One of the complications of a relationship between men of unequal ages is the compatibility of those men’s friends with the couple.
When we fell in love and settled down together, Adam was twenty-one, I ten years older. Neither of us was a native of the east Tennessee mountain town, but Adam had lived there longer, had graduated high school there, so he had the opportunity to acquire more friends and acquaintances. I had been there barely a year, having come up from South Carolina to manage a downtown bookstore. The confines of both my job and my newness had not been very conducive to friend-making. I had good relations with my co-workers, but as of yet we had not begun to “pal” around outside work.
So in a sense, Adam’s friends became my friends as well.
There were, invariably, naturally a young bunch: people he had gone to school with, some still in school, and his fellow employees at the music-movie shop which just happened to be located in the same mall where I managed the bookstore.
The latter worked together and socialized together rather frequently, not always a common occurrence among co-workers. One ritual they established was a monthly “movie night” held at different homes and apartments in the area, usually on Saturday nights, and featuring the most offbeat fare from the bins of Melody Mountain, their place of employ. No conventional movies were allowed. No musicals. No “dramedies.” No chick flicks. Not even porn, which MM sold discreetly in the store’s remotest corner.
Movie nights favored such titles as Teenage Bloodsuckers, Scum of the Earth, The Wizard of Gore, and Human Centipede.
I was a bit of a cineaste, I suppose, when it came to movie-watching, preferring foreign films and Hollywood classics. But I wasn’t a snob by any means, so when Adam announced that it was our turn to host Movie Night and that the attraction that month would be a little item called I Drink Your Blood, I nodded, not enthusiastically exactly, but convincingly enough, and said, “Why not?”
Actually my agreement came as a result of gentle coercion. There was very little if anything I would have denied Adam Norton. Not that Adam was spoiled or selfish or unreasonably demanding. He was the love of my life, and a mere glance from his beautiful brown eyes rendered me agreeable to most anything, even sometimes against the dictates of my own conscience or better judgment. Besides, Adam believed strongly in equity, and I knew a favor to him would be repaid handsomely with supper out or a book from my own store I’d been eyeing with interest (and which Adam could scarcely afford), or a long night of creative, indulgent copulation.
Adam’s friends were a motley bunch of youthful stereotypes—a “hippie chick” with multi-colored hair, boys inked from neck to wrist, another with a towering Mohawk that obliged him to stoop under low doorways, one more with face piercings, and a couple who could, relatively speaking, be termed “normal.” Like Adam, they were employees of Melody Mountain. Adam himself did not affect any unusual attire or transformation to his body other than the fact the last couple of years he insisted on keeping his head shaved of its normal brown locks in protest of the Bush foreign “policy” in Iraq. Otherwise he had the height and build and high cheekbones and generous mouth of a model. He was beautiful but hardly aware of it and certainly not preoccupied by it. A heart of gold beat beneath that handsome, smooth chest. That is what made him so loveable, not just to me but many others in the town, teen and adult, who had fallen under his considerable charms, his beauty, his natural friendliness, his unpretentiousness, his willingness to help others, even strangers. In fact, his co-workers at Melody Mountain comprised just a fraction of his friendships.
It was a tribute to Adam that when news got out he was in love and living with another man that few of his friends—and only some of his family, all Mississippi Baptists—abandoned him.
“I Drink Your Blood,” I pronounced and held the DVD case up for inspection, using the inflection of Zacherly or some other old-time TV horror movie host. Then my voice normalized as I went on. “Why not Bambi? Why not The Sound of Music?” It was my lunch break, and I had slipped away from the bookstore downstairs to Melody Mountain where Adam was working a shift. He stood behind the cash register, arms crossed, next to Mike, the shift manager and one of Melody Mountain’s “normal” associates. Nearly thirty, highly amiable, he carried a slight paunch and a heavy East Tennessee mountain brogue.
“The Sound of Music?” he cried incredulously, most of his voice passing through his nose. “Jesus Christ! We don’t even carry that sucker in the store and we won’t as long as I’m working here!”
Adam and I laughed.
Mike gently removed the DVD from my hand and raised it to my face.
“David. Dude. This is a classic. A certified classic of seventies sleaze. You understand me?”
“That’s right!” called another MM worker from the rear of the store. This was Bridget, whose dark blonde hair was shot through with streaks of green and pink. “It has everything. Sex, violence, bad acting, rabid dogs, rabid hippies, more sex, more violence. And oh yeah: goat slaughter.”
