The Widow

There’s an old Sandra Bernhardt schtick about Grindr where she riffs on the gays being idiots for needing an app to find…let’s call it a date.  She says something along the lines of. “I don’t need an app to tell me there’s a hot guy three feet from me!”

And she’s kind of right about the ridiculousness and depth of our retardation if we need an app to introduce us to one another.  That’s partly why I call gay (let’s stick with this for now) dating apps asocial media.

But for once it actually seemed to work out as ridiculously as she described it.

I “met” a guy who lives on the next block.

Allegedly.

He was in my neighborhood and was a cute lil Sparky, so I threw him a woof.  Immediately after which, I recalled from his profile how he said “messages work better than woofs” so I sent him a message culpa.

It worked and we began chatting.  I learned that he’d moved up here recently from SoCal and lived in the Elizabeth, which is one of my aspirational Pearl District homes.

Not my favorite, but with units priced starting at a cool half mil for us plebeian folk…darned affordable.

And, literally on the block right behind me.

One of the few people to ever earn the distinction of being blocked by me on an asocial media site was an old guy who lived in the Elizabeth.  Our units faced each other until the hotel on the backside of my block was built.  We used to chat online over our morning coffees and had a nice virtual friendship.  He was looking for more, I was looking for less so we were at a little impasse of interest levels.  

But still, we randomly chatted.

The third time he reminded me what I can expect my junk to look like in 15 years, I blocked him.  I felt for him, we are living the same plight.  Too old to catch the interest of a gay of our very own, too young to actually be dead.  But, I don’t want to see my friends naked, and him pulling this shit on me every month or so demonstrated an ulterior motive I didn’t want to deal with, so we never met.

But, boy-oh!  If only I could manage my attractions, I coulda been living in a dream house.

However, now I was chatting with a 31 year old unreasonably good looking guy that lived in the very same building.  

Quite a package deal!

Bonus points were given that after a week of chatting, I still didn’t know what his junk looked like.

And it was a week of talking about hobbies, and tacos and post coital ice cream and beer and wine and working out…but after that first day on the app, I never “saw” him in my neighborhood again.  He was always 2-3 miles away, which I randomly attributed to him being at work or at the gym – one of the only pics he’d sent me was him working out, and it wasn’t at either of the gyms in the Pearl so I assumed that he had a distant gym that he preferred.

I try to assume the best.

But I did have some misgivings, based not only on his phone’s inability to accurately place him where he said he physically was, but also because I really doubted that he could afford a place in the Elizabeth.  My suspicion was that he didn’t live in the Elizabeth, but maybe somewhere, oh…2-3 miles away.

Whatever. 

He mentioned briefly that he had been engaged and his fiancé had died suddenly last year.  I didn’t pursue it via chat, but my mind briefly flashed back to my old neighbor and I began wondering what ever happened to him.

Actually, in my mind I had decided that was his fiancé and he’d died, leaving my condo to The Widow.

Nonetheless, despite those minor, niggling misgivings, I asked him out for a Friday drink.  I told him that I needed to be in bed – alone – by 8 for work the next day, but we could meet for a beer at 6 and I would introduce him to some of my favorite Oregon IPAs that he hadn’t met yet.

He declined.

Sure, in a sweet way, saying that he wanted more time together for our first meet up.  Ok, sure…how long does it take to drink a few beers and chat?  Two hours seemed like plenty, but I accepted his tentative alternate of Monday.

<ignores obvious warning whistles>

I just assumed that his current weekend was booked up, which I got used to while dating in Shittatle.

Here’s the funny part:

No, I swear, this is gonna kill ya.

Me, being playful me, texted him early on Friday and suggested he sneak out of work early and we could grab some happy hour since it was gorgeous out.  He replied, in what I assumed was a genuinely adult tone about how he’d just been sucked into a project that was gonna keep him late at work.

Oh, well…and I go about my day.  This does involve replying to random messages I’m getting on Scruff, mostly from people flying into town for the weekend who want to know if I’d like to give them a congratulatory fuck for arriving in Portland.

No.

But, while responding to one such message, I happen to see The Widow is online…aaaaand 146 miles away.

Shittatle.

I click on his profile, and sure enough:

Travel icon engaged, upcoming trip announced and, as I mentioned, he’s 146 miles away.

Oh, well.  I’m not upset by this.  I’m really more just curious as to why he wouldn’t say he’s going out of town.

