Chapter 15: Adam and Melly
Adam and Melly had always had a special relationship. They more
or less grew up together, almost like brother and sister. They
were together a lot when younger because Elaine and Sally were
best friends and took the kids on trips to town or Seattle or
Naked Lake. And of course, they also went to school together.
When Adam was with Melly he never felt self-conscious about being
different, not even in a big city like Seattle where the locals
didn't know him, simply because Melly considered him normal and
no one else's opinion mattered as much. If any kids teased Adam,
at school, or anywhere, Melly defended him ferociously. It was
rather comical sometimes: the cute sweet little blond girl being
brave champion for the big hairy (but rather timid) monster.
Melly could afford to be brave; the few times any older kids ever
threatened to push her around for her attitude, Adam would
suddenly become much less timid and they invariably backed off.
Even Peter Sinsley discovered once that if he threatened Melly in
any way that all bets were off as to how far Adam would go to
protect her. It was all bluff though, Adam had been thoroughly
indoctrinated against hurting anyone with his strength, but it
was an effective bluff; rather like having an atom bomb in your
Adam and Melly were exactly the same age. We were all amused to
find out that Melly's birthday was June the 21st--the Summer
Solstice--which we had also decided/guessed to be Adam's birthday
as well, before they had even met. Of course we couldn't really
know exactly when Adam was actually born, but it was as good a day
as any and it seemed symbolically appropriate.
Therefore they always had double birthday parties from 4 years old
on up. Usually at the Wielson house in town, so that we could
invite all the local Monroe kids Melly knew from the neighborhood.
Sometimes they were not sure about what Adam was until Melly
convinced them that he was really her Big Twin Brother.
Adam could easily get along with other kids and although most of
them were afraid of him at first, they usually got used to him and
forgot that he was weird at all. But it was always him who had to
be cautious. If they played cowboys and Indians, he always ended
up being the horse. If he took someone on his back, as he had
often done with Melly, some of the kids became rather frightened
of the power they could feel in him and had to get off. Others
liked it, but assumed they could treat Adam like a horse, whip
and ride. Adam was sometimes too polite to stop them, but Melly
There was no one as close to him as Melly, they were a couple,
even at that age. People would look at them and even if they
didn't say it, everyone thought the same thing: Beauty and the
Beast. When older, Adam's routine joke about that was, "Aw,
Melly's not really that ugly."
I think I'm giving the impression that those kids were two
angels who floated around doing good. Sorry, but that's almost
the way I remember them back then. Really, of course, they
were normal kids. Little scoundrels with big egos, sneaky and
eager to play practical jokes on each other or any foolish
grown-ups who got in their way. Adam could be selfish, Melly
could be bitchy, but neither of them were very good at it--they
always seemed to realize what they were doing and both had a
well developed sense of fairness. They did tease each other
and even fought sometimes--although when they did, it was
always Melly who won by sheer will power.
Melly often stayed overnight with us. Sometimes we forgot that she
was not actually our own daughter and sometimes so did she. Just
as we had long forgotten that our sasquatch kid wasn't really our
genetic son. Our collective nickname for the children was "The
Just like any brother and sister, Adam and Melly didn't hang out
together much at school. That was the age when boys were required
to say "Yuk, girls!"
Adam had his own friends at school, Pokey and Juan, even a few
standard-issue American kids like Stan Garrett and Willy Mason,
and they would gather a whole flock of guys to play baseball after
school, or computer games on PCs and Play Stations at various homes
around the Monroe area.
It was tricky for Adam to play with his friends--at sports like
baseball or football he was so much bigger and better than any
of them that he would always win any physical contest if he tried
at all, which was no way to win friends. At least he always lost
at electronic games, being less proficient with computers, which
required reading text. Fortunately, he didn't care if he won or
lost, he just wanted to have fun with the guys and they all liked
So Adam and Melly mostly saw each other at either our place or the
Wielson's and when they were together they were almost always
quite close together, still friends. Openly and innocently
affectionate with each other.
Melly was sometimes so affectionate that we all wondered about the
"innocent" part. Had she been older her actions would have seemed
blatantly erotic. She simply loved Adam: would caress him, not all
the time, just every so often; or press up against him, smell him
with her eyes closed. Adam didn't mind, he liked it, but he was
never as demonstrative as she was. Melly was, after all, just a
Melly flirted unabashedly, would often say, "Oh oh, think I'm
catching a cold. Better kiss me, Addy." He would dutifully try to
give her a polite little kiss, but she always embraced him and
REALLY kissed him, lips full contact, using her tongue, very wet.
"Thanks, I don't want to catch a nasty old cold, you know," she
would say when they came up for air. Adam didn't seem to mind
that either, actually it was obvious that he enjoyed it, as long
as it was not at school where the guys would see.
Their favorite play was very physical, both intimate and brutal--
Melly would ride on Adam's back through the forest, where he
would run with all his speed and power. She steered, pointing at
wherever she wanted to go and her magnificent steed would crash
through brush and bramble as if it were spider webs, then up the
steepest inclines, over the edges of cliffs, under foaming
waterfalls, down into crevasses. Adam was a fearless and mighty
troll, Melly was a fairy princess, the forest was enchanted.
