Inspired Photos

 

The stories in this series depict sexual acts among consenting adult men. (You're reading this from Nifty Archives, whatta ya think?) If any of these offend you or are illegal to view in your jurisdiction, or you are under the age of 18, read no further. Consider buying saline solution and washing your eyes?

This work is copyrighted by the author and may not be reproduced without explicit consent. All rights reserved.

Songs referenced herein are copyrighted by their respective owners and performers. The author makes no claim toward them...

The characters and incidents portrayed in this story are fictional. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. While public business establishments may be mentioned, names of other companies are a creation of the author: resemblances to actual companies are purely unintended.

Surfing the internet, one sees many stirring images that sometimes stirs the imagination. When lucky enough, the net surfer sometimes hears an account or fantasy first-hand from the original guy who posted the photo. In the course of the conversation, the surfer's and the poster's fantasies can meld into a shared fantasy.

I consider myself privileged to take part in this.

- John

 

Chapter 02: Travis (Tumbling Leaves)
John Bato (john.bato@gmail.com)

2013

 

The cold crisp autumn breeze blew across his face, chilling the track of fresh tears. Seeing no one else around, Travis allowed them to flow more freely.

I don't expect my love affairs to last for long
Never fool myself that my dreams will come true

He knew he had to leave the hospital. This was all too much. He didn't sign on for this. Ten blocks away from his destination, he could no longer stand the muted chatter of the people around him. He hopped off the bus on the next stop and walked into Central Park.

Now surrounded by nothing but trees, many painted in its autumn glory. He took a deep breath. Aaah! New York in the fall. Autumn always was his favorite season.

 

###

 

"Hey Mom. Can I get the blue backpack instead? It's the same price."

Alice raised her slim, angular face from her list. She couldn't help but smile at her son's sensitivity, not even 13 yet and he understood their budget constraints. "Sure, hun."

 

###

 

Where are you now, mom? We never had much, but you made it feel more than sufficient.

Travis violently kicked the stray leaves away from his path as though they offended him. Fall always was the time he had his mother almost all to himself for a few hours. No chores save for school shopping, he lived for their annual catch up conversations capped by a long languid late lunch, al fresco overlooking the Natural History museum.

What now, Travis? Faced again with the possibility of loosing his rudder, he dreaded making another monumental decision. Too many were made for him already, each time hating end result. Glad for his rent-free apartment on 87th and Columbus, he still wondered what he'd do now. Remembering the uncle that bequeathed it to him, he shuddered at the price it took.

Five years in a preparatory boarding school overseen by the strictest of religious orders seemed even more distant than his mother's sudden death that caused him to live there. Recently orphaned, he longed for a constant parental figure not necessarily to cry on but to confide in. Always having a bloodline of old school priests, his distant uncle followed the old school Spaniard-Italian tradition of providing for the kid shelter and education but see him grow or fail on his own. Only when his mom met his father did that change. His father's Irish affection imprinted quickly into his mother in the little time they had with each other. Travis never met him but was glad for him.

At this juncture, he still remained grateful that his uncle's will provided him shelter. What to do of his living expenses though? Who would hire a thirty-something ex football jock with only six semesters of biochemistry training? Oliver, that's who. One winter evening seven years ago. Travis seemed suspicious of him at first.

 

###

 


Oliver approached him at the student cafeteria. Travis recognized the guy who guest lectured Professor Sandstorm's bio-chem class last week and was surprised to find him walking in his direction.

"Anyone sitting here? Are you having a study group?"

"No just me. Sorry. I like to spread my books when I study. Have a seat if you can find room."

"Thanks. You're in Maureen's class... Err, Dr. Sandstorm's class aren't you?"

"Yeah, you remembered?"

"Of course. Not many students are able to point out Markovnikov's rule outside of organic chemistry, much more apply it. Kudos."

At this, Travis jerks his head. "Thank you, Professor."

"I'm not a professor. I'm just a senior research guy who likes to talk about a niche topic."

"You may not be a professor but you're definitely more than just a research guy, Mr. Owner of GenoLab Partners."

"Someone does their homework, I see."

"Genetics is my obsession."

"By any chance, are you looking for an internship?"

 

###

 

So started the dialogue between Oliver and Travis. Working closely together, they couldn't help but bond over their shared backgrounds, professional and personal. Oliver was orphaned to, except his parents died a year before graduating high school. Not long after, feelings developed into more than mentor-mentee.

Fast forward to 1998: Travis pondering his life on a Central Park bench. Tears long dried, Travis rose. Almost simultaneously, his beeper vibrated, displaying St. Luke's main number. He smiled at Lisa's resourcefulness. She had him to thank. Travis trained her to be Oliver's assistant almost 18 months ago. That guy couldn't remember anyone's number but his own office.

Not feeling up to returning the page, he rose and put his earphones on. Sarah Brightman still wailed her song. Was it on track repeat?

Being used to trouble I anticipate it
But all the same I hate it, wouldn't you?

He quickly shut his discman off, almost wanting to pitch it onto one of Central Park's rocky hills. Can't he get a break?

Entering his building's lobby, he's greeted by the stocky Hispanic doorman he's always had a crush on. "Hey Travis. Good run?"

He looked at his reflection in the lobby's mirrored walls. It was only then that Travis realized how he looked. At 6' 1" people naturally gave him the right of way, but now even the emotionally clueless would be sure to look at him and keep their distance. Ginger hair, usually coiffed in a military buzz cut, was now a little overgrown and one side plastered itself to his head. That would be the side which used the window last night in lieu of a pillow. Medium brown bags surrounded his obviously tired eyes. "Yeah, Hector. Spent the night at St. Luke's. Oliver's wife is there now. Jogged part of the way home," he responded, still looking at his reflection.

