Can a man rebuild his life after he's faced the devastating humiliation of the world finding out he's gay?
Drunk and distraught over a news report about his sexuality, Hollywood movie star Heath Evans accidently drives his truck into a freeway embankment. He welcomes death, figuring it is better than being ostracized by his fans.
Physical therapist, Seiji Kichida doesn't let the crude and often rude actor faze him with his insults and stereotypical comments. He just goes on about his job tending the wounded actor whom he's idolized since he arrived in the United States. Can Seiji help the man who has serious hang-ups about his sexuality or will Heath's rage scare him away? Or will he succumb to the man's sensual glances and tender advances?
This work has been previously published.
"Why don't you give me the keys and let me drive you home," Malcolm Brown said to Heath Evans.
Heath staggered across the parking lot of the bar where he and Malcolm, who were actors, had gone after the news broke about Heath's alleged affair with his costar, Aaron Campbell.
"Fuck off," Heath said. "I'm perfectly capable of driving myself home."
"No, you're not," Malcolm argued. "You're drunk and upset about what Aaron did."
"I am not," Heath argued back. He squinted, trying to make out Malcolm's face in the darkness. What time is it? Heath looked down at the watch on his right arm but could not see the time in the darkness. He walked away from Malcolm, trying to find his black truck. At night all dark colors looked the same to him.
"Don't be a fool, Heath. You're too drunk to get on the freeway," Malcolm said, still trying to get the keys away from him.
Heath pushed the smaller, black man to the ground. "I don't need help," he said with a belch. His breath stank from the whiskey he'd consumed earlier.
"Suit yourself," Malcolm said as he rose and dusted the dirt from his pants. "If you're hell-bent on killing yourself, do it."
Heath grumbled and then found his truck. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts, he managed to get the truck door open. He stepped inside, closed the door and put his head down on the steering wheel until everything stopped swimming.
Malcolm pounded on the window.
Heath lowered the glass. "What the hell do you want?"
"Why don't you sleep it off in your truck," Malcolm suggested.
Heath put the key in the ignition and started the engine. "No," he said, taking the shift out of park. "I'm going home to sleep in my bed, and besides, the truck knows the way home." He laughed at his own joke, which made his head hurt. "Now get the hell out my way." Heath shifted into reverse and backed out of the spot, barely missing Malcolm.
"You almost hit me, you damn fool," Malcolm shouted at him.
Heath ignored him, shifted the gear into drive and sped away. Who does Malcolm think he is anyway? I've been driving tractors since I was eight. Surely I can handle this truck. He continued up the deserted street, fiddling with the knobs on the radio, trying to find something decent. He found nothing but rap and hip-hop music. Damn, this crap makes my head hurt more.
A driver sounded his horn behind him.
Heath looked through the rearview mirror. The lights blinded him so he couldn't make out the other car or its driver. He chose to ignore the horn and continued driving, heading toward the Hollywood freeway.
The damn fool behind him continued to blow his horn and Heath continued to ignore him. He entered the ramp to the freeway, increasing speed so he could get into the traffic. His head bobbed. Must stay awake. Sleep beat in his brain with a passion. Heath yawned, trying to shake off the drowsiness. How many drinks had he had? Heath shook his head again and moved around in his seat. Why did Aaron have to go and open his big mouth? I thought he loved me.
Heath's head bobbed again. Shit, maybe I should have listened to Malcolm. His eyes felt heavy, which didn't help.
A loud horn blasted from the left. Heath woke up just in time to get back into his lane. The driver who blew at him flew past him in an eighteen-wheeler.
Fuck you. Just because you're bigger don't make you better. Heath chuckled to himself. Those big rig drivers think they own the road. His eyes began to close and he stretched them opened again.
The truck swerved on the freeway.
Heath grabbed hold of the wheel and tried to correct as the exit approached. "Shit," he said as he over-corrected and lost control. The front of the truck careened into something solid and he felt himself being lifted and snatched out of the driver's seat. For a moment he seemed to be flying, and then his body landed solidly and painfully on something hard. What the fuck? he wondered as the need for sleep overtook him. Then everything went black.