it were like this: hunk had come to me from the other side of the city with his sallow skin and long greasy black hair. he kept it tied up in a pony-tail like a woman. I would say so and he would get fiercely angry with me, said I was a fool, uncouth and classless, said I did not know the fashions of the inner city. I told him this was the inner city. told him that this was as far inside as a man could crawl. hunk looked like a wop. italian of course. I had no hatred toward him for his heritage as I was a spanish boy and when you spanish everybody look at you like an oil spill. it were funny cause I didn't speak no spanish, hunk found that funny too. he said I spoke like some plum country boy from oklahoma. I told him I had never been to oklahoma. he said it didn't matter because I talked like I had been born there and that's all there was too it. hunk and I made our ways together with that criss-crossing nature of magnets and falling stars. we idled down the slick black anaconda streets, avoiding the rain when it started, sheltering beneath the gutters. hunk had upon his person a half a forty of jim beam, which we passed back and forth as a gang banger passes off an unlucky woman. we were merciless on that bottle. dried it right up. now we staggered like idiots and cripples, using each other as a jelly crutch.
hunk turned to me and said something, but I could not hear for the crashing of the rain that had started again. he grabbed my chin and spun my head to look at his eyes. "I said we should get some pussy." I blinked and said nothing. he looked at me with big red eyes and smiled crooked. "what you say, man?" I was smiling too now, but I was lost in my mind for words to say. I was just so young, and I had not been out soul sucking for some piece of ass before. I had only just come from the age where boys prey on the neighbourhood girls; taking them into the back alley behind the chinese laundry and pulling up their skirts to see that soft little rosebud. I remembered those days and I remembered those flowers, sometimes with a little bit of hair sprouting like angels between them hips. the spanish girls were pretty gracious about it all, sometimes they even laughed and spread the lips for us to get a real good look. it was the white girls that gave us trouble, screaming like babies. a few of my friends had been sent to juvenile for rape cause a white girl had gotten away and called upon the police. that was just young stuff, things boys did, or so my father said when he had heard about it. but he was a stunk drunk cocksucker and he only said it between sips and slapping my mama around. I hated that sonofabitch but he was the only pappy I had. hunk slapped me gently on the cheek, "what you doing man? you a faggot?" I said hell no I wasn't no fag and that he could ask any girl in my neck of the woods and they'd tell him so. "so then lets go get some pussy, son." hunk grabbed my arm and pulled out into that pissing rain.
we were too poor for the clubs and the bars, and it was too soaking to walk the boardwalk and throw love letters at the girls there. so hunk asks me if I know any good skin joints. I know I few I say to him, but I aint never been in one. I told him my older brothers used to tell me about this one on crenshaw and 31st avenue called the honey hive. "The honey hive!" hunk says to me, "lotta queen bees in there?" I told him that I didn't know. "well then I guess we'd better find out!" so I lead him along through that winding maze of city streets and past dumpsters that not even the rain could cover the stink of. through rat shit and broken needles and red lights and the senseless faces of drunk bums and cracked out nigglets. "come on man I'll give you a suck." a toothless old woman sits on the fire escape as hunk and I slide past. "come on boys don't tell me ya queer, I'll give you a suck just buy me a bottle, okay?" I grab hunk and we start to move quicker, trying to escape that fog of worthlessness.
suddenly we break out into the avenue. a big fat heaven of neon lights. I hear the cryers shouting their slogans of topless coeds and bottomless bimbos who give you the tease for a few dollars. hunk snorted with disdain, "i hate the strippers, man." I asked him why, "cause. you get all that fine meat wriggling in front of you and you can't just reach out and touch it?" he spat into the rain and the film washed away, "what kind of self-imposed hell is that?" I nodded to myself, and I thought about the hot days, the days with no rain, when the girls would be walking almost naked down the streets with their dark skin so wet with sweat and ripe. they were the fruits of my city, the delicate dew covered flowers that I had seen in the city parks. you see them walking there, you see them hanging around and giggling that sweet giggle of music between bubble gum and soda pops. how can you not reach out and touch them? "you right." I said, "lets get the hell outta here."
