We readily agreed to Joe's suggestion that we attend this event in Washington DC, and proposed driving there from NYC. (I assumed that the car, C’s Prius, rather than the train, would save us time and money. Right on the money. Wrong on the time.)
Aaron arrived at our door by noon, and we scooped up Joe at a downtown street corner. (I silently marveled at how lightly we had each packed, barely satisfying the Prius’ cubic appetite for luggage in the wayback. If not for our laptops, indispensable for hotel-ensconced intraroomular email such as
Aaron: “Is Eddie in there?”
Joe: “I’m hungry and anxious.”
Me: “There are rain-soaked black undies on the bedraggled Astroturf outside our window. I am drawn to them.”,
we could have arrived in DC carrying only backpacks.
The excursion began well, with a speedy shot through the Lincoln Tunnel and a breezy transgression of New Jersey. What could go wrong, armed as we were with a Rand McNally Road Atlas, Mapquest print-outs and many years of cumulative experience driving this route? We even got a series of bonus assists in the form of text messages from Jeff who was in a car about an hour ahead of us. These were filled with warnings about construction-related delays to be avoided: “Get off the highway right after the bridge!! Take Rt40!!”
You would think that sui juris men like us, able to negotiate whole decades of the treacherous and uncharted terrain of American gay manhood would be able to digest and follow clear instruction. You would think. I am retrospectively deciding to blame Joe for everything that went wrong on the road to DC. For example, our discussion of rest stop glory holes might have been shorter had he not wondered about the tools men probably bring into the stalls in order to create the perfectly rounded and smooth holes one finds therein. We might have been able to focus on the route, had Joe been less effervescent, less entertaining, less endearing, less enthralling (Flip side: six hours in a car with Joe, Aaron and C pass like six minutes, even when we had to loop Dupont Circle several times, in full view of our hotel, without being able to take the correct turn that would bring us to its entrance. We eventually began receiving petulant phone calls from Eddie who had taken the train from Philadelphia and was pacing the lobby of said hotel.
Within the last light of a warm evening, we are finally assembled and installed and walking to an event called Titans At Ramrod. Woohoo! Familiar faces greeted us through the all but forgotten and un-nostalgicized hista-mist of blue cigarette smoke. These included Bob and Carl and Tom whose warm and friendly greetings initiated a thoroughly enjoyable weekend. In short order, C and I were introduced to these four hot men and their associates. This made us conclude that Titan is like a “Burlington Coat Factory” of prime DC men. If, at that bar, you can’t find something that fits, well honey, you got the problem, not them. (I would advise any newcomer to DC to stand close to CopperRed in such a room. He knows everything about everyone you point out, and can even recite their Manhunt stats with an accuracy usually reserved for the minds of baseball card collectors. Also, he is fun, smart, handsome, and equipt with a recent and sexy scar that reacts to changes in barometric pressure. At his suggestion, we moved on to the next of three venues.)