I never have a sexy Fourth of July. I worked this year.
It's okay. I got all of Pride weekend off, then I worked for nine days, then I had my birthday weekend off (which I'll get to), then I worked for nine days again. I was like a flight attendant, but in retail. It was exhausting but also rewarding, the latter of which as a reminder that if I am going to go to all these events and be at the bar all the time, I have to have money to pay for all of that.
We did go out on the Fourth, though. After work, I stopped at The Saloon (shocking!) with Joey. We met with Charlie and his roommate. Esquire, Doug, and Chuck were there. I felt patriotic and happy.
Three drinks later, I was feeling less happy.
Last year on the Fourth of July, I went to Kevin's house. And that's not necessarily even a good memory, because we ended up driving with his mom and stepdad to try to watch the fireworks and it was an epic fail, and I left without saying good-bye to him because he took a phone call from his friend and talked for over half an hour (and subsequently texted me that I was a drama queen when I got home), but it was still my only Fourth of July memory that involves a boy. Also, I was working at House of Comedy that week and felt like a real comedian.
A year had passed and I was still pining about boys that were not there (by my fourth drink, I looked at the door and thought of a certain person walking through the door and how I would feel if he did -- would my heart jump again? Probably), and so far this year as a comedian I have made less than $100, and even that was from gigs that I got literally the day of and could not have done had I been working at my real job that weekend.
So I was sad.
The next day, Charlie freaked out via text message that I was mad at him because he had been flirting with Esquire. This made me feel terrible! I adore Charlie. He, Becks, his roommate and a gal pal even saw me do comedy on a Monday night at Tryg's! We were doing a roast for a gay comedian who is younger and skinnier than me but was moving back to Seattle.
"Oh my god," I wrote. "I was sad about a lot of things, but not that. I can't call dibs on every boy at the bar. You can make out with anybody you want.
Unless it's Kevin (who you can't stand)
Or Wesley (which would never happen)
Or Joey (because he's like my kid and that's weird)
Or Channing Tatum
Or Football Guy, because I have a crush on him this week."
"Football Guy wants my ass," Charlie said.
Then I quickly changed tune.
"DOOO ITTTTTT," I wrote. "And tell me all about it."
"You want me to vicariously fuck him?" Charlie asked. "I don't really like him that much."
"If you were a true friend, you would," I insisted. Not only is Football Guy totally out of my league, but I have the sex life of a nun. I am like the awful girlfriend you had in tenth grade, where I am jealous all the time but when you get me alone I only want to cuddle.
And we'll get to that ... right now.
We're going there.
Before we do, I want to specify that whenever I have written about hook-ups, I have avoided details because this isn't that kind of blog, and also, that's pretty nasty to do about somebody, even if you give them a code name. (I also learned that for a lot of the locals that read this, they figure out who the code name is in five seconds anyway, and at least one of them was really hurt by it and I feel bad. Live and learn)
We're going to keep it that way. So when I delve into this subject, I am doing it because I am voicing that I have technically been celibate since I was 25.
He was so not what I usually go for, either. He was skinny and pale and feminine.
Not that there's anything wrong with that. Um, hello.
Anyway, I'm not a total prude. I do that but I don't do ... that.
I was going to turn 28 in less than a week and I had accepted this. First of all, it is embarrassing to be pushing 30 and have an attitude about sex like you're a squeamish pre-teen. Secondly, every week on Facebook someone posts an article about sex and how you are doing it wrong, and if you are going to be a bottom then you should avoid solid foods for at least two weeks and practice with a dildo for a year first and make sure you have waxed and shaved everything. Honestly, the only article I read about gay sex that wasn't talking about how disgusting and unfuckable you are was posted by Cavin Knight, and he is a porn star (but my favorite because he also loves Mariah Carey).
