via HuffPost Gay Voices, by Logan Lynn
It was a decade spent mostly alone, and I think there were many times when I felt like this was just how life was going to play out.
I watched as my little brother married his high-school sweetheart, and in the 10 years since, I've had the great pleasure of holding their babies as they joined us in the world.
Loving these beautiful creatures has in many ways made my own as-of-yet-unrealized dream of building a family an easier pill to swallow -- but I have always hoped that some great love would make its way to me, as well.
In October 2010, after spending the better part of two years in single-man lockdown mode recovering from a long-winded, ugly breakup, I went to celebrate my 31st birthday with my dear friend at a local Portland patisserie.
We sat and chatted about life for a while, and then I noticed this man walk through the door and sit at a table just to the right of the dessert counter.
He was wearing a tight, white, v-neck t-shirt, and I found myself unable to stop staring at him. It may have been his big arms, his dark chest hair, his thick-framed Dita glasses, his pretty face -- I'm not sure -- but something clicked in that moment.
At one point my friend stepped out to take a call, and I took that as my cue to undress him with my mind and get down to fantasy business. (I'm not a sex maniac, but I had sworn off men and had been celibate for over a year, and my fantasy life had become both really involved and easily accessible during that time).
So I imagined us getting freaky on the dessert counter until my friend's return jolted me back to my sad, clothed, birthday reality. From across the room, I kept hearing my pretend boyfriend laughing this enormous, joyful, shameless laugh with his friend, and I tried not to stare.
As we were leaving, I pointed out my exotic find to my friend and said, "I gotta get me one like that," which, in retrospect, is a bit crass and actually isn't all that romantic-sounding, but I figure the story's no good if I don't just tell it like it happened, and that's how it happened. It may not have been poetry, but it came from a very real place.
Over the next two months I thought about this mystery man a lot, which was not a common thing for me to do when it came to random people from coffee shops whom I had never spoken to.
Often, the thoughts were naked ones, but sometimes they were not. At times I was awake when he was there; other times he would appear in my dreams.
What had happened to me there amongst the candy and cakes? I couldn't figure out if I had been possessed or if I was just really horny from swearing off sex.
Maybe I just needed to get manhandled on a dessert counter somewhere. Either way, I hoped I would run into him again and promised myself that I would speak to him if I did.
One afternoon in early December I looked up from my desk at Portland's Q Center, and there he was, standing in the door of my office, picking up promotional materials for an event he was holding there.
He told me his name. I introduced myself but could not stop looking down at my feet. We shook hands. His were soft but strong -- like they were in my dream. I'm sure I turned all sorts of red in the face, and I remember being kind of frozen there for a minute.
I came off as rude and uninterested, and he went to talk with my colleague across the hall. Once again, I found myself compelled to stare at him, completely drawn in by his presence, his look, his chemicals, but I was somehow rendered unable to speak or be friendly.
When he left I probed my colleagues for details about who this most recent star of my rich fantasy life actually was in the real world. After hearing only good reviews from the handful of people I asked, I decided to attend the event he was hosting.
I was determined to push through the shyness and try talking to him again when it was over, and I would try even harder not to come off like a total dick this time.
Out of nowhere, at the end of the event, he came up to me and asked if I'd like to grab a coffee with him sometime. (I later found out that my colleague had let him in on my having expressed interest, so the miracle-love-story factor here is a little diminished, but it was a magical moment nonetheless.)
I said yes and had him call my phone so that I could save his number.
As he was walking away, I noticed that it had not saved, and I said, "Wait! It didn't work!" He turned and walked back over to me, still with those sweet eyes, still with that handsome face, and in a fleeting moment of sheer bravery, I let out the words, "How am I supposed to get you into my life if I don't have your phone number?"
My boldness made him smile. I entered the number again manually, saved it, and left the event feeling over the moon. To my surprise, he called me the next day to go to dinner instead of coffee, which we did the following evening.
It was one of those nights where everything was easy and real. We talked about our lives, our families, our struggles, our deepest regrets, our hopes, our true selves; it was perfect.
He gave me the most passionate kiss as he dropped me off that night, and we have been together ever since.
Read the rest
select key words
2007 National HIV Prevention Conference 2009 National LGBTI Health Summit 2011 LGBTI Health Summit 2012 Gay Men's Health Summit 2012 International AIDS Conference abstinence only ACT Up activism advocacy Africa african-american aging issues AIDS AIDS Foundation of Chicago anal cancer anal carcinoma anal health anal sex andrew's anus athlete ball scene bareback porn barebacking bathhouses bears big bold and beautiful Bisexual Bisexual Health Summit bisexuality black gay men black msm blood ban blood donor body image bottom Brian Mustanski BUTT Center on Halsted Charles Stephens Chicago Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus Chicago Task Force on LGBT Substance Use and Abuse Chris Bartlett chubby chaser circumcision civil rights civil union Coaching with Jake communication community organizing condoms Congress crystal meth dating dating and mating with alan irgang David Halperin David Munar depression disclosure discrimination domestic violence don't ask don't tell douche downlow Dr. James Holsinger Dr. Jesus Ramirez-Valles Dr. Rafael Diaz Dr. Ron Stall drag queen Ed Negron emotional health ENDA Eric Rofes exercise Feast of Fun Feel the love... female condom fitness Friday is for Faeries FTM gay culture gay identity gay latino gay male sex gay marriage gay men gay men of color gay men's health Gay Men's Health Summit 2010 gay pride gay rights gay rugby gay sex gay youth gender harm reduction hate crime HCV health care health care reform health insurance hepatitis C HIV HIV care HIV drugs HIV negative HIV positive HIV prevention HIV stigma HIV strategic plan HIV testing hiv vaccine HIV/AIDS homophobia homosexuality hottie hotties how are you healthy? Howard Brown Health Center HPV human rights humor hunk Illinois IML immigration International AIDS Conference international mr. leather internet intimacy IRMA Jim Pickett leather community leathersex Leon Liberman LGBT LGBT adoption LGBT culture LGBT health LGBT rights LGBT seniors LGBT youth LGBTI community LGBTI culture LGBTI health LGBTI rights LGBTI spirituality LGV LifeLube LifeLube forum LifeLube poll LifeLube subscription lifelube survey Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano love lube lubricant Lymphogranuloma Venereum masturbation mental health microbicides middle Monday Morning Perk-Up MRSA MSM music National AIDS Strategy National Gay Men's Health Summit negotiated safety nutrition One Fey's Tale oral sex Peter Pointers physical health Pistol Pete pleasure PnP podcast policy politics poppers porn post-exposure prophylaxis PrEP President Barack Obama Presidential Campaign prevention Project CRYSP prostate prostate cancer public health public sex venues queer identity racism Radical Faerie recovery rectal microbicides relationships religion research safe sex semen Senator Barack Obama sero-adaptation sero-sorting seroguessing sex sexual abuse sexual addiction sexual health sexual orientation Sister Glo Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence smoking social marketing spirituality STD stigma stonewall riots substance abuse treatment substance use suicide super-bug superinfection Susan Kingston Swiss declaration syphilis Ted Kerr Test Positive Aware Network testicle self-examination testicular cancer testing The "Work-In" The 2009 Gay Men's Health Agenda Tony Valenzuela top Trans and Intersex Association trans group blog Trans Gynecology Access Program transgender transgender day of remembrance transgendered transmen transphobia transsexual Trevor Hoppe universal health care unsafe sex vaccines video violence viral load Who's That Queer Woof Wednesday writers yoga You Tube youtube