Where storm clouds hid past the horizon, in a desolate city that no one visited - he lived there. Woke up there. Put out personal ads there. Romantic ones, and ones which hinted towards a vintage love that had gone distant in light of technology - texting, instant messaging, skype. He wrote about pebbles at windows and bike rides and holding hands and when he finished another draft of an ad, he’d jerk off to grainy porn that came in glitchy and on stolen wi-fi.
The following mornings he’d walk to the paper and pay the fee for his ad to run with bold letters and asterisks and a fake circle around it so when readers went back to see what they had chosen to follow up on, his would get sneaked in.
No one answered the ads but overweight married men, or overweight lonely men, or overweight normal men who were just overweight, but he kept at them - writing longer and longer tales of romance and eventually taking over an entire page in the newspaper. Men flocked to him every week. Some would wait for him at the paper to intercept, but he would look them over and walk in, pay his fees and leave.
In that town there was no cannabis or alcohol so he found himself smoking a mixture of herbs, seeds, sticks and kitten’s whiskers. It was a confusing blend of smoke, but it got him to different planes and he would use those escapes to fantasize further about a man: Short, but not too short. A nice neck. Black hair and blue eyes. Classic, American boy next door good looks. A subtle southern accent, but not too prominent - the kind which only comes out in certain words. A man who can hold his own but would also need someone beside him. He wanted a man to stand behind, let him do his thing, and step in if he needed. He wanted the free spirit to his planted oak.
One week he decided to fore go the story and instead made a simple checklist. If a man could complete it and meet the requirements, he would be welcomed to contact him. The requirements were the same as the above desired characteristics in addition to having a certain no-greater-than weight and a complimenting spiritual outlook. There was also a blank section for applicants to use as they wished: a small written bio, or a certain playlist, or a dirty limerick - their choice.
The attention stopped and the city gave up on him. They shunned him and considered him an outcast. After a couple days he couldn’t go to the grocery without them spitting on the sidewalk in front of him. Children would throw snow at him. Men would push him behind drugstores and give him what-for’s. The town had decided honesty was something left to the library, and they wanted what they saw on television and movie screens.
He stopped with the ads and ate his TV. dinners and smoked his cat whiskers and took out the trash when it was absolutely too full to fit anything else in. Neighbors would watch him from behind their blinds, sending their eyes to him all judgmental and southern. He missed California, and the Orange County swap meet.
Eventually he got lost in his beard and smoke and ran a stop sign, crashing into a pick-up truck and spinning it a little. A woman hopped out the bed of the truck and ran to the passenger door and pulled out a baby in a car seat. He sat in the car, wide-eyed and pale, and watched the neighbors come out pointing. The small family in the truck was fine, just rattled, and his phone started vibrating in his pocket. Things were getting noisy with the hollering and the glass and he rolled up his window, flipped open his phone. The text read: “My name is Lalo and I saw your ad in the paper. I’ve been following your ads for some time now, but have come to miss them recently. I found your last ad, filled it out, and I’m pleased to say I meet your little requirements. We should meet.”
He looked around and saw the cops walking towards his car.
He texted back: “Send me a picture.”
A cop tapped his window and he got out and started the apologetic “Is everyone alright” routine, checked on the baby and put his hand on his forehead like a worried man would do. He thanked the cops for their assistance, cleaned up the shards of bumper and headlights, and tried to get to his house to check out the man’s picture as quickly as possible. But the boys in blue put their hands on him after the neighbors had gone to their insides. They left him bruised and warned.
As he laid there in the street and street lamps he got another vibration from his phone and checked it. He was handsome. Space black hair, House-blue eyes, a neck to die for. He texted him his address and he responded: “30 mins.”
He left his car parked facing the wrong way on the curb after having to push it the 3 or 4 blocks back to the house. He walked through the door and said out of breath, “I’m having someone over. I need you to stay in the back of the house tonight.”
The house was an old house, with wooden floors and windows stuck in their panes, having expanded with the rain. He lived there with a ghost, but the ghost was friendly. It would take light bulbs out of their sockets and fill the water jug in the fridge, but it never brought fear to him and it gave him privacy when he masturbated. He had announced one night to the living room that he was placing a white board and marker on the wall and should the ghost feel the want to share its name, it could write it. He told the ghost it could stay, so long as it didn’t frighten him - though waking up to a name on the wall would be terrifying, no matter how friendly the penmanship. The board stayed white and was white still when he locked the front door behind him.
He wasn’t home five minutes when there was a knocking at the door. He hollered for one second and he washed his face and combed back his hair. With everything dirty shoved away, he answered the door and almost buckled with surprise. The picture was one thing, but to see him standing there, surpassing expectations, nearly took his air. Tall and lean. Strong Aztec features. Copper skin.
