I walked into the diner and looked around the familiar decor, knowing exactly where I’d find him. He was in the back of the cafe, surrounded by his friends and drawing. He never stopped drawing when he was here. I said hi to the waitress and ordered some coffee then walked back to the booth across from him. He smiles when he saw me and said hello. I slipped into his booth and hugged him fiercely.
“Hey Andy, how the hell are you?” He chuckled and took a drink of his iced coffee “I’m doing good. Well, better than I was last time you saw me” “Oh really?” I asked “Yeah, got me an apartment and finally got on disability thanks to your advice” He hugged me again and kissed me soundly on the mouth. Surprised, I kissed him back. My coffee arrived along with a menu and the waitress grinned “ok y’all, none of that unless I’m gettin some too!” We pulled apart, laughing, though a bit embarassed. I ordered my old stand-by, a smothered burrito and she took my order back to be filled. I looked at Andy and watched him silently for a few minutes. “ok” I started “um… what happened there?” He looked up, blankly “huh, what? Where?” I giggled “nothing” He looked at me curiously, shrugged and went back to his drawing.
We shared the burrito like old times past and talked of our lives since our last meeting. After we finished eating, he asked if I wanted to see his apartment. I laughed and asked him if that was a proposition. He looked at me seriously for a moment and said, softly, “only if you want to. You know I’ve wanted to make love to you for a long time” I choked on my coffee then, surprised at his boldness though I shouldn’t have. He’d always been up front with me. When I regained my composure, I smiled at him and said “let’s go see your apartment”
He turned on the light as we walked in.The apartment was a dirty little studio that smelled of cat. “Forgive the mess, I wasn’t expecting a guest and the maid has been sick” He laughed nervously as he straightened up the only seat in the place, his bed. While I waited for him to clean it off, I turned on the fan that was stuck in the window. It was sweltering and the fan only managed to move the heat around. “My god, how can you stand the heat?” I asked. He shrugged “you get used to it, I guess” “Got something to drink?” I asked as I looked into his filthy kitchen “Afraid only water and you gotta wash out a cup. Sue left a mess” I suddenly realized there WAS a woman’s touch to the apartment. I looked at him “Sue?” “Yeah” he said “Sue and I got married and the little bitch left me last week. I’ve been in a funk since”
Touched by his suffering, I went to him and hugged him gently “I’m sorry” He smiled sadly then kissed me tenderly. I’d never felt such tenderness in a mans kiss before. He pulled away from me and I could see the familiar lust in his light blue eyes. I caressed his cheek and kissed him lightly before pulling away. I removed my top, sweat beads on my skin as his leathery hands caressed my pale flesh. He took me into his arms and guided me to the bed, softly hissing my neck as we moved.
We lay on the bed, smoking and talking well into the night, making love when we felt the desire. He was sweet and tender and I cried more than once that night. I told him of my adventure in Mexico and he took me into his arms, protectively. Sometime around morning, he asked me to stay with him. I smiled and snuggled into his arms, falling asleep as the sun came over the horizon. I made no commitments.
A week went by and I spent it at his apartment during the day but I was on the streets most nights, doing my usual work. Andy spent most of the hottest part of the day at the café, drawing. He finally asked me to stop working the streets because he was worried that I’d get hurt. I told him I’d try.
We sat on the stoop of the apartment, talking to our neighbors, one night that was especially hot. Some teenagers walked by us, trying to get in. They didn’t live there so we weren’t about to let them get in. After a small argument, the boys went into the alley. Soon after, there were shots fired close by, in the alleyway. We all went inside and called the police. The next day, Andy started building a wooden cover for the bed of the truck. One of his friends helped him and within a few days, we were packing the truck for a trip out of the city. Andy wanted to move to West Virginia so, we said goodbye to our friends and hit the road.