THE BLACK BOOT DIARIES – It’s What’s Inside That Counts

IT’S WHAT’S INSIDE THAT COUNTS

It is Summer 2010. I’m standing outside the bar I frequented at the time. Bored, mostly.

There’s an out-of-towner. He is, like so many twenty-somethings, furiously thumbing and texting on his dumbphone. He looks lonely. He looks frustrated. He’s one-quarter turned toward me so I can see all of this.

Probably an operative. This is going to be fun.

His name is Terrence. He’s from Texas. He has charming clear blue eyes, which I’m not afraid to compliment him on.

“You’re a charmer, that’s what you are.”

Terrence laughs.

The political conversation is cut short humorously.

“I supported Obama at first. Until the healthcare thing. But I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Yeah. You know, healthcare has gone from sixteen percent of the average paycheck to thirty-three percent in twelve years. That’s worse than a tax increase! And kids not being able to—”

“I said I didn’t want to talk about it.”

“No problem.”

Didn’t walk away. Clearly an operative.

We proceed to drink and dance. I call him ‘Texas’. An affectionate and ironic nickname.

I had not done the bump-and-grind since high school, and never with a guy (on the dance floor, that is). Chalk up the first new experience.

A regular, not only drunk but clearly high on something, comes over to our table and flirts with Terrence. Terrence flirts back.

Heheheh. That’s that game?

I don’t react, except to return the druggy’s strange hand movements with some of my own, probably a middle finger extension slipped into the middle of the ritual. This seems to work. Druggy moves back to his seat at the bar.

We move on to another bar after another stint on the dance floor (where necking a guy while dancing becomes a second first experience).

I guess one should mess with Texas after all.

It’s my first or second time at the second bar. It’s getting late and it’s nearing closing time. We dance in the middle of the floor with soap suds coming down. It’s the first time I’ve seen apart from Queer as Folk, much less been inside, a mountain of suds like that. Yet another cherry popped!

A young African American joins us. He thinks he’s competing with me for Terrence. Silly, silly boy.

As we leave, Terrence is desperate and confused as to why I’m not fighting to take him home. I even tell the new beau that Terrence and I are “just friends” and it’s all cool. Terrence is visibly upset.

We part, I get his FB account. Later, he does not, as he promised, accept the friend request. He goes with the young man, but not before I discover that Terrence kisses only marginally better than Walter. These self-hating homos really need a lesson in passion and self confidence.

Now, that twenty-year old stripper, Ben. That was a kiss. But he strangely enough needs dance lessons.

I laugh all the way home. Sometimes I think I’m fighting with the mentally challenged. They don’t seem to understand: there’s no one and nothing can control me for long.

But thanks for the good time, Karl. Really, you shouldn’t have.

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