I’d had girlfriends before and had fooled around in the sack with guys, but when I was twenty I fell heels over head in love. This is, perhaps, the perfect age for this to happen; you’re old enough to impersonate an adult if need be but still young enough to get away with idiot behavior. Here’s what makes my first homo crush hilarious: He worked at Chick-Fil-A.
My best friend worked there as well, and I used to go in to see him. On a good day, they’d make him put on a chicken costume and stroll around the mall as Doodles, the Chick-Fil-A mascot. My friend hated this and you could feel the waves of embarrassment rolling off him as he strutted back and forth in a plastic beak and feathers. I relished in his agony, a thing I still tend to do even though I know it’s wrong. I was supposed to have empathy, I know, but my best friend was getting minimum wage for putting on a chicken suit. What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t show up to twist the knife?
I saw this guy behind the counter. The angels sang, the heavens opened up and Cupid fired an arrow into the crack of my ass. “Who is THAT?” I asked, drooling. “Just some guy I work with,” my friend said, muffled through his giant chicken head.
Looking back, objectively, he was all right. But twenty-year-old me swooned like a silent film star and thought he was the most beautiful creature to walk atop the planet. This was a new one for me, as previously I’d do pretty much anyone as long as they were a life-support system for a penis. But this guy somehow flipped a switch and was just beauty personified. For the first time, I was wowed and turned on by looking at a dude. There were the niggling details that he was breathtakingly gorgeous and I wasn’t, plus the fact we didn’t know one another, but I did not see these problems as insurmountable.
“Give me his phone number,” I commanded my friend.
”I don’t KNOW his phone number.”
”Get it. I mean it. Nice chicken suit, by the way.”
You see, when you’re twenty, a little thing like common sense won’t stand in the way of true love. My friend got the phone number. So I just called the guy up. I was interested in film-making at the time, so my big ruse was to tell him I thought he’d be great for a part I had in mind. Yeah. A kid in West Virginia tries the casting couch approach. What happened, though, was nothing short of amazing. We hit it off and ended up being great friends fairly quick.
If you’re twenty and want to land someone in the sack, the first step is ingratiating yourself to their parents. When I met his Dad, Ding! Ding! Ding! Gaydar went off. Twenty years later, I’d be proven right. His mom was fun but capable of going nuts in a heartbeat. With that as the parental units, I figured he had to be enough of a mess that sexy time was bound to happen. It did not.
Our friendship was storybook awesome. We connected in a way I hadn’t experienced; we loved the same things and could crack each other up just by thinking of funny things. This only fueled my ardor; I no longer wanted to get in his pants—I wanted to make love. This was a new experience for me. It was overwhelming, overpowering and my every waking moment was filled with thinking about him. Which I guess is love. I just didn’t have too good of a handle on it.
We were watching fireworks when I told him how I felt.
”I know,” he said.
And here I thought I was being subtle.
“I’m not gay,” he said.
“Yes you are.” (Denial springs eternal.)
”No, I’m not.”
”Are too.” And so on, for a long time.
Born that way and all that shit; I don’t really believe it. Gay guys reading this are gonna be pissed. For some people, yeah, it’s a straight six on the Kinsey scale (ha ha) and for others, no, things flex and change a bit. Sometimes you’re in the mood for strawberries, other times you want pineapple. And so it goes, I think, with sexual desire. The guy liked women, but I caught him looking at gay porn.
“AHA!” I cried.
”Um, well, ya know… crap.”
So I thought, hot diggity, dude is finally in touch with his homoerotic tendencies, let the lovemaking commence. But again, no.
“Yes, I figured out I like guys. I just don’t like you. In that way.”
And then all my feelings turned to sheer agony. Nothing I wanted more than to end up at a gay bar with him, but when we did and cuter guys than me were asking him to dance it felt like an ice pick to the pancreas. I was twenty, it was my first real love and so I sat on the stairs and openly blubbered like a little girl with a skinned knee.
”What’s wrong?” said an old man, probably far less older than I am now, sliding his hand down my back.
”Fuck off,” I said through my tears, still I imagine the best possible response to the situation.
It got worse and a whole lot gayer. There was a traveling dinner theatre company doing a production of “They’re Playing Our Song” (you see, I told you) and one of the actors met the boy I loved. They hooked up and did the nasty; his first time that should have been, I felt, me instead of some theatre queen. I knew it was happening when it was happening and I punched the shit out of my pillow.
I was twenty. I’m sure I’d have a much better response today.
You understand how this stabbed at me? In love for the first time with the boy who hung the moon and farted out the planets and who loved me, just not in a let’s-get-it-on kind of way? Oh, the agony. I gave him the big fuck you and said I never wanted to see him again because it hurt too badly. I guess I was the drama queen he wasn’t fucking. But that hurt, too, cause he was my best friend and I missed that, big time. We got each other, and goddamn desire went and screwed it all up.
He knocked on my door in the middle of the night. “If I can sleep with people I don’t know, I can sleep with you.” Hawt damn! But once again, nope.
I planted one on him. It was not the bombs-bursting-in-air experience I always imagined. He rolled over and said, “Ew. That’s kind of like kissing my brother.”
God damn cock tease. But he was right, you know.
That was then, back when I was twenty. A couple of Christmases ago we got back together, and for old time’s sake I hit on him. He declined the offer. But in a few decades I’ll be old enough to take my teeth out. We’ll see what happens then.