When I was twenty years old I found myself living in an efficiency apartment right over Bourbon Street with three other guys. There was Hank VanDenBrook, a warped and perverted artist who had spent many years working as a sculptor in Brazil; Free, a five foot tall anarchist, veteran of many direct political actions and enemy of all classes besides the lower; Steve Chaucer, a friend of mine from Houston who's band Arch Demon Fred I had been the drummer of; and me.
The apartments, called Chez Bourbon, were located directly above Chris Owen's night club, and the legendary New Orleans icon was our landlady. I never met her myself but Steve said that when he went to pay the rent one morning the eighty year old singer answered the door fully made up and wearing a skin tight leather outfit. Isn't that inspiring?
All four of us were raging drunks and the location only served to intensify out debaucherous lifestyle. Every night we would go out and scour Bourbon St. for ground score frozen daiquiris discarded by tourists going into one bar or another. When we had collected as many as we could carry we would bring them up to the apartment, store them in the refrigerator and go back out for more.
Free and I would often sit on a stoop and watch people walk by, "Boushy motherfuckers!" snarled Free, "Look at 'em yukkin' it up while the world burns. I bet they wouldn't help us if we were bleeding out on the sidewalk. All they care about is making enough money so they can come here and get shitfaced drunk and walk around in tit hats that were made by orphans in China."
"Hey look!" I interrupted, "Those drunk girls are leaving their Hand Grenades on that trashcan. Lets move!"
For food we often had only French Bread with ketchup and mustard. If someone should happen to procure something more nourishing the refrigerator was the last place they would think to put it.
"Alright, which one of you motherfuckers drank my milk?" said Hank.
Collective silence and averting of eyes.
"I know one of you scumbags did it you goddamned milk drinkers!"
Steve, ever the diplomat, stepped in to try and defuse the situation, "We honestly don't know who drank your milk, Hank. It could have been any of us. It could have been you for all you know. Last night you could hardly stand up. You shouldn't accuse others of drinking your milk when you, yourself, don't really know."
"It was you wasn't it? You drank my milk you cocksucker!"
It looked like things were about to get ugly so I spoke up, "I did it. I drank your milk. Here's five dollars."
He snatched the five and gave me a dark look as he went out the door.
One day Free came in and told us about a guy he had met from the forth floor, an artist named Lawrence, "I told him I was living here with three other dudes. He said he'd give us fifteen dollars an hour to pose while he draws practice sketches. He wants to keep in shape while he's between portrait commissions. I'm going to go up there and do it tonight."
"So this guy just wants to draw us, huh?" asked Steve, "We just have to sit there?"
"Well, there is one catch. You have to get naked."
"Hmm, I don't know." I said, "Sounds like a bad idea to me. What if he waits until we get naked and then tries to molest us?"
"He made it sound like an art thing, not a pervert thing."
Hank, a brilliant artist and perhaps the most perverse man I've ever known, let out a knowing cackle and leered maniacally with his predatory, bird-like face, "Bwahahahahaha! You're fooling yourself, dude. There isn't any difference. You're gonna' be smoking his pole in no time. You should tell him you'll lick his balls if he gives you an extra five bucks."
"There's no way I'm going to get naked in some strange guy's apartment. I don't care if it is just for art." I said.
"You should go gay Mikey. All the girls would love you. You'll be so covered in pussy juice you'll look like a freshly baked glazed doughnut. If they know you're gay they'll lower their defences and then, when they're not paying attention, you slap the old man-meat on em'. Works every time."
Before I could respond I heard Steve say, "I'll do it. I'll go if you go Free."
"Count me in too." said Hank.
"Well, he said he only wanted guys under thirty." replied Free.
Later that night Free and Steve got back with a case of beer they had scored with their art money. Hank cracked a beer and said, "Well, how was it fellas? Are you going to start dressing in spandex and walking Rampart?"
"Nah, he was kind of weird but he didn't try to have sex with us or anything. And look, he let us keep the sketches."
We all exploded with laughter. The faces looked like Steve and Free but the bodies looked like Greek gods with rippling muscles in place of their scrawny, malnourished frames. Most hilarious of all, he had given them enormous, twelve inch schlongs.
"Jesus Christ" said Hank, "I didn't know you guys were hung like giraffes. Have you ever considered doing pornography?"
"Well, he did exaggerate a little." said Steve.
"I'll bet! Are you sure you didn't blow this guy?"
They swore that nothing had happened but they were both acting kind of strange about it and I wasn't sure if I could believe them.
