In the spring of 2013, desperate to get out of Philadelphia, I sent out a lot of application portfolios, but being obviously over 40, with 13 years of temporary "visiting faculty" jobs, plus a resume-full of gay-themed research, made me less than desirable as a candidate. I only got three interviews: a women's college somewhere in eastern Pennsylvania, a Catholic college in Montana, and a public university on the Plains (I took the Plains).
My flight to Helena, Montana gave me a 2-hour layover in Denver.
I don't mind layovers. The Denver Airport has an artwalk with some of the most interesting public art in the U.S., plus a nice view of the mountains and a nice breakfast place.
Plus airports are great for physique watching: an endless variety of businessmen in suits, college boys in t-shirts and short pants, hot dads balancing their toddlers on their knees.
Helena Airport, on the other hand, is tiny, with a single lobby and a single restaurant, Captain Jack's Bistro and Bar. Pictures of cowboys, pillars that look like trees.
After my interview, they took me to the airport at 3:00 pm for my 5:00 flight, even though I had my boarding pass and was through security in about 30 seconds. Nothing to do but get on my laptop and look out at the dark clouds rumbling overhead and wonder if I was going to make it to Philadelphia.
Not a lot of beefcake to watch: a couple of high school athletes, a middle-aged cowboy with a nice basket. Otherwise all women, kids, or elderly people.
And a twink: tall, slim, with weird wavy hair, a bearded oval face, prominent eyebrows, and those big round earrings, wearing a white button-down shirt and red jeans with a nice bulge. Rather feminine, flaunting about with his carry-on. I noticed that it had a rainbow flag on it.
My first gay guy in Montana, and he's not closeted! Too bad that he's not my type.
Even though there were lots of empty seats, he plopped down next to me.
"Going to Denver? Yeah, I guess we're all going to Denver. I'm off to visit my sister in Tucson -- she just had a baby. I haven't seen her in almost a year. My name is Jacob."
"Congratulations," I said. "My name is Boomer."
He grabbed my arm. "Oh, I bet there's a story behind that."
"Three of them, in fact." I don't usually make conversation in airports -- there's little point -- you'll both be flying off in different directions in a few minutes. But -- the only gay person in Helena, Montana! "I'm going home to Philadelphia. I was here for a job interview."
"Oh, Boomer, I hope you get the job. I'd love to show you the sights! Did you get a chance to see Cruse Avenue?"
"Cruise Avenue? Is that the gay neighborhood?"
"No, silly!" He slapped my shoulder. "It's a great street that overlooks downtown and the mountains, so you can get a birds' eye view of everything! Oh, and I'd take you to the Holter Museum, and the 4J's -- that's our best casino, not like Las Vegas, but it's fun! And if you like dancing, they have country-western line dancing at the Rialto."
"Boys dancing together?"
"Sure, whatever you want. We're open minded in the Big Sky Country."
Did this guy work for the Tourist Bureau? "I'm really more into classical music."
He grabbed my arm again. "Babe, you're in luck. My Daddy is one of the performers at the Montana Early Music Festival. That's why he's not going to Tucson with me --they're performing at St. Peter's tonight. That's the Episcopal Cathedral downtown."
Daddy? My ears perked up. Adults did not refer to their parents as "Daddy," so Jacob was outing himself as the bottom in a fetish relationship that was about control rather than BDSM. "So, how long have you and your...daddy been together?"
The rest of the story, with nude photos and explicit sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.