Tonight I’m meeting D.’s mother.
We’re having dinner together in a couple of hours.
I’m a little nervous.
I put on my best shirt, tie, slacks, and jacket. Combed my hair and beard. Spritz on Tom Ford cologne. Brushed my teeth. And smoking one of my best cigars.
I imagine she’ll look like D., which is silly of course: D. is 6’3”, 200 pounds with a beard. I hardly think she’ll look like him really.
When you meet an in-law you always hope they like you. What I hope she sees is how much I love her son.
I love words. I hate texts.
Eastwood tapped me on Grindr late last night. A tap is akin to a tap on the shoulder, a brief introduction, a “hello” in the briefest of terms.
This afternoon I said “hello” to Eastwood.
Slowly, across the internet, like walking slowly across a bar, Eastwood responded. Eastwood is 30, 5’7”, a lithe 145 pounds, great smile, hazel/green eyes.
“Hi,” he texted.
“How’s it going?” I asked.
And then it started, or staggered perhaps, a volley of Q & A. All in text of course.
But Eastwood tickles me, makes me laugh, likes my writing.
So readers, please allow me to introduce you to Eastwood.
Men come and go.
In the parlance of gentlemen, when you’ve made an error, whether in action or word, you apologize. You look the person in the eye, always in the eye and apologize.
And then you shake hands.
Every man has two powerful tools: his word and his handshake.
Every man knows that when he gives his word AND shakes his hand it’s a bond you don’t break.
And if you do, you look the person in the eye, admit your wrong, and shake.
This is what gentlemen do.
Hunger is Life.
Make no mistake: If you want top quality, amazing food in Charlotte, 5Church is the standard.
In love honesty is everything.
D.’s mother once told him, “fall in love with your best friend.”
Hopefully, at the end of this week I’ll get the chance to meet this woman with sage advice.
D. and I are friends. Very good friends. We talk about everything: Everything!
We talk about hunger, the world, goofy things, nonsensical things; we moan while dining at restaurants and never, ever do we stiff servers no matter how deplorable the meal.
We talk, very candidly, about male sex: top, bottom, versatile, dom top, power bottom.
“Why,” D. asked today while walking with me to my cigar spot, “Does your Grindr account list you as a top?”
”Because I’m a Daddy,” I replied.
“But you’re not a top,” he said.
“I’m not with you,” I said. “Besides, why are even discussing this on a busy sidewalk in Charlotte?”
”Because we’re friends,” D. responded quietly.
It often takes a horse some time to find its stride.
At long last I think that I’ve broken free from the cantor, and am now in my stride in Charlotte.
I was ruminating while getting dressed this morning: I, at 60, left everything in Chicago, and decided, against the odds, to fly to Paris to meet a model I’d never met before. When Artem never materialized, I went on the hunt and fell into Jean-Baptiste’s lap. He and I stayed together, entwined like Creeping Ivy for three weeks.
And then I flew to Charlotte.
I’m often asked, “Why Charlotte?”
My response is often a shrug, followed by, “I have no f@%#ing idea.”
But I do now.
Charlotte is home.
Caring is kindness.
D. cares for me. I care for him, too.
But his caring is an action verb. He cares for me. Whenever we’re together he knows exactly where I am. I walk with forearm crutches and a leg brace. He always pulls out tables for me, opens doors, holds my crutches.
I can see it in his eyes. I can see it in his smile. I can see it in his texts.
We always text the other when we’re tucked in our respective beds. We always text each other “good morning.” We text each other about sniffles, and body aches, and nose bleeds.
See, D. cares for me.
It’s a comforting thought knowing someone in someplace is caring for me.
I do hope each of you have someone like D.