In 1984, just after getting my M.A. from Indiana University, I took a job in Hell-fer-Sartain, Texas.
If you don't count Christmas and spring breaks, 7 1/2 months, 210 miserable days in the worst place on earth: hot, humid, construction everywhere, heavy traffic constantly, every chore taking hours, flat tires several times a week, tiny apartment with no airconditioning, illliterate boozing landlord, heavy-metal blaring neighbor, an hour's drive to the nearest gay neighborhood, and all the gay people into hookups instead of dating and romance.
I hated every minute of it, except for my Italian class and the few occasions when a well-hung redneck shared my bed.
On May 8th, 1985, I packed my stuff into my car -- actually, I threw most of it out in order to travel light -- dropped off the apartment key to my horrible illiterate landlord, and drove to the horrible campus of Longhorn State University, where I gave my last final exam to my last horrible class, graded it, and turned in the grade forms to the horrible department office. Then, at 3:05 pm, I walked out into the parking lot, got into my car, and drove.
And I haven't.
I planned to drive the whole 20 hours home straight through, but I'd been up since before dawn grading papers and cleaning my apartment, so at around 12:30 am, I couldn't drive anymore. I stopped at a rest stop on Interstate 40, near Forrestville, Arkansas.
In the 1980s you were allowed to park at rest stops and sleep.
After an hour or so, I had to go to the bathroom. so I went into the little bathroom building, chose a stall, and and sat down. It had a glory hole looking directly into the next stall!
Soon someone came into the next stall. From what I could see, it was a young guy, probably my age, medium height, pale skin, square hands, smooth chest and belly. Wearing a blue shirt and jeans. Holding a magazine.
Did he know I was in the next booth? Was he interested in public sex, or just doing his business?
He sat on the toilet, leafed through the magazine, and started fondling himself. His penis was average sized, ruddy, cut, with a thick head. Soon he was aroused.
Put it through the hole! I thought savagely.
He began masturbating, intent on the magazine. Soon his penis was standing straight up. He spat on his hand and continued to work it. But he didn't put it through the hole.
Maybe he thought I was just doing my business. I stood, flushed the toilet, and obviously stayed in the stall.
He kept working.
I put my head right up to the hole, so he could see my open mouth.
Why doesn't he want me to go down on him?
I put my eye right up to the hole and looked into the stall. Nice tight body, taunt, breathing heavily. Pants around his ankles.
He spurted with a sigh, wiped off with toilet paper, and flushed the toilet.
Feeling rejected and embarrassed, I waited until he zipped up, left the stall, washed his hands in the sink, and swung through the doors. Then I gave him another few minutes to get into his car and leave.
No such luck -- he was staring at the snacks in in the vending machine. A very cute college boy with curly red hair and flawless pale skin.
"Hi," I said.
He didn't answer.
There was a cute guy sitting by himself at one of the little tables: about my age, thin, with thick sandy hair, dark eyebrows, and pink lips.
Having been awake for over 24 hours, except for short catnaps, my discretion was gone.
"Hi! I've had a rough night. Can I join you?"
He smiled. "Sure."
I haven't been back to Arkansas in 32 years, either.
Next: A Sausage Fondle in St. Louis
See also: Public Cruising in Mississippi in 1984; The Joy of Public Sex; A Hookup in the College Restroom