Art & Culture

Late August, 2016, Fire Island Pines, NY.

We sashe barefoot down the boardwalk.

My friend Arthur is gabbing incessantly about something I am too drunk to comprehend while the sun beats down on us, soft fists against our chlorinated, ocean-weather skin. We are headed to our glamour-friend Don’s, who no doubt has lined up jack and cokes beside the pool we intend to bask in.

Out of the corner of my eye I watch the passing men; they are square chested and ultraviolet-kissed and smell of salt and sunscreen. Every hair that spills from their elastic waisted swimwear arouses me. Arthur is visibly annoyed at my indiscreet eye, but fuck him because he has a boyfriend and I am freedom. This is a gay man’s paradise, an island of faggy excess and frivolity, which is rapturous.

A man passes who I recognize, although I don’t know where from, which is not uncommon, and before I realize it, I have stopped this stranger and asked if he is Gio. Yes, I am Gio. And suddenly I recognize him. My friend Alex photographed this boy, who is odd looking and too thin with alien sex appeal. I was drawn to the photo and I am drawn to Gio and we are moving in different directions but in a still corner of time I manage to punch my number into his phone. He is going to a “cool party” later tonight if we want to come.

Running down the boardwalk to catch up with my friends I fantasize about Gio. He is an artist, I remember, and many of my friends in Los Angeles know and love him.

I will not receive a text from Gio tonight, and this will be disappointing, but not debilitating.

It is sometime after dinner and we have not stopped drinking but we are still thirsty. My faggot posse treks along the beach from the Pines to Cherry Grove (a neighboring community that hosts the infamous underwear party). Many of us are half clothed. All I am wearing is a tight pair of leather bikini bottoms and black converse. I know that my ass is the bomb because I have been aware of my body and what it can do for some time now.

Fire Island is full of fuckery and dancing and play without inhibitions–it is a sanctuary of sin. When we arrive at the underwear party all primped and toasted and nearly naked, we scatter like a pack of wolves on the hunt. Every man is a tree to sniff and piss on, and the forest is so dense that I am overwhelmed. My senses are spilling in every direction.

On the pool deck outside the dance floor I find a small patch of air to breathe in. In this open air an old crush of mine is smoking a cigarette–New York is like that. His big dick hangs proudly in classic white bikini briefs. He has never noticed me before, but he notices me now. Javi is the editor of a magazine I am fond of. I have been fond of Javi for some time, too. I chat with Javi politely, and when he says he is going to fuck me tonight I smile and I kiss him on the cheek and I shimmy to the bar where someone called Daddy buys me a drink.

Tonight I am too tired to coordinate with this magazine editor and I am still spiteful he has ignored me for all of these years and maybe there is a part of me that is longing for that mysterious Gio. I walk home through the dunes with Arthur and I sleep until noon. In the morning we wake up, we have coffee and a mimosas by the pool, and we take the ferry to the bus to the train back to the city.

Early October, 2016, Los Angeles, CA.

My house is throwing an art and culture festival this weekend. I live in the Tom of Finland Foundation. It is Friday night and we have invited the artist that are in town to walk through the space. By ten o’clock I am drunk and wearing my pajamas–tonight a red calf-length moo moo with a baseball t neckline.

Gio: That’s a nice dress.

Me: Would you like to try it on?

Gio: Yes.

Gio steps out of his cotton shorts and stands naked before the small crowd I am a part of, an eclectic collection of queers smoking cigarettes in the jungled backyard of Tom House. We are reminiscing with each other and meeting each other and warming up the night with our drunkenness. No one takes note of Gio’s naked body, but I take note of Gio’s naked body. Probably 110 lbs of lean boy, ribs smiling, little tattoo on his little chest, shaved head, big uncut dick, hairless except for shadows of coiled man on his pubic bone, on his low belly, in his armpits and shading his thin but sturdy legs. For unknown reasons he has no eyebrows. His wide engaging eyes are heavy with eyelashes and he blinks anticipatingly at me and I am so afraid of him, but my desire is overwhelming.

