Tonight I almost tear out somebody's windpipe on my way to my nightly meditation meeting — and over a parking space, no less. I just found a space and am backing into it when some jerk in an MG zips in from behind and grabs it. I honk my horn, he flips me off. I call him an asshole, he calls me a motherfucker, and I'm out of my car and heading toward him with both fists clenched before I get a grip. Is this worth going back to jail for? I ask myself. I take two deep breaths and return to my car. When the guy sees I'm not going to fight, he starts jeering at me, calling me a pussy, a faggot. Since he doesn't know me, I guess the latter is just a generic insult. Even in the car, with my hands gripped so tight around the wheel that my knuckles are white, I seriously consider that maybe it is worth three more months in the slammer to back into that little yuppie shitmobile of his at full acceleration. I don't. I drive off and find a space two blocks away. My stomach is in knots, and my throat is so constricted that I can hardly breathe. There's murder in my heart. I go to meditation.
The guy with the beard and beads, whose name I can never remember, is already in the guided part of the meditation. Still steaming, I shuck off my shoes next to the door and park my butt on the nearest empty pillow. Everyone else's eyes are closed. I take a few deep breaths and close my eyes as well. My thoughts are chaos. After a while I give it up and look around the room. I check out the blond guy with all the muscles, the one I've had a hard on for since I joined this group three weeks ago. Tonight he's sitting right across from me. I let my mind drift into images of what he must look like naked.
Every time I look at this guy, I'm reminded of one of those angels on the Christmas cards I used to see as a kid. It isn't just the blond hair or the mild blue eyes, it's this air of calmness about him. It hangs over him like a shield of light. I could probably lob a cherry bomb at him, and he wouldn't flinch, he'd just turn his steady gaze on me and ask what was on my mind. What must it feel like, I wonder, to be so calm?
While his eyes are closed, I can ogle him openly. He's just wearing a tank top for a shirt, with a yin-yang symbol embroidered on it, and the inscription FREE TIBET underneath. He really does have a fine, fine body: shoulders like a bull's, biceps pumped up and nicely rounded, a tight waist, muscular pecs. The hands that lie on his knees, palms up, are huge; he could crush a casaba with them. His feet arc big too. Next to all the other shoes by the door, his Birkenstocks look like a couple of small rafts. I keep thinking of the line "big hands — big feet — big dick" and wonder if it's true. Judging by the bulge in his drawstring pants, I don't doubt it for a second. I do a creative visualization of him ramming his thick dick meat hard down my throat and for the first time since the incident over the parking space, I begin to relax.
He opens his eyes, and suddenly we're looking at each other eyeball-to-eyeball. I glance away, but when I sneak another look his eyes are still trained on me. What the hell, I think. I give him my best barroom eye fuck, throwing in a little leer to make it interesting. His expression never changes, and after a couple of seconds, he closes his eyes again and sinks back into meditation. But after the session ends he comes up to me and asks if I’d like to catch a cup of something hot with him. I nearly trip over my tongue saying yes.
We go to some cafe nearby. I order a bowl of split pea soup with crackers; he orders Red Zinger herbal tea. He asks me my name.
"Bill," I say. I ask him his.
"Star," he says.
How precious, I think. New Age pretentiousness really gets on my nerves.
As if reading my mind, he gives a small smile. "It's a '60s thing. My folks were a couple of Height-Ashbury hippies. They wanted something cosmic-sounding for their kids. I have a sister named Moon and another named Earth."
I grin. "What was your dog’s name? Pluto?"
Star smiles. "No, Benny. I got to name him."
I laugh, and Star laughs too. Things start to loosen up between us.
"Have you been meditating long?" Star asks.
I shake my head. "Just since I joined this group three weeks ago."
Star nods. "You looked pretty new at it."
I give a sour smile. "Is it that obvious?" I pick up a pack of crackers and try to open it. For some reason the cellophane won't tear. I struggle with it for a few seconds without making any head way, A small sunburst of rage explodes inside my head. I throw the crackers down and bare my teeth at Star with something I hope can pass as a smile. "How long have you been meditating?" I ask, my voice thin with anger.
Star reaches over and takes one of the cracker packages. "You have to tear it right here," he says, "right where the red line is." He tears the cellophane easily and hands it to me. His expression is bland, but there's humor in his eyes. The rage wells up inside me again. The son of a bitch is laughing at me, I think.
"Thank you," I say tightly.
