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    AC Benus
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Mojo - 21. Chapter 20: Burning Man (and Woman), Part One

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Chapter 20: Burning Man (and Woman), Part One

 

 

‘A wandering singularity in the desert,

Or a human cog in society’s machine –

Which is the lonelier position to occupy?

 

To place my feet where sands

Might scorch the very soles

Attempting to ground me;

To look out from wastelands

And see scant sign of man,

Yet feel no hollowness.

 

But from amongst a crowd,

Where by rights I should feel

Community’s support,

Isolation appears

To drive me deep in me

And instill emptiness.

 

Thus, now I’m always alone among so many,

At least since you walked away, made me wanderer

In the desert of heart as on the concrete of man.’

 

 

These pitiable words for my boy filtered through my mind. I was trekking aimlessly, like a lost child, amidst the art tents of ‘downtown’ Burning Man.

Some 70,000 people were spangled across the Nevada desert in a semi-circular, temporary metropolis of caravans, RVs, tents, shacks – you name it – but all were oriented to a central plaza where workers put the finishing touches on a fifty-foot wicker man of plank and pallet. ‘He’ was to be set alight at the climax of the festival.

I looked at it now, letting the happy sounds of hippies playing drums hit my ears as they passed by on bicycles. Other types strolling around were jugglers of everything from balls to chainsaws, flame eaters roaring out an occasional lick of flame as they went, and guys on ten-foot stilts.

The scent of incense and ‘burning oregano’ was on every scrubland breeze, and so were laughter and good times. They were good times I was not invited to enjoy.

Just as I took a step sideways, thinking I’d pull out my phone and snap a pic to send Gordon, I was knocked down.

Thump; thump. Two light wheels rode over me, followed by the heavier ones of a kiddie car.

Brakes squealed.

From the dust, I looked up into the long-haired, angelic expression of a guy coming down to aid me. He scooped his dark, slightly wavy locks behind both ears before laying a concerned hand on my back.

“Oh, dude! Crap, crap, you stepped—”

“Yeah, I know. I’m sorry.”

“No, no, no. It was me. Dude, I apologize, and so does my daughter, Rainbow.” He gestured to the 7- or 8-year-old hitched onto the back of his bike.

By the slight whiff coming off his shorts and tank top, and the faint puffiness visibly rimmed under the lower part of his chocolate-brown peepers, I suddenly knew he was at least half-baked, if not more.

He helped me stand. “Anything broken? I’m Luca, by the way.”

I assessed along with him as his hands went roving about my person. Nothing hurt too bad. “Couple bruises—” Then I tried to take a step and faltered, grabbing onto him as my ankle threatened to buckle.

“Oh, dude; oh, dude – I knew it.”

He was walking me over to his bike.

“Load up here.”

He assisted, and I sat on his handlebars.

In another moment, coolish air was stroking my face, and he rode me and Rainbow around the merrymaking crowd. He had to stand on the pedals to get enough traction and see, but Luca told me soft and low, rather close to my ear, “My girlfriend, Skye – Rainbow’s mom – she’ll fix you up. She works at a hospital in the City.”

I didn’t ask which city, because the three of us wound up entertaining the assembly too, as if we were just one more mobile art display.

After a few turns, onto ever-narrowing pathways, Luca slowed in front of a raggy tent. Not ‘raggy’ as in dilapidated, but ragged as in it was made like a kid’s living-room fortress of colorful bedsheets, tablecloths, and fringed spreads of every hue.

Luca undid his daughter’s seatbelt, then helped me down from the handlebars, gripping me like a fallen comrade in arms.

Rainbow assisted with the tent flap, and her father walked me over to a giant ‘sofa’ of loose cushions and pillows on a mattress.

“Skye,” he called out, “this guy—”

“Kohl.”

“This guy, Kohl here, got his ankle run over by me and Rain.”

She came over from the wash-up area.

“Oh, how do you feel?”

The lady – who was about thirty, like Luca – immediately felt my forehead. She was pretty; also with long hair, but lighter in color than her boyfriend, and blessed with limpid blue eyes.

“I think my ankle just needs a rest.”

I glanced around for Luca’s assistance, but he was distracted, setting up a hookah.

Skye was already untying my sneakers. “Which one is it?”

“The right.”

She took care, and in a moment or two, I was barefoot and having my swelling ankle prodded.

“I have just the thing.” She popped up. “Salve and something to bandage it. Hold tight.”

Luca came over with the already-smoking waterpipe and sat next to me. Rainbow pulled up to a little table in another corner and colored without a care in the world.

He handed me the mouthpiece. “It’s good shit. Have a hit of it.”

I did. Usually pot makes me want to cough, but this smoke only tickled my lungs, making me take a second breath before passing it back to my host.

Skye spread some clear balm on my ankle, and then wrapped it.

