The Fabulous Chronicles: Chapter Five ~ "Stepping Out"

Ken Painter By Ken Painter, 13th Aug 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Fictional Narrative

Max Keegan finally goes out on the prowl. What will he find if anything? Success? Disappointment? A learning experience . . .

The Fabulous Chronicles: Chapter Five ~ "Stepping Out"

Jan and I had been separated for a couple of weeks now. The paperwork was legal and our divorce was in the works although in its very initial stages. The start of the school year was still days away, but I felt content with a certain amount of my damage control with the children, and even though Jan and I were only beginning to sort out our damage, I knew I still had a personal one ton elephant residing in my bedroom. Amid all the carnage of my personal relationships, I still hadn’t explored the first step of what it meant to feel or touch or smell or kiss another man. Oh, I’d certainly thought about it. Quite often in fact, but so much had been happening in rapid fire order it seemed that I kept putting this most important first step farther and farther back in line, back until other issues became more settled. I wanted mansex to be a comfortable step, not a rushed one.

But how would I step into it? I first looked at the ads on Craig’s List. Boy, there were a lot of tempting hookups to be found there. Yes, that’s all I really wanted and expected at first, but did I really want to begin on the Internet? Wouldn’t I at least like to talk to the guy first, eyeball him a little? Although I wasn’t really a bar type, at least I reasoned it was a place to begin.

I decided to use my singing voice as a starting point. Why the hell not? Bars had karaoke nights, this I knew from when Jan and I even went out on a few rare occasions in the past years to hotel bars in town with groups. I’d even won a trophy once for a performance a few years ago. So I got on the Net and found the local gay establishments and found out that, of course, one of them, No Limits, had a karaoke night the next evening.

I’d never been into a gay bar before, but it looked like any other just paired up a little differently, and the laughter when I walked in was infectious. I noticed that the new local anti-smoking ordinances must have taken effect, because while the air smelled like old tobacco, it was clear, and I felt thankful for any singing voices in the room. And smokers would be found out on the open air patio at the rear of the building.

A young lady of college age was singing a fairly recent Gwen Stefani number at the moment and doing a rather decent job of it as I ordered my beer and sat on an empty stool at the bar. My eyes were still adjusting to the reduced light as I searched around the room for the book, the listing of karaoke songs from which I could choose something to sing. Tonight I wanted to be a rooster, here to attract another cock on the prowl, and my voice was to be a part of the vehicle. I’d sung enough karaoke over the past decade to know which songs I held in my repertoire as good. When I finally spied one of the books I went and scanned through it for suitable songs in my style, and finding a couple I filled out two slips and turned them in to the dee-jay.

It was still early and the crowd was still filling the place, and so I had to wait only about a half hour to sing my first song . . . one from the old school from the 60’s by The Drifter’s, “Up On the Roof.” This was my warm-up song, and the crowd which had been forming proved more than appreciative. For my first song, I always try to have a somewhat upbeat song, and this was it. It got the crowd going, and it got my whisky tenor voice warmed up. I hit the high notes right on key. My groove was accomplished! I returned to my barstool and second beer on an after-vocal high, and it was then that I noticed him looking at me and smiling from ear to ear. He’d just finished applauding my performance as I was returning to my seat. I don’t know why I hadn’t seen him from the stage except that I can get really fixated on the words when I’m singing. Jesus, he was handsome!

I grinned back at him somewhat sheepishly at first as I took a sip of my beer. I wasn’t feigning humility. I just wasn’t yet used to a handsome man acknowledging my presence and appreciating my performance, but, hey, what was I here for? I quickly recovered and nodded my appreciation back in his direction with a return smile of my own.

Mr. Handsome came over and introduced himself to me as Jace who was probably younger than me by ten years by my guess, probably three inches shorter than my six feet, but on a rock solid perfect build. The man obviously hit the gym fairly regularly. I did, too, but mine wasn’t to build muscle, merely to keep toned, and while I looked good for 50, Jace looked great for what I guessed to be 40. His dark eyes and wavy brown hair framed his perfect face. I wasn’t kidding when I thought of Jesus! And he didn’t serve me up a smarmy line. After introducing ourselves he merely paid me a very nice compliment by saying, “I really liked the song. You’ve got a really good voice.”

“Gee, thanks.” I’m sure I blushed, but who could tell in the subdued lighting. I had to learn yet how to accept compliments. “That’s one of my favorite songs. It helps to sing something you love.”

“Well, it showed,” Jace replied with a soft grin. “You knocked it out of the park.” I liked that he used a trite phrase and didn’t try to get fancy. He was decent.

We just started getting to know one another with the usual small talk for the next several minutes. He was a tech supervisor in the Physical Education Department at the university, my alma mater which made me interested in him, and also helped explain his conditioning. We discussed my teaching position which he found interesting. He said he loved all levels of education which is what had attracted him to the university in the first place. He was the kind of guy it was easy to let time get away from you with.

I hadn’t want to get into my marital situation, and prior to coming here tonight I’d given a lot of thought to how I was going to handle to topic of my total inexperience. The only conclusion I had reached was to avoid it all as much as possible. Somehow our conversation began skirting that issue when it was my turn to sing again, and so I took the stage as the dee-jay handed me the mike and introduced me for my second round. It was only then that I realized what song I’d chosen to sing, Lionel Richie’s . . . “Hello.” This was going to take some balls!

I had the voice, and I gave it everything I had. The audience really got into it. Throughout the first verse though I found myself working up my nerve to look at Jace.

“I can see it in your eyes, I can see it in your smile, you're all I’ve ever wanted . . .” And I found myself finally staring right into Jace’s eyes while I was singing all of this by the second verse!

“Hello . . . is it me you're looking for? And I found him returning my stare and my song with a huge smile!

The audience noticed, and they were beginning to get off on the electricity from it that we were infusing into the air. At the conclusion of the song I actually got a standing-O! I practically jumped off the stage with a few tears streaming down my cheeks amid cheers and whistles as I returned to my stool, but before I could climb back up on, Jace grabbed me squarely by my shoulders and planted a big, and I mean big kiss squarely on my surprised and trembling lips. I momentarily hesitated, but then I responded in kind much to the delight of the crowd. I think they really liked this floor show.

“Would you like to get out of here?” Jace was almost shouting the question to me over the din in the bar.

“Whatever you say, Jace I’m open to suggestions.” Boy was I!


Gay, Gay Couples, Gay Experience, Gay Men, Karaoke, Karaoke Singer, Lgbt, Narrative, Narrative Writing, Non-Fiction, Serial

Meet the author

author avatar Ken Painter
Retired Chicago public school teacher. Singer, songwriter, musician, author, & opinionated old curmudgeon. Married to my husband & living in Colorado, USA. Also a father & grandfather.

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