He seemed like such a nice guy

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Shortly before I met Charles there was this guy in the store that I wanted to get to know in every possible way. Gray-haired, he's a little older. Few people who've read my notes on my sexuality would ever think of me looking at him with desire. Objectively I'd say he has a mildly attractive exterior. Nothing feminine about him.

I forget what he does for a living at Duke. His avocation is the keyboard (not the piano, a far more obscure instrument). Something he pursued seriously enough to go back to school at twenty and get a postgraduate degree in music. He's given concerts.

His love of music is deeply technical, broad and beautifully celebratory. It was his uncommon enthusiastic expertness that drew me. When he talks about music I quickly get lost. He's thinking both as a performer and theoretician. And he's just so excited.

When things weren't going well with Charles and he'd be in the shop I couldn't help but wonder "What if?"

A few days back business was slow and I was by myself. I thought I'd draw him out. There went that illusion.

He can't stop talking. The more I listened he sounded like someone who spent too much time alone. I know he works with several gay music groups but possibly never sees them when they aren't rehearsing or performing. The most painful moments came when he told me of witty things he'd thought of recently. Childlike delight isn't always appealing.

Then he explained to me that every American and British 20th century composer was gay. Faulty gaydar may have been the first thing I found to dislike in other gay men.

The one straw too many was when he told me which male sex symbol made eyes at him when he was young (I'm more willing to believe in the actor's heterosexuality). I'm used to nice ( - and pedestrian - ) looking young gay men who think they are being cruised when someone is really trying to find the exit.

If we'd gone out together it would've been an only date.

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He seemed like such a nice guy
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