(The paragraph that was originally to follow has been deleted, as I am still thinking about the back of his hairy neck that I admired last night as I leaned against the jukebox, and he used all his powers to ignore my drooling stares. But in the unlikely event that someday we will speak, and he realizes I am not an ogre, and we have a pleasant, friendly conversation, I will give no more details, not even his BMB profile - not even a link to the goddamn site). So where the hell was I? Oh yes, complaining about my self-inflicted wounds.
The first clue was when they had no more $2.00 drafts. He handed me a $2.00 can, but it's fuckin' Pabst Blue Ribbon, and I hate beer in a can (but I am also cheap, so I took it, smiled, tipped). Returning from the bathroom a few moments later, some guy says a big HELLO. Which was nice, but then he turned into a loud-in-your-ear talker. You know, compensating for the loud music, some people can't decide whether to shout at you or talk directly into your ear, so they do both. And I know I was looking for company, but the (his) conversation dwelled on how yucky NYC is, how there are no cool places to go anymore, interesting people, etc etc fuckinetc. When he left to get a beer, I didnt leave the spot, figuring that's sorta rude. He didnt return right away, then I saw him in converation with someone else, so I figured it was cool to move around. Next I notice no nuts. NO FUCKIN' NUTS? And then it's Cher screaming about something thru a voicebox. I head for the bar, mention the NUTS situation to the bartender, who shrugs and says something like "How'd that happen?" And then I spot the man who would soon flee (OK, so maybe he didn't flee, he merely left the bar at some point after seeing me, which doesn't mean he actually saw me, or that seeing me had any effect, but when you are depressed and paranoid and drinking fuckin PBR's from a can, well, that's how your mind works.) Well, at least he saved me the torture of having to decide what cheesy stupid line I would use if I ever got up the courage to actually speak to him - knowing all along that the only words sufficient to describe the emotions swirling in my head are (embarrassing 2 paragraph tribute to his outer and inner beauty deleted by the few sober cells left in me). Some time near the end of the second beer, a Cher-wannabe song plays, and I decide to flee. The few blocks on the bike feel good, the breeze thru my hair (chinhair, that is) feels good, and I pull up and lock up in front of the next bar.
Another beer ordered up while standing next to the man who fled. This is when I see the back of his neck. Hairy, beautiful back-of-neck. I swoon, I drool. I read body language, I back off. I don't know how I managed to stay put thru this draft beer and the next, but sometimes a beautiful neck can do that to a man, forcing him to drink excessively, passively stradling the pinball machine, the jukebox, the barstool a mere 22 inches away. Finally realizing that in the unlikely event of a conversation, my drunkenness would prevent my true wonderful self from shining thru, I leave.
So now I switch to bottled water, and inhale the illegal cigarette smoke at The Cock. I see the man from 8 nights ago, the "Poker." We actually have a nice conversation, I still think he's handsome and take liberties with his chinhair. Somehow drugs come up, and his late-in-life enjoyment of partying; so between that and the poking thing, I know this will be a bar friendship at best. But he buys me my next drink, water; and he downs some sort of red-alcohol thing before leaving (apparently, some people have work in the a.m.) The music here is worse than 2 bars ago, and it's 3 a.m. My bike takes me downtown, but forgets to turn left at 6th St., and I think I'm going to the grocery store for salty snacks. But I pass 4th St., too, and turn right on 3rd, taking me all the way to the West Side (2nd Ave.)
House of Regrets. 10 bucks later, several rounds of pacing up and down, I spot a different beautiful man. A man with a bad (on purpose) haircut, poor choice of shirt (b/w camo?) and yet, such a handsome face. I've seen him before, been ignored before, so I know it's hopeless. Doesn't stop me from hoping. And pacing, and waiting, and finally giving in to some other man's attention. Nothing great, nothing bad. Just 3:30 in the morning this isn't what I set out to do but I'm doing it. I beg for his on me, but I don't. We smile, kiss, zip up. I leave the cubicle and wash up. Pacing pacing pacing. The man's face is still handsome, certainly the best looking man in the place, but I know better. Pacing pacing pacing. Another guy does the crotch-rubbing thing from across the tiny hall as I sit in my cubicle. I rub something or other that gives him permission to come in, he does, shows me what I knew he had cuz we did it about 10-15 years ago but neither of us talk, just some slurping and eventually some moans and then the slow zips up. He thinks he remembers me. I pretend not to. I don't want to go down memory lane, but this guy thinks my name is Costello. Soon we determine that I like Costello, and he seems ok that while I haven't actually acknowledged the past, I have.
On the ride home, I pick something up and carry it home. A policeman in his car stares somewhat puzzled at me at the stoplight until he figures out the thing in my arm is a rectangular shelf-like thing, not something illegal or dangerous. He turns, I go forward, and spend the next hour making/eating food, reading emails (thanks, guys), and hearing the birds do what they do at that hour, giving me that brief smile I waited all night for, finally falling asleep.
year after year, running over the same old ground. What have we found? The same old fears, wish you were here.