Jays Short Story
Caution: This Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Romantic, Fiction, First,
Desc: Sex Story: Chapter 1 - You're two inches under three feet tall. You've spent ten years as a porn actor in the valley making your nest-egg. Now you're going to college. This isn't your every-day freshman experience.
I was named Jack Allen Young at birth. That soon became Jay. It's been the only name I've answered to for decades. I'm what's called a proportionate dwarf, or a term less used these days of political correctness, a midget. I'm 34 inches tall.
I thank whatever gods are our there that I'm one of the rare proportionate dwarves, as I probably won't have joint problems or exhibit mental problems due to my deformities as I age. I'd had to get shots of androgenic steroids to force my body into puberty. I wear a beard now so people don't think I'm ten years old. Now I'm a hairy little bastard with a seven inch salami. Proportionally I look like I'm packin' a fourteen inch club!
Pick up a yard stick. Mask off the top two inches. Now take a good look at it. That's how tall I am. Steps are a bitch because they're much too tall for me to use without climbing them using my hands. They're usually filthy, too. I always search out places with bicycle curb cuts or wheelchair-friendly buildings and ignore the rest. It's a real pain in the ass.
I'm lucky to be relatively handsome. Once I had my high school diploma in hand I lit out for California and started making porn movies. Over the ten years I spent in the business I saved up over two hundred and seventy seven thousand dollars. A full-sized male actor could never accumulate such a pile, but a photogenic dwarf had a market draw. I kept the bulk of my funds in a managed index account that usually netted me close to a ten percent return-on-investments per year.
I found it sad that several of the other little people in the business sought me out for comfort and companionship. The business was horribly uncaring and unforgiving. The less said, the better. I managed to stay away from the drugs and didn't dive into the bottle. I also paid my income tax, which many others failed to do!
I desperately wanted out of the business but I also needed a fall-back skill to keep the money coming in and to keep from going mad from boredom. I had always enjoyed writing. I decided to invest in myself and give it a shot. At the ripe old age of 27 I researched which universities were wheelchair friendly and the extent of their commitments. I applied to several institutions. Via an agency I managed to find a grant specific to people under four feet tall. It paid for my tuition, books, room and board. Only my Sunday meals, clothing, grooming and entertainment were my responsibility.
It was the fall of 1985 when I drove into Lexington looking for the University of Kentucky. Right off the bat the housing department and I didn't see eye to eye. My assumption was that they thought my height as written on my application was a typo. When I showed up at their office in all my glory and started to raise a stink, mentioning the Americans with Disabilities Act and unfair housing practices and--God forbid!--lawyers they backpedaled on their hard-assed notions right away. Unlike the other freshmen, I was assigned a parking permit and was given a disability placard to hang from the rear view mirror of my VW Golf. As a freshman I still had to stay in the dorms, but I was assigned to a single room with elevator access. They didn't say anything about it being a coed dorm either.
It was a 'disability-friendly' residence. It had been remodeled to be wheelchair-accessible. Of course, their furniture was fiendishly out-of-scale for my needs. Six of me could have slept on that bed and climbing into the chair was like scaling Mount Rushmore. I bought a very sturdy coffee table that performed nicely as a library table and a child-sized chair, some rugs and two footstools. One was quite wide and would get me into and out of bed when half asleep without falling on my ass. The other was collapsible and made of light plastic so that I could carry it around. What did I need it for? How else was I going to use a public toilet? Piss down the floor drain? I also carried a pocket full of paper towels because once seated on the throne I rarely if ever could reach the toilet paper dispenser.
I didn't have much in the way of personal goods. I had two small boxes of clothes, a little CD player, an alarm clock, three suits, four separate jackets, a couple pair of shoes, a Dopp kit for the bathroom, a nice little Samsonite suitcase with rollers, a Macintosh desktop computer and a laser printer. The last item was so incredibly heavy and unwieldy I paid someone twenty bucks to carry it into the dorm room for me. I didn't put out any of my awards. I might be tossed out the window if anyone read "Adult Film Industry" on one of them.