“Goat slaughter?” I repeated, aghast. “Animal cruelty?” I shook my head. “No. Absolutely not,” and I snatched the movie from Mike and slammed it face-down on the counter, effectively abnegating Adam’s and my contribution to Movie Night.
Adam, for the moment choosing colleagues over boyfriend, spoke up. “Hey! Bambi’s mother gets killed. You wanted to watch Bambi. That’s animal cruelty too!” And Mike chimed in that The Sound of Music had slaughtered the eardrums of millions of human animals with its poor excuse for a soundtrack, and he demonstrated by doing a severely redneck rendition of “Do Re Mi.”
Everyone laughed, including me, and that seemed to settle things.
I Drink Your Blood it would be.
I had that Saturday off. Adam worked an early shift at Melody Mountain and got home shortly after noon. So we had the whole day ahead of us and hours in contemplation of Movie Night. We shared a home, a duplex, a block or so north of downtown, where so much tourist hubbub transpired. Years ago—many years—it was a quaint little mountain fastness attracting families from the immediate area and surrounding states (my own Carolina people frequented it and frequent it still, sometimes several times a year). It was the vacation spot for folks who did not like the beach, although in summer, in contrast to popular assumption, the mountains could be just as hot and sun-drenched as the beach. As a boy, I loved this getaway with all its opportunities for putt-putt golf, for treks past cool mountain springs, for buying in novelty stores arrow-tipped spears and richly-colored feathered bonnets, cheaply made, reputed to be used by actual “Indians” (a claim my young mind purchased without doubt). As an adult, I liked the place. Tourist tackiness had drained it of a lot of its charm. Political correctness claimed the “Indian” weaponry and headgear. Franchise restaurants crowded out many native-grown eateries with their unique charm and menus. Storefronts flared with tie-dyed T-shirts sporting all manner of innuendos.
Adam emerged from the bathroom naked as the moment he was born (but without doubt much more appealingly filled out). He, like a lot of young people, was an inveterate shower-taker and clothes changer. This was his second shower of the day. There would be at least one more before Movie Night began. He grinned as he came toward me, his erection bobbing against his flat belly. I lay on the bed reading a Scandinavian mystery which I set aside immediately upon Adam’s stunning entrance. Adam dove onto me, and we kissed. My hands made a quick inventory of his smooth flesh, his wide shoulders and back, his small, rounded buttocks, his cool flanks, before coming back to where they’d begun, at his exquisite face. He pushed up my shirt so he could graze my hairy chest while he dug into my crotch with its own wincing hard-on.
After a half-hour’s loving, we napped fitfully, trading bits of inchoate conversation. I asked Adam about the nature of our guests.
“They’re all cool,” he answered. “You know all of them.” Then he stopped. “Except Bridget’s girlfriend. Lilibeth Kuykendall.” His pronunciation of the name was laced with venom.
“So what’s the matter with Lilibeth Kuykendall?”
“You’ll see. She has a flair for the dramatic. In fact, it’s more a whole fireworks display for the dramatic. Very entertaining, if you’re in the mood for that. Her nickname is ‘The Chameleon.’ You’ll see.”
We dozed a bit more then woke fully and noticed the day had begun to dim, and it occurred to us the responsibility that lay ahead. Movie Night! So we scrambled up and dressed and did some tidying of the den, where I Drink Your Blood would make its debut. I checked the kitchen for sufficient beer, wine, and snacks. I’d offered to cook something, but Adam demurred with a smile.
“I don’t think canapes would rightly go with rabid hippies and goat slaughter. Whatever canapes are…”
True enough. So it was pretzels and popcorn and cans of Bud Lite, bottles of fruit punch, and bags of Oreos and Chips Ahoy!
The rest was waiting.
But not for long.
