This is Page 2 of Part 4 of Chapter 104 in the "Queer Theories" series.
Go back to Page One of "Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine -- Part 4".
The first thing I do when I get to the office this morning is to call the Car Guy. I don't know what the hell his real title is -- everyone just refers to him as the Car Guy. He's the expert on finding cars for the studio. For films and for everyone else, too. Executives and stars. He knows just where to go to get just the exact car you want. He found the Mustang for me last Christmas.
But now I want something really special. Something out of the ordinary. I'm not certain what, but it can't be anything that anyone else has. I want to give Brian a car that will blow all their fucking minds! The way that Brian blew MY mind -- not to mention my ass! -- last night! What he can do with that perfect, nine inch cock should be illegal! And I guess it still is in a few states.
"I want the best, the most amazing vehicle you can find. This present has to be unique."
The Car Guys says he'll work on it. "But it will be expensive, Mr. Rosenblum."
"Fuck the expense! Money is no object -- and I mean that." Because nothing is too good for Brian.
"If you say so, Mr. Rosenblum," he replies. "What about the Mustang? He still like that? Is it running okay?"
"It's still running fine," I say. "There's no problem with the Mustang. Brian loves the Mustang. But I just want to top that this year. And I mean with something extra, extra special."
"What about a motorcycle, Mr. R? There's a Moto Guzzi I got a handle on. It's an Italian bike. A classic."
"NO! No motorcycles!" It's too easy to picture Brian wiping out on one of those things up on those winding canyon roads. Smashing his face to pieces. "Something with FOUR wheels, please."
"Sure thing, Mr. Rosenblum. I'll get on the case right away. I'll find something that will make your boyfriend really sit up and take notice!"
"You do that and I'll make it worth your while."
I hang up with the Car Guy and think about last night. I'm usually pretty uptight about 'losing control' of the situation. Sexually, I mean. But maybe I've been wrong. Brian is a natural top, I know that. And I guess I should take advantage of that reality. Because from now on....
Ivy buzzes me, breaking in on my musings. "Mr. Rosenblum, Mr. Kinney is here."
Speak of the Devil! This could be... very interesting. Doing it in the office would be exciting.
"Well," I say into the phone. "Why doesn't he just come in?"
"He... he wanted me to announce him," says Ivy. "He's here... with his attorney."
"What?" I'm puzzled. Something is wrong. Maybe Brian is in trouble again. "Tell them to come in."
The door opens immediately and a large, garishly dressed man bustles in and looks around like he's casing the joint. Brian walks in quietly behind him. He's wearing one of the Armani suits he bought in London last summer and he looks incredible. Elegant AND sexy. He was born to wear those Italian suits. But he sits down in the chair on the other side of my desk without saying anything. Without looking at me.
But the lawyer -- he looks at me. He looks me up and down, like he's sizing me up. "Mind if I have a seat, too?" he says, plopping down in the other chair before I can answer. "The name's Walter Urbanski, attorney at law. I'm representing Mr. Kinney here."
"Brian -- what's going on?" I say, standing up and leaning over to him. I reach for his hand.
"Er -- do you mind addressing ME and NOT my client, Mr. Rosenblum?" says the horrible tan polyester suit with a lawyer inside. "That will make it a lot easier."
I sit back down in my own chair. I'm beginning to lose feeling in my hands and feet. "Make what... easier? What the fuck are you talking about?"
"Let me get straight to the point." Urbanski takes out a dirty-looking little notebook and consults it. I can't imagine why Brian would be retaining this cretin -- or for what reason. "Last August 1, 2002, in London, England, you made a verbal agreement with my client that you would suppress certain video tapes in your possession if he would agree to certain conditions that you set, including cooperation with any publicity involving your forthcoming film, 'The Olympian.' Also, cohabitation with you, including continuing a sexual relationship...."
"What is this all about?" I say, standing up again. "Brian?" But he just looks down.
"I'm not finished, Mr. Rosenblum," the lawyer replies, curtly. "I think you know exactly what your agreement was, so I won't detail it anymore for you. But you realize, don't you, that it's a crime to video tape people without their knowledge? Namely my client and one Justin Taylor, aged nineteen. And then to use the threat of revealing such a tape to the public in order to coerce a sexual relationship with my client -- that constitutes blackmail -- as well as incorporating a number of other not very nice charges. You could be in serious trouble, Rosenblum."
"What the fuck are you trying to do, Brian?" I yell.
"Excuse me, Mr. Rosenblum," Urbanski says, sharply. "I'm talking here. If you don't mind?"
I sit back down behind my desk. I can't take my eyes off Brian. And he can't look at me.
"Now, to cut to the chase, my client consulted me at the end of August with the information about your -- what do you two call it? Your 'Deal.' Frankly, I told him that he had a lot of hot air and not a lot of proof."
"That's the first true thing you've said here, Mr. Urbanski!" I respond.
