Autumn 1983. I was nineteen.
Peabo and I were boon companions, and had been since the first day of ninth grade. He introduced me to Harry James and the Sex Pistols, cigars and imported beer, live music and long hair.
After we each scrapped our ways out of our respective high schools, we moved into an apartment together and became painters.
It was a great place, affectionately known as the Bohemian Love Pad. We kept the fridge stocked with beer and the floors littered with spare change.
Peabo knew pretty much everything about me, but he did not know of my sexual exploits with Allan or Donnie. I was too ashamed to tell him. I wondered if they were anomalies, or if I was on my way to gay.
Mind you, I had the world’s coolest girlfriend.
Not long after we started dating, she ditched her given name in favor of the appellation “Pablo.” She was smart and funny as hell. She had flaming red hair, pale skin and full lips.
And could she fuck! Pablo loved sex like no one I had ever met.
She delighted in giving head, and I bet she could’ve sucked the chrome off a trailer hitch. She warmed me up to anal sex; she would cum as I fucked her, then put my cock up her ass and cum again.
She was my first lover to be on the Pill, which we regarded as a license to treat her body like my cum dumpster.
Pablo knew about Allan. I told her about it, and not only didn’t she consider it weird—she found it arousing. Pretty soon, we were getting naked with Allan every now and then. She got off watching me suck his dick. He got off fucking my girlfriend.
I wondered: I was getting my dick sucked, I was sucking dick, I was fucking Pablo’s ass—was I using this girl’s libido to get closer to gay sex?
I couldn’t talk about any of this with Peabo. I would not even know how to begin to tell him. How could I explain that despite the fact that he regularly heard me and Pablo going at it like gangbusters, his best chum might be gay?
One day we were sitting around the Bohemian Love Pad, listening to David Bowie’s “Man Who Sold the World.” I said something about Bowie being gay.
“He’s not gay,” Peabo corrected. “He’s bisexual.”
“What’s that mean?”
“It means he likes men and women, both.”
A light bulb went off in my mind. God damn it, that’s what I was! I was bisexual!
People sometimes complain that they don’t want their sexualities labeled, but for me, it helped tremendously to know that there was a word for what I was. And that I was not the only freak.
There was me, and there was David Bowie. I was not alone.
Allan, though—that boy was straight.
Around this time, Allan told me that Peabo had asked him if he thought I might be bisexual.
I froze. “What did you tell him?”
“I told him about you and Donnie. I didn’t think it was a big deal that he knew.”
“If you didn’t think it was a big deal, why didn’t you tell him about you and me?”
“Hmmmm, that’s a good point.”
Good point, my ass.
So Peabo and I had The Talk. I explained that I preferred women, and while I had sex with men, I really didn’t like it that much.
“Too bad you don’t like it,” Peabo observed. “Though of course, no one is making you do it.”
Now, that was a good point. I was still not ready to accept my sexuality. But, I was on the right path.
At least I had a name for it.
Peabo’s only disappointment was that I had kept this from him. This was my first intimation that keeping secrets might hurt someone I cared about.
As for Pablo:
On some alternative universe, Pablo and I bought a farmhouse, where we are in love forever, fuck each other and Allan, and raise a passel of red-headed babies, not entirely confident of their paternity, not worrying too much one way or the other.
However, in our universe, I left my hometown to go to art school.
She was hurt, but applied herself to our long-distance relationship. We did very well, actually. She even organized her life to live closer to me as she pursued her own studies.
But when things got going with Lucy, I had to break up with Pablo. She said she understood. But she didn’t want to remain friends. She couldn’t forgive me.
She married a nice fellow. They live in New Jersey. I think she works in Chelsea.
She wants nothing to do with me.