Appraise me - excerpt
Maggie asked me, "What happened?"
I was caught off guard. I knew exactly what she was referring to. She wanted to know why I hadn't been careful. How I could have let myself begin to fade. She knows gay men have been educated now. It isn't the seventies and gay men aren't being ignored. We've been warned, and talked to, and scared into safe sex.
I'm not sure she really wants to know. But, she knows she gave too much last time we talked. She wants to find equality in our pain. And, I don't see any reason in not accommodating her.
One situation. There are many, Maggie. You know there have to be many."
"Of course I do. One is fine."
She turns her coffee cup in a circle. The handle is now pointed towards her chest. Her sweater falls in a sharp V and reveals the sharp boned breast plate. The ripples of bone are like the ocean. Her breasts are non-existing in her clothes.
"I met him at a bar. Or, he saw me at a bar. I never got his name. Or, his full name. I could tell you where he lived. It's where we went.
She's not shocked so far. She's had one night stands. I have to remember I'm not talking to my mother, or Claudie, or my unborn siblings. It's Maggie.
"His house is small. Like a cage. Tiny windows. A strong smell of sex. No animals. No photographs. No television or computer. He uses men as entertainment. He doesn't need anything else. I tell him I'm not into any blood letting. And he says that is fine."
"I've had my share," he tells me. With a twisted smile. I look around the floor for any stains. I'm always too dramatic. Too stupid and gullible. He could have been joking.
"So," I ask. "Where to?"
"Just get naked." He sits down in a chair. There are three chairs in the room. They are all different shades of brown. All leather. They face the empty white wall.
I start to undress. And he lets down his fly. Pulls out his cock and begins to masturbate while I am undressing.
"You don't mind if I have company do you?" He asks as two men enter the room. They are all built the same as he is. Average size, floating around 6 foot. No one is over weight. No one is too built. Other than there being more of them than me, I feel safe.
"Sure," I say as I remove my shirt.
They sit themselves on the other two chairs. They had rolled into the room like a fog and made themselves comfortable.
They both undress completely. The one I came home with never undresses. Only has his cock in his hand. The cutest of the two stands up and walks towards me. He bends over and asks me to finger him. I place my pointer finger into his ass. It is warm. And, surprisingly tight. What I imagine a wedding ring to feel like.
As I am fingering the man the other naked man comes towards us. He stands in front of the man I have turned into a puppet. The man takes his finger and opens up tne mouth of the bent over man. He slides his finger inside his mouth. The man begins to heave. As he heaves his hole gets tighter each time. Encircling my finger. I feel my finger is losing circulation. And may be sliced off and lost inside. The air sucking into his body. Until he vomits all over the floor. The vomit splattering onto the other man's feet. They both giggle. The smell is heavy. But I don't stop.
"Alright." Maggie doesn't want this story.
"You don't get AIDS from vomiting and finger fucking."
"Well, there's more. You want the rest?"
"No. I want something else."
"Maggie, it's not pretty. this is not show and tell. It's ugly, ugly shit."
"Don't talk to me like a fucking Polly Pocket. Just stop circling around all the pain. Stop hiding behind humor and perverted stories. These little fetishes aren't going to do it."
"Do it? Do what?"
"Do it. Aren't going to make me feel sorry for you."
"Feel sorry for me? Bullshit. That isn't what this - you know, that's not what this is about. That's, no, that isn't-."
"That is it Steven. All this shit. You're prolonging the moment. I've talked to my therapist about this. We believe there is something you haven't experienced since it first happened. Something you're hiding. And, that you want to let out. These little 'show off' stories are not what you are holding on to."
I'm surprised by Maggie. She never told me she was seeing a therapist. Not that I didn't expect her to be. I didn't expect her to use the "we" as if they were a single brain, though. I didn't expect her to dissect me. I didn't expect her to expect anything from me. And, I didn't think she wanted to go this deep.
I push back my chair and stand up. The table shakes a bit, the water I haven't touched spills from my glass a little. I place my napkin on the table. Remove my wallet and pull out a twenty. I place it on the table.
"Not now," I tell her.