"Boomer, guess what!" Fred said breathlessly, in those days before texting overtook the telephone. "I got a new job, in Bemidji, Minnesota!"
Last I heard, my ex-boyfriend Fred and his partner Jester -- a blind guy with an enormous penis who taught high school history -- were in Sandusky, Ohio, where Fred was working as an assistant pastor at a congregational church. Granted, a step down for someone with a doctorate in theology and ten years of pastoral experience, but Sandusky was a gay resort town.
What in the world were they doing in Bemidji, Minnesota?
Farther from the gay world than even Fresno. What did Jester say?
"He's on board with it," Fred said curtly. He never discussed his relationships unless forced, and then only briefly, the product of years of being closeted at work.
I was very busy during my last year in grad school, working two jobs, finishing my doctoral dissertation, and applying for every job in a gay neighborhood I could find, so I didn't contact Fred much. Then in the spring I saw an ad for a job at Bemidji State University!
It might not be so bad. Fred, Jester and I could start a gay political group, or maybe a weekly bear party like the one on Long Island. And Minneapolis was close enough for weekend trips.
So in April I flew out for the interview.
Bemidji, Minnesota, April 2001
Fred picked me up for dessert at Rudy's, followed by cruising at the mixed bar. Sitting beside him in his car was not Jester, but a Cute Young Thing I had never seen or heard of before.
He was tall and skinny, with shoulder-length hair, a moustache, and a hard smooth chest. There was a map of Iceland tattoo on his arm.
He introduced himself as Stefan, from Iceland, an art major at Bemidji State.
Where was Jester?
Th full story, with nude photos and sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.