It was 7:33am. I toked slowly on an unfinished cigarette. The rain came down in sheets. The morning was dark and wet and sordid. A young man stood under the awning of an adult novelty store – he languidly glanced up and down the street with that hazy, ambiguous look of post-intoxication.
Unfinished cigarette. I stood near the corner under another canopy, silently watching the cars splash by, waiting for the cascading rains to disperse. The rain bounced up and hit my pants leg under the awning. I glared at the young man with the look of a predatory lizard.
“I don’t think they’re open yet.” I stated.
The man shrugged. He looked at me, then away. He was tall and possessed dark skin the color of espresso. I assumed he was black, but his facial features were somewhat Asian. His combed-back hair was slightly wavy and cut short on each side. He stood in blue jeans and a work jacket which draped over a lanky body. Hands were firmly placed in his front pockets with hip jutted to one side in the universal stance of rentboys the world over.
“Wanna get some Starbucks?” My voice boomed in the silence of the early morning. Perhaps a little too loud. The row of closed shops frowned. I felt awkward.
The man faltered, then smiles, “Yeah. That’s sounds good. You buying?”
“That’s the way it usually works when someone invites you, right?” I smirked in a vain attempt to be charming.
Wind sounded like whispers through dead trees as we slipped into the café and were served hot coffee by an imperialist fag. Tyler read the barista’s name tag. Stupid American queers.
I should give this character a real bitch dramatization and slam four pennies onto the counter for a tip. But, I digress. I digress. I thought.
We sat at the window in big, comfy chairs and - what was his name? Thomas, yes - thank you. I inquired why he was hanging out in front of E Street Books.
Thomas smiled - eyes yellow pinpoints of meth induced fire – “Nothing else to do. Was gonna jack off to some movies, I guess.”
Three old queens swished into the café and eyed ud like rabid, dried up vampires. I glared back in hostility. One of the bloated hags fidgets, looked guiltily away.
“Where you stayin’, Thomas?”
“Hotel Gateway next to Horton Plaza. It’s a rinky dink room but at least it’s warm.” He says and goes into a novella of coming down from Washington state, losing all, and living on the streets. Not bad looking - half black, half Chinese, he claimed. That explained that. On closer inspection, his torso was so wiry thin, I suspected if he was on junk. I ordered a double espresso and sat watching the fools rush through the grey, windy haze outside as bebop jazz wailed from hidden speakers. Snooty fag barista wipes down the counter.
Thomas looked up from his blueberry muffin, “Let’s crash at my room. Get outta this rain.”
Sure. Why not?
We make the two blocks through incandescent pools of shit and trash to his tattered, old hotel adjacent the fabulously rich Horton Mall. Through a cavernous lobby and up the ancient elevator. The room was literally a closet - cot bed, end table, dresser with communal bathroom down the hall. Candy wrappers and take-out food containers littered the cramped room and an ash tray brimmed over with butts, empty Dr. Pepper can utilized for the same purpose. Faint smell of ashes, mildew and dried semen.
Thomas lay back on his bed with his long, skinny frame in worn jeans and frayed Dickies jacket. I sat on the end table and couldn’t help glancing at that crotch protruding like an obscene tumor. Thomas gets it and began talking abstractly about the porno shop and jacking off and orgasms...
“Want some relief?” I asked, lighting a cigarette. No time for pleasantries, I thought.
Long, awkward moment of silence.
“Yeah” Thomas casually stretched on the bed and that lump in his jeans begins to extend. I hand him the unfinished cigarette and lay next to him with one fluid motion of unbuttoning his pants. A line of black hairs trail over a flat stomach to a puff of shiny, ebon pubes. No underwear. A thick cock flipped out moistened at the tip, the drop of semen glistening and transparent. I grabbed the exposed erection and lick the head and Thomas says ahhhh. Smell of musty clothes and rectum, I suck and lick and stroke in mechanized movements of unpeeled, raw lust. Thomas’ toes point outward and down as he ejaculates into my mouth. Acrid - gooey. I swallow.
We lay smoking. Passing one cigarette back and forth. I blow great plumes of grey smoke toward the yellowed ceiling. Thomas breaks the silence, “Hey, man. I was wondering if you can spare five dollars?” Thomas spurts out nervously, “I need to buy hair products.”
“Hair products?” I calmly repeat.
He glances toward a small shelf on the wall. A tin of hair relaxer, a small bottle of gel, and a well-used tube of sex lube lay cluttered among personal items. I smack the fiver into his brown, bony hand and excuse myself. Thomas mumbles something about sleeping. He casually hands me the unfinished cigarette.
I walked back out into the drizzling rain under a sky the color of a dead television channel and made my way toward the movies. I composed a mental equation of the amount of money in my wallet after selling my food stamp card the day prior. Seventy-two dollars and some change.
Think I’ll take in an afternoon of cinema - perfect day for it...