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Do you want to go to Fairfax?

I have a long commute.  Over an hour it is, and I can tell you that after a few years of working from home, it sucks mightily.  But until last week, I did not know exactly how much it sucked, nor indeed did I realize in exactly what manner it sucked.

It happens that there is a rest area more or less half way between Festung Buckethead in the hills of the Blue Ridge, and my place of bidness.  This is convenient because a) I drink caffeinated beverages by the barrel and b) I am old and my bladder is shrinking. ((I should note that the rest area is very convenient, because getting off the highway at most of the exits along my route entails either a long drive to a place of peeing, or else a long wait in traffic getting back on the highway.)) In a week, I’ll stop at that rest area about every other day to have a smoke and tinkle. ((Not at the same time, though.)) For months, I was blissfully ignorant of activities that were going on around me.  I peed and I smoked without nary care in the world.

But then, one day, I was at the rest area a little longer than usual.  I got a call from a friend, and since it was a beautiful spring day, I just hung out at the rest stop, talking on the phone and smoking the occasional smoke.  I noticed that there was this guy, mid fifties perhaps and well dressed.  He was wandering around aimlessly, not smoking, not talking on the phone.  I thought nothing of it.  But when I hung up with my friend Chris, ((Hi Chris!)) it was time to take care of the bladder.  So, I walked toward the restrooms.  And passed the well dressed older guy.  I nodded, the kind of “Hi, but I’m too lazy to actually say Hi” nod that I typically give to strangers.  He nodded back, and I continued into the bathroom, took care of my appointed task, and started walking out. 

Well dressed guy came in, and as I passed, he totally groped me. ((On the front side, I might add.  This was not your normal (and in retrospect, probably a lot politer) butt grope.))

I was rather startled.  Despite my appearance, I am not really a violent guy.  But even if I were violent, I imagine I would have been too surprised to react.  I kept going, got in my car.  And as I started the car, well-dressed sexual assault guy was coming back out of the restroom.  It occured to me that he didn’t stay in there long enough to actually, you know, go to the bathroom.  He had what I would have to describe as an expectant look on his face.

I put the car in reverse, and made tracks out of there.  And as I pulled away, he looked rather disheartened.  His chance for momentary true love, shattered.

As I completed my drive home, I pondered the event.  Had I, unknowingly, given some sign or message that in the community of creepy gay guys that cruise for anonymous gay sex at public rest areas means, “Hi, my butt is available for hot sex”?  Because I assure you, gentle reader, that that is not the kind of signal I would want to broadcast.  The only thing I did was nod at the guy, which does not strike me as a an effective clandestine signal, being so open to ((As, sadly, in this case.  For both of us, I assume.)) misinterpretation.

Well, I figured, no harm done, really.  The guy was just desperate or something, or addled, or his gaydar wasn’t operational.  Regardless, being secure in my masculine heterosexuality, it was no skin off my nose.

So the next morning, I forgot to hit the head before leaving the house.  And I needed to stop at the rest area again.  ((This one, of course, being on the other side of the highway.))   I pull, in pee, and decide to have a smoke before getting back in the car.  ((In my to date futile attempts to stop smoking, I have decided that I will no longer smoke in the car.)) And there’s this creepy looking guy wandering around.

Still slightly scarred from the previous evening, I think to myself, “Good Christ, it’s only nine in the morning.  Isn’t that a little early for cruising for risky anonymous sex?”  And then, perhaps still unwilling to believe the sordid reality, though, “Okay, maybe he’s just a lumpy foriegner alienated from all that is familiar to him.  Let’s give the guy a break.”  So I walk back to the car.

As I’m getting into the car, lumpy foriegn creepy guy walks over, and asks, “Do you know what time it is at?”  He had a Indian ((Dot.)) type accent, kind of sing song.

“Quarter to nine,” says I.

“Pardon?”

“Eight.  Forty.  Five.”

