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Adult Fiction by Solsticeman


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Yes, it's yummy!

I spent all the time I could in the library, too. Not to avoid rugby though. We didn't have that form of youthful torture and mayhem. We had others. When you're very slight of build and not terribly intrepid, the library is a very good thing indeed. You can indulge all your fantasies and still go home without a split lip.

C

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Thank God for Andrew Carnegie. His riches built our town library, just one among the many similar little libraries the Carnegie conscience-money scattered across small town, rural America at the beginning of the twentieth century. It looked like a cut-stone temple, with all those late Victorian touches like the turret room and the double front door with its iron strap hinges. It was the next coolest building in town after the fire house. For many a socially-challenged, physically-inept lad, myself included, it was both temple and refuge.

I got lucky, however, and landed my first real job there as a Library Page. Since I was there practically every day anyway I was already shelving books and giving the librarian a hand. Now I was legitimately employed, the envy of my eighth grade class, at ten hours a week, the hours strictly controlled by the terms of my Youth Work Permit. Because I was under sixteen both of my parents and the school principal were required to sign off, and somewhere in the fine print I was required to maintain some sort of high-level grade average in order to keep the job. No sweat; I did all my homework in the library anyway, and now that I was a junior-grade librarian kids started showing up from school to ask for my help with their homework.

Somehow, thanks to the town library, I transitioned from an eigth-grade nobody to a pseudo-mature counselor and advisor. The job gave me enough confidence and credibility that a couple of grades later I became an editor on the school paper and a stringer for the local town newspaper. After that there was no looking back.

Thank you, Andrew Carnegie.

James

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Thanks guys... perhaps the nice thing is that the tale has struck resonances with your library years. That librarian was more than just a friend, maybe best-friend... she actually trusted me. When I said that I intended to read all of H.G. Wells, she borrowed two huge volumes of his collected works from a private library in London, calling in librarian favours. When I got the first one home I discovered that not only was it in mint condition, it was autographed on the title page by Wells himself. Just imagine the value of the book that she had trusted a 12yo to take home on the bus in his mum's shopping bag! That book has remained with me in memory... to know the true meaning of "In the kingdom of the blind the one-eyed man is king." So to know that it reminded you of your days when the library was a refuge as well as a source of inspiration... that's a bit special guys.

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By the responses I think many of us found the library to be a place that held more than books. Of course in the early sixties there was little a boy might read that contained information of the sexual kind, or that specific male sexuality so repressed at the time. But there was reading of a different sort in the bathrooms.

Lewd and crude, there were words and drawings on the bathroom stalls that kept apperaing no matter how many time they were painted over. The unwitting could be startled and the prudes probably complained, but it was great food for thought. Who were these guys who wrote such obscene material?

There was a spy hole at one point but that quickly disappeared under a sheet of metal riveted to both sides of the partition. That did little to dampen my curiosity and so I remember spending an entire Saturday morning in the lounge across the lobby from the Men's room door. By then my mind had cataloged all the graffitti and as each new man or boy came and went I would go in the bathroom and check the walls for something new.

The artist with the black marking pen turned out to be someone I didn't know yet, but that soon changed. I was 14 and he was in the Catholic high school up the road. He was a wanker extrodinare and after we met we shared that activity for a while, but nothing else. So this story has meaning for me of times past and the gay feelings that were never quite satisfied in the library. Thank you, Jeff.

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By the responses I think many of us found the library to be a place that held more than books. Of course in the early sixties there was little a boy might read that contained information of the sexual kind, or that specific male sexuality so repressed at the time. But there was reading of a different sort in the bathrooms.

Man, I went to the downtown Tampa library every weekend for about 10 years when I was a kid, and never encountered anything like that! I must've gone to the wrong libraries. All I ever encountered was books!

I read my durned fool head off -- classic fiction, technical books, history, biographies, best-sellers, you name it. Always loved the library. I never checked out fewer than 3 or 4 a week, and probably spent more time reading those than I did studying (much to the detriment of my grades). But I did wind up in the "adult" reference section once in awhile, just doing a little, uh, advanced reading. That was about as racy as my life got back then. Any fooling around was with my real-life friends, (almost literally) by the old swimming hole, out in the woods, and so on.

