Brand New Release!
Blood Sweat & Black Leather
'Will an aging gay man discover the meaning of eternal love and youth among the living dead?'
Damien Lieberman has moved back to his parent’s house after they were killed in an automobile accident. A rare typhoon is poised to strike the San Francisco Bay Area on All Hallow’s Eve. Damien wants to return to the city to rekindle his relationship with David Wilder after breaking their vow of monogamy, but Damien has lost his job. After continuous rejections from David, Damien seeks love with a new man, futilely, while gay men are dying from a new disease, AIDS.
While Damien observes the approaching storm from the terrace of the house, dwelling on his past failures and current woes, a man, from Damien’s past, balances magically on the railing of the fence and jumps to the deck next to Damien. He recognizes this stranger as a man he pursued, while David was building a new relationship with another man. It was Gabriel. Overwhelmed with his youthful beauty and strength for a man equal in age to himself, Damien fails to notice – Gabriel Tivoli’s paranormal powers. Damien has not only lost his youthful physical appearance but he has lost optimism and his "Peter Pan" personality, something Gabriel loved when they first met.
Gabriel promises to restore Damien’s youth, beauty and love eternally, if he promises to love him in return. When Gabriel asks Damien to meet him in the nearby cemetery at midnight on Halloween, Damien sees Gabriel as his new chance at love. But will the aging gay man attempt to restore his relationship with David? Or will he have faith in Gabriel Tivoli? Will he discover the meaning of the living dead? Will he abuse his paranormal powers and be sentenced to death by the elders?
Damien Liebermann tossed and turned, alone, in his king-sized bed, the wind howling outside his Spanish-style house. Waking from a fantasy, he sat up. “Useless to sleep. Why do I keep thinking of David? That vision of him with fire. Can’t I forget him?” He had another of his recurring dreams. Glancing at the clock on the nearby wall, the time did not display, even the nightlight did not emit its low glow. “Shit! The power is off.”
Blindly searching for his bathrobe, he sensed the warmth and humidity of that late October night in 1985. Struggling through the maze of hallways and rooms, he meandered to the doors of the balcony. “The typhoon wasn’t supposed to arrive until tomorrow.”
Opening the French doors to the deck, gusts of wind blew open his robe, awakening his naked body with a warm, damp force, tingling his genitals. Sitting on a secured wicker chair, his robe open, he stared at the ominous sky overhead. The clouds streaked by too fast to catch a glimpse of the near full moon.
“How’s this damn old house going to weather this huge storm?!” He was weary with the fierce winds blowing as he studied the changing sky above. “Storms like these rarely hit the Bay Area.”
He left the big city life of San Francisco to live on a rural suburban street after inheriting his parent’s house the year before. His parents had been killed in an automobile accident. Troubled by an unresolved relationship with David Wilder, Damien felt abandoned, needing David back in his life. My friends warned me: sure, he’s a stud with blond hair and blue eyes, but he’s too young for you. I thought he was naïve and funny, not stupid and flighty like they said. And how am I supposed to find someone better?
Feelings of guilt resurfaced from Damien’s fatal confession on Valentine’s Day at the Lion Pub back in 1980. It wouldn’t have been so bad if we hadn’t agreed on a monogamous relationship. But shit! It was the gay sexual revolution, and all my other friends were single and having sex with as many men as they could get into bed. Why did I have the need to do that too? It felt good at the time. But when I’d had enough, I had to spill my guts to David. Why did I ever tell him I was unfaithful? I had no idea he’d had sex only with me. I thought he was tricking too. Maybe not as much… but at least once in a while. He didn’t understand. When I told him I’d had sex with more than one guy that was what made him decide to break up with me. That was the doomsday bombshell. He didn’t care that I still loved him and that my promiscuity was over. Why do I still love him? He always made me laugh with his silly jokes. And what a body! I have always loved tall men. That nice hairy chest. And his dick. God, it ranks with some of the biggest I’ve had. Our sex was better than with anyone else. Fuck! Why did I blow it?
But when David left him, Damien realized any reconciliation was highly unlikely for them as lovers. Within a year, David found a new love interest; a man named Stuart. Damien heard through the grapevine, the gossip among their mutual friends was quick to reach him, Stuart and David had bought a house together… a fantasy once shared by Damien and David. But within two years, the new couple’s house was on the market, and David had broken up with Stuart. Damien hoped this might be his chance to get David back. But the signals and reactions from David indicated that was not going to happen.
