TALES FROM THE LIST
BY PAIX ROBINSON
With Illustrations by Brady Drose
MR. SUNSET GOWER AT SF PRIDE
June 25th, 2012
I have always thought of myself as a sane person, one who is generally rational and of sound mind. And yes. I too am crazy as fuck and dumbass intense.
How-the fuck-ever, on a scale of one to ten (if one was having never been kissed and ten was the height of Studio 54’s balcony mingles) I am likeeee a soft six. Between the lavender winds in the south of France, tree lined tryst gone cold in Brookyln and the minuscule amounts of peen I have seen in L.A., I have, as of late, denied myself the serendipity that would often glaze my days and make meek of morals my nights. Oh but baby, have I got a story for you.
I pledge allegiance to the fates who hath brought such a tale to my lips, in knowing how fucking awesome they knew it would be for me to write this down. It would be erroneous to describe how everything fell into place, in the order of the gods, to lead me to this chapter. There have been so many choices over the last three years that have pointed me toward great lengths of soul searching in whimsical joy to chance. So when the day arrises that gives you the tools to make our own folly, you jump, and hope to catch something worth telling while in the air.
The Scene: Pride. San Francisco. A guy that to me looked like a young Sean Penn; yet according to Trevor’s word, did not by any means look anything like young Sean Penn, but more like a dusty Devon Sawa type in post-prison clothes. There were drugs. Lots of drugs. And booze. And love, and kindness, and, fuck it, and love, so much love. It boomed from the clouds like ethereal wonder, felt in every fiber below. Even the trees of San Francisco and all who stood below were moved. Humans in numbers to sway and swoon, march, sing, kiss and be kissed. Friendly hands who touched, appreciated, caressed, enjoyed, created, shared and were moved to touch even more. A visceral heartbeat in history to he recognition of a soul’s counterpart in another or many, all in rhythm to peace and all it’s glory. And the drugs just made all that shit so much fucking better.
And then all that shit, on that blessed day of celebration and queer power, brought me to the lengths of Mr. Sunset Gower, AGAIN!
And in an entirely different city? I love a good repeat, but seriously WTF? As I steadily climb the meat chain of homo normalcy, it is moments like this that grant me a seat at the table during a serious game of Never Have I Ever.
It all began when Trevor and I decided for a jolly hoorah in SF. It was our first and only Pride together. We welcomed the Bacchanalian festivities and soldiered on equipped with the necessary life skills to get as completely fucked up as intently possible, but still be regular human people come the following day. We scored bomb ass floor-maaaaybe-couch space at Britt’s place so we could be present and ready when the clock struck, and freaks began to roam to the epicenter of queer madness and flamboyant mayhem.
We woke up and after a cup of coffee or two immediately started making bits and pieces of outfits. I did not know what to expect and also did not want anyone to know it was my first pride. I did not own, let alone bring, anything close to what Justin’s life from Queer as Folk told me to prepare for.
So, I aired on the side of a gay Seth Cohen in the Hamptons.
I thought it was fine; denim cut-off’s, a tank, and a navy blue blazer with gold buttons made of sailors knot sleeves at ¾, with aged white (now heathered eggshell) Jack Purcells to give it personality, and no socks of course, as I had overheard in WeHo, “...flashing ‘dem ankles in the summer is like not wearing underwear with sweatpants at Target.” And so it goes.
Britt’s place was the perfect vessel to catapult us into the queer-sphere. She’s always been one of those. Hella on a different wavelength, hella more in tune to the real shit, above it all way earlier than most and hella weird to the outside world. I mean, she wore space boots in high school taught me about drag culture, so needless to day she was the one to run to. Her kitchen was the dressing room for all she welcomed, and her bathroom was the sound stage, where the front porch and windows bestowed elation with screams and hollers, as the flocks and gaggles of gays began to sheppard the sounds of what felt like freedom, if only for a day.
