I can't even remember his name. I guess that sounds cliche but then everything that happened is right out of the back of a Numbers magazine.
1982, a one bedorom apartment in a dumpy, yellow building on the outskirts of a college town, I spent most of my summer watching MTV and taping as many programs as I could find featuring shirtless guys. I was also in love with a straight guy, Doug. His name I remember. We latched on to each other at a mall buying tickets for a Robert Plant concert. I never quite figured him out. His interest in me seemed intense, he called me almost every day and he had to know I was staring at his body when he whipped off his t-shirt. He often did that when he sat down to roll some joints, and always took it off in the park. He had girlfriends and yet acted toward me the way I did when I had a crush on someone but wasn't sure of their proclivities. He was a doll, so beautiful, so gentle and goofy in a kid-like kind of way. But whatever it was for him it wasn't going to be what I wanted. I still have a picture of him rolling a joint, his dark mysterious eyes looking up at me.
My best friend then was Lina, a real fag hag. She tried introducing me to other guys, but nothing ever worked out. Like Dale. I liked him, he was nice but she told me he was kind of weird and didn't like talking about his "activities." She'd told me a few times. "He's a real bathouse queen. Be careful." I'd dropped hints to him a number of times and then one day when we were alone he stopped me.
"Hey, look, it's not that you're not a nice guy..."
'You are, but..."
"I...." He took a deep breath.
"You don't want a relationship with anyone?"
"Well, I can't have sex......"
"...with anyone I will ever see again."
He saw my eyes bug out. "I know. I know, it's kinda...unusual."
And that was that. A few years later Lina told me he'd become ill.
I was not one of the beautiful people, so a lot of the great looking guys that I liked rejected me but......most of them had been or became infected with HIV. Not being beautiful protected me in a strange, and not so great-feeling way. I still think about that. But I never seemed to fit in anywhere in the gay world anyway, the bars, the cruisy parks, and I'd never been to a bathouse-something about them scared me. It never felt like me, none of it. I wasn't fem, I wasn't butch, I wasn't into leather or S&M, I wasn't a clone, or a preppy.....I was gay but the gay world didn't make any sense to me. It was interesting to see now and then when friends would drag me out for a night of clubbing or to see a drag show, but it wasn't me. It also didn't help that I could always feel the hurt in them, the pain we all knew growing up with homoophobic peers and parents, always there just under the surface, the unrequited loves, the mindless hate, the bashings we suffered or heard about, the teens thrown out into the street by their families because they were gay, the activist friend of mine who came to my rescue when I was a teen and was later executed in a dark alley....because he was gay.
At any rate, I spent a lot of time watching hunks on tv and dreaming about being one, and making love with...ALL of them! Anything romantic completely eluded me but I got some action here and there, a horny, flamey roommate, the infantilist who turned me off talking about his diaper antics, and a horny 18 year old who insisted on dragging me into a church on quiet weekday afternoons to do it in the ladies room, the attic, and the choir room, where he wiped his jizz on several robes. And then....this guy.
I first saw him on a ladder, painting the overhang around the building. I think he was 27, with blonde wavey hair dancing around his baby face and smooth legs-Keds, no socks, and cut off blue jean shorts.
"Hey!" He waved at me and nodded. I waved back. "Hmmm." I thought. "Friendly."
I went home and called Lina, who lived in my building. "Who's this guy? He's cute!"
After telling me his name (which I still can't remember) she said, 'You know I think he might be bi."
"Could you drop a hint?"
"Uh....maybe you could ask him out?"
"Didn't you once tell me you called a guy completely out of the blue?"
And I had. During school registration I followed this hot little guy around who was driving me crazy. I stood behind him and read his name on the top of his paperwork. After a couple of days I called all the dorms from my room until I found where he was staying and got his number. I'd never been so nervous, but I'd also never been so turned on. My life had to start somewhere so I worked up the courage and dialed, heart exploding, sweat beading, hands shaking. It rang ...two....three...four times....
"Uh...hi. Is this, ummm... Roger?"
"Umm, you don't know me, my name's Ken, I live over here in Bruce Hall."
"And...I saw you at registration and I think you're really cute and was wondering if maybe we could go out some time."
Long pause. Ok...his eyes bugged out. I could feel it. "WHAT??!!?!? You're crazy!"
Whew! At least I tried.
So Lina reminded me about this and added, "You know I've helped you a lot but it never works out. Maybe you should do it yourself. Maybe it'll go better. Give it a try."
"I don't know. Maybe."
"You'll be fine. I gotta go to class. See ya."
Over the coming weeks the guy and I talked now and then but it was just idle chit chat, or building bashing, the place was a total piece of shit. He had a lazy, care-free way of talking that was kind of lyrical, and his blazing blue eyes were always smiling and soft. He was a stoner without a care in the world. There were times when he was in my place that I thought we exchanged some meaningful looks, deep eye contact, but I was afraid to make a move. I was still in love with Doug the "straight" guy, anyway.
He dropped by one day but he picked the worst possible moment. I was so overwrought that day with my unrequited love affair with Doug that I was actually smashing glass objects on my kitchen floor. I was almost in tears when I heard..KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. It was blondie. I cracked the door open, just a little.
"Hey, man. what's going on?"
"Can I come in or....?"
"Oh, man, I shoulda called."
"Dude, I'm just not feeling good today. It's not you, seriously. Maybe another time."
"Oh, Ok. Cool. You're not...like mad or anything are you?"
"No no no, it's not you. Don't worry. I'm just kinda.....sick, man."
"Ok, Cool. Hope you feel better, man."
"I'll see you around."
