Sunday morning. I’d slept in a bit, I had been up late Saturday night, a bit of an almost date maybe, a massage client/ fuck buddy took me out for dinner after the massage portion but, somewhat oddly, before the fuck portion (because usually they happen synchronously). I don’t like to eat late because it keeps me up past my usual sleep time, which is around midnight at the latest.
So I was in the shower this morning when he called, and I put a load of laundry in and was getting ready to spend a half hour on the treadmill at the gym, then breakfast at eat well, as usual, then meditation at the labyrinth to prepare for my day.
But there was a message, at 9:07 am, which is unusual, particularly for a Sunday. And it wasn’t from my credit card company, which was a nice change of pace. So I listened, “Hi, this is Brian, I’ve seen your ad a few times and was wondering if you are available this morning.”
Hmm. Well, I have several ads running, because I do several things. No indication in the message as to what he was looking for. So I called. “Hi, this is Brian.”
"Hi, this is Rod, you just called me a few minutes ago.”
"Oh yeah, Hi., I saw your ad on craigs list."
Still, no clue. Is he calling about my handyman ad? My massage ad? Body grooming? Does he want a photo shoot? de-cluttering? Or does he want to buy that dresser I have posted in the for sale section. Or that framed 1968 Beatles poster I have been trying to sell for more than a year.
Ah, the perils of being a jack of all trades (the second part of that phrase is master of none, but I prefer to leave that part off. )
‘Great. What are you looking for?” I said, casually, and, perhaps, somewhat tenuously.
He seemed confused, perhaps a bit annoyed, like am I that stupid that I don’t know what I am hawking on craigs list. “You do massage, right?
Yes. Are you looking for today?
Do you want to come here or do you want me to come there?
Can you come here?
How soon can you be here?
I can leave right now.
He gave me his address. The deal was in the bag. Fortunately I had already showered for the gym and was ready to leave. Since it was Sunday, I had decided to wear my good sweat pants, the thinner ones that aren’t as warm as the thick ones, but they make me look thinner and/or more shapely, and they have pockets so they almost look like pants. If I wear underwear I can get away with wearing them out in public. This is America after all,. So I don’t have to take my pants and change in the truck in the parking lot at the gym, like I do pretty much every morning.
So I was all ready to go. I hopped in the truck and headed over to Melrose and La Brea, a neighborhood in which I had lived for several years, so knew it well. It’s about a 40 minute drive, with little to no traffic. But that’s ok, it’s Sunday morning, there won’t be much traffic.
Although invariably I get stuck on Franklin behind someone Sunday driving 20 MPH and no passing lanes all the way up to Western. Ugh.
So it took me a little longer than I would have liked, but I was only ten minutes late from my projected 10 am arrival time,
And I found a place to park, which is almost unheard of in that neighborhood.
I walked up to the sprawling, well maintained house, a Silver BMW in the driveway, immaculate front yard with a high wood fence. I couldn’t find the entrance. So I called, “Hi, I am out front, but I can’t find the entrance.”
He said, do you see the silver BMW?
Go right into the garden and I will come and get you.
A minute later, what I thought was just a fence actually opened up in one section and it was a gate. No latch, no handle on the outside. Clever!
Brian was tall, average body, short curly gray hair, attractive but unremarkable. His left hand ever so lightly grazed the tip of his crotch as he motioned me inside. He was wearing sleeper sweat pants and no socks. It was a bit chilly for no socks, I thought.
We stepped into his living room, and I said, How’s it going. He said, good.
I followed him in to the bedroom and took off my jacket. I was wearing a white tank top (wife beater) and have worked out every day for the last four days in a row. So everything was sticking out where it should and not sticking out where it shouldn’t.
Without slowing, without missing a beat, or pausing for reflection, he walked over to his dresser, and reached into his wallet.
He turned back to me, “Here’s $40, how about we call it a day.”
Wow, I wasn’t expecting that.
He put the money in my hand as I pulled my jacket back on. I left without saying another word, and neither did he. I imagine he was expecting me to say something, but at that point, what can you say.
Aside from being mortified, “God Bless You” was my thought.
But I didn’t say that. I thought of Marianne Willamson; she often says, when you have a problem, you go, I need to go talk to god about this, let me get back to you.
But not out loud.
I thought about last night, when having an uncomfortably late dinner, at 10pm, at a diner in Los Feliz, with my favorite fuck buddy and/or massage client whom I’ve have had a serious crush on for months. We’ve gotten together quite a few times, usually late at night. Usually when he’s been out drinking.
