The Circle3 Cubed
The final installment of the "Circulatim" trilogy
Approximately 484,000 words, 67 chapters.
The third installment is finally done! The trilogy is complete!
X-rated versus R-rated:
This story has sexual activity in it, but it isn't about the sex, and fewer than half of the chapters have sexual activity in them. The sexual activity is between teen males and is very explicit; if this isn't your cup of tea, do not read the X-rated version. You will miss nothing by reading the R-rated chapters except the sexual content. The X-rated version is identical to the R-rated version except for the sexual scenes. Anything important to the story that happens during a sexual scene, is related in the R-rated chapter as well by relating the pertinent information through the characters' exposition or internal dialog without the sexual description/activity.
The changes in Alex's life continue in the conclusion of the Circulatim Trilogy.
Things begin returning to normal for Alex. Or, settling into a new normal.
A new normal that is unlike the old normal. It isn't as comfortable, and things
keep changing, but what choice does he have?
He has come to deal with the loss of Toby, and has accepted that there is more after this life than simple death, and accepted that he is not done meeting with Toby yet, either.
The band is brings music back to his life, along with both the pain of loss and the joy of playing, and bringing new friends and a measure of fame. With the twins, it's becoming comfortable and familiar, but the new element of David makes it a confusing and ever-changing thing as well, and keeps Alex off his balance and guessing at what he should do. And now the band expects Alex to step up and shine.
His circles of friends at school have changed somewhat, but are becoming a new normal, and somewhat comfortable. But the new situation with Erich keeps Alex off his balance there, as well. Throw in the situation with Trey, who dredges up one of the worst moments of his life, and Alex is at a loss, feeling worried, scared, and even more confused at school.
Now other students are coming out from the shadows, seeking advice and support from Alex. And other students are seeking out Alex, but for other reasons, though also having to do with his sexuality and his fame, but they aren't seeking advice or support.
And yet another ghost arises from his past from before Toby and Trey, increasing the chaos and uncertainty in his life. And possibly being 'the one' Toby prophesied about.
Complications arise nearly daily, in every group of friends he has. School, the band, even his home life.
To make things even more complicated, unanswered questions and concerns from over the past weeks come calling, without resolutions.
Struggling to find himself, or at least, someplace he can be himself, and someone to be that person with, Alex is left in whirlwind of change and chaos.
How much can he possibly handle? Are there any answers? Can he help others find their own answers? Will he even be able to survive long enough to find those answers? And will any of them provide anything like what he thinks he wants, or needs?
When I was sixteen, I began writing a story about myself. More a story about Toby and myself. Okay, mostly a story about Toby. How we met, and our times together. I never finished it, and eventually forgot about it. It stayed in my footlocker as I moved over the years until some years later, for some reason, I pulled the story from the darkness and began to honestly put it together. With the help of a computer, I finished it.
It was longer than I expected, and it was raw and rough, but I'd put the entire story to paper, so to speak, and it was done. I read it, found it painful and personal, and put it away.
A couple of years later, I found myself again looking at that story. I wanted to tell it. Or at least, to tell something of Toby. But it was too personal. After reading it again, I saw a way to tell of Toby without telling of me; I could write a fictional story and place Toby into it.
Alex was born.
The Circle grew around him, my friends became actors, and thus his friends. Suddenly a story emerged. It grew. I wrote.
At last I reached a point where the story could end.
I spent the next months filling in the middle. I changed events around. I changed the story from third-person to first. I changed more names. I added characters and deleted others. I chopped off entire hunks of it. Side stories presented themselves for acceptance or rejection. The only constants were Toby, Alex, Tom, and Jeff. And The Circle.
When it was done, I saw that I had told the story of Alex, and Tom, and Jeff, and that Toby had become a guardian angel of sorts, coming and going throughout. I liked it. I shared it with a few friends. I can only say that they went ape-shit.
Instead of emailing me replies, nearly all of them called me. We'd stayed in touch via emails once every few months, but now they called. They all had nearly identical questions and comments. Some said it made them laugh more than any other story they had ever read, including published books. I suggested they try some Piers Anthony. Some admitted that it had made them cry - all three of the ladies I shared it with, by the way - at least once. And not just the ladies, either. I suggested a good antidepressant.
If they had said so in email, I would have thought they were pulling my leg, or that a Circle prank was brewing. But I heard them say so in their own voices.
So I asked a couple of websites that had stories that I had enjoyed reading on them if they thought it was worth putting on up. They agreed. And so The Circle went out.
And the emails began. It was no avalanche, nor a deluge, but the responses were coming in. And they still do, as others find the story on one site or another. From simple one-line statements to multi-paragraph letters, I was thanked for providing a good story. Some even claimed to have laughed and cried multiple times throughout the story, others admitting to tears in public and laughing out loud in quiet public places.
As far as I am concerned, no higher praise could be given a story.
I was honored.
And I was always asked the question, is there going to be more? Well, not always, but more often than not.
High praise for a story indeed, the desire for more.
Now let me tell you of the desire to tell more.
Telling the story of Toby, inside the nearly completely fictional world of Alex, was fun. It was also painful. And sometimes difficult. And it took years.
It began in 1983, and ended that first time in 1986, and was only the story of Toby and me. Untouched for years, it was another two years turning it into a story, and then it was left alone for decades.
All that time later, I went back to it, reworking it. I spent a good chunk of three years off and on working on it. That time includes writing much that never made it into the finished story. Whole chapters were relegated to the 'odd bits' folder. In fact, everything that I wanted to tell in the story after the Sunday with Toby's parents ended up cut when I decided that was the best ending point.
After all, the story up to that point was 330,000 words, just a bit longer than the three books that make up the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I mean, egads, right? It had to end. And what better point than right after meeting Toby's parents, with Alex and Jeff together, Tom sorted out, and Alex having just gotten out of the hospital?
There was just one problem; that wasn't the end of the story I wanted to tell. It was, in a huge way, only the beginning. I wanted to tell the story through to the point when Alex visits Toby's home over the summer. In fact, many emails asked of the things hinted at in the story that I cleared up and answered by the epilogue that I was nearly forced to tack on to the end of The Circle. There was much that happened during the months following the end of The Circle and that visit to Toby's home that I wanted to tell, but I simply had to bring the book to an end. Who would want to read a book that was a million words long?
Yeah, big problem.
So, to tell the whole story, is going to take three books, and is called, "Circulus."
"The Circle" begins the story, "The Circle Squared" continued the story, and "The Circle3 Cubed" will wrap it up.
So, here's the end of that solution...
... the conclusion of "Circulus"...
... The Circle3 Cubed.