Two things rarely left my side. They were a 'reacher' that gave me access to shelves out of my reach, and a cut-down bag lady's rolling cart that allowed me to shop and to carry my books about. It had six inch wheels that wouldn't bog down in the winter or get caught on rough ground.
I had no idea what crime was like in the dorms. To be safe I bought a steel plate with a small (1/2 inch) hole in one corner. I epoxied it to the bottom of my coffee table. With the aid of a steel cable, a good padlock and a borrowed drill I fastened the computer and printer to the table. Each room had a telephone. I carefully dissected mine and added a four-wire jack to the side of it. That's where I plugged in my modem. It was only 9600 baud but it got me out the door. I found quite a bit of local BBS action. [Ed: The Internet wasn't around yet. The BBS relay nets were in their prime at that time.]
First semester. I registered for a fairly standard freshman class load of Calculus 1, English composition, Microeconomics, Chemistry 1 and Spanish 1. I located the cafeteria and library then found the closest gym. Don't let anybody blow smoke up your ass--sexual performers are actors and athletes. Let's see you hump your ass off for a solid forty-five minutes without stop. I could do fifty inverted pushups. I couldn't swing a bat or throw a ball worth a damn because the leverage supplied by my short little arms wasn't up to the job. Likewise my vertical jump sucked. However, I was a tumbler, an acrobat. I needed to keep up my muscle mass and tone so I lifted weights every morning before classes unless I was sick and ran around the track for a couple miles after classes finished. If the weather was bad I tumbled on mats in front of a mirror. Occasionally I mixed it up and ran in the morning, especially if it would be hot that day.
Most of the kids wore tee-shirts, blue jeans and fashionable sneakers. I wore a dress shirt, dress pants and a jacket. My hair was kept short and my beard was trimmed. The professors noted and approved of my professional appearance. Occasionally the fraternities had a 'dress-out' week but it was rare.
I had a healthy work ethic. This carried over into my study habits. I didn't fluff off morning classes. I read ahead in my books. The math damned near drove me to distraction until I found a study group. I'd always been a reader so the courses in English, Spanish, world history and micro-economics weren't bad. It was that damned calculus class that had me by the balls. I gritted my teeth and held on for the ride.
One evening I took a break from studying for a much-needed bathroom break. While doing my business I heard the sound of a man-made waterfall followed by a very female-sounding sigh! I grinned like a fool. It reminded me of a couple theatrical sets I'd been on back in the bad old days. Watersports! I finished my business, got down and picked up my foot-stool. I opened the door to find a beautiful blonde girl with lots of curves and a pair of ... let's just say that if a rainstorm came along all I'd have to do is stand close in front of her to stay dry. Wow.
"What--who the hell are you?"
I was dressed in a pair of sweat pants and had on huaraches. I grinned. "I'm Jack. Call me Jay."
She just stared and stared. I walked out of the bathroom convinced that she just knew that someone had put something in her mashed potatoes at supper...
That was Tuesday. By Wednesday evening the news was all over the floor. Most of the girls thought I was 'cute'. The consensus among the guys that could be forced to offer an opinion was that I was a leprechaun. That worried me. That sort of persecution was real. So was dwarf-tossing and a lot of other mean, potentially harmful shit. I headed for the lobby where the phone books were kept. I looked up a couple of likely stores that sold unarmed combat supplies. If they thought that I was a leprechaun then I'd start carrying a caber, by damn. I hoped that would be enough. I didn't want to carry knives or pistols. I was there to get an education, not to give someone else an 'education' or come under the watchful eye of the constabulary.
Between classes on Thursday I contacted several shops, the numbers of which I'd harvested the previous evening. I found a place that sold proper three foot cabers fashioned from blackthorn wood with a three inch solid burl at the end. They were kiln dried and treated with linseed oil. I grinned and ordered two for next-day delivery. One I'd cut down to two feet long to use as a proper walking stick for a gentleman of my stature. By noon on Friday I felt a lot safer. The weekend fraternity and sorority beer bashes were coming up. I didn't want to be taken out in a drunken frolic. After my classes ended for the day I spent some time in the gym whacking the heavy bag, getting some moves down. Knees and ankles were close targets, but I'd take wrists and elbows too. If anyone managed to pick me up I'd go for the jaw or temple. From then on I worked to improve my grip. I used a dog's solid rubber exercise ball to squeeze as I read.
