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Every ending brings with it a new beginning. Isn't that what they say?
It's a bit like my ruminations and pondering about life and death. Without death, there would be no new life. Without life, there would be no death. Why am I rambling on? Well...
People die and people die.
One of my projects for the winter was going to be a huge archive I was going to create of all the e-mails I've received over the years. I got bored of the idea soon enough, but I found I had a really long list of contacts. I mean, well over 50, which is astronomical for me. Anyway, I came to thinking that after having lost contact with these people, one by one, it was almost like they've died. In fact, I don't even know if they're still physically alive or not. Sure, many of the addresses would no longer be active, but one day, when I'm lonely and desperate enough, I'll send an e-mail to all those people. With the hope that some may not have written me off completely or that some might have a nice word to say.
Who knows what fate has in store for us all tomorrow. We might not even be here.
On Saturday afternoon, I eagerly walked up to the Munch as I was meeting Tassy for lunch. Even more eagerly as I'd not seen Caleb since last year.
At first, I thought I walked into the wrong café as Caleb wasn't there. However, my eyes weren't deceiving me - I was definitely in the Munch but Caleb was nowhere to be seen. I suppose he could be off with a cold or something...
Fortunately, Tassy was early, so I didn't have to sit around and twiddle my thumbs. The waitress came and took our order swiftly, and I felt obliged to ask:
"Where's Caleb? Is he off sick?"
"Who's that?" The waitress stared at me as I looked at her in amazement. "You mean the guy who worked here?"
"Oh, I don't know what happened to him. Apparently, he didn't show up after the holidays and Katie was left high and dry and I replaced him."
That's odd, I thought. What could have happened to him?
"Between you and me," she continued, "I recall the boss saying that he wasn't quite right just before the holidays. You know, like he had lots on his plate or something."
"But he would have told me, he wouldn't just disappear like that," I said. She shrugged and walked off.
I was worried. I was perplexed. But somehow, deep inside me, I knew that nothing too dramatic could have happened, so I tried not to show my concern and concentrate on Tassy.
Tassy was looking very well. Radiant, even. A bit like the cat that got the cream.
"I bet you're all excited about your new job, right?" I asked her.
"Oh, yes. It's going to be great. I'm looking forward to starting Monday week," she replied.
"So I guess they'll have to make a decision about your replacement fairly quickly, eh?" I smiled excitedly.
"Yes, if they know what's good for them! Don't worry, I put in a good word for you! Paws crossed, I might even get to show you the ropes if they start you before I go. Of course, you can ask me anything you're not too sure of as I know the place has its... quirks."
"Well, I don't want to get my hopes up too high, but it would be good to have some money in my pocket. I really want to renovate the kitchen this Summer as the floorboards have rotted and I worry that they'll break and mother will fall."
"Yes, and I have no doubt that you'll enrichen your collection of smut!"
"Of course! I will finally upgrade my computer and buy a DVD player!" I chuckled.
As we were about to dig into our meals, I heard a high pitched muffled squealing noise.
"What's that horrible sound?" I asked.
"Oh," Tassy was fumbling with her handbag, "that's my new phone."
"Yes?" she spoke into the phone.
Phone? Tassy with one of them cell phones? We were so against them and the whole yuppie set.
"Ok. I see... yes, see you Monday..."
"What's this, Tassy? You've become one of them?" Tassy put away the phone and continued with lunch.
"I'm afraid it's true - I had to sell out to get this new position," she said without flinching.
I was surprised and shocked. Tassy and I were people who stuck to our principles. I almost felt like a little kid who discovered that the tooth fairy isn't an old hag, rather just a limp wristed old queen.
"Anyway, that was work - my almost ex-work, that is. They said they've decided on the short list and will be calling for interviews for my position on Monday and hope to get the person started by Thursday," she stated.
"That's great. I mentioned in my letter to them that I can start immediately. I suppose that's one thing going for me."
The rest of the meal was fairly uneventful, but I felt there was something else wrong. Tassy wasn't her usual chirpy self - and I know that it was something more than the phone.
"Look, I have something to tell you," she began after we finished our meals.
What? There's more?
"OK, tell me," I looked at her. A sense of worry permeated me. I was worried about Caleb and also what Tassy had in store.
"Promise you won't be mad?" She was stalling.
