I am a twenty-something prairie boy who lives on the west coast. i love red wine, live jazz and spaghetti bolognese. i work full-time at an itailan restaurant and am in a part-time relationship with netflix. if you love to laugh and treat yourself to multiple night-caps this is the site for you.

 

 

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    Monday
    Dec022013

    a time to thrill: red, white and blue

    I woke up the next morning at the Best Western Belle Meade to the sound of my father’s fist pounding against the door. I lifted up my sequined eye mask and rolled over to see the time on the alarm clock: 7:06am. I rubbed my eyes, stretched out my arms, and began the painful process of getting out of bed. Outside my hotel window, the sun shone bright while the birds chirped and the interstate roared. 

    I opened the door to greet my father and watched his expression turn from excitement to disbelief when he realized I was dressed in nothing but a designer pair of hot pink Calvin Klein briefs.

    “Rise and shine,” he stuttered, passing me a cup of take-out coffee he had brought up from the lobby.

    It was obvious that he had a lot to say; except the neon colour of my under garments had drained the colour from his face. I have often wondered what it would feel like to be the heterosexual father of a homosexual son. In retrospect, I think it was a good thing I dated girls in high school. I don’t think my father could have coped with the thought of his beloved daughter and son both out on a Friday night riding in cars with boys.

    “Thank you good sir,” I reached out my hand and took the steaming cup before he dropped it on me.

    It was apparent he was not going to a form a full sentence until I found a pair of pants, and so I reassured him I would not be late for our long-standing family tradition of complimentary continental breakfast. It is amazing how a small box of Frosted flakes can really bring you back to your roots.

    I shut the door and turned on the television with the remote control. The plan for the day was to drive to Memphis. Our first stop was Graceland, where we were scheduled to rendezvous with my sister and her partner as well as take my dad's photo in Elvis Presley's "jungle room." The evening was reserved to party on Beale Street with excess amounts of live blues and beer. My own secret agenda for the day was to find a boy who looked like Justin Timberlake. 

    I unzipped my suitcase on the bed and tuned in to the weather forecast. The kind lady with the big hair on the tv screen informed me that it was going to be 98° outside. Luckily, because of my extensive knowledge of boy bands I knew that meant it was going to be hot. Whether or not it was going to be Nick Lachey hot or Drew Lachey lukewarm I was unsure. 

    I began sifting through my limited summer clothing options, and found myself growing upset. The fact is, fashion and I simply do not get along when the temperature rises. There are basic fashion truths, and yes, less is more when you have a six-pack and a tan that you bring with you to the beach. However, when your upper body resembles one of the white dinner rolls you pass around in a basket at Christmas dinner, proper layering is vital to maintaining one's sense of self-esteem. 

    I glanced at the clock and knew that I did not have much time to wade in the shallow end of of life. I still needed to moisturize, update my Facebook status and decide on an outfit. 

    Debating between one of two possible outfits, I finally made the executive decision to go nautical. I would bring a little bit of the West Coast to Nashville. I reunited my navy blue shorts with a classic blue-and-white striped shirt from Club Monaco and finished the ensemble with a pair of matching Hugo Boss socks pulled up to my knees. Satisfied with the final look, it did not occur to me until hours later that day that I had dressed up as the American flag.

    One miniature box of cereal later, the three of us pulled on to the interstate to Memphis. Peering outside the window, it was not long before it hit me I was in the land of gun shops, Baptist Churches, college football teams and hit country FM stations. The adventure had officially begun.

    Tuesday
    Nov052013

    a time to thrill: rugged fox meets mama bear

    After landing at the Nashville airport, I proceeded directly to the washroom to remedy the fact that I looked clinically-dead. When you only see your parents once or twice a year, it is paramount that you present them with the image of healthy and successful son, who is truly making it in the big city.

    Splashing hot water in my face as to return colour to my cheeks, I applied a liberal amount of cover-up to inject light in to the dark circles under my eyes. Once my visage was taken care of, I unstrapped Hunter and opened the bottle of Burberry London I purchased from the duty-free store. With two quick sprays I exchanged the smell of Coors Lite and menthol for bergamot, lavender and warm cinnamon.

    After my transformation was complete, I proceeded to the baggage terminal to find my mother. As it turned out, she was the only person waiting at the bottom of the staircase when I arrived. Descending the steps, I was confused as to why the look on her face spelled panic and anger, when I expected a warm smile punctuated with excitement.

    “WHERE WERE YOU?” she yelled at me in her quiet voice and grabbed on to the side of my arm. I didn’t remember this book as a child, but Mama Bear was clearly upset at Brother Bear while Sister Bear was on a flight from Japan and Papa Bear circled the airport in a rental car.

    “Everyone else got off the plane an hour ago!” she continued, her grip tightening around my arm. “I was beginning to think you didn’t make it.”

    I did not want to admit to her that I was in the powder room the entire time and so I had to come up with a story and quick. Fortunately, growing up as a gay man I had plenty of practice lying to my mother.

    “I cannot apologize enough for your distress on this matter. The truth is, I have been off gluten and dairy for a couple of months now and caved at the sight of a multigrain bagel with Philadelphia cream cheese at the airport in Denver. My stomach has been a all kinds of upset since we crossed the Kansas state line. I swear I have gained like six pounds in the last two hours.”

    I was unsure whether she bought it or not because her attention had shifted elsewhere.

    “Are you wearing make-up?” she asked, sounding even more concerned then before, when she thought I was dead.

    “No!” I blurted out. Forcing laughter from my diaphragm, I tried not to over-react when I accidentally began choking. The gig was officially up when she licked her thumb, and with ninja-like speed, swiped it underneath my right eye.

    “Mom!” I screamed, girlishly. I felt like it was the first day of Junior High and she had just kissed me on the cheek.

    She looked down at her thumb, and then back at me. I couldn’t tell whether she was horrified, disappointed or just plain confused.

    I could think of nothing to say at the time to fix the situation. So I went directly in to reciting the entrance speech I practiced on the plane.

    “I am great mom! I have been eating lots of kale, sleeping eight hours a night, and after all the hard work I have put in at the restaurant, things are really starting to look up for me. I am truly making it in Vancouver.”

    She placed her hand on the small of my back and guided me silently to my lonesome suitcase on the baggage carousel.

    “If you are going to wear make-up Rugged,” she said, “at least let me teach you how to apply it properly.”

    She reached in purse and passed me a tissue. “Now get that shit off of your face before a redneck sees you, we are in Tennessee for gods sakes. How I am supposed to protect you when it looks like you broke in to your sister's bathroom drawer.”

    “Yes mom," I replied, taking the kleenex.