Gender Bend Over

I write a lot about straight women coming into the store, but it’s worth mentioning that I get quite a few straight male customers as well.

And they always want me to spank them.

I’m vaguely creeped out by this, but at the same time, I’m thinking I could start a viable business to meet the demand. If anything, all my new paddles would totally pay for themselves.

Name That Jejune

Straight Girl: [slamming bottle on the counter] “I’d like to buy this Fuckwater!”

Me: [blank stare]

Straight Girl: “Ha! I just wanted to say ‘Fuckwater.'”

Me: [blank stare]

Straight Girl: “Ha…”

Me: [blank stare]

Straight Girl: “…”

Me: “$10.81.”

Straight Girl: [quietly pays]

Many moons ago, I worked at an LGBTQ bookshop/café, and any time straight people wandered in, one of my co-workers would silently follow them around until they giggled at something, at which point he would hulk out and chase them from the store. As much as I enjoyed those spectacles, blasé laconism in the face of hetero privilege is proving to be just as effective at producing comedic results, with considerably less effort expended.

I do kind of wonder what she did with the Fuckwater, though. I’d be disappointed but unsurprised if it’s shamefully hidden in the back of a drawer.

Same Old Saturday Night

Went to see a movie show,
Found myself an empty row,
Thought the show was just alright,
Same old Saturday night.

Then I made the usual stop,
Coffee at the coffee shop,
Friendly face nowhere in sight,
Same old Saturday night.

At the end of my freshman year at Texas A&M, I spent some quality time with a guy named Mitch. We met at an affectedly avant-garde coffeehouse where both of us sometimes picked up shifts, and where, when the planets aligned just so, he would grab a mic and croon his favorite Sinatra song to much acclaim. I’ve never been quite sure if we dated or not. I mean, I was extremely infatuated with him, and he was admittedly attracted to me, but he had recently gone through a breakup and wasn’t over his ex. Plus, there was an age difference with which neither one of us was comfortable, and I — not at my sanest — was busy flunking out and moving to Houston, which put the final kibosh on any chance of an actual relationship.

Off-kilter attempts at romance aside, he was also my first sober acquaintance. I don’t remember how it came up, but he once mentioned that he’d realized he had a drinking problem when every story he told began with, “So this one time, I was really drunk…” While this revelation did not immediately force me to review my personal imbibing issues, it did stay tucked in the depths of my pickled brain, bubbling to the surface whenever my own anecdotes started leading with the same disclaimer. I’m sure I drank heavily in front of him at some point or another, but he never called me out on it, and I’ve always been grateful that he set an example of recovery for me, something I could go back and reference when it was time to sober up myself.

I really thought – the papers I bought,
Would help me forget you for a while,
Believe me honey – the funnies weren’t funny,
They didn’t even make me smile.

Mitch and I communicated a few times after I left College Station but quickly fell out of touch, and while I occasionally found myself wondering what he was up to, I could never find any contact information for him. He was one of the first people I looked for when Facebook became a thing, but whatever he was doing, it was decidedly offline.

A few months back, I started noticing a number of social media posts about a website called “True People Search.” Everyone seemed alarmed about the accuracy of the information it contained, which tripped a trigger and made me suddenly think of Mitch. Feeling encouraged, I hopped onto the website, typed in his full name and finally tracked him down.

How I wish you’d lift the phone,
Fun is fun – but not alone,
‘Til you let me hold you tight,
Same old Saturday night.

He died in a car accident 17 years ago, a couple of months after I graduated. According to his obituary, he left behind a domestic partner of three years (a fairly progressive thing to include back then), so hopefully he was happy. I told a friend of mine about this, who immediately asked if he’d been drinking, thereby causing the accident. It’s a valid question. I don’t know the answer. But I knew him as a sober individual, and since the intimate details of his death are not available, that is the way I’ll remember him.

I’m trying not to feel guilty about not finding him sooner, especially since the resources to do so simply didn’t exist at the time. And I’m trying not to put undue energy into wishing I could have introduced him to grown-up, sober, leather me, or maybe even seen if there were any sparks left over from liaisons two decades old. Regardless, I will use the sparks I do have to light a candle for him, and I will thank him for being a positive influence when I didn’t yet know who I was.

Only your face, can help me erase,
That same old Saturday night.

I really think he would’ve liked who I turned out to be.

On The Radio (whoa-oh *cough* oh)

My Mom: “Did you get your flu shot this year?”

Me: “You know, I didn’t. But I never get the flu, so I’m not worried about it.”

Also Me: [immediately dies of the flu]

Fortunately, I reincarnated in time for the latest episode of Facets of Leather, in which we discussed the drama and scandal endemic to national leather events; the leather community’s new social media get-out-of-jail free card (“I was hacked”); and the Great Mockingjay Wardrobe Malfunction of 2016.

We also thought it would be fun to poll our listeners and come up with a list of ways l could embarrass myself onstage at IML 40. If you’ve got ideas on how to make my moment in the spotlight regrettably unforgettable, just shoot us some tweets, and we’ll add them to the agenda.

Now let the music we forgot to get around to last night play!

Also, I’ll be paying in unbaptized babies.

Salesgirl: “May I help you?”

Me: “Yes! I’d like to purchase this item, but I can’t afford it today. So if anyone else asks about it before I come back, I need you to tell them it’s cursed.”

Salesgirl: ” Um… we also offer layaway?”

I don’t think this chick understands how customer service works. I may have to take my business elsewhere.