Pride Month: FREE Gay Fiction Excerpt: Amish Indiscretion
Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 2 of Amish Indiscretion. I couldn’t post the entire chapter because I self-censor on Google Blogger and I don’t want to cross any lines, however, the entire chapter is an introduction to one of the main characters, Filbert, who finds himself in an awkward situation with a very sexually aggressive man. And Filbert, being sheltered and Amish all his life, is not sure how to get out of that situation. I wish I could share it all, but I had to censor this one.
Here’s a link to Amazon. The book is available in digital or print. The excerpt is below.
I’d also like to add that I became very friendly with someone in the Amish community a few years ago, and we’ve been e-mailing ever since. He’s given me a great deal of inside information about what it’s like to be Amish and closeted gay, and how he survives…and struggles. He’s a wonderful man.
Ukraine Pride Parade: Thousands March
Here’s more news on the global front. This time it’s a mostly positive story about Gay Pride in the Ukraine, but not totally positive.
More than 8,000 people marched peacefully in Ukraine’s biggest ever Pride parade on Sunday (June 23), ignoring far-right protestors who sought to disrupt the celebrations.
Here’s the link. There’s a photo and more about what happened in Georgia’s capital of Tbilisi. There’s still a long way to go before everyone gets total equality.
After dinner, Filbert Stolzfus sometimes took long walks that lasted well into the night. At least that’s what he told the family. He would get up from the supper table as soon as everyone was finished eating, clear his throat, tell them he was going out for his regular walk, and they shouldn’t wait up for him. He claimed it was his way to exercise, to meditate, to pray, and to release stress.
It wasn’t a total lie. He did usually walk, but the thing he didn’t tell his family was that on some nights he did a lot more than walking. Filbert had learned one important fact about being a closeted gay Amish man. By the time he turned 24 years old, he’d mastered the art of discretion better than anyone else he knew. Of course there was also a certain amount of deception involved, but he only did what he thought he had to do. And he did it for the sake of his family, not as a means to hurt them.
On one particular evening after Filbert announced he was going for his walk, he crossed the backyard and headed toward the side of the barn where he maintained a private little space for himself inside the barn. It was nothing more than a small corner at the far end of the barn, with a broken concrete floor, a small desk and chair, and a few makeshift shelves he’d put up himself with pieces of weather beaten scrap wood. He told his family he went there to think in silence and contemplate life, but this tiny space meant a lot more than that to Filbert. Although he knew most English people… he’d always heard all non-Amish people referred to as English…loved to generalize about the Amish, they never took the time to realize there were Amish men like Filbert who didn’t fit into the typical mold.
The one big fact that separated Filbert from more conservative young Amish men was that he had access to technology. He worked part time at a local Amish tourist information center, and full time at his family’s Amish roadside farm market called, “Stolzfus and Son.” He was the “Son.” They expected him to take over one day. Although the farm market did tend to be stereotypical at times because that’s what the English tourists wanted to see, they used almost every modern convenience other businesses used. And working for the tourist information center had given Filbert access to the Internet, e-mail, and other forms of social media that most Amish people couldn’t get to as easily. He only kept the part time job at the information center because he wasn’t ready to give that access up yet.
However, Filbert would have been the first to admit his life wasn’t about true Amish culture. He had respect and love for his heritage. He followed all the rules and played the game to the best of his ability, but his real story was more about his own internal and external conflicts with traditional Amish culture and being gay. He also wanted to learn as much about gay culture as possible.
Filbert didn’t have to work at the tourist information center and deal with all kinds of obnoxious English people asking the most insulting questions imaginable about Amish culture. He didn’t have to deal with the know-it-alls who thought they knew more about Amish culture than he did. He could have worked full time at the family farm market and done just as well financially, that is if he’d been like everyone else who worked there. In his case it was different because he needed access to technology to keep him from going insane. There wasn’t much hope for a young, good looking gay man in any Amish community, and his part time job afforded him the ability to learn and discover a world he would never have known about otherwise.
As he slipped through the old wooden plank door of his tiny room in the barn, he made a mental note to get a new door. He lit a candle he kept on the desk made of crates and pallets, and then he stood on a rickety old pine chair so he could reach for a loose board above the desk. Filbert had several secret compartments in the office no one knew existed. He would never have hidden anything obscene or embarrassing in these secret compartments. He kept it simple and he was always prepared with good excuses if anyone ever discovered his secrets. It wasn’t always perfect, but he tried his best to anticipate what he might need.
