24 October 2008
Alvin - A Short Story by JK

I wrote this short story back in 2003/4. To this day, it remains unpublished, as most of my writings are. It was part of a manuscript that I submitted to a publisher way back when. The publisher rejected the manuscript as being "pornographic" so that was that. I also once submitted it for the fiction section of Options/Off The Edge. The magazine chose another story, because Alvin's subject matter was deemed a bit risque. Still, I think it's one of my "better" stories, although it's hard to subjective about stuff like that. 

Though it's unpublished, I've read it on two rather significant occasions. The first was at the Ubud (Bali) Writers Festival in 2005 to which I was invited. There I read it as part of a panel on erotic writing. The story has elements of eroticism. I'll let you find that out for yourselves. The other occasion was at the Heartbreak Heroes reading at Indignation Singapore earlier this year. There I read it as part of a Malaysian contingent of writers talking about queer sexuality. 

People have asked me whether the story is autobiographical. It is and it is not. It's an amalgamation of experiences of going out and clubbing and shagging and falling in and out of love in my then-newly adopted home KL. The title of the story is inspired by the Malaysian actor Alvin Wong, whom I had a silly crush on for a little while. (LOL.) But the character of Alvin is totally fictional. The narrator Jay, of course, is based on myself, but he's not really me. I think, in real life, I'm more like Alvin.  Maybe the two are composites of me. How's that for an exercise in narcissicism? LOL.

There have been two main versions of the story. The first version had a sillier ending. I changed it this year when I took the story down to Indignation. But just to make sure it wasn't all serious, I added a "notes for a sequel" to the end of the latest version just for fun. I've thought about turning Alvin into a whole novel... who knows?

Here it is... Enjoy!


* * * * 


ALVIN

He told me he lived in Brickfields. I told him I wasn’t expected home. My bf and I had a quarrel. He found out about Mark. The door banged shut in my face. Nine hours ago, I’d never have thought I’d end up here, in a car park. With this gorgeous boy looking at me. 

“My flat mate went back to Ipoh for the weekend. You can stay.”

I got in the front passenger seat and he started up the car. Small talk filled the space between us as his Kancil navigated the empty Chinatown streets. At a traffic light junction somewhere near the train station, his left hand fell on my right thigh. I looked at him and he was smiling at me.  

I reached out my right hand to touch his lips. Touch his face. Feel the light stubble on his cheek. His small deep-set eyes highlighted his high forehead and prominent temples. His wispy eyebrows made him look young. And he wore glasses, just like me.

Then the light changed.

 

 

*

 

 

All I could think of was how lucky I got my wallet and ATM card in time before the bf threw me out. Since he wouldn’t have cooled down anytime in the next 48 hours, I punched out some cash, called up my best friend Ming and decided to go clubbing.

            We went to Liquid first. It was one of those strange Saturday night crowds. Flash but cheap, too young too much, jailbait trash. It made us 27-year-old feel so ancient. Still, eye candy is eye candy.

While scoping the scene on the balcony, we spotted Tolkien. We left before closing time and went for some Hokkien noodles. We walloped the meal bitching about each other’s psychotic monkeys.

Ming told us about Henry, his 17-year-old Thursday-night cottaging belt-notch who had been calling him every hour for the past two days and pleading with him to commit to an LTR.

“Why did you give him your real handphone number? Stupid.”

“I don’t know. I came in his mouth and I was feeling good. Plus he had a nice ass that I was thinking of saving

for next week.”

“Serves you right.”

“I thought he was cute. He has very nice eyes. Very sincere.”

“It’s usually the cute ones who are most fucked up.”.

Then pink-cheeked Lewis narrated the story of Mel, the hairdresser who had been accusing him of sleeping with his 25-year-old bf who just moved to Hong Kong.

“This guy,” Tolkien pointed to his head, “is just really screwed up. I don’t even know him and I only slept with his bf once. But that was before they became a couple. And I heard they broke up last year. That’s already more than two years ago I fucked the boyfriend. And he’s still worked up about it. He has the cheek to be angry with me. What about my feelings? What about the fact that he was sleeping with my bf before I broke up with him? KL is full

of neurotic psychos, I tell you. Stupid neurotic psychos.”

“How old is he?”

“Forty, I heard.”

“No wonder-lah. Getting old. It’s the gay midlife crisis. They realise they don’t want to grow up anymore. So they just become senile.”

“I just pray I don’t turn out like that.”

