Sunday, May 04, 2008

On the Scene

Generally speaking, you go to the gay bar for people-watching. You don't go to dance - or you could; but the set I hang with rarely does. You're not there for the music, with generic song after song after song underlaid by an unchanging heavy bass beat. You're not there for conversation: man, it's so loud in here! And you certainly aren't there for the elbow room. After about an hour and a half I start having difficulty breathing, but unfortunately I still have to fight my way to the thronged bar to close out my tab. Twenty minutes of pushing forward until I can get the attention of a bartender, and he tells me the guy down at the other hand has my tab, go stand down there.

Like hell I will. But, for future reference, you should always pay cash at the gay bar. Those bartenders are some snippy little bitches.

But people to watch there are, lots of them, all kinds. My set consists of highly attractive, fit, healthy, well-groomed, courtly young men who introduce me to everybody and smell really nice. Still they have no mercy for many others in the crowd: the lesbians and the drag queens fare especially badly.

I chime in, because a few giggling college girls are trying out the pole in the cage in the corner, and they really don't know what they're doing: they're drunk, self-conscious and overcompensating for it, with no fluidity or sensuality to their movements. My friends follow my cue and shake their heads and cluck disapprovingly. "Amateurs," we say to one another.

They can't dance for shit, but they're very pretty. Straight men would probably be a bit more charitable.

Also on the scene is a solemn-looking older gentleman, pairing a neat Stetson, suit jacket, perfectly ironed dress shirt and tie with a flirty little black chiffon skirt. It's a bold look; I couldn't really decide if he was pulling it off or not. Then again, nobody bats an eye at spiked neon hair, extensive tats, or multiple face piercings; if you're going to be nonconformist, it seems silly to be conformist about it.

There was a trio of muscular, shirtless Miller Chill boys passing out free samples and Mardi Gras beads. I was bemused. I didn't get a chance to find out if they were passionate about their product, because no one near me told them it tasted like lime-infused swill. But they weren't working the crowd at all; they seemed a little overwhelmed, and kept mostly to the corner behind the pool table. "I bet they're straight," muttered one of my companions in disgust.

But not long after that, the oxygen started to run out and I had to go, get out, NOW; hugging my friends goodbye, walking outside into the wonderful free air, and making room for the next person in the line that now snaked around the block; for the next aromatic hottie or heavily-made up drag queen or cheerful fag hag or tipsy novelty-seeker to go in and be part of that glittering throng.

Hope they like swill.

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At May 04, 2008 10:34 AM, Anonymous billy joe said...

That sounds much like my perspective on the gay bars after the novelty wore off for me. I've always been that way, actually, but with the application of enough alcohol I tended not to remember.

Reading this blog entry made me feel a renewed sense of relief. It brought back some of the reasons I desperately needed to get away from dense urban areas and into the slower and much quieter lifestyle available in a mountain town.

At May 04, 2008 11:21 AM, Blogger Kev said...

If I had been served that crap by muscular shirtless men I may have been more forgiving of its quality, at least when asked my opinion about it. It's been a year since our initial Miller Chill encounter and it doesn't seem that stuff has caught on and now they're trying to push it on the gays. They must not have heard that gays tend to have good taste.

Sorry I missed the fun. I didn't get your text until I got home and I was tired and in a bad mood, so I thought it best to stay home.


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