Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Story 16, Lurkers



Here in San Francisco, “people watching” becomes sport. It is the perfect place for anyone on a budget just sit and observe. There are countless different kinds of people who come into gay bars, all for different reasons. Watching one group in particular never ceases to amazed me. I like to call this group the “lurkers.”

We all have seen them, or at times met, or maybe even been lurkers ourselves, though few will ever admit it. These men and or women can be observed in their natural habitat, a bar. Here, the live, often, they hide in the shadows. There are two types of lurkers. One is the pure alcoholic type, they can bee seen sitting there for 8-10 hours at a time going unnoticed to the untrained bar-going-eye. I have personally observed one of these guys, a lurker kill at least 10 cocktails on his own without leaving his perch in the dark corner of the bar. When ordering his last round, he didn’t even stumble, trip or anything. Aside from the bad breath, one would never know he has been drinking. The ways of a lurker baffle the mind.

There is a second type of lurker. This type is the post-rehab type. They are often accompanied by countless redbulls, which they drink interchangeably with mineral waters and plain non alcoholic beverages. They two can drink enough redbull to give the average person a heart attack. They too are astonishing because they can sit for hours and go unnoticed… They somehow blend into the wallpaper. Both types of lurkers have similarities. Some wear clothing that would be better suited for their children, nieces or nephews, the type of shit someone may buy at the gap or Miller’s OutPost or Mervin’s (I don’t think that those stores are even still in business). Others dress in the blan, Wal-Mart-type of solids to help camouflage better in the bar shadow terrain. They sit, sip wait, move fast, swift and quietly once they have found their prey. These wallflowers look for any hint of attention or a warm body to feast upon and presumably suck the youth out of, like the witches in the movie “Hocus Pocus.” Although, I am sure that the entertainment value is lost without Bette Midler and her simantics.

When I first start working at the bar, I too never notice the lurkers who are sitting in the shadows. Some of them are even stationary during my whole shift, just watching my every move and observing my every mannerism. The day comes when I watch this cute little twink get ambushed for the first time. I watch in amazement as I am not really sure what is going on. This kid is the “barely legal type,” who just turned 21 or at least that is what he says and how he presents himself. He has the body of a young boy, and is so thin that I just want to feed him a sandwich to give him the strength to run from this trap. After a few rounds, his friends grow tired of the mid-afternoon ghost town that Monday happy hours often are. Before I know it, this kid is, more F- up than Courtney love at an open bar. It’s too late for this kid now. He has no idea what he is in for. It’s like watching one of those horror flicks where we all know what Is going to happen and want to yell at the bitch running from the killer to just shoot herself in the leg and get it over with… Within seconds, like a vampire, this lurker has swooped in to catch his prey, the poor, soft skinned, rail-thin twink. Within seconds Mr. Lurker, gestures for another energy drink from the bartender. He then smiles at the child/boy. To which, the kid respond with an innocent, “hey.” Again I want to tell him to run, but it’s not my place.

One word with these lurkers and one is stuck. They it becomes hard to walk or even talk away. Then they start to spin their rhetorical web around the guys they meet and make their prey.

Now, Mr. Lurker unbuttons the top of his Abercrombie shirt, to show his freshly wax, tann, liver-spott chest, complimented by a pookah-shelled necklace from Miller’s Outpost. He offers the boy a birthday shot. Within seconds of the shot, Mr. Lurker has the boy gathering his stuff as he offers this child a ride home. Hand in hand, and they are off.
This companionship can start out with a shot, an ear to talk to, or a hand to hold. The reasons for needing this type of companionship very I suppose. Within the time that it takes for a martini to be made, the lurkers can get a hold of their prey. Often their prey for the evening are so drunk or lonesome by this point, they are easy to hypnotize. They are ready to leave the bar with anyone who gives them the slightest bit of attention. Soon, the lurkers are gone with their new pet/flavor/toy/friends of the evening.

