Here’s a final story from my Quartet of Horror …
Donny, a short, crippled store clerk whose only asset was his nine inch dick, felt helpless and utterly alone after some frivolous gays killed his only friend in a hit and run. Then came his plan for revenge…
Tojo’s was even more crowded than usual for a Friday night. It was the four day Thanksgiving weekend, three months to the day since Charlie died, and Bearfest was in full swing. Furry Yankee muscle men and Mid-West bears converging on balmy Fort Lauderdale searching for Mr. Good Dick or Mr. Good Ass. But even self-centered gay guys had sympathy for a guy in a wheelchair, especially a bald, stoop-shouldered, acne-scarred one, and the multitude moved their bubble butts out of the way as Donny slowly but confidently slivered through the crowd around the pool tables to the back john. The one with the old fashion tank toilet and the door where the lock still worked.
His stump was infected again, making wearing his artificial leg pure agony, and his deteriorating spine, flaking slowly away like forest rot, didn’t make moving around any easier. But he had a mission tonight, and that was getting to that back john.
Sometimes two butches who were too cheap to get a room or had partners waiting at home watching an old Bette Davis movie would take advantage of the bathroom to do the nasty. But tonight the door was wide open, beckoning. The bucks on either side of the door took no notice. They never did when Donny was standing up, all five foot four of him. Why should they now?
Locking the door behind him, Donny reached under the seat of his chair to the shelf he had made for his package. He placed it gently in the sink as he moved closer to the toilet and lifted the lid off the tank. He then completed the necessary connections, submerged his package into the tank, replaced the lid, and wheeled himself back out into the abyss of smoke, noise and wasted glances. No one was waiting to take a piss and just as quickly as he had beehived it to the john, Donny was back out on the street to his mini-van parked in the porno shop lot next door. He had the task of getting out of the chair and folding it up down to a science. The Vicodins he popped like M and M’s certainly helped the cause.
He moved the van two blocks down, shut off the engine, but kept the juice flowing so he could use the CD player. That “Big Band Hits” he had bought at the store with his employee discount was on its third track, “I Got a Girl in Kalamazoo” when the noise from the blast shook his van.
Finally, some self-respecting, responsible guy had had the decency to flush.
It was the tail end of Donny’s Saturday shift at Target’s when the dynamic duo appeared at his register. Tall, model-skinny, bleachy blondes wearing those two-sizes-too small T’s that Hot Buns sold for thirty bucks to show off their gym muscles. They had those expressionless, “don’t-talk-to-me-unless-you’re-hot” looks on their faces. Lovers, fuck buddies or friends Donny couldn’t figure nor gave one fuck. He was high on his pain meds, had been standing up for over an hour now, and in ten minutes he was outta here.
One of them had hauled this eight foot plastic palm over from Furnishings and waited impatiently for Donny to ring it up. The barcode tag was hanging from the very top of the tree and Donny couldn’t reach it.
“Hey, little man, need a step ladder?” said the taller of the two. His partner tried to hide his smirk.
“Look, can you just tilt it this way so I can read the tag?” said Donny, holding the hand scanner as he steadied himself on his good leg.
Instead, the guy pushed the top of the plant right in Donny’s face, knocking him against his stool. Now both of them laughed. All Donny could think of at that moment was why he had to work here in the first place. If only his disability check were bigger.
Just then, the new guy who had started the day before, a six foot-two, smooth-shaven gym boy who was stacking some can opener end-of-aisle promo nearby, came over and gently slipped the scanner from Danny’s hand. His tight black T strained against his biceps as he reached up to scan the tag. The Bleach Brothers clammed up, smiled at the guy like two girls at their high school prom and wheeled off.
“Thanks – thanks,” said Donny lowering himself ever so carefully onto the stool.
“No – no problem,” said the guy. Donny wanted to introduce himself but before he had a chance, New Guy returned to his can openers.
A few minutes later, walking ever so slowly over to the handicapped space and his van, Donny spied New Guy in the lot talking to some young attractive girl with long brunette hair sitting in her Mustang convertible. The car looked a bit beat up, maybe four or five years old, and had Minnesota plates. Could she be New Guy’s girlfriend?
Donny went straight home to his studio in a row of rundown garden apartments just off Wilton Drive which were slated for demolition next spring to make room for another high rise condo for rich, out-of-town gay guys fleeing the snowflakes. He turned on the TV. His excursion from the night before led the six o’clock news. Twenty-three killed, another forty seven injured, and no leads. He loved the way the Ken Doll commentator described some of the victims as “horribly mutilated.”
He put a stack of his mother’s old 78’s on the turntable – the dozen or so multi-sleeved record albums and her phonograph were the bulk of his inheritance – and sat back on the kitchen chair as Tommy Dorsey came on. His eye caught the “feel good” pic of a bare- chested, hairless hunk that he had torn off the cover of one of the weekly gay glossies and had stuck up above the kitchen sink. Mr. Hunk of The Week could be a clone for New Guy.
