Obscurity Knocks

Earnest, empathetic, industrious, unpretentious, gay Virgo in Milwaukee with a great life, amazing friends, and a wonderful family.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Walt in Bethlehem, PA

When I was in graduate school at Lehigh University circa 1996-1998, I lived at 427 Seneca Street in Bethlehem, PA. The house immediately next to the flat I rented was owned by a guy named Walt. He was a stockbroker who drove a black Mercedes sedan. Walt bought this beautiful house and worked hard restoring and remodeling it. He did much of the work himself but hired contractors for major projects. In any event, Walt was in his late 20s at the time. I was 22-24, and not as bold or confident as I am today. Walt was one of the hottest guys I've been fortunate enough to lay eyes on. He had short-cropped sandy blond hair, blue eyes, a slender yet muscular build, and shaved his chest. Walt wasn't shy about working in his yard shirtless. He mowed the lawn, pulled weeds, and washed his Mercedes shirtless. It was quite nice to have such a handsome man living next door. Unfortunately, I was rather shy back in my early 20s, and I never said more than hello and a comment about the weather.

In the summer of 1997 things got even more interesting next door when one of Walt's friends moved in with him. Peg, my landlady, said that it was to help Walt pay for all of the renovation projects. I can't remember the roommate's name, but he drove a BMW 325 sedan from the late 80s. He had thick, dark, short hair, incredibly hot legs, and he also shaved his chest. I could tell because, like Walt, the roommate wasn't shy about being shirtless. The roommate was a runner, and I'd oftentimes see him on the Lehigh River canal towpath when I was riding my bicycle or running. I could see his chest stubble, which was too hot for words.

One summer evening Walt and his roommate were outside washing the Mercedes and the BMW. Both were shirtless. This provided me with "material" for months, and still brings a smile to my face 10 years later.

I wanted Walt and his roommate to be gay, but I wasn't sure. There would sometimes be women who came to the house, but so far as I could see, none ever spent the night. Well, maybe once, but it could have been Walt's sister. Who could say?

I visited the Lehigh Valley's only gay bar, the Stonewall in Allentown, just once during my two years living in Bethlehem. I was sitting at the bar alone, the door opened, and Walt and the roommate walked in. I almost passed out. My heart was racing, my hands were trembling. Did they see me? Yes, they saw me. Should I say something? What would I say? Unfortunately, I was too afraid to say anything. The Steve of 2007 looks back at the Steve of 1997 with frustration and says, "get some cojones." Alas, I missed my opportunity for anything to happen with Walt and/or the roommate.

Maybe they were gay. Or maybe they were just enlightened guys. Who knows. I wonder what Walt and the roommate are doing these days. I wish that I had Walt's last name so I could look him up and thank him for providing such great eye candy when I lived next door.


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