Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Loring Park Episode #18: Bingo, Barack, and Boys

Previously on Loring Park: Jakey and Kevin went night swimming. Jakey has a crush on everyone.


I had not heard from Kevin since our night swimming in August, after which he had completed the grown-up life task of buying a house. Meanwhile, I am so broke and co-dependent that my mother set up an account for me at the local basement grocery store.

I did a show at the House of Comedy a few weeks ago, and was honored that so many of my friends showed up, as did my parents and brother. I worked 10-7 the following Saturday, so I mentioned a possible bingo excursion at Big Louie’s to my mother and my best friend Erin. We play bingo often on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and in my mind the invitation was casual and not definite. It’s bingo, not a birthday party.

That same week, Kevin randomly messaged me on Facebook asking if I wanted to hang out. Because I am twelve years old, I jumped at the chance. However, he has a grown-up schedule whereas I have a retail teenager schedule. Not sure what day would work, I decided to give him my entire itinerary, because I have game like that. We tentatively made plans for Saturday at 9. Perfect! I would finish my shift at 7, go home and get pretty, and then drive to his house in the suburbs. This would go off without a hitch!

“Are we still on for bingo on Saturday?” my mother asked on Thursday when I was at work.

“Wha--no,” I said. “I’m going to a boy’s house.”

“Oh, really?!” she scoffed. “You know, when I make plans with people, I keep them. I don’t just ditch them for some yay-hoo.” Yayhoo is a technical term.

Erin was no more sympathetic to my plight. “I would never ditch Robbie for you, and we’re getting married in less than a year!” she wrote in a text. “THAT IS WAY HARSH, TAI,” I wrote in all doocecaps. Still, I was in the midst of a moral dilemma. I did not realize our quasi-monthly bingo excursion was such an important social obligation, but my mother and best friend are the two most important women in my life. While I imagined this would be an argument that I would have a good thirty decades from now, I was in my mid-twenties and possibly having relationships ruined because of no-showing bingo. I was going to have to make an important decision.

I gave Kevin two options: I would go to bingo and then show up at his house at 10 (but this is me, so 10 would really be 11 … thirty), or I could get him immediately from work and bring him to bingo. I was really hoping he would pick the first option, because the second would mean that I wouldn’t be freshly showered, scrubbed, clean-shaven, and other variables that I dare not mention in writing. He chose the second one, and I was sure to pack along a Nautica button-down that I had purchased a few days prior when I had an impromptu interview for a promotion (it was my fifth one since September, but who’s counting? Besides my broke ass?).

I arrived at his driveway and anxiously anticipated his arrival. I know I had fallen way too hard for him in the summer, but I truly missed his company in platonic fashion. He has a biting sense of humor, a refusal to tolerate excuses, and I can always choose to be inspired from his ambition. I honestly didn’t think of sex until he sat in the passenger seat, because he always wears Realm by Eros, and while I read that it contains pheromones, I think it really has something illegal, like cocaine or sorcery.

We made harmless small talk (I bitched a lot about not having my face on), got lost on the way to bingo because I have the spatial skills of a mosquito and his GPS wasn’t turned on loud enough. My iPod insisted on playing songs that were either embarrassing or obscure. Still, I was high from his presence, despite my nerves about bingo. This wasn’t just bingo. This was Big Louie’s bingo, and my entire family was going to be there! I felt like I was ambushing him in a “Meet My Folks” scenario, which certainly wasn’t my intention. I really just wanted to go home, spend an hour on the toilet and another one in the shower, and be rocking an Express button-down and dress pants from the kids’ department. That is when I am in my element, people.