Lalo walked into the house, made an irked face, and looked at him.
”How ‘bout we go out?” Lalo asked.
”How ‘bout we go out?” Lalo asked.
He looked back and saw a shadow scurry behind a wall. “Alright,” he said.
They went to a bookstore and didn’t find much. The faggoty cashier winked at Lalo as they left and Lalo mentioned this to him when they got in the car. He went back in and, though Lalo couldn’t hear what was being said, Lalo saw there was pointing and one punch thrown.
He got back in the car and shook his knuckles. ”Where do you want to eat?”
They went to a movie instead and saw something called Devil and tried to figure out the killer before the credits. His pick was the first killed so he tried to make out with Lalo instead, opting to do it then instead of waiting nervously. Lalo obliged and they felt their tongues for the first time. They stayed entwined for the film and by the end had wandered their hands under each other’s jeans. Lalo was hard and he was throbbing and they decided to go back to the house.
They rushed through the door and threw off their coats as they bumped into the walls and door frames, making their way to his bed. He hit the radio and Murder Ballads came through the speakers, bloody and dark. He threw Lalo to the mattress and held himself up over the inviting form, his hair brushing the tips of Lalo’s nose and lips. Lalo unbuckled his belt and pulled it from his jeans. Lalo undid his button-fly with nimble fingers and put his hand around his cock, pulled on it, too. He fed Lalo his tongue again and Lalo put the tip of him against the long, throbbing bulge of his denim.
“I want to do something,” Lalo said. ”Put on a movie.”
“I don’t fucking care.”
He ran to the living room with his flopping member and came back with Edward Scissorhands, put it in the player, then noticed Lalo was naked and stretching his limbs, his ribcage expanding around his frame, all flesh and inviting. The long, thick penis was stretched up along the flat stomach. The skin was pulled back over the head, clear semen formed at the tip.
He lay with Lalo and when the movie began Lalo said, “I’m going to suck your cock. And you’re going to tell me what you’re watching.”
Lalo smiled and put his cock in his mouth and he began sucking on it, slowly gliding his mouth up and down the shaft, flicking under the head with his tongue.
He put his head back and watched the saliva build up around Lalo’s lips. Lalo looked up at him and pointed to the movie.
“Uh…There’s some houses…and they’re…they’re all colorful, or…suburban like…Jesus Christ your mouth…” He felt the suction and Lalo's tongue caress the sensitive head of his penis. It made his back arch and toes point outward with each stroke. Lalo was naturally hitting all of his buttons.
Lalo pointed back at the screen again.
“Uh, fuck, ok…there’s a lady walking…around…and she’s…she’s selling something…are you fucking kidding me? Come here.” And he grabbed Lalo’s face and put his lips to his, but Lalo pushed him away and went back down to his glistening, slobbered dick. Lalo put it back in his mouth and moaned, pleased with himself.
“Ok, ok…the lady is still walking…and no one is buying anything…and she’s thinking about sucking my cock, gagging on it and wanting its cum…”
Lalo looked up and smiled, shook his head with his cock between his teeth, and said, “No improv.”
He sighed and lifted his hips into Lalo’s face, pulled Lalo towards his erection and had him swallow it.
“I’m going to fuck your face.”
And Lalo smiled, or tried to smile, as the stiff cock pumped inside his throat. Lalo put the man's hands in his hair and made him grip the dark, curly strands. He pulled on Lalo and held his cock deep in his mouth until Lalo turned red and his eyes watered. Lalo brought his head back and a wad of drool fell out his mouth as he took a breath. They smeared it on themselves and he jerked off while Lalo put his fingers in his hole.
“Bring it here,” he told him.
“Come in my mouth,” Lalo said.
Lalo gripped his cock and began stroking it between his lips, smeared saliva bubbles and spit-covered. Their eyes were no longer strangers. They had found something in each other’s and they stared with it, reaching out and finding the other. He began to rapidly breath through his nostrils, mouth clenched such. He held Lalo’s head and cheek and shot his spurting load into him, jabbing his hips roughly up at Lalo's twisting, bobbing head, making Lalo squirm and whimper and close his eyes and lose some of it as it seeped out the corner of his mouth. Lalo swallowed what he could and licked up the rest before laying his head on the man's sweaty chest. Some cum slowly made its way out him and they laid there while Edward got accustomed to a waterbed.
“Do you believe in ghosts?” Lalo whispered.
“Do you know you have one here?” Lalo asked.
“Yes. But it’s harmless.”
“I don’t think it is.”