Between my favorite sounding board, the Silver Fox – who insists I’m too hard on people, we decide that I should just let it lie until we meet on Monday.

“If he makes it back, I grumble.”

But I do.

Until.

He messages me at 6:20, “I’m off!”

That’s your long day?!?

I continue to let it lie until he messages me again later that night.  I’ve already popped my melatonin, as I do in order to be able to fall asleep at 8 pm.  I forget the context of the message, but my response is something along the lines of, “Let’s talk about it Monday.  Enjoy Seattle!”

Because I just couldn’t help myself.  I blame the melatonin.

He gets into this innocent act, thinking my response was meant for someone else.  When I explain my text, he insists he’s at home and basically dates me to meet up.

It’s about 7:45 now, so that’s a “no” from me, but I fall asleep wondering what would have happened if I’d called that bluff.

The next couple of days were spent with him asking to meet up again on Saturday and then immediately taking offense at some innocent pith I tossed out a few minutes later.  Same thing on Sunday, which ultimately ended with him asserting that he’s been trying to get me to meet up, but I won’t commit, so he’s walking away.

Good, I think and tell him, “In the last 48 hours, you’ve called me an asshole, a dick, passive aggressive and a few other pretty hostile things while continuing to alternate between asking me to get together and then manufacturing offense to get out of it, all while your phone thinks you’re in Seattle.  But, ok.  Bye.”

I feel bad when shit like that happens, especially with someone you’ve never met.  But what can ya do?  Given the evidence I witnessed and the behavior I experienced, I’m fine believing he was in Seattle – possibly at a Black Widow convention, maybe not – and just didn’t like being called out on it.

Haven’t heard from him since and still haven’t seen him around the ‘hood, so I’ll call this a lose/win situation.

Next!?!

The Widow

Woodwork

I really oughta learn my place.

Saying things like, “I think I could be open to dating again…”

Really, who do I think I am?

The Yoda of gay dating?  No…but I could use one inside my head.

“Date or do not date.  There is no open to.” – Gay Yoda.

Because it takes two to tango, as they say.  Three, or an open dance card at least if you’re in Portland, Oregon.

I’m not closing my borders, by any means, but I am readjusting my expectations to the point where I can entertain the idea that it wasn’t that I was closed off to dating in the first place.

Maybe I was just the only one in the dating scenario who was ready.

Fine.

And, in the meantime?  I have tales to tell.

Because in the last couple of months, my past dalliances have been coming out of the figurative woodwork to…I don’t know what.  

Make a point?

For, or against.  That is the question!

The New Kid

A couple of month ago, while the words “I think I’m ready to date again” were still hanging in the air, the new hotel next to my building opened.  That’s all well and fine, the absence of both construction worker (they really aren’t particularly hot, despite what The Village People would have you believe) and construction fencing was a big plus in my book.  Plus, the new restaurant was lookingbto be quite the add to the neighborhood.

Serving up great local Breakside IPA – check that, great looking guys serving up great local Breakside IPA, well, The Silver Fox and I knew we were in a good place.  

News Flash:  the battle of the bulge is back on, because I’m off wine and back on beer!

Y’know how the beer was both great and local?  Yeah, well the staff of Turner Creek Tavern seemed to be only great.  Literally every member of the team – as we chatted them up, Fox style – turned out to be from Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania or some other far-flung, imaginary sounding, likely red voting land.

But the beer was good and local.  And closer than any other beer or wine in the neighborhood…so, go, we did.

The Fox’s nephew-in-law was moving to town for college and he had hoped to put his in-laws up in the hotel on move-in weekend.  Alas, the timing for reservations was just days out of sync with their trip.  But, family lodging still being top of mind, we wandered into the hotel lobby one evening to check it out.

Of course, we ended up talking to the assistant manager, who offered us a tour and gave us his card to set it up.

I set it up, since he gave me his card.

Turns out, it’s a pretty nice hotel.  Also turns out that the bar isn’t the only place that can’t hire locally.  On the tour, it comes out that The New Kid is – hence the name – from out of town.  We offer several suggestions for places to go since it seems he lives nearby. 

I offer to take him along to any of the aforementioned places, since it turns out that he’s in love with local craft beer.

We trade texts over the next week as we endeavor to set something up.  Here’s a breakdown of that…breakdown.

