When I checked into the Royal Hotel in the French Quarter, the clerk handed me the room key and said in a quiet voice, "This is your admission to the 'Tongue and Tail'. It's on the second lower level.
Stairs only, and opens at ten." There was a smile on his face and an almost imperceptible squeeze of my hand as I took it. "You'll enjoy your stay, I know. There's no place in the world like Nawluns.
Be at the T N T by 11:30, Okay? They lock the doors at midnight."
With that strange greeting I turned away from the counter. It was then that I first saw him, standing there, by the marble pillars, where a palm tree grew in a ceramic pot. Though his eyes appeared closed I knew that he was looking at me. Somehow I felt the magnetic pull of him, a blending of compatible vibrations that could not be resisted. With reluctance, I turned away from his stare and followed the bellboy to the elevator. He had heard the desk clerk, I was sure but said nothing until the doors closed and we began a slow laboring ascent to the sixth floor.
"Watch out for ole Smitty," he said. "He props all the young guys who check in." He shook his head and shuffled his feet a bit nervously. It was unusual for the southern negro to volunteer conversation, but New Orleans was almost a northern city, and I'm sure, he sensed the confusion in my response to the old man at the desk. And, as bellboys do in all the hotels, he described the facilities ending with the cryptic remark that the 'T N T' was a private mens' club.
"You wanna get blown, that's the place to go."
I had come to New Orleans for the purpose of checking Tulane, as a possible college to attend next fall. "The Ivy League of the South,"
they said. I wanted prestige, but had no interest in the universities of New England. The cold winters of the north were not for me, a Californian. Besides, New Orleans was a fascinating city, and the thought of going to college there, was exciting. I had just graduated from high school, and was there for a few days to check it over, and to register for the fall term.
I was seventeen, going on eighteen, naive and virgin, anxious to learn just where I fit into life's scheme. I was away from home, and alone, for the first time, propositioned by a man old enough to be my grand- father, and I had to have it explained to me by a black bellboy who was three or four years younger. Wow! This was an adventure!
I investigated Rampart Street and learned that every beer bar in town was open to me despite my age. Strike one in favor of New Orleans.
The first place I went into was topless. Luckily, I found a stool at the bar that surrounded the stage. A woman, blonde, beautiful and mysterious, danced in front of me. Except for a red jeweled G-string she was naked. I looked at her breasts as she shook her shoulders in time to the music. The brown nipples were erect and were surrounded by an aerole as big as a silver dollar. She danced in front of the man sitting next to me, and then stooped lower so that the G-string rubbed in his face. As she danced away, he slipped a dollar bill inside.
"Thank you Ma'am," he said and leaned back with a sigh.
It was then she spotted me sitting there gaping at her, feeling exhilarated by the beer, and by the sight of her naked breasts. She wiggled her backside in front of me and, as she had done before, she lowered her body so the G-string was only inches away from my face.
My eyes were riveted on her nipples which attracted me a great deal.
She lowered her hands to her hips and took the dollar bill out of the G-string and handed it to me. It was as though she were buying me and every one laughed. Incredibly, she unfastened the G-string and it fell away, revealing her pudendum, moist and hairy and smelling of rich stale coffee. The crowd roared with delight as she pushed it into my face. A sudden wave of disgust washed over me. I jumped off the stool and ran out of the bar, chased away by the mocking laughter of those who watched. The dollar bill was still clenched in my hand.
I was not sure which way I should go to get back to the safety of my hotel room.
"Perhaps I can help you," said a deep, rich voice at my shoulder.
I turned around, and there he was behind me. The man I had seen staring at me when I checked in. My first reaction was that I was relieved to see him. A friend in a strange city. His smile was broad and open, offering friendship and help. His eyes twinkled an almost hidden merriment, as though he remembered a private joke.
"Oh..... Well I want to get back to the hotel." I hesitated a moment not certain of what I should say to him, "I'm staying at the Royal......"
"Yes, I know," he said, and touching my arm at the elbow, he guided me across Rampart Street. "It's this way," and then he added, "That was a rotten thing to do to you at that bar." And saying no more he guided me, in silence, to the comfort of my room.
"I know we'll meet again," he said and turned away.
