Persona Press • San Francisco
portraits
fiction $ 19.95

 
   
 
Portraits chronicles the lives of Theo Demetrios, Sebstian Brown, and Conrad Runningdeer in San Francisco, Paris, and San Miguel de Allende. Three men, three cities...united by love.

1

The city was quite a different place the afternoon I drove up from Stanford to look at the share rental on Telegraph Hill. The Montgomery Street flat seemed an ideal location, within walking distance of Upper Grant, the social and intellectual hub of Bohemian San Francisco in the late Fifties.

I followed Christopher, a tall slender man with longish brown hair curling slightly at the nape of his neck, from room to room as he showed me the layout of the place. The gray long-sleeved shirt and blue twill trousers he wore were slightly rumpled but I found his languid looks quite appealing.

The living room, which overlooked the street, was sparsely furnished, containing a worn couch, a floor lamp, a wooden crate serving as an end table and a couple of large pillows in the bay window.

His bedroom had only a mattress on the floor and a bookcase overflowing with hardbound and paperback titles, including a number of poetry chapbooks, pulp science fiction and detective novels.

In the vacant room, I would soon be occupying, I found a studio couch with a madras spread and a faded old carpet on the floor, a window opening onto a light-well at one end, the door to an ample closet at the other end.

Farther down the long hallway were the water closet and the bathroom. At the back was the kitchen. While it was relatively clean, I found the utility room floor cluttered with empty beer bottles and wine jugs.

How much is the rent? I asked.

Your share is fifty dollars a month plus utilities. And a fifty-dollar security deposit, Christopher replied.

I sat at the kitchen table while Christopher Randolph slumped down opposite me, watching as I wrote out a check and signed my name at the bottom. There was something very seductive about his manner. I found myself both sexually aroused and somewhat uneasy in his presence.

Theo Demetrios? Greek obviously.

But born in San Francisco.

So was I, he replied.

The kitchen has a wonderful view! I remarked walking toward the window to take another look at the tall downtown buildings visible in the distance.

I heard the chair scrape when Christopher stood up a moment later, but not the sound of his bare feet on the linoleum. He put his arms around me and pressed his body against mine. My heart raced. Minutes later the two of us were both naked making love on his unmade bed.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman