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RichEisbrouch

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About RichEisbrouch

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  • Age in Years
    69
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    Male
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    Gay
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    Los Angeles, California
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    writing, research, staying in touch with friends, work and volunteer work, walking our dogs...

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  1. After all nuts were put in the shell. Crapping the wrapping of food. Dumpbell. The Peasant of the United States. In the ancient times, after WWII... We live in an age of comuserism. The lake of sleep. Carless workers. Nagative activies like smooking. Marry-go- round. This sounds on the first glimpse to be right. The high impotence of individual effort. Oftentimes, the moral character of a prospective public leader is heavily circumcized. I wondered to myself how could anyone want to love an animal that eats poop, and that is the sole purpose of the animal. Hilary Clinton, who has a reputation for being dishonest, lost an election to President Trump, since President Trump was more honest and open about his loose morals. The overarching assumption that underlies this opinion. She brought a fresh set of eyes to the table. Moses had an inherent ability that actually failed him due to his horrible stuttering problem. Abraham Lincoln AKA honest Abe is most remembered for his decision to enact a civil war. Martin Luther King’s way with words birthed an entire nation to change their ways of living. America is a nation practicing Democracy in its own way rather than importing any corruption from overseas. The United States has a lot of advantages: like people live there.
  2. RichEisbrouch

    Rest

    He’d made it to Heaven. He didn’t believe in Heaven, and now he was here. And he was going to stay for longer than he could possibly ever imagine. And Heaven was a garden though perhaps a more formal one than Adam and Eve had enjoyed. He hadn’t believed in them, either. But he was no better dressed than they’d been, and he was – how could he explain this – aroused. There was no one to explain why. Just as there’d been no one to explain where he was. One moment, he was water skiing, and the next, he was in this garden. But it didn’t take long to figure out where he was and why. He’d walked the wide green lawns for a while then sat by a stream, letting the water lap his feet. Considering how he gotten to Heaven, he’d have thought he’d had more than enough of water, but it felt comforting. It was always daytime in Heaven, sunny and warm. He was always content. There were no fish in the stream. There were no bugs or birds. There were no wild animals. Occasionally, he’d see someone in the distance, or a group of people. Sometimes, he’d wander toward them, but when he got to where they’d been, they’d be gone. Occasionally, he’d see someone with a dog, or a cat, or a horse. There might have been smaller pets, too, but he was too far away to see. And he could never get near. He thought maybe this was Hell, but he was too happy. He wondered why he was aroused, but he almost always had been, so this was nothing new. But there’d been clothes before. Still, he thought, if you’re aroused and naked with no one to see, what does it matter? Maybe in Heaven everyone was that way. He’d tried the usual solution, but it didn’t work. Then it never had. But he’d felt the usual pleasure, the high, then he was simply happy again. He wandered. He slept when he wanted to, but it didn’t seem necessary, and he never knew for how long. He ate fruit, also without urgency, and it didn’t have the usual result. Heaven was spotless. He swam in the streams, skipped stones, and climbed trees. Whenever he felt like it, he made himself high and thought that’s why people might always be aroused. He was always happy. He was always curious. And he could never tell if he’d been somewhere in Heaven before because it all seemed beautifully the same. He wondered if there was something within him that just wanted this kind of Heaven. If other people got grit. He decided that some people were in groups because they were happiest that way. He wondered if people wanted you in their group but if you wanted to be somewhere else if there were multiple versions of you in Heaven. He wondered which was the right you, and if one could ever meet the others. He decided this was too complicated to consider, but he did wonder if he really concentrated on meeting someone, if that could happen. He wondered who he’d want to meet. Someone important in his lifetime? Someone famous before that? Maybe someone who was going to be considered “The Best” in the future. Then he thought if he really did make that person appear and this person arrived naked, would he really want to think of that person that way? And he wondered how people traveling in groups in Heaven got past that part. He decided to try something simpler. He tried to conjure a childhood pet, a dog who’d been there when he was born and who died when he was seven or eight. He’d mindlessly loved the dog, and he worked very hard at remembering him, imagining him, wanting this dog to be with him. Eventually, the dog was. And the dog seemed happy. And he’d wondered if he’d tried to conjure an unhappy dog, would the dog suddenly turn happy in Heaven? But why would anyone want an unhappy dog? And he thought, what if you’d been an unhappy person? What if you’d been a good but unhappy person who’d simply deserved Heaven, and you got there and wanted the dog you’d been miserable with? When it got there, would you both turn happy? He decided if you could conjure a dog, surely you could conjure happiness, so why couldn’t he conjure away arousal? He tried, then figured, “Wait a minute. I like being aroused. Why would I make that go away?” He was sure he could, just as he supposed he could make the dog disappear. But he didn’t want to. He was happy wandering through eternity with his dog. At some point, he wondered what it would be like to have another person with him. He wondered what it would be like to catch up with an old friend. But what would they catch up on? All the things that had happened after he’d died? What then? They couldn’t make new memories. “Remember when we picked up those two women in Heaven?” Or could they? Maybe they could just wander. He thought of the pleasure of making love again and remembered that’s why he was always aroused. Then he remembered the complications, and just thought, “Nah.” That’s probably why he’d appeared alone in Heaven. He was simply meant to be that way. He was happiest. But he wondered if the dog wanted company. The dog seemed happy just to have him. His attention. His affection. If the dog wanted a companion in Heaven, he could conjure one himself. In fact, there was a chance that other versions of the dog were running happily in Heaven with other dogs, other people, or just alone. The man didn’t think so, but he really didn’t want to know.
  3. It’s a story most people think began with oppression. Actually, it began with corruption. And it helped end some of that. Joseph of Arimathea was a wealthy man. He’d worked hard, but he had help. His father and grandfather had also been wealthy. Because of that, Joseph was well educated, and it taught him to thrive. That often meant manipulating the corruption. And though Joseph hated that, he was good at it. He knew life was hard enough without greed. He knew there was food and land for everyone – if only the men in charge would allow it. Instead, there were too few people with more than their share. Joseph believed people needed an uncorrupt leader but knew he wasn’t one. He had no charm and frustrated too easily. But he could make things happen, and power and money were his tools. So he cultivated idealists. When he found John, he didn’t become a follower, but he helped John and made sure he and his believers were fed and protected. Then he met Jesus. John was good, but John was crazy. He could lead the helpless but not the average man. By contrast, Jesus could start the simplest conversation, with almost anyone, and soon other people would be listening. Jesus knew this, and used it, which made him slightly corrupt. But for Joseph, that was better than being completely good. Joseph had been watching John baptize people. “Do you know how dirty that river is,” Jesus had asked the friend he was with. They were standing in front of Joseph. “The miracle,” Jesus went on, “isn’t that cousin John can get anyone to follow him. It’s that they’ll let him push their heads under that water.” The man with Jesus laughed, and so had Joseph – though to himself. Then he spent the afternoon watching Jesus, and listening. Finally, he introduced himself. “John’s told me about you,” Jesus said. “He’s very grateful.” “I try to help.” “We all do. But you more than others.” “I like John.” “Almost everyone does. We’d all like to live in his perfect world.” Though Joseph found Jesus as fervid as his cousin. Jesus hated corruption, and that started Joseph thinking. After that, he listened to Jesus whenever they met. Finally, Joseph had a plan. He talked to Jesus quietly one afternoon, for a long time. At the end, Jesus said, “That’s crazy.” Joseph couldn’t deny it. “You’re asking a man to give up his life.” “Not exactly.” “You’re asking me to give up everything I know.” “You’re the kind of man who could live anywhere. And there are good places, far from here.” Joseph had traveled for his trade. He’d seen parts of India and Africa, and had heard about the Orient. He knew Jesus could live in any of these lands with his family. “You really believe in this?” Jesus asked. “The hardest part is not dying.” But Joseph had a plan for that, too. “If you can manage that, we can do everything else.” “We” was a small group of wealthy, corrupt men who wanted to make the world better. Jesus said needed to think, and Joseph said that was natural. Eventually, Jesus agreed. “Why?” Joseph asked, though he knew he shouldn’t. “You’re a good man,” Jesus said. “And there’s nothing so important in my life that it can’t be sacrificed.” So they set out to establish Jesus. Many people knew him, but he’d lived almost entirely in Nazareth. “Though I was born in Bethlehem,” he told Joseph. And they made that part of the story. John baptized Jesus. That was the first step – Jesus embracing the filthy water. And though John was innocent, Jesus was following a plan he and Joseph had devised. The next six weeks would tell them if it had a chance. Jesus went into the desert, but not alone. He went to one of Joseph’s distant farms, which Joseph had emptied, along with all the fields around it. And Jesus went with a Roman soldier. The soldier had some authority in Jerusalem, and Joseph often paid him to use it. The more Joseph paid, the more authority the soldier gained. And he was tough. Now he was being paid to make Jesus tough. Jesus was an active carpenter and reasonably young, but he wasn’t a gladiator. The soldier trained him to be one and gave him any other strengths he felt might be useful. After a month, they began training on the cross. The first time, Jesus watched, though he’d seen crucifixions. He and the soldier used the secluded courtyard of the house, well inside the isolated farm. Soon after sunrise, the soldier mounted the cross and said he’d try to stay on it till sunset. “That’s a long time,” Jesus said. “And you won’t have nearly as long. But let’s see what I can do.” They didn’t use nails or rope. They did use a small seat, and the soldier showed Jesus how to use it to support his weight. “Your hands and feet will be fastened. The most important way you can help yourself is by supporting your body.” They couldn’t use herbs to dull the pain because Jesus needed to be alert. “And you’ll be beaten before you reach the cross. But I think you’re ready for that.” On the cross, the soldier showed Jesus how to breathe. “It’s how we get through the pain when we’re fighting and injured. Or when we’re marching, week after week.” Jesus and the soldier had eaten before they reached the cross. The soldier showed Jesus what to eat and told him why. Their cross was only a step off the ground, but the soldier was careful not to shift his feet there for support. “With your ankles pinned, you won’t have that advantage. And as careful as I’ll be when I set the nails, there’ll still be damage.” That was another part of the plan. Not only would the soldier train Jesus. He’d also lead his beating and the crucifixion. The other soldiers would be well paid to do as much outside damage as they could, without doing any real harm. The soldier stayed on the cross until late afternoon. Then he simply dropped to the ground, rose without help, and walked quietly around the courtyard. “That’s harder than I thought,” he finally admitted. “I don’t have any new respect for the men I’ve killed that way. But I didn’t think they were in so much pain.” “You said nothing,” Jesus told him. “I wouldn’t.” “How much longer could you last?” “It wouldn’t matter. They’d break my legs when it started getting dark. That would soon help kill me.” “But if you lasted the night...” “I’d die anyway.” “Could anyone save you?” “No. It feels like your chest is caving in.” This was news, and Jesus and the soldier talked about it through the evening. The soldier explained how it felt and how Jesus would probably feel. “It was hard just to breathe,” he finished. Then they readied for sleep. The next morning, they ate, then Jesus mounted the cross. The beginning seemed easy, and Jesus closed his eyes and tried slowly to breathe. The day was warm, but they’d started early, and it would be hotter in the mid-day sun. The middle seemed hardest. The soldier was right. Jesus kept forgetting how he’d been taught to breathe. And though sweat seeped out of him, his mouth was dry. The time before the sun was highest, Jesus almost didn’t know where he was. He wasn’t in pain. He seemed past that. But he couldn’t remember to breathe, and he kept slipping off the seat and letting his feet touch the ground. The soldier finally tied his ankles to the cross, but Jesus soon fell forward, and the soldier caught him. He poured water over Jesus. He slowly let him drink. He told Jesus to lie in the shade for a time before easing him to his feet. “You need to walk.” the soldier said. “You need to be off the ground.” “I’m not sure I can do this,” Jesus said. “It won’t be that long. You stayed almost twice as long as you’ll need.” “It will be hotter.” “It will be very hot.” “I’ll die.” “You won’t.” “And the smell... and the flies...” “The less you add to the smell, the less flies. That’s why it’s important what you eat.” In the afternoon, they talked about how Jesus felt. But before the sun set, the soldier made Jesus get back on the cross. “Why?” “So you won’t fear it in the morning.” “I will.” “This will make it easier.” And maybe it did. Or maybe it was the repetition. By the end of that week, Jesus could stay on the cross from sunrise till noon. Then he continued training with the soldier, mainly in combat. By the end of the second week, Jesus could start on the cross at noon and stay until sunset. After spending the morning being beaten. “You’re ready,” the soldier said at the end of six weeks. “You honestly believe I can do this?” “What do you think?” “I have to.” “You don’t have to do anything,” the soldier replied.. “This was to test you. Though if you ask me, your friend Joseph is just as crazy as your cousin John.” “Maybe we all are.” “I’m being paid,” the soldier reminded him. “Good things have happened for worse reasons,” Jesus said. And the soldier laughed. “It will be worth it,” Jesus assured him. “I’d say ask me when we’re finished, if I’m still alive. But even if I am, and Joseph is right, that will just be the beginning.” “You’re the beginning,” the soldier said. “Then you do believe?” “Enough,” the soldier allowed. And Jesus returned to Nazareth and began to speak. He began to make new friends, and more of them, and to have followers. And when he was tired or unsure of what to say next, Joseph helped, along with several men they used as their guides. But the group was small. “The fewer men who know, the better,” Joseph advised. The Temptation was a ruse, as was the Sermon on the Mount. Even Matthew’s Gospel admits it never happened as a single event. But the events mentioned in it did, over a period of months. And Jesus began to tell them as a single story. Then there were the miracles. “Why?” Jesus asked. “Because people like spectacle,” Joseph replied. “They remember it.” “But how will you manage?” “Magicians.” “They’ll have to be paid.” “We have the resources. Enough men who want to end corruption.” “Even though it’s made them wealthy?” “It’s not a good way to live.” After a time, Jesus and Joseph chose the Apostles. They were all good men, and like John, they all were innocent. There would be too much corruption otherwise. Though Jesus insisted he needed someone near to him to depend on, and to distract the others when he needed to train. That was Judas, who was as ready to give up his life as Jesus. “You won’t be the only one who pretends to die,” he told Jesus. “Why do we need that?” “Because after I betray you, I have to vanish.” “Why do you have to betray me?” “Because we can’t wait for the Romans to decide the time. We have to be ready.” “And afterward, will you be coming with me?” “There’s too much risk. I’ll go somewhere far from you. We won’t need to see each other again.” Though cousin John’s death was unplanned. “And unnecessary!” It made Joseph fierce. “It’s why we have to do this,” Jesus told him. And Judas agreed. So they started toward Jerusalem. There, Jesus met the soldier again. Though this time, they weren’t friends, and Jesus tried alone to remember everything he’d been taught. He practiced his breathing and stood in some approximation of the cross every day. But he still felt unprepared. In Jerusalem, the soldier guided Jesus through the trial and the sentencing. The beating was harsh, but Jesus was ready. But not for the blood, and the nails, and the humiliation. Or the thirst and the spear and the noise. And the unending flies. In their last days together, the soldier had taught Jesus how to slow his breathing almost to a stop. And how to still his movement, slump off the seat, and let his arms take the weight of his body. But on the cross, Jesus felt he remembered so little. He didn’t anticipate the amount of pain or the rudeness of the crowd. He and Joseph hadn’t planned on the mid-afternoon thunderstorm, though they weren’t uncommon in that season. And the rain gave Jesus just enough strength to remember how to die. Though he didn’t remember how long it took the soldiers to get him down or his travel to the tomb. “That’s because I gave you herbs during the storm,” the soldier told him later. “In that last sponge. When you started to go crazy.” “How?” Jesus asked. “You were saying things you didn’t mean. For a time, I thought we’d lose you.” “What did I say?” “My God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus needed to think. “By then, I think I almost believed that. For so many months, I’d been saying I was the Son of God. The heat and pain convinced me.” “That’s why I gave you herbs.” “You could have let me die. By then, it wouldn’t have mattered. What Joseph needed was almost done.” “I wouldn’t have let that happen.” “It would have been all right.” “Maybe for you. But I was paid to save your life, to give it back to you. Your wife and children were waiting.” Jesus had only a few more responsibilities. He was never in Joseph’s tomb, so his disappearance was further magic. As was the opening of the tomb, the earthquake, and the angel. The earthquake never happened. Nor did the earlier one, when he supposedly died. They were added in the retellings of the story, along with the reappearance of the saints. During the Sabbath, Jesus slept as well as he could, but woke far weaker than anyone had hoped. He barely met with Mary and the women, and only quietly spoke with the Peter and later the disciples. He was strongest on the mountain and when he heard of Judas’ death. Then he left Jerusalem. He wore strange clothes, with no beard, and his hair colored and short. Few people outside Nazareth knew his family, so they traveled unrecognized. They went to India first, then after some years to the Orient. They ended on an island, their children raising children, and Jesus living to late middle age. He never said who he was. He lived by a different name and no longer practiced any profession. He studied and walked along the ocean. He never heard from Joseph, as they both knew that any time in their lives would be too soon for change. When he died, his new friends remembered him mainly as kind.
  4. RichEisbrouch

