When I scored this construction job as an apprentice rebar-stringer here in North Vancouver I didn’t have a clue what I was getting myself into. I’d moved across the inlet from The Big City three months earlier. I found this okay ground floor bachelor in this rundown apartment block in a blue collar neighborhood where a lot of North Shore hard hats live. I’ve always had a thing for this certain kind of edgy blue collar working boy with his rowdy bad attitude and redneck macho. This particular neighborhood is a perfect fit.
I’ve always been into dangerous blue collar boys. What I like most about Blue collar boys is they’re personal, they’re obsessed with sex, they party like there’s no tomorrow, and if they’re not closet cases or homophobes, macho blue collar working boys will definitely let you suck it. Or make you suck it if you’re lucky.
Blue collar bad boys mean trouble. They’re dangerous. They play rough. If you’re looking to party-out and get personal with dangerous redneck boys get used to a lot of hard knocks, broken promises, and big surprises. Some of the biggest surprises are serious big surprises.
This company I’m working for is Persian Joint Ventures. It’s an Iranian company. North Vancouver is celebrated for its populous community of transplanted Iranians. Back in the Seventies when the Shah got the boot and the wacko ayatollahs started power tripping, there was a secular exodus. More than twenty thousand freewheeling Persian escapees ended up in North Vancouver. All of the hardhats in the Joint Ventures crew is macho Iranian immigrants and first generation hyphenated Persian-Canadians. Most of them are in their early twenties. They’re all hyper-masculine and rowdy and killer good-looking. To a starry-eyed queer guy like me, with my particular kinks and hard-wired preferences, the job site is dangerous territory.
The reason I’m feeling all these danger signals is I’ve just had this two month long one-sided major thing with this macho North Shore Persian bad boy. Khatan. Khatan came on like a bulldozer when he caught me eyeballing his Persian perfections one afternoon down on The Esplanade. Khatan has this infallible radar. When he caught me looking, he moved right in on me and started chatting me up like I’m some kind of pushover. Khatan was all decked out in this show-everything bike tights. He was looking to entrap starry-eyed pushovers like me. Khatan got me addicted to his Persian boner. Whenever he wanted head he’d give me a buzz and I’d take care of it for him.
I quickly learned a lot about blue collar Persian boys and how they see us Push over bottom boys. When a Persian boy finds out you’re into him, he’s all over you. He figures you want what he’s got plenty of. So with my new job description and the crew of hyper-masculine Iranian boys I’m surrounded by all day, you can get an inkling of what I mean when I say the Persian Joint Ventures job site is a definite danger zone. It’s like I’m seriously looking for trouble.
My first two weeks on the job are the usual heavy-handed razz-the-rookie routines which are always to be expected. The foreman Sadiq is the exception. Sadiq treats me way differently than he treats the other seventeen hardhats. He always barks his orders at the Iranians in Farsi, but when he speaks to me in English he lowers his voice and talks way more personal. And, he partners me with the veteran on the rebar-stringing gang, Naz, who’s easygoing and very patient with me. Naz is a nice guy, but definitely not my type. But, there are a dozen guys on the crew who totally are.
The hyper-masculine foreman is Number One of the dozen, and I keep thinking he knows he is. He’s definitely got his eye on me. Sadiq stares. He looks right into me. He gives me goose-bumps and makes me feel nervous and jumpy I notice him eyeing my butt when I bend over to pick up a length of rebar. I’m thinking Sadiq’s got pretty good radar. Khatan once told me all Persian guys have bombproof radar. But, at the job site I’m trying hard to stay under the Persian radar. I’m feeling like it’s not working.
It’s Friday payday at the end of my third week on the job. So far so good. At noon when the lunch buckets come out I’m sitting with Naz and his good-looking nephew Farhan wolfing down my lunch. I happen to look up high toward the office portable above us and I notice someone talking to Sadiq in Farsi. It’s Khatan. He’s smiling in my direction and eyeballing me while he’s talking to The Foreman.
I get this sinking feeling in my stomach and this strange tingling down between my legs. I get all sweaty and everything starts getting all Twilight Zone. I feel like my Stealth Bomber has suddenly made this big noisy blip on the Persian radar.
After maybe five minutes Khatan ambles down the flight of stairs to the sidewalk and struts off. Sadiq turns around and leans over the railing and looks down at me and grins this killer ear-to-ear grin. He winks at me. Khatan has blown my cover for sure. Boys gossip. They never keep secrets. I don’t know exactly what got said, or how Khatan happens to know Sadiq, but I know he ratted me out. Now Sadiq knows everything. I’m a total fucken mess for the rest of the day.
At five o’clock at the end of the shift, Naz’s nephew Farhan comes to tell me The Foreman wants to see me at his panel van. Sadiq parks his van against the wall of the old brick warehouse down the alley kitty corner from our hole in the ground. Farhan delivers the message and clambers up the ladder to street level. At the end of every work day the Persian boys explode out of the chute like racehorses. On payday they vanish even faster.
I climb up the ladder and head down the alley toward Sadiq’s panel van. His van is parked with the sliding door on the passenger side next to the wall. The side door is open and Sadiq is inside sitting on a big toolbox waiting for me.