SATURDAYAFTERNOON AROUND 18.00h SOMEWHERE ON THE WATER
“Perhaps I should help.” Scotty says, looking at Robert and Tommy throwing the meat on the barbecue.
“No, you don’t.” replies Justin, dragging Scotty back onto the bench by grabbing his t-shirt and forcing him to sit down.
“Robert and Tommy said they would do it.” Reminds Jason.
“Will you please relax a bit.” Begs Kevin. “You don’t always have to do all the work. Enjoy the sight of Robert and Tommy working while you’re leaning back." Scotty sighs.
“But…” he tries.
“No!” It comes almost simultaneously from Justin, Jason and Kevin. Scotty gives up.
Jason picks up his bible and starts to browse.
“What are you looking for?” asks Justin.
“With my brother cooking, we could use all the help we can get.” grins Jason.
“That bad?” asks Justin.
“Let’s say, I’m counting on Tommy to protect us.” replies Jason.
“That is bad.” Jokes Justin.
“No, truth is, I could get a priest to replace me this weekend, provided I take his sermon next Sunday. And I couldn’t think of anything to write about for this weekend and I fear that the same will apply to next week..”
“What? No preaching on the hell of adultery?” offers Kevin.
“Or a nice juicy piece on sex before marriage?” Justin says.
“How about a fiery speech on the dangers of watching too much tv?” Kevin tries again.
“Perhaps….” Justin is about to come up with another topic as Jason raises his hands.
“Stop! That is all dark and sombre and sad. I want something a bit lighter and with more joy. I would like the people to leave the church with a feeling that I boosted their morale, not that I put them down.”
Justin and Kevin look at each other. They don’t know what to answer, until Scotty says quietly:
“Why don’t you tell them about one of your favorite childhood memories and somehow tie that in some message about family-values, the time needed to nurture children and that children are the future….”
Scotty looks as if his mind is miles away and when he realizes that he spoke out loud about what was on his mind, he becomes very shy.
“..I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to presume… I just…” he stammers.
“It’s actually a very good idea.” Says Jason, a bit surprised, he doesn’t understand why Scotty is suddenly so quiet. And Scotty has no intention of explaining to anyone, that he once had a crush on a priest, when he was only 16. And that his sermon on exactly that topic had made Scotty understand that he was in love with another man and that he was gay.
SATURDAYAFTERNOON AROUND 20.00h STILL SOMEWHERE ON THE WATER
“Robert, Tommy, this is excellent. I had my fears….”
“Well, Jason, perhaps your prayers did work.”
“I don’t know, Justin, that would be the first time, my prayers actually worked on Robert’s cooking.”
“Why? What’s wrong with my cooking?”
“0h, nothing, big brother, but a barbecue at your place usually means I can’t tell the difference between the meat and the charcoal.”
Everybody’s laughing including Robert. Scotty, with the eye of the ‘perfect’ waiter, watches the food go at an incredible speed. The only thing disappearing quicker is the wine. He is not even halfway his first glass, but Tommy, Kevin, Robert and Jason are drinking with more ‘’enthusiasm”. True to his case, Justin doesn’t touch the wine. He just drinks water.
Robert lifts his glass.
“Toasts!!” He says.
Everybody’s staring at each other to see who will start. This sparks a round of laughter and eventually Kevin states:
“Robert, you are the oldest. You start.” Robert’s mind somehow is not cooperative, but with a bit of effort from Robert’s memory of previous toasts, he comes to a:
“To sun, sea ... and good company.”
“So eloquent with words.”
“You’re right, Jason, Robert’s a poet and he didn’t even know it.” It sounds so silly, coming from Kevin, that the men are laughing again. Well, 4 of them, Scotty and Justin merely look at each other with a grin.
Justin appreciates that Scotty is staying relatively sober, at least he won’t feel so alone. He fills up the glasses again. Justin raises his glass.
“As much as I enjoy the company, I wish we had a couple of beautiful ladies here…”
“What on Earth am I supposed to do with one of those…?” Jason wonders and Scotty can’t help but laugh. Justin is however not difficult:
“Alright, if you insist, we’ll throw in a couple of good looking guys..”
“I insist.” Grins Jason, raising his hand. Robert shakes his head.
“Still makes me wonder: What on Earth am I supposed to do with one of those…. Scotty will kill me if I even look at another man.”
“Not if Scotty is otherwise engaged.” Scotty replies with a wink. He lets his glass balance between his thumb and index-finger while giving Kevin a very provocative glance.
“… Then I will kill you…” Kevin says with a huge, but totally insincere grin.
Jason lifts his glass.
“To family!” With a mumbled ‘good one’ and ‘to family’ they all drank. Jason plays with his glass and he's feeling the melancholy sink in. He looks at Robert and says: “At moments like this I miss dad. He would have loved it to sit here and drink with us. Here in middle of nowhere….”
