Ray Bradbury calls this The October Country: where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and mid-nights stay. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain.
In honor of our journey past the border into the October Country of 2016, here are my top October hookups, dates, and sausage sightings.
1. October 1968: My first date. In third grade, a cute boy invited me to a movie, which was a sin to Nazarenes. I was certain that God was going to strike me dead with a thunderbolt. He didn't. Instead, I got to hug a hippie.
2. October 1969: My first kiss. From Greg, the boy vampire (also an astronomer, geologist, naturalist, and psychic), while we were watching the Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows. It was a compromise; he really wanted to bite me on the neck.
3. October 1972: Why corpses are called stiffs. In seventh grade, my friend's brother who worked in a funeral home invited us to come in and look at the corpse of a teenage boy who died that day. I didn't know that men become aroused after death....
4. October 1974: The preacher pops a boner. At a pre-college weekend at Olivet Nazarene College, we sat on a lounge in the student union watching a ministerial student make out with his girlfriend. Gigantic boner, the stuff of fantasies.
5. October 1979: The German Choirboy. During my sophomore year at Augustana College, I spent a quarter abroad in Regensburg, Germany, and got my first real boyfriend, Wolfgang the Choir Boy at St. Peter's Cathedral. We went out about a dozen times, but never actually spent the night together, since we both had roommates.
6. October 1983: The Halloween Homophobe. Aka the night I drank 1 1/2 beers. In grad school at Indiana University in Bloomington, my roommate Viju and I invited some guys over for a Halloween party. Jimmy the Bodybuilder on Crutches invited his homophobic friend, who didn't know that the rest of us were all gay. He had a meltdown!
8. November 1990: The Rocky Horror Picture Show Virgin. I had seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show in theaters twice and memorized the soundtrack, and the moment it came out on VHS, I bought a copy. So I didn't consider myself a RHPS "Virgin," Nor did I think that the audience would demand a "virgin sacrifice."
9. October 1992: The Lawnboy. What's scary about a lawnboy? When he lies about his age, and you don't find out until after you've made the date. Fortunately, I managed to call it off before the jail-bait scalawag arrived. We finished the date in 1995, after he turned 18.
. October 1996: My Date with the Vampire. I may have exaggerated the oddities of Kevin the Vampire, but he definitely had a paranormal aura. If he stared at you the right way, you would lose your free will. That's how he got most of his dates. He got the others with cool Bohemian looks and enormous penis.
11. October 1997: The Fireman Fantasy. I've dated two firemen, and they've both been rather small in the penis department. Maybe that's one of the reasons they want to work with those big long hoses. This guy came to our apartment after my crazy straight roommate put some water on the stove to boil and then left for six hours.
12. October 1999: The Boy Who Refused to Leave. Not only did Ozzie tell an unsettling story about hooking up with John Kennedy Jr. after his death, the next day, after a hookup with me and Yuri, he refused to leave Yuri's room. Unsettling.
13. November 2000: The Football Player Who Got Stuck in Time. I really believe (sort of) that the University of Alabama football player I hooked up with that cold Novmber day was on a field trip from 1941.
14. October 2002: The Gay Psychic Angel. Raphael showed up unexpectedly at my house in Florida, did a past-life regression, told me not to move to Europe, and gave me his phone number. He was ungodly cute, an angel, but his arms didn't work, and I wimped out on calling him. I've been kicking myself for it ever since. I tried looking him up again recently, but I don't remember his last name, and he doesn't appear in the directory of professional psychics in Florida.
15. October 2005: Remy the Jerk. I've had dates with Creepy Old Guys, Sleazoids, elitists, idiots, and jerks of all kinds, but this guy was a complete, utter *hole, so nasty that it was scary. It's a good thing we had our date on Halloween.
16. October 2008: The Satyr. A massive guy, massively fat, with the biggest Kovbasa++++ I've ever seen, before or since. I'm pretty sure he was a mystical being, Priapus the God of Virility, just manifesting in our reality as a super-hung chub. His houseboy was cute, too.
17. October 2012: Assaulted in the Locker Room. I've been yelled at and called names, but the only time I've actually been attacked was in the locker room of a gym in the gay neighborhood of Philadelphia, where a guy accused me of "looking at him" and rushed in to attack.
19. October 2014: My Dad's Old Navy Buddy. My weirdest paranormal experience to date: my Dad's old navy buddy shows up. Except my Dad was in the Korean War, and this guy is still in his twenties. Ok, maybe it was his grandson.
20. October 2015: The Twink Who Wasn't Interested. That's not actually scary, just perplexing for a twink magnet. Turns out he was interested, he just didn't think I was. Go figure.