Pairings: Ennis/his hand; Jack/some girl who knows more than he does
Disclaimer: These characters belong to Annie Proulx. This story has no commercial purpose whatsoever and is not intended to infringe on any copyrights.
Summary: Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar check each other out.
Note: This episode is the prequel to the Summer Of Love series of stories about the two men and their sexual awakenings. See others in my journal (in chronological order): "Growing Up," "First Night," "Second Night," "Ennis Delivers," "Good Taste," "Doubletime," and “Initiation.”
Note: Some dialogue from the bar scene is based on an earlier screenplay for the film.
Ennis Del Mar says so long to the truck driver, jumps out of the cab to the cracked, dusty pavement. As a passing freight train blows its lonesome whistle in the wind, he eyes the gray, shuttered buildings along the town’s one dismal street. Certainly not the worst place he’s seen, but even so, he’s grateful he won’t be hanging around down here.
This is his first time away from family, such as it is, and he is kind of scared, can’t wait to get up on that mountain with the sheep or whatever, doin’ whatever it is the owner wants him to do. He has little use for people or dark, claustrophobic buildings. Give him a good horse, some animals to mind … leave him alone … and he’s happy enough.
Ennis spots the trailer where they do the hiring, notices the vacant parking lot. I’m the first, he thinks with great relief. He needs this job, any job, bad … real bad … came all this way and sure didn’t want to miss out by showing up late. I’m the only one, he repeats to himself. Goin’ ta be my day, maybe. Chance ta start makin’ somethin’ ta put away for me an’ that little girl a mine, he thinks confidently. It’s a fact: In six months, Ennis is going to be a husband … then eventually a father, of course. High time he starts planning … can barely feed himself as it is.
He figures he’ll wait right by the door, make sure the boss doesn’t miss him. Notices a sign on the door. Reads it slowly … and steps back. “TRESPASSERS WILL BE SHOT. SURVIVORS WILL BE SHOT AGAIN.” I don’t like that sign, he thinks. It’s fuckin’ mean-spirited is what it is. Ought not ta make jokes ‘bout people gettin’ killed. What the hell am I gettin’ into here?
He’s wondering about that when suddenly he hears a rattling noise trailed by a cloud of dust out on the road.
Oh, no, not now Betsy. C’mon girl, c’mon, just make it to that parkin’ lot, Jack Twist tells his old pickup. Then ya can have the whole summer off, ya cunt piece a shit! he promises the cranky vehicle.
You’re probably tryin’ ta tell me somethin’, girl, ain’t ya, not wantin’ ta make it all the way? Like what the hell ya doin’ back here, Jack? Can’t do no better ‘n this?
Got a point there, Betsy … almost makes me want ta puke, thinkin’ ‘bout seein’ Aguirre again, fuck-faced son of a bitch. But least he leaves me alone up there, better ‘n havin’ dad breathin’ down my neck. Shit, even if a bunch a sheep ends up rottin’ again, sure beats workin’ for that ol’ son of a bitch.
The battered black pickup clatters into the parking lot near the trailer, sends dirt and gravel flying in Ennis’ direction, and the engine dies as though on cue. A last gasp for sure.
Who’s this guy? Ennis wonders. Drivin’ up in that piece a shit truck like he owns the place! Then he remembers that he himself had to hitch a ride, after all, doesn’t really have any room to talk. He already feels less confident, doesn’t like the fact that he might have competition for this job that he needs so badly.
The driver, a dark-haired kid, jumps out of the truck. He kicks the vehicle in disgust, thinks good riddance, bitch, turns on his heel toward the trailer. He stops cold when he notices the young man leaning against the trailer. Jack is truly surprised.
What the fuck? Someone else out here? Must be hirin’ two hands this year, he decides.
Jack glances at Ennis again, smiles to himself. Well, well, he thinks, looks like we got a big ol’ ranch boy over there, don’t we? Hmmm, parkin’ lot’s empty … must a hitched his ass here, probably wishes he had a truck like me. Yeah, even a cunt like ol’ Betsy here that don’t work so good. Wheels is wheels.
Shit, maybe they only got one job like last year, Jack realizes. He’s a rodeo rider—competitive to the core when he needs to be. I’ll kick his ass if we’re goin’ for the same job, Jack tells himself. He don’t know Jack Twist done this before. Poor motherfucker!
Jack swivels on his heel and ostentatiously thrusts a hip against his dusty truck, digs his worn boots into the dirt. His confident gaze lingers on Ennis and has the intended effect. The two men stand far apart, but already Jack has intimidated Ennis, has used his swaggering demeanor to invade the other man’s psychological space.
