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A RETIREDWRITER IN THE SUN
"Narrative coherence," said the Witch of Capri. "They all want fucking narrative coherence."
Quilty scribbled furiously. He would have brought his laptop to take notes, but he'd been warned beforehand that computers were banned within the sacred precincts of the Witch's cliff-top home. Not even a voice recorder passed muster. Perhaps it was some kind of obscure test, the Labors of Hercules for interviewers. Or maybe it was just the sadism of an old queen.
"And if there's one thing, my son, that life teaches one, it's that narrative coherence — hell, coherence of any sort — is largely an illusion, the fretful workings of a mind struggling to superimpose order on this squalid mess we call life."
That was a nice turn of phrase: "squalid mess." Quilty struggled to get it all down.
"So you would say that you didn't abandon erotic writing, that it abandoned you?"
"A neat formulation, but no. I simply realized that I could write porn till the crack of doom, and I'd still never succeed in getting it right."
"Getting what right? Never succeed? But ..." The Witch of Capri was, after all, perhaps the preeminent voice in the entire history of gay erotica. Under a variety of pen names — some brutish, like "Ramm Hardin," others, like "Firbank Fiore," exuding more than a whiff of camp — he had churned out a remarkable seventy books, more or less, meanwhile maintaining a parallel, highly acclaimed career in Genuine Literature. All that was, of course, why Quilty was there to interview him.
"The ineffability of desire, my lad. Let me tell you a story." The Witch of Capri had, in fact, told a surfeit of stories over the preceding day and a half, but Quilty let him continue. His doctoral thesis, like it or not, depended on the garrulousness of an old man.
"Several years ago, I met this young man — and I mean young, he was nineteen at the time, or so he said — on the phone sex lines." The renowned Witch of Capri jacking off to phone sex? Now that was an image. "He was, he told me, tall, skinny, and a redhead, still living with his parents. And he had the softest, shyest, horniest voice. The first time we spoke, he came so quickly that I hadn't time to unzip myself. Subsequently, he'd phone me at odd times when his family was gone, and every time I heard his voice on the phone, I became instantly erect.
"He, for his part, became rather adept at phone sex. He would tell me what he was, or wasn't, wearing, and follow my lead, or at least say he was doing so. I would command him to get some spit on his hand and slide a finger up his ass, and in short order, he'd be making the most delightful moans. He didn't come as quickly as he had at first, either, though he still outpaced me every time. And he did have an annoying habit of hanging up as soon as he'd come, though a 'Good-bye' or 'Thank you' certainly wouldn't have been out of place.
"But that's not really the point, is it? If the redheaded boy had been a character in a story I was writing, I would have been expected to add some narrative aspect, some conclusion, some — no pun intended — climax. His parents would have walked in on him while he had his young dick in his hand. We would have arranged to meet, and would have had fabulous sex. Or he would have turned out to be fifty, bald, and fat. Or something. But none of that happened. He phoned me perhaps a dozen times, got off, hung up, and eventually ceased calling. That was all."
He sipped his gin and tonic and looked off to the horizon, where an improbably lovely sunset, freighted with metaphor, colored the late afternoon. "But the truth is that, more than a decade later, that unseen redheaded boy remains one of my erotic touchstones. After god-knows-how-many tricks in my life — I was quite a looker in my youth, but you already know that — I still desire that voice on the phone more than I've ever wanted just about anyone. And thinking about it still gets me hard." Quilty, unable to restrain himself, looked down. Sure enough, the Witch's rather awful caftan was tenting up.
The Witch of Capri finished off his G&T. "And nothing I could possibly write ... well, let's just say that I retired for good reason. Shall we go in for dinner?" He rose shamelessly and, preceded by his famous erection, left the terrace.
The von Gloedenesque serving boy — he reeked of Mediterranean rough trade, and Quilty could only hope he was of age — cleared away dishes that had been licked clean of panna cotta, and poured fussy little glasses of port.
