As my first class was to begin at 11AM and it was already past 10:30AM, Larry hurriedly drove to the office so that I could drop him off. Once I did, I drove the car onto school to arrive at a few minutes before 11AM. But walking across campus took too long and I arrived at the classroom at 11:07AM. I looked for Larissa, the girl I always sit with in Communication 200, but she was sitting next to another student. I'd been replaced. And so, I sat in the very back row of the large lecture hall, took a few notes, and wrote a small note to Larry:
Well, I made it to class about seven minutes late. Larissa had apparently moved to sit by someone else. :-( and so, I'm sitting in the very back row, all alone. Ya know, sometimes I have to wonder about the people who think this class is difficult. Today's big concept is communicators (all people) are better when they think in several tiny aspects instead of large ones. [For example, a person who sees something as "Good" or "Bad" is a less effective communicator than a person who sees something as "Great" "Good" "OK" "Bad" or "Horrible"] Yep, that's today's big concept. :-) Thanks for going with me this morning and again this afternoon to the computer store. My computer should be pretty darn koool, blazing down the "information superhighway" Well, ok, blazing on my desktop and trickling down the "info shway" *grin*
I am so bored. Let's see what I can talk about. Perhaps people in the room. There's no one in the row with me, but on the far right I see a girl my discussion group. Her name is Nympha but every time the T.A. takes roll, Larissa and I get a chuckle from her name, for obvious reasons. :-)
I'm sitting behind the head T.A. (teaching assistant) He left the classroom for about 15 minutes and returned with a coke. He's now drinking it and he's pretty noisy. It's pretty funny since no one is supposed to drink in here and both he and the professor are blatantly doing so. Well, okay, maybe it's not "funny" but at least ironic.
These people are so stupid. Every topic, every definition, has to be explained at least 10 times. The moron's keep asking "Does it mean this? Would you call it 'slang'?" If it was slang moron girl, he would have said it was that ten minutes ago and saved us the trouble. After all, he is a professional communicator. Twenty-one minutes!! Can I make it!!??
As you can see, I was pretty darn bored.
After class was over, I came back home and lounged around with Larry waiting for the next class to begin. Before I left, Larry said he'd call the computer store to see if my computer was ready and if it was, he'd pick it up. I told him that it was only 2 o'clock, that he should wait, but he said he was going to call. I said ok and left.
When my last class for the day ended, I called Larry. I wanted to find out the status of the computer, but more importantly, I wanted to let him know that a guy in my composition class was gay. You see, when Larry and I were on campus once before, we walked past this particular guy, Andrew, and both Larry and I thought he was straight. In class the week before, I thought I heard Andrew and the professor talking about being gay, but I wasn't too sure: By all accounts,he seemed straight.
But after class, he and I walked across campus and talked about being gay. No if's, and's, or but's. He's a team player.
When I finally got ahold of Larry, he said that he was in the computer store picking up my computer and would be home at around 6:30PM. I told him about Andrew and said that I couldn't wait for him to get home. I called and called to see when he was leaving the office until eventually he did. When he got here, I reattached the monitor, printer, and cables to unveil a new Pentium 166mhz machine. --It's over twice as fast as it was and with the video card, switching between screens is amazing. Yee-ha!
Wednesday, I went to my communications discussion section in the morning then skipped my afternoon cinema class lecture so that I could write the paper which was due in the cinema class discussion on Thursday. I started the paper then at 7:15PM, left to attend a Ski Club meeting at USC. I hoped and prayed that at least one other gay guy would be in the group of people interested in "Non-competitive skiing and snowboarding" and I was in luck. Of the people there, I'm absolutely sure one of the other guys was gay. I didn't talk to him, but as I became the "Public Relations Officer" of the club in the course of the meeting, I'm sure I'll be seeing him again.