Ennis wishes he could disappear, slouches against the trailer, eyes cast down, one hand holding his cigarette, the other stuck demurely in his coat pocket. He feels like a trapped animal, between that trailer and the interloper. Keeping his eyes down under the brim of his hat, Ennis tries to sneak a look at his competition.
Ain’t he full a himself, though! Ennis thinks. Loungin’ against that truck like he ain’t got a care in the world. Wouldn’t be here if he wasn’t broke as I am, now would he? An’ that’s pretty goddamn broke!
Ennis becomes increasingly uncomfortable, thinks, that guy over there, he’s laughin’ at me, ain’t he? Wonder how many sheep herdin’ jobs they got around here? Hope he’s not tryin’ ta get the same job.
Looks kind a nervous, don’t he? I think he’s nervous, Jack decides. He’s like bitin’ his lip or somethin’, ain’t he, an’ he ain’t looked my way but once. Looks like a big kid. Don’t he know this kind a work is for men? Shit.
That boy ain’t even old enough ta shave, for chrissake. Well, hell, I ought ta spruce up a bit anyway. I’ll show him how it’s done, Jack decides smugly.
Jack dips into a mug of shaving cream, lathers his face. Takes a razor that has seen sharper days and bends down to look in the sideview mirror. Good, I got his reflection now, he thinks about Ennis. He’s a big guy, ain’t he? Bigger ‘n me, I suppose. But don’t make no difference when you’re up on a horse there with them sheep.
Ennis is startled by Jack’s display of personal hygiene out here in the parking lot. What the fuck! He’s shavin’ out here. Thinks he’s at home or what? Vain motherfucker, ain’t he? Ennis concludes.
Ennis shrinks even as Jack exudes all the confidence Ennis wishes he had right now. Shit, I bet it’s not his first time away from home, Ennis thinks.
Again he tries to get a better idea of the man he may be up against. If I look below my hat like this, I can sort a see him. Dark hair, black hat. Jeans kind a new. Newer ‘n mine, anyways. Looks fine, don’t he? Kind a looks like a city boy, a little pretty for this kind a work, ain’t he? Maybe they’ll think he’s dressed too nice for this job. Yeah, I bet they do. They’ll think this fella ain’t goin’ ta last but a week out here. I hope so … damn, I need that money so bad!
Ennis feels Jack’s gaze, indirect though it may be. I think he keeps lookin’ over here. Son of a bitch, tryin’ ta make me nervous, ain’t he? Why’s he keep lookin’ at me? Why ya keep lookin’ at me, pretty boy? Ennis silently challenges Jack.
Jack doesn’t notice the brown paper sack in the dirt at Ennis’ feet. Got nothin’ with him but those wore-out jeans? Well, least he looks clean. Got ta admit he looks clean. Don’t matter up there on that mountain, but don’t want ta be in that little trailer there with no pig, do I? Bein’ in there with Aguirre’s bad enough, ain’t it? Goddamn….
Joe Aguirre pulls into the lot in a late-model Rambler, screeches to a halt near the trailer door, makes Ennis jump out of the way. Slams the car door, storms into the trailer, lets that door slam, too.
Aguirre, man, Jack thinks. I can deal with that cocksucker … but he’ll eat this boy alive, no doubt ‘bout it. He’ll fuckin’ eat this boy alive! Jack is not necessarily sorry about that possibility.
A minute later Aguirre sticks his head out the door. “You pair a deuces want work, get your scrawny asses in here pronto!” he commands.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, Jack thinks. Fuck you, too.
But like Ennis, he needs the work … no way in hell he’s workin’ for the old man again … so he hustles. The boys bound up the steps into the dark trailer, hastily remove their hats, try to look humble. Not really a stretch for Ennis.
He is thoroughly intimidated by now. Christ, this guy’s in a bad mood, ain’t he? Hope he likes me enough ta give me a job … anythin’ right now, anythin’. Jesus, come all this way….
Aguirre sits at the desk, cigarette in hand, all business, meanness written all over his pocked face. Ennis stands against the wall, staring at the floor, cigarette dangling from his fingers. Aguirre looks at Ennis. Where’d this big pussy come from? the boss wonders. Fucker ain’t even old enough ta shave, is he? He’s scared … goin’ ta piss his pants if I look at him the wrong way, ain’t he? Aguirre is smugly pleased about this. Ah, fuck it. This bitch can do the housekeepin’, I guess. Aguirre puffs away, tells Ennis he wants him to be the camp tender. Ennis is so relieved—a job, a job! he thinks. Jack looks worried.
