A distinguished gentleman with a sizeable inheritance volunteers as a docent at a Washington, D. C. museum only to find himself perturbed by outrageous comments from a fledgling young artist. The younger man’s comments concern nubile young swimmers in an Impressionist painting leading him to assert the artist might have been a pedophile. Why is James so discombobulated by Kasey assertions? Could he be hiding something?
When Kasey manipulates James into admitting he’s gay and agreeing to take the artist to a club featuring male strippers, James is even more disoriented. Eventually James develops a fondness for the impulsive youth to the extent he becomes concerned about looking foolish to his friends−afraid to be labeled a “dirty old man,” or “cradle robber.”
In desperation, James takes an extended leave of absence from the museum and travels alone to France. While strolling in Montmartre, he decides to end the troubling relationship; a decision he relates to Kasey upon returning from his trip. The perceptive young man delivers a candid tirade before storming away, leaving James to ponder the wisdom of his actions.
Warnings: This title contains graphic language and sex.
Word Count: 8,000
“Do you think this painter was a pedophile?” Startled, I turn quickly to face a young art student busily sketching at one of the easels. With quick, purposeful strokes the attractive youth with penetrating blue eyes and a couple of day’s worth of scruffy facial hair is copying a painting, Swimming in the Sea, a late nineteenth century work by Edmund Flount, one of the less famous Impressionists.
“I have no information in that regard,” I tell the fledgling artist.
“But he had to be. Look at the plump derrieres on two of the boys; and I looked him up on the Internet. He made dozens of paintings of naked boys of all ages, usually from the back or with them bending over so as not to display their genitals. None of the models have flat butts. Their buttocks are always firm, rounded, and perkily elevated. Turn around and look at another work, Male Nude Looking out to Sea. Although the model appears to be of legal age unlike most of Flount’s boys, the faint hint of a cliff and the blurred sea and sky make the figure predominate, his off-weighted stance and raised arms clearly make his ass the focal point of the painting. A conclusion confirmed by the fact his right butt cheek is dead center in the canvas.”
As a gay man who grew up when one never advertised his sexuality, the conversation is heading in an uncomfortable direction. Part of my job is to answer questions from the patrons. However, the questions from this youngster, who is barely half my age, rattles me.
“I read this Flount fellow kept in touch with his models and left money to a few in his will. Now… ” He pauses and glances over to verify I’m paying attention. “Now if posing was part of a financial transaction and he rarely used the same model for a second work, why did he maintain contact with the kids? And why leave some of them money years after he painted them? Something fishy was going on.”
“You seem to know a great deal about Flount. What drew you to him for a class project, which I assume is the purpose of your visit?”
“To be honest, I like to skinny dip and was fascinated upon reading so did he. In fact he maintained a residence in a part of England with a milder climate expressly so he could swim nude in the sea. He also lived aboard boats−I’ll leave it to you to guess why.”
I am positive a perplexed aspect crosses my visage for the young student expounds on his theory: “To swim naked of course! He also apparently attracted young boys to his boats judging by some of his paintings.”
“I do not really believe he seduced underage boys, bribing them with remuneration for modeling and sex in the course of boat rides.” Why am I debating such tomfoolery with this wiseass punk?
This book was added to our catalog on Saturday 19 September, 2015.