By Jamison Karonerotiq

I slide the red cotton tunic off over my head and pass it to Gio. He wiggles into its looseness. I like this. He says. You should know that Gio is unlike any other human. Gio is Technicolor. He pokes at my soft navy underwear and asks why I am wearing them, and I feel so afraid of him still, but I want to do everything that this skinny Guatemalan boy says. Before I can take off my underwear, Gio takes off the dress and replaced it on my trembling body. Still naked, he sits in the chair beside me and removes my underwear from beneath the tunic with one hand. With his other hand he gestures wildly because to our small crowd he is telling the story about why he shaved off his eyebrows.

One of the queens is asking for coke and we quickly make a plan to mobilize to West Hollywood. Our friend Alex is beckoning us from his throne of cocaine. I get up from Gio’s lap and slink upstairs to put on a pair of stiff blue jeans. By the time I make it downstairs a car has been called and all the faggots are shuffling distractedly to the front of the house being loud but trying not to (it’s past midnight). Gio takes hold of my waist and kisses me on the neck and I whisper into his ear that he can have the dress. Elated, he tells me he will find something to trade for it.

We pile into the car that is waiting on the palm tree lined street of Tom House. In the back seat Gio sits me nearly on top of him, picking up my hips and setting them in the crook of his lap. A smell of overripe fruit affronts me. Gio throws my head toward his lap, where a hard and glorious cock is standing straight up from the corner of his cotton shorts; the sour sweet smell nauseates me. Fear sets in, and in a moment of clarity, or perhaps obscurity, my mind asks a series of rhetorical Who am I and Where am I going and Is Gio the love of my life or the Devil? I wonder if they can smell what we are doing in the front seat. Gio throws my head back down and I am not ready to eat so ripe a fruit but I kiss his mouth and rub the cock that is begging for me, for any orifice, for the hot mouth of a hot boy.

In the front seat my darling Stuart and Ruben talk about the upcoming festival at my house. I am embarrassed to writhe like a slut in the back, but Gio is not embarrassed by such human things. I push away from his freedom, but inside I want to cut the rope free, to fly, to tumble, to fall to the ground, get fucked on the ground, get dirt in my ass, be spit on, spit in, to spit upon.

This night is getting stale, but we will not. We bound up to Alex’s apartment and we knock on the door. Alex answers with a new book of photos in one hand and Astro the cat in the other. He is so handsome and for a moment I feel lustful toward him.

In the narrow kitchen lines of cocaine and a freezer bottle of vodka are waiting for us. Alex and Gio are close friends, and for some reason this make me so self-conscious. I feel like an accessory. Gio’s hands are like magnets and I am made of tinfoil and I thought I was liberated until I met Gio who is boundless.

Ruben is all of our mothers if our mothers were coke sniffing artists and he sets to work making cocktails. Something industrial strength or light and breezy he asks. I don’t care and so Ruben hands me a drink that is vodka on ice with a drop of lemonade–his specialty. He is going on about how the old faggots have got to pass everything down to the young faggots. He has a new tattoo that is a crown with the word QUEER  inside of it and this is the right tattoo.

Stuart is impatient. He hovers while Alex makes an orchard of delicate lines. Before Stuart and I became friends we tried to date, and I love him dearly, but we are so wrong for each other and how special are gay people?

I slip into the bathroom to try and remember anything about my life prior to tonight. In the bathroom there is a photo of Gio (the one I recognized him from on Fire Island). He is naked, of course, and stood in front of an American flag. He is the same strange boy who is in the other room, but in this photo he looks like something that is holy and suddenly I want to own this photo. I want to wake up every day to this holy image of Gio

When I get out of the bathroom Gio asks where my drink is. It is in my hand. I do my line of coke before someone else does and Alex makes us more lines. Ruben says only one more drink it’s already late and the festival starts tomorrow, and Gio says where is the next place we are going.

I don’t remember how we get there but we are back in Echo Park on Sunset and Alvarado and we are trying to get into an afterhours party, but none of us have cash. Ruben is no longer supervising us and we fumble down the broken sidewalk to an ATM. A straight guy cuts in front of us and Gio asks if he likes it from behind, which makes us all snicker. We snicker because we are gay in numbers and for once this guy is the faggot in a crowd.

When we get back to the afterhours party we are lead off the street by a security detail. He pats us all down and when he pats Gio down, Gio makes sex faces, which makes us all laugh. We pass through an iron gate toward a dark house that is applauding from the inside. Stuart pays my cover.

