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Sunday 11 October 2009

Gore Boy?

Posted in: NZ Writing
By Steve Attwood - 30th July 2006

You are eighteen. So young, so adult, at the same time. A time when your body says go and your mind doesn't have the sense to say no; when you are so full of spunk it seems inexhaustible and opportunities to release it are just about everywhere.

Except for you.

For you, spunk release is still the stuff of imagination and a willing hand; trying not to get it on the sheets so Mum won't notice.


Your rugby mates are "doin' it" most every night, certainly every weekend - you can tell because you've noticed that sexually active men have an assured sort of cock-sure, balls-heavy swagger that says "I fuck regularly" - so why are you still making nightly dates with the widow Palmer and her five daughters?

It's because you have a secret. A secret you hardly dare say aloud. So you whisper, standing naked in front of your bedroom mirror, with the door locked, checking out your body and liking what you see, enjoying the heft of your testicles and how quickly your cock thickens when you touch it. You whisper. "Gay". Trying the word out cautiously, feeling how it fits. "Gay. Poofter. Queer. Faggot . . . me. George Michael Pendalton."

You smile at the irony. Your Mum and Dad would not have known of the singer when you were born, probably haven't read the stories in the paper now, about George getting done for doing it in the toilets, it's not the sort of news they'd read. They just happen to be family names, George and Michael, and you're the only son so you get both of them. Tradition.

Now, if you were someone else, you might think, "Hey what's the big deal George. This is the late nineties for fuck sake, no-one cares if you're queer anymore."

But you live in Gore, not some big city where this would be easier. A boyman has two choices in Gore, two social clans with which to identify - the rugby heads, or the Gore Boys. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference; alcohol and sex permeate the activities of both. But, generally, the rugby heads are pretty decent guys, working if they're not still at school, sort of rural-clean-cut. They only get stupid when they're pissed.

The Gore Boys, well, they're stupid most of the time; but then, they're pissed most of the time. They're an eclectic lot, ranging from black-jeaned skin-heads, to bored, disenchanted rural poor - meaty boys in bush jackets with nothing to do, no jobs and chips on their shoulders. What they have in common is big, noisy cars and Gore's wide streets. They are the most dangerous thing in town, especially on cruise nights and especially when they're drunk. They hate rugby heads, cops and faggots.

Not a lot of choice for a queer boy is it? Naturally, you have chosen the rugby heads as being the least dangerous and closest to who you really are. At least you get to behave halfway decent most of the time. But rugby heads hate faggots almost as much as Gore Boys do; leastways, that's the culture, that's the talk. Truth is, there's a lot of faggot behaviour among rugby heads - not that they'd admit it; it's man's stuff, not poofter stuff. But you don't get into that. You're clean. When the others decide to have a jerk-off race, or put a man on the block because of some dumb-arse move that cost the game, you stay well out of it. Why? Because you're scared. Scared they'll see that you really enjoy it, that you're really turned on. Fuck, it's hard enough to stop getting an erection in the showers after a match.

So, you've become the master of disguise.

"Hey, is that a bird? A plane? No, it's Super Chameleon Man, changes his coat to suit the colour of his surroundings."

Just when you think you've spotted some difference about him, Chameleon Man changes before your eyes and you can't tell him from all your other dumb, macho, chauvinist, homophobic friends.

Your disguise even includes a girl friend. Katrina-Louise is the local Baptist Minister's daughter. She's pretty, intelligent, quite fun to be with and, best of all, she's safe. She's a genuine, dyed-in-the-wool Hallelujah-Lord Born-Again Christian and the best thing about BACs is they don't do sex, not until they're married anyway, and that's just fine with you.

It's not that you haven't tried; not with Katrina-Louise, but a couple of the other girls. They were willing enough and you really wanted it to work, but Chameleon Man can only change his colours, not his nature. It all got terribly embarrassing, but they each accepted your lack of performance was due to too much booze and were pretty forward about saying they'd like to try again, but you know you're never going to do it. Besides, now that you are going steady with Katrina-Louise, well, people sort of understand that you're being loyal. The pressure's off. So, this is the life you lead. You play rugby well enough to be in Senior 'A', have God-given good looks, a brain and a tolerably pleasant personality. Your teachers like you, your parents and sisters love you and, with your natural ability to be something of a clown, you're sought after socially. You should be gloriously happy.

