The need for ‘transparency’ is getting to the point where if you don’t reveal you once looked at a naked person you could be taken to task for sexual harassment. I have a friend who refuses to appear & speak on any internet video feed lest what they say changes context as contexts change. What was harmless one decade becomes damning in the next.
This piece isn’t directly about that 🙂 but looks at how & what we reveal of ourselves in our personal relationships. When does one reveal one’s sexual history, health issues? A buddy of mine started dating a guy & after a few dates realized they had potential he revealed a health issue & the other guy went ballistic. My buddy was devastated a she wasn’t hiding anything but waiting till there was some trust & a reason to reveal.
There are enough songs, books, movies about things that never get said. We, as humans, hope that our actions will convey our emotions, not merely our words. To say I love you & treat someone like shit as opposed to treating someone with kindness without saying saying I love you.
The underwear verse contains actual experiences of mine, slightly exaggerated. I didn’t really hide things just made them harder to find to delay departure. I’m more inclined to lack of expectation than I am to lack of feelings though. That is one of those things that goes unsaid. Things last as long as they do & I don’t build that much on expectations. But when I give one of my bed buddies undies as a birthday or Christmas gift I always say – I can’t wait to see them on you. So I guess that’s an expectation after all 🙂
I convey affection easily with words, but anything deeper not so readily – why is easier to say ‘I love those undies on you’ than it is to say ‘I love you’ ?
David Dell was waiting for them at reception when they went into his office.
“Nice to see you, Daniel.”
“Good to half-see you, David. You remember Sanjay?”
“Oh, yes, of course. Come into my office.”
Dan always liked the comfy client chairs at Dell and Strong. He wished his Depot office was large enough for them.
“What can I do for you?” Dell asked once he was seated.
“I’ll let Sanjay tell you.”
Sanjay explained about the partnership deal, the money needed and what Sylvan brought to the deal as well.
“Half-a-million isn’t an insubstantial amount.” Dell leaned back in his chair. “So, Daniel, were you considering this as a personal loan or as an investment by James Photo.”
“Basically, I want to know if I was in a position to make this sort of capital outlay.”
“Let me check your records.” He pulled up a some files on his computer. “Oh!”
“What is it?” Daniel asked.
“First as a personal … investment. You might swing it with your house as collateral. You’ve done a fair amount work on over the last couple of years and your area is doing exceptionally well on the housing market.”
“But as James Photo, because of the way the corporation is set up, for such a substantial amount you would need all three of the partners to sign off on it. Even then, until the other deal is fulfilled that wouldn’t be possible.”
“Other deal?” Daniel asked.
“The one with Cuppa’s. Your sister obtained a line of credit for twenty hundred for that.”
“Two hundred thousand?” Daniel asked.
“Yes. Surely she told you how much, when you signed off on it?”
“No, she didn’t. Do you have the agreement so I can refresh my memory.”
David went to the door. “Deena can you bring me the James Family Photo file.” He waited at the door until she returned with them. “Thank you.”
He opened the folder, quickly flipped to a document and turned so it faced Dan.
“You see there’s the amount.” He flipped it to the last page. “There’s your signature. Right under your mother’s.”
He looked at Sanjay. “I’ve never seen this document before.”
“That’s a very serious allegation Daniel.” David said.
Dan’s mind was reeling. He rubbed at the pain around his eyes. “What’s the date on it?” he asked but he didn’t hear the answer.
“I’m sorry. I’m not feeling so well.” He mumbled. “I need some fresh air.”
Sanjay steadied him as he stood.
He took a couple of deep breaths. “I may be mistaken. I do recall co-signing some contracts for Linda at about that time. Let me speak with her. I’ll be back later in the week, with her, if needed.”
“Of course Mr. James. What about the other matter.”
“Now that I know where I stand financially Sanjay and I have some things to discuss.”
“Thank you Mr Dell.” Sanjay shook David’s hand.
They went out to the car. “I will drive.”
“Not yet. I have to walk and breathe. You wait here.”
Linda wouldn’t forge his signature on a document. He must have signed it and forgotten or not realized it when he was signing the FairVista invoices. Surely she didn’t forge his approval. After all he was a documents specialist. He could find out if it was his signature. Then what? Press charges?
He went back to the car and got in.
“Are you alright?” Sanjay put his hand on Dan’s and squeezed it gently.
“I think so. It’s pretty clear though that with the house I might be able swing a mortgage for you. I’m not sure I want to do that though.”
“I understand. I didn’t realize your business was so complex.”
They drove home in silence.
“I’m going to hit the sack.” Dan said. “My head is throbbing.”
“Should I give you a massage. That will help you sleep. Align your chakras for clearer thinking?”
“Tempting but no thanks. I won’t be up for much longer once I take a couple of pain killers.”
