Once upon a Ten­der­loin, a hook-up goes belly-up…

DNA Magazine - - CONTENT - by Michael Thomas An­gelo.

Who would have known that a hook-up on Adam4A­dam would lead me wan­der­ing out of bounds? I just re­turned from a trick’s house that didn’t tran­spire the way I in­tended at all. There’s been a cul­ture clash go­ing on in my San Fran­cisco neigh­bor­hood ever since Mayor Ed Lee gave tax breaks for Twit­ter to move into the mid-Mar­ket area. An inf lux of clue­less techies have been in­vad­ing my Ten­der­loin turf ever since. I am a proud long-time res­i­dent of the TL, which has main­tained a rep­u­ta­tion so loath­some as to prompt ho­tels such as the Hil­ton to warn tourists against wan­der­ing across its borders.

I met con­doms Rbor­ing, the tag from adam4a­dam, at his im­mac­u­late high-rise f lat that fea­tured a sweep­ing, panoramic view of the gas sta­tion across the street. The build­ing was smart-wired with dig­i­tal com­mu­nity mes­sage boards while the fin­ished con­crete f loors glis­tened in the soft, re­cessed light­ing. They had torn down an all-night diner to throw this build­ing up like an Amish barn rais­ing. The greasy spoon that was now gone had been the only place you could get a milk­shake at 3am. My mind snapped back to the present when I was greeted by my host who opened the door in a towel, or was that a sarong?

Brian was a 28-year-old fire­plug me­so­morph with a tight lit­tle ass. Based on his cau­tious list of ques­tions posed in our cat and mouse chase on­line, I should have re­alised some­thing may go awry. Be­fore com­mit­ting to hook­ing up, he wanted to know a) if I had bathed re­cently, and b) what drugs I did, the way I did them and if I had any of my own? The lat­ter ques­tions were posed like he was play­ing a chess game. One wrong an­swer on my part could be a po­ten­tial deal breaker so I watched what I said and tried not to sound too snippy in my re­tort. He was try­ing to find out if I shot or smoked crys­tal meth but wouldn’t come right out and ask me di­rectly. Oh great, an­other light-weight, I thought to my­self. I pre­ferred to party hard­core and get right to the point (with nee­dles) but I was will­ing to pre­tend I only blew clouds in or­der to get freaky with him.

When he saw my tat­toos, he asked about the mean­ing of the num­ber 5150 em­bla­zoned in sten­cil on my bi­cep. “You don’t know?” I asked. He shook his head clue­lessly. “It’s the Cal­i­for­nia pe­nal code for be­ing a dan­ger to yourself or oth­ers. You’ve ob­vi­ously never been in­sti­tu­tion­alised in a psych ward,” I said.

“Hey, what are those,” he said as he traced his hand over the slash and track marks on my arms. “I used to cut… that was a phase, kind of a cop­ing mech­a­nism, know what I mean?” I peeled off my T-shirt to show him the ver­ti­cal scar that runs from just un­der my chest to my navel. Be­fore he could ask, I vol­un­teered the truth with no re­gard for TMI. “I used to have this body dys­mor­phia is­sue that re­sulted in like this… kind of an eat­ing dis­or­der… see? That scar is from the surgery I had when my in­testines de­vel­oped gan­grene from not eat­ing. Any­way… yeah.” His eyes averted to some­thing across the room as I sensed a shift in the cli­mate.

I fig­ured this was as good a time as any to break the news that al­though I was or­di­nar­ily a ver­sa­tile f lip-f lop­per, I wouldn’t be able to bot­tom for him be­cause I had just had surgery the week prior. “There?” he asked. “Yeah, there,” I said as I slapped my ass in ex­cla­ma­tion.