He thinks I’m nice and attractive.  Reflexively, I assume his employer’s vision plan is garbage.

I tell him that – while questioning his judgment – the best way to get a guy in the PNW is pretty much fresh off the boat before dating in Portland ruins them or makes them kinky.

He admits that he has been seeing someone, but he’s feeling neglected.

Great!  I can not neglect.  Plus, I’m on staycation for a week, so we don’t have to worry about meshing schedules, I’m pretty available all week.

He lets slip that the guy he’s been seeing is his boyfriend from back home, who he’d asked to not move here with him.  That explains the Pearl address on an assistant manager’s salary.

I revise my expectations for romance backward – I don’t want to date any mess, er…anyone fresh out of a relationship – but leave the social invite open.  If he wants to get together, I’m good with it.  We had clicked on an interpersonal level during the tour.  

Besides, I’m too old for him, probably.

He confides that he had surmised my age after seeing my email address and liked it.  No, it wasn’t an aol address.  Turns out, he would be turning 28 soon and apparently, older was on his next boyfriend wishlist.

Ok, that’s swell, but irrelevant unless we ever got together to further our friendship.

Never available.

Work.

Allegedly.

Once my entire week off had passed him by, I pulled out my spade calling bullhorn and informed him he was failing at friendship or whatever he wanted to accomplish in getting together.

Just figure out what you want, I told him.

I hadn’t shared with him that – through the power of Facebook Deductive Reasoning – I had figured out that the guy he’d kind of been dating was actually a five year relationship. 

If it were me, i helpfully told him, I’d start at home and clean that situation up, then find some work/life balance.  Once that happened, I’d be around, but I wasn’t looking for a text friendship or relationship.  While he’d been going home to a boyfriend that took him for granted every night, I was left holding a bag of nothing.

The Fox said I was too hard on him.

He never returned that text.

Perhaps someday.  Or not.  But speaking of perhaps somedays…

Jeo

I’d run into Jeo on MAX one day while checking out another guy.  So many cute men, so little time…even less actual opportunity.

He’d told me during that encounter that he’d been thinking about how he left things with me and how he wanted it different and had been wanting to talk.

Serendipity.  In a very Portland-y passive manner.

We’ve talked/texted in the last few months. Shared early morning MAX rides to the airport – he’s s flight attendant – and ran into each other on the street a few times.

But we haven’t managed to sync up on purpose for some face time.  Mutual responsibility there.

For my part, he shared with me that he was just out of a relationship and still living – well, this probably sounds familiar.

But for his part, he’s away from home so often that having his own place really doesn’t make a ton of sense to him.  Plus, apparently his ex is a way better roommate than boyfriend.

Whatever, it’s fine.  

Jeo has continued to impress me with his drive, creativity and constant initiative.  Ok, that might be redundant, but this guy is really inspiring.  

Also, an A+ hugger.

But overall, just a great person to have any type of interpersonal relationship with, regardless of what’s happening with the Slot As and Tab Ds between us.

The Wallpaper

Speaking Slot As and Tab Ds…I ran into The Wallpaper socially a while back.  Well, we sloshed into one another in a bar.

He got what he’d been wanting for the better part of a year now – his new boyfriend be damned – and I haven’t heard from him since.

Guess he realized that it wasn’t what he’d wanted all along.  Which is fine by me, because weird open relationships, freshly single men…none of that is what I’ve been wanting, right?

Plus, from an accomplishment standpoint…Jeo and The New Kid leave The Wallpaper looking a little outdated.

The Broken Poet

Thanks, Twitter.

Apparently, in an unforeseen “add all” error when setting up my Twitter profile, The Broken Poet got tossed into the fray from my phone contacts.

Hey, I was trying to use the Twitter to grow my blog presence, so help a brother out with some shares, aight?

Nope.  I cannot pull that type of talk off.

Anyway, my carelessness in not realizing my “add all” was from my phone contacts versus my Facebook friends list may have been aided by a little wine.  I didn’t realize that had been the case until it – he – followed me back.

He immediately started responding to my tweets with bullshit like, “I miss Portland”.

Yeah, not even engaging on that front.

But then he starts popping up on my Twitter feed with pathetic Poor Me tweets and I have to debate unfollowing him.  I go back and brush up on my Covert Narcissism facts to bolster my urge to respond supportively.  Plus, I try to temper my gut reactions to this guy based on how he treated me.  That was almost two years ago.  Even though I know people can change, I also know he basically pulled similar shit with his next boyfriend since he was a virtual friend of mine.

