Lust, or: No Harm Done by Geoff Ryman

Lust, or: No Harm Done by Geoff Ryman

Author:Geoff Ryman [Ryman, Geoff]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2018-06-02T16:00:00+00:00

Who's for real?

In the last days of his marriage to Phil, as promiscuity took hold, Michael often went to Russell Square.

Usually, he would be a bit drunk, having spent an evening with one of his own few friends. The controls would be switched off. Usually the controls warned Michael that what the Square contained was dangerous. Drunk, he didn't care.

In the early nineties, the untended shrubbery would be full of groups of men, some on their knees, others with shorts down. It was a curiously generous place, where strangers would give their all, or what they could.

A sweet and beautiful black man with liquid eyes would suddenly offer his rear. A German tourist would walk you safely home and say good night on the doorstep. An Israeli soldier, as big as Schwarzenegger, would shake with excitement in your grasp, and quickly go through every sexual motion, short of coming. There were people who wanted to pick someone up and take them home. There were people who only wanted to touch a dick with the tips of their fingers and then leave.

As the nineties progressed, the shrubbery was trimmed and the arrival of police cars grew more frequent. Circles of hardier souls would gather around a small public utility, rather like a gas meter or water pump that was camouflaged with a screen of green wooden slats. Inside those protective walls, it could be as crowded as a rush-hour tube train. Once Michael found himself wanking off an extremely well-endowed Australian, while his own penis was flailed with desperate vigour by a Japanese tourist who stayed completely zipped in. Whatever they wanted, they all kept Russell Square in a sealed compartment away from the rest of their lives.

Michael was here because he could not take people back to the flat. Michael's offer was clear. Hi, I have a boyfriend but we're not faithful, and I'm passive and here for safe sex.

Others seemed to say: I don't want love; love hurts. Or, I am HIV positive and I don't care who I make ill. Or, I am not HIV positive but I'm pissed and I no longer careā€¦ for now. Hiya, my name is Nick and I play the cello and live at home and I am very slightly crazy, enough to be on medication, and I am lonely and this makes me feel less alone.

Hello, I'm an American tourist and I come here once every five years and my wife back in the hotel thinks I am out for an evening stroll.

Hi, my name is Adam and I'm rich and sixteen and I have a car of my own.

Michael's idea of getting real was to go back to Russell Square. He popped a precautionary Viagra and went out.

He had forgotten that deep thrill of cruising at night. It produced a dragging sensation of mingled fear and excitement in his bowels. He could hear his own breath and found that his eyes flicked towards any movement in the darkness. Like desire itself, seeping out of your bones, men moved in shadows, behind trees.


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