#Nanowrimo vs #Danish Hotties

This year’s nano has been the toughest so far. Someday it was hard to stay motivated. I think that was mainly because I’m more of a pantser than an outliner – I like the surprises that letting the plot just go along as opposed sticking to a ‘this is what must happen next’ outline. I did my first run at Isle in 2008 so already knew the characters, the events & the finale.

I did do a fresh take on everything though, some cut-and-paste (which got deducted from my final word count) but did enjoy being so tied to merely expanding or reworking what I had already. One thing that did help was changing the time of year in which the Montreal section takes place. That happened to accommodate the time line I’d already laid out.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Thanks to Picture Perfect – last year’s Nano – did find that I enjoy food – describing it, inventing it. This year I did more of that plus indulged in more detailed  set descriptions. I also had fun with language – the Danish hotties were brand new to the story & thanks to google translate I let them talk in Danish, without feeling the need to translate that for the reader. I did put out a call for Danish sex slang but apparently there is none 😦

As with past years I’m about 1/3 of the way though this plot. It takes place in three locations – the 3 act structure: Montreal; Halifax; Isle St. Nuit. The first two being real places the third will be pure imagination. I will have to make some decisions about how much the supernatural will play a role in what happens. Who knows what lies in the stars, or even the cards, for my hero?

“Now we are ready for what the night will bring?” Eluf wiped his mouth.

“We can perhaps walk from here to see the fireworks.” Tyge consulted his cellphone. “GooGoo says it is about ten minutes walking from here. Ou est le toilette?” he asked the clerk.

The washrooms were small. Each with homme/femme on the door. Neither was big enough for two people but the two Danish guys squeezed into one of them while Mike used the other. He could hear the guys laughing in theirs.

He exited. They hadn’t even shut the door on theirs. Tyge beckoned him. “Come, we have party favours. You will like.”

On one of the cafe saucers there was a couple of lines of powder.

“We have saved some for you. Good quality.”

Mike backed away. “Thanks but no thanks.”

“I thought you like to party with us.It will make the fireworks so much better.” Eluf said.

“For you perhaps.”

“Okay.” Tyge said. “We will clean up and meet you outside.”

This was the last thing Mike had expected to happen though he wasn’t all the surprised. Other than toking up now and then drugs held no appeal for him. So much time spent on getting something that took so little time to enjoy.

The guys came out and glanced at him.

“Enjoy the fireworks.” Tyge said. “We are going to find real fireworks fun with real men.”

Eluf hailed cab. They got in leaving Mike at the curb. It happened so fast Mike didn’t have time to say anything. Did they forget he was there because of the coke, or whatever it was they were doing. It dawned on him that he wasn’t the real man or the real fun they wanted for their research.

(He was pissed off at them for leaving him without a second-thought.  He goes to the fireworks. This is the next day: )

He let himself into the b’n’b and was headed up to his room when someone called to him from the TV room.

“Mike? What is your hurry.” It was Eluf. “I must apologize for taking off like that last night. I didn’t realize how … rude that was until we were well on our way.”

“Yes, well, done is done.” Mike said.

“Done is done? That means you accept the apology?”

“No. It means what has happened cannot be changed. It was more thoughtless than rude. I was more puzzled than anything but also relieved.”

“Relieved.”

Mike glanced at his cell for the time. “I’m not someone who wants to spend time with guys doing drugs for a good time.”

“You are angry with us. I can tell by your … tone of voice.”

“Not angry,” Mike sighed. “Not interested, is more like it.”

“You were interested enough last night.”

“Until you got high and flew off in the first taxi you could get.”

“Let us take you to …”

“No thanks. I have plans for tonight. Enjoy the rest of your stay.”

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Lazarus Kiss.47

Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.

May you be embraced by a love beyond recall that alters others

and a love within recall that alters you.

kiss

The bathroom was tiny. The shower stall was barely large enough for two people to stand up but not to wash. They had to slip and slide around each other to get under the shower head.

“I’ll just help you soap up and rinse down.”

Alex’s hands moved quickly all over Harris’s body. Touching his cock, balls, awkwardly washing his feet. He started on Harris’s ass and stopped.

“I can’t go there.” He spit water. “I thought I could but I can’t” He stepped out of the shower.

Harris followed.

“That’s okay.” He patted Alex’s shoulders dry. “It felt nicer than I expected. Reminded me of when I was a kid and having my dad wash me in the tub.”

“Yeah but …”

“We’ve gone far enough.” Harris handed him the towel.

“Could be, but this tells me otherwise.” Alex was erect.

“That’s not what I’m hearing though.” Harris wasn’t erect. “I don’ know what to tell you or what to do.” He continued to dry himself.

“Let’s … just lie on the bed. We don’t have to do much. Snuggle. Oh fuck! I hate that word. Snuggle. Linda always wanted a snuggle. Said it was the best part of making out.”

The bedroom was dark and cool. Alex pulled the shade down and made it darker.

“Okay.” Harris lay on the bed. He shut his eyes.

Alex stretched out next to him. Head propped on one arm. The other gently stroked Harris from shoulder to stomach as far as his pubes and back. He could feel the heat from Alex’s cock pressed against his hip.

“Your skin is pretty soft.” Alex said. “Not that I’ve touched many men but lots of women. Not as soft as a woman. But soft. Smooth too. Those guys in the porn were hairy everywhere except … ” He gave a little laugh.

“Where?”

“Their asses. They must have to get their asses waxed for porn.” He began to giggle.

Harris laughed too. “That’s way fucked. Where would go to get that done? Smooth Asses Are Us?”

He rolled to face Alex. Alex’s hard cock pressed against his stomach.

“What makes this strange is that I’m not like those guys. They aren’t as buff as you but I’m …. ”

“Chunky?”

“Let’s be honest, fat.”

“Feels fine to me.” Alex pulled them closer and rubbed his cock against Harris’s stomach. “Soft. Fat’s not hard ta get rid of ya know. I could help ya. Come to the gym.” His thrusting increased. Harris was pushed to his back with Alex straddling him. Their legs intertwined. His cock got hard again. He could feel it between Alex’s legs grinding against Alex’s balls.

Alex’s thrusts sped up. He was hugging harder. So hard it was hard for Harris to breathe.

