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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

HIV/AIDS Bush Compassion Deficit

Nearly 2,000 Americans Living with HIV/AIDS are on ADAP Waiting Lists for Life-Saving Medicines. SAVE ADAP Brings Americans Living with HIV/AIDS to Crawford to Discuss the ADAP Crisis and Consequences.

Despite his claims of compassionate conservatism, President Bush has seemed to have dropped the first part of his political affiliation, as indicated by his willfully turning a blind eye on the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the United States. Since President Bush took office in 2000, the increase in federal funding under the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), one of the
programs that provides life saving medications to Americans living with HIV/AIDS who are uninsured or underinsured, has drastically decreased despite the fact that the number of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses have continually grown.

This has created a situation in which nearly 2,000 Americans living with HIV/AIDS, in nine states, have been wait-listed by their government for the AIDS drugs that mean the difference between life and death. The current federal budget for the fiscal year 2006 will only expand this crisis. Congress is only providing an increase of $10 million to ADAP even though an increase of
$303 million is needed in order to provide AIDS medication to those on ADAP and to clear the waiting lists.

In response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, SAVE ADAP has organized a special SAVE ADAP summit, a Town Hall meeting to discuss the HIV/AIDS funding crisis, which will take place on August 25, 2005 in Crawford, Texas. Americans with HIV/AIDS will be meeting to bring their first hand experiences with ADAP to the table and to demand that the Bush Administration provide the full funding that ADAP needs to remain providing treatment to all HIV/AIDS patients in need.

"President Bush must take the leadership that his position implies to help his fellow Americans living with HIV/AIDS," remarked Jeff Bloom, an ADAP patient for seven years and a co-organizer of the SAVE ADAP Summit. "Congress has made it perfectly clear that they need directions from the pesident to provide more funding for ADAP, yet the pesident has continued to remain silent."

The Save ADAP Committee is a Working Group of the AIDS Treatment Activist Coalition (ATAC), a national coaslition of AIDS treatment activists and policy advocates. Working in conjuntion with ADAP clients and providers on the grassrooots level, Save ADAP aims to ensure adequate funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program.
For more information about save ADAP go to

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Bienvenue A Paris, Part 1 (Chapter 5)

Paris, Place de la Nation

“Bienvenue a Paris” was all I understood of the French from the flight attendant’s announcement as the plane taxied to the arrival terminal at Charles DeGaulle airport. I had the window seat, and looked over at JM sitting next to me. I grabbed his thigh and looked deeply into his big brown eyes. If he had any apprehensions, they weren’t showing. All I saw was an overwhelming love washing over me as he held my gaze.
“Here we are. Nervous?”
“I’m not sure…excited, mostly.”
“We begin a new life together this morning.”
I looked up and away toward the air vents overhead. “I know.” Exhale slowly…

There was a long queue at the passport counter, and we had to separate. JM was quickly processed, while it took me almost a half-hour of waiting my turn. He waited off to the side and we passed furtive glances back and forth. My interview was accomplished in less than sixty seconds and took place almost entirely in French, of which I understood about every three words. But anticipating the questions ahead of time, I had my answers carefully rehearsed. Only one question needed to be queried in English:
“How long will you stay in Paris?”
I blinked and lied “Deux mois. [Two months]”.
The clerk studied my picture, folding my passport this way and that before closing it and placing it on the counter and saying “Bienvenue a Paris” with a bored indifference.
I smiled and nodded, slowly putting my passport in my back pocket. JM was waiting by the door, a beaming smile lighting up his face.

Waiting for us among the crowd on the other side of the door was a short, dark hairy man about thirty, a rolled-up newspaper in his hand. He zipped up to JM and they began speaking excitedly in the fastest, slurriest least comprehensible French I’d ever heard. The tone was one of annoyance and displeasure, flavored with impatience. But the exact wording was as unfamiliar as if they’d been speaking an African dialect.

They started walking quickly down the hallway toward a moving sidewalk, leaving me fishing for a cigarette and my lighter. We had not been introduced, and the guy with the newspaper seemed not to even acknowledge me. Striking the little steel wheel of my Bic lighter and sucking eagerly on my cigarette, I started running after them.

I caught up on the moving sidewalk, the two were still arguing about something in their parisian patois, hissing and snorting with serious faces.
“You left me.”
“No”, Jean-Marc replied in his normal voice, “You stopped.”
My eyes searched the newspaper-guy’s face, attempting to make eye contact, but failing. “Je m’appelle Bucko”, I smiled and stuck out my right hand.
“Salut. Bernard.” His blank eyes passed over my face without resting and his grip crushed my hand.
He then turned back to JM and continued jabbering as if I weren’t there.

My luggage proved to be a real problem. One of my bags was an oversized, tubular, zippered affair that was tightly packed with layers of my New York wardrobe. I paid a surcharge of $125 for it back in Boston, as it weighed 85 kilos (187 pounds) by itself, and was just one of six bags and two crates (one containing my paintings, the other my drawings and sketches). I had presumed that we’d be greeted by someone with a car as Carlos and my sister Tani had driven us to Logan. I was confused when we passed a row of cabs, crabwalking and backtracking to move my mountain of shit between the three of us, and stood in the warm summer morning sun at a curb hundreds of feet from the terminal.
“We’ll wait here.” JM said, huffing and puffing, dragging one of my bags along the pavement.
“Wait for what?” I was sweating freely.
“Le bus.” JM’s voice was cool and annoyed.
“Bus? Why don’t we take a cab?” I pointed to the row idling by the door.
Bernard scowled, JM hooted. “A cab is too small for your bags plus mine, and will never fit the three of us. Besides,” he looked very seriously, “One must economize now.”
I sat down on an oversized zippered black leather bag containing nothing but pairs of $300+ pairs of shoes and lit another cigarette, squinting in the sun. My French was too limited to argue, and I was already exhausted, having hardly slept in the previous thirty-six hours.

The bus was of the motorcoach variety, with pairs of oversized seats coupled next to the windows. JM and the driver had a heated exchange before cash was passed and we were allowed on. The driver had threatened to dump us back on the curb if my luggage prevented one person from sitting down, but the bus remained less than half-full. JM offered me a window seat, but the ride was mostly on superhighways, so aside from a few unfamiliar cars, there wasn’t much to see until we exited the Perif at the Porte de Bagnolet, at the easternmost edge of the city. I looked anxiously for some familiar landmark, but saw nothing but long rows of cheap red-brick and cement apartment buildings that looked suspiciously like housing projects. The Eiffel Tower was nowhere to be seen.

It wasn’t until we had turned onto the Cours de Vincennes that anything remotely resembling my expectations came into view. Everything looked grimy and smudged with exhaust fumes, from the flaking stucco to the buzzing neon, and I was reminded suddenly of those long dreary stretches of First Avenue in Manhattan from Gramercy Park to Murray Hill. Before I had a chance to comment to JM (who, at any rate, was lost in conversation with Bernard), the bus pulled up to a series of shelters and stopped, and JM announced that we had arrived.

I grabbed as many bags as I could and lumbered down the empty bus, past the scowling driver and out the narrow door, followed by JM and Bernard. I made a quick count (my eight, plus JM’s two) for the umpteenth time and looked around. Just ahead was the biggest rotary I’d ever seen, flanked by two tall, square columns the height if a rowhouse, and a large statue in the center, circled by a constant flow of tiny cars. The place was faced by an irregular assortment of buildings, some modern, some Belle Epoque, most nondescript.
“Here we are. La Place de la Nation, your new home.”
“We live there?” I asked, pointing hopefully to an ornate apartment building off in the distance.
“Good God, no,” JM snorted as Bernard snickered, “We live on the other side of the place. Let’s go!”