We are in a dirt backyard with bonfires and a swarm of nocturnal creatures. Gio buys me a shot of whisky that is really a glass of whisky. We all salud and drink and wander the grounds. Gio touches me the way I like which is endlessly.

There is a backroom that is for dancing and when we arrive Gio says he is a good dancer and I say so am I and when we dance neither of us is lying so it is good fun. There is busty girl who looks like she likes getting fucked, all spilling out of her tight white shirt, and she is smiling at us. She asks if we are together and even though we both say no she does not believe us. She tells us we are sluts, and we tell her she is a slut, and we all begin to sing I’m a slut she’s a slut he’s a slut slut slut slut slut slut and never once do we stop dancing.

Gio orders me another tall glass of whisky. We are talking to a girl at the bar and I am complimenting her and then we realize we don’t have money for the drinks. I ask the girl for money and she thinks I am kidding. When she realizes I am not kidding she buys us the drinks. The bartender looks annoyed and to that Gio and I salud and take the shots.

We wander into a courtyard where people are smoking and we smoke some weed that is going around. Gio befriends the girl beside us like he befriends everything. She is a middle aged Jew named Rachel. When she tells us her age I pretend to act surprised, but I am not surprised. Rachel says what a cute couple we are and we tell her we are not a couple and it takes some convincing, but she believes us. Rachel gives us bumps of coke off of her key. She gets up for a moment and tells us not to go anywhere and we do not but we never see Rachel again.

Gio and I take turns peeing in a port-a-potty and in the meantime make friends with everyone around us. Our friends have gone and we do not have keys to the house, but Durk, the maitre d’ texts me and tells me he will let us in.

Gio wants to take a car to the house, but I live just down the street and so I convince him to walk. The night feels good. What we talk about on the way home I cannot tell you.

Tom House is quiet. Everything was immaculate for the festival when we left, but now garbage is strewn across the yard and nothing looks tidy and I feel as worried as a person as fucked up as me can feel.

Durk answers the door, all messy haired and crazy looking like the yard, and inside, the house is a mess too. I ask what happened and he says there was a flood. We ask if we can help, the festival is tomorrow, but Durk ushers us to bed.

Gio is rough and his dick is big and it hurts me, but I like it. That ripe smell is back, but something has changed in me and I want to eat the fruit. Gio pulls his cock from my ass and shoves it down throat. He asks if I have a rubber band and I do not have a rubber band so Gio pulls a shoelace from one of my shoes and wraps his balls and cock in tight loops. His genitals look like they are suffocating, but how can a cock breathe when it is so deep inside of me anyway.

I say I am cumming and Gio says he wants me to cum and both of us release our orgasms.

Durk is in the kitchen when we come down for water, and we are naked and the shoelace is still wrapped around Gio–knotted and messy–and all three of us smile at each other. All three of us understand this moment. Gio and I both drink one full glass of water. We ask Durk if we can help, the place looks a mess, but durk says there are people coming soon. I wonder what time it is. I wonder who is coming.

Gio leads me toward the back door to the garden. Durk says it’s cold out there, but we cannot feel temperature and so we venture outside anyway.

The garden is designed for fucking and we find a crooked bed on one of the terraces and we fuck in the garden as the sun comes up. The wool blanket scratches my back and Gio scratches my insides and I am falling asleep but Gio is pulling me upstairs.

It is morning now and I want to fall asleep before it gets too bright out, but Gio only wants to keep fucking and fucking and fucking me. If there was any sensation left in my body it might be sore, but right now I have become a pocket of flesh for Gio to fill with his cock and his cum and whatever else he wants to put inside of me.

I am not sure if I sleep, but when I hear people setting up for the festival outside I get out of bed. Gio is passed out and when I try to wake him he says ten more minutes.

Downstairs the house does not look as immaculate as it once did, but by some small miracle there is no trace of the flood. It looks like we are having a festival. On the north end of the house there is a lounge next to the new Homo Riot mural. In this lounge people will smoke cigarettes and take photographs all weekend. There is a bar on the back porch, stacked with bottles and beer and little things to nibble. I will not attend this bar because I will only drink alcohol from other men’s glasses and I will only nibble on men. Wrapped around the south side of the house art vendors have pitched tents for selling their work and inside the entire first floor of the house there are book vendors like Taschen and Rizzoli and Bruno Gmunder. Everything is erotic and romantic and queer as fuck.

