Posted by: facetothewind | July 12, 2007

How I Became a Daddy in Just One Week

It happened again this afternoon. That’s twice this week. How does the old saying go? “If you’re walking down the street and someone calls you a horse, you ignore them. If two people call you a horse then you should be looking behind for your tail.”

Today in Portland, during cocktails with a new friend—who I admit is young enough to be my son—said to me in the course of asking me how old I was, “Well, you look older than you are.” I laughed, sipped a little bit more of my whiskey on the rocks, and then my mind did a little U-turn like one would go back and check out that nasty dead animal with its guts hanging out that you just drove by. Something about it is intriguing and you just want to take a look. So I went back to that little piece of conversational road kill.

“What do you mean, I look OLDER than I am? Or did you mean to say that I’m older than I look?” I asked.

My companion smiled a little nervously his eyes darting to the side as if I would pierce him with my question. “Well, what do you want me to tell you?” he asked.

I wanted him to tell me anything but that I look older than I am. For fucksake I’m 43 – and who wants to look older than 43? So I clarified, “I just want to know if that’s what you really meant or if the cocktails messed up your words and you meant to say that I look YOUNGER than my real age,” I asked him in a leading, perhaps on the edge of leering sort of way.

“What do you want me to tell you? It’s the gray on your sides that makes you look older. And the wrinkles around your eyes,” he said dabbing at my face and shrugging his shoulders as if he were blameless.

Damn. Earlier this week I was at a sex club here in Portland and in the middle of coitus with a young-ish Latino, he looks me in the eyes and says, “Yeah, fuck me Daddy.” Now, I did NOT solicit this Daddy nonsense from him. I didn’t tell him how old I was. I didn’t take him to dinner in a lemon-colored Cadillac. I’m not wearing gold chains around my neck. I’m not staying at the Portland Hilton and Executive Tower. Hell, I rode to the sex club on my bicycle in girl’s striped corduroys I bought at Goodwill. I laugh every time I fart. I love to watch Mister Roger’s Neighborhood and I still play with my pilly. And this kid calls me Daddy. Am I supposed to find that hot?

Daddy, possibly even Gramps, twice in one week.

So why can’t I accept that I’m growing old? I think this is one of the major pitfalls that trips up gay men—it’s a precarious transition from playboy/gym bunny to papi. It is one that snags so many homos who prance around the gay ghettoes partying like it’s 1979. And what am I now expected to do now that I have quite clearly crossed over the gray line? Succumb to the stereotype? Start listening to Guy Lombardo and using Brill Cream while I comb that last little bit of hair into circles on my head?

I don’t think so. I’m much more likely to be listening to Rufus Wainwright and the Magnetic Fields, decorating my douche bottles with glitter, popping a Cialis “Weekender” and riding my bike to the $7 locker night at the sex club. That’s what it is to be 43 for me.

Does this mean I’m shallow and that I can’t let go of my youth, you might ask? Don’t ask such probing questions of your elders, please.

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