The 900-foot rainbow banner in the 2009 Pride parade heads the other way.
Photo by JANICE CHECCHIO
15 years ago
I'd been a rather staid man all my adult life. Until I met Michael.
It was a lusty summer night in Portland. I was at Metropolis, a gay bar in the mid- to late-'90s. We caught sight of each other. Both our faces immediately broke into huge grins. We began to laugh. It was like we'd known each other forever, or maybe we'd just been waiting to meet each other all our lives. In no time we were lost in each other's lives.
Michael's smile was the thing I looked forward to most. Just imagining it, even now, something deep inside opens wide. His smile was a fix. I needed it every day. One smile and I felt loved and desired. Oh, my ex-wife loved me, but we'd never experienced blind passion. Denial thins things down.
He'd greet me at the door, all smiles. I'd break into a huge grin, step in the door, and for the next hour or two we'd be lost in each other's arms, lips locked, exploring each other's bodies, kissing, sucking, screwing, laughing. It was with Michael that I began to make noise while making love. I don't mean little grunts and groans — I mean loud raucous sounds, noises that could be heard through his apartment walls. Now, I'd been with a headbanger before. Every time he was about to come he'd bang his head on the headboard, the wall, the floor, it didn't matter, whatever was near, and shout "Oh God! Oh God!" over and over 'til he was spent. But I'd never let myself shout or scream while making love. Michael brought me out of that closet. Just hearing the sounds that emerged from me was a turn-on all by itself. I didn't care if people heard us: the bed rocking, springs creaking, me screaming. Actually, the thought of being heard turned me on.
One night we started making love in his bedroom, and rolled off the bed onto the floor, laughing, screwing like dogs down the hallway, through the living room, knocking over small tables and whatever else happened to be in the way as we went. We rolled our way into the kitchen where we had a glass of wine, made dinner, had a wonderful discussion, and then fucked our way back to his bedroom. It was fantastic.
I've been making noise ever since.