It stopped hurting – or I stopped hurting completely, I don’t know which. My head lolled back on the cushions, watching beams of sunlight sieve themselves through paisley bedspread roof segments. They moved slightly, like shards of living crystal.

Luca passed back the pipe.

“What’s this?” I asked, sounding mellow.

“Girl Scout Cookies. It’s the best, dude.”

I had to agree.

Skye gathered up her daughter. “It’s nearly time for the Bingo-Bongo Art Parade, honey bun.”

Burning Man was a movable feast, and processions and spectacle were a common sight.

“We’ll see you boys later.”

“Have fun,” we called after them.

Once the girls had departed, me and Luca just hankered down and smoked, growing close without much effort.

“What do you do, Kohl?”

“Substitute teacher.”

“Ah. You look it.”

“I do?” I suddenly chuckled freely.

“Yeah, man, why not. How do I look?”

“Good.” His question caught me off guard, but his unguarded smile put me back at ease. “You mean—”

“Job.”

“Umm…. I don’t know. School bus driver.”

That delayed our convo considerably while we both rolled around the cushions in a deep fit of laughter. Finally, after catching our breath and toking on the hookah, we settled back again.

Luca said, “I’m a professional architectural construction manager.”

“No shit?!”

“Yep. No one back at the office in San Francisco knows about my Clark Kent/Super Baked double life.”

I wondered if it was more of a Mr. Jekyll/Dr. Let My Hair Down existence, but whatever. He was nice, and he was getting me high.

“Me and the family come out here every year to shed the old inhibitions. In fact, sorta like therapy for me, even though I get paid by the organizers to do some odd jobs around here.”

He started cracking up, which became infectious.

“What?” I asked.

“Odd ain’t the half of it.”

“What do you mean?” I couldn’t stop laughing.

“You’re heard of the Orgy Dome?”

“The little sex tent with the tough screening to get in?”

“Yeah, exactly. Well, I work at a rival spot called The Big Tent of Human Kindness. It’s bigger, just one ‘room,’ but its existence is more hush-hush; more word of mouth.”

“And what do you do there?”

“Promise not to laugh….”

“Dude!” I held the pipe, and we both wasted a minute or two cracking up. “Okay, Okay,” I said at last. “I won’t judge. I promise.”

“I’m a traffic controller.”

My mouth went slack. “A what?”

“I stand on a crate, where I can see what’s going on and who is coming in to join the action, and direct people to vacant ‘spots.’”

I sputtered: “Well then, count me out. I’m Gay, so will be steering clear of any pussy palaces.”

“No, no, dude. This is Burning Man! The founder’s Gay; the organizers, Gay. Anyway, in the Big Tent there’s a same-sex only area, a polyamorous section, and the smallest one of all – opposite sex only. That one’s almost like a forgotten zone. People come in there to lose inhibitions, so lots of guys who think of themselves as ‘straight’ make out with each other and do a whole lot more.”

“Oh. Well, that’s cool.”

“Yeah, so my job is to make sure everyone’s settled in the place they wanna be. And damn, let me tell ya, after a couple hours in there, I come back to Skye with a major thirst.”

We laughed and smoked a bit.

“That’s all cool, but there’s another reason I won’t need to visit any sex tents—” My sad emotions halted me.

Luca’s eyes grew round and soft; he sympathized with me. “That’s sweet, man.” He assumed I was monogamous. “You got a boyfriend you’re true to. I can dig it – I’m faithful to Skye.”

I confessed. “Gordon ran off with my ex. Part of why I’m at Burning Man is to track down any leads as to where they could be now.”

“Ah, I’m sorry, Kohl.”

“It’s not your fault.” I took another deep draw of Girl Scout Cookies and went for broke. “He left me because we got caught up with some crazy sex cult in L.A. They put a curse on my dick, and I can’t get it up anymore. Now I’m on a hero’s journey to find a cure and win back my boy.”

“Oh, dude! Sounds awesome.”

“So anyway, you know about any sex-kink groups represented at the festival?”

Luca turned serious and started to rattle them off: “There’s that tattoo kink group; the underwater underwear folks; the poke-a-hontas cult—”

“The what?!”

“Yeah, dude. Cosplay fetish reality. But they only get in Disney character costumes to boink.” Luca shuddered with laughter. “Whatever floats their banana.”

“Yeah, I guess.”

He dropped his chin while holding the pipe up and smiled. Plenty of the whites of his eyes showed as he joked: “There are so many secret groups out there into anything you can name. Cultish is the other C-word these days.”

After we did more rolling around on the mattress, laughing our asses off, Luca bolted upright and appeared suddenly inspired.

“Dude! If you ever want to make a little extra pocket money while inquiring about your boy, you can fill in for me at the sex tent!”