“Yes, he sure would have.” Robert admits, smiling at the memories of his father. “He was a great dad. I miss him too.”
A little silence falls as memories re-surface. Then Tommy smiles.
“Our dad would have loved this too. Having fun, fishing. Good food. Good wine.” He’s staring at his own glass and doesn’t notice the smile fading from Justin’s face or the way Kevin’s fingers tense around the stem of his glass. Kevin opens his mouth to say something, then decides to let it go.
“Well, I guess…” but whatever Justin tries to say gets lost when Tommy continues:
“He was a great man. Always took real good care of us, taught us what we needed to know…”
“… except he had very little compassion.” Justin says raising his eyebrows.
“Not to the fogged up mind of a drug-user like you perhaps.” Tommy replies harshly. “… but to the rest of us he was a good father…” Justin winces, while Scotty gives his husband a worried glance. Kevin bites his lower lip.
“Maybe we should….” Scotty starts, but Tommy is not done.
“.. He expected a lot from us and when we delivered he provided us with what we needed. He had high standards and lived by them and expected the same from us.”
“Whatever.” Kevin finishes his glass, something has shifted during Tommy’s words and Jason sits up straight, suddenly a bit more nervous. For a moment Robert, watching the interaction between the Walker-brothers, is surprised by the looks exchanged between Jason and Scotty.
“Another toast….?” Jason unsuccessfully tries, for Kevin puts his glass down on the table with such a loud bang, that Justin is amazed the glass doesn’t break.
“Stop be so delusional, Tommy. He was a piece of ….”
“I don’t want to hear it.” Tommy cuts him off.
“I know, Tommy, you always put him on a pedestal. You worshipped him and nothing he did, made you change your mind. You are still fascinated and you still want to be like him.” With a defying face he dares his brother to contradict him. “Because, Tommy, he was quite the family man, indeed. He cheated on mom, had a mistress for years, and a child with yet another woman. Really someone to look up to and be proud of. But I guess, considering your history with Lena, you found a way to make it right in your head.”
“Seems to me like you’re not exactly in a position to talk about Dad’s infidelity, with your own past… You cheated on Chad and you cheated on Jason.”
“I wasn’t married to either of them. I didn’t vow to forsake all others. And in all honesty, Chad was busy doing it Michelle that night, while Jason was doing God-knows-what in jungles of Malaysia.” Jason looks up, a bit insulted by the implications that Kevin is making, but decides to hold his tongue. Things are getting nasty enough. This is not about him.
“Furthermore,..” Kevin continues. “I didn’t lie about it for 20 years like dad or several weeks like you. I told Chad the truth when he asked me if I had slept with Scotty and I told Jason the first opportunity I got.”
“I am not saying dad was always right. But he did give us the support we needed.”
“Tommy, the support he gave Justin was ridiculous, and I won’t even mention what he did to me.”
“Oh, here we go again.” Says Tommy.
“Yes, the things he said to me….”
“You always say that, Kevin, and then shut up when we ask for more. You never give us details of what was said that night in the study when you came out to him. Best secret you were ever able to keep! So forgive me for not being too considerate here.”
“You want to know what he said, Tommy?”
“Yeah, I do. I’m sure it was never as bad as you imagine. Just your bruised ego in combination with your drama-queen attitude.”
“My what?!” By now Kevin is really angry.
“Kev….” Scotty places a hand on Kevin’s underarm.
“No, Scotty, I have protected dad’s name for too long.”
“Scotty is right, Kev. This is not the time or the place.” Tries Jason. Robert finds it peculiar that Jason and Scotty both try to calm Kevin down a bit. What could be so bad?
“He told me that he was disappointed in me. That I just didn’t realize how weird my ideas are. That I wasn’t a man, that he was ashamed of me and he would appreciate it, if I would stay away from you and Justin, because he didn’t want me to infect either of you with my unnatural desires and it went without saying that he didn’t want me alone with Justin in Justin’s room, just in case I couldn’t control myself. And he would forbid Justin to come and crawl in bed with me, whenever he was afraid or having nightmares...”
“What?!” Justin looked horrified. For one moment he doesn’t believe a word Kevin just said, but then he sees the humiliated look on Kevin’s face and he knows that Kevin is not lying.
Tommy realizes the same thing. He, too, is horrified by his father’s assumptions regarding Kevin.
“I was so hurt and shocked, that I started to cry and he told me that that was exactly the kind of reaction he’d expect from a queer like me….” Kevin is relentless.
“Alright, I get it. He hurt you.” Tommy replies exasperated.
“Hurt me!? No, the real hurting part came when he ignored me for months and pretended I didn’t exist. He wouldn’t talk to me at all.”
“That is ridiculous. I can’t remember that. We had dinners and all.”