"You're welcome," he replies. There's a moment of tense silence — tense, at least, on my part. Star seems completely at ease. We look at each other, Star wiggles his eyebrows. Suddenly I laugh, and the rage passes off like steam.
Star smiles. "Welcome back," he says.
"Thanks," I say, this time meaning it. I take a deep breath. "You handle tantrums well." I give a wry smile. "You'd make a great kindergarten teacher."
Star shrugs good-naturally. There's another pause. "Nine years," Star says. I look at him uncomprehendingly. "You asked me how long I've been meditating," he continues. "It’s been nine years now."
I give a low whistle. "No wonder you're so goddamn serene."
Star grins. "I have my bad days too, you know." The thought flashes through my mind that his worst days are probably better than my best. Star takes a sip of tea. "So what prompted you to join the meditation group?"
I swallow a spoonful of soup and give him a level stare. Well, I think, here goes. "It's one of the terms of my probation — to join some kind of stress reduction program." I keep my voice matter of fact. "I just got out after three months in jail — for assault." Star looks at me with his calm gaze and says nothing. After a while the silence is more uncomfortable than speaking, so I continue. "I was shitfaced and got sucked into some stupid fight outside a bar, where I beat the crap out of some guy. He wound up in the hospital. This wasn’t the first time I got into trouble with the law over something like this, so they threw the book at me." I shrug. "I’m a mean drunk. Another condition of my probation is that I join a 12 step program. I meet with them every morning before work."
"How's it been going for you?" Star asks. His face is like a lake on a summer day, with no breeze to ruffle the waters. Part of me is grateful he's listening to this with no sign of disapproval. Another part is getting a little tired of all this relentless serenity.
I shrug again. "I take it from day to day." I give a laugh with precious little humor in it. "The hard part is my temper. I'm such a badass son of a bitch. It doesn't take much to get me started." I give a thin smile. "You didn't realize when you asked me to join you that you were dealing with a psycho from hell, did you?"
Star's expression is thoughtful. "No, I didn't," he says slowly. "It certainly makes things more interesting. " He grabs his jacket. "Let's take a walk."
I look at him, startled. "OK," I finally say.
We walk around the neighborhood, going no place in particular. It's a typical San Francisco summer evening, which means I’m freezing my butt off. But I like the bite in the air; it keeps my mind alert. Star and I don't say much, but it's nice having him walk beside me. We climb Telegraph Hill and look down at Alcatraz, it’s red signal light muffled behind the bank of fog rolling in. We pass a dark doorway. On an impulse I pull Star in, and were all over each other, kissing, rubbing our bodies together, breathing heavily. Star cups my ass with those giant hands of his and pulls my crotch against his; his dick is hard under his cotton pants. He dry-humps me for a couple of minutes with his mouth fused over mine, his tongue pushing deep enough down my throat to taste what I had for breakfast.
"Let's go back to my place," he whispers.
"No problem," I say.
Star's apartment suits what little I know of his personality — simple, uncluttered, comfortable. There are a few pieces of furniture — a futon, a beanbag chair, a small table and set of straight chairs, a potted ficus in the corner. In an alcove there's a weight bench and an impressive set of iron plates, bars, and dumbbells. A single picture hangs on the wall: a series of squares within circles, filled with animals, demons, meditating figures, flowers.
"It's a Tibetan mandala," Star says, noticing the direction of my gaze. "It represents the universe. With the Buddha sitting in the middle." He inserts a CD in his player, and Indian sitar music fills the room.
"Nice," I say.
Star comes over, and we pick up where we left off. I slip my hands under his T-shirt.
Star flinches slightly. "Your hands are cold," he says, smiling.
"Learn to live with it," I murmur. I plant my mouth over his, and we kiss hard. My hands begin kneading the flesh of his torso. It's firm under my fingertips, and the muscles underneath have the feel of hard rubber. I run my thumbs back and forth across his nipples. Star closes his eyes. I can trace each abdominal ridge, the cut of each pectoral. I can't wait to see this guy naked. I tug at his shirt. Star lifts his arms, and I pull it over his head. His torso is as beautiful to look at as it is to feel: hairless, ripped, the muscles sharply defined. The skin is the color of pale honey and has a silky resilience and smoothness under my fingers. I lift his arm and bury my face in his left pit. The musky smell of fresh sweat fills my nose, its sharp taste flavors the saliva in my mouth. I move down to his left nipple and run my tongue around it. Star sighs audibly. I suck on it and give it a playful nip with my teeth. The nipple swells to hardness in my mouth. I trace a wet trail across Star's chest with my tongue and give his right nipple equal time.
