Monday, August 19, 2013

Hustlers in Quebec

The desire to be someplace else, in a different body, perhaps, to have a different history, was interrupted by the young woman’s comment,

"Papa, that man on the cover of the book looks like your friend”. 
Had his daughters kept walking down old rue Saint Jean, Didier’s undesired memories, repressed angers, vices would have continued in a state of denial, but the young woman recognized what she thought were one of his father’s  acquaintances, a face from the past on the cover of Dr. Andrew Toto’s latest book. Didier would have preferred to stay in the amnesia corridor instead of having to remember his tortuous sexual past, full of lies and seductions. It was better to forget than to recall painful memories in front of a book store in the belle province.

For Didier it had been a difficult task to make sure that his children never learned about his past dependency on older men; much less for them to know about his involvement in quite a lot of misled seductions and dishonest sexual games. He continued to deny his sex escapades with men. And whenever he was willing to recognize them, it was not his doing but the old men who were after him. He had never called any man "my love", nor he ever told Dr. Toto about how special he was or that he was completely straight,

The faces on the cover of the book spoke to a past he rather forget. A very sad weary sense of his self was felt while standing, frozen in front of the old man's face on the cover of the book  David, Andre and Dr. Toto. The faces on the cover had never met in person but were brought together through the open pages of Facebook. Perhaps, they came across each other in the lobby of the Sainte Andre, the starless hotel or at the bar in Le Village, where Dr. Toto was doing research on older gay men and their obsessions.

It was not a pleasant surprise to realize that he could be another character in one of those stories about distorted realities of gays in denial, living clandestine sexual affairs and claiming to be straight while searching in bathhouses or public toilets for anxiety driven pleasures. The characters populating Dr. Toto's literary world were mostly older men going after young guys.

Didier was never interested in reading short stories and at the age of forty, he was trying to forget old memories, but like all truths searching for evidence in order to validate themselves, the events and sexual affairs kept coming back through objects, the book cover, photos, artifacts that he had obtained from old men. The confused faces of his children trying to figure out if the doctor they once met was the same one on the cover and why was their father denying that he knew Dr. Toto.

The question of one of his adolescent children brought Didier out the trance, and he quickly answered with an out of place, "leave me alone, why should i know these perverts?"

"Sorry, but the look of your face led me to think you knew something about the book and Doctor Toto seems familiar to us."

His automatic "Let’s go" followed by another of Didier distorted answers led the two children away from learning about the book, the world of hustlers and their sugar daddies claiming to be straight; men who easily forget…. easily forget……

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