There is another lurker, who I on occasion have the privledge of watching work on many occasions. Once in a while, he will pirch himself at the very end corner of the bar. He is a rather large, depressingly unattractive fellow. To paint the picture a bit better, looks like a male version of Nell Carter as a man, with a mustache. He somehow always finds ways to sit there for hours going unseen. He also, will always come alone and then find a way to leave with enough boys to make Tonka jealous.

This lurker in particular will drink cavasiers or a “beautifuls” (Carvoisier with a touch of Grand Marnier) seemingly by the gallon. Often this type of drink is ordered by they type of fellow who idolizes Puff Daddy and others who may be found on a yacht pouring champagne on bitches. This man is not a one of cheap taste, in that regard, but cheap clothing. This one will catch dudes from all walks, young jocks, twinks, average handsome joes, right before the drink to blackout. He always tries to hold my hand when I am whipping the counter near him, as I move away, he then tells me that he can buy me a bar… I respond and say, I will buy my own. He then smiles and responds “precious,” you’re just too smart and beautiful for me.”
After numerous drinks, he will take out a few $100 dollar bills, set it on the bar He then proceeds to offer the guy and or his friends a round of topshelf shots. I watch this gravy-train unfold each and every time into a plain old shit-show. These poor saps will soon be off with Mr. Lurker. Like the Hamburgler with a sack of burgers, Mr. Lurker’ too will leave with a car full of blacked out, hot, dumb, young faggy boys, fill with enough alcohol, that they could probably start a fire with as little as a burp.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Friday, May 7, 2010

Story 15




These days I’m going out pretty often. If I’m not in school pretending to get educated, I am at work. If I’m not at either of those, I am generally out and about meeting people. I seem to be making up for lost time I assume. My true entrance into adult-hood, bars, really growing up, has been much different than others I know. Instead of putting a toe in the water, I dived straight into this social pool. Actually, my action can best be described as a belly flop, one of those ones that while funny to watch, sounds painful and makes all the water jump out of the pool and soak all around. Most people seem to get inducted into this scene slowly, via a fake ID and years of fermenting one’s young liver in cheap alcohol that resembled rubbing alcohol. For me, being the late bloomer that I am, I have developed that nurturing relationship with the scene a little later and much faster. One day, out of nowhere I am just there working right in the middle of a huge gay bar, in the middle of everything. While my post-teen counterparts get their pick of nights to go out Thursday-Sunday, these are when I generally have to work. I have never done the whole lets meet up and go out every Saturday night thing. My times to go out are the opposite of the norm for kids my age. Every week I do though end up going out, just not on that particular schedule. Actually, I go out pretty much any time I am not at work, school or sleeping. My days off are different every single week. My nights out are always different. Now when I do have a weekend night off, I have no idea what to do because I am so out of touch with the land of the living.

The Leo in me loves the attention that I get when going out and being seen. It makes me feel like a star, when I have lived my life as a shadow. Being noticed is so surreal that it makes me feel not necessarily attractive, but more so that it makes me feel like a different person, a character much cooler than the me who I know. I have never been known for being the attractive guy. I have never felt like him. I am also comfortable with the reality that I don’t have to be that guy. Some things in life would come too easily for me and often my words wouldn’t be taken seriously. In life there are often two types of people, we all have met them, the pretty peeps who rely on their looks to get by and the brains. Sometimes, a brains type can become the pretty type, but they work for it hard, they work to get noticed and acknowledged. The strategy as to how they live their lives is much different. People admire the brains for their character, their charisma and more so their words are taken more seriously because we all understand their struggle.

Now, when I go out for some reason I am getting noticed for working at the bars. I assume it’s because I have no shame, I will talk to anyone and not censor what I am thinking. I can pretend that I get noticed for me, but it’s more because they recognize me from the bar. There are complete strangers who treat me as though they know me and it’s odd. It’s a mixed bag of feeling adored and being skeptical of these stranger’s motives. The question remains, is it me or something else they are looking for? It’s like all of a sudden this all is happening and I don’t get what’s changed. My character hasn’t changed, just my outside has and my confidence level is higher.

