Straight Up Now Tell Me

R.B. Winters
R.B. Winters
All, Friends Leave a Comment

It’s a fairly common belief that making new friends in your thirties is difficult, if not nearly impossible. I don’t disagree, most of my friends come from my late teens and mid-twenties. For the most part, the friendships I have, though they are physically distant, have been pretty strong and lasted many years. My Straights are the most recent friends I’ve made and it’s been about four years since we met.

I share, as it’s the setup to understand some very interesting moments from when I traveled to Minnesota to visit them. They left New York almost a year ago and have been in the Upper Midwest living life. Several months back they invited me to visit for a June concert featuring Paula Abdul. Who could say no to such offer? I was also intoxicated when the request came via text and didn’t think the $900 plane fare was a big deal.

When I arrived, I had about eight hours to kill as my Straights thought I was coming the next day and were in route home from Ireland. So, I put the new skills I’ve acquired to work. You see, I understand it may not be possible to make new, true friends, but I can make friends for the hour. Someone to have a drink with, chat and then part ways. So, I pulled up Grindr, which is good for more than hooking up, I should know as I’m seven months without, and chatted up a nearby person. This gentleman was two floors down in the same building and bored. Perfect. We drank wine for three hours while I waited.

It wasn’t a secret, drinking with the neighbor, but it did spawn a confession by the Straights the next day. Though they’ve known me several years, we’ve gone on trips together, they’ve read my books, even with all this history they shared that they thought I was a prostitute. I take this as literal and not a joke because it was followed with, “not to offend you.” I wasn’t, I’m not, offended, but it did make me wonder if the people we are friends with for more than an hour ever really know you. True, we never talk about work, but we do talk about pretty much everything else. Yet, somehow, they thought I was making my money by sucking dick.

The next interesting moment came as we had beers near the concert venue and I tried to use the restroom. A woman yelled at me, “We’ve taken over. These bathrooms are gender normative.” My response to her was fuck off unless you are going to piss in the urinal. I understand women’s restrooms in bars aren’t adequate for the most part, and be my guest to take the stall in the men’s room, but don’t try blocking me with your millenial bullshit. In fact, there was not one single day in Minnesota that went by without me telling someone to fuck off. What is going on with the white people up there? They’ve lost their minds it seems.

After all of this, the cherry on top, Paula Abdul cancelled. It is always great seeing my friends, even though they have gone silent suddenly, but the whole reason I went was for a concert that didn’t happen. What’s worse is I do get the impression the Straights have been away from me and New York too long. I may have matured by buying a condo and other adult things, but I’m still the ridiculous mess I’ve always been. Loud and annoying like any New Yorker. I believe it may have been too much.

I am waiting to see if the trip we have planned for August will come to fruition. My theory is they may last minute bail and confirm my suspicions. Which makes me wonder, is it better to enjoy the vapid one-night friendships or continue to search for your people?