The Castaway Hotel: Book 3

Chapter 28: two Worlds, One Philosophy

Tuesday started out like a repeat of Monday, until Brandon came running up to me, dragging another boy with him. “Pop, I want you to meet Joseph. I met him earlier today and we got talking. I told him about our family and how you took all of us boys in and how you adopted most of us, and Joseph says that he’s part of a family just like ours.”

As I was listening to Brandon, I was checking Joseph out. He was about fifteen, 5’ 7” tall, brown hair (slightly bleached by the sun), brown eyes and he was circumcised, which did surprise me – at least until I found out more about him. It was later that I discovered Joseph was Jewish, explaining the obvious incongruity, and he had been adopted by a man from the United Kingdom. He was part of a mixed family, like ours, but their family had a far more interesting story behind it. Joseph invited me to meet his father, so he could tell me the story about how their family came together.

Nigel Barstow, the father of this other brood, was a small man, maybe 5’ 6”, bald, but really friendly and likeable. After the introductions were finished, he began to tell me how his family came together. His first sons were from Northern Ireland and he discovered them after reading an article about them in the newspaper. The boys’ parents had been killed when the pub they were in was bombed and the boys had no other relatives.

After finishing the article, Nigel made arrangements to visit the orphanage where they were now living and started spending time with them. They would walk around the orphanage grounds and either do things together outdoors or in the recreation room there, although it didn’t have very much in it to entertain them. After a couple of months of these types of visits, Nigel got the orphanage to allow him to have the boys visit his home in Reading, which is located west of London.

Even though the boys were Catholic and Nigel was Anglican, they soon hit it off and started to bond. After several such visits, Nigel petitioned to adopt the boys, which was frowned upon at first. After some lengthy delays and some bigoted questions about a Protestant adopting two Catholic youths and about his ‘true intentions,’ since he wasn’t married, some of those making the decision began to soften their stance slightly. He was only approved after the boys testified they were happy with him and he had never made any unseemly moves or comments to them. They finished by admitting they felt safer when they were in England, than they did in their homeland. They have been together ever since.

His next boy was from Croatia, an orphan from the war with Bosnia. The boy’s only relatives were an aunt, uncle and a cousin, but they were too poor to take him in and were fearful for his safety. Nigel found out about the boy through a friend, who had been keeping his eyes open for a lad in such a situation, and Nigel soon flew to meet the boy. After spending time with him, which included many lengthy chats and making strides to get to know each other better, he adopted him too. A few months later, the boy’s aunt and uncle were killed by a group of Serbian soldiers and his cousin was wounded and left for dead. The cousin managed to survive and was soon asking if he could go live with his other cousin’s new family. Nigel was contacted and immediately agreed to this boy’s request, so he now had his fourth son.

Joseph was the next to be adopted. His parents were Russian Jews and planned on leaving Russia, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Even though religious practices had been frowned upon in the past, his parents had managed to have Joseph circumcised in secret and practiced their faith as best they could, while managing to hide these facts from their friends and neighbors. His family honored the Orthodox Jewish beliefs and sought to move to Israel. Finally, they were granted visas to relocate, but that’s when Joseph’s problems began.

Just before they were to depart, Joseph’s father discovered his son was bisexual and had been having sexual relations with other boys, as well as girls. Seeing their faith forbid such things, the father forbade Joseph from continuing such relationships. The arguments that ensued were long and bitter, with the father finally announcing that no compromise would be acceptable on this issue. That was why Joseph made his decision to run away from home.

He found his way to an international group that was operating there at the time and told them he was an orphan. In his mind he considered that to be the case, since he knew his father would disown him, unless he agreed never to do anything with another male ever again. After dealing with a lot of red tape and several investigations, this group got him a visa and transported him to England. Once he arrived there, an acquaintance of Nigel’s heard about his story, or what he thought was his story, and told Nigel about him. The two met and spent time together, eventually forming a deep emotional attachment. A short while later, Nigel initiated adoption proceedings and Joseph became another part of this new family.

