Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Another Bar story...

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 was never a social butterfly growing up. I was more of a caterpillar that loved staying home and eating hot pockets, while watching crap TV and living vicariously through various sitcoms and after-school specials. My true entrance into adult-hood, bars, really the essence of 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. A word of advice to those in my place: when jumping into a gay pool, bring lots of hand sanitizer. This may come in handy later. Also, wait 30 minutes after eating before diving into any gay social circles, you’ll look leaner. Actually, my action here can best be described as a belly flop, one of those ones that while funny to watch, but 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 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 guy I am. I have never been known for being the attractive guy. I have never felt like him although I have imagined feeling him, but that’s for another book. I am also comfortable with the reality that I don’t have to be that guy. People that rely too much on their looks seem to be crazy as old people and not in the fun-fart all the time and telling pull my finger jokes way. They seem to have a tough time learning how everyone else does things, working, using our brains and not getting free drinks for being beautiful. 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. At least not with anyone else. 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.

Monday, May 16, 2011

"Recovering Commies"

The first ever "Recovering Commies" show went off without a hitch on Saturday. After months of preparation, working on producing this show with Vlad Khlynin, we finally did it. This show was held at the Elbo Room in San Francisco. We were lucky enough to have an AMAZING headliner. Kira Solanovich was the perfect headliner for this show. He fans were amazing. We were so blessed to have her come and rock our crowd. She kept the show light and fun, which we were all thankful for. She just killed it and was a true professional. Please keep your eyes peeled for her Showtime Special! I know I will be DVRing that (after I convince Showtime to give me a free trial month).

This was the first of a series of shows, so please keep your eyes peeled for more "Recovering Commies" shows. August 23rd we we will be performing at the San Francisco Punchline with a lovely headliner, Christina Pazsitzky. You may know her from "Chelsea Lately." She is also a regular at the Comedy Store and performs all over the country. Most recently at the Playboy Comedy Club in Las Vegas! We are working on bringing this show to other cities including: New York, Los Angeles and San Diego! If you want to see us in your town please let us know!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Story 15, Part 2

I then start to daydream the way I do in every math class I have ever taken, which is why I got straight Cs in that subject. I start to think about how I have always wanted to be the famous people I read about in “Okay” magazine. I want to be in the middle of a crowd clubs, at all the hottest parties, with the hottest women, men and paparazzi just trying to get a glimpse. The public keeps trying to just figure me out. I will be bigger than anyone prior. My name could be on billboards. I won’t be able to stand inside of a Macy’s because I will get malled by people wanting take photos and get a peak. I will be working on my new album titled “Tender Yiddishy Lovin,” after my latest blockbuster as a young pop-sensation. Because I would be so famous, I will be asked to speak for lobbyist groups on various things to the public and congress. BradJolina and I will have to work together even though we argue so much over little things and have a sound off on twitter for no reason. This is because as a famous person, my opinion matters, does in fact count and make a difference. I will be more than just a number on the U.S. census. I will have a charity in my name, which brings back art back to under privileged communities. People will be speculating about my sex life. “Is he gay or straight?” They will ask on the covers of the magazines at the check out counter. I will be linked from every Hollywood hussy to every hot leading man and keep them guessing. In my “E True Hollywood Story,” they will interview random teachers from my high school days who barely remember yesterday, but of course remember me. They will talk about how I stood out even as a child. They will interview other celebs about my crazy party boy habits. I will be known for making a mark at every event. Paris Hilton will be one of those interviewed, talking about how she thinks that I am out of control and crying for help, from Mikonos to Miami Beach. This, right before my production company makes me leave my hit television series to attend rehab for pain killers that I take from Robert Downy Jr. I will be the envy of all those who didn’t give me a second thought. Until now, I have spend my life in what has felt like an invisibility cloak, going unnoticed. Now I am the person everyone notices and wants to know. I will be empowered. It will be amazing. I will have a house in every major city then, move to London because I am simply too cool for the United States. In London, I will of course develop a quasi-Americano-British accent like Madonna. I will be the envy of so many. Then I too will matter.

My dreaming is quickly interrupted. Nicole is tapping my shoulder trying to secretly ask me to save her from having to keep talking to this Michel. It’s one of our nonverbal cues we have for one of us to save the other. We soon leave with bags of loot. Michel gave us mounds of various makeup and fragrance goodies. It’s almost like the bags that celebrities get at the Emmies.
That night, after that most interesting day of window-shopping complimented with a free gift bag, I have a feeling that something bad is going to happen. I ignore that feeling the way a city person learns to ignore the homeless person who sleep near their dumpster. When I get to work I am greeted by the doorman watching the bar’s entryway, who is walking a rather large gentleman out of the door. By walking out I mean that the doorman is hugging this larger guy, keeping his arms restrained and essentially pushing him through the door. This guy is sloshed to say the least. He slurs loud and keeps telling the door guy “honey, I love you, why you no love me? I give you gift?” The voice sounds familiar, but I am not sure from where. This moment is disarray. As the doorman nudges him outside, the man falls straight onto his face. When he is picking himself up, I realized that it is good old Michel. I feel bad for the poor drunk who just hours earlier was so nice to me, but really can’t help him and am running late for my shift. I leave him there and ask the door guy to take care of the guy.