now in these necks, in this state, the girls can't give up the tang for healthy pay. they can't give it up for anything but love. either give it up for free or not give it up at all. many girls know that their body is a pay cheque. it's an education they have to go through since they don't have no other options since life is such a mean and hungry thing. since life is cruel and full of hate. and those girls swing their bodies like a sword and smash their tits like cannons being fired off into the blue blazing sea. those girls aint weak, I tell you that, but they are pliable and they are soft to the touch. they are also secretive, so hunk and I have to be sly if we want to go and get our taste buds satisfied. the honey hive is a dive and a hustle house, with three golden poles and a dj that pumps out r&b with no mercy. drinks are expensive and the girls don't have much to give, but they give it for sure. But this is not the honey hive that hunk and I are here to find. this is the front door, the shade over the window that keeps prying eyes from seeing in. we go in through the back.
there an old man in a fur hat is jiving back and forth, his joints jittering and his legs spinning wild. behind him are three coloured girls who are snapping their fingers and singing a wild siren song. the old man has a gruff beard the colour of beer foam and he growls at us like a bear in a cage. he waves his cain to call us closer and the coloured girls sing their jungle song.
come on baby, fill that hole
come on baby, talk to mr soul
our bodies are hot
come get a taste
we girls are the best
the best in the state
come on baby, fill that hole
come on baby, talk to mr soul
and we come and mr. soul the old caped man puts one arm around hunk and waves his other at the painted ladies who pose priceless and beautiful in cheap red lipstick and torn-up fishnets. "whatcha figure, boys? whatcha figure." and hunk looks at me with his tongue between his teeth and I shrug at him and he says to old mr. soul, "my associate and I, well, we're looking for a nice little time." mr. soul laughs like a gravel truck spilling on the road and he screams with glee and he says to us, he says, "well a nice little time, boys? a nice little time?" he dances a bow-legged jig and swings his cain, "not a hot and heavy time, boys? not a grand ol' filibusterin' fandanglin, high-falootin time?" hunk chuckles into his fist and I smile like a child. "alright boys, alright, we can get you a nice little time." so he beckons us into the darkened doorway, past the coloured girls who keep stitching the night with their song. yes them sorceresses leaving traces of desire hanging in the midnight air for any lonesome body to walk through like a silken veil. the kind some gypsy would hang on her archway leading to the room with her mystic crystal ball where she'd sell you your future for a ten dollar bill that you had stole from your mama's purse on the urge of some little girl that had you by the balls, man and that shit was rough I knew it was, I could scarcely handle it myself, and when my mama found out I had taken that money I was beat clean, so clean I was nearly a white boy and nearly free. and the funny thing was that future she sold me was so much better than the one I had that I feel it was worth the money just to have some photograph in my brain of a better life, but I'm here with hunk and we moving into this room where the lights are dim and low and I can hardly see the colour of my skin cause everything is turning black and white in this orange light that hides us all from everything.
mr. soul keeps us moving up a black set of stairs that are so black that I can hardly see the steps and I trip a few times and hunk looks back at me with disgust. we come into a hall that is equally as dim but powered by yellow light that does not quite hurt my eyes in such a way, and we move through a wooden door with no sign into a room that is dark for it's lack of electric light. mr. soul turns an flicks a switch and we is finally bathed in a clean white light that leaves nothing from the view. a place for business and for honesty.
