C H A P T E R 1 M Disposable Boy and the Bitch “Yeah, that’s right,” I mumbled under my breath at the stoplight. “Go on and look. I’m thirty-ﬁve, I have a thirty inch-waist, a butt like steel, and a BMW to put them in.” The grungy twenty-something guy in the Jeep next to me stared with curious interest after trying hard to start a race.
C H A P T E R 3 M Enjoy the Story Rick arrived promptly at eleven looking like a Twenty-ﬁrst Century gay god, dressed completely in black, his tailored shirt drawing attention to his chiseled chest and bulging arms. I wondered for a moment what the rest of it looked like as he walked through the door, his body moving in harmony with the David Benoit CD playing in the background.
C H A P T E R 4 M Sex and the Not-So-Single Man I woke up to the sound of the key in the back door. I rolled over and sat up on both elbows, watching the room spin from my earlier indulgence.
C H A P T E R 5 M Which Game Are You Playing? IhidinmyworkweekuntilWednesday,workinglateandstayingatthegymfor anextrahour,stillhopingtocatchaglimpseofRick,butalsotryingtostaybusy.
C H A P T E R 6 M Emotion IgrabbedabottleofredwinefrommybartopresentasagifttoRick,aprecious bottle of Gevrey Chambertin I’d picked up on a trip to France. The second year after Ayers died, I decided that some travel would help me expand my horizons and continue to recover. The trip I chose was a gay tour group bound for Paris and then the south of France. There were, of course, plenty of single travelers whowantedtohookupforthedurationofthetrip,butmyinterestwasjustnot thereatthetime.IsharedaroomwithaniceoldgentlemannamedEdwardwho was obviously beyond wanting to hook up with anyone, anyway, so the trip turned out to be very colorful.
C H A P T E R 7 M To the Rescue I locked all the doors when I got back to my apartment, slipped out of my sum- mer dinner clothes and into my silk kimono, an item I had not really used since Ayers died. I selected a bottle of cold white wine and opened it, hoping that a glass would settle me down.
C H A P T E R 8 M Direction I woke up to the sound of the alarm going off and saw that Rick really did sleep inmybed,thatitwasnotadream.Helookedsosweet,lyingthereturnedtoward me,startingtostir.Hewokeup,lookedatme,smiled,andthenstretched,ﬂexing hisamplebicepsbeforesittingup.Iagainhadmyusualarousedmorningcondi- tion so I tried to think about what to do with Stephen, because he probably wouldn’t remember what had happened the night before. Rick slipped on his clothes and spoke in a gruff morning voice.
C H A P T E R 9 M Sometimes It’s Just the Drama Value The day of Marilyn Clark’s funeral was cooler and clearer than it had been all summer, although “cooler” in Southern summers meant ninety degrees and ninety percent humidity, as opposed to one hundred degrees and one hundred percenthumidity.Idramaticallytookthedayoff,goingagainstmyownadmoni- tions that gays give out sympathy for the same reason. Rick called around eight andIinvitedhimoverforcoffee.Oureveningshadbeenspenttogether,talking, laughing, and discussing life. I was so attracted to Rick that it was hard for me not to hit on him every time he was around. He showed up wearing linen draw- string pants and a tight white t-shirt, so we could both sense the tension and we both enjoyed it.