Hey guys, this is how I met Marcus Overton:
My journey to the alter actually began in June of 2011, when my relationship of nearly 16 years collapsed, along with our savings account and the loss of second home in California. I was still trying to cope with my retirement from the Los Angeles police department, recover from my injuries, working through PTSD, all while trying to keep afloat during the worst recession in American history.
The loss of our savings account left my Ex and I deep in debt as the recession deepened, and the collapse of the savings account made things go from bad to worse in an instant. Robert and I had unknowingly been wrapped up in a Bernie Madoff type Ponzi scheme. Over the next 4 years, from 2011 to 2015, my life was in absolute chaos, and survival was the only thing I was really concerned with.
I had to go back to work- work which took me all over The US and as far away as the Kwajalein Atoll in the South Pacific. During my travel and work, I had met a guy in Washington DC- a person I will call “MS”- there was a near instant connection with MS, but timing could not have been worse. I was not in the position or ready to care for anyone. I couldn’t even think beyond my current fiscal mess. But, we kept in contact, and ultimately MS moved to San Diego, California.
I returned home to Texas, in August of 2014, and ranch work kept me too busy to even worry about dating or seeing anyone. I was still focused on surviving our fiscal disaster of 2011. In early 2015, I was contacted by two Southern California photographers who wanted to do a photo shoot with me. I had already had two photo shoots scheduled here in Texas. MS had contacted me, and we re-established contact over the internet and phone. As the weeks moved on, my plan was to go to San Diego, do the photos, and try and rekindle what was started back in Washington DC a few years earlier.
On March 26th, 2015, MS told me that he was seeing another man: A Naval officer in Coronado. He revealed to me that they were going to get serious and move in together. I knew I could not give him the life This Naval Officer was giving him. I totally understood and congratulated the two. This was an opportunity missed, and it was really nobody’s fault. Yet as I found out love happens when you least expect it.
On Saturday March 28th, 2015, I got up early and went to the gym, washed and waxed my Harley, and decided to go to Dallas that night and just get a hotel room, get drunk, and probably get laid (not necessarily all in that order). I threw on my biker gear, and hit the road for Dallas. I parked my bike out back of the Round Up bar. It’s not even a parking spot, but it is MY SPOT when I ride my Harley in. I went in and ordered TWO Long Island Ice Tea’s, took both up to the top deck, and quickly guzzled the first one. Drinking alone, and not really in a “social mood”, I just sat thinking about my current life’s condition. It seemed a fucking mess, even after 4 years of hard work and paying down the debt we had amassed- I was literally working to save the farm. My phone was going nuts with all the “hey daddy you are sexy”—“hey are you looking”—“I’m hosting, want to come over” type messages. I was hardly in the mood at this point for any of this. At one point, I had like 40 messages backed up waiting for some sort answer from me, most with x rated photos included.
Then one message caught my attention. It was simple and to the point—“hello how are you”—I looked at the Grinder profile and the age was “22. The photo was a clean cut guy, with short hair and a nice smile wearing a brown jacket.
My first thoughts were “oh gawd, 22 really! Is this the best I can do?”. I had dated younger guys, and it was an utter disaster. Hell, I had a police uniform at home older than him. I looked at the photo, and thought, “well he is kind of cute”, so I responded back with “I’m well. What about you?” This began a casual chat with this guy. After talking for a bit, he said his name was “Marcus” and he sent me several photos, none of which were x-rated. They were NOT the ordinary “dick and ass” photos I was getting from nearly 80% of the gay guys in Dallas. These were professionally done, and he was really kind of cute in them.
I finished my third Long Island, and Marcus says, “I know I am not your type, guys like you don’t go for guys like me –ever. But I want one date. That is all. Just give me a chance. If it doesn’t work out, then I will leave you alone. Please!”. I remember thinking- “Well that is different. I got to admire his diplomatic and heartfelt honesty on this, and he does have a point. What the fuck, why not. It’s not that I have any better offers right now. I’m just sitting here, getting drunk dealing with the usual Dallas Boujwa crap from the rest of the gay guys.”.
