|In response to a request from paulintoronto
||[Jan. 17th, 2006|10:16 pm]
Mark and I went to Palm Springs for a holiday. We arrived on Christmas Eve and Mark stayed until New Year's Day; I stayed a week longer.|
We stayed at a gay resort called Mirage, or perhaps it had another name, I am not sure. It was a little enclave of several resorts that had been cobbled together over the years. The suites had at one time been small one-story apartments gathered about swimming pools, and had been remodeled into a sort of escapist fantasy: three swimming pools, three hot tubs, a water fall (with flames coming out of it at night), a steam room, lush tropical gardens, and all of it clothing optional.
On the way to Palm Springs—via Dallas, for some reason—my throat began to act up, and by Christmas morning I was in the emergency room of the local hospital. My abscess of the throat had flared up again.
Luckily I had caught it in time, and with a prescription in hand we continued our holiday. Two days later we ended back there again: Mark had severe sinusitis, and my throat was still not responding properly. Luckily it was a nice little hospital with a handsome bearish doctor and a similarly attractive male nurse.
Except for a day in Joshua Tree National Park (which was glorious), we spent most of our time at the resort, lying around the pool, reading or just vegetating. Our quarters were not what we had hoped. We had booked a one-bedroom with a full kitchen with the thought of indulging in lots of cooking. But the sink had no hot water, and there was only one fork and three mismatched knives, a small pot with its lid missing, a plastic ice bucket with two lids, and a smallish frying pan that had seen better days. Obviously this was a room to microwave in, not cook. The bedroom had a view into a kind of alleyway where they kept cleaning supplies and trash. A thin connecting door to the next suite let us know when the neighbors were having sex, or just watching one of the three channels of porn.
I fretted for days over whether to cut my trip short and return with Mark. The holiday would cost me more money than I could really afford, and I didn't want to stay in that suite alone. On the other hand I knew that I needed a kind of retreat, a time to do nothing. And as strange as it might seem, this place was perfect for just that. I loved the gardens, and although the rather clean-cut L.A. crowd was not to my taste, it still had some range in ages, from late twenties to sixties, and I was relieved to not be the oldest one there.
As luck would have it, an "executive suite" opened up, and I ended up in a rambling apartment with a sort of early seventies Egyptoid/Deco decor, obviously designed for porno shoots. The kitchen was equipped with everything I could have wanted, but now didn't. as I was alone. The television had an extra bonus channel of porn, and the lighting featured coy down-lights that showed well from the gardens. The apartment had three entrances on three exposures, for quick getaways. Unfortunately, I did not have a camera with me. A video camera would have been best.
The week after New Year's Day, the clientele completely changed. The crowd thinned out, and "locals" began to populate the pool area: it seemed that locals were invited to use the grounds free of charge, presumably if they met muster. It was then that I realized that many of the men around the pool were also featured on the porno channels, and in fact many of the videos had been made on those very grounds.
The "locals" tended to be guys with muscles, tattoos and big dicks, the kind of guys who sit on the edge of the hot tub, rather than in it, so that you can admire their equipment. They were of a variety of ages and I realized that gay porn had aged along with the baby boomers... and some of these guys were getting on in years. It was also clear that size-enhancing drugs were popular.
By the time my stay was coming to an end, I was ready to leave. On the last day, my friend Justin turned up and we drove around the city looking for fifties modernism, a fun and easy task. (I didn't mention the architectural tour that Mark and I went on, which was really great. Now I was trying to remember where my favorite houses were, a group of steel and glass Alexander model homes from the early seventies that were never put into production, because the price of steel went up. They were designed to be erected in a few hours each.)
Of course I forgot to mention our rocky getaway: box cutters were found in my backpack and the Homeland Security people were called (is that what happened to that knife!). On the way home, after lengthy delays, my luggage was lost, or so it seemed. In fact it had been seized by homeland security again. They had even opened up a jar of marmalade I had packed away (don't ask!) and stirred around the contents, leaving big black thumbprints on the jar: needless to say I threw that marmalade away!