The Appointment

Gary glanced at the digital clock on the dashboard. He was going to be late. Maybe, the universe was telling him to turn around and go home. Right, the same universe that told him to make the damn appointment in the first place.

Gary had been perfectly happy to leave suspected pockets of his psyche unexplored. Okay, not perfectly happy, but certainly, perfectly accustomed. He wasn’t one to knock the tried and true. It was comfortable, predictable, safe.

Boring.

Not boring, precisely, but lately—lately, since his forty-fifth birthday three months ago—Gary had been feeling…unsettled, restless, like he was running out of time.

Classic mid-life crisis, yeah, Gary got that. Didn’t make him feel any better, though, and the classic pop-culture coping mechanisms weren’t his style.

Gary had no desire to blow a fortune on a luxury sports car, no intention of starting an affair with the new intern in the office, and there was no way he’d be sporting a ponytail anytime soon.

No, Gary’s solution to this mid-life malaise was to make a fool of himself. In an attempt to answer a question he should have asked twenty-five years ago, Gary had made this appointment. The appointment he was going to be late for because that’s just what he needed, as if the nerves chewing on his stomach lining weren’t enough.

Gary presented his credit card at the registration desk, receiving a key card and instructions for the hotel’s Wi-Fi. He took the elevator to his room, and worrying that eight minutes late was too late, he texted his room number to a man he didn’t know.

Gary had checked the guy out, of course. He was new at this, but he wasn’t an idiot. He’d spoken to people who’d worked with guy. He’d been careful, the way he’d always been careful, which was why he was in this mess in the first place.

God, he was too freaking old for this.

A rap on the door and Gary shook hands with a man about his height, but at least, ten years younger. Brown eyes, a friendly smile, and a confident set to his shoulders. But then, this man would be confident, wouldn’t he?

“Gary, we’re just experimenting here, finding out what works for you and what doesn’t. Take a breath, relax. We’ll start with something simple, okay?”

“Kneel.”

Michael

“No?” One hand sliding up Michael’s chest, Jared laughed. “Cute,” he said, thinking Michael was joking.

Michael shot a pointed look at the hand on his chest and tried to walk away, but Jared grabbed his shoulder and pushed him back against the wall, smiling because Michael was here for him. Obviously.

Michael didn’t struggle, but he didn’t have to, the look on his face enough to burst the alcoholic bubble Jared had been floating in. Shit. What was he doing? “Sorry.” He snatched his hand off Michael and buried it in his pocket, hiding the evidence. “Wasn’t thinking.”

“Yeah, you were.” Michael walked away from him, lost himself in the bodies clogging the main floor of the frat house.

Okay, he’d screwed up. Michael wasn’t into drunken asswipes pawing at him. Noted. Jared pushed his way through the crowd and out the front door, to see Michael heading back towards campus. He launched himself down the steps and onto the sidewalk, chasing after Michael.

Jared slowed to a walk at Michael’s side, and Michael ignored him. Okay, the guy was pissed. Jared could work with pissed. “You want me.”

Michael shrugged. “Not tonight, I don’t.”

A grin sliding across his face, Jared strolled at Michael’s side. “Tomorrow night?”

Aimer at Amazon

One Kwe

Not up on your Ojibwe? Neither am I 🙂

One Kwe, or One Woman, is the name of Kathryn Corbiere’s metal shop in M’Chigeeng, Manitoulin Island.

One Woman…

It resonates, doesn’t it? One woman against the world, brave, and strong, and … well, you get the idea.

It’s a great name, both aesthetically pleasing and accurate, in that Kathryn is a one woman show. She runs her own business, creating and selling modern furniture and art.

One of Kathryn’s art pieces, created in consultation with Pride Manitoulin’s youth group, now hangs in the Objibwe Cultural Foundation. A modern take on the traditional dream catcher, and incorporating LGBT symbolism in its triangular shape and the pride colours worked into the hanging metal feathers, the piece includes three Objibwe words worked into its base—

Respect Love Courage

Like many of us, Kathryn ended up on this particular path because the one she originally started out on turned into a dead end. Unable to find work as a welder, she took her training, and her artistic talent, and tried something else.

Kathryn’s secret to success, “You have to be willing to try.”

Oh, you mean, get off the couch and turn off Netflix?

Aimer at Amazon

Proposal

“I’ve been thinking,” Martin said, spreading low-fat margarine over his toasted bagel. “We should get married.”

