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Brokeback Mountain Takes MTV’s “Best Movie Kiss” Award

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Jake Gyllenhaal took home two well-deserved MTV Movie awards Saturday, June 3rd, 2006 – one for “Best movie kiss,” which he shared with Heath Ledger, and the other for “Best Performance.”

Based on the movie and Annie Proulx’s story, the scene played out like this:

The day was hot and clear in the morning, but by noon the clouds had pushed up out of the west, rolling a little sultry air before them. Ennis, wearing his best shirt, and clean jeans, had taken the day off, pacing with a beer back and forth, looking down into a pale with dust rear parking lot from his second floor window. Alma was saying something about taking his friend to the Knife and Fork for supper instead of cooking, it was so hot, if they could get a babysitter. But Ennis said more than likely he’d just go out with Jack and get drunk and that Jack wasn’t a restaurant type.

Nervous with anticipation, Ennis sat at the window playing with his lighter and chain-smoking, knowing, but not knowing why he wished Jack would hurry and arrive. Alma busied herself feeding the kids, trying to figure out what Ennis was so anxious about. She’d never seen her normally stoic husband act like this about anybody. Late in the afternoon, thunder growling, a new red and white Ford pickup rolled in and he saw Jack get out of it. A hot jolt scalded Ennis and he was out on the landing pulling the door closed behind him.

Jack looked up at him, grinning from ear to ear.

Ennis just glowed with joy. From the top of the landing he gushed out, “Jack Fucking Twist!” and bounded down the steps two at a time as Jack met him halfway across the lot in front of the girls’ new swing set.

They seized each other by the shoulders, hugged mightily, squeezing the breath out of each other, saying, “Son of a bitch, son of a bitch.” Ennis nervously looked around, weary of who might see, and grabbed him, pushing him backwards ten feet, throwing him against the back wall of the Laundromat at the foot of the neighbor’s stairs, within a little hidden staircase, at the foot of their own leading up in the opposite direction. As easily as the right key turns the lock tumblers, their mouths came together and hard, Jack’s teeth bringing blood, his hat falling to the ground, stubble rasping, wet saliva welling.

Jack’s trembling fingers gathered in Ennis’ shirt’s shoulders, grabbed them, pushing roughly, and pinned Ennis against the opposite privacy wall, crushing him against it, and returned the kiss.

In the flash of a moment, the years vanished, and their pent-up emotions spilled out as their lips locked and relocked repeatedly, each running their fingers through the other’s hair, and trying to climb into each other’s clothes. It was the goodbye kiss they’d wished they’d shared back then, but couldn’t.

Their bodies and breath trembled as they clutched each other more and more tightly. Above them the door opened and Alma looked out for a few seconds at Ennis’ straining shoulders, and the passion in Jack’s searching arms as they explored her husband’s body holding him so close. She went into a sort of shock at the sight of them holding a fiery kiss, not believing what she was seeing. It was something she never even had imagined or heard of.

Hurt shattered her, as she watched Ennis show a wanting for someone that he’d never even come close to showing for her. Shutting the door, she began crying, choking down blurred questions, and being unable to answer any of them.

Without knowing what had just happened above them, the two men clinched, pressing chest and groin and thigh and leg together, treading on each other’s toes until they pulled apart to breathe and Ennis, not big on endearments, said what he said to his horses and daughters, “Little darlin’.”

He looked carefully around the little wall hiding the stairwell where they hoped they were safe from view, and breathed a sigh of relief that no one had seen or heard. They exchanged a look that ended the passion and they immediately began straightening their clothes, combing their hair with their fingers to straighten it. Ennis bent over, picked up Jack’s hat, and as he handed it to him, gestured with his head up his own set of stairs to their apartment.

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About Jet Gardner

I like collecting books, music, movies, chess sets and friends
  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    My thanks to Diana Hartman for her help, we had to fight the wild software, but she did it and I’m gratefull!

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    Wow! ….Jet, your description was just as HOT as the movie…..hotter even, damn!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thanks Chantal, you might say I know my subject.

    Solus mei sententia
    Jet

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    P.S. Diana and I fought into the morning with this and I had to do a sudden rewrite at 5 AM… sorry about all the commas-I was half asleep!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    For my full review of the DVD click here

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Chantal, after A blind friend of mine asked me to describe Jack and Ennis’ very first real kiss which actually didn’t happen till that second night, I didn’t realize that he’d recorded me narrating it, and I was so surprised that I wrote it down, and then novelized Annie’s whole short story for him so he could “see” the movie.

    This is how I described it. I should warn you it gets slightly graphic but not enough to offend if you’ve seen the movie…

    Unable to find the right words, neither spoke, and as wolves and owls called out into the night, Twist finally gave up and crawled into the camp tent muttering, “G’night”, sort of hoping Ennis would follow.
    When nothing happened, he peeked outside as Ennis walked slowly over to his horse, mounted it and rode away into the darkness. Then, he bowed his head and a tear dropped from his eye. He pulled his shirt off and was just preparing to bed down for the night, when from outside, twigs snapped.
    A bear or a wolf attracted by the smell of food?
    He sat up and saw Ennis dismount, walk towards the tent, but stop in his tracks at the fire, as though changing his mind.
    Jack lay back down, shivering from the evening cold or from anticipation; he wasn’t sure which, but waiting to see what would happen. When nothing did, he sat up and peered out through the flaps.
    Ennis sat down on the log, staring like a lost puppy into the flickering embers for what seemed like forever, sometimes looking over at the tent flap, causing Jack to duck out of sight, sometimes just shaking his head as if he were really sad. He looked off toward the hillsides where he had a responsibility to be with the sheep, and then at the tent, then back toward the herd. Suddenly the loneliness and the night’s cold got the better of him and he felt himself drawn to Jack, and the feelings within himself that he couldn’t understand. He closed his eyes and bowed his head in surrender, cursing under his breath.
    Jack almost jumped up to comfort him when Ennis suddenly stood, as if making a decision, and then slowly advanced on the tent.
    With his hat meekly in his hand in respect, he parted the flaps, and was startled to meet Jack’s eyes right in front of him.
    Jack drew closer, but hesitated with a lost look, and without a word their eyes locked, and they both knew the “one shot deal” had been canceled. Ennis didn’t know what to do, as Jack reached out and took his hat, tossing it aside. Jack only knew that he wanted to do it again, only this time with feeling.
    Ennis’ pent-up emotions began to spill out and his fear caused him to draw away and try to back out of the tent. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have… I’m sorry that I… I’m so sorry, Jack.”
    Jack grabbed his forearm and held it, keeping him from chickening out, tenderly whispering, “It’s alright, it’s alright” as Ennis’ eyes seemed to glaze over with want.
    With each repeated “It’s alright,” that followed, something inside both of them began to heal, and without voicing it, they gave each other permission to explore forbidden thoughts.
    With shuddering hands they embraced, knowing that the unfeeling animal sex they’d had last night was the only thing that was “a one shot deal.” As their lips met for the first time, hesitant at first, they became locked in breathless passion.
    Ennis couldn’t stop whispering that he was sorry, and suddenly drew back again, scared of the feeling he couldn’t understand and feared, as it came welling up inside himself, but as Jack pulled away unsure that he’d mistaken this man’s intentions, Ennis drew him to himself, and Jack’s trembling hands finished pulling his new lover’s clothes off as their lips relocked in a fiery kiss…
    Jack pushed him onto his back beside him, and Ennis’ head fell onto his left shoulder. Letting his fears go completely, del Mar began caressing Jack’s bare chest, then his fingers strayed to his neck and then his chin. Jack rolled over on top of Ennis, who was still shaking from pent up emotions, and as their lips met again, Jack kissed him, as no one had ever been kissed before. Ennis began exploring Jack’s body again, and soon they were making love, not just sex, it was love, as undeclared as it was deep, leaving them convinced that they’d never before felt this way about anyone else.
    It was like falling for your first love all over again.

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    wheww!!….again, almost better than that movie itself!

    and just so you know, Jet, I’m not easily offended. My tender ears and eyes have seen (and done!?!?) much much worse! ;)

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I’m glad you liked it, frankly you weren’t the one I was worried would be offended, but since I got it past the comments editor, I’ll breath a sigh of relief.

    I’m glad to have you as a friend
    Jet

  • http://www.myspace.comducky123456 samantha

    hello this is samantha kone im 14 and i love this movie

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Why hello there Samantha age 14-considering the subject matter of this movie you should be ashamed of yourself, and considering your URL is a fake, I’d say your a 45 year old male detective from Akron Ohio trolling for a child predator to lure into your den.

    you won’t find one here sweetie, but goodluck elsewhere!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Samantha #9 sounds awfully familiar, like I’ve seen it before, can anyone trace the IP because I have a sneaking suspicion of who the troublemaker probably is? Or maybe she’s a b5 fan here by mistake, but I doubt it…

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Jet,

    I read, reread and absorbed what you wrote. It was beautiful and very true to the story in every way. Every time I see this movie or read the story, I am moved by how natural the whole relationship really was and in that light it makes me profoundly sad that so many people will never experience the love Ennis and Jack shared.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thank you Silas-I hope you didn’t miss my continuance on Comment 6. I added quite a bit of narration in my version and some details to explain some of the mysteries, but I can’t print it for being worried of being sued.

    I’m glad you enjoyed it.
    Jet

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    By the way my novelization of her short story based on the movie is 51 pages long and it took me almost as long as the movie lasted to read it to him.

    A friend of ours is typing it up for him in braile.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Jet, I just want to thank you. I don’t have as much time as I used to to get over here but I make a point of searching for your works. You are a credit to the community and for what it’s worth you have my undying respect and gratitude.

  • just because

    Hi,
    Great descriptions. Have you posted your novelization of the movie anywhere? I would so love to read it.
    jb

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thanks Silas, that means a lot to me.

    Solus mei sententia
    Jet

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thanks “Just Because” Here’s another “taste” of my novelization. I’d love to post the whole thing, but there’s this little thing called a copywrite law, and i’m worried about it.

    Tell you what, here’s a taste of a scene that heightens the drama between their first and 2nd time…

    Parting the tent flaps, he realized it was the next morning, and silently pulled his pants back up from his thighs and buckled the belt, then slipped out of the tent, feeling like an escaping rapist who’d fallen asleep with his victim and was fleeing before he was discovered.
    Jack crawled out a few minutes later, dressed to his hat and without even exchanging glances; he stood silently at the tent flaps, tucking his shirt in.
    The loud clack of the rifle as Ennis checked his ammo brought Jack out of his thoughts.
    Twist started striding towards del Mar’s back as he shoved the rifle into its sheathe on the saddle and mounted.
    As much of a question as a comment, Jack said softly, “See ya for supper.”
    Ennis spurred his horse, and took off toward the herd without a word, and barely a glance back.

    They both suffered through the morning, each in his own way.
    In Ennis’ case, he rode quietly, deep in tormented thought. Jack would never, could never forgive being raped last night. How would Ennis ever be able to face him again? Del Mar fought a stinging, welling up in his eyes, because he’d done something horrific to a man he’d considered his friend, and now he’d have an enemy for the next couple of months.
    What if Jack rode down the mountain and reported him to the sheriff while he was up here tending the sheep?
    He’d be arrested, ruined, maybe lynched. His marriage plans to Alma would be destroyed.
    What had he done? Why had he done it? Had he started it, dreaming of Alma, and in his slumber blindly used Jack to replace her; then when he woke up he’d gone too far to stop? It was something he never even considered before… something he’d been thoroughly taught was evil, and that he’d go to hell for. If anyone found out, they’d kill him, just like his father killed them two queers that were ranched up together when he was a boy.
    That kind of “thing” was like a cancer, his father taught him, that had to be cut out before it spread. They would’ve shot them two fags like rabid dogs, but what was needed was a more horrific death, in order to teach everyone a lesson, so he and his friends followed long-tradition and beat them both to death with tire irons, and left their bloodied and battered corpses where everyone could see them; one tied to a fence on the main road to bleed to death, the other in an irrigation ditch not far away.
    Ennis suffered an uncontrollable shudder just thinking about it.
    No, he couldn’t be one of those, he just couldn’t be!
    For the whole ride up the rocky trail, he could think of nothing else, and tried to figure out a way to apologize to Jack, but the words wouldn’t come.
    His mind kept wandering back to how good it felt, so natural, so… right, to hold Jack in his arms. Something wasn’t right about the whole thing though; it was almost as if Twist had enjoyed being fucked.
    As he cleared the crest of a hill overlooking the herd, he heard a dog crying…

    Jack watched him ride away.
    Did he really get Ennis drunk on purpose and then seduce him?
    Why?
    All Jack knew was that it felt right, but it wasn’t, was not anything he’d ever even considered doing. Clearly Ennis blamed him for it. Jack had worked so hard to get Ennis’ friendship, and now it was all in ashes. Del Mar wouldn’t even speak to him when he rode off.
    Jack tried to distract himself by setting out some ingredients for that night’s meal, which he’d long before planned special. He opened a few cans, added some water and spices, and lowered the lid over the cast iron kettle, moving it slightly off the fire to cook slowly through the afternoon, like he’d seen his mother do many times.
    One thing was for sure, this would have to be resolved, or the next couple of months would be unbearable.
    This couldn’t wait until supper.
    His ass was burning and itching something awful, and he lowered his jeans to the acrid smell of shit. He undressed completely, and took a couple bars of Ivory soap to the stream, dragging the bedroll with him. Naked, he first washed himself, then used a stick to rub the shit out of the seat of his pants, rubbed the soap all over them, and the sleeping bag, later hanging them over a makeshift tripod above the cook fire to dry.
    His mind kept straying back to how good it felt to have Ennis’ arms around him, and how little the fucking had hurt; amazed that after a few seconds, it actually began to feel damned good, as if his life centered around a spot just behind his pubic hair. Despite the number of girls he’d fucked, and there were many, he’d never felt that sensation before, and like a potent drug, he wanted, no-needed, no-craved it again.
    Standing there naked, his eyes wandered to the flock up above and to the right, but he couldn’t see Ennis up there.
    He didn’t know how he felt, much less how Ennis felt, because he’d never been taught words that described what he was going through, but this was a bull that had to be ridden now or never.
    Lifting the kettle, he stirred his concoction again and was amazed at how good it smelled.
    He pulled on his clothes, now smelling fresh of soap, and came up with an excuse to ride up to see him.
    Jack packed up a couple of bacon and egg sandwiches and a thermos of hot coffee in his saddle bag, to replace Ennis’ missed breakfast, mounted the mare, and took off toward the high pasture.
    He’d figure out what to say on the way up there…

    Glancing around quickly, Ennis spotted the young dog, whining next to a nearly hollowed out and bloody corpse of one of the lambs.
    Spurring Cigar Butt, he rode as fast as he could down to the herd in case the wolf was still there.
    He spent most of the afternoon tracking down the son of a bitch by the blood trail, killed it, and strung it up by it’s feet on a tall pole to warn off anything else that came near.
    For the next hour he sat with the herd, not understanding why the death of that poor lamb hit him so hard, until he realized it wasn’t that; it was how he felt about Jack that was tearing him apart.
    One of the dogs came over and appeared to try to comfort him, whining and licking his face, and Ennis stroked his head and fell into a deep dark brooding.
    Sometime later, while Ennis was still deep in thought, the dog jerked his head, and Ennis glanced up on the hillside to see what had caught its attention.
    In the cloudy sky stood the silhouette of Jack Twist, carrying his rifle.
    It was a very rare occasion when Ennis felt scared… this was one of them.
    At this range, considering what he’d seen of Jack’s rifle skills, he knew that even if he tried, he’d never hit him.
    If the roles were reversed and Jack had raped him, would he go gunning for him?
    He nodded to himself that he probably would’ve, and then walked over to his horse and pulled his rifle out.
    Then he decided instead of riding up the hill, he’d walk to his friend, and maybe take what was coming to him, what he thought he deserved.
    Better by Jack’s hand than end up in some drainage ditch after torture and a lynching…

    Del Mar strode straight up the steep grassy hill, never letting Twist out of his sight.
    Halfway there Jack put his rifle down, making sure del Mar saw him do it, and lay on his side facing away from Ennis’ advancing figure, surrounded by sheep on all sides, bleating, grazing and sleeping.
    Jack heard the grass rustle under foot and looked up at him, as Ennis came up close, passed his feet by three paces to stand in front of him facing away, presenting his back as a sacrificial offered target.
    Just for one fearful moment, Jack thought that Ennis had brought the rifle to shoot him. Mysteriously, the ranch hand only stood there, holding the gun, but not in a way that he was about to fire it.
    Ennis thought he heard Jack let out an anxious breath, as if he’d been holding it for a long time, and wondered what that meant.
    Without knowing it, both thought the other were out for revenge, neither knowing how wrong they were.
    Just for one brutal moment, Ennis closed his eyes, waiting for Jack to reach for the rifle just out of his reach, and put a bullet that del Mar thought he deserved into his back. He never looked back and down at Jack, but seemed to exhale a sigh of relief for some reason when all he heard was silence and the bleating of sheep.
    Somewhere in the distance a hawk cried out.
    They remained there in limbo, silent for a long time, not knowing what to say to each other, both watching the brown ocean of wool flow down below them.
    Without taking his eyes off the sheep, finally Ennis crouched down on his haunches. He meant to promise that it’d never happen again, and to beg his friend’s forgiveness and silence. He’d rehearsed it all the way up the mountain, but the words wouldn’t come out right so he settled for saying, “This is a one-shot thing we got going here,” without looking back to see Jack’s reaction.
    Jack looked up at Ennis’ back from where he lay and sadly answered, “Nobody’s business but ours.”
    Both were still tense, but relieved that the other seemed to have forgiven the one to blame.
    “You know I’m not queer,” mumbled Ennis carefully, knowing it needed to be said, lest Jack think differently.
    “Me neither.”
    They sat like that, not speaking for about half an hour.
    Finally, unable to stand it anymore, Jack got up, began striding toward his horse, and asked, “You hungry?”
    Del Mar only nodded.
    Twist reached for the sandwiches he’d transferred to his pocket, and then changed his mind. “Come on, then.”
    The ride down to camp was made in complete silence. They rode side by side, each adjusting their speed to keep exact pace with each other, only pausing to detour around a tree or a boulder.
    Jack rebuilt a larger campfire than usual, and surprised Ennis with some hunter’s stew he’d made with meat scraps, a can of tomatoes and one of peas, potatoes he’d peeled earlier and some carrots chopped into big chunks, and some supplies and spices they’d never asked for earlier, and hadn’t used.
    Though Ennis wordlessly made sure Jack knew that he enjoyed the meal and appreciated the effort by eating a couple servings and mmmmmming a lot, he uttered not one single sound, which worried Twist.
    Needlessly though, for the ranch hand was still convinced that Jack hated him for raping him last night, but was too embarrassed to report it to the sheriff or Aguirre, probably for fear of what people would say.
    On the other hand, poor Jack still thought Ennis hated him for trying to turn him into a faggot or something.
    Unable to find the right words, neither spoke, and as wolves and owls called out into the night, Twist finally gave up and crawled into the camp tent muttering, “G’night”, sort of hoping Ennis would follow.
    When nothing happened, he peeked outside as Ennis walked slowly over to his horse, mounted it and rode away into the darkness. Then, he bowed his head and a tear dropped from his eye. He pulled his shirt off and was just preparing to bed down for the night, when from outside, twigs snapped.
    A bear or a wolf attracted by the smell of food?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    The above novelization is based on Annie’s work, I just embellished and enhanced it. With love Jet.

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    That was great Jet, it never occurred to me that Ennis may have felt like he raped or took advantage of Jack, what an interesting perspective. I always assumed he was just beating himself over his strong desire and love for another man, something he didn’t even know he could feel, and was having trouble reconciling.

    Now I’m going to have to watch the movie AGAIN, with this new perspective in mind.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thanks Chantal, it’ll hit you hard when you see Jack beating his clothes naked by the stream and understand why he’s doing it.

    None of that’s in the movie or Annie’s short story, I just dreamed it up to explain the mysteries to my blind friend.

    Love…

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Damn, Jet. I like this characterization. There are so many ways of looking at Ennis and Jack and now you’ve opened the door yet to another possibility. If people only knew how many men have fallen in love out on the prairies of America, they’d be amazed. We’ve taken a wonderful word like love and have reduced it to be akin to any other four letter word. How sad.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I wish I could get permission to have my version published, but alas, it is someone else’s work after all and I’d hate for someone to screw with the novel I’m working on called “System 10″

    I’m glad you liked it. It’s just my thoughts about what was running through Ennis’ head when it happened. You should read when he visits Jack’s parents at the end!

  • just because

    Thanks for posting more Jet. It makes an awesome read. The copyright thing is tricky but then I read lots of fan fiction/slash & so far BBM fan fic has not attracted any controversy. I was wary of BBM fan fic at first but it helped soothe some of the movie-induced pain & also gave a new perspective on some aspects of the story. Now I can’t get enough of reading about J & E & their love.
    I guess yours is not a true fan fic, although there are plenty of one-parter fics that do “fill in the blanks”. I hadn’t thought about blind people wanting to hear the story. I know there is an audiobook of A Proux’s short story but the movie version is, how shall I put it, juicier! Then of course there is the whole seemingly endless debate about story vs movie…
    If you are of a mind to, there are a couple of great sites to post BBM fan fic to that would be receptive to your work. Otherwise, maybe post another snippet sometime *please*
    I hope there’s not a limit on the size of these comments. Ooops.
    jb

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Okay one more snippet, but I’ve got to get to the drug store for supplies-eye surgery tomorrow…

    Two days later Ennis woke in his little pup tent with a start, to find his feet freezing cold. He stumbled shivering out in confusion to discover everything was covered in white after the first snow came early, piling up a foot in places, but was followed by a quick melt.
    He rode down the mountain to camp, only to find Jack undoing the straps on the tent frame, as he spotted the food, and their supplies all packed in boxes ready to be piled onto the mules.
    “What the hell? Why are we movin’ camp?”
    Jack looked over and said, “Aguirre came back up, told me my uncle lived after all, and said to bring them down.”
    “What? Why?”
    “He said an even bigger storm is coming in off the Pacific, and he wants them down fast.”
    “What, but, uh, that snow only lasted an hour!” he objected. “Besides, he’s cheatin’ us out of a whole month’s pay!”
    Still busy folding the big tent, Jack considered a moment and said, “Well, if you’re short, I can lend you some as soon as we get paid in Signal, be glad to do it. You can take your time payin’ it back.”
    Ennis’ pride took hold and he answered angrily, “I ain’t in the poor house; I don’t need your money.”
    Jack watched him kick at some unmelted snow in a spray of white, and then stride to a nearby tree stump. Sitting down upset, he grabbed an unused fire log, dug around in the dirt a moment, and then absently tossed it aside.
    Ennis looked around and saw that everything had already been packed, and except for loading it all, they were ready to leave.
    But he wasn’t.
    His chest tightened as he realized why he was so upset; in a day, he’d probably never see Jack again.
    He thought he’d prepared himself for their coming separation, but not for a month or so, not in a few days-hours!
    Jack watched his friend turn and walk slowly out about a hundred yards into the meadow, and then sit down in a crouch, within the wet high grass on the top of a knoll, tucking his head to his knees as his arms surrounded them, the tan cowboy hat hiding his face.
    Ennis had pretended this was all a dream, because he knew it would have to end sooner instead of later. But like a really good dream, he woke up from it before he wanted to, and longed to go back to sleep to be back in it. He knew that when he “woke” he’d have to be normal again, marry Alma, and forget all about Jack.
    As long as he was up here, he could be himself.
    He hadn’t prepared himself to face the fact he’d given his heart away on Brokeback Mountain.
    Half an hour later, having finished packing the camp up by himself, Jack felt it too.
    With one last tug on the ropes, and a look to see that the pack animals weren’t going anywhere, he scanned the clearing to find Ennis still sitting there.
    He reached up to his saddle and grabbed his lasso, heading toward his friend.
    About ten yards from him, Jack began twirling the rope over his head, neatly landing it around Ennis’ back and knees where he sat.
    The wind was picking up, and smelled of snow, pine and wet wild grasses.
    With a gentle tug on the rope, he softly said reluctantly, “Time to go, Cowboy.”
    Del Mar stood up, pulled the lasso off over his head, brushed himself off, and gave Jack a silent nod, walking ahead of him town the hill.
    Jack smiled and swung the rope again, this time catching Ennis’ feet, causing him to fall.
    Jack giggled and jumped atop of him, meaning to give him a kiss goodbye, but Ennis struggled away and laughingly warned, “This ain’t no rodeo, you,” and began mock fighting him, like a calf that didn’t want to be roped and tied.
    With peals of laughter and grunts, they both rolled down the hill, side by side in each other’s arms struggling playfully.
    Then something happened, and Ennis flipped a switch in his head, maybe because he was thinking of Alma, and he started fighting for real, circling Jack’s neck with his strong hands.
    Something inside of him thought if he killed Jack, he’d kill the hurt of the coming separation and painlessly destroy the feelings he had for him.
    Surprised, Jack fought back, and accidentally butted Ennis’ face with his knee.
    Del Mar stopped abruptly and stood up, wiping gushing blood from his nose on his white plaid shirtsleeve and cuff. The blow had cleared his head, and he stood dazed wondering what he was thinking.
    Aghast at what he’d done, Jack jumped up, pulled him close and started wiping his nose with the sleeve of his denim shirt.
    Suddenly rage and confusion welled up in Ennis at acting queer for the last few weeks. Without warning, he flattened Jack with a left hook, laying him out all curled up and moaning on the ground clutching his head.
    Fearful of another blow, Jack finally looked up to see Ennis staggering to their horses, peeling off his shirt, wiping his nose with it, and searching for his spare, jamming the bloody one in his saddlebag.
    Jack came carefully over, and just as he reached out for his friend, Ennis backed away from him and muttered, “Gotta piss,” and took off toward the woods while Twist waited by the horses.
    When he returned, Ennis stood transfixed looking at his blood all over Jack’s denim shirtsleeve.
    A moment later, they rode off silently.
    They didn’t utter a word the whole ride down. The mountain boiled with demonic energy from the sudden snowmelt, glazed with flickering broken gray cloud light; the wind combed the grass and swayed the tall pines, moaning through slit rock in a bestial drone.
    As they descended the slope Ennis felt that he was in a slow motion, but headlong, irreversible fall, like an angel who’d been banished from heaven, or a child who’d been punished for a crime he didn’t commit.
    Jack kept rubbing the deep bruise on his left cheek next to his eye that hurt like hell.
    Ennis withdrew further into himself, becoming the stoic and nearly wordless man he was before.
    Jack watched it happen, helpless to do anything about it.
    Both men hid the heartbreak they felt.

    At the trailhead, it began raining as Jack and Ennis waited at a split-rail fence. Jack bowed his head and sniffed, knowing the rain disguised the tears running down his cheeks.
    The distant foreman kept giving them pissed-off looks as he supervised the herders loading the sheep, mules and horses into trucks.
    Eventually he walked over with a sheaf of paper in his hand and a sour expression. “Some of these sheep never went up there with you. The count ain’t what I expected neither. You damned ranch stiffs ain’t never no good.”
    Both young men bowed their heads and looked away.
    Joe Aguirre handed them both envelopes with cash in them and walked off toward his Rambler muttering something under his breath that sounded like “fuckin’ queers”.
    Twist and del Mar turned to move toward him, expecting a ride back to the trailer and Jack’s truck, but he started it up and drove away before they reached it.
    They hitched a ride back into Signal with the Chilean herder, and Ennis turned to head toward the highway to thumb a ride home. He’d thought of asking Jack for one, but needed to cut the ties fast.
    A sharp knife cuts the cleanest and hurts the least.
    They parted without a word, but Ennis had gotten only fifteen feet when he heard the grinding of Jack’s starter.
    Then he heard it again, and again.
    Reversing course, he silently strode up to the truck, reached in the front of it and opened the hood. “Pump the peddle.”
    After fiddling a moment he shouted, “Okay, try again, and give it just a little gas!”
    The starter grinded, and then caught immediately, the truck roaring in a cloud of smoke.
    Ennis slammed the hood closed, and when Jack jumped out to thank him, found del Mar searching absently through his paper bag. “I can’t believe I left that damned shirt up there. Oh well, I’d never have gotten the blood out of it anyways.”
    Ennis looked up to find Jack nodding, “Yeah,” and then looked away.
    “You gonna do this again next summer?” asked Jack with a hopeful tone, interrupting Ennis’ continued search, one leg already up in his old pickup, his armed propped over the top of the open door.
    The wind was gusting hard and cold.
    He looked away from Jack’s jaw; bruised blue from the hard punch Ennis had landed this morning, unable to settle his eyes on it for more than a second. He kept looking down, absently rummaging through his bag. “Oh, Maybe not,” he answered finally.
    A dust plume rose and hazed the air with fine grit and Ennis squinted against it. “Like I said, Alma and me’s gettin married in November, so uh, I’ll try to get somethin on a ranch I guess. You?”
    “I’m going up to my daddy’s place, and give him a hand through the winter… I might be back, if the army don’t get me.”
    Ennis nodded nervously a lot, and finally said, “Well, I guess I’ll see you around, Huh?”
    The wind tumbled an empty feedbag down the street until it fetched up under the truck.
    Ennis felt his heart welling up in his throat, and he decided to cut and run, and just as quickly, there was forty feet of distance between them.
    Nothing for Jack to do but drive away, and as he passed Ennis on foot he looked back through the truck’s mirror, till he turned the corner.
    Within fifty paces Ennis felt like someone was pulling his guts out hand over hand a yard at a time. He stumbled to his knees between two utility shacks, and tried to puke, but nothing came up. He didn’t want it to end with Jack, but couldn’t admit it to himself or face it either, so he did what any man would do; he began punching the wall of the building until the pain took away his unwanted thoughts. He felt about as bad as he ever had.
    The throbbing in his knuckles was so intense he began sobbing.
    Deep inside himself he knew why he cried, but the man in him blamed it on his sore knuckles.
    A cowboy on foot came up on him and paused to see if he could help.
    “What the fuck are you looking at?” he yelled ferociously, and the man retreated, figuring he was drunk.
    Ennis collapsed against the wall and bawled like a little baby…

  • http://salonely.blogspot.com/ reggie von woic

    Jet, i’m speechless (not in a bad way)

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Wow. Gut wrenching. I’m reliving it yet again. Jet, you must tell me about their first meeting after a few years. Tell me about that kiss. About the light that came on in Ennis’ eyes when Jack came back into his life. Give me more. My want is insatiable.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Uh Silas??? that’s the article itself! the whole story of how they kissed after being apart for years is the kiss that won the award that the article’s about….

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Damn you, Jet. I get so farklempt when caught up in Brokeback Mountain.

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    yeah Jet…you can’t leave us hanging like this, damn.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Okay so did everyone figure out that the end of #18 fits into the beginning of #6?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Coming out of that wonder filled memory, Jack realized that Ennis had wordlessly driven away, and as his eyes focused, he watched the battered Ford with their horses aboard round a curve and disappear between the tall pines.
    No goodbyes, no nothin’
    Was it over between them?

    It took Jack two hours, sometimes with tear-blurred eyes to drive the long miles to his boyhood home. Randall Tanny’s offer to leave his wife and take Jack up to Lightning Flat to start a new life together would be impossible, unless he could free himself of a lifetime of loving Ennis.
    Trying to balance the scales between the hopelessness of ever having something permanent with Ennis, and with never being able to love Randall, as much weighed heavy on his mind.
    By the time he crossed the town limits of Lightning Flat and spotted his family’s battered, faded and rusted mailbox, he decided he’d talk to his father about hiding the foreman away for him, but had also decided to give Ennis just one more hopeless chance to give in and show him the love he’d been hiding all these years.
    After traveling about another hundred yards down the long private dirt driveway that led to the ranch house… his boyhood home, through the dust, he saw old lumber, or a post from the barbed wire fence that’d somehow fallen over, and he smiled that his new truck could run over it without even noticing.
    As he bumped over it, the front right tire blew out, and, and he cussed his head off as he struggled to keep in control.
    Jumping out to inspect it, he exclaimed, “Shit!”
    He pulled off his jacket, slapped it across the hood over handed, and reached in to shut off the truck.
    After scanning the surrounding weathered out-buildings of his youth, and hearing only crows cawing and cows, he rolled up his sleeves, got under the back of his truck, and pulled down the spare, jack, and tire iron, then set to work getting the front tire off.
    A sound distracted him, as an old battered Chevy pickup pulled up behind him, that he recognized as his father’s. His smile to his old man changed to surprise as the door of the passenger side opened too, and Mr. Newsome, his Father-in-law, climbed out. Two husky young blond farmhands wearing worn overalls that he’d never met before, leaped athletically out of the old bed, bouncing the back of the truck on creaking shocks, and started looking for something beside the old dirt road together.
    His dad smiled, as they approached, “Trouble son?”
    While Jack pondered that Newsome and his father even knew each other, much less that they were friends, his father-in-law appeared at his side, reached for the tire iron in Jack’s hand and said, “Here ‘Rodeo’, let me help you with that.”
    “Well thank you,” responded Jack with a surprised grin. “Rodeo” had become a nickname over the years that Lorene’s old man used to deride his son in law with disrespect. Jacks brows furrowed in puzzlement because it clashed with the warm smile his father-in-law now wore.
    “What happened?” his father asked.
    “That post was layin’ across the road,” replied Jack gazing over into his dad’s eyes. He turned to look for it, and found that one of the young burly strangers that’d come with them was now carrying it toward him. The other farmhand was nowhere to be found. As the stranger approached, Jack noticed it had a bunch of new shiny long nails driven through it, so that the ends were all pointing outward. As he came closer, the ranch hand gripped it like a slugger about to belt a home run out of the stadium.
    The long grass rustled behind the truck.
    Mystified, Jack turned to ask his father what was going on, but he wasn’t there. After a moment of glancing around, he spotted him out in the wheat field about twenty yards, facing away, his head bowed and hands clasped in front of himself as if praying.
    As old man Twist began reciting the Lord’s Prayer, the sound of someone stumbling toward him, and loud thumps began, ending with a soft painful groan, something heavy falling at his feet in the field behind him, and the putrid smell of blood.
    Old man Twist didn’t look up as Newsome eventually came up beside him and laid a comforting hand on his shoulder, and joined him reciting softly, as something was dragged away behind them.
    “Amen,” they said together.
    In the distance, just barely over the sound of a crow cawing came the sound of a woman wailing in agony and grief.

  • just because

    Guess you decided to punish us for being so pesky with that last post eh? Darn, words fail me…So I’ll just wish you well for your surgery, friend.
    Thanks so much for sharing these precious words,
    jb.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    It wasn’t meant as punishment my friend, those words were as hard to write as they were for you to read. I decided to combine both theories of Jack’s death into one, letting the reader think that what Loreen said was true up until the last moment, and then hitting the reader between the eyes.

    I’m glad you liked it.
    It makes me feel good.

    Thanks for the best wishes. I have to go to my shrink’s between noon and 1 at Ohio State, and then at 1:30 the surgery on both eyes occors. I may be gone for a while, but ot permanately I hope…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Silas, Just, and Chantal, Here’s my take on how the story began, as a thank you for all your kind words…

    PROLOGUE
    And so it began one hazy early summer morning near the end of June 1963.
    They were raised on small, poor ranches in opposite corners of the state, Jack Twist in Lightning Flat, up north on the Montana border, Ennis del Mar from around Sage, near the Utah line, both high-school drop-out country boys with no prospects, brought up with hard work and hardship, both rough-mannered, rough-spoken, and hardened to the stoic cowboy western type of life.

