They started coming in 5 years ago when their daughter was just 4 months-old. The Mom loves telling tables next to her how Lil’ Rachel used to sit in her car seat and follow me with her eyes everywhere I went. Since then her parents have called me her boyfriend.
Every time she comes in I give her a big hug and compliment whatever pink accessory she’s wearing. When she turned 2 I put a candle in a scoop of ice cream and had everyone sing Happy Birthday to her. She huffed and puffed so hard that saliva shot everywhere. Not a drop hit the flame, it didn’t even flicker. It was so cute that I celebrated her birthday every week for next 6 months. I stopped when her aim got good enough that it just wasn’t worth the hassle of running around looking for people to sing anymore.
They stopped coming in as frequently when the husband died of heart failure a year ago. Last week was the first time I had seen the girls in a while. Rachel was excited about starting kindergarten in the spring. Her smile was as bright as the gold plated Star of David she wore around her neck that used to be her father’s.
“It’s so pretty and shiny. I must have it. Gimme!” I said as I reached for the necklace. She let out a scream and then giggled as she wrapped her arms around her neck to protect it.
They had just gotten back from Mexico visiting family where apparently Rachel found a new boyfriend; her 15 year-old cousin Oscar. I knew something was up because she acted so disinterested in me. Half way through their meal the Mom signaled for me to come over. She passed me a piece of paper and whispered, “Rachel just asked me the funniest thing… I don’t know where she comes up with this stuff.” I opened it and written in green ink was, “Does Jim date girls?”
I laughed and then blushed. Rachel pretended not to pay attention as she dipped her mini-burger in 1000 island and took a bite, but I could tell she was waiting for an answer. The Mom was aware of my sexual orientation, as we used to be friends on Facespace, but Rachel was not.
I wonder what I did to make her ask this. Was it the delicate way I pointed to things on the menu? Was it the feminine facial expressions I made while describing the deliciousness of a certain appetizer? Was she just the youngest girl on the planet to develop such a precise gaydar? Or had she simply heard this question before on T.V. or at day camp, understood its significance, and wanted to know if I was single? Whatever it was, I know that 5 year-olds are smart and respect you more if you tell them the truth.
“No,” I said.
Rachel put down her burger and then showed me her gold necklace again.
When Chanel left yesterday I checked my wallet to see if I had accomplished my goal. I had 17 dollars remaining. I did it! Of course there were times when Chanel treated me, like to the Guinness and shrimp dinner at one of my favorites, otherwise I would have easily gone over my limit, but let’s not talk about that.
Speaking of not talking about it, I’ve got a date tonight. Remember that guy that I thought rejected me after I told him what I did for a living? You know, that good-for-nothin’ two-bit whore. Um, well, it turns out that he was in Vegas for a few days and too busy to respond to my email. I may have overreacted, sue me. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again.
Speaking of doing it again, next week I’m meeting up with that guy I got a ticket with on our last date. He texted me the other day and asked if I wanted to hang out. We’re gonna play tennis. I know we had our differences, but we also had a lot in common. Who knows, maybe I can get a friend out of this? When I asked him which court he’d like to meet at he replied, “I can go to your place and we’ll take it from there :).”
I’m not going to overthink any of this. I’m just gonna grab my broom and dust off the cobwebs that are dangling like feathers from the ceiling.
I met Chanel my freshman year of college, back when I was still tricking people. We’d spend many nights in her room drinking screwdrivers and downloading songs from Napster. One night we got super drunk and ended up making out under the table in the lounge. Afterwards as I walked her to her room she said, “I don’t want it to be weird tomorrow.” And it wasn’t. We carried on as though nothing had happened. That’s what I loved about her; she never pressed issues or made things awkward. For me it was great because I never had to answer questions, for her it was torture because she never got questions answered.
She’s been dating this guy for 3 months now. He’s our age, tall, handsome, has a wicked sense of humor, and is sociable in public. He introduces her to people at parties as his girlfriend. She’s been on sailing trips with his family. They’re pretty serious, well, except for the intimacy. The furthest she’s gotten with him is a kiss, and that’s only been twice. She thought she was going to get some that one time he spent the night at her house. When he offered to sleep on the couch she said, “Don’t be silly. You can sleep in my bed.” He said, “Thanks,” and then crawled in, rolled his back to her, and fell asleep. She looked at him like, “What?” and then watched Chelsea Lately for a bit before turning off the light and going to bed.
