Friday, July 17, 2015

Cruised by a Man in Black

New York, March 2000

When I was living in Manhattan, I always got off at the Christopher Street Station, even though I actually lived closer to 14th Street.  I never got tired of walking past the Stonewall Inn, where gay liberation began, or the Gay Liberation Monument in Christopher Park.

Sometimes there was a Man in Black walking next to me.

He was in his 20s, shorter than me, with broad shoulders, dark skin, and Asian features.  Very handsome.  He spoke slowly and formally, as if English wasn't his first language.

I could never remember exactly when he approached.  One moment I was walking alone, and the next, he was walking beside me.

When I thought about it, I figured that he was a Catholic priest, friend of Andre, who belonged to a Traditional Catholic spiritual community.  But I didn't think about it much.  Everything seemed perfectly ordinary.

As we walked five or six blocks down Christopher Street and the Avenue of the Americas, the Man in Black asked me questions.

Mostly trivial:
"What kind of food is your favorite?"
 "What occupation does your father have?"

Sometimes gay-specific:
"Are there locations where gay people congregate?"
"Why does your government forbid gay people from serving in the military?"

I was pleasantly surprised that a Catholic priest was so gay-friendly.

Sometimes very personal: 
"What is your preferred method of achieving an orgasm?"
"Do you have a preferred size in the penises of your partners?"

But I answered them without hesitation, never even thinking how odd it was for a priest to be asking me about penis sizes as we walked down the Avenue of the Americas together.

When we got to 13th Street, I turned right to go to my apartment, and the Man in Black vanished.  I assumed that he was continuing north to the Church of St. Francis Xavier, but actually I never saw where he went.

He was definitely my type, and I'm particularly interested in priests.  But for some reason I never thought of inviting him out on a date, or for a hook up.

Then one day in the spring of 2000, he invited himself.

When we got to 13th Street, I turned right, as usual, but the Man in Black continued to walk next to me..  "I am very interested in new experiences," he said.  "If you are free just now, could we go to your room?"

I didn't protest.

When we got to my apartment, the Man in Black led me directly into my bedroom.  Strange, since he had never been there before.

"Would you like a soda?" I asked.  "Or some water?"

"Certainly, if that is customary.  Water, please."

On the way to the kitchen, I thought, "Does he really want to hook up, or am I imagining it?  If I make a move and he's not interested, he'll think all gay men are sexual predators.  But if I don't make a move..."

When I returned, the Man in Black was sitting on the bed.  "Is this your preferred starting location?" he asked.

"Um...sure, but...well, I thought you guys were celibate."

He took the glass of water from my hands and drained it in a few gulps, as if he was very thirsty -- or nervous.  "Oh, no, we can enjoy sexual intimacies with whomever we wish.  We get very few opportunities, however.  There is so much other work to do.  Should I remove my clothing?"

What followed was very unsatisfying.  The Man in Black had a nice physique and respectable beneath-the-belt gifts, but he was singularly inept.

He kissed by opening his mouth as wide as he could.

He just lay there like a statue, responding without emotion, saying nothing except "Am I doing it right?"

He wasn't.

When we were finished, instead of cuddling, he got up and quickly dressed.  "Thank you very much," he said.  "This was very enjoyable."  He headed for the door.

"Shouldn't we exchange telephone numbers?"

The Man in Black looked surprised.  "If it is customary."  I gave him my card, and he wrote a name and a telephone number on a piece of paper.  Then I walked him to the door, and he vanished into the cool Manhattan evening.

I never saw him again.

The name he gave was "Mario Sanchez, OSB" and the telephone number was for the Department of Religion at Columbia University, but there was no one by that name on the faculty.

OSB is the abbrevation for the Benedictine Order.  There are several Benedictine monasteries in New York (none in Manhattan), and the monks wear black cassocks.

But then, why the mysterious appearances and disappearances?  The bizarre questions?  The "we aren't celibate."

Later I read Jenny Randles' The Truth Behind the Men in Black, about the weird men dressed in old-fashioned black suits who question people who see UFOs.  They ask bizarre questions and behave oddly, yet no one finds them unusual at the time. (They were popularized in a series of movies starring Will Smith).

Maybe the Man in Black was an alien-human hybrid conducting research on gay people.

Or just a Catholic monk with a strange cruising technique.