After a pit stop at the liquor store, we finally arrived and initially sat with my twin brother at a booth. My father, mother and Erin were at the big kids’ table in the back and later snagged a table in the front. Dane and Kevin complained because a booth is much more comfortable. After Game Four we ended up at our own table consisting of me, my parents, my twin brother, and platonic soul mate. To everyone’s credit, there was no awkward small talk (“Kevin, where did you grow up? What do you do for a living?”). I have also brought Joey and Jared to bingo before on separate occasions, and my father had even asked Kevin if they had met before. I was relieved that in no way did this feel like I was auditioning him or trying to convince everyone he was my boyfriend. My brother is hopelessly in love with the waitress, and I made sure to flirt with her because I could. I also ordered go-go juice in hopes it would help me win like Honey Boo Boo, but all it gave me was a gut-ache. My mother won $110 on a game, and Kevin enjoyed half of a bleu bacon cheeseburger. Halfway through, he was getting antsy.
“How long does this go?” he was asking like a four-year-old. My phone was blowing up with texts from Liam and Chuck, the former who was at a house party in the suburbs and the latter who was entertaining thoughts of going. Throughout the night, Kevin and I debated if we would go, and we grew even more tepid when we found out the theme was Redneck/Sadie Hawkins.

“I don’t have anything to wear for that,” Kevin lamented, as he was rocking a Polo sweater. My shirt was somewhat flannel and with my jeans it had somewhat of a Brokeback Mountain flair.

“I have a cowboy hat in my car!” Erin cried. I didn’t want to know why, but I was relieved. After getting directions from three different people, Kevin and I felt confident enough in my navigational skills to get us to the party.

Of course, we got lost. This party was in the middle of nowhere! Liam and Chuck both called, and Kevin answered it while also trying to assess directions. At one point I had a near panic attack. Not only was this night driving, this was driving in the suburbs, and driving with a Type-A personality in the passenger seat.

“I didn’t start driving until I was 23!!” I yelled.

“Take the highway,” he said calmly. “Just trust me.” Then Liam texted saying he was leaving! Kevin and I didn’t know anybody else at the party, and I suggested we just go to Kevin‘s house.

“We’re not going to come all this way and not go,” he said. “Why do you care so much about what other people think of you? I don’t give a shit what people who don’t know me think about me, unless it affects my livelihood, and this will not.”

My iPod was still being stupid, but I paused when it came across “Autumn Goodbye” by Britney Spears.

I never promised you a happy ending

You never said you wouldn’t make me cry

But summer love will keep us warm long after

An autumn good-bye

Autumn good-bye

Autumn good-bye

When I was 13, in and out of the hospital for depression, I was obsessed with Alanis Morrissette’s “Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie”. I imagined myself as famous and successful in my twenties, with a love life that was varied and dramatic. Alanis sang of fractured relationships and doomed love affairs, and I felt her songs were my future self.

Who knew that I would grow up to be a practical virgin and that I would be relating to Britney instead? “Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie” was not the album of my twenties. Instead, it was “…Baby One More Time.”

“Who is this?” Kevin sneered.

“Excuse me?!” I cried. I really hate this topic, but in that moment I realized the perils of falling for masculine gay men. Yes, we celebrate them for their swagger, their defiance of stereotype, and their physical dominance may be what attracts us to them, but they will come with their faults. For example, they wouldn’t know old-school Britney Spears if their lives depended on it. He then turned on “Santa Monica” by Everclear, and it reminded me of one of my first emotional affairs, when I was 14 and living with my grandparents in Alexandria. I was in love with a boy named Pete then and we sang it together in the middle of a crowded restaurant, in my own version of Rupert Everett singing “Say a Little Prayer For You“ in My Best Friend‘s Wedding. I had the same feelings for Kevin as I did for Pete, eleven years earlier. I really have not grown up.

I don’t want to be your down time

I don’t want to be your stupid game

We decided to walk in the house with the cheaper bottle we purchased, as we didn’t want to sacrifice the Kinky but felt it would be rude to show up empty-handed. The house was far off the highway, and Liam told us to park where the cars were. I parked at the first car I saw, and then realized that this house had its own makeshift parking lot a hundred yards away from where we had parked. The house sat atop a hill, but you had to walk by a small forest to get to it. It was a Scream house, far away from other civilization, and the perfect place for beautiful young people to get murdered.