I am not by nature a gentle lover. I like my sex rough. I like to wrestle in bed, snarl and spit, spank, plow ass hard and fast, and fuck throat mercilessly. But tonight all bets are off; I feel this irresistible need to be tender. The feeling’s so new to me, it almost seems kinky. I decide to just kick back and let it happen. I slide my tongue down the ridges of Star's abdominals and across the rough fabric of his pants. His dick swells against the white cotton. I kiss it gently, running my tongue against the cloth, darkening it with my spit.
I reach up and untie the drawstring, glancing up at Star’s face. He's looking down at me, his blue eyes bright, his lips parted. There's a lamp on the wall behind him, and the blond hair lit from behind frames his head like a halo. I slowly pull down his pants.
His dick lives up to the promise of his hands and feet. It flops heavily and half erect against his thigh in meaty splendor: red, thick, fleshy, traced with blue veins, the head swollen and engorged with blood. I give a sharp exhalation of breath, just shy of a whistle. "Jeez, Star," I say, "do you fuck with that thing or play baseball with it?"
Star laughs. I love this man's laugh: its open and easy, with a sense of adventure in it. "I just do the usual things with it," he says.
"Well, do them to me, man," I growl. I take his dick in my mouth and move my lips up the shaft until my nose is buried in his dark blond pubes. Star sighs, and his dick grows to full hardness in my mouth. I start working it, sliding my lips up and down the shaft, rolling my tongue over it. Star lays his hands on my head, not roughly, just as a guide, as he pumps his hips and fucks my face with deep, slow strokes. I close my eyes and feel his cock move in and out, filling my mouth with dick flesh. I open my throat wide and with an effort manage to take it all in each time he shoves his hips forward.
I run my hands across the hard flesh of his ass cheeks, prying them apart, burrowing my fingers into the crack. I find his asshole and massage it, then let one finger push up inside. Star squirms and grinds his hips hard against my face. Pulling away from his cock, I slide down and press my lips against his ball sac, kissing it softly. Scrotal hairs tickle my mouth. I stick my tongue out and give his balls a good washing. They hang heavy in their fleshy pouch, plump and swollen with come. I open my mouth wide to take them both in at the same time, but they're too big. I have to content myself with sucking on the right one and then the left.
Star reaches down and pulls me to my feet. He kisses me on the mouth, the eyes, all over my face. He unbuckles my belt and pulls my jeans and boxers down around my ankles.
"You have a beautiful cock," he murmurs, stroking it slowly.
"It's not as big as yours," I reply. I’m unable to bleed all the regret from my voice.
Star shrugs and smiles. "I'm used to that. Bigger isn't always, better, you know." And damned if he doesn't say that with enough sincerity that I actually believe he means it.
He leads me to his futon, and in a matter of seconds we're sprawled on top of it, kissing. Star wraps his legs around mine and spreads himself full length on top of me. It feels as if every nerve ending in my body is wired to the sensation of his skin against mine. He sits up and wraps his hand around both our cocks; we fuck his huge fist in unison, cock flesh against cock flesh, his balls pressed against mine. I reach up and squeeze his nipples, not gently. Star closes his eyes briefly but then looks down at me and smiles.
He pivots around and takes my dick in his mouth, deep-throating me with a slow, long tempo. From this position, all I can see is the crack of his ass and his ball sac, swinging heavily above my face. From the CD player Ravi Shankar is doing hot licks on his sitar. I do the same on Stars balls, lifting my head and sucking eagerly on his meaty scrotum. My tongue moves higher, and I bury my face between Star’s ass checks, probing his bung hole. From the way Star’s body writhes against mine, I can tell the sensations are driving him wild. I wrap my hand around Star’s dick and begin to stroke it. We ease into a smooth rhythm, each stroke and lick of mine in sync with Star's slow, steady sucks — the old horizontal dance I love to do so well.
Star comes up for air. He turns his head and looks at me. "I would really love to fuck your ass right now, Bill," he says. "Would that be all right with you?"
I laugh because he sounds so polite. "Star," I say, "as far as I'm concerned, you can fuck me blind."
Star grins. "What if I just fuck you until you need glasses?" Old joke, maybe, but it’s still funny. I laugh again. He reaches into the drawer of a nightstand next to the futon and pulls out a condom and a jar of lube.
