From My “Basic Butch” short story collection, “Best Buds,” Part III

I’d never been to the red light districts of Europe but I understand the whores there ply their wares by sitting lasciviously by large shop windows. By 2’oclock, the upper decks of the motel looked the same as guys sat or lay on their beds, their room drapes pulled open and doors ajar, and the parade of hungry faggots passed by, window shopping.

Every so often, usually after another $2 vodka cranberry, Jack or Sam would get up and announce they would be doing another “whore walk.” Boyd and Jesse felt their chances were better at the pool. Me? I was an old fashioned boy who believed in sex only after sundown.

Judging by the parade of men in and out of her room, I think the only person who was consistently successful that day was Transylvania, who had been down at the pool earlier that afternoon showing off her surgeon’s talents in a two piece lime bikini.

We both took naps which allowed Jack to recover from his early afternoon buzz.

“Fuck this place tonight,” he decreed as we were taking our showers. “Let’s grab a cab, Fuz, and check out Roy’s.”

Roy’s was an out-of-the-way, neighborhood hole-in-the-wall bar that urban legend claimed had some back room action. Even though we had the car, Jack thought it smarter to cab it – that way we could get tanked without worrying about the DWI patrol.

I thought neighborhoods in Orlando couldn’t get much worst than where the Marlboro was. Arriving at Roy’s – a ten buck cab fare – I realized I was wrong. Plus, even though it was after 11, the place had maybe ten or fifteen guys at most, a few cute young rebel types I admit, but mostly just fat, good old boys playing pool or darts or munching on peanuts.

The back room was actually an outside, fenced-in patio which mimicked a mini-version of the Rambles of Central Park. But the two cute ones Jack and I had our eyes on ventured out only briefly, leaving as the main event some fat fuck on his knees blowing another fat fuck behind some trees.

Then everything changed for the better when one of the rebel boys – tall and thin, grizzly beard with a red cap and south of 25 – stationed himself a few feet from the Fattie who was on his knees. A few minutes later, Rebel Boy had yanked his nice long piece from out of his jeans and Fattie quickly shifted gears and moved in for the kill.

Jack gave me a nod to follow him. He stood beside Rebel Boy, unbuttoned the guy’s shirt and began stroking his smooth chest while Fattie continued to blow below. When Jack moved and began deep kissing the guy, I knelt down and began licking whatever Fattie didn’t have in his mouth. Rebel Boy instinctively turned closer in my direction, leaving me with the whole prize as Jack, still kissing him, stuck his hands down the guy’s pants and felt his ass. Before long, Rebel Boy was bent over and bare assed, Jack’s firm dick sliding in and out of the guy’s pre-lubed asshole as I, back on my feet, let Fattie finish me off. Jack and I came at about the same time.

By the time we returned to the Log Cabin, Jack’s alcohol buzz was in high gear. I was trying to space my drinks with Cokes but it was hard to resist when Jack kept buying.

He was only half way through one screwdriver when he ordered another for himself and one for me. I guess the bartender had a Ph.D. in mumblers-deciphering and slide the new drinks next to our old ones. With that, Jack took his first drink and poured it into the new one, the overflow flooding the top of the bar where we stood. Not missing a beat, the bartender grabbed some napkins and quickly sopped the mess up.

“He ain’t potty trained yet,” I explained to the curious guy next to me who was watching us.

Huddled away in the corner, a couple of older guys in Bermuda shorts and flannel shirts had been observing Jack since we first came in. Their looks weren’t cruises, but more like probing stares, as if they were trying to place where they had seen him before.

Suddenly, Jack grabbed me from behind and gave me a long and heavy tongue kiss. I knew it wasn’t love, but at first I thought it was the liquor, then realized Jack was playing diversional tactics with these guys.

“Let’s get the fuck out of here,” he slurred. “315. We gotta check out 315.” Three fifteen was Boyd and Jesse’s room.

Boyd was alone, naked, standing by the window, his Prince Albert glistening in the parking lot light. It was as if he had been expecting us. He opened the door and gestured for me to pull down my jeans to which I complied – I had wanted that fuck from the moment I saw him that first day. Jack settled with unzipping his own fly and pulling out his limp dick, but after several attempts to get hard while Boyd worked my stiff rod over with his tongue, Jack gave up, zipped up his fly and stumbled out of the room.

Boyd didn’t seem to care. He had gotten what he wanted, and so, too, had I.

“Aren’t you going to pull the drapes?” I asked.

“Why?” replied Boyd as he reached for the lube and began fingering my asshole.

“I don’t get fucked,” I said with a smile.

“You will tonight,” he said, determined.

If anybody was going to fuck my virgin hole that weekend it would be Jack – or forget it.

Just then, the door opened. It was Jesse with his own trick – Sam. I used the opportunity to get off the bed, pull up my jeans and, still smiling, make my exit.

Jack hadn’t returned when I got back to our room and I used the opportunity to get some sleep. Jack was still gone when I awoke the next morning.

I went to have breakfast. Boyd and Jesse walked into the restaurant and joined me. We small-talked but it was as if last night had never happened. Finally I brought up what was really on my mind.

“You guys haven’t seen Jack, have you? He didn’t come back to the room last night, and as of this morning, he was still MIA.”

“Well,” said Boyd, “I can give you 67 guesses where he might be.”

I looked at him.

“That’s the number of rooms in this dump,” explained Jesse as if I were a moron.

I didn’t touch a drop of liquor the rest of the day and as the afternoon progressed into night, I got increasingly worried about Jack though I tried not to show it. But it seemed like I was the only one who gave a shit. In fact, Boyd and Jesse connected with a dynamic duo from Philly and never did catch up on their suntan and Sam ping-ponged from one chaise lounge to another, pining after some young Latin cutie.

I tried Jack’s cell phone at least a dozen times that afternoon and evening, always getting voice mail, then realized he had left it – and his wallet and apartment keys – in my locked car all this time. I wandered around the property and up to the Log Cabin, retracing our tracks, aimlessly hoping I might find some sign of him. I even went up to the front desk and asked for the number of the nearest hospital and called over there, pretending I was a family member, to see if someone fitting Jack’s description might have been brought in the night before. But I got nowhere. I thought of calling the police, but Boyd had put on a rare queen’s face when I had floated the idea that morning at breakfast. “Honey, you ain’t your brother’s keeper.” So I didn’t.

Was Jack lying in some hunk’s bed or in some alleyway? Had some Religious Right gay basher or one of the neighborhood druggies gotten him? Had he grabbed a cab that night again for Roy’s and been abducted by aliens in the patio? Had some trick gone sour?

It was after eight when I found Boyd and Jesse in the bar. Initially I felt relieved – maybe they would have some new ideas of what to do – but they were too interested in having a second round with their new found friends from the City of Brotherly Love to pay attention to my ramblings.

Sunday’s T-Dance at the Marlboro was the gay event of the week for Orlando, and as I watched from the walkway outside our room the crowds below become ever bigger and noisier, an icy reality gripped me.

I was alone in all this.
Totally alone.

Tomorrow: The Truth

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