Saturday, July 9, 2016

Lane's Bear Boyfriend and Infinite Chazz

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.


We piled into Lee's hatchback -- Tim was too big for the back seat, so I had to take it.  On the way to the restaurant in a straight neighborhood, we stopped at the 7-11 for something, and Tim almost slammed the door on me!

"Sorry -- I didn't know you were getting out of the car."

Yeah, right.

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."

Temecula?   

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.

Ugh!

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....


Friday, February 4th

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."

"Great!  Glad you could make it!  Lane's out in the garden."  He reached out his bear paw to Chazz.  "And this is...."

"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

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Sausage Sighting at the Film Festival


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.

There is occasional beefcake.  Graham Patrick Martin, who played a gay hustler on Major Crimes, plays a guy who hires an "authentic girlfriend," and instead of sex, gets a nagging harridan.  But at least he takes his shirt off.


















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.














The festival of short films here on the Plains last year was sponsored by the University, and held in three venues downtown.  Most of the shorts I saw were held in a t-shaped theater with folding chairs and couches.

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.

Unfortunately, at the 2016 festival, there was a different projectionist in the t-shaped theater, and no tenting happened.

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








Wednesday, July 6, 2016

In Search of Australian Aboriginal Men

Brisbane, Australia, July 2002

In 1986, I followed an Australian cowboy to his home on Kangaroo Island, with only the briefest of layovers in Sidney before going on to visit Alan in Japan.

This summer, same problem: my conference is in Brisbane, and I don't have the time or money to spend more than two days in Sydney.

Still, a week in Australia!  A chance to meet Aboriginal men!

Of course, there's nothing wrong with Anglo-Australians (80% of the population), or Chinese or Indian-Australians (8%) of the population).  But I can meet Anglo and Asian guys at home, or in Europe.  When will I be able to meet an Aboriginal Australian again?

Their culture is at least 40,000 years old: they began their migration to the continent during the Middle Paleolithic Era.

Most of the tribes practice so-called "ritualized homosexuality," in which the older men initiate the young men into the community through oral sex.

Initiate, right.

There are 27 language families, with over 100 languages in daily use, as distinct as English and Navajo.

The Wagiman word for "penis" is lagiriny, "tail."

The Ngarluma word for "erection" is jurdu, a cognate of jurdurn, "mountain peak."

Now that I've got to see!

Aboriginal Australians have a distinctive look, with dark-skin, frizzy hair, and broad noses. I couldn't find any nude photos on online bulletin boards (the precursor of blogs), but I imagine they have rather impressive mountain peaks..

They constitute only about 3% of the population, concentrated mostly in the north and the west.  Fortunately, I will be visiting during NAIDOC, a week of celebrations of Aboriginal culture, when many more from the outlying villages will descend upon Brisbane.

Sunday, June 30th

It's a 22 hour flight from Fort Lauderdale to Sydney, with stops in Los Angeles and Fiji, somehow arriving at noon on the same day I left.  I'm too exhausted to do anything on Sunday, but on Monday and Tuesday I visit the Sydney Opera House, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Jewish Museum, the Sydney Sauna, and a sex club called the Signal.

Wednesday, July 2nd.

An hour and a half flight from Sydney to Brisbane, then a half hour train trip downtown, arriving around 2:00 pm.  I can't afford the Brisbane Hilton, so I am staying at a hip 3-star hotel nearby.

The desk clerk, whose nameplate reads "Chad," smiles professionally.  He's in his early 20s, brown-skinned, with straight hair, a sharp face, and a tight, muscular frame.  I figure he's South Asian, or maybe Polynesian.

"If I can do anything to make your stay more pleasant, let me know.  I'm here every afternoon until 5:00 pm."  Our hands touch as he gives me the key.  "I'm an authority on Brisbane, so if there are any particular sights you are interested in, just ask."

Very friendly bloke.

I check in at the conference, look at some of my literature, and explore downtown a bit.  The opening session last from 7 to 9.  Afterwards I'm too tired to go out.



Thursday, July 3rd.

Conference presentations in the morning and early afternoon, but at 3:00 pm it's time to head out to NAIDOC events and cruise for Aboriginal men.

"Have you been to the Queensland Cultural Centre?" Chad the Desk Clerk asks. "It's on Grey Street, on the other side of the river, just across Victoria Bridge.  A nice walk."

"That's next on my list!" I exclaim.  But first, the "NAIDOC Tea Dance" at the River Plaza on Scott Street.

I've never heard the term "Tea Dance" except in a gay context, so I assume that the River Plaza is a gay bar, with a 4:00 pm Tea Dance where Aussie blokes of all races, sizes, and shapes mingle and hook up.

When I get there, it turns out to be a retirement community.  I read the listing wrong; it's not a "Tea Dance," it's a "Tea" for elderly Aboriginal Australians!

