Sunday, November 9, 2008

Unwanted Attention

"This would be a great place for a party." I said in the Rouge Room in the basement of Paris Commune, a chic eatery in lower Manhattan. It would have been a bold suggestion if we weren't already there attending someone else's party. A self-centered asshole like me takes the unspoken "for me" at the end of every statement like that as a given but to casual listeners like Ben Harvey and Navy Man Joe it just came off as a little daft. Sadly, when it comes to words, I work in a volume business and that means the finer points get lost in the rush, which is something of a problem.

Things started out well enough at Rocking Horse, a cozy restaurant in Chelsea where Matty and I finally were able to corner Ronnie and plot his future. I am, by nature, a meddlesome and nosy person, which drives Roommate to distraction as I dissect the personal lives of our neighbors while driving down the street with comments like "I wish Jennifer would sell that house of hers" and "I love her yard. She can't possibly hold down a job and spend so much time landscaping." Matty, as I have often posted, is the most connected person I know. Working in tandem we are like Wonder Twins, swooping down into the lives of the unsuspecting and molding their future like so much modeling clay. In Ronnie, we see a modern day Galatea, already armed with ambition, just waiting to be thrust in the right direction.

Ronnie swilled coffee like an overnight truck driver, worn out from his long and productive weekend in DC with the NGLCC, joining us for dinner direct from the airport, overnight bag in hand. Matty's handsome boyfriend Hanno and Ben Harvey rounded out our fivesome and we had a great time over margaritas and barely recognizable "Mexican" food. "What did you order?" asked Matty, gazing down at what appeared to be a very unappetizing pile of diarrhea in front of me. It was what turned out to be a very delicious hunk of pork on a bed of mashed plantains, but I must confess it did look suspiciously like something a plumber would pull out of a clogged drain.

After dinner, Ronnie raced home to his bed for what I assume was 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep, and Matty piped us down to the West Village for the birthday party of a friend whose name I instantly forgot. The friend was very sweet and fun, and all of his gay friends were pretty and diverse, like the Justice Department forcing A&F to acquire the United Colors of Benetton. Since they hadn't finished eating at the long Captain's table in the basement wine bar, we settled into polite conversation at a quiet table in the corner, and not so long after was joined by Joe, last seen stumbling home from Halloween.

In a self-referential move that would make Charlie Kaufman proud, talk quickly turned to this blog and the damage it has wrought since I started it almost two years ago. "Every time you write in your blog, someone gets hurt!" Matty chided me, not amused that his name and "ass eating" ended up in the same sentence last time, even though Bradford's blog is the first Google search result that comes up when you type them in together (should any weirdo ever want to make such a search). Joe was perfectly happy with his entry and his friends, upon discovering it, expressed their joy at sudden blog infamy, but Matty is right. My blog, despite my intentions to only portray things the way I see them and paint myself in a worse light than anyone else, often backfires. I have inadvertently outed people that I assumed were out and no doubt have made untold enemies along the way. I wouldn't have written about election night at all except that Hanno mentioned that night that his friends back in Osterreich liked the first entry he was in. Apparently, it is true that no good deed goes unpunished, or in this case, misinterpreted.

After a round of intense picture taking, Matty and Hanno headed home, and Ben and I left as well with every intention (emphasis added) to head straight home ourselves. We left Joe behind with a full glass of wine, and half-empty birthday party as well as charge over Matty's forgotten umbrella. Walking up eighth avenue, Ben suddenly got a text from Martin, whom he had forgotten he told to join us at Paris Commune. Martin said he was on his way there and in a moment of guilty panic we both decided not to snub Martin and meet him for a quick single drink at Barracuda. Immediately we thought we should invite Joe since we so hastily retreated from the last party but neither of us had his number. A modern gay Kobayashi Maru if ever there was one.

Barracuda smelled like the quite literal bowels of Hell but it was packed to the rafters anyway. Adorable Ryan Newman was there, showing off his sensational new short haircut. I wanted to go catch up with him, but while waiting for Martin to arrive, Ben mistakenly made casual eye contact with a deranged stranger in a houndstooth jacket. For the rest of my time there, we actively pivoted away from him only to have him counter our every move. Check. Check. Check. Then after Martin joined us and headed up to the bar to get a drink, it was Checkmate when he cornered Martin who was waiting helplessly for his cocktail. That was the end of the line for me. I had only stayed long enough to protect Ben from the clutches of this dubious letch, having failed at that, the drunk train awaited.

There is so much left unsaid out of an evening on the town. I leave many of the best scraps on the floor and sweep them out of my memory because I like my friends and I don't want to engender even more resentment. I am already someone that can be difficult to like and as Curtis once observed, "Sometimes when Derek is talking, it seems like he has no idea who he is talking to." In the case of this blog, the only person I am really talking to is myself. True, other people are able to listen, and I try to be mindful of that. But life is what it is. Sometimes it isn't pretty. And when you only have a few paragraphs to work with, you can see clearly that the Reader's Digest version of my life strips a lot of cartilage off the bone. And that can lead to some very painful moments as we move through everyday life.

1 comment:

James Valentine said...

LOL! I work for A&F, Fifth Avenue. In my department, our employees are diverse: Asian, black, gay, and hispanic.