Tuesday, August 29, 2006

All Things Just Keep Getting Better

So this morning on my way to work, I stopped at the Starbucks in Abington.

'N' guess what?

They have Pumpkin Spice Lattés!

It's true! Usually P.S.L.s don't make an appearance until late October, and it's not even September yet.

It smarts a wee bit, too, since it's a sure indication of the end of summer. But that blow is softened by the concurrent appearance of Pumpkin Cream Cheese muffins. And they're pretty amazing.

And y'know what else?

Been talking to this smokin' hot cigar man on worldleathermen. And for a change, he doesn't live in Nevada. He's right up the river from me. We made plans to meet up tomorrow night. Last night, we managed to talk on the phone. Really good conversation. Really good. I started out sitting on the porch, and took a walk in the darkness. I noticed a few stars visible and mentioned it, and he was looking at the same sky. That was a beautiful moment, two men, strangers to each other, both looking at the same nighttime sky. A connection.

So I'm driving home through the pouring rain today--the first of Ernesto reaching us, I guess--and he sends me a text message on my phone: "Where are u?" "Driving north on 611" I answered. "Thought tonight might be a latte night." "Oh it definitely is. About to take care of that."

Slowly it dawned on me. Could he be in Doylestown? I posed that question. And he was.

He drove all the way down, to surprise me.

Why... that's something I would do! I do that for guys, but guys don't do that for me.

And he's even hotter in person than he is on the net. We walked through a drizzly Doylestown, down to the Mercer Museum. And we kissed. It was electric, and left me wanting more. A lot more.

And we still get to see each other again tomorrow! This was "in addition to," not "instead of." I had to rush home tonight, because my father needed to have his dinner. But tomorrow night we'll be able to spend more time together. Time enough to have cigars with our lattés.

I hope I'll be able to sleep tonight.


So the straight guy on Queer Eye tonight--who's all about losing weight--is so hot. If during the course of the episode it's revealed that he smokes cigars... Well, that noise you hear will be me here in Bucks County bellowing with desire.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I've Got Nobody To Call My Own

I find myself in an odd headspace today. Perhaps it's just a psychic fatigue after the events of the past week. Coming down, so to speak.

The hot tub guy is up at his cabin in the gay campground upstate (no, not that one, the other one). He's spending the weekend with none other than Zapper, who introduced us way back when on July 1st in the hot tub. Zapper told hot tub guy he wanted them to spend a weekend, just the two of them.

As in, not me.

So I'm feeling... Hmmm... What would it be? What would be a good word to describe it?



That's it. Lonely.

Later this evening, I'll probably head down to the good old Bike Stop. Hang for a bit. Maybe there will be somebody I know there. I think it's the Mr. and Ms. World Leather Contest (or whatever they call it. Does the winner go on to compete in the Mr. and Ms. Intergallactic Leather Contest? Or perhaps the winners are cryogenically frozen so that at the end of time they can all compete to find out who will be declared Mr. and Ms. Universal Leather For All Time?). But it might bring some new meat into town. Or some meat known to me that I wouldn't mind connecting with.


Connecting with.

"Only connect," advises Mr. Forester.

Only connect.

Just why is that so difficult, I wonder.

Lately I've been wondering if I'm an anomaly. Am I the only leatherman on the planet that wants to fall in love? Am I missing something, or do jobs and a week in Amsterdam and the cigar tent at MAL and the Mr. and Ms. Cosmos Leather Contest and Delta and Thunder In The Mountains and getting a new outfit from David Samuel Menkes and a closet full of Mr. S gear offer compensation for having only an extra pillow to wish goodnight?

That hot tub guy, hurt and distrustful after previous bad experiences, has promised himself that he wouldn't get involved with someone unless they become friends first. And that's valid. And "I am Fido" and all that stuff.

But as it stands now, I'm tired.

And lonely.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Say What?

No way!