I shut the door, relieved I wouldn't have to explain all the broken glass. Why couldn't he have come by half an hour earlier? I didn't think much of his visit. I assumed he just wanted to get stoned with me. That happened all the time, even with people I barely knew or had just met. "Hey, you wanna get stoned, man?" I wish I had five bucks for every time I heard that.
I cleaned the floor and decided I'd have to get over Doug, maybe even break it off with him. It was too painful. I threw myself into my friends and spent endless nights racing around town, kissing straight boys on the lips in the back seats of other people's cars, eating at Denny's, going for moonlit walks on acid, talking 'till the sun came up in dorm lobbies or dark apartments with candles, quiet music and tarot card readings. I was never alone but...I was very alone. I was running.
It was a Friday and it was October. The leaves were turning and falling in the cooling air. A late dinner with friends downtown had been warm and cheery and brimming with laughter and I think I'd only been home for half an hour. The tv was on, softly, and as I sat watching in the dark I thought I heard a very faint tapping or scratching on the door. I remember looking at my clock. It was quarter to midnight. Then silence. Was I hearing things? Who would come knocking on my door at midnight on a Friday night? No one ever did and I almost didn't get up. Something, though, nagged me to get up and take a look through the peep hole, and there was blondie, looking out on the parking lot, wavering. I waited, scared, thinking, debating, and then as i saw him turn and start to walk away I swung the door open and he stopped.
"Hey." He smiled.
"Hey, man, what's up? I almost didn't answer you were so quiet."
He looked both drunk and stoned but that was ok.
"Well, I didn't want to disturb you if, like, you were sleeping or whatever."
"Nah. I'm watching tv."
"I was just...just kinda...bummin' around 'n like....I dunno..."
"You want to come in?"
"Sure." He bobbed his head and floated inside collapsing on the couch. Closing the door I joined him there and noticed he had a hard time making eye contact.....at first.
"So, what's going on?"
"Oh man...mmmm...nothin'...really." He tried to shrug but barely had the energy. He had no problem, though, unbuttoning the top two buttons of his shirt. "Man, s'kinda hot 'n here, dude..."
"Well, I'm ok but...you know, do whatever you want."
We watched a little tv but he clearly had sometihng on his mind, something he didn't know how or couldn't bring himself to say, even in his stupor. I'd heard the stories and now here was mine, staring me in the face, grinning, hoping, unbuttoning...
Finally I spoke. "Could I ask you something?"
"Are you...strictly heterosexual?"
"I don't know, man....I mean...."
"Are you thinking about....something?"
He giggled and kept unbuttoning, only one left to go. Inching a little closer I reached for the final button. "Can I help you with that?"
His grins and giggles were infectious and when I was finished with the button he pulled his shirt wide open.
"You have a beautiful body."
"Nah, I'm flabby...shit...."
"I like it."
He was biting his lip and looking at the carpet when I asked, "Can I touch your body while you think about...whatever it is you want to do?'
He laughed and then sighed, I think it was relief. "Yeah man....that's cool...."
With the back of my hand I carressed his skin. He was a bit sweaty and sticky. The next thing I knew he was unbuckling his belt and unbuttoning the top of his jeans as he kicked off his sneakers.
I has to ask. "Are you horny?"
"Umm...I dunno...I guess....kinda..."
"Can I hold it?"
He paused but only for a second. "Go for it." He slipped out of his jeans and in just his boxers and socks he unveiled his long, straight cock. Holding it, stroking it I watched his eyes.
Then he mumbled. "What do you think?"
"You want a blowjob?"
I swallowed the head and milking on my way down I jammed it into my throat. I worked it for a while, doing my best, it was to big for my mouth and I hadn't really developed any technique at that point. After a while he motioned toward the bedroom. "Let's go in there."
We went into the bedroom and climbed under the sheets. He grabbed my shorts and yanked them down to my knees. "Get these off." I kicked them away and suddenly he was going down on me, licking and flickering, sucking away and making me cum in his mouth while he jacked himself off. I think he came just seconds after I did. Like a bolt of lightning it was over in a flash, electric sensations in the dark but gone too quickly to be thoroughly appreciated. We both sighed and then as I pulled a pillow under my head he sat up.
"I should prolly go, man."
"Oh." I was disappointed but can't say his immediate departure was unexpected. "That's cool."
I put my shorts and shirt back on and went to the kitchen while he put himself back together. "You want a coke or something?"
"No. I'm good." He buttoned his shirt and slipped back into his keds, fastening his belt.
"Ok, well...uh...it was cool. I mean—"
"Yeah. Definitely." He reached for the door then stopped and turned around. "Thanks!" He waved and then turned the knob.
"Check ya later, man." He grinned and the disappeared, shutting the door behind him. Then everything seemed terribly quiet, the tv playing with the volume turned down, the kitchen lights humming overhead. I turned them off and laid down on the couch, looking again at the clock. It was 12:10.
I called Lina.
She answered in a whisper. 'Hello?"
"Oh shit! You're not asleep are you?"
"No, but David's here and he's sleeping. What are you doing? It's midnight."
"He came over."
"The painter guy. He was stoned."
"Ohhhhh. See? Those straight guys gotta be stoned. Let me guess. You had sex."
"Was it good?"
"Yeah, pretty good."
"Was it quick?"
She giggled. "How did I know that? Listen, can we talk about it later? I gotta get to sleep."
"Yeah. I'll see you later."
"Oh, but hey, thanks for filling me in."
I hung up.
He and I saw each other a few more times around the building but there were no more encounters. We weren't going to become friends. After a couple of months he had a girlfriend. Naturally.
And then he was gone....