As I had previously shared a year ago (CLICK HERE TO READ), two of my best friends were my first cohorts when it came to exploring our sexuality when we were 11 years old. Recently, I found out that one of those friends had passed away, much to my dismay. I had not seen him since we had graduated from high school 40 years ago. Several years ago, due to a serious back injury he sustained at his job, he had developed an addiction to narcotic pain killers, and according to the small town gossip rumors, it haunted him to his grave. I would really loved to have seen him again, since we had shared such important and intimate times during our pubescent years.
The other friend I lost track of when we were 15 years old, due to his parents being divorced and his mother moving away. We both got married in our 20’s, both had children, but after 10 years of marriage, he realized and admitted to the world that he was gay, and divorced his wife to begin living his life as an out and happy gay man. He found a boyfriend, who he lived with for about 10 years, buying property together, traveling to Europe and Caribbean islands, and enjoying his new open lifestyle. When we were both 35 years old, when his younger half-brother was getting married and I was baking the wedding cake and singing at the wedding ceremony, our paths crossed once again after 20 years without contact. I knew he had divorced his wife and was living his life openly as a homosexual, and wasn’t sure how I would feel seeing him again after all of the experiences we had shared when we were teenagers. I knew that after being married for 12 years, and being extremely sexually frustrated, I was finding myself increasingly attracted to guys once again. My wife wasn’t interested in the least of fulfilling my sexual needs, so after seeking professional counseling and failing to resolve the issues, I had begun to fool around with certain guy friends who I knew could be trusted to keep my secret.
But meeting my childhood friend after all those years, and knowing that he was living his life openly homosexual, while I was hiding my own feelings was a scary situation for me. Would he be able to see through my own charade? Would my family be able to see how envious I was of him living his life openly free to be who he really was, while I was living in perpetual misery? How had we both changed in the 20 years since we had last seen each other? I was very pleasantly surprised when we just instantly became best friends again, picking up right where we left off, except for sexually. He was no longer my “type”, and I wasn’t his, and besides, he had his boyfriend.
It took me about 10 more years for me to come to the same realization after 20 years of being married, but finally it was undeniable and I knew if I was going to be able to live with myself, it was time to be true to myself and to the world, so I came busting out of my closet, blowing those closet doors off their hinges so I could never go back in there again. As of this writing, that was nearly 19 years ago. So I’ve now been out and openly gay almost as long as I was married. Time sure flies, whether you’re having fun or not. Sadly, even though I’ve had some short term romances in those 19 years, I still have yet to find that one special person to share my life with on a permanent life-long basis.
It hasn’t been for lack of trying! I’ve “interviewed” hundreds of “candidates” over the years. I suppose I was somewhat of a prude when I was first coming out, still having that heterosexual mentality regarding nudity and modesty, essentially being ashamed of letting anyone see me fully naked, with that being reserved only for “someone special”. I will never forget my amazement and wonder, after all the years of slyly seducing and manipulating guys who I would eventually fool around with while I was married, when I was contacted on a gay chat phone line (the only option for “hooking up” prior to the internet) by an adorably cute little blonde twink who was 21 years old and said he loved to come over and be “sucked off” by an older guy. We set a time, and to my surprise, he actually showed up. As I said, until that point, in order to get someone to give me access to their “privates” for some fun, I had to be very manipulative, secretive, and cunning, but this adorable young guy just walked in, dropped his shorts and his underwear to his ankles, and sat down. laying back for me to pleasure him with no qualms or a modicum of modesty. I was shocked, but thrilled at the same time!
I was even more shocked the first time I ran into him when I was out at a gay bar. Instead of being avoidance and secretive about our having shared an intimate encounter, he openly greeted me with his friends, introducing me to them like we were old friends. Prior to that, every “encounter” I had experienced was followed by carefully hiding our secret rendezvous from everyone by pretending like nothing had ever happened, while at the same time wondering if it would ever happen again or was my secret life still safely hidden. It felt so good to not be carrying around that guilt any longer!
Anyway, my childhood friend contacted me in January to inform me that he was in between jobs and was looking for a new position. He knew I am a fairly good writer, especially of resumes, and he sent me his resume for me to look over and critique that he had just paid a resume writing service $300 to create for him. I was shocked at the appalling document they had provided him for $300! There were multiple grammatical errors, formatting errors, inconsistencies and spelling mistakes to the point of making it almost unreadable because you couldn’t absorb the information due to being distracted by the glaring mistakes and errors throughout the resume. I went through it, correcting all of the errors and mistakes, restructuring it according to proper resume-writing guidelines, formatting it with bolding and bullets, and sent the revised version back to him in about an hour for his review. He was ecstatic with the results. He immediately contacted the other service demanding a refund of his money because he was unable to use the piece of garbage they had sent him, which they refunded with no argument, and he promptly sent me the money instead for my services.
Several years ago, he had suffered an automobile accident where his arm had been crushed and mangled to the point of requiring it to be almost totally reconstructed with rods and screws to hold it together, losing much of the muscular tissues in the process. He was told that it would most likely never be useful after that, but he has managed to regain much of the functionality of it, even though it quickly gets tired and painful with too much exertion. So when he is facing a 20 page online job application in his pursuit of a new position of employment, the task of doing all that typing and entering all of that information is a daunting task which he finds overwhelming, so knowing my current financial situation and lack of employment myself, he offered to continue paying me if I would help him by applying to jobs on his behalf as if it was him filling out the forms. Being in desperate need of the money, I agreed, and began helping him in his job-hunting task.