"I came, as you're aware, from a good deal of money, so I've been able to afford all this." With a grand sweep of his arm, the Witch indicated his surroundings, including the handsome young man. "And, really, at this stage of my life, there are only two major causes for discomfort. First, there's the inexorable passage of time, which is, you know, or at least can surmise, a bitch. And, perhaps more acutely, there's my utter inadequacy when confronted by the beauty of men ... well, let's be honest, young men. Of course, I can easily afford to hire company. The financial aspect of such transactions might well be viewed as somehow demeaning, it's true. But when a smooth, slim twenty-year-old strips down, lies back, his lovely cock standing straight up against a jet black thicket of pubic hair, and, at my command, opens his ass to me till I can see the pink corona, glimpse the darkness within ..." He sipped the port and stared into middle space.
At last Quilty, concerned the rest of the evening might be a waste, coughed gently. The Witch was brought back. "You know," he continued, "I'd bet that many of us who write dirty stories do it, at least in part, in an attempt to master lust. Not to overcome it, but to make it, through thought and word, our servant. To capture desire, quintessential desire. And in this we are damn well bound to lose.
"Ah, but what's a poor old fag with a penchant for words to do? Become a writer like all the rest, it seems. I knew them all, of course. Tennessee, Truman, Bill Burroughs. They were not happy people. Understatement."
Quilty had been imagining the Witch staring quizzically at some young hustler with his finger up his butt. Now he was afraid that the interview had slid to an end. He had more than enough material, most likely, to use for the thesis, but ...
"It all just makes me sad," the Witch concluded. "Melancholy. Sad."
Long, silent moments passed. At last, Quilty spoke up. "Thank you, sir. Thank you for your hospitality, and your time, and your ... mind."
"Ah, but surely you're not leaving now?" the Witch said. "It's likely too late to take a train to the airport."
And Quilty had, in fact, planned to spend a second night in the Witch's guest room. "No, I just thought that our interviews were at an end."
"Well, I suppose they are. I've already nattered on far too long. Who knew, when I was churning out pulp paperbacks to be read by closeted, masturbating fags, that I would someday be the subject of something called Queer Studies?"
"Well, you're a great writer."
"Well, a good writer. An important writer."
"That's closer to the mark, I suppose." A wry smile. "You're rather an attractive young man. But you already know that."
Quilty was blindsided by the shift in conversation. But the Witch was right: he did know that.
"So you have, no doubt, been expecting I'd come on to you. More port?"
Quilty shook his head.
The Witch turned to the serving boy, who had been hovering in a corner of the whitewashed room. "You can go now," he said, "and shut the door behind you."
Quilty thought of an old, crass bumper sticker: GAS, GRASS, OR ASS — NOBODY RIDES FOR FREE. This was apparently a more literate version of the sentiment.
"Well, you know, I'm certainly more interested in my immortal reputation, however risible that notion may be, than in yet one more penis. I'll bid you goodnight."
Quilty didn't surprise himself too often, but at that moment, he did. "It doesn't have to be goodnight," he said. He tried to sound as insinuating as possible.
"I appreciate that. I can even get over my qualms over being a mercy fuck; after all, it's rather late in the game for me to stand upon my pride. But ..."
"Narrative coherence, right? This is what I'm expected to do?" Quilty reached down for his crotch. "What some theoretical reader expects." He sounded, to his own surprise, a bit angry. He did not dare bring up, though, the story an assistant professor had told him of fucking Allen Ginsberg. "He was," the assistant prof had said, "getting old, was surely not very attractive, at least not to me. But that didn't matter, not really. Hell, I was having sex with Allen Ginsberg."
The Witch of Capri was staring intently at him. "I have no idea," he said, "what you think you're up to. If you suppose that this is what I expected, a quid pro quo for the interview, then you might think again. I'm an egomaniac, yes, but I would so like to think I'm not that sleazy." He paused, as if for dramatic effect. "On the other hand, you are, as I previously made clear, a remarkably handsome young man. Worthy of a story, really, if I were still writing stories."