“Ouch.” Pain shot through his ribs.

“What?”

“I cracked my ribs a week ago.”

“How’s this.” Alex propped himself on his elbows to not be so heavy on Harris.

“Fine.”

There faced each other. Harris closed his eyes as Alex continued to rub against him.  The weight of a man on him made Harris feel grounded, not aroused. Alex enjoyed this much more than he did.

“Oh God. Oh God.” Alex leaned up. “Pinch my nipples.”

Harris tried to get a grip on them but Alex was sweating too much. He had to use a thumbnail to get a good hold. Harris felt the tip of his cock touching Alex’s asshole.

“Yeah. Pinch’em harder.” His come spewed over Harris’s stomach and splashed his chin.

As Alex came Harris felt the asshole spasm with each ejaculation. If he pushed up half-an-inch he could enter Alex. But he didn’t want to. Alex gasped raggedly as he came again.

Alex fell off him. “Man oh man. That was something. I nearly blacked out. Can’t remember the last time that happened. Spooged you good.”

Harris got off the bed. He couldn’t wait to get out of there.

A timer went off in the living room.

“Shit I gotta get going.” Alex jump off the bed and wiped himself off with his polo shirt. He handed it to harris. “I hafta get to Story. Doin’ a split shift for Steve.”

Harris wiped the come off his belly with Alex’s shirt and got dressed. Alex’s got dressed and hurried Harris out of the house.

“I’d walk to the subway with you but I don’t want to be late. Again.” Alex dragged a bike from between the houses. “That was certainly not what I expected but it was great.” He quickly kissed Harris and sped off.

Harris had never kissed anyone on their way to work. It felt okay. His nipples tingled as his tee-shirt rubbed them as he walked to the subway.

Home he could still feel the pressure, the shape of Alex’s cock on his belly, feel the spasm pucker of Alex’s asshole almost like a tight mouth inviting Harris dick to slide in.

He enjoyed what happened. No woman had showed him that much attention. Not that he could recall that many of them, thanks to the curse. That was the problem. If he could remember any of them he’d have an experience to compare Alex to.

Becky the other week was good. Fun and seemed to enjoy her time with him. Plus she remembered him the next day too even if she wasn’t that interested. Not at all. She made that very clear.

He got a text from his mother reminding him about brunch the next day and to tell him she had a special surprise for him so don’t be late.

10 o’clock on a Saturday night and he had nothing to do. Ordinarily he’d drop into Story to see if Trev was there for a few beers but he’d had enough of Alex for one night.

He tidied up his apartment. Tossed in a load of laundry. The instruction book for Andy was where he had left it on the kitchen counter.

Harris moved Andy out of his corner and opened the computer link for the voice ware.

“Play time.” he said.

Andy’s eyes opened. “Thank you for turning me on Harris.”

‘You can now program Andy to respond to other simple voice activations commands such as ‘pinch,’ ‘lift,’ ‘harder,’ ‘faster’ or ‘record’ without having to touch him to start these functions.’

Harris flipped to the section on record.

‘Andy is equipped with a fully function camera with 2.8-inch vari-angle PureColor system LCD, and RAW + JPEG image modes and 720p HD video with stereo sound to get crystal clear footage capabilities – can easily take still pictures or record scenes of up to twenty minutes in length. His eyes have follow focus lenses that allow him to discern and follow the action. The sockets will move within their limited radius. His neck is articulated to add more visual range.

To physically start the record function you need only touch him between the eyes.’

That’s what Becky did when she got him going. Was that why she thought he was looking at us when I was making out with her the other night.

‘For more on the wireless playback see the record module.’

Harris scrolled through the online function menu and opened the record module. Sure enough Andy had stored several recordings.

He hit the playback button. The first was of him and Becky on the couch as she rode him. The others were merely of him going in and out of the apartment.

He went back to the manual.

‘The motion sensitive setting is a default setting. Andy will automatically start recording which makes him the ideal security monitor for the nursery.’

Yeah and his dick the ideal pacifier.

‘Andy has many uses beyond merely being playful. We hope you enjoy discovering and utilizing all joy that he is capable of bringing into your life.’

Harris deleted the shots of him entering or exiting the apartment. Next he changed the default motion sensitive setting to off. That done he went back to the clip of him and Becky.

The picture quality was good, the sound was clear. Becky’s eagerness and energy aroused him. It was very disorienting though to see himself in a porn. The lighting wasn’t as good as the one that Alex had made him watch. It was dim enough that he didn’t have to see how fat he was either. If he did this again he’d have to remember the importance of lighting.

Becky making such a fuss over Andy then him worked on him the way Alex didn’t. So that’s what his cock looked like going into a chick’s mouth. It appeared larger on the screen than it did in his hand.

He jacked off in time to her rocking her hips on him as they inched to the edge of the couch. He felt again the penetration that position had given him. How her clenching cunt had made his cock feel big and fat. There were glimpses of her rising and settling where he could see his own cock as it went in and out of her. His legs quivered as he shot off on to his virtual stomach.

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Bonded or Bondage

Andrew Gurza talks about his time on 1 Girl 5 Gays on a recent Disability After Dark. The show was produced by MTV Canada. It was somewhat like The View with the six of them chatting about different cultural and sexual issues in an edited for bitchiest lines way. I do remember watching an episode or two back in the day but not when Andrew was on. I didn’t like the ‘edited for bitchiest lines’ that left these people with personality but little substance.

Andrew explains that each episode was edited down from two to three hours of conversations & he felt that often the most emotional or complex stuff was never used. I wonder how such a show might work today looking at recent events: the predatory nature of wealthy, entitled people of power. Now there’s a shop that Andrew should pitch with him as host.

He also talks about how his disability – the necessity of his chair – kept him off the couch that the rest of the chatterboxes sat together on – and as a result he never felt that bonded with them even after his seven episodes were done. Drinks after the tapings ended up with him on one side of the table and them on the other, or him with the production crew. One thing I learned from a showbiz pal is that good lighting will do more for your career than any co-star. So always bond with the production crew.

I know that non-bonding feeling while yearning to bond though. Often at poetry show, workshops, & other cultural events when you are not one of the smokers, tokers, snorters, or boozers a shadow falls between you and the other there almost as dark as the shadow that separates the MFA in creative writing from the clearly less skilled writers.

