Last night in Phoenix, I’m going to Roscoe’s, a sports bar. The audience is a bit young (OK so a positive), guys watching the game. I quickly spot a cute guy at the bar. He looks me up and down and turns back to his friend. Ah .. a challenge, I like that. I immediately sit down next to him.
Ross (you know I started chatting) is out just having a drink. He’s a bartender at the Amsterdam (another bar). 27, beautiful eyes, bit of a Mohawk hair. Couple of guys obviously "know him" from the other bar and one guy does this fly by acting a bit too familiar. Ross deftly deals with a polite but go away message.
Ross engages me in what is now a familiar gay conversation, that everyone knows everyone in Phoenix, too much attitude, it’s all just one big soap opera and in the end, no one really that interesting, he concludes. A cynic at 27. He’s studying to be a RN. I note that’s a good job and that he must like caring for people. He replies, yes it pays well, but he really doesn’t like people, rather to be left alone.
I keep observing him, he’s in a gay bar, he cute, but declares no big desire for human interaction. He’s full of shit. I lean over and call him on it. "Ross, I’m not buying that, no one becomes an RN just for the money, you actually do care about people and you like to give yourself to them, you just don’t want anyone to know it." He leans back to me "you don’t know me well enough to talk to me like that". I’ve struck a nerve. He quickly turns away.
A few minutes later he buys me a drink and introduces me to a small crowd now gathered around him. He’s leaning back on me talking to his friends. The small physical contact a sign of my acceptance. They’re leaving for another bar. Ross stands hugs me warmly, we wish each other well and out into the night he goes.
I end up talking to a bunch of other guys until I leave about 1.30 a.m. The insecurity is worn on their sleeves. They’re all searching for someone who never seems to show up. Scared to reveal their true selves. Allowing the fuel of alcohol to wear them down.