"Why would I? I've had so many disappointments, one more won't be the end of me. Is it about work? Did you tell them that I'm gay or something?"
"No, nothing like that..." she sighed. "You remember Sergio?"
"Sergio... Sergio.... the name rings a bell..." I fought through the many layers of inactive brain cells to recall him. "Oh, I think I remember. Wasn't he the hot nurse at your hospital? The one you were going to match me up with?"
"Yes, the ubiquitous Sergio..."
"What about him?"
"Well. I went out with him a few times to check him out for you," she sighed. "Even brought him here some time ago. I wanted to call you so you can join us but..."
"Oh?" I was confused.
"He told me he was bi..."
"Yes, what's the problem with that?" I thought the next part would either make or break....
"He said that he was more attracted to me than to you. I'm sorry..."
"Well, no harm's done," I said, feeling disappointed but not overly worried. "At least I didn't embarrass myself."
"Yeah, but that's not all..."
"We've been seeing each other ever since. It's serious. That's why I took this other position, so I can move in with him."
So this was what had been bothering her. I don't really know why she thought it would worry me.
"I'm happy for you, Tass. What's the problem?" I flashed a smile.
"Well, I know how you'd feel disappointed in me... and that I'll be moving away so we won't be able to see each other often..."
"The only one I'm disappointed in at the moment is Caleb. The last time I saw him was when I visited him a few weeks back to use his computer," I told her.
"So you got up to some hanky panky with Caleb?"
"No, he was acting all weird after he saw some news report. I hope he's OK."
My mind wondered back to Caleb. Perhaps he decided to stay with his parents a while longer? Perhaps he got snowed in?
"Milt, didn't you hear the other thing I said?" Tassy interrupted my thoughts.
"Uh? What other thing?"
"That I'm moving!"
"Yeah, I heard that. Well, it's not like we see that much of each other. Besides, there's always e-mail, you know!" Yeah, e-mail.
"Yeah, plus when you get this job, you'll have the money to travel around the world... so I'm sure you'll come over and see me. Besides, I'll only be a couple of hour out of the other side of the city!"
Wow, do people really live that far out of the city? Surely that's where the cows go to graze?
"You want to go for a bit of a walk?" Tassy asked me. "Looks like the sun's coming out and from what I hear, they're expecting the snow storms to hit late in the week and they'll be here for a while, so it might the best time to go out there."
"That's a great idea, Tassy..." I replied. "Sure, let's go for a walk, but let's go to Caleb's house. I want to see if he's OK."
The air was crisp and we could see each other's breath. My woollen hat was irritating my forehead, but I wouldn't risk taking it off.
"I've been meaning to ask you. how's your writing been going?" She enquired.
"It's going well. I try and write things most days - you know, whenever anything interesting happens. At least it keeps me busy during these long nights."
"Aren't you talking to your mother?"
"What gave you that idea? Mother's probably the only one in the family I am talking to right now," I explained. "It's been so weird - the past few weeks - I feel so much more connected to her, you know."
"You mean to tell me you told her you're gay?" She smirked.
"Well, I haven't gone that far - yet! Who knows? Perhaps in a few weeks I'll reach the point where I'll tell her." I clarified.
"I'm sure she knows. All mothers know."
Yeah, I read that in a magazine as well.
"What happened to your snobby pal Collin?"
"I didn't hear back from him again. I guess he's living all gaily in his happy little home."
"So you didn't consider taking him up on his offer?"
"Well... perhaps for a minute. I think I'm too old to be seen as somebody's toy boy. Besides, mother needs me..."
I stopped in front of Caleb's house, which looked dim and quiet from the outside.
"We're here," I announced.
"Wow, he must be doing OK to have a place like this at his age," Tassy was impressed.
"I suspect his parents are financing it, but haven't asked him," I whispered to her.
A couple of raps on the door resulted in some neighbour's dog barking. I didn't hear any movement in the house.
I tried again, only louder. Again, nothing.
"Perhaps he's gone out," I felt like I had to defend him. "Or he might be studying at his friend's place."
We turned to leave, only to notice that his letterbox hadn't been emptied in a few days as there were several items of mail in it.
That's weird. It's like he's disappeared off the face of the earth. How could he do this to me without saying goodbye? Wait, perhaps... no... no way... he couldn't have been murdered, could he?