I kept a small fridge in the room for iced tea, and a shelf with some snacks and cookies as a larder. I had an electric pot and fixings for hot tea. The dormitory admin people really didn't want anybody cooking in the dorm rooms. Candles sent them into a dire frenzy.
It was rare that I'd get a guest. I didn't socialize much and I supposed that I was unusual enough to put people off. I entertained a couple of ladies, however. Kim, the statuesque blonde that I'd met in the bath, came over to visit and satisfy her curiosity. She'd seen the small bearskin rug that covers my chest so she was convinced that I wasn't a kid that was passing as an adult. I heard a knock.
"A moment!" I pulled on a dark green tee shirt and opened the door.
Kim stood there in athletic shorts and a tee. "Hi! care for a visitor?"
I motioned her in and propped the door open. It was only proper. "Have a seat? I'm afraid that it's the bed or the floor. You wouldn't fit on my other furniture."
She grinned and flopped down on the end of the bed, then did that woman-thing of sitting on one foot. She looked around curiously. "No posters, no TV, a nice rug on a clean floor, no pizza boxes--this place looks like an office with a bed in it!"
I shrugged. "I burned all that nonsense out of myself years ago." I thought, then asked, "How old do you think I am?"
She looked at me as if coming in to my room suddenly was a mistake. "Umm, twenty?"
I shook my head. "Try twenty eight. I've been working steadily since high school, though."
She brightened. "Oh yeah? at what?"
I felt a bit uncomfortable with that one. "West coast. Film industry." Shit. I shouldn't have said anything.
"Wow! You were in movies?"
"Well, yeah. As a dwarf I was a shoe-in for some parts. Mostly fill-ins." Shit. I actually said that?
"What were you in?"
Think quick, asshole. "Aww, you wouldn't know any of 'em." I hoped like hell that she'd never hear of John Biggs! I kind of waved my hands to drop the subject. "So where are you from?"
"Oh, Mayfield, near the western tip of Kentucky. You?"
"A little town just north of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Whatcha here for? What year?"
She replied, "I'm a sophomore in Sports Medicine."
I nodded. "Let me know when you take Anatomy and Physiology. I did pretty good in it at Cal State."
"What are you taking? by the looks of those", she motioned at my pile of textbooks, "You're a freshman, taking the drudge courses."
"Yeppers. I'm here to learn how to write. I expect to wear out my poor keyboard. So, whatcha do around here for fun, exercise, terrorism--you know, the regular stuff."
"I go to the games, I run and I'm an archer."
She screwed up her face and grabbed her oversized tits. "Not with these in the way. Imagine getting whacked with a bowstring."
"Hey, careful with those! They're national treasures!"
She laughed, a bright and clear noise.
I told her, "Look They've got to have the same problem in the Olympics. Don't they wear some sort of saddle-leather contraption that holds one side flat, kind of like a wrist protector for the chest? If your coach hasn't said anything about it then it's time for a new coach."
She stood up, hugged me hard enough to lift my feet from the floor then dashed out the door, trailing behind a "Thanks!"
I closed the door, bemused. Well, that was interesting.
The next monday I was out running early. The sun was still below the horizon and there was a low fog on the field. I was dressed in running shorts, socks and trainers. I carried a belt pouch with my wallet within and had my long shillelagh strapped to my back. I pounded past the early morning joggers as if they were standing still. Soon enough I'd done my ten laps and was walking a cool-down lap. A squad of ROTC trainees in olive drab and combat boots took the field and was running in time when I left. I thought to myself, "There, but for the grace of God, go I".
I returned to the dorm to shower and dress before packing my books and heading for the cafeteria. I carried the short caber in my book carrier. I joined the line waiting for the doors to open. I was jostled just a bit too hard so I responded. "Hey! I'm walkin' heah! I'm WALKIN' heah!" Someone yelled out "Taxi Driver! Robert DeNiro!". I grinned.