    At 15

    It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way. I had a date with the hottest girl in my class for homecoming. It was gonna be great. I’d seen her around school and I thought she was hot, but then I thought nothing of it. Then a couple of weeks before homecoming, one of her friends told me that Talia thought I was cute and that was great ‘cause it’s always great when some girl notices you. But I still didn’t do anything ‘cause there was no reason to. Then I broke up with the girl I was going with and I needed a date for homecoming and my best friend Dyl was pressuring me to take his girlfriend’s best friend. And I like his girlfriend all right and I like her best friend, but the best friend really isn’t very pretty. So I figured what the hell, I’d ask Talia, and she said yes. The day before homecoming we went riding. That was great because it’s always fun to show off my horses. And Talia was pretty good on them though she said she really didn’t ride very much and didn’t know anything about horses. She also hated the cleaning up part. “How can you do that?” she asked as I was cleaning up after her horse. But that’s part of having horses and I’ve been around them since I was a kid so it’s no big thing. The next day, we were gonna pick Talia up at her house. Dyl and I had rented a limo ‘cause neither of us are old enough to drive and we didn’t want our parents driving us to homecoming. The limo cost us a hundred bucks each and it cost me another fifty for the homecoming tickets and fifty more for a new shirt and tie and another fifty for a three-rose corsage for Talia. So I was out two hundred and fifty bucks before we even started. The idea was to pick up Talia then pick up Dyl’s girlfriend who doesn’t go to our school and lives in Valencia then go to the homecoming party. But right before we went to get Talia, she calls me on my cel saying she wasn’t home and I should pick her up at school after we picked up Dyl’s girlfriend. “What are you doing at school?” I asked. “Nothing.” “Then why are you there?” “I’m all ready for homecoming. I’m with friends. You just have to pick me up.” “Then we’ll pick you up now.” “No, pick me up later.” “Why?” “Because I’m with friends.” “So?” “Just listen to me.” “O.K.” Now my friends aren’t really Talia’s friends. My friends are Dyl and the guys. And while I know Talia’s friends, I wasn’t really friendly with them. So if she wanted to hang out with her friends while Dyl and I went to pick up his girlfriend, that was O.K. with me. It was stupid, but it was O.K. Except when we finally went to pick up Talia, her neck was all covered with hickeys. Now wasn’t I supposed to notice? Did she think I just fell off a turnip truck? “What’s that?” I asked. “What?” “On your neck?” “Oh.” “What?” “Nothing.” “What is it?” “Just an allergic reaction.” “An allergic reaction?” “Yeah.” “To what?” “I don’t know. To allergies.” “An allergic reaction to allergies?” “Yeah.” That isn’t how it works and I know a hickey when I see one, let alone a whole neck full of them. But I let it go because I was all dressed up and she was all dressed up and she looked hot and we had the limo waiting. But after we got into the limo, Talia wanted her friends to ride with us. They were all waiting with her at school. “Don’t they have dates?” I asked. “Yeah.” “So?” “So they’ll meet them at the party.” “They’ll meet them?” “Yeah.” “Don’t they want to get picked up?” “No, they’ll meet them. O.K?” O.K. but not really. Talia’s best friend, the one who told me Talia thought I was cute, was going with a senior who had a car. So he could have picked her up and he probably wanted to. Instead we all crushed into the limo. “This isn’t what we said,” Dyl complained. “I know, but it’s just a little way.” “This isn’t what we planned.” “I know.” “Then what’s up?” “Plan’s change, Dyl. Plans suck. Just live with it.” So he lived with it, but he wasn’t happy. And I wasn’t happy. And Talia just talked with her friends. Now Dyl’s girlfriend didn’t know Talia at all since they went to different schools. So Dyl’s girlfriend only talked to Dyl. And Talia only talked to her friends, not to me or Dyl or his girlfriend. Which mainly left me talking to the limo driver. “How’s it going, man?” he said. He was trying to be friendly, but he must’ve been thirty years older than us. And he was mainly looking at Talia. At the party, Talia went off with her friends again. Her best friend’s boyfriend, the senior, showed up and they all hung out together. Dyl’s girlfriend didn’t know anyone at the party either, so she mainly stayed with him. I got in maybe a dance and a half with Talia and a couple more with Dyl’s girlfriend when he went for drinks. I tried to hang out with Talia and her friends, but they didn’t really talk to me and I didn’t have anything to say. So I went back to Dyl. The next time I saw Talia was to take pictures and they looked great, but they cost me another forty-five bucks. After the party, we were supposed to go to an afterparty in Bell Canyon which I really wanted to go to. Except Dyl had to take the limo to take his girlfriend home and that left me with no way back from the afterparty. So Talia went with her friends and the senior, and Dyl and the limo dropped me off home, and I was pissed. I did some stuff there, if you know what I mean, then I went to soak myself in Dyl’s hot tub. Kind of boil myself, ‘cause that’s what I deserved for wasting all that money. And I didn’t even get to kiss Talia. I mean I did for the pictures, but then she wouldn’t kiss me goodnight. She didn’t even say, “See you at the afterparty,” ‘cause I bet she was hoping I wouldn’t go. When Dyl came back from his girlfriend, he joined me in the hot tub. Then in the middle of the night, I jumped into his pool. The water was like fifty degrees and the air was like sixty and I didn’t want to get hypothermia so I didn’t stay in very long. But I didn’t just run back to the hot tub. I walked there slowly, with my towel. Then I went back to boiling myself. Today at school, everyone was talking about the afterparty. There were about three hundred kids there, and cars were parked all up and down Bell Canyon, and everyone was drunk and high and having sex. “You’re lying,” I told the friend who told me. “No way,” he said. “And it wasn’t just in all the rooms. I had to pee and the bathrooms were all full, so I went outside and there were kids like six feet away from me having sex in the bushes.” “No shit,” I said. “No shit.” “What about the parents?” I said. “They could’ve stopped it.” “They didn’t care. And they couldn’t have done anything anyhow. It was way out of control. If the music was really loud, someone might have called the cops. Like the neighbors or something. But the music wasn’t that loud and besides the parents were drunk and high too.” “No shit.” “It was a great party.” And I was in a hot tub with Dyl. Today at school, Talia also saw me and she said, “You must be really mad at me.” I looked at her. “What do you think?” I said and walked away. Her neck was so covered with hickeys, it was all red.
  5. Thanks for the thumbs up.  It's a story I like quite a bit, and it's nice to know that feeling's occasionally shared.