“And become a paedophile some more.”

“Or worse ...”

The two of them looked at me.

“… have a Malay bf.”

 

 

After noodles, we three decided to check out Backroom. One of Tolkien’s friends phoned us up and told us it was really happening. Not to mention: free entry.

 

 

*

 

 

I think I saw him for the first time in the toilet at Backroom. I was in there after two whole hours dancing non-stop, dousing my face with water, trying to cool down. At the next sink, a shirtless guy was literally taking a shower, splashing his naked torso with handfuls after handfuls of water. 

 

He had just stepped off the urinals. He must have seen me perving on the other guy cause when it was his turn at the faucet, he turned to me and smiled. I smiled as a reflex. Then he wiped his hand on his pants and left.

 

 

*

 


            “What’s your bf’s name?”

            “You really want to know?”

            “Yeah.”

            “Why?”

            “Just curious.”

            “I think you know him.” I took a sip of Coke. “You really want to know?”

            “You’re going to tell me or not?”

            “No.”

 

 

*

 

 

I stalked him around Backroom, like I was planning to rape him. He was hanging out with some people who looked like they were gay so I assumed that he was one himself. It seemed like ages before I worked up enough courage to go up to him and introduce myself. It was when his friends were all dancing that I did it. I yelled over the pounding techno music, asking him for the time. 

            “It’s 5:27.” He yelled back.

            “Thanks.”

He went back to looking at his friends on the dance floor.

I tapped him again on the shoulder. “Do you have

a cigarette?” Holding imaginary cigarette to my mouth.

            He shook his head. “I don’t smoke.”

            Remembering I had a packet of Strepsils in my pocket, I offered them to him, nodding my head. 

            He looked at it carefully, took one, popped it in his mouth and smiled. “Thanks.” He then showed me a bottle

of mineral water, nodding his head.

            I nodded in return and he watched me take two gulps. “Thanks.”

            I gave him back the bottle. “No problem.” Then he held out his hand. “What’s your name?”

            “Jay.”

            Alvin.”

            “Nice to meet you, Jay.”

            “Nice to meet you too.” I pointed to his friends on the dance floor. “Your friends?”

            “Yeah. You alone?”

            I shook my head. We watched the crowd dancing under the crazy laser show. Those who weren’t, including us, were nodding in time to the music. I was thinking of things to say. “You’re not dancing?”

            “Tired. Dancing all night.”

            “How come I didn’t see you?”

            “I danced four straight hours at Movement. My friends wanted to come here so I came. But no more for me. How about you?”

            “Just taking a break. I was dancing at Liquid.”

            “How was Liquid tonight? I wanted to go but my ex was there.”

            “Who’s your ex?”

 

 

*

 

 

He lived on the 26th floor of his apartment block. It took a while. Slow elevator. Used the time to check him out carefully. He wasn’t very tall. Could tell his body was slight, maybe even bony, under the white shirt and the khakis. His pale skin, under the harsh fluorescent light, gave off a corpse-like glow. His face had a few pimple scars. A veiny forearm. Walking behind him, I also noticed his hair was thinning.

We stopped when we reached 119. All this time, we had been so quiet it was such a relief to hear the key turning in the lock on his door.

As he shut the door behind me, the darkness of his apartment engulfed us.

I felt his hand reach for the waist of my jeans him pulling me close to him.

His lips found mine. I had to lean against a wall to stop falling over as he leaned into me and rubbed his crotch into mine. His tongue surged into my mouth. He tasted of beer and Strepsils. For a second, I couldn’t tell whose tongue was whose. We reeked of second-hand smoke.

 

 

*

 

 

“What made you come up and start talking to me

in Backroom?” His head was on my chest and I was running my hand through his hair. Or trying to. It was impenetrable with gel.

“When you turned and smiled at me in the toilet. I wanted to see if I had a chance.”

A moment passed and he looked up at me. “You wanted to see if you had a chance?”

I smiled. “A chance to see that smile again.”

He smiled. “Are you serious?

“Of course, I’m serious.”

“Wow. You’re such a romantic.”

I thought about it for a second. It’s true. I am a romantic.

“Someone told me once that true romance doesn’t exist because there’s nothing true about romance.”

“You don’t believe in romance?”

“I don’t know. I think romance is like one of those lies we’ve been taught to revere. It doesn’t make it any less real than other emotions. Romance is just a beautiful lie.”

It was true, what he said. “I can only tell lies to someone I really care about.”

