West Hollywood, January 1995
Lane was a big fan of a gay comic that appeared weekly in Frontiers, about an assimilated couple: they lived in a straight neighborhood, had mostly straight friends, and had problems involving kids and in-laws.
"That's what life should be like," he said one night. "If the world wasn't so homophobic, we could move down to Anaheim, buy a house, and adopt a couple of kids, just like..."
"Just like our oppressors?"
"Just like straight people. And look -- one of the guys is short, slim, and Jewish, and the other is tall, goy, and muscular, just like us!"
"Must be a sign," I said, busily channel surfing.
One Sunday night in January, we went to a book signing of gay cartoonists at the Different Light Bookstore. Tim, who drew Lane's strip, looked nothing like his characters: he was about 40, and big, bigger than me everywhere: 6'8 to my 6'1, and about as wide as he was tall, with impossibly wide shoulders, thick heavy biceps, enormous hands and a big belly. I swear if he lay down on a bed, he would take up the whole thing!
Add a thick black beard, leather chaps, and a leather vest festooned with silver skulls, and you have a cross between a heavy-metal rocker and a Hell's Angel. No wonder there was no line at his table.
Lane rushed us over. "I love your work!" he gushed. "Does it reflect your real life?"
I expected a big, booming voice, but Tim was actually soft spoken. "No, it reflects what I want life to be -- a 'normal' life, with a house, a job, a partner, and kids, where gay and straight don't matter."
Ugh! I came to West Hollywood to escape the "house, job, wife, kids" cage! I left Lane to gush some more and headed over to meet Donelan.
When we reunited, Lane didn't talk about Tim, but he was very energetic in the bedroom that night. I was certain that he was fantasizing about Tim
Lane liked his men big, the bigger the better: tall, massive, muscular, fat. I was much taller than him -- we looked like Mutt and Jeff walking down the street -- but I couldn't compete with Tim.
A few days later, I came home from work to find Lane and Tim sitting on the couch. Not kissing or fondling, but Tim was so big that he couldn't sit on a couch without pressing his leg and thigh against the guy next to him.
I was certain that they had been in the bedroom!
I roiled with jealousy. We were allowed to see other guys, as long as we brought them home to "share" the bedroom activity. Sex without sharing was cheating.
"Having fun?" I sniped.
"We were just waiting for you to get home," Lane said with a guilty grin. "We're going to go out to dinner."
Grumble, grumble. Ok, I guess.
"Sorry -- I didn't know you were getting out of the car."
After dinner, we returned to the apartment, but Tim didn't come in for sharing. He looked around to make sure no one was looking, then hugged us both at the same time and gave us each a wet, gross kiss. I reached down to grope him and found Lane's hand already there.
That night Lane was less than enthusiastic in the bedroom. Because he had already had some bedroom calisthenics earlier in the day?
About a week later, Lane announced: "Tim has invited us out to visit him in Temecula on Friday."
A far, far southern suburb, about 1 1/2 hours away from West Hollywood, where Tim lived in the house he inherited from his parents, where he had three cats and belonged to a gardening club and saw his two daughters from a heterosexual marriage on weekends.
Ugh! Sounds like what I moved to West Hollywood to escape. Besides, I had a vested interested in keeping Lane as far away from his boyfriend as possible. I was pretty sure that ten minutes after Tim said "Move in," Lane would have the U-Haul rented and the "Dear John" letter written.
"Driving all that way in Friday night traffic? No, thanks!" I said.
"Well, how about if we leave here at 2:00, and get there at 3:30, before rush hour starts?"
What? Lane knew that I worked at JobTech from 8 to 5 Monday - Friday!
"We can't make it. I have a job, remember?"
"It's contract. You can take the day off whenever you want."
"Sure, if I don't want to make any money that day."
Lane paused. "Hey, do you mind if I drive over by myself? I'll be back by 10:00 pm, I promise."
I glared at him. "Sure, no problem."