    It would be Jack Twist’s second summer up there, Ennis’s first.

    Ennis del Mar was just plain shy.
    Ennis was also just shy of twenty, with sandy blond self-trimmed hair, and a rugged horseman’s build. Sometimes he lamented having never graduated with the class of ’62. Many in his one and only sophomore year of high school said that with a lot of cleaning up, and some training, he could’ve been a movie star like James Dean. Many a girl was turned on by his silent brooding, then after a while they were turned off by it too. Not many knew what color his blue eyes were, because they were always hidden beneath the brim of his ever-present cowboy hat.

    Jack Twist was just nineteen. He’d always seen the rodeo as a way of getting in good with his father, who was a famous and award-winning bull rider in his day. Jack hoped for the same level of fame, though he never succeeded, or for that matter even came close. John Twist had used his rodeo winnings to buy a good-sized ranch and raise a son. Jack wanted to follow in his hero-father’s footsteps, but never got any help or encouragement, so he’d decided to set out on his own, prove himself, outdo his father, then go home someday and rub it in the old man’s face.
    That was his dream, anyway.
    Jack kept his dark hair short and trimmed neat, always wore denim, and favored a “bad guy’s” black cowboy hat. He wasn’t exactly conceited, just careful to look his best, hoping that the right girl would come along and think him a good catch, or the right guys would come along and accept him into their group, and he’d acquire their popularity as his own. He spent many hours memorizing funny stories, and jokes, and tried never to be without his smile.
    His goal was to marry a woman prettier than his mother.
    His goal was to raise a family bigger than his father’s.

    Both worried about the draft, going to Vietnam, and vague rumors of atomic bombs and missiles in Cuba.

    CHAPTER ONE
    A couple of hours before dawn, Ennis set out to thumb a ride north into town, carrying only a battered paper grocery sack containing a razor, extra blades, a spare shirt, socks and a carton of cigarettes. He didn’t know about cancer; no one did back then, so he got hooked on smoking early, like most boys who wanted to look cool, and feel grown up.

    After half an hour of walking with his thumb out hitchhiking, a big-rig hauling cattle, picked him up. He was left off soon after, at a dusty intersection just outside of Signal as the first pale blue light began to halo the distant mountaintops. The driver, hungry for conversation on his lonely journey to Idaho probably would’ve taken him all the way into town, but Ennis only answered the man’s friendly questions in grunts and one-word answers, so he was dumped half a mile from his destination.
    As the truck pulled away in a cloud of diesel, del Mar set off again, half asleep and on foot, for the address that he’d scrawled on an old envelope.

    Meanwhile, a few hours earlier, and from another direction, Jack Twist had been pleading half the night with his old and battered GMC pickup to just give him one more half a mile, and then another and another. He didn’t want to be late, and have to suffer the wrath of the foreman he’d worked for last year and considered a jerk. Thankfully he’d had the presence of mind to head south from home at midnight, thinking he’d most likely have to hitchhike the rest of the way in, when the damned thing broke down. The drive consisted of mostly begging and praising his dashboard, singing cowboy songs to his broken radio, and debating whether to kiss or kick the damned thing, when or if he arrived on time… or at all for that matter. When he finally came to Signal’s town limits, the first light was coming up over the mountain. With a cough and a backfire his truck died, and he spent half an hour under it tightening old electrical tape around a leaky fuel line suspended from a bent clothes hanger.

    Ennis arrived first, and found the trailer locked and unoccupied, the parking lot empty except for a couple of broken down ancient pickup trucks and tumbleweeds scurrying around with the wind. He leaned his back against the wall to the left of the wooden stairs that led up to the door, lowering his hat’s brim against the bright morning sun as it cleared the crest of the mountain. He thought of his fiancée Alma and the family he hoped to raise, as he lit a cigarette, and absently watched a train rumble by, clattering past an old broken down pickup truck in the field across the road. As he pondered how his life was a lot like that truck, rusting, useless and going nowhere, the sound of something backfiring in loud bangs, came from somewhere in the distance, causing him to look up. A moment later, an old dark GMC pickup came rumbling in a cloud of dust and oil smoke around the corner and into the parking lot. Gears gnashing and clutch protesting, it came to an abrupt halt after first spitting gravel, as if the driver had resorted to throwing it into reverse to get it stopped.

    His new boss?

    A young cowboy decked out in worn, but fancy denim scrambled angrily out of it, and kicked the back fender, rattling it, and cussing under his breath.
    The two teenagers were like different sides of the same coin. One hated the truck; the other would’ve given anything to have one to get around in, no matter what its ailments. Like their lives up to that point, the paint was dull and uncared for, everything was rusted and old, and not a single corner of it wasn’t dented or scratched.

    They’d soon find out that in many ways and for a lot of other reasons, they had a lot in common, though they themselves didn’t know it.
    Jack glanced over at the door of the trailer, spotted Ennis watching him from beneath the brim of his tan cowboy hat, and quickly looked away, relieved that the foreman’s car wasn’t there. He reached into his truck and pulled out his own sack, and a heavy coat with a worn wool collar.
    They were both brought up to avoid other men’s eyes, and so when their gazes met for brief seconds, they’d quickly dart away. For the next five minutes, they played an undeclared game of “eye tag”. Naturally they were curious about the stranger they were about to spend the whole summer alone with.

    Twist appeared to be a year or so younger than del Mar. Ennis sized him up as a “show” cowboy, who’d never rode, or done a day’s decent work in his life, with his matching jeans, and shirt, plus a kerchief tied loosely around his neck. He changed his mind at the sight of well-worn cowboy boots, shined to hide their age. Averting his gaze as much as possible, Ennis noticed the muscular thighs and hardened calves beneath the close-fitting denims, and correctly guessed a rodeo cowboy, after noticing the developed biceps too. His dark hair was closely trimmed beneath a new black cowboy hat as if he’d left the barbershop only an hour ago. His broad shoulders formed a well cut “V” down to a trim waist. As he turned sideways, Ennis noticed a pair of worn black leather work gloves sticking out of his back pocket. This kid worked hard with ropes and horses, and del Mar was glad to see he was here to do his fair share of chores.
    At first the young ranch hand told himself that he was only sizing up a co-worker, but strangely, Ennis was having a hard time keeping his eyes off the teenager; the swaggering way his hips moved, the gleam in his eyes, and his ready smile. He distracted himself again, by thinking of Alma, the girl he loved and planned to marry.

    Turning his back to him, Jack took a different tack, and used his driver’s side mirror to check the lanky ranch hand out, while shaving the same spot on his cheek over and over. The quiet stranger had moved, and was now sitting on the edge of the steps to the left of the door. From what he could tell under the loose, worn jeans and old tan coat, the young man looked to be about his age, strong and solid, with a stance of someone raised on a horse. He nodded to himself, because that was good. His partner from last summer was a lazy-assed bastard, who barely lasted till September. There was a look of shy confidence on his face, and now that Jack had his back to him, he noticed in the mirror that Ennis seemed to be openly staring at him too.
    Something else about Ennis kept drawing Jack’s eyes back to his mirror, but he couldn’t name it, and kept shaving to distract himself.
    Neither young man knew why they’d gone their whole young lives checking out other men. Both chocked it up to defensively sizing up a possible opponent in a rough fistfight, and left it at that.

    A brand-new shiny ’64 Rambler roared smoothly into the parking lot, coming to a dusty stop at the trailer’s wooden steps, nearly hitting Ennis, who jumped out of the way at the last moment. The young ranch hand had a quick temper, but held it, not wanting to get off on the wrong foot with his new boss. The look of smirky distain on the foreman’s face didn’t help matters. Through the glare of the windshield, the man’s eyes held a sour expression. He grabbed his hat, a stainless-steel lunch pale and a thermos, kicked the door to hold it open, and slammed it, after putting on his hat.
    He’d pulled in too close to the trailer to get around the front of his new car, so he detoured around the back, Ignoring them both, as he headed between them, and up the stairs.
    In the brief moment he had to size them up, the foreman declared them about as useless as a pair of deuces in a high-stakes game or five card stud, and probably as dependable.
    Ennis carefully, but quickly stubbed out his smoke, and saved what was left in his pocket, while the foreman slipped his key in the lock and entered.
    Jack was prepared for it, but Ennis wasn’t, so when the old man abruptly pulled the door closed in del Mar’s face, Ennis jumped back surprised, shrugged, and then looked questioningly back at Jack, who only snickered in explanation.
    Jack posed against his truck, trying to project exaggerated, unconcerned relaxation and confidence.
    Ennis frowned at him and their eyes met and locked. An electrical magnetism struck them and the world suddenly disappeared, but for the sight of each other’s eyes. Neither young man understood what they were feeling, and neither were left time to name or ponder it.

    “If you two deuces are lookin’ for work, I suggest you get your scrawny asses in here pronto!” the foreman’s brusk voice said from the suddenly opened door.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Those asses. Oh yeah. They weren’t that scrawny. Thank you, Jet. You made my night.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Silas, Silas, Silas give me a few minutes and I’ll bive you one LAST chapter before I go…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    A middle-aged man with a South American accent suddenly entered the bar, called out their names impatiently, and drove them out to the drop off point a few miles away in the shadow of the mountain.

    Jack eyed a long narrow wooden bridge above them, spanning the shallow stream. It was suspended by ropes, and looked sturdy enough for horses, but it’d take forever to get a thousand sheep across it single file. Ennis had been eyeing the river but Jack knew that sheep avoided moving water, and he had a hell of a time last summer getting them across, but this year he knew how, and it’d go a lot faster.

    He turned around to see the Chilean headers babbling in Spanish or something at each other, as they painted green “brands” on each animal’s back counting them off of the trucks.
    The sheep trucks continuously unloaded at the trailhead, and a bandy-legged Basque showed Ennis how to pack the mules; two packs and a riding load on each animal, ring-lashed with double diamonds and secured with half hitches-telling him, “Don’t never order soup. Them boxes of soup are real bad to pack.”
    Ennis muttered, “I don’t eat soup anyways,” and went back to tying knots.

    Later, Twist eyed the horses, and chose a bay mare that looked like the calmest of the bunch, leading it on foot behind himself to a pack of dogs.
    Three puppies belonging to one of the blue heelers went in a basket, the runt inside Jack’s coat, because he instantly fell in love with the little dog. Its mother began persistently yapping at him as he climbed up on his saddle, and his horse reared up kicking at the air. He thought Ennis had just yelled something at him, but couldn’t hear over the bitch barking.

    Meanwhile, Ennis had already picked out a big chestnut horse called Cigar Butt to ride. Being a better judge of stock, he’d passed up the mare, and when he saw Jack try to mount it while a dog was barking at him he interrupted the Basque’s instructions to yell out, “Careful, that horse has a low startle point!”

    After finally getting his steed under semi-control, and riding up to a skittish stop barely astride the mildly bronking mare, Jack smirked down at him and bragged, “Ain’t no mare that can throw me!” Nodding a the South American, he added, “That’s his job; you want to stand there tying knots, or get the hell up the mountain?”

    Ennis shrugged, mounted his horse and followed.
    Half an hour later, Ennis and Jack, the dogs, the horses and mules, a thousand ewes and their lambs flowed up the trail like dirty water running up hill, through the timber and out along the tree line into the great flowery meadows and the coursing, endless wind. Jack picked a trail he knew along a gurgling steam, eventually picking up a lamb that’d fallen and hurt its leg, straddling it across his saddle scaring the puppy in his coat. His mare became skittish at a stream half a mile later, so he dismounted, slung the lamb over his shoulders, and pulled his horse behind him through the water, muttering to himself, kicking a reluctant sheep’s ass in front of him as he went.

    He glanced back to find Ennis with an “I told you so” look on his face. It was the first time he’d seen him smile

    Jack resorted to parking the mare on the other side and crossing back and forth to forcefully coax or carry the cowardly ones through or over the water, while Ennis stayed mounted, instructing the dogs with high pitched and piercing whistles through his teeth.

    Twist looked back to find that del Mar had a little one straddled across his saddle now too, and a second hanging from a bag at his right thigh.

    Jack hated sheep, because he was raised in the cowboy way, and real cowboys hated sheep. Ennis, on the other hand, considered any farm animal “stock” and was indifferent to labels. Any job was a good thing, be it herding cattle, horses or sheep; they were simply things you sold and made money on, nothing more.

    After another hour’s travel they settled the herd far up on a hillside allotment. Though it was distant, they could see from the herd down to the campsite. When they were satisfied they’d stay put, the dogs were left to baby-sit, and the two cowboys rode together back down about half a mile, and got the big camp tent up on the Forest Service’s platform, and secured the kitchen and grub boxes. Then they worked together cutting down small trees for firewood, barely speaking a word between them, always glancing back up the mountain to make sure the flock was grazing and still staying put.

    Jack got busy splitting logs with a mighty swing of a new axe, while Ennis set up the iron fire grate for cooking.
    Twist hoped the rancher was a better cook than he was a talker as he hauled two buckets of water up from the stream..

    Jack wanted to stay in camp, but rode off up the mountain to join the flock for the night anyway. Alone with the mountain by himself, he fell deep in thought about the stirring in his loins when Ennis’ thigh touched his. Jack wasn’t no faggot, and distracted himself by thinking about a female barrel rider he’d had his eyes on in Texas last spring. Whenever he came to a clearing though, he looked down the valley to see Ennis’ cook fire… and wondered why the ranch hand’s rare smiles seemed to warm him.

    Ennis got a fire going against the night’s cold and bunked down in his camp tent.
    Neither got much sleep, both wondering separately what had happened back in the bar, trying to figure out the compulsion to flirt with each other.

    The next morning, Jack headed down for breakfast. His grin at seeing the ranch hand faded, when he noticed two cans of beans cooking over the campfire’s grate, but the smell of coffee brightened his mood. Ennis lifted the lid of another pan by the fire, left there to keep warm, and revealed eggs and fried potatoes.
    “I’m in love!” he gasped and took a filled plate from Ennis.
    Jack said he couldn’t wait to get a spread of his own so he wouldn’t have to put up with Aguirre’s bullshit no more.
    Ennis claimed to be saving money for a small spread of his own; which meant a tobacco can with two five-dollar bills inside. He told him how he’d planned to marry Alma, when he came back down from the mountain.

    After only a few days, they fell into a pattern, each feeling he could trust the other’s abilities. Ennis had never done this before, but he was used to hunting, fishing, camping out and fending for himself. Ennis’ sister had taught him basic cooking, so he could fry up eggs and simple things, sticking mostly to what he knew. Not knowing Jack’s distain for them, he heated beans in their cans over the fire with whatever else he cooked, and had a stream cooled bottle of whiskey or a couple of beers waiting for Jack at breakfast and supper.

    He eventually experimented with some redi-mix dough and fried some biscuits to go with eggs and some potatoes he’d peeled. They’d usually turn out as hard as rock, but he kept trying, and eventually he got it right, warmed by the fact that Jack seemed to appreciate the effort.

    By the end of the week, Jack was already bitching about Joe Aguirre’s sleep-with-the-sheep-and-no-fire order. Twist showed how stubborn he could be by refusing to pick out one of the other spare horses, which would be admitting he made a mistake selecting the bay mare.
    “Ain’t no mare that can throw me!” In the morning he’d saddle her, and she’d always buck him, nearly throwing him as she wheeled around, and it was the first time Jack saw Ennis laugh, “I warned you!” he declared as the rodeo cowboy just barely stayed in the saddle, and his steed galloped off as if it were trying to leave him behind.

    A few days later, dawn came glassy-orange, against the pale green glow of the mist from the pines below. The sooty bulk of the mountain paled slowly until it was the same color as the smoke from Ennis’s breakfast fire. The cold air sweetened, banded pebbles and crumbs of soil cast sudden pencil-long shadows, and the rearing lodge pole pines below them massed in slabs of somber blue-gray.

    Throughout the day Ennis, kept feeling that odd yearning he couldn’t name. He was always alone with his thoughts, basically because he’d always been taught not to share them. He’d rolled up his jeans to his calves, waded into the stream, and while cleaning the breakfast pans, looked up across a great valley to the hillside, and sometimes spotted Jack, a small dot moving across a high meadow, as an insect moves across a tablecloth.

    Later, Jack too, would pause often, in his dark camp, to see Ennis’ night fire, a red spark on the huge black mass of mountain and wonder why he yearned for his new friend’s company. He’d shrug if off as making sure he knew what direction camp was in.

    They settled deeper into the routine, reluctantly, but surely.

    Several times over the next few days, Jack would spot a coyote stalking the heard and shot at it, missing every time, cussing under his breath, and glad Ennis wasn’t there to witness it.
    More often than not, he’d lay on his back, using a log for a pillow and doze, guarded by one of the almost grown puppies. The false alarms were becoming more frequent, as the sheep seemed to bleat at anything, and he began relying on the dogs to alert him when a wolf showed up, which had become increasingly more often as they learned where the herd was bedded down. About all he could do was shoot at the predators and hope the sound scared them off, which luckily it did. Jack blamed the rifle’s bent sites for all his misses, though he knew better.

    Down below, it’d rain often, and Ennis passed the time waiting out a storm, in the camp tent whittling this or that, and after a while settled on a little wooden horse for his future son, that’d be later joined by a toy cowboy astride it that looked a lot like Jack. Sometimes he’d hear Jack’s gun blasts, and wonder what he’d gotten, but quickly deduced he’d mostly missed, because the rodeo cowboy would’ve been braggin’ his head off when he came down for supper, but never did.

    Friday morning, Jack squatted at the fire to eat breakfast. Another can of beans, some eggs and more of Ennis’ strange campfire biscuits, while watching him prepare the pack mules to go down for supplies.

    He spotted Ennis scrawling on a piece of paper and said, “Don’t forget whiskey and beer. Don’t forget ammo for the rifle neither; lots of coyotes up there.”

    Ennis nodded and jotted down something.
    Jack walked over, mounted his skittish horse, and farted, glancing back red-faced to see if Ennis had heard. The ranch hand looked away just before their eyes met.
    As he spurred the mare on, Twist yelled out “No more beans!”
    Del Mar nodded, but Twist was gone in the time it took for him to look up.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    I love you, Jet.

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    Jet…..wow, thanks so much for the read.

    My internet was down for the past 24 hrs (W.O.W. sucks) and I just got it back working, I wanted to wish you well before your surgery.

    My prayers are with you. :)

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I love you too Silas, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thanks Chantal, pray for my belief in anything positive coming from prayer. I’ve endured a year and a half of hell, and no prayer has helped.

    I’ve had whole churches pray for me.

    I feel you love, I just wish I could feel God’s love.

    I’ve been praying for other people instead of myself, for my sister not to lose her home, for my father not to die.

    Faith is a hard thing to get back once you’ve lost it. Hope is too

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    WARNING!!! You’ll never be able to watch the end of this movie again the same way after reading this…

    Ennis drove the road to Lightning Flat went through desolate country past a dozen abandoned ranches distributed over the plain at eight and ten-mile intervals, houses sitting blank-eyed in the weeds, corral fences down.

    The mailbox read “John C. Twist.” The ranch was a meager little place, leafy spurge taking over. The stock was too far distant for him to see their condition, only that they were black baldies.

    Part way up the lane, he brought his truck to a stop as he came to a place where the brown wheat had been burned. It was a narrow strip maybe five feet wide, but about twenty yards long.
    Leaving the motor idle, he got out to look at it.
    His first though was that someone poured gasoline on it to burn out an underground hornet’s nest, but it didn’t look right.
    A lightning strike?
    No, as far away from the house as it was, the whole field would’ve burned before someone could come along and put it out.

    Around him crows cawed and horses whinnied. He looked around and then got back behind the wheel. Sitting there, he pondered what else might’ve caused it, and a scene flashed before his eyes of men chasing Jack into the field, beating him as he tried to get away, then later dragging him back to his truck. Later they’d burn only that part of their valuable crop, to destroy the bloodstains.

    It was the tire iron, it had to be, and Jack’s father probably did it, later having his own son cremated to hide the evidence.

    An angry rumble began in his ears.

    He leaned over to push a chromed button in the dash, and the glove box popped down, revealing an always-loaded revolver that he’d bought last week. He’d never in his life before thought of murdering someone, but to avenge Jack’s death, he considered it.

    He’d called ahead, so they knew he was coming out here, but not when, so he doubted an ambush was waiting, but he was ready for it.
    He shifted back into gear and pressed on.

    At the end of the lane, he came up on an old house and a couple of out buildings. The years of rain and wind had nearly scoured the white paint off the old wood, except up near the eaves.
    A roofless platform porch stretched across the side of the dreary house, a broom leaning next to the door.

    He hadn’t made it out of his truck, when the door opened and an older thin woman in a plain housedress opened the door and gestured a welcome to him.
    They wouldn’t do it in front of a woman.
    The gun stayed where it was.

    Moments later, Ennis sat at the old and worn kitchen table with Jack’s father opposite him. Jack’s mother, stout and careful in her movements as though recovering from an operation. She said, “Want some coffee, don’t you? Piece a cherry cake?”

    “Thank you, Ma’am, I’ll take a cup a coffee but I can’t eat no cake just now.”

    The old man sat silent, his hands folded before him, staring at Ennis with an angry, knowing expression. Ennis recognized in him a not uncommon type with the hard need to be the stud duck in the pond. Jack had referred to his father-in-law as one once. He couldn’t see much of Jack in either one of them, and took a breath.

    Feeling tears well up behind his eyes, Ennis said softly, “I feel awful bad about Jack. Can’t begin to say how bad I feel. I knew him a long time. I come by to tell you that if you want me to take his ashes up there on Brokeback like his wife says he wanted, I’d be proud to.”

    His mother placed a cup and saucer in front of him, and he muttered and nodded a thanks to her.
    There was a silence. Twist seemed to be eyeing a sideboard where maybe a gun was hidden. Fighting down fear of the pure hatred in Jack’s father’s eyes, Ennis cleared his throat but said nothing more.

    The old man said from a clenched jaw, “Tell you what, I know where Brokeback Mountain is. He thought he was too goddamn special to be buried in the family plot.”

    Mrs. Twist showed tender concern for her guest, despite her husband, despite the man who may have perverted her boy was sitting in her very kitchen. She may have believed in the Pentecost, but she knew too that her son had loved this man. Since witnessing her son’s death at a distance, secretly her husband had become her enemy, and the enemy of your enemy was your friend.

    For a moment she was lost as to what she’d do if this man killed her husband as much to avenge himself as to calm her grief.

    Ennis seemed transfixed in Twist’s eyes, wishing now he’d brought that pistol with him.

    Looking across the room from where she stood near the kitchen, she recognized the hatred in her husband’s eyes. Jack’s mother ignored this, and almost to defy him, she moved to tenderly lay a comforting hand on Ennis’ shoulder and said gently, “He used a come home every year, even after he was married and help his daddy on the ranch for a week, fix the gates and mow and all. I kept his room like it was when he was a boy and I think he appreciated that. You are welcome to go up to his room if you want.”

    Jack’s father’s eyes flickered toward his wife with pure resentment, then returned to Ennis, eyeing him with a lethal mixture of bitterness and hatred.

    The old man spoke. “Jack used a say, ‘Ennis del Mar,’ he used a say, ‘I’m goin a bring him up here one a these days and we’ll lick this damn ranch into shape.’ He had some half-baked idea the two a you was goin a move up here, build a log cabin, and help me run this ranch and bring it up. Then this spring he’s got another one’s goin a come up here with him and build a place and help run the ranch, some ranch neighbor a his from down in Texas name of Randall. They were both goin a split up with their wives and come back here. So he says. But like most a Jack’s half-baked ideas, it never come to pass.”

    Ennis’ heart froze and his throat tightened: Jack had found someone else. He wanted to cry, for he knew he was the one who drove the man that only now he could admit to himself that he’d loved away, and this was the punishment.

    Avoiding his eyes, Ennis, glanced at her, glanced up the stairs, then back at her for permission.
    She sadly nodded, and he stood, walking across the creaking floor and forced himself not to look back, again hoping he hadn’t made a bad decision leaving the gun in the truck. Wondering if he could summon the guts to kill the man he was now convinced killed Jack… his own son.

    The bedroom, at the top of a steep stair that had its own climbing rhythm, was tiny and hot, afternoon sun pounding through the west window, hitting the narrow boy’s bed against the wall, and reflecting onto a wooden chair, a B.B. gun in a hand-whittled rack over the bed. Ennis caught his breath as he spotted the little wooden horse and cowboy that he’d whittled so many years ago while waiting out a rainstorm on the mountain. Jack had lovingly kept it as a souvenir on an ink-stained desk. He sat wearily on a boy sized wooden bench by a steam radiator next to the window, which looked down on the gravel road stretching south and it occurred to him that for Jack’s growing-up years that was the only road he knew.

    Outside was only the sound of livestock and crows. No other cars were in sight, and he relaxed a little.

    An ancient magazine photograph of some dark-haired movie star was taped to the wall beside the bed, the skin tone gone magenta. He could hear Jack’s mother downstairs running water, filling the kettle and setting it back on the stove, asking the old man a muffled question.
    The closet was opposite of him, and he got up to distract himself to look inside.

    He found two pairs of jeans crease-ironed and folded neatly over wire hangers, and on the floor a pair of worn packer boots he thought he remembered.
    Amongst the shirts hanging neatly there, was the jacket that Jack had worn the last time Ennis had seen him on the mountain. It was true, he’d been here, but never left, otherwise the coat would have left with him.

    A roar filled his ears, as he knew now that it was true… they’d killed him.

    Ennis’ throat tightened again against a sob that was fighting to escape.

    At the north end of the closet a tiny jog in the wall made a slight hiding place and here, stiff with long suspension from a nail, hung a shirt. He lifted it off the nail; Jack’s old denim shirt from their Brokeback days. Ennis’ eyes began burning as he knew that the dried blood on the sleeve was his own blood, a gushing nosebleed on the last afternoon on the mountain when Jack, in their horseplay, grappling and wrestling, had slammed Ennis’s nose hard with his knee. He had stanched the blood, which was everywhere, all over both of them, with his shirtsleeve, but the stanching hadn’t held, because Ennis had suddenly swung from the deck and laid Jack out in the wild columbine.

    The shirt seemed oddly heavy until he saw there was another shirt inside it, the sleeves carefully worked down inside Jack’s sleeves. It was his own white plaid shirt, lost, he’d thought, long ago up on that mountain, his dirty shirt, nose blood still on the cuff where he’d wiped it, the pocket ripped, buttons missing, stolen by Jack and hidden here inside Jack’s own shirt, the pair like two skins, one inside the other, two in one.

    As tears burned his eyes and his nose clogged, he pressed his face into the fabric and breathed in slowly through his mouth, hoping for the faintest smoke and mountain sage and salty sweet stink of Jack, but there was no real scent, only the memory of it, the imagined power of Brokeback Mountain of which nothing was left but what he held in his hands. He tried to remember, and then imagine Jack’s loving body within it, and choked on the memory, clutching it tightly to his chest as he finally sobbed out his sorrow and grief.

    He wiped his acid tears on the soft denim, and swore not to leave this house without it.
    Barely containing his grief and anger, he found himself at the bottom of the stairs, trying to find the words to ask permission to take the item he had in his trembling hands.

    To his relief, Jack’s mother seemed to read his mind, nodded silently and went to the kitchen to fetch an empty paper grocery bag. He was reluctant to let it leave his hands, as she gently took it from him, gave him a reassuring smile.

    Her gaze fell on the blood stained white plaid shirt, and she realized Jack’s denim shirt was hidden within it.

    Her eyes showed brief pain, then swiftly flickered toward her husband, satisfied he wasn’t watching, and then locked again on Ennis.
    A bond was silently exchanged between them, with a promise of a secret kept.

    If she noticed the shirt inside the shirt, she didn’t show him she had, and silently handed the bag to him after carefully folding everything inside of it.

    Jack’s damned father refused to let his ashes go. “Tell you what… we got a family plot and he’s goin in it.” Jack’s mother stood beside del Mar, caressed his shoulder gently and said, “You come again,” as she opened the door.
    Ennis nodded to them both, silently thanked her for the precious package he held, and made it to the truck before he burst out in tears, beating the steering wheel with balled up fists.

    Bumping down the washboard road Ennis passed the country cemetery fenced with sagging sheep wire, a tiny fenced square on the welling prairie, a few graves bright with plastic flowers, and didn’t want to know Jack was going in there, to be buried on the grieving plain.

    A few weeks later, on a Saturday, he threw all his dirty horse blankets into the back of his pickup and took them down to the Quik Stop Car Wash to turn the high-pressure spray on them. When the wet clean blankets were stowed in the truck bed he stepped into Higgins’ gift shop and busied himself with the postcard rack.
    “Ennis, what are you lookin for, rootin through them postcards?” said Linda Higgins, throwing a sopping brown coffee filter into the garbage can.
    “Scene of Brokeback Mountain.”
    “Over in Fremont County?”
    “No, north a here.”
    “I didn’t order none a them. Let me get the order list. They got it I can get you a hunderd. I got a order some more cards anyway.”

    “One’s enough,” said Ennis.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Jet, my darling, you’re in my thoughts and prayers. Never, ever discount the power of positive thinking. It’s gotten millions through the scourge of religious intolerance. In the end, God does care.

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    I’m typing this with tears in my eyes. I think this was the saddest movie ending ever, and you capture it, filling in the blanks, so beautifully here, Jet.

  • just because

    Jet,
    Thank you again for sharing. You have a wonderful way with words, so readable – despite the subject matter being hard to read at times. I think you’re working on a book so glad that talent’s not going to waste. Sorry to hear you have been/are going through tough times – sending you a vibe of support via this ineffective cyber medium for what it’s worth :) Here’s hoping hope will come back to you soon & remember the message you took away from Brokeback – whatever it was, it must have been positive because it inspired you enough to write these beautiful words.
    jb

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thank Annie, I just expanded on her work, and on the work of the movie’s writers. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Jet, in another lifetime I would ask you to marry me.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Jet Kain, hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm or Mmmmmmmmmm? I could always ask ArchBoingBat to be best man, if only to ascertain his secret superhero identity!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Speaking of Gay Superheroes-whatever happened to SteveS, I keep writing all these things and not a peep out of him?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Well I was going to put another scene up, but since you’re all bored with it…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    SteveS, wheh you get time, tell me what you think of my novelizations here!

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    Very well written, I look forward to reading your book!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thank you Steve. I’ve been thinking of trying to make some money some how by posting System 10 a chapter at a time and asking for donations. Steven King did that, but I don’t know if he made any money.

    I’m glad you enjoyed it…

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    let me know if it’s successful, ironically I blogged tonight about doing something very similiar.

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    Jet…we’re not bored…if you have more….do share!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Okay SteveS and Chantal, just for you…

    …Jack spent the rest of ’63 at his father’s ranch, mending fences, harvesting crops, plowing fields and tending to the stock.

    Northern Wyoming had a rough winter that year.
    1964 rolled around, and Ennis was still never far from his mind, and after spring planting, summer couldn’t come fast enough. He’d put in an application to work up on Brokeback again, but had heard nothing back, so he figured it’d gotten lost in the mail.

    In June Jack was drawn back to the office trailer in Signal, so he made the long drive, hoping that maybe del Mar’s plans to get married had fallen through, and Ennis had already signed up for more shepherding.

    By then he’d come to accept the jack-off fantasies he kept experiencing in the nearly year since he parted ways with del Mar. They’d start out with him fucking some really sexy girl and end up with him being the one being fucked under Ennis, Twist exploding just as they both shot their loads together.

    As he pulled into the wind blown dirt and gravel parking lot, he spotted Aguirre’s car.
    Pounding loudly on the door, he still hoped Ennis had been there.

    The foreman’s voice held an aggravated tone, “Yeah?”

    Jack entered, removed his hat and Aguirre looked up to blink at him, almost not believing his eyes. He shook his head, and then returned his gaze to his paper work, contemptuously remarking, “Well, look what the wind blew in.”

    Twist nodded and replied, “Howdy, Mr. Aguirre. Will you be needin’ any help this year?”

    Chewing on a toothpick, the foreman just looked off in the distance, not bothering to meet Jack’s eye. “You’re waistin’ your time here Twist.”

    Jack frowned, almost turned to leave, but wasn’t ready to give up yet. “You ain’t got nothin’?” then after a pause, added, “Nothing up on Brokeback?”

    Aguirre turned to face him in his squeaky desk chair, and as his hateful eyes were lit by the desk lamp, he said, “I ain’t got nothing for you, Twist.”

    Jack felt the man’s disgust, but stood his ground till he saw the foreman’s eyes, and finally got the message. The son of a bitch had seen them last summer with those binoculars. He turned to leave, but figured he had nothing to lose, so he turned back and asked, “Has Ennis del Mar, been by here?”

    Aguirre’s expression turned to pure contempt, “Twist, I wasn’t payin’ to let the dogs baby-sit the sheep while you two stemmed the rose.” Aguirre looked away and then spat out a warning, glancing toward a tire iron sitting on the counter by a pair of work gloves, “Now get out of my trailer.”

    Jack swallowed hard, nodded, and put his hat back on. He wasted no time, and slammed the door behind himself.

    As he backed his truck out, he wasn’t paying attention, and came up tailgate against bumper at Aguirre’s Rambler. The contact was gentle enough not to be heard, and his surprise turned to bravado. With a touch of the gas, both taillights crunched, and with a smile, he shifted into first and intentionally popped the clutch spraying driveway gravel at the car and the office trailer.

    A few blocks away, he pulled over and rested his forehead on the steering wheel, and felt like sobbing, though tears wouldn’t come. He wasn’t sure if he were afraid of the threat Aguirre had made, or disappointed at not finding Ennis. As Ennis had done a year before, he punched the metal dashboard as an excuse for the pain he felt.
    Putting it in gear, he drove off, and eventually came to an intersection and stopped.

    Should he try to find Ennis somewhere near here, or head south? North was out of the question; he’d had his fill of his father all winter and spring.

    He’d heard some things about finding male prostitutes in Mexico, shrugged that he had nothing better to do, and figured maybe he’d become one after he ran out of money; servicing women, and the occasional man.

    Gunning the motor, he turned left.

    Six months later, he wondered what would’ve happened if he’d actually made it there had the truck not broken down. He’d had second thoughts all the way there anyway, and instead decided to look up the barrel riding cowgirl he’d eyed last spring, and in the process entered himself in the bull riding competition in a rodeo in Childress Texas.

    He did fairly well, but only managed to come in second or worse in most places on the circuit, which wasn’t enough to make much of a living.
    The strenuous exercise turned his once-boyish body into a defined man’s well defined but bruised build.

    Bull riding was taking its toll on his back and legs too. His nighttime thoughts became divided between Ennis, and the female groupies that tagged along with him from rodeo to rodeo. He may not have been winning much, but he only needed to pull his shirt off in the parking lot, to bed any girl he liked-sometimes two at a time.

    Still it didn’t satisfy him, and one night after a particularly grueling night of bull riding, a rodeo clown caught his eye in the corral. The man under all that comic makeup made him look like a 90-pound weakling that’d just had sand kicked in his face. Later that afternoon, Jack nearly got stomped to death, paying attention to him instead of the bull that’d just thrown him.
    It took him a while, but he finally figured out why; he reminded him of Ennis.

    Later on that evening, he sat in a dark bar eyeing the girls, and incidentally the young guys playing pool within a haze of cigarette smoke.
    A tall good-looking shorthaired blond man with a woven stark white cowboy hat entered. The overhead light at the door, bounced off his white Stetson and the shoulders of his shirt, causing a flash that made heads turn in the dim room.
    Jack frowned to himself a moment and then realized it was the clown he’d been eyeing earlier.

