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Bus Stop - Part 1
To be honest, the first time I saw him my knees didn't exactly melt. I started seeing him at the bus stop some mornings, and while he was sort of cute in a bearish way, I didn't really pay much attention.
But as I saw him more often, a few mornings each week, and occasionally on the bus on the way home, I started to take more interest. He was tall, over 6 feet, and I would say 270 pounds plus, though I'm not good at guessing. I thought he was maybe in his early 30's, with a buzz cut that showed the slight roll of flesh around the back of his head that I really dig, and a similarly short beard. His face was attractive, and he always looked very smart in dress pants and a tightly-tucked shirt that clung to the belly that poked out over his belt. I always thought I preferred really big guys, but this guy really appealed to me.
Being the friendly type of guy that I am, I started nodding hello at the bus stop, and he returned the gesture. Being the shy type of guy that I am, this is all that continued for a long time. I was crushed one weekend to see him at the local shops with a woman, but I only saw them for a second and couldn't really tell what was going on.
I managed to work my way up to saying 'howdy' at the bus stop, and he'd always reply. He started catching the bus from further along the route every now and then, at the local park'n'ride, and even then we'd make eye contact and nod hello as he found a seat.
The whole time this was going on, I was deep in an identity crisis. I wasn't ready to come out to everyone, let alone bring home a big bear to meet the parents. I confided in my best friend that I was confused about my sexuality, but I brushed it off a short time later. I reckon that some of my friends suspected it, as I got the occasional comment and I know that I can be quite animated, but no-one ever asked me point-blank. If they had I would have told them the truth. I just didn't feel the need to shout it from the roof-tops.
After months of one-word greetings, I decided that I needed to know, one way or the other. However, I still only saw him randomly (I couldn't see a pattern of when he caught the bus) and often having other people at the bus stop deterred me. Also, a new guy had started catching the bus from the park'n'ride, quite a bit bigger, maybe 330 pounds (again I can't really judge it) with buzz-cut reddish hair. Not quite as cute as my original guy, but the extra flesh was a bonus. I noticed the bigger guy always sat in the back seat, maybe self-conscious of sharing a seat with someone. I get like that and I'm 'only' 260. It's much harder to get the pleasantries going if you're not waiting at the same stop, so I put him out of my mind.
Finally my day came. I got to the bus stop and he was there, alone. I approached slowly, deliberately not looking at him until I was nearly on top of him. I looked at that face, the neat beard and fleshy cheeks, nodded and said, "Howdy". He replied, "Hi", and started to look away again. I quickly added, "Thank God it's Friday, huh?" He looked back, nodded and smiled, "Yep, it's been one of those weeks."
"I know what you mean, dude," I replied, and then plunged in. "Hey, would you like to get together for a beer sometime man?"
He looked at me with a shocked look for a split second, then a smile spread over his lips, again only for a second, and then, trying to appear less keen than he obviously was, he replied calmly, "Oh yeah, that'd be cool sometime." I nodded, also trying not to appear too interested, and said, "You got any plans tonight? I've heard that new bar in town, The Garage, is pretty cool. I was gonna head over there tonight after work." He thought about for a moment, then said, "Yeah, I've heard good things about that place. How about 5.30?"
"Sounds like a plan," I replied, as the bus pulled up, "See you then." We boarded and separated, I sat in my usual seat close to the front and he went down the back. My mind and my heart were racing. One of my biggest hang-ups was the fact that the big guys that most attract me are also the most capable (if not most likely) of beating my head in, should they not take kindly to a come on. At least I still had all my teeth, as well as a date that night.
That day was one of the longest of my life. The clock seemed to run in slow-mo, and by the afternoon I reckon it stopped completely. One of the many thoughts I had was that I hadn't even introduced myself, or found out his name. 'Plenty of time tonight', I replied to myself.
