You remember him, right?
In October, 2003, this beautiful young man working behind the counter at Starbucks stopped me dead in my tracks. Many an evening I would flirt with him in my oh so subtle way on the porch when he was on his break. After a few months of that, he was off to Minnesota or somewhere in pursuit of this girl he met online. Then, back before Christmas, he re-appeared, told me the details of this homoerotic screenplay he was writing, and was once again fueling my masturbatory fantasies.
We met up for coffee, we talked about getting together for vietnamese food, I called and left a message, I never heard back.
End of story.
Until Wednesday, when I was shocked and surprised to get a phone call from him, asking if the offer of vietnamese still stood.
Absolutely it did.
We made plans to get together last night.
And then, after we said goodbye, but before he hung up, I heard him say, "Okay, so he's gonna meet me. I'll lay it all out for him at the table tomorrow night."
Lay what all out for me?
When we met up last night at the Starbucks in Chalfont, Bucky was resplendent in his untucked white dress shirt and cargo pants. We got our respective coffees, then headed off in my Jeep to Pho Thai, the restaurant I had in mind. We talked on the way. Bucky was driving again thanks to a breathalizer thingy. He might have a job at an Outback Steakhouse, and he had found a new place to live over in Phoenixville. He had found the place on craigslist. A house on a few acres ("with a gazebo and everything!") owned by "a couple of guys who seem pretty nice." He was renting a room from them.
For sure, at this point, my antennae were so Up. Who were these two jokers that had cock blocked me? A couple of queens in Phoenixville with a gazebo for pete's sake. Who has a gazebo? (Although if Bucky was impressed by that, I guess I'll have to build a gazebo.)
I calmed myself down before I blew my cool. After all, Bucky exudes sexual ambiguity like you wouldn't believe. The boy just will not be pinned down. No doubt those guys were sitting in their gazebo right then endlessly debating "well is he or isn't he?", a conversation I have long since stopped having with myself.
And we talked about life and about writing and about books we had read and about California and about work and such.
Bucky and I both have the same conversational style, which I guess you could describe as meandering, but that would probably be giving it way too much credit. Many can't tolerate it, and so I do my best to rein it in, but with Bucky, I just let my thoughts and the conversation go wherever it will.
Pho and vietnamese spring rolls were a huge hit with Bucky. And I was glad of that. I like that he likes what I like. And I also got a charge out of introducing the boy to something new. Even if it was just a southeast asian cuisine. We were still talking up a storm when the restaurant staff stood in a line with their arms folded, all the other diners long since departed. Bucky and I headed back to where he had left his car at Starbucks. I was telling him the tale of how I dropped Extasy with Mr. Big Shot Hollywood Producer and confused the effects of the drug with the experience of falling head over heels in love with Mr. Big Shot Hollywood Producer ("Oh I can laugh about it now but at the time it was terrible..."). Bucky laughed with me at my recounting, and then paused and asked, "When did you first know you were gay?"
And my heart stopped. I almost drove right through a redlight I was so bent out of shape.
"I had a dream," I said.
And I told him the True Story Of My Gay Awakening.
I was fifteen years old and staying down at my grandfather's house in Olney, Philadelphia. My grandmother had died a year or so before, and my grandfather was distraught and broken. I would go down there whenever I had off school to look after him. Since my homelife at that time was awful, it was a convenient getaway. And there, sleeping in my big four poster bead in the front room, I had this dream.
In the dream, the world was coming to an end. The polar icecaps had melted, and the oceans were rising. In only a matter of time, all but the tallest mountain peaks would be underwater. I and my sister were part of a team of scientists who had been called together by the world's leaders to figure out how to save humanity. (You could tell we were scientists because we were all wearing white lab coats. I've since learned that scientists tend not to wear their white lab coats outside of their labs.) We all knew that the only reason that we were called together was so that the world's governments could prevent panic. We were just public relations. In fact, there was nothing we could do. It was all over. So we all sat around my grandparents dining room table, sending up trial balloons ("we could build a giant geodesic dome that would float on top of the waves" "Yeah. That might work." "Or, we could build giant pontoons to elevate some of the major cities." "Huh! Worth a try."). These were all half-hearted, because we all knew it was over.
Then, there was this rumbling sound. Suddenly, I was on the roof of the front porch outside the windows of my second floor front bedroom. My sister and the other scientists were down in the street. There, up Duncannon Avenue, above the rowhouses of Olney, there was this undulating blue-grey haze over the horizon line. It got darker and darker and more distinct. Then, there was a roaring sound, and a huge wall of water came surging down the street. I watched as my sister and all the other scientists were swept away in a flash.
And then, there was this roiling finger-like projection of the water, it rose like the head of a viper over me, then FWOOOOOSH, it swept over me. I vividly felt like when you go under a wave at the beach, not sure which direction was up, tossed by the surf. "I'm dying," I thought. I began to pray: "Please Lord Jesus! Please take me into Your Kingdom! Please Lord! Please!" And then, I felt this incredible peace and acceptance. It was okay. I would be alright.
And I woke up. The morning sun was streaming in through the windows of my bedroom. My dick was shooting like a geyser. "I'm peeing the bed," I thought. But it wasn't piss.
It was that simple. Just like that. No torturous questioning and wondering. It was just that simple. I'm gay.
Acceptance and self-possession.
"Huh," said Bucky, "well I'm bisexual."
At long last, now we were getting somewhere.
He told me about his first crush, when he was in 8th Grade, on an exchange student from Spain.
We were back at Starbucks now. Parked in my Jeep next to his car.
"Y'know," I said, "If you ever would want to be gay with me, I would totally be open to that. I liked you for years, Bucky. You're a great guy."
"I'd like that a lot," Bucky answered.
And so we kissed.
Bucky is a good kisser. A really good kisser. His lips are so soft, so sweet.
I was in heaven.
Bucky had to drive back to Phoenixville, so we said our goodbyes.
"And oh yeah," said Bucky, "One other thing I wanted to talk to you about."
And then Bucky proceeded to tell me about this pyramid marketing scheme ("great business opportunity") he was involved in and invited me to meet him tonight for coffee with "one of his business associates."
One day I am going to take a belt to Bucky's ass and make it good and red for putting me through all this.
But not tonight. Tonight, I'm going to hear some bozo give me a spiel about some pyramid marketing scheme ("and you just sign up friends of yours as business associates and the money just rolls in!").
However, a thought has occurred to me. Maybe Bucky called on me (he must know lots of kids, right?) because he has some misgivings about getting involved in something like this and I'm the smartest guy he knows.
But we'll see.
Gotta run. Don't want to be late and make a bad impression on my new "business partners."