I’m going to Serbia (and why do I fall in love with straight guys)

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I told you I’m going to Serbia, yeah? I have the most bizarre life

Sundance has ended and I’m to return to New Orleans on Saturday. I usually stay behind in Salt Lake after the festival ends to snowboard, ski, write, process what I’ve seen at the film festival, and reach out to the connections I made. I won’t be snowboarding or skiing this time, not because I don’t want to but because I promised Cousin Jen. I’m on blood thinners after the heart procedure (for another six weeks) and she doesn’t want me to bleed out in the snow if I hit a tree or some shit. I can respect that. She loves me. I love her too.

I got the gig in Serbia, yo! A friend of mine from New York—

I met this cat Dominic outside the Public Theatre in New York when lived in Brooklyn. He was there with a friend. I believe the play was The Good Person of Szechwan by Berthold Brecht. That was the time when I turned off my phone before the end of the Alabama/Auburn game because Alabama was ahead and there wasn’t much time left and the play was about to start and this was a hard ticket to get (and expensive too). Brecht at The Public you kidding me?! are
But when I turned my phone back on after the play, Alabama had lost and I take full responsibility because I was a bad fan.
The play was worth it by the way. And, oh yeah, I forgot why I launched into all that.
I met Dominic Vine outside the public with his friend before the play. We recognized each other as kindred spirits and traded numbers. We exchanged calls in the coming week and he invited me to join him at a weekly, all nude, all boy yoga gathering in Brooklyn. I, of course, accepted because the idea terrified me—downward facing dog without pants, are you kidding me?
As it turned out, the group was nothing but love and the weekly practice was much more about accepting each other and loving and supporting each other rather than who looks best without clothes or anything sexual. After the yoga practice we’d all sit down (about 25 or 30 of us, still naked) for a most elegant dinner served around a table that would seat us all. I loved my time living in New York. I may yet live there again.

I don’t hear from Dominic that much but when I do we pick up where we left off. About a week and a half ago he sent me a message on Facebook messenger:

“A friend of mine is looking for 4 or 5 muscle bear types 35-60 to do a shoot April 29, 30. Flights from US to Serbia covered, food and housing covered. Plus, they pay for the shoots, of course. Many photographs taken and from them oil paintings are created. Interested?”

And I was.

I don’t really think of myself as a “muscle bear type” and I had this heart procedure a couple weeks back which means I haven’t been in the gym as much and because they shaved my back, torso, and cock-and-balls I feel like a dog that’s been shaved at the vet. In other words, as much as I wanted this gig, I didn’t feel “at my best.”
Nevertheless, I sent him my non-sexual Scruff pix and told him I’d be interested.
The project works like this: a photographer, who prefers to remain “low profile,” is known only by “Yoe,” and takes photographs which are then used as a “study” for this brilliant photographer named Bratislov Radovanovic. His work is amazing. I’ll try to make his name a link. Did it. Check him out.
I sent Yoe a few photographs of myself and we had a wonderful Skype visit thereafter talking about Art, world politics, and dogs. He’s a good guy.
The projects they are currently working on have to do with religious symbolism and mythological iconography. I’m good with it. These archetypical images have impacted me immensely since I was a boy.

I had no idea what to ask for in the way of remuneration so, as I am wont to do, I asked for advice via Facebook . I took a deep breath and highballed in my ask. Without pause they accepted my terms so it appears I’ll be flying to Serbia in April to sit for this incredibly gifted photographer who will then hand them off to this incredibly gifted painter.
I have an inordinately bizarre and wonderful life. The astounding parts offset some of the frighteningly rough parts of which there have been a few.

I feel in love again tonight. I seem to do that frequently. This was a friend of my Utah family who I’ve come in contact in passing with over the years. We’ve often said, “We should get a beer” and so tonight we finally did. He’s straight. Of course. For you straight readers of mine, can you imagine a situation where nigh-on 90% of the people who you are attracted to aren’t even attracted to your gender?! Of the remaining 10%, half are coupled, have of the remaining half are crazy, and most of what’s left acts like the gender that you’re not attracted to in the first place!

Yeah, yeah. “Gender’s a construct.” So I’ve head. I’m more attracted to a butch lesbian than I am a feminine man and yes I got you, I know how you think that makes me homophobic. Fine. I’ll take that mantle with all the others and rock this version of myself until I die. I spent the first half of my life being called names and shamed for who I was attracted to, this from the rednecks. I reckon it looks like I’ll spend the second half being called names and criticized for who I’m attracted to by the “woke.”
Most Hip-Hop, R&B, and Rap are made by Black People. I listen, almost exclusively, to Hip Hop when I’m in my truck. If we’re to believe the lyrics, mostly what Black People are interested in is getting money back. It, after all, is the thing that was taken from them. Enslaved Africans where not allowed the fruits of their labor for 400 years and thereafter the economic system has been set up against them all the way.
I think for every system of oppression there is one thing that becomes the symbol of that oppression. For Black people, it seems to be money.
For me as a little queer kid growing up in Alabama it was the confederacy of other males. The boys who were calling me faggot were the ones my community seemed to celebrate. Sure, I wanted to have sex with them (puberty is hard) but mostly I just wanted them to want me around. As an adult I’ve found that. Most of my male friends are straight and love me for who I am and couldn’t give a fuck who I fuck.
I sat across from this man tonight by a fireplace at a local pub. Over a couple of beers he opened his heart to me as I did to him. This is the kind of guy I’d love to go fishing with.
I reckon that’s what I’m really looking for: a fishing buddy I can have great sex with and who will be holding my hand when I die (without a knife in the other). Is that so much to ask?
Maybe I’ll meet him Serbia. I told you I’m going to Serbia, yeah? I have the most bizarre life.


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