Grant is now of the opinion he is not gay, and claims this whole homosexuality thing is just a rumor started by all the men he's slept with.
We were on the terrace in front of the Righteous Room. I'd just flown in from Frankfurt, where I had once again faked my way across the Atlantic under the guise of a foreign-language interpreter. I was giddy and my hair was down, in more ways than one. The salsa that comes with the chips at the Righteous Room is very garlicky -- it'll give you breath like a blow torch, I swear.
"I'm not having sex tonight, that's for sure," I rasped.
Grant rolled his eyes. "Please, you're female," he said. "Five minutes from now, you could be fucking someone."
I rolled my eyes in return. "Please, you're gay," I said. "Five minutes from now, you will be fucking someone."
At that Grant launched into his new theory that he's not really gay, just really horny, and the fact is that men are simply more amenable to anonymous sex than women, so it's only natural that men should have sex with each other. Got that?
"I'm not gay," Grant reiterates. "I'm only natural." To prove his point, he stuck his tongue down my throat.
I would have been shocked, but let's face it, this is Grant Henry here. He has a smile as wide as the open sky, it's just a matter of time before his lips get on you. He's probably standing behind you right now as you read this, ready to tongue your whole head. But I doubt he'll do well delving back into the hetero frontier, because I once heard him refer to sex between a man and woman as "the pigskin bus pulling into tuna town," and I don't know of a lot of females who would tolerate that. They like tenderness and commitment and stuff, and Grant can't even commit to one sexuality. It's just like what my friend Michael Alvear always says, "Straight or gay, there are two things all men want: a way in ... and a way out."
Michael will be signing his book, Men Are Pigs, but We Love Bacon: Not-So-Straight Answers from America's Most Outrageous Gay Sex Columnist (Kensington), at Outwrite Bookstore this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Michael is the only gay man I know who does not believe all men are gay, but other than that, he still believes all men are basically the same. To hear him talk sometimes, you'd think the male species might as well be a bunch of marauding dicks wandering around like divining rods, blindly bumping into each other, searching for moisture. It's hard to hear, but I'm grateful I have all these not-so-straight men in my life who can be straight with me on this, otherwise I'd be out there trusting men and stuff.
Because the only people who ever tell me men are pigs are other men. They say it proudly, like the proclamation is some kind of coupon redeemable for behaving swine-like. After talking to them, I always need some kind of debriefing, some evidence that love is attainable even to the swine-like, because otherwise I'll have to just brick myself up alone in my bedroom for the rest of my life. "Tuna town," I'll mumble intermittently during my fitful sleeps.
And in my nightmares will be my father's friend Rosie, who was skinny-legged and big-bellied and balled any man who happened to still be standing when the bar closed. Once when I was 14, Rosie, along with a bunch of my dad's other bar buddies, was a guest in our home for Thanksgiving. She had a teased beehive and tobacco-shredded laugh, and she kept cupping all the men's crotches that night. This was less appreciated than you might expect.
So Rosie, swatted away by all the other guests, took to petting my adolescent head instead. Sitting there with this tearful woman was the first time I recall soaking up a sense of true desperation born from being lonely.
"You're beautiful, and you're smart, too. I can tell," she'd blabber, stroking my hair. "Beautiful and smart, don't let anyone tell you different." As people had been telling me different all my life, I endured her attention. She passed out on our Herculon couch with a lit cigarette in her hand, a fire hazard if ever there was one since Herculon fabric of the '70s, as far as I could tell, was nothing more than woven dynamite wicks.
Rather than finish the smoke for her, I plucked the cigarette from her fingers and flicked it into our back yard. Inside, the guests were recounting the things they were thankful for, even though technically it was the day after Thanksgiving.
"I'm thankful I'm not Rosie," laughed one. At the sound of her name, Rosie awakened, which prompted more laughter from her friends.
"Rosie, what are you thankful for?" asked my father. But Rosie simply sat there, looking into the distance with welled eyes. "Rosie?" My father implored. She stared vacantly for a few more moments, then finally shook her head. "I'll tell you what I'd be thankful for," she said with her booze beleaguered voice, "I'd be thankful for my goddamn cigarette. Where the hell is it?"