The Life and Times of Bruce Bramson


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Through all the convolutions of my life to the point described so far, there was the threat of military service: the draft was in effect. While my frequent contacts with the Navy had all been great fun, I was quite certain I would not survive basic training or anything else. As a confirmed pacifist who hated guns in any form, to me the idea of operating one was hateful, and the notion of using one to kill was beyond the pale. So I was well pleased when, after the first physical exam, I was rejected—for 6 months! Back again after that period, I was again rejected—for a year!

I felt certain the third time would get me into the Army, so I tried out for the Coast Guard, and was accepted for Officer Training School. I knew a chap who had done this, and he said it was an OK kind of thing. However, before I could actually sign on the dotted line with the Guard, I was rejected—permanently—by the Army. Whoooopeeee! Four-Eff! Never was I so happy to be rejected! Without the threat of service hanging over me, I could get on with my life.


I watched President Obama’s 100th-day news conference. I came away more glad than ever that we elected him. After eight years of the kind of inane blather that was all Dubya could muster, to watch and listen to someone who can organize his thoughts, express them cogently, with dignity, and occasionally with humor is wonderful! He can even pronounce NEW-KLEE-ARE!! Whoopee!


There came the fateful night when I went back to the john at the Crystal to let some of the beer run out. There I met Johnny, a handsome black boy a few years older than I. Word had gotten out that the Crystal in San Jose was more fun than any of the gay bars going in San Francisco, so we would get a few car-loads of guys down from the City on weekends. So it was that Johnny had joined some friends, telling them as they drove down he intended to find a boyfriend that very night. He found me. He introduced me to his friends, then we repaired to my apartment and got to know each other quickly.

But I was young and impressionable, and Johnny said all the right things, did all the right things and soon had me wrapped around his finger (when I wasn’t wrapped around his cock). He courted me in San Jose for several weeks, driving down after school: he was a teacher, so out of the classroom by 3:30 or so. I was working 5- 8s, so by the time I got home he was there waiting. It was wonderful: I was in love again.

He soon persuaded me to move in with him in San Francisco. He already had a room-mate, a rather strange fellow named Sid, who was soon jettisoned to make room for me. The honeymoon lasted some months, but clouds developed before long. I soon figured out Johnny was a lush—badly addicted to alcohol—which was a problem I had never dealt with. Worse, he was not a happy drunk: quite the opposite, he got belligerent and then morose as he drank. For the better part of two years I held on, hoping there would be some change, and eventually a change did take place: we pooled our resources and bought a small Victorian house to fix up. This worked for a while: Johnny stayed somewhat more sober than usual in order to be able to help with the renovation.

In 1963, with the house in pretty good shape, we spent a summer in Europe. In those days black guys were much less commonplace in Europe, so he was very much “in demand”. I, on the other hand, believed strongly in a monogamous relationship. Soon we were both “playing around”, separately, and the relationship took a back seat.

I did, however, notice how many old people from America were in Europe, being herded around like cattle. We made up our itinerary as we went along, seeing whatever we wanted to see, but the tourists saw what the tour-guides wanted them to see. I thought it would be  horrible to travel in old age, and made up my mind to see more of the world when I was young enough to enjoy it.

Once back in the USA, our relationship  took a rapid nose-dive. Johnny’s heavy drinking  resulted in his having badly flavored semen, so I was becoming less enthusiastic about sucking him off. This frustrated him, which led to more drinking. It became clear that he had a deep-seated resentment of being gay: though that was not my fault, he took it out on me, and there were many long arguments, recriminations and bitching at each other. Through it all, he remained almost perpetually inebriated, only managing to keep his job with some difficulty. We stopped sleeping together, and I spent a good deal of time in the tubs, often staying away from the house for several days at a time.

Then, in 1964, Johnny discovered drugs. While I was sucking dick in the tubs, he was up in the Haight-Ashbury doing drugs. When, after a knock-down drag-out argument one night he went after me with a kitchen knife, I knew it was time to split.

The divorce was messy! I signed a quit-claim deed on the house, and Johnny sold it within a few days: seems he had a buyer all lined up. I got nothing, except my freedom, but the price was worth it. Johnny went through the $40,000 in a couple of years, buying booze and drugs. I’ve never seen him again. I never got to thank him for destroying my love for him before we parted: otherwise, it would have been tough, but as it was, I was delighted to be footloose and fancy-free once again.

Coming soon: the family finds out about me.




Written by Bruce

December 13th, 2009 at 11:09 am

Posted in Coming Out,Husbands