Tag Archives: Active Duty

The Convict – Part 13

By Joshua Ryan

It was a strange-looking room. What you saw was a line of long metal benches, the kind of benches that are big enough for a guy to lie down on and spread out his arms above his head. The benches were lined up parallel, every few feet. And you could tell that guys were supposed to lie down on them, because they had cuffs and shackles at all four corners.

At the head of every bench was a table, with some metal instruments arranged on it.

The panic was rising again, but I didn’t have time to panic. “Go to the drain, boy,” the officer said. He was pointing to the wall across from the line of benches.

I went to the wall. At the bottom I saw a thing in the floor like a gutter, or a big pipe with the top cut off of it. “I want to see you piss, boy. Do it now. And make sure you squirt it all out. We don’t want any accidents later on.”

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Florida has a funny way of taking things the rest of world enjoys and making them trashier.  Outside of the state’s biggest cities and most expensive zip codes, this state has all the refinement of a Jerry Springer episode, and the gay culture is no exception.  One area where the trashy factor really shines through is in the run down mid-century motels turned into gay resorts.  They litter the state and all have a similar feel: sparsely furnished rooms, poolside bars, and lush landscaping to keep activities somewhat private.  One of these resorts on the west coast is pretty big and has some well attended themed weekends, so naturally I checked in for their annual leather weekend.  I left my sometimes uptight professional demeanor at home, submitted to the fact that it would not be a weekend at the Four Seasons, and packed for what I hoped would be Florida’s version of IML.

I set my work aside early on Friday afternoon and headed across the state to the resort.  It was exactly what I had expected from the online photos, perhaps even a bit cleaner and more updated.  There were two long two-story buildings with second floor open walkways flanking the pool.  The former hotel lobby and restaurant had been converted to bars, one with a little dance floor.  The décor was part kitschy mid-century modern, part whatever the owners could find on the cheap.  The place reeked of bleach, which I took as a good sign.

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