Meanwhile, Damien frequented the bars and gay hangouts, searching for a man to replace David. But with so few men out looking for a sexual partner, the heartbroken man settled for one night stands and anonymous sex. He remembered seeing Stuart drunk on many occasions,
seeking sex outside his relationship with David. And each time, Damien’s thoughts about renewing his relationship with David resurfaced.
But five years later, regretting his promiscuity, he still didn’t have David back as his lover, and he missed him terribly. Gay men across the country were getting sick and dying with an unknown disease. Some people referred to it as the gay plague, since it was affecting only gay men, primarily only those who were promiscuous like Damien. The acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS, as it became known, was killing most of Damien’s sexual contacts he’d had during his years with David. While mourning the numerous deaths of those he’d spent time with, he was finding it harder and harder to find anyone willing to have anonymous sex.
The year before his parents died, Damien encountered David one afternoon while shopping on Castro Street. His thin, frail body and gaunt face left an image etched in his memory. They had chatted like they’d seen each other the previous week.
Remembering the conversation, Damien feared he would lose David forever… another victim of AIDS.
“I was hospitalized when I came down with pneumocystis,” David explained, his weakness evident in the strained breaths between the few words he spoke.
Damien knew this gay pneumonia was a killer, unwillingly comprehending the seriousness of David’s health. “Should you be out shopping? I can give you a ride to your house, if you’d like? Are you still living with Stuart on Potrero Hill?”
“No, I have a ride. Stuart and I broke up last year and sold the house. He had a drinking problem. I’m with someone new. Robert, Robert Stokes. He ran up the street to buy some groceries while I pick up a couple of prescriptions at Walgreens. How are you doing? Still living in the city? Are you working in Marin?”
“I’m fine.” Damien lied, wanting to hide the pain he suffered from still loving him. “Yes, I still live here. I live in the Haight. I could never leave the city. You should know that.”
David had detailed how he survived with the help of new drugs. He had just been released from the AIDS ward at San Francisco General Hospital.
Damien called numerous times after that encounter, leaving messages on their answering machine, and sending cards. But he never received any responses. Frustrated, Damien reverted to his old behavior, frequenting the afterhours grope clubs, bathhouses, and dark parks full of men seeking anonymous sexual action, thinking this path would lead him back to David. Alone in bed at night, he attempted to remember and count the number of men he had slept with that month. He could not even remember the names of most the men. Sometimes he would go home with a man he had previously had sex with, hoping a repetitive fling would spark a relationship. But those hopes dwindled within a week or two. When he moved back into his parent’s house, the sexual encounters gradually stopped. Ultimately, he abstained from sex completely. Succumbing to his failure to find a partner to replace David, Damien convinced himself his life was near the end.
A ferocious gust of wind slapped Damien’s face, waking him from the past to the storm raging around him. The wind blew his robe open once again, a breath of air brushing against his crotch. His dick became aroused. It rose slightly, as the wind continued to massage him. He remembered a similar storm in 1962, when he was going through puberty. The day was hot prior to the storm’s arrival later that night. He rode his bike to the nearby lake to go swimming. Every time he went where men were in swimming suits, his eyes perused their bodies appreciatively, and he later masturbated to their images in his memory. That day was no different; his sexual hunger needed to be fed. When he was changing in the men’s dressing room, from the corner of his eye, he secretly watched a man with a muscular, hairy chest lather his body in the shower. He studied the man’s bronzed skin, rippling with each movement of his finely-toned muscles, as he dried with a towel. The young man’s dick jerked a couple of times, beginning to mushroom into a full erection. Damien’s eyes focused on the growing appendage, appearing as a massive lollipop
stick he didn’t dare lick. Damien rushed, stepping into the leg openings of his bathing suit, to conceal his growing erection. He couldn’t conceal the cherry color that filled his face, embarrassed when the man looked at him. He lowered his eyes to the floor, avoiding the man’s knowing look of Damien’s desires.
Later that night, a similar typhoon began its fury. Damien was naked on the lawn in his backyard beneath the towering ash trees, his erection throbbing. The wind, warm and powerful, aroused him as he fantasized about the naked man in the shower room. Each gust made his dick harder. His photographic memory displayed a picture, while he masturbated alone. As his orgasm overtook him, he realized he wanted to explore having sex outdoors, especially during a powerful storm.