So I'm home on a Friday night, and luckily, Pulp Fiction, which I think is definitely in my all time Top Ten, is on Bravo. Excitement builds as The Scene approaches. We see Vincent Vega buy it. Butch sees Marcellus crossing the street, they fight, the pursuit, the guy in the pawn shop...

And then there it is, Bruce Willis, bound in a chair, choking on his ball gag.

So far so good, right?

But they cut out the gimp! They totally cut out the gimp!

Bravo did this!

Good thing I have it on DVD.

Week One

A week of meetings and introductions. And I'm still having fun. It does take up a lot of my time, just the getting to and from. And even though I've managed to find time for some decompression at Starbucks, I haven't solved the problem of when to get to the gym. And darn it, I was doing so well.

So I'm wondering if Philadelphia is quite ready for me. At this early stage of the game, before the iron portcullis of reality comes crashing down, I'm all about the possibilities. There's a huge need... Well, several huge needs in Philadelphia. And there's no reason why the agency I'm working for can't go a long way to meeting those needs.

Although Philadelphia can be an odd place. When I lived there back in the late Eighties, before I moved up to NYC, one thing I heard several times was, "We don't do things like that here. This isn't New York y'know."

I swear.

And that was, in part, what lead me to move to New York.

But back then, I wasn't as skilled at the art of gentle persuasion. So perhaps I'll make better headway this time around.

And some more good news. Next Friday, just in time for Inferno, I get my first paycheck from the new job, and my final paycheck for the old job. So it ought to be like winning the lottery. (Not really, it will finance the gas from here to the secret location, and doggie lockup for Faithful Companion, and maybe even someone to check in on my father while I'm away. And pay down on some of my credit card debt.

But I'll be keeping the Hungry Ghosts away, I hope.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Day One

I met up with the site workers this morning on one of the more obscure corners of West Philadelphia. We talked and talked and talked and talked. Just picking up where I left off so many years ago. This was the slowest of the five sites of the week, so in between clients, it gave us a lot of time to talk. Then, I followed the noble winnebago back to HQ. Before I met with the finance person, the board member who was my host and guide gave me the dirt. I was happy to hear that the dirt wasn't very dirty. Just a smudge that will wash out; the garment is far from ruined. The finance person pretty much confirmed my assessment. And, I discussed my fiscal management philosophy, fiscal person just lit up like a Christmas tree. Y'see, I really know that stuff: budgeting, cash flow projections, fund allocations, segregation of duties... I got it cold. Then I met with a guy who runs a legal clinic out of the agency. And we had a lot to talk about because I had started a similar program at the place where i worked in NYC. Then, there was a nice sit down with my board member host and guide, which went really well. I definitely got the impression that we see eye to eye. And liked one another.

And that was my whirlwind first day! Done! Over! A stop at a new Starbucks on the way home to give myself some space for it all to sink in, and then it was home to recount the adventure to my dad and get dinner on the table.

But here's the kicker: it was fun! All of it. It was totally fun. Every blessed minute of my day, I was just having a blast. That great situation when you're just in the flow, on top of your game, and every curveball thrown your way just means another opportunity to show off.

The Baron is always quick to accuse me of viewing novel endeavors (or men. whatever.) through the rosiest of rose colored glasses. But I swear, this is coming home. These are my people. This is my language they're speaking. And that music they're playing? I know how to dance to that.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Clothes Horse

Watching Queer Eye the other night, I had a chilling thought. And I spent some time today trying on clothes, and my sneaking suspicion was confirmed: I need new clothes. Not a lot. I have plenty to sustain me. But a lot of my suits are out of date. (And I thought that pleated pant fronts and double breasted jackets would last forever. Fool that I am.)

I'm totally unsure about where the hell I'm going to buy stuff in Philadelphia. There's not a lot of hip and happening there. Largely it's a JC Penny's kind of town. But in the months to come, I'll have to take my inner Carson Kresley out shopping.

