This isn't my first duck. I really like the shape, the paper feathers -- not like the fringe on the horses and the burros -- and the lemon yellow color. It's easier to carry and shows up in the bar lights, easier for the older guys to see from across the room. And then they come over -- just like you.
I'm sticking with the duck until I have to sacrifice it for something I really, really want.
The first piñata -- a burro -- was almost five years ago when I was nineteen. My tía Anita said to me, Benito, find a nice piñata the girls can break for Angela's party. Angela is Tiíta's and her partner Karen's baby -- Angela's sort of my cousin, although Karen was the actual mother. The father came from a picture book at the sperm bank. Tiíta took me in when my parents threw me out of the house for being gay. Tiíta says I'm like her; she won't let family down.
I bought the piñata empty because Tiíta wanted to fill it up with little-girl jewelry and stuff but Karen wanted gender-neutral toys.
You don't want to know all of that.
It's hot in this bar, isn't it? If you hold the duck, I'll take off my shirt.
You like my nipples? Like melted butterscotch, Harold said. I'll get to him in a minute. It's okay, you can touch me. One guy said my skin was "supple." I had to look it up in the dictionary, but I liked it. You want to keep holding the duck?
So I had the burro under my arm and I was waiting for the bus to take me home to Tiíta's -- I was still living there then -- when this guy -- Harold, walks up. Older than you. Bullshit -- you're not fifty. He was good looking enough, gray hair, big glasses, a little big in the tummy but not too. I should have known right away he didn't normally take the bus -- he wore pressed khakis and a silk shirt. Not too faggy, but enough so you'd know if you were looking.
He looks at the burro and he goes, There must be a story there.
And I go, Maybe. It's for a party.
Then the bus comes and I'm surprised, he gets on and sits beside me, introduces himself.
Benito, he repeats, when I tell him my name. Little good one.
I don't know about good, I say.
What about little?
He had cold blue eyes, little square teeth yellowed from cigarettes.
Nobody's complained so far, I go.
This was maybe an exaggeration, since I hadn't yet been with more than a few guys, one in high school and two from where I worked at the temp agency. I shifted in my seat so he could see my basket better.
So he goes, Your mother expecting you home with that burro?
I'd never done anything like this before, you understand, not with an older guy, not with anyone old enough to be my -- but I didn't have a boyfriend and I thought the guy might have some dope.
So I go, Tiíta's got her women's reading group tonight. I don't have to be home until nine.
Come with me, he says.
We get off the bus up in the hills, not that far from where Tiíta lived but a long way in the income department. I figured Harold was one of the hillside fags. His house was even bigger than I expected.
I'm telling you so much more than you wanted to know.
Does that feel nice? I like a man with a hairy chest. You like smooth? I thought so. Yeah, I shave it a little -- Harold liked me that way, and I just keep it up. But I let my armpit hair grow out; I like to see it when I wear tank tops.
Harold took the piñata from me in the hallway of his house, under the chandelier, and kissed me. We better clean up before we get messy, he said. We got into his double shower with the gold handles and he played with my nipples like you are now, and played with my ass, let me ease myself onto his soapy finger, my first time.
He took me home in a cab before he went back downtown to pick up his Mercedes where he had left it that afternoon. He'd been shopping when he saw me on the street and just couldn't help himself.
When I got home I noticed the piñata had a small stain on one of the feet. Tiíta didn't notice and Angela squealed when she broke it with the stick and the plastic jewelry came falling out.
Harold asked me to move in three weeks later.
Tiíta cussed and yelled in all sorts of languages, but Karen calmed her down and Harold even came to dinner. Karen brought out a white tablecloth and served a casserole. Tiíta gave in when I promised to visit every week. I was nineteen and she couldn't do anything to keep me there. Harold tried to give her money but she refused.
Do you want to go someplace quieter, maybe, buy me a White Russian? You want to carry the duck?
Harold and I used to come here and listen to the piano player. Sometimes a bass, too. I'd never seen a white grand piano before. Here, I'll just put the duck between us. I don't want you to get too close -- yet.
