He called it his wham wham. I mean right there in the middle of the street he walks up to me and asks me if I want to hold it. And I swear he looks no more than fourteen. My last night in the city and I've been good all week because you know how many diseases are floating around San Francisco and this kid comes up to me and asks do I want to hold his wham wham.
"And what is a wham wham?" I asked, even though I was sure he was going to pull down his pants or something equally unmanageable. He turned around and pointed to his back pocket where a little white teddy bear was snugly tucked in. This required thought. It must mean something. Everything means something in San Francisco. Surely asking someone to hold your teddy bear must be an underground code for some bizarre sexual fetish. I couldn't imagine what, so I asked.
"It means," he said, "that I am the biggest, the baddest, the meanest cuddler in this whole damn city. And you'll notice it's in the back right pocket, which means I'm a cuddlee looking for a cuddler. Not that I see much difference, but I don't like to seem too aggressive."
"Oh, I see," I said, "you're not the aggressive type."
"Not at all. I'm shy and unassuming. It's part of my charm."
Shy my ass. But he was awfully cute. Cuddling. How can a person be into cuddling?
"You look like you'd be real cuddly," he said, rubbing my tummy. "How would you like to sleep at my place? We can spend the whole night cuddling."
I regretted it instantly, but I said yes. He was so adorable I just had to agree, even though I didn't know what I was getting myself into.
I drove us over to his place. On the way I found out that he was actually twenty. He dressed and acted boyishly because it was part of his charm. That seemed to be his big phrase: part of my charm. We catalogued half a dozen more parts of his charm before arriving at his apartment building.
His place seemed small at first, but it had a million cubbyholes overflowing with plants and stuffed animals. I'd hardly walked in the door when he lunged at me ferociously.
"Ooh, if you only knew how much I hate these things," he said, pulling off my polo shirt. "It reminds me of gay bars. If they're not punk or leather, it's the same tiny polo player on every shirt." All the horror stories I had heard about San Francisco weirdoes flashed through my mind as the boy started to beat the floor with my shirt.
"First things first," he went on. "Whenever I have someone spend the night I like to start by giving them a sucker."
Oh no, I thought, here we go. But what was that supposed to mean, giving me a sucker? Gay men never seem able to tell their partners what they're planning to do to them until they get them to bed, and even there they resort to queer euphemisms. A sucker. I thought I knew what it meant, but then again, I spent one of the worst nights of my life finding out that water sports meant more than just skiing and polo.
"Do you mind?" he asked, flashing that little boy smile of his.
I couldn't resist that smile. "Okay. Do your worst."
"What flavor do you want?" He produced a handful of lollipops from a drawer. "I have cherry, grape, lemon, and orange."
Fucking lollipops. I took the cherry.
"You wouldn't believe how effective suckers are at getting rid of bad breath. And believe me, nothing can ruin a good cuddle faster than bad breath." He took a grape one for himself. Then he pushed me into a bean-bag chair and attacked my shoes. By then I was pretty out of it, so I just sat and sucked.
"Have you ever tried foot massage?" he asked as he removed my socks. I grunted in the negative. "It's great," he protested. "You see, the different regions of the foot correspond to different parts of the body. This spot right here, for example, is genitalia." I nearly jumped out of my chair when he pressed down.
"Isn't this fun?" he chirped. I didn't respond. "I'll tell you what I want to do now. I'm going to close my eyes, and I want you to take off your pants. Just your pants, though, not your underwear." He closed his eyes hide-and-seek style.
A bit kinky, I thought, but now we're getting somewhere. I removed my pants, and I did so with confidence. The foot massage had aroused me; he was sure to be pleased. I assumed one of my sexier poses and said, "Ready."
He had the most eager grin as he opened his eyes, but it instantly crumpled after a few seconds of inspection. He looked as though he had accidentally taken a gulp of sour milk. "Oh God," he moaned, "how boring!"
Calm, I said to myself, stay calm. I knew I was blushing, but it would soon pass. I had bitten my sucker in two, but this also was of no immediate concern. The most important thing was to keep my wits. I mean, I'm no giant, but no one had ever seemed disappointed before.
"Don't you see," he said, "your underwear is a statement of your inner person, of your innermost fantasies. By showing a person your underwear, you show them the real you. And what do you show me? Bunhuggers. Three quarters of the men in America wear underwear like that. Do you want to group yourself with them?" I looked down at my underwear and he was right--it was ordinary. "If you're gonna wear bunhuggers, you might as well not wear anything at all."