It’s weird. I never really like “came out,” I kinda didn’t have to. There was never a point with my ‘ride or dies’ where they did not accept every part of me that I gave to them, unconditionally, loyal to friendship and to the inevitable evolution of ourselves. Family is obviously another situation. For the moment, those bodies, in that apartment, and everyone celebrating all over the world, were my family.
The bright-eyed gaybies foaming at the mouth to be seen and heard, the baby-boomer gays who had seen it all before and kept up the good fight, and all the variables in between. I had never been en masse like that, aside from being in hella musicals, or that time in France when I joined a flash freeze mob near le Cours Mirabeau. Both of which, I really hate to say, someone somewhere in America would argue are hella gay. Fuck them. We loved it.
It was as if the streets were paved with unicorn piss and all who set foot upon its long and winding river were instantly jolted into the groove of peace, love, and supergay. Up until that day, I had only heard about Pride through Bay Area folklore. There were images and characters depicted in modern culture that offered some briefing to the scene, and my curiosity and acceptance filled in the rest. So many people and a shit ton of titties.
I saw Jockstraps and thong underwear on people I didn’t know could or would ever own a jockstrap or a thong.
There were see-through pants and completely no underwear old ‘n grey cowboys and forty-something leather-heads, all different in height, make, model, and build, but alike in visibility.
I tried my hardest not to look like a fawn in Times Square on New Year's Eve by existing in the space as much as taking it all in. “God if my mother could see me now,” I thought to myself. In that same breath I praised the gods for keeping her far far far away from here, across the bridge.
Some time had passed since leaving the house and I had yet to see a single stomp of an actual parade. It was more like a giant rainbow teddy bear with sprinkles for words and glitter for sound was shouting from the tallest building,
“The city is ours kids, let’s give ‘em hell!'“…
…and everyone drank the cyanide free verbal kool-aid.
The city of San Francisco was a total free for all. Kids as tiny as infants dressed as famous gay celebs like Freddie Mercury or Billie Jean King. Parents and straight friends celebrating their queer counterparts, and a sea of homos, all guys, girls, and the beautiful in-betweens, enjoying the constant eyes and wandering hugs of others who lingered, swayed, and gyrated thru the masses. We parked ourselves somewhere between Market and Embarcadero Street, took a moment to see the floats go by carrying massive designs and half-naked bodies.
It was hella deep. I needed a moment. Seriously, just like...could not stand any longer. We made our way to the lawn near The Opera House to gaze and mellow out. The large group of misfits and dreamers we set out with had dispersed and we were down to the bare essentials and some people I never knew names of although I am sure I told them I loved them.
We decided to sit and idle, take in some sun, roll up some grass, smoke a bit, and drink what was left in our Fiji water bottles, which duh, was not water.
I closed my eyes and breathed deep, taking in the symphonic chaos around me. As we passed the blunt, a friendly voice asked for a ticket to ride. “Sure, weed is for everyone,” I said as if I was the Woodstock Festival poster-flower-child. “That’s wassup” said the young Sean Penn meets Devon Sawa. He pinched the blunt from my fingers, while Trevor side-eyed across from me, darting his eyes and timing his allegiance to the puff-puff-pass rule.
This Penn-Sawa aka John Doe was 21-25, a little dusty but in like, that sexy, maybe you’ve touched a gun in the last 12 hours kind of way. Or, “I just did some time and caught a greyhound to SF cuz I got people over ‘ere,” type, maaaaaaybe from Modesto or Fresno, or the underdeveloped parts of Tracy...or dare I say Vacaville. He toked a bit and then paid it forward by offering me a pill, at which I smiled and stuck out my tongue.
