Friday, March 27, 2009

How Chris and Rick Met

Let's go back in time, to Saturday, June 13, 1992, when two young men's lives were about to change forever.

Rick, 32, decided to go out that Saturday evening, just for a change of scene. Although he'd always intended to meet someone special every time he went out to the clubs, he didn't that night. Being in the crowd and listening to the dance music were his only goals.

Chris, 23, also decided to go out to the Odyssey that evening, first building up his courage by going to straight bars for a few beers and walking around the block a few times before stepping into the club.

Already the music was pulsating, although it was still early for the club crowd. Rick sat on a stool near the wall, a glass of Coca-Cola in hand, and Chris leaned against a column nearby, a beer in his hand. It was before the bar became really crowded that Rick noticed Chris. Rick thought that Chris was attractive enough but probably not his type. Chris seemed to pay no attention to him, so Rick didn't pay much attention to him either.

Fast forward a number of hours. The bar was very busy now and crowded with lots of attractive men having a good time--drinking, dancing, and carrying on.

As the song changed, the beat even more pumped and loud, a young fellow asked Rick if he wanted to dance. "I'm going out on the dance floor anyway," the fellow said, making his offer even more appealing.

But it was in those few minutes, as he walked out into the dancing crowd with the young fellow, that Rick noticed Chris watching him, moving from the outside of the column to the inside, facing the dance floor. And was that an expression of disgust Rick saw on Chris's face that he was dancing with this other fellow?

Over the next several tunes, Rick and the young fellow did their thing on the dance floor, paying little attention to each other. Finally, needing to make a trip to the washroom, Rick excused himself and left the fellow dancing by himself, losing himself in the crowd.

Returning from the washroom, Rick noticed Chris still standing against the column near the dance floor, and he was drawn to him in a way he'd never been drawn to another young man before. Rick asked Chris if he wanted to dance, and Chris seemed pleased to be asked. He set down his beer on the small bar nearby and followed Rick onto the dance floor.

For the rest of the night, Rick and Chris danced together, stopping only briefly to get a drink or to watch the hot, young men in the shower above the dance floor, stripping off their clothes and getting wet under the water. Rick and Chris talked only a little during the evening; the music was too loud, and they both wanted to dance and let off some steam more than anything.

Just after 2:00 a.m., the music ended, and Rick and Chris decided to go to Hamburger Mary's on Davie for something to eat. It was there they got to know each other better while trying to extend the excitement of the evening. Rick especially liked the way Chris pursed his lips when he was skeptical about something, and they seemed to get along well, their conversation never difficult or uneasy.

Finally, it was very late, and time to go home. As they walked down Davie to the bottom of the hill, Chris gave Rick a copy of his business card, having already penciled his home phone number on the reverse. Rick told Chris he'd call, that he wasn't into phone games, saying he'd call when he wouldn't. Rick also said he didn't want Chris to come over to spend the night; he'd done that before with other men, and he didn't want to get off on the wrong foot with Chris.

At the bottom of the hill, Rick and Chris parted and walked off in opposite directions.

It wasn't until the following morning, when Rick and Chris got together for coffee at Waterfront Centre, that Rick learned Chris had been mugged on his way home after they had said good night. A group of thugs had overcome him, knocking him to the ground, kicking him in the face, and stealing his wallet, which turned up empty several days later in a West End back alley. The left side of Chris's lip was swollen, and several of his front teeth were loose and sore. Rick would always feel guilty about not inviting Chris over to stay the night.

As I write this now, Rick and Chris have been in a committed, monogamous gay couple for nearly seventeen years.

Don't let anyone tell you you'll never meet the man of your dreams at a gay club. Let everyone tell you you'll never find love if you go looking for it or expect it to happen. In matters of the heart, when it's meant to happen, it will.

In the meantime, make sure you're the best you you can be, so you're ready when the right one comes along.

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