As Friday neared, I became more and more apprehensive. Lane would probably be spending the afternoon in bed with his boyfriend! Plus he would be experiencing the sedate Straight World lifestyle of the comic strip. Mowing the lawn, calling the plumber to fix the sink, planning the garden club picnic, bringing a casserole to the hetero couple next door, advising the daughter over her boy trouble.
In a year or two, they would be inviting me to visit them in Temecula, to meet the in-laws and the kids. They would serve coffee and cake in the living room, with a picture window looking across to the neighbors' house across the street, where the kids were playing catch in the front yard....
I went to work as usual, but couldn't concentrate, worrying about Lane dumping me to go suburban with the motorcycle bear Tim. Finally I decided to drive out to Temecula and catch them in the act!
I claimed to not be feeling well and left at noon. I didn't want to drive all the way down to Temecula myself, so I called Infinite Chazz, who was from Orange County and knew his way around the suburbs.
We met three years ago, when I was working at a camp for juvenile delinquents. Now he was living with his parents and taking classes at Cal State Fullerton: 20 years old, slim with short brown hair, a long face, a tight smooth chest, and an impressive Bratwurst beneath the belt.
We called him Infinite Chazz because he was infinitely attractive, sure to cause jaw-dropping stares in every gay guy who came within five feet of his dazzling smile and even more dazzling bulge. He visited every couple of weeks, to "share" and make the guys at the synagogue or MCC die of envy.
At 1:30, I picked up Chazz at his parents' house. We stopped to grab lunch at a Carl's Junior, then and drove another hour to Temecula, arriving at 3:00, at just the right moment for Lane and Tim to begin their illicit bedroom activity.
Sure enough, Lane's car was parked in the driveway. The upstairs window was open. That must be where they were doing it!
We knocked. Tim immediately came to the door. Fully clothed. "Um....hi?" he said quizzically.
Thinking fast, I said "Hi! I decided to come out after all."
"My friend, Infinite Chazz."
"Well, come here, let's have hugs all around." He wrapped us in his massive arms and gave us each a kiss. I reached down to grope him, and found his hand on Chazz's basket.
That night the four of us hooked up. Tim had a Mortadella+, beercan thick, with an enormous head. I got to go down on him for a few minutes before Infinite Chazz took over. Then he topped Chazz while kissing Lane. Meanwhile Chazz went down on me.
Tim was quite energetic for a man-mountain.
Turns out that there was no illicit bedroom activity going on. Tim drew bears in his comic strip, but in real life he liked smooth, slim twinks and Cute Young Things. He liked Chazz.
See also: I Sneak Chazz into His Boyfriend's Bedroom; Leonard and Larry
Saturday, July 9, 2016
Friday, July 8, 2016
The Plains, Spring 2015
When I lived in the gay neighborhoods of Los Angeles, New York, and Fort Lauderdale, there were annual Gay and Lesbian Film Festivals to attend.
In the Straight World, not so much. You can go to mainstream film festivals to see an occasional gay-themed piece (mostly about gay teens being bullied at school) amid the many selections about lonely, isolated heterosexuals and melancholy children:
A woman tries to keep the rattling suitcase of her dead husband closed.
A young boy walks through a deserted city to a house where a little girl is ballet-dancing.
A man chases a balloon through a subway station.
A young girl collects fallen leaves.
Buffed Polish actor and dancer Rafal Iwaniuk, who has posted a "like" of a gay sauna in Warsaw on Facebook (unless it's another Rafal Iwaniuk) plays a tough who sits next to a guy on a train and makes him feel threatened.
My date (Jimmy the Boy Toy) and I sat on a couch on the left side of the "t," where we could see the screen and the projection booth, a narrow room separated from us by a curtain.
The projectionist stood and walked into the "t" to adjust the sound and so on. Otherwise he slouched on a couch just in back of the curtain. He didn't realize that I could see his legs and crotch perfectly, especially when the screen lit up with a bright scene.