See also: The Football Player who Got Unstuck in Time.; Stuck at Jamaica Station with a Student.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

December 2001: The Pizza Delivery Guy

When I was growing up, the best pizza in town came from Harris Pizza on 14th Avenue, about a half mile from our house.

The best in the world -- I've never found anything close.  Ground sausage, with the cheese on top. Real, fresh mushrooms, not the canned stuff.

We never got delivery -- why wait around, and then have to tip the delivery boy?  Dad just drove over and picked it up.

After I moved to West Hollywood in 1985, I went back home for visits twice a year, at Christmastime and in the summer, and I always insisted on getting Harris pizza at least once.

My parents moved to Indiana in 1995, so I didn't get back to Rock Island often, maybe every two years.  I stayed with my brother, who lived downtown, a long way from 14th Avenue, but I still insisted on ordering it at least once during my visit.

During the summer of 2001, a few weeks before I moved from New York to Florida, I was back in Rock Island visiting Ken, and for some reason I got the job of driving my sister-in-law's car to pick up the pizza.



I had never actually been inside Harris Pizza before.  I was surprised by how small the space was, how much it smelled of sausage and mushrooms, and how hot the guy at the counter was.

He was stunning!  College age, oval face, sparkling black eyes, wavy black hair, nice chest and biceps.  His name tag said "Jack."

I couldn't decide which I liked better: the smell of the Harris Pizza, or Jack saying "May I help you?"

My pizza wasn't quite done, so we chatted a bit.  "I grew up in Rock Island.  Whenever I visit, I always come back for a Harris Pizza."

"Where do you live now?"

"New York.  I have an apartment in the East Village." (I didn't mention that I would be vacating it in three weeks.)

Jack grinned.  "Wow, that's exciting!  I'd love to live in New York someday.  I'm studying theater arts at Augustana, so Broadway is my dream."

"Hey, I know lots of theater people.  If you visit New York, I could introduce you to my friend Blake, who works for...."

Then my pizza slid up from the kitchen.  I paid and left -- forgetting to give Jack my name or phone number.

The next day I went to Harris Pizza at about the same time.  No Jack -- and it would be pushy to ask the staff about him.

And I was leaving tomorrow!

Thinking fast, I called my friend and former bully, Dick.

"Harris Pizza!" he exclaimed.  "All that fat and sodium!   I never go near that place -- you might as well be eating a deep-fried Big Mac!

"The pizza might be bad, but you should see the pizza boy!  His name is Jack, he's a theater student at Augustana, and he's incredible!"

"Your type, huh?  A short bodybuilder with dark skin, an extra big sausage, and a degree in theology?"

"Well -- rather tall and fair skinned, actually.  More your type.  But gorgeous with a capital G!  And he was obviously cruising me!  Except I'm flying back to New York tomorrow, so I don't have time to pursue him."

"So you want me to pursue Jack for you?"

"Just go to Harris Pizza, mention me, maybe wow him with the list of celebrities I've seen naked -- feel free to add Tom Cruise to the list -- and maybe get his number.  I'll take it from there."

"I don't know, Potsie," he said, referring to Happy Days.  "Sounds like a crazy scheme. What's in it for me?"

"Well...if Jack and I hit it off, I'm willing to share.  Besides, you owe me for the 3,000 times you called me a 'sissy,' 'wuss,' and 'girl' back in grade school."

"Ok, ok," Dick grunted.  He didn't like to be reminded of his bullying days.  "I'll see what I can do."

The next day I went back to New York, and got so immersed in packing and truck rentals and lease walk-throughs that I forgot all about it.  Dick didn't say anything in his emails.

Then in November he emailed me: "Are you coming back to Rock Island for Christmas?"

"I wasn't planning to.  I was just there last June -- I don't want to wear out my welcome at my brother's house."

"You can stay with me.  I have a special present for you. Come the day after Christmas -- but not until 6:00 pm.  That's when the present is coming."

Puzzled, I agreed.  I spent Christmas with my parents, then rented a car and drove out to Rock Island on the 26th, timing my trip to arrive at 6:00 sharp.

Dick opened the door in a Christmas sweater, gave me a bear hug, and took his present -- a rather expensive set of wine glasses.  I noticed that the table was set for three.

"So, you mentioned a special present?"

"Right, right."  He yelled "Okay, now!" into the back of the house.  "Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets" from Damn Yankees started playing.

And a shirtless twink in a Santa hat and red jockstrap came dancing seductively out of the bedroom.

Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets,
And little man, little Lola wants you!

"Merry Christmas!" he said, grinding against me.

I helped myself to a grope.  "You got me a twink?  How thoughtful!"

Dick grinned.  "You idiot, this is Jack -- the famous hot pizza boy you were all crazy about!"

Over dinner (for which Jack got dressed), I heard the story:  last summer Dick went to Harris Pizza as I requested, but Jack wasn't there, so he gave up.  But in September, he read that the Augustana Theater Department was performing Death of a Salesman, with someone named Jack as Biff.  He wasn't a big theater fan, but he went to the performance, talked to Jack afterwards -- sure enough, it was the same guy.  And they started dating.

"Since you're kind of responsible for us meeting, Dick wanted to surprise you," Jack added.  "But not recognizing me kind of ruined it."

"Well, I only talked to you for five minutes, six months ago.  But it's a nice surprise now -- you're even hotter than I remember."

"You are, too," Jack said.

"Ok, enough grade school 'Oh, you're cute!' bull!" Dick exclaimed.  "Everybody thinks everybody is hot -- now let's get busy.  We have some sharing to do!"

Jack moved in with Dick a few months later.  They've been together ever since.

See also: Hooking Up with My Old Bully; My 12 Porn Movie Hookups; and The Museum Guard in My Bed.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Joseph and I Hook Up in a Haunted House

Terre Haute, Indiana, July 1983

One day in July of my first year in grad school in Bloomington, Joseph called: "You up for a road trip this Saturday?"

"Toga!  Toga!" I cried, hoping for a road trip to the gay bars in Indianapolis.

"I gotta go to Terre Haute to pick up some stuff, then drop it off at my parents' house in Broad Ripple [a suburb of Indianapolis]."

"How much stuff?" I asked suspiciously.  I didn't want to be conned into helping him move.

"Not a lot, just a few keepsakes.  My parents are selling my great-aunt Rose's house, and they want me to go get what I want before everything gets packed up and sold."

"Are other guys coming, too?"

"There aren't a lot of guys around Bloomington during the summer, so it will be just you and me."  He paused.  It's a pretty long trip, so we'll probably have to spend the night in Broad Ripple before heading back."

Spend the night!  I know what that meant!

 Joseph was  one of the first gay guys I met in Bloomington: an undergraduate history major, very cute, with black curly hair, a baby face, and a lean tan physique. Definitely my type!  But he was also very popular, dating Rick the philosophy major, then Mark the optometrist, then a medical student named Manfred (really!), so I never managed to squeeze in.

Obviously I wasn't his first choice, but who cared?  This was my chance to get intimate!

Saturday after lunch we set out for Terre Haute, about 1 1/2 hours away.  Joseph said that he grew up in Broad Ripple, but they drove out to visit his mother's aunt Rose almost every weekend.  He had fond memories of fishing in the Wabash River, drive-in movies, dinner at the Pizza King, and drinking hot chocolate while watching tv.

"When did she die?" I asked.

"Oh, she's not dead.  She's in a nursing home with dementia.  She fades in and out.  Some days she's almost normal, and others she thinks it's 1941, and I'm her brother Oscar.  But she can still name all of the U.S. presidents, in order, up to Richard Nixon."

"Did she know about you [being gay] before her dementia?"

"That was three years ago, when I had only just admitted it to myself.  She was always worried that I wasn't dating enough.  One of the last things she said to me before her dementia began was 'You shouldn't be so picky, or you'll never find a girl.'  I was too scared to tell her I was gay."


Aunt Rose used to be a professor of American history at Indiana State University.  She lived in a big, two-story house in West Terre Haute, just across the Wabash.  It was painted a depressing shade of grey, but it had a wide porch and a big, carefully mown front lawn.

As we walked up to the house, I saw what looked like a face in the attic window!

I stopped and grabbed Joseph's arm.  "Does anyone still live here?"

"No. But about a dozen members of the family have keys.  We drop by to do housework, pay Aunt Rose's bills, and such.  We still hold family gatherings here.  Why?"

"Oh, um...it's just well kept up."  I didn't want to turn Joseph off by being leery of an old house.

The living room was mostly packed up and ready to go, all of the pictures taken from the walls and the furniture all carefully marked with the name of whoever had claimed it.  Joseph took a candy dish and a ceramic figure of a dog.