The line people knew that when two dismembered hands pushed a tray down the line it was me. I called out my choices and showed my ID with its food service stamp on the back. I put my tray on a mostly-empty table then set up my foot-stool. I clambered up and chowed down. Afterwards I sat back to finish my drink and contemplate the day, gearing up as it were. It was my normal ritual and I felt comfortable with it. However, that day something changed. I soon found myself surrounded by some eight young ladies that lived on my floor.
"Now I know how Custer felt." They laughed a bit.
"You've become the distraction of the moment. We're all dying to find out what movies you were in."
I found myself aghast. I pushed back from the table. "Please! Don't take this any further. I regard your probing as a breach of privacy. Look, I've done things that I'm not very proud of, for the money. I performed for the camera and got the hell out without turning into a drug addict. That's all I want to say about it."
"Look, I'll say one more thing then expect you to drop it. What segment of the film industry requires weekly STD testing?"
I climbed down, folded my stool, gathered my tray and headed for the service line to drop it off. I hoped that I hadn't opened Pandora's box. If I had to leave the college because of this I would not at all be happy and would let it be known far and wide just how unhappy I was.
I managed to get through the day while keeping a cap on my temper. In the gym I practiced a floor exercise that I'd cribbed from a film of the previous Olympics. I stood there cooling off, wiping myself down with a towel when I noticed one of the women's coaches watching me. I nodded and headed off for the showers. I had dinner and studying to do.
I got some strange looks as I passed down the hall towards my room, dragging my book carrier behind me. I unlocked the door, rolled the carrier in and unloaded it onto my desk. I was well ahead in most of my courses but still had that damned calculus to work over. Practice, practice, practice. I'd found an old textbook in the library on 'editing for the professional publisher' which I was assiduously consuming.
I heard a quiet knock at the door. I sighed. I was still dressed for the outdoors so I rose and opened the door. There stood Barbara, one of the more private people on the floor. She was all of five foot three, slender and straight as a stick. She had luxuriant dark red hair and eyebrows, and a translucent complexion. I invited her in and offered to make tea. She smiled and nodded. "Please be seated. The bed is the only option, I'm afraid. I'll go fill the kettle and be right back."
When I returned she'd sat down and was examining the book on editing. I put the kettle on to boil. "Editing?"
I nodded. "An author needs to examine their work with a critical eye lest it be rejected out of hand for its flaws."
She nodded. "I plan to specialize in technical writing, myself."
I grinned and noted, "Please refrain from the urge to write in the center of alternating pages "This page was intentionally left blank". She giggled. IBM documentation was infamous 'world round'.
The water was hot. I unplugged the pot, prepared the cups and poured. I offered her the sugar and sour salt (citric acid--an unreasonable excuse for fresh lemon as it has no scent) then prepared my own cup. "Now, what's this about?" I took a sip of tea while bracing myself for the worst.
She put down her cup and folded her hands. "They are saying you were an adult film actor."
I agreed. "Yes. I was. It's a filthy business that ruins lives. There is no honor, pride or glamour in it. It drives most to drink, drugs and suicide. I'm well out of it and wish many others I know were out as well."
Her shoulders drooped. "It's what I expected. When my sister left she told me she was going to the SAn Fernando valley for an acting job I had a bad feeling."
That was a place to which I wanted never to return. "The Valley". You'd never know just from driving down the street. It was filled with hopefuls, suitcase pimps, chicken hawks and greedy agents. The agencies were the worst. They pushed everything the law would allow and pushed that line as well. I knew that as a good looking dwarf I had participated in plenty of pseudo-child porn. I'd had to shave my tackle and Nair my ass more often than not. When God gave California its final flood that's where the enema hose would go. "Do you know what her stage name is?" She shook her head 'no'. "Then there's no way in hell to find out who she's working as. With theatrical makeup and a good color rinse she could be anywhere but on a black-only set." I reached for a 3x5 index card and wrote my working name and my phone number on it. "Let absolutely nobody see this name. If you ever hear from your sister give her this name and number. Tell her I'm out of the business and working the other side. Ask her to give me a call. If she needs to get straight I'll help her." I gave her a long hug and sent her away. I slowly took the tea cups and flatware to the bathroom to wash up. I once again had a lot to think about. A lot of memories to face, then once again lock them away. It was a rough night.