Aguirre sets his sights on Jack. Fuckin’ kid let forty a them goddamn sheep die in that storm last summer, so fuck him, Aguirre thinks. Thinks he’s such a big shot, don’t he? We’ll see ‘bout that. He flicks his ash, glares at the dark, handsome young man, takes great pleasure in telling him that he is going to be the herder. The spiteful man behind the desk watches Jack carefully, notices how the kid winces, how the corners of that sensuous mouth turn down. Aguirre would love to bring tears to those beautiful blue eyes. He sees how far he can go with Jack. He wants him to sleep out there with the sheep to keep the coyotes away. No fire, no camp, no nothin’ to let the Forest Service catch on that someone’s sleeping away from an official campsite.
Fuck! Jack thinks. I got ta be the sheep guy? Ain’t no one ever heard a seniority around here? An’ I got ta sleep out there? Aguirre, man, fuck you, ya fuckin’dickhead!
Jack glances hostilely at Ennis as he thinks, well, fuck me, I been demoted thanks ta you, buddy.
This guy’s goin’ ta be plenty pissed off, Ennis thinks about Jack. Seems like a bitch, sleepin’ out there with them sheep. Wouldn’t bother me, but I sure ain’t goin’ ta argue with this guy callin’ the shots, am I? Hell, no. What an ugly fuck he is, though.
Jack is damned unhappy with his new lot in life, but he is quick to put a positive spin on things, pragmatic enough to realize, ain’t goin’ ta do no one no good if I hold a grudge. Ain’t this guy’s fault, is it? Still beats workin’ for dad. Fuck.
Aguirre dismisses the two boys with a hostile stare. At the bottom of the stairs outside, Jack squints from under his hat at Ennis. They have both survived the encounter with Aguirre, and both have jobs. Let’s just make the best a it for now, Jack decides. Here goes.
“Jack Twist,” he says, holding out his hand toward the other man.
“Ennis,” says Ennis reluctantly.
“Your folks just stop at Ennis?” Jack is amused already by this big blond boy, cocks an eyebrow.
“Del Mar,” Ennis replies. Why’s he need ta know my last name? Not like we’re goin’ ta be friends or nothin’. Just goin’ up ta move some sheep ‘round, far as I can tell.
“Nice ta know ya, Ennis del Mar.”
Hope this guy don’t think I’m goin’ ta be friendly now, Ennis thinks. Just ‘cause he knows my last name don’t obligate me ta nothin’, that’s for damn sure.
Ennis looks grim.
“Tell ya what, Ennis. If we’re goin’ ta work together, we ought ta start drinkin’ together, don’t ya think?” Jack says goodnaturedly. Fuck, he thinks. This is goin’ ta be one long summer, better start drinkin’ now. Might as well find out who I’m goin’ ta be hangin’ ‘round with at suppertime.
Ennis is nervous. Shit, already he wants ta be friends! “Yeah, sounds like a damn good idea … uh, Jack,” he replies with little enthusiasm. Fuck, I ain’t got but a buck an’ some change. Didn’t exactly come up here ta socialize, now did I? Jesus, if I want ta have somethin’ ta eat, leaves me enough for a beer, maybe two if I’m lucky. Goin’ ta be drinkin’ real slow … real slow.
Jack confidently strides across the road, leads the way down the abandoned sidewalk to the bar.
Makin’ me walk behind him like some woman, Ennis thinks. Goddamn it! Before I know it, he’ll be openin’ the door for me! … Well, fuck me, he is openin’ that door for me! Hope there ain’t no one else in there goin’ ta see this. Shit! Is he just tryin’ ta be nice? Bet not, but ya never know. Hope this motherfucker don’t keep me all confused like this the whole summer. Tryin’ ta be too friendly an’ nice an’ whatnot an’ expectin’ I’m goin’ ta do the same … ain’t what I’m here for. He keeps this up an’ I’m goin’ ta deck the son of a bitch for sure!
Ennis is relieved to find the room is dark, chairs still upside down on the tables at this time of morning. The two men pull up to the bar, while the bartender tends to chores. “Don’t open till ten, fellas,” he tells them gruffly.
“Look, we got a summer’s worth a drinkin’ ta do here,” Jack says. “Reckon we’re goin’ ta need that extra hour.”
“Don’t care if ya got a fuckin’ lifetime a drinkin’ ahead a ya,” the bartender replies. “Come back in an hour.”
The waitress looks up from the glasses she is washing and says to him, “Ah, lay off ‘em, already. They’s just kids. ‘Sides, anyone comes in here this time a mornin’ sure does need a drink, that’s what I’m thinkin’.” She winks at Jack and Ennis. “Have a seat, boys. What can I get ya?”
The bartender grumbles. They each order a longneck, light up a cigarette.
The sunlight that filters in through the dusty window as they sit there affords them a better view of each other.
