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Blue Christmas

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 PERSONAL ESSAYS



Christmas Eve was always good for extra money, mostly from older, weary-looking guys who tended to be retired English teachers. They’d pick me up in their Tercels and Tauruses on Polk Street, deserted and dark, save for the Xmas lights flashing sadly from the windows of the Chinese restaurant. We’d park around the corner on Hemlock Alley. I’d run a bullshit story in my exaggerated southern accent about how my evil step-father (and aren’t they all evil?) kicked me out because I was gay and how (sob) I was going to go to Mass to cry away my sins but needed to get sucked off first to earn some cash so I could get a hotel room cause I had no wheres to go and I don’t do drugs and I

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sure do want to go back to school . . . They’d usually give me grammar lessons while they licked my pink asshole. For instance, it is bad grammar to say, “Oh, that be feelin’ so damn good, the way you try puttin’ your whole fuckin’ fist up my tight little ass, but I know you is gonna give me an extra $50, being it’s Xmas n’ all, so go fer it!”
     At Christmas, it’s a little easier to get vouchers for a free slice of pizza or a burrito from the youth shelters without having to sit through a counseling session, get a medical exam or fill out forms. If you stay at a shelter around the holidays, some gray-haired, nicely dressed woman usually comes in with cold leftovers from her office party and everyone scarfs. But nobody eats the pâté; only staff members eat the pâté. Since the counselors feel especially sorry for all the homeless youth around this time, you can show up after curfew totally fucked up and get away with not doing any of the “family chores.” They won’t flip you off the mattress in the morning when it’s time to get out. And they hand out the nice donated clothes too; even though it’s gotten ball-numbingly cold long before then, Christmas is when the warm, un-ripped coats, socks and gloves come out.
     The shelters throw a big Christmas dinner and give you a goodie-bag knapsack to take home to the park, filled with deodorant, dental floss, a hooded sweatshirt, t-shirts, gloves, a cap, three pairs of socks, and a toy — if you’re lucky you score a bottle of bubbles and not some lame-ass yo-yo. And since cops aren’t in the mood for doing major drug busts, there’s usually a lot of heroin to be had from the hooded dealers with hooded eyes, ready around the corner of the alley to serve their holiday clientele.
     So, all in all, Christmas was pretty good. I always got a trick to buy me a cheap hotel room for the night. Two years in a row, I had this one trick who was way into the Christmas spirit. His name was Arnold and he lived in the ‘burbs. I never saw him the rest of the year, only those two Christmases. He was about fifty, I guess, kinda doughy with an elaborate comb-over and very white fingernails. After we got into the room, he’d send me to the bathroom to change into an elf costume — green tights, candy-cane-striped shirt, jingle-bell cap — while he put on the Santa suit. He would hang gold tinsel garland around the doorframe and a string of blinking lights around the metal bedstand. I asked him if he worked at a department store as a Santa, but he just smiled and said he lived at the North Pole. Then he’d turn on the TV to whatever made-for-TV Christmas special was on, usually something with very white people discovering the true meaning of Christmas just as snow started falling and “White Christmas” swelled. Meanwhile, I’d tie off and Arnold would rub me through my green tights. He’d eventually rip a hole in them to fist me while he jerked himself off. He’d finally come, change back into his non-Cringle clothes and go home to his family. I’d be left alone with the empty room and the TV and the Christmas special, a nice holiday buzz on and a vague tingling in my ass. I’d be livin’ large for the night. I didn’t even have to pee in the sink ’cause the room had it’s own toilet and I’d be wishing it could be Christmas every day.
     God bless us, I’d be thinking. God bless us every fuckin’ one.


J.T. Leroy is the author of the best sellers Sarah and The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (Bloomsbury).





For more J.T. Leroy, read:
Blue Christmas
The Bedroom Interview: Mike Pitt
Straight Expectations
Lattice
Driving Lesson
Tree House
Natoma Street


©2001 J.T. LeRoy and Nerve.com, Inc.