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Saturday, 30 November 2013

493


“I know,” replied Luigi.  And he did.  He remembered Cody’s reaction when he had cut him out of his life.   The way he had sobbed as he walked away from the flat.  “Thing is … how many women will be OK with you having a bloke in your life?  A lover?  Even if they know about it right from the beginning?”
“I know.  It’s …. Yeah, I know.  Thank you, Lou.”
“For what?  I chucked you out and you went on to pick up the murderer.  Thanks aren’t needed, mate.”
 “I deserved it.  I lied to you and to her.  I lied and lied and lied.  I pretended one thing and did another.”
Luigi didn’t know how to react to this bitter outburst.  It was true.  And it was that which had so hurt and angered him.  The deceit.  The lies.  Would have been so angry if he’d known from the first that Cody was married?  That his wife would come first?  He tried to imagine whether he would have fallen in love if he’d known Cody was married. 
“Cody, you can’t go back and change what you did.  All you can do is try not to do it again.”
“No Try not.  Do … or do not.  There is no try.”  Cody’s voice was solemn.
Luigi burst out laughing.  Cody looked at him and then also started laughing.  Luigi nearly drove off the side of the road he was laughing so much.
“Tool!” he said, still laughing.  “I know, let’s get the video tonight.  And a bottle of champers. ” Luigi said, still chuckling.   “The Force is strong in you, Yody.”

The crisis was over.  For now.  But both knew it would return.
Episodes 1 to 480 (without pictures, 20 episodes per chapter)  

Friday, 29 November 2013

492

“Look, I don’t have to have sex with them.  But I do love them, Coads.  And the way I see it, they are my friends, and they’re sexy, and why not?  And they’re just so kind and generous.  And you know what, I think they’ll be your friends too.  They’re not a threat to you and me.  More of a support.   They won’t come between you and me.  They’ll support me any way they can.  They’re top blokes, Cody love.  The best around.”
“I thought … they seemed …. I dunno.  Withdrawn.  From me.  A little.”
“They’ve only just met you!  And they knew about me and you before.  I told them about us.”
Cody was silent.
“Cody, they won’t judge you.”
“Jason has already warned me not to break your heart again.”
Luigi didn’t know whether to furious or grateful for this evidence of his friends’ concern.  He felt tears prick his eyes.  Trying to keep his voice steady he said, “I think you need to get to know them.  And then you’ll understand.”

“All right,” Cody conceded the point.  After another couple of kilometres of their journey, he said, “Lou, just now I thought I was OK.  But it just … it all seems so hard.  I loved Phillippa.  And I love you.  And I … I’m not gay.  I … love you Lou.”


Episodes 1 to 480 (without pictures, 20 episodes per chapter)  

Thursday, 28 November 2013

491


“Lou, love.  I’m sorry.”  Cody’s voice shook.
“For what?”
“For hurting you so much.”
Yeah, well, thought Luigi, with a bitterness which left a taste in his mouth and made him swallow, I’ve got to get past this.  Somehow.  
“Relationships—marriages—strengthen through crises.  If you work at it,” he said, trying hard to conceal his cynical doubts.  “So let’s work at it.”
“What about …. ?”
“What?”
“Jason and Keith?”
“We’re friends.”
“And what am I?”
“When you … when I found out about … that you were married … I was lonely.  And sad.  And … Jace and Key are kind and generous and loving.  They’re my friends.  They’ve got my back.  We love each other.  Not like I loved you.  But like friends or, maybe”—Luigi didn’t have a brother so he didn’t know, in truth—“like brothers.”
“But you fuck them.”
“Yeah.  Just like you were doing with me and other blokes while you were still married,” Luigi reminded him tartly.
“I know,” mumbled Cody, his head turned away.  “It’s just …. I’m afraid … I’m …”

Luigi was immediately ashamed of his anger.  Cody had been abducted, raped, terrorised and had escaped murder by the tiniest margin.  He needed compassion not to be shouted at.
Episodes 1 to 480 (without pictures, 20 episodes per chapter)  

