Thursday, November 7, 2013

HELLO, NEIGHBOR

If you’ve checked out my blog on a semi-regular basis, you know that I’ve spent the last eight years in a gay black hole. I do hear about rare gay couple sightings along the sixty or so kilometers of coastline in my region, but maybe that’s just a rural legend. Cougar reports are more frequent. There are two gay couples I know exist in the closest town. They own competing coffee shops. (New dating plan: open my own cafĂ© and hope it lures a future co-owner/husband. I do love a good lattĂ©.)

Single gay sightings do not occur. It seems I’m the one and only. The last dodo bird. A creature too thick in the head to know that there is no chance for survival in the current habitat.

Yes, I tried to relocate. Over the course of three years, the house would not sell. I put in on the market, took it off, put it on, took it off. In early June, I was about to re-list, when two homes on my street suddenly donned FOR SALE signs. Too much competition. I bowed out. Within a month, I accepted a new job only a two-minute drive from home. I was here to stay. Love it if you can’t leave it.

To my surprise, both houses on my street sold over the summer. It meant an end to the suspected drug activity across the street and goodbye to a family a few houses down. On October 1, moving vans zipped in and out of my cul-de-sac. However, I never glimpsed the new neighbors.

Two weeks ago, I was in the midst on my Sunday afternoon grocery shopping in town, strolling the Health Food/Toilet Paper aisle, lost in thought. (Are these products grouped together by coincidence? If I buy the Cashmere toilet paper while it’s on sale, can I make my own bargain sweater?)

And then someone yelled down the aisle. “Jim. Jim Gregory.”

Huh? Sure that’s me. But I’ve gone by James ever since I moved here. It’s the first place where people haven’t cut it to Jim or Jimmy as soon as we got on friendly terms. (Maybe it’s just a reminder that I’m not that friendly with anyone in my area.)

I turned and Anson Turnbull walked right up. Hadn’t seen him in ten years. Back when I lived in Vancouver, we played in a gay tennis league, often carpooling to the courts. Nice guy if you can get past his perpetual awkwardness. He works as a technical writer and speaks the same way. Everything is very precise, each comment screened and revised in the millisecond between thought and speech.

“Anson? What are you doing here?”

“I just moved here.”

“Where?”

“Cedar Creek.”

“I live in Cedar Creek! Where?”

“On Newton Road.”

“I live on Newton Road!”

Yep. Hello, neighbor. The single gay male contingent suddenly doubled.

And before you get any ideas, dear reader, there will be no mating efforts between these two dodo birds. Still, it’s nice to have some company. We went for coffee—at one of the gay-owned coffeehouses, of course—and got caught up. Like all my former tennis friends, he’s been sidelined by physical limitations that pop up during middle age (Achilles tendon, in his case), but Anson is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

Now I wonder who’s in the drug house...

2 comments:

Rick Modien said...

RG, are you sure there won't be any mating efforts? I don't know the two of you personally, but I'm sure I don't have to tell you nothing is a coincidence.

Doesn't it seem strange to you that 1). there's now another single gay man where you live, when you've been pretty much on your own for a long time; and 2). you haven't seen each other in ten years, and yet here you both are now?

You know better than I do. But I'm glad you finally have another single gay man in the area, and someone you have an interest in at least remaining friends with.

And, regarding your response to my comment in the previous post, I get it, I really do. It's never been easy to find the right person and, for various reasons, more difficult these days. Thanks for helping me understand.

Hope all is well.

Rural Gay said...

Hi Rick,
Sometimes a coincidence is just that. Anson and I can be coffee buddies but that's it.

It'll be nice to enjoy a cup of joe with another single gay without any pressure for it to be anything other than a casual social outing.