn’t much of a sports fan at all, but I found it to be fascinating. Other places I visited included the Cincinnati Music Hall, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Carew Tower, the American Sign Museum, the Newport Aquarium and the Taft Museum of Art.

However, nothing could compare to a visit to the Museum Center. I spent my entire Wednesday there. Housed in the old Cincinnati Union Terminal train station, the building was a National Historic Landmark and worthy of a visit by itself because of its unusual Art Deco design and its unique domed interior, painted with a vast mural. Now home to five museums, it was the most original repurposing of an old train station I’d ever seen. Among them were the Cincinnati History Museum, the Museum of National History and Science, the Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust and Humanity Center, the Robert D. Lindner Family Omnimax Theater, and the Duke Energy Children’s Museum. Each museum was unique, and I enjoyed all of them – even the Children’s Museum.

No visit to Cincinnati would be complete, however, without a visit to the Creation Museum, located in Petersburg, Kentucky, just on the outskirts of Covington. I figured if nothing else, it should be entertaining, so I headed there first thing Thursday morning on my way out of Cincinnati. Surprisingly, I found it to be a genuine, albeit misguided attempt to reconcile science with Christianity. When I finished touring the museum, which didn’t take long, I briefly considered asking if the museum director was in but then decided against it. His views were well-known and hardened, and there was no way he’d listen to my viewpoint. His mistake was in assuming the Bible to be the true source of knowledge and making the science fit what was known from it. However, science doesn’t care what’s in the Bible, the Koran or any other religious text. Science takes the evidence on hand and tests various hypotheses against that evidence. Based on the science, the museum’s attempts to reconcile the dinosaurs with a Bible that made no mention of them was laughable.

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After finishing up at the Creation Museum, I had a dilemma. My next destination was Indianapolis, where I had a reservation at the Harney House Inn, a bed and breakfast in the historic Lockerbie Square neighborhood of downtown Indy. I could go there directly by simply following Interstate 74 to the Outer Loop, Interstate 465, and then taking Interstate 65 right into town. My navigation system told me it would only take about an hour and a half to get to the B&B. On the other hand, I could easily take a more scenic route that would take me right through my boyhood home of North Vernon. With a bit of trepidation, I decided on the latter.

Taking U.S. Highway 50 westbound from Cincinnati’s outer loop, which actually was in Indiana at that point, I passed through Greendale and Lawrenceburg, then Aurora, Dillsboro, Elrod and Versailles, pronounced by Hoosiers the way it’s spelled rather than the way it should be pronounced in French. I passed through Holton, Nebraska (the town, not the state), and then Butlerville before reaching the metropolis of North Vernon. Of course, I didn’t dare stop in town for fear of being recognized, nor did I drive anywhere near the shack where we lived and that had since burned down. Continuing on, I stopped at the Stake ‘n Shake in Seymour for lunch, opting for the drive-through rather than taking the remote chance on being recognized inside. I waited until I’d passed through the town to eat my Double Butter Steakburger with fries and a Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter shake. It was a bit messy to eat in the car, but it elicited one of the few pleasant memories of childhood I had as I let the nav system take over driving as I ate. I retraced my route of four years earlier through Bedford and up into Bloomington, making a brief stop at Monroe Lake, which seemed so small compared to the way I’d remembered it. Everything looked so different from my Tesla compared to my Raleigh mountain bike. One thing that was definitely different was the need to recharge, and there was a Tesla Supercharger in Bloomington, conveniently located right off of Interstate 69. I’d already eaten my lunch, and it was way too early for dinner, so I recharged my caffeine level at a nearby Starbucks.

