Yesterday: The Trouble With Being Open.
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Openly Queer: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.
Yesterday: The Trouble With Being Open.
He ran down a side-street, away from the police, afraid to explain to them why he was out roaming bare-foot after midnight. As he approached a car parked at the kerb the door on the passenger side swung open, he peered into its dark interior from which a hand beckoned him forward. A deep masculine voice intoned, “I saw the cops about to hassle you, get in, I’ll give you a lift home.” Nerves ruffled and somewhat intrigued by the self-assured though hard-faced thirty-year old, he accepted the ride and then asked the guy if he wanted to come inside and have a cup of coffee. He was being polite, not particularly feeling any sexual attraction, perversely wanting to see where it would lead, too young to know that curiosity can kill the cat.
As they sipped their Nescafe in the kitchen the macho stranger raved wild-eyed about his athletic teenage beauty, causing him to intuit something amiss, for there was an edge of desperation, a barely repressed hysteria in the cajoling voice, and he held back any sign of enthusiasm. The guy pounced on him, smothering him with kisses and groping him furiously. He resigned himself to some hurried bump and grind whether he wanted to or not; in these 1960’s dark ages young gay men serviced whoever asked, used like sex-toys to relieve the tensions of the unloved. He decided to be charitable and resignedly gave the guy a wan smile of acquiescence.
The creep reached down and whisked open his fly. Out popped this horrific penis, it had somehow been ‘degloved’, all the flesh stripped off so that there was only a mangled little stump of white-purple gristle left, as if he’d tried to fuck a juice-extractor or had a bomb go off in his groin in a war-zone. The boy recoiled in horror as the stub of gristle throbbed; the blond stranger was ready for such a response, he pounced like a starving predator and grappled the lad in a maniacal fury, one hand tight about his throat, the other firmly twisting his testicles in an explosion of pain.
“Where’s the bedroom cunt!” he roared, dragging the boy out of the kitchen while Procul Harem’s “Whiter Shade of Pale” played softly on the radio.
The boy was helpless in his grip, he pointed the way and the monster dragged him to the back-room. Face tortured and ugly as sin the brute snarled filthy insults, “You dirty little slut, I’m gonna fuck you till you scream for mercy!”
Pleading for his life he was pinned down to the manky bed, his trousers yanked to his knees and his buttocks roughly tugged apart. He felt like a piece of soul-less trash, his humanity denied, worth nothing, just more meat jammed in the machine.
Clenching his teeth he submitted to a few vicious thrusts from the pulped dick, the ugly blond snorting and growling upon his back in distorted orgasm that was thankfully over in seconds. He felt the terror of the helpless victim who at any moment could be stabbed in the back repeatedly by a crazed serial killer, for this guy seemed a practiced rapist who had probably scoured the gay underworld in his disfigured fury.
The sorry bastard quickly climbed off and scurried back to his car, the boy chasing him to the front door shouting tearful curses, which were wasted, for this was one desperado who was already cursed. And, as ever, there was no going to the Cops about it, they’d only snarl how he deserved what he got for being a dirty homo and probably lock him up for his deviance.
Nor did he tell anyone in his circle of friends of this ordeal as he considered himself a naive fool and now damaged goods. It was hard enough holding onto a loyal boyfriend without playing the whining victim. One of his wise old gay mates might even preach homilies such as “The trouble with being open is a vampire might get invited in and you could get more than you asked for.”
His anxiety of being the eternal outsider was confirmed, perhaps projecting his own gay self-hatred. His big dream was that one day Gay Liberation would come, he would have more say in how his body was used and his life lived. He would be a swashbuckling adventurer, a wall-breaking iconoclast and a ‘contrary Mary’, some doors might close but the open horizon would beckon.
Today: Honeymoon For The Dying.
I hoped they could die happily, fulfilled, if only the old-school Director Of Nursing would be open to new approaches in aged care therapy and alternative sexuality. I realised there was some deeper connection between the two old men when I found them holding hands in the day room. It was serendipitous that their recliners had been placed next to each other, nothing in their notes had hinted at them knowing each other previously though they were of the same age, both were on war pensions, had suffered head-wounds and had lived lonely, miserable lives in boarding houses.
Bill, the bald one, had been semi-catatonic in his dementia until Tom, the white-bearded fellow, had been admitted to the Nursing Home singing ribald songs and joking mischievously with the nurses. Within days Bill had come to life, looking in Tom’s direction, his eyes sparkling more and more.
I tried to convince the DON that the two old men would be good for each others emotional stability if they were put together more often, perhaps to share a room. But he frowned upon such radical Utopianism, saying this was a Christian Nursing Home, not a licentious motel for deviant honeymooners.
Still I ignored him, making sure the two old men often sat near each other in the common room and I was happy to see Bill come out of himself with the encouragement of Tom who seemed to be reviving an old friendship, such was the enthusiasm of his chatting. Their reciprocal inspiration was such that I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have them share a room so when I went on night duty I arranged it with the excuse that it was more efficient for their nursing care plan.
Tom was not only more cognizant of their situation, he was also more able to take care of himself and it was touching to see the effort he put into helping his friend shower and dress, sometimes even cutting up his meals and spoon-feeding him. There was a mystery in the special nature of their friendship that had me wondering as I sat watching throughout the cold, dark nights.
Then came the night I found old Tom in Bill’s bed, holding him close, and I left them to it, for what little comfort there was to be had in this creaky no-god’s waiting room was worth fostering. I made sure they were up and dressed before the day shift came on as the DON still was not open to such progressive humanism.
