Month: August 2016

Male Full Frontal Nudity: World Naked Bike Ride: Male Full Frontal Nudity On TV; Male Stars Who Have Gone Full Frontal

Male Full Frontal Nudity: World Naked Bike Ride

In posting about male full frontal nudity in films and TV…or lack of it…I don’t think I’ve ever posted about the World Naked Bike Ride Event. It’s not as highly publicized as you would imagine, and that’s interesting in itself.

Saturday, June 11 was “World Naked Bike Ride” day in San Francisco. As the title implies, it doesn’t happen only in San Francisco — it’s a global event, with rides in over 70 cities around the world.

You can check this out here. It’s uncensored but I think it’s SFW. And there’s really nothing sexual about it.

The web site, Zomblog, is actually a really good site, too.

Here’s a youtube link for the naked bike ride in New Orleans. And…if you go to wiki commons and check out World Naked Bike Ride there you’ll find tons of photos.

Male Full Frontal Nudity On TV

Here’s something about the history of male full frontal nudity on TV, in the UK. And I think it asks at least one important question I’ve been wondering about for a long time.

Sam Burnett, of television watchdog Mediawatch UK, said: “Never before have programme-makers shown such blatant contempt for basic standards, with record levels of explicit nudity serving no particular purpose. It’s not even like the programme was any good to compensate.” 

But why is that, while female nudity on television scarcely raises an eyebrow, full-frontal male nudity still has us recoiling in horror?

The double standard, once again. You can check this out here

Male Stars Who Have Gone Full Frontal

Here’s a web site that mentions male stars who have done full frontal that I’ve never seen before. I had to dig a little to find it. And these are all fairly mainstream movies with strong story lines.

In “Gone Girl” (2014), Ben Affleck shows almost all in a shower scene. “The penis is in there!” Affleck told MTV. “It’s IMAX penis! You’ve gotta pay 15 bucks to see it in 3D. … It’s better in 3D.” 

You can check that out here. This one is SFW. There are 30 different actors mentioned.

I think it’s interesting that I can’t find one single film where James Franco did full frontal. He’s done everything else.

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Homophobic Creeping Landlord; Donald Trump LGBTQ Swag; Men’s Locker Room Strip Tease: Caught In the Act

Homophobic Creeping Landlord

When I saw this article I had to check it out. I’m a landlord and I’m always curious about articles like this. Mostly, my tenants have been good, but I’ve had tenants from hell. The most recent one, last year, locked himself out of the apartment at 2 in the morning and instead of calling me and asking me to let him in he decided to break the door down. I’m not joking. He just broke the door down, split it beyond repair, and didn’t even say anything until I had to go there and check on something. When I found out about it and I asked him what happened he told me the truth and said he would “glue” the door back together. Well, that’s not how that works. You can’t glue a door back together. I had to replace a perfectly good door, it was costly, and he wound up moving out. And this is a tenant I gave special permission to keep a puppy after he moved in. That bothered me even more because I found out he was leaving this adorable little puppy alone for hours and hours at a time.

However, what allegedly happened to this gay couple sounds more disturbing.

Crappy landlords. We’ve all had one or two over the course of our adult lives. It’s just the reality of being a renter. But chances are you’ve never had one quite like Olly McLellan and Scott Cole’s.

The couple just went public with their landlord horror story, which includes no shortage of nasty notes, passive aggressive parking insults, illegal trespassing, trash dumps, and harassment all garnished with a healthy serving of homophobia.

You can check this one out here.  

Donald Trump LGBTQ Swag

I think we all know by now I always remain objective on this blog when it comes to politics. It’s not my job to preach to anyone, and I wouldn’t insult you that way. I assume you’re coming here to read about books, pop culture, or gay issues, and you’re not interested in my politics. The truth is I find it difficult to get really excited about either Trump or Clinton.

There are, however, LGBTQ people supporting Trump, and Trump has released a line of swag that ranges from T-shirts to pins just for them.

Dying to show off your LGBTQ pride for Donald Trump?

No? Oh. Well, then you probably don’t care that the reality-TV-star-turned-Republican-nominee-for-President just released his very first piece of LGBTQ swag on his official campaign website.

