Hi peeps, we have R.P. Andrews stopping by with the our for his new release Buy Guys, we have a great guest post, a brilliant excerpt and a fantastic giveaway, so enjoy the post and click that rafflecopter link <3 ~Pixie~
Pete, a young, gay handsome drifter, is convinced by his roommate Blaze to join him and leave dreary Jersey for sunny, sex-drenched Fort Lauderdale. Their mission is simple: make a free and easy living as male prostitutes on the escort site, Buy Guys. For a while things seem to go their way, but as Pete falls deeper in love with Blaze, he is drawn into a much more sinister scheme that eventually threatens to destroy them both.
R.P. Andrews: How the L.A. of the Sixties Shaped My Art
Whenever I see a gray-haired, pony-tailed biker or eighteen year old John Denver-look-alike hippy, complete with backpack and guitar strung over his shoulder, I think back to the heyday both are attempting to relive, the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s. Those were the years when we who were just coming out benefited as the first generation of homosexuals from the new won openness of the gay liberation movement. For me, that very formative, impressible time was spent not in NYC that I could practically see out my Jersey window, but a continent away in L.A. where I went to complete my master’s degree at the University of Southern California, a socially acceptable reason for an X-rated movie. You see, living at home (I went to a commuter college for my B.A.) had become impossible, with two well-meaning but overbearing parents who called out the cops if their boy wasn’t home by midnight. L.A. offered me not only freedom, but an unbridled opportunity to play the scene for the first time in my fresh gay life.
When we talk about the L.A. scene today, we think of Silver Lake, by extension Palm Springs, and, of course, West Hollywood. Ah, but before there was glitzy, pretty boy, overpriced West Hollywood, there was Hollywood, not the mythical Hollywood perpetuated even today by entertainment pundits, but a seedier version of the town that by the late ‘60’s was still pretty with its blocks of pastel colored garden apartments, but pretty like a sixty year old whore with a good Max Factor make-up job. I found it ironic that Hollywood as a municipality technically didn’t even exist, and was just a section of the City of Los Angeles. But my studio apartment off Melrose was cheap and, at most, a brisk twenty minute walk from the best of the scene of that day, an important consideration for someone who couldn’t afford a car and relied on L.A.’s joke of a bus service. (These were the pre-subway days.)
Now, in those days, before cell phones and iphones and Manhunt.net’s, you met guys the old fashioned way, mainly in the bars and the baths (the latter of which I didn’t discover until I was back in NYC). One other approach, a path less taken, was the “male-seeking male” personals that only appeared in liberal, quasi-commie, anti-establishment, anti-LBJ pubs like the Los Angeles Free Press. You were assigned an anonymous “mailbox” by the newspaper that forwarded any responses (of course, unopened) to your real address. Heavens, there were no dick or bare ass shots up there for the world to gawk at (you hoped the guy would send you a pic of what he looked like, at least), just four lines and out, thank you ma’am. All by snail mail, which meant it often took weeks to cement a contact, versus the technological miracle of virtually instantaneous e-mail (so why do we go back and forth today with endless e-mails and still end up nowhere? Have things really changed?).
And just like today, guys, well, they lied. Sent pics taken at their Confirmation or descripts that had to be written while the guy was high on grass or LSD. Now I must confess I met some great sex partners, bless you, Free Press, but I also had my clunkers like the guy who told me he was 25 (when I was 22) and who I took two buses to rendezvous with at some gas station only to spot his toup from my seat on the bus. (Yes, I went through with it anyway. Young or old, when you’re horny, a dick is a dick.)
A neighbor in my very gay complex, Tommy, personified the new old Hollywood. A Cincinnati transplant and beautician by trade, he had been a wigmaker for one of the studios but had recently lost his job and was living on unemployment. His hobby? Collecting match covers from whatever club or cheap motel he had been in and covering his bathroom wall with them. He soon became my tour guide to the Hollyweird club scene.