I was confused about why….

“You’re perfect, Kohl.” Luca was awe-stuck, saying, “No boners; you could traffic control for hours…whoa, dude….”

I was a little upset at the irony of this ‘compliment.’ I didn’t quite know if he was trying to insult me, or just slipped onto it naturally. Ultimately I knew I could use the cash, as Vegas had been an expensive place to tool around, and I only got a hundred-fifty in cash for that stupid weathervane.

 

 

˚˚˚˚˚

 

Enjoying my nice and mellow feeling, I’d left Luca, Skye and Rainbow to enjoy their siesta together. Now I strolled down the line of food trucks because I had somehow gotten a bad case of the munchies, lol.

I walked and walked, mostly walking past all the graffiti’ed trucks. These you could count on as being mostly the same: one promoted, or perhaps threatened is the better term, to serve granola veggie burgers. Another one a bit further down promised some ‘health busting’ bean sprout gazpacho. And speaking of heat and treats, a line of young mothers corralled their children in front of an ‘ice cream’ vendor hawking Acai-White Mulberry Bars and Greek Yogurt Cauliflower Pops. Poor kids. They were bound to grow into full-fat milk addicts, because, as a wise man once observed, “Repression breeds obsession.” Denied these things young, they’d seek them out recklessly as adults.

Good smells coming from a particular direction distracted my musings. They were nice, golden-brown fried food smells, reminding me of being a kid and seeking out the Weihnachtsmarkt grilled sausage, especially the Gourmetwurst, which are cheese-filled. Yum.

I pulled up at a long, long line in front of the “Sparks Deep-Fried Dog Wagon,” which had a corny dachshund in a bun painted along the length of the truck. Unlike the sea of flapping banners preaching about ‘free’ food – “Gluten Free”; “GMO Free”; “Nuts Free” – The Sparks’ banner said: “Beef-cheek franks, proudly served WITH nitrates.”

I turned and bumped into a middle-aged lady with car keys and a tray of hotdog buns.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” I said, and then exclaimed, “Oh, my God, it’s you!”

“It’s me, sweetheart,” replied the woman, “but who are—”

Even before she finished, she recognized me too. I became helplessly giggly. “You rescued me that day at the Laguna Beach Street Fair by creating a diversion.”

“Yes, I remember you, honey – and how.”

“That was quite a brawl. I owe you one.”

The lady flashed a wink and smile on me. “Ah, shucks, ‘twern’t nothing.” She gestured to the crowded truck with her head. “Alisoun Sparks’ the name.”

“Kohl.”

“Well, Kohl, if you’re free, come back at nine. You, me and the husband can set out a spell and have some brewskis.”

Suddenly, the husband in question called for Alisoun from the truck.

“Sorry, sugar beet, but we’re swamped. See you later, I hope.” She winked again before checking me out up and down, and then dashing off.

Just as I was praying the buxom Corndog’s Wife harbored no illusions about me, I heard a sharp whistle and “Kohl!” Looking around, I saw Burtron waving me over to the food line he was in.

The racial kink expert was shirtless but wearing cyan-blue grannie sunspecs. I went to join him, despite seeing he was queued up for something called Malted Barley Macrobiotic Raw Falafels.

“Kohl, Kohl, look at this.” He fiddled with his phone, hugging me in to watch a vid with him.

Astounded, I saw a yellow chickenman in Roman armor use a bullwhip to bring a rope to him. Then he swung across half the length of the Treasure Island pirate ship with green bags trailing from his legs like snakes. Right after him, robed magicians and ventriloquists tumbled into the fountain while shouting.

“Holy fuck…” I mumbled. “That’s ha-lary-ri-ous.”

“I know, right. You’re a social media star, buddy! Eighteen million hits already, and there are more out there of you sailing through the air.”

“That’s nuts.”

“Look at the re-tweeted news crawl.”

He scanned down to show me: “Media outlets desperate to find and interview the man behind the famous Vegas ‘Chicken Desperado.’”

Burtron laughed. “You’re trending, buddy.”

I glanced around nervously. “Not necessarily what I want—”

“Don’t worry.”

“Do you know if Angekwekwa or the Uncliest Tom of All know where you were headed after Sin City?”

“Nope. They shouldn’t know either. I never put Burning Man on my public schedule; I don’t want to be bombarded with atonement requests here.”

“Okay. Let’s hope they don’t figure out where we were going.”

The food line advanced.

“Don’t worry, my German bro. The Abraca people won’t go to the cops about being robbed.”

“Maybe so.” I pulled out a ticket. “Here,” I said, giving it to my friend. “Put this in your wallet, and if those bent cock-worshipers come to you about me, give it to them.”

“What is it?”

“They’ll know what to do with it.”

Burtron shrugged. “Okay.” He put the ticket in his billfold. “Oh! By the way, I’ve met someone here.”