I lived with Harold for three years. "Companion" was the word he used -- he said it was a nineteenth-century "construct." We had sex and slept in the same bed, but it was more than that. He gave me books, convinced me to go to community college, so I did. At first I wanted to be an English major, like Harold, but I was more interested in History -- really old stuff -- the Middle Ages, you know. He paid the tuition but I worked nights at a pizza place owned by some of his friends.
Harold took me places -- Mexico, Canada, Italy, Spain. I read about the Alhambra and then I saw it. Great food everywhere we went.
I didn't last forever -- someone younger came along. We met him in Key West on a vacation. It was my first three-way. He was seventeen -- Aaron -- blue-eyed with a swimmer's build. Harold decided to spend the winter there and sent me back home with a one-year lease on a studio apartment and two terms' paid tuition to Portland State. So I took it.
I like your hair in this light -- short hair turns me on. Sure, I'll have another. They make everything look better. Where do you work out?
I didn't think about the piñata for at least six months. I slept with a few college boys but they were too young for me after everything I had with Harold. So I was looking in a toyshop window one day and saw the piñatas so I went in and bought one. A pig, I think, maybe another burro.
I took it to one of the bars that weekend and ran into a friend of Harold's, someone I had met a few times but didn't know well. He took me home in his Lexus, the burro on my lap while he opened my pants and jacked me off as he drove. I came all over the leather seat. But not on the burro.
When we got home he took me into a locked room set up for discipline. I tied his hands and feet and tickled him, then spanked him while he watched porn tapes and begged for more. He gave me a hundred bucks and the name of another guy who might like similar services.
Is this getting you hot? I guess so. Yeah, the piano player's cute. Nice dimples. Nice ass, too. Firm, like yours.
I quit the pizza job -- this money was better. I always took the piñata with me -- I think it made me less threatening to the "clients." I'd have to replace it every few weeks -- it would get sweaty from me carrying it, or wet in the rain. I've lost a few when the client wanted it to become part of the game -- you know, hit the piñata, then him. Usually when that happens I'll take something with me when I leave -- small like a tie clip, a paperweight -- something they'll miss but won't think was stolen. Word gets around too quick.
I like your smile, the curve of your lip above your teeth. Feels like silk against my finger, the curve of a roller coaster going slow down the track. Here, let me wipe the cream from your mouth.
Some guys want to tie me up instead. I draw the line. Most guys like me because I look innocent but I can play rough -- to a point, you understand. No knives. I don't do that. No piss, no scat, either. Good.
You know a quieter place yet? Sure. Let me just get the duck.
You live this far up in the hills?
I already had one client tonight -- he dropped me off just before you saw me. This was a referral -- a new guy just moved to town. From New York City, he says. No, I don't give out names -- I'm discreet. My regulars appreciate that.
This guy lives up here somewhere, not as far up, not this remote. Does it snow here more often than downtown?
You can leave your hand there. I like the warmth through my jeans.
To tell the truth, I needed a few drinks. This guy made me a little nervous. He had a room in his basement. Right next to his wine cellar. Hundreds of bottles, dusty. He showed me bottles way older than I was. He still had welts on his back from the last guy he hired. He wanted some peculiar things -- put inside him, you know. Big things. But the money was really good. Five hundred, since you ask. And I didn't even have to come. Yeah, more left for you.
You don't take anything bigger than normal? Well, I might surprise you there, if that's what you want.
I don't need to see the money until we get inside.
You want to sit here in the driveway -- in the dark? Just moved in? Tiíta and Karen like to drive to new developments and walk around the unfinished houses at night, to see how the rich people live, Tiíta says.
Here, let me move the duck so you can check the equipment.
It's funny -- what you said a minute ago. About the piñata. That you have to break it open before you know what's inside.
Not like most people at all -- I mean, they'll tell you almost anything if you just let them talk. Especially in my business.
Okay, now. Better.
Just a minute. Hey, just a min --
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