“Kevin, this is scary!” I yelled.

“Aww, you ain’t scared, are ya?” he giggled. Then he mimicked horror film theme music.

“Kevin, STOP IT!” I cried, and then I heard an animal race past us. This was horrible!

It was about to get scarier. We walked to the front of the house, where Liam was smoking on the porch. He was next to a man about 30 with bleached-blonde hair and a slim frame (possibly me in five years, which was a scary thought).

“Kevin,” the man said calmly. “Funny seeing you here.”

“Hey!” Kevin smiled. “Good seeing you!”

I did an imaginary hair flip and locked eye contact with Liam to calm myself. So Kevin used to go to bars and has a romantic history (he spoke of two year-long relationships in the car, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I was once pretend engaged to Neve Campbell). We went into the house, and I immediately realized I needed an allergy pill, but they were in my car! I went back to the car alone, and realized I was just like the dumb blond in the horror film that goes off by herself and gets murdered. It was a mixed blessing, because I had left the dome light on! I couldn’t imagine anything more stressful than driving a drunk Kevin home while the car battery dies on Highway 55.

I walked back to the party with an air of fake confidence. I met the party host, and casually recognized a few faces, including Sprite and the host from that particular party. Markie was there and was sure to grab my ass.

“Hey, Jakey!” Markie cried. “I heard you ran in your underwear and Ryan Robertson has it on video!”

“What?”! I cried. “I did that as a joke! He told Sprite he was going to delete it!”

“Hey,” Markie said again, in a loud voice as he cannot whisper. “Who was that guy you were telling me about on Halloween? The one you really like but it’s not gonna work out?”

“Markie, shut up,” Liam said as Kevin strolled by in a whirl of dreaminess. My blush answered Markie’s question.

“This has got to be weird for you,” I said later as I cozied up to Kevin. “You don’t really go to clubs anymore.”

“No, I want to wait until the right moment to re-introduce myself,” he said. He mentioned his new promotion, how much money he would be making with his new promotion (“They’ll be paying me [undisclosed] just to goddamn breathe,” he howled), and then I imagined us signing a pre-nuptial agreement in an office building somewhere in Edina. Philip walked by but I did not say anything, as I am just as scared of him as he is of me.

In a miracle of miracles, Chuck and Peter showed up!! I immediately felt relief, and was able to finally relax. Kevin drank and mingled, with some people he knew from a previous party scene, and various 20-year-olds in cropped flannel shirts and Daisy Duke shorts. I admit to feeling insecure and bitter. I never identified as a “twink’ when I was that age, and what are you when you’re skinny and on the other side of 25? They had the quintessential “twink” bodies, with the tan skin and not a single body hair and the visible abdominal muscles. I felt all my confidence slip away.

A young blond girl walked up to me. “If I put together a last-minute game of flip cup, will you play?” Flip cup? My Wisconsin roots were going to be put to good use!

We lined up randomly, and I was set to go head-to-head with Kevin! Oh no! But at the last minute, he got distracted and a boy we call Barbie took his spot! J.C. was playing before Barbie and couldn’t get his cup to flip, and while I biffed the initial chug (I took two sips because I hate beer), I flipped on my second success and won the game! Point Jakey! I had my mojo back!

A very inebriated man in Daisy Dukes and nothing else kept grinding on poor Liam. “Help me,” he mouthed, and I moseyed on over to save him.

“Do you want to be my boyfriend?” the drunk guy slurred.

“No!” Liam cried, and just as I extended my hand to save him, he made a fatal move. “Go dance with Jakey. He‘s single.”

In one fell swoop, I shoved off Sweaty McGee and slapped Liam across the face. “How dare you!” I cried. “I came here to save you!”

Liam and I hugged it out, which was a dumb thing to do in front of Kevin, “Wow,” he said. “That’s a lot of sexual tension.”