I have a pretty good idea of a look to go for: porn star going to a meeting to renegotiate his contract. Well tailored, form fitting, masculine colors, flare and panache, a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll.

Heh. When Christine Quinn left her job as City Councilmember Tom Duane's chief-of-staff to become the Executive Director of the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, at her goodbye party, someone observed that she was the only fashion forward person in Council chambers, and what the hell would we do with out her. This was greeted with a chorus of "damn right" and "yeah! yeah!" (She's back, and always just this side of glamorous, in her role as Speaker of that august body.)

Maybe I can do the same for the public policy arena in Philadelphia.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

August Weekend


Just absolutely perfect.

I headed up yesterday to the gay campground in northeast Pennsylvania (no, not that one, the other one), first stopping and getting some beautiful ribeye steaks, some green peppercorns, and some premium french butter. The place where I usually get sweetcorn is down along the river, and that was out of the way, so I decided to trust my luck--and the abundance of sweetcorn farmstands in my part of the world--and headed out on the road, with Faithful Companion riding along in back. Alas, there were none. I got all the way to Quakertown without seeing one, so as a last ditch effort, I stopped in to the venerable Q-Mart, aka the Quakertown Farmer's Market. It's sort of an outlet center for the rural poor in the area. Interested in a complete paintball outfit? Head to Q-Mart. Thrilled at the prospect of buying fifty bags of hallowe'en candy way out of season? Head to Q-Mart. 100% polyester sheets so course they'll make you bleed? Q-Mart!

Unfortunately, what they don't seem to have a lot of at the Quakertown Farmer's Market are the things that farmers grow. I found a lone produced stand and took a chance.

The drive up to the campground went well, and the directions on their website were excellent. And there was hot tub guy, waiting outside his cabin.


He had some company, three guys he'd met earlier in the day, on his back porch. He served up some way potent 151 proof vodka and orange juice, and the five of us sat and chatted for a while.

So pleasant, me, hot tub guy, the neighbors... When the neighbors started feeling like if they had anymore of hot tub guy's potent punch they'd end up passing out face down in a mudpuddle on the way back to their campsites, they departed, and I turned my attention to dinner.

And I did it again.

The steak was amazing. So juicy, so succulent, so full of flavor, so butttery smooth. Hot tub guy was looking at me in awe, his eyes focused on the middle distance, like Sainte Theresa in Ecstasy. And then he had the corn, sweet and delicious, slathered with the premium butter and dusted with salt. It was perfect.

And during dinner we talked. Having one of our amazing conversations. Opening up, sharing what was in our hearts. It's great to be able to talk like this to someone, about your hopes and fears, and what's in your heart.

And if I was still trying to figure hot tub guy out, I'd be able to say I have a handle on him totally. But I'm not. So I don't.

It's a whole new ballgame, brothers and sisters. It's just about me enjoying my time with this wonderful man. Wherever it's going... well... We'll know when we get there.

It was leather weekend at the campground (no, not that one, the other one). So after dinner, we washed up and headed over to check out the action. There was a rabbits' warren in the pavilion, formed by sheets of black plastic hung from the rafters, and all sorts of despicable acts going on in the nether reaches and darkest corners. We checked it out, then headed up to the main lodge, hanging out on the deck. As it had started to drizzle, there was a gathering of other campers there. Hot tub guy and I hung with his guests from that afternoon, and an assortment of others, talking about trucker sex.

Apparently, in Florida, particularly along the stretch of interstate known as Aligator Alley, you can signal that you want sex by leaving your left turn signal going as you drive along the highway. And when you see someone else with their left turn signal going, you both pull over at the next rest area and go to town.

Brilliant, huh?

One of our number was an actual trucker, who reported that opportunities for roadside fornication were now few and far between. As with so many good things, he blames their passing on the rise of the internet.