Nigel’s next boy was a Norwegian lad whose parents had moved to London and had been living there since before he was born. The boy’s name was Kjetil (pronounced Schet Til) and he too had been orphaned. His parents had contracted a meat-borne illness, possibly related to mad-cow disease, while eating in a restaurant one evening when Kjetil was with a school group. They and three others had become seriously ill from the meal and four of the five eventually died, including both of Kjetil’s parents. Since he knew nothing of having any other family members and government agencies could not find anything in their flat indicating any relatives, he was taken to an orphanage. A short time later he met Nigel and the rest of the story was apparent.

The next boy happened to be a Palestinian. His story was that he and his parents had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were driving in a Palestinian area when a riot broke out. Soon gunfire erupted from both sides and the parents were killed in the process. The only thing that saved the boy was that he was in the rear seat, lying on the floor. The bullets were either stopped by his parents’ bodies or whistled harmlessly above him. Luckily he made it through the ordeal unharmed but shaken.

He was eventually discovered and rescued by an Israeli soldier, who then took the boy to an army location shortly thereafter. It was unilaterally decided the boy would be sent out of the country, as they were sure that if he stayed in the country, he would grow up to hate and fight against the Israelis, blaming them for his parents’ deaths. Therefore, he was sent off with a Red-Cross-affiliated group and soon he arrived to begin a new life in England.

Nigel heard about the boy and went to visit him. They spent time together and during that process discovered they liked one another. Hoping this might work, Nigel began to question the boy as to what he thought about the Israeli soldier who saved him and his views about Jews in general, as he was concerned about how he might react after discovering Joseph was Jewish. After the boy indicated he harbored no ill feels toward them, Nigel decided to introduce him to his family.

The moment the boys came together, they all seemed to hit it off and began to grow close. In due time, Nigel managed to adopt him too, becoming the newest member of this hodge-podge of a family. The biggest irony in all of this was that the Palestinian boy and Joseph become really close, best friends in fact. This was due largely to the fact that Joseph was the one who assumed the role of protecting the new boy from any unpleasant situations, either at home or at school. So now we have a Jew and a Palestinian living in perfect harmony.

Nigel’s final son was the son of a distant cousin of his, from Leeds. His cousin had been an only parent, and when she died from a fast spreading viral infection, Nigel offered to take the boy in. Seeing no other relatives rushing forward to make a similar offer, government officials reluctantly agreed to his request, so Nigel took his cousin home and the adoption was soon finalized.

After all this, Nigel now had eight adopted sons, quite similar to my own brood. After talking it over, Nigel and I decided it would be good for our boys to get together, both at this beach and then later in the evening, so they could get to know each other better and swap stories about their lives. While making these plans, we also discussed which of the boys might be best suited to hang with whom, from the other group.

It was immediately agreed that Brandon, Joseph and Danny (after he came looking for Brandon) would also become part of the planning committee, since they knew the boys as well as we did. We were soon lining everything up and had most of it worked out, before we left the beach that afternoon. After calling both groups of boys together, we made introductions, and allowed them time to get to know each other a bit. After this seemed to work out without any problems, Nigel and I agreed to have our families meet back there the next morning, so we could spend the entire day together, as one large group.

That night I explained the situation to the boys, to make certain no one had a problem with this. Everyone thought it would be a good thing, meeting boys from other parts of the world, especially since they had vaguely similar backgrounds. Although most of Nigel’s boys seemed to be orphans, and only a few of mine were, we were all members of blended families and had that in common. The boys seemed quite excited and looking forward to the next day.

The boys were already wound up at breakfast, but managed to contain their enthusiasm until we got to the beach. During the course of the day, I got to meet Nigel’s boys, he got to meet mine, and the boys got to meet and learn more about each other. It was amazing at how remarkably well everyone got along and they all seemed to manage to have a great deal of fun, both in and out of the water. While the boys frolicked about, Nigel and I had a chance to talk alone and got to know each other better too. After spending some time on the small talk, I guess I was the first to ask one of the tough questions.

“Nigel, how do you manage it with the boys being from so many different faiths?” I wanted to know.

