Thursday, March 12, 2020

The Drama Club-Part 2 (The Stagehand-Installment 1 of 2 Installments) blog post #381

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Sorry, guys and gals, I tried to get it down to a single installment but couldn’t do it. Interesting thing: By far the most hits I got last week came from Hong Kong, and that’s not unusual. I generally have a bunch from that part of the world. The astonishing thing was that they were followed by Turkmenistan. Both exceeded the number of hits from the US. For those who are interested, I generally receive 5,000 to 7,500 hits a month. Not great, but not bad, either.

At any rate, let’s get on with the saga of Jarrod Gray, student lighting director for Casa Verde College’s Drama Club.


Part 2 – The Stagehand (First Installment)

Great to be back home! It was true. Casa Verde College was more of a home than…well, home. This place, with its Drama Club and Thespian Hall, was where Jarrod Gray was most comfortable. Not a people person, Jarrod totally submerged himself in the Drama Club, where the inhabitants were at least tolerable because their passion was his passion… the theater. Most liked to be on stage, but Jarrod preferred to be behind the scenes as the lighting wizard. And now he was back for his sophomore year!
The long summer vacation, made bearable by a little summer stock, didn’t come close to filling his need for Thespian Hall. Jarrod had spent his freshman year improving the lighting boards and the spots and the curtain controls lurking in the catwalks above the stage. He’d proved so dedicated that Ms. Atherton, the drama coach, had given him a key.
He used it now to enter the back of the building, experiencing a tingle down his spine as he walked across the deserted stage and pulled himself hand-over-hand up a rope to survey his world of catwalks and superstructure. Everything was just as he’d left it. Even the mattress, easy chair, small fridge, and hot plate. Those items plus the bathroom in the corner made this place a second home.