But you're not.

The chameleon coat is just too suffocating. You want to throw it off. Be the real you. Be gay. But you can't. Gore won't let you. Deep down you know that. Queers don't live in Gore, they leave Gore.

Oh sure, one day you'll get out too. You'll go to uni and then you'll be free. You know there are queer groups on campus, you've even read a copy of Otago Gaily Times. But, right now, you've got a seventh form year to get through, and probably a year after that working to earn some money toward university expenses. Two more years, at least, in Gore; two more years of being Super Chameleon Man; two more years of dating Katrina-Louise and praying she doesn't backslide and just become plain unborn and horny; and two more years of nightly assignations with the Widow Palmer and some tattered, cum-stained, gay porn mags you got through mail order and hide in a junk box under your bed.

It feels like hell.

Until you meet Ishtar.

He's the son of the new doctor in town. Arab, but British trained, British raised. Ishtar and his family speak better English than most Southlanders.

You see him one Saturday afternoon, a couple of weeks before you go back to school. It's hot. The accumulated heat of summer has spilt over from Central Otago and dry winds are flowing down the valleys, browning off normally green-all-year Southland. Drought weather. Shorts and no tops weather. And Ishtar, shining black. Beautiful. Walking back from the dairy you see him and can't help but stare. Slim, but muscular, his cut-offs, dark with sweat, cling to him, define his sex more provocatively than if he were naked. Desire in denim. A sweat-soaked package just waiting to be undone.

He catches your stare. "Hello, isn't it lovely and hot?"

You smile, embarrassed. You'd like to push on, but he's standing right in front of you, smiling. You see his white teeth and the purple of the inside of his lips as they draw back in a short laugh. His eyes hold you. You must reply.

"Too hot for me, but I suppose you're used to it."
"Not really, England never got as hot as this. But I love it. Must be genetic I suppose. You're George aren't you?"
"Uh yeah," you reply. "How did you know?"
"I was watching the tennis on Saturday. I saw you play. I thought you were beautiful. I wanted to know who you were, so I asked."
You gasp, and look around praying no-one heard. Beautiful? My God he knows, he fucking knows. Does anyone else?

He's speaking again.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't be so forward, but I don't believe in the English habit of walking around the subject. The Germans are better. Blunt, straight to the point. I like that, or perhaps the French approach, subtle, but unmistakably sexy. The French enjoy sex, the British like to pretend it doesn't happen."

Those eyes, you can't get over how incredibly sexy they look. Such deep bright brown, such long lashes. My God, what did he say, sex? Jesus, someone'll hear, you have to get him out of here.

"I've seen you around too. Iktar, right? You're the new doctor's son."
"ISHtar, but yes, I am the doctor's son. And you, you are horny, you were practically taking my shorts off with your eyes. Oh, don't apologise, I'm flattered. I didn't think I would meet another gay man in Gore. You are a pleasant surprise."
Jesus. He said the 'G' word. Out loud. Here. How did he know? You have to get him away.
"Uh great, Ishtar, but, well, I'm not saying you're right or wrong, but it's a bit public here eh? Do you want to come to my place? It's just around the corner. No-one's home, and there's a beer in the fridge."
"Thank you George. That would be pleasant. I am not supposed to drink alcohol, we are, nominally, Muslims, but a beer today, I don't think my father would mind."

You steer him quickly along the street and into your house. It only takes a few minutes, but, even though there's no reason why anyone should think anything of Ishtar visiting, you feel as if the whole world has focussed on you, like you've got this big sign hanging over your head. Flashing neon. Pink. "Gay" blink "Gay" blink "Gay".

You tell Ishtar to take a seat in the lounge but he follows you to the kitchen and sits back to front on a dining chair. Cowboy style. Legs spread. His shorts sucked in against his sex. Provocative. Daring. He knows what it's doing to you.
"Thank you George."

He takes the can. He has beautiful skin. Satin brown. It reminds you of a freshly shaved and washed thoroughbred you saw parading at the races. Wild, but contained. Powerful. Your control feels precarious. You realise you have an erection.