  6. 1. Les’s apartment was small and neat, though not really attractive. Things didn’t seem to match, but Les was kind of that way, too. His face wasn’t bad: clear skin, shy eyes, a small nose and mouth. His black hair, worn short, was carefully parted and combed to one side. He was 28, maybe 5'-9,” but he wore dark jeans and a T-shirt, the way chubby guys sometimes do to make themselves look thinner. Still, when he sat, Kenny could see his belly bugle, and his legs spread a bit because of his thighs. His glasses also seemed just a little small for his face. Kenny was a couple of minutes late, and when he’d knocked, the door had opened immediately, as though Les had been waiting at the peep hole. “Hi,” Kenny had said. Les glanced at him then turned away and led them into the room. They’d been inches from the couch, feet from the dining table. A small kitchen, out of sight, obviously opened on the dining area. An open door off the living room led to the bedroom. The walls were covered with inexpensively-framed theater show cards, all from New York. One wall seemed dedicated to Julie Andrews. The others were shared by Carol Channing, Chita Rivera, and Carol Burnett. “You must like the theater,” Kenny said, still standing, studying an assemblage of 16 Julie Andrews CD’s, in a kind of snap-out frame. Les was behind him. When Kenny turned, Les asked, “Can I get you something to drink?” “No,” Kenny said, both politely and because that wasn’t why he was there. He’d come to get his cock sucked. That, specifically, was the intention. He sat on the couch. Les sat beside him, though several feet away. There was no matching chair, no room for one, nor a coffee table. Four feet away, centered on the couch, the TV set hugged the wall, framed by narrow shelves of boxed videos. “Could you turn off the TV?” Kenny asked. It soundlessly showed some local morning show Kenny couldn’t identify. Local cable? It was just past ten-thirty on a Saturday. Without comment, Les killed the picture with the remote. Still, he sat facing the TV, his body set, his face turned only slightly, just past profile, to Kenny. Kenny sat with his knees wide, his hands overlapping at his crotch, facing Les as much as he could. “What do you do?” he asked. “I’m a technical writer. Mainly for software.” “I thought you might be involved in performing.” “I was... kinda... used to be. I used to review plays for one of the free weeklies. But that sort of stopped.” “Why? Didn’t you enjoy it?” “It was taking too much time. ” “Wasn’t it like a hobby?” “Partly. But it still took time.” “Did you ever act?” “A little. In college. Not here.” “When did you move here?” “After school. I’m from Albuquerque. I wanted something more cosmopolitan.” It wasn’t a word Kenny hear a lot. “And you weren’t interested in movies?” he asked. “Maybe a little. But my first job was writing... I was a Journalism major. I started working for a computer magazine and got into tech writing. Maybe it’s not the most exciting thing, but it supports me. Comfortably.” “I know what you mean. It’s why I’m a therapist.” “Psychologist?” “Physical therapist... Athletic trainer.” “How long?” “Six years. Since college.” “You like it?” “Yeah, it’s great.” “You’re lucky.” And for a moment, Les said nothing. He sat facing the television, barely looking at Kenny. Kenny wanted to touch him. He looked so lonely. But that’s not what Kenny was after. “Have you met many guys this way?” he asked instead. “Maybe a dozen.” “How long have you been doing it?” “Almost a year.” “And you only met twelve guys? With so many online? That’s restraint.” “I don’t do it all the time... And some guys are flaky... they don’t show up. Or when they do... they don’t come again.” “Do you want them to?” Les said nothing. “Would you like to see one guy?” Kenny went on. “I... don’t know.” “I didn’t think you wanted a relationship.” Les hesitated. “I... don’t know.” “I’ve never been in one,” Kenny said. “But I haven’t been looking.” “I was in one for a while. Not long, really... most of a year. It’s not what I’m looking for, either.” “But if something happens...” Again, Les said nothing. He sat, looking almost afraid, and Kenny wanted to hug him. But didn’t. “I suppose we should start,” he finally said, and Les looked at him. “I’m not really into it now... I’m not in the mood.” Kenny was stunned. He come to have his cock sucked. What did mood have to do with it? “I guess you don’t like athletic trainers,” he tried to say lightly. Les shook his head. “What do you want?” Kenny asked. Les shook his head again. “Younger guys? Hotter guys?” Look what you’re using for bait, Kenny wanted to say. Instead, more politely, he said. “I’m not a model. I told you that in my text. But I’m not bad looking.” “It’s not that,” Les insisted. “Not any one thing... You’re a nice guy... I’ve liked talking to you. There’s just no chemistry...” Kenny tried not to feel insulted. But it hurt. “That hurts,” he told Les. “A lot more than it should.” “I’m sorry.” “And it’s not part of the bargain. I came here to get my cock sucked. I’m not asking you out. We’re not dating. I came here the same way you pick up your cleaning or go to the bank. You posted, I answered, and now you’re backing out. And I’ve been looking forward to this.” “I’m sorry.” “I don’t think you are... You don’t know how it feels.” “Shit happens...” “That’s garbage.” “Sometimes, it does.” Kenny thought for a moment. “Have you’ve done this to other guys?” “No,” Les said quickly. “I’ll bet you have. I’ll bet you do this all the time. I’ll bet it’s all you do.” “No,” Les insisted. But he was looking away, and Kenny would bet he was lying. “I’m sorry... really,” Les repeated. “Just be careful,” Kenny warned. “You make some guy promises... you’ll get some guy mad enough... you’re gonna get beaten up.” “That won’t happen,” Les said. And he took a carving knife from under a throw pillow. Kenny couldn’t get out of there fast enough. And he swore to god he’d never just get his cock sucked again. 2. Floyd was in his mid-thirties and good-looking in an aging athlete way. He was a building contractor, married, with three kids. He was Kenny’s height, just under six foot, maybe 175, with a good build. His trimmed beard was light brown, but his shaggy hair seemed in the final stages of darkening from blonde. He wore expensive sunglasses, a button-down, preppy shirt, sleeves half-rolled and the front opened over a turquoise tank top, khaki shorts, topless socks and clean running shoes. He set his sunglasses immediately on Kenny’s coffee table, along with his phone. “Something to drink?” Kenny asked. “I’m fine.” Floyd grinned, revealing perfect teeth. Kenny indicated the couch. Floyd sat, a bit restlessly, across from Kenny, who was in a chair. “I’m always nervous at first,” Floyd admitted. “You do this often?” “Often as I can.” He pronounced the “t.” “There’s been one guy... regular... but he can’t handle me as much as I’d like.” “I’ve only tried this once,” Kenny said. “It didn’t work out.” And he told Floyd about Les. “That’s not right,” Floyd said. “I mean, the knife... well, this is LA. I’m surprised it wasn’t a gun. But when a guy says he’ll suck your dick, he’s gotta suck.” For a moment, he looked at Kenny. “Why wouldn’t he want to, anyhow?” “Who knows? I never even opened my jeans.” “Weird.” “Yeah.” And they thought about that. “How you get started with this?” Floyd soon asked. “I’ve been watching porn,” Kenny said, laughing. “Who hasn’t?” “And in one, a guy comes to the door, sucks this other guy, and leaves. “I wanted to try that... but I wanted to be sucked.” “Cool. Let me see your dick.” “You want to take it out, or should I?” “What’s in your fantasy?” Kenny thought for a second. “That I never touch myself. I’m standing, leaning against the door. You kneel.” “And unzip your fly?” “Yeah.” “OK.” And Kenny went to the door and leaned against it. Floyd followed him, knelt, unzipped Kenny’s fly, fumbled for a moment with his jockey shorts, and pulled out his dick. It was already hard. “Nice,” Floyd said. “Now what?” “The guy closes his eyes and never sees the rest. The second guy sucks him off and leaves. Never even zips him up. The last thing you see is the guy grinning, still with his eyes closed. “How’s the other guy get out the door?” “I don’t know. We never see.” “Must be a second door.” “I only have one.” “Then lean against the wall.” Kenny did. “Guess I should say ‘Good-bye’ now,” Floyd said, flashing his teeth. “Yep,” Kenny said. And he smiled, too. “If this works out, I’d like to see you again,” Floyd said. “If this works out, fine.” “I hate just sucking a guy and leavin’. Good waste of dick ” “Let’s see what happens.” “Yeah. No point sucking a guy twice, if you hated it the first time.” “Then suck,” Kenny said. By then, he knew he was dripping. And Floyd took Kenny’s dick in his mouth, swallowing it all the way to the base. Kenny closed his eyes and felt Floyd’s tongue tickle the underside of his cock. It felt amazing. He took a deep breath and arched against the wall, touching it only his shoulders. He was starting to rise on his toes when Floyd’s phone rang. Floyd ignored it, and Kenny tried to keep focus. For a moment, there was a nice balance – juggling what was happening in his body and what was going on in his mind. Then he could only hear the ring. He counted, thinking it should stop. It didn’t, but Floyd sucked on. Kenny knew he was dripping now. He could feel it. That could go one for a while and was always a pleasure. Floyd hadn’t let up, and had eased one of his hands under Kenny’s shirt, stroking his belly. His other hand caressed Kenny’s balls. This is exactly what Kenny wanted. Except for the phone. “I should have turned that off,” Floyd said, taking a breath, but keeping his hands busy. “It’ll stop,” Kenny said, eyes still closed. “I don’t have it set that way. It’s for business.” Kenny tried to block it out. “I’ll be right back,” Floyd said. “Let me just kill it.” Then Kenny heard, “Oh, shit, I’ve got to take it.” Kenny stayed against the wall with his eyes closed. This didn’t happen in porn. Maybe it should. Maybe it would be funny. But porn wasn’t about jokes. Of course, he could hear Floyd talking, even though the man had evidently moved across the room. It sounded like he’d left the living room and was in the hall. What Kenny heard wasn’t good. Floyd wasn’t trying to quickly end the conversation. The more he talked, the more involved he got. There were a couple of ‘Oh, gods,’ and finally a “Fuck, no!” Kenny opened his eyes. Floyd was out of the hall, and Kenny could hear his voice from the bathroom. His dick was getting soft, but it was still wet with Floyd’s spit, and Kenny wondered whether to zip up. When Floyd came back to the living room, he looked shattered. “Oh, my god. I’m sorry. I almost forgot about you. One of my workers was in an accident. It wasn’t on a job. He was driving home in his car, and no one was hurt. But he’s illegal, and now the cops have him. They’re threatening to send him home, and his wife is hysterical. She’s illegal, too.” Ken quietly put away his dick. “I’m really sorry, bud,” Floyd said. “That was terrific. You were great. You’ve got to let me finish the next time. I’m really sorry.” He kissed Kenny quickly and was out of there. Kenny pictured the poor guy in jail and his poor wife being deported. He wondered if they had kids. Then he felt his dick sticking to his shorts, and he knew he should take a shower. He could jerk off, too, but he didn’t much feel