“Me and Liam?!” I cried. “Really?” Just an hour ago, Kevin was trying to convince me my own father was gay, so I really wasn’t taking any stock in anything he said.

“I have a Jacuzzi at my house,” he was sure to tell me in front of Chuck and Peter, who were having a front row seat to my sexual frustration. I was happy that Chuck and Peter finally got to meet Kevin, because they’ve only had to hear me bitch about him all summer, and I think they were finally able to understand it. Hell, Peter even begged me for a promise to put out that night.

“Cotton Eyed Joe” came on and he went line dancing with the Daisy Duke Twinks.

“Do you remember when we went line dancing?” Chuck asked. Apparently, ten years ago, when Chuck and Kevin were both hot 19-year-old pieces of ass, they went line dancing at Liquor Lyle’s together! And if I were to go by my media age, I had never even heard of line dancing or liquor in 2002.

We later sat in the corner while the Daisy Duke Twinks continued dancing. “It just doesn’t do it for me,” he whispered. “The slut thing.”

“They’re not sluts,” I said. “If I looked like that, I’d be naked right now.”

He put on the cowboy hat and started talking in his fake Southern accent, and it’s a good thing I was the sober cab, or else I would have been naked by that point. I mingled with someone who I met once at a high school party, but cut him from Facebook just a week before because in 2012, I have an increasingly low tolerance for gay Republicans (and in the most fascinating thing to ever witness in my social media life, my Twitter/Facebook pal Izak Pratt went from voting for Romney in the Florida primary to hugging Michelle Obama the week of Election Day. Unreal!). My RA from Stout’s sister was there! I was able to be occupied while Kevin got drunker and more fidgety. I didn’t want to be the spoilsport, but it was getting later and later, despite it being Daylight Savings night, and I had to work in the morning. Once Chuck and Peter left, I was beginning to suggest it was time for us to depart. Kevin got the phone number of one of the Daisy Duke Twinks, and I was completely fine with that. It wasn’t until we were upstairs in the kitchen that he nearly gave me a heart attack.

“Hey,” he said to Liam as we were on the way out. “Do you want to come over tonight?’

I had flashbacks to the time I was dismissed. Joey had told me he had done the same thing to him. Did he get off on this notion of two twinks cat fighting over him? A sexual version of The Hunger Games? Liam is a good friend and I wouldn’t hate him if he agreed to come over, but I’d be driving home in tears the minute I dropped them off, and I’d be taking my bottle of Kinky with me …

Thankfully, Liam was already planning to sleep at the house and was leaving his car there. I was relieved but still nervous as hell.

We made it to the car. I was terrified about the drive home, was angry about Liam, but too much of a chicken shit to address. Sensing my stress, Kevin put his hand on my thigh and pressed down on it hard. The tense knots in my muscles loosened in painful fashion (I am way too tense. Chuck tries to give me massages and I sound like I’m in a Hostel film).

“Ow!” I cried, and he let go instinctively. “I didn’t tell you to stop,” I snapped.

"I feel bad about getting that guy's number," Kevin said. "People like that, it's so ... predictable."

"You're not a bad person if you're shallow," I said. "It's why pretty people exist."

"I never said I was a bad person," he growled.

We got to the house, sat on the couch, opened the vodka, put on Pulp Fiction, a movie I shamefully haven‘t seen in full (and some of the cute 18-year-olds at that party were born the same year that movie came out. Feel old, gays.) It was 3 in the morning already. I started drinking. He drank more. I put on my drinking pajamas (they have martini glasses on them. Hilarious!). I felt bloated and dirty and just wanted to shower, and felt stupid for not having a 9-to-5 grown-up job, and for not looking like the Daisy Duke boy whose number he had, and I was angry at myself for not being able to relax, emotionally and physically.

He grabbed my stomach. “Aww,” I said. “I’m all ….. Squishy.” If I’m ever going to note it, it is here that I will say that Kevin had abs in May and now he’s a bit thicker in the middle, as will happen to a Minnesotan when he turns 29.