The kitchen was cluttered with pots, pans, dishes, and various obscure implements in piles on the counters and tabletops.  Joseph took a fondue set and the cup his Aunt Rose used to serve his juice in.

It was very warm.  He turned on the air conditioner, but we still had to take our shirts off.

Next came the study, heavy laden with books from a career as a college professor: a three-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill's History of the English-Speaking Peoples, Bruce Caxton's Civil War trilogy, plus mystery novels, literature, folklore, music, and about a hundred books on gardening.  Joseph and I filled five boxes with books to argue over later.

He left Aunt Rose's bedroom alone.

Upstairs was a storage room that was pack rat heaven.  50 years of Christmas and birthday cards. Stacks of report cards and school papers. Old magazines, carefully bundled.   Old wrapping paper.  Slide carousels.  Souvenirs of long-ago trips.  Joseph took a nativity set, some Christmas tree ornaments, and a painting of the house.

He left the first bedroom alone and zeroed in on the second, where he stayed whenever he slept over.  There were two twin beds with flowered comforters, a night stand between them, an old-fashioned dresser, and a little card table with framed pictures of Aunt Rose's family.

"Help me get this comforter.  And I think I want the lamp, too.  I used to fall asleep with the light on, and Aunt Rose would come in and turn it off...."  he stopped short.  He was trembling.

"Are you ok?"

"She joked that I liked this room so much, I should spend my honeymoon here.  I just... wish Aunt Rose could know about who I really am.  I'm sure she'd be ok with it...I'm so much happier now then when I was trying to be straight, with all the friends I've made...and .."  He started to cry.  I rushed to put my arms around him.  Then somehow we were kissing.

Joseph pushed me down onto the bed, and we kissed and groped for a long time.  Then he unzipped me and moved down beneath the belt.  A few moments later, I saw a shadow.

There was a woman standing next to the bed!

Not a ghost, completely corporeal. Elderly, white haired, wearing a fluffy terrycloth bathrobe.  I couldn't make out a face.  She was standing parallel to us, facing the night stand.  As if she was about to turn out the light.

I screamed.  She vanished.

Joseph jerked his head away.  "What's wrong?  Did I bite you?"

"Is anybody else in the house?" I asked, panting.

"Why?"

"I think I just saw your Aunt Rose!"

"You're spooked."  Joseph lay his head on my chest.  "This house isn't haunted, and besides, Aunt Rose isn't dead.  We can go visit her tomorrow, if you want."

"Let's just...let's just finish up and get out of here.  I don't want to be here after dark!"

We grabbed the comforter and the lamp, locked up the house, and drove up to Broad Ripple for dinner with Joseph's parents.  He wasn't out to them, but they still put us up for the night in his old room, where we finished what we had started earlier.

In the morning we had breakfast, sorted through some books to take back to Bloomington, and then, as promised, dropped by the nursing home to visit Aunt Rose.

She was a frail, elderly woman sitting by herself in the tv lounge.

Joseph said "Hi, Aunt Rose" and hugged her.

She looked at him blankly, without recognition.

"This is my friend Boomer, from school."

Suddenly she perked up.  "Oh, Boomer, nice to finally meet you in person!"

"But this is the first...."

"Are you treating our Joseph right?  Oh, of course you are!  Forgive my big mouth!  We were just so worried about him.  It seemed like he would never find a fellow...."

Joseph blushed.  "Aunt Rose, Boomer is my school friend."

Then she was gone again: she had to get ready for her class, but she couldn't find her notes, and were we her new teaching assistants?

Joseph figured that someone in the family must have known he was gay, and outed him to Aunt Rose during one of her lucid moments.

But I think she saw me the day before, at her house: she came into the bedroom to turn off the light.

See also: The Halloween Homophobe

Swimming with a Boy Named Twilight

Titusville, Florida, Summer 1967

I had a recurring dream, or an especially vivid memory, of being attracted to a boy in my earliest childhood, maybe even before I felt the biceps of the bodybuilder on the beach.

A very short house with a tall palm tree out front.  A woman, blond in a flowered dress.  A fat, blustery man.  A girl eating strawberries with whipped cream. A baby. And the boy.

Older than me, but still a kid, and taller, with blond or dirty-blond hair. I remembered his name as Twilight.

This guy is over 18.  I didn't remember how old Twilight was.

There were three main images:

1. We are watching tv in a room with oak panels. I think that a guy on screen is cute, and turn to Twilight for  validation.  He smiles.

