“You are going to meet the most extraordinary men, the sexiest, funniest, brightest men. You’re going to meet so many of them, fall in love with so many of them, you won’t know until the end of your life which ones were your greatest lovers and which were your greatest friends.” -Harvey Milk
So there’s this boy…let’s call him The Writer.
It’s Friday night, and we’ve made tentative plans. Having not heard from The Writer, I accept an invitation from a gay couple I recently met, who are having some people over. As not to be rude, I had previously informed my hosts that I might have to leave to go to a party with The Writer. They’ve been friends with him for years, and the hosts tell me that he’s a fun guy. “You should definitely go,” they say before informing me that I am “totally his type.” When I press for more info, they give me an ominous “you’ll see.” However, the conversation does reveal that The Writer is more like 30 than 25, my original assumption. The other guests arrive, and it’s always a little awkward trying to find my footing in a previously established social group. Now, I’m hoping The Writer will call and sweep me away. I linger for about an hour trying to muster up enthusiasm to answer all of those obligatory questions that you ask someone you don’t know anything about like doctors going down an examination checklist. Finally, The Writer texts me and tells me to meet him at his house. This makes me a little nervous but mostly relieved: I have a good excuse to leave and don’t have to drive (or more importantly park) in some alien neighborhood AND I can potentially drink. But I’m also forfeiting control of my night–to someone I’ve only met once.*
Fastforward about an hour, and I’m riding shotgun in The Writer’s car while his friend, who confusingly shares the same first name, sits in the back seat. We quickly park on a quiet street in West Hollywood and make our way into not a house party as I had supposed, but a fundraising party for a gay city council candidate. Alright, I can do that.
Upon entering the party, I’m immediately separated from The Writer and left to be conversation partners with his very drunk Namesake and a woman, who calls herself Contessa. Now, I have to take a moment to share a little about Contessa because despite all of the intricate moments seeded throughout this night that come back into play later, she is far and away the craziest part of this story. Firstly, Contessa speaks of herself only in the third person and informs us that despite being both of British nobility AND an oil heiress, she has no family and thus, considers the gays her kin. She also tries to recruit Namesake and I to protest at City Hall. For what, you might ask? We did too, not that we got a coherent answer. Looking around, I don’t see The Writer anywhere and while Contessa with her pre-pubescent pink lip gloss and poorly dyed, choppy black bangs is wildly entertaining, I’m growing weary of once again not knowing anyone.
Luckily the host, (let’s call him Dan because when I first see him, he reminds me of a ritzier version of Dan from Gossip Girl…not that I watch,) introduces himself and offers Contessa a drink. She denies the drink because a) she is clearly high as fuck on painkillers and/or benzos and b) has to drive home despite living merely two blocks away. “Dan” proves to be a useful getaway mechanism, and I quickly excuse myself to bathroom.
Upon my return, I make a greater effort to socialize, this time with Dan and a man claiming to be in his early 40s but realistically is pushing 60 (despite some permanent cosmetics.) As this guys rambles on, I notice every time I look at Dan, he’s already
looking staring at me. No, not staring. Full on piercing sex gaze. I shutter. Finally, The Writer returns to my side for some support. “You having fun?” I nod unenthusiastically, but the older man carries on, recounting how he and Dan met on an airplane in first class and how Dan’s ex, who coincidentally was in coach on the same flight, tried to come up and talk to them for the duration of the flight. (If I were the ex, I’d probably have just busted the emergency exit window and sucked myself through. Or drank excessively. Either one really.)
At this point, Dan has excused himself from the conversation to tend to Contessa’s shrieking, so The Writer takes the opportunity to inform me: “you’re totally Dan’s type.” WTF and “No shit” are my respective mental and verbal responses. “I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone ever stare at me that intensely,” I say. The older man then starts sharing stories about his position as a Greek life supervisor and alludes to frequent lewd acts with his frat boys. “The things you don’t know about in Greek life. Let’s just say I keep the old Greco traditions alive,” he says. Yeah, emphasis on old. I’m mildly appalled by this, but not nearly as appalled by what comes next; the man unceremoniously announces that he is a Log Cabin Republican. The room slows around me. I look at The Writer as if to very seriously say, “shut the fuck up.”
