Saturday, July 25, 2009

Rockit Splashdown

The doorman doesn’t like me. Again. I had told Matt Kugelman this earlier when he suggested Rockit, but he assured me that there was a new doorman now. It turns out the new doorman doesn’t like me anymore than the old one did. “Uhhhh” he sighed miserably to the security guard holding the rope in place, “they are… okay.” His okay was not at all okay, but instead dripping with nastiness. As in, if I were stranded on a deserted island for a decade, I guess, if I was facing certain death and there was oxygen in his dick, it would be…. just okay.

While we were waiting, a friend of the doorman strolled up in a mesh t-shirt and camo cargo shorts. Not what I would call a style icon, unless you consider the International Male catalog the height of fashion. Moments later, the doorman was chiding me for wearing cargo shorts. “I don’t normally like cargo shorts. Can you wear something else next time?” Really? Because I am pretty sure a pair of ratty cargo shorts just rolled all up in this shit five seconds ago. Even as the words were coming out of his mouth, he knew what a hypocritical douche he came off as. Whatever, Matt really had to pee or I would have made the kind of “don’t you know who I am” scene that would have ended with me being happily banned from what is, frankly, a subpar bar experience. We only keep going because it is close to my office and Matt’s apartment and we are lazy drunks.

This is my fourth or fifth adventure at Rockit and it is still a mystery to me why this is supposed to be a hot place. Yes they have open bar from ten to eleven, but it’s almost turpentine what they serve. The crowd is nice but hardly crazy attractive. Right now, in the throes of summer everyone who is anyone is out on Fire Island, or the Hamptons or Provincetown. You would think they would be grateful to have ANYONE in their bar. Even a broken down mid-century radio show host like myself. The doormen act like its Studio 54 circa 1979. Honey, it isn’t even Studio 54 now.

Originally I planned to go to a birthday party tonight but didn’t get the location until 9:45pm. With only fifteen minutes left to the show and facing the end of a long week, I was already thinking about just heading home. Once I heard that the party was at Sugarland (which a quick Google search informed me was in Brooklyn), I knew I was going to pass. Not that the 30+ minute trip out on two subways wouldn’t have been fun, but the prospect of trying to find my way back to Manhattan after Midnight to catch the train home seemed frankly just this side of impossible. So, it was back to the old standby: Matt Kugelman and Rockit.

Once inside, we enjoyed our mutual friend Keo Nozari spinning tunes upstairs and I even ran into my adorable pal Rob Banning, who was just making a quick circle through the place before jetting away. A steady stream of admirers paraded up to Matt, undaunted by my presence. Unfortunately, the only steady stream I was enjoying came from all of the drinks being splashed on me. Must have been the open bar because these drunks tonight were messy. And when a drink is free, you don’t mind spilling some of it along the way. It seemed I couldn’t turn around in that place without getting a half glass of vodka tonic sloshed on me. I was trying to text with Ryan Raz up in Boston, but I started to worry that my iPhone wasn’t waterproof. Is there some kind of windshield wiper app for the iPhone I can download?

Neither of us wanted to make a late night of it, so we cut out pretty early. A couple of drinks was plenty and once again the doorman’s attitude did not put me in a party mood. As we left, his back was to us and I was glad. There he was, not particularly good looking, in his preppy button down shirt, open enough for open heart surgery, tucked into a painful pinch in high-waisted ticking stripe shorts. Yes, shorts! Even though his were ill-fitting and atrocious, my cargo shorts were cause for alarm. Oh enough. I can’t hear myself think over the sound of my own eyes rolling into the back of my head. Besides, I know I have no fashion sense. What is his excuse?

I love you Keo, but I won't be back.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

So Strange, Yet Familiar

Every trip to Bowery Bar on a Tuesday night is like returning to the scene of the crime. How can a building which holds so little emotion for me contain so many vivid memories? Like dreams you have that startle you awake and you spend the day trying to shake off or twenty-something adventures high as a kite, intense but fleeting. Maybe it is the open-air patio, where cigarette smoke, noisy chatter, and human emotion drift up and away into the night. Perhaps that is why it has all stayed so popular for so long.

