He seemed like a regular guy on his Manhunt profile. Cute with a nice, compact body, Bruce sounded even more interesting on the phone as we chatted a bit about intellectual matters like education ( I taught college and he was finally finishing his degree in Computer Technology) and set a date to have dinner at the Olive Garden.
I asked him to meet me at my house so we would take just one car to the restaurant. I also had an ulterior motive for this suggestion. If we were both horny enough, we might reverse the order of our appetites and have dessert first in my bedroom.
The initial red flag went up when he pulled into my driveway in a beat up Chevy (O.K., I thought, the struggling student even if he were almost 40). The second was when he emerged not in a nice tight T or even tank top to show off that bod that I had been so enamored with on his profile, but a rather baggy sweat shirt, especially strange for a balmy Florida night in May. On the back were emblazoned these words, “Jesus Loves You.”(Ex-Christian summer camp counselor?) Then I caught the logo of the “Lauderdale Redemption Center” on the front, one of those local church sponsored shelters who rehabbed dead beats.
He had barely jumped out of his car when he immediately went for my lips which I found awkward in front of my house, smack in the heart of a kinda straight suburban neighborhood, and I instead coaxed him quickly inside. I politely asked if he wanted anything to drink before we left for the Olive Garden. He said no, chattered on about the mechanical antiques on display in my living room (I own a couple of Edison phonographs, old, turn-of-the-century typewriters and some antique Kodak cameras), then we left. Somehow, my lustful thoughts of raping him as soon as he arrived had slipped away.
Ah, but it was as we got closer and closer to the restaurant that the words “God” and “Jesus” came cropping up more and more in his conversation. How it was coming to know Jesus that had changed his life, which before had been wrought with “sin and damnation.” (Drugs, alcohol, male prostitution – not necessarily in that order.) Curious – like a stray cat is for a four wheeler thundering down the highway – I asked over shrimp cocktail when exactly this transformation had taken place. Gleefully he replied with amazing total recall: 3:12 in the morning on November 10th past, at Andrews and Broward when a john threw him out of his car, Bruce too stoned on Tina to “perform.”
Now it’s one thing for someone to extol how the virtues of religion have improved their lot; it’s another when that same person tries to proselytize, which is exactly what Bruce proceeded to do with me over our lasagna. Did I believe in the living Christ? Was my life in need of redemption?
Now, I was a Sunday school teacher in my youth; over the years, however, my study of religion, the historical Christ, etc., has led me to the conclusion that the Gospels are largely a fairy tale. But, hey, that’s me. I’m not asking anyone to agree with me. But nothing turns me off more than someone preaching to me how their way is the only way.
When I asked how he reconciled his faith with being a fag, he replied that Jesus loves us and viewed being on his knees – with another guy, that is – his way of showing his love for the Master. I pictured us in my bedroom saying grace before I fucked him.
It was at this moment that I took a deep breath and summoned the waiter to box my largely uneaten meal. Bruce, seemingly unperturbed, continued munching. Then I got up from the table, and very quietly but very firmly said: “Finish up. We’re done. And I don’t want to hear the words, Jesus, God or Love from your mouth til we’re back in my driveway.”
The ten minute conversation-less ride back was painful and as we parted ways in front of my house, I yes’d him to death about his insistence to “still stay friends.” (Huh??)
Yep, about the only creatures on God’s green earth that were happy that night were my three little doggies who dined like gourmet devotees on my lasagna. And all I kept thinking as I reviewed Bruce’s profile again on Manhunt that night to see if there were any cues of his spiritual side I should have picked up on (there weren’t), I figured I’d suggest to Manhunt that they add a new category to their menu of sexual Intos: “Born Again.” Boy, would that drive the guys wild!