In one hidden compartment he kept a small leather case that contained one credit card, a smart phone, and the key to a post office box two towns away from where he lived. (He had Wi-Fi for the farm market and non-Amish work related things.) Even though he made sure to handle all of his private financial matters electronically so there wouldn’t be a paper trail, he still needed a physical address with his real legal name when it came to certain things. He couldn’t use his home address at the farm, but he needed a credit card to make online purchases, and he needed a post office box where he could receive deliveries. The post office box had to be at least two towns away so he could sneak there on his days off to see if there was anything to pick up.
After he pulled his smart phone and credit card out of the leather case, he set the leather case back on the shelf and double checked to make sure his secret getaway bag was safe and sound. In this compartment, set way in the back, he also kept a medium sized red satchel that contained everything he might need if he had to get out of town fast. He never knew for certain what might transpire. If anyone ever found out about him, he knew he’d be shunned and forced to leave. He kept some English clothing in the getaway satchel, a few grooming necessities, and a metal fireproof strong box filled with cash he’d been saving since he’d been sixteen years old. Last time he counted there was almost sixty thousand dollars in cash. He had a bank account but the cash made him feel safer. He rarely spent money on anything, he didn’t have to deal with car payments or rent, and his mom and dad simply assumed he put all the money he made from his two jobs in the bank.
After he replaced the board on the first compartment, he turned to another loose board and reached inside another hidden compartment for one of the outfits he kept hidden. His regular Amish clothing wouldn’t work for what he was planning to do that evening, so he kept several non-Amish outfits that he knew would help him blend in. Part of the secret he kept was hiding his other life from his Amish family, and the other part was keeping his Amish identity a secret from the English life he led.
He changed his clothes fast and hid his Amish clothes under the desk. Later, he would return to the barn and put them back on again before he went into the house. That was the safest way to do it, but he also had a hidden compartment in his bedroom closet where he would hide clothes sometimes. Even though he was the only child of an elderly Amish couple, he never took any chances and he tried to be prepared for all possible situations. His mother and father would most likely be in bed sleeping by then and he could have slipped into the house in non-Amish clothes without anyone knowing. However, he never assumed anything.
If there was even a remote chance he might be discovered, he tried to plan ahead to avoid any possible chagrin for the sake of his family. He often thought about leaving his Amish community and he thought about what might happen if they found out about him and he was shunned. It filled him with so much anxiety and despair his hands would start shaking. As long as he maintained a safe, secret double life he had nothing to worry about. This had always been his biggest problem. He didn’t hate his Amish way of life or his culture. He just wanted to be a quiet Amish gay man who lived a simple Amish gay life. Except, of course, he knew that would never be possible.
After he shoved his credit card into his wallet, he pulled a small mirror out of a hidden compartment he kept beside the desk, closer to the floor. He couldn’t have a large full length mirror, but he could have a small one for shaving. So he checked himself out as best he could in the mirror, and then turned to sneak out of the barn the back way so no one would see him.
No matter how often he did this, he always felt the same thrill all over his body when he wore English clothes. It was as if a whole new world opened up for him with basic things most English people didn’t even realize. Although other gay men might have considered him too conservative, he felt daring and interesting in a simple pair of beige jeans, a black polo shirt, and loafers without socks. He didn’t know much about fashion or style, but he knew enough to understand that he wasn’t the kind of man who could wear flashy clothes. With his dark hair and lean muscular body he had to be careful he didn’t call too much attention to himself. And even then, in the plainest shirt, people would stop and tell him he reminded them of this movie star or that, and half the time he didn’t even know who they were talking about. All he’d ever wanted was to fit in with everyone else.
By the time he was outside it was dark and the only sounds came from leaves and twigs crunching beneath his feet. As he walked up the long dark drive of Peace Valley Farm that would lead him to the road, no one would even have known he was Amish. Anyone passing would simply take him for a young guy walking aimlessly with his hands in his pockets, which he often did most nights of the week anyway.