The irony in this whole event is that, a few minutes after he is carried out of our bar for being too drunk they try to put Michel in a cab. After about 10 -15 minutes, there is a new crowd in the bar and new drunks to be kicked out. Poor Michel is soon forgotten. He then proceeds to stumble half a block away into another bar, which for some reason doesn’t seem to notice how sloshed the poor guy is. They do though have no problem giving him yet even more alcohol. I later find out that after chugging his shot and leaving that bar, some random unknown man comes up to Michel. This is all happening in front of the bar which is a block from mine. This is all right outside on a busy weekend night where the street is filled with people out. This man starts yelling at him for being what he calls a “damned faggot,” according to Michel, they proceed to beat the living day lights out of Michel’s face. Michel is hospitalized for 3 weeks after getting gay bashed right in front of that other gay bar. How can something like this happen in the middle of a crowded street, in San Francisco of all places and NOTHING is done? It takes 10 minutes for someone to call the police, even though there are several onlookers walking down the street. Yet, for some reason, none of the drunken fools remain for police questioning. There are no witnesses.

Story 15

I am about a year in to the game of working there. I say game, because the reality I live in here is so beyond reality. It’s some place between reality, and a John Waters movie. It’s like I’m constantly working to save the queen, like I did in “Super Mario Brothers.” I am the queen and Mario all at the same time though. I feel like I’m constantly working to get to that 15 pounds lighter point. Now, I am another belt loop in, the long curls are now short, preened and neat. My shirts have jumped one size smaller. By smaller I mean that I have lost weight and not that I am now, like every other gay man, trying to fit more than belongs in a smaller shirt. I now wear completely sleeveless cut-offs shirts at work, which is a HUGE leap for me. This is big step, coming from the boy who went through his teen years avoiding pools and any event involving the expectation to be shirtless. I would spend the pool parties with the girls that would lie about being on their “time of the month” just not to swim and end up hanging out near the chips. Essentially, this was where I would meet the future fag hags of America, one pool party at a time. Inside, I will always be that guy who would avoid these events with over-sized shirts to cover up my boy bitch-tits. I would avoid these events at all costs, kinda the way people avoid a bum on the subway with scabies. I would work hard at not hiking, going to water parks, being in hot summer days, physical activity, anything that could lead to that because I didn’t want everyone to see me shirtless and discuss my boy-teets. Even though, I am no longer that guy, and probably thin enough to wear a sleeveless shirt, I still in the back of my head think I’ll have side-titty getting in the way, as was the case in my youth.
So, I go to Union Square with my cousin Nicole. It’s in the same fashion that we have shopped and hung out since we were little eleventeen-year olds by the food court. Then, most of our purpose was to find Nicole cigarettes, stuff our fat little faces and avoid turning into the mallrats whom we new both new and Nicole had made out with. It was at this point that we both should have realized that low standards should not be a life-mantra. Side note: mallrats most often than not, are stupid little rich kids who think the world doesn't understand them. In reality, they have every opportunity in front of them, but I digress.

Now when we shop as adults it’s different that we are more cynical, both of us wear less black because as adults we both have realized that silence is the new black, as Nicole eloquently explains it. We probably are slightly less morbid and don’t go shopping as a beard so our parents don’t see us smoking. Another thing we do while shopping is that we pick a store, window shop, start from the men’s section and then work our way down to her favorite makeup and fragrance. While I hate shopping generally, I do love people watching and making up stories for the situations one sees while shopping. Like the bitch who shoves herself into a dress that is 5 sizes too small. When she asks the sales lady about her look, gets told that she looks “radiant,” while I’m thinking more like Rhino in heels.

Anyway, back to the story. The way we “shop’ is Nicole ends up at the makeup counter and get her face done for free while never intending to buy anything. We are Russian-Jews and the make up counter is like a buffet for Russian girls, especially the samples. Only after the fact do we I realize that we single handedly keep the Jewish stereotype alive. She of course, then ends up purchasing one of the items and every time saying “I didn’t even want it, but the makeup girl made it look so damn good.” This happens time and time again in a most predictable fashion.

As we go up to one of the counters, Nicole is eyeing some hideous Cheetah bag that looks like a hooker had left it behind while running from her pimp. It’s one of those gifts with purchase. Nicole’s taste in fashion is pretty great even though I love to make fun of it. Nicole’s fashion is a hybrid of Anna Nicole Smith’s hair, may she rest in peace, Betsy Johnson’s randomness and a Sex in the City’s accessories all mixed together with a love of animal prints (something passed on from Russian mothers to their daughters). As I am trying to pull Nicole away from the glass case with that ugly bag that looks like it must have been made to carry cocaine, a rather large Jewie looking man comes up to us.

This jewie dude is dark, round, tall and fuzzy like a tennis ball, with chest hair that pokes over his HUGE gold star of David which was covered in diamonds as it’s nestled in his large man-breast cleavage. It is so large that one’s eye can’t help but stare at his cleavage. Actually, he is behind both of us, trapping me by holding one of my shoulders. I want to yell for poor Nicole to leave me and save herself, but I am only too late. Both Nicole and I pause, looking at each other to see if either of us knows him. I then responded to the tab with an awkward grin and a “Hello.” He then introduced himself as Michel, from Israel. Michel explains how he has known me from his favorite bar and will love to treat us to whatever fragrance we like. My mouth dropped. I have never been recognized like that before. It’s like being a celebrity. He takes us to a VIP spot of the store where he then offers Nicole a large sample of her favorite perfume “Sunflowers”. Being the poor college students that we are, we jump at this freebie opportunity. In all honesty, college students or not, anything free we go crazy for.
As Michel begins to compliment Nicole on her lovely skirt they both begin to talk Jew. They talk about what synagogues they have gone to. They then shift to the different symbols, he has on his neck and she has tattooed on her bosom.

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