We repeated our earlier crabwalk, going twenty feet with some bags before stopping, putting down the load, and going back for the others. It took over thirty minutes to cross the place and walk one block down one of the boulevards pouring into it from the other end. JM started down a small side street, pausing to point out a small blue sign attached to the building on the corner: Rue des Immeubles Industrielles, the Street of the Industrial Buildings. Our street was one block long and so narrow that it was entirely darkened by the shade of the buildings opposite. The buildings all matched identically, with no variation beyond the offices filling the street level between large double doors faux-painted to look like golden quartered oak. The windows were all the same size above the arched mezzanine, with the same X-shaped grilles over the lower portion. JM stopped at number nine and keyed a series of numbers into the keypad to the right of the door, which clicked and was pushed open. Pushing a bag to hold the door, he collected the remaining bags down the street. I had my 85 kilo monster on my back, with a crate of paintings dragging along with a combined effort of my knees and free hand. Letting the bag drop and roll into the shadowy foyer, I stood at the entrance.
“What,” JM asked pointedly, “Are you waiting for?”
“It’s dark.”
“The light is on the left.”
I let my hand trail across the wall in sweeping motions, but felt no switch.
“Zut!” Bernard went immediately to a small rheostat and twisted it sharply in a clock-wise motion, impatience in his voice, “Et la voila.”
The foyer was cast in a dim yellow light. A row of mailboxes animated the left-hand wall. A steep winding staircase with a black metal railing curved up sharply against the back wall. The blue floor tiles were dirty, old and cracked. Against the wall opposite the mailboxes were several plastic trash receptacles on wheels. Our voices echoed and the light timer buzzed insistently.

We made it up the stairs, three flights, with all the bags, in several trips. The light timer clicked off, leaving us in an inky, total darkness until I took out my light and made my back to the entrance to twist it around once again. As I rounded the last landing with the final bags, I found that one of the walnut faux-painted doors had been opened and held back by my infamous shoe bag. I heard their voices off in the distance, so I stepped across the threshold and walked in, calling out.

JM beamed as he met me in the windowless, tiny foyer, lit by bare lightbulbs hanging from wires off the glossy white walls (first note: get sconces).
“Let me show you around.” He was inordinately proud. Backtracking toward the door, he opened a hollow-core door perpendicular to and less than a foot from the entrance. With a flourish, he announced “La salle de bain”.
I peered into the smallest bathroom I’d ever seen, lit by a tiny casement window which had been opened out and a lightbulb (cousin to those in the foyer) hanging from the ceiling, at least six feet over our heads. Straight ahead was a type of run-off drain pitched fifteen inches above the tiled floor, no more than thirty inches square and circled by a white plastic shower liner. Next to it, and directly under the window, was a small oval pedestal sink. Behind the door (which almost grazed the run-off drain in its sweep) was a very tall toilet, the flush located by a chrome button in the center of the tank. Hanging about four feet over the john was a miniature hot-water tank, no more than twenty inches in diameter and thirty-six in height. The walls and ceiling were painted in a reflective, high-gloss bright white, the fixtures and floor in a matching bright white. I nodded dumbly when JM asked me if I liked it. Words just didn’t come.

Crossing the foyer and walking a few steps in, we came upon an opening that revealed the kitchen. Tiny crimson octagon tiles covered the walls to a height of six feet, terracotta tiles covered the floor. Straight ahead was a large double sink of mid-century provenance, its cabinet some type of dented metal painted the same reflective white gloss as the walls and ceiling. Behind the sink and running below it by almost a foot was a pair of long thin windows painted shut looking out on an air-shaft perhaps eight feet from end to end. An ancient single-doored fridge wheezed to the right. The cabinets were an ugly brown wood and had louvered doors. I looked around and nodded: primitive but serviceable.

The living room was at the end of the foyer. Perhaps thirty feet long by twenty feet deep, it was a large, bright room, with three French windows against the right-hand wall looking out on a courtyard. Going to the window closest to me, I turned the oval handle and pulled it open. About sixty feet out was a white stucco wall punctuated by three windows identical to ours, repeated down one level and up three. The wall to the right was the same, the one to the left was made up of an aggregate of rough stones and cement and rose to the full height of the courtyard. Looking down, the “floor” was made up of an enormous, tent-shaped skylight. I listened to snippets of music, a crying baby and the occasional whirr of powertools as I leaned on the wooden rail of the window grille just outside. Turning around, I surveyed the furniture (dreadful but minimal), dark burgundy pile carpet that covered everything underfoot, and one lone piece of art on the far wall: a naked men’s torso, rippling with muscles, seen from behind, weight shifted to one leg to maximize the gluteus. It was loosely painted in garish, unreal colors and seemed very home-made, but was professionally framed nevertheless.

“Et voila la chambre…” JM brought me to the door of a tiny, dark bedroom, the windows looking out on the same air-shaft as the kitchen. In the far corner was a block of foam cut in a large rectangle and covered with cotton sheets covered with small blue anchors. Straight ahead was a large two door armoire made of particleboard and finished in white melamine. Next to the door was a matching five-drawer chest outfitted with white plastic handles. I smiled as JM scanned my face looking for a reaction.

“Everything is great,” I said, withholding any catty judgment. Soon enough, I thought to myself, we’ll be able to change everything out. Roche-Bobois this wasn’t, but I was too tired to think, and suggested we take a little nap. At first JM seemed disappointed, but he was at least as fatigued as me, and, after all, Paris would wait for us to enjoy a few hours’ snooze. I looked back toward the living room and saw Bernard stretched out on the hideous grey velvet and vinyl “Click-Clack” sofa. They exchanged a few words and we retired to the bedroom, peeling off our clothes and snuggling close.
“Is he staying here?” I asked.
“Just to take a nap. Bernard has been up longer than us and lives outside of Paris.”
Too fatigued to ponder anything further, I closed my eyes and blacked out.

I hadn’t been asleep more than three hours when I rolled over and found myself alone. Shaking off a yawn, I stumbled to my knees and off the foam slab. Looking over at the alarm clock on the chest of drawers, the time read 13:03. I understood it to be a bit after 1:00 in the afternoon, but had never seen a twenty-four hour clock before and found it odd. “Another adjustment”, I said to myself out loud and opened the door. Starting out into the living room, I suddenly felt exposed in my nakedness by the three windows and proximity of the neighbors across the way, so I fumbled for my underwear and pulled them on, hopping from leg to leg. Thinking of Bernard, I looked to the couch, but it was empty, with no sign of either of them except for Bernard’s newspaper curled up on the ugly matte black square parson-legged coffee table. Thirst scratched at my throat, so I padded barefoot to the kitchen for a drink.

Passing into the foyer, I heard Bernard’s voice coming from the bathroom, followed closely by that of Jean-Marc. The tone was hushed and intimate, not the irritated sound their conversations had had earlier that morning. Rounding the corner, I peered past the door. Bernard was standing by the sink, flicking the plastic tube of a hypodermic syringe, needle glistening.

To be continued…

Friday, August 19, 2005

Better Your Own Than a Stranger

As I stroll through the streets I am often stopped by citizens who all me ask the same thing,

'Matty the Damned, what is the basis of your completely understandable loathing of the vile heterosexist oppressor? Is it the physical act of heterosexual intercourse that offends you so?'

When last asked this question I smiled indulgently, gathered my adoring interlocutors around and patiently explained that the breeder act was not in and of itself offensive but the outrageous degree of privilege accorded to the practitioners of this banal behaviour that provokes my righteous ire.

That evening, when I had settled down in my darkened study with glass of absinthe in one hand, a copy of The One Hundred and Twenty Days of Sodom in the other and a brace of Rottweilers seething at my feet I gave deeper thought to the vexed question of heterosexual congress.

Of course my mind was not troubled for long as the answer was plain before me in the fevered, syphilitic scribblings of the Marquis de Sade. Heterosexual intercourse was acceptable (even vaguely admirable) if it occurred within an incestuous paradigm and so it is in this offering that I would share with you some thoughts on the Game the Whole Family can Play.

Now before we proceed, I wish to point out that I am not talking about mucking around with your cousins. This is a common place practice we have all enjoyed. Do not think that I give any pervert credibility to those who indulge themselves in a good old fashioned cousin-pokin', corn-pipe smokin' hillbilly fuck-fest. Cousin fucking is a rite of passage but nothing special.

Humankind has a strong and honourable tradition of incest. As we know it was a particular passion of the Egyptian nobility. In the religious traditions of that ancient race, the deities Isis and Osiris were brother and sister and husband and wife. This was emulated by the royal houses of that culture. Pharaohs often married and bred with their siblings in an attempt to protect the royal lineage from contamination with tainted common blood. The Crowned Heads of Europe have centuries of cousin marrying heritage. Of particular note was the depraved union of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert the Good.

According to my favoured reading of history, the esteemed Roman Emperor Caligula famously impregnated his sister Drusilla, deified and renamed her Panthea before cutting the sprog from her living womb and eating it. It seems that the eccentric monarch believed himself to be Saturn at the time and like that terrible deity he felt that eating the fetus would save his throne from being usurped. Alas the fair Panthea did not survive this rude intervention in her pregnancy.

