Sitting there, across from a self-described boarding-school brat, all I can hear over the low faux-Cuban muzac is the cha-ching of a rich boy buying me dinner. He looks nothing like the blonde twink I saw online. I’m slowly debating whether that’s good or bad. For now, let’s go with good. Different is always good, refreshing at least. So this Joe, with 8 o’clock shadow and an amateur attempt at a goatee, seems to have his hand glued to the front of his mouth. Be it wrong of me to exaggerate, but the boy just might die if anyone ever saw a morsel of food enter his mouth. Never have I ever, keeping all my fingers up mind you, have I seen a boy with such self-conscious table manners. Call it proper, if you like. Call it classy. I’ll go with anal. Maybe it’s just the garden state in me, but talking with one’s mouth full is one of the last things that would ever turn me off to a date. Be comfortable with me. I’d be just as content if you were wearing your sweatpants, dribbling food all over your Duke University hoodie. Just as long as you stop hiding your fucking mouth.
He grabs the check before I can even sneak a glance at what I owe. I’m simultaneously elated and angry. Happy that he’s paying, mad I didn’t get something more expensive. Do I want coffee? Expresso? Only if you want to wipe my ass later, dear. I’ll just keep nursing my water, waiting in desperation for you to once, just once, initiate a topic of conversation. I’d say talking with him at first was like pulling teeth, but to be honest, I don’t think it was nearly that much fun. I could’ve gone for some anesthesia though. Our meal was $34. He throws $60 down on the table and starts to put his jacket on. We are not in Manhattan, kiddo. Anyone who over-tips that much either can’t count or is trying to impress. I really hope he’s bad at math as money is not my aphrodisiac.
So, where to next, Hef?
I’m going to just drive you back to your car and casually hint that I’m not feeling this so we can both continue with our nights and possibly salvage a Wednesday.
Oh, you mean you’re not going home yet?
Sure, I could go for Feather’s.
It is 9 o’clock after all. We should probably start drinking anyway.
So… You follow me there so I don’t have to drive you back here later, ok?
Alone for now. On the phone. Complaining like a spoiled bitch.
Oh my god, Mike, this kid has his doctorate.
Wanna bring Glause to Feather’s?
Aw, I’m sorry, man. Are you guy’s still friends though?
Well now we’re never going to have a place to stay in Rio.
Ok, I’ll call you if we decide to come. Later.
Eric, I’ve found you a husband.
Yeah, totally cute, just not my type. A bit too serious, you’d love him.
No, just happen to meet us there. Exactly, be slick.
Joey boy, can I bum a cigarette now and for the rest of the night so I can feel socially comfortable at the gay club? Thanks, papi. Menthol? Well if I have to… Oh, so this Saab convertible is your old car? Yeah, yeah, I can totally understand why you bought that new Infiniti because it was cute, definitely. I mean, that’s why I’m driving my ’94 Taurus now. Because it’s aesthetically pleasing to me. Yup. Oh my god! Look! That’s my friend, Eric! Oh, come on, you’ll just love him…
As soon as Eric is close enough to us, I know the night has gone to shit. Two days earlier, my best friend decided to cut his sideburns completely off and follow up with a nice clean shave. Have you ever seen the show Life Goes On with the boy with Down’s syndrome, Corky? Self-administered haircuts aren’t always the best idea, Eric.
We’re the first ones at the bar. We know this because the television screens are still playing a Bruce Springstein concert and not yet porn. Max Weinberg is banging straight eighth notes like an autistic child. A round is bought and Joe heads to the bathroom so Eric and I can gossip like Eucharistic Ministers.
Oh my gosh, Billy, he’s totally cute.
Yeah, I guess. He’s just not my type. Try working your magic on him.
Ooh, I’d work more than that.
Joe returns sans piss before Eric can describe his wet dream and we continue conversing jovially thanks to the second round. It’s now Eric’s turn to be talked about.
So what were you guys saying about me while I was gone?
Joe, Eric thinks you are just the cutest.
Well I’m not worried about what Eric thinks.
Uh-oh. Now I feel horrible. Not only have I lead this kid on, but I also drug Eric out in hopes of taking my place. I feel like I’m the straight man in my own sit-com. Joe kisses me like a pigeon. I’m not saying I didn’t like it. I’m not saying I wasn’t tipsy enough to be physically attracted to him. I’m just saying he kisses like a third grade girl. Eric’s returned and seeing Joe’s hand on my leg and then my back and then my neck, he accepts defeat and optimistically turns his attention to the nine other fine specimens of man-meat around the bar. So what if some of the other guys are old enough to be Eric’s dad? There’s nothing wrong with a free drink, or four.