Filbert didn’t always have a destination, but this was a Wednesday night and he did have specific plans. On Wednesdays there was a small gay bar called The Interlude two towns away from his, where he liked to go just to observe. He never drank; he didn’t smoke. He didn’t even dance with anyone. He simply sat on a barstool, sipping a ginger ale, watching everyone else have a good time. This one simple act alone helped him feel a sense of connection.
Of course he didn’t walk all this way on the side of the road. It would have been too dangerous and much too far. He depended on a friend to pick him up in the parking lot of his family’s farm market, which was located on a main road that ran directly through his Amish community. His only friend was a straight English guy named Niles Barclay who worked part time at the Farm Market. They’d grown up together. Niles was 24 years old and not sure what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. He liked to go to a straight bar in the same town where Filbert went to the small gay bar.
When Filbert reached the farm market he saw Niles’s car at the far end of the parking lot. He jogged over to the passenger door, climbed in, and said, “Sorry I’m late, man. I walked as fast as I could.”
Niles started the car and said, “No problem. I just got here. You wanna drive?”
Even though no one knew about it but Niles, Filbert had worked hard to get his driver’s license on the down low. There was nothing Filbert loved more than driving Niles’s little sports car. “I’d love to drive,” Filbert said. Niles came from a wealthy family in town. His dad was an attorney and his mom a psychologist. They bought him a brand new white Fiat Spider for his 23rd birthday and he taught Filbert how to drive it. Their unusual friendship was so simple and comfortable they shared everything in their lives, as if they were brothers.
They both unfolded from the car and switched sides. As Filbert pulled out of the parking lot a few minutes later with a heavy foot, Niles reached for his seatbelt and laughed.
“What’s so funny?” Filbert asked.
“I was just thinking that I’d rather you drive,” Niles said. “I hate driving. And I’m the straight English guy and you’re gay and Amish guy and no one knows you drive. It’s kind of ironic.”
Filbert just shrugged and said, “No one would believe it. The story of my life.” He often found it interesting that many Amish people think nothing of riding in cars, but shun driving cars. He looked over and saw what Niles was wearing and he laughed. “I’m just glad we go to separate bars.”
“Why?” Niles asked
“Because we are practically dressed the same,” Filbert said. “We look like twins.”
They did look like brothers, up close or from a distance. When they were together at the farm market the tourists often asked if they were brothers, or at least related. They even had the same body type, with broad shoulders, narrow waists, and long legs. They stood the same height, walked with the same gait, and even spoke with the same deep even tone. The one thing that set them apart was that Niles was more outgoing and open with people, where Filbert tended to be reserved and closed.
Niles looked at Filbert’s outfit and shook his head. “Dude, we should plan ahead next time. It looks as if you raided my closet.”
Filbert smiled. “Do you care?”
“Not in the least.”
It was only a fifteen minute drive to the town where they were heading so there wasn’t much time to talk about anything of importance. Besides, they already knew each other so well they never had to work hard for things to talk about. It simply happened naturally without them even realizing it.
“You can drop me off and pick me up around one in the morning,” Niles said.
Filbert shook his head. “No. You’d better drop me off and pick me up around one. I don’t want to take a chance like that. This is your car and I’m Amish.”
“The odds are nothing’s going to happen,” Niles said.
Filbert knew Niles hated to park and he hated dealing with a car at a bar, but he still didn’t feel comfortable because he didn’t want anyone to find out he had a license to drive. “I know. But all the same, let’s not take that chance. Besides, I like getting dropped off by a good looking guy in a nice car. It makes me feel less like a loser.”
Niles smiled and said, “Okay. I’ll drop you off. But you’re not a loser.”
“I’m not exactly a winner.”
“Well you’re my best friend. Does that make me a loser, too?”
“You know what I mean.”
“C’mon, man,” Niles said. “You never know. You might meet the guy of your dreams in there tonight.”
Filbert laughed. At least Niles had a good sense of humor. “Oh yeah, the man of my dreams is waiting for me right now, in a tiny gay bar, on the outskirts of Amish country, in a little town even the English tourists don’t know about. I can see Prince Charming staring in my direction right now.”
