Monday, January 30, 2017
A Time Traveler from 1979 Brings Me Guys
I'm having a terrible month: my father is sick, my boyfriend has moved away, and my classes are going horribly. Depressed, I go jogging, and then stop into the gay-friendly coffee house for a post-jog smoothie.
Bruce is standing in line with a friend!
Not the Bruce I know now, chubby and bald, fighting health problems and chronic depression. The Bruce I knew in college in Rock Island: tall and slim, with a sharp face, blue eyes, unruly dark-blond hair, a short beard, an impish smile.
The Bruce I knew in 1979, when we were 19 years old, full of pep and optimism, ready to take on the world.
I am so shocked that I just stand there, staring.
This guy doesn't just look like Bruce from 35 years ago. He has the same stance, the same gestures, the same bemused, sardonic expression.
Years slip away. I want to go up to him and ask about the assignment in Modern American Literature class. I swear I hear "Shadow Dancing" playing in the background.
Gaining control of myself, I stand in line behind "Bruce" and his friend.
They are talking about science fiction! Bruce loved science fiction.
I've rekindled lots of old relationships since moving to the Plains: my Dad's old navy buddy, my grade school boyfriend, the nephew of my first sexual experience. This must be a relative.
But Bruce doesn't have any children. He has a sister; it must be a nephew..
"Bruce" and his friend get their orders -- coffee and chocolate-walnut bars -- and walk past me to the tables. I stare. "Bruce" ignores me. The friend smiles.
They are both in their 20s, probably college students. The friend is of medium height, rather cute, with short brown hair, prominent eyebrows, and an attractive "lost boy" expression.
I get my order and sit across from them, close enough to hear their conversation without drawing attention to myself. Bruce's profile on Facebook lists no nephews. Nobody of college age on his friend list.
This makes me more anxious to talk to this guy, to find the connection with my Bruce from 35 years ago.
Of course, I'm not about to walk up to him and say "You look just like someone I knew 35 years ago." I don't want to draw attention to my age, and besides, it's the oldest pickup line in the book. I'd get sneered at.
Besides, I'm afraid. Could this be my Bruce, zapped to the future in a weird time warp?
Suddenly the friend stands and heads toward me.
Uh-oh. Was I cruising too obviously? This is only a gay-friendly coffee house, after all. Most of the customers are straight.
"Hi, I'm Jordan. May I join you?"
"Sure, but what about your friend?"
"He has to get back to work. I'm done for the day." He sits adjacent to me at the table, so our legs press together. "Are you a professor?"
We end up back at my apartment, kissing and going into the 69 position before I go down on him. Jordan has a slim, smooth body and a cut Bratwurst+. I don't care for his annoying habit of talking during sex: "Yeah...yeah...that feels good...that feels great..."
I try to steer the post-hookup conversation to his friend, without it being too obvious. They only met a few days ago, when "Bruce" came to work in the computer repair store down the street.
A few days later, I do a work drop-in. Jordan is there, but not "Bruce." I ask about him as casually as possible: he quit the same day I saw him at the gay-friendly coffee house. Jordan doesn't know anything else.
I'm too spooked to tell my Bruce about his 20-year old doppelganger.
Plains, December 2016
The end of the worst semester in history, with bereavement, romance problems, health problems, and job problems. I'm glad it's over, so I can spend the next couple of weeks in Indianapolis and forget about the Plains altogether.
Depressed, I walk through the Performing Arts on the way to the parking lot. I pause to look at the student artwork. Suddenly "Bruce" and a friend come out of a classroom and head in the opposite direction.
"Bruce" looks the same as in September, except for a brown coat. The friend is medium height, rather buffed, with a broad, open face, prominent ears, and unruly dark-red hair.
This time I turn back and walk abreast with them. "Sorry to bother you, but you look exactly like someone I know."
The friend smiles. "Yeah, I get that a lot. My name is Cliff."
"Bruce" says "I'll see you later" and vanishes through a side door.
"Um...actually, I meant your friend. He looks like a guy I used to know in college."
"Hm...maybe he's a nephew or cousin or something. I don't know him very well -- we just sat together in art class."
We go out for coffee, and I end up taking Cliff back to my apartment, where we get naked -- he has a thick, muscular chest brushed with hair, an innie belly button, and a gigantic Mortadella, uncut. He throws his legs in the air and says "Top me, Daddy!" Instead I go down on him, then finish with interfemoral.
I get the course roster online, but can't find "Bruce's" name. Nor is he on the list of art majors. Maybe he is a time traveler from 1979.
Plains, February 2016
I'm writing a story about Yuri -- has it really been twenty years since we met, when I was in grad school in New York, sharing an apartment with the roommate from hell? Time keeps on slipping into the future....
The program director wants us to attend campus sports events to "promote the program," so I go to the least objectionable winter sport the University offer, wrestling. Afterwards I stop into the straight bar downtown for fish and chips. "Bruce" is sitting at the bar, talking to a friend.
The friend is of medium height, slim, thick brown hair, prominent eyebrows, small moustache.
I know the routine: distract me with a cute friend so I won't dig into the mystery of why you look so much like my Bruce from 35 years ago. But this time I won't be fooled. I squeeze between them, put my arm around his shoulders so he can't escape, and say "Hi, I've been meaning to talk to you. You look like my friend Bruce ___. Does that name ring a bell?"
"No, sorry," he says with a frown. "My name is ___, and this is Josh."
I ignore Josh. "Have you ever been to Rock Island, Illinois?"
"No, I'm from Colorado. This is the farthest east I've ever been."
Didn't Bruce live in Colorado for a few years? "Well, what's your mother's name? Maybe..."
"Excuse me," he says. He ducks through the front door and is gone.
Josh grins. "I guess you came on a little strong."
"You were trying to pick him up, weren't you?"
"I don't blame you -- he's hot. I was trying to pick him up, too. But the 'you look like someone I know' is the oldest line in the book. You need some pointers on how to approach today's youth."
Josh invites me back to his apartment to hear his "pointers." I go down on him -- average sized, uncut. Then I push him onto his back and "face-fuck" him.
The "Bruce" doppelganger is not enrolled at the University. I can't find him on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. I have no idea who he is. But as long as he keeps on bringing cute guys to cheer me up whenever I'm depressed, a little time travel is ok.
Next time, how about a black guy?
See also: Don't Call Bruce Gay