…as long as he got paid.
Twist was using the name Pete Hutchison in his quest to shake off God's holy judgment of his past deeds. He'd roamed central Idaho and nearby Montana for someplace where no one knew him to confess his inability to shed himself of the memories of his homosexual lover so long ago.
This Baptist fundamentalist pulpit-pounder had just convinced John that Satan himself had planted those false memories of his deep love for Hutch in his head to torture and wrench away his faith in the almighty god, and that he must fight to deny them with all his being.
They never happened... they never happened.
Two days later he returned home to Martha reprogrammed with a newfound hatred of gays and their evil ways.
His beleaguered wife was shocked to discover that most of their checking account had been emptied to buy an anonymous postal money order and then sent to some church up north. By the time she'd gotten hold of their bank it was too late, the withdrawal was final, the check had already been cashed.
She still secretly suffered because she knew all of his truths, as he suffered from being locked inside of them.
As he grew ever older, he was terrified of his god’s coming damnation and still couldn’t face the fact that he couldn’t buy his own salvation.
Soon others would convince him that his only out was to damn others of his own sin in hopes of being granted divine deliverance...
In open court young Bobby falsely testified against his own father, saying he’d been sexually molested and brutally beaten on several occasions. The boy began using terms that neither parent had heard him speak before such as, pervert, pedophile, incest and queer. All of which made Jack's lawyer suspicious with narrowed eyes.
In disbelief, Lureen began choking back sobs from her place near the back of the courtroom.
After a brief conference with the judge in chambers, a two-hour adjournment for lunch was called. His Honor had secretly made arrangements for Bobby to be taken to some experts at Child Protective Services.
Jack didn't take this as a good sign and Deke looked smugly on, satisfied since the boy had been separated from his parents... until Bobby reentered the courtroom.
When they reconvened his honor called his own witnesses to the stand.
On gentle cross-examination of the boy by a court-appointed psychiatrist, it came out that Newsome had carefully coached his grandson in detail on what to say and how to say it on the stand.
Lureen became livid, angrily jumped out of her seat at her father and had to be restrained in the courtroom. Up until that point, she defiantly had sat separately from her husband in the gallery but from then on she proudly took her place in one of the attorney table's chairs beside Jack.
Next, an independent medical examiner determined that the boy had never been sexually or physically abused at all.
Newsome’s surprise "ace up his sleeve" witness was to be Joe Aguirre, who was called to testify in court by the bailiff but didn’t appear.
Behind the scenes up north in Signal, the sheep operation foreman’s gay son threatened to not only counter-testify against him, but come out of the closet as a homosexual in open court in order to embarrass his father if he showed up there.
Rather than risk the scandal, Aguirre later explained that he’d been called away on an emergency up on Brokeback.
L.D was so sure of himself that he foolishly didn’t subpoena Aguirre, which would've tipped his hand to the defense. The court took no action against Joe for his absence.
Jack immediately counter-sued his father-in-law for defamation of character and false arrest, and later won a hefty $250,000 cash settlement that included forcing Newsome to turn over full ownership of his company to Lureen. He was also slapped with a protection order banning him from ever setting foot anywhere near the Twist’s, their home, Bobby, or their newly acquired business again.
In anger Lureen also got revenge on her father by changing the company name to Twist Farm Equipment and Supply.
Fortunately news of the event stayed a local affair and Jack never mentioned it to Ennis.
Newsome eventually lost his court appeal of the financial judgment and a month after that his wife Fayette filed separation papers and left him to move into the Twist’s spare room.
Jack moved back into Lureen’s bedroom and for the first time in years they resumed sleeping together as man and wife.
Almost immediately following that, L.D. emptied the nearly half million dollars that remained in the bank after Jack walked out of the Childress Savings and Loan with a briefcase containing a quarter million in cash.
Subsequently, "Deke" Newsome mysteriously disappeared without a trace. In fact, no one even discovered he was gone until a month later.
