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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Jean-Marc Came To Boston And All He Got Was This Crummy T-Shirt, Part 2 (Chapter 4)


JM in the kitchen on Bond Street, July 1990

“Aye, Bucko, are you sure this is the right place?”
“Honestly, I have no idea. But this is where…”
Carlos walked away from me mid-sentence and sauntered up to a service desk. The eighth person he’d asked information from in the preceding fifteen minutes informed him that we had arrived at the correct gate for Jean-Marc’s flight. It was July 15, 1990, around three in the afternoon. We were hot, tired and edgy, having been up the entire night previous. The air was heavy with anticipation and the fumes from the cigarettes we were chain-smoking. We shared the bitchy sort of affection one shares with an ex whom one has long since forgiven without having forgotten anything.

Carlos and I had met just before my twenty-fifth birthday in January, 1985, in the preppiest, faggiest, most fluffy-sweater gay disco in Boston, a cavernous basement space on Boylston Street in the Back Bay called Buddies. Despite my frequent protests to the contrary, I did put in an appearance there at least one a month, although I rarely met interesting there. I had just checked my coat, gotten a drink and was making my first circuit when out of the shadows hopped this absurdly attractive young man, blocking my progress with a “Hi!”. Flirting continued through several cocktails, then a few dances executed in that cool, lazy way men dance when not wishing to mess up their fashionably expensive clothes. Buddies was not a gab and grope bar, and proper decorum was maintained at all times. I was introduced to his friends, all of whom had typically Spanish names: Jose, Pedro, Alfredo, Alexandro, etc. Carlos and his friends all came from Caracas, Venezuela for college and were enjoying the hedonism Boston’s nightlife offered. I was amused that these guys all went out in a group, like a bevy of ninth-grade girls, as I have always been a solitary hunter, myself.

Wishing to get out from under the protective eyes of his friends and the stultifying atmosphere of Buddies, I proposed a cab ride to the 1270, a much hipper and more casual bar further up Boylston Street on the other end of the Fens. Once inside the cab, we stammered out assorted “Well...”s and “Anyway…”s before I leapt on him, tearing at his leather jacket and pawing at his fly as Carlos reached for mine, tongues down each other’s throats. His stiff uncut cock was down my gullet before we made it to Mass Ave, my hardon down his before we reached the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities. Coming up briefly for air as we rounded over the bridge to Park Drive and the West Fens, I instructed the cab driver to take one spin around the Victory Gardens. His load was in my tummy and we were zipping up by the time we passed Fenway Park. After five minutes at the 1270, we decided against another drink and headed back to my apartment on foot.

For the following six months, we fucked at least one daily, frequently more often. In fact, aside from his occasional visits home to Venezuela, we didn’t spend a night apart for three years, when I moved to New York for a job. Carlos was supposed to follow me there, but made every excuse possible before finally taking the train down and breaking it to me that he’s changed his mind and was staying in Boston. After shouts and recriminations (what, for example, was I to do about the lease we’d both signed on our Junior Four with Hudson views in TriBeCa?) and a gallon of tears, we went on an orgy of shopping and fine dining, spending over $6000 in one weekend. They were having a half-off sale at Comme Des Garcons.


Carlos, 1988

The relationship hobbled along until Valentine’s Day, 1989, when I begged off our dinner reservations after a horrific day at work, effectively ending four years of designer clothes, international travel, fabulous sex and near-constant bickering. Anyone who has lived with a Venezuelan will instantly sympathize, anyone who hasn’t has literally no idea and cannot imagine.

The doors from the passport office opened and closed continuously for over thirty minutes before a ragged and heavy-eyed Jean-Marc came into view. Carlos actually saw him first, recognizing him from the photos I’d received in a letter the month before. I was hanging back, hovering around an oversized floor-ashtray, shaking and twitching, my mind swimming with anxiety and anticipation. He stood there for a second as Carlos called out my name. I looked up and felt my heart race so hard that I couldn’t imagine why it wasn’t audible to everyone over the airport din.

Racing over, I grabbed him. We were reunited in a scene that I’m sure left an impression in the minds of all who saw it for many years thereafter. In between hugs and passionate kisses, we wiped the happy nervous tears off each other’s faces. Even Carlos, who disdained all public displays of any emotion other than annoyance and anger dabbed his eyes, such was the emotion we radiated that afternoon at Logan International Airport, such was the obvious love.