When the meeting was over about an hour later, I got back in the car and came back home. I watched Bonnie & Clyde and Thelma & Louise for hours upon hours. I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote until 6:45AM when the paper was finally done. After two hours of sleep, I headed back to campus and turned in my paper. -- But wait that frat guy (who I spent a good deal of time tracking down) wrote me back late Wednesday night to apologize for not writing earlier. He said that we only viewed film clips in the previous class, but he completely overlooked my offer of coffee. Whether or not that was intentional, I don't know, but... --
So, as he didn't write back, I payed special attention in class as to whether or not my gaydar had had a false alarm. At first, I thought it did, but then he said something in class and I realized that it didn't, then I saw his paper and his original movie choices were My Beautiful Launderette and The Wedding Banquet, both of which were the only two truly gay films on the list of twelve choices. Nonetheless, I didn't mention anything more about the coffee and simply left when class was done.
In the following communications class, I could barely stay awake. Larrissa said that she hadn't wanted to sit by that other girl in the previous class, but as it was time for class to begin when that girl asked if she could sit next to her, she said ok.
Desperately wanting to take a nap, I came back to the house and began writing a one page paper which was due for Composition at 3:30PM. I got it done, rested for about twenty minutes, then headed back to campus.
Luckily, COMP 102 was pretty relaxed. For the most part, we talked as a class about being gay. As the next assignment deals with cultural issues, the professor was telling us, a mostly straight class of about 15 students, about how he played with Barbies and always knew he was gay even when he didn't have a term for it. It was definitely an interesting class, but at times, I felt bad for the straight students. The gay thing dominated a lot.
So anyway, as I was walking to the parking structure, once again, Andrew and I talked. This time, though, another guy from class, Nash, was walking along with us. I said something about how I felt for the straight guys in class and Nash responded that he got a kick out of class. By the time we reached the other side of campus, we'd talked about majors and dating and all kinds of junk.
Near the edge of campus, Andrew's path separated from ours. I asked Nash which way he was heading and he said to his apartment on so and so road. I asked him if he wanted a ride and he said ok.
While we were in the car, somehow or the other, I figured out that Nash hadn't realized that Andrew or I were gay. He said it was no big deal, as he'd spent a good while in boarding school, but I reassured him that I wasn't offering him a ride to hit on him. A couple minutes later, we were at his apartment and I let him out. He told me to have a good weekend and that he'd see me next week. It was really a great feeling... It's been so long since I've had something resembling a friendship with someone my age that something as simple as giving someone a ride home was enough to keep me happy for the rest of the day. Perhaps it subconsciously made me remember when I took Chris home from school every day, I don't know. All I do know is that it was a koool feeling.
Thursday night I was scheduled to meet this guy Brian, who goes to Layola Marymount. I was extremely tired from the near all nighter the day before, but I told myself that I would meet him as planned, nonetheless. Thursday afternoon, he'd mailed to say, "I have to work until nine, if I can I'll call you on break. We can do something after if you are still interested." so I figured for sure we were still on, but when I called at a little after 10PM, he said he had to work on a paper which was due the next day and therefore couldn't go out. I wasn't exactly happy about the cancellation, but since I was tired, it was less of a big deal. I shortly thereafter went to sleep.
October 18, 1996
Last Friday, a week ago I know, was spent not doing much until the evening when Larry and I went to see the First Wives Club in Glendale. It had been forever since I last saw a movie in a theatre, so I had fun on that sheer fact alone, but the movie was pretty funny itself.
When it was over, Larry and I had dinner in a nice Italian place then headed home.
The next day, Larry and I went to La Jolla so that Larry could see how the house's remodel was going. For the most part, plaster dust was everywhere and the house was unlivable. The point of the trip, though, wasn't comfort and so, it wasn't that big of a deal.
