Wednesday, September 13, 2017

On a Tuesday Night


Shock opened up a quilted bag and flung his iguana on the subway floor. Passengers were intrigued. A biker looked confused, a punk guy put down his Neil Gaiman book to stare. Shock yelled out 'Who. Has. A. Cigarette?' A few yards away a drunk woman announced 'Hey everyone! My name is Taylor. It's my 21st birthday. So if everyone could sing 'Happy Birthday' and I'll start.' Stuck in between the slithering iguana, high Shock, and a drunk singing Taylor, me and other NYCers made droll eye contact and confirmed: 'Been there. Done that.' Taylor and subway friends finished the song and she walked over to the iguana named Bowser. Taylor and Shock greeted each other. Taylor sat on the floor and picked up Bowser while talking to Shock. They exchanged phone numbers. A drunk white woman, a high Black man, and a confused iguana share a post-racial, post-reptile bonding moment. Is this the acid trip version of MLK's dream? Strangely enough, this was not the most unusual part of my day.


Earlier in the evening I walked out of a musical at intermission. The singing was great, the music was really strong, but the story bored me, and the characters were caricatures. I was in the East Village so I decided to stop by some of my old spots for a drink. I ended up at a gay bar on a lazy Tuesday night. I thought it would be nice to have a drink, talk with a few people, and head home. When I arrived, the bar was sparsely crowded. I started talking with one guy who wanted to give me a blowjob. He offered his services every few minutes or so, as if I would suddenly change my mind if he just kept asking. I smiled and told him I was just there to hang out. Two guys sat down next to me named Luv and Elvis. Luv was from an island off Madagascar and working in NYC finance. We spoke for a bit and the overly eager Mr. BJ would stop by every once and a while to see if I had changed my mind.

As I was preparing to go, Mr. BJ said 'you can't leave. The party hasn't even started.' What party? It's a lazy Tuesday night. He said that in a few minutes a black curtain would be pulled across the floor, separating the front area from the back area. In the back area it would be sexual pandemonium. I weighed my choices: sleep or sexual pandemonium. I decided to stay and watch what happened. Sure enough, the curtain was drawn and the action started in the bathroom. Then some go go boys started dancing on the table and gyrating in our faces. Luv received extra special attention. One of the go go boys went off with a patron to the bathroom. The energy was picking up and I felt...my age. In the past, the night's sights and sounds would have thrilled me. Now, I just saw sorrow, both my own and others. On top of that, there was a Puritanical exasperation at the timing of it the revelry: all this on a Tuesday night?!?' I nodded to Mr. BJ and told him to enjoy the festivities. He was an MTA subway conductor and didn't have to work on Wednesday. I hope he found the right crotch to bury his face into for a minute. 

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