One of my favorite country singers is Bryan White. In the early nineties he sang a song about what happens when you wish on a star that belongs to someone else. This lucky someone else would end up with the love of your life. I can recall playing his album over and over again.
This song recently came to mind over the past few days. Last week I went to a gay bar with one of my friends. He is also not out of the closet. While we were there a guy who introduced himself as Ben came up to me and offered to buy me a drink. In my defensive and suspicious state of mind, I declined the drink. Ben kept trying to start a conversation with me. I, however would not let my defensives down long enough to get to know him better. After a few minutes, he politely excused himself and walked away. I turned around to make sure he was gone and caught a glimpse of him as he walked out the exit door.
I assummed that he left so quickly because all he was trying to do was pick a random stranger for a quickie. A few nights later I found out how wrong I was about him. On my drive home that night, I kept thinking about how rude my attitude towards him had been. I should have invited him to sit down with us and I could have declined the drink more politely.
When my buddy and I went back to the bar, I saw him again. Standing in a better lit section of the bar, I could see him more clearly. The shadowy unknown of a dimmer glow was gone. He smiled when he saw me and I walked over to him. This time I thought to myself that I would offer to buy him the drink that I refused from him.
I offered the drink and he politely declined. He told me that he was just waiting for a friend. There were a few minutes of silence and we both searched our conversation manuals for something to say. He finally told me that the other night was his first night in a gay bar. He explained that he wasn’t out to anyone and had no one who would come to the bar with him. He then told me that of all the people there that I looked “safe” and it was the reason he approached me.
That fateful night, after I had declined his drink, he left a little embarassed and depressed. He walked out to his car and sat in it for awhile. He didn’t want to go home, but he couldn’t go to any of his friends houses to tell them why he felt bad. While he was sitting in his car he said a guy knocked on the window and asked him if he was alright. After some convincing the guy had finally talked him into coming back into the bar to talk. This kind stranger ordered a plate of fries and two sodas. He then told Ben, “Okay, a french fry for your thoughts”. Their conversation bloomed into friendship. Their laughter and meeting lasted until the lights signaled the closing of the bar. Their next few nights would be spent sipping coffee at a cafe til it closed or talking on the phone.
Ben told me that he was starting to develope a crush on this guy and it had only been a few days since they met. The guy had also expressed the fact he was developing feelings for Ben too.
As we sat down at a table Ben motioned for a waiter to take our order. He ordered a plate of fries and two sodas. Turning to me he said, “You said that you were also newly out. I got you some fries, now it’s your tell me your thoughts”. As we got to know each other, all I could think was Ben was someone that I could have gotten to know, someone that I probably would have fallen in love with. He has a perfect personality. We liked the same kind of music and have the same religious and political beliefs. And he has an amazing smile!
Ben’s crush walked through the door and I watched as his eyes lit up when they saw each other. Ben introduced me to his crush and as we shook hands, I could see the reasons for the attraction.
I left that night thinking I must have wished on that other guy’s star.