Episode IV: Fully Coded

Greetings, loyal readers. I am writing to you, for the first time ever, from vacation. This is the first trip I’ve ever taken by myself. Presently, I am perched at a café in downtown Seattle over a one-day layover. Tomorrow, I am getting on a plane to Indianapolis, Indiana, to meet (you guessed it)a boy I met on the internet through my Tumblr blog. While we have not committed to anything, I feel pretty good about it, and will be spending the next week with him and his friends. This is the first time I’ve ever gone this far out on a limb based on my feelings for someone. I’m nervous as hell, and have no clue what will happen, but I’ll let you know about it in next week’s issue.

While I’m here, I am reminded about a trip I took to Seattle in the summer a few years ago. This was pretty fresh off my break up with The Ex, and I took my sister for a shopping trip over the summer for her birthday. We stayed at The Moore Hotel in downtown Seattle, a location I had stayed previously with The Ex. The last time I had been there, the man working at the front desk, Bob, was obviously gay. I didn’t bank on it, but I had hoped that Bob would validate ‘the code.’  For those of you who are unaware, ‘the code’ is a relatively universal unwritten rule that gays have.

‘The Code’ is something that my straight friends resent. And as someone who doesn’t really have gay friends at all really, it comes up often. Essentially, as a minority(I use the term loosely), some gay people look out for each other when convenient, as an unwritten rule. For example, the lovely lesbian at the coffee shop near my work charges me a mere 45 cents no matter what I order. Last night over dinner, the waiter treated my friends and I to a round of drinks ‘on the house’ before winking at me. I’m all about free shit, so I have no qualms with this type of behaviour.

The first time I stayed at The Moore, Bob gave us the nicest room at the cheapest rate. It was pretty great. The time I went with my sister, we had spent a long day shopping when I went down to the lobby to check my email. Bob was there, and started chatting me up, and told me he was off work in half an hour, and asked if I wanted to go for drinks with him next door.

I returned to my room to freshen up as my sister egged me on, telling me to let loose. I met Bob at the pub beside the hotel where we drank for free for a couple of hours. There was definitely a lot of flirting going on, over stories of him telling me how he’d slept with hotel guests in their rooms and laughing about it. He asked me to walk him home, which is, of course, a whole different type of ‘code’ for asking something else. He warned me that the walk was long, And it was, especially since we were both a bit tipsy.

We walked all the way up to his apartment, which was located far up Capitol Hill, about a 40 minute walk. He invited me up and gave me a tour of his apartment, which was very tidy and well organized. Just as I thought he was going to make a move, he looked at his watch in a very rehearsed manner and said “Oh god it’s late. I should probably go to bed. You’re safe to walk home?” Bam. I don’t know what I did ‘wrong,’ but somewhere along the way, I must have offended him., Or maybe something in his own head clicked that made him feel wrong about the situation?. Surely he wouldn't just use me to walk him home for forty minutes? All night he had given me every indication that would stereotypically suggest a hook up was in order.

Two days later, when we were checking out of the hotel, I discovered that this time I was charged the regular room rate, not a cheaper one. Bob stared at me and spoke in a monotone drawl during the transaction, giving off a cold feeling. Somehow, a small piece of me was violated. He had broken the code, and I couldn’t even say or do anything about it, based on the code’s unspoken and unwritten nature. I wasn’t even disappointed about the rejection the other evening. But the fact that he had passed an opportunity to give me a deal, well, that was my own personal code for 'never staying there again.'

// JJ Brewis

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