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Gratuitous Gay Boy Soap Opera, or Why Men Are to be Avoided, Mostly

Scene: A bright, unusually hot day in a city by the sea. A crowded street fair in the gay ghetto. Odd assortment of booths: beer tents, art galleries, politicians, porn studios. Four men saunter slowly up and down the streets.

Handsome aka “Swivel-Head”: (watches a group of campaign supporters hand out fliers on their candidate) : “ Look at THAT one: He’s so cute…and he’s political!”

Michael aka Your Reliable Narrator (and the only one wearing a shirt): (makes a “tisk” sound)

Hottie #1 aka Tony: “Did you just say ‘political’?”

Hottie #2 aka Daddy-o: “He did.”

Handsome (head swivels again): “Ooh, look, there’s T.J. He works at that cute store, you know, the one with all the candles and the rusty Buddha statues.”

Tony: “He owns it, actually.”

Handsome: “He DOES?”

Michael: “Suddenly he just got much more attractive”

Daddy-o: “And interesting.”

Michael: “Look, that guy is naked.”

Tony: “Talk about letting it all hang out.”

Michael: “It’s never the ones you want to see naked.”

Handsome: (swivels again as a barely-legal boy passes) “Ooh, pretty eyes.”

Daddy-o (to Michael): “He likes em young, doesn’t he?”

Michael: “We never have to fight over the same guys.”

Daddy-o then performs for Michael a thirty-minute dialogue on the kinds of boys he likes, why San Francisco will be better for his sex life than Los Angeles was, and the fact that he didn’t feel the need to shave his back this morning because body hair is more accepted here. During this monologue Tony and Handsome fall back and Michael hears them whispering to each other.

Handsome: “I’m just staying out of it.”

Both Tony and Daddy-o wander over to the chicken skewer tent while Handsome and Michael stand in the shadow cast by the leather-vest booth.

Handsome: “Tony’s sad now.”

Michael: “Why?”

Handsome: “He’s quite taken with you. And you’re spending all your time with Daddy-o”

Michael: “Oh.” (sighs) “I’m not DOING anything. I’m just listening” (pause as he watches the two men order their skewers) “Tony’s adorable, just not….my type. I guess.”

Handsome: “Heartbreaker. Do you want me to leave you and Daddy-o alone?”

Michael: “No. He’s trouble.”

Handsome: “Why?”

Michael: “He’s a player. I want someone who’ll pay attention to me, not every other boy who passes. I hear he’s already broken three sober boys’ hearts in the two weeks he’s been here.”

Handsome: “Well, when it’s over I’ll tell you my perception.”

Michael: “You knew him in L.A.?”

Handsome: “Yeah.”

Michael: “Oh, come on. You can’t tease me like that.”

Handsome: “Shh, they’re coming back.”

Tony quickly devours his chicken.

Tony: “All right, guys, I’m out of here.” (he looks at Handsome as he says this, hugs the three men, then slips off into the crowd)

Michael watches somewhat guiltily.

Handsome: “Onward?”

Daddy-o: “Onward.”

They press forward into the crowd.

Daddy-o: “Look at that one.”

Handsome’s head swivels up and down the block.

Daddy-o: “And that one.”

Handsome: “Hello!”

Michael: (interior monologue): I am hitting the wall. This is so not what I want to be doing right now. Men are pigs. Am I a pig? I need a nap. Are my expectations too high? This shirt is too hot. I’m not going to take it off. (glances sideways at Daddy-o’s chest) Yum. Why are the wrong ones the hottest ones? Is this how I have to find a boyfriend? I don’t want a boyfriend, he’ll just cheat on me. I just want someone who’ll treasure me. Oh my god that is the ugliest stained glass rainbow triangle I have ever seen. Who buys this crap?

Daddy-o: “I want some coffee, you guys want some?”

Handsome: “No, thanks.”

Michael: “We’ll wait here for you.”

Daddy-o wanders off.

Michael: “Okay, talk.”

Handsome: “Okay, okay. I was in L.A. when he started visiting from Houston, and it was just like he did before he moved here; he visited four or five times. Then he moved in with a couple who were in AA. And two weeks later one of the guys fell or was pushed off their balcony and he died.”

Michael: “WHAT!?!”

Handsome: “I know.”

Michael: “What’d the police say?”

Handsome: “They said he could have just fallen backwards off the railing. But then, I swear to God, less than three weeks later Daddy-o and the other boyfriend started dating. It was so creepy.”

Michael: (watches Daddy-o approach, coffee cup in hand) “Oh my God, I’m never dating again.”

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