For 20 years all of my friends and neighbors, the guy on the next treadmill at the gym, the couple ahead of me in line at the grocery store, everyone I passed on the street was gay. I got my news from The Advocate. I bought my books in a gay bookstore. I went to a gay church.
Now I'm living in Dayton, Ohio, in the midst of the Straight World. There's one gay bar, on the other side of town, and no gay organizations except The Friends of the Italian Opera, a closeted group of gay retirees. The nearest gay neighborhood is an hour's drive away.
I'm not adjusting well. I have no friends except a "straight" Friend With Benefits. I stop going to the gym, and gain weight. I'm so depressed that I seek out psychological counseling. And I have a series of crazy dates with sleazoids and jerks.
But tonight will be different. It's a blind date, arranged by Clintin (who I hooked up with last February), so I haven't actually met him yet, but he sounds great: Remy, 36 years old, a history professor (specializing in 19th century America), who lives in the gay neighborhood of Germantown in Columbus.
His photo isn't great: long, weasley face, villain goatee, pale skin, skinny chest matted with black hair. But I'm willing to overlook those defects.
Ok, I have high expectations: we'll become boyfriends, I'll move in, and commute to my dreary job in Dayton, and get my life back to normal.
I arrive a few minutes early: weird white house, set back from the street, but in the heart of Germantown, a few blocks from the gay bars and restaurants.
Whoops -- one of his roommates is a woman! Must be a lesbian, but still....
Instead of taking me into the living room, she escorts me upstairs to the bedroom to wait. Remy is naked, toweling off from the shower.
"You're early!" he exclaims in a nasty tone.
"It's an hour's drive from Dayton, so I couldn't calculate exactly," I say defensively. "Sorry for coming up here -- your roommate wouldn't let me stay in the living room."
"Yeah, she doesn't like me. I'm only renting a room -- I had to move out of my house when I broke up with my ex."
Too much information for a first date!
Well, at least I got a good view.
There are a dozen gay restaurants in Columbus, but instead Remy takes me to the Milestone, a big, airy, freezing-cold restaurant that looks out over the downtown skyline. He insists on a table outside, where we keep getting buzzed by the mist from a gigantic fountain.
There are three things I hate on a date: 1. to be cold; 2. to be hungry; 3. to be insulted.
1. West Hollywood ("it's so superficial!")
2. My degree ("on of those fad degrees that will be useless in ten years")
3. My trip to Paris ("such a cliched destination. why doesn't anyone ever go to Bucharest or Sarajevo?")
4. My singing voice. How did he ever get around to that?
I don't have any particular reason to put up the top photo. I just needed something to take my mind off Remy.
Have you ever noticed that jerks -- guys who are critical, inconsiderate, insensitive, and hurtful -- tend to be physically unattractive? I certainly don't ascribe to the notion that beautiful bodies go with beautiful souls, but say you are attractive, so everyone is nice to you all the time. Won't you learn to be nice? And if you are constantly snubbed and rejected, won't you learn to be nasty yourself?
Next we're scheduled to go to a Halloween party at an apartment a few blocks from Remy's house. It seems strange to go to a party on a first date -- too many distractions, too much competition. But I haven't been to a good Halloween party for years, and I'm still clinging to the hope that we'll become a couple, and I'll get my gay life back.
We should have coordinated in advance. I'm going as Zorro, and he's going as Mark Twain, with a white suit, bushy white hair, and a white moustache. Rather an odd couple, compounded by his rather gross makeup and the lit cigar he carries constantly as a prop.
There are about 30 guys crammed into the 2-bedroom apartment, a lot of hot bodies in skimpy costumes, but a lot of drinking going on. The West Hollywood parties I used to go to had very little drinking -- when you choose your friends mostly from church and temple, you get a lot of teetotlars and "one glass of wine on my birthday" guys. This is a room full of sloshing drunks, and stale with with marijuana and cigarette smoke. And cruising.
Remy latches onto a Cute Young Thing, and before I know it, they're making out.
I've had enough! "I'm ready to go!" I tell him.
"Well, I'm not drunk enough yet. Why don't you go back to the house -- my roommate will let you in. I'll be back later -- and I may even have a surprise for you." He nudges the Cute Young Thing.
No way! In West Hollywood, the guy you begin the evening with, you end the evening with. Friend, roommate, date, it doesn't matter -- you go out that door together, you come back together. No abandoning them to pursue a trick.
And who "shares" on the first date? That's not a date, that's a three-way hookup!
"I want to go home now!" I say, more firmly, squeezing his shoulder. "Alone."
"Ok, ok," Remy says. He scribbles his phone number, passes it to the Cute Young Thing, and escorts me out.
We walk back to his house through the crowds of gay-neighborhood partiers, mostly silent.
"You know, it wouldn't have killed you to share me with that Cute Young Thing," Remy said. "He could do both of us."
"I want you all to myself. I'm the jealous type."
"That's for sure. Not your most attractive quality, I must say."
After all that, why did I agree to spend the night with Remy the Jerk?
1. I was cold, and wanted a warm bed
2. I was too tired to drive an hour back to Dayton
3. He had a penis. A nice one -- at least 8".
Once I got past the alcohol and tobacco on his breath, Remy was a good kisser. He tried to lower me onto his penis while we were kissing, but I refused anal, going down on him instead. Then he moved into the 69 position to finish. I finished in the interfemoral position, thrusting between his legs.
We fell asleep in each other's arms. In the morning he gave me his telephone number, said "Next time with the Cute Young Thing. I'll bet he can teach you a few tricks," and kicked me out without breakfast.
Still a jerk..
See also: The Huber Heights Horror.; a Hookup During a Job Interview