what can i say--twenty-three years in this business, you're gonna hit a rough patch now and then.
1. but they looked awful cute on him
i don't really remember the sex. hell, i barely remember the kid--skinny, punked-out, dark, tight clothes and ridiculous red hi-top chuck taylors that had to be at least three sizes too big. he clomps over to the car, gets in, and i take him back to 841, strip him down, do the usual.
afterwards, we're dressed and i'm ready to take him back to his corner, reach over to grab my wallet from where i'm pretty sure i'd dropped it, and it's not there. i toss the place while he waits patiently, and when i don't find it we head out to the car, where i also don't find it.
by now i'm suspicious and he knows it, tells me don't look at him, he didn't take it. we head back into my room--i'm leading him by the arm, i sit him down on the bed, proceed to do a more thorough search. he's quiet and still, unprotesting, but the more agitatedly i search, the more nervous he gets.
finally, i pull him off the bed, stand him up, give him the full frisk--every pocket, every nook and cranny. he submits to this passively, eyes rolling everywhere but to meet mine, but i see the sweat on his forehead peeking out between the spiky bangs. i lift his shirt, run my hands over his lithe little body in a way much different than i had half an hour earlier, open his pants, feel between his legs and down his thighs, lift his cuffs, check his socks--nothing.
finally, i give up, apologize. hell, maybe i'd lost it somewhere--god knows it wouldn't be the first time. we head out to the car, drive back in silence. he asks to be let off mid-block, and walks away slowly. i watch him go, thinking hard. it's not until he's half a block away and looks back over his shoulder and then starts moving faster that i notice he's limping a lot more noticeably than when i'd picked him up. by the time i'm outta the car screaming, "hey, wait a minute!", he's gone in a flash.
note to self: never forget the shoes.
2. but he was hot
he gets in and fills up the car in a way i hadn't expected. there's a weird energy, too, that i hadn't picked up on when i saw him standing there with a beckoning smile--guy's practically vibrating. and the eyes--they're a little wild, and that smile up-close is a little scary.
but he's hot, and he's in my car, and what am i supposed to do--ask him to get out? nah, that'd be silly, not to mention rude. instead, i ask, "you got a place?", and he reaches over, clamps a huge hand on my knee, looks at me with those eyes, says, "just drive a little."
so that's what i do.
and he talks--about his girlfriend, and his daughter, and how he's not a goddam fag, and how high he is and how broke he is and do i have any money. and all the while, that hand is clamped on my thigh like a vice, those muscles rippling up and down his arm all of a sudden not looking nearly as good as they did from the other side of my windshield.
my dry mouth tells him i left my wallet at home because, really, who would be dumb enough to bring their wallet when they go out cruising (which is a lie, of course--it's under my seat), while my mind is busy tryin' to figure a way outta this. he opens the glove compartment with his free hand, rifles through the napkins and maps, and before he can find the bank envelope with the $300 in it, i say, "look, i don't have any money on me, ok? and i think there's a cop behind us." there isn't, of course, but it distracts him, and he slams it shut, sits up straight.
when the car that's not a police car passes us, he relaxes, tells me not to worry, he doesn't hurt people, only sometimes when they ask for it. i nod and smile, make pacifying noises, all the while working through in my mind the various ways this could play out. he's too damn big, and too damn strong, and all it would take is one sucker punch. and then he opens the glove compartment again.
that's it--i'm tired of this shit. a car's approaching and i slam on the brakes, skidding to a stop in the middle of melrose boulevard. he's yelling, clutching at me, and i wrest myself away, jump outta the car with my keys, start waving my arms, shouting for help. he's outta there like a shot.
i get back in my car, sit there a minute, drive home--this is the summer of noblesavage, so he's asleep on the couch. i wake him up, relate the evening's events, and he's much more freaked out about the whole thing than i am, keeps waiting for me to break down or something. i tell him that's the upside of feeling nothing--you don't break down.
note to self: never pick up anyone you don't know you can break in half.
3. but his profile seemed perfectly normal
as soon as i walk in the door of his crappy fourplex, i know it's a no-go--guy's pictures are at least ten years outta date, and those years hadn't been kind. i make my apologies, turn to leave, and that's when the evening takes its left turn.
he grabs my arm, says, "no way, man--you owe me!"
"you booked my time--you owe me!"
"i don't owe you shit. get outta my way--i'm leaving." as i effortlessly push him aside--little guy, i could easily break him in half--he retreats to the interior of his apartment, and i walk out the door, moving quickly.
but he's quicker. as i reach my truck, he suddenly appears on the passenger side, brandishing a huge phillips screwdriver over my windshield, says, "you touch that door handle and i'll break it. you ain't leaving 'til i get my forty dollars."
i pause, look into those meth-eyes, ponder the absurdity of the situation, quickly do the pleasure/pain equation. that goddam screwdriver could do hundreds of dollars' worth of damage to my truck before i could ever hope to get my hands around his scrawny neck. this crazy lil' fucker has me by the short-and-curlies--i know it, and he knows i know it.
"i don't have forty dollars," i finally say, because i don't.
"that's ok," he says happily, knowing he's won. "there's a liquor store around the corner with an ATM." which is true--i saw it driving in.
he instructs me to get into the truck and unlock the passenger door, and not to try anything stupid. i do as i'm told, and he climbs carefully up into the cab--not an easy task for a short guy getting into a lifted prerunner while brandishing a screwdriver and giving me the evil eye.
we drive to the liquor store in silence--me pissed, and he pointing his weapon at random soft targets within his immediate reach. i go in while he waits outside, withdraw the ransom--goddam ATM charges me five dollars for the privilege, which pisses me off even more. i come back out, hand him the money, he turns to go, and i say, "ah, c'mon, i'll drive you home."
he says, "yeah--you're not mad?" i tell him nah, he got me fair and square. he laughs, climbs up into the truck, and we head back to his place.
i ask him how many guys he's nailed with his little trick, and he laughs again, says, "nobody gets away without giving me my forty dollars," and i laugh with him.
we pull up in front of his place, he opens the door, thanks me for my business. as he starts to get out, i wait until just that moment when he's contorted into that awkward position common to all short people exiting my truck--one leg out, on tiptoe, off-balance--and then floor the accelerator, pop the clutch. the back of the doorframe slams into him, bouncing him off the door and sending him sprawling into the street.
as i lean over to grab the handle of the flapping door, tires smoking, i hear him shrieking in the ever-increasing distance, "you motherfucker--you hurt me!"
yeah, i know--that was the idea.
note to self: always get your
* * * * *
i've told these stories, and a few others, to various people over the years, almost always to a chorus of "aw, you poor thing" types of noises.
me, i'm more of a mind with the universe: you plays the game, you takes your chances.
be careful out there, ok?