He positioned himself in a way that made leaning between his legs easy. No sooner had I nestled in with my back against his pelvis we were making out: no intro, no segway, just hard fucking core. He was fully erect at that point, as was I. I released his tongue from my mouth and looked to Trevor for his approval, but he was nowhere. Instead, I had a text giving me a time and location with instruction to “Get your freak on and be safe..c u soon k bye.” I was not ready to be left alone with John Doe, but could not back out now. He asked if there was somewhere we could go, I said my friend lived in the Castro, and I could probs suck him off in the bathroom there if he wanted. He obviously wanted a full fuck, but I could not agree to much more until I saw more, so up and out we went.
He held my hand as we walked in the direction of Britt’s place, passing faces I had seen earlier that day, hearing a few “Oh Em Gee you guys are soooo cute!” as we tramped through the free-for-all. He grew more and more agitated as the minutes went on and kept stopping to check his flip phone, followed by blurts of “fucks and shits!” We stopped at a little diner near the famed Twin Peaks bar so he could charge his phone. He pulled the gnarled and tattered accessory from his back pocket and plugged it in. A couple minutes later it rang, and he jolted to answer the polyphonic ring.
“Yo! Where you at?!” He said with much volume. I could not hear what was being shouted back at him, but judging from his responses, I could tell my profiling was depressingly spot on.”
“Yo man…”, he went on, “...I’ve only got like three left bro...you want them or not? Man c’mon…(pause)...yo, yo, listen, I’ve been out here all day I need to lay low man, the boys is out hot today with all this shit going down…I know, I know..but listen to me...I need to know where you at now or I can’t….no I told you I got three left...I’ll give them to you for dub-five I promise just tell me where you are man and I’ll be there right after I make this one stop….”. And so it goes.
The “stop,” he was referring to was the blowjob I was set to give, which was starting to feel less like a pleasure, and more of a vocational hazard. Plus, the pill was starting to kick in and he was killing my high in a major way.
I took a few steps away from him as to distance myself with his entire ordeal over the phone. It was cool to attract attention with a little PDA, but the volatile conversation into a Sony Ericsson Z525i is not the movement. Ew, why? No.
I sent a text to Trevor that read, “Call me in 45 secs!” And that he did. I answered in just enough time for bruh to see me answer.
“This is me getting you out of whatever situation you got yourself into with that guy that, seriously, looks nothing like Sean Penn, but that’s fine, I am here, let’s do this.” Trevor said.
“OMG, seriously?...Wait.....OMG are you kidding?!” I said as if the sky was falling down.
“Yep all that. Where are you?”, he asked at a normal tone and volume.
“I'm literally in front of Twin Peaks by the theatre…”, I confessed, with brow raised and mouth a gasp, then went on to whisper now with my back to whatever was going on with ole’ boy, “...literally having a Twin Peaks experience.”
“Cool-Cool, I just left Brendan, I am literally down the street at Walgreens, hella like two blocks away.”
I responded with urgency as if I was headed to the hospital to see about an ailing friend or tribe member.
Trevor ended the call with an “OMG hurry.” obviously in deadpan. I turned to face bruh and of course,
he was chopping it up fast with some dude who looked just like me, or at least would show up to the same casting.
I stood there for a bit and questioned whether to interrupt, but instead found resolve in being the voyeur. John Doe reached in his back pocket of tricks for a small baggie and gave the new me a pill. I figured that was my cue, if ever, to feel nothing and find my best friend.
And so I did just that,two blocks away, just as Trevor had insisted.
“ Right. Soooo…..” Trevor began, “are we going to talk about th...”
“Naaaaaw, not event, it’s totally fine, I can’t…..like it’s fine, I’m fine, whatever, it’s Pride. Fuck it!” I interrupted.
“Yes. Yes it is.” He knowingly replied.
“I do hella lightweight think he gave me ecstasy tho,” I said with guilt written on my face.
“He lightweight,... ooooooor full-on totally did and this is you telling me?” He asked.
“Yeah he totally did and this is me telling you.” I smiled and we laughed on.
We made a full circle trolling down and back up the Castro. Somewhere near where my distress call took place, I heard my name from above. Who could it be you ask? None other than Mister Sunset Gower himself.
