by Mike Albo
I swear I swear, I stick the needles, cross the hearts, and hope the deaths and swear on holy stacks of Bibles my very first memory is that I am four and I have my eyes closed and I'm dreaming I am making out with Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man. Mr. Austin and I covered all the bases. In my dreams I remained a little boy around four and he was a grown man, my first man. I remember he ran towards me in slow motion, furry furrowed brow, golden graham-cracker skin, hazel eyes, hazel face, unzipping his orange jumpsuit, exposing his brawn, bowing over me, him and his hairy torso on top of me and my hairless pigeon breast ribcage. I dove my face into his armpit and chomped (which is pretty interesting because I don't like to do that now, really). Then, I climbed up on his back and pressed my pelvis into him. I think this was the first time I felt aroused. I remember pressing myself into him as if I was a chimp. I remember pressing my penis into my mattress and feeling completely satisfied with the soft, puffy power of blankets and bed sheets, discovering one feels pleasure in pressure, and I remember my mother or father coming in, seeing me get off. They told me to go to sleep, and they gave me shame.
I probably would have watched "The Six Million Dollar Man" with my family right after eating Hamburger Helper and right before I had to go to bed in my little footsie Dr. Dentons. Steve's big body with its machinery underneath. Steve's amazing strength, Steve's blue bionic eyes. And that kinky chain-jangling noise Steve made when he performed inhuman maneuvers. Steve was different from the others, than Johnny Quest's Race Bannon or Aquaman or Scooby Doo's faggily neck-scarved, Mystery-Machine-driving Fred. I could ingest them. Saturday morning I'd bump my butt down the carpet stairs and watch TV 'til eleven, and then, desperate for the speedy gels of color, run to the kitchen and eat Boo Berry and Capn' Crunch and Fruit Loops, trying to bite the television light, cramming cartoons into my mouth.
But Steve Austin was not crunchy. He was a man and I wanted him inside me. Bill Grimshinlaken had the doll. If you pried out the detachable robot control panels imbedded in his arm and legs, he would look weaker, sympathetic, in need of care. Poor Steve without his machinery. I'll take care of you.
Bobby and I built a fort in the Grimshinlaken backyard. It was spring, Mr. Tyner carried his cut lawn grass to the compost, Robbie Walters washed his Camaro, Mrs. Pennington scrubbed out her kitchen trash can with Top Job. Bobby ran inside to get his insulin shot, and I was left alone with our matchbox cars, in the branches with Steve. I looked to see if anyone was around, picked him up, and slipped my finger under his shhrt. I unsnapped his flimsy snaps, touch his soft and giving plastic back, and fingered the Mattell braille on his butt. Then, quickly, I put his head into my mouth and sucked.
There were lots of men after Steve. "Buck Rogers'" Gil Gerard, "MASH's" Honeycut, "Battlestar Galactica's" Starbuck, Starsky, Hutch, Bo, Luke, Mr. Roarke, Adam West, Epstein, Carmine, Mr. Kotter, Schneider, Greg Evigan, Gunga Din, Manimal, Jan Michael Vincent, John Erick Hexum, Johnny Weismuller, Lyle Waggoner, that tall handsome guy from Manhattan Transfer, anyone from Sha Na Na, and those moody kids in swimming suits with the wet penisy Flipper gliding between their legs.
But Steve was the first, my first. I dreamt of him and humped my bed. I dreamt of him quietly appearing in the house, slipping past my parents' and brothers' rooms, as professional as government, as magic as the humidifier, reaching my door, sliding into my room, walking towards me, past my Fisher-Price figurines and their farms and parking lots, past the stacks of Highlights and Crickets, past the Free to Be You and Me and Dumb Ditties and Hungry Hungry Hippos, and Trouble and Sorry and Mousetrap and Hi Ho Cherry O, past the Micronauts and paper Muppet hand puppets and red toy hammers and pegs, and Hot Wheels and Etch a Sketch and Honeyhill Bunch and Adventure People and Fuzzy Pumper Barber Shop, past the Nerf, over the Toughskins and Tiddleywinks and Frisbees and Twister and Toss Across and Sit and Spin, past the Connect Four and Leggos and Lester and Kerplop and Gnip Gnop, and Don't Break the Ice and Don't Spill the Beans, past the soldiers and bicentennial posters, his rough beard, his breathing, his collarbone, his wide hands, to me, to me to me.
Next week: Mike Albo's High School Confidential and what he learned from the beauty secrets of the stars.
Steve Austin and Barbarino dolls kindly supplied by LOVE SAVES THE DAY, at 119 2nd Ave, NYC.