fucking disability, and I'd
never pretend it's just a little inconvenience.
IN THE SPOT
Ed Gallagher, disabled
gay activist, media man, and writer, has a lot to say, no doubt
about it. He talks about depression, suicide, what it was like to
be in the closet, what it's like now to be a quad.
to journalist Ben Mattlin's
December 1999 profile in SPINEWIRE
Ed didn't use to be so loquacious. At
the age of 27, in 1985, the University of Pittsburgh graduatewho
was such an accomplished football player that he tried out for the
New York Jetstried killing himself by diving off the Kensico
Dam in Valhalla, NY, about 30 miles north of New York City. Instead,
he broke his neck.
These days Ed can choose
when and where he speaks: He travels the High School Circuit to
talk to kids, he's got a TV talk show and his own nonprofit foundation,
and now he's got a novel, JOHNNY IN THE SPOT.
Three Excerpts from
JOHNNY IN THE SPOT by Ed Gallagher
my brew real slowly for reasons of the rip-off price, plus to linger
longer and see what's up. I sometimes wonder what I'm doing at night
spots like this. I despise the smoke, but don't know of better environments
to meet sexy men who possess similar attractions. Whatever. I may
like the boys as well as them, but that's where all similarities
Sexually, I'm out of
my league, if whomever I might meet is obsessed with performance.
I'm not into competition with these able-bodied guys. I think I
know what I can and can't handle. Flirting is one thing; bare-ass
sharing is another. I've done it many times in the last fifteen
years, but never got near the point of putting my mind and body
off-duty to attempt intimate pleasure for pleasure's sake. I don't
know. I've never spent sexual time with another SCI dude. Maybe
I should respond to some personal ads, or write one myself.
When I see certain guys
rolling around, I can sincerely be attracted. Intimacy with a guy
like me would save us both from explaining about what we can and
can't do sexually. We're familiar with the bodily scene. Something
to pursue, but only recreationally. Will that ever change? Men over
thirty-five usually don't tempt me, for whatever reason. Rick was
the first and last. But that was different. As you know.
(Before Johnny's spinal cord injury)
He looked at the white
door, and pushed it shut. His bulging green eyes were inches away
from my browns as his lips, the color of a raw wiener, surrounded
by a dazzling array of blond, brown, and red stubble, nestled near
mine. His curly dark blond hair, crowned with a thick ring of plastic
thorns, was full of life and covered most of his reddened ears.
I was trembling, and
he noticed. He massaged my shoulder with a forceful left arm. His
strong hand sprouted dirty blonde and white hairs highlighted with
gold and silver costume jewelry for this Herculean affair. I inhaled
its fine, sweaty odor, tasting and swallowing whatever I invisibly
could. Ned brushed his noble Greek nose against mine. His right-ringed
fingers and palm remained glued to the closed pine. This prevented
"Relax, relax. It's what
we both need," he whispered. I was feeling hot, excited, and ambivalent
as I gazed at his spectacular eyes. "But I ..." Before anything
else came out of my mouth, his tasty tongue came in, painting mine
with a salivary assault that I never wanted to end. Nothing like
Donna's wet kissing. His adrenaline bolted into heated action as
he slipped his sweeping tongue downward to my bare nipples, licking,
tickling, teasing them with such hungry ferocity that my loomed
bulge blossomed in no time. I could not see his jewels through the
toga, yet felt my way there, cupping a steamy hand on his loosely
jock strapped balls. I maneuvered to feel the most that I could
handle of his pouched prick. No plastic prison for that dong of
"Yeah, do it. Play with
it. Play with it," he cooed, in-between mopping his mouth and tongue
on mine with the dedication of a high Mr. Clean. I got rougher with
my hand. He began breathing real hard. His body tensed, and he planted
his slippery lips onto the nape of my neck. It drove me absolutely
wild. I became even more enthusiastic with my manual dexterity.
His thunderous groan and moan was sufficiently muffled. I surmised
that the desired outcome, so to speak, was thrillingly achieved.