I am not someone who ever did the spin the bottle or the experimental teen phase. While many other kids were learning social and sexual education during the teen years, I just sat seemed to let that phase pass me by. I watched a lot of TV. That was my date often and depression was my friend. At one point in my teenhood I defected to be and just hide amongst theater loving, “Rent” mimicking, school paper, down low nerds. While I had a long-term girlfriend in high school, the relationship was that of a different nature. It was that of a high school “Will and Grace” type. We connected on every level, she was even a Jewish girl that made the family happy. The only difference with us was, that we had no sex. When I say no sex, I mean NONE. It may have been because at that time, I didn’t understand things. I thought that boobs were the sexual equivalent to slinkies, fun to play with, but after a while I would wonder what else there was to do with them. At best, I could use them as pillows. They are called “fun bags” for a reason aren’t they? Then, when heading south of the Rockies I would realize that I barely liked oysters, let alone anything vaginas had to offer me. The smell alone made me wonder how babies could make it in there for so long. The only taco I wanted then were ones that came from a taco shop, covered in sour cream and not hair of any kind. I even went through a period of time from 17-20 years old, before I knew I was a gay. During this period I was pretty much A-sexual. No sex, no guys, girls or even potential anything. At the time, I had forgotten that I was intended to be a sexual being like everyone else. It would take me years to remember that I too was born human.

When go out to bars, I feel this a wave of liberation coming over me. It’s as though I am one of those kids who had never was allowed candy as a kid. Then, the one day, they try that first piece of chocolate or other gem of goodness, they then proceed to go ape shit. I am metaphorically that kid. I am ready to go nuts in a candy store, with pent up energy from years of all sorts of frustrations, mentally and sexually. It is now, at this point and for this reason the art of flirting comes in. This is where the bar comes in handy. All night I watch people flirt, some do it well and some strike out every time. This is my place to learn how to play this game. My coworkers, the bartenders are masters at this and truly prove that there is an art to flirting. I am coming to figure out that it really isn’t as much of a game, but at least for me, it’s a venue to show just how clever I am and that I am not an idiot.

I start going out alone. Oddly, being the lone man out is working to my favor. If I’m not alone, I go out with Michael, or other friends of the scene. Other times I can be found out at lesbian events with Gina or I would settle for guys I meet while at the bars over time. Most of the guys I meet at bars don’t even end up in as a hook up, generally it’s more of just playing the game of seeing how interested we can get the other into us. Since much of my income is cash, it seems perfectly logical that I spend it freely on the alcohol I consume, often of the people I meet throughout these nights and other miscellaneous crap. I always meet an interesting mix of the most interesting and strange people on these nights. The question I always ask myself when out is, what are these people doing out during the week? Don’t any of them work? My mother, being the voice of reason, tells me that the people I will meet while out during the week are just losers. She claims that they are not worth my time because they don’t have conventional jobs, which they hate to get up early for. From my point of view this is only half true. Some gay men simply enjoy going out, the booze, getting up early isn’t an issue for them or they just rely on the energizing help of a powdery friend.

Because I know every bartender in the area, often the night is met by drinks compliments of the bar or restaurant we are drinking. This also leads to an inflated ego. Coincidentally sex does become easier to find and get. It’s the admiration more than the sex it self that I got off on since sex with me is still too tangled in trust issues. To go out and be admired by an attractive man makes me feel special. While everywhere I go, I am either out with friends or in a crowd of sutto-friends, I should have feel so loved. I should feel amazing. In that crowd all I feel is numb and oddly alone as the nights soon start to get blended together and crushes become conquests that leads to disappointments. Like every gay boy that comes to San Francisco, I am looking for a love, but end up settling for trick treat or 3 to pass the time. I don’t fear being alone though, I fear turning into a drunken lurker day in and out.

open mic


Audio from a random open mic... comedy set, work in progress... :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Check Out "The Green Room"



Makes me wish i had showtime!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cause I love her!

In LA doing every open mic around... Will be back to updating soon. Meanwhile, check out one of my favorite people in comedy!

 

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