In no time at all, I have my legs over his shoulders, and Star is readying himself for the initial plunge. He places his hands on my hips, and his cock head probes against my asshole. With excruciating slowness he enters me, I shut my eyes and grimace from the size of him. "I know, buddy, I know," he murmurs. "I’ll go easy." He begins fucking me with a gentle, slow tempo, whispering reassurances, his hands caressing my torso. I open my eyes and see his face right above mine, his eyes watching me carefully. I move my body in pace with his, and everything is alright again; the feeling of him filling me excites me into new hardness. Star smiles. He quickens his pace, thrusting deep, grinding his pelvis against me. I reach down and cup his balls in my hand, squeezing them gently. Star smears a dollop of lube on his hand and starts jacking me off. He bends down and we kiss, thrusting our tongues deep into each other’s mouths.
Star pulls away to an upright position. He starts breathing deeply and steadily, exhaling in a loud sigh with each thrust of his hips. After a while it dawns on me that this is fucking as meditation, that he’s using the same breathing techniques I've seen him use during the evening classes. I try to match my breathing with his, and eventually I sort of get the hang of it. Withdraw, inhale, thrust, exhale. Star notices my attempts right away. "Yeah, Bill, that's right," he pants. "Let’s see where we can go with this."
Sensations sweep over my body, starting from my asshole and radiating outward. I have never felt so intensely the act of being fucked. I groan and close my eyes, letting Star's dick and lube-smeared hand work their wonders on me. "Open your eyes, Bill," Star says urgently. "Don't drift away." I open my eyes and see Star looking down at me, sweat along his forehead, his eyebrows knitted in concentration. I hold his gaze, and we fuck like this, eyes locked, breathing synchronized, bodies thrusting and pulling away in a rhythm that comes more smoothly together with each stroke. I reach up and run my hands over his torso, now slippery with sweat. I seem to be aware of everything around me with a sharpness of detail I've never experienced before; the softness of the futon under my back, the patterns on the leaves of the ficus plant behind Star, each note played on the sitar from the CD. But mostly I’m aware of Star. I feel myself drawn up out of my body and pulled into those blue, blue eyes of his. It no longer requires any effort to match his breathing and thrusting patterns; we seem to be moving as one body now.
Star's breaths come faster and become more ragged. His face is drenched with perspiration, and his lips are pulled back in a soundless snarl. But his gaze never wavers from mine. I know he's ready to come any moment now, and I can feel the load being pulled up from my balls as well. It would be easy for me to shoot, but I manage to hold on, to wait for Star; it feels as if I have more control over my body than I've ever had before. Star groans. I reach up and twist his nipple, and that seems to be all it takes to push him over the edge. He thrusts deep and hard one final time and then cries out. He bends down and kisses me, his torso writhing against mine, and I feel his dick pulse inside me as his load squirts into the condom up my ass. At the same time I feel my own load rise up from my balls and I cry out, my voice muffled by his mouth. My spunk shoots out onto my belly, one frothy gob after another. Star embraces me in a bear hug, pressing his body tightly against mine, as I shudder out the last of my load.
We lie together in silence, me wrapped in Star's strong arms, feeling his heartbeat against my chest. I want this feeling of flesh on flesh to last forever. I want to freeze time right here in the afterglow of a good cosmic fuck, maybe my first. But inevitably Star pulls his dick out of my ass and rolls over on his back. I lie there on the futon, staring up at the ceiling. "Jeez, Star," I say, awed, "that was fucking incredible!"
He smiles. "Yeah, it's nice when it goes right, isn't it?" He kisses me again, and we lie together on the futon, his arms wrapped around me, my head nestled against his shoulder. I feel myself drifting off to sleep. Reluctantly I force myself to get up.
"You know, you can spend the night here," Star says.
But I have to go to work in the morning, so I turn down his offer with some real regret. Star takes this, like everything else, with equanimity. A thought flashes through my head — a snake in Eden — that it would have been nice if he had shown at least a modicum of disappointment at my refusal. "Maybe we can do this again?" I say, trying to sound casual. I scan his face carefully for his reaction.
Star smiles. "Yeah, I’d love to." He seems to mean it.
Leave it at that, I think, don’t push it. I get up and start putting on my clothes. I look down at him on the futon as I button my shirt. He looks like a jungle cat relaxing. He looks beautiful. I hold that picture of him in my mind as I walk out the door.
As I drive home, a car suddenly switches into my lane, cutting me off. I have to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting it. It’s half a mile later before I realize that I didn't feel the slightest bit of anger at the driver. I move through the traffic of the city streets, moving toward home like a rock falling toward the center of the earth.