Less We Forget …
My blog about 9/11 which I personally experienced …
There have been at least eighteen committed acts of terrorism on American soil since 9/11.
Less We Forget …
My blog about 9/11 which I personally experienced …
There have been at least eighteen committed acts of terrorism on American soil since 9/11.
I write what I live and live what I write.
For ten years until just recently, I wrote a thrice-a-week blog under the banner of “Confessions of A Straight Gay Man,” based on my half century myriad of experiences as an out and about gay man. I stopped writing my blog when I realized I had pontificated on just about everything in gay life I wanted to – both its serious and plain silly sides – and had not much more to say.
But ironically, my truest, most real experiences are those portrayed in my works of fiction, largely set in the two places where I have spent most of my
life, the Greater New York metro area, and Fort Lauderdale where I retired to
in 2002. I view myself as much a chronicler of what gay life was like during the last quarter of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty first as I am, I hope, a good storyteller.
In “Not In It For The Money,” my first novel published in 2010, I chronicled gay life in New York at the turn of the millennium, especially the West Village’s gritty leather and levi scene, now all gone, a scene I was very much a part of as a young leather man; and the emergence of what would dominate today’s gay world, for better or for worse, the pick-up sites on the web. Also playing a focal point in my story is 9/11 which I saw unfold painfully upfront and personal as an executive of one of St. Vincent’s suburban hospitals – St. Vincent’s in Manhattan is just blocks from the World Trade Center – there that faithful morning for a system-wide meeting.
The experience my main character country boy Josh lives that morning as his life comes crashing down around him was my experience.
“The Czar of Wilton Drive,” is a story within a story, where a twenty one year-old barely out of the closet kid from suburban New York inherits several of Fort Lauderdale’s most popular bars from his late great uncle and is submerged in the underbelly of Lauderdale’s leather and drug scene.
Much like I was as a retired newbie in town.
Jon, my main character, finds Uncle Charlie’s life story on his laptop in the beach front condo he inherits which tells Jon as much about his own life as his uncle’s. Those memoirs, with very little fictionalization, are my own.
The two young drifters of my third work, “Buy Guys” are Jersey boys much like as I was – I grew up in Bergen County, New Jersey – and virtually all their encounters as male escorts down in Fort Lauderdale are encounters I had with other men including a few I had during the month, already in my sixties, l researched the book as a “rentboy.” The funeral home industry plays a quirky but powerful role in the book and is based on my recollections as a teenager cleaning a local funeral home in my hometown in Jersey with my mother. My sister who Mom also dragged along on those Saturday morning junkets agrees that our detached views of death are much different from most people because of those experiences.
Finally, there is “The Love of Samuel,” published in 2017, set in both NYC and Fort Lauderdale, which is arguably my most autobiographical work to date. Outside of its fantasy theme, the return to his youth by my 51 year-old protagonist Billy through the prowess of the dog tag of a Civil War soldier (I’m an amateur historian of that Great War Between the States and that’s where dog tags were first used), just about every character and every experience in the book are people I knew and experiences I lived.
The now young Billy leaves his home in Manhattan for Fort Lauderdale and falls in love with the handsome Black Irish forty four year old Dare, a security guard at the Gearshaft, modeled after Lauderdale’s leather bar, the Ramrod where Billy works as a barback. Dare is the spitting image of my current lover who is old enough to be my son and the love scenes between my two characters are out of our playbook, verbatim.
For more about me as an author and my books, visit: hardcoregayeroticabyrpandrews.com
That includes “For The Love of Samuel,” “The Czar of Wilton Drive,” “Buy Guys” and “Not In It For The Love” And all four audiobook editions are narrated by – who else – but me.
Funny story: my sound engineer, a cute 44 year old with not one but two daddies, was giving one of them a massage as they were listening to one of the sexier chapters we had just recorded from “Czar,” when the two of them got so aroused, they did the nasty right on the massage table!