I was reluctant to see him go, for I felt lonely in this strange and hostile city. I went into my room. Stripping off my clothes and lying naked on the bed, I played with myself, but was unable to arouse my cock, for it remained a peepee. It had a mind of its own and refused to get hard. Something that had never happened before.
I began to feel better after I had dinner in the hotel coffee shop that evening: two cheese burgers with everything on them from tomato to onion to pickle, bacon and cheese, plenty of fries, two beers and apple pie ala mode. It was late and I was the only one left in the dining room. As the waiter made out the bill, I noticed there was an extra large bulge in his pants.
When he handed me the check, he touched himself, "We close in about ten minutes," he said, his fingers inside his fly, "You want a friend tonight? A little fun maybe?"
I shook my head from side to side. An implied "No", and without saying anything, went to my room and to bed.
Sleep was elusive. Rambling around in my mind were the remembered visions of the desk clerk, the woman at the bar, the waiter. I was worried that there was no physical response to my being alone in my room, naked and horny. Shit, I was always horny, but not tonight. There was no thrill to my probing fingers. For the first time in my young life my cock hung down like a piece of dead meat.
What was I, I wondered. By any standards the woman was beautiful.
Really the first naked woman I had ever seen, young and lovely, with bouncing breasts and suckable nipples. In my fantasy, I dreamed of waiting around until she finished her dance and then I followed her to her dressing room. She closed the door and kissed me unbuttoning my shirt and loosening my belt. Naked, I lay beside her sucking her nipples, and then she spread her legs and I fucked her. But my cock remained soft. Desire was just not there.
"Shit man," I exclaimed to my self, "I must be queer."
I looked at the clock by the bed. It was eleven. Shit!! I was never going to sleep tonight.
I got up and stood as the window and looked out at the Quarter.
It was dark except for the lights on Rampart, several blocks away.
The window was open and the breeze was gentle as it blew across my uncovered skin. It rustled the pubic hair, and felt good on my balls. Suddenly, I remembered the Tongue 'N Tail, and I felt a stirring. Shit, I'll never get to sleep anyhow.
I descended the two levels of marble stairs from the lobby, to a small foyer about the size of an average living room. There was a life-sized statue of a man, his arms around the shoulders of a young boy, protecting him. Both were naked. The anatomical details were literal and obvious. Even pubic hair was painted on them. Their genitals were oversized, accenting their erections.
Looking at them caused an awakening in my loins, a definite exciting stirring. "Yes," I said to myself as I had so often in the past few years, "I guess I'm gay. I might as well face it and be queer and stop fighting it."
As I entered the club, I saw that it was a large room with booths and tables surrounding the dance floor. There was a bar at one end and a small stage backed by a mirrored wall at the other end of the room. The booths and tables were taken, so I took the last seat at the bar.
I was embarrased and self-conscious, for as I entered the room, everyone looked at me. Certainly I was the youngest person there.
The patrons seemed to be ancient old aunties. I felt the glare of their claiming lust, and saw it in their eyes. And as I sat on the bar stool sipping my beer, a wave of disgust came over me at being among them. The old tug of war seeped back, "Was I or Wasn't I" and familiar restraints clouded over me.
The customers were all pervert-gay, dressed in the extreme that stated their queerness. They wore rouge and wigs and lipstick.
Their clothes were bizarre and unbecoming. There was black leather, with shirts or vests, unbuttoned and open to reveal masses of body hair.
Abnormally large nipples, with gold rings or sparkling jewels.
Harem costumes of transparant material revealing sloppy fat bodies.
Travestites in womens' dresses....... "Do I really belong in this group of misfits?" I wondered.
In the short time I sat there observing the carnival, I refused drinks, offers, embraces, and I fought off caressing hands. This was no place for me.
Just as I was about to leave, the room slowly darkened and the dancers hurried off the floor to their seats. A buzz of excitement flooded the room, and the music changed to a loud introduction, and the room became totally dark, a complete blackout. When The chatter of the excited patrons finally stopped, one solitary beam of light picked up the face of man, standing in the middle of the dance floor.
It was the man who had led me back to the hotel from Rampart street, the one who was in the lobby when I checked in. But all you could see of him was his face.
