The lost summer of 1985 began in the fall of 1983.
The large projection TV and Atari system was a focal point in the massive basement of Mark's house. So was the treadmill, weights, boxing ring, punching bags, air hockey, and wrestling mat. With all of those toys, Mark's house was a magnet for kids and helped him make more friends than otherwise possible. I was eleven, so it was a great place to hang out after school.
Mark was an odd kid. He moved between friendliness and hostility. His mom worked odd hours as a nurse---and his stepdad RP worked as some sort of computer consultant. He was one of the original tele-commuters--which meant he was home most of the time. Mark's sister was four years older and avoided the basement. Mark's family moved in six months after we did. His house was one street over. I either walked through the woods, rode my BMX bike on the trails, or rode my ten speed the long way to his house.
My parents met his family and socialized with them at neighborhood parties and at the pool and tennis courts. My dad thought RP was a blowhard, but harmless. No red flags. The trouble is, RP was perhaps a sadist. Yes, a sadist. He loved to watch us spar and wrestle in his basement. He made sure we knew it was his domain. There were rules to follow...no shirt, no shoes---and you can box and wrestle. But RP took things even further. When I got into it with another kid named Shane, RP encouraged us to settle it with a real boxing match. Of course that was wrong, but we thought RP was giving us a chance to fight it out the right way.
RP encouraged the fight, he goaded us until we agreed to fight after school the next day. That afternoon, I got off the bus, called my mom and changed into soccer shorts to fight Shane. I wanted to back out, but that would have been a reputation killer. No, I would do this and get it over with.
In the basement, RP got us ready for the fight with gloves and headgear. He taunted us and sent us into the ring. We came at each other like fighting roosters, until we settled down. Shane got a jab in that I felt through the headgear. I returned the punch and so it went until we had had enough. RP made us go two more rounds. I had a headache and I tasted blood from where I bit my tongue. He called us wimps and said I won by decision. Really, at the time, I was happy, but felt like we were forced into the match. No I know we were satisfying his bloodlust.
A few days later, I stopped by Mark's house to play Atari. RP and Mark were working on some wrestling moves. RP told me to wrestle Mark so he could try out some the new moves. I only half-heartedly agreed because I was still sore from boxing Shane.
Mark and I wrestled a bit--without shirts and shoes per pervy RP of course. When I told RP I had enough, he lost his marbles. He shouted that we were weak and didn't know what it was like to have to fight---to really fight or lose everything.
This is the difficult part---he pulled my shorts and underwear off and said I had now lost everything and had to earn it back. What the hell? He held up my clothes and told Mark to do the same. Mark didn't wan't to. He looked down at the floor and just said. "Yes, sir." Then the bastard made us finish the wrestling match. Get this...this creep even said, " Look, Mark he even has more hair than you have 'down there.' " At the time I was more embarrassed than anything else. I wasn't even thinking that this guy was getting off on this. I just wanted out of that basement. I wanted to pin Mark to end it, but he kept getting into a bridge. I became so made and desperate to get out, I rolled him over into a cradle hold until I could pin him.
RP held up my arm in victory and had the nerve to say my armpits smelled like a goat and that I needed a shower and deodorant. What a bastard. he was all about control through humiliation. I got dressed and as i walked out the door, RP, said laughing, "No hard feelings, right?" I mumbled "nope" and walked out into the rain. I was confused and embarrassed.
I walked in the pouring rain wondering who I should tell if anybody. In the end I never told my parents---but I also never went back to Mark's house. It was too awkward. I stayed away until they moved away. Others went back---and that makes me worry for them---and Mark who was left behind until his mom divorced Mr. Creep. Mark, if you are on MS, you will recognize this--and I hope you have found peace about RP. I'm sorry I didn't say something to my parents that day. It might have saved you from other bad experiences. I was silent, because I was embarrassed.
My embarrassment turned to anger as I thought more about it. A few weeks later, a kid who stole a shirt from me at school said I was to much of a "pussy" to do anything about it. We scuffled and I jacked his jaw. I mean I knocked the crap out of him. That got me 3 days in-school suspension. We got into it again and I got a week of in-school suspension. All of this from an honor student. Puberty had begun and the testosterone was flowing. Anger flew from my fists. I'd boxed a kid, pinned one to the mat and jacked another one's jaw--yeah, I was acting out.
My parents put the fear into me, and I channeled my aggression into sports. By the spring of 1985 (7th grade), I was feeling better and doing better---until my dad took a promotion that meant moving to the west coast---Simi Valley, CA.
The day after I turned 13, my parents began the move. I stayed behind a couple of days with my aunt before going to summer camp in the mountains. I had attend this camp before but not for a whole summer session. I've got to tell you, because of the move out west, my nerves were shot. My parents were despondent becauseI I was going to be so far away until August. After camp, I was to get on a plane and fly 2,000 miles to L.A. to go back "home" to a house I had never seen before. We were a close family (I'm an only child), so we were really out of our element. My parents weren't the "dump the kid at camp" kind of people.
When I got to Camp _____, I hoped that I would have Greg as my cabin counselor--he was cooler than the rest and let us get away with a little bit more. I ended up with a different counselor who abdicated a lot of his responsibility to SG---a CIT or counselor in training. SG was 18 and a freshman in college. I remembered him from when he was a regular camper.
We were assigned cabins, which were like barracks, with bunk beds and a small bedroom for the counselor, I lucked out and got a plain bed with no one above me. That first day at camp was rough. I was homesick for my room, my parents, my friends, my swim team, my dog--you name it. I was homesick for a place that no longer existed as I remembered it. I missed my parents---this is all before text, cell phones and email.
