3 min read

Things I Didn’t Say to An Older Closeted Queer I Met in an RV Park

Dear T.

You seemed so nervous, T., when I came over to your RV, parked a few spots away from mine among the towering redwoods, though you’d invited me to show up for wine and so I did. I hadn’t thought you’d be so uncomfortable, and I wondered if you were unused to the company of other queers, and so I was right: You were bi, you said, repeatedly putting it in scare quotes for some reason, no reason, as we sat down at the picnic table outside your rig; you’d been straight-married for the better part of three decades but that was ending now, and no one had ever known you’d “messed around” with guys before then, and now since. No one knew still, except the guys you’d “messed around” with, as you put it again, literally no one in your family or life or business knew this about you except them—and now me.

I toasted you. Unlike the (extremely out) lesbians who pulled their extremely enormous Class A into the spot along the river in front of my little mobile house a couple nights prior, you couldn’t envision a life where having kids (as they do, and you do—same age, actually) was possible outside of straight marriage, and now that you’ve done that and that marriage is over (at your wife’s behest) you can be the star of your own version of the YouTube channels you told me you obsessively watch—that you were in fact watching when I showed up today for drinks—shows about gay men living in RVs together. You travel alone, T., and you told me that lots of the other alone men you meet at RV camps are gay—you told me, weirdly, that among your list of reasons for recognizing me as gay was that I was by myself. Not that I was wearing a pink jumpsuit. Not that my nails were filed into inch-long, rhinestoned magenta stiletto french tips. “I saw you and I thought, ‘Well this guy’s obviously gay, he’s by himself,’” you said.

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