But instead of thinking about recent jaunts to hobnob at parties where the featured entertainment is live-action porn stars and plates of unmentionables, I'm staring at the sun and thinking about the fact that my life has taken such a dramatic turn in the past few weeks that scantily-clad women are more than willing — thrilled, even — to hang out with me as we do nails and gossip and party, and they're completely comfortable because on some level they realize I'm not going to make some oafish pass at them as they're sitting three feet from me in their panties, I'm just Ron, that goofy friend who provides comic relief and thoughtful advice (not to mention solid tips on the latest nail and shoe trends for women).
I stare into the sun until the black spots fill my vision and I ask myself: How did you become everyone's Gay Dad?
(Disclosures here: I am not gay, there's nothing wrong with anyone who is gay, I think Dads are cool, and Gay Dads are just fine by me.)
I mentioned this to Tony Tony, the other Amazing Asian at the Paragraph Factory, and he fires back: "So, you're admitting you've become so sexually non-threatening that women view you as their Gay Dad?"
"Yes, goddammit," I reply. "I don't know how this happened and it's pissing me off." I'm a guy and guys are pigs and they like nothing better than to be viewed as rampant, turgid machines, literal cocks of the walk.
Tony Tony gets that thoughtful look on his face (it's a standard feature on Asians) before asking: "And what is it you're looking for?"
The man in me starts to answer: You know, what every guy wants — hot times with hot chicks, no strings, just sporting romps without the emotional baggage ...
But that's bullshit and we both know it.
Truth: I like hanging with the hot ones, and there is no shortage of them these days.
Truth: Many of my friends want to strangle me, field-dress me and wear my skin to the next rendezvous so they can experience what they think I'm doing, and if I was doing those things I'd gladly hand over my hide and even throw in a cat o' nine tails.
Truth: I'm not doing those things anymore — no romps without strings, no substance-fueled cavorts, no ferocious sessions where hair-pulling and spanking are the mildest forms of expression and it's not any fun and games until everyone breaks a sweat.
Instead I'm being one of the girls because doing those other things didn't bring any long-term pleasure. They only made me feel like a huge whore who was simply tolerated because of my access to All Things Libertine and a willingness to demean myself. I did those things because I figured I was done living a dream so I might as well plunge into a decadent cauldron of nightmares, and if it killed me at least I'd die with a rake's smile hiding my broken black heart.
"What is it you're looking for?" Tony asked again, and the answer was so obvious to me I laughed out loud. Of course.
I'm looking for serenity now and no insanity later. I'm looking for peace and calm and the experience of meeting someone's eyes and feeling the click of that small cog in my heart and realizing everything is going to be alright. I'm a cynic looking for something kind and sweet and gentle and real — and if it's also a rocking good time I'm all about that, but it has to be sweet at its core. Otherwise I'm just back to using and being used. I'm back to running into the black to get away from the blue.
Until then, I guess I'm Gay Dad to hot women. Between us girls, I'm not pissed about it. It feels like I'm being faithful. I'm pulling a Jagger: standing in a doorway and trying to make some sense. And waiting on a friend.