SOME called it the Age of Aquarius; an era of political unrest, social upheaval, and sexual freedom, a time of tuning in, turning on, and dropping out.
And it all began to unwind on the fourth of May 1970, when the Ohio National Guard indiscriminately fired into a crowd of Kent State students protesting the escalation of the war. CSNY’s words, “Tin soldiers and Nixon’s comin’… four dead in O-hi-o,” would haunt my generation.
And that clusterfuck called the “Vietnam Conflict” showed no signs of ending. Fresh out of high school in the summer of 1970, I had a plan: work, save, enroll in college, get a student deferment, and beat the draft. Simple.
Simple, my ass. The only job I could land in the cow town I called home had me waiting tables in a ma-and-pa bar and grill called the Longhorn Café.
On an ordinary day of fry cook fuck-ups, a dropped tray of drinks for a table of eight, and bitching customers, an Air Force Second Lieutenant stopped by for lunch. He looked to be about twenty-two, stood a military fit and trim six-three, with sinuous muscles, black hair, and dark eyes. And the most gorgeous man I’d ever seen began making a beeline for my section. I stared at him; my mouth gaping, my knees going weak. I swallowed before I started drooling, turned off my silly-bitch fantasizing, and pulled my pad.
As I took the second lieutenant’s order, mesmerized by his deep voice, I noticed him giving me the once-over. He paused at the bulge in my jeans and smiled.
I saw a hint of joviality in his sexy black eyes, which I liked—along with the uniform and his ruggedly handsome face. My cock twitched. I fled the dining room.
Regardless of the social change, sexual enlightenment, peace and love zeitgeist of the late sixties and early seventies, tolerance, understanding, and acceptance of those with same-sex orientations did not play well along “Main Street” America. I knew that closeted bisexuals and gays lived all around me here in the wilds of Montana. Maybe I just wasn’t recognizing them? Maybe I didn’t really want to? After all, most people still expected men to marry, be the breadwinner, and bring children into the world. As a Montana male, I came across as rugged, stoic, resolute, and packed the big balls to prove it.
As I set the second lieutenant’s lunch before him, his elbow brushed my thigh; or maybe I brushed my thigh against his elbow. Just a touch, and electricity shot through me as though I’d shoved a ten penny nail into a 220-volt outlet. I damned near dropped his “Big Sky Burger Platter.” Oh fuck, oh dear… his dark eyes gleamed at me and his easy, open smile displayed stark white, perfectly-aligned teeth.
He rose from his chair. Standing military straight, he offered his hand. “Second Lieutenant Trent Valiston.”