After driving around Indiana University, I drove by College Mall, where I’d reprovisioned the last time I’d passed through town. I headed out of Bloomington on State Road 46 and then drove south out of Belmont to make a stop at the T.C. Steel State Historic Site, which was the home of famed Hoosier artist, T.C. Steel. From there, I drove into the west entrance to Brown County State Park, known in particular for its colorful fall foliage. Obviously, I didn’t see any fall foliage on this trip, but it was a pleasant diversion to drive through all the greenery, to get out and stretch my legs and to hike the one-and-a-half mile loop around Stahl Lake. Afterwards, I headed out the north entrance and backtracked a bit into the tourist town of Nashville, where I parked the car, put my name in for dinner at the historic Nashville House and browsed the nearby shops while waiting for my table. The shops sold typical tourist stuff of no interest to me. I didn’t have to wait long on a Thursday night in any case. The Nashville House had a reputation of serving some of the best authentic Southern Indiana food anywhere, and I was not disappointed. Guaranteed to clog one’s arteries instantly, it consisted of fried chicken, fried biscuits and the authentic southern coleslaw of which I was so fond.

After dinner, I headed north up Indiana Highway 135 to U.S. Highway 31, arriving at the B&B just an hour-and-a-quarter later. Interstate 65 would’ve been faster, if not as direct, but Highway 135 was a hundred times more scenic. Once checked in and settled in my room, I took a stroll around Lockerbie Square while I still had the light. The square was known for its collection of Victorian homes, including the home and museum of famed and beloved children’s poet James Whitcomb Riley, located mere steps from the B&B, and the Alkis Keramidas Museum of Art. Both museums were closed in the evening, so I would hit them in the morning. The B&B had a five-star rating on Trip Advisor, yet it was reasonably priced compared to many other places I’d stayed lately. The room was elegantly appointed, if a bit on the small side, and the twin bed was one of the most comfortable I’d slept in in quite some time. I slept very soundly and awoke to a sumptuous breakfast that would probably hold me over until an early dinner.

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Indianapolis was largely unknown to me. I’d been here a few times with my so-called dad while growing up. We did most of our shopping in Seymour, and what we couldn’t find in Seymour, we usually could find in Columbus, Indiana, but for some things, particularly when it came to buying a used pickup truck or getting a good deal on paint and supplies, no place in our neck of the woods offered the selection nor the deep discounts to be found in Indy. I suppose the same could’ve been said of Cincinnati, but for some reason we never shopped there, even though it was much closer than Indianapolis. I barely knew our capital city other than what I learned in school: that it was located in the center of the state by design, that the original central city had been designed by Pierre Charles L'Enfant, the very same man that laid out the plans for the District of Columbia, that it was the largest city in America not on a navigable waterway, that it had a unified city and county government, and that the metro population was about two million, making it comparable in size to Kansas City. Because of its central location, Indy was a major shipping hub, and Applazon had not one but three fulfillment centers on the outskirts of the city as well as an enormous warehouse. A lot of companies had shipping operations in Indy, thanks to the unbeatable combination of an extensive network of interstate highways and the availability of undeveloped farmland.

Besides shipping, Indy was the home of Eli Lilly, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, as well as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and host of March Madness – the semifinals and finals of NCAA basketball. Finally, Indianapolis was a major hub of higher education with a regional joint campus of Indiana University and Purdue, IUPUI, that was larger than the main campus of either university. It included the Indiana University Medical Center, with one of the largest medical schools in America. There were several smaller, private universities, the best known being tiny Butler University, home to one of the best theoretical-physics departments in the world.

All of these things I’d learned in school or read since then, yet the city itself was kind of a black box to me. I’d heard it used to be considered a backwater, but ever since I could remember, it was often considered the Cinderella of the Midwest, a swan among the ducklings. It was a relatively liberal oasis in the midst of one of the most conservative, religious states around. Although I probably wouldn’t need it, I’d allowed myself five full days in Indy, but as I walked around the area by the B&B, I began to wonder if even that would be enough. I’d scarcely gone a few blocks when I came to enormous structure that looked like an ancient Egyptian temple. As it turned out, I wasn’t far off. Looking at my phone, I deduced that it was the known as the Old National Center but was the home of the Murat Shrine and was formerly known as the Murat Temple and Center and was owned by the Murat Shriners of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. I knew very little about the Shriners, but I couldn’t help but be impressed. It was the oldest stage house in Indy and the only Shrine temple in the world with an original French name. A lot of top musicians headlined on their stage, and if I had time, I’d have to see if I could get tickets. Then I saw that just around the corner was a jazz club and that there were a number of clubs in the vicinity, including some with rainbow flags. I’d definitely chosen the best place to stay in the city.

Across the street was a bicycle-rental kiosk, and I quickly discovered that similar kiosks were located all over the downtown area. Apparently, there was something called the Cultural Trail that wound its way around the entire downtown area, with dedicated pedestrian and bicycle lanes that made getting around the city pretty straightforward. Dedicated bike paths along the old Monon Trail and along White River and the old Central Canal allowed for unimpeded access to Broad Ripple, which was known for its active night life, as well as to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which was located on the grounds of the old Eli Lilly estate. Although tempting enough for me to reassemble my own bike, I decided against it, as riding back downtown late at night might not be the safest thing for an out-of-towner to do. The Tesla would get me to both places, as well as other spots, more safely and quickly.

Since it was Friday, I figured that tonight and tomorrow night would be my best opportunities for nightlife, so I stopped by the box office at the Old National Center, just to find out if there was a show on either night and if there were tickets left. I was surprised to find out who was headlining that night and that there were plenty of tickets left. Perhaps there was a major concert at another venue, but I wasted no time and immediately bought a ticket to that night’s show only a few rows back in the orchestra. The show was at eight, which would leave plenty of time afterwards to check out the jazz club nearby. Checking out the rest of the schedule for the week I’d be in town, I found that one of the top contemporary jazz groups was headlining on Tuesday night. I bought a ticket for that show, too. I was going to be busy.

Since the weather was perfect for a stroll, I decided to walk rather than ride around the downtown. There were numerous points of interest, including the Circle City Mall, which was a downtown shopping arcade forged out of the original downtown department stores. Unlike the arcades of Europe, however, which involved enclosing whole streets and making them for pedestrians only, the Circle City Mall created a glass backbone above the street level, connecting all the stores together in a modern mall layout and culminating in a large glass dome, suspended above the intersections of Capital and Maryland Streets. Personally, I preferred the shopping arcades of Europe, which were at street level, but this was much larger, and, of course, it was fully air conditioned. Rarely did Europe get as hot and humid as Indy, although that had changed in recent years, along with the changing climate.

Other landmarks I explored were the Monument Circle and the State Capitol, the Statehouse Market, which was really cool, and the Indiana State Police Headquarters, which had cascading waterfalls and beautiful gardens. It was also the on the redeveloped Central Canal. Next to that was the headquarters of the Indiana State Historical Society, which was in what was obviously a new building that was designed to mirror the architecture of the older buildings that surrounded it. Because the weather was so nice, I decided it would be a great time to walk the length of the canal, skipping the museums and the zoo for now. The museums in particular could wait for inclement weather, if necessary. I walked the full length north, admiring the architecture along the way and stopping at the memorial for the U.S.S. Indianapolis, which played a prominent role in delivering parts for the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The ship was ultimately torpedoed by the Japanese and resulted in the worst loss of life at sea of any ship in U.S. Naval history.

Returning to street level, I made my way to White River State Park and the Indianapolis Zoo. With nice weather, it seemed a good time to see the zoo, so I spent most of the afternoon there, and although it was a nice zoo, it was very small and not even close to being in the same league as Cincinnati. As I was getting hungry, I stopped at a place called Tammy’s International Pizza Sensation, which had 4½ star rating on Yelp and fantastic reviews. The pizza wasn’t bad, but nothing like what I tasted in New York. After returning to the B&B to change into something more appropriate for a Friday night on the town, I headed over to the former Murat Temple and took my seat. I couldn’t get over how elegant the place was inside and how fantastic the seats were. The first act was by an up-and-coming R&B singer whom I was peripherally aware of through reading a review. She had an amazing voice, and I thoroughly enjoyed her performance. After the intermission, I sat back and enjoyed a performance by one of the best contemporary jazz musicians around. I thoroughly enjoyed the show, and then went to the jazz club nearby after it finished. Actually, quite a few people from the audience headed in the same direction, which gave me even more confidence that the jazz club was the place to spend a Friday night.