I ran in the rain. I had bought a skin-tight runner's jersey that held in a bit of heat. I was nearly alone as I pounded out the miles, awake and aware. There was no 'runners buzz' for me. Lexington was dangerous and I had to keep my wits about me. As a small person I tended to draw predators like a field mouse draws the hawk. It was Saturday. I had no classes, so after breakfast I decided to do something different. I hit the hock shops. I'd never attempted to learn to play a musical instrument as my hands were too small to bridge a bar chord on a guitar. I'd heard that there were some guitars with necks that were made for smaller hands. I was out looking.
Someone else was out looking and found more than they could handle. As I was passing an alley someone grabbed the back of my jacket collar and dragged me into the dark, stinking area behind a bar. I had my right hand on the butt of my shillelagh. As soon as they spun me around I swung for the bleachers. I aimed for the eyes. I heard a dull, wet crunch and whoever it was went down. I looked up to find two men standing there with their mouths open. One was black, one was white. Both were in trouble. I aimed for their knees, then once they were down I hit them hard just above their ears. I heard crunches with each blow. I shook myself, checked the caber for nasty bits and continued on to my next pawn shop. Their pockets would have nothing that I'd need or want.
I found a couple nice stick-pins for ties that I bought and a Fairborne-Sykes model 3 fighting knife with a light-colored plastic handle. I certainly had a place for that. I returned to campus for dinner at the cafeteria. I spent the rest of the evening in my studies.
(I've been using 'shillelagh' and 'caber' interchangeably. Now, if you've ever watched a 'highland games' you'll find that during the caber toss a very powerful man takes up a twelve foot long log a foot in diameter and after running a bit while balancing the damned thing on end he flips it end over end, as if to form a bridge over a moat. Among normal men and not the daft Scots a caber is a hand weapon with a great knot at one end, while a shillelagh is a walking stick with a great knot at one end. Blackthorn wood is traditionally used. So there.)
Eventually the holidays rolled around. Thanksgiving was the last gasp of sanity before the final bits got stuffed into our ears before finals.
Kim bashed on my door the Sunday after the holiday. "For God's sake, get me out of here and take me someplace that serves big pieces of dead cow! I laughed and dressed for the weather, then we headed out for my car. She was interested in the modifications made to let me control the vehicle, then sat back and watched me drive. I'd found a place out on the circle (that surrounds Lexington--the ring road) called Rex's Cork and Fork. They had great big chunks of meat that were lightly charred on the outside while just warm on the inside. They had great fried onion rings too!
"Now that you've seen my favorite eatery you'll have to show me yours. After all, isn't I'll show you mine if..."
"Oh, shit! You little bastard! You actually worked in a dirty joke!" She roared while I sat back and smiled at counting coup.
I suddenly realized what she intended. "Come on back to my place and show me yours."
She stiffened, then smiled and took my arm. In a way I was making it easier on her. We nuzzled each other and made our way back to my room in lockstep. She went to the bathroom first, then I did. The lights were out but I could feel her heat in my bed. We hugged and kissed, then explored each other's little reactive spots. I played a lot of little tricks on her, bringing her up higher and tighter until I dove into her sweet center and made her scream. In ten years I'd learned how to make the most bovine, uncaring actress cum like a skyrocket. I played Kim like a violin until she passed out. She gave me the most honest of reactions. Her legs and feet shook in spasms as she rolled away from me. That's oh, so rare. Oh, I'd gotten my jollies, and it was comforting not to have to make with the 'money shot'.
After she woke up she still occasionally went into the shakes. She was actually afraid of me after that. Well, hell--now she knew the difference between an amateur and a professional. That was my professional rep--I never, repeat, never left 'em hanging. Occasionally she'd come up behind me in the day lounge and touch the back of my head in a sort of caress, then leave. When I'd reach for her she'd avoid my grasp and quickly walk away.
