Barillas to thrillus…our contest continues

(Editor-in-chief giving lip service to current intern)

Still good evening, still from the towers that are A Word with you Press just up the street from Friendship Square in sunny–oops!–snowy downtown Moscow!

A versatile writer is one who can assume the identity of multiple characters and leave you wondering if they are writing fiction or just relating a story about themselves to you. Claudia Barillas is just such a writer.  Those who have seen her writing over the years on this site know that she is anything but mainstream. This is her third entry into The First Annual Peggy Dobbs Write-of-Passage Contest. Her entries are as diverse as Tom Hanks as the lover of Antonio Banderas in Philadelphia and then as the storm-the-beach Gastro-Intestinal in Saving Private Ryan.  Which is the real Tom Hanks?  Which is the real Claudia Barillas?

Language and content may be a little offensive to some of you, but hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side.

Here is

I could be Mulder if Mulder liked Dudes

by Claudia Barillas


I’ve never had a problem picking up men. I put out the right vibe, I guess. They just come to me. Women are a bit harder. I think it’s the difference between being pursued and doing the pursuing. I’m naturally more passive–better at looking lonely and horny than confident and charming–but a man isn’t supposed to sit around and wait for women to hit on him. When I’m looking to meet a girl, I try to take the initiative even though I’m not very good at it, and the venture is rarely successful.

The good news is that if I publicly fail in that field, there’s often a guy waiting to swoop in and make me feel better. It’s how I met my most recent boyfriend.

“Chicks, huh?” was Pete’s line, a line I’d heard before. “Crazy. Forget about her. If you’re still looking for a good time tonight I swear, it’s not too late.”

I went with him, like I do sometimes, after he bought me a good amount of drinks. Why not? Maybe I woke up that morning in the mood for something else, but at the end of the day a lay is a lay, and who was I to say no? He thought he was turning me. Who knows why the prospect turns some guys on so much, but if it makes them that much more eager to blow my mind (heh), why should I correct them? He found out his mistake soon enough, anyway. I’m kind of a perfectionist. I don’t like to do things half way. I take mental notes on everything I do, what works and what doesn’t, so I can get better at it. When he felt my practiced tongue, and my fingers expertly prepping him, Pete knew this wasn’t my first rodeo. He knew I know my way around a dick, and he knew he wasn’t the first guy who’s been (warm and tight) around mine.

“I thought you were straight,” he admitted, after, when we’re both satisfied. There are things I could’ve said to that, things I wanted to say to that. But it would have been rude to be hostile towards a guy who had just so graciously allowed me to fuck him. Never mind how rude it was of him to think I didn’t exist.

I’ve stopped taking it personally. People are told their entire sexual lives that I’m a myth. That I’m just curious, confused, greedy. Curious? Confused? Maybe when I was fourteen. Greedy? Who isn’t? But they’ve been told by everyone that I’m either those things or a closet homo pretending to like women to make myself feel like I fit in. I can’t expect them to know better. I couldn’t expect Pete to know better.  So instead of giving him a piece of my mind, I gave him my number when he asked for it. Like I said before: passive.

I’m part of the problem, you see. I don’t go out of my way to educate people on the issue. I don’t take the opportunity to tell people their way of thinking is really fucked up, even when the opportunity is right in front of me (or behind me, or under me, or on top of me, or whatever the case). But why should it be my job to teach people to not be dicks? Why can’t they just not be dicks?

I’m especially not in the habit of telling the few women I date that I’m not straight. I tried it once. Never heard back from her. I don’t know what she thought the difference was, one day to the next, not knowing to knowing. Who am I kidding? Yes I do. She thought I’d cheat on her with a man. Or worse, leave her for one. Because somehow that would hurt more than her ex-boyfriend leaving her for another woman. And somehow it’s more likely to happen.

Good reason to leave or not, leave she did, and I’ve never told a woman since.  See, men think I’m a liar or a conquest, but that doesn’t stop them from wanting me. Women think I’m a flight risk, and that does. I can’t scare them off like that if I want to settle down some day. Personally I could go either way (naturally), but my parents are adamant that I marry a woman. Give them some grandchildren. At least look normal. Let me have my crushes on the Denzel Washingtons and Will Smiths of the world. Just don’t let anyone know.

Not sure they’re gonna get what they want. Things are going pretty well with Pete. He’s coming around to the idea that my sad, pathetic crush on Scully from the X-Files doesn’t disappear when he touches me, and that my sad, pathetic crush isn’t and never has been a front.

Now if only he could come around to the idea of taking his shoes off and hanging up his jacket when he comes inside my apartment, I mean really.

20 thoughts on “Barillas to thrillus…our contest continues

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    Before I begin to praise this well written story, let me say that the choice of song at the end by the late, great Lou Reed was such a lush cigarette to smoke after reading the honest sexuality here. The concepts and storyline flow off and around the tongue like a hunger that is to be satisfied without apology. The notions of pursuer and the passive male in dating situations fascinated me, because I have seldom thought of or been interested in how passive or aggressive gay or bi-sexual men act around other men they are interested in. This story, however, held my attention leaving an urban, romancing of looking “lonely and horny” rather than “confident and charming”. I felt like I was standing in that environment of the beginning mutual seduction between the two men, a voyeur in the bedroom and as a woman out of place and left out of consideration. That kept my interest. I loved the reflections of what this young man has been through growing up with the expectations which he could not abide by. I’m sure there is X-File material here which I have missed having never watched it such as “taking off his shoes and hanging up his jacket when he comes inside my apartment.” I also love sexual innuendoes coming from double entendres which I sensed throughout the story. For the vivid, candor, flowing cohesive story lines which held my interest and intrigue I say very well done Claudia.

