Thursday, March 31, 2011

Story 21, part 2

Today I am walking to work already in a good mood. This is shocking because I rarely start out with that pep in my step. I had a good date the night before and although I didn’t get laid as planned, I did have a wonderful time. I am still sipping the coffee from the meditation moment of the day and walking into work. One block before I get to the bar, I notice a little pebble of what looks like human shit. While disgusted, I am not that astonished and keep walking. Once at the bar, everything seems as it always is. I am ready for a good day. I keep telling myself that it can only get better. I go to the restroom before I clock in. Once in the there, while waiting for a free urinal, I watch a drunken man trying to aim into the large urinal only to hit his feet and the feet of two other men near him who don’t notice. This, I don’t blame him for, because I too have the same issue sometimes even when sober. Once done, he hiccups, burps and starts the difficult mission of trying zip his fly. This fly-zipping takes the drunken sap another 4 minutes because while he is trying to zip, he actually is wearing a button-up fly. I finish my business only to leave the guy still trying to close his fly. Finally I get to my bar station, near the dance floor, happily situated, waiting for customers. I reorganize the liquor bottles to my preference and wait for the customers to start coming my way. I am only three margaritas into this shift when it happens (margaritas for customers, not me). Two middle-ages guys come up to order drinks. One is lean, dressed in a Versace button-up dark blue shirt, dark navy slacks and pointy brown shoes. His thin, long, stringy hair is slicked back to it’s grey self as to add to what should be a distinguished look. The other is slightly taller, thicker, but still lean enough to see that this man probably drinks his meals rather than eats them, or so I assume. He is wearing a white Marc Jacobs suit with light Violette button-up within the jacket. I assume the two to be the male version of Patsy and Edie minus the English accents. They both have a pungent smell of rubbing alcohol and the Marc Jacobs suit asks me for a “Johnny Red on the ro...” As he is trying to get the word “rocks” out of his mouth, other things start to come out of his mouth. The vomit starts flowing, spewing from him and getting all over my bar station. While this guy continues to vomit for a solid three minutes I am standing there horrified and send for the doorman. His friend looks horrified as he watches what is happening and somehow continues to sip the remains of his drink. Oddly the customers of the bar just stand there, sipping their drinks, watching in silence. I notice that this gentleman who is spewing chunks is still holding on to his last drink while painting the bar. Once he stops, the doorman asks him to put the drink down since he has obviously had too much and should leave. Any sane, sober person would have realized their party foul and probably left on their own out of embarrassment. This idiot tells the doorman to F-off and goes back to sipping his drink as though nothing happened. The doorman has to eventually end up prying the drink from this drunk’s hands, his friend starts yelling at me saying that I caused the vomiting due to making the drinks so cheap. This causes him to squeal like a little girl, which creates a chain-reaction where then the barback who has to clean the reddish mess, who also squeals, a patron in the far corner of the bar sees the vomit on the bar and runs to the closest bathroom presumably to puke. The friend who call me darling, asks if he could still have his drink while he takes out a color assorted handful of random pills and puts them on the only clean part of the counter in front of my station. This is all as his friend, the vomit-monster is being carried out. I cut him off and he leaves. The rest of my shift of horrors is followed with customers trying to figure out if that smell is them or the person next to them.

The part that confuses me the most is this. I have done many dumb things without the influence of alcohol in my day. I will not lie, I like a good stiff drink, now and now. I have had moments in my life where I drank enough vodka to kill a large animal and done several stupid things. I have taken the wrong bus home sometimes. I forget my phone in cabs from time to time, I often accidentally leave my fly open due to the fact that I simply can’t be bothered with the buttons. I have on occasion have been known to make out with random gentlemen when inebriated as well . I don’t ever have the need when drunk to pee in the middle of a bar, puke anywhere other than a lawn, toilette of alleyway, nor do I ever get kicked out of an establishment.

Story 21, (part 1)

Why is it that drunk people always think that they can do things that any “normal,” sober person wouldn’t even think of doing? It's like they have one drink and think they instantly have super powers. They are like the little kid who watches "Superman" and then jumps off a building. After having essentially lived at that bar for years, I have developed a kind of routine so to speak. Some people start their day one sock at a time, while I start every day with the following assumptions: the sun will rise and eventually set, Europeans rarely tip, a homeless person will approach me asking for change at least 3 times through out the day, and that I will witness a drunk person doing something plainly stupid. This act of stupidity will happen at any point throughout the day. It may happen the second that I leave my apartment building, across the street, 5 feet away, or 5 hours into the night’s shift. Regardless, drunks make the city and world that I live in go round, so I deal.

For some reason, in a room full of drunks, there is always the guy that has to pee. By pee, I mean that this dude feels this urgent need to pee on something, anything, anywhere, but not in a toilet or urinal because that would make logical sense. He is like that little boy who feels the need to randomly and inappropriately pants himself and show off his business in public. These gentlemen, a term I use loosely, are often of a certain kind of breed. It is often the ex-frat bro-douches that do this. This act though, is not just limited to them. About a year back, I see this guy, who looks like a regular guy, even slightly more attractive than the average Joe, not that this is relevant, but one must get a fully painted picture visualize the event. He is tall and a bit white trashy, with shaved blond hair. This is the type of guy who probably has a tribal tattoo on their forearm and I assume a pack of menthols in his back pocket. He looks similar to Matt Damon with a crew cut, with Emminem’s thug-wanna be style, complimented with a tattoo of a rose on his neck, next to a tattoo of what I assume to be his area code in Gangsta-font. I'll admit it, he is what I would consider trashy hot. They type of guy you just wanna have sex with, but would never introduce to your friends. In the middle of a busy bar, right next to the bartending station, he just whips out his penis and just starts pissing right there. Like a dog he just pees all over the floor. He does it like it’s normal for a grown man to pee on the floor in the middle of a crowded bar. What is even more astonishing, is the fact that in a room full of drunks, not a single person says or notices this guy treating the floor near the bar station like a fire hydrant. No one even glances his way, to give him a sneer of disgust as I would expect. They are all too absorbed in their own lame conversations… This is until one queen with frosted tips screams as they notice their Diesel shoes getting wet and blows this guy’s cover. By scream, I mean a pitch barely audible to humans and so high that most dogs would be on alert. The ironic part is that while this is an isolated event, goes on to happen every Friday for 3 months, all different dudes.