In silence you both drink. Without thinking you have mirrored his style, straddling a second chair. You have pulled it out from the table and sat it opposite. Close. Your knees almost touching, your cock as much on display as his - tennis shorts don't hide much. You feel light headed, but exalted. You play his dangerous game. Your hands shake with excitement as you reach for another beer.

He reaches out, trapping your wrist in his hand. Holding you. In silence he draws your hand to him, places it between his legs. Presses it hard against the heat that is there. Holds it. Holds your eyes with his. You notice sweat on his forehead, feel the damp of it in his crotch. He takes his hand away, but you leave yours there.

You realise you're going to have sex. For the first time. Your virgin arse and Ishtar. He feels so big and . . . well, he has to be experienced. He'll be gentle, but . . .
"Ishtar . . . I . . ."

He leans forward, over the chair. He kisses you. Hard. On the mouth. You kiss back. Your tongues find each other. It is enough. You jump up and grab his hand. Haul him to his feet. Up the stairs. Into your room. You lock the door. Pull the curtains.
You make love and it's OK, you seem to know what to do. Turns out Ishtar's a "bottom" so your arse is still intact.
Summer days melt away.
"Why don't you want them to know?"
It is the same question. He has asked it every time you have met. It's been a week now. A week of sex in the afternoon while everyone else is out working. Thank God for school holidays. But he still doesn't understand your need to be secret.
"Look at me," he says, "I don't care who knows."
"I do." You reach for his face, cup it in both hands, force him to look at you. "I do. If you tell people you're gay, I'll have to stop seeing you or they'll guess about me. This is Gore, not London, not California, not even bloody Dunedin. Gore. It would mean the end of everything. I wouldn't survive. Not on the rugby team, not at the tennis club, not with my mates. They wouldn't understand."
"Then choose new mates."
You are angry now. You realise he doesn't want to understand. He's political, ready to go to university and be out and proud and he wants to practice on Gore. You'll be damned if you're going to let him drag you into it.
"You had better go and, Ishtar . . . don't come back."
He shrugs, manages to look a little sad, and leaves.
So fucking easy! For him.

You throw yourself into tennis and cruising with your mates.
Katrina-Louise is away on holiday with her folks, so there's no excuse to behave. So you get pissed and, when one of the other girls sleazes into you at a party, you let her, but she can't even get you hard. This time it really is the booze.
And then school starts.
You see Ishtar only once more, putting bags into a car his father has bought him. He's heading off to Dunedin. To Uni. To freedom. But then, Ishtar was never not-free. He smiles hellogoodbye in one quick grin, and he's gone.
You miss him. Your magazines stay under the bed. It's Ishtar, now, who fills the space behind your tightly shut eyes as you frantically pull at your cock, seeking release. Ishtar, Ishtar . . . Ish . . tar . . . Ish. You cum.

Early winter. Katrina-Louise hasn't back slid, so you're still safe. You trot her out nearly every Friday and Saturday night. She comes to rugby training nights and stands in a long thick coat watching you steaming up and down the field under the lights. She even lets you kiss her when you score a try.
And just as well. You need this, this badge of heterosexuality, because rumours have flown around town about the doctor's fag son. A gentle boy from your school, he was neither a rugby head nor a Gore Boy, but he became a Gore Boy victim; cornered one Friday night and dragged under the Mataura bridge. He was seen holding hands with Ishtar at a movie in Invercargill. Word got around. They stuck a beer bottle up his arse.
Raped him with it and kicked him senseless.

You rage, not at the Gore boys, at Ishtar. You know he would have persuaded the boy to be out; would have filled him with brave ideals of a new, more accepting world.
"Fuck you Ishtar. Where were you when the bottle broke inside and the boy nearly bled to death? Campaigning for gay rights on campus? You are so safe in your intellectual, politically correct world. Come back to Gore. Come back and be 'out' here. See if you can impress the Gore Boys with your clever talk about equal rights and appreciating difference. Fuck you Ishtar, because you're still inside my head. Still the face I wank to. Bastard!"

The rugby team's going to Wellington. Fund raising's been so good you're getting put up in a hotel. No billets this time, no strangers' bedrooms. It's a long weekend. Travel up Friday, play Saturday. Sunday and most of Monday to look around before flying back Monday night.
You start making plans. Plans to exorcise Ishtar. Plans to get fucked so senseless your mind's eye will have a dozen new images to take back to Widow sessions in Gore. Plans to be "Out", at least for a day.
Luck is on your side, you get to share a hotel bedroom with Lenny. You know Lenny. He'll get pissed after the match on Saturday and stay that way until they pour him onto the plane to go home. He's not going to be looking for you and, even if he does, he'll assume you're out getting laid; getting some sugar while Katrina-Louise waits dutifully, chastely, back in Gore.

