story codes: MM
by Charles George Taylor©
Donald leaned out the third floor window and watched as I watered
the garden. I squeezed the trigger on the hose gun and squirted a
thick stream of water to the back of the yard and managed to
reach the tomato plants without getting out of the lawn chair.
The staked plants were at least five feet tall and had started to
produce an abundance of little green fruits. I aimed for the tops of
the plants covered with yellow blossoms and knew that eventually
some of the water would work its way down the plush green leaves
and be absorbed through the roots.
I leaned my head back and looked up at him standing in his
bathroom window with a towel wrapped around his lean American
Indian body adorned with stomach muscles as perfect as kernels
on an ear of corn.
“Hi Donald, Wassup?” I replied pretending not to be lusting for him
but I kept my head resting on the back of the chair as long as he
was willing to carry on conversation.
“Do you mind if I use your grill? I caught a bass yesterday and want
to cook it over open flames.”
“Where did you catch a bass?”
“The East River. I have a lifetime fishing license for the rivers of
New York. I am an American Indian.”
“I know you are an Indian, Donald. I hear you up there dancing and
beating those drums every night. Do you think it’s safe to eat a fish
out of those waters?”
“Probably not but I’m going to eat this one.”
“Sure, no problem. Help yourself to the grill. Anthony and I are
having guests over this evening. Do you remember Michael and
Sunil? They are coming over for dinner. You are welcome to join
“I’m having company tonight too. She’s a school teacher. She’s not
coming over until around 10:00 so maybe I’ll come down and hang
out with you guys for a while.”
I lifted my head and readjusted the aim of the water and smiled.
Donald was practically our roommate. He spent more time in our
apartment and backyard than his own place. All our friends adored
him too. He was, after all, as beautiful as a buffalo on the plains
and thanks to his culture, he accepted homosexuals as civilized
people, worthy of eating dinner with almost every
I heard a splat and looked behind me. Donald dropped the fish
wrapped in newspapers from his third floor window and
disappeared into the steam of his bathroom.
“I’ll be down in a minute,” he shouted from behind his shower
curtain. I picked up the fish, lit the gas grill by pushing a red button
and adjusted the nozzle on my hose again.
Our dinner guests, Michael and Sunil were two flamboyantly gay
bottoms who somehow found happiness under the sheets despite
the fact that both fought for the right to be the one who got done
Sunil, a member of Sri Lanka’s royal family, or so he claims,
smelled like curry even when he didn’t drag one of his rice dishes
to my back yard picnics. His lover Michael was a North Carolina
native and gave the Dixie Chicks their idea to become a cross-
over band. Michael honestly believed he would one day become
queen of Sri Lanka.
They were fun to have over on weekends to share bottles of wine in
the back yard. There were not many twenty year old couples in
New York City who were in committed same-sex relationships in
the mid ‘90s. It seemed like the rest of the town was busy buffing
their bodies at gyms.
Donald was the real reason why we all gathered together every
weekend in Thanksgiving style. Our straight friends, John and
Linda, a Jew and a Muslim couple were just as mesmerized as the
queens by the man who was likely the last Mohican. They all came
to my cook- outs as if the vegetable garden were the Holy Land
with its own Plymouth Rock.
Donald entertained us all with his stories of American Indian
culture and seduced us with a smile as bright as summer wheat on
“He’s cute but he’d have to take a bath before I played around with
Michael explained with a cigarette hanging loosely from his pointer
and middle fingers as we sat around the picnic table waiting for the
Indian with thick black hair and perfect white teeth to join us.
“You’re boyfriend smells like curry,” Anthony rebuffed jokingly. “How
dare you dis’ Donald like that! I know you suck Sunil’s stinky goat
meat every night. Donald is fine and you know it!”
Linda, the only female at our parties giggled hysterically and tried
to change the topic from Donald to her plans to re-enter college
and obtain her masters degree in communications.
“Linda, it’s not about you tonight,” I would explain to the woman
who claimed her Jewish boyfriend had a cock bigger than
“Can we all be gay here for a moment—you two have the rest of
the world to graze freely in. This is my home. Let’s talk about
Donald was a tease. He didn’t come downstairs until he saw the
food was being served and when all the lustful gossip had ended.
He never brought anything to the meal, but we never considered it
He certainly was breathtaking. Even Linda stood up as he entered
the back yard. We knew that royalty was in our presence and we
fought over the right to be the one to pour his first glass of wine.
Despite the fact that I had a lover, Donald flirted shamelessly with
me over dinner in the back yard. I couldn’t help but blush and flirt
back when he told me how tasty my cooking was. It seemed as if
he envied my homosexual relationship with Anthony and although
he was straight, wished I lived with him and cooked all his meals.
My kitchen skills and seductive frying over a hot flame have always
been my secret to finding the path through the intestines into the
stomach of handsome men. Women, like my friend Linda never
ceased to baffle me with their insecurities relating to losing their
“Linda, come spend a weekend with me-- just you and I alone in
the house and the kitchen. Let the guys go fishing. I’ll show you how
to cook for a Jewish man and keep him monogamous,” I offered.