But he eventually discovered the arrangement and was outraged, separating them and admonishing me for my salacious liberalism. The octogenarian buddies became cantankerous and took every chance to get together again. Then one morning, when the Home was overly-busy, they’d gotten dressed and sneaked out of the building, without anyone noticing them absconding.
The place went into an uproar, every nook was searched, the police called, local hospitals checked, known haunts interrogated, all to no avail, the two mates had completely disappeared. The DON was on my back for a solution as if I was a privileged partner in the conspiracy. I found a key in the drawer of Tom’s bedside table and remembered the small suitcase he had checked into private-property. I got it out knowing I’d find some clues therein as to where they might have sought sanctuary.
Inside was a tangle of war memorabilia and underneath it all a tatty diary. When I opened it a pile of photographs fell out and, glancing over it all, I got the outlines of his tragic history.
There was the photo of young Tom and Bill in sailor’s uniforms on a ship’s deck, lying in each others arms, their smiles radiant. And a newspaper clipping of the sinking of their ship with many lives lost. The diary told me that he had thought his mate lost at sea, they’d been rescued separately, in a wounded daze, delivered to different hospitals and in the confusion of war never reunited. Tom had grieved for sixty-five years, Bill being the love of his life.
So where had they run away to? I intuited a hunch and rushed to the War Memorial in Hyde Park and found them there by the Pool of Remembrance, under a tree, facing the monument, just two more of the city’s paupers huddled under a blanket. They had died together, finally at peace, a war medal held on the open palms of their right hands.
Tomorrow: Bollywood 2100.
He rocketed into Bollywood CE 2100 to what was an uptight society as far as sexuality was concerned, to compete in the championships of the world’s number one entertainment, “the psychos”, virtual reality games. At the peak of his gaming prowess, he was determined to open up the sport and the social possibilities to his own tribe, homosexuals, who were still outlawed in that besieged nation.
What a sight the city of Mumbai presented, most of it reclaimed by the sea, stepped-towers, broken-pyramids, branched-spires poking out of the crashing waves like a cubist coral reef stretching to the horizon. And in between floated vast rafts of flotsam and jetsam, slums made of trash and populated by thousands, barely clinging to life, living off what they could dredge from the ocean or caught as it was thrown from the towers above.
He had to be physically present for the public broadcast of the competitors being strapped into gyrospheres that allowed for 360 degree somersaults. Gay liberation had reached most corners of the world, except for Russia who were banned from competing anyway for drug-enhancements, and he’d managed to conference with many of his fellows in virtual chat-rooms and they had all decided on a strategy to bring one of the last resisting nations into the enlightened global community.
The Virtual Reality arena was on a low truncated pyramid surrounded by towers gazing down upon it and, while the aristocracy cheered from their crowded balconies, the male and female psycho-gamers waved to them. As he was jacked into the collective cyber-space the elite put on their helmets, ready to fly through the obstacle course with him, hoping to second-guess the solutions to the many puzzles that would block his way. He knew many in the floating slums below would also put on their cheaper VR gear, jury-rigged from appropriated techno-junk, for they needed the thrill of romance and escape from contemporary terrors even more than the rich.
An exciting beat of synth-trance music thumped and lifted his avatar, enabling him to dance as he flew, like a parkour athlete, leaping jagged mountains, riding comets flaring across spinning black holes, evading personal demons by boogieing in and out of monstrous clenching jaws and clawed fists that crashed down upon him. He had to have perfect timing, strong concentration and sharp wits to read flashing symbols and solve riddles that would open paths to get him further along the cyber-labyrinth towards the final prize.
And every time he met up with a male competitor they would dance together erotically, expose their common gender and then morph through the evolutionary history of homo homo sapiens sapiens, from ape-men to Siberian shamans to the Band of Thebes lovers fighting Alexander and his lover. And the female athletes did likewise, Amazonian warrior queens transmogrifying into Greek poets then 20th Century scientists.
Dancing on, they recreated, with their partners, mythic animals, transforming into swans conjoined with wings aflutter or dolphins swimming nose to tail as if in yang-yang, yin-yin whirling Taoist circles. Two red dragons writhed and breathed flames, two white unicorns reared up and clashed horns, and two black-widow spiders spun webs in mesmerising patterns to ensnare each other.
Votes for the winner were spinning in a bottom-left display, tallied from a panel of judges combined with those of the watching global public. As he had hoped, Gay Lib’s time here had finally come for he was in the lead with an Indian man he’d been courting in virtual arenas for a year. Holding hands they flew up to a monolithic gate that seemed to touch the heavens, bound by a thick chain above which was carved a cryptic epigram for them to ponder.
“REVEAL THE MOST WONDROUS FORCE IN THE UNIVERSE AND BREAK THE CHAIN OF HISTORY”
He and his mate laughed, the solution was easy. They threw themselves into a clinch, kissing passionately as they cuddled upon a rainbow cloud. “I love you! I love you!” they shouted to each other. “Love overcomes all obstacles.”
Two women joined this chorus of love and, levitating upwards, they all reached out and tugged upon the huge chain, breaking it apart and the colossal gate split open, allowing white light to shine through, dissipating the darkness. Even in cyberspace it reached them, a vision of the judges with the winners’ trophy held up to be shared and a vast crowd cheering happily, for conscientious humanity loved the possibility of liberation, the poor especially open to it.
If you enjoyed this story please go to the WEB address above and consider buying my book of tales about growing up anarcho-queer, rock and roll punter and mystic adventurer in Australia and India of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.