How are you so COOL? [OLD POST]
*This is another old post of mine that I never finished. I went back to finish it and I realized the reason that I never really finished it was because I thought I was going somewhere with it. I wanted the post to be a meditation about being cool, and about how I pretend to know more than I really know, about not really being all that cool in the end - but the post never got to where I wanted it to go, so I just abandoned it.
So I present to you the post as is, without the radical rewrite that I know it would need to get it where I wanted it to go. My apologizes for the rough draft quality.
About six months ago, I went skiing with friends of AJ's. Though it's true that I am friends with them as well (they are his cycling buddies) I mostly still think of them as AJ's friends. I love them dearly, and think they are all great, but rarely do I actually hang out with them without AJ, and I have never called any of them up just to see how they are doing or what they up to.
AJ has become friend with most of my friends however. In fact, he no longer thinks of them as "my friends" (we have been together for over a whopping 8 years so this makes sense) but somehow his cycling friends have remained "his friends" and I am definitely not as close to them as AJ is. It doesn’t help that I do not cycle (though strangely, I do own a cycling helmet...which I have worn once. I wonder where it is*).
*Actually I later found out that AJ threw it away because it has gotten moist and then moldy. Damn those damp San Francisco winters!
In fact, this ski trip was the first time that they had seen me do anything physically active at all. Usually I join them for dinner somewhere (not active), meet up with them at coffee shops (not active) or walk a block and half from my apartment to eat ice cream with them at the Bi-Rite Ice Creamery (definitely not active). In fact, the only really active experience they know about me is when they come to our dessert parties - where I was obviously active enough to bake all the desserts, but since that activity is already done - this does not count.
And yes, I know baking 18 desserts in a row isn't the same as riding 100 miles on a bike in a day. I mean you need REAL endurance to be able to mix, scoop and bake hundreds of cookies and brownies, all the while rolling out pie dough, washing and peeling the fruits for the pies, baking and frosting cake layers, and prepping the banana bread and the custard for the deep dark chocolate banana bread pudding, all the while keeping in mind that you have to make at least one dessert that is wheat-free as one of your friends is allergic, and let's not forget to make something lemon based because several friends are obsessed with lemon, and then there's the Italian wedding cake that one friend swoons over so you should make that too, but lets try a few different desserts that we haven't made this year and hope that they turn out, because you really are bored with making the same thing over and over again. Yup, create 18 unique desserts in two and half days versus riding 100 miles - no debate, I win. :)
But this time AJ and I were meeting up with his friends in North Lake Tahoe to go skiing (the road trip up from South Lake Tahoe - a traumatic experience for AJ as he got his first moving violation in a speed trap. Oh wait, his second now that I think about it, the other one was when he was cycling up in Marin, but that's another story for another time). AJ had never been skiing with them before, only cycling. He wasn't sure what their ski level experience would be.
AJ guessed that they would either be total wimps and terrible - in which case we would blow them away (this was my favorite scenario) or exceedingly amazing skiers who would effortlessly glide down ungroomed triple diamond slopes like gazelles in a forest, leaving us struggling, and possibly crying as we risk life and limb to keep up. OK, maybe AJ would be crying. I'd just slide down the mountain on my butt and curse them. Oh wait, that's also what AJ would do - whilst crying. I'd probably just ski down by skiing across the mountain and fall over once I couldn't ski anymore and flip my skis the other way, and get up and ski across and fall over again, repeating the above scenario.
But it turned out that it was their first trip up for the season (it was ours too, but we had gone skiing the day before) and they were somewhere in-between. They were definitely better skiers than us, but we were able to keep up (barely) and one friend in particular repeatedly said to me "I am VERY impressed with you Irvin. I've never really hung out with you doing anything physical active." I just smiled insouciantly and shrugged my shoulders trying to act as if it was all in an average day in the life of Irvin.
In reality, I was in major pain and sore from skiing the day before. In truth, I didn't shrug my shoulders all that much, because I tried not to move more than I have to.
The day before had actually whipped AJ and my ass. The slopes were icy and slick, and we hadn't been skiing in a year. I hadn't been to the gym in about four to five months, and I was feeling EVERY single turn. But I was out to impress the cycling friends of AJ. I was able to keep up (whoo hoo!) and by the time lunch came (thank GOODNESS!) I was ready to take a break.
Lunch was surprisingly decent for a ski resort. After spending more money for crappier food at Heavenly, AJ and I actually enjoyed our meal at this resort in North Tahoe. Cheaper food and better quality.
AJ and his cycling friend Eric (the one that was suitably impressed with my athletic ability) was busy cruising down a boy during lunch. This is what AJ and Eric do when they hang out together. They cruise people.
During the AIDS lifecycle (which AJ does every year) they spend the entire time point people out to each other. They don't overlap too much in terms of who they find attractive, but on that rare occasion they do find crossover. However, they have no problem pointing out guys that they think are the other’s type. This boy at lunch, was definitely not Eric’s type, but definitely AJ’s type (meaning he was a slim young Asian boy).
"Hey. Check the boy over there in the hoody..." Eric slyly comments to AJ when he thought I wasn't paying attention. I, of course, noticed, and didn’t really care.
“Hmm. Cute.” Replied AJ, trying not to shift too much in his seat to look at him. This wasn’t because AJ was trying to subtle about his checking out the guy (AJ is rarely subtle) it was because AJ was also sore from our skiing the day before.
“He wouldn’t be interested in you guys anyway.” I responded to both of them.
“Why not? Not that it matters, we're just looking…”
“Cuz he’s in high school and is straight and probably lives in L.A. and even if he wasn’t straight, he’d only be interested in other guys that look like him.”
“How do you know?”
“His black hoody says ‘SHINY TOY GUNS’ on the back of it. They’re a new wave band from LA that straight high school kids listen to, and if a gay guy likes the band enough to be wearing a hoody from the band then they are really only into new wave indie kids that look like themselves, not older gay guys like you (I point at Eric) or you (I point to AJ).”
Eric looked at me in awe. “How do you know so much? How are you so cool. Irvin?”
“I just am.” I said, shrugging my shoulders again. But not too much 'cuz I was still in pain.
Eric shook his head and returned to his chili in a bowl. I went back to eating my burger and AJ took one more sneaky glance at the SHINY TOY GUNS boy and then returned to his lunch.
We skied the rest of the day and AJ and I were able to (mostly) keep up with the gang. It was a good time, and I look forward to doing more active things with AJ’s friends. Who I hope soon, I’ll be referring to as my friends. After all, I seemed to have impressed them with my physical prowess, as well as my pop culture literacy. What more do you want or need in a friend?