People can change.  It doesn’t mean that they will.  Plus, me being open to dating is about me not anyone that I’ve dated in the past.  I’m trying to relate to people based on their present actions and how they affect me.

Of course, when he starts tweeting from the hospital, I make the mistake of letting my empathy out.  Turns out, he’s in the hospital for a “staff infection”, maybe also for borderline literacy.  

I don’t correct him.

That’s definitely too much.

But he starts in with how his life is passing him by and all his Victim Greatest Hits like how if he could do his life over things would be different and I just tell him that he’s gotta focus in the future and not dwell in the past.

Of course, this gets me a “You don’t know me” response and I sprain my eyes and walk away.

The Other Kid

For once I’m able to actually find a guy that is kind, good looking – with some mutual attraction – and have a couple of dates.  

It’s nice.

He’s really sweet when we’re together, holding my hand while we sit on the couch and watch a movie and giving me the sweetest kiss goodbye when he leaves.

I have the pleasure of cooking him dinner.

He has good table manners!

I wonder how he manages to be single and available.  He corrects me be saying that he’s single but not gay available.

When I ask what that means, he tells me he’s saving himself for marriage.  He literally says the words “butt stuff” which makes me laugh out loud and sob internally.

But I get what he means by saying he’s not gay available.  He does seem to have a fantastic network of friends, based on the number of Friendsgivings he attended.  He also seems to have s surprising number of dates for someone in his moral position…he must have an itch he wants to scratch, because he’s dating pretty hard.

Sadly, that makes him unavailable to me as often as I would like, but at the same time, I understand that that means I’m not his future husband.

This doesn’t bother me.

Like with Jeo, it’s just nice to be in the presence of someone who is living their lives so intentionally.  So, this Other Kid is an enjoyable and occasional add to my life even without further potential.

Now that I think about it, they’ve both deleted their asocial media profiles over the last couple of months and seem perfectly happy without it.  Probably, I should embrace that.  Maybe that was my mistake in planning when thinking about dating, associating with these Lost Boys who are largely living their lives unaccountably from one orgasm to the next…that’s really not what I want for myself.

Woodwork

Sex vs Intimacy Blog

What’s out there once we put sex into the right context and give it the correct priority in our lives?

What is the right context?

This is actually my oldest (surviving) draft idea.  I created it after my first few dates after moving back to Portland.  This, along with another thought exercise I was engaged in during that same timeframe on the context of people’s subtext have been on my mind again recently as I explore my openness once again to a possible relationship.

I’m gonna try and get them both out soon.  This is an interesting time for me.  You all should enjoy it along with me…or at least get a peek into my head as I expose myself to other people.

I can’t say that this topic has been “off” my mind for two years, I usually scroll through my drafts once a week or so and this is the (current) last on the list.  By the by, that list is currently 17, down from 24 in early September.  I sure hope the quality doesn’t show between these dusty old drafts and my more spontaneous pieces about – oh, say…why I can’t go get a haircut.

Besides being naturally more attenuated to the chasm between sex and intimacy now that I’ve reinstalled a men’s alleged dating app, I’ve also recently learned – through the magic of the Facebook – that The Wallpaper has paired up.

Remember The Wallpaper?

He’s a real sweetheart.  We lived together for a bit after Sacha left me and my friends had encouraged me to not be alone so much.  Obviously, a newly minted 21 year old gay was exactly what they were thinking when they suggested that.

We lost touch after I moved to Shittatle and then randomly ran into each other in a bar here in Portland 10 years later, just before I officially moved back.

We’ve been promising to get together “sometime” ever since.

It’s never happened.  Mostly, I blame myself.  

Ok, maybe I should give a little backstory:

He’s called The Wallpaper because during one – or two or three – of our random evening FB Messenger chats, he sent me a pic of his tush – or two or three – which became the wallpaper pic for my phone’s lock screen.

It’s an insanely cute tush.

So, that probably gives you a little insight into the direction some of those Messenger conversations careened.  For the most part, they were innocent enough, but poorly timed, “let’s get some wine” conversations that never manifested.  The others…well, someone had an itch he needed help scratching.

I wasn’t not flattered.