There is another drunken fool who comes in during our busy Friday two-for-one happy hours. In San Francisco, where the gays are alcoholics and they are cheaper than a Jew in a 99cent store at the day after Christmas clearance rack, this drink special works as a gold mine for bars and is the best time to work. This is the easiest and hardest time to make fast money to pay your rent, if you can survive the craziness that ensues. Anyway, there is this guy who comes in every weekend since the bar opened 8-years ago. This man is this rather rotund slob who resembles Jabba-the-Hut, so we shall call him “Jabba” since I don’t know or care to know his real name. Jabba works his way around the bar in his wheelchair. He is an average looking guy surrounded by his own fat who is probably around forty-fiveish at the oldest. Normally I am not one to talk poorly about the physically challenged but this guy’s case, he is a flat out perv./asshole. He always whirls around the bar trashed regardless of how busy it is and makes his way to the dance floor. Normally I am one to applaud those who defy the odds life has handed them, but really, I mean, who dances with a wheel chair in a crowded bar? If this isn’t enough, not only does he dance on the floor in his wheelchair, which normally I have not issue with, but he uses it as a lethal weapon. It’s like his way of getting back at those who have two-working legs. He get’s right in the middle and whirls around, knocking everyone around him in the shins, this in turn also clears the dance floor. Many people end up walking off of the dance floor with burst, cut up shins, limping off to get some medication (a drink) and complain about the whole fiasco to me, like I can do anything about it. To make things worse, dancing Jabba also slowly pushes the joystick on his chair as he is cruising his way through, in the same fashion that Vatos cruise down streets to “holler at bitches.” He pinches every ass-cheek, cock and tits that get in his way. To make things worse, you can smell him coming from a few feet away. His odor is very distinct, like raw meat that has spoiled, covered in that rotten egg-sulfur smell that only induces the gagging feeling more when her passes by. This just adds to my disgust for Jabba. Then after a few pints he leaves a restroom even more vomitalicious than it is prior to his visit. He does the unexpected. He leaves pint glasses all over the various restrooms and bar, filled with the piss that he empties out from his catheter. It makes no sense. Again, a sane, maybe less drunk person would empty that crap into a toilette or near by lawn I assume, but not this guy.

I come into work knowing that I should always be ready for the worst, having experienced all sorts of drunken crazies in their natural habitat. I generally assume that I personally have the ammo needed to survive these for various situations both mentally and physically, without ruining my day or my money. I keep the Emminem wannabe in my pervie little head (the place that women put romance novels and men hide their porn), in a compartment separate from Jabba, in the back of my mind as awareness of what may happen and stay prepared and remember that I am the one who has carried these people out often and kept my cool. Generally, I take some time to myself before work to do my own version of meditation for this reason alone, the maintinance of sanity or at least the closest thing I know to it. Depending on the day, year, week and what’s going on in my life this may include a cigarette, maybe a piece of chocolate. Always, always, always there is a cup of coffee or shot of espresso during this meditation period. I just sit, sip and watch passerbyers heading to bars, or walking from them as they trip over their own feet upon exit. I sit for 15-20 minutes before every shift to help keep sanity and prepare for battle.
(to be continued)

Monday, March 28, 2011

over the weekend, Enough with Bieber already

For those who are unaware, on the weekends I work at a local bar. On Saturday a group of happy, go lucky people came in with a life size Justin Bieber cut-out. It was hard to tell if it was a joke or not. I mean, who would do that and be serious? It was someone's Bieber themed birthday party. About an hour into the "Bieber" party, one of the twinks putting on the party kept trying to put temporary tattoos on me, of course with the Bieb on 'em. I kept dodging the guy.

Eventually, he cornered me and asked "why don't you want a Justin Bieber tattoo.?"

My response, "won't it hurt?"

Him, "it's temporary, won't hurt at all."

Me, "No, I meant, won't it hurt when I have to use 4 cigarettes to burn the tattoo off of my skin?"

Was that too mean?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Story 20, Part 2 (edited and reposted again)

Last month, after the usual perfectly satisfying Citron soda dinner, I had fallen asleep on my couch watching the normal trash I usually do, reruns of the “Golden Girls.” I woke up to this infomercial selling this amazing sandwich maker. It made any sandwich into perfectly crisp triangles within what looked like seconds. The brilliant sales commelian/person on the screen had what sounded like a British accent, that I later realized was probably South African, but that was besides the point. He kept on making thousands of these amazing little triangle sandwiches along side this woman who would exclaim “Just set it and forget it?” every two minutes. I then switched the channel and there was an A & E biography of Princess Diana. It was at that moment, that I randomly booked a trip to London. Two weeks later I also received a sandwich maker that I couldn’t for the life of me remember ordering or get to work like the infomercial showed.

For the last hour of work, Christopher is studying me. He is studying me the way Courtney Love studies a syringe. Every time I glance over, I try to barely look his direction. He makes sure to lock in eye-contact. I start to wish that I was just a customer right now, off and able to mingle with these interesting foreigners. Our eyes meet for a bit longer than comfortable, it’s even longer than it was a few minutes ago. That is when I start to actually get intrigued.

Finally my shift is over, I have changed, clocked out and gotten paid. Ready to go home and start on my 10-page term paper due the following night. My mind is already miles away from the bar. I am off. I make it through the now slightly crowded bar and go straight for the door. As I am walking out of the bar, to my left, there is a group of guys chatting. Some of them are smoking, the others are just chatting away. Suddenly Christopher pops out of this group, grabs my hand and starts telling the crowd of apparent drunken strangers how we have been an item for years.
“I travel so much, it’s hard on him.” He says.

I am silent at this point and while intrigued, I am unsure as to where this is going. One of the smokers asks him how long we have been together. At this point Christopher grabs me by the waist fairly aggressively.

“How long is it now? 5 and a half? 6 years? We are getting married in the London next year, even though his parents don’t support it. They don’t like that I’m in show business. My mother though, she thinks of him as her own.”

