Saturday, October 08, 2005

Finish the Damn Story!

So there I was riding along in a car with a woman I barely knew to an apartment of a couple guys I didn't know. Gretch doesn't really believe any of this actually happened because I am not this type of person. I remind her of our beginning and how I didn't run when I learned about her life over dinner one night. It really was my chance at meeting some different people.

Mary was not at all sure where this apartment was located and I was not very helpful because I didn't know the area either. I was reading a hand drawn map that was impossible to decipher and Mary was stopping suddenly in the middle of intersections to check out street signs. This was not unlike many nights out with friends in my own college days. We eventually found our destination located right off the campus of a private college in the area. I found out later that most of the guys were students, as were everyone else living in the apartments. It was like a dorm with students streaming in and out on a Saturday party night. I felt a little old for the situation, but it was fun to remember the old days of partying in college.

Shawn greeted us at the door and invited us in to the apartment which had the distinct aroma of garlic coming from the Italian dinner cooking in the kitchen. Shawn was about six feet tall with short dark hair and very good looking. He introduced us to his roommate Mark who was sitting at a computer playing a video game. Mark it turned out, was a bit older, already graduated and looking for a job at the moment. His boyfriend was out of town for the weekend, but lived with him in the apartment also. Mark was very laid back, talked about hanging out and listening to music, but would go out later if the mood was right.

Both guys were quite hospitable that evening. Always ready to refill a drink, or find out what music we like to listen to. We talked about so many things. Careers, education, politics, our experiences being gay. It was so good to be in the company of others like me. Mark talked about his relationship with his boyfriend and was very honest about not knowing if he was ready for commitment. He knew his boyfriend Jason, at almost 30 years old was ready to settle down and he just wasn't that sure. I talked a lot about being new to accepting the fact that I was gay and they were really supportive about taking things slow. They all agreed though about how freeing it was to live openly and not have to worry about the closet issues.

After awhile, we moved to the dining area and ate a wonderful lassagna dinner. I was not expecting to eat that evening, but managed quite well because it was prepared deliciously with just the right amount of garlic and herbs, and I remember the salad had lots of crisp veggies. After dinner I was feeling very relaxed about the evening out with these people I had the great luck of happening upon because of a personal ad.

The guys wouldn't let us help with cleanup, but they did ask about what places we wanted to hit that evening. Shawn had discussed with the other guys coming that because we didn't know the area, we would all stick together. In our city, we have a few blocks that run together that have gay establishments.
As this was a couple years ago, some of the places we went to are no longer there, or have changed hands. I have not been to a gay bar in well over a year. Last weekend when I was out of town, G took her mom to a popular gay restaurant for dinner. I think it is funny when they do this, but they have been going since before I came along.

Anyway, the bars are very good about including a mixed crowd and nobody would think it odd when the six guys walked in with two women back at the place I met Mary earlier in the evening. I was glad we were all staying together. I was looking forward to more interaction.

Shortly after dinner, the doorbell began to ring. Next to show up was Nick, I remember him being the funny one, always cracking a joke, out to have a good time.
He was single, but dated Shawn awhile back. The last to show was Kevin. If I had to say I didn't have much in common with someone, I would have to say it was him. He was kind of snobby and opinionated. He was usually outvoted on any decisions of the night and he fell along with all of us and got over it. Two other guys, a couple who were so into each other they really didn't have time for a lot chit chat, showed up later at a bar. They probably should have just had a date night, but they wanted to come with, so the other guys just made funny comments about getting a room when ever they showed too much affection toward one another.

What a group. like I said before, probably a one chance shot at having an evening like this. As we headed out to the bars I was wondering who I was going to tell about the evening. There really wasn't anyone and that would be hard later on in the week.

The first bar we hit was like any other bar. It was crowded as it was already after nine, so we stood at the bar and drank a quick drink. This consisted of me getting one beer and sipping it until we left to go to the next place. Mary and I would switch buying each others drinks. I am not sure what the guys thought about us being together because it never came up. We all continued to talk and rate the music until someone would convince the rest it was time to move on.

We went to a lesbian bar that was relatively new and it was very nice, quite classy. There were tables of women around the room and I felt like a million pairs of eyes were watching as we walked in. I am rather paranoid when I think someone might me scanning me. I would rather not deal with that situation, but we were a large group and I think the guys were getting the looks not me. We grabbed a drink and went to the back where there was a porch. We stood around while the guys wanted to know who was, "hot or not." Mary had no problem letting them know who she thought was "hot", but I wouldn't play that game. They encouraged her to talk to someone and I laughed, but knew enough to keep my mouth shut or they would be after me.
It was also at this point that Mark's boyfriend who had already call several times, called to check what was happening. This just oozed insecurity and so Shawn got on the phone and announced we were at a lesbian bar and Mark was seeing no action. We laughed a little more about the boyfriend issue and decided to head out to the next bar.

