The Key Anthology:
Frankie and Aaron
Chapter 8 Part 2
The Moulin Rouge was like nothing Aaron had ever seen. He expected it to be just a high-end titty club, but there was so much more to it than that. It was a fancy restaurant and the show was incredible. There were extraordinarily beautiful women with bare breasts, but there were also incredible singers, dancers and contortionists.
At times, Aaron saw Martin smiling, but he could tell the man’s thoughts were miles away and he needed more distraction. The show ended and they went outside. They walked and Martin put his arm around him but Aaron felt that the man was in need of the physical support this time as well as the emotional support.
While the Moulin Rouge was a very nice, clean, expensive place, the neighborhood was a bit seedy, and there were bums and beggars on the streets. Martin pulled away from Aaron and walked to a filthy man dressed in rags, then he hailed a cab.
“Come on, Aaron!” Martin said, as he helped the dirty man into the cab.
Aaron got in after them. He heard the cab driver complaining about something in French and saw Martin reach in his back pocket and hand the driver a wad of cash from his wallet.
“This is our new friend Gilles,” Martin said. “He doesn’t speak English but that’s okay.”
They rode in silence and it took all of Aaron’s resolve to keep from gagging at the stench coming off the man sitting between them. He guessed that Gilles would be a new distraction for Martin tonight.
They arrived home, exited the cab, and entered the building. Gilles, who was unsteady on his feet, needed help getting into the small elevator, then into the apartment. After they helped Gilles into the bedroom, Martin excused himself. He quickly returned with a large garbage bag.
Aaron noticed the man didn’t seem to be drunk, just tired and weak. He saw Martin sit in a corner chair where he could watch Gilles and him.
“Undress him, Aaron, then throw me his clothes,” Martin said. “I’ll explain everything to him in French.”
Aaron did not look forward to this but he did what Martin asked. He took off the man’s dusty and wet overcoat and threw it to Martin who put it in the trash bag. Next he removed the man’s button-down plaid shirt. There was a T-shirt underneath that must’ve been white at one point but was now brown and yellow.
“Take off his shoes first, Aaron,” Martin said.
Aaron knelt down and removed one filthy shoe revealing a smelly foot coated in dirt. He removed the other shoe and unveiled a sock filled with holes. He threw it all over to Martin, who trashed everything.
“Now the pants, but leave the underpants,” Martin said.
Aaron stood and unbuckled the man’s loose belt, instantly the pants dropped to the floor. Aaron picked them up and tossed them to Martin who threw them out.
Martin stood and walked over to Aaron and Gilles. “Look at him, Aaron. Look at his yellow stained underwear and shirt.”
Aaron looked at him, and thought he’d never seen such a dirty man up close. He looked at how yellow and stained his underwear and T-shirt were, then he noticed how pale the man seemed. Aaron removed the man’s hat and long white hair came down. When he looked at the dirty man’s face, he saw it was not the face of an old or even middle-aged man but a young one. The man was probably in his early to mid-twenties, covered in dirt and grime. Aaron saw Martin walk his way, then felt Martin’s hand on his neck pushing his head down towards the man’s crotch.
“Smell it, Aaron,” Martin said. “Smell life—real life… not all this make believe bullshit.”
He pushed Aaron’s face up to the man’s crotch and rubbed it in, then placed his own face alongside and inhaled deeply.
It was all Aaron could do not to vomit. The man’s pouch smelled sour and of old, rank urine.
Martin pulled Gilles underwear down revealing a sticky, uncut cock. Aaron jumped back and fell on his ass.
“Don’t be afraid of real life, Aaron, it’s all around us,” Martin said, taking off the man’s shirt—revealing a pale, emaciated torso.
“My God,” Aaron said, seeing the man’s thin stomach with ribs showing prominently. He wanted to cry.
“It’s OK, Aaron,” Martin said, undressing himself and throwing his clothes on the floor. “Get undressed, then come help me give him a shower. The two of us can get him clean. We’ll feed him afterward.”
Aaron was in a daze as he undressed. Had Martin gotten some extreme news from the doctor and completely lost his mind? Was Martin inspired by the news to do something for his fellow man?
The two men got Gilles into the shower and saw the clear water on the shower floor turning black as they washed their new friend.
“Inspect him for lice and other vermin as we bathe him and wash his hair,” Martin said.
Aaron did so and was glad to see the man was free of them. It took some time but they finally got him and themselves clean. They helped him out of the shower and went to the sink where Martin got him a new toothbrush to use and poured him a cup of mouthwash. When Gilles finished they helped him to the bed and sat him down.
Martin went to the closet and got three robes for them to wear as he picked up his phone and made a call to a nearby café for food to be delivered.
Aaron dressed Gilles in the robe Martin had brought for him. Then he stood back and looked at the newly scrubbed clean man. He saw Martin grab a hairbrush and brush Gilles long hair which hung to below his shoulders. The man was hauntingly beautiful with chiseled, hollow cheeks and vibrant blue eyes with long white lashes. “He’s so thin, but beautiful like a ghost, Martin. Did you know he would be so attractive under the dirt? Is he an albino?”
“To be honest, Aaron, I think I’ve gone a little crazy in my desperation to do or feel something. Maybe it’s my instinct for scouting models that kicked in somehow. Part of me knew he was special, but he’s no albino. He’s just very blond, half-starved, and weak from living on the streets.” He walked over to the dresser, grabbed some nail clippers, then bent on the floor in front of Gilles and clipped his toenails which were long. He spoke to him in French then looked at Aaron. “I told him we are friends… soon to be lovers.” Martin then kissed Gilles full on the lips. “Don’t be rude, Aaron, come join us.”
Aaron felt a little sick to his stomach and dreaded what he was about to do. He kissed Gilles on the lips alongside Martin. To his surprise, all he could taste was the strong residue of mouthwash. His eyes were closed and he was in a daze again only to be snapped out of it by loud knocking on the front door.
Dinner arrived and when the deliveryman left they went to the dining table to eat soup and bread. Martin excused himself and walked out to the balcony. Aaron quickly followed and Martin spoke, without turning back to look at him.
“Isn’t being a good Samaritan supposed to make you feel good?” Martin said, while looking out over the city.
“Not always,” Aaron said, “Not when you’re doing it to hide from what’s really going on in your life.”
“I’ve never run from any fight, Aaron,” Martin said. “But the fight’s over and I’ve lost. Right now I’m just waiting to go down for the count which will be soon.”
To be continued
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