It’s a rainbow colored t-shirt that says “LGBTQ For Trump” and looks as though it were designed by a very non-LGBTQ graphic design intern who may or may not (probably not) receive college credit for their free labor.

You can check that out here.

There are 34 comments you may or may not find entertaining.

Men’s Locker Room Strip Tease: Caught In the Act

Some dude with a lumberjack beard decided to do a strip tease in a locker room, video it on his phone, and he wound up getting caught in the act.

You’ve just finished a particularly intense leg day at the gym, and upon entering the locker room, the unique scent of man-sweat, mildew and cheap shampoo suddenly inspires movement.

No, not the squats or presses of your previous hour’s (or 30 minutes if you’re us) hard work — a different sort of movement. Expression. Finesses. The power of dance compels you!

You can check this out here. There’s a video of him getting caught in the act. It’s not his best moment…but his adorable expression makes it worth watching. 

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Bea Arthur’s LGBT Youth Homeless Center; Penis News: Anthony Weiner, Again; Owen Smith’s Alleged 29 Inch Penis and Twitter Exaggerations

Bea Arthur’s LGBT Youth Homeless Center

This news about Bea Arthur has been trending all week, and rightly so.

When actress Bea Arthur died, she bequeathed $300,000 to New York City‘s Ali Forney Center for homeless LGBT youth. The Golden Girls and Maude star, a long-time supporter of the LGBT community, will continue to be a friend when a new 18 bed shelter opens in February of 2017. 

You can read more about it here. I remember reading an article while I was in Provincetown back in the 90s about how she supported the LGBT community.

Penis News: Anthony Weiner, Again

Anthony Weiner is making news again for sexting another woman… this time while babysitting his son.

Anthony Weiner, the ex-Congressman husband of Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, sexted penis photos from his bed while babysitting their 4-year-old son. Huma responded by announcing her separation from Weiner after six years of marriage.

You can check that out here. It’s really too sad to comment on. According to the article, he did delete his Twitter account after this new sext scandal broke. There are photos.

Owen Smith’s Alleged 29 Inch Penis and Twitter Exaggerations

From what I can gather, Owen Smith is a politician in the UK. It gets a little confusing and I don’t want to say anything that’s not true. There are far to many things going around these days that are untrue as it is…thanks to social media. 

Owen Smith’s campaign has denied an eyebrow-raising claim that he joked about having a 29-inch penis.

The remark was made last night at the Labour leadership challenger’s rally in Hull – but he insists it was misinterpreted.

You can check this out here, where there are tweets about it. Smith says he was only joking about having a 29 inch inseam, not a 29 inch penis. He’s five feet six inches tall. That would make sense for a guy who is five feet six inches tall, because why on earth would anyone joke about having a 29 inch penis?  

In my opinion, what bothers me most about this article (and others like it) is the possibility that someone tweeted and allegedly lied about it without knowing the facts, and then getting the truth completely wrong. And I see this daily on Twitter, and I block people for it daily, too.

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Brandon Cloud: "My Mid-Life Crisis"; Confessions From Gay Teachers; Sleazy, Dirty Face Licking Photos In Gay Bars

Brandon Cloud: “My Mid Life Crisis”

One of the reasons why I like Twitter so much has to do with the people I meet there. I met Brandon Cloud on Twitter and started following his tweets because they were smart and funny…and sometimes a little snarky. However, until yesterday, I didn’t know much about him. When I noticed he’d written a post for HuffPo, I went over and checked it out.

In general, it’s a post about making life changes and taking a different path. I know that sounds cliche, but this one is really different than others. He didn’t just pack up and move to Wilton Manors, FL or Palm Springs, CA. He did something we all wonder about sometimes. If you read between the lines, the post goes far deeper than what’s on the surface, which is interesting because it’s not always easy to pull that off in non-fiction. It’s a delicate balance that requires restraint.

I wish I could share an excerpt with you, but for some reason I can’t, and I don’t understand why. Maybe this is something new with HuffPo. I don’t go there very often these days and maybe they’ve changed things so you can’t share. That’s even more reason to check this out. I don’t link to HuffPo very often and when I do it’s because I really liked what I read there, and I think you’ll like it, too.

In any event, here’s the link and there are photos. 

You won’t be disappointed. 

Confessions From Gay Teachers

Of course there have been gay teachers since the beginning of time, but until recently teaching was one of those discreet professions where you rarely saw an openly gay teacher. I’ve known many gay teachers and I could tell stories. Even though things have changed in the last decade or so, not all gay teachers are openly gay, and with good reason.

This article is one of those meme things where gay teachers speak candidly. Here’s one I thought was excellent:

I’m a gay teacher and I’m terrified my students or their parents will hate me if I come out. BUT this year I’m not hiding.

You can check out the rest here.

Sleazy, Dirty Face Licking Photos In Gay Bars

The article I’m linking to now is sort of a rant. I don’t want to get into reviewing articles, but it’s one of those high drama, “internety,” ranty pieces, with a “WTF,” cheesy words like “uglify,” and a few good examples of why you should never use exclamation points too often. Evidently, the person who wrote it doesn’t like it when people stick out their tongues or lick faces on camera, especially not in bars.

You’re probably thinking: Do people really do that? The answer is: YES. They do! ALL the time. And we have galleries and galleries of images to prove it. The world over, people who would normally be attractive are voluntarily choosing to uglify themselves by extending their tongues as far out of their mouths as they possibly can.

Actually, that’s not what I’m thinking.  I’m thinking/wondering if people really care about this at all.

He even brings in a “licensed marriage and family therapist,” to comment.

You can check all this out, here.  There are photos, and you truly do not want to miss the comments with THIS one.

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Maine Governor, "Anti–Gay Slur," and THAT Word; Colton Haynes To Be Honored By HRC; Egyptian Police Entrap Gay Men With Grindr

Maine Governor, “Anti-Gay Slur,” and THAT Word

This article is really confusing me. I’m gay and I didn’t know the word “cocksucker” was an “anti-gay slur.” First, gay men are not the only people who do THAT. Second, and I know this will come as a surprise to some of you, but a lot of gay men don’t do THAT, ever. Being gay, once again, is not all about sex. I know gay men who are asexual. So maybe THAT word is an “Anti-gay slur” when one straight guy says it to another straight guy? 

In any event, the Governor of Maine, Paul LePage, left a scathing voice mail, with several pejoratives, because he was allegedly called a racist and he was defending himself.

 ‘Mr. Gattine, this is Governor Paul Richard LePage,’ the recording started. ‘I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you cocksucker. I want to talk to you. I want you to prove that I’m a racist. I’ve spent my life helping black people and you little son-of-a-bitch, socialist cocksucker. You … I need you to, just friggin. I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you. Thank you.’

There are plenty of “anti-gay slurs” in this world, I’ve heard them all…because I’m gay. I just don’t see one here. In fact, I didn’t see any references to gay people at all in these quotes. 

You can check this out here.  

Colton Haynes To Be Honored By HRC

On a more positive note, The Human Rights Campaign has decided to honor the wonderful Colton Haynes for helping to break barriers and providing inspiration to others through his visibility.

‘By simply being open about who he is, Haynes is helping to break down barriers and tear down closet doors,’ Griffin added.

Haynes, 28, came out publicly earlier this year and has been candid about his difficult journey to self-acceptance. He has been dealing with anxiety issues since the fifth grade and his condition was exacerbated by feeling he had to stay closeted to have a successful career as an actor.

Here’s the rest. I think what Haynes is doing is fantastic. And no one deserves the award more than he does.

Egyptian Police Entrap Gay Men With Grindr

This kind of police entrapment might be new to hook up and dating apps, but it’s not new to gay men. Long before Grindr ever came along, the police were (and still are in some places) entrapping gay men in public rest rooms, state parks, and other places where some gay men are known to cruise… sometimes. The big difference here is that when this happens in Egypt, the penalties are far stronger than the usual disorderly conduct charge here in the US.

Police in Egypt are said to be luring gay men on hookup app Grindr and arresting them, even though it’s legal to be gay.

Reports from local media suggest the police are using features of the app, namely location and profile pictures, to identify them.

The men are then charged with ‘inciting debauchery’. According to the Jerusalem Post, 11 men were sentenced for up to 12 years in prison for this charge, in April.