For the Love of Samuel
A story of love lost … and love found
Now in E-book and Audiobook Editions
New Yorker and aging gay man Billy Veleber who abhors growing old has lost Mitch, his former meth head lover, to his habit, and Gus, the older man in his life and mentor, to despair, when he is confronted with the chance to become 21 all over again, through the magical prowess of the dog tag of a long dead Civil War soldier, Samuel Evans. Young again, Billy abandons Manhattan for Fort Lauderdale where he meets Dare, the love of his life, whose clever quick rich venture first bonds them, then threatens to end their idyllic lives together forever. Billy also faces the reality of having to tell Dare the truth about himself.
“There have been countless stories about the quest for youth and everlasting life making it difficult to find a new way to approach it and write about it. Here is where Andrew succeeds. He takes the facts that he has learned and converts them into fantasy and he gives us a very sexy story. It seems that there were certain dog tags that contained the life force of their long dead owners and when the tags were transferred to a new owner, the person returned to the age Samuel was when he lost his life.
We meet some very hot men who have some very hot sex but the reader must be ready to read fast because the novel is fast paced. I actually heard, and thoroughly enjoyed the audio version that made it all seem very real (and very sexy). However, it is not only the sex that keeps the story moving. Writer Andrews tells a good story in wonderful prose…
There are a lot of characters and the story changes directions a few times keeping us alert. This is one of those books that will stay with me for quite a while.”
Amos Lassen Reviews
Here are some audiobook samples from “For The Love Of Samuel:”
Billy, the aging 51 old gay man, puts on the magic dog tag of the long dead Civil War soldier, Samuel Evans and over one weekend begins his transformation. Already feeling his libido renewed, Billy visits Manhattan’s last remaining leather hole, The New Eagle…
Starting a new life in sunny Fort Lauderdale, Billy meets Dare, a 42 year disgraced ex New York City cop now working as a security guard at the leatherbar Billy gets a job at as a barback. The chemistry between them is immediate, and that night, Dare takes Billy back to his condo where they make love for the very first time …
A tale of redemption
Now in E-book and Audiobook Editions
Buy Guys is the story of Blaze and Pete, two young, handsome drifters with nothing and nothing to lose. Blaze convinces Pete, who is falling in love with him, to leave dreary New Jersey and lead free and easy lives as male prostitutes in sunny Fort Lauderdale, posting their profile on the male escort site, Buy Guys. Blaze, however, soon pulls Pete into a much larger, more dangerous scheme, a scheme that eventually threatens to destroy them both.
“Well written … I naturally assumed by the title that the story would be about two guys in the sex trade but I had no idea that this would also become a kind of mystery… the sex scenes are quite graphic … (and) Blaze and Pete use sex as a way to bolster their finances and get out of debt. More importantly, they try to deal with their pasts and it is with this theme that they find themselves involved in kidnapping, murder and drug use … RP Andrews gives us two characters that represent what can happen when the wrong choices are made and he does so in a way that they hold a fascination for us.”
Amos Lassen Reviews
In this audio chapter we meet the two men of our story, young and studly Blaze and Pete and find out why they decide to leave dreary New Jersey for the sun and fun of Fort Lauderdale as paid escorts on the pick up site Buy Guys…
Blaze and Pete encounter all kinds of guys in their pursuit as sexy studs for hire in sunny Fort Lauderdale but Pete, who thinks he has seen it all, finds his client on this particular afternoon certainly in a class by himself…
The Czar of Wilton Drive
Now in E-book and Audiobook Editions
My erotic novel of sex, drugs, deceit and betrayal, set in Fort Lauderdale’s Wilton Manors, Gay America’s playground. Available on amazon.com
Jonathan Antonucci, a 21 year old, barely-out-the-closet gay man from suburban New York, overnight finds himself a multi-millionaire, thanks to a bequest by his late gay great uncle. Uncle Charlie has unexpectedly died of a heart attack, leaving him the sole owner of several of the most successful bars in Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale’s gay ghetto.
