Excerpt from “Behrouz Gets Lucky: A Novel”
Behrouz Gets Lucky is a romantic, literary, kinky, and political novel about two older San Francisco queers – a butch dyke gardener named Lucky and a genderqueer librarian named Behrouz. A coffee date at Café Flore in the Castro sparks a fiery trans masculine relationship that ends with the couple eating falafel in bed at 3 am half way around the world in a hotel in Tehran, Iran. Forced gentrification in modern San Francisco goads Behrouz and Lucky to find their own uniquely sexy way of reclaiming the city’s lost queer spaces. Behrouz Gets Lucky is also tenderly sensual – an immersive novel, full of fragrances, delicious food, delirious sexual touch, dandy fashion, and beauty.
CHAPTER 1 — BEHROUZ GETS LUCKY
I was 60, and long past the age of hope, young lust, love, and bewilderment. I was 60, using my senior discount to buy oatmeal, black tea, and ginseng at Rainbow Co-Op, and silk neckties at Goodwill. I was a time traveling, part Persian expatriate. I had been an outsider all my life, and felt insulated that way. Insulation is protection, but it is also isolation. Even though I lived in San Francisco, that bastion of sexual and gender freedom, I lived outside of the galaxies of the butch, FTM, genderqueer, and leather communities. I’d hitchhiked across the country, I’d been a streetwalker, smoked opium with princes, raised children, been fisted on Twin Peaks, sung in punk bands, grew up in Iran, had threesomes with bikers and Members of British Parliament, and followed family tradition to become a librarian. I’d buried one daughter and two lovers, spent decades in the Midwest, kneaded bread, got sober, been homeless, pretended to be a boy wanting to be a girl, driven across town in a blizzard at 5am to slap a gigolo who was wearing pleated black silk panties, taught preschool, attended PTA meetings, and tickled grandchildren. It’s-a-long-story was my middle name.
At 60, and in my considerable dotage, I spent my evenings wearing a quilted charcoal velvet smoking jacket with a foulard silk cravat, and worn cuffed flannels while delicately sipping English Breakfast tea with my cat, Francy, strewn across my lap, a pile of tattered paperback Dorothy Sayers mysteries at hand, and vacillating between wanting to manifest a lover and relishing each delicious second alone. Between chapters, and inspired by Lord Peter Whimsey and his paramour Harriet Vane, I imagined a lover, a you. If I could manifest you at 6 am when I was lolling between the sheets distractedly having my morning pre-work come, or on Sunday afternoon when I was settling in for a leisurely fuck session with myself, my two biggest silicone dildos, nipple clamps, my S-curved metal dildo, a metal sound, a stainless steel butt-plug, Eartha Kitt, a fountain of lube, dim lights, and a cushion of towels and rubberized sheeting to soak up the spillage….I would imagine a you.
Sometimes I craved you when I came home, tired from a day of advising patrons, giving restroom directions, problem-solving minor computer issues, and searching for copies of the latest best-selling romance. Sometimes I craved that moment of perfect domesticity when I’d open my door to the oregano and tomato scented smells of minestrone soup wafting from the kitchen, and you in the rust velvet armchair in the living room. I’d fall to my knees on the rough wool of our Tabrizi carpet, crawl across the red and gold fibers, unbutton your fly, and fill myself with your cock as an appetizer. Your pipe would be smoldering in the ashtray, filling the air with the sultry sweet aroma of tobacco and cherry. You’d lean back and spread your denim-clad legs, rubbing your cunt as I approached on my knees, the workday rolling off me the closer I got. Reaching your cunt, I’d rest for a minute, my lips caressing the bulge in your crotch, as grateful for your hand on the back of my neck and your packed jeans as I was for salt. I’d growl softly, nipping at the thick blue fabric, damp from my spit and slightly threadbare from past administrations. You would unbutton your fly slowly, each button releasing a soft pop. I’d cover your cock with my mouth until it filled my mouth and throat, then ease up, and lick the shaft, lost in your smell and your palm firmly pushing my head into your cunt. Your cock would shove the outside world aside, erasing demanding supervisors, aching joints, and crowded MUNI buses until all that was left was your cock in my throat.
