Saturday, August 02, 2008

Down time at the airport...

I found myself this week between flights at the Denver International Airport. The DIA is actually a great airport for people-watching as the concourse is extremely long and straight and very wide and open with moving walkways in the middle and plenty of uncrowded seating. And of course, after a long business trip, I was tired and didn't particularly desire to be productive and wrap up my field report - I desired some downtime. I could have read the National Geographic magazine or the newspaper, I guess, or read my spare Book of Mormon, but I wasn't in the mood for reading either.

So, I did what any other red-blooded American gay boy would do: I started people-watching. Soon, it became a game of sorts. I situated myself where I could get a good view of everyone passing in front of me from either direction. There were lots of people hurriedly passing by; a slice of humanity, so many people passing through the same time and space and then gone.

I eventually commenced my ranking game I play with myself as I size up the male-breed passing before me (sorry I really didn't note the female variety). In my shallowness and lowliness of immaturity, I rank the men before me on their physical characteristics and aura of composure, as follows:

0 = Not interesting at all - typically too old, too fat, too unattractive, too something.

1 = Some redeeming qualities - maybe youth, or being in good shape, or nice hair, or cute, but not necessarily all of the above, usually just one of those qualities.

2 = Now you have those who maybe have two of those qualities, i.e. youth and good shape, but maybe bad hair and ugly, or older and ugly, but nice hair and composure and fit shape.

3 = The beginnings of the full package with some interest peaked enough to follow the eye a bit longer.

4 = The full package together: nice face and hair, well dressed (even if in casual shorts and tee), young (not too old), fit (in good shape / athletic) and cute with an air of confidence and being self-assured - definitely a linger-longer moment.

5 = Mamma mia! The special someone that you could get up and follow with your eyes the whole length of the concourse... someone that makes you do a double-take and audibly sigh "wow".

As usual, there are a ton of "0"s out there. The majority of mankind are zeros! God created a lot of very average Joes out there. (NOTE: In case you think I'm pretty hot stuff and arrogant, don't worry, if I saw me passing by, I'd give myself a "ZERO" as well... I'm too old, not in great shape, have too wild of hair these days, and I lack confidence and assuredness). I would wager that 60% of the men I saw were zeros... and as I paid more attention, I've decided there are lots of men out there that are nine months pregnant and ready to pop any moment. The overweight phenomenon of America is out there on parade! I know it ain't easy to lose that body fat that seems to give up fighting gravity and settles with time around the middle (believe me I personally know), but does one have to wear such a tight tee shirt to exaggerate just how perfectly round your bowling ball is shaped above one's belt?

Sometimes you'd see someone and turn your head and ask yourself "what was THAT?" The beards to the belly, or the short-shorts, or the overly tanned, or the "definitely EURO", and the even more obvious "definitely French!" or the too pierced or too tattooed, or just "too too".

The "1s" and "2s" make up another 15% each.

That leaves the "3s" and "4s" making up another 4.5% each, leaving 1% at truly a "5". I think I hit a couple dozen 4s and 2 5s.

I was so enthralled in this little game of mine, I started being bold and stared at the 3s and 4s to see if they would look back. Hardly anyone did. (like I said, I'm a zero so it's easy to be invisible in a crowd). One guy did do the "double take" and turned his head and looked at me a second time as he walked by. I was brave enough to not look away and I smiled. NOTE: Is this called "cruising"?

Easily an hour passed and I was still having fun, until I noticed that the gate that I was sitting across from, that I was scheduled to depart from, all of a sudden had "Spokane" written on the screen instead of "SLC". By the time I recognized that they had done a last-minute switcheroo on my gate and that the new gate was some 3 miles down at the other end of the A concourse, I had to gather up my stuff and scoot down the people mover in time to catch the flight that I had so much leisure time to catch.

Along the way, I ran into Mr. 5+. His arms were twice my size. His waist was half my size. He was young and tall and cute, with perfect everything... I did a dead stop and twisted my head back to take in his backside and nearly caused a pedestrian traffic accident as I disrupted the flow. *sigh*

I've mentioned before about a vivid memory of my BYU roommates ranking the coeds as they would pass by our window at Helaman Halls and how they'd get into the catcalls and "whoo-hooing" like none other, pushing each other away from the window, jockeying for a better view of the eye-candy swishing by. These were "fine upstanding young men with mission calls in their pockets", mind you, as I would watch them get carried away with the girls in their new spring dresses in April - me not seeing what the big deal was all about. (NOTE: You would have thought that I would have known I was "different" enough to recognize that I wasn't attracted to the opposite sex outside like them, I was attracted to the view of them wrestling each other in my room).

I think I've heard it said by Elder Paul H. Dunn or some other General Authority in my youth that if you don't look then you're not human!

So, as my gay adolescent phase continues in full force (I guess I'm destined to never grow up as a mature gay man as long as I live this pseudo non-real life of pretending), I'm looking and watching and feeling pretty stupid for being my age and acting like one of the guys in the BYU freshmen dorms. You'd think I'd be beyond this. Alas, (heavy sigh) I'm not.

My guilt-genes kick in and I start to feel like I should have been seeking the spirit more and searching out the "one" parading before me in that airport, that needs my spare copy of the Book of Mormon.

But, I'm only human, right?


Dichotomy said...

You'd think I'd be beyond this. Alas, (heavy sigh) I'm not.

I'm not sure there's such a thing as "too old" to want to look, whether you're gay or not.

Right after I came out to my dad I was talking to him on the phone. He was asking me questions, trying to get a handle on what exactly I meant when I said I am gay.

At some point I mentioned that at the swimming pool I couldn't keep myself from staring at someone who I found extremely attractive. My nearly 70-year-old dad, who's extremely active in the Church and happily married, said that he likes to stare, too.

I laughed and reminded him that we probably weren't staring at the same people.

Beck said...


What a hoot!

I agree and I know it's okay to look and even stare and enjoy the view and take in the scenery... but to take it to the point of ranking and keeping score, and even thinking of 'cruising' a bit - gets me feeling a bit immature.

But, that is what makes me say I'm gay, too. I love looking at the artistic display parading by!

Still can't believe you had that conversation with your dad. I think my dad is rolling over in his grave / shaking his head in the spirit world right now even realizing that he has a gay son!

Damon said...

LOL, Beck...yes that is cruising, sort of. I don't think you are necessarily looking to find anyone. And someone who is really cruising would. However, it sounds like you have the look going.

You were in my neck of the woods at DIA! One of those guys could've been me, except I wasn't there. :)

I think it's ok to look and I can't imagine what would be wrong with ranking them. But if it had cost you to rescdule a later flight from Denver to to SLC...well, then I might say you have a problem Just kidding.

You're right and so is Dichotomy and his dad! It's fine to look. Enjoy it! Just don't miss the dang flight. LOL.

When I was 16 and flying from Denver to Idaho Falls to see my sister I nearly missed my flight for EXACTLY the same reason.

Beck said...

DAMON: I almost did miss my flight. It was amazing how intense I was getting into the people-watching groove.

It's nice to know that I'm not the only one. I still feel pretty embarrassed to admit that I did / do that with some spare time in an airport.

I go through DIA almost monthly, so if you do, too, don't be surprised if you see a "great looking guy" staring you down to see if you'll turn and stare back! :)

Damon said...

The next time someone stares at me at DIA I am going to walk up to him and ask, "Are you Beck?" Lol, I hope it's you so I don't look psychotic!