A Tale of Two Men

A planned trip the first week in March to visit vacationing family and friends from back North in St Pete’s, Florida and hopes for some fun in between reminded of two men I met via the web on my last long weekend there: Mike, my best lay of the weekend, and Daren, the best lay of the weekend that didn’t happen. But this isn’t about the sex – Mike was hot, Daren, a cock tease. It’s about how two guys so alike – both boyishly 50 give or take, in shape, masculine, handsome, intelligent, articulate, personable, sexy – could be so radically different in the life paths they chose.

Mike is a self made kind of guy, a computer guru, software developer, and world lecturer. He came from humble beginnings, pretty much a working class background like me, but that didn’t stop him from forging ahead, cleaning toilets and waiting tables to pay his way through school. Today, when he isn’t in Chicago or Vienna or Shanghai imparting his words of wisdom to his legions of computer groupies, he’s working in one of his homes on two laptops. We played at his little refuge on the Gulf in Sarasota; summers are spent at his home in upstate New York. I had thought I’d be just a quickie, and back on the road to my guesthouse in St. Pete’s in an hour.

Instead, we played into the evening. And while obviously a driven Type A personality (I’ve learned over the years how to de-Type A myself), Mike gave me, I think, his greatest compliment when, after our session, he whispered, “I feel so relaxed. ”

Now, Daren, who lives in St. Pete’s, never dangled his dick in front of my face and warned me from the onset as we chatted online that he wasn’t into hook-ups but if I wanted to hang, well … By then, Saturday evening, I had been trice blessed in the sex department, and besides Mike the previous evening, I had played with Eduardo, a cute Latin with a body of a Grecian statue, and Danny, another boyish guy with an average bod but a terrific tool who dug my fur. So, while ruggedly handsome Daren was my type of man – a number 11 on my Dickter Scale – a little R and R without the sex was not out of the question.

And as we lay there on my bed in the guesthouse, both fully clothed, and later had a quick bite at St. Pete’s Alibi, Daren’s long tale of woe was unraveled. He had lost his partner to AIDS ten years before, was himself HIV positive, something he was still in counseling to reconcile with, had made a fortune as a real estate agent during the boom but somehow had let it all slip away, even when he saw the whole housing market charade about ready to crash. Having never finished college, he was in this shitty job market not exactly 22 anymore at the short end, and hated his bartending job at a gay bar in Clearwater, apparently the oldest gay bar in Florida. So now, pushing 50, he was ready to move in with his lesbian sister to cut his expenses while he pondered what he was going to do, as he put it, “when I grow up.”

Maybe he really didn’t want me, though he admitted that he had lusted after me ever since he saw me in St. Pete’s Alibi on one of my previous trips; or maybe I was finally heeding my own advice about not pushing myself on people. Nothing happened. But it wasn’t until he dropped me off at the guesthouse after dinner with a kiss-off hug and a handshake that I realized what he had really been looking for was just another shoulder to cry on and help him validate his own “woe is me” status in life. I pictured Daren babbling that same tale for the next ten years to whoever would listen in hopes of getting him in the sack.

That Sunday afternoon, as fate would have it, my two men of the weekend met. I was at St. Pete’s Flamingo Resort’s T-Dance. Mike had asked to meet me there for a beer – he couldn’t stay long and had to get back to some weekend out-of-town company at his place – and as we sat there bullshitting about “The Life,” who waves to me from the other side of the patio than Daren who was with some friends. He walked over, we hugged briefly, and I introduced him to Mike. A few minutes of small talk later, Daren returned to his buddies, leaving Mike slightly breathless.

“Shit,” he muttered to me, “ he’s a fucken knock-out.”

I nodded, then thought to myself, “man, if you only knew …”

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