So say you’ve been taking the bus more frequently into the city. Say you’re tired of eating macaroni and cheese dinners with your father, avoiding his eyes that secretly moon you with questions. Like How’s it going lately? He believes your mother’s suicide fucked you up, that you’re a bisexual torn between her protectiveness and his constant hedging.
So you’ve been scoping out this one spot in Manhattan. It has a downstairs dance floor where men act out their Nijinsky-like fantasies, beautiful in their self-destruction.
By 11 p.m., the scattered cats of the city will come here with that hungry look in their eyes. By morning, everyone’s pockets will be empty.
So this guy’s been cruising you. Each time he passes, he turns his head to catch your reaction. He stops to make small talk.
“Bridge and tunnel?” he says.
It takes you a whole five seconds to understand.
“Yes,” you say, feigning an accent halfway between New York and London, “does it show?”
“A little,” he says, “all Jerseyians have this virgin look about them. Big eyes and tails in the closet.”
He glances around at the bartender, who wears a tee-shirt that reads: Fuck me with your boots on.
“Well,” you say, “I don’t exactly qualify. I lost my virginity under Bush.”
He winces then smiles. He brushes against your crotch.
“You think I’m going to ask all the stupid and correct questions, don’t you? What are you into? Reggae or punk? Strip or strap? Me, I’m always strapped. But I’m not going to ask you dumb questions. Because I’m a bitch. I like being chased. And you need the exercise.”
He reminds you of a young version of your mother’s favorite actor--Laurence Harvey. A real barfly who floats from one glittering life-light to another.
“Not tonight,” you say.
His lips part, revealing the unisexual tongue that taunts you.
The music has stopped.
“I think you and I could come up with some pretty creative ways to kill time. Don’t you think so, Sweets? And killing time is what I do best. I mean, life sucks, doesn’t it? I have the scars to prove it.”
“I’m leaving after this song. Us virgins do work for a living.”
“Did you say come or did I? I’d love to see you cum, honey. Skywrite with it: Everybody loves my cum.”
Laurence Harvey’s eyes roll up and down your white corduroys purchased from The Gap about five years ago.
“Those pants. Not exactly in style. A little baggy in some places. You should let me take you shopping some time.”
“I’m my own fashion statement.”
There’s a glint in his eyes.
“Down, boy. You’re still too young to be bitter.”
You put down your drink and leave.
So now you’re walking the streets again. You’ll keep returning to that bar until no one finds you handsome or someone discovers you dead in his bed and won’t even call an ambulance.
Or until you’re ready to choose a different style of pants.
published 20 March 2013