A few minutes later, Niles dropped Filbert off at the bar and Filbert went inside and headed to the back of the bar to find his favorite barstool so he could watch everyone else. The bar was having some kind of drag show that night, which meant it was busier than a normal Wednesday night. The building where this bar was located had once been a barn that belonged to a small farm that used to grow corn. After the owners died, their gay son took over and he turned the barn into a makeshift gay bar that probably had more charm than most gay bars in large cities. The bar seemed to do pretty well, too, because the son turned the old farm house into something that would have made Martha Stewart jealous, and he didn’t even bother to farm the land anymore. Although the gay son was so overweight he could barely fit through the door, and so flamboyant his hands fluttered when he walked, his talent for taking nothing and turning it into something spectacular made him a small town local celebrity.
Of course Filbert was nothing more than an observer from a distance, and he never got to know anyone in the bar on a first name basis. He was there often enough for the regulars to nod when he passed them, but he made no effort to ever get to know anyone any better. How could he take the chance? If anyone from his Amish community ever found out and word got back to his family his entire life would end. So he sat there and watched everyone having a great time. Oddly, it was all so different from his Amish life he always found it fascinating that he could lose track of time so unwillingly.
About an hour before Niles was due to pick him up out front, a tall guy with short dark hair and five o’clock shadow sat down next to Filbert and asked, “Can I buy you a drink? I’m Frank.”
The music blared. The last drag performer was finishing her act and Filbert could barely hear the guy. He smiled and said, “No thanks. I’m good.” No one ever sat next to him in the bar. Niles claimed it was because Filbert portrayed himself in public as unapproachable. Filbert had no idea what that meant, but he was fine with not being approached.
“Are you sure?” Frank said. He leaned over closer this time and Filbert could smell the beer on his breath. He seemed older, maybe in his mid-thirties. It stirred something deep inside Filbert and he found it difficult to make eye contact with this guy.
Frank reached over and rested his large hand on Filbert’s thigh. He rubbed his thigh a few times and said, “You seem to keep to yourself. I’ve been watching you. Is this your first time here?”
Filbert didn’t stop him from rubbing his thigh. This guy was better looking than anyone else in the bar, and he had that deep throaty voice like a football player. “No. I come here a lot. I’m local. I just like to sit and watch. I keep to myself.”
Frank extended his right hand and said, “I’m here a lot on weekends. It’s a nice place. Kind of kitschy and folksy and small town. But I like it.” He rubbed Filbert’s leg again. “And the guys are adorable like you.”
When Frank didn’t elaborate on his circumstances, Filbert had a feeling he wasn’t telling his entire story, which didn’t bother Filbert. He’d learned there was nothing safer than two closeted gay men who guard their real identities. He shook the guy’s hand and said, “I’m Phil. It’s nice to meet you, Frank. Where do you come from?”
He told Filbert he worked in sales, came from New York, and did a lot of business in that area. He’d read about this small bar on the Internet and decided to check it out one night. No details; nothing elaborate. While he talked he rubbed and squeezed Filbert’s legs. And Filbert felt safe with him because he seemed as if he knew how to keep a secret. He was a total stranger who didn’t know a thing about Filbert’s background, or that he was Amish. And the truth was that Filbert didn’t really want to know more about him.
In less than a half hour, the guy leaned over and whispered into Filbert’s ear. “Would you like to go outside to my car?”
Filbert froze. He hadn’t expected that. It’s the first time a man had ever asked to be alone with him in a car. “I can’t,” he said. “A good friend is picking me up soon. I have to get home because I’m getting up early in the morning.” He should have been more prepared, with a better excuse.
Frank smiled, as if he found Filbert amusing. “Let’s go out to my car. You can wait for your friend there.”
The guy stood up and left money on the bar. “We can talk outside a lot easier. I’d like to get to know you better. You’re special.”
Filbert looked up at him and hesitated. This guy wasn’t at all like the other guys in the bar. He seemed so genuine and honest. But more important, he thought Filbert was special. He also reminded Filbert of a professional football player he’d seen on the Internet, with a thick neck and huge sexy thighs. He didn’t seem to care about anyone else in the bar but Filbert. So Filbert smiled and said, “I guess that’s okay. My friend won’t be here for a while, so we’ll have time to talk.”
Filbert thought he’d finally met a nice, decent guy, a guy who was good looking, friendly, honest, and kind, but was he in for a surprise.