“Met as in meet?”

“Yep.” The racial-kink cult leader smiled broadly and let me see his eyes. A new glow was there.

“Congratulations. What’s his name?”

“Geoff Bath. He’s an experimental artist from San Diego, so we’re not too far away once we get back home.”

We got up to the order window. “I’m glad for you, Burtron.” I couldn’t hide the tinge of sadness in my voice.

Smelling the ‘raw’ macrobiotics, I was also sad I hadn’t gotten in line for the beef-cheek corndogs instead.

 

 

˚˚˚˚˚

 

Fire shot into the air high overhead. The strolling jugglers and flame-spitters on stilts awed the crowds as everyone moved under the stars at Burning Man.

I was slowly making my way back along the shuttered food trucks, and away from the buzzed merrymakers.

As I walked, thinking back on all the smiling faces I had seen today, and the free and easy PDAs the couples engaged in, it only drove home just how acutely having no one to share this experience was getting to me.

I wound up in front of the Sparks’ dog wagon. Hearing laughter, I went around the side to the back.

The Corndog’s Wife was sitting on a folding lawn chair with an older man. “Sugar loaf!” she exclaimed, seeing me. “Glad you decided to come by. Sit down, grab a brewski.” She popped a can of Pabst for me and unfolded the green plastic webs of my own lawn chair.

“Thanks,” I said, draining about a quarter of the beer.

“Sit; sit. This is my old man, Karl.” Alisoun slapped the shoulder of her rather tired-looking companion.

“Nice to meet you, Karl.” I shook hands and sat. For some reason, my head fell back right away. The sky above was full to the brim with milky stars.

“Do I detect an accent?” Karl inquired with mild interest.

“Yes.” I gave him a smile. “German; sorry.”

“Oh, no problem, sugar plum. Your accent’s sweet.”

I chuckled. “I get comments like ‘funny,’ ‘strange,’ ‘weird,’ but never ‘sweet.’ So thanks.”

Karl drank, then asked, “What do you do?”

“Substitute teacher.”

“Oh, that’s all right, isn’t it?” He had checked with his wife.

“Yes! Teachers are our future. Don’t they say that? Drink, drink, Kohl. Feel at home.”

Before I took another swig, I toasted them: “To adventure.”

“I’ll say,” said the Corndog’s Wife. “Karl, remember that brouhaha in Laguna Beach a while back – well, this was him. We bumped into him back there. Ain’t life strange?”

‘Ain’t it though,’ I thought as Alisoun drank and gave me an overly lecherous look.

“Foreigners,” Karl Sparks suddenly mused, “lots of them around these days.”

“Oh, Hubby, as my ex Henry – God rest his soul – used to say, ‘An alien is just a neighbor who hasn’t pissed on your lawn yet.’ And now we’ve met Kohl.”

They had an odd dynamic. Alisoun was overt in her likes, and Karl seemed withdrawn, but indulgent of her interests.

“Your ex, died…?” I asked.

“Oh, no, sugar bowl. He just got with a bimbo in Poughkeepsie, and I wish them the worst, if you know what I mean.”

Karl ignored the topic altogether. “You don’t look like a pot-head hippy, like the rest of ‘em.”

“I don’t smoke, at least not much.”

The Corndog Husband crushed his empty beer can and expounded: “Weed-fueled ‘art’ – looks like a bunch of junkyard garbage to me. You’re not one of those artists, are you?”

“No, sir. I’m a teacher; just here to unwind a bit.”

“See, Karl? He’s a good one. And besides, these ganja-grungers love our food! They can’t get enough of our dogs. Too bad we can’t stay to the end, but as Forrest used to say, ‘Pack it up to rack it up’ – money that is.”

“Forrest?” I asked.

“Yes, husband number – hmm, let me see.” She mumbled names to herself the way some people count on mental fingers trying to remember their shopping list at the grocery store. “He was number four – well, three-and-a-half at first.” She chuckled, and Karl simply reached into the cooler for another cold one.

“But you won’t be staying until the end of the festival?” I asked.

“No.” Alisoun put on a pout. “We’ve been short-staffed this whole trip, and we’ve got another gig to get to.”

“The NorCal Renaissance Faire,” said Karl.

“It’s in Hollister this year, and we’ve got a long drive, so after the lunch rush tomorrow, we’ll pack up and be on the road.”

“Yeah,” Karl added. “Those tights-wearing, quaking Shakespeare wannabes love our jalapeño popper dogs so much, it’s one of our biggest money-makers stops of the season.”

I had to admit that formed quite a sight in my mind. “Ah, but you’ll miss the Burning Man.”

“Sugar substitute,” Alisoun laughed. “There ain’t nothing we haven’t seen before, including that.”