I had a shallow translucent blue glass bowl on the dining room table that I filled with garnet colored pomegranates, dusty plums, phallic bananas, and tart green apples, and sometimes I longed to see your house keys on the table next to the bowl of fruit. Did I want this complication to interfere with my quiet life? Did I really want someone to know my quirks and fears? To discover that I sometimes ate cheddar cheese, figs, and cookies for dinner, to twist their hand into my silver-haired cunt, to be privy to my mood swings and self-doubt, to be content to live with my need for solitude? I’m Middle Eastern to my part-American core, and as such have a deep belief in fate. At a jaded and indecisive 60, I decided to leave love and lust to fate.
How did we meet? How does fate decide to roll her dice? Was it at the park, commiserating over fawn-colored pigeons fighting for brioche crumbs at our feet, while the ginkgo trees shed golden fan-shaped leaves on the park bench? Was it in an airport while listening to the murky flight update announcements, wondering if we should grab an overpriced stale croissant and latte before our flight, and finally reaching for our lattes at the same exact time, our fingers touching over scattered copies of USA Today. Maybe it was at work, sighing and rolling our eyes over gum-snapping co-workers, discovering mutual tastes in movies and politics in the lunchroom, meeting outside the office on the sly, and texting filthy thoughts to one another across the table during meetings.
In reality, we met prosaically. Lacking a noisy yet accurate village matchmaker, we filled out our profiles on OK Cupid, rolled our mutual eyes at the idiocy of naming the five things one could never do without, and updated our profiles earnestly and regularly. I worried about whether I sounded too shallow, and you fretted about sounding too serious. I mentioned that I had an Isherwood haircut, lank thinning brown hair, hazel eyes, a husky build, and a pale DAR complexion. We both were annoyed at OK Cupid’s lack of queer identity choices. I changed my sex from male to female and back again monthly, while she identified as bisexual as not to leave out possible FTM matches. I mentioned that I was a daddy in the streets, and a strumpet in the sheets. Although I took testosterone, I was not a man or even FTM. She put up an out-of-focus picture of her repotting plants, said she spoke French, ironed and starched her sheets, had olive skin, dimples and a graying pompadour. She didn’t mention her sexual proclivities at all. I mentioned flagging red, grey, black, and navy right in the first paragraph, said that I cooked Persian food and collected bird skulls, put up a photo of myself half-dressed and playing an accordion, and said that only butch dykes need apply. She was eleven years younger than I, a rough-hewn looking butch and gave me five stars, which made my heart flutter and my cunt get wet in anticipation. I rated her five stars back, and nervously sent her a short, overly edited but carefully flirtatious email suggesting that we meet for tea and conversation. Then I heard nothing for five months. In the interlude I went on a series of fruitless first dates, but I had not forgotten her. In spring she finally wrote back, suggesting that we meet for coffee. Her name was not Amber or Dixie or Tyler, but Lucky. And I wrote to Lucky, signing my name Behrouz, which means lucky in Farsi.
We met at Cafè Florè, the classic rendezvous for queer blind dating in the Castro. Public transportation was two steps away, so it was easy to flee from the date if it was awful. Cafè Florè was loud, gay as fuck, with mediocre food, and sweet servers. We were both on time. I wore pleated grey flannel pants, a white shirt with a Campbell clan wool necktie, my tattered grey Brooks Brothers jacket, purple silk socks with striped garters, horn-rims, my hair slicked to one side, and my favorite butterscotch colored brogues. Lucky wore a stately pompadour, a red ribbed wool sweater with frayed cuffs over a white Oxford shirt, black 501 button-fly jeans, three gold rings in her right hand, and harness boots. She was stocky and muscular, a little shorter than my 5’8”, had deep brown hair threaded with grey, small breasts, olive skin, a chipped front tooth, hazel eyes, a large aristocratic nose with tiny nostrils, black framed glasses, and a beguiling swagger. She drank black coffee, and I sipped sticky sweet soy chai latte.
