I was at my local gay watering hole called ‘Spew’ enjoying a few beers and chatting with other regulars when a big meaty hand drops and covers my entire shoulder from behind. A voice – at once familiar and out of place – called my name.
“Little James Parker – how the hell have you been?
I turned around and was immediately blessed with a view that would excite any card carrying gay man, but I also felt a memory of fear that started in my toes and quickly shot to the top of my head. Before me stood one of my biggest challenges in high school – Coach Duffy. Martin Duffy to be exact. He was still the drop dead gorgeous fur covered he man he was when I was in high school eight years ago – radiating a manliness that seemed to shoot out of every magnificent hair on his body. He did appear larger than he was all those year ago and that made me momentarily forget how evil he was back then. His smile was still white straight-teethed brilliance and his scruffiness made him look like he was going to throw you over his shoulder and take you to his cabin in the woods for weeks, just so he could have his way with you. I pushed all of my immediate lust aside and mustered up the most bitchy diva attitude that I could.
“Well, if it isn’t Coach Duffster. Who let you in?”
The big man’s smile actually disappeared for a few seconds and I could tell the use of his old nickname – as well as my obvious contempt – shook him a little. He quickly regained control of himself, however, and smiled even brighter. His blue-green eyes even sparkled more.
“I guess I deserve that, James. I just wanted to say hi, that’s all.”
His ‘tail between his legs’ attitude took me off guard. I had expected some cocky statement or, worse, a punch to my gut. For a split second we stared at each other. I could tell the guys around us didn’t know how to react. There was a feeling of awkwardness and no one was trying to change it.
“No, really, Coach. What ARE you doing here?”
“Hanging out with friends and getting a drink.”
“But why here?”
“Um . . . because I’m gay.”
“Shut the fuck up, big boy! You lie.”
My reaction made his smile grow and suddenly the shirtless muscled wonder relaxed. My shock seemed to please him. I was truly astounded by this revelation, thinking I had sized up all five hundred and thirty two students and staff at my high school and knew all the ‘friends of Dorothy.’ I even knew about the fullback a year behind me that liked to get pounded by smaller men – screaming like a little girl (no offense to the ladies intended). Nothing could have been more shocking to hear than this specific news. Duffy could see my disbelief and decided to clear it up instantly. He leaned in close as he spoke.
“No lie. I like to suck cock.”
“Oh my god!” I exclaimed and punched his right pec at the same time.
I immediately noticed that his mound of beef, hanging so gloriously over his hard abs didn’t give at all. It was a lot harder than my fist. As if he instantly knew what I was thinking, Coach Duffy bounced his monstrous chest a few times. I had always mesmerized by a guy that could control that part of his body in that way. He clearly liked thrilling me – and let the bouncing continue for a few more repetitions.
“Since when?” I suddenly asked.
“Since forever. Before you were even born. I knew I was gay when I was eleven.”
“No fucking way. Coach Martin fucking Duffy is a poofter!”
“Then why the hell were you so hard on me during gym class for three years, you Neanderthal?”
“I had a feeling when I came to talk to you our conversation would final land on this topic,” he said, looking down, as if he were ashamed, and taking a quick swig of his beer.
“Well of course it was, muscle daddy, you were relentless!”
I noticed his moustache twitched, along with his chest, arms, and crotch when I called him muscle daddy. That information was instantly stored for retrieval later on. Right now, I was only interested in hearing what he had to say about being Atilla the Duffster in gym.
“Um, there were a couple of reasons,” he stammered.
“Well, just start with one, lumberjack!”
I was using different titles for him to see which ones turned him on. Clearly, he was an outdoors kind of guy because this one caused some twitching, too. I was already warming up to my old teacher, but I didn’t want to let him know that. I wanted answers for all the nightmares he had caused.
“First of all, I wanted to toughen you up. When you came to the high school you were out, but you weren’t confident about it. You had a couple of close girlfriends, but you didn’t stand up for yourself. You were also hardheaded and would listen to anyone that tried to help you. Remember the first week of school I tried to give you some advice and you just stood there – not looking me in the eye and body language that told me to mind my own business. I decided to take a different route for my help. I started giving you grief. I paired you up with some of the guys who taunted you the most when we did partner activities. I called on you first to do new activities. I even gave you huge partners to wrestle during that part of freshmen year. And it worked. By the end of that first year, you stood your ground with any student or teacher that challenged you or bullied you. You actually became a role model for other students – gay or straight. Senior year you got voted class president and were awarded the most likely to succeed superlative. I’m not saying I caused all of that to happen, I’m just saying I helped. I’m not sure the guy that came walking up that first day of freshman year could have advanced so quickly without a little toughness from me. I always had your back, though. Anyone that ever bullied you got a personal visit from Coach Duffy – making sure they didn’t do it again and that they never spoke about the visit.”
A flood of awareness washed over me. Immediately, I realized that everything he said was true. Gym class had toughened me up – prepared me for many battles that awaited me. Hindsight helped me to see that, now. So much unnecessary anger flew out of me at that exact moment. My shoulders relaxed . . . completely . . . probably for the first time in many years. I also had always thought my staff member in shining armor – a rumored intimidator of bullies – had been Principal Jenkins. I looked at the gorgeous Coach in front of me with new eyes. He could sense all that was happening within me. He didn’t say another word. He just waited for me to process things.
“You said there were two reasons you were hard on me. What was the second one?”
The big man’s face turned red. His arms tensed hard and his chest heaved up and down. I actually knew what he was going to say before he said it. I had sensed it all night . . . and I suddenly realized I felt the same way.
“I . . . um . . . needed to hide some inappropriate feelings,” he said softly – and I actually heard some people around us emit dreamlike ‘ahhhhs.’
“I’m twenty-six now, Coach.”
“Yes you are,” he replied, stepping closer to me.