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Archive for September, 2008

Interview with Officer Michael Truax

Crossing Borders

Z.A. Maxfield

Buy at: http://www.loose-id.com/detail.aspx?ID=755

I took Officer Michael Truax, Officer Helmet, the kids call him, by the arm and led him to a spot in the skate park I thought would be good for a photograph of the two of us.

“I’m sorry I’m late Officer,” I said.

“That’s fine, Miss…”

“Sloane,” I told him. “Call me Sloane. ‘Miss Mayfield’ is my older sister the kindergarten teacher.” I gave him that smile, the one I use on camera but he seemed unfazed by it.

Together we paused while Dave, my photographer, snapped a dozen photographs in quick succession. He gave me a thumbs up, and I returned my attention to Truax.

“Okay, I have a list of questions to ask you,” I said, shuffling through my cards, and we’ll tape your answers.” I indicated where Dave should set up the cameras. “Let’s just go over there and do this. Remember, it’s only for cable, just act natural.”

“Sure,” he said. He followed along, and I got the feeling that nothing much ruffled Officer Truax. He seemed pretty easy going. As we walked, about half the kids called him by name, either Officer Mike or Officer Helmet.

“So,” I said, as soon as Dave had the cameras rolling. “Today we’re here with Officer Michael Truax, also known by the locals as Officer Helmet, and we’re going to talk to him about… Stop rolling… what is that sound?”

“Sorry, Sloane,” Officer Truax fumbled for his cell phone. “I have a text message coming in.” I waited while he read it. He tried to keep from smiling, but the serious expression wouldn’t stay on his face. It was then that I noticed how really, really blue his eyes were.

“Something you’d care to share?” I asked him, as he thumbed his answer into his phone’s keyboard.

“Oh, hell no,” he said, concentrating hard. “Although if we could make this quick, I have a lunch—”

“Okay,” I said, “How about you turn off your cell, and we can get through it all that much quicker.” He frowned.

“I’m sorry, I need to keep it on.”

“All right, well.” I said. “What is it that first made you interested in making sure that all the these children wear their helmets?”

Officer Truax looked over my head at some of the kids. “It’s my job. I don’t like to see people get hurt. And it really is easy, what I would call a no-brainer, to just slap on a helmet. Much better than the other kind of no-brainer, where your head cracks open and your brains fall out. I hate that.”

“I see.” I smiled. This was going to be so boring, even though he was as hot a man as I’d seen in months. Go figure. “Tell me,” I tried a different tack. “And the ladies who are watching. Is there a Mrs. Truax?”

“No, well. Except for my mother, you know.” Was he blushing? I hoped the cameras caught the twin spots of color on his cheeks.

“Well, maybe we could help you out? What do you look for in a woman, Officer Truax?” Time for eye contact with the camera. “I’m sure our viewers would like to know?”

He stared at me, sort of stunned. “I’m sure they’d rather hear about current bicycle safety laws,” he murmured.

“And I’m equally certain we have time for both, the business and the personal side of Officer Michael Truax in this segment,” I assured him.

“No. Well I don’t have time. I’m sorry.” Moments later, he had another text message and laughed harder.

“Everything all right?”

“Fine,” he said, smiling. “As long as I can get away fairly soon.”

“Ah, so this is a hot date,” I remarked.

“Well, it’s kind of a new thing,” he blushed again, and I thought if the cameras weren’t picking up on this, they’d be the only ones. You could see his ruddy cheeks from space.

“Seriously,” He cleared his throat and returned to the subject at hand. “If you’re going to do skate sports, such as inline skating or skate boarding it’s best to purchase a helmet like this,” he held up a photograph of a ProTec skateboard helmet. “If professional skaters wear these then I think it’s safe to say they should be worn by amateurs as well.”

Officer Truax’s phone chimed again. It wasn’t as if he couldn’t just turn the damned thing off. “Officer,” I began, but he cut me off.

“Ordinarily I could give you as much time as you need.” He smiled at me politely. “But I’m late for a lunch engagement, and we didn’t, after all, get started when we agreed.”

“Yes, I know,” I said. That’s my fault. I’m sorry I was late. I—”

Just then, Officer Truax looked beyond me, to a place in the center of the skate park where a young man with long coppery red hair was doing tricks on a skateboard. He executed a number of kick flips and a three-sixty, following it up by grinding along a metal pipe set low into the ground.

The boy’s helmetless head was covered in the most stunning red hair, which flew in the sunlight, streaming behind him. He was older than most of the kids there, maybe college age, and dressed in low slung drawstring khaki pants and a tight tee shirt that didn’t quite meet them. He wore a pair of loud scruffy shoes. He was beautiful. Breathtaking. Every eye was on him. He was like a flame, spinning out of control.

“Hey!” The boy stopped suddenly. Officer Truax cursed under his breath, but smiled a predatory kind of smile. “Hey you, Officer Helmet! Think you can catch me today?” The boy kicked his skateboard up into his hand and took off running.

Shit.” Officer Truax hissed. He looked determined, but there was something else–something indefinably happy–in his blue eyes as he took off running after that kid. I lost sight of the pair of them as first the redhead, and then Officer Truax rounded the corner out of sight behind the restrooms and out into the neighborhood beyond.

“That a wrap Miss Mayfield?” asked Dave.

