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AC Benus

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AC Benus last won the day on June 14 2017

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18,199 Almost Divine

About AC Benus

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    Male
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    Gay
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    San Francisco
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    Love, cooking, history, classical writings, Queer politics, chatting with friends, finding more in common with everyone than I thought possible, architecture, design, dogs, Airedales

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  1. AC Benus

    Chapter 6

    Thanks for reading, Def. You're the best!
  2. "The fresh white letter
    bound to arrive tomorrow
    will bring spring with it,
    like thin panes of window glass
    awaiting careful cleaning."

    Fumi Saito

     

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Parker Owens

      Parker Owens

      Love these images. What a wonderful poem! 

    3. AC Benus

      AC Benus

      Thanks, guys. She was one of the great Tanka writers of the 20th century. I tend to the view the 'white letter' as something very personal to her, and we as readers are not supposed to know what it is. We are just supposed to feel that stirring in her heart; time to wash those dirty windows caused by a long and hard winter. 

    4. AC Benus

      AC Benus

      ...I suddenly see her, standing at the window where she can see the mailman's approach. No letter today, so undoubtedly it will come tomorrow. The delayed spring of her heart as much needing a gentle cleaning as the winter-stained pane through which she peers... God, I love poetry

  3. AC Benus

    Chapter 19: Abraca…. Who?

    Thanks, @Parker Owens, these are a great set of comments. As for who is tracking down whom at Burning Man, stay tuned. I think the scenario will be one you didn't see coming, but hopefully will be just as entertaining as this Chicken Run
  4. AC Benus

    Chapter 19: Abraca…. Who?

    That's quite the performance, Pup! And very topical to our current times. I can see this making it onto the Mojo soundtrack along with your other suggestions
  5. AC Benus

    Chapter 19: Abraca…. Who?

    Hehe, Def. Third, fourth...fifth time's the charm...? We shall see if he manages to alienate any more of those 'religious liberties' groups. You never know, maybe he'll set his sights on the Pope himself Thanks for reading and commenting, Def. i always appreciate it!
  6. AC Benus

    Chapter 19: Abraca…. Who?