The smokers smile, laugh and go back to talking amongst themselves. At this moment, Christopher leans in and plants an intense kiss on my lips. It’s the kind that you see in movies and feel incapacitated after. He peels me off of his lips, looks into my eyes and then goes right back to work. The then pulls away, grabs my hand as he tries to pull me back into that abyss of a bar.

As I open my mouth to speak, my voice sounds like it did at my bar mitzvah, painfully off, like a fog-horn sort of thing. I then clear my throat and try again. “6 Years huh? You don’t even know my name do you?” I say slowly, while still reeling from the kiss.

“Babe, sometimes it’s the fantasy that makes it fun. Lets take the evening by storm. You’re adorable babe. I look into your eyes and know that I don’t want to just let you go. You are intoxicating. I have an evening here and must get to know what I can. One drink?” He pulls my hand towards the bar.

He is a smooth talker. I will give him that. It would also be nice to have someone in London to visit who can show me sights or at least to bone while I’m there. Everything else in the world seems to not matter now. I have ½ beer and listen to Christopher’s story. While he is talking, I am half listening, half wondering what he looks like naked. Then I wake out of my trance once I hear him mention that he is a dancer. I am even more interested now. He is a part of this dance-troupe that has traveled all over the world, tonight is their only night in San Francisco. He just came out of a 6-year relationship back in London. He has about 2 hours left before he needs to catch the last train back to North Bay, where the troupe is staying. I decide to throw caution to the wind, which is out of character for me. I ask him if he would like to see Twin Peaks before he goes, since it’s the best view of San Francisco. He smiles and approves this idea.

As we are walking out of the bar hand-in-hand towards my car, there is a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence standing one block from my car. She is in a tight, rubber, white dress, similar in a similar style to that of the nurse on that Blink182 CD cover. The dress on this tranny is amazing it’s complimented by white stockings containing dark, think stubble and white glitter all over his/her face. She is just standing there, handing out condoms while holding up a makeup compact to check out her face out of the corner of her eye.

The Sisters are drag queens that look kind of like nurses with Ronald Mc Donald white-faces that are a part of a non-profit that support STD education in San Francisco, and often pass out condoms.
As we pass this sister, Christopher grabs one of their goodie-packs.

“Not that we are planning to have sex, but one must always be prepared… Besides, it will be a good souvenir for my trip.”
I smile, unsure of what is going to happen.

“I’ll take you to the best view of the city. Twin Peaks. Look how clear the sky is. It will be perfect.”

“Just remember, the last bus leaves in a little over an hour.” He says.

As we are driving up the mountain that is Twin Peaks, close to the Castro area, I notice that the clouds are starting to roll in and wonder if this trip up here is such a good idea. He seems content. As we are winding up the mountain, he slowly slides his hand on to my waist, which accidentally makes me floor the gas for a second and nearly drive the car off of the hill. As I regain control of myself and try to focus on the road, I begin to wonder how much I look like a creeper, driving this guy to the top of this mountain to see a view when the clouds are coming in. Will there be a view to see? What will happen if there isn’t a view? What am I doing with a complete stranger in my car, groping me? This seems like a bad after school special. What if he has is a serial killer and I don’t know it?

Story 20, Part 1 (edited and reposted again)

It’s just a run of the mill Monday happy hour. I assume it’s going to be like every other Monday happy hour, slow, dreary and full of queens who think they are at Cheers. I want to turn to half of these mother fuckers and say "No one here knows your name fool." I don't though, I just smile and walk away from them when I can. Word to the wise, if you go on a date with someone to a bar, well don't. If everybody knows their name, they are probably an alcoholic, but I shall digress. It’s James, the cameras and me, with our three customers who are drinking their sorrows away thanks to the two-for-one drink special that happy hour brings. One of the three guys is in the corner of the bar talking to himself the way he normally does this time of day. He is obviously Jewish because he is always arguing with himself. Today, he is arguing politics with his other personality. The rest of the people in the crowd are one awkward couple made up of a big old white guy with his little gaysian boyfriend. The gaysian is an interesting species. They are those little Asian guys so tiny that you could probably fit him in one of those bags people carry little dogs. The guy looks about 19, but I’m sure he is in his mid-thirties. Asian people are lucky in that way, they look youthful for so much longer than my people. I’m probably around 15 years younger than this gaysian man and I’m the one who never gets carded. When I go to Macy’s the sales people always are quick to suggest eye cream to me. It's the life of a fair skinned, light haired man. While they say black don't crack, we get the short end of the stick and start crackin' way early. Often people guess that I am 30+ which at times can at times be hard on the moral. I guess that is what botox is meant for.

About three hours into the slowest shift of my life, a group of people, most of whom have jacked-up teeth, walk in. About 16 or so young men and a woman come in. They all appear to be in their early 20s and all very lean. The first guy comes up to James, smiles, showing his lack luster teeth and orders a vodka-lemonade. This guy’s teeth are all jagged and his smile also has a slant to one side kind of like Tom Cruise’s and the mismanagement of a Dudley Moore . He orders Lemonade in Brit talk translates to 7up in American. The next guy starts off “gin-n-tonic, also where can I buy fags around this bloody place?”

James laughs while frustrated, laughs again. “Sweetie, the only fags in this bar are the ones sitting at these bar stools, and I don’t know what they are running for these days.”

The Brit is not amused he looks like he is smoking a cigarette even though he isn't, if that makes sense. He then, gives James a backhanded smile to show his disdain for him and then tosses down a nice, shiny penny. Then a blond girl, who looks like Baby Spice with her tits hiked up to her chin. This one, we will call Eliza Doolittle comes up to order vodka, coke-light. Brits always order drinks with Vodka or Gin in them and these drinks also are often accompanied by “lemonade” or 7Up. At this realization of the British invasion, we know that while there are a lot of people now in the bar, if they are all British then we aren’t making any money tonight. The British are not known as generous tippers when traveling in the U.S.

