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|"Is that Jeff over there?" my friend Dave asked. We
were at the beach,
August, summer was drawing to a close, Dave and I were
bored and had
the beach. I was also hoping to see some good muscle
there, but Dave
know that. "Jeff?" I asked, "here at the beach?"
Jeff was the last
you'd expect at the beach.
Jeff was this sort of geeky kid we knew from high school, eighteen, a senior this coming year like us. Jeff was tall, pretty bright, he got good grades, but he was the most socially awkward guy I'd ever met. He wasn't bad looking but he always wore these really dorky clothes, baggy corduroys and huge flannel shirts. He had almost no friends, was on no sports teams and spent most of his time in the library that I could tell, he lived with his grandmother. I'd met Jeff in chess club, of all places, he was a pretty good player, better than me, but we struck up a sort of friendship. We'd hang out in the cafeteria, talk about classes, work in the computer room, this was in the early 80's, just before the dawn of the pc, and computers were something exciting and new.
I looked where Jim was looking, it was Jeff all right, I could see his tall form, he was about 6'1", in the middle of some other guys, who were sort of pushing him around. "It IS, Jeff," I said, "Oh shit, and he's with Ken and his buddies!" We continued walking in that direction. Ken is your typical jock bully, star of the basketball team, around 6'1" as well, with a lean lanky muscled frame. When he's not scoring baskets Ken spends his time picking on anyone he can.
Jeff stood in front of Ken, surrounded by two of Ken's jock buddies, Ralph, a big linebacker on the school football team, and Doug, another basketball player. Ken pushed Jeff again, so he stumbled backwards, Ralph pushed him back toward Ken. "Get off the beach, dork, you're not even dressed for it, wimp!" Ken taunted. I hated to agree with him but Ken was right. Jeff was wearing his usual baggy flannel shirt and big brown cords, in August!! Didn't the guy have any clothes? Jeff's handsome blond head formed into a pout. "I came to play chess!" he whined. I remembered there were some chess boards set up near the gym equipment the muscle dudes worked out on. "Chess?" Ken taunted, "The beach is to impress the babes, not for wimps like you!" Ken scowled and flexed his pretty well developed chest, he wasn't terribly good looking, with his dull brown hair and eyes and his pug like features, but Ken didn't lack self confidence.
"Hey, leave the guy alone," I yelled, reaching them. Ken and his buddies turned, Jeff looked relieved. "And what exactly are you two shrimps going to do about it?" asked Ken. That was a good question, I was no impressive specimen, with my brown hair and hazel eyes I was only 5'9" and about 150lbs, later I put on some muscle, but then I was scrawny. Jim was about 5'6" and 130lbs, he was good looking, with half japanese blood he looked like a short Dylan McDermott, with dark hair and eyes and a strong chin. But looks did not impress Ken, he and his buddies would beat the shit out of us and not break a sweat.
"Uhh," I was at a loss for words and I might have lost some teeth in the next few moments, but then I heard the whir of bike wheels and a beach patrol police bike skidded to a stop next to us. "Everything OK guys?" We all looked over. It was Matt!! Matt had been a senior when I was a freshman, a big man on campus, a jock like Ken, but no bully. Matt was about 6ft and around 225lbs of solid muscle now that he was a rookie cop. His black hair and mustache gleamed in the sunlight, his sunglasses hid his blue eyes, but his muscles were evident in his white and blue police bike uniform. "Oh hi, Matt," Ken replied, "Uh, we were just saying goodbye to our buddies here, right guys?" "Yeah sure," I replied, as Ken and his buddies made tracks. "Thanks," Jim said to Matt. "No problem, guys, it's my job," Matt replied, "Why don't you guys find somewhere else to spend the afternoon? I can't always show up in the nick of time." "Good idea," I said, "Thanks alot." "Bye guys," Matt said as he rode off.
I turned to Jim and Jeff, "Why don't we guys go over to my place, my parents aren't home and we can use the pool?" "Cool," Jim said. "How about it Jeff?" I asked. Jeff looked at me, "Uh sure, listen, I took the bus here, can you give me a ride?" "No problemo," I said. We hurried over to the beach parking lot, all of us worried Ken would reappear, but too macho to admit it. We all hopped in my Dad's convertible and sped off to home, we all lived in the same neighborhood, but Jeff had never been to my house, he didn't socialize much, I wondered what we'd talk about, chess only goes so far.
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