“I don’t know if that kind of lying is good.”

“I don’t know either.”

The morning light peeked through the thick dark curtains of his bedroom. We could hear the silent hiss of

the air-conditioner.

“I don’t usually have this sort of conversation after sex.”

“No, neither do I.” Whoever broke the boy’s heart left him nothing, I thought to myself.

“Most guys just roll over and sleep. Or smoke and then sleep.”

I wished I had a cigarette then.

“I once had this guy who sweated a lot when he slept. I couldn’t handle that. He thought it was nice and cosy. But it was like sleeping in a sauna.”

“That’s nothing,” I boasted. “I had this guy who insisted on putting his thing in my … you know. I couldn’t go to sleep at all. I kept having this urge to shit.”

He laughed. I made him laugh. It felt good. To have someone’s body next to mine, laughing like that. It felt really good. I held him tighter and kissed him on the head. That made him stop laughing.

“What was that for?”

“I don’t know.”

The silent pause again. We were both tired. We should have been asleep by then but something kept us awake.

“My father kisses me like that, on the head. Even now, once in a while, when I go back home to Ipoh and I’m sitting down quietly, he would come up to me and kiss me on the head. He doesn’t say a word. He’s getting old. I guess it’s his way of showing love. He’s always loved me more than my sisters.”

“Does he know?”

“No.” His fingers play with mine. “Does your family know?”

“Only my sister.”

“I used to have this fantasy that I would bring my bf back home and introduce him to my family.” I heard him sigh. “But it doesn’t work like that.”

“You can do it with a girlfriend.”

“Will you be my girlfriend?”

 

 

*

 

 

After what seemed like forever molesting me in the dark hallway, just groping me and rubbing me all over with both his hands, Alvin finally tore himself away from me. He turned on one of the apartment lights and led me into

the living area. He asked me if I wanted a drink.

He disappeared behind a wall. I cast a quick glance over the interior of the apartment. The walls white, the tiles a fake marble grey, the furnishings spare and either white, black, brown or blue. He didn’t seem to be adventurous when it came to decorating. But maybe it wasn’t up to him how the flat looked like.

“It’s not a lot to look at but it takes care of my needs.” He was already beside me, handing me a glass of Coke. “Malena likes it minimal and functional. She’s very much an Ikea girl.”

“I’ve got that same beanbag, but in a different colour.”

I took a gulp of the Coke, still standing.

He was already sprawled on the couch, legs spread-eagled.    

            “Come and sit down,” he said, offering me the space between his legs. Instead of sitting, I went down on my knees. He was still hard.

 

 

*

 

 

After sex, we talked for an hour or two before fatigue overtook us. I closed my eyes first, feigning sleep. I heard him get out of bed. He pottered around in the bathroom. The toilet flushed. Running water in the basin. Heard him brushing his teeth. That night I dreamt I lived above a nightclub and that I invited everyone downstairs to come up for a party that ended up with an ex-schoolmate of mine crying because he didn’t get to pat the cat.

 

 

*

 

 

When we finally woke up, at four in the afternoon, I had a massive hard on and felt really horny. Instinctively, I climbed on top of him and started barebacking him. He moaned under me. When he tried to move, I pinned him down. I breathed heavily into his ear and bit his shoulder. I masturbated my cock in the trench of his ass. He moaned.

I bit his ear.

I asked him, “Do you want it?”

He kept on moaning.

I knew he wanted it at that precise moment.

I used my legs to force his legs apart. I humped faster and even penetrated slightly. The precum made it easier.

            “Fuck me.”

            “No.”

            “Fuck me.”

            “Beg me.”

            “Fuck me.”

            “No.” He was jerking his hips, rubbing his ass against me.

I pushed in and fucked him.

            “Fuck me. Fuck me.”

 

           

*

 

             

The last time I saw Alvin was at a friend’s Christmas party last year. He had exchanged his glasses for contacts but still kept his goatee and was hanging out with a new circle of friends. His hair was cut shorter. He wore all black. He looked like he’d been hitting the gym. I said hi. He remembered me. He had the same lips. That same sexy smile. That sexy goatee. It took willpower to keep my hands to myself.

 

 

          *         



“What are you going to do now?”

            “I’m going to go back to my place and try to calm my bf down.”

            He sipped his coffee quietly. Neither of us touched the tacky-looking biscuits.

“Will you call me?”

