Mar 20, 2016

Handsome and Small or Sleazy and Gigantic? Corbin's Choice

San Francisco, Spring 1996

A few weeks ago, Lane and I drove back to West Hollywood for the annual Oscar party.  Then, unexpectedly, he had to take care of something about the apartment building he inherited from his mother, so he stayed, and I took the bus back to San Francisco.

It's been three weeks, and he's still there:  "It's more complicated than I thought.  We need to completely remodel the foyer, and there's a zoning issue with the pool, and one of the tenants needs to be evicted."

Yeah, right.  The boy just likes being home.  Face it: he's not coming back at all.

To cheer me up, Drake the teddy bear artist and his boyfriend Zack ask me out to dinner at Almost Home, a Castro Street restaurant that specializes in "back home" cuisine: pot roast, fried chicken, chipped beef on toast.

There are dozens of Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indian, Mexican, Greek, and Filipino restaurants in San Francisco, and I'm offered chipped beef on toast?  This evening won't go well.

 They invite Zack's friend Corbin: in his 20s, tall, Mediterranean, very muscular, smooth hard chest visible beneath a white silk shirt unbuttoned five buttons.  Very handsome face, big black eyes, aquiline nose, a prominent chin.

Are they trying to fix us up?

He's very attractive, but there are thousands of eligible gay men within a five block radius.  Why Corbin in particular?

They know about my preference for extra-large beneath-the-belt gifts.  Maybe Corbin has a Kovbasa beneath the belt.

We choke down our down-home American food and start swapping stories of dates from hell, hookups with celebrities, and gigantic penises.  I tell about the time Alan and I accidentally picked up the kept boy.  Zack tells his coming out story.  Drake tells about his date with John Stamos, star of Full House.  Now it's Corbin's turn.

"I'm going to tell you about my choice: handsome or hung."

The rest of the story is too risque for Boomer Beefcake and Bonding.  American household in Bakersfield, about 100 miles north of Los Angeles. During college, he and his friends often went to drag shows and male strip shows at the Casablanca Night Club on N Street, downtown.

The gay community was rather small, so when you met a new guy, chances are one of your friends had dated him.

One night Corbin was approached by a rather ugly, sleazy looking guy with ridiculous hair.  His opening line was: "What would you like for breakfast tomorrow morning?  Besides me, that is?"

"Sleazy!" Zack exclaims.

Corbin almost gave Attitude, but then one of his friends gestured with his palms spread wide, indicating that the guy was gigantic.

Who cares if he was sleazy?

There were no hookups in Bakersfield in 1990.  Corbin made a date with Sleazy for next Wednesday night.

After awhile, Corbin was approached a second time: tall, rugged male model looks with a little beard, very muscular bodybuilder physique and a honest opening line.

"Hi, do you mind if I stand here and talk to you awhile?"

Corbin practically swooned as they made initial small talk.

He glanced at his friends.  One signaled with his fingers that the guy was very small.

Who cares if he was tiny? Corbin made a date with Mr. Handsome for next Thursday night.

When he returned to the table, his friend said "Wow, what a stud you landed!  How are you going to break your date with Sleazy?"

 In Bakersfield in 1990, it was taboo to accept dates with more than one guy at a time. You had to evaluate the first, and get him evaluated by your friends, before you could go on to the second.

Corbin had to make a choice.

1. Sleazy but hung.
2. Handsome but tiny.

San Francisco, Spring 1996

"You stole that story from 'The Canterbury Tales,'" I protest.  "Where the man has a choice of a partner who is attractive during the day and ugly at night, or ugly during the day and attractive at night."

"Never read it," Corbin says.

"I'd pick Handsome," Drake says.  "He'll be the envy of all your friends, and you can work around the deficiencies beneath the belt."

"I think I'd go with Sleazy," Zack says.  "No competition, everyone wondering what you see in him.  It'd be fun.  And you'd know what was waiting for you at home."

"Which one did you pick?" I ask.

Corbin grins. "Why, Handsome of course!  He had everything I was looking for in a guy, except for that one little thing.  And in the end, who cares about that?"

I look at Corbin.  Is he trying to tell me something, to "out" himself as small beneath the belt?

After all that buildup, there is no way I am going to reject Corbin.  After dinner and cruising at the Midnight Sun, I agree to go back to Drake's place for "sharing."

The rest of the story is too risque for Boomer Beefcake and Bonding.  You can read it on Tales of West Hollywood.