When I was living in Flatbush I became acquainted with a struggling artist, J. I don’t recall much of the first night we met; numbers were exchanged and by the morning I had forgotten the drunken kissing.
A little down the line we were again in a bar doing much the same and the idea of J accompanying me home to my fifth floor walk up seemed the right thing to do. He was a terrible kisser but I liked his moustache.
We staggered the endless stairs to my apartment partly out of drunkenness, partly out of heat exhaustion and once inside I turned to put my bag down and kick off my shoes. I turned back to discover that in that instant J had managed to remove every stitch of his clothing and stood before me ridiculously. If his penis had a sound effect it would have been ‘boing’.
He then spent the remainder of the evening flitting between explaining to me the details of his male escort work (a sideline to his art/meagre paycheck from the Strand) and convincing me to disrobe. I did not. Eventually we slept and in the morning I asked him to leave my room whilst I dressed for work, mostly amused but also mildly wary of the mad man with the handlebar moustache.
I was headed to London and had hoped that on return he may have found a new girl to terrify. I got home at midnight and by 6am I had received the, ‘Are you back yet?!’ text. I cannot say why I opted to respond several hours later and I am futher flummoxed as to why I agreed to let him come over. It was probably because he begged.
I relented with a bargain that involved him bringing bread and toilet paper and when he arrived empty-handed I sent him out again. He came back with two 40 ounce bottles of malt liquor, promptly downed one bottle and then proceeded in vain to convince me to take a bath with him. He then began to threaten suicide.
When we left the apartment he began the second 40 ounce and promptly fell down a full flight of stairs. He sulked for the following few hours and eventually I sent him away instructing him not to kill himself. He said he could make no promises.
We only saw one another fleetingly after that. When I was flying home to London for good I decided to let him know. He responded with two words. ‘I’M DEVASTATED’.