He mer­ci­fully didn’t ask for de­tails and I re­frained from elab­o­rat­ing. I shud­dered to imag­ine what he would think of me if he knew the truth. The deal was I had just un­der­gone anal dys­pla­sia surgery to re­move high-grade pre­can­cer­ous le­sions that were a re­sult of catch­ing HPV aka condy­loma acumi­nata (that sounds so much more glam­orous than anal warts, which is what I caught seven years prior). I re­mem­ber how hor­ri­fied I was when faced with that bit of news at the STD clinic. They wouldn’t be as easy to cure as chlamy­dia or gon­or­rhea, both of which I ex­pe­ri­enced as the re­sult of a whirl­wind af­fair/ f ling/ob­ses­sion with the first guy I met af­ter I se­ro­con­verted to HIV. From Easter to the 4th of July 2007, I grad­u­ated from be­ing smit­ten to stalker to slash­ing his tires be­fore fall­ing into the old habit of slic­ing my wrists up with ra­zor blades in or­der to qual­ify the pain. To say that sit­u­a­tion and sub­se­quent wreck­age was the worst emo­tional fuck-wit­tage I had ever… well… all the lovelorn Romeos I had ever pined over couldn’t hold a can­dle to the one that ul­ti­mately burned me.

But all of that had hap­pened a long time ago and I was more con­cerned at the mo­ment with the prospect of get­ting through the next three months with­out mak­ing my­self avail­able to be fucked. My walk­ing pa­pers from UCSF hospi­tal had clearly stip­u­lated I wasn’t to en­gage in re­cep­tive anal in­ter­course for at least 90 days. The news was fresh but I had al­ready be­gun

“It’s the Cal­i­for­nia pe­nal code for be­ing a dan­ger to yourself or oth­ers. You’ve ob­vi­ously never been in­sti­tu­tion­alised in a psych ward.”

re­sign­ing my­self to its re­al­ity and was ac­tu­ally get­ting used to the idea of IAI (or strictly insertive anal in­ter­course, i.e. be­ing a top). I had been a bot­tom longer than I had been ver­sa­tile be­cause I didn’t start get­ting ap­pre­ci­ated for my dick un­til I had grown out of the chicken coop. I was used to be­ing pi­geon­holed (no pun in­tended) as a twinky bot­tom up to then. Once I re­alised I had a com­mod­ity that could re­ally work to my ad­van­tage in the gay sex­ual mar­ket­place, be­ing ver­sa­tile was the way to go. My prow­ess, for all its mer­its, was ev­i­dently lost on my cur­rent com­pan­ion judg­ing from that way

“I grad­u­ated from be­ing smit­ten to stalker to slash­ing his tires be­fore fall­ing into an old habit of slic­ing my wrists up with ra­zor blades in or­der to

qual­ify the pain.”

he me­chan­i­cally turned his at­ten­tion back to his lap­top al­ready tuned to Adam4A­dam and what looked like a bunch of Cam4 win­dows.

“Well that sucks” he said, “I wanted to fuck.” “Yeah, I’ll fuck you,” I said, try­ing to keep the ex­as­per­ated duh tone out of my voice.

I set­tled back on the liv­ing room pullout and ap­pre­ci­ated the op­por­tu­nity to jack off to his vast collection of porn, all of which were from gen­res and stu­dios I had never seen. Sud­denly, my mea­ger, thread­bare lit­tle ef­fi­ciency in the Ten­der­loin didn’t seem all that spe­cial. Per­haps it was my im­pend­ing 40th birth­day that sat on the cal­en­dar like an anvil and hall­mark of my quar­ter/ midlife crises. I hear­kened back to all my pre­vi­ous life crises, all the while stroking, stroking…

“Help yourself to the cock-rings,” he of­fered, splay­ing out a plethora in var­i­ous ma­te­ri­als and sizes. Leather snap-ups were aligned with an as­sort­ment of kushee-stretchies and stain­less steel CBT de­vices. Em­bar­rassed, I pumped a squirt of his ex­pen­sive Swiss Navy lube and lost my­self in the task at hand, so to speak. I had a full view of the back of his head and ear­ful of his bio­graph­i­cal sketch. He re­galed me with a story that out­lined a Mor­mon mis­sion­ary boy from Salt Lake City. The nu­bile, tight-assed lit­tle Lat­ter-Day Saint wasn’t ex­hibit­ing his best-pre­ferred trait, in my opin­ion. He adopted the al­ter­nate mean­ing of the de­scrip­tor “tight-assed” that had nil to do with his pro­cliv­i­ties in the sack.

