Justin's Life...

~ January 2000 ~

January 7, 2000 - Friday
5:12PM Eastern Standard Time

New Years went off without incidence. The electricity stayed on, the phone still worked, even the computers kept going. A week later and I've only found one very minor Y2K bug, which related to this site's bulletin board. It really amazing how much didn't happen. We were all prepared for the worst, yet nothing happened. I'm not complaining though; I'm glad to still be alive and well.

Now I'm in New York with Larry and Andrew at the new apartment. In case I haven't explained it before, or haven't explained it coherently enough in one place, Larry opened a coffee/ice cream store in Manhattan. Along with that, came the New York apartment, which I'd never seen until Wednesday night, but now I'm on the 25th floor, sitting at the kitchen/living room separator, on a bar stool type chair, typing this. It's a small one bedroom, but it's nice and new. The balcony overlooks the street below (duh!) and the Empire State Building is just a bit across the way with the Chrysler building visible in the not too far distance.

Yesterday, Andrew and I went to Times Square to see the sights while Larry worked at the store, and last night, the three of us ate genuine New York pizza at John's Pizza in the village.

Today, the three of us toured Grand Central Station before Larry headed back to the store and Andrew and I headed here. Tonight we're going to see some Dame Edna show on Broadway, which Larry arranged, and that's about all to report on this end.


January 8, 2000 - Saturday
10:52AM Eastern Standard Time

The Dame Edna show was amazingly better than I'd anticipated. Beforehand, I was wondering what the heck a virtually unknown "woman" could do for two hours in a Broadway show, but as we were leaving the theatre, everyone was talking about how great it was. In many ways, she was like a live comedienne with a superb ability to ad lib. I mean, I'm sure she had her "outline" of what to do for the night, but virtually everything was based on audience participation; from Fran, the lady who left her kids home with her mom and the housekeeper who spoke no English, to Charles, whose mom got an onstage phone call in Louisiana, to MaryAnn and Michael, who got on stage and ate pasta while the audience watched. It was all personalized just for them in a remarkable way.

Afterwards, Larry, Andrew, and I went to the Don Giovanni Ristorante to have some awesome pasta, even for a Kentucky boy who prefers his food McDonald's style, and then we caught a cab back to the apartment to go to sleep sometime after midnight .

11:16AM Eastern Standard Time

This morning, thinking about the trip, and Larry's statement yesterday that he'd had the best trip back here ever because I was here, I realized that while I'm not doing exactly what I'd want to be doing during the day (like working... I'm a closet workaholic (if it's work I like to do)), Larry and I have had a chance to be closer here because the dogs, kids, television, computers, etc. aren't fighting for attention. And while I don't see Larry in the morning, like I do in L.A. (as he leaves here before I wake), the time I do see him after work is more focused and in a larger continuous block. The dogs don't need to be fed or watered, Katie doesn't need to be entertained, and Spencer doesn't need diaper changing. That side has its rewards, too, but it's really nice not to have to "share" Larry with all those other pullings for a change.


January 12, 2000 - Wednesday

Sunday afternoon, we flew back to L.A. and put Andrew on a plane back to Washington State without ever leaving the L.A. airport. As he hugged Larry and I goodbye, he started to cry, and I told him that it was ok, in some sort of I-don't-know-what-to-say-but-that-should-be-comforting response. On our way home, Larry commented about how lonely Andrew is, and I responded that he always seems to be doing something with someone (so how could he be lonely?).

Yet thinking about it further, I realized that Larry is right. I get lonely and think it's because I have no one with whom to do anything, but Andrew gets lonely and has ample supply of people to do things with. The only real difference is that the people occupy your thoughts when they're around, so the loneliness is pushed out of the picture... at least temporarily.

But it's only day three of my "no more school" career, and I'm finding myself strangely drawn back to campus. This morning, as I was driving to the bank (which is downtown and close to USC), I had a strange inclining to keep on driving, just to go around the campus Wendy's or something, just to see the school again. Yet I did not.

The programmer is working on his own for the time being, and I'm left with practically nothing to do. I could do this or that, stuff like taxes, yet there's not much reward in inputting tons of data into Quicken. I crave the interaction, even as much as I hated it when I was there. And adding to those wanton feelings are ones of missing David.

Last night I was laying in the bed watching TV when I looked over at Larry's computer. It was the AOL Profile for David's screen name. I don't know why he was looking at it. I asked if he'd gotten mail from him, but he hadn't. Yet that set off the thoughts of missing David, and now I find myself wanting to write a "Hi" letter.

