Down the Rabbit Hole [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Dirk Vanden
eBook Category: Erotica/BDSM Erotica/Gay Fiction
eBook Description: "Plan Ahead the signs say. Think. Pray. But what the hell good does it do? You can worry and plan and pray to your heart's content, but then one day you walk around a corner and something happens--your life changes completely: you see something, or hear something, or you meet a stranger, and something inside you shifts gears, or changes directions, and there's nothing you can do about it. All that thinking and planning and praying goes merrily down the drain." For Ron Bartlett, that change began one night in 1969, at The Talisman Bar in Hollywood, California, when he met an "S" named Colin.
eBook Publisher: loveyoudivine, Published: 2011, 2011
Fictionwise Release Date: June 2011
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2 Reader Ratings:
Have you ever wondered, late at night when you can't sleep, or during empty moments of a quiet day, if there is anyone anywhere whose life is anything like he thought it would be when he was a child--or when he was in college--or last year--or yesterday? Does there exist a man who has never seen anyone but himself in his mirror? Plan Ahead the signs say. Think. Pray. But what the hell good does it do? You can worry and plan and pray to your heart's content, but then one day you walk around a corner and something happens--your life changes completely: you see something, or hear something, or you meet a stranger, and something inside shifts gears or changes directions, and there's nothing you can do about it. All that thinking and planning and praying goes merrily down the drain.
Or do you disagree? Do you still cling to the hope that there is some kind of order and sanity left in the world? If so, then you'd better stop reading right now and burn this book, then run, don't walk, to the library and immerse yourself in Pollyanna, or Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. No one could blame you.
Recently, as a "joke," a friend gave me a copy of Alice in Wonderland. He inscribed it: To little Ronnie Bartlet, who has been there too. Welcome back. Love, Colin.
I read it while recovering from the trip.
Admittedly I read more into it than I'm sure Mr. Carroll intended (I think I am sure), but there is one passage that seemed particularly appropriate--not just to what had happened to me, but to everything: you, me and the world. It's when the duchess' baby has just turned into a pig and run away, and Alice is wondering how to get out of there. She sees the Cheshire Cat sitting in a tree, grinning at her, and she asks it:
"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don't much care where--" said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
"--so long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
Alice felt that this could not be denied, so she tried another question. "What sort of people live about here?"
"In that direction," the Cat said, waving its right paw round, "lives a Hatter; and in that direction," waving the other paw, "lives a March Hare. Visit either you like; they're both mad."
"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat; "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."
* * * *
It is almost impossible to know when something begins or exactly where it ends. Even though a thing seems to blossom suddenly, or suddenly die, there are countless little events that have gone on before, or that follow, to shape what seem to be drastic changes in our lives.
A few brief months ago, I considered myself an "adjusted homosexual." I'd been Gay for at least seven years; that is to say, at the age of twenty I finally admitted what I'd suspected and feared for several years before that. I was forced to admit it because I fell in love with a young man--PFC Eric Winters who bumped into me one night at the PX and spilled beer all over both of us. We lived together for just over four years.
"Lived" is a misleading word. For the first two years it was far more than simply living together; we were lovers of the first magnitude; we shared everything, completely: bodies, minds, souls. During our third year we made the mistake of moving to Los Angeles; we still shared, still considered ourselves happy and certainly more fortunate than our single friends--who kept telling us "The third year is always the hardest,"--but we both knew we were moving further and further apart.
The fourth year became pure hell--the hell of remembering what we had once been to each other but now were no longer; the hell of starting to hate all the things we had once shared.
Both Eric and I had been young and inexperienced when we met; neither of us knew the term "Gay." We'd heard of queers and cocksuckers, of course, but neither of us had applied any such terms to ourselves. I'd had several experiences, all born of frustration, all of them unpleasant --especially afterward; Eric had had none, although that was something of a miracle, seeing he was an astonishingly handsome man with a beautifully muscular body.
He told me he'd had dozens of propositions, which I could believe, but "just hadn't felt like it"--until he met me. So we came together as innocents, and our love must have been something only innocents may know. But when we moved to L.A. and met others like ourselves, Eric discovered the premium they placed on faces and bodies like his.
I must give him credit: It was probably harder for him, in a way, to stay with me as long as he did, knowing what was waiting for him the minute he could declare himself rid of me. Not that I was ugly or misshapen--no one has ever called me unattractive or undesirable--but beside Eric, I was hopelessly average. And who, in his right mind, would take hamburger when filet mignon was available for the same price?
When it finally became obvious that breaking up was the only way to salvage our sanities, I firmly decided to stay unattached and to live alone.
And I did. For almost three years.
Safe, I told myself. Without complications. A different trick two or three times a week--a few hours of pleasant uncomplicated sex, and then I'd send them home to their own little beds while I crawled alone into mine. And I truly believed I was contented. (I'd decided there was no such thing as happiness--except as a brief illusion--a far too costly illusion.) I had several good friends, a good job, money in the bank, an almost-new car; what more could I want?
But that contentment was based on what I thought I had--or, rather, as it turned out, on what I thought I didn't have.
Among the few people I knew well and thought of as friends was a guy named Bert Carpenter, the head bartender at a place called The Talisman--a Levi's and Leather bar on LaBrea, in Hollywood.
Looking back at it now, I know that Bert came much closer to being a second lover than either of us supposed at the time.
Unfortunately, Bert's hangup was teenagers. He knew and admitted that it was a bad scene, and he tried his best to keep away from them; this meant he was frustrated a good deal of the time.
Only a tiny fraction of the bar's customers interested him sexually, even though the reverse was certainly not true; he was an extremely sexy guy, not handsome, but ruggedly built, with a face like a Marine top-sergeant but a disposition like a teddy bear.
I'd met him while Eric and I were still together, but I didn't get to know him at all until I finally came out of my stay-at-home mourning period and started going out again.
Even though I had accepted the fact that I was free and available again, I couldn't bring myself (for a while at least) to cruise as casually as everyone else seemed to be doing, and so, sitting night after night at the bar gave us the chance to get acquainted.
He made it clear very early that he wasn't interested in me sexually, which I accepted--but, he said, he would love to trip-out with me some time.
I had tried smoking pot several times before (Eric had started using it that last year, and I'd got over most of my fears and prejudices against it), but it had never worked for me.
I told Bert I was willing to try it again if he was willing to run the risk of wasting the stuff on me--and so we went home together after the bar closed.
It worked--beautifully. And we ended up having sex. Calm, wonderful, music-drifting, heavenly sex.
From then on, it happened almost every time we got together. The smoke released us both, and for a few hours we could forget our uncomfortable ghosts and hangups and enjoy one another.
I don't think either of us considered it any kind of "affair". It was simply something that happened when we got high together. In between those times we happily bedded as many others as we could get our hands on.
Our curious relationship lasted more than two years, but I had no idea how important Bert was to me until a Friday night when I went into the bar and he wasn't there.