Elaine and I were glad that Adam had at least one female friend,
of course. But some people objected to exactly that, saying to
the Wielsons that Adam's relationship with Melly wasn't proper,
especially when they observed how affectionate Melly was to Adam.
"But he really IS her Big Twin Brother," Sally would tell
those people, just to tease them.
We were all quite aware that in the contexts of standard society,
any hint of sexuality between a big hairy monster and a little
girl would be considered perverse. People could not envision that
Adam was also just a little boy, when he was the size of an
especially large teen-ager.
Of course, WE all understood that the kids were simply fond of
each other, that it wasn't really sexual the way Melly flirted
with Adam, or kissed him, or threw herself naked upon him at the
lake, or wanted to sleep with him at night...
Eventually, even we had to ask ourselves if their relationship WAS
perhaps too erotic. If so, as responsible parents, we would have
to do something about that. But we four responsible parents
reacted each in a different way, ranging from amusement to panic.
Basically, we all did agree that innocent sexual feelings were a
normal part of childhood; that an honest and open policy was best;
that we did not want to teach them to be ashamed of their
feelings... but we were also unanimous that those two kids could
not be allowed too much leeway.
But we were not so unanimous about how critical the situation was
or what we should do about it. The core of the problem, even more
than that they were only children, was of course that Addy was a
sasquatch. The moral ethics of that confused us all, we who
thought of Adam as human but knew well how much he was not. This
was the topic of much discussion and disagreement.
Actually, Doug was the only one who was panicking: "My God, how
can that little bitch be so horny? It would be bad enough if she
was out to seduce some regular human boy, but no, she wants to
screw a... a BIGFOOT!"
Sally was his polar opposite, almost unrealistically positive: "O
Doug, they're not really having sex, you know, she's just very
"Affectionate?? She practically humps his leg! At some point
he's going to respond--what guy wouldn't?--and we can't let that
happen, not now, not ever!"
"Not as children, of course, but I'll bet they do become lovers
later on. We all SAW them fall in love, remember?"
"My God, Sally," Doug would rant, "how can you even...UTTER such a
"Disgusting..?" Sally snapped back, "Douglas Wielson-- you are the
one who convinced me that True Love exists and that Magic really
works --what with your Tarot Cards, your Pendulum, your Tantric
Yoga. Now come on, have some faith!"
Elaine was the skeptic: "I really doubt that the kids will ever
go as far as actual sex. As much as I love Addy, I can't imagine
any normal woman wanting to make love with him...including Melly,
sad to say. We all know that a woman instinctively chooses a male
partner by his genetic qualities, even if she's unaware of it and
a sasquatch is...well...a genetic dead end in every way."
I was the most neutral, wait-and-see: "Hey, they're good kids, I
can't see either one of them doing anything that would hurt the
other, physically or emotionally. As for their future, eventually
they'll be old enough to figure it out for themselves."
"Well, they aren't old enough yet!" Doug would insist.
We all agreed about that, so we had a discussion with the kids. It
soon became obvious that they thought we were crazy. When we told
them how we felt they were sometimes "too close", they didn't seem
to understand. But when Doug accused them of "almost copulating",
Adam and Melly looked at each other with identical expressions of
disgust and proclaimed in perfect unison: "Ooooo, yuk!"
They meant it too, they weren't devious children. They both knew
what sex was--they had each caught their parents at it enough
times--and we had answered their questions about it, so sex was
hardly a taboo subject of vast mystery.
We decided that they were too young to be interested in sex and
that we'd probably been projecting our own erotic perceptions of
love upon them. So we relaxed about their affectionate behavior.
Shows what we knew.
But for an outrageous free-thinker like Doug, it was surprising
how much he fretted about Melly's feelings for Adam, the same
young sasquatch whom he had once hailed as "superhuman". Doug
gradually became more and more conservative due to "his daughter's
affair with a squatch" as the years passed.
Melly used to say "I'm going to marry Addy when we grow up." Doug
was as amused by that as the rest of us when she was 4 and 5, but
by the time she was 7 he was getting concerned that she meant it.
So one day he said the unspeakable: "Melly, I'm sorry but you
can't really marry Adam--he's a sasquatch and you're not!"
Melly wouldn't accept that as Gospel. So Doug had to explain how
she and Adam were of different species, how their DNA didn't match
and that they could never have children. Then he warned her that
Adam would be too big, too heavy, too strong for any little weak
human woman, he could smash her--by laying on her, for example--
if even just by accident. He explained everything so well, so
fairly, so scientifically and truthfully, that little 7 year old
Melly had no convincing arguments to fall back on. And then he
delivered the coup de gras: "Even if it was all right with your
Mom and me, the Law would never allow you two to marry--it would
Melly got very upset and ran crying to Sally about what Doug had
said. Sally told her, "Daddy's just being a father, he can't help
it. But he also says that you can do anything you set your mind
Melly nodded, "Uh, yeah, Daddy's always saying that."