But before the more delicate readers out there protest their horror at this subject let me say this. If you were breastfed then you too are marked with the stain of mother-child incest. We must acknowledge the erotic aspect of the act of nursing. I myself was not suckled given that I was born with (amongst other things) a set of fully formed fangs. No sane woman would allow me near that tender part of her anatomy. I am told several wet nurses screamed and swooned with horror upon seeing me. One, gripped with insanity, went so far as to blind herself lest she should ever see something so horrific again. A wise woman indeed.

I maintain that brother-sister incest (step siblings need not apply here) is the ultimate expression of the heterosexual act. It perverts and corrupts the odious institution of family, offends the proscriptive laws of the moral state and gives rise to the possibility of deformed and monstrous off-spring. This is something that all of you who are cursed with heterosexual desires should aspire to. But what if you have no opposite gender siblings? Never fear, gentle reader! There is much to be said for expanding your mind with the carnal knowledge of your father or mother. What could be better than knowing the true meaning of the phrase "Daddy's little girl?"

Indeed incest is more than acceptable within the luscious realms of homosexual intercourse too. It is in this field that your correspondent is more experienced. Unfortunately my own brother is hopelessly given to the heresy of breederism so I have been unable to claim him for myself. Not to worry, in lusty days of yore I had the great pleasure of taking gorgeous identical twin boys into my bed. Shy and apprehensive at first these hearty youths soon fell upon each other and myself with great appetite and perverse intent. We three gave ourselves over to a three day orgy. I have had a special passion for twins ever since, something my good friend the Senator refers to as "stereo sodomy".

How can we know that incest is political acceptable? One indicator is the strident tones with which that prudish profession of "social workers" speak out against it. Another is the hysterical revulsion it promotes in "polite society". Incest perverts and corrupts. It attacks the very base of our society. A third is the fact that it is used by vicious heterosexual ruling class to marginalise Queers. Therefore I formally declare incest to be a legitimate Device of Queer Subversion.

As the old saying goes:

If you're not good enough for your own family, you're not good enough for mine.



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.


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.


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.
“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

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Bug Chasers: Who's Message?

Around cocktails the other night, Ronnie, MtD and I were discussing the "Bug Chaser" controversy. As this little piece of dung wrapped up as a "news story" had never assailed R's tender ears, he was unaware of the permanent damage done to our community as a result of sleazy, journalistic sensationalism and the quest to sell advertisements on the backs of PWAs.

The history of the story is simple. Jan Wenner, inveterate closet case and tabloid dirtbag extraordinaire published a piece in the February 2003 issue of Rolling Stone magazine proporting to spill the beans on a nasty little homo secret: The denizens of San Francisco's fetid "underground" nightlife have started a new trend of self-contamination with HIV. The nasty, shit-brown stain of raw buttfucking between serodiscordant partners has spread from the piss-soaked back alleys of The Castro to the world wide web, with its naferious obiquity, and thence into the bedrooms of American Youth. Oh the horror!

Quicker than you can say Chlamidia, this piece of rancid urban myth became the buzz of international media, with all the usual suspects pissing their puddle into the pool. Fellow closeted self-loather Matt Drudge posted a screaming headline on his website, claiming that a full 25% of all new cases of HIV in the City By The Bay were the result of a deliberate choice to be "seeded" with the virus. Reactionary wing-nuts such as Concerned Women of America and Focus On The Family used the article to demonize homos using Drudge's quote from the article. even hauled out Andrew Sullivan, famed AIDS minimizer to try and counter some of the damage, but by then, the tired cliche had struck too many chords and the horses were not just out of the barn, but roaming the prairie.

Like practically every attempt by the mainstream media to report on the pandemic, this story has harmed many and enlightened no one. Conservatives of all ilk siezed on the article like a size queen in Harlem, dropping to her knees and thanking her lucky stars, referring to it in decrying the funding of prevention programs targeted to queers. The straights on the left wrung their hands feverishly, deconstructing twenty years worth of pandemic history wondering what went so terribly wrong. Gay moralists and marriage-happy heartlanders from Maine to Seattle uttered a resounding "tisk" at ghetto fags, puking out editorials on Condom Fatigue or that tired AIDS/Diabetes paradigm (all the while barebacking in the security of their "committed" relationships)and the evils of the Big Bad City.

At first even someone as depraved as yours truly was shocked. How, I wondered, could anyone actually want to seroconvert? As an AIDS widow and longtime activist the Bug Chasers seemed like sociopaths, committing a slow, ugly suicide. As someone living with HIV every minute of every day, I was crushed and demoralized at the thought of anyone actually seeking to become infected.

Then it dawned on me: This whole bullshit is yet another nail in the coffin of the joy of gay sex. It was a poisoned dart aimed squarely at the hardon of every poz top and the winking bunghole of every poz bottom. Eliminate any potential for sexual bliss amongst us, paint us as willing accomplices to some deranged psychotic in the quest to "gift" him out of his good health and seed the yearning multitudes with our toxic spew. Criminalize infection and lock up the sick so they can't spread the plague, and take a look at controlling the free dissemination of ideas on the internet while you're at it. Such irresponsible types have no use for liberty.

All this dovetails beautifully with the post-9/11 neo-con psyche. Paint the enemy, whether foreign or domestic, with the biggest and blackest brush available. Move in and take over another's culture, demonize the lot by citing absurd examples of the most terrible excesses of a very few, perform "moral cleansing" under the banner of Xtian dogma, justify the curtailment of freedom within a minority as the necessary measures needed to protect innocents. The volley was launched, and it was left to a few apologists to refute, their voices quickly lost in the cacauphany of outrage.

This entire tale reminds me overmuch of the superinfected Tina twink, Patient X who bravely bottomed in a drug-induced gangbang in the sewers of New York until she'd managed to go from healthy to "full-blown" AIDS in a matter of months. The supervirus, like Bigfoot and Nessie, is more the creation of heated minds than scientific fact. Were I of the mind and had I suffiecent volition, I could come up with a shocking expose on straight scatpigs or the ritual Satanic rape of virgin five year old girls. No one from the mainstream media whould attempt to condone such behavior, and it would be dismissed as a sad abberation, however tittilating.

So why is this merde still getting play years after it's been debunked? Because it is in the best interest of those in power to keep it in rotation. The example of out of control faggots, preferrably stoned on street-drugs, confirms the lowest expectations of anyone looking to castrate us. And that's really sick!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Save ADAP Action Alert

AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition

One Person Can Stop The ADAP Crisis
Write To President Bush and Ask Him To Save ADAP

August 8, 2005

SAVE ADAP is kicking off our August campaign by asking people around the country to write a letter to President Bush asking him to provide adequate funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program.

ADAP has been underfunded for the past several years, forcing many states to create waiting lists and other program restrictions. While experts have determined that a $303 million increase is needed in the Fiscal Year 2006 appropriations bill to alleviate the ADAP crisis, President Bush is only asking for a $10 million increase. So far, Congress is going along with that request and ADAP is likely headed for another year of crisis, with even more states unable to provide drugs to those who need them.

It is not too late! President Bush can tell leaders in Congress that he wants a higher increase for ADAP in the final appropriations bill.

That is why we are asking you to write a letter asking him to take leadership on this life and death issue. SAVE ADAP is collecting these letters and will both fax them to the White House and hand deliver to key members of the Bush Administration.

Over the past few years, your calls and emails have made a big difference. We have educated Congress and the Bush Administration about the ADAP crisis and it is one of the few health care programs that receives any increased funding. Now it’s time to take another step and tell President Bush that it’s not enough and that we are going to continue speaking out until everyone in the country has access to lifesaving drugs!

What you can do:

Please write a short letter to President Bush urging him to support a $303 million increase for ADAP. Below is a sample letter for you to use. Add a couple of sentences about how ADAP has helped you or people you care about, or simply why you want the federal government to give adequate funding to this program.

Make sure you include your name and mailing address on the letter. Our goal is to have letters from all 50 states, District of Columbia, and the territories.

You can mail, fax, or email your letter to us:


Ryan Clary
c/o Project Inform
205-13th Street, #2001
San Francisco, CA 94103


(415) 558-0684


Sample letter:


The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NWWashington, DC 20500

Dear President Bush,

I am very concerned that Americans living with HIV/AIDS around the country are unable to get life-saving drugs from their state's AIDS Drug Assistance Program. Because of the financial crisis facing ADAP, many states have been forced to create waiting lists, close their program to new enrollees, and/or make other harmful changes.