like it. S for a while, he just sat at the computer, watching porn. 3. It was ninety-five degrees out, and John arrived wearing a red nylon windbreaker. Other than that, he wasn’t badly dressed: yellow polo shirt, striped seersucker pants, white socks and tennis shoes. He also carried a sharp, snap-rim portfolio, which reminded Kenny he’d mentioned investment counseling on the phone. He post said he was 32, 5'-11", 175, and he described himself as athletic. Still, his thinning hair seemed dyed close to shoe polish brown, his blue eyes were unenviable, and they flanked a nose that gave him the look of an English butler. “You’re a good-looking man,” he told Kenny, as though surprised. And you’re not, especially, Kenny wanted to say. But there were so many things beyond looks. And John shared his fantasy. They’d arranged to meet, at John’s request, for “just a few minutes.” “I have to go to the gym. I’ll be right around the corner. Let’s take a look.” Kenny had agreed. After John set down his portfolio, he asked, “This door?” “Yes,” Kenny said. John tapped it. “Seems solid enough. We don’t want it caving in when you push against it.” “No,” Kenny said, smiling. John glanced around the apartment then looked back at Kenny. “Let’s do this. I know I said ‘a few minutes,” but that was a test. You passed.” Kenny again agreed. However rude it might be, he knew, once his eyes were closed, John could be the guy in the video. Or anyone. “Let’s go,” he said. “But I’ll lean against this wall. That way, you can slip out when you’re done.” “Deal,” John said, tapping the wall. “Lean.” Kenny did, and he closed his eyes. He imagined John kneeling but didn’t hear even the rustle of his windbreaker. John quickly unzipped Kenny’s fly and deftly freed his cock and balls. The man had soft hands. And a good mouth. Unlike Floyd, he didn’t immediately swallow Kenny to the base, but nibbled on his cock bit-by-bit. Plus, he rhythmically swayed Kenny’s balls back and forth between what seemed like his index fingers. It tickled and took Kenny a bit out of the fantasy, but he didn’t want to say, “Don’t do that.” He just relaxed. Soon after, John silently unfastened Kenny’s belt. Then he unbuttoned Kenny’s jeans and eased them and his shorts down to his ankles. That wasn’t in Kenny’s play book, but it felt nice. And it was a shared fantasy. He shouldn’t interfere. Then, as John contined working Kenny’s cock with his mouth, and his balls with one hand, the other slipped toward’s Kenny’s rear. John didn’t have lube, but it didn’t seem to matter. First, one of his fingers was inside, then another. That also wasn’t what Kenny had planned, but who could object? He was now straining against the wall, as he had been with Floyd. And he was up on his toes. He took a deep breath. “Just stay there for a moment,” John said suddenly. “I gotta pee.” “It’s down the hall...” Kenny began. “I’ll find it.” And he was gone. Kenny thought about opening his eyes but wanted to hold in place. And John was good. Kenny couldn’t wait for him to come back. When he came back, the first thing John did was lean, full length, against Kenny, easing his tongue into Kenny’s mouth, with the same skill he’d opened Kenny’s pants. Next, he was sucking on Kenny’s tongue, something unfortunately few guys Kenny had met knew how to do well, and it felt amazing. For a moment, Kenny wondered if John had taken off his windbreaker. There seemed less fabric between their chests. But he didn’t want to speak, and he was purposely keeping his hands at his sides. Then John was sucking again, while fingering Kenny’s balls and hole. He seemed to have some lube, because his fingers were moving more quickly, and Kenny was getting harder. I’m close, he thought. Very close. Then something happened. John gently took Kenny’s hands – actually, he softly stroked his palms first – and he drew Kenny down to his knees. As Kenny knelt, John let go of his dick and slipped his tongue back into Kenny’s mouth. Meanwhile, he eased Kenny’s T-shirt up his chest then over his shoulders and arms. His mouth only seemed to leave Kenny’s as the T-shirt passed. This is hot, Kenny thought. Not what I imagined, but great. And with a guy in a windbreaker – he could definitely feel the nylon against his chest. For a time, they both knelt, fiercely kissing while John rolled Kenny’s nipples between his fingers. Kenny’s hands were still at his sides. His almost unbending dick somehow folded against John’s pants. John slowly stood and guided Kenny’s mouth to his dick. Kenny wasn’t sure when John had opened his own pants. He hadn’t felt John’s dick getting hard before, either, when they’d been pressed against each other. This isn’t what I wanted, Kenny thought, but it sure felt nice to have a dick in his mouth. As he felt his way around it, he could feel John tense, and Kenny knew he was doing well. When John came, it was an easy flow – he was a surprisingly elegant man. Kenny took it all in, savoring the almost sweet-sour taste. He swallowed it then licked John clean, and John thanked him by tousling his hair. Then John was gone. Kenny didn’t even hear him reach for his portfolio. He heard the door open, and in the moment it took for his eyes to adjust to the light, he heard the door close. He quickly moved to the window – the bedroom window because it overlooked the street – and watched John loping to his car. He must have parked at the far end of the block. Someone got his fantasy, Kenny thought, laughing. It wasn’t me, but I made somebody happy, Very happy. I’ll just have to try again. Then he lay on his bed and brought himself off. 4. Eddie was beautiful. As he posted: 6'-0, 180, muscular, but not overbuilt. With black, nicely-cut hair, brown eyes, and a good tan. He was Hispanic, raised in the States. His housemate – a woman who wasn’t his girlfriend – was a nurse, so he possibly also worked in medicine. He wore a dark blue tennis shirt, light blue shorts, gym socks and running shoes. He wanted to blow Kenny with no frills. “I just want to come over there, suck you off, then leave.” “Perfect,” Kenny said. “Exactly what I’m looking for.” Eddie laughed, Kenny gave him directions, and they were together in fifteen minutes. Kenny suggested the porn scenario, but Eddie had a different idea. They went to Kenny’s bedroom, and Eddie slipped his shorts off past his running shoes. He wore no underwear. He took off Kenny’s jeans and jockey shorts. Kenny had already been barefoot. “You want me kneeling?” Eddie asked, as he toyed with his dick. “That would be fine.” Eddie knelt then looked at Kenny. “I don’t want to come on the rug.” Kenny got a towel and folded it on the floor. Eddie adjusted it slightly then went back to playing with his cock. “There’s lube,” Kenny said. He pointed to the night stand. “What kind?” “WD-40.” Eddie laughed. “The usual stuff,” Kenny explained. He got out the bottle and squirted a bit on Eddie’s cock. When some went wild, he asked, “Want to take off your shirt?” “No,” Eddie said. Firmly. That was too bad, because Kenny would have liked to see his chest. It nicely filled out his tennis shirt. Instead, he stood in front of Eddie, leaning against the wall. Eddie bobbed for Kenny’s cock several times, while still stroking his own. It was now hard and sprouted from a nest of untrimmed, black curls. There was a tan line on Eddie’s thighs, but little hair. Kenny guided his cock into Eddie’s mouth. Unfortunately, the moment it touched Eddie’s lips, Kenny was ready to come. “Hang on a sec,” he said, easing himself free. Slightly embarrassed, he explained the problem. “You’re really hot... maybe the best looking guy I’ve ever been with. I can’t believe I’m this close.” Eddie smiled. “Don’t let my looks throw you.” Kenny wasn’t sure what to do. He’d never had this problem. And he didn’t want to talk. He wanted sex. Beside, Eddie had said, “No frills.” Still, he confessed, “I’m right on the edge.” He could feel himself oozing. What was wrong? Eddie watched, still on his knees, hands crossed behind his back. “I want you to make lots of noise when you come,” he said. Kenny thought that was maybe to distract him, though yelling wasn’t really his style. But he agreed, trying to forget his immediate problem. “Sure,” he agreed. “You’ve got a great dick,” Eddie said. “I can imagine it shooting.” Which just pushed Kenny further. He moved to the bed and sat on the edge. He slipped off his shirt then lay back. He took long, quiet breaths, hoping Eddie wouldn’t notice. “Better?” Eddie asked. Kenny nodded. Eddie slipped off his own shirt, and – seeing his chest – Kenny wanted to pull back on his clothes. He was no competition. Eddie grinned. “I do a lot of working out... use a lot of my free time. Maybe too much, but it lets off stress.” “From what?” Kenny was happy for the conversation. “Work.” “What do you do?” “I’m a physician’s assistant.” “I’m a trainer. I never had the math for real medicine.” Talking helped, but it drove Kenny further from his fantasy. Eddie brought it right back. He simply touched Kenny’s knee and began moving his hand slowly up Kenny’s leg. Always smiling and looking into Kenny’s eyes. Then he leaned over, ever so tentatively, and took Kenny’s cock in his mouth. Kenny lasted maybe ten seconds and was soon silently twisting in on his bed. That made Eddie smile. “Shit,” Kenny said. “And I didn’t even make noise.” “But you looked terrific. I love guys humble.” And he sucked Kenny’s belly clean, especially working his navel – where there’d been a small pool – with his tongue. That seemed to make him even happier. Then he began stroking his own cock. “You really did come soon,” he admitted. “I’ve never done that. I once told a guy that nothing in bed was worth doing if it took less than two hours.” Eddie laughed, but Kenny felt he was the joke. Still, Kenny was still hard, so Eddie went back to sucking. “I won’t come again,” Kenny warned. “But you can play all you want.” Eddie did, tugging his own cock till he shot – neatly straight down, onto the towel. Howling like a Mastiff all the way. “Now that’s making noise,” Kenny said. Eddie’s finally slowed his breathing and released Kenny’s dick. He’d been holding it tight in his hand. “Need to wash up?” Kenny asked. “That’d be good.” “Bathroom’s across the hall. I’ll get you a washcloth.” He followed Eddie into the john and watched while he scrubbed at the sink. But Kenny was still hard, and when Eddie finished, he leaned Kenny against the wall. “Close your eyes,” he said. Kenny did, and Eddie sucked for a good long time, his hands working Kenny’s chest and butt. When Kenny shot, he tried to howl but just didn’t have it in him. But he twisted so much against the wall that Eddie kept laughing. Kenny had to open his eyes. Eddie was on his knees, one hand on his dick though it was soft. “God, you’re great looking,” Kenny said. “It scared you the first time. Second was better.” “I don’t understand what happened.” Eddie shrugged and went back to the bedroom, quickly slipping on his clothes. Dressed, he cupped his hand under Kenny’s balls and squeezed gently. “I know where you live,” he said. “I’ll be back” “Seriously?” “Oh, yeah. You come that fast again though, I’m gonna make you shoot three times. Teach you to slow down.” “Sorry I wasted the first one.” “Nothing’s wasted. As I said, I liked you humble.” Thank god for patient men, Kenny thought. “Now, close your eyes,” Eddie instructed. Kenny complied. And he quickly heard the front door close beyond him.
  7. RichEisbrouch