Jack hasn’t had a chance to really size up Ennis, is curious to check out this fresh-faced kid who is going to be his friend for the summer, like it or not. Damn, I wish I could see his face a little better, Jack thinks. Ah, pretty pale, ain’t he? Dark eyes, kind a squinty. Not much ta them eyebrows, is there? Been a while since he seen a comb, looks like. Freckles, Jack notices. Fuckin’ freckles. Look at that, he thinks about Ennis with an unexpected, oddly paternal twinge, he is just a kid, for chrissake! But seems okay. Long as he can use a 30/30, help me keep them coyotes away, guess he’ll work out okay.
Deep down, Jack admires other boys, other men who are not bad-looking but really don’t seem to care about their appearance. It is a masculine nonchalance that at some point he seems to have outgrown. When had he become interested in how he groomed himself? And why? Maybe after he had lost his virginity, enjoyed the benefits of having a girl look twice at him? He certainly had become more self-conscious, hadn’t he, once he came to realize that maybe he was kind of handsome after all? Or maybe he has discovered that big smile of his can get him further when he is all spiffed up.
Already Ennis envies Jack. Sure, Ennis has done okay for himself, getting engaged to a pretty girl like Alma and all. But fine-lookin’ boys like Jack … shit, he thinks, they never have ta do nothin’ ta themselves an’ they look like they spent an hour in front a the mirror with a comb.
Damn, look at those blue eyes! Ennis thinks about Jack’s most striking feature. That mouth. Real interestin’ mouth, ain’t it, the way it just curves up at the ends all natural like? Kind a looks like the devil in that black hat, though, don’t he? Can’t let him see me lookin’ at him like this. Hell, we both got jobs now … he ain’t the competition no more. I couldn’t give a damn what he looks like.
Even so, Ennis steals another glance. How’s he get his hair ta stay like that in this wind? Yep, too bad it ain’t goin’ ta matter up there on the mountain. He ought ta be headin’ for Cheyenne or somethin’, pick up some girls. Ennis imagines Jack’s disappointment: yeah, could be dancin’ the night away with some pretty little gal, but here I am, stuck on a mountain instead, watchin’ a bunch a goddamn sheep with a guy who don’t talk.
Jack starts to chatter, eliciting little response.
This guy don’t say much, does he? Jack thinks. Like ya got ta pull words out a his mouth or somethin’. Figures, got one guy don’t say nothin’ … an’ a thousand fuckin’ sheep don’t shut up. Damn! Goin’ ta be a long summer at this rate.
Even so, Jack loves to talk, and he shares tale after tale about his previous summer on Brokeback Mountain, tells Ennis with much drama about a hailstorm during which lightning “smoked” forty sheep. “Darned near asphyxiated, that smell was so bad,” he says.
Ennis looks sympathetic and worried at the same time. He has never heard the word “asphyxiated” before, but from the context and Jack’s tone of voice, he can tell it’s something disgusting. What the fuck am I gettin’ into? he wonders again. Ennis can handle any kind of live animal … loves them, he does. He can stomach a dead animal, too—there is the occasional calving crisis, after all. But a bunch of dead, wet sheep? Shit.
“Asphyxiated,” Jack thinks. Yep, that’s what I said. Bet he don’t even know what that means. Already, however, it occurs to Jack that—unlike this morning in the parking lot—his efforts to make Ennis feel inferior aren’t so gratifying anymore, in fact make Jack himself feel smaller.
“Ya drinkin’ that beer, hon, or was ya plannin’ ta grow flowers in it?” the waitress asks Ennis pointedly after a couple of hours. Ennis turns red, fumbles with the bottle. He has spent more time peeling off the damp label than drinking from his only bottle of beer.
Shit, Jack thinks, noticing the several empty bottles before himself as Ennis still nurses his first beer. Here I been talkin’ all along, ain’t been payin’ attention, but this guy’s really fuckin’ broke, ain’t he? “Tell ya what, ma’am,” Jack says to the waitress. “Ya just keep them beers comin’, okay?”
“Sure thing, mister,” she replies, and obligingly sets two more beers in front of them as Ennis gratefully tips his head back, bottle to his lips. Jack eyes his partner’s smooth Adam’s apple as Ennis thirstily drains the now-warm beer from the first bottle. There is something … something about this that makes Ennis seem so vulnerable to Jack. Jack feels somehow embarrassed—for Ennis? For himself? It is almost like Ennis is sharing a private need, a private moment with him. Jack blushes, looks away and focuses on the fresh, cold beer in front of him.
Ennis reaches for his second bottle, turns red, hesitates … for a moment looks ashamed, like he might cry. “Jack,” he says in a low voice edged with humiliation, “look, I ain’t got but a buck an’ some change on me. An’ got ta get somethin’ ta eat before tomorrow, pretty sure a that.”
