It had always been said that you can't go home again.
That was a fact that became hard reality when I moved back to Little Rock, Arkansas after my father's passing. It was made even more clear as I had to deal with Glenn,Roommate, and Arkansas gay men games. While I had grown up, they had not.
The Greyhound bus was on the freeway. It had one more drop and then it would be at my drop. My first flash of recognition occurred as it headed closer and closer to Downtown San Diego when it passed a Mexican restaurant. I had gone there once with my sister for drinks. My eyes watered and I felt like I was...home.
But...was I home? Was it possible this time would be different?
Of course, they lost my luggage on the first day.
After a lot of assurance at the transfer point that my luggage would make it to San Diego when I did, there I was in San Diego waiting outside a customer service window. Why? Because my luggage had been misplaced.
That was the least of my worries.
There also was the matter of where to stay. I had been ready to find a good decent weekly place until I could save more for a monthly. Given how I had left Arkansas, that was my only option. Thankfully, San Diego was full of places that were real weeklies.
However...they were all full.
Time really had changed.
Thankfully, something opened up. Even better it was a block away from the Greyhound station. While I found the place was surrounded by way too many homeless people for my liking, a place was better than no place.
Later on after a mocha at my friendly neighborhood Starbucks, I headed back to the Greyhound station. Worries filled my head. I had not been prepared for the setback of temporary housing. At least, I had a job thanks to a job transfer. However...would I make it?
I made it back to the station. I did not see anyone in the customer service window. I decide to go around the corner to see the clerk was there.
And there was my luggage.
I smiled. It was in that moment, I knew I could make it.
After a month of seeing if I could budget myself, I decided it was time. After searching for another job on top of working my main one, I never had a break. I wanted to relax.
So I proceeded to my old haunt.
Didn't even get carded. Why? After almost four years, and I was sure countless people, security recognized me on sight. I had to grin as I walked into the bar, my mind on the fact that I must have been that much of a hellion back then.
"It's a Corona, right?" Kenny, one of my bartenders of choice who knew I had moved back asked.
I frowned. "Blue Moon actually."
Okay. I had changed.
It wasn't that I was tired. truth be told...I was simply bored.
With the first job going smoothly, but the search for a second job...NOT, I had taken to the occasional cameo out. It definitely took the edge off. However, I couldn't help but realize it was not like it used to be.
I always said that if I ever came back to San Diego and walked into my bar, chances were good that my drinks would be free. For the most part, that was right. At the same time, I could tell I did not have as much sway as I did. Worse, i could get drinks, and apparently a good makeout session, but a hookup...an connection...was impossible.
"It is good to see someone bouncing to the beat."
I looked over at the nice fierce queen sitting next to me. I admit to not paying him no mind, especially since like most people who did not know me he would probably say nothing. However, he knew his way around a jukebox. Thus, the head bobbing.
I smiled. "You have great taste in music."
We sat together and laughed. It was nice to talk to someone who was real. It was also good to know I could still form connections.
So the next time I came out, I found time to be loose.
"Where are you going?" the bartender asked.
"I'm going to dance," I said, "but I'll be back."
Sometimes you had to follow your own beat.
CURSE OF YOUR OWN BEAT
I had to accept that it would be a face of my life. I did not want to do so. but it was what it was.
I figured once I returned to San Diego I would have to interact more on Adam4Adam. Notorious as a hookup site, gay men got on it to...well...hookup. Given how busy I was with my main job and looking for a second job, I didn't expected much.
And I was right.
It was the too old men. I t was the psychos, not being able to comprehend that I would contact them when I was free which I was very clear to say was rarely due to work. Of course, when I was free, no one I was interested in was. It was one thing or another.
So when an opportunity arose to meet A, a Latino guy I had been talking to on and off, I jumped at the chance.
I sat at Starbucks. As I sipped a mocha cookie crumb, I felt the nervousness build. My dating experience has been well documented so I couldn't help, but wonder what failed experience would follow.
I was so distracted by the suit that I did not realize he was late. As I listened to him tell his life story, I was silent. I could tell that his clear words with a thick Mexican accent was a turn-on. By the point that he had called me shy, I knew I wanted to jump his bones.
Earlier that day, I had discussed with a coworker the merits of sex on what essentially was a first date. While some might frown on that, She did not. I could say the same. As two grown adults who clicked, why not?
So we did.
I knew what I like. He was upfront about where he was coming from, also a turn-on. Finally, it ws only fun interlocking parts...arms, legs, flesh.
The last time I saw him had been online. I was back at A4A, chatting with an interesting guy about art and graphic design. He happened to be online. Interestingly, given I had him in my hands, his moans and words cutting through my skills. I was surprised however. After all he had mentioned he was not looking for anything...or anyone...serious.
So why then did he click on my profile without any 'hey, what's up?'
I shook my head. He wanted me to know. He wanted me to know he had seen me online. However, that could have been done with a hello. The fact that he did not say it meant two things. The first thing it meant was that the was bent out of shape so he took the date seriously. Then why did he say he was not looking for anything serious when in order to be bent of shape he would have to be looking for something serious? That led us to the second thing that meant. It meant he was playing games.
I loathed games.
And real men did not play them.
So...I guess I had been looking in the wrong spot.
But...if I could not even find a hookup without drama what was the point?
CAN'T GO HOME AGAIN
I made it to the bus okay.
It was the first day at my second job at the Postal Place.
That's right. I was back at one of my old jobs. I was nervous on my way there. Would I still be able to sort mail as efficiently and quickly like I used to? would I be okay being back? Would...
I stepped off the bus. My feet started toward the Postal Place. It was a path I had walked several times years ago.
I could never go home again. I accepted that for sure now. I however could make my life more livable.