Downstairs becomes crowded. We glide up to the dance floor and stand around with the other stalkers. A group of about seven faggy but well-built boys deflowers the dance floor and Eric mentions he wouldn’t mind being their Lucky Pierre. I agree and eye them up, coyly avoiding Joe’s searching hands the entire time. I don’t come to Feather’s for the sole purpose of meeting new boys. Nor do I come to act like someone’s wife. Needless to say, this kid is clingy. I am a very independent person, so this is not going to fly. Do not put your arm around me at the bar. Do not hold my hand at the bar. Do not lick my fucking neck at the bar, Joe! I’m trying to seductively avoid that cute guy’s glances and I can’t do that with a god damned puppy on my arm!
The DJ starts to realize that 90’s house is just not all the rage tonight and switches to something a little more acceptable, Christina Aguilera’s “Candyman”. Reminder: We’re at Feathers, the only place in Bergen County, NJ where “Candyman” is acceptable on a Wednesday night. The gays and I move onto the floor, deftly moving our petite cocktails with the rhythm making sure to never spill a drop.
The night proceeds pretty nicely, us grooving and not spilling, until Joe shimmies up to the twonkish bartender for his third or fourth Ketel One and Tonic. Yes, he’s that uppity. As he earnestly downs his drink, I’m noticing that his dancing ability is directly proportionate to the liquid level in his glass. The more he drinks, the more inclined he is to start clapping on 1 and 3, no lie. So he gulps down the last of his Ketel, getting all that sexual frustration out on some poor ice cube. As he places his glass on the bar, I shoot my best ‘are you seeing this cracker dance’ look at Eric. Eric, having acquainted himself with an extremely perky and techno-chest-friendly lesbian, does not appreciate my look and continues on with his night in Heteroland. I need to escape this boy. So I down my lumberjack man Miller Lite and tell Joe that I’ll be back after I use the bathroom.
For all the breeders reading this, two things are inferred when a man says he’s going to the bathroom at a gay club. One, he’s going to go hook up with whoever happens to be in there. Two, he’s indirectly asking you to follow him to the bathroom so that you will hook up with him there. Unfortunately, I forgot about this unwritten rule because I’m accustomed to Eric being my Feather’s wingman. He’s the only guy I tell that I’m going to the bathroom and all I do is piss because that bathroom is just way too nasty for my pants to be hitting the floor. So, having announced the unspoken sex password to Joe, I make my way downstairs through the angsty crowd of lustful onlookers and over-the-hill fisherman of twinks. For the first time ever, the bathroom is completely vacant so I’m very much looking forward to getting rid of the last four Millers. The typical gay club bathroom is all about ambience. It has no dividers between the urinals. Each urinal is in plain view of everyone in the bathroom; even a few people who are waiting in line can sneak a peek. The singular toilet in the bathroom doesn’t even have a stall surrounding it; it’s total prison style. Moreover, the first urinal is no more than 6” away from the bathroom’s only sink. Needless to say, penis peeks are abundant here.
So I undo my belt and then my fly’s buttons. (God knows that if you’re going to a gay club, you just have to wear button-fly jeans, how else are you going to know who’s good with their hands?) As soon as I’m ready to release the yellow stream of fury, I feel a pair of hands snake their way around my waist. First thought: EWW! Second thought: Wait, check who it is first. So, holding Niagara Falls in, I cock my head to see none other than Joe, standing behind me with an ass-rimming grin on his stupid face.
What the fuck are you doing in here?
(Slurring) I zhust wantedoo keep ya company… didn’t want no boyses comin’
talkin’ to you in the bathrhoum.
Well get the fuck out of here. I can pee by myself.
No, no no no no. Sshhh. (he tries to shush my lips with his finger) You zhust pee.
I won’t look. You just pee. I’ll protect ya.
Whatever man, I’m not into scat, though.
