THE KILLOUGH CHRONICLES

by James Killough

Everyone I’ve told this story to says I should blog it, and when everyone says you should do something you should consider doing it, unless you’re all very drunk in a karaoke bar and you have a voice like mine, in which case you should resist.  This story does make me look like a bit of a fool, but I don’t mind that from time to time: provided everyone has a laugh, it’s good to be the clown.

This model for the log-in page of Manhunt, Brian, used to work out at my gym in NYC.

People have also been telling me to date someone other than my current romantic interest, anybody other than my current romantic interest; not only does he live on the other side of the country, his behavior can most diplomatically be described as “erratic.”  As I’ve stated before, nobody should tell you whom to love, but at the same time you shouldn’t be deaf to nearly unanimous consensus, especially if you are a physically or mentally battered significant other.

I'm just going to post a mix of hunnies.

The good thing about this situation for a dry-drunk, occasional-binging love addict like me is that as long as my heart is somewhere else, it’s not going to be vested in whomever else I have in front of me, in real life or online.  This means I’m not running around town blindly playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey with my affections, and that near indifference to the person I’m dating, who I’m only seeing to make my friends happy, works in my favor.  “Treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen,” is what Rain Li says.  Amen.

One of my favorite things to do—and I know I’m not the only one—is to prop myself up in bed at night, stream a show or a film, and have a couple of the online dating sites purring away noncommittally in the background.  I do this not for the legendary bountiful gay anonymous sex; I don’t go in for the random hook up any more.  That was for my mid-thirties to around forty, when I was not only a love addict, I was a sex addict, too, which made for a crunchy pathology.  It’s more like I’m casting my line to an ever-thinning lake—thinning because even in a place like LA there is a limited gay populous and guys get used to you, and because of my extreme old age in the view of most younger bucks.

My intentions are stated quite clearly in one of my profiles, “We will need to meet for coffee or a beer first.  There will be no showing up at the door and going at it like nameless dogs.”  However, it also says, in all caps, that I prefer YOUNGER men, but that doesn’t deter little old Mexican gnomes my age from hitting me up.  Like blogs, people don’t actually read the text of lengthy, rule-laden profiles, which is one of the reasons PFC is so heavy on the sexy images.

One simple telltale sign that a fella hasn’t read my profile is when he asks my name.  This is because I am one of the few people who signs his profile with his real name.  If I’m blogging about this right here, right now, you can be sure I don’t give a tinker’s damn who knows I’m on Manhunt.net.

My MH Christmas profile pic. A bare chest is as far as I'll go with nudity in a profile.

The ones who do tend to address me by my name because they have read the whole profile are non-Latino minorities, meaning Asians and blacks—Latinos just seem to look at one picture and jump right in by unlocking their x-rated private pictures and sending an accompanying unsubtle email like, “Fuck me, papi.”

Like me, Asians and blacks must have to read an entire profile before contacting a person.  This is because Homolandia is a lot like South Africa in the 80s before the end of apartheid, except I doubt our segregation is ever going to end.  I have to scan a youngun’s text carefully to see if he allows guys over forty, which fifty percent of the time he won’t.  A black or an Asian has to check if a white guy has a whites-and-Latinos-only policy; somewhat infrequently, Latinos will also be left out of the mix.

Mr. Manhunt Costa Rica. Why you don't exclude Latinos.

The story everyone has told me to blog about starts in the middle.  The other day I cycled over to meet a hunny from Manhunt I’ve always been mildly curious about; he lives and works in Washington, D.C., which is why the curiosity is so mild.  He turned out to be taller than his profile stated, and not what I imagined he would look like from his pictures, but that’s often the case.  Although he was handsome and ostensibly my type—you couldn’t tell from his mannerisms he was gay—there was no sexual chemistry on either end, so we just splashed around his hotel pool for a bit before I wandered off to the gym, most likely never to see him again.

I’ll call him Keith because that’s what his real name looks like if you glance at it on the page, not if you hear it; there’s a similar arrangement of letters at the end.  He works within the political arena in the Capital, for a liberal watchdog group.

When we got to talking about blogging, which has almost surpassed filmmaking as something that makes my conversation take on a passionate, Roman-gesticulating tone, he said, “You sort of have an Andrew Sullivan thing going on.  He’s much smaller of course.”