"sit down, boys." mr. soul tells us straight, and so we set down. the old pimp rolls into his chair across from us and takes a look at us, taking an extra long one at me and my yellow skin. "so boys just tell me exactly what you're looking for."
hunk pipes up, he's the real talker here and I have become no more than a piece of him like an arm or a leg. I don't mind cause I'm nervous and I don't want to fuck up none. hunk seems to know the game and so I say let him be the big dog cause I surely could not handle the occasion. "we'll keep it simple, you know, just a girl for me and my boy here." mr. soul eyes me up again with a sour lip. "just two girls?" he growls, "ye." says hunk. "alright boys two girls is easy nuff. do you want one room or two?" hunk looks back at me to see my face but it's blank. "two rooms'll cost you extra" says mr. soul, "but I can getcha one room with two beds for practically nothin." hunk stares at me a little longer, his face clouded and sweat bubblin on his brow. finally he turns to the man and he says, "one will be fine, just fine." mr. soul slaps his hands together and he laughs a dirty laugh that quivers my heart and makes it jump for heaven or hell. "I know just the girls for boys like you... yeas, just the girls." he's looking kind of thoughtful now and I see hunk is white knuckling the arms of he chair. "that'll be fifty for you, son, and seventy five for your friend." hunk sits back with a look on his face, "why seventy five for him?"
"well" the old pimp bastard says matter of factly, "I've got to compensate for his mexican blood. you see, this here is a cultured abode." "I aint mexican" I say to him, "well fine" he says back, " puerto rican then, it don't matter to me. seventy five is the price I'll take." I'm getting pissed. I'm getting red hot and I feel like I oughta say so. I'm pounding on my chair and my face is getting a real steam, one so fierce it's covering the room in a cloud of pure hatred. hunk leans a hand on my shoulder, and he looks at me and winks. "it's fine." he says, "that price is just fine." mr. soul takes a look at me and then he takes a look at hunk and I guess he was searching to see if I would be a liability with that rage in my eyes. he nods he head an hunk pulls out the coin. I don't know where those bills come from, I thought we was broke, but he whips out twenty, fifty, hundred, hundred twenty five and sets it on the table all easy like. all that tender makin me feel edgy but mr. soul laughs with that metal on metal laugh and he shakes a gnarly hand at us. "you boys really mean business, that's good." he laughs again, "heh heh heh, that's good." the grizzly bastard palms the cash and slips it into some unseen cubby in he desk and it's gone and we seal that deal in blood. "alright then, come with me." he rises from his burgundy throne.
we was led down that same curvy hallway that made my pupils twitch. past doors with numbers that hung skewed and vengeful, bent out of shape tryin to tell me what kinda hell went on behind them. mr. soul unlocked a door with the numbers two and zero nailed to it's face and flicked he wrist to tell us to go on inside. so we do and we stand in the darkness for time or two until the light flicks on with the shutter and the buzz of a dying insect and only half illuminates our quarter. "you may 'swell get comfortable. the ladies'll be right along in a few minutes." the old pimp jerked the door shut behind him n left me n hunk to ourselves. hunk just stood there not saying nothing but gazing around at the room like he was surveying a kingdom from a pedestal. I watched him and he watched the room until he turned to me and smiling says, "so what you think?" I break my gaze on him and I look over at the room that was a crumpled hunk of crushed red velvet and yellow nicotine stained walls. "looks cheap." I say, and he laughs at me and shakes he head, "nah man, I mean about them girls coming. what you think?" I dropped my eyes to my sneakers and puckered my lips, "I don't know what I think." hunk laughs again but it's a choked up laugh sounding like a strangled cough. "what don't you know?" I says to him, "I don't know about this, I got no feelings." "no feelings?" he asks, "I guess I'm nervous." I answer. "whatchu got to be nervous bout, man? it aint like it yo girlfrien. we paid fo these bitches n they do it for us not for them." I just shrugged my shoulders. "you think you gonna fall in love?" I spit into the carpet, what a sick idea, "no, fuck you man." then he starts to laughing again and I'm getting hot in my face, "so if it aint love then what you got to be nervous bout?" I shake my head again, so slow I'm just an old granfather clock sayin no, I don't know, no, I don't know, over n over again. "wait." hunk smiles, "let me guess." I shoot him a look with my eyes bugged out but I don't say nothing. "let me guess." he says again. he struts around the room now, he has he hands in his back pockets, a smile on he face. he moves around the room all casual like, staring up at the corners of the walls like the answer to my woes were sitting up there like a spider web. "is it you man? can you get it?" I say what and look at him in confusion. "can you get it man, can you make it hard?" I say hell yeah I can make it hard, "I'm a man aint I?" hunk just lifts his shoulders up, "I don't know man, sometimes it happens." he keeps on idling about the carpet floor and then turns quickly to me with his finger stretched out far, "you ever been with a girl?"
