Stories of Man/Boy Love

Acquainted With The Night

by Trevor (From Bulletin 25.1 - 2005)

Okay, I’d had a bad day by anybody’s standards. It started with my awaking lazily, dawdling through dreams of doe-eyed boys, reluctantly and slowly grasping reality through a haze of impossible pleasure. It occurred to me that the morning sun was just a little too bright, and the ease of my waking just a little too comfortable. I turned my head and squinted at the digital alarm clock by the bed, and felt an instant shock at the monotonous, blinking numbers: 12:00. 12:00. 12:00.

Shit!” I looked at my watch. Ten minutes after ten. The power must have gone out during the night. I hurled myself out of bed, hopping on one foot as I struggled to pull on my pants. I am so screwed, I thought, I am so fucking screwed. I ran my way through the house to the front door, grabbing my keys on the way, and flung it open. The sight that greeted me was beyond a shock; I was stupefied. My driveway was empty. Where was my car? I looked up the street, down the street... where the hell was my goddam car?? Oh no, this couldn’t be happening. This was not happening. Not to me. Not this morning. God couldn’t be this cruel... and then I saw it. Taped to my front door was a bright yellow piece of paper. “Notice of Repossession.” I snatched it down and barely took in the details: “Failure to make payments ...2000 Jeep Cherokee ... license plate VRN 236 ... British Columbia....” I could feel a vein pulsing steadily in my forehead, and realized if I didn’t take a minute to calm down, I’d likely go into cardiac arrest. I unbuttoned my collar, suddenly overwhelmed with heat, and sat down on my front step. What did I expect? I knew I’d have trouble making payments when I bought the damned thing, and now that my sales were down at work, well, I really was behind on the payments....

So, in my usual self-appeasing way, I could deal with this. Right now, I had to get to work. I got up, shaking my head, and went in to call Yellow Cab.

It took the guy almost thirty minutes to show up, and when he did, he drove straight past my house. I ran out into the street waving my arms in the air ridiculously, and finally he pulled into a neighbor’s driveway, turned around, and came back.

Where pleeze?”

He looked Indian, or possibly Pakistani, and was alarmingly emaciated. “Cambie Street, sixteen hundred.”

Theese ees downtown, suh?”

Yes, it’s downtown,” I hissed, “right off Granville.”

The guy obviously didn’t know where he was going, so I coached him a bit, and by and by we pulled up at my office. I paid the skinny man his fare, and rushed into the building.

I got to my floor and nonchalantly walked down the hall towards my office, trying to blend in with the usual hustle of secretaries and assistants, when I cringed at the sound of my boss’s voice.

Jerry, would you come in here, please?”

There he was; King Bob in his throne, glasses perched on the tip of his nose, glaring at me through his office door.

Look, Bob, I’m really sorry, you wouldn’t believe the morning I’ve had...” “It’s Okay, Jerry... we need to talk. Close the door.”

Reluctantly, I shut the door and turned to face my master. “Sit down, Jerry.”

I did as I was told.

Look, Jerry, I’m not even going to go into the hour and I don’t want to hear your excuse...” I started to protest, but he silenced me with a hand.

Jerry, we’ve had this conversation before. It’s pointless and irrelevant. I’ve been going over the numbers. You haven’t had a sale in over two weeks ... and three weeks before that one! I’ve got a quota to maintain here. I’ve got bosses too, ya know? I’m sorry Jerry, this just isn’t working out. I’ve been more than patient with you, and feel I’ve treated you generously. But there are limitations on kindness in the business world. I’m gonna have to let you go.

Fifteen minutes later I was sitting on a barstool at the Cambie Street Pub, drinking morosely and contemplating my situation. I had my house, left to me by my mother, and a few stocks I could cash in, but that was about it. I had very little savings, and no car. The situation was bleak. I sighed, took a gulp of beer, and lit a cigarette.

I had so little direction in my life; no real hobbies, no goals, no interests. Nothing excited me anymore. There was no spark, no fire. I mean, what did I really want out of life? What did I want to do? Where was the meaning in it all?