His name is Luis. He is a great guy, Latino, very black hair, attractive (I’d have absolutely no problem being seen in public with him, or taking him to an event where I would be meeting some friends), but not so much that I am intimidated. Just slightly bigger than me; enough to totally turn me on, but not enough to make me feel small. Perfect smooth light brown skin and a great attitude, even though he is an actor (ugh) he is also a writer (yay). Plus he’s buff as hell, and always smells great (which is more crucial than one might casually think).
Somebody told me once, any relationship can only move as fast as the slowest person in it, which is true, but frustrating. I’m a Gemini, I want things to move fast.
But, we’ve been slowly inching along, we even got to the point where he told me his real name, and I told him mine.
Wow, this is what intimacy means in 2010.
Real names? You must be kidding!
So we had progressed to having a casual (meaning he was in sweat pants, and the event was spontaneous, we just both happened to be hungry, late dinner in a trendy (lots of asymmetrical haircuts and black clothes) los feliz café on a Saturday night. This was almost a true “shave above the knee” event.
While I am not really open to people about writing my series/book, for proprietary reasons, I do sometimes talk about it, and Luis and I had spoken quite a bit about my writing project, without going into too much specifics.
So at the same time, while we were eating, we were talking about it in more detail and he seemed fairly taken aback about what I do.
“You actually clean people’s houses in a jock strap? Or naked? I just can’t imagine doing that! “
He seemed kind of bemused, maybe a little turned on, maybe a whole lot horrified at the same time.
I was telling him what I have learned, through course in miracles and science of mind, to not judge people, to live in the moment, to surrender, to forgive everyone all the time for everything.
He said, you must get some real mean people. You must get some very strange people calling you.
Of course, I said but by now I can usually tell by their emails or phone calls and some people I don’t follow up with, or I say I’m too busy (which, truthfully, I am),
I have also learned a new perspective from Marianne Williamson – what would Jesus say? “I like him.” And to go with that.. which is to say, without judgment.
You know, it actually works.
Also I meditate and pray before I go into anyone’s house, I ask to be safe, to know what they really want, to allow me to help them. And for lots of money,
He laughed at the last part, which I had quickly added, while true, but also because I could see his eyes start to glaze over when I started talking about taking god with me to my jobs, about seeing the innocent child of god in everyone, and about praying before (also during and after) each and every client.
I thought about Marianne, saying, you say all this, but “to your self”
I thought about this last night as I was going to bed alone, because when we got back to my place, Luis gave me a hug instead of coming up for “the usual”, and said, “we should get together this week.”
A mixed message.
I wondered if I’d over stepped the comfort zone with the god and prayer issues.
It also might have been the naked jock strap cleaning house thing
Or the body shaving and grooming of total strangers.
He said he could never do that. Whereas I see this ability (willingness, and lack of judgment) as an asset.
Or maybe he was just tired, as he had claimed.
But I felt like maybe I had laid out just a little too much of myself for him.
So back to not saying “God Bless You” to Brian.
I didn’t say it, but I thought it. As I was walking back down his sidewalk to my truck. Way too early on a Sunday morning.
And I thought, he must do this a lot, because he didn’t seem at all awkward about telling me to leave. And he was also thoughtful to give me $40 for my time. It all seemed fairly , while not exactly smooth, or rehearsed, but comfortable for him to turn someone down who is standing on front of him and tell him, you’re just not good enough, please go away.
He judged me big time.
And I really felt judged. In the truck on my way to breakfast I thought, it’s so funny because just yesterday I had a client who was rapturously excited with me, telling me how amazing I am, how much he loved my hair, and my body, and my touch. (and my dick, duh).
And here mere hours later, I am pushed away.
I went home, and looked at myself in the mirror. Am I that hideous? It reminded me of back in college, I would spend hours getting dressed and made up and looked like I just stepped out of Duran Duran, to go out to clubs, and I’d go there and stand there alone (or dance alone), and I’d go home and I’d cry and I’d want to die (apologies to Morrissey for that line, but it sums it up perfectly.)
So what do I learn here? I just show up. I am the same person for both guys. All three guys. All guys. All people.
Yeah some days I have more time to work out than others, but essentially I was the same person standing naked (physically and/or emotionally) in front of both guys, and getting completely opposite reactions. Therefore it can’t be that I’m doing something wrong. I can accept that, and I don’t need to judge either of them.
I did feel like he lost out in this situation, because a) I’m very good at what I do and b) he clearly needs to relax. I am curious as to his thought process when he opened that gate and I was standing there, and in that brief fraction of a second, barely having said three words to each other, he decided it wasn’t going to work out. That brutal snap of instantaneous judgment. It can’t have felt good,.
What a shame.
I feel like we both lost out.
And I do feel judged..
And I think I need to keep my thoughts about god to myself.
I am off to the labyrinth to meditate on this.
©2010 Rod Reynolds RocketManLA.com