The Pigtown Chronicles
Arc 1 – A Night Out In Pigtown
Chaper 1 – A Reunion at a Gallery Show
“There’s a spot!”
“It’s too tight. I’m gonna circle around and get that one we just saw on the other block.”
“That one’s probably gone already, just squeeze in here!”
Dennis had already passed it, and Barry sat back in his seat with a sigh, but let his husband circle back around. By the time they’d reached the spot they’d seen a few minutes before, he’d already thought of the perfect little jab, but the spot was still open, and Dennis pulled in without trouble. There, see? It’s closer to the gallery anyway.”
Barry gave a little huff, and got out of the car onto the sidewalk. It was a weekday evening, but the walkway was still flush with people going to dinner at the various restaurants around them. The couple were there to support a gallery show by Samuel, who was an old college friend of Barry’s. An ex, technically, but that was well buried by them both. Samuel had been the flamboyant, outré fine arts major known for his extravagance and openly gay work on campus, and Barry had been the closeted business major just beginning to poke his head out. Barry had been drawn to Samuel’s freedom, while the artist had enjoyed prying open the scared little baby queen, as he’d called him. None of it had been particularly healthy, and the breakup had been explosive, forcing Barry out of the closet, and while he had been bitter about it at the time, with distance and a good therapist, he’d come around to crediting Samuel with a good amount of personal growth. The two of them had reconnected on facebook eventually, and were better friends than lovers.
Dennis knew the history between the two of them, but he didn’t understand why Barry liked Samuel’s company at all. His personality was about as distant from Samuel’s as you could get in many ways. Pragmatic, practical, with a reputation as a bore and a square. The two of them had met through a mutual friend after Barry graduated and landed his first job, and a few years later, had gotten married after a steady engagement. Dennis worked at a hospital in the city doing lucrative knee replacements, while Barry had focused on climbing the corporate ladder. The two of them were a classic TWINK scenario–TWo Incomes, No Kids–though their physical twink days were well behind them at this point. Dennis was quickly approaching forty, and while he assured everyone that age was just a number, he himself was finding some personal reservations and difficulties with it, not that he bothered sharing that with anyone openly. At some point, his boyish charm had slipped away, replaced with a burgeoning bearhood, and a growing waistline to go with it. He was currently experimenting with a beard, and waffled on shaving it off every day. It had a bit too much grey in it for his liking, and it only emphasized his own age. Barry liked it, however, and so it stayed for the moment.
Barry was a couple years younger, and seemed to be coming into his own at last. His career had gotten off to a rocky start, and had remained so over the years. Barry blamed it on the latent homophobia of the corporate world, and while Dennis was sympathetic, he pinned more of the blame on Barry himself. He lacked focus and drive, tended to flit from one project to another, and didn’t really have the leadership and confidence he imagined he did. Barry didn’t like to hear any of that though (another flaw, Dennis thought) and so he coddled him along. His salary more than provided them with a comfortable lifestyle after all. Barry, in turn, considered Dennis to be a bit dismissive of his own contributions to their lifestyle. The aloofness his husband had could drive Barry mad at times, along with his refusal to cede the moral high ground at any moment. But despite their frustrations, their relationship was comfortable, and neither saw any reason to disrupt that. Dennis checked that the car was locked, while Barry brushed his hair into place. Then they oriented themselves, and set off for the gallery where Samuel was exhibiting his latest work.
“So what has Samuel done this time?” Dennis asked him, “That last show of his didn’t make any sense to me.”
“He’s assured me that this one is more grounded, but I’m not sure what that means exactly.”
“Fewer dicks maybe?”
“I just find it a bit crass.”
“Honestly, he’s toned it down a lot over the years.”
“What did you ever see in him?”
“Honestly? He has a great hole. He makes you feel like you’re the greatest fucker in the world.”
Dennis’s lip sneered a bit. He’d never been the most sexual person, and didn’t really understand people’s obsession with it. When Dennis did fell the urge, he’d usually just jack off, or at most, oral only, preferring to top. Since getting married, the two of them didn’t do much together, or separately. Work came first for them both, though Barry would binge on occasion, going to a circuit party on a weekend while Dennis stayed home. It didn’t bother him, so long as he didn’t do drugs or fuck bareback. Barry assured him that the parties he went to were classier than that. “I’d never want to fuck someone on meth, could you imagine?” he said once. Dennis couldn’t, and he’d left it at that before Barry might elaborate.