Flying down to Lauderdale to claim his bequest, Jon encounters Uncle Charlie’s dubious friends and business associates, and is immediately submerged in the underbelly of Lauderdale’s gay scene. He also discovers his great uncle’s memoirs which reveal truths not only about Jon’s own past but also what may have really happened to his uncle.
“This is one of those reads that just takes you along and dominates you as you read and you do not have to think about anything but getting lost in the story.”
Amos Lassen Reviews
Here’s a sample audio chapter from “Czar.”
Summoned by Uncle Charlie’s lawyer to Lauderdale. Jonathan learns that Uncle Charlie left him ownership in two of Lauderdale’s most successful gay bars. He is in Charlie’s beachfront condo which is now his when he finds his uncle’s smartphone and calls the last number of the last text message Charlie received. It is from Marcos, a local barber and fuck buddy who offers to come and help Jon sort things out…
In this audio chapter from “Czar,” Jonathan is introduced to forbidden fruit by humpy leather man Gil, manager of the Gearshaft, Lauderdale’s leather and levi bar Jon inherited from his late uncle. Gil was also one of Charlie’s lovers …
Not In It For The Love
A novella of unconventional love, betrayal and redemption set in the New York City of 9/11. Available in e-book and audiobook editions.
Set at the turn of the new millennium. this is the story of Josh, a young street-smart Florida drifter is snatched from his dead-end existence as a male hustler in a cheap Key Largo motel by Bishop, a Wall Street power broker who sets him up as his trophy boy in Manhattan society.
There, Josh, after leading a promiscuous lifestyle within New York City’s gay sub-culture, meets Hylan, a young, bi-racial, down-on-his luck, wheelchair-bound musician who awakens in Josh what love can be between two men. But their chance at happiness and the lives of those around them are forever changed by 9/11.
“A brilliant story you can’t help but inhale whole non-stop till you reach the end … this is not your everyday romance, this is not your everyday fiction either. This story is like taking a peek out there in the lives of real people in the real world.”
MM Good Book Reviews
“Appealing,” … “(a) taut, richly detailed … unapologetic … gritty realistic tale… a character-driven plot that moves smoothly and easily from first page to last.”
Mrs. Condit and Friends
Up to now Josh, the Florida drifter and sometime male prostitute who has been adopted by Wall Street deal broker Bishop and brought to Manhattan as his trophy boy, has always viewed sex as a way of benefiting himself minus any emotions. That all suddenly changes one Sunday evening when Josh pays a visit to New York’s West Village…
Josh has plans to meet Bishop for lunch at Windows on the World on top of the World Trade Center, site of Bishop’s new job, and visit Hylan at St. Vincent’s Hospital where he is being treated for his paralysis, when all of their worlds are turned topsy turvy. The date: September 11, 2001.
Shades of Gay
If you were an alien from some outer galaxy monitoring American life, you’d think that everyone entered a voting booth at age twelve and a half and yanked a lever marked “sexual orientation.” But those of us who are gay, and I think a hell of a lot of enlightened heteros out there, recognize that sexuality (a) is inborn, genetic, either repressed or enhanced by environment; and (b) is often, because of where and how we are raised, not black and white but myriad shades of gray.
I once had a boss who hired me, a gal, and another guy, all of us gay. He was supposedly, as they stay, straight as an arrow, with the stereotypical suburban life, kids, grandkids. Sometimes the three of us would get together to try to figure Eric out. Did he rightly reckon that gay professionals are more reliable and tend to work harder because we have less personal commitments to deal with (like mothers-in-laws and taking kids to soccer practice)? Or was he attracted to us because he had a splash of gay blood in him? Who knows?