But I was my open and honest self and told him that I wasn’t looking for anything casual…especially with someone I call a friend.  For me, sex and friendship are on two opposite sides of the intimacy line.

On the other side of the conversation, he wasn’t not looking to date – obviously, hehe – but he’d never dated an older guy before.

He was referring to me.

Or at least the 16-ish year age difference between us.  A legitimate hesitation on his part, as that difference is about 50% of his entire life.

I was his MoPed.  A lot of fun to ride, but he wouldn’t want his friend to see him on one.

Ironically, The Wallpaper has a motorcycle, so that MoPed analogy works on many levels.

I don’t know if he got what he wanted elsewhere in those instances, but I know he’s found what he needed in a boyfriend.  I can’t be anything but happy for him, good guys deserve good guys…that check the right boxes for them.  I’m excited to watch their journey from the relative distance of the Facebook.

But he’s unique in his situational need for sex.  He was tapping his pool of acquaintances – at least in my case – in his search for getting himself…tapped.  I wouldn’t do that, but I do understand the relative safety that provides over the insecurity of seeing someone’s picture on an app and going to a stranger’s house for a bit of the old naughty.

That’s a funny meme, but not so funny when contrasted with the real life story of the two guys who lured five men to their deaths back east over this past summer using…gay dating apps.  

Talk about asocial media.  They escalated the dysfunction of those social media apps by a magnitude or two.

In the end, I’m glad The Wallpaper has found the ultimate security of the sure thing a relationship provides.  Plus, it’s so much more fulfilling than an anonymous hook up.

Ok, sure…I say “sure thing” knowing that couples have to put some work into syncing up their respective sex drives and/or schedules when it comes to <ahem> coming.  But it’s less work than trolling for random dick or ass on these timesuck dating apps.  I’d rather think that successfully hooking up in one of those situations is like playing the Lottery of Lust.

Does he appeal to you.

Are you sexually compatible.

Is he even available.

While relationship sex might be an equal – if not decidedly different – amount of effort, in the meantime, you have genuine intimacy.  

That’s amazingly valuable, in my opinion.  And undervalued these days.  It’s not that there’s not some degree of intimacy in a hook up, it’s just illegitimate intimacy.  Well, that’s kinda judgy sounding.  It’s at least forced.

Intimate strangers.

Is that a thing?

Should it be?

Maybe it’s my religious upbringing, but I don’t think it should be.  Actually, I think it’s more that I doubt it actually is.

Maybe that missing intimacy is what’s actually creating this culture of Lost Boys that is running amok in gay America.

Is being held by a stranger – whether strictly as a cuddle date (don’t get me started on that bullshit) or after a hookup – a real enough intimate contact to meet our messy human emotional needs?

I know people are loathe to consider themselves needy, but I think intimacy is as important to people as food and water.  It’s probably just as crazy to deny that reality as it is to deny our need for shelter.

Yet people do.

People replace intimacy with sex and settle for whatever false intimacy they can get while cuddling afterward while not acknowledging that they don’t even know if they know this guy’s actual name.

Or pretending they aren’t judging the cleanliness of his bedroom and wondering if he washes his sheets regularly.

Because that’s intimate.

Well, anyway…at least another human is touching you.  Maybe even telling you that you were “good”.

If not intimate, at least it’s validating…

Ok, I have to go be grumpy now.

Sex vs Intimacy Blog

I Have A Huge Confliction

Get your Chrisisms, right here!

Step on up!

I’m checking the Facebook before bed.  Yes, I’m going to bed before 8 pm on a Monday night.  Shut up.

I see a post from a guy I went on a few dates with about a decade or so ago.

A Lost Boy, for sure.

Former Porn Star turned Hair Burner…i.e. he never made it.  Luckily.

Former substance abuser, turned crutch drinker.

Y’know, one of those broken types I like so much.  But, I appreciated that the was pulling himself out of the grave he’d dug himself.  That’s something-ish.

We had fun; good talks, fun flirtations, a decent connection.

But, as things progressed over the course of several dates, he…couldn’t.

Eventually, he just faded out.

So much for a decent atypical haircut on CapHill.  

Atypical, meaning that I didn’t look like every other homo on the Hill.  That’s a worthy point.  I bet you can’t throw a pomade in Shittatle without it bouncing off a half dozen hard part haircuts before it hits the ground.

What’s the word for a gay douchebag?