So, I told Marcus, “Listen, I am here at the Round up having a few drinks. You show up, I will buy you a few beers and you can have your date, we can talk and see how it goes…” Next thing I know, he says, “I am on my way.”. I honestly did not think he would really show up and he would just “flake” like most gay guys do.
About an hour went buy and he kept texting me- “I just left work”—“I am home getting changed” –“I am showering”—“I am heading to the round up now.” I thought, damn, maybe this guy is “for real” but he is still 22, maybe. Guys lie about their age all the time; At least the bar will ‘card him’ before he comes in”. Yea he said 22 years old, but he looked 20 easy. So, if he could get in the bar, past the bouncer, that was a good thing. I stepped inside the bar and took up a position where I could see all the doors. Gay men have horrible reputations for sending OLD, photos and lying on their social media profiles. I thought “Yea you watch this guys in like 5’0 and 600 pounds, 3 eyes, 11 toes, with webbed fingers! A Texas freak- some inbred mutant”
Then Marcus came in the front door. MUCH TO MY SHOCK I THOUGHT- “DAMN LITTLE BOY IS BETTER LOOKING IN PERSON THAN HIS PHOTOS! SOMEONE NEEDS TO SLAP THE PHOTOGRAPHER!” I was also thinking, “I must be drunk now- I never get this lucky AT ALL- but DAMN HE IS SO YOUNG!”. Marcus walked right up and introduced himself; he seemed fearless at that point. I bought him and drink and we went up to the top deck. For the next few hours we drank and just talked about anything and everything; WE DIDN’T HIDE ANYTHING. I quickly discovered that he could hold a conversation, was a total band nerd, and he wasn’t at all annoying like MOST younger gay guys. I was absolutely attracted to him, but his age scared the hell out of me. After all, I was probably older than his parents (and I am REALLY!).
As we talked, Marcus suddenly got a very serious look on his face and lowered his head in shame. Being a cop, you pick up on body language really quick. I still hear his words today, “This might be a deal breaker and if it is I will understand, but I am HIV positive.” I COULD TOTALLY IDENTIFY with how he felt, what he was saying, and understood what exactly was going on inside of him at that moment in time. I asked, “how long have you been poz?” and he went on to explain he had just gotten out of the hospital a few weeks before we met and he had been extremely sick. He had only known for about 3 weeks and he was very embarrassed it seemed. He said he was still being treated. I kind of snickered and said, “Listen, I am from Los Angeles and I am a well educated man. I am not at all like these Dallas Faggots. No worries here” I then told him I had been undetectable since the early 90’s and not to sweat this. Marcus face lit up like a Christmas tree and we began talking about his health. We talked and drank some more.
I felt it was time to be “the gentleman” and politely excuse myself. I was certainly interested, but this wasn’t the usual “hook up” type meeting. He was very young and I wasn’t about to take advantage of him. He seemed to nice a guy. I gave him my phone number and said, “Please call me anytime- but I think it is time I excuse myself.” I grabbed him by the polo shirt and pulled him close to kiss him good night.
That is when I felt a large wide strap concealed under his polo shirt. As I pulled him forward towards me, the strap “popped” loose. I looked at him and said, “What is that?” Marcus explained that it was his leather harness and he was going to go to the Eagle afterwards if this didn’t work out. I said, “Nice I was going to go there next also- in fact that’s where I was going to go now. Do you want to go with me?” His face lit up again, “yeah”- so I hopped on my bike and road over to the Eagle, and he followed. Marcus followed in his little silver Ford Focus “the silver bullet.”
