Every Friday and Saturday night, New York City fills up with New Jersey residents. They stream across the border en masse, like illegal immigrants, clutching Nokia phones and bottles of imported beer instead of canteens full of water. The girls are all dressed like hookers, whether they're thin, fat, ugly or pretty, the only difference being the kind of money they'd command. The guys flash wads of cash and exude the confidence of experienced pimps.
Sure, the girls work at the Tanning Hut and the guys install air conditioners, but they know the act that nature demands if they ever want to get laid.
The Gay Blogging Star Trek Collector and I are in a taxi weaving in and out through the crowds. We make small talk, too preoccupied to bother with deep conversation but too polite to fondle each other while a middle-aged Turk watches from the front seat. After about ten minutes, the cab pulls in front of a pre-war apartment building in south Chelsea that takes up an entire city block. Richard pays off the driver, and two minutes later I'm standing in his apartment being herded toward a couch.
The apartment is a lot nicer than I expected. It's completely West Elm, all light fabrics and dark woods, with four or five large, minimalist pieces in each room and nothing to clutter it up. There are sheer curtains billowing in every window, and in the living room perfectly coordinated pillows with a vaguely Indian motif are positioned at the end of the long, gray couch.
Richard fetches me a beer, and before I have a chance to take a sip his tongue is wrestling with mine. I've barely decided if I want my eyes open or closed when his hands go wandering to my waistline. He unbuckles my pants, then yanks at them until he's exposed the part he wants. One last kiss and his face disappears for good.
That's annoying, I think, my eyes open wide. I mean, I work out. I've got perfectly attractive areas in between my face and my dick. It's insulting when guys have that kind of narrow focus. It's like inviting somebody over for dinner, and they wave away every dish before dessert. "I just really like dessert," they say, and maybe that's true, but it'll still make you question whether your eggplant parmesan is up to snuff.
As I watch him, I realize how much a blow job is like a car wash. Your vehicle disappears into a soggy tunnel, where it's rubbed and scrubbed and buffed by all sorts of hidden equipment. Richard goes over every curve, paying careful attention to the nooks and crannies. If this were a car wash, there'd be a Mexican guy waving a rag and tooting my horn right now.
"Jusht let me know if thish ish making you uncomfortable," he says, as though through a mouthful of Sugar Pops.
"No, it's great," I moan. "It's fantastic."
My libido sprints toward the finish line, so I desperately search for things to slow it down. I pull off his clothes, then mine. He veers right back to the same area, as if magnetized. "Tell me if you want me to shtop. I'll shtop."
"No, you're doing fine."
Rather than nod or smile -- movements possibly curtailed by the task at hand -- he stares up at me somberly, like the lawyer in that commercial looking for people with mesothelioma. "Sherioushly, thish ish pretty rude of me. You went to the bar to meet friendsh, and I shidetracked you. You didn't want a blowjob at all, and here I am forshing one on you. I wouldn't be shurprised if you shoved me away."
I get the picture. I grab his head and hold it still. "Okay, what's the problem? What are you trying to say?"
"Argue with me," he says. "Don't make it eashy. Pretend I'm taking advantage of you."
I sigh. I should have expected it: another sex specialist. Too many gay men are like sexual gourmets. As kids they're thrilled sick with a corn dog and fries, but ten years later they send back their entrée if the rhubarb foam is too flat.
"Okay," I concede. "Stop. Stop! Don't! You stop that right now."
"That'sh absholutely pitiful," he says.
"Well, I'm naked in your apartment, so it's kind of a stretch to act like I don't want it."
"See if this helpsh, then," he says. "I don't have a blog, and I don't collect Shtar Trek memorabilia."
I laugh. "That's the worst joke I've heard in years."
"I'm sherious," he says. "You shee any Shtar Trek crap around here? And I barely know what a blog ish."
All of a sudden the room freezes. Am I the stupidest guy in the world? I wonder. All the times I've felt idiotic over the previous few days come rushing back: getting a computer virus downloading that Cyndi Lauper cd from a website in Kazakhstan; ordering a vegetarian meal at a barbecue joint and discovering it's four kinds of beans. Once again I've been tricked into screwing by some horndog who knows I just fell off the carrot truck. "You son of a bitch," I say.
"Yeah," he says, slurping faster, "that'sh better."
"Goddammit," I snap. "This is over. Take my fucking dick out of your mouth."
"Oh, yeah, buddy. That'sh hot. That ish sho fuckin' hot."
"No, I'm serious. Fuck off! I'm not doing this any more. You fuckin' took advantage of me, you asshole. I wouldn't get a fuckin' blowjob from you if you were the last man on earth."
"Shit," he stammers as his movements turn jerky. "I'm gonna . . . I'm gonna . . . "
I glance down at him angrily and suddenly realize I haven't seen a hotter scene in years. The man is absolutely lost in bliss, his blue eyes rolling back into his head, his muscular shoulders flexing in orgasmic spasm, his strong, stubbled jaw glistening with the sheen of spit.
And then there's a large part of me looking happier than it's been in quite some time.
What can I say? If I could control myself, I wouldn't have eighteen pumpkin-pie scented Yankee Candles in my storage closet right now. We erupt more or less simultaneously, accompanied by my last protestations for him to cease once and for all. As my heartbeat returns to normal and my breath returns I find all my bad feelings have disappeared. I'm not mad. I don't feel guilty. I don't feel like I've been taken.
Actually, I feel pretty good.
He slides next to me on the couch and gives me a big, sloppy kiss, then grabs the remote and turns on the TV. We finish our beer as we watch the end of Saturday Night Live, and shortly after one I head home.
Two days later, I'm thinking about giving Richard a call. This time at least I'd know what I was getting into, and I'd prepare for the sex in advance. I grab a piece of paper and try to write up some notes. I figure the theme has to be "I Can't Believe I'm Letting You Suck Me Off Again!" but beyond that I'm coming up blank.