He was a college student, tall, a little chunky, with thick hair and a bright, androgynous face, wearing a festival sweater, and very tight jeans that displayed a substantial basket.
He usually didn't watch the movies. He texted on his cell phone with one hand. The other was lying on his inner thigh, parallel to his crotch.
Right next to his bulge.
I nudged Jimmy. We both put our heads on our elbows and pretended to fall asleep so we could see better.
This short was about a young man locked in a room with several versions of himself banging on the door, trying to get in. Not very interesting.
The projectionist was now paging through something on his cell phone. I couldn't see what.
He was starting to tent!
The short ended. He got up to cue the next one: about a woman trying to assemble the fragments of her ruined life in a deserted basement.
Texting again, then back to paging through something. Porn? His hand moved to his crotch. Now he was cupping.
I looked closely. He was starting to fondle. The tent came up.
The short ended. He stood, tenting, and went to cue the next one. A woman who is distracted by vivid daydreams, and goes to a clinic in an attempt to become "normal," but ends up dancing with unicorn people.
This was a long film, nearly twenty minutes. The projectionist lounged on the couch and paged through his cell phone again. The tent returned. He began to fondle it.
Would he pull it out?
Yes! Well, at least he unzipped. Now the tent was in his white briefs, a clear view of a fully aroused Bratwurst+!
He fondled it for a few moments, then slid it back into his pants and went back to texting.
I did get a glimpse of one of the participants at the urinal.
Impressive, but not really worth sitting through six hours of films about lonely, isolated heterosexuals and melancholy children.
See also: My Platonic Friends and Their Boy Toy; Topped by the Vietnamese Twink
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
In gay neighborhoods, we never went to 4th of July Fireworks. Deliberately watching loud, flashy explosions? More of a heterosexual thing. Besides, gay people were criminals in 23 states, we were deprived of our most basic human rights, we were regularly beat up by the police and demonized by politicians -- why should we celebrate the Independence Day of a country that hated us?
But I live in the Straight World now, and apparently the 4th of July Firework Celebration is the big event of the summer, so last night I went, for the first time since high school.
My friend Gabe had to work at the gay-friendly coffee house, and my sort-of boyfriend Dustin was out of town, so I went alone, figuring I would run into people I know there.
First they had a Red Hot and Blue concert in the amphitheater, with the orchestra playing instrumental versions of semi-patriotic patriotic songs:
"Party in the U.S.A."
"Born in the U.S.A."
"America" (the Neil Diamond version)
"American Woman" (weird choice)
"American Pie" (come on, just because of the title?)
"This Land is Your Land"
"Yesterday" (what was a Beatles song doing there?)
"The Battle Hymn of the Republic"
After that, things got even more weird. It was like an episode of The Twilight Zone.
Did I take a "step to the left" and pass into a weird parallel world?
2. The crowd consisted mostly of heterosexual nuclear families. Thin tattooed Dad and super-hefty Mom, in their twenties or thirties, towing overly excited preteen kids and maybe their wrinkled, cane-wielding parents.
There were a few clumps of teenagers and college students, but:
3. No gay couples or groups, that I could see, anywhere.
For that matter, no Muslims. No African-Americans.
Just a lot of overweight white people with "Build a Wall!" on their t-shirts and American flags on their coolers. I was surrounded by conservative, redneck, Trump supporters -- and, no doubt, homophobes.
What, don't liberals like fireworks?
The pickings were slim anyway -- not a lot of cute guys among the overweight white people.
But I'm a twink magnet! I get that familiar face-crotch-face glance and horny half-smile constantly, from nearly everyone under 30 I see, whether it's at the Student Union on campus, at the J.C. Penney's in the mall, at a Christian fundamentalist pizza restaurant, even at the doctor's office.
Here they weren't biting. I walked past several clumps of teenagers and twinks -- nothing. No hot Dad looked up from his hefty wife to give me a surreptitious glance. Just a few boys in their early teens, too young to understand what they were doing. And a few women.
I was being cruised by women!