I had decided not to bring along heavy duty full leather. So I was pretty much there in shorts, a tshirt, and my Keen's. To signal my proclivities, I had one of my floggers tossed over my shoulder. You may remember that one of my hopes for the weekend was to show off to hot tub guy just how good I am. And, as luck would have it, I got my chance. One of the guys on the porch asked me if I was "any good with that," indicating my flogger.

"I'm very good with that," I answered. He sort of jokingly got up and bent over. Although not with his but pointed in my direction.

"Uh uh, boy," I ordered, "give me some room to swing."

He obliged.

And so did I, giving a nice selection of falls of my flogger on his butt, from playful swipes to downright nasty swats.

Yeah yeah yeah. So I can swing a flogger. What I really wanted to show off to hot tub guy was not that particular skill, but the energy I brought to the scene.

And I think I did that.

The boy with his butt in the air had my full attention. The universe melted away, and even though our scene (if you can call it that) lasted all of three minutes, I concluded by approaching, enfolding him in my arms, giving him a kiss, and thanking him for giving me the honor.

Later, hot tub guy, who had earlier told me how afraid he was of the whole SM thing, expressed how impressed he was by that, how (unbeknownst to me) the porch grew quiet as I started in on the boy, as if everyone present sensed that something important was happening, and the warmth and connection I suddenly had with this total stranger.

"Yeah," I said smiling, "That's the way I roll."

And lemme tell you something, I needed that. I've been losing touch with my leather self. Just losing track of it all. With Inferno coming up, and that usually has me all a'quiver with anticipation, this year I've been like, "Yeah. Whatever."

"Ya cain't get a man with a whip," I'd tell myself.

But in that brief three minutes, I realized that the magic was still there.

We wandered, we enjoyed the evening, we headed back to hot tub guy's cabin, and then I got to have the experience that always satisfies: sleeping curled next to hot tub guy. As he's dropping off to sleep, he gets these spasms all over. All that anxiety. And I stroke his hair, and I whisper in his ear, "It's okay. You're safe. I'm here. I've got you."

"Really?" he murmurs, and gets still, breathing deeply.

It's so wonderful sleeping with hot tub guy. I hold him. He holds me. It's like a slow, beautiful dance, momement by movement, over the course of a night. There's nothing better. Nothing that does me more good.

This morning, we got up late, and headed to the showers. The shower shed is like perfect. Outdoors, lots of cruising possibilities. I took the stall across from hot tub guy, to treat myself to the awe-inspiring spectacle of him lathering up his beautiful body. We headed to the pavilion for breakfast, sitting looking out over the pool. Then, picking up Faithful Companion from the cabin, we headed out for a walk.

First stop was hot tub guy's rock. Off the trail we followed, in the middle of a forest with the floor covered in ferns, sits the rock. Standing about three feet tall and roughly triangular, deposited there by some passing glacier eons ago. Wonderful energy in the rock, like an altar. We continued our hike, heading up to a spring fed mountain lake. I couldn't resist a dip. I shucked off my shorts, inched my way down the rocks on the bank, and swam out into the lake. The water was perfect, so cool, with those warm patches that lakes get. And that wonderful green smell of lake water.

Hot tub guy declined to join me in the lake. He said he could never do that. "Who on the planet would be upset to learn that you went skinny dipping in a spring fed mountain lake on a beautiful summer afternoon? What's the worst thing that can happen?" I asked. (That's me, the devil on hot tub guy's right shoulder.) He admitted I had a point, but didn't join me in the lake.

We continued our hike, passing a cluster of fellow campers giving blowjobs, and in a grove of pines, I told hot tub guy about the angel I saw. Several years ago, sitting in church, on some feast day or other, a beautiful summer day so all the windows were open, the choir and organ going full bore, I saw an angel. Floating slowly up in the rafters, was this angel, right out of some Early Renaisance canvas. (Or fresco, I guess). I didn't believe it or disbelieve it. I didn't question it. I didn't try to figure out what it "meant." I just took it all in.

