HIV was (& still is) one the most powerful shaming opportunities used to justify & perpetuate homophobia (which to me is an cloak for the even more pernicious power of sex-a-phobia). Recently a pos, but undetectable, friend of mine was told to say away from someone’s children lest he give them AIDS. Information is out there but people refuse to read it. Or if they read they refuse to understand it.
This holds true for gay men as well – I had a guy chat me up online. He’d actually ready my profile, I’d read his, my HIV- status is included. He asked if I’ve ever had sex without someone who was HIV+. I replied – ‘In my life? Or in the last couple of years.’ He replied that if I didn’t know then he wasn’t interested in taking that risk. I opted not to educate him on pre-cautions but I did ask him if he would supply documented proof of his status. Never heard back.
On a recent Disability After Dark, Andrew Gurza talks with Addison Reed about the continuing stigmatization of people with HIV. He & Addison discuss how people have reacted to their individual ‘conditions.’ It also as if there is a sense that all one needs is willpower – with enough willpower Andrew can get out of his chair. Or people who want to discount that part of their identity – ‘I don’t see you as disabled.’ It’s like telling p.o.c that you see the person & not the colour, so you aren’t a racist.
He walked as fast as he could to Robert’s b’n’b. It would take as long to get a cab as it would to get there. Each step took too long. Sweat beaded on his scalp. What a sensation. Cool almost chilly. Free of hair he knew his travel time would be cut by nanoseconds.
He rounded a corner. The street dipped and he checked numbers. 1312 1314. He checked the card. 1299. Other side of the street. Had he passed already? Nope. There it was.
The Bras D’Or’s mid-thirties front brought the image of musicals with deco stage sets. Curved stairs lead up the front door. The facade had flourishes of concrete details that ran between the rows of windows. The flat columns ended in rounded arcs with smaller circles set within circles. Ornate yet crisp at the same time.
Flowers! He was going to stop and buy flowers. No time. Seven sixteen.
Over the scanner for electronic keys there was a door buzzer for the concierge. Pressed. A classical riff. Da da dah da.
The swung open and Mike walked up another couple of steps into the foyer. It had been clearly recently renovated. The fixtures and furniture had a thirties feel but looked like they were fresh out the furniture store. There ere large glass and steel wall sconce lights in the double V pattern on both walls of the foyer.
“Bon soir. Comment puis-je t’aider?” the concierge asked.
“Mr. Etang is expecting me.”
“Ah oui. Deux cent six deuxième étage.” The concierge pointed to a entry that lead to the stairs.
The renovation work didn’t extend beyond the lobby. Ugly florescent lighting over head. Walls that needed a dusting as well as a fresh coat of paint. Worn carpet. Unfaded wall patches where pictures had once been. Quick narrow corkscrew steps lead up. barely wide enough for him he wondered how someone got a suitcase up to their room.
On the second landing was a sign that said – “S’il vous plaît pardonner le désordre pendant que nous sommes en cours de rénovation. Mercie.” Mike knew enough French to know it was apologizing for renovations.
Mike stopped at the end of the narrow hall. Two of the lights weren’t working. He used the light of his cell phone to double check the room number before he knocked at the door. Three small raps. He could hear music, water running. He knocked again louder.
“Une second. Une second.”
The door opened and thin steam drifted out.
“Ah, you are early? No, no, it is I who am late.” Robert rubbed his head with a towel. Naked. Wet. “Come in. Please. I will not be much longer.”
Should he go in? “I can wait downstairs if you’d rather.”
“Non, non. It will be fine.”
The cock. Mike wanted to look at the cock. See the cock. Touch it. Dry it. Try it. Robert handed him a towel and turned around.
“You might dry my back. No need to be shy. Is there?”
Mike rubbed along his shoulders. Robert smelled of coconut with an earthy undertone. There was a row of scars along either side of Robert’s spines. Just above the small of Robert’s back the two lines merged and continued around to his stomach.
“Tribal markings.” Robert answered his unasked question.
“Were they painful?”
“Yes. The rites of manhood always are. Has it started to rain yet?”
“Any minute now I expect.”
As if on cue there was a crack of lightening followed by the rumble of thunder. A brief silence and rain pounded on the roof. Not a few small drops but an instant torrent. Water came through the window. Robert slid it shut.
“I hope the ceiling doesn’t leak.” Mike said.
Mike’s eyes adjusted the room. A small bedside lamp cast a greenish glow. The room was cluttered with clothes tossed here and there, an open suitcase was on the floor at the foot of the bed. On the dresser were some small figurines and shells under a silver crucifix. Draped over the the cross were strings of beads, more shells, a bone.
“I am not so tidy when I travel.” He quickly draped a large piece of colourful, patterned fabric over the dresser.
“Looks like you live here.”
Robert began to put on white undershorts. They almost glowed in the gloom of the room.
“Don’t get dressed on my account.” Mike joked. Where should his eyes be when they wanted to be on the body in front of him?
“Only if you will undress on my account.”
Mike’s heart raced. His cock hardened.
“You look different somehow.” Robert gently stroked Mike’s head, tracing the edge of his stain.
Mike ducked his head. “I got rid of a little hair. Less between me and my God.”
“Ah good. The less that stands between us and our Maker the better. Shall I help you with this?”
Robert undid Mike’s belt buckle. Mike touched Robert’s arms. Let his hand move along the skin, the muscle of the upper arm
“You like …”
He felt along Robert’s chest. Tight curled hair. More of the scarification. It was like feeling a road map. Stomach. More hair. The scarring stopped at the pubic hair, more tight curls close to the body, not loose bushy like his. Robert’s hand was inside his shorts feeling his cock. He took Robert’s cock in one hand. Heavy. Thick. Cut. Very thick.
Next to Robert’s his cock was thin, pointed, white. Robert’s cock had girth, the rounded head filled his palm. His filled Robert’s fingers easy with nothing to spill out. Robert’s was beyond his grasp. It grew as he held it, as he rubbed the under skin with his thumb.
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HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam
June – dates t.b.a – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C.