Explosions, heterosexual cruising, and Trump politics. This was not my country.
As Janet says in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, "If only we were among friends, or sane persons!"
Time to get out of there!
The fireworks hadn't even started yet, but I had enough. I pushed my way out of the park, struggling against the stream of heterosexual Dads and Moms clamoring in with their coolers and lawn chairs, their overexcited kids pulling on their arms and squealing "Hurry up! Hurry up!"
Not expecting anyone to be going the other direction, they almost crashed into me over and over again. I had to inch my way forward, yelling "excuse me!" to gt their attention.
Finally I reached the street just outside the park. I was stuck at a stoplight with another guy who was pushing against the tide:in his twenties, clean shaven, a severe military haircut, a little chunky but with thick biceps, wearing a red button-down shirt, cargo pants, and red tennis shoes.
Leaving the park before the fireworks -- was he also feeling out of place in the crowd of overweight, ultra-conservative heterosexual nuclear families? Was he liberal, or gay, or both?
"Quite a crowd" I said.
The Pedestrian grunted something incomprehensible. Then the light changed, and he rushed off.
My route home went the same direction he was going, so I followed, past the ice cream store, the comic book store, and some antique shops, a tea room, an incongruous travel agency, two heterosexual taverns, a halal grocery store, all of the familiar places of the Straight World.
To the corner of my street, and the gay-friendly coffee house. The only business on the street that wasn't closed and dark. There was cheery yellow light illuminating the rainbow flag in the window.
There was a small crowd, a few lesbian couples, a group of gay men, some college students working on papers, an older man staring at his laptop.
It was Open Mike Night. On stage, a guy in his twenties was singing "America" (the Simon & Garfunkel version):
"Kathy, I'm lost", I said, though I knew she was sleeping. "I'm empty and aching and I don't know why."
Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike
They've all come to look for America.
I stood in line at the coffee counter behind the Pedestrian. "Nice to be home, isn't it?" I said.
He turned back and smiled.
See also: A Nude Party with the Golden Boy
Monday, July 4, 2016
Exactly one week ago, I figured "it" out. My elation at finally solving the mystery, understanding who I am, has given way to depression. There are no books on gay topics in the library, no gay organizations, no meeting places except for a gay bar that I'm too young to go to.
And I can't tell anyone. Everyone thinks that gay people are either horrifying monsters or swishy jokes.
What do I do now?
My friend Aaron invites me to a Marx Brothers Film Festival held at the Augustana College Student Union: The Cocoanuts and Animal Crackers tonight, and Horse Feathers, Monkey Business, and Duck Soup tomorrow (this was before DVDs).
Jana, a girl I know from Rocky High, comes into the first screening. With the most beautiful guy I have ever seen. Greek or Italian, rather short, short black hair, sharp features, flawless skin. He is wearing a yellow tank top that displays his smooth chest and nicely bulging biceps. But no verbal description can do justice to his amazing confidence and energy. He is a Golden Boy.
"Who...who is that guy with Jana?" I ask, transfixed.
Naturally Aaron assumes that I'm interested in the girl. "Dunno. But I'm sure you have nothing to worry about. He looks like a college kid, so at the end of the summer, he's out of here!"
"Are you related to Dino ?" I ask.
"Uncle Dino? Sure. We don't see him much, though. He joined a crazy fundamentalist church, Nazarene or something, and decided that we were all possessed by demons."
"He was my Sunday School teacher at the Nazarene Church!"
His face falls. "Oh...um...I didn't mean..."
"That's ok, I know they're crazy fundamentalists. I've been trying to get out."
"No, no, I shouldn't have made that crack. Let me make it up to you. Come by Lagomarcino's tomorrow, and I'll fix you up with a box of candy. Your friend, too," he adds, glancing at Aaron.
"Are you working there for the summer?"
"Sort of. My grandpa owns it."