“I think you have a very sexy stomach,” he growled as he pulled my body towards his. What???? Samuel L. Jackson quoted Ezekiel and shot somebody, and I was soon demanding to take a shower (I was driving to work the next morning! I was going to have to take one anyway!)

I brushed my teeth, took a shower, and chose to be a good party guest and hang my towel up over the shower curtain. And as I did that last part, the entire curtain rod came crashing down, off the wall and into the bathtub. I stood naked and dumbfounded. Fuuuucccccckkkkkk.

I put my drinking pants back on and climbed into bed. Kevin has a comfy double bed, and earlier in the evening made note of my “haphazard” bed and “haphazard” apartment. I don’t think he finds joy in flirting with someone who makes less than $30,000 a year, but I digress. He looked like he was already passed out, but I couldn’t let him wake up and find out his bathroom had been destroyed.

“Kevin,” I whispered. “Kevin,” I whispered again. I inched in closer to him and smacked him in the bare chest. He barely flinched. “Kevin, I broke your bathroom,” I whined.


“I put the towel over the shower curtain and then the whole thing fell apart! I promise I’ll pay for it.”

“Well, I’ll worry about it tomorrow, because right now I’m sleeping,” he said. His mouth devilishly twitched and I had never been more attracted to him in my entire life. I rolled over to my side like a good little spoon.

And now for a moment of sheer pathetic: I don’t sleep well at night. I never have. I was always late for school because I overslept. When I have too much caffeine I have bad dreams, almost always about spiders. When I have nights when I am too anxious to sleep, I pretend someone else is in the bed with me. For years it was a Texan from the Internet who is either married or dead. Lately it’s been Kevin. I know. It’s never a sexual thing, but rather a way to calm myself and convince myself that I am safe and that there are no tarantulas in my apartment and that Bloody Face from American Horror Story is not going to come after me in my sleep.

So there I was, finally, after a summer of countless crushes but the emotional roller coaster that was my feelings for him, and I was right where I wanted to be, with him actually in the bed and with his arms actually around me, and I couldn’t enjoy the moment because I couldn’t find my Listerine Strips. I had weird dreams that night. When I woke up again I snuck off to the bathroom to drink mouthwash twice.

I got a total of four hours of sleep that night, and that was with Daylight Savings. He fixed the curtain rod in the morning. I stole Halloween candy and overheard someone in the basement listening to a Mitt Romney speech at full blast, which is always a clear sign that it’s time to leave someone’s house.

I didn’t even kiss him. I tell myself I am fine with my complete lack of courage, gumption and confidence, but if I ever see him at The Saloon making out with one of the Daisy Duke Twinks, I will get my ass kicked out of there so fast it’ll be the best cardio workout one of those bouncers will have had in years.

On Sunday, Joey and I commiserated at the 19 and had such great girl talk (not only about Kevin, but about others, too), that we didn’t even go to The Saloon! I think I’m really growing up, you guys.

Monday I was lucky enough to have the day off so I got to go on stage at ACME Comedy Club! It was a joyous experience, and then two other comics and I drove to Maple Grove to tell jokes at Three Squares, in which I completely lost my train of thought and totally sucked it up. It is strangely thrilling to both “kill it” and “bomb it” (stand-up comedy has very violent terminology) on the same night. Also, there are so many dreamy male comedians on the scene right now! I don't understand attractive male comedians. I want to shake them voraciously and ask what happened to them. Still, it was the first time I had ever done a room hosted by Daryl Horner, who needs to have his own talk show, and I was grateful to have a conversation at the end of the night with Josh Florhaug, who I will always consider to be my comedy bestie. Dawwwwwwwww.


I don’t know if you heard, but Tuesday was this little thing called Election Day! I am such a nerd about politics that I requested the day off (I was granted it, and was then scheduled to work seven days in a row. Welcome to retail).

