I normally shy away from crowds, and as IML is wall-to-wall asses & chaps, in past years I've always brought a full pack of cigarettes - so I had an excuse to slip out of the hotel and onto the quiet sidewalk. But something's changed this year. I really want to go.
This will be the first year I attend IML as a writer. I won't have a booth at the market or anything, but I will be carrying a backpack full of books - and a pocket full of business cards to pass out to readers. In previous years, I've always disliked those vendors who wander the hotel at all hours, handing out advertisements for whatever they happen to be selling…but, hello Karma! Look who's doing the same thing now?
I don't care.
I'll just be one of the guys, who happens to have something for readers if I find them.
I tried on my leather a few weeks ago, and I looked like a shiny black sausage. I'm two weeks into the "stop looking like an old man" diet tonight, with two months to go to soften my gut & love handles. I really shouldn't be that worried about my appearance. Some of the guys I've seen wearing harnesses should avoid wearing tucked-in T-shirts, let alone a few bands of leather. It's always been funny to witness doughy men walking proudly side-by-side with dudes so tone, you think about them when masturbating. By the end of May, my goal is to be somewhere in the middle - a smaller shiny black sausage, with enough sense to show only chest hair.
Going back to looking forward to the event, I think the reason why I feel different this year is because I know exactly what I'm searching for at this stage of life. IML is a big thing for Chicago, but it's just a blip on the screen when you think about the leather world as a whole. There are millions of gay men who participate in the lifestyle, and IML provides a glimpse - a window into their world. I've written about my own leather world in Goodbye to Beekman Place, and somewhere out there - at IML and beyond - there's a boy who's been waiting for a Sir who understands his.
Whatever the case, it would be nice if that boy looked good in a harness.