Actually, the David thoughts have been mysteriously, but unmistakably, in the air lately, well before last night. I don't regret much, but the way the situation with David played out is one of my regrets. I wish I could somehow fix it and that we could be parts of one another's lives once again.

Yet saying that, I have to say that none of my feelings for David discount my feelings for Larry. It's not an either or situation. I don't know why people force themselves into seeing things like that. Obviously, Larry misses David as well if he's looking at his screen name's profile.

So, these past couple of days have been both stir-crazy and a tad on the lonely side. I've tried not to focus on it much, but instead have done piddly work, keeping busy. I really don't know how not having a job-job will play out. As always, time will tell.


January 15, 2000 - Saturday

Yesterday, Larry wrote Dan to tell him that we were coming to La Jolla for the weekend, and last night as we were nearing the house, he called Dan's cell phone to say we'd arrived. Dan responded that he'd be here in fifteen minutes, and around that time later, he arrived.

After I let him in the gate, he gave me a hug then the two of us walked into the house were he gave Larry a peck on the lips. He said hi to the kids and we proceeded to talk for a few minutes about his stock options at his employer, about e-mail I'd exchanged with a guy I met with him the last time we were down this way, and about how Dan was extremely coy in playing the flirting cat and mouse game... to which Larry added that "someone" (that would be me) had a crush on Dan.

An Aside: Larry and I've seen Dan for lunch or dinner several times since our first meeting back in May... but it doesn't look like I've written about seeing him since this past summer. Most recently, we met him and three of his friends last month at a bar for afternoon drinks. It was from this meeting that I got the e-mail to which I was referring in the conversation earlier.

Anyway, before we headed via foot to the restaurant on the corner, Larry said something about Dan staying over for the night, and Dan responded that he had to get up early to go running.

Actually, I was hoping he'd spend the night, too, but I knew it wasn't going to happen, so I kept quiet in that regard. I mean, Dan is adorably cute, a sweet guy, and covered in blonde fur, which places me under a hypnotic spell, but he's got a pretty think emotional barrier wall. If memory serves, he only stayed over the one time I wrote about it, and if memory fails, he stayed over one other time as well. I think that those two time(s) were about all he could handle in the emotional connection department.

He's friendly, and I don't think I've ever heard him say a bad thing about anyone, but he keeps his distance. He's one of those guys that has a huge collection of friends, but no best friend and no boyfriend. And to that end, the cerebral part of me would really just like to hug on him all night and let him know that someone cares about his well-being.

Yet I'd be lying if I denied the more carnal pleasures of a sleepover as well, but the cerebral part is definitely a factor as well. If there's no emotional connection, cute or not, I don't want to hug on you or spend the night next to you. I'll look at you naked, but unless you've got a worthwhile person behind the body, I don't want to touch you. Dan is someone that I want to touch.

So, anyway, Dan went home at around 11:30PM, with no more than a grab of his hairy butt. It was a nice grab, and a nice butt, but I would have liked to have spent the night hugging on him. Yet it just didn't happen.


For lunch today, Larry and I went to the gas lamp district to eat at T.G.I.Friday's. As we were driving through the downtown streets, I noticed a bright red headed guy walking with his friends and Larry saw him as well. After lunch, as Larry and I were walking along the street back to the van, we passed another red head who was standing against the storefront of the San Diego Hardware Store, and as I tend to do in such situations, I casually (and covertly) looked at the red headed guy standing, in sunglasses, on the sidewalk before continuing on our way.

Just out of ear shot, though, Larry said that the red headed guy was a hooker. I looked back and wondered how Larry could determine such a thing, as he seemed to be just a guy standing on the sidewalk to me. Yet, for some things Larry has a keen eye: I've got gaydar (of which he has none), and he's got toupeedar and hookerdar (of which I have none).

So, anyway, we continued walking down the street, when Larry asked if he should get his pager number. The thought intrigued me, but I said no. I mean, it would strictly be a look-but-don't-touch situation, but I didn't really think the guy was a hooker/hustler, nor did I think anything would come of it.

