After our horrible trip to London for a gay Jewish conference on the Isle of Dogs, Lane flies back to West Hollywood. I stop in Norfolk, Virginia, to spend a few days with my old friend Alan.
As the plane crosses Chesapeake Bay and descended into Norfolk, I become very, very nervous.
We were best friends for years, in spite of his globetrotting, to Japan, Thailand, and France. Then last summer he sent a long letter detailing how he had "repented of his sinful lifestyle" and couldn't hang out with his old "sinful associates" anymore.
I figured we were through.
In December he sent me another letter, bright and cheery but very brief: "I'm living in Norfolk, Virginia. It's beautiful here -- I've never been happier. Can you come and visit? You can stay with me and Sandy."
Ok, I know Alan has an older sister -- is her name Sandy? I can't remember. Or is he still "ex gay," with a girlfriend? Or a beard?
Still, I hate losing friends. I promised to come after the Isle of Dogs conference. And reserved a hotel room, just in case.
What am I getting myself into? I wonder. Five days of homophobic Bible-thumping? Five days of hanging out with a gay guy trying to pretend that he's straight?
Alan meets me at the gate. Blue button-down shirt, white pants. His earring is gone. He's lost a lot of weight -- he's thin, almost gaunt, and old -- he is only 37, but he looks about 60. Yet I still see the vibrancy in his eyes the joie-de-vivre, in his bright smile.
He wraps his arms around me and hugs me. It feels like old times.
"Come on -- we'll go on a little tour of the town, and then I'll take you home. Sandy is cooking dinner."
Sandy is...cooking dinner? I get an image of a 1950s housewife in an apron and pearls, checking the potroast. Has Alan become Ward Cleaver?
The full story, with nude photos and sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.