Ruben and Gio are selling work next to each other. Between them there is a chaise lounge which we will lay memories across for three days. Behind the chaise we keep a bottle of jesus juice AKA the martini bar, which is really just more of Ruben’s specialty (a bottle of vodka with some soda water and lemonade). We will swig this from the bottled because we have no cups. We all kiss on the mouth anyway.

When I go back upstairs to wake Gio he will not leave my bed. This annoys me because he has kept me up all night, but I let Gio sleep halfway through the day anyway. I wander the grounds downstairs. I take off my clothes. I stand in for a figure drawing session. Miguel asks me to pose like a hustler, only I don’t really know what a hustler poses like, so Miguel ends up directing me. He paints me more butch than I am, which I like. He signs the painting and he gives it to me.

I bring the artwork up to my room where I now have a growing collection of gifts. Gio is still sleeping. There is a piece of chocolate cake on my desk and I take a few bites. Suddenly Gio is awake. He asks me how I can eat cake when he is going to fuck me all weekend and I tell him to figure it out. Gio pulls me in bed and he fucks me until he is awake enough to get on with his day. I am happy to have more of Gio to carry around inside of me. Gio puts on the little red dress from last night, and it suits him. We both go downstairs.

Now the festival is really alive, with people buying art and books, but mostly drinking and smoking and talking about fucking each other. The dj is playing every gay anthem that was ever made and I know in this moment that being queer is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

I make the rounds passing out kisses and letting festival goers slap my ass. Javi is at the front of the yard selling his magazines. He is staying in the house all weekend, and he is as handsome as I remember him. Before there was Gio my sex plan was Javi, but Gio stormed into the picture like the first day of my life. Now all I want is Gio’s uncut piece of paradise. I wonder if Javi can tell that Gio has had me seven times since yesterday. I wonder if festival goers can recognize his smell on me. Javi and I talk pleasantly and he touches me in a cordial I want to fuck you way, which is nice enough, but also makes me nervous if someone is watching.

I do not belong to Gio and Gio does not belong to anything, not even his husband in New York, but this weekend I want him to be my man. I think I am in love with Gio. Everyone is though.

For a while Gio is busy and so I decoupage a boot black chair where a dyke is shining leather boots. My friend Joe meets me there and we get fucking high, which eases our hangovers, and for a few hours we dip our hands in glue and we paste old magazine cutouts onto the wooden box. When the weed drops out I remember to remember Gio. I wash my hands. The day is late now. I am tired of my outfit so I go upstairs and I put on a little black dress. This dress is tight and leather and even though it was made for a woman it looks like it was made for me. The dress makes me look masc as fuck. When I wear this dress I look like the type of bottom that can take a big piece of flesh.

Downstairs I promenade my new look and everyone asks if they can fuck me to which I tell them I am already sore on someone else. When I see Gio he slides his hand up the backside of my dress and this time I am not wearing underwear and his finger feels a place that no one can see.

The gang’s all back together now. We have never once stopped drinking. We are tired and we are hungry, but the sun is still up, and the night ahead is only the second bend in this marathon. Like a film played backwards we trip upstairs to my room for some powdered willpower. On my copy of Metamorphoses Alex arranges our dinner in tight white lines and we are already more awake before he rolls the dollar. I am looking Ruben in the eyes when Gio lifts the back of my dress and slides his perpetually erect cock inside of me. Ruben can see the size of Gio on my face, and before today I might have pushed Gio away, but something inside of me has let go. Gio is right where I want him.

We all line up for dinner and Gio is kissing me and his large hard cock is making a tent out of his red dress. He poses for a photo opp, and when the photo isn’t right it becomes a full production photo-shoot. The only problem is that Gio has lost his erection. I am sitting on the bed and Gio is sitting on my face and his cock is swelling inside of my throat and even though the dress is covering us there is no mystery in this moment. Gio is hard again and we get the photo for his instagram.