“So, been in the States a long time, Kohl?”

By Karl’s tone, the unstated ‘you on welfare’ question was ice-cube clear. “Long enough, sir, but I’ve always made my own way here. Land of plenty and opportunity, right?”

Alisoun and hubby liked that answer, in fact they exchanged impressed, raised eyebrows and grins over it. I left unsaid the obvious: ‘Plenty of opportunity to pilfer from the jobless fat-cats sitting on trust funds and inherited, tax-free wealth.’

I finished my beer and got a little pissed. “But still, I guess I’m one of those foreigners people are so down on now.”

They glanced at one another, totally puzzled.

Karl explained: “But you’re European. That’s all right – that’s the good kind of migrant.”

“Yeah.” Alisoun smiled. “You’re ‘folks,’ just like Melania Trump.”

‘Folks?!’ I thought. ‘As if we’d all like nothing better than sitting on the back porch with Mrs. Dump the Third, drinking lemonade and chewing the bacon.’ Get real.

“Yeah,” Karl added with a sour twist, “you’re not from Kenya, like that guy who drove this country—”

“All right, hubbie.” Alison laughed awkwardly. “We don’t want Kohl here to get the wrong impression about us being racists…..”

She said more besides, but I tuned it out, trying not to sigh. I did let my head fall back again however and enjoy the skyward view. The cold vastness of the stars felt like a breath of fresh air, yet also put me in mind of Gordon and my loneliness again. I wanted to do more to locate him, but what…?

Apparently, Alisoun misread my mood because she said brightly, “Reminds me of a story.”

I sat up and watched as the Corndog’s Wife launched into it.

“Well, way back in the mythical, Camelot days of this country – the Reagan Administration – or, in an age when hairdressers were butch, and TV celebrities fey, I ran a little afoul of the law. Seems at a wild swingers party I got a little carried away, and one fella’s ‘No’ was a hard one, but then again, so was his Mrs. Pecker Johnson, if you know what I mean.

“Anyways, I was hauled up on misdemeanor sexual battery charges and the wise-ass judge bangs his gavel, saying, ‘I’ll stay your sentence for one year, proviso it that you can tell this court twelve months hence one single piece of information. If you can do that, the conviction will be dismissed and your criminal record expunged.’

“Well, Mr. She Raped Me Good was none too pleased, I can tell ya, but the ‘court’ figured him a fag anyway with no legal rights, so I tells the guy in the fancy drapery, ‘Judge, what do you want me to do? I’ll do it.’

“Then he floors me with what turns out to be a fool’s errand. ‘Well,’ says he, ‘if you can show up here again one year from today and tell me what men really, really want from a woman, then I’ll pardon you completely. If you can’t tell the court, then your butt’s off to jail. Got it?’

“‘Sure,’ I says, thinking it’s gonna be easy. Men are simple creatures, right? Feed ‘em, water ‘em with beer, take ‘em out to socialize with others of their own kind every now and again…. Easy peasy to find out what they really truly want from a woman, right?

“Wrong. Or at least, not ‘right’ that it’s easy to figure out, cuz first of all, I take four months off to concentrate on – oh, I don’t know – just stuff, but then I get nervous and start worrying about how to answer this dumb question.

“I turn to the obvious: men just wanna have sex; isn’t that how the Cyndi Lauper song goes…? And since I like sex and never get any complaints in that department, ‘xcept from puffs, I start looking for the burliest, roughest, tough-necks I can find: men in uniforms. In our society it’s almost a fetish, ain’t it? I mean think about it: put an ordinary guy in tight polyester, slap a meter or a gun to his side, and BINGO! Instant stud. Dudes in matching outfits supposed to be ‘real men’ anyway, at least according to what society tells us in popular science-fiction and Netflix series, am I right?!

“Anyways, I sleeps with mailmen, I sleeps with bus drivers, I sleeps with security guards, G.I.s, cops, dogcatchers – anyone who looks good and can fill out a uniform. Problem is, none of them can agree on a single answer. One is a cry-baby who tells me all men want a momma figure; another tells me he dreams of tracking down a genuine madonna-whore type who’ll be content locked in the house, like a kitten; and one sicko guy actually tells me what men want most is woman who’ll ‘take charge’! Imagine that…. What a mama's-boy perv. Ick.

“So I look and I look, and I get lots of sack-time and phone numbers, but I grow more and more disillusioned, because here it’s one year later, and I’m only more and more confused. Night before my court date, I go to a bar. At 2:30 am, closing time, I goes home with a troll – a sloppy, disheveled blue-collar guy.