I was immediately turned on by Lucky, trying not to look too eager as I glanced at her rough-hewn gardener’s hands, evaluating them for size and dexterity. I was nervous and unsure if she liked me back. I was never good at reading signs, and knew that my reserve was often read as disinterest. I wanted to feel her hand in my cunt. We started slowly. We talked about our cats, the general state of classism and disrepair in San Francisco, our jobs, food, and our upbringings. Lucky’s tuxedo cat, Elmer, had died two months ago, after living a long and productive life of catching mice, napping in her oval vintage pink porcelain bathroom sink, and skulking on bookshelves. My ginger cat, Francy, had one bronze eye, a puffed out tail that was longer than her body, and liked to pee with me when I came home from work. I told her about my love of books, organization, and social service, which lead to the good fortune of a job at the San Francisco Public Library. After studying biology, Lucky had fallen into gardening, and spent her days planning gardens and fondling manure and plants. We agreed that the recent invasion of stealthy gleaming white Google buses with black tinted windows that transported entitled tech workers from their cubicle penthouses in San Francisco to their jobs in Mountain View were sharklike, and wondered why they hadn’t been violently defaced yet. We mourned the loss of Plant It Earth, Osento bathhouse, Faerie Queene Chocolates, the dimly lit Mediterranean place on Valencia with Fat Chance belly dancers swiveling sensuously around the tables, The Red Vic Movie House, and Marlene’s drag bar on Hayes Street, and then we sighed like curmudgeonly old farts wondering where the past had disappeared.
Lucky was raised Jewish in Columbus, Ohio, a hotbed of Republican ideology and Christian intolerance, graduated a year early from Bexley School for Girls, then fled to UC Berkeley for sexual and intellectual freedom. Her dad was an insurance adjustor and her mom worked part-time in the ladies undergarments section of Lazarus department store. Her father worked late hours and fancied himself a suave businessman, leaving the house each morning awash in citrusy Spanish cologne and cigarette smoke, and sporting a flashy gold Rolex wristwatch won while playing cards. Her mom was bitter around the corners and sentimental in the middle. She was a brunette in turquoise double-knit pants suits and the sweetly floral scent of Chanel No 22. Lucky told me about coming home to find her mom drinking endless goblets of chardonnay while listening half-cocked for the metallic sound of her father’s key in the front door, and the sneaky shuffle that announced his belated presence home. Lucky was an only child, but lived in the same Tudor-style home in the same quiet middle-class neighborhood her entire childhood, with the oak lined streets, and her aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends with their families protecting and loving her even when Lucky’s folks were distracted.
Since our family had moved every two years from state-to-state, country-to-country, and continent-to-continent, I found Lucky’s childhood geographic stability both exotic and enviable. At age seven, Lucky decided she wanted to be a boy. Each night she’d stare dreamily out her bedroom window while stroking the faint down on her upper lip to wish a mustache into existence. Wryly, Lucky told me that it didn’t work, but now she was content with her hard-earned butchness. As a child, Lucky escaped into books, and spent hours in the Bexley Public Library, scouring the shelves for anything related to sexuality and gender, which wasn’t much in the 1960s. Lucky’s curiosity and scholastic diligence paid off with a full university scholarship and an early release from Ohio. I’d also grown up immersed in books, hiding in odd corners at home with a stack of books and a pocket of raisins. I related to the escapism that they provided to desperate kids like us, junior outsiders and renegades.
After three hours of exchanging stories and too much coffee and chai, we started to talk about sex and desire. Our drinks cooled as the temperature heated. We both lived in San Francisco, home to sexual freedom and excess, with everything from International Ms. Leather, to the Eagle, Mr. S, the 15 Association, the Exiles, regular play parties for every identity and orientation, BDSM coffee houses, and more. One time hook-ups, public play, and casual sex were easily obtainable, but I was embarrassed to admit to Lucky that in my mid-50s I’d grown out of the ability to do casual play and sex. It didn’t work for me anymore, and although I missed the immediacy and physical relief of instant sex, I needed lovers, continuity, and intimacy. Lucky commiserated, and said that she’d felt the same ever since turning 43. Even though we agreed that we both wanted love and deeper intimacy, everything felt dangerous and forbidding – as if we were getting ready to foolishly leap off an emotional cliff, our hearts potentially shattered on the shoals below.
