Monday, May 19, 2008

GB5 at the Eagle, Part 1

I get to the Eagle at 10:35 on Saturday night. I have a sweater tied around my neck -- an accessory pretty much required by the weather and an earlier, fashionable party -- and serious reservations. Sure, I want to meet other bloggers, since this is a pretty solitary task. I want to find out how other guys write, and find stuff to write about, and prop up their fading hope that at some point this massive waste of time will magically transform into something productive. But I hate gay bars more than Brazilian bikini waxes. They're meat markets, plain and simple, and being there is roughly equivalent to wrapping myself in plastic and lying down next to the chicken at Stop N' Shop.

One by one the shoppers wander by and check me out:

GUY #1: Oooh, I don't like that one. He looks a little tough.

GUY #2: And fatty, too, besides.

GUY #1: Should he be that color? Pick him up and give him a quick sniff.

I buy myself a beer and eye the crowd. Some faces look familiar. Maybe I recognize them from their blogs, but then again it's just about pitch black in here and middle-aged white guys all look alike in the dark. Suddenly it hits me that this is an impossible task. I can positively identify maybe three bloggers -- Joe.My.God, David, Steven -- and unless the rest are wearing name tags there's no way I'm going to find them.

I cover the first and second floors, then head up the stairs to the roof. Coming down is a handsome, butch number whose muscles stretch an extra-large t-shirt. Suddenly I remember why people go to bars. "You don't want to go up there," he says as we get close. "It's raining."

Tough. Butch. Scared of rain. Yeah, that makes sense. "That's okay," I reply. "I'm pretty much waterproof."

He laughs. "I guess you're safe then. But it scared everybody else off."

"Shit," I say. "This is so screwed. I'm looking for this convention of, like, gay bloggers, but I have no idea what they look like. Apparently I'm supposed to go up to every pale, pasty, flat-assed geek here and ask if he's a gay blogger, but in terms of sheer embarrassment that's like asking folks if they collect Star Trek memorabilia."

"I'm one of the gay bloggers," he says. "And I collect Star Trek memorabilia."

"Oh," I reply. "That's cool."

Somebody approaches us from the second floor. Rather than get separated, Star-Trek-Collecting Blogger moves to my side of the stairs. The newcomer walks between us, sees the rain coming down, then scurries back downstairs. STCB stays next to me.

He looks at the sweater tied around my neck. "You don't go to gay bars very often, do you?" he asks.

I shake my head. "I haven't been to one in five or six years."

"I thought so," he says. "You look really awkward and uncomfortable."

I really appreciate it when strangers criticize me. I mean, my parents can only do so much. "I hate bars. I hate socializing. I hate miserable techno music, and I hate wandering around cruising spots looking for people I wouldn't recognize until everybody thinks I'm absolutely desperate to find a man. So, believe it or not, I am awkward and uncomfortable."

"Oh. It's really, really hot."

Pause. "You should see me in bed," I say.

And ten minutes later, he did.


MW said...

I told you it might be interesting.

David said...

So, wait, you DO go to the Eagle after all, at an event that I helped arrange, and not only do I still not get to formally meet you, but you get laid and I don't? I'm starting not to like you.

Father Tony of the Farmboyz said...

Given your aversion to bars, you should have come to the Central Park portion of the weekend. By the way, you'll be amused to know that your post has been handed about among the NYC bloggers who are retaining some doubt about its classification as non-fiction until the collectible blogger has been identified and forced to confess.

circleinasquare said...

Next time, tell us the color of your sweater, so that we can find you. I hate the bars just as much, and for exactly the same reasons, so a scavenger hunt would be a perfect diversion for me.

RomanHans said...

Maybe I'll post a Part Two for this. We didn't exactly sail off into the sunset.

Circle, I'm 6'8". That's pretty much all the info you need to find me in a bar. (The circle of height-challenged guys around me squealing "Is everything in proportion?" should be a tipoff too.)

Steven said...

You must've had a Paula Abdul moment - I didn't get to go to GB5.

I have no idea who you thought you saw that looked like me.

Then again, was he just wearing underwear?

Trey said...

uh huh
do useful crazy instead of silly crazy next time- bring along a box of name tags, next time.

And a pen.

Great conversation starter, too

Ariel said...

Oooh, bitch, bitch, bitch... Gay bars sound worse than a gaggle of females sizing one another up! Glad the fashion faux pas didn't stand in your way, so to speak.

cb said...

No WONDER I didn't see you wandering around... you'd already dashed off to get laid. :-)

junoman said...

I love this story...