Gregory Jackson

Copyright 2004 by Gregory Jackson


Photo of concrete stairs with broken rose petals on them (c) 2004 by Richard Loller.
Photo (c) 2004 by Richard Loller.

Stroking the fine black hairs of his toned youthful chest, Phadae admired the smoothness of his own skin. He moved closer to the full-length mirror admiring his taut body and gazed upon what he saw was an unmistakably handsome frame. Lifting his arms above his head he stretched upward on his tiptoes. This gave his body and even more lean appearance and he became excited by his own reflection. He had become fully developed by the time he had reached his 18th. year. Sports had always been a pleasure of his and his athletic physique was his proof. The physical exertion of bodies slamming into each other in intense competition delighted him. It was a physical pleasure not realized by a non-athlete. Phadae had become what girls wanted and what boys felt confusingly intimidated by. His androgynous appeal shattered all realms of machismo. It could create confusion in an adolescent mentality.

But he was positively approachable. He dallied in the conquest of suitors, preferring the company of the male gender. He had become sexually ambivalent. Sex only served as a validation to his growing ego. Not to mention the gratification of the id. He was quite secure in being by himself for the greater portion of his time. When he felt he needed company, a phone call would find him happily in the presence of someone he had chosen for the moment. Earlier that night he had received a phone call, inviting him on a road trip. Not ever having left his surroundings for very long, in his short-lived life, he felt a little intimidated. He wondered if his looks would garner him the attention he had grown accustomed to attracting. A bigger city might be more than he would liken to bargain for. After spending two hours in front the television watching music videos and doing sit ups he decided, why not go on this road trip. It could be fun. So at the last minute he called his ride that was delighted that he had decided to go. Taking his time getting dressed, he realized that he was an arrogant bastard in the literal sense. This was his defense, his suit of armor. Being forgotten by his irresponsible father had made him impervious from the chastising behavior of others. After a quiet moment of thought, he began to dress himself. Getting dressed was a pleasure for Phadae. He had great taste in the quality of fine clothiers. Years of study over the Internet had introduced him to the masters of haute couture. There was Alston, YSL, Givenchy and Valentino. There was Dior, Lauren and Tom Ford. And then, there were the 50’s and Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Truman Capote’s "White Ball." To him this was an era that typified style and high fashion in the classic sense. The world of fashion and glamour had kept him company during his ostracized exiles into loneliness. He primped himself for short while and waited for his ride to show up. The latest model of a Cadillac SUV arrived promptly in front of his apartment building honking the horn incisively eager for him to come out. This was much better than having his ride come in to see Phadea’s mother drunk and asleep on the couch. So after going through her purse and pocketing a small sum of cash, he made his way to the waiting car.

During the drive Phadea took in the hours by looking out at the roadsides of small towns, passing truck stops and distant city lights beyond the highway. He wondered how life was going to be out side of his small tenement world. Thinking and trying to drown out the constant dialogue coming from the driver side of the vehicle, he fell into a calm sleep. When he awoke, the car was pulling into a parking lot filled with people lined up impatiently waiting for entry into this popular nightspot. Young Michael who had drove all the way, saw the excitement on Phadae’s eyes and thought this would bring him into Phadae’s favor all the more. But once inside, Phadae only watched the silhouetted couples gyrate on the crowded dance floor. He smiled at Michael and excused himself for the bathroom. He wanted to move about on his own without being made to accommodate this boy who carried a constant smile on his face whenever Phadae looked his way. He wanted to mingle and get comfortable. To seek more of what this place was like. And what more it had to offer.

He took notice that the crowd was mixed in its sexual orientation. There were gays, straights and hybrid sexual orientations. And the midgets! Dressed in party uniforms delighting the crowd gave it all a Barnum and Bailey appeal. Phadea thought this was way out and laughed out loud. The atmosphere was complete bedlam.

After chatting with a bartender, he is given a free drink and given the ins and outs of club etiquette. Who’s a hottie and who’s not. He scans the atmosphere. Avoiding his friend who drove the highways to get here. So with a drink to relax him a bit, he slides back against the bar. After the drink begins to soften him he thinks about what carnal pleasure can be had in this place. Or can he meet that special someone. “Naw, what am I thinking. This is a club. Sex is the only thing on the menu.” He takes another sip of his drink. “Complements of the bar my friend.” The bartender gives him another. “I’m going to get drunk if you keep this up.” The bartender smiles and says, “You’ll be fine kid.” “ You know, my mother thinks I am headed in the wrong direction.” Phadae says as he looks into his drink. “But, I’d rather not get into that right now. Besides, I’m young, hot and …” “Getting drunk.” The bartender says. “ I’m cutting you off my friend.” Phadae smiles and agrees. Taking a sip of his drink, Phadae sees someone who's looks draws his attention. Tall as he, the fellow is attractive without being unapproachable. Phadae was aroused without even having heard a single word the man had spoken.

When Phadae had awakened late the next morning, the plaster white ceiling momentarily blinded his sight, save for the pewter chandelier occupying the center of this very white bedroom. The walls were stark, almost naked except for the contrast of the gleaming maple floors. He brushed his locks from the center of his face and gazed around this meticulously decorated room. There were small black-framed pictures, all in black and white. Most were of landscapes and beach portraits. The sands of these photographs were white and the waters were black and grainy. They seemed to represent so much peace and serenity. So much nothingness to where nothing could disturb you. Outside, the cloudy skies were parted vertically and horizontally by the panes of the long, towering windows of this, his, bedroom. Phadae’s mind wandered. He touched his stomach going over the ripples that formed his abdominal muscles feeling the silky hairs of his body as they rose from his pelvis and circled his navel extending toward to the middle of his chest. He licked his finger to flatten them against his dark skin. Each one curled up at the ends and he smiled.

Although his stomach was empty, his body felt warm and full. He hears the quiet tapping of raindrops against the windows, and the blowing of a car horns on the street below. He sat up gently and rested himself on the palms of his hands, while readily taking an inventory of the man’s taste in furnishings and the arrangements of books, papers, and pens. He shook his head in a circular motion and yawned. Getting out of the king size bed without waking the man quietly sleeping beside him, he made his way to where he remembered the bathroom was located in this large contemporary apartment. Showering, he was able to take advantage of the sleeping man’s toiletries. He had very distinct tastes in knowing which ointments, colognes, and hair products were specifically geared toward men. Phadae was able to pamper himself in the fashion he had grown accustomed. A regimen, his mother thought too effeminate for her son. By why think much of such things.

He then made his way back towards the bedroom. Along the way he admired the rooms that opened off the length of the maple wood hallway. At the foot of the bed, he gathered his Calvin Kline boxers, his Armani A/X jeans and Gucci loafers. Now, looking at the man who laid sleeping, he thought how handsome he was. His frame is muscular without being buffed up looking. He was reminiscent of a fashion layout, as he lay asleep among the white cotton sheets and comforter that covered the lower extremities of his body. Only the rich mahogany headboard sculpted in a neo-Romanesque style gave way to any other color within the frame of Phadae’s view. Resting his shirt onto his lean body, Phadae walked over to the nightstand and placed his black leather Brooks Brothers Car jacket onto his body. The man mumbled something, laughed, and was then was back to his R.E.M. sleep. Phadae leaned over and kissed the man on his lips, softly. He then gathered the vintage Tiffany tank watch was bought from a high school friend who had stolen it and didn’t know the value of such a watch and strapped it on. After that, he placed the man’s wallet; check book and credit cards into the inner pockets of his coat. He then turned, walked back along the hallway and let himself out. He was on his way, back to New Jersey.

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