“Love seemed all the sweeter when it was misunderstood, condemned by the outside world,” said he.
“Yeah,” I reluctantly intervened, “In my experience however, when a man no longer wants to be in my life, I help the bastard pack his bags.”
I couldn’t help it, I had to get my two cents in. He was not impressed - immediately - it took a pause and the cocking of his head for him to ask me if he could use that in the future. Then the little tiny voice of my conscience warned my words had already been printed somewhere else. And they weren’t mine.
Plagiarism is like loving Tina, knowing you might have an addiction yet choosing to stand over a kitchen counter, over a buffet of little crystals just itching to get smashed into powder. Renders a boy helpless. The heart fluttering, the devil inside murmuring, the cold sweat beading on the brow. What to do? What to do?
I should let this one slide. I don’t even remember where I read the bit about helping an Ex pack his bags. There remained the truthful chance I didn’t even read it! I might have heard it quoted by some sulky hack at a reading back in June 2001. Oh my–
“I can see your gloves hanging from the waistband of your trousers like someone clawing to get out,” he said, snapping me back to the murky, musky reality of the shabby gay bar.
“Absolutely not,” I scoffed without acknowledging my gloves, “those words are not for sale.” I turned to leave, noticing a glint of confusion and perhaps a little elation in his rheumy eyes. I immediately freaked out, what could he possibly be thinking about me? I took a confident step or two forward, well what I thought was confident for a gay man of my fading stature. Nonetheless he stopped me with this, “Perhaps you could feed me some, I don’t know, flowers or something. Menu-wise, it might not hurt me to branch out a little.”
I’m not the brightest of the boys nevertheless I am of the .01% who are stunning to look at in my uniform of drab gray and black ‘50’s retro rags. In fact, it is all I packed for the weekend. It is all one needs really, and a cute set of sunglasses, but I picked up on his sexualized contempt - I don’t know if he intended this himself - but he certainly wasn’t going to get me to put out. So I replied, “I can sense your emotional suction cups aiming straight toward me and frankly, it’s scaring me away.”
But then he ended it all, my self-esteem included, with a soft and masculine glare. The kind of stare only a very famous unattractive older queen can give, because they can afford it.
I didn’t stand a chance. It was as if attempting to cut across the coming waves on a rowboat filled with weeds, seeds and dirt.
“In the basement there are two restrooms, one marked ‘Men’ and the other marked ‘Gentlemen’. Inside each is a toilet, a sink and a paper towel dispenser, meaning whichever you choose you get pretty much the same treatment. Thus it comes down to how you see yourself: as regular or fancy.”
The queen knew.