We pulled ourselves together enough to get to the luggage carrousel downstairs while Carlos brought his red Jeep CJ around. It was only once we had his bags on a trolley and were heading to the curb that JM commented on what I was wearing.
“Stop!” he said, “What is that shirt?”
“Does it please you?”
“Where did you get it?”
“I had it made. It’s my design.”
Staring out in triplicate, one after the other, was a silk-screened depiction of his face, dancing across my chest, black ink on a white T-shirt. JM looked at me with a mixture of glee and confusion.
“What, exactly, do you mean, your design?”
“I drew it, and had this T-shirt made… printed. It’s you.”
“I know it’s me…I’ve just never seen anything like it.”
“Well, mon amour,” I cooed, “There is only one of your beautiful face, too.”

The short trip through the tunnel and into downtown was slow and hot in the mid-summer heat and traffic. Carlos was kind enough to drive while we sat in back, holding hands and staring into each other’s eyes, both disbelieving the reality of the moment. I pointed out landmarks as we passed them, my French heavy in my throat with emotion and American accent, JM staring out and nodding mutely. In deference to Carlos, he would occasionally say something which he claimed was Spanish, but which remained incomprehensible to anyone but himself. Carlos, in an exceptionally generous mood, smiled and nodded, passing me side-long glances.

We arrived in front of the tiny red brick rowhouse on Bond Street.
“You live here?”
“My apartment is here.”
“The whole house?”
“Non, cheri, just the second floor.”
“But it is so charming.”
“You” I said, grabbing a bag from the back, “are charming. This is merely chez moi.”
Carlos helped us with the bags and gave us both a hug. He whispered in my ear “I am so happy for you. Don’t fuck this up” kissed me and drove off.

Alone in the apartment at last, I showed him the tiny white-and-blue galley kitchen, long thin living room and deck built in an el off the back, and the bedroom with exposed brick which just fit a full-sized bed and tall chest of drawers. He excused himself to the bathroom, and in the time it took for him to pee, I was undressed, stretched out on my bed, dick throbbing hard against my belly. I laid out my T-shirt next to me. He looked around for a second and beamed a broad smile.
“Come here” I croaked, tamping out my sixty-fifth cigarette of the day.
JM approached the bed. Instantly I had his pants open and pulled out my prize, inhaling it in one ravenous gulp, my hand reaching around to his butt, tickling the hairy little hole. He stood there as my head bobbed and hands explored all his muscles and secret places. He smelled sharply of mansweat and airplane air. Standing up, I pulled his shirt over his head and sucked on his tit while pulling his foreskin against my navel. He fell into the bed face first as I pushed a wet finger deeply into his anus, turning it left and right in a circling motion, finding his prostate. Reaching for a condom and bottle of lube, I fucked him with long, deep strokes, pulling nearly out before sinking back down to the root, pulsing and flooding the condom with precum. I pulled his hips up and reached around to jerk him, spitting on my hand. We didn’t last long, me cumming deep up his ass, him spraying the black sheets up to the pillows, both bellowing out the open window. It was only after I came that I noticed that his jeans were still wrapped around his ankles.

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Snippets from the week:

Meandering through the Public Garden, I paused to point out the Second Empire style limestone, brick and brownstone mansions lining Arlington Street and marching up the streets of the Back Bay like a Bastille Day parade. Jean-Marc failed to see the Frenchiness of the architecture, pointing out the differences in height, function, fenestration and overall feel between these homes and the buildings those found on the Parisian boulevards. He found Boston’s architecture generally tiresome and monotonous, with too much red brick and granite for his taste, and was confounded by the separation of residential and commercial zoning.

Making our way up Tremont Street one foggy damp twilight, Jean-Marc held up his nose and sniffed:
“Je sens la mer.” [I smell the sea.]
« Ah, oui ? » [Really ?]
« Oui, je sens la mer. » [Yes, I smell the sea (more insistent)]
“D’accord” [OK]
“Mais ou elle est?” [But where is she (it)?]
“C’est bon” [That’s nice (confused)]
Pregnant pause…
“Je sens la mer.” [(loosing his temper)]
“Je t’ai entendu, c’est simpa.” [I heard you, that’s great (very confused)]
“Mais ou elle est, bordel ?!” [Where the fuck is she (it) ?]
“La mere de qui?” [Whose mother?]
Mer and mere are homonyms.
“Qu’est ce que tu fous?” [What the fuck do you mean, whose sea?]
This twisted little gay Who’s On First skit went on for several minutes before we finally caught on and rolled with laughter.

JM never quite got the hang of the Boston Subway and I lost him several in a sea of elbows and shopping bags.

