Thursday, June 30, 2011

Unsupported Assertions

The Empire State Building took my breath away tonight. I was walking up Sixth Avenue, between 27th and 28th, on the West side of the street, and I looked up and there it was. At that angle, it was muscular, unyielding, and intimidating. And in our world of disposable diapers and casual encounters, that presence is as reliable as the Farmer’s Almanac. As I have been many times before, and not even for the first time tonight, I was left in awe by the wonders of New York.

Some people may think of living in New York as some kind of abusive relationship that is constantly excused away. Every insufferable subway platform (searing heat in summer, glacial tundra in winter), every 1am garbage truck seemingly backing repeatedly over a dumpster under your window, every muttering maniac in a dirty coat, every Wall Street douche screaming into his earpiece, they are all just another doorknob walked into, another encounter he is really sorry about and promises will never happen again. But New York is more complex than that.

To me, to love New York is to know true unconditional love. In fact, I think if you can’t love New York, you can never fully love another person, or even yourself. It is a million flaws, writ large. It is bold, italics, and underline. All caps and all encompassing. It is everything, all at once, all in one place, open all night. The dirt, the temperature, the claustrophobic closets sold as apartments, the speed, the noise. It is an assault on every sense and through multiple dimensions. It seeps into your bones and invades your dreams. Its density is so great that it creates its own gravity. How can you not love something so powerful? So majestic? A rollercoaster forever shy of cresting that first great peak.

And then, one night, you go over that peak.

“Be nice,” Chip had quietly entreated, “but tell the truth.”

New York is about truth. It is truth. Because there isn’t the space or time for lies. And this is the truth of what happened tonight at Matt and Roy’s birthday party.

After the show, I wandered down to a bar called Black Door on 26th street. Don’t worry. I had never heard of it either. It is very nice and way in the back, the birthday party was whirling at full tilt as I arrived. The first person I saw and knew was Chip. He was standing near the door, surveying the fun.

Roy, who is often known as the notorious and outrageous Bianca del Rio, was out of drag but still in fine spirits. He and Matt had found matching tuxedos with blue ruffled front shirts in Chicago and they made quite the duo in them tonight. Roy kept up Bianca’s horrifying banter out of drag, so naturally I was forced to say something. “You know, when Bianca says shocking things, it is appalling and fun, but out of drag, you just sound like a racist.” Roy had to admit that you can get away with a lot when you’re a man in a dress.

On Monday night at Bianca’s show, Matt had arranged for a little person in drag to pop out of a present and molest her. Not to be outdone, Roy secretly arranged for a little surprise of his own. “You know the naked cowgirl, right?” He asked me. We had her on the show, so I nodded enthusiastically. “I have arranged for her to come and give Kugie a lap dance! But it is a secret so don’t say anything!” Why I, the person least likely to keep any secret, am the first to be confided in is a mystery I will never solve.

As it turns out, it wasn’t the official Naked Cowgirl, who had visited our studio, but instead the other Naked Cowgirl, Sandy Kane. Sandy was a bit older, in a blue wig and came ready to party. After she spent about ten minutes getting situated and removing her shorts, the music kicked in and she started lip syncing (quite badly I might add) to some kind of parody song about flatulence. No better or worse than Lady Bunny, but at least the Bunster (usually) knows her own lyrics. Then the bra came off and there she was, with just some star pasties over her breasts. The songs and the shaking continued, soon with a candy cane striped dildo of no significant length or girth tossed into the mix. At the end of the third song, I wondered aloud to Patrick, the cute guy next to me, how quickly it would turn from mildly amusing to sad. And then the impossible happened.

As the fourth and final song kicked up, the pasties disappeared and out came a box of safety matches. And then before all of our eyes (and camera phones), she took two matches and stuck them into the holes in each of her nipples. The matches jutting out of her pendulous breasts, she then struck a third match, lit the two sticking out of her nipples and told Matt to blow them out. Happy. Birthday.

Well, that is New York for you. It is towering achievements of concrete and steel. It is baby boomers with flaming nipples. It is everything, all at once, all in one place, open all night. And I love it. Unconditionally.


Garrett said...

That's just sick and wrong. And hysterical!

ctrob said...

I love to see the video

Anonymous said...

Ok, after the taste of vomit receded from my mouth I had to laugh. Your poor friend had to endure this up close and way too personal. Still it was a great gag that made you gag. I just hope I can was away the image.

Anonymous said...

I love it!

Anonymous said...

You are an amazing writer. I never would have known that from listening to your fun-loving radio broadcast, but I am impressed!

Kenneth Walsh said...

Another night, another flamer.