Ruben and Stuart leave the room and Alex lies down on my bed and Gio asks to fuck me. I look over my shoulder and Alex’s eyebrows are raised in a dare and when I protest Gio tells me that Alex is like a brother to him. We do not take off our dresses but Gio is already inside of me. It is hard not to moan because that is how big Gio is, but I am trying to be considerate of Alex. Each time Gio thrusts inside of me, my head knocks against Alex’s head and I can’t see Alex but I am pretty sure he is taking photographs. My legs are draped over Gio’s shoulders and he is standing in front of my backside holding up my ass to penetrate it. The view has got to be incredible.

Gio yanks himself from me in one quick motion and I am worried about shit getting on the front of his new dress. He takes me to the bathroom and leans me over the tub and now I am moaning a little louder than I was before.

Alex is knocking on the bathroom door. Someone wants to buy one of Gio’s paintings. I sit on the toilet and wipe myself clean. While Gio is washing himself in the tub, I slip out of the bathroom and back to the festival. Javi compliments me, and I twirl, and I remember that he is staying here tonight if I need him.

Stuart has artwork showing at an exhibition in West Adams. It is the opening night and we decide to stop by for a quick once around. For some unknown reason I offer to drive. It takes a while to get everyone organized but we are barreling down I-10 now. We are sort of in a hurry to get back but we are also happy to have a change of scenery. Alex has left to meet a friend. Stuart sits shotgun because after all it is his exhibition and Ruben and Gio and Joe sit in the back. Gio has sold a painting and he is a small fortune richer.

I shuffle through my phone for some rap because that is what I am in the mood for and Ruben tells me to get off my phone while I am driving and I do not get off my phone because at this moment that is the least of our worries.

We make it to the hospital alive and I detach from the group, I guess because I need a moment. I don’t care about art for a little while and so I muse through the halls and stare through the paintings and I focus on my breathing. As I round a corner of the hospital (the exhibition is in an old abandoned hospital) Gio is at the end of the corridor. He is talking to some thinner younger version of me who is blue haired; his eyes are sparkling with Gio’s reflection. I can see that the boy is smitten and Gio is happy enough and I want to be jealous, but I can’t be. Every man I have ever loved has wanted me put in a cage (except for Gio) and I will not do the same to him.

I roam the halls a while alone and then I feel Gio at my side and he is kissing my neck and saying, let’s find the others and get back to the festival.

The gang takes a photo in front of the hospital and all of us look like madmen. We frighten a few people in the parking lot which gives me pleasure. When we ride back to the festival we listen to something soft and low and the boys complain, but I don’t care.

The night has fallen. Everything is lit up and we are lit up and I didn’t realize how long I could sustain a buzz until I became a funnel to be poured into.

I let my girlfriend Houston into the front gate. The ticket man asks what I am going to pay him and I tell him I will sit on his lap later. He laughs because he knows it is a joke.

Houston enters the party. She is thin and gorgeous like me, but she is not drunk and high and sleep deprived like me. For a long time we share a big leather chair in the lounge while everyone drones on and on about some thing or another. Gio comes by and lets me pick out one of his pieces and I don’t realize until later that this is his trade for the dress.

Houston is not wild like me, but I can tell that she loves Gio too and I wonder if he really is the devil. I make circles around the party until everyone slowly starts to dissolve from the grounds.

Houston and I wind up on the front porch with my housemate Sharp, who is a tattooed biker gay of a bygone era. He is dripping in silver chains and he has the same long hair and bangs he had in the ’80s–his smile is warmer now. Sharp is just as cool as he was then, but now he doesn’t have to try. Now he requests Whitney for the last song and we all sing into the night that we wanna feel the heat with somebody. We all wanna dance with somebody who loves us.

The exodus is to the mouth of Silver Lake where a gay dive bar sits precariously on the corner of a 5 way intersection. My memories are fragmented but I remember sitting in the back seat with Gio and the blue haired boy. I can smell Gio’s ripeness but this time it is that younger thinner boy who is tugging on him.

I stand alone in the bar. Houston is gone. And as soon as everyone knows that Gio has someone else I become an easy target. Javi makes it to me first and all I want is to leave with him, but before we leave we round up some boys and do more coke in the girls bathroom; there are no girls here.

I lay naked in my bed waiting for Javi. There is a part of me that is so afraid that Gio will come home, but I know that is wishful thinking.

Javi lets himself into my room all gentle. He is sweet and he tells me over and over that he just wants to make me feel good. I don’t want to have sex, but I am naked in bed with a man who desires me. These are the situations you cannot find your way out of. I conceded hours ago that Javi would have me; under different circumstances I would have wanted it more.