Some things... some things... are just gifts of Fortune. You can't question, you can't treat it like a ride on a rollercoaster at some amusement park, shouting "Again!" as your car slows to a stop. It's a gift. Just let it happen. And be sure to not let it get by you unnoticed.

Which, y'know, can apply to a lot of things.

But it was time to leave. Hot tub guy and I kissed goodbye, I thanked him for the weekend, he thanked me for dinner. We loaded up the cars and I headed out while he locked up. As I was coming down the road from the camp, I noticed his car had caught up to me, showing up in my rearview mirror. I put my left turn signal on. He put his left turn signal on. I laughed. I hope he did, too.

So it all worked. Coming back from the campground (no, not that one, the other one), I could not help but be struck by how beautiful this part of the world is. It's full summer. The trees are lush and green and full, the fields are hazy with pollen, the air is alive with buzzing insects, cantalopes, sweetcorn, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini... "All fresh from God's green earth."

Now is the time of harvest. Reaping what you've sewn. Enjoyment of the fruits of your labors. Such a great time to be starting on a new journey.

it's all good.

Friday, August 18, 2006


The last day at Wuperior Soodcraft. Full of handshakes, hugs, warm wishes, and expressions of how good it was to work with me. And, from me, thanks and gratitude.

I am a much better man as I leave Wuperior Soodcraft than I was the day I walked in.

After the 3:30 buzzer sounded, Nightingale wanted to take me out. Since I got to choose the place, we headed to Starbucks. And so for my last long afternoon at Starbucks, I spent it smoking cigars on the porch of Starbucks with Nightingale, my mentor when I came into the place.

Pretty sweet.

Tonight, at home, I got a phone call from the board chair. They have a schedule for my first week at the new job. Pretty much meetings meetings meetings, and going out on the streets with the staff.

And here's some really good news: since Monday is a slow day, they suggested that I'd only be in the way (I know, sort of an inauspicious beginning, right?), I got the day off. So Monday will be a beach day! A beach day! Yesss! Just what I was hoping for. A little down time.

Besides the weekend, I mean. Although the weekend isn't quite going to be down time. I'm heading up to a gay campground in upstate Pennsylvania (no, not that one, the other one) to spend some time with the guy from the hot tub in his cabin.

I... I... I... I have no idea. Not a clue. I've heard no declarations of his feelings about me in either direction, and so I've spent a heck of a lot of psychic energy making up for that with some pretty extensive tea leaf reading. If I believed in psychics or tarot card readers, I'd be knocking down their doors.

But, of course, I am Fido. I'll chill. I'll bide my time. I'll enjoy the opportunities as they come. And you never know where things might end up.

A secret: last night when I was walking Faithful Companion, I looked up and saw a shooting star. "Quick," I thought, "Make a wish," and right away I made my wish: the man.

But we'll see.

Today is the day of an end and a beginning. None of us knows what the future holds, or where we'll be in a year. (Trust me on that one.) And we never do.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


(It's only hurtful and offensive because it's true!)

Inferno is mere weeks away, and more and more often my thoughts are preceeding me to the Top Secret Location.

Lately, I've been thinking of the international nature of the event. Men literally come from all over the world. And, of course, this gives one the opportunity to observe and construct crass, simpleminded stereotypes!

For example...


They're goofy, right? All Germans have that goofiness to them. "Oh! Jah! Er was ganz fantastische! Wirklich!" But wait, you counter, aren't we talking about a people who march off like lemmings into wars of world conquest every other generation or so, and who almost succeeded in destroying European jewry? Well, yeah, but if you think about it, they probably just do things like that so that no one will notice how goofy they are.

The Dutch

Are soooOOOoooOOOooo snotty. When you're with more than one, you know they're both looking forward to when you're not around so they can laugh at you. And spend a lot of time while they're with you laughing up their sleeves.

But sorry, if you set yourself up as party central to the Western World, you can expect the lamest of all nations to descend upon your fairer cities in search of primo hashish and behave really really badly while they're there.

