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If you are underage, or in any way forbidden by your government or religious laws from viewing X-rated subject matter, please do not read this salty tale. If, however, you are not restricted by any laws in your geographical location, by all means read on.

(a true tale from the castro; eat your heart out armistead)

© 2016 by Ezekiel J. Krahlin

So Jack just departed from my hovel a few moments ago, leaving behind a bag of 16 dwarf golden delicious apples. Probably from a food pantry or free meal venue (I later learned from Hollywood that he found then atop a trash bin). Much appreciated, as each is perfectly ripe and firm without a single blemish. And just what the doctor ordered for weaning myself from omeprazole, an acid reflux medication. Also called a PPI, which stands for "proton-pump inhibitor."

I had acquired acid reflux from drinking a little vodka every more than a half pint. Nonetheless, I am more sensitive to alcohol than your average Joe. Now that I've further reduced my per diem intake to a third pint, I am ready to give it all up. (Cigarettes come next, which I've smoked for almost four years; before that I had quit for 32.) Web research showed me how to transition back via natural methods...seeing as PPI's have turned out to be not such a safe medication after all.

Furthermore, once you quit, most likely you'll suffer exaggerated heart burn as a kickback, for a week or two. Good heavens, I don't want to go through that sort of misery! (FYI: I'm also watching that horror classic, "Misery," for the second time right now as I type this...good stuff.) Among the numerous home cures for getting off the OTC antacid, is to eat an apple once or twice daily: chew it thoroughly and slow.

I had purchased two 6-packs of single-serve apple sauce cups just for this purpose, seeing as that would be easier than munching down with my fukked up, rotten teeth. Jack had no idea of my quitting alcohol and omeprazole, so it was most copasetic for him to gift me with pomes. Then again, I believe Jack to be an angel who knows exactly what I need at any given moment; so I shouldn't really be surprised. Actually I wasn't, come to think of it; I was charmed.

His visit only lasted three quarters of an hour, but how nice it was to bury my face in that Cajun bounty for a blissful six minutes. And drink from the fountain of his youth for at least the 20th time (I don't really know, I've lost count; but I gotsta have my vitamin Jack at least once per week, or I shall quickly wrinkle like a deflating balloon and crumble into dust: a slapstick Dorian Grey).

"Take it all, buddy," he moaned while pumping that rod up my throat, "This one's gonna be a gusher."

"When hasn't it been?" I thought to myself alone.

"Are you ready for it, Zeke?" I mumbled uh-huh two times through a mouth stuffed with the tangiest po'boy I ever consumed. (The Japanese have a word for this: "umame." But all I wanted to do was holler "Oh mommy!") Certainly Jack's words were more of a turn-on than his "suck it like a pussy" command a few months was all I could do back then, from choking on his wanger in a sudden guffaw. Which, of course--had I done so--would have ruined the magic of that modest boy's boner, and driven him outta here like a crawdad flees catfish.

[ Incanshuridic Reader: he also told me to "deep throat that sucker, Zeke, deep throat that sucker!" Naturally, I wisely contained my mirth as I feigned a heartier plunge with a slick, tight hand just beneath my lips. (He couldn't really see what was going on down there.) "What does he think I am?" I mused, "the Blow Job King of the Castro?" ]

He is The Chicken Soup of My Soul. Once the last two drops were consumed, he gently pushed my head away: "Okay, I'm done." And I returned to my cushioned office chair to light up a Fortuna Red 100. He languished there some moments, jeans and ragged boxer briefs pulled up just below those saucy meatballs. He smiled languidly, his coy, shirtless pose a delight to view.

"You're somethin' else, Jack," I remarked through a puff of tobacco. "Thank you."

"Alright, you're welcome, Zeke," he replied, then jumped up to wriggle those plump butt cheeks into rough trousers while padding towards my sink by the opposite wall.

"That's one sweet ass crack you got there, buddy," I blurted as he buckled up and lowered his head beneath the faucet of running hot and cold. No reply; he heard me though.

His tawny, thick hair cascaded in the flow of water while he splashed his face and ears with gusto. My eyes played across the movement of muscle over shoulder blades, ribs and upper arms. So much fun to watch...he sure has that mojo going!

He then dried off with a fresh towel I just purchased from Walgreens two days ago. "Any plans tonight?" I small-talked. "Gonna go to work, or just enjoy the evening?"

His response was muffled through the thick terrycloth: "Oh, gotta get out there and hustle. My work never ends, you know me."

"Well, I'm staying home tonight, gonna watch a good horror movie called Misery. One of my favorite scary flicks of all time; it came out in 1990."

Jack then tossed the spent towel over the aluminum chair I had lifted last year from Super-Duper's sidewalk mini-park next door. He then tugged a black T-shirt with gold filigree over his sinewy torso. Those tight, modest nipples disappeared behind the veil way too soon for this salivating old dawg.

I casually snuffed my Fortuna in the heavy steel ashtray bound in a strip of bicycle chain: a birthday gift Hollywood had presented me last year on July first. "I'll probably step out to buy more cigarettes later on tonight. I'll say hi if I see you...or just mosey on by if you're with someone else."

He glanced up at me with a "whatever" shrug as he yanked the maroon hoody's zipper all the way up to his sternum.

"Got something sweet for me tonight, cookies maybe?" he queried with arched brows.

[ Doliminous Reader: this gentle request for something sweet has become a hallmark of his visits. I love to hear him ask me that. One day I'm gonna grab my crotch and say: "Yeah I got something sweet for ya, pal!" But I think it's still too soon, he might get pissed. ]

"Yeh, of course," I said. And fetched a cellophane tube crammed with Oreo knockoffs from a corner of my cluttered desk. 15 cookies in all, purchased at Park's Farmers Market on 5th and Irving for just $1.25. Of course he wanted some milk, too, for dunking. So I poured him that, then plunked down two 5-dollar smackeroonies beside the quasi-Oreos.

"Oh, thanks," he remarked. "I could sure use that money."

"Jack, is there ever a time when you can't use money?"

He suppressed a chortle while folding the bills into a pocket beside a glass pot pipe that bulged a bit. So there he was, all dressed up like the handsome bayou rogue he is, spiffy racing bike tilted against one thigh, and two modest backpacks: one slung over the shoulders, the other drooping from a handlebar. He was ready to go.

[ Honestly, Lacquanone Reader, I've met the occasional good, hardworking man on the streets over these 37+ years. One who is also handsome, cheerful, thifty, brave, clean and a drifter's Eagle Scout. But Jack takes the cake. He's all of that, on steroids. And I told him so, and he thanked me so, and he vanished down the stairs. My latest hero and guardian, of which I now have quite an entourage in this late stage of my life. Remains to be seen whether or not he turns on me in the long run, like all the others. ]

I didn't notice the bag of apples on my desk, till after he departed.

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