The myth of bonding is that it lasts forever, the reality is that it usually merely means years later, when you haven’t seen each other since that bonding experience, you have fond feelings for each other. Listening to Andrew it sounds like he has those fond feelings so perhaps he was more bonded than he thought with his 1 Girl 5 Gays cohorts. Though something tells me Andrew might enjoy bondage even more.

By the time they had worked his way through the several ages of illumination with the man as his companion, Mike was reluctant to leave without saying something to him.

The other man had stopped to talk with two of the guides. Mike didn’t want to stand around. It would be too presumptuous to think there was a reason to speak to some stranger.

Out on the street it was time to go back to the hotel. Which way was that? He’d lost his sense of direction in the twists and turns of the stairs in the museum.

He started to cross the street. No, not this way. He turned abruptly and almost walked into the black man.

“Sorry.”

“Perhaps I should wear a bell.” the man said.

“You seem to know a lot about lamps.”

“Non. I know it can make a rather dull experience much more interesting when others think you are interested. I get more pleasure out of talking with the … guides. They are so eager to impart. The more they impart the more I know.”

“The more I have to forget. You are right, you did make it more interesting for me”

“As you did for me. Perhaps you would like to dine with me? Robert Etang.” He shook Mike’s hand. He pronounced his name in French Rober.

“Mike Poole. Supper?”

“Yes. I see we are two men alone in a strange city. That is unusual of itself, isn’t it? Unless you have left the wife and kids for this calm.”

“Hardly. I’m not …”

“Yes, I know you are not married. You do not have the harried look of a husband. I could tell. You are, perhaps, as I am, a man who prefers the company of other men.”

Mike laughed. As he laughed the tension he’d felt for the past day melted away. (The stranger) Robert joined him and their laughter echoed along the narrow street.

“I take that you would be delighted to dine with me?”

“Yes Rober I would. But I do have to return to my hotel to freshen up.”

“Freshen up?”

“Take a shower, change my clothes.” Mike often found himself explaining these North American turns of phrase to his ESL students.

“Ah I see. Here is my card.” Robert took a card out of his shoulder bag and wrote him hotel information on it and handed it to Mike. “Will an hour be long enough for you to be fresh with me?”

Mike wanted to say ‘I’d be fresh with you right now.’ But wasn’t ready to explain all the subtleties of the English language.

He glanced at the card. “I’ll call if I’m delayed.”

Mike looked at the business card repeatedly as he walked back to Assoupir. It was a delicious buzz between his eyes. The card hardly seemed real paper. It was from Les Bras D’Or. Another bed and breakfast in the south quarter of the village.

“Robert Etang – Room 206.” was written on the back. “7:15 p.m.”

Rowber A-tange. Rowber A-tange. Mike repeated the name to himself. He had a date! How did that happen? Right place right time? It was so simple. All he had to do was accept and he did. He’d be a fool not too, right? Strangers in the Musee.

Would they have sex? Should they? Would it seem desperate if that happened right off the bat. After all, this was why most people travelled. Single people. Gay men. Sex. Or was the supper invitation merely a way to pass an empty evening?

No, it couldn’t be. Robert’s eyes danced with that knowing invitation. Even when he fresh Mike suspected Robert knew the subtext. More than food was offered. Offered to him by a stranger. Him and a stranger. How had it happened? How?

He was at the front floor of Assoupir. Where was his electronic key? Back pocket. Nope. Fuck he hadn’t lost the key had he? There it was at the bottom of his shoulder bag.

Would half-clad Danes be sprawled in the living room to giggle at him behind their hands as he came in? No. Empty. He went to his room. There was an envelope taped to the door. He opened it in his room. It was his gold pass and a note.

“Sorry about today. I don’t think I can accept this. Thanks for the thought. Sam Degan, 4C.”

Mike put the pass in on the desk. I won’t be able to use it either. I’m dining with a dark prince. Was that racist? The man was black. He couldn’t ignore that. Any man would have excited him. A stranger. A casual meeting and now promise. One night would be enough.

How could he see to it that the men at the b’n’b saw him with his black lover? Teach them a lesson.

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kiss3

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November 1-30
2018

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June – dates t.b.a – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C.


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Moon Phases

samprules2

Started a new set of prompts – I love lists of things – this one will prove to be endlessly productive for another couple of years – 227 Rules For Monks. Who knew the simple life could be so complex. This number 24 from the 30 nissaggiyas.

Two Moon Phases

Phase One

moonlight so blue

it left no trace

on my skin

as his fingers

followed the flow

of the edge

where the blue

became pale flesh

the flow

where finger tips

were replaced with lips

teeth biting

Phase Two

this is not the time

no one will tell you

when the time is right

 

when it’s wrong

you are told not what to do

but never what to do

 

you’ll never be assured

because

everything you do is wrong

 

there is a right way

it’s for you to figure out

no one will tell you how

 

only punish you

for each and every mistake

love will be withheld

 

opportunity will be denied

no explanations will be forthcoming

until you do it right

 

perfectly

 

giving up is not an option

this is not the time

to give up

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#Nanowrimo 2017 Playlist

As usual I’ve put together a extensive, very mixed, playlist for working on nano this year. In no particular order here is the over 36 hours of music. King Crimson: In the Court of the Crimson King (Expanded Edition) – I do have this as a standalone but wanted those bonus tracks. Faith, Hope & Charity: Faith, Hope & Charity (Expanded Edition) – one of those obscure disco/r’n’b: sweetly retro & fun; Best of Ruth Crawford Seeger – what,s better than an obscure, American, female, classical composer – mostly solo piano stuff.

Coast Modern Taarabu (6hr): Mpango Mzima – hey, a huge collection of bouncy, almost tribal music from Zanzibar; Superfruit: Future Friends – because some new queer pop music was a must have; Billy Strange: Goldfinger: The Big Sound of Billy Strange, His Guitar and Orchestra – someone posted Billy’s take on the Munsters’ Theme on tumblr & I had to have it. fun stuff in the Sandy Nelson mode. When the Sun Goes Down, Vol. 11: Sacred Roots of the Blues – exactly what it says: rare 20’s/30s recordings of gospel music. Janis Joplin: See See Rider (From the Beginning): a set of Janis – live before she even meet Big Brother: the coffee house days & great to hear. Sid Bass: Moog España, From Another World – these are two lps of crazy moog with big band. España is hilarious.

