Milton, Steve. “Creampuffs”, (Straight Guys: Volume 11), CreateSpace, 2015.
Daniel Cohen is a used car salesman who works for Nick, a sociopath and closeted gay man. Set in Wheeling, West Virginia in the 1990s, we see that Nick is a sadist who seems to humiliate everyone he comes onto contact with. Daniel is a star salesman who works really hard so as not to incur Nick’s wrath. Nick has an office ritual that he refers to as “eating the snake” and this is a bit too much for Daniel to deal with do he creates an erotic plan to deal with Nick. He really hates Nick when he gets into these kinds of moods yet he knows that he and Nick are two of a kind, gay men trying to live with a little bit of dignity in a cruel world. “Once their hate is exhausted, they can only find love”.
This little story is really about homophobia and self-hated and we see how these bring about strange behavior. It also shows us that love is powerful and can win in the end. It took Daniel finding the courage to show Nick that it is just fine for two men love each other regardless of what others think and say and when he did, things began to change. At first I was a bit off by the way Nick is presented to us but as the story moved forward I understood when writer Steve Milton was going. It is a concise well-written story whose message is hidden at first but makes sense once we understand where it is heading.