The English

Dorky. The English are definitely dorky. At their best, they're dorky in a self-ironic John Cleese kind of way. But mostly they think they're being so cool. Go ahead! Come over here and take over publishing all our magazines because benighted Americans think your so veddy cultured just because you share that island with Stratford-on-Avon. You're still dorky! Look at the British Royal Family. And guess what: the instrument has not been devised that can measure the minute shades of dorkiness from any Englishman and the Prince of Wales.

Oh. But just so we're clear: we're not including the Scots and certainly not the Irish in with the English.


Quirky! Without exception. Quirky! And you usually don't have to dig too deep to figure out what the quirk is. Vast teacup collections. Theories on the extraterrestrial origins of dust bunnies. Having eaten two poached eggs and unbuttered white toast for breakfast at precisely 6:12 a.m. for all of their adult lives. They've all got quirks. Maybe it's those long cold winters.

Come to think of it, it must be those long cold winters. Because French Canadians--I've loved every one I've ever met--are totally immune to qurikiness. They get through the long cold winters by heavy drinking.


Don't get them talking about their mamas. It's really unattractive. And don't ask them about their people. And God help you if you've got something they decide they want and subject you to what is euphemistically called "Southern Charm." It's so degrading.


Don't you know that before Fidel when we were all blond and danced for hours at the yacht club and had a fleet of servants to clean the birdshit off the lawn? How dare you suggest to me that we stop at a Wawa for that despicable concoction they have the temerity to call 'coffee.' Don't you know that I'm much too good for that?


I'm a huge fan! No, really! I used to have these amazing conversations late into the night with these Penn students from the People's Republic. The Japanese are inherently cool. These are the people that gave us sushi after all. (And, more important to me, sashimi.)

But the next time traffic is tied up on whatever major highway and it turns out that it's due to someone driving fifteen miles an hour below the speed limit in the left land with their left turn signal on... Well, you know. You see where I'm going with that, right?


Dear God, but those people can just talk for hours without saying anything at all. It's the communicative equivalent of magicians and brightly colored silk scarves. The words keep coming and coming and coming and coming... And not only does your jaw start to ache from smiling politely, but you get a crick in your neck from nodding in agreement with their vapid observations and re-re-re-re-re-statments of the blatantly obvious.

I think I covered all the bases. Let me know if I left anybody out!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Well That'th Jutht Thwell

Every now and then at work--like when I'm sorting four by eight sheets of three-quarter inch plywood, say thirty of them, hoisting them over my head, or unloading lumber, there in my boots and my Carhartt shorts--whatever... Y'know, during those particularly sweaty, MANwork moments...

I pause, and declaim in stentorian tones (think the Duchess of Malfi, or Quentin Crisp, or Quentin Crisp portraying the Duchess of Malfi), "I... am... a homosexual.

Yeah. I know. I've got one of the butchest jobs of any gay man on the planet. Pretty extraordinary especially for a Kinsey Six like myself, not one of those over-compensating-getting-honest-with-myself-late-in-life-truck-driver types.

Yup. I've been a shirt-raising homo and proud of it since I was sixteen.

Dyed in the wool here.

So what should befall me during my final week at Wuperior Soodcraft?

It seems that somehow I sprained my wrist.

Which was somewhat problematic today when I was sorting the ol' plywood. And helping to deliver some really large cabinets (Oh man... that corner pantry floor-to-ceiling cabinet!) when I worked a delivery.

That's riiiiiight... I'm limp wristed.

I wonder if Carharrt makes work pants in fuscia?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I Am Fido

The penultimate week at Wuperior Soodcraft went pretty well. The boss's husband took it pretty well when I gave him the news that I was leaving. So well, in fact, that he didn't fiire me on the spot, as he's done often in the past. He takes it personal. And it totally felt like I was breaking up with him. "No, Patrick, it's not you, it's me." Literally.

