Crossing Boundaries, Taking No Prisoners
What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it's curved like a road through mountains.
~Tennessee Williams from A Streetcar Named Desire, 1947
The Wrong Side of Right has been called transgressive homoerotic literature. That’s interesting because I seldom write “to” a genre. The story, for me, finds its own path, its own inner rhythm, pacing and characterizations. So, truth be told, I had to look it up.
What is transgressive fiction? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgressive_fiction
“Transgressive fiction is a genre of literature that focuses on characters who feel confined by the norms and expectations of society and who break free of those confines in unusual and/or illicit ways.”
“…protagonists often pursue means to better themselves and their surroundings—albeit unusual and extreme ones. Much transgressional fiction deals with searches for self-identity, inner peace, or personal freedom. Unbound by usual restrictions of taste and literary convention, its proponents claim that transgressive fiction is capable of pungent social commentary.”
Huh, well, okay then. TWSoR certainly does qualify and my protagonist, Tony Mitchell, could stand as the archetype for a man on the edge, a man trapped inside a deep well of inner turmoil, whose only solutions lie in self-abuse and self-loathing. Tony is the epitome of dysfunction and his ennabler (and some might argue his savior), Tank, is a man who brings violence and fetishistic behavior to the table.
Tony’s story is an angst-ridden journey that pulls no punches. Like the man, this story is raw and gritty … and it might even challenge how you look at the male-male dynamic.
Of all the stories I have written, this is the one I wish to be remembered for…
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Tony Mitchell is a loner who makes bad choices and spends most of his life staying low, denying who and what he is until Aiden Caldwell walks into the shop and changes everything. Tony thinks his new supervisor hates his guts, but that doesn’t keep Tony from his dreams and yearnings, fantasies that have him following the older man to a trannie bar where his secret is revealed.
Tony fell in lust when he first saw Aiden, but it’s Aiden’s persona, Selene, who drops him to his knees.
Conflicted, unable to deal with his secret desires, Tony falls under the spell of a man called Tank, a biker who can grant his every wish, leading Tony down a dark path of seduction and dangerous cravings. When Tony runs afoul of the biker’s gang, he is brutalized and victimized, physically and emotionally.
Aiden Caldwell pulls Tony from the precipice but not the addiction that threatens to consume the young man. When the biker released the demons, Tony learned to suspend reality, to succumb. The one thing he didn’t learn was how to say no.
In the matter of love and trust, can two men intent on hiding their most secret selves find common ground as fate and their own tumultuous pasts conspire to tear them apart?
Tony cleared the cash register and carried the metal insert with the day’s receipts into the makeshift office. He had at least an hour’s worth of admin, then a run to the bank for the night deposit and maybe a quick bite to eat before tying on his apron and filling the empty hours with his bartending gig.
That didn’t leave any time for relieving the itch, unless…
Caldwell poked his head in the office and snarled, “Mitchell, you got everything under control?”
“Yeah,” he muttered, not bothering to look up at what he’d lusted after for six months, ever since he’d taken the assistant manager position. A real career boost in a two stoplight, loser town filled with downsized has-beens and illegal immigrants.
And gays like him, afraid of his own shadow, trading off tequila shooters for Jorge’s nimble tongue and squatter’s rights in the closet.
In a town full of machismo, there wasn’t much space left for maricons or what Jorge called ‘comepingas’. The kid was second gen Cuban, but not exactly living the American dream.
Not that he was either.
“Is there a problem, Mitchell?”
Tony startled. He’d forgotten the lust of his life was still hanging in the doorway, watching, like his loser assistant manager was aiming to run off with the family jewels. Nothing said trust like having sable brown eyes drilling into you, interrogation style.
Caldwell pulled a pack of Marlboros out of his shirt pocket and lit up, inhaling with a sigh of pleasure. The exhale hissed and wheezed, tendrils of hazy wet breath spewing into the hot, closed space. Stretching his chin upwards, he drew in, deep, holding it, his Adam’s apple taut. He had a lean neck, ribboned with tendons that pipelined into broad shoulders, the line to the hip long and sinuous.
Tony allowed one quick breath of second hand smoke, his heart double timing, knowing what he breathed in had filtered through Caldwell’s lungs and that made it delish and exotic and forbidden.
Tense, on the edge of out-of-sorts, his boss continued to stare at the ceiling, smoke now trailing from nostrils flaring with a shitload of none of his business.
Tight, everything was tight on him. The set to his full lips, the rigid thrust of his shoulders against the door jamb, the…
Fuck, fuck, fuck… Don’t. Do not look down. Not at the crotch, anywhere but there.
Face flaming, he concentrated on tapping the few bills on the pitted counter and wrapped the stack with a rubber band. He hated when the man hung around, staring like a jailer. Tony knew his job, he didn’t need the supervision, though … right then, it seemed different in a way he couldn’t explain.
Sometimes Caldwell liked to bait him on nights like this, when he wanted nothing more than to have Jorge join him for a few brief moments. And Caldwell seemed to know that, maybe he even enjoyed being the gatekeeper, saying when and how often.
Maybe his boss was a closet pimp instead of a drag queen.
Tony wasn’t comfortable making small talk, especially not when his tongue had gone thick and spitless under the man’s scrutiny. He was about to ask if there was anything he wanted, and ached for an answer to his prayers, but Caldwell finally shut down the interrogator face and moved back into the garage.
Tony heard him say to Jorge, “He’s all yours, pingita,” and felt his lungs collapse, as if all the air had been sucked out of the room. Jorge muttered something in rapid Spanglish, the door slammed and the familiar snick of locks being engaged had his cock twitching in anticipation.
He didn’t have long to wait. The swarthy boy poked his head around the door and leered.
Tony asked, like he always did, “Is he gone?” keeping to the steps in a dance he knew too well, repeated week-after-week. Sin on a schedule. It was pathetic. But it was all he had.
Crossing boundaries, taking no prisoners. Write what’s in your soul.
It’s the bass beat, the heartbeat, the lyrics rude and true.
Nya Rawlyns is the pseudonym of a writer who cut her teeth on sports-themed romantic comedy and historical romances before finding her true calling in the wilderness areas she has visited but calls “home” in that place that counts the most: the heart.
She has lived in the country and on a sailboat on the Chesapeake Bay, earned more than 1000 miles in competitive trail and endurance racing, taught Political Science to unwilling freshmen, and found an avocation in materials science.
When she isn’t tending to her garden or the horses, the cats, or two pervert parakeets, she can be found day dreaming and listening to the voices in her head.