SIMON HIT THE DRUMMER SWITHC as they stepped through the door. He wasn't concerned about being recognized by the boy breathing in his ear; they'd talked at length at the club without Leather Trousers indicating he had any idea who Simon was. Or rather, had been. But he didn't relish the prospect of another trick commenting on how "distinguished" his graying temples were.
"Nice apartment," announced Leather Trousers, sauntering into the living room. At this hour, the green vistas of Central Park were barely visible, yet the view remained quietly impressive. The boy pressed up against the glass, fogging it with steam. "What did you say you do again?" he asked.
"I'm in the music business. Do you want another drink?" The trick mumbled what sounded like an affirmative. "Why don't you put on some music?"
Absolut screwdrivers in hand, Simon walked back into the room. A swirl of kaleidoscopic strings wafted up to meet him. If doctors kept you waiting in the afterlife, this music played in the waiting area. Simon made a mental note: That's a good idea for a song, "Heaven's Reception Room." A voice like Andy Williams', fed through the same wretched vocal effect Cher used, crooned softly. "Who is this?" he asked, sitting alongside Leather Trousers on the sprawling turquoise sofa.
"It's supposed to be Danny Tenaglia, but this doesn't sound like house music to me." Simon picked up the jewel box from the coffee table. Back to Mine: Danny Tenaglia. The cover's image of a glowing lamp fashioned from a dollhouse reminded Simon of the eerie lighting from the jacket of his second LP, Glower. He smiled at the boy, who'd been in nursery school when Simon first did Top of the Pops.
"It's an afterhours mix," said the singer, scanning the track listing on back. "This is 'Emotion Heater' by the Gentle People." He had no idea where this CD had come from. Old associates still kept him up to his ears in new product, much of which never got listened to; he preferred Callas and Piaf over most contemporary artists.
The trick parted his full lips to meet Simon's tongue, letting out a soft moan as they kissed. Simon smiled at the sound. This kid was, as his former partner Patrick liked to call them, "a boy of easy virtue." In their heyday, they'd met many of these on tour, procured for the price of a couple cocktails and maybe an autograph. Slipping a free hand under the boy's shirt, Simon tweaked the kid's hardened nipple. Nobody had asked for his autograph in years, but at least he'd aged gracefully.
The music's pace picked up as clothes were discarded. Electronic blips set off twinkling colored lights in Simon's skull, like a fairy wand touching his synapses. Ah, the amusing distractions the vestiges of a decade's worth of drug consumption could still trigger. Though the timbres of the track playing recalled Kraftwerk, the syncopated rhythms sounded vaguely Latin. Spain had always been a big market for Patrick and Simon's band, Silent Partner. It was the only country where their quasi-operatic "Snow Queen" had outsold the international pop smash "Brink of Disaster." But after that debacle in Barcelona—where the duo had been forced to crawl out a dressing room window to escape a crazed crowd—they'd never returned.
Leather Trousers was bucking furiously to meet Simon's thrusts. I wonder if he's in the travel industry? Simon punctuated the thought with an especially forceful jab, eliciting a sharp gasp from the boy beneath him. This kid responded almost as enthusiastically as that German flight attendant, the one who'd nearly ripped the singer's cock off with his sphincter muscles years ago.
Simon's reverie was interrupted by the transition into a track he recognized instantly: CeCe Peniston's "Keep On Walkin'." He loved this record, and the candor with which Peniston dismissed her unfaithful lover. Timeless pop tracks like this were what had inspired Simon to become a singer in the first place. He stopped hammering away at Leather Pants like a pile driver and synched up with the music's playful rhythm as he felt his pending climax grow closer.
Sunshine streamed through the window as Simon opened his eyes slowly. He remembered dozing off in a sweaty heap with the trick as frisky strains of Sergio Mendes dissolved into silence, but apparently Leather Pants had split while he slept. The singer scratched his salt-and-pepper chest hair and reached over for the stereo remote. When he pressed play, the display flashed "No Disc." He scanned the coffee table for the CD case, but found only the two glasses holding the dregs of last night's drinks.
Back to Mine: Danny Tenaglia is out now on Ultra Records.