He kept staring at Mr. Hunk as he pulled his Swanson Salisbury steak dinner out of the microwave and picked at its contents with his fingers. Mr. Hunk certainly had it – those swollen upper arms, puffed out chest, dangling nipples – there was a small ring in his left tit – and that perfect, hairless smile. Done eating, Donny tore the pix off the wall, crumbled it up tightly in his hand and threw it into the garbage with the nearly empty plastic microwave dish.
The humidity of a couple of hundred showers and twenty-odd Florida Julys had left the framed autographed picture of a post-surgery, young, smiling Ted Kennedy Jr. hanging on his bathroom wall pitted with mildew. About the only thing they had in common is they had both lost a leg to cancer when they were teens but Donny tolerated the intrusion of this toothy, rounded-faced boy into his life each day out of deference to his mother who had written a letter to the Kennedys after Donny’s diagnosis. She had naively hoped for a visit from Teddy Jr. while Donny was in the hospital.
The picture was the consolidation prize.
He propped himself up in the stall shower and let the stream of hot water do its job. Then he popped an upper, wiped down and dressed, kissed the picture of Charlie on the beat-up end table by his bed and left.
He already knew what it looked like. After all, he had been there.
All through his senior year at Fort Lauderdale High, Donny had wished he could be like Jim Davis, the class king, all American boy, all-American name, handsome, tall, brainy, and the school track star who had legions of friends. Instead, all Donny had was Lenny. They shared an interest in stamps and would get together every so often to compare their latest acquisitions. Leonard was pretty ugly, round faced, stricken with that pockmarked kind of acne like Donny, not the Clearsil variety, round shouldered and on the chunky side. He was just a few inches taller than Donny and the kid after him whom the boys wanted least on their team. So they just naturally gravitated to one another. Stamps and all.
One time as they were going over their stamp albums at Lenny’s house, Donny seized the opportunity to pump him about girls.
“I don’t know,” he replied in his typical, mealy-mouthed, flustered fashion. “If you ain’t a jock or a pretty boy, they just don’t want you. So who needs them, I got my girlie magazines” – and holding up his hand – “and this.”
With that, he pulled out one of his magazines from under his bed and asked if Donny wanted to whack off right there with him. Donny was tempted to, but he told him he had to get home. Mom was making dinner and he didn’t want to get her pissed.
Senior year, everybody was scared shit of old man Temple, Christopher Temple, the chemistry teacher who ran his class like a no-bullshit football coach. Donny, who was thinking pre-med, liked his no-nonsense approach but all the college-prep boys and girls, Jim Davis included, were afraid he would louse up their GPA’s. Temple was particularly sadistic when it came to his pop quizzes that he usually gave on a Friday or a Monday when the guys and gals were either wet dreaming about their weekend or recovering from it. But Donny usually did well, which put him on the bottom of the popularity poll with his fellow class mates. If he had a car, they would have probably cut his tires.
One day after school, Donny was returning a biography on Einstein that Temple had loaned him when he saw him place what looked like the answer key to the quizzes in his bottom desk drawer. He was just about to leave his office and didn’t lock his desk. After Donny was sure Temple had left the building, he went back to his office, opened the drawer and pulled out the answer key. Slipping it in his notebook, he went over to study hall, pretty much deserted, and spent the next hour, as he watched the jocks from the window rev up for softball, copying the answers to the remaining 10 quizzes. Plus the final. He made sure no one, especially the janitor, saw him go back to Temple’s office before he left.
It didn’t take long for news of Donny’s discovery to get out. A few of the jock boys and their babes were more than willing to pay him the fifty bucks for the answers in which he made sure to include a few wrong ones, different wrong ones for each client, so Temple wouldn’t get the drift. And Temple never did. In fact, he smugly prided himself in being a more effective teacher.
Suddenly, overnight, Donny became every twelfth grader’s pal. Even Jim Davis became his fast-paying friend. If the class yearbook hadn’t already closed with the printer, he might have been voted Mr. Popularity of the Class of 1974 over pretty boy, condom- carrying Johnnie Travella.
Donny’s leg started aching him a month after graduation.
The amputation came two weeks later.
Donny gave up going to Florida Atlantic University and taking pre-med that fall and, after he was able to walk again with the phony leg, he went straight to working at K-Mart on Oakland Park Boulevard, not far from home. He couldn’t see himself ending up butchering someone like that doctor had done to him.
It was still early for a Saturday evening, just after 7, but Donny wanted to make sure he got a room at the bath house. By 11, they were usually all gone. And after all, if all went as planned, this would be his last night here as an ass-cruising customer. He hobbled in on his aluminum crutch – he never wore his leg on these hunts – to Room 11, stripped off his purposely loose jeans and baggy T, positioned his frail, naked body on the mattress, and reached over and swung open the door.
Here, it didn’t matter what he looked like. Here Donny and his nine and three-quarter inch dick were king. Lying there, propped up against what passed for a pillow, he stroked it ever so slowly until it had risen to its full potential. Sitting expressionless, Donny made sure never to look up at his would-be suitors. His stump only added to his allure.
