Do I Know You?
Dear Richard and John,
Thank you so much for sending me the invitation to your Impending Grand Nuptials. I’m very honored and touched to be included as part of your Great Day. And I’m certainly impressed by all the grandeur and the expense of the Big Occasion you are mounting. (The invitation alone could become a museum piece—Heavy-weight paper! Embossed borders! Gilded edges! Translucent Insert!) You must be planning an Elaborate Affair for Hundreds—a four o’clock wedding ceremony on the beach followed by dinner and dancing in town. I’m already dazzled and excited! And I just love that “Festive Attire Requested” bit. No black tie necessary! No suits and neckties that no longer fit me because time and gravity have taken their toll!
But I must confess right up front that I can’t exactly place the moment—or place—where we met and bonded enough that you would be so generous to include me in your Special Celebration of Commitment to One Another. Are you the Rich who works out at my gym or Rick-the-personal trainer who gave me his cellphone number a few weeks ago? There is a Rick-with-a-goatee who lives in the apartment two floors above mine. Is that you? Or are you the Richard who works on the floor beneath me? You’re not the Dick with the huge cock and the sling on East Fifty-third Street, are you? Or Richard the therapist that I met at the Townhouse about two years ago (and who had that fabulous loft)? I’m certain you’re not the Ricky I hired as a hustler last fall—he would need a lot of work before he could land into such nuptial bliss as what you are up to—I mean, even those Queer Eye boys would be hard pressed to convince him to dry out and sober up enough to say, “I Do,” but, then again, he was a beautiful piece of work, with a dick that could get as hard as a good dick can get... And a rich man could certainly entice him into sticking around for the Next Big Thing he could try... Is that you? Are you that Dick? That Ricky? That Richard?
I know there was a friend, Rick, from my ACT UP days, but he is long gone from this planet and that can’t be you. And then there was another Richard who was on my phone tree list—that’s not you, is it, after all these years? Or are you that older Richard, the Richard I met at the Man’s Country baths back in the late seventies? My God, that would make us both, what?—well, almost ancient and shriveled-up and certainly almost-off the marriage-market list!
So it must be John whom I know—Is this John from the Black Party in 1995? (The guy in chaps I gave such a long, delicious blow job to in the balcony?) Or the Jon who was the volunteer at the March on Washington in 1993? (We shared a bagel together while waiting to head down to the Mall). You’re not the JJ from the Gay Pride Parade in Manhattan back in, well, 1986, are you? (Jonathan James Something-Or-Another, as I recall... the guy who was an ex-boyfriend of my ex-boyfriend—the one who was in the hospital at the time and didn’t live much longer that summer?) You’re not Johnny, the chorus boy, whom I dated briefly when I was just out of college, are you? Or are you the Jonathan I had the three-way with back in the early nineties? You’re not the John who was married to Sharon-Lee, are you?—the guy who swore he was going to get a divorce from his wife and wanted me to fuck him a second (and third) time the night we hooked up. You can’t be John from Hewlett Packard—that really well built dude who showed up at my apartment to fix more than just my printer—he told me he was really straight, but didn’t mind having sex with a guy and so he did—have sex with a guy—me—and more than once, too, as I recall. This isn’t you, is it?
So maybe it is Richard I know after all. Are you the Richard on Perry Street with the beautiful nine-inch cock I greedily devoured one night in 2002? The one with the massage table? Or are you the Dick I had a blind date with (about 4,000 blind dates ago)—the guy I met at Starbucks on Eighth Avenue on April 16, 1999 (and who, by the way, looked nothing like the photo he e-mailed me in advance). Are you the Richie from the summer house in 1985 I fooled around with when our boyfriends weren’t around? Or the one on Fourteenth Street in 1991 with a gold Labrador and who liked to do watersports in his bathtub? You can’t be Richard-the-Republican I slept with at the Warwick—I mean, he would have had to gone through a lot of therapy to come out of the closet, you know—but, then again, that was something like fifteen years ago, so, well, it could be you? Are you that fucked up Dick?
Come to think of it, there was the John I shared a heart-pounding handjob with during a van ride from the Miami airport to Key West in 1983 (when that near-monsoon canceled our flight and we were driven south in the blinding rainstorm courtesy of the airline). Or did I meet you on the rooftop of Kevin’s apartment building on the West Side during his Fourth of July party back in—what—1979? The John with the big blue eyes who was a really great kisser? I hope you’re not the John I threw up on during the boat ride around Manhattan when my boss was retiring in 1987. (Who knew gin and tonics could be so deadly on an empty stomach and a swaying vessel? But then you were so sweet—we went back to your place and showered and fooled around for like, well, hours and hours and hours and hours.) Is this you again, after all these years?
Whomever you are, how ever I know you, I am so glad you have each found your Significant Other and I am thankful that whatever past I shared with either (or both) of you did not make a strong enough impact for you to abandon your quest to find your True Soul Mate For All Eternity and thus, you found Each Other. I am so looking forward to being present at your Special Recognition of Commitment Between Two Gay Men and listening to you exchange your Vows of Companionship—especially, after all the time and memories that have passed between us (unless you’re the Richard from the chat room I met last week—then we simply have to smile and nod and keep our little secret, huh?—consider it one of those things that bachelors do before they get hitched).
So, Yes, absolutely, I’ve enclosed my RSVP card (prestamped by you, no less, how truly generous). And of course, I’ll be sending a thoughtful gift along before the Big Date happens—a quick Google search already shows that you are registered at Bloomies, Tiffany’s, and Crate & Barrel! But my big, burning Question of the Day—the one I am saving up to ask when we meet again—is not really How did We meet? but How did You find each other?—How did The Two of You meet? How did it happen? Where did it happen? Details, details, details, dearies—I want to know all the facts. (Because, God knows, I’ve been trying to meet someone just like you for decades! I have been a Husband Hunter from my Gay Day One!)
I’ll also be bringing lots of Kleenex with me to the Big Event, expecting to sob my eyes and heart out because of your fortunate happiness and new marital ecstasy. I’ll share my tissues with any one who needs one, you know, and I’ll have a few unused condoms in my wallet, too, just in case there is someone who might be interested in seeing what happens. You never know who you might meet next—he could be Mr. Right, after all. Then again, even if he’s not—even if he is just Mr. Right Now, I’m not too old yet to overlook a new adventure—and you never know what else you might find along the way... As I always say (and probably said to you), it’s good to keep an open mind and be ready for the possibility to change.
All my best and see you soon,
(aka James, Jameson, Jamey, Jim, JC, or just plain J!)
Jameson Currier is the author of six novels and four collections of short fiction. This fall Chelsea Station Editions will publish his memoir, Until My Heart Stops.