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

490


As they drove down the freeway into the city, Cody spoke, carefully, in a tone calculated not to be aggressive or disagreeable.   “Lou, love, I dunno how homo I am.”
Luigi sighed to himself.  Not this again, he thought.  “Yeah, I know,” he said aloud.  Don’t I just!
“How do your mates Jason and Keith cope?” Cody asked, his voice and his whole demeanour humble.
I don’t want him to be grateful and humble, thought Luigi.  I want him to be confident and strong. Jeez!  I’m so mixed up.  I liked him better when he was arrogant and charming.  What a tool I am! Always looking for a man who’ll do me down and desert me in the end!  Idiot!
“Why don’t we ask them?” he said out loud, trying not to show his disparate feelings.  “They’re nice blokes, Coads.  They’re not afraid to talk about stuff.  Both of them have been through very bad things … and it’s made them … I dunno …. Wiser.  Kinder. Thing is, Coads love, I’m a homo through and through.  There is no way I could get it up with a woman.” Cody put his hand on Luigi’s knee and muttered something.  Luigi ploughed on.  “But Jace and Key?  Well, I think Key is maybe more straight than gay.  He has sex with men because he likes sex.  But also, I think he’s half in love with Jason.  And Jason is still in love with his guy in England who killed himself …” Cody murmured something, but again Luigi overrode it. He wanted to say this.  “… and I think he’s more gay than straight but he has had girlfriends, he said. He likes sex too, but what he wants is … love.  What he had with his guy in England.”
“D’you think he’ll find it?  Again, I mean.”

“I dunno.  He’s very fond of me and Keith.  I dunno that it’s love, though.  What he had with his cricket player was.  It was special.”  Luigi was silent for a while, negotiating a difficult intersection with traffic lights and two tram routes.  “Maybe there is just one or two great loves in your life, Cody.  Maybe all the others are different.  Not that you don’t love them but when you are in love it’s an obsession.  Almost like a mania.  A madness.  A heavenly madness while it lasts, but definitely not completely sane.”

Episodes 1 to 460 (without pictures, 20 episodes per chapter)  

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

489


The sex shop was in a suburb just off the freeway which would take them back to their side of the city.  It was in a large prefab concrete warehouse.  Inside it was like a supermarket—for sex toys. 
Cody’s eyes were wide.  “Jeez,” he whispered, “dya see that?” That was a foot long buttplug in black about 7 or 8 centimetres in diameter.  “How dya get it up you?”
“Some guys are into fisting.”
“You don’t mean hitting each other, do you?”
“No, but some people are into that too.”  Luigi grinned.  “I mean putting your whole hand up someone’s arsehole.  Or having it done to you.”
“Must hurt like buggery.  So to speak,” he added after a second’s pause, with perfect timing.
Their eyes caught and they started giggling.
“Not this week,” said Luigi firmly. 
“Not even for you?” asked Cody, his eyes glinting.
Luigi held his gaze.  “Maybe.  One day. Meanwhile, we’re supposed to be getting you a set.  What about this one?  ‘Anal trainer’.  It’s got three, starting with small and working bigger.”
Cody wasn’t listening “Look at these, Lou.”  It was a set of three buttplugs consisting of globes on a sucker base.
“Those won’t fall out easily.  But, by the same token, they won’t go in easily either.”
They ended up buying the trainer kit, the set of globes and the monster.  Plus some specially good lube, according to its label.
The checkout lady charged all the items up to Luigi’s credit card, blandly, bored.
In the car, Cody observed, “In that shop the most embarrassing thing which could happen to you would be that your credit card was declined.  They’re used to everything.”
“Even us homos and our perversions.”

“Yeah.  The Great God capitalism. As long as it makes money.  As long as you can pay.”


Episodes 1 to 460 (without pictures, 20 episodes per chapter)  

Monday, 25 November 2013

488


Shaken by his insights, Luigi was silent until they got to their next destination.  Jason isn’t like that, he mused.  And Keith isn’t.  They are glad to be what they are.  Glad to be gay.  Well, Keith was bi, but that wasn’t because he was ashamed of being gay.  It was simply because he was attracted, well attracted to Esmé anyway.   I mustn’t lose them.  Both of us need them.  Because we’re both … broken.  A little, anyway.
Both the next two ‘St Joseph’s’ they visited seemed implausible.  There was a grey Corolla at one, but it had a different number plate to the one they were searching for.
“The first place we went to is the still the best one we’ve seen. I think we should go back.”
Cody nodded.
“But before we do….”
“…Yeah?...”
“I’m taking you to a sex shop.”
“What?”
“You want to be able to be fucked again, right?”
“Yeah.”  Cody’s eyes were gleaming.
“So we’re going to buy some butt plugs and stuff.  A small one, another a bit bigger.  So you can get used to it again.”
Cody smiled suddenly, his eyes bright.  “Good idea,” he said.  He moved his hand down to Luigi’s package, and started caressing and squeezing it.