Nevermind.

The point is, we never really untethered, socially.

My friends knew him.

We’d show up at the same place a couple times a year.

Then he moved away.

Eventually, he friended me on the dreaded Facebook.

I just rolled with it all.  Never rolling out the welcome mat, but also never calling out his shitty behavior.

Y’know, like sending me a friend request when he’s living with some older dude in my adopted hometown – those who know it, know it – and essentially putting on display what he deprived me of experiencing with him.

Cuz, that’s not a low grade psychotic behavior.

But, still…I roll.

Whatever he has with Not Me Older Guy implodes.  He moves back to his natural habitat – Shittatle – gets sober, finds god, becomes…tedious.  But only because I don’t tune into Facebook for a bunch of god-talk, especially in the form of AA, which I think verges on being a cult.

Good things happen.

He opens his own salon.

Reconnects with his problematic family.

Decides to become a trucker.

Because, once a Lost Boy, I suppose…

So, tonight…climbing into bed, I read that he’s been diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

The Big C.

And I feel bad.  It’s a reflexive reaction to news like this.  Empathy.

It occurs faster than I can read and as I finish the post, awash in my empathy, I read the statement that punctuates his disclosure: I just want prayers.

My eyes rolled just typing that.  Every time I read “thoughts and prayers”, I have to de-cultify it before I can look directly at the words.

It all boils down to compassion.  For whatever reason, we can’t own our own, we have to assign it to some sort of alleged and unproven higher power, because: faith.

Whatever.

My thoughts went all sarcastic Xtopher after that.

Into the realm of, “The ghoster becomes the ghost”…because I’m a grumpy old bastard and I don’t have a lot of pity for people.  There’s some wisdom behind the phrase, “You’ve made your bed, now lie in it”.  It’s certainly something I consider often in regards to my own mortality…after all, who is going to take care of me when I’m old?  

Fine.  Older.

It’s an impending grim reality of my existence…but at least I think I’ve returned all the phone calls I was socially expected to.

And, on that warm, fuzzy thought…I’m off to the land of Nod.

I Have A Huge Confliction

The Short, Hot Mess

I’ve had pornography on my mind quite a lot over the last week or so, albeit in a non-traditionally male manner.

Last week I had a strange experience that made me think about several guys that I have dated in the past who were or ended up working in the adult entertainment industry.  Writing that really made made me think about the industry as a whole and how it impacted the people who work in it.

It was quite an unexpected result from that little walk down Chagrin Lane.

I alluded to someone that I’ve referred to as The Short Hot Mess for over a decade, but didn’t really flush out my experience with him, thinking that I had already created a draft that I could edit and finish him off.  The strange thing is that I’ve been stuck in a thought eddy about him but also about porn in and of itself.

Let’s tackle the namesake of this article first, eh? Continue reading “The Short, Hot Mess”

The Short, Hot Mess

Chrisisms

The other week, I caught an Uber because I was running late to an appointment.  Or it was raining.  The driver turned out to be someone fairly inspirational in that he mentioned offhandedly that “he majored in business and minored in innovation”.  What an amazing, random comment for me to hear.  It made me remember this entry that I had started some time ago.

I started it in a fit of irony when musing about one of my many made up words after a conversation about it with a friend.  Yeah, one of those DNGN Guys, if I can quasi-plagiarize Star Trek:  the Next Generation in the creation of yet another Chrisism.

DNGN Guy:  A Does Nothing, Goes Nowhere Guy.  Does Nothing, Goes Nowhere being an acronym from the Enterprise’s Engineering Department.  Whenever there was a generic crawlspace needed to set a scene, it was almost always a DNGN Tube or Accessway.  The phrase kept things vague enough for the story to go on without accidentally creating a massive geek orgasm because they inadvertently created a continuity mistake by being too specific.

So, a DNGN Guy would be a generic guy who’s presence in my life literally went nowhere and did nothing to improve or impact my life.  See also:  Lost Boys

I can’t recall the specific Chrisism that we were discussing, but I think I was modestly taking credit for Portland’s Food Cart scene.  We’ll get to that.

My conversation with the Uber driver caused that flashback and what I came out of that car thinking was of the old days when I proclaimed myself an idea man because of the words I make up and the random ideas that I have.  Sometimes I discuss them, sometimes I don’t, sometimes I post them on Urban Dictionary.