2. In a car, driving somewhere: Twilight is sitting next to me in the back seat.  He says "Look at that" and reaches over my lap to point it out.  His warm, tanned arm rests briefly on my thigh.

3. Twilight is trying to coax me into a warm, salty ocean.  He splashes through the surf, yells, "Come on!"  His dark-tanned skin glistens in the sun.  There's a line of white on his back, where his swim trunks have ridden down.

Over the years Twilight grew in symbolic importance, until he became a Harlequin figure, a Jack of Shadows. The smile reveals the existence of same-sex love.  The touch demonstrates that it can be be physical as well as spiritual. And the cry of "Come on!" invites me to embrace its warmth: "don't dream it, be it."

Or was he a real boy that I actually met?

In the fall of 2004, when I was living in Florida, still glowing with the success of tracking down my Grandma Davis's gay friend from art school, I decided to try my sleuthing skills out on the mysterious Twilight.

1. First problem: we always took the same vacation, camping at a lake up north, in Michigan, Minnesota,or Canada.  I remembered only one variation: when I was 12,  to the Smoky Mountains National Park, where I met  a teenage Indian god.

I called Mom and asked if we ever visited anywhere with palm trees and a beach.

"We went down to South Carolina in 1967 -- just after you were in 1st grade -- you took a bath with your Cousin George, remember?"

"What about a house with a palm tree out front, and a boy named Twilight?"

"Oh, you must mean Twyla!  My friend in high school.  She and her husband moved to Florida, so after we visited your Cousin George, we drove down there for a few days."

That explained Twilight.  "Did they have a son about my age?"

"I don't think so.  Just a daughter.  What was her name...Suzie, maybe?"

2. Then who was the boy? (I still thought of him as Twilight.) My next step was to find Twyla and her husband Bill.

Mom lost track of them over the years.  Their address and phone number from 1967 was no longer valid. But there weren't many people named Twyla in Florida, so I found one -- a student at Florida State -- and emailed her, hoping for the best.

3. The return email: "Oh, you mean my grandmother!  I was named after her!"

Did she have a son who was around ten years old in 1967?

"No, my only uncle was born in 1965."  The baby in my memory.

"Could I get in contract with your grandparents?"

They had both passed away, but Twyla gave me the email address of her mother -- Stacey, not Suzie. The girl eating strawberries.

4. "I used to play with a boy from down the street," Stacey wrote.  "He might have come with us to the beach when you were visiting.  His name was Teddy.  I don't remember his last name, but I can tell you where he lived."

5. So I drove three hours from Fort Lauderdale to Titusville, and stood again in front of the "short house" (ranch style) of my recurring dream. It was a shock to see it again in real life.

I walked to the end of the block and knocked on the door of a pink-painted ranch house.  A middle aged man answered -- tall, balding, bearded, husky, wearing a t-shirt advertising the Florida Gators.  He eyed me suspiciously.  "Can I help you?"

"I'm trying to track down a friend who used to live here when I was a kid.  Do you know anyone named Teddy, about fifty years old?"

"That's me. You say we were friends?"

The mysterious Twilight was actually Ted Spencer, a computer systems engineer from Orlando, in town visiting his parents.

Straight: a wife and three kids, one in high school and "quite the ladies' man," the other two "married and out of the house."  And a newborn grandson.

"So you only knew Ted during that one vacation when you were six years old?" The Wife asked as we lounged in the pool in the back yard.  "He must have made quite an impression on you!"

"You have no idea!"

Twilight grinned and hugged her affectionately.  "Haven't I always told you that I'm an unforgettable character?"

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Preacher Discovers Homa-Sekshuls


Rock Island, September 1977

When I was growing up, every Preacher had a hobby-horse, some sin or social problem that he screamed about in every sermon, regardless of the topic: working on the Sabbath, playing cards, liberal Christians, Communists, hippies.

 In 1977, at the start of my senior year in high school, we got a new preacher, Brother Spearman, whose hobby-horse was the Unpardonable Sin.

 God didn’t distinguish between little sins (like falling asleep in church) or big sins (like going to a movie).  The punishment was always the same, burning for eternity in the Lake of Fire.  But,  if you went down to the altar and moaned and sobbed loud enough, God would forgive you for any sin, no matter how heinous.