Soon, the group of British are dancing on the empty dance floor to the cheesy music we always play. They are dancing like they are at a packed party. They appear to be having the time of their lives and are turning the dance floor into Soul Train before my very eyes, but instead with white people who are thin and have bad teeth. They dance surprisingly well, when compared to the usual tone deaf dancers that normally occupy the floor. I watch them almost wishing that I could be one of them, even though I am rhythmically challenged and actually have two left feet. Then, one of the boys in this group comes up to me to order a drink. He is about my height. I say that I am 5’8, but I’m really 5’7 and ¾. The quarter of an inch seems to really make a difference in my self-description. Anyways, he is a slender man, with beautiful dark brown hair, straight hair that is just long enough to go behind his ears with hypnotizing crystal blue eyes. He has the firm skin of a young man, but the muscle tone, and chiseled facial definition of a man. His accent is one that unlike the other Brits of his group. It’s not grading, doesn’t sound like a broken fog-horn every time he talks. I actually can understand every syllable that comes out of his mouth. He sounds more like princess Dianna, and less like scary spice. What I don’t understand, I pretend I do. I tell him that I am not the bartender, but he can order a drink from James. He nods, stares in to my eyes slightly longer than comfortable, introduces himself to me as he casually looks me up and down, “Christopher, too bad.” He then is on his way to get his drink.

There is another hour left of my shift. At this point I am wondering what it’s like to be a British person visiting the US. I also start to wonder what it’s like to talk with a British accent at all times. Even telling someone to fuck off, or describing diaria somehow sounds classier with a posh British accent. Being from Southern California, everything I say sounds like a run on sentences and my pronunciation of things must sound just down right annoying to people. I use the word “like” and “dude” as adjectives for nearly everything and always end my sentences with question marks. This is the way that most native Southern Californians sound. I try to change these habits, but still every now and again sound like a mix between an 80s valley girl and Sean Penn in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” I start to wonder if they, as foreigners truly hate Americans they way the San Fran hippies always try to tell us they do. Just then, I realize that I will be going to London in one month.

After a 10-minute drive of over-thinking and awkward groping, we finally reach the top of Twin Peaks. I park right in the middle of the currently empty parking lot. We are the only ones up there. As we I glance out the window to look for the view I was going to show him, all I can see are clouds. I reach for the door to get out of the car and he asks me what we are doing. As I look over at him I shrug and try to explain how there normally is a beautiful view and that I do not want to look like a creepy axe murderer who takes him somewhere secluded to take advantage of him.

Christopher grabs my hand and moves it on to his pants to touch what feels like a whole other arm growing under the zipper of his Levi’s. He instantly pushes his lips on to mine to start the most passionate make out session I have taken part in, to date. While making out, all I can think about is how this would be more comfortable not in my little Honda Civic. It maybe be more enjoyable to make out with someone and not have a gear-shift poking me in the abdomen. I now also have a one track mind now, again intrigued, yet alarmed, all I can think about is the abnormal and currently unknown growth in this boy’s pants.

As he takes his shirt off to reveal his slender, white body, I can see every ligament in his body. I can see every rib under his smooth, vampirishly-white flesh. As my eyes start to work their way down to his little black fuzz-trail. Just then he asks me the question.

“Mate, are you a pitcher or catcher?”

I have never heard it asked quite that way. I don’t really understand the question.

He holds up the condom and asks again, “pitcher or catcher? We don’t have to have sex mate, but it sure would be fun.”
Now he unbuttons his pants to reveal the largest hard-on I have ever seen. It is so massive I am bewildered. I don’t understand what someone can do with that. The thing is between the size of a ketchup bottle and maybe a 40-ounce beer can. I can’t help but stare at the freakish thing for a few minutes while being both amazed and dumbfounded.

After 15-minutes of the most intense sex that one can have in a small car, within the given time period, it feels like pizza oven in my little car. My windows are so fogged up that they look like they are covered with that white frost-spray shit people put on their windows around Christmas. He puts his hand-print on my back window like Leo does in “Titanic,” to remind me that he was there.

Christopher has about 30 minutes now to get to his bus and I don’t even know how to get to the train stations. He is now trying to untangle his clothing that is now all mushed into this little ball in the corner of the passenger’s seat. To completely untangle himself and get his things in order, he opens the passenger door and steps out buck naked as he puts his tity-whities on gets his massive penis under wraps. He tosses the condom wrapper on to the floor near his feet. While he is tucking his stuff in, a minivan with Wisconsin license-plates framed by several metal Jesus fishes pulls in to the spot right next to us. It is filled with a family that looks like they are on their way to Walleyworld. There are 3 children under the age of 12 in the back seats who have their faces plastered to the window, they are staring in aw at Christopher’s white, nude body and start to scream really loud. They are screaming like they just met Freddy cougar.

The dad driving the car looks like John Goodman, shouts out, “fucking perverts you should be ashamed of yourselves.”
One of the 3 kids who is this little girl, around the age of 5 starts crying now. Then the mother who is in the passenger seat starts to shout calmly. She looks like Michelle Phillips with long, stringy brown hair. I can’t understand her words at first. After a few seconds, I realize that she is repeating, “sodomy is not the way of god and only leads to hell. Burn in hell heathen.”
They instantly back right out of the parking spot that they have been in for the all of 20-seconds. As the car is about to drive away, I notice that they have a sticker on their front bumper that says “Jesus is my co-pilot,” and that the mother is now holding a cross that she is holding towards my car like that will help us. She then throws tiny red bible at my car which luckily lands right under my tire where it belongs.

Christopher gets back into the car and we drive to the bus station. The drive to the station is quiet for a few minutes and then we both just bust up laughing uncomfortably loud for the next 5 minutes straight. He makes it with 3.5 minutes to spare and hands me his email address which he quickly writes on the back of my car registration. He tells me that he I should make sure to drop me a line when in London, hops out of the car and runs to his bus. I smile and drive away knowing that I will never see him again.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Story 19, part 2

About 10 minutes later, I come back to ask this man if he is alright and maybe needs a refresher. He then begins to tell me about how he had lived in San Francisco before my time although he makes it sound like it was yesterday.

“It was years ago… It was different place then. I knew Harvey Milk! We used to go to his camera shop!” He explains to me defensively and in an oddly loud tone.

