When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gym Story

And this is exactly the way I'd always wished it would happen!

So today at the gym, I do what we always do. I'm getting my workout on, deciding what to do and what not to do, seeing what equipment is avaialable and what's not, noticing the astounding bodies and the not-so-much, knowing which set I belong to and being mad/sad/depressed/determined about it. And also what we do, brief eye contact and then possibly a very masculine head nod of acknowledgement, and keep it movin'. Because omg shoot, kill, and eat us right there on the spot if any of us dare be gay at the gym. So unless we're working out with a buddy (and I use the term loosely) we're all in our own little orbits of homophobia, saying nothing and dying to look sexy.

During, I saw a fella who I found attractive in a strange way. He had loose unkempt hair. He was medium build, no discernable paunch (unlike me)but no outstanding v-shape or awesome shoulders that I usually go for either. He had one of those interesting mouths, though. Lips thin and somewhat recessed, in an m-shape. Very white-guy-in-his-forties. Possibly Irish. Curlicues of wild chest hair poking up at the neckline. Not unlike the George that I used to live with three years ago. (Or is it four now?) Not unlike him at all. So let's call him "George II." I wound up doing shoulder shrugs next to his weight rack, where he was doing squats. Nary a word passed between us. I can only hope at this point that no one notices how much I look at them during any given gym session.

After I was done, I hastily changed back to my street clothes, not even stopping to shower. I had no one and nowhere to go so why bother? I was listening to a shuffle of Corinne Bailey Rae and it was affecting my mood again. The first lines of many of her songs can soooo send me to that place --

"Seems like everyone else has a love just for them ..." - Breathless

"Ohhhhhhh ... you're searching for something I know won't make you happy ... " - I'd Do It All Again

"I don't want to give you up, I don't want to hold you up..." -Closer

"So young ... for death ... we walk in shoes too big ..." - I Would Like To Call It Beauty

So I didn't wait around for a shower and I didn't do any aerobics on the elliptical. Just shrugged on pants, shirt, sweater, jacket, hat, scarf, sneakers, and I'm out the door.

Now, this gym is on the 15th floor of a Time Square hotel (one of its' best perks with BEAUTIFUL views of Hell's Kitchen and into the T-Square itself) so leaving it takes me to a bank of elevators. And who should be standing there waiting for an elevator? Why, George II of course! I'd missed when he stopped doing his squats and threw his clothes on, but it had to have been in a lockerroom apart from mine because I didn't see him. And trust me, I look. The lockerroom is the place where I get involuntary confirmation that I am, indeed, gay. Sorry, straight guys who just want to go get their workout on and get on with their day after a shower, but we gay guys are checkin yo shit out. I try not to stare, I promise. To be honest, I don't like you nude anyway. Your junk is ugly. No, I'm sorry, it really is. And your toes are often ghastly. But once you slip into your BVDs ... h'oh boy. And you be wearing them SEXY ones too. Oh no, not just tidy-whities anymore hath our Johnny Straight Guy, oh nooo. And then some of you have the nerve to have abs, and those interlocking rib-muscles?! And NORMAL clean feet with well-proportioned, trimmed nails on EVERY toe? You bastards.

Again, I'm trying not to stare. But wow. A glimpse says a lot.

Where was I?

Right! The elevators with George II! So these are highspeed elevators to service the 30 stories full of hotel tourists above us, who've shelled out good money to be here, and so accordingly, if you press the down button you better be ready to dash to one of the eight possible elevator doors that could open -- because it will not wait for you. And fortunately, when one did arrive, it did so near me, so in I went -- and I held the door for George II to catch up to it. Then I said as much to him by way of banter -- you know, about getting to the vator before it leaves. To which he answered 'It's a fitness test.' Which I laughed at because I thought the same thing about the hard-to-open lobby doors downstairs! And I said so aloud!

And then George II and I had a nice little stream of casual convo all the way down the elevator, down the escalators, through the lobby, out onto Broadway, and two blocks north until I departed to cross the street.

And we didn't talk about anything at all, really. Just about gyms and their opening, closing, the value of ours and the possible value of others. But his voice was sooooooo nice. Cool. Deep but clipped. Announcing every consonant and vowel. Like he could be a radio DJ. Again, very Middle-Aged White-Guy. Comfortable and safe like Ward Clever or Fred MacMurray. And apparently, comfortable with ME! So comfortable in fact that when I was ready to cross the street, he jut out a hand for that fraternal shake and announced his name! To wit I clasped in kind and gave him mine. So masculine!! So buddy!! Nice strong grip, but not trying to out-macho one another. Just Men being Men!

And then I thought DANG! I LIKED that!!! and went to my train.

So, his name is not "George". But neither's was the original George. And I'm not in LOVE or anything. George II had some manky teeth which caused his M-shaped lips to be as recessed as they were. But then again, my teeth are gappy, so who's perfect?

But he was the kind I like. Just a guy, you know? A guy who is open and friendly and ... a guy. An average guy. Who might have a interlocking rib-muscles under there. And a chest full of hair. And who might be gay.

So I'll end it with this -- the odds are, he's not gay. He's probably divorced and probably a sex addict. He's probably disorganized and maybe has some destructive addictions that he's trying to overcome. I'll probably never know why he'll accept me as a friend, but he will. And I'll probably wind up with a big inappropriate crush on him, and on it will go into nowheresville. You know ... that town at the junction of Despair Rd and Chronically Frustrated Life Ln?

Because hey. I'm nothing if not consistent.

And that's what happened today!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Therapist


More than once I have sat with a client and together we have arrived at answers for their lives that illuminated the whole room. Last week, one of them said "I don't know why I spent so much time worrying about what other people thought of me."

The peace on the client's face was incredible.

And I sat across from them thinking, "Why am I in THIS chair? Why are they not MY therapist??"

And those words have been in my head ever since. Because I've spent SO much time considering others thoughts about me. All my life, I guess. And it is seriously killing my happiness.

Over the weekend I was sitting between hobbies and feeling not lonely, but kind of ... oh, say, put out. Inconvenienced by being alone. And I do now have friends. But I thought to myself, in this one aspect, "Why am I alone? Why am I allowing myself to be alone like this? This is just STUPID."

Then I promptly did nothing.

But I tell you what. Out of all the people I've come across, whether it's through Blogging, Tweeting, Professionally, or In Person -- 98% of them refuse to be without someone. They don't care HOW effed up their lives are or WHAT their challenges are. And they don't give. A. Shit. what anyone thinks of them when it comes to this area. They hunger and they fill their appetite.

I owe myself nothing less.

I'm getting closer to blowing these doors off. FUCK Victoria Jackson and all her ilk who want to keep me in this closet. I don't see THEM doing without.

Fuck this.

Why am I alone?