Scott Alexander Hess
An excerpt from:
Dewalt lived at the top of a six floor walk up. A throbbing, vile chant was playing as Neal climbed the stairs. It got louder, then assaulted Neal as Dewalt opened the door.
‘good morning all you mothafuckin knotty headed niggas.’
Dewalt was topless wearing a pair of white boxers and an orange oven mitt, his gold teeth glistening. He smiled, then grabbed Neal and kissed him, a wet, long sloppy mouth kiss in the hallway of the building. Neal imagined angry, homophobic neighbors, or those religious hat-wearing Sunday woman. This date, he decided, was likely to be a disaster though he was enjoying the salty taste of Dewalt’s tongue and the metal tang from his gold teeth.
Keeping his mouth on Neal’s, Dewalt pulled him into the apartment, then swung the door shut, notched three locks, and pushed Neal against the wall. He licked his cheek, his ear and went again for his mouth, long deep, aggressive.
Rap music pounded.
‘I’m da insane nigga from the psycho ward’
“Hey,” Dewalt said. “Come on in.”
With his oven-mitt covered hand, he pulled Neal into the apartment proudly.
‘Gun the bitch and grab a forty.’
The living room had two big windows looking out onto the courtyard. Neal could see the children playing. A smooth, dark leather sofa, a pair of oatmeal colored fabric chairs, a mahogany antique table, and a series of black and white prints of a familiar looking black prize fighter. The living room lead though an archway into a large eat-in dining room, which was unheard of in Manhattan (other than in true luxury apartments). An oval dark wood dining table, set for dinner, sat near a large window. The kitchen was off the dining room and fed around back to the living room then down a hall to a bedroom, and a bath.
The music pounded. Dewalt pulled Neal toward the bedroom.
“Could you turn down the music?” Neal said.
“Come on kid,” Dewalt said, grabbing Neal around the waist, kissing him again, and lifting him off the floor, humping him to the beat of the music.
“No, really,” Neal said.
Dewalt slid him to his feet.
‘so come on motherfucka come on.’
“This place is great, but the music can you just…” Neal said.
Dewalt turned off the rap. In the quiet, Neal could hear the distant screams of the children. He wondered if his date had heard the yellow hair taunts. Neal felt awkward, more uncomfortable now with the silence then he had with the audacious rap. He sat on the sofa, glanced toward the window out at the courtyard just to look like he was doing something.
Dewalt came back, oven mitt gone, two glasses of wine.
“You like wine?” he said.
Neal shot to his feet, off of the sofa. Then he sat down again.
“I don’t drink,” Neal said.
“At all?” Dewalt said.
Neal nodded. Dewalt stood still for a moment, then flashed a smile, the gold teeth.
“No beer either? I got juice, you like juice?”
Neal brightened and settled back. The distant screams of the children were fading, replaced with haphazard shouts from women calling them in for the night, gathering the flocks. As he waited, he noticed the softness in the linen curtain which fronted the living room’s main window. A stripe of shadow from a courtyard light edged across its center, and as the night grew darker, he thought the curtain, long flapping and rich, looked milky and cool. He never imagined Dewalt having such beautiful drapes, and with that his date called him to the table for dinner. Two fat bloody steaks sat on two lean china plates, crowded next to French Fries and a really large wedge of tomato. Neal sat at the table, stiffly. The napkins were pale blue, the silverware had duo tone dots. Dewalt stood by his chair.
“Go on now.”
Like an obedient child, Neal cut into the steak and ate. There was a slight smoky flavor, and a touch of something spicy. Delicious. He went for another jab.
Dewalt sat down, sucking down his wine. He watched Neal.
“Kitchens my ground ya know. Loved cooking as a kid. Then, got off ya know. Got messy, ya know what I’m saying?” he said.
Half way through his steak, Neal paused, and Dewalt started to eat. He began with the tomato.
“So you got messy?” Neal said.
“I ran around for awhile, did some shit with my boys. You know what I’m saying?” Dewalt said.
Neal didn’t know what he was saying, but recognized the slang. Still, he had to stifle an urge to ask more questions, to blurt out ‘No I really don’t know what your saying at all. What is the shit? Is that good shit or bad shit or just shit?”
“So what do you do?” Neal said.
Dewalt finished his tomato, and eyed his steak.
“Is this too rare? I love rare. It’s ok?” he said.
“Construction. It’s steady work. Good in summer. You gonna like dessert, you like Carmel? You gonna like it if you like Carmel,” Dewalt said, eating quickly now, ravenously, like some hunger-lever had flipped.
Neal watched him devour the meat. Dewalt gripped his utensils hard, like tools, and cut roughly, shoving fat bits of food into his mouth. The muscles in his arms strained. He looked a little beastly and dumb, which Neal liked.
“You work out a lot,” Neal said, immediately regretting the question.
“No. The jobs it, ya know, heavy lifting. I keep in shape,” he said.
Dewalt tipped up his face up, chewing ferociously on the last of the meat. He gave Neal a good long stare, then licked the end of his fork.
“You know how fucking sweet you look right now?” he said.
