Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Dancer (Part 3 of 3 Parts) blog post #322

Courtesy of Wikipedia
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Last week, Rob got the seemingly homophobic Carlos to try out the sauna in Rob’s apartment house. After a relaxing shower and a brew, they fell asleep in chairs. Rob roused his guest and put him to bed in a guest room. What in the world happens next?


           We ate a good breakfast before Carlos left he next morning. He worked half-day shifts on Saturdays and Mondays. I casually suggested I was free that evening, but Carlos had other plans. However, he agreed to try the sauna again Monday.
          When Carlos arrived straight from work Monday afternoon, we ate a shrimp salad for lunch and hit the sauna. He talked about his job as if I knew the people there. I liked that; he was involving me in his life. He confided that he wanted to go into the silk-screening business for himself in his own neighborhood someday. Things were pleasant until I got careless. He caught me staring at something I had no business examining with such interest. He faltered for a second but resumed telling me about his future plans. Our relationship would have survived that had it not been for what happened at the apartment later. I took a shower and toweled off in my bedroom. Carlos’ presence in the next room and the sexy flamenco dancer on the wall were too much. I got aroused.
          “Amigo, what say we…” The voice from the open doorway died. Carlos’ eyes went from my rampant member to the framed poster, and then back to me. “Uh, think I made a mistake. Better go,” he said abruptly.
          I trailed him into the living room as I struggled into my damp robe. “Carlos, don’t get the wrong idea. Please don’t…” The door slammed on my protest.
          The week dragged by. There was no listing for Carlos in the phone book or with the operator. When I dialed him at work, he wouldn’t take the call. On Monday, I hit the Turkish bath. He did not show. Friday afternoon, I hung around outside his workplace at quitting time. There was no sign of him. Saturday evening the phone rang.
          “Meet me at the diner. Fifteen minutes,” he said abruptly and hung up.
          Carlos was already seated at a booth when I arrived. With his mouth fixed in a firm line, his eyes bored holes in me as I walked toward him. He spoke as soon as I sat.
          “Tell me straight out. Are you a maricón…a queer?”
          I met his stare. “Let me tell you a story, and you tell me what I am.” He did not say a word as I related my sexual history, including what finished off my marriage. He stared at me in silence for a full minute after I finished.
          “You never did it with a guy before that? Or after?” I shook my head. “Did you follow me into the steam room to get to me?”
          I equivocated. “I followed you because I wanted to get to know you.”
          “But you didn’t want me?”
          “I didn’t say that. I put it aside when I knew how you felt about…it.”
          “Do you want me? Yes or no?”
          “Yes. But I’d rather have a friendship, Carlos.”
          “How’m I supposed to be friends with a guy who wants to queer me?”
          “I hoped you could separate the two things. I can.”
          “Yeah, well… I can’t.”
          “Sorry. I’ll leave you alone.”
          “Yeah. You do that. Don’t call me at work anymore.” He started to get up, then hesitated. “That picture. You get it before you met me or after?”
          “Before. That’s why you caught my eye that day. I halfway thought you were the dancer.”
          “Sick!” he said as he departed.
          I’d handled my divorce easier than losing a budding friendship with that young man. I did the only thing I knew, worked hard at a new project. A month struggled by. One Saturday afternoon the buzzer sounded. “Yes?”
          “Can I come up?”
          My heart leapt into my throat. “Sure.”
          Carlos looked so handsome standing at the door that I couldn’t speak and had to invite him inside with a sweep of my hand. He wore black jeans, a black shirt with pink trim, and boots.
          “How you been?” he asked as he brushed by me.
          “Making it,” I replied and ventured to add. “Missed you.”
          “Me, too,” he mumbled as he walked into the den and stood looking at the river. Suddenly, he turned around. “This is stupid. I shouldn’t have come.”
          “I’m glad you did. That tells me something.”
          His voice caught in his throat as he spoke. “What does it tell you?”
          “It tells me that despite what you say, you’re interested. You can deny it if you want, but you’re curious.”
          “Curious about what?” he demanded.
          “About what it would be like between you and me.”
          His face darkened. “You think I’m queer?”
          I shook my head. “No, but I think you want to know how it would be.”
          “Hell, I coulda done that anytime down at the baths. I had to fight them off.”
          “Not what you were looking for.”
          “Looking for?” His voice rose dangerously.
          “Why did you keep coming back?”
          “For the steam. Why else?”
          “Because—whether you realized it or not—you were looking for someone. Not someone you’d consider as a fairy. Ordinary guy.”
          “For what?”
          “To experiment with.” I screwed up my courage and blundered on. “And you found him. But you don’t know what to do next.”
          Carlos swallowed hard. “You so all fired smart, tell me. Tell me what to do next.”
          “Say it’s okay for me to touch you.”
          His Adam’s apple bobbed a couple of times, but no words came out of his mouth. Finally, he nodded.
          As he stood in the middle of my apartment, I moved to him and put a hand on his shoulder. Slowly, so as not to startle him, I caressed his smooth cheek, fingered his pouty lips, and explored his hard pecs. Shifting around behind him, I pulled him against me and grew bolder. I experienced the hum of his body and an occasional quiver as I moved my hands over him and hoped it was from passion, not fear. I covered him with the flat of my hand and felt him react.
          “I knew you were peligroso when you first came into the steam room,” he growled deep in his throat. “More dangerous than all the others. Don’t know why I didn’t chase you out.”
          With those words, I knew things would be all right.
          Later, as he slept beside me in my bed, I relived the marvelous previous hour. I’d had one of those “earth shattering” experiences people always nattered about. And it had been real… at least for me. I didn’t know what would happen next. In all probability we’d share one another again, perhaps even for a while. But I had no illusions this was a permanent thing. I would take all of him he allowed and learn to be satisfied with that. In the meantime, enjoy.
          Before sleep claimed me, I glanced through the gloom to the poster on my wall, startled anew by the uncanny resemblance to my Carlos… my dancer.

And there you have it. Consummation! Nirvana. Heaven on earth. But even as he basks in the glow of such ecstasy, Rob wonders how long it will last. That’s a question for you, dear reader. Is this a passing in the night or the beginning of a long relationship? Let me know what you think. 

Abaddon’s Locusts, the fifth in the BJ Vinson mystery series, came out earlier this month. I hope you’ll consider buying a copy. If you do, please post a review of the book on Amazon. Each one helps… as do letters to the publisher.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it.

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See you next week.


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