"But," Urbanski continues. "I believed him. I definitely believed him. And I told him what he had to do to -- how should I say? -- get the goods on YOU, Mr. Rosenblum. But Brian has been reluctant to do that. Reluctant to -- how did you put it, Brian? To 'push you off the fucking cliff,' Mr. Rosenblum. It seems that he still has some very conflicted feelings about you. About your 'relationship.' And about things that you have done for him in the past that he feels gratitude for."
Brian glances up at me -- only for a second -- and I see an emptiness in his eyes.
"But recently he informed me that as of last Thursday -- one week ago, in fact -- that you had ordered him out of your joint place of residence, telling him to..." Urbanski consults his dirty little notebook. "Quote, 'Get your shit and get out,' unquote. My client took this statement as breaking the 'Deal.'"
"It's bullshit!" I explode. "There IS no 'Deal'! It's all in his head! You see, Mr. Urbanski, Brian is a bit... hysterical. He imagines things," I say, making my voice like ice. "I can give you the reports from his psychiatrist, Dr. Hall. He's been institutionalized -- more than once." But Brian doesn't look up at that.
"Yes, I thought you might say that," Urbanski replies. "He mentioned all that to me. Which is another thing that makes this a difficult case to pursue in court. So many fucked up people involved in it. And so many fags, too. That makes it extra hard to know who to believe."
"Brian, I can't believe you would listen to this homophobic asshole," I say, gritting my teeth.
"But he IS listening to me, Mr. Rosenblum." The lawyer sits back in the chair, smugly. "Brian told me that he moved out -- at your request. But I warned him, given the history of the two of you, that you would probably change your mind, sooner or later, and want to continue the 'Deal.' And you did. Almost immediately."
"There IS no 'Deal'! How many times do I have to repeat myself!"
"I warned Brian that you had no real reason NOT to continue the 'Deal' for as long as you wanted to. Way beyond... what was the original time frame? The New Year? So, why not indefinitely? Because YOU held all the cards. Namely video tapes of my client, alone AND with the kid. And of the kid -- and you, too, Rosenblum." He curled his lip at me like my name tasted foul.
"Now, my client could have said, 'fuck you' to it all and taken his chances that you would eventually see the stupidity of ruining BOTH of your careers. This whole video taping thing is sordid. It's ugly. And it doesn't look at all good on the resume of an up and coming film director. So, maybe you would realize that and just forget about it. But Brian was unwilling to take that chance. Mainly, he was unwilling to risk the possibility that young Mr. Taylor would be exposed in any way -- let alone be subjected to a prolonged and unpleasant court case."
"That is SO touching," I say, glaring at Brian.
"Yeah, isn't it?" says Urbanski, grimly. "Anyway, I told Brian that if he wanted you off his back, then he had to nail YOU first. You understand me, Rosenblum?"
I blink a few times. I want to reach for the phone and call my own lawyer. He could be here in five minutes. But I don't. "No, I don't understand."
Urbanski consults his little notebook again. "Because you are knowingly in possession of a pornographic film depicting a child under the age of eighteen engaging in sexual conduct. And that you in fact MADE this film yourself -- and are the one portrayed in it having sex with a minor. Do you deny that, Rosenblum?"
"I...." I don't know what the fuck to say.
Urbanski reaches into his briefcase and takes out a video cassette and sets it on my desk. It's labeled, in my handwriting, 'Jack 1988 -- NYC.' "I'm just returning this to you, Mr. Rosenblum," he says. "At my specific request my client 'obtained' this video tape. Last night, I believe. I've already made copies of it and put them in a number of safe places where I keep important evidence. Including copies to be sent to the District Attorneys here in Los Angeles and in New York City, where the tape was made. Along with a deposition given by my client that states that he is the minor child being exploited in this tape." Urbanski puts a document on my desk.
"Brian," I say, beginning to panic. "Brian -- stop this guy!" But he won't answer me.
"That you not only had sex with him when he was sixteen years old and filmed it, but that you also obtained illicit drugs, specifically heroin, and gave them to my client. And then had sex with him while he was under the influence of these drugs. More than one time, too. Quite a number of times, in fact. Do you deny this, Mr. Rosenblum?"
"I...." All I can do now is stare at Brian. Just stare at him. "That's NOT the way it happened!" I look at Urbanski. "It wasn't like THAT! It... wasn't! Brian! Tell this guy! Tell him... the way it really happened!"
Finally, Brian looks up at me. His eyes are red and haunted looking. "I made my statement, Ron. That's what happened. That's the way they'll read it."
"But it's NOT! And you fucking know it! You know WHY I bought those drugs! You were SICK! I did it to HELP you, not to take advantage of you."
Brian turns his face away and wipes at his eyes with the back of his sleeve.
"Brian -- I LOVED you! TELL this guy! Explain it to him! Brian!" I'm fucking yelling. Crying! I feel like I'm trapped in a vice and someone is squeezing it. Squeezing the fucking life out of me!
