Ten years ago Mosaab had chatted me up online, but it was brief passages over the course of a few days, and I had very little information about him at the time, so we didn’t even stay in touch, particularly as I wasn’t aware of what he looked like, nor did I have have his personal contact information to retain. By complete coincidence I encountered his profile last June and whimsically decided to drop him a line. We started communicating regularly and putting the pieces together, but to his credit, his mind is like a steel trap without the benefit of any documentation. He immediately remembered me and our conversations from almost exactly ten years ago, recognizing my face and name and this web site. To both of our amazement, I was able to find the chat logs in my archives and his memory was SPOT ON. It was excruciating, but fun, to read the logs back and discuss our ensuing lives with each other on the webcam. Not only did we laugh riotously, it almost brought me to tears on how sincere he had been to me and how indifferent I had been to someone who I didn’t think I’d meet in a million years, let alone ten. He was living in Sydney at the time, and I was living in New York. Now he’s only a few hundred miles away in Los Angeles (where I was born), so when he was up here in the Bay Area visiting his family last weekend he made sure we had some quality time together, surprising me of his quick stopover only a few hours before he serendipitously arrived. So we finally got to meet face to face (a longer wait for him inasmuch as he had known of me for far longer). Strangely enough, we also calculated that we had been in New York City at the same time when he was just a baby and I was a little kid in late 1979. That was the only time he has ever been to New York (he was born in London). He didn’t even realize that I had lived there as as a child. There are more personal details to the stories we’ve shared since we started comparing notes, but suffice to say that it was overwhelmingly sweet how it all happened, and against all odds, particularly because he had no idea I had even moved back to California until we started really communicating again.
I brought the dogs, who were exhausted, but I made sure that they had plenty of food and water. There were 47 bears who met and most of whom car pooled from the Safeway on Market Street in San Francisco. Some of us went to the San Rafael area afterwards for root beer floats at A&W.
Some of these pictures are mine and some are courtesy of the group album on Facebook.
Thanks for coming out of the closet on my birthday, Anderson. Now it’s less of a big deal that I saw you and your boyfriend at Chat & Chew in Greenwich Village a few years ago when I was visiting my adoptive second home NYC (where, of course I lived during my 20′s and 30′s).
After some good dialogue with the webmaster at Bearwww, I’m happy to report that he has come to see my side of the story and I will document the great ideas that we have been sharing with each other about how everyone can be happy and he continue (hopefully with my help) to improve the community even in parts of the world where men still feel like they have to remain closeted.
I highly recommend that all of those fellow disenfranchised men who thought bear411 was the only site where they could meet men of our ilk, consider just using the bearwww to increase the critical mass there, which is far more rational and just as potentially useful as bear411 is to meeting men locally and transnationally.
Understimulated with my usual Safeway and Lucky choices for groceries, I decided to splurge a bit and do some really good organic hunting for food (the ketchup remains to be tried for edibility). I didn’t even bother looking through the peanut butters. There are just some things that I think are worthless without corn syrup, sorry!
The moment I walked in, I struck gold (not grocery-wise)! What before my eyes did appear? A woofy fully-bearded man in a kilt — but it gets better! He was an EMPLOYEE. This is Castro Valley, a relatively conservative suburb near a working class suburb that I actually live in, although it’s relatively progressive compared to many parts of the world and the country. Then I started observing that some of the other employees were bearded and handsome and seemed to love working there, and I know one of them did a double take when he saw me. He was a ruggedly handsome, silver-haired foxy cub type and I felt coy when he seemed to followed me down some aisles with the excuse to sort some product, which required that he step away from his register. He was adorning shorts and spandex sleeves (which are pretty sexy). I had never seen attire like that before, but I suspect they were to keep his arms warm while still being able to wear a short-sleeved shirt to mitigate the draft as the registers are right by the automatic doors. It does get brisk in the evenings in California.
We made idle chit-chat and hopefully he noticed I waited in a longer line just to have him be my cashier. Among other things I said, “it looks like it’s fun to work here.” With all the creatively-pierced guys working there, and the metrosexual and gay guys who come in for their macrobiotic food, I can only imagine that it’s a hospitable place for flirtation, even if just an oasis outside of the Mecca of San Francisco across the bay.
So on a daily basis since I first got online at the very beginning of what we now know as the internet and came out, men have contacted me without a face, even though it’s almost impossible not to have a digital image of yourself these days. I usually tear them a new one and go ballistic, and have been criticized for it, but my logic is: I’m never going to meet these people who are that closeted anyway for innumerable reasons, nor is there any chance I’d run into them at any gay venue where they’d have to show their face without adorning a bag over it, and they were de facto rude to me first, so I have nothing to lose by trying to teach them a lesson that their neglectful parents didn’t teach them about common courtesy.
Once in a great while, one of them will understand my humor and come around to realize that they are completely rude and should atone for their contacting me under those shady circumstances, but I won’t hold my breath for anyone who took the time to post a faceless profile and seek me out.
A few days ago I was asked for my email address so that one of these headless torsos could send me his picture. I had started off with my usual, “if your face is too fucking ugly to post and you’re too dumb to even post a private picture that you choose to unlock for me, you are not worth it,” but he was insistent that he could email his face to me (behind his wife’s back, no doubt).
So I feigned acquiescence by providing one of the creative addresses I come up with for these people and for my own amusement, assuming that they would get my point. This time I said:
“Sure! Go ahead and send them to email@example.com”
Would you believe he wrote back “sent”?