Brodie’s Public Relations

When I first came out, smart phones hadn’t yet

revolutionized online dating. I didn’t know where to go to meet people, so I tried finding dates through the only website I was on – Friendster.

Friendster was basically the Facebook of the early 2000s – a social networking site with a clean interface, as opposed to the customizable-to-a-fault MySpace, where any teenager with a creative flair could send you into a seizure by their selection of background graphics.

Facebook has since conquered cyberspace, forcing Friendster to reinvent itself as a social gaming site. MySpace still hasn’t gotten the hint.

It was on Friendster that I met Brodie.

Brodie was connected to friends of friends of friends. Communication with Brodie was intermittent. He explained he was in Public Relations and frequently traveled out of the country for work.

We eventually exchanged numbers. When I called a few days later, the recording sounded more like a work line, or even a reception desk, asking the caller to press one if it were a business call. I left a message and didn’t give it much thought.

Brodie called back a few days later. He usually had to work weekends, he explained, but was free that coming Friday. So we met for drinks.

Brodie was over six feet tall, in shape but thin, with wispy Scandinavian hair and light blue eyes. He looked just like his pictures. He was sweet, easy-going, and incredibly attentive. Between opening doors and ordering drinks, he couldn’t have been more of a gentleman. Even when we ended up back at his place that night, hooking up was all about me. He was so interested in pleasing me, I don’t even remember if either of us pleased him.

When we awoke the next morning, we grabbed brunch nearby and walked around the Mission, eventually stopping at the district’s centerpiece – Mission Dolores. The Mission dates back to 1776, and is not only the oldest mission in California, but also the oldest building in San Francisco. It’s perhaps best known for a scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, where Jimmy Stewart follows Kim Novak into the mission’s cemetery.

There was no mass or service when Brodie and I entered, so we leisurely toured the grounds. Like all legitimate tourist destinations, it ended in a gift shop. Brodie waited patiently while I picked out saint medallions and holy pictures for friends and family back home.

On our walk back to his place, we happened to pass an adult video and novelty store, the type that specialized in dildos, bondage equipment, and other types of gag gifts given at bachelorette parties and later passed along to gay best friends. Brodie stopped to look at the window display, displaying videos ranging from hard core to harder core. He proudly pointed to one of the raunchier DVDs. The person on the cover sort of looked like Brodie.

He confirmed that it was indeed he. Just like on the seven other DVDs.

Brodie explained that porn was only something he did on the side. His real job was an escort. If this qualified as Public Relations, then I had done my P.R. internship all wrong.

This nugget of knowledge did explain his attentiveness. And his phone number’s 888 prefix. And why I had to select 3 to leave a personal message.

Brodie lamented that we could never work out, which wasn’t exactly a news flash. He claimed I was the type of guy he wished he could settle down with. I wasn’t sure what exactly was keeping him from doing that, but I didn’t ask.

Brodie then admitted he’d been nervous to hang out with me. This surprised me, but maybe he wasn’t accustomed to conversation before copulation?

I was the one who should have been nervous touring a Catholic church with a porn star, but I did OK. And no thanks to the Complete Gay & Lesbian Manners, failing once again to be the definitive guide for every LGBT occasion.

Apparently, my night with Brodie retailed for $2500. Brodie was fun, but not that much fun. If this seems high, I remind the reader that it was a Friday night, and rates are higher on the weekend.

On my drive home, I opted to drop Brodie off at his three o’clock appointment. It was on the way, and I figured it was the least I could do to repay him for his service, as a thank you card seemed awfully formal.

It was many years before I caught a glimpse of Brodie again, and by this time, porn stars and escorts were no longer a novelty, especially at San Francisco’s Folsom Street Fair.

I gathered Brodie was still a porn star, partly because he was working the booth of a famous porn company, but mostly, because he was naked, suspended by a leather harness, while a drag queen probed his prostate with a fluorescent dildo.

Brodie recognized me and motioned with cuffed hands to stop by. Since I was never really good with this type of Public Relations, I opted to just wave and kept walking. He looked like he was enjoying himself, and I hated to interrupt.

Besides, I had an appointment at home with an industrial strength eye rinse.

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