Be Careful What you Ask For

 1

A total mix up, me? I guess that’s a fair analogy of my life as if anything is true of my life it is certainly that it has not been ‘normal’ hardly following the rules, always going against the tide, not with it, always up hill, not down, always through a wall rather than over it.

There I was at 20 years of age with this amazing guy, we did everything together, we loved each other and everything in the world was wonderful. That is, everything in our world was amazing. This is the early 80’s when everyone knows it’s OK to be gay just as long as we are not related to them, they don’t do it in public and they have nothing whatsoever to do with kids because all homos are paedophiles!  

So, my lover and I were happy in our little cocoon of existence exploring this gay life on our own with no interaction with anyone else, effectively we invented our homosexuality and we were living it out our way with no instruction manual, no guide to show us what it was about and it was exciting and dangerous. For two glorious years we lived our double life. To the outside world we were straight but in the privacy of our own space, we were Steve & Neil, a couple so much in love? that is, until Paul showed up. 

Paul was a guy I went to school with and an occasional drinking buddy. We were seeing quite a lot of each other and had just been on holiday. He was so not my type of guy and, at the time, he claimed to be straight so nothing happened. Sure, it may have done if we’d been pissed enough or if he was in the slightest bit attractive or had more than one brain cell that could be put to a useful function but, nothing did. Neil didn’t see it that way; he’d already seen the evidence and reached a decision. I saw him once when I got back and that was it, he disappeared and I was alone, the first heartbreak of my life. 

So, being a traditionalist and pressured by years of heterosexual upbringing, I turned my attentions elsewhere having concluded I’d never be so lucky again, that I could not be gay, I had my fun, it was great, it was over. 

To cut a very long story as short as possible, I met a girl and was fascinated that she found me attractive, that she seemed to worship me. No one apart from Neil had done that with me and it made me feel special as I do have a weakness for adoration. We got married, I did the whole heterosexual thing with some considerable difficulty and we had kids, 4 of them and I’d never change a thing. 

That is, I’d not change anything except that two of those children were mentally handicapped, the eldest boy very severally so and his life was to dominate mine for years to come, way more than any other child would take over the life of a parent. 

Though my wife knew I was gay I tried to keep it hidden but there came a point where it was impossible to do so and after 14 years together we divorced. I was shocked at how she gave up the children without any sort of fight over them and I have been a single parent ever since with the kids now well into teenage years. 

The eldest, a lovely little boy but a nightmare of an adult, lives away from home now. The son I used to know left years ago overtaken by a stranger who was unknown even unto himself I should imagine. There are no words that adequately can describe how painful it is to have a son that is deeply loved turn against me. He became almost savage in his attacks, digging deep into my very soul with each blow, with each angry look or gesture. Every now and then I see a glimmer of the boy he used to be but my son, my Jermaine, has long since been overshadowed only occasionally making one of his appearances to remind me who he is, no longer communicating, no longer loving. I miss him deeply and mourn for the undead. 

Matt is my other son, a great young guy with his future ahead of him, unfairly made to leave childhood behind many years ago in order to care for his brother. A man so overflowing with talent and a cave full of never ending love and the ability to care. There are no medals capable of rewarding his life and his achievements. A handicapped brother, a gay dad and he’s just fine, a dabbling into the world of bisexuality as seems to be the modern way but fundamentally heterosexual though I have never yet had him come out to me with the words that ?? ??Dad, you may one day have grandchildren, I need to let you know that I am straight?. 

I don’t ask for much in life, love and respect and good health would be the main three but a wonderfully cute man by my side to love me and understand me like no other would be one dream of mine that I know is unattainable but who knows, if I wish long enough and hard enough, that, along with a huge lottery win will be mine for the taking and I truly will be the luckiest man alive but, these things don’t happen, or do they? 

I had one weird dream last night; I blame my new trend of going to bed at a sensible time personally. Well, it would be ‘personally’ as I just said ‘I’ so that was just pointless, a total waste of words just like … well, like most of that first it was but I shall say no more about it … back to the dream. 

I was happily doing my dreamy thing, not really going anywhere, not doing much when I became aware of some guys talking to me, not British guys but American. They were asking me what was wrong, why I had stopped all of a sudden.  

