I go to Bear Bar Night because for two hours once a month there exists
a gay bar where the lights are up and the music is down and I can chat
comfortably with folks and drink beer. Then, at 9pm, the lights go down
and the music goes up and I go home.
Over time I've met a few people at Bear Bar Night, and I've run into
many folks I know from other places and times. Attending Bear Bar Night
is part of the campaign I've been on for about a year now to get and and
about more in the gay community. The regular attendance at two-stepping
nights is part of this campaign.
On Friday I ran into an acquaintance of mine I'll call K. I'll call
him K because we're going through a period when all gay men are named
Kevin. There was once a period when all gay men were named David, but
the years move along and the trends move with them. There's a generation
of gay men coming up behind all the Kevins who are all named Ryan, but
it's the Kevins I've been meeting. So K is the gay-man variable of late.
I've never had much serious interaction with K, but when I happened to run
into him in San Francisco when I was visiting there last month he greeted
me like an old buddy and introduced me to his San Francisco-resident
boyfriend D. On Friday K was at Trikkx with D, and D greeted me like
an old buddy. The affections associated with context are strong.
There is a Bear Bar Night tradition that after Trikkx you head over to
the Minneapolis Eagle. I have never joined this particular migration,
but on Friday at Trikkx enough people asked me whether they'd see me there
that I thought it would be fun. K was particularly insistent on this point,
which was surprising.
The Eagle was fun, with a lot of laughter and silliness. At one point
I was talking with D and he turned to K and said, "He's fun. He's the
most fun of anybody you've introduced me to here so far." (Yes, he
really said that. He'd had bit to drink, but he really said that.) Then he
said, "Invite him to Sunday's brunch." What could K say to that? So he
invited me to brunch. I was wary of the sincerity of an invitation issued
under the circumstances. I could picture somebody waking up sober in the
morning with a "what have I done" sense of remorse over such a thing. But
K and D convinced me absolutely that the invitation was sincere and they would
be delighted to see me there and gave me contact information and an address.
The address was a bit suburban. Let's just say that I've lived in the Twin
Cities for 15 years and the only time I've ever been near K's townhouse was
when I've headed up to march in the Halloween Parade in Anoka. But I like
this sort of adventure, of heading to a social event in a new location in
a private home. Who knows who I'll meet and what it will be like? It's
my role, in such a setting, to be pleasant and attentive and entertaining.
Sometimes I'm really up for that sort of thing.
I woke up early and ambitious on Sunday morning, so I made two batches of
scones: flaky buttermilk scones, and cookie-like cream scones made with eggs.
D's claim that he is a great omelet chef turned out to be a true one. There
were eight men at the brunch, and two of the guests were acquaintances of mine.
It was a pleasant event, and I talked at great length with D about his work
and life in San Francisco (where I have spent a lot of time and about which
I can speak with experience). K is quite likely going to be moving to San
Francisco in time, to join D there; this long distance relationship has grown
About the time I was leaving, as I was putting on my shoes by the door, the
conversation turned to how drunk D had been on Friday night, and the various
wildness and silliness at the Eagle that had resulted from this. I pointed
out that he had been so drunk that he had invited me, whom he barely knew, to
brunch at a house that wasn't actually his. "And see how well that turned
out!" he said. K then came to the door and kissed me.
So score one for me, I think. I met a few people, got to know some acquaintances
a little better, saw a bit of townhouse life in the suburbs, and I seem to have
made a decent impression. Not all of the skirmishes in my get-out-and-about
campaign have been unqualified successes, but sometimes it seems as though I
really am making new connections.
I of course sent a thank-you note, on a 1922 German postcard of a Passion
Play, a closeup of the most beautiful bear-icon Jesus I've ever seen. If you
invite me over, you get a souvenir!