    • Chuck Chuckerson says:

      Thank you, PM! I don’t really know much about dating since I’ve only ever been on one date with someone who wasn’t already my boyfriend and I’ve never gone out with the intention of picking someone up or getting picked up myself. This was pretty challenging in that regard, and I’m glad you thought I did all right. I’m glad you enjoyed the innuendos rather than finding them vulgar. The only X-Files reference was Scully, really. I just don’t know how to title things so that’s what I went with.

      • Parisianne Modert says:

        I liked your title having looked up David Duchovny as Mulder. Both the actor and the part he plays on the X-Files are quite fascinating. I believe I will give the show a watch. It is unusual when I find the leading man more fetching than the leading woman, Gillian Anderson as Dr. Dana Scully, MD but the truth is the truth. Throw David Duchovny’s wife Tea Leoni into the mix and I’m back to my lesbian self or once again thinking poly is such a great idea. Anyway, much as the truth is the truth, I found your story and writing to feel true and believable. Your story never leaves the realm of plausibility which is essential when presenting human relationship interactions. The settings of time and science may be new to us, but the characters must be consistently relatable to us the readers in definition and dialogue. We the readers must be able to see ourselves talking to them in person to have them effect us. You have accomplished this in fine style and word craftsmanship.

  2. Michael Stang says:

    The wild side huh? Hey don’t get me wrong I’d suck Gillian Anderson dry, and that other red headed Irish freckled cutie. But I digress. The glow of this reminds me of the two detectives you used to write about. I looked forward to those stories and still do. Your writing has evolved quark-time, Claudia. The big stage awaits.

  3. Chuck Chuckerson says:

    Thorn, don’t take my story about a dude and comment about how you’re “wondering if they are writing fiction or just relating a story about themselves to you.” It wasn’t clear that my OTHER entry was about me and readers are gonna think THIS one is. People on your site have thought I was a dude before.

    • Thorn says:

      I’m just a boy whose intentions are good. Oh Lord! Please don’t let me be misunderstood!. Claudia! I was actually attempting to make a general statement that what makes a writer good is their ability to assume the character who provides the p.o.v.When writers do that successfully, a reader does not see daylight between the author and the character. That was all. We have had a number of entries in this contest where our authors have assumed the pov of someone of alternative gender. Maybe we should have a contest where you MUST write from the pov of someone whose gender identity is not your chosen or biological one? I have a novel based on the life of the mother of my children coming out in the spring in which one major character is hermaphrodite and another is a woman who could very well be past a hundred years old. Getting into character to write from their pov was quite an experience. When “The Courtesans of God” is published, maybe you can tell me how I did. I did not mean to imply anything in my comments other than as clarified here, and I apologize if I offended you.

      • Chuck Chuckerson says:

        You didn’t offend me, Thorn. There was just so much confusion surrounding the entry that WAS about me that I thought there might be confusion here. Don’t worry about it. Everything sucks right now and I’m in an awful mood all the time and I don’t know how to pick my battles and what to just leave alone. I should have left this one alone and I apologize.

  4. Tiffany Monique says:

    This is definitely a romp in the sensual. It’s almost an editorial piece on the internal workings of the LGBT culture. I see it through the lens of the archetypal issues that I experience as a black woman within black culture. So, while there is sex and stuff, there is more going on in the subtext (I think that’s what I’m trying to say…??)… anyway, I like the way you present it.

    • Chuck Chuckerson says:

      Thank you so much for your comment! People have so many preconceived notions of various (non-white/het/cis/mal) groups, and that’s why representation is so important. I’m glad the sex didn’t detract from it, and maybe I could have reigned it in a bit, but because the issue here IS sexuality, the sex aspect seemed rather important to the realness of it.

  5. elizabeth sloan says:

    I like the way the narrator’s gender is ambiguous. It becomes clear, but this challenged, or pointed out more like it, my own socially influenced assumptions. Good stuff.

    • Chuck Chuckerson says:

      Oh gosh, I had no idea this was still getting comments. Thanks so much for reading this. I didn’t intend for the gender to be ambiguous. That’s something I’ll have to think about. Thank you.

  6. Stars Fall On My Heart says:

    Oh, the fluid nature of sexuality. Is it even that? Is this really a story about sexuality? Or is it more of the nature of loneliness–and what we do to alleviate it? What would happen if we stopped caring about the biological sex and just reached out for someone for their soul? Would that make things worse? Or break barriers?

    I have no idea, but guy or girl, nobody’s taking my poster of Robert Pattinson down. Lovely job <3

    • Chuck Chuckerson says:

      Thank you, Stars. I did intend for this piece to be about sexuality, specifically the way that bisexuality is erased. So yes, biological sex is important to some people. Gender presentation is important to some people. For some people it’s just the soul, as you said. I believe that’s referred to as pansexuality. On the other hand, you can reach out to a soul and connect with someone on that level without it being sexual. Sex isn’t the strongest connection there is.

  7. Diane Cresswell says:

    Definitely a walk on the wild side Chuck and I’m impressed. It is a lonely walk and yes sometimes its too much to explain one’s self and persuasion to someone else who doesn’t grasp the concepts – and then just be who you know you are. Great rendition of thought process of what is normal for one. Good stuff.

    • Chuck Chuckerson says:

      Thanks, Diane. I remember talking to a friend about the first episode of Orange is the New Black, and how it upset me that the main character said she was a lesbian “at the time.” My friend pointed out to me that she probably just didn’t want to explain bisexuality, and it struck me that I never realized how exhausting that could be, having to explain yourself over and over again to people who just don’t get it. So that’s where this guy is.

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