First Time(s) 5: Roger and Jim

I was in the offices of the campus newspaper when I first spied Jim. I was a transfer student, new to the school and campus life, and then he stretched, and "woof," I thought to myself, "that was nice," seeing his white t-shirt ride up his furry torso. He really wasn't any bigger than I was but, like me, he had nice wide shoulders and compared to many of our colleagues, especially those associated with the student newspaper, some meat on his bones.

And then I noticed he was looking back and I looked quickly away, picking up the phone to deal the number of the Dean's Office to set up some time for an interview on the topic du jour.

A couple of days later I was walking back to my dorm when I heard, "Hey, you're the new guy at the [Name of Newspaper], right?" I turned and saw him about 10 steps behind me but obviously headed in the same direction.

"Yeah, I'm Roger," I said, shaking his hand. "You're...?"

"Jim," he said, "I'm one of the feature writers."

"Jim Marsh?" I asked, and he nodded his head. "I've read some of your stuff, very nice."

He grinned and asked me where I was headed and I told him.

"I'm going to the clinic," he said, which I passed each day going to and from my dorm. "I have herpes."

I gave him a sharp glance and he pointed at his lip. I rolled my eyes.

"Kinda dramatic for a fever blishter, don't you think?"

He had the decency to blush.

"Well, it DOES sorta cramp my style," he replied.

Then it was MY turn to blush.

"Just where DO you put that mouth of yours?" I asked, a very bold thing for me to do.

He just looked at me, just enough longer than anyone had ever looked at me to think, "mmm, well...."

I changed the subject.

"What are you doing afterwards?"

"I was going to get some food..."

I saw my chance.

"Well, in fact, ya know, I have an on campus apartment. If you want to come by, I can whip something up for both of us."

He seemed uncertain, so I volunteered to wait for him at the clinic.

"Well, yeah, that'ud be cool," he allowed.

"Don't you have a roommate?" he asked as we took the elevator up to the 10th floor of Oxford House. "That little Chinese guy?"

I nodded.

"Tim's really great," I pointed out, "but he's out of town this weekend along with our neighbors across the hall. The Furman game, ya know."

He licked his lip.

"So it's just the two of us, I guess?"

I let him into the apartment, closed the door, and then pushed him up against the wall.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa..." he said.

I stood back.

"This isn't what you wanted?"

He rolled his eyes.

"Well, yeah, I guess so, I was just thinking..."

I started unbuttoning his shirt.

"I was just thinking, ya know, that you were probably a virgin or at least not very exprienced..."

I stopped chewing his neck long enough to say.

"I am a virgin and I am inexperienced, you got that right."

I found that spot at the base of his neck and heard his eyes roll back in his head. He let out a little whimper.

"Enthusiasm, on the other hand, is independent of experience and I think you'll find I have enthusiasm covered."

Which is how I discovered that (a) I was a very good cocksucker and (b) quite happy to be a top. What with the lip thing, I wasn't really going to let Jim do anything else other than be on the receiving end and when you got right down to it he didn't seem to have a problem with that at all.

* * *

Naturally, there was fallout. Tim (and Ross and Blake, the across the hall neighbors) were less than thrilled to find out they had a fairy living in their midst. Turns out Jim wasn't all that happy with his roommate, so we arranged a swap. Jim moved in with me, Tim got to move into the Towers, the prime campus location.

Which still left Ross and Blake, who were none too happy, but eventually they realized the less said the better. I was two inches taller than Blake, a former high school wrestler who had 10 lbs. on me, and four inches taller than Ross, a 5'6, 130 lb. Japanese-American swimmer.

What they hadn't counted on was that having my first ever sexual experience propelled me to the gym faster than you could say "Jack Robinson." I figured if I were going to be The Campus Fag, I was going to be The BIG Campus Fag. So I started eating like food was going out of style and lifting like crazy.

By the end of the school year, six months later, I'd put on 60 lbs. of solid muscle. At 5'10 1/2" and 220 lbs., I was 50 lbs. heavier than Blake and 85 lbs. heavier than Ross, who looked like a little kid next to me.

Which, of course, didn't do anything to prevent me and Jim from getting expelled after our very public kiss in the dining hall on the last night of spring semester. It would probably have been OK except that during the ensuing riot I beat three football players bloody before being overcome by four more. (And, yes, I was very thrilled that Big Bill Hruska, start of the school's infant rugby team, was swinging on my side.)

Jim went back to New Jersey, I went back to Pensacola, where I had to deal with my terrifically upset parents, not to mention my younger, disdainful brothers (the two of them were completely blown away that I was suddenly built like a brick shit house.)

I went to visit Jim in New Jersey at the end of the summer and...

I don't know. What did I do? He was cool, distant, and very caught up with his local friends. We didn't have sex, which sorta made sense, given that we were staying at his parents house, but they were conveniently (and specifically, it seemed to me) away that weekend.

Then I met Andy and it all became clear.

He was skinny, he was geeky, he had long hair, he was a musician.

"He's not a jock," Jim said, and I realized that, at least as far as he was concerned, I was.

"But, ya know..." I started.

"Things were a little too physical there, at the end," he said, finally. "I'd really rather not have a boyfriend who could whip my ass."

I took the next train home.

I managed to keep track of him for a while. He was a good writer and he developed a national reputation fairly quickly, especially when it came to chronicling gay activism, especially as it related to AIDS.

When I read that he was sick I sent him a card care of the syndicate carrying his column at the time. I was surprised when he called a week later.

"Roger," he rasped, and I realized he'd never quite given up that nasty habit I was on him about, way back when. "It's me, Jim."

We talked for a good hour, about all that he had done and seen, about all that I hadn't seen and done.

"Ya know," he said finally, "you were the first guy who copped my cherry, before that I was all top, all the way."

What was I to say?

"And I've been a bottom the whole time since then," he continued.

Was he trying to tell me something? Was he blaming me, in some fashion? There was a long pause, neither of us knowing what to say next.

"Thanks for that, bud," he said at last. "Usually all that nonsense about how good the first time is is just a bunch of bullshit."

"But not in your case."

It was the last time I ever heard his voice.

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