Larry had mentioned earlier that he wanted to go clubbing when we were in La Jolla/San Deigo and so, around nine o'clock, we headed out to the country western gay bar. When I got back, knowing that I hadn't gotten the diary to that point but wanting to make sure I got everything down, I wrote this in the notebook computer:
Earlier this weekend, Larry asked me if I wanted to go to La Jolla for a day so that he could check out the house's remodel. I said that I would and so, this morning, after I posted the ski club flyers at USC, we packed the car and headed southward. When we got to within a half-hour of La Jolla, we met with Katie's mom to give
Katie to her for the weekend.
Just after leaving the mall's parking lot, Larry and I went to a nearby pumpkin patch and picked up four pumpkins. Larry said we could find some elsewhere cheaper, but I didn't want to chance it, and so, the four pumpkins cost $14.
So anyway, after we bought the pumpkins, we went on to the house in La Jolla and met with the guy handling the house's reconstruction. He told us of his plans and showed us how things were going, then left. Once he'd been gone for a few minutes, I suggested that we go to Target and pick up some Halloween decorations. Since I'd
been harassing Larry for days to go, he agreed, and off we went.
After shopping for a good while --and spending over $100 on decorations-- we left and grabbed a burger before heading home. When we got back, Larry checked his e-mail then began watching a show about breast reduction on the learning channel. It was pretty explicit, but the blood had a certain attraction.
So we were watching that for a bit then Larry said he was laying down for nap. He went into the bedroom and I continued watching. At a commercial break, I went into the bedroom and layed on top of him. I hugged him a few times then said I was going back to the other room to finish the breast reduction show.
When the show was done, I went back into the bedroom once again. I once again layed on top of Larry and he asked what time it was. I explained that it was 9:10PM and he said that we should get going (to the gay bars.) I said ok and so we got dressed.
A few minutes later, we got in the car and went searching for the gay country western bar which we'd been to in San Diego before. A few minutes into the main city, we found it and I checked my ID to assure myself that I had every detail memorized.
When we went inside, not a doorman was insight. --Well, perhaps one guy was a doorman, but he made no effort to check my ID.-- And so we went inside and Larry asked if I wanted anything to drink. I said a Budwieser, thinking that along with my new cowboy boots, I needed the beer to match. (A mai tai just wouldn't do. *grin*)
While Larry was paying for the beer, I didn't want to be standing next to him, as the bartender may have asked for my ID, and I wanted to take a lap around the bar, and so I asked Larry if he cared if I walked around the bar once then came back. He said that I could and I did.
When I got back, Larry handed me the bottle and seemed to be in a funk. I couldn't figure out what his problem was, and tried to ask if he was in a funk, but he didn't say. It, however, was obvious that he was. So we didn't talk for about half a minute then things seemed to go back to normal. I talked about my brother would totally freak if he was there. -- He's a major country western guy and seeing two, totally masculine, regular cowboy guys dancing together would have been too much for him. -- Larry didn't seem to acknowledge it, but changed
the subject to ask if I knew how to dance. I told him that I didn't and he talked of how he couldn't believe it, saying that he thought everyone learned how to dance in high school PE. I told him not in Kentucky.
After Larry marvelled at my not learning how to two-step in high school, the two of us tried to dance. I tripped over myself a few times, but tried to watch Larry's feet and follow the steps. We only made it around the dance floor half way before giving up and I may have looked like a fool, but I had a great time and laughed and laughed.
From there, we went back to the place where we were initially standing and Larry began talking about a country western bar in Long Beach where they taught dancing lessons. He said that a few times and I responded
that that didn't help for tonight.
A slow song came on and Larry and I began to dance. I shuffled around the floor one more time, but due to the slower pace, my inablility to two-step was much less noticible.
When it was over, we went back. As I was standing there, listening to Larry repeat his comments about dance lessons, a cute black haired guy with a hairy chest, black cowboy hat, and blue striped shirt looked at me. I looked back and he smiled. It was koool, really koool. It wasn't that typical club "eye" stuff, but a much warmer smile, the kind you'd see in a country music video. I about melted, but I knew I was standing with Larry and I wasn't going to go talk to that guy. I mean, I live in LA and he lived there. I wasn't going home with him, so there was nothing really to come of the flirting, but it was just a great ego boost.
