A Chat with Carl and Marcelino from Cupid Knows Best
Hello, readers! Today I want to sit down with my men Carl and Marcelino from “Cupid Knows Best” and hear what makes them tick. Although I know them well, gee, I created them, I am sure I’ll discover something new about them.
S.A.G.: I love getting together with you two. Are you ready for my questions?
Marcelino: “Do we both get to answer the questions?”
S.A.G.: Absolutely. Let me warn you these questions swerve between silly and normal.
Carl: “Oh no, that sort of interview. Mind if I light up a little herbal mind stimulant?”
S.A.G.: Usually I don’t allow smoking in the house but I’ll make an exception for you. Just don’t blow the smoke at me. I am extremely susceptible to a contact high. I learned that in college.
Carl: “Hey, that’s cool, I won’t be a bad boy. You know what? Wine works for me.” -lifts wineglass- I’ll sip instead of smoke.”
S.A.G: Thanks. I appreciate your consideration. Are you both settled in? Great. Try the grapes; they’re really sweet. Here we go. Which are you, a key or a lock?
Marcelino: “That’s easy. I am definitely a key. I like to open up new experiences. Wait, are you asking about sex?”
S.A.G: I’m just asking the question.
Marcelino: “If it’s about sex, then I am a lock because my wonderful Carl unlocks my every sexual fantasy.”
Carl: “Aww, that’s sweet, kiddo. Even if it has nothing to do with unlocking my man, I think of myself as a key. I like to unlock my students to new artistic possibilities. Man, do I sound pretentious or what?”
Marcelino: “You sound pretentious? Not in any century!” smooches
S.A.G.: Guys, please, seeing you two kiss is distracting. I know when you two start kissing, sometimes you can’t stop what comes next.
Marcelino: “I swear we’ll keep our clothing on.”
S.A.G.: Thank you. I am only human. What’s next? When you walk into an unfamiliar room, what’s the first thing you notice?
Marcelino: “If someone cares about the room enough to add life to it. I look for details like flowers, live plants, those little details. Silk flowers turn me right off.”
Carl: “You hate silk flowers?”
Carl: “Good to know.”
S.A.G.: I don’t like them either. I like fresh or even dried flowers.
Marcelino: “Yes! I love lotus pods, reeds, yarrow; anything that dries but remains cheerful enough to liven up a room. I’ve tried to dry roses but they always end up sorta pinky brown.” glares at Carl “Why are you laughing?”
Carl: “You sound like Martha Stewart.”
Marcelino: “I do not!”
Carl: “Okay, even if you do sound like her, you are far sexier than she is.”
Marcelino: “Of course I am. You have convinced me that I am the sexiest man alive.”
S.A.G: Hey, stop tickling each other. I know where that will lead. Let’s move along. You are being served dinner as a restaurant and the server dumps soup in your lap. How do you react?
Marcelino: “It’s an honest mistake. Making a scene is silly.”
Carl: “What Marcel said. Being a waiter is a sucky job. Mistakes happen. I waited tables during my college years and sometimes you fuck up. The best was when I dropped an expensive bottle of wine. So much for my tips that week!”
S.A.G.: If something nasty happened, would you still tip the waiter?
Marcelino: “Of course, well, as long as he apologizes. I have to say one time a waited dumped a slice of carrot cake into my friend’s lap and he didn’t apologize! He acted like my friend had done something wrong. Can you imagine? What a rude jerk. No tip for him.”
Carl: “He didn’t apologize? That sucks.”
Marcelino: “It does. You know what’s worse? When you waiter quits after you have ordered your food. We ordered our food, sat there waiting and waiting until we asked another waiter what the hell was going on? Oh, our waiter had quit! Boom, right in the middle of his shift. Next they had the nerve to bring us the food that had sat there for like an hour. Excuse me? Talk about rude! Another time— oh sorry, I’m rambling. Sorry!”
S.A.G.: Not a problem! Now, imagine you wake up one morning and discover you have turned green.
