Feb 7, 2016

Summer 1993: I visit Alan, his Partner, and his Boy Toy

Norfolk, Virginia, Summer 1993

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.