GENRE: Bisexual • Contemporary • Erotic Romance • Fiction • Gay
LENGTH: 28,738 words
"I started going out early with girls and guys, not for sex because at that age, who the hell knew what sex was?"
With those words, Danny's coming-of-age begins. From the gloomy, stifling hallways of high school in the 1960's to the vast expanse of 1970's New York, young Danny explores the complexities of love and lust in the arms of Luba, a girl he believes himself in love with, and then in the company of various men, from whom he learns his true nature.
Raised by a poor, single mother whose upcoming marriage to a second husband threatens Danny's shaky world, Danny finds that accepting -- and ultimately embracing -- the unpredictability and promise of his future means letting go of the past and taking the leap of faith he knows he needs in his journey to maturity.
Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.
I walked up the stairs, keeping my head up and looking ahead of me. Near the third floor a balding man’s head looked down at me, wearing a little yarmulke and a suit and tie. I paused.
“Sorry, I was looking for Yankel,” I said.
The man stood, disappointed.
“No, I’m Yankel. Don’t you even recognize me?” He shook his head.
I looked up. It really was Yankel! The suit and tie with a yarmulke certainly threw me off, but as I came up the stairs, I recognized him for what he was: a grieving Jewish man. I didn’t know if bothering him was the proper thing to do.
“I know you said next week, but I was just in the area and thought I’d stop by. Hope its okay?”
“Come in, come in. Don’t be foolish. Of course it’s okay. You’re always welcome.” He shut the door behind me and immediately reached for my crotch. I dropped the small parcel I had been holding, letting him paw and grope me and slide my pants zipper down. I heard a voice.
“Well, well, what have we here?”
I stiffened in shock. His brother stepped out of the other room. Yankel let go of me.
“This is the handsome young man I was with when you interrupted me.” Again he reached for my crotch.
I pushed his hand away, but again he tried to grab me.
“Shlomo’s just like me,” Yankel said, “a queer. Just like you are. No, so don’t resist. We are a family.”
“I’m not a queer,” I shamefully muttered, turning red.
Shlomo stood with his arms akimbo.
“Mitromem mizdayen batahat,” he muttered.
Yankel looked angrily at him and put his arm around my shoulder.
“Don’t you say such a thing. He’s very nice boy -- looks to be the nicest one I’ve had up here in a long time.”
Shlomo shrugged and lit a cigarette.
“I simply asked if the boy was an ass-fucker. Nothing wrong in that.” He looked at us and blew the smoke in our direction.
Yankel angrily erupted and began to say something in Hebrew.
“Sholom,” I simply sighed, trying to bring peace (sholom being the only Jewish word I knew) and removed my T-shirt and began to undo my pants. Yankel and Shlomo watched me, open-mouthed. I’d always been fascinated by being undressed before men. My earliest remembered dreams were of just that -- being on display and shown off like a circus animal or perhaps even like a chunk of meat everyone pawed and fingered until I was chosen for a repast and was carried home. I didn’t know where the dream came from, but it was there, and it was mine. I stood nude before them, my head lowered.
“Mein Gott, he’s hairless!” exclaimed Shlomo, shaking his head.
“But when did that happen,” Yankel muttered. “You were hairy when we first met?”
I shrugged; I wasn’t going to tell them who shaved me.
“Was too hot, the humidity was very bad, so I took it off.”
Yankel did not say anything -- just stared and licked his lips.