Sometimes, they take on a life of their own with zero effort on my part…those damned food carts, for instance.

A long time ago, when I worked for Linens ‘N Things – no…I’m not taking any credit for how they imploded, but I do know what happened – and I was growing more and more frustrated with the company, I threatened to quit and start my own business.  My idea was to borrow $30k from my 401k to buy and start three Hot Dog Carts to place throughout downtown during the M-F lunch hours.  Pedi-cab type contraptions so that they were easy to move from place to place and didn’t require use of a vehicle or permanent locations.  It was a genius idea.  Permitting was easy enough.  The idea was basic, but at the same time the simple ideas usually have some legs.

As a business person – albeit a retailer – I knew the demands of the day usually created a need for personal sacrifice, ie:  lunch.  Knowing I wasn’t the only person in this shituation, I figured an outlet for people to run out for a literal quick bite was important.  This was somewhere between 1997 and 2002…there were a handful of carts presently around town, but not a pod in sight.  And we’re talking a handful of two that I can think of off the top of my head.  My idea was to offer a basic dog with gourmet-ish alternative toppings to provide a little sense of indulgence to take the edge off the day.

Of course, my ex – well, not at the time, at the time he was just my super materialistic and unsupportive boyfriend, he had yet to become the Sucks At Cheating Ex (that name may not stick) – totally poo-pooed the idea because his lifestyle needed the support of my corporately secure paycheck, so it became a sort of DNGN Idea.

Let’s see…now there are pods of food carts around town and I’m unemployed and single.

Yup, my life is right on track.

Maybe Sucks At Cheating Ex does need his own entry.  Story for another time.

The important note here is that I would wax Quixotic to any random-yet-valuably-therapeutic drinking partner at that time in my life.

My ex was definitely not listening.

One of those drinking Benedict Arnolds is probably responsible for the acreage of food cart pods you run across in Portland these days.

Loose lips may sink ships, as do well lubricated lips.

Although, I also remember talking to a guy that I had worked with after I left LNT about this, if only in basic concept.  He was part owner in a restaurant that I liked.

Total side story, but I had first been taken to this by a Portland Police Bureau Captain of some local notoriety and was later surprised to learn of my co-workers connection.  Of course, that surprise wore off quickly when his restaurant opened up a mobile outlet and I saw it parked in the lot at my gym one day.

Probably just a coincidence, but if it isn’t, then I prefer the notion that I inadvertantly – versus drunkenly – gave away my idea to a co-worker, providing one of us an out from the glamor of retail.

Let’s flash forward and back to the present-ish, though…dwelling in the past is so passe.

There’s a lot of old sayings that could describe some interesting things that have happened to me over the last few months:

Throw it against the wall and see what sticks.

Deja vu.

Putting it out there.

But they don’t exactly capture what I’ve been experiencing recently.  Anything from blurbs of deja vu where something seems familiar, only to trace it back to an idea or comment I have made in the past to something way more solid like having a friend and former co-worker quote one of my precious little Chrisisms back to me.

Like I said, this has been percolating for a bit, but a while back when I was talking to a former colleague, she mentioned WINning in reference to prioritizing things in her life and it just made me chuckle.  WIN is an acronym that I helped create at work back in my Meier & Frank days here in Portland.  It stands for What’s Important Now.  I liked it then when it helped give associates and junior managers a little perspective in the fast-changing world of retail priorities, but I still like it because I can apply the same perspective to life’s daily changes.

 

My self-proclaimed idea man status revolves around a lot of creative masturbation I have done.  From fantasy life stuff that would provide an escape from my corporate world to stupid words I made up for fun and onto some serious social conspiracies I am responsible for…accidentally, of course!

Take Red Heads, for instance.  Not long ago, they were on the verge of social extinction – if not actual extinction given the Royals’ apparent reluctance to continue inbreeding…I joke.  Nonetheless – and quite the coincidence, here – the Sucks At Cheating Ex had just left me and my friendship with the Silver Fox had just begun.  Back before Asocial Media got out of hand and ruined gay culture – just my opinion, but look at that whole food cart thing…I have good opinions.  One of the things we used to chat about while we were getting to know each other on a site called Manhunt was what I was looking for in a guy.

I wonder if Manhunt is still around.