Pretty soon, Larry asked who I was looking at and I said the guy in the black cowboy hat. He sarcastically said that I should just go stand by him, but I said that I wasn't. If he'd come over to talk with me/us, that would have been great, but like I said, I was there with Larry and I wasn't going to leave him standing by himself.
That didn't make much difference to Larry. He said that I was ignoring him, got mad, and left.
Having talked about this more than I care to remember, I didn't follow him but thought "What a crock of shit."
While I was standing there, trying to figure out the situation, the cowboy guy walked over. He asked if I could dance and I explained that I couldn't. We then talked for a few minutes, enough to say that he was from out of town and only there for the week for a conference and to tell me his name. Of course, I was thinking too much about where Larry was and whether he was crying or whathave you, and I honestly can't remember where the guy was from or what his name was. I think it was "Hal" and I remember if he asked me if I was "Justin" or "Dustin" but that's it.
After we talked for a bit, and he'd told me that I should definitely learn how to dance, another guy came by and asked him if he wanted to dance, Hal excused himself and I went looking for Larry. He was sitting by himself, near the bar, totally dispondant. I said that I was ready to go.
Larry responded/asked if I meant to Rich's, another gay bar as we'd planned. I said, no, that we were going home. I could barely fathom how Larry would want to go to another bar after what had just happened, but he wanted to go to Rich's nonetheless.
So we got in the car and headed home. On the way, Larry asked me if I was going to be mad for the rest of the night. I said yes... and for the next two hours, we fought. Larry said that from the first minute in the club, I left him. I explained that it was because of the being carded thing, but he said he had no way of knowing that. He assumed that I'd walked away to begin cruising because I hadn't said anything about the being carded to indicate otherwise. I could understand that.
He went on to say that my "cruising was unbelievably rude," that every time that we were carrying on a conversation, and every time he looked in my direction, I was staring with a "dumb ass drool" at a stranger in a cowboy hat. He said that he, himself, had tried in vain to smile at the guy, but that the cowboy responded with a "Fuck you. He's flirting with me. Go away." look. He said after about four times of looking at me to see me "smiling like a bear with a mouth-full of honey," he'd had enough and so, he walked away. He said at that moment, he thought he was going to drive away, but instead just sat in a remote part of the bar. He said that within ten seconds of him leaving, "that bar fly took to you like fresh shit."
OK, he had a point. I'm sure I did, to a large degree, ignore him when I was looking at the cowboy. While I heard what he said, I didn't make eye contact with him and my thoughts were elsewhere. And I should have told him why I was leaving the bar. And maybe I didn't think about him as much as I should have... but it was just a smile and just a few minutes of my partial/minimal attention. I didn't run off with the cowboy to live happily ever after. I was simply having fun in a bar, it wasn't that big of a deal. A "Hello Justin! Come back from space and pay attention to me!" or a "Larry, what do you think of that guy in the black cowboy hat?" could have saved us from hours of fighting... and of re-fighting as I try to write this in the diary... as with almost everything, we were each to blame for certain aspects. And so, we went to sleep, with the situation partially resolved, but still agitated with the other.
Sunday morning, when we woke up, I gave Larry a hug, but he was still extremely mad at me. We spent a good while in bed talking and I remember telling him that the koool thing about our relationship was that we might fight, but by the next morning, we're always ok again. Of course, when I said that, things weren't ok, but by the afternoon, we were back to relatively normal.
As the day continued, we got a few errands done then met back with Katie to go to Chuck E. Cheese's. When the fun there was done, we piled into the Explorer and headed home to LA. During the trip, Katie played with the halloween decorations, I ate candy, and Larry & I talked about life... it was quite the opposite of the night before, quite normal and wonderful actually.
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© 1996 Justin Clouse