Carlos, Jose (his best friend), Jose’s lover Jeff, JM and I piled into the open jeep and drove out to Singing Beach, in Manchester-By-The-Sea north of town. When Madonna’s “Vogue” came on the radio, we all assumed poses at eighty miles an hour down the highway, except JM who thought we’d all simultaneously gone mad. When we got to the beach and started stripping off our clothes, we were all wearing matching black bikinis. I observed that we looked like the Bad Girl’s Volleyball Team, which proved impossible to translate despite many giggling attempts amongst the four of us, trying French, Spanish and Italian.

My sister Tani met us in town for cocktails at Club Café, and she and JM huddled in a corner, talking for almost twenty minutes. This was despite the fact that JM spoke almost no English and Tani nothing but. I asked them later how they accomplished it, but neither could explain how it happened, although each reported the same conversation.

Sunning ourselves one morning on the Esplanade along the Charles River, I could feel every eye on us both. JM wondered if something was untoward in our manner to warrant the attention, for me felt it too. I assured him that it was the glow from our love (although I think it was really JM’s chest).

Jean-Marc bitched almost constantly about the quality of the food and service in Boston’s restaurants. Although he didn’t duplicate his nasty trick of spitting anything out as he had our last evening in Sitges, he would send plates back half-eaten or barely touched. Only two meals all week truly satisfied him, one at a noisy yuppy bar/bistro that served excellent Steak Frites, the other a $400 meal at Biba, at which Carlos thoughtfully had a bottle of Cristal sent to our table.

One evening we had a feast at a new seafood restaurant at the corner of Tremont and Appleton Streets and consumed several dozen oysters between us. On the walk home, JM became violently ill, hanging on to a tree and puking his poor little guts out. When I suggested I get an ambulance JM panicked, screaming and bawling that he did not need one, despite his greenish-blue pallor. I thought the whole thing was ludicrous, but honored his wishes, reserving the right to call one if he did not improve. He threatened to leave on the next flight out if I did.

The dinner with my mom and sisters was pretty much a disaster. Mom sat and pouted, getting very drunk on one beer and some wine, enhanced no doubt by fifty milligrams of Valium. Tani played her usual role as middle-child peacemaker but wound up getting hammered. Sherry, who has special needs, sat on my bed and drew all night with her collection of broken crayons.

Unbeknownst to Jean-Marc I had a dozen of the infamous T-shirts with his likeness printed up. I arranged for us to “bump into” acquaintances all over Boston and Cambridge wearing them: waiters, bookstore clerks, strollers passing by and one very hot bartender at Chaps, with whom I’d had an on-again, off-again thing for years. For a while they were very collectable.

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It was after three o’clock in the morning when I slipped out of bed and went into the living room to call James. After too many rings, he finally picked up on the private line he’d installed at his parent’s house:
“Hello?” I had obviously awakened him.
Pause…”Hi.”
“What’s up?”
Tears sprang from my eyes as I heard his voice. “Oh, James…am I making a mistake?”
Clearing throat, “It’s a little late for that now, Bucko.”
“I feel like I’m dying.”
“What does that mean, sweetie?”
“I’m terrible at saying good-byes,” sobbing, “and I feel as though that’s all I’ve done for this past week. I’ve sold or given away everything but my clothes and CDs.” I was beside myself. “There’s nothing of me left.”
Pause…rustling of sheets through the receiver. “You have Jean-Marc, you will have Paris. You are making a whole new life for yourself. It’s what you wanted.”
“I didn’t think it would be this hard.” My voice was raw and cracked as I tried to calm myself with a cigarette. “I am scared shitless.”
“Look…Jean-Marc’s a doll, you are smart and determined…And you can always come back…”
“No. I’m never coming back.” A fresh cascade poured from my eyes as I threw the cigarette into an ashtray. “This is final. I feel like I’m jumping out of an airplane without a parachute.”
I could hear water running from my bathroom.
“Bucko, sweetheart, you’ve got the jitters. I’ve never seen you like this. Now take a deep breath…I can’t hear you.”
I fill my lungs and exhale slowly. As I do, I feel JM come up from behind and put his arms around my waist.
“Nothing’s ever permanent. You have all the power to do whatever you want.”
“OK” I lean my head back against JM’s hair.
Long pause…”Are you really OK?”
“Yeah, I think so.” I sniffle and cough. “I’m sorry I woke you.”
“You’ll be fine. This is the adventure of a lifetime. Everyone wants this to be good.”
“I know, and so do I…You’ll write to me?”
“All the time. Get some sleep. You have a sensational man in your bed.”
“No I don’t” I said, stammering out a chuckle, “He’s right here holding me. I guess that I woke him up.”
“And you’re wasting time talking to me? What are you, nuts?” I could hear his grin through the line.
“Oh yeah. That’s me, Crazy Mary.”
We both laughed. I gripped JM’s arm with my free hand.
“Seriously, are you going to be OK?”
“I’d better be. I have a flight in twelve hours.”

