[A conversation with my straight friend Brent.]

Me: “Where did you get that bruise?”

Brent: “What bruise?”

[I point to his arm.]

Brent: “Huh. I hadn’t noticed that. I guess I bumped into something.”

Me: “Oh! Funny bruise story. So you know how I’m in the Misfits?”

Brent: [skeptically] “You’re in the Misfits.”

Me: “Um… not the iconic punk band*. Misfits Houston. We’re a leather club.”

Brent: “What’s a leather club?”

Me: “Well, we’re mainly a social organization, but we do a lot of fundraising. And we wear matching leather vests. We’re basically a gay biker gang.”

Brent: “Oh. Okay…”

Me: “So we were bartending at Ripcord one night…”

Brent: “Ripcord?”

Me: “It’s a leather bar.”

Brent: [blank stare]

Me: “It’s a gay bar.”

Brent: “Gotcha.”

Me: “So anyway, we were bartending, and some of the guys had gotten hold of this flogger…”

Brent: “A… flogger…?”

Me: “A flogger is… uh… a tool for… well, flogging. Kind of like spanking?”

[awkward silence]

Me: “You know what? Let’s go back to talking about you.”

I’ve always sort of looked down on those willfully abnormal individualists who go around bragging complaining about how weird and different they are, and how nobody understands them. But every once in awhile, I’m given the opportunity to see myself through conventional lenses, and then I’m like, wow: At some point my life really took a sharp left.

*I once had to explain the same thing to the Village People. True story.

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