TRUE CONFESSIONS - 17
By Mighty Mouth
As I usually state at the beginning of each episode, everything I wrote is true and not exaggerated. While living on Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, I met Jimmy A., a farm boy from Wisconsin, in the nearby subway stop men’s room. I maintained contact with him for several years, until his death from alcoholism. He owned a brownstone on St. Felix Street, together with his lover, a silly, swishy, and ugly Colombian faggot.
Jimmy remarked that he had a friend who gave weekly Saturday night soirées. He lived in a tiny apartment at the corner of Nevins and Pacific streets. He explained that it was always open house and anyone was invited.
He invited me to join him one Saturday, and I accepted. It was a BYOB affair, but the host provided dinner. It was always the same dish. He called it faggot pie, better known as tuna/noodle casserole. The host was a weird duck. He preferred to urinate in the bathroom sink instead of the commode, and always left the door open for anyone to see.
He had collected around him a diverse cast of characters that would make Fellini envious. One was an ugly twenties-something queen who had never brushed his teeth in his life. They were so green that I nicknamed him Miss Algae. There were assorted other misfits, along with some street punks and a few "normal" people.
I enjoyed this exotic menagerie and started attending every Saturday. The number of guests varied from three or four to as many as sixteen, the maximum his in apartment could hold. One week there were only two of us besides the host, and it was boring. The host brought out some of his numerous albums of photos of previous parties. I saw one boy whom I thought particularly interesting. In fact I was mesmerized by him. The picture was taken two years before, when the boy was sixteen. He mentioned that the kid still occasionally dropped in.
I went religiously for the next few Saturdays. After three or four weeks I was rewarded for my efforts. He showed up. He was better in the flesh than his picture of two years earlier. He had been pumping iron. I thought he was so beautiful that an unusual school-girl shyness overcame me. I couldn’t bring myself to speak to him. He left after about an hour. My host said, "You just missed your opportunity."
I ran out of the apartment and down the street to catch up with him. His reaction was friendly, so I invited him to my house, a block and a half away. He was enormously satisfying in bed. I asked when I could see him again and he replied, "Monday I’m leaving for the Air Force." I thought it might be just a brush-off, but I gave him my phone number and told him to call me when he got into town. I imagined he would just throw away the piece of paper when he left.
Six months later he phoned, saying he was home on leave and wanted to meet me. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I had imagined I would never see him again. He continued to visit when on leave, until he left the service. Once back in Brooklyn he came over frequently. Thus began my next-to-longest sexual relationship, that ended twenty-two years later in 1990, with his death from AIDS. His name was Scotti.
Scotti was half-Italian, half-Jewish, and very intelligent. He was a bundle of conflicting emotions, all uncontrolled. He loved his "tough motherfucker" attitude and had a violent temper. If he didn’t like the way someone would look at him on the subway, he would punch the guy in the face. He often got angry and threatened to hit me. But he never laid a hand on me maliciously. Yet in bed he made the tenderest of love. He was so volatile that he could hold a job but for a short time. I learned later that from a tender age he had been living with, and supported, by a black guy. He had been thrown out of his house by his parents when he was twelve.
Scotti was a great role-player. We played many games. Perhaps our most exciting was the night we went in his car to Prospect Park. He stopped in one of the darkest spots, and I got out and went into the park. We didn’t even discuss what we would do. We improvised. I loitered for a while and he came along, pretending he didn’t know me. I struck up a conversation and soon we were having very excited sex. We laughed about it all the way home.
Another time was at my business. He often did odd jobs for me to pick up a few extra bucks. I left him in the book warehouse stuffing envelopes and told him I was going to work at my other company nearby for about a half hour. I told him to be nude when I returned. When I got back, he was strip stark naked. I feigned mock surprise and asked what the hell he was doing. I quickly dropped the charade and we got down to business.
He loved to have sex in front of mirrors so he could admire his great body at the same time.
