Single White Nerd: ElAy, Gaydar, and other Disasters
a blogumn by Michael Kass
Last week, the unimaginable happened: The Single White Nerd left ElAy. Not permanently. Just for a weekend trip to Seattle. Ok, so maybe it’s not that unimaginable.
I spent two days wandering somewhat aimlessly along the city streets in the company of a friend whom I’ve known for a solid 22 years. We walked and talked, reminisced, drank copious amounts of coffee. By the time I boarded the plane back to the land of Technicolor Blue Skies, I was vibrating at a high level, fueled by caffeine, the memory of pretty, pretty trees, and the wisp of nostalgia.
I sat in my seat and leaned back, eyes closed, lost in reverie. But also kind of tapping my foot on account of all the coffee. I felt someone plunk into the seat next to me, but didn’t open my eyes. A voice through the darkness:
“Seattle sure is pretty, isn’t it.” A male voice, Midwestern inflection. Young sounding.
“Yep,” I replied, resigned to engaging in idle chit-chat with what was, I now opened my eyes to see, a rail thin boy-man. Light brown hair with frosted tips, crisply ironed shirt opened to the second button, blindingly white teeth. My gay-dar started beeping like mad.
“Yeah,” said my seatmate, “I was just up in Vancouver for an audition then stopped in Seattle to see some college friends. I’ll tell you what, we partied cray-zee last night.” I’ll bet he did—I could almost see the disco ball twirling above his head.
“Cool,” I grunted. “I’m really—“
“I’m Steven, by the way.” We shook hands.
“I’m Mike. Michael. Whatever. And now I’m really tir—“
“Yeah, I’m super excited to get back to Los Angeles. Been away for three days and I miss my fiancé something fierce.”
I arranged my face into an appropriately consoling expression. “Oh, man, yeah. Well, don’t worry. This Prop 8 thing is bullshit. Good luck!”
He smiled and looked somewhat confused. “Yeah, anyway, we’re totally in love, we met in college, and I’m thinking that I’m going to book a pilot. That would be the dream, you know? 23 years old, fresh out of Minnesota, and bam—already in Vancouver auditioning, you know? It’s just a dream, right?”
“Yeah, Steven. It’s a dream. What did you audition for?”
For the next hour and a half we talked—mostly he talked while I made affirmative grunting noises. From time to time, I caught him giving me The Eye. Kind of flirting with me. A couple of times, I almost reminded him about his fiancé—how would he feel if he knew Steven was flirting with an older, worldly (hah!) man on a flying tin can?
Finally we landed. Steven and I walked towards the baggage claim. He was bouncing a bit, not unlike a puppy. “Mel’s going to pick me up—that’s my fiancée. I’m so excited. We are SO going to have sex!”
“That’s great man. So, it was good meet—“
Words suddenly became impossible—a vision of beauty had robbed me of speech. She stood about 10 feet away. Shiny blond hair, luminous complexion, impeccably dressed, her smile lighting up the concourse. And she was looking at me. “Wow,” I muttered. She flew towards me, bounding like a puppy and making a high pitched squeal.
No—the squeal was coming from right next to me. I looked over to see Steven bouncing. In a moment, the two puppies were in each other’s arms, slobbering all over each other, making little “I missed you so much” noises.
I stood there for a moment, flummoxed. “Yeah,” I said to no one in particular, “That figures. Good meeting you, Steve-o.”
He ignored me, lost in love. Or the facsimile of love.
And as I walked to my car, alone, wheeling my sad little suitcase along behind me, I had two thoughts. One: Either my gaydar is wayyyy off or Two: That woman has a rude awakening coming to her in a couple of years.
When that awakening comes, I’ll be here. I’ll help her pick up the pieces. And we’ll live happily ever after. Then I’ll write about it for you fine folks, because, dang, the Single White Nerd has to catch a break at some point, right?
In the meantime, I wish nothing but the best to Steven and his Lady Love.