“You drink up. I’ll worry ‘bout the tab,” Jack tells him.
Ennis nods, determined that he will eventually settle up with Jack. People do not give Ennis things, do not do for him any more than they absolutely must. It has always been that way, at least since his parents died and he was placed at the mercy of a world that could afford him little generosity.
Jack tries to get Ennis to talk, just wants to find out what they might have in common, doesn’t need to know the guy’s life story. He begins with his main passion. “Ya ever rodeo, Ennis?” he asks. Don’t look like the rodeo type, that’s for sure. But ya never know. Can’t hurt ta ask just ta be polite.
“Oh, sometimes … when I got the entry fee,” Ennis mumbles nonchalantly. Immediately he wonders, why the fuck did I say that? I done rodeo for no more ‘n three seconds ‘fore I was off that bull, an’ I didn’t have ta pay nothin’ for the honor….I ain’t a liar, goddamn it. Why’d I say that? Ain’t like I got ta prove somethin’.
Jack picks up on his companion’s lack of enthusiasm for the topic. He’s just sayin’ that … ta be sayin’ it, I bet. I know he ain’t the rodeo type, looks like he been in one place all his life. Jack tries a different tack. “Ya come from ranch people?” he asks, tapping his cigarette into the glass ashtray.
“Did,” Ennis answers.
“Your parents run ya off?” Jack asks with a raised eyebrow. He’s surprised, and pleased, to think that maybe this quiet boy is some kind of troublemaker, has a spark to him after all.
“Nope,” Ennis answers. “They run themselves off. Only curve in forty-three miles, an’ they missed it.” He says this in a flat voice, but he swallows and his eyes water. It’s been most of a decade, but in his mind it could have happened yesterday.
Jack doesn’t look directly at his new friend, but he senses that Ennis is keeping some serious emotions in check. As Ennis stares somberly at his beer, Jack takes a swig to make the lump in his own throat go away. Jack feels protective, wants to put his arm around this boy’s shoulders and tell him things are going to be all right. Ennis, ya got a friend here, he thinks, an’ everthin’s goin’ ta be … all right. Yes sir.
But Ennis—a big, quiet guy like this—doesn’t seem like ya touch him ‘less he wants ya ta, Jack decides. All he says to Ennis is, “Shit. That’s hard.” He orders a couple of shots of whiskey—that age-old cure for pain—and they drink up.
By the end of the evening, each man has a dozen empties before him—Jack made sure that Ennis had a chance to catch up—and a plate that looks like it’s been licked clean, leaving little trace of their greasy supper.
Jack has grown fond of Ennis already, thinks, this Ennis here, he’s a good listener. Really likes it when I talk, don’t he? Shit … ain’t nobody else listens ta me ‘sides mama, bless her heart. Anyways, poor fella can’t afford them entry fees, can’t fool me. Probably ain’t rodeo’d in his life. So nothin’ wrong with tellin’ a few excitin’ stories, make him feel he’s right there, I guess.
Ennis has decided, well, shit, Jack here really is kind a nice, ain’t he? Maybe he ain’t tryin’ ta make me feel bad, after all … openin’ doors an’ buyin’ me beers an’ shit. An’ talks plenty enough for two. Don’t mind that at all. Don’t mind not sayin’ nothin’, hearin’ them rodeo stories, long as he don’t start repeatin’ ‘em.
The two men, cigarettes dangling out of their mouths, hats askew, stagger out of the bar into the cool night air that already carries a hint of frost.
Jack suggests, “Well, how ‘bout we sleep in the truck, huh? That way we’ll be right here in the mornin’.” Jesus, I know damn well he ain’t got but a dollar on him. Would end up sleepin’ outdoors, poor fella. Too early in the season for that, ain’t it?
“Gee, that’s mighty kind a ya, Jack. Got ta say, sure sounds better ‘n sleepin’ out here. Yes sir.” Fuck, ain’t goin’ ta be real comfortable in that truck, not a lot a leg room for the two a us. I just as soon sleep on the ground, but no reason ta be rude. Guy just wants ta be friendly, I guess. Ain’t goin’ ta get much out a me, but he’ll find that out soon enough.
They climb into the truck, parked for the summer where she stalled. The boys shift around a bit, Jack in the driver’s seat, Ennis across the cab in the passenger’s seat.
“Uh … sleep tight, I guess. Ain’t got much choice, do ya?” Jack jokes as he slouches down in the driver’s seat. He pulls his black hat down over his eyes.
“Yeah … um, you too, Jack.” At least it’s goin’ ta stay warm when ya got two guys sleepin’ in a truck.…
Jack starts to doze off, his body doing what it usually does when he falls asleep. Jesus fuck, he thinks. Figures I’d have ta get a hard-on in front a this guy. But why would he be lookin’ there anyway? Ummm, don’t really care who sees me with a boner, do I? Just natural, happens ever’ night, don’t mean nothin’, he tells himself as he drifts off.
