"Desperate Homos, Part 1"
Gavin's friend Marc Wilson was known by most of his social circle to be a very involved young man. He did community theater, had two jobs, and one particular evening, he was involved in the airing of some dirty laundry.
One recent evening, Marc found himself wedged between a shirtless gay couple. As they bumped and grinded to the beat, Marc couldn't help but wonder where he knew one of them from.
It was then that Marc flashed back to a previous Sunday at church. He had been dutifully in attendance when his father came up to him to introduce him to a new member who had recently gotten involved in his prayer circle.
"This is Jesse," Marc's father told him as he shook his hand. While they shook hands, another person came up and joined them. "Oh Marc, this is Jesse's wife Marcia and their new baby, Eva."
As Marc continued to dance with Jesse and Jesse's boyfriend, and watch them flirtatiously wink at one another, he quickly came to the conclusion that Jesus was not the only man involved in Jesse's life.
All the while on Spruce Street, another desperate homo was airing some emotional dirty laundry of his own.
"I think I like The Hot Scot," I confided to Gavin. "It's like we're stuck playing this romantic version of Clue; he broke my heart in La Crosse with a knife to my back."
"You've got to find somebody new to move on with," Gavin advised.
"I do like a new guy," I confessed. "His name is Denton and he's a bartender in La Crosse. We've been IM-ing each other for awhile, always flirty, and I met him at Oktoberfest last week."
It had been at the bars when I forced my way up to the bar to get a drink and he leaned over and whispered in my ear in a seductively low pitch voice.
"Are you the man from River Falls?" he said.
He leaned back as I smiled a bit. He was tall, thin, and boyishly charming with a brown newsboy cap on top of his head.
"And get this," I continued. "He plays the bagpipes and owns three kilts. Somehow, even though I'm gay, I still end up being a skirt chaser."
In the middle of my conversation with Gavin, I received an e-mail. When you're writing a gay dating column, you often times get promotional materials but what I received was most definitely a first.
"You know that there is gay porn called Desperate Husbands," I typed to Gavin.
"How is it?" he asked excitedly.
"For gay porn stars, they look remarkably less worn-out than Teri Hatcher," I replied. "But personally I'm holding out for Gay's Anatomy."
That evening, Denton sent me an IM so we could arrange a date when we could go out on one.
"You know you're much cuter in person," he said to me.
"I'm going to take that as a compliment," I replied. "I have a question for you; what exactly does one wear underneath a kilt?"
"You'll just have to go under there and see for yourself," he answered.
After Denton logged off, I continued chatting with some of my messenger mates including twenty-something Mark, a student at UW-La Crosse.
"What are you up to?" he asked me.
"Just finished talking to this guy named Denton," I replied.
"Oh really," he said. "I know him."
"Cool," I typed back.
"Yeah," Mark continued. "He's my boyfriend."
I sat back in my chair, stunned by this revelation, and could only say one thing:
"Oh Jonathan, what did you do?"
"Desperate Homos, Part 2"
My high school friend Brenda Mavo had been desperate to get married since she was a little girl and was always searching for a true relationship.
Unfortunately for Brenda, she only came in contact with liars. There was the psychology major that had lied about his criminal history, the art major that had lied about his bisexual tendencies, and the medical student that had lied about not having kids.
“I didn’t lie per se,” he shouted at her. “You just never asked.”
And at that moment, Brenda decided to do some lying of her own.
“Well it doesn’t matter,” she said. “The engagement’s off.”
“Not because of a little thing like a toddler?” he cried.
“No,” she smirked, “because I am a lesbian and didn’t realize it until I slept with you.”
There was a long pause before James said, “I’d love to watch sometimes.”
Brenda glared at him and stormed out of his apartment in a huff, realizing that not only was he a jerk but that it had been one of the few truthful things he had ever said to her.
And in River Falls, the truth was coming out of the closet.
“So Denton isn’t really my boyfriend,” Mark confessed. “We broke up last week. I just miss him so much and care for him and I just want him back so much.”
“Oh,” was the best response that I could come up with.
I was about to lie and say that I needed to reboot my computer when Mark decided to impart another piece of truth to me.
“He’s so busy preparing for the class he’s teaching at UW-La Crosse next semester,” he said.
“Shit!” I exclaimed with a thousand exclamation points.
“He’s going to be teaching at the same university as your dad?” Gavin asked the next day.