Rumors began spreading that he’d been killed by his ruthless son-in-law or by his timid Fayette after a fight over a divorce settlement... neither of which made any sense, but didn't stop the speculation around town...
...Meanwhile up north, as predicted Alma Junior grew more and more miserable living with her mother and stepfather and on several occasions asked her father if she could move in with him.
It broke del Mar’s heart to say no to her. It felt like him telling her he didn’t love her, but he explained that he just wasn’t set up at home for a teenaged girl to live with him full time, being out on cattle drives all the time.
A buxom woman in her early thirties with hair bleached blonder than Lureen’s (if that was possible,) was on the road’s edge trying to look sexy enough to stop someone to help.
After about five minutes, Jack declared it too far gone for him to fix and discovered the couple were on their way to the same dinner as they, so he gave them a lift in his blue club-cab Silverado.
Randal and Lashawn Tanny had just arrived here from Idaho and were in the process of moving onto a ranch down the road where Randall had gotten a job as foreman.
At the dinner they invited themselves to sit with Jack and Lureen and from that moment on Lashawn never stopped talking.
While the wives exchanged long boring sorority house stories, Jack became aware of Randall’s eyes on him. In fact, every time he looked up the bearded cowboy was staring and whenever their eyes met, Twist got uncomfortable with the realization that it was possible that this married man was actually flirting with him!
While he’d become distracted, Lureen began needling him about how husbands never seem to want to dance with their wives.
Jack decided to kill two birds with one stone; namely get away from the table by asking Lashawn to dance and in the process get back at his wife for bitching at him for not wanting to.
While watching her husband escort Tanny's wife to the floor with the other swaying couples, Lureen tried to strike up a conversation with Randall.
From across the room Jack observed Tanny was ignoring her... and watching him hungrily instead.
Outside afterwards, while they waited for their wives to exit from "powdering their noses," Jack sat down on a bench at the foot of the stairs by the front door. Randall sat next to him and moved intimately close as if to share a secret but instead asked to bum a cigarette.
The hungry look returned to Randall’s eyes while he lit up, so Jack commented to distract him, "You’ll like workin’ for Roy Taylor; he’s solid."
Tanny nodded, "Yeah, he’s a good ole boy," and as he leaned forward and down to flick an ash, he rested his hand on the bench lightly touching Jack’s thigh and stared pointedly at Twist's crotch.
Jack looked up and behind them to check on the girls and moved just enough away to break contact with him.
Tanny turned to see where he was looking and in the process pressed his hip against Twist’s and leaned into him to say suggestively, "Taylor's got a little cabin out on Lake Kemp. It’s got a croppy house… a boat… he says I can use it any time I want."
Tanny’s hip pressed a little harder and his knee made contact with Jack’s.
Twist looked at him to find Tanny’s eyes still fastened firmly to his crotch as Randy added, "We ought to go down there some weekend… drink a little whisky… do some fishin’… get away… ya know?"
Jack no longer had any doubts in his mind. He had to admit it was tempting… he also had to admit that he was as interested in this man's wife as he was in him.
Before he could respond, the door swung open above them and Lureen emerged with Lashawn right behind still chattering a blue streak about college, shopping and the jobs she could’ve had if she hadn’t run into Randy…
…A couple of months later during a camping trip with Ennis where they almost came to blows after Twist offered to help him out financially again, Jack came home to find a note with Randall’s invitation to go on a road trip with him to New Mexico.
Lureen said it sounded like a good idea, so he accepted.
Jack had been camping with Randall a few times by then but nothing happened between them.
Twist was still debating with himself as to whether that was good or bad, especially since Lashawn kept showing up at the office supposedly to chatter away at Lureen, but her visits always included tempting looks towards him too.
On the second night of Jack and Randall's road trip, they found a place with compact two-bedroom bungalows along the shore of a lake.
They got into a good-natured dispute on whether the word was spelled w-h-i-s-k-y, or w-h-i-s-k-e-y because one bottle label was spelled one way and the other was spelled the other way.