“Unless you’re planning on running after them,” I said, disgusted.

When I gave my mike to the assistant, Rose. I was already trying to decide how best to cut the interview, such as it was, to fill my segment. Damn community cable.

Dave yelled, loud enough for everyone in the skate park to hear it, “That’s a wrap!”

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An interview with Zack Benjamin from “Zack and the Dark Shaft: Zara’s Bois 1”

This is the quietest I’ve seen Zara’s since it’s much ballyhooed and celebrated opening a couple of years back, but then it’s midday and the popular chic gay nightclub is empty but for a few delivery men and employees trying to get an early start on the weekend.

In several hours, not much longer, this place will be pumping with a mix of club, hip-hop, reggae and pop music to which its hip and trendy patrons will dance the night away and exotic drinks will be flowing from the bar on which the patrons will get tipsy and soused.

I drum my fingers on the lacquered top of the table where I’m sitting, nervously waiting for my subject to arrive as I admire the 3-D underwater murals on all the walls decorated in fluorescent paint that makes the sharks, dolphins, whales and rays glow under UV light.

I spy Zack rushing from the back area now where the owner’s office is and am not surprised that a second later, Zack is captured around the waist by said owner, and Zack’s husband, Quincy Powers.

Zack turns in the bigger man’s arms, seeming to melt against Quincy as he accepts the passionate kiss that his partner bestows upon him.

I had originally thought to interview the pair together, but didn’t think I would get very many questions answered in between all the drool-worthy, lovey-dovey kissing of the newlyweds. They really do make a great couple and I envy their closeness, but know it came at a cost.

I catch myself gaping and can see why Zara had risked so much to be with Quincy, even her brother Zack’s life. I can feel the heat of that kiss all the way from where I’m sitting and lower my eyes, feeling like a voyeur before they finally end it and Zack makes his way over to the table, still breathless.

“I’m sorry for the delay. Duty called.”

“No problem.” I smile at his explanation and watch as he forks a hand through his longish, caramel-brown hair, giving me a better view of his navy-blue eyes. They’re simultaneously penetrating and innocent, and for a moment I wonder who will be interviewing who.

“So how’s business?” I ask unnecessarily, biding my time before I get to what I really want to know.

“Business is great. The club is a real hit. Just like Zara predicted.”

“Is she happy with what you and Quincy have done with the place?”

“If she wasn’t happy, she wouldn’t have agreed to come work here with us.”

I nod, still biding my time before I ask, “So, how is married life treating you?”

“Is this on the record or off?” He chuckles so that I know he’s joking, and sits back in his chair, giving me the full wattage of his scampish grin.

I wonder how he and his partner get any work done being and working in each other’s company all day. I could see why Zara fell into the trap of thinking she could convert a gay man. Quincy and Zack are two hot and sexy guys, not to mention nice, and if they didn’t own up to it or I hadn’t seen them necking, I would never know they are gay.

“Married life is pretty sweet. The sex hasn’t tapered off yet like everyone said it would. It’s actually gotten hotter,” Zack answers.

“And that’s important to you? The sex?”

“Wouldn’t it be to you?” He glances over his shoulder where Quincy is conferring with one of his bartenders, then turns back around to face me with the most beatific expression on his face that I have ever seen on anyone. The look says it all—sex is not the end all and be all for him. Love is.

The look sidetracks me and I glance down at my notes to ground myself before a bartender brings over our drinks that Zack must have pre-ordered—both plain ginger ales. He remembered. I take a sip of my soda then ask, “How is your sister doing?”

“He…she’s doing okay.”

“Still getting used to her being in a man’s body, huh?” I almost laugh at the idea that I’m discussing reincarnation, and not just a sex change, so nonchalantly, but then I am having drinks in a club that until a few months ago was haunted by the ghost of Zack’s sister, Zara. Now the ghost was happy and settled in her new life as a man—Trevor—and living with his new love, Zara’s head bouncer, Ramsey Logan. Boy, I could see why Zack was tongue-tied. This was confusing.

“It’s a lot to get used to,” he said. “For the first twenty-four years of our lives she was my twin sister, a girl. Now she’s…” He shook his head. “It’s an adjustment.”

“And Trevor’s twin brother Travis? How is he adjusting?”

“I guess about the same as I am. We’re kind of sharing custody of Zara since she’s in Travis’s brother’s body. But at least she’s happy.”

“And in love?”

“Ramsey makes her as happy as I’ve ever seen her.”

“How are your parents taking it?”

“They don’t know Zara’s still…around. Can you imagine their reaction?”

I could only imagine how they would take the idea of their wild and irresponsible daughter now inhabiting the body of the formerly wild and irresponsible club boi, Trevor.

But on the other hand, if they could accept the marriage of their gay, white son to a gay black man, they might be able to accept Zara’s new incarnation.

“I think it’s just better to let sleeping dogs lie,” Zack murmured. “At least for now.”

I looked into his solemn eyes and nod.

Maybe one day in the not so distant future he and I can go and break the happy news to his and Zara’s parents, but for now I have to agree to let sleeping dogs lie. For now.

~*~*~*~

Zack and the Dark Shaft: Zara’s Bois 1 is available here:

http://www.sirenpublishing.com/graciecmckeever/zatds.asp

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