Sunday, June 27, 2010

Peer Dance

I only have two rules: I don’t write about my sex life and I don’t report on the illegal activities of my friends. In the past, I have been criticized (by myself and others) when I wrote here in the form of a blind item, but I am bound by my own rules to do it again. In this case, I did not have sex, or even get close to having sex, or even find out if the sexy guy I was merely talking to at the pre-Pier Dance party was at all remotely interested in more than talk before Matty dragged me off by the hand on a wild goose chase to the Spotted Pig for dinner, where I neither spotted a pig nor ate a meal. No. This will be about the sex lives of others and the illicit drugs they did. You’ve been warned. Let the blindness begin.

I left Matty at the Spotted Pig and headed to Pier 54 (no relation to Studio 54). This was only my second trip to the Pier Dance. Most years, I am not in town on the last Sunday in June, sweating out some other pride event as the main stage emcee. But in the interest of sanity, I have stuck closer to home the last two years. I have enjoyed the parade viewing party from the In The Life studios and even imbibed a Skyy cocktail or three in the VIP area at the Pier Dance. The dance is not my scene, but the hotness of the shirtless guys can’t be beat, the beat is bumping, and the shirtless boys do bumps. These kinds of circuit parties to me always seem like revisionist versions of shirts versus skins where the scrawny gay kid can finally get picked first. The psychology bores me, but I like free drinks so away I went.

Last year, I like to think I held it together but this time around I was a walking mess. Beyond due for a trim, my hair was huge and frizzed out like Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka. The heat and humidity turned my normally cool, dry exterior into the largest exporter of sweat in the Northern Hemisphere. I am pretty sure the skin on my face was so shiny that I could have been used as a reflective surface inside the Hubble telescope to witness the furthest reaches of outer space. But when you are standing on a pier with eight thousand shirtless men, you just need to trust that no one is looking at the sweaty guy in the corner who is using the wall of the porta-potty to block the sun from his delicate white skin.

I am always surprised when I run into people I know in places like this. I feel all the time like Roy Cohn’s definition of a gay man in Angels in America: “A homosexual is someone who knows no one and whom no one knows.” But after nine years in NYC, you are bound to collect strangers like so much discarded gum on the bottom of your shoe. I ran into a publicist I know who left the city, traveled the world, and returned a deranged drag queen. I saw a former co-worker, basking in a recent success, who because I was wrong in ignoring him recently, I provided a needed ego bump. But mostly I saw a sexy shirtless man I didn’t know, but who knew everyone I knew and who knew more about them than I think needed to be said in public. But he said it anyway.

He was the quintessential gay top: tall, strapping, confident without being cocky, with a buzzed head and big arms. I don’t remember his name and it is probably for the best because I can’t quote him on the record anyway. You see, he was high as a kite and so was everyone around him. I knew some of them and the ones I knew, he couldn’t wait to unleash the most personal details of.

First, there was the old friend he hooked up with sexually some time ago. Turns out the old friend with the tight body and the flush of sexy chest hair is not only a well-regarded bottom but also has a very nice cock too. I’ll save that info for future reference. The old friend was less interested in our conversation and more interested in a blondish man with a smooth chest and sunglasses perched on top of his head as he squinted in the bright sunlight. The old friend danced in place next to him for a while and then came back to us for reinforcements, “I’m working too hard out there!” and he was. This should have been a done deal.

The strapping top then turned his attention to his ex-boyfriend who seemed to be there with a new boyfriend, or perhaps it was just a clingy friend. Drugs can make people very touchy-feely, or in the case of the strapping top, extremely chatty. The ex-boyfriend was smooth with a tight body that was so unmarred it looked chiseled out of a pristine slab of slate. The strapping top was busy telling me about all the times he “plugged” the ex-boyfriend which caused the ex-boyfriend to lightheartedly chime in that he plugged the strapping top a few times too. It was like a file clerk on a job interview insisting that he could also do some light typing.

“You know [so-and-so], right?” the strapping top asked. It turns out, randomly, that I did know so-and-so. “He has the most beautiful hole you have ever seen. So pretty. You have never seen anything like it.” Somehow I don’t think I will ever be able to look at so-and-so quite the same again, no matter what angle I view him at. Honestly, the information was all too much, and veered dangerously close to excessively intimate. Granted, when the strapping top told of the ex-boyfriend blowing him in the ex-boyfriend’s office my own mind wandered to the time a guy I was dating blew me in my office. It still didn’t make me want to tell the story to a complete stranger. And yet, here we are.

Seeing people who are high while you are sober can be hilarious, and this encounter was without a doubt the highlight of my weekend. Yes, the strapping top did go into far more detail than I would have liked but it was like a very sexy car accident. I didn’t want to look away. It was kind of like a Penthouse Forum letter given a dramatic interpretation by gay porn stars. Who would want to miss that?

But as Shirley Bassey’s voice belted out “I Am What I Am” as the fireworks exploded over the Hudson River and we headed finally to Taco Bell for the real meal this spotted pig had been craving all day, I thought about those eight thousand shirtless men living and loving out on the pier. The tale of the strapping top is probably not the story I would use to crystallize into a single image of pride in New York, but it is all part of our very human experience. Through all of the stories he told, there was one unifying theme: happiness. He was so bemused by the adventures he had enjoyed, and those yet to come. There was no shame, just naked honesty in the face of the human comedy that is life here on earth. And all I could do was smile.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a real hottie.