A few weeks went by without much action except for a brief but harrowing outbreak of head lice brought in by a couple of hippie girls who crashed on their way to the Rainbow Gathering in Florida. At first I wasn't even tempted by Lawrence's offer, being a modest person by nature, but as the Summer grew hot and the tourist dollars evaporated, so too did my puritan resolve, "Say, Free?"
"Do you think you could set me up an appointment with Lawrence?"
Hank cackled, "Remember what I told you Mikey. Lick the balls!"
I climbed the stairs to the forth floor and knocked on Lawrence's door. After a few seconds he answered, "Hi. you must be Mike. Come right in."
Lawrence was middle aged and blubbery with flowing blonde hair and a pink Polo shirt. I could tell immediately that he was gay but that didn't put me off. I'm not homophobic in the least and, besides, you had to figure that was the case. I went inside.
His apartment was tastefully appointed and immaculately clean, quite unlike our own squalid hole. There was a futon in the middle of the room with a sketchpad and a chair set up next to it.
"Can I get you anything to drink? A beer maybe?"
He got me a Red Stripe and sat in his chair, "Well, you can get undressed out here or you can go in the bathroom and put on a robe."
"I'll just get undressed out here."
As far as I was concerned it was just like a doctor's appointment. I got undressed and reclined on the futon, "Is this alright?"
"Sure, that's perfect." he began to draw.
"So are you from around here Michael?"
"Sort of. I was born in Louisiana but I haven't ever been to the French Quarter as an adult so I'm kind of a local and a tourist all at the same time."
"Do you have a girlfriend?"
"I've been seeing a girl."
"Does she have a nice ass?"
"I like it, yes."
"I love a girl with a nice ass!" he said emphatically.
I wasn't sure what he was getting at so I just took a swig of beer and stayed quiet. He kept sketching.
After awhile he looked at me very intently and said, "You know, you have a great looking penis. It's shaped perfectly."
"Yeah, my junk does look pretty sweet." I said.
"Say, you know who has a great ass? Let me show you this magazine I was looking at earlier today."
"Uh-Oh" I thought. He went into the bathroom and came out with a copy of Penthouse, "Look at this girl. Isn't that the greatest ass you've ever seen?"
"It's alright." I replied nervously.
"Check out the photography by Bob Guccione. He uses this soft filter that makes the girls look fantastic!" he said as he flipped through the pages.
Now this might be hard to believe but I was still somewhat puzzled by his behavior. Why would a gay man have Penthouse magazine in his bathroom? Suddenly I had an epiphany, "Lawrence are you trying to get me to have an erection?!"
"Uh..." he stammered, "Well it's just that you have such a great looking cock and I want to do it justice, you know, draw it at it's full length."
"I'm sorry but I can't do it. You're just going to have to extrapolate."
And then, much to my profound shock and dismay, Lawrence reached down and started fondling my wang.
This was, and still remains, the only sexual contact I have had with a man.
Later at the apartment I told the fellows what happened.
"Bwahahahaha! How did you say it?" asked Hank in undisguised glee.
"I just looked at him very calmly and said, 'Don't touch my wang, Lawrence.'" (This would become a catch phrase for us.)
"How did he react?" asked Steve, also in hysterics.
"He took his hand back fast and got all flustered. He claimed he didn't know what "extrapolate" meant. I said, 'It means to make my dick look bigger in the drawing, not to jerk me off.' He apologized, finished up in a hurry and I got the fuck out of there."
"Did he pay you?" asked Free.
"Yeah, in fact he gave me five dollars extra. He said it was because we went over an hour."
"Ha!" cried Hank, "I knew you were gonna lick his balls!"
Just then my girlfriend Lucy came calling at the intercom and I buzzed her up.
"So how did it go? Did you lose your virginity?"
I told her the story and she, too, thought it was the funniest thing she had ever heard, "Haaaaaa! Let me see the picture."
I showed it to her and she laughed even harder.
"That guy certainly did extrapolate."
"Aw, come on, it's not that exaggerated."
"So you say."
"Actually, he did make mine a little shorter than he made you guys. Wait a minute!" I made the connection, "Did you guys pop a bone for Lawrence?!"
They both looked at the ground sheepishly, "Well he wanted us to for the picture and he was paying us, after all.If you had just got it up for him he wouldn't have had to violate you."
"I can't believe it. You guys are prostitutes. Gay prostitutes."
"I'm not the one who let him give me a hand job."
Lucy sighed impatiently, "So, are we going to go get drunk or what?"
"Look at you! You're awfully eager to spend my hard earned prostitution dollars. I had to let a fat guy touch my shlong for this cash."
She slapped me on the ass and said, "Yeah you right! Bitch better have my money!"