Adam … the first man.

  • Sunday / April 19, 2015
Adam-The-First-Man-01

Adam … the first man.

Funny. In all these years I’ve never really publicly written about my early “coming out” years. Not for reasons of shame or self loathing—I just never did. But in the past few weeks, I’ve been digging into my past via my slides and negative archives. I found photos I had not really been looking for, of a birthday party I had thrown for my then partner Adam Spector for his 21st birthday … but they sure took me back to a very happy time and place, with a few friends whom are still in my life today.

Adam wasn’t the first guy I ever dated. But once we met. We fell hard and fast. Adam and I had met on an AOL chat room called the Lambda Lounge. You have to remember this was a time when personal computers were in their infancy. This was when the Internet was something only educators and mega geeks used. AOL was still a “walled garden”, using proprietary software written only for the Macintosh computer, at the time.

Written on my computer diary February 14, 1990.

Meeting Adam

What a weekend! It took until now to report it. Well it all started on Friday night. It all began like any other Friday night, resembling countless weekends in past history. Nowhere to go, not much to do, so I logged onto another in a long line of BBS’s. America Online was the place to be for the evening.

The Lambda Lounge

The Lambda Lounge is the chat room where all the gay members online go to congregate. In this room you could meet gay folk from all over the country. Now I’ve only been on this system for a little more than a week, but I know a few of the regulars none the less. Gaye Anita was there as well as Cowgirl, and a few others. AdamS4 strolled in just as I was about to log off, so I stayed for a while longer. I’m sure glad I did! The usual salutation flew by on the screen, along with a few choice sounds, one of which just happened to be my new A.O. Theme.

Now Adam and I have been chatting over the past few weeks and I’ve gotten to know a little about this fine upstanding young adult. Little did I realize, I was about to know a whole lot more!

During our electronic transfer of thought patterns we decided to voice. Well for the next three and a half hours we talked each others ears off. But it was wonderful! Most enlightening and exciting, so much so I knew I just had to meet this man. We remained on the phone until almost 3:00 AM. Definitely one the most prolific telephone conversations I’ve had in my life. The rest as they say is history.

Well I met him on a Sunday…..hey la hey la….and it lasted until Monday. God damn! I am all smiles from ear to ear. The meeting at his home in Riverdale, NY was strange at best. Fortunately though, it did get better. He answered the door but didn’t invite me in. I thought it odd, but I lived through it. We then went to this wonderful “Slovak” restaurant in the Village. Seems like that’s the place to be these days… the Village I mean. The chat was nervous and things did warm up eventually.

After dinner we walked about the city like souls lost on judgment day. Though we chatted, I didn’t know what to make of it all. An hour or so passed with still no plan in sight. Adam then suggested that we do something “touristy”. I agreed. We did.

We’re now at the top of the world trade center … yes windows on the world. What a sight. What a spectacle. My inner kid was in his glory! We roamed around, Adam playing tour guide and such. It was nice. I liked the darkness. I loved the lights. It was all so inspiring, and yes once again, quite euphoric. We made our way pretty much around the building. We came to the Jersey side, and there we sat. It’s chat mode once again, but this time with full force. We shared a lot of intimate stuff. We both started feeling a lot differently than when the evening started. It was like being on the phone again … but within touching distance. Those big brown eyes are captivating. The smile warming. There were a couple of times I just wanted to hold him in a hug of support. But “straight” western values prevailed. Will the world ever let us stop hiding? Well this is not the time to be crying about that.

That night was one of the most magical in my lifetime. It was filled with firsts and deep connections. One of those events that can never be repeated and will stay with me—lovingly—until the day I die.

We “closed” Windows On the World but didn’t want to end the night yet. We went to Swenson’s for ice-cream and talked more. When we we were about to leave Adam said he didn’t want to go home and wanted to come back with me to New Jersey and spend the night. So we did. More history in the making—in a big and beautiful way.

Fast forward a few months … Adam and I decide to move in together. Neither one of had lived “with a man” before … another first for us both. Hell … Adam had never lived on his own. At the time, Adam was living home with his mother and his twin sister in a brownstone in Riverdale, NY. He was not yet 21, and I was 33. The thirteen year age gap didn’t really make any difference to either of us. We were smitten. We decided to move in together. I found a beautiful apartment on the ocean in Long Branch, NJ. We made it our home. He commuted to Manhattan every day from Long Branch to work in the NY City Public Library. This was our home and our lives for 3+ years.

Sadly, Adam is no longer of this world. He passed away at the age of 43 in 2013. Needless to say, it was a very sad day. Though we had long since parted, we were still friends and in contact via Facebook, texting, eMail and the occasional phone call.

With that I give you photos of a more joyous time. Adam J Spector’s 21st birthday, August 21, 1990. I put together the party for Adam in our new Long Branch home. Many friends were in attendance, including Gina Navon, Peter Boogarrd, and Frank Diamond. Whom, I am happy to say, are still a part of my life today!

So here’s to Adam … the first man. :)

Adam’s 21st Birthday Party
Adam's 21st Birthday PartyAround The Long Branch Apartment
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Joe Streno

artist . musician . photographer . apple computer consultant . residing on planet earth with his two cats rocky & rose & living to tell tales about it

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