“Have you seen Book Of Mor­mon?” I asked. My at­ten­tion was only half fo­cused on his words un­til his mono­logue me­an­dered into Mor­mon mat­ters. “Andrew Ran­nells is so hot,” I pro­claimed. My long time crush on the Broad­way ac­tor and co-star of the de­funct New Nor­mal sit­com over­took me: “Hello, my name is El­der Price… and I would like to share with you this most amaz­ing book,” I har­monised. “I haven’t seen it,” he con­fessed in a f lat mono­tone.

“Have you heard about the All-Amer­i­can Prophet? ...And God said, Joe what people re­ally want to know is that the…”

“I haven’t SEEN it,” he in­ter­rupted. “…bi­ble isn’t two par…” Okay.

“Oh, El­iz­a­beth Smart…!” I shared my rec­ol­lec­tions of the blonde, an­gelic harpist who was kid­napped by the freaky fam­ily handy­man and forced to am­ble around Salt Lake City wear­ing a burka with his shell-shocked wife for 90 days. I also men­tioned that I had a cou­ple of cousins who hailed from the Salt Lake area. This tid­bit piqued his in­ter­est as he probed me for ques­tions about my re­la­tion­ship with a male cousin. He wanted to know if I had ever gone down on him or fallen prey to his rape. “No,” I rec­ol­lected. “He was too frail and wouldn’t have been much fun.”

“So what is it you do for a liv­ing?” I fi­nally asked. He launched into a sob story about how he was this close to walk­ing out of Ebay un­til they paid him “what he was worth”. Re­al­is­ing I was laid out in the lair of techie scum, my dick in­stantly went south. “Isn’t that in the South Bay?” I asked, al­ready know­ing the an­swer. “And how do you get to work?” I chal­lenged. “My car, what else? You think I take Caltrain?” he laughed. He laughed? Did he think it was funny that his techie scum con­sumer and car­bon foot­print was guz­zling gas and ru­in­ing the phys­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment as well as the cul­tural in­tegrity of my neigh­bor­hood and the en­tire city of San Fran­cisco?

“I gotta jet,” I said as I peeled off the kushee cock ring and doused it with hand san­i­tizer. I told him to add me as a friend on Face­book and pecked him on the lips. I could smell the minty fresh scent em­a­nat­ing from his lips that smacked of Burt’s Bees. I won­dered if I had ever been that high main­te­nance. I knew I had al­ways pushed the en­ve­lope to left of cen­ter into the mar­gins. I was de­cid­edly, unapolo­get­i­cally, marginalis­ed. The only thing that gnawed at my con­science was whether or not this war­ranted op­pres­sion with­out me know­ing it.

I speed-walked back to my apart­ment as the sky turned from black to beige. When I en­tered my ghetto 4th f loor walk-up, I was greeted by my Tippi. My three-year-old fe­line tabby erased all im­ages of the higher eco­nomic brack­eted Brian out of my im­me­di­acy. It was nice to be home amid my be­long­ings, my Elvis Pres­ley doll that had been res­cued from the hoard my New Jersey grand­mother had kept be­fore her death. “Bar­bra, please…” I ac­knowl­edged to the light switch cover that fea­tured Judy and Babs from the Oc­to­ber 6, 1963 episode of The Judy Gar­land Show. I wouldn’t trade my ec­cen­tric kooky taste for all of his shel­lacked con­crete and ter­race with the sim­u­lated Cal­i­for­nia wildlife even if I had a cushy tech-cen­tric job at Google or Twit-for-brains. Pick­ing up my iPad, I touched the Cam­era app and switched the screen to selfie so I could look at my­self, “I’d rather die first…”

I pulled out a tube of Burt’s Bees from un­der­neath a throw pil­low, rolling its wheel to al­low the lip balm to rise. Not too low… not too high… un­til it was just right. Then I started at the cor­ner of my bot­tom lip and worked all the way to the other lip rolling the waxy tex­ture along. I pressed my up­per and lower lips to­gether, closed my eyes and ran my tongue over my teeth and then the out­side of both lips un­til they felt soft and smooth. Then I did it all again with both eyes open as I stared at my ref lec­tion in the screen. “Of course, I wouldn’t mind the salary… I went to USC for chris­sakes,” I mut­tered to my­self.

With all the alacrity I could muster, I yelled, “Techies suck!” while rolling the mint-f la­vored tube over my lips from the op­po­site di­rec­tion and fi­nally blew my­self a kiss.

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