Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Monday, January 21, 2013

More of OT's Chapter 2

No thoughts of my own, so here are Jake's. He's talking with Antony and Matt over lunch, and remembering a past lover...

(I'm using Dave Mason in his "Pretty Pony" guise to personify Dion; I actually own a copy of a poster with him dressed like this.)
Well, I’d never forgotten “Rose”. I’d just graduated high school and was headed for college in the fall, so went to visit Uncle Owen during Pride in Palm Springs, and learned just how not-alone I was in the world.

I also got a weird vibe off most of the guys Uncle Owen introduced me to, like I wasn’t worthy of them. Granted, I wasn’t all that buff, back then, but I wasn’t ugly. Later, I realized the problem was most of them thought I was Mexican. It wasn’t till I met Rose that things turned around.

We were at some pool party at some ranch house of a mansion under a blazing sun, surrounded by all these pumped up muscle queens in the wildest assortment of Speedos and thongs and board shorts that had been made shorter, everybody diving into both the pool and the neverending supply of flashy drinks. He was the only one dressed in a costume, and it was like a weird combination of “The Flying Nun” and Mother Superior from “The Sound of Music”, with a strong dash of Joan Crawford. To about his hips. From there down was just a pair of legs that were formed by perfection, flowing under these sexy net stockings and into rhinestone-studded flip-flops. I had to look up to see his big lovely eyes and smile, he was so tall. I felt like a Pygmy.

Uncle Owen introduced us then wandered off to grab another glass of green something or other. I’d noticed he was one of a dozen guys wearing a simple t-shirt and cargo shorts, all of them about the same middle-age as him. But while they were slipping closer and closer to dumpy, my uncle could carry his careful outfit off because he was still trim and in proportion. He even had a full head of hair...though it was headed into gray territory.

Rose was the first guy who paid attention to my looks instead of his preconceptions...and let it be known by saying, “Call me Dion.” Then he’d asked, “Are you from Egypt? You’ve got this really amazing Omar Sharif vibe going.”

Which was bullshit. I’d seen “Funny Girl” and “Lawrence of Arabia”; the only similarities between us were the dark hair and olive skin. But I knew what he was getting at and told him, “Half Persian.”

“Oh,” he’d said. “A real live Persian Boy. Have you read the book?”

I had no idea what he was talking about. He must have noticed it my eyes or something, because he smiled and caressed my chin and said, “By Mary Renault. A book about Alexander the Great and his Persian slave boy.”

“Is it porn?” I asked, grinning.

He laughed and patted my face and said, “Only of the heart.” Then he’d taken off his hat and removed the top, and I saw he was almost as much of a muscle queen as the rest of the guys there, just in this black, shiny square-cut Speedo and with hair still on his body. “It’s too hot for this shit.”

I noticed there was a space in the pool near us, so grabbed him around the waist and pulled him in...and let’s just say, we had a great night, together. Hell, great week.

“Jake,” asked Uncle Owen, “are you still here?”

I came back to the phone call and said, “Yeah. I was just remembering how Dion went by Rose.”

“His real name’s Donald, but don’t ever tell him I told you that.”

I laughed. “I don’t think I’ll ever see him, again.”

“You never know. Anyway, Preston started making noises to the local paper, too. We even used a couple of his comments in fliers we mailed out against the DA. Now they’ve got three angry faggots with hard-assed lawyers, so I think he realizes it’s better to get the LA boys out of here before the rest of us fags get the idea we can fight back. And while it may seem like it’s an obvious way to go, I can’t tell you how many queens I know who gave in because they think this is the way of the world.”

“It is, Uncle Owen.”

“Then why didn’t you take a deal when you were facing prison?”

“Some nights...some nights I wish I had.”

“Stop it!” His voice cracked into me like a whip. “That’s nonsense! If you hadn’t fought, you wouldn’t be free, today. You might still have wound up in jail, and you wouldn’t have had the moral authority to force them to acknowledge what happened to you was wrong. You did the right thing, Jake. I know it’s hard to believe, right now, but -- .”

“But you don’t know what I had to do to survive in that place.”

“I have an idea. Dion was in prison, once, and we talked. And it only makes me prouder of you. Your grandmother felt the same way. We both knew you were innocent, and you being able to make it through that without being destroyed by proved to both of us what kind of man you are. Understand? I won’t have you denigrating yourself, not in my long-distance presence.”

I nodded then said, “Yes, sir.”

“Now I’m going to end this call before I start getting weepy.”

“Lemme know how things go, okay? And I mean it – if you need me out there.”

“Your job is to take care of Antony, right now. See, I do know his name. I can take myself.”

The day after his trial, I got a text message, “I was half-right.” I tried to call but got his voicemail so sent a text back. “Half?” He never answered. In fact, that was the last time we connected.

Tone was looking at me with his quiet, wary expression, so I jumped in fast. “Tone, I wasn’t a virgin when I went to jail.”

“I know,” he said, his voice way too even. “You told me.”

“Then what’s wrong?”



“No, Jake, really, it’s nothing. It’s were smiling when you talked about him.”

“What’s this jealousy bullshit? He was a nut job.”

“Like me.”

I rolled my eyes. “No, not like you. He was deliberately crazy. Something to break up the monotony of the job he had. Now don’t get me wrong – I liked him. And I was in lust with him for the week I was out here, not love. Then I went home. And went to college. And went to jail. And went to Denmark. I ain’t seen him, since.”

“What job did he have?” Tone asked, his voice still too even.

“He managed some properties for a real estate company. Cotton shirt and pants with a crease in ‘em.”

“Do you miss him?”

“What’re you askin’ me, Tone?”

He looked away. I was about to loose my cool when Matt put a hand on my arm and said, “Jake, a man named Donald Rice was in contact with your mother, asking about your uncle’s condos.”

“Condos? He had more’n one?”

“Four, to be exact. One he lived in; three he rented out. He also owns some other property.”

“Whoa, how d’you know he called my mother?”

“She told us.”

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