Finally the boy climbed out of the armchair suppressing a throbbing desire to confess meeting a man in a bathhouse on 21st Street who had overwhelmed him like no other back-alley whore as far back as he cared to remember. He was inclined to forget him like all other miserable poor men or risk losing a home of stability and rewards of a man whose heart was not always obliging. On tiptoes he moved across the Tibetan rug toward the crowned supreme authority on the long white sofa like a curious black cat noticing an awkward toy; effortlessly, he bent down bestowing him a smooch like a kiss of death.
Abel was displeased immeasurably. He pulled the boy down between his legs and drew his mouth to his like a sharp beak that made the boy squirm in his lap and cry for mercy. “I do love you, Zeno Dexter Elliot," he said holding the boy down with the strength of both hands, "and tonight rest assured I won't lecture you on importance of fidelity. You're home where you belong. However, I must demand that you to take extreme caution when you are out and about. According to the media, an incurable virus as ugly as Santa Ana winds is spreading in the worst unimaginable way among sexually active men."
"Who said I had sex?" Zeno protested jumping up. "I swear I was in the Green Cottage working all day."
"It's not wise to swear, my boy, especially when you choose to utter an untruth. Do you think for one minute I believe this ludicrous story of your meeting a homeless man in Dolores Park and your painting him fully clothed?"
"I was there in the studio. That much is not an untruth."
"I'm unconcerned if you spent the day in the studio, Dolores Park or under a windmill in Golden Gate Park with your hands on your hips. I’m simply suggesting you’re careful when you’re out and about--among foolish men in this town who could very well be carriers of incurable Red virus.”
“Red Virus. What the fu-”
“Yes, Red Virus, transmitted sexually having unprotected sex with the gang of men you know nothing about. If contracted it will possibly kill you. In other words wear a god-damn condom and try not to swallow if you can help it or keep the thing covered even during casual oral sex through a glory hole. I know about your escapades. Regrettably, every one of them accommodating your amorous recreation or the fact that you just can't keep it in your pants.”
Zeno hated it when he sounded this way. So god-damn fatherly, so god-damn right about everything. Always blabbing something off with his "big-know-it-all-mouth". He pushed his hands in his pockets and strutted over to window seat, kneeling, and looking in the distance at shimmering lights of skyscrapers in the night. He wished he were there. In one of them far away from Abel’s piercing eyes and unsolicited advice. He swung around abruptly his black face livid glaring at him with blazing eyes. In three years his manly good looks had diminished with sags and a pathetic erection collapse, his lush black hair gone salt-and-pepper. Thinner and thinner atop his pasty weathered head.
"I have made an appointment for you to see Dr. Price in the morning to be tested for anything and everything that disturbs me. But for now," Abel suddenly beamed motioning him to a spot on the sofa, "I want my darling boy beside me where he belongs. I have a surprise."