Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Great Night Of Godless Perversity

I had a real blast performing at the Godless Perversity reading at the
Center for Sex and Culture last night - as I mentioned on my Classes And Appearances page.

For those poor, unfortunate souls (ahem) who couldn't attend here's a treat: the special, slightly cut down version of "Friday Night At The Calvary Hotel" that I performed. The full version, of which, is available in both FILTHY BOYS: Male-Male Erotica and my brand new best-of-my-best queer erotica collection, STROKE THE FIRE: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian.

Oh, and if you want to read the piece I wrote, but didn't perform, just go to my Home Page of Imagination Is Intelligence With An Erection.


"Excuse me for saying this, but you're a freak," I said.

He certainly didn't look like a freak. He was actually kind of handsome: tanned, lean, with curly dark hair, and skin that was nearing, but not quite, leathery. He works outside, I thought: no button-pushing and fluorescent lights for him. Construction, maybe. Nothing heavy, though – he didn't have any serious heavy-lifting muscles.

Arabic? Swarthy Italian? A touch of the Hebrew brush? Hard to say. Definitely not from a place with snow-covered peaks. Hot sand, sweet wine, dates – that kind of place.

"Did Judith get the money to you?" he said, the smile staying on his face. His voice, though, was musical, a choir voice if ever there was one. If small talk was on the menu – and it wasn't – I would have asked if he was a singer. That kind of voice.

I nodded, slipping the security chain on. "Spoke to the bank this morning. The wire transfer went through yesterday. Thirty thousand dollars. A lot of money." I almost thanked him, but didn't; it was a lot of money, money I'd definitely earn tonight.

"It's just money," he said, with a dismissive wave of an elegant hand. "Don't have much use for it myself. Root of evil and all. I like to indulge in a different sort of sin, if you know what I mean. Is that it?" he said, nodding at my sheet-draped handiwork.

"That's it," I said, and damned if I didn't feel proud: kept thinking about my dad, about all the stuff we built when I was a boy -- but there's a big difference between banging together a tree house or a bookshelf and what this guy wanted.

"I made it in sections, held together with a couple of bolts. Strong as fuck but easy to haul around. The whole thing fitted right into a big gym bag; no one noticed a thing."

He stepped up close to it but didn't touch the sheet. He was breathing real slow and deep, like he was going to run in a marathon. Psyching himself up, I thought – either that, or trying real hard to keep his excitement bottled up.

"Not that anyone in this place would have cared," I added, prattling stupidly through my nervousness. The Calvary Hotel made other shitholes look like the Ritz. The morgue's body buggy could probably find its way there on its own, just out of habit. Hauling the stuff up the back stairs, I counted at least a dozen pitched sets of works and one – possibly two, I couldn't see if one guy was breathing – dead junkie. The place was perfect. Beg, scream, fire off a whole clip, the worst that could happen would ... fuck that, nothing would happen, that's what made it great.

He stood there, still breathing slow and deep. My nerves jangled so loud I was surprised he didn't hear them. "Want to see it?" I finally croaked out.

In a real soft voice, he said "Please."

So I pulled off the sheet, and there it was in all its glory. Freaky? Damned straight, but I'd done a good job, and a little burst of pride slowed my heart down a little, just enough for a question to leak out: "So, tell me, you Catholic or something?"

* * * * 

"Something like that," he said, finally, turning his head slowly to look back over his shoulder at me, that wry little smile back on his lips.

"Ah," was all I could say, struck more stupid than usual.

"This is wonderful," he said, stepping up and running his hands over the smooth wood. "A perfect job."

He rubbed it a long time, like he was communing with it. Watching him stroke it, I noticed something about his hands. "Is this your (ahem) first time? I mean ... doing this kind of thing?"

It took him a long minute to pull himself away. "Oh, no, not at all. It's just something I developed – well, I guess you could say 'a taste for' – a long time ago. Every once in a while I like to indulge myself, you know, when I can get away from the family business. Can I see ... the rest?"

He was almost dancing with excitement. I put down the toolbox, flipped open the latches, and handed him the stiff brown bag, then turned to open up the ladder.

"They're perfect," he said, his voice breaking with pleasure. I turned, catching sight of his deep brown eyes. Good eyes, kind and knowing eyes – but they were also junkie eyes seeking a fix. "Just perfect. I want to do it. Now," he said, starting to unbuckle his belt.

"You're the man," I said, a serious quaver in my voice. "If you're ready, I'm ready."

"I've been waiting to do this for ages," he said, sitting on the bed, kicking off his running shoes. "Again, I mean," he added. The pants followed. Then the denim shirt. He had on a pair of faded yellow ... well, it almost looked like a diaper, something wrapped around his waist and crotch. It didn't look comfortable, but then nothing about that Friday afternoon was even remotely comfortable – to either him or me.

There was something else. Something I noticed even though I didn't want to. He was hard. Very hard. I couldn't help but look, even stare. Hard as a fucking rock, his wrap-thing tented out by his cock. When he stepped toward me, I watched it, a big, stiff finger waving back and forth in his weird, loose underwear.

Before, what I'd made had been just a big wooden ... thing, like something Dad and I would build in the garage, but watching him step up to it, climb up on it, I couldn't lie to myself. I'd built a cross. He'd paid me to build a real, honest-to-goodness cross. Life-sized. Anchored to the wall of the Calvary Hotel with big fucking bolts.

But that's not all he'd paid me to do.

I was scared. No, fuck that, I was terrified. I wanted to puke, I wanted to run, I wanted to scream but I didn't.

Yeah, part of it was that 30 grand in my bank account, but a lot more was ... well, it was him. He wanted it. He wanted it bad, so it was all right to do it. He wanted it. He really did. Don't ask me how, but it was, really, all right.

After carefully, gingerly climbing the stepladder, he slowly turned around, balancing himself with one very tanned hand on the wood. When his back was up against it, he reached up, grabbed the right-hand peg, and pulled himself up onto the little step I'd attached, as per instructions, to the vertical beam. Then he was up there, hands spread wide, legs calmly crossed. He was up there, on the cross. His eyes were closed and his breathing was slow and regular. And his cock ... his cock was still very hard.

Small sledge hammer from the toolbox. Up the stepladder, slowly, carefully, bracing myself against the dirty wall. Another step, then two, his groin at eye level, then below, his cock still very hard, very obvious. A little stain, too – fresh. The smell of sweat and salty come in the air.

I put one hand on his arm, to balance. He was hot; the skin was slick with sweat, though not dripping. Just a light sheen. I felt his pulse, distantly, as I put the tip of the nail against his wrist, between two bones.

Then he said, "Please, do it now," and so I did.

The nail was sharp and the sledge was heavy, very heavy, and I put a lot of muscle into that first swing. I don't know what I was expecting – the nail not to go in at all, or the nail to go all the way through, biting into the wood with the first swing – but I didn't get either. The nail dented his flesh, breaking his skin, sinking deep into his wrist – but not all the way through.

He clenched his teeth, but didn't scream. His breathing became fast, but still deep, and his eyes were squeezed tight shut. "Again," he hissed between his straight whites, "do it again." He groaned, deep and heavy – the kind of groan I thought only came from sex.

Again. This time the nail went through, but this time I'd swung at it with everything I had, trying to hit the dull gray head even though it gently rose and fell with his steady pulse. There was the bass sound of steel hitting wood, and for an instant it was Dad and I again, building a soap box racer, a bookcase, a birdhouse, a tree house – anything but driving a nail through a man's wrist.

Blood welled up quickly around the nail, then started to slowly drip down onto the floor in heavy, steady drops. It was very thick, I remember that. Drip. Drip. Drip. It smelled of copper.

"The other one," he said. "Do the other one."

I walked down the ladder, surprisingly calm inside, and moved it. Back up, new nail in my hand. I knew how to do it now. I knew what it felt like to drive the nail now: the surprise and shock was gone.

Before he could ask, I swung again, this time driving the nail straight through, wrist to bone in one clean swing. I felt a flash of pride in a job well done – right before the bile rose in my throat and I had to swallow it down.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you..." he said, his voice distant, lost, but also joyous, ecstatic. His blood was a steady metronome drip, but not in time to his pulse – that was shown by the hard, throbbing lift and sink of his cock. "Thank you--"

He was mumbling, his words gone soft, lost in his perverted indulgence. Happy, so happy. I had to really listen to make out the words. Actually, it was only two of them, over and over again: "Thank you, thank you, thank you..."

He screamed. He screamed loud and long and hard. Not a frightened or pained scream; he screamed like it was the best time of them all, the best time ever had by anyone.

I was scared. Not because I thought anyone would come a-knockin' – after all this was the Calvary Hotel and a scream was just part of the general ambiance – but because for a beat, a single moment, I was jealous. I wanted to feel what he was feeling, know the bang, pop, wow of the best time you could ever feel.

I watched him for what seemed like hours. His breathing slowed; his body sagged like it was melting from stone, or he was falling asleep, emptied through that roaring voice, that soaking come. His eyes fluttered, then stilled, and his head gently fell onto his shoulder.

Then his breathing, without any kind of warning, just stopped. I stared for a second, maybe two, then my own heart started to race.

I watched him for another couple of hours, frozen. I watched him till the sun went down and the place got really dark. Finally, I got up and switched on the lights, knowing what I had to do.

It took me a long time; luckily, I'd booked the room for two days and nights. Getting him down was a bitch, but I managed. I wrapped him in a sheet, being careful what I touched, and locked him in the side room. I didn't think they'd be able to lift prints from the plastic tarp, but just to be safe, I bundled it up. Toolbox, tarp, and everything else I could think of went out the window and down the fire escape. And the cross. I'd burn it, I decided, when I got home, feed its carefully built pieces into my fireplace. Ashes to ashes.

Then I left. Went back out into the world, fear riding my back, thundering in my heart. I went out via the lobby, paying the pockmarked night clerk for another week, paying in cash.

I didn't think I'd ever go back. Funny how you sometimes do something you'd never, ever dream of doing. Like nailing a complete stranger to a cross. Or going back to check on his body.

But, three days later, I climbed the fire escape and slipped inside. The bed was still pushed against the door, the door was still nailed shut, the room was still dark and windowless, and the sheet was there, in the middle of the floor. But he was gone.

No body. No crime. I left, hoping to leave that Friday night at the Calvary Hotel behind me. I tried to forget all about the guy, the cross, the nails, the hammer in my hand, the body. But sometimes I'll remember, everything coming back to me in one trembling recall.

Especially at Easter.

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