S.A.G.: No reason.
Carl: Turning green sounds cool! I’d be the ultimate green man from Celtic fantasy. I’d have super powers. I would force living growth into every last crack and crevice.”
Marcelino: “Including my cracks and crevices?”
Carl: *winks* “Why not? You’d look cute with ivy growing out of your ears.”
S.A.G.: Enough with the smooching! Are you done groping each other? Great. Get ready: here’s a brain teaser. You are in a pitch-black room. You need matching socks and you have 19 grey socks and 25 black socks. What are the chances you will get a matching pair?
Carl: “I only wear socks in the winter.”
Marcelino: “I never wear black or gray socks.”
S.A.G.: I’ll mark this as neither of you want to answer the question.
Marcelino: “Okay, a fifty percent chance. Am I right?”
S.A.G: “ I don’t know.”
Marcelino: tosses hair “There, then I am right. Or correct. I win.”
S.A.G.: Okay, no more math-oriented questions. Great. This one might be more to your liking. You walk into a room of strangers and catch someone looking at you in abject hatred. How do you react?
Carl: “Abject hatred? Ha, I bet the person is related to my one ex-lover’s mother, you know, the one who is head of the photography department. That entire family hates my guts. I’d walk up, smile in full wattage, and introduce myself just to see them squirm.”
S.A.G.: I like your style.
Marcelino: “I know I’d feel really angry. What right does someone I have never met have to look at me in abject hatred? I’d walk over ask and ask why are they looking at me like I am a bug? I don’t tolerate such nonsense. I went through too much of that with my grandparents after I came out. No one looks at me in hatred without a good reason.”
Carl: “Mmm, you are too damned sexy when you’re angry.”
S.A.G.: Boys, I swear I am going to make you sit on opposite sides of the room. Stop the groping!
Carl: “It’s your fault. You made my man too sexy for words.”
S.A.G.: Guilty as charged! I am afraid to ask this one: If you had to apply a label to yourself, what would it be?
Marcelino: “Sexy Set Designer.’”
Carl: “I Have Work in the MoMA.”
S.A.G.: Carl, I thought you might say that.
Carl: “Everyone needs an ego boost, right?”
S.A.G: Exactly. Here’s another brain teaser. What do wood and alcohol have in common?
Carl: “They can’t have sex.”
Marcelino: “They can’t kiss you.”
S.A.G.: There are many different answers to the silly question.
Marcelino: “They can’t talk.”
Carl: “Or take me out to dinner.”
Marcelino: “Drive a car.”
S.A.G.: Great, wonderful, stop smirking at me! Let’s trot out this one; using a scale of one to ten, how smart are you?
Marcelino: “Some days I swear I drop down to a four but most of the time I think I am a six.”
Carl: “Seriously? I think you’re an eight.”
Marcelino: “No! I mean ten is like a genius. Thanks for the vote of confidence, but I am far from being a genius.”
Carl: “I’m a solid five with peaks of eight.”
S.A.G.: Lovely self-confidence. Here’s a silly one. The cow jumps over the moon. What day is it?
Carl: “The day I smoked too much pot.”
S.A.G.: Not a surprise. Why is a carrot more orange than an orange?
Marcelino: “It tries harder.”
Carl: “Aren’t they close in color?”
S.A.G.: Carrots are more orange in tone.
Carl: “Are we talking the outer peel or the inner flesh? An orange’s inner flesh is extremely orange. What about a blood orange? They’re red inside.”
S.A.G.: Fine. You guys are brutal. Onward! If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?
Marcelino: “You succeeded.”
S.A.G.: That’s it?
Marcelino: “It’s logical.”
S.A.G.: I can see I am loosing your attention. If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?
Carl: “Sounds fine to me.”
Marcelino: “Yep, morons like some of my relatives and Republicans.”
Carl: “Good point. Let’s kiss on it.”
S.A.G: You guys really want me to go away.
