A Valentine’s Special
It’s a cold winter Saturday, the time of night when fog creeps into this part of downtown and hangs over the cobblestone streets. It seems haunted, eerie, like something from the days of Jack the Ripper. Smoke clouds emanate from a factory on the horizon. I’m wandering the casino with Louis and my Cousin Phil. Rows of slot machines glitter into the distance.
I’m sitting at the Playboy machine with Louis, who’s just put in $20.00 I look into his eyes. They’re blue, like mine. A cherry pops up in one, then a dollar sign in the other. I’ve hit the jackpot as far as online dates are concerned. Who knew finding a boyfriend would be this easy? We’ve been seeing each other for about a month now.
For our first date, Louis and I met up at an art show. As he came through the door, I admired his beard and chubby physique. Via message, Louis confided that he has a foot fetish – but what’s so weird about that, compared to all the other stuff out there? What’s a simple, normal foot fetish, in the grand scheme?
We sat down at the little bar area in Revolution Gallery. He bought drink after drink. Throughout the night, he held my hand. Louis’s body is encapsulated in tattoos, yet he has a sad puppy-dog face. At the end of the night, while walking down the street, Louis revealed he bought me the painting I liked while I was in the bathroom.
“Louis!” I was shocked, because I knew it was $300, but Louis had the receipt and everything to prove it wasn’t stolen. “You really didn’t have to, though. It was expensive.”
“You don’t like it then?”
“I do,” I said. “Of course I do. Thank you, Louis.”
From that night on, I’ve spent every weekend with Louis. He lives 45 minutes away, in a small rusty town.
Tonight, I thought I would introduce Louis to my Cousin Phil, who is up from Tampa and already tipsy, because he has been here at the casino drinking way before we even arrived. We are all going to see Dave Attell at Helium together, and I just know the two of them will get along.
“Lou,” Cousin Phil puts his arm across his shoulders. “You know, I like you already. What do you do, anyway?”
“I do signage, commercial signage.” Louis pulls out his phone to show Phil some pictures. “I carve stuff out of wood. And metal, sheet metal mostly -”
“Excuse me, sir,” says a security guard coming towards us. “You’ll have to check that knife.” I look at Louis’s crotch, and notice the folded-up blade against his hip. This security guard is a petite lady, and she doesn’t seem pissed or anything.
Louis looks up from the musty carpet.
“Oh, my knife?” he says. “Sorry.” He walks off with her towards the security desk.
“That’s hot, right?” I say to Cousin Phil. “The fact he has to go check his knife?” Cousin Phil leaves to buy some drinks.
“You’re manly,” I say to Louis upon his return. He stares at me with an unflinching stare.
“Um, sorry” I say, leaning into him. “Daddy,” I whisper.
Last week, Louis said that he doesn’t want me to call him “Louis” anymore, I am to call him “Daddy” and nothing else, and frequently too. Louis sucks on his lithium-powered vape, and exhales strawberry-flavored smoke.
“What do you want to drink, Doll?” he says.
Louis owns many knives and guns, as well as a Harley. He seems like the kind of guy who could kill a bear with his own hands. In fact, he can make and shoot bow-and-arrows, which seems like a totally romantic thing to do, very Cupid-esque.
But I’m noticing that behind closed doors, Louis is rather intense.
“Fuck,” Louis gets up from his couch and heads towards the kitchen, naked as a shucked clam, which is customary because Louis is a self-proclaimed nudist. “His numbers are still good.” He’s talking about the Donald Trump “news” on TV that he found after 10 minutes of trying to find news on Hulu. “They’re still good, fuck what they say.”
The elephant in the room. Louis stomps off with the empty pizza box.
“Get the fuck out of here, dog,” Louis yells at his dog, Bruce, who’s sitting straight up and staring at the wall. Louis rescued Bruce from a shelter, but I feel really bad for Bruce’s current situation, because Louis keeps him cooped up in his stupid apartment all day and yells at him all the time.
“Aw,” I hug Bruce. “He’s not doing anything.”
“You know what would be hot to do while I’m out of town, Doll?” Louis texts.
“What, Daddy?” I reply.
“Send me some photos of you fucking another dude,” he says.
Yikes! Why is Louis so into this idea? Honestly he’s brought it up before, but I’ve been stalling for time by saying that I will eventually, later on, after we date a while. After I figure out if he’s worth it. Because honestly, this whole time, I’ve been fantasizing about having sex once again with my ex, “S.,” but I’m scared about releasing S. into my current dating situation.
Comparing Louis and S. below the waist is to compare an acorn with a log, respectively – a log any beaver would thirst for. Sex with Louis sucks. He seems depressed about his own manhood. It’s true what they say, that men with small packages compensate with cocky personas. Louis struts around like a cockatiel, whereas S. is quiet and shy.
The more Louis pushes this idea on me, the more I have sexual fantasies about S. Since I’m sexually frustrated and about to blow, I decide to send him an email.
In the subject line, I type the word “Orgy.”
“I suppose this letter may come as a surprise, I write. “I have a new boyfriend. He’s soooo romantic. Plus, turns out, he is very open about wanting to watch me have sex with another man. Someone to be a “sex slave,” so to speak…
You came to my mind as a potential sex slave for this orgy because you wanted sex without any emotional involvement or attachment, said you never want a relationship, ever, and seem okay with a straight up friends with benefits scenario.”
What the hell am I doing? Talk about a can of worms. I hit Send and do not expect any response at all.
“I just want you to be happy, so I’ll do that for you,” S. says over the phone a mere five minutes later. “Just tell me one thing.”
You can tell S. is driving because I hear the whoosh of the open window since he’s probably smoking a cigarette with me on speakerphone.
“How’s the sex?”
“The sex,” S. exhales. “ I mean, I’m asking because clearly there must be a reason you thought of me.”
I’m not telling S. that sex with Louis sucks. That would only feed his ego, and have me eating from the palm of his hand. No, this time I’m going to be the one in control.
“The last girl I dated didn’t work,” Louis tells me over brisket at his town’s BBQ pit. “I took care of her.”
“Oh, really?” I say. Louis insisted on paying for this meal, and these drinks, again, even though I was the only one carrying cash. He never lets me pay for anything. That’s why I decided to buy him a gift, some Viktor & Rolf SpiceBomb cologne, to show my appreciation. The bottle is shaped like a grenade, perfect for Louis’s heavily-armored self. I hope he likes it.
“If we ever lived together,” Louis says, staring at the bar TV screen with a diamond ad projecting from it, “I would want to pick out what you wear when you’re at home.”
“Um, really?” I haven’t touched my Bloody Mary. “I am very particular about my wardrobe.”
Louis stares at me with his penetrating stare.
“I have something I want to give you,” I say, to change the topic as Louis pays the bill.
“What is it?”
“Just something small,” I hand Louis a tiny gift bag with the cologne inside. “What’s wrong?”
“I really wish you wouldn’t have,” Louis stands up and puts his hands in his pockets, starts walking towards the door to the back parking lot. “I won’t accept it.”
“What? Why?” I walk faster to catch up with Louis, who’s standing in the shadow of his giant truck. “I wanted to show my appreciation.”
“The way to show your appreciation for me is to call me daddy, and let me play with your feet, “ he says. “For future reference, I don’t like surprises and never accept gifts.”
I climb into the passenger side of the truck, and don’t bother saying “Sorry, Daddy” this time.
After all, what did I really know about this dude?