The first guest to buzz our door was Mike, appropriately enough, since he was the one bringing the DVD. He also had his own cache of goodies—chips, dip, Mexican beer, and a plastic bag of habanera-flavored candies he’d gotten from a hot sauce and pepper shop in the same mall where we all worked. Bridget followed almost at once on Mike’s heels, accompanied by her girlfriend Lilibeth Kuykendall, about whom Adam had warned me. She lived up to her reputation so far and was, that night anyway, as vivid an example of “Gothic” as one was likely to find outside a medieval European cathedral (and certainly in the East Tennessee mountains). Beneath her jet-black wig of spidery hair and her heavy, white face paint, she was a strikingly attractive young woman, putting me in mind of Morticia Addams from the old TV show and Vampira, the TV horror movie hostess from the 1950s. (You see, my cultural references aren’t all high-brow and confined to opera and foreign movies. I scrape the dregs along with anybody else. In fact, I’ve got all manner of secret, guilty pleasures.) She wore a black silk blouse with see-through shoulders of netted gauze and black cotton jeans and black and white sneakers. From her and Bridget’s entrance she fixed her dark eyes on Adam and me and never turned them away, at least not before the start of I Drink You Blood. I mean wherever I went for the next half-hour, whatever I did, I could feel Lilibeth’s stare recording me. Or Adam. I watched her watch him but never said anything about it, figuring this was just another aspect of the young woman’s overall peculiarity.
A couple of other Melody Mountain regulars showed eventually, one of them named Alfred, a UT student whom Adam and I (and others) pegged as a closet case. He was shaggy-haired, blond-bearded, with thick, horn-rimmed glasses that appeared one day at the store, disappeared the next (according to Adam). That night he eschewed them. (My most memorable encounter with Alfred up to then occurred at the store. Melody Mountain always had a CD playing in the background. That particular day it was a Lynyrd Skynrd disc and the track playing was the venerable “Sweet Home Alabama.” It was Mike who had made the selection, not surprisingly. Adam had been present too and was the reason I happened to be there. At the sound of the familiar opening guitar chords, Alfred let out a piercing wail probably audible in other nearby stores. “I hate, Hate, HATE that song!” The outcry had the pathos of Callas. Alfred’s people hailed from Alabama, and he strongly disapproved of their Neanderthal social and political views. The song, however, played to its end.)
MM’s owner and general manager, Tony Almodore, never cane to Movie Nights. When not in the store he was busy pursuing his chief sideline – the promotion of rock and country music concerts in the area.
Some general milling-about followed everyone’s arrival. People loaded up their paper plates with snacks—excluding me—and found strategic places on the den floor for the best watching, commentary, and jeering. Then Mike slipped the disc into the player. Even the menu screamed “Sleaze!” and what followed for more than an hour and a half bore out this early promise of grimy cinema.
The plot had satanic hippies making mischief in a small town. When an elderly man is beaten up by the gang his grandson exacts revenge by filling meat pies with rabies and selling them to the unsuspecting demonists, who subsequently turn into blood-starved zombies. All hell breaks loose, a la Night of the Living Dead, as more and more townspeople become insanely rabid. Bridget had been correct. I Drink Your Blood possessed all the desiderata necessary for a horror cult classic. The violence was crude but effectively brutal. The acting and music were enjoyably inept. There was nudity a-plenty, male and female, and even a gangbang featuring one rabid redhead taking on a whole crew of frisky construction workers. The ending was a classic set-up for a sequel, with one last key character showing signs of infection. Oh, yes, and goat slaughter. The whole thing was pulled off with such grimy competence, one couldn’t help but experience a bad taste in one’s mouth, a fetid sheen on one’s retina.
“Man, I never get enough of that flick,” Mike confessed as the garish DVD menu reappeared. “Let’s watch it again.”
“Man, no,” Bridget answered for all of us. “You can’t repeat something like that so soon. You have to let it sink into your pores and absorb it. Anything else would be overkill. Absolute celluloid poisoning”
That seemed to be the general consensus, so Mike, with visible reluctance, removed the DVD.
A discussion broke out in the den immediately following the disc’s removal about the movie’s merits. Those were few as far as actual aesthetic values went, but everybody agreed that as an example of seventies sleaze, it was primo, top of the line.
Only one person seemed disinterested in the whole matter, and that was Lilibeth, who had spent pretty much the duration of the movie casting less than surreptitious glances at Adam and me. In fact, her watching of the two of us distracted me at times from the flick. The lights had been turned off for greater effect, and in the glow from the wide-screen TV I could see Lilibeth studying us with her dark gaze, and for some reason that scared me more than anything in I Drink Your Blood. So it was a relief to have the movie over and the lights back on.