I then look around and realize, yes, this is in fact a Log Cabin Republican political fundraiser. As though the veil had suddenly been lifted, The Writer also begins to realize this, but his aged cynicism shields him. Panic slowly boils its way up from my knees, and I inform The Writer that we need to flee ASAP. He and Namesake load up to-go beverages, Dan squeezes my contact info out of me and into his iPhone, and we’re out of there.
Next, we walk to a Mexican themed gay bar, which is frankly overwhelming for my clotted social senses, which were mostly self-induced during my last months in New York. The Writer notices and insists that I drink, ordering “the gayest drink you have” from the cocktail waiter. We lose Namesake, who I spot on the other side of the bar drowning in one of those giant (and I’m talking legit fishbowl sized) margaritas. It’s just me and The Writer now. And a sea of gays he knows, and I don’t. He’s chatting while I just stand there uncomfortably. Then, Dan starts texting me from an upscale club, which I only know of thanks to its Manhattan counterpart. He tries to lure me there with promises of Ryan Seacrest taking body shots off of Anne Hathaway. Clearly this guy has no idea who the fuck he’s dealing with. Not only do I find that in no way impressive, (I give sick body shots, so Anne Hathaway can suck it,) but what’s the plan? I have no car. I don’t know where the fuck he is. Can I even get into this exclusive club? I mean, yes, because I have a way of getting in anywhere, but that’s not the point. These people have not a clue how neurotic I am. To quote GOB Bluth, “Come on!” Seriously, I need to know these things.
The blowing up of my phone continues, but I decide to ignore Dan. Next, The Writer and I come across two faces that even I recognize. I was introduced to both when I was out in the Gayborhood in the prior weeks, but one of them I had seen a few days ago with two teenage boys dressed like Ke$ha, glitter and all. I decide to poke fun at him, quipping, “you got the night off from babysitting?” He smiles his wolf smile and slyly rubs his hand up my back, resting his arm on my shoulder. Mr. Wolf is pretty sexy, but sexy isn’t something I’m having a shortage of tonight. As I stand there, more and more people start rubbing up on me, which annoys me at first. Can’t these people hold a conversation without molesting me? But then again, I am in a gay bar in WeHo at 1AM on a Friday night, so I go with it.
Oh yeah. I forgot to mention Mr. Wolf is British, so on top of drunk goggles, I’m sporting my Anglophile shades. Try driving with those on. Wolf slides his hand onto my ass when a drunk ‘n sassy kid, resembling a tortoise, with splotchy skin and an argyle sweater vest approaches us. “I like your shirt,” he slurs to Wolf. “Thanks, it’s from London,” says he says with excellent diction. “I didn’t ask,” retorts Sweater Vest. Now, this doesn’t sit well with Mr. Wolf, so an argument erupts. Usually, this kind of confrontation would make me nervous, but I’m honestly so turned on by his gentlemanly aggression that I don’t care. I grab Mr. Wolf’s collar and whisper in his ear, “You’re more fun when you’re hostile.” “Am I?” he asks with the same wolf smile. Sweater Vest, completely unwavered by the fact no one wants to talk to him, stands there densely glaring at Wolf, so I push them apart and make my way between them to chat a few minutes more. Namesake then makes his large, stumbling way back, completely trashed and announces that he is walking home. The Writer decides it’s time for us to go, too, since we’re pushing 3AM…way past my bedtime. (I have so far refused to switch over from east coast time.) I bid Mr. Wolf adieu and walk back to The Writer’s car as the texts from Dan continue to blow up my phone.
When we get back to The Writer’s house, I ask if I can crash on his couch–after all, he had been practically forcing drinks down my throat all night–“suspicious” I should have thought. But no, I’m naive. The Writer offers me a glass of water in his dark kitchen, and I take a long drink. When I look up, I see that I’m squarely in the crosshairs of the same drilling sex stare that I got from Dan earlier that evening. Well fuck. What’s a gay to do? To be continued… (click here for the next chapter)
*I probably should have mentioned…if it seems like I’m carelessly going home with strangers or making illogical decisions in regard to my safety, it’s because I am. Sort of. But that’s only because there is a certain amount of built-in trust and/or safety thanks to my somewhat intimidating gay relative, who runs in the same circle as most of these LAGs.