Apr 1, 2017

Lane Cruises a Gay Barber from 30 Years Ago

West Hollywood, January 1982

This is Lane's weirdest paranormal experience:

When he was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, he and his  parents often went to the Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. It was one of those old-fashioned multi-story department stores with everything under the sun: sportswear, furniture, candy, bedspreads.  He especially liked the toy section, where cute sales clerks would always ask "Can I help you, sir?" and make him feel special.

As an adult, Lane preferred gay-themed shops, so he went to the Broadway only occasionally, when he needed something that you couldn't get in West Hollywood.

That day in January 1982, he was shopping for a new comforter for his bed -- housewares, on the sixth floor.

As he walked down the aisles of sheets, towels, bedspreads, and pillows, he suddenly felt light-headed, and the room seemed to get darker.  He thought he might faint.

Looking for a place to sit down, he walked toward the north side of the store, and saw a sign reading "Barber Shop."

He didn't remember a barber shop on that floor, but he pushed through a frosted-glass doorway.

It was very old fashioned, nothing like the modern hair salons that Lane usually went to.  Wood paneling, fluorescent lamps, frayed red chairs, jars of weird green liquid with combs floating in them.  Hair on the floor. An old black-and-white tv set was playing the 1950s sitcom I Love Lucy, with the sound off.

Several men in suits were waiting their turn, leafing through Field and Stream magazine or newspapers.  One was staring a the tv screen.

There were two barbers working, one very young, in his 20s,  with broad shoulders, a  pleasantly solid physique, and very nice hands, thick, square, masculine.  He had classically handsome features, high cheekbones, a dimpled chin, dark soulful eyes -- and a dorky crew cut.

You'd think barbers would have nice haircuts, Lane thought.

The other barber was middle aged, wearing horn-rimmed glasses.  They must be father and son.

Lane wasn't feeling sick anymore, and his cruising instincts started up.  Maybe he could flirt a little with the young barber (he thinks he was named Steve),  find out if he was gay.  He sat down in a chair that gave him a good view.

Soon Steve said "You're next."

"No, these other guys were here first," Lane protested.

"They're regulars.  I get all the new customers," he said with a smile.  "Dad insists."

The full story, with nude pictures, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

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