Had I wasted the last two years by being obsessed with two different emotionally available dudes? (Answer: yes). I was going to be 28. Not a twink, not yet an otter. When you are older and gay, you are only seen as a sexual being if you are a "Daddy". No one is going to call me Daddy. My own children would not call me Daddy. I only had two more years of fuckability left. It was time to be a ho.
But maybe it wasn't! Maybe it is okay that I am practically a virgin. It means that I am innocent and it keeps my viewpoint unique.
Paul Ryan came over at 2 AM that Friday. He was at The Saloon and I was at The 19. I had all weekend off for my birthday shenanigans, and we were at The 19 because I did not want to go to The Saloon four nights in a row.
"Oh my god," Jared said when I told him who was coming over. "Douche!"
"He's not that bad," I said. "He's just going to stay the night because he lives far away."
"No!" Jared cried. "Douche."
"We're not going to --"
Jared gave me a look that read "Come on, Eileen."
I can never enjoy that song again.
Anyway, Paul Ryan came over at 2:30 and immediately stripped down to his boxers. Jared was helping edit a friend's resume, but Paul Ryan decided it was all wrong and he immediately started working on it himself. He was matter-of-fact about everything.
"I want this in size 18, Arial, with your Linked In profile right here," he said.
"His friend works retail," I said. "He doesn't have a Linked In."
"Well, make him get one," Paul Ryan said. "Do you have a pen and paper? I need to format this."
Paul Ryan told us all about his life at St. Thomas while we watched Drop Dead Gorgeous. Sidebar, did you all read the article about that movie on Buzzfeed? It was amazing. We ordered Domino's.
"Get another 2-liter of Diet Coke," I said.
"We already have Diet Coke," Jared said.
"Yes, but he's buying," I explained.
"My father cut me off," Paul Ryan said. "I got offered a ridiculous amount of money to do porn. I might do it."
"Don't!" I cried. "It's not like the old days where you can hide it. Once it's on the Internet, it's on there forever."
"So?" Paul Ryan. "I don't care. I'm going to move to Europe, anyway. They want to film me working out and fucking, and those are my two favorite things."
"Like ... at the same time?" I asked.
"They're soo like Michele Bachmann," either Jared or I said when they showed Denise Richards and Kirstie Alley at home.
"Do you know how much money my family has given to Mark Dayton?" Paul Ryan asked.
"I thought you were a Republican," I said. That's why his name on here is Paul Ryan!
"Of course I am, Jakey, but you only place your money on a winning horse," Paul Ryan explained. "Only people in power can give you a favor when you need it."
The pizza man buzzed.
"You have to go up there because we used your card and they need your ID," I told Paul Ryan. "Put your clothes on."
"I don't need to put my clothes on," Paul Ryan argued.
"Yes, you do!" I cried. "It's rude."
"He'll be fine," Jared said. "I used to deliver pizzas. People were always in their underwear after midnight."
I protested and apologized to the delivery man and played the role of embarrassed wife, but all was well.
We watched some more of the movie and Paul Ryan got bored of the resume editing.
"I need three glasses of water," Paul Ryan said casually.
I was going to get him three different glasses because Jared does the dishes (our sink is now clogged, though. Karma is evil!)
"And then I'm going to [edited for television] in [edited for television]," he said in the same inflection as he used to announce that he wanted water.
I guffawed. "Yeah, that's not ...... no."
When we stumbled into bed (to sleep!), I realized that my room has no lamp because my mother inexplicably took it out of my car. Therefore, it is either bright lights or pitch black. Last time I tried to enact mood lighting, I set my apartment on fire. This actually happened. Ask my uncle.
Oh, God, that sounded bad. I was on a webcam with someone while my uncle was at work, and we were roommates at the time, and I set a towel on top of a lamp and apparently that causes fires and the fire department had to come, and that is why I said that. Minds out of the gutter, people. This is not a blog about sex.
With that, Paul Ryan took my shirt off with the lights still on and stopped at my stomach, where I have bright red ingrown hairs that are sometimes so big I feel like I should give them names. Heaven forbid I keep my body hair! No! That would be disgusting! Having your torso look like you have adult chicken pox is by far the sexier choice.