Although the club was not a gay club, there sure seemed to be a preponderance of cute guys in attendance. Although there was an open bar, the live music was in the basement and open to all for a small cover and a two-drink minimum. I ordered my usual Schweppes Bitter Lemon with an ounce of lime juice and a twist of lime. They had a local quartet playing, and they were very good. The crowd downstairs was definitely mostly male and young, and it wasn’t long before a guy sat down next to me and started up a conversation. “I come here most weekends, and I don’t recall seeing you here before. May I ask if you’re gay?”

Smiling, I replied, “I got the impression that most of us are, and the reason you haven’t seen me before is because I’m from out of town. I’m from Omaha but grew up in Southern Indiana. In all those years, however, I never saw downtown Indy.”

“A lot has changed in Indy since I was a kid growing up in the suburbs,” he said. “There’s a vibrant gay community, and it’s safe to walk around here at night. It sure as hell didn’t used to be. You a college student?” he asked.

Laughing, I replied, “I have a Ph.D. in computer science, and to answer your next question, I’m nineteen. I know I look even younger and could maybe pass for a high-school student, but I’m legal in any case.”

“Damn, a Ph.D.? Can I ask what you do for a living?” he asked.

“I’m a computer engineer, and I work for Applazon,” I replied. “I’ve designed and installed servers all over the world.”

“That’s fucking impressive,” the guy responded.

“What do you do?” I asked.

“Nothing quite so impressive,” he replied. “I’m a first-year medical student, and I’m twenty, to answer your next question. I took early graduation from high school and college, which is why I’m in medical school at my age.”

“That’s impressive enough,” I responded. “I didn’t think medical students had time for a social life.”

With a snort, he countered, “The first two years are mostly coursework. It’s in the third year that we spend all our waking hours in the clinical clerkships, and quite a few non-waking hours, too.”

“Still, there must be a lot of studying involved,” I responded.

“Yeah, but it can be counterproductive if you don’t take time out to unwind,” he explained. “Besides which, I’m blessed, or cursed, as the case may be, with a photographic memory. I only need to read something once and then during an exam, I can visualize the answer on the page where I read it.”

“I have something similar,” I chimed in. “My memory’s not photographic, but I never forget anything I learn. The difference from a photographic memory is that I digest what I read and only remember the information, but not the presentation of the content. For example, I can draw out the Periodic Table for you and explain the properties of each element. I imagine you can, too.” He nodded his head in the affirmative. “Whereas you can draw it precisely as it appeared on the printed page, you’d probably need to look up specific properties that aren’t generally shown. I can reproduce the table, but I do it by remembering all the properties of each element, and it’s those properties that determine the position in the table.”

“That sounds infinitely more useful,” the guy responded. “Oh, by the way, I’m Carl.”

Laughing, I replied, “And I’m J.J.”

“So, are you here in Indy on business, or is this a vacation?” he asked.

“Vacation,” I answered. “During the pandemic, I was in charge of installing new data servers all over the world. I came up with a server design that was significantly easier to install and maintain and that used less energy, so naturally, they put me in charge. With everyone working from home, they needed to increase capacity as quickly as possible. Needless to say, I didn’t get to take any time off for nearly the entire two years, so I have a lot of paid time off I need to use up. I’m visiting places throughout the Midwest where I’ve never been, and this summer, my brother and I are going to go hiking in the Rockies.”

“No boyfriend?” Carl asked.

“None at the moment,” I replied. “And you?”

“Same here,” he answered. “Are you open to hooking up?”

“Very. Especially with a cute, smart guy like you,” I replied. “Do you live nearby?” I asked.

Laughing, he replied, “I’m sharing a Victorian in Lockerbie Square with seven other gay guys. We have six bedrooms, and we’re doubling up on them, which leaves one as a study room and one for overnight guests. Of course, it’s first-come-first-serve, and I got a text that it’s already taken for tonight. Do you have a room nearby?” he asked.

“I’m staying at the Harney House Inn,” I responded. “It’s a nice room, but there’s only a twin bed.”

“I’ve done plenty in a twin bed before, if you’re up for it,” Carl said. “I just won’t plan on staying the night, but if you’re interested, I could take you around town tomorrow to see some of the sites tourists often miss.”

“I’d like that very much,” I said.

“And if you’re game, maybe we could do the racetrack on Sunday,” he suggested.

“The racetrack?” I asked.