Game over. Added bonus that you scored the winning try. Head rush.
You're already a bit drunk, the host rugby club was generous with the beers. Back at the hotel you shower, turning it cold to clear the booze fog. On Friday night you managed to find a bookshop with express on sale. You also bought an Evening Post. The gay paper slipped easily into the big Wellington daily.
Lenny isn't in, he's still boozing at the rugby club.
You're ready.
You look at the streetwise map in express. There it is, Caspers. Great! It's a short walk from the hotel. It's early, only 8pm. You somehow know the gay party boys won't be out in numbers yet, but you want to check the place out. Settle in gradually.
There it is, up an alley. Even in Wellington you look around, walk past the door a few times before, finally, going in.
Most of the light comes from the bar and from a lamp over the pool table. Otherwise it's pretty dark. There's a few people at the bar, several others at the pool table. They're obviously regulars. A few eyes turn at your entrance, you catch a few appraising glances. You know you look good, but you're still fucking nervous and not just because you're under age.

"Yes love."
The wavy-haired guy at the bar seems nice, his friendship genuine.
"Gin, uh, and tonic."
He serves the drink, ice clinking. He holds your eyes. You stare straight back. You can't back down now.
"New in town?"
"Yeah. I'm from Gore."
"Oh, I know that place. Think I drove through it once. Somewhere near Invercargill."
"God luv, you must feel like a fish out of water. First time in a gay bar? Don't answer, it's obvious."
That shocks you. You think you're being cool. But before you can react he's talking again.
"Tell you what luv, I bet you play pool."
"Yeah. Uh, yes." You've got to stop saying yeah, makes you sound like a hick. A country hick. From Gore.
The cute barman is flapping his wrists at some guys at the pool table, calling one over. My God! He, she, it's a real drag queen! You suck your gin like you've just crossed a desert.
"Starbelle luv, this cute young man is . . . What is your name luv?"
You tell him.
"George, this is Starbelle. Starbelle, George. He's from Gore. He plays pool. You're looking for a partner aren't you luv?"
Starbelle raises her eyebrows at you. Boldly, provocatively, she sizes you up. You feel naked. She puts a long, manicured hand on your arm, squeezes your bicep.
"You'll do".
She stalks away.

You have little choice but to follow, you feel like your presence has just been commanded.

Starbelle introduces you to the others. You meet your first screaming queen and your first bull dyke. You get your arse pinched by the queen as you bend over the table. The others laugh when you drop your cue, but it's friendly. They understand.
"We're all refugees here luv," Starbelle husks. "No-one in Wellington comes from Wellington. Well, no-one important anyway. We all came for a day . . . and stayed."
"That's me, out for a day."
"You mean you're going back?"
"Sure. I mean, I have to finish, er . . . " You lower your voice so the cute barman doesn't hear. "You know, school."
"Sweetheart, we knew you were chicken when we first saw you, but you look fine. No-one's going to question your age, just so long as you behave. You are going to behave aren't you?"
"Yeah. Sure."
"Well, perhaps not too much, hmm? Wakefields is just round the corner, or would you prefer the rough trade at Sanctuary?"
You don't know how to answer that. How did she know? About being underaged, about wanting to go to the sauna. You blush.
"Ohh darling, you're blushing, how cute." She gives you a peck on the cheek and lingers, long enough to whisper. "Don't let our hard ways fool you dear. We've all been there. Shy boys from the country, I told you. Now relax, have another gin and lets see how long we stay king of this table."

You stay king for quite some time, but are eventually toppled by a couple of lesbians who play like professionals.
"Just sharks darling," Starbelle consoles. "Far too serious. Now, here's how to find Wakefields and Sanctuary, please yourself which one you go to, or go to both. You're young, you can handle it."
You blush your thanks and get another kissy kissy on the cheek as a reward.