Eventually, the call went out for the first meeting of the Drama Club, meaning everyone taking drama classes plus the theatrical vocational students. Jarrod took a seat at the back of the small crowd in the front seats at the Thespian to look over the people he’d be working with this year while Mrs. Atherton announced the three plays the club would perform this school year. Jarrod recognized most from last semester and took note of one or two new faces. One was an Oriental who was a transfer from some other school. Kahn Something-Unpronouncable looked about sixteen, but must have been older, because he was introduced as a senior in the TheVoc program. Sets and scenery were his thing. He was a stagehand like Jarrod. That was okay, stagehands were usually good people. For some reason, Jarrod was pleased when Kahn emerged as set manager. After the regular meeting, Ms. Atherton detained three or four of the TheVoc people to discuss the first play, a drama that would require a lot of lighting changes and a different set for each of the three acts. Kahn promised sketches in two weeks. There was little Jarrod could do until then except familiarize himself with the play.
Regardless of whether he had work to do in the control booth, Jarrod always got to the theater early. The day following the club meeting, he was surprised to find Kahn in the theater before him armed with clipboard, pencils, ruler, and measuring tape. In a spirit of cooperation, Jarrod volunteered to hold one end of the tape so Kahn could take more accurate measurements.
“Vietnamese with Chinese ancestry,” the boy answered Jarrod’s question as he made notes on his papers. “But I was born in California. Folks got out after the end of the war.”
“Then you’re American,” Jarrod corrected, earning a quick smile in return.
“Yeah, but that’s not the answer they want to hear.”
“Who wants to hear?”
“Whoever asks that question.”
Later in his aerie, Jarrod looked down at the slight figure as he moved around the stage, looking, examining, planning. Kahn was deceptive. His fine bones and five-foot eight frame made him appear small, but from his loft Jarrod could see that the stagehand’s shoulders were as wide as his own. The chest was full, tapering quickly to a waist smaller than some of the girls in the club. He moved with a lithe grace that reminded the lighting technician of a feline. Jarrod found himself thinking about some of the gymnastics that took place on the mattress last semester.
A few days later, Jarrod looked down and saw Kahn’s lonely figure sitting on the edge of the stage reading something, the perfect picture of dejection. Finding some imaginary task below, Jarrod lowered himself by rope and walked across the boards.
“Hi, Kahn! What’s up?”
The youth looked over his shoulder, startled. “Oh, jus’ readin’ letter. Not so goo’ news.”
“Sorry. Wanna talk about it?”
“No’ righ’ now,” Kahn said.
Jarrod stared at the kid. When did he acquire an accent? “Sorry.”
“You know where I am if you need to talk.”
An hour later Kahn ascended to the loft the same way Jarrod often did, hand-over-hand up a rope, his face sour, unhappy. “You mean it, ‘bout tal’?”
“Sure. Sit down. Bad news?”
“My girl. We go togetha two year. She write, say she gotta marry this man. Family fin’ ‘im for ‘er.”
“Is that a cultural thing? I mean finding husbands for girls?”
Kahn’s head bobbed. “Sometime amon’ older folk. Yes, yes.”
“Damn, Kahn,” Jarrod said without thinking. “You sound like you just came over on the boat.”
“Sorry. I get all excited, I talk like my parents do, I guess.”
“Look, do you love this girl?”
“Yes. And she love…uh, loves me. We want get marrie’ someday.”
“Maybe she’ll change her mind.”
His new friend’s face fell, destroying the myth of the inscrutable Oriental. “Too late. She mar’ las’ week.”
“Oh, man, I’m sorry! Look, you have any friends you can hang with? Any other Vietnamese on the campus?”
Khan shook his head.
 “Well, you’ve got one friend right here. Whata you wanta do? Bowl? Drink? Find some girls?”
“No. Don’ wanna do that, ‘cep’ drink, maybe.”
So Jarrod found himself in a beer joint that evening with a despondent Asian bent on getting drunk. Getting drunk was all right, but getting stinking drunk was something else. He hauled a protesting and surprisingly strong Kahn out of the Pickled Parrot at one in the morning. Fortunately, neither of them had classes on Saturday.
“Don’ wanna go home. Don’ wan’ roo’mate see Kahn all drunk!”
“We can’t go to my place. My roommate’s there. We’ll go to the Thes.”
“Clos’,” Kahn staggered against him and pushed off, launching himself down the street. Jarrod, who had his own buzz going, managed to get him into his fifteen-year-old Chevy and pulled out of the parking lot without damaging anything of material value.
“Key,” he belatedly answered Kahn. “I got a key.”
“Ho kay!” Kahn burped softly.
Neither of them could manage the rope, and the ladder didn’t look likely, so Jarrod loaded them into the freight elevator. Kahn headed straight for the mattress and almost went over the edge to the stage thirty feet below. Jarrod managed to catch him around the waist and haul him back to safety. The feel of warm flesh against his body sobered him instantly. He hung onto the unresisting Kahn a moment or two longer than necessary.
“You okay?” he asked to delay things. He wondered if Kahn could feel his growing excitement.
“Yes… ho kay,” Kahn mumbled. “Baf room!” he squawked. Jarrod led him to the small room and waited outside the door until Kahn emerged, his face washed and seeming a little less stupified.
“Lie down on the mattress. I’ve got a couple of blankets. You can spend the night here.”
“You go?” the stagehand asked, blinking rapidly, as if trying to focus.
“I can stay if you want.” He gave a little laugh. “Make sure you don’t fall off.”
Kahn didn’t answer, merely flopped on the mattress.
“Let’s make you comfortable,” Jarrod said through a tight throat. He reached down and unbuttoned the boy’s shirt, pulling it out of his trousers. What he saw made him dizzy.
Kahn’s upper body was phenomenal. A heavy chest divided into two distinct pads, each crowned with a large black areole. Dark skin with a slight golden cast. Carbon black eyes shrouded by a fold of flesh at the corners studied Jaron seriously.
With a sob of desire, Jarrod fell to his knees and lowered his head. The left nipple rose as he sucked it. Kahn’s hand caressed the back of his head.
“Kim…she like do tha’. Oh Kim! Kimmie!” The chest heaved; a sob escaped the boy. “Ohhhh!” The moan startled Jarrod.
Jarrod dragged his lips across that wide torso and found the other nipple. At length, he left that one and licked the center of the chest, feeling the boy’s heart thud beneath the flesh. His hands fumbled with the boy’s buckle and fly. Kahn lay like a log, giving him no assistance.
 “Jarro’? Jarro’? Wha’ you do me? Ohhh! Jarro’! Don’!”
Kahn’’s voice died away as Jarrod lowered his head, only to begin moaning again. It was almost a mantra. Jarrod wondered if it was.
The climax came suddenly, explosively. Kahn took a few deep gasps and then slept.
Jarrod sat on the edge of the mattress, his head resting on his drawn knees for a long while as he watched his naked friend sleep. The fine oriental features were handsome, almost pretty in repose. Every part of him was well formed and shapely. Jarrod decided Kahn had been a gymnast in high school. He didn’t know anything else that would build muscle tissue in exactly that way. The boy was beautiful, was his final verdict before he restored the clothing and covered the inert form with a blanket. Then he stretched out to sleep.
The next morning Kahn was gone. Alarmed, Jarrod peered over the edge to the stage below but found no crumpled body. Breathing easier, he went to his dorm to clean up.
Do you get the feeling Jarrod feels differently about Kahn than he did the jock in the first story? I do. And maybe that’s why it takes more than one installment to tell Kahn’s story. At any rate, bear with me.. and Jarrod.

Until next week.

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