After having a pretty crappy, low day and writing that post yesterday, I had something to look forward to: beers with my butch bro, Adam. This was one part of the day not likely to be fucked up, and I really looked forward to hanging in our usual bar, in the booth seats, enjoying pints of our favorite, Rogue River Chocolate Stout.
And it was good. Adam has two daughters, the same age as my two. We always take some time to compare notes on our pre-adolescents and our toddlers, offering sympathy and advice, encouragement and high-fives. Last night we also talked about our wives, about how differences in expectation and parenting temperment can cause conflicts and how we work through those conflicts. We usually hang for a couple of hours, then head back to our families. This conversation is so much better than one you would find in an adult chat room. Last night, however, I wasn’t ready to go home just yet. I needed a little more independent time, so I hugged A goodbye and headed down the sidewalk to take in the night air and the night life.
All the usual characters were out: groups of young adults cruising from bar to bar; groups of domicile challenged hanging out, sharing gossip; couples walking slow and close, in no hurry; singletons like me looking for something to do. I looped around and came back down Fourth Ave toward my truck, stopping at Jake’s on Fourth, our queer hang out.
Not much going on, but it was a Tuesday night, so that wasn’t surprising. I chatted up the bartender, a perpetually young looking butch, and found out that my favorite beer, Black Butte Porter was going for $2.50 a pint ($2 Tuesdays, wells and drafts for $2, micros for $2.50). Great deal, but I was on my way home. I walked to the back, figured to use the restroom before leaving. I stopped in the doorway, looking at the wall behind me to see if my Butch Voices flyers were still up. A young man walked up behind me, saw me hesitate and said, helpfully, “Men’s is this way” pointing to the other door in the hallway.
Many, many times, I’ve been stopped in women’s restrooms by women who do not believe I should be in there. Those are not positive experiences, those women are coming from a position of feeling threatened and are usually pretty angry with me. In contrast, this young man was being helpful, he didn’t see me as a guy attempting to invade the women’s room, he saw me as another guy trying to find a place to pee. I responded with “Thanks, but I’m good” and pushed through the door. In hindsight, maybe I should have use the men’s instead.
I headed back out, to my truck (found it with the lights on, luckily, it started right up). And thought I was heading home. Instead, I drove around the block, parked in a slightly different location, and headed back into Jake’s. I need a little more time away from home, I needed some queer time and how could I pass up getting my beer for $2.50?
I sat at the bar, ordered my drink and fiddled with my phone. I was in the mood to be around people, but didn’t especially need to be with people, if that makes sense. I just needed to hang and not feel rushed. At one point there were two gay men sitting at the stools to my right. The silver haired one next to me, bumped my stool with his (the stools had backs and swiveled about 90 degrees). I turned to look at him and he apologized, to which I responded “OK, but if you do it again, I’m gonna assume you want something from me” in my best cowboy-in-a-rough-bar tone. The other guy, a bit younger than either of us, seemed highly amused at my response and I could see him over the other guys shoulder, raising his eyebrows and laughing mutely.
He did bump my stool again, but when I turned he was gone, leaving the other guy and his drink. Not sure what his plan was, but apparently it hadn’t worked.
I enjoyed my beer, chatting up the bar staff and one the off duty gay boy bar backs, who came in to hang out at the stool next to me. It was one of those situations where you see someone all the time but you don’t know each other’s names. So I reached out a hand and introduced myself as Casey. He reciprocated. We chatted a little and then I told him that I had another name as well. My voice probably dropped an octave as Kyle introduced himself.
His response? “Oh, cool, Special K… nice to meet you.”
Yeah, that’s right, Special K. I finished my beer, thanked him for his company and headed home with a big grin on my face.
To top it all off, I got to talk to Roxy, who was heading home from a class given by a Femme Domme. We were both in great moods, feeling good, sharing our evenings, not in a hurry. Such a nice change for both of us.
From the bottom of the well to Special K. Wow, what a day.
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