Thursday, July 11, 2019

Sight Lends Substance


dontravis.com blog post #345

Courtesy of Pinterest.com
We’ll continue the dreamy, ethereal mood this week with a short piece I wrote for the blog. Let me know if it strikes a chord.

*****

SIGHT LENDS SUBSTANCE

I knew you ere I met you. With closed eyes, I clearly see the breadth of your shoulders, the flair of your ribs, the curve of your buttocks. And that face! Neither fair nor swarthy, but with golden skin unblemished by the razor’s burn. Beautiful, yet masculine. Oh, yes. How manly.
We held conversations in my head. Such wisdom from someone so young. Sparkling, intelligent, witty. I looked forward to our talks at the end of the day when the nightly news was done, and you alone shared my apartment. Delightful. Intimate. Ethereal.
As pleasant as this was, I searched for you diligently. Libraries, sports bars, soccer games, on the streets… everywhere. Each time someone moved out of my apartment complex, I waited with bated breath to see who the new tenant would be, only to be disappointed when someone totally unsuitable claimed the premises.
Over the years, I found some near-yous, some of whom were delightful; others odious. But none were genuine, so I lost interest. Perhaps I should have devoted the time and energy to develop a relationship with one or two, but they had frailties so human, they turned me off, as the saying goes. A few assignations were all I could manage. One, an altogether acceptable young man, more intrigued than the rest, hung on longer than most. But eventually, I drove him away because he wasn’t you.
I saw you today. The apartment in the building next to mine had gone vacant. I watched without hope as a stream of possibles entered and left with the complex’s rental agent. I must have been out when she showed you the apartment, because you had made yourself at home before I saw you shirtless on the patio that faces mine. My flesh crawled at that first sight, and my breath came in gasps. You were he! The man of my dreams. The specter who’d been with me all these years, my ideal. My David. And the sight of you lent you substance.
Careful watching showed no roommate. No visitors at all. I learned your routine and synchronized mine so far as my job allowed. Fortunately, I did most of my work from home. Medical billing is tedious but profitable.


On the third day after the new tenant moved in, I timed my departure to coincide with his and introduced myself as we met on the sidewalk.
 “Hi. I’m Lynn Proctor, your neighbor with the opposing patio.”
“Hi, Mr. Proctor, I’ve seen you out there a couple of times. My name’s Hank Warton.”
His grip was firm and encompassing. Hank. A manly name for such a graceful form.
“Everyone calls me Lynn,” I responded.
We paused long enough for me to learn he was an engineer working at a downtown firm, was single, and had moved here from Washington state. Then I asked why he chose Albuquerque for his new home.
“Beth… my fiancée,” he replied. “She took a job with an architectural firm here.” He chuckled. “Funny thing, I beat her here. She won’t move from Seattle until the middle of next month.”
Downer. But at least I had five weeks or so to develop a relationship. And I worked at it hard. I wouldn’t let go of my paragon without a battle. I introduced him to my favorite sports bar, where he was a great hit talking baseball like a pro with the guys. I noticed he drank a bit too much and got a little edgy before the evening was over. Watching his pecs play as he drove us home, thrust such frailties from my mind.
I unlimbered my tennis racket when I learned he liked the game and managed to hold my own. In fact, I beat him about as much as he beat me, which caused his shoulders to tense. During the second set, we argued over whether a ball that hit beyond the line was fair or foul. I gave in when the discussion started to get heated. My building resentment dropped away as we showered alongside one another in the club.
Then came the day when Hank rapped on my patio door after work one day. He was dressed in shorts and a snug polo shirt that showed his six pack to full advantage.
“Whatcha up to tonight?” he asked after I opened the screen.
“Nothing. Unless you want to go to the bar.”
“Nah, don’t feel like it. Just thought maybe we could hang.”
My heart skipped a beat. Lord, would my yesteryear dreams finally come true? Whoa there, Lynn. Don’t rush things. Let him set the pace. “Sounds good to me. How about a drink.”
“Scotch if you have it.”
“Rocks or neat?”
“What kind?”
“Laphroaig ten-year-old or Johnnie Walker Blenders’,” I said.
“Laphroaig neat.”
We settled in my living room with our drinks. He sat with his legs splayed, which about sent me over the moon. The hair on his legs was lighter than the dark brown on his head. Not thick, not intrusive… just sexy. Had he noticed me giving him the once over? Probably hard not to. I took refuge in my drink.
We talked about his work and his firm a bit, but I had the feeling he wasn’t saying what he came to say. By the time we finished our second drink, I’d had enough.
“You’ve obviously got something on your mind. What is it? Spit it out.”
He speared me with big, brown, expressive eyes, sending shivers up and down my spine.
“I don’t want you to think I run around on Beth all the time. But….” He gave a great sigh. “But I’m getting hard up. She’s been delayed by two weeks, and I’m not sure I can wait. Do you know any women who might accommodate us?”
I gazed at his smooth, slightly irregular, and unbearably handsome features and blurted the first thing that came to mind. “Hank, we don’t need any women. I can give you what you’re looking for.”
His crooked smile brought me to my knees in front of him. He permitted my touch, cooperated as I stripped him, and moaned as I ministered to him. I took my time and made it so good for him I thought he was having a fit during orgasm.
Afterward, he flexed his broad shoulders and stretched his arms to the ceiling. Oh, man… sex on steroids. A moment later, he rose, and performed a striptease in reverse. As he smoothed the shirt over his trim belly, he gave me a sated look.
“Thanks, guy. I needed that. See you around.”
My mouth dropped open. “Are… are you going to just leave me here like this? I have needs, too, you know.”
His eyes widened. “Hey, guy, if that’s what you want, go find yourself a queer.”
As he strolled with manly grace through the patio door and stepped over the fence to his place, I almost forgave him his callousness.


