The Driver (novel excerpt

How can I begin to describe a man, when hired by my father in 1967 when I developed a rare muscoskeleton condition rendering me lame in my right leg; a man from some town in Italy that agreed to drive me wherever I could never drive myself; a man that only, even at the time of his death addressed me as Boy.

All I ever hear now is his voice explaining things to that my father was always too busy to say. All the things a boy needs to hear. His voice, like mine, changed over the decades. From a youthful Italian lilt, to a dark tawny, and finally a deep, dark raspiness.

I’m now standing at his grave, the steering wheel from the last car he drove me in, awaiting to place it atop his casket. How does anyone thank anyone for his lifetime? My Driver, sadly, will never know that it was he, and only he, that made me a man.

Loving Men-Fickle

Men are odd creatures.

No truer words have ever been spoken.

It seems that in this age of instantaneous communication, men are more ravenous to greet and meat: Translation: “How ya’ doing? Great, let’s fuck.”

But in my romantic world order, civility come first. I understand the yearning of intimacy; I know the pangs of longing; I feel the ache of empty beds.

Whatever happened to drinks and dinner? A picnic in a garden? A late evening cigar and whiskey?

It has nothing to do with age: All men want to be wooed. Otters and pups alike desire to be with men of age. Think back to the homosocial relationship of Ancient Greece.

So now I’m off to lunch with a named Kevin

We’ll see.

Loving Men-Beards

A man and a beard. Hm.

What is it about a man in a beard?

I’ve sported a beard for twenty years. Why are young buck’s in beards so hot?

There’s a degree of grooming: no one likes to shave. No one. Not man or woman.

But a buck in a beard?

There’s something manly about a beard. Something primordial. There’s something about hair. There’s something about the feel on your chest, your abdomen, your buttocks.

Men who wear beards, contrary to popular belief, don’t hide anything. They’re naked in their hairiness.

I love men.

And I really love men in beards.

Loving Men-Del Frisco’s

Food is love.

The best part of dining alone, is that you get to make love with the food.

Tonight im dining at Del Frisco’s, one of the top restaurants in Charlotte. I have a private booth. They manage the dining room staff like I’d manage a household staff.

Im starting with a delicious Carpaccio Salad. I’d read about online, and even discussed it with my Driver.

“That sounds yummy,” I said.

“It does, indeed, sir,” Imed replied.

I love a dish that begs a diner to dig in. This salad begged me to take hold of a fork and knife, and dig in. It’s very visceral.

This salad is served with exquisitely toasted croutons on which you pile the salad!

Excellent first course and perfectly proportioned.

The salad had Arugula and capers, so the finish was elegant, with just the right degree of kickback. Excellent!

My second course was a traditional house salad, a cleanser of sorts. The Chef placed the Green Goddess dressing at the bottom (unusual, but unique), and layed two strips of well-done bacon atop. When I started to dig in salad went flying: I would’ve preferred a heavier knife to help cut through the bacon. The sommelier paired the salad with a ballsy Wicked Weed bitter beer. Great choice!

I really like the bacon. While crisp, it stands up to my choppers! It keeps reminding me that this salad is part of a night o passion, and shouldn’t be dismissed as a filler.

A salad course is a point in the meal that your stomach rests, and your pallete relaxes; a bit like taking a pause to slow down passion.

The Sommelier brought a crisp, semi-sweet white wine to pair with

Loving Men-Otters

In Life, we all play roles.

In the gay lexicon I’m what one would call a daddy.

I guess I’ve always been a daddy. Most daddy’s are alpha males. I’m not one of the arrogant, chest-thumping kind. On the contrary: I’m the groomed, quiet, and elegant varietal.

Think of me as a “meritage,” a blend of three or four different characteristics: wisdom, peace, patience, and passion. My role in a gay relationship would be to bring culture and elegance to the pair.

The “otter”, (a younger, lithe furry creature that swims naked on his back, legs at ease in the air, and pounding his flesh with outstretched paws) brings the sexual hunger.

A daddy hunts an otter: a daddy sets the traps: fame, power, money; but in my case poetry, aesthetics, dining, wine, and cigars, to ensnare the otter. I’m an excellent hunter. I use all my strong suits: my words, my intellect, my surroundings; the casual ease of open-collared shirts hinting at chest hair; the odor of delicately laced cologne mixing with the fragrance of my body and cigars; my innate ability to maintain conversation about the most mundane topics.

All to put the otter at ease: I want him to expose himself; to show me that soft spot of flesh just ahead of his erection; to watch his buttocks flex as he walks to the restroom to grab a towel to wipe up our passions.

These are the distinctions of love in our new millennia.

Loving Men-Sir

Yesterday was a phenomenal day.

My Driver took me to the mountains of North Carolina, 2 hours north of Charlotte. It was stunning.

Upon our return to the estate we shared a Cabernet with the owner. I told him of my career as a majordomo for affluent families as well as Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, the oldest and notable architecture firm.

I explained to the owner that the estate is a jewel in the rough; that perhaps it could be a restaurant, or a posh, intimate hotel like you’d find in the city centre’s in Europe.

But what brought a twinkle to his eye and a crooked grin was when I suggested that it become an “artist’s residence; staffed by volunteers, the residence would house artists for two-month retreats, allowing them to write or paint or sculpt. And at the end of their “residency” the families of Charlotte could be invited to a “show”. There’s not another in this entire region.

“Hm,” he said.

Hm, indeed.

The Driver (novel excerpt)

CHAPTER ONE

”Music, please,” I tell my new driver quietly.

“Yes, sir,” Michael replies.

My car is second in the procession. My driver is ahead of me for the first time in fifty years. He’s ahead of me because this is his procession. My Driver died three days ago.

It’s a bleary day today: cold, overcast, with sleet. I can still hear his voice: “We have to go slow today, Master Craig. We’ll still get you to school, but you’ll be safe.”

My Driver, a man that committed his life to mine; My Driver, a simple, quiet man from some small town in some small place, had been hired by my father when it was discovered that I would never learn to drive.

As his procession winds its way through The Plaza, we pass the estate where he arrived every morning to drive me.

Clarelle, my wife of fifteen years sits beside me, leans over, and kisses me on the cheek.

“Honey,” she says.

I wave her off, crying and staring out the window. I miss my Driver so much already.