We once again whiled away the time before heading out to pick up my other host and partake of happy hour at a gay bar located, by Phoenix standards, near his office. The drinking establishment opens onto a long narrow space the bar running along one side. In the back there is a more open area with high tables surrounded by stools. There is also an outdoor area, more thinly populated that usual due to the rain, wind and cold. We quickly copped a table and placed our orders with the dimple faced, rather cute, although refreshingly not self consciously so, waiter. His tweed driving cap served to accentuate his youthful adorable quotient. The deep v of his sweatshirt revealed a thin but taut and tanned chest. My host ran into someone he knew from Scruff, a gay networking phone app. He was there with a friend of his visiting from...Chicago. As I've stated in other posts I often meet people either from, of with a connection to, Chicago when I travel.
As it was 7:00 on a Friday night we had to wait 20 minutes at the restaurant we chose for dinner, partly due to the outdoor seating area being closed on account of the climactic conditions. The rain was once again upon us, heavy and wind driven.
I sometimes enjoy observing people in situations where they are engaged in a particular activity for an extended period of time. I observe the straight boys greeting each other with fist bumps and spotting each other while working out at the gym. Mentally, sometimes almost physically, circling one another to determine who is the alpha dog. Or men in a store unsure of what they can purchase that will keep their wife's ire at bay. I create in my mind various scenarios suggested by the actions of the people surrounding me. At dinner that night across from us sat a party of 4. A younger man, extremely handsome, black baseball cap on his head, his tight gray tee shirt nicely displaying his large muscular physique, his thick arms heavily tattooed. Beside him a woman of the same age. Tiny, almost wizened, her hair caught up on top of her head in a severe tight bun. Her hands were constantly on the bodybuilder's shoulders arms or neck, almost as if protecting her territory. They both wore what appeared to be wedding rings. Across from them sat 2 older men. They appeared to be a gay couple. Who were they? What was their relationship to the 2 young people? The younger man seemed to be quite at ease with them, often flashing a disarmingly cute smile. The girl looked uncomfortable and out of her element. Were they the uncle along with his partner of the young man? Was the girl uncomfortable with gay men, hence her constant pawing of the large boy? Was this an initial meeting with these men, perhaps the boys relatives, with all the anxiety which can sometimes accompany those first encounters? Sometimes I wish I had the answers to these questions, other times it is more fun to just make stuff up.
Running through a cold, heavy rain, to the car we returned to the house and determined that, despite a hearty dinner we had been overserved. We retired early and passed a peaceful night, if you discount the massive hailstorm that passed over at 2:00 in the morning.