I knew you ere I met you. With closed eyes, I clearly see the breadth of your shoulders, the flair of your ribs, the curve of your buttocks. And that face!
I’ve met some near-yous, of course. But never the real you. I’ll continue my search because sight lends substance to us all. But in the meantime, I’ll live with the insubstantial you in my head as consolation.

*****

I’ll wager that at one time or the other in our lives, we’ve all encountered a situation similar to this… regardless of our sexual orientation. If you want to tell me about yours, email me at don.travis@aol.com.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say, so say it!

My personal links: (Note the change in the Email address because I’m still getting remarks on the old dontravis21@gmail.com. PLEASE DON’T  USE THAT ONE.)
                                                                                                    
Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:


See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Down Where I Live


dontravis.com blog post #344

Courtesy of Freepik
Something a little different this week. Last week’s story got a host of hits, 2600 or so. Let’s see if our dream piece this time can beat Me’N Mazie and Nigel.

*****
DOWN WHERE I LIVE

I lived in an ebony world, a smothering, unchanging lightlessness filled with absolutely nothing. Then there was a faint glow, although I didn’t comprehend “glow,” any better than I understood “darkness,” recognizing it only as a miniscule change in my Stygian cocoon. Then the meaningless noises intruding on this world of oblivion magically morphed into voices discussing some poor sucker in a coma. Who was in a coma? Before I could grapple for an answer, a headache came roaring up and everything shut down, sending me back into that unrelieved blackness.
The halo was brighter the second time I surfaced. Two Hospital voices hovered over me. One voice brought the scent of mint; the other, something less pleasant. They discussed CAT scans and trauma. Brain swelling and edema. Plish. Plosh. Mish. Mash. Mush. But one thing was clear… some dude was in real trouble.
I figured out I was the sucker in trouble the moment I heard my mother’s anxious voice falsely cooing how well I looked and how handsome I was. I knew it was Mother because she carried the perfume of rosewater. Panic bubbled up within me, and even though I couldn’t feel anything, I knew I was bucking something terrible, jerking like I was in the middle of a gigantic orgasm.
That special headache carried me back down where I lived even as I longed for another voice…an eighteen-year-old baritone still deepening with growing maturity, one that called me “Dumbshit” and “Summabitch” with an easy familiarity that sent a thrill knifing through me. Orion Dozier…best friend. Orry! Grew up together. Played soccer together. Whispered about sex together. Stumbled awkwardly toward a new kind of relationship until this coma thing got in the way. Why hadn’t I heard his voice? His absence slugged me in the metaphysical solar plexus so hard I zonked out right then and there, returning to the place where it was safe and comfortable.


