No Way To Breathe Easy, No Time To Be Young: The True Tale of the Time I Found Over 75 Issues of Playboy Magazine Back In The Summer of 92

The following account is true, there is no need for embellishment because the situation was so amazingly stressful, and at the same time hilarious, that it was almost too much for a pair of 11 year old kids to deal with. And now I present to you, the best story my youth has to offer.

The Pick of the Litter

The Pick of the Litter

It was around 11:00 AM; the two of us (that is Shawn and I) were leisurely traversing the empty Long Island street we were both raised on. Normal block, people washing cars, lawnmowers, trees all that gay shit I left behind as soon as humanly possible. I was riding my weathered and beaten bicycle, a black & silver beast the name of which escapes me. I believe Shawn was riding a Huffy, which was also raped and damaged beyond all repair. We each deserved gold metals for even being able to stay upon these death traps for more than a hundred yards. Wheels wobbly, rusty jagged frames, chains that wouldn’t stay on for more than a few minutes and handle bars with no grips at all. That’s what happens when you treat a bike like you treat your favorite woman. You baby her sometimes but for the most part you leave her to fend for herself. Goddammit we loved those machines.

Our schedules were pretty routine at that age and today was no different. Drop by the sump to smash a few dozen beer bottles, go into the woods to light something on fire, maybe a quick stop at the Waldbaum’s to buy stickers (or Pogs or whatever homocrap I cared about before porno entered my life), then back home for a sandwich and perhaps an early screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Summer camp was for assholes, we didn’t need a bunch of grownups telling us how to kill an afternoon, we’d been doing our whole lives.

We rode on, the sun high above our heads, shadows were minimal.

I can’t remember who spotted the treasure trove first, but there it was in plain sight, an omen, a sign that God was alive and he loved us more than anyone. There they were, sitting at the end of a driveway in a green recycling basket, no less than 75+ issues of the one and only Playboy Magazine. It was in that momentous instant that I became a man. Now I don’t know if it was a jealous wife enacting the ultimate revenge on her husband. Or perhaps a desperate man sick of neglecting his kids only to become a brainless slave to adult entertainment. I didn’t care where they came from, they were ours, that’s all that mattered. I looked around cautiously, was this an FBI stake out? A sting?! I was only 5 houses away from my own, I could see my front yard, my father was there cursing, sweating, trimming something, I don’t know being a fucking dad. He didn’t see me and he sure as shit didn’t see the beaming glow of pure joy on my face.

Our sneakers were the first things to hit the ground, the bikes would travel with no drivers for twenty or so feet before crashing violently. Fuck the bikes, fuck them right in their steely asses.

I imagine the confusion and awe for the next few minutes was not unlike Normandy, this was D-Day, there was no time to think only time to act. What I wouldn’t give to have this moment on film. Imagine two kids charging across your front yard, arms literally overflowing with dirty magazines, laughing hysterically. Mission One was to get them out of sight, we tossed armfuls of Playboys over a fence and away from prying eyes, we would pick them up later. It took 4 trips. On the final run who should drive down the street but my own mother! Horrified by the familiar sight of the Ford Taurus (which in the coming years I would eventually destroy in a terrible car accident) I froze. Shawn smacked the magazines out of my hand and pushed me towards the vehicle to quiet her suspicions.

“What are you doing?” – Momma James asked.
“Nothing Ma, me and Shawn are just riding around.”

Amazingly she suspected nothing, hell she barely stopped the car to talk to me in the first place.

“Ok, well come home and eat soon.”
“Yes, I will come home and eat soon.” I responded dryly.

And just like that she drove off! That was it!

An hour later, hidden by the trees and bushes we sat gleefully passing around the unlimited supply of T&A. Honestly I can’t remember a moment since where I was so happy. Drunk off naked women we could barely move. Remember this was the age before masturbation, we weren’t looking at these sluts to bust our nuts we were looking in awe, we were looking at the world! And we fucking liked what we saw. It was then we made a pact to tell no one of what we found. “They’ll take our goods. Trust no one.” I cautioned.

Less than 20 minutes later me, Shawn and now my brother Joe were in the same spot.

“So much for the pact dick! Okay from NOW ON no one can know!” Shawn pleaded.
“Yes, no one can know.” I agreed.