I was worried about long lines (although nothing like what shamefully happened in Ohio and Florida), and yet I didn’t get out of bed until 3 P.M.! I voted a little after 4 at the elementary school close to my building. The line stretched around the school, but I later found that I am in a precinct that is just a few blocks wide as it is all apartments! It was like the VIP line of voting! I recognized Barbie, and felt no shame in realizing how cute so many of my neighbors are. I love you, Loring Park! It was like being at the club, only civically responsible!

I cast my vote, then went off to the public library to print a blank electoral map. Yes, I am an unabashed liberal, but I love politics in general (if I go back to school I think I will get a degree in Political Science). I was going to stop at my parents’ for dinner, but Neighbor Girl texted asking if anyone could help vouch for her when she registered to vote (a practice that would no longer be allowed if voter ID restriction was approved that night). Despite the fact that I told Joey I would be at LUSH by 8 and I still had to get pretty, I knew how important this was. I decided to get pretty and then escort her to the polls, so that I could go to LUSH immediately following. We were in line behind a young woman who was trying to sell us perfume samples. Neighbor Girl got to vote without a hitch, and I loved the civic spirit of seeing neighbors vouching for each other, or directing people to the correct lines. Yes, I also enjoyed that there are so many cute neighbors in this area, and that I would meet more of them if I dared to step out of my comfort zone and not always be at the damn gay bars.

I was off to LUSH, where I was equipped with my blue and red Sharpies to color in the states! I was all caught up, and I soon met with Joey and my friend Deborah, who graciously let me linger at her table. She was with two young women and while our discussion was mainly about the election (I am a nerd about this stuff, people! I went on and on about the Tea Party and how while the Republicans took over in 2010, they would have been even more powerful had they not let crazy people win their primaries in three key Senate races), we did discuss relationships. Deborah gave me wonderful advice, not necessarily about Kevin, but about the preferred sex in general:

Have reservations, not walls.

I drunkenly introduced myself to the wonderful Dennis, and schmoozed with old high school classmates. Cheers erupted when Amy Klobuchar’s win was announced (no shocker there), and the room exploded at 10:15 when the election was called for Barack Obama. Jared, Joey and I decided to stop at my apartment before vamoosing to The Saloon, which was having a viewing party of its own.

We went to T.J.’s bar, where Obama’s victory speech was playing on a big screen. The bar owner asked T.J. to make a shot for everyone in the bar, but we had to hold our drinks until after the speech was over. By sheer coincidence, I was standing next to one of the Pink Ladies, the one Peter has a crush on. It is my relief to tell you that he is actually nice! We introduced ourselves and watched the speech, and I was your token gay liberal, fighting back tears and clapping at all the applause lines. I respect difference of opinion, but there was a moment where I really did think Romney was gonna win, and it was all gonna be because of Ohio and Florida, and by Ohio and Florida it would be a result of transparent voter suppression, and then the Supreme Court would overturn Roe vs. Wade and history would remember Obama as a failure, and I got caught up in the emotion that, despite the fact that 2012 did not have an iota of the spirit or optimism that 2008 did, we still turned “Yes We Can” into “We Just Did”. While I was going through this moment of political triumph, the three whiskeys Jared had at LUSH were starting to hit him, but he was trying his best to be with the grown-ups. It was like when you see a five-year-old at a wedding. They want to be with it, but they’re bored. He kept clapping while the President was talking and not while everyone else was, and he snuck his shot in too early.



(And thank you to the fabulous Kyle at Reality TV Gifs !)

Still, it was a joyous moment to be had, and while my biggest memory of the 2008 election will be my friend texting me “Wow, we have a Muslim president now” (ick!), my biggest memory of 2012 will be knowing that, despite my looming poverty, I was where I was supposed to be.

Jared slept over, and the next morning it was announced that Minnesota rejected *BOTH* a gay marriage ban and voter ID restriction.