    He looked to be in his early twenties, in a pair of “tight enough to be painted on” Levis, black boots and a fancy white cowboy shirt that highlighted his V-shaped muscular torso and arms. The young man was spectacular and knew it, possessing the pecs, the swagger, the biceps, the slim waist and the impossible crotch bulge of a Greek god.

    He also possessed a heart-melting grin, which never left his face.

    A few days earlier, Jack had found some badly printed flyers in the trash for some homosexual prostitution house down in Mexico. The jack-off fantasy that resulted later that night, looked just like this guy, making Twist wonder.

    All eyes couldn’t help but follow him cross the room, both male and female.

    The cowgirls wanted his body; the cowboys wanted his leftovers.

    His face didn’t look as much like Ennis’ as he’d thought, but that body kept drawing his gaze, and quickened his breath. Scenarios of getting him drunk and using his prize money to spend the night with this Adonis in some cheap motel, began filling his head, as the hunk came up to the rail and ordered a beer.

    Before he could wonder why, or chicken out, Jack found himself walking the length of the bar rail to stand next to him.

    To the bartender, Jack said, “I’d like to buy ol’ Jimbo here a beer,” giving the hunk a bright smile.
    The bartender nodded, and the lanky man next to him gave him a quizzical glance and shook his head no as Jack laid a dollar on the bar.
    Just then a pretty bar girl went by, the clowns eyes following her hips.

    Jack’d made a bad mistake and knew it, with everyone watching. Now all he had to do was get out of the situation. Thinking fast, he added quickly, “The best damned rodeo clown I ever worked with!” was a good excuse to buy another man a beer.

    The brawny object of his hopes, only straightened to his full six-foot-five, and answered, “No thanks.” Speaking to the bartender he said, “If I took liquor from every cowboy I ever pulled a bull off of, I’d be an alcoholic by now.”

    The bartender chuckled as the clown shoved his own dollar forward, pushing Jack’s away in the process and said to Twist, “You keep your money,” as he turned away with his bottle. Over his shoulder he added, “Save it for your next entry fee.”

    Jack watched the man and his hips stroll over to the guys at the pool table, as they all gathered around him, then looked his way.

    “You ever think of changing to ropin’?” the bartender asked his back.

    Jack turned around and tersely replied, “Do I look like I can afford a roping horse?” slapped his dollar across to pay for his own drink, and made his way quickly out of the bar.

    Outside, a good-looking girl sidled up to him and asked if he had any plans.
    He took that as a sign, escorted her back up to his cheap room over the bar, and fucked her silly repeatedly over the next few weeks, deciding to give up on men, unless it was Ennis…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    If you’re trying to read it in order here’s an index so far…

    #35 Prologue-And so it begins
    #38-Up the Mountain
    #18-Aftermath
    # 6-Making Love
    Main Article-Little Darlin’
    #25-Exiles from Heaven
    #57-Clownin’ Around
    #32-The Lord’s Prayer
    #43-A Mother’s Pact

    there’s still unposted

    -It could be like this always
    -My dad was right!
    -To Alma and Kurt
    -I wish I could quit you

    and a few more

    For obvious reasons Idon’t think I can post the sex scenes

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    keep posting what you can Jet…..we’re all really enjoying it here.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Click on my URL to see three Big pictures of their great kisses!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    This scene takes up after the kissing scene fromt he main article…

    As always this is based on Annie’s work, I just fleshed it out…

    They exchanged a look that ended the passion and they immediately began straightening their clothes, combing their hair with their fingers to straighten it. Ennis bent over, picked up Jack’s hat, and as he handed it to him, gestured with his head up his own set of stairs to their apartment.

    A few anxious moments later, they both appeared in the upper front hallway.
    Alma gave Ennis a knowing look but said nothing, but he knew that she knew, or maybe had seen.
    What could he say? “Alma, this is Jack Twist. Jack, my wife, Alma.”

    His chest was heaving. He could smell Jack—the intensely familiar odor of cigarettes, musky male sweat, and a faint sweetness like grass, and with it the rushing cold of the mountain. “Alma,” he said, “Jack and me ain’t seen each other in four years.” As if it were a reason. He was glad the light was dim on the landing but did not turn away from her.

    “Sure enough,” said Alma in a low voice. She had seen what she had seen. Behind her in the room, lightning lit the window like a white sheet waving and Jenny cried.

    “You got a kid?” said Jack. His shaking hand grazed Ennis’s hand, electrical current snapped between them.

    “Two little girls,” Ennis said. “Alma, Jr., and Jenny. Love them to pieces.”
    Alma’s mouth twitched.

    “I got a boy,” said Jack. “Eight months old; he smiles a lot. I married the cutest girl in Texas down in Childress—Lorene.”

    From the vibration of the floorboard on which they both stood Ennis could feel how hard Jack was shaking.

    “Alma,” he said. “Jack and me is goin out and get a drink. Might not get back tonight, when we get drinkin and talking and all.”
    “Sure enough,” Alma said, taking a dollar bill from her purse. After what she’d just seen, she didn’t want her husband and the father of her children running off with this man until she could figure out a way to compete with him.

    Ennis guessed she was going to ask him to get her a pack of cigarettes, to bring him back sooner.
    “Pleased to meet you,” said Jack, trembling like a run-out horse.

    “Ennis,” said Alma in her misery voice, but that didn’t slow him down on the stairs and he called back, “Alma, you want smokes there’s some in the pocket a my blue shirt in the bedroom.”

    They went off in Jack’s truck, bought a bottle of whiskey, and within twenty minutes were in the Motel Siesta jouncing a bed. A few handfuls of hail rattled against the window, followed by rain and a slippery wind banging the unsecured door of the next room then and through the night.

    All evening sex scenes edited by author

    Jack fled to the shower, and moments later Ennis joined him in the tiny tiled cubicle.

    Sex in shower scene edited out by author

    Ennis finished first and after toweling himself off, left for the bedroom.

    Jack entered the room a moment later to find Ennis sitting naked on the far corner of the foot of the bed, bent over with his cheeks on his palms and his elbows on his knees facing away.
    Del Mar didn’t even look up, as though he were ashamed. His head was filled with thoughts of Alma and the girls, and how much he loved them… and how much more he loved Jack.

    Twist lay down on the right side of the bed and after a moment, Ennis scooted diagonally up on his back across the sheets to rest the back of his head on Jack’s chest with his big feet hanging off the opposite corner.

    After a moment, Jack wrapped his arm around Ennis’ head as the nape of his neck rested against his shoulder and chin.

    As with all men, it was sex first, conversation and cigarettes later. With Alma it was doing his husbandly duties and get it over with; with Jack it was as if he couldn’t get enough, like once they started he couldn’t reach the reins to slow the horse down, out of control, passion and lust.

    It was something only men understood.

    “Four fuckin’ years,” exclaimed, Jack in a whisper distracting Ennis from his thoughts.
    Ennis nodded, “Yep, four years.”
    Jack whispered, “I thought I’d never see you again.”
    Ennis chuckled as he flicked an ash into the ashtray perched on his chest. “I just figured you were sore about that punch.”

    Jack blew forceful cigarette clouds like whale spouts, and said, “Christ, it’s got to be all that time of yours on horseback that makes it so goddamn good. We’ve got to talk about this. Swear to God I didn’t know we were going to get into this again.” He paused to stroke Ennis’ hair and admitted, “Yeah, I did. It’s why I’m here. I fuckin’ knew it. Red-lined the tach all the way, couldn’t get here fast enough; doubt if I did less than 90 the whole way up.”

    Ennis silently flicked another ash into the tray on his chest. His responsibility to his family weighed heavily on his mind, and he barely heard Jack through his thoughts.

    He was busy weighing Alma and the girls on one side of the scales and what really made him happy on the other.

    “I was in Texas rodeoin’. How I met Lorene. Look over on that chair.”

    On the back of a soiled orange chair he saw the shine of a buckle. “Bull ridin?”

    “Yeah. I made three fuckin thousand dollars that year. Fuckin starved. Had to borrow everything but a toothbrush from other guys. Drove grooves across Texas. Spent half the time under that cunt truck, fixin it. Now Lorene: there’s some serious money there. Her old man’s got it. Got this farm-machinery business. Course he don’t let her have none of ti, and naturally he hates my fuckin guts…”

    “Army didn’t get you?” A bright flash of light lit the window, and after a few moments, thunder sounded far to the east..

    “No, I was too busted up. I’m got out while I still could walk. Got some crushed vertebrates. And a stress fracture, the arm bone here, you know how bull riding you’re always levering it off your thigh, she gives a little every time you do it. Even if you tape it good you break it a little bit at a time. Tell you what, hurts like a bitch afterward. Had a busted leg in three places. I got out of rodeo just in time; it ain’t like it was in my old man’s day. Now, Lorene’s old man… I know enough about the game to know he’d do just about anything to get rid of me, ‘cause now that he’s got his grandson, I’m useless to him.”

    Ennis just nodded, and said. “You sure as hell seem in one piece to me. You know, I was sitting up here all that time trying to figure out if I was… if I was, I mean I know I ain’t. I mean, here we both got wives and kids, right? I like doing it with women, yeah, but Jesus H., ain’t nothin’ like this was tonight or back on Brokeback. I never had no thoughts of doing it with another guy except I sure wrang it out a hunderd times thinking about you.”

    Ennis closed his eyes tightly, he’d almost used the word “love”… something men weren’t supposed to say to each other.

    Jack smiled and replied, “Old Brokeback got us good.” Love weighed heavily on his mind too. He’d all but said he’d leave his wife and son for Ennis, now it was all up to him. Twist thought a moment and then asked with a prayer for the answer he was silently hoping for, “Well, what do we do now?”

    Ennis’ inhaled a slow thoughtful breath. “There ain’t much we can do. I got my hands full here just trying to feed my family and make a living. We’re both committed to our families, Jack, there’s not much more we can do.”

    Jack’s heart sank, along with his hopes. He changed the subject and they spent the next hour or so talking about their separate lives, how Aguirre greeted Jack the summer of ’64, and how Jack peppered his car with gravel.

    Ennis laughed and told Jack about meeting the foreman at a church social, and him not remembering him, even offering him a job up on Brokeback last year.

    Ennis inhaled a long thoughtful breath, and then exhaled, “I gotta get home, Alma’ll be worried. I gotta be at work early tomorrow too.”
    As he tried to get up, Jack pulled Ennis to him and kissed him full on the mouth as the ashtray fell to the floor.
    “Not just yet, cowboy.”
    They turned off the lights and cuddled in each other’s arms. Ennis kissed his way down to Jack’s

    Edited by author

    which he almost never did when they were on the mountain and they passionately went at it again until they fell sound asleep.

    The next morning after waking up in each other’s arms,—-Edited by author—- cleaned up and headed back to Ennis’ place. On the way there, it hit them both that unless they did something about it, they’d never see each other for another long stretch, and were saddened by it.

    It took some fast-talking, but Jack finally talked Ennis into seeing things his way, at least for the time being. They agreed to head for the mountain right away.
    Unfortunately Jack read more into it than was there, because while Ennis was finally facing just how much he craved Jack, that secret fear; the one that his father had bred into him, had reared its ugly head. Ennis still loved Alma, but he only agreed to go, because he needed time away from her.

    Alma had been sitting at the dinette table for what seemed like all morning; sobbing and convinced her husband had left her. When she heard them pull up out back, she wiped her tears and rushed to the window. Had he come back or was he here for his things and to say goodbye?
    They both jumped out of Jack’s pickup, and Twist waited down there, while Ennis rushed up the stairs… not a good sign.

    At the door, he gave Alma a quick, “Hey,” and rushed around gathering his coat and fishing equipment.

    Alma opened her mouth to ask something, and he interrupted with, “Jack and me is going up to the mountains for a couple of days to get in some fishing before he has to go back home.”

    The concept of Jack as the “other woman” was something she still couldn’t understand, or figure out. Her head was spinning trying to figure a way to keep him here, realize he had a family to support. “Can’t your friend even come up for a cup of coffee?”

    “Well, he’s from Texas,” replied Ennis without even thinking, as he went to the bathroom and grabbed a toothbrush and a shaving kit.

    “What, Texans don’t drink coffee?” she asked, moving to the window to look down on Twist still leaning against his truck.

    Little Alma junior came rushing in, and wrapped her arms around her father’s knees, “Bring me home a fish Daddy! A big, big one!”

    Ennis smiled down at her and picked her up, kissed her, and silently handed her to her mother. He looked out the window and his breath quickened.

    Alma’s world was shattering, for reasons she still couldn’t understand, nor could she hide the confusion in her face. All she could think of was, “You sure that foreman won’t fire you for just taking off?”

    Ennis looked back at her and replied, “He owes me. Didn’t I work all last Christmas Eve through a blizzard for him last year? ‘Sides I can always find another job.”

    Ennis saw her face crestfallen, and muttered a quick, “Come here,” to her, kissed her over Junior’s shoulder and was gone out the door.

    Moving to the window, she watched her husband hit the bottom of their stairs running. Across his face was the biggest brightest smile, and it was a total shock, because she’d never seen him wearing that expression before.

    She broke down and began sobbing. Junior hugged her closer and she sniffed as she heard them.

    “You hungry?” asked Twist
    “Starved!” exclaimed Ennis in a happy voice.
    The doors slammed, the motor started up, and they were quickly gone.

    She stood transfixed in that window for a long time, until Alma Junior began squirming…

  • just because

    These segments you’re posting are like pieces of a jigsaw!! Any more you’d like to post will help complete the picture :)
    jb

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    damn editing

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Sorry gang, I’d get more explicit, but I don’t want to test the editor’s patience to see how far I can go. I believe in good taste myself and this is a public forum.

    I’m glad you enjoyed…
    Jet

    why do I get the feeling that only about three people are reading these anyway? Dont forget to check out the screen shots I posted on my own blog’s URL!

    I thought it was cool that they picked me as blogcritic of the day, thanks guys!

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    yeah it is cool…congrats, Jet

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Chantal, Should I write a speech, do I have to give back the dozen roses now that it’s after midnight?

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    No, sweetie, you can keep the tiara on for a little while longer ;)

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thank god do you know how hard it is getting a hair appointment on Saturdays?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Chantal, Silas etc, here’s another piece of your favorite jigsaw puzzle…

    “If you two deuces are lookin’ for work, I suggest you get your scrawny asses in here pronto!” the foreman’s brusk voice said from the suddenly opened door.

    Barely acknowledging each other’s presence, they scurried inside while removing their hats. Jack stood defiantly in the middle of the floor, feet confidently spread apart, thumbs in his belt, while Ennis settled to his left, leaning his shoulder nervously against the wall next to a dingy window.

    Joe Aguirre was a man with little use for ranch hands, nor any respect. They were just tools of the trade, a dime-a-dozen, deserving little or no notice, and only slightly better then the bastard sheep wranglers from Chile, or somewhere in South America, that he’d just hired.

    As he rounded the desk toward the back of the trailer facing them, he scooped off his hat and plopped it down, as he landed in a squeaky reclining office chair. If he recognized Jack from last summer he didn’t show it. A sign on his desk with his name on it was all the introducing he figured they deserved. The old wooden desk was littered with scribbled papers, clipboards, a Bakelite ashtray brimming with cigar stubs and a phone.

    The Venetian blinds hung askew and admitted a triangle of white light, the shadow of the foreman’s hand moving into it. Joe Aguirre, wavy hair the color of cigarette ash and parted down the middle, gave them his point of view with no preliminaries.

    “Forest Service’s got designated camp-sites on the allotments. Them camps can be a couple a miles from where we pasture the woolies. Got bad predator loss, ’cause nobody’s up there looking after ‘em at night.”

    Pointing at Ennis, he continued, “What I want is you, the camp tender, in the main camp where the Forest Service says, but the herder” pointing at Jack with a chop of his hand “is to pitch a pup tent on the Q.T. with the sheep, stay outta sight, and you’re gonna sleep there. Eat supper’n, breakfast in camp, but sleep with the sheep hundred percent, no fire, don’t leave no sign. Roll up that tent every morning in case the Forest Service snoops around. You got your dogs’n, your .30-.30, so sleep there. Last summer had goddamn near twenty-five-per-cent loss. I don’t want that again. You,” he said turning his attention back to Ennis, smirking as the young man jumped upright nervously.

    Aguirre took in his blond ragged hair, the big nicked hands, the jeans torn, button-gaping shirt, “Fridays twelve noon be down at the bridge with your next-week list of groceries and pack mules. Somebody with supplies’ll be there in a pickup.”

    He didn’t ask, or care for that matter, if Ennis had a watch. He reached up into a shelf and took a cheap ticker with a cheaper wristband from a box on a high shelf, wound and set it, and tossed it at him as if he weren’t worth the reach.

    Ennis confidently caught it with a precision that surprised the foreman, checked his own watch, and reset Aguirre’s to his own, in a youthful act of defiance.

    The foreman’s eyes narrowed at him, as he prepared to say something. The phone rang, and Aguirre answered, “Yeah?” impatiently, cussed out whoever it was on the other end of the line and then hung up.

    “In a couple a hours, we’ll truck you up to the jump-off.” Startling them as they suddenly realized he was talking to them again.

    Their eyes met his, his met theirs only briefly, then picked up the phone in silent dismissal.
    They shrugged and walked out the door and down the steps.

    Lost as to what to do next, they paused in front of the Rambler. The more friendly of the two, the young rodeo cowboy carefully lit a smoke, then suddenly extended his hand to the ranch hand’s back, and declared, “Jack Twist”

    “Ennis,” he mumbled, turning to briefly shake the offered hand with a quick strong grip, then his eyes hid under the hat as he turned half away.
    Jack’s friendly smile turned to an expression of laughing question. “That’s it, your folks stopped at Ennis?”

    Ennis met his gaze this time and replied flatly, “del Mar.”

    Jack raised his eyebrows with another friendly smile and responded, “Nice to meet you Ennis del Mar.” Then added, “Well, if we’re gonna be workin’ together, we might as well start drinkin’ together.”

    To Ennis’ lack of response, Jack headed past him out of the parking lot on foot, muttering “Come on.”

    A pair of deuces going nowhere.

    Jack Twist was satisfied this guy would work hard, and do his share. Maybe a couple of brews would loosen him up a bit. Since they actually wouldn’t be working together, it didn’t matter much, but he was hoping they’d at least be on speaking terms.

    Ennis on the other hand was glad they’d be separated. This rodeo cowboy seemed to be way to talkative, and conversation was never one of del Mar’s strong suits.
    He trailed along behind him to a bar that Jack knew of, a couple blocks away, and drank beer through the afternoon, Jack telling Ennis about a lightning storm on the mountain the year before that killed forty-two sheep, the peculiar stink of them and the way they bloated, “The smell damned near asphyxiated me, and ‘Ageery’ yelled me out good about it, like I could control the fuckin’ weather or something”

    He told Ennis of the need for plenty of whiskey up there to alleviate the boredom. He was infatuated with the rodeo life and fastened his belt with a minor bull-riding buckle, and he was crazy to be somewhere, anywhere, else than Lightning Flat up north.

    Twist was starting to get frustrated with the grunts and single-word answers he was getting, and was beginning to conclude his new companion had taken an instant dislike to him.

    As Jack had already deduced, on closer inspection, Ennis, was scruffy but had a sturdy build that balanced a developed torso on long, caliper legs, and possessed a muscular and supple body made for the horse and for bar fighting. His reflexes were uncommonly quick, and he was farsighted enough to dislike reading anything except Hamley’s saddle catalogue.

    Feeling like he was getting nowhere with this guy, Jack tried to draw him out again.
    “You rodeo much?”

    Ennis shook his head silently, “Only once in a while… when I’ve got the entry fee in my pocket.”
    Jack smiled and nodded.

    Determined to learn something, anything about the man he was about to spend the next few months alone with, Jack thought a moment and then asked, “You from ranch people?”

    Ennis only shrugged without looking up. As he fondled the neck of his beer bottle, he replied softly, “I was.”

    He was getting the impression that del Mar lived alone, “Your folks run you off?”

    Ennis shook his head, “They run themselves off. There was only one curve in thirty-four miles of Dead Horse Road, and they missed it one night,” gesturing his hand straight ahead and then down, as if it were a car jumping a cliff.

    Jack blinked, and replied softly, “Shit!” drinking the last of his beer. “That’s hard.”
    As they began warming to each other, the two young men seemed to be physically drawn as if by magnets, and shifted ever closer till they were nearly shoulder-to-shoulder.

    Jack was having the same trouble and rattled on about the girls on the Rodeo Circuit he’d seen after Ennis told him of his fiancée Alma Beers.

    Jack leaned over him for a pretzel at the bar, and their shoulders touched. A shudder ran through Ennis’ body like the first time he’d touched Alma’s breast, and he quickly inched away.
    Jack began rocking forward and back to the music on the jukebox, and without knowing why, Ennis ever-so-slightly moved his thigh a little sideways until the rodeo cowboy’s calf rubbed against his.

    Without breaking the intimate contact, Ennis pulled out the stub of his cigarette, nodded at Jack’s lighter in his hand and asked, “Can I?”
    Jack’s eyebrows went up, and handed it to him. Their hands touched, and Ennis drew in a breath, quickly lit up, and handed it back, muttering, “Thanks,” withdrawing his leg.

    A middle-aged man with a South American accent suddenly entered the bar, called out their names impatiently, and drove them out to the drop off point a few miles away in the shadow of the mountain.

    How about some feed back, am I only entertaining three people here or should I keep posting these?

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    keep posting Jet! I’m gonna send the link to one of my friends here in Columbus

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Okay Chantal. Anybody else out there?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Here’s another Chapter for you Chantal. I don’t know how I’m going to be able to post the first tent scene, or what BlogCritics will do to me if I do. I’m still trying to work it out.

    Let’s see how this goes and if it makes it through intact…

    THE BEAR
    The trips down the mountain were something Ennis would come to enjoy and savor. He liked being alone on a good horse, with the fresh pine air, birds singing and a tune to hum, punctuated by the calls of an elk or a bear off in the distance.

    As he neared the bottom of the trail and spotted the bridge, he checked his watch and smiled; he’d made good time. He considered buying the horse from Aguirre, because he’d come to like the mare a lot, though he didn’t have much cash to offer. What little he had would have to go towards supporting Alma and probably a kid soon, but he figured that with the pay he’d earn up here, maybe he could manage it.

    Half an hour later he stood frowning, while checking off his list with the Chilean herder, after packing the mules.

    “Something wrong?” the little man asked with a heavy South American accent.

    Ennis responded, “Yeah, uh, what happened to the powdered milk, and we only got one bag of spuds, where’re the other two?”

    “Sorry, dat’s all we got.”

    Del Mar shrugged and handed him the list from his pocket, muttering, “There’s next week’s.”

    Looking it over the Chilean frowned, “I thought you didn’t eat soup?”

    “Well I’m sick of beans.”

    He smiled, and with a chuckle replied, “Too early in the summer to be sick of beans.”

    Ignoring him, Ennis gathered the reins and began pulling the loaded down mules behind him over to his horse.
    After making sure everything was secured, he headed back up the mountain.

    Jack’d be pissed.

    Ennis’ mind seemed to be filled lately with how much he’d taken to Jack, and reminding himself not to let his feelings go too far, because they’d have to part company in only a couple of months and go their separate ways, probably never to see each other again. That happened a lot in his life; his parents, his school friends after the pickup died, his brother and sister, so he’d guarded himself against letting anyone get too close to him.

    Del Mar had let his guard slip only once… with Alma, and that’s what puzzled him, because he seemed to be having the same feelings about Jack.
    He remembered waking up yesterday with a hard-on, as all young men his age did, and began jacking off thinking about her. He didn’t want to get her pregnant, so had always fucked her up the ass. Without realizing it, Jack had somehow entered his fantasy. Just as he came in loud gasps, he realized he was thinking of Jack under him and sat bolt upright in a cold sweat.
    His daddy taught him well what happened to men who had “faggot” thoughts.

    Bringing himself back to reality, Ennis realized he’d been so deep in thought that he’d made it about halfway up the mountain, distracted when one of the mules in tow began resisting as they came up on a narrow mountain stream.

    Still moving forward, he turned around in his saddle to bitch it out, when from ahead of them a bear that’d stopped to drink, roared and stood up on its hind legs.

    As his horse spooked, rearing up in fear, he got only the barest glimpse of the huge black beast, before finding himself in mid-air falling first on his shoulder, then his face slammed painfully into the scattered pebbles at the edge of the stream.

    He had only seconds to determine if he were about to be mauled, and was relieved to see the bear running away, scared by the horse probably. In the moment’s distraction, the mules ran off hawwing into the woods, scattering the packs of supplies everywhere, followed close behind by his horse. Cussing his head off, Ennis took off after them, concentrating on the horse because he needed the rifle incase the damned bear had company…

    Near dusk, Jack had come down from the herd for supper, only to find an empty camp, and Ennis nowhere to be found. It was Friday so he must be late coming back up from getting supplies. He cussed under his breath. As hungry as he was, even if Ennis showed up at that moment, it’d take half an hour or more just to make something to eat, and he was in no mood to settle for cold beans.

    After an hour, and half a bottle of whiskey, he didn’t know if he was more worried, or pissed at his stomach growling.

    By the light of the campfire he’d just lit, he scavenged together a couple of potatoes to boil and one can of beans from what little they had left.
    He’d come to know Ennis well enough to figure he could take care of himself, and knew better than to go looking for him. Best to stay put, lest Ennis come back, and then set off searching for Twist. Two people won’t find each other unless one waited where he could be found, so he sat and waited… reluctantly.

    A little after darkness settled, he finished the can of damned beans. At least his stomach had stopped growling.
    Now more worried about Ennis than pissed, he decided not to go back up to the herd, and after making a third circuit of the immediate area, and checking the tent for a note, he settled back in front of the fire.

    A twig cracked somewhere behind him, and he reached for his rifle and looked. Just barely in the moonlight, he spotted Ennis’ silhouette on horseback leading the mules. Letting the whiskey speak for him, he got up angrily as del Mar got painfully down from his steed.

    “Where the hell have you been,” he spat out, as Ennis approached. “I come down hungry as hell, and find nothing here but beans…”

    His friend came into the glow of the fire and that’s when Twist saw that the left side of his face was scabbed over with dried blood. His anger swiftly changed to concern, “Jesus, Ennis; what happened?”

    As del Mar groaned to a seated position on a log, Jack pulled his neckerchief off, dipped it in a kettle of warming coffee water, and approached his friend with the canteen.

    “I come up on a bear, is what happened.” Waving away the canteen, he asked, “You got any whiskey?”
    Jack reached it over as he added, “God damned horse spooked, threw me, and the fuckin’ mules took off running, spilling supplies all over the place.”

    Jack moved intimately close and began dabbing gently at Ennis’ head with the rag.

    Del Mar took it from him and rubbed away most of the dirt, wincing from the pain, and added, “About all we got left is beans.”

    Ennis wrung out the rag and poured whiskey on it and then dabbed at his sideburn some more, wincing as the alcohol stung.

    Jack looked pissed. “Well we gotta do something about this food situation,” he said, and then after a moment of thought added, “maybe I’ll shoot one of the sheep.”

    Ennis stopped dabbing at his cuts long enough to huff, “And what if Aguirre finds out? We’re supposed to guard the sheep Jack, not eat ‘em.”

    Jack shook his head and sat down beside him. “What’s the matter with you?” he asked, “There’s a thousand of em up there, Aguirre would never know.”

    Ennis looked away. “I’ll stick with beans.”

    As if to close the argument before it damaged their friendship, Jack declared, “Well I won’t.”
    That night Jack rode out of camp without a word.

    The next morning, Ennis had nothing to offer for breakfast but beans, so he waited for Jack to come down, and when he did, they set off together.
    Within an hour they’d spotted a couple of deer and a wild turkey, but Jack kept missing and scaring them off with his gun blasts and everything else within earshot too. Then they’d have to move somewhere else and wait again and again and again through the morning into the afternoon.

    Twist was getting more and more pissed and embarrassed in front of del Mar, and turned to leave for camp to get some fishing rods.

    In frustration, Ennis grabbed the rifle away from him and within another hour had spotted himself a praiseworthy Elk. Beside him Jack hadn’t seen it yet through the thick undergrowth of the forest, and was still bitching about the sites on the rifle.

    “Shhhhhhhut up!” warned Ennis in a harsh whisper.
    Closing one eye del Mar took careful aim as Jack’s eyes widened at the intended prize.
    Choosing his moment carefully, Ennis waited. The elk moved into his sites and the young accomplished hunter gently squeezed the trigger with a deafening blast.

    Nothing happened.

    The great beast seemed to just stand there unphased by the loud sound, and just as Jack was about to say “See, I told…” the elk seemed to suddenly go drunk, stumbled and fell straight down.

    Jack’s jaw dropped, as Ennis sprouted a rare proud smile.

    “Whooooooweeeeeee!” exclaimed Jack grinning from ear to ear.

    Ennis shoved Jack sideways and said impatiently, “I got tired of your dumbass missin’!”

    Jack gave him a congratulatory hug that sent chills through both of them. They held on to each other longer than they’d expected to, seemingly frozen in time, then broke the hold with embarrased glances and ran up to claim their prize.

    They spent the rest of the afternoon separately.

    Ennis backtracked his path down the mountain, and spotted the single bag of potatoes, and a case of fresh eggs that miraculously hadn’t broken, and eventually found enough food to last them a while. He shook his head at a cardboard box of shattered glass whiskey bottles by the stream.
    Alone, he allowed himself to smile, thinking if Jack had caught some mountain browns it’d probably be because they were too drunk to know better than to avoid his hook.

    When he got back, he found a note saying Twist had gone off to finish butchering the elk, so he rode out and joined him. After a good meal of fresh steaks in camp, Jack rode back up to bed the sheep down, leaving Ennis to dry out the meat in strips, curing it with some salt.

    That night Ennis’ thoughts were filled with Alma. If he was careful, the money he’d make over the next few months would just barely cover a wedding and the start of a new life for them, but cash would be very tight.

    He fell asleep thinking of her, but he woke up the next morning thinking of him and the strange thrill he’d gotten from that hug Jack gave him yesterday.

    Within minutes he was breathing harder and harder, and when his breathless gasps came, he felt guilty and puzzled afterward.

    Laying there exhausted and spent, he sat up to spot the object of his fantasy riding through the brush halfway down the mountain trail and quickly dressed.

    He had about half an hour…

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    Thanks Jet…..I’ll read it this afternoon…I’m on my way to church right now (stop rolling your eyes! lol)….

    maybe you could just post the rest on your blog? that way you wouldn’t have to edit the good parts! just a suggestion.

    anyway, bbl.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    A good idea Chantal, but their editorial policy might be even more restrictive that BlogCritics.

    I’ll have to check it out…

    More chapters to come…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    You really have no choice but to feel sorry for him don’t you folks?

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    Troll, Jet.

    Go out to a gay bar and people will just look through you anyhow!

    This was his experience to make him bitter. A straight person doesn’t think of this.

    There’s nothing to be gained here.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Jet, my precious, isn’t Ennis a true representation of what happens to a man who raised by backwoods, backwards, emotionally ignorant folk? The collective self-loathing experienced in so much of the gay community is a direct result of the cruelty of ignorant people who refuse to understand basic human sexuality. Ennis DelMar led a tortured life. He loved Alma but loved Jack more. He loved his children and yet was emotionally removed from them because he couldn’t share Jack with them. And, finally, when confronted by Alma, Ennis reacts as any child of backwards parents would. Unfortunately, fundamentalist family dynamics are such that the natural unconditional love of a parent is the abomination instead of the norm.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Dear Silas and Steve, as you can probably see it’s been crazy here. I’ve got another chapter, it’s tough trying to edit out the sex in a pivotal scene, after all the movie revolves around it. Chris Rose admitted on another string that I’ve turned him gay (jokingly of course) because he has to read all this as it’s published.

    Poor thing.

    I’ll have another chapter here soon.

    thanks again.

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    Hey Jet….
    I love your perspective of Ennis, and how he had been fantasizing about Jack long before they first had sex. Silas is right…he’s such a misplaced, tortured soul. And so torn between his 2 lives. It makes me so incredibly sad to think that people STILL have to be ashamed of their feelings, and hide a part of themselves because of the ignorance they were raised with.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Now Annie didn’t write him that way, that’s all coming out of my warped and perverted imagination… more is coming-(forgive the pun)

    Sooner or later I’m going to have to put the tent scene in, you know. I thing Chris Rose if off tonight, so I’ll wait.

    Let me see what I’ve got left, and I’ll post another one tonight.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I’ve been told that they’ve watched the movie again and can see what’s going through their minds after reading my “version”.

    I’m kinda proud of that…

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    Well, whats great about what you’re writing, is that you’re filling in a lot of the blanks.

    Aside from being a great movie, with a compelling story, great acting, yadda yadda, I think this movie resonates with so many people because since there is so much going on with and between Jack and Ennis that is unspoken, we’re left to our own imagination to fill in those blanks. You can’t help, after viewing the movie, to be left thinking “what if” this, and “I wonder” that….

    and you answer many of those questions, Jet, that make so much sense to the film. I like your warped and perverted imagination.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    But, Jet, your warped perversions are what draw me close to you!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Okay, next random Chapter-the final showdown…

    In June of 1982, Jack had spent enough time camping with Randall Tanny, the foreman of the ranch next door to his that he thought it was safe to make a move on him. They took to each other as close friends, but like everything good in his life, Jack was prone to finding a way to destroy any happiness he had, especially if it didn’t involve Ennis.

    He mistook an invitation out to a secluded lake to go fishing and drinking whiskey, and nearly got beaten up in the process.

    Then the very next night, after a bottle of fine whiskey, Jack bedded Randall.
    He kept telling himself it was just sex, because he loved to be fucked, but only by Ennis, so it wasn’t the same.

    Suddenly the foreman was in love with Twist, and wanted to leave his jaw-flapping wife, maybe move up to Jack’s parent’s ranch where no one could find him, and start a new life together.

    A few months later though, just to complicate things; Jack began screwing the Randy’s pretty wife on the side too!

    As usual, just when things started getting serious, Jack’d hear from Ennis like always, about getting some free time to spend up on the mountain, and everything would fall back into their old pattern.

    In May of 1983 as planned, they spent a few cold days at a series of little icebound, no-name high lakes, then worked across into the Hail Strew River drainage, looking for someplace warmer to spend their last vacation days.

    Both knew where they were headed.

    This had been “their place” by the lake for years, with Brokeback rising high above, majestically covered with snow.
    The tea-colored river ran fast with snowmelt, a swirl of bubbles at every high rock, pools and setback. The tall pines swayed stiffly as hawks argued overhead somewhere. The horses drank and Jack dismounted, scooped icy water up in his hand, crystalline drops falling from his fingers, his mouth and chin glistening wet.

    “Get beaver fever doin that,” said Ennis, then, “Good enough place,” looking at a flat piece of ground by the river, with two or three fire rings from old hunting camps. A sloping meadow rose behind the bench, protected by a stand of lodgepoles. There was plenty of dry wood. They set up camp without saying much, settling the horses in the meadow.

    Jack broke the seal on a bottle of whiskey, took a long, hot swallow, exhaled forcefully, said, “That’s one of the two things I need right now,” eyeing his friend lovingly as he capped and tossed it to Ennis.

