During my last year in Upstate New York, I got an email from my ex-boyfriend Fred: "Guess what -- I just got a job offer in Indianapolis, near your parents!"
"Indianapolis, great!" I shot back. "What sort of job is it? Ministerial?"
"I'm the Sub-Secretary of the Social Action Committee for the Disciples of Christ,"
A pro-gay Protestant denomination.
"Handling LGBT issues?"
"No -- I'm not even out at work. I handle issues regarding the mentally ill and homeless, But you should see my office -- it looks right out onto Meridian Street! Will you be coming out for Christmas? We can celebrate our 32nd anniversary!"
Fred and I met at Christmastime 1979, when I was a sophomore at Augustana College, and he was a ministerial intern at a Methodist church in Rock Island. We dated for about six months, and then became friends through years of changing jobs, cities, and relationships.
He was with Matt, a Cute Young Thing with a sarcastic wit and a nice butt, and then Jester, a college student with a buffed physique and a gigantic Kovbasa+++, then a series of Cute Young Things. He worked as a youth pastor, mental health counselor, and homeless advocate in cities all over the map, from Omaha to San Bernadino to Sandusky. I never knew where the next postcard or email would be coming from.
Time passes. We hadn't seen each other for about ten years!
I didn't make it to Indianapolis for Christmas, but I did that summer.
Fred was 60 years old, bald, with a white beard and wrinkles around his eyes. But he still had a winning smile, and was still buffed, his massive pecs obvious even in a business suit.
As he showed me around the Disciples of Christ headquarters in the modern glass and steel Landmark Center, Fred introduced me as his "friend from California," not "ex-boyfriend."
Ok, we dated for only six months, over 30 years ago, but still I felt like he was hiding something, moving us into the closet.
On his desk there was a "family portrait": Fred with his hand on a woman's leg, a hugging heterosexual couple, and two boys in their teens or 20s.
"When did you have time to get married and have three sons?" I asked. "Or did the picture come with the frame?"
"That's Georgina and her sons. We live together."
Live together???? "You...have a girlfriend?"
Fred smiled. "That's Max, the oldest, 32 years old, and his wife June. They live in Lafayette. And Tyler -- he's 28. He teaches culinary arts -- he'll be doing the cooking tonight. Rusty is the youngest, a junior at Indiana University. He lives on campus, but he's home for the summer."
"You have a girlfriend?" I repeated, weakly. I always thought Fred was bisexual. He just didn't want to admit it.
"No, we're just friends and roommates."
Fred left work early, and I followed him up Keystone Avenue to the Broad Ripple neighborhood. Upscale, conservative, heterosexual. We parked in the driveway of a very nice Georgian-style house.
Two teenagers were playing basketball in the front yard. Rusty, a cute blond with a respectable physique for a 20-year old, and his friend, Hispanic, a year or two older.
Fred introduced me as "Boomer from California."
In the kitchen, Tyler the chef was busy stuffing Cornish game hens. He was very tall, with a tight physique, curly black hair, a hairy chest visible through his white t-shirt.
This time Fred introduced me as "Boomer the Ex-Boyfriend."
Tyler's hands were messy, so he hugged me instead of shaking hands. His body was warm against mine. I started to get aroused, and quickly backed away.
"Hey, I've heard tons of stories about you!," he said, returning to the game hens. "Is it true that when you were living in Omaha, you went down on the teenager downstairs while Fred was in the apartment watching tv?"
"What? No!" I exclaimed. "Fred brought the kid from his youth group home, and..."
Before I had a chance to say anything else, Max and his wife June came in with a bottle of wine and a six-pack of Diet Coke. Max was also cute, with the same black curly hair as his brother, a little shorter and more stocky.
"Fred told us that you were a teetotler," June said, "So we came prepared. I hope six cans is enough."
Dinner was served on a picnic table in the back yard. Fred and Georgina sat together. Rusty sat at the head, and I had Tyler and Max on either side. I felt a little vibe from Tyler, and sitting so close to him was nice, but I had no intention of cruising him in front of his brothers, mother, and...um... stepfather?
"Fred's other ex-boyfriend, Matt, flew out for a visit at Christmas," Max said. "He and June hit it off, and went to all the gay bars.
"He brought back a Cute Young Thing," Fred added.
"He brought a hookup back here to your house?" I asked, shocked.
"Sure. Where else? Matt is turning into quite a bear -- and a twink magnet. I'm surprised Rusty didn't ask him out."
Rusty laughed. "Come on, Fred, you know I'm not gay."
"Everybody's a little gay," Max said. "So, Boomer, I hear you had a date with Brad Pitt."
This was almost like a West Hollywood party. We just needed to play party games involving nudity, and split up to "share."
Gulp. Would Fred be sharing Georgina's bed tonight?
"Would you like to watch something on Netflix?" Georgina asked. "Or maybe some porn?"
What kind of porn? "Netflix will be fine!"
We sat watching Breaking Bad, Tyler sitting very close to me and occasionally brushing my thigh. It was hot, but with his mother and step-father grinning at us, I felt very uncomfortable.
After one episode, he shifted position and put his arm around me.
Fred laughed. "The look on your face is priceless! Let me get you up to speed. Rusty is straight, but completely pro-gay. and Max is bisexual. He and June have an open relationship. And Tyler, of course, is gay."
"And my late husband and I had the honor of raising three wonderful sons," Georgina added, "Who are not afraid to be who they are."
I let Tyler hold my hand, while Fred and Georgina watched. After a second episode, Fred said "I guess it's time for us old folks to go to bed."
"You're only 8 years older than me!"
He grinned. "You'll understand when you hit 60. Old bones get tired."
Tyler turned to me. "Would you like to go check out the bars? Or would you rather go to bed, too?"
"Bed, please," I said weakly.
Tyler took me by the hand and led me, not to my bedroom, but to his. He shut the door and kissed me.
A nice kiss, warm, passionate, not demanding.
"It doesn't bother you to do this with your Mom and Fred downstairs?" I asked.
He pushed me to my knees. I unzipped him and went down on his very stiff Bratwurst+.
"Why should it?" he continued. "I've had guys over before. Yeah... Like Fred...yeah...how do you think...wow, do that...how do you think he and Mom met?"
See also: Jester, the Blind Boy with the 12 Inch Penis; Alan Picks Up a Father and Son; and Cruised by the Waiter at a Crazy Retro Restaurant.