17 St Phillip Street – Part Ten-

Art by Rob Goldstein

Paul asked everyone to dress up for the pissy dinner he had planned for Joe and Sandy.

Bobby pulled out a black silk shirt and squeezed into his tightest bells.

He wondered when he should he tell Paul that he and Joe had already done it?

Bobby would explain that he thought that if he brought Joe out, Joe would hook up with Paul.

But a part of Bobby disagreed.

It thought that Bobby’s motives were selfish and the conflict silenced Bobby.

Bobby wondered why he had to question everything.

Why was it so confusing to be Bobby?

He had to account for actions he couldn’t explain.

And there were the people who called him Bob.

People he didn’t know.

They were everywhere.

Who was Bob and why had Bobby never seen him?

Bobby brushed his teeth and tousled the unruly curls of his shoulder length hair.

Last week Maurice breezed home in a rush of excitement.

He had an LP by a guy named Cat Stevens.

“Miss Bobby!” Maurice screamed, “Look at him!” Maurice flipped open the cover and there was a portrait of Cat Stevens. “If You had a beard you’d be twins!”

Bobby smiled into the mirror and checked the progress of his beard: it was filling in nicely.


Maurice passed the joint to Bobby, “How nice that you’ve begun to understand something of the mean world we live in Haih Priestess!”

Bobby inhaled deeply, held his breath and exhaled. “I don’t know what you’re talking about Miss Duchess of Northwoods!”

Maurice: “Not raising a stink at the navy yard about Nestor–they’d crucify you.”

Bobby coughed and passed the joint to Joe. “Nestor calls every night to tell me how much he loves me an’ how he’ll leave his wife and be a full-time fag for me. Dude follows me around like an old dog!”

Maurice: “You’re a man-trap miss, Bobby.”

Joe laughed and coughed and passed the joint to Sandy.

Paul strode into the room with a goblet of white wine for Sandy.

“Don’t be shy, Miss Jenny,”  Paul had Miss Jenny by the hand. “Miss Jenny is our landlady, Sandy.”

Miss Jenny took a long hard look at Sandy: “You sure got rosy cheeks! A girl with cheeks like that will have a passel of babies! Notice how Bobby’s got rosy cheeks too!”

“’’Cept I ain’t a girl Miss Jenny!”

Miss Jenny: “If you was I could marry you off.”

Everyone laughed.

Sandy took the goblet of wine and passed the joint to Paul.

“So Sandy,” Paul said, “You come all the way from Michigan. How do you like our decadent little town?”

Sandy: “Oh it’s just beautiful!”

Bobby: “Like a pretty little corpse.”

Paul: “Bobby hates Charleston.”

Bobby: “I don’t hate it, Paul! I just don’t like it!”

Sandy looked up at Paul: “Joe says you’re quite the cooker…I’ve heard that before about you people.”

Sandy decided that she’d arrived just in time to save Joe; she gazed shyly at Bobby and wondered if she should save him too.

Bobby fell silent as the words ‘you people’ sank in.

Miss Jenny: “Sandy is at least as pretty as you are Maurice!”

Maurice: “You can’t really compare a man and a woman, Miss Jenny.

Sandy: “I agree, regardless of how feminine a man is he’s still a man…in a way.”

Bobby’s expression got dark: “What’s that mean, ‘in a way?’”

Sandy: “I mean that men should be men and not women.

Bobby’s expression got darker: “You mean if I act feminine I’m a man…’kind of?’”

Sandy: “Forgive my bluntness, but that’s what queers are; you’re men that want to be women?”

Miss Jenny moved her chair forward and sat between Bobby and Sandy. “It’s nice you want Sandy to meet your friends, Joe.”

“Paul is special to me.” said Joe.

Maurice lit another joint and muttered.” Is that why you don’t put out.”

Bobby smiled sweetly at Maurice: “Oh Joe puts out–and he’s not normal….Oh no he ain’t, Sandy! He’s bigger ‘n most! An’ he can go all night! Ain’t that right, Joe?”

Sandy stared in shock at Joe.

Paul stared in shock at Bobby.

Joe blushed and looked relieved.

Sandy stood and poured the rest of her wine on Joe’s head. Then she grabbed her bag and left the house.

For a moment everyone sat in silence.

Joe blinked and told Paul he’d call, then he left to find Sandy.

Maurice passed the joint to Bobby and said: “I love gay parties… “

Portrait of Cat Steves

On the Road to Find Out
Cat Stevens – Tea for the Tillerman
Community Audio

Second Life Photo and Writing (c) Rob Goldstein 2016 All Rights Reserved