Loring Park Episode #36: Guys and Dollfaces
Last season on Loring Park:
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“We’re going to a mansion party?!” Jared cried. “But I am wearing zebra!” We ended up schmoozing just fine at the party, even though we were the youngest people there (not counting Norman) and I told myself that if anyone asked what my job was, I would just tell them that I had Kevin’s job.
Speaking of Kevin, I was hoping to spend time with him on New Year’s Eve because I had plans to bring him to the annual comedians bruch on New Year’s Day! I was going to bring him last year but he wouldn’t wake up in the morning and I was a bitter, pouty mess. I hadn’t heard from him, but I did get a text from Chuck, who thought it would be funny to send me a screencap of Kevin on a slutty Grindr-ish phone app.
Here’s the thing. If you are a regular fan of this fake show, you understand that while Kevin is not (and never will be) my boyfriend, he is more than one of my one thousand and one bar crushes. There’s a history there, with real feelings, and unsolicitedly informing me that he has plans that night that do not involve me didn’t seem like something a friend would do, and surely not one who had a front row seat to all the drama.
But maybe I was overreacting. Jared and I agreed that I would not text Chuck back about it, and then we waited until an hour later when I was drunk. We got a cab with Joey and Quinn on the way to Jetset, and even they agreed with me.
Quinn had never been to Jetset and felt nervous. “Just tell everyone you’re in banking,” I said. Jetset gays love words like banking and portfolio. I texted Paul Ryan and said Jetset wasn’t the same without making out with him, because I am good at flirting. After half an hour at Jetset, we vamoosed to The Saloon, where an imitation town car ripped us off and made us pay $30 to go eight blocks. And I wonder how I went bankrupt.
Jared was my New Year’s kiss, and I was fine with that. We continued flirting and mingling, and then Kevin showed up!! What in the what?? He said he got a cab after midnight. I asked if he would go to the comedians brunch with Jared and me the next day and he agreed. Jared and I went home by ourselves, happy to bring in the new year with laughter.
I had turned my phone off because it was acting up. I woke up at ten and told Kevin I was still bringing him to brunch, and then I received a message from Chuck that told me to never speak to him again because he could no longer understand someone who creates their own pain and anxiety, and he reminded me that I am 25. Joke is on him because I am 27, unless you are an agent or potential love interest. I haven’t spoken to him since but he sent me a Snapchat from his tropical vacation and I can’t tell if that was a passive-aggressive move or if he just forgot I was still friends with on him there.
“I do not self-create my own pain and anxiety,” I told Jared. “That’s so ridiculous.”
“Right,” Jared said.
“I miss Wesley,” I said out loud as India.Arie's cover of "Heart of the Matter" came on my iTunes. I wondered how he had spent his New Year’s. Did he leave town? Did he go to a straight bar? Who did he kiss?
“JAKEY!” Jared cried. “It’s not even noon and you already broke your resolution! I’m beating you! I haven’t eaten anything yet!”
Paul Ryan sent me a sexy sexy text message and I prepared to pick up Kevin, even though my phone was no longer taking calls so I could only text. How awful! Jared, Mona and I (Mona is my Toyota Yariz. She is a lesbian and we have an adversarial relationship) picked up Kevin from outside from an apartment building. He had stayed with a med student/exotic dancer but they did not have sexy time because there was a third wheel involved. “But I really like him,” Kevin said.“I’m happy for you,” I said. And I was.
We made our way to Jake’s Grille in Eagan to the annual comedians’ brunch! I was again honored to be invited. Ron Lamprecht wrote on Facebook that Elisabeth Ess ate my weight in bacon. “I love your Facebook,” Wendy Maybury told me. “It reminds me of me when I was a 16-year-old girl.” Jared was so hung over that we had an entire pitcher of water at our table. I wore the tightest T-shirt I possibly could.
I dropped Kevin off at his house, then went to Jared’s to talk about Kevin, then went back to Kevin’s.
“What do you want to … do?” he asked.
What was I so afraid of?
We went grocery shopping and liquor shopping. He flirted with the cashier at the liquor store. At Rainbow he chased me around the store with a salami. I wish that was a metaphor.
We played video games all afternoon and all night and he talked about the dancing med student some more. We discussed friendships and how he does not go out to the gay bars that much anymore, and I enjoyed that Jared and Joey and I are more than just “bar friends”. I talked about how Chuck had friend-dumped me, and what a weird concept that was.
“There was another boy I used to hang out with a lot, but he just completely dropped me from his life,” I said. “And I’ve never had that happen before. That was weird.”
“Well … why do you think he did?” Kevin asked.
I sighed heavily. “Because I represent ‘gay’ and he can’t have that in his life right now,” I told Dr. Thomsen.
“Okay,” Kevin said. “You know that has nothing to do with you, right?”
God dammit, Kevin Thomsen. When you’re good, you’re good. It was a light bulb moment. Wesley’s life was a puzzle, and I was never a corner piece.
“That’s not true!” I cried. “You met me!”
“Well,” he laughed. “That was more like fate.”
“Your elbow is digging into my neck and it’s really uncomfortable.” I am sooo good at flirting, you guys.
Still fearful of physical intimacy, I finally kissed him in his driveway at 11 P.M. like we were in middle school. But I hugged him a lot at brunch. Probably to an embarrassing degree. He makes me feel comfortable.
He made it official with the dancing med student two weeks later. I had no right to feel anything but joy on his behalf, and I did not turn to Hot Pockets until he started posting “A Whole New World” on Facebook. I was naively selfish enough to think that was my thing. It was never mine to begin with.