Earlier today I was on my way to the gay-friendly coffee house down the hill from my apartment. Just as I got to the side door, a red car pulled into an empty parking spot, and Adonis jumped out.
Adonis. The most beautiful mortal on Earth. Lover of Aphrodite in Greek mth. The subject of Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis. The subject of Shelley's Adonais: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats.
Adonis. Twenties, shorter than me, dirty blond hair, stunningly beautiful face,insouciant smile. He was wearing a pink button-down shirt, short sleeved, very thin for March, unbuttoned to reveal a smooth muscular chest and hard biceps. Blue jeans bulging left. A gold chain around his neck. A gold class ring.
He went inside a moment before me, without waiting and holding the door open.
We stood at the counter together, waiting for the guy in front of us to finish ordering. There were two baristas: a lesbian teenager named Jane was taking the orders, and a middle-aged woman I'd never seen before was staffing the cash register.
I smiled. Adonis ignored me.
Yes, you read that right.
A twink ignored me.
I am never ignored by any guy under age 30. Ever. They approach constantly.
I can't go on Grindr without getting a chorus of "Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi!"
I can't get any work done at the gay-friendly coffee house. The moment I sit down, someone asks to join me.
If they don't approach, they smile shyly.
My favorite ones just stare with a dopey smile and start to bulge.
What was wrong? Did I have bad breath this afternoon?
He ordered a hazelnut latte with a splash of caramel.
I looked over. He didn't look back.
Could he be straight?
Only about a third of the patrons of the gay-friendly coffee house are actually gay, so you cruise at your own risk. Straight guys don't know how to give Attitude. They don't realize that they are being cruised, so they might give you all the wrong signals, until it is too late, and you have asked them out on a date, or worse yet, tried to kiss them.
Guys who ignore you aren't straight. They're gay, giving Attitude.
Could it be that Adonis wasn't interested?
I ordered a scone and an orange, to go. I have a very deep, commanding voice. Adonis didn't look over.
He went to the cashier, paid, and started chit-chatting with her.
I took off my jacket. I was wearing a green sweater that gave me a nice v-shaped torso. That always impresses them.
He laughed at something the middle-aged woman said. Was he flirting with her?
What's he see an a lady that old? I thought jealously. Then I realized: I'm that old, too.
Maybe he's not attracted to older guys.
I stood next to him at the cash register and said "Hi."
Ok, lame line, but it usually works.
Adonis glanced at me. "Oh, sorry." He backed away and hovered by the creamers, waiting for his order to be done.
Great! As soon as I paid, I would drop back, stand next to him, and start a conversation.
The cashier slowly and carefully looked for "oranges" on the register pad.
"That's ok. If you can't find it, I can do without the orange."
"Oh, no problem. I'm just new, so it's hard to find. There it is -- 'fruit.' Do you have a rewards card?"
Sighing, I gave her the number -- my phone number.
"What area code is that?"
"New York. I lived in Manhattan before I moved out to the Plains," I said, loud enough for Adonis to hear me. I glanced over -- he was staring into space.
"Oh, were you in the theater?" the cashier asks. "My daughter is a theater major at the University. Last summer we went out to Cooperstown for the Glimmerglass Opera Festival. She loved it!"
"Yeah, it's um....great."
His order was up. He took it and went back to the creamers and fumbled about.
Maybe he would sit down, and then I could join him.
"My son did, too. Well, not the theater so much. He was more interested in the Baseball Hall of Fame."
Was she flirting with me?
There were several cute guys in the coffee house, mostly college students working on papers. One of them, a very muscular guy in a white muscle shirt, grinned at me. Has he been watching the debacle?
"I'm a professor at the University," I said, a last ditch effort to impress Adonis. It didn't. He loped through the door.
"Oh, how exciting. My son..."
Enough about your son! I thought as I watched Adonis vanish forever.
My order was up a moment later. I grabbed the scone, put the orange in my pocket, and left through the side door.
Adonis was sitting at one of the outdoor tables. He must be freezing, I thought.
"Hi!" he said brightly.
"Um...hi." I walked over.
He moved over and motioned to a place beside him, not across from him. "I'm Jason."
"Nice nickname. You do have a booming voice."
"Thanks." Bewildered, I sat down. He brushed my knee under the table.
"Um...I was trying to get your attention inside, but you looked like you were ignoring me."
He laughed. "Well, what did you expect? I couldn't really try to pick you up in front of my mother, could I?"
His mother was the cashier?
That's a new one.
We haven't gotten together yet, but here's a picture to tide you over.
See also: Yuri and the Coffee Drinker; My Date with a Teenage Boy and His Mom