He then smiles at me and again tells me of how handsome he thinks I am. He then asks me if I have any friends.
I smile, reply as cleverly as possible with, “everyone around here are my friends.” As I turn away with the half-smile of fakeness, I call this look the Kathy-Lee Gifford look and keep it intact while I pretend to be preoccupied with re-organizing glasses at my station. He then says something, a response is one that I will never forget.

“I used to have friends…their all dead. Do you know what that’s like?” His words are somehow cutting through me and adding to the awkwardness. As he twiddles with a new napkin this time as he hands me money for another beer.

As I came back with the beer he mutters, “they’re all dead.”

He then politely tells me, “fuck off, you don’t know me, you don’t know.”

I don’t know how to handle him. He is sort of creating a scene as my little crowd is slowly forming of customers. I try to change the topics to happy, funny, sexual innuendos that any red-blooded gay man can enjoy for shits and giggles, but nothing seems to work. Eventually the guy gets up from his bar stool, falls over, trips on his own foot, he then flips me the bird as he walks out the door.

Maybe he sensed the cynicism in my eyes. I am trying him in my own way but, I do realize that I am judging much of his character based on the dilated pupils and odd mannerisms. As he walks out, I realized that the reason he makes me feel so uncomfortable is because he is who any of us can relate to or become. Any gay man could understand his hostility and axe this poor man is carrying with him day in and out. The unspoken fears that we as gay men share and the concept of being both positive or negative men. This man is a one in a million person to this city, a needle in a hay-stack so to speak. This guy is the first of many I’ll meet like this, or at least that is what my coworkers tell me. These guys all share same scenario, some less crazy than others. These men all would tell me about their pasts. They all “knew Harvey Milk.” They all remember a romanticised version of the Castro that has been dead longer than I have been alive. They may have known Mr. Harvey Milk, but is his spirit long gone from San Fransisco?

Story 19 edited

"I knew Harvey Milk""… Not every story is funny..

It’s my first opening shift as a bartender. This is coincidentally the first time that I have ever been in the bar completely alone. Which is pretty awkward. There are no customers or coworkers in the bar. It’s the booze, the empty bar stools and me. The only thing to keep me company are the cameras which are set up through out the bar to monitor my every move I make while working. While big brother is watching, I am used to that. Being alone in this place is an awkward sensation, one difficult to describe. It’s like the episode of the Brady Bunch where they end up in a ghost town and all get freaked out that it's so empty, but luckily they end up having a great time, even though they have Oliver with them. My reference points are odd and random, I know. For some reason the concept of being alone in this place always has freaked me out. It is in the same way that little kids fear the deep end of the pool I guess. Seeing this place the way it is right now and without al the music and superficial drunken gays as far as the eyes can see, it's like seeing that girl who always has "cakeface" (the girls who wear enough makeup to cover up the fact that they never got enough hugs as a kid), without makeup on.

As an opening bartender there is often a period of time for about 2-3 hours on occasion where one is the only person in the big, empty, enigma of a bar. Often the shift starts slow. As the afternoon progresses, the place sifts through random crazy daytime drunks, harmless people coming in to use the bathroom, or get change for parking. In San Francisco parking is so expensive that change is like a whole roll of quarters.

After about 2 hours of trying to make an empty bar look like the happening place, a guy walks into the bar very slowly. I can’t tell if he is swaggering for some odd style, is cracked out, actually has something wrong with one of his feet, or all of the above. This man has this odd limp where he moves one foot and slowly drags the other behind. This guy looks nothing like LLCool J, he isn’t attractive, nor does he have rippling abs that you can see through his shirt, and he doesn’t seem like he will break into rap… So, I assume that there actually is something wrong with his feet. He slowly walks up to the bar, plops his tired self down on a chair and just sits there. He is wearing a Padres baseball cap, with stringy grey hair hanging from it like a mop, complimented with a tie-died tee-shirt with a Bob Dylan quote written on it and a dark blue James dean jacket that has a little green pin on it.

The pin reads: “ass, grass or cash, nobody rides for free.”

He also has an equality symbol-pendant around his neck. His cheeks are sunken in slightly and covered with mostly salt and lightly peppered hair that looks like sand on the bottom-half of his face. His lips skinny, yet visibly chapped, his skin is almost pigment-less like that of a vampire. I wonder if he even has a reflection. His eyes probably were once blue, now they are grey and look like they have lived some journey. He looks like he is in his 70s, but his demeanor tells me that he is decades younger. As he sits down, he picks up a napkin as though to make a spot for an invisible, future drink. Not once does this, he looks up at me. Then sitting, while fixated on the napkin in his hand he begins to fidget with it. He goes on to turn this little napkin into some sort of origami something or other. He folds it in fourths and then puts it in his pocket. I say hello three more times. He undoes his little paper crane and starts the napkin folding process without once looking up at me. Then I asked him if he is okay. He is quiet, takes out a five-dollar bill and asks for a bud light, he calls it “the piss of champions.” As I hand him the beer, he starts to fidget again. He then looks up at me with this smile that reveals all his dental work or lack of. The man has a mouth full of porcelain caps where you can see the silver at the bottoms of every tooth. His smile says Tijuana all the way. He reaches out for my hand as though we are old friends and I am about to console him on some problem. I can truly feel his loneliness at this moment. If feel sorry for him, even though I know nothing about him or even what plagues him. I want to tell him that he’s not a Cheers, cause unlike Sam, I drink but keep that thought to myself. Not knowing what to do, I put my hand out. He holds my hand as though he has never held one before. He smiles and just stares into my eyes. It’s one of those gazes where someone looks into your eyes for a tiny bit longer than normal. Long enough to make one feel uncomfortable. Through his eyes, I can feel the weight of the world and see how fed up this being is with life’s cruel deck of cards he has been handed. He then asks me my name. As I start to tell him. He cuts me off with a, “you’re beautiful.” Not knowing what to say, and being horrible at taking compliments, I change the topic. I am now trying to pull my hand out of his whithered hands that is now clamped on to mine. In the back of my head I feel like he is somehow trying to suck the youth out of my hand, like the witches in Hocus Pocus. Still alone, I asked him where he hails from. He is silent and looks down at his beer. I walk away for a few minutes to help the two new patrons who had just walked in.
(Part 1)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My dad, edited and reposted

I'm working on trying to turn this into a comedy set. Not sure how to go about it. Please feel free to comment with tags and suggestions...


