Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Making Plans for Nigel

Gosh, am I crabby!

It wasn't so much the weekend, which was rather nice as those things go. I can't quite put my finger on it. Perhaps it's that feeling of ennui that seems to settle on me like some heavy shroud after the holidays. It's been bugging the crap outta me.

Mind you, my holidays were a little rough, but I enjoyed them, in spite of all the drama. Strangely enough, I've been feeling so much better these days, which only serves to fill me with a bit of dread, when I think about going under the knife next month.

In order to keep my mind occupied, and avoid said dreadful feelings, I spent last week purchasing tickets to San Francisco in March, reserving our room, arranging for our time in Provincetown in August, basically making plans to keep all those nagging gloomy thoughts at bay. Could I be any more gay? The flight is $258.00 round trip, which means we'll have no end of extra beer money to throw around. The room couldn't be cheaper. Beck's, don't you know? And P-town? Looks like we'll be staying in our little Winthrop Street hideaway a bit longer than usual. Our landlord just wrote us a very nice note thanking us for our years we've spent in his condo, as if we were doing him some kind of favor, and asking if he could expect a return visit. I think we'll wind up there through at least a portion of Carnival, in addition to our regular time. I hope my gall bladder-less liver can stand it.

Of course, all this activity is just busy work. Not that I really need more. My job has kept me at my desk until all hours, and I find that I'm completely exhausted come Friday night. I crawled to Tim's this past week, not even going home to change, so complete was my weariness. I'm thinking we were in bed by 11:00 at the very latest.

We actually did nothing on Saturday, just chores around his house, then traveled back to town at dusk to run a few minor errands before settling down in my apartment for a couple of extremely lovely Knob Creek Manhattans each. I had purchased a few old English import CDs during Tower Record's awful demise, and I enjoyed Tim's reaction as he heard all 7:38 minutes of Propaganda's "Duel (Bittersweet)" for the first time on my monster Nikko amp. He said: "Wow".

We headed out for dinner, with the intention of visiting the new pub that has taken the place of the venerable Sazerac House on Hudson Street. Studying the menu outside, I found it lacking, until we entered to discover that aside from the porch the restaurant was almost non-existent, devoured by a huge bar with a scene not unlike the Blind Tiger, which took the place of another old favorite, One Potato, several years ago. The Village is completely over-run with young heterosexual couples seeking the latest trends and slumming in what's left of our hangouts. We repaired to a quiet Chinese restaurant, and watched them fighting each other for taxi cabs and lining up to get into swinging boites from the relative safety of our window seat.

After dinner, we swung down Hudson Street and around to Ty's, where Little Tim is now tending bar weekend nights. It was fun to see him in action, and he poured us several killer bourbon & sodas. We hung out with Dennis and Michael, discussing our penchant for staying at Beck's when we go to San Francisco. I explained that I've always been disappointed, that I've never seen anything come anywhere near the level of debauchery so many people have spoken of. And now, with the new gates, it's practically cloistered. A well known blogger has made his distaste for the place well known to me, suggesting that we could shack up in a four-star hotel for about the same price. When I point out that said hotel is not in the Castro, the conversation tends to die.

It was about that time that Ty's took to showing Gay Sex in the Seventies on their large overhead monitors. I hate watching television in bars; I get mesmerized, just like everybody else. I might as well be home. But I was completely sucked in when I turned around and saw my old pal from the Firehouse, Vito Russo, right above me. And then several others. And then the very bar I was standing in, only 30 years before. It was as if I had fallen through a tear in the time/space continuum. I found myself cheering as the bars of my youth appeared on screen, as well as the sites of many an enjoyable evening of exploration. I recognized one man after another.

I will have to watch this in a non-bar atmosphere, when I haven't necessarily consumed my weight in bourbon. To this end I ordered a copy of the DVD from Amazon on Monday. I'll be sure to have something to say about it here. Rest assured, it will not be about the unkempt hair, or the mustaches.