After the movie and talk about the movie, there was time for more snacking, more drinking, and more talking of cinematic matters and other topics. Movie Night turned out to be a mostly pleasant way of wasting a Saturday evening. I enjoyed it and even thought ahead to the next time Adam would be responsible for hosting the festivity. What in the world would be the feature of the night? I Eat Your Sweetbreads? I Remove Your Eyeballs? I Dismember Your Lower Extremities? Perhaps I could sneak in Bambi in place of one of those gems and give these bohemians a real shock.
Time elapsed and disappeared, became irrelevant. Things were mellow and grew even more so when Alfred removed from an undisclosed location a marijuana cigarette. He brandished it to the group, which reacted with collective delight. Now my own views on recreational drug use are mixed. I’m basically a civil libertarian when it comes to “lifestyle” issues. It is none of my damned business if a man wants to sit in the sanctity of his own home and toke. However, if that same person leaves his home after toking or snorting or shooting up or whatever else to drive a car or an airplane or a bus, well then, that’s a whole different matter, one on which I tend to be a bit reactionary.
“Mexican gold!” Mike shouted, eyes gleaming like a child’s on Christmas day. Alfred lit the weed and partook of it first before handing it off to the very eager Michael. The blunt made its rounds until it reached Adam and me, sitting beside each other on the den couch, slightly removed but not too far from our guests to be rude. When the cigarette was offered to me, I held up my hand to pass.
“What’s the matter, David?” asked Mike. “You don’t toke?”
I shook my head. “Nope. Never have.”
“What?” Mike cried.
“You lie!” announced Bridget. And even Adam laughed.
“I didn’t know that,” he said.
“Swear on a stack of Bibles,” I replied, suddenly proud of my non-conformity.
“But you’re a Democrat,” Adam went on. “A liberal.”
“What does that have to do with it,” I asked. “The way I vote determines whether or not I toke?”
Adam shrugged with an unfaded grin.
“Well now,” Mike put in, “here’s your chance to live at last!” He nudged Alfred, who held the cigarette, to offer it to me again. He did.
“Go on,” Mike continued. “It ain’t going to hurt you. It won’t turn you into a crackhead or a heroin addict. Ignore the bullshit the government puts out. Enjoy yourself!”
There it stood: this twisted bit of white paper, glowing slightly at one end, offering a heretofore rejected experience. And I couldn’t help, even in my thirties, but to wonder what my parents would think could they, sitting down in little Harding, South Carolina, in Bible-belt security and ignorance, see me pull upon the devil’s weed after all these years of assuring them that I had never done drugs and never would.
“Mom, Dad,” I said aloud. “I’m sorry!” My unknowing guests laughed.
I kissed the tip of the blunt ever so gingerly, as though it were a potential lover whose affection I had not yet fully decided to accept.
“Don’t be scared,” Mike encouraged. “It ain’t going to bite you. Not on the lips anyway. God ahead. Suck on it.”
“Imagine it’s Adam,” called forth Lilibeth, surprising everyone. She spoke breathlessly, like a bad actress in an even worse play. “Imagine it’s the phallus of a very beautiful young man.” Her eyes flashed and gleamed so brightly, so wickedly, it made me wonder how many blunts she herself had consumed prior to coming to our house that evening. Or maybe it had been something much more potent.
Bridget and Alfred laughed at her analogy. Mike looked away from everybody else with an embarrassed half-grin. I almost gave away the blunt, refusing this new experience, feeling somehow violated by Lilibeth’s invocation, as though she had thrown open the door to Adam’s and my bedroom, finding the two of us engaged in the very act she had just evoked.
But I went ahead. I sucked.
“Not so hard. Not so fast,” Alfred told me.
“Right,” said Mike. “It’s not a regular cigarette. Do it slow. Breathe in slow. Hold the smoke in your lungs as long as you can. Let it burn you, man.”
I did. I tried. And it burned. So much so I choked and tears sprang to my eyes. The gang laughed at my discomfort, but when I handed the blunt over as a sign of defeat, they wouldn’t have it, urging me to give it a second try – Adam among them.
So I cleared my throat and wiped my eyes and prepared for another gulp, careful to keep Alfred’s and Mike’s instructions. I breathed in the acrid smoke, held it as long as stamina would allow, until my lungs caught on fire and my throat sizzled, then pushed it back out to the delight of the onlookers.
“How does it feel?” Adam asked, wide-eyed.