“Wake up, you summabitch!” The vibrant, masculine voice reached down where I lived and yanked me into the glow. Orry! Orry was here. “Stop faking it. Say something, dammit!” Even though I felt nothing, I knew he had pulled a chair up and held my hand. “Damn, Thad, I’ve been imagining all kinds of horrible things, but you’re still as handsome as the male lead in a B movie. Man, I wish I’d been with you when old Butch rammed his Austin Healy into that oak tree.”
There was a strange sound like a gulp or a gasp before the voice went on. “Thought I’d lost you, man. Couldn’t have stood it. I love you, you dumbshit. There! How’s that for a confession? Guys aren’t supposed to say stuff like that, but it’s true. You better wake up and get outa this bed, you hear me? We got lots of things to do yet. You’n me together. Things buddies do.” The voice halted for a moment. “Oh, Lord! What if you can hear me? They said I should talk to you, but nobody said if you can hear us.”
My headache came thundering back as I wrestled with his words. They were important… if I could just wrap my arms around them. Then the engine shut down and dumped me back into darkness.


My days sorted themselves into Hospital, Family, and Orry, and I was lying there just below the surface in the time between Family and Orry when my whole body gave a sudden jerk. A jerk! Wasn’t that wonderful? I had moved. My legs tingled. Tingled, dammit. Gotta have feelings to tingle, and they damned well tingled. Lordy mercy. My arms prickled. What does that say when a spasm and a tingle and a prickle are the high points of a guy’s whole existence?
There was a commotion all around me, and I heard a Hospital voice… the one who trailed mint. “Paralytic spasm. Let Dr. Morris know when he comes in. It’s an encouraging sign.”
That’s all I remember because the darkness came to claim me once again. No fair. I hadn’t heard Orry’s calming voice.


“Hey, Thad! Hear you practically got up and raped one of the nurses!” Orry was back. “In case you didn’t know it, it’s Friday night, and I told your folks I’d give them some rest. Gonna spend the entire night right here in this chair.”
My heart soared; my frame gave a little jump!
“Crap, man!” he squawked. A pause. “You okay, Thad? Don’t scare me like that.” I heard him scoot the chair over by the bed so he could give me the lowdown on the day’s events, but despite everything I could do, I sank back into that dark place while he was droning on.
“… realize how close we are, bro.” It was Orry. I about panicked wondering how much I had missed. He gave a laugh. “Remember camping out in the back yard when we were kids? I got a kick outa sleeping beside you. I always wanted to snuggle over and touch you. Didn’t have the nerve.” He gave an embarrassed snicker. “Afraid you’d wake up and clock me.”
He took my hand, and I felt it! Sensations—warmth, pressure. A wonderful sense of comfort engulfed what had been my nerveless body.
“Now I understand what was going on,” his voice got incredibly low and thick. “How come we never did things, Thad? You know, personal things? I always wanted to. I remember once you were wearing one of those muscle shirts, and I saw how your shoulders narrowed to a vee right down to your butt…like a man’s.” Another chuckle. “I about broke my neck trying to see my back in the mirror. And you know what? I was built like that, too.”
I lay there in my hospital bed breathing gently without the help of my respirator and listened to him ramble on as he held my hand. He spoke in a low voice—sometimes thick with emotion—to confide his feelings for me. His wants. His desires. The light grew brighter… brighter still. He spoke of the days when our bodies were changing, maturing, and how we struggled to comprehend what was happening. And now—lying half in and half out of a dark, bottomless place—I finally understood his meaning.
He went quiet for a moment; I willed him to continue. He did, recalling sleepovers, and double dates and long talks when we edged closer to what we really wanted but didn’t have the courage to acknowledge.
Oh, Lord! Here came the darkness to take me away again. This time it was unwelcome. I fought against it, and heard him gasp as my hand closed on his.
Then I was back in my black velvet place. But that was all right. Orry would be there when I surfaced. And I would surface again. I had something to live for now. Someone to live for. A future to experience. Until then, I’d rest in my dark cocoon.

*****

The optimists among us will say Thad came out of his coma to embrace a new life with Orry, and they rode off into the sunset. Doubters will admit Thad regained his health, but in the glare of daylight, neither managed to capture what they discovered in dreamland. “Life got in the way,” they’d say. Pessimists will believe Thad was kidding himself and remained in a coma—or worse. Where do you fit in?

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say, so say it!

My personal links: (Note the change in the Email address because I’m still getting remarks on the old dontravis21@gmail.com. PLEASE DON’T  USE THAT ONE.)
                                                                                                    
Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:


See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.

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