She never accepted my hospitality. Donald laughed hysterically as I
offered to teach Linda how to cook for her man.
They all craved my food. The same crowd came back every
I never grew tired of cooking for them. And my garden-- my
beautiful garden in Sunset Park with the bird bath surrounded by
egg plants– it truly was paradise back then when the world was still
Anthony, my partner of nine years and the soldier I fell in love with
in Ansbach, West Germany was the social butterfly during our
notorious dinner parties. He did all the talking and I did all the
broiling. It was a marriage made in heaven until the night I cooked
Donald’s Stripped Bass-- the one he caught in the East River.
Anthony always teased Donald and his mysterious sexuality. My
lover was just as turned on as I was–constantly flirting with him and
suggesting that he cross the line and let us ‘touch it’.
Donald didn’t resist the gay passes. I dreamed of being done by
both of them.
“I’m totally comfortable in my sexuality,” he said. “In my culture,
gays had a purpose, a very important purpose,” he suggested.
Sunil noted that he had read somewhere that in American Indian
culture, just as in Sri Lanka and among Far East Indian cultures,
effeminate men often served as the liaisons between the females
and heterosexual males—they were the mediators, the
ones who kept the peace in a world dominated by our reproductive
There was something about the stripped bass I cooked for Donald
that was the straw that broke the buffalo's back and the end of my
nine year relationship with Anthony. It was the last cookout we ever
had in Sunset Park.
The recipe just came to me, as if I had cooked it in a past lifetime
as a squaw on the prairies of a new America.
I took one of the fresh green tomatoes from my garden and made a
stuffing for the bass Donald caught. I fried the savory fish right next
to the T-bone stakes on the outdoor grill. I swear, and so does
Linda, that there was something about the fish we ate that night
that changed our outlook on the world.
After melting a stick of butter in a cast- iron skillet, I threw in one
chopped onion. With the flavoring of three mushrooms, I waited
untilthe batch wilted. My last few remaining sprigs of parsley from
the garden were minced and thrown in as was few handfuls of
After the salt and pepper were grinded, I blanched the tomato and
squeezed out the seeds and added it to my stuffing mix.
Donald hadn’t cleaned the fish he caught and asked me to cook so
I used a knife to scrape the scales off by moving the blade from the
tail towards the head.
The guts came out easy. With one little poke in the pee- hole and a
delicate slice of the knife, I caused the uneatable portions of the
fish to spill onto my cutting board.
I added a little Chardonnay to my tomato stuffing and squeezed in a
lemon to take out the taste of the sea.
I stuffed the belly of the fish, sewed it shut with tooth picks,
wrapped it in aluminum foil and threw it over the flame.
Donald never stopped looking at me that night as he ate the fish he
caught. I’ll never forget those brown eyes undressing me under the
moonlight– right in front of my lover, in my vegetable garden of
The other guests loved it too. Sunil suggested that the next time, I
flavor it with a little more curry. Michael disagreed, told him to shut
his trap and take him home and ‘do him’.
John looked at Linda and told her to take a few lessons. She
burped and asked when he was going to ask her to marry him.
My lover Anthony asked everyone, including Donald to leave
because he had the urge to stuff me like that fish. “He’s my bitch,
gluttons. Get out of my house now! We’ve had you,” he said as he
made them paper plates filled with leftovers and sent them on their
Donald thanked me with a handshake and headed upstairs.
As he was leaving he told me he was making a vest from
porcupine quills and he wanted to give it to me as a gift.
That evening as Anthony plowed me all I could hear and think
about was Donald dancing in circles above our heads while he
pounded on his drums. He danced for hours, even after the love
making with my partner had ended. His chants were mysterious
and he sang them in a tone much lower than his speaking voice.
I sensed him channeling to me from the apartment above us.
Anthony was already sleeping, sedated with at least five glasses of
wine. Despite the fact that we had just made love, I was erect yet
again thinking about what Donald may look like in his head dress
and porcupine quills. His drumming stopped and I could hear him
walking around on his floor above us. I crawled out of the bed and
went into the spare bedroom. There was a door in that bedroom
which we never opened. It led to the stairway to Donald’s
His date with the school teacher must not have worked out. It was
already midnight and I knew she was supposed to arrive at least
two hours ago.
I would have heard her walking up the stairs if she hadn’t stood him
up. I decided to open the door to look into the hallway, perhaps just
to be a nosey neighbor or maybe I was just so hot I had to do
something to ease my nerves.
“Why do you look away when I smile at you,” asked my Native
American neighbor standing in the doorway.
“I feel guilty I suppose. Honestly, I’m hot for you,” I whispered.
“That’s nothing to be ashamed of. Did you know that you have a
gift? My people say you have been granted two spirits in this life.
Want to come up to my place and talk?”
Sweat was pouring down his body from the dancing and he still
had his feathers on. A small leather jock-strap like bikini covered
his torso but it was not enough to disguise his tomahawk which fell
way below the leather skirt.
I thought of my lover sleeping and tempted him to come downstairs
in my house for a just cup of coffee.