I noticed the darkening window pane, the raised din of the after-work crowd around me, and realized I’d been there several hours. Time to walk. If there was one thing in this world that soothed my frazzled nerves, that offered opportunity for reflection and self-exploration, it was walking. I could walk all night, and I often did. There was a Robert Frost poem that always came to mind on these excursions. It was my creed, my identity:

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain — and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,
But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height
One luminary clock against the sky
Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

Yes, acquainted with the night I was. It was early yet, and as I walked the streets of downtown Vancouver, I watched the familiar routine of office workers and Starbucks employees and department store cashiers, all hustling to get home; to lives of family dinners and solitary apartments, to Yoga classes and mundane TV shows. Long lines queued at bus stops and traffic was its usual nightmare. I worked my way up Robson Street, looking through the windows of trendy stores that sold organic soap or alternative CDs or Gap apparel. I observed the beginnings of the nightclub crowd strutting their stuff, giving flirtatious smiles to their dates in absurd but well practiced ritual.

Midnight found me on Davie Street in the gay district, an area well known to me, checking out the drag queens and leather daddies, the limp-wristed dainties and their “fag-hag” friends gossiping excitedly. I stopped at the “Little Sisters” all night gay bookstore, and browsed for new additions to my boy-love library. I walked down Davie, past Granville, and into “Boy’s Town.” Boy’s Town was the local area for gay prostitutes, but strictly speaking, there were rarely any boys there. Mostly they were a collection of sad, disheveled twenty or thirty-something year old junkies, nervously shifting from foot to foot and attracting only closet-case family men in SUVs, and elderly gentlemen who couldn’t score in the nightclubs. I often helped them out when I could, a few bucks here and there, and nodded to the familiar faces I saw. I was just walking up to “Teacup,” a bleach-blond twenty-five year old I often took out for burgers when he was having a slow night. A new face caught my eye.

Looks like just your taste,” Teacup said, observing the direction of my eyes, “fresh chicken!”

Now come on, Teacup, can’t you refer to your brethren as something other than meat? He’s just a kid — what’s he doing out here?”

He looked tired and world weary. He could barely be thirteen.

Oh, you know the game, sugar. At that tender age, he’ll only be out for a few hours ‘til he picks up a full time sugar-daddy. He’s valuable goods out here.”

High market value, huh?”

Ahh, the flower of youth, so fleeting...” Teacup sighed wistfully.

I gave him a five dollar bill from my pocket, and walked up to the boy.

Lookin’ for a date, mister?” He took a long drag off his cigarette, the cherry glow illuminating his childish features. He had jet black hair and a small, pointy nose brushed with freckles; incongruous with his up front manner and cigarette.

How old are you?” I asked.

What’s it matter? I ain’t jailbait, I’m fourteen.”

It was true, the age of consent in Canada is fourteen, but somehow I doubted the truth of the statement. Anyway, I had a problem with paying a kid for sex — it felt like coercion. But I’d had a bad day — I could really use the company. I stood there wrestling with my conscience, and decided the boy was going to end up going home with someone tonight — at least with me he’d be safe.

Well, I ain’t gonna wait all fuckin’ night. You wanna date or dontcha?” I smiled wryly at him. “Yeah, let’s go for a walk,” I answered.

Teacup winked and smiled as he watched us leave.

So whatcha want?” he asked, “Fifty for a blowjob, hunnert-fifty round the world...”

Hey, hey ... slow down cowboy. I’ll tell you what; I’ll pay you for the night, you come back to my place, have a bath and a meal, and you can crash on the couch if you want. You don’t have to do anything.”

He looked up at me suspiciously. “You’re not gonna read me Bible passages or somethin’, are ya?” he asked. I laughed. “No, definitely not,” I said. “I’m agnostic and I don’t own a Bible. I just want some company, and you obviously need a bath. What you decide to do is up to you — like I said, you get paid either way.”

Whatever’s clever,” he said.

We caught a cab off of Granville, and soon were at my house. He walked uncomfortably around the living room, looking at the pictures and classic movie posters on the wall. In the bright light of the room, I noticed he had green eyes; perhaps the greenest, most beautiful eyes I’d ever seen. But his face was dirty, and his hair a little greasy.

Let me get you a towel and bathrobe. You can run the bath, and I’ll throw your clothes in the washer.”

I showed him to the bathroom, and busied myself in the closet of the hallway getting a towel and clean robe. I heard the shower running, and guessed he’d opted for that instead of a bath. The door to the bathroom was cracked, and I entered to drop off the towel and robe and pick up his clothes. The sliding shower door was wide open, and he stood there in the steam, looking at me. Water cascaded over his head and down his skinny pale body, glistening over the bumps of his ribs and running over his barely developing pubis; dripping off his small, uncircumcised penis. I could barely take my eyes off him long enough to set down the towel and robe, and pick up his clothes. He smiled at me suggestively, and lifted his arms to stretch under the hot water. I smiled and winked, then turned around and made my way out the door.