Experts have determined that a $303 million increase for ADAP is badly needed for Fiscal Year 2006 to clear the waiting lists and ensure that people living with HIV/AIDS can gain access to the program. Congress is only proposing a very inadequate $10 million increase for ADAP for FY 06. This will guarantee that the ADAP crisis will worsen and that even more states will be unable to make sure that their citizens will receive the drugs they need.

We need your leadership on this life and death issue. Everyone living with HIV/AIDS should have access to the drugs that are vital to stay alive, healthy and productive. Please tell Congress that you strongly support a $ 303 million increase for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program for FY 06 in the final appropriations bill.

Thank you for your consideration. Only you can provide the leadership to help Congress do the right thing for Americans living with HIV/AIDS.


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Conservative Closet Case Takes One for the Team

Fellow Members of the Intellectual Elite,

As some of you would know there is nothing that amuses me more than to see yet another lesbigay moderate hit the political skids and so it is with not inconsiderable pleasure that I relate to you the sorry tale of the Honourable Mark Brindal MP, Member for Unley in the Lower House of the Parliament of the State of South Australia (SA). It has been revealed that this long serving conservative parliamentarian and Minister of the Crown has been engaged in a sordid sexual encounter with an unnamed 24 year old male. Something that no doubt came as quite a shock to his wife and children.

As a result of these revelations, the Member for Unley has announced the end of his political career. The youth in question was described as having a mild intellectual disability. He had been living in a group home but since this matter arose has gone into hiding. Members of the Adelaide gay community have suggested the young man was well known to them.

Firstly a little lesson on the unusual nomenclature of Australian politics for my international friends, particularly those from the US. In Australia the term "liberal" refers exclusively to persons from the conservative side of politics. What Americans (and others) might understand as "liberal" is properly labelled as "progressive" in Australia. The largest conservative political party down here is the Liberal Party of Australia (LPA). The Liberals claim that they combine traditional conservatism with the ideas of John Stuart Mills to produce a "broad centre right" movement.

This is of course utter fucking bullshit. Any followers of Mills that existed in the LPA have almost all been exterminated by the screeching hordes of the christian right and the economic rationalist pointy-heads. Those that remain are powerless. Today's LPA is firmly in the grip of the evangelicals and anti-worker free marketeers.

Now that we have that out of the way let us return to the subject at hand. The Honourable Mark Brindal was elected to the SA Parliament in 1989 for the SA Liberal Party. He served in various Cabinet positions including as Minister for Resources and as the Minister responsible for vocational education. As you can see from his official Parliamentary webpage he is a respected member of the community. Involved with all manner of quality organisations and a player in the Anglican Church. In 2002 (his party now in opposition) he was unceremoniously dumped from the Liberal Party front bench.

Suddenly Brother Brindal discovered a interest in the rights of "same-sex attracted people" as he so lovingly refers to us. In 2004 Brindal introduced legislation (the Civil Union Bill 2004) into the SA Parliament seeking to establish a state based system of "civil unions" for homosexuals that would afford us many of the privileges of marriage. My views on gay marriage and same sex unions have been aired on this site previously.

Naturally, the moderate lesbigays (ever craving the approval of the heterosexist majority) fell upon Brindal with delight. Rodney Croome a noted gay activist and architect of the decriminalisation of the homosexuality in Tasmania even organised a campaign in support of Brindal's bill.

This is most interesting, not just because Brindal's passion for buggery has been publicly revealed but because he comes from the hard line right-wing faction of the SA Liberals which surround the notorious Senator Nick Minchin. Minchin is a senior member of the Australian Government and noted proponent of family values and dry economic politics. When questioned on his curious support for gay unions Brindal described himself as a "progressive conservative".

My problem with Brindal is not his love of rough trade nor even his support of same sex unions as an issue. It is his egregious manipulation of queer people for perverse political gain. No one should believe that this odious fellow has the interests of our people in mind. His motivation was malice. He set about to embarrass the factional warlords of his own party for dumping him from a leadership role in the SA and used queers as his cats paw.

I'm not condemning Brindal for having a sexual relationship with much younger man with a mild disability. We know little of the youth in question and I will not buy into the argument that people with disabilities are passive beings unable to engage in or enjoy consensual sex.

The tedious Sydney Star Observer (a moderate lesbigay rag) described Brindal as a "good" Liberal. But is he really that good? Was the contributor to the SSO made that claim aware of Brindal's 1991 effort to wind back a woman's right to safe and accessible abortion. In those days our Brindal was the captive of the hard christian right.

In addition to this, in 2001 as SA Minister with responsibility for vocational education (an essential source of skill development for working class people) Brindal caved into the nefarious funding wishes of his conservative masters in Canberra and was roundly criticised by the federal education union for this.

Interviewed on Australian radio (9th August 2005), Brindal whined and moaned about the journalists who revealed him. He made baseless claims of extortion and blackmail against his young lover's foster father. He described himself as ashamed of his actions. He lamented that his marriage was over and his first concern was for his wife and children. He made no mention of the fate of the lad he had been fucking - but then he would be expendable, wouldn't he?

Brindal is a cheap and nasty conservative who attempted to highjack the Homosexual Agenda for his personal advancement. His perfidy has terminated his career and I for one am delighted.



Jean-Marc Came To Boston And All He Got Was This Crummy T-Shirt, Part 1 (Chapter 3)

Bucko & James, Bond Street, Boston, 1990

I stared at the answering machine, rubbing my eyes and blinking dumbly. Jean-Marc’s voice sounded like it came from the moon through the transatlantic crackle. I played the message a second, third and fourth time.

I started rattling off incoherent bits and pieces of the story, my fatigue and emotional state hardly made me the model of lucidity.
“Why,” James cut me off, “Do these things only seem to happen to you?”
“I am certain that I don’t know.”
“What are you going to do?”
I looked at James clock: 10:30 in Boston is 4:30 in Paris, too early to call.
“Right now, take a nice, hot, non-salty shower and go to bed. I’ve been up forever.”
“Ruben’s called twice…”
“Well, he can wait til tomorrow. I can’t even think right now.”
“Welcome home…”
“Yeah,” I said, shaking my head and lumbering for the bathroom.

Around noon the next day I was on the phone with the operator, trying how to figure out how to dial France. The call went through and a strange humming ring I’d never heard before rang in the receiver. Six…seven…eight…no answer, no machine. Shit! Ten…eleven…
“Allo?” A frail, elderly female answered.
« Oui, bon jour. Jean-Marc Jarousse est la? »
« Bucko? »
« Oui »
There followed several sentences I could not understand. When I asked for a repetition, the voice got louder but spoke neither slower nor and more clearly. On the third attempt I understood that I should call back in about three hours. I thanked the voice and hung up, making a grimace. This was impossible.

By the time I got back from the laundromat, it was after 4:00, but I tried again.
“Allo?” Different voice, still not JM.
« Jean-Marc est la? »
Fumbling and shouting...then :
« Bucko ? » His voice sounded melodic.
“I tried to call earlier, but you weren’t at home.”
“I know, I was working. How was your flight?”
“OK…long. I got your message.”
“And I love you, too.” My heart was racing, mouth dry.
In English: “When you come to Pairisss?”
In French: “I have no idea. I told you, I am out of money.”
In English: “Maybe six monz?”
I laughed. “Your English is worse than my French, tres barbare.”
We both giggled. My heart was heavy and racing at the same time.

We spoke every day on the phone until he came to Boston in mid-July.

1 June, 1990
Mon cher Jean-Marc,

I hope that this letter finds you happy and in good health…

…It is difficult for me to jump back into my life and my job. I think of you all the time. I still dream in French. I have kept my watch on Spanish time so I always know your hour. You have stolen my heart and I will not resist.

Yesterday evening I had dinner with my “ex” Carlos, and we discussed all the things that have happened to me these last three months. When he and I were together he didn’t find me very brave. In fact, he was a bit shocked when I prepared for a three week trip to Spain and thought I would change my mind right up until the last minute. Now he is very proud of me and finds me courageous. He wants to meet you…

…I have thought much about your trip to the US. Would it be possible that you come to Boston instead of New York? If you are in accord, to can see my apartment, meet my friends…I can cook for you, and you for me. I assure you that there is much to do here. If you like, we can take the boat to Provincetown or take a train to New York for a few days. I hope that of first importance is that we spend time together and that the location be of second importance, but let us discuss all the possibilities…

…It is very difficult for me to write in French. I have just purchased a French dictionary for to help me. I have so much to say, but when I start to write, my head empties out. But I know that I make many mistakes, forgive me, please. I shall write again soon.

