Jay: The Travel Companion

San Francisco, February 1997

I got my very first computer — a top-of-the-line Packard Bell with a built-in 56k modem and stereo speakers. It was a gift from my parents and I couldn’t have been happier. My own computer. Awesome! After Dad set it up and verified that it was working, I immediately purchased an AOL subscription and went online for the very first time.

I remember the excitement of hearing the dial tone and the screeching of the modem. My heart jumped every time I heard “You got mail!” After browsing around, I found the Gay And Lesbian chat room and introduced myself, implying that Jan Brady, was in fact, God. After a few “hellos” and even fewer observations of my bent thesis, I settled in.

There was a rather lively conversation going on. One participant in particular, NorfolkJAY, was cracking jokes and peppering the room with his spicy double-entendres. Watch out for this one, I thought to myself. He’s a snake charmer. I introduced myself to him, and in short order, we became friends. I learned that he had been associated with the Catholic church all of his life, and that, unsurprisingly, he hailed from Norfolk, Virginia. I also made some other friends that day, and possibly talked a repressed cowboy out of committing suicide. Needless to say, I got more than I bargained for.

Later that year, I heard that Jay and two of his buddies were coming to San Francisco, and would I like to meet up with them? Without really pondering the question, I said “yes!”, and we eventually met up at the Twin Peaks bar in the Castro (also called, disparagingly, “The Glass Coffin”, because of its older clientele and the all-glass construction). Jay, and his friends Larry and Eugene, were seated at a table. I recognized Jay from the picture he had sent me. I gave him a big hug. I showed him around San Francisco. We took the Alcatraz ferry to that once-imprisoned island. We had a great time.

San Diego, July 1999

Jay and I met up in San Diego for Gay Pride. I stayed at one of the AOL chat room member’s house. I don’t remember his name, but we sure had a fun evening that first night (you’ll have to fill in the blanks yourself!). During the day of the parade I had one too many drinks (i.e., two), and give Jay a VERY PASSIONATE kiss on the mouth. He was nonplussed, but I was riled up and ready for action. There were all these hot studs marching around in warm weather. And I almost threw myself at a guy wearing a black cowboy outfit. I had to be restrained. In short, I was the male equivalent of a minx. During the final day, we visited Balboa Park. There was a stage chock full of more hot studs dancing to thumping music, punctuated by airplanes ROARING overhead on approach to the airport. It was sensory overload — and I loved every minute of it. Jay would later remind me about the kiss; I had forgotten.

TO BE CONTINUED

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