    As Billy S. said, "time will tell"
  7. AC Benus

    Chapter 21: Hollister; Aptos; San Jose

    . Chapter 21: Hollister; Aptos; San Jose A hundred degrees outside. And I thought the desert was bad! Worse yet, it had to be a hundred and twenty inside this food truck, parked as it was among a line of them on this sun-parched stretch of grass in Hollister. A name best recognized on low-grade, foreign-built casualwear, the bum-gefickt speck of its namesake town in Northern California didn’t live up to the marketing attempt at ‘cool.’ I whipped off my medieval-style pilgrim’s cap to sop up the sweat from my face before it splattered into the deep fryer. Why on earth Alisoun insisted the three of us wear Ren-Faire costumes inside the truck was beyond me. As I adjusted the black tights she’d lent me around my crotch for the hundredth time, her words of “just for fun” rang hollow. I glanced at Karl Sparks dishing up an order of Ye Olde Mexican Corne Dogge with Mayonnaise and Cotija Cheese – you know, Shakespeare’s favorite – and shuddered. Noting he looked cooler, I remembered him telling me “I always go commando in my doublet and pantaloons.” He must have been wearing a garter to keep his stockings up…. No, I didn’t want to think about that…but I suppose Alisoun would have one to spare. No. Enough of those thoughts. I concentrated on my work, and as I lifted the basket and tossed out a mess of golden fries, I wanted to leave the confines of this sardine-can of a truck and return to cool desert nights and tossing back a few brewskis. But the reality was, this dogge waggone was busy, and so were all of our rivals – ones that offered deep-fried ice cream, or hibachi-roasted Snicker bars, and especially the ones offering kombucha-infused popsicles. I crouched down to peek out the tiny windows as I got more frozen spuds for the oil. We had a long line of people sweltering in duds ranging from ‘squire’ to ‘knight,’ to ‘dames in da’dress,’ and quite frankly, I didn’t get the Renaissance Faire appeal. In fact, I didn’t get the Ren-Faire type of person. Who’d want to traipse around eucalyptus and live oak trees in Northern California, quaking thees and thous in 100-degree heat, wearing heavy curtain-fabric costumes, and eating anachronistic turkey legs…? I shrugged and started frying the next batch of onion rings. ‘Just another form of escapism, I guess like being a Republican.’ I leaned back, wiping my brow, and watched Alisoun swoosh brocade and petticoats around the foot-long sausage roaster. She seemed happy, and I suppose the Sparks were nice enough people, despite their head-in-the-sand Trump tendencies. They sure saved my bacon from the crazy cock fools at Burning Man, but I was getting sick and tired of the Corndog Wife’s overt sexual come-ons to me. Pulling at the collar of my costume, another heated situation came to my memory without warning: the tearful way me and Assauer fled our homeland. How does a person launch the thousand voyages of a wanderer? I don’t know, but for us – at least regarding my ex’s love for me – it was a surprise. “You did what?” Assauer asked. “I had nowhere else to turn, so I came here.” All heat instantly left my ex. He hugged me and guided us over to the bed. We sat. “Now, tell me again, from the beginning.” Time seemed like the one luxury in life I had none to spare, but I swallowed down my fear, wiped my sweaty brow, and started. “Rolf’s dad walked in on us. It was clear what we were doing." “But then, he did what?” He pulled the boy up by the earlobe and dragged Rolf naked downstairs, into the living room. I followed, putting on my shoes and pants, and holding my shirt. Rolf’s mother screamed seeing the kid being abused and yelled at the father. “I can explain.” I held out my hands in supplication. “He’s fucking our boy, Greta! Under our own roof!” “Dad – I’m the one…. I love Kohl, don’t you see?” “Silence,” the mom snapped at her boy, getting it now. She turned her ire on me. “We take you in, and this – this! – is how you treat us, like a whorehouse?! Turning our son into a plaything.” “No, no, it’s not like that.” “I love him!” Rolf screamed in frustration and tried to run to me. Greta grabbed his arms and slapped him. “Just calm down,’ I said, getting angry myself. “The boy is over the age of consent. He can choose, and he chooses me. The money was just a—” I halted mid-thought, knowing I’d said too much. The boy looked sick. The mother looked apprehensive. The father stormed up to me. “You’ve been robbing us too? Speak up, let’s hear this.” “Dad, it was me. I gave him—” The mom cut Rolf off. “I think it’s time for you to leave, Kohl.” “No, Greta, no!” demanded Rolf’s dad. “Not if he’s been robbing us. Then it’s a matter for the police.” “Dummkopf!” his wife said, grabbing the father’s arm. “You want everyone in town to know your son’s been giving his ass away, to…to a…servant like him?” “Oh, my God,” Assauer said. “And they just let you walk out of there?” “Yes and no. I packed, and the father threatened my life when I tried to say goodbye to Rolf. The boy was in tears…but….” I stopped. My phone vibrated with a text. “It’s from – Rolf.” “What’s he say?” I felt the color drain from my face. “He says, his dad just called the police. Said the money was enough to put me in jail for years.” Lower than low, having just lost the boy I loved – having alienated Assauer because of Rolf – facing a loss of freedom seemed too much to bear. My head fell into my hands as I choked back the tears. Everything in my life had gone wrong. Assauer stood. “You’re packed, right?” I nodded. “Good. Give me a minute to do the same.” “What…?” I lifted my gaze. “What