Sunday night, all my friends abandoned me to their various holiday weekend events, leaving just me, and then finally Damian, to act as representatives of our posse. My very excellent friend Ryan was in town from San Diego, and had come down to spend a couple of hours with me, to talk music, grab some ass and have a generally great time together. At some point in the evening, two California guys recognized Ryan from Palm Springs, and pushed their way over to talk and flirt with him. He introduced me, but one of them clearly wasn't about to pay attention to the likes of me, while his friend deigned to place his limp hand in mine and pointedly looked over my shoulder, all at the same time. I got the picture and cleared out. Ryan was back by my side shortly thereafter, telling me he thought they were assholes for their lack of manners and complete disinterest in me. I'm getting used to it, sort of. I actually had a chuckle over their behavior.

On Sunday morning, I picked a copy of David B. Feinberg's Spontaneous Combustion off my bookshelf, which deals with gay sex in the Eighties, quite a different time than the DVD I'd seen portions of the night before. I've been reading the short chapters over the past two days, and I find it quite startling to be completely thrown back in that landscape of pain and bewilderment once more.

I've sometimes thought that because we survived those trials together, we'd all somehow be nicer to each other. I guess I was wrong. Silly me.

Boy, am I crabby.


Blogger Nate The Great said...

"but one of them clearly wasn't about to pay attention to the likes of me, while his friend deigned to place his limp hand in mine and pointedly looked over my shoulder, all at the same time."

Those guys are missing out, if I ever happen to be in NY you'd be tops on my list of people I'd hope to run into.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn! I have to remember to beat you to the jukebox next time I'm at The Dugout. You had 50 credits in there (I was looking over your shoulder) this past Sunday!

Thanks for the "rock block."


6:12 PM  
Anonymous Joe said...

Gay Sex in the 70's was WONDERFUL, as I knew it would be. I'm a little young for that era, but I was having sex in the 70's. Just not with hot, hairy, mustache &/or bearded studs. And as for the fuck faces who ignored you, I agree with Nate the Great... You'd be topping me, I mean tops on my list of people to run into as well if I'm ever in NYC.

7:25 PM  
Anonymous John said...

"but one of them clearly wasn't about to pay attention to the likes of me, while his friend deigned to place his limp hand in mine and pointedly looked over my shoulder, all at the same time."

Man, can I relate. My boyfriend is an extrovert and I an introvert. On a regular basis get some variant of "Is Carlos here?" without even a simple "Hi" attached. Of course there is always the classic "You're with him!?" accompanied with a look of shock. It just makes me giggle inside at this point. Those who know us both realize how lucky we both are.

9:56 AM  
Blogger David said...

Sounds like a pretty lovely weekend, even with the diss. I'd forgotten that the Sazerac House is gone. I really liked it. Too bad.

12:38 PM  
Anonymous stephen said...

ah, the12" mix of propaganda's "duel". of course, then there was also the 12" of "dr. mabuse" that began with the line "why does it hurt, when my heart misses the beat?" now that i think of it, 1985 (the year of its release) was a good year for music: scritti politti's cupid & psyche, prefab sprout's steve mcqueen, new order's lowlife, the cure's the head on the door, the smiths meat is murder....the list goes on and on. good times :)

5:43 PM  
Anonymous rangergeek said...

Remember how after 9-11, we thought America would suddenly be real deep? Same thing with AIDS in the 80s. We just became more self-centered to seal ourselves off from the pain.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Joe.My.God. said...

I'll have to email you the strange version of "Duel", called "Jewel", that came out later on a different Propaganda 12".

Becks still SUX!

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Aaron said...

I hate it when our glamorous, celebrity-soaked social events get scheduled on a Sunday. I would much rather be standing at the Jukebox at Dugout. True story.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous jimbo said...

I'm with you on crabby day today.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

HMMM! As for the guys in the bar, there loss. I hate to say we're pretty sexy at this older age, I think.

Great post. Think your crabby merely because your tired. I'd be.

My home town...SF. I'm hoping to get back there to live after my stint here in LA is over.

3:12 AM  
Blogger Bruce said...

Despite our knowing that objectively we're much better off as gay men now than we were in the 70s, we, myself very much included, look back upon that time as our Golden Age.

Despite AIDS and Bush, a much larger percentage of gay men are out of the closet and live more completely realized lives as gay men.

Is it simply that WE were 30 years younger, or is it that something essential was lost from urban gay life for which contemporary social acceptance is inadequate conpensation?

4:14 PM  

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