Saturday, February 7, 2009


I met Steven Clark last summer at Ben Harvey's farewell to Manhattan party. Ben was giving up his beautiful apartment for new frontiers in the outer boroughs. Things were tense with Jonathan. And it was my first pride where I wasn’t working outside the city in half a decade. What should have been a time for celebration just felt difficult and strained, as if we had all arrived at the building just at the moment of sheer exhaustion. But I put on my happy face and scaled the heights to his party. While there, standing among the stand up comedians, I met Steven, visiting from Kansas. He recognized my voice instantly as the braying nightmare from inside his rental cars on a million and one business trips around the country. Always one to be flattered by an attractive fan, we became fast friends.

Flash forward and Steven is in town this weekend with his two girlfriends, a last hurrah in the big apple before they all go back to their tamely lurid hot tub fueled drunken shenanigans back home among the cows and corn. The ladies seemed intent on fulfilling a Sex And The City-laced fantasy, replete with stilettos and exhaustively flawless blond hair. We met up, along with ADD Jeff at ELMO, as reliable a gay eatery as there is in Chelsea. The ladies were tickled to note that ELMO had been the site of several scenes in the current edition of the Real World, despite Chelsea’s nodding acquaintance with real world Brooklyn. That one of the waiters at the restaurant was also an MTV reality veteran surprised no one.

Originally, I had hoped that Mikey and his boyfriend Mark would join us during Mikey’s birthday weekend trip to the city. But they took a wrong turn near the city and somehow ended up in Connecticut and our dinner reservation made a quick cut from eight to six. Damian was also supposed to be there, a long promised reunion since I last ran into him at DC Pride two years ago, but he was beset by a sudden friend emergency and that dropped us from six to five. So instead of the long banquet table they arranged for us in the center of the place, I insisted they move us to a quieter and smaller round table near the front to better suit our incredible shrinking dinner party.

Dinner was wonderful and we all made great conversation. I tried to be as witty as possible, to give the ladies the full SATC experience. Also, I had to assume Steven had filled their heads beforehand with glowing reviews of my spontaneous hilarity so I was certain that I had big shoes to fill (my own) no matter how fictitious they may be. I did get off one good line when we were discussing how much younger guys like dating older guys and how unflattering their innocent expressions like “grey hair is sexy” and "I love wrinkles!" are. “Do you know doesn’t like dating older guys?” I asked, “Older guys!” As annoying as the pups are, they can help you forget yourself for a while, which is a nice middle-aged game to play in preparation for full onset dementia later in life. After all, practice forgetting everything you know about yourself is perfect.
I had told John that we would be there and since ELMO is a frequent haunt of his frequent Friday friends, he said he might swing by the table and say hi if we were still there. I had completely forgotten our previous exchange earlier in the day until he was standing over the table with that adorable grin of his and a twinkle in his eye. One of the ladies looked up from her bottle of white wine and declared his striking resemblance to Colin Farrell. This was apparently a problem as he was, as it turns out, just too good looking to actually look at and she preferred he take his intense attractiveness elsewhere. As it was, he didn’t stay long. I am fairly certain that my ravenous encounter with a banana split at the end of the meal hastened his departure. And why not.

After ELMO, we dashed across the street to Duane Reade so one of the ladies could get a gel sole insert for her stilettos since her feet were killing her. I tried to explain that only women in movies and TV shows actually wear those shoes in Manhattan because, between the subway grates and the cobblestones, those shoes are, at minimum, a broken leg waiting to happen. (Note: Certain horse-faced actresses should take heed that prize thoroughbreds with broken legs are often shot and they should watch their steps!)

Then it was on to Barracuda to wrap up our evening. While lingering in the back area two guys tried to use the wing maneuver of talking to the hags to get to the fags. Steven and Jeff and I saw it coming a mile away but I think the ladies were just happy to have someone other than us pay attention to them, compliment their hair and try to motorboat their breasts. As much as I wanted to see how far things got, it was time for us all to go. The ladies had done their gay duty and Steven needed to lead them downtown to some straight parties and hopefully the waiting hungry penises of heterosexual men. And me, I went on to Grand Central Station and its underground passages draped with endless promotional posters for the musical sensation Wicked. “Now Leaving OZ” the green banner above my head waved as I headed for the train. It’s a long way from Kansas to the Emerald City, and back again after the stilettos have clicked their last, I thought. Even though I too make my temporary way in and out of the city, I am glad I get to stay among the magic for a while longer than most.


Anonymous said...


You expend a great deal of effort maintaining your blog. I am sure that most people, including myself do not give it their full attention. Go out and enjoy life rather than spending time blogging about it. Get laid more often, go to some more movies and shows, etc. etc. You deserve it. If nothing else enjoy that monstrous TV you bought with grandma's $$$$.


OTRDriver said...

I want to commend you on your advise last night to the guy who was in his 30's and just came out. I know you don't need my encouragement but you were right on! Being a 55yo guy that came out when he was 41 and loosing all my friends, and family it's true. One must be true to ones' self. Keep up the good work, I'll keep listening when on the open road where ever that might be.

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