Ennis is pretty uncomfortable in this proximity to a stranger, nervously flicks his cigarette into the ashtray, casts a sidelong glance at the other man, notices his crotch as he lies stretched out, looks away startled. Damn, Jack got a boner there, I think. What the fuck? Shit, I ain’t the only one gets hard while I’m sleepin’? Damn! Guess there’s no reason I should be. Maybe happens ta ever’ man, don’t know … never thought ‘bout it … would be a awful lot a hard dicks, wouldn’t it? Ah, what the fuck am I lookin’ over there anyways? Jesus, Ennis, ain’t somethin’ ya need ta be thinkin’ ‘bout, ain’t none a your goddamn business … let the guy sleep already. Let the world sleep already, for chrissake.
Ennis stretches his long legs as best he can, pulls his own hat down over his eyes. Doesn’t think he can sleep. This is all pretty big-time for him, exciting, being away from home … hell, hanging out with a buddy already. Jack’s not really a stranger anymore, is he? Could call him a buddy, couldn’t he, sat at the bar with him, and now he’s sleeping not even two feet away? Despite his wariness of Jack, Ennis is kind of … what would the word be? Proud. Here I spent a whole fuckin’ day with another guy, he thinks. Even talked a little, didn’t I? An’ I didn’t hit no one. Feels kind a good, that. Almost like bein’ friendly, ain’t it? Course, not too friendly, just sort a friendly. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with bein’ sort a friendly, is there?
He manages after some time to nod off. Wakes up a little before dawn. His dick is hard as can be. Oh shit, he thinks. He is grateful that Jack is sleeping soundly. Ennis is a virgin, after all, is mortified that anyone else would ever see him with a hard-on. He is even more ashamed about what he usually does when he wakes up like this, which sure as hell isn’t going to happen in the truck.
If he wakes up with his clothes on, he slides his jeans down past his hips … never wears underwear … and pulls his shirt up to expose his taut stomach. His erection always feels so powerful during that transition from dreams to being awake … like it is twice as big, twice as hard, is twice as sensitive, something like that. His penis seems to emerge from its sheath on its own while the rest of his body slumbers. Ennis doesn’t want to miss the moment, instinctively grabs his cock, wraps his strong hand firmly around that pulsing shaft. In no time at all, he feels the sticky drops oozing from his piss slit, and as his fingers brush the sensitive head of his cock, he spreads the slick to lubricate the strokes.
It’s mostly about how he touches himself … Ennis fantasizes little while he masturbates. He has never seen a woman naked, has never spied on his sister while she bathed, tries to avoid thinking lustfully about women in the first place, even though his fellow ranch hands occasionally share some pretty raunchy stories, even pass around pictures every now and then. Sometimes he does wonder about Alma during these secret moments by himself, wonders vaguely what she looks like naked, wonders how it will feel to put his dick in her on their wedding night. Even though he has grown up watching animals rut, it is difficult for him to imagine his dick being stimulated by anything other than his own hand.
Or by whatever it is that happens while he’s sleeping. Doesn’t happen very much—seems to happen mostly when he sleeps naked—but sometimes he’ll wake up in a pool of jizz … usually wakes up right after he comes, but doesn’t remember what he was dreaming about. Must be damned exciting, he figures, anything that can make him shoot without him using his hand.
Dreams of intercourse aside, this shy, lonely boy becomes just as excited by the thought of touching another person intimately, something he hasn’t experienced since his mother died when he was still a child. He and Alma engage in some light kissing, nothing very sensual, and they occasionally hold hands. But physically he is noncommittal, not demonstrative, that would be the way to describe Ennis Del Mar. He wants to touch someone, but he doesn’t know how to do it … and lord knows he wants to be touched, but he never lets anyone get that close. After he and Alma are married … yes, after they are married, that is when all will be right again, he has convinced himself. Married people just know how to touch each other.
His practiced hand strokes his penis slowly at first, then faster and faster, and he uses his other hand to massage his scrotum or rub his sweating groin through the pubic hair. Sometimes, he presses hard on that place between his balls and his asshole, presses until he feels that bone up in there. When he does that, he works his muscular thighs, trembles as he presses ever harder. The closer he gets to coming, the more intensely he presses, massages, rubs the other areas.