There were plenty of bars to choose from in the Hollywood of the 70’s: levi, leather (mainly in Silver Lake), and nelly (they weren’t called twinks then), all filled with mostly young guys. Just like me. But the two clubs I remember most fondly were Gino’s (named for its owner), a dance bar on Melrose that I reminisce about every time I hear the Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back;” a super hit at the time; and The Farm, a ranch-motif bar with sawdust on its dance floor, where I fell in love with half a dozen handsome, rugged guys, again, young and hot, every time I went.
And after the bars closed, just about everybody ended up at Arthur’s Diner off Hollywood Boulevard which was almost as cruisy as the bars and sported more pretend women than the genuine article most nights.
But for those of you gay men under 30 who romanticize the ‘60’s, not everything was rosy. Remember, it was the height of the Vietnam War, and every one of us dreaded opening our mailboxes to find that love letter from Uncle Sam. I naively thought I would be exempted from the draft because I was continuing my education, but I was dead wrong. The prevailing notion at the time was that admitting you were a fag could mark you for life, career wise. But through a lesbian neighbor I made contact with a physician who got guys off, a libertarian who even resembled Timothy Leary. For a hefty fee, he morphed my nervous stomach syndrome into a full-fledged bleeding duodenal ulcer that earned me a 4-F. It’s still the best $800 I ever spent in my life.
So, why, you ask, did I ever leave this wet dream of a lifestyle, after getting my M.A. degree, for cold, bleak New York and my parents’ outstretched tentacles?
I was broke, living on Campbell Soup towards the end. To this day, I’ll never use Bank of America that, in those poverty-stricken days of my youth, charged me a fee every time I withdrew money from my quickly dwindling account.
I also suffered from the chicken or the egg syndrome. Without money, I couldn’t buy a car, and without a car, it was hard to land a decent paying job. Desperate to keep my long Beatles style hair, I even bought a short hair wig at a Hollywood novelty store for interviews. I finally managed to land a part-time gig in the basement of the now defunct Broadway Department Store on Hollywood Boulevard, not far from the still very much alive Roosevelt Hotel, gift-wrapping other people’s stuff. Not exactly a career goal for someone with two degrees.
I did apply for one job connected to the old Hollywood, the position of “title writer,” whatever the hell that meant, at glorious MGM. Taking the bus out to Culver City, however, by then ghettoized and resembling more a dingy warehouse district than the sacred home of the “dream factory,” my idealizations of a glamorous L.A. were abruptly blown, and not getting the job, I realized my own fantasy of living and working here was not to be.
My only real friend, out-of-work neighbor Tommy, left in desperation for his hometown in Ohio, hoping his old beauty shop would take him back. His sacred matchbook collection ended up on the curb in the garbage
Finally, Mother Nature reared her ugly head. Living in L.A., you get used to tremors anytime of the day or night. But when the earthquake of ‘71 hit, – my apartment was spared any serious damage but businesses like Broadway suffered broken windows and ruptured pipes, and a hospital in “The Valley” collapsed – I took it as a sign that it was time for this gay boy to head home. The rest, as they say, is history.
So, too, for me, was L.A.
Yet, in all my books, I have tried to recapture that easy, breezy lifestyle I once enjoyed for a brief blink of my life when responsibilities were someone else’s game.
It was just after seven in the morning when Pete got back to the house from his graveyard shift sweeping the factory floor at Brewers Screw and Fastener Company. After making himself a cup of coffee, Pete tiptoed into Blaze’s room and took a seat in the corner, quietly staring at his roommate asleep in all his naked glory, his smooth, melon butt jutting out from under the covers. Pete knew Bruno had been there tonight. The big brute was allergic to latex and the box of lamb skin condoms Blaze used when he fucked him was still on the bed stand.
It had been three months since Pete saw Blaze’s ad for a roommate – “masculine gay preferred” – on Craig’s List, and for Pete the timing couldn’t have been better. They hit it off over coffee at Starbucks, Blaze, the tall, slim, smooth, clean-shaven dirty blond, Pete, short, burly, bearded, dark and furry just about everywhere. Though they were both total tops, Pete felt an immediate attraction to his new surfer boy buddy and was happy when Blaze suggested that three-ways might be fun and set one up that same night with an old fuck buddy of his. Pete never let on the real fun for him was watching Blaze in action.
