He came into the health club with a woman.  I assumed it was his wife.  They looked like they were having a good time; smiling at one another and joking with other people using the club.  He used the stair master with great ease.  His long legs pumped the peddles fast, while his healthy body showed no signs of fatigue.  I wanted to wait around so I could see him take a shower.  My eyes were hungry for another fix of looking upon a naked man with such an athletic form.  As they left the equipment room, I still wasn't sure he would use the shower.  Many of the people, who work out, don't feel they need to take a shower.  They often just walk out of the building to their cars or bicycles. 

I undressed and went into the large empty shower room.  No one was there as I showered and wondered if I was wasting my time.  Several people came and went and I decided it was about time to leave; I had some errands to do.  As I looked at the clock to see how much time I had wasted, he stepped around the corner. There he was, as beautiful as I had imagined him to be under his sweat pants.

I am pretty good at not looking too obvious.  There was a friendly hello.  It turns out he had read an article about me in the newspaper and recognized me from the picture.  The article was about my bike trip across America.  He wondered if I had any future trips planned.  Want to have conversation with a handsome man?  Just remember your stories about recreation or travel.  Gay stories would likely work. 

The conversation was short and he hurried on his way, but several weeks later, I saw him at the bar --- the gay bar. 

He was dancing with that woman who I assumed was his wife.  They gyrated to the music along with a hundred other dancing forms.  I figured a lot of straight couples dance at the gay bar.  It's the trendiest place in town.  Where else is there to go?  The VFW Hall?  

There's another bar where a bunch of college students just stand around listening to raunchy garage bands as they hold beer bottles by the neck. 

The gay bar is unencumbered.  It's a place where people can just let loose, have a good time and not worry about which box they should be fitting in.  The place where avant-garde people hang out.  I don't go to the bar real often, but occasionally it's nice to tap into that musical energy.

Several weeks later, I saw him again at the bar.  This time, he was dancing with a guy.  The woman was still there, but she was dancing by herself.  I thought, "maybe he's a married man who's bisexual."  "Or maybe he's coming out as a gay man."  "Some married people turn out to be gay."

It sure looked like he was dancing passionately with that man.  This looked gay to me, or maybe not.  Later on, the woman, he was with, was dancing with another woman.

When there was a lull in the music, he ended up standing right beside me. Normally one can never talk over the loudness of the music, but I thought this might be an opportunity to say something; especially since he was standing right by me.  

I figured, if he wasn't gay, at least he would be gay friendly.  "Are you interested in the gay / lesbian potluck?" I ask.  "I do the newsletter for that potluck."

He said, "Oh I know about the potluck, I'm on the mailing list."  

All this time, even when I saw him at the gym, he was on my mailing list.  One of those names with no face. 

There was more connection with that distant "married" man at the fitness center than I would have ever guessed.

It turns out he is a gay man and that woman is one of his many friends.  She turns out to be a lesbian woman. 

Since then I have seen him, at a few events, around town and in the shower.  Another kind heart in the local population.  The tidbits of connectedness, we get from one another; even the small tidbits; make for a friendlier world.

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