Ok, so I pissed with some German’s hands around my waist while he whispered
in my ear that he was my bodyguard. I know Whitney didn’t have to go through this shit, but I was definitely taking one for the team there. I close up shop, wash my hands, ask him to wash his as well and then I’m off to the bar for another Miller. Of course, Joe whips out his Kenneth Cole billfold and slams a twenty down faster than a trick on a lunch break. My beer and his fifth Ketel and Tonic are covered and the bartender is gregariously over-tipped, thinking he must look extra cute tonight in his Lycra-ish pink number that’s not hiding his womanly front-butt. I quickly lead the way through the labyrinth of creepies and up the most narrow staircase one has only seen before on television specials documenting secret slave passageways in plantation homes. Good thing the majority of the faggots are built like Nicole Ritchie; otherwise some circulation issues would be afoot. Scanning the undulating sea of badly-dyed hair and flailing limp wrists, I finally spot my boy Eric and inch my way over to him and his dykey date. I try my best to incorporate myself into his coupling, hoping Colonel Clingy might get a clue, but alas, he’s on me quicker than MJ at my Holy Communion party. Now not only is this ivy leaguer cock-blocking and cramping my Jersey style, but he’s also taken to sloppily nibbling on my neck, leaving various amounts of saliva on my collar. I turn around.
Joe, you need to back the fuck up.
(Remember, this kid drove) Uhwhat? Whatzwrawng babee?
Joe, I need some fucking space, ok? You’re all over me.
I know, suh-exy. I zhust cann keepmah eyes offa you.
Look all you want, man. Just lay off a bit.
Yeah, okay. (Now my favorite part) I’m gohnna eatchou up later, anyway.
Did he just say he was going to eat me? So maybe he really had been nibbling on my neck, just for an appetizer, tenderizing my skin with liquor-enriched spit. Damn, he sure knows how to make a guy feel special. Joe actually backs off, even if it’s only to cop yet another Ketel. You’d think the kid had fucking stock in that shit. On the positive side, I get an entire song to myself, blissfully grinding with the air, free to shake my shit without repercussion.
Hey thur, suh-exy boyee!
The seat belt is back quicker than I thought. Fortunately, the Heavenly Homo is on my side tonight and the DJ starts “Wind it up”, signifying the second to last song of the evening. Shit, have we really been here four hours already? Time just flies when you’re being stalked. “Wind it up” is an excellent song to which one can dance. It’s pop-ish enough for all the twinkies to enjoy and R&B-ish enough to be able to cop a decent feel without feeling too grimy. However, Joe had already filled his coppage quota for the entire week, which prompted me to slap on the wrought-iron chastity thong. Just enough for a tease, but not so much that you feel bad about it tomorrow. Gwen Stefani is halfway done with her song and I signal to Eric that I’ll meet him outside with his jacket so he can finish up motorboating the lesbian’s tremendous tits.
Feather’s is in chaos. I’m fucking Sly Stallone cliffhanging down the crowded stairway of death and no sooner do I reach the lower bar than Joe is pushing his luck, yelling at the bartender, debating the term last call. He sees me dash for the coat check but I barely get our jackets handed to me before he’s on me, barnacle-style. Outside, it’s frigid. But it’s never too cold for the gays. Skinny, little 15-year-olds are all hunched over outside the bar lighting each other’s cigarettes and shivering at record speeds, all the time shooting furtive glances at every piece of ass that makes his way to the parking lot. Joe, the monogamous guy that he is, is all Kevin Costner on my ass once again and not one decent man will even bother looking my way thanks to my parasite. We smoke another menthol while we wait for Eric and after each puff, I’m greeted by this stupid, fucking face asking for a kiss. I hate those faces. You know, the ones that your fucking boyfriend makes at you when he’s acting all innocent and just wants one, single kiss to get him through the next minute. I hate that shit! Especially when it comes from a pretentious, portly and pushy motherfucker like Joe. That stupid face! Doggy eyes, over-gelled hair and pursed lips, extended so far out from his fucking face that even an anteater would bitch slap him. Ugh! That was it.
Ok, Joe. I’m going home now. I text Eric to get his jacket from me tomorrow.
Dhon’t you gotta wait foryer friend?
No, he already left. Goodnight.
But, whuddabout me? I wanna talk to you.
You talked to me all night, Joe. Goodnight. I had a really swell time.
Can I gedduh goodnight kiss?
You’ve gotten plenty, Joe. Goodnight.
Can I callyah?
You sure can, Joe.
Ok, call me whenshyou get home so I know thatchure safe.
Yeah. Drive safe, Joe. Don’t forget to wear your seat belt.