My friend David and I have driven down from San Francisco to visit West Hollywood, and now we're spending the weekend with Fred in San Bernardino. He recently broke up with Matt, his partner of ten years, and lost his ministerial job in Fresno. I want to make sure he's doing ok.
I asked Matt to come, but he refused. Not just yet. But they'll get together soon. In gay communities, exes almost always stay friends. Often they become your closest friends. And, when you visit, they always invite you back into their bed.
I'm looking forward to it. Fred was my first boyfriend, too, and there's always been something warm and comforting about sharing an ex-boyfriend's bed again.
When we arrive at Fred's apartment near Meadowbrook Park in San Bernardino, a Cute Young Thing answers the door.
We stammer our introductions. We didn't expect Fred to have a new boyfriend so soon after the breakup. And especially a Cute Young Thing: about 20, short and slim with slicked-back blond hair, wearing a red muscle shirt, cut-off jeans with a decided bulge, and no shoes. A bit fragile and fey for my tastes, wearing three rings, one ostentatiously big. Reeking of cologne.
Fred likes his guys pretty and girlish. I don't.
We drop our bags in the foyer, say "hello" to Fred, puttering over some kind of pasta salad in the kitchen, and sit down in the living room. Cody brings us sodas, and iced tea for himself.
Cody in the picture makes getting into Fred's bed a problem. Fred and Cody couldn't invite both of us to "share": sharing is for three only. Nor would they invite one and leave the other alone in the guest room, listening to the sounds of sex, lonely and upset. The only solution is to not share at all.
David and I glance at each other with weak smiles, both thinking the same thing: I've been with this guy before. He's hot and everything, but I came here planning to sleep with Fred.
We think of a solution at the same time: if one of us hooks up tonight, then the other will be free to be invited into Fred and Cody's bed.
When Fred comes out into the living room, David asks, "So, Fred, what do you have planned for us to do tonight? A cruise bar, I hope. Boomer and I are hot for some Inner Empire studmuffins."
"Maybe tomorrow night. Tonight we have a dinner party planned. The other guys will be here in a few minutes."
A party? Even better. West Hollywood Parties always end with guys pairing off and hitting the bedrooms. I could share with Fred and Cody, and David could find someone else.
I've met two of the guys before -- Jerome and Mark, older, sagging, not very impressive. I'd rather sleep alone.
But the third! Jester ("not my real name -- I got it when I came out"). In his 20s, tall, tanned, heavily muscled, with black hair, a round face, and a bright smile. Blind -- he came in on Jerome's arm, but after that found his way around the apartment with no help.
I nudge David and whisper "How about if we share Jester tonight, and leave Fred and Cody to themselves?"
Over vegetarian Greek pasta salad, fresh bread, red beets, and cabbage, we have our usual conversations about movies, tv, homophobic coworkers, celebrity hookups, and dates from hell. Cody tells his coming out story. Then David turns to Jester.
"And now the Jester. I love that nickname! How did you ever come up with it?"
"Let someone else tell their story," Jester says. "Mine is really long and boring."
"Come on, don't be shy," David says. "It can't be as long as Boomer's penis."
"David should know," I say. "He goes down on me as often as I can talk him into it. His skill in that area is legendary."
Hardly proper dinner conversation, but we are trying to incite Jester's interest any way we can, without him being able to see or touch us.
Jester still refuses to tell his coming out story.
Our main game is "guess the penis," which requires you to stand in a row behind a bench, your penis on display, while a guy who is blindfolded tries to decide who belongs to which just by fondling it (use your hands, not your mouth).
When it's my turn, I guess Fred and David well enough, but the gigantic Kovbasa++, six inches soft? Your penis shrinks as you age -- it must belong to Cody or Jester.
"Jester!" I exclaim.
"Right!" he says. "Hardly anybody gets that about me. They think because you're blind, you must be small."
"Oh, I don't think you're small in any way" I say, stroking him a bit before moving on to the next guy.
Now I really want to spend the night with Jester. I corner him in the kitchen, put my hand on his shoulder, and ask "Do you need a ride home?"
"No, thanks. I...."
Suddenly David is there, putting his arm around Jester. "So you're the guy with the footlong, an inch or so bigger than Boomer. Has he been giving you tips on how to fend off the size queens? Like me, for example?" He cups Jester's crotch.
"Down, boys," Jester says with a grin, moving his hand away. "You'll have to ask my boyfriend before squeezing the merchandise."
His boyfriend? Who...he arrived on Jerome's arm -- he must be dating Jerome!
Surprised and embarrassed, we return to the living room. Jerome and Mark are just putting their raincoats on to say goodnight. No doubt Jester will be following them.
But he doesn't.
What's going on? Maybe Jester is Fred and Cody's roommate? Then where's his boyfriend?
"Well, I guess we'll go to bed, too," David says. "It was a long drive down here."
"We still have to discuss the sleeping arrangements," Fred says. "If you guys want to be in the same bed, you can have Cody's room. Otherwise one of you can sleep with Cody, and the other with Jester and me."
"Dibs on Fred and Jester!" David calls. He nudges me. "You snooze, you lose, buddy."
Cody smiles at me. "Which side of the bed do you want?"
On the bright side, Cody was a great kisser, and had a constantly-aroused Bratwurst. I went down on him twice.
Jester's story continues in The White Knight and the Jester
See also: The Substitute for Sharing; My Sausage List ; and 12 Disabled Dates