I adore you. I love you. I am hungry for you body, your arms, your face, your caresses-


Paris, 6 June ‘90

To hear your voice every day spins my heart around. Your accent and the way you speak are so charming that it is very difficult of me to sleep afterward. For me as well, the nights are short and agitated, punctuated by dreams as violent as they are unexpected. Is this love? Surely. In any case, I believe it is.

How I believe that you are pure and sincere when you speak to me of love, when you tell me that you miss me.

Your idea of coming here to live surprised and delighted me. To live with you in France (or elsewhere) would be formidable. In Paris I can help you. My apartment is big enough and comfortable for two. At any rate it is with a guy like you that I would like a durable relationship…

…I am trying to use simple words that you might comprehend all that I mean in my thoughts…

…Back to my job and my work-outs (weight lifting and swimming) allows me to put you out of my head- a bit- during the day. Not easy.

As it is not easy to forget your regard, your pale eyes and your smile. Even without a photo, I see your visage in my head, and it makes me melt. You have cracked my heart and it’s a terrible sensation!

It is many years since I have fallen in love, hopelessly in love. I had promised myself that I never would: too late!...

…I have made you a promise not to know another boy before we see each other in July. That will not be hard to keep…

…I will be arriving in Boston on 7/6 in the evening until 7/15 in the morning…

…When I reflect on our Sitges adventure, I find it all very strange and marvelous. Strange because I was supposed to go to Tunisia but overslept and missed a very early flight. Marvelous because I could not have imagined such strong feelings would come from such an accidental circumstance.

This evening I am picking up some photos that were taken just before my vacation- nude photos. I hope to send them today or tomorrow.

I shall write again soon.

[English] Please, don’t forget me. I love you.

Paris, 11 June, ‘90

This morning when I checked my mail I found your letter. What a happy surprise!

I read it on the Metro on my way to work. I was very excited. I reread that adorable letter several times in my office. The expressions that you use are savory and my heart gets very big when I read your words of love.

It is true that I still have a hard time understanding what has happened to me and why I please you. Je ne suis pas beau. You say that I am –almost- perfect. You do not really know me. I have a rather difficult character. But for the last several years I am less farouche, more open with people. My zodiac sign corresponds perfectly with my temperament. I am a Taurus.

I feel that your future is with me, in France. I can help you find work. But also, you must learn more French at a school here in Paris. Do not worry about money, I earn enough. You can live without problem…I am sure that we can live in harmony.

I hope that you will not regret leaving your country. We can go back next year, why not? You can see your family and all your friends. I think that it is important to keep the ties to the past. Je voudrais to build something with you.

In three years I can collect on a bond and we will have about $25,000. That is enough to start something new, maybe a business? I have many dreams. It is not too late. And if you are with me I shall have the strength and will to execute my projects. I want that you be as proud of me as I am of you.

I am trying a new life, a new beginning. It’s very courageous, and I believe that you are a man full of inner strength. I think that is why I am in love with you.

Bien sur, tu es tres beau.

But you are even more beautiful on the inside. Of that I am convinced. I shall try to raise myself to your level. One more month and I shall be in your arms…

…Such a change in my life this year! Last year was a year difficult and sad for me. Last November, I was very sick. Now I am of better health and morale. I was very depressed and thought, sometimes, of death. C’est une époque revolue.

We Europeans are fascinated by the United States. Not me. When I was twenty, I was a communist and much opposed to Yankee imperialism. [English] Now it’s different for me. I like American boy…

I am sorry this letter is so long, and with little English.

Don’t loose my photo.

[French] I love you more every day. A bientot, mon amour-

Paris, 18 June ‘90

Our telephone conversations are truly a savory moment. It’s not your difficulty in speaking French, but the sound of your voice and the sensations it imparts. It is with greatest difficulty that I sleep afterward.

To come to France, to change your life and to live with a garcon like me are of huge import in your life, especially when you cannot gauge the consequences: Decisions made after only three days of amorous relations and our phone calls. No matter. I am sure that we shall live very happily together and that you will make me very proud.

I hope that you become (almost) French but that you keep those things about you that I adore so…It’s true that it is most strange for me as well. When I think of that lovely month of May, I would never have guessed the changes in store for me.

After my terrible time at the end of last year I was convinced that I must live in the present, day by day, without making goals are having hope. Today it’s totally different.

I don’t want to think of the duration of our relationship, but I shall do all that it be as long as possible. I want to make a long path with you…Only the future will judge.

I never wanted a long term relationship with a boy. Now, it’s funny, I am ready to attempt (and succeed) not just a new experience, but a genuine union with a singular and special man just the same. It is often very difficult for two guys to put into practice. For me, fidelity is the most important thing, whether it is a sexual relationship or just a friendship.

[NB language change] J’aime beaucoup faire l’amour with someone. But it isn’t the most important in my life. Important c’est de reuissir.

[French] And we shall succeed together. I am easy to compromise…You will see…I shall explain more when I am in Boston and shall show you what you mean to me when I use expressions like “Tu me fait fondre” or “Tu me fait craquer”.

I await you letters with impatience, just as I sit up for your calls every night, the signal of the phone as if you are knocking on my door.

I have never written such things to a guy before…With my “ex”, Bernard, We had some tender moments but rather distant rapports. He wasn’t sentimental or given to displays of affection. I myself do not like to make a spectacle in the street or before people who are strangers to me…I love you for who you are and not what we represent, not that I am ashamed…

…I am gay but also human, and I wish that one respect me as I respect all my compatriots, man or woman…

I am enclosing some post cards of Paris, as you did of Boston. The Place de la Nation, where we shall live, you and me, is very old…but very beautiful. I hope you will like it.

I hope not to cry when I see you the 16th July at the airport. I know how hard my heart will beat. How it is still far away, that instant.

I see you in my head all day. As I write this letter, you are before my eyes. It’s a fantastic impression.

Je t’aime-

Paris, 1 July ‘90

Two more weeks and it will no longer be necessary to write you or speak long distance. You will be near me.

Yet, I love these moments where I let my imagination run free and I let speak such words as come from my heart…

…I am afraid that certain phrases that you hear on the phone are not understood in their exact sense. We shall need to discuss many things and I have much to explain.

It’s crazy right now. I cannot think clearly and function only in thinking when we will see each other again. In stealing my heart you have also stolen my thinking and a bit of my personality. It a sensation exciting and at times frightening. I have lived for numerous years alone and you have effectively stolen my solitude as well.

I do so hope to keep some quiet moment of reflection for myself, reading or working by myself even if you are with me. And I think that it is the same for you. It is necessary for each of us to keep a bit of independence vis-à-vis the other, even if my fondest wish is to live together as completely as possible without melting one into the other.

In thinking of nothing but you, I am neglecting my friends…My two former lovers, both named Bernard, (both of foreign origin, one from Spain, the other from Italy) reproach me for the time I’ve spent otherwise occupied these last weeks…

…To the base of my being I hope that our relationship can always stay as it is right now, solid and sincere., and that the only “clouds” that we encounter concern normal and everyday problems…

…Many of your former loves have left you. Your letter [now lost] is sad for that, as well as your miserable childhood. I shall never leave you. It is you who will leave me if one day you find another garcon who pleases you. That day would be the most horrible of my existence.

Forgive me to write of such things. I am unhappy without you and when I get melancholy I write depressing words which surpass, perhaps, those which I would want to say. I hope that I am not too puerile in my ramblings.

It’s banal, but I love you, you know. And I think of how to prove it to you (but do you really need proofs?) more than is necessary, and to never deceive you.

I’m sorry this ran so long. I know that the translation is a challenge for you.

[English] Try, you can do it.

Je t’adore-

By early July, my entire life had changed. James’ health was very fragile, so he moved back home rather than try and find another roommate downtown. I took him out to a marvelous dinner at The Saint Cloud, and after the second bottle of wine we got rather sloppy and emotional. James had been my confident and co-conspirator during our two years sharing the tiny apartment on Bond Street, and I was going to miss him terribly.

It was a time of letting so many things go, saying good-bye to my charmed life as a ghettofag in the South End. Many thought that I had finally gone completely insane, and if it weren’t for those nightly phone calls with Jean-Marc and his wonderful letters, I would have doubted that my sanity myself.

