I woke up early Sunday with an uneasy feeling, as if I had a dentist appointment. Then I remembered it was the big gay meeting day. I rolled out of bed and said to myself "it is only for coffee, should not hurt" and then stumbled my way to the bathroom. Ahhh! A big pimple on my nose, very funny life, throw that at me as well, you must have been saving that one for twenty years, just like you always sent them to me the day before a high school dance. I was trying to stay calm, we were just supposed to have a short meeting but I had to wonder what if we have nothing to talk about and sit there in awkward silence. Even worse, what if I get nervous and totally run-off at the mouth, scaring the poor guy off forever. I get ready, he calls and we agree to meet at noon. I waited out front for him, I felt like a high school kid. He arrived and we went in.
Sitting down, I was scanning him big-time. I did the "does not sound gay, does not look gay" check on him, yeah I know that is wrong and "my bad" but it is a habit I have to break. He was very easy to talk to and I felt relaxed after a few minutes. He talked about his art as a hobby, how he used to be in the army, his family, work and I suddenly understood that he is one of those people that you meet but feel you have always known. We talked for quite some time, he excused himself to use the washroom and while waiting for his return, I realized that I did not care about sitting in a coffee shop with another gay man. I did not care who would walk in, who might see me there with him or would the people around me know we were a gay couple. It felt good, probably one of the few times in a person's life not caring was a good thing. I could not help but think "wow you have come a long way from the guy that would not even say the word gay out loud." Conversation flowed easy and time flew by, he said he had to run some errands and I told him that I did not want to hold him up. He asked me if I would like to take a short walk with him first, I of course said yes.
After we returned to our cars he showed me some of his paintings he had in the back seat. While looking at them he mentioned he was going alone to see a movie downtown after his errands and then asked if I did not mind the running around, would I like to join him. Big smile from me and I said yes. I got in his car and as we drove away, I remember thinking "I hope he is not psycho and I guess I could take him if I had to get away!" We arrived a little early and so walked around again. We did the typical gay thing and watched the French film, Un Secret with subtitles in english of course. The movie was good but sad, based on a true story of a Jewish family in France during WWII. Again the whole evening I never worried about who would see me with him, just two people enjoying each other's company. It was getting late so he drove me back to get my car, we shook hands, and said it was nice to meet each other. I told him not to be shy and call or email me anytime.
I don't know if a relationship will come out of this meeting but I do certainly know that I want him as a friend. He was interesting, very down to earth and seemed a cool headed small town boy but mostly though because we spent the day together without ever mentioning anything to do with our sexuality and as for making a friend, one who also happens to be gay like myself, that speaks volumes to me.