I shrugged. “It feels like…nothing. I believe this whole toking thing is wildly overrated.” And I sat back self-satisfied, happy to have resisted my younger friends’ attempt at indoctrination. I didn’t realize the delayed reaction a toker can experience. Minutes later the room began to grow fuzzy, taking on unsettled edges, but it didn’t alarm me. On the contrary, I found it very pleasant and artistic and welcomed it, like I would an interesting new abstract painting. I was amazed at the changes in the faces of my friend, the wavy indefiniteness, the echo-chamber resound of their voices, almost musical. What lovely, lovely mellowness came upon me! It was akin to being submerged in a warm pool, everything swimming languidly in front of me. Surely it was the glass or two of wine I’d drunk slowly during the movie. Or the lateness of the hour. Or the two combined.
Whatever the cause, the effects stretched out for an indefinite period of time, and what I remembered most from the first phase of my high was the earnest, even intense face of Lilibeth, Bridget’s girlfriend. Hers was a frank, round, lovely face with large, dark eyes and scarlet mouth. Her voice too. She was speaking to me, or at me. Both were close, her face and voice, and she was saying, as well as I could interpret her:
“I love gay men. Yes I do! I’m obsessed with them. You’re the luckiest group of human beings on the planet Earth. Your bravery. Your risk. The hard, hard way of your love. You live and fight for love like nobody else alive. God, it’s hot and beautiful all at once! If I had one wish…just one…I’d wish to become a gay man.”
“Lilibeth!” I heard Bridget cry from the undulating depths of the den. “If you got that wish, then what would happen to me? To us?”
Lilibeth turned rapidly to her lover and embraced her fiercely. “Oh baby! It’s just a fantasy. Just that. No worries.” Then she returned to me and went on.
“You and Adam. Just beautiful. The two of you. You should be on the cover of a book. A beautiful gay book. Or a magazine at least. Gay couple of the year. No! Of the century!” She edged even closer. Her voice dropped to a husky whisper. “Listen. Do you think…maybe. Maybe we could play a little game. You. Adam. Me? Where I could come upon the two of you in connubial bliss? I could pretend I just stumbled on the two of you naked, going at it like porn stars.”
I opened my mouth to ask her why she felt the way she did and had the wish she had, but at the same time Bridget yanked her from my direct field of vision and again cried, “Lilibeth! Enough is enough!”
Almost directly afterwards someone else handed me something he or sure assured me I needed to partake of. So I toked it or sniffed it or something and soon lost consciousness. I mean the room went black, like a stage losing its spotlight.
When the light returned, it was very, very dim and concentrated in a fuzzy blob to my distant right. I was prostrate and felt waves of coolness eddying up and down my chest and belly. Why so chilly? I touched myself. Why shirtless? I reached further down and found I was clad only in my boxers. When I moved my hand again, it was arrested by another hand, one not my own. This sensation of touch startled me into focus. I was lying on my and Adam’s bed, where hours before we had made love. The light came from the den. Voices filled the light, laughing, gabbing, unsteady, drunken voices.
And someone had me pinned down to the mattress.
“Adam?” I called out softly, hoarsely.
Things became dramatically clear, even in three quarters darkness.
It was Lilibeth! Naked. Lilibeth without Bridget. Lilibeth straddling me, with those big dark eyes trained on me as though she wanted to hypnotize me back into unconsciousness. I struggled slightly, feebly, to no avail.
“I love a gay man,” she said above me. She had removed her dark clothing. Her flesh burned snow-white in the dark room. Her conical breasts, composed two-thirds of nipple, pointed straight toward my own chest like a pair of DOT stanchions. “Let me have some of that gay essence,” she continued, and without an answer from me, without consent, she flicked her tongue from her straight lips and began a saliva line on my torso, beginning with my own chilled nipples and going further south. Again I tried to stop her but felt curiously inert, as though the marijuana had sapped me of life force. Then I panicked. Was I hallucinating? Or had the Melody Mountain gang stuck another horror DVD into the player – I Drain Your Homo or something – and I had been sucked into its ludicrous mis-en-scene. After a bit more tossing and turning while Lilibeth took phallic matters into hand, I let out a howl and passed back into unconsciousness.