Marcelino: “Nothing personal, but yes. It’s been hours since we made love.”
S.A.G.: Fine, I’ll finish up. Why is it that night falls, but day breaks? Guys? Can you stop kissing and answer the question?
Carl: “Night is dark and dark is heavier which makes it fall.”
Marcelino: “But day is bright. Why does it break? Maybe because day breaks night’s darkness.”
Carl: “How poetic.”
S.A.G.: Two more questions. Honest. Why is common sense so uncommon?
Carl: “Because most people never listen to their soul. They follow the pack and make bad decisions. Everyone needs to listen to their heart and soul.”
Marcelino: “I agree. Too many people don’t trust their instincts. They act like sheeple.”
S.A.G.: I agree with you. Okay, here’s the last question: What do you believe will last forever?
Marcelino: “Our love. That’s what you want to hear, correct?”
S.A.G.: As long as it’s the truth, yes.
Carl: “I have suffered through many relationships but I sense this one will last. We really click. Cupid blessed us.”
Marcelino: “He did?”
S.A.G.: That sounds like a wonderful exit point. Thanks, guys, for talking to me.
Marcelino: “Wait, hold on, what does Cupid has to do with us?”
S.A.G.: Carl, don’t look at me like that. I leave the explanation to you. Good luck and thanks for putting up with me. Time to let people read about you.
When it comes to his professional life, photographer Carl Conrad is at the top of his game. He molds impressionable minds at university by day and jets off to
for gallery showings on long weekends. Unfortunately, he pays for it with his
disastrous personal life: Carl kicked his boyfriend to the curb after one too
many punches, so now it’s just him and his hamsters, one of which he suspects
may be a space alien. Paris
Then Cupid takes pity on Carl and hits him where it hurts. It takes Carl all of three seconds to fall head over heels in lust with set design student Marcelino Moya, despite the man’s questionable—okay, deplorable—fashion sense. Convincing Marcelino to give him a chance is the hard part, but Carl is up for the challenge, pun definitely intended.
Marcelino plays hard to get, but he isn't immune to Carl's charms. Carl talks him around to dinner, dating, and eventually moving in. There's just one tiny word standing between Carl and perfect happiness. Why won't Marcelino say it?
The perky young agent smiled in welcome. I had hoped he would serve us. The old grouches flanking him looked ready to rip off heads. “Good evening, gentlemen. Passports and tickets, please.”
Marcel handed him the envelope. At some point, he had turned into this two-man show’s tour operator. He adored taking care of me. The handsome agent shot Marcel an extra-sparkling smile better suited for a commercial touting toothpaste’s virtues.
Marcel leaned across the counter. “I have a question for you, Mike.”
“Yes, Mr. Moya?”
“You wouldn’t happen to have two open seats in the front section that serves free champagne before takeoff, would you?”
The agent laughed and cocked his head. “This is an extremely full flight, sir.”
What happened here? We had never discussed trying for an upgrade.
Marcel winked. His voice lowered to supreme flirtatious mode. “Please, Mike, I’m too handsome to fly in coach. Don’t you think I’m better suited for something special?” Marcel set his custom gleaming smile to stun mode.
My breath expelled in a near choke. I had never seen Marcel act in such an outrageous manner.
Mike laughed until he sputtered in embarrassment. The old grouch to the left shot Mike a peevish stare. Mike recovered and held up one finger. “Let me see, sir.”
Marcel twisted to wink at me. I grinned and shook my head in astonishment.
“Hmm, odd, I do have two open seats in envoy class. Let me waive the point fee.” He typed away. Gee, at least the generous agent moved sorry old me forward along with Mr. Oh So Special and Handsome. “There, you both sit in envoy class.”
We waved good-bye to our checked luggage. “I wish you a pleasant flight, Mr. Moya, Mr. Conrad. Envoy class comes with passes to the lounge. Here you are.”
“Thank you so much! I will raise a toast to you, Mike.” Marcel winked and blew Mike a kiss.