As often happens here, a confluence of events led me inevitably out of the house and out on the town. This week, Bobby texted me out of the blue, suggesting we go to Bowery Bar. Zach was in town, visiting from Colorado but not flying home until Wednesday morning. And just as suddenly Ryan Raz wasn’t working and wanted to drop by the show first, followed by a cocktail after. And just like that, a night was born out of thin air, conceived in the desire for companionship and comedy. Once again, I am typecast as the comedy.

Ryan brought Brandon Baker from RentBoy.com along for the show and the rest of the evening, and we had a very nice time. I don’t know what he expected hanging out with me would be like, but I think he was a little bit delighted by my terrible attitude. Or perhaps he was just furiously taking notes in his head, trying to remember the juicy bon mots he would hand deliver with care to my victims the next day. I honestly don’t care either way. It isn’t anything I wouldn’t say on the show anyway.

We met up with Zach and his former roommate Laurel and after Zach bought us all a round of drinks, we settled in the back under the dripping trees. The weather all day had been horrible, drizzling and foggy, like a Sherlock Holmes story. As I always proclaim in such situations that “I am not made of sugar,” true to form I did not melt under the splattering trees, but I was annoyed. Bobby met up with us there, soon followed by Ronnie who I haven’t seen in many, many months. It was my usual cast of disparate characters. True to form, I only know people who would never know each other under normal circumstances. This of course is my plan all along, since it is the best defense against those dreaded surprise birthday parties that tight knit clusters of friends are prone to throwing against your will.

In order to expense a round of drinks, Brandon conducted some work, asking us what TV stars we jerked off to as kids/teens I assume for some feature he was pulling together for rentboy.com. Being much younger than I am, I had to explain to him the joys of Robert Conrad in his prime (Wild, Wild West) and the controversy of Jon-Erik Hexum Vs. Tony Hamilton on Cover Up that has so viciously divided the gay community since the early 1980s. I fell into the Tony camp, always a sucker for a hot blond with an Aussie accent, even picking out a hot guy in a white polo shirt at Bowery Bar that was aping his look. Unfortunately, no one was in agreement with me. Oh well. Time to pee.

Running off to the bathroom, I ran into Chris, so tall and sweet. I went to embrace him but was careful not to give him my right side, suddenly doused from a planter overhead. “It just dripped on my face,” he offered, waving off my wetness. “So strange, yet familiar.” Working in radio, I can no longer hear and invariable play along with whatever I thought I heard to my own peril. In this case, I thought he then said “Conor is here" referring of course to that notorious raconteur and Bbar legend. Naturally I started making jokes about looking around on the ground for him or perhaps checking the stalls in the men’s room. Chris didn’t miss a beat, joking along that he might actually be on his knees near a urinal, even though I was talking about Conor and all along he was talking about his wonderful boyfriend Cub. “Cub is here,”he had said. And my sense of decorum is not.

Realizing my horrible mistake, I made my quick escape, running into Cub along the way. Cub made a big deal about me to the guy he was talking to. He did that thing Matty likes to do where he introduces me as “really famous” except that I am pretty sure that you don’t need to introduce Angelina Jolie as a “really famous actress” or Joan Rivers as a “really famous surgical pin cushion.” It’s like when someone introduces you as “really funny,” invariably they are going to be disappointed. Radio show? I could feel the guy’s eyes rolling on the inside. Who is famous from radio? Ummm not me. Not anyone.

Over Cub’s shoulder: Michael Musto. Whirling around outside looking for guys he knew: Jason Bellini. Thompson on Thompson floated through with his shaved head, briefly talking to a ridiculous gay in a muscle tee who couldn't wait to move to LA to be with his own people in the shallowest end of the bitch pool. Then there was that guy that I think I flirted with. And did we make out once? I can’t remember. Probably not because he is shorter than I am and I would have remember leaning down like that. But I would have liked to. And anyway, it doesn’t matter. Time to go home. They will all still be there the next time I come. I think some of them might actually live there, bedding down in that secretive loft they use for coat check. Oh well. Hurrying to catch the train. I purposefully didn’t drive so that I could have the ride home to blog about my night out on the town. It has been too long since I wrote about my nights of adventure in Manhattan, but not too long since I went to Bowery Bar. No mystery there.