• Samuel Cole

Back Room Far Right

At minimum, I want to smell flesh.

In the rearview mirror, he counts twelve haphazardly parked cars in front of a red, vinyl-sided building that isn’t exactly a barn although his experience inside does prove it’s filled with pigs, bears, and cocks—ravenous creatures looking to feed, seed, and breed. Cannibals of sorts. Horny. Desperate. Men. Like him.

SHOCKWAVE PLEASURES - FOR ALL YOUR ADULT NEEDS!

A red hot Jaguar pulls up fast and stops even faster. A beef-stud wearing an Atlanta Falcons baseball cap emerges and quickly disappears through the front door.

Why does this place make me so sweaty?

Inside, he’s unimpressed with the scent of bleached floors, latex gloves, and spice-apple air fresheners. Sex shouldn’t smell clean. The twenty-something girl at the cash register nods, and says, “Good to see you again, sir.”

“Hello.” He uses a butch voice, the one solely reserved for this place.

The girl laughs. “Lots of new stuff hanging around. Have fun.”

He scans the store like a pretend virgin, inspecting with as much luminosity as amusement the glass butt beads, battery-operated vibrators, sixteen-inch dildos, spearmint-glazed eatable condoms, and a rack of poorly stitched lingerie—MADE IN USA—no doubt sewn by ex-porn stars who’ve lost everything except bad memories of better times. Beef-stud’s browsing a rack of interracial DVD’s—how bi-cultural, and sexy, and downright electrifying.

“Sup,” Beef-stud says, inciting a rock hard reaction. Not that he needs much help. Beef-stud walks to the back of the store and vanishes through a wooden archway, home to twenty viewing booths he secretly calls, The Petting Zoo. The chase. The pursuit. The rush. The prize. He winks at the hard-body magazine rack and flicks a red-licorice horse whip: $49.99. The air outside the Petting Zoo moans a savage, hunger song. The booths sound busy. Each one includes a tube-type-TV, a plastic chair screwed to the floor, an almost always empty roll of toilet paper, an almost always full trashcan, and a black slot blinking a cherry-red enticement for green cash. If you want it mother fucker, then you have to pay for it mother fucker.

He peeks in every booth on the left side, yearning to experiment with Beef-stud’s wears. If privacy matters here, he’s never brushed up against it. A consortium of men are pleasing themselves. And each other. “Come on in,” they whisper. He always declines, although he does enjoy the foreplay. He thinks about the sun-peeled picnic table in the parking lot. Available for anyone to use. Including his family. Come. Sit. Bring KFC. Laugh at the scenery. Throw a Frisbee. Or an insult. Draw a chalk-heart on the sidewalk. Or write the word pervert. Or queer. Or climb the oak tree at the end of the parking lot and sit and watch the commotion like a bird. A spy. A nymph. A judge. Play ring-around-the rosy or hide and seek. However unlikely, the possibilities do exist.

Beef-stud’s thrumming sweat in the last booth on the right. Hat brim turned backward. Belt and pants pushed to the top of snake-skin cowboy boots. Black t-shirt rolled like burnt bread dough above pink, erect nipples. “Sup.” Beef-stud’s hands move like ointment around his skin. Wounds require treatment. Beef Stud’s a great kisser, super talented at unbuttoning, panting, and fondling. Slobbery wildness. Striptease discovery. Unrestricted barbarian. The perfect man.

“Get down and stay down,” Beef stud commands.

He drops to his knees. Sunday lips that condemn sodomy tighten and gag, worship and lust, suck and swallow.

“You’re really good at that.”

He wants to be good. At something. To keep men like Beef-stud satisfied. Which is why he lifts his legs and bends over and shuts the fuck up like the fat, old queer that he is. Is there anything more tragic than an aging queen? Or a submissive bottom hardwired to the auspices of dominance and humiliation. No emergency room. Yet. Maybe someday. Hopefully not. In this world, lying is hiding’s strongest aphrodisiac. Game on.

“You like the way I pound you, don’t you, you old cocksucker?”

He closes his eyes and dreams their making love in sunlight, in an open field, on the very planet God created and called good.

Beef Stud lets out a loud groan. “Now get.” He tucks, buttons, and buckles.

“You from around here?”

“I’m in and out kinda dude. I don’t do personal shit in here.”

He laughs. Men don’t come here to exchange phone numbers or find a date. Duh.

In the car, he smears hand sanitizer on his lips, hands, and ass. The Ethol Alcohol stings, another reminder of what he’s done and what he’s likely to do again. Soon. Maybe later today. A small boy bursts from the green rambler across the street, arms splayed like a jet plane, propelling him with lip-sputter speed. A pack of teenage boys in a blue minivan drive by and honk. A dozen times. Two of the boys moon him. What if he’s discovered? That’d be bad. But also good. How exhilarating it must be to live one’s truth out in the open in any and every situation.

Three texts await his reply.

Two hours for pizza bites and ice cream, hon? Seriously?

Are you hurt, sweetie? I mean seriously…

Daddy, we’re pushing play! Seriously!

The billboard sign above Shockwave Pleasures flickers on, casting a neon web to the traffic whizzing by on Highway I-95. A strand of red and green Christmas lights wrapped around the building’s framework pops on, giving him the warm, incandescent feeling of being home.

//

Samuel Cole is gay. Hey. Hey. Hey. He lives in Woodbury, MN, where he finds work in special event/development management. He’s a poet, flash fiction geek, and political essayist enthusiast. His work has appeared in many literary journals, and his first poetry collection, Bereft and the Same-Sex Heart, was published in October 2016 by Pski’s Porch Publishing. His second book, Bloodwork, a collection of short stories, will be published in June/July 2017. He is also an award-winning card maker and scrapbooker.

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