Some Folsom pictures, and a funny story…
So, an amusing coincidence... Max and I arrived in the Seattle airport yesterday afternoon, collected our bags, and climbed onto the bus that serves the MasterPark (no pun intended) lot that we use. Sitting across from us were two nice-looking, thirtysomething guys. They were the kind of guys that, if you saw either of them alone, you wouldn’t immediately say “oh, he’s gay”. But somehow the two of them together – well, maybe it was the way they were sitting. Straight men, in my experience, just don’t sit quite that close to each other. It wasn’t that they were draped all over each other, not at all. And there wasn’t some big sexual energy or anything - in fact, if I had to make a guess, I’d say they were good friends but not lovers. At least, not seriously or currently.
But, truthfully, it wasn’t terribly hard to draw some conclusions about them, because one of them was wearing a t-shirt that read “Folsom Street Fair 2005”.
Now, I normally do not talk to strangers in public. I just don’t. I’m very reserved in that way. But Folsom is such a cultural touchstone. So I caught his eye and grinned at him, indicating his shirt. “Yeah, I was there, too.”
He smiled back. “You were?”
Max had been supervising the loading of our several bags, but that moment, he came and sat down next to me. “Yeah, we were there.” I said. “It was great, wasn’t it?”
So we sat and chatted about some things we’d seen, in that elliptical, coded way that queers and kinksters do when talking in a mixed public setting. There was a woman seated nearby who was obviously listening to our conversation, but she was just as obviously not understanding our references. Like this one:
“Did you see that the San Francisco Police Department had a recruiting booth there?”
“Yeah, we saw that. Too funny. I guess they thought, hey, all these guys like uniforms anyway…” (laughter)
The first year I went,” said Max, “I had a hard time telling which ones were the real cops and which ones were just…dressed. I figured out to look for the gun, that was the only way to tell for sure.”
We had a nice chat on the five minute drive, and bade each other goodbye when we arrived at the car lot, and I thought that was the end of a pleasant encounter. I watched the attendant heave our bags into the car, but when I turned around to look for Max, I saw him off in conversation with one of the two men.
God, he’s such a flirt, I thought, smiling. For a guy who says boys don’t make his lust-meter rise, Max does enjoy admiring and being admired by gay men. I’m so used to it that it didn’t cross my mind that it could be anything else.
Until Max got into the car and said, “So it turns out I used to work with that guy.”
“Wha-at?” Max is quite firm about keeping his professional life separate from him private life – that’s why you don’t see pictures of his face online anywhere. So I wasn’t sure how he’d feel about this.
“Yeah, a number of years ago I hired him for a contract gig. I didn’t recognize him – not until he reminded me - but he recognized me.” He laughed.
“Are you okay about this?”
“Sure, it’s no big deal. We’re sort of equally busted, if you know what I mean. It’s fine. I gave him my card and I got his, I might be able to use him again sometime.”
I always say: it’s a small town when you’re kinky…