Love, Awkardly
Episode III: Falling into the (age) gap

With my past setup a complete failure, I was a bit leery when my friend Ashley told me about “this great guy from my work you will just love!” Ashley works at a grocery store, and insisted that one of the cashiers was just my type. The setup for this was a bit more casual than my last date: my first ever jaunt to Vancouver gay standard The Odyssey. Somehow I had managed to avoid this cesspool of a nightclub for years, and from conversations prior, I’d realized I was the only 24 year old guy in town who had never been. Our mutual friend Ashley came along with a bunch of their coworkers to watch their store’s florist do a drag cover of Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful.” It sounds so cliché that I feel that I should maybe alter it for this column just to make it sound more believable.
Ashley immediately introduced me to the “great guy”, Jason. He was certainly cute, with Buddy Holly glasses and messy hair, but I had a slight reservation. I pulled Ashley to the side as casually as I could and asked her how old he was. “Nineteen...why?” I felt my heart sink, and like a bit of a creep for being interested. She assured me to not let the age difference change anything.
The evening was a treat, filled with multiple overtly sexually named drinks as well as a plethora of half-assed drag, including but not limited to a Miley Cyrus impersonator. Halfway through the worst lip-synching I have ever seen in my life, Jason hopped on my lap and started holding my hand. I began to feel a bit like a pedophilic Santa Claus with a child on my lap.
I struggled with feeling like a father and trying to tell myself that Aaliyah was right, and that “Age ain’t nothing but a number.” By the end of the night, I knew I was interested, but I kept telling myself that he was still a teenager.
I decided to settle the score, and asked him out as a follow up. We went on a one on one date, being a picnic at Stanley park, then drinks close to his place, followed by us drunkenly passing out on his bed. In the morning, I grabbed my bag, and in an attempt to be courteous, said goodbye quietly while trying to sneak out. As I was out the door, he opened it up and said “goodbye. I love you.” I completely froze in my tracks like a baby deer watching an oncoming semi truck, wide-eyed and unsure which way to step. Staring back glazed over, I said, “Okay, I’ll call you!” before running off as fast as I could while retaining any air of decency.
A week went by where he dodged my phone calls before he finally invited me over on a rainy cold Sunday afternoon for some homemade soup. I thought I would act normal as I could, ignoring his closing comment from our last encounter. Halfway through my lunch, he told me he really needed to talk to me about something. “I’m only nineteen, and I have my whole life ahead of me,” he told me. “And I really need to focus on school now.”
At this point, I was almost more confused than being told, “I love you” on a first date. I asked for an explanation, and it was very clear he was covering his tracks for the prior week while trying to maintain status quo. His shifty eyes and babbling mouth had no answer for me. I laughed into my soup, polishing it off before departing back into the Vancouver downpour.
This time when the door closed, there was no closing gesture or remark. I wondered, if I had lied and returned the gesture the week before, which side of the door I would be standing on.

JJ Brewis is a student at capilano university. he writes on his experience as a mid-twenties gay man who suddenly finds himself single for the first time since teenage years, and attempts the reverse order of dating after a relationship.

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