[quote] Have you ever had chance encounters like that?[/quote]
Back in another century before I got a PC at home, I used to go online at the city library. There was a cute cute 20-something guy who was often there at the same time. One evening he was standing on the front steps of the library as I left to go home. Looking me right in the eye, and without a hint of reservation, he said "Hi!" I gave a noncommittal grin and said "Hey, how's it goin'?" We then had a conversation of no consequence whatsoever, staring into each other's eyes the whole time.
After ten minutes or so he said, "Um, I really gotta go now, nice talking to you." OK, fine.
This song and dance ended up going on for over a year!
Whenever our "PC hour" coincided, which was maybe once or twice a month, the same scenario would play out on the front steps. On about the fifth such occasion I finally got his name out of him and then told him mine. From time to time we'd walk from the library for several blocks before parting company. And once we even crossed paths on the street and started yakking away; I thought I finally had an opening so pitched the all-purpose come-on, "Wanna go for coffee?" He stammered a bit and then, true to form, begged off. The eyelocks he used to apply made it sooo obvious that he was looking for more than convo. And we had some quality convo whenever we met, even fairly esoteric sh-t like the relative merits of Nelson Ahlgren and Dashiell Hammett. But talk never once turned to what was clearly on both our minds.
At the end of my first year of college at UMass-Amherst, I was waiting on campus for the bus home to a nearby city when another student happened on the scene and began chatting me up. It started out the way thousands of such things do, idle talk while killing time. I thought nothing of it, all the more because of how gay men seem to rarely allow themselves to be casually friendly to strangers. This guy was easy enough on the eyes, with a kind face and moderately stocky build, but it wasn't as though bells were clanging in my head and I had a rise in my Levi's.
We boarded the bus when it rolled up, he sat in the double seat behind mine, and we sprawled across the seats the way men do and kept talking. It was only after we were most of the way along that I noticed he was purposely causing his SIZABLE left biceps to flex.
For the rest of the trip that was ALL I saw. The bells damn sure started clanging then. My voice involuntarily dropped into husky mode the way it always does when I'm "excited." Somehow I kept the convo going even as fantasy images of deepthroating and flip-fucking took over my brain. Logical thinking paid an unwanted visit: "There's no beer in the fridge, there's maybe five bucks and change in my pocket, and I don't get paid for two days. Damn. DAMN." We neared my stop. "Dude - I'd have you over for a beer except I'm out and I don't get paid 'til Friday." "Ahhh, that sucks! Same here! Oh well, what can ya do." He cheerfully waved goodbye as I disembarked, but the disappointment on his face was plain to see as I'm positive it was on mine.
I have some great success stories to tell, too, but this thread's not about that.
Undoubtedly some of you (especially the younger fellas) reading this will wonder why I didn't cut to the chase with these two - and others - who got away. It all boils down to "once burned, twice shy" and the games people play because of how homophobia is. The detective-novel fan and the big-biceps bus rider knew they wanted man sex but weren't secure enough in their own skins to broach the subject directly. I think it's safe to say that this was true of the OP's sweaty trail runner as well. A lot of approach/avoid, "look but don't touch," goes on with the closeted and the "curious." And you tweak their conflicted minds at your own peril - "gay panic" murders still happen.