Friends of the Friendless: Part II
Trying to figure where to meet other guys strictly for buddyship, I observed these coterie of guys in the local sports or bear bar donned in their softball uniforms or bowling shirts, shooting the breeze or guzzling beer like long lost brothers. So, says I to me, join a group. But since I was never the athletic type, though I work out three times a week, I thought the best fit for me was the local gay running club.
The first few times we rendezvoused for our Wednesday evening run at one of the local parks, the dozen or so guys (plus a few token lesbians) were cordial enough. But since most of them came with their partners or very close buddies, they looked at me as if I were something of an interloper (read threat) to their cozy relationships. You know the kind, clinging all over one another, to me a sign of insecurity, just to make sure you get the message: “hands off.” Like I was there to pick somebody up, exactly my counter motive. (Every time I see these clingers in the bars, that line from Hamlet, “thou protests too much,” comes to mind.)
In any case, by the third week, the polite pair-offs that I had enjoyed initially as we bullshit about life trotting down Broward Boulevard had disappeared, and I found myself running solo. What was the point? At least in the gym, I could listen to my i-pod on the treadmill. I dropped out.
I even tried a few local bear events, though I’m a traditionalist and remember when bear meant beefy not bloaty. But, quite frankly, I found the bunch to be pretty cliquey, and about as welcoming to a new face as a Nazi guard at a concentration camp.
So where do all these buddies meet one another for friendship, sans the sex? Are they former lovers, part-time, once-in-a-blue-moon fuck buddies, teammates, co-workers, the result of a gay mass exodus from some little town in Alabama or South Dakota? Beats me.
Plus, I found as I’ve tried to cultivate my strong acquaintances into friendships, it was a lot of work that just was not worth the return on investment in time and “Being Nice.” One “friend” needed constant ego stroking when he wasn’t telling me how everyone stopped breathing when he made his grand entrance at a local bar; two other “friends”, years my junior, were always complaining about some ailment or pain. Hell, after 25, we all feel like the walking wounded. Get over it!
Or there was the generation gap, like with my long time ex-partner, ten years my senior, who believed gay marriage was for fruits, was tired of sex with me, but wanted a monogamous relationship as if we were man and wife; or my two retired friends, super wealthy as a result of family money, who were nice enough to invite poor me with my solo million to their dinner parties. There, while only a fart in age separated me and their cohorts (moneyed too or trying to look like they are), I was leered over like a piece of hard candy most of them want to unwrap.
All this took just too much energy. So, in the end, I decided being “alone” wasn’t so bad. I ditched my ego-hungry buddy, my ex, and and my flashy patronizing couples. After all, I could do what I wanted, when I wanted, with whomever I wanted.
Which led suddenly in the last year to five reliable fuck buddies, all of whom I met conveniently on the hook-up sites or apps, three of which are old enough to be my son and two of which have become friends with benefits.
Go fucken figure.