I flushed as our eyes met. We both stopped breathing for a second, unsure if we wanted to continue. Finally, Lucky inhaled, leaned forward, pierced me in my eye with the future, and murmured, “Tell me. What do you want? What do you need?”
I blushed, my eyes widening and quickly looking down, and my cunt tingling. I admitted to wearing my hankies on the right, and a proclivity for getting fisted, giving head, ass fucking, bondage, and getting beaten. Lucky reached across the table and held my hand, my palm facing up and her calloused hand beneath mine, leaving me feeling exposed, trapped, and cradled all at once. I swooned a little at her touch. Lucky smiled a lopsided sweetly sly smirk, and I imagined one pointed incisor sharply peeking through her lips, her teeth hard against my neck and biting my flesh. She told me she was a top and a sadist, and had been that way since she was a baby dyke in plaid flannel shirts, Frye boots, and Carhartts. I blushed again, and felt my nipples harden painfully in the tight confines of my binder, as I whispered through dry lips that although there was no accounting for chemistry, thus far we seemed to have chemistry just fine. I told Lucky that I had simple tastes really, all I wanted was to suck her off, then be beaten, and fisted until we were swimming in a pool of come.
Lucky asked, “And what do you call your top? Daddy or sir?”
And I answered, “I call my top, baby.”
Lucky looked at me with her hazel eyes turning green as polished sea glass. She leaned closer, took my hand, and bit the side of my palm while looking into my eyes. As she bit harder, my hips lifted, and I groaned. I wanted Lucky’s teeth on my neck, my breast, my ass. There is a vulnerability to a hand’s underbelly. It is my favorite place to be bitten, so tender and so blatant – I melted. I wanted her to read my desire with her mouth, hurting me because she needed to, and me letting the sharp sensations course through my flesh, forming a loop of desire between us.
“Baby” Lucky said, managing to draw the word out like we’d already taken our clothes off and were lying hip to hip. She didn’t huff up in toppish indignation, wasn’t quizzical or offended, but understood that “baby” was my code for hotness, tenderness, and love.
After four hours at Cafè Florè, Lucky murmured, “Let’s go.”
Lucky stumbled lightly over the shallow steps leading down to the sidewalk, exclaiming that her new bifocals were a bear to get accustomed to, then leaned in to kiss me on the sidewalk in front of a gaggle of Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and next to the organic stone fruit stand at the farmers market. “It’s Raining Men” was playing tinnily through Cafè Florè ‘s speakers. She kissed exactly correctly…and if that sounds dry, it isn’t meant to be so. Her lips were firm and pliant, and fit mine like a t-shirt on a teenager. She’d mastered the art of the tender lower lip bite, and as I delicately licked the corners of her lips, we quickly became breathless. We pulled away a quarter of an inch to prolong the anticipation, and fell onto one another after five seconds. I pulled Lucky closer as a Sister with a violet Marie Antoinette wig wolf whistled in our direction. Lucky slipped one muscular thigh between my legs as my cunt melted and throbbed. I moaned into her mouth as her wide palm smoothed my back under my jacket, and I whispered that I wanted her hand inside of me. Now. Lucky growled – a low nip from deep in the back of her throat. I know that the Sister with the lime green boa passed us a fistful of condoms. I was starry eyed and damp as we stumbled to my apartment in nearby Hayes Valley.
It was dusk, that magical time when the day ends and night begins, when responsibilities dissipate, and mystery and longing fill our hearts. The evening air smelled of jasmine, anticipation, and piss. The violent and sweet scents circling us as we walked. The moon was rising as bright as a streetlight, and the sidewalks were full of early evening dog-walkers, with their pups tarrying by trees and potted plants while the owners peered into their palms at their phones. We barely talked. We’d talked through an entire afternoon. Words mean something, but I needed to know how Lucky tasted, how she touched, how we smelled together as we heated up. All I could think of in that fifteen minute walk was Lucky’s hand in my cunt, her gardener’s fingers entering one by one, packing me full of her. Anything else was gravy on the cake. You know.