“Anyways, back at his place, I let him have his fun, my mind sorta preoccupied, when suddenly I realize this schlub is doing all the RIGHT things, lemme tell ya; hitting all the correct buttons, if you know what I mean. And sooner rather than later, he brings me to – well, believe it or not – my first orgasm. I’m like ‘OMG, wow, bud…’ but looking at his face did nothing for me. I confess my legal jam, saying it was the best sex ever, but I might be goin’ upriver the next day. Blah, blah, blah – he asks why and I tells him, omitting the exact question because at this point the whole thing sounded silly.

“’What the judge tell you to find out, Alisoun?’

“He said: ‘Find out what men really want from a woman.’

“He smiled, all devious-like. ‘That’s an easy one.’

“’Well, bub, you might as well tell me your idea too; I’ve heard ‘em all by this point.’

“’Nope,’ he says.

“’What? Why?’

“’Information is valuable. I know the true answer, and if you want it, you’ll have to ‘pay’ for it.’

“’Money—‘

“’No. Not money.’

“’What then?’

“He picks up my wrist to kiss. ‘You. Your love, your hand – be my wife. That is, marry me before you go to court tomorrow and tell the judge your answer.’

“I looked over this pasty, stay-puft fella and weighed my options: say ‘No’ and be nowhere; say ‘Yes’ and have more great sex tonight, at least that is before I have to go to jail and forget all about my new husband in the morning.

 

“’Okay,’ I says. ‘Now tell me.’

“He grins. ‘After the marriage ceremony. We’ll go straight from the county clerk’s office to your trial.’

“I shrug. ‘All right, whatever. Now, do that thing you did again, you know, with the tip of your—‘

“Anyways, I digress, cuz next day, we dash down to get hitched and he brings along a bag with clothes because he’ll have to change and go to work right after my sentencing hearing.

“The wedding itself, was, well, forgettable. I didn’t have any idea if I was doing the right thing, as marriage seemed so old-fashioned in the 80s, like what hippies did back in the 60s and such. But anyway, we got done, and pecked on the lips and all, and I asks him for the answer the judge wants. ‘In a min, babe,’ he says as he dashes into the restroom.

“Alone, in court, I sorta feel hopeless. My case is coming up in a few minutes, and my brand-new husband’s nowhere in sight…. And then, wow, in comes my man, and I like nearly swoon because he’s dressed super high-tech for the time. My heart went pitta-patta, let me tell ya, when I saw him in his light-blue cable TV repairman outfit. No one can resist a man in uniform!

“Judge calls my name, and just in the nick of time, I get the answer I’m supposed to tell him whispered in my ear.

“’Well, miss, have you looked for the simple truth? Have you found out the answer…?’

“’Yes, Your Honor. What men most want from a woman...’ I look over my shoulder at my husband for reassurance. He nods gravely, so I turn and tells the judge in a loud voice: ‘What men want most from a woman, is to be left alone.’

“Well, let me tell ya, there’s stunned silence in the courtroom. All the men in there, from bailiffs to scuzbag criminals nod heads in agreement.

“’Well, little missy, that is the one true, most correct answer of them all.’ He bangs his gavel. ‘Case dismissed. You are free to go.’

“I run into the arms of my first husband, Cuthbert, and we are very very happy. The End.”

Karl Sparks immediately pointed out: “Till he choked to death on a chicken bone one month later.”

“Oh, Karl – don’t spoil a beautiful story for Kohl with a minor detail like that.”

As I sat there, looking up to the stars again, grateful to every single last one of them I was not born straight, I missed my boy and our closeness more than anything. I didn’t belong anywhere in the world but in his arms. Everywhere else, I was adrift. He alone understood me…really understood me.

 

(to be continued….)

 

_

Copyright © 2018 AC Benus; All Rights Reserved.
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You once again offer us an almost cinematic view of Burning Man. I can feel the heat, taste the vendors food (corn dogs!) and smell the...oregano. The characters rise and fall like polytonal themes, each contributing to the whole picture of Kohl’s journey. Perhaps he is getting used to his condition: desperate, alone, melancholy. That would be almost as sad as his despair. Loved the whole year needed to find out what men really want. Great chapter. 

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1 minute ago, Parker Owens said:

You once again offer us an almost cinematic view of Burning Man. I can feel the heat, taste the vendors food (corn dogs!) and smell the...oregano. The characters rise and fall like polytonal themes, each contributing to the whole picture of Kohl’s journey. Perhaps he is getting used to his condition: desperate, alone, melancholy. That would be almost as sad as his despair. Loved the whole year needed to find out what men really want. Great chapter. 

Thank you, Parker. And yes, Alisoun searched and searched, but in the end the answer just fell in her lap. Thanks for reading and for your great praise on polytonal themes. It makes me smile :yes: 

 

 

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I’d always thought I’d like to experience Burning Man. But you reminded me of the ever-present ‘Oregano.’ I was already dis-incentivized by all the dust and alcohol. That only leaves me with the draw of naked men (with too large a percentage not being to my taste anyway). I’ll stick to perving via Tumblr and Flickr…  ;–)

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I guess Kohl has ended up at the rosy tint memory stage now. He wasn't very mindful of Gordon while he had him and they never struck me as particularly close. Maybe he'll learn a lesson. 