I leave with egg on my face, go back to my hotel, have dinner, and then check my Spartacus Guide for real gay bars and bathhouses.

The Cruise Club, a bar with a dark room is only about 10 blocks away.   Nearly deserted on a Thursday night at 9:00 pm, but I manage to go down on a rather ugly, moustached, greasy-haired bloke who sports an enormous penis, easily a Mortadella, as thick around as a beer can.

He rushes off when he finishes.  I didn't even have a chance to say hello.


Friday, July 4th.

A national holiday back home, but of course not here.  More presentations in the morning.  I cut out at noon and ask Chad the Desk Clerk where I can rent a car.

"Taking a road trip?  I suggest Sandgate.  It's a beautiful seaside village about a half hour north of here.  There's a great place for high tea there, Olga's.  If you can wait until..."

"Thanks, but I've had enough tea for a lifetime!", I exclaim.

Instead I drive through heavy weekend traffic to Toowomba, about 1 1/2 hours west of Brisbane.

It would probably be a very pretty city, full of interesting colonial-era architecture, except that it's mid-winter,  I'm freezing in my light jacket, and I'm starving.  I stop at an outrageously overpriced sushi bar, and i don't even like sushi.

Finally I make it to the NAIDOC event:  a presentation on aboriginal culture at a Lutheran Church.  I'm expecting a vast cathedral packed with hundreds of people.  No -- it's held in the fellowship hall downstairs.  Twenty aboriginal families, a few Anglo members of the congregation, and me, feeling distinctly out of place.

I drive back to town, have dinner at a Korean place, and find a bath house about 2 miles from the hotel.  It's not terribly crowded, but I manage to meet another greasy-haired guy with an enormous penis (they must be a staple in Australia) and  a middle-aged South Asian guy on the downlow.

Later I hook up with the only black guy in the bath house: in his 20s, with frizzy hair, a tight muscular frame, and an uncut nine-incher.  An Aboriginal Australian!

After we kiss for awhile, he throws his legs in the air for me to top him.  Instead I go down on him for a few minutes.

"Are you sure you don't want to f*** me?" he asks.

Wait -- that's an American accent.

I lift up my head.  "Where are you from?"

"Atlanta.  So, how about if I f** you?"


.




Saturday, July 5th.

After the conference presentations in the morning, I drive out to East Brisbane for the last NAIDOC Event on my list, a program of Aboriginal dance at Coorparoo Secondary College (a  high school).

I sit in an auditorium, surrounded by schoolkids and their parents, watching Aboriginal dances performed by little boys.

The dances are interesting, but still -- I feel out of place, and rather guilty, as if I'm perving on the kids.

Afterwards I leave quickly, skipping the refreshments, drop off my rental car, and walk back to my hotel.

Chad the Desk Clerk says "You look like you're not enjoying our great city as much as you should be."

"A bunch of wild goose chases!"

"Well, maybe you need a knowledgeable tour guide.  Are you free tomorrow?  It's my day off, and....?"

Chad is asking me out!

"Um..,actually, I'm getting on a plane back to America tomorrow.  What about tonight?"

He frowns.  "Sorry, I have a family thing tonight.  It's NAIDOC Week, you know.  Got to pay my respects to the elders."

"Huh?"

"I'm Aboriginal -- Turrbal nation. We're the original owners of Meanjin, all the land around Brisbane -- so obviously I could give you an in-depth tour, if you know what I mean."

I've been searching for Aboriginal men all week, and there was a cute, gay Aboriginal guy right here in the hotel!  "Will you be done later?" I ask in a rather desperate tone.  "We could get together then."

"Well, these things run rather late," he says doubtfully, "But we'll see.  Maybe I'll ring you up."

He doesn't ring me up.

See also: In Search of Sex and Languages in South Africa and The Cowboy of Kangaroo Island.





Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Alan's Arrest: The Vice Cop, the Gay Basher, or the High School Boy?

West Hollywood, July 1988

"Ok, do you guys want to pick at ice cream like little sissy girls, or do you want to EAT ICE CREAM?"  Alan asks.

If you say EAT,  you get six scoops "for starters."

We're at a barbecue at Derek's house near Sunset Boulevard. About 10 of us, including Fred, Matt, Raul, Marcus, and Will the Bondage Boy, are swapping our best stories about disastrous dates, gigantic penises, or hookups with celebrities.  Now it's time for dessert, and Alan's turn:

"I'm going to tell you about the time I was arrested."

This should be good.  Alan does everything BIG.  A Pentecostal theology student turned porn star turned English teacher, he is exuberant, effervescent, full of crazy schemes.  He says whatever pops into his head, does whatever he wants without considering the consequences.  It's not hard to imagine a lot of circumstances where he would draw the wrath of the heterosexual police state.

"Better yet, I'll tell you about three incidents, and you have to decide which resulted in my arrest.  They all happened in the early 1980s, before any of you met me."