The following days were extremely hard. Our distrust of others and each other was legendary. The treasure was moved on almost an hourly basis for an entire week. We had thrown away the contents of a brand new croquet set belonging to Shawn’s sister, without her permission. We set aside the mallets for protection, the balls, wickets and everything else landed in the sump never to be seen again. We stashed the magazines in the empty croquet case for easy concealment and transport. Our parents must have been weary about where their children were playing croquet everyday. I mean I was the only one with a backyard big enough to even attempt it, yet we were never at my house.

That croquet case of joy became a modern day Treasure of Sierra Madre. We took it with us wherever we went. We hid it in the ceiling of Shawn’s basement, under the couch in my den, air ducts, attics, anywhere you can imagine. You’ve never seen true fear until you’ve seen a young Mike James watching his father sleep on a couch that served as a way station for his dirty pages. I sat there an entire afternoon watching that angry man sleep, frightened that at any moment he would sense the case underneath him like the Princess and the Pea. (It was under the couch not under the pillow! Yet I still prepared for the worst)

For several weeks I rarely had an uninterrupted night’s sleep for fear of being caught at any moment. Hell one magazine was bad, 75+ magazines at 11 years old, as any physiologist would tell you, was a sure sign of a sexual deviancy. I expected to be locked up with oven mitts permanently sewn to my hands. Imagine yourself a mother or a father and your son is caught with enough naked paraphernalia to pleasure half a battalion. What would you think?

Eventually me and Shawn determined that the only way to be safe was to bury them outdoors away from our respective homes. We looked like Zombies, the two oldest 11 year olds you’ve ever seen. We’d been rode hard and put away wet at the hands of Mr. Hefner. We went back to the sump we knew and loved. We wrapped the croquet case in 3 hefty bags, dug a deep hole, put the case in the hole, put a board over the hole, covered the board in dirt and leaves and walked away. It was completely hidden and it would stay that way. This was our thing and no one would find it here.

I slept soundly for the first time in weeks. The Treasure of Sierra Dehan Street* was safe.

We visited the sump daily for a very long time. The seasons changed, yet the treasure stayed the same. In case any of you kids out there are wondering, if you put a lot of porn together it doesn’t create more porno it just stays the same amount of porno. Consider that a free lesson.

It hadn’t been barely 3 months when the stash vanished, it was gone, stolen, the thieves nowhere to be found. We had several suspects (especially each other) but we never got any real confirmation as to where they vanished to. In a sick disturbing way, I was happy to see them go. They had brought me so much joy but that joy was almost immediately eclipsed by pain, suspicion and hatred for months.

About 4 years later we would discover it was a neighborhood shithead by the name of Andy, who’d found “the goods”. Being true white trash he took them home and hid them from no one. His parents barely sober enough to know his name certainly didn’t care about a gaggle of Playboys he’d come across. Of course by that time we were both having real sex so none of us really gave a fuck about what happened to our “softcore” porn that we knew and loved at such a young age. Life is funny that way. One minute something is the most important and the next it’s an after thought.

– Mike James


*Dehan Street is where I was raised.

**If anyone is wondering who Shawn is click here.

*** It’s funny, my perversion has so far eclipsed Playboy that at this stage I would actually read it for the articles. It seems that anything less than the most gonzo of gangbang porn won’t get me off. A Playboy to me now is the equivalent of a Good Housekeeping, but at that age, at the time it was all I wanted in the world.

Published in: on October 6, 2008 at 2:19 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. That story was hilarious and I can just envision you guys thinking you’d hit the find of all finds. I found Playboy’s in my Dad’s underwear drawer and took a peek. I peeked again and again, of course feeling rather dirty but loving every minute.

    If my memory serves me right, you used to live in Smithtown, possibly? I just moved from Kings Park. I miss it and I must say there’s no place on God’s green earth anything like L.I., now is there?

  2. Hell no, Long Island is fucked up and awesome. Yeah I lived in Smithtown way back when, it’s now my home away from home.

  3. I’ve seen racier things in maxim nowadays.

    Kids now can’t experience the joys of seeing porn for the first time since they can just google whatever they want to see. The problem is that they are getting an education that is devoid of feelings, communication or any realism. I attribute the hairless blond teens as the grail to these young boys. It is pretty sick. Education has always been lacking, but now it skewing their minds to think that you almost *have* to cum on a woman’s face, which IMHO is very disrespectful. Their expectations are very incorrect.

  4. Hah, I’d thought we were lucky when McQueen & I found 6 or 7 pages of his brothers’ dirty mag unattended when we were 10 or so. 75 complete magazines would have been a goddamned religious experience.

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