While at home and visiting my folks I had the chance to sneak back to a little spot around the warehouses where all them sassy men used to meet.
The whole city’s different now. They have LGBTQ centers and shit, packed with community information. Back in the day you ain’t have no damn community information. You had craigslist. You read the Men For Men section and figured out where men who touched other men hung out.
After reading those posts, I’d put on a trucker hat hiding most of my face, wear something that made me almost unidentifiable, and take a bus just to get there. Sunday’s were the best days. Sassy boys get horny after fake being in church all day.
They hang halfway out the window of their cars, large sunglasses on their face, kids prolly at home, yelling at you, asking you what you plan to do later tonight.
Nothing about me was all the way grown yet. I was scared as hell. I’d look over, smile nice, and keep shuffling along. No plans of stopping any place in particular. No plot to stop for anyone in particular. Just moving through – the young ass, scared ass thing I was.
I watched a lot of the gay movies growing up. The ones where white boys, (usually from England) find each other in places like these, they somehow fall in love, kissing all over each other with their pink, lip-less mouths, and running their hands through each other’s wet stringy hair.
Maybe I thought I’d find that shit around here. When you’re young, you imagine a lot of dumb shit might happen to you. You sometimes forget a city bus is gonna take your broke ass back to your mamma’s house, and don’t none of them frail ass white boys think you’re pretty.
“Bitch Don’t You Hear Me Yelling at You?” a man, maybe three times my age, yelled from a sedan on one muggy Sunday afternoon
I knew I was in over my head, shit, I was asking myself just how gay am I, really? Like maybe I’m just not gay enough for this shit. I kept on shuffling until eventually I caught my city bus and went back home, acting like a whole entire grown man wasn’t tryna welcome me to the strange world of strange men. Sometimes I wonder what could have happened if I stopped and answered him.
Sometimes I even fantasize about outcomes.
I’m grown now. Everything about this place has changed. There’s a juice spot, across from some condo’s that look like an overpriced game of tetris. There’s a yoga and wellness spa. A brown haired white woman who looks like every brown haired white woman smiles and says hello while she passes me.
and I’m standing on the sidewalk wondering what the fuck has happened.