The Life and Times of Bruce Bramson


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… to describe the next events in my life’s record, I have a few words about the current scene. As I mentioned in my last page, I read a whole lot of blogs: these have displaced downloading freebies from commercial websites. Still, I find myself saving far fewer images than I used to pull down from Usenet. One reason is that the blogs seem to favor what I would call more “manly men”: well developed, if not overly so, and really not in the genre I prefer, which is toy-boys. Another reason is that more and more men these days are covering vast areas of their bodies in tattoos. It really puts me off, given that the unadorned male body is so beautiful in and of itself. At the same time, more and more men are sporting assorted metallic devices: piercing of the ears and other parts too fierce to mention, some approaching and occasionally passing the level of mutilation. These images, too, put me off, though I guess there are some who enjoy that sort of thing. Even with these caveats, I retain and sort on average 1500 images a week! The number of available images is staggering! In general, I do not put on my hard drive:

• Photos of  butts. For my taste, this is the least appealing portion of the male body.

• “Head-shots”, faces.  If they don’t show dick, I don’t save!

• Photos of guys screwing. For reasons that I hope to make clear, fucking has never been my forte!

• With few exceptions, photos of men over 25. I told you I was a retired chicken queen!

• Photos of violence, rape, bondage, torture and the like. Definitely turn me off!

• Photos of guys in leather drag. Likewise, not my thing.

• Photos of guys in female drag. I rate a guy with a dick dressed as a girl as bizarre!


Even leaving out these categories, my collection of images swells ever larger, leading to ever-larger hard-drives for storage. While I have plans to eventually improve these images by de-logoing and so forth, I’ll probably croak before getting around to that. My executor has instructions to wipe and destroy all the drives when the time comes.

So, geting on with the story, here is the next installment of my life.


The job at the repair shop finally petered out: the owner simply mismanaged it so thoroughly that he lost his clients. So the first order of business once college was out of the way was to find a job. It was a long and arduous task. Silicon Valley was years in the future, and jobs for a fellow with a Chemistry minor were not easy to find.

But, I eventually landed a job in a small independent testing lab. The Director (and owner) was a nice fellow, willing to train me. I was chagrinned to find that I had actually learned very little of practical value in college, but Howard was patient and before long I was pretty much running the place. Money was sufficient for my needs. Life was good, though I felt it could be better in ways I found hard to discern.


Following college, I decided it was time to get a “place of my own”: the room I’d occupied for a year and a half close to SJS did not allow me to cook, and some sort of domesticity thing was developing. I moved to a wretched apartment in Santa Clara, near my work. It was cheaply built, and was placed on a huge ant-hill, apparently: I was plagued by ants the whole time I was there. But it did have a (small) kitchen, a living-room, a private bed-room and a bath with shower. It was all I needed, and I could bring tricks there without worry. My recollection now is, though, that I had very few visitors there.

My new job was actually quite fun, and the pay was decent and regular. I settled into a routine. Except, at about the time I moved out of San Jose, I discovered the one gay bar then in San Jose: the Crystal. It was owned by well known brothers who owned a couple of other bars and were reputed to be Mafia family members. It was only gay at night: by day it was a lunchroom and watering-hole for nearby office tenants. It was also right across the street from a Catholic retirement seminary.

I didn’t dress like this to go to the Crystal, but this IS me about that time. ——->

So, after work, I would take a nap, then get dressed for a “night out” and drive into San Jose to hang out in the Crystal. By 9 pm or so, it had switched to gay, the bar-tenders had switched as well, and the place got to be quite a lot of fun. Over time, I came to know some great guys more-or-less my age, but there were not many to whom I was particularly attracted. Still, it was comforting to discover, at last, that there were other guys with many of the same predilections as myself. [In my era, it was entirely possible to reach majority without ever hearing about “homos, queers, or fruits”. I don’t think this is the case today!]

Apparently, few at the Crystal were attracted to me: I worked as unofficial bar-maid for a while to keep from having to just stand around trying to look pretty, or at least not bored to death. I drank only beer, because I found soon enough that I could not drink enough of it to get really drunk before I was so filled up there was no room for more. However, I did drive back to Santa Clara many a night when I was probably DUI, but for some reason  never got caught.

There was one fellow, a regular at the Crystal, who was exceptionally attractive: a wispy blond with (as far as I could assess with him dressed) a nice bod and a beautiful face. Despite repeated tries, I could never get him to give me so much as the time of day. He was, in many respects, the first example of “eye candy” I had encountered. Needless to say, he was popular with most of the patrons, and I watched him trot off with various tricks, always wishing I could be one of them. His name was Hugh, better known as Jeff, derived from his last name. I certainly was not celibate by any means: impromptu parties were common on weekends, and I generally found myself going to one or another of them; since I had a car, kids without one could get a ride with me. I generally would up in bed with someone cute enough to turn me on and get me off. Week-nights I often went home alone. It was a time of wild abandon in some respects, though it left me unsatisfied for the most part.

