By Michael Ampersant
Dex & Jamie, the characters of Jamie 1.0 have wandered off the reservation and taken up residence in Florence, a city infested with undersized marble-willies.
I’ve taken up position on the steps of the Loggia della Signoria, squatting between the statues of Cellini's Perseus and Fedi’s Rape of the Polyxena. This is my shtick, if you will. I’m not exactly a prostitute, but I’m a slut with a boyfriend who’s a math genius and who’s always busy with his “results,”—meaning he’s raising his head with an otherworldly expression on his map when you
ask him to suck your dick
ask him what he’s doing and then he’s lowering his head to solve
yet another “open problem” that he’s found in a yellow, hard-cover math
book. He’s very beautiful, though, Jamie, and when I tell him I love him he listens patiently.
|He listens patiently|
Are you still there?
So we’ve been through Jamie’s math routine this morning and I’ve put on the Abercrombie & Fitch outfit we bought yesterday on the Via de' Tornabuoni and which looks exactly like the outfit that I bought the day before---‘cept that the colors are biloxi for the branded T-shirt, bronze-green for the shorts, and egg for the baseball cap. I’m also wearing my imitation-imitation watch, meaning it looks like a Swatch but is made from real ivory with a bio-certificate signed by Leonardo di Caprio. I don’t really care about designer stuff, but it’s a go-to part of my scheme because you really don’t want to look like a hustler when you’re squatting between Perseus and Polyxena on the steps of the Loggia della Signoria waiting for the future to arrive.
I mean, I’m not. Waiting. I sit there absorbed by my iPhone, sending SMSes to myself or studying the internet tourist guide—a useful activity on account of the fact that my scheme is a bit chancy. Eventually I’ll follow a guy to his hotel—he’s “invited” me to his room on some pretext and I’ve accepted his invitation on some pretext—and then you really don’t want to end up in the wrong hotel. We’re not negotiating or anything, but there’s a perfect correlation between the wrong guy and the wrong hotel. That doesn’t mean that “exclusive” hotels will provide you with an exclusive experience, but real-exclusive is hard to fake, so there’s some insurance value to the choice of the Sina Villa Medici at twelve hundred bucks for a single room per night.
Plus—it’s not like you plump down on the steps of the Loggia and the next moment Mr. Metrosexual shows up and carries you off to this Villa as if you’re the sex-starved victim of an Apennine earth quake. No—you somehow idle loggia-wise—squatting is best, there are some vibes to it that are hard to explain, something to do with your adolescence—and for the first couple of minutes nobody takes notice. You could be Madonna or Justin Bieber, nobody’s paying attention to your sexy thighs—unless, that is, you’ve already put on a show, crossing the Piazza coming from the Gucci Museum and singing La Traviata to your ear phones, or dancing three times around Cosimo’s equestrian statue, or feeding the cab horses nearby with illicit sugar and turning down illicit offers by the cabbies—eyes following you by now—and then you squat between Cellini and Fedi and the suitors are all over you, shouting out the name of their hotel like in some reverse slave auction and the winner carries you off. I’ve met guys that do it like this, but it’s not my thing.
I try to blend in. I send an SMS to myself or to one of my former tricks—sounds funny, I know, ‘former tricks,’ but I always get their number and a picture and keep lists like people kept lists in the diary-addicted, secrecy-ridden past. I even stay in touch with my tricks, sending them silly messages and acting as if one fine day I’ll write a memoir about them and win an important literary award. Their willingness to share their cell phone number, it’s an indispensable test of our relationship. There’s no erection without cell phone number. Period.
|With rich kids from Africa you never know|
So I’ve just send a message to Tony from Honolulu with a pic of the tiny prick of the fake David statue next to the Palazzo Vecchio entrance and am thinking about sending the same picture to a few others—I have an app that can do it automatically for my entire list of 364 tricks.
So I’ve taken this picture, sent if off to my list (I’m doing this since exactly a year now and get marriage proposals back from places like UT, AL, and WY), and now it’s time to raise my eyes and take stock of the goings-on around me. There are roughly four hundred people scattered across the piazza, half of them tourists (sneakers, flip-flops), one quarter Italian (leather shoes, heels), and the rest either expat or undefined.
Undefined is what we need, of course; we have a weakness for young billionaires with a sense of humor and time on their hands. None of these people is in evidence, regrettably, so we take more pictures. We snap the horse cabs, and a crazed woman dressed up like Mae West on platform heels walking four dogs, and the Poseidon, of course, the main statue of the fountain to the left of the Palazzo Vecchio. A black guy has materialized next to the fountain and is taking pictures of the Loggia, meaning he’s taking pictures of me taking pictures of him taking pictures of me and so on. It would be a first as a come-on for me, and the fun part is in the wuzzy reciprocity—who is to say who is coming on to whom? Whether the guy is actually aware of my existence remains to be seen (the Loggia holds a dozen statues and five dozend sightseers as we speak), but I am becoming increasingly aware of him, unmistakably. I’m a natural.
He’s the Kenyan type, long and stalky, ebony-black, clad in a half-open Hawaii shirt that leaves nothing to the imagination, wide strong shoulders, shiny tapered pecs, the torso funneling down to the small of his back along effortless abs. Obama has a beautiful, round crane, infinite lips, infinite teeth, and wears stylish grey flannel pants, widely cut, much wider than would be the fashion on the Via de' Tornabuoni. I know about these pants: guys wear them to hide their third leg. He’s also wearing beautiful, elaborate sandals about which more later.
|Hiding his third leg|
I’ve stopped snapping, he’s stopped snapping. If I get up now, he’d become aware of my bulge (so much for cell phone numbers). With black folks you never know, especially with rich kids from Africa---they’re all queer or none of them is, and they’re either unfamiliar with the code of gay cruisin’ or loath to use it. Obama will turn around and pursue his journey from the Villa Medici to the next must-see attraction, the Doumo.
And that is what he does. 364 plus 0 is still 364, what the heck. Kwaheri.
Hold on. I do get up, and he has turned around and taken a few more snaps while playing with the button of his digital zoom. Kwaheri.
(continues here with a mile-high visit of the Uffizi)
Michael Ampersant writes literary erotica. His first book, GREEN EYES, was a finalist of the Lambda Literary Awards last year. His latest short story, "It's Immoral," just appeared in the British lit magazine Bunbury.