Inside The Mind of A Writer: My Characters Are Real
I told you about my experiences, actually my on-again-off-again romance with Danny, a wheel-chair bound guy I met while summering in Pennsylvania. He made such an impression on me I used him in both one of my short stories, and as Hylan, one of the protagonists in my novella, “Not in it for the Love.” One major difference from the real Danny is that I made Hylan biracial.
So let me set-up the scene were Josh and Hylan first meet. Josh is a young, handsome Florida drifter and part-time hustler who is adopted by Bishop, a successful Wall Street investments broker, on one of his trips to the Keys, scouting motels for acquisition. He takes Josh back with him to New York to be his trophy boy, but allows him to bunk hop in the West Village gay scene of the late ’90s. For Josh, it’s all about the sex and the occasional money, that is, until one fateful Sunday night …
It was a hot, steamy Sunday afternoon in August. Perfect for strutting the Village’s Christopher Street catwalk. Bishop had fallen asleep on the sofa watching “From Here to Eternity” on TCM, and a couple of prospective hot web dates ended up going nowhere. Even my usually reliable “port in a storm” fuck buddies weren’t responding to my “hey, got some time?” e-mails. The guys down in the Village for the Dugout’s weekly beerbust would be spilling out onto the sidewalk and street soon, shirtless, sweaty and hungry for one last screw for the weekend, even if they tried to hide their appetites behind smug “don’t give a fuck” expressions.
I usually rode the subway down, less of a hassle with traffic and all, but I opted that night instead to take Bishop’s just leased new BMW out for a spin. It was parked in the basement garage in a space that cost more than most people’s rents. Although parking in the Village on Sundays was tight with all those out-of-town suburbies wanting to experience the City, I came to know the side streets where I could still find a space if I moved my ass.
I had made good time coming down the Westside Highway. At the first red light off the highway in the Village, I weaseled out of my sleeveless open shirt and was snaking through the Meat Market District when, a half a block from the Lure, that leather bar, this shirtless guy in a wheelchair sailed out of nowhere and sideswiped me.
My first reaction was – shit – Bishop was gonna kill me for banging up his precious car. Then I saw in the rear view mirror that the guy had been knocked out of his chariot onto the street and looked like he was pretty banged up. So I parked the car illegally by a pump and trotted over.
Even in his scruffed -up condition – he was dressed only in army fatigue shorts and sneaks, and his shoulder, knee, and forehead were all scrapped and bloody – even messed up as all that, I found him – well – beautiful, a word that, frankly, had never come into my head before about any guy. His body fur was thick and wiry like steel wool, and his tangled, scrambled hair and beard stuck out like one of those African natives in those old copies of National Geographic people threw out at the trailer park. Even laying there on the street, his body reminded me of that bronze statue of Zeus I had seen in the lobby at the U.N. on one of Bishop’s attempts to show me some big city culture. Not overblown like a gym bunny, he was built more like some primitive hunter, with muscles that meant something. Even if his withered legs didn’t quite match his bulked-up upper torso.
“I’m sorry, man, didn’t see you coming,” I tried to explain as I knelt down and stared into those ocean blue eyes. He had the strong, rugged features of a Midwestern white boy but I knew his coco tan didn’t come from a week in San Juan. A half breed as Momma would politely put it when she was sober. Like the kind of models I kept seeing in those store circulars and on TV, not white, not black, so they kinda fit everybody.
“Hey, don’t sweat it. I wasn’t looking,” he replied with the same kind of nerdy yet sexy voice I had heard on a few TV car commercials. “Could you help me get back to my place – I live just a few blocks from here – I’ll be OK.”
And that, folks, is how Hylan Jonathan Demarest, Ironsides as he called himself, sailed into my shitty two-by-four life.
I folded up his dented wheelchair in the trunk – Bishop’s baby had suffered only a minor scratch – draped a blanket left over from this past weekend’s beach outing at Riis Park onto the front passenger seat so no blood would get on the leather, and ever so gently lifted this hunk of man in. Even then, I was getting hard.
His chair, though a bit banged up, was still usable. I folded it up and once we got to his address, I placed him back in it and wheeled him to the commercial elevator of the warehouse building off Jane Street where his loft was.
Scratching at his door to greet us was Hylan’s big black lumbering motherfucker of a dog, Bosco, as furry as his master, who helped him, as he told me later, live. He sniffed the dry blood on Hylan’s knee and wimped a little but accepted me in a second. Guess he realized I was here to help, not hurt his handsome buddy.
Once in his place, almost as large as Bishop’s penthouse but stripped down to the bare essentials, Hylan wheeled himself over to the bathroom and gestured for me to help him get his shorts, jockey underwear and sneakers off. No bag on his side or diapers like Old Man Shanahan who lived a couple of trailers away from ours in Shady Isles and who I took care of once when his daughter couldn’t make it. Bosco, meanwhile, had made himself comfortable on Hylan’s king size bed.
I was getting so hard so quick my dick hurt, cramped in the crotch of my super tight jeans I wore when I was out cruising so my package looked even bigger. Funny, I always thought gimps couldn’t get it up anymore, but as he maneuvered his body with those powerful biceps into a plastic stool that sat in the shower stall, I could see he was getting aroused, too, the head of his uncut cock beginning to make a surprise unveiling. He told me later that his plumbing didn’t always work so fast, so I must have been doing something right. And even if he couldn’t really stand, I figured he was about my height or even a little taller, and definitely bigger where it really counted. I figured his piece was 9, even 10 inches and thick like a flashlight. Then he turned on the shower and braced himself under the water.
