Saturday, September 29, 2012

STEAM PUNK by Barry Lowe

This punk musician’s got everyone all steamed up!
Harvey, a slightly overweight, hairy, middle-aged bus driver, lives a very ordinary life that revolves around TV, take-away pizza, and one-night hook-ups with men he meets on the net. An act of kindness to a young punk musician drags Harvey out of his comfort zone. He can either ‘go with the flow’ and open himself to new experiences or he can shrink back into his shell. Problem is, he’s falling for his new friend – their respective lives are worlds apart and they have nothing in common.


There were signs everywhere for Wankers, Circle Jerks, and Carpet Munchers. I felt like I was in some sleazy sauna or rave party instead of at an inner city pub where it looked as if you could forfeit your life or pick up some sexually transmitted disease, just by going inside. I had no virginity to offer up being a bored hairy 36-year-old bus driver putting on a bit, okay more than a bit, of excess weight because of my sedentary job sitting behind the wheel all day.
I had intended sitting in front of the telly with a beer and a takeaway pizza until late that night before I’d head out on the prowl. The advantage of living in a gay neighborhood was that gay men seemed inordinately reluctant to lower their blinds. That was a godsend for me.
Then he came along. He being one of The Wankers. Yep, that’s right, a band. It was Neo-Punk night, the torn canvas sign flapping in the breeze proclaimed as much, as did the worn and torn second-hand clothing of the crowd lounging about the entrance of the Duke of Clarence Hotel. Knowing what sort of crowd it would be, I’d done my best to camouflage my age, my weight, and my natural musical inclinations, although I knew I’d never assimilate with this mob. The best I could hope for was an uneasy truce. After all, I could be someone’s supportive uncle or older brother or, even better, a record producer scouting new talent for his independent label.
I didn’t even know his name. I was driving the bus he’d hopped on at one of the busy suburban stops. Jet black hair hung over one eye, his skin as pasty white as kindergarten potato glue, he sported the obligatory piercings to eyebrows, lips, ears, and nose. I could see more, outlined through his black T-shirt, around his nipples. I also suspected he had piercings in much more intimate places.  In all, he was carrying enough metal to build a small patrol boat.
As soon as he opened his mouth to speak there was the tell-tale sparkle of a stud through his tongue. I got hard. There was something about this kid. I judged he was in his early twenties: that sure warmed my balls. But he was short forty-five cents for his fare.
“Aw, dude, I didn’t know the fares went up today. This is all the money I got,” he moaned. “Please, man, I gotta get to rehearsal. We’re playing an important gig tonight.” He brandished his guitar as if that were proof of what he was saying.
“Are you any good?” I smiled.
“We suck, man. We play like shit,” and he smiled back.
“If you don’t got the fare, get off the bus,” a passenger yelled.
“Come on, driver, get this bus moving. I have appointments to get to,” some anonymous person called from the back. There was a general murmur of irritation.
He glared at the passengers, some of whom pretended they had no interest in our little tête-a-tête although others glared back belligerently or busied themselves in their books and their newspapers. I knew if I let him on the bus at least one of them would be on to my supervisor complaining about ‘human trash’ being allowed to ride for free. Reaching into my pocket I dragged out some cash and gave it to him. I made a show of it because I wanted the cheap uncharitable fuckers to see it, more to protect myself than from any expectation of public gratitude.
He handed his fare over and I duly gave him a ticket. And change. That way he’d have enough for the fare back, at least. He whistled loudly and tunelessly, his ‘fuck-you’ gesture to the other passengers as he made his way down the aisle to the back of the vehicle. I had to chuckle. It was a very small highlight in my otherwise pitifully dull life. I adjusted my uncomfortably hard cock and steered the bus out into the traffic. 

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