A few moments of body to body silence with light stroking here,
there, everywhere. My cock was up and ready.
Suddenly, he shoved me
briskly to the side. Ned snorted like a pleased pig and fell in
love with the mirror. "Good ... aaah ... good. Hah. Get dressed,
huh?" he snapped, turning from the glass. He wore an ugly frown.
"Huh?" I protested, in astonishment. "You heard me." "But Ned, I-"
"Shut up and get dressed, I said."
He was too huge too resist.
I sighed disappointedly, and bent over for my shirt.
"And cut that shit,
too," he growled. An authoritative, warning tone. I was perplexed
beyond belief, but there was no use in trying to discuss the issue
"All right, all right,"
I moaned, a bit too indignantly for his liking. He spat into the
yellow head, then grabbed my limp neck around its Adam's apple.
I ceased breathing out of shock and near strangulation as two heavy
knocks on the other side hit the door.
This month is winding down the same as last, and I'm
getting increasingly wound up. The damn miserable climate of February
doesn't make going out a joy either; that's a weak excuse though.
I don't think I'm desperate for only that type of contact, but I
do know that making some kind of intimate connection with outer
as well as inner life is mandatory.
This freaking feeling
consistently kicks and screams inside my hammered gut every day
and night, violently demanding to be born or hatched, whatever the
case may be. Rose Johnny's baby, perhaps? Maybe it's time to keep
on playing, but also search for some lasting food for that big,
hungry, fighting voice. Maybe, I said… You know, I'm not trying
to be a wise guy. If I come off in an offensively defensive or defensively
offensive manner, it's mainly because I have a big problem letting
someone in too close. Intimacy is certainly not one of my strong
points in the social skills department, especially in so-called
As far as I'm concerned,
detachment equals survival (do I even want to?). Like Simon & Garfunkel
used to wail, "I have my books ... and my poetry to protect me ...
I am shielded here in my aaaaaarmor." Throw in the stereo, TV, VCR,
some tapes, chips, soda, and a bolted door, and you have the manufactured
paradise of a jail built and guarded by Johnny Spokain.
Am I contradicting what
I wrote in the prior paragraph? Who knows? The human mind is a complex
instrument, anyway. I'm still learning to play it better. How about
you? Now, thinking of instruments to handle ... I do like guys,
but the idea of settling down with some dude and playing house,
giving each other flowers on Valentine's Day, cooking dinner, doing
laundry and shopping together still borders on too much sissy-sharing
for me. Guess I've still got too much Archie Bunker crap of my own
inside which I better find ways of dumping.
Carrie finishes scrubbing
my required parts and ventures into the kitchen to commence preparing
tonight's meal consisting of two round Grand Union chicken patties
sprinkled with garlic powder and black pepper married to five tablespoon's
worth of Hungry Jack instant mashed potatoes and a medium-sized
salad of iceberg lettuce, yellowed celery, and a few whole radishes,
so that during these lean mean days I have something hot and cool
in my kisser.
She's singing again.
I hold the snaky shower hose with my right hand and position the
well-hung nozzle before my face, shutting my brown eyes and squirting
and spurting the hot liquid turned on high and forceful all over
my open mug and beckoning body. Since I get the warning that a urination
is coming, I proceed to gently tap the bladder area below my navel
with my left fist to accelerate the gushing of my urinary geyser.
Like I said, I can feel
deep inside my bladder and balls, so fortunately I'm tipped off
biologically when the time is fast approaching to get pissed off,
literally. Very strange, not feeling my cock outside, but that hot,
mildly stinging sensation inside is quite real. I hate it all.
But at least feeling
something within gives me a little more control than some other
guys and dolls have in this weird game.
IN THE SPOT is available in "electronic library" format at www.1stbooks.com,
and in traditional paperback format from www.
amazon.com. Or call 1-800-839-8640 to order direct.
is Executive Director of Alive To Thrive Inc.
You can reach him in New Rochelle, NY at 914-576-0355.