Archive for March, 2013

The Messenger

The doorman at 118 East 28th Street calls me Daniel. I have corrected him numerous times, explaining that my real name is Charles, yet he still calls me Daniel. He claims that because I once claimed to be the Buddha, he cannot get the name Daniel out of his head when he sees me. 

We struck up our first conversation at the start of the New Year. It was after listening to a long-winded story about Mr. Chen’s time in the military as a Chief Warrant Officer, that I began saluting him. I shared a few of my own war stories with Mr. Chen. I once told him that I work such a crappy job because if Jesus or Buddha were in New York City today, they would both work as a messenger. He must have thought I was being serious. 

I was delivering paychecks to a company in his building today. He stopped me and insisted that I sign a log book upon his desk, even though he knows I am Daniel. 

“Did your father send you any more money”? He asked, referring to the $500 Dad sent me for Christmas. I told Mr. Chen all about it because he asked me that day why I always smile. 

“No, he did not,” I answered. “He only calls to tell me gross things.” I remarked. 

“What is gross?” He asked. Obviously, the world gross has not yet been added to his English vocabulary. 

“Dad likes to tell me awful stories,” I replied. 

“Tell me. What did he say?” Mr. Chen begged. 

“Dad is having another affair. That’s not a big surprise. He would not know what to do if he could not cheat. What grossed me out was his story about a woman with false teeth. He said she takes them out and goes down on him. I don’t know why he told me that story, Mr. Chen. I mean really! Why would you tell your son such a story?” 

Mr Chen chuckled and replied, “One day, I’m going to write a story about Daniel and the things he tells me.

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Steve Casey was standing at the corner of Seventh Avenue and 29th Street at 9 am on Friday. Large snowflakes clung to his hair. I noticed he had more grey hairs than the last time I saw him. Being fired from his job at Lasership as a messenger must have stressed the mildly autistic young man. He was standing outside the job, hoping to see his old co-workers—men working like dogs pulling a sled covered in boxes, all on their way to deliver books and other items inside of Barnes and Noble boxes. I felt Steve Casey’s warm presence as I rushed by crowds of busy New Yorkers who all were attempting to make it to their office jobs before 9 am struck.

“What are you doing here?” I asked Steve, knowing he had found another job with another messenger company in the city.

“I called in sick. My new boss has already given me a warning. He said it takes too long for me to make some of my deliveries. It’s true. I like to stand around sometimes. I’m out here waiting for David Martinez and Steve Roman to get off work. We like to walk around the city after work on Friday. Sometimes we play pool, but mostly we just walk around. Want to hang out with us tonight?”

I thought of Steve Roman—by far, the sexiest Latino in the warehouse. I ran into him inside a building on 5th Avenue one day. We laughed and wondered why there was not better coordination at the warehouse when it came to dual deliveries. He asked if “doing checks was hard.” I said it was because there were so many rush deliveries that all needed to be done before 10 am, and other paychecks, ones being delivered to bars on the Lower East Side, that could not be delivered until after 1 pm. “I often have to double-track, and I run around like a chicken with my head cut-off, but I just hate delivering boxes in the city. I feel like a bag lady pushing a shopping cart. I fear that being white, I must look like an easy target to thieves. My cart was ripped off one night on the Lower East Side. I chose to stick to just paychecks.” I explained to Steve Roman that morning. His lips were so big. I stared at them longer than I should have, waiting there for the elevator, wishing he’d hold me down with his big arms and just fuck me right there in that empty lobby. I noticed he once had a piercing below his lip, but the hole was empty. I thought, yes, he’s a freak and can probably be worked, but was it really worth it to sleep with a co-worker after all these years of office celibacy?

“It’s only 9 am,” I reminded Steve Casey, pulling myself away from thoughts of playing pool with Steve Roman and David Martinez that night. “Besides, it’s snowing and my feet are already wet. I think I’ll pass. I want to get home and out of the cold.” David Martinez frightens me anyway, I thought. One morning, he went off on an anti-gay rant—complaining about men who were “ass pipers” and such. Steve Casey was there next to me and gave a consoling glance.