One encounter of especial import happened at about this time. I was out at a suit and martini bar with some friends when I got a tap on my shoulder. Turning around, I saw Dan F***.

I met Dan in the late winter of 1989 at a leather bar near North Station named 119 Merrimac. He was an adorable little Irish satyr, very aggressive and ridiculously sexy. He was out with a drinking buddy and walked right up to me and started flirting. By the end of our first beer his friend had left and we were in the shadows, groping and facesucking. I undressed him in the cab on the way back to the South End, and we both hopped out bareassed in the cold air, hardons bobbing as we ran up the stoop and into his spectacular parlor-level duplex in Concord Square.

We spent the next forty-eight hours completely naked in endless cavorts from couch to bed to Jacuzzi, curling up for naps before beginning all over again. Dan cooked little gourmet snacks and popped some very fine vintage wines, served standing in his kitchen or seated at his lavish antique dining table, feet propped on each other’s laps. My poor tits were at least as sore as his tight pink puckerhole.

We had exchanged numbers, but Dan always had excuses to put me off.

About two weeks later I ran into his drinking buddy at Fritz, a casual happy hour bar around the corner from my house. He was initially evasive to my questions, then introduced me to a very tall Rupert Everett type, English and hopelessly handsome in a $1200 suit, sitting on one of the banquettes. I quickly caught on that the Englishman was Dan’s lover. I flushed and excused myself to the men’s room, quickly followed by the drinking buddy.

I was told to forget all about Dan. The lover was wealthy and tolerated Dan’s trysts as he was frequently out of the country, but that Dan owed everything to the Englishman and wouldn’t give it up for anyone. Besides, Dan also had a wife and daughter in Florida. The drinking buddy was very kind, but quite firm, telling me to just let everything pass. I washed my face and left, waving good-bye on my way out and flashing a broad angry grin.

I swiveled my stool around to see Dan standing there with a strange look on his face.
“A little bird tells me you’re moving.”
“Does that little bird speak French?”
Dan flushed. “Tell me it’s not true.”
I lit a Parlaiment and stared Dan squarely in the eyes. “I’m leaving for Paris in three weeks.”
“For how long?”
“Forever. I’ve found the most incredible man and he wants me to move there to live with him.”
“How long have you known him?”
“Not long,” I sipped my martini, feeling the ginburn. “Long enough to know this will never happen to me again.”
“You can’t leave.” He stuffed his hands into the trousers of his custom-made suit.
“Oh really?” I was amused now. “What exactly are you suggesting? Does your lover think that I should stay, or should I ask your wife?”
“You don’t know anything about my situation.”
“And you,” I wrapped my arms around his neck, folding my hands, “My beautiful man know nothing of mine. I am in love.”
He put his hand against my chest, finding a nipple and tweaking it under my suit jacket. “You are making a big mistake, you know.”
“Actually, Dan,” I said, pulling my arms away, “It’s my life to fuck up, and this is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Put away that long face and wish me well.”
“You don’t even speak French!”
“Darling, I can do more than you ever dreamed. Now have a drink and meet my friends.”
He stomped out in a trail of cigarette smoke, knocking over a table on the way.

To be continued...

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Kudos to Los Angeles County Lawmakers

The article says that the Los Angeles County supervisors approved a measure to spend $500,000 on needle exchange programs. The true test will occur when we see how the measure is executed. Hopefully, they will develop a campaign to target IV drug users without stigmatizing them that directs them to resources where they can get clean needles. So, while this publication applauds the long overdue measure, it is too soon to tell if they are going to provide it properly.

Needle exchange programs have been scientifically proven to reduce HIV and other blood borne pathogens. There is no evidence to suggest that providing clean needles encourages more drug use. Let us face facts, like abstinence, people are going to use drugs. Providing clean and sterile needles in exchange for their dirty ones gives people life.

Just as condoms should be distributed, clean needles need to be made available. The county has taken a pivotal step in the right direction. After ruling that it is legal to have needle exchanges, they have realized that funding is a necessary component that was lacking in their proposal. Hopefully this funding will be spent in the proper way that provides individuals with information and resources without stigmatizing them.

Data from 2001 shows that 25% of new United States HIV infections were a result of injection drug use. Efforts like this have the potential to reduce that number.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Daisy Chain or Circle Jerk?

From all of us at The Spin Cycle, I want to welcome everyone who has found their way to our little experiment in absinthe and anarchy, and thank those who have seen fit to pay us a return visit. In less than a week, you have logged in over 1000 times!

We have hatched an interesting scheme to expand not only on our success but to embrace other, like minded pervs all over the web. We have noticed that the average web ring is too wimpy, yet the porn rings don't fit us any better. So we would like to propose:

The Daisy Chain or perhaps The Circle Jerk

A network of like-minded low-lifes, creeps, pariahs and misfits joining together can only increase our reach and influence. Please leave comments here, or join the discussion in our Forum area. Propose links, vote on the name, give us your ideas. You can also contact us privately at

Come join the coven! Together we will be unstoppable!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I am a Weapon of Mass Depravity

An interesting discussion in another place a few days ago set me to thinking about HIV and our perceptions of ourselves as physical beings. But before I launch into that I should preface my comments with a few facts.

I belong to the group of HIV positive men known in my country as "Second Wavers". We were infected in the period 2001-2005 when HIV rates rose suddenly after years of decline. Unlike many who had gone before us, we were educated and considered ourselves well informed about the modes of transmission and the attendant risks. The reasons for the outbreak of HIV in our group other than the fact that we didn't practice safe sex is not clearly understood. It has been suggested that reasons include "AIDS fatigue" to improvements in HIV treatments to the widespread use of amphetamines amongst gay men.

In 2002 my home state of New South Wales (NSW) reported an increase in HIV transmission of 15%. Queensland (QLD) reported an increase of 20% and Victoria (VIC) an increase of 6%. In the following years these numbers continued to rise until this year NSW reported a decline of 14% in the calendar year 2004. It is interesting to note that the insufferable AIDS Council of NSW (ACON) claims to have played a role in this decline through their "education campaigns" and peer educator networks. They conveniently overlook the fact that HIV increased at a time when they were running similar campaigns. In any case I will take poisonous aim at ACON at another time.

Not everyone agrees on the reasons for the increase. Whilst the rationally minded acknowledge that HIV rates increased because of a drop in the practice of safer sex amongst homosexual men some, such as the odious hate-group the Australian Family Association (AFA) maintains that the increase in HIV was because progressive Australian governments (such as the Bracks government in VIC) increased funding to "homosexual run AIDS organisations". But then what would you expect from an organisation that believes that the Bible is the literal word of their god? Other religious groups also support this view.

It is interesting to note that whilst HIV declined in Australia amongst homosexual men during the 1990s, it actually increased amongst the Aboriginal and Islander people of my country. In that group HIV is predominantly transmitted by heterosexual contact. Numbers are still low, but given the poor standards of health amongst the First Australians (Aboriginal men have a life expectancy 20 years less than that of non Aboriginal men) this trend must be viewed with concern.

However, let us return to the matter at hand. The discussion at the AIDSMEDS Community Forums was prompted by a member who explained why he had a red biohazard tattoo on his leg. I made the point that HIV gives me a perverse sense of power. I can be perceived as walking death. To me, my semen is no longer an innocuous (and tasty) body fluid, it has become venom. I am able (should I so choose) to inflict this fatal sting on others by means of the intimate embrace of sex. Whether I would do so is not the point - it is enough that I am able to. Rather than seeing myself as a weak AIDS victim condemned to a wretched, isolated death I can understand myself as a potent homosexual warrior armed with a deadly weapon. I am to be feared. As Homocult once stated:

Fuck with us and you die.

And indeed I am feared. A couple of years ago I was at the dentist. I filled in the relevant forms and when I asked if I had any infectious diseases I simply said yes. The document didn't ask me specify. The trainee dental nurse (a vain and dimwitted girl of around 17 years of age) asked my what the infectious disease was. When I told her that I had AIDS she promptly kitted herself out in barrier nursing gear, including an enormous clear plastic face mask.

I immediately fell about the place laughing. All this for a simple filling! She looked like an extra from the set of the Andromeda Strain. The dentist did not see the humour. He was horrified.

"Take that ridiculous apparel off, you foolish girl!", he barked.