Not too long ago, I was lucky enough to perform at the world famous Comedy Store in Hollywood. This was the first time that I performed in Hollywood and the first time my father would see me do standup. Most comics, I assume, are afraid of how their parents would handle react to their material because presumably it is within the nature of a good comic to push the envelope as much as possible. For me, this was more of a secondary issue, really. I have never been one for self-censorship around anyone, especially my parents. I would rather put all the cards on the table. My worry was more in the fact that my dad has always had a way of embarrassing me. This is why, before the show I reminded him to behave. This was done in the same way that a mother would ask a five-year old child to be on their best behavior. I even offered him a happy meal and a pack of cigarettes. While my dad is a man in his 50s, and one might assume that he would be filled with wisdom and life experience, he recently was spotted wearing MC Hammer pants. For this reason, his judgment must be questioned at all times.

My father has always been a peculiar man. As a young child, I often hoped my life would turn out like many late-80’s after-school specials. I hoped I would eventually find out that I was adopted. I, at the least hoped that my mother had a secret affair with some celebrity but was given hush money as to not ruin his career. Ideally, I for some reason hoped that my father was someone cool like Bob Saget, or J.R. Ewing's hot son, the one that was later on Step By Step. I loved Dallas as a child, which alone was proof that no one chooses to be gay. Unfortunately, I never saw signs of money anywhere in our house. My mother wasn’t secretly looking into adding a train that would go through our entire house like the one on Silver Spoons. Looking back it became apparent just how poor we were. As a small child, my favorite toy was a cardboard box which I used to pretend was a space ship to take me to the planet Evie was, from on the sitcom Out of this World. I would quietly pass my mother little drawings at the dinner table asking for a paternity test. Unfortunately, she would always just smile and pretend she understood, even though she clearly didn't understand my 6-year old doodle-cartoon. It was of us on Sally Jesse Raphael-- finding out the truth. Mom just told me that the ghost-buster looked very nice, as she would plopped some more food on my plate. I would shake my head quietly and gobble down the rest of my hot dogs, ketchup and mashed potatoes, because my family was Russian, and my mother was a horrible cook, so we called it a day. To put it mildly my mother’s cooking was on the same level as Lucy’s in that episode where she was trying to make bread. The ingredients were all there, and the fire was always blamed on the oven or the recipe. As I got older, I realized that I kind of looked like my father in question, though I had a full head of hair. I eventually developed a love-hate soft spot for him.

A little background, my father, like most Russian men and Wayne Brady, he has always thought he was black. He has always seen himself as a body builder/boxer. Like any Russian, he always saw himself as a health-fitness-enthusiast. In this fashion, he would start every workout with a pack of Benson Ultra-Lights, which he would finish off with a whey shake and some stuffed cabbage. Since the mid-80’s, he has worked out at a boxing gym in the middle of Compton, because, that apparently was the calling for a 5'7 and 3/4 inch tall Jewish man. He was the only white, Jew in the middle of the L.A. riots-- for no apparent reason. He claimed it was because he needed cigarettes. When I was 7, he shaved marks on his buzzed-balding-head, similar to the way some rappers shaved money signs into their hair. He did this to look like his idol, Mike Tyson. When I was in the 6th grade he bought the sound track to "Gangster’s Paradise" because he claimed that Coolio was the "shizot." Just imagine that word being said with a moderate Russian accent. In the modern day, if he still had hair, he would have a flattop circa 1988. Does that paint a picture of the man who has claimed to be my father all of these years?

In 2010 he was the only man still quoting Coolio and leaving me messages, "Yuri, call me, Gotta get up get down."

Even Coolio stopped quoting himself by the year 2010.

Growing up with a Russian/Wigger father has proved interesting. As a child, when I came home upset because kids were making fun of me for having a head too large for my body, I looked like a bobble-head, my dad would try and console me and make me feel better. He would try to use American expressions, but then mix them up. He would take this one step further though and then gangsta' it up.

As I was crying, he would say (with his Russian accent) , "Yuri... (insert exhaling) hand me my Benson Ultra- Lights…”
He would then light his cigarette and continue, “ they aren't laughing with you, (insert cough here) they are laughing at you." (Insert choking cough)

I would be confused at this point and crying harder as I started to drowned my sorrows in a large bowl of ice cream. This was because food was and always will be love, whoever said otherwise wasn't raised by Jews.

My dad would then add this statement, "And don't worry you young blood, we can have them rubbed out." He also thought he was in the mafia.

So, at my recent show, as my dad sat down in his Run DMC shirt, and In Living Color white pants with neon squiggles on them, he seemed calm and behaved. The host of the show was a racist black comedian that was a marginally funny. He essentially kept every stereotype alive, and offered one of the white guys in the front row some “cracker-aid.” Everyone knows racism is hilarious, that is unless you’re Mel Gibson, and then it’s just a nail in the coffin. Three minutes into this guy's set, my dad started to whisper, "this guy is no Eddie Murphy." The thing was that my dad couldn’t whisper to save his life. He is one of those people at the movie theater that talks the whole time, while taking food that he brought from home out of a plastic bag that that would make that plastic crunching noise. He said the Eddie Murphy noise so that everyone could hear him, including the comedian. Really? Eddie Murphy? What the hell did that mean? Was he saying that the comedian had lost his funny, now sold out and was doing crappy movies? My dad did this every 5 minutes for the next hour until I got to the stage.

While I was performing he remained behaved. I was amazed and proud. As I closed my set, the host came up and shook my hand, then my dad got up. He was the only person standing.

Dad then yelled, "my brotha stand there and let me take a photo of you two."

The audience was really confused by the whole situation. They all let out a polite giggle and then were silent. Now, that they maintained a deathly silence of confusion. My dad snapped the photo and then, he started to howl like a dog with his arms flapping in the air. He for some reason thought he was on Arsenio Hall. As I walked off the stage I came up to him and gave him a hug to get him quiet. This was in the fashion that one would hand a baby a pacifier. People clapped because they were confused by the whole situation, as was I.