So we cross the street, arrived back at the van, and Larry again says something about the guy who's now directly across the street. I look, I had looked, and the adult bookstore was right next to the hardware store: If he wasn't a hooker, he sure seemed like he might be. Why would anyone be standing in the middle of the block, in front of a hardware store, and wearing sunglasses on a not-overly-bright day? What was there to lose? I could definitely stand to see him dance around naked, and I could lust over the sight of his bright orange pubic hair, and I would no doubt shower multiple times afterwards, in some guilt-inspired paranoia, but really, what would be the problem?

With that in mind, curiousity got this cat. I don't remember how I said it, but I indicated that it would be "ok" if Larry got his number. Larry crossed the street and proceeded to play his cat and mouse game of getting the guy's phone number while I watched from afar. Larry looked at this window display, that window display, all the while the red head was standing in place. Three minutes or so later, I hadn't a clue if Larry'd talked to him or not. The guy had looked in Larry's direction a couple of times, and I doubt this is the sort of thing you'd do right out in the open, but when Larry returned to the car, he said he just couldn't tell and therefore hadn't talked to him. "Oh well," I said, and that was that.

Tonight, I went to the grocery store and saw a no-doubt-straight red headed guy in sweatpants, who was very lust inspiring. As I strolled past him with my cart, I glanced his way and then continued shopping, wondering how in the world I could create something like areyoumyredhead.com and have it mesh with my existing life. Explaining that you're married, yet still have a place for the right red headed knight is quite a task. Larry understands it. Indeed, when I got back from the grocery store and told him that I was "stalking" a red head there, he showed me his AOL screen whereby he'd started talking to a red headed San Diegan. He believes there's a place for the right guy as well, but this world is hung up on storybook romances even though none of us have one. Life is not a storybook.

Anyway, I've been writing for over two hours straight now and am ready to do something else. I had wanted to talk more about the meshing of finding that red head with being married with children, but I think I at least made my point. How do you happen upon the right person without making a huge mockery of the process? How does a red headed guy feel like he's more than just a red head when it seems such a vain qualification? No one thinks twice if you say that you only like white guys or younger guys, but if you say you prefer red heads, it's like you said you only like guys with one testicle.

One more thing: Here's a picture of Dan with Spencer from this past September.

Photo Of Dan
Click To Enlarge

It still doesn't do him justice, but it's a lot better than the one I found on his web site.


January 19, 2000 - Wednesday

Sunday night, Larry continued his online conversation with that red headed San Diegan (whose hair was really more of an auburn), and by the time Larry had signed off, we had agreed to meet said red head at the restaurant where he works to have lunch on Monday. At that lunch, he was friendly, playful, and said it was really nice for us to come by and see him. Indeed, he seemed like a pleasant guy, a possible new friend in San Diego, so Larry told him we'd be back in town in a few weeks. He responded twice that he'd be home after 3PM.

So, long story short, he came over for dinner Monday night and it was a complete disaster. It was a total Jekyl and Hyde: The guy in the restaurant was fun-loving, smiling, and seemingly carefree. The guy Monday night was defensive, quiet, and distanced. When he wasn't looking, Larry mouthed, "What happened to his personality?" and when he went outside to smoke a cigarette, I explained that it was like he was intentionally trying to win the upper hand through making the other person uncomfortable. At 9:10PM (I remember, because I looked.), I asked him if he was ready to go home. He said in a bit, but by 10PM he was gone.

There were a few moments of salvation at the end, when I explained to him that it was awkward, but there wasn't enough there to give any further attempts at friendship. At least on the positive side, Larry said he wouldn't trade me, no way no how, and he both acted like, and said, that he was lucky to have me. I've said it, and we've realized it, before, but not until you see the dysfunction of others, do you really appreciate what you've got.


January 26, 2000 - Wednesday

I didn't e-mail that red headed San Diegan after that night, not even to say that it was nice but just wasn't going to work out... and I sort of feel like a heel for disappearing without explanation. I mean, typically, I would have gone on endlessly about why it wasn't going to work out, but I decided a change of pace would be easier and less stressful on both parties. Yet I did the thing I always hate: simply stop communication.

Sure, I can justify to myself that there never really was any communication established, but it still doesn't make me feel good about the matter. I mean, I think it was obvious that it didn't go well... but still... I didn't, and don't, like just disappearing without explanation.


Nothing terribly exciting has happened lately.

Last week, I had a bout with the flu and this week has been pretty low key as well. I got my teeth cleaned on Monday, got my eyes examined on Tuesday, and today I got a new pair of prescription sunglasses. Mainly I've just been working in my office... exciting, I know.

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© 2000 Justin Clouse
Justin's Life...Justin's