"You shouldn't have taken it out on Justin," Brian whispers. "But you just wouldn't let it GO! You wouldn't let ME go. You forced my hand, Ron. You... you made me choose. Because if I... didn't do this, then you would just keep coming back. Again and again. Threatening me. Threatening HIM. It doesn't matter about me, Ron. I'm not important. But he's just a kid -- he has his whole life ahead of him...."
"Brian!" I shout. "He's NOTHING! He's only a...."
But Brian cuts me off. "I love Justin. JUSTIN, Ron, not YOU! And I don't want those tapes of him and me hanging over his head. Or that tape of him... and you. This way I know that you will never use any of them. Because you don't want that other tape -- the film of you and 'Jack' -- ever to come out. And neither do I. Because it would ruin you, Ron. That would be the END of your career. The END! So, now we're even." He swallows. "I'll never say anything more about this as long as you NEVER do anything with the tapes of Justin. Because if you do -- I'll see that you're nailed to the wall, Ron. And I mean it. Do you believe me, Ron?"
"Yes," I say, staring at him. "I believe you, Brian." And I do believe him. The betraying bitch.
"So, you can burn them or bury them in your backyard or lock them away in an underground vault for all I care. And Mr. Urbanski has orders never to release our tape, the 'Jack' tape, or my statement -- unless something happens. But it won't -- will it, Ron?"
I can hardly even nod my head, I'm so numb. "It... won't. I'll destroy the tapes. All of them."
"And your 'Deal,' Mr. Rosenblum?" asks Urbanski, his voice harsh.
"It's... off," I answer. "Over. Everything is over. Everything."
Urbanski beams. "See? That wasn't so difficult, was it? Now, you boys can kiss and make up or do whatever the hell you do. And don't screw around with this blackmail stuff anymore. It's nasty. Really nasty." He pushes back his chair and reaches over to shake my hand. I just gape at him and he withdraws it.
"Right," I say to Urbanski. "Nasty." But I'm looking at Brian. He stands up -- and I stand, too. Urbanski moves toward the door. And I walk over to Brian and slap him as hard as I can across the face. But he barely even blinks. He just stands there. And so I hit him again. Harder.
"Hey!" says the lawyer, turning. "You planning to add Assault and Battery to your list of possible charges, Rosenblum?"
But Brian holds up his hand, touching his face. "It's all right, Walter. There's no harm done. It's... I'm not hurt."
"You were a whore when I met you -- and you're still a whore!" I breathe in his face. "That's how you got that tape, Brian. The only way you know how to get anything. Using sex. Using your dick!"
But he doesn't back away from me. He looks me right in the eye. "I did what I had to do, Ron."
"I hope you give sweet little Justin fair warning about how it will always be with you, Brian. I hope you tell him what you really are. How you'll never, ever change. And about how you'll end up destroying HIM, too, just like you've destroyed me. Like you'll end up destroying Jimmy. Just like you destroy everyone you come into contact with!" I say, bitterly. "Fucking 'Gay Kryptonite'! I should be laughing at the irony of me falling for your twisted little game, Brian -- but I don't have the heart to."
"I'm sorry, Ron," Brian says. Like he's really sad. Right! Like he's really, really sorry! "But it isn't as if you didn't know what I was from that first minute in Nick's Pizzeria. You knew, Ron. That's what you wanted. It's what you've always wanted. And what you got."
And Walter Urbanski holds the door open for him as they go out.
I pick up the video cassette and gaze at it. "Jack 1988 -- NYC.' I ought to smash it into a million fucking pieces. This is the thing that could obliterate everything. My career. My life. I could go to jail. Literally. And now it's ruined any hope I ever had that I could be happy. Ever.
I slide the cassette into my briefcase. And then I go home.
"You say you disturb me
And you don't deserve me,
But you know sometimes you lie.
You say you're shakin'
And you're always achin'
But you know how hard you try.
Sometimes it gets so hard to care,
It can't be this way ev'rywhere,
And I'm gonna let you pass,
Yes, and I'll go last,
Then time will tell just who fell
And who's been left behind,
When you go your way and I go mine.
The judge, he holds a grudge,
He's gonna call on you.
But he's badly built
And he walks on stilts,
Watch out he don't fall on you.
You say you're sorry
For telling stories
That you know I believe are true.
You say ya got some
Other kind of lover
And yes, I believe you do.
You say my kisses are not like his,
But this time I'm not gonna tell you why that is.
I'm just gonna let you pass,
Yes, and I'll go last,
Then time will tell just who fell
And who's been left behind,
When you go your way and I go mine."
Lyrics to "Things Have Changed" and "Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine" by Bob Dylan.
Continue on to "Ground Fog -- Part 1, the next chapter.
©Gaedhal, January 2003.
Send Gaedhal any comments, critiques, suggestions. I welcome all of your feedback on this chapter.
Updated January 17, 2003.