He slipped out of his own clothes in an instant, and true to form, he wasn't wearing anything under his Levi's. I had guessed right, too. Little guys are almost always big. I almost said something complimentary, only I could hear the conversation already: "You've sure got a nice cock." "I know, it's part of my charm."
I wanted to do something--hug him or kiss him or something. I felt like I should take the lead, but I couldn't. I had never had a trick like this before. The boy had unnerved me. I stood there dumbfounded, sucking on the remnants of my lollipop, my cock growing smaller by the minute.
He came over and hugged me and said, "I'm sorry I was so mean about your underwear. You're a really nice guy. I like you a lot. I can tell we're going to have a good time together." He leered at me suggestively.
"Now, up the steps with you while I get ready." He slapped me on the butt and pointed me towards a ladder leading up to a cubbyhole on top of his closet. I had wondered where the bed was. When I reached the top of the ladder I found that I wasn't alone. I crawled into bed flanked by Bugs Bunny on my left and a giant Snoopy on my right.
I didn't know why, but I suddenly felt like crying. Trapped in a foreign bed, being scrutinized by countless stuffed-animal eyes, waiting for a boy to prepare himself for God knows what, and I'm stripped down to my Fruit-of-the-loom men's briefs. Somehow, though, hanging on to that last bit of my life was important. There was something comforting about my briefs in that moment. Fruit-of-the-loom was sane. Fruit-of-the- loom was wholesome. I felt safe in my Fruit-of-the-loom, until the lights went out and I heard someone climbing the ladder.
I could tell he was wearing clothes. A tank-top and shorts that seemed to be colored red and black, and I thought I saw a cobweb in his crotch. I grabbed Bugs Bunny for support. "Do you like my underoos?" he asked, but I didn't hear him. I was busy planning my escape. My eyes were getting used to the dark. Yes, there was a cobweb in his crotch. And another one on his chest. "They're my Spiderman underoos."
That was when I broke down. I just started laughing and couldn't stop. He began tickling me, too, which made things even worse. The last of my inhibitions melted away and I gave in to him completely, which, I now realized, was what he'd been waiting for all along.
The rest of the night is something of a blur. I remember hugging and kissing for hours. He showed me all of his favorite cuddling positions. He must have had dozens, and we tried them all. Eventually I fell asleep. I woke up feeling utterly happy and for a reminiscent moment I knew why, but then it faded away the way dreams do when you wake up. I was naked and so was he, but I couldn't remember when we had taken off our clothes or why.
He was cradled in my arms, still asleep. I kissed him gently and tried to free myself from his hold, but our bodies were hopelessly intertwined. I didn't have to wait long. He sensed the minute change in the way I held him and woke up. "You were terrific last night," he said as he rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. A standard line, to be sure, but somehow coming from him it seemed different. I didn't question his sincerity, even though I wasn't quite sure what he meant.
He told me he had to work, so I gathered up my scattered clothes. My underwear was nowhere to be found. He swore that he had no idea where it was, but his mischievous smile told me he was faking. I did without.
I wasn't sad as I kissed him good-bye. I felt quite content. I knew that I would be taking a plane home that afternoon and that I would never see him again, but I wasn't thinking about that. We had shared something special the night before and that was what mattered most.
I managed to squeeze in some shopping before I left for the airport. I had a big brown teddy bear delivered to his apartment with a simple thank you note that read, "You were terrific, too." The other things I bought were for me. As I snuggled into my seat on the plane I had my own little teddy to cuddle.
I was still trying to remember exactly what had happened the night before. It suddenly occurred to me that perhaps the boy had powers. Maybe he had lulled me to sleep with caresses and kept me in a trance while he made passionate love to me the way fairy lovers were supposed to, coming and going in secret, leaving their partners inexplicably satisfied the next morning. It was an interesting thought, but I knew it wasn't true. I had spent the night cuddling with a living teddy bear, that was all. I felt satisfied because he had shared his life with me and given me intimacy, something that I needed just then much more than sex.
My newly acquired teddy was a poor substitute, but I hugged him anyway. The other passengers regarded me with suspicion and apprehension, but I was oblivious to their disapproval. I was somewhat disappointed, though, when the stewardess told me that I couldn't suck on my lollipop while the FASTEN SEAT BELTS sign was on. I disliked her instantly--so prim and proper, probably wearing the same kind of underwear as every other stewardess. But I didn't care. I knew she could get only a hint through my shirt of what I had on underneath. She would never know that I had Superman on my chest.