“His snapping his fingers and ordering me to pass the salt, without even mentioning my name, is not what I consider ‘talking to’.” Kevin’s anger is so obvious on his face when he gets up. “You know what? It doesn’t matter what I say, because you will never believe anything bad about dad anyway.”
Upon that he turns around and walks away. Somewhat unsteady on his feet, but determined to stop this conversation.He goes down below, probably to the bedroom he shares with Scotty.
“Kevin is right, Tommy. Dad and Kevin didn’t talk to each other for months. Although …”
“Yes, Justin, I would have expected you to come to Kevin’s help, when it comes to bashing dad.”
“Don’t pick a fight with me, because you can’t win from Kevin.” Justin warns. “I’m merely pointing out that….”
“I’d knew you would be against me. You always were.” Tommy gets up and walks away from the table as well. But he goes in the direction of the fishing nets.
Awkwardly Jason, Robert, Scotty and Justin stay quiet for a few moments, then Justin gets up:
“I’ll check if we are still on course.” And he now leaves the table as well. Robert puts down his glass.
“Well that was the normal Walker drama again.” Scotty wants to stand up for Kevin, but before he can do that, Jason replies.
“I don’t think that Kevin was overly dramatic. Tommy should have stopped talking about his dad. He knows how deeply Kevin was hurt by some of William’s actions.”
“I doubt that Tommy realizes the full extent of what William’s silence did to Kevin.” Scotty says softly. “Now I have to think of something that will calm down Kevin.”
“Let him simmer for a few moments. Once he’s calmed down he’ll be more accessible.” Jason advices.
“I think so too.”
“It’s creepy how you two can sit there calmly discussing Kevin…” Robert shakes his head. “And I don’t understand why Kevin can still be so upset over something that happened years ago. He should let it go. That would be healthier.”
“Kevin hasn’t told everything that was said to him, that night, by William.” Scotty replies.
“No.. he hasn’t.” Jason admits. “William threw nearly every single prejudice about gay men at his head. But Kevin was really hurt about his remark about Justin. He would never hurt his brother. And the ‘silent treatment he got from William only made it worse. I know. You didn’t talk to me for 3 days, when you found out I was gay.”
“That was NOT because you were gay, but because you hadn’t told me anything.”
“I wasn’t ready to tell anyone. But I had to. because my sexual preference got splashed all over the newpapers.”
“I could have protected you, had you told me the truth.”
“How could I tell you the truth, when I couldn’t even admit it to myself?”
“Still you should have informed me about your worries.”
“Informed you? How? Send you memo? Write on a post-itt and stick to your computer? What, so you could protect your precious campaign?”
“Is it now my fault?”
“It it hadn’t been for your campaign, no one would have cared whether or not I was gay.”
Suddenly noticing the intrigued look on Scotty’s face, Robert puts up his guard. He has let it down long enough.
“I don’t intend to discuss this any further. The matter is closed.” Robert decides to leave the table as well, leaving Jason and Scotty, opposite each other.
“Oh, no, Robert, let’s not argue.” Jason says softly in a catty tone of voice. Scotty raises his hands defensively, but smiles when he says:
“Hey, we just made our peace. Let’s not fight.” Now Jason smiles as well and he admits:
“There is something funny here. I dreaded coming on this boat-trip, because I feared you and I would end up having words, and now, we are the only ones still talking to each other.”
He sees Scotty shake his head in disbelief over the sudden turn of events and more automatically he starts to defend his brother:
“Robert doesn’t understand.”
“Are you talking about Kevin or yourself?”
“Good question… Both of us I guess.. and it's about you…. about being gay… how scary it is to come out… to confront people.”
“How did your parents react?” Scotty curiously asks.
“Well, my mother already read in the newspaper, including seeing the pictures of me kissing another guy, just on the cheek,… but still…. She had time to get over the initial shock, before she talked to me. She was disappointed, but still loved me.”
“Yes. My mother was always …. Diplomatic. That would be a good word for it.”
“Not sincere then about what she said?”
“Yes, she was. But she was also aware of what 'the public' would say. She really wanted Robert to go into politics. But after I came out something changed. But I don’t know if it was her.. or me… or her AND me.” Scotty nods. There is a gentle silence between them as they both go over their own thoughts, then Scotty reaches out and places his hand on Jason’s left hand.
“Are you alright? I don’t want to leave you so quickly after our conversation, but I really want to find Kevin.”
Jason is touched by the concern in Scotty's eyes. He cannot help but grin and covering Scotty’s hand with his right hand he says:
“I’m fine. It’s not like I haven’t fought with my brother before… Go find Kevin.” he squeezes Scotty’s hand. Scotty nods. Jason watches Scotty go down below and he gets up. Staring at the endless water around him, he searches for strength to talk to his brother.
END OF PART 3/6
I had to edit the last conversation between Scotty and Jason once I realised that Jason's father died during the Gulf War (1990-1991) and Jason was outed several years later, so his father could not have been involved.