His solitude didn’t last long. And they made it easy for him. Most would just sit down, pull the pillow over to where a leg was supposed to be and slide his stiff dick up their ass in some joyful homage to the Tina they were on or as some giant finger to all the guys whom they had passed up that night for not being good enough.
Sometimes Donny would fantasize a gay mag cover boy was on top of him, but most times, he had a facsimile of one right there in the flesh. Only, after he had quietly cum, they were off hunting for their next broomstick.
Occasionally, the guy would mutter “thanks,” or “you’re great.” One time a guy even said, “If you were going to lose a leg, I’m sure fucken glad it wasn’t that one.”
Most times they barely nodded as they left the room.
Usually after about the third or fourth cum, he’d slam the door shut, get dressed and hobble back to the van. He liked the smell and feel of dried lube and cum on his crouch, sometimes not showering for days afterwards. Tonight, though, Donny stopped at Ass Number 2, a thin, tall butch queen whom he had fucked a few times before even though the guy would fart a lot while Donny had his tool up his butthole.
He realized he should have left sooner when he saw the cars queued up out onto the street for the lot closest to the Driveshaft. Plus some fuck had already taken the handicapped space. He swung around to the side, grabbed a space there, and went through his wheelchair ritual. He reached for Big Boy, cushioned in a box next to the passenger side back seat, then adjusted the flaps of his open flannel shirt so they curtained the sides and back of his chair.
Donny saw him immediately. New Guy, standing shirtless against the back bar wall bullshitting with Girl Friend as Donny wheeled himself in. She was tall, almost as tall as New Guy, dressed in a halter and high skirt. Pretty, too. New Guy was apparently too immersed in conversation with Girl Friend, and Donny carriaged his way to the opposite side of the bar unnoticed.
When a few lumberjacks who were eyelocked with their anticipated loves of the night didn’t hear his “excuse me’s,” he ran the wheel of his manual motorbike into the back of their boots. Even then, they barely moved four inches out of the way without looking down.
This time there was a line for the piss-shy john and barely enough room for Donny to maneuver his wheelchair in queue. As he glanced back at the guys behind him, he wondered if he would have enough time to get out before one of these queens touched the plunger.
After about fifteen minutes of waiting, things fell into place and he was back in peaceful solitary confinement, the bathroom door locked behind him. For a split second he thought about how New Guy had come to his aid that day. Then he switched images to Charlie’s bloody body lying on the pavement and did what he had to do.
Only this time, he should have gone with his instincts.
This time, time ran out. He was still ten feet from the inside bouncer when some smart ass decided to play Miss Manners with the toilet.
Donny was sitting in a hospital wheelchair in the Radiology lounge waiting to be x-rayed when New Guy found him.
“You’re – you’re okay,” said New Guy beaming. “I saw you come in last – last night – then – boom,” gesturing with his hands. He grabbed Donny by the shoulders and gave him a hug. It hurt, but Donny held on.
“Yea, the bouncer fell on top of me when everything started crashing down,” said Donny. “The doctors just wanted to see another inside picture of my back. I told them it’s been in bum shape for years but they insisted.” He paused. “I’m glad to see you made it out alright.”
New Guy sat down across from Donny and began crying.
“Gerry – Geraldine – she – she – she didn’t make it.”
Donny gripped the arms of the wheelchair and stared into space.
“I lost a good friend a few months ago – my best friend – his name was Charlie,” said Donny as if talking to himself. “He was run over right in the street by two drunk gay boys in their fancy little red car right in broad daylight. They didn’t even stop.”
New Guy continued to cry. “But – but I’m – I’m not a smart person. They call people like me simple – slow and simple.”
Donny looked away. “I’m sorry. Was she your girlfriend?”
“My sister – she was my sister. Gerry was my sister.”
Donny said nothing.
“We came from Minna – Minna-so-ta last month. Gerry worked for Targets in Minna-so-ta. She got a – a transfer down here and got me the job.”
Donny stared at this beautiful man-boy who looked even younger close up and continued to say nothing.
New Guy put his head down. “I don’t know what I’m going to do now. Gerry – Gerry knew what to do. Our folks – they’re gone. Gerry knew what to do. I – I don’t know what to do. Tell me, what should I do?”
Just then, the X-ray tech came over for Donny. He and New Guy said nothing more to one another and Donny was happy that his back was toward New Guy as the tech wheeled Donny into the X-ray suite.
“We’re lucky we’re down here in Florida and not in New York,” Mom had proclaimed just after 9/11, a few weeks before that aneurysm that had hung over her like a noose for ten years finally blew. “What are those god damn Arabs gonna blow up down here? The beach?”
It was after 6 and just about everybody had left Sebastian Beach. Even the lifeguard was packing it in as Donny wheeled himself quietly out, close to the water. He had made three packages and had planned to use the third one in the baths that Sunday night.
New Guy would be okay. Sure he would. Somebody who looked like that would have no problem making friends. Good friends.
Friends who even gave a shit.
He stuck in his earplugs and switched on his ipod. It was Glenn Miller.
Then, looking out to the horizon, he grabbed the trigger to his package in one hand, Charlie’s leash with his ID tag in the other and, ipod on high, firmly pushed the trigger just once.