And of course at Starbucks, these are halcyon days. Everybody is wishing me well, congratulating me. One guy, a really nice guy, a general contractor I've had some good conversations with, essentially told me I'm one of the smartest people he's ever met and he was glad to hear I was going to work in a place where that could be put to good use.

And it's kind of weird with the guys I work with. Suddenly, I'm set apart from them. From those honest, dawn-rising, hard working blue collar men. The questions I get--So I guess you'll have to wear a suit and tie now?--tell me that they understand what's going down in that light, too.

And it's occcurred to me that financially, I'll might be doing pretty alright. I'll be working in Phildadelphia, and making a salary to allow someone to live in Philadelphia, which like every city sucks the money out of your wallet because there's so much available to buy, but I'll be living in Bucks County. Where there's not too much going on at all. So things could work out well.

The outgoing executive director and I are trying to schedule a phone conversation to talk about the transition, so she can brief me on all the dirty laundry. And, she'll be there my second week to introduce me around and go through the administrative aspects of the job. The first week, I guess I'll do my best not to get in anyone's way [g].

And all week long, I had a date with the hot tub guy to look forward to.

Well... Not quite a 'date' of course. Since hot tub guy seems to have decided that we should be 'buddies' of sorts. He's been feeling poorly, and so I offered to make him chicken soup.

"Really?" he said, "You'd do that for me?"

Duh! Of course I would! Pass up an opportunity to cook for a man? Not likely.

Since Fidel is also feeling poorly these days, I decided to make it a cuban chicken soup, adding chorizo, squash, and tomatoes, and flavoring it with sazon Goya, cumin, lime, cilantro, and lime.

And it was great spending time with him. Really great. I get on so well with hot tub guy.

And last night, we slept curled around each other, taking turns spooning, me holding him, him holding me, me holding him, him holding me...

By way of thanks, this morning he bought me breakfast at Morning Glory, a great place to have breakfast if you're ever in Philadelphia. He regaled me over eggs with the tale of a former roommate of his, who announced that he was going to have some major surgery done. Only it turned out, this guy was having extensive facial cosmetic surgery. He had been promised by the plastic surgeon that he could be transformed into the face of Colt model whose picture he had cut out of a magazine. (Of course, when he showed hot tub guy the picture, hot tub guy was like, "Oh I know him, that's my friend Joe!") And, of course, the results of the plastic surgery were pretty bad. You don't have to be O'Henry to figure out how that's gonna go.

But then, during breakfast, hot tub guy also threw a bucket of cold water on me. He lamented that despite all his efforts, he hasn't met any nice guys since he's been in Philadelphia. Guys who are solicitous of him, inviting him to do things together, welcoming him into their lives.

I guess I could have said "Hmmm... I don't see chopped liver on the menu, but there seems to be some at our table." But I didn't.

Because I am Fido. It's the Ur name for a dog, I know. From the latin, meaning "Faithful." Semper Fidelis, Fidelio.

You call, hot tub guy, and I'll come. You text message me, and I'll answer. The rest of the world might look at you as a sweet hole and an easy lay, but I like you. I think you're a good man with a good heart.

And maybe someday, you'll look across the table at the guy who drove all the way down to Philadelphia to make you the best chicken soup you're ever likely to have in your life, and start wondering if something might be possible there.

Or not.

But either way, I am Fido.

After all, smokin hot men I like spending time with aren't exactly pounding down my door out here in the howling wilderness.

And like I said, I'm not passing up the opportunity to cook for anybody.

Monday, August 07, 2006


I got the Big Phone Call. "We are pleased to offer you..."

So once again, I'm going to be the Executive Director of a non-profit organization. I'm so damn happy. I've got this big goofy grin plastered on my face that won't go away.

But wait.

There's more.

Yesterday, on my drive back from NYC (last game of the season, the Ball Breakers lost, but we came in third in the division overall, and it was a great game), I decided what the hell, I'll give a call to the hot tub guy. I got his voice mail, but a little while later, he called back. Traffic was hairy, and I usually don't have a good signal in that particular stretch of I-78, so I let it go. But hey, he called back, right?