“At first, I did think that might be a problem for us,” he answered, “but after a few weeks Padraic and Sean, my Irish sons, agreed to attend church with me. After the first service, they commented they couldn’t see much difference between our two churches and then wondered why people would kill others, because of their religion. We do allow Joseph to go to Synagogue when he wants, but he too seems to prefer attending services with the rest of us. It just ended up that the boys all feel more comfortable staying together and attending services together. I did suggest we could attend the other churches on a rotating schedule, but the boys didn’t think that would be necessary. How do you and your family deal with this?”

“Although we don’t have such drastic differences, I have let the boys know I would allow them to go to whichever church they wished, but it seems most of the time we end up going as a family to a single church.”

“Have you had any problems with their sexuality?” Nigel inquired. “My boys are not all of the normal persuasion.”

I was somewhat surprised by his bluntness, but I was glad he opened the door to this topic. “Mine either,” I told him. “Some of the boys are definitely gay, while others are bisexual and some might even be straight. No matter what their orientation, they don’t seem to mind helping each other out with their sexual frustrations and do have a good time with each other.”

“I’m glad to hear that,” he stated, looking greatly relieved. “I thought possibly I was doing something wrong and that’s why my boys were like that. Do you ever have any problems over this?”

“We’ve had some problems and misunderstandings over this, and we even had one boy who tried to force himself on one of the others, but for the most part, the boys understand their limitations and restrictions. It is a standing rule in our home that nothing happens unless both parties are willing and there are restrictions on what can happen where and when. We have also had some problems with jealousy lately, especially where the bi and straight boys are concerned. One of my gay sons is not happy that his boyfriend has been gawking and paying attention to girls. We’ll eventually work our way through it though, as we have everything else.”

“Brilliant,” Nigel remarked, using a common British phrase of approval. “I’m not sure about all of my boys, but I do know about a few of them. Joseph told me right from the start about why he ran away and that he liked both sexes. I believe my Croatian cousins have been fooling around with each other, but I don’t know whether to chalk that up to youthful experimentation or something more. I’m beginning to think that Kjetil might be queer as well, but I haven’t made any judgments about the others.”

“How did you happen to end up on a naturist beach with them, then?” I asked, thinking this somewhat remarkable, after hearing his story.

“My parents were naturists and I was raised this way,” he admitted. “I hid the fact for a long time, especially after I started adopting the boys, and it remained a secret until one of them discovered some of my magazines, which I had tried to keep hidden. The boys questioned me about them, shortly after their discovery, asking what it was like being naked around other people. They also wanted to know what types of things happened at these places, as they assumed that much of the activity might be sexual in nature.

“After several discussions about such things, and after assuring them sexual activities there were discouraged, the boys decided they might like to try this too. First I had them try it out at home, just with our family present, and they discovered they liked the freedom they felt going as God first intended. We did have to answer some questions on anatomy, sexuality and circumcision, but they finally decided to try it in public. I agreed to do it on my next holiday, and we arrived here this past Sunday for our first outing. They all seem to be having a good time. How about your family?” Nigel asked.

“Basically the boys were curious about this, much the same as yours. Although I wasn’t a naturist, they’ve been running around our house naked almost since the beginning and have expressed a desire to try it in mixed company. We talked it over and decided to do it on this vacation.”

“How long will you be here?” Nigel wanted to know

“Friday will be our last day. We are scheduled to fly out on Saturday,” I told him, now wishing we might have been able to stay longer

“That will give us three full days together,” Nigel offered, giving me a hint that he generally saw a glass as being half-full. “That should be long enough for all of us to get to know each other better.”

I agreed with him, so we went to spend time with the boys. There were various groups already interacting with each other and some had also included other children as well, both male and female. Over the course of the next few hours, we had a good time interacting with each other’s family and got to know a little bit about everyone. Ricky, Jay, Pat and Dustin went with some of Nigel’s boys and found a group of young ladies to hang out with. The boys were literally drooling over the soft, curvaceous forms of these teenage girls and I think the females liked the looks of the boys too. Seeing that a circumcised penis was a rarity where we were, I think some of the girls were fascinated with the boys who were cut. Whatever the reason, this group spent the rest of the their day together.