    Jack secretly had come as far as Signal with Randall, where the ranch foreman waited in the motel where he and Ennis had reunited. Randy played heavily on his mind, because he’d just proposed his leaving his wife and the two of them moving to Jack’s home ranch in Lightning Flat and setting up housekeeping.

    It was the right dream-but with the wrong man.

    Jack had called ahead and told his father he’d be up to talk to him about setting up a place to live and how he planned to separate from his wife again. He said he was bringing up some help from Texas with him so he could manage the farm full time. Old man Twist said he and his mother were going to a religious retreat up in Montana and they’d only be home until Thursday so Jack told him he’d be up around noon on Wednesday for sure. His father made a point of repeating Jack’d be there at noon.

    Tuesday morning the clouds came that Ennis had expected, a gray racer out of the West, a bar of darkness driving wind before it and small flakes. It faded after an hour into tender spring snow that heaped wet and heavy. By nightfall it had turned colder.

    Jack and Ennis set up lawn chairs facing the water and passed a joint back and forth, the fire burning late, Jack restless and bitching about the cold, poking the flames with a stick, twisting the dial of the transistor radio until the batteries died.

    Scanning the darkening sky, Jack commented, “Gonna snow for sure tonight.”
    Ennis silently nodded, handing the joint back to him.
    Twist took a good deep toke and asked, handing it back and letting the smoke out slowly, “All this time, and you ain’t never found no one to marry?”

    Ennis said he’d been “putting the blocks” to a woman who worked part-time at the Wolf Ears bar in Signal where he was working now for Carl Scrope’s cow-and-calf outfit, but it wasn’t going anywhere and she had some problems he didn’t want. “She’s studying to be a nurse too, or something… I don’t know”

    Jack admitted he’d had a thing going with the wife of a rancher down the road in Childress and for the last few months he’d sneak around expecting to get shot by Lorene or her husband Randy, catching his breath at the mention of the name, wishing he could inhale it back.

    Not noticing, Ennis laughed a little and said he probably deserved it if one of them got him.
    Jack bowed his head.

    They’d have to leave early tomorrow for him to get to his parent’s by noon. If his father agreed, Randy was waiting in Signal for his call to head north to Lightning flat where they’d meet up. With his parents in Montana, they’d have the place to themselves.

    The ache that Ennis would come with him instead got more intense, making him sad.

    After a long, long thoughtful pause, Jack admitted, “I tell you what…”

    Ennis looked over into his eyes.

    “… sometimes I miss you so much, I can hardly stand it.”

    The horses nickered in the darkness beyond the fire’s circle of light. If Ennis had said anything to that, which was doubtful, it wasn’t heard, he just looked into the glow at the end of the joint, and then silently across to the mountains.

    That night though, Ennis was especially tender with Jack as they made love in the tent, both satisfied afterward to just hold each other in their arms till they fell asleep.

    The next morning, they talked about nothing, and made love again, knowing it’d have to last a while before they could come back up here.
    Afterward, he put his arm around Jack, pulled him close, fretting over how much he missed his daughters, and how he only saw his girls about once a month, Alma, Jr., had grown to be a shy seventeen-year-old with his beanpole length, Jenny a little live wire.

    Ennis got up and pulled on his worn jeans, and Twist caught his arm before he could leave the tent.

    Jack slid his cold hand between Ennis’s legs, said he was worried about his boy who was, no doubt about it, dyslexic or something, couldn’t get anything right, fifteen years old and couldn’t hardly read, he could see it, though goddamn Lorene wouldn’t admit to it and pretended the kid was O.K., refused to get any kind a help about it. He didn’t know what the fuck the answer was. Lorene had the money and called the shots.

    “I used to want a boy for a kid,” said Ennis, undoing buttons he’d just done up, “but just got little girls.”

    “I didn’t want none of either kind,” said Jack. “But fuck-all nothin’ has worked the way I wanted. Nothin never come to my hand the right way.”

    Ennis knelt down and pulled Jack into his strong arms. One thing never changed: the brilliant charge of their infrequent couplings was darkened by the sense of time flying, never enough time, never enough.

    An hour later at the trailhead parking lot, horses loaded into the trailer, Ennis was ready to head back to Signal, Jack up to Lightning Flat to see his folks for a few days. As Jack loaded the camping equipment into his truck, Ennis walked over to him and said what he’d been putting off the whole week that likely he couldn’t get away again until November, after they’d shipped stock and before winter-feeding started.

    “November? What in hell happened to August? Tell you what, we said August, nine, ten days. Christ, Ennis! Whyn’t you tell me this before? You had a fuckin week to say some little word about it. And why’s it we’re always in the friggin cold weather? We ought a do somethin. We ought a go South. We ought a go to Mexico one day.”

    Jack slammed the door of his truck and began walking away from him toward the edge of the lake 10 yards away.

    To his back Ennis replied, “Mexico? Jack, you know me. All the travellin I ever done is goin around the coffeepot lookin for the handle. The trade off for this week was August, that’s what’s the matter with August. Lighten up on me, Jack. We can hunt in November, kill a nice elk. Try if I can get Don Wroe’s cabin again. We had a good time that year; remember?”

    Jack turned around to face away from the sight of his beloved Mountain, and said with barely controlled anger, “You know, friend, this is a goddam bitch of a unsatisfactory situation. You used a come away easy; now It’s like seein the damned Pope.”

    “Jack, I gotta work.” he protested, “Them earlier days I used to just quit the jobs. You got a wife with money, a good job. You forget how it is bein broke all the time. You ever hear a child support? I been payin out for years and got more to go. Let me tell you, I can’t quit this one. And I can’t get the time off. It was tough gettin this time—some of them late heifers is still calvin. You don’t leave then. You don’t. Scrope is a hell-raiser and he raised hell about me takin the week. I don’t blame him. He probably ain’t got a night’s sleep since I left. I told you the trade-off was August. You got a better idea?”

    “I did once.” The tone was bitter and accusatory.

    Ennis said nothing, straightened up slowly, and rubbed at his forehead as a horse stamped inside the trailer. He walked with slow deliberation toward Jack, and his eyes narrowed suspiciously.
    “You been a cheatin’ on me in Mexico, Jack Twist?” Mexico was the place. He’d heard. He was cutting fence now, trespassing on verbal forbidden ground when he added between gritted teeth, “I heard what they got down there for boys like you, Jack.”

    Jack felt the resentment coming, the wasted years of loving a man incapable of showing love back. His thought flashed on Randy waiting for the call that’d start their life together.

    Jack gathered his courage; it was either split up forever, or stay together. “Hell yes, I been to Mexico. Where’s the fuckin problem?” Braced for it all these years and here it came, late and unexpected.

    A jealous rage began building in Ennis, a rage that he didn’t know was there, because he wouldn’t let himself feel it all of these years, but now it was surfacing, and almost out of control. He paced up to Jack and stood, his face only inches from the man he just admitted to himself that he could lose.

    “I’m gonna say this to you one time, Jack Fucking Twist,” said Ennis between gritted teeth. “What I don’t know, all them things I don’t know bout what you do in Mexico could get you killed if I should come to know them… and I ain’t foolin.”
    Ennis turned away and began pacing down the bank toward his truck.

    “Try this one,” yelled Jack at the top of his lungs, letting the years of resentment out, “and I’ll say it just one time.

    Ennis suddenly turned around and angrily answered, “Go ahead!”

    Jack spun back around to take in the sky, the lake and the vista of Brokeback Mountain, and suddenly couldn’t stand the sight of it. Turning his back to it again, he replied in a frustrated scream, and a wildly gesturing hand, “Tell you what, we could a had a good life together, a fuckin real good life. But you wouldn’t do it, Ennis, so what we got now is Brokeback Mountain.” His voice raised almost an octave, as he wheeled around to gesture at the beautiful mountaintop. “Everything built on that. It’s all we got, boy, fuckin all, so I hope you know that, if you don’t never know the rest.”

    Ennis turned his back to Jack.

    In anger, Twist began stomping toward del Mar, “Count the damn few times we been together in twenty years. Measure the fuckin short leash you keep me on, then ask me about Mexico and then tell me you’ll kill me for needin what we have together, and not hardly never gettin it. You got no fuckin idea how bad it gets! God damn it all to Hell, Ennis, I’m not you. I can’t make it on a couple of high-altitude fucks once or twice a year!”

    He turned and walked back up the bank to stand at the edge of the lake. He felt the words coming, afraid they’d end it between them, but he knew what had to be said, so he said it to the mountain, “You’re too much for me, Ennis, you son of a whoreson bitch. I wish I knew how to quit you.”

    Like vast clouds of steam from thermal springs in winter the years of things unsaid and now unsayable—admissions, declarations, shames, guilts, fears—rose around them. Ennis stood as if heart-shot, his face gray and deep-lined, grimacing, eyes screwed shut, fists clenched.
    He was always the one in control, he was always the one who was strong, and through the hell he’d lived all these years there was always Jack, always Jack. In his mind he hated that he needed anybody, and the crashing blow that hit him was he’d lied to himself, he didn’t think he could live without his… his lover.
    Abruptly Ennis cried out in an anguish so deep in sorrow, that it shocked Jack into looking back at him. Ennis stood looking at Jack, pawing at a tear falling from his eye, trying to hide it with the brow of his hat.

    Then their eyes met, and Ennis couldn’t stand it any more. His knees began to cave as he sank towards the ground as his strength and manhood left him and he burst into uncontrolled sobs at the thought of Jack leaving him.

    Sniffing to clear his sinuses, he barely blubbered out, “Then why don’t you Jack? Why don’t you just leave me be? You’re the reason I’m like this; got nothin’ and no one, all alone. I, I can’t stand this no more Jack, I just can’t.”

    “Jesus,” said Jack. “Ennis?” bounding toward him, trying to guess if it was a heart attack or the overflow of an incendiary rage, Ennis was struggling back onto his feet, and as Jack tried to extend his loving arms around him, Ennis shoved him away sharply. “Get off of me,” he shouted, “Just leave me be!”

    Ignoring him, Twist fought him up to his feet, both of them clutching each other tightly.

    Jack had never seen Ennis cry before, and was nearly in shock as the man he thought was made of stone and steel sobbed in his arms.

    “I can’t hardly stand this no more, Jack” he blubbered again.

    Then, just as fast as it started, it was over.
    In an instant they were facing each other, though only a foot apart, it seemed like a hundred yards, as Ennis fell silent.

    Twist could see that the emotions Ennis had held in for twenty years had torn him completely apart in trying to get them out, so he just stood there silently as del Mar turned his back to him, stood silently for a moment collecting himself, and then headed to his truck.

    While he silently watched Ennis finish packing the saddles, Jack remembered and craved in a way he could neither help nor understand, the time that distant summer on Brokeback when Ennis had come up behind him and pulled him close, the silent embrace satisfying some shared and sexless hunger.

    They had stood that way for a long time in front of the fire, its burning, tossing ruddy chunks of popping sparks, as the morning sun cast shadows of their bodies a single column against the rock.
    Gently the young Ennis put his arms around young Jack’s shoulders tenderly.

    The minutes ticked by from the watch in Ennis’s pocket, and from the sticks in the fire settling into coals as Ennis sang softly a lullaby.

    Ennis’s breath came slow and quiet, he hummed, rocked a little in the morning silence, punctuated by a horse snorting.

    Jack leaned back against his man’s steady heartbeat, wanting to drown in his arms, as the vibrations of the humming like faint electricity and, standing, he fell into sleep that was not sleep but something else drowsy and tranced until Ennis, dredging up a rusty but still usable phrase from the childhood time before his mother died, said, “Time to hit the hay, my cowboy. I got a go. Come on, you’re sleepin on your feet like a horse,” and gave Jack a shake, a push, and went off without another word.

    Jack heard his spurs tremble as he mounted, and the words “See you tomorrow,” and the horse’s shuddering snort, grind of hoof on stone.

    Later, that dozy embrace solidified in his memory as the single moment of artless, charmed happiness in their separate and difficult lives. Nothing marred it, even the knowledge that Ennis would not then embrace him face to face because he did not want to see or feel that it was Jack he held. And maybe, he thought, they’d never got much farther than that.

    Let be, let be.

    Coming out of that wonder filled memory, Jack realized that Ennis had wordlessly driven away, and as his eyes focused, he watched the battered Ford with their horses aboard round a curve and disappear between the tall pines.

    No goodbyes, no nothin’
    Was it over between them?

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    damn…I hope theres more tomorrow….g’night Jet…this was great.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thanks Chantal fresh material is coming soon. I’ve got some errands to run but I’ll get to it. I’m still curious as to if I’m only entertaining two or three people here????

  • just because

    Entertained is not quite the right word – enthralled is better! I was compelled to leave you a comment as your writing about the kiss blew me away after I saw a link to it on one of the BBM boards. Now I can’t tear myself away from your story! You should really post the whole thing on a fan fiction type of board so more people can experience it. I read quite a lot of BBM fan fic & this is up there.

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    Jet, I’m sure plenty more are reading and enjoying, but maybe won’t admit it….you know how that goes

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I know one thing, I’ve got the comments editor wringing his hands about the coming tent scene-there’s a pun in there somewhere…

  • just because

    As long as there’s no punning in the tent scene. I don’t think that’d be fitting…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Giggle giggle smirk smirk

  • http://marilynbb.blogspot.com/ Marilyn Barnicke Belleghem

    There is also a poignant story that addresses bisexual behaviour and the emotional responses and experiences of the people involved. It is NOT just about two men. It is also about their wives and families reactions and the impact their love for each other has on a great many people. People may avoid this wonderfully portrayed film thinking it is a sex film. It is far more a statement about the impact of love and hate on all of us no matter who we are as it deeply affects our communities. I found it beautifully filmed and deeply moving. I also found it raises the issue for women who are married to a man who loves a man something not focused on very much.

    I have enjoyed your interpretation of the scenes. Food for thought for sure.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thank you Marilyn for that thought provoking post. My sister said almost the same thing when she saw it, and I can understand why women might not like it, because it’s easy for a woman to get caught up in how she would handle the situation to the point of losing track of the men’s emotions whlle watching it in a theater or at home.

    In my novelization which is based on Annie’s short story as well as the screenplay, and my own imagination to fill in the gaps, the hardest parts to get into are what the wives are going through. I’m working on it.

    The purpose of writing this was to help a blind gay friend understand it, but apparently it’s helping others to understand things that weren’t explained in the movie.

    I’m flattered you enjoyed it…

    Thanks again…
    I’m glad you enjoyed it.
    Jet

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Jet, I just finished your last entry and the tears are welled in my eyes. Anyone who truly absorbs the story of Jack and Ennis will see that this saga could apply to a gay couple, a straight couple, aw hell, ANY damn couple. Love is love. In its pureest form it is not immoral, it is unflenching, all giving and the fulfillment of a lifetime.

    When one gets beyond the “two guys fucking” part, it’s amazing what can be realized. Brokeback may be a joke to many, but to just as many it is a slice of reality that rarely makes it to the cinematic stage. Sure, there were victims of the relationship between the cowboys. No doubt about it. But, in the end, Jack and Ennis were victims of their times, their geography and their society. I’ll wager that there are a few country boys out there tongiht who have read much of this thread. They can identify themselves in the characterizations you deliver. What’s most sad is that they are in all likelihood more like Ennis. They’re trapped in their respective worlds, prisoners of their environment.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thank you Silas. There are people (I hope) reading your words and learning something) I still have more coming probably tonight, expecially the one titied “My dad was right” my favorite scene in the movie!.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    This chaper is entitled “The horse with no reins”
    and is based on Annie’s short story and the movie.

    That first trip back up “their” mountain was glorious. Ennis couldn’t remember being so happy, and realized that Jack was the reason why.

    They spent the trip talking endlessly about what the last four years had held for each other. The Rodeo, ranching, the learning impaired son, the sickly daughter, and the hateful father-in-law. On the way they stopped to eat, buy whiskey and supplies for their hastily planned trip.

    Ennis talked about how much he loved Alma, and his girls, and how they were working as a team to build a future for themselves.

    Before they knew it, they were at a twenty foot cliff overlooking the stream where they camped the night they made love the first time, and both were shedding clothes quickly, Ennis exclaiming, “The last one in…” as they joyfully raced to the edge and leapt off into the surprisingly frigid mountain water below.
    Their heads surfaced, both screaming about how cold it was.

    They felt they were in their own private heaven again, laughing their heads off and splashing each other. The laughter ended suddenly when they both realized at the same time that their clothes were now a good 20-minute walk naked around the rocky prominence back up to the truck at what was now a public campground.

    After a day of setting up camp, and regretting, in their haste, to bring a couple of horses from the ranch where Ennis worked, they settled down that night at the rushing stream’s edge, bundled in coats.

    Surrounded in peace and without a care for the first time in a long time, Jack got a roaring fire going against the cold.

    Ennis fell silent for a long time looking into the flickering smoking flames, and eventually eased back to lay with his feet near the fire, one knee up with his hat propped on it. He seemed to be in a state of rapture, just staring up at the stars in wonder with a half smile.

    Jack sat on the log beside him, listening to the roaring water, deep in thought and looked over at him. He’d come a long way hoping their reunion would be permanent, but every time he brought it up, Ennis would sidestep the subject, wanting to just enjoy being up here again.

    For a long time and becoming uncomfortable with their silence, Jack settled for just watching the man he was now convinced that he loved looking dreamily up at nothing.

    To break the silence he asked, “See anything interesting up there in heaven?”

    Ennis grew a rare mischievous grin in response and commented lazily, “Ohhhhhh, I was just sendin’ up some thanks.”

    Jack’s heart suddenly swelled with hope. “For what?”

    Ennis snorted a laugh, “I’m thankful that you forgot that damned harmonica… I was just enjoyin’ the peace and quiet.”

    Hiding his disappointment, Jack chuckled and shook his head.

    The cowboy closed his eyes and moaned enjoyment.

    Jack straightened and looked out at the mountain, topped with glowing light blue snow in the dark, lit only by the full moon. Gathering his courage he hesitated and then said softly, “You know, it could be like this, just like this, for always,” knowing that it was as close to a proposal of love and commitment as he dared make.

    Ennis opened his eyes and looked at him quizzically. “How do you figure that?”

    In that moment, Jack knew his hopes had been dashed, but bravely collected his thoughts.
    They both stared into the campfire, realizing the consequences of what had just been said, but more importantly of what hadn’t been answered.

    Fighting tears from his eyes, Jack said softly and hesitantly trying to renew his fleeting hopes, “You know, if we had a little cow and calf operation together; you know along with your horses, it could be a sweet life. Lorene’s old man; you bet he’d give me enough for a down payment if I’d get lost. Already more or less said it…”

    Halfway through the sentence, he knew it was doomed, and felt frustration welling up in his throat. Ennis sat up, shaking his head, put on his hat to hide his eyes, and corrected as he settled over beside Jack, “Now I told you, it ain’t gonna be like that.” Resting his back against the log, he continued, “Now, you’ve got your wife and baby in Texas; and I’ve got my life here in Riverton.”

    Unable to hold it in any more, Jack asked skeptically, “You and Alma, that’s a life?”

    Ennis’ heterosexual manliness set in suddenly and answered for him, “You shut up about Alma, this ain’t her fault… The bottom line is Jack; if we’re around each other, and this… ‘this thing’ catches a hold of us at the wrong time, or the wrong place, and someone sees us, we’re dead Jack. Dead… both of us.”

    Thinking of Alma and the girls he added, “Can’t get out of it. Jack, I don’t wanna be like them guys you see around sometimes. And I don’t wanna be dead neither.”

    Jack frowned an unphrased question at him hidden eyes.

    “There was these two old guys ranched up together down home, Earl and Rich—Dad would pass a remark when he seen them. They was a fag joke for everybody, even though they was pretty tough old birds. I was what, only nine years old I guess, when they found Earl dead one day in an irrigation ditch. They, they’d taken Rich and tied him by the neck to the top of a fence just barely high enough to stand at, then they beat the shit out of him, but they didn’t kill him on purpose, they just left him standin’ there all alone, and finally he was so weak from the pain that that night he slumped down and hung himself ‘cause he was too weak to stand back up. I found out later that a couple of local ranchers got together and took a tire iron to Earl too, beat him to death, then drug him around off the back of a pickup by his dick until it pulled off, just bloody pulp. What the tire iron done looked like pieces a burned tomatoes all over him, nose and face tore down from skiddin on gravel.”

    Jack looked appalled that a child would be exposed to such a sight, and asked, “You seen that?”

    “My dad made sure I seen it and that I knew why it happened. He took me and my brother K.E. and we stopped at the fence where he was rotting with flies all over him, and ole Dad laughed about it. Then he took us to see Earl. Hell, for all I know he done the job. I tell you what; If he was alive and saw and heard you and me together right now like this, you bet he’d go get his tire iron.”

    A visible shudder ran through del mar as he shook his head no, “Two guys livin together, Jack? No way… Now, we can get together once in a while way the hell out in the middle a nowhere…”

    Jack’s jaw dropped, “Every so often? Every four fuckin’ years?

    “Jack, if you can’t fix it, you gotta stand it,” Ennis replied.

    Ennis bowed his head lower as his face became a mask of sadness.

    Twist felt tears welling up again, as he realized that this man couldn’t love him like he needed to be loved.

    “For how long?” he asked hesitantly.

    Unable to meet his eyes, Ennis gazed down into the fire with a heartbreaking look and mumbled, “This horse don’t got reins on it Jack, we just got to ride it as long as we can.”

    They fell into an uncomfortable silence. Leaning over to him, Jack brushed the top of the fingers of his left hand against Ennis’s right sideburn and gently rubbed.

    As the fire crackled, Ennis’ hand quietly found Jack’s.

    That night there was no sex between them, they just lay naked together in the sleeping bag; Ennis pressed against Jack’s back cradling him in his strong and loving arms.

    The long trip home the next day was done in almost complete silence. A block from the parking lot, Jack pulled over and gave Ennis a big bear hug, and a peck on the cheek.

    They promised they’d keep in touch.

    Ennis walked home alone, not looking up as Jack passed.

    Down in the laundramat parking lot, Ennis got in his truck, started it, but didn’t want to go anywhere, so he just sat there eventually resting his head against the steering wheel. Emotionally exhausted, he started to doze off and a nightmare began of his father beating him.

    Alma Jr. rushed down the stairs to come up on his door. “Daddy, did you bring me a big fish?”

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    “Horse with no Reins published Monday night-coming Tuesday D-I-V-O-R-C-E Stay tuned…

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    The more you expose Ennis, Jet, the angrier I get. What kind of parent would raise a child to believe that the parent would rather have the child dead than queer? This is a mindset that lives a healthy life in the rural hollows of America. Is this Christian? Is this morality? What kind of role models are we? It seems that in spite of our Bible-thumping, Puritanical self-righteous schtick about being the bastion of democracy and a beacon of light for the world, we’re no better than a terrorist cowering in the hills of Afghanistan.

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    very well put, Silas, and I agree with you wholeheartedly. For the life of me, I can’t understand that mentality.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I wonder what Annie would say about all this. After all this is her work that I’ve been so carefully altering.

    I’ve been feeling very guilty about that, after all if I were a writer I wouldn’t like anyone fooling with my material.

    That subject was brought home forcefully to me when I discovered yesterday that my article on Ken Blackwell had been stolen word for word and retitled under someone else’s name, and posted on another website.

    Of course my “version” of Brokeback Mountain isn’t a word-for-word ripoff, and I take no credit for the storyline, still…

    I tend to think of this as a tribute and expansion on her very short story, and though I give her credit as much as possible, sometimes I still wonder what she’d think…

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    you give credit, where credit is due…..and the fact that it is her story, and not yours, just your “novelization”, you make very clear all throughout this thread, Jet.

    If it were my story, I would be flattered.

    People put their own spin on original stories all the time. As long as you don’t try to take credit for the original, you’re fine.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Chantal, you, Silas and SteveS are better than Cymbalta. Thanks the next chapter will be posted tonight sometime after 10PM. Your helping a lot to endure a depression, and I thank you for it.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Tuesday night: this chapter is called “Oh I dreamed last night”

    Over the next five years, Jack and Ennis did keep in touch, exchanging post cards and meeting twice a year or so when they could both get time off from family and work.

    Their fishing/camping/hunting trips usually lasted between a week to ten days, and both spent most of the year looking forward to them.

    “Deke” Newsome semi retired in 1974, after failing to gain a seat in the Texas Republican primary races. He turned the day-to-day operations of his farm equipment business over to Lorene, but kept a close eye on things, never letting Jack advance higher than head salesman.
    As little Bobby grew, his learning disability became more of a problem, but Grandpa doted over him anyway.

    Jack had regular bouts of depression, and began developing a drinking problem, though he kept pulling himself back from the brink before it became serious. He’d always come home from one of his fishing trips tenser than when he left. He knew he loved Ennis, but was never brave enough to utter the word.

    Jack was the one who worked to keep the relationship going, and sometimes resented Ennis for seemingly not wanting it as much as he did.
    Ennis was the more secretly loving emotionally, but couldn’t show it.
    Jack was the more passionate sexually.

    Both rationalized it by calling it a very close friendship that just happened to include sex.
    Del Mar’s length was apparently a perfect fit to internally rub and stimulate Twist’s prostate in such away that crashing shattering orgasms came without Jack so much as touching himself, and his craving to be fucked became more intense. He felt terrible that to satisfy his ever-increasing need, he’d make periodic trips just across the border to Mexico, always telling Lorene he was on a “business trip.”
    But it was only sex, and what he needed was love that only Ennis could give, but only seldomly.

    On the home fronts, Ennis loved his daughters, but slowly began to resent Alma.
    Monroe opened up more grocery stores and more Laundromats and recently had even started a catering business that he’d put Alma in charge of.
    But that didn’t keep them ahead of the bills by a long shot, what with school clothes and supplies, doctor bills for Jenny’s asthma, and Alma Junior having to have her appendix out.

    Huge yelling and screaming fights broke out between them over anything no matter how trivial. Ennis’s old ’55 truck finally gave out, and he bought a used Ford pick-up that was nearly falling apart and needed parts they didn’t have the money for.

    She didn’t like that.

    He also bought and sold horses on speculation instead of putting money away for the girl’s further education.

    Alma started going to the Methodist Church with the girls, always leaving him behind when he mumbled something about Sunday being his only day off, not liking that “fire and brimstone” crowd and that and he wanted to sleep in one day a week.

    Bibles appeared in the living room and the nightstand of the bedroom. He came home one day to find a crucifix nailed above the inside of their front door.

    Then Monroe began regularly driving Alma and the kids to church every week and for socials and picnics.

    After a particularly nasty and loud fight over his refusal to take a job with the electric company, Ennis went out to the bar to cool off. He’d never laid a hand on Alma in their years of marriage, but that night he’d come close. When he came back home, the sounds of the kids laughing up there, the TV playing loudly, and Alma singing, was too much for him, and he sat out in the night air on the tailgate of his truck for an hour smoking and wondering if his life would ever turn around for the better.

    Above and behind him, he heard their storm door open, and didn’t bother to turn around, because he figured it was just Alma. He didn’t want to hear her bitch at him for staying out so late. The girls started calling out “Goodbye!” and he frowned to see Monroe come out on the landing and come down the stairs.

    He must’ve not seen Ennis in the dark until he was right beside him, because he practically jumped out of his skin

    Her resentment opened out a little every year: the embrace she had glimpsed of her husband and that Twist guy, Ennis’s fishing trips once or twice a year with him, but never a vacation with her and the girls, his disinclination to step out and have any fun unless it was alone, his yearning for low-paid, long-houred ranch work, his propensity to roll to the wall and sleep as soon as he hit the bed, his failure again to look for a decent permanent job with the county or the power company put her in a long, slow dive

    Finally the summer of ’77 it all came to a head when Ennis was feeling particularly horny one night and just as he was about to enter her, Alma asked him to use a rubber.

    “As far behind in the bills as we are; I don’t think it’d be a good idea not to use precautions.”

    That killed the mood immediately.
    Before rolling off of her panting with passion, he said in frustration, “If you don’t want any more of my kids, I’ll be happy to leave you alone.”

    She remained silent and he rolled off her and took his usual position facing the wall.
    She turned off the light and replied, “I’d have them, if you’d support them.”

    In 1977 when Alma Jr., was nine and Jenny seven, Alma filed for divorce and custody of the girls.
    When the court day came, Ennis felt like the world had crashed down on his shoulders. His self-image as a man who was a good husband and loving father was now shattered, and he felt like a complete failure. He loved and cherished his little girls more than his own life, and standing there his face held a mixture of equal parts resentment, hate, and shame.
    As the Judge ruled in Alma’s favor and ordered Ennis to pay child support, his chest tightened to the point of hardly being able to breathe, and tears fell from his crestfallen eyes. He looked to be in such agony that both Alma Jr. and Jenny broke free of their mother and bawled open tears as they gathered around him, hugging him and looking frightened of the judge.

    He wrote a heartbroken letter to Jack giving him the news, hoping he’d write back, but heard nothing for over a month and gave up waiting.

    He was shocked when after another month Junior called to tell him that Alma had married Monroe.

    Meanwhile, Twist starting making slow deliberate preparations to leave Lorene the moment he got Ennis’ card with news of the divorce. He didn’t care about Newsome’s money or his kid that his wife and father-in-law had taught to hate him. He went as far with his plans to just up and disappear on his family as he could without carefully leaving a way back “just in case”.

    Ennis’ phone had been disconnected, and none of his postcards were answered, so Jack just assumed that Ennis would be waiting for him and leave hints in town where to find him.

    When finally he could wait no longer, Twist nearly flew north in his truck; in fact at some railroad crossings, he actually left the ground. He was rushing to his man-his lover, and had been rehearsing how he was going to make “Deke” real happy by leaving Lorene, but it’d cost him dearly financially so Jack and Ennis could start up that ranch he’d fantasized about. Jack’d leave her for free, but Newsome didn’t have to know that.

    Ennis finally had come to his senses and left his wife; they’d finally after long last be together like it should be, like it was meant to be.
    He was smiling so much his cheeks ached and he couldn’t help singing all the way North to Riverton.

    After the divorce, Ennis had moved into an old run-down house at his boss’ ranch’s far southern edge. It wasn’t much, but as he was fond of saying, “If you don’t have nothing, you don’t need nothing.” It took a lot of hard work on the place before the court would let the girls stay there over weekends, and he was overjoyed at their being there with him at last. That afternoon he’d fixed up some trout he’d caught and had frozen on his last “fishing trip” with Jack, and the girls as usual loved it. He only got to see them one weekend a month, and the time was precious to him.

    After a nice day together teaching them how to ride horseback, he bundled them up in the truck with the promise of a drive-in movie. He was walking around to his door of the pickup, when he heard a truck horn blaring away behind the house coming toward him, and was astonished to see Jack pull up and jump out with his arms outspread.

    Knowing the girls were watching, he approached cautiously, darting his eyes at Jack towards the girls, but Twist didn’t get the hint and rushed up and gave him an affectionate bear hug.

    Ennis pulled away cautiously and asked, “What the hell are you doing here?”

    “Hell, I drove 18 hours from Texas, asked a dozen people in Riverton where you’d moved to and that’s all you got to say?”

    “Jack, I uh, you don’t understand, I…”

    Jack pulled away and replied with a frown, “I got your note about the divorce and all, and I figured that meant we…”

    The look Ennis gave him, froze Twist’s throat, and del Mar’s eyes darted toward the truck again.
    Shifting his arms so only one was around his shoulder, he guided Jack to the driver side of his old truck and gestured inward, saying, “Girls this is my old friend Jack; he’s a good fishing and camping friend of mine.”

    Taken aback at his first sight of Ennis’ daughters, Jack simply said, “Hi.”

    They both stared, sort of stunned. As they’d grown up they’d heard fights through the bedroom wall between their parents about someone named Jack.

    When the silence went a little too long, their father tersely said, “Say ‘hi’ girls,”

    “Hi” they replied in unison, as Ennis lead him out of earshot.

    Looking back at the girls, Jack continued, “I just figured that your note meant that you wanted to, that you wanted me to… you know.”

    Ennis bowed his head, “Jack; I’m sorry… you know I am.”

    To Jack’s puzzled frown, he added, “I only get the girls once a month and I missed last month because of the round up, so I…”

    A white pickup drove slowly by with two men in it, pointedly looking their way.

    Ennis took a step backward, and Jack followed his eyes and saw the men watching them too.”

    Twist, nodded disappointment, and said reluctantly, “Yeah, okay.”

    “Jack, if there was any way I could… You know I would,”

    Jack wasn’t as important in Ennis’ life as he’d hoped he’d be, so he nodded again and turned to pace back to his truck. As he opened the door, Ennis’ voice came from behind him at a distance, “I’ll see ya next month, right?”

    Jack nodded and slammed his door, started the engine and gunned it backward, spitting gravel and dust, and was gone in moments.

    The ache in Ennis’ heart was almost unbearable, because he missed Jack as much as Jack missed him. He put on a happy smile and got in his truck, “So what do my girls wanna see tonight?”

    Jack sobbed heartbroken almost all the way back. He was thankful he hadn’t gone too far with his plans, and was so deep in thought that he missed the turn off home.

    So full was his heart with resentment and disillusionment, he couldn’t stand to see his wife and the life he didn’t want, but would be stuck with probably the rest of his life, so he made a decision and headed toward Mexico.

    It took him an hour or so to find a guy willing to sell himself who looked a lot like Ennis, and since Lorene thought he’d be gone the whole week, he spent the whole week with him…

    Over the next few years, Ennis went back to ranch work, hired on here and there, not getting much ahead but glad enough to be around stock again, free to drop things, quit if he had to, and go into the mountains with Jack at short notice. Paying the child support was rough, but he never missed one damned payment.

    His parents had raised Ennis well before they died, and he was taught that a man never uses the word love unless forced to, and never to another man.

    One of the girls left an album by the Moody Blue’s Justin Hayward and John Lodge called Bluejays after a visit one Sunday and he put it on out of curiosity.

    He wore one song out almost completely one night listening to it over and over.

    Oh I dreamed last night I was hearing,
    Hearing your voice,
    And the things that you said well they left me,
    Left me no choice.

    And you told me we had the power
    And you told me this was the hour
    But you don’t know how
    If I could show you now

    Well I dreamed last night you were calling,
    Calling my name.
    You were locked inside of you secrets
    Calling my name.

    And you told me lost was the key
    And you told me how you long to be free
    That you don’t know how
    Oh let me show you now

    Like a bird on a far distant mountain
    Like a ship on an uncharted sea
    You are lost in the arms that have found you.

    Don’t be afraid
    Love’s plans are made
    Oh don’t be afraid

    If there’s a time
    And a place to begin love
    It must be now
    Let it go
    Set it free

    Oh I dreamed last night I was hearing,
    Hearing your voice
    Why did you say those things that have left me,
    Left me no choice
    When you told me we had the power
    Why did you tell me now was the hour
    But you don’t know how
    Oh let me show you now

    Like a bird on a far distant mountain
    Like a ship on an uncharted sea
    You are lost in the arms that have found you
    Oh don’t be afraid
    Love’s plans are made
    Don’t be afraid

    If there’s a time
    And a place to begin love
    It must be now
    Let it go
    Set it free
    Oh I dreamed last night I was hearing
    Hearing your voice

    Emotionally Ennis became more and more crippled by not being able to express how lonely he’d become, and silently in his room where no one could see, he’d cry sometimes while listening to that song over and over…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Enjoy this one, A new chapter to fallow tomorrow night…

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    Again, this was excellent, Jet….thanks. I hope you can print the rest of it by Thursday, otherwise I will be waiting rather imaptiently….I’m going out of town early Friday morning for about a week.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com Silas Kain

    If Jack only knew how much Ennis really loved him. **sigh** What would the neighbors think?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I’ll Try Chantal…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Well, it looks like this article was stolen too! I just found a word for word copy of it including the photo I created for it on another site.