And today, about an hour after I got the Big Phone Call, he called again. I gave him my good news. And he said, "We must be connected. I swear, at four o'clock, I just got this feeling that you had gotten the job. That's why I'm calling."

"We must be connected"...

He explained that he's been feeling awful. I suggested that maybe what he needed was some of my good chicken soup. He said that I might be right. And that maybe this weekend I could come down and fix some. I said does Saturday or Sunday work better for you.

Saturday works.

So this Saturday, I'm going to make chicken soup for hot tub guy.

I've already explained what happens when I cook for a man, right?

The job and the man?

Could it be?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Job And The Man

I want both. I do!

I know. Greedy guts, right?

Thinking about that today, with my cigar and latte at Starbucks, brought some interesting revelations.

My state of mind at the time was... heightened anxiety. They called, they asked for my references, I gave'em up. So today is Wednesday. When I called my guys to give them a heads up, I asked them to please give me a call when they got their respective phone calls. And no one has called.

So, of course, i was thinking about just why that might be. Like they were first calling my rival's references, and if they had their preferences for said rival confirmed, there would be no phone calls to inquire about the best and the worst of me.

What if I'm working at Wuperior Soodcraft a year from now? What if they decide they want to go in another direction? Yeah, well, I like my job. I like the guys I work with. They're going to get me signed up for CAD courses that they'll pay for. I have a future at Wuperior Soodcraft.

To be sure, the abject poverty thing is a tough one. And... and... and... the potential at the new job... The great places I could go with that wonderful agency.

And the guy. Meaning, of course, hot tub guy.

He ditched me.

No! He did!

It happened in a moment. It was so subtle, I almost missed it.

The night of the first interview, we went out for chinese food afterwards. Great conversation, I was all about, "Gosh it's wonderful to spend time with this guy." So there were tons of leftovers, and he was like, "Yes, please wrap this up for me! Midnight snacks!" Then, we get back to his place, and he grabs all these bags of chinese food and he goes, "Here. Take these."

I explained that I wasn't big on chinese, and that there was nothing in there that my father would eat. And he was like, "No. You take them."

Did you catch that? Did you get it? I almost missed it.

"That thing we've shared? Well, take it away. I'm done."

Now I know what you're thinking. The mind plays tricks, right? And in the course of a weekend, I was able to first talk myself into that, and then talk myself out of it.

But I also figured out the reason why. And that's crystal clear to me. I feel like I'd be breaking confidence to explain just what was going down there, but I'll sum it up by saying his Jesus is different than mine. Cryptic and unenlightening, huh? Sorry about that.

But do I still want the man? Absolutely. He's the best. A great guy. And the kind of man that doesn't come along very often. Once a lifetime if you're lucky.

So if it would be the job or the man, which would I choose?

The job.

Hands down.

So, I'm showing my stripes here, huh? For love or mone...

Maybe. But this has to do with this specific job and this specific man. And the possibilities for a Bigger Life are definitely with the job. This amazing job.

And then there's this. If the stakes were higher, if I knew that a job opportunity like this would never come my way again, that it was over for me, that I was washed up... Or if I knew that there was never going to be another man like this coming into my life... Then the job be damned.

The difference, of course, the job is a possibility. (I heard from one of my references, and he got his phone call. Yessss!!!)

But I think the man is gone. He doesn't call. He doesn't write. And my persisting would just lead to something unpleasant. Like probably the same hand Schlitz dealt me, that "You're kidding me, right?" moment when I'm introduced to his idea of Mr. Perfect. So not only am I dumped, I get to see what I was dumped for. And I just don't need that. (Wonder what's up with Schlitz and his perfume salesman, who has almost no personality whatsoever...)

But we never know what life holds.

I'm still going to hope for both. The job and the man.