It was the car that first caught my eye—a older BMW SUV, silver, with flashy rims. “$6500 OBO” said the sign in the window. I had been thinking about an upgrade—with my kids grown and out of the house, it was time for dad to spend a little on luxury for himself, right? My midlife crisis car.
I saw the owner next. Or at least, I assumed he was the owner. Standing next to the car with his back to me, shorts sagging. I definitely noticed that. I figured he was getting air for a tire, but it was late Sunday afternoon in a pretty deserted part of town (the “dead warehouse zone,” as we jokingly called it), and the service station was closed.
(Oh, yeah. I’m the guy who takes two-hour walks in random, out-of-the-way areas of the city where there are no people around. The one who adopted two kids of a different race way before being a gay dad was a thing. The one whose playlist jumps from Joni Mitchell to Sylvester to John Coltrane to Dolly Parton to AC/DC. That guy.)
Then I realized that he wasn’t putting air into anything—he was letting water out. “Relieving himself,” as my more sophisticated friends might say. And the sag wasn’t a sag—it was dropped drawers.
I quickly turned my eyes away and continued on, entering an underpass beneath some train tracks. It was pretty dim in here, kind of scary. I tried to calm myself by focusing on the music coming through my earbuds. Because of this, I sensed, rather than heard, someone coming up behind me. And I had a pretty good idea who it was.
For a split second, I considered making a run for it. But (a) I’m not very fast in the best of cases, (b) I had already walked several miles, so this wasn’t the best of cases, and (c) I had seen the bulging calves on this guy, nicely framed by the lowered shorts. In a footrace, it would be no contest.
I had one other chance. At the turn ahead it got quite dark, and there were— for reasons only known to the roadway designers—some alcoves cut into the wall. If I could just slip into one of them unseen, I might be able to shake my pursuer. Of course, if I was wrong, I would be trapped.
I was wrong. And now, I was trapped.
His breathing? Heavy. As in, “I’m really mad and at any moment am going to turn into the Incredible Hulk” heavy. Not that he had very far to go. Green skin aside, he was pretty hulky. As in, “You are exactly my type and if I wasn’t so scared right now, I’d be loving standing within groping distance of you” hulky. I’ve already mentioned the bulging calves. Suffice it to say that the other body parts all matched.
“So you think that’s funny, huh? That’s how you get your rocks off, huh? Starin’ at a guy’s ass.”
I tried to find my voice. Given all the competing hormones going on, this required quite a bit of effort. “I…I wasn’t…it was your car.”
He shook his head. “Don’t be lyin’ to me. Lookin’ at a dude’s ass, shit. Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t….”
I raised my arms in the “Really, I’m innocent!” gesture. And did so with such force that I knocked my right earbud out, midway through “Random Call” by Random Axe. It hit the ground and bounced halfway across the floor to Mr. Hulky. He picked up the earbud and started listening, right at the point where the lyrics went, “No love letter rhymes and raps about chicks/Just a whole lot of drugging and thugging, that’s it.” He gave me a funny look.
“You…” he pointed at me dramatically, “…listen to this?”
I nodded, weakly.
“How you know about this shit? And don’t tell me, I know you ain’t got no boys or be goin’ to no clubs and shit.”
Feeling like the world’s biggest geek, I replied, “I, um, I read a lot about music. I check out anything that sounds interesting. I like all kinds of stuff.”
He grunted. The song ended, and the next one began. Oh no, God, please.
After the brief intro, Petula Clark’s chirpy vocals to “Downtown” began: “When you’re alone and life is making you lonely, you can always go….”
Dude’s eyes widened, and he looked at me again. “You listen to this old-timey gay shit, too?”
I shrugged. “Like I say, I like all kinds of stuff.”
He listened for another few seconds, then removed the earbud.
“You weird, dude.”
For the first time in our exchange, I relaxed. I looked down. “Yeah, I know. I’ve been hearing that pretty much my whole life.”
Another minute or so passed. He grunted again.
“Next time, don’t be lookin’ at nobody’s ass.”
Still with my eyes down, I tried to argue, “Seriously, I wasn’t…”
He cut me off. “Naw, you missin’ the point. What I’m sayin’ is, the view is much better from the other side.”
Wait, what? The view is….?
He lowered his hands.
Mitchell Roberts (c) 2021
Mitchell Roberts is a new writer of gay erotic fiction. In another life, he is a published author of poetry and creative nonfiction.