    A lot of people seem to like my work, too bad they fail to mention I wrote the original article.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Well upon further investigation aside from a few fan sites that have quoted my word for word without crediting me, a tiwanese site is apparently translating my “novelization” into Chinese!

    I may have to stop.

  • just because

    No don’t stop!! I don’t think the movie was allowed to be shown in certain countries so they may be desperate to know the movie story.
    The last one was fantastic, or maybe I’m just a sucker for song lyrics…

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    Wow jet….well at least you know now that more than 4 people are reading this. But don’t stop now…..if anything, just post the rest to your own blog. You definitely have our attention.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    It’s an interesting feeling to be honored and pissed at the same time. Still no response of the offending website.

    I plan to write an article about it, which will probably be ripped off too!

    I’ve got my shrink appointment today, so I may only be able to post “My Dad was right!” my favorite scene, and that’ll probably be it. Look for it later this afternoon or tonight.

    More when I can…

    Have a safe trip Chantal!

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    I know the feeling Jet…

    And THANKS. We’re going to my mother-in-laws family reunion in Savannah, GA. It’s going to be hotter than holy hell, but I’m looking forward to the trip. The reunion itself is only a couple of days, but after that I look forward to just exploring Savannah and taking a TON of pictures.

    I was even thinking about doing like a photo-essay thingy, or maybe a travel-journal type article. I don’t know, we’ll see…it won’t be that easy to write AND shoot, all with 3 kids hanging around. But either way, I will have many many photos, so when I get them all up, you’ll have to check out my photo site.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Okay I’ll rush the next chapter through in about an hour or so, thanks Chantal.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Wednesday afternoon: new chapter “My Dad was Right!”

    Laying there exhausted and spent he sat up to spot the object of his fantasy riding through the brush halfway down the mountain trail and quickly dressed.

    He had about half an hour.

    Jack came lagging around 45 minutes later, groaning and tired as he dismounted, he complained, “I’m commutin’ four hours a day,” as he took a skillet of fresh cooked eggs, elk meat and fried potatoes, and a cup of coffee from Ennis. He added, “Come in for breakfast, go back to the sheep, evening’ get em bedded down, come in for supper, go back to the sheep, spend half the night jumpin up and checkin for coyotes. By rights I should be spendin the night here. Aguirre’s got no right to make me do this against the rules.”

    Because of the sexual dreams of which he had no name Ennis was now afraid of being alone in camp with Jack. Afraid of what “this thing” that’d taken hold of his thoughts and fantasies might make him do before he got it under control.

    If Jack wanted to be down here so bad, he’d have to be up there with the sheep.

    “You wanna switch?” offered Ennis. “I wouldn’t mind bein’ up there.”

    “That ain’t the point. Point is we both should be in this camp. Besides, that goddamn pup tent smells like cat piss or worse.”

    Ennis thought, “Damn! Try again.”
    “Wouldn’t mind bein out there,” he repeated the offer.

    Jack met his friend’s eyes, “Well, I’m happy to switch with you, but I’ll give you fair warning, I can’t cook worth shit. I’m pretty good with a can opener though.”

    Ennis responded, “Can’t be no worse than me, then.” scraping some potatoes out of the frying pan and handing the plate to Jack, avoiding his eyes.

    They spent the afternoon and evening, planning where to set up the camp next week, after they decided to move the herd to another grazing spot, and then around ten Ennis mounted Cigar Butt, who he’d judged to be a good night horse after checking his rifle.

    Jack joined him and warned, “You won’t get much sleep, I promise you that.”

    Ennis only grunted a response, clicked his cheek at the horse and silently rode off up to the sheep, carrying leftover biscuits, a jar of jam, and a thermos of coffee with him for the next day, saying he’d save a trip, and stay out until supper. He needed time to think this through.

    That night an odd sadness came over Jack as he tried to sleep. He couldn’t name it, but suspected it had to do with how good it felt to be around Ennis’ shy friendship. Them holding each other after Ennis bagged the elk, was more thrilling than he’d expected, and it seemed as if they didn’t want to let go of each other.

    It’d started as a game with Jack, like a child that wasn’t allowed to have something, so he was determined to get it by hook or by crook. In this case it was a smile from Ennis.

    All through the weeks they’d been up here, Jack would tell funny stories or just laugh hoping for del Mar’s smile, but never got one. Then they killed that elk. Jack found himself craving just being around the ranch hand, and was disappointed when instead of staying in camp, Ennis offered that switch derailing his hoped plan to keep them together more often.

    If he closed his eyes he could feel Ennis’ strong chest and back again, enclosed in his arms, thrilling as the sinewy muscles writhed beneath his touch.

    That night Jack did some gasping of his own, and it wasn’t from thinking about that pretty barrel rider in Childress. Just as he reached climax a gun blast sounded far in the distance in the direction of the sheep…

    Later the next afternoon, del Mar came back down the mountain, stripped off his shirt and began shaving. “Shot a coyote last night,” he told Jack, sloshing his face with hot water, lathering up soap, and hoping his last razor blade had some cut left in it, while Jack peeled potatoes. “Big son of a bitch; had balls on him the size of apples. Looked like he could eat a camel. You want some a this hot water? There’s plenty.”

    It irked Jack that Ennis bagged the damned coyote that he’d missed so many times. He gingerly picked up a can of beans that’d been heating on the grate and took the opener to it. The red sauce spat out of it as the opener pierced the tin, and sprayed all over him.

    “It’s all yours,” said Jack, indicating the kettle, clumsily dropping the can back down on the grate.

    “Well, I’m gonna warsh everthing I can reach,” he said, pulling off his boots, jeans and everything else till he was crouched naked at the fire, slopping the green washcloth lathered with soap.

    Jack began to panic, not understanding the strange desire he suddenly felt to watch Ennis as he rubbed and probed every part of his muscular body. It was a fight, but his eyes dared not move, but he could see him out of the corner of his eye, and nicked his thumb with the knife not paying attention to what he was doing.

    He cussed under his breath, and turned away to suck at it, drying it with his shirtsleeve.

    Without realizing it while his back was turned, Ennis had moved away, and Jack finally spotted him a few moments later, still naked, standing on a log bridge about to dive into the stream to rinse off.

    What he didn’t know was that Ennis had felt Jack’s attention, and began to harden. While the rodeo rider’s attention was diverted by the cut, the ranch hand fled to the stream.

    For a brief terrifying moment, his mind wandered to a scene he’d witnessed as a boy, of an old man who’d been beaten to death in a dried out irrigation ditch.

    The sound of the stream beneath him brought him back to reality, and he dove off the bridge to the cold mountain water.

    Later that afternoon, they got another campfire going to fight off the coming evening chill. Ennis would have to leave soon to go tend the sheep overnight, but Jack didn’t want him to go.

    Ennis had just settled down in front the flickering flames, warming his hands, as Jack returned from taking a piss. When Ennis looked up at his friend standing above him, Twist jutted his hips forward, proudly clinking the chromed prize bull-riding belt buckle with his fingernail.
    “You rodeo much?”

    Ennis shook his head no. “Not more’n once or twice. Couldn’t see the point in riding a piece of stock for only eight seconds.”

    Jack’s eyebrows rose. “The prize money’s a good reason,” he responded, pushing his worn boots closer to the fire to warm his feet.

    “Yeah, if you don’t get stomped to death in the process.”

    Jack shrugged unable to argue, because if he’d really been any good at it, he wouldn’t be here babysitting sheep.

    “My dad was a pretty good prize winning bull rider in his day,” Jack said kinda sadly. “But he kept the secrets to his success to himself, and never once came to see me ride.”

    Not wanting to see their conversation end, he thought a moment and then asked, “Your brother and sister do right by you?”

    Raising his galvanized cup of coffee to his lips to take a sip, Ennis paused in thought, and then replied, “Well, after my parents died, the bank took the ranch, and we was left with a coffee can with twenty-four dollars in it… I was fourteen then. I got me one of them hardship licenses so I could drive back and forth to high school, but the transmission went on the pickup, so there went any hope of graduating.

    “After that, we sorta moved around for a couple of years, and my sister married her a roughneck and they picked up stakes and moved to Casper. My brother and me, we got a job on a ranch near Worland, but then he got married when I turned nineteen, and… no more room for me,” he paused to take a sip of coffee and added, “And that’s how I wound up here.”

    Ennis looked up and saw Jack giving him an odd sideways smile, like the kind of look you give to a little boy who’s just said something cute.

    They locked eyes for a couple of moments.

    Ennis couldn’t figure out the look Jack was still giving him, and asked, “What?”

    Jack’s face broke out in a grin. “Friend; I believe that’s the most you’ve said at one time in two weeks.”

    Del Mar only shrugged, met his eyes and said, “Hell that’s the most I’ve said in a year,” and then added, “My dad, he was a fine roper… He didn’t rodeo much though; he thought all rodeo cowboys were all fuck ups.”

    Jack straightened, considered whether he’d just been intentionally insulted, and decided he hadn’t, so he responded smoothly with a sideways glance, “Like hell we are.”

    An uncomfortable silence ensued, that Jack felt needed broken, so he suddenly jumped to his feet, stuck his face down close to Ennis’ and abruptly yelled, “Yeeeeee Hawwwwww!” nearly startling the coffee out of del Mar’s cup.

    Moving around behind him, Twist started bucking his legs and jolting up and down like there was a bull under him, and called out, “There he is folks; world Champion bull rider Jack Twist!”

    Ennis grinned back at Jack, and shook his head disapprovingly, “There he goes!”

    Twist had his reward, Ennis’ laughing smile broad and happy and the sight of it shot pure joy through Jack’s body like good whiskey.

    Jack continued undaunted, jumped around backwards, waving his hat at an imaginary stadium full of fans, “He’s on a world record ride, folks, wavin’ at all the pretty girls in the stands and…”

    Suddenly he fell backwards, tripping over some camp supplies, landing flat on his ass to the clattering of pots and pans, with an embarrassed laugh.

    Ennis shook his head and called out over his shoulder, “I think my dad was right!”

    After another half an hour, Ennis got up and headed toward his horse, mounted it, and rode off up the mountain.

    Jack sat pondering the fire, wondering once again why he was so sad to see the ranch hand leave and trying not to admit to himself that he knew.

    The craving friendship that Jack felt for Ennis was love; it was the only word he knew that would fit. Jack had spent so much time wanting to please him, craving his approval, desiring his touch.

    Jack wasn’t queer, he knew that, but maybe he was a little, but only for Ennis.

    The ride up the mountain was spent humming a happy tune on the ranch hand’s part. They were respectful of each other’s opinions, each glad to have a companion where none had been expected. Ennis, riding against the wind back up to the herd in the hazy bright moonlight, thought he’d never had such a good time, and felt he could paw the white right out of the moon…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Okay, that’s posted Chantal, I’ll try to get another posted this evening. What to you think my chances of getting the unedited x-rated tent scene pivitol to the movie posted bast Mr. Rose?

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    I don’t know Jet…..depends on his mood, I guess. I’ll have to try to read it quickly before he deletes it!

    Thanks again, great as usual :)

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Still no response from my plagaritst. Alas. I’ll try to post another in a few, but the famous tent scene would take hours to edit, so I’ll have to forgoe it, since Chris as seen fit not to respond. Give me about half an hour or so.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    This chapter is the 2nd posted today. I call it “You Bet!”

    Meanwhile, Ennis settled into fatherhood and ranching, spending more and more time away from home and from Alma’s constant whining about wanting a better life. He’d even considered applying to work up on Brokeback again that next summer, but decided against it because the pay was better ranching.

    He bought an old ’55 Chevy truck that he barely kept running, and he had to use the emergency brake to stop with, but it got him back and forth to the ranch.

    Alma was always trying to get him a better job here or there, her latest with the local power company, but Ennis only remarked, “Hell, honey, as clumsy as I am, I’d probably get electrocuted.

    Things settled deeper into a pattern of church picnics, drive-in movies, eating cheap food, and barely making the bills.

    As things got more strained between them, Ennis found her a job working for Monroe at his food market down the street, figuring that it’d give him an excuse to be out working while she watched the girls and vise versa…

    …Near the end of the Rodeo season, Jack finally found the girl he’d been looking for in Childress. She had an expensive horse, and expensive car, and cheap tastes in men, fortunately for him.

    Only after he’d gotten her pregnant in the back of her father’s new Thunderbird, did he find out he’d hit the “mother load”. Lorene Newsome’s daddy owned a company that sold very expensive farm equipment, and after the baby was born, and it was a boy, the old man fell madly in love, bragging that the baby looked just like his grandpa.

    They of course named it after him-Robert “Deke” Newsome II.

    Deke Sr. rewarded Jack with a job selling combines to rich farmers, which kept him on the road a lot.

    Lorene’s nickname for Jack was “Rodeo”, and he became comfortable with it, until Deke started using it in an insulting tone, as if it was the ultimate put-down.

    In January of 1965 Jack got notice that he’d been drafted.

    Deke Newsome said he had contacts that’d help his son-in-law avoid winding up in Vietnam. He promised his daughter he’d try.

    Senior never lifted a finger; the best thing that could happen would for his little girl to be widowed by that loser. He’d be real pleased to have a dead war hero in the family, and she collect the war casualty and life insurance he had on him, and then start her life over again.
    Jack reported to the draft board for his physical and failed because of the rodeo injuries to his back.

    Of course, Deke took credit for keeping him out of the war, but a more resentful tone crept into his voice whenever he called him “Rodeo” from then on.

    Within the space of only three years of marriage, Jack was miserable, living under his wife’s and his father-in-law’s thumbs, despite the fine new modern house, a new truck, and the big salary.
    He started spending even more and more time away from home, selling.

    Little Bobby as he grew seemed to have been born retarded, and Old Man Newsome started calling him Rodeo Jr. instead of Bobby Junior, and didn’t seem to visit as frequently as he used to.

    Lorene began keeping the books for her father, and became good at running the day-to-day operations of Newsome Farm Equipment Company…

    1967 came, and Ennis was still ranching, and holding down odd jobs here and there. Alma took up a real friendship with Monroe, thinking it’d make her husband jealous, but it didn’t. She switched from working at the market, to Monroe’s Laundromat just downstairs.

    The girls had learned to talk, and Alma Jr. was looking forward to maybe going to kindergarten next year.

    Alma had done her best to fix up their new place, though it was obvious that Ennis hated it. The sound of the washers and dryers going at all hours in the dry cleaners below, was tough to handle for a man who was used to living out in the peaceful prairie.

    Mostly he’d come home for meals, catch up with “his girls” and then head out to a bar, unless he had to watch his daughters that night.
    Mostly he played pool, and shot the breeze, but did little drinking. He had few friends, because of his standoffish attitude and sparseness of words.

    He’d run into Joe Aguirre last fall at a church social, and introduced him to Alma and his family.

    Obviously the foreman didn’t remember who the hell he was, and didn’t seem to care. Even offering Ennis a job on Brokeback, which he turned down.

    After that incident, Jack began playing on Ennis’ mind. He hadn’t given Twist much thought in years, being too busy keeping his family fed, and settling on the excuse he’d never find him again anyway even if he did want to look him up-which he didn’t. He had too many problems in his life now, without trying to sort out feelings he didn’t understand.

    In the middle of June he climbed the stairs to his apartment, to find his wife cooking as usual and the kids playing loudly, and crossed the kitchen to wash his hands for supper muttering a hello to his wife, who didn’t answer.

    After a few mumbled sentences at each other, she asked, “You know someone name of Jack?”

    He froze a moment, as his face grew a puzzled frown. How the hell did she know about Jack? “Uh, maybe… Why?”

    “You got a general delivery postcard from him today, “ she replied, nodding to the counter beside him.

    He picked it up and his heart sang, though he wouldn’t admit it to anyone, much less himself.

    It said, “Friend this letter is a long time over due.
    Hope you get it. Heard you was in Riverton.
    I’m coming thru on the 24th.
    thought I’d stop and buy you a beer.
    Drop me a line if you can, say if your there, Jack”

    The return address was Childress, Texas.
    “Someone you cowboyed with?”

    Ennis blinked, and brought himself out of a fond memory. In reply he mumbled, “No, Jack’s mostly rodeos.”

    As he turned to walk toward the front door, he said over his shoulder, “We was fishin’ buddies.”

    He grabbed his hat and nearly ran down the stairs to his truck, leaving Alma wondering where he was going.

    Two blocks south, Ennis bought a plain pre-stamped postcard at the post office, jotted a quick “You Bet!”

    Then copied the address from the card, and dropped it in the outgoing mail slot.

    Within a week, cards were exchanged along with directions, and a date was set, though Jack didn’t know what time he’d get there.

    The day was hot and clear in the morning, but by noon the clouds had pushed up out of the west rolling a little sultry air before them. Ennis, wearing his best shirt, and clean jeans, had taken the day off, pacing with a beer back and forth, looking down into a pale with dust rear parking lot from his second floor window. Alma was saying something about taking his friend to the Knife & Fork for supper instead of cooking, it was so hot, if they could get a babysitter, but Ennis said more than likely he’d just go out with Jack and get drunk and that Jack wasn’t a restaurant type…

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    the Knife and Fork….so generic LOL

    thanks Jet….

    now I gotta scroll to fine the chapter that follows and read that again!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Sorry sweetie in both the book and the movie that’s what it’s called!

    Have a safe trip!

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    I know I know…..it just struck me as funny….

    it’s late, and I’m getting slap-happy

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    You DO know that two chapters were posted tonight right?

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    yup, I read them both….both were fabulous!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Okay, again have a good trip sweetie. I’ll work on editing a postable version of the chapter “The Tent” by the time you get back.

    Time to get out the thesaraus.

    Oy…

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    Jet & Chantal: I truly hope in #116/117 you’re both joking about the possibility of me deleting Jet’s work. I can’t imagine why that thought would even enter your heads. I’m a little hurt…

  • just because

    You have no idea how excited I was to see two more instalments! I even like your titles you give to the pieces. I am so glad to be able to read this :) Good luck with your thesaurus session.

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    Christopher….I know Jet is a little nervous about posting a particular scene…but yes, we were just being facetious…..no harm intended. :)

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Christopyer Rose #126. Sir, I don’t know if you saw the movie, but the tent scene contains rather strong sexual content, it’s the pivotal scene that the movie’s whole story line is based on and is about. It’s going to be impossible to post that chapter without elaborating on it. The aftermath of it (covered in Comment 18) is so powerful that the two main characters are needlessly afraid of eachother for fear that the other is about to kill him in reaction.

    For that reason, I was as concerned about offending you personally, as I was about my sincere respect for your position here at BlogCritics concerning posting something obscene.

    It’s impossible to edit this powerful scene down unless I posted one line “Jack and Ennis have accidental and drunken sex”, but as you can see several would rather I don’t edit it, so without your objection, I’ll post it as written with a strong warning at the beginning.

    Absolutely no disrespect was intended-please believe that.

    Jet

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Okay here’s fair warning. There are two scenes from this story that contain STRONG SEXUAL CONTENT and I’ll be posting them soon, They are important to the movie and is what the story is all about.

    One involves the first tent scene where Jack and Ennis get drunk and have sex, and the other is the next night when they make love and mean it then get caught by Aguire the next day.

    I’m waiting to see who has objections to my posting these unedited…

    Thanks…

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    Jet, as far as I know there is nothing in the comments policy that refers to what you may consider obscene. I for one do not find any kind of consensual sexual activity obscene so stop dithering and go for it…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Yes SIR, right away, SIR, at your leave SIR… and thanks

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    This is the imfamous chapter I call “The Tent”
    While I seem to have permision to post this I’m none the less going to warn you that the following has ***STRONG SEXUAL CONTENT***

    The Tent
    As usual this is based on Annie Proulx’s work and the movie screenplay…

    The next week, it grew warmer and they moved the herd farther up the mountain to new pasture. Their camp was now closer to the sheep.

    While getting settled in, Jack argued that they were far enough up the mountain, that if Aguirre wanted to check up on them, the distance’d discourage him, and that they could safely stay in camp together instead of one here and one there.

    Ennis disagreed.

    Afterward, del Mar busied himself setting up the camp tent, while Jack lay on his back against a log, lazily playing a harmonica.

    Between Jack’s sour notes, Ennis stood back, studied his work and said, “Damned tent don’t look right.”

    Jack paused playing long enough to respond. Without looking over his shoulder he replied as if he were bored with listening to him bitch, “Leave it be, it ain’t goin’ nowhere,” and went back to playing some barely recognizable tune.

    As he adjusted a pole further out, del Mar glanced over at the back of Twist’s hat and added, “That harmonica don’t sound right neither.”
    Jack stopped long enough to reply, “Well, it got kinda bent when the horse threw me.”

    Ennis chuckled and sarcastically objected, “I thought you said that mare couldn’t throw you.”

    Jack cocked his head back and declared, “Welllllll, she got lucky.”

    Ennis shook his head and countered, “If I’d got lucky, that harmonica woulda got squarshed too.”

    Jack thought a second and laughed, then went back to playing.

    Their friendship had gotten to the point where they could joke around and fling half-hearted insults at each other, and if felt good, damned good.
    They worked together through the afternoon, putting away the new load of supplies, and then settled down in a meadow that looked up into the mountains, sharing a bottle of whiskey.

    Jack pulled a squalling tune out of the harmonica, and finally gave up and put it away.
    After a good meal, Jack suddenly remembered it was Sunday, and almost startled Ennis sitting beside him off of his log, by yelling out an old hymn with dirge slowness.

    Ennis reached over and grabbed a twig and with a grin began half-heartedly keeping time banging it against the coffee pot. After another encouraged minute Jack ended it with, “…water-Walking Jesus, take me awaaaaaaaaaaay”, hoping it was loud enough to echo off a nearby cliff.

    Ennis pounded the pot enthusiastically out of rhythm almost as if he were applauding, remarking casually, “Very good.” and rewarded Jack with another warm smile.

    Twist took a swig from the second whiskey bottle they’d been sharing and nodded, “My mama taught me that… She believes in the Pentecost.”

    Ennis shrugged, took a swig of the bottle Jack just offered, and asked in a puzzled tone, “What exactly is the Pentecost? My folks were Methodists,”

    Jack seemed to be lost for an answer and frowned, saying in an embarrassed tone, “I… I’m not sure. I don’t know what the Pentecost is; she never explained it to me. I, I… guess it’s when the world comes to an end, and all us sinners go marching off to Hell.”

    Ennis scoffed, “Well, I don’t know. You may be a sinner, but I ain’t yet had the opportunity.”

    Jack raised his eyebrows and tossed the empty bottle towards the tent. He’d clean them up later.
    As the shadows grew longer, their friendship grew stronger.

    As the alcohol flowed, Jack wanted more and more to tell Ennis he loved him, but didn’t dare for fear of rejection.

    Night fell some time later, and after a few hours more of laughing and drinking, Jack began yawning loudly.

    Del Mar felt lightheaded and was shocked when a laughing giggle escaped his mouth. He gestured wildly toward the distant mountaintop, tried to get up, but settled for crawling toward his horse on hands and knees. Shaking his head in resignation, he paused worried he was about to fall over. “Too… it’s a… too late to go up to them damn sheep,” declared Ennis in a slurred voice, pointing vaguely towards the trail, dizzy drunk on all fours. In a low moan he tried to say upright and comically fell over on his side.

    The mountain cold had set in and they could see their own breath. By then the full moon had notched past two in the morning. The meadow stones glowed white-green and a sharp stiff wind worked over the wild grasses, scraped the fire low, and then ruffled it into yellow silk streamers. Somewhere in the distance a wolf howled out as if calling its pack and after a moment more joined in.

    Laying there, Ennis was nearly helpless to get up, but he managed to struggle to one elbow on his side and asked, “Got, I, You, Um you got a extra blanket? I’ll just roll up out here and grab four, uh forty winks, and uh, ride out at first light.”

    Jack shrugged and staggered toward the tent commenting, “You’ll freeze your ass off when that fire dies down. Better off sleepin in the tent.”

    “Oh, uh, I doubt I’ll feel nothin.”

    Jack shrugged, and went in, grabbed a blanket and tossed it to a crawling Ennis as he groaned, lost his balance and toppled over again on his side next to the fire.

    As a rack of wispy clouds threatened to obscure the full moon, an owl hooted. The campfire was now only dull red embers.

    An hour later, Jack got up and went out to lay tenderly outside beside Ennis by the campfire, pulling the blanket around them trying to warm his friend. Ennis rolled over in the cold facing him and kissed Jack, cupping his head tenderly in his palms. As they both shivered together Jack felt Ennis’ hand travel down his chest and begin to unbuckle his jeans. Transfixed, Jack began to harden. Suddenly Ennis begin gasping for air, moaning in pain and shuddering in full blown passion…

    Jack sat bolt upright, still in his tent. Covered in a cold sweat, and realized he was dreaming… another one of “those” dreams, and he cocked his head listening for what woke him up, but heard nothing but the wind.

    Just as he was about to lay back down and try to recapture the dream where he’d left off, Ennis groaned again and gave out a shivering breath through clattering teeth.

    Jack’d never get any sleep like this. Parting the tent flaps, he yelled out in an annoyed tone, “Ennis!!!”

    The ranch hand jerked awake, and in a shivering voice replied, “What?”

    “Jesus Christ, Ennis, quit yammering and get your ass in here. Bedroll’s big enough,” he yelled in an irritable sleep-clogged voice.

    In no position to argue, Ennis got up dizzily, grabbed his blanket, and wove to the tent, knocking over and spilling the coffee pot in the process, killing what was left of the fire.

    Inside the tent, Jack unzipped the bedroll, and after pulling off his boots, Ennis wiggled in. It was just big enough, and warm enough for two grown men to tightly fit in it, and they’d have to sleep intimately close.

    In a little while they fell back asleep.
    The full moon crawled farther across the sky outside, as the two young men dozed.

    With their combined body heat, in no time it got progressively warmer in there.

    First the extra blankets came off and were rolled up to make better pillows, and then their coats and eventually their shirts came off too. With the front of Ennis’ chest now pasted to Jack’s back by hot sweat, it was only natural in the name of comfort that sooner or later del mar’s arm came up and over Twist’s side and his palm rested across Jack’s pecs.

    Ennis felt his breath quickening as the friction of his hand began to harden Jack’s right nipple. Alma’s did that too, and for some reason he never knew that men got nipple erections, so he left his hand there.

    In the silence they both pretended sleep, but that wasn’t all that was hardening.
    Ennis’ gentle breath felt good on the back of Jack’s neck, and he snuggled closer in their embrace.

    Finally Jack could take it no more. He couldn’t understand the want welling deep inside himself, but he wasn’t going to fight it either. He groaned and moved his body up. Ennis’ hand absently strayed to Jack’s denim covered crotch.

    This time it wasn’t a dream.

    Jack took hold of it and pressed the ranch hand’s fingers down firmly against his rock-hard denim covered erection.

    Both stayed that way for what seemed like an hour, but was only a few minutes.

    In his sleep, Ennis’s hand traveled ticklishly up Jack’s abs and gripped his developed pecs one at a time, marveling again at how hard the nipples were.

    In his drunken slumber they were Alma’s tits.

    As Jack’s breathing became labored, Ennis’s palm slowly roved back down, and his fingertips probed inside Twist’s jeans just beneath his fly buttons. Ennis’s arms tightened around the desirable body he was blindly embracing, and as they did his hand slipped deeper until it rested over the pulsing, oozing head of Jack’s raging cock.

    Jack breathed a soft pleasured sigh and reached back to pull Ennis’ head forward, and felt the young ranch hand’s lips brush the nape of his neck.

    Half consciously, Ennis nuzzled him, moving his hand deeper, and left it there, until he realized where it was and what he was doing.

    Ennis jerked his hand away as though he’d touched fire.

    Within moments, unspoken, unplanned, and unhesitating, the zipper of the sleeping bag was torn open along with Jack’s jeans buttons.
    The hell with all this denying what they’d been fantasizing about for weeks now with no release.

    Ennis got to his knees, unbuckled his belt, and shoved his pants down. Then he hauled Jack by the hips in front of him onto all fours, shucked down his jeans and, with the help of the clear slick of pre-cum and a little spit, entered him from behind. It was something he’d done with Alma so she wouldn’t get pregnant before they married, so no instruction manual was needed.

    Ennis closed his pleasured eyes, still half asleep and it was Alma he was fucking, not Jack.

    They went at it at first in silence, except for a few sharp intakes of breath and Ennis withdrew completely and then reentered, both of them thrilling at the sensation.

    As the alcohol haze began lifting, Ennis realized it was Jack he was fucking, but it was too late to stop now, he was getting closer and closer; too close to stop now as that roaring tingling began building behind his pubic hair. The base of his cock felt white hot, and as it felt better and better, he became bolder and bolder, thrusting ever harder and faster determined to keep his manhood by completely dominating Jack.

    This wasn’t love, nor was it passion; just animal lust, drowned in mutual youthful loneliness and pure male horniness.

    Without knowing why, when Ennis felt close to shooting his load, he reached around and under Twist’s bucking hips to begin working Jack’s swelling cock because he needed and craved the thrill of holding it again. He couldn’t be sure over his loud breathing, but Twist seemed to be whispering, “Harder! Harder!”

    Ennis wasn’t clear if he wanted to be masturbated harder or fucked harder, so he did both.
    Their breathing got more urgent, and then their gasps came in unison as if they’d joined somehow and became one.

    Each time Ennis withdrew for another stroke, Jack pushed his hips backward to keep him in there, to not allow the contact to break, to make it last forever if he could.

    Jack thrilled that it didn’t hurt; not one bit. Ennis was rubbing Jack’s prostate from within, driving them both into a frenzy in ecstasy.

    Ennis’ hips rhythmically slapped against Jack’s ass cheeks loudly, and got faster and faster as did his fist around Jack’s throbbing erection.

    He worked on holding back shooting his load, until Jack was ready. It became important to him that they come together, to experience each other’s joy as one.

    Jack finally choked out “Gun’s goin off,” and Ennis screamed at the top of his lungs as he lunged forward in a final thrust and choked out more babbled gasps as his loins emptied, feeling as if he’d never stop cumming, fighting desperately to get his breath back.

    Jack felt as if Ennis was trying to crush him under his weight, and it felt thrilling, as if it was where he’d always belonged. Twist collapsed forward in a pool of his own sperm and at first faked sleep, and then dozed off completely spent, happier than he could ever remember being.

    Eventually, Ennis was so exhausted; he fell on his side away from Jack, and silently suffered the feelings he couldn’t name that most young men have after an orgasm.

    Confusion rocked his conscience until he eventually fell asleep himself…

    Ennis woke on his side in red dawn with his pants down around his thighs, and a top-grade hangover. It was then that he realized that he’d rolled over in his sleep, and was cradling a warm and naked body in his arms from behind. His morning erection was cradled in a tight warm place, and he moaned in sleepy pleasure remembering how he’d wake up like this with Alma, while still in her, still hard, then give her a few strokes till he came and…

    With a start, he realized who he was inside of, and carefully moved backward withdrawing, hoping not to wake him.

    Then he remembered what he’d done last night.
    Parting the tent flaps, he realized it was the next morning, and silently pulled his pants back up, fumbled with the loud belt buckle, then slipped out of the tent, feeling like an escaping rapist who’d fallen asleep with his victim and was fleeing before he was discovered.

    Jack crawled out a few minutes later, dressed to his hat and without even exchanging glances; he stood silently at the tent flaps, tucking his shirt in.

    The loud clack of the rifle as Ennis checked his ammo brought Jack out of his thoughts.
    Twist started striding towards del Mar’s back as he shoved the rifle into its sheathe on the saddle and mounted.
    As much of a question as a comment, Jack said softly, “See ya for supper.”

    Ennis spurred his horse, and took off toward the herd without a word, and barely a glance back.

    More racey stuff to follow…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I’ll repeat the warning about ***strong sexual content*** in the previous posting.

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    wow…ok, first off, that was awesome Jet…your words are so incredibly descriptive…somehow even better than watching the movie.

    secondly…I don’t think it’s as obscene as you were afraid of….it was beautiful.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I guess I’m more of a prude than I let on, if it weren’t for Mr. Rose I never would’ve posted it.

    Now do you see why in my mind I pictured Ennis thinking he’d raped Jack, and I used it as an explanation for why Ennis couldn’t stop saying he was sorry in that scene in the movie.

    More to come.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    The next chapter’s called “the lost sheep”, in which Aguire sees more than what was revealed in the movie…

    stay tuned.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    This follows the night they first made love in and I call this Chapter “Invisible”

    While I seem to have permision to post this I’m none the less going to warn you again that the following has ***STRONG SEXUAL CONTENT***

    INVISIBLE…
    In the next few love-hazed days they joined their souls and bodies, and admitted to themselves that that’s what had happened… but not to each other.

    There were many tender moments, like the morning Ennis found Jack asleep on his feet standing by the fire, and came up tenderly behind him, wrapped him in his arms and sweetly sang a lullaby that his mother had taught him as a boy, then pointed him toward their tent with a small push and jumped on Cigarette Butt, riding off to tend the sheep.

    As Jack watched him go he thought of him, realizing it really was “love” though he’d never dare speak it.

    Neither of them would.

    They never talked about the sex either, but just sort of let it happen, at first only in the tent at night then in the full daylight with the hot noon sun striking down and in the evening with the fire glow; masculine, quick, rough, laughing and snorting, no lack of noises, but without saying the one word they felt, but neither could say out loud… for it really didn’t need to be said.

    Oddly, the one forbidden thing that seemed to thrill them the most was kissing, which they did often.

    Ennis never did admit that most of the time he was thinking of Alma while they made love.

    Twist suspected it anyway and came up with a plan.
    Jack tried new and progressively more daring things, like making Ennis lay completely still on his back while he squatted over him, raising and lowering himself, jacking Ennis off with his tight throbbing ass. Another night Jack tried oral sex, but didn’t like it, but Ennis expressed how much he enjoyed it, saying it was like giving Jack his life to swallow, so Jack kept using it as foreplay and eventually got really good at it, even acquiring a taste for it (excuse the pun).

    Ennis had never volunteered to allow Jack to fuck him, so Jack never asked, though one night he tried to urge him over on his stomach to enter him, but Ennis resisted so he gave up quickly.

    Del Mar even tried giving head to Twist once and they wound up in an aggressive “69” that lasted half an hour, each competing with the other to bring his partner to orgasm first but hold off on his own climax. Both stopping just before the other came, making it last, but after that night, Ennis never offered again.

    As men, all men straight or otherwise, they had one overriding fear of not pleasing their sexual partner, so though they’d start something they didn’t particularly like to do, once started, they gave it their all for fear of failure.

    They’d blissfully created their own Eden.
    It was as if there were only the two of them on the mountain, indeed in the whole world, their souls soaring joyously high in the brisk mountain air, looking down on the hawk’s back spreading it’s wings far beneath, and the crawling lights of cars and trucks on the plain far below, suspended above ordinary affairs and distant from tame ranch dogs barking in the dark hours.

    They believed themselves invisible.
    They were wrong.

    They moved the camp again, even closer to the sheep this time, fire and all, not caring about the Forest Service rules, or what Aguirre would think. The little pup tent stayed permanently rolled up behind Ennis’ saddle.

