REGENERATION AND ROMANCE MEET in
Regeneration and romance meet in Amory’s short story we hope you enjoy – Exotic Goods Worldwide – Amory Peart
After a disturbed sleep, CJ was lolling around on his bed, long after his usual weekend wake up time.
The urban soundscape outside his Aylesbury Estate 4th floor flat played out below as he searched memories, from his previous night out at The Eagle, in Vauxhall, and realized… there weren’t any!
“Coward” he thought “Covarde” in his native Portuguese. The nineteen year-old had spent the evening alone – downing four pints, fantasising about a South London / South American sexual collision. At home later, flashes of online sexual banter & web-camming, echoed in his head. His computer still on, littered with pop-up porn adverts and surrounded by crispy tissues and some half-eaten deep-fried take-away Pasteles showed evidence of some success.
Saturday. He could have slept longer but the drilling noise made his hangover worse. After six months in Walworth he still had no curtains and now was bathed in hot, bright sunshine. It was as if he’d switched on the contrast on his TV and everything was glowing white or had disappeared into blackness. Only his large Brazilian flag on the wall broke the monotone colour palette. He ripped back the bed sheets off his sweaty, naked body. Looking down at himself, he noted the harsh English Winter had turned his usually brown flesh into a greyish tone.
The bleary-eyed student forced himself up to standing. Gazing out at his bleached-out industrial Aylesbury Estate cityscape. The low January sun lit up the metropolis ahead and warmed his naked body & soul. He closed his eyes and longingly imagined lying on Copacabana Beach: the glow of the sun burning his face, the noise of laughter and waves and the familiar human contact of his fellow Brazilians.
Opposite him, on an Elephant Park construction high rise, sunlight reflected, magnified and blasted into his room. Through the piercing sun he saw fluorescent builders with electronic equipment on the open top floor, their movements breaking up the sunlight. The teenager playfully ran around his room to find more permanent patches of the sun’s warmth. Their movements caused patterns of shadow and light amusingly dance across his naked torso. He admired the psychedelic shapes alternating from red to white which focusing on his engorged cock and swollen balls.
Loving it, CJ reached for his IPhone twisting awkwardly so as not to move and spoil the genital light display. He prepared this artful cock “Selfie” video hoping when on Grindr to give his AylesburyCJ profile more hits. But the sunlight disappeared. CJ looked outside angrily. His view of bleached out fluorescents builders had turned into the temporary clapboard erection of the walls of the 26th floor. Coldness set in, his skin turned to Goosebumps and balls to horse chestnuts.
Out of the darkness, only an artificial green light from his computer flashed at him. He shuffled over to see the message on a dating site window still open from last night’s intercourse:
Message: from TaplowLad
In nervous anticipation, Carlos hesitated whilst watching the bright rhythmic light alert him. He had been over-messaging TaplowLad for sometime with no response. At least he knew from the site location-tracker the Taplow block was around the corner.
Taplowlad: love latin guys m8, cam live tonight? You on kik? Any dick pics?
Another wank and go timewaster. The Brazilian’s search for a local romance had once again ended in DELETE.
Real sex so far had been equated to soulless trips to the outer edges of the Northern line for sex in “hello, goodbye sandwiches” (A Brazilian phrase literally translated). As he quelled the green light of instant desire felt drained of energy. From the depths of self-pity, CJ’s mind wandered to a hot place…or person …Dwaine, the East Street knicker trader. He quickly got up and changed into some warm clothes.
Outside, the temperature of chilled urban air was raised by the activity of the daily market. Intent on seeing his fantasy man as soon as possible, he waved, without stopping, to his Brazilian friends serving in a local Latin American shop. As he weaved his path through the rowdy melee of stalls, he noticed many hot guys passing him, who were as different to one another as guys were in his hometown of Rio. In London, no one called him Mulato (a common term to describe his mixed race origin of colour). He wasn’t black, yet he wasn’t white. With sex, we cannot be politically correct, we either want sex with someone or not.
Carlos stopped and leaned against a shop window just by Dwaine’s lingerie stall. He listened and was turned on by his genuine coarse & often crude, witty cockney street banter. The trader’s uniform of grey trackie bottoms, hoody, leather jacket and white trainers weren’t original, but CJ adored his authenticity. That, and his handsome face with a full-lipped smile, made Dwaine his Galo (heartthrob) as Carlos watched him charm local guys and girls into unwanted bra purchases.
So as not to be caught out staring, CJ started rifling through his own pockets to make a roll up, he noticed Dwaine giving him a warm & sweet smile and they held one another’s’ gaze. The Trader then grabbed his own basket & moved his bulging package around. He then directly walked towards CJ who devoured his every move as he approached Carlos.
“Alright” said Dwaine coyly.
“Yes thanks”, replied Carlos and put his arm around CJ pulling him in closer. CJ was tense, unsure if this was leading to a queer bashing.
“Here I don’t know if you could make me a roll up could ya?” It took the Brazilian time to take this all in.
“Eh…mate?” repeated Dwaine and CJ jumped to make the cigarette.
“My name is Carlos Josa“, CJ blurted out.
