FAT EDDIT WAS FAT, I mean enormous, with a pouty mouth that never quite closed and a permanent sheen of sweat on his upper lip. He was technically my supervisor, although the only real boss was the shop owner.
“You’re here early,” he said. This wasn’t an accident. I knew we’d be alone for at least an hour before the rest of the employees showed up.
“You remember those notes you wrote me at the beginning of the summer?” I said.
He nodded. “Yeah.” He was breathing harder, his lips parting, his nostrils flared. Almost salivating. He wasn’t looking me in the eye. He was looking at my body. My hands were shaking. My heart raced. I was light-headed. My usual skills and techniques for doing something like this – with a girl – were useless. I’d scripted this ahead of time, I’d practiced it, so that I could avoid saying it outright. So I could avoid putting into words what I was actually proposing to do. So I could avoid saying “suck your cock.”
“I could maybe do some of those – those things – with you,” I said. “For money.”
I was twenty years old and unmoored. My college girlfriend had capped off the school year by fucking (on my birthday) a guy who was my exact opposite in every respect, as a way of breaking up with me without having to tell me we were done. I spent the summer either crashing in a sublet room in an empty frat house, or sleeping on the couch of the girlfriend-before-last while she fucked her new boyfriend in the next room.
I picked up some money working for minimum wage in the back workshop of this shitty little family-owned trophy shop operated out of a shotgun house in an old Irish neighborhood that was rapidly becoming a ghetto. Fat Eddie was the master craftsman of the operation, a talented engraver, indispensable to the owner and therefore able to get away with a fair amount of bad behavior. Like, for instance, hitting on the boys who worked there every summer.
That year I was Fat Eddie’s favorite. I was a scrawny little twink, a new wave kid with pretty eyes and a weird haircut, different from most of the jocks who worked there, and I guess Eddie decided that I was his “new thing”. He used to slip me notes, long pornographic love letters he’d written longhand and torn out of his spiral notebook to pass me when nobody was looking.
“Those are just between me and you, OK?” he said. Of course I showed them to the other guys. They had a good laugh. Some of them had gotten attention from him in the past but apparently he was taking it to a whole new level with me. They were all ex-football players from my old high school. They mostly just barely tolerated homos and tried not to have anything to do with them.
The stuff he described in the letters was like something out of a queer Penthouse Forum. Lots of ass play, rimming, other things I didn’t even know existed and had no interest in doing with anybody, least of all a guy who weighed 300 pounds.
Until I needed to pick up a little cash. I was tired of being broke. All my money was going to booze and acid and bus fare. I wanted to buy things. Maybe something other than cold ravioli from a can for dinner. Maybe something to wear besides flannel shirts from the Salvation Army.
Then I got the idea. Fat Eddie. It wouldn’t mean I was gay, see, because I would be getting paid.
Fat Eddie put down his work. He leaned back in his chair and looked up at the ceiling, like he was trying to act casual, like he did this all the time, but I think he was more scared than I was. Despite all the notes, despite all the propositions that in later years would have been considered sexual harassment, he wasn’t a predator. I was the predator. He was just a fat, lonely, closeted man who still lived with his mother.
“What did you have in mind?” he said.
“We suck each other off. Eighty bucks.”
“Eighty?” he gasped, a little too loudly, and then he looked around like he thought somebody heard. “I don’t have that kind of money!” he whispered.
I shrugged, trying to act like he could take it or leave it. I didn’t want to budge on the price because I thought that might mean that I wanted to do it. But I wanted him to take it, and not just for the money. I had worked my courage up too much for this to fall through. Honestly, I had worked myself up so much I was beginning to think it was kind of hot.
“You can pay me half this week and half when we get paid. But it has to be eighty.”
The blinds were already drawn to keep out the morning sun. The room was all cheap dark paneling and dingy brown wall-to-wall carpet. Dimly lit except where Eddie’s work lamp blazed on his latest project, a giant silver loving cup being engraved for some local business man, probably some guy with millions who sent his blonde debutante daughters to Catholic school and gave money to charity and told faggot jokes over drinks at the country club.
The only sound was the rickety window unit air conditioner, which kicked into high gear as the day heated up.
Fat Eddie stood up in front of me, put his hands under my shirt, and tried to kiss me. I turned my head.
“No. No kissing.”
I tried rubbing my hand over his crotch, over his blue polyester slacks, thinking about the quickest way to get it over with, the quickest way to get him to come. I felt for an erection, for a bulge of some kind, but all I could feel was fat. I felt lower. More fat.
“Here,” he said, unzipping, and pulled out his cock. It was hard, but tiny. I put my hand around it and pulled it a little. I was surprised how awkward it was jacking him off; I had only ever masturbated myself, so it was like doing everything backwards. I dropped to my knees, my hand still around his dick, and touched it with my mouth. I thought maybe I could get him to come mostly with my hand, without having to actually suck on it, but he pushed my head. His dick went all the way into my mouth. I thought he might try to choke me but he was so small.
He was clean, at least, but his cheap cologne got stuck in my nose and my throat to where I thought I would taste it all day.
He pumped harder. I kept trying to get my hand in there around his cock, between him and me, and he kept trying to force it down my throat but the tiny thing couldn’t even reach that far. He kept pushing the back of my head, hard, my forehead and nose slamming again and again into the layers of his belly.
A minute later I heard him mumble, “I’m gonna come.” I jumped up and backed away from him, letting him squirt onto the carpeted floor. He panicked. I guess he assumed I would swallow and he never really thought about how to clean up the mess if I didn’t. I left him to deal with it, ran to the bathroom and tried to rinse my mouth out the best I could. When I got back he was still trying to rub the spot out of the carpet before the rest of the employees showed up. I walked past without saying anything and started work.
That afternoon, I was at my station and Eddie came by to check on me. Some of the other guys were around the corner in the next room, but he put his hand out and rubbed my shoulder. I could still smell his cologne and I wasn’t sure if it was coming from him or from inside my throat. I shrugged him off. Then he ran his fingers through my hair, and I whirled around and punched him on the arm, hard enough to make him wince.
“Don’t fucking touch me!” I glanced toward the door in case anyone had heard.
He disgusted me. I disgusted myself.
He paid me the half that day, and the other half next payday, like we agreed.
I told the ex-ex-girlfriend about it, the one whose couch I slept on, and she didn’t think it was that big a deal. She didn’t think it meant I was gay. And the money came in handy for better drinks or Quaaludes or whatever it was I spent it on. I got over the shame of the whole thing. The gayness of it.
He slipped me more letters after that, elaborate affairs where he fantasized about unlocking the shop on a Sunday, spreading out some blankets and plastic sheeting on the floor of the front room and really going to town with lube and dildos and fisting and all manner of nonsense. I ignored them.
Recently I told a lesbian friend about the whole experience, the thing I thought was my shameful secret, and she shook her head and said, “Man, if I had a dollar for every straight guy who’s ever told me that story…”
Near the end of the summer, I rode the bus to work early again one morning. I was horny, desperately needing to get off in a way that only a lonely twenty-year-old boy can be. And Fat Eddie owed me a blowjob. It was the last part of the deal that we’d forgotten to consummate, what with the mess on the carpet and the stink in my throat that first time.
I intended to collect on it and I knew he could not refuse me.