When he was sixteen, Pete’s crazy dad, who had beaten him up since he was a kid, suffocated his pill-popping mother with a Walmart plastic bag in a drunken rage and was now rotting for the rest of his life in Trenton State Prison. No foster home for him, Pete hitched rides with truckers he blew for food till he got to San Francisco where, grabbing a room off Harrison, South of Market, he worked the window at Blow Buddies, played bouncer at the Lone Star Saloon, was a sometime-escort to rich old fucks on the hills, and drifted in and out of a meth habit—twice. The last time he slammed was that weekend in Seattle. After what happened there, he stopped cold turkey and swore to himself that he would never touch the stuff again.
Then last August, out of the blue he heard from his father’s brother, twice-divorced Uncle Walt, who lived in Lyndhurst, New Jersey in a small clapboard house not far from where Pete had grown up. Seems Walt, a three-pack-a-day man, was dying of lung cancer and wanted Pete to come back and take care of him, wipe his ass, change his piss-stained sheets, and feed him like a baby, and for that, Pete would get the old man’s house, a fifty-thousand-dollar life insurance payout, and his 2004 Ford Bronco.
Only, after Walt kicked, Pete learned the house had a reverse mortgage on it and the bank owned it now, and the insurance policy was as real as his last trick on meth back in San Francisco.
At least the Bronco worked.
At Walt’s funeral, Pete ran into one of his old Garfield High chums, a security guard at Brewer’s who got him the job, and a week after that, just as he was being kicked out of his uncle’s house, along came Blaze’s ad.
Pete had been sitting in Blaze’s room for about twenty minutes when the dirty blond woke up. It was time to tell him the bad news.
“The fuckin’ rumor’s true.”
“Whatya mean?” said Blaze, turning over to show off his morning woody. Pete had seen it dozens of times before, but it was still, well, pretty. A nice seven inches, cut. Just like his.
“The rumor about Walmart buying up the factory to build a supercenter. They posted the notice at the time clock. The place is shutting up the end of the month, which means Friday.”
Blaze rolled out of bed and walked over to the bathroom a few yards away to take his overdue piss. “Well, then, it’s time,” he yelled as he relieved himself, “I mean, that is, if you wanna come with me.”
“Come with you where?” said Pete, still sitting in the corner of Blaze’s room.
Blaze walked back in. “To warm, sunny Lauderdale where we can play whores for hire.” He grabbed his silver and gold ID bracelet with his initials, BET for Blaze Eliot Talbot, from on top of his dresser and put it on his left wrist. “The place is loaded with lonely old retired gay guys with dough who’ll just eat us up.”
“You’re— You’re nuts—no, delusional,” said Pete, thinking this was all a joke.
“Hey, I checked it out on the web,” replied Blaze, scratching his pubes. “There’s even a site and a phone app called Buy Guys where we can sell what we got.”
“But, I—I don’t know…”
“You told me you fucked guys for money back in SF, didn’t you?”
“And I had a guy keep me in Manhattan for almost five years.”
“Till you said he kicked you out on the street for some younger blond bimbo.”
“His fuckin’ loss. Hope the shits get AIDS,” said Blaze, grabbing his Samsung from the bed stand.
“So we were both pay boys, so?”
“So, we both know nothing makes the cock harder than a stack of twenties on the bureau. Or keys to his Lexus.”
Then he moved in closer and stared at Pete, straight on.
“Listen, I was meaning to talk to you about this for a while, but now your little setback is the kick in the ass we both need to make it happen. You think I wanna keep fuckin’ Lardass forever just to save a few bucks on the rent?”