After locking up my bike, I turn around and saw Marcus walking towards me across the lot shirtless, in skin tight yellow/black football pants, matching shoes and shocks with his harness on. I thought, “well damn this guy is full of surprises”. I also thought “Damn!!! little boy is a freak!” We had a wonderful time the rest of the night, and stayed till closing. I stayed at his apartment, and boy, was getting there a real miracle given how much I had drank that night. The upside to that is that level of drinking tends to drown the bug that crawls up your ass, which it did with me; about my current life situation.
The next morning, Marcus walked me down to my bike. I kissed him good bye and said, “Call me.” I rode home. He did call me, and he did text me. In fact, he was like gum on your shoe. That began the dating process. Our dating wasn’t as easy as most would think. I had to come to grips in my own head with the notion I was dating a MUCH MUCH younger guy. Then there was the theft of my Harley outside his apartment. Then there were people in his life, that were being destructive and harmful to him. Marcus himself was still struggling with his new health issues. But there was something else about him I could sense. I didn’t know what it was, but I could tell there was something else. This was on top of my own life drama.
As the weeks went on, I found out that he had been in a very abusive relationship with a few other older Dallas gay men. In short, they had taken advantage of him badly and in some cases sexually exploited him because of his young age and lack of street experience. Marcus was always apologizing for things; things he had no control over or wasn’t responsible for. In many ways, he was like a whipped and abused puppy. Marcus was displaying the classic characteristics of a sexual assault and domestic violence victim. This was on top of being “socially awkward” because he is an nerd/IT geek, on top of being extremely intelligent. Years of police work had really helped me understand Marcus and tap into his inner feelings: What he was thinking, how he felt, and what was going on inside him. This didn’t scare me at all. In fact, it helped me understand him.
Within about 1 month of us dating, Marcus admitted that he had been watching my Grindr profile for about 6 months. He had been stalking me I guess! Yet, he had never had the nerve or courage to speak to me because “Guys like you never go for guys like me.”. He had only spoken to me because him mom had told him he needed to take some risks. That’s when Marcus said “I think I love you.” I was a bit unnerved by this so soon, but then thought, “well he is only 22”. He needs time to figure this out.
Within 5 months he was handing me a ring and talking about getting married. That really was wild for me. Older guys move slower in this area because we have been burned so many times.
As the weeks turned into months, Marcus and I flew to Los Angeles together for a photo shoot. This was where we had our first real talk. I had been with him to the doctor, I had spoken to his mom, and learned about a failed suicide attempt by him. We had been brutally honest with each other from the first few moments of meeting. Marcus knew about Robert, my debt, and my concerns about his age.
Within the first few months of dating Marcus came an ultimatum, “If you want to date me seriously, several things are going to happen with you Marcus”- The first thing I asked was that he quit smoking and get into the gym and take care of himself. My thoughts were, “you cannot take care of me if you don’t take care of yourself first.” Cancer is a shit show that effects everyone around the sick person. We don’t need this. Second, you need to get back into school and get serious about that. I will not be here forever and you need an education. If not now, in the future. Looks fade, but stupid is forever. Third, we are going to take this slow. I explained he had some harmful people in his life that needed to be dealt with. If he didn’t want to do it, I would. The choice was his. Marcus got rid of one (AJ), but the other two I handled, one of which REALLY pissed off Marcus’ mom and I, and was the main suspect of who gave Marcus the STD/STI’s. He was THE FIRST I WANTED TO DEAL WITH, and did. Marcus’ mom called me while Marcus was at work, “Did you see what was posted on face book!”. I told her “no”. But when I looked and saw it, I simply said, “mom let me handle this. Don’t worry.”
Using Face book, I tracked the guy down in Dallas at a bar. He was involved in some leather pageant at the Dallas Eagle- I say “pageant” because it is sort of a “fashion show” and contrive, playground, popularity contest for the old local leather queens with no life. I took a few photos of this guy, at a distance, and as I stood behind him, then sent him a message to him on face book, with the photos I took of him. I explained who I was, who I was to Marcus, and what I EXPECTED of him in the future. I simply said, “I found you to night– I can find you again in the future.” I told him, to stay in good graces with me, he needed to act like a “gentleman” and not an asshole. He got the message loud and clear, as did the other man I addressed next. I explained to each that all their “bullshit” ends now- both have, as of this day been gentlemen.
