I got mad at a guy in college because he liked porn. But I was young, and I was righteous, and I couldn’t forgive any man for failing to be John Cusack (who probably also likes porn). For all my groaning about the city’s men, the guys I met were not the same old stereotype.
D., just moved here from Portland, don’t believe in the gender binary. You never know who is going to lunge from the bushes and throw a canvas bag over your heart.
We were sitting in the Grapevine bar, in Oak Lawn, sunk low into two comfy, gloriously ratty old armchairs near the front. ” I said, staring up at the red lantern shaped like a star. “I can’t believe I never got drunk here,” I said, because getting drunk in places like this used to be my specialty.
The place had a low-lit carnival feel, skuzzy and seductive at once. I don’t drink anymore, but I still like sitting in the cool stupor of a bar and watching the night rise up like a tide. And that was nice, because I could still bum myself out thinking of all the ways I didn’t belong in this city.
“Being with another man makes you aware of your own anatomy in a new way,” he said, and I nodded, taking another bite of my apple pie. He tasted a flavor called Sue’s Snickers, and I said, “What does it taste like?
I wasn’t sure how I felt about dating a man who also slept with men—I spent much of the next two weeks kicking it around in my head—but it was definitely not your run-of-the-mill first date conversation. Don’t say Snickers.” And he said, “Okay, it tastes like Sue.” I laughed so loud that it startled the woman behind the counter, and I thought in that moment that the bisexuality thing was fine. In my 20s, I dismissed men for such minutiae: listening to the wrong music, wearing the wrong socks.
The last guy I’d been in love with was a newly separated homicide detective in New Orleans who listened to the Eagles (every one of those things a potential dealbreaker).