Tomorrow I work at nine in the morning and hope to be off in time to watch the US continue their climb to World Cup victory. They play Ghana, the team that sent us home four years ago, and I hope to see our guys send them home this year.
Following work, as I assume I won't actually be off till after the game, I'm going to change into the jeans people have told my I look good in and a shirt that is clean, and then I'm going into the heat of the square for our town's gay pride event.
And then I don't know what to expect. I neglected to take the day off the past two years and have only seen pride from afar or when passing through on a smoke break. I asked specifically to work a day shift this year. I don't want to lose any hours, but I do want to enjoy being surrounded by gay people. That doesn't happen nearly often enough, especially lately as I've not been to any of our town's gay bars in several months.
Thinking about it now I may have avoided the gay bars this entire year up to now.
While I often get somewhat drunk at whatever bar I go to, the gay bars are nearly always worse. Not only is the beer more expensive for the same crap, but I am not good at meeting people. I'm really good at sitting at the bar, and I'm good at making conversation if someone starts, but the other homos never seem to get my jokes. And too often I seem to get that bit drunker than I wanted to, and then I feel sorry for myself because I'm awkward and don't get it.
And I'm really bad about making stupid jokes as I try to allay my own nervousness, and I'm sure that tends to push people away. Also I don't take compliments well. They make me feel really weird, and when the compliments all seem a precursor to an attempt to remove my pants at some later point in the evening I get even more nervous and act even more stupid and tell even lamer jokes that no one but me gets.
Or maybe gay men just don't get my sense of humor. Of course most people don't get my sense of humor, but I'm used to straight people not getting it, and I'm used to people not really liking me that much until they're forced, for whatever reason, to actually get to know me.
And so I'll go to pride, and I'll see my lesbians, and I'll see the staff at what used to be my regular gay bar, and they'll wonder what I've been doing and where I've been going, and I'll point to the pub which has been getting some of the business the gay bar used to get.
And hopefully I'll pull my head out of my ass and just have a good time. With an extra dose of luck I'll meet people who might become friends once they get that my jokes aren't all stupid and I'm not always a nervous heap of dumbass.
Also, USA USA!