My Mentally Disabled Neighbor and the Underwear Stuff
Plains, August 2016
I went into my date with Timmy, my mentally disabled neighbor, with some trepidation. For nine months I had been thinking of him as someone a little off, who needed to be humored and tolerated, who needed protection and caretaking, who was in effect a child. On a date I would have to think of him -- and treat him -- as an equal, someone with his own tastes, attitudes, interests, and opinions.
Why did I want a date with him? He was extremely cute, about 30, with black hair slicked back, nice biceps, and a bulge in his underwear, but there were dozens of guys like that in town. I could go on Grindr for a few minutes and get offers from five or six.
Was he a project? Did I want to "save" him? As far as I could tell, he was doing fine, with an apartment, a job, friends, and ample "hot boys" interested in "the underwear stuff." What had I done in my life that was better?
Was he an accomplishment? Someone to check off my list of erotic experiences? "Ok, I've been with blind and deaf guys. I had a guy with cerebral palsy tear off my clothes. And now I've been with a mentally disabled guy! Aren't I special?"
I conducted research. I sought advice from my friends. I stalked Timmy on Facebook. Then, Friday night at 6:00 pm sharp, he knocked on my door.
He was wearing his usual blue t-shirt and jeans, extra bulgy -- had he stuffed a sock down there?
"Hi, Boomer. I came to take you to Kansas. I got you a flower." He handed me one of those plastic roses they sell at convenience stores.
I figured I'd be driving, but we were picked up by Timmy's friend Mamou. We held hands in the back seat while he grinned at us in the rear view mirror all the way to the convention center.
"Text me when you're done," he said. "Be good."
I felt very much like a fifteen-year old on his first date.
I knew only two song by Kansas. My favorite was "Dust in the Wind."
Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see
Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind
Very appealing to a world-weary 17 year old, not so much to a 55-year old being regularly reminded of his mortality.
Most of their contemporary songs had the same nihilistic spirit:
Look at the time, slipping by as if we never knew it at all
Glancing around, seeing faces so familiar,
I should recall
Seems we should know; where do they go?
My first date with Fred
The night Alan and I picked up the kept boy
Sharing the Cowboy of Sunset Boulevard with Derek
Yuri and the Unhung Hippie
The Boy Who Cried "Fabulous"
When David and I picked up a teenage hitchhiker
Farshad the French Moroccan
The Gay Psychic Angel
Eli's Brother at the Horseman's Club
How did I get to be 55 years old? What was I doing with a 30 year old?
I had a Ph.D. I spoke five languages. What was I doing with a mentally disabled kid?
Timmy turned to me. "They're good!"
I was terribly depressed and in no mood to continue this date -- project -- accomplishment -- but we continued, walking down the street to a hamburger place -- no pizza. I began my usual first date "interview" questions:
Where did you grow up? Here. Mom works at the Mall
Your coming out story? I liked a boy in school. He was older than me. He liked to kiss.
Coming out movie? ??
Where did you go to school? Here
Your job? I unload boxes.
Career goal? I want to sell cars, but I can't drive.
Favorite movie? Good Burger.
Favorite musician? Billy Gilman
Celebrity dating story: ??
What country would you like to visit? Cardiff, Wales. My grampa's grampa came from there.
Workout routine? I don't have time to join the gym, but I get muscles from moving boxes. Feel.
Timmy only had one question for me: Do you like to kiss?
Which, to be honest, is the only question on everyone's mind during a first date.
But I still felt more like a caretaker than a date, entertaining a little boy, not having a social evening with an equal.
The Underwear Stuff
Mamou picked us up at the hamburger place and dropped us off at the apartment. "Don't stay up too late," he said with a smirk.
We had to walk past my apartment on the way to Timmy's. I felt like bolting, but I allowed Timmy to take me into his living room, sit me down on the couch, pull up a country-western album on his Ipad, and hand me a glass of lemonade (Country Time).
"Excuse me, please." He went into the bathroom -- I heard the sound of urination and the sink running -- then returned. He sat next to me on the couch, put his arm around me.
"Now it's time for the underwear stuff."
"I suppose it is."
"Don't be nervous! It's nice."
Me, nervous? Buddy, I had a three way with Michael J. Fox and Rob Lowe the day you were born! I spent 36 hours on my knees when you were still a gleam in your Daddy's eye! I've gone down on guys thirty years younger than me, and been topped by guys thirty years older! I can say "let's go back to my room" in twenty languages! Want to hear it in Zulu?
But I was nervous! Hands shaking, throat dry nervous. I gulped my Country Time.
Then we were kissing.
It was like we had kissed a thousand times before -- warm, passionate, familiar. He knew exactly when to be assertive, when to fall back, when to move away altogether and start again.
Although I was aroused, I would have been happy to keep on kissing on the couch all night. But Jimmy took me by the hand and led me to the bedroom. He carefully unbuttoned my shirt and moved his hand, mouth, and tongue down my chest and abs. Then he unzipped my aroused Bratwurst+.
He took off his own clothes. He had a tight, smooth physique, hairless, with shaved pubes. He asked me not to tell anyone his size.
"Don't be scared," Timmy said. "I know what to do."
I was no longer thinking of Timmy as a child who needed protection. He was fully capable, competent, an adult.
Who I wanted to date again.
See also: Three Bereavement Hookups