Outside, it's bitter, a southerly straight off the sea. Threatening rain. Still, it helps clear your head. You wobble to Wakefields, figuring the sauna might bake out the alcohol. You're not going to risk a limp dick tonight.
The entrance to Wakefields is by a nightclub, you're not sure which way to go, but the bouncer susses you.
"You want to go left mate, that's the queer outfit."
What is it about Wellington? Are they all clairvoyant here or do you have a sign above your head: "Green as grass queer boy from Gore, needs fucking, please point in right direction."
Twelve bucks gets you a towel, some lube and a rudimentary description of what to expect beyond the entrance way.
You notice you're shaking as you undress. You feel charged, senses heightened, cock already half hard. Well, at least there'll be no problems with that tonight.

Several faces have cruised the locker space as you undress and now, as you explore, they're there again, in the lounge, along the corridor, in the showers; catching you with long, longing looks that hold and entice, eyebrows raised in query. Some smile, others wink, some tilt their heads just so, inviting. Whatever the method, the message is the same. You're young, good looking and, most important, new. Fresh meat. You sense it and you can feel the hunters closing in.

You find yourself in a darkened room with tiered seating. The focus of attention is a TV showing porn, two men sixtynining. They have impossibly big dicks. You select a corner on the highest tier. It's dark there, but you can see everyone. There were three people in the room, but two, three, four others follow you in.
Suddenly you feel the power. You realise you're in control here, for now. They all want you. The hunters circle, but the meat chooses who'll be allowed to make the kill. It's a powerful aphrodisiac. Your penis extends, straightens until it is slap hard against your belly, quietly throbbing. Pre-cum leaks into your navel. Even in the dim light you know they can see it. Smell it. The hunters close in. You begin to choose. Him? Too young, he look's greener than you. Him? Too desperate. Him then, maybe, but as he draws closer you notice he smells of vomit and booze. You turn your head away. He slumps down to a lower tier. A hand on your cock, someone bold has sidled up behind. You turn, he's old, well, older than Ishtar. You're about to pull away, but his eyes hold you, such power, so sexy, so . . . experienced. You leave his hand where it is and reach to stroke his chest, hairy and heavy with muscle. You find a nipple and pinch. He gasps with pleasurepain. The contract is made. He knows your inexperience and takes your hand, guiding you down the tiers and into the bunkrooms. Hungry others follow hoping for a communal feast, but he shuts the door in their faces, forcing home the bolt.

"Hello chicken."
They're the only words he says.
Later, you're dizzy and a little sore, but nothing can stop the glow. You crash in the lounge, limp-dicked and happy, guzzling coffee from a polystyrene cup.
"How was it love, all you expected?"
The voice is familiar, but it takes you several moments before you realise the slim young man standing directly in front of you, his rather large penis swinging in your face, is Starbelle - minus the wig and the frock but, with her painted nails and makeup still intact, still definitely a queen.
You grin.
"It was fine, just fine."
"Hmm, yes, he's lovely isn't he."
"You saw? But, I thought I left you at the bar?"
"You did, I've only just arrived, but I know. My man tells me everything."
"Your man?"
"Sweet Gore boy, you are still so innocent. That nice hairy hunk of a man you just let fuck your virgin arse is my husband. He wants to know if we can take you home. I've already said yes, just as soon as I've had a soak."

It's 9.30 Monday morning when you finally get back to your hotel, check-out is in 30 minutes. Too late, you realise there's a couple of the guys in your room, trying to wake Lenny.
"Bastard's practically unconscious, we think he's pissed the bed, give us a hand."
There's a few grins and winks in your direction as you help heave Lenny into the shower, but nothing's said. Later you hear some of the guys talking: "Dirty dog Pendalton, stayed out all weekend. Must've got some pussy."
On the plane, one of the guys leans over your seat and thumps you on the shoulder. "Don't worry Georgie mate, Katrina-Louise won't hear it from us. A man needs some sugar and we know she doesn't put out."

But Katrina-Louise does hear it. Everyone does. The tale grows, becomes legend. How Georgie, the match winner, shacked up with some Wellington pussy while his mates were out drinking. Katrina-Louise ends it, tears all round, but you're relieved. The dishonesty was starting to get at you.
Free then.
It feels good.
You make a mental note to visit that boy who got bashed by the Gore Boys.
He'll need a friend.
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Steve Attwood - 30th July 2006