A little after dark Jack had just finished putting pizza boxes in the trash and looked out the back window, grinning at what he saw.
Randall emerged from the private lake after skinny-dipping and sat naked on a secluded dock with his feet in the water.
Jack had spent enough frustrated time camping with him at Lake Kemp that he thought it was about time to make a move on him. After all, if him sitting there like that wasn't a sexual invitation; what was? Stripping off his clothes quickly, Jack strode down the path to the water and came up behind him, leaned over and brushed his lips against Randall's back and then dove into the lake.
When he surfaced and looked back, he saw that Randall had left and went back up to the cabin alone. They’d taken to each other as close friends, but like everything good in his life, Jack was prone to finding a way to destroy any happiness he had, especially if it didn’t involve Ennis.
Randall didn't seem to take Jack's kiss on his shoulder too well.
They didn’t speak to each other the whole rest of the night and slept separately, but strangely Randall didn’t suggest leaving.
Then the very next night after a bottle of fine whisky, Randall shed his clothes and followed Jack into his bedroom instead of his own.
Afterward Jack kept telling himself it was just sex, because he loved to be fucked, but only by Ennis, so it wasn’t the same.
Suddenly Randall Tanny was in love with Twist and wanted to leave his jaw-flapping wife, maybe move up to Jack’s parent’s ranch where no one could find him and start a new life together. He started showing up at the Twist home so often that Jack leased out an apartment where they could meet on the sly instead.
A few months later though, just to complicate things; Jack rented yet another apartment in town and began screwing Randy’s pretty wife on the side too.
A month after L.D. disappeared, a nice couple showed up on Jack’s doorstep with all the necessary papers to prove that Deke had sold them the Newsome mansion that he and Fayette shared over the last 26 years. They’d started moving in and found her belongings still there and had come to give Mrs. Newsom an opportunity to move them out.
With Lureen’s abandoned and financially destitute mother now living full-time at the house, Jack became more and more miserable.
In a way it worked out well since Fay was an ex-school teacher and was happy to look after and tutor her grandson while Jack was out selling and Lureen ran the business.
The police were eventually called and a missing persons report was filed, along with a divorce action from Mrs. Newsome on the grounds of emotional and financial abandonment.
L.D. had done his homework ahead of time because he seemingly vanished off of the face of the earth.
Randall's truck finally gasped its last, so Jack sold him his 1980 blue Silverado for almost nothing, and purchased a brand new one, this one even fancier with dual rear wheels and a two-tone tan and brown paint job.
In May of 1983, Randall showed up at Jack’s house and announced he’d left his wife and asked for shelter somewhere out of town. His obsession with Jack caused his work performance to slump and Roy Taylor finally had his fill of his foreman's frequent screw-ups and fired him.
Slowly but surely in Ennis’ long absences, Randall had begun getting to Jack emotionally to the point of a bond developing between them. Tanny moved into the apartment in town full time and Jack stayed there too when home life got to be too much for him.
Lashawn stayed in the apartment Jack had provided for a while and then seemed to have disappeared.
Randall now had more time alone with Jack to convince him that they were meant for each other. He offered the sex and the commitment that Twist wanted so badly in his life, but Ennis was the one he loved.
As months went by and del Mar couldn’t get away from his work, Tanny began filling more and more of Twist’s days.
With the fear of someone in town so close to home reporting to Lureen that her husband was shacking up with another man, Jack called his father up in Lightning Flat and asked if it were possible for Tanny to rent their large central bedroom upstairs and work at the ranch temporarily until some decision could be made about permanently moving north.
He also told his father that he was close to leaving his wife Lureen again too.
That meant he’d have to drive Randall up there to introduce him to them soon and they’d be skeptical since the last man he promised on and off to bring over the last several years never showed.
John had begun referring to Ennis as Jack’s "imaginary friend."