What. In thee. Entire. Fuck? My brain totally farted. I did not have enough time to relish in the movie moment that had begun, as I was fully rolling at this point, and to be hella real, I was thrown completely off guard, drugs or no drugs. There he was, hanging out of the window that he shared with his husband of 10 plus years, smiling that soft and coy, yet playful and sexy ass twinkles in the corner type half laugh/smile shit. I was not ready.
my real-real was COLLIDING with the fantasy and even more so, on my home turf. cuz im always doin’ too much.
I enjoyed the idea of him. Texting him throughout school and while I was away in Europe. It was cool, like a dare that just kept going on for three years. Trevor noticed the flair in my body language and how my cheek bones started to shake so there was no need to say anything, when this random man yelled a name he had never heard, and I answered without hesitation. I still hinted at the urge to testifying something, as Mister signaled that he in fact was descending.
“Sooooo this is,” I began.
“Yep,” he said with surety. Arms down and hands clasped, with his own coy yet playful-bruh you busted-grin.
“And I was definitely not texting him yesterday or today.”
“Hmm, riiiight.” Trevor side-eyed.
“But like seriously, on mammas I was not texting him that I was here, like in this spot in life right now.”
“Oh yeah, no, that part I believe. Seriously. It’s everything else that's bullshit and I cannot wait for you to divulge but we are gonna have to do that at a later date as he is literally standing behind you,” he said with eyes flared and a grin exposing teeth, stretching his arm towards me as if I was not there and instead, there he was at the water cooler meeting the new guy in cubical C5, “...Hi! I’m Trevor, the best friend, nice to meet you,” he said, giving me time to get my shit together and focus.
We all said our greetings and I gave him a big hug; had to step on my tip toes and I fucking loved that. I closed my eyes on the arm wrap and smelled the creases of his heather grey t-shirt, jizzed a little in my pants, and said to myself “God, I wanna do that every morning.”
The instant banter began and it wasn't long before he was directing us to a place he said we would all enjoy. This time, there would be no bait and switch entry into a 21+ establishment. Just as I, to this day have no idea of his birth year, he has yet to see sufficient evidence of mine. We walked up to the bar and I guess it was a combination of his obvious height and Whiteness, as the bar stools just appeared out of nowhere.
Mister took the farthest spot and leaned over slightly to get the bartender's attention, and I sat next to him as Trevor half-sat, half-leaned with one leg bent to the toe, and his elbow on the bar ever just so slightly, still in silent revery of every single action taking place.
The bartender negated eye contact with Trevor and I handed the three Vodka Sodas to Mister and we cheersed to Pride. Trevor gave the appropriate amount of time to the conversation that was required of a best friend, and took his well-timed leave via a text from Brendan, who sounded as if he needed reinforcements, so off into the night he went to save the day, as besties do.
Meanwhile, with no supervision, I took matters into my own slutty hands.
I stood from my seat to greet him face to face, shifting the dynamics from the him-standing and me-sitting position.
As he talked about the state of his union and the guests he left to entertain our conversation, I traced his infidelity with boyish charm. Using muscle memory, I reminded his skin the feel of my own. Taking the top button of his jeans, I popped it open, much to his surprise. He laid his drink on the bar and held my hands with his, eyes wide. He did not move them away, or redirect the energy, he just simply placed them on top of mine, almost as to shield them from plain view.
I took that as acceptance of my intention and continued one button at a time. When all were undone, I stood directly in front of him with my back to the bar and my right hand fully in his pants. I played with the lining of his briefs and tickled the head of his penis to remind him that I meant business, and public domain was not a deterrent.
He smirked and accepted my challenge by giving me enough room to slowly sink to crouching position under the bar with his pelvis perfectly placed out of the line of sight. Hidden, underneath the wood panel with my hand at the base and lips on the tip, I mouthed a memorized poem in iambic pentameter so the rhythm was a suck but consistent. I kept the head of his penis readily between the opening of my mouth and licked my lips after reciting the sonnet a few times. I could feel his hips jerk and stomach stretch as the moisture and movement took hold and I gained control.
