Later, I stumbled out of the bar into the dank Tucson alley which smelled of rotted garbage and festering urine. The night was halfway over. While I was in the tavern, it must had rained. The uneven bricks of the back alley were glistening in translucent reflection. I retrieved a cigarette out of my pocket with intoxicated, numb fingers, lit up. I leaned my head back and blew great plumes of smoke up into a dark and cloudy sky. The undulating clouds parted here and there so the stars could look down and judge me.
“Fuck you.” I mutter and almost fell. I held onto a lamp post covered in flyers to support myself. The beers and tequila shots were taking their toll. I was truly screwed. Truly damned.
“Hey.” A voice out of the darkness hissed. “You spare a smoke?”
Goddammit, I don’t want to be bothered. I want to get home. First, I gotta piss.
I didn’t answer the phantom and wobbled over to the filthy dumpster, whipped out my junk, and relieved myself. Cigarette precariously dangling from numb lips, I zipped up and half-assed a scan for police patrols. On one end of the alley, a group of loud frat boys stumbled past gregariously as they often are.
“Can I bum a smoke off you?” The voice asked again.
I gazed over to a dark corner filled with shadows and dread. He slithered out of the inky blackness in grungy clothes and frayed sneakers. His blond hair was disheveled and he was sniffling. The boy was on something. It was his eyes. His eyes gleamed in the half-light, burning with sadness and despair and evil as hell addiction.
“What?” I croaked.
I felt like Fagin all hunched over and bitter and shitty.
“Do...you...have...an...ex-tra...cigarette?” He asked slow and drawn out as if speaking to a retard. Funny thing, he was.
I mumbled ‘Oh yeah’ or something like that and handed him one. He took it in slender fingers, dirt under the nails. He was slight of build and I wondered the last time he ate.
“So, what are you looking for?” He asked coyly.
Ah yes, the standard ice-breaker question of every male prostitute in every alley of the world.
“Death.” I grunted.
“Oh don’t say that. Life is good. It is full of great times.” He smiled broadly.
I blearily gazed at him and saw him in a new light. Here standing in front of me was a beautiful, homeless youth and in lieu of all his hardships he currently endured, he remained positive. I was like that once. Before being beaten down by lovers and friends and trust and mishap decisions and misguided circumstance. Before my mind went and became toxic and corrosive in embittered self-loathing.
“Are you hungry?” I asked, pointing towards the 24 hour café on the opposite end of the alley. “I need to get some food in me to suck up this alcohol.”
“As a matter of fact, I am hungry.” He stated, smiling. “Been drinking, huh? You drink a lot?”
“It’s all I have left and even that proclivity is becoming a bore.”
I began stomping down the alley; expertly dodging pools of iridescent, oily water. He paused, then followed.
We cut into the shop. Ordered food and strong coffee. Took a booth at the wall. The place was empty excluding a lonely hobo with a panting dog and a deranged homosexual on a laptop. My guest and I both sat for some time not speaking.
“I’m James.” He finally stated.
I introduced myself the best I could, with the exception I was so drunk and depressed, instead of coming across cordial, my words and tone came out loathsome and obscene. I drank my coffee in silence until our sandwiches arrived. The boy ate with gusto.
“Haven’t eaten in a while?” I asked as I watched him devour his meal.
“Not good anyway.” He managed between chomps of pre-processed flesh.
Outside the rain began and late night revelers dashed under awnings and into doorways. I observed James. Rentboy to be sure. Then again, I think it was forced in way of certain living arrangements. Or perhaps he was simply a sex addict. A lot of them are. They won’t admit it. But, they are.
“I was thrown out of this place today.” I divulged, glancing around the coffee shop.
“The café? Why?”
“There were a couple of heroin addicts I was chatting with in research of a new book. On account I was in association, and basically because the barista was an imperialistic bitch, I was asked to never come back.”
“And, yet here you are.” He laughed. “Wait. New novel? You’re a published writer?”
“Yes.” I croaked. “A curse.”
“Wow!” James gushed. “I never met a real writer. What do you write?”
“Garbage.” I grunted.
“Oh...come on. It can’t be that bad.”
I sighed. Took a sip of coffee, poked at my sandwich. “You have a place to stay, James? It’s raining outside and it’s late. I need to get some sleep.”
