Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Finding Larry's New Fetish

Santa Fe, New Mexico, July 2004

I've never understood how you can be friends with someone for years, and then there's an incident, and it's over.

They just stop answering the phone when you call, or responding to your emails.  They unfriend you on Facebook.

Or in the case of Larry, he orders you out of the house.

You remember Larry, the "lost soul" in Nashville with the crazy, obsessive lifestyle, who finally got involved in the gay leather community?

After I left Nashville, we called and emailed each other regularly.

He moved to Denver and then Santa Fe, New Mexico.  I moved to New York and then Florida.

In the summer of 2004, we hadn't seen each other face-to-face for years, so I decided to fly out to Santa Fe for a 10-day visit.  

Big mistake.

As Ben Franklin said, house guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.

Day 1:  I arrived at 8:00 pm.  Larry picked me up at the airport, gave me a brief tour of the city, and then took me back to his house.

A three-room trailer in a desolate commercial strip on the outskirts of town.  Cluttered with terrible, mismatched thrift-store furniture.

I guess passions for leather and opera don't come cheap, so you have to economize in other areas.

We tried to squeeze into his small single bed for some ordinary vanilla sex, but the night was very hot, and we were both big, so I ended up sleeping on the floor.

Day 2:  I assumed that Larry would take off work so we could go sightseeing, like I always did when a friend visited me in Florida.  But no, at 7:00 he drove off, leaving me alone on Jemez Road with no car.

All of the art galleries, shops, missions, and museums were downtown, about six miles away.

I started walking, and eventually hit Airport Road, with a lot of fast food places and cars rushing by in the hot desert sun. There was a mall about a mile away, where I bought a t-shirt.  I found a gym, but they didn't have day memberships.

Larry returned at 6:00 pm.  "What's on for tonight?" I asked.  "Dinner, art walk, the clubs?"

"Oh, no, I'm too tired to go out.  I'll cook dinner here."

"Well...can we at least go to the gym first?"

So Larry drove me to his gym and bought me a day pass.  Then he baked a chicken for dinner. It wasn't ready until 10:00 pm.

"Four hours past dinnertime," I muttered.  "We should have just ordered a pizza."

"Too much saturated fat, and way too expensive!"

Some brief, noncommittal bedroom activity ended the evening.

Why wasn't I meeting his friends?  Why weren't we cruising?  What was going on?

Day 3:  I asked Larry if I could drive him to work and borrow his car for sightseeing, but he refused: "Nobody drives my car but me."

So I rented a car and visited The Plaza, The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, and The New Mexico Museum of Art, and returned to Larry's gym for another day pass.

When Larry got home at 6:00 pm, I said, "Tomasita's tonight -- best Mexican restaurant in town, according to the internet!"

"Oh, no, that's much too expensive."

"My treat."

"Oh, no, you're my guest, I'll cook.  I can do Mexican, if that's what you want."

So he made low-fat enchiladas.  Afterwards he wanted to go to the gym.  I had already been, so I asked "Do you mind if I go to the clubs?"

He glared at me.  "No, the clubs will be dead on a Thursday night.  But when I get back from the gym, we can do a S&M scene, if you want.  I'm a top, you know."

So I watched tv all night, and then bottomed for an S&M scene.  I didn't like it.

Day 4:  While Larry was at work, I went to the Canyon Road Art Galleries, the San Miguel Mission, and the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, and had lunch at Tomasita's.  Then I bought groceries.  When he got home at 6:00, dinner was on the table.

Surprisingly, he was annoyed.  "I'm the host, I should cook dinner.  Or don't you like my cooking?"

I ended up apologizing and waiting while he wrapped my dinner in cellophane for later and cooked a meal of his own.

Afterwards, I said "It's Friday night.  The gin joints should be hoppin'.  Where shall we go?"

"Oh, no, there aren't any decent gay bars in Santa Fe.  We'll go into Albuquerque tomorrow.  Let's just hang out and watch tv tonight."

"Well -- do you mind if I go to the clubs on my own?"

I didn't notice him glaring at me.  "No, of course not.  Just -- if you bring a hot leatherman home, I get to share."

Turns out that Larry was right -- there was only one gay bar in town, the Rouge Cat.  Unfortunately, it catered to the Cute Young Thing crowd, and twinks in New Mexico didn't have the Daddy fixation that they did in Florida.  After about an hour of getting Attitude, I was finally cruised by a cute University of New Mexico undergrad named Tom.

By the time we got back to the trailer, Larry was asleep in his single bed, so Tom and I slept on blankets on the living room floor.  He got up and left early; I didn't think Larry had even noticed.

He had.

Larry got up and made coffee as if nothing was wrong.  But when we sat down, he started in: "What did I tell you?  You bring a cute guy into my house, and I don't even get a peek!"

"Sorry, you were asleep, and...well, I didn't think Tom was your type.  You like them more mature."

"Why were you going out without me, anyway?  You're visiting me!," Larry continued, starting to rant.  "We're supposed to go out together!"

"You said it was ok.  You were too tired to go out."

"Well, excuse me for working for a living!  I don't have a rich sugar daddy who gives me free rent!"

Did he mean Barney?  "No, I pay rent..."

"Or a cute boy toy just waiting at home for me!"

Did he mean Yuri?  "No, we're just..."

"You know what?  If my house isn't good enough for you, why don't you just get out?  Take some of your sugar daddy's money and stay in a hotel!"

I stared.  "I didn't say your house wasn't good enough..."

I don't remember what else was said that morning, but it ended with my duffel bag deposited into my rental car.  I spent Days 6-10 in hotels, touring Tucumcari, Roswell, Allamogordo, Albuquerque, and the Navajo Nation.  I called Larry a couple of times, but when he heard my voice, he hung up.

Had I been bragging about my "sugar daddy" and "boy toy" back home in Florida?   Had I been complaining a little too much about the dreary accommodations and lack of sight-seeing?  I don't remember.

The trip wasn't a total loss.  I saw some interesting museums and art galleries, hooked up with a couple of cute guys, and discovered my grandmother's long-lost gay friend.

But I lost a friend of 13 years in the process.

See also: Finding Larry's Fetish; Cruising in the Navajo Nation; Cruising in New Mexico.


  1. That tiny house in the second photo looks distorted. Probably just the camera angle.

    Seems like he was under a lot of stress. And you have to admit, you avoided working-class life due to its synonymy, in your mind, with heterosexuality. So probably dumpIng on you for financial issues.

    1. It's not actually his real trailer, anyway, just a random photo of Santa Fe



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