"What the fuck is this?" he asked. Oh, God. He has sex with cute, tight college twinks all the time. He should call an Uber. It's for the best.
"It's from the waxing and the Nairing, and I ---"
"No," he said. "Why are your shorts still on?"
It was a valid question.
END OF ACT II
The next day, birds were chirping and the sun was shining and Paul Ryan left without saying good-bye because he is 6'4" and was sleeping with his arms spread out so I had to go sleep on the couch. It was also my official birthday weekend!!!
I went to Bingo with Sean and Cooper. Thelma was the host and while we may have started out on the wrong high heel, I fully enjoy her now, and not just because she announced my name when I waltzed in the room. Hosting bingo is a thankless gig -- you have to be on for two hours, especially when you're entertaining the crowd in between games -- and she did so effortlessly. When she came to my table, she made fun of hot guys at Esquire's table for being on Grindr and read their profiles out loud, and then told me that she can tell when I've been drinking because I blink a lot.
Esquire won, and so did Dennis, but I hardly count Dennis's win because he plays with, like, eight cards at a time. He is like an attractive version of Edie McClurg in the bingo episode of "Roseanne".
Sean is also obsessed with Roseanne so he understood this reference when I mentioned it. It is why we are such good friends. I, on the other hand, did not win, despite the fact that I was one away in the cover-all for literally the last eleven numbers. It was the Lord punishing me for fornicating. Cooper felt so bad he even took a picture of my card on Instagram.
"I was inebriated last night," Sean shared. "I was going to say intoxicated but then I remembered that doctors say 'intoxicated' and writers say 'inebriated'."
I wasn't especially intoxicated or inebriated, but I was causing major concern when my face turned red as a tomato! Was it the vodka from LUSH (I stuck to one cocktail as I was driving)? Sun allergy? Freaking out, I drove to my mother's house. I go there all the time. My parents live in St. Anthony, which anybody from there will describe as Northeast Minneapolis. I do my laundry there. I fill up their DVR. I take baths. I Nair my chest and stink up their bathroom. It is another symptom of my arrested development. My mother is fine with it but every time my father sees me at the houe he looks at me quizzically.
My mom wasn't home, so I sat on the couch and watched My 600-Lb. Life and decided I would not call myself fat for at least an hour. My mother arrived shortly thereafter and, playing the "nurse-for-30-years" card, insisted I take Benadryl.
"But Benadryl conks me out!" I cried. "Greta is co-hosting a fundraiser at The Saloon, and I was going to go to this comedian party!"
"You need an antihistamine!" she cried. "One Benadryl will not kill you."
I took a Benadryl and then slept for five hours. God DAMN, Benadryl. When I was a freshman in college I volunteered in post-Katrina Mississippi, and on the bus ride back to Wisconsin I took two Benadryl. When I woke up, people were staring at me in disbelief because I was asleep for twelve hours. I missed Memphis and St. Louis, which were the only exciting cities we drove through the entire time (not counting Kenwood, Louisiana, the hometown of Britney Jean Spears! I was the only one who knew or cared. Meanwhile, everyone else was super excited that we were working in Kiln, Mississippi, because some guy named Brett used to live there. Whatever).
I felt bad about missing both events, especially because they were fundraisers! I regrouped and reunited with Cooper at The Saloon.
The next day was my birthday brunch!!
Roger got me a table at LUSH for ten people. When I told my mother this news, her first comment was not one of joy or enthusiasm. "You better not be late," she said. "Being late for your own birthday party would be the ultimate showing of arrogance! If you're late, you should be surprised if you even have any friends for your next birthday party."
I was dismayed that Jared and Joey had to work, selfishly because Jared would have done my make-up! We Tweeted each other and he said that for the evening festivities, he would have my face beat for the gods. I squeezed into my DKNY suit (it still fit, god dammit) and made it to LUSH by 10:55!
