If numbers could stalk, I’m convinced that 505 would be my stalker. The anecdotal backup for this suspicion goes back a good – or occasionally good – dozen years.
Back to Rib.
When we started dating and I found out his family was from a reservation in New Mexico (he was born and raised in SoCal, but spent summers on the rez growing up) I honestly didn’t give it too much thought. If anything, it was more a matter of, “Well, that has to be better than either of the Dakotas, right?”
Anyway, my home state’s area code is 503 and I found it interesting that New Mexico’s is 505. That’s all it was, though, a passing point of interest that amused my brain, that our area codes were adjacent.
Ironically, Rib’s also the high water mark in this story. Deservedly, so – don’t get me wrong. Our relationship was good. Fulfilling, even. Eventually it just ran its course and instead of letting it die a slow death, I pulled the plug on it. We’re still friends, too, so like I said…he’s earned his position at the top of the heap in this story.
I moved back to Portland a year or so after Rib and I parted ways. Shortly after that, I started dipping my toe back into the toilet disguised as a pool that is dating in Gay Kulture. It’s my usual rhythm, too: I was usually single about half as long as my prior relationship. In Rib’s case, that penciled out to about two years.
For me, not him. He was single for about three weeks. I never said the transition from dating to friends was smooth.
Literally the first guy I showed an interest in turns out to be a transplant from New Mexico.
…aaaand enter the Broken Poet. My dumb ass thinks it’s a second chance at the 505.
Three chaotic months later, he’s run off back to New Mexico to live with his dad.
strangers forward about six months and I start running into the same guy all around town. Jeo. All around town is overstating it. I rarely leave my quadrant, so more like all around my neighborhood.
Mind you, this is not his neighborhood, so it’s fairly remarkable. But we share coffees, the occasional slice of pizza and even rarer adult beverage. He’s not much of a drinker, but down to watch me drink – not something I’m a fan of.
My favorite moment with him was introducing him to my favorite guilty pleasure – Ground Kontrol. It’s a classic video game arcade in Old Town, just across Broadway from my place. As we walked in, I finally noticed the address of the business immediately nextdoor: 505 NW Couch.
Hilarious. Of course, I pointed it out and mentioned he oughta feel right at home.
Turns out, the reason I ran into him all around my hood is because he works here. I was usually catching him before or after a shift – or in between work shifts. Turns out, both of his jobs were in my hood.
Gotta love gumption.
Anyway, it was fun. I was enjoying getting to know someone without the unspoken agenda of getting them between the sheets and then between their legs.
All courtesy of me not being particularly attracted to him – probably not busted up enough for me, knowing my type – and him being emotionally unavailable. Turns out, he shared one day, that someone back home had kind of strung him along and he was still emotionally tethered to him.
I had found out early on that he was also from the 505 – as I was now openly calling it. It would be a couple more months before he told me the guy’s name and I eventually figured out it was the Broken Poet.
This could only happen to me.
Anyway. I wish I had a better lock on my WordPress archives so I could find the Broken Poet posts to link for you. But I don’t, so you give the search a try. Maybe it’ll work for you from the hashtag menu when I post this.
Jeo didn’t get a hashtag. I don’t know is it’s because we never really dated or if it’s because he wasn’t the typical Lost Boy that Gay Kulture tends to barf out at me. I’m leaning toward the latter. I enjoyed our time as friends and hangout buds. He just didn’t have a ton of spare drama overflowing onto my sneakers.
Refreshing. To be sure.
Until he kissed me out of the blue one day.
Caught me off guard, he did. I wasn’t offended, I just wasn’t prepared…and I don’t think he understood the difference between the two responses.
I’m going to jump ahead now. I’ll shorthand the interim with this: there were other guys from the 505 that I came
in across and didn’t suffer, I’m less optimistic about the caliber of person that area code can produce than I was back with Rib. Hell, when I was a hiring manager, I had to actively set aside my misgivings about the residents of the 505 to avoid them coloring my decisions and potentially putting my employers at risk. I’m glad I’m either self-aware or professional enough to know to do so, though.
Flashing forward to the fall of 2020, I find myself down a “You busy?” fella. Someone to bang out with – now that I’m openly retired from dating. It’s not so much about efficiency as it is about boundaries around my own self-care. I can’t put it as succinctly as “come, cum, go”, because I do enjoy an intimate connection with my occasional erection. But I’m not investing long term here.
I’m sampling the menu, not buying the restaurant.
I’ve done a 180 on my attitude toward bisexual men. When I was younger and seeking a relationship, they bothered me. Most likely as ungettable. Now that I’m post-dating and more into relating while mating, they hold a functional and appealing disqualifier. Or, rather, I do: no titties. Or whatever it is that appeals to those fellas who can’t commit to a single gender dating pool.
We’ve been on and then off and now on again since November of 2020. Our first run was populated by interrogatories like “How long was your longest” this situation and “Do you think I’m maybe just mostly gay” type things, which I deftly batted aside like I’m King Kong atop the Empire State Building and they were attacking bi-planes instead of questions from a bi-guy.
The notable break came when he started dating a rack seriously and failed at juggling me to meet his needs that she could not.
“To thine own grumpy old man-ness, be true”, Me
Turns out, I’m not only his “what’s missing in his relationship” but also his adult, because when she dumped him…back, he came. Not for the sex, which he eventually got, but for the perspective, methinks. I don’t tell people what they want to hear. But I do tell them what maybe they need to hear.
He was in a mood to hear it this time around. To his credit.
Oh, and did I fail to mention he’s from a small town just north of the border in an area code known as the 505?
Sorry, that’s just bad storytelling.
Seriously, though…I am left to wonder why this isn’t my second question to someone. First, who are you? Second, from where are you?!?
Out, it always does, though. Surprised by it, less and less am I. Because, of course you are from the 505 if you run into me.
Ironically, that’s not where this story ends – even though BiBoi is texting me now that he’s off work.
Nono. As my neighbor, CrazyTown, has ridden further and further off into the insanity sunset, I’ve become more and more interested in leaving my building before I become associated with a tragic headline.
This has manifested in my joking to the Silver Fox that I was going to just move into his condo across the park. Mostly, that threat was meant to spur him into recamping to Portland from his ex-wife’s country estate. I get that being decamped there provides him with stimulation – not that kind – that he doesn’t get from life in the city: a free range dog, gardening, ok…farming, hot tubbing under the stars, non-tent-dwelling neighbors, no neighbors. Things the city life can’t offer.
Still, he has a two-decade long history with every older person’s most significant of others: doctors. If not for them, I might never have seen him after his pandemic escape. And his condo just sits there. Empty, aside from the every-other month-ness of his doctor appointments or even rarer relatives coming through town and crashing there for a night or two.
His counteroffer to my idea of establishing squatters rights? Use his Fox Network of relationships, both established and newly formed in pursuit of a friend’s in-need-ness, to find me a place in his building that is not…his.
The not-yet-exhausted option he’s sourced?
Because, of course it should all culminate there for me. If it happens, I don’t see myself getting out of it alive. It’s too neatly wrapped up.
Not that it comes with an executioner, by any means. But, don’t be surprised if it did!
No, I just mean that with the familiarity I have with his neighbors after running into them in elevators and hallways and (unescorted by a building resident) on the rooftop deck and on sidewalks and bars over the past couple decades, it would feel like home.
For as long as I myself, alone (of course) shall live.
There’s a certain fucked up I don’t know what-ness about the potential. We’ll see how the 505 saga ends…