"What do we win if we get the right answer?" Raul asks.

"Twenty minutes alone in the bedroom with me.  Anything you want: make out, go down on me, get topped, discuss Dynasty...."

We glance at each other and grin.  Alan is very big beneath the belt.



#1: The Vice Cop

Alan didn't approve of public cruising -- not because of any immorality in anonymous contacts, because it was dangerous.  Undercover cops were everywhere, waiting to haul in "perverts" on "lewd conduct" charges, even if they did nothing but talk.

One day Alan and his friends had a picnic in Griffith Park, and he decided to go on a hike.  A cute guy cruised him.  In his twenties, with blond curly hair and a smooth chest -- well, who wouldn't follow him into the woods?  Besides, there was no way a vice cop would be prowling this far from a gay neighborhood!

They found a secluded spot.  The cute guy unzipped Alan's pants and pulled it out.  He fondled Alan's aroused penis for a few minutes.

Then he flashed a badge.  "LAPD Vice!"

I go into the kitchen and bring Alan another soda.  Obviously the contest is over -- this must be the one.



#2: The Gay Basher

In the early 1980s, before people knew about AIDS, "tricking" was commonplace -- you went out to the bars, met someone, and brought him home that night, without waiting for a date or introducing him to your friends or anything.

One night at the Gold Coast Alan met a truck driver -- in his 30s, very tall and muscular, with a beard and a hairy chest.  Alan usually preferred soft and smooth -- but what a bulge!

The guy said "I want take you home and pound you!"  Alan was not usually into anal sex, but he figured, with someone that hot, he would make an exception.

They went back to Alan's apartment.  When they walked in the door, Alan drew him in for a kiss.  The truck driver called him a  "f*king faggot", and punched him in the face.

Alan sprang back in shock, and the guy was on top of him, punching and kicking and yelling "f*king faggot."

"More ice cream?" Alan asks.  "I brought lots."


#3: Staying After Class

Every high school teacher and college professor knows that male students often get aroused in the classroom. You're supposed to pretend that you don't notice.  But Alan doesn't pretend.

He was so cute!  18 years old, tall, slim, Hispanic, a little feminine, with thick black hair -- and what a bulge!  He had a Mortadella, easily.  And he was tenting outrageously right in the middle of the lecture.

Alan leaned down and whispered in his ear, "Do you want to go to the bathroom and take care of that?"

The boy blushed and shook his head.  But after school he came back to "talk about his grade."  His bulge returned.  So did Alan's.

The school was empty except for some kids doing after-school activities and the the janitor making his rounds.  So Alan unzipped his pants, and the boy knelt and went down on him.  Right at his desk!

"Ding, ding!" Alan exclaims.  "Write your answer on a slip of paper, and I'll tally the results."

Most guys guess The Vice Cop.  I mean, come on, the guy flashed his badge!

"No," Alan says. "He let me off with a warning -- after he went down on me.  He was on a power trip -- he got off on intimidating guys into sex."

Some guess Staying After Class.  Sex with one of your students, right in the classroom!  Who cared that he was of legal age -- the police would have a field day!

"No," Alan says,  "We hooked up after class several times.  We're still in contact -- he went to UC Santa Cruz, majored in philosophy."

Only Will the Bondage Boy, who has never met Alan before, guesses The Gay Basher.  "You look like you can take care of yourself," he says. "I bet the basher ended up in the hospital, and that didn't sit well with the straights."


"Precisely!" Alan exclaims.  "He got a broken nose and three broken ribs.  My crazy roommate called the police, and of course they arrested me for 'enticing' a poor innocent straight boy."

So Will and Alan go into the bedroom for 20 minutes.  They don't tell us what happened there.  Probably something like this.

See also: Sharing the Kept Boy with Alan; and the Bear with the Sweeney Todd Fetish.

The 4th of July in the Straight World: Fireworks, Cruising, and Searching for America

Plains, July 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:



"Philadelphia Freedom"
"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.

1. I walked around the park three times, and saw no one I knew.  I must know 100 people in town from school, church, the gym, the coffee house, and the bear parties.  Where were they?

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.

Gulp.

What, don't liberals like fireworks?

4. I wasn't being cruised!

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.

Sure enough, the Pedestrian went in.  I followed.

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

A Nude Fourth of July Party with the Golden Boy

Rock Island, June 30, 1978

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!"

During intermission, I drag Aaron over and get an introduction.  His name is Dino.

"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."

Moline, July 1st

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."

"I worked out there when I was a kid.  Tommy Campbell was the best!"  (See 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.

Slip N Slide is a long strip of plastic that you run a water hose on and slide down.  But I never heard of the nudity angle before!

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.

Ever After

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.

I could look him up and ask about that night, but I'm afraid of the answer.  I'd rather have my memory.

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

Nude Photos of Joe Dallesandro

Here are the nude photos of Warhol star Joe Dallesandro.



















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.