The point I’m trying to make here is that sexuality, including homosexuality, is as open to interpretation as color swatches at Home Depot. You’ve got guys, regular guys, beefy guys, who rap one another on the ass after a sweaty football game, homoerotic as hell, then go home and fuck their wives or girl friends silly, maybe because they got turned on on the field? Then there’s the same guy type, maybe he’s a coach or a truck driver, with a male life partner or some fuck buddy who mirrors his under-spoken masculinity, and they very discreetly, or maybe not so discreetly, fuck the shit out of one another every chance they get. You’ve got openly effeminate men, many in the professions, who are as straight as a flagpole with seven kids to prove it and not a homo urge in their loins, and cross-dressers who have ten inch dongs and fuck bi-married men.
Sure, there are as many shades of gay as stripes in the Pride Rainbow flag. But what I disagree with which is against prevailing propaganda in our so-called collective LGBT community is that gay girls, gay guys, transgenders and transsexuals are all cut from the same cloth. I think there are very different psyches operating within and between homosexual women, homosexual men, guys who get their kicks dressing up, and individuals who genuinely think and feel like one sex but have the equipment of the other between their legs.
We are not all alike and, frankly, I’m tired of all of us being thrown in the same sandbox, not only by “society” but by this “Community” the media, show biz, and some activists have created, often for their own self-interests, not mine.
Now, I can’t speak for gay girls or transsexuals since I haven’t known enough of them in my life to play even dime store psychiatrist, but when it comes to transgenders, please, pray tell me, what fucking gay man who likes his own sex would willingly have his dick sliced off, huh??
Interestingly, in the new FX series “Pose,” about the transgender subculture of New York City in the 80’s, two of the female characters who once led their lives as males have male boyfriends who know they still have their dicks but continue to have sex with them, even love them. Does that make their boyfriends bisexual, closet homos or what?(By the way the show has been renewed for a second season – terrific. Making the word unique sound boring, the show sported some of the wildest fashion fantasies ever with dancing out of this galaxy, especially in that “Pose” sequence in the last episode. Wow!)
Nor am I being judgmental when I say this since I truly believe that as long as someone does not physically and/or psychologically abuse another individual and is not looking for a hand-out to carry on a lifestyle, it’s that person’s business how he or she conducts his or her life.
That’s not to say the world is ready to accept us with open arms, but we all have to concede things are a thousand times better no matter what our “kink” than they were just a generation ago.
But let’s get back to what it is to be homosexual for me. There are some gays, not the majority, but some who love the lifestyle as much as or even more than the “Sexual Act.”
They’re the ones who bankroll, chat on, even write pro-PR blogs about the bars and the parties and the events and the cruises and the music and the celebs and LOGO and the GQ look. All very nice, even envied by some outsiders (read straights) looking in, but very surface and cursory.
Me? Sure I drift in and out of that world as I choose, but the reason I like, yes, like being gay is because I’m a regular guy who tries to stay in shape (but not as a steroid junkie, gym addict or leather man) because I want to feel like a man when I’m fortunate enough to have a like-man next to me where I can feel and smell (no deodorant please) his masculinity. Otherwise, wouldn’t it be a hell of a lot simpler and far more socially acceptable just to do it with a woman?
The problem for those of us who think like me is that all that other shit – society and our own “coveted” Lifestyle – gets in the way.
I’m starting work on my next book so this will be my last blog for awhile. Unless I’ve got something to say. Which is almost never.
Are You Gay Or are You Homosexual?
There have only been about half a dozen guys I’ve known or had sex with in my checkered life who you would never guess were gay: G, my ex-partner; Gil, who introduced me to meth; Bert, my financial planner, and M, my 43 year old lover.
Anyway my handsome lover and I were having a discussion about the word “gay,” and how it was used to describe, well, us, and took issue to it since in his mind it implied someone who was frivolous and silly, even effeminate. He, being a guy which is one of the many reasons why I love him, instead preferred the objective clinical term “homosexual,” since it accurately and more cleanly described what we were: men who are attracted to other men for sexual and emotional reasons.
