. . . I was staying with my friend Phil in Los Angeles a couple of days prior to a workshop downtown. Ever since we had met up, I wasn’t sure if I was sensing some sexual tension or if he was just being hospitable. I didn’t know him that well. The situation made me a bit nervous, not only because I wasn’t interested in him romantically, but because he has this pie fetish. There are a lot of things I’d like to try, but that just isn’t one of them.
When we arrived at his place in West Hollywood, he put my bags into what may have been his bedroom. There were so many rooms in the house, it was hard to tell. Since I’d flown in from Toronto only a couple of hours before, he offered me a fresh towel and shower, showing me to the bathroom. I locked the door and noticed his toiletries neatly lined along the vanity. It really hit me then how much of a stranger he actually was, seeing that we’d only met that one time a year ago. Now I was taking a shower in his shared mansion in West Hollywood. Why did I agree to this if there was no sexual interest? I asked myself.
As I adjusted the temperature of the water in the shower, I began thinking how his pie fetish was the most normal thing about this whole situation.
He took me to this Mexican place in Silver Lake for dinner, and then we went to the Eagle on Santa Monica Boulevard. As I ordered our drinks, Phil said this guy he was dating would be joining us. “That’s great,” I said, somewhat relieved. He most definitely doesn’t want to pie me.
Jeff, Phil’s man, showed up 20 minutes later but he didn’t seem like the sort of guy who would frequent a leather bar. He wore a super low V-neck, skinny jeans and Chelsea boots. A handsome kid, much younger than Phil, who had a naïve adorable charm, at first. Then he started talking. He explained how he’d never been to the Eagle and he didn’t get “the whole leather thing” either. He got very judgmental, griping about men who are bored of “regular” sex, monogamy and all that heteronormative stuff. I assumed that he and Phil hadn’t had the whole pie conversation yet.
I can’t remember exactly why it came up (we’d done a few shots), but Phil explained he actually had pied Jeff before. Jeff seemed uncomfortable, neither confirming nor denying it. It was weird, the way Jeff reacted, especially since he’d been so judgmental about kinky sex. I wasn’t up for deciphering their dynamic so I excused myself to the toilet for a bit of a breather.
When I returned, Phil asked if I’d just fucked somebody in the bathroom, causing Jeff to chuckle.
“No,” I said, but he wouldn’t let up insisting that yes, I had fucked someone in the toilet.
“I really didn’t.” No, you did, he said. It was strange, but then again he was a stranger and was hammered by this point. I let it go.
We left the Eagle at two in the morning. I expected Phil and Jeff to go home together, but Jeff jumped into one taxi and Phil and I into another. “Where’s your boyfriend going?” I asked.
“He’s not my boyfriend. He’s going home.”
When we arrived back at Phil’s place I went to the room where he left my bags. He followed. I wasn’t sure what the deal was, but then he said, “I want you to pie me.”
“You heard me.”
“Oh. It’s really late. It’s 3am I think. Tomorrow maybe?”
“Are you serious?” He was getting upset.
“Yeah.” He stared at me for a moment as though I’d betrayed him, then stormed out of the room and slammed the door.
The next morning, I found Phil in the kitchen reading the paper. I tried to talk to him about the previous night, but he interrupted, explaining he had no interest in having that conversation. Instead he made me scrambled eggs and coffee while opining about the American election. It was as awkward as you’d imagine.
While I was using the toilet after breakfast, I uploaded some photos to Facebook of us at the Eagle as a sort of truce. I went to tag him but I couldn’t because he’d unfriended me. He must’ve done it that morning. I guess strangers can be stranger than you might think.
Sitting there, I asked myself, would I stay with a stranger like this again? And I thought, probably. Is it because I like making new friends and am willing to take a chance? Or is it just because I’m far stranger than any stranger could be?