For one brief moment, the reflection in his tired eyes was his mother's. Emotions all came back in a deluge prompting him to rush for the elevator. "Sorry, Hector. Potty."

"No problem, amigo. Send my regards to your boss."

Getting into his own apartment, he leaned his back on his door and heard the slam lock engage. Mom, you ran yourself ragged for to take care of us! And for what? I'm still a lost little boy, confused and would love a hug.

There were no tears. If there were, he couldn't afford to let them out now that he noticed the phone ringing incessantly.

"Hello."

"Trav."

"Lisa, babe. I can't"

"So what do I tell Oliver?"

"You didn't find me yet. I probably got lost in Central Park, which is partly true, you know. I went in and sat for a spell."

"Natural History?"

"No way. Too sacred a shrine to go to now that I'm this fucked up."

"Ever considered that the bigger the shrine, the more comfort it could bring?"

"You are always wise, but yes, I considered it. Now I'm thinking `what if it doesn't bring any comfort?' and where would I be left with? Still fucked up and now with a ruined image of my beloved sanctuary that I've held since childhood."

"I'm sorry, hun. You know he's trying, right? He really would have left her if her health didn't all spaz out."

"I don't doubt that he was ready to. I'm just tired of being on standby. Him and his friggin alternate side of town bedding."

"He loves you tho."

"I know. The marriage was probably dead even before we met at Hunter. But does he love me enough?"

"Come on. You know he's a great guy. I've known him since junior high. Heck, three years ago he gave me this job after my divorce. Me, a gal with no experience whatsoever other than doing charity cocktail lunches."

"I know, I'm the one who trained ya, remember? He's a great guy, loyal to a wife who'd been a cold-hearted ice queen for the past few years. Admirable. I couldn't do that. Even makes it more painful, you know?"

"What?"

"Looking at him next to that ice princess, a bitch who didn't do crap for her since when? Great that he'd do that. But what about me? I friggin cleaned up all his emotional roller coaster and all I got was an hour of him crying on my shoulder? Mind you, I only got that hour because she was going thru a procedure that he couldn't be there for? What is this? Girl, I don't care anymore. He's been your friend longer. Go patch him."

"We're the friends, you and me, buddy. I've known Oliver longer that you and I have known each other, but he doesn't open like that with me. I know cuz he's been all mopey at the office. Can't get work done. Almost missed a grant deadline if I didn't suggest that Gibson take over."

"Still. I'm done. Definitely for now. Tell that Lost Boy to find himself another Peter Pan."

They hang up on a diplomatically sweet note. Travis reached for the remote and lite music poured out from the stereo.

Every time I need him, he always got my back
Never disrespectful cuz his momma taught him that

Whatta man, whatta man, whatta man
Whatta mighty good man

"Seriously? Fuck!" Shortly after saying that, the remote met its end.

He sat at his desk. Might as well start clearing the mail. His mother's eyes still fresh in his mind, he searched for the envelope with the blood red logo.


 

Community Bank of Denver

Denver, CO 80205

 

09/04

Card - Gristede's Market

48.97

 

983.26

09/07

Card - Harry's Shoes

184.83

 

798.43

09/10

Wire Transfer

 

4,500.00

5,298.43

09/12

ATM W/D

402.99

 

4,895.44

He couldn't even concentrate. The solitary deposit line glared at him, almost blinking. Gonna miss that monthly deposit, I guess. Serves you right for falling for him, Trav, he thought to himself

To be honest, he skyrocketed from intern, to mistress a long time ago. Well, he thought `mistress' but now questioned that. He always had a sneaky suspicion about their relationship. He understood that he was given a generous stipend, even when he was just an intern. He got the raise before they started sleeping together. Then he asked out, ostensibly to finish his bachelor's degree after taking some time to readjust. He worked part-time and Oliver hired Lisa as his replacement.

The salary never stopped, never even trickled down. He always wanted to ask out of curiosity but never found the right time. Why did Oliver keep the monthly $4,500 payments?

 

###

 

Two weeks later, Travis jogged down Riverside Park. Finding himself around the West 70's area, he parked himself away from the little league fields, determined to find inner peace. He focused on the river's flow and let the music wash his troubles.

The discman played Sarah Brightman again. Caught in the moment, his baritone voice joined her.

If you touch me, you'll understand what happiness is
Look, a new day has begun!

He suddenly became aware of his surrounding. A playground in the background. A female jogger in her mid-twenties dressed in spandex pants paused and looked at him with a tear in her eye. "Sing it, boy!"

 

 

Author's Note

As an optimist, I know Travis' life direction is headed upward, but let's give him time to heal. He'll probably start taking Oliver's phone calls in about a week but likely that they'll start from the beginning. We'll visit him again soon, promise.

If you have any comments, please feel free to shoot an email. Best efforts to read all incoming email, good or bad. If bad, I don't mind reading it but please be civil. The story might not have been what you were looking for, okay, understandable. I will try to answer all correspondence, though, give me time. Aspiring author trying to "make it" in the world of "paid" writing gigs and writing these Nifty Archive editions on the side as a fun distraction.

That being said, please consider making a donation to Nifty to keep their work going. Many of us have been enjoying the site for a while. I'm sure there are many instances out there where we've turned here to console us after a breakup, etc. and went back to our "favorites" that brought back the hope in humanity (and romance). Or am I just projecting?

- John B

john.bato@gmail.com

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