At 11:15, no one was there yet. The staff was walking around looking at me with a mixture of sympathy and secondhand embarrassment. If no one shows up to an aging twink's birthday party, does that mean he's still 27?
Liam was first to show, followed by Greta. Erin was not there because she was out of the country, which has happened for the third year in a row. Sigh. Deborah, Martha, and Martha's daughter Lucia arrived, and Martha even gave us a gift for "The Crows' Nest", which is what Jared and I call our apartment!
My father showed up without my mother. "She had to go shopping in Maple Grove," he explained. Whatever.
My mother finally arrived. So did TJ, my bartender! And when he introduced himself, my mother was like, "The bartender? Water down his drinks, will you?" #lorettarealness
TJ was excited that my twin brother was arriving. "Have you met Jakey's brother?" he asked somebody. "It's a total mind-fuck. It's Jakey if he was straight."
My brother showed up for about half an hour. He and his girlfriend were going to watch the World Cup at Legends nearby. My mother wanted to go, but told me she didn't because "I had too many Diet Cokes and I was just feeling icky. I can't have that much caffeine." I sometimes wonder how we share a gene pool.
My friend Tanya, whom I met at the KDWB pool party with Liam, showed up and gave me a Hello Kitty bag full of Nair products that she had just purchased from Target. And she came all the way from Jordan!
My uncle and his fiancé showed up. Roger gave us free photos in the photo booth all day. Dennis bought me a shot because he told Dane that he thought I had Asperger's and then felt bad about it. It was thoroughly enjoyable.
The party people cleaned out, and Roger asked if I wanted to go to Seven with a group of people. I agreed, and Quinn, Liam and I climbed into the back of an SUV, with two boys I barely knew driving in front. I asked if we could stop at my car (parked a block away -- my plan was to leave it there and retrieve it Monday morning) to get my apartment keys. The boys in the front seat acted like my car was parked in Eagan.
Liam is really good at going with the flow, and it's an admirable quality. Quinn and I, on the other hand, were growing increasingly uncomfortable, especially when the boys in the front seat were going on and on about how their one friend isn't nearly as rich as he says he is. "He's only worth, like, $8 million," one of them said. "And that's all from his aunt, anyway. It isn't even him. And he drives this kind of BMW, when he should be driving that kind of BMW."
These were suburban gays, all right. And there is nothing wrong with that. But Quinn and I are city gays. It's not like we enjoy being what these men would consider poor (Quinn isn't poor -- he's not in oodles of credit card debt such as I -- but neither one of us is going to be buying a BMW anytime soon). But we would rather spend our money on expensive nights at the club than a flashy BMW, and that doesn't make us bad people. The conversation in the car was very bizarre to us. We kept looking at each other in a quiet acknowledgment of the surrealism. Were this a scary movie, we would have been the final two that make it to the ending alive. Sorry, Liam.
Both cars ended up at Seven. The other car had Roger, a gal pal of his, and three other boys I didn't know. When Roger gets drunk, he gets loud. He walked into Seven and personally knew the entire staff, and we walked up seven flights of stairs to the rooftop. It was a huge kerfuffle trying to get our tables together, and the wait staff finally had us sit in the bottle service area. Our waiter looked like an '80s gay porn star and all the gays were drooling over him. I, on the other hand, was feeling uneasy because I just realized that our car was parked far away and I had left my apartment keys in there. Y'know, the ones that I made the boys stop for in the first place. And I barely knew the driver!
"God," Quinn whispered to me while some of the gays were putting their legs in the air when the cute waiter walked by. "That car ride was like ... bougie hell."
"I know," I said. "And I left my keys in there."
"Shit," Quinn said.
