In Upstate New York, I used to run 4 miles from home to Wilbur Park, then down East Street to Maple, and home again.
One afternoon I was about halfway through the run, when I saw a young kid, a teenager at most, walking a pit bull nearly as big as he was.
I don't like running past dogs -- they sometimes get spooked and start barking. But the kid was black, and I was afraid to cross the street for fear of being tagged racist. So I persevered.
I heard growling, then "Janell, heel! Stop that!" Then the dog lunged forward and bit me on the butt.
"Janell, Janell, stop that!" the boy yelled, jerking the leash.
Grudgingly, growling, Janell the Pit Bull sat.
"Your monster dog just bit me!" I exclaimed.
"I'm sorry, Mister. Janell's really a sweetheart. She just thought your behind was candy, and she want a taste." He grinned at me with that unmistakable appreciation that sets off your gaydar. I was in no mood for cruising, but I did notice that he was a twink, not a kid -- short, light skinned, solidly built, with dark brown eyes, a broad nose, and sensual lips.
I leaned down to pet Janell. She growled softly. "I'm Boomer. And sweetheart or not, my butt hurts."
"Let me take a look, Boomer." I pulled my pants down a little. I felt his hand on me, probing. "Ok, I see the bite marks, and a little tiny bit of blood. Don't look like a big deal."
"Does Janell have her shots?'
"Oh, sure, she's all set."
My butt was throbbing. "Well, I'm going to Urgent Care anyway. "
"Ok. I'll drive you, a'ight? I just gotta drop Janell off at the house."
We hobbled down the street. Janell was still growling softly.
"I'm a try something, a'ight? If I put my arm around you, maybe she'll think we friends."
"Ok...but what will the neighbors think?"
"Ain't none of their business, is it?" he said with a grin. He wrapped a hard, muscular arm around my waist, and the growling stopped.
Ok, so Malik was gay. And cruising me.
He lived about a block away, in an older house, painted light blue, encircled by a chain link fence, naturally. He opened the front door and let Janell bounce inside. An older woman in a pink nightgown was sitting on the couch, reading a book.
"Hey, Mama, look what Janell caught!" Malik joked. "Can we keep him?" He seemed in very good spirits, for someone whose dog had just been involved in an attack.
"I'm a borrow your car to drive him. Don't worry, I'll be back before you gotta work."
While we waited, Malik told me that he had a job as an orderly at the hospital, and he was studying nursing at SUNY Cooperstown. "I'm like the only guy in some of my classes, and some of those nursing girls are fine, know what I mean?"
Ok, so Malik was straight.
The doctor cleaned the wound, put on a bandage -- it didn't need stitches -- prescribed Advil for the pain, and told me to lay off the running for a few days. Then Malik drove me home and helped me inside, although I didn't really need the help.
I figured he was just being nice so I wouldn't sue him. "Don't worry, it doesn't hurt anymore," I said. "And my insurance will cover the Urgent Care. You and Janell are fine."
Malik shrugged. "You got anybody coming by later to take care of you? Girlfriend or boyfriend?"
I stared. Straight people never said "girlfriend or boyfriend." They always assumed that gay people did not exist. "No, I'm...single at the moment."
"Who gonna cook you dinner later?"
"Nuh-huh, you ain't ordering no pizza on my watch. Tell you what -- I'm a pick you up later, a'ight, and you coming to the house, and I'm gonna cook. Mama's working, so we have the house to ourselves."
"That's not really necessary," I said reluctantly.
"Hey, man, Janell got a bite of you, so it's only fair that you get a bite of me. Or something with your mouth, anyway." He stood facing me, and put his hand on my waist. "I'm a try something, a'ight? You just be cool."
Suddenly we were kissing.
Then he broke away. "K, you rest now. I'll drop Mama off at work and pick you up at 6:00"
That night Malik served pork chops, scalloped potatoes, and green beans, with apple pie for dessert. Then I sat on a pillow on the couch, with Malik's arm around me and Janell's head on my lap. I told him about the Gang of Twelve, that I was dating, one at a time.
"See, I never could get guys who was just into guys," he said, "Or just into girls, either. There's so many fine studs and foxes out there, how can you limit yourself?"
Ok, so Malik was bisexual.
"I find men more than enough."
"Well, I've gone down on men and women both, so maybe I know a few tricks that gay dudes don't." He grinned. "I'm a try something, a'ight?"
He moved the dog's head away and started unzipping me.
In case you were wondering: ripped body, Bratwurst.
See also: The Truth about the Black Penis; The Rich Kid and the Crying Truck Driver.