There's a reception line. My first reception line in two years (I skipped last New Year's function at the college). One and a half years, to be precise. People. Lots. Charles is in front of me, Ray is behind. Six people in front of us. Ray is smelly, I'm embarrassed, Charles is confident.
Godehart (don't asks how his name would be pronounced), the genial host, is also the bouncer. The place must have been spruced up since Godehart moved in. Normal places in Georgia Beach typically don't look like this. I like it, though. Light timber, hardwood, more timber, colors, nothing wall-to-wall, not much ornamentation, and not a single Wagner bust in evidence. Instead, we behold tasty gay art with explicit flavors on the white walls. The person standing next to Godehart is not exactly the sex slave from my dream, but he's obviously some professional, a person who spends too much time in the gym for a day-time job. He's not a boy, he may have my age, but my re-awaking instincts tell me he is an escort, a rented boy, or man, and I'm mulling thoughts as to whether he is from the same agency that the employment office was thinking about when they were trying to easy me into this consort job, although they didn't so far, it was just a bad dream. The boy-man is naked --- another indication of professionalism --- except for the Wagner-themed Bavarian leather shorts, which are held in place by leather suspenders. Godehart is still dressed, and nobody is fondling his rear. The Wagner theme on the leather shorts (let's get this straight immediately), is espoused in ways that suggest a conspiracy. Wagner's image is stitched onto the very front center of these black shorts, exactly where the crotch is located when said shorts are used. They are very tight (tighter, and more supple than the standard issue, I'm informed later), penis lines are in evidence, and the penis line of the nameless escort folds Wagner's face into special shape. Imagine what an erection could do to the composer's stern portraiture, how his Germanic nose could be bent in unspeakable ways. Well, I'm out of touch, perhaps that's the way to make money these day, selling crotch-enhancing, nose-bending Bavarian Wagner shorts, erection or not, perhaps this stuff is hot merchandise at Bloomingdales, I don't know. OK, there's a redeeming feature to this. Wagner's image is also on the suspenders, little one-inch Wagner icons in matching colors that run from the belt, along a washboard tummy, across an inviting pectoris (almost as seductive as Green Eyes'), continuing past the biceps, up to the shoulder, where they bend into the the invisible part of the spectrum on the other side of the escort's body. The escort's penis is at rest, so Wagner's face on the crotch and Wagner's icon on the suspenders match reasonably well.
Godehart (call me "Gohard") is vigorously greeting Charles, who explains about me and Ray. John, I'm almost his roommate, and Ray is in dire need of a shower, since he had a difficult day. Gohard --- I think one really needs to be fifth generation to achieve this level of subtlety in nick-naming --- Gohard is very pleased. A second escort is dispatched to help Ray out of his clothes an into the shower. We know he's an escort because his apparel matches the dress of first one. Ray is taken off our hands, and we plunge into a pool of anticipated lust. More Bavarian rent boys are serving champagne on enormous silver trays, along with canapés, donuts, and large pieces of pineapple, which, on special order (we presume), have been cut into obscene shapes. It's almost an open orgy, except that everybody is still dressed, let's call it a proto-orgy.
"It's a conspiracy," these Bavarian shorts, I say to Charles, "it's impossible you would find them in any bona-fide shop anywhere in the world." I'm not saying this because I'm convinced, but in order to tickle Charles. What is a person like Charles going to think, a person who has seen more of the world more recently? Has this become the new normal, crotch-enhancing composer shorts?
"Perhaps he had them ordered especially for this event," Charles suggests.
"They don't sell them at Bloomigdales?"
"Never been to Bloomingdales."
"It would be impolite to ask Godehard, I guess."
"No, it wouldn't," Charles replies, "event-consciousness, event-management at the level of merchandise bespokeness..." He hesitates. He hasn't lost his train of thought, he's just searching for words. "It's all about events these day," he resets, "it will certainly raise your standing if people know that you have specially ordered Bavarian crotch shorts for your special event, it shows attitude, it makes you a special person."
Conveniently, Gohard swings by. We ask. "Oh, no," Gohard answers, "I should have had them ordered specially, but there was no need to do so. They're a standard item of our product range. They sell like, how do you say, like rolls, do you say that in English, they sell like hot cakes. In Japan, Brazil, Spain, the US, and Bavaria, of course, every penis-oriented country."
"To gays?" I ask.
"Gay, straight, metrosexual, you name it, people think it's fun to enhance their crotch in special ways. Anybody does it."
He falls silent briefly. "Come to think of it," he resumes. "I'm glad I met you guys, you are very inspiring, this is a great business idea. Let's move beyond Richard. I'll extend the Bavarian line beyond Richard. Transcend the fukker, as we say in Germany. Tell me, which other celebrity would you expect crotch-wise? Don't be shy." All of a sudden he's the passionate businessman, I start to understand his success.
"Tiger Woods," I say meekly, knowing already that's not a good idea, but then I am out of touch.
"Well," Gohard replies, he's polite.
"Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Michele Obama," Charles adds.
"Now I know why I haven't done this before," he says, "we have legal issues. We need the rights to these people, and they will be expensive."
"Michele Obama might be in the public domain," a passing rent boy adds jokingly, he must have overheard our conversation. With a remark like this, he's not your standard prostitute, he's probably an unemployed French teacher from a defunct Southern college who has been eased into his new job by the proactive employment office. I will have to spend more time at the gym, methinks. My mood swings.
"Let's keep in touch," Gohard says, "lets get together for a brain wave soon, I need you guys, Excuse me, I'll have to work my network," and he's off with a blown kiss.
Another rent boy passes, this one even more attractive than the others, the definition of definedness, if you will. "I have to go to the bathroom," Charles says. I think he plays his usual trick for the benefit of the over-defined escort in hearing distance, but no, there's nothing seductive in his movements, he hastens away in unsuggestive ways, and the escort, either out of sheer professionalism, or out of laziness, stays put.