January/February 2001
An excerpt from a novel...
by anonymous

“Get in the car asshole.”

That was my wake-up call that day.

I got up, shaving and brushing my teeth and dressing in record time,  Forgoing breakfast and hurrying down the steps, over two blocks to the garage.  I used the car key I was given, which I had never used before, and settled in the passenger seat.  Definitely nervous.  Hands sweating a lot.

There was something he was not going to like hearing.

He took his sweet time and arrived dressed far more formally than I was, his good overcoat, the double breasted suit, not his absolute best shoes but good ones, his leather gloves, which he tugged at a little outside the car.

He motioned for me to roll down the window.  I did, looking down all the while.

“What the fuck are you doing shotgun, bitch?”

“Sir....I don't drive, Sir.  I don’t know how Sir.”

He was laughing.

“You gotta be kidding me.”

He got in the driver’s seat and slammed the door, starting up the Lexus.

“Pussy,”  he spat out, but he was smiling in the rear view mirror.

We drove in silence out of the city.  Over bridges and into Westchester, where you could see trees.  They had lost their leaves now.  Up the Hudson, swiftly but very capably.  He handled the car like he handled me.

About an hour and a half into the drive he was relaxed and his eyes were softer, less hawklike on the road.

“Put in some music.”

“What...” I began to ask.

“You pick.  I like what you pick.”

I looked over what tapes I had on me, in my silver messenger’s bag.  I put in Yo La Tengo.

When I heard the knock on the door

I couldn’t catch my breath

Is it too late to call this off?

The lines of trees passed by in a blur.  I no longer felt any curiosity about where we were going.  If we never stopped and just looped back home again in the evening, I would have no questions about why we left, or why we came home again.

To be with him, traveling, it is more than enough.

We could slip away

Wouldn’t that be better?

Me with nothing to say

you in your autumn sweater

But the car did at last stop.  It did.  In the middle of the woods. On a mountain.  In the cold woods where snow lay light on the ground.

He hoisted a Kenneth Cole satchel that I knew somehow was not full of paperwork, and headed off into the trees.  In his hands there was a thin bamboo cane.

I followed, silver messenger bag draped over one shoulder, boots peeling up the snow at each step, showing the dirt and leaves underneath, chain dangling at my right hip, jogging a few paces to catch up right behind him.

We moved silently.  The floor of the forest crackled underfoot and I followed at a pace behind.  Without people around, without further context,  I was more my Master’s man than ever before.

He must have known it would be like that.

He turned to me.  The cane lay across his palms, sitting lightly in his hands, making a bridge of itself between them.

“I have never used this on you, Sol.  It hurts.  It will welt you deeply and burn.”

“I know Sir.”

“And yet you will submit to this pain?”

“Of course Sir.  Of course.”

“Here, in this place, with no witness but the trees, and under my hands, you will do this?”

“Sir, I render myself.  Always.”

I was kneeling in the snow.  I had not even become aware of my knees bending.  It just happened.

“Get up.”

His hand laid itself on my head.

As I rose his hand cupped my face and he tilted it to look him in his marvelous, tender eyes.  My breath slowed.  I let my gaze meet with his for a long time before either of us spoke.

“Willingly?”  His voice was very quiet now.  “Joyfully even?”

He rubbed my lips with his thumb.

I lowered my mouth to his gloved palm and kissed it, with all of the passion I felt.  Passion, love plus this strange ardor and need, which had gathered, weighty, staggering in my chest and welled in my throat.  His hand was warm inside the leather, and this held a scent I could not refuse.

He loosened my long hair and let it slip though his fingers.

“Bare your back and your buttocks and face that tree.”

I took off the heavy wool shirt, the lighter flannel shirt, the long sleeve t shirt under that.  My skin was bare in the freezing air.  A few isolated snowflakes were starting to come down.  We were on the banks of a small stream and its water flowed black under a gray sky.

I dropped my jeans and boxers to my knees and leaned forward towards the tree, pressing my cheek to it, feeling it scrape all the vulnerable flesh of my underside.  Cock, balls, thighs, belly, chest, my lifted throat, my face.   It was an oak, with an oak’s rough bark, but young.  My hands almost could touch on the other side.

He took a length of cotton clothesline out of the satchel and tied my hands around the tree in front of me.

“Do you want to be gagged?”

“I want what you want, Sir.”

“Good.  I won’t.  No one to hear you here but me, and I want to hear everything.”

“Yes Sir.”

“Good boy.”

He tousled my hair from behind.

I let my head fall back a bit and looked up into the white sky.