Second semester. I went back to my rituals. My second semester ground on with American history, Spanish II, Calculus II and macroeconomics. I audited and read on my own in 'great American Authors'. I traded in my Golf's under-powered gas engine on a diesel with a super-charger. What a sleeper!
I made it a point to have a weekly Sunday dinner and a conversation with Barbara. I didn't have anything to hide from her and we both had a similar career path in mind. We exchanged reading lists and pet peeves.
I caught the woman's floor exercise coach watching me again. I didn't know if she wished me to get a sex change operation or become another coach. She didn't say.
It was time to plan for summer and a new place to live. I would no longer be a freshman and be forced to live in the dormitories. I took off a Monday to check out the local government offices for what distressed properties were for sale, either for property tax foreclosures, abandoned properties or claimed by the city due to the death of the owner and no direction.
I found several places available, but the one that caught my eye was relatively close to the college and in an older mixed white/black neighborhood. When I drove by to inspect the place I wasn't so sure about my decision, but then I realized that this was for the long haul, and I'd already planned to spend some money to get set up. I knew it was going to cost me.
I purchased the place for the princely sum of eleven thousand dollars. The price of a dog house you say? It was a disaster! I paid for the land and the trees. I had the place razed to the ground and a small pre-fabricated house assembled on the slab. I also had an attached one car garage built. The city virtually rubber-stamped construction permits for prefab houses from known manufacturers. The lot was large enough to allow for the garage. I requested that the contractor install a raised floor throughout the house and install a ramp in place of the front stairs and one to bridge the garage and house. It was ready for occupancy before Easter. I had a very nice residence for forty thousand.
Hey, it was a great deal! I had a new roof, a new forced-air heater and water heater. The walls and windows were insulated so that one window air conditioner kept the entire place cool, as summers in Lexington could be steamers. The place had modern wiring and the plumbing was brand new. There wasn't much of a back yard but that suited me to the ground. It meant less lawn to mow.
The weekends between Easter and May were exhausted by furnishing the bedroom, living room, bath room and kitchen. I needed the whole newlywed package--pots, pans, dishes, flatware, cleaning supplies, bedroom set, bedding, towels, toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap ... Good lord, the list seemed endless. The people at Bed, Bath and Beyond knew me by name! I bought a barbecue grill for the back yard and a bit of lawn furniture. Of course, I had to saw the legs in half.
I filled the larder, filled the freezer and got the phone line with a two-line service connected. I secured a library card and got my driver's license changed to Kentucky, the land of the horse farm and bourbon whiskey.
We spent my last two Sunday meals with Barbara at the house. She seemed amused that the tables were turned. When she sat on the couch her knees were at her chin. She was wearing shorts so I didn't catch a panty flash and the proprieties were maintained. We had pizza one night and smoked barbecue from a place that I'd found the next. I'd had a pair of bookshelves installed in the living room next to the space reserved for my work table from my dorm room. I spent a fair amount of money populating those shelves with the works of authors recognized for their talent and reader appeal. I spent what little spare time I had not so much reading as analyzing the works of Clemens, Clement, Ellison, Dick, Delany, and Hemingway.
I successfully passed my courses and proclaimed my major. It got my advisor scratching her head, as usually a degree in literature was accompanied by courses preparing the student for a teaching career. When I specifically requested courses in critical editing as well as short story and novel writing she began to get the idea.
I hired two gentlemen out of the newspaper to strip my dormitory room of my belongings and to deliver them to my home. With my computer and printer installed I felt ready for anything. I bought the largest thesaurus I could find and a huge dictionary. I joined a gym that was located somewhat near my house. I spent my mornings from five to seven working out and running on their indoor track. Once the fall term began I'd continue my running on the school's field. The walls felt claustrophobic after running out of doors.
I spent the summer writing, editing and rewriting. I was searching for a style and a voice. Having read extensively as a teen and during my years in California I had plots coming out of my ears. I needed protagonists, antagonists, grammar, word choice and sentence tempo. I certainly had my work cut out for me. I worked on dialog and descriptive forms. I wrote about several people that I'd known back in the valley, and their relationships. I wrote scenes and chapters, of evenings and days. I recorded of conversations I'd had at a Denny's at two in the morning and post-coital conversations at four. I wrote of the prima-donna actresses and directors, of foul-mouthed cameramen and testosterone-laden actors.
