Need to think on this one. The funniest and most wonderful supporting cast of characters. ❤️❤️❤️ Review and rating to come.
BR with Momo and Nathan on Wednesday, July 8th
The young man’s name was Stanley Sternbaum. On this particular morning, he was twenty-two, stood five foot seven, had blue eyes and reddish-blond hair (with a cowlick; two actually) and weighed one hundred thirty pounds with a hard-on. Oddly, without a hard-on he still weighed one hundred thirty pounds. You’d think you’d weigh less, wouldn’t you?
A moment later, with a swish of sound like the rustle of a shitload of Japanese fans and silk kimonos, a swirling mass of orange taffeta came swooping into the lobby through a side door like a phoenix exploding from the wings into voluptuous flame. It took Stanley exactly four seconds to realize it wasn’t a flaming phoenix at all, but a flaming drag queen. And a fairly old one at that.
“We’ve got plenty of hot water. Utilities are included, don’t you know, so that’s always nice. There’s a laundry room in the basement. Don’t use the washer in the middle, it chews up clothes like a cow eats grass. We have four units on each floor, all one bedrooms. As far as I know, everyone who lives here is as gay as a cotillion.”
They were quickly dragged back to reality when Arthur farted. It sounded somewhat akin to the atonal blast of a battered trumpet.
"Hmm,” Roger said. “B-flat. Wonder what that means.”
Stanley grinned. “His heart’s working again?”
Roger blessed Stanley with a lopsided grin. “Well, something’s working. I’m not sure the heart is directly linked to the, um, tailpipe. I’m a nurse, not a mechanic. Still, it’s a hopeful sign."
Before he could slam the door behind him, he heard his mother casually say, “I love your ensemble, young man. Made from a cow, isn’t it? Is that like a bondage thing, or are you simply allergic to fabric?”
“Well, let’s just say the leather outfit pretty much explains it all. I will say this. If you hear strange noises—happy masculine noises—coming through the wall from next door, I wouldn’t go investigate if I were you. Some of his massages are a little more invasive than others, if you get my drift. And ChiChi loves his work. He loves it almost as much as his clients do. There. I’ve said enough.”
Stanley wondered if Roger knew the power he wielded. If he did, he would surely be a little more careful how he flung that power around. Roger Jane wielded his beauty like a kid with his daddy’s shotgun, pointing it everywhere, finger on the trigger, not knowing if it was loaded or not, but scaring people like Stanley shitless anyway. Once those green eyes came to rest on you, you might as well have a bull’s-eye painted over your heart.
Gaaaah. I'm loving this!! ❤️❤️
LATER, Sylvia helped Stanley fold his clothes as they came out of the dryer, pooh-poohing his objections about her handling his unmentionables.
“Only a faggot would say unmentionables, Stanley. Or a woman.”
"Ah, well,” Stanley droned, “such a fine line separates the two.”
“No shit,” Sylvia said, and they both laughed.
Roger’s mouth twisted into a smile, and since he still had his lips pressed to Stanley’s palm, Stanley could feel it. It was the very first smile, other than his own, he had ever felt.
“How can you ever hope to be an archeologist if you can’t even see what’s right in front of your eyes?”
“You still don’t believe he’s crazy about you, do you? You still think you’re not good enough for him. That’s really what it is. Isn’t it? You think because of the way he looks, you can’t trust him. You think you don’t measure up. You’re punishing him for being beautiful and you’re punishing yourself for not being beautiful enough. So while you play your little blame game, everybody gets hurt and no one gets what they want. Where the hell is the sense in that?”
Listen to Syliva, sweet Stanley, listen.
THE eight and a half minutes Stanley lay naked and alone in his bed waiting for Roger to join him were the longest three weeks he ever spent in his life.
I continue to grin like an idiot throughout this entire book.
“It’s the weekend, Stanley,” Roger mumbled around a mouthful of crust. “You have no classes, and after my double shift yesterday, I have two days off. What would you like to do?” He waggled his eyebrows like Groucho Marx.
For Pete’s part, he seemed willing to accept Sylvia in whichever persona she chose. Man or woman. It made little difference to Pete. He loved her regardless.
And in Stanley’s eyes, that was love indeed. Love in its absolutely purest form.
The female sat in the nest, fluffing her feathers and preening, while the male hopped about from limb to limb, squawking and keening and making a general nuisance of himself. The female appeared to be haughtily ignoring him, as females of every species so often do when their mates are acting like dickheads.