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As I’ve grown older, I’ve started finding younger men less and less attractive. I’m glad! I encountered enough 40-something creeps when I was a teenager to worry about what I might become. The small towns of the South are packed to the brim with middle-aged, married, “Christian” chicken hawks (which is their own cutesy word for pedophiles). This was the case where and when I grew up, anyway. I don’t have any reason to assume that it’s any different now.

But yay! That didn’t happen to me! And it’s not just that I’m uninterested in the under-18 set. My cut-off is much higher than that. When I see a cute guy under, say, 30, he almost always looks like a stupid child to me, at first glance. Even the ones with beards. Maybe especially those. I want to tell them to comb their hair, and pull their pants up. And maybe introduce me to their dads.

Bah. Blah. I hope he remembered to wear sunscreen.

That’s why I thought it was funny and strange the other day when a twenty-something gay guy I’d never met — had never even seen until he came up to me all on his own  — stood in my face and whispered, with the kind of vehemence a movie hero musters at the end of Act Three, toward the genocidal villain, “Troll. Go home.”

He squinted his eyes and everything.

We were in a place where cruising happens. So there’s that. I can’t imagine that he thought I was cruising him, though — given that I had never even noticed him there. I think he had only just arrived. No: he simply didn’t want older gay men to exist, at all. He didn’t want to have to think about me actually being in the world.

Or maybe he just assumed that any older gay man would necessarily be transported into uncontrollable paroxysms of lust over his twink self unless he stepped up and made it clear from the beginning that he was unattainable: whatever. If so, I guess he thought he was being polite.

Gays are vain, gays are vain, gays are vain.

Or maybe somebody he had been cruising had been cruising me. Maybe he was threatened by my dilfiness and wanted to get me off the competitive island as quickly as possible. I’m pretty oblivious sometimes, but yeah, that must have been it — if for no other reason than the fact that it puts the vainest possible spin on the situation! I always opt for the vainest possible spin. I am still a gay man, after all, and gays are vain!

And, yes, I get on my own nerves sometimes, too.

I met his gaze unresponsively until he left — in case you’re curious.