The foyer of my State Street townhouse had a floor-to-ceiling Edwardian mirror, and we would frequently do it there. He usually phoned me in advance and I would turn up the heat, since the
mirror was near the front door and got lots of cold air in the winter. My tenants in the basement apartment remarked that they thought it curious that sometimes the house would get very hot at 11 p.m or midnight. I didn’t explain why.
Scotti once brought me a boy he had picked up somewhere. The boy was a cute but shy. Scotti wanted him, I’m sure, but didn’t have the courage to reveal his gay desires to the boy. So Scotti pretended that they were just two studs getting sucked off, standing side-by-side in my living room, with me on my knees in front of them. I put Rimsky-Korsakoff’s Scheherazade on the phonograph and it seemed to fit the situation perfectly. It was fun, it was fantasy. I think Scotti enjoyed the vicarious experience of seeing the boy he craved getting sucked off. But he also loved to please and make me happy.
My gay neighbor who was an antiques dealer would pay bold young guys to break into houses to steal valuables, probably offering them a pittance for their services. He recruited Scotti. One night I got a call from him at a police station. He was making his one authorized phone call. He had been caught trying to rob chalices from a church and sprained his ankle jumping from a window. He gave me his mother’s phone number and asked me to call her. I did so, but she treated me coolly, and said, "I’ve gotten him out of trouble so many times, I’m not going to do it again," then hung up. The next morning Scotti showed up, but I don’t remember how he got out. Maybe his mother came to his rescue after all. For some reason I kept his mother’s number for several years. Eventually I was glad I did.
As he grew older, he became ever more paranoid. He was one of those people who never admitted to himself that he was gay, yet lived his entire adult life in that environment. I often lost my patience with him. Finally I couldn’t stand it anymore. I needed to unload him. I arranged for my friend Walter to meet him at Walter’s recently purchased house. He needed a handyman to help him fix things up. Walter offered dinner, and needless to say, was entranced with Scotti. Walter offered him a place to stay in exchange for work around the house, which he obviously accepted. So I was relieved of my burden.
By this time Scotti was in his thirties. He insulted Walter’s tenants and grew ever more violent. Walter could soon take it no more and abandoned his house and Scotti to go live Seattle. So I had him back on my hands. I had not extinguished my deep-down love for him and our sex continued to be as exciting as the first time fifteen or so years earlier. Walter and Scotti kept in touch by phone, and I imagine that Walter missed him. He sent Scotti the money to get to Seattle, and once again I was rid of him.
Scotti improved a little there, but got bored. So he took a job as a towel boy in a gay steam bath and kept the patrons satisfied day and night. This lasted two or three years, then Walter once again threw him out. Scotti came back to Brooklyn to live with the antiques queen. I ran into him on the street, but pretended to not even n know him. But his and my longing were still in place. A couple of months after his return, I relented and our relationship began anew. Because this was the beginning of the AIDS epidemic I stopped oral sex on him and only let him perform.
He got a job as a porter at the Two Potato Bar on Christopher Street, thanks to the generosity of a well-known Village samaritan. He moved in with his patron, but continued to visit once a week throughout the late 1980s. He began to complain how bad he felt and started losing weight. I suspected what it might be. In mid-1990, three weeks went by without word from him, a very unusual occurrence. I couldn’t bear the suspense any longer and dug out his mother’s phone number. She told me Scotti had passed away in the Veteran’s hospital with AIDS. His mother remarked to me, "Who would have thought that my tough son was that way?" She said he would have proud to know that his burial wish came true. He was interred in a military cemetery. He was forty years old.
This time his mother was much kindlier to me, and we often phoned one another. We exchanged Christmas cards, and she invited me out to Long Island to meet her and her family. I never went. Scotti had pleaded for years to live with me, but I never accepted. When he died, he was finally maturing. I estimated that we were two years away from my finally inviting him to fulfill his dream. He would have been forty-two at that point, and sixty-six today.
If anyone wants to read a free copy of my book, “Memoirs of a Gay Rights Maverick,” I’ll send it to you as an email attachment. Advise me via email: [email protected]