Steve Casey accepted my rejection with a smile. I watched as a snowflake clinging to a hair that had not yet turned white, melted just above his green eye.

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The priests who caused our pope to resign should have paid a visit to the porn shop along 8th Avenue and 28th Street in New York. We would not be sitting here today waiting for white smoke.

The shop is the only place remaining in New York where one can pay the electric bill with one simple confession.

The new pope will not be black, but there are many black male hookers who call this place their office.

Bored with the white, bottom sissies who hang out at lunch inside The Blue, on 40th Street, I decided to see what was up with the red light district across from McDonald’s on 8th.

To my surprise, a man who I assumed was a hooker came to my side and stated: “Hey, pretty boy.”

Having not been called a pretty boy since the early ’90’s, he caused me to blush, so I engaged him in conversation, although I got little in edgewise.

“Looks like you got a military haircut,” he noted.

“I was in the Army, and haven’t grown it back since.”

“So what you into?”

I answered as straight forward as I could– “I like to get fucked, but places like these bore me. Were you ever inside the bar Stella’s before it closed?” I asked. “I used to turn tricks for $500. Those were the fun days in New York.”

To my surprise, the black man had been inside of Stella’s and went on to brag about the straight dancers who he picked up from there and “turned out”. I noticed the man had grey in his beard, so I assumed he was telling the truth about being to Stella’s.

An uncomfortable silence fell between us, shortly after the man finished telling of his exploits.

” I want to show you my ass,” I said without blushing. I turned and entered the buddy booth along the left side of the wall– the one with the large piece of plexiglass. He followed, and went into the adjoining booth. I mooned him and quickly pulled up my pants and left the dive.

He followed me onto 8th Avenue and stated: “I don’t chase after men, but that ass was nice. It was hairy. I really like that, pretty boy.”

I blushed again and explained that I had to get home.

“I hope I see you again.” I said.

“If you do, it may cost you next time,” he explained. “I was going to give you some for free.”


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Big Bootie Pie

Shawn never tasted my pie crusts made with lard. He died long before the economy crashed; back when it was not such a big deal to blow five bucks on a can of Crisco shortening. My lover from Compton went nuts the day he first tasted a chicken potpie cooked in a 9 inch ceramic pie plate lined with a pie crust that I mixed up and rolled out right in front of him. That evening was the start of his insatiable lust for my bootie.

He was a fan of my mashed potatoes too. Never had a seen potatoes whipped with an electric mixer and so much butter and milk added.

I made him an apple pie at his apartment in Brooklyn using a beer bottle as a rolling pin. An apple tree grew in the backyard. It had not been pruned for many years and grew like the ones in the Wizard of Oz. The tree was filled with imperfect fruit that October. Although it was sagging at the limbs, and covered with apples with dull, spotty skin, the fruit made for the perfect pie.

We were working as a tag-team on a straight guy who lived upstairs. The Spanish dude spent the entire afternoon in Shawn’s apartment, playing chess, drinking Shawn’s expensive whiskey and smoking some of the pot that Shawn grew in his closet. The dude was impossible to work, despite the skill of both Shawn and I, but he ate the pie like it was a bitch’s titty.

More than a decade has passed since I last saw Shawn in the hospital room in Brooklyn. I don’t know what ever happened to the Spanish guy. I remember so vividly the moment I said that prayer that let Shawn go, and yet I remain so sorry that I chose not to spend the last night by his side.

His spirit has not gone though. He still lingers near. Sometimes I believe his spirit has led me here to this Mexican neighborhood. Shawn once said the only ass he ever had better than mine was that of these two Mexicans– Juan and Jose, whom Shawn sold pot to, who worked him over, just like I did with my pies, Shawn once explained as we were exploring the joy of an “open” gay relationship just after having sex alone for the first time in months.

“I’d marry you just for these pies,” he often said.

“I think marriage, it itself, is an abomination,” I explained in a godly tone. My naked, pale white legs were still wrapped around him, like a soft untrimmed crust hanging over the edge of a ceramic pie plate, in need of fluting.

His long braids smelled of African oils from Carol’s Daughter. They tickled  my inner thigh as he rested there, smoking his weed, wanting another piece of apple pie.

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