Quilty hadn't planned on standing up, but he rose. He hadn't planned on getting hard, either, but something about being the object of laserlike desire went straight to his cock. "I want to do this," he said.
"Well, I've come to the conclusion, I'm afraid to say, that sex is the one wild, true thing. Pray don't let me stop you."
Quilty grabbed at his hard cock through his khaki pants. The shape of the engorged shaft was clearly visible. The Witch of Capri shifted in his chair. "Perhaps I should move to a chaise longue for this?"
"Perhaps you should."
"To the terrace, then?"
"It's private enough out there?"
"And if someone should see us?"
"Fuck them," said the Witch of Capri.
The evening was warm, and, conveniently, the moon was full. From far below came a gentle sound of waves.
"Ah, time," said the Witch of Capri, his caftan hiked up high on one naked thigh. "You don't mind if I reminisce?"
That's nearly all you've been doing, Quilty thought. That and complaining. Which brought up, perhaps, the question of just why his hand was shoved down the front of his pants, stirring his cock back into full erection.
"The things people do with their dicks for no particular reason," said the Witch, quite as though he could read Quilty's mind. "Or for some reason that they'd rather not face. So are you going to entertain me or not?" Quilty unbuttoned his trousers, letting them gap open, revealing well-filled, snowy white briefs.
"I remember when I was in school," the Witch said. "There was this Jewish boy, Chaim. He came from a family of refugees. Nice kid, smart. Beautiful boy, with dark, deep eyes and a Semitic nose. And I was so in love with him."
This line of chat wasn't helping Quilty's erection. He tried to focus in on his dick.
"I didn't do anything about it, of course. Different times. And I was too shy, if you can believe that. But after we'd gone off to college, we met up again one summer afternoon. He was wearing shorts — funny, but I can still remember that, even though much of last week escapes me — that showed off his thin, hairy legs."
Quilty had known someone like that, a Jewish boy he'd fucked. He thought of what that had been like, and his dick got harder. His host didn't stop talking, but it was obvious that he'd noticed — something in his eyes, a change in his tone of voice.
"We went for a walk in the countryside, down by a lake. He wordlessly stripped down, never taking his eyes from mine. His naked body was absolutely amazing. Hairy from the waist down, ass too, but otherwise totally smooth except for bushy armpits. Slim, defined torso, generous nipples. His dick was just average, really, but at the time I didn't know that, and as it got hard, it seemed just huge. I wanted to touch it so much, but I was so very afraid. Chaim turned and ran into the water, leaving me there on the shore with a hard-on in my pants. Several minutes later, after splashing around in the water — which, if I were writing a story, I'd probably describe as 'sun-dappled' — he came out, his dick soft now, and walked right over to me. Without hesitation, I got down on my knees. His was the first cock I ever sucked."
Quilty had stepped out of his sandals and let his pants fall to his ankles. He was rubbing himself through the thin cotton of his briefs. The Witch hiked up his caftan, raising it to his waist. He was naked underneath. Quilty gasped. The man's hard dick was absolutely huge, almost freakishly so.
"Take off your shirt for me," the Witch of Capri asked. Ordered?
Quilty unbuttoned his shirt and pulled it off.
"Very nice. Oh, and lose the pants, too. But keep your briefs on for a while. I like that. I should write about you and your briefs. Who knows, maybe I will."
Quilty knew that the Witch wasn't writing erotica anymore, but he found it an appealing notion nonetheless. Immortality, he thought. Of a kind. He turned around and played with his underwear-clad ass, then bent all the way over, hoping that the Witch could see the outline of his balls between his legs.
"Ah," said the Witch, "and such are the consolations of age."
Quilty couldn't decide whether he found that pretentiously self-pitying or not. He stood up straight and said, over his shoulder, "And of fame." "And fame," the Witch agreed. Was that melancholy in his voice?
