J. D. Roman's alternate personalities (of which there are many) will be published this year in Calyx journal and in the anthologies Ripe Fruit: Well-Seasoned Erotica and Shameless: An Intimate Erotica. J.D. has been a Hedgebrook resident, the Seattle Writers Association’s essay contest winner, and the Redmond Association of Spoken Word’s fiction contest winner.
E-mail J. D. Roman.
Two men. Neighboring balconies. Each man perches on a jutting slab of concrete suspended in space. One’s face is known to millions, his unmistakable dark mane, now tangled and damp. Bare-chested and barefoot despite the snow, Axis stares down toward the pavement eleven stories below.
The other man is unknown, yet unforgettable. Erie packs his brawn into brown leather. Barbed-wire bracelet, close-cropped hair white-blonde. “What a cliché that would be,” Erie says as Axis lifts a foot.
Axis looks up. Reveals his face in the spilled hotel room light. Steps back, away from the railing, away from the man’s eyes. He body hugs himself, hands wedged in opposite armpits. His unbelted jeans sag at the waist. “Insomnia,” he rasps. He retreats inside. The night sucks the curtain out through the open door.
The blonde man throbs in Axis' head, lodges in his peripheral vision, lingering like the spot after a hot light. He waits for it to burst with migraine explosion, then fade. But it hovers. Silent irritant. Axis switches the lights off and paces. Ignores congealing room-service food.
Steps back outside. Puts a cigarette to his lips.
A lighter scratches to life in the nearby darkness. A small flame illuminates the blonde man.
Axis leans out over the wide space between their balconies, torso balanced on the rail, cold steel pressed to skin. Erie lights his cigarette across the void. “You’ll die of hypothermia before you have to jump, dressed like that.”
Axis settles back on his bare feet. “Can’t feel it. Look.” He extinguishes the cigarette on the inside of his scarred wrist. “I’m numb. Can’t feel anything.” His voice fades in and out, a car radio driving through mountains. The cigarette hisses on crusted snow when he drops it. “You didn’t tell me to stop.”
Erie lights a cigarette. Unzips his jacket and presses the burning tip against a pink, pierced nipple. The odor of singed flesh, both famous and anonymous, pierces city winter’s damp cloud of smell. Curling smoke rises with breath’s steam.
“Don’t.” Axis’s voice breaks.
“See?” The cigarette flutters down, trailing embers. “You can feel.”
Car tires slush on the street below, seeking traction. “You know who I am?” But it is not a question.
Millions have screamed his name, but never has a voice contained a secret in its hiss. Axis retreats, wedged into the balcony’s far corner. “No camera?”
“Not my kind of souvenir.”
“What then? Autograph? My earring? Flesh?” The jagged shards of his voice carve bitterness into his words.
“To fuck you.”
“Yeah, you and half the planet.” Axis looks over the railing, but the other man’s stare pulls him back.
“No. They want you to fuck them. To fill their emptiness.”
“What’s the difference?”
Erie places one hand on the railing and vaults through space to Axis’s balcony. He falters when he lands—or does he—tumbling to Axis’s feet. Axis kneels, hands outstretched. “You okay? Man, you crazy? You could have—”
Erie grips the back of Axis’s neck, pulls him down into a hard kiss. Presses Axis’s cold fingers to his crotch, a leather bulge which will burst its hide. Axis doesn’t protest or return the kiss. A stranger’s tongue explores his slack and open mouth. Muffled sound and scattered light leak through the barricade of balcony walls.
Erie places his other hand on the fly of Axis’s worn jeans, feels only buttons and the stiff seam. Axis flinches, pulls out of the kiss.
“You’ve never been fucked.” Erie’s hand on denim strokes. No response. He undoes Axis’s fly, one button slow popped at a time, single-handed, still pressing Axis’s hand to his own erection. Erie’s hand creeps into Axis’s jeans.
Erie finds what he’s looking for. “Broken wing?”
“—sing.” A passing siren swallows his graveled voice.
Erie rolls Axis onto his back, straddles him. Axis doesn’t resist, his body as limp as his cock. They leave a warped snow angel smudged into the meager snow beside them. Erie strips him. Axis lies naked on the cold concrete. His cock recoils, shrivels into dense pubic hair.
“I’m so tired.” Axis whispers.
Erie unhitches his own erection. He leaves the waist snapped closed but opens the zipper. A big man, his proportionate cock thrusts white out of dark leather. Erie rubs his cock on the arch of Axis’s foot. Along his ankle, calf, knee, thigh. Leather creaks, sticks on Axis’s frozen flesh. Erie inches his way up Axis’s body, soft cock stroke followed by zipper’s scratch, until his knees are in Axis’s armpits.
