Tales From the Dragon Club, Pt. 3 - Sonny Spoon Comes Out
The months in Korea passed slowly, Winter turned to Spring, Spring to Summer, and Misty and I spent nearly all that time together, growing closer. When we weren’t dancing and DJing, or hanging out with the other Dragon Club crew, we were at my place, watching TV or screwing. For a gay guy, I was getting laid by a woman pretty regularly.
So when Misty began making out with another dude during my DJ set one night, I was fairly surprised. I first spotted them out of the corner of my eye as I was cueing up another song…Misty and some guy I had seen at the club for the last few weeks, sitting on one of the club’s sofas, snuggling. Usually this was no big deal, since we all got drunk and cuddly with everyone, but when they started swapping spit, a light finally came on. If I was still operating under any delusion or denial that I was being replaced, that ended during our usual en masse group walk home when Misty grabbed her new beau and proceeded to walk off with him towards his place. And that, folks, is how a slut dumps you!
I probably should be a little fairer to Misty. If I were being completely honest, I would say she was looking a little further into the future with more maturity than I was. She knew we were both coming to the end of our rotation in Korea in a couple of months and she didn’t know where she would end up next. I had already gotten orders to return to Fort Ord, California, and the only way to guarantee she would return there with me was to, gulp, get married, and even that wasn’t a 100% guarantee. She had the right attitude – have some fun, get some, don’t get too emotionally entangled and then slip away to the next duty station. So, in retrospect, Misty really isn’t the bad guy/girl here. At the time, though, she was Satan incarnate.
In a moment that showed my young, particularly vicious cruel streak at being dumped, I played the cheated victim card big time and basically kept all our friends after the split. The fact that I was our main hangout’s DJ probably helped quite a bit. Misty became an unpopular outcast virtually overnight and we all tried to move on.
Part of that moving on was becoming closer with some of the more ancillary members of our growing crew, now that my time was considerably freed up with Misty’s departure. Matt, a/k/a Sonny Spoon (due to his uncanny resemblance to Mario Van Peebles Jr.), was one of the newer friends I started hanging out with. Music was our group’s main coming together point, our love of alternative and dance music providing common ground, and Matt and I were no exception – we bonded over the Smiths and Morrissey, specifically. It didn’t hurt that Matt was easy on my still-closeted eyes, either. I also found out from a mutual friend that Matt was gay.
This concerned me. I was approaching the end of my Korean tour, and after that I had just a few short months before I was discharged from the Army and could begin attending college. I didn’t like the idea of wasting four years of my life and losing my college fund just for being friends with a gay guy. Here I was, holding my sexuality and urges in check – why risk everything because some other guy couldn’t, ended up getting busted by the CID (Criminal Investigative Division), and forced to out everyone else he knew? While I tried not to let these feelings show around Matt, they eventually bubbled up when Matt stopped by my barracks one day to chat.
Things seemed normal at first as we hung out in my room, talking about music, last weekend at the club, whatever, as the TV droned on in the background. Then a serious look crossed Matt’s face and he looked towards the television.
“Can I ask you something?” he said, quietly.
The bomb dropped. “How do you feel about gay people?” I was on the spot.