Instead of going to Europe every year, I now drive from the Plains to the East Coast. Two weeks, 15 friends and relatives, 9 hotels, 8 museums, 5 guest passes at the YMCA, 4 horrible hotel gyms, 2 state parks, 2 bath houses, 1 baseball game.
And a hookup with a museum guard.
After pizza and Chinese food delivery guys, my biggest fantasy hookup is probably museum guards. Maybe because they follow you around with an eagle-eye, suspicious stare that looks a lot like cruising.
If you live in town and can be a regular, it's possible. My friend Alan picked up a guard at the L.A. County Museum of Art just by showing up every day until he got a phone number.
But I usually visit museums when I'm leaving town forever in a few hours, so there's no time to make contact. The sheer inaccessibility makes the museum guard the stuff of erotic fantasy.
But one Saturday in the summer of 2015, out of nowhere, it happened!
Troy and I Indianapolis around noon, planned to have lunch and do some sightseeing, then dinner with my parents and sister, overnight at a hotel, and on to Rock Island on Sunday.
My partner is doing research on the Iroquois, so he wanted to spend a lot of time at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian Art. As we walked through the gallery devoted to Edward S. Curtis, who photographed many Native Americans at the turn of the twentieth century, we got a cruisy smile from a guard: in his 20s, tall, broad-shouldered, stunningly handsome, with a square face, bronze skin, and straight black hair, probably Native American himself.
"Is your boyfriend writing a book?" he asked with the same cruisy smile.
"Ryan." We shook hands.
"Curtis was an expert at drawing complex emotions from his subjects. I'm studying art at IUPUI, and I often come here for inspiration."
"He picked very handsome models, too. I think he had a thing for Native Americans."
"You think these are hot, you should see some of the stuff that's not on display. Come with me..."
Ryan led me downstairs. "I got a special access," he announced to an older guard before unlocking a door that read "Archive." It was a vast, empty room with statues under tarps and shelves of old books, and on one wall six more Edward S. Curtis photographs, including some very muscular Native American men.
"His lover. Well, one of his lovers. He slept with most of his male models." Ryan wrapped his arm around my shoulders. "Do you and your boyfriend have an open relationship?"
"We're sort of broken up..." I said. And then we were kissing and groping.
Then, suddenly he pulled away. "Wait -- wait. This isn't exactly private. Can we get together later? I work until 6:00."
"Well...we're having dinner with my parents tonight. We're free afterwards, maybe at 9:00. but our hotel is in Franklin, about 30 miles south of here."
"You don't mind driving 30 miles?"
"Babe, I'd drive a thousand miles to get my hands on those pecs." He brushed his hand against my chest. "What's the hotel?"
At exactly 9:00 pm, Ryan knocked on the door of our hotel room, carrying a bottle of wine (I neglected to mention that I don't drink).
And, in a t-shirt and short pants instead of a museum guard uniform, he wasn't stunningly handsome anymore -- cute, with a smooth, solid chest, and nice beneath the belt gifts. But rather ordinary, not much different from the twinks who cruise me every day at home.
I shouldn't complain. I fulfilled a fantasy and met a nice guy, who offered to get together again when we go back to Indianapolis at Christmastime.