    They hadn’t seen a single soul since coming up here anyway, and for some reason even the wolves stayed away.

    It had gotten to the point where they couldn’t stand to be apart for more than a few hours, and one or the other would come up behind him and give and affection hug, or a peck on the back of the neck.

    Usually both began tending the sheep together, always keeping the flock within sight of camp.

    Late one morning, Ennis came up from the stream naked from a swim, to find Jack making him breakfast. It’d bothered Ennis that maybe Jack resented their unequal sexual partnership, and long had tried to think of a way he could give of himself to show his appreciation.

    He’d been pondering the gift a long time, and though hesitant, decided today was the day to find out what Jack found so enjoyable.

    As Twist eyed del mar’s still wet naked body hungrily, Ennis spread out a blanket on the ground near the fire, and then gave him a seductive backward look of wanting as he lay spread eagle face down and waiting.

    Jack began breathing so hard, that he nearly fainted. Before he knew it, he too was naked.
    He knelt behind del Mar and was about to spit on his hand, and then had a better idea-he’d apply it directly, after all Ennis had just come from washing in the stream.

    As Ennis began to rise up on all fours, Jack gently laid his hand on his warm ass and pushed him back down to lay flat again.

    Ennis gasped as first Jack’s face made contact with his ass cheeks, then his finger touched his pucker. Then he realized it wasn’t Jack’s finger, it was his tongue!

    As he squirmed and moaned in forbidden pleasure, he didn’t want the sensation to end. Impatiently Jack straddled him, before either could change their mind, and pushed forward, entering Ennis, taking his time, and whispering tenderly in his ear.

    Ennis only exhaled once in the beginning through a tightly clenched throat, as Jack moved forward to lower his full weight onto his back. Del Mar was determined to hide the pain of entry as Jack’s rock-hard cock slid in, but he seemed to relax as Twist slowed his strokes and they both found joy as he repeatedly rubbed del Mar’s prostate from within.

    Ennis’ grunts and pleasure-filled moans thrilled Jack into an immediate early ejaculation. As he was about to withdraw, Ennis pleaded him to keep going and was temporarily mystified as Jack withdrew anyway.

    Suddenly Twist grabbed del Mar’s legs and playfully flipped him roughly onto his back. Ennis’ ankles went up onto Twist’s shoulders and he was quickly entered again. Pushing forward, Jack began slow thrusts nearly crying from ecstasy and pinned Ennis’ knees back against his own shoulders, craning his neck to hold their lips together in a fiery kiss.

    Jack continued his slow strokes for a long time and then tried something he’d only imagined yesterday, but never dared think he’d ever get the chance. If there’s one thing a rodeo bull rider has to be it’s limber, so without withdrawing he arched his back and kissed Ennis’ right nipple, then began working his way down and tongued del Mar’s glorious abs, and with a groan of determination, kissed the head of Ennis’ cock.

    “Ohhhhhhhhhh” Ennis moaned loudly in disbelief.
    As Jack’s back relaxed even more, he only partially withdrew his cock from where it was buried deeply and his encircling lips swallowed Ennis’ pulsating seven-inch rod down to its root, then held it until he began gagging, and as he pulled back, his cock penetrated his lover again to the hilt.

    He quickly picked up a seesawing rhythm swallowing then fucking, swallowing then fucking but never leaving his warm tight ass.

    Ennis began thrashing around, moaning and screaming for all he was worth, and somehow after what felt like an hour, but was actually around five minutes, Jack filled his ass yet again, as Ennis flooded his mouth to overflow.

    Neither had ever experienced such an intense sexual episode, and neither would forget it the rest of their lives.

    Jeck fell atop each Eniss in exhaustion for a long time, gasping for air, tenderly kissing and stroking, Ennis tasting his own cum on Jack’s lips.

    Around them the pines hissed, as the wind fragrantly swept through them and somewhere a crow cawed out.

    About fifty yards away, within the edge of the forest, Joe Aguirre sat astride his horse, watching them through disgusted eyes glued to his 10×42 binoculars.

    To the smell of burning eggs and sausage, Jack jumped up and tended to the skillet, as Ennis took another bath at the stream, then ran up to Jack, and they frolicked naked, playfully fighting over Ennis’ white plaid shirt.

    Aguirre watched for another ten minutes, waiting until they’d buttoned up their jeans and shirts,
    Only after Ennis gallopped off up to the sheep, did the foreman go slowly riding up to the camp while Jack was busy splitting firewood. He’d put another piece up to split and heard a noise behind him.

    The sight of Aguirre on horseback instantly washed the warm smile he flashed for Ennis away. He swung around startled and knocked the wood off the stump with his axe handle, as the foreman just sat and stared judgmentally from above.

    He’d come up to tell Jack that his mother had sent word that his uncle Harold was in the hospital with pneumonia and was expected not to make it.

    “Bad news,” answered Jack, nervously looking up at him still astride his horse.

    Aguirre pulled out a potent pair of binoculars and watched Ennis, instead of him, tending the flock only a few hundred yards away.

    “I guess there’s nothing I can do from up here,’ said Jack trying to recapture the foreman’s attention.

    Aguirre lowered his glasses and downwardly gave Jack a sickened look that nearly froze his blood. “Nothin’ you can do down there neither, unless you can cure pneumonia.”

    Jack nervously nodded, and Aguirre turned tail to ride slowly away without another word.

    Had he seen them?
    How long had he been there?
    Maybe he hadn’t, after all they hadn’t been fired on the spot.

    He didn’t even mention them switching jobs against his orders or breaking Forest Service rules by having a fire going this far up.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Well I’m glad no one’s been offended enough to post something. One more chapter to to…”The lost Sheep”

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com Silas Kain

    Um, Jet, pass me a towel.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Hey Silas! Glad to see your still around, what’d you think of the last three chapters???

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com Silas Kain

    Honey, I loved them! This last chapter had me panting. It was better than reading this month’s Cosmo or watching the porn version of JarHead. You see, had Jack and Ennis been real, I probably would have been very attracted to Ennis after Jack’s death. Ennis needed to find a way to fill the void Jack left behind. Some day I hope we come to learn how Ennis dealt with life after Alma, Jr. got married. Think you may tell us, Jet?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Believe ir or not, i’ve actually been considering it. Ennis is brought up on charges of murdering him by Randall who goes to the police after Jack’s death because he knew that Jack was going there to split up with Ennis.

    I haven’t thought it all the way through but it might involve Jack’s mother killing his father and trying to pin it on Ennis too, since he’s already being charged with Jack’s death, they might think if he’s guilty of one, why not another?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Um, Silas what’d you need the towel for? Ha ha

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Silas, I was only kidding, you’ll love the ending I selected, it’s comeing up after a few more chapters.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    New Chapter: Where’s Bo Peep When You Need Her?

    Late the evening of the twelfth of August, they were getting ready to ride up to the herd together when an intense lightning and hail storm hit without warning. Jack had to forcefully hold Ennis back from rushing out to the sheep. Within moments they were cowering under the camp tent being pelted with golf ball sized ice stones and feeling thunder strikes seemingly only yards from them, fearful that the steel tent support rods would act as a lightning rod.

    Later when it was over they rode up in the dark to find not a single sign of a thousand sheep, or where they’d gone. Ennis wanted to go look some more but Jack finally convinced him that it was useless until first light so they bedded down together, both barely sleeping after Jack told him about Aguirre’s visit and the binoculars.

    Their relationship changed after that.

    Jack gave of himself because that was what he came to enjoy not because he was the weaker.
    Ennis was still struggling with the sexual side of their relationship and eased off sexually, fucking him only occasionally.

    Ennis craved Jack stronger in a physical way, but Jack was more attached emotionally.

    As long as they stayed on the mountain, they fit together perfectly. The only thing that saved Jack from deep resentment at the new lopsidedness of it was the craving that Ennis always held in his eyes for him. Nothing else was really needed but the unexpressed and obvious want that they both felt deep in their souls.

    After an hour of tracking the next morning, they finally found the herd… sort of.

    The sheep had taken off west and gotten mixed in amongst a herd on another allotment. What followed was a damn miserable time over three days, involving Ennis and a Chilean herder with no English, trying to sort them out, the task almost impossible as the paint brands were worn and faint after so long.

    With Jack’s continued bitching about not being able to tell them apart, Ennis turned to see him dragging a protesting ewe by her hind legs toward a makeshift pen they’d set up.
    “This is impossible!” Twist loudly declared in frustration.

    Over the bleating, del Mar, yelled from his horse, “We gotta keep trying Jack. The least we can do is get the count right for Aguirre.”

    Jack went off running after another one, screaming, “FUCK Aguirre!”

    In the midst of lassoing one, Ennis answered out of breath, “Oh yeah right, fuck Aguirre, that makes sense Jack. What if we have to work for him again next summer, you ever think of that?”

    In a disquieting way everything seemed as mixed as those two herds. The next day they guided 990 sheep back to their own allotment. Midway there, Jack began playing his harmonica on horseback to keep from falling asleep in the saddle.

    Beside him, Ennis warned sternly with a smile, “You’re gonna run them sheep off again, if you don’t quiet down!”

    To which Jack only chuckled and kept on playing, sour notes and all. After a while, even the dogs began objecting in loud howls, and fearful of attracting attention from wolves, Jack finally put it away in his pocket.

    When they got back, Ennis decided to sleep with the sheep from now on, despite Jack’s objections.

    Two days later Ennis woke in his little pup tent with a start, to find his feet freezing cold. He stumbled shivering out in confusion to discover everything was covered in white after the first snow came early, piling up a foot in places, but was followed by a quick melt.

    He rode down the mountain to camp, only to find Jack undoing the straps on the tent frame, as he spotted the food, and their supplies all packed in boxes ready to be piled onto the mules.

    “What the hell? Why are we movin’ camp?”

    Jack looked over and said, “Aguirre came back up, told me my uncle lived after all, and said to bring them down.”

    “What? Why?”

    More to come..

  • just because

    I think the fact you writing follows the movie verison of the story makes it a really intense experience to read – all the images are playing in my head at the same time but, rich as they are, they are even more enriched by reading the words and the extra bits you have put it in. My heart was racing along ten to the dozen at those hot parts. Hot hot hot!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thanks JB, just wait till you see how I rewrote the end of this story, it’ll freak a few people out! That’ll be coming up soon, and let me say that I appreciate your posting something, I’m a little insecure about this whole thing and was starting to wonder if I were entertaining more than 4-5 people.

    Come on readers tell me what you think-or atleast that you’re out there?!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    “Just Because” 147-I promise the new ending I’m re-writing as we speak has nothing to do with comment 143 that was just to throw you people off. I should have it polished by Saturday night or sunday.

    Jet

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I’ll give you a hint, it explains why Ennis moved into a trailor…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    The big ending is coming soon, till then I’ll give you this chapter called “Thanksgiving”

    November of 1977, Jack returned home early from a fishing trip with Ennis, because L.D. “Deke” Newsome announced that he and his wife were inviting themselves to his house for Thanksgiving.

    On the way down from the mountains he stopped off at a department store and bought a set of new carving knives, and a fancy bone china serving set with an expensive sterling silver serving tray that he figured Lorene would like.
    Lately Jack had been getting along well with his wife after all the years of indifference.

    Twist began wondering if maybe the business disagreement she’s had with her father may have caused a little animosity between them. Jack backed her up on her decision not to carry a line of expensive farm equipment that only a handful of ranchers would buy and they’d make very little profit on them any way.

    When Deke went ahead and ordered 5 units costing nearly a million dollars, Lorene called the manufacturer and canceled the order.
    She and her father eventually made up, but Jack could tell that they were still pissed at each other.

    Last summer, Lorene’s mother began noticing Bobby’s slow behavior too and how he’d stare into space for long periods of time, and backed Jack up about getting him a special tutor.

    Deke must’ve noticed his wife and daughter had seemed to side with Jack and the resentment was building up over the previous two weeks. Jack figured Deke was itching for a showdown with his son in law and was no mood to go back under the man’s thumb, especially in front of his wife and son.

    He arrived around 11AM thanksgiving morning, having been delayed by road construction. The house smelled wonerful and he showered and changed quickly. He noticed his wife and changed hair color again, but rather than get into it with her, he barely mentioned it except to compliment how she looked, wanting to keep her on his side against her father.

    Her face lit up when she saw the serving set, and while her mother gushed over it, Newsome took the attitude he always had; anything Jack gave his daughter came out of the old man’s pocket whether Jack earned it or not.

    While Jack pulled the bird out of the oven and got things ready, Lorene quickly reset the table with the new dinnerware and called everyone in.

    Twist almost said something as he saw from the kitchen that Newsome had parked himself at the head of the table, but Lorene got up from her seat at the opposite end, said something in his ear, and he only grudgingly moved when his wife quietly prompted him.

    Par for the course.

    Jack settled for listening to the football game, paying attention just long enough to get the score before Lorene came in from serving some soup and kissed him, thanking him again for the new table settings.

    Twist smiled, at least he had her for an ally for a while, especially today.

    Jack picked up the fancy turkey and with a prompt from his wife screwed a half-hearted smile on his face and as he entered the dining room called out “Heeeeeeeere we are!” trying to sound like Ed McMahon announcing Johnny Carson.

    As Lorene took her place at the table, Old Man Newsome swiftly stood up and grabbed the carving knives before Jack had even finished setting it down at the dining table.

    In a correcting tone and a smirk Newsome announced, “Hold on Rodeo, the stud duck’ll do the carving around here.”

    Jack had expected him to pull something like that and rather than cause more friction than there was in the house already, had planned in advance to allow him the privilege. Lorene at the other side of the table pursed her lips but said nothing as if she’d expected it too, after her father tried to take over the head of the table.

    While her husband muttered something about saving his father in law the trouble, Lorene calmed down and redirected the attitude she was about to give her father to her son instead, who was watching the TV with a blank stare on his face.

    “Bobby,” she correctively warned, “if you don’t eat your dinner, I’m gonna have to turn that TV off.”

    Jack feeling need to reassert control in his own house stood up as his son began protesting in a spoiled voice, saying “Ah, now you heard your momma,” he said, walking across the living room. As he turned off the set, he said, “You finish your meal, and then you can watch the game.”

    Newsome watched resentfully as Jack returned to the table, after first resting a reassuring hand on his wife’s shoulder, who gave him an impish smile for standing his own ground.

    When L.D. Newsome was in a room, he was in charge damn it! Before Jack even reseated himself, Newsome put down the carving set and headed for the TV, flashing narrowed determined eyes at his daughter as he passed.

    Wanting to avert a holiday showdown, she asked “Daddy?”.
    Newsome ignored her.
    This time in a warning tone, implying she’d side with her husband if he didn’t stop now, she repeated, “Daddy.”

    As the set came back on, Newsome smirked directly at Jack and announced, “Hell, you don’t eat with your eyes do ya?” then with a dig directly at Jack he added, “You want your son to grow up to be a man don’t ya daughter?” and having gone that far cleared his throat at his son in law and added, “Boys should watch football.”

    The insult was clear and Jack avoided his wife’s eyes, played with his wedding ring and quickly stood up. He’d be damned if he’d let that bastard insult him in his own house, in front of his own wife and son.

    Getting up from the table, Jack quickly advanced back to the TV announcing in a barely controlled voice, “That boy is gonna finish eatin’ a meal that his momma spent three hours cooking FIRST.” Then hit the button shutting it off, slamming the little door shut hiding the controls, and then stalked back toward his seat.

    It was now obviously a showdown and Newsome was determined to assert his authority. Before Jack even took his seat, Deke had put the knifes down again and took a couple of steps with a smug look on his face back toward the living room.

    Suddenly from behind him Jack’s enraged voice yelled, “Now you sit down, you son of a BITCH!”
    Lorene’s mother’s jaw dropped, not knowing whether to cheer or cower in fear at her husband’s coming reaction.

    Newsome froze in his tracks, as Bobby and Lorene’s eyes both widened in fear.

    To his back, trying desperately to calm down, Jack announced, “This is My house, that is my child, and you are my guest. Now you sit your ignorant ass down before I knock you into next week!”

    Jack held his breath and surveyed the room for allies. Mrs. Newsome swallowed hard, Lorene had a “WHOA!!!!!!!!” look of allegiance with her husband, and had to bow her head to keep from cracking up. Encouraged, Jack looked over and found that Bobby was still staring at the dark TV in a trance as if he hadn’t noticed any of it.

    Daring to glance up at his father in law, Jack was as shocked as the look on Deke’s face.
    Almost meekly, L.D. turned tail and sat back down beside his stone-faced wife.

    Fighting from fainting, Jack stood and grabbed the carving knives as Lorene gave her son a proud “See?” expression to her son indicating his father. Obediently, Bobby picked up his spoon and started eating his soup.

    The rest of the meal went in near silence.
    Jack knew he hadn’t heard the end of it…

    Ennis had no serious hard feelings towards Monroe after Alma married him, just a vague sense of getting short-changed, and showed it was all right by accepting the grocer’s last-minute invitation to Thanksgiving dinner with them, sitting between his girls and talking horses to them, telling jokes, trying not to be a sad daddy.

    It was obvious that Alma didn’t like the idea at all of him being there, but went along with it for the sake of the girls who missed their doting father.

    He saw she was pregnant, about four, five months, he guessed.

    Over the loud clatter of the electric carving knife that Junior had bought her stepfather for his birthday last week, they had a nice dinner, and though Monroe was polite, he mostly stayed a quiet host.

    After the pie, while the girls and Monroe watched a skating competition on TV, Alma got Ennis off in the kitchen, and while she scraped plates into a bowl, said she worried about him living all alone and that he ought to get married again.

    “Once burned,” he said, leaning against the counter, feeling too big for the room.

    He dug at her, so she decided to return the favor.
    “You still go fishin with that Jack Twist?”

    “Not often… some,” he lied.

    He thought she’d take the pattern off the plate she was scraping.

    “You know,” she said, and from her tone he knew something was coming, “I used to wonder how come you never brought any trouts home. You always said you caught plenty and you know how me and the girls like fish. So one time I got your creel case open the night before you went on one a your little trips—price tag still on it after five years—and I tied a note on the end of the line. It said, ‘Hello, Ennis, bring some fish home, love, Alma.’ And then you come back looking all perky, and said you’d caught a bunch a browns and ate them up. Do you remember? I looked in that case first chance I got and there was my note still tied there and that line hadn’t touched water in its life.”

    “That don’t mean nothing Alma,” he warned in a low tone

    Alma realized suddenly she’d gotten in over her head and began breathing heavily in fear, tears dropping from her eyes, “Don’t lie, don’t try to fool me no more, Ennis. I know what it means. Jack Twist? Jack Nasty. You didn’t go up there to fish you went up…”

    She’d overstepped his line. He seized her wrist and twisted; tears sprang and rolled, a dish clattered to the floor.

    “Shut up,” he said through gritted teeth. “Mind your own business. You don’t know nothin about it.”

    “I’m goin a yell for Monroe.”

    “You fuckin go right ahead. Go on and fuckin yell. I’ll make him eat the fuckin floor and you too.” He gave another wrench that left her with a burning bracelet.

    Working his way loose of her, he fled the kitchen as she screamed in tears, “Get out, Get out of this house!” repeatedly.

    On his we through the living room he shoved his hat on backward, gave Monroe a wicked warning look that kept him seated and slammed out the front door to the sound of Jenny and Alma Junior trailing after him calling out “Bye Daddy! Daddy?”

    In a rage, he drove through the snow towards town and found a bar, but was too pissed to pay attention, and crossed the road right in front of a pick up truck. Past caring, he tried to punch out the cussing driver, and got flattened on the street in a fight he couldn’t win.

    Rubbing his wounds, he picked himself up and went into the Black and Blue Eagle bar that night, got drunk, had a another short dirty fight, and left.

    He didn’t try to see his girls for a long time, except to pick them up for visits. He figured they would look him up when they got the sense and years to move out from Alma.

    As the years passed, Jack and Ennis were no longer young men with all of it before them. Jack had filled out through the shoulders and hams; Ennis stayed as lean as a clothes pole, stepped around in worn boots, jeans, and shirts summer and winter, adding a canvas coat in cold weather.
    He still looked youthful at first glance, but you could see that loneliness had weathered him.

    Years on years passed, and always they made the pilgrimage to Brokeback together.

    Down in Texas Jack’s father-in-law retired permanently and gave Lorene control of the farm-equipment business. She showed a skill for management and hard deals. Jack found himself with a vague managerial title, traveling to stock and agricultural-machinery shows. He had some money now and found ways to spend it on his buying trips. A little Texas accent flavored his sentences, “cow” twisted into “kyow” and “wife” coming out as “waf.”

    Then Randall came into his life…

    The ending is next, I’m still editing it, I hope you like how I take it beyond the shirts…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    This is the next to the last chapter and it’s completely of my own invention, only Ennis, Carl and the situation are Annie’s…

    if you haven’t yet I also posted Thanksgiving above..

    uh fasten your seatbelts…

    MURDERER!

    Three weeks after Ennis’ visit to Jack’s parents, Twist began coming to him in his dreams. It was always the handsome Jack, the lithe muscular Jack, and the young happy Jack. Sometimes the dreams were of them making love on the mountain. Other times they were often of cans of beans resting on the log next to a camp fire and suddenly the spoons would turn into tire irons flying through the air at them. He’d be walking down a country dirt road and Jack would be tied to a fence dead, and further down he’d find himself beaten to death in a drainage ditch.

    He’d wake up from them in a cold sweat; sometimes his pillow and sheets would be soaked more often than not with tears.

    After three nights in a row, Ennis couldn’t stand it any more and set out for Lightning Flat one evening to steal Jack’s ashes from that damned family plot and take them back to the mountain where they belonged.
    Only then would he have peace…

    …Jack hadn’t been back to the trailer in years and hung around the front steps smiling at the old cracked wooden sign held onto the front door with four rusting wood screws. He remembered as a kid taking a week with his brand new wood burning set to make it for the door as a Father’s Day present. It read, “TRESPASERS WILL BE SHOT-SOLICITORS WILL BE SHOT FIRST!”

    Over the years the portable office trailer had become rundown and moved a couple of times and now sat empty in the back parking lot of a new hardware store. His watch said 10:00AM and he hoped Lorene would hurry up. He had to be up on the mountain in a couple of hours.

    He looked up at the sound of a police car pulling around the back of the store and stood up as it stopped beside him.

    A spry woman commented “Hey gorgeous!” and grinned jumping out of the squad car with her walkie-talkie squawking. Her blond hair was tied up in a neat bun and out of force of habit she reached back in for her nightstick, rolled her eyes and tossed it back on the seat.

    Lorene had been on the Signal police force for 7 years, looked about 28 even though she’d just turned 35 and while she knew it was hopeless, she always flirted with Jack, touching hips or giving him a sexy come-on look.

    Jack smiled at her pouting lips as she blew him a kiss and he asked, “D’ya bring it?”

    She showed lots of teeth and sarcastically remarked, “No, dumb ass, I just come to flirt with you!”

    Jack mouthed a silent “Oh” and shook his head as she headed to the trunk and pulled out a big pair of bolt cutters.

    Reaching them to him, she squeezed the trigger on her shoulder mike and called the desk to say she’d be busy for about 10 minutes.

    Looking expectantly at him, Jack turned and pulled the long wide handles together piercing the masterlock holding the door closed in its hasp.

    Handing them back, he said, “Thanks”

    She nodded, tossed them in the trunk and joined him on the stairs as a loud overhead siren on a pole began blaring a few blocks west of them. She glanced at him and said, “That’s probably going to need me, so hurry up!”

    Someone needed the volunteer fire department.

    Jack picked up an old cardboard box, and pulled on the office door. It creaked on long unoiled hinges and they climbed the three steps to enter.
    The old office was musty and dark, as the windows had been papered over, so they set out pulling newsprint off the windows.

    Looking around she noticed the wood paneling had been warped in a few places from a roof leak and it smelled moldy in here. “Anything we’re looking for in particular?”

    Jack just shook his head; “We haven’t used this in years. We’re selling it for scrap, so I figured I’d check for old family photos and stuff.”

    All the drawers of the desk had been pulled out but one, and were empty except for useless pieces paper. The old dial phone still sat on the desk with its cord wrapped around it, as did the ancient lamp and a half-full old bakelite ashtray of cigar butts.

    Outside the siren wound down as the sound of a fire truck went screaming down the road heading south.

    The walls were bare of photos and the file cabinets stood empty.

    Jack walked around the old desk and pulled out the middle drawer.

    With a grin, he grabbed a handful of old bic pens, “Hey Lorene, you’re always complaining about losing pens right?”

    She chuckled and took them from him, leaving the trailer to put them in her glove compartment.
    Outside she listened to see how far away the sirens had gone; they seemed like they were headed a few miles out of town.

    Climbing back into the trailer, she noted that Jack now had some Business Association plaques and awards in the box, and seemed to be staring at a little newspaper clipping that had been raggedly torn out.

    “What’s that?” she asked.

    Jack looked incredibly sad, and with a frown said, “It’s an obituary.”

    “Your dad’s?”

    “No… it’s for a guy I spent a summer with up on Brokeback… uh the summer of 1961…”

    Lorene’s car radio squawked.

    She turned and glanced out the door, “Gotta go… You okay?”

    Jack nodded and said, “Sure. Get out of here.”

    She grinned and jumped in her squad car.
    He rushed to the door and yelled, “Thanks for the cutters!”
    She beeped her horn and waved as she turned the corner.

    He looked down on the little piece of newsprint and as he pulled the door closed with the box under his arm, he looked again at the obituary, all of three lines long.

    A far way look crossed his face as he locked up and he said softly, “Jack Twist,” shaking his head.

    Hardly a week went by when he didn’t remember that summer, or his first love…

    Lorene was within a mile of her call at an outlying ranch when a brand new Ford sedan literally flew past her the opposite direction doing at least 100 MPH or more. Like an expert, she pumped the brakes twisted the wheel in a perfect “bootlegger’s turn” and went after it in hot pursuit siren blazing…

    Ennis drove home through the night empty-handed, suffering from a bad decision blaming lack of sleep. He’d driven north determined, but he’d changed his mind at the Twist mailbox.

    As the sun cleared Brokeback Mountain he crossed Signal’s city limits. He paused at Higgin’s gift shop for a cup of coffee and another tank of gas and was on his way by 10:30 AM after using the payphone to call Carl Scrope to tell him he couldn’t make it in to work today, but got no answer at his house.

    About half a mile from home, he began smelling smoke, and rolled the window down to sniff.

    Up ahead through the growing haze, a couple of fire trucks were in the wheat field putting out what was left of a very large grass fire. He pulled down the dirt road leading to his house and slammed on the brakes.

    His home of ten years was a pile of smoking embers, flames still flickering from the charred mound.

    Up ahead a county police car blocked the lane, so he pulled over into the grass and got out to walk the distance.

    A handsome cop in his late twenties in a county uniform came hiking up to him as he surveyed the damage.

    It looked like a total loss.

    “Mr. Del Mar?” the officer asked carrying a clipboard with a sheaf of papers on it.

    Ennis absently nodded, still staring at his destroyed home. Behind him in the field, fire fighters sprayed down the grass yelling instructions to each other. About 500 yards in all directions was flat, black, scorched and smoking.

    Suddenly his eyes widened in panic and he yelled, “The horses!”

    The officer grabbed Ennis’ arm as he turned to run, “Whoa! They’re okay, they’re okay; they’re safe Mr. Del Mar!”

    Ennis let a relieved sigh escape him and seemed to deflate.

    As the fire squad got control of the last of the grass fires and started working on what was left of his house, the cop got del Mar’s attention again. “Where have you been Mr. Del Mar?”

    Ennis blinked a puzzled look at him, “Uh, up in Lightning Flat; I had some business up there; why?”

    The officer jotted down something on his clipboard, as del Mar’s boss Carl came driving up in his white Chevy pickup.

    Slamming the door closed he surveyed the damage.

    They’d made up as friends again, after Scrope split up with Cassie. It was impossible to tell if he was being sarcastic, pissed, or concerned as he asked, “You been smoking in bed, Ennis?” scratching his handlebar mustache.

    Ennis turned to the cop, “When did this happen?” he asked, as Carl joined him.

    Scrope looked over at the house and nearby barn in ruins. “Looks like you lost everything.”

    The cop looked up from his writing, “About 45 minutes ago,” and returned to scrawling something on the page.

    How could the fire have spread that fast?

    Carl squinted suspiciously at the officer, “What’s with all the questions?”

    The young cop looked up, set eyes on Ennis and said, “Arson.”

    Both men backed up half a step in surprise.

    Before either could respond, the cop added, “According to the Lieutenant over there, someone doused the house, the barn and the surrounding grass with kerosene and lit it.”
    As that sank in, he added, “Whoever it was, let the horses out before torching the place, so he was gunning for just you; Mr. Del Mar.”

    Carl looked over at Ennis, “Who’d want to burn you out, or kill you?”

    The cop’s walkie-talkie squawked and he turned his back to speak into it.

    Mystified Ennis only shook his head.

    Carl looked over to watch the firemen rolling up their hoses and storing them on the trucks. “What’d you lose?”

    Thinking back to the two shirts and a toy horse and rider in a grocery bag that never left his truck, he replied, “Wasn’t anything worth stealing; just changes of clothes a spare saddle, and a cheap stereo and even cheaper TV, and some old record albums.”

    A sound of a car approaching caught everyone’s attention, and they turned to see a city squad car approach. Coming to a stop at their knees, a pretty blond woman in uniform got out.

    A dark figure sat quietly in the caged back seat.
    The county cop replied, “I think we’re about to find out.”

    She ushered the men out of earshot of her car, “Hey Bob,” she smiled at the officer.

    Glancing over she asked, “Either of you Ennis del Mar?”

    Ennis nodded, “I am.”

    She handed the cop a sheet of paper. He read it quickly and his eyebrows jumped. With a questioning look he nodded to her squad car and the man sitting in the back.

    She nodded, “In his pocket. I brought him up here because I stopped him in a rental car for speeding about five minutes ago and he had 6 five-gallon gas cans in the back seat, all of them empty.”

    The cop handed the paper to Ennis, as she showed the officer the prisoner’s driver’s license.

    Ennis’ jaw dropped; it was a photocopy of county court records showing the address he was mailing child support payments from.

    In a rage, Ennis yelled, “Monroe you son of a bitch!” and they all grabbed him before he could stalk over to the squad car.

    Breathing hard, he shook loose and stood still, red faced, shaking with rage, and muttering, “Son of a bitch” over and over.

    Lorene frowned, “Monroe?”

    Both officers looked at each other.

    Both grabbed one of Ennis’ elbows, looking back at Carl to join them in case they needed help. As they paced back to the patrol car together, del Mar was instructed to look down and away from the car, which he did.

    Reaching it, she said softly, “Okay, Mr. Del Mar, I want you to turn slowly and tell me if you recognize this man.”

    Ennis looked up and laid eyes on a complete stranger, about his age with a dark well-trimmed beard.

    The man frowned out the closed back window, and through the cage between the seats he asked in an unsure tone, “You’re Ennis?”

    Del Mar frowned and nodded.

    Flashing into a rage, the man in the car began struggling in his cuffs trying to kick out the window with the heels of his cowboy boots. “Son of a bitch-you killed Jack! He killed Jack that son of a bitch!”

    As the car rocked back and forth on its springs they all jumped back.

    Lorene swiftly and smoothly pulled a little bottle from her belt and jumped into action, squirting pepper spray through the open front window and into the back.

    As he continued screaming and coughing out his accusations, everyone turned to Ennis.

    “Murderer!” he whimpered.

    The county cop asked Ennis, “Want to tell me who he is now?”

    Carl looked over at Ennis quizzically because the implication from the cop was that Ennis was lying about knowing him.

    Totally aghast Ennis only shook his head unable to take his eyes off the stranger still struggling in the back of the rocking car, “Ain’t never seen him a day in my life.”

    “MURDERER!”

    They turned to Carl, “You?”

    “KILLER!”

    Scrope only shook his head not taking his eyes off of del Mar.

    Lorene handed Ennis a Texas driver’s license.
    The name on it was Randall K. Tanny…

    “YOU KILLED JACK YOU SON OF A BITCH!”

    I better hear some comments, or I’m not posting the final chapter…”and I ain’t foolin'”

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Oh Siiiiilas, there’s going to be a quiz on tonight’s two chapters!

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com Silas Kain

    Oh my God!!!!!!!!! Randall thinks Ennis killed Jack! This is good. Give me more, Jet.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thanks Silas. Unfortunately BlogCritics limits the size of the images I can post, for big enhanced photos of the three award winning kisses click my url and then click the title of this article on the side bar.

    More to come
    Stay tuned…….

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com Silas Kain

    Jet, you’ve brought more ‘pleasure’ to me lately than my partner ;)

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Glad you enjoyed it, I just hope you’re not the only one. Did you get a chance to check out the blow ups I enhanced from screen captures of those kisses?

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com Silas Kain

    Yes, my darling, I did. You’re quite the one! I’d venture to guess that there are many of us who have been sucked in by your interpretation. It’s beautiful, touching and sensual. Three qualities that you obviously bear as well.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Why thank you, can you imagine what I’ve put poor Mr. Rose through sifting through all this?

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    It doesn’t bother me in the slightest Jet, I really don’t know where you get that from…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Nothing personal Chris, it’s going on 7Am here in ohio and I suffering from insomnia and haven’t been to sleep yet, though God knows I’ve tried.

    Is there a site where I can log onto and hear you sing me a lullaby?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    that and I can’t get the thought of God as a hermaphodite out of my head…

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    He could have been in the Rocky Horror Show!

    By the way, I seriously doubt it will help you sleep but if you want to take a peek into my head, listen to Alienboy’s
    World Sounds Like This
    and see my favourites here…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Mr. Christopher Rose, you are cool and thanks for the links! Didn’t know you had it in you! Ooops bad pun…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    My that was fun!

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    Pandora has totally rekindled my sense of joy and surprise in hearing music, which had become a bit jaded over the years.

    The system encourages you to start loads of separate channels but I like pushing all different kinds of music together so my one and only station is NEVER boring!

  • melissa

    hi… I found this wensite by accident, i was downloading some bbm wallpaper for my brand spankin new computer..
    oh my god… what a thrill
    it’s like finding out there was really another book..
    i saw bbm for the first time on video a month ago and it’s changed me forever..
    I gotta say thanks
    getting to read this made my whole week
    i feel like i’m gonna be crying over bbm forever

  • melissa

    just to let y’all know, i’m female, 26, and a ft student in Indiana, USA
    also i am computer illiterate.. what is a URL?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Dear Chris, thanks for the suggestion about Pandora, I’ve heard of them and will check it out.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Dear Melissa, thank you, sorry the chapters aren’t in order, but I really hadn’t planed to post them here, but some really nice people encouraged me, so I did.

    I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’ve written several articles about BBM, so I guess people consider me an authority on it, but really I’m just a fan.

    Several people (a blind one in particular) found that Annie Proulx’s short story didn’t explain things far enough, and the movie couldn’t show what was going through the character’s minds.

    These ramblings are based on my perception of Annie’s fine work and the work of the screenwriters and the actors.

    I’m just sort of like the guy who stands on the side during a speach and signs for the deaf.

    Again let me thank you for your kind words.

    A URL is a link that takes you to another site. You can click on someone’s in the tan box and it usually takes you to their own blog site where you can get information on the writer. You add your own by putting it in the box below your name, and ckecking remember name/URL so you don’t have to keep retyping it.

    On mine, if you click the URL in my box, then click on the title of this article you’ll find three bigger images of the famous kisses.

