Friday, September 10, 2010

Stuck In Park

Thursday night at The Park has been a thing for a while now. Last year, Matty was promoting a night there. This year, it has been Josh Woods’ turn. Certainly over the last few months, the Fox party has been the most consistent night out for me. So I suppose it was no surprise that on my first Thursday out in a while, The Park was on the agenda, even if we only planned to stay for a short bit. Erik didn’t mind going again, but the drinks are kind of pricey ($13 for a tiny glass of ice with a heavy pour of vodka on top). So we made a plan to stop by for the first hour when the drinks are two for one and then head on up to Hell’s Kitchen.

ADD Jeff sent me a text message during the show to see if I was going out tonight. As fate would have it, I was. So when the show ended, he was waiting downstairs on the plaza outside our building with his muscled pal Eddie. Eddie is the kind of walking slab of beef that should either be hanging in a meat locker or punching the beef in one. Together we hopped on the subway and headed down to The Park to begin our evening.

Things always are slow before eleven o’clock, but tonight seemed even slower than usual. Perhaps it was the lack of a two for one special at the bar, or maybe it was Rosh Hashanah, although I don’t know many gays who are so observant that they would miss out on drinks with cute guys. More than likely, it was the launch of fashion week, the usual clutch of fashionistas who attend spread to the four corners by a ticker tape parade of other invitations. So we made do with the guys who did come.

Erik ran into Adam, who I have met several times before, though the previous times we met, he didn’t remember. Erik might have overdone it with his “you remember Derek” introduction because Adam went to some pains to insist that he did remember meeting me before. And as if to cement me in his memory, he asked for my last name and then repeated it out loud, I suppose in an attempt to guarantee success. I had no idea that I was so unmemorable as to require such aggressive memory tricks.

Will Wikle certainly remembered me when I ran into him at the urinal. I feel like the last time I saw him he was doing the single ladies dance at the Maritime Hotel, so that was a very long time ago. “When I heard someone from Big Brother was doing gay porn,” I announced so loudly as to risk fracturing the porcelain, “I couldn’t believe it wasn’t you!” Will took my razor-tipped compliment in stride and moments later upstairs on the enclosed patio we caught up on old business.

Will was there with his friend Jordan, a strapping lad with a shirt unbuttoned for open heart surgery and a red baseball cap turned backwards like classic David Geffen. While I was putting the small in small talk, Jordan made a sharp left turn in response to my banal question about how he knew Will. “I was surfing through Craig’s List and I saw this ad that said, ‘Huge bottom. Desperate for sex.’ And then a bunch of dollar signs. So I thought, ‘eh. Why not?’” His delivery was subdued and earnest. I fell for him instantly. Moments later when he insisted that I looked like Ewan McGregor and refused to believe I didn’t get that comparison all the time, I pretty much would have married him on the spot if he was carrying a bag of Taco Bell and lived anywhere cleaner than my bedroom, which is filthy.

To be fair, I had already had a couple of drinks, and after telling Jeff that I would have made out with him if he had a box of Chicken McNuggets in his hand, it was clear to everyone that my judgment was suspect when it came to men and food. Apparently, I have been off the sauce for a while because my true personality came roaring up from the depths without much encouragement and I was, for lack of a better word, suddenly very entertaining. Yes, I was the guy punching Jeff in his one good kidney. True, I did yell “there’s no smoking in here!” to some homo in a bow tie, who heeded my stern warning and snuffed his butt out. I might also have said “you’re not Lady Gaga” loud enough for the woman in the crazy outfit who thought she was Lady Gaga to hear. And I was filled with helpful advice about chairs in bars.

“If you are over the age of twenty-five, never sit down in a bar.” I instructed my assembled gays. “If you do, it will look like you have given up.” And I proceeded to demonstrate. First, I stood there, fun and gay in my slim shorts and pale blue sweatshirt. Then, I sat in a chair and relaxed. “See what I mean!” and they did. Sitting in a bar ages you more than bad lighting, sun damage, and expired fashion combined.

We even had a real twenty-five year old there in our midst to help prove my point, when Erik’s friend Chris showed up. It turns out that Chris has heard my show before and frankly seemed to be harboring a certain amount of burning resentment about not being able to find me at the Bourbon Pub three years ago during Southern Decadence. I am not sure but I think I was locked up in the VIP attic with Chi Chi La Rue and Lady Bunny, but hours of forward promotion on the radio left Chris extremely disappointed that I wasn’t immediately visible in the crush of unwashed masses below. And three years later, the feeling was still fresh. “But I am here now!” I insisted cheerfully, like Krusty doing A-list material for charity.

Look. I can understand that kind of disappointment and grudge holding. I am the master of it. And tonight I was even disappointed in myself. Suddenly, it was hours later, I turned around and we were still at The Park. It was too late for me to run off to a second location in Hell’s Kitchen. Our plan of bar hopping around town was decidedly not to be. But we all still had a good time anyway.It is a good lesson in life. Things don’t always work out the way you think they well. Then again, I ended my night with a handful of Chicken McNuggets so maybe they do.


Jordan said...

You do look like Ewan M. Though I'm thinking of retracting that comment as my comparison was to David Geffen.

David said...

Hells Kitchen... you mean Clinton? HA! Check out Nook at 50th and 9th. Tell Collin I said hi!

Derek Hartley said...

Jordan is a sexy beast who looks nothing like David Geffen. He just wears his hat in a similar fashion. His beauty is the rock upon which my ego will shatter. Let's all hope his open heart surgery goes well!