Open your heart
It’s just a fucking bar, I tell myself, as I walk past it again. Except for the disco music. And the blacked out windows. Yeah it’s a bar, but it’s not like a regular bar. Not from the outside.
Not from the inside either. In a regular bar everyone’s talking to friends, hanging out. Here everyone looks at you—well…whoever comes in, not you specifically—even the guys hanging out with friends. Everyone’s facing the door.
No idea how things work here, so I stick with what I know how to do; a cold beer in my hand helps. Well…briefly in my hand *burp*, so I buy another. I do a lap to get the lay of the land, then find myself a place where I can lean, see everyone else, and no one can sneak up on me. No surprises. After a few minutes I notice no one else seems to have fag tattooed on their forehead. Why do I still feel like I do? Time for another beer.
I’ll make you love me
The music’s not so bad: very MTV (it is a “video bar” whatever the fuck that is), not rock, not exactly disco either. But this definitely isn’t my crowd, that’s for sure. Makes me feel better, in a fucked up way. Too pretty, too stylish, too gay.
I don’t fit in here; I don’t know where else I belong either though. At home I feel very gay, on guard, watching my back, hoping when I’m shitfaced I don’t do something that gives me away. Dunno what I was expecting to feel here either, though.
A couple of more beers and I start to notice a few guys that are alright, hot even. A few other customers; mostly bartenders…hmmm, free drinks wouldn’t be a bad thing. Doesn’t matter: it clearly ain’t mutual. Lesson number one: the ones who fancy you aren’t ever the ones you fancy. Fuck it, whatever. Beer’s empty.
It’s not that hard
This place is fucking quiet. Not just for a Thursday; last night was New Year’s Eve, so not a lot of people go out on the first. I usually stay home on New Year’s anyway: too many fucking amateurs crying, puking or flexing their beer muscles. Like every other year I ate hot hors d’oeuvres and watched the ball drop on TV with Mom last night. Then I lay awake in bed, panicked. Can’t do this much longer, gonna lose it. So I made my first ever new year’s resolution: come out. Instead of checking out.
I like being out on the first anyways. No drama, no problem getting a drink, and definitely a critical mass of folks who appreciate a good cold beer. Or 12. But after about six gay beers the twenty bucks I usually spend on a night out in Rockaway (including tip) is gone. Apparently there’s no fucking buy-backs either. I’ve got another ten bucks to late the rest of the fucking night (and a token for the ride home). Hey! Beer #7 comes with a buy-back! And a smile from the super hot bartender. Too bad he’s a fucking smoker.
If you just turn the key
I’m too adrenalized to be hung over. I get to 116th Street sometime after lunch; it’s a 10 minute walk home. Yeah it’s me, yeah I’m home, yeah had fun. Gonna take a bath. Doesn’t help; still wired. Should I do it before dinner? No. Right after? No. When they’re in bed? Maybe. Despite not having eaten since dinner last night, I have no appetite.
I pack a small bag in case I need to leave fast. I have a place to go if I need to. Deep breath. I walk down the hall and sit on the edge of their bed.