Gay Expectations VII

Gay Expectations VII

Magwitch took me over to Edwin Drood’s place—way out there on the infamous Ratcliffe Highway.

We took a coach to New Court, Victoria Street—that’s where Ah Sing lived. His opium den was open all the time—hidden deep in Dis just to the east of St. George's-in-the-East churchyard. Between Cable Street and St. George Street.

It was a secret den for just a few privileged opium cognoscenti, of course—Ah Sing’s clientele included only the most discrete British habituates. A backroom by the alley—was for the run-of-the-mill riffraff addicts. Some of them—lived and died there.

We entered New Court through a dark narrow covered alley—our cab snaking its way slowly between the well-to-do houses of Victoria Street. And then the driver turned left into a short cul de sac—that’s where Edwin Drood was waiting for us.

Magwitch had handpicked one of his young handsome sailors just for me—a moody sullen foretopman named Edwin Drood. He was much too beautiful to be a sailor—and he had tragedy written all over his face the minute I saw him.

Magwitch had knowingly nicknamed him “Billy Budd”—after a beautiful doomed youth in one of Melville’s stories. Billy had been impressed into service aboard HMS “Bellipotent”—from another ship, “The Rights of Man.”

But unlike Melville’s pretty boy—Magwitch’s “Billy Budd” wasn’t very innocent at all. He was moody and extremely surly—not suffused with even a drop of good cheer, openness or natural charisma. All the rest of the crew hated his guts—so Magwitch took him under his wing as his cabin boy.

It only made Billy more spoiled and surly. He smoked opium all day and all night long in his hammock—playing with himself all the time. The ship, “The Red Witch,” left a wake behind them—full of young jizzy jetsam, creamy flotsam worthy of the gods. Sharks fought in the foam—craving it…

The Chinese cook fell in love with the youth—keeping young Billy loaded to his gills all the time. His hammock slowly swung and swayed back and forth with the rhythmic waves and creaking timbers. What a luxurious opium den up there in the captain’s chambers. The youth surveying the high seas—through glowing stained-glass portals.

The gracious, only-to-willing-to-please Chinaman was so enamored with Billy—that he gave him baths and massages. Manicuring the youth’s fingernails and toes. Serving him meals in Magwitch’s cabin anytime he wanted—pampering the youth with everything a boy could possibly desire.

Except for one thing—young brooding Edwin Drood wanted to live forever. He dared to want to love forever—if only he could find somebody to love. Magwitch tried—the patient Chinese cook tried. The pipe tried. The sea tried. The waves tried. The creaking ship’s timbers…

But he knew he wasn’t going to live forever—there was only each moment to die for. Who wants to live forever anyway, he asked. Magwitch couldn’t answer him—he didn’t even try. The sea rolled on—the pipe with wings tried to entertain him. Forever and a day—he drifted away into an ersatz tomorrow.

That’s why Magwitch wanted me to meet Edwin. I was perhaps the only one, Magwitch told me. The only one who was like Edwin. I’d whispered desperately in Magwitch’s ear in the churchyard graveyard—that I wanted him to do me again.

Making love with Magwitch—it made me feel like I was living forever. And so, he leaned me gently up against a tilting old tombstone—and gave me what I wanted again. He gave me—forever and a day. The first time anybody—had ever loved me. That’s how it felt—it felt like forever.

Not today. Not tomorrow. Only the now—that was the only forever. Young Magwitch sadly smiled—and the twilight cemetery died that day too. As the young moody convict—slowly died in my arms…

I walked gingerly into the special Guest back bedroom—reserved for special gentlemen like Magwitch and his friends. I didn’t know what to expect—I’d never been in a den before.

It was then I realized just how special Edwin Drood really was. He was standing there nude—in the sandalwood incense moment. He was the spitting image of handsome Magwitch—in fact he was Magwitch’s cute younger brother.

Magwitch smiled. “I told you so,” he said.

Magwitch took a toke—and then Edwin took a toke. Magwitch took another toke—and so did I. After awhile Ah Sing’s pipe sprouted wings—and off we flew to faraway gay Cathay.

We’d left my charming comphy abode that rainy midnight very late—so that Magwitch could introduce me to this young man named Edwin Drood. It was like seeing a “Double”—Double-Trouble. Both Magwitch and Edwin were so very much alike. I’d known one—now it was time for the other.

Actually they were just half-brothers—they’d had different mothers but the same father. Somewhere back in the mists of time—their Family Tree had endowed both Magwitch and Edwin with the same incredibly fine physiques.

They were both natural-born athletes—and their Family Tree had encased them in a dreamboat casket way down there deep in Davy Jones’ Locker. Twenty-thousand leagues beneath the sea—wasn’t deep enough for me. I fell into—Edwin’s arms.

When Edwin dropped anchor—he took the ship, the crew, the cargo, the sails, the rigging and everything else including me—down, down deeper and deeper into the darkness. It was that deep darkness I sensed in Magwitch way back when—and now with Edwin smoking in bed looking up at the ceiling. It was the same deep darkness—it went on forever.

Magwitch nodded, “I thought so.”

Magwitch had this knowing, surly smirk. I looked back at him over my shoulder—as I felt myself already sinking downward into the hammock. Deep, deep, down I went—into the dark-blue Neptunian eyes of Edwin Drood.

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