Over the next few months, Marcus and I become inseparable. Marcus got back in school and began working on his college degrees. One night his car broke down in the middle of a horrible thunderstorm-he had finals due at midnight and he had just got off work at 9PM. I had to leave the ranch to go get him in Garland on the freeway as the storms raged. HIS-Work and School always comes first in this home. Marcus quit smoking in a matter of weeks, removed his nose ring and ear rings in a matter of months, and began training in the gym with me.
Marcus put on nearly 20 pounds of muscle within the first year of us dating. In May of 2016, my ex decided to move to Dallas from the ranch. Marcus moved out to the ranch from his apartment in Dallas. Robert loves Marcus, and honestly Robert is the standard by which I judge others by. Not only did Marcus rise to that challenge, he has exceeded that in so many ways. As the months went on, I had nearly forgotten about our age difference. It simply doesn’t matter anymore because Marcus is my equal. I am very content staying at home managing the affairs of the home while he is away at his W-2 job.
On the first night Marcus moved out to the ranch, I cooked him dinner. As he sat on the counter playing with our dogs, he began to cry. I asked him “Baby what’s wrong why you are crying?”. He simply said, “I never thought this would happen.” I asked, “What would happen?” He explained, “I thought I was unlovable, and I never thought I would have this; a man I love cooking for me, a warm loving home, all of this.”. I wasn’t sure how to respond to that, but I did understand based upon the last year of getting to know him. I guess I never really understood how destructive these other guys had been. I simply said that nobody will ever hurt him again, and if they do, they deal with me directly. “There will be no more Dallas bullshit ever again with us–I promise you that.”
Today, all sorts of rumors and wild gossip persists about us. Yeah, I keep loose tabs on some of it. There are those who think Marcus is being “kept”. Others state, “John should dates someone his own age”. Others say he is some sorta “boy toy.” Other rumors are much more harmful. One fool even had the unmitigated gall to ask Marcus how he felt about my relationship as “friends” with Robert. Had I been around for that question, I would have explained this in clear terms to this fool starting with “it is none of your damn business, but since you asked…”
We avoid the destructive elements by avoiding those people who engage in these sorts of behaviors. That is one reason why we never considered Dallas as a wedding venue. There is simply nothing there for us. In the time we have lived together, Marcus has gotten one degree in May 2017. By time we get married in September 2018, he will be close to finishing his second degree, and prepare to begin pursing his Master’s. Marcus has learned how to ride a motorcycle, horses and ATV’s. He has grown a full inch and now weighs 200 pounds (he was 150 when we met). He is in perfect health now. He is a brave, intelligent, unafraid man. He was recently promoted by his company and has a bright future with Active Network.
We have a broad circle of friends all over the US, and travel when possible. When at home, old 1940’s and 1960’ monster movies are a favorite of ours. Long Harley rides in North East Texas are also a favorite. Honestly, we have very few acquaintances in Dallas, and even fewer friends.
Building a loving relationship with Marcus was so easy. He is so open minded, inquisitive, and highly intelligent. Many things I have done in my life and enjoy, I want to share with him: Palm Springs, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Mexico are all places we love. Eating out together on date night, or sitting at the ranch in front of the fire pit is enough for us. By time the wedding arrives we will have been together 3 full years and a few months. Nearly my entire debt will be gone. For me, it was time to end the courtship and move into a state of permanent being with us- and him.
We had been talking about getting married for months. There were no lingering doubts or concerns in my mind when I told Marcus “it’s time” on his 25th birthday. There was nothing left to work out except plan our wedding, which we both are excited for. Watching the NEW MARCUS flourish and grow is an absolute joy to me.
Te amo, sempra, mi amore.