This is the story about the boy I met at the bar last Friday night and then brought home for Thanksgiving Dinner.
One cold and cloudy Vancouver morning (last Friday to be exact) I rolled out of bed to catch an early-morning flight to Winnipeg. Arriving at the airport dressed in my finest winter gear, I prepared myself for the harsh prairie weather that lay ahead.
Sweating up a storm, I printed off my baggage tags at the machine only to discover that I had to attach them to my suitcase myself. Now, scanning and bagging your groceries at Superstore on a slow Sunday night is one thing, especially if you love the beeping sound the scanner makes every time you match up the barcode, but trying to decipher the IKEA style instructions on the back of baggage-tag at six-in-the-morning after two hours sleep is completely different. And then, as if there were not enough, as soon as you have proven yourself incompetent, you have to follow the blue-line to the conveyor belt, only to get yelled at by some scarf-laden agent with a Tim Horton’s cup for not reading the sign that says “wheels up.” I mean please! Care-an-tee this bitch. When did flying become such as DIY affair? What next, do they expect me to check my own boarding pass and then take a seat in the cockpit? Actually on second thought, that doesn’t sound so bad. And in conclusion, may I please remind you it does not say R.S.V.P on the Statue of Liberty. Thank you very much.
If only they'd still let me sit in the cockpit.Well, flash-forward 2200 km’s, two venti americanos and me dressed like me a designer Eskimo on the plane, and you can understand how surprised I was to hear the pilot’s voice announce upon landing, “the current temperature in Winnipeg is twenty-six degrees and sunny.” Melting my way off the flight, I practically stripped on the way to the baggage carousel before grabbing my bag and hauling ass to the men’s to change outfits. Needless to say my father was not impressed when I stepped outside the airport 45 minutes later in my daisy dukes, after he had circled the car around sixteen times waiting for me.
Ten hours and six glasses of red wine with my parents later, I paid a taxi-driver $30 for dropping me off downtown at the gay bar after he drove me all the way out from the suburbs. Standing outside in line, I could not help but let my ego take centre stage. Dressed in my extra-tight purple Woody Woodpecker t-shirt (which by the grace of Meryl Streep and a Japanese seamstress gives me an upper body) paired with my white leather belt, brown H&M pants and 50% off Winners shoes; I could not understand why such a massive celebrity and one-time amateur playwright such as myself - should have to wait in line? However, after taking one look at the massive (and did I mention butch?) lesbian bouncer at the door, I decided sometimes it is better to remain anonymous. Once inside, I wasted no time securing a double G and T before making the rounds to visit all the men who have touched me in the past.
Gentleman caller number one was my first same-sex kiss. Looking every bit as handsome as I last left him, the two of us caught up on what was new since we made out on a leather couch at Club Desire (RIP) in 2005.
“So what are you doing in Vancouver?” he asked me, taking a swig from his brown-bottled beer.
“Well,” I said, brushing the hair I did not have back, “I am actually a massive celebrity now.”
“No,” he said giving me the one-two, “you are actually just a blogger.”
Naturally I moved on before we could catch up any further.
I love gay men primarily because we are all much too important for each other. It’s as if years of ridicule and attacks of on our self-worth have turned us into egotistical maniacs or, depending on your preference of title, “queens.” One step outside the closet and it’s as if by magic, we go from having no self-esteem to over-dosing on our own fabulousness. (For proof of this, please refer to ruggedfox.com) My advice to kids entering the gay bar for the first time is this: for every bitch, there is a bigger bitch. And as you soon as you understand this fact, you will stop reciting the words to Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” every time you stand in line for another drink and start having fun.
Moving right along, well as fate would have it I ended up standing right next to the most unassuming gentleman the exact same age as I.
“Hello,” I said, twirling around the ice cubes in my at this point empty glass.
“Hi,” he replied, in the midst of tearing the label of his beer bottle.
From our initial exchange, it appeared the two of us were familiar with the formalities of small-talk. My legs itching to dance, I suddenly lost myself in the lights on the dance floor and the lyrics from a beloved Katy Perry song blasting out from the speakers. “Let’s go all the way tonight, no regrets, just love.”
“Sorry?” I said, realizing I had completely missed what he just said.
“Do you want to get another drink?” he repeated, softly.
My focus returning to my empty glass and his handsome smile, I answered an unequivocal “yes.”
Finding a sheltered spot off the main bar, the two of us started a conversation that I never imagined would last until five o’clock the next morning. After thirty minutes (or three extended dance remixes) he confided to me that he was recently out of the closet, hailed from a small town in Saskatchewan, and was in town on some job that required science.
Blonde haired and blue eyed, he was dressed in a green T-shirt and jeans and looked like a hot menno I was once lusted after in this coffee shop I worked at. Listening to him speak, he reminded me of myself when I first walked in this bar six years ago. Innocent and filled with optimism, he looked on to the dance floor through a set of eyes that contained nothing but excitement and undiscovered potential. His heart still in one piece, he was fresh off the farm and without a doubt, a boy of good breeding.
As the top-40 faded in to house, we continued to exchange details about ourselves. I told him that I was living in Vancouver, which made me just as fabulous as flat-out broke. Pretty soon the conversation turned to sex and I was more than willing to participate.
“Do you like to, you know, bottom?” he asked, totally sweet and completely curious.
“Yes,” I replied, “but only because I am way too lazy to be a top. Bitch please, I work had enough all day, the last thing I need to do is break a sweat in the bedroom.”
As our conversation continued to unfold, it occurred to me how much I have changed in the passed three years, and ugh, I hate to admit it, but for the worse. Following one major heartbreak of Dawson’s Creek proportions, and several failed dates with men out here on the Coast, I unwittingly turned into the impeccably-dressed and entirely-jaded gay man I swore I would never become. Without even knowing it, this guy had provided the perfect foil to my life, and this time there was no question I did not come out on top.
“Why are you laughing?” he asked, before I realized I had the biggest smile plastered across my face.
“Because I just spent six-thousand dollars to move across the country and meet someone, only to find you standing here, right across from me,” is what I would have said had I even known his name.
“No reason,” I told him, scratching the smile from my face and extending my right hand. "I'm Fox, Rugged Fox."
“Chord,” he replied, shaking my hand with a firm grip.
“Well, you’ve obviously struck one with me.”
Before we knew it the lights had come on and despite the fact that my watch said it was midnight, everyone else claimed it was two in the morning… including the scary bouncer with the crew cut.
“So what are we up to now?” I asked Chord, “the night is surely too young to put to sleep.”
“Would you like to go for a walk with me?”
“I would love to.”
Stay tuned for Part II of “A Boy of Good Breeding” in which Rugged Fox gets to first base on a river bank.