She burst into tears and ran from the room. The dentist apologised profusely and noted that, in his opinion, the quality of dental assistants declined each year. He arranged for the senior dental nurse to take his erstwhile assistant's place and no extraordinary precautions were taken. The procedure would be described in clinical terms as being "unremarkable".

The terror that still surrounds people with AIDS doesn't just have it's roots in the disease. In my country HIV is still predominantly a condition of gay and bi-sexual men. Very few injecting drug users or heterosexuals (or indeed women) contract the virus thanks to our 20 year history of Needle and Syringe Programmes. As a result AIDS is still strongly associated with homosexuality and homosexuality is viewed as immoral by a large proportion of Australians (about 35%).

Given the views and teachings of various religious institutions, not least the Roman Catholic Church, it should come as no surprise that people like me are feared. Not only is my sexuality "intrinsically disordered" but my HIV positivity comes (in their opinion) as direct result of immoral conduct.

Whatever the case may be, I can't help but enjoy this status as a monster. I'll end with another quote from Homocult:

Everything You Make a Freak Will Infect and Make You Weak.




Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Titpig's Satisfaction, or Sitges Pt 2

Jean-Marc Jarousse, April 1990

I opened my eyes and felt around for my watch, squinting. The migraine had passed, the nausea had dissipated and my mouth was dry and sticky. Fumbling for the nightstand I knocked over the water bottle, found my glasses and put them on. My watch said it was 7:30, the street below was quiet. Pulling myself up to sit on the edge of the bed, I rubbed my head and neck for a moment and lumbered toward the bathroom. As the water from the faucet was salt, I couldn’t drink from it. Instead I squeezed a small dollop from my toothpaste and pushed it around the roof of my mouth with my tongue. Looking in the mirror, I needed a shave, my eyes were red and sore, but I’d live. I wet my hair and combed some gel through it, threw on some jeans, grabbed some cash and went downstairs.

The morning was warm and sunny. Aside from the street cleaners washing down the sidewalks everything was still. At the bakery I purchased some croissants (xocolat)and a large bottle of water. I made my way through the town to the large church right at the edge of the harbor, jutting out on its own breakwater. Sitting on a bench, I opened my bag and ripped at the treat, melting the chocolate between my lips before chewing the flaky pastry. Bending down for my water, I saw Syd’s familiar form sashaying toward me, wearing a batik throw tied around his waist and some sandals. I waved shyly.

He broke out in a broad grin and accepted one of my croissants as a peace offering. As I began an apology he cut me off.
“It takes more than a little love tap to scare me off, luv.”
“I just wanted you to know how badly…”
“Enough! Where have you been hiding?”
“I had a terrible migraine.”
“Poor doll! We all thought you were escaping David. Very naughty boy topping his top like that.”
“You know about that?”
“Bucko, Aunt Sydney knows everything. It seems you were spotted by a certain swishy Swiss in flagrante delicto. Couldn’t wait to get in the room, huh?”
I looked askance. “He said they’d broken up”
“Just a lover’s tiff,” Syd’s face pulled up in a conspiratorial smile. “You’ll have to pay the piper for that one. David wants to hang you by the balls.”
“What am I supposed to do?”
“I’d just ignore him, really. He leaves tomorrow anyways. Just come down to the beach at the regular time, we’ll work it out.”
“I’m going to feel like a fool.”
“Now look: You had some fun, right?”
I nodded.
“You never seemed like the martyr for guilt before.”
“I’m not.”
“Well don’t be one now. We slutty tramps have to be strong and brave in the face of mere mortals. Don’t be growing any scruples or I’ll loose all respect for you.” Syd gave me a kiss and hugged me tightly.

I showed up at our usual beachsite around noon, and took my spot on Syd’s blanket. Tony had almost finished oiling my back when David and Claude showed up.
“Will you look what washed up on the beach in his black rubber bikini!” David squeaked in his best Bette Davis. “I didn’t think you’d have the nerve.”
I reached into my bag and pulled out a bundle of parsley I’d purchased on my way down. “Here, dear,” I said, throwing them at his feet, “I thought that you might enjoy some bitter herbs to match your lovely attitude.”
Snorts and giggles raged for several minutes among the Brits. Without even moving his head or seeming to open his eyes, Syd quietly said “Touché, darling.”

I was down to my last three nights in Spain and took a mental inventory of all I’d seen and done. My memories of the time spent in Barcelona had already taken a mythical tone. I assumed that the highlights of my whole vacation had been spent there, and that my time in Sitges, though fun, wouldn’t have the same wildly sexual aspect. As I dressed for the evening, I smiled and reconciled myself to enjoying the Brits’ company and maybe do some shopping for clothes and souvenirs. It was time to just relax and enjoy.

After the usual round of early bars and dinner with Syd and the gang, I dropped by Bourbon’s to see what was going on. Sitting on a stool at the bar, head down in his folded arms, was the little Muscleboy, Jean-Marc, wearing a red and white striped tank with those same white jeans and unfortunate shoes. One hand was wrapped around a beer bottle and he was sobbing quietly. I approached gingerly and put my hand on his arm. He raised his head, eyes glistening and distressed, and met mine.
“What’s wrong, cheri?” I asked very seriously in French.
“My boyfriend leave…” English, then in French, “Il m’a quitte. Tu me comprends?”
“Perfectly well”, I responded, “Why would he leave someone so adorable?”
Jean-Marc sniffed and blew into a bar napkin I handed him. “He loved me only for my foreskin.”
I pulled him close. “That bastard”, I whispered, “Me, I love to get acquainted with the whole man.”
We laughed as I wiped his face and ordered him a fresh beer.
“So you only like the French boys?”
“I only like the beautiful boys” I said, passing him the cool bottle.

Jean-Marc quickly cheered up. He told me that he lived in Paris with an old friend, but that he needed to find another apartment as their building was going to be renovated. I told him a bit about my life in Boston, my job managing the furniture store, my friends. He listened very attentively, graciously helping out when I had difficulty with a word or phrase.
“Where did you learn French? You speak rather well.”
“I studied six years at school, but that was twelve years ago. I have no occasion to speak it in Boston, and I’m afraid it’s barbarique.”
“Barbare” He smiled, “The word is barbare”
“Well my French certainly is!”

We left the bar and stepped off to the side, away from the steady stream of pedestrians crowding the narrow sidewalk. I looked deeply into his big brown eyes counting the lashes. I was enthralled by his muscular torso and found myself stroking his shoulder absent-mindedly, hypnotized by the melody in his voice, so musical in that way French sings its songs. He smelled sharply of man sweat and cigarette smoke. I had been uncharacteristically nervous and had drunk far too many beers. My tongue felt thick and heavy in my mouth, getting caught on my teeth trying to pronounce his language with a minimum of error but falling short. I was exhilarated and full of glee, floating on a cushion several inches off the ground.

I suggested that he return to my hotel with me, and Jean-Marc accepted heartily. We weaved through the crowds, my arm around his shoulder, his around my waist. A short distance up we saw Syd’s head bobbing up ahead coming toward us. I introduced them, Syd getting out a bit of heavily accented French being most solicitous. He leaned in and said “Looks like you got what you wanted. He’s lovely.”

We made it to my room quickly, his hands going under my T-shirt as I fumbled with my keys. I turned around, pushed the door open and pressed his mouth to mine, holding the back of his head. We stumbled to my bed and rolled in. I felt for those awful black shoes and pulled them off his feet as he yanked at my belt. Opening my pants, he inhaled half of my fiercely hard dick in one gulp, reaching up to my tits and pulling gently.
“Harder, do that harder” I murmured as my mouth traced across his hairless belly up to his own perky nipples.

We wrestled around for several minutes, our hands groping and searching, mouths closing around each other’s skin. I sucked hard on his armpit, inhaling the strong scent of a man unaccustomed to using deodorant. Tracing down, I locked on to his right tit and sucked hard, rolling it with my tongue and flicking it against my top teeth. With my left hand, I reached into his jeans and massaged his hard cock, pulling the foreskin up and pinching it up over his glans. It was delightfully proportioned, just the right size for easy gobbling. His lightly hairy balls rolled in their skinsac as I toyed with them. My mouth continued on its path down his abs, stopping momentarily to kiss his out-turned navel.

Chowing down on his dick had a magic effect on me. I was lost to delirium, hands alternately running up to his pecs and probing his plump little ass in waves of urgency and delight. Surveying his thick legs, I lifted one and dived onto his hole, plumbing it with my mouth and index finger.

