It was actually Aldine, Texas, a far, far, far northern suburb of Houston, 20 miles from the beauty and excitement of the Montrose.
And, if you don't count two trips back to Rock Island and spring break in New Orleans, it was actually only seven and a half months, or 210 days.
209 days too long.
I had a dreary two-room apartment on a dead end street, with an illiterate redneck landlord downstairs and a headbanger neighbor.
Everyone in the rust belt moved to Texas in the early 1980s, which meant that everything was grotesquely crowded, it took an hour to get anywhere in grotesque traffic, and everyone was new at their jobs, so they took forever and made lots of mistakes, which made every chore from banking to going to the gym a daunting enterprise.
Plus, everything was under construction, resulting in constant delays, and more flat tires in nine months than I've had in the 30 years since.
The campus was all ugly concrete slabs and treeless scrub grass.
Everyone was illiterate, surly, and very, very homophobic. Consequently, all gay men were very, very closeted, giving you fake names and fake phone numbers.
There are a few things I remember fondly:
My Italian class.
A visit from Bruce.
Spring break in New Orleans.
And sausages. They grow them BIG in Texas, and the guys were readily available. For hookups, anyway.
Here are 16 Texas toughs, horrors, hookups, and sausages from my 210 days in Hell-fer-Sartain.
1. The Student Who Got Naked in My Class, stripped down to his underwear right in the middle of a lecture on Moby Dick. No one has ever done that in any class since. The most beefcake you see is when they take off their sweater, and their shirt pulls up off their chest.
2. Raymond, a black guy with an interest in astrology (he was a Taurus) and an enormous Mortadella who kept saying "if you relax, it won't hurt."
4. Hank, a recent graduate of the college, now working in a department store, who claimed to want a relationship, but gave a fake telephone number. He didn't realize that as a faculty member, I had access to all student records. So I looked him up and called.
"Um...um...I don't...I mean," he stammered, trying to figure out how he managed to accidentally write down his real number.
"You said you wanted a relationship. So -- dinner tomorrow night?"
He didn't want dinner.
5. Dan, a Vietnamese immigrant who worked at the mall and chain smoked. During our date, he poured water on a napkin to use as a makeshift ash tray. After the date, I came down with a case of...well, let's just say it wasn't pleasant.
6. Two Brothers and their Dad. I had a date with the 19-year old, but I made out with the 17-year old, and got a sausage sighting of the aroused Dad in bed.
7. Dick, My Old Bully. We reconnected at Christmas, back in Rock Island. Who knew that he was gay? And so buffed? And so well hung?
8. My Most Embarrassing Hookup, when a middle-aged Mormon guy mistook me for a hustler.
9.The Redneck Boy from the trailer court next door worked out with weights, shirtless, in his yard. I never made contact, but it was a pleasant sight.
10. The Professor Who Got Away. I pushed a little too hard, going into detail about the things we had in common. I may have used the term "soul mate." He rain.
11. The Russian Major. I wooed him with my knowledge of Slavic languages, but after the make-out session on his couch, he said "I hate to burst your bubble, but I'm not in the mood to be raped tonight." Raped?
12. The Footballer. This guy goes into ecstasies over me being from the Midwest, asked about farms, milking cows, etc., etc. He asks me to wear a football jersey on our date.
14. The Most Skittish Guy on Earth. He arrives, says "There are too many people around. You didn't tell me you lived so close to other people. What if they saw me coming in? What if they hear us?"
I get annoyed and say "Are we going to do it or what?"
He grabs a chair, puts it on the floor in the bedroom, and says "Go ahead and do it, then."
But then he hears a noise and vanishes before I have a chance to "do it," whatever "it" is.
15.Carl the Cowboy Cop with a Kovbasa+, one of the biggest I've ever seen. But he was immensely tall, which was a turnoff, and extremely anti-religious.
16. The New Age Devotee who kept talking about the Universe, energy, chakras, crystals, and stuff: "The Universe wants you to find the one you're destined to be with."
In the morning, I prepared a New Age breakfast of granola and fresh plums. I tried to hand him the bowl of plums, but he didn't take it, and it shattered all over the floor.
A fitting end to my 210 days in Hell-fer-Sartain, Texas.
The uncensored post, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.