Looking around me I didn’t recognise anyone so much as to name them but I did vaguely know where I was, again, not enough to name it but it was familiar. The guys were acting weird now like I was meant to know what I was doing, where I was going. All I could do was to think up some story look man, I feel weird, I can’t think straight, walk me though this yeah? Even odder, it didn’t sound like me, the dialect, the accent, was that me?  

We were entering some sort of secure location but it was clearly educational. We each had to give thumb prints recognition to get in the sliding doors and there were cameras everywhere. If this was a university then it was some high class joint. I sat through the lesson with the words going over my head, I had no idea what algorithms that were on about, complicated words, a different language to me yet the other guys seemed to be lapping it up. 

During the break I went to the bathroom, see, there I go again with the Americanism. This was the first time I had seen myself since this crazy time had started. Wow, geez, is that me? I could understand now why I felt so different, why I had a bounce in my step. Wanted to leap over desks, slide down the stairs … the person looking back at me must have been 6′ 2″, broad shoulders, blonde hair, Californian tan and couldn’t have been more than his mid-twenties. I/he was gorgeous but how the hell? 

I muddled through the rest of the day, boy was this heavy stuff, all that designer clothing, it was amazing. 

There was one guy seemed to talk to me more than the others, I had to hope we had some special friendship as when I left this place I was in shit street, no idea where to go, I didn’t have a clue where I was, how could I know where to go? 

“Walk home with me? I said, hoping this didn’t sound too forward. At this stage I had no idea who this guy was whose body I was in, I couldn’t assume anything.”

“Not got your car man? Jules not going back with you man, c’mon, you been talking about this weekend all week man?”

“Jules” I had no idea, time for a fishing trip …is this Julian, Julie? Hell! 

“Oh Dave, you crack me up with that kiddin’ you do, hey, maybe bring her by my place tomorrow night?”

Oh fuck, her? Oh shit, what the hell do I do with a ‘her’? 

I had to find out more “Hey, John” 

“John? Why you calling me that, you know my name is Mike man, you going weird, I swear you are” 

Good, I knew this was Mike now. “Mike, Hey, I was speaking to some Brit last night on MSN, he calls everyone John, seems like that’s what they do where he comes from, thought I’d try it out for size. You know I’ve been feeling weird man, where did I stow the car”?

“Dave man, you’re getting me worried now, perhaps I’d better let you drive me home before you go pick up Jules, you do remember how to drive don’t you?” Mike said it as a joke but not very deep down I could tell he was having some real concerns. 

“Sure, sure I do, Show me the way to your place though, my head hurts, some weird headache, it won’t go. I’ve not been to Jules’s place from yours before, I’ll get lost for sure. Call Jules for me, tell her I will meet her there? I was having to think on my feet here, I had no idea who anyone here was including me. 

Mike stopped by this Merc, “Man, you do got your keys don’t you?” 

OK, a nice convertible Merc, apparently this would be my car, I had to assume the keys in my pocket were the rights ones. 

I dropped Mike off and then went to see Jules, she was a stunner, the kind of girl any jock would want to go for but I wasn’t any jock. I was a 42 year old poof in the body of a guy half my age who was apparently straight. A guy that was lusting after some other guy called Mike who was probably his best friend; I was someone who could really seriously screw things up for a lot of people. 

Jules and me had a beer together, she seemed really nice, not an air head, I mean, this girl was intelligent and attractive and she was clearly smitten with me. I thought about it for a while, there was only one thing I could do right now, there were already too many complications. ?Jules, you know how I feel about you but right now there is some heavy shit going on in my life, I need some space. You know, it’s not you, it’s me (Was I really saying that shit?) Can we like, cool it for a while??? 

OK, that didn’t go down too well, there was a subtle hint of the slap across my face for starters, could have knocked my glasses off, glasses, I didn’t need them, I hadn’t noticed before and no hearing aids either, this was weird. I spend most of my life wanting not to have these things and then, when I don’t have them I am unaware of the change. This got me to thinking, what else was I missing? I may not know where I am but I also know where I am not. I am not at home with the kids, who is? Oh my God, if I am here then maybe this young has it all is at home with my kids. 