I was so excited that I humped Jared. I had wonderful conversations with friends of mine -- self-identified conservative Christian Republicans -- and I think it’s so important to note that we don’t teach by yelling, or name-calling, or stereotyping. A very conservative friend of mine messaged me telling me of their No vote, and it was a personal victory for me. Some may shudder at this comparison, but I feel the same way about marriage that I do about abortion: If possible, would I ever have one? I highly doubt it. But I wouldn’t want an old man in a suit being the one to tell me that I couldn’t do it, because he decided what was and wasn’t moral. Jared and I had a wonderful time on the way to work (just like old times!), and we were hopeful about my promotion and finally getting to work together again. Obama won! I platonically slept with a cute boy! Things were looking up for Jakey!


Wednesday, I got a call while at work that they “had gone with someone else”. After your first professional setback, you scrape your feet and keep hustling. After your fifth, you just shut down, y’know? I was so depressed that I had Ruby Thai and I texted Kevin. For the second time this year, I sat in the mall parking lot sobbing in my car, but I felt a whiff of maturity in that this time it was for reasons that were purely financial and vocational and had nothing to do with a dude. My mother and I never had the rosiest of relationships, but we both know she can’t be helping me out forever. I can’t be 40 having my 70-year-old mother sending me some extra money every month for food and rent. And yes, I know, that someone reading this could easily tell me that if I didn’t go to the bar so damn much that this wouldn’t be an issue, and why don’t I stay home in bed and read, or why don’t I go back to school, or why did my dumb ass even drop out of school three different times, or why don’t I go to more open mikes, et cetera. Maybe the fact that I can’t be promoted to save my damn life is meant to happen. But here’s the caveat: You never say things are meant to happen when things are going well for you. I did not look over at Kevin’s adorable face in the bed next to me and cry out: “THIS WAS MEANT TO HAPPEN!!!” No, we say it to assure ourselves of our faith and self-confidence, but I just don’t fucking know anymore. Ask me in March.

Nevertheless, when Thursday rolled around, my depression was in full swing, and I decided I was going to The Saloon to get drunk. I was not there to mingle or to flirt or to dance, I was there to wink at TJ and let Three Olives take me away.

Strangely, The Saloon was dead that night, perhaps because of the post-election hysteria and recovery. I awkwardly didn’t know anybody until I was adopted by Tall Boy, he of the after-Pride party and overall dreaminess. I mingled with him and his friend (who had met Robyn! I can’t even!). Tall Boy is in a serious relationship, and I have realized that in the world of Gay High School, having a crush on a partnered guy is the same thing as having a crush on a nice straight guy. It means nothing, nothing will happen, but it’s innocent and harmless and fun, and I was going to go with it. A girl came up to me, said she wanted to suck my dick, and said I smelled amazing. Well, at least someone at that bar found me bangable. She was hanging with an obese lesbian and a wide-eyed theater kid. They offered me their chicken strips and Tall Boy offered me his, but I refuse to eat at The Saloon in mixed company. Star Quarterback walked in and I STILL FELT NAUSEOUS AND STUPID. Have I learned nothing? It’s a Pavlovian response at this point. We did some loops, Del said hello and I said hello back (but that’s all I did! And now I feel rude! But he was with his friends and I was with mine!), and I enjoyed watching Tall Boy flirt with everybody. Don’t ask me how, but somehow at the gay bar, the topic of sex came up.

“I don’t put out,” I announced.

“Look at that shit-eating grin,” Tall Boy smiled. “Of course you do.”

“I really don’t!” I cried. “It’s cobwebs back there.”

Ryan Robertson waved at me from across the bar. I was so giddy that I may have just lost a cobweb. After hugging Tall Boy good-bye (he’s soooo tall!), I went back to TJ’s bar, where I found myself standing next to Ryan Robertson.

Here’s the deal about Ryan Robertson: In Gay High School, he’s probably more of a star quarterback than, er, Star Quarterback. His reputation precedes him, and apparently he likes the young skinny dudes (the Daisy Duke Boys on Saturday would have allegedly been his heaven). Still, I have found him to be kind to everyone, and I admire his classy nature of deflecting Markie’s rude questions, on topics such as penis size and Philip.

