Rick R. Reed takes his turn at the wheel!
Which (living) celebrity would you most want to have dinner with?
So it has to be a living celebrity? I can’t eat with a dead one, and hold my nose? Gee, I was hoping to have matzo ball soup with Bea Arthur and ask her about the Golden Girls. Okay, if I have to pick a living celebrity, I suppose it would be someone who’s gonna make me something decent for dinner. So, I’m thinking Ina Garten, aka The Barefoot Contessa, because I know she loves her some gay boys and she knows how to make a nice brisket. We could chat about the best way to poach an egg, roast a chicken, and if she needs a houseboy for her home in the Hamptons.
List your three favorite forms of escapism when procrastinating (to meet a deadline).
- Spider Solitaire
- Eating…anything, but especially junk. Things like chips and Pop Tarts (brown sugar cinnamon) become so appealing when a deadline looms.
Write a haiku poem about your favorite beverage.
Uh-uh. Ricky doesn’t do the haiku. Here’s why:
Haikus are simple
But oft times they make no sense
Which holiday is your favorite and why?
Once upon a time, I would have said Christmas, but then I realized I’m much happier after New Year’s when the gifts are exchanged or relegated to drawers or bookshelves, and all the decorations are packed up and I feel like I can breathe again and just get back to normal life. So, that’s out. Then, upon another time, I would have said Halloween, but when I was in my thirties, I spent Halloween in New Orleans, parading around the French Quarter in a ‘costume’ of a leather jock strap and combat boots, and, well, no other Halloween can hold a candle to that one. I guess I’d have to say my favorite holiday would be my birthday, because without it, no other holidays would exist.
Which of your characters would send you screaming out into the blizzard before a week was up?
Timothy Bright, the serial killer of gay men in IM. I think he’d send most of us screaming into a blizzard if he approached us with one of his knives.
What is the most useless or frivolous thing you’ve ever bought?
The Egg Wave microwave egg cooker. There used to be infomercials on TV about these and I fell for it. Stupid device. Much easier—and more reliable—to make my own in a pot or a pan.
What is your favorite footwear?
I do have a fondness for Converse and probably wear those the most often. Right now I have two pairs of low-tops in black and gray and three pairs of high tops—an Andy Warhol Brillo soap pad design, a black-speckled rainbow Pride design, and calf-skin leopard skin specially designed for the Mr. Porter men’s fashion site.
Finding and keeping love can be a challenge in the modern world of blogging, social media, and online dating, as one man will learn in this trilogy.
VGL Male Seeks Same
Poor Ethan Schwartz. At forty-two, he’s alone, his bed is empty, and his HDTV is overworked. He’s tried bars and other places where gay men are supposed to find each other, but it never works out. Maybe he should get a cat?
But his life is about to change…
Poor Ethan. He’s received the most shocking news a gay man can get—he’s HIV positive. Until today his life was perfect, with a job he loves and Brian, who could be “the one.” The one to complete him and fill his lonely life with laughter, hot sex, and romance.
But Ethan’s in for another shock. Could Brian have infected him?
Alone again, Ethan wonders if life is worth living, even with a cat. When an old nemesis sends a Facebook friend request, Ethan is suspicious but intrigued. It seems this old acquaintance has turned his life around, and the changes might hold the key to Ethan getting a new lease on life… and love.
Two days later, a Sunday morning, Ethan would have laughed at himself if he wasn’t so concerned about his sanity and his inability to let things go. He called Jan at a little after eight. He felt comfortable in doing so, because she complained endlessly about how her cats woke her at the crack of dawn, starving, as though the poor things hadn’t eaten for days instead of hours, and she never got to sleep in. Ethan suspected she secretly enjoyed the early mornings—not to mention being in such yowling and crying demand.
She answered on the second ring. “This better be good.”
“Don’t tell me you were sleeping. Lying on the Lord’s day is a compounded sin.”
“What’s a compounded sin? Is that like a mortal sin?”
“Not quite. It’s venial, kicked up a notch, as Emeril would say.”
Jan laughed, and it was good for Ethan to hear her chuckles. “So, brunch?”
“Well, that sounds good. There’s a place near me I hear serves pork belly congee….”
“What’s that?” Jan asked, intrigued.
“Like a warm bowl of hug, with bacon flavor.”
“Let me get my hat!” Jan laughed.
“But seriously, I was calling because—” Ethan lost his train of thought, or at least it derailed when he considered how to ask Jan what he really wanted to—and it was not for brunch, although they could certainly do that afterward.
Dead air for several seconds. Ethan’s mental clock clicked in his head as second after second after second passed. He finally blurted out what was on his mind. “Would you be up for going to church with me this morning?”
Jan simply laughed and laughed, her laughter sounding musical, melodious, and mocking.
“What?” Ethan asked, feeling his scalp prickle in embarrassment.
“You? In a church? When the hell did you ever do that? Besides being an altar boy when you were nine, down at Our Lady of Perpetual Agony.” He heard Jan running water and then the whoosh of a gas flame. She was probably making tea. Could he take that as a no? Could he take her mockery as a no? Should he simply hang up the phone?
Ethan blurted, “We can still do brunch. After.” He paced his living room, phone held too tightly to his ear. He watched as Cat jumped up on the sill of the picture window to observe the goings-on on Eastwood Avenue. Maybe he’d heard there’d be pigeons or squirrels. “And it’s not really a church. It’s a, uh, what do you call it? A spiritual center.”
“Have you lost your mind?” Jan very reasonably asked.
“Long ago,” Ethan replied, thinking but not saying how losing Brian had put him firmly over the edge. “So, you’ll go?”
He was fully prepared for her to say no, to tell him to see a shrink, but what she said was, “You’ll pick me up?”
Ethan glanced at the clock on the DVD player. “In about ninety minutes.”
Jan sighed. “That should give me enough time to run a comb through my hair and put some lipstick on.”
“Me too,” Ethan said. “I’ll see you at nine thirty. Look sharp.”
“I always do.”
“Thanks. This means a lot to me.” Ethan really did doubt his sanity, because for no reason he could fathom, he suddenly felt near tears.
“Sure thing, hon. Anything for you. Even church. Or a center. Whatever. See you.” And she clicked off.
Ethan plopped down on the couch, weak in the knees. Cat turned his head, noticing, and came over to sit beside him. Absently, Ethan stroked him. The emotions stirred up by the plan were strange and foreign. He had no idea where they were coming from, only that he experienced them deep in his heart.
Going to this spiritual center wasn’t something he simply wanted to do. It wasn’t necessarily about satisfying his curiosity. No, it was something he needed to do….
Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/M4M-Rick-R-Reed-ebook/dp/B0732LXD95
Amazon Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/M4M-Rick-R-Reed/dp/1635335418
Real Men. True Love.
Rick R. Reed draws inspiration from the lives of gay men to craft stories that quicken the heartbeat, engage emotions, and keep the pages turning. Although he dabbles in horror, dark suspense, and comedy, his attention always returns to the power of love. He’s the award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction and is forever at work on yet another book. Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” You can find him at www.rickrreed.com or www.rickrreedreality.blogspot.com. Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA with his beloved husband and their Boston terrier.
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