    Ezra

    I don’t know if I wrote about the Evil Dwarf and later threw the piece away to protect his privacy or out of decency. Or maybe I never even wrote about Ezra. In any case, it’s been over twenty years, and I’ve been dead to him for almost that long, so it’s not going to hurt to write now. Of course, I’m not going to get all the details, let alone get them right. We probably met through a print ad, and I suspect it had to be his because I’d just gotten into town. Actually, not just. I’d met someone else through an ad first and had dated him for a couple of weeks. We even drove to San Francisco for a long weekend, and I was dumb enough to open his car window during a sandstorm. I’d never seen one before and wanted to reach my hand into it, to see what it felt like. Of course, sand got all over the inside of his car, and he didn’t even complain. He was that kind of nice guy. But he wasn’t the man I wanted to spend my life with, and in those days, I was seriously looking for that. So I met Ezra. It might have been soon before our mutual birthday, or it might have been a few weeks before that. I must have known we shared the same birthday by then, and we probably had plans to go out that evening. But that morning, when I got up and went to go out on the deck, there was a box of chocolate sitting on the ledge outside my door. Ezra was also that kind of nice guy, if a bit pretentious. When probably his grandparents arrived at Ellis Island at maybe the beginning of the twentieth century, the officials had changed the spelling of his family name from what sounded like sophisticated French to ordinary Italian, and as an adult, Ezra changed it back. His parents didn’t, just Ezra, and I think he was an only child. But if he wasn’t, I no longer remember what spelling his sisters or brothers might have used. Ezra and I probably first met for dinner. That was my usual pattern on first dates, but I can’t remember the restaurant. It may be been the fairly expensive one he later seemed to favor, or it may have been somewhere else. In any case, fairly expensive to me then isn’t what fairly expensive is to me now, so it might not even have been expensive. It just seemed slick. And if we went to this restaurant, I can’t remember if we ended up at his house afterwards. I wasn’t promiscuous, but I wasn’t shy, either. In any case, my first physical memory of Ezra is that he climbed up me. I’m kind of tall. He was short. He wasn’t the shortest man I’d ever dated. That honor went to a Truman Capote look-alike some years before this. But I don’t think Ezra topped five foot. Still, because of my height, I don’t use that as an indicator because almost everyone’s shorter than I am. So Ezra may be been five-four, and I was merely a foot taller. And when I say climbed up, I don’t know exactly how he did this. But one moment he was standing besides me and the next he was cradled in my arms. We were in his dark living room. He lived in what had once been a cottage in the Hollywood Hills and was now about the same size but far more expensive. Typical of Ezra, he’d bought the house but couldn’t really afford to live comfortably in it. I’d met him in February, and the house was always cold. I remember a dark, book-lined living room, evidently assembled by a decorator. And I remember deep red walls and maybe an ochre dining room, but none of that may have been true. Just as I remember a tall, dark-stained headboard on his bed, or maybe a four-poster. It felt like something medieval. And I can’t remember what he was like sexually, though I know I had more than one chance to remember. I do remember that, afterwards, when I went to clean up, the water was always cold, and he wouldn’t let me run it till it got warm because that would cost too much. Just as he didn’t seem to turn the heat in the house on up past sixty. He was careful about clothes, too. Once, probably not the first time we were together, also typical of me, soon after we’d come in from dinner, I had him on the floor of the maybe dining room, and he was mostly concerned about his pants. “They’re Armani. They’re Armani,” he kept saying, and I knew that was a designer name, but I wasn’t planning to chew off his pants. I was just going to ease him out of them. Eventually. At that point, I was probably lying on top of him, kind of purposely pinning him with the advantage of my height, but not hurting him. And we were probably kissing. I remember his being a somewhat intense kisser, and at that point, I was probably happy, but he was thinking about his pants. And his jacket? Had I taken that off first? I probably intended to leave him in just his shorts and tie. That was one of my affectations then, and you can’t even blame it on youth. I was over forty. So was he. That was the whole point. Not only were we born on the same day, but also in the same year. He saw this as destiny. Of course, recently, I accidentally discovered during an Internet search that he was born the day before me and six years earlier, but I can see him writing that off to romance. And we were both born in the same city, if in different boroughs. But back to the floor. He was so concerned about his pants that I had to let him up to take them off. He nicely folded them and hung them on a hanger in his cold closet, probably along with his jacket. Then he scrambled under the covers into bed. Was he still wearing his shirt and tie? Did he give me that much? Did he wear briefs or boxers, T-shirts or tank tops? I’m sure he was still wearing his socks and they were black, to match his suit. But were they merely calf-length or did he really wear garters? Nah, I can’t remember him being that affected. And maybe the reason I can’t remember the sex is because it was obscured by always being in bed, in dim light, under the covers. Even if it was in bright light, if I was under the tent of the heavy covers, I wouldn’t have noticed. As I can’t really remember his body. But I think it was nicely proportioned, and I think there was hair where I liked to see hair, if not any on his head. To balance that, he slept in a tasseled nightcap. I think there was a nightshirt, too, the whole Scrooge outfit, and I wonder if he wore a lighter version in summer. I must have had him naked under those covers, as I remember him shivering naked next to me in the bathroom, trying to clean up after sex. He may even have offered a shower. But while I often find the mix of water and men sexy, not men and cold water. And Ezra never would have let the water run for very long, not even if it came out of the tap steaming. He would have been thinking about the bill. Once, shortly after we’d both come, there was a slight earthquake, the first I’d experienced. Ezra took that as another destined – if too Hemingwayesque – sign. I was mainly thinking of being crushed by that heavy headboard. He also tried to impress me, possibly while we were still in bed, with the fact that one of Marilyn Monroe’s houses – maybe her first, and not the one she died in – was just down the street. It was presently owned by a quirky supporting actress in a then popular sit-com. Jacquelyn Bisset also had a house down the block, but she seemingly almost never used it, or maybe, again, I’m misremembering. Ezra also told me of the monthly lunches he had with a small group of male, gay, Hollywood and Los Angeles intellectuals. I must have asked if I could come because he said, “No.” One of the Hollywood stars was still closeted, and he’d never allow someone he didn’t know to join or even observe their group. I have a feeling Ezra felt I was fairly stupid. He was a chaired, internationally-known scholar, with degrees from prestigious universities, and my degrees were purely state-issued, even if I could match the number and letters of his. He said his previous long-term partner was a grad student, but he wasn’t clear on the details. I thought he said they’d been together for thirteen years, but when I asked if they were still friends, Ezra said, “No, he’s dead to me now.” It seems the man had left Ezra, then come back, then left again, and that was it. Ezra wasn’t letting him back again, even as a friend. I was more sentimental than that, which explains why I’ve never forgotten him, and why I was doing an Internet search, twenty years after. It’s not that I really wanted to see him again. I just wanted to know he was doing well. And he has continued to do well. He was teaching at the top university in Los Angeles when we met, even if it only offered state degrees. He was offered a presidential commission when Clinton was elected. He turned that down, but maybe soon afterwards move to England. The school he started at didn’t impress me much at the time, but maybe because its name didn’t register. But the one he’s teaching at how is world famous. And maybe he thought I was dumb because I couldn’t understand his writing. It was on an esoteric topic in dense scholar speak. I’ve always had trouble with that. I worked with my hands. I was a practical man. When I wrote, it was of simple things. He was dissecting things I’d struggled with in college, partly because they were written about so densely. I think of Bill Irwin’s academics as penguins, and that’s how I see Ezra. But that’s more my failing that his. I can’t understand Joyce or Wolff, either, though I appreciate them. And I appreciated Ezra’s knowledge; I just asked why he couldn’t write in simple English. If he answered me, I don’t remember what he said. I know I took the easy way to end the relationship. I was only in California exploring. I was on seasonal break from my usual job, and I went back to the Midwest after two months, saying I’d let him know if I came west again. For some reason, he wrote me at my parents house in New York, a place where I hadn’t lived for years. I don’t even know how he got the address. Maybe it was the easiest one to find, even in pre-Internet days. I have an uncommon last name, unlike either version of his. I used to joke that anyone with my last name was immediate family, and you could always call any one of them and ask how I was. He sent a post card to my parents’ house. Maybe he felt that was less formal than a letter. Maybe he felt it wouldn’t seem like he was intruding. And what he wrote was probably routine, but he signed it “Love, Ezra.” Anyone reading a post card from one man to an unrelated other would know exactly what that meant. And, even in my early forties, even in 1990, maybe because of the AIDS crisis, I still wasn’t out to my family. I may have casually, convincingly explained it away, or maybe not. In any case, it didn’t set off any kind of situation. I was briefly back at my parents’ house that spring because I was storing some stuff before moving to California. It was a tentative move. With a born New Yorker’s point of view, I was still positive the state was going to fall into the ocean, and it was just waiting for me to arrive. When a “big one” actually came in ‘94, I nearly slept through it. By that time, I think Ezra had moved. I did call him soon after I moved to California, only three months after I’d last seen him. I know we had dinner. I can’t remember if we had sex. But I’d known early that he wasn’t the man I wanted to spend my life with. I may have been his choice as a romantic. Maybe it was my height. Maybe the near coincidences. I don’t think it was necessarily my skill at sex. At one point, where I may have been trying to encourage him to date, he said something like, “If I just wanted sex, I could go down to Hollywood Boulevard and hire a hooker.” I didn’t know you could do that, and I didn’t think I knew anyone who’d ever hired a hooker, male or female. The closest I came to seeing whores was in Times Square. In any case, I couldn’t image Ezra risking the now-increasingly serious disease. The last time I saw Ezra, he took me to that favorite restaurant. He took me there to propose. After all, I’d come back to California for him. To him. Something like that. At least, in his mind. Actually, I’d gone there to politely, firmly end the relationship. I knew I was hurting him. I hate disappointing people, but there was no way a comfortable relationship between us could work. I was a tall – from his point of view – good-looking, dumb naked guy. To me, he was, unfortunately, the Evil, controlling, Dwarf. And I knew I’d be dead to him when I walked out of that restaurant. He told me as much. I’d like to have stayed friends. I like having friends. And I used to think you couldn’t be much more intimate with someone than by being naked with him. Once there were Internet searches, I easily found Ezra again. I sent him an e-mail saying it seemed things were going well, and I hoped he was happy. He may not even have recognized my name. He’s a minorly important man. I never made it that far or even had the aspirations. At most, I wanted my opinions respected, as a man of some experience. And I had some ability, though in an area he’d probably think so far below him as to be of no importance. Maybe that’s why the grad student lover had left after thirteen years. Maybe that’s the reason the man had still a grad student. With Ezra as mentor, in the same field, the man could probably never compete, and I believe he became a gardener – landscape architect. In any case, Ezra never answered my e-mail, though I would have been surprised if he had. In one of his online profiles, he mentions a long-term partner, oddly, a man who possibly also works with his hands. I wonder if he’s tall.
  8. RichEisbrouch

