A Ukrainian Melody, Sort Of …”
On the first Saturday morning I was working at the Baths I was thunder-struck when I saw Father Echo climbing the stairs. Father Echo wasn’t his real name, he was known as Echo because of the two upper unfinished floors of the school building which the school had allowed their band, the drum and bugle corps, to use as their rehearsal place. Unfinished, so that the bare open space cast an echoing sound from whoever spoke up, it was like being in the Grand Canyon rather than on the streets of the Lower East Side. And Father Echo loved being up there in the cacophonous space when the drummers drummed and bugles bugled that in the quiet space that followed the barest sound turned it into a loud echo. That’s why the boys called him Father Echo because he loved to talk out loud to the boys who had just rehearsed.
“Good job, men!” he would shout and praise them.
Good job, men! his echo echoed.
He instantly became known as Father Echo that even it had been heard that a few of the nuns even called him that, Father Echo.
But I was thunder-struck in seeing him because he was without his priestly collar or the black pants and black shirt he always had on, instead was wearing an orange T-shirt and checkered pants, totally unlike anything I imagined he’d be seen in. But it was too late for me to skirt out of his way; he probably was surprised at seeing me there as well.
“Danylo,” he happily raised his eyes, “what are you doing here?”
“Slava Isusu Khrytsu Glory to Jesus Christ,” typical clergy greeting. “I’m working here, Father. I have a job here now, I’m their go-fer boy,” and I proudly smiled but was still embarrassed, looking away from his gaze at me.
“Is that right? Well, Danylo, that’s ideal. I knew I should go to the Baths more often,” and he winked, “And you are the perfect boy for this place, the St. Marks Baths, wouldn’t you say?”
All I could do was answer, “Yes, Father,” and bow my head as if we were at a church service and not in a bathhouse with Father Echo licking his lips. Echo was a robust man, big, large, tall and wide enough but I never would think of him as fat, being big was more in line with his demeanor of being a large muscular man, probably six feet and a half, if not more. And that afternoon, after finishing my few hours of go-fering, going and getting anything they wanted, I was back in my bedroom at home just dreaming and whacking off again. Still, I couldn’t get rid of the image of Father Echo stripped of his clothes and carrying a towel around his neck, his torso bare of any other holy priestly material looking back at me and winking. His hard stiff penis was also very big. So not only was he a priest but very human, too. I masturbated more that day than any other day, I think, but who the devil knows?
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