Porn Stars and High School Reunions

“You know he does porn. The gay type.” It just screamed in italics. My once best friend (from Guam) hissed into my ear at our high school reunion.

I almost died. With the crappy lettuce in my salad aspirated into my lungs, I finished off with a coughing jag and an epiphany to boot.

My friend pounded me on the back to get me to breathe. “Are you ok?,” he asked. "Say ‘no’ so we can get an ambulance and get outta here.”

Leave? No. Now it was getting interesting.

“That’s why he always took a shower with his underwear on,” he continued.

“What…?,” I said confusedly. My friend started scoping out couples and muttered their relationship and sexual histories. “Married,” “divorced, forever single, gay, divorced and bi.” He stopped to take a breath. “Funny, ‘that person’"—my friend’s attention was drawn to another former classmate—"was never bi then went straight. Ever notice that?”

No. I didn’t.

My friend ticked through the list of attendees with his yearbook on his lap. “Dead, prison, missing, suicide—that was so sad—married 3 times and very poor, gay, gay, gay. How many gay guys did you think we had in school?”

I had no idea. “Three or four max. Do you count bi into gay?,” I asked.

“We never did back then. It seems most of the bi boys had girlfriends as beards,” he said, using the term to mean the camouflaging of one’s sexual identity.

My friend did the island mannerism of tipping his head up and using the chin to point at the porn actor. “And that made him gay?,” I queried.

We returned to the issue of showering in your underwear. Conversations with my best friend jumped around a lot, like sheep avoiding landmines in the Falkland Islands.

“In P.E. class, he would never undress in front of us. We were all butt naked in those horrible concrete showers that used only cold water,” he replied. He was Mr. Modesty—all towels and underwear.

My friend wouldn’t know that because while we were the same year, I was in an accelerated class while he was in a regular class—the third one was for ROTC (military) courses.

And now he is a porn star, I wondered. Hmm.

“Any pics?”

My friend gave me a big smile and pulled up jpegs and my classmate’s porn website, all courtesy of an iPhone 6 plus with an extra large viewing screen.

“Holy crap he is hung like a farm animal!,” I gasped, threatening to start coughing anew. Aircraft evacuation slides should be that big. That would explain why his underwear bagged out like it did. We thought he was just “droopy drawers” underwear—just hopelessly too large.

The underwear in the shower thing was more prevalent than I knew. We had guys from the Philippines, India, Korea, Palau and Taiwan who seemed to always cover up while taking a shower. It was only the island boys and the haoles (white people) who braved it in the ‘all together.’

By now my table had people huddled together looking scandalized and very focused on our digital entertainment. The man of the hour walked in, looked around and headed over to his group of friends.

I disclosed to my assembled table that I ran into him once before in an immigration line at Narita Airport when I was a college student. He had the most remarkable bleached blonde hair I said, but no one seemed impressed.

I was reminded of another time I had met him after he came up to our table while making his rounds. I slouched and tried to be inconspicuous to no avail.

“Didn’t you work my flight to Taipei?,” he said as he shook my hand and looked me dead in the eye.

I had a flashback to something I said on that particular flight in the galley when I was working as a flight attendant. My coworker had said, “Height-weight proportionate, well groomed facial hair, and nice physiques. We are flying a porn convention. I can feel it in my bones. But the straight ones all look like trolls” and went back to yanking out trays. I studiously avoided any further comments and set to work. Taiwan didn’t offer us a lot of time to dawdle on the plane and I would need another four hours of flying time to work all the innuendo, word play and snide comments out of my system.

Back at the high school reunion, there was no response from me. I couldn’t remember if I had seen him or not.

“I was in the Adult Entertainment Expo. Are you here with someone from class?,” he said with a big smile.

I shook my head no and told him he sat behind me in class—same year. “There were only two white kids in class,” I said, but he didn’t recognize me. I told him the last time I saw him he had blond hair. But that wasn’t really true, thinking back to my friend’s iPhone 6 plus a few minutes before.

He handed me his business card and I gave him one of mine.

That was it. I said hello and goodbye to the porn actor from my high school.

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