    Chapter 62

    Oh, yeah. And definitely deserving equal weight. Oh, yeah.
  9. Alterior motives. Spreading migrane on beagles. Sinonimphs. Prisident Roothvone. Persisent Trump. President Bank Obama. Martin Looter King Ghangeni Albert Einstin, known as the "Farter of Physics." Lawnmakers. Clamness of temperament. This argument is obviously species. A person should take time to decide what to eat for lunch or who to marry. Uncomplaining is not the only situation opposite to complaining School Principles are the wisest leaders as shown through their "Ten Year" titles. As a role model, he is a leasership figure. Adolf Hitler was known for his questionable discipline. If people want to be famous, they should live their lives in silence if they are doing any immoral things, so it doesn't go public and effect the minds of children. For me, a bad decision is better than no decision, just like having a wrong answer is better than no answer. When you make a bad decision, and the reason is that you want to save your time, this is stupid. There is a famous museum in Paris called the Lulu Palace. Every lawyer on the world should come to France and prey for the bumble of hanmolabe, which is the biggest and most compete one on the world.
  10. It’s an odd story, told at an odd time – Christmas Eve – in perhaps an odd place – a church social hall. The woman telling it could still have been in her seventies, and you could see both a trace of the petite beauty she’d once been as well as the sprightly sailor boy. Her wife had long ago died, but their two daughters and a half-dozen grandchildren were living and visited often. “Well, often enough,” she amended. Her wife had died when they were both forty-two. “The girls were in their late teens – Gwen almost married – but they were old enough to live on their own. That’s when I decided to leave Portland and begin the change. It was the seventies. She hadn’t made the complete change for many years. “The technology simply wasn’t there – it still isn’t easy, unfortunately. But when I arrived in San Francisco, I started cross dressing.” It was easy. She was only five-two and looked younger than she was. “I might have had a hard time getting into the Navy, being so short, but I was a mechanic at a time they needed mechanics. My daddy started teaching me about motors when I was seven. By the time I was twelve, I could take apart and reassemble a car almost blindfolded. And I quickly learned about planes.” And about women – tall women. “Well, taller – five-seven, five-eight. I wasn’t about to have short sons. It puts them through too much. And women thought I was darling – I was really cute. But the joke was on me. My wife and I only had daughters. Still, they’re taller than I am.” Though she was wearing boots with three-inch stilettos, and she often wore high heels. “I’m getting a little shaky in them now. But I used to dance like the blazes.” I could imagine that. “But it’s been a long time since I’ve danced,” she went on. “It’s been a long time since anyone’s asked.” She lived almost surrounded by women. “The only men I see are at church, and they’re not interested.” It was a gay church. “And I’ve lived with women most of my life. My mother and sisters, growing up. My wife and daughters. My first partner and my second. I keep hoping for a third, but, so far, it hasn’t happened.” It was why she left San Francisco. “I figured a smaller city… with less competition… But the truth is, I just see fewer people.” “You’ve never been attracted to men?” I asked. “At my age, they’re harder to find than women.” “But if one asked?” “I’d turn no one down. But it’s not my preference. I had enough of men in the Navy.” She’d served twenty-five years. “Was it rough?” I asked. “Some… because of my height. But I was good at my job and a great drinking buddy. What they now call ‘a wing man.’” “Where did you hear that?” “I read… sometimes, a lot. Sometimes, there’s nothing else to do.” “I’ve seen you at church.” “Yes. It’s become the center of my life.” She hadn’t meant that to happen, either. “But the change was a definite choice,” she explained. “I’d been thinking about it for years. I’d never tried it – the cross-dressing. Not even in my wife’s clothes. They would have hung on me. But I took to it immediately, even the heels.” “Stilettos? In San Francisco? In the 70s?” “They’re always in style. Especially accessorized by a whip.” I’m afraid I laughed. That, I couldn’t imagine. “You’d be amazed,” she went on. “Small men like to be punished for it. I’m glad I wasn’t one of them. And I had to earn a living somehow. No one would hire me as a mechanic.” “Even with your background?” “I couldn’t tell them about the Navy. And this may sound surprising, but I never was good at lying – at telling stories. It was easier not to explain. So I fell in with friends when I was shopping for clothes. Even though I could buy anywhere, I liked the specialty shops. Again, nothing to explain. And I started working at one, mainly for cross-dressers. Though people came in, asking for other supplies. And when someone suggested I could easily earn more money than working behind a counter, I tried it. For a while. But after I hit fifty, my age began to show. And humiliating anyone, without really hurting him, takes creativity – and energy. So I started selling jewelry, and, later, cars.” “Cars?” “It was a natural. After all, I knew the mechanics. And I was sexy. Deeper voice. Charming. I knew my way with men. And they’re the ones who largely bought foreign cars.” “High end?” “You wouldn’t catch me selling a Chevy.” This time, I laughed with her. “Besides, I needed more money to finish the change. By then, doctors had begun to catch up.” But so had AIDS. “I lost a lot of friends… but I was lucky. Well, not lucky. Faithful. To my wife and partners. And even with the most primitive hormones, in overdoses, my male parts functioned. And I never liked being the receiver. So I was very low risk.” Her first partner died of cancer. “She was a bit older than I was anyway. I needed that guidance. But she had a good life. And a fairly long one.” Her second partner was younger. “But she still died of cancer. I have no luck on that account. Three in a row.” And the woman she’d followed here died as well. That was the odd story. “I don’t think Jill ever would have really been interested in me. She was so much younger. Three of my grandchildren are older. But there was something about her. When she said she was leaving San Francisco, I asked if she was going alone – and if she minded that. She said it was a little scary, but good scary. She liked to have adventures. Though when I asked if she wanted company, she didn’t object.” They’d driven taking a circular route, but always knowing where they were headed. “Still, we looked at other cities. We could have been persuaded.” “You weren’t?” “Not finally.” “Why here?” “Why not? It has almost everything a person could need. Why are you here?” I still wasn’t sure. But I wouldn’t admit that. “In any case, we took separate apartments. I didn’t want to interfere with her life. And I could afford better. But we saw each other almost every day.” “Did you know her friends?” “Not really. Except by the stories she’d tell. She was terrific at gossip. She could make the most terrible experiences exciting.” “Were there many?” “By my standards, yes. I’ve led a surprisingly quiet life. And I was used to gentlemen. She craved something different.” “Craved?” “I’m afraid so.” “Like what?” “I told you. She liked adventure.” But she got more than she could handle. “A young man was interested in her. He seemed decent enough in her stories. Certainly better than most of the others. But I’d never met him.” “Were there many men?” “Jill wasn’t shy.” “Is that how she earned her living?” “No. Not at all. She was a computer technician. A programmer. But she met a majority of her friends in bars. Bars I wouldn’t have gone into even as a six-foot sailor.” “I didn’t think this city was dangerous.” “You can always find places you shouldn’t be.” “That’s too bad.” “But that’s not where she met this man. I think it was through business. And, as I said, he seemed decent enough. Educated. But he was dark skinned. Not Black. Perhaps Hispanic. And that was beyond her limits.” “Why?” “She’d been raped by a dark skinned man. I think he was Indian. When she was relatively young. After high school... maybe early in college. And though she claimed she wasn’t racist, and I never saw any sign of that – she dated all kinds of men. But she was always afraid another dark-skinned one would turn on her.” “Had it happened more than once?” “Not that she told me. And she told me almost everything. But she didn’t want to let this one too close. She was afraid he’d move in – he was that serious. In fact, he was deeply in love.” “You’d think she’d be flattered.” “She was. She told me that. But I think that scared her too. So they stupidly fought.” “What a waste.” “That night, they more than fought. From the testimony, it appears he pushed her. I can’t say Jill didn’t push him first, knowing how she was. But she fell and hit her head. And I don’t know if you know anything about head wounds, but they bleed a lot, and he panicked.” “What did he do?” “Left. Without trying to help. And without trying to get help. The friend he went to said he was afraid he’d killed her. So he ran.” “And she called you?” “If only she had. She’d still be alive. But she called someone she shouldn’t have trusted. Someone it seems she’d smuggled drugs with. That was one thing she didn’t tell me. When he got to her apartment, he was afraid that if he took her to a hospital… even to an emergency room or a clinic… too many questions would be asked. And he had a terrible record. He thought everything would lead back to him. So he killed her. Stabbed her. Then he also ran.” “Did they find him?” “Eventually…they found the first man first. It was all over the news. As soon as I heard what happened… before I even knew who was involved but knew which part of the city… I had the worst feeling. And when I called her phone and a police officer answered…” “I’m sorry.” “It was a shock. I almost moved out of the city that evening… not that I was in danger. I just didn’t want to be alone.” “How long had you been here?” “Over a year… almost two. I had plenty of new friends. So I wasn’t technically alone. But in the shock…” “What made you stay?” “I was afraid the police would think I was involved. And, under those circumstances, your entire history comes back. Every scrap of it. And even after all those years, I could just see my face on television, identified as James.” “When did they find the second man?” “After the first was acquitted. He had to go through a horrible trial. No one is blameless, but he was close. At least, he didn’t go to jail. The second one did. Ironically, he was killed there. After only getting a life sentence, the other inmates found out what he’d done and killed him for it.” “Strange justice.” “Jill would have hated the attention. So many of her secrets were told. All her supposed weaknesses. The world doesn’t understand women who adore having sex with men.” “Why didn’t you leave after the trials?” “I considered it. But I didn’t want to go back to San Francisco, which is really my home. And I wouldn’t go back to Portland – even though my daughters and their families live there. It’s too cold, and I’ve been away too long. So I stayed.” “And started coming to church?” “I’d been doing that all along. But I started to volunteer more. I’ve been here more often. Helping people.” “I’m sure they appreciate it.” “Thanks.” And then there was silence. For a moment, then longer. That was the end of her story, the immediate one, and maybe she realized, awkwardly, that she’d said too much. Or realized how little we had in common and wondered what I might think. As we sat there, both, perhaps, wondering what to say next, the music started quietly again in the background. “Do you want to dance?” I asked. The music was appropriate, and though I was never much of a dancer, I thought I could manage. She smiled and said, “You’re thirty years too young.” “Probably less,” I admitted. “But you don’t seem like you’ll break.” So we danced, slowly. The top of her head came well below my chin, and I felt like the tallest kid in high school again. Why had she told me what she had? I didn’t know. We were near strangers on a padded bench, sharing a last piece of chocolate cake that had been too big for either of us. I’d simply asked, “When did you move here?”
  11. RichEisbrouch