After throwing his clothes in the wash, I took some hamburger meat out of the fridge and started frying up some burgers. The appealing smell of the cooking food eventually drew the boy out of the bathroom, and he sat at the table in his comically oversized bathrobe, inhaling the burgers. I lit a cigarette and observed him fondly, wondering what this poor wayward urchin was doing on the mean streets of Boy’s Town. Then I noticed the answer: running up his left arm were the distinct tracks of an IV drug user. Odd as it seemed, it was not uncommon for very young kids to get addicted to heroin in Vancouver. It was a heroin town; its high population of Asian immigrants ensured a steady flow of China White from the Golden Triangle, and the Triads ran the show as far as organized crime was concerned in Western Canada. Sad, but not at all uncommon. I offered him a cigarette as he finished eating, and he took it, and lit it, with practiced ease.

So what’s your name, mister?” Exchanging names had completely escaped my attention up to that point.

Definitely not ‘mister.’ ‘Mister’ was my dad. The name’s Jerry. What’s yours?”

Sean. Nice house. Whadda you do for a livin’?” he asked.

I chuckled. “Nothing, now. How old are you? For real.” He cast his eyes down. “Thirteen.”

Yeah, I figured. What’re you doing working Boy’s Town at thirteen? I mean, not to judge or anything, but that’s a pretty hard life for a thirteen year old to be living.”

Shit happens,” he said.

I chose not to pry into his junk habit for now; if he wanted to tell me about it, he would. I got up, pulled a beer out of the fridge, and walked to the living room. I popped a Neil Young CD into the machine, and put on “Cowgirl in the Sand.” As I was collapsing into the couch and twisting open my beer, Sean followed me into the room. He smiled as he stood in front of me, and undid the belt on his robe.

You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to, you know,” I said.

He ignored me, and slipped the robe off his shoulders and onto the floor. He was already aroused and fully engorged, and he came forward and sat on my lap facing me. I set my beer down on the end-table and ran my hands up his back; from the crack of his buttocks upwards, feeling the ridges of his spine bump under my fingers, his skin hot. My hands came to his neck, and I brought him forward to kiss me, lightly at first, until I felt his tongue probing at my lips. I opened my mouth and kissed him deeply then, running my tongue over his teeth, and my fingers to the nether regions below. I laid him down gently on the couch, and stretched out on top of him as he worked my belt.

Blinding sun, again. Ahh, but this morning, this morning there were no commitments, there was no rushing. I opened my eyes slowly, at my convenience, and rolled over to touch the boy. The bed was empty. I snapped awake quickly, sitting up. My drawers were open and rifled through; clothes hanging haphazardly out of them. I felt the vein in my forehead pulsing again. I jumped out of bed, and ran to the living room. My stereo. My DVD player. My CDs ... gone. I ran back to my bedroom and checked the drawer in the night table. My wallet was gone. My credit cards, my ID, my cash...all gone. Now, it takes quite a bit to make me lose it, to make me really explode. This did it. I screamed in a blinding fury.

FUCK!!! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Goddammit!!”

I kicked the wall violently, my foot flashing with agonizing pain. I reached down and grabbed the injured appendage, hopping around on one foot maniacally, cursing my existence. I felt like Job; what in the hell did I do to deserve all of this? It was beyond comprehension, and I was seeing red. I threw on some clothes, grabbed my hidden emergency cash, called a cab, and limped out the front door.

By the time I got to Boy’s Town, it was still only eleven in the morning, and only the most stalwart junkies were out. There was almost no business at this hour, most of the clientele shying away from the light of day. The street walkers that remained were sad, desperate cases, probably dope sick. There was no sign of the regulars I knew, but that was okay. I could wait. I went into the Subway shop on the corner of Davie, and sat down.

I sat there all day, watching the comings and goings of local business people, and finally, around five, I saw Teacup stroll onto the scene. I ran out the door.

Why you limpin’, honey?” he asked.

Don’t even fuckin’ ask, Teacup. That little turd ripped me off last night.”

Teacup cackled loudly. “Honey, don’tcha know never to fall asleep with a trick in the house? You’d think you just fell off the dildo truck!”

He continued laughing at the hilarity of my dilemma, almost doubling over. “Teacup, as amusing as this all may seem to you, I’ve gotta find the kid... “

To do what, sugar? The brat’s not even legal! One peep from him and you’ve gotta one-way ticket to the joint! You know he holds all the cards, baby.”