All through my teen years I knew I was different, attracted to young guys my age not girls, but it wasn’t until my freshman year in college – remember this was 1965, not enlightened 2018 – that I first saw the term “homosexual” in my Psychology course textbook and said to myself, “that’s me.”
The word gay, derived from old French “gai,” entered the English language in the 12th century and originally meant carefree, joyful, and bright and showy. By the 17th century, it had taken on sexual connotations and implied “addicted to pleasure” and “uninhibited by moral constraints.” First applied to female prostitutes and men who frequented them, it gradually shifted to “gay boys,” boys or men who had sex with other men. Yet by the middle of the twentieth century, activists in our subculture were preferring the term “gay” to describe us rather than the more pejorative “queer” or “fairy.” (As an aside, the term “faggot” originates from the Middle Ages when homosexuals were burned at the stake. Faggot refers to a piece of wood.)
And so we have gay as a catchall word to describe all of us men who love men, and in a larger, looser sense either sex, male or female, who love their own sex.
Ironically, until gay liberation which took place in the late sixties and early seventies, ‘“gay” men were hardly gay. Many were miserable, ostracized by family and society, often taken to alcoholism and drugs to lose themselves (some things never change) or even suicide. Now we wear the word gay proudly and some of the younger members of our subculture are intentionally using the word “queer” as a way of throwing back in the faces of those that hated us or frankly still hate us the very word they used as a hateful slur.
But are all us “addicted to pleasure” or ”uninhibited and carefree” even “effeminate” as some derivations of the word originally implied? Or are we guys who just happen to like guys, something the term homosexual more objectively describes?
What do you think?
Are you gay or are you homosexual?
Another Stupid Statement By A Supposedly Smart Guy
This time it’s King of Facebook, his Majesty Mark Zukerberg, a Jew, who said FB posts denying the Holocaust which exterminated not only 6 million Jews but thousands of political prisoners, Catholic priests and as many as 10,000 gays, would not necessarily be removed. (But a pic supposedly showing the shadow of my penis in my shorts landed me in FB prison for thirty days). Okay, maybe he can hide behind freedom of speech as his reason, but then his Majesty went on to stupidly say – there’s no other word to describe his public relations faux pas – that he doesn’t think Holocaust deniers are intentionally getting it wrong.
I used to think the Florida sun baked people’s brains. Now I think the more money they have the stupider they get.
Or is it that good old Yiddish/New Yorkese term, chutzpah?
What Comes Around Goes Around:
The ATT Times-Warner Mega Merger
If you think Baby Bells are a new form of pocket cheese, let me fill you in.
Up to the 1980’s, AT&T which stands for American Telephone and Telegraph (yep, it all started with Morse, folks) didn’t just run the phone service in this country; it WAS the phone service. This was eons before the only mobile communications device was the SciFi Dick Tracy watch worn by a popular cartoon detective of the era. Plus, ATT owned Western Electric which manufactured the phones themselves (the old fashioned kind, what we call today landlines). By the way, Western Electric was also where the transistor which made possible most of today’s technology and eventually put Western Electric out of business was born.
Well, the feds finally deemed the whole thing monopolistic and ordered ATT broken up into smaller regional phone companies which were nicknamed “Baby Bells.” Some flourished like New York Bell which became Verizon and now is ATT’s chief competitor in the cellphone game; others, in less populated parts of the country, languished and merged for survival.
Fast forward to today.
After being fought by the Obama Administration, the mega merger between ATT and Times-Warner, a major player in the media world, went through like a greased pig under Trump. This means the same company that produces much of what we see and read (Times Warner) now controls the major sources for distributing it (ATT and DirecTV that ATT also owns ). Experts believe this precedent setting merger will be followed by many similar type set-ups in other industries, in other words, one megacorp having the whole pie.