Now with his arms stretched out, and hand at full grip around the bar, I saw his fingertips pull in both opposition and accordance, attempting to find a middle ground that both looked like he was not getting his rocks off in a bar, while still in perfect position to get his rocks off in a bar. I had already taken the leap so decided to go full monty with it. I pulled the crease of his denim at the base of his buttons closer to my chin and took him in. I held him there and used my chin to orchestrate a new melody of tongue twists and throat flexes. Almost forgetting where I was, I took him in deeper with both hands at his waist instructing him I was ready for more. Due to the nature of our stances, he pressed his full torso against the bar and released an abruption of shock and joy.
He turned his physical reaction into a vocal request for another drink, mostly because he had to. It took the attention away from what was actually happening. Without question or concern the blonde haired/blue eyed bartender served him up another drink. He sat down thinking that would calm my urgencies in making him cum and yet it only gave me more to play with. I figured his gargle-mumbo-jumbo moment with the bartender meant he was close and I was headed in the right direction.
Roughly seven minutes had passed since I first hunkered down, and he was already near the end.
I could sense his inner thighs contracting. He tried to slow me down but that effort was futile, as any delay in timing or speed would deny him the pleasure of what was yet to come and I knew, regardless of his surroundings, he really wanted to cum.
Anyone willing to get their cock serviced at a bar in the Castro by a 22 year old is either dumbass horny or, maybe just lives in the Castro.He was both and I was happy to give him what he had been denied. He began to grind in his seat and placed one hand at the base of my neck, ever so gently. I quickly removed it and spoke into his cock like a microphone, “Not at all.”
I sped up while maintaining a good grip on the shaft and ample moisture to the head. In opposing circular motions, my hands guided the spherical vessel in and out until he stood up again with torso fully plunged into the bar and gyrating. He face-fucked four good pumps and there she blows!
I swallowed what I could, slurped up what was left hanging from his urethra, placed his penis back in his briefs, and stood up from under the bar. It was rather perfect really; his height in tandem with the height of the bar, his proportions in relation to my mouth and the tight space I inhabited to assert my claim to his pleasure, using the pandemonium of Pride to hide in plain sight. There had to have been at least twenty people standing in my line of sight but no one paid attention or ever thought of looking down. All eyes focused up and out to the crowd, or into the eyes of a passing stranger in hopes of getting more familiar.
“Oh! There it is,” I said in false innocence, holding my cell phone in hand looking for missed calls that did not exist. He buttoned his pants, chuckled a bit, and sat himself back down at the bar to chug the rest of his drink with eyes closed in deep breath.
“ Well I think that was mission accomplished,” he said in half question half statement tone.
“ That's all I could do with what I had to work with sorry…”
“Oh please no apologies necessary, that was more than I’ve gotten all year.”
“All year! Babe, it’s June, what the fuck?” I questioned his reality as if I had any claim to his personal life, judging his relationship with his partner. I pretended to listen as he talked about the stressors of his and their world together. In reality, I was already calculating my exit to tell Trevor and Brendan all about it. I had dined sufficiently and was ready to retreat back to camp and recharge.
Before I had a chance to come up with a lie to get out of this now somewhat sticky situation, enter Trevor stage left with a very drunken Brendan in tow.
“ I think your presence is requested,” said Mister.
“Yes, yes it is! So sorry to pull him away, hope you kids had fun, I know you did. He’ll text you! I promise! Happy Pride!” And just like that I was gone. We spent the next 20 minutes trying to get drunk Brendan to a place of composure and security. While I had my hands full, Trevor and Brendan were fighting off the verbiage of an asshole outside who had forgotten Pride was about love and acceptance. I had to hold in my “play by play,” for a full hour before divulging into every detail. Oh but baby, when I did, I did.