There came the time when I did go home with a fellow I was not particularly attracted to, but I was lonely and didn’t want to go home alone yet again. We were both slightly drunk, he somewhat more than I, but the promise of a romp in the hay led me to go with him to his place. Once there, and with few preliminaries, we found ourselves in his bed and he wanted to fuck. What he didn’t know, and I failed to tell him, was that up to that time I had not been screwed. I suppose I wanted him to think I was more “out”—or more popular—or more experienced than I really was. Whatever: it turned out to be a night that may well have saved my life, for he fucked me brutally and my protestations of pain fell on deaf ears. It put me quite off the idea of getting fucked ever again, and while there have been a few occasions when I got fucked (and on fewer occasions enjoyed it), my relatively unspoiled bum may be one reason I never developed AIDS.

Then one fateful night, to my astonishment, my idol Jeff hit on me as the Crystal was closing for the night. We walked to his place, not far from the bar, and I got to see what he looked like desnudo. He was spectacular! Tight body, not overly muscular, utterly glabrous and very fair. He looked very British, though in truth he was born out of wedlock in a whorehouse (I was to discover, years later). Like myself, he was totally front-oriented, and we had a marvelous romp. Indeed, over the next week or so, we had numerous romps and sleep-overs. Within a week, I was in love. I fell for this guy in a way I had never suspected possible: I wanted to be near him every moment. I wanted to eat him every few hours. I wanted to wait on him hand and foot. I wanted to wash him everywhere every day. I wanted to move in with him, and I wanted to call him my lover.

It was not to be: Jeff thrived on conquest, and as soon as he conquered someone, he moved on. I’ve found over the years this is one of the greatest failings of gay guys in general: the conquest is everything, and the variety which results is their chief delight. Poor me! I had this stupid notion of settling down and living happily ever after in some sort of domestic bliss. It has been my pattern: I’ve tried it a few times since, but it has never worked, for one reason or another.

I did, however, move into the same building in San Jose occupied by Jeff, a set of four ancient flats at 79 Devine Street (we called it, “ten doors away from Heaven”). Once I got over Jeff’s rejection of me (it wasn’t really rejection: he just moved on to another trick. And another, and another…) I returned to my regular cruising at the Crystal. Jeff and I remained friends until we both moved to San Francisco and lost contact.

I remember one night well: I came into the place around 9 pm and noticed a stranger standing by  himself near the juke-box. He was pretty, hispanic and looked very young. As I went down the bar greeting the guys there, most of whom I knew as friends, I asked who pretty-boy was: no one knew. So, when I reached the end of the bar, I went over to the juke-box and dropped in a quarter.

“Anything you’d like to hear?” I asked the boy.


“Would you like a blow-job?”


“Follow me.”

We waltzed out of the Crystal. The fellow had a car, I directed him to 79 Devine, we repaired to my bedroom. I found out only that he was  enrolled in one of the several Catholic boys’ schools in the area, had gone “over the hill” and had to be back by ten o’clock. He was hot to trot! I sucked him off in a trice, and he departed, never to be seen again. I’d done my first piece of trade. I was back at the Crystal by ten, where my upstaged friends greeted me: “You brazen hussy! Cradle-robber! You whore!” They were all envious, none having had the balls to proposition the kid.

About this time, rapidly getting bored with the Crystal and having to live down my new-found reputation , I overheard someone talking about the “milk run”. Once I got the details, I realized it might be something I would enjoy. I had a car, I had an apartment near First Street, and I had my evenings free. Whoooieeee!

In the late 1950’s, Moffatt Field north of San Jose was an active air base. Guys on leave would come to San Jose to take in movies, drinks, or girls if they could find any. They often hitch-hiked back to the base, using First Street, which headed north to the Freeway  up to the base. I (and several other queens) would pick up guys and proposition them, very often getting them home and getting them off. We all knew that a guy hitch-hiking alone could be had: guys who did not want to fool around usually hiked in groups of two or three. There followed a period of a year or so when I rarely went back to the Crystal, opting instead to service as many “fly-boys” and “air-dales” as I could. I could get a thirteen-button fly open faster than you can say Jack-off Jack Robinson!

Several of the boys became regulars: they would drop in, change into civilian clothes and leave. They’d come back, often a trifle drunk, and I would sober them up with coffee and get them back into their uniforms after getting their load. One or two would occasionally reciprocate, not that I demanded it, but they evidently were comfortable enough with themselves to allow it. And several of the fellows introduced me to buddies they knew would appreciate my services. In time, I worried because there were so many sailors coming and going to my apartment, and I began to drop some of my clients. Then one night, my favorite of the bunch announced that he was shipping out in a few days. He cried, telling me this: he would be going to Korea. He took me to dinner. Back at my place I did him and he did me. Then I took him back to the base, and never saw him again. It seemed to be a sign: my clientele dropped to almost none, and I went back to the Crystal.

There, on a fateful night, I went to the john to take a leak, where I met Johnny. My life took a new turn!

My days “doing trade” turned up later in several of my stories, now all available on the Nifty Archive.

Through these years I spent little time with family. My brothers were all some distance away, and my folks were wrapped up in their own activities. As far as I was aware, none of them knew I was gay. Of course, I was dead wrong, but that’s a tale for the next page.

Coming up: Out for good!




Written by Bruce

December 14th, 2009 at 7:39 pm

Posted in Coming Out