He reached out and grabbed my hand and told me to let go of what
I did not understand and that he would show me the way of his
I had never been inside the apartment on the top floor. All the walls
were removed from the original structure of the brownstone and the
only privacy offered was a door to the bathroom. Donald had
candles lit throughout the place and all the windows were open.
Despite the subtle August breeze the place smelled like stagnant
smoke and his armpits.
A dainty woman with black hair tied in a bun sat on a futon in the
middle of what was his living room.
I was confused.
“Cheyenne, this is Charles from downstairs—the excellent cook I
was telling you about.”
She stood up and walked slowly across the room with her head
I reached out to shake her hand but she feel on her knees before
I turned to my friend and neighbor not knowing how to properly
introduce myself to her.
Donald began circling us while lifting his legs high and once again
moaned his chant. He slapped his thigh hard and spun in circles
while moving around us.
I reached both of my hands out to her and she took them and I
helped her to her feet while the alpha male of our trio put on his
“We ask that you give it to us,” Cheyenne requested while holding
her stomach. She was obviously pregnant.
I remembered Donald’s remarks regarding the extra spirit of my
gay soul and concluded that I was somehow supposed to hand it
over to the child in her womb.
I started to laugh realizing that the entire situation had spun of
control and I was in the home of a mad indian and his crazy
“Sure, it’s yours, take it,” I said sarcastically.
He took us both by the hand and led us to the futon and lit a long
pipe and handed it to me.
My spirit was pure. I had never smoked a peace pipe in my life.
Even after serving in the United States Army during peacetime, I
was not a heavy drinker no had I done much experimenting with
recreational drugs. I hated the feeling I got after having more than
two glasses of wine at dinner.
I didn’t feel pretty when booze opened my third eye so I avoided the
disease that many of my friends and family had married.
The substance in the pipe was obviously an illegal one. Anthony
never wanted to smoke pot– there was much drama in his family
history too. We tried it one time with our straight friends John and
Linda. The taste was horrifying. I immediately ran to the bathroom
and brushed my teeth and gargled with three capfuls of Scope.
It felt as if I were sitting in a field in Woodstock the first time I
got high with John, Linda and Anthony. With the assistance of the
pot, John and Linda appeared cute and interesting. His hair was
as blonde as a caucasian from Nova Scotia and she looked as
much Muslim as I did. John’s theory on the reason why the
Holocaust happened made sense as did Linda’s hypotheses
on the future of the Middle East, its peace and a world where we
will all live as one. Mouths ran more than usual when the four of us
got stoned together and the night I lost my substance abuse
My high with my upstairs neighbor and his girlfriend was a totally
new and gratifying experience. I couldn’t resist Donald’s authentic
Sioux peace pipe. I just had to try it again as he started to perform
what he called the “friendship dance” in front of his pregnant
girlfriend and me.
After the first puff I started to laugh hysterically as he lifted his
leg high just like actors did in old Hollywood films from the wild
The school teacher with the bun didn’t take part in the sharing of the
“It’s so cool you don’t smoke while you’re pregnant,” my high,
hypocritical ass said to Donald’s girlfriend.
“I want my son to have two souls too,” she said while smiling at me
and offering more of the peace pipe.
Donald untied the peace of leather hide wrapped around his waste
and started dancing nude in front of us.
She clapped her hands and shouted “Yeh, Yah, Yah Yeh. Yeh, Yah,
“Are you a Shaman, my friend? I remember you, do you remember
“A prophet, a healer, a visionary.”
I looked away, embarrassed by his nude body and huge brown
cock swinging to the beat. He lifted my chin and smiled at me
delicately as he started to dance his friendship dance again.
“In most native American Indian tribes, the men, the hunters often
developed relationships with other men. Their lives were spent
away from the women and children on hunting expeditions. People
like you served as the mediators between the males and females.
It seems to me that I remember you from those hunting trips in a
previous life,” he said to me while placing his weapon of
manhood in my palm.
My head spun in confusion as the school teacher lifted my white
tank top and rubbed my chest.
“This dance was used to express the love that two hunters had for
each other. It was called the friendship dance.”
I turned to look at the school teacher as I put the corn on the cob in
my mouth and dipped it in the sweet buttery saliva of my mouth.
She smiled at me as we gave one of my souls to the Native
American child in her womb.
Anthony slept through it all. I was back downstairs by sunrise and
offered to make him eggs over-easy. He said the fish I made was
horrible and I was losing my touch in the kitchen.
© 2006 Charles G. Taylor
Charles G. Taylor was a staff writer for The Daily News in Huntingdon,
PA in 1988 and has appeared as a guest writer in the column “Along the
Juniata” several times during the 1990s.
Following an enlistment in the United States Army, he has earned a
living as a grant writer for charitable organizations in New York City,
securing funding for the AIDS affected and the mentally ill.
He has worked with Tony Award winner Geoffrey Holder as a personal
Taylor continues to share his craft of writing with community based,
not-for-profit organizations as a freelance special events coordinator
and grant writer.
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