“True. Besides I must get into this. It is so nice to have one outfit I don’t have to crawl under or climb a chair to jump into.” Robert gave a visible shiver of pleasure as he put the dress on.
“The collar may take some getting used to.” David zipped the dress. “It is …”
“Oh, honey child. It is perfection. To have a gown that doesn’t need heels is a treat. Though I will be wearing roller blades. I did tell you that, didn’t I? I’ll have a couple of gallant studs guide me like a real float.” Robert did a little twirl. The tips of the collar brushed the ceiling.
“There is at least another foot in the collar curls.”
“If it isn’t too windy. I don’t want to be the Flying Nun.”
“Don’t lie, Miss Thing, if you could fly, you would.”
“I’m having people over around six for a first peek at my Pride Day regalia. Do join us.” He took off the dress and put it into a garment bag. “Important people are going to be there.”
“Not all your old tricks again.”
“That was last night. I gotta run. Baby needs pantyhose.”
Once Robert was gone, the apartment was empty with no propeller dress to fill half the place. Despite his smallness Robert took up most of the room.
David took a breath. He had been on the run since the news of Bookies closure. As he sat, his butt reminded him of Yves. He reached for the phone to call Mark when the door buzzer sounded again.
It was Tisu Trauma, aka Greg Lange. Unlike Robert, Greg was large. David had never seen him in anything that wasn’t about to burst at the seams. To design for him without a mention of the blunt truth about his bigness was a challenge. Though size was a big part of his routine, he didn’t abide anyone but himself mentioning it.
“I saw Bitch Ing scamper up the street and figured you must be in. My special ready?”
“See for yourself,” David whisked off its crepe cover.
“Oh! David,” Greg teared up. “It is divine.” He kissed David’s finger tips. “These are a gift from Saint Velcro.”
For his stage work, Greg concentrated on frumpish, anti-glamour costumes whose non-fit was part of the look. David was sure he could combine that trash attitude with actual glamour. This jungle print, faux-fur ensemble had come to him in a dream. The sad truth was that no costume could make Greg as thin as he had been in the dream.
“Is the world ready for a new me?” He rubbed the leopard cuffs on his cheek. “It isn’t too Cats?”
“Would I put you in tights? I’ll see you around noon tomorrow at Wiggie’s for any final work.”
“Thank you again David. Here’s the final payment.”
David accepted the money. “Thank you.”
“The best five hundred bucks I spent. Oooh I want to wear it home. But I can’t. Not without a wig.”
“Or heels. One thing I respect about drag is the hell of heels.”
“Sweetie, heels are my life.” Greg give a flourish as he flung the door open. “Toodles.”
Peace and quiet at last. David slumped on the sofa. How did he find time for a real job? Perhaps the black queen of fashion isn’t a dream?
Steven was numb and stunned by his encounter with Tim. Since he’d met Luke, he had been monogamous. Before that, he hadn’t played around much, as men reacted to the size of his penis rather than to anything else.
He had been caught in the paradox where he enjoyed the attention his size caused, but was disappointed that it was only size that interested many men. Luke was different. In fact, it was when Steven had brought it up that Luke had made any reference to size. His response was to challenge Steven to separate his Asian looks from who Luke was.
Steven made the shower hotter and hotter to burn off the memory of Tim’s mouth. The sight of Tim as he blew him brought back memories.
Memories of Chuck Peters. It was one Saturday, a few weeks after Steven’s thirteenth birthday. Some of the guys at baseball that afternoon had joked about jacking off and explained what it was and what to expect. When he got home, he went to the bathroom to try it.
His Dad had the same several guys over most Saturdays to booze it up, play cards, or watch whatever game there was on TV. Steve said Hi to them and raced up to the bathroom, but it was occupied. He couldn’t wait for his Dad’s pals to clear out but they often hung around till their wives phoned for them. His Mom called it the Thomas Family Adult Daycare. But she liked the jokes and flirtation that went on.
He shut his bedroom door and sat on the edge of his bed. He got his jeans and undies down to his knees and did what the guys had described. Hold your pecker tight and push up and down till it was hard. He squeezed harder and moved his hand faster. A tingle built up in his nuts.
“Oh yeah! Beat that fucker.” Chuck Peters, one of his Dad’s buds, stepped into the room. “That is sure a fine dick for a boy your age. Near big as mine even.” Chuck took out his own.
Steven stared at it.
“Don’t stop boy. Jerk that dick of yours.”
Steven’s erection had disappeared.
“Did I scare away your woodie?” Chuck knelt. He smelled of cigarettes, beer and gum. “I’ll whistle it back.” He stuck his gum under the bed and took Steven’s dick in his mouth. While he sucked he jerk his own cock. Once he came, he gave Steven five bucks for his promise not to tell.
Over the next couple of years, Chuck made opportunities for Steven to hear his whistle. Steven enjoyed the sex, but he didn’t like the the fear and shame that Chuck brought.
When his cock matured before the rest of him, Steven was sure it was because of the attention it got from Chuck. Chuck panicked the one time he had tried to reciprocate. He didn’t want to make Steven into what he was. By the time he was seventeen, Steven knew what he was. It was also the year that Chuck got arrested for sex with boys younger than Steven.