"So you go ahead and love whoever you want--even if it's a big
hairy squatch. It'll work out, one way or another."
"But Daddy says it's against the law!"
Sally pondered, "Is it? ...hmm, I doubt it. That would have to be
considered racial discrimination, which IS against the law. Hey,
even GAY people can get married and they can't have babies
either. And anyway, so what? You don't have to marry anyone--if
you still love each other when you grow up, you can just live
together, like your Dad and I did before we finally got married."
Doug was irritated with Sally for negating his case against the
Melly-Adam nuptials. "Do you really WANT them to be a couple?"
"Oh, they already ARE," Sally countered, "and an adorable couple
at that. There's something very magical about the two of them
together. As for the future, well, relax Doug, Melly's going to
follow her heart anyway when the time comes. It'll be up to her,
Doug never could disagree with Sally for long. For a while he
even seemed to accept the kids' potential future relationship
simply because she did.
At one time the Foster and Wielson families were so interwoven
that we seemed to be one family. The six of us would go horseback
riding together up into the Cascades, spent most of the summers
together at Naked Lake, did barbecues together, went to concerts,
saw movies, you name it. If it was fun, we did it together.
There was the camping trip to Yosemite with our two vans. Doug
and I took a trip just the two of us to New York, where we had a
great time without wives or kids. Our wives had just as good a
time having adventures without us once in a while. Adam and Melly
were practically in love. Are you getting the picture here? We
were a happy little community in those days and we all loved each
other so much that it still hurts to write the next words of this
Because our two families suffered a terrible tragedy when the kids
were twelve years old: Sally Wielson was killed in an automobile
She had been in Hollywood, working on a movie. You may have seen
it, you've certainly heard of it: Golden Angel. She'd been in a
few films before, some bit parts, but this one was the big career
jump for her. This was the dream come true, we were all so happy
for her. She went to Los Angeles alone because it would be a month
of filming. When they finished shooting there was a cast party,
lots of alcohol and drugs, but Sally took a taxi to her hotel
because she was a responsible mother who was not interested in
getting wild with those Hollywood crazies.
An independent drunk driver from yet another Hollywood party drove
head on into her cab, killing her, although the cab driver was
unhurt. As if that was to be her destiny and she could do nothing
to avoid it.
When I said we all loved each other I was being discrete: we were
passionately involved. It was no secret who loved who how much,
we had all resolved and accepted our special relationship years
before--even to the extent of practicing tantric sex as a happy
foursome. I was going to keep that private, but both Elaine and
Melly feel that it's part of Adam's story and should be mentioned,
in light of what comes later.
Personally, I once loved Sally just as much as I did Elaine, but
she seemed to be hit even harder by Sally's death than I was, it
was like losing a sister for her.
Doug was hit the hardest by far. In fact, he lost it for a while.
He couldn't work, couldn't be with anyone and drank a lot. We took
Melly in with us while he did what he had to do.
The kids were hurt too, of course, Addy as much as Melly. The
first night she was staying with us I could hear them crying
upstairs. When they stopped I went up to see how they were. They
were in the room that had become Melly's, sitting on the bed, Adam
holding her in his muscular arms and rocking her like a little
baby. I heard them talking, sniffing, sobbing.
"My first mom is dead too," Adam was saying, "now you're just like
"It's not the same, Addy, you didn't even know your first mother."
She was sniffling, but in control.
"Oh, I think I did. I just can't remember her." He was sobbing,
not nearly as in control as Melly.
"Oh, how sad. I hope I'll never forget my mother!"
"You won't! I'll help you to remember her."
Elaine took on the role of mother for Melly even after Doug
straightened himself out enough to function. He mourned bitterly
for a few weeks, then told himself "Got to look at the Big
Picture," and went back to his job at Microsoft. But only half-
heartedly, he'd lost interest in Bill Gates' dream.
Melly stayed with us all that winter and in fact so did Doug. He
usually went home at night but he often ate with us, tried to be a
father to Melly, took long walks in the woods. He needed to be
with people and he needed to be alone, so he was with us here,
and alone in his own house.
When the summer came we gratefully returned to Naked Lake. Mostly
regulars came there, so it was always an easygoing party-like
atmosphere that did Doug a lot of good, as well as the rest of us.
Once everybody got over talking about Sally, that is, because
she'd been a regular too.
Eventually Doug found his balance, healed by the medicine of
sunshine, lots of nice and naked friends including some of the
opposite sex to admire and maybe desire, some wine or a little
grass, some music, an occasional picnic; one tends not to brood
so much under those conditions.
Adam and Melly, for example, played in the water like happy
hippopotami, splashing and laughing, naked and innocent, as if
they were still little kids. Which they were perhaps, for one
We all gathered together at our place to watch the Academy Awards
on TV because Golden Angel had been nominated for Best Film and
among the nominees for Best Actress was Sally Rathers, which was
Sally Wielson's maiden name. The Oscar was posthumously awarded
We were hoping she'd win and we cheered when she did--then we each
and every one of us broke down completely, weeping helplessly,
realizing all over again just how much we had lost.