After college I moved to Chicago to begin my adult life in the working world. I did not actually have a job. My major was in sociology and my grades were pretty bad but that didn’t get my spirits down, I knew that with my can do attitude and cursory knowledge of sociology I could land a fine job with many perks.
I began working at the gay video store about 3 weeks after moving to Chicago. The perks included free video rentals and since I didn’t have a VCR they also let me lug home the rental VCR which came in a huge plastic suitcase and weighed about 20 pounds.
Specialty Video and Audio wasn’t actually a gay video store- it was a video store that happen to also carry gay porn in a part of town called Boy’s Town, across from a bar called “The Closet” and a block over from another place called “The Manhole”…ok maybe it was a gay video store. Have I mentioned I’m not gay? I’m relatively thin, neat and I like (dare I say, adore?) musicals so every once in awhile I like to interject that I am, in fact, not gay.
I easily moved up the corporate ladder to become assistant manager…and no, you little perverts I did not sleep my way to the top, I didn’t have to- they could spot my can do attitude, problem solving skills and desperation for 25 cents more an hour.
Everyone else that worked at the video store was gay (we have established that I’m not gay, right?) and they gave me the endearing nickname of “Breeder”. It was a bit of a misnomer as I don’t recall doing much ‘breeding’ at all back then. I had not yet met a woman with a can do attitude that would allow me to prove my heterosexuality on a consistent basis.
The women that did come into the store were lesbian. A nice enough group when sober but a treacherous mob when coming out of The Closet on a friday night. It seemed that every friday night I had to listen to the same slurring lesbian and her lover angrily explain the problem with the “painfully obvious MAN produced girl on girl porn” that we rented. “It’th a beautiful thing.. two woman” one would belch at me as her girlfriend held her steady. They would rent “On Golden Blonde” and stagger out arm and arm.
As the Assistant Manager I probably should have defended our gay films (I was at this point calling them films and not movies) but the real life lesbians scared me. The ones that frequented The Closet were a rough and tumble bunch that were quick to fight when liquered up. I can only assume that kicking the ass of heterosexual male would make for a good story around the old lesbian campfire and my self esteem had been battered enough.