“There is always tomorrow.” He kissed Dan long and hard. “Now you relax for awhile while I get washed up. I’ll be in to tuck you in about ten minutes.”
Dan plodded up the stairs. What sort of scheme was Linda trying to pull anyway. It wasn’t as if he would have not signed on if she had approached him. They both had a talent for getting their way with the other. The thought of even confronting her about this made him sick to his stomach.
He took his clothes off and and sat on the edge of the bed. The air was cool and he shivered. What he wanted was Sanjay’s hands to warm him up. To take all this worry and pain. Mortgage the house?
He stretched out with his hands behind his head.
Sanjay came into the room.
“I was trying to figure out who these belong to?” He flipped a pair of underwear at Dan.
They slipped off his chest and fell to the floor.
“Must be mine.” Dan groped for them.
“Neither of us owns Aussie Bums.” Sanjay said. “Unless you’ve been shopping while I was gone.”
Fuck they must be Peter’s!
“Maybe someone named Hamid does though.” Sanjay went to the guest bedroom and shut the door.
The next day Dan was getting to leave the house for his appointment at the eye clinic. His pain meds and sleeping pill had overrode the stress of the previous day. His mind was cluttered with various scripts where he said this and did that and Sanjay or Linda or Curtis would nod and back down slightly crestfallen and fully apologetic. He knew that talk often never leads to a solution and that the less he said would give people the rope they needed to hang themselves.
Sanjay was on the phone when he came down to the kitchen. Dan poured himself a cup of coffee.
Sanjay ended his call. “Mother is very excited about the anniversary and my visit. She sends her regards.”
“Fifty years is an achievement.” Dan said.
“Quite right. Sleep well?”
“As well as my meds allowed. You?”
“What do you think?” Sanjay sat at the kitchen table. “I was restless thinking of what has to change, between us.”
“Did you come up with anything other than these mixed signals.”
“How can you be so .. so … placid? I’m disappointed that you turned out to be like so many gay guys. Sleeping around at the drop of a hat.”
“He wasn’t wearing a hat.” Dan wasn’t going to be baited into defending his actions. “I was.”
“It isn’t that funny. To me.”
“It isn’t to me either but I did what I did. I’d probably do it again, whether we were married or not.”
“Don’t start in on your assimilationist bullshit. It’s just an excuse to to act out. It’s pathetic.”
“No more pathetic than your judgmental condescension.”
“Whatever.” Sanjay sighed sadly. “I hope you wore protection.”
“We didn’t go that far. And by the way, it wasn’t Hamid. One Desi at a time is more than enough for me.”
“I know it wasn’t some Desi guy.”
“Oh? Aussie Bum not Punjabi style.”
“Dan, you aren’t the only one who knows how to check the video security logs.”
“You did that?”
“I couldn’t sleep. I had to know who it was. I came down and went through them. A little young for you and rather pale too.”
“Yes to both. We never did discuss the age gap.”
“His face wasn’t on camera long enough for me recognize him.”
“It doesn’t matter who.”
“Must have been someone you knew. Maybe tricked with before.”
“You sound pretty sure of that.”
“You’d never bring a stranger back to the house. You’re too paranoid for that, I know you. So it had to be someone you were familiar with. I’d’ve guessed Silver’s assistant but he isn’t as tall as this guy. ”
“You’ve been watching too much CSI.”
“But,” Sanjay took the underwear out his back pocket and smelled it. “By the aroma of sweat and caffeine I’d guess someone who works in a coffee shop.”
Dan grabbed the undies from Sanjay. “What’s the point of this? You’re trying to turn this into some you-betrayed-me scene and that isn’t going to happen. So I had sex with someone. Here in the house.”
“In our bed?”
“Sanjay get over it. I haven’t ‘tricked’ as you called it, with another man for years, not once you moved in here.”
“Oh, so for the first couple years you were getting your dick wet whenever you could?”
“No more than you were!”
“When did you stop seeing Harold? Before or after you moved in here?”
“Harold was … well, he wasn’t some teenage trick. You knew about him when we met.”
“Not that you were still fucking him”
“It’s that kid at the Carafe.” Sanjay snapped his fingers. “I thought he looked familiar.”
“So it is.” Dan took off his house slippers and put on his runners.
“You are old enough to be his father.”
Dan went to the hall to make sure he had what he’d need for the day in his shoulder bag. “Should I take my iPad?”
“I don’t care. We were …”
“No. You were …. whatever. I have to get a move on. I should be home for supper. You’ll be here?”
“How can you be cold?” Sanjay asked.
“Frankly, Sanjay either you’ll stay or you’ll go. Or do you just want another chance to line up my chakras for a mortgage?”
He caught the Queen streetcar. One down and two to go, Dan thought. Confronting Linda could wait till his regular Friday at FairVista. He texted Dell and Strong that he would drop in to re-read the Cuppa contract. He texted Curtis next to find out what progress there was on the cold case project. Funny how having one eye forces you focus on one thing at a time. Fewer distractions.