As Ennis’ hand moves faster up and down the length of his erection, the friction builds, heats up the translucent skin on his dick. Eyes closed, he lies there, the other hand cupping his scrotum, fingers softly stroking the wrinkled skin, caressing the dark seam down the middle, then finally yanking on his big, full balls, his hard-on swelling all the while. For all he knows, the jizz comes straight out of his balls right when he’s coming, so in his mind, the more he squeezes them, the more cum he will produce. And for a man, more semen always means more pleasure, doesn’t it? He’s pretty damned sure it does.
His hand lingers at the head of his cock, rubs lightly across that point below the cleavage where his foreskin is attached, so sensitive, that one little area, so very sensitive. Ennis feels the final surge at the base of his erection that signals the point of no return, the semen churning its way toward inevitable ejaculation. He raises his pelvis, holds his dick straight up, moans deeply as a series of jolting spasms forces out a fountain of hot cum on to his stomach, settling into his belly button and the muscular ridges around it.
Even as Ennis wishes he could masturbate right there in the truck, tries instead to will his sturdy erection to go away, Jack stirs to his own dirty dreams.
Jack has had so many years of practice jerking off—well, actually only seven, but he is impressed, because that is more than a third of his life, by his figuring. Since he began masturbating at twelve, like any boy he has learned exactly where to put his hands, how much pressure to apply right there, when to stop if he wants to make the final moments of release more explosive. Unlike Ennis, Jack has no foreskin, so the head of his penis is always exposed. And it always seems to be so sensitive, rubbing against his clothing and whatnot. Back in eighth grade, he often had to get up from his desk holding his books in front of his crotch to hide an unexpected erection.
These days, he thrusts his pelvis as he strokes himself, gyrates a bit too, very engaged in his memories about one or the other of the two girls he has fucked in his life.
He was just shy of fifteen the first time. Jack had made no secret of the fact that he was born to ride broncs, was going to be a famous rodeo rider, come hell or high water, and this one older girl from school wanted him to come out to her daddy’s ranch to take a look at the horses there. Horses be damned, they ended up in one of the stables on a bed of straw. He had been excited about seeing the horses, was surprised at this turn of events. He really, really wanted to see those horses … but then he realized he was really, really interested in what was happening right there in the stable, too.
She crawled on top of him, started kissing him. She kept pressing her tongue real hard against his lips, against his teeth, and it took him a little while to realize he was supposed to open his mouth. She began to dart her tongue into his mouth, and he did the same to her. Did he like that? He wasn’t sure. But their mouths moving around like that kind of made the smooching sounds he remembered from that movie his mama had taken him to see in Gillette just a month before. Wow … those actors got ta do this all the time, did they? Not a bad life.
He finally put his hands on her hips, pulled her closer. Yeah, that was more like it, he thought, more like what he had seen in that movie. But his heart was racing. What was supposed to happen next? In between the kissing, she was whispering, “Jack … oh, Jack.” He didn’t say anything back. Hell, she knew what her name was, didn’t she? No need for him to repeat it like that, was there?
Suddenly he felt her fingers fumbling with his belt buckle, and he froze. He had a raging erection by then, was pretty embarrassed about it and thought, holy shit, what’s she doin’ down there? Even though being hard usually meant good things were in the offing, he was scared. After all, he didn’t have an older brother, any close friends to tell him the facts of life. He watched animals rutting all the time, of course, so he’d figured out the basic birds and bees stuff. But none of the finer points. And the guy and girl in that movie sure as hell hadn’t taken their clothes off, hadn’t touched a single button, in fact!
Her mouth plastered to his, she groped for the top button of his jeans, opened it. One, two, three she went as she unbuttoned her way to his treasure. Oh … oh … oh, shit, he thought.
He had a tidy little patch of dark pubic hair. Her fingers brushed through it, and she took hold of his erection in her hot hand. He gasped. She worked the top of his underpants down enough to free his cock and balls. The shorts pressed tight beneath his hairless scrotum. He couldn’t believe that someone else—a girl of all things!—was seeing him like this.
She ran her sweaty hand up and down his shaft a few times as she probed his mouth more deeply with her tongue. Oh, jesus … oh, fuck, he thought as her tongue wrapped around his. Wow. Someone else touching his dick—goddamn! He wasn’t even moving, and it wasn’t at all how he usually masturbated, but in minutes, he came in her hand. He grunted as he shot his creamy load but didn’t say anything. His cum would have shot on to his chest had her hand not stopped it. In fact Jack was shocked … hadn’t planned on coming right then, just hit that point of no return before he knew it. He was all red in the face, too nervous really to enjoy it. Felt kind of bad about it, actually, because he was pretty sure he was supposed to be inside her when that happened … wasn’t he? Had he ruined everything?
She didn’t seem to mind, though, looked at him and smiled knowingly. Doing virgin boys was fun, she thought, and she liked Jack. She hadn’t been sure he was a virgin, but he was especially sweet, and she would have let him fuck her regardless. She wiped her hand off in the hay. But she wasn’t done with him, wanted him to relax so he could fuck her. She was very wet already.
