The uniquely sexy Native American Two-Spirit hero from Memoir of a Reluctant Shaman is back in a standalone tale. He’s in the Big City to visit his old friend Otter as they continue to explore sexuality. Otter has discovered attending a monthly safe-sex workshop is the best place to find a date who is already interested in “love with a glove.”
They’ll have a chance to hear new legends—like the Dancing Deer Woman and more about Coyote than our Reluctant Shaman would ever want to know—from the workshop leader, Professor Comesflying. He’s enjoying the experience—until Coyote himself walks into the workshop.
Warning: this story uses explicit language and is sexually graphic. But it also might tell you a few things you didn't know.
This tale is part of The Real Story Safe Sex Project dedicated to using entertainment and popular culture to spread the word about HIV/AIDS and safe sex to gay and bi male teens and twentysomethings.
“Have some potato juice,” Otter said, handing me an old silver thermos.
“What's potato juice?” I took the battered thing and shook it. Liquids sound pretty much alike.
“It's what we Kiowas call vodka, 'cause it's traditionally made from potatoes.”
“Nah,” I said, handing it back. “I don't drink.”
“Wussie-pussy,” he laughed, opening it up and taking a mouthful. His eyes squinted from the sensation and the sharp stink of cheap liquor hit my nose.
“It's not that—I found if I try to drink, dead people start talking to me and that always creeps me out. Scorpio is the one who's supposed to deal with the Dead, not me.” Otter's grandfather is a medicine man, so I didn't have to worry about explaining anything. He nodded and put the top back on his thermos.
“Bummer, bro. That would really freak me out. What do the Dead want to talk about?”
I hesitated. I had been dumped on my Uncle Feeney's pig farm by my family for sort of, kind of abusing the whole “spiritually gifted” thing by seducing a new student. How was I to know what I had done would turn him into a zombie sex slave?
Whoops. And such a waste of my time. Turns out he would have wanted to date me anyway. All I really ended up doing was speeding up his Coming Out process. Go me. During my formal initiation the real chatty-cathy Dead was my brother Scorpio, and he kept nagging me to resurrect his ass. Whatever. And I thought I had gotten in trouble for the sex slave stuff...
Aloud I answered, “If they're on this side of the Doorway, they're usually begging you to help them do something. Then there was this real perv one who kept trying to sex up sleepers. My Aunt Pork called him an ‘Incubus wannabe’ and used some Ghost Medicine to get rid of him.”
I glanced over at Otter's “potato juice” and added, “I get enough of the Living expecting me to do stuff without the Dead trying to ride my ass.” I shuddered from certain memories and tried to focus on my friend.
Otter and I had fooled around some after my first official lover went home to Italy. But then his father got hired for a new job and his family had to move to Portland. We kept in touch and now I was spending a few days with him. He had cut his hair off and looked a little taller since I had last seen him. Life in the Big City.
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About the Author
My mom was one of the very first Head Start teachers on the reservation, and she always worked with three year olds. I would visit her in the classroom, and without warning, she'd walk out, leaving me with 15 preschoolers.
Out of desperation, I would tell them a legend and teach them the song and dance that went with it. It wasn't until much later I realized my mom was forcing me to use the Stories I had been taught.
Most recently I've worked with the National Science Foundation's Flagship Project, Synergy. I was asked to teach STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)professors at over a dozen colleges how to use Storytelling to more effectively communicate complex concepts about technology to a general audience.
I currently live in Arizona, where our local college (South Mountain Community College) has one of the only Storytelling Institutes in the United States, where one can be certified as a storyteller.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Don't write Native American literature if you're not a certified Native American. The "two spirit" people never existed in the real tribes. Ask an actual tribal elder. Only one star because I can't give it zero.
The first couple pages we're a bit confusing because it mentions some characters that are part of another story, but it didn't take long to gain an understanding. I thought this was a good short story and well written. It was a good advisory on safe sex and the importance of knowing your status. I also enjoyed the Native American perspective and the bit of magical realism that tied into it.
And stresses the importance of SAFE sex...well written.
This book was well written. It was a bit confusing at first (there were references to other characters and events), but I liked it nonetheless. The information on HIV, health risks of unsafe sex, condom use and safe sexual practices were thoroughly explainedx anda informative. A extra letters, nook is going haywire again