Looking at my drivers licence I manage to work out where I live and thankfully I have my own apartment. When I say ??apartment? this is not as we would think of a flat, no, this had the same sort of space as my entire house, it was huge. Every conceivable gadget, no expense spared.  Whoever ??Dave? was he was loaded.  

I poured myself a beer from his well-stocked cooler and pondered. My first urge was to get back to the kids, to sort out what needed sorting out, to somehow get my body and my life back but wait ?? Here I am with everything I could ever want, my every wish answered, hell, I could even turn myself on by looking in the mirror, ??I? fancied myself! I was an OK age, the guys would understand if I suddenly turned gay, I could drop out of whatever that was, it almost certainly wasn’t what paid for all this, I could start my life again, a new body, money to spare, great looks and in a new country. Hell, maybe I could even meet up with the kids at some point, maybe I could be friends with Matt and we could arrange a holiday or something? But wait, I was crying inside. This isn’t my life, whatever ??he? can offer the kids, there is no way that Dave could be their dad. Hell, getting my body and my life the guy is probably in therapy and on drugs by now. No, I know what I am giving up but I have to get home. 

The plane journey home was a long and tortured one. Was I doing the right thing? Could I change this? How can I get my own body back? Using Dave’s credit card I got myself a taxi from the airport, it cost a fortune, I figured he could afford it and I’d be doing him a favour too. Within a few hours I was home and had to knock on my own door. Daisy answered and I asked if her dad was in so she called out for me, I mean ??him?. She stared at me for an age and I became aware that she was attracted to me, hell no, that was just too wrong on so many different levels!  

I/he arrived at the door as normal as anything. “Dave?” I asked expecting this guy to fall to my feet in sudden realisation he was not mad. 

“No, Steve, who are you?” He replied to my utter astonishment. 

“You mean, you haven’t noticed anything weird in your life at all recently, haven’t felt out of place at all? Surely he had to have felt something didn’t he? 

“I’m sorry he said, I don’t know you but would you like a coffee?” He smiled and our eyes met for possibly the first time. 

?Sure I said, my names Dave, sorry about the mix up, someone said we had met somewhere before but they must have screwed up. You got kids I see but you are gay right? I said, please don’t let that bit be fucked up. 

?Yeah, how’d you know, is it that obvious??? Came Steve’s reply 

?Well, maybe I was just kinda hoping?? I joked with him and Steve smiled back. 

Matt walked in and Steve introduced me, I mean, I introduced myself or, hell, I guess I just have to think quick here. Whatever happened to me didn’t happen to ??me?. I can’t explain it but, two minds are better than one and well, I did know him quite well and, you know, from where I was sitting he/I was really quite attractive for an old bloke! 

“Oh, sorry Dave, this is my second eldest, Matt” Steve introduced Matt to me and the strangest thing happened. Matt hugged me. 

“Hey Matt, do you always give hugs to guys you have just been introduced to”? I asked a little confused, I know Matt and there was just an outside chance he fancied me, fancied Dave. 

?Nah, you just sorta fit in, you and my dad seem a like somehow, I dunno, sounds dumb but you just sort of work together?? On that, Matt left the room.

?Sorry about that?? Said Steve ?But Matt is normally a very good judge, I trust his views on this?? Steve smirked and gave me that cheeky grin I knew to mean he fancied me something stupid but he’d never say more than that. 

?So, Steve ?? let’s go with his judgement then, do you think you could fancy a guy like me? 

?Hell Dave, you’re kidding right? I mean, guys like you, I mean, good looking guys, they don’t go for guys like me?? Steve was sincere and I remembered, he was right, they really didn’t. 

?Steve, they do now. I don’t really know why I am here but I do know that here is where I am meant to be. Don’t worry about anything anymore, not the kids, not money, not about being alone?? I meant it too, this just felt so right. 

?Dave, it’s weird, seeing you sitting there is like seeing the part of me that was missing??.

3

Sleeping together was going to be weird, I mean, me sleeping with me, is that legal? Hell, not like this sort of thing crops up often and, well, I wanked enough times and technically this is no different though I suspect it will be a lot more fun for Steve. I have taken to just thinking of myself as Dave now and, let’s face it, that makes it so much easier for the telling of this story. 