After Sydney kicked Blaze out of his Upper West Side condo, Blaze, who grew up in Totowa, decided to come back to his roots and grabbed a job as a driver and catch-all man for Bruno and his Forest Rest Funeral Home in upscale Fair Lawn. Married with three kids, Bruno took a liking to his dirty blond assistant, gave him a place to live in the lower apartment of the two-family house in Garfield he inherited from his mother, and took half off the rent if Blaze would fuck his fat, furry ass whenever Bruno felt like it.
“Let me show you what I’m fuckin’ talkin’ about,” said Blaze, pulling up the Buy Guys app on his phone and handing it over to Pete, who began flipping through profile after profile of the young, hung, and beautiful.
“And we’re gonna compete against all these pretty boys?” said Pete, laughing.
“Take your fuckin’ clothes off and come over here,” instructed Blaze with a dare in his voice as he walked over to his dresser with the large mirror. Blaze was two years younger than Pete, twenty-five versus twenty-seven, but Pete felt he was always the one who needed somebody to show him the way. Right then, that somebody was Blaze.
“Now, did you ever see two hotter dudes in your life?” laughed Blaze. Both their dicks were getting hard.
Pete smirked back at the two of them in the mirror.
“And we got a gimmick the rest of those little boys ain’t got,” said Blaze. “We can bill ourselves as a team. The dynamic duo!”
RP Andrews spent most of his life in New York City as a public relations executive before relocating to Fort Lauderdale in 2002, where he enjoyed a brief second career teaching writing at a local university.
All his works of erotic gay fiction and non-fiction are available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com and selected publisher websites.
His first work of erotic gay fiction, a collection of edgy short stories called Basic Butch, was originally published by San Francisco-based GLBT Publishers in 2008. Basic Butch features characters who go down life paths that, in the end, they wish they had never explored.
His latest works of serious gay fiction include:
The Czar of Wilton Drive, the story of Jonathan Antonucci, a twenty-one-year- old, barely-out-the-closet gay man from suburban New York who overnight finds himself a multimillionaire, thanks to a bequest by his late gay uncle. Uncle Charlie has unexpectedly died of a heart attack, leaving him the sole owner of several of the most successful bars in Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale’s gay ghetto, making Jonathan the Czar of Wilton Drive.
Flying down to Lauderdale to claim his bequest, Jon encounters Uncle Charlie’s dubious friends and business associates, and is immediately submerged in Lauderdale’s scene of unbridled sex and heavy drugs. He also discovers his great uncle’s memoirs which reveal truths not only about Jon’s own past but also what may have really happened to his uncle. In the end, Jon is torn between avenging Uncle Charlie’s death or loving the man responsible for it. From Kokoro Press.
Not In it For The Love, set at the turn of the new millennium. Josh, a young street-smart Florida drifter is snatched from his dead-end existence as a male hustler in a cheap Key Largo motel by Bishop, a Wall Street power broker who sets him up as his trophy boy in Manhattan society.
There, Josh, after leading a promiscuous lifestyle within New York City’s gay sub-culture, meets Hylan, a young, bi-racial, down-on-his luck, wheelchair-bound musician who awakens in Josh what love can be between two men. But their chance at happiness and the lives of those around them are forever changed by 9/11. From Totally Bound Press.
Buy Guys, his latest novella to be published by Wilde City Press in early 2016, is the story of Blaze and Pete, two young, handsome drifters with nothing and nothing to lose. Blaze convinces Pete, who is falling in love with him, to leave dreary New Jersey and lead free and easy lives as male prostitutes in sunny Fort Lauderdale, posting their profile on the male escort site, Buy Guys. Blaze, however, soon pulls Pete into a much larger, more dangerous scheme, a scheme that eventually threatens to destroy them both.
RP Andrews’ daily social commentary blog on gay life in America has been running since 2010 at str8gayconfessions.com, and a second edition collection of these commentaries is available as an e-book on amazon.com. Confessions of a Str8Gay Man is RP Andrews’ unvarnished, unorthodox views of Modern Gay America which are often counter to today’s political correct gay media.
In addition, there is Furry Man’s Journal, his erotic memoirs as a hirsute gay man as told through his experiences with the dozen iconic men in his life.