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Bleak look at gay middle life,
This review is from: Man About Town (Hardcover)
Joel Lingemann works for the OLA in Washington, DC. He has just broke up with his partner of 15 years. He remembers the "man about town" he saw in a magazine when he was 14 and begins a project to find him. Meanwhile, Joel tries to reinvent his sex life until he meets a young African-American, Michael Greeley. Inserted into his personal life, is a bill he is helping to craft that would deny medical benefits to people becoming infect with HIV through unsafe practices. He is horrified by this legislation, but find himself only helping through the process. This piece his little closure except to reveal that it is w worthless legislation that if passed and signed will actually never be used. The votes with help senators and congressmen retain their jobs. At times these discussions seem like references to Jim Wallis' God's Politics.
Merlis' story is a bleak look at gay middle life, especially when a long-term relationship dissolves. Joel's partner, Sam, needs something he does not get from him. Sam finds a 23-year-old twink, who leaves him and he is back in bars at 50 chasing somebody, anybody. While Joel tries to do the same thing, he realizes that this chasing, whether in the bars or want-ads, leads nowhere. He is bored with his life, his job and he has turned down two potential lovers.
Michael is a challenge that is difficult to accept. Joel cannot believe Michael really could be happy with a 45-year-old bellied man. Michael occasionally takes a small amount of money from Joel's wallet. Joel wonders why until he understands that Michael wants him to know this. Finally, Joel has to come to terms with reality. The reality that the young guy he saw in a picture when he was 14 is now an old man. He needs to face the challenge of taking care of himself. He made even need to make a job change. He has become so settled, he is sinking into a malaise. Will he be able to accept the challenge of the relationship Michael offers?