are you talking about?” He made me stand and held my eyes with his beautiful blue ones. They were determined and crystal-clear. “I said, I’ll pack, then we’ll go to the base, and I’ll get us on a flight to America tonight.” “Assauer! You’d give up everything to be a fugitive with me…?” He kissed me. It was once; it was manly. “Yes. No time to talk now. You pull yourself together and I’ll pack.” The heat of the food truck came back to me. While I swiped my brow, I felt grateful to my ex, but in that same notion was profound hurt he’d steal Gordon away from me. How can the same person do so much for me and then take so much away from me as well? As my timer went off for the jalapeño poppers, and as I drained them, I realized there was another dramatic scene I could provoke, one that might prove hotter and more uncomfortable than even this truck. I was in the area, so…. “Alisoun, I might need the day off tomorrow.” ˚˚˚˚˚ The Uber slowed on the gravely parking lot, and I got out. It pulled away and left me among the potted roses in full bloom at the Sanchez & Sons Family Nursery. My heart hitched nearly up to my Adam’s apple. It had been a gut-wrenching car ride through the shadowy hollow of Trout Gulch Road once more. I thought I’d never see Aptos again, and certainly never pictured myself back at the place Gordon grew up. I moved between rose thorns and parked pickup trucks, along the side of a greenhouse, knowing there was a central path turning off soon. It led me past more enclosed spaces off either side: the citrus building; the ‘creepers’ with flowering potato vines, sundial passion fruit, and peppery bougainvillea. I remembered the first time my boy gave me a tour of the ins and outs of this complex, how he’d pointed out secret spots and revealed to me how true a nature boy he was, with a natural green thumb among the plants he grew up surrounded by. The boy’s sexual awakening, he told me, had been early and dirty, pointing out to me smaller plant sheds where he’d take “seed-laden” migrant workers to get what he wanted. Always with boys barely a few years older than him, always wham-bam and hasty – “¿Quieres mi leche…dentro?”; “Sí!” – and always initiated by the curly-headed lad himself. Now as I passed these plants that he loved, and that grew seemingly under the magic of his touch, I wondered just how connected to nature he really was…. That line from the Carpenters’ song, about birds singing and stars falling whenever he appeared, made me revel in my boy’s loveliness; a beauty inborn and as sacred as any. Being here, moving through the quiet buildings, smelling soil and plantings, feeling the muted sea breeze seep in through doors and cracks, put me in mind of how difficult it was to go to Assauer, again. But, it was only fair that he hear from me of our resolve – me and Gordon – to be together, even if it meant Assauer would say he was done with me because of it. It was a hot day in August, some two weeks before our second year of teaching at Aptos High would begin. Gordon wanted to come with me, to talk to my ex about our plans, but I knew it wouldn’t be a good idea. No need for Assauer to hate Gordon if he was going to hate me; we’d do better to keep his ire aimed at one or the other of us, not both. The fan was on in our little apartment kitchen, and my ex sat typing on his laptop. “Hey.” “Hey. What’s up?” he asked. I heard my voice crack. “You know that boy…Gordon?” He glanced away from his screen. “Not Gordon, Gordon Sanchez, my student?” There was no sugarcoating it. “We’ve been seeing each other for months now. I didn’t want to keep it from you—” “Kohl….” The disappointment in his voice made me finally swallow and hold his eyes. “I love him, brother. I can’t help it – and he loves me too. His father’s a prick, mother’s not much better; ‘We don’t approve!’—” “Kohl!” He slammed his laptop shut. “Back to your cookie jar ways, and after that scene with Rolf and the cops, and me giving up everything to—” “Assauer—” “No. No, this is unbelievable. You care about no one but yourself.” “I tried to be good, I really did, and with Gordon, age is not really an issue. I’d love him if he was twenty, or sixty—” “But he’s sixteen, isn’t he? Idiot.” I added softly, “Nearly seventeen…. But, the point is, I’m telling you this because we’re running away. We can’t let Gordon’s father separate us, and my boy can’t let me go to jail now that they know.” “Because you told them?” “Because he did.” Assauer was silent. “I know you’re angry, Assauer.” More silence. “But, me and Gordon, we’re going to be together, face whatever the world throws at us – together.” “And you’re telling me this, why?” I reached for his clenched hand and took it forcefully. “I want you to come too. Only you can protect me, keep me sane and safe, like you’ve always done.” “And him? What does he want?” “He wants you to come as well. He knows we have a special connection, and always will. He knows you keep my temper down and wants the three of us to work as a team.” Silence, but then he massaged my fingers. “I know it’s unfair,” I told him softly. “All of it, but please, brother, help us. Please.” It may have seemed so long ago, for all the shit that’s happened since, but in a way, it was no time at all. I blinked; somehow I’d walked through the whole nursery and arrived at my dreaded destination. I knocked on the Office door and went in. Gordon’s mom held something like a shipping form for her gray-haired husband to read. She was the one to look up first. Stunned is the only word to describe her eyes. In another moment, Aaron Sanchez stood behind his desk and whipped off his bifocals. “What the—” “Um, hi.” “I’ll