James rents a room near Times Square. He shares space with what James describes as “A pretty Black girl with a slamin’ body. She sits with me on my bed in her nightgown, my God! I don’t know what to say to her, so I sent her a text thanking her. She responded, ‘You’re welcome’ and she came and sat back down on my bed and we watched a movie together.”
“What about your girlfriend?” I asked. I already knew James, my co-worker, has a girlfriend who he loves dearly, but had to move out from. “I couldn’t sand all her kids,” he explained. I laughed, realizing there is little difference between gay and straight people. I’m not out at work, but who needs to be? Especially since we all live the same dramas with different characters.
I love chatting with James at work. We share the same space in the morning. James once told African Americans at work not to work next to him because the place to his right was mine, and only Mike Day, a former heroin addict could work on his left. “We have a nice little mixed community over here. We even got white people. Don’t bring your shit over here. You’ve been sorting your paychecks in that same spot for five years now.” That was when I wanted to be friends with James. I make little conversation with others in the morning before I head out on my route. I’m not sure if it’s safe to be out at work and who really wants to be known as the fag anyway?
James is a little older that I am and has hit fifty already. His teeth are not the best but he has not a single gray hair on his head. We often laugh at our own bad teeth and how they got that way. The pretty black guys with perfect teeth don’t get our humor and must wonder why we hit it off so well. “I was eating a peanut one time and it went down a hole I have in my tooth. It hurt like hell. Thought I’d die for a minute, but I popped it out with my tongue and chewed it on the other side. The shit was good.” James told me as he imitated chomping on a peanut in his mouth. I laughed like hell.
Not knowing what advice to give to my friend James in regards to his lust for his roommate, I simply shared a story:
“When I was in the Army, I had a Black section chief,” I said to James. Mike Day looked up from a stack of checks he was sorting and peered at me over a pair of glasses from the Dollar Store and waited to hear what I had to say about my Black boss. “You’ve done everything,” James reminded me. “You was in the Army…”
“We were on a field training exercise in the woods of Germany. I hadn’t had a bath in weeks. Sgt. Grier somehow met this German chick who lived near to where we were camping. He asked me if I wanted to come with him over to her house. Hell, I needed a bath and agreed. When we got there, it turned out, they wanted me in a threesome.”
Mike Day, the old seventy-something ex-junkie blinked and pondered the meaning of why I told James that story.
“Oh, hell. I’ve had orgies,” James insisted. “Two men with one women, three woman two men; whole gangs of us just fuckin’.”
“I’ve never done anything like that,” Mike Day said.
“I couldn’t do it with them,” I explained. “I was still a virgin and didn’t want my first time to be like that. But I’ve certainly made up for lost time. It’s not the same when you are old. It’s like you’ve done everything and nothing is a thrill. It’s sometimes best to just sit next to someone on a bed.”
“I don’t know,” James said, breaking into my story, “She gets along with my girlfriend. They are real close and stuff…”
“They’ll set you up,” I insisted. “Bitches are like that, they’ll set you up, be careful, James.”
Mike Day shook his head.