"Well, this is it," Tassy declared as we arrived at her bus stop. I'd lost track of time and place and had no idea if Tassy had spoken to me at all on the walk back from Caleb's house. My mind was elsewhere. I was worried. Really worried.
"Yeah, so here we are.." I said, unenthusiastically. I knew I wanted to feel something more for this goodbye, but it happened so unexpectedly, and I had Caleb on my mind.
"Look, I know you're worried about him, but he'll turn up. It's not like he fell off the edge of the world or something!" Tassy smiled as her bus was pulling up.
"Yeah, you're right," I faked a smile what showed I'd be no good as an actor or a liar.
"OK, well, I'd better go home as I have things to pack..."
"OK, well, keep in touch..." we hugged gently "... and keep me up to date on your sex life. I wanna know which position Sergio prefers for when he dumps you!" I smiled.
"You wish!" Tassy laughed as she boarded her bus, phone and all.
So, there you have it. Another person walked out of my life. Another person as good as dead.
I rushed home and in where mother was cooking a roast.
"Have you watched the news today?" I asked her.
"Yes, why? You're not interested in the news. They said they expect a severe snow storm to hit us next week and say it's going to last a while," mother replied.
"No, that's not what I wanted to know!" I sighed. "I wanted to know about the murders. Have there been any more of them lately?"
"Murders? Oh, you mean those horrible ones, the Satanic ones that they keep talking about?"
"Yes." I rolled my eyes - trust mother to believe the hype that linked them to Satanism!
"They report about them every now and then saying they have fresh clues, yet they don't have any strong leads."
"But have there been any more lately?"
"The last one was... let me think..." she mumbled something to herself..."I think it was about the time of the blackout a few weeks ago. Yes, that's it. No more since then, thank God."
I breathed a sigh of relief and felt my heart resume its normal rhythm once more.
"Why are you interested in them?" She asked, concerned.
"That smells nice," I changed the subject. "When will it be ready?"
"I thought you had lunch with your friend..."
"Yes, our final lunch," I explained to her about Tassy moving, and she appeared to be distressed.
"What's wrong? She's not going to the other side of the world!" I informed mother.
"Yes, but. She's leaving. She's the only real friend you've had around here. Except for Miles, who you don't see much nowadays..."
"... and what about that other young man?" She continued. "What's happened to him?"
"I don't know. I think he's gone back to stay with his parents," I gulped.
"That's so sweet. That's the way it should be until he gets married." I couldn't help but smile at mother's naive thoughts about blissful family life.
I jumped onto the internet so kill some time until dinner was ready. Just to catch up with the smut and to send Tassy a thank you e-mail.
I noticed I had an e-mail from a strange address. It took me a moment to realise it was from Tassy's work and about the application I sent.
This is it, I thought, the details for the interview on Monday!
Woe my poor heart, which raced as I scrolled down the message:
Thankyou for your application.
Unfortunately, after careful consideration, your background and experience were not ideally suited to the role.
I do appreciate the time and effort you have taken in sending me this information.
Please also be advised that we have not retained any of your details.
We wish you every success in securing a new role.
Woah... What? Had I read correctly? Surely this was a mistake?
For fuck's sake - I was the one who trained Tassy in the first place and they were saying that I wasn't suitable for the position???
My heart sank further and further into the abyss where I guess my soul would be located.
To make matters worse, I wanted to do a search on Caleb, just to make sure he wasn't in the news - but I realised that I don't even know his surname! Fuck!
Things weren't going to get better. I felt that things were going to get worse. Much worse.
I wasn't in the mood for dinner. I mostly toyed with my food.
Mother sensed that something was wrong, so when she asked, I told her I had a migraine. She said that I shouldn't have gone out on such a cold day.
I couldn't tell her about the job. I really couldn't. I had to retain a final shred of dignity. I never told her - or any of my family - of my struggle to find work. Yes, they think of me as just a lay bum, but I guess that's better than them seeing me for the hopeless unemployable loser I really am.
Even worse, I couldn't tell her about Caleb, and my feelings for him.
If only she could read my mind...
The nihilistic days didn't get any better or easier. I felt like I'd lost all hope for finding work and even stopped looking in the ads on line. Defeatist? Perhaps.
Feeling inept and diffident, the only thing that would help me get through the day was food. I'd eat and sit and eat and eat some more. I didn't worry about my weight or size. Who cares? Caleb abandoned me, I couldn't even get a proxy date through Tassy.
