Ty Martin, left, is a community liaison at SAGE, a Harlem organization that helps elderly LGBT people. At his right is SAGE constituent Sherman Walker. They are proof that older black gay men can be a vital part of their communities. I wonder whether Gerald would have been like Martin and Walker if he came out earlier. Photo courtesy of SAGE.
“Gerald” and I chatted for days online but finally agreed to meet at the Au Bon Pain in Washington D.C.’s cavernous Union Station.
I sat sipping my coffee and watched as he approached. A very tall, angular, brown-skinned black man in a well cut gray suit and conservative tie. He looked like a bank president, or the head of a multinational corporation, or maybe an undertaker.
He seemed pleased that I looked so normal. That I fit in. That I wasn’t noticeably gay and feminine to all the travelers around us rushing to hop on the Metro, or the MARC commuter train toward Baltimore, or take the Amtrak to New York City and Boston or Richmond.
“Look, I’m married and discreet and careful about who I hook up with,” he said. “Some gay people are so messy.”
He gave me his story. He had been messing with guys since college but met a woman he liked and decided to marry and raise kids. But he fell back into old habits.
One night he was working late miles from home and had drinks with colleagues. One of his coworkers, a handsome guy named “Timothy,” suggested he spend the night at his home a few miles away rather than risk a DUI. So Gerald called his wife and got the okay, went home with Timothy, hopped in his bed, and they ended up sexing each other all night.
Gerald had always thought Timothy might play around and all the alcohol that night had only lubricated the situation, no pun intended.
Gerald is a business consultant and can only play with men while going to and from assignments or when he goes to the gym. Against my better judgment I agreed to hook up with him — for me the Daddy types who appear all conservative and uptight in public but are freaks in bed are a major turn-on.
Like me he lives in Baltimore but commutes regularly to D.C. He dropped by my home one humid afternoon in late summer when I happened to be waiting on the cable guy. The lovemaking was sweet — he was so thirsty for some male-on-male action anything I did seemed to arouse him immensely.
A kiss on the neck. A nibble on his nipples. My tongue flickering against his thighs and over to his scrotum.
He wanted me to fuck him but he was so tight that didn’t work. So we jacked off until we both spurted some nutt and I sent him on his way.
A few weeks later he came by again, this time using the excuse he was going to the gym to get away from his wife.
He was more aggressive this time. He dove between my legs and sucked my dick and ate my ass so well that I got so relaxed and pleasured it felt like I was floating in a hot bath. Gerald was just that good.
“How old are you,” I asked him after we finished. “You are in your 50’s? Right?”
He looked sheepish and cast his eyes down.
“Immanuel, I’m 65 years old.”
His body still looked good and his thick, uncut dick still got so hard.
“Wow. You give me hope for the future.”
Summer waned and the days grew crisp as fall began to paint the leaves on the oak trees on my block a bright, mustard yellow and burnt orange .
Gerald texted or called. I can’t remember.
“My wife had a stroke and I had to put her in a nursing home. It was a mild stroke but she has to take rehabilitation so she will not be home for a few weeks.”
I was genuinely concerned. I knew he loved his wife. He said although he preferred sex with men he would never leave her because their bond was strong.
“I’m so sorry man. I hope things work out.”
But then he said something that rattled me.
“My house is empty for a few weeks. It will be like I’m a bachelor again. Why don’t you come and spend the night. I would do anything to spend the night with you. I find you so hot Immanuel you have no idea.”
The thought of sexing Gerald in the same bed or same house he shared with his wife left me cold. My paternal grandmother had a stroke when she was in her 80’s. I knew what a struggle it would be for his wife to regain her speech and mobility. Freaking in her house would be so…disrespectful.
Mind you I did some dirty shit too when I was married (just read my older blog entries from 2009 and 2010 for evidence). And I was kicking it with a married dude. I was in no shape to judge Gerald. But I just…couldn’t.
“Look I will be house sitting for a friend in D.C. for the month of October so I won’t be in Baltimore much. And besides I really do not feel comfortable coming to your house.”
“Okay Immanuel, maybe we can work something out before she comes back home.”
“Sure, Gerald. Yeah. Sure.”
It’s been months since I have seen Gerald although we correspond sometimes on Adam4Adam. I think, that could have been me in 10 or 15 years. And old, down-low gay man still slipping out from wife for a few hours so he could be who he really was. And then go back home and play the dutiful husband, father and grandfather.
The thought of this at turns makes me feel profoundly sad about the situation Gerald is in, grateful and proud I struck out into the gay world, or regretful that I am no longer a (straight) family man. Maybe one day I will settle down and just have one feeling about Gerald.