You can check out the rest here.   

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Being A Gay Handsome Fraternity Brother; Your Most Homophobic Experience In School With A Teacher; Rush Limbaugh and Lesbian Farmers

Being A Gay Handsome Fraternity Brother

Here’s one from the Reddit files again. It’s about what it’s like to be an openly gay fraternity brother and interacting with straight guys all the time. The gay frat guys respond to questions candidly. 

One time I came to a meeting with huge hickeys across my neck, and a couple of guys were doing the normal joshing (“what happened there?” “Looks like someone had a good night!”) And my response was “You should see the other guy!” They loved it.”

You can read the rest here. Some of the responses might surprise you. 

Your Most Homophobic Experience In School With A Teacher

I can honestly say that I never experienced homophobia from a teacher in school. And I went to a strict Catholic school where everyone was fair game. But I never had a teacher or a nun act homophobic toward me. Evidently, not everyone can say the same.

Again, it’s another Reddit thread where LGBT people respond to questions about whether or not they experienced homophobia from a teacher in school. Some replies are painful.

A teacher of mine, with whom i was close with, saw me crying over something (i dont really remember) in the first grade and said something along the lines of “what are you crying for? You dont want to look gay”
This single line had me repress my feelings and made me an asshole to everyone i meet.

Here’s more

I do remember one experience that didn’t happen directly to me. One of the nuns overheard one of the students refer to another student as a “fag.” The nun pulled him aside, told him never to use that word again, and then she proceeded to tell the entire class about how all people are different and sometimes words can hurt and damage people. And she never wanted to hear that word again. I never forgot that.

Rush Limbaugh and Lesbian Farmers

Normally, I wouldn’t post about something like this because I think people like Rush Limbaugh do what they do to get attention…and I don’t like giving it to them. But this one sounded so outrageous even I couldn’t help but check it out.

Far-right US radio host Rush Limbaugh says he believes President Obama wants to take over Republican strongholds with the help of ‘lesbians and transgender hillbillies’. 

‘What the point of this is, folks, it’s not about lesbian farmers,’ Limbaugh said.

‘What they’re trying to do is convince lesbians to become farmers.’ 

All this stupidity came about because of an event sponsored by the  US Department of Agriculture that’s trying to bring together LGBTI people from rural communities.

You can read more here.

I have another story. I’ll keep it short.

When I was a kid growing up in NJ, we had neighbors who were two women. One worked as an executive secretary and the other a school teacher. Although they lived discreetly in the same home, and nothing was ever mentioned aloud in those days, most people suspected they were lesbians. They were very active in the community, too. At the time they were in their 50s, and when they decided to retire they moved to rural Pennsylvania, bought a farm together, and started a small business that focused on crafts and country folk art. They wound up selling that same business twenty years later for 5 million dollars. They employed hundreds of people.

Point of story: Lesbians don’t need Rush Limbaugh or his stupid opinions.

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FREE Gay Excerpt: Uncertainty; Angry Fans Chase Gay Artist Off Social Media; Cher On Donald Trump and Gays; First Responder To Orlando Massacre

FREE Gay Excerpt: Uncertainty

I’ve been remiss about posting excerpts from my books, and I often get lost in new projects I’m working on and I tend to forget something the moment it gets published. I know that’s not the best way to promote, but the truth is it’s not easy to find a balance between too much promotion and not enough. I think I get paranoid because I see so many who over-promote themselves.

So I’m posting an excerpt from my latest release, Uncertainty, below…with a few links. It’s available as an e-book or you can get it in print.

Here’s the blurb:

When Gus Baldwin realizes that his gay dad is serious about marrying a much older man for safety and security instead of love, he concocts a plot that he hopes will change his dad’s mind. Even though his other dad has been dead for over a year, Gus wants his surviving dad to find love and happiness someday with a new husband. However, their financial situation is about as bad as it gets and they’re on the brink of losing their grand old Victorian home, and everything about their perfect lives is threatened. So Gus winds up putting his own marriage on hold with the guy he’s been in love with since high school. It’s so bad he’s even thinking of quitting college to help support his dad and his younger brother just so his dad won’t have to marry the older man. After Gus convinces his dad to take a road trip in their vintage 1950s station wagon to their getaway cabin in the mountains, along with his younger brother, his future husband, and their nineteen year old dog named Special, their lives change in ways none of them ever anticipated. And even though the future is still uncertain in some respects, they discover a few things about themselves on this trip they never could have predicted.