Hannes Kästner: Bach.Toccata and Fugue in D Minor – bought this as a single track as it was touted as the very best recording ever of the Toccata by anyone. Mount Kimbie: Love What Survives – electronic in the Aphex Twin mode; Future Beat Alliance: FBA21: Collected Works 1996 – 2017 – electronica in the S.U.N. Project mode; Jazznewblood ALIVE (Live at Iklectik/Efg London Jazz Festival 2016): this is a wow collection – someone posted a track on Tumblr & I had to have it. Deepest Blue: Late September, Deepest Blue remixes – I love the single Deepest Blue & wanted the remixes, the lp it comes from is Basement Jaxx lite.

Cher: Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves – a classic everyone should have & now I finally have it. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Live/1975-85 (3hr 34min) – hey, I need & can appreciate some testosterone driven music too. Plus I’ve always had a hungry part for Bruce. The Foundations: Build Me Up Buttercup (The Complete Pye Collection) (3hr 10min) – who knew these one-hit-wonders recorded so much & all great soul music; Bela Bartok: Sonatas & Romanian Folk Dances – those Folk dances stir up more than dust on the dance floor. these are propulsive, romantic & great typing speed music. Madonna: Like a Virgin – another classic everyone should have & now I finally have it.

How did a Muttman meet anyone? He saw that unasked question in Sam’s eyes. After his misadventure with the Danish guys he knew his gaydar was totally fucked up. How could he not see that they were … amusing themselves with him.

But that was how he felt when he first met Patrick at that cocktail party. Patrick was at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design as a lecturer for the film department. Mike hadn’t heard the lecture but had been invited to the cocktail party.

How did Patrick know he was queer? He never did find that out. Had Raphael pointed him out? Was it that mysterious thing some gay men had, to recognize it in a stranger.

Patrick picked up that he was queer. Even though he’d been direct Mike didn’t quite believe him. Handsome out-of-town lecturers were only interested in young hairless swim team guys. Yet they were in bed at Patrick’s hotel within the hour. Both a little tipsy but eager and flush with appreciation for each other.

Patrick really wasn’t what one would call a pretty boy either but a good reputation always added to a man’s good looks.. Not that that mattered much to Mike. Flesh was flesh. When the opportunity presented itself he was happy to accept it.

How long had it been before that night with Patrick? Five or six years since he’d touched a man. God, that last time was hell. As bad as Sam’s kindness. That politesse around offering the homely advice to avoid investing one’s own cock.

What was the point of it all? To be queer and find that men didn’t want you? He’d tried women but there was nothing there. Fuck! God why? It just wasn’t fair. He should have moved to be with Patrick that first year when the energy between them was high. Then this wouldn’t be happen. No, but he had his job, a career that he couldn’t leave.

Well, this is the price for that and, now where was he? Having some Eurotrash petty boys lead him on? Having some smug stranger tell him where ugly men could buy sex. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

The sun glinted off a brass sign at eye level.

Musee Lumiere.

The grey brick building was nondescript in the context of the other buildings around it. He knew some of them dated from the 1700’s but this wasn’t one of them. More like Victorian, he decided, judging by the turret in one corner and detailing around the doors and windows. Three stories high with a spiked row around the roof with brass orbs that gleamed in the sun.

Four well worn red sandstone steps led to the imposing front door. Double doors with stained glass panels over carved inserts; stained glass panels on the narrow panels on either side of the door. All the stained glass and the wood carving played on the fleur de lis. He went in.

“Bon jour.” A young woman cheerfully greeted him.

“Salut.”

“Welcome, sir.”

Was his accent that bad? He paid the admission fee.

“There is a new installation on the second floor.”

“Thank you.”

“Enjoy.”

Why was there such quiet in these places? The shuffle of shoes on the floor, polite coughing, whispers and pointing. There was museum personnel in each room. They would turn on and off the lamps, ceiling fixtures, wall mounts, if you asked. The first room was made to look like a cave pre-historic humans would have lived in. Once the lights had been lowered, the uneven walls were lit by flickering flames in low stone dishes of animal fat. The smell wasn’t unpleasant at first.

“How did they manage?” someone behind him asked. “That isn’t enough light to do anything.”

Mike stayed for a few moments after the other few people had left. The room was silent. He couldn’t hear street sounds or the creaking of feet on the floor around him. So this is what it was like back in the day. Not like the movies at all where there would enough light from a single flame to illuminate an entire cave.

Each of the subsequent rooms took him through various era. Tallow candles, wax candles, torches. With each the guide would dim the lights so there was only the one light source.

“How many candles would it take to light a room in a medieval castle?” he asked the guide.

“Better yet who would light them all?” S man beside him asked in English. Then he repeated Mike’s and his questions in French.

The guide explained that it sometime took so many candles to light a room some would have to be replaced by the time the last ones were lit.

The man explained this to Mike. He was ebony black. About Mike’s height and hefty. The man spoke French freely with the guides and more than once explained to Mike, in English, what he had just been told.

In each room Mike was taken by how movies had changed history. Until the electric light bulb came into use most corners were in shadow. The light people had wasn’t a constant single glow but would flicker depending on impurities in the oils, depending on air flow. He had a greater respect for writers who worked in candle light. Bad enough to write War and Peace by hand and to have to do it by unsteady light too.

The second floor was devoted to the gas era and gave way to the electric era.

“Movies made gaslit rooms look so bright.” Mike remarked to his companion.

“Of course. How would you see the faces of the their magnificent movie stars.”

The installation on the third floor was the latest in l.e.d and holographic images. The technology left Mike cold. Not practical enough. No one was going to read by this kind of art.

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Lazarus Kiss.46

Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.

May you be embraced by a love beyond recall that alters others

and a love within recall that alters you.

kiss

“I wasn’t into sports.” Harris patted his belly. “This is enough weight for me to lift.”

Harris looked at the framed photos of Alex along the wall by the door.

“From when I was on the pro circuit.”

One of them showed Alex shaking hands with a man in a business suit who presented him an ornate belt.

“Won m’ division that year. Called it quits soon after though.” Alex sipped his beer.

