Saturday, January 7, 2017

Six Degrees of Separation: From Fred to Fred's First Lover

They say that everyone on Earth is connected to each other by, at most, six degrees of separation, networks of "a friend of a friend of a friend."  That's especially true in the gay world, where men move from gay neighborhood to gay neighborhood, seeing the same faces, seeking the same hangouts.

So look carefully at your next date or hookup: chances are you, or someone you know, has been with him before.  If you dig deeply enough into the histories of your lovers, you will run into your ex lovers there, a chain of emotional and erotic experiences that extends back through history.

1. Fred, my first boyfriend, We met in December 1979, during my sophomore year in college, when he was a 28-year old intern at the United Methodist Church in Rock Island.  We dated for a few months, lived together during a disastrous summer in Omaha, and then stayed friends for the next thirty years.




2. Matt. While working as a mental health counselor in Kansas City in May 1987,  Fred met Matt, a recent graduate of Harvard University, snobby, elitist, and crazy, with the habit of talking constantly during sex, in three languages.  "Oh, mon etalon...nearly there..soon, soon...ich werde kommen...."  They stayed together for ten years, in Claremont, California, then San Bernardino, then Fresno, breaking up in the fall of 1996.  Then Matt moved to San Francisco and started a housekeeping service.

















3. Seth.  A graduate student in chemistry, later a chemist, who taught a horribly heterosexist lab section, before Kevin the Vampire and I convinced him to lay off.  And hook up with us.

Seth dated Kevin after we broke up, and then moved on to Matt.

That's right, the ex-boyfriend of my ex-boyfriend dated the ex-boyfriend of my ex-boyfriend.












4. Fangorn.   In 2009, Seth moved to Santa Rosa for a job and met Fangorn (named after the forest), a white-bearded nature boy, pagan, and fan of The Lord of the Rings.  He had a farm near Santa Rosa, where he grew mostly onions (and marijuana).

I don't know what the eminently empirical scientist saw in the aging hippie, except maybe his Kielbasa beneath the belt.  But they were together for a couple of years.









5. Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky.  Back in the 1970s, when Fangorn was a Cute Young Thing named Dennis, he enrolled in the Naropa Institute in Colorado.  He and Beat poet Ginsberg and his partner Peter Orlovsky enjoyed romping about in the nude.










6. Justin.  In the late 1950s, when Peter Orlovsky was a student at Columbia University, he dated a young Classics major named Justin.  Who went on to graduate study at Harvard, got his Ph.D., and for some reason chose to teach in the Midwest, Knox College.

7. Fred.  Where, twenty years later, with a beard and a belly, he taught -- and dated -- the theology student who would become my first lover.

See also: Fred's Nine Lovers.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think I could have made the links if it hadn't been for Ginsberg and Orlovsky. They were so famous that both Fred and Fangorn mentioned them. I'm sure they wouldn't have mentioned some random guy.

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