By the time I unlocked the door to my flat, it was dark and the full moon watched us. The streetlights had followed us home, each lighting one by one as night fell and we were closer to my apartment. I unlocked the top bolt, then struggled with the pesky bottom one, trying to make the stuck key turn. As I jiggled the lock in the dark hallway, Lucky pressed her body against mine from behind, rubbing her cock against my ass, and reached around to untuck my shirt and run her hands up towards my nipples. I moaned, humping the doorknob with my clit, and almost dropping the key. Finally the brass key turned, and the door flew open under our weight. Lucky pushed me suddenly through the dim foyer, down the hallway, and into the sandalwood scented living room, then to the floor. I wasn’t expecting the quickness, and fell to the Persian carpet, my jacket still on and my shirt half untucked. She stood over me, unbuckled her black leather belt, threw off her sweater, unbuttoned her jeans, pulled out her dick, and started stroking it with her hips insolently cocked forward.
“On your knees. I want you to suck my cock. Now.”
I crawled over, leaned forward and opened my mouth. I loved filling my mouth with stuff, whether it was cock, chains, or fingers. My cunt was soaked, my dick was throbbing, and I wanted nothing more than to suck Lucky’s cock. I wrapped my lips around the black silicone and took it to the hilt while looking up greedily at her. Lucky thrust her hips forward, then drew away, teasing me with just the head until she roughly pushed it all the way in again, banging my throat rudely. I could smell her cunt heating up, and sucked her cock, pushing it hard against her cunt, then letting up, and pushing it in again. I was lost in the rhythm, smells, and sounds of cock sucking, feeling my cunt muscles spasm the more turned on I became by Lucky’s moans and growls, and the feeling of my mouth being stuffed.
Lucky grabbed my head, shoving me harder into her groin while letting loose with a stream of fuck noises and words, “I’m gonna fuck your mouth until I come. Suck me, my little invert.”
I was slobbering drool down the sides of my mouth and making slurping and snorting noises as she pulled my hair and fucked my mouth. I desperately wanted to jack off, but even more desperately wanted to suck her dry. I wanted Lucky to come down my throat and out my asshole, her heat burrowing into my body. I wanted her to come like lightening through my cunt. I fucked her cock harder with my hot mouth, until with a tremendous series of guttural grunts Lucky came, my swollen lips wrapped around her big black cock.
Lucky’s hand loosened on my hair for a minute, then she pushed me backwards on the rug. I fell awkwardly on my back, supported by my elbows and looking up at her dazedly. She kneeled over me, her pompadour sexily disheveled, her cheeks flushed, her eyes half-closed and blazing, then took my face between her calloused hands and we kissed, a long luxurious smooch, full of promise. I shrugged off my jacket as Lucky did the same. As I was unknotting my necktie, I heard the swooshing sound of her leather belt being jerked rapidly through her belt loops and looked up to see that she’d doubled it up and was grinning at me evilly.
Lucky shoved me sideways, “Bend over the ottoman.”
I kneeled over the high Moroccan leather ottoman, as she yanked my flannel trousers and my briefs down to my knees. Lucky’s hand reached between my thighs, cupping my cunt, then withdrawing slowly, her fingers separating my labia, and running from my cock to my cunt to my asshole. I could feel salty sweet precome drip down my thighs. I moaned and pushed back, trying to draw her inside of me. I didn’t care where, I just needed her fingers inside of me pumping and rolling and fucking…filling my hungry holes. Instead, she stood up, hovering over me, letting the heat between us build. Suddenly she drew back and let at me with her belt against my ass. The first hit was a kiss. My cunt was slammed into the leather ottoman and my ass reached up for Lucky. She hit me harder the second and third times. I wanted to jerk off, but didn’t want to come yet, so I shoved my clit into the side of the leather, forgetting about the belt and spreading my legs to expose my cunt to her touch, then closing them rapidly as I remembered what was coming and the leather flew through the air. The next hits were harder and faster, and I could feel Lucky’s grin and her hard-on behind each swoop of the belt as it thumped my ass. I was making whimpering noises, and each time her belt hit me, it drove my chest forward, pushing the air out of my lungs with a whoosh. My ass was on fire and my cunt felt hollow. Suddenly, I heard the snap of latex. Lucky dropped to her knees and started grabbing my burning ass, twisting my newly bruised, tender flesh. I moaned at the fresh pain. Then there was a cold slurp of lube and one finger circling my hole. I was frantic for her hand and bucked, trying to suck her in, but she slapped my ass with her free hand.