Awake again, God knows when, I stared up into the smiling face of Adam Norton. That was certainly cause for relief. He sat on the edge of the bed holding a coffee mug. I scrambled onto my elbows to make sure I wasn’t suffering another illusion and found myself once again fully dressed. Then I looked back at Adam and felt sure my face was the very picture of dumbfoundedness. I sat up fully. Adam handed me the mug.
“You’ve had quite the night, haven’t you, tiger?” he said, unable to keep from laughing afterwards.
I accepted the coffee and shook my head quickly, like a dog trying to rid its ears of gnats. Adam went on.
“It was a night of firsts for you. Your first toke. Your first time with - . Well, I’m assuming it was your first time with a woman?” His eyebrows arched.
I set down the mug and screamed. “What?”
Adam took the coffee and smiled.
“Adam, did what I think happened actually happen?”
Adam stared into the mug.
“You know, David, we’ve never really discussed your experiences with women. Or even if you had any experiences with them.”
I stared at him incredulously. It certainly was not the time to talk about one’s past run-ins with heterosexuality. Nevertheless, in my dazedness, I tried to appease him. “Not like you, I’m sure. I used to fool around with a very distant cousin at my grandmother’s now and then. Some kissing. A little feeling up. She initiated it all. It wasn’t a bad thing. At least it made me aware of sex. But nature steered me in a different direction.”
“But no homeruns with the cousin, huh?”
“Adam, why in the world are we talking about baseball? How far did Lilibeth get last night?”
“This morning,” he corrected. “Not too far. But we interceded before she could score a touchdown.” He realized he had mixed his metaphors in front of a former English teacher and grimaced then smiled again.
I heaved a sigh and retrieved the coffee cup and drank deeply from it. “Thank God. Thank you.”
“Yep. We heard you holler and came right away. Mike and Alfred took hold of her together and pried her from your crotch.”
“Thank God,” I repeated.
Adam paused a moment then said, “Are you that sexually afraid of women?”
I thought and said, “No. Not really. But I was afraid of Lilibeth. I was scared she might sprout fangs or claws and do me in a la True Blood. I didn’t know if she planned to blow me or sacrifice me to Marilyn Manson or Lady Gaga.”
We sat silently before I asked, “What is it about Lilibeth? How did Bridget wind up with her?”
Adam shrugged. “Don’t know about the second. As for the first, well, that’s a mystery too. Lilibeth’s just crazy. That’s all. Rumor is she’s not really gay, that for her it really was a choice. Just woke up one day and decided to try the ‘gay lifestyle’ – “
“Whatever that is,” I interjected.
“That’s right. Now she’s got this hang-up on gay men, as though she’d ever have the chance to be one of us. Not that I’d put anything past her. It was the last straw for Bridget. She ran in with us on your little scene this morning then turned without saying anything and ran out the front door.”
“Good for Bridget!”
“Lilibeth went around years ago bragging in Knoxville that she was a Young Republican and had voted both times for Bush. Now she says he ought to be tried for crimes against humanity.” Adam shook his head.
“A real stable personality,” I responded. Then he told me of Lilibeth’s other transmutations –the ones he actually knew of – her flirtations with vegetarianism, the Green Movement, Satanism (of course), Roman Catholicism, PETA, the NRA, and on and on and on.
At the end of this litany, I remarked, “Well, I’d love to know what she means by a ‘gay lifestyle,’ but I’d be afraid to ask her back for her to explain. She might jump my bones and yours in the bargain. And that must not happen again, even for the sake of knowledge.”
Adam laughed and said, “That’s right.” He took a graceful little leap from his chair and was beside me on the bed. He snuggled close and kissed my cheek, neck, and left temple.
“Only one person’s jumping your bones,” he said with a growl. I warmed instantly and felt the confusion and horror of the previous evening fade peacefully. His lips met mine and remained there, making way for probing tongues. Hands began exploring by-now familiar but still delightful places.
Poor Lilibeth. May she soon find her rightful place in the human scheme of things.
She had been right in at least one respect, however.
It certainly was wonderful being a gay man.
Ron Radle is the author of two novels, Two Sides of the Coin and Degrees of Passion. His shorter works have appeared in Best Gay Erotica 2012, Nice Butt!, Manthology, Sweat Sex, and Show Offs, among other anthologies. He will soon bring out his first collection of stories, A Place For Us To Come. He delights in writing gay love stories in Greenville, SC, the silver buckle of the South Carolina Bible Belt.