Johnny In America
by Match

This is how it happened. I only know the one story. You wanna tell me a better one?

Why did I fuck David Bowie? It was a buddy fuck. Loneliness. Boredom. He pitied me. I'm secretly gay. Experimentation. Hero-worship. To screw around with the tabloids. I didn't, there was a groupie in bed with us. Doesn't everybody secretly want to be Mick Jagger? We never fucked, only oral. We only kissed. We never kissed, just fucked once or twice. Take your pick. Things happen on tour. We felt depressed. We felt neverbetter. There was no reason. On tour is a different place than life. You know that. Don't expect an answer that makes sense in daylight. On tour once I went three weeks without seeing the sun. It was all right. I'm already pretty pale.


I like being fucked, fucked up, fucked over. It's all the same, pain and pleasure wrapped around emptiness. We're all groupies, all of us looking for somebody to whore ourselves out to.

I could tell you the specs, where we did it, how often. The taste of his mouth. How his dick felt scraping against my soft palate. Maybe you want to jerk off thinking about me taking it up the ass, his bony hands wrapped around my wrists. Maybe you want to stare at the magazine photos and eyeball the size of our dicks. You don't know how many lies I've already told.

He fucked me in his dressing room, asked for carpet in the rider. My legs wrapped around his waist. He smiled, during, smiles that could almost have been meant for me. Some grunts, nothing out of the ordinary. Didn't talk. It was afterwards we talked, feet dangling off the end of the loading dock. He smoked, lining up the butts between us.

Maybe you expected something finer, a living legend-caliber fuck? Yeah, I spread my legs for the Thin White Duke. I say we were on tour as if it explains anything. Pack up your morality, stow it under the bus. America wants decadence but not too much, wants danger but not too close. I'm afraid of Americans. I'm afraid of the world. Give me your neurotics, your coked-up paranoiacs, your jailbait rave trash, your aging discomanes.


Listen to the fucking music. Go back to that, at least. Rarities, live cuts, B-sides and unreleased. Nowhere near his back catalogue, but I'm working on it. I'm always working. That's what it's about, not who does who on the side. I didn't ask about Mick, Iggy, Lou. He didn't ask me questions either. It was a clandestine affair, not a fucking tell-all book deal.

Maybe I wrote a song about him. Maybe someday you'll believe you've heard it. It'll show up on a cassette dub of a bootleg cd, the sound tinny and low-fi. One day my voice will float through your brain in stereo, and you'll know. Yeah, they were definitely doing it. I read the magazines too. It's not like I own my life these days.


Here's what I regret: I always told him the truth. Somebody gives good head, it puts you off-guard, you know?


I read someplace that everyone carries a two-year chemical history in their hair. Every drug you took, everything you ate or didn't eat, all the random fields of toxicity you passed through without noticing. My hair was long when I met him; I wore my pain ostentatiously. That was years ago. I've cut my hair since then; he's grown his out. It looks good on him. I say: wear it that way it's like you got nothing to hide. He's clean. I'm clean. Nothing to see here.


"Redemption bores the piss out of me, Dave," I said.

"Tell me," he said, "do you really think I'd take you in for the bottle deposit?"


"Trent," he said, called again "Trent!" He'd just finished his set, broke off from the band and crush of techs. Not heading for me; sure I'd follow. Through the noise and backstage press I watched him confer with Reeve, shorthand, and accept and uncap a bottle of water. Didn't slow. He stopped beside me, drank deep, then exhaled and slung an arm across my shoulders. It was that casually intimate grab-duck-sway, international code for walk with me. We didn't walk.

He kissed me instead.

Aht-ah -- you want to know everything. How was it? Hard, soft, tongue, teeth? He's your mix-and-match rock god. What do you need to hear?

It was a quick kiss, and hard. Efficient but not rushed. David's a thorough man. He broke away first, jerking his head toward the stage. "Encore now." He strode up to the band, then back into the stage lights. The crowd screamed for him. My mouth tasted like menthol.

We played chicken for three nights running. Wait backstage like that for a guy, he's bound to get ideas. It was nothing like flirting, though you could've made that mistake from the outside. There were no questions on our tongues. He didn't even bother to seduce me. David always knew I'd fall hard; he was just too polite, after all these years too fucking British to mention it.

On the fourth night again he broke the kiss before I could. As he pulled away I whispered "Suck me."

Later he did. Laid me against the wall of an empty greenroom, left his cigarette to burn down at the edge of the ashtray. David sucks cock like a top, and I gave it up for him. I gave it up for him every time.


What can you do when your lover used to be you, before he grew out of the phase? When David was my age he was already on the cusp of his seventh life. He'll run through a whole pack of cats before he goes.

I want to believe I was the protagonist of a life he could've had, but it's all vanity. Nobody reminds him of him, and when David leaves he doesn't take anybody with him. You want to make this out to be some kind of romance? We were over before we got together; each kiss was another goodbye.


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