“All my days…you’re…. exotic man…. that’s what I like about this place you get allsorts round ‘ere. You know what I mean” and winked at CJ, who was numb with shock as the stallholder patted him roughly on the back.
“Me name’s Dwaine, just plain Dwaine”. Though the roll up was a saggy, fumbly mess, CJ popped it towards Dwaine’s mouth. The local opened up his plump lips and as he slipped it in his mouth. CJ felt giddy with happiness. His nervousness had disappeared and adrenaline had kicked in.
Dwaine gently moved CJ back a few strides further into an alleyway behind them and made a flicking gesture with his hands. Putting his own hands around his mouth, CJ then put one hand onto Dwaine’s and with the other flicked his lighter on a few times. Dwaine drew on the tobacco and CJ felt it was the most erotic moment in his life.
“Oy Missus, careful!” Dwaine shouted running towards an African woman putting two giant melons inside a bra big enough to carry rubble.
“Cheers mate. See you around eh? “Shouted his idol looking back.
“Hope so” CJ responded, still in shock. He turned and walked on, his heart in his footsteps.
“Your exotic goods mate!” CJ swung back around towards the stallholder who was pointing at the wall laughing. CJ saw the worn shop sign above where they were smoking declaring,
“Exotic Goods -Worldwide” and Carlos Josa laughed back,
“And you! So are you!” CJ had meant it.
CJ’s heart glowed as he skipped along East Street, dodging carts and dodgy dealing. In his euphoria, daylight had evaporated into dusk. The excitement of meeting the barrow boy had spurred him forward and he beamed with confidence.
He broke his stride to consider where was he going? Directionless, he slowed down. The dark & cold narrow streets had emptied out into homes and pubs. He couldn’t let this opportunity go and he turned around to see his own exotic Walworth hero again.
Dwaine had his back to him but two hands were dangling over his shoulders and falling down his back with a handbag hanging from one wrist. The woman pulled away from snogging Dwaine and Carlos’s urgency petered out from the reality. An attractive brunette revealed herself, thankfully CJ thought, with a voice as coarse as her lover’s. As she walked off Dwaine gave her arse a slap and verbalised an (obviously filthy) sexual promise.
Carlos turned away, this time, driven someplace by frustration. The Brazilian walked on into the cold January night wishing he were somewhere else but here. For solace, he took a course towards the main source of artificial light in the area, the constructions in Elephant Park. A wide, river of a road led towards this unfinished Emerald City twinkling above him.
He looked up closer. It was the very same tower that had created both playful beauty and desultory shade in his home earlier that afternoon. The skyscraper appeared silent and empty after the narrow dark noisy streets he’d just come from and these futuristic constructions seemed fresh and glamorous. As he got closer and closer, he became enamored and drawn to the newness and touch of the smooth, tactile, reflective surfaces of granite and glass.
CJ was next to the building when bright lights sprayed brashly into his eyes and from all around him accompayed by a Big Brother- style recorded voice
“STOP, this is private property” (on repeat)
Terrified, Carlos halted his investigation, holding his hands up as if he was being held at gunpoint. A sign in front of him stated
Do you have authorization be on the Elephant Park complex?
“Oy!” A voice shouted from behind him. “ The site is closed”. CJ did a full circle spin, lights blurred in his face from 360 degrees.
“What are you doing here?” demanded a questioning voice.
CJ didn’t really have an answer. The sound of the crunching of boots across tarmac and stones came closer then a gloved-hand landed heavily on his shoulder.
“I’m sorry, I followed the lights & I got lost”, Carlos said genuinely.
“Do you have a pass, like this?” A Jamaican accent demanded. CJ turned around to face him. A black man with a fluorescent yellow jacket haloed by bright light, held out his ID towards Carlos,
.“Where did you come from?” the man asked.
“Just there, where I live, in Wendover past the market” CJ apologetically added.
“You’re not supposed to come past the entrance…. But there’s nobody on security as we’re now supposed to be closed until Monday.”
“I’ve been watching you build this from my place I just…” CJ muttered
“I’m Digby” he put out his hand, pulling of his thick gloves. CJ raised his hand to shield the light and Digby knocked the standing light heads towards the ground.
“CJ” shaking Digby’s hand and now looking at the construction worker’s face.
“Do I know you?” the Jamaican said inquisitively.
“Maybe you’ve seen me around? I’ve been on Aylesbury six months,” said CJ noticing his questioner’s freckled nose. Then a huge smile broadened out across his face and small, spaced out white teeth gleamed brightly, as realization flooded across his expression, then a natural, infectious laughter burst out,
“I know you. I saw you… today.”
“Today?” CJ asked
“You were at home. Until about 2PM?” Digby asked
“You’re from Brazil ain’t ya? He said excitedly. “I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on“, the construction worker laughed out loud and CJ looked bemused.
“The patterns on your cute body, I made them with my infra red!”
CJ & the Guard locked eyes.
CJ stumbled,“ You were doing that?”
“ Yes Sir! You’re my Hottie for the day! You’ve gotta have a some fun! You were loving it! You’re exotic man! You don’t mind me playing?”
“No, no,… I was just drawn to your light”.