He got off at University and walked up to the the clinic. Dr. Grey was pleased with his progress and suggested he could use the eye for short periods of time as long as he kept it away from bight lights or glare.
Another true life adventure – well adventure is over-stating the incident. The ‘she’ is a recoveryacquaintance. We don’t constantly talk about the futile battle of life 🙂 Life if full of small pleasantry & learning to recognize & share them is a part of becoming life-sized. Though sometimes I do wish some people would develop a better sense of boundaries 🙂
The conversation here is about the trivialities of life, relationships &, for me, control. Not that I haven’t received gifts that didn’t quite suit me but I’ve never thought, I’m not going to give specific directions on what I can be given – “here’s a file of my sizes, preferred colours, flavours & if your gift doesn’t fulfill these strictures I’m not interested.”
I found the conversation amusing but found myself thinking that here was someone who may never be pleased with anything so I’d better not give them more than a handshake. I’m also is favour of boyfriends as any age. I rarely talk about my own romantic adventuring though – as accepting as many people are they don’t need to hear me brag about my active sex life.
So the piece ends with me projecting a bit on her about the nature of ‘brag.’ But it also reflects that fact that what people tell us isn’t always in the content of ‘what’ they say but the ‘why’ they say. The subtext. Am I telling you about the randomness of ‘ordered on line underwear’ sizing (some countries large is medium in North America) – to find a better place to order or just to let you know I like underwear & that I order it on line. (btw I do know the right underwear size for all my boyfriends).
Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee at Capturing Fire 2020 June 25.26.27. – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet
I’ve been working through the Gayish podcast backlog (or should that be logs as there are two hosts). Besides listening the the most recent I’ve been going backwards & forwards – or is it top to bottom? Listening to one oldest, then the most recent. This past week I heard their podcasts about Undies & then the one about Voyeurism.
These two meshed together when one of my regulars set up play date & asked if he should wear the undies I gave him. I said ‘sure’ more because they were a memory for him of a past play session & now served as foreplay for him as he travelled to my house. He couldn’t wait to show them off for me. He isn’t the only one of my regulars I’ve given undies to – the others sometimes just show up wearing a gifted pair without warning. I find their pleasure in dressing up for me very hot. I like to look at men in underwear, whether I gave those undies to them or not.
I’ve written about my affection for undies a few times. Most recently Nice Undies https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3q2. I’ll also add, my undies have improved my sexual self-confidence & since I invested in my collection my sex life has increased. One tip for any underwear fan out there – never put them in the dryer – always air dry. Dryers are too hot for the elastic & will cut their ‘shelf’ life by 50% or more.
Voyeurism? The male of many species are aroused by visual, input hence the allure of make up etc. I enjoy porn, but not as much as I once did, & not the sort that I once enjoyed. I can remember looking at the male underwear pages in Eatons or Simpsons catalogues with great pleasure. Did they airbrush them groinless? Ditto album covers. Before I moved from Cape Breton I was ordering pay pinup magazines from Toronto – Numbers, BlueBoy – I was ‘educated’ by the nude men. Flaccid due to the law. Magazines like Penthouse could show a women spreading her labia lips, but an erection was forbidden, ditto the anus. Now porn has become so pervasive & available thanks to the web, I’m mostly bored.
The older I get, the younger the men seem to get, it’s to the point where I feel like a pedophile if the models are too hairless. Watching sex isn’t as appealing as having sex 🙂 One of my regulars insisted on a 3-some so he could have someone watch him as he topped me. It was more fun for him in that sense than for me. The third guy? Well, he loves the undies I gave him.
Capturing Fire 2016 edition was a step forward for the lgbtq poetry summit that Regie Cabico started several years ago. Part of the success this year was having extra hands in the form of Sasha Sinclair helping with the administration & organization of running the event. Another step forward was opening up the locations. Not that the DC Centre was a bad location but it was time to move out from that sheltered & rather office space space to warmer settings. Coffy Cafe (warmer than expected thanks to a/c break down)was a great setting for the opening night. The staff was friendly, the coffee fresh & ice drinks were cold. I do think 3 events for a kick off is one too many. Like all poetry event things start late & run longer than expected – what on paper looks like a tight set of 3 one hours shows, quickly becomes 3 – 90 min shows. I liked the loot bags – the Capturing Fire 2016 notebooks were an inspired idea, the tote bag useful, the Go In Poet button will get lots of wear by me but – I know it’s hard to decline free stuff – the loot bags were stuffed with a range of condoms, flavoured & otherwise plus lube – a few dental dams as well. But for a festival that was strongly trans, asexual, non-binary – all that gay male stuff seemed a bit out of place. Why not rainbow Washington flag stickers?
