It all started when my best friend Jon wanted me to try out Twitter because he himself was temporarily hooked on the damned thing. Now you have to understand, I was in an accident about two months before. Being a bicycle messenger in a city like London has its risks. One of those risks caught up with me one fine spring day, and there I was, flying over the hood of some rich guy's Mercedes. Apparently I bounced off the windshield and landed at a bad angle, at least if you ask my surgeon. I was just happy not to have landed on my head. That led me into a long rehab because not only was my leg broken, but it also had serious nerve damage. Fun times.
Anyway, it took me one evening to get hooked and Jon three days more to forget it existed. So without him there, I was a bit lost for a moment. I was following a few other friends who knew I was gay--after all, I didn't want to flaunt my "gayness" at unsuspecting Internet citizens--some of my favorite comedians and actors, a few bands and musicians, you know the deal. It wasn't until I realized most of my favorite porn stars were there too that my life changed.
It was actually a female friend, Trina, who retweeted something funny a guy she followed had said. I went to his profile and took a look at the list of people he was following, and bam, there I was, lost.
I had all the time in the world to stalk people on Twitter. I was on the mend and going to physical therapy twice every week when I saw one name on that random guy's follow-list: @BrianEnolaXXX.
Brian Enola was one of the most popular gay porn stars in the US and my personal favorite. He was about five years older than me, from one of the southern states. He liked dogs but because he traveled a lot he couldn't really have one. He had the most delectable body with well-placed ink, and he was too smart for me.
A smart porn star? Oh yes. See, there was this thing about all Brian's interviews. He had a reputation for being a bit of a jerk, but when I watched the interviews where he blatantly made fun of the interviewer with that sort of cocky, sarcastic smirk on his face, I knew. He was just like me, someone too intelligent to be stuck doing something he clearly didn't enjoy as much as he would have liked.
Okay, so maybe it was silly to compare being a bike messenger to being an adult entertainment performer, but hey, I knew the guy's pain. If he had any, of course. I might be wrong, though I was fairly certain I was right.
So suddenly, following his every word became my obsession. I already followed his sporadically updated blog, but now I was more in tune with his real life, in real time.
Tweets like @BrianEnolaXXX Being bad and having a burger after gym. Who's gonna know, eh? made me extremely happy for some reason. That meant he still did "bad" things, even if it was just eating junk food.
From his tweets, I learned that he lived with a roommate, another porn star with the stage name Will Hung. Yes, ridiculous, but most porn names are. He also visited his aunt in Texas every now and then. The thing that struck me the most, and set the bar really high, was that he seemed very pleasantly surprised when someone said something genuinely witty to him. Now if only I could be truly witty and sound smart while tweeting to him.
It didn't work, the being witty thing, so I didn't tweet to him at all. Better to be quiet than to be considered a stupid pest. Then one early morning, after a very poorly slept night, I was watching a movie in bed. Not porn, mind you, just some thriller I remembered Jon had liked. I had my Twitter application on, and after a while there was a tweet from Brian. It wasn't addressed to anyone in particular, but the tone seemed annoyed.
@BrianEnolaXXX How many times do I have to tell you, I won't explain my stage name to you?
I had seen him tweet about the same thing many times, usually when someone asked him about it, and he was clearly getting frustrated.
For a moment I thought about it and then tweeted:
@FlashNotGordon @BrianEnolaXXX I have you figured out. It's kind of sad you still get asked, though. Not such a puzzle.
I went back to my movie, having no illusions about him possibly answering me. I had never tweeted him before, so I didn't get my hopes up. No matter the content, Brian always seemed to wait for people to tweet him a few times before commenting on anything they said.
Ten minutes later, I almost dropped my laptop to the floor when there was a tweet for me.
@BrianEnolaXXX @FlashNotGordon Really now? Aren't you a bit optimistic there, Flashy?
I snorted at the "Flashy" and typed
@FlashNotGordon @BrianEnolaXXX It's not optimistic if you know you're right. Just certainty. Would tell you but want to keep your secret. ;)
A few minutes later he replied to me. My stomach made strange fluttering motions, and I squealed internally, being the fanboy I am.
@BrianEnolaXXX @FlashNotGordon For now I'll hold you responsible for my secret, but you'll have to tell me your guess eventually.
@FlashNotGordon @BrianEnolaXXX Will do, sir. I am certain I'm right, though. It isn't Enola that's gay.
For a moment I thought I'd said too much, and then, after some minutes of waiting and biting my already short nails, a tweet:
@BrianEnolaXXX @FlashNotGordon You're a clever boy, Flashy. Kudos.