I quickly undressed, my aching dick bouncing off my abs, and joined him, gently washing his cuts as my fingers slowly caressed his broad furry shoulders. We said nothing, but when he gestured me to stand in front of him I knew what he wanted and I surrendered my stiff pole to his mouth. For the next five minutes he worshiped my cock with his tongue and his lips, all while the shower beat down on us like a waterfall. Then, just as I spurted my manload down his throat, he started twisting back and forth like he was having a fit, rolled his eyes, then slumped back into the chair. Nothing had shot out of that beautiful cock of his but I could tell in his own alien way that he had cum too.
If this had been one of my usual hit-and-run man encounters, I’d be heading to the door by now. Instead, we slowly dried one another off and I carried him back to the bed and lay next to him, all quiet like, with Bosco still on the bed, making us some weird kind of threesome. His butt was black and blue and his furry cheeks looked like two rotting melons – he told me later that’s what happened when you sit on your ass all the time – but somehow it didn’t bother me.
Then, without thinking about it, I turned to Hylan. And began kissing him. First on the lips, then trailing down his hairy, massive chest and furry six pack to his cock that, even limp, I still gagged on.
As we finished for the moment, his banged up wheelchair, leaning against the bathroom door, caught the corner of my eye.
“I’ll- I’ll pay to get that fixed,” I whispered.
“You sure you wanna do that?’ said Hylan, “After all, it was my fuck-up as much as yours.”
“No,” I replied, stroking his chest softly, “I’m OK.”
“Well, considering what you drive and what you wear,” said Hylan, tugging at the Rolex on my wrist, “my first guess was you’re a lawyer, or doctor or own your own business maybe.”
Then he stared down at my still hard cock, then back at me.
“But looking at that handsome baby face of yours, I’d say you’re just being kept.”
“Hell,” I replied with the same stupid ass grin I used to charm the girls in high school, “I’m just a backwoods Florida country boy city slickin’.”
I had spied a diploma from the University of Chicago on the wall when we came in.
“Class of 1996,” I quipped.
Hylan crawled between my legs and lay his head on my dick.
“My parents wanted me to go into medicine. My father is a civil rights attorney back in Chicago, my mother counsels troubled kids, but I was in my second year at Chicago U when I decided to switch majors to music.”
“So what happened?” I asked, stroking one of his hairy legs, thin and railly but still with a kiss of muscle left to want him all the more.
“Everybody automatically thinks I was in a car accident or was some crazy biker boy who crashed his motorcycle into a wall, but I can thank a bug for my wonderful wheelchair existence.”
“A virus that hit my spinal cord. I won’t bore you with all the medical jargon, but it’s been three years now, just after I moved from Chicago. One Thursday I was jogging on the old West Side Highway, by that Sunday my legs were useless. The emergency room docs at St. Vincent’s knew what it was but there was nothing they could do for me except give me pain killers til there was nothing left to feel.”
“How, how did you stand it, dude?” I asked, rubbing his leg as if by some fucken magic I could make him whole again.
“I felt like doing myself in in the beginning but there are worse things that can happen to you, right? And having been a high school music teacher, I’m at least able to continue making a few bucks as a tutor, in between doing gigs at clubs here in the Village – I play a mean guitar – where I can show off some of my stuff.”
“You mean you write songs?”
He asked me to bring his wheelchair to the edge of the bed, then hopped in, and led me to a side corner off the bathroom where a tower of computer equipment and a keyboard glowed in the shadows.
“Let me show you,” and he brought up on the pc screen a song he had written and began playing it. “That’s why I moved to New York in the first place. If I’m ever gonna make it.”
I couldn’t resist stroking his chest and abs as he fiddled around with all those keys and knobs.
“So where did you get all this fur?” I whispered in his ear. My mind was on other things than music.
“From my mother,” he quipped, then laughed. He had a funny kind of laugh, round tones and all stagey like, like one of those laugh tracks on TV. “She’s from Argentina, Spanish and Italian blood. My grandfather and uncle are gorillas.”
“And that fucken humpy body, too?”
“A mix of both sides. My father was a gymnast in college, one of the first black men to make the team at his school, and I competed in swimming when I was at Chicago U., if that counts,” he replied, snuggling closer. “Now it’s just some weightlifting” – he gestured to the barbells lying on a table a few yards from his bed – “and wheeling myself around.”
He didn’t bring up fucking that first night and neither did I.
After all, there was always another time for that.
And we both knew there would be.
Back in bed we made love, kissing almost every inch of one another’s bodies a thousand times over, then dozed off till around 5 when Hylan nudged my shoulder.
“I know you have to leave but I wanna show you something first.”
I helped Hylan dress, then got him into his magic chariot and, leaving Bosco behind slumbering on the bed, down we went in the freight elevator back to the street.
“This way,” said Hylan, pointing to the river and the piers just a block or so away.
And once we got onto the piers, we stayed there, just us, my Hylan in his chariot and me standing proudly behind him, my hands firmly on his strong shoulders, watching the tease of a sunrise begin to light the skies.
Hylan reached up and grabbed my hand.
“Where the fuck did you come from?” mumbled Hylan, his eyes still fixated on the horizon.
“Waiting for you to find me,” I whispered back in his ear.
Another side of Danny.