Angry Fans Chase Gay Artist Off Social Media

This is disturbing because I see it all the time. Once they gang up on someone it becomes a form of online mob culture and there’s no turning back.

A gay storyboard artist for the children’s TV show Steven Universe has deleted her Twitter after being harassed by fans. 

They accused Zuke of ‘queer-baiting’ them with a same-sex relationship on the show, according to the Daily Dot. 

You can check out the rest here. The article goes into more details that you might find surprising.

Cher On Donald Trump and Gays

Before I even start his part of the post, I’ll say it again. I only post these things in an objective way. I’m not taking sides or offering opinions. So if you are an LGBT Trump supporter, don’t take it out on me. I respect everyone’s opinion, I don’t force my opinions on anyone, and I try to remain fair and balanced here on the blog at all times.

With that said…

When Donald Trump promised to protect the LGBTQ community in his fear-mongering speech at the RNC this year, only the most gullible fell for it. Count Cher as among those smart enough to know a conman conning when she sees one.

You can read the rest here.

First Responder To Orlando Massacre

This is very painful to read, but I think it’s important to never forget, and to see how some people are still dealing with what happened in Orlando.

Two months since the attack, Realin tells The Orlando Sentinel that he still sees “all the red.”

Realin was one of seven members of the Orlando Police Department’s hazmat team assigned the horrible task of removing each body from the nightclub; a duty he says they carried out with “dignity.”

He’s now dealing with PTSD from that night and he’s not sure if he will be able to work.

You can check this out here. 

