During the evening at Orlando’s Confederate Park, Dan drove his car into a parking spot. Aged 43, grey strands showed in Dan’s brown hair. A white polo shirt covered his beer-bellied body. Also, he wore light-brown slacks and grey loafers.
For a few moments, Dan sat in the car and stared at the public restroom. Like typical public restrooms, the spot presented two entrances, one side for women…and one side for men.
Dan looked at his watch. The time was now 9:07 PM. He knew the restroom closed at 10 PM.
In the past, Dan used to take his daughter to Confederate Park. When he used the restroom, he always saw the solicitations for sex acts written on a restroom stall’s wall.
Recently, protest over the name “Confederate Park” continued to rise. The word “confederate” offended many people. Because the Confederate South fought for the continued enslavement of African-Americans during the United States Civil War, many people thought the words “Confederate Park” promoted white supremacy.
Dan thought the protest was bullshit, complaints from oversensitive people.
Yet, during the rising protest, friends and acquaintances told Dan men really did meet at Confederate Park.
Dan opened his car door and walked out. With the remote button on his key-chain, he locked the car’s doors. Next, he headed towards the restroom.
When he entered the building, he looked around. Nobody was there, which handed Dan relief because he didn’t think he could go through this.
He always remained quiet about his homosexual side. Once during a Miami business trip, he ran into a young Hispanic guy at a bar, an olive-skinned guy who said his parents were from Cuba.
After some drinks, Dan invited the Hispanic guy to his hotel room to smoke pot. The guy took him up on his offer. Yet, smoking pot soon led to kissing. Eventually, the kissing led to the bed.
After that encounter, Dan never saw the young Hispanic guy again. Also, he forgot his name.
There were more business trip encounters like that. Yet, Dan always kept those encounters secret.
Cruising public restrooms was a first for him.
Figuring no one was showing up, Dan walked out of the building. Then, he looked around. His eyes wandered over the empty playground. Then, they wandered over the empty basketball court.
Dan looked at his watch again. Now, the time was 9:24 PM.
He walked back inside the restroom and decided to wait. If nothing happened, Dan figured he would just come back another night.
Suddenly, a thought hit him; cruising public restrooms was a crazy idea, something beneath him. Dan thought only low-lifers cruised public restrooms, sickos who didn’t have the decency to rent a room.
Again, Dan walked out. Again, he looked around. He still didn’t see anyone. Yet, he was glad nobody showed up. The idea of cruising public restrooms continued sickening him. Those sickos probably didn’t even use condoms.
When he was almost to his car, the sexual cravings continued swirling inside Dan’s body. Then, he thought the heck with it.
Dan turned around and headed back towards the restroom.
Inside, he saw a black stud washing his hands. The stud wore a blue t-shirt and faded blue jeans. Also, he wore white leather sneakers.
The stud turned around and looked at Dan.
“Hi,” Dan said.
“Hello,” the stud said.
Dan never tasted “chocolate” before. Yet, this didn’t mean he never would.
“I heard this is where I can find some action,” Dan said. “If you know what I mean.”
The stud smiled.
Then, Dan said, “I’ll give you twenty bucks for a blow job.”
Then, the stud asked, “You want to pay me twenty bucks to give you a blow job?”
“No, I was thinking I’ll give you a blow job. Then, I’ll pay you twenty bucks.”
“Let me see the money.”
Dan pulled out a twenty.
Then, he said, “Right here. A nice twenty dollar bill.”
Then, the stud pulled out a police badge and said, “You’re under arrest, buddy.”
Soon, two other plainclothes cops arrived. Both were white guys, a dark-haired guy and a redhead.
The redhead sneered at Dan.
“Well,” he started. “If it isn’t Dan McGuire.”
“You know him?” the black cop asked.
“No, but I know about him. Representative Dan McGuire. Voted against a gay rights bill.”
The black cop looked at Dan.
Dan lowered his eyes towards the floor.
Then, the black cop said, “Are you kidding me?”
Dan looked at him.
Then, he said, “I thought you were going to rob me.”
“What?!” the black cop said.
“You’re a huge black man. I offered you oral sex because I thought you were going to harm me.”
The black cop looked at the redhead cop.
Then, he said, “Can you believe this shit?”
Then, the redhead said, “Unbelievable, isn’t it?”
In his office space, Detective Bobby Jones was being interviewed by Heather Vandenberg, a brunette female reporter.
“My partners and I were in the area investigating a burglar case,” Detective Jones started. “Then, I noticed Mr. McGuire walking out of the bathroom. He turned around and walked back in. I saw him do this two times. Next, I told my partners I was going to the restroom.”
He continued the story about the interaction between him and Dan McGuire.
“I had no idea who he was,” Detective Jones continued. “I didn’t know until one of my partners mentioned it. I’m just shocked. A guy who voted against gay rights was caught cruising a men’s public restroom.”
Days later, in front of the building containing his office, Dan McGuire held a press conference. A small crowd of reporters stood in front of his podium.
“First, I want to thank those who continue supporting me, “Dan said. “I am now going to answer the accusations aimed at me. Like I mentioned previously, I feared for my life. I thought the undercover officer was going to harm me. He was a big guy. For saying that, I was called racist.
“It angers me when accusations of racism continue to haunt Republicans. Just because I’m a Republican does not mean I’m a racist. Accusing me of racism is nothing more than neo-liberal smear tactics.
“Republican peers have asked me to resign. I will not resign. I will fight these charges against me. Why? Because I haven’t done anything wrong.”
Next, Dan raised his right index finger in the air.
With his finger moving with each word, he said, “I…am…innocent.”