I just returned from a week in New Jersey, visiting a couple of friends. There are always dangers in big cities and always dangerous cities in every state. I knew that, and still, I had my own apprehensions; especially since a new report listed Camden as the most dangerous city in the nation. But i wasn’t in Camden. And everyone outside Camden knows to avoid Camden. Apparently, even the Camden Criminals know to stay within Camden. Or something like that. But I was in Glendora, and it reminded me very much of Colorado Springs. Clean, relatively safe, and not at all threatening. Jersey gets a bad rap, maybe
My friends took me to Atlantic City and we went to a casino for the buffet. I had crab legs, primarily. Then we strolled along the boardwalk and then the beach, where i stared out at the ocean, watched the beautiful waves cresting, ebbing and sluicing onto the sand, and thought of how romantic it would have been if i had been holding hands with a girl of my own. I knew this was something i could thoroughly enjoy in the right circumstances. One of my friends found me some beautiful shells and I told the other she had to find me something too, so she soon handed me a rock. (Thanks, that was special). It was nice to be able to look for shells on a real beach–unlike my experience with the Gulf Coast.
A few days later, the Rock Giver and i took a walk in an actual city park. That’s something–inane as it sounds–I’ve never done. It was a meaningful bonding experience for us, even though it was so cold that we were numb when we got back to the car. Again, i thought of how romantic it would have been to walk with a special someone (not that she wasn’t special, Oh Giver of Rocks, but she was SPOKEN FOR!).
One of the more appealing things about the Glendora area of Jersey was the presence of a Wawa store on almost every corner. I love my coffee and Wawa is a dreamy place for any java connoisseur. There are always about 20 different flavors of coffee in carafes with all the condiments to make even Juan Valdez weak-kneed. And then there’s all manner of snicky-snacks, like bagels and cream-cheese filled soft pretzels, and fruit cups and cheese and sausage trays–all fresh. I didn’t even get a chance to sample the deli, but the selection was also impressive. It was the sort of convenience store that other convenience stores aspire to be. I could live there. We stopped several times a day while on our drives.
Another plus is that New York and D.C. are only 2 hours away, Philly is 20 minutes, and there is a plethora of cultural and social activities to be had. The Philly library alone held dozens of meetings and events for the Same Gender Loving folks, and the newspaper was full of other activities and social opportunities. Everywhere we went, i noticed, too, THE WOMEN…gorgeous, educated, cultured…it was all i could do not to rub my hands together in glee and cackle with delight.
I did have a rather rude awakening at the club BOUNCE we went to. A sweet young thang was “dancing at me” so i joined her on the dancefloor and exchanged a few ear-chats, learning that she was from Delaware, and came down to this club once every two weeks. The girl was hot, and i discovered a few raw hormones for the next several minutes, having a large time watching her gyrate and undulate, until i found out she was 18.
“Oh my god. I almost went to jail,” I said. “I’m way too old to be dancing with you.”
“No you’re not!” she enthused.
She could not imagine the disturbing twinge that shot through me when i realized that i was actually entertaining some less than chaste fantasies involving she and I and a can of whipped cream. Little Miss Delaware was Unaware. I broke away and spent the next few minutes reacquainting myself with the sensation of air in my lungs and the burn in my leg muscles, and trying desperately to quell the burn in other areas.