FREE Gay Excerpt: Uncertainty 

As they rounded the corner and approached the house, Gus glanced at the “For Sale” sign on the front lawn and frowned. This had been the only home he’d ever known, and now Henry was forced to sell it because of all the liens Roberto had put against the house to keep the restaurant going. Gus wasn’t sure where they would move either. The only viable alternative at that point would be to rent a small boxy condo in a subdivision on the edge of town called The Hunter’s Run.
Gus’s family home was the largest, grandest, and oldest on Buckleberry Street, with a white picket fence and neatly manicured boxwoods. It had been built in the late 1800s by a Doctor Palmer, who was one of the original descendants of the Palmer family who had founded the town of Palmer Hill. Roberto and Henry had purchased it in complete disrepair and renovated it to what it had once been. As with everything he did, Roberto spent more money than he actually had at the time. At a glance the house resembled a Victorian castle, with tower rooms, turrets, and second floor balconies. The clapboards and scalloped shingles were a combination of white and dark red, with more bright white trim than a Christmastime gingerbread house. To the right of the tall house, a long cobblestone driveway led back to a two car garage that had been built in the mid-twentieth century out of local stone.
When they reached the front gate and Gus realized that their dog, Special, wasn’t barking he got a sick feeling in his stomach. Special was a pure white west highland terrier, with huge black button eyes and short squatty legs. She was over nineteen years old and she’d been diagnosed with what the vet thought was canine congestive heart failure. The vet only thought that’s what it was, because he claimed it wasn’t wise to spend thousands of dollars testing a dog that was nineteen years old. So he treated her for the symptoms, as if it was congestive heart failure, and she seemed to respond well to the medications…for the most part.
However, there were bad days, and Gus had a feeling this was one of them. He didn’t say anything because he didn’t want to alarm his brother, but when he pushed the front gate open and looked down, poor Michael screamed so loudly it hurt Gus’s ears. There was poor Special, lying on her back, with her short little legs sticking up in the air, her head tilted sideways, and her tongue hanging out of her mouth.
Michael screamed again and pointed. “Gus, she’s dead. Look, she’s dead. Do something.”
Craig rubbed his jaw and said, “Oh, holy shit on a stick.”
Gus patted Michael on the shoulder and said, “Let me check her out. It could just be another one of her spells.” Special had these unusual spells every once in a while where she would totally black out for a minute or two, and then bounce back to life again is if nothing had ever happened.
Michael started to cry. “She can’t be dead. Don’t let her be dead, Gus.”
“Just stay calm,” Gus said.
While Michael stood there shaking and crying, and Craig continued to rub his jaw, Gus kneeled down next to Special and tapped the right side of her head. For some reason no one could explain, tapping her head gently seemed to bring her back to life.
 He tapped her head once and nothing happened.
Craig put his arm around Michael and said, “It’s okay, buddy.”
Then Gus tapped her again and her nose wiggled. She glanced at him as if she didn’t know where she was, barked three times, and then she bolted up and took off to greet Michael near the gate as if nothing had happened.
Michael wiped his eyes and went down on his knees to grab her. “She’s alive. Look, she’s not dead after all.”
Gus felt a huge wave of relief pass through his body. The last thing they needed that weekend was a dead dog.
While Michael hugged Special, Gus stood up and he glanced at Craig. He rolled his eyes and said, “We got lucky once again,” because he knew it was only a matter of time before she didn’t wake up from one of these spells. The vet had told them that’s how she would eventually die. He knew they were lucky to still have her at nineteen years old.
Craig reached down to pet Special and said, “Come on, Michael, let’s go inside and get ready for dinner. Your dad will be home any minute.”
Michael stood up and looked at Gus. “Can we give Special a fortune cookie?”
Gus smiled. They kept her on a strict low sodium diet. “You can give her whatever you want. She’s had a rough day.” He saw no point in restricting her diet that night. She’d been eating human food since she’d been a small puppy and putting her on a restricted diet that night, at her advanced age, made no sense at all. She was nineteen; they were lucky she was still alive and functioning.
Michael and Special headed toward the house first. No one in Palmer Hill ever locked their doors unless they were leaving for an extended period of time. Craig put his arm on Gus’s back and said, “Let’s go inside. I’m starved and I have to get out of these underpants.” He was always starved. Gus had never seen anyone who could eat so much and never gain a pound.
“I’ll be right in. You go upstairs and leave my underwear on the bed. I want to hose off the sidewalk.” When Special had one of her spells, she lost control of her bladder and left a huge puddle wherever it happened.
Gus took the hose from the side of the house, rinsed off the sidewalk, and then returned the hose to the neat little hose container next to a juniper bush. Henry liked things organized and arranged a certain way, and both Gus and Michael had learned at an early age how to clean up after themselves. One of Henry’s favorite old mottos was, “If it doesn’t look good, don’t put it on the front porch.”
As Gus turned to climb the front steps, he heard voices and he glanced at the sidewalk. Henry and Clive Bunsen were heading toward the front gate, talking and laughing in a way that sounded awkward and forced to Gus.
Gus climbed the stairs fast so they wouldn’t see him. He didn’t want to say hello to Clive again, but he did want to hear what they were saying. He stood off to the side next to a white column, behind a large potted palm his dad kept on the front porch in the warmer months. From what Gus had been told, the palm tree was older than he was and it dated back to the early years of Henry and Roberto’s marriage…back when gay couples weren’t allowed to get married legally.