My dad then leaned into my ear and whispered, "I'm very proud of you. But the guy on stage is no Sinbad." It was odd.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Story 17, Part 2

While I didn’t have all that much desire to actually do physical activity, it was more because of the fact that I hated being picked last for games. For a fat kid, being picked last was pretty much the normal routine and always uncomfortable. Being the fat kid at sports always makes you the odd man out. I always felt like the fat guy asking to go somewhere else for dessert even though no one else wants any and as a result they just all give you dirty looks. Often, while lining up during PE for game like flag football I would wait to see the kids argue over who would be stuck with me on their team. I would sit there thinking about how much I didn’t understand the reason we were forced to run like barbarians and steal flags off of each other and compete so much. The goal of this game made no damned sense to me. Then, each and every time without fail there would be this kid. Always some cocky moot, kid that would see me staring past them and then yell, “hey, stop staring at me.” The truth was that my eyes seemed to take up half my head in those days and it probably looked to a lot of people like I was staring at them even if I wasn’t. This would escalade to “that fag’s looking at me.” I never really understood this phenomenon. If I was or wasn’t looking at them, why would it matter? I didn’t even know what a fag was I figured it was some sort of bug or something. That was the ironic thing about growing up with Russian parents, when they got angry, it was in Russian and pretty much never in English. I had no role model to learn “bad” words from. I didn’t know that “fuck” could mean more than just the act of penetration and made for a good adjective that would come in handy later. There were a lot of things I didn’t know then. What made me more odd was that I never had the inclination to fight back, verbally or physically. I would kind of just stand there. After a while they would lose interest and drop their stupid vendetta of how my big eyes needed to stay to themselves because I would bore them.

While I was a slightly pudgy little meatball of a boy, I didn’t notice that I was much different from the other boys. This was until, during recess, at the age of 9 or 10, I lined up with all the other kids to play basketball. As I got up to see if the kids playing would let me join their group, this little, Monique Tedesco yelled out to me 2 words that I will never forget. She asked me if I ever though of “thigh master.” Really? Apparently that was what I needed as a fourth grader? This was when Susanne Sommers was selling that shit like hotcakes. Then I imagined myself trying to use one of those things and got confused. Instead of yelling back at the little jerk, I just walked away. No fighting back, not jokes about her legs resembling 2 lines of rope or being as skinny as extension chords. No come back. I just walked away.

My whole life my father would always ask me, hey been in any good fights lately? I would always respond the same way. No. He used to force me to spar with him now and again because as he put it, “you always want to be able to protect yourself and your girlfriend,” assuming that I would have one. I had no desire to throw punches at anyone. I saw myself as the Nelson Mandela of the 4th grade. He would always be disappointed in my lack of desire for these fights. Whenever guys would pick fights with me, I would just talk my way out of it or simply make an effort not to react. This was when I realized that I could talk my way out of many battles.

By the 6th grade I made it without ever really getting into any major fights. When guys would pick fights with me, I would change the topic just as I had done in the earlier years. I figured talking fast and changing topics would simply confuse these macho retards and deflect their desire to pulverizing me. When I entered junior high I still elected to stay quiet most of the time. When I would get teased or told I was a fag, I would listen and every once in a while actually talk back. My comebacks were weak but confusing for the average 12-year old. While they would simply shout out “fag” or “Yuri, what a fag name.” I would come back a minute later, not understanding the word “what is a fag? You would obviously know. What’s the definition?” They would look so confused that I didn’t take their shout as an insult often they would walk away in their own bewilderment. I would answer everything with a question this actually got me out of these messes most of the time.

By high school I simply didn’t give a shit anymore. While I was still soft spoken, my quietness turned to talking without words more often. My actions spoke louder. Around junior year of high school I already was working a full week with school and my part time job I didn’t care anymore. The thing is that by this point, the years of not fighting back had caught up with me. I had this pent up anger against bullies and those who had treated me badly over the years. Eventually this would turn to an obsessive compulsive eating problem which later lead to and obsessive-compulsive gym addiction. This was because as I have said many times before, food shall always equal love. While I would like to blame myself for these issues, it would be easier to keep the blame on those put me down for years as a child. In return for those years of quietness I became a talker. I became loud. I learned to speak for my beliefs and stand up for those who couldn’t. As much pain as the silence covered up, I am thankful for all that happened to me, both good and bad. Being unique, fat and different made me a better person at least that is what my mother told me.

Story 17 (edited again)

I was a quiet, soft-spoken child. Things like trick-or-treating, were a difficult chore for me. It was kind of the way many little kids saw brussel sprouts. While I knew that I was supposed to like it, I would force myself to look like I enjoyed it. This was during the short period of time where I was very quiet. This way of being was, contrary to the current, unable to shut the F up Yuri that we all have grown to know and love, but I digress. I would get to the door, clam up and speak quietly. As they would open the door, I would start out saying “trick-O” and would fade to a volume frequency only audible to dogs and rodents. My father often would be a few feet behind me. He would be glancing at his watch, because the quality time we were spending together on the 15 minutes he had given us to trick-or-treat was getting in the way of his "stories." God forbid we took too long, because he wanted to make it home in time for a Charles Bronson movie which he had seen a million times that was going to be on KTLA 5 that night. This was odd for several reasons. One being that he already had the VHS player set to record the movie he had seen more than most men have seen a urinal. Two, being that he already had recorded this particular Bronson flick on top of one of my cartoon cassettes the week before. Three, all Charles Bronson films have the same story line. Bronsoorriseastwood, they all had the same premise.

On a side note, my father made it his duty to make sure he would show me what it meant to be a man like other fathers. Unfortunately he wasn’t sure exactly what it was that men did, so he used TV as an aid. He would make me watch Bronson, Norris, Eastwood and any other machismo bullshit hero he could dig up. He would also make me watch Tyson fights on a constant loop, because that apparently teaches a young boy how to be a man. It was along the same lines as the episode where Homer forces Bart to stare at the Virginia Slims ad. It was something to that effect.