With one exception. If you committed the Unpardonable Sin, you were doomed to the Lake of Fire, no matter how often you went to the altar and moaned and sobbed.  God wouldn't forgive you.



God's Word didn't tell us which sin was unpardonable, though occasionally a Sunday school teacher speculated that it was believing in evolution, setting foot inside a Catholic church, listening to rock music, or getting your hand stamped for re-entry into an event.  Preachers usually kept mum, because their jobs depended on a lot of sinners going down to the altar, and you wouldn't go down unless you thought you could be forgiven.

When Brother Spearman dangled the Unpardonable Sin in front of the congregation; he got people to the altar, but it kept backfiring.  God held grudges.  When you got to the altar, you had to work to persuade Him.  You had to cry hard, moan and gasp, and plead over and over, sometimes for ten minutes, sometimes longer.  But suddenly anyone who didn't feel the ecstatic release of Victory within a few seconds concluded that they were doomed.

One Sunday Laverne Larsen, son of the Sunday School Superintendent (yes, a boy was named Laverne), was having trouble praying through to Victory.  Suddenly he brushed off the hands of the church men, leapt to his feet, and screamed “God won’t forgive me! I committed the Unpardonable Sin!” He ran sobbing from the sanctuary.

Making church royalty doubt their salvation did not bode well for Brother Spearman’s continuing employment. He had to think of a new altar call draw, and fast!

He hit on the answer when he read a newspaper article about a town somewhere out west passing a law that prohibited normal people from speaking out against Homa-Sekshuls.

Suddenly Brother Spearman realized: the Unpardonable Sin was turning Homa-Sekshul!



God liked symmetry. The first sin, that got man expelled from the Garden of Eden, was Adam seeing Eve naked and realizing that men and women were different. So the last sin, the one that could never be forgiven, was a man rejecting that difference. God talked about it on practically every page of His Word.

When the hippie boys started acting like girls in the 1960s, we called them harmless lunatics. But Satan was able use their long hair and beads and rawhide fringes against them. He whispered “Men are just like women, so why not become a woman?” And countless thousands turned into Homa-Sekshuls. And now we were allowing Them to roam freely in the streets and appear all over the tv screen -- on Three's Company, Soap, Barney Miller.  




There were even teenage Homa-Sekshuls, Shaun Cassidy and Leif Garrett, who sang songs to brainwash kids into turning that way!

I had never heard gay people mentioned in church before, not once in thousands of sermons and lessons and meetings. But I took careful notes, and later I looked up the tv programs and teen idols he mentioned.

The effect was strong, and immediate.  The moment Brother Spearman signaled the altar call, a dozen teens and adult men rushed forward to beg God’s forgiveness, some for the sin of a momentary lapse in masculinity, others for the sin of thinking that Homa-Sekshuls were just harmless lunatics.

Brother Spearman had found his new hobby-horse!  After that he included Homa-Sekshuls in every sermon rant, regardless of his actual topic:



Why does God hate premarital sex? Because once you start having sex with anybody whenever you feel like it, it’s only a matter of time before you start looking funny at men.
What’s wrong with the Catholics? They won't let their priests and monks get married, the way God intended, so they're bound to turn Homa-Sekshul.
Even at Christmas: When Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant, he could have left her, but he didn’t, because he was an honorable man, not a Homa-Sekshul.

I thought the whole thing was ridiculous.  What evidence did he have that Shaun Cassidy and Leif Garrett were gay?  How could you "turn" gay through heterosexual sex? Preachers always set up straw dogs, groups that it was easy to hate, so you could blame them for everything wrong with the world: Catholics, evolutionists,  liberal Christians, Hollywood movie producers.  Why were Homa-Sekshuls any worse?

Monday, July 13, 2015

My Date with the Vampire

San Francisco, October 1996

When I was living in San Francisco, a newcomer showed up in church one Sunday: mid 30s, very tall and pale, with a long face, long hair, and a weird Satanic goatee.  He was wearing sunglasses, but otherwise dressed normally, not like a vampire.

He didn't join in the singing, but that wasn't unusual: many former Catholics and Lutherans didn't care for the rousing, evangelical-style hymns at MCC.

During the coffee hour after the service, he adopted the "stand and model" procedure of a cruise bar.  That wasn't unusual, either.  Lots of newcomers tried to cruise in church.

What was unusual was his approach: he walked up to me and said, without preliminaries, "I would like very much to f___ you."