The linen curtain behind Neal blew forward with a breeze, as evening spread and the room got a tiny bit darker. Dewalt stood up. His white boxer shorts were tenting. It was bobbing, pulsing up, then down, through his boxers. Dewalt set down his fork and leaned his palms on the edge of the table.
“So you like my place?” he said.
It was rubbing against the edge of the table, resting on the wood. Dewalt leaned further into the table and pressed his crotch so it grazed the china plate. Left over juice from the steak touched lightly onto the front hem of his shorts.
“I do,” said Neal.
Dewalt pressed further into the plate. His boxers were getting wet.
“Stay the night,” Dewalt said.
“I have to work or I would,” Neal said.
“I’m up at five. I’ll feed you. Turkish coffee. You ever had it? Sweet and mad strong,” Dewalt said, coming around the side of the table toward Neal.
The courtyard had gone silent, the breeze was picking up. Dewalt stood at Neal’s chair. The front of his white boxers was stained brown with meat juice. The outline of it, full and reaching, pressed toward Neal.
“You gotta stay, you get that?” Dewalt said.
He leaned down and kissed Neal gently. Dewalt tasted of steak, his tongue tangy. He was exploring the insides of Neal’s cheeks, side to side. He placed one hand, warmly, on Neal’s shoulder, the other in his hair. The kiss kept going, as Dewalt lifted Neal from his seat and murmured something unintelligible. Neal suddenly wanted to get rough with Dewalt, to yank his head back, to push him down and start to fuck, to treat him like a dumb beast, a nameless nasty thugfuck, but he felt himself unwillingly falling into Dewalt’s rhythm, a slow, awkward mingling dance. Dewalt was holding him now, still exploring his mouth, his teeth, lips. He had both hands around Neal’s back, then slid them down to his ass, pressing his fingers lightly past the band of his jeans, touching.
“Get ‘em off,” Neal said.
Neal was dizzy, out of breath. There was no overhead light in the dining room and as night came, the room grew darker. Neal wanted to push forward, but Dewalt moved away from his mouth and knelt, he untied Neal’s sneakers, took them off; unbuttoned his jeans, slid them over soft white feet. He ran his mouth up Neal’s legs, brushing his crotch, back to his mouth.
“Lift me,” Neal said.
Dewalt stepped back, his skin was wet, sweaty. It glistened in the dark. His shoulders were lean, tight. He nuzzled his face into Neal’s stomach, then swept him up, grunting, swept him up across his forearms and pulled him toward his chest. Dewalt swung around and headed to the bedroom. Neal leaned his head into Dewalt’s shoulder. He felt tiny, frightened. The bedroom was dark.
“Turn on the light,” Neal said.
The switch flipped, and two steel bedside lamps glowed. The room was masculine, all mahogany, shuttered windows, a pile of dirty clothes, a jock strap on the floor near the window. Dewalt set Neal gently onto the bed. Neal sunk down, gazed up, as his date stood still, staring, then slowly pushed off his stained white boxers, letting them linger mid-thigh. He loosened himself, sighed and shutting his eyes, roughly pushed the shorts to the floor and stepping forward and onto the bed, on top of Neal.
He ground into him, his wet skin slicking over Neal’s legs, their stomachs pressing close together. Dewalt’s moves were urgent. He licked at Neal’s chest, bit his nipple, then yanked Neal’s arms and pressed them over his head. He buried his face and breathed hard on Neal’s ear, whispering.
“I wanna fuck you now, good,” he said.
Neal pressed hard upward, into him, wrapping his arms around Dewalt’s back and squeezing him, holding him steady while he found the man’s mouth and tongue. He reached down and held tight onto the ass, which was clenching with every grind, and he wanted to slap it, to punish him, hurt him, make him less.
“You my boy, yeah, got that, now, my boy’s here,” Dewalt said, grinding, kissing.
Neal pressed up into him harder, squeezed his back, then shook, holding back a rush of far off, wandering tears that chose to push through, now, at the wrong time, now with the light on, trapped under Dewalt.
“All right,” Neal said, as his eyes clouded, and he failed to stifle a sob.
He buried his face in Dewalt’s chest and concentrated on their breathing, together, and didn’t care anymore what happened, who fucked who, how it all came out. Dewalt was murmuring in his ear, pressing into his belly, lost in the soft rush of his skin, shooting on Neal’s center, whispering.
“It’s good,” Dewalt said.
Neal pulled himself up a little, holding onto Dewalt’s shoulders, pulling himself out of the whole thing, in the jerky movement, upward, toward his date’s cheek, he shot too, on Dewalt’s belly, mingling, both of them, mingling.
An award-winning journalist, Scott’s debut novel "Bergdorf Boys" is based on his early whirlwind years as editor of a gay magazine when he discovered both the scandalously uber-rich and a seedy hyper-partying underbelly. He is a 2009 MFA graduate of The New School, where he worked with novelists Dale Peck, Darcey Steinke and Helen Schulman. Scott’s fiction has appeared in the Thema Literary Journal and he is a contributor to various national magazines, including Genre, OutTraveler and Instinct. He has been the gay section editor for Harper Collins’ Access NY Guide Book for the past two years. He has written two screenplays, his latest Blood of Saints is about a serial killer recreating the grisly executions of Catholic Saints.