They reached the gallery not long after that and stepped inside. There were a surprising number of people there in Barry’s opinion, and of a slightly more elevated persuasion than the other shows Barry had attended. More suits, fewer drag queens in outlandish flair, though there was a gaggle of them tittering in a corner. Samuel had confessed once that he usually hired them to attend–after all, a gay artist with no drag representation isn’t really a gay artist at all.
The work was a bit more toned down, in Barry’s opinion. A couple of pieces he could imagine hanging on his bedroom wall (Dennis would never allow it of course) but nothing that he could hang out in a main room where someone from work might see it. Leather, denim, cock, hair. The bodies were twisted out of proportion, almost abstracted. Dennis waved down a young man with a tray of champagne, took a glass, and proceeded to meander, while Barry looked around for Samuel.
It didn’t take long to find him. He had cleaned up for the occasion, and Barry was always impressed with how well he could look when he allowed himself a bit of respectability. Tall, broad shouldered, long hair slicked back against his scalp and down to his neck, with a short beard trimmed up around his mouth. He had a thicker frame, but carried it well–managing to tread the line between beefy and chubby better than Dennis did. It helped that he had a better sense of style at least, or at least cared to know what fit him well, and lean into it. He was chatting to someone who looked rather wealthy, probably trying to drum up a sale. Barry hung back until they had moved on, and then slipped in for a hug before anyone else could commandeer him.
“BarBar, you came! So glad to see you,” Samuel said, bending down and planting a kiss of each of Barry’s cheeks.
“Yes, well, I was sick and tired of staying at home on the weekends. Dennis can be such a bore at times.”
“Yes, well, you knew that when you tied the knot. No use being bitter, it will sour your soul,” Samuel said, then gripped Barry by the hand, “Speaking of, I have someone I want you to meet,” he said, and pulled him along.
Barry sighed–Samuel was a serial philanderer. No one stuck around for long, but they were always, well, something. This one proved to be no exception. Barry found himself looking up at a rather imposing fellow wearing a sleeveless shirt and shorts that did nothing to disguise the size of the cock he was packing in the front of them. “Barry, this is Parker. Parker, this is a old friend of mine, Barry.”
The muscular fellow stuck out a hand, gripped Barry’s, and while he had long practiced a firm handshake for the business world, this one left him feeling like his hand might cramp. “Nice to meet ya,” Parker said, and then pulled Samuel close. “When are we getting out of this joint baby, you said we were gonna party tonight.”
“Not too much longer, I promise. These rich fucks are boring the piss out of me–no offense Barry.”
“None taken, I guess,” but Barry did feel boring, and sizing up Parker, who seemed to grow more muscular each time he looked at him again, he was feeling a little jealous, a little aroused, and a little bit of FOMO creeping up on him. Samuel was just a year younger than him, and despite all of his own successes, looking at him he still felt envious of his confidence.
“Evening Samuel, it’s a very nice show,” Dennis said, wandering over to join the three of them. He stuck a hand out to Parker and introduced himself, and seemed unfazed by his substantial grip.
“So glad you could join us, Dennis. Barry says it’s been a challenge prying you up from the couch on the weekends.”
Dennis ignored the jab. Their mutual distaste for one another was well known. Dennis considered him to be a phony, while Samuel, considered him to be a tasteless square. Neither cared enough about the other to make an issue of it, and Barry smoothed it over well enough with his usual enthusiasm.
“Barry, why don’t you come out with us tonight? I’m having a little afterparty at Depot, have you even been there? Hell, when was the last time you two even went out? The last year or so, it feels like the city is breathing again, you know? You have to come, it’s amazing. They took this old warehouse, and kept all the scaffolding, just dropped a stage and a bar in the middle of it. You wouldn’t believe the shit people get up to in the corners.”
“Fuck, last weekend, Hugh told me he saw a four guy train up in the rafters,” Parker said.
Dennis heaved a sigh, and generally, Barry would have taken the cue, excused them both for the evening, and gone home to Netflix and bed. But between his annoyance about the parking situation earlier, and the euphoria he alway got for the first few hours he was with Samuel again, he decided to throw caution to the wind. “Fuck it, why not?” he said.
“Come on Dennis, just one drink. We don’t have to be out long.”
Dennis was caught off guard, and had never been good at putting his foot all the way down. Samuel assured them that it was just a few blocks away–they’d be home before their couch could even miss them. They slipped out the back of the building and into an alley, and the four of them headed for Depot, a club on the edge of a district people were beginning to call Pigtown.
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