“Are you mad?  I’m driving!”  But Luigi was grinning.


Episodes 1 to 460 (without pictures, 20 episodes per chapter)  

Sunday, 24 November 2013

487

As they drove west across the city towards the next possible ‘St Joseph’s’, Cody asked, “What did you mean, ‘no straight guy would do that’, Lou?”
“W-e-l-l …. I don’t mean exactly that straight guys can’t be perverts and monsters.  But … we have to hide what we are.  We can’t walk hand-in-hand down the street ….”
“… we kissed in the chemist …”
“…But did you see how the assistant carefully avoided looking at us?  And that was Smith Street, hardly Christian Fundi Central.  Anyway, even if it’s changed now, for the previous generation it was always a problem.  And the killer sounds to me like he was, he went to, a Catholic or one of those happy-clappy fundi schools.  And they teach you to hate yourself if you’re a homo.  I should know.  But the thing is, if you hate yourself, it perverts you.  Everybody’s different.  With me …..”
Cody waited.  At last, he said, as neutrally as possible, “Yeah?”
“Nothing.”
“It’s not ‘nothing’.”
Luigi didn’t want to say, because he was with an example of how he chose poorly: Cody.  He had been going to say that he chose straight-acting men who would always treat him badly.  Many of them had beaten him up.  How big a step was it from enjoying in a perverted way the punishments inflicted on him to turning that outwards onto others?  From turning your self-hatred outwards onto others?  From trying the kill the thing you hated about yourself by killing others?
Instead of saying what he’d been thinking, Luigi said, “I think I still despise myself.  No matter how many times I tell myself that I’m worthwhile and the Church and the bigots have it wrong, I still, somewhere deep down believe them.”

“Yeah.”  Cody’s voice trembled a little.  Yep, thought Luigi.  We’ve all been down that road.  Fuck them all.  Fuck them!


Episodes 1 to 460 (without pictures, 20 episodes per chapter)  

Saturday, 23 November 2013

486

They walked down to the church and its school again, and sauntered through the small church car park trying—and failing—to look inconspicuous.  There was no Kombi there and they didn’t see the grey Corolla either.    
“All right, the next place is where?” asked Luigi when they’d got back into the car.
Cody consulted the sheaf of papers he’d stashed on the back seat.  “The nearest is about 5 k’s away.  Near Northcote.”
When they got there, it was an old age home.  And it looked very staid and institutional.  There wasn’t a single person wandering its spacious but dreary grounds. 
“Didn’t you say that the Kombi was kitted out for camping?” asked Luigi. 
“Yeah.  Looked like it.  A little stove, cupboards, a bed.”
“So not really for old people.  I mean, OK, there are some who might go camping, but wouldn’t they want more comfort?  It sounds more like someone, an adult, with, let’s guess, a couple of youngsters along.”
“Yep.”  Cody paused.  “ You know … a boy’s home or a school does sound more likely.  A horrible thought.  What does he do to the schoolboys?”
Luigi’s face hardened.  “Yeah.  But he’s a closeted homo, isn’t he?  I mean, no straight guy would do that.  Cut you and then rape you.  So maybe, he’s …. Maybe he pretends with the boys.  Maybe … not.  There’ve been some horrible things in the church.  Rapes of schoolboys and choirboys.  The newspapers are full of it.”
“We have to nail him, Lou.  I … I know about pretending and stuff.  But …. Jeez, Lou, he was … he was evil.  I didn’t use to believe in that, but … he was.”
“Yeah.  We’ll get him.”  Luigi’s face was grim and hard.  “Come on.  We have two more places to look at and then I want to take you somewhere.”
“Where?”

“You’ll see!”  And Luigi’s smile transformed his face so that the grim anger was only a memory.
Episodes 1 to 460 (without pictures, 20 episodes per chapter)  