The Keegan Theatre proved to be a great spot for the Saturday & Sunday workshops & open mics. Events were unhurried, well attended, & productive. I like workshops were things get written, where ideologies get challenged, rather than mocked or attacked. I think Fire needs more hands-on writing workshops around editing & creating new material, or looking at material already created. I’ll propose something for next year when that call comes out.Busboys & Poets is a fine spot for the slam & I sensed that the staff there got schooled on how to deal with disability. One of the good things about Fire this year was the active participation of disabled writers – thanks to Deliciously Disabled I’ve become more aware of ablest thoughtlessness. Busboys’ lovely stage is not at all accessible.
Once again my world view became wider – my awareness of the issues faced by trans, asexual people & those that question the value & nature of gender roles deepened. I bought a bunch of poetry books that I look forward to reading over the summer. I added a bunch of new facebook friends, people I’ve actually met. Even added some new WordPress followers 🙂I found myself blogging daily, sometimes twice a day, just to keep on top of everything that was going on. I even made time to do some writing that wasn’t blogging while playing tourist. I look forward to next year & hope to become even more involved, from a distance, in helping Capturing Fire grow glow brighter & hotter.
another of the workshop pieces – can you spot the form?
I didnʼt mean to laugh
as your dropped your pants
but after four weeks of email
msn and webcam smiles
long phone calls
finally to meeting face-to-face
to keep from rushing from hi to bed
first at starbucks for latte
again two days later for dinner
followed by drinks in a dark bar
groped delirious in the warm night
we finally had enough trust
to enter your apartment
yours because it was closest
we knew what each was into
plans for the future
expectations of relationships
expectations for this relationship
which we both approached as adults
eager for long term commitments
in the empty elevator to the 19th floor
we two men in our fifties
were like teenage horn dogs
yanking shirts up
pushing one another hard to the wall
falling as the doors unexpectedly opened
we got to your place
giggled wrestling to the couch
in our groping we knew
how solid one anotherʼs engorged members were
members trapped too too long in pants
now we were at this point
after teasing weeks of tentative explorations
when you dropped your pants
I burst into laugher
not at you
no no not at you
but those jokey jockeys
who knew Iʼd get caught short
by your shorts
your identity undone by those undies
I was unaware underwear
could make such a big difference
next time I wonʼt waste four weeks
The vicissitudes of queer dating provides an endless supply of things to write about. Some based on my own experience & some of friends of mine. How to get that balance between eager & finding the ‘right’ guy & or seeming too desperate or too indifferent. The endless struggle. Gay men get accustomed to dropping their pants first before moving on to more personal matters, like what’s your name 🙂
On the web there is that added layer of ‘is this guy the one in the photos’? The want of a serious lasting relationship built on shared values can quickly disappear on the first face to face meeting. Some present well on line, even at first look in the flesh but can turn out to be totally not what you want after all.
The not having sex on the first date or two is seen as a sign of real commitment. I’ve done it at times. Made it clear from the start in fact & have never regretted it but in a few cases once sex happened all interest was gone, on both sides.
I hold back some information as the piece unfolds. I keep age back so that the fact the guys are in their fifties remains silent so readers can see these meetings preliminaries as something not attached to age. I’ve tried video chat a few & the pic quality wasn’t worth the effort – if my profile pics aren’t enough: move on. There have never been undies that effected me this way but they are a symbol for that unseen element about a person – a personality quirk or even a physical mannerism that ends things, stuff one doesn’t see right away which is deliberately hidden. Now there have been up upholstery choices that have turned me off from anything further.
As I’ve gotten older I am less inclined to spend a lot of time getting to know before I get to met – I’ve found the more chat they want the less likely it is you’ll ever meet. It is possible to find meaningful relationships on line – I have – but if I’m not looking for one I don’t put up with delay.
This is also a great piece to perform. It address dating issues & how what is supposedly is important can lose value so easily. I enjoy the reveal of it as I go through the various layers of getting to the point then finally get to the point. Jokey jockeys is fun to say. Try it.
This older piece is one of my favourites. It strikes the right balance between out-there sexiness & in your face queer. A lot of queer writing about sex tends to be either totally explicit without a sense of humour, or totally frustrated, bitter, politically hectoring without a sense of humour.
the red mitt
I always err on the side of humour, which can result in people not taking my ability as a writer seriously – not enough suffering for the emotional content to be worthy of more than a laugh. In looking over this I do feel I’ve been lulled into the ‘suggestive’ as opposed to the direct – a line like ‘the ones you are wearing/implies something not so brief’ leave everything to the implication – as opposed to saying ‘your dick is barely contained in those undies.’
red and white
If I were writing this today I’d probably become more explicit as I’ve come to see being too suggestive is a form of hiding to keep the reader comfortable – some are more comfortable with implication of bulge -as if implication was more literarily poetic. But that’s a subject for another blog post.