“Oh, thank you very much.”

I continue my interrupted process of getting into the car.  I start the car, pull back out of the parking spot, and am about to race back out onto I66.  And the guy gives a kind of half wave, like, a “I have something further to ask, and don’t know exactly how to indicate this” sort of wave.  So, I stop.  I roll down the passenger side window, and raise my eyebrows, “Yes?”

“Do you want to go to Fairfax?”  Delivered rushed, a bit nervous.  And still sing-songy, like Raj from the movie Van Wilder, but only maybe an eighth as cool.  I do believe lumpy creepy foriegn guy is propositioning me.

“Pardon?”

“Do you want to go to Fairfax?”

“No.  I want to go to work.”  And I don’t think I’ve ever said that before.  And if I did, I am certain I didn’t mean it as much.

So I spend the remainder of my drive wondering what this guy’s deal is.  I started wondering about this.  Is it was just coincidence that both of these things happened less than 12 hours apart, where nothing of the kind had ever happened, at any rest area, ever?  I surely hope so. 

When I got home, ((Avoiding the rest area this time.)) I did some research.  And apparently, this sort of thing is rather common.  Some of the websites I found are… disturbing.  I won’t poison your mind with the links.  But rest assured that there are whole communities dedicated to fostering carnal relationships between lonely truckers and suburban closeted gays, using highway rest stops as a sort of drive-in debutant ball. 

Now that I’ve gotten some distance from these mildly traumatic events, I have come to terms with it, mostly.  I still stop at the rest area when I need to.  And I watched well dressed groping guy find some disposable love just last night – he and his flavor of the moment caravaned off together while I was smoking.  But the thing that’s the real, essential creepiness is not the gayness, but the skankiness of it all.  We are perhaps blessed in that a similar situation does not exist for heterosexuals, since women would only do it for money, not for fun.  But if they did, it would still be skanky.

“Do you want to go to Fairfax?”

§ 10 Comments

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  • 1

    Wait, you nodded at the guy?

    F*ckin’ tease.

  • Patrick Ransom

    2

    The term “rest area” is a rather new term .. I believe it was actually derived from it’s Latin origin — Homos Lavātōrium – or gay lavatory.

    I’m no frequenter to the rest area scene — but I can, without a doubt, tell you my friend that when it comes to rest areas it’s best to use the old Rule of Thumb. Used much like the 5 second Rule when you were a kid dropping food on the floor — you never “hang around” rest areas for any amount of time deemed longer than normal for taking care of such bodily tasks. Unlike it’s name implies … there should be no “resting” of any kind at the rest area. Any resting or hanging around for that matter simply implies that you are willing and open to the debauchery that exists just under the facade of normal rest area activities. Smoking, nonetheless! Why not hold up a cardboard sign reading “I like all things oral”.

    I’m not normally the type to share such valuable knowledge freely in public forum but I think you are in need of my general Rest Area Rule of Thumb.

    1. No eye contact – ever. Don’t even look at your own junk while taking care of business
    2. Timeliness – I’m not saying to sprint or anything but a brisk walk to and fro is mandatory
    3. No meandering – Treat it like Iraq .. get in and get out. OK maybe not the best example but you get the point
    4. Touch nothing – This is a given but then again I thought 1-3 were too. This mean your own junk too as this could be misinterpreted as foreplay.
    5. No Talking – There is nothing so important that needs discussing at the rest area. This includes phone calls, text messages, and pages. And for goodness sake turn off any ringtones from George Michael, Prince, or the Culture Club.

    As for the actual act of groping and the indecent proposition by Apu from the Simpsons…I’m sorry to hear that you had to undergo such events, albeit a good thing in that it led to the eventual opening of your eyes to the sick and twisted “carny like” under-world of rest areas. Sick bastards.

    Hopefully these rules will shed some light.

