It was last fall and I was on the Left Coast, more specifically L.A., for a long weekend romp. My trip was half piggish, half nostalgia, since I had gone to graduate school at the University of Southern California a lifetime ago and LA was where I first truly partied – when party meant cruising the night away, not smoking some crystal meth – as a young, very horny gay man.
Being more of a down and dirty Silver Lake guy than a West Hollywood tres chic, I checked out the infamous Eagle, in a new location from the place I had once hung out religiously, but seedy as ever. Luck and timing is everything in life and on Saturday night, as luck and timing would have it, I got picked up, despite all that intense competition from a shit load of masculine furry bearded men, by a 6 foot 2 rugged, hairy guy who told me he had a hard-on for me as soon as he saw me enter the bar – shirtless, as always.
I took him back to my hotel off Vermont where we had a delectable Saturday night, but it was at breakfast the following morning that I learned Chuck was a New York City transplant whose livelihood as a record distributor evaporated when downloading swept the industry like a tsunami. But what struck me odd about a man who I thought was seasoned and intelligent, was the fact he had left his job in NYC to live with the love of his life (his third) in L.A., only to find a month into the relationship of the century that his true love was a Manhunt addict.
This got me thinking about a recent hook-up site poll that asked: “If you met the man of your dreams would you relocate to a new country to be with him, leaving friends and family behind?” Of the 1053 guys who responded, only 30% said they wouldn’t move. About 20% would but not outside the U.S.
But a whopping fifty percent – 50% – said they would leave the States altogether for love.
Oh, really? Is this all wishful thinking? Let’s all take our wistful sigh now in unison. Maybe in a made-for Logo-movie of the week, but, Jesus, in the real world? Are too many of us – and that includes straights – living in a romantic Hollywoodesque fantasy?
Like my Chuck?
Now, if you’re both the same ages (twenty somethings or fifty somethings) and either haven’t made career commitments or are ready to retire from it all, maybe.
Let’s play a more typical script: You’re a bartender or waiter or clerk at Targets, working in Omaha, Nebraska, and He, the “man of your dreams” who lives in Atlanta, Georgia and runs his own business, woos you on Bear 441, or Daddyhunt or Manhunt or Daddydater. You meet somewhere for a long weekend and you both hear the harps and violins. He asks you to come to Atlanta where the two of you will get a nice apartment made for two. Wonderful. Hell, you really haven’t got much to lose. There are a zillion bartender, waiter or clerk jobs in Atlanta or your love may even give you a job with his business – or better yet, keep you.
But let’s say it’s the other way around. Would he leave a thriving business wedded to local customers that took him ten years to build up for you and move to Omaha? Or say he was a rising star in some corporation? Again would he leave the stock options and fat pension to fuck you silly?
What do you think?
Or, on vacation in the Keys, you meet some Brit leather man who ties you up and slaps your ass better than anyone ever did. He works as a clerk at Boots (England’s version of CVS) and wants you to share his flat in Chelsea (London’s Chelsea, silly, not the NYC copycat). Besides leaving everything and everyone you know, even if that’s not much of anything in your mind, there’s immigration, getting a work visa, finding a job as a foreigner unless you’re a nuclear physicist, and adapting to a whole new culture (sometimes a whole new language) since Derek obviously doesn’t have a trust fund the two of you can live off. Would you do it, not knowing if things will cool two months after you’ve pulled up roots and you’re left working at a fish and chips or playing a guitar in front of Buckingham Palace to earn the money to fly back home?
Over the years, I’ve heard lots of guys talk about their long distance loveships, each flying back and forth from one end of the country to the other to be together for a precious few moments. But unless the reality is such that one of you can transplant your entire life, is it really all about distance making the heart grow fonder?
Hey, I had a few of these trans-relations in my life, too, including a guy in Jacksonville whom I adored. But I had my job and home and life in Lauderdale and he had his job and home and life in Jax, and after a few romps, the ardor cooled as we both realized it just wasn’t to be.
Again in the idealized world of the romantic, love conquers all. And I’m not saying it can’t happen or doesn’t happen for a lucky few. But for most of us, dealing in a world where money can’t buy you everything but without it you’re nowhere, job, financial security, and yes, the support of those we know, are hard to give up on an if.
So for those of you contemplating pulling up roots and flying off to Saudi Arabia to be with some hot, young Omar Sharif look-alike, (like a forty something guy I know in Lauderdale is actually contemplating) I have only one thing to say:
Wake up and smell the coffee!