Back to the story at hand, while exhaling his Benson Ultra-light, he would come from his cloud of smoke, in his harsh Russian accent, say to me, “speak up, if you don’t they won’t hear you.” This was his fatherly way or at least the closest to that role I ever knew him in. This would in turn make me blush, grab the candy and walk away with my head low. Actually, until the age of 12 or 13 that was my father’s response to every sentence that came out of my mouth.

In between houses, my dad would put out his hand trying to get me to spar with him. We both knew I was never going to be a boxer, nor be in many fights during my lifetime. He would still put out the hand that was not holding his cigarette and say in his calmest tone "nyoo?" This in Russian means "come on..?" I would engage for two or 3 hits of the his palm until I would eventually whine about how stupid this boxing crap was. My father of course would cut me off and tell me some story about how he got one of the many cuts on his hand over his many street fights as a kid in Russia...

"Yuri, you see cut my finger? I almost bleed to deathh. He beat the hell out of me. I was smoll and then work out, got big and no von bother me now."

I would be thinking, what the hell were you doing getting in street fights anyways? Also, if you are looking for fights now, as a grown man, while living in the suburban valley of LA, that's just sad.

In school I would sit as far to the back of the classroom as possible. This way I would avoid getting asked questions. I would sit quietly until called upon or picked on. Being a little, chubby boy, with a big head, pinkish-white skin so light that you could see my veins, huge eyes and a weird Russian name didn’t help my cause either. I kind of resembled a caricature until I eventually grew into my huge head years later. There The name Yuri, for some reason only got me associated with stupid nicknames and bodily functions that didn’t help my child-self much either. To American children my name for some reason sounded like the word “Urine.” On the first day of school, the torment would always begin once the teacher would take role and attempt to say my name, stumble and then spell it out. They would then proceed to compliment me on how unique I was at the time. While as an adult, the sentiment could be understood, to a child, this was anything but a compliment. To me, the concept of being different was like being telling me that I was an alien and proved what I had knew all along, that I didn’t belong.

Aside from being simply an awkward kid, I also had two left feet. While many boys were inclined to go play soccer ball or basket during recess I would often be found playing house or simply chatting it up with the girls. Even then, we should have known I was gay. I became ridiculously good at making macramé friendship bracelets and lanyards. I had few friends besides my cousin Nicole to give them too who was in the same grade and equally as awkward as myself. By the end of the third grade, my mom had so many of them she began to re-gift them to other relatives.
(the be continued...)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Story 16 (edited), part 2

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.

Story 16 (edited), part 1

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Here in San Francisco, “people watching” becomes sport. It is the perfect place for anyone on a budget just sit and observe the crazy, drunk, and passive aggressive habits of the Bay Area. 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, but few really know about them. 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. Their camouflage is probably their lack of personality or at least that is what I assume. iI 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.
(to be continued)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Story 15 (part 2)

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 teen years, I just sat and seemed to let that phase pass me by. I watched a lot of TV. By a lot, I mean that I know way too much about television from 1986-1997 than one should. This in part lead to my obsession with Rider Strong and his floppy hair. I loved him and wanted to have long, grungy hair that flopped all over like his. My jewfro just bounces....

TV 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.

Story 15 (part 1)

These days I’m going out pretty often. I've been seen out at gay bars more often than Margaret Cho... 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. I have this odd feeling like I have a lot of catching up to do. I feel like the kid that got Mono in high school and missed a semester as a result and stayed out of the loop until graduation, but I was just a loner instead. 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.
(to be continued...)

Monday, March 7, 2011

I'm Back from Austin YA'ALL Update...

I just returned to San Francisco after a week visiting my mother in Austin. Having not grown up there and spending the first 20 years of my life in Southern California, I have no comprehension for Austin. Their city's slogan is "Keep Austin Weird," I think it should be "Keep Austin Confusing with Highways That Make No Logical Sense." Their freeways have all these misleading loops and signs that make it very difficult to understand where the fuck you're going. As for the actual weirdness, I didn't actually see it. The only weird part of being there was when we got Styrofoam cups. After living in SF over 6 years, where not composting is literally a crime, this seemed just plain bazaar. I Austin interesting, more than I did the last 3 times I went because this time I actually explored the city and all the towns around it.

Having never been to Texas, my boyfriend, Guy was determined to get his hands on BBQ every step of the way. We started by stuffing our fat faces at a chain called Rudy's, where even the vegetables were covered in fat, sugar or glazed goodness. This proved quite delicious. In the 5 days I was there, I probably ate an entire cow on my own.

We also went to this place called Gourdough's. Austin has picked up to this lunch truck trend so popular in LA and SF. This specific truck though was the best I have ever seen. They make doughnuts the size of Larry King's forehead and cover them with enough toppings to make Paula Dean throw in the towel. It was delicious enough to eat there three times throughout the trip.

Being gay, I was worried that Texas would not welcome us. I was worried that I wouldn't fit in. Once I saw a sign displayed in the center of town that Liza herself would be performing that week, I knew Austin wasn't half bad. Once we reached a gay bar with a $1 drink special which went all night, we knew we could hang there for a while. While people from Austin kept telling us that their town was just like San Francisco, I begged to differ. Half of them couldn't argue because truth be told, by the end of the conversation many admitted to never having visited the over-priced city by the bay. Austin was quant, and definitely a fun visit. Unlike San Francisco, I was not accosted by a bum or punk kid asking for money even once. No one coughed at Guy when he went to light his cigarette the way passive-aggressive San Franciscans normally do.

Point is, Austin, you're not half bad and we will meet again soon. I am back and working on more comedy. I have been adding dates left and right. Check my facebook page.

All photos taken by Guy Avoth.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


On March 15th I will be taking part in Rooster T Feather's new talent comedy competition. Since the votes are audience based, I need as many people as possible to come and support me! I will give the first 7 people who ask me, free tickets to this show as well.

It starts at 8 and the address for the venue is:

Rooster T Feathers
57 West El Camino Real
Sunnyvale, CA 94087

Here is also a link to the actual comedy club:

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