May 10, 2014

The ad that ends the culture wars --- This is heaven (teaser)

How to explain this? Well, Ben had been tricked by Alex into answering this outcall and apparently discharged his duties in an exemplary way, (e.g., here), returning to John's apartment asino morto. John is back home from the worst adventure of this entire soap opera, and this is the moment to confront Ben with the truth.  

Ben has a very long shower at the moment and my feeling is he’s going to depart from my life pretty soon, he shot this cursory glance at my bed and then at me---which was still okay, especially under the circumstances---but then he asked whether he could use the shower, next thing he'll ask whether he can use the bathroom, and then he’s gone.

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"If you're in the pay of one of these outfits that use "family" as code against gays, and you're tasked to produced the definitive ad, the ad that ends the culture wars..."
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We shouldn’t belabor the obvious here, but real quick, if you’re in the pay of one of these outfits that use “family” as code against gays, and you’re tasked to produce the definitive ad, the ad that ends the culture wars, you could do much worse than to tell the story of a young, handsome Afro-American who has options, obviously, when it comes to sexual preferences, and who falls into the hands of this homosexual assistant professor of French who’s only option is a tangled ménage with a rape victim and a suicide victim and pimping handsome Afro-Americans to high-strung Valkyries in the meantime---not to mention Ray, the murder suspect, whom he hasn’t met yet.

The ad that ends the culture wars (actually, this is an ad for MuchachoMalo, the brand of Ben's underwear) 

Now he’s back, Ben, from the shower, and this is my last chance. He’s wearing these graffiti briefs, they look great on him even when not quite fresh, and he's just standing there, the perfect model, unconscious of his own skin, one more second before he asks whether he can use the bathroom. So you say: “Ben.”

And then you take both his hands with both your hands. He’s a bit embarrassed, possibly, but you hold on to his hands and don’t let go. And you don’t say ‘let’s talk.’ Instead you say---well we’ve won a few seconds now.

Real quick: (1) You can assume that Alex & Maurice will tell him everything anyhow, or did so already. (2) You want to know what happened yesterday night, why he was so exhausted, and whether they paid him, and what your cut would be. (3) You want him to become your friend, become a real friend.

You could go the melodramatic route (“Don’t go, Ben, don’t go!”) Or you try the casual approach that readers know so well from these pages, enter a sideways dialogue and hope that somewhere in between the lines he’ll come around. You’re still holding on to his hands, this can’t go on forever. How to start this, ‘Funny you were so exhausted.’ No. ‘Did they pay?’ No. ‘You like Alex?’ Time is up.

“Don’t go Ben, don’t go.”

He has various options now, like (1) un-clutching my hands, getting into his clothes, and departing for good; (2) going right to the core of the matter and talk about the moldability of his sexual preferences and this ad on the family-channel; (3) entering a sideways dialogue until we get tired of this (4) everything else.   

“Luke no longer needs me,” he says. (That’s sideways in an encouraging way. Better, for instance, than if he would have said: ‘I have no place to stay.’)  
“I have no place to stay,” he adds.
“You can stay here,” I say reflexively.  
“On your bed, couched between you and Alex?” (couched is a bit overwritten---well, perhaps not, which other verb would you use). Couched; not even sure Alex would mind given his recent approaches to Albert and Godehart, not to mention Amy-Lou. Anyhow, it’s too late to elaborate on Alex.  

“You can sleep on the couch.” No-no. Terrible. Dogs sleep on couches, and soon-to-be ex-husbands with premature post-climax syndrome.  

“Alex doesn’t mind.” Not good. The bed is too small. We need a new bed, triple-queen size, so we need the money to buy one, so we need to know whether the Valkyries paid up.
“You’re excited about the festival?” Sideways, yes, but that’s the only excuse.
“We need a larger bed anyhow.” Writing copy, deadline approaching. Evokes vibes of a better, more inclusive age.  

“Your bed would never be large enough,” (he answers). Could be serendipitous, his reply...



Are you still there? Then you'll possibly like the GREEN EYES. The first part is out now, available as Kindle book on Amazon, under this link:


Night Owl Reviews
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Go here for the next teaser, here for the previous one, and here for a choice of chapters of the Green Eyes. 

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