He knew that I had not been away from New York except for an occasional day excursion for over 5 years, and he was in the process of relocating from New Mexico to Las Vegas, so with his arm, he needed help getting everything ready for the move and we hadn’t seen each other for almost a decade, so he offered to fly me out to help him with his move, flying me into Albuquerque, meeting me at the airport to take me to his house (all in the dark at night due to my flight arriving late, so I didn’t get to see ANY of New Mexico!) where we packed up and prepared for the movers arrival.
New York City is devoid of many of the chain businesses that the rest of American take for granted as part of their everyday life, such as Denny’s, Wal-Mart, and many other popular restaurants and businesses, so it was really great getting to eat breakfast at Denny’s for a change and getting to partake of one of their “SLAM” breakfasts we see advertised on TV all of the time. After we packed everything up and the mover loaded it into his truck, we bid goodbye to his New Mexico home, climbing into his SUV which was packed to the gills with things that he wanted to take with us rather than entrusting them to the mover. Before leaving, I had a plastic beverage cup I had been drinking from that I wanted to dispose of so I went over to his trash container in front of his house and when I opened it, I discovered a large box that had been thrown into it, apparently by the mover. Upon opening the box, I saw a box of kitchen items ranging from an expensive pizza baking stone to an expensive full knife set and cutting board. There were boxes and cans of food, many of them specialty items, and it was obvious that this was a very expensive and difficult to replace box of treasured kitchen items, which had been discarded by the mover, apparently to make room for my friend’s belongings. If we’d have had room in our vehicle, I would have rescued this box in hopes of returning it to the family which I was sure would be very upset and angry about it’s loss, but we didn’t have a single square inch of space to spare, so I had to leave it there in the trash. Knowing that even if they filed a claim with the moving company, they were only going to be paid forty-five cents per pound which is the allowable rate established by the government for missing items in a move, I felt very sad and sympathetic for the family they belonged to. Lucky for my friend all of his items made it to Las Vegas and none were disposed of along the way.
So it was already dusk by the time the mover finished loading his truck and as we were leaving snow-covered Farmington, NM for our journey across Arizona to Las Vegas, the sun was setting behind the rim of mountains that Farmington lies in, so for the entire 8 hour trek, we were driving in total darkness and I didn’t get to see one iota of the beautiful scenery that New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada are known for. We were within just a few miles of the Grand Canyon and driving through the southern Rocky Mountains, but couldn’t see a damn thing! We did watch the outside temperatures dropping steadily the farther west we drove starting out in the mid-30’s in New Mexico and dropping all of the way down to 2 degrees above zero at one point in Arizona. It was a freakishly frigid cold weather snap for the southwestern United States, and of course, it was while I was there! The farther west we drove, the warmer it began to get until by the time we reached Las Vegas around 2:30AM, it was in the mid-40’s.
As we drew closer to Vegas, I began seeing some of the outlying casinos starting near the city of Boulder, Nevada and it was just amazing to see all of the lights, especially as we rounded a curve high above Las Vegas with a beautiful overview of all of Las Vegas in the valley below. There were no skyscraper buildings reaching for the heavens, like we have in New York. It was so nice to be out of the Big Apple for a change!
So we took a drive down the Las Vegas Strip where all of the big famous casinos are located, and one night we went to the Cirque de Soleil show, BELIEVE with Criss Angel, the awesome illusionist. We had gotten supposedly discounted tickets at the last minute, so the seats were pretty far up towards the top of the auditorium. I asked one of the ushers where the nearest elevator was for after the show, due to me walking with a cane, and she told me where it was located. A few minutes later, she and her boss came and asked us if we would like to relocate to some special reserved seats they offer to handicapped visitors, so they have more leg room and aren’t crowded. So we left our far away seats and moved up to the aisle directly behind the orchestra section of seats on the aisle in seats where the arms folded up out of the way and a much better view of the stage! It was great!
One of my Facebook fans who found me due to me being on the Bloodhound Gang CD cover and friended me lives in Las Vegas, and when she saw me announce on Facebook that I was going to be in Vegas, she immediately sent me a message asking if there was any possibility that we could actually meet so she could get my autograph on her CD. I told her sure, no problem, so after the show at the Luxor Casino, I called her and told her we were about to eat at the buffet and would be free in about an hour. She said she was already nearby at another casino with some friends and they would come over. So we had our rendezvous after we had eaten our dinner, and she introduced me to her two girlfriends and had me autograph her CD. Her friends took pictures with me and then one of them bought us a round of shots of Goldschlager, a cinnamon flavored liqueur with specks of gold flakes in it. It was so strange having “fans” wanting to meet me for my autograph! LOL…
So it was really nice getting out of New York and seeing Las Vegas! While I was there, he took me out to see the Hoover Dam just outside of Las Vegas. I spent one afternoon at a casino with money he gave me to have a good time, and was able to play the whole afternoon and into the evening with the money I was winning. See the gallery below for pictures of my trip.