(See, here’s what I didn’t tell you about the Halloween party last week, because I was so high off my Star Quarterback moment, and pretend I am whispering this: For a brief while, the only four of us in the living room were me, Markie, Ryan and Philip, and apparently Ryan and Philip used to date and it might have been a little messy. Philip was trying to carve a pumpkin or something and Markie was trying to be all Diane Sawyer, asking questions about the relationship and the future, and it was all very uncomfortable and awkward. I should have asked for popcorn)

Because Tuesday was too deep of a night for everyone, Ryan and I only discussed the election for three minutes and then discussed body hair removal. Shortly after, Philip walked up to us.

I’ve never really talked to Philip. I joke that he’s scared of me, which is fine, because I am very loud and obnoxious and I think he’s shy. He’s a nice guy. He’s a baby. I have no beef with him, is what I’m trying to say.

Still, I was feeling soberish and adult-ish (despite the fact that I apparently can no longer speak English), and decided to be cordial.

“Hi, I’m Jakey,” he said.

“Uh … yeah,” he smiled anxiously. “I’m Philip.”

“It’s nice to meet you!” I grinned.

“It’s nice to meet you too,” he smiled. “But I’ve met you …a bunch of times.” Including the Halloween party last Sunday when Liam even made us get a picture together! Which I knew happened, but I had decided that Sunday was our drunk selves and tonight was an empty Thursday and we were being grown-ups? I don’t know. I’m just all for the awkward moment.

I decided to spend the night with my real boyfriend, which is Tuscan Chicken Pizza from Domino’s. Late night hangouts at the pizza parlor remind me of my Menomonie days. I triumphantly began to walk home, overly excited about my pizza and watching MSNBC coverage of Election Day that I had DVR’d, when a young man stood right at the street corner preparing to urinate. I instinctively turned, and then kept walking home.

Then he started following me.

“Yo,” he said. “You wanna suck my dick.” He wasn’t saying this with a question mark at the end.

I paid him no heed. I lived in New York for a year, back when I had hopes and dreams, and while I would never say that living in New York makes you better than anyone who lives in Minneapolis, I will say that it gives you a sense of security and literal street smarts that you never knew you had. You know how people get mugged and duped in New York (see also: L.A. or Chicago?) Because they stop and acknowledge people. Walking home by yourself at night is all about the blinders. I assumed the guy would get bored.

Then I realized he was still behind me.

“Suck my dick,” he kept saying. Not loud, and not yelling, and I think that’s what made it scarier, that I knew he had his wits about him. “You want to suck my dick. I know you want to.”

At the stoplight, I instinctively crossed the street to the other side of Hennepin. Good survival instinct, Jakey! Except for the fact that to get home, you’re gonna eventually get back on that side of the street!

I called 911 and tried to sound as sober as I could when explaining the situation, and I did really well until the dispatcher asked for my location.

“Where are you located?”
“I’m at MCTC.”

“What intersection are you at?”

“I’m on Hennepin. At MCTC.”

“But what are your cross-streets?”

“Hennepin and …. Hennepin.”

Nevertheless, a squad car arrived in less than two minutes (you rock, MPD!). The man in question was no longer walking, but I gave a physical description. The young police woman offered me a ride home, and I happily accepted.

“That pizza smells so good!” she cried.

“Do you want a piece?” I asked.

“No,” she smiled. “I’m on a diet.” Peter later confirmed that when he was a wayward teenager, she was the same car driver that cracked up when he sang “Party in the U.S.A.” in the back seat, because he was upset that the cop car didn’t have a radio station. It was a short, brisk ride, and while I hope to not encounter such scary situations again, I will say that cop cars are much more smooth and relaxing than taxi cabs.

Next week: How will Jakey go to two different birthday events with less than $50 in his checking account? Prostitution is not an option.




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