The Lagomarcinos are one of the wealthiest families in the Quad Cities. They own several businesses, but they are best known for their landmark candy store in Moline, open since 1908. It sells ice cream cones and sodas, but mostly you go there for the fancy chocolates. (In 2015, one-pound assortments begin at $24, double the price of one-pound Whitman Samplers).
We arrive about 2:00 pm. Dino is working behind the counter, wearing a white apron, but still muscular, athletic, alive.
Before I can catch myself, I blurt out: "For someone who makes candy for a living, you have a really nice physique."
Dino smiles. "Thanks. I was on the swim team in high school, and I studied karate and boxing."
"Cool! Aaron and I used to go to the Davenport Athletic Club on Saturday afternoons to..." I catch myself before saying "to look at the cute guys."
Rock Island Boxers on Boomer Beefcake and Bonding).
"Maybe we saw you..."
"Probably." He pauses. "Hey, are you guys doing anything for the 4th? I'm having some guys over to see the fireworks -- Mom and Dad are in Europe. Our house is on River Drive [in Davenport], so you get a really good view from the front porch. We'll have some barbecue, drink some beers."
Who could turn down an offer like that?
Aaron could. "Can I bring a date?"
He looks confused. Does he think we're a gay couple? Are we a gay couple?
"It's guys only. We don't want any women messing up our fun, do we?"
Davenport, July 4th
Besides Aaron and me, there are six guys at the party: Dino, two of his high school friends, a cousin, two guys from college (he goes to Washington University in St. Louis), and a balding middle-aged man who introduces himself as Tony.
We all sit on lawn chairs in a back yard surrounded by a high redwood fence. There are Japanese lanterns and bug-zapping candles. Dino and his cousin grill steaks for us to eat off paper plates, with fruit salad for dessert (there is no ice cream or candy anywhere in the house). We talk and joke and drink beer (soda for me). No one mentions girlfriends or asks me if I would kick this or that actress out of bed. Heaven!
Is this a gay party?
"It's hot out here!" Dino's cousin exclaims. "What do we have these clothes on for?"
"Who's up for nude Slip N Slide!" Dino asks.
I get Sausage Sightings of everyone at the party, including Dino (average, cut).
We get a back up when guys don't get up fast enough, and the next person in line slides into them. Suddenly I'm part of a mass of naked men, laughing and jostling. Hands grab butts. Penises press against thighs.
We get dressed again to stand on the front porch and watch the fireworks over the Mississippi. Emboldened, I wrap my arm around Dino's waist. He smiles.
Afterwards we say goodnight. Dino says "Thanks for coming!"
"Are you free tomorrow? We could...."
He frowns. "I've got a family thing tomorrow, and then I'm going back to St. Louis -- I just came to town to work the 4th of July weekend, while my folks are in Europe. But if you get down to Washington U., look me up!" He gives me his address.
I write to Dino at Washington University [in those days long-distance phone calls are prohibitively expensive]. He responds, first with brief notes, and then not at all.
Was Dino gay? If so, what did I do wrong, to keep him from wanting further contact? If not, why did he suggest a nude Slip N Slide? Why did he let me put my arm around him? What was going on at that party?
As the years pass, I begin to wonder: Was there really a 4th of July party full of men exuberant in their physicality and not at all interested in women? Did I imagine the whole thing?
Today Dino is all over the internet: he lives in Davenport, where he manages one of the Lagomarcino's businesses -- not the candy store --plus he's an amateur astronomer, he runs 5K races, and he sponsors the Silver Gloves boxing competitions for boys aged 10 to 13. His wife teaches at the community college and runs a genealogy blog. One of his sons is an architect.
See also: I Lost It at the Movies; Cruising at the 4th of July Fireworks; and My Sunday School Teacher's Stripper Sons.
Sunday, July 3, 2016
Immortalized on film, magazine covers, and record album covers, and in the song "Walk on the Wild Side."
Bisexual, with two grown sons.
The full post is on Boomer Beefcake and Bonding.
See also: Joe Dallesandro's Date with Peter Pan