Inside The Mind of A Writer: “Buy Guys”
Like “The Czar of Wilton Drive,” “Buy Guys,” my novella available on amazon.com, begins elsewhere (Jersey) but is swallowed up like my characters in Fort Lauderdale.
Blaze and Pete are two young, gay handsome drifters with nothing to lose who leave dreary Jersey for the sun and sex of Florida’s Fort Lauderdale. Their mission is simple: to make a free and easy living as male prostitutes; Buy Guys is the name of a fictional escort site on which they advertise their talents. For a while things seem to go their way until Blaze and Pete’s past sins come back to haunt and eventually threaten to destroy them.
In this excerpt, our two guys have just arrived in Lauderdale after days on Interstate 95…
It took them another two days and the weather got better the further south they went. Then suddenly when they hit Palm Beach County, they actually began to sweat. It was as if they had crossed an imaginary line.
The original plan was to spend a few days in a cheap motel until they could check the papers or Craig’s List for a room or studio. But after exiting 95 at Oakland Park Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale and aiming the Bronco east, they stumbled onto Cary’s Cosmos on Birch Road, just two blocks in from Sebastian Beach which, according to the “Gay Fort Lauderdale” guide on the net, was the town’s man sandbox. “Rent by the Day, Week or Month, Free Wifi” read the yellowed sign outside the faded blue and white stucco two story building with a fenced-in pool street-side. Rent by the week was great, but free wifi was a must for their game. Odd, thought Pete, that a place that looked, well, worn around the edges, should be right in the middle of a street lined with well-kept guesthouses and smart townhouses and huge, beach-front luxury hotels just a few blocks away. But Blaze was his usual smug self, acting like they had reservations and the place was the Hilton and had been just waiting for them to arrive.
The sun was wide, hot and high but the only one by the pool was a slim, small guy with a full head of gray hair and white penciled beard in a purple bikini who eyed the two of them like some coquette at a New Year’s party.
And there, behind the counter in the front office, was Cary himself to check them in. The little ID badge pinned to his baggy tank top didn’t make it hard to figure that out. A good six foot three, he resembled a breezy California surfer thirty years past his prime, with long blondish gray hair parted down the middle, a tanned moon face, and tank and baggy shorts that did a poor job at camouflaging his sagging tits and bloated belly.
Behind him on the wall was a huge fading color poster of some wild haired shirtless pretty boy blonde, complete with the obligatory smooth swimmers build, modeling a pair of Ralph Lauren shorts. The Polo logo stood out like Blaze’s morning woody.
“So how long?” he gruffed, a cigarette hanging from his lips, his eyes glued to a newspaper lying on the counter.
“A week for now,” said Pete, looking at Money Bags Blaze to step up to the plate.
“A hundred and twenty five for the week, payable in advance—cash only.”
Blaze opened his wallet and counted out the twenties.
“Plus a hundred dollar deposit,’ added Cary.
“For what?” said Blaze, obviously pissed.
“Just in case you punch holes in the walls or try to yank out the toilet or walk away with the microwave and frige.”
Blaze pulled out five more bills as Pete grabbed the keys.
“By the way, who’s the dude?” said Pete gesturing to the poster.
“Me,” said Cary, his eyes still on the newspaper.
More pages obviously torn from magazines sporting a more youthful Cary hung in cheap frames on the walls of their room. Gucci, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ralph Lauren. Apparently he had modeled for the best of them.
In another life.
Blaze decided to stay in the room and work on their Buy Guys web ad. “The sooner we get some money comin’ in, the better.”
Pete, on the other hand, couldn’t resist the beckoning of the sun and the pool.
“Go ‘head,” said Blaze opening his bags. “I’ll let you know when I’m done so you can tell me what you think.”
The old guy in the bikini was still out there sunning himself, ass up on the lounge, when Pete emerged, barefoot, wearing just his Levis that hung nicely around his waist so that the very top of his ass crack showed. Hey, you never know, he thought to himself as the old man caught his eye and smiled.
“I’m Fred,” said the guy.
“So, Pete, on vacation?”
“Actually me and my buddy, we decided it was time to leave the cold North and find jobs down here. Maybe construction, or bartending, who knows?”
“Where up North?” said Fred, coyfully playing with his sunglasses.
“Small world. I’m from Smithtown, Long Island. Been here for two weeks but going back tomorrow.”
“And so what do you do in Smithtown, Fred?”
“Oh, I’m a tax accountant. Been vacationing down here at Cary’s place for about ten years now, he’s cheap and right by the beach. I come down when things are quiet business-wise, but I’m not quite ready to take the plunge, you know, move down here permanently. So many Long Islanders work in the City, I get to prepare city income taxes, state income taxes, plus the federal. Lucrative, you know?”