    Chapter 61

    I hadn't thought of it that way. Maybe the student wasn't off at all. I was.
  12. Thought is the flame heart of fight. Unlickely. Hope is a dead bird. A sinking ship rises all tides. Greek philosophers such as Aristobulus. The invention of the lightbulb by Eisenstein. The world is composed of several countries. The abundant parents will provide variousity. Many persons walk in the wrong way for their life. In our date-to-date life. The Muslin Britherhood. Undeflared Majors. A whole unexplored gament. A humour of sense. In the moment of spur. He will never get what he procures. The Titanic struck an icebird. It takes a lot of lime to make a decision. The habit of hastination. Afroisms. Neckbreaking speed. Concurrent society. He had a serious death.
  13. The kid wanted sex, needed it really, since he’d never had it before. Not that way. He’d been sucked off by his high school girlfriends and could imagine them being something other than girls. And he’d fucked his college girlfriends and had a lot of fun doing it but always figured there was something missing, something more, something he just didn’t get. Not simply being fucked himself though he imagined that a lot and watched plenty of porn. There was just something about being against a guy’s body. He saw plenty of guys naked, probably more than even guys who watched porn. He was a jock, had been since grade school soccer and Little League, though in high school, he’d switched over to football. That was a wilder if somewhat dumber crowd, but he fit right in. He was never much of a student. He could hold low B’s without a sweat, but really wasn’t interested. Just as he wasn’t interested in this party, another industry event of his dad’s. He’d been to them since grade school, too, at least hung out on the stairs with his sisters, like the Trapp kids. Now, he was old enough to drink and mingle, and there were always kids just out of college he could hang out with by the pool. But they were so focused on the business, on getting ahead, and were maybe only chatting him up because of his dad. His dad was a middle level exec at a major studio. Not someone hot or creative, but with enough power to recognize and promote talent. And with enough brains to hang onto his own high-paying job for years. “The trick is to support without sucking up,” his dad had advised. But just then, the kid – Daniel – was more interested in sucking off. And he knew just who he wanted to do it at this party. Not one of the kids. Not a guy his age, and definitely not one of the actors. They were often admittedly hot, but way too weird. Way too. He was more interested in another exec, a guy he’d seen for years. Not his dad’s boss. Never that. But not exactly a studio friend. An equal, but in a different field. Someone who always had to be invited and occasionally turned up. Sometimes alone, sometimes with another guy, so Dan knew how things stood. He’d even seen the guy once in a Speedo, at a pool party. Dan must have been about ten, but he noticed. The guy was smooth and dark blond in a way that looked nothing like Dan’s hairy family. Though they were good hairy, guy hairy. His dad was fit and thinner than Dan, but even in summer camp photos, he had hair on his chest at 16. Dan was about the same at that age, as was his granddad on his mom’s side. And Dan’s sons would be... He didn’t want to think about his kids. Didn’t believe he’d ever have any. He didn’t believe he’d even marry without getting too quickly divorced. Maybe, in that short time, he could slip in a couple of kids, but that wouldn’t be fair. Who wants a cock-sucking father? Who wants a complicated dad? OK, lots of kids would be happy just to have a father who loved them and played sports and was just there. But Dan didn’t think he’d have that chance, so what was the point of beating himself up about it? Besides, he was a draft pick. He couldn’t be gay. He just couldn’t. He didn’t have the stomach or the balls for it. But there was that guy. He was his dad’s age, just under 50, and his hair was darkening more or edging toward silver or gray. He was definitely getting older. He didn’t dye his hair like Dan’s dad, though you couldn’t tell. No cheap, out of the box dye. Dan’s dad slipped off to a woman on Wilshire who knew how to keep a man’s hair looking natural, highlights and all. “I’ll quit in a couple of years,” Dan’s dad had told him. “But right now, I need to look 40.” Actually, his body looked younger than that. Mid-30s at most, and he was in better shape than he had been then. “I work out more,” his dad admitted. “I have more time.” Dan was the middle kid. His younger sister started Berkeley in the fall, and his older one was already working. Not in the industry, but close. Fashion. Still, Dan was sure neither of them had ever seen their dad naked. Dan had. A lot. And what did it mean when you thought your dad was hot? It meant he needed to be fucked. And not just compensatory sex with his girlfriend. Compensatory – a word he learned in maybe sixth grade. “Getting something equal in exchange for loss.” Except it wasn’t equal. Not quite. At least, he didn’t think so. He bet the exec did. In fact, Dan knew damn well he did. He could picture the guy having sex every night. In his pool. In his house. Or in his slick apartment, way up in some building on the corridor, overlooking the city. He could see the guy with some kid. With someone Dan’s age. Someone new to the business who needed an extra boost. Or anyone who could see how hot the guy was. Dan had never come onto a guy. Never. He’d never hooked up with a guy online or in a bar. He never met any guy’s eyes that casually followed him on the beach or in a gym. He knew there were willing men all over the place, and he was decent bait. But he focused only on what was in front of him, only on what was acceptable. The guy was across the patio from Dan, at the far corner of the pool, leaning against a lamppost. Talking with a studio couple his age. He had a drink, wore his shirt typically open a few buttons, tight enough jeans to show off his butt, and probably expensive shoes, loafers. No socks, no jewelry besides a shiny watch on a leather band, and probably name sunglasses. There was nothing cheap about him. Dan picked up a drink from one of the bartenders, carefully skirted the pool, and approached the guy. He smiled and nodded at the studio couple, friends of his parents. He smiled at the guy, too, handing him the fresh drink and saying, “You were almost out.” The guy looked at him. At least, Dan thought he looked from behind his dark glasses. Probably thinking: Who is this guy? Do I know him? Does he work for me? Have I slept with him? Maybe a dozen other questions along that line, but the guy wasn’t stupid. He knew a pick-up line. And he quickly looked Dan up and down – Dan could tell that by the slightest movement of the guy’s head. Then he smiled, said “Thanks,” took the new drink, gave Dan his old one, and continued his conversation with the couple. Dan moved on. He’d done his job, shown interest. If the guy was as interested, he’d follow. Skirting back around the pool, Dan downed the rest of the guy’s drink, tossed the glass in the politically correct recycling bin, and eased into a very visible discussion with a couple of kids his age. Maybe five minutes later, the guy gestured Dan away from what he probably thought were his friends, took off his sunglasses, and said, “We don’t really know each other, do we?” Dan smiled. “I’ve known you since I was ten.” “And I know you’re Ken and Amy’s son, and you play football at USC. But that’s about it.” “May be all there is to know.” “I doubt it.” “Might be all you want to know.” “Then why the drink?” Dan smiled again. He wasn’t good at this, and that was as far as he could manage. Fortunately, the guy sensed this. “My putting you on the spot?” he asked. Dan nodded, slowly. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to do that. Is there some better place we can talk?” Dan nodded again and turned, knowing the guy would follow. He deftly wove his way through the crowd, into the as-crowded house, down the hallway past the kitchen, up the narrow back stairs, and into his bedroom. When he knew he guy was in the room, he closed and locked the door. “Nicely done,” the guy admitted. “Broken field running?” Dan smiled but didn’t know what to do next. The guy kissed him, pulling Dan close against his body. The guy was almost Dan’s height. They were both hard. “I take it you have to be discreet,” he said. “Considering your business. Fortunately, I don’t. Considering mine.” “I’ve never done this,” Dan said. “And might not ever again?” “I doubt that.” “I needed to know.” “But not for a while... a long while. I’m about to turn pro.” “I missed that.” “Third round draft pick. Not bad for an outside linebacker.” “Congratulations.” “Thanks.” And the guy kissed him again, while opening Dan’s shirt. Dan’s shirt had been opened before while kissing, though he’d been slouching a bit and had been as busy with his hands. Now they stayed dumbly at his sides. The guy popped the button on Dan’s jeans. He wasn’t wearing a belt. Then he seemed to change his mind and eased Dan back on the wide bed behind him. He slipped off Dan’s shoes and socks, then his jeans and shorts. Zero to sixty in what seemed like two seconds. The guy eased Dan back on the bed and stretched on top of him. They kissed again, longer this time. Way longer. With girls, Dan had never taken control. He always felt he shared. But he liked not being in charge. And he was learning. “There lube in the night stand?” the guy asked. “Hand cream in the john.” Dan glanced toward the bathroom door. The guy came back from the john, set his sunglasses on the night stand, and gestured for Dan to scoot up on the bed and lean back against the pillows. Then he filled his hand with lotion and settled on the comforter. He was soon edging Dan way past a grin. Dan had edged himself before. He’d never asked a girl to do it because it seemed too weak. Now, he relaxed. He quickly slipped down from the pillows and was lying flat, with the guy between his spread out legs. He was floating, and twisting a bit, too. He hoped the guy didn’t mind. His whole body seemed on the edge of orgasm. The guy wasn’t just stroking. He explored Dan’s body. Riffed the hair on his chest. Ran his hand down Dan’s leg. Tickled his sole, then slid his hand back up. Past his knee. Past his hip. Past his chest and to the top of Dan’s head. Dan’s hands were clasped behind his neck. His eyes were closed. Whenever he opened then, the guy looked straight into them, and that was too much. When Dan was somewhere in space, there was a knock. Dan quickly opened his eyes and looked at the guy. The man put his finger to his lips. Another knock. A guy’s voice: “Hey, I need to use the john.” The guy shook his head, so Dan said nothing. The sound of the door handle trying to turn. “C’mon, I really need to go. Every other john in this place is full.” The guy again shook his head. Dan felt himself going soft, but the man’s hand stayed firm. The man