I ran into Jeff Black last Monday at the gym. I was just wrapping a towel around me after a quick dash through the shower, when up he walked with a great big grin on his face and stuck out his hand for me to shake. I cringed and was so dismayed at being caught in such a compromising position (dripping wet and naked) that I barely had the wherewithal to take his hand and seem pleased to see him. I quickly pulled the towel around me closer and the first thing out of his mouth was, “I still do your song.”
Okay, let me backtrack a bit. I first met Jeff when Scott and I had literally just broken up. Scott had just left with his things to move back to Los Angeles and I was still in our apartment with our cat, packing up boxes and crying my eyes out as I went along. I was a mess with a capital M, to put it mildly. I couldn’t wait for the sun to go down everyday so I could start drinking and drink I did, all night long. Even that unhappy, I wouldn't drink during daylight hours because we all know that's a sure sign that you're a big fat drunk or so it's said here in the south. It was during this time, that I met Jeff in one of the local AOL chat rooms. Yes, it was that long ago, people were still actually chatting through AOL. Meeting Jeff at that particular time was like being handed an appletini as soon as you walk in your front door after a really trying day at work, damned refreshing. Jeff had just came out and was sweetly naïve about gay “things” and he was also one of the nicest persons I’d ever met. I enjoyed playing mentor to the slightly older man and answering his questions about the mechanics of gay sex and culture. Jeff was tall, sort of thin but well-built, very country and extremely talented. Jeff was a local country singer/songwriter that performed in pubs and bars several nights a week. When we went out together, people constantly came to our table to talk and ask questions about his upcoming gigs.I felt like Faith Hill.
One night over at his place, he pulled out one of his guitars and told me he had a surprise. I remember getting that, “oh no” feeling in my stomach before he took my hand, looked me in the eyes and said he’d written a song about me. I was horribly embarrassed but yes, very flattered as well. I must have turned every shade of red right then-n-there as he sung it to me that first time, smiling and beaming into my eyes. It confused me; I couldn’t figure out how I could illicit such a strong emotion from him or anyone for that matter. I mean, I have healthy self-esteem and all, but do I think I’m the stuff songs are written about? Hell, fuckin' no. Somebody had a big old crush on me.
“Just great, perfect timing.” I muttered to myself but kept smiling and clapped real big when the song was over. I was such a basket case at that time, Ricky Martin could have gotten down on one knee and told me that he’d love me for the rest of his life and promise me that he’d lovingly shove his big, fat, uncut cock up my butt every morning before work and I wouldn’t have been interested in the slightest. I couldn’t see anyone or anything but my grief. It really is like a death in the family when a relationship ends. You have to mourn for all that is lost.
The last night I was in my apartment before I was to move to Charleston, Jeff came over to help me finish up some last minute packing. It wasn’t long before he began getting very touchy-feely, not really helping me pack at all and in general, just getting if my way. I was instantly pissed because I was in a panic about leaving the little love nest that Scott and I took years to build. All Jeff wanted to do was sit around with stars in his eyes, strum his guitar and sing the most ridiculous, maudlin songs I’d ever heard. I was just about to ask him to please leave when he asked me to move in with him instead of leaving town.
Now, I’m no snob or think I’m better than anyone, but the thought of moving in a double wide with this guy (and his two parrots) that I’d only known a month didn’t appeal to me at all, no matter how much I liked him as a person
Cue: Queen Of My Double Wide video
Cue: Queen Of My Double Wide video
I said no, of course and watched him walk out the door, guitar in hand and drive away in his old, beat-up Toyota pickup. I remember thinking that as his gay mentor, I’d just taught him a very valuable lesson: don’t get involved with a queers that have just broke up with somebody or you’re just asking for trouble.
Fast forward 9 years and three cities later.
I’ve moved back to North Carolina to settle my father’s estate and end up staying, not being able to bring myself to face the exorbitant cost of living up north anymore. I’m in what is known as the “prep” gay bar in Charlotte and waiting on a friend to show up. I’m having a good time scoping out all the cute gay bankers and business men in their power suits and after-work gym clothes when I hear the stool beside me make a groaning noise as somebody sat down. His knee jabs into my thigh suddenly and I turn to give this rude asshole the evil eye. It’s Jeff, sitting there with a big, old shit-eating grin. I sort of collapse onto him in a hug, it was so good to see him again. And damn, if he hadn’t filled out, looks like somebody had been doing some major bench presses because his chest and arms are huge. Jeff is so excited that he can hardly speak until a cute guy walks up behind him and put his hands on Jeff’s shoulders. The guy clears his throat and gives me the look. You know that look: the “what the fuck are you doing with my man” look. Jeff remembers that he’s in a long-term relationship with this guy and cheerily introduces us. The guy seems nice enough but also quite unhappy at Jeff’s reaction to me. Seems he'd met this guy shortly after I left town and well, the rest was history. I’m happy for him, I knew he wouldn’t stay single long, Jeff is a good catch, that’s for sure.
Apparently Jeff had decided that he was a top because this guy oozed bottom. I laughed inside thinking back; Jeff hadn’t been top or bottom when I knew him. He’d been so green to the whole gay thing that sexual roles where a foreign concept. Like so many guys, he probably let someone try to fuck him that first time, couldn’t take the pain and instantly declared, “I’m a top!” Only in porno films does it feel fabulous the first time. I know I HATED being fucked when I first came out; in fact, I was a top for a long time. It took lots of patience and love from Dan, my first partner to teach me to love being the bottom. Besides, with his dominant personality, I just couldn't picture Jeff being anybody's bitch.
Jeff and I had never been intimate except for a brief venture in oral sex which, oddly, I had trouble recalling any details about it except that I had tried to teach him the meaning of the number 69. I remember the mad scrabble of limbs on his waterbed (yes, a waterbed. He lived in a double wide, right?) and his very long penis and that’s about as far as that memory goes. I’m not really surprised though, that was such a dark time for me. My brain must have blocked out many of the details to preserve my sanity or either I was too drunk. As I said, I was drinking like a fish during this time and smoking all the weed I could get my hands on, anything at all to drown out the pain.
My friend showed up then, after introducing him to Jeff and Kerry, they went back to the other side of the bar to give us some privacy and the night progressed uneventfully. Except, that every time I looked up Jeff would be staring at me from across the room or Kerry would be glaring at me with that "DIE BITCH" look. Later when I went to the bathroom, Jeff followed me and told me that he was performing my song nightly in clubs all over the area and he hoped I didn’t mind him sharing it with public. I’d completely forgotten about the song and only managed to squeak out that I was honored and it was nice of him to remember me after all this time. I didn’t know what else to say.
Friends think I should go after Jeff now but I shoot them down quick. I’m no Angelina Jolie; I don’t steal somebody else’s man. Maybe I do think of him as the man that got away, but frankly, that ship has sailed and I’m okay with that. Like most people living with HIV, I think about dying once in a while and wonder about my legacy to the world other than this fabulous blog (stop laughing, queen).
And then I remember how blessed I am. I have a song.