Boyfriend Material Part Dieux
And I bump into Yuri at brunch.
It’s a small dinner that I walk by all the time, but never go inside. No particular reason, it’s just one of those uninspired Greek-owned diners that the city seems to be overpopulated with. But a neighbor tells me that the food is kick-ass, and prices even better. So I check it out.
The first thing I see is Yuri sitting at a corner table, looking at me, smiling with that trademark thousand-watt smile. How to describe him? I met him years ago. He worked at the Crobar in Chicago, perennial hotboy-slash-gogoboy-slash-personality-slash seen around town in a Beemer convertible. Guatemalan, about 5’9, 175, 28”, maybe –2% bodyfat. Part-time model. Okay, so far we’ve established his credentials are almost identical to those of many of the men in my past. But Yuri and I don’t have a past.
Y and I just had a mutual admiration. I was new on the scene, saw him and was stupefied. He was very friendly and flirty. I think for a while he was dating someone, and our conversation was never very involved. Gradually, I started going to the gym more, hitting the steel more hardcore, basically to try to get noticed by guys like him. It worked, but by that time he was single, and had moved to LA. So I buddied up to one of his best friends, and he delivered messages. (Hey: this was the 90s, pre-internet) Any-hoo, we started bumping into each other every few months in different cities, and catching up. (Okay, okay I know it sounds faggy and el circuito but whateva, yo.) By the time I moved back to Chicago, he was one of the Crobar’s regular tighty-whiety-clad hunks that were featured on flyers and in ads.
So we had a lot to catch up on. He was back from the coast. “Did not work out so well,” he told me. That of course meant he didn’t want to go into it. He still looked the same, which meant offdahook. But amazingly, he said the same thing about me. “You look exactly the same. Just bigger, you look great, “ he said twice. “Wow, you look great, “ he added, a few minutes later.
Whoa, that was great to hear. The stress of looking for another job, some other personal issues, certainly takes its toll on one’s self-esteem. But, I guess it shouldn’t. And in retrospect, I realized, ten years ago, a smile and compliment from the Yuris was all the validation I ever needed. Today, it wasn’t so important.
“Thanks yo,” I told him. “So do you.”