I'd coached many an anal virgin through their first experience. The sheer terror that many of them felt was hard to take so I did my best to get them through it with the least amount of suffering. Things like that I wrote for myself, just to get it out of my mind.
I haunted the university libraries while they were open during the summer. I had time to indulge myself so I explored the various facilities. You must realize that there's more than one library at a place the size of U. of K. There's more than one college! Pharmacy and medicine come to mind. I found several books comprising critical essays on books that I'd read. Certainly, there were 'Cliff Notes' analyses of many classics, but they weren't from a writer's perspective. One book focused on the Science Fiction genre of the 1950s and 60s. I found several of my old favorites at a used book store and re-read them while keeping in mind the analysis of that book which I had on file. Photocopiers are such lovely things, but they bring a new meaning to being nickeled and dimed to death.
I was at a disadvantage working without a mentor. However I did the best I could. I went back through the things that I'd written with a focus on word choices. The public library held several books on selecting verbs, adjectives and adverbs. The ones I found most beneficial I pursued to purchase copies of my own. I became familiar with research services and found several local librarians most knowledgeable in the field. Their services were of inestimable value. I resolved to take at least one course in library science as another set of tools in my kit. It sounded like a good candidate for a summer school class. That would open the door for other, higher level courses in the field that would greatly benefit my pursuit.
Third semester. Upon returning from the summer break I scheduled an appointment with my advisor. I brought along a folder holding most of what I'd written and a precis of what I'd achieved over the summer. She accepted the folder for later reading and scheduled another appointment for the next week. We solidified my course selections as well. I took Calculus 3, Spanish 3, introduction to library science, contract law and writing for writers.
The next week I found her--bemused, I suppose. I was presented with two papers to sign. "There. You now have an additional eight semester hours in literary independent study. Well done!" She asked to keep the folder I'd presented to her before for my file. Of course, I acceded.
Great! I'd needed them for my degree. I expressed an interest in taking some courses in library science and told her about my experiences during the summer. She nodded her understanding and approval. "It's tools like that which make the job so much easier. You must be building up quite a library. Please bring me a book list. I'll read it over and make some suggestions." I happily agreed. We once more went over my course selections for the semester then parted.
I found a local 'head shop'--Squecial Media-- which was going out of business. I stopped in to see what was available. I bypassed the pipes and other smoking paraphernalia. There was a large selection of music but it was 'beyond my reach'. I did, however, pick up two cases of incense sticks in sandalwood. For a burner I'd use a bowl of sand as it was done in India. We'd use incense to cover the smell of sex both on the sets and in the house my partners and I rented back in the bad old days. I had a few good memories about that time in my life and the smell of sandalwood brought back many of them. I found several screen-printed tee shirts that would fit me, advertising bands and performers that I both recognized and enjoyed. I was quite happy with my purchases. I celebrated by visiting a local pizza place that was something of a local legend--Happy Joe's. They sold more bread sticks and garlic butter than pizza by a wide margin. I recall seeing the mechanics at a garage having take-out bread sticks for lunch while getting my front end aligned. Good times. Their pizza wasn't bad, either!
I decided to be more intelligent about my search for a guitar that fit my admittedly very small hands. I enlisted the aid of the campus music department. They came up with several 3/4 size instruments on the market to choose from. I went by the reviews and selected two. An Ibanez AEG10NE acoustic/electric with nylon strings, and a Blue Ridge BR-41 baby dreadnought with steel strings, which I'd attempt to master after I'd built up some calluses. They retailed for three hundred dollars each, but buying through the school netted me a twenty five percent discount and no tax (!). I added an evening course in introduction to the guitar. It was a continuing education class that was mostly populated by adults older than I was. Since I had a full-ride tuition in my favor going through the university versus a commercial training company or a music store was a no-brainer. I began learning to play the guitar and scared all the dogs and cats away from my house. It was a good distraction from the times when words eluded me.