outside knocked again and kept knocking. Finally, he went quiet. Dan waited, then smiled. The man beside him nodded but kept studying the door. Suddenly, he scrambled off the bed, though Dan had never seen a move more graceful. “Hey!” yowled the voice behind the door. “Gimme that back!” Dan leaned up on his elbows, looking toward the man. As he straightened up, he held an iPhone. “Gimme that!” the voice shouted, and one of Dan’s family dogs started to bark. “Gimme that, goddamit!” The man with Dan made several small moves on the phone then slipped it back under the door. The dog continued to bark. “Video,” the man whispered. “Audio. It’s been deleted.” As Dan absorbed this, the man picked up the hand cream from the night stand, pocketed his sunglasses, moved to the bathroom, and locked the door. “What are you doing there?” Dan suddenly heard his dad ask, clearly to the guy outside the door. “Stop it,” he ordered the dog, which kept barking. The door knob tried to turn. “Dan. Dan? Are you in there? Danny? Daniel?” “Be right with you, Dad,” Danny called, scrambling for clothes. “Get out of here!” Dan’s dad ordered the guy. Then,“Stop it, Soph,” he repeated to the dog. “Stop it.” Dan opened the door, wearing his shirt and jeans. He’d kicked his shorts under a chair. “You OK?” his dad asked. “Just taking a nap. Trying to...” He kind of grinned. His father laughed. “Party too much for you?” Dan shrugged. “A little.” He could tell his dad didn’t completely believe him, but they rarely pushed each other. His father didn’t even glance into the room. He simply left. Sophie jumped on the bed as Dan closed the door, then licked his hand. “Good Soph. Goood Sophie.” The bathroom door opened. The guy’s sunglasses were on, and his hands were clean and dry. “Another time,” he said. “Better. Call me.” He handed Dan his card. Dan nodded. “The hallway clear?” the guy asked. Dan opened to door partway. “Yeah. Want me to take you down?” “Nah. I’d better do this myself.” “Sure.” The guy smiled, resting his fist against Dan’s chest, massaging it slightly. Taking off his sunglasses, he repeated, “Call me.” Dan closed the door after him, and after Sophie, who’d trotted along. He locked it, pulled off his clothes, then went into the bathroom and took a long, politically incorrect, hot shower. Dan’s dad followed the reporter down to Valet, to make sure he left. Coming back to the house, he said goodbye to one of his studio friends. “Leaving early?” he asked. “Got to,” Michael said, “unfortunately. Just got a call.” They smiled at each other. “Work.” Mike got into his car, still a little rattled. The kid had been something. That body, stretched in front of him. He could have edged the boy for hours, then fucked him, then let himself be fucked. But it wasn’t the time. Still, he could hardly breathe. Coming down from the Palisades, he turned the wrong way on Sunset, then figured, “What the hell?” and took PCH to Santa Monica. He’d stop at the Farmer’s Market. It had been in his plans anyway, after the party. But the kid. Jesus. When had he been with someone that young? And that easy? That eager? And he didn’t seem like a kid. There was none of that adolescent smoothness. Other guys liked it, but Mike preferred a little hair. “Where do you get waxed?” guys would ask him, and he’d laugh. “I’m genetically lasered,” he’d say, and some of them would get the joke. Would he call? Could he call the kid? How could he even casually work into conversation, “Hey, Ken, can I have your son’s cell number? I just heard about his draft pick.” Impossible. And did Ken even know? He didn’t think so. Ken probably figured the kid – Dan – was fucking some girl from the studio. That’s who was hiding in the john. Football players didn’t fuck guys, especially draft picks. Well, there were a few. Kopay, years back. And that new kid who was brazening it out. Or did he only play one season before he was cut? He’d have to check. Have to try to remember to check. Football wasn’t his interest. Movies were, and their promotion. And guys. Too many guys. Too many younger guys. “When are you going to settle down?” his friends would ask. “Now that it’s legal.” “It’s been legal for years,” he’d joke. “Allowed. Accepted. Especially in the industry.” That’s why he worked there. It was comfortable. And being married wasn’t. He couldn’t imagine it. Waking up to the same guy. Growing old with him. Just growing old. Being in love. That was the stuff of other men, mainly straight. Not him. In Santa Monica, he parked at his usual garage, so he’d remember. There were four, nearly identical. He went to the market and found it closed. Not even packing up. Gone. It was too late in the day. That was too bad, as he missed flirting with his regular guys. It was always harmless, he knew they weren’t interested, and their wives or girlfriends were often nearby. Still, it was fun. Heading back to his car, he stopped for frozen yogurt and was surprised to see an old friend. “Nick! What’re you doing here?” He knew Nick owned the place, owned the whole small chain, but they rarely saw each other. “Training a new manager,” Nick said. “Good to see you, Mike. It’s been years.” “It hasn’t been that long.” “Years. Since the reunion.” “The 30th? That was last summer.” They knew each other from Crossroads. “Oh. We skipped that. We were in Europe. ” “The 25th? It can’t be that long.” “Nothing’s impossible.” “No.” Mike laughed, then offered, “You’re looking good, Nick.” “Thanks. It’s hard work.” After five minutes, Nick was called back to his manager, and Mike waited in line. Growing up, even as late as high school, Nick had been big. Not fat, but solid. Mike had been one of the few kids brave, or dumb enough to tackle him at football. Not football like Ken’s son. Pick-up football on the playground with no equipment but rougher than Touch. “They can’t hurt themselves,” their teachers would say. “And they’re easier to manage afterward.” But when Nick went down, if only for seconds, he’d be on top of Mike. He wondered what Nick looked like now, with his runner’s body. He’d seem him plenty, growing up. In the locker room, the showers. He was very pink then, with just a little hair. He’d seen him hard once, too. Nick wasn’t only one of the big guys, he was what adults called “advanced for his age.” Meaning he was openly horny. The rest of the guys jerked off in their bedrooms, to Hustler if they got lucky, but Nick wanted actual girls. And he got them. Once, in ninth grade, he charmed a “guaranteed slut” from Beverly Hills High into coming to his house one afternoon when his family was gone. Mike went along not because he wanted to screw the girl, but he wanted to see Nick. True, he also got laid – for the first time – and that was great. But he only got hard by staring at Nick. Well, hard because the girl was sucking Nick off, too, while Mike fucked her. Tried to fuck her. No, actually did. And she said he was better than Nick. More patient. Hell, as long as Nick stayed hard, Mike could have fucked her forever. Once his yogurt arrived, he headed to an outdoor table. It was too nice to stay inside. A couple of women, his age, smiled. People were always “recognizing him,” thinking he was some actor. Though not consistently the same one. He smiled at the women, and they flirted for a moment, then one of them asked, “Do you know any graduation music?” “Graduation music?” he stupidly repeated. “Yes, we just came from graduation. Hers.” The woman pointed at the other woman, who smiled. “I’m slow,” the second one admitted. “It’s taken twenty-five years.” “Congratulations.” “But they didn’t play any music,” the first went on. “Not even recorded. When I graduated, they played the same song, both times. But I can’t remember it.” Suddenly Mike couldn’t, either. He blanked. All he could get was the ‘Wedding March,’ Mendelssohn, and not even that. Only the opening. Bom bom de dum dum dum dum da da da da da dum dum. He sang it for the women, admitting it was wrong, but hoping it would spark something. Instead, they all laughed. “The other one’s called ‘Pomp and Circumstance,’” Mike told them. “I remember that. It’s also a British hymn – no, their national anthem. But I can’t remember the tune.” “‘Pomp and Circumstances!’ That’s what they always played,” the woman exclaimed. “For high school and college. I wish I could remember how it goes.” Mike tried again, but only came up with more Mendelssohn: what he called ‘the swoops’ from Midsummer Night’s Dream. He sat besides the women, and they talked about the Farmer’s Market and what he’d intended to buy. Then Nick slipped in opposite Mike, and the women moved off. “Sorry. I was busy,” Nick explained. “I wasn’t sure you’d stay.” “I wasn’t sure you’d get unbusy, but that’s not why I stayed. I didn’t want to interrupt.” “She’s doing fine. Everything’s under control. Really. And it’s great seeing you. Always takes me back.” “Yeah, too far back.” They grinned. “Past anything we should remember.” “No kidding. Though look at kids today. Jesus. We were tykes.” “I know.” Mike laughed. “But I just had a Mrs. Robinson moment.” “Where was she when we needed her?” “Supposedly, in Pasadena.” “If we’d only known. If anyone had even hinted she was real. I would’ve been there in a minute.” “We were probably surrounded by Mrs. Robinsons...” “And you met one this afternoon. Jesus, she must’ve been 80.” “I didn’t meet one,” Mike corrected. “I was one.” Nick quickly got it. “You?” he said, laughing. “Well, good for you. Look at that.” “Yeah.” Though Mike was slightly embarrassed. “Was she hot?” “He.” “Oh, that’s right. Was he?” “Yeah. Much more than we are.” “Well, good for you. I’d be jealous if I were that kind. But it turns out I’m happiest married. Who would’ve thought that?” “Who’d have thought anything in high school?” “We got so much wrong.” “But had so much fun.” “Oh, yeah. Oh, fuckin’ yeah!” Too soon, Nick had to go back to business, and Mike slowly walked toward his car. He wondered if the kid would call next week. Wondered if he’d call at all, or even could, since he was headed into his homophobic career. Mike wondered why he was interested. He knew so many more accessible guys. Still, he would have liked to have been with Dan that evening. Stretched out, watching him smile. Another impossibility. Getting into his car, Mike noticed the clock. It wasn’t six. The party would still be going. He’d arrived early, intending to leave for other things. But industry parties often went late, and Dan would be there. He probably lived there. If he wanted, he could slip out and follow Mike home. Up into the hills, where they wouldn’t be interrupted by any reporter. Mike nosed through Santa Monica traffic, made a choice, then headed north on PCH. He turned on Sunset and went back into the Palisades. What the hell could he lose?
  14. Thanks for you support.  On the book of mine you just read, that's really appreciated.  Take care.

  15. RichEisbrouch

    Chapter 9

    You've lost it. Stop reading immediately and start reading something clearly logical, like the constitution.
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