“Looks like a lot of work.”
“I enjoyed it. It was a way to channel m’energy. A polite way of sayin’ I had anger management issues. Never saw a fight I could resist even if I didn’t start it. Linda said I had somethin’ to prove. I never reckon what.”

“That you were the toughest?”

“Maybe somethin’ like that.”

“So why did you stop?”

“Funny t’ing was, the more I fought, the angrier I got, ya know. Got me more pumped up. I got bored of trash talk before and after the bouts. Huffin’ an’ puffin’. Too much worry about what to say, when I wanted to be poundin’.”

“What was your fight name?”

“Fuck.” Alex laughed. “ ‘At’s professional wrestling. No masks or capes for us. This was nothin’ like that. Bare-knuckles an’ brute strent. I fought as m’self. Sometimes I’d be called the Axeman. That’s A X E not Ass. Alex ‘the Axeman’ S. People liked them ‘x’s.” Alex became more animated as he spoke.

“Sounds like you miss it.”

“Yeah. It felt good t’ sweat. T’ bleed and win. Th’ other crap took too much space in m’ head. Always havin’ t’ be huffin’ and puffin’ t’ get people t’ notice ya. Bad as pro wrestling. Then …” he finished his beer. “Another?”

“No. I’m still working on this one. Then what?”

“We sometime did this run t’Detroit. Had to be careful. It was undercover exhibition matches. Not sanctioned. Plus we couldn’t fight and get paid in the states. I never understood that part of it but this time a guy got hurt. Bad. By me. I just lost it. Hurt him real bad.” Alex stopped. “Something came over me while we were going at it. Testoserone or I don’t know what.”

“By bad you mean … ”

“He died. Doc said something his brain popped. That it coulda popped at anytime but picked while I was poundin’ him in the face. That was when I tore m’ back. I used that … ya know to get out of d’ game. Back shit they understood. Killing a guy was suppose t’ be good for a rep. That wasn’t the rep I wanted.”

Harris wasn’t sure what to say. Knowing more about Alex didn’t ease the longing the curse had forced upon him instead he was more emotionally drawn to him.

“It shook me up. I could’t get back in the ring. Tried a few times but it made me sick. I did this’n’that. Bartending. Ya know the stuff ya do when ya got no skills.  Bartending. Waiting tables.”

“My life hasn’t been that exciting. I was one of those nerdy guys. Dirty thoughts and little action. My biggest thrill was to get to the comic book store. This curse thing has pushed me out of my comfort zone a lot too. I didn’t know I was in such a …. a rut. Made a few changes. Finally cut my hair.”

“I remember guys like you when I was in school. Sorry to say, loved shoving you around. To prove how tough I was, so no one else would shove me around.”

“How ironic … no … paradoxical that we’d end up pushed together like this. The bully and the bullied.” Harris wanted to make Alex not feel bad about his past. “We all get caught up in …. doing things without knowing what we were doing at the time. Like how this curse has put us together. Neither of us planned it, plotted it or thought about it while it was happening.”

“We gotta to live with it.” Alex put his hand on Harris’s inner thigh.

“I have to get going.” Harris finished his beer. “I have a date. Glad I could help with your spooge residue.” That was true, if he met up with Becky, it sounded like a total lie once he said it.

They both stood at the same time.

“You’re scared as I am, aren’t you.” Alex faced him. “I don’t know much, this family curse of your or whatever it is, but it is tearing me up inside. We can’t keep avoid where it’s pushing us. We can’t.”

The beer bottle Alex clutched cracked in his grip.

“Shit!” he dropped it. Beer sloshed on to Harris feet.

“You okay?”

“I reckon so.” Alex turned his hand,  palm up. “Didn’t cut m’self. My hide is tough from wiping all those tables.”

He ran his hand along Harris’s arm.

“Does it feel rough to you?”

“No.” Harris took a deep breath and stepped into Alex’s arms.

They embraced.  Alex’s forehead was at Harris chin hight. He looked up and bit Harris lightly on the jaw, continued biting as Harris lowered his head so they could kiss. This time Alex wasn’t as forceful as he had been at his apartment the night of the rain storm. His tongue tasted of beer.

“That wasn’t all that bad.” Alex stepped back. “Sit. This’ll make it easier for ya. Like I told ya this man on man, was a shocker to me. I couldn’t shake it, I figured if I watched what it was all about it would enough. Ya know get rid of these … urges. I watched this porno. I can’t tell ya how many I gave up on after five seconds. I got computer feed hooked into the TV.”

The porn started. It was called Learning to Pitch For The Other Team. It was two guys meeting on a street. They were like ordinary guys Harris saw everyday on the subway or walking down the street. Average Joes with decent figures. Not gym buff at all.

While he watched, Alex got them another couple of beers.

The guys in the porno were suddenly in a living room. On the wall over the couch were a pair of baseball pennants. They talked about a ball game they were going to later that day. The taller of the two went to the kitchen and brought back a couple of beers.

They continued to talk. Sat closer.

Alex sat closer to Harris. As one of the guys on the screen put his arm around the other Alex did the same to Harris. The other guy put his hand on tall guy’s thigh. Harris did that. The guys in the porn talked but Harris couldn’t hear them. All he could sense was Alex close to him, his own hand moving along Alex’s thigh, to his crotch. Alex’s legs opened wider.

“Yeah. You wanna touch m’dick, don’t you.” Alex breathed into his ear. “Go on.”

Harris didn’t want to touch. It was like adjusting a graphic image only he could actually feel it.

Alex kissed him. His stubble rubbed Harris’s face. He pushed Alex away.

“No, Alex! This is way too much.”

“Slowly. We can take it slow.” Alex pulled Harris tee-shirt off. Ran his tongue from his collar bone and down to his nipples. He bit gently, than harder.

“You call that slow.” Harris began to push him away but it felt okay. The slight pain was pleasant enough. The warm tongue mixed the with the scrape of stubble, the solid bite of teeth. Plus it was being done to him. He merely had to let it happen.

Alex moved to the other nipple and while he bit, his hand massaged Harris’s cock. Harris was surprised that he got hard. It didn’t make sense to him but curse or not, if this good looking guy wanted to suck his dick, such is life.

Alex stopped biting his nipples to kiss him again. “Slow enough? This isn’t too much for you is it.”