To be continued…


The last Jean-Marc T-shirt that I own, August, 2005

19 Comments:

At Thu Aug 18, 04:54:00 AM GMT+10, Anonymous hermie said...

C'est comme un roman mon cher ami.
Much better than many books i've read.

Keep it going and don't let it end too soon.

Hug and bisous

Hermie

 
At Thu Aug 18, 04:58:00 AM GMT+10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eloquent and touching. At first I was put off a bit by the graphic sex, but realized, as you said, it is intrinsic to the relationship.
This hooks you in and keeps you hooked.

 
At Thu Aug 18, 05:17:00 AM GMT+10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent!

 
At Thu Aug 18, 05:19:00 AM GMT+10, Blogger ronnie said...

Bucko-

You really have a way of making this story come to life. I admire your talent as a writer.

Thank you for sharing this piece of you with us.

 
At Thu Aug 18, 05:43:00 AM GMT+10, Blogger Bucko said...

Hermie-

Merci mille fois, te es un vrai fan, comme moi j'en suis de toi aussi. L'Histoirette continuera, te te bien promis.

Gros Bisous partout-

A thousand thanks, you are a real fan, as I am of you as well. The story will continue, I promise.

Big kissies everywhere-

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Anony #1:
It is important to understand that my passion for JM, as was his for me, was chemical, spiritual and deeply emotional. Were I to gloss over any one part, you would not get the full effect. My chemical lust (there is no other way to describe it) for him continued long past the point where such feelings had ceased to animate his world, and became highly inappropriate. It is, nevertheless something I will discuss in due time.

Anony #2:

Gracias, chicito.
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Ronnie-
You are a doll. It all comes from my heart and my life, all of it. I have been able to relive the happiest moments of my life here.

Bisous,
B

 
At Thu Aug 18, 11:11:00 AM GMT+10, Blogger Dionysus said...

Excellent penmanship Bucky.....Part 2 was even better then the first, You’re a wonderful writer! As I sat here reading your story I can only imagine how exciting a life you have lived/living and thanks for sharing it. Keep it up =D

 
At Thu Aug 18, 05:11:00 PM GMT+10, Anonymous charles said...

as a tourist visiting your past, i'm enjoying the trip!

 
At Thu Aug 18, 05:40:00 PM GMT+10, Blogger Bucko said...

Di-

Be sure to catch up on the first two chapters titled "Titpig's Frustration" and "Titpig's Satisfaction". They go into how we met and the circumstances that led to moving to Paris.

Charles-

I am still trying to figure out how the Discussion Forum works so I can respond to the thread you started!
Thanks for the loyalty-

Bisous,
B

 
At Thu Aug 18, 10:44:00 PM GMT+10, Blogger Dionysus said...

I'll be going through the archives Bucky and catching up on the stories and photos! thanks for your comments on my page but I have to ask what is a fey boy? Call me blonde..LOL I can sometime be like my truck (butch)not often, only when I have 2..TC =D

 
At Sun Aug 21, 05:16:00 AM GMT+10, Blogger Dionysus said...

Hey Bucky'O, after I got in last night I went through your archives and caught up on the stories (WOW)big smiles! U have great eyes "BTW" One question and I hope this don't sound silly? But are your eyes blue or green? =D

 
At Mon Aug 22, 07:42:00 AM GMT+10, Blogger Bucko said...

Di-

It depends on what I'm wearing. They are in fact pale blue/grey with yellow flecks, which means that they look pale green/grey when I wear green, which I almost always do.

 
At Tue Aug 23, 05:18:00 PM GMT+10, Blogger David said...

My dear Bucko...You are a treasure. Such a person of extraordinary depth and insight...Reading your account, makes me long for my own lost love. Oh how I would do things differently..How I would hold him for days...and days. I am moved to tears and my very soul aches for him...and for you, my dear kindred spirit. I hope writing this story gives you comfort for surely you have given to us your very heart by sharing your memories of JM. I hope one day our paths will cross... I'd love to give you a big hug for sure.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 08:10:00 AM GMT+10, Blogger Bucko said...

David-

I have no doubt that our paths will someday cross. I look forward to the day...

Bisous,
B

 
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