Axis watches random snow flakes melt on his outstretched palm.
Erie’s cock rises up Axis’s neck, his chin, rests at his mouth. Nudges apart the lips—they graze microphones like this as he croons and purrs immortal sound. Pries open the teeth. Eases inside. Axis allows the trespass. Erie pushes back, slipping along the tongue, and back, kissing vocal chords which have charmed the world, and back. The shaft down his insured throat impales Axis against the concrete. Both men are still. Cock blood pulses. Axis’s nostrils flare.
“You’re dead,” Erie says. “I’ll fill your body. I’ll help you feel.”
Axis passes out. He wakes in a hot bath. Steam rises from dense bubbles. His skin is pickled, angry red from a close shave and scrubbing, his hair washed and combed. A bandage covers his cigarette burn. Erie sits under and behind him, Erie’s hard cock wedged against Axis’s ass crack. Water drips from the faucet, plinking into the full tub.
Erie holds Axis’s slim hips, slides him up and down. Slow, slippery friction. Axis’s slight body slips easily in the perfumed soap. Water laps over the tub’s side, sprays the floor.
Axis sputters and thrashes, whirling to face him.
They both stand, dripping. Axis’s cock dangles, Erie’s threatens. Erie steps out of the tub. Without drying off, he leaves the bathroom.
Axis, wrapped in a towel, follows his wet footprints in the silent darkness. Erie stretches out on the bed, glistening wet, eyes closed. Hairless: pubic, body, face. Only scant eyebrows and shorn prickles on his head. White and slick as an albino sea creature. His hard cock insists. The latex encasement heightens its menace, as if to touch it directly will turn a mortal to salt.
Axis approaches the bed. Erie reaches out, snags the towel and tugs. The white cloth slips to Axis’s feet, material coiled at a statue’s base. Erie clutches the limp cock. “Sex symbol,” he says, opening his eyes.
“My voice.” Axis touches his throat.
“Shrouded. Not lost.”
“I don’t know when I last slept or ate.” Prescription pill bottles litter the nightstand.
“Men have wanted me before.” His shrapnelled words disintegrate.
“But you never let them. You’ve closed yourself off.” Erie guides him up onto the bed, half lifting him, until Axis straddles him. Up on his knees, his balls hang stretched and shriveled. “You’re the dried up river bed below a concrete dam.”
Erie guides Axis over his own greased cock, connects. Axis gasps. Erie holds Axis’s hips, eases him down. Axis trembles and moans. His palms lie flat on Erie’s abdomen, then clench into fists. Erie works his weight, now raising him, now lowering him farther, until Axis has taken in all of him.
Axis shakes and bucks. “I can’t, I—” He sags forwards.
Erie rolls them over without separating. Erie’s cock pins Axis on his back. Between his spread legs, Erie fucks him. “Feel,” he says. He pulls out his full extension after each thrust. “Feel it.”
The cock saws agony. Blissful, hallucinogenic agony. The mattress dances off the box spring and nudges the nightstand. Medicine bottles tumble to the floor. As Axis moans, his balls and cock fill. They are no sooner engorged than Axis shudders and comes. He floods his navel. He touches this rare juice, astonished.
Erie climbs off him. Axis cries out at the sudden emptiness.
Erie rolls him onto his side, enters him from behind. Erie reaches around to hold his sticky cock, and Axis falls asleep. Erie cocoons the blankets around them.
Whenever Axis stirs, Erie swells inside him before he wakes, fucks him back to sleep, cradles him as he penetrates. Erie uses and fills every inch of him. Wave after wave, the dam bursts.
Sucking Erie’s nipple, Axis notices the burning cigarette left no mark.
Wide awake and alone, Axis stretches, his face slashed by a fading ray of sunlight. The barbed-wire bracelet snags the sheets and scratches his forehead. His satisfaction smears the damp bed covers. Dried sex juice crackles on his skin. Used latex litters the floor.
His tenderized insides pulse. He walks awkwardly, a toddler taking his first steps. He calls Erie’s name. The curtain billows out of the empty room. He devours whatever he can find, leaving a trail of wrappers, cans, and fruit skins. His cock blossoms toward the murky sunset as he hums a childhood hymn, crystal notes dancing.
© 2001-2002 J. D. Roman. All rights reserved. Do not copy or post.
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