I can always count on my friend Michael to go with me to the gym. It’s not so much that Michael actually likes to workout. He just likes to have someone listen to him complain other than his cat. (Yeah, I know. Have you met many single gay guys, or straight guys for that matter, with cats? Uh huh. Let’s leave it at that.)
Michael is in his mid-thirties, about 5’8, nicely toned, and for the most part extraordinarily average. He wears “smart glasses” and is often mistaken for Ashley Banfield minus the blond Meg Ryan haircut. He has his own design business in Midtown. He’s been single for the last three years. The most interesting thing about Michael as of late is that he won his cat in a custody battle. He actually went to court to fight his ex for A CAT. (Don’t say it. I’ve already thought it, said it, and am now blogging about it.) Wait, it’s too good to pass up. I must. Are you still not getting it?
A gay man went to court to keep his pussy.
I can’t get a man to hold the door open for me, let alone go in front of a judge.
As I did leg squats, Michael stood next to me and watched. “I just don’t get why Christopher wants to go through with the whole marriage thing,” he said.
“I don’t know. Maybe he’s actually in love,” I said sarcastically as my left leg began to buckle.
“Gays used to be radical and wanted to be different and not conform to societal norms. Whatever happened to that?” He asked rhetorically. He continued:
“Today’s gays have turned into a bunch of solophobics.”
A few guys turned and sneered.
In his most petulant voice he quipped, “It’s people who are discriminatory against single people. You of all people should know what I’m talking about.”
Okay, I’m not going to lie. That stung. I’d been single for five years and my last “relationship” lasted only three months–six weeks of which he was away in London on business. And by business, I mean a British girl named Gemma.
I think my sufficient eye-rolling quelled any further discussion of the “solophobe.” I lowered my voice, and said, “May I remind you that you were leading the calvary into coupledom not too long ago.” I glanced over at him mid-lunge and saw that he was on his Blackberry perusing personal ads on Craigslist. He pretended not to hear me, and I pretended not to see him looking for online sex. “Okay, fine. I’m going to the juice bar to get a double espresso,” I said utterly annoyed and exited.
Twenty minutes later and two mind-numbing espressos later, I felt like Amy Winehouse on crack. (Was there any other kind of Amy?) I saw Michael emerging freshly showered as evidenced by his wet head and his pink-hued face, but strangely and disgustingly I might add, in the same workout clothes as when I left him.
“Where were you?” I asked.
“Steam room,” he replied.
“But,” I started. “Ohhhhh,” I said backing away from the obvious.
“I’m bringing back the sexual revolution,” he said defiantly. “I’m part of the new gay radicals.”
“That sounds like the name of some sort of EMO boy band, not a political movement.”
As I reached for another slurp of my espresso, a young woman about twenty-two entered the juice bar. She had that bohemian-chic look about her, minus the chic. Calculated trying to look uncalculated wasn’t really my thing.
Her outfit was cute-ish, I suppose. In that “I just belted my bathrobe kinda way.”
As she waited in line, she stared at my empty espresso cups.
“Wow. Someone needed a boost!” she said. She was the type of girl who ONLY spoke in exclamation points and capital letters.
I smiled politely and glanced at Michael who looked dazed as if he was still sitting in the steam room.
“You really need to be careful,” the young Mary Kate Olsen doppelganger said in a frantic tone.
“Don’t worry. I’ve tried plenty of drugs that have much more speed than this,” I said deadpan.
“No, there’s A TON of free radicals in coffee,” she said exasperated.
Stunned, I said, “I’m sorry, what?”
“Yeah, free radicals. They’re everywhere. And they’re bad!”
I cocked my head in Michael’s direction once again. He was back to his Blackberry and Craigslist.
“So I’ve heard,” I said.