Is he or isn’t?
He’s not a strong Christian but comes a family with values. His brothers all have girlfriends but his last relationship was 10 years ago. He’ll change the station when a good pop song comes on and likes to go for long bike rides. He wants to be a firefighter and lived abroad in Indonesia for 2 years.
Is he or isn’t he?
She asked my opinion and the only advice I could give to her was to ask him about it next time things turn cold. It may be awkward but at least she’ll get answers because right now the only person who knows is him, and that’s not fair to her.
…a bartender that we’ve both dated but neither was fortunate enough to ever see naked. He hooked us up with top shelf liquor for free. It’s uncomfortable for me to talk to him, especially when he’s in his underwear, but I sucked it up for free booze.
We also found a guy I used to work with but haven’t seen in over 2 years. He, a breeder from the Midwest, and I, a gay male from Earth, used to have a good relationship and often shared stories about farming. He’s now bartending at the hottest gay club in town. The thing that annoyed me was how he made it clear that working there wasn’t anything special.
“Yeah, so I’m probably gonna be out of here in a month,” he said as he poured me and Ronnie each a double Grey Goose rocks.
“Really?” I said slightly annoyed. I’ve discovered that any straight dude who works at a gay bar and openly complains about it is normally a homo. “Don’t you make good money here?” I asked knowing damn well that he easily makes $300 a night.
“Oh, it’s great! But I’ve got better things coming up involving modeling and acting,” he said as he counted the drinks in his head. “No charge, babe.”
“Cool,” I said as I tipped him 300%. ”Good luck, babe!”
At the last bar I met a reader named DK who recently broke up with his boyfriend and wants to write about it. He asked me to read it first to make sure that he’s not “throwing him under the bus. I want to make sure my culpability is all in there.”
Ronnie fell in love for the 432nd time. He met the most handsome front desk manager at the gym and swore they exchanged eyes in the sauna. Desperate to get his last name in order to Facespace stalk him, but too embarrassed to ask, he requested that I call and investigate. Bored while waiting for the results of my mole analysis, I obliged.
“Hello, thank you for calling We-Suck-Cox Gym in Century City. This is Sally, how may I help you?” the receptionist said.
“Hello Sally. My name is Jim. I spoke to a gentleman earlier named Larry.”
“Uh huh,” she said as though she’s heard this name a million times. “Larrrrry.”
“Yeah Larry,” I said. “Wait, what was his last name again?”
“Santucci,” she said.
“Yeah, that’s it,” I said. “Santucci. Well, I had talked to him about getting a memebership. What time do you guys close tonight?”
“10 o’clock but it’s better if…”
I hung up and immediately texted Ronnie the info. It didn’t take but 5 minutes before he sent me a full portfolio of this guy. God bless people in L.A. for being so marketable… Accessible? No, marketable. Either way, Sunday night we’re on a mission to find Larry. Or someone like him.
- Jazz: We’ve decided on April because having it in August will cost an extra 6 thousand dollars. We found the perfect place, too. The problem is that it’s only available on the 20th.
- Me: So.
- Jazz: Well, do you think it’ll look tacky having our wedding on 4/20?
- Me: No, not at all. Firstly, it’s the only date available so you have to take it. Secondly, it sounds completely different when you say April 20th. Thirdly, I don’t think anyone will even know what 4/20 means.
- Jazz: Um, do you know who I’m inviting? I’m sure the only person who won’t know is my Grandmother.
- Me: Well, at least every year when people are blazing up they’ll think of your wedding and how magical it was. Also, you’ll never forget your anniversary, unless of course you wake and bake.
- NOTE: I don’t see any problem with having a wedding on April 20th. There are loads of other holidays that could be worse, like Christmas or Memorial Day. It made me think about what time of the year I’d like to get married. I think I’d like an August wedding in my hometown of Coupeville, WA. I’d have it at Sunnyside Cemetery which overlooks the prairie and Ebey's Landing. There’s a perfect little pull-out where I used to park my truck at night after work and secretly smoke cigarettes while dreaming of the day I’d get to escape. It’s funny how after all these years and adventures I’d like to end up back there to tie the knot. It's just so beautiful and historic, which oozes romance.