Henry and Clive stopped at the front gate and Henry said, “Thanks for walking me home. I had a nice time this evening.” He smiled at Clive the way a man might smile at his neighbor from three doors away, or a distant relative.
Clive lingered for a moment without saying a word. He looked down past his large stomach, put one hand in his pocket, and scratched his chin with the other. When he finally did look up, he glanced into Henry’s eyes and said, “You know I’m very fond of you, Henry.”
Henry smiled. “And I’m fond of you, Clive.”
“I mean, I’m very fond of you, Henry.” He winked.
Then he reached down to take Henry’s hand and Gus pressed his palm to his chest.
As Clive lifted Henry’s hand higher, he cleared his throat and said, “I think we would be good together, and you’d never have to worry about money again. I would see to that. I think we could have a nice life, you and myself.”
Gus gulped.
Henry smiled and said, “I think we could, too, Clive. But I’m not sure about the boys. Michael is a handful.”
Clive smiled. “I love Michael, and Gus is almost out of the house anyway. And there’s plenty of room at my place. The house is huge and I think Mother would get used to a little more life around the house.”
That comment made Gus want to punch the palm tree. He’d only met Clive’s elderly mother once, and it wasn’t a fond memory. They’d run into her at a town function last fall, back when Clive started to seriously pursue Henry. She knew what Clive was doing and she clearly expressed her dislike for it by remaining silent and sending vicious glances in Henry’s direction.
“I don’t think your mother likes me very much,” Henry said. He smiled, as if trying to make a joke about it.
Clive laughed. “Don’t pay attention to mother. She’ll get used to the idea, and so will the boys.”
Henry smiled again and said, “You’re a good, decent man, Clive. And I think you’re right. We could have a nice life together. So let’s start making plans as soon as possible.”
Gus couldn’t dispute the fact that Clive was actually a good, decent man. He just didn’t want his dad to marry anyone under these circumstances. He wanted his dad to fall in love again and marry for the right reason, not for money and security. And he knew deep down there was nothing he could do, because Gus also knew that they were going to lose the house soon if Henry didn’t do something fast. Henry was not the kind of man who would marry for money either, not unless he was absolutely forced into it. He was, however, the kind of man who could talk himself into doing the most practical thing for the sake of Michael and Gus.
When Henry and Clive hugged, Gus crept into the house so Henry wouldn’t know he’d been eavesdropping on such a private conversation. It was bad enough he knew Henry would announce the news to them and he wouldn’t even know how to respond. As he crossed through the huge main hall, he heard Craig and Michael laughing about something. He didn’t want to ruin the evening by mentioning what he’d overheard a few minutes ago, because Michael still didn’t even understand why they had to put the house up for sale in the first place. He seemed to grasp the gist of their financial situation, but he kept hoping that something would happen to make everything okay again. Gus wasn’t as optimistic, and he knew life didn’t always work out that way. His only goal at that point was to keep Henry from making the biggest and worst decision of his life, and he wasn’t quite sure yet how he would do that.
Later that night after Craig went home, Henry cleaned up the kitchen while Gus helped Michael get to bed. They didn’t normally eat that late and everything felt different for some reason. Gus couldn’t stop worrying about the conversation he’d overheard between his dad and Clive, and it felt as if the entire family had reached one of those pivotal moments in their lives where everything could change overnight. The fact that it was the last day of school and Henry wouldn’t be collecting a pay check until September again made their situation even more serious than before. Even though Henry would never go into detail about how serious things were, Gus could see the worry all over his face.
After he checked in on Michael one last time to make sure he was sleeping, Gus headed downstairs again to check on Special. She’d been crate trained as a puppy and she’d been sleeping in the same crate for the last nineteen years. Of course they left the door to the crate open at all times and they hadn’t locked her up on the crate since she’d been six months old. When he walked over to a corner in the kitchen and saw her sleeping soundly, he resisted the urge to reach into the crate and pet her. He didn’t want to startle her, not with herheart condition.
He glanced around and noticed the kitchen was perfectly clean, as if no one had ever eaten there. Henry didn’t just keep that house immaculate because of a sense of duty. He loved it so much he couldn’t wait to clean it make everything perfect. Gus figured Henry must have gone up to his bedroom, so he turned out the kitchen lights and headed for the main staircase in the front hall. After Roberto’s sudden death, Henry had moved into one of the smallest guest rooms on the third floor. He kept his clothes and most of his things in the master bedroom, but he slept in the guest room. He never gave any of them an explanation; he made no grand announcement. One night Gus noticed Henry sleeping in the guest room and the next day he noticed that Henry had moved some of his personal things out of the master bedroom he’d shared with Roberto and put them all in the guest room. There was no need to ask Henry about it. Gus understood, and he made a point of telling Michael not to mention it aloud.
On his way upstairs, Gus noticed the front door was open, so he crossed the hall to close it. As he reached for the handle he glanced outside through the screen door and saw Henry sitting in a white rocking chair on the front porch staring at a photo of Roberto. It was a headshot of Roberto from the days when he’d done a little modeling in New York while still in law school. He resembled one of those dashing silent films tars from the 1920s, with his slick dark hair and penetrating smile.
Gus didn’t go out on the porch. He wasn’t sure he wanted to disturb Henry. So he remained in the hallway and said, “Are you outside, dad?

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