Flying Solo

The partner who moved with me to Georgia fifteen years ago insisted we be active in the thriving gay community here in Athens. We went to an all-gay potluck dinner every month and attended fund-raising events throughout the year for the annual Boybutante Ball. We even became charter members of an all gay church here in Athens–Our Lady of Perpetual Drama.

After our relationship came to an ugly end, he got the church and most of our male friends. Come to find out, he was sleeping with half of them. Except for a few close friends here in Athens, I more or less went into seclusion. That’s when I met my young friend online.

Over the next twelve years we gradually stopped going to just about all of the gay functions here in town. Our straight friends keep us pretty busy. Between work and everything else we were doing, staying connected to the local gay community just wasn’t a priority for us.

This weekend I was on my own. My best friend (I’ve really got to find a new way to refer to him) decided late Friday afternoon to drive down to the family compound at Panama City Beach to get his dad to sign some papers. In the end, the six-hour drive (one-way) was easier than trying to explain the electronic options to someone over fifty.

On his way out the door Friday, he told me to get out and meet some people. He wants me to date. I think he figures dating will keep me out of his hair at least a night or two every few weeks. Always thinking, that one.

The local gay bar closed years ago, and none of the successors that sprung up afterward succeeded. The online chatroom where I met my best friend is still up, barely. A dozen years ago, hundreds of guys frequented the chatrooms. Most were looking for instant sex. But a few of us had some hilarious conversations. Too bad nobody uses it any more. A good chatroom is more fun than Facebook.

The old chatroom has fallen out of favor, replaced by hookup sites like Manhunt. So I logged on Friday evening to see who was online from Athens. I went ahead and paid for a premium membership so I could see all the pictures, perform searches, and receive more than five or six email messages a day. Besides, I’m single now, and a grown ass man.

I’m not gonna lie. A lot of the pictures I saw made me blush. We’re talking hundreds of faceless dicks and butt holes. Being able to look under the hood like that twenty years ago would have kept me from test driving more than a few. Now it mostly grosses me out. I mean really, how much time am I going to spend looking at someone’s jiggly parts?

And is that really how you want to shop? Years from now when people ask how we met, I can say things like, “Yes, I saw that picture of his penis and knew he was the man for me” or “I really connected with the way he spread his ass cheeks in his profile picture.”  Bet you won’t see that story on Lifetime any time soon.

I put up a G-rated picture. I’m a romance novelist. Unlike Rihanna, I hardly think naked pictures of me turning up would enhance my career. Maybe when I was 30. But not now. Jesus.

The bottom line is that Manhunt is probably not the best place for me to look for dates. Ads for keep showing up on my Facebook wall.  Maybe I should give that a try, when and if I get tired of spending time with the dogs here in…

My Glass House



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