  • 3

    Patrick, I see that you are vastly more experienced in the ways of rest areas than I. While I generally consider myself to be a moderately worldy kinda guy, I obviously was holding on to some childish naivete, at least in regard to the highway rest stop.

    Your rules for rest stops are well considered. But consider this: If we allow the cruisers for anonymous gay sex at public rest areas to affect our behavior, then the terrorists win.

    And I, for one, am a patriotic American who does not want the terrorists to win.

    I will continue to use the rest areas as I choose, and those who use them for unsavory purposes can just stand the f*ck back. I’m straight, and I’m proud.

  • Patrick Ransom

    4

    It is amazing to me how this type of anon-semi-quasi-homo behavior is spreading virally from where it originated (bathrooms @ Dairy Queens – don’t get me started) to more well respected, upscale venues like rest areas. It just proves that where there’s a will there’s a way…and by “will” I mean a stiffy and by “way” I mean a man loving hole.

    Your point about the traveling sexgobblers winning due to our own change in behavior is a good one to ponder. Hopefully my Rules of Thumb didn’t convey the message of appeasement but rather one of awareness.

    Amen to being straight, proud, and an American patriot.

  • 5

    B,
    You were definitely doing something that gave this guy the right vibe. I wonder if PR might be on to something, about your duration at the rest stop, being the trigger.

    Thing is, you’re what, 6’4? and big in the shoulders. Only someone who’s sure of a pleasing result would just reach out and freely rearrange a guy’s junk like that, let alone the junk of those who trend burly.

    Cause he’s risking a pretty thorough stomping otherwise.

  • 6

    I am sure there are various signs and portents that are used to establish the connections. I might have inadvertently used one. I think both of you are right, though – the length of the visit, combined with my friendly nod, probably crossed some threshold.

    On the one hand, I can view the whole experience as a sort of compliment. But on the other, it is rather sordid. And while the gay thing adds an small frisson of revulsion, hetero oriented people behaving in this manner would be on par in my personal scales of justice. That’s what creeps me out. Furtive, well dressed people skulking in rest areas. Dude, families stop there!

    The cops are vigilant in ridding the rest areas of prostitutes. Which, while equally skanky are at least theoretically of use to me. Doesn’t seem fair.

  • 7

    “On the one hand, I can view the whole experience as a sort of compliment…”

    Ehhh…that guy was after physical satisfaction of some type from a stranger in a rest stop. That has nothing to do with your appearance.

    Uh, not to take anything away from you, mind you.

    You were assaulted, not complimented. And you would’ve been well within your rights had you stomped that dude’s ass. Matter of fact, had that been West Virginia, it would’ve been your duty.

  • Dfens

    8

    It wasn’t this bastard, was it? If so, he probably just had a “wide stance” entering the bathroom and any groping was purely accidental. Of course, people like the good Senator here are not actually “homosexuals”. They prescribe to the liberal view that equates homosexuality to effeminancy. While I do not consider it appropriate to in any way harass someone because they are not “manly enough” and will not tolerate their being mistreated for such, I think that anyone who grabs your unit has fully and completely earned being beaten beyond the point of recognition. You’d be doing society a favor, not to mention yourself. This country is going to hell in a handbasket.

  • 9

    I should add that my reaction would probably have mirrored Buckethead’s: A moment of weirdness, followed by getting away from the creep, followed by some reflection as to what had just happened.

    It would’ve been quite awhile- relative to the time it took the guy to grope me- before I realized I could have, and indeed should have, kicked his ass.

    And by that time…well, the moment’s over and you’re miles down the road. If you then get off the highway, loop around to go back the way you’d come in order to actually stop there with the intention of inflicting grievous bodily harm, that’s not self defense.

  • Dfens

    10

    Very true. Now that he knows what kind of perv’s hang out at these rest stops, though. BH might want to keep an eye out for those who are less able to fend off unwanted advances. I’m thinking of what might happen to unescorted children with one or more of those maggots around.

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