As usual, just when things started getting serious with someone else, Jack’d hear from Ennis about getting some free time to spend up on the mountain and everything would fall back into its old pattern. He almost turned him down until Ennis conceded to Jack’s pleading over the years and suggested they camp up on Brokeback Mountain this time.
He told Tanny he had to take care of some farm business up in central Wyoming that would last about ten days, for which he had to tend to first, and after packing up Randall they headed north.
Lureen had no idea she was being abandoned.
Twist traveled as far as Riverton with Tanny, where the ranch foreman was to wait in the motel where he and Ennis once had reunited…
…Across the street from the nearly empty parking lot of Riverton's Siesta Motel, 17-year-old Ned Gabriel was just finishing gassing up Roger Amos’ old Dodge truck. His eyes bulged at the sight of a brand spanking new fancy stretched Chevy Silverado dually parked in the grass sideways out in front of the hotel because it was too long to park in front of a room.
His father Wilber came up behind him at the pump and yelled, “Son, dammit, how many times I gotta tell ya ta pay attention ta what yer doin?” startling his boy.
Roger looked backwards out of his open window and chastised his friend, “Ain’t no harm done Will; I told the boy to fill ‘er up anyways.”
Ned gestured across the way towards the truck and said; “Now that’s what I want!”
Unfortunately while all three backs were turned, Jack was getting into his big pickup and Randall stopped him long enough to kiss him goodbye on the lips. Twist then pulled his door shut and drove away.
In a panic, Wilber grabbed his son and shoved him back towards the garage, “Like hell it is,” misunderstanding what his boy meant.
Roger shook his head out of the cab of his pickup in disgust. Looking at his friend at the pump he snickered, “God damned faggots are ev’rawheres nowadays. Seems like ya cain’t swing a damned cat around without hittin’ one."
He paid Wilber, and drove away.
The elder Gabriel watched in revulsion, furious at what his son had just seen as Randall went back to the second room from the right and closed the door unaware that anything had been witnessed.
Wilber turned around to find his son still watching.
Ned protested, “I meant the truck Pa, I meant I wanted the pickup!”
Wilber yelled angrily, “Get yer ass in there like I told ya!”
As the teenager disappeared into the office, Wilber strode to the gas station’s repair bay, looked around, picked up an old and battered aluminum baseball bat, and then headed across the road.
Twenty minutes later father and son watched from the glassed-in filling station office as a bearded cowboy lugged a couple of suitcases out of his room while holding his arm as if it were broken or badly injured. With a fearful look across the street, Tanny climbed carefully in pain into a new blue Ford rental car, backed out and headed north.
Ned knew what his daddy had done and pretended to approve.
Truth be told the young man knew a couple gay guys from high school and didn’t care one way or the other. He even considered one of them a good friend…
…On the way north from Texas, Jack had called ahead and told his father he’d definitely be up to talk to him about setting up a place to live, possibly building a small cabin on the ranch on an unused outlying acre away from his parents, and how he still planned to separate from his wife again.
He said Randall was willing to manage the farm full time in exchange for room and board.
Old man Twist said he and Martha were planning on going to a religious retreat up in Montana soon, so Jack told him he’d be up around noon on Wednesday for sure.
His father made a point of repeating Jack’d be there at noon.
As Jack drove towards Signal from Riverton looking for a phone booth, Randy played heavily on his mind.
It didn't help that Brokeback Mountain was always somewhere looking down on him on the horizon the closer he got to town.
While he busied himself with the Signal phonebook looking for the address of a local supply business, he actually contemplated a showdown with Ennis and how he might have to settle for Randy.
It was the right dream - but with the wrong man.
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Important notice about this novel: This adaptation of the original short story was
written by Vernon "Jet" Gardner © 2005-2012 and contains enhanced versions of all of the original's events written by Annie Proulx, Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana in red/black/green.
All text in blue written by Vernon "Jet" Gardner published here ©2005-2013.
Reproduction in any form or use of unique characters is
forbidden without permission of the author.