Friday, 22 November 2013

485

They walked up the side road to Smith Street.  There were three second-hand clothing shops in close proximity.  In one, they found a subfusc olive-green cloth cap which fitted Cody.  And wasn’t too icky.
He turned and twisted to try and see what he looked like from each side with it on.
“Suits you!” said Luigi.  And it did. Cody looked even handsomer with the cap on.  The colour enhanced the blue-grey of his eyes and perfectly matched the rich chestnut of his shoulder-length hair.
The op shop had a rack of second-hand leather motorcycle jackets.  The worn ones were cheap.  Cody tried one on, just to see how he looked. 
“We’ll take that too!” decided Luigi. 
Next door to the op shop there was a chemist with a rack of sunglasses. 
“Aviator, for preference,” said Luigi, “with that jacket and the cap.  And they have mirrored lenses...”
They chose a pair each.
“You look very sexy.  And very different!”  Luigi felt all at once an intense desire to fuck Cody.  Then he remembered about the rapes and Cody’s tightness.
“You always look sexy,” replied Cody.  “Even first thing in the morning with dog breath and bird’s-nest hair. Well you did this morning, at any rate.”  It was after all the first time Cody had spent the night.
Luigi wanted to kiss him.  Well.  It was Smith Street.  Counter-cultural.  Different.  Gay-shaded.  So he did.
As their lips parted after a long kiss in which both had grown a little breathless and both had popped boners, he breathed to Cody, “I love you Coads.  I’m so glad you’re safe.”

He could see himself mirrored in Cody’s aviator sunglasses.  Without for one moment forgetting their mission, he felt that the two of them were a team.  And things would be right.


Episodes 1 to 460 (without pictures, 20 episodes per chapter)  

Thursday, 21 November 2013

484

It was a Victorian church in redbrick and bluestone, with accretions in varying architectural styles from the succeeding century and a half since it had been built.  There was a small Catholic primary school at one side, rather charming in Art-Deco redbrick and cream cement, with several giant trees shading its playground.  Luigi parked on the opposite side of the street outside some shabby Victorian terrace houses and switched off the engine.
“Now what?” asked Luigi.
“Well, we have to go and look.  In the car parking places.”
“But then he might see you.  If he’s here.”
“Yeah.  I should be in disguise.”
“You mean, like fake Marx brothers big nose and glasses?”
Cody grinned suddenly, spontaneously, for the first time in days.  “Exactly.  Seriously though, maybe sunnies and a cloth cap.”
“There’s an op shop on Smith Street.  We could buy you a second-hand cap there.  Hide your luscious curls.”
“Yuck.  Someone else’s dandruff and grease.”
“Well it’s better than being seen.  And caught.  And buying a new one would take far too long.  I mean, you’re going back to work tomorrow.”

“We’re not very good at this, are we?”  But Cody had an amused glint in his eye.

Episodes 1 to 460 (without pictures, 20 episodes per chapter)  

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

483

There turned out to be millions of references to “St Joseph’s” and “St Michael’s” on Google.
“This isn’t going to work”, muttered Cody.  He seemed more confident and sure of himself than he had since Luigi had collected him from Mount Macedon.   “Lemme think.”  He scratched his nose and twiddled with his ears and then said, “I know!  We’ll try this.”
He opened Google Maps and searched.  There were ten St Joseph’s and six St Michael’s, a couple of schools, a boys’ home, old age homes, some churches.
“Look!” Luigi, who was leaning over Cody’s shoulder, pointed to the map.  “There are four in the inner suburbs.  One just down the road on Smith Street; and one near Northcote.  And then these two in Footscray and North Melbourne.  Print off the maps and the details and we’ll go and investigate.”
They drove to the Smith Street location first.  It was the one closest to them.  

Episodes 1 to 460 (without pictures, 20 episodes per chapter)  

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

482


“Here’s what we’re going to do, Coads,” he said as he switched his mobile off.  “You said that the Kombi van had St Joseph’s or St Michael’s written on it.  So we’re going to go home and do some research on the internet.  It’s probably a Catholic church charity of some kind.  Maybe a boys’ home.  Or a school.  And prolly”—Luigi started getting excited—“in the inner city.”
“Why?”
“Well, you said the Kombi was rusty and the paint was worn.  And the suburban parishes have money.  All those middle class people.  But the inner city is where the Housing Commission flats are and the reffos.  And he’s around here.  In these streets.  This is his stamping ground.”
“But wouldn’t he find his victims away from his own area?  Wouldn’t that be much safer?  He’d be less likely to be recognised.”
“Maybe,” conceded Luigi.  “And yet, if it was him you saw, then this is his stamping ground.  He was doing shopping, here, not out in the suburbs.  Anyway, even though Colin will help us, I think we need to do some of our own sleuthing.  What harm could it do?  We c’n go and look at each of the most likely places and see if the van is there.  And if it is we can tell Colin when he comes into the city.”   He was silent for a few heartbeats.  Then he added, “We’re not helpless.  We can fight back.”


Episodes 1 to 460 (without pictures, 20 episodes per chapter) 


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