leave you two,’ Ava Sanchez said, slipping through the door behind me. Once closed, Aaron began to shout. “You dare to show your face around here?! Where’s my boy? Is he with you?” He started to glance over my shoulder, and my heart sank. “No, sir. He – he ran away, and I came here hoping—” “Ran away,” he scoffed. “Rich irony. And now you know how I’ve felt since you, you – I can’t even think what you did to his mind.” I persevered, but he was right; this act of penance included knowing exactly how he felt when Gordon ran from him. “Sir, I was hoping—” “Hoping what?” he said tersely. “That he’d been in contact.” He stalked from behind his desk to stand within feet of my face. “My son Gordon hasn’t been in contact with us since some foreign piece of shit pervert stole him away in the middle of the night two years ago.” “He’s eighteen now, sir.” “You have the balls to remind me of that…. So, he’s left you? Well guess what, I think that’s great news. So you can take your hangdog, puppy-dog eyes outta my sight and get the fuck out of here forever.” “But if you can pass along a message if he does—” Mr. Sanchez grabbed me by the scruff of my shirt and kicked his door open, nearly breaking the glass. He dragged me along the front area of the nursery, where people with carts and plants waited at the registers. He shouted as he pulled. “How dare you. Don’t you ever show your face around here again, cuz if you do, you won’t get away without an extra hole in your head.” Out the front door, he used a foot to lock it against my lower back and kicked. I went flying elbows first along the gravel. He spat at my shoes and said, “How much can you steal in your lifetime before you have to accept the consequences! Now, get off my property and stay away. Because you are evil to the core – that’s what you are.” ˚˚˚˚˚ Ten awful minutes had gone by. Now I sat on the grassy incline across the road from Sanchez & Sons Family Nursery. I’d had to take my shoes off briefly, because I need the fabric of my socks to tie around my elbows – to stop the bleeding. But they still throbbed with incredible pain, all the gravel dust being ground into the open sores, and me with no way to clean them. I didn’t mind though; something physical threatening to make me cry for a change was sort of a relief. Cloudy as my vision was, I didn’t see her cross the road, not until Ava Sanchez folded her skirt and sat next to me. She stared straight across at the nursery. I expected the worst. “You know,” she said, picking up a blade of grass, “Aaron is not a patient man. Gordon, as the youngest, is different from his brothers – his father’s temper always frightened him.” She turned to me. “Do you think you frighten him?” I had no reply…. God, I hope not… Ava asked very calmly, “How about this: do you love him?” That I could answer. “Yes, ma’am. More than anything else in the whole world.” Now the tears came. The woman nodded her head and played with her grass. “I thought so. That’s what I told my husband. You ever wonder why the cops never came looking for you?” “I….” “Well, never mind.” She inhaled deeply and sat up straight. “I’m a pragmatic woman, Mr. Kohl. His dad idolized him, and although we parents are not supposed to act human and ‘choose,’ still, Gordon was his father’s favorite. His golden boy, his innocent – well, at least I knew the truth. Mothers always do.” “What do you mean?” “I knew he was a precocious, sexual teen. I don’t mean to shock you, but the truth is, he didn’t keep secrets from me like he did with his dad, so I knew – because he told me – about his sexy new German teacher, the one he seduced, and the one he told me in tears he’d fallen for.” Her tone grew stern. “But I never wanted him to run off, to be ‘on the streets’; to live in fear.” “I’m sorry.” “Are you?” I slowly shook my head. “No. No lies, because you know I’d do it all over again.” “You’re honest. He told me you were.” Ava stood, seeing my Uber pull off the road in front of us. “Yes. I know you’d do it all over again. But you can’t help it, right? The two of you are in love.” “Meant to be together.” I opened the rear door of the car. “So if he contacts you, will you tell him something for me?” “Tell him what, Kohl?” “Just – tell him I’m sorry. Please.” All she said before I got in the car to leave Aptos forever was: “If.” ˚˚˚˚˚ It was after dark by the time I got back to the Renaissance Faire in Hollister. I mounted the steps of the Sparks’ RV and found Alisoun alone in the confined little living area. She’d been tossing back stiff ones, as an open fifth of brown liquor stood on the tabletop. “Ah, sugar maple,” she said on first sight, “what happened to you?” “I’m a little battered and bruised, aren’t I?” “You sure are.” She’d already retrieved a second glass. “Sit down.” She pointed, and I drank, barely registering her words about Karl playing poker with Mr. and Mrs. Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus Sticks. The stuff burned my throat like fire, but had a sweet aftertaste like caramel. She perceived my unstated question. “It’s Fairfield Whisky. A. R. Morrow and Co; six bucks a quart, and not too bad considering the price.” I didn’t care. I poured myself another, topping off her jelly-glass tumbler as well. After I downed my second, feeling the heat spread to my chest, she laid her hand on my arm. “What’s wrong, sugar cookie?” “I’ve had a terrible day, the kind you can predict will happen, but still have to go through them anyway.” “Aww,” she stroked fingers up to my shoulder. I asked her plainly, “Do you think I’m evil to the core?” “Kohl, honey, I can assure you you’re not, and I have known many an ‘evil’ man in my life.” My phone vibrated with a new text, distracting me from fully acknowledging Alisoun Sparks moving closer to me and licking her lips. I looked at my mobile’s screen and puzzled. All it said was: “Fitness Revolution Gym, San Jose. Tomorrow, 3pm.” “Won’t you tell me what’s on your mind, Kohl?” Alisoun asked, and I felt her caress the back of my neck. “Huh….” I tapped out a reply: “Who is this?” A second after I sent it, an error message returned. “This device cannot reply to blocked numbers.” I shrugged, for the first time realizing the Corndog’s Wife was practically in my lap. “I can take your mind off of things….” Delicately directing her back to her seat, I chuckled. “No, no. I’m afraid you’ve got the wrong idea. See, I’m Gay, and in fact went looking for my boyfriend today. He’s run off with my ex.” She scooched a little closer. “Who ain’t a little gay…?” “Me. I’m all-in on the Gay thing, as most of us are. But you see, I’m also impotent because a crazy sex cult hexed my dick and I’ve been looking for a fix.” “ED?” she asked brightly. “Is that all?! Karl has the little blue pills—” “No, no, they…. I’m well beyond the pharmaceuticals.” At that point I eyed Gordon’s gym bag, which I’d been using as a suitcase, packed and sitting near the door; it was because the sofa in the ‘living room’ was also my fold-out bed. I always keep my stuff neat and packed up, prepared for any unexpected ‘emergency exits’ I might need to make. I decided the situation called for a little flattery. “But, despite the ‘totally Gay’ part of it, I like you, Alisoun. And I’d repay you for your hospitality if I could.” Ha. What a farce; there wasn’t enough caramel-colored whisky in all of Fairfield to get me to sleep with her. “But you see, I can’t. But if I could, even though I’m Gay…I would.” “Oh, sugar quartz, what in the Sam hell does that have to do it? I mean, husbands numbers three, six and seven WERE gay, even though one claimed I turned him that way, so….” Alisoun’s mood changed. Her tones down-geared into sexy lust. “If you’re serious, there’s still a way for you to ‘perform.’ Let me corndog you.” “What…?” I slowly rose from the built-in couch. “Let me show you.” She popped up and pulled out the long drawer under the seats. Alisoun turned and placed a shafty 9-inch strapon in my hands, the hip straps dangling. “I – aaaa….” “I’m really good at using that too.” Her eyebrows flared. “Karl will tell ya. ALL my husbands, God rest their souls – even the living ones – will tell you they loved it.” “But I’m strictly a top…. I’ve never even had a real one in there, so I’m not gonna start with a fake rubber imitation.” I shoved the apparatus back in her hands. She wouldn’t take no for an answer and walked me back to the cushion. “Well, if that’s true, sugar booger, you don’t know what you’re missin’.” She shoved me down, crawling on top. “It’ll rock your world. Guaranteed to adjust your attitude forever.” The cockeye leer of lust on her face was matched by the upward thrust of the silicone schlong. “No,” I said. “I know you want it.” She forced her drunken kisses on me. Revolted, my mind went to wondering about the topsy-turvy times we lived in; times when a man’s body was not his own to decide what to do with. The door opened, and in walked her spouse. “Karl. Thank God!” I pried the Corndog’s Wife off of me, and she stood there agape with the dildo in her clutches. “My God, Alisoun, have you been fucking another one of our boy-employees?” She puffed up. “It’s none of your business if I have, Karl. You’re just my husband!” I grabbed Gordon’s beloved gym bag and slipped out into the night, leaving the Sparks to their own kind. ˚˚˚˚˚ The next afternoon found me in downtown San Jose, in front of Fitness Revolution Gay Gym. I peered through the front window, not too sure. What if this was a ploy by the crazy Abraca people, or worse, by the donkey-dick lovers. I hesitated. Another text came in. “I’m glad you’re here.” I went in and found a day pass with my name on it at the front desk. The main workout room was what you’d expect to see in any place catering to the buff, queer and beautiful. Hmmm, mental note: new name for a soap opera. …Next time on The Buff, Queer and the Beautiful, will Biffy come clean about his lobotomy to Colton; will Clayton out Dawson to Preston…. And on and on. Walking around a bit, I got the lay of the land. Treadmills faced the windows; weight machines lined the opposite wall…. Was that…? About twenty feet ahead of me, on some dead-press contraption, was Assauer. Older men stood around and fawned over his every gesture, and then I saw why. My eyes nearly popped out to see his cock flopping halfway down to his knees in the silky rolls of his basketball shorts. I had a sudden realization. If Assauer was here…. Then…. Gordon…? I saw the boy eyeing me from behind a nearby weight machine. Swallowing, and making sure my ex hadn’t seen me, I went over to him. He had appeared sad, but started to smile. “You came.” “Does this mean—” “Oh, Kohl. I’m sorry, please – please rescue me?” I gestured for him to stay quiet, and the two of us quickly headed for the exit. He had Assauer’s gym bag, and we were careful my ex didn’t see us slip away. I was also careful not shout out in sheer joy! _
  8. Thank you, Def. I guess it's very human to take affection for granted. Kohl certainly has, not only with his beloved Gordon, but with the long-suffering Assauer as well. I'm glad you can forgive him for being human and accept him like Gordon does -- a work in process Always love hearing from you. Thanks again
  9. Thanks for reading and commenting, Tim. I appreciate it!
  10. AC Benus

    Mojo

    Now, does this Burns fellow like eggplant? *makes innocent face, and don't mention Smithers!!!!* lol
  11. AC Benus

    Mojo

    New chapter up tomorrow. I think you will like it, as Kohl does something unexpected - and the Corndog's Wife...well, wait and see what she has in mind 🤐😵🍆
  12. Tears through the laughter...one's father's love

     

     

  13. AC Benus

    Il Pleure dans Mon Coeur

    Thank you, Def. I always appreciate hearing from you.
  14. Looking for a volunteer! I'm re-working the first of my poetry prompts and would love to find someone to try it out. All you need is a little interest in learning the first step on how to write poetry, and to not have taken my Tanka prompt challenge already. I need fresh eyes to try a fresh attempt :yes: 

     

    Please PM me. Much love!   

     

     

    1. Show previous comments  5 more
    2. MichaelS36
    3. BHopper2

      BHopper2

      I did that prompt, or I would volunteer. Some people are meant to be poets, and I'm not one of them.

    4. Puppilull

      Puppilull

      Now, I'm not saying the Rubaiyat won't give a person a few grey hairs, but it's such satisfaction to complete it!

  15. Thanks, Def. New chapter out on Wednesday, and we'll see if Kohl starts running to something instead of away from it. Thank you for reading. I'm appreciative, I really am.
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