Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Blake and His Boyfriend: Are All Opera Singers Gigantic Beneath the Belt?

Manhattan, June 2009

A few weeks after I moved to the East Village in 1998, I started dating Blake, who lived in my building.  Seemingly an ideal boyfriend: in his 30s, black, muscular, religious (devout Episcopalian), with a Mortadella beneath the belt.  BUT he was pretentious, elitist, an opera buff, and always had a glass of wine in his hand.  Eventually I pawned him off onto Yuri, and they dated for about three months.

He and Yuri stayed friends.  Sometimes when Yuri came to Manhattan for the weekend, he got all of us tickets to Broadway shows and operas.  I generally dislike operas, but the performers often wore bulgeworthy tights, and afterwards we often went to parties with big name celebrities in attendance, like Andrew Lloyd Weber.

Apparently Yuri stayed in contact.  When we came back to New York for a visit in June 2009, he suggested that we spend a day with Blake.

"And the night.  He's the ex-boyfriend for both of us, so it's polite to ask him to share."

"But he'll invite us to the opera!" I protested.

Yuri shrugged.  "You can live through an opera, if you look at the bulges."

Fact: all opera singers are huge beneath the belt. 

"Ok, I'll call him."

We met Blake and his new boyfriend, Kris, just after lunchtime on the Saturday of our visit.

After living in the straight world for four years, I was anxious to immerse myself in the gay world of the Village, pay my respects to Christopher Street and the Oscar Wilde Bookstore, go cruising at Boxers, with its outdoor patio, and so on.

Instead, after dropping our stuff off at Blake's apartment, we went to the Guggenheim and the Frick Museum.

Yuri and I had already been there!

Instead of dinner at a gay restaurant in the East Village, they took us to a place on 45th Street, near the New York Public Library.

Godawful, pretentious, all light and glass, with tiny $35 "plates" of broche cavatappia roule.  Lots of cocktails on the menu.  $5 for a Diet Coke.

And all female servers.  Half the fun of going out to eat is gawking at the hot waiters!

I wasn't in a good mood.

I nudged Yuri.  "Hot dogs later.  And cruising."

In the 8 years since I'd seen him last, Blake had gotten a little gray around the temples and chunky around the belly, but he was still quite attractive.

His boyfriend Kris wasn't bad, either.  A chubby twink, late 20s, with deep-set blue eyes, a short beard, and a hairy chest.  Except he outdid Blake in pretentious snark.

"Upstate New York?  All cow tipping and tractor pulls!"

"Television?  I watched that once.  It was dreadful."

"No, I don't work out.  Who wants to spend an hour sweating to narcissistic gym bunnies?  You know they're all swishy queens anyway!"

His only good quality:  he was an opera singer.

Fact: all opera singers are huge beneath the belt.

After dinner, I suggested going to a cruise bar, but Blake said he had a surprise for us.

Please, not the opera! I thought.

Fortunately, the New York opera season was over.  Instead, Blake took us to Blithe Spirit, a Noel Coward comedy, starring gay actor Rupert Everett, Angela Lansbury, and Christine Ebersole.

A gay playwright, a gay star -- you can't go wrong with that!

Except the play was entirely heterosexist.  It's about a man being haunted by the ghost of his ex-wife, which causes problems with his current wife.  Not a hint of beefcake or buddy bonding.

Afterwards, "drinks" -- another $5 Diet Coke -- at a straight bar.  With Rupert Everett, who proved even more pretentious than Kris, and borderline homophobic, bashing:

Gay subtexts: "Don't you hate dreary queens who think everything should be about them?"

Gay marriage: "A dreadful idea!"

Gay sex: "Be honest, doesn't it seem just a little silly to put your penis down a man's throat?"

I hoped Rupert wasn't planning to spend the night with us -- I was tired, hungry, upset, and not at all in the mood to put anyone's penis down my throat.

Thankfully, the evening soon came to an "early" end, around 1:00 am, and we stumbled back to Blake's apartment for a "nightcap."

My fifth Diet Coke of the day.  I anticipated getting up every hour all night.

"Now, about the bedroom arrangements," Blake said.  "There certainly isn't room for four of us in our bed, but I'm anxious to see -- and feel -- my ex-boyfriend again.  So, if you're amenable to it, I'll take Yuri into the master bedroom, and Boomer, you and Kris can have the guest room."

"Is it ok?" Yuri asked.

Kris leered at me.

Well, maybe I was up for having a man's penis down my throat after all.

"Sounds great," I said.  We gathered for a group hug and fondle, and then Kris took my hand and led me to the guest room.

Where I discovered three things:

1. Not all opera singers are huge beneath the belt.  Kris logged out at 5".

2. Plus he was an anal bottom.

3. Who didn't like cuddling.

See also: The Opera Buff and The Roommate Switch; Yuri and the Sausage Size Contest

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