Javi climbs on top of me and puts poppers beneath my nose and even though I do not want them he keeps them there until I have to inhale. I am dizzy already and so the drug is only a smell. Javi tells me he is clean but that we should use a condom and I tell him I am too reckless for condoms. At this point what does it matter. He tells me that I am a slut, and that he likes that about me. In my head I am saying feminist things but outside I am broken by sex and booze and drugs and three days without sleeping and so when Javi slides his large cock inside of me, I lie mostly still. I hope that Javi is enjoying himself–I think that he cums inside of me.

After sex Javi holds me and he is a soft sheet of leather. This is my favorite part.

In the morning, I meet Houston at our favorite spot in the neighborhood, a little streetside cafe where you order at the window. I eat the first full meal I have eaten in days. I drink a black coffee. I drink water. I tell houston all of the things that I have done. Even though I eat as slow as I can, it doesn’t take enough time. Houston is not dressed for the festival, she was supposed to wear a sexy white dress, but I cannot be alone right now and so I convince her to come back to the house with me as she is.

At the house we lie on the outdoor bed where two nights ago Gio fucked me. We look at the sky. We don’t talk much, but I am happy she is with me. Today I am reading some of my writing at the festival and I am so nervous. It has been some time since I have read before a crowd. I want to start drinking, but I promise myself to wait until after the reading.

I am afraid of seeing Gio, afraid that something has changed, afraid that life has moved on from us, but when I see him he is as warm as ever. He kisses me on the mouth and says hey baby, how was your night. I am embarrassed even to look at him, but I tell him my night was good. Good. He says.

The day continues. I read my words and then chase them down with mezcal. It is the last day of the festival. It is that type of day.

My body is so tired but I don’t want anything to end. In my bedroom there is a pile of artwork that has been gifted to me. There is also a pile of magazines from Javi. I count my gifts and each one is a memory. On my way downstairs I run into Gio. I left something in your room, he says. I follow him back up.

Can I help you with anything? I ask him. He asks if I want to give him a blow job. I do. He takes of his pants and says maybe we should just fuck, which I am very grateful for. I pull my shorts to my ankles and I climb onto the bed and Gio fucks me from behind while I take it on all fours. I never get hard and it doesn’t take long, but Gio comes inside of me one last time. He is the first person I am happy to take with me like this. Most days I am looking for an orgasm, but Gio gave me more than that. He gave me his baby (that’s the stupid joke Gio would make).

We pull on our clothes and we go back to the festival. Everyone is packing up their things and I am overcome with a heavy sadness. I offer to take Gio to the airport because I am not ready to part with him. As we are on our way out Javi is on his way to dinner and the Dolly Parton concert. He reminds me that he is staying in the house one last night and that he will see me later.

On the way to the airport Gio and I don’t talk much. There are too many things to say. I am happy with our beautiful silence. I know that this is just another page in Gio’s book. Gio is another page in my book too, but for whatever reason he feels like the first page.

Gio kisses me goodbye and he tells me to have fun in Argentina–I leave next week. His last words are, never get in the car with only one other man, make sure there are many men, because you don’t want to put yourself at risk for one dick.

After I drop Gio off, I treat myself like a sick patient. I drink a bowl of hot soup. I take a bath. I get into bed early.

Javi is texting me and I know that when he gets back to the house he will be looking for me. I tell him to come into my room, no matter how late it is. Tonight, I am afraid of sleeping, or rather not sleeping, alone.

When Javi arrives I am lying awake with my eyes open in the dark. The door creaks open and his muffled footsteps on the hardwood floors are welcome whispers. From the folds of my fortress I coo a quiet hello. Javi gets into bed softly. He is so worried that he has woken me from my sleep, but how could I sleep on a night like this. I am so tired, but how could I sleep.

Javi and I talk for a long time. I have sobered up a bit from my bender and I tell Javi right away that I am too sore to be penetrated, at least until morning. He is respectful, of course. Javi is tender. He cradles me in his supple arms and we talk through the night.

In the morning we have gentle sex and this is a nice end to things. We have breakfast and we continue our conversation from the night and Javi is so easy to talk to. This is a nice end to things.

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