“They might even end up having offices in the same building,” I bemoaned. “First The Scot is a student of my dad’s and now Denton is going to be a colleague.”
“At least you’re trading up,” Gavin replied.
That evening, I decided that it was time to have a truthful, honest discussion with Denton.
“I talked to your ex-boyfriend Mark last night,” I said.
“And did you talk about me?” Denton asked.
“No,” I lied. Apparently, it was going to take a little time for my honesty to warm up. “Okay yes, we talked about you. Actually, he spent most of the time whining about missing you. It was sad since he seems really hurt.”
“That’s a weird place to be around.”
“Oh I wasn’t around the weird place,” I replied. “It wasn’t the suburbs of weird place. I was in downtown Weird Place on the corner of Awkward and Uncomfortable.”
“Well if you talk to him again tell him that I miss him and I’m sorry that it didn’t work out,” Denton replied.
“Do you want to get back with him?” I asked.
“Of course not,” Denton replied tersely. “Why?”
“I just need to know that you’re truly over him,” I said.
“I want to go on a date with you,” he replied. He added, “At the very least.”
“Honestly?” I asked.
“Honestly,” he answered.
Yes, a large majority of our lives can be spent telling lies. There are the lies that we tell to our friends. You don’t look fat in those jeans. There are the lies that we tell to our families. I really love your fiance. And then there are the lies that we tell ourselves. I’m over him. But somehow, through all the lying, sometimes, if we are exceptionally lucky, we stumble upon the truth.
Just An Old-Fashioned Sex Party
My friend "Owen" was the envy of most his hipster friends, getting invited to the most fabulous parties all over the Cities and living one of those delightfully scandalized lives that dreams and sex tapes are made of. He hadn't always been that way; I knew him when he could only afford thrift store clothes and pot, before he traded up to Guess jeans and coke. Anyway, Owen decided to pass along an invitation to one of his friends, yours truly.
"Do you want to go to a sex party?" he asked me. "A group of guys gather together, have some drinks and rotate partners."
"I don't even like the concept of speed dating let alone speed screwing," I countered.
"Come on," he hissed to me over the phone. "It's like a potluck dinner except you're the dish that gets passed around."
"You should totally go," my friend "Hank" said to me a few days later.
"Of course you would say yes to it," I replied.
Hank, in retrospect, wasn't the best sounding board for such matters. Before entering a monogamous relationship with his boyfriend Randy, Hank had been quite the veracious single; and even though he was happily together with Randy, he still found ways to see others.
"You spend your free time masturbating on a webcam for total strangers," I snickered. "Hell, a sex party would just be a fan club meeting."
"It'd be fun and you'd get material for your column," Hank persisted, undeterred. "Besides, you're single. You should be out, having fun."
"Fun is one thing," I interjected. "Being essentially compared to a casserole is another."
Still unsure about whether to RSVP yes to the party, I decided to survey some of my friends.
"Would you ever go to a sex party?" I asked to one of the most sexually-free people I knew, my main metro Thad the Cad.
"Excuse me?" he replied.
"It's not an invitation just a hypothetical question," I interjected.
"Are you going to go to one?" he asked.
"No," I said. "It was bad enough being chosen last in kickball in elementary school and we had all our clothes on."
"I would be scared of that as well," he replied.
There was a little pause as I thought of the number of hot girls and horribly misguided boys that hit on Thad on a weekly basis.
"You know," I laughed, "I almost believed that bit of humility."
The next night, I talked to Denton about the sex party.
"Why aren't you going?" he chided me. "It sounds interesting at the very least. You're probably too prudish."
"Could be," I agreed.
"Or maybe I'm just a nympho," he said. "But you know, good sex does abound."
"Is that so?" I replied.
He paused for a moment. "You'll just have to wait and see."
That night, I sent Owen an e-mail declining my sex party invite. Five minutes later, I got a phone call from him.
"The sex party is cancelled," he mournfully told me. "His neighbors complained when they found out."
"Aren't you going to fight for your right to sex party?" I chuckled.
"Please," he sighed, "I was only going because I wanted to stop thinking of my ex who I just split up with."
He sniffled a bit, finally pulling back the velvet rope in front of his party boy persona.
"But that's life," he sighed.
He then imparted one of the most astute observations about parties and dating I've heard in a long time:
"Lovers are like parties; there is always a better one somewhere that everybody is dying to get into."