His Dad sat him in the living-room and asked if Chuck had ever touched him, because if he had it was okay, and there was a therapist who would help Steven, and on and on. The more concerned his father became, the more Steven denied anything had happened. Denied to himself that he was in any way like that dirty cocksucker his Dad raged on about.
He jumped on his bike to go downtown. How or what to tell Luke about Tim? When he’d met Luke, there was no other man for him. What told him that was something he couldn’t describe. For one, Luke had an open, honest, unapologetic love of sex itself. No secrets or unmentionableness about it.
He got to Lubba’s with ten minutes to spare.
Luke followed him into the change room. “How was rehearsal?”
“Good. If we keep getting this good the show will be a hit.” Steven got out of his street clothes. He drew Luke to kiss him.
“Luke, I love you so much.”
“Must be going real well. Now get dressed before we start cooking in here.” Luke left.
Steven sat to tie his shoes. Paul came in.
“How you doing?” Steven asked.
“If nothing else, this prepares me for emerg. I’ve been warned that’s the worst park of become a doctor, and also the best part. Either way my calves are killing me.”
“You get used to it.”
“That your show we’re promoting all over the place?” Paul sat and massaged his calves.
“Yep. Had to fight with Miss Ing to get wall space.”
“Must be wild having two divas under one roof.”
“Luckily we are queens on two different stages.”
Paul peeled off his clothes. The knot tattoo flowed beneath his underwear and down his calves in an entwined leaf, branch and roses design. Paul stood to shake baby powder into his underwear as he rubbed his balls.
“Like what you see?” He displayed his tattoos.
“Is there an answer to that that doesn’t get me in trouble?” Steven ducked out the door.
“Table three, Steven.” Luke called.
“Thanks.” He breathed a sigh of relief. For the rest of the night he didn’t have to worry about more than what wine goes best with the catch of the day.
Kevin walked up the stairs at the Inn Ing. What had he done that Mark was so eager to get rid of him? To be a clumsy oaf and kick the coffee table over was probably not on any list of “How To Land A Man.” In his room, he lay on the bed.
The ceiling was pale blue. Gold and silver swirls of stars darted to the corners. The recollection of Mark got him hard. He pushed off his runners and caught a whiff of his socks.
“Damn!” He put the pieces together. Clumsy and with feet that stunk out loud. No wonder he couldn’t wait to get rid of me.
He hadn’t showered before he snuck out of Mitch’s, and he smelled how sweaty he was. Worse, he had only his spare Leafs t-shirt as he hadn’t planned to be out overnight. If he rinsed his undies and socks they wouldn’t be dry enough to wear till morning. That meant one thing: he’d have to shop.
He put his runners back on, checked that he had some cash, and left his room. He went to Yonge Street and into the first clothing store he passed. Socks and underwear came only in three packs. In a rack of t-shirts he found a black one that said, in white print, “Real men eat men.” He had to have it, but could he face the clerk with something queer? He folded it to let just the price tag show. The clerk rang his things in without a second glance.
There was soap and shampoo in his bathroom along with tiny glass vials of cologne. He dripped a few drops from one into each of his sneakers. In the shower he rinsed out his worn t-shirt while he squished his socks and underwear underfoot.
He stood naked in front of the window to enjoy the breeze. Along with laughter and chatter came the smell of the barbecue. Several people were in the backyard.
Philip flipped burgers on a gas barbecue, while Robert Ing fanned himself and pointed to details on costumes that were suspended from the eaves of the back porch.
This was the garden party that Robert had mentioned. Did he want to be with more strangers? The smell of hamburgers melted his fears. He put on his spare t-shirt and cut-offs. He left the offensive sneakers in the open air by the window.
With some apprehension, he went down to the back of the house. The cool of the kitchen floor was welcome to his bare feet. He stood a moment at the back door. All these people knew each other so well, it made him want to retreat.
Hell, I’ve faced crowds of drunks at Ten Pennies who were more dangerous than these guys.
He pushed the door open and strode into the sun.
“Ah, 224, so glad you decided to join us,” Robert called. “Introduce yourself.”
His toes squirmed in the grass as the guests looked at him.
“Evan Daniels.” A bald man extended his hand. “I do hope 224 is your room number and not your number in Robert’s roster of conquests.”
“Ah good. I’ll discreetly spread the word so other’s won’t be afraid you are the latest boy.”
When Evan said boy, Kevin suppressed a small anger. Mark had called him a boy a few times and he was sick of it. He was as much a man as any of them.
“What do you do?”
“I … uh …” Kevin wasn’t sure what to reply. No one had asked him such a question.
“By ‘do’ I mean professionally,” Evan went on. “I, for example, am a director. Live theatre. Thicket Theatre? Perhaps you’ve heard of me?”
“Sorry. I …” Kevin blushed.
“How wonderful. Someone who doesn’t know me.”
“Evan, honey, you don’t know yourself.” Robert stepped between them. “Come with me Evan. I’d like you to meet David Walters. He designs all my gowns. He is pure genius, and I’m sure he’d be perfect for your new show. You do need a designer. Street clothes are so tired on stage.”
Kevin made his way over to a picnic table covered with salads, sandwiches, fresh fruit, with a punch bowl in the middle. He piled some potato salad on a plate and leaned against the porch rail to eat. How to answer the “What do you?” question because with a director there, there might even be an agent some sort. Construction or automotive engineer wouldn’t do. He was a performer, a singer. Not the whole truth but not a lie either.
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