“My pleasure, sirs.” Mike wiggled his fingers.
We threaded through the swarming humanity pressing toward the gates. “Marcelino Moya, you’re a piece of work.”
He grinned. “Blame yourself for creating an insufferable creature who thinks the world of himself.”
“Hardly insufferable. More like charming and enchanting.”
“That works for me. Damn, look at this line! I hope we have time to score free drinks in the lounge.” Marcel crinkled his nose at me. “I told you that flying freaks me right the fuck out. Liquid courage helps my nerves.”
“I hope you don’t plan to sit there praying during takeoff and landing.”
“Hell no! I hate when people perform the deadly stunt next to me. Last year during a flight from
to Philadelphia , this older businessman clutched the chair arms and
muttered to himself. He even pulled the act during the flight. He never said a
word to me, just muttered and sat there with his eyes clenched shut. I thought,
dude, what the hell, next time take the damned train.” Atlanta
We shuffled through the security line, quietly mocking the process. I shed my watch, clogs, and one ring. For once I waltzed through the metal detector without causing a security fuss. Marcel stepped through the metal detector and set off the damned thing in fine style.
Confusion filled his face. He stepped back and tried again with the same accusing result. The aggressive TSA agent looked prepared to strip-search my suspect.
Marcel’s right hand bounced up and hit his forehead in a classic “duh” gesture. “Damn, I forgot. Nipple rings and chain!” He whipped up his red, pink, and green flower power T-shirt. The waiting audience enjoyed a fine view of his sculptured torso. “I’m sorry. See?”
Everyone admired the splendid sight. My snickers refused to die. Good thing Marcel didn’t sport a cock piercing or we would miss the plane.
The scowling male attendant did not succumb to my suspect’s charming embarrassment. “Step aside, sir, I need to wand you.”
“But you can see the problem.” Marcel swayed until his chain danced.
“Step aside now, sir.”
Poor Marcel winced and stepped aside. I gathered our items and waited on a bench. To my relief, Marcel’s muscular body set off no other alarms. Granted my lips, tongue, and cock had explored plenty of his body, but who knows, something weird he had never disclosed to me might lurk under his skin.
He chatted during his search, but nothing my lover said made the determined-to-ignore-him agent acknowledge his charm. Poor Marcel escaped the mustached avenger’s scrutiny in cringing chagrin. His weight slumped down next to me. I handed over his orange Keds.
One hand waved in the air. “I totally forgot about my rings and chain. How embarrassing. Still, why did the sourpuss dragon act like I planned to steal the plane? I guess nipple rings make me dangerous. How fucking stupid.” An annoyed huff broke free. “Now I really need liquid courage.” He consulted his watch and sighed in relief. “Good, we have forty-five minutes before boarding. Come on, Officer, let’s hustle and score free wine.”
I followed Marcel’s wake in smiling obedience. He proved better at plowing through the human gauntlet standing between the lounge and his need. Face it, Marcel’s smile granted him pushy grace.
Thirty years ago, I started writing gay male romance. My writing remained a secret lest my friends thought me a freak. Writing about men inserting tab A into slot B didn’t seem the norm for a suburban female teenager. Reading Gordon Merrick, John Rechy and Larry Kramer helped me fill in the serious informational gaps. Yes, I read those books in my bedroom. No wonder.
As the years progressed and I discovered my sexual orientation, I still wrote gay male romance, although the stories progressed from lurking in notebooks to hiding on the computer. I wrote fantasies, contemporaries, bodice rippers; I chugged along following my muse.
Now I am glad I kept the writing faith. After six published novellas and novels along with a few spicy short stories, my life has turned into a fun quandary of too many stories hindered by my slow typing skills. I accept the silly challenge and blunder onward into more trauma, drama and humor. I just hope I can keep up with men who insist on running off with the plots!
My books are also for sale at the usual locations. Thanks for reading and thanks to Dawn for having me here today!