He was smiling; and he nodded to his audience, and began to sing.
His voice was a full rich baritone, and had a resonant quality that stirred the heart and quivered the soul.
"Blue moon, you saw me standing alone,
without a dream in my heart,
without a love of my own."
His dignified manner, his noble beauty and commanding presence, struck a chord in the deepest corner of my soul. I felt truly that he was singing to me. He walked from table to table, booth to booth, only his handsome face shining in the light. It was a captivating moment, for sure.
"And then there suddenly appeared before me
The only one my arms will ever hold
And I heard him whisper 'please adore me'
and all at once the moon had turn to gold.
I was enchanted by this virile handsome singer who so contradicted all the grotesque members of the audience.
As the music rose to its' final climax, the light gradually expanded to reveal all of him. And as it widened its scope it diminished in intensity, and an aura of soft pink light engulfed him. When he was totally revealed, a gasp rose from his audience, for he was stark naked. His body was athletic, masculine in all its' definitions.
Except for his natural beauty, there were no artifices to accent any part of it. He was tall and broad-shouldered, and carried himself with pride and ease. His head was up, gaze level and straight=
forward. His erect cock was enormous, jutting out from his hairy loins, pointing at all of us, swaying back and forth whenever he moved his hips. It was as though he were challengbing us.
He looked directly at me. His stare was penetrating and long lasting, and a half smile flashed across his face. His tongue rolled over his lips and his hands slid down his torso, from the swollen brown nipples to his crotch, where they cupped his balls.
And then he began to sing again. Never once throughout the song did he take his eyes from mine. He sang of gay lovers meeting for the first time.
"Come away with me and be my love
And to some hidden isle we'll go to hide
Where, like the gayest souls in Lesbos happy land
We'll lay together on some hilltop, side by side
Ourselves to love ourselves, and each to feel
The sensuous pleasures and thrill of new found love
And you will kiss my balls and suck my cock
And I will fuck you from above...."
And when he sang the word 'fuck' he thrust out his right arm, and middle finger, extended to me in an obscene gesture, only coming from him it didn't seem obscene. Everyone looked at me and tittered their effeminate voices.
The spotlight went out and the room was dark. When the lights appeared, he was gone, and the babble of the audience rose to a pitch that almost drown out the music that called the dancers to the floor.
I left then. There was nothing to keep me there. The enchanting vision of the naked singer was gone, and though he had touched my life for so brief a time, he left shooting stars of pleasure in the loins that convinced me that I was gay, and I loved the thought of it. Accepting it, I lay naked on the bed and masturbated for hours with a phantom lover who sang "Blue Moon" in a quiet whisper.
As the light of early dawn crept through the window, I fell into a relaxed sleep, sated, and at peace.
When I awoke I decided I was ready to go home. I realized my quest was not for a school to attend, but a private seeking of my own identity, and last night I had found it. I was homosexual, and a great weight lifted from my heart.
I called the desk and told them I was checking out a few days early and to prepare my bill. When I opened my suitcase and began to pack, the telephone rang.
"Is this Dan Tobin?"
"This is Danny," I said, surprised at the call.
"I'm Stoppel, the manager of the hotel."
"We have a guest who is leaving tomorrow. It happens he's motoring to L.A. He's looking for someone to help with the driving, and thought perhaps, you'd be interested. He said to tell you he would pay all the expenses."
My heart leaped at the thought. "Sounds great to me. Sure is better'n the bus."
"There's only one thing....."
"Yes?" A sinking feeling.
"He wants to make a vacation out of it. That is, he's in no hurry
....you know...could take several weeks."
"Great! I don't have to be anywhere until September, and this is June. I'd like to go with him, Mr Stoppel. I like to drive. In fact, I'd love to drive across the country and see something."
"Well, If you're interested, he told me to ask you to meet him in the
"Sidecar' at three o'clock. You know where it is?"
"Is it the bar on the top floor?"
"That's right. Take the elevator to eighteen. His name is Davis.
"I'll be there, Mr Stoppel." and I hung up. I looked at the clock by the bed. It was after noon. Better shave and shower and get some lunch. My heart expanded and I began to sing. I really felt good. "What a break!" I said to myself, looking forward to a nice trip and no bus.