My mouth dropped in shock.  "Um...but I don't even know you."

"My name is Kevin, and life is too short for trivial small talk.  I would like very much to f___ you."

I stared.

He took off his glasses.  His eyes were very dark blue, almost purple.  Creepy.  "You find me attractive, don't you?"

Not at all.  Tall, pale, long faced, with a potty mouth, definitely not my type --  but I found myself saying "Of course.  But shouldn't we have dinner first?"

He sighed.  "If you're intent on pursuing bourgeois courtship rituals, I suppose we can stop for a hamburger on the way."

No way was I going home with this guy!

But I found myself following him out the door.

Kevin took me way up to the Richmond District, 45 minutes from the Castro, to a place called Bazaar.  It served nouvelle cuisine Japanese-Italian synthesis sandwiches that left me hungry.

I admit that he was interesting to talk to.  We were both into the paranormal, and he had a wide repertoire of stories about ghosts, aliens, and the Illuminati, rumored to be controlling human history behind the scenes.

But he dismissed nearly everything else as "bourgeois" or "infantile," and when he kissed me, his mouth tasted of cigarettes and booze.  I nearly gagged.

After lunch we walked down to the Green Apple Bookstore on Clement, where Kevin bought Jung's Psychology and Anarchy and Ego and Archetype by Edward Edinger.  I had my eye on some gay comix, but I didn't want to look stupid, so I bought Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus trilogy.

Then he said, "Now that we've satisfied your infantile need for preliminary social activity, I believe we have an appointment to f____."

Kevin was unattractive, elitist, creepy, and vulgar.  No way was I going home with him!

But I did.

You're probably expecting a weird ghost house with walls panted black, but it was an ordinary apartment near the Green Apple, with a very bright dormer window and prints of French impressionist painters.

Kevin was impressive beneath the belt, but still, the f___ was unpleasant.  Lots of oils and weird-smelling incense and Tantric sex rituals (look it up).  And he smoked and drank throughout.  Kissing him was like kissing a bar at last call.

It was nearly dusk when I finally left Kevin's apartment: the unpleasant f___ and cuddling afterwards took three hours. No way was it going to happen again!

But it did.

Every three or four days, Kevin called out of nowhere and said "I would like very much to f___ you."  Then somehow I found myself at his apartment for three hours of oils, incense, Tantric sex rituals, and cigarette breath.  We sometimes went out to dinner or a movie first, "since you're so hung up on bourgeois dating rituals."

In retrospect, I could have easily said "No, thank you" or "I'm busy just now."  But instead, I dropped everything, cancelled plans, and went over.

Once he knocked on my door at three a.m.  I let him in.

It was like I was hypnotized.

Some other weird things about Kevin that I didn't think about until later:

1. I rarely saw him eat anything. When we went out to dinner, he ordered an appetizer and just picked at it.  His refrigerator contained nothing but soda and beer, seltzer, and cream for his coffee.

2. I rarely sleep, either.  When I spent the night, we cuddled for awhile, and then he turned on the light and picked up a book.  In the morning, he awakened me with a cup of coffee.

3. I've never needed an alarm clock.  I wake up at 6:00 every morning, regardless of when I go to bed or what I was doing the night before. But after spending the night with Kevin, I slept until 8:00, 9:00, or even later.

4.  He talked about his childhood, his coming out story, his family, and his job, but afterwards I didn't remember any of it.

5. People couldn't see him unless he wanted them to.  When he saw someone attractive approaching us, he stood perfectly still, and instead of walking around, the guy would slam right into him!  "It's a good way to sneak a grope in," Kevin said with a grin.

Unattractive, elitist, vulgar, and invisible!

If I couldn't break up with him, I could scare him away.  I tried the scariest thing I could think of: meeting the relatives.

"My parents are flying out for a visit.  I'd love for you to meet them."

"I'd be happy to," Kevin said.  "You'll introduce me as The Man I'm F__ing, of course."



Ok, then, how about commitment:  "Isn't it about time we moved in together?"

"Certainly, if you wish.  Perhaps that would assuage your bourgeois guilt over f___ing for its own sake."

Wait -- Kevin wanted me to move in with him?

Before I knew what was happening, we had been "dating" for six months.  I was being asked "How's the boyfriend?" about ten times a day, and anyone who invited me anywhere said "And Kevin, too, of course."

If I wasn't careful, we'd be attached for life!