    Thanks for contributing
    Jet

  • melissa

    rock on
    thanks jet
    i don’t have a blog or anything like that but ever since i saw bbm, i’ve been haunting the internet for more info, pics, whatever
    i swear, i can’t get this story out of my mind
    i watched it every night for three weeks
    i finally realized that i have to limit myself or i’m gonna go crazy
    thank god for summer vacation
    truly thanks so much
    i feel like ennis and jack are a part of my life now
    i’ve never felt this way about any other movie, book, whatever, i was so happy when i went online and realized that i was not the only one affected this way.
    your words are beautiful, just like the love between ennis and jack
    you are a truly gifted writer

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Bette I’ve always been a huge fan of yours, and I couldn’t be more honored if Marilyn Monroe herself were reading along with me as I type out my little story here.

    I checked your link and will explore your website more when I get a chance, though I already have all your letters.

    Till then I promise you will absolutely not be disappointed by how I end this story beyond the scene with the shirts.

    I’ve loved you since the Devine Miss M concert.
    I’m just gushing all over and that you’d pick my little article on Gay Pride week!!!!! of all times.

    Say hi to Sophie for me
    xxxxxxoooooo
    Jet

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com Silas Kain

    Gay, bi or straight, who really cares these days anyhow.

    Lord knows I don’t. If this is the Divine Miss M, Ruth’s daughter, Delores DeLago the Toast of Chicago, Trash with Flash, Vicki Edyie, let me say you have been my fairy godmother since I was 14 years old. Further, I’ve met you twice, been to many of your concerts and I proudly wear your face in the form of a tattoo on my left bicep.

    And, Jet, the more I learn about you the more I realize that we have myuch more in common than I ever could have believed. You married? Wanna get married?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Silas, I’ve had to slpit the final chapter in two because of its length.

    Part one is entitled,
    “If you can’t fix it, you’ve got to stand it” and will be posted witnin the hour of this comment.

    The epilogue pulling everything together with my imagined ending will be posted sometime tomorrow.

    Brace yourself, if you thought the last chapter I invented was good you ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Even if I do say so myself.

    In about an hour then…

    PS, no I didn’t really think that was was Miss m.

    Here’s my favorite joke of her’s.

    As Sophie Tucker:

    I wss out in the back yard hanging out the wash minding my own goddam business, and my friend Clementine comes up to me and says “Soph?”

    “How is it that you always know when it’s going to be a good day to hang out the wash without being rained on?”

    I said Clementine that’s a perfectly simple proposition. The first thing in the morning, I roll over and look at my boyfriend Ernie’s uh “ahpendage”

    If it’s laying on the right I know it’s gonna rain, if it’s laying on the left I know it’s gonna be a sunny day.

    She says “Oh Soph, what if it’s standing up straight in the middle?”

    I said Clementine who the hell what’s to do laundry on a day like that?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Okay, Sunday night monday morn 12:15 AM. Part one of the final chapter.

    All characters are based on the writings of Annie Proulx, the situations are mine…

    “IF YOU CAN’T FIX IT, YOU’VE GOT TO STAND IT.”

    For the next few months as the court case waited to be heard, the story was hushed up in the papers, but people still whispered about del Mar being a homosexual, and about the circumstances of his house being torched.

    Ennis remembered back to a camping trip with Jack where he asked, “You ever get the feeling when you’re in a bar or someplace in public… that people know your secret? And when you get out on the pavement, they’re all looking at you like they know too?”

    Jack had offered to help Ennis move to Texas, but del Mar turned him down.
    As with all people who lose a loved one, he started asking “what if”. What if he’d taken Jack up on the offer, what if he’d shown Jack how much he loved him, what if he hadn’t walked away from him without a word the last time they spoke?

    What if…

    Tanny’s fit was to try to distract the cops from looking too closely into his past, but it didn’t work.

    Lorene discovered that Randal Tanny’s name was actually Malone. He and his wife were con artists who hustled rich couples into having affairs and then blackmailed them out of anything they could get. Tanny-aka-Malone had been on the run for five years after being convicted of murder in Idaho and escaping enroute to prison with the help of his “wife” who it turned out was actually his sister.

    He pled guilty to arson and attempted murder and was sentenced to 25 years, only to follow his life sentence for the Idaho murder. His babbling sister Lashawn was never heard from again and is still wanted to this day.

    The police investigated Malone’s accusations and found them groundless. Del Mar had dozens of witnesses willing to testify that he’d been on Scrope’s farm non-stop helping to birth calves for five solid days without leaving once, covering the time of Jack’s death.

    Up in Lightning Flat, they re-opened the coroner’s investigation into Jack’s death, which had originally been ruled an accident. A week later it was mysteriously closed again. Rumor had it that L.D. Newsome had used his political influence to see that it ended quickly, “For the sake of the still-grieving Twist family.” Without a body to exhume, there wasn’t much point.

    In a bit of fitting poetic justice, Lorene Twist and L.D. Newsome died the following week when his private jet crashed into Brokeback Mountain during an early heavy snowstorm on the way back from a Republican fundraiser in Montana.

    A month later, Ennis rented an old trailer way out in the middle of nowhere. It was basically one long room with a tiny bathroom at one end, a cubby hole for a bookshelf and some knickknacks over the back window, a kitchenette in the middle and a little living room up front. The couch was the kind that folded out into a little bed.

    For gays, the 80s were a good time to come out of the closet everywhere but the Rocky Mountains. Still, those who knew him well, treated Ennis fair, and Carl even gave him a raise and promoted him to ranch foreman.

    Ennis had struck up a close friendship with Officer Lorene Olsen to the point of becoming hunting buddies, and they’d often be seen out dancing at the bar, or just sitting and talking in town somewhere. When it came time to move she offered to help him, but he didn’t have anything so it wasn’t necessary.

    In the week that followed, he didn’t spend much time at home, though he wanted to. Except for some mismatched glasses, plates and coffee mugs the 30-year-old trailer had everything he thought he needed.

    Ennis folded Jack’s shirt down inside of his, reversing them so that now symbolically Jack was within his skin. They were the only things hanging on his living room wall.

    When Lorene visited, she asked him about them, eyeing the bloodstains suspiciously, and he said they were souvenirs from a hunting accident a long time ago when he’d been nearly gored by an elk, which was partially true.

    Daughter Jenny, now seventeen, came by and took him shopping for some clothes and stuff that he’d lost in the fire. Monroe sent along an old portable TV and a clock radio with her, and she spent the evening puttering around, threatening to make new curtains to replace the drab miss-matched ones he had and the ugly Venetian blinds.

    Ennis laughed at her when she seemed a little intimidated by the large assortment of butcher knives on his counter for carving up prime beef he’d infrequently bring home with him.

    She too eyed the shirts, so he moved them to the inside of a wooden wardrobe cabinet in a far corner of the trailer.

    When the postcards of Brokeback Mountain finally came in, he bought one for 30 cents and neatly tacked it up next to the shirts on the inside of the door, wishing he had one of Jack’s old ones that he’d carefully saved, but that’d been lost in the fire.

    The shirts and the spirits encased in them kept the dreams away when he was home. When he was out on a roundup or on the ranch, they came back, so it was hard for Ennis when he was away from the trailer.

    Word came that Alma had lost Monroe’s second baby at birth and had nearly died herself. Ennis sent her an 8-week-old kitten from one of the barn cats on the ranch, and Monroe half-heartedly bitched him out because she spent the rest of that day bawling over it.

    Ennis lived his whole life by a phrase his mother once taught him, “If you can’t fix it, you’ve got to stand it.”

    Life went on.

    Early one morning Ennis had just come from the ranch after spending a rough night with some newly bought horses. After making a detour to pick up some supplies and finally getting around to buying some numbers for his mailbox, he came home tired and hungry. He parked a couple of bottles of whiskey in the fridge with some eggs, sausage and bread, and sat down on his couch and instantly dozed off.

    As usual the dream was of holding Jack in his arms while they peacefully slept in the tent by the stream the last day they spent together on Brokeback Mountain.

    Sometime around noon, he woke with a start.

    He yawned and stretched and was about to get up when a car door closed outside. Frowning he got up and looked out the window, stretching his mouth with a tear filled yawn. He frowned at an unfamiliar middle-aged man in a black suit and tie who was walking toward his front door, but at the last moment he detoured to the other side of the truck.

    Ominously, he checked something in his inside breast pocket.

    Someone was sitting on the passenger side, but he couldn’t make out who.

    He’d seen that truck before.

    Suddenly his breath caught and his lungs froze.
    It was Jack’s truck!

    As quietly as he could he stooped low and grabbed the revolver out of the kitchen counter drawer, making sure it was loaded. Crawling back to the window he peered out and his jaw dropped at what he saw…

    …Alma Junior rushed around the apartment in her bra and panties looking for Kurt’s shoes.
    When she’d turned 18, she rented the apartment above Monroe’s laundromat, the one she grew up in. She’d fought long and hard with her stepfather about moving out on her own, and he finally compromised with her by offering her the place almost rent-free in exchange for managing the laundromat. Having long-since become friends, Ennis backed Monroe up on the decision.

    A tall lean 22-year-old blond guy came out of the bathroom. He wore only a pink towel barely clutching around his trim waist, a worn green John Deere baseball cap, and a toothbrush sticking out of his mouth.

    Alma had been dating Kurt Rose for about a year now and had secretly lived with him since April.
    He mangled a question around the toothbrush, “You seen my blue plaid shirt?”

    She sauntered up to him with a grin and ran her hand over his densely furry chest and down ticklishly over his washboard stomach. “You don’t need one with all this.”

    “Ha, ha.”

    His towel dropped to the floor as he reached into his jeans hanging over the back of a dinette chair. Pulling out his wallet, he handed her a ten, then turned around and dug his keys out handing them to her.

    For some reason her eyes weren’t meeting his at that moment and he laughed while pulling her chin up with his index finger and kissing her full on the mouth.

    As his hand caressed up her side and fondled a Playtex covered breast, he said with a growl, “I like how you make me feel like a man.”

    Intentionally not answering him, she frowned at the objects he’d handed her and asked, “What’re these for?” already knowing the answer.

    “Bob’s coming to ride me out to the rig,” he responded picking the towel back up and slinging it over his shoulder. “Get gas while you’re over there; you got the car all day today.”

    This had been an ongoing fight between them over her repeatedly putting off telling her father they were engaged.

    As he went back into the bedroom naked carrying his jeans he called over his shoulder, “And wear that ugly blue ‘Little House on the Prairie’ blouse I hate so much; the thing with all the little girl ruffles and no neckline.”

    Alma rolled her eyes at the ceiling.

    There was no use arguing with him…

    …Jack’s mother Martha stepped down from the truck, the stranger reaching back to carefully close her door. At the front bumper, she said something softly to him, and after a glance at the window Ennis was peering from, he nodded and got back into the truck.

    She wore an old but well kept cloth coat over a black dress and black flat-heeled shoes.

    Stunned, Ennis put the gun quickly back in the drawer, opened his door and offered a hand down to her.

    Before moving, she looked up at him and asked politely in a meek voice, “May I come in?”

    Ennis nodded and carefully escorted her up.

    Nervously watching her seat herself on his unmade bed he asked, “Uh, can I get you something; some coffee maybe?”

    Martha answered, “No, my nephew and I ate on the way down here.”

    Ennis glanced out the window at the truck and sat down opposite her.

    At a loss they both waited for the other to speak as her nervous eyes darted around the room.

    Silently del Mar thanked God he’d put the shirts in the wardrobe out of sight.

    “I come to tell you that my husband; Jack’s father’s dead. We came directly here from the burial.”

    Stunned Ennis paused and muttered, “I’m awful sorry ma’am to hear that. Jack always said he was a good man, and a good father.”

    She shook her head no, “No… no he wasn’t Mr. Del Mar.”

    “Ennis, please Mrs. Twist.”

    The soft sadness with which she expressed them didn’t near match the words she said, “He was a cold self-serving son of a bitch, who lived and died without a heart.”

    She nodded, becoming more uncomfortable. She seemed to be trying to say something else even more painful, and fought to keep her calm.

    Ennis waited patiently.

    Eventually she asked, “You still have them shirts?”

    Ennis’ eyes widened and he responded softly “Yes ma’am.” Getting up silently, he crossed the trailer and brought them to her without being asked.

    She gently took them and silently wept, while Ennis told her where he’d found them and after asking him, he explained that the blood was his and exactly how it got there.

    He thought he owed her complete honesty.

    Composing herself, she told him that Jack had turned his room into a shrine to Ennis. She’d even found a piece of notebook paper in his wastebasket on which he’d repeatedly signed Jack Twist-del Mar over and over on both sides of the page.

    Then she told him of the awful day when she’d come to the kitchen door after hearing something strange and of witnessing her son being brutally beaten to death.

    A long uncomfortable silence followed.

    Outside her nephew started up Jack’s truck to get the heater going against the chill.

    She fixed him with a lost look and said, “My upbringing won’t let me understand… but I have to know Ennis.”

    Ennis’ lower lip trembled.

    “Did you love him?”

    Ennis bowed his head and swallowed hard, “Yes ma’am, I did.”

    It was the first time he admitted that to anyone, even Jack.

    “Then don’t be ashamed of it.”

    Del Mar looked up to be captured in a mother’s eyes.

    “His awful wife Lorene, she waited till the day of the memorial service to tell me that she was keeping half his ashes. I begged her to allow me to divide them up and the mortician gave me a nice can to put them in. I went out back behind the funeral home and scooped up some sand and put it in her half.”
    Before Ennis could digest that, she added, “My husband buried sand in the family plot too.”

    It took a moment for what she’d said to sink in. “You mean you have all, uh all of, you’ve got?”

    She nodded, “I’m his mother. I didn’t want him cremated, but John and that awful L.D. didn’t want no evidence.”

    Ennis got up and put the shirts back where they belonged, nearly knocking the postcard off its tack in the process.

    As he passed through the kitchen, he nearly paused at the fridge for a whiskey, but thought better of it. Out of consideration for her he didn’t reach for a smoke either, but wanted one badly.

    Martha stood, sniffed and stared directly into his eyes with a determination that surprised him.
    “Jack wanted to be scattered on Brokeback Mountain; didn’t he?”

    Ennis nodded, “Yes ma’am, he did.”

    She nodded with a determined look, “Write me down your address and the address where you work.” She glanced around and didn’t see a phone. “Give me your work number and your social security number so I can send you them registered mail.”

    Ennis nodded and then frowned, “Them?”

    “I’m sending you Jack.”

    The room began spinning and Ennis was fighting back tears, so far successfully, but barely.

    Scribbling everything down that she’d asked for, he handed her the paper.

    She got up slowly and seemed at peace.

    Meeting his eyes again she stunned him with a look of sheer determination. “Swear to me you’ll take him up there like he wanted, come Hell or high water Ennis, come Hell or high water!” she spat out as though the anger she felt toward her husband was releasing itself at him.

    With a trembling lower lip, he nodded in a reassuring voice, “I swear.”

    Startling the hell out of him she repeated loudly in his face, “Promise it like you mean it damn it, this is my son, my only baby we’re talkin’ about!”

    Ennis straightened, met her searching eyes, and repeated, “I swear, Martha, with all my heart and soul.”

    She lurched forward and clutched him with surprising strength, sobbing into his chest.
    After about five minutes, she nodded and let go.
    Ennis opened the door and escorted her to the truck.

    Just before she closed it, she said, “Get some numbers on that mailbox; I don’t want him in no dead-letter office for eternity.”

    Ennis nodded and they drove away without another word.

    The sun came out and brightly warmed him and the wind.

    Ennis took that as a sign.

    Back inside, he put some coffee on to boil, and searched around the junk drawer.

    Back outside he stuck the lot numbers for the trailer on the mailbox he’d brought from the old place.

    As he stood back to judge, unsure if the numbers were big enough, because they’d suddenly become very important, he heard the sound of a car pulling up behind him.

    Turning he spied a new brown Camero Z28 and squinted in the open front window as he recognized the driver…

    MOre tomorrow…

    I hope you enjoyed, if so please give an insecure writer some encouragement…

    Love Jet

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I think the response is TYVM, but I’m not sure.

    Thanks for contributing…

  • just because

    The Thanksgiving scene – tremnedous. So great to be able to read it played out, so many emotions, so harrowing. And the ending, what a ride! I don’t want it to end though :(

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com Silas Kain

    Oh Jet, I hate you. No I love you. What a story. Gimme more!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thanks Silas and “Just” So how many instantly figured out the Jack and Lorene weren’t “the” Jack and Lorene? and how long did it take?

  • melissa

    i loved it .
    thank you

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Writing out what I imagine happened after the sad end of the movie is no easy task and has taken a lot of thought and sore fingers, I still want to proofread it first and that means walking away for a while. I promise I’ll post it early this evening without fail

    Stay tuned…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    The Final Chapter, dedicated to Annie Proulx in two parts both here.

    If you don’t got nothing, you don’t need nothing

    Back outside another bank of clouds seemed to be trying to organize without much success. It’d gotten cold again as he stuck the metal lot numbers for the trailer on the mailbox he’d brought from his old place.

    Deep in thought he wasn’t actually smoking the burning cigarette he had in his mouth.

    Unsure if the numbers were now big enough, because they’d suddenly become very important, he walked away around 10 feet and looked at them again, ignoring an unfamiliar car on the dusty road that ran through the trailer park.

    As he squinted at the silver stick-on numbers and decided to get bigger ones tomorrow, he heard the car pulling up behind him.

    Turning he spied a new brown Camero Z28. He ducked down and squinted into the open front window as he recognized the driver.

    “Well hey there Junior!” he said, giving his daughter a surprised if not distracted smile.

    She got out of the car giving her beloved dad a big hug. Though she was a young woman now, she had her mother’s height and the top of her head barely reached his chin.

    Releasing him she gestured at the chariot she’d arrived in and asked, “Like the car?”

    He gave her a half-hearted “Yeah,” indicating it was okay for her, but he’d never own one; preferring trucks. “Is it yours?”

    This was a good enough time as any to introduce the name, so she replied instantly, “Kurt’s”

    Playing the typical father who never knows what’s going on, he protested in an unsure puzzled voice, “Well I thought you were seeing uh, uh Troy?”

    “Troy?” she replied in a miffed tone and then protested, “Daddy that was two years ago!”

    Having fun with her was a familiar pastime between them, so he made a point of half-heartedly ignoring her face. Pretending to be fascinated with the car. Pointedly not paying attention to her, he nodded absently.
    As he fought to keep from cracking up, he began seriously sizing up the suped up little Chevy, and wondered if it might have too much power for his little girl to handle.

    Absentmindedly he asked, “Troy still playin’ baseball?” as he continued to enjoy the sarcastic ignoring game he was playing with his first-born

    A little annoyed that he seemed to still be paying more attention to the car than her, she replied tersely, “I, don’t know what he’s doing, I’m seeing Kurt now.”

    He gave a hint of a sly smile and asked, “Well what does Kurt do?”

    “He works out in the oil fields.”

    That got his attention. Putting a gentle hand on her shoulders, he remarked skeptically, “He’s a ‘roughneck huh?”

    Seeing straight through his attitude, she chuckled, “Yeah,” and began heading to the trailer’s door with him accompanying her.

    Voicing a respect for her he asked “Well I guess you’re nineteen, you can do whatever you like; is that right?”

    Taken back a second at the fatherly deference, she replied, “Sure!”

    Inside he hung up his hat as she sat on his bed next to an unused box fan on a portable stand and pulled off her sweater, placing it on the bed next to her, revealing Kurt’s hated blouse.

    For this she needed to be as prim and proper as possible.

    While Ennis busied himself pouring a couple of cups of coffee for them, she nervously scanned the room.

    In an attempt to distract herself from the nervous announcement she’d come to make, she remarked, “Daddy; you need more furniture.”

    Carrying a pair of mismatched mugs, he handed one to her.

    A scant hour ago Mrs. Twist sat in that same place and as much as changed his world as he knew it.

    Handing her one, he sat opposite her.

    To distract himself he replied, “Yeah well… if you don’t got nothing, you don’t need nothing,” in a resigned tone opposite her.

    Alma Junior always brought out the young man in him and for a brief glimpse the worries and heartaches of the past few months left his face and he looked the part.
    Junior briefly got distracted by a full rack of big butcher knives in a stand behind him, and nervously played with her cup.

    Her father could read her like a book, instantly knew she had something important and maybe difficult on her mind, so he inquired, “So what’s the occasion?” with a half-hearted stern look.

    No turning back now.

    She looked into her mug then at her father. fearful of dropping it out of anxiousness, she clutched the cup with both hands and tried to be casual, “Me and Kurt… we’re getting married.”

    She felt lost as her father’s face turned to stone.

    For him, all the years flashed by in the blink of an eye. Her birth and his dreading this moment from that day forward, and as if written in his eyes, the objections painted his face.

    He remembered using her mother to cover his affair with Jack, of John and Martha Twist’s loveless marriage, and of Jack using Lorene for her money in an unfeeling partnership.

    This was his little girl, the one he cherished above all else in his life, and now another man threatened to tear her away from him. Before he’d let that happen, he had to know she was safe from the fate he now lived.

    Struggling for the words, he leaned forward, still looking like he was no younger than Kirk and probably knew all of her fiancé’s secrets too. “Well, how long have you known this guy for?”

    “About a year,” she answered. In his pain-filled eyes as she spoke, she watched him suffer and knew why, having witnessed her parent’s turbulent marriage. She bravely continued, “The wedding will be June 5th at the Methodist Church. Jenny’ll be singin’ and Monroe will be catering the reception.”

    She’d hurt him and knew it in his hesitation. She’d unintentionally just let it slip that he was the last to know, not the first as it should be.

    He showed her how much he loved her by voicing his only true concern, “This Kurt fella, he loves you?’ he asked meeting her eyes.

    Her face lit with hope and she knew she still had her father’s love as she replied with a half smile, “Yeah daddy,” she assured nodding, “He loves me.”

    As a man, he knew he’d never make it through that wedding. He studied out the window as if seeing all of his pain on a billboard outside. His whole life he’d never let anyone see inside him, not even Jack.

    His silence was cutting into her heart like the knives she kept staring at behind him.

    Bowing, and then deciding to face him head on, she looked at him again. He was still staring out the window. “I was hoping you’d be there,” she speculated nervously.

    A lame excuse came to him off the top of his head and he mumbled and stammered out softly, “Uh, I uh, think I’m supposed to be in a roundup down near the Tetons.”

    They looked everywhere but at each other. He’d given his blessing… sort of, but wouldn’t participate.

    Suddenly their eyes met. She looked away and then bowed her head in disappointment.

    Ennis wouldn’t let her suffer with her love as he had his.

    Painful as it was, he came to a decision and silently put his cup down.

    The fact was his daughter was a woman now, a full-grown woman.

    Silently and without explanation, he stood up and turned his back to her.

    Her eyes silently began to flood at his apparent rejection.

    Midway to the kitchen Ennis looked back at her and as casually as he could, he gestured with his hand and asked, “You know what?” Then reaching the ancient refrigerator he pulled out a bottle of whiskey and gestured it at her with a neutral expression. “I reckon they can find themselves a new cowboy.”

    He’d so carefully phrased what he’d just said, she found herself not knowing how to react.

    Then it hit her.

    He was pouring a toast, and it meant he not only approved, but he’d attend despite how difficult it’d be.

    Suddenly her heart filled with relief as she reaffirmed the treasured love of her father.
    He continued, “My little girl getting married… Huh?” as he poured out the liquor into a couple of mismatched glasses.

    Carrying them over he handed her the bigger more fuller of the two and sat down, still trying to hide his approval, unable to defy her loving smile.

    He raised his glass to her and toasted, “To Alma… and Kurt.”

    They clinked glasses and her eyes widened comically after she swallowed hard and gasped.

    For the next half hour she told him everything he knew about her boyfriend, even spilling that she’d been living with him.

    Ennis took it in stride, admitting he’d lived with her mother months before they wed too.

    Watching her drive away in a throaty roar of the powerful engine and a cloud of dust, he turned to walk past the mailbox, making a point not to notice it.

    Everything that had happened this morning weighed heavily on his mind as he headed back to the trailer, closing the door securely behind himself.

    Images of his unexpressed love for Jack filled his mind as he shuffled through his home and hung up his hat on a nail.

    On the couch was Junior’s forgotten sweater, and he needlessly rushed to the door to call after her, but she was gone.

    Gone just like Jack was, he thought as he pulled the door closed again.

    He neatly folded it under his chin, inhaling at the smell of her face powder and perfume, and walked over to the wardrobe, opening it to push his daughter’s sweater onto the top shelf.

    He came face to face with his love’s shrine and he remembered his promise to Martha Twist.

    As if to make sure his lost love’s spirit remained locked in that denim, he clicked the snaps on its chest closed.

    Reaching to straighten the postcard his eyes filled with tears.

    Just as he had earlier promised his mother, he would now repeat it to Jack. With an aching heart he declared out loud, but just barely above a whisper, “Jack… I swear,” as his sinuses completely clogged.

    Closing the door revealed a vista of flat expressionless land, completely opposing the mountains he saw in his mind’s eye.

    He spent the rest of the day thinking of Jack and listening to the record player, selecting guitar instrumentals, later switching to a Willie Nelson album.

    …feeling old
    …and remembering.

    …Two weeks passed by, filled with wedding plans and Jenny fussing with him over getting off his ass and buying a suit for the wedding. Monroe and Alma finalized it by threatening to bar him from the church if he showed up wearing jeans.

    Jack’s ashes never arrived, though Ennis rushed home twice a day in case UPS or FED EX had left a note while he was away, but nothing came.

    At work he even made it a point to call the post office with no luck.

    Lorene Olsen accepted an invitation to be Ennis’ partner at the wedding a month in the future, and pledged to give their limo a police escort siren and all from the church to the reception hall.

    Life went on.

    Both Ennis and Monroe walked Junior down the aisle.

    Ashes to ashes…

    Late on a hot afternoon, Ennis stood trying to reach an itch in the small of his back and wasn’t succeeding. Standing at the corral fence on the Scrope ranch, a hand suddenly eased his agony and he groaned in pleasure.

    He turned to find a young short-haired brunette smiling at him. The 20-year-old was a shirtless stunner in painted-on jeans, his thin tanned skin vacuum sealed to deeply creased muscles.

    Billy was completely straight, but loved cock-teasing Ennis, and it was something everyone on the spread grinned about, even Ennis.

    “Thanks,” declared del Mar gratefully as he flexed his shoulders.

    “Karl wants you up at the house, Mr. Del Mar,” the kid said flashing a sexy grin.

    Reluctantly tearing his eyes away from the lithe young man, Ennis muttered, “Thanks.”

    Indicating a couple of mares being exercised in the middle of the fenced off area, he added with a nod toward them, “Keep an eye on them for me.”

    Billy nodded and climbed to sit on the top rail.
    Ennis headed away from the barn and toward the house shaking his head.

    Since turning forty a few years ago, it still irked him to be called “Mister” del Mar, and made him feel old.

    Rounding the corner on foot, he spotted Jack Twist’s truck parked in front of the main house and a shiny new black Cadillac sedan.

    Entering the house, Carl looked up from his newspaper and silently indicated the den with the nod of his head.

    Inside the wood paneled room, he found Martha Twist’s nephew behind the desk. He stood and offered his fist as del Mar entered.

    “Mr. Del Mar,” he said politely shaking Ennis’ hand. “I don’t believe I introduced myself the last time we met. I’m Silas Caine, Mrs. Twist’s nephew.”

    He indicated the chair and Ennis sat down facing the desk.

    “I’m also Martha Twist’s lawyer and executor.”

    He nodded and suddenly frowned. “Executor?”

    Silas glanced up in surprise; del Mar didn’t know.
    A cat unexpectedly rubbed up against Ennis’ left ankle and he absently reached down and petted the purring animal.

    Recovering from the distraction, Ennis met the man’s eyes expectantly.

    He swallowed hard. “My Aunt Martha put a gun in her mouth last week Mr. Del Mar, and pulled the trigger.’

    Ennis’ jaw dropped in astonishment.

    “She left two envelopes on her kitchen table,” he continued, “One addressed to me and one to you.”

    He reached into the breast pocket of his brown suit and pulled a white envelope out; Ennis’ name hand scrawled across the front in a woman’s scrip.

    He fondled it absently and set it down on the desk unopened.

    “She had no living relatives except for me, and so the week before she took her life she set out reassigning ownership of all the properties she inherited from my Uncle John.”

    He paused as a sad expression crossed his face. Swallowing dry, he met Ennis’ eyes, “I had no idea she was going to do that, none at all… May I call you Ennis?”

    Ennis nodded absently.

    Caine continued, while opening an envelope containing a sheaf of paper stapled together with a shiny red seal affixed to the top page.

    Indicating it, he said, “She didn’t want to leave a will that’d take forever to clear the legal system, so she transferred ownership and power of attorney over to me and a few friends in advance of her death.

    Del Mar’s head was swimming trying to understand.

    Caine continued, “Also in my envelope was a confession that she’d poisoned her husband over a long period of time since Jack’s death with tiny amounts of cyanide, letting it build up in his system gradually until he died of it. The reason she gave was that my Uncle John had participated in cousin Jack’s death with the help of L.D. Newsome.”

    Indicating himself, he said, “I’ve been assigned the task of gutting her house of all or her possessions and distributing them to her close friends from church and a couple of neighbors.

    Afterward, I’m to oversee the burning down of that house, being sure it’s completely destroyed.”

    Ennis’ eyes widened in shock, barely digesting the news, and still lost, he framed the nagging question in his mind, “Well, why are you telling me all this?”

    Silas smiled understanding and as he handed him the documents he explained, “It was her wish, Ennis.”

    To del Mar’s questioning look, he nodded and then as if reciting from memory, “She has assigned you a task, of which she indicated to me that you swore to complete.”

    Ennis interrupted, “Uh I can’t Mr. Caine; I never got the… a package she was supposed to send.”

    Her nephew bowed his head and a frown crossed his face. Daylight dawned on him and he understood, “If you’re referring to a burial urn, it’s out in his truck, Ennis,” he shrugged and then added, “Uh excuse me, your truck.”

    She’d left Ennis a thoughtful and practical gift-Jack’s truck!

    “I, uh I don’t know what to say Mr. Caine,” he replied in a stammer. “I’ll cherish it forever, I promise you that.”

    Silas stood up, “You didn’t let me finish, Ennis.”
    Del Mar looked up in puzzlement.

    Caine reached across the desk, and laid his index finger on del Mar’s envelope.

    Ennis opened it and tried to read it, but it was all in legal-speak and he could neither make heads nor tails of it.

    Understanding, and being the one that had drawn it up for her, Silas told him, “On the completion of the task that you swore to do for her, and on the condition that it forever remains under the same name…”

    Ennis squinted at him, “The same name?”

    From just outside the office door, Carl yelled out in frustration, “Will you shut up and let the man finish a sentence! DAMN!, Ennis!”

    Appropriately chastised, Ennis looked expectantly back at Silas.

    Caine declared flatly, “From here you’re directed to drive Jack’s truck to Brokeback Mountain to scatter my cousin’s ashes. The moment they touch ground up there… you Ennis, become the sole owner outright of the Twist Ranch…

    …it was good truck, and since Jack’s death someone had carefully maintained it in top condition.

    Ennis was impressed.

    He looked over and over at the carefully packed container with Jack in it, made of blue porcelain. Someone had taken some gold paint and in fancy script had lettered Jack Edward Twist 1944-1983 across it. Ennis spent the whole trip feeling its presence in the cab of the truck.

    It’d become such a distraction that he had to get out and place it carefully in the foot well of the back seats, encased in foam peanuts in a little cardboard box.

    He hadn’t been up this road in a year, and at reaching the end of it, he was surprised to find a Park Service fire watchtower on tall log stilts with a lookout nest on the very top of it towering over the pines. It was located in the very place where he and Jack pitched their tent every year at the edge of the water.

    The dirt road leading to it had been paved in asphalt and the stretch to the water’s edge overlooking their beloved mountain was now a public parking lot, with a few coin-activated binoculars on elevated stands for people to look out over the vista.

    Standing at the base of the tall wooden structure, there was a patch of ground about 40-foot square of grass where the support logs had been driven securely into the ground.

    Ennis considered climbing the narrow zigzagged stairs to the top and scattering the ashes to the wind, but was too weary to attempt it.

    He settled down on a bench facing away from the plot of grass and decided that was indeed exactly where their tent used to be.

    It had to be here.

    Maybe he’d save some and scatter it up where they used to pasture the sheep. The forest service no longer allowed grazing in the state park, so it’d probably stay relatively undisturbed.

    Up near the timberline where the snow began to touch the pines, a bare patch was evident even from this distance. Though the previous spring had brought new growth, it was obvious, even at this distance that it must’ve been where Newsome’s plane hit and burned before snowmelt snuffed out the flames.

    Grudgingly he had to admit that this was an ideal place to put the lookout tower if they wanted a good vantage point to spot fires on the mountain.

    Surveying the surroundings, he knew he had to hurry up before someone came along. He didn’t know the legalities of spreading human ashes on public land, but he didn’t want to risk it.

    Walking slowly and thoughtfully to Jack’s beloved truck, he opened the back door, carefully pulled the urn out of the box and paced back to the spot in the exact middle of the grass directly beneath the lofty platform.

    He closed his eyes and said the Lord’s Prayer.

    It took him a second to figure out how to open it, but once he did, he stared fascinated at the sight of Jack’s remains.

    Something was stealing his breath away, as if Jack had come back from the dead and was sitting on his chest.

    Nodding after deciding to save half for the spot where they made love the first time in the high pasture, he hesitated and pushed his hand into the gritty ashes.

    A roar filled his ears as his fingers touched something solid inside, and he jerked his hand out quickly, fascinated by the tan dusty grit that came out with it.

    A tooth, a piece of bone, or his wedding ring?
    Again he pushed his hand in and pulled out a piece of lead with a number stamped on it; A crematory serial number to keep track of the remains insuring against a mix up.

    Carefully he began scattering, crying burning tears and sniffing to clear his sinuses. In his mind’s eye Jack appeared as he last saw him at the water’s edge.

    He kept scattering until he got halfway down and then he carefully screwed the top back on, cautiously putting it down on the first step of the stairs leading upward to the lookout.

    He thought of tasting the residue on his hand, to have Jack within him, but didn’t know if it’d be poisonous, and he had something to live for now, his own ranch.

    It was coming…
    He could feel it, like vomit rising from his heart instead of his stomach.

    He couldn’t stop it.
    He couldn’t stop it!

    Running in panic he got to the water’s edge and thrust his hand in to rinse it away but that didn’t help.

    Weakly he collapsed to his knees and bowed his head as incredibly intense sorrow washed over him.

    It’s coming
    It’s coming!

    Suddenly and uncontrolled, an impossibly loud, horrendous and primal scream escaped his throat as he yelled out in pain for “Jaaaaaaaaaaaaack” barely pronouncing the J and the K. Without warning another came as he bellowed out another uncontrolled cry for his lost love, as if he’d finally found a release of all the pent up grief and sorrow flowing from him like acid verbal vomit.

    As he collapsed back against one of the binocular platforms, feet pounded down the stairs from above and across the parking lot toward him.

    Ennis kept his eyes tightly closed not caring who it was, and even as strong arms pulled him to his feet, he didn’t open them.

    Blindly he was carefully helped to the foot of the tower’s stairs by a gentle male voice who guided him, made him sit down and then rocked him in his arms carefully, as more gushed from Ennis’ eyes as if the hot acid flow would never stop.