While Nigel and I were chatting, I invited him and his boys to ride back on our bus with us, join us for dinner and then stay overnight with us at our hotel. I told him his family could then return with us to the beach tomorrow, but it would give our families even more time to bond and get to know each other better. After we called all of our boys together for an impromptu meeting, we explained this idea with them and asked if they were interested in doing so. Almost without hesitation, everyone agreed that they liked this suggestion and the boys began planning who would stay with whom and in which rooms.

Nigel, I and the boys all understood that some of them would probably be sleeping on the floor, as there was limited bed space, but no one seemed to mind that idea. In fact, they were all too excited by the prospects to worry about such minor inconveniences. Therefore, as the hour grew late, we all donned our swimwear and made our way back to the bus. We detoured and took the Barstows back to their lodgings first, so they could retrieve clothing appropriate for our evening’s plans and get anything else they thought they might need, before returning to our hotel.

While Nigel and his boys were retrieving their belongings, I held a brief meeting with my boys, in the back of the bus. I explained to them that some of Nigel’s sons might be gay or bi, but there was to be no more than hand jobs or oral sex tonight, and then only if everyone agreed. They all said they understood, but Ricky wanted to know if it was okay if they showered with some of them too. I said that would be fine, but the same restrictions applied. Everyone agreed to my rules, so we left it at that. Pretty soon Nigel and his boys were getting back on the bus and we were on our way.

Once we were there, the boys went to the rooms with their chosen groups and Nigel bunked in with Sammy, Andrew, and me. We all showered and changed for dinner, but I called ahead for reservations as soon as I reached my room, knowing it might be difficult to make arrangements for such a large group. After locating a place that was willing to accommodate us, since they had explained they would close off an entire small dining room for our sole use, they added it would be over an hour before they’d be ready to seat us. While we waited, I checked on a few other things, possibly for entertainment after dinner.

During that same time, the boys did a variety of other things, including competing against each other on the hand-held games and some long showers together. I learned later that more than a few of them helped get their new friends off during that time and I noticed more than a few grins as they came back to join us. I think this was quite an education for both groups, as my boys learned about some other cultures in the process, while Nigel’s boys got some lessons in sexual activities.

At dinner, we didn’t bother to push tables together and let the boys sit in small groups, so they could chat with some limited privacy. It all worked out quite well. Nigel and I sat alone, so we could talk things over further and still be able to watch what the boys were up to. The boys spent a considerable amount of time hopping from table to table, including ours, until the meals were delivered. It was good to see everyone getting to know each other better and ‘getting along so famously,’ as Nigel commented. After they finished eating, the table-hopping began again, but this time they were all looking more like long-lost friends at a reunion. The boys made sure to take time to meet everyone else and learn a little about each of them, not just the one or two they were first attracted to or paired with.

After dinner, we gave the boys a couple of choices of what we could do next, and the majority voted to go to the cinema, as the British would say. It was a fast-paced action flick with little dialogue, so it was perfect for this group. The boys jumped a couple of times, when the action either got intense or when something totally unexpected and surprising happened, but Nigel and I jumped as well. By the time the movie ended, some of the boys were getting tired, so we went back to the hotel and divided up between the rooms.

The boys did do a little fooling around with each other, once they were alone, but they were smart enough to wait until the non-participants in their room fell asleep. After that, there were more than a few boys enjoying some mutual masturbation or oral sex, but I think the part they enjoyed the most was how the other boys reacted to various situations. Nigel’s boys kept making comments that seemed odd to my boys, like saying something they did was ‘sexy’ or that they enjoyed ‘wanking.’ They also teased each other, by calling someone a ‘dirty sod.’ These were all terms my boys were unfamiliar with, yet found fascinating. I did have to give them an explanation about some these remarks later, either explaining what the boys meant when they made them or why they were used in that particular context.

In the end, everything that took place was mutually agreed upon and within the limits I had established for my group earlier, yet they still enjoyed their time together and found each other fascinating.