Well, I never called him again after that night ten years ago, but he keeps popping up in the periphery of my present day life.
Not calling seemed like the right call for a date that ends with him pushing a drag queen.
It was one of those surreal cartoonish moments. One minute I’m standing there talking to said DQ, the next her feet have made an appearance and there is just enough time to register the surprise that flits across her face – and this surprise could have been the thought “I have those same shoes!” – before she hit the wall three feet away and crumpled to the floor.
Then everything clicks into place and you realize that your date pushed her.
His next shift was probably his last at CCs. He was banned from the bar in the moments following that altercation, so that just seems like a realistic assumption.
I’ve thought of him a few times recently because one of Portland’s local Drag Queen celebrities recently died, Tiara Desmond. It was she that I’d been talking to that night as we often did when I’d come in for a drink and she was working. She might have been working both CCs and Darcelle’s at that point…all I know is she was around CCs at least as often as I was.
She had a more legitimate reason to be around. I was just there drinking my way through some therapy after my boyfriend had left me.
For a waiter.
On our anniversary.
No biggie. Just another gay in the life of Chris. And there have been a lot of gays in my life.
The point is, she was always nice to me. Genuinely nice, which I really needed. More than I needed whatever medicine I was swilling at the time.
But her death has brought that night to the fore front of my consciousness frequently in recent weeks.
He was a go-go boy at CCs back when CCs had go-go boys. The hottest one, in my humble, pickled opinion. And HE asked me out. Which is probably the beginning of the end of me being impressed with myself by younger guys hitting on me.
There’s always a reason.
What’s wrong with you?
What do you want?
But just because I’m no longer impressed or flattered doesn’t mean I’m not still open to the potential opportunity. I like to think I’m more selective in my screening nowadays.
Probably, I’m not.
We’d gone on a couple of impromptu dates. He was off work, let’s us grab last call at another bar or running into each other socially out on the town.
Or more accurately careening into one another.
We had a couple of date-y dates. My favorite was also my first Pimps and Whores party. I want to say it was at his place. I hope it was because I think we woke up there the next day. My memory of that time is decidedly fuzzy.
But this deliberate date was dinner. I’d suggested it and told him to pick the place – dangerous stuff for a picky eater.
He chose sushi.
I chose Masu. If I’m gonna eat food I don’t like, I’m gonna do it like a baller ant the newest and it-est sushi place in town.
We had a good dinner, surprisingly, I didn’t starve. When I went to drop him at home after he asked where I was going as I exited the freeway.
“I’m not done with you yet” he replied when I told him I was heading to his place.
So, we ended up at CCs. For a nightcaps.
You know the end result of that side trip. I hadn’t figured him for the jealous type. But who knew what else was going on. I was kind of naive back then.
Remember, my boyfriend of six years had left me shortly before and I’d never seen it coming.
Needless to say, I felt my culinary compromise failed to deliver a decent return on my investment.
Smash cut to this evening.
I’m out for a semi-regular happy hour with my favorite local…let’s call them the Fabulous Baker Girls. The surname is a 60% match. The adjective is a 100% match. They are all diversely fabulous. So FBG1 and I are out at Henry’s having some beer and small plates and chattering away the evening. It’s beer, so I’m also monitoring my gastrointestinal seismic activity, which is fine because FBG1 takes small talk to a level. I love just sitting there and letting it was over me. I don’t think I could keep up with her if I tried, she has the gift for gab.
Anyway, now and then when we’re together, something clicks. Tonight it was after she’d suggested splitting the HH California Rolls and I had told her to go ahead, but I might just watch.
A few conversational ellipses later, she’s talking about this tangential friend and how he does a drag brunch somewhere in town.
<pronouns shift accordingly>
Oh, yeah…with Bolivia Carmichaels? I’ve seen a few of her shows advertised at CCs.
“I’m not sure, I think it’s on her Facebook page” and I’m grossly paraphrasing our conversation here…
And I find her Facebook page and we start talking about the place and how I need to get there since I keep hearing about it.
I’m not sure how many degrees of separation this DQ was from FBG1 nor whether the DQ’s husband was part of said degrees or not, but I literally failed to suppress my ejaculation when I clicked on his profile.
Sorry, my ejaculation was of the “OMG, I dated this guy for a minute just after the turn of the century” type. Just in case you thought otherwise.
And just guess who that husband was?
I tried some California Roll.
And I still don’t like sushi.