"once" I say, "this girl at a party last year. she took me into her bro's room and locked the door, I had to sneak out the window." hunk sits down on one of the beds, "so that's the only time?" I nod my head yes. "so you aint nervous bout that?" I shake my head no. "so then what is it?" I don't move at all now, I don't quite know what to say. "is it your dick, man?" I still say nothing. "you worried it aint big enough?" my lips aint moving but I shuffle my feet. hunk laughs again but softer, more kind, "that's it, aint it." My face is red hot again and I frown fiercely. "why you think you got it so bad, man?" I shake my head tryin to get the thoughts out from between my ears. I think of manuella, the one girl I been with, and how she were drunk and how when I stripped down and saw the look on her face, I felt a cold squirm in my belly like a snake was in there. "that girl" I say, "the one I was with." hunk says nothing but looks at me with apology in his eyes, "she told me I was just a boy, just a little boy, I was no man and she could tell cause she'd been with a man." hunk sighed and I stood there feeling like a stuffed bird and wishing I was dead. we did not talk for a long time. not a word spoke. "let me see it." I was shook with surprise, "what?" my lips are tremblin, "do what?" hunk stands up and looks me in the eye, "let me see it man, I bet it aint so small." stepping back from him I put my hands down as if to block my balls from any harm, "what the hell man!" my voice breaks like a church window. "get over it man, we both dudes, just whip it out and I'll tell you what I think. I bet it's a fine dick." I'm looking at him with fear in my eyes and he's lookin back with a pure confidence that somehow makes that fear slide down my back and outta site. I step forward again, slowly, I put my fingers on my belt buckle. "I don't know, man." "jus trust me bro, it'll make you feel better." so I unhook the belt, and I unzip the fly, and I hook my thumbs in my briefs and I pull the pants down just below my ass cheeks. "lift up your shirt." I do as he tells me, exposing my pale thighs and pale pelvis that turns darker and darker to where my dick hang limp. hunk stared down at it for a while. I stared at his face which was blank cept for a small frown on he lips. "it looks fine" he says, "regular size for a dude your age." he laughs then and I laugh too, feeling much better bout myself.
just then the door pops open and the long eyes and lollin tongues of two girls look in on us from the broken hallway. "I see the parties already started." one of them says from between fat mushy lips, "you want we should leave you boys alone?" I hurry up and stuff myself back into my pants and hunk turns, he face red, and smoothes he hair like it aint no thing. the girls come full into the room and stand lookin at us like a coupla mamas gone caught their child with he hand in the cookie jar. "it's alright boys." the other girl says, "we see all kinda thang in here." "we aint fags" I bark at her, "he was just helpin me with somethin." the girls look at each other and then look to us with a smile on their faces and then they break formation and sidle on up beside us. "alright, baby." one whispers in my ear, "we just playin."