“Obviously, you’ve been away too long,” Carl replied. “The Indianapolis Motor Speedway. No visit to Indy is complete without a stop at the racetrack. They have a wonderful museum if you’re into that sort of thing, but this is May. May is a big deal in Indy. March revolves around the NCAA basketball finals, and May revolves around the race. They’re just getting started. The time trials don’t actually begin until next weekend, but we can still watch some of the best race-car drivers in the world practicing on the track.”

“That sounds like fun,” I replied, “but I do want to leave time for the museums.”

“The Indianapolis Museum of Art is on the agenda for tomorrow, as is the Children’s Museum,” Carl responded.

“I hadn’t planned on visiting the Children’s Museum,” I said.

“Really?” Carl replied in surprise. “That’s a museum you absolutely cannot miss. It’s the largest Children’s Museum in the world, and a great place for adults, too. See, you need me. Otherwise, you’d have missed one of the best museums in the country.”

“It’s a good thing we met,” I responded. “Let’s get out of here.” I settled the bill, and we headed back to the B&B. When we arrived, the manager was in the lobby, so I asked, “I have a guest. Would there be any problem with him visiting me in my room?”

“Of course not,” the manager answered. “He can stay the night if you wish. Your bed’s a Hollywood bed. There’s a second mattress underneath. You just pull it out and it springs into place, effectively making your bed into a European king. There’s an extra duvet in the bottom drawer of the wardrobe.”

Turning to face Carl, I asked, “You interested?”

“Very,” he answered.

“Your guest can have breakfast for an extra fifteen dollars, if you’d like,” the manager added.

Looking at Carl with questioning eyes, he nodded, so I replied, “I’d definitely like that. Thanks.”

When we got to my room upstairs, I found that, indeed, there was a set of handles under the mattress and that pulling on them resulted in another mattress rolling out and rising into place. A second duvet was right where the manager said it would be. Carl and I wasted no time in getting down to serious making out. Our clothes were soon shed, and we lay down on the bed and continued to make out like crazy. Carl was every bit as aggressive as I was, which made for some pretty wild action. “You mind if I top?” he asked.

“That’s perfect,” I replied, “Cause I’m an aggressive bottom.”

“Nice,” he said as he quickly retrieved a condom from his wallet in his pants pocket and handed it to me. I grabbed a tube of lube from my own luggage and set it on the nightstand. I first went down on him, causing him to emit a stifled moan. I brought him to the brink and then backed off repeatedly until neither of us could take it anymore. I unrolled the condom onto his member. Adding a generous dollop of lube, I smeared some over my asshole, too, and then pushed his shoulders back and lowered myself onto him. As I began to ride him, he met my riding with his own thrusts, then he pushed me and flipped me onto my back and began thrusting in earnest. I couldn’t let him get away with that, so I flipped him back onto his back and resumed riding him. That went back and forth several cycles before I had him pinned and neither of us could take it anymore. As I felt him spasm as he unloaded into the condom, my red-hot spunk flew out my member and landed in his hair and on his torso.

“That was one fucking wild ride,” Carl exclaimed once he caught his breath.

“Yeah,” I agreed. “You wanna go again?”

Laughing, he responded, “Don’t know that there’s much left, but I’m game if you are.”

“It’s been a while,” I replied, “so I’m more than game.” We started making out aggressively again, and although it took longer the second time, we both proved we still had plenty left inside. It was after taking a shower together that I noticed there was some of my spunk on the wall opposite the foot of the bed. Whoa. After cleaning up the mess, we got under the covers together and had another restful night. It wasn’t even interrupted by a nightmare.

The author gratefully acknowledges the invaluable assistance of David of Hope and vwl-rec in editing my stories, as well as Awesome Dude and Gay Authors for hosting them.

Disclaimer: This story is purely fictional and any resemblance of characters to real individuals is unintentional. Although it takes place in actual locations, in no way are any official policies, opinions or events inferred. Some characters may be underage and at times engage in homosexual acts. Anyone uncomfortable with this should not be reading the story, and the reader assumes responsibility for the legality of reading this type of material where they live. The author retains full copyright and permission must be obtained prior to duplication in any form.