Spillane is turning in his grave.

To my credit, I behaved like an adult and didn’t pee in the pool so Keith could wallow in it.  I did clarify a few points about Sullivan, which oddly many Gheys don’t seem to be aware of: a) that he’s a wishy-washy conservative; b) that he’s a devout practicing Catholic; c) that he’s an HIV-positive advocate of barebacking; d) on and on before my breath runs out and/or I become pedantic.  After making the requisite “eww” expression, Keith said, “Gay men in Washington kinda suck up to him.  I see him around on his bike.  He doesn’t seem to be going anywhere in particular, he just floats around like Mary Poppins.”

Keith, thank you so much for adding such an apropos mental image.  I now see Sullivan as a bearded flying nun on a Schwinn.

We started talking about online dating, which is normal when the sparks aren’t exactly flying between the two of you and there needs to be some common topic of interest.  In fact, when the subject turns to online dating on your first date, it’s a sure sign things aren’t going much further than a quickie, at best.  That’s when I told him about what happened to me recently.

Once upon a time about three weeks ago, some steroid musclehead from my gym hit me up on Manhunt, which is extremely unusual because steroid guys almost invariably stick to their own.  They don’t do that to themselves, risking heart and liver failure, because they like guys with natural bodies.  The guy who hit me up is particularly gnarly, around my age with a smashed-in boxer’s face only a mother could love, although on close inspection it does have a certain rough-trade appeal.  My first impression is he’s a former military guy who now works in security in Hollywood.

I am likewise emphatically not into steroid bodies myself, not least because it is very difficult to top someone that muscular.  It is one of those amusing ironies that straight men are considered the more manly when all they have to tackle in bed is a wisp of a woman, whereas I’ve got to pin down and satisfy some grunting, two-hundred-sixty-pound meathead with an ass that could crack walnuts, and might just crush mine, and who occasionally punches my chest with a 2000-PSI blow for no good reason other than my chest seems to invite punching, or maybe he saw guys do that in some porn film, or (more likely in LA and at Golds Gym Hollywood in particular) that’s something he does when he’s in a porn film.

Definitely more my type.

There are so many of these pneumatic old muscle queens at Golds that it’s hard to tell one from the other, but this guy was recognizable to me online because of a distinctive tattoo running from his shoulder to his wrist on his left arm.  When he hit me up on Manhunt, I confirmed that we went to the same gym, to which he replied, “Yeah, stud!  I’ve seen you too!  And you’re totally fuckin’ sexy.”  I wrote back and thanked him, then brushed him off with a “say hey next time at the gym.”

So I see the guy last weekend, biceps as thick as my thighs, heaving and grunting under the weights, and I’m thinking, No guy is born with a face like that.  He’s a former fighter.  And he’s not looking at me, either.  So I figure, a) he really likes me and I’ve hurt his feelings, b) he’s so masculine and kinda sexy in a worn Tom Hardy-ish way that I might be up for a spin around the mulberry bush if he can resist punching me in the chest, and doesn’t crush my hips.

So I went up to him and said, “Hey.”

“What?”  I was interrupting his curls, apparently.

“Um, sorry, didn’t you, um…?”

“What?”  he growled.  If this guy was gay, he was performing extended straight-acting roleplay.  And doing it very well.

“Didn’t you say hello…once?”

“No.”

“Sorry, I must have you mistaken for someone else.”

“Yeah.”

And he went back to grunting and lifting.  I looked around the weight room.  Everyone had heard, everyone had understood the exchange, I had totally lost my carefully cultivated cool as the lone aloof wolf daddy of Golds Hollywood.  There were smiles and snickers.  Oh well, ho hum.

The minute I got back home, I looked up my Manhunt email records for our exchange.  Lo and behold, his profile was deleted.  What had most likely happened was that someone had stolen his pictures and created a fake profile, for one reason or the other.  Again, for all I know, given the state of his face and his demeanor when we talked, the real guy wasn’t gay at all.

Keith shuddered in the warm pool when he heard that story.  It’s the kind of embarrassing mix-up every Ghey dreads.  “You should blog about that,” he said.  So there you have it.

As a final cautionary tale about steroids, I leave you with this soon-to-be YouTube classic.  This is your mind on narcissism, the real kind.  (Are those Christian air fresheners around his neck?):