I reached for a condom and the bullet-shaped bottle of lube in my nightstand drawer, rolling on my back. Jean-Marc flipped over on top of me, kissing deeply and rolling my tits between his thumbs and index fingers. Ripping open the foil with my teeth, I pulled out the latex ring and found its direction, unrolling it a turn or two. Sitting up, I squeezed the bottle, a puddle of lube poured between his cheeks. I put the condom on and pushed the lube into his winking ass with two fingers, keeping a steady rhythm on his dick with the other hand. I rolled him on his side, lifted his left leg and began the penetration.

His hips rolled back to meet my thrusts as I easily entered his beautiful ass. Resting for a moment, I carefully gauged his reaction before beginning the slide in. He was blissed, breathing rhythmically and groaning softly. Rising on my knees but not withdrawing, I maneuvered him onto his back and drove it home. Leaning down, I met his open mouth with hot beery breath.

Then, as if someone had given me an injection, blackness overcame me and I passed out cold in mid-stroke.

I woke up with a start. Shaking my head and coughing up a throat snotclot I suddenly wondered if the entire evening mightn’t have been a sick dream. I was alone in the bed, and the very dim memories of the night before had the hazy unreal quality associated more with reverie than an actual event. It was only when I saw the foil condom wrapper near my watch that I was certain that I’d really had Jean-Marc in my bed. He must have thought me a terrible fool for passing out when I did. Lighting a cigarette as I made my way to the bathroom, I convinced myself that I’d fucked up royally.

On my way down to the beach I saw Jean-Marc leaving the bakery, balancing a rolled woven mat as he put the white bag into his knapsack. I called out, and he looked up.
“I am such an idiot.”
“You fell asleep.”
“I drank too much because I was nervous. You didn’t have to leave”
“I thought you’d be more comfortable.”
“I wanted to wake up next to you.”
He smiled.
“Will you sit with my friends at the beach?”
“I don’t speak in English” he said, in English.
“No need.” I replied in French. “You need but to speak with me.”

Jean-Marc and I oiled each other before stretching out on our bellies, head-to-head, all shit-eating grins and stammering conversational phrases. I fell completely totally irredeemably in love on that wonderful hot day in May, the scent Bain De Soleil in my nose, his big brown eyes etched right into my soul. Later that afternoon, after the beach, we finished what we’d started the night before, with Jean-Marc spraying jets over his head.

We met up again at Azul after a separate shower and change of clothes. My gang of Britbuds was very kind and inclusive, trying to bring him into various conversations until the burden of translating every remark grew too great. We nuzzled and cooed into each other’s ears, coming up for air and free blue shots only occasionally.

The rest of those next twenty-four hours have blended in my memory into a runny watercolor of rapid heartbeats and a devouring passion, the bars and the beach, hot sex and cool sheets. We were immoderate in our leap into the brambles of love.

In the courtyard of my hotel the next day, Syd announced to the gang that he had arranged a private dinner party for us at the best French restaurant in Sitges, with reservations for the very Spanish hour of 11:30 that evening. We were to arrive smartly attired with big appetites. He had everything planned for all ten of us, only the bar bill was our responsibility. It was his thank you for our singular company. We treated him royally that evening, picking up rounds and singing “Skippy, The Bush Kangaroo” over and over as we made our way through Azul and The Parrot on the way to the restaurant.

The dinner was magical in a garden courtyard lit by lanterns and candles. Champagne flowed as we made our way through appetizers and salad, Jean-Marc remarking favorably on the authenticity of the food. But the main course, Duck Confit incurred his scorn and he spit his first mouthful into a planter, refusing to eat anymore. I tried to ignore it and poured some more Champagne, but his behavior seemed petulant, to say the very least. I scolded him lightly but he remained indignant. Only when I reminded him of my departure the following afternoon did he relent.

In the hotel later, I finally brought up the whole subject if AIDS.
“Have you been tested?”
“Yes”, he answered firmly. “I am negative. And you?”
“I don’t know, don’t want to know.”
"What do you mean?”
“I’ve lost so many friends and lovers, more than sixty. If I tested positive I don’t know what I’d do.”
He gave me an inscrutable look and lit a cigarette. “I used condoms even before it was commonplace.”

Loathing condoms myself, I asked him why.

Flicking a piece of tobacco from his tongue, he answered “I have a horror of shit.”
I found his answer strange, I pondered it for a second, then let it pass, choosing to paw at his pants and pull off his shirt. Gobbling his beautiful cock, I pushed him back for a nice, long session of fellatio. As he passed the point of no return, he pushed my head back and shot his load all over his pecs. I grabbed his still hard dick and milked it so the last few drops oozed from his foreskin. Instinctively I opened my mouth and juiced.
“What are you doing?” He asked in a panicky voice.
“Don’t worry, you are negative, nothing will happen to you if I do that.”
“Well don’t”. His eyes looked deeply into mine. “You should not do such things.”
“I’ll take my chances” I said as I rubbed his semen into his chest and curled up to sleep.

The next day started quietly. We had a big breakfast with Claude then went back to the room so I could pack. I was due to leave late that afternoon and was dreading returning to my staid life in Boston. I thought for a second about Ruben, the Puerto Rican boyfriend I was seeing back home and my heart grew very heavy. If I’d felt one-tenth for him what I felt for Jean-Marc, I probably wouldn’t have even taken this trip. Zipping up my shoe bag, I started sniffling.
“What’s wrong?”
“I don’t want to go home. I want to stay here forever with you.” Tears sprung into my eyes.
“I feel the same.” Now we were both welling up.
“What are we going to do?” My voice cracked as I wiped my cheeks. I found it beyond comprehension that I could fall so passionately in love so quickly.
“We still have a few hours. Let’s make the most of it. Come on, let’s go have a glass.”

We pulled ourselves together with a hug and deep, soulful kiss.

Azul was empty except for the bartender who greeted us warmly. We took up some stools and sat down. I avoided Jean-Marc’s eyes to avoid another outburst, scanning his T shirt and stroking his arm. I swallowed and staggered blindly to the men’s room for a little sob, my heart too full. As I came out, I noticed the music: The Girl From Ipanema, Antonio Carlos Jobim. The swingy, soft jazzy music was so unlike the usual Gay Bar Boom-Boom they usually played, changing the atmosphere to mellow instead of riotous. I made it back to my stool and Jean-Marc, who was talking softly with the bartender. We sat quietly and rubbed each other’s thighs, listening to the Bossa Nova.

“When can you visit me in Paris?”
“I have no idea. I’m almost out of money and will not have another vacation for a long time. I work very hard.”
He paused, pulled up my chin and gazed deeply into my eyes. “Je t’aime.”
“Je t’aime aussi” I managed to croak before my eyes filled up again. “You are perfect.”
Song change: Landscape In Black And White, a plaintive ripped nerve of a ballad. The air was heavy and impossibly sad.
“No man is perfect, me least of all.”
“Pour moi, tu es parfait." I turned my head and wailed to the bartender “Can you please change this fucking music?”
Sudden quiet…then Boom-Boom.
Jean-Marc held me and said “We will work something out.”

As the cab pulled away, I looked back at Jean-Marc. He was waving with one hand and wiping his face with the other. I was inconsolable.

Once in the plane, I opened a magazine and tried to focus on an article but couldn’t. The movie screen started a short series of announcements and features. I ordered a drink, lit a cigarette and settled in.

An American Express commercial came on:
A man on the phone, a woman on the phone… They had no luck in meeting up, couldn’t find the time. He calls American Express, gets into a cab in New York. She sits forlornly, then grabs the phone. She runs into his arms and they spin in an embrace in front of the Eiffel Tower…
And once again, on that long long long long day I lost it, wailing like a baby on the crowded plane.

The flight was endless, almost twenty two hours with the connections from Barcelona to Madrid to New York. I was a spent, emotional rag emptying out of the cab in front of the Victorian brick rowhouse I lived in, happy to get to my bed and sleep it all off. Trudging up the stairs, my roommate James opened the door and welcomed me home.

“How was it? What happened?”
“Oh, it was indescribable. Barcelona’s the most beautiful city in the world. Sitges is like Provincetown but more fun. I have a million stories…”
“I’m sure you do. I’m dying to hear what this is all about this one, though.” He pointed to the answering machine on his desk, smiling. “How many hearts did you break in three weeks?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Listen for yourself…” James pushed the play button.

Beep…Static…Je t’aime, Je t’aime, Je t’aime…Static…Beep

To be continued...