“I guess not.” He kissed back. Their tongues moving together. He let Alex guide his hand back on his cock as he continued to caress Harris’s.

“Why don’t we get out of these.” Alex stood, pulled off his polo shirt at the same time. He hauled Harris to his feet. With bare belly to bare belly he unbuckled, then pushed Harris’s jeans down, wriggled out of his sweat pants.

“Let’s … take a shower?” Harris suggested. “I’ve been at work all day, you know. I may not be my freshest.” He laughed. Anything to delay the inevitable.

“Sure. It’s this way.”

The bathroom was tiny. The shower stall was barely large enough for two people to stand up but not to wash. They had to slip and slide around each other to get under the shower head.

“I’ll just help you soap up and rinse down.”

Alex’s hands moved quickly all over Harris’s body. Touching his cock, balls, awkwardly washing his feet. He started on Harris’s ass crack and stopped.

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Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington is/was a jazz grand master. A bold innovator who fought racism, classism & proudly employed known gay creators like Billy Strayhorn. This is the sort of jazz I once hated – too smooth, too swing, & too much my Dad’s music. But I got over that thanks partly to the Time-Life Giants of Jazz series of 3 lps box sets that included one of Ellington which I transferred to 2 cds. I dug his wild early work with voices. I kept finding inexpensive lps of compilations like Monologue, Early Years, Primping For The Prom which also received the lp to cd transfer treatment.

He composed many jazz tone poems, suites of connected pieces that explored Harlem, revival meetings; as well creating classics like Take the A train, Sophisticated Lady. Black Brown Beige (featuring Mahalia Jackson) pushed jazz to a neo-classical area without strings. Amazing.

On a couple of mp3 collections I have two different live sets: Live at Newport; The Great Paris Concert: I had Paris as lp but found a cd release with bonus tracks – yea. On Afro-Eurasian Eclipse & Togo Bravo suite he explores World Music rhythms. His soundtrack for Anatomy of a Murder is wonderful.

Togo Brava is one of my few remaining cassettes – mainly because I have never found it in any other form. At least I think it is Togo Brava – my handwritten label maybe be wrong – I love it though.

 

Ellington wasn’t afraid to stretch himself with amazing recordings with a couple of jazz revolutionaries. His Ballads with John Coltrane is sublime, resonant, romantic and a must hear. On Money Jungle he tangles with Charlie Mingus & Max Roach & produces, for me, his most radical work. Driving, dissonant & timeless. This is what Bad Plus strives for, & occasionally reaches, but never overtakes.

This is a review is totally fabricated – from artists’ names, instruments, languages & locations. One way I want to create the mythos of Isle St. Nuit is via this indirect third party of inclusions of details about the Isle.

Dans Le Jardin: In The Garden – Telmanna Dix Morlanda – Telmanna’s new cd is a delight from start to finish, especially to those of us who have followed his career for the last several years. Despite his dark Latin looks he has managed to avoid the Americanization that has befallen too many other’s.

His current album which concentrates on the music of Isle St. Nuit follows in the footsteps of his recordings of music from Cuba, Panama and Brazil. He moves with ease from various dialects and complex rhythms. This album is mainly performed in the St Nuit patois which is a mix of French, Spanish and African tribal dialects.

Several of the songs are taken from the Livre Santitina, a collection of ritual songs and dances for the worship of the three snakes. Some are  adaptations of children’s songs.

Telmanna is joined by L’Purle Valdez on three up tempo numbers. She brings her special sasqualla rhythms with her from Panama. Hard to keep still when she tears into a song, any song.

For those of you unfamiliar with this genre Dans Le Jardin makes a good introduction. Lyrics are in English and Nuit Patois, though in some cases not knowing what is being sung might add to your pleasure.

The title song is powerful in its use of native instrumentation – the galida (a three string lute like gourd) players combined with the relentless drumming and percussion will draw the listener very quickly into the thick of a Santitina ceremony. The lyrics call upon the spirits to guide, protect, and if necessary kill all adversaries. The last track, running at nearly forty minutes, ‘Mort de Marie’ tells the story of the death of the Virgin Mary that somehow, and I’m not familiar with this particular St. Nuit legend, allowed for the freedom of the slaves.

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Sex Positive

On a recent Disability After Dark  Andrew Gurza  interviews JoEllen Notte – a noted sex researcher & blogger – about, amongst many things, sex and depression. For some people the two go hand in hand, no matter how good or often the sex. They also talked about some of the assumptions people make about them for being so sex positive. One being is that they have lots of sex and have no problem getting it. Or that must be willing to have sex with anyone – if they decline they are accused of being hypocrites.

Odd how being sex positive turns one into a slut with no discernment and with no boundaries. “Oh sure I’d be super happy to do that with you even though you don’t turn me on and it’s something I’ve never enjoyed.”

In my life I’ve been either shamed for being as sexually active as I am for my age or regarded as a slut with no discernment. In fact I find it difficult to actually talk with anyone about my sex life without them becoming uncomfortable. What I enjoy is pretty vanilla & safe but the fact that do it makes them comfortable or triggered.

In my poetry I’ve written quite directly about many types of sex play. I had to stop performing the few s/m pieces I have because I was getting approached by men (& women) who thought I was a dom top (if you don’t know what that means such is life). An assumption I’d rather not deal with, unless they are willing to cough up $500 an hour.

They also delve into the nature of ‘invisible’ disabilities, such a depression. Many people think depression is feeling down, a sort of emotional draginess that you just can merely snap out of or that one is being self-indulgently lazy by not wanting to get out bed all day, eat for two days, or not take a shower for a week because they are in a bad mood.

Much like alcoholism & other less socially approved addictions there is this sense you just have to pull yourself up by the boot straps & get on with it. It just isn’t that easy or simple. It’s not a matter of being lazy, stupid, weak or stubborn. There are more complex forces at work & what works for one person often does nothing for the next. But I’m not a therapist but this is what I’ve observed.

We live in a culture in which loneliness is terrifying, in which only a ‘loving’ relationship is the way out of loneliness (it isn’t), that sex is the solution for horniness (it isn’t). When these solutions don’t work it often leads to shame, guilt, & depression. It’s as if the fault is our, not a culture that invests so much the wrong solutions as the only solutions.

