In my freshman year of college I had a crush on a classmate named Rob. He was a classically cute uke-type guy. Sometimes we would bump into each other at the cafeteria and we would chat. I tried to become friends of his friends, but that wasn’t too successful and I thought that nothing was going to come of this.
At the end of the year I decided to enter the random roomate lottery for my sophomore year. Two weeks later I went to see the computer generated list and I found that Rob was going to be my roommate. Boy, was I shocked!
Summer came and went and soon I was moving in. Rob was an out-of-state student so he had already moved in when I was carying in my clothes and stuff. I was ready to have some time getting to know the guy I had a crush on for the previous year.
Things were fine for the first few weeks, but soon Rob’s habits began to get on my nerves. For example, he liked these special crackers (which taste nice) but he would nibble them like a chipmunk. Unfortunately these crackers were extra crunchy and this sound would really get on my nerves.
That aside, Rob and I still got along. We would listen in on our neighbor talking loudly on the phone. (Our neighbor was a dance major named Ernie who always was looking for a new sugar daddy.) We also would go out and see movies together, have dinner and share gossip, but this didn’t absolve Rob from one of his most annoying qualities, his love of Bette Midler and Judy Garland. I don’t mind them, and honestly I do have some of their music, but I don’t listen to the Beaches soundtrack every weekend.
I still could not figure out everything about Rob. Sure, he liked Beaches, but he had a photo of a really beautiful girl on his desk who is his “ex”. Sure he only had female friends, but he was friends with me. Sure he liked sports, but he was the mascot on the university cheer leading team. Everything added up to a normal gay male, but I wanted confirmation.
I would occasionally ask him about a girlfriend, and he would point to the photo of the ex, but this is just a photo. I would ask if he had a crush on any of his friends, but he always said no. Enough was enough, I was tired of waiting and finally decided to just ask him straight out, “Rob, are you gay?”
He was quiet for a while, and he said no. I wasn’t really heartbroken, just confused. This can’t be, he is so queer! I wasn’t convinced, so every night before I went to bed I would ask him, and he always said no. This went on for the entire year, and if anything he was consistent in his responce.
So it was the end of another year, and I decided that I was tired of roommates and wanted a single room. Sure living was Rob in the beginning was nice, but I got to learn all his bad habits and he became less and less attractive over time. It was time to live alone and move on.
A few years later I graduated. I found a boyfriend in LA and a job in the Bay Area and life went on. One summer we went back to LA to visit my boyfriend’s family and we swung by WEHO. We went to a few clubs and then to Don’t Panic which sells t-shirts that say “I’m not gay, but my boyfriend is” and surprise-surprise, guess who was working there? Rob…
So we said hi and I introduced him to my boyfriend. We talked for a while to catch up and talk about our careers. The whole time we were avoiding the one question, why was Rob working in a gay t-shirt shop in WEHO. I had to ask it, it was driving me crazy and I finally felt that I caught him in his lie so I had to ask again… “Rob, are you gay?”
He was quiet again and my boyfriend and I were staring at him waiting for him to respond. Rob was looking very nervous and then he gave the following response, “No, but don’t tell my manager. He thinks I am!”