she starts to sucking on my ear and I can feel a well of sensation barking at my spine. it starts down in my hip bones and shivers up and up and into my skull and I shake, I can't help but shake. she bites it and I start to drool. so this is it man, so this is it, and I'm thinking wow, and I'm thinking jesus wow. I feel something movin in my pants and I feel something blossoming and unfurling and uncurling like a snake. it's tight against my jeans now, making them zipper teeth strain so hard. and her hands are on my chest now and she moving her hips against mine and she's grabbin and tuggin and searching for me with her eyes closed. it's like my hands are dead beside me, they itchy but heavy as cinderblocks. she rubbin on me and her hand slips down into mine and she must know I'm nervous cause she wraps her fingers n mine and lifts me up and lifts me up and puts my palm around her, around her curves. and my fingers sink deep into her lusciousness so deep and it's so soft like a paradise of sweet smoke and cherries and i feel that hard nub of her nipple and I know, this here is a woman. she moans like she likes it. she moans and I moan and it's good and I don't think about how this could be fake and how we paid for this and that moan may as well be a scratchin at the door from a half-dead stray cat. I don't think of it, it aint mine to think about. this is my revival boy and man I takes to it like a champion.
I guess I get my vitals back and my heart is railin against the bars o my ribcage and my breath is short and horrible and hot. and I'm on her and she on me and our lips collide and ricochet and land all over this map of skins. I'm on her neck, I'm on her ear, I'm on her lips again, I'm on her nipples now, and she unhooks that leather corset and it falls like a wounded moth to the floor. her skirt goes next and them clothes fall together to reveal the wet truth of flesh. she push me down now, and from the bed I run my fingers up her slit. through the fabric I can feel a moist jungle growling from behind a thin cotton curtain. and my finger gets damp, and it smells like leather n honey. so sweet and so musty. she giggles and it crashes into my ears with the strength of the beach and I'm drunk on salt and sweat and heat. she push me back again and she climb on top and we mingle and we mix our dust.
someone reaches for the light and it goes dark for a second but in that same second it goes light again and I hear hunks voice bleed in with that light. "nah, leave it on." so she leaves it on.
I'm back on my girl now, our minds relieved of this brief disturbance, an I suck on her on like a baby animal hunting for the milk of life. feed me, feed me, I wanna scream it. make my belly full! but my mouth got something in it and my tongue is too playful to obey. god, I'm disappearing into smoke and soon it's just gonna be this body here and my arms n legs mashing the air, blind. "what." it's all muffled, coming from far away. "what the fuck are you talking about?" I am in ruffles and silk. too far away. "shut the fuck up bitch." that's hunk now I can hear him. how he get here? how did he follow me to this place. "I said shut the fuck up, you hear?" and I am smashed back into a room of twilight with it's smells of sex and cigarettes. and now the girl on me, she screamin, she got a fear in her eye. "don't you fucking touch me now!" that's hunk's girl and she livid with tears eating into her cheeks. "I saw you, you queer!" "you didn't see shit!" n hunk busts a lamp he so angry. "I saw you! I saw you watching him. I saw you!" hunk plants a hand on her with a terrible crash and when he pulls that hand away he leaves a red imprint upon her face. she screams. "Aaaah, you fucking faggot!" his fists gush out from he body and topple upon her and fill her full of blood and bruises. my girl is gone, she's run for the door and I don't know what. I'm stunned. stoned in silence I can't even ask hunk what the hell he thinks he doin. he just beats her to a pulp and I sit there with my head in my hands. "hunk." I says, "hunk what is this?" he doesn't answer cause he's real raw now, and that girl she just isn't moving no more. not even a peep for justice. "hunk!" but before I say anymore that door slices through the air and there's the old mr. soul and he still growlin like a bear as he moves into the room. hunk stops and he breathing hard like knives in he chest and he just looks at the pimp and the pimp look back. "what is this boys?" mr. soul, he voice is tragically calm. "I thought we had an agreement." hunk says nothin he just stares. "and you come into my business, into my place of work, and you..." mr. soul looks down at the red mess that was his girl, "break the merchandise?"