            “Yea. Maybe on Wednesday or Thursday.” I lied to him. He was cute and sweet and seemed so sincere. He deserved better than me.

            “How about dinner on Thursday?”

            “I don’t know. Hmm … I’ll call you up and tell you … when I know what I’m doing.”

            I looked at him looking into his cup.

 

 

*

 

 

Back at my apartment, my bf was frying omelettes for breakfast. We had stayed up all night just talking, crying, fighting and then making up in bed, on the dining table, in the shower, on the loungeroom floor after we had fallen off the sofa, etc, etc. Getting back together was just as taxing as breaking up. We were exhausted.

My handphone beeped. It was the first of countless SMS messages from Alvin that I received intermittently over the course of a month. My boyfriend asked who it was.

“My sister. She asked if we’re still a couple.” Then I sidled up next to him, wearing nothing but apron and socks, and pecked him on the cheek. “Love you.”

He smiled.

I never replied any of Alvin’s messages.

 

 

*

 

 

            “Are you still with your bf?”

            “No, we broke up six months ago.”

            “So you’re single now?”

            “Yeah, single.” I took another sip of wine. Talking to Alvin again after almost a year made me feel giddy. “How about you?”

            “No, I’m still single. I had a bf for two months but didn’t work out.”

            Then one of his friends came over and introduced himself. “Hello, my name is Fook.”

            “Hi. I’m Jay. Nice to meet you. Merry Christmas.”

            “Merry Christmas.”

            Alvin excused himself while Fook tried to flirt with me. I watched Alvin as he walked over to the bar to fix himself a drink. Then I lost sight of him.

            “So how do you know Alvin?”

            “I met him in Backroom last year.”

            “You go to Backroom? But I never see you there.”

            “I don’t go anymore. Getting old.”

            “Old? No-lah. You still look good.”

            I smiled but tried my best to stay aloof. Fook was far too effeminate for my liking and it wouldn’t have been a nice thing to say ‘Fuck off, Fook’ at a friend’s party. I excused myself and said I needed to go to the washroom.

            As I walked to the washroom behind the kitchen, the crowd around me blurred into the background. Their voices became underwater noises.

            I’d never been in more of a need for Panadol as I was then, moving from the colourful reef of the party into the abyss. The further I walked down the narrow corridor from the kitchen to the washroom, the quieter and darker it became. So this was my life. No more colours. Just the dark. How sad.

That was when I heard the noises.

I touched the walls, using them as leverage.

Stealthily, I approached closer.

The noises were of people making out. They must have been so engrossed in one another not to hear me coming down the corridor. Or too drunk to have the sense to lock the door.

Naughty. Very naughty and careless.

Upon reaching the bathroom, I felt for the light switch and turned it on.

            And there he was. Alvin. Sitting on the toilet.

The other guy, a total stranger, was standing, his hands on Alvin’s head. Alvin’s face was directly in line with the stranger’s unzipped crotch. Alvin’s trousers were tented. Alvin looked up and saw me.

            “Jay.”

The other guy was the husband of the house owner. He zipped up and exited the bathroom as fast as he could. He looked so embarrassed.

For the longest time, although it was only really a few seconds, Alvin and I looked at one another. He was drunker than I thought. I didn’t know whether to leave or stay or say something. I thought I’d gotten over him.

Alvin?”

“Yes?”


 

 

 

 

Notes for a sequel to “Alvin

 

A year later. Alvin and Jay are a couple,

sharing an apartment in Mont Kiara.

After a few months of lousy sex, they

decide to have an open relationship.

Jay meets Gochi, 26yo hottie originally

from Singapore but working in KL

to be closer to his mature Japanese

expat boyfriend. Jay has sex with Gochi

and offers threesome with Alvin.

Alvin protests at first but after threesome,

confesses that he has fallen in love

with Gochi. Jay is devastated, thinks it’s

his fault, goes to Frangipani to get drunk.

While drunk, he meets 40yo Hansen

and 28yo Maria, a bisexual couple from

London. Jay has sex with Maria while

Hansen watches and masturbate. Later,

Hansen fucks Jay while Maria sucks

his cock. Jay is moaning as he is fucked,

thinking of Alvin.

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1 Comments:
Blogger Suzan Abrams said...
I like the story very much. Would fit right into an international arts journal promoting fiction or reviews or otherwise, your own published collection of serious fiction.

Atmospheric and moody. Plus, the pace stays true to the plot's calling. Not once does it waver.