How PhillyGayCalendar Changed My Life Forever, Or at Least for a Handful of Months So Far

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

Way back in January when the year was young and everything was new again (again), I answered the call of a rainbow tweet, and the months since have seen my name skyrocket from relative obscurity to supreme upper-tier obscurity, relatively. I’m speaking, of course, of my ongoing tenure as a columnist for PhillyGayCalendar. The adulation and high esteem of those who’ve read and commented on my nightlife essays — my good friends, my little sister, and one irate fact-obsessed lady footballer – I naturally anticipated. What I didn’t see coming, however, was the end of three years of driftless bachelorhood and the beginning of a new and sporadically pleasant relationship with a man I’ll simply refer to as Dick.

It all happened during the third week of my hard alcohol-hitting exploration of Thursday, at Woody’s Latin Night. After a challenging bout of picture-taking that involved a former trick who either doesn’t remember our having met or convincingly feigns amnesia regarding the illicit yet recreational acts we committed — repeatedly — circa 2005 in the then-empty apartment below my own, and furthermore whose convenient goldfish memory demanded of me that I seamlessly suppress my indignation and, teeth a-grit, re-introduce myself to the grinning Ken doll whose very genetic blueprints I had once thoughtfully directed into the barren cracks of a quasi-familiar hardwood floor somewhere west of Broad, just so I could take a stupid photograph — and not for nothing, let me tell you a little something about these consarned pretty boys, okay? It’s like, sure, the model is sporty, it has a nice grill, the headlights are blazing, right, and don’t even get me started on the rims, but still, NOBODY’S BEHIND THE WHEEL, and –

I digress. And overshare. I shouldn’t be writing this under the influence of Fiona Apple. My bad.

So anyway there I was, taking a brief sojourn downstairs where I could at least swing a cat without striking a former lover, bar staff notwithstanding. After insinuating my way into a briskly uneventful conversation with some Plain Wayne types, I hit the head, splashed water on my face, and emerged re-born and resplendent, my massive guns Thelma and Louise, respectively, ripplingly bursting forth from my sleeveless soccer jersey like two arms on a mission to dangle attractively. Determined to go back upstairs, get back in the saddle, take some more pictures, and engage in several rounds of Serious Journalism (Do you come here, like, all the time? Can you Salsa?), I rounded the first corner of the main bar and glanced across the room, finding myself eye to eye with a handsome young man about my age in a striped button-down and corduroy blazer. Flushed with shy embarrassment, I immediately looked downward and shuffled on.

As I passed around corner number two, my eyes darted back toward the stranger’s direction and found that he was still holding me in a wryly impassive stare. I let myself take a closer look at his features and noted his clean-shaven cheek, strong chin, and neatly parted haircut. He looked like the kind of person who would vigorously shake your hand and solicit your vote in the upcoming primaries. Meanwhile, I as usual resembled nothing so much as the black sheep of Mr. Clean’s extended family.

And then the stranger smirked at me, bestowing me with a hot shot non-smile that dared me to make moves, to either shit or get off the pot. I got off the pot. Overcome by social anxiety and crippled by sobriety, I looked away once more and briskly trotted towards the stairway.

I arrived at the bottom of the landing, stopped dead in my tracks, and forced myself to turn around and look back at the stranger one more time. Doggedly, he persisted in holding me in his sights and I, having now double-confirmed that yes, this country club transplant was indeed and for whatever unfathomable reason sizing me up as though I were a lobster in a restaurant tank — I spazzed out, turned tail and swam up the stairs as fast as my many legs would take me.

About fifteen seconds later, my balls successfully sent word to my brain that they exist, and I bravely descended the stairs once more. Confident now, I approached the stranger, leaned over, and said, “Hey. Can I buy you a drink?”

“No,” he replied flatly. He turned away from me, patted the stool next to him, and ordered his own Guinness. We spent the remainder of the evening expressing mild disdain for one another and the rest is history. Dick, more so than the handful of worthy fellows I’ve kicked around with in the past, has turned out to be a man with whom I can trade both backhanded insults and those little human noises you make when you wake up next to someone you feel all fuzzy and gay towards.

True to what our outward appearances might suggest, be-blazered Dick is a church-going, fastidious gentleman with an encyclopedic knowledge of the culinary arts and local history, while I am a sweaty, porn-mongering wisacre whose gut frequently hangs out from under one of many too-small secondhand tees. I’m from New York. He’s from Jersey. Provided with a generous supply of duct tape, super-glue, and steel bolts, Dick still couldn’t hold together a tune, while my favorite weekend activity is making sweet, caterwaul-y love to the microphone at Natasha’s Karaoke Boulevard. You couldn’t find two more polar opposites in a buddy comedy about a hard-boiled cop and a talking meerkat, but that’s what makes us work: entertainment value.

So what am I getting at here? About nine-hundred words so far, but that’s hardly the point. What I’m trying to say is: Four months ago I signed up to author pertinent missives for the folks who read PhillyGayCalendar, and any ears I’ve got up till now, I want to keep. So while my “misadventures in monogamy”, as one friend uncharitably put it, have caused my interest in nightlife proper to wane somewhat, I’m still a gay, I still live in Philly, and I still utilize a calendar. Pencil me in.

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