dontravis.com blog post #320
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WARNING: Some readers will find language in the following story to be offensive, but it accurately represents at time that was—and in too many places, still is. Enjoy the story, don’t concentrate on such language.
A call from my ex-wife venting her undiminished rage drove me out of the apartment into the streets of Manhattan. Melanie and I had met and married in college. Upon graduation, we moved into the apartment my folks had left me in a good high rise and pursued successful careers—me as a writer of how-to books and Mel as a nursing supervisor. I hadn’t realized how much trouble my marriage was in until her younger brother visited one weekend. His first night there, while Mel was working overtime, Brad sneaked into our bedroom and seduced me. The good-looking nineteen-year-old introduced something new into my life and drove me out of a stale marriage. He’d both liberated and crippled me, opening me to a new and exciting experience while leaving me with no idea how to replicate it.
Mel’s phone call this otherwise pleasant early summer afternoon let me know she had learned of my liaison with her “little brother.” If only she knew! In addition to all my other sins, I had corrupted an innocent youth. Yeah, right.
Nursing my frustration, I headed for my favorite place in the world… the public library. I fumed at the fates on the eight-block walk to my destination. Could I induce Brad to come back for a visit? Not likely, given the fact he’d spilled the beans to his sister. Should I visit a gay bar? The very thought shriveled my insides. Men’s rooms? They say men’s rooms are places homos go to meet. That thought brought me to a halt in the middle of the sidewalk. Is that what I had become? I resumed pacing, unsure of the answer.
A vivid red and black poster advertising a flamenco troupe posted outside the public library caught my eye. A haughty young dancer stared out of the picture through smoldering eyes. His broad shoulders and unbelievably slender hips and accentuated groin instantly focused my desires and brought me into a state of physical discomfort. Glancing around guiltily, I was startled to find a man at my side eyeing me boldly. When he suggested what we could do for the handsome dancer… or for one another, I panicked and fled down the sidewalk.
Realizing I had missed an opportunity to find what I yearned for, I turned back, but the pleasant-looking stranger was gone. Succumbing to a sudden urge, I did something totally out of character. The poster came away in my hand, although the corners ripped a little. A clerk at a nearby framing shop grumbled at my request for a rush job but assured me it could be trimmed and framed. An hour later, I carried my ill-gotten treasure into the apartment and hung it in my bedroom.
The unknown young man’s whip-like body was as exciting as his features were handsome. A strong jawline saved his beautiful face from androgyny and made me wonder at his experiences with women—and men. Entranced, I stood before the picture and gave myself over to lust. The poster became my shrine. I spurned human contact and turned to the image of this young Adonis for my carnal needs. By late summer, I was content with my existence. I no longer hunted for something I didn’t know how to hunt
One day, as I wandered the Times Square area in a moment of leisure, something caught my eye. My dancer! My poster strode down the sidewalk in jeans and shirt instead of a flamenco costume. I froze, caught my breath, and hastily fell in behind him. He moved in long, graceful strides—just as I had imagined—drawing me along helplessly in his wake.
The tall youth turned into one of those Turkish baths that public health officials tried to close down years ago at the height of the AIDS epidemic. Heedless of anything other than catching a better glimpse of my quarry, I handed over the price of admission, accepted a large towel, and rushed inside. He stood stripping off his shirt in the locker room, exposing a long, muscled torso. Eventually, I recovered my wits enough to sit on a bench and remove my shoes.
This was not my dancer, but it could have been. Hispanic, twenty or so, six-foot, hundred and seventy, broad back, narrow waist. He nodded a silent greeting. I smiled but took my cue from him and said nothing. He slipped jeans and briefs down his trim hips. He was breathtaking—a dark golden tan all over. The youth fixed a towel around his waist and disappeared through another set of doors.
I sat on the bench, shaken by proximity to a real, live Lothario. What had his face looked like? No idea, except he was handsome. My attention had centered on his smooth chest, flat belly, and exciting nether regions.
A banging locker startled me out of my trance. I undressed and rushed through the door, coming to an abrupt halt. A big room dominated by a huge swimming pool with lounges scattered around the edges teemed with men. Some were older, and all appeared to be on the hunt. A dozen predatory eyes fixed on me.
I secured the towel around my waist and fought a wave of panic. Ignore them! Go about your business and ignore them. Go about my business? My business was ogling a young man the way these guys were gaping at me. I strode through the room studiously avoiding eye contact. As I reached the far doors, a man rose from one of the lounges and started my way. Seeking to put distance between us, I more or less blundered into the steam room. There was one occupant. My young man. Totally naked, he sat on his towel and leaned back against the wooden platform, legs splayed. He opened his eyes long enough to give me a quick, irritated look. I took a seat opposite him, winced at the heat of the wooden bench, and emulated him by sitting on my towel.
Many years ago, I visited a New York Turkish bath, and it scared the hell out of me. My tender Oklahoma roots weren’t built for such aggressive soil. I scooted right back out of there, but it looks like our hero—Rob’s his name, by the way—is made of sterner stuff. Of course, he’s pursuing a dream. I was merely a timid youth exploring the unknown and the unfamiliar.
Tune in next week to see if anything develops between Rob and his flamenco dancer look-alike.
Abaddon’s Locusts--my fifth BJ Vinson mystery series book--comes out on the 22nd. Hope you’ll get a copy of it. If you do, please post a review of the book on Amazon. Each one helps… as do letters to the publisher.
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See you next week.
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