“Sure,” said Pete who didn’t remember the last time he filed taxes. Fred reminded Pete of Jimmy who lived a few blocks from where he grew up and who spoke slow and deliberate as if we wanted to make sure he got every word exactly right.
“Down here with no state or local taxes, all you got are the feds, so I lose out right from the get-go.”
“I see what you mean,” said Pete, rubbing his hairy chest. “So, since you’ve been coming here for a while, what’s with all these pictures?”
“You mean Cary’s ads when he was a hot shot model? Well, I guess we egomaniacs never get enough of ourselves.”
What the fuck was he talking about, thought Pete. All he saw was an old man. Okay, he wasn’t fat and sloppy like most guys his age, but he had a leathery tan and stretch marks peeking out from the edge of his bikini. He figured him sixty, maybe older.
“Cary was one of New York’s hottest male models in the seventies and eighties,” Fred said like he was reciting a Wikipedia biog, “every designer wanted him and he was the sometime boyfriend of half of them and—well, I’m not talking out of school, Cary would tell you himself after a couple of martinis—he made the money and drank and snorted it away just as fast till a new crop of pretty boys took his place in the limelight and all he had left was enough to buy this place. That was just before I started coming down. He was hoping to make a killing when the boom hit, and a few developers actually talked to him about buying up the property and knocking this place down to build some upscale high rise condo-hotel complex. Then came the bust and well, here we are.”
Suddenly the sun went in.
“Time to take my mid-day nap,” said Fred rising up. Then he giggled like a schoolgirl. “Wanna join me?”
It was the entrée Pete had been waiting for. Maybe he and Blaze wouldn’t need that Buy Guys ad up to start making some dough. He stood up from the chair and instinctively rubbed his crotch.
“Sure, if you don’t mind not getting any sleep.”
”You have to admit,” said Fred as he closed the door of room 23 behind them and pulled the window drapes shut. “I get the best of them.”
“Whatya mean?” said Pete, unzipping his Levis and dropping them to the floor. He had no underwear on.
“I mean, when you’re hot like me, you only expect to get the best and well, look, you certainly got the goods,” said Fred, who walked over and began stroking Pete’s chest as he felt his furry butt from behind.
“I know guys like you love bare backing,” he went on, placing Pete’s hand on his crotch, “and I got a big one.”
“I’m a top,” said Pete, pulling away. “I don’t get fucked.”
“Oh, Okay,” said Fred with a condescending smile, “you can suck my dick then. As long as you swallow too.”
“Hold it,” said Pete. “We haven’t talked price yet.”
Fred fell into a corner chair.
“Are you saying you expect me to pay you?”
Pete said nothing and just glared back at him.
“Hey, I never had to pay for it and, sure as hell, I ain’t paying for it now,” said Fred, dropping the glib smile. “I got guys younger than you begging for this Daddy dick. Hell, you should be paying me. Besides, I take it back. You ain’t that hot.”
“Just because you old fucks pop a Viagra doesn’t make you a stud,” said Pete as he pulled up his Levis. “I think you’ve fallen for your own hype.”
He slammed the door behind him so hard he could hear one of Cary’s pictures fall off the wall.
“Strike one,” mumbled Pete as he walked into their room.
Blaze was sitting on the bed with the laptop. He didn’t look happy.
“First, fabulous Cary’s wifi keeps going in and out, then the god damn site says you can’t talk about actually offering sex …”
“Hey Blaze, even you know prostitution is illegal. You got to beat around the bush.”
“Okay, but now I can’t close the deal ’cause they want to be paid by credit card and my Visa card is maxed out.”
“Don’t look at me, my credit’s in the sewer.”
Blaze closed the lid of the laptop and hid it under some clothes in the drawer just to be safe.
“Listen, I remember us passing a CVS on AIA when we were checking out the beach. Let’s walk up there, I’ll buy one of those prepaid jobs and we can see what Sebastian is all about at the same time.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
“By the way, how was the pool?”
“Peachy, just peachy.”
Author’s Notes: Blaze and Pete are modeled after the handsome men with not much going for themselves except for their looks that I’ve encountered and even slept with over the years. Fred is a mirror image of a seventy year old egotistical friend of mine who left his wife of forty years to play the gay blade in Lauderdale.
As for me, I researched my book by becoming a male hustler at my very advanced age on rentboy.com for one month. Though I couldn’t pay my bills on the money I made, four guys that month put the stack of twenties on the bureau for an hour with their furry daddy which is how I marketed myself to stand out against the sea of smooth pretty boys. When buddies of mine asked how I could “keep it up,” my response was simple: “The guy wants you bad enough he ‘ll pay for you. That’s the turn-on.”
Next: Plotting My Books