I hadn’t even thought of what I was gonna do. I mean, I’d never hurt the kid ... but maybe I could catch him before he hawked all my shit for dope.

I don’t know what I’m gonna do. I’ve just gotta find him. Where’re you guys scoring your smack these days?”

Well, you know it’s a supermarket out there, but you happen to be in luck. I saw your kid this morning — he was scoring off Cong at Main and Hastings. Hang the corner, he’ll show up again sooner or later.” He smiled encouragingly.

I gratefully gave him twenty bucks from my emergency cash, and flagged down a cab.

Main and Hastings was perhaps the most horrible corner in Western Canada. It was referred to in Vancouver as “Skid Row,” and it deserved the reputation. Vancouver police had long ago come to a tacit understanding with the voluminous addict population of the city: stay in your own little corner of town, and we’ll leave you alone. Police only arrested the most flagrant abusers of the law here, and the result was horrific. The area boasted the highest per capita AIDS rate in the civilized Western World, and absolute poverty was the rule. Drunken aboriginals lay heaped on the sidewalks, dealers openly plied their trade, and junkies fixed their dope in doorways. Ironically, the Vancouver Police Department’s main office was located right smack in the middle of it all; on the corner of Main and Hastings. The fortress-like building was always within sight of the wheeling and dealing pushers.

I stood there, leaning on the wall, and watched the activity. “Cong” was a small, enterprising Vietnamese man who always wore a baseball cap. He’d become sort of notorious in the area for never getting busted. He always had a flunkie doing the actual business for him, while he stood by and supervised, cussing out sick junkies begging for fronts. He wore cheap, shabby clothes, but nobody doubted his wealth. He brought in thousands of dollars a night, and he’d been working the area for ten or fifteen years. What’s more, he never seemed to spend anything; he was always out here. If he kept it all in a mattress somewhere, it’d have to be a pretty goddam big mattress.

I didn’t have to wait long to find Sean. Soon enough, he showed up flashing a wad of bills. So much for my stuff. Nobody bothered him, ‘cause nobody dared touch one of Cong’s customers. I waited ‘til his business was done, and followed him. He walked about three blocks and turned into an alley. I peeked my head around the corner, and observed him by a dumpster, preparing his fix. He tapped the contents of a small paper flap into an Evian bottle cap, sucked up some water from the bottle with his syringe, and squirted it in. He stirred the mixture with the plunger from his syringe. Then he dropped a small piece of cotton, a “filter,” into the solution, and sucked it up through the cotton. I winced as he pushed the needle into his arm, drew some blood to ensure he had a vein, and depressed the plunger. I hoped he was using a clean needle. It suddenly dawned on me that I was no longer mad at the boy. How could I be mad at him? He was a slave to his own pathos. His head lolled in apparent ecstasy and relief, and I felt only empathy.

I walked up to him, his eyes closed, and made my presence known. “Hi Sean.”

He opened his eyes, widely once he recognized me, and immediately tried to dart. I caught him by the collar. “Relax, Sean, I’m not gonna fuck you up.”

He eyed me skeptically.

I am gonna take my money back, though,” I said.

With my hand still on his collar, I reached my other hand into his pocket, and removed the money. I also, thankfully, found my credit cards and ID.

Sean, I’m gonna let you go now. You can run back to Boy’s Town if you like, get picked up by some looney tune or worse, and continue your life of self-inflicted crisis... or you can come with me. I’m probably the last chance you’re gonna have for a really long time to pull yourself out of this hole, and I suggest you take it.”

Whatta you want from me?” he asked, his translucent green eyes angry.

Absolutely nothing, Sean. I don’t need this in my life right now — you couldn’t have picked a worse time to show up. But I can’t let you go without offering you a chance. I think you probably deserve it and you’re young enough to change paths.”

So whatta you wanna do? Take me to some hospital? Put me in the system?”

Sean, I’ve seen what the system does to kids — you’d come out worse than when you went in. And I don’t have money for a hospital. Look, why don’t you come home with me and we’ll talk about it?”

He looked down at his shoes. He looked so vulnerable, so tragic at that moment, that I let go of his collar and took him in my arms, embracing him. He began crying like the child he was supposed to be.

You can do this, Sean,” I whispered, “you’re a tough kid. And I’ll be right there with you. You won’t be alone through this...”

You don’t understand!” he cried, “I’m gonna be so sick...”

But you only have to do it once. Once, and it’s over... you can go to school, play video games, have a boyfriend ... you can be a kid, Sean. You can do all those things.”