Anyway, I told him I wasn’t really ready to date, but that I had a list.  This wildly excited him.  Turns out – and I had no way of knowing this at the time – that he’s quite a little caretaker.  So, his enthusiasm for the list wasn’t just because it was kinda crazy and kinda funny.  He honed in on the different qualities on that list, things I thought I would want in a prospective boyfriend, and reminded me of them whenever someone I dated met one or more.  Although, I admit, I didn’t mind checking them off the list one at a time.

Apple Cheeks.

Short Guys.

Strange Name.

Redhead.

Other Stuff.

Anyway, that was one of the many times that I had mentioned Redheads in a sexual or romantic fashion.  The habit went back to my days as a Chicken (what young, smooth gays were called before someone – not me! – came up with Twink) in the LBC, when I would mention to my friends Dennis and Petur (gays are so fucking precious with their names sometimes) that I wanted to get with a particular guy or two at the bar.  Specifically, Long Beach’s only two redheaded gay guys.  I never managed to score a date, nor even a rendezvous, and Dennis and Petur never stopped looking at me with squinty eyed expressions or outright sneers of disgust at my attraction to these two redheaded men.

Not that I let that stop me from being attracted to them or pursuing a random redhead.  I actually realized, based partly on Dennis and Petur’s reactions and partly on personal observation, that many redheads are simply monstrous looking.  I’m sure they are just fine people on the inside, but on the outside they look like vulva.

No offense to actual vulva.

Or Redheads!

So, way back then in the early 90s the search for the Elusive, Good-Looking Redhead had begun.  A topic of conversation, to be sure, way before I put it on the Fox’s radar by disclosing to him that there was a list.

Then it became a fetish amongst the gays and Redheads started peacocking around like the prized pigs they wanted to be.  About the time I lost interest in them.  Or focus on the interest, to be more accurate.

I also brought back the color orange.  I don’t really have the time nor the inclination to go into that story, let me just say…Orange Couch.  Leather.  Envy.  Resurrection.  Orange.

Random Chrisisms?  Some of which can be found on urbandictionary.com with credits by up to 30 other authors, supporting the theory of tandem evolution…I guess.

– Fauxgasm:  When a guy has an orgasm but nothing comes out.  Still feels great, though…and no, I shouldn’t go have that checked out.  Shush.

– Fagabond:  A young, gay guy – hell, why does he have to be young?  A gay guy that crashes at friend’s houses or apartments in order to travel on the cheap or get his legs under him so he can get his own place.  I’ve been this guy, it might be an autobiographical construction.

– Faguar:  This one has gotten around!  I gave this its first hard mention back in Seattle around 2006, but had been spinning it around conversationally for years before that.  Probably around the time The List first came into its electronic hard copy form with the Fox on Manhunt.  Anyway, it’s an older serial dater type gay guy that dates younger gay guys.  Not a Daddy, because Daddies tend to have a steady guy they date.

– Voice of Treason:  The Naysayer.  Someone who openly opposes popular opinion.  Usually in response to a group of people self validating an incorrect idea…someone has to set them right.  That person is the Voice of Treason.

– Shituation:  Basically, a really not a good situation.  Close to the phenomenon of getting quoted back to myself?  After the Broken Poet left (the second time), the Fox gave me a sympathy card that he’d picked up…just in case there was a need for it.  Sometimes, I think the Fox should work for a circus.  Anyway, the card read, “You didn’t need that relationshit, anyway”.

The other day – ok…week, now that I think about it – I was watching a Black Mirror episode that reminded me of my idea for Government Subsidized Gyms.  They were free, but you had to go a minimum number of times per week, based on age and your general health level.  The “free” memberships were paid in time on cardio bikes and machines, which were configured to generate and collect electricity.  The gyms essentially becoming large power plants.  Americans, let’s call America the pilot program, need to get healthier anyway, right Mrs. Obama?

And one more Chrisism?  One that perfectly encapsulates the theme of this entire blog, potentially?

Whimbecille:  Someone who thinks they are being clever but is really just toiling in obscurity.  Alternately, someone who looks like an idiot when trying to be funny on their Facebook page or what-have-you but misspells or misuses a word in the process.  Think Their/There/They’re, It’s/Its, et al.

That’s the Chrisism that caused my breakup with Urban Dictionary.  I submitted it and they rejected it.  Working Theory:  it took too close a hit to a lot of their submitting contributors.  Take a look at that place, bad English all over the place.

 

 

Chrisisms