    Bowing his head, he looked and saw a neatly pressed forest ranger’s uniform.

    As he focused with his liquid encased eyes, a man maybe only a year or two younger than he appeared.

    With incredible comforting arms, the stranger rocked him back and forth, till del Mar quieted down.

    Somewhere in the distance a horse sputtered. Ennis thought that he was alone because no other vehicles were in the parking lot, he forgot about horses.

    He tried to speak, to thank the comforting stranger, but his throat was too sore and he was hoarse.

    The ranger was his height, maybe ten pounds lighter and solidly built.

    The brief glimpse of his badge said Jack something, but he still couldn’t focus enough to read it.

    The ranger wore a comforting expression and pulled the side of Ennis’ head to his solid chest.

    They sat there quietly for a minute or two, and Ennis began feeling uncomfortable in a stranger’s arms.

    Suddenly the man stood up with a shocked gasp.

    Ennis looked up to find him clutching the fallen urn, gawking in near fascinated horror at the name printed on it.

    He must’ve knocked it over rushing down the steps and now held it as if terrified of dropping it.

    Getting his first good look at him, Ennis suddenly realized what the ranger was holding and grabbed it viscously away, backing up a few steps.

    Incredibly the ranger was now the one hyperventilating.

    As he gasped for breath, he asked in awe, “You can’t be… You just can’t be Ennis del Mar?”

    Surprised out of reaction, Ennis only managed a nod.

    The ranger reached in his back pocket and pulled a tiny piece of carefully folded newsprint from his pocket.

    Ennis frowned as he read the ranger’s name badge

    Jack Aguirre

    Ennis scanned the obituary and all doubt left his mind.

    Jack Aguirre was the first guy that Twist had spent the summer with up here tending sheep in 1961!

    They sat down on the bench and for the next hour the story came out of Aguirre as a 16 year old, and fastened his first crush on Jack Twist, but the rodeo rider wouldn’t respond.

    On night the teen snuck into Twist’s tent and tried to suck him off in his sleep, but Jack woke with a start and nearly beat the hell out of Aguirre.

    From then on they slept separately, one in camp below and one with the sheep.

    His father Joe found out about the arrangement but if he knew why, he never let on, and through the years kept it up to cut down on predator loss.

    The young Jack almost committed suicide that September by jumping off a cliff, but only hurt himself badly instead, and for the rest of the summer was too weak to do much work.

    Ennis told him about their long-term love affair and its aftermath, and as the afternoon wore on, without warning the two men’s souls gradually molded together.

    Mutual love; was there a better way to start a relationship?

    That night they traveled up the mountain together and spread the rest of Jack’s ashes.

    They made love their first time on Brokeback Mountain.

    From that moment forward Ennis stopped living by that phrase his mama taught him. Instead when he faced a problem with Jack, they worked on solving it together with love instead of tolerating it.

    Through the years afterward they built up the Twist Ranch together, Jack giving up his career as a ranger in 1984 after a joining ceremony in San Francisco.

    They built a house together where Twist’s boyhood home had stood.

    Ennis sold 700 acres of nearly useless land on one corner of the ranch to a real estate developer and houses sprang up in an allotment called Mountain Twist Estates.

    Ennis and Jack used the proceeds to build up a horse breading business that became famous around the world when several of their mares produced blue ribbon show, and top-flight race winners.

    In 1984 Lorene Olsen moved in with them and the two men mixed their semen, and then had her artificially impregnated. She became an official live-in part of their family when Jack Edward Twist II was born in January of 1985.

    As he grew they used his initials spelled as one word to nickname him to alleviate confusion when one or the other were together on the farm.

    Sadly, on his twenty-first birthday in January 2006, his fathers Jack and Ennis were killed while camping up on Brokeback Mountain when a massive avalanche hit without warning.

    They died as they’d lived for over 22 years, happy, in love, and together.

    They were buried in a plot out by the horse barn.

    Jack Twist’s old shirt tucked in Ennis’ coffin Ennis’ old shirt tucked in Jack Aguirre’s coffin.

    Above their name in curved scrip on a single granite headstone read their family’s proud motto.

    “If you can’t stand it-You gotta fix it.”

    I hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed setting it down for you
    Jet

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Now that this is done, I’m working on an index so it can be read in order… stay tuned

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    To read my novelization in order I’ve provided this index for you.

    Chapter # 1 PROLOGUE FOR TWO DUECES is in Comment #35-Two young men meet looking for work

    Chapter # 2 THIRTY-FOUR MILES OF DEAD HORSE ROAD is in Comment #69-Ennis & Jack get acquainted in a bar

    Chapter # 3 NO MORE BEANS! is in Comment #38-Jack and Ennis drive 1000 sheep up Brokeback Mountain

    Chapter # 4 THE BEAR is in Comment #72-Ennis comes up on a bear while getting supplies

    Chapter # 5 MY DAD WAS RIGHT! is in Comment #115-Jack and Ennis realize separately that they’re falling in love

    Chapter # 6 TENT DON’T LOOK RIGHT is in Comment #133-After an evening of drinking Ennis and Jack have their first sexual encounter

    Chapter # 7 I AIN’T QUEER is in Comment #18-Ennis becomes convinced he raped Jack, Jack thinks he seduced Ennis

    Chapter # 8 THE JOINING OF SOULS is in Comment #6-The night that love took the place of sex

    Chapter # 9 INVISIBLE is in Comment #138-Joe Aguirre visits and catches Jack and Ennis making love

    Chapter # 10 WHERE’S BO PEEP WHEN YOU NEED HER?-is in Comment #146 The boys lose the flock to a hail storm

    Chapter # 11 TIME TO GO COWBOY is in Comment #25-Aguirre banishes the boys from their own private Eden.

    Chapter # 12 CLOWING AROUND is in Comment #57-Jack resumes his career as a bull rider and falls for a rodeo clown

    Chapter # 13 YOU BET! is in Comment #119-Ennis gets a postcard from Jack after 4 long years

    Chapter # 14 JACK FUCKING TWIST! is in The main body of the article-After four years Jack and Ennis reunite.

    Chapter # 15 FOUR FUCKIN’ YEARS! is in Comment #61-Alma realizes her marriage is doomed

    Chapter # 16 THE HORSE WITH NO REINS is in Comment #96-Ennis tells Jack he can’t leave Alma

    Chapter # 17 OH I DREAMED LAST NIGHT is in Comment #103-Ennis divorces Alma giving Jack false hope

    Chapter # 18 THANKSGIVING is in Comment #151-Two separate holiday dinners with serious consequences

    Chapter # 19 I WISH I KNEW HOW TO QUIT YOU is in Comment #84-Jack gives up on Ennis after 20 years

    Chapter # 20 FATHER, SON AND UNHOLY GHOST is in Comment #32-L.D. Newsome exacts his revenge on Jack

    Chapter # 21 REVELATIONS is in Comment #43-Ennis visits Jack’s parents and finds the mountain shirts

    Chapter # 22 MURDERER! is in Comment #152-Randall Tanny tries to kill Ennis for ruining his plan to blackmail Jack

    Chapter # 23 IF YOU CAN’T FIX IT, YOU’VE GOT TO STAND IT is in Comment #175-Martha Twist visits Ennis

    Chapter # 24 IF YOU DON’T GOT NOTHIN’ YOU DON’T NEED NOTHING is in Comment #182-Junior announces her engagement and Ennis contemplates life alone

    Chapter # 25 ASHES TO ASHES is in Comment #182-Ennis goes on with his life and begins again

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I did all that typing and no one wanted to know how I ended the story???

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    There’s one last “Chapterette” to end this tale, and you’re wondering how I could possibly add to this, but I can, it’s very short, but I’ll only post it with a little encouraging…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    SteveS I was hoping I’d at least hear from you on your take of how I ended this story in Comment 182

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    Jet, I’ve fallen behind in reading it, my apologies. Days can go by between times I can get on the net now and I have a hard time keeping up with everything once I do get on.

    Give me time to read it all, I have enjoyed what I’ve read so far, and I’ve read enough to know that I’d buy a novel from you, I like your descriptive writing style.

    Of course you have to post the last chapter, you can’t leave people hanging like that!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    SteveS-If I were you I’d use the index at comment 184.

    There are scenes not in the movie of my own invention to explain some things, like why Ennis is so concerned with his mailbox, who Randall and his ditsy wife Lashawn are really, the attempt on Ennis’ life, and of course what happens after Ennis closes that door on the shirts,

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    C’mon Silas, I even named a character after you in the final chapters. by the way there is still one little story left to tell believe it or not and I’m entitling it “One last song.” and Chantal’s in it…

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com Silas Kain

    You bitch. I loved it. Thank you for completing Ennis’ life in such a beautiful way. And, most of all, thank you for allowing me to be part of it. How did you know that law and the practice thereof is my passion? Jet, you never cease to amaze me. Perhaps some day we will meet along the Yellow Brick Road.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Silas…Did you like

    A. What I did with Jack’s mother

    B. That I crashed LD Newsome and Lorene in to Brokeback Mountain?

    C. How I created Jack Aguirre.

    D. How I confused everyone with “Jack” at the foreman’s trailer trying to figure out what was going on, and then added another Lorene to confuse matters?

    E. How I turned Randall into a con man and his wife into his sister?

    I’m glad you enjoyed it.
    Jet

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com Silas Kain

    Honey, where do I begin? How do I love thee? Let me count the gay ways!

    A. What I did with Jack’s mother

    Perfect, absolutely brilliant. That was her natural progression. You knew the pain in her face, you knew the heart had been shattered and it was clear that Daddy Twist was too twisted to treat Mamma Twist right or do right by his boy.

    B. That I crashed LD Newsome and Lorene in to Brokeback Mountain?

    Poetic justice, my darling. Newsome and Lorene had a fitting end.

    C. How I created Jack Aguirre.

    Indeed, that explained so much about Pappy’s intolerance and mistrust. Pappy Aguirre was as backwards as Ennis’ Daddy was.

    D. How I confused everyone with “Jack” at the foreman’s trailer trying to figure out what was going on, and then added another Lorene to confuse matters?

    Very nice, Agatha. I mean Dame Crusty. You really gave us pauses that made us go hmmmmm.

    E. How I turned Randall into a con man and his wife into his sister?

    Loved that most of all because it’s so rampant down them parts of the Ewe-nigh-ted Staytes of Murica.

    And thank you, my pet, for creating Silas Caine. I could kiss you on the lips for that.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thanks Silas, Don’t forget we still have the post script Chapterette to go, because there’s still more of this story to be told…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I’ve decided to consolidate all the parts I’ve put down here in order into a 3 part article, with about 8 chapters each, which is when I’ll include the final closing chapterette finishing up this story.

    That is if anyone is still interested.

    There’s a cruel way to end this
    A happy way to end this
    and a fun way to end this. I’d appreciate your thoughts as to which one to use, or maybe I’ll just compine all three…
    Jet

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    Hey Jet! I’m back from my vacation, and it looks like I have plenty of reading to catch up on. Hope you’re feeling ok.

    Once I’m all caught up, I’ll let you know what I think ;)

  • just because

    I had to go away on a course at work so I’ve not caught up fully yet either. For your ending, well, a combination sounds most challenging but could get messy? We’ve had cruelty in droves so I’d go for fun and/or happy this time.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Yay! I’m glad your both back, don’t start before the chapter “Murderer” in any case use the index in comment 184

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Chantal 196, I’m looking forward to that photo blog of your trip…

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    whew! I just finished reading everything…

    Jet…absolutely brilliant, I loved every word! I’m so glad that Ennis finally was able to find love again, and be happy at the end of his life. The way the movie ended was so .. incomplete, so I thank you for finishing it this way.

    I don’t know what it is exactly, about this story that has so many people so completely enthralled. I guess in some way, we all can find a bit of ourselves–whether we are male or female, gay or straight– somewhere in the lives of Jack and Ennis.

    Anyway, thank you so much for filling in the gaps and eloquently and poetically finishing this beautiful story.

    I can’t wait for the rest!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Chantal #200 Thanks, that means a lot coming from you. See comment 192. I’m working on re-editing it and putting the whole thing together as a single body in order in a set of three or four articles.

    Anne Proulx told the whole story in 17 pages, I guess my version is longer because I “run off at the mouth” more.

    The final Chapterette is in the works.

    Hope you had a fun trip.

    If you go back through the comments it still looks like I’ve only entertained four or so people, though I assume there were more. I hope a few of you will drop me a line here.

    Jet

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Chantal, SteveS, Just Because, I hope you don’t mind…

    ONE LAST SONG

    E-mail June 1, 2006,
    —-Friend, I know it’s an imposition but I could really use a big favor from you. Jack’ll be home from UCLA next month during summer break and he’s going to be really torn up on the six-month anniversary of both his father’s deaths. I see you’re on tour through the northwest and I was hoping you could stop by and help us cheer him up—I’d owe you big time buddy. By the way your horses are ready to be picked up… Steve—-

    Steve Essex had moved into the main house of the Twist Ranch to assume full time control over the operations after the owners had died. In 2002 Jack and Ennis had recruited the highly qualified veterinarian after he’d fled his job up in Montana because the local county child welfare threatened to take his young daughter because he lived with another man who was rumored to be gay. Aguirre and del Mar moved Essex’s family to Lightning Flat to take over the day-to-day operation of their horse-breeding program a month later.

    It was the best decision they’d ever made, because within months Steve had brought in all kinds of celebrities as customers, and Ennis and Jack specified in their updated will, that until the younger Jack graduated college, Essex would assume control of the ranch in the event of their deaths.

    June 23, 2006
    As the sun rose across the pasture, Lorene’s long shadow traced her steps to the main office. Jack had been home for two days and she figured she’d take him out to see a movie or something to take his mind off his fathers’ deaths six months ago today.

    As she entered the book-lined room through the back door, Steve looked up from his desk computer and smiled, a phone cradled on his shoulder. She used to tell him he reminded her of a 40-year-old Steve McQueen, especially the blue eyes. He was busy ordering something from a supply house, so she plopped herself down in Ennis’s old office chair and snapped on the computer.

    While she waited, her eyes wandered to a photo of Dad, Jack, Pop and herself. Young Jack had Ennis’ hair, eyes and mouth, and he had the Aguirre nose and chin. She’d often thought of having DNA testing done on her son to see who the real father turned out to be, but the three of them wouldn’t hear of it and by coincidence Ennis and Jack were both the same blood type.

    Steve got off the phone, and looked over at Lorene.
    She looked up towards the ceiling and asked him, “Is he?”
    Essex nodded.

    Lorene moved to get up and Steve stopped her with a look. “Let him grieve,” he said gently. “He’s got to work it out for himself.”

    Since coming home day-before-yesterday, young Jack had spent both nights sleeping upstairs in his fathers’ room, barely making a sound, only coming out for a snack or two, but keeping mostly to himself.
    Lorene tried to coax him once, but he wouldn’t’ go out to their grave…

    ***************************

    Bobby Twist had turned 42 a week ago. He’d inherited his grandfather’s “Newsome Farm Equipment Company”, but others ran it for him. He turned out to be a damned good salesman and represented his company well, but he didn’t have it inside for hard business deals like his mother did.

    He’d inherited his late father’s good looks and was a spitting image of him minus the mustache.
    He had one quirk though that no one could figure out, the result of a cruel joke that no one knew about that’d follow him the rest of his life. On his eighteenth birthday, his late grandfather L.D.’s lawyers presented him with a trust fund of almost two million dollars, and a package containing a single item that’d been kept in a bank safety deposit box for him and away from any snooping detectives.

    When it wasn’t mounted up on his office wall, he carried it with him whenever he traveled as a good-luck charm; a souvenir of his barely remembered father. It’d give people pause when they’d find it going though airport baggage checks or some hotel maid would see it sitting on a dresser and call security on him.

    L.D. told him it was the last thing his father Jack was holding when he was killed by that exploding tire, and Bobby treasured that tire iron.

    Little did he know, but it was one of the murder weapons that’d killed his father.

    Deke Newsome looked up from Hell every day and laughed…

    ********************

    The clock radio said 9:14 AM when young Jack woke up.
    He’d fallen asleep in his clothes again in his fathers’ giant bed that barely fit in the 18×20 room. By the morning light streaming through the windows, he found himself surrounded by his own images on every wall. It was a testament to the strong love of both his doting dads that their room would be decorated like this. Everywhere were baby pictures, school photos, images of him in uniform on his high school football team, photos of he and his girlfriend just before they left for the senior prom. Between the two tall dresser mirrors were the framed letter from UCLA accepting his application and a Joining Certificate from the Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco from Jack and Ennis’ marraige.

    He bowed his head sadly, stripped, took a shower and shaved.

    Returning to their bedroom, he put on fresh jeans from his still unpacked suitcase and a gray sweatshirt.

    On the twin side-by-side dressers were photos of his fathers kissing, holding hands, posing in front of this or that prize-winning horse with all kinds of celebrities and politicians. There was also a faded black and white snapshot of the elder Jack Twist from when he was a bull rider.

    He sat down on the edge of the mattress and remembered crawling often into this bed between them during a scary lightning storm, or because he was lonely.
    On the left dresser was a cream colored hat, old and battered. Dad had worn it since he could remember.

    Jack had never been comfortable being called Jet; which is what his initials spelled, so Ennis became Dad; Jack became Pop, and Jack the 2nd was just plain Jack when they were at home on this huge ranch.

    He smiled at the portable CD player next to the window. He’d fought long and hard to drag his fathers into the 21st century, and when they finally bought the thing Dad would only play Patsy Cline, or Willie Nelson, and Pop favored Bob Dylan and the Doors.

    He bent forward double and wept.

    Outside the sound of a loud diesel truck pulled up under the window. Jack got up and peered down to find an oversized horse trailer pulled by a big crew cab truck. A grizzled old man in a cowboy hat got out along with three other men. Steve came out to greet them and shook hands.

    Jack leafed through the CDs and popped in one at random and Patsy Cline began singing “Crazy”.

    A minute later there was a knock at the door and Jack opened it to discover Willie Nelson standing there, his hat in his hand.

    Jack’s jaw dropped as Willie said, “I come up to pick up some horses we bought from your daddies, and I figured I’d pay my respects. May I come in?”

    Young Twist just stood there surprised. In his childhood he’d met a lot of celebrities who bought and sold to his fathers, so he wasn’t all that awed.

    Jack went over to switch the CD player off and Nelson protested, “No leave it on, just turn it down a little bit.”
    As we walked over to it, Willie added, “I wrote that song for her.”

    Jack looked backed puzzled as Patsy sang the final “And I’m crazy for lovvvvvvvvin’… Youuuuuuuuuuuuu.”

    As the final chords sounded, Willie smiled and said; “Now you can turn it off.”

    They both chuckled together.

    In the silence the singer looked around the room and spied an old beaten and battered folk guitar on the wall. He walked over to the right side of the bed next to the window and asked, “May I?”

    Jack nodded and Willie pulled it down from its nail hanging by the shoulder strap.

    It was one of Nelson’s favorites. “My god the memories this thing brings back.”

    Ennis had bid $10,000 for it at a charity auction to benefit Farm Aid in 1995. Willie had scrawled across the honey colored wood, “Ennis let your babies grow up to be a cowboys!” and scrawled his signature.

    He sat on the bed and strummed it a couple of times and his eyebrows jumped. “It’s still in tune!”

    Jack sat next to him and smiled, “Pop Jack taught me how to tune a guitar before I knew more than a couple of sentences.”

    Burning tears welled up in his eyes as he bent forward again.

    Willie’s comforting arm went around his shoulders as Jack choked out his grief. When it subsided the singer stood up and frowned at something up on a little shelf next to where the guitar hung.

    Pulling it down, he asked, “What happened to this poor thing”

    Jack looked up and grinned. “That was my father Jack Twist’s harmonica,” he replied. “According to Dad it got stepped on by a horse a long time ago. Dad gave it to me for my 10th birthday.”

    Nelson looked at him skeptically and remarked, “You know I think I need a score card to keep track of how many daddies you got!”

    A truck horn blew outside and Willie slung the guitar over his shoulder and onto his back and nodded his head out the door, “Come on; I wanna show you somethin’”. As Jack tossed the harmonica back on the bed, he corrected, “No, bring that with you son?”

    Outside next to the trailer two completely different horses stood waiting to be loaded.

    Willie led Jack up to a sleek black mare, her healthy coat shining in the sun like a polished jewel. Willie pulled an apple out of his jacket pocket and fed it to her. To Jack he said, “This here’s Chantal.”

    The mare nodded her head up and down recognizing her name and Willie have her an affectionate pat on the neck. “I was on business in Columbus Ohio one day and this stunningly beautiful woman walked up to a bank teller, so I sent my assistant over to find out her name. She’ll never know I saw her, and I’m damned sure not gonna forget her. The moment I saw this horse, I had a name for her.”

    Dwarfing her to the left was a massive and tall Clydesdale right out of a Budweiser commercial. Pointing up to him, Willie smiled, “This ol’ boy is named “Stoned”, because every time I look at him, I think I’ve been smokin’ too much.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a photo of a powerful horse running in a blur past the camera. “I bought him from your daddies last year and we’re hopin’ he takes the Triple Crown next year.”

    Jack studied it and asked, “What’s his name?”

    Willie grinned and replied, “Well, I bought in on a whim, so we named him ‘Just Because’.”

    From behind a curtain in the living room Steve and Lorene watched her son wearing his father’s cowboy hat and laughing, and knew things would be better now.

    An hour of leisurely walking and casual conversation down the lane brought Nelson and young Twist up to the big granite head stone of Jack’s fathers’ graves. It stood three feet tall was a foot front to back and was five feet wide. It was sort of midway between the lane and the wall of the horse barn about 20 feet from the asphalt ribbon.

    Pulling the guitar off his back, Willie set it gently down on the monument and asked, “Kinda an odd place to put a grave ain’t it?”

    When he didn’t get an answer, Nelson turned to find Jack’s face in pain.

    Twist sniffed a few times and led him to the back of it. In the middle read “JACK TWIST 1944-1983.
    Resting his hand on the warm stone he explained, “According to dad, this was the place my “father” was murdered.”

    Willie swallowed hard, “Wow.”

    Jack sat down with his back to the left side of the head stone facing the lane, crossed his legs and began pulling out little strands of grass, playing with them, occasionally smelling one, and then pulling out others. With a groan Willie sat down opposite him and waited.

    Jack explained, “Jack Twist was Dad’s first lover, and Pop’s first crush. It was their last wish to buried on this very spot.”

    Nelson Frowned, “Where’s papa Twist buried; here?”
    Jack wiped a tear and replied, “He was cremated before I was born and they scattered his ashes together on Brokeback Mountain south of here.”
    Willie frowned and then understood.

    Jack explained, “My fathers and me used to go camping up on the mountain a lot and we’d sit around singing songs and laughing. Dad liked your stuff, and Pop favored Bob Dylan.”

    The singer smiled as Jack pulled out his “father’s” harmonica and began playing a tune.

    Willie reached up for his guitar and silently started strumming the tune along with Jack.

    When the chorus ended, they began singing the first verse together.
    “Heeeeeeee was a friend of mine,
    Heeeee was a friend of mine,
    Ever’ time I think of him,
    I just can’t keep from crying……

    The end

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    Jet, I still need to catch up with this, but when these threads get lengthy, havoc ensures here.

    As it is now, I’m typing blindly as my text box is covered in the story.

    Is there any way you can put these in order maybe on your own blog and I can read it there?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    SteveS, Yes, I’ve been working on that very thing. So many people have e-mailed me on this subject that I’m planning to put it together as a 4 part article.

    I still have to determine if Blogcritics will let me post the x-rated stuff, as the article policy may be different from the comments policy. so I’ll have to see.

    Stay tuned.

    By the way I named a character after you, his name is Steve Essex

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    SteveS,Chantal,Silas,JustBecause, I’ve begun the publishing process of putting it all in order under a new 4-part article. the final chapterette is in comment 202.

    I’m going back and editing the whole thing in order to tighten up the storyline and correct errors and I home you’ll be pleased that I named certain characters after you because of your encouragement.

    As I’ve said Part 1 is pending as I’m writing this and Part 2 may be along in a few days if all goes well.
    Jet

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    Aww Jet, I’m speechless. This chapter was incredible. So sad and full of emotion. You’re such a talented writer.

    And thanks for using my name–I’m flattered and honored.

    This is really an amazing story.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thanks Chantal, Sadly I’ve got to report that in order to post all this in order I’ll have to do it on my own personal blog, as I can’t do it here. No bitterness involved, as I was told, it’s more fan fiction and that’s not what blogcritics is about, Completely understandable.

    So watch my URL and I’ll be slowly building it up in the next week or so.
    Jet

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I’ve edited, proofread, corrected and published the story scattered in this article into one continous story on my own personal blog. Here’s the link. So far I’ve got up to the point where they had to come down from the mountain with probably more by the time you read this. I’ve gone ahead and enhanced the story a little to make it more readable too, with connections to the chapters after the story ended in the movie that I created.

    Annnnnnnd with much bigger pictures than can be posted here!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Okay, as of 3;32AM I’ve edited, rewritten and posted up to when Ennis returns Jack’s post card, just follow the link in Comment 208 and it’ll take you right to it…
    Jet

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Okay, it’s done up to the scene where Ennis tells Jack only every 4 years including the unsensored scene at the motel after the famous kiss. Just follow the link in comment 208

    More to follow…
    Jet

  • just because

    OMG – I sneaked a peak and it looks amazing, with the pics scattered & the white on black, not to mention the previously edited parts inserted. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to stand it :) I’m trying to hold out til it’s all there so I can just read & read but my willpower is fading fast…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thanks “Just” There are even more pictures now and I’ve been “back filling” the story to accomodate the new characters I created for the last chapters after Ennis closes that door so be patient, by the way, something’s named after you near the end…

    Jet

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I’ve posted about 2 dozen pictures to go with the expanded story and I’m still deciding if Lorene has anything to do with Jack’s death or not, so give me time.

    Let me know what you think-did she have a hand in it or not. I’ve added a private detective about thanksgiving because she thinks he’s having an affair with another woman instead of camping with Ennis, but the P.I. confirms that where he goes. Now the question is does he figure it out or not and if Lorene takes action on it or not.

    The photos are all being custom made and it takes a while to enhance and sharpen them, then place them in just the right place.

    I’ve edited and posted up to the point where they break up and Jack’s about to be killed.

    You’ll love the photos, just follow the link in #208

    More when I can…
    Jet

  • just because

    Hey, I was just about to post & say I loved the photos – they fit so well, even though I haven’t done a full read, just checked out the parts around them & saw they really complemented the text. I am saving up for the full read! So you named something after me huh? Guess I could have had an easier cyber name!! Do you know where jb comes from? You might it if you are into music but I don’t think your tastes extend into this area from what I can gather (been snooping around hehe).
    Now I personally don’t think Lorene would have been involved with Jack’s death as I think she did have some genuine affection for him, love to start with so I don’t think she would go that far no matter how wronged she may feel. On the other hand, bearing in mind the era she might just flip as it would be such a stigma. Just see what feels right for you after mulling it over for a bit.
    cheers, jb :)

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    JB if you click on the pictures, they expand to even bigger ones showing more detail. Took a while to rig it, but it’s worth it. That’s what’s taking so long!

    I’m working on it I’m working on it.

  • http://www.chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    Jet, I just saw your blog and it LOOKS FABULOUS…..the Brokeback story along with the pics are great…..good job!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Chantal #216 Thanks, I really wish I could’ve posted this on BlogCritics, but two factors were against me.

    1. Apparently the editors consider it fan fiction-and I agree it is, so it really doesn’t belong here-and I agree.

    2. The huge pictures I have posted on my blog would never make it onto here-which is a shame.

    I’m up to the chapter just after where the movie ends and I take over, so It’ll all be posted soon.

    I’m appalled at all my spelling errors I’m finding.

    Anyone else that’s interested, click on the link in comment 208

    More when I can
    Jet

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Okay all of this has been reassembled into one continuous novel, complete with big photos, just finished this morning.

    Anyone interested can read it by following my link in comment 208…

    Jet

  • just because

    Way to go Jet! Thanks for naming the ***** after me – I was psyched when I checked out the ending & found that out. Perfect timing too, ready for the weekend and my mega-read of the whole thing. Btw I have rec’d this to a BBM site I visit and then saw someone who picked it up there rec it on another site so there will no doubt be a few other readers whether they make themselves known or not.
    Hope you have a great w/e now you have finished your epic!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thanks Just Because #219. With a handle like yours that’s about the only thing I could name after you. I hope you enjoy it, Thanks… Jet

    PS, as you know Mrs. Twist never appeared in Ennis’ trailer, for the sake of the story I had to manufacture that photo from scratch-took all day!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    PS J.B. Can you list some of those sites you mentioned on my personal blog for me?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Update: Chapt 28 was revised this morning, making a happier ending. Dave Nalle has joined the cast as Prof. David Nails-a Political Science Professor in Austin who marries Lorene, then retires and opens a Dodge truck dealership.

    Follow the link in Comment 208

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Because of some technical problems, I've had to move the novel, the new link for it is:
    Brokeback Mountain: After the Shirts-After the tears

    Thanks for all your comments so far
    Jet

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal have been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences! Go Brokeback Mountain!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Who will Jake Gyllenhaal be publicly photographed kissing first? Cyclist Lance Armstrong is 3/1, Mathew McConaugheyis 2/1 and Natalie Portman is 1/3. Gyllenhaal did play an alternative lifestyle cowboy in the movie Brokeback Mountain.

    Armstrong, of course recently broke up with singer Sheryl Crowe. Gyllenhaal has been seen in the company of Armstrong quite often, so naturally the gossip begins.

    After all, they were being buddy bud at the Tour De France. Less gossipy word is that Gyllenhaal would love to play the cancer survivor Armstrong in a movie and that fact led to the friendship.

    Reports say a Sony biopic on the life of Armstrong is already a done deal.

    Obviously Armstrong’s endorsement would carry significant weight. Portman, who we think is going to win, is the former and now reports say, on-again sweetheart of Gyllenhaal.

    McConaughey was host of the cookout in which Portman and Gyllenhaal were seen back together.

    Do not totally discount Armstrong receiving the kiss. Afterall, they have joked about the rumors including on the ESPY Awards, so a little toungue in cheek—so to speak of course—kiss for the papparazzi would surprise nobody.

    Perhaps your next winning online wager will be sealed with a kiss.

    This article was written by Joe Duffy, sports writer for TheOnlineWire.com

    Originally published on July 26 2006 – TheOnlineWire.com

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Lance! What’s going on here? It turns out Lance Armstrongs living with Matthew “Sexiest man alive” McConaughey at his beach house. At the ESPY Lance joked with Jake to only have eyes for Him, also mentioning in his remarkds that Jake preferred it in the rear!!!!!!!!!

  • http://jetfireone.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    HBO will be showing BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
    Sunday Nov 26 7:30PM
    Monday Nov 27 2:40PM
    Wed Nov 29 7:30pM
    Thurs Nov 30 4:15AM
    All times are Eastern Time zone

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Goodboye Heath… That’s one kiss I’ll never forget seeing, nor will Jake…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Dear God, I saw this coming…

    Anti-gay minister Fred Phelps has vowed to protest at the funeral of actor Heath Ledger, who was tragically found dead on Tuesday of unknown causes. Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church is legendary for their hatred of gays and protests at the funerals of gay-bashing victims and soldiers in the U.S. military.

    “God hates fag-enablers,” the Westboro Baptist Church proclaimed in a news release issued yesterday, concluding with: “Heath Ledger is now in Hell and has begun serving his eternal sentence—beside which, nothing else about Heath Ledger is relevant or consequential.”

    Ledger was nominated for an Academy Award in 2005 for his role as a gay cowboy in the Ang Lee directed film Brokeback Mountain, based on a short story by E. Annie Proulx.

    “Heath Ledger thought it was great fun defying God Almighty and his plain word,” the statement from Westboro read. “God hates the sordid tacky, bucket of slime seasoned with vomit known as Brokeback Mountain—and He hates all persons having anything whatsoever to do with it.”

    In a statement released on Tuesday, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said: “Heath Ledger will forever be remembered for his groundbreaking role as Ennis del Mar in Brokeback Mountain. His powerful portrayal changed hearts and minds in immeasurable ways. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”

    Ledger was found dead on Tuesday in a Manhattan apartment. Pills scattered around the bed where his naked body was discovered have led authorities to speculate his death might be drug related. An autopsy performed on Wednesday morning, however, said results were inconclusive and further tests would have to be done. An official cause of death will not be determined for 10 to 14 days. TMZ.com reports the actor was suffering from pneumonia prior to his death.

    Shirley Phelps-Roper stated Westboro Baptist Church members will protest memorial services in the United States, not those held in his homeland of Australia, according to Fox News. The church also plans to protest at the Academy Awards this year.

    To date, the Topeka-based church has participated in over 30,000 anti-gay protests across the U.S., according to their web site. The church hosts a variety of derogatory web sites, including GodHatesAmerica.com and GodHatesFags.com. Westboro Baptist Church was recently ordered to pay $11 million to the father of a slain U.S. soldier for picketing at his son’s funeral, according to bGay.com.

  • Leslie Bohn

    Of course Phelps is on the case. He’s a sadistic deranged lunatic criminal. I propose we pay no attention to his hatred. (I’m not being critical of you for pointing it out, Jet; I appreciate it. I’m suggesting we not linger on this rotted piece of dog shit.)

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thanks Leslie, Unfortunately Phelps is like an evil genious who knows just what buttons he can push and legally get away with it.

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Please discard all of the above links. Now that the tribute website and Novel are complete, they reside in their new permanent home…

    Click here

  • http://jetsgayheadlinenews-jet.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    I’ve recently been surprised at the amount of attention this article has been getting lately, so I’d like everyone to know that I’ve written a free on-line novel of Brokeback Mountain that includes two prequel chapters that detail Ennis and Jack’s lives from their births through where the movie takes up… and 8 sequel chapters that detail Ennis’ life after Jack’s death all the way to his own death in 2006.

    Questions addressed are:

    Why did Ennis’ father beat his wife after the birth of their first child?

    Why would Ennis’ father Kyle put up his ranch as colateral to finance Earl and Rich’s business?

    How was Ennis’ father involved in Earl & Rich’s murders?

    How was Ennis involved in his parents death on Dead Horse Road?

    Who did Jack spend that first summer of ’62 on Brokeback with?

    Read and completely understand first-hand Ennis’ thoughts on Brokeback Mountain in 1963.

    What did two cherry trees have to do with Jack’s murder?

    Who really had Jack Twist’s ashes and what ultimately happened to them?

    What happened to almost 3/4 of a million dollars that Jack embezzled from Lureen’s father’s business over 20 years?

    Who killed Jack Twist and why… and who unexpectedly witnessed it?

    Who accused Ennis of Jack’s murder and who tried to kill him before he went to trial for it?

    Who found Jack’s obituary in foreman Joe Aguirre’s office trailer?

    Who saw Ennis drive Jack’s Silverado into the mountains six months after Twist’s death?

    What would compell Ennis to burn down Jack’s parent’s house?

    Who burned down Ennis’ house causing him to move into the trailer?

    Who hired a private detective to follow Jack?

    Did Ennis ever let himself love someone the way he loved Jack?

    How did Ennis die at the base of Brokeback Mountain in January of 2006?

    To read my free novel, click here

    Thanks

    Jet

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Ooops… To read my Brokeback Mountain ~ The Complete Long-Version
    Novel 1943-2006, click ~>here<~

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