 

(And my theory is too many men are left alone far too much, by both women and other men. That's a bigger problem.) 

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8 hours ago, droughtquake said:

I’d always thought I’d like to experience Burning Man. But you reminded me of the ever-present ‘Oregano.’ I was already dis-incentivized by all the dust and alcohol. That only leaves me with the draw of naked men (with too large a percentage not being to my taste anyway). I’ll stick to perving via Tumblr and Flickr…  ;–)

Yes, there are quite a few videos and pictures posted on the internet. I tried to go one step beyond and mention the smells and food. Originally, going a raw, macrobiotic, kombucha -infused course was an option for the Tre-Princely Knight chapters, but I'm glad I saved it for here. It makes a great contrast to food people actually crave, like corndogs ;)

 

Thanks, droughtquake 

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6 hours ago, Puppilull said:

I guess Kohl has ended up at the rosy tint memory stage now. He wasn't very mindful of Gordon while he had him and they never struck me as particularly close. Maybe he'll learn a lesson. 

 

(And my theory is too many men are left alone far too much, by both women and other men. That's a bigger problem.) 

I do think Kohl is learning a lesson (or lessons), but the question remains -- are they the right ones he needs...? Maybe some time on the hot desert sands will give his head a bit of perspective. We'll see what this experience makes him decide to do next. 

 

Thanks for reading, Puppilull. I really appreciate it.  

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4 minutes ago, AC Benus said:

Yes, there are quite a few videos and pictures posted on the internet.

They compete with the ones from WNBR, Folsom St Fair, and various Danish music festivals. But greatly outnumber the Bare to Breakers pictures. All are overshadowed by all the naked selfies that fools post for all to see.  ;–)

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Quote

 

Some 70,000 people were spangled across the Nevada desert ...

watching beams of sunlight sieve themselves through paisley bedspread roof segments

 

Great verbs! 

Quote

They put a curse on my dick, and I can’t get it up anymore. Now I’m on a hero’s journey to find a cure and win back my boy.

A herioc quest for an erection! Move over, Homer! :P

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On May 23, 2018 at 10:04 AM, Puppilull said:

I guess Kohl has ended up at the rosy tint memory stage now. He wasn't very mindful of Gordon while he had him and they never struck me as particularly close.

Agreed. He seems to pine for a closeness that they might have had. If they get back together, we’ll have to see how this plays out, but at least there’s hope that he’s not, as Parker fears, simply growing accustomed to his condition.

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On 5/23/2018 at 1:04 PM, Puppilull said:

they never struck me as particularly close

 

6 hours ago, knotme said:

Agreed.

Well, if neither of you see genuine connection for them in what I've written, I guess I've utterly failed. so it goes   

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Speaking only for myself, there is definitely a connection, but I see evidence that Kohl doesn’t yet understand Gordon. Or that understanding has formed deep inside but hasn’t yet surfaced. And Kohl’s under more than usual stress. So I read his characterization of his need with a bit of suspicion.  Need more! When (if) they rejoin, we’ll see what’s what.

EDIT: Or maybe this understanding is welling up just now! We don’t know yet. Kohl is both a person and a frame for satire, and many a hasty conclusion has bit the dust already.

Edited by knotme
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My head lolled back on the cushions, watching beams of sunlight sieve themselves through paisley bedspread roof segments. They moved slightly, like shards of living crystal.

This beautiful description brings to mind Timothy Leary, “Turn on, tune in, drop out!”  He encouraged us to experiment with Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and see what Kohl is seeing now. How wonderful that only a puff or two of weed sufficed. A poet’s view probably helps. I might be lolling and looking, saying to myself, “Well, that seam is a mess.” :/

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Spoiler

As I walked along, feeling the weight and heat of our good-smelling food, anticipation of seeing my boy’s smiling face quickened my step. I may know where we’ve been on this journey, but what will become of us is still up in the air.

I dashed across the street. The shabby aura of the Alta Cienega Motel, with its 1970s style blue lettering on an orange background, came into view. Assauer wanted to stay here, because they keep Jim Morrison’s room as a graffiti-laden memorial to the musician who once lived here – or died here, I don’t know.

Passing under the dead rock icon’s room, along the driveway to where you check in, I saw someone slumped on the bench outside the front office.

I walked up to Gordon in a bit of a panic. “Hon, what’s going on?”

The sexy teen immediately flew up and hugged me. I stroked the top of his wavy, chestnut hair. “Are you trembling…?”

He pushed me back, and I could see he’d been crying. My heartrate accelerated, but in an instant, he smirked, making a sour face.