As the wind twirled around him, Damien wrapped and tied his bathrobe back in place. The many parallels of the current storm to the one in 1962 carried his memories forward another year, on All Hallows Eve.
A few young neighborhood boys had dared Damien to climb the fence of the nearby Lone Oak Cemetery to experience the haunting ghosts. They ventured into the realms of the dark and departed, the wind roaring and the rain pelting their bodies. They spooked one another with stories of the decayed corpses beneath the weathered headstones, including the founding father of their town from the early eighteen hundreds. Most of them joked and played tricks. But Damien heard whispers, something different rumbling beneath the ground. Ancestors, shamans of the Ohlone Indians, who inhabited the area for centuries before the Spanish and Mexicans killed or drove them away, cried to Damien. While reading books about this particular area and tribe, he discovered many shamans were gay, possessing powers to heal their tribesmen. Relating to their sexual orientation, he listened to the omens they whispered. He was sure the voices came from the spiritual tribesmen. Damien shivered, his teeth chattering, understanding their foreboding message. “We warn you to get out.”
Haunting him too much, he pleaded with the others to leave. They pacified his fears, agreeing, and started to leave. Scaling the six foot tall, barbed wire fence, Damien’s left foot slipped. The barbs of wire cut through his shirt, gouging the right side of his youthful, rippled stomach. Damien wished he still had that body but without the permanent scar.
“I can’t go back there.” He glanced at the scar. “That’s ancient history.”
A gust of wind slapped Damien awake from his wandering thoughts. Jolted from his memory, he became abruptly aware of a tall, dark, masculine figure strolling on the top railing of the garden fence, illuminated by a beam of moonlight. Balancing like a dancer, he gracefully walked toward Damien, his face hidden in the shadows. The unknown person crept closer to the deck, leaping from the fence and over the banister to stand next to him. Dressed in a black leather vest and pants, he stood tall and mighty. . His face was concealed by a dark mask.
“Who are you?” Damien gasped in fear.
“You don’t recognize me?” he answered, his deep, soft voice enticing. “You lusted for me several years ago. I told you I wanted an older man. I let you go.”
“How did you walk on the fence like that?”
“It’s all a matter of balance.”
“Why don’t you drop your mask?” Damien’s teeth chattered slightly. “I don’t remember you or your voice.”
A plume of fog surrounded the man momentarily and then dissipated with the wind. Slowly, he removed the mask, revealing a young, pasty white, clean shaven face with bloodshot, piercing, green eyes glowing like emerald gemstones, and long, jet black hair, combed back and shimmering in the fading moonlight. The finely sculpted chest and arms complimented his rippled stomach muscles, all glistening beneath the open vest. It was a man from Damien’s past.
“Is that you, Gabriel?” He couldn’t recall his last name. “How do you appear out of nowhere and do those amazing stunts, like walking on top of the fence?”
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Although in his 60's, Pablo has the energy of a 35-year-old man. Writing is a major part of Pablo's life.
Pablo went to many colleges and had 10 majors until he graduated with a Bachelors Degree. He furthered his studies in city colleges and state universities, emphasizing fiction writing and landscape design. Pablo lives with his husband of sixteen years on a country street in the middle of the urban metropolis, the San Francisco Bay Area. For twenty years Pablo worked and played in San Francisco, furthering the development for culture and diversity. In the 1980's he wrote stories and poetry constantly while he worked two jobs. In the early 2000's Pablo began drifting away the mainstream and into a perspective of gay subculture, inspired from his own experiences and the writing of his peers. Pablo continue to write today has published three books.
Pablo retired from gardening and landscaping to devote his energy to write fiction. As a gay man I wish to promote my writing in the fictional, gay genre to help others understand the necessity for equal rights for LGBT people and comprehend that love between a man and a man, people of the same sex, is as natural as love between a man and a woman. Throughout my lifetime I have experienced the long battle of achieving acceptance. I have searched for a committed relationship with another man. I have loved my partner for eighteen years. We were married legally in front of Harvey Milk's bust in the rotunda of San Francisco City Hall by a judge, in 2008. Although our marriage remained legal after the passage of Proposition 8, we continued to work to repeal DOMA and Prop. 8. Throughout my life I have attempted to live and practice peace as a process for living.