A typical Friday-afternoon-urgent job came up late in the day, and the next time I looked up at the clock, it was 5.10. I packed up my gear, shut down my PC and headed out the door. It was 5.25 when I entered the bar and ordered a beer. Less than ten minutes later, my bus guy came through the door, spotted me and joined me at the bar, ordering a beer. I started with, "Have a good day, dude?" and I could tell from his face that he was glad to be out of there, wherever it was that he worked. "Let's go out to the beer garden, the chairs are really comfy out there," I said, picking up my beer. He nodded and followed me out.
The beer garden was nearly empty, and we took a table in a quiet corner. I remembered that I didn't know his name, so I stuck out my hand and said, "Sorry, I forgot to introduce myself this morning, I'm Dave." He shook my hand with a strong grip and grinned his reply, "Chris." We proceeded to have that common initial conversation - work, sports, family - the usual topics. He worked in IT, had his own house not far from mine and loved motor sport, just like me. Chris was only 27 - I reckon it was the beard that matured him quite a bit.
The conversation flowed so easily that it was like we had been best mates for years, and the more we talked, the more I liked him. He was intelligent and soft-spoken and could converse on just about any topic. I glanced down at my watch and couldn't believe that it read 8.45. We'd been drinking steadily and although not drunk, any inhibitions I had were long gone. I thought I had seen a number of signals from Chris, indicating he was feeling the same way I was. I turned the conversation onto relationships, eager to find out if I had any chance of making this a regular thing. He spoke quite freely about past partners (all guys, to my relief) and finished by saying he had been single for the last 4 months. "How about you?" he then asked.
Oh God. I had two choices - I could admit that I was totally inexperienced and hope that it didn't put him off, or I could create an incredible sex life with a string of guys that would put many rock stars to shame. I'm not much of a liar though, so I decided that I'd be honest and hope for the best.
"Well, I don't have half the record that you do, stud", I began with a smile. "I actually haven't had a partner since I came out 2 years ago. My last partner was a girl at college." He could see the look of embarrassment on my face, and said with a smile, "Nothing to be ashamed of, champ. You just haven't met the right one yet."
'I don't know about that', I thought to myself, and then he continued, "So what are you looking for in a partner?" I thought I couldn't sit there and describe Chris to himself, so I paused, trying to think of what to say. "Come on, don't be shy," he said. There was still no sign of my inhibitions, so I thought, 'Stuff it', and proceeded to describe what I was looking for - Chris just happened to match each and every point.
"He'd have to be 30 or younger, tall - over 6 foot, solid-muscly build, intelligent, great sense of humour, steady job and absolutely worship the ground I walk on." I said the last point with my sarcastic tone and a cheeky smile. He smiled and quipped back, "Well, you've just described my perfect match too - now we just have to find him and split him in half."
I noticed that both our beers were empty, so I grabbed the glasses and stood up, about to head for the bar. Chris said, "Ooh, I dunno mate, I've had quite a few already, I've gotta watch it," and patted his gut. "Why?" I asked, "I think you look fine, and life's too short to stop doing what you enjoy." He pondered that very deep insight for a moment, then nodded. "True, but I've had some ex's comment about this," still rubbing his belly. I decided to see where this was going, and said, "What your ex's thought or think doesn't matter. What you think is the only thing that matters." Chris said, "You know, you're right. Truth is, I like having a gut." It was time to make a move. I reached over and rubbed his gut, and said, "I like your gut too." Then I quickly went to the bar and got two more beers.
His gaze followed me the whole time, and he looked deep into my eyes when I sat down. Chris thought for a second and then said, "Did you really mean what you just said? About my gut? Most guys think it's a real turn-off." I smiled, thinking of the dozens of web sites I should introduce him to. " I sure did," I replied, "I think you're really hot." He genuinely seemed surprised at this. " It sounds like I'm not the only one who hasn't met Mr Right yet," I said with a smile. He looked me up and down, and said, "You know, you're pretty hot yourself. How about we finish this beer and head back to my place?"
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