RELATIONSHIPS :: My Would-Be Gentleman – It was a brisk, wet evening and I had already walked three city blocks in the rain. This was before my evening had unravelled, though – it’s best that I start from the beginning, when I was first asked out on the date.
He was a community partner associated with my company. We had already been on a date nearly three years ago, when I was just coming out of a toxic relationship, so I didn’t have any adverse reaction to being asked out on another. I admittedly don’t go on dates. I was excited.
After a twenty minute walk, the rain had soaked my maroon sweater. I arrived at Mark’s* house and he greeted me with a glassy-eyed smile as he offered to take my wet sweater. He neglected to mention he’d gotten a dog since we’d last seen each other three years ago. The drooling thing lunged at me, both investigating me and asking for scratches.
“Sorry about that! So how was your day?” Mark asked, walking me through his open-concept home to a seating area.
I had assumed that, like me, Mark had been working all day. But you didn’t have to be a master at deduction to notice the smell of rye on his breath, indicating he actually might not been at work for a while.
“It’s really weird experience being new at a job,” I began to answer Mark. “It’s like, I’ll reach into a bag of old tricks but they don’t work. I used to be Kris Angel – now I’m the new guy.”
I continued to explain how working in a larger and more complex environment than I was used to was going. As I expounded further on my new daily list of tasks, I caught his eyes glaze over.
I practically invented the glazed-over eye, while studying for my undergraduate degree – he wasn’t listening to a f*cking word.
I demolished my gin and tonic, hoping it’d help to make him as repugnant as he suddenly did: Mark had zero desire to hear about for my troubled day – was he only interested in what was going on in my pants rather than on my mind?
And with that, like proof to my theory, Mark partly pulled down my trousers, leaving my penis poking out of the jockstrap that I have in my work bag just in case (a boy’s got to be prepared.)
A dull make-out was suddenly underway; we moved from the couch to the bedroom.
I was starting to feel like I was in high school and that Mark and I were caught on the losing end of an awkward spin-the-bottle turn. His kiss had more in common with his bulldog’s slobber then I’d like to admit.
As quickly as went down – now fully naked – onto his rather comfortable mattress, my thoughts shifted from the awkwardness of this experience to how very comfortable the bed his bedding was – not exactly a romantic thought to have while he made a rather aggressive strike towards my dick.
There was no dialogue. My mind was fixated still on the mattress.
I tried to ignore how I was feeling – like a cheap purchase rather than an equal lover. After about twenty minutes of this sexual endeavour, I got up, put my clothing on, and walked out the door without a word to my would-be gentleman.
In retrospect, I should have validated what I felt from the very beginning. Even as a gay man in these times sexual liberation, you can maintain autonomy and respect – if you choose to value yourself.
– There’s nothing mild or mannered about Jeff Mcintosh, an innovative experimental prose, poetry and long form writer who lives by his own mistakes and successes. He lives and breathes Toronto, Canada. More: www.jeffsnotthatfunny.com
Images: Kristina Moraru Photography
* Name changed to protect the privacy of the individual