Charlie lowered his newspaper, looked at Martin over the top of his reading glasses. “What?”

“You heard me.”

“No.” Charlie went back to reading his paper.

“No, you didn’t hear me or no, you don’t want to get married?” Martin asked, grimacing as he bit into his bagel. It wasn’t the same without cream cheese and jam.

Charlie’s head popped over the paper again. “What’s the matter with you?”

“Nothing, I want to get married.” Martin said, setting his bagel down and picking up his coffee.

Charlie flapped the newspaper pages, but he didn’t look up. “No, you don’t.”

Martin snorted. “You mean you don’t.”

“Don’t tell me what I mean, you know I hate that.”

“Why? You tell me what I think.” Martin popped the last piece of bagel into his mouth and dusted toast crumbs off his fingers.

Charlie folded his newspaper, pushed away from the table. Thirty years with Martin had taught him when to retreat. “I’m off to the gym.”

“I don’t know why you bother going. It’s not like you actually work out,” Martin said, getting up to slot his breakfast plate into the dishwasher.

“Should have thought that was obvious,” Charlie said, rounding the kitchen table, and pinning Martin to the counter. “I go to get away from you.”

Laughter spilling into Martin’s face, he slipped Charlie’s reading glasses off, and set them on the counter. “Get out of here, moron.”

At the kitchen door, Charlie turned back, raised an eyebrow at Martin. “You bought rings, didn’t you?”

“Thought you were leaving?” Martin asked, pouring himself a second cup of coffee.

“Ah, shit.” 

Martin sipped his coffee, heard the hangers clang in the hall closet as Charlie got his jacket. 

“No reception,” Charlie called down the hallway to the kitchen, closing the front door behind him.

Ever the romantic, his Charlie.

Aimer at Amazon

 

Boys in the Band

Way back when I was in high school, the movie Boys in the Band sparked by an Off Broadway play, was one of my first introductions into what life in the LGBT community was like. Not that we used or even knew the term LGBT etc. etc. back then.

To the fifteen-year-old I was at the time, the movie seemed dark and depressing, the characters miserable.

Fast forward almost fifty years and we have Boys in the Band on Broadway. The characters are still deeply troubled men but — I’m not fifteen anymore.

I know no one is happy with themselves 24/7, that we all deal with voices from our past that make us cringe, and that this snapshot of gay life isn’t the only picture possible.

This isn’t 1970 and things have changed — which I think is the point of this revival.

Plus, and this is what made me pull out my credit card, have you seen the cast?

Jim Parsons would be enough to get me in a seat at the Booth Theatre on his own, but he’s not on his own. Sharing the stage we have, the new and improved Mr. Spock, Zachary Quinto, the original Elder Price from the Book of Mormon, Andrew Rannells, and my personal favourite since he played a not-so-recovered thief in White Collar, Matt Bomer. The only reason there isn’t a string of exclamation marks behind Matt’s name is because I’m restraining myself 🙂

Boys

If you’re anywhere near New York in the near future, plunk yourself down in the Booth Theatre. Each and every one of these actors gives a stellar performance and there are a lot more laughs than I remembered 🙂

Aimer at Amazon

 

 

Hello, Straight People;

You don’t exist.

Yeah, yeah, I know. You think you’re straight. You know you’re straight. You can prove you’re straight, just ask anyone in your contact list, or text your current partner, or check out your Instagram account.

Hey, you don’t have to prove anything to me. I don’t care one way or the other and — and neither should you.

Sexuality isn’t one or the other. It’s a complex, complicated, driven by external stimuli and internal interpretation, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink kind of thing.

Who says 100% straight doesn’t exist? That would be Ritch C. Savin-Williams, Director of the Sex and Gender Lab at Cornell University.

In an effort to get at the core of who people really are, as opposed to who they have been socialized to say they are, Savin-Williams conducted a study using pupil dilation to monitor arousal.

You, me, the guy with the laptop hogging the best seat at your local Starbucks; none of us can control our pupil dilation. Can’t be done. Can’t be faked, but it can be measured.

Results? No matter how a person self-identified their eyes dilated when they were shown sexual images of both genders.

A little more dilation here, a little less dilation there, but still a definite physiological response.

Conclusion? Sexuality is not binary, it’s a continuum.

Sorry, you’re only mostly straight 🙂

Aimer at Amazon