With Joe missing the party and sleeping most of the night, he was able to get on the road even earlier than he wanted. After he left I tried to sleep, but I really couldn’t. I packed and was on the road myself with only a couple of hours sleep. By the second rest area on the turnpike, I pulled in and slept for two hours in the front seat of my car.
I thought back about the weekend just before I fell asleep—a couple of moments I hadn’t recorded:
I stopped at one rest area on the way in to Cleveland on Thursday. As I was coming out of the restroom, I did a true double take. A male couple in their 40’s, dressed in 501’s, tight black t-shirts and boots breezed past me on their way to the urinals. With their shaved heads and trimmed beards—well, we just looked at each other, grinned and I went on back to my car. Hours later, as I was buying my tickets for the Recon parties, there they were. The slightly taller one came over, thumped me on the chest and said, “I told my partner you were headed here. Have fun…” I never saw them in the huge crowds of men again.
At the third Recon party an older man, who was acting as the volunteer in charge, found me coming out of the piss area. “I saw you last night fucking the guy in the army hat up there,” he said, gesturing towards the sling on the stage. “I told the guys in charge they could save money on the porn stars and ask you guys to perform.” If they can just convince Army Hat, I’ll be there…
Many of you know I lost my partner of 30 years, a few years ago. CLAW can bring back a mix of feelings, for I was in Cleveland when my partner called, telling me he’d checked himself into the hospital and to come home. He was dead a week later.
It took five years before I was ready to sleep in the same bed with a man again. The first was Ryan when we would crash at his house after the piss parties. Marco, the muscle hole, was the second. And now Joe. We had a great weekend of intimacy—on a level that I hadn’t allowed myself to have for all this time. I hadn’t realized how much I missed holding onto someone in the middle of the night. Or talking about everything and nothing. Or making each other laugh with stories of our incredibly checkered sexual careers.
I’m glad I didn’t rush it. These three men have helped me heal more than they will likely ever know.
I snapped this as Joe woke up from our nap before we hit the first Recon party. Is there any wonder we were in bed, one way or another, all weekend?