"If I didn't, I would just leave," I said. Roger kept getting drunker and louder. The gays kept getting grosser about the waiter. Roger's gal pal kept bitching at him. It was an odd dynamic. Yes, Roger needs a "mom" type when he gets to a certain volume, but she acted like she had never hung out with Roger before. This is always how Roger is when he's drunk. You just kind of go with it. As Rosie O'Donnell famously said on The View when discussing the Don Imus/Rutgers scandal, you don't go to a horror movie and then complain to the theater manager that you want your money back because the movie was too scary.
The waiter came back with drinks for Liam and I.
"How come my drink doesn't have a lemon in it?" I asked.
"Oh my god," the waiter said contritely. "I'm so sorry."
"I'm just kidding," I smiled.
I needed to make niceties with the boy who drove, because I had to ask him to again walk down seven flights of stairs so my space cadet self could get my keys.
"That waiter is so cute," he said. "I just broke up with my boyfriend two weeks ago."
"Oh my god, I'm sorry," I said.
"It needed to happen," he said. "But now I'm just horny as hell. I should ask him out."
"Okay," I said.
The waiter came back and gave me two lemons. "I doubled up for you," he smiled. Roger kept calling him Tom Cruise. I felt strangely at ease with him despite everyone else fanning themselves. I couldn't figure it out.
When he came back for my refill, I remembered that I knew him!! He used to go to Big Louie's all the time!! When I was 23 and would go there with my dad every Tuesday!! He and I had a brief conversation amidst all the madness about my birthday plans. I didn't say I knew him. I could have. It just felt weird. And I should have. Because he is straight but he looked really good in those black Seven shorts.
The driver asked the waiter for his number. The waiter declined. I didn't tell anybody that I knew him. It was like my little secret. The driver was really nice and said we could get my keys in a little bit, and I was able to calm down, even when Quinn started yelling at Liam because Liam was being annoying.
"Do you have a boyfriend?" the driver asked.
"No," I laughed.
"Does someone have your heart?" he asked innocently.
I was not going to have feelings today.
Y'know, the old me -- I say that ironically because I was now an ancient relic, at 27 and 363 days -- would have told him the whole story.
Instead I just said "Yes" and looked at the skyline.
I did not invite him to the birthday brunch because I knew he wouldn't come, and I didn't want to spend the entire time looking at the door in false hopes he would walk through it.
I don't even think he knows what my birthday is.
And that is okay.
I see his birthday everywhere. I hardly talk to him anymore, but I see his birthday every day. I see it on license plates. On addresses. On digital clocks. On receipts from customer returns.
And maybe that is okay, too.
If I ever fall in love again, though, it is going to be with someone who is born in October, November or December. I think it will be easier that way.
"Can we go now?" I asked the driver as these unpleasant and morose thoughts were unwelcome.
We walked down the seven flights of stairs and down the parking ramp.
"Where do you live?" he asked.
"Loring Park," I said.
"I can drive you home," he said.
"Oh, that's nice of you," I said. "You don't need to."
"No, I want to," he said as we got to his SUV. Then he tried to make out with me. I just wanted to go home and take a nap and cry.
I gently brushed him off. We were outside! In public! In the afternoon! On the Lord's day!
"It's okay," he said sadly as we got back in the car. "I get it. I'm not your type."
"Well, I -- you're someone's type," I said, not realizing how silly and snotty that sounded.
He asked me personal sexual questions anyway, and I answered them because I did not give a fuck.
I took a nap and went out for Round Three. I was exhausted, but I still had fun dancing with Jared and Joey.
My actual birthday was that Tuesday. I went to work, because who cares when your birthday is on a Tuesday? I stood next to Jared, and his customer had an autistic child that asked if I was a man or a woman. On my birthday.
After work, I stopped at The Saloon to celebrate with Charlie, whose birthday is the day after mine. We did karaoke, because that's what you do when you're old. Well, I'm old. Charlie is 22, but he listens to Alanis Morrissette and Joni Mitchell.
Next week: ANOTHER sexy muscle gay pool party! SHENANIGANS at the club! And a reunion with a Season One favorite!