The next place was very different for me. Shawn had told us that we might be making a stop at this bar and explained a little about what it was all about. It was an alternative bar. Alternative meaning not what you would see at the other bars along the block. There was a dance floor that was packed in the middle of the room. The bar was along the left side of the dance floor. Along the side of the bar that went kind of back into another part of a room was an area with couches and chairs. We went to sit in the area with a good view of the dance floor. The music was horrendous. It was shockingly loud and techno. I had no reference point to this music until I started watching Queer as Folk. It was the same kind of music that played in Babylon. In fact, the last episode when Brian and Michael are dancing totally brought me back to this night.
Along with the loud music were the lights that flashed on and on until you thought you were going blind. I was sitting with Mark on a couch and he asked if I like the place. Without thinking I just said no, not really. He turned toward me and asked why. It occurred to me that maybe he thought some prejudice might be showing through. Out on the dance floor at the time were a bunch of men that were dressed like women. I told him the music was extremely annoying, not my kind at all. I could see him relax and he even agreed with me. I remember we were all sitting on the couches watching the dance floor and were basically silent for about fifteen minutes. The couple in our group, Matthew and Ryan were holding each other and kissing at times. It was a moment so far away from daily life. I am very thankful for that moment. The loud music, the dancers, the madly in lust couple. I just smile when I think about it.

Next up was the bar Mary and I started out at. We had passed a gay bar on the way, but the guys thought it not fair to make us come in when there was a cover charge and it was pretty sure to be all men. I remember that we had to cross the street on the way down the road because we were about to pass a straight motorcycle bar and they guys didn't want any trouble. I felt bad for that, but know it is a part of real life.

The first bar of the night was now absolutely packed with woman. All types and ages, it was quite the experience. Every cross section of lesbian was included. We pulled up to a table with our drinks and I was between Mark and Nick. They were back to the who is hot game and they wouldn't let up this time. A woman walked by with long hair, tons of makeup and a very lowcut shirt which didn't leave a lot to the imagination. Nick asked if I found her attractive. I said no, she wasn't my type and Mark picked up the questioning.
"Now come on, look at her, you don't think she is attractive at all?"
"No, actually I think she looks rather sl..y. Look at the way she is walking, she thinks she looks good, but it isn't an attractive look. Way to much makeup, what is up with that shirt?"
"You mean what is down with that shirt, you can see her.."
"I am well aware of what you can see, that is cheap! You are talking like a typical guy"
Nick leans in and whispers "he is bi, don't let him fool you with all this talk of his, he is a typical male."
At this point I was laughing and Mark knew what had been said so I asked if I could talk to his boyfriend and fill him in the next time he called.
This got laughs all around.
At this point, the guys asked if they could please go back up to the other bar we didn't stop at. Mary and I agreed that they deserved some fun of their own and so they left us on our own for the next hour and a half.

We moved to the other section of the bar close to the dance floor. We were standing when Mary asked if I could hold her drink. I said sure, thinking she was off to the restroom, when she walked up to this girl and asked her to dance. They went out onto the floor and started dancing. I was rather shocked, I didn't even see this coming.
I was kind of annoyed after a couple songs passed and I was still holding the drink feeling a little alone in the mix. I started thinking about J and how I wanted so bad to tell her about the evening. I finally found a table to set the drinks down on. I sat and watched the interactions of others wondering when the guys would come back.

Finally Mary came back and asked what I thought about the person she was dancing with. I said she seemed nice. She was thinking about asking for her number. I don't think I responded to that. I was not liking being alone anymore with this person. I think I got to attached to they guys and probably ignored Mary a little too much.
I brought up how much fun I had that evening and thanked her for inviting me. We laughed a bit about the guys and she agreed that she was glad her nephew had invited her along for the night.

When the guys came back Mary and I bought a round of drinks for the birthday and as a thanks for a great evening. It was pretty late and I said I was heading out. Some of them were going to get an early breakfast, but I passed and thanked them again.

I think as I was sitting there while Mary was out dancing I got a little down about my situation with J and how I didn't at this point even think I was going to be able to ever move on from it. My heart was crushed and the very thought of someone else was too much.

I kept up emails with Mark for awhile. He didn't stay with his boyfriend very long. He dated a girl for a month until he met a guy at a bar one night. He was having fun being young. I will never forget the night with the guys, they were good people.

The only other gay man I know is the guy G tried to have a baby with. He moved to California and bought a house with a guy fifteen years younger then he is. Before he moved we went out with him all the time, but now he doesn't get back often.

I really need more friends like that.

I need my girlfriend to get home. She is giving lectures this morning at the hospital so I am on my own. I am heading out to the 9 year olds football game soon.

Tonight is date night, finally going see Flightplan.

No time for edits, I am late!


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