Saturday, March 1, 2008

Friday Night Owls

Even though I went out last night and proclaimed myself too old for this shit, I turned around and went out again tonight. I had originally planned to go out on Saturday night, but with piles of snow planned and no other reason to go into the city, I decided to just do two nights in a row and take the rest of the weekend off. SIRIUS has been working on installing a home studio for me and I had hoped it would be up and running today so I could just do the show from home. Unfortunately, it still isn’t working. So since I was going to be in the city for work anyway, it wasn’t that much trouble to splash some cold water on my face, run a comb through my eyebrows and head down to Chelsea for a cocktail or two.

Ben Harvey, absent of late from my life and as an active participant in my blog was my primary motivation for hitting the town. He had sublet his apartment but since it was unoccupied this weekend, he decided to crash there and make a weekend of it. Since it was his plan, I let him be the ringleader and choose our first bar of the evening: the ever stalwart Barracuda. Nestled in the shaved armpit of Chelsea, Barracuda was the bar I spent the quiet evening on 9/10/01 in, canoodling on the couch with that year’s Jonathan before the morning came and changed everything. I really like Barracuda when it doesn’t smell like raw sewage or becomes so crowded you can’t breathe.

As usual, I arrived late. Jim from SF, visiting his friend Derek for the weekend, was already impatiently there after a ghetto meal around the corner at the Dallas BBQ. The original Jonathan was also there with his friend Chris, who was visiting from Atlanta. I don’t know why people choose this time of year to come to New York. It is the worst time to be here. Perhaps their friends invite them to dissuade them from ever living here. Ben Harvey finally arrived with his “cousin” Christian in tow. Christian probably was at Barracuda the last time I was there with Ben Harvey (although he must have been the additional person I failed to mention). Christian is tall and cute but I didn’t really have much interaction with him last time because there was just too much stuff going on. Ben Harvey was busy playing host to a veritable sea of homos and I was just trying to remember as many names as possible to blog later.

What I need with Ben Harvey is an intimate dinner for two so we can just sit and talk. We invariably end up on these group dates where we have to steal away to a corner just to have a private moment. Plus we are both half deaf from working in radio so meeting in noisy gay bars is like bats meeting in sunlight. Romaine and I are going to do his show with Dave Rubin at HERE TV next Tuesday and he has promised lunch afterward. I just hope there is a way we can both ditch our spouses and have each other all to ourselves.

Also making a cameo at Barracuda tonight was Daniel from last night at Pop Rocks. He arrived rocking three headbands at once (blue, silver and teal) and a classic Jennifer Beals shoulder shrugging sweatshirt. His outfit said “Let’s Get Physical” in a very 1982 kind of way, which remembering 1982 as vividly as I do is always welcome. He read my blog posting from last night and was surprised to see the link to his Facebook profile (it’s just something I do in my blog. Only in New York, kids. Only in New York). But really he took me to task over calling his friend’s shoes “chunky clogs.” Apparently they were really cool (I honestly don’t remember a single detail about them, including what he told me about them tonight), and he insisted when he got back from the bathroom he was going to read me to filth about them. I never saw him again. For someone as painfully unfashionable as I am, it was probably for the best that I didn’t hear a dissertation on the shoes. He might as well try to explain the insignificance of quantum mechanics to me using a flashlight and a toy car. But I try to be as honest as possible in my blog so I apologize for missing so crucial a detail.

One by one, the gays started to peel away from the evening. I thought I would be the runaway, forced to leave at the height of fun to grab the drunk train home. But it was Jonathan, with his early a.m. gymnastics meet who was the first to call it quits. He did a single lutz, knocking a beer out of some homos hand and then headed for the door. Barracuda was somewhat lifeless, so Christian wanted to move on to another bar. On our way out, we said adieu to Jim who had a reasonably early flight home the next afternoon. That left just the three of us left, which is the ideal gay male bar group. Two people might imply couple on the hunt for a three way. Four looks like two couples wrapping up dinner with a post meal cocktail. Five or more is unwieldy. And we all know that one is the loneliest number in any gay setting. But three is the magic number so off we three went to Gym.

I have written extensively about Gym the sports bar. Normally it is the kind of place where men drink white wine in a glass but the wet weather gave the place a muskier smell than usual. “It really does smell like a gym in here!” Christian exclaimed with the enthusiasm of Kim Cattrall in Porky’s (although my enthusiasm was always saved for co-star Boyd Gaines). I thought I might need to put a sweat sock in his mouth later, but apparently nursing on an Amstel Light was enough for him. The crowd at Gym was lackluster and soon the high def footage of girl’s gymnastics on the flat screens was luring our eyes away from the men. It was time to move on to the next bar.

We wandered out into the elements again and around the corner to G, the site just two shorts weeks ago where I was most gratefully carded at the door. The bar was packed and finally it seemed that we had found where all the men were tonight. We weren’t the only ones who thought the same thing, casually bumping into easily a half dozen other veterans of Barracuda and Gym that night. I only had time for one quick drink and a really scandalous punch line from Christian that made me want to hump his bones in the bus station before it was time to make the mad dash to Grand Central Station for the last train of the night. Sadly my last ten minutes in the bar were spent cornered in the most boring conversation of the week with a guy who mistook me for someone who gave a shit about anything, while Christian and Ben bantered out of reach of my flailing arms. Finally I announced as loudly and rudely as I am certain anyone ever has that I had to leave RIGHT NOW. I made a feeble gesture of pulling out my phone to check the time but it was clear to all that what I was really saying was “get the fuck away from me you boring homo.” I don’t know why people don’t like me.

Christian, no stranger to the drunk train into Westchester County, was a disbeliever and assured me that I would be back in the bar in fifteen minutes and sharing the couch with him later in Ben’s apartment. As tantalizing as seeing Ben’s apartment and Christian on the couch are, I knew I would make it to the train with time to spare. I am an old hand at this now, as Regis told Laura Linney on the Oscar red carpet this year seconds before I thought she was going to beat the living shit out of him. True to form, I am only on time to things that will leave without me (movies, trains, airplanes, etc.) and landed in my seat on the drunk train between horny straight guys and skanky straight girls with plenty of time to rub it in Christian’s face in a thoughtful text message to Ben Harvey to wrap up the night.

And now I sit on the drunk train, as usual, lap top on lap, blogging about my evening, searching for a thread of a theme to wrap things up with. I do so love a neat ending. But really all I can think is what a fun time I had tonight and in the words of the immortal bard: When will we three meet again?


jerry said...

What does it say about those of us who are almost never on time for a "meeting" of any kind, but who never miss a flight? I've been traveling for my "job" for the last 8 years and have yet to miss a flight (I've come awful close I admit), but otherwise never make it anywhere on time.

It's fun to live vicariously through you and the others at Out Q. Keep it up.

chellie said...

Christian looks yummy enough to miss the drunk train for! What's wrong with you, boy?