She ran her fingers lovingly through his thick hair. She wanted him to take charge, wanted him to fuck her because it was his idea. She thought it was time for Jack to become a man.
They lay there for a while, and Jack liked how it felt to have someone’s head on his chest. He realized he was becoming hard again. Well, she doesn’t seem ta be pissed off at me or nothin’, he thought. I messed in her hand, but I ain’t run out a jizz, pretty sure a that, so maybe I can do this better.
Taking charge with all the finesse he could muster, he looked into her eyes and asked huskily, “Ya want ta do it?”
She whispered, “I’d love ta, Jack.” She snuggled up closer. “Ya got a real nice … um, prick, ya know … an’ I can’t wait ta feel it inside a me.” She paused, looked him in the eye, confident he wouldn’t know what it meant if she didn’t bleed when he entered her. “I ain’t never let no one else do this ta me, Jack … but you’re real special, ya know that? I guess ya know what ta do ‘bout it, don’t ya?” Never hurt to pretend these boys knew what they were doing, she had found.
Well, shit, bet I sure can figure out what ta do ‘bout it, Jack thought. Guess this dick is hard enough ta go wherever it needs ta go, ain’t it?
He kept his boots on but pulled his jeans and underpants down all the way. His cock was throbbing and juicy again.
She had already taken her shoes and stockings off, reached up under her skirt and pulled her panties down. Lay on her back and lifted her skirt up.
Jack gulped and grew wide-eyed. He didn’t know exactly what he was looking at, quite where he was supposed to begin. He didn’t know girls had pubic hair like boys did. In that one magazine he had seen, they didn’t. They sort of looked like statues.
She encouraged him to lie down on top of her, and he remembers his groin meeting hers. His wiry pubic hair meshing with hers … that was almost as exciting as when she guided his penis moments later into her tight, wet vagina.
He thrust into her. Pulled back. In again, out again. That certainly was natural enough, and it felt great as he repeated the motion. Yes, this could be better than his hand, he thought, once he got good at it.
He lowered his mouth to hers to try that kissing again. This time, he aggressively met her tongue with his.
Jack usually moved his hand fast when he masturbated, so he moved fast in this position too. He came inside her with force. Holy fuckin’ christ! he thought. Coming in her hand felt like nothing compared with this.
He guessed she enjoyed it too. After all, he had jizzed inside her, and that’s what it was all about, wasn’t it? But after he pulled out, feeling so accomplished, she pulled him back down on to her. Took his hand and guided it back into her vagina. What was this? he wondered. She told him what to do with his fingers, told him how to gently stroke her inside there.
Well, I guess she knows what she’s doing, he thought, although he didn’t expect anything else to happen. It was kind of like when he masturbated, only he was pretty sure girls didn’t do that. Why would they? After all, it wasn’t like they shot out jizz or anything like he did. Even so, suddenly she shuddered, waves of shuddering, and he didn’t know what was happening. But she obviously was enraptured, grabbed tightly on to his arm, moaning. Goddamn! he thought. He was pleased yet somehow dismayed, because he didn’t really know what he had just done.
There was another girl a couple of years later. Not quite as novel to Jack as the first time … but more a chance to be in charge, refine his technique, build a little confidence. This time they were both naked. She asked him to kiss her breasts, and he noticed how hard and excited her nipples got. Then she tongued his nipples, taught him that a man could find pleasure there too. She seemed happy enough with what he did with his dick, didn’t ask him to do other things with his hands.
His only partner since then has been his hand. He has a strong grip, and his precise strokes get his penis throbbing every time. He brushes his fingers lightly over his spongy cock head to bring forth the glistening drops of precum. He pulls on his scrotum, squeezes his balls, but just as often he strokes his chest through the fine layer of hair, gently perks up the tips of his nipples, which seems to make his erection surge even more.
He works his cock, plays with his balls, his chest almost until he can’t help but come. Then he usually delays the ultimate pleasure by squeezing his dick just so. He might do that a few times, building up the pressure in his cock. When Jack finally lets go, his semen bursts through the swollen head of his penis, spills all over his hand or shoots on to his chest. Sometimes he puts his fingers to his mouth … tastes his semen, his sweat, the manliness from between his legs. He is curious like that, about flavors, smells, how things feel.
But neither Jack nor Ennis will find relief this time around, in the parking lot at the foot of Brokeback Mountain. These two nineteen-year-olds, lost in a world of male fantasies in a small pickup truck, have to save all those hormones, all that jizz for a proper moment of privacy. These two poor boys with so many hopes. So many dreams. So much to learn. So very much to learn.