Visiting the Emerald City
Blaine was 21; this was his year. It was time to march in the parade and then make a beeline for one of those $10 margaritas. He caught the Muni train, standing next to a man in a shirt and tie. “God, he must be at least 35,” Blaine thought to himself, “but he still works out. Big pecs.” “Going to Pride?” the man said, making eye contact and interrupting Blaine's daydream, smiling through a gray mustache. In a bright pink tank top and shorts, there was little doubt, so Blaine chirped out a , “Yep!” “I gotta work. I’ll miss it. I remember when I was a baby gay and Pride was like visiting the Emerald City.” Blaine giggled at his choice of words. People got on at the next stop pressing in and pushing the man in closer. He continued to look down at Blaine, keeping that disarming non-threatening smile on his face. “Wow, are we going to kiss? Is that okay?” thought Blaine nervously as they arrived at Civic Center. The train slowed and then lurched to a stop, the man leaned in and gently kissed Blaine on the ear, whispering, “Go get’em, Tiger." The man then bowed and held the Muni train door open for him. Blaine stepped out onto the platform. The train door hissed shut, and the man with the disarming smile waved goodbye as the car pulled away, like something out of Casablanca.