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I need to throw my hat in the ring too. I loved our library. I used to spend hours as a youngster in our kid's section and when I got to about 11 the librarians let me borrow adult books. I recall discovering The Hand Reared Boy by Brian Aldiss, normally a science fiction writer, but a very different type of story which introduced me to some new masturbation techniques (some involving elastic bands)!

I worry about the way that libraries are closing everywhere. Thank goodness that Harry Potter introduced a new generation to the written word.

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Oh, I know "The Hand-Reared Boy." Some interesting segments in that one.

While it's true that conventional libraries are closing, others are opening up online versions and extending the written word to a large audience electronically. There's hope that literature will continue, despite the absence of printed books. Even the Library of Congress has launched a program that hopes to eventually offer everything in their collection electronically!

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My local library, serving a community smaller than 100,000, has discovered new life by incorporating a senior citizen drop-in center with an oral history component, teen and youth clubs with writing and reading themes, and a lecture series. They appear to be aiming toward an eventual community center role, and the new activities they have taken on have had the effect of broadening their funding base to include eligibility for all sorts of grants and gifts. The library has achieved this transition from being a closely-guarded museum for books in less than a decade, so I have renewed hope for its survival. It still has, I am glad to report, stacks with dim aisles and study carrels located in far-off corners where youth can murmur together.

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  • 2 years later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Well guys I'm a tad humbled by how my little story has awakened memories of childhoods spent in libraries.

I am with Steven in his comment too. I am sure that word must pass around amongst LGBT and support groups that there are stories aimed at them here and a few likeminded places.

I have consciously aimed my own at the kid who wonders whether as a gay teen he is doomed to a life in the shadows. My characters come out fighting. My plots are less "heres how to cope with homophobic parents" and more a case "you lift me up to more than I can be", and yes that does mean I love youth choirs, I love PCCB, Libera, Tom Daley, Straahlen and all boys who strive to rise above peoples expectations of what they are capable of

So thank you guys, I'm touched

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Every Thursday nite was library night with my dad. I too lived in the scifi section. (Still trying to recall the title of a great book where people were smaller than insects and had to battle spiders and the like!) But my favorite book was in the closed stacks and the librarian had to get it for me: The Black Arts by Richard Cavendish. Must've been some particularly naughty book and I read parts of it many times.

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Jeff Ellis (Solsticeman) wrote:

I have consciously aimed my own at the kid who wonders whether as a gay teen he is doomed to a life in the shadows. My characters come out fighting. My plots are less "heres how to cope with homophobic parents" and more a case "you lift me up to more than I can be", and yes that does mean I love youth choirs, I love PCCB, Libera, Tom Daley, Straahlen and all boys who strive to rise above peoples expectations of what they are capable of

But don't forget that excellent Welsh choir... Only Boys Aloud!

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Indeed dude, not forgetting Only Boys Aloud!

The thing is... nine of the boys in that choir went to the school that the boy in Adult Fiction refers to, when describing the loneliness of going to an elitist school that only accepted one child from each village every couple of years, as does the boy in The Boy and The Level. That school is also the backdrop to Shades of Gray (and more so its predecessor on Nifty, Caught in the Lower School Bogs). Look at those boys as they mill about at the start of the clip below. Fifty years ago they would have been the sons of miners, faced with a career underground. Today they are the grandsons of miners and faced with structural unemployment if they dont learn how to strive to "be more than I can be". Tough kids I think, they were in my day... we took no prisoners.

In many ways the progress between Gray's setting in the 50s and today is illustrated by the difference between the anguished cry of "Is this all there is?" in Gray and... the conductor of the choir.

He lives in the next village to where I grew up. He is openly gay and lives with his partner. More to the point, nearly two hundred sets of parents set all that aside to trust their teenage sons in his care.

That I think is progress.

Here is the choir in probably their most effective moment when they could still take people by surprise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AARrVAHnkdY

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