Plains, August 2016
I went into my date with Timmy, my mentally disabled neighbor, with some trepidation. For nine months I had been thinking of him as someone a little off, who needed to be humored and tolerated, who needed protection and caretaking, who was in effect a child. On a date I would have to think of him -- and treat him -- as an equal, someone with his own tastes, attitudes, interests, and opinions.
Why did I want a date with him? He was extremely cute, about 30, with black hair slicked back, and nice biceps, but there were dozens of guys like that in town. I could go on Grindr for a few minutes and get offers from five or six.
I conducted research. I sought advice from my friends. I stalked Timmy on Facebook. Then, Friday night at 6:00 pm sharp, he knocked on my door.
He was wearing his usual blue t-shirt and jeans, extra bulgy -- had he stuffed a sock down there?
"Hi, Boomer. I came to take you to Kansas. I got you a flower." He handed me one of those plastic roses they sell at convenience stores.
Tales of West Hollywood.