There is one school of thought, which they don’t fully explore – bad sex is better than no sex at all (I’m not sure how that was researched). I’d argue that having no sex is better than having shamed based sex thinking it’ll make you feel better about yourself and life or for any reason.

I’m sex positive – it is a good thing when we get rid of cultural baggage. Or we get the right baggage to carry it.

(in this rough draft sample Mike & Robert are having a thanksgiving dinner in Montreal. )

A couple of blocks north of St C Mike spotted Cent Milles Brasserie. The chalkboard menu listed meats, vegetables by region and by how far those regions were from Montreal.

“An interesting concept.” Robert said.

“Let’s hope the cost of locally sourced is worth it.”

“As long locally sourced results in good food. I will be most happy.”

The restaurant was done up in a season decor. Pumpkins, gourds bales of hay around the maitre d’ station. Bats on thin wires dangled over the bales.

The evening’s main special was ‘dinde rôtie avec farce aux canneberges’ which, thanks to the drawing on the chalkboard Mike knew was a tradition roast turkey with stuffing. He wasn’t sure what ‘canneberges’ were though but he was willing to find out.

Once they were seated in the window Mike asked. “Shall I order for you as well?”

Robert was reading the menu.

“That won’t be necessary. I most certainly want to try the bière d’érable.”

“Maple beer!”

“Ah, it is not a traditional drink?” Robert asked.

“Not as far as I know. The flavouring of beer is one of those trendy fads. At least I hope it’s a fad.”

“Then we will try it. Another new experience for both of us.” He waved the waiter over and ordered the beer.

“You’re French is amazing.” Mike said.

“I have been speaking it all my life.” Robert said. “As well as English.”

The beers came in tall chilled glasses.

“To your health.” Robert said as they clinked their glasses together.

Each sipped tentatively.

“Ahh a very even taste.” Robert said before taking a larger drink.

Mike did the same. “You know this could become a tradition. It tastes like fall. Maple, a little pine as well.”

“You have a sensitive pallet.”

Mike did the same. “You know this could become a tradition. It tastes like fall. Maple and a little pine as well.”

Robert took another taste. “You have a sensitive pallet.”

“I was afraid it would taste like pancake syrup.”

The waiter brought a covered basket of rolls to the table. “Pain de maïs et frais du four.”

Mike flipped the cover back and the steam brought the smell of the corn bread with it.

“This is why Quebec is called Le Belle Provence.” Robert said as he buttered one of the rolls, broke it half and gave it to Mike. He gestured for Mike wait before eating it. He held his in upturned palm of his right hand. Mike did the same without thinking.

“Merci Mère Marie pour ce repas.” Robert said. He broke off a small piece and put beside his plate.

Mike did the same.

“We will reserve a small morsel for the Grace that brings such abundance into our lives.”

“I see.” Mike said. “I’ll try not to brush it off the table.”

“Thank you for indulging me.” Robert said. “This is a part of my life I do not usually get to share under such close quarters.”

The next course was a butternut squash soup with fresh ginger.

“Ce gingembre est-il cultivé localement?” Robert asked.

“Oui. Le bistrot maintient un jardin d’herbes fraîches près de la ville.” the waiter answered.

“I did not know ginger was grown in Canada.” Robert explained. “The restaurant has its own farm for some these products. They live to their name.”

As the waiter cleared their used plates away Mike carefully protected his morsel of corn bread. The main course was next. The waiter brought the dinner plates to the table. There was a medley of fall vegetables on each. He was followed by a busboy pushing a cart with a covered plate on it. The waiter removed the cover with a small flourish to reveal the turkey, steaming and ready for further carving. One drumstick was gone, as were some slices from the breast on either side.

“If you wish,” he said in English. “We can offer the uncut?”

“No no. This is fine. Would you like the remaining drumstick?” Robert asked Mike.

“Some breast meat will be good for me.”

“Then I’ll have it.”

The waiter skillfully cut portions for both of them. He offered them a chafing dish of stuffing for each of them to help themselves. ‘Canneberges’ turned out to be cranberries.

Even though the restaurant was now full Mike felt they were dinging alone, in their own private room.

Robert asked Mike questions about his work, family but easily defective questions about himself so by the end of the dinner Mike knew little about Robert’s background. Not that that mattered as he felt, for some reason, that Robert was holding nothing back.

Dessert was pumpkin pie, freshly baked on the premises while they were enjoying their meal. Robert has his with acorn ice cream. Mike opted for the maple whipped cream. They sampled each other’s.

As the busboy cleared the table under the watchful eye of the waiter Mike and Robert both took out their credit cards.

“Non. Non.” Robert said. “My company can easily afford this meal.”

“Then I’ll leave a tip.” Mike offered. “Would forty dollars be about right?” He took a look at the bill. “Better make that fifty.”

“It is a good thing we stuck to the bière.” Robert said.

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Living in the moment

samprules2

Started a new set of prompts – I love lists of things – this one will prove to be endlessly productive for another couple of years – 227 Rules For Monks. Who knew the simple life could be so complex. These are from the 30 nissaggiyas – this is 23rd.

Living in the moment

I’m feeling fine

no I am fine

feel is a word of uncertainty

because feelings can be deceiving

feels like winter

doesn’t mean it is winter

I am fine

I am well

 

no I don’t need to take another dose

not even one

just in case

I’m not as well

as I think I am

 

think

that’s another word of uncertainty

doubt

it’s as if what I think

maybe wrong

that the perspective I filter

things through

can be questioned

 

think isn’t the same as knowledge

I think it’s raining

it feels like rain

either it’s rain or it isn’t

thinking won’t change that

 

I think I feel better

 

I’m better off when I don’t think

when I am in the moment

I am well

better gives a sense

that once upon a time

I wasn’t well

that I wasn’t living in the moment

if I wasn’t

I am now

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Research Rewrite Re:nanowrimo

One of the mixed blessings of the internet is being able to do instant research. Mixed because sometimes research leads to that rabbit hole of  one more fact. Mixed because sometimes it leads to ‘oh, shit, I really got that wrong & now have to fix it before I go on.’ I resist rabbit holes but ‘fix it’ I have to attended to asap. In particular when it affects the plot time line I’m working within.

