Prologue: The Introduction
It seemed like a foolproof way to end my psycho-sexual drought. Fly him out. Okay that's a bit of an exaggeration but I did chip in for half of the airfare from Chicago.
One of my oldest friends had connected us. Although only 26 he loved older men, especially hairy guys who were also smart and on the scruffy side of the street.
We had our first manic conversation on speakerphone. He was driving with my friend Ian and nearly giddy with excitement when he asked me if I could talk.
“I have someone you have to meet. I think you two would be great together. He's on speaker with me now.” We talked for fifteen minutes, with Ian and my friends adding commentary from the passenger seats of our cars.
Mark was smart, energetic and non-linear. In other words we thought and talked the same way.
"I'm a gerontophilliac," he proclaimed. Ian interrupted, “That means he’s attracted to older men,” before adding and “he’s possibly moving to San Francisco.”
In addition, though negative, he had no issues being with positive men. I was having a hard time keeping in the moment.
Planning the Rendezvous
We spoke sporadically before deciding I would help the underemployed lover of older men fly west. We both confessed both our excitement and apprehension but Mark had friends in San Francisco so the pressure was off. It took another month before we finalized our gay, multi-generational, cross-country encounter.
Mark was looking for work and volunteering at a number of conferences so his schedule was tight and constantly changing. After several off-again on-again plans we decided that he’d visit in early June after the International Mister Leather contest. His visit would be short but three days seemed just right to see whether our pheromones were made for licking, kissing and fucking.
Mark would arrive Wednesday night. I was working and couldn’t pick him up at the airport. Instead he’d take the train downtown and I’d meet him there. That morning I was nervous and excited, second-guessing myself, amazing at my haplessness in love even while living in one of the gayest places in the world.
That afternoon I got Mark’s text. He missed his flight. A drawbridge was broken, stuck in the open position, delaying trains all over Chicago. My naturally self-loathing ego wondered if he overslept because of a late night sex party with leather gods from all over the globe, but I put this neurosis to rest. Trust doesn’t come easily to me, never more than when engaged in the pursuit of romance, sex or love.
The next night he arrived. I sensed we were both happy to see that Ian wasn’t wrong, at least not from the looks of each other. I had grabbed a couple bottles of beer and took him to a quiet place overlooking San Francisco Bay where we smoked weed, drank and made out for an hour. It was nice - very, very nice.
Leaving the waterfront he asked me if the Embarcadero Landmark Theater was far away. It wasn’t and then he told me he had to meet a friend. I was furious, thought I’d been played. When I asked him if he wanted to hit me up later he hesitated, mentioned this was someone he had met on chaturbate and asked would it be okay if he checked in with me later? Screaming I told him don’t bother.
He reminded me he’d told me about the film and he was right. But that was a couple of weeks ago. I’d forgotten about it. Mark, in the fog on IML and the chaos of missing his flight, forgot to remind me and he was leaving in less than 48 hours.
Mark texted me late that evening and asked me if I wanted to hang out with him and his friends. No, I told him, I was in bed. I was surprised when he called the next morning. We hung out and had a really nice time until it was his turn to get furious. We were snapping goofy pictures on our phones when he saw that I had texted Ian about the previous night.
We went to my apartment. Mark was angry. I was despondent. He slept for three hours and didn’t speak to me for a few more. I asked him whether he wanted to stay or go. We both mentioned it might be better for him to leave, but he spent three hours of texting and pondering before deciding to stay. We slept together that night careful not to touch each other.
That morning I drove him to the airport and despite all pretenses of nothing ventured, nothing gained awkwardly said goodbye. It was horrible.