Yvann and I went a walk to the most natural part of Richmond, Ham Fields. We took paths off the towpath and made our way from a watercourse onto a bridge to Ham House but weren’t interested, finding ourselves in the Fields themselves where we picked brambles. I had a knack for the sweet while he, being young, didn’t like them tart, so I popped sweet ones in his mouth. He bared his torso, I pointing out his skin was good because of some Somali input. Wending our way, he spied a rope swing and I asked the two boys if we could have a shot. One of them said it made him feel eight again. “How old are you?” I asked. Ten.
We came back by bus from Teddington lock. His cap band was curled at the back and I made to straighten it. He didn’t like his head touched. “It was total loving care,” I said. Off the bus, we stretched out our arms protectively of each other crossing the road and held hands. When shortly after he said he’d had enough of touching, I replied it was only a directive touch across another road but retracted from him, not waiting as he checked his incoming money at the cash dispenser. He remarked I hadn’t and, on a phone call, asked did I mind if he didn’t wait for lunch, and went off to see his mother after all.
That night he came back drunk with a coca cola glass and bottle. He offered a sip. I wasn’t drinking that day but he insisted and I did. “That’s the first time you’ve let me sip from your glass.” He was fulminating, every second word ‘fucking’, hard for me to hear, about his mother whom he hated but she was his mother; he had to do something when somebody deliberately bumped into her boobs. “She was being provocative!” I said, in her full Moslem regalia with veil, and dragging her son into it too. She would cut him off were he homosexual. “Has she said anything against me?” “No.” He referred to himself as a rent boy. “You’re not a rent boy!” Under no interpretation of our relationship could he be so considered. And my words are always true, so if he was thinking of the man who sucked him off, maybe the same seventy-five year old Adrian mentioned who could only get himself off doing it and had a string of boys, and Yvann was paid, he was still not a rent boy. He was no chicken. One swallow doth not a rent boy make. “Get the condom. The jinny.” He meant ‘johnny’. “You want me to fuck you. Let’s get it over with.”
“No.” This was the most dangerous he’d been since I’d thought he might rape me though not as threatening. “I don’t want to be fucked. It’s agreeable enough but doesn’t make me come.” “It’s what you want. You were rolling about the floor this morning wanting your belly tickled.” “That was play!” If I’d had a tail, it’d’ve been wagging. “You use me as wank fodder. Experience the reality.” He had a point and I do admit to desiring him sometimes but fantasy and reality are very different things and in any case the fantasy did not involve him fucking me but me abusing him who’d been abused. Apart from sex, there is some constructive point to fantasy. He no longer had nightmares of abuse because I made play of it: coming in his door, slipping into his bed saying ‘you’re having a nightmare, you’re having a nightmare’ or adopting the sibilant soft ‘Chris’ of the paedophile in Family Guy. But I was wondering if I hadn’t tacked too close to the breeze. It wasn’t me though was frustrating him; it was his mother had put him into this state with her passive aggression.
“You talk about me.” I thought he was okay with that. “You said you’d been sucked off by a guy, in front of Quentin!” He readmitted he had. I contemplated what we’d have to do, me be faithless to John, regress to a clandestine relationship with a neighbour I had to doubt Yvann could carry off, even if I dumped John for him though I would if the reality of sex with Yvann was as effective as the fantasy of him when with John. I’d have to be faithless to know.
“I feel aggressive,” he said, adding, “but not against you,” and he softened his tone as he qualified his words, though he was being sexually assertive. I tried soothing him by bringing up the good time that morning, the boys, and the consideration he had for the old woman in the bus that she not fall as the bus lurched. He was good, kind, considerate. “You’re like me, a pushover,” he said. “I am not!” He cited my assailant who “bit off your finger.” A bite of an exaggeration there though that was what the assailant was trying for. “He’s in prison!” “Prison(!),” he pooh-poohed. “I’ve been in prison. It’s nothing.” “He admitted his guilt.” It might be something for the assailant. “I’m too much for you,” he said. He’d been abused, been taken into care for eighteen years, he’d said, in two hundred and sixty four homes throughout England, and missed out on an education. I was tending to agree: love might not be enough. “You think we’re incompatible?” He did. All we had in common was an abandoning father and, as I pointed out, that might have been my mother’s decision, not the father’s.
He scrunched the back of my head with affectionate fingers. “That’s so …agreeable. May I touch your head?” I scrunched his head likewise. We held hands and I kissed his. When he unclasped, he shortly reclasped and scrunched my belly. “It’s lower,” I said. “I know. I want to do this.”
He complained he hadn’t seen my cock. He’d seen my balls only. I showed him. “And when I have a semi-erection to do with you like you had, I’ll show you that too.” He was having one he said. He went off and came back to show me his bum. “It’s hairy. I like it.” He didn’t like mine. “It’s not bad for a seventy-three year old.”
He asked me to count his money. “£2.38, if you include the Jersey twenty p.” He asked for a £ for tobacco. I gave him £1.20. “Now you’ve procured more money, you’re leaving.” He wasn’t, his body language in backing from the idea underlining he wasn’t, but if giving him £1.20 made him leave I wouldn’t quibble. I trust him but he was eying my money. He did go but shortly buzzed to ask if he’d left his phone. Then came up to show he hadn’t. I wasn’t sure I’d been frightened but my bowels had loosened.
Next day I let him in the outside door. Shortly after I was buzzed. “Police. Let us in.” “I’ll have to check.” By the time I did, Rodger was letting about ten of them in, coming up the stairs towards me. “Which no?” “22.” “Out the back, to the left.” From the balcony I overheard them arrest Yvann for phoning somebody about something they were already dealing with. He didn’t resist. I could only see his feet and lower legs. There were three cars. He was sat handcuffed in the back seat of the last.
The day after that he was back.