Originally I had Mike, my hero in Isle, arriving in Montreal by train. I’ve taken the train to MO myself many times so know what the train station is like. It always helps to have an actual sense of where things happen. But I’ve never taken the train to MO from Halifax, where my hero is coming from. I do know that train services have changed a lot since I last took the train. Routes have been closed, stops have been dropped (is that the right word). So I checked VIA to see if there was still service & how often that service was.

To my dismay I find that though there is still service the trip takes over 20 hours. wtf? The Montreal section of the novel covers events from Thursday to the following Tuesday. There isn’t time for me to have Mike take the train there & back. I don’t want to add another two days – not that I would include his travel thunking etc. So I check flights. By air approximately 90 minutes. That keeps things within my time span. I go back and rework that opening (keeping what gets cut from the original for my word count).

This allowed me to expand his airport lounge encounter and continue it when he lands in Montreal. Events that add to his character though not to the actual plot. Gave me an extra 1000 words and introduced a greater sense of friction even earlier than I had planned. Getting one’s characters into trouble always moves things along.

 

 

“What are you looking at?”

Mike wasn’t looking at anything. He was trying to follow a tread of thought, a thought that had lead to his nickname – Muttman.

“Nothing.” Mike took a deep breath. He had zoned out in the airport waiting for his flight to be called.

“Then look at nothing the other way.”

The young man who had snapped at Mike put his arm around his girl friend’s shoulders and pulled her closer to him.

Was it the pleasant face of the young man that had started the thought process? The man had to be mid-20’s, maybe younger, fresh and attractive. With an attractive girl friend.

“Guys like that should at least wear a hoodie.” The young man said to his girlfriend bud enough for Mike to hear it. “You scare children much?”

“Shut the fuck up Phil.” the girlfriend said. “He can’t help the way he looks.”

The Muttman name had sprung up in fourth or fifth grade and stuck to him to university. He hadn’t been able to shake it till he graduated. Now he was called either Mike or Mr. Poole. But something besides this pretty couple had to have set offÍ the Muttman echo.

“Yeah well he can look that where somewheres else so we don’t have see him. Hey,” Phil said, “why don’t you move your ugly ass somewhere else.”

Mike looked the young man in the eyes. Stared. Said nothing. He knew that engaging wouldn’t get either of them anywhere. He wasn’t interested in teaching anyone manners or even enlightening them about his condition.

He’d stopped hiding his stain years ago. But it had been sometime since someone had been this vocal about it.

What had he been thinking about a few minutes ago? … He’d checked plane tickets and put them where he could get them easily along with his boarding pass. Then he had made sure he had a print out of address of Assoupir, the bed and breakfast he’d stay at in Montreal. He’d been reading in the paper about the biker turf war in Montreal – cafes and clubs being blown up and had wondered if his b’n’b was near any of that. But they had a dog to protect them, right.

Right! They had a dog there. He’d heard it bark in the background when he made his reservation last month. Dog to – what kind of dog – to Muttman – a short jump.

“Come on Sue.” the young man stood and pulled his girlfriend to her feet. “let’s get a coffee before the flight leaves.”

Muttman Muttman. He hated that name. Even his teachers would call him that. He had Mutt embroidered on his high-school jacket. It had been easier to give in, to pretend to be okay with the joke than to pick a fight with everyone who called him that.

Muttman was better than some of the other names he’d been called. Pizza face, vomit puss.

Boarding for his flight was called. Sometime de’d made sure he’d a have window seat on the left side so his face would remain partially hidden but for this flight he hadn’t even bother check which side he was on. The flight was that long. Patrick insisted he take first class, at his paper’s expense. One of perks of sleeping with a major player.

He got comfortable in his seat, closed his eyes and zoned out once again thinking of the last time he and Patrick had met up. The sounds if the other passengers became the sound of people getting seared at the movie theatre. He wasn’t crazy about flying so this was one way he had developed to make it more bearable.

“Nous arrivons à Dorval. We are landing at Dorval.” Mike was awakened by the steward.

“Thanks.” Mike stretched his legs as best he could in the cramped seat. “Must have been a smooth flight.” he said to the woman in the seat beside him.

“Oui, tres calm.” she replied.

He quickly made his way though the airport to the baggage carousel area. He sent Patrick a text message while he waited for his suitcase to come down the chute. “Am here. Can’t wait to c u.”

“Hi!” the girlfriend of the the rude man at the Halifax airport approached him. “I just want to apologize for Phil. He can be such an a-hole sometimes.”

“Yes. Thank you.”

“I mean he’s not always like that. Just when he’s nervous. You know.”

“Right.” he spotted his bag sliding onto the carousel. “Excuse me.” He leaned forward and grabbed it by the handle. It was always a little heavier than he remembered. “Oof.” he gasped as he swung around to put on the floor. “I wish I could pack lighter.”

He bumped the girlfriend as he turned. “Sorry.”

He stepped back to make room for her to get what luggage she might have.

“Watch it.” The boyfriend was suddenly beside him. “Or are you blind too?”

Mike stepped away from the carousel pulling his suitcase with him.

“He bothering you Sue.”

“No Phil. Look there’s our back packs. Grab’em before they go around again.”

“You get’em. I’m going to deal with this ugly fuck.”

Two of the other passengers glared at the boyfriend and stepped away.

“You can’t go around annoying any pretty girl you feel like you perv.” Phil reached to push Mike. “Just because she’s feels sorry for you doesn’t give you the right … ”

As the man’s open palm came into contact with Mike’s shoulder Mike head butted him in the jaw.

“Keep your hands off me.” Mike muttered.

The man stepped back clutching his nose. “You broke my nose. You saw that,” he turned to one of the other passengers. “I didn’t do nothing and he just assaulted me.”

“Come on Phil,” the girlfriend was pulling him by the arm. “Don’t make it worse.”

“Yeah.” Phil let her lead him away. “He’s not worth it.”

Mike wheeled his suitcase into the first washroom he came to. He could remember all the  times he’d had to stand up for himself because some boob though his splotch also meant he was some sort of mental or physical defective they could push around. It never got easier.

After the a much needed leak he wished his hands and rubbed some cold water on his face. So much for a quiet get away.

His phone flashed that he had a message from Patrick. “Can’t wait. I get in around 4.”

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