“Inpatient, are we?”
One finger, a second finger, and finally a third, with her thumb rubbing against the side of my engorged, stiffened clit.
“Please fuck me. Please! I need your hand inside my cunt,” I begged.
Lucky groaned but pulled out, prolonging my agony as she teased my cunt by barely dipping her fingers inside of me. I sobbed as she finally started pushing four fingers into my cunt while biting my shoulder with her pointy teeth. By now I was inarticulate with wanting to get fucked. The world had shrunken to Lucky’s hand in my cunt and her breath on my neck. Then she was twisting her hand inside, I opened up to Lucky, pushing back, and we were fucking – her gardener’s hand in my cunt, the wettest nest, everything swollen and rippling. Lucky’s mouth. My cunt. Lucky’s cunt. My cock, my clit. Lucky’s cock. I was fucking her back and she was growling. I was making noises that said, “Fuck me fast and hard.” I could feel my orgasm start in my belly – a heavy roll undulating from my chest down to my cunt as I shot out a gush of come, my cock swelling and my cunt clenching around her fist. Lucky was shouting as I sputtered hoarsely, my salty come squirting out a second time, soaking us both.
I slid off the ottoman to the carpet, panting, my pants tangled around my calves and come dripping down to my knees. Lucky fell down to the floor and we held one another close until our breathing slowed down. We were still mostly dressed, our clothing soaked with sex and sweat. I tried to get up, and my knees creaked as I stumbled over my twisted and damp trousers. I tipped over on to the floor laughing. Lucky was in better shape, but her wrist joint ached, her shirt was wet up to the armhole with my come, and her cock was listing perilously to the left. I sat Lucky down on the olive mohair sofa, put Eartha Kitt crooning “C’est Si Bon” on the stereo, poured her a snifter of cognac, and hung up our jackets. Woozily, I staggered into my bedroom, fetched Lucky a fresh shirt from my cedar-lined wardrobe, changed into a dry pair of pants, and made my way to the kitchen to fix us a post-coital snack of a simple omelet, a lá Alice B. Toklas.
In the kitchen, I turned on Marlene Dietrich dramatically singing “Black Market” and swung my well-oiled hips. I let the warmth of the afterfuck flow through me lazily as I vigorously beat the eggs, water, cheese, and a hearty sprinkle of coarsely ground black pepper with a fork, then slid them into the hot skillet. Soon the omelet was bubbly and I plopped bread into the toaster, singing along with Marlene.
I could hear Eartha Kitt’s husky voice as I strolled back into the living room, carrying a silver tray with plates of hot omelet and crisp buttered toast. As I walked through the French doors into the living room, Lucky was humming to Eartha while rubbing her wrist. I cleared the low Persian engraved copper tray coffee table of leather-bound books, dime-store mysteries, a prickly tomato pincushion, and a clutch of fountain pens and put down the tray, then sat down next to Lucky, massaging her wrist and hand, pressing my thumbs into her over-fucked joints. We ate, denim knee to flannel knee, devouring the steaming eggs quietly.
Eggs and toast finished, I suddenly became nervous and insecure. Was this just a queer kinky senior citizen version of the one-night stand? Did I want this invasion of heat and conversation in my midst, winding its way through my apartment and life? It was easy to know what I wanted when my legs were spread – my cunt and Lucky’s hand conversed fine. What the fuck was I doing? I must have jolted in panic, because Lucky removed my empty plate from my lap, leaned over, and snuggled me against her shoulder.
Lucky said softly, “Hey, you.”
I said “Hey, you too” back. And this is how it all started.