Quilty turned to face him. The older man was rubbing his fingertips gently over the underside of his gigantic cock.
"And did you see him again? Chaim?"
"That was a long time ago. Who knows, perhaps the whole story didn't even happen. I am a writer, you know. Many things that should be true, aren't." He looked directly at Quilty's crotch. "Would you like help with that?"
Quilty didn't know what to say. It would compromise his scholarly objectivity — not that that wasn't long since blown away. And being sucked off by a famous pornographer would be something of an experience. At last, he nodded.
"Paolo!" the Witch of Capri called out, and, prompt as a literary device, the serving boy appeared. For Quilty, that was both a disappointment and a relief.
The dark boy, wearing only flimsy white drawstring pants, stood expectantly, waiting to be given his instructions. The Witch snapped his fingers and gestured toward Quilty.
Paolo walked over, stood directly in front of Quilty, and started stroking Quilty's chest, gradually working his way down to his crotch. When Quilty didn't object, Paolo knelt and began to peel down the front of Quilty's briefs.
"I think that you'll find Paolo to be a rather excellent cock-sucker," the Witch said, his fingers still trailing over his dick. "Perhaps the two of you can turn so I can see you better? A profile? Ah, that's it."
"Can I ask Paolo to strip?"
"Of course, my boy. Perhaps you'd like to suck him, as well? I'd enjoy that, I assure you."
At Quilty's terse instruction, the serving boy stood. His white pants were tented out at the crotch. He removed them to reveal a smaller-than-average uncut dick, fully hard. Quilty had him move till the two of them were just a couple of feet away from the Witch of Capri. A sudden, chilling breeze blew up. Quilty dropped to his knees and took Paolo's cock in his mouth.
"You see, Quilty," the Witch said, "there are a number of reasons I decided to conclude my erotica-writing career. But — to make a damaging confession — the major reason, really, was that I concluded that nothing I could write, no matter how accomplished, could possibly capture the beauty, yes beauty, of moments like this."
Quilty felt unaccountably proud. He took all of the small, hard dick deep into his mouth, grabbing Paolo's firm, hairy ass, pushing the cock even farther down his throat. He moved his fingers down the boy's hairy cleft, finding the heat of the slightly moist, responsive hole. The boy began to moan.
"We're trapped in our bodies, you see," the Witch continued, "and sex represents both resigned confirmation of that fact, and an attempt at liberation."
Quilty's pride turned to irritation. Would you please shut up, you pretentious wanker, he thought, so I can concentrate on sucking cock? He released Paolo's dick, reared back a bit, and looked over to the Witch of Capri. The elderly author, not now touching himself, was sitting there with, astonishingly, tears running down his cheeks. This was all, pretty clearly, more than Quilty had planned on letting himself in for.
He took his hand from Paolo's hole, got some spit on his forefinger. Going back to sucking Paolo's hard dick, he slid his finger inside the boy's ass. Paolo's muscles responded instantly, relaxing so he could get all the way inside the soft, hot hole.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Best of Best Gay Erotica 3"
Copyright © 2010 Richard Labonté.
Excerpted by permission of Start Publishing LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
A RETIREDWRITER IN THE SUN,
RUSHING TIDE OFSANITY,
THEY CAN'T STOP US,
THE BOY IN THE MIDDLE,
MY BOY TUESDAY,
THE PANCAKE CIRCUS,
TROUBLE LOVES ME,
Bremerton, Washington — January 2001: Navy Stray Cat Blues,
San Diego, California — January 1996: Pornographer's Apprentice,
Bremerton, Washington — January 1999: Stiffed,
Bremerton, Washington — Summer 1999: Trouble Loves Me,
Barracks Bad Boys: The Movie,
Bremerton, Washington — January 2003,
ABOUT THE AUTHORS,
ABOUT THE EDITOR,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Some good stuff recommend if your gay.