So it was a lovely saturday in Fort Greene – 3 parts sunny, 2 parts nippy, but all parts pleasant – and I decide to take a stroll in the park, stopping briefly for my first iced coffee of the season. And when I enter said coffee shop, one male barista says to the other male barista, “And what about this one?” he looks in my direction. “I’d say a 7,” the taller, blacker one says and the squeakier guy nods. Now this wasn’t whisper-speak, by the way, this was full-fledged, unabashed dialogue for all parties to witness, absorb, whathaveyou. I just half-smile, “Can I have an iced americano? Thanks.” I pay, milk up, then continue with my stroll, trying to put my finger on that sortofoddexchange.
Um. Did I just get rated out 10? Nah, I’m just inventing some soap opera to keep me stroll-company cause Ricky’s away. “Oh, come on, let’s flesh this thing out,” a suave and sophisticated voice inside my head tells me. I like to think we all have a gossip-appreciating, self-centered British fop who happens to look like Robin Leetch living inside our heads, cause I most certainly do. “You’re right, Cedric,” I tell myself. “And I know just the perfect-shady spot for us to dissect this little mystery.” We laugh in unison like little girls. Oooh saturdays can be fun. Darn this coffee is good.
Well I’m 90% sure both baristas were gay. “Oh absolutely,” Cedric agrees. He really has an eye and he’s been around the block like a thousand times, so I trust him. Yeah the obvious cliche is that these boys are rating other boys on the cuteness-scale. “Right, right.” But I actually think they were rating boys on the probability-of-being-gay scale. “I love it! Can I get a sip?” Cedric’s never asked for a taste of iced coffee before. Sure um. He takes a long hard suck in with the straw. “Oh, that’s delightful!” Great, he finished it.
But low and behold, a narrative, however fake, is being woven. One of the baristas, the younger less-experienced one, recently had a bad experience with a straight dude and confides in the older, wiser gay, “I just don’t know anymore whether boys are queer or not,” and the older guy’s like, “Oh I can tell,” so they start this game. POOF. I’m a 7. Yeah that sort of makes sense. “Oh well. My work here is done, watch out for that ball.” Cedric takes a quick-left at my hypothalmus, disappears, just as a soccer ball comes flying from a nearby game, hitting me on the right ear. Some skinny-tall baby-faced sports dude runs after the ball, “Sorry about that.” He scampers off. “Eh, a 4,” I hypothesize.