You promise you’ll stay with me?” he asked. “I’ll have you in my arms the whole time, Sean.” And so, I took him home.


I had a friend who was a doctor, and I managed, after some delicate explanation, to get a prescription for some mild Valium and clonidine, which he told me would make the boy more comfortable through the worst of it. And the worst of it was bad. Within twenty-four hours, the cold sweats had started. He was relieved only by continuously running hot baths. Day two brought vomiting to a level I’d never experienced before. He could hold nothing at all down, and when he had nothing more to throw up, he dry heaved agonizingly, crying in pain at the spasms. Day three started with volcanic diarrhea, and continued the same through the fourth and fifth days. I was becoming seriously concerned about dehydration. He had no control over his bowels, and the watery feces ran freely, often on me as I held his shivering, convulsive body. But it was just shit, and the boy had to know I was right there; that he was inherently valuable, and we were doing this together. Shit washes off, but wounds to the psyche can last forever. It took ‘til day six for him to be able to hold any significant amount of water down. He’d managed to choke enough down through the past six days to keep going, but never more than a few tablespoons. This day he actually drank a full glass, the water dribbling down his chin, and I knew the storm was breaking.


ONE YEAR LATER

Sean came home with a bloody nose. I guess he got into a fight at school, or so the letter from his principal said. He was suspended for three days, but that’s okay. We’d been through worse. It took a lot of creative paperwork to get him back in school, but we managed it. His adapting into a school setting with peers, concerned only with shopping and dating, was a harder task. But we’re dealing with that, too. We have a lot of issues to work on, like his stealing and hoarding money from my wallet. I think the answer lies in convincing him that his home life is stable; that he’s never gonna have to pick up and run, that he’ll always have a home here.

I’m working again. Nothing spectacular — selling insurance — but it gets the bills paid. Sean’s mom shows up from time to time. She’s a skid row whore, and a junkie too. I’m really ambivalent about her. She’s happy that Sean’s doing well (she refers to me as his “sugardaddy,” which irks me to no end), and she seems to genuinely love the boy. But it makes me wonder why she couldn’t have conquered her addictions to care for him, instead of passing on her habits. Despite my reservations, she’s his mom, and I think it’s important they stay in touch.

Sean is a very needy, vulnerable, and sometimes angry kid. And I’m completely in love with him. He has this uncanny wit, this way of crudely putting things that would challenge even Socrates. He doesn’t give himself enough credit for his sharp intelligence, and I’m trying to nurture his self-confidence. But it’s slow going. Day by day, one day at a time.

We have this ritual every night. Sean comes out of the shower and stands in front of me coyly, as though this was our first night. His robe drops to the floor. I take in his alabaster skin; the smooth ridges of his ribs, his “outie” belly-button. The light dusting of hair on his pubis. The rigid penis. He straddles my legs, and I run my hands over his warm skin. My fingers find the moist, clenching ring below. He undoes my belt.

Good old Job. All he had to do was withstand God’s trials, and the riches of heaven would be his.


Copyright © 2004 by Trevor. All Rights Reserved.


Editor’s Notes: The preceding story touches upon some significant emotional truths. That said, however, it also manages to gloss over some important legal and ethical issues.

At one point the story mentions that the age of consent in Canada is 14. This is, as far as we know, still true, but there are some major exceptions:

  • Nonconsensual sex is considered “sexual assault”, and illegal regardless of age. I believe sex in a public place also is illegal regardless of age, but I did not find a citation on this question.

  • Anal intercourse with someone between 14 and 17 years of age is illegal, but — not so in Quebec (R. v. Roy); and — not so in Ontario (R. v. M.)

  • Consensual sex with someone between 14 and 17 years of age is illegal if it is considered exploitative. This includes sex involving prostitution, pornography or an abuse of trust, authority or dependency of the boy.

The ethical issue is one of consent. The story implies that the boy gave his consent: “You don’t have to do anything … “You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to, you know,” I said. He ignored me, and slipped the robe off his shoulders and onto the floor. He was already aroused and fully engorged …” The problem with that assumption is that the boy needs money to procure drugs. For an addict, feelings about the sex are secondary to the need for drugs or confused with the need. Even after he doesn’t need drugs, the boy steals money and hoards it. The boy’s idea seems to be that sex actually is the man’s motivation, even when he denies that.



From the NAMBLA Bulletin, Vol.  25, No. 1, 2005.
Copyright © NAMBLA, 2010


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