As I was writing about a very young, very forward character this weekend, this slice of real life popped into my head. As an offering to the Gods of Self-Deprecation, I will now share it with the world.
The date: years ago, at an unattached time of my life. The place: Rochester, Upstate New York, aka South Canada.
I was out with a group of friends when a younger man approached, which tends to be the type of man that interests me. Yes, I kow that makes me The Pervy, Creepy Old Guy, but facts is facts.
We talked, and it was clear he was also interested. Maybe it was the inappropriate PDA at the bar that tipped me off. And so -- being single gay men -- we did what single gay men who are attracted to each other often do, and broke the sound barrier racing back to the place where I was staying. This is where my story fades to black, because none of you want to think about a naked FARB. Let's just say that for the next few hours, he did a phenomenal imitation of both Hamm Brothers, and I did a lot of thinking, Oh my God, I scored a hot 23-year-old who's doing a phenomenal imitation of the Hamm Brothers! I rule!
Also, he wanted to spend the night. Double score!
It was during post-coital cuddling when we got around to last names.
"Byrnes," I said.
He looked at me. "Do you spell it B-Y-R-N-E-S?"
"Did you used to live in Charlotte?" Which is the neighborhood in northern Rochester where I grew up.
"On Clayton Street?"
He smiled broadly and announced, "I used to be your paperboy!!"
Nice. The Pervy, Creepy Old Guy screwed the paperboy. Just sign me up for both AARP and the Sex Offender Registry, okay?
A year or so later, I was back in Rochester for a friend's memorial service. I saw The Paperboy across the bar -- this is where I should probably note that the memorial service was held in a bar; 'birds of a feather,' and all that -- and, when he saw me, he made a beeline to where I was standing.
"You want to get out of here?" he asked.
"I'm not sure that's really appropriate. You know, with this being a memorial service and everything."
He looked at his watch. "I have to be at work in an hour, so maybe after my shift ends..."
That's when the mother of my deceased friend walked past us. And it was exactly the worst moment.
It was the moment when The Paperboy stuck his tongue in my mouth.
No, wait, I was wrong. That wasn't the worst moment. The worst moment came five seconds later, when The Paperboy said, loud enough for her to hear, "You gave me a chubby."
As you would expect, the mother didn't have much to say to me for the rest of the day.
Which was fine, because I didn't have much to say for myself.