“You’ve been doing it again,” he stated with disappointment. “I can smell cigarette smoke on you.”

I held his big brown eyes and tried to explain as if a complex thing to a simple child. “Don’t be upset with me. I sometimes have to do it, socially, for work. You’ll understand, and I’m sorry; I’ll shower and gargle right away.”

“Assauer is in the shower right now….”

Why did tears threaten to well as my boy said these seemingly harmless words?

I set the food on the bench and took Gordon by both shoulders. “What’s wrong?”

“That ex of yours, he came back to the room looking like Linda Blair from The Exorcist.”

Adrenaline began to pump through my veins. “What did he do?”

“Stay calm, please. Your temper—”

“What. Did. He do?”

“He tried to force himself on me, Kohl.”

I let go of his arms and took a deep, clarifying breath. “Where is he now?”

“Like I told you, in the shower. He said if I was gonna act like an ungrateful little bitch and leave him blue-balled, he’d have to rub one out and relieve himself.”

“Come on,” I said.

I didn’t look back until I had dragged the naked and dripping Assauer from the shower to the center of our room. I briefly noted Gordon standing in the open motel room door, holding our food and looking worried. For half a moment, I thought he seemed frightened of me, but that could not have been the case.

He was scared of this monster, the one under my grip.

“How could you?!”

Assauer wrenched himself free. “What the hell’s your problem?”

“You, Arschloch. You tried to hurt Gordon?”

“No. I—”

“How dare you try to hustle me, you cut-rate fluteplayer. You, whose very breath belies your seedy profession.”

He attempted a shocked routine for a second, but then his slumped posture straightened and he yelled even louder than I had. “Oh, just shut up! You’re so goddamned self-important all the time, a star in your own movie. Just. Shut. Up.”

“So you admit it.”

“Admit what?! Admit that twink of yours fantails his sexy little ass under my nose night and day? Yes! I admit it, but we’re supposed to share and share alike, aren’t we? So what? I tried to get some; learn to let others have a go once in a while.”

“The so what is you’re way out of line. The boy doesn’t like you.”

“Oh, yeah. That’s outta line?! How’s this for out of line: I think you’re a tampon, douchebag and nightpad all rolled into one.”

i guess to each their own, but to me i always felt Gordon and Kohl were close, devoted. and they are have a bond even if they are not together right now.  Somehow Kohl has a lesson or two to learn before Gordon will return.

Edited by Mikiesboy
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Great chapter .. Kohl is missing the man he loves. I know how he feels, i sometimes miss my husband the same way, when we're apart. Looking forward to more.

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You set a wonderful, sensory scene..

 

Kohl. How can I not love him. I mean the man is now on a hero’s journey to cure his dick so he can get his man back. It’s just the way he laid it out there. He might have been careless with his real feelings toward Gordon or taken them for granted a bit, but he loves and misses his boy.. 

You never appreciate what you have till it’s gone, eh Kohl. I hope he gets that there is more than just surface work to be done when Gordon comes back. Godspeed and bonne chance, good man. On all fronts. Hehe... 

 

Maybe now that Kohl’s gone viral, Gordon will see it and find a way to get in touch. Or Assauer may be the one to see the trending Kohl, and the lure of the valuables Kohl may have absconded with,  will make him reach out. 

 

No matter, I will look forward to where we journey next. Great chapter.  

 

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On 5/25/2018 at 8:43 PM, Mikiesboy said:

Great chapter .. Kohl is missing the man he loves. I know how he feels, i sometimes miss my husband the same way, when we're apart. Looking forward to more.

Thanks for reading and commenting, Tim. I appreciate it!

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On 5/27/2018 at 10:55 PM, Defiance19 said:

You set a wonderful, sensory scene..

 

Kohl. How can I not love him. I mean the man is now on a hero’s journey to cure his dick so he can get his man back. It’s just the way he laid it out there. He might have been careless with his real feelings toward Gordon or taken them for granted a bit, but he loves and misses his boy.. 

You never appreciate what you have till it’s gone, eh Kohl. I hope he gets that there is more than just surface work to be done when Gordon comes back. Godspeed and bonne chance, good man. On all fronts. Hehe... 

 

Maybe now that Kohl’s gone viral, Gordon will see it and find a way to get in touch. Or Assauer may be the one to see the trending Kohl, and the lure of the valuables Kohl may have absconded with,  will make him reach out. 

 

No matter, I will look forward to where we journey next. Great chapter.  

 

Thank you, Def. I guess it's very human to take affection for granted. Kohl certainly has, not only with his beloved Gordon, but with the long-suffering Assauer as well. I'm glad you can forgive him for being human and accept him like Gordon does -- a work in process ;)

 

Always love hearing from you. Thanks again  

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