"hey" I say, "hey just wait." but mr. soul raises up he hand and I see a glint like some powerful devil and there in his fingers is a silver weapon. he points the gun at each of us in turn and tells us to get to our feet. he lines us up in front of the beds and steps before us like a judge. "now I'm gonna need you to pay for those damages, boys." hunk still aint talkin, he just stands there all shut up and I'm left with my tongue between my legs trying to pick up the pieces. "look it aint what you think, man." mr. soul stretches out he hand and slashes me across the cheek and cuts me deep and I feel some warmth of blood dribble down onto my chin. "shut the fuck up, kid." so I shuts up. "you gonna pay for this, and it's gonna be real steep." "but we aint got that kind of money!" he glares at me and his eyes go soft for a moment and for that moment I breathe a little easier. "oh" and he voice, to, is soft, "oh well I see." he points the gun at hunk and says to him, "how about you, you broke to?" hunk nods he head but it's clear that he mind is adrift in some sea and he barely even know he here. "well then." and the shot rang out and something clipped through the air and I could feel a mighty stinging in my ears, but I saw a fountain of blood and I saw hunk go down and him cradle he leg. hunk is there, on the ground, and he shaking something fierce and I'm thinking he's hurt real bad. mr. soul stands over him and he has this righteous look about him like that angel of death, he cape curling over the floor as black feather wings. he aims that same damn piece at the crumpled figure of hunk vibrating there on the carpet and I'm in a place. I know I got to move.
I charge the old man, he aint so quick, and I pin him against the wall. another shot blows off but it disappears out the window and is never seen again. we struggled and I jam he arm and I knock that gun down onto the ground. I give him one, and another, and he pops me, but I make him go down till he gasps out and finally he sound like the weak old man that he always was. so I step back, and I stare at that withered tree that leans itself against the wall groaning in pain and I feel all anger escaping from my form. but there's a flash and a bang and another fountain of blood, and then another, and then another, and mr. soul slides down and smears them walls a deep and cherry red. behind me hunk has got his back against the bed frame, and he's pointing that pistol at the lifeless coil of the pimp an he's staring at that body and I'm staring at him. "hunk..." I whisper, "hunk!" his eyes flicker at me, from behind a quickly gathering fog. they flicker and he smiles so wide at me. "don't worry bout a think, son." he's laughing now, "a good looking dude like you, yeah you'll be alright." he maybe went mad from the pain in his leg, he maybe was so sane and honest now, "hunk... I don't understand you man." "it's alright." he say to me. "it's alright cause you know now, don't you?" I'm shakin my head, "what? know what?" he laughs and he shrugs his shoulders in some sympathetic way. 'it don't matter..." he making me so nervous now and I want to go to him but he still got that gun up and pointed in my direction and somehow I feel like I just shouldn't move. "I'm sorry man." now there are tears in his eyes, "I'm so sorry for this shit." he screams out that last part, he screams out shit. "fuck." I start to move to him, "fuck!" I'm inchin my way closer. "FUCK!" and he swallows the tip of that revolver deep into he throat.
the bullet tore his face apart. hunk's blood caked the walls and drained away into the thick shag carpet. the red of hunk's blood and the red of the room mixed together so it were as the whole room was bathed in he blood; the walls, the beds, the floor, all of it. I just looked at him. dumb. I could not move. bits of he head were laying by my feet and my shoes were getting wet. he just lay there on the floor in a big heap of limbs, his lips burnt black and he jaw hangin loose in a idiot scream and I keep thinkin this is crazy, this is crazy, what the fuck, this crazy. the room smell like burning, like what they say hell stink like, and my ears keep buzzing with insects. I see hunk and he's gone, he got no life in him. his remnants everywhere, all around and even on me. he dead, he dead, he dead. and down the hall I can hear running, like a stampede of animals, running coming for here, to this, to me. running and it's pounding and it's shouting in my ears and I'm standing there and my feet are stones and I look at hunk and I feel his blood soaking into my socks and I realize I got to go, I got to go or I'll be laid up there with hunk and we both be gone and dead. so I says so long to him. so long to hunk. good bye my friend. I hardly knew ya.