I indexed my book collection for my advisor. I noticed a few holes on my own. I was determined to plug at least one of them as soon as possible. I called the Lexington Herald-Leader and posted an ad for a set of 1976-vintage Encyclopedia Britannica which, if I recall correctly, was the last year that it came out in one monolithic set of volumes rather than their 'Macropedia/Micropedia' which frustrated me beyond words. The Berea library had a set that they'd part with for a good price. Since they'd obviously been used as a reference source for the library I insisted that they be audited for any removed pages. Whoops! That poured water on their fire. I used the electronic inter-library messaging system to send out a similar request. I ended up driving to Cincinnati for a pristine set. It cost me five hundred to buy it and nearly one hundred in fuel to retrieve it.
I was quietly murdering my guitar one Saturday morning when I heard a knock at the door. I put down the guitar, picked up a caber and answered the door. It was Kim! She was distraught. She was taking Anatomy and Physiology that semester and it was driving her noisily nuts. She remembered that I'd offered her assistance when she took the course and she was willing to trade on that promise. Well, she interpreted it as a promise.
I settled her down in my one 'adult' sized chair and we bargained. The thing that caused me the most grief each week was shopping. I simply wasn't proportioned properly to negotiate the aisles or secure the product from the shelves, much less reach into the freezer and refrigerated cases for what I wanted. I told her that I'd spend four hours a week tutoring her in A&P if she spent one hour shopping for me. I'd even put it away! She was soon sold on the idea. Since she still slept in the dormitory and ate in the cafeteria we agreed on Saturday afternoons. It would get her back on campus in a timely fashion so as to take advantage of the cafeteria's offerings. If she could take more that four hours of continuous tutoring in A&P she should own a red cape and a blue union suit with a big red "S" on the chest.
Later that fall Barbara came by. She brought with her Trudi, a German expatriate teen that found herself adrift in our culture. I knew enough German through my mother and her parents to be dangerous. I made her welcome in my house and introduced her to the German teachers on staff at the university. There was a healthy sub-culture of German and Dutch people in the city which welcomed her. I washed my hands of the business and thought no more about it.
I continued my studies and maintained my schedule of exercise and running. I came afoul of muscle-bound fools twice more. Once was on campus, and I had them prosecuted after whaling the crap out of them. The second event was nowhere near as benign. Four toughs lay in wait for me at my house. I took several severe blows but killed all four of them with blows to the spine above the shoulders. After an extensive probe I was vindicated in the eyes of the law. The football team suffered grievous damage to their offensive line. Tough Shit.
It left a bad taste in my mouth, but after that assault I applied for a concealed weapons permit. I carried a wakazashi (Japanese short sword) in a blonde sheath as a walking stick. It pained me to concede the ability to wound rather than maim or kill. On Sundays I trained at a dojo to control my strikes. Again, during that period I struggled to sleep.
Fourth semester. I signed up for contract law 2, advanced writing, calculus 4, world geography and weight training. During my fourth semester I gained a mentor--one who promised to read my work on a daily basis and return their editorializations on a timely basis. With proper feed-back I quickly grew more skillful-- or so I thought. I asked a local magazine editor to monitor my work. Much to my dismay I was told that I was being sabotaged.
I hired a lawyer and immediately brought my findings up with the dean of the university. My mentor was released and all accreditation stripped from his profile. I was wounded and disappointed that anyone would go so far as to sabotage my hopes and future. I asked him directly why he did it. I learned that he was a brother to one of the football players that tried to turn me into a tent peg. I published my history and views with the Lexington Herald Leader and immediately applied for a transfer to the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.
At the prompting of the academic dean and the university's lawyer the U. K. bursar's office had no option but to reimburse me for the fees due the university for the previous semester, clear my transcript of all courses taken my fourth semester and to release my transcript and the U of I admissions office was delighted to accept a 4.0 GPA student from an accredited institution. I wrote an article defaming the perfidious bastards managing the U of K, put my house up for sale and looked for a small house near Champaign-Urbana, in South Eastern Illinois.
I wondered at the end if I had burned the bridges before me as well as the ones behind.