Knowing Steve as I very obviously do I made sure we went to bed way before he had that second drink, I wanted to be in with a fighting chance of us having some fun ?? this had been a long and very confusing day, I needed to relax, offload, unwind. 

As it happens, we just hugged for what seemed like an age, any closer and we’d have been back together again! 

The sex was amazing, one hell of an experience being with someone that knows your body like their own even when it isn’t. I was nervous about that, how would Dave’s body work with my mind ?? as it turned out, very well indeed and for most of the night. 

In the morning I got a call from Jules in the States saying how she accepted the break but she had to speak to me ?? turns out her kid brother was convinced he was me, I mean ?? ??Dave?. Oh hell, now what the? So, the guy whose body I now occupied was in that of a kid, he was now the brother of the girl who, until recently, he had been dating! 

I called Jules back; she was sure amazed to find out where I was! 

?Jules honey, I’m gonna order some tickets, send your bro over here will ya babes, I need to speak to him personal and it needs to be here, is that OK? 

?Sure Dave, but what the heck’s going on here, I just don’t get any of it?? Jules sounded way out of her depth but she agreed to send her brother over. A good kid, around 20, Curtiss I think, never really saw him much, always out doing stuff on his own, kept himself to himself, totally hooked on trucks. Not the brightest button on the jacket. Hey, how did I know that? I mean, I was there just a bit, barely spoke to Jules and yet here I am giving a life history of her brother? There was other stuff too, just stuff I can’t possibly know. There was only one explanation and that is when this body swapping goes on, something is left behind of the guy that was there before. Was Dave in here with me or was this residual Dave? I guess the latter because if Dave was in Curtiss then he sure couldn’t be in me. 

I explained to Steve that Curtiss would be visiting, maybe Matt could show him around some, make him familiar with the local area. Steve reckoned that was a neat idea and so it was set ?? I don?t think I am ready to explain it to Steve just yet. 

Curtiss arrived the following day, I met him at the airport and we went for lunch. To say he was freaked when he saw me was an understatement. It took 2 beers for him to calm down and Clearly Curtiss’s body was not used to drinking! 

?Hey, I know you look like me and you call yourself Dave but who the hell are you really as I know who I am and that you are wearing is my body, what the fuck is happening? Is this some sort of Alien body snatching thing??? Curtiss was clearly freaked and who can blame him, I know what it did to me ?? hell, see, this is just it isn’t it ?? this is not Curtiss, this is Dave, the former owner of this body I now occupy. I need to talk to him, find out about him, see what it is I am meant to be, who I am meant to be. I mean, to the world I am now Dave and there is no changing that. I need to know how to live as Dave and this guy is the only one capable of telling me. 

?Dave, I know that’s you in there, you’re not going mad man. I have no idea how to switch this all around, maybe we can’t. Look, there is something I have to ask you, are you gay??? Dave/Curtiss attempted to jump in ?? ?No, wait, here me out. I have been feeling your feelings, getting some of your memories and thoughts and nowhere do I pick up that you like girls, am I right, do you prefer guys? I have to ask because, well, I am kinda with someone now, ya know, a guy and he means a lot to me, is there any way that would fit in with the life you used to have before all this happened? Hell, I need to know, who are you, what am I meant to be, how I live your life. Sorry man, I have been where you are, I know how it feels but I need to know. 

?Oh shit man, this is unreal. I guess if you are me there is no point shitting ya. I always fancied guys sure, but if you know anything about my lifestyle at all, you’ll know I can’t just come out ?? well, I can but I couldn’t live with that. My mates would all disown me, Jules would be devastated, you already finished with her man, what was that about? What the shit do we do man??? 

?Dave, I got an idea ?? Curtis is only 20 right? We don’t know where he is, whether he’s in this country, the States or just about anywhere around the world. We gotta assume this change may be permanent right. You may not have been able to come out as Dave but as Curtis you could. You get an even younger body and he’s cute as hell from where I am sitting and he’s got his daddy’s money right? He’s already friends with a lot of your friends and you also get to keep an eye on Jules without having to fuck her, a win win from where I am.?? What is amazing at this juncture is that it is making perfect sense to me; I am body swapping here and already giving other swappers advice on how to deal with it. But this really did seem to work for Dave ?? he didn’t have to worry about what his mates would think of him coming out because he wouldn’t have to deal with it, I would! He could live his life as Curtiss just the way he wanted to with no losses except, of course, to Curtiss, poor Curtiss. We are planning his future here, if there is any going back to our own body, Curtiss will have to live with a total change in how he is perceived, maybe he, more than any other, would have the most difficult adjustment to make and so young too. 

