The afternoon was not without its lighter moments. Subaru, Budweiser, Genre, The Advocate, PlanetOut.com and gay.com were all there?along with readings by "Elena" and tons of free gay stuff. I was wandering under and around bunches of rainbow-colored balloons when I saw two representatives of the Metropolitan Community Church of New York sitting at a nondescript table. As I checked out their table, a casually dressed black woman greeted me enthusiastically: "HELLO! GOD MADE YOU QUEER!" Their literature details basic beliefs, like that Jesus, who "preached love, lived love (with women, foreigners, and outcasts), neither asks us to change nor to live a life denying our natural need for intimacy." Pretty serious stuff, I'd say. A few feet away from the church's booth, the Cabana Boys were cavorting and sashaying onstage. Another booth was selling gay coffee. I sampled a cup of the "rainbow blend" that, according to the guy behind the table, mixes coconut, chocolate, vanilla and rum into one really queer brew.
After that, the same old scene in Chelsea was a trip. Being in Roxy was like stepping into a time warp and traveling back to the pre-AIDS, more hedonistic, body-worshipping gay culture. Marques brought his friend Joe along, and I had invited Sean, my ex. (Sean and I have been "friends" for a month; I thought it would be cool to go out in a group.) Since it was a party for The Next Best Thing, I was expecting to hear some cool, remixed versions of "American Pie," or maybe "Ray of Light." Instead, the music at the Chelsea-Boy club was techno, trancey, repetitive, driving noise with a hard bass?great music to do E to, or so I've heard, but not exactly my favorite thing. They played Madonna once, and threw a few CDs and movie passes at the revelers.
We made full use of the 10 remaining minutes of the open bar and chatted about the sights, which included this one skinny queen wearing huge black combat boots (with purple laces) and the shortest shorts I've ever seen. This guy had the hairiest skinny little legs I've ever seen. There should be rules about stuff like that, but then again, everyone deserves a shot at being fabulous.
It was about time to make our way onto the club's vast dancefloor. The dancing was great, in that I'm-high-but-I-haven't-smoked-a thing kinda way. It was a huge energy release. When we went to the lounge to take a breather, this guy Tom joined us. Apparently, he'd struck up a conversation with Sean at some point. Not long after we sat down, Sean and Tom got up and left the lounge. "I'll be back," Sean said. I had an inkling that I wouldn't see him, at least not right away.
Meantime, Marques and I were amused by the view: some fratboyish guy was doing coke next to us. Each time he snorted, he looked up with this doofy smile on his face and said, "Yo, yo, yo," while moving his arms like a homeboy in that wannabe gangsta style, no matter what Victor Calderone was spinning.
We were back getting our groove on, not far from the stage, when I turned around to see a former professor of mine locking lips about 10 feet away! This professor, Michael, was sucking the guy's face. I mean seriously swapping saliva. "Holy shit, he hasn't come up for air," I yelled at Marques. I looked back, then away, because the truth was, I was afraid if he saw me some line would be crossed. "You should go up and start grinding on him," Marques suggested, with a devious grin on his face, knowing full well that this professor is the type of guy who would probably go with it and I'd end up in bed with a 40-year-old academic. No thanks.
Probably three hours later we took another break. This time I felt the sores on my feet, I was sweaty and my back ached liked a tired old queen's. I went scouting around to see if I could charm some guy into buying me a $4 bottle of "Pride" water from the bar. It sucks to be a student.
Soon enough, Marques and Joe were thinking they should get to Penn Station to catch the 5:32 back to Jersey. I said: "Let me try to find Sean, so I can tell him we're leaving." I elbowed, sashayed and slunk my way past too many posers, divas and shirtless muscle boys looking trippy and getting nasty on the dancefloor. Hundreds of studs, but no Sean. Obviously, he'd be the one with his shirt on in the middle of the dancefloor; I mean, please, he's a CPA.
I bumped into Sean, wearing his leather coat, standing next to Tom, also wearing his coat. Oh. "Ohmygod, I've been looking for you all this time!" He tells me how tired he is and he's going to leave. So Sean and Tom left Roxy together. They were barely out the door when Marques was like, "We'll talk about that later."
Exactly. Not that night, but since then I've started to really believe something my mom said: It's better not to expect too much from people because you're just setting yourself up for disappointment. But I had a fabulous time anyway?I later heard we missed seeing Madonna by about 15 minutes?and my social life improved dramatically once I wasn't dating Sean. And I still sang along as loud as I could when they played "American Pie."