By Scott King

You down with OTP? Yeah, you know me.

Cars are sexy. They go vroom vroom. They get you from here to there. And they will, one day, fucking MURDER you.

But enough bombast. Let’s have some fun! Pack that silver backpack you got at H&M, and let’s hit the road. Once you get outside the perimeter, things get a bit hairy.

The locals are friendly, but surreptitious. Don’t turn your Grindr on until you get to dinner. Then don’t check it until bedtime. That’s the only way to sort out the thirsty from the opportunistic.

Speaking of thirst traps, I’ve made a couple of trips up to Asheville, North Carolina, over the past couple of months. What a great drinking town!

First trip, first thing we did was make friends with the help. I mean the lady at the hotel and then the lady at the bar. I am now friends with both of them on Facebook. It’s not weird at all. There was really no talent (as in cutie people) at any of the bars or restaurants we went to before the concert we were there to see. Me and my hot foxy female date were the most alluring pieces of ass on the block. It was a sad situation.

Once we got to the concert though, holy bro balls! Hotties everywhere. Yummy beers and even yummier bears.

The straight guys were the least annoying version of hipster I’ve ever seen, of any gender or orientation. They were serving a clean cut lewk, but you could tell they had been to both a record store and a bookstore in the past year.

And the gay boys! So soft and sweet and cuddly in their 90’s hoodie-wearing alternative empathetic Clintonian realness. Everyone was friendly in our drunken wooden balcony section. The guys would brush their arm up against my arm as we were dancing and asking me what song they were playing. Isn’t that adorable? Going potty afterward, the guy next to me at the urinals said, to no bro in particular, with a friendly thickness to his Southern accent, “Duuude! That was a good fuckin’ concert.”

More recently, I went up to visit some peeps I hadn’t seen in forever. They were road-tripping it with their four-year-old son, whom I had never met before. Yes, it had been that long.

Again, there was really no talent on the streets of Asheville, so we spent a decent amount of our time in our host’s kitchen drinking strong coffee and shooting the bull.

It was heaven. When we did go out, my straight friend and I had a contest to see who could get hit on the most. We tied.

An afternoon out spent eating and drinking and cruising hot homeless guys carrying around full rotisserie chickens ended in a little pajama time at the house. This was the best part of the day. No need for tears or sentiment. We had kept it real. Real safe.

So, the moral of the story is, sun setting in our eyes as we are driving due west: do what you love, and you will have no choice but to love what you do.

When you’re out there on the road, whether you are seeking locations foreign or domestic, sights exotic or banal, experiences novel or familiar, don’t do anything just because it’s what you’re supposed to do. You do you, and all your prosaic dreams will come true.

If you are a badass troublemaker at home, get into trouble abroad. Or, with a broad. If you are nervous and shy on the domestic front, don’t be embarrassed to be fed up with it all just because you are gay and away. Your friends are used to it. Your anger and frustration will help you find the quickest route to the best restaurant. Everyone will get drunker and happier, and you will find peace.

Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.