"It's such a lovely day today," mother told me. "They said it's going to cloud over from tomorrow, so could you go and do some shopping for me? It might be the last we do until the weather fines up again. Grab as much as you can carry"
I told her I would. Food is nice. Food is good.
Naturally, I took the opportunity to walk past The Munch. Peeking in to see no Caleb. My heart sank further as I went by his place again - again, the place was deserted, and the mail was piling up.
I bumped into Miles at the supermarket - just what I needed. Actually, I realised that he and his big biceps could help me carry the groceries home.
"Hey, haven't seen you since we went out and you got all freaky the other time! How are you, buddy?" Oh, will he ever stop calling me his buddy?
"Yeah, I'm fine," I forced a grin. "Are you going home because I could do with a hand with the groceries?"
"Sure, anything for my buddy!"
I knew he was going to ask me for something.
He didn't mention it until we were on our way home, loaded with groceries.
"Hey, I know you don't want to hear this, but just hear me out. I'm going to organise a special night for you with the whores at Nestor's Palace. There are a couple of nice ones who have just started who I'm sure are right up your alley... if you come, it will be a night you'll never forget. I promise you!"
He never gives up, does he? Then again, it's not like I have anything more to lose.
"I don't know. At the moment, I'm not in the mood for anything like that," I mumbled glumly.
"Well, I can organise a good whipping for you, if you like!" He joked. "Seriously, I have special contacts who will make you very happy. Trust me!"
"Let me think about it," I said. "But right now, I'm not in much of a mood to think."
"Well, no thinking needed, just raw animal passion and action!" Miles rambled.
"Hmmmm..." He hadn't convinced me fully. I did have to think about it. How could I face the whores after my previous experience with them?
"OK, well, let me know what you think and when you want to go. It's the best thing for a cold winter's night, you know!"
We reached my house and I asked him in for a drink, but he said he was expected home, so he left.
"This will all keep us going when the famine begins," Mother was impressed by all the things I'd brought.
"Or if we get snowed in for a week!" I said.
"At least, I can die in peace knowing that you know how to shop!" She
joked. I didn't like her joking about dying, though.
Nights when I have a shower are the special nights when I decide to spend some time ... errr.. Fiddling.
Recently, however, I hadn't been in much of a mood and the usual array of smut and erections hadn't been doing it for me. I blame the weather, to tell you the truth.
Anyway, on such occasions, I get weird ideas into my head. Kinky ones. Like the candle wax some time ago, my rough dildo work, the nipple clamps. This time, I had something else in mind.
One of the more unpleasant things about growing older is having to get certain things checked and some of the medical examinations aren't much fun, nor some of the procedures.
I decided to experiment. I wanted to slurp some hot, fresh sperm. I decided to try something I'd never even read about before - let alone seen! - a catheter j. o. session!
At the start, I felt nervous. Nervous yet excited. Doing something forbidden. Doing something that could possibly go wrong and create an injury - but tell that to all of those who've gotten a bit too friendly with their pet gerbils.
I found a very narrow drinking straw in one of the drawers one afternoon - I guess that inspired me. Carefully, I cleaned and disinfected it.
The heater on full so I removed what little I was wearing and sat up on my bed.
My cock, knowing he was in for some fun, was already hard - which made it far more difficult to put the straw into my piss slit. It didn't go very far in and I barely felt it... but I knew from the intensity of the excitement that it wouldn't take me too long to cum.
As soon as I felt my ejaculation boil over, I bent down, put my lips on the top end of the straw and gently began to suck.
Spurt after spurt spewed out - and not much of it came up the straw as my makeshift catheter slipped out of the slit.
I got to taste a few drops of my sperm, nice and hot and tangy it was... but in the end, I decided it wasn't worth going to all that effort, and wouldn't recommend it to anybody. The old legs in the air and cock aimed at the mouth is a better way of doing it.
Later on that night, I had a most unusual dream. I can't say that I can remember it very well. It was full of despair, a cry for help and a message - a plea if you will - that things were getting out of hand.
I wondered if it had to do with my experimentation, and somehow feeling guilty about doing it. Anyway, things were all ready way out of control - Tassy becoming a yuppie, Caleb missing, my infernal hated for my siblings, my employment situation, my increasing desire for self abnegation.
Things couldn't possibly get any worse. Right?