So Christmas dwindles. The Christmas section at Ho(t)me(n) Depot gets smaller and smaller. First it was 30% off, then 50% off, and now a whopping 70% off. Although it's a little disconcerting. Because you see, these discounts are announced by a series of banner signs reading "70%" "OFF" "CHRIST" "MAS." So looking down the Plumbing Repair Aisle (23) as I often have the occasion to do, what I see is a big sign suspended above a little grove of metalic trees with twinklelights reading "CHRIST."
You see what I mean.
No more soft rock and soft jazz Christmas music. We're back to the usual fare.
So life seems to be returning to something I'd like to call "Normal."
And then, the other night, I stopped into Starbucks in Chalfont to pick up a latté. There was a passel of young folks there, one of whom was the former girlfriend of a guy I used to work with at Wuperior Soodcraft. And another was a young woman who used to work at Starbucks in Doylestown wherein I used to hang out a lot. We all caught up a bit. It was revealed to me that the nickname assigned to me by the staff at Starbucks in Doylestown was "Snakes." And they used to pass the time by creating a backstory for me.
"Snakes." I love that.
So this guy came up behind us, and during a lull in the conversation, he tapped me on the shoulder and said, "You're Drew. I remember you."
I turned around, there was a sudden intake of breath from me. It was Bucky.
Only longtime readers of SingleTails will remember Bucky. It was four years ago, when I was freshly relocated to the Howling Wilderness of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. An Ex of mine, the Man Who Ages Backwards, took the train down from NYC to pay me a visit. We had lunch, went to the Mercer Museum (which he didn't get a lot out of), and then stopped at Starbucks in Doylestown to have some coffee and talk before I had to take him to the train. At one point, as we sat talking, I happened to look up, and there pulling the espressos was one of the most handsome young men I've ever seen in my life. So handsome that my jaw dropped and my mind went blank mid-sentence.
That, it turned out, was Bucky. For a while, he was Starbucks boy. But then, y'see, I got to know him, and he became Bucky.
Much drama ensued. Bucky was all of eighteen years old. He was solicitous of my time and attention. I might even say he was flirtatious. But in this way way WAY ambiguous way. It was like, he'd take a step closer, I'd take a step closer, and he'd take three steps back.
Which, of course, drove me crazy. Making me want him so bad. Just check back on some of my posts from November and December of 2003. I was obsessed! Finally, Bucky announced that he was heading to Wisconsin to be with his brand new girlfriend. Coulda knocked me over with a feather.
Well I'll be damned. Here comes your ghost again.
There, in the flesh--the steamin' hot flesh, looking better than ever--was Bucky.
We sat. We talked. Just like we used to do.
Bucky is stunningly handsome.
To me anyway.
He's got great hair. That's weird for me to say, right? You probably don't think of me and hair in the same sentence. But Bucky has this great, wild, wavy hair. More young outlaw biker than surfer boy. Beautiful face. Beautiful eyes. And the way his beard frames his face. Amazing. And that mouth. Those full, sensuous lips.
So Bucky and I were talking.
Mostly when we talked way back when, we'd talk about writing. And what we were each reading. Bucky wants to be a writer, I like writing. So Bucky tells me that he wants to write a screenplay. And he launches into this prolonged (prolonged!) blow-by-blow of the whole deal. It was kinda sci-fi. In the future, women rule the world. Men are reduced to servitude. The men rebel. I think there's some kind of war. And it comes down to the last two men on the planet. They're being sought after by the women, because they need the men's sperm to reproduce. So there are the two men, out there on the run.
At this point, Bucky's voice starts to crack from nervousness.
You see, Bucky explains, the two men are gay. But here's the thing. Women have been in control for so long, and men have been subjugated for so long (Bucky didn't use the word "subjugated"), that they don't know how to be sexual with each other.
Bucky looked right at me. "But then, they figure it out."
Gosh, I said, that's really great.
(Implausible, but great.)
We talked for a little longer. It turns out that the girlfriend Bucky went to live with in Wisconsin he had never met. And he found out she was about fourteen years old. And so that didn't work out.
Now many many years ago, when I was about the age that Bucky is now, the Baron and I had a term we'd toss around: pre-fag sprout. Spouts were ostensibly straight guys who would probably turn out to be gay. For example, one of the signs of a sprout was dating outside your race, playing around with the idea of being romantically transgressive. (To be sure, not every young man who dates outside his race is a pre-fag sprout, but many pre-fag sprouts date outside their race.) And of course, that hyper-romantic A-Girl-I-Never-Met-Likes-Me-So-I'll-Move-Half-Way-Across-The-Country thing? Totally pre-fag sprout.
So it was time for me to go. And I asked Bucky if he wanted a ride home.
Was it my imagination, or did his face light up?
He lived about a half a mile away. He mentioned that his roommate was probably asleep. Sitting in my jeep outside Bucky's house, I thought about putting my hand on his thigh. About leaning in and kissing his wonderful lips. About gently massaging the nape of his neck. Instead, we shook hands. But then continued to hold each other's hand firmly while we continued our conversation. He said goodnight and I watched him disappear inside his house.
That night, my fevered imagination had Bucky trussed, belted, soaked, caged, restrained, afraid, insensate, beaten, subdued, wrecked, and begging for more. Bucky Bucky Bucky.
Bucky and I had swapped numbers, and so the next day, when I got off work, I gave Bucky a call. "Hey it's me, Drew. Just got off work. Heading to your local Starbucks. Be great to hang out with you again today. If you can, stop by. Either way, give me a call."
And he didn't.
There's no explaining Bucky. Is he or isn't he? And if he doesn't know, why the hell not? We live in a time where kids come out in junior high school. Same sex prom dates don't even make the papers anymore.
The Baron, of course, was happy to throw a bucket of ice water on my reverie. "Older men, if they're smart, get in relationships with younger men taking on a paternal role. If they try to be a peer, it's just kind of pathetic. But what the younger man wants is a peer. So you see, there's a conflict there, right?"
But I don't necessarily want to be Bucky's boyfriend. I just want to jump his bones.
I mean... Christ!
Still no phone call from Bucky. And I'm pretty relieved by that. Like I really need to devote my time and attention to a sexually ambiguous 22 year old? Surely not. Especially when there just happen to be some adult men in the world who offer so much more. And without the ambiguity.
Or without that fundamental ambiguity.
After all, all of our intimate relationships are ultimately ambiguous. We never really know. For sure. Living with that ambiguity is what's key. Pretending it's not there... well, that way lies destruction.
So, if the opportunity arose, I'd definitely tap Bucky's ass. But the same, of course, goes for Vin Diesel. (Now there's another study in sexual ambiguity, huh?) But if neither happens, I'm cool.