Just Be Cool
Randy Hunt had snakes.
Randy Hunt wasn’t his real name – it was his name on Gmail. But I only realized it was fake after we slept together a couple of times. He told me his real name, but I forgot it. We usually just called each other “you.” “You” and “You.” I believe this was Shakespeare’s original title for Romeo and Juliet.
After we had sex, he’d tell me about his work, his parents, his snakes. Or, about losing them.
“I was at Pride,” he said. He’d gone to a club on Church Street to show off his 16-foot python. The boys passed around his snake while buying him shooters. It is very hard to tell this story and not make it sound like I’m talking about his penis.
After an hour, Randy drunkenly stumbled down the bar’s steps. “My first clue that something was wrong was when I noticed my shoulders were weirdly… light.” Back at the bar, the muscle queen bartenders were clutching each other. They pointed behind the counter. Amid boxes of empty bottles, there was the python, coiled up like a thick yellow lasso.
Our snake chats were thanks to Craigslist. This was back when I was too poor to have a phone with Grindr on it. I was incapable of Grinding – I could only do some Craiging. I had also just come out of a long-term obsession with this guy, Adam.
Adam was basically my teen dream. He was mysterious, well-dressed, and had a raging coke problem. I’d read his Facebook status updates as if I were interpreting song lyrics. I ached to figure out why he’d posted, “It’s really hot out.” (Was it code? It didn’t feel that hot. Was he actually telling everyone that he was really hot for me?) I guess my frenzy showed because after a few of my more gushy messages, I finally got a genuine, heartfelt response. I don’t remember the other five hundred incredibly pleasant words of his email, but I do remember the line, “Matthew, I’m sorry. I never said that I liked you.”
After Adam, I resolved to be cool. Cool guys were always busy looking fit, feeling bored, and sampling awesome boners. They didn’t worry about something as uncool as having their feelings hurt. (I guessed – I was basing all of this off porn.)
That’s how New Matthew often found himself Craiging after getting very drunk at bars. With enough alcohol to forget that I looked like a rumpled muppet, I’d mash out ads for guys. They were usually short and filthy – the ads, not the men. Well, not always. My main focus was that the guy be near me, as I was very intoxicated. There was a drunkenness countdown: after 20 minutes, drunken Cinderella would go from refreshing herself at the Craigslist ball to collapsing into a snoring pumpkin.
One of these nights, Randy contacted me. His photos were cute – suspiciously so. I was a 30-yearold greybeard who was too embarrassed to send shirtless photos. He was an adorable, dolphin-like twink – you could probably roll marbles down his cum gutters. What was his story?
That first time Randy came over, he brought