Currently reading : Out Cleaning Up The Scene
We settle at the bar, our eyes hooded, hard-ons rising behind suit coats. A shot a Johnnie, we say to the barkeep. We’re sweating. We’d stopped to admire half-slips made of lace on plastic male torsos at Slipwreak. Then quickened to the bordello, hurrying past Pearls, a pierce and tattoo parlor. We could see ourselves, we’d said to each other, on a beach, gold hoops pierced through our penises, tattoos running delicately up and down our manly legs. We’re square jawed, linebacker-big, nearsighted undercover cops. We squint at the barkeep, now, hands in our laps holding it down. Just wait.
The barkeep drains Johnnie Walker into two shots, popping the bottle up in the air with an elfin smile between pours. He slides them exactly in front of us, little streaks of water trailing. We hoist the Johnnie. Toss it down. Sit motionless, like the whiskey’s cast a spell. We stare into the shots. Revolve them. They are like fireflies in our huge hands. We nod slightly to each other. Set the shot glasses down.
How much? we ask the barkeep.
Two Georges per Johnnie.
Not for the whiskey, mamby pamby. How much for you?
A black-haired man in a taffeta gown rustles close. Name’s Crow, he says. Got fully equipped rooms above. Certified clean. He waves his hand around the bar. Our eyes follow and we see men’s tongues licking the air. Some hands are down pants. Pick me, they all say with their faces.
We spin on our bar stools toward the mamby pambys, tongues snaking out against our will, eyebrows up. Hard-ons hydraulic. Crow caws at the men. They press against us like tiny pebbles at the base of boulders. Stroke our arms. Climb on stools near us. They are mamby pambys with leather suspenders and their bare chests heave with desire. A pale man sits across our laps. Another lies on the bar. Bats fake eyelashes heavy with rhinestones. We could have swept them all away with a bash of our huge arms. But they are like school children. Postures of sex drip from perfectly pointed noses and we become weak-kneed, nearly forgetting our mission. Our bust. Our hard-ons are like erector sets. Crow leaps aside and the men we’d seen outside the bar drawing daintily on cigarettes under umbrellas advertising the floorshow, come in and overrun us completely: twenty ants on sugar. We want to be two men without pants. Muscular mannequins. Want our penises festooned with necklaces, faces licked, our butch haircuts lovingly tended by many hands. We want to ram these mamby pambys. Be gladiators sparring. Smash tables. Be two giant, naked men on our stomachs head-to-head, inviting them with our fingers to come on. Come on. Fuck us good. Crow waves like he’s granting our wish.
But what we do instead is brush them off. We smile, pat down our hard-ons. Pat them as we head to the door. See ya in the clink, we say and radio for reinforcements. With our pants still jumping, our eyes hooded, we and the squad close down the bordello. We’re out cleaning up the scene, flashing our badges, disposing of the elfin men. But later, when we retire from the force, we may need them and, by God, we hope enough of them survive.
Text by AJ ATWATER