Back in the late forties, the feds went after the film industry and deemed that studios like MGM which produced product could not be owned by the companies that distributed the product, in MGM’s case, the Lowe’s Theater chain, and ordered them broken up. That decision was one of the nails in the coffin of the old Hollywood along with the advent of television.
Yet by its clearing the way for an ATT/Times Warner merger, the feds are allowing just that: production of product and distribution of same by the same company. So what was considered bad in 1948 or 1984 is just fine in 2018. Only multiply its size and influence by a million.
Wanna see how much your smartphone, tablet, wifi, cable and satellite bills go up when competition becomes a four letter word?
And when what we hear and see is controlled by a few, how long will freedom of speech and diversity of opinion survive?
I Didn’t Need A A But Its Meetings Saved My Life
Jimmy, the home health aide for hire I used for my recent shoulder surgery, was driving me to my first post op doctor’s visit (you’re not allowed to drive for six weeks to keep the shoulder immobile) when he very matter of factly mentioned he was attending an AA meeting that night and wanted to know if I was curious and would like to join him. Since he was the one who opened up the subject, I asked him about his sobriety and he replied he had been sober for over thirty years since he saw his life going down the sewer in his twenties, and made it a point to make an AA meeting whenever and wherever he could, even in vacation out of the way spots like Australia.
Now one thing I never had a problem with was alcohol. “Speed” has always been my nemesis, from my six cups of coffee days to the black beauties of my college career that got me through a part time job and full time student schedule, to those speed enriched Slim Fasts of my professional days, to my current on again, off again meth habit as a retiree. ( I have since learned there are AA-like meetings for druggies and may attend one myself.) But I was planning to make two of the protagonists in my next book alcoholics, so I decided to take Jimmy up on his offer and do a little research.
Since that first time I’ve attended half a dozen meetings populated by young gays and old gays, young str8’s and old str8’s, men, women, and poly addicts, and realized that these meetings were more than support mechanisms. They also provided its members with a safe, non judgmental and welcoming social environment free of our society’s social glue – liquor.
Now I have to confess I didn’t buy its core dogma about relinquishing yourself to a higher power. My lifetime philosophy has been you are responsible for your own actions and it’s you who has to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. But what fascinated me were the stories people told about their lives before AA.
Wrecked careers, marriages gone down the sewer, near death health scenarios, all that got me to thinking that if these individuals who came from all walks of life, many of them white collar professionals, could deal with their issues with alcohol everyday of their lives, fuck, when it came to my collapsing spine and the resulting arthritic pain that was driving me to end what was and still is a good life, I could deal with my shit too.
So I said to myself, Ray – I talk to myself a lot, it’s the way I think out problems and stay sane – I said, Ray, if these folks could pull themselves out of the depths of degradation, you can deal with this left hook that Nature has thrown at you.
After all, I’m still mobile, still got my dogs and my handful of friends – anyone who says they have more than four or five steadfast friends are bullshitting you or worse themselves – can still turn a head or two, and make love to a 43 year old man who makes love to me. So stop with the pity parties of one at six in the morning, take your fucken Advils or a few puffs on your medical marijuana vapo-cig…
And shut the fuck up.
It could be a lot worse.
You could be living in your car.
And that repo tow truck is right around the corner.
Trump Should Be Charged With Treason
Believing Putin, our country’s arch enemy, when he told him Russia had nothing to do with the meddling in our 2016 Presidential election while all the evidence points right back at Russian cyberspies financed by the Russian government?! In fact there’s indications they’re already fucking around with our 2018 midterm elections.
If that’s not an impeachable offense, defined broadly in the Constitution as “high crimes and misdemeanors,” when as President of the United States you are ignoring your own intelligence agencies’ findings and siding with the worst person in the world you could support, you tell me what is. No wonder Putin wanted Hillary, a seasoned politician, to lose. He knew he could walk all over Trump which is exactly what he’s doing – on a world stage.
Trump isn’t just a jerk.