It’s as surreal as ever being at home with Mom and Dad in Greensboro. Understand that I have the good fortune to have completely sane parents, which is quite a blessing, but it’s still a bit odd being back under the childhood roof. Among other things, I immediately feel about fifteen years younger — all in all, I guess this is a plus. But there are adjustments: I have to close the bathroom door when I piss, I feel odd about staying out late, I’m mildly uncomfortable about smoking in the house, etc. Plus, there’s no place to go should I meet the man of my dreams…
The older I get, the more time I devote to actually spending time with the parents when I visit home. I guess it’s due in part to the fact that I’ve realized they’re not immortal (at ages 67 and 72), and in part to the fact that I’m not as excited by the idea of spending every night lurking around in bars. Of course, last time I was here I felt safer at home anyway.
Mind you, I’m not completely averse to nightlife. Last night was fun. Jeff and I met some friends at New York Pizza, which was one of my old “trouble spots”. This is a strange little bar with a strange mix of people of all sexual, social, and cultural persuasions. Ran into an ex-something from many years past (“boyfriend” would be too strong a word…) who recently has had a heroin problem, was flirted with by another friend, and had generally good Christian fellowship. And pizza…
There have also been the obligatory trips to new subdivisions and shopping centers. Greensboro seems perpetually under construction, as perfectly good and relatively new homes and retail buildings are deserted for still newer ones farther out, a result of overabundant cheap suburban land.
But hey, the cable TV is great here; I’ve even been watching Nick-at-Nite’s TV Land. I didn’t think ANY cable companies carried it.
And it’s raining! I’m so excited…
Flirtations and relatives and barbecue and clean laundry. All is well down Carolina way. But I now remember that a trip home is no vacation. There are far too many responsibilities for that. There’s this relative and that relative to visit, friends to see, “quality time” with Mom and Dad, etc. I sort of feel like I’ve been on a schedule ever since I got here, even though I really just wanted to sit around watching TV and eating myself into oblivion.
It will be odd if my only debauchery of the entire trip occurs here. There have been flirtations, one that I wouldn’t have turned down Tuesday night, and one less enticing one last night. Tuesday’s wasn’t to be at the time, but was fun all the same. As for Wednesday’s, it went as follows (keep in mind that I had given NO signal that sex was a possibility):
“Can I be direct with you?”
“Sure…but I’m really beat and it probably won’t do much good.”
“So how do you feel about HIV?”
Now you see, I hate when it starts like this. I live in San Francisco. I’ve slept with people who have HIV. I’ve dated people who have HIV. Even though I’m negative, I pretty much assume everyone else is positive. But when this is the first part of a pickup line, it makes it hard for me to respond in any polite way. If I say no, it seems as if it’s related to the HIV rather than the fact that I’m just not interested in the guy, when in fact the latter is the true reason.
But I got out diplomatically and finished watching the drag show, although I was being stalked by someone else throughout. All this other guy would do was stare at me and try to make me uncomfortable. No conversation. He didn’t even buy me a beer.