SG stepped up to help me out. He was friendly and understanding. He also knew I wanted to appear strong in front of the other campers. I was a veteran, but I was falling apart. He knew I needed discrete help. SG was great...he checked in on me, he got me extra "forbidden" things like Mountain Dew. he let me borrow his new Walkman so I could listen to music. He cheered me on at the camp swim meet.
SG was good---too good. He knew I was vulnerable and he groomed me in record speed. After the incident with Mark's stepdad, I should have been more alert. I wasn't I was homesick--and SG was there to help. I thought that even though...
He moved my bed next to his. When the other campers were asleep...when I was going to sleep....he touched me on the leg. He made sure his hand went up my shorts just a bit. He did this several times. I thought it was odd, but he had done things for me to help the homesickness. Once, I woke up during the night and smelled the musty cabin and heard and saw nothing, but was aware that a figure---SG was beside me. My shorts and underwear were pulled down and he was running his hand up and down my penis. I pretended like I was asleep and just froze in place. He kept touching my foreskin and rolling it back and forth. I tried to keep still, but I was erect and the touch actually felt nice. He continued until I ejaculated. He finally stopped, but I stayed frozen in place. He then started touching himself. He kept doing that until he ejaculated in my crotch. He pulled my underwear back up and left me to wonder what the hell had just happened. I stayed awake the rest of the night in messed up underwear.
The next morning, I got up to shower and change. SG smiled and acted like nothing was wrong at all. I tried to avoid him, but homesickness crept back in. I went through the motions of the camp program---up to the hiking trip up a mountain for an overnight stay. SG went along and helped the other counselors. That night, after dinner and campfire songs, we got into our sleeping bags. Now, I don't know if camps had rules back then about one-on-one adult/camper contact, but SG ended up in a tent with me. Late in the night after the fire had died down, I woke up on my side to find SG's hand in my underwear playing with my penis again. Determined not to make a mess, I acted like I stirred and turned over in the sleeping bag. In a few minutes, SG started pulling at my balls from behind. I coughed and he stopped.
At about the halfway point in the camp session, the campers were treated to a movie in town. I really didn't feel like seeing a movie, so SG (Of course!) stayed behind. He gave me Dr. Pepper and let me play handheld games after the others left.
He then told me he wanted to show me some things. He pulled out a stack of Penthouse magazines and showed them to me. I had seen porn before, so I knew I wanted to see more. I got aroused just looking at the cover...and he put his hands on my crotch through my shorts. He told me I was a good athlete and he thought I was a cool kid. He also said he wanted to show me some things---ways to have sex---things girls would do for me. I was terrified. There was no one else in the cabin but the two of us and I was afraid, but thought if I did what he asked, he would leave me alone.
I sat down on his bed and he pulled my shorts down and put my penis in his mouth. I had such feelings of fear, shame, worry...and yet the sensation didn't feel bad. But it was wrong and I knew it. I just wanted to finish up. He stopped and asked me to try it on him. I told him I just couldn't do that and he acted like I hurt his feelings. I thought it was over..but he said he wanted to show me one more thing as he started rubbing me behind my balls. I got erect again and he told me to get on my stomach. He kept rubbing me--getting closer to my anus. He stopped and squirted something cold down there and then started putting his finger there. It felt hot and unwelcome, but I still operated on the theory of "let him finish" and move on.
He kept on with his finger...and I could smell some stale cologne like Drakar Noir. He kept on and on until I felt like I was going to pee or have a bowel movement. He then got on top of me and touched my anus with his penis. He pushed on it and pushed. He told me to relax. I could hear my heart pounding in my ears. Then it happened. His penis went inside of me. He kept pushing and pushing. I couldn't move..from both fear and his weight on me. He kept on...and I began to burn. He finally finished and said, "what did you think of that?" I just lay there. He said, that I probably shouldn't tell anybody else---that they'd think I was gay. I said fine and went to the shower. After cleaning up, I put on clean underwear and went to bed. The other campers came back from the movie and he didn't bother me anymore that night.
He did keep on trying to touch me. I started to call him on it and I think it spooked him. At the end of the term, camp staff sent kids home via bus or even to the airport to go home. I was 13, so I needed an adult walk me to the gate. SG drove me to catch my flight. On the ride over, he couldn't help but put his hand on my crotch. Just outside the airport, he asked me to let him touch my penis once more....he pulled down my shorts and played with my foreskin with his fingers. He asked about it and if I liked it that way...he then pulled over in a strip mall and put his mouth on me and made me ejaculate in his mouth. He said we were even, but acted like nothing was a big deal.
Well, it was a big deal, because it took me almost 30 years to mention it to anyone else. So, SG I hope you are better. I know you are married and divorced. Your online profile says a lot about you---but not everything. You're not listed as a convicted sexual predator---so you are lucky. Your time is at hand if you keep it up. You make me angry about what you did---what you took from me. I tell people I lost my virginity at age 18. I did---to a girl. You made me question if I was gay. I was erect, but I didn't enjoy what you did to me. I had to get through that and figure it out by myself. No, I'm straight, and I am a male survivor- A survivor of what YOU did to me. I should have reported you. Did you harm anybody else? If you did, I'm truly sorry for not ending your game with me-even if I wasn't the first, I should have been the last. Times were different then, but not different enough for you not to know what you did was wrong. The best revenge I have is that I am married, have kids, went to graduate school, have a good career and have largely left 1985 behind. One day, I may forgive you. I'm not there yet, but I'm trying.
Epilogue--- I just noticed that I switched from from 3rd person to first person---almost like I'm talking to the perp. I think that is a good sign.
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. --FDR
I remember redwood trees, bumper cars and wolverines
The ocean's Trident submarines
Lemons, limes and tangerines
I remember this… R.E.M. 1988Cruel SummerMy Journal