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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Experiment, Part 8

The Taste

Just as in my experience at the pub, the bar proved to be nothing intimidating. I was an alien to this culture and it seemed that being in this world of drinking and not being of it was more than possible. It was perhaps one of the most satisfying nights of my trip. Eric and Geri told me the stories about their breakups, their triumphs, their screw-ups, and their social lives.

It was the first time I felt like part of a group of gay friends. I had Cole, but branching out any further than that seemed too risky. What would people think if they knew?

“Time for your initiation,” Eric said as he and Geri pulled me towards the exit. “You’re going to your first gay club.”

Reflections is pretty tame. It has a young crowd and we’ll keep you out of trouble.”

Eric paid my cover as he leaned over and whispered, “You’re fresh meat. All of the guys are going to be all over you if you don’t stick with me or Geri. It’s probably best we act like a couple tonight.”

nightlife Sure enough, as I walked in I was struck by two things: First, the atmosphere was breathtaking. It was just what I’d expected. Exciting, flashing lights. A packed dance floor. Loud, remixed music. And second, as I entered the room, I felt the piercing stares of thirty men interested in a new face.

Sensing my anxiety and my exhilaration, Eric and Geri flanked me on our way to the bar. “Two bottles of water,” Eric said. “One’s yours. Don’t be so nervous. We’re here for you.”

We all stood there for a bit, scanning the crowd. They took turns pointing out the deviants.

“That’s The Scotsman. He’s always after Geri even though he’s not interested.”

“Yeah. Definitely not interested. Oh, and that’s Alex, the Craigslist Cowboy.

“I’d advise you to steer clear of that one,” Eric chuckled.

Geri excused himself to go dance. “Are you sure you don’t want to join me?”

“I’ll save the actual dancing for next time,” I responded. “Thanks for sticking with me, Eric. It’s all so new.”

balcony We made our way upstairs to watch the dance floor and get a little space for a nice conversation. Acting the faux couple, he put his arm around me and I sat on his lap. He explained parliamentary politics and Canadian history as I told him about my mission, my research, and life back home.

As 3 am approached, he offered to walk me back to the dorms I was staying at. Midway back, I realized we were still holding hands. We stopped at some stairs in front of a church as the conversation waxed more personal.

“You know, GMB, you fascinate me. If I grew up in Utah, I think I’d be screwed up, but you’re so level-headed. You deserve a medal or something. I say you apply for refugee status and find a nice boy here.”

I blushed.

“May I kiss you?”

I was deeply conflicted. This was a special moment. We had connected on a deep level, but was it too soon?

“I don’t think it’s a good idea,” I said. “It’s so soon.”

“I understand.” He opened up a lot about Alan (his last boyfriend) now in Europe. I opened up more about Mark and what the trip had been like up to and including my breakdown.

“Are you sure a kiss wouldn’t help?” he asked.

It’s worth a try and he’s a good guy. It can’t hurt. I leaned in.

eric kiss2 It was a rush of emotions. The warmth on my lips was relieving and wonderful in so many ways, but tinged somehow with the taste of betrayal. Had I made a mistake?

End, Part 8

3 comments:

me said...

I know I tell you this all the time, GMB, but you are such a stellar writer. Wow. Have you considered writing a book or two? Of your experiences? You are very talented.

And, what do the argyles look like today? :)

Sadly, I am just wearing white tennis socks- am still trying to learn how to walk after knee surgery, and not quite p to drssing myself with fancy footwear... not quite yet, anyway... :)

Happy New Year! I hope you are not feezing up North!

Love and respect, always.

me said...

P.S. I am trying to find a good name to use to sign my posts. slp worked for a while, now it is "me", and is bound to change again. :)

Oh, and I am not quite "up", not "p" to dressing myself... I have got to learn how to spell!

A Gay Mormon Boy said...

Thanks so much. I'd love to compile all of these experiences into a book someday. In part, that's part of the reason I write them the way that I do.

The socks are navy blue with tan and grey diamonds today. Get better soon. :)

Also, the great white northern wilderness of Utah is pretty darn cold.

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