“Actually, I was couch surfing with some friends over on 4th. A bunch of fucked up tweekers. The bitch who runs the house and I got into an argument. So, as of right now...the rain is my blanket.” He extended an open palm towards the street.
I looked off into the darkness beyond the grime streaked pane window. The intermittent flash of summer lightning. The glow of yellow lamps igniting sheets of cascading rain. I took a cigarette from my pocket, offered it to James. Removed one for myself, lit both.
“You can stay at my place if you wish.” I stated. “No monkey business. Unless you’re into monkey business.” I raised a fey eyebrow, took a drag.
James leaned over the small table and asked in hushed tones, “Are you gay?”
I continued to look out the window, slouched against the wall in the booth, “I haven’t been gay a day in my life. I am, however, a homosexual.”
We finished our meal and then found ourselves briskly walking over incandescent pools and dribbling rain to my rented room a few blocks away. I opened the door and invited him in. He took in the place like a good hustler, making certain there were no sinister weapons or weird sex gadgets. I noticed in his face he was relieved the place was somewhat bare - bed, bookshelf, table, a couple of chairs, clothes neatly hung in an open closet. Nothing to hide.
He turned to me, “You mind if I take a shower? It’s been a few days.”
I said sure and gathered him a clean towel and an unused bar of soap. I lay on the edge of the bed, smoking a damp cigarette, watching the shadows move across the ceiling from passing cars outside and listening to Miles Davis on the CD player. Through my experiences in Mexico, as long as he was in my house, I wasn’t going to let him out of my sight. I could use a shower, too. However, I believed as soon as I exited the bathroom, anything of value would had been long gone.
James walked out of the bathroom with a green towel wrapped around his scrawny torso.
“Let me see if I can find some pajama bottoms for you.” I offered.
“Don’t bother. I like to sleep in the nude.”
Convenient. I offered him a beer from the mini fridge and we chatted a bit as he lay under the thin blanket. He mentioned something of getting enough money for a bus ticket to return to Las Vegas. He had family there. I didn’t bother questioning why he didn’t hit his family up for the fare. After I finished my beer, I peeled off my damp clothes and slid under the blanket.
He was shivering and so was I. Wordlessly, he snuggled next to me, briefly muttering that my body was warm. His torso was so boney. In the half-light of the room, he turned towards me and slid his arm across my chest, his erection thumping against my hip.
“I want to feel you inside of me.” He breathed into my ear.
We began kissing. The taste of saliva mixed with coffee, beer, and ham swirled in our mouths. James kissed my chest, making his way down to my own erection, and sucked my dick like something I needed in a long time. It felt as if I was in heaven. He definitely was a professional. I got to the point I couldn’t take it anymore and rolled the blond onto his stomach. I parted his cheeks and rimmed him for a good ten minutes. He squirmed and gasped as I loosened him up. I flipped James over onto his back, placing his feet up onto my shoulders. Spitting into my palm, I lubed the head of my penis and slowly pushed it in. He clung to me like a baby monkey as I rapidly rutted and lunged. His ass muscles tightened and grasped as I thrust - literally sucking my cock into him. I couldn’t hold back any longer. I yanked out and sprayed him with semen. He masturbated wildly, unloading his pent up frustrations onto his self. It was a work of art. I snatched my cell phone and snapped a pic before he could hide his face.
“Hey!” James laughed. “You should ask before doing that!”
“It’s for the archives. Dr. Windom needs it for my reports.”
“Ford Windom. PhD. Never actually passed the bar exam. Faked various psychoanalyst credentials with Photoshop. He once committed a friend to an asylum because he laughed at his eyebrows. Another nearly overdosed on a prescription from the good doctor when he swapped the patients lithium with Viagra, he then notified the guy’s parents and told them the patient was a sexual deviant with a bad case of crabs. Crazy fuck needs to be arrested.”
“He sounds weird.” James chuckled.
“You have no idea.” I plopped next to him, placing my phone onto the end table. “How about first thing tomorrow morning, we head over to Greyhound and get you that ticket to Vegas?”
“For reals?!” He beamed, lying next to me, propped up on his elbow. “You’ll do that?”
“And more.” I said esoterically. “Now, let’s get some sleep.”