Last night I went out with my roommate to the Bear Happy Hour to socialize with friends. We had a good time talking to people and meeting new people. The bears are a subculture within the gay community of ultra masculine hairy men, typically with facial hair, either a beard of a goatee and usually a hairy chest. Some also tend to be rather girth full chubbies or chubby chasers. I like them because I have an affinity toward furry men. They are probably the friendliest among the gay culture having few issues with self image. They are simply big, happy, and friendly.
Toward 10:30pm as the crowd began to thin I sat there waiting for my roommate to wrap up a conversation with a guy he had just met. I was thankful that I know people to talk to. I was thinking how at times it could be very difficult to get to know people. I remembered back at times in my life when I was less social and hung out in the corners by myself desperately wishing for someone to talk to. I stood there leaning against a wall by myself pondering my loneliness, when a young out of place girl came into the bar. She looked around somewhat lost. I observed her as I stood there thinking. To my surprise she came up to me and asked in a high pitched squeaky voice as if she had read my mind, “How does someone talk to anyone in a bar like this?” Knowing how she felt, I began a conversation with her.
She was visiting DC from Toronto working on a research project. She was a historian. She made a comment noting the only other women in the bar 3 of them who sat on a sofa across from where we were standing. She said they were obviously straight women as if to tell me those women were the only ones who didn’t fit in. I told her it was about the hour when the patronage shifts from the bears to their normal late evening clientele. I asked if she was a lesbian to which she responded kinda sorta…she said she was a trans. Come to think about it she looked very androgynous to me at a height of about 4’9” with no visible breasts yet she held his chest out proudly. She had short spiked bleached blond hair and beautiful big blue eyes. I asked him who she identified with. Again to my surprise he said confidently that she identified with gay leather men and bikers. “But they are hard core”, I thought to myself. “How did she fit in?” She told me how much she loved the leather culture. She had even done a research project to find out how leather was first introduced into the gay culture. She proceeded to tell me all about her research project with an innocence in her voice and demeanor that was so inspiring. He was proud of who she was. He said she had a girlfriend and they loved to shop for leather gear. He said that because they were both so small framed that they both had to have their cloths custom made to fit. He told me about a leather corset she purchased for her girlfriend that had pink ribbon on the back to tie it with.
She said I could be a natural fit in the leather community. She asked if I had ever been to the Eagle. The Eagle is an “institution” in the gay community with bars in most major cities. They cater to the leather Levi and bear communities. I told her it so happened the Eagle was a big part of my life in my early years but I had moved away from the community having grown tired of the costumes and free love.
I reflected inwardly on how all that has defined who I am. I was enjoying her conversation so much I thought of inviting her to dinner or to accompany us to our next stop where we were headed to meet other friends but before I could invite her she said she had to go. I asked her if she could tell me her name again. He said my name is Angela. “Can I give you a hug, Angela?” I said. I gave her a hug feeling so grateful to have had the pleasure to be refreshed by her presence.
My roommate, having a change in plans, decided to go grab a bit to eat with the guy he had just met so I proceeded to go by myself to another club where I had agreed to meet another friend. While waiting at Omega, I continued thinking about my love life and how hard it has been to find someone with whom I can connect with intimately. It just seems I’ve run out of places to meet people. After waiting for my friend for about a half hour I decided he probably wasn’t going to show up. He had expressed some doubt over the phone earlier.
Angela was still on my mind as if she was still in my presence. Her impression on me was so powerful. I thought….could Angela be an Angel. I hadn’t been to the Eagle in ages because I just didn’t identify with the people there anymore, but something about what Angela said stuck with me. Maybe I should give it another try. Maybe I could see it the way Angela does. I used to enjoy very much playing pool there. I decided to pay the bar a visit on my way home.
The crowd at the Eagle was sparse and there was no one I knew. There was no one playing pool that I could ask to play a game with. Finally I saw my old friend Tom walk by. He stopped and sat at the bar with me. We sat there for a long time talking about our relationship issues. We both complained that there was no one anymore that met our fancy. Were we just getting old? What has changed? Things were not what they used to be.
Then HE walked in. Something about him called me. The man was attractive and had somewhat of a bewildered look as if he too was somehow misplaced. Before you know it we were talking to each other. We hit it off and found we held many things in common. His presence felt good and I could relate to him. Alas, maybe there is hope for a guy like me. Maybe I am the one who had closed the door too soon. Maybe it was me who held the door closed.
Somehow, I know Angela is an Angel. Aren’t all angels historians and aren’t we HIS story? Sometimes they do walk among us.
In looking for a picture to go with my post I did a Wikipedia search for the word angel. I found there a picture of a sculpture of an angel. The angel looks just like Angela. Is it a conincidence. I think I really saw me an angel tonight.