?Dave, this is weird stuff but could be cool, I hated my body anyway and Curtiss is kinda cute like you said ?? call me Curtiss, Dave, I wanna try it on for size, pleased to meet you again, sorta.? 

Was Dave kidding? His old body, this one I am in, it was something he hated? Shit, American queers are just as shallow as the UK guys. 

I took the newly claimed Curtis back to meet Steve and the kids but when we got there, Steve had his eldest kid there, I mean ??our? eldest kid. 

4

?Dave, we need to talk about stuff, this is just so weird and I don’t know how to deal with it??. Steve was obviously both very worried but also I detected almost some excitement in his voice, like he’d just won the lotto but was waiting for the check not sure if they meant it when they said he’d won, expecting it to all be a joke. 

“Steve, what’s up, I thought Jermaine needed to stay at the hospital, he’s sick right? Trying to chat about my own son whilst maintaining some distance was difficult, I’d have to explain it to Steve and soon.

That’s just it, they called me earlier, wanted to bring him here as they said he was acting weird. He’d freaked out apparently and was just constantly insisting he shouldn’t be there, shouldn’t be anywhere near there and wanted to go home. They brought him home and he’s just not Jermaine. I don’t know what is worse, the son that cannot talk and doesn’t know who I am or this one that thinks he’s someone else!?? Oh shit, this is my son too, what is happening to him I have already guessed but who? Could this be the missing piece of the puzzle, is this Curtiss, the real Curtiss? 

?Steve, I need to speak to Jermaine alone, I think I know what is happening, will you trust me on this one. Afterwards I shall explain everything, I promise.?? I had to hope this was Curtiss but talking to him in my sons? body just didn’t seem right, it was the first time I felt any pain since this thing started to happen. 

Steve took me upstairs to what used to be Jermaine’s old room, Curtiss recognized me straight away.  

?Dave man, what are you doing here, why am I here, what’s happening man, I wanna go home I wanna ?I, I,  I want my dad.?? 

?Curtiss, your dad has been dead years now, you know that, hell, you’ve been living off that trust fund for years you should know it.?? 

?No, not him, my dad, I know it’s my dad but I can’t explain how, he’s downstairs right now and I want Matt and the girls and Jules.?? Curtiss started to cry like a baby, he was 20 years old and crying in my arms. ?Dave, this makes sense man ?? I never felt complete, like part of me was missing and it don’t feel like that anymore, this is home, this is where they have loved me and cared for me, I know that. I dunno how I know it but I do. Where are my Eddie’s? 

?Jermaine, is that you, are you in there too??? This was more than I could possibly hope for, that somehow Curtiss and Jermaine were now one and the same, two people as one. Where before there was division and separation, here we had unity, two trapped and unused minds combined to make a whole. “Maney,  It’s me ?? I don’t expect you to understand but somehow me and your dad got split, we are both your dad, I just have this body too ?do you understand that??? 

?Yeah, I know, I have known this was going to happen ever since, ever since she told me?? 

?Who, who told you what son??? ?Oh, screw that, hug me, this is not a time for talking, I have so missed you?? 

“No, I need to tell you , when I was little, do you remember, I was playing and you thought I was talking to someone, I was. This woman spoke to me and said that her eldest child had moved to America and had a son but that he was soulless, he wouldn’t survive alone. She asked me if I would mind giving part of myself to him and promised that one day, somehow, we’d be reunited again and it’s happened, I am back, we are back. She said to tell you who she was, she said to say ??mum is sorry, she loves you and misses you but that she had to do this, not to be angry with her?? Curtiss or Jermaine, or both, sobbed uncontrollably and so did I. This was my mum that did this, it had finally gone full circle and she had worked it so that I had finally been repaid many times over for the shit life I have had ?? I am the luckiest man on the planet and now, now it is time to introduce the truth to Steve and, more importantly, for Jermaine to once again take his place in this family.

Finis