Something sliced the air behind me and then there was this unbelievable swipe of heat on my back, and the stiff weight of the cane was pressed against me, held down.

The scream was delayed a bit and echoed widely all over.  A few crows lifted up into the sky and became black dots and were gone.

I was sorry that I could not see his movements.  I knew they were balletic and focused, with a kind of martial-art precision.  He must have looked wonderful, his coat billowing a little at the forward spring to each strike.

The zipping sound.  The crack.  And the screaming heat, my screaming mouth, the blurring beautiful sea of pain.

“Count them out, Solomon.”


One is You.


Two for my body before Yours.


Three with my Mistress added to our number.


Four for the flights of stairs to your house.


Five for the nights spent not touching myself.


Six for the number of chairs at our table.


The gates of hell.


Eighth street, walking behind you to the pet store where you shamed me that time.


Three by three.....and perfect.....half eighteen.  If I had a daughter Nona would be her name.

Nine, a grid.  Like my back is now.



And the sky is white and when I close my eyes everything stays white.

I am sobbing.  Inhuman sounds I did not know I could make are coming out of  my mouth.

For you.

For Him.

He stops at ten.  Not to end it but to let me rest.  I am howling and slobbering and licking the tree.  It is not even that painful.  Something else is happening.

Something else is happening and I feel like I am going to die.  And I would not mind it.  That too I would welcome with my arms flung wide.

His voice is whispering and urging me.


His hand is in my hair.

I am howling like the lost and mad.

I am breaking open for him.  Under his love, I am splitting apart.

And it continues again.  Ten more.  Ten steps closer to being lost irretrievably.  When he finishes I no longer know my own fucking name. And then and only then is his cock rammed in me so brutally my stomach feels like it is punched from inside.

He holds tight to my hair, pulling.  And takes.  How he takes.  He bellows with the completion of a beast and clings with the protection of an angel.  My body is battered and split by his.  And I don’t want to deny him.  And I don’t want it to end.

It does.  He slides down to the snowy ground and groans.  I heave and pant and sob against the tree.  All I can think of are the oldest tales,  Cuchullain and crucifix, passion and suffering, where a man is pinned or bound to a tree.  His seed slides inexorably down my thighs.

He releases me and I curl up in a heap.

Somehow I am returned to the car.  I don’t know.  Somehow I am moved up the flight of stairs in some small gay-owned bed and breakfast and there, there he cares for my back, my welts, my wounds.  There he leans over when he thinks I am asleep, and presses his lips to my ear.

“I love you, Sol.”

We wake.  We eat breakfast like any other lovers there.  Over my plate of eggs, he smiles at me.  He even pours my coffee for me at one point.

The talk at the table is of the drive up.  I ignore it, sitting quiet in favor of watching him handle the conversation.  He is explaining the route we took, as if such things could be explained.  I am sitting, and I know the route.  I thought I did.  Now I could not tell you what I was before I met him.  Before he took me to this place.

They all want him.  To a man at the table they desire him.

He is not mine.  I feel no secret sense of triumph, only a kind of holy privilege, to be sitting at his side.

A sweet looking kid, maybe twenty three or something starts talking about books.  I am grateful to be able to discuss something I can fathom.  We talk about a recent read.  His turn to watch me.  I get into it, beginning to see my hands dancing in front of me at chest level.  Working class habit, talking with illustrative, gesturing hands.

More eggs.  A second cup of coffee.

His face is so hard in its beauty.  hat thin nose, that sarcastic, almost lipless mouth.  His hair, pulled back so severely.  At his eyes the crows feet are coming in, but it does not detract.

His hands are a marvel.  So fine.  Not delicate, but shaped exquisitely.  Cared for nails.  Soft except for calluses in very specific places, calluses from working out, not work.  My hands are overall dry but warm, thick-skinned, very muscled between forefinger and thumb.

After breakfast he tells me to get back in bed.  To lie on my stomach and nap.  He re-washes my back, caringly.  While I sleep he reads the Wall Street Journal downstairs.

The next day we retrace the steps of the day before.  But there is no caning.  No tying.  We walk in the woods, silently, abreast on the small trail.  All the while I cannot help but have the feeling that I am being tried on as a lover, as well as a servant.

It dawns on me that that was what this whole excursion is about.

It’s like a sudden enlightenment.  A hand from above, like in a medieval mystery play that points and says, “here.  Your life will be so.”

With him, my future suddenly shows itself.  It shows up so much less quietly than I’d thought.  It is not a guest but a beggar.  It is not even a beggar.   Like him, my life, unfolding, demands.

All the way home I sing along quietly with the songs I know and he doesn’t tell me to shut up.