Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The LURKERS... booo!

Chapter 20.  The LURKERS.
In San Francisco, “people watching” becomes sport.  It’s far more entertaining with a drink in hand or maybe that’s just a personal preference.  SF is the perfect place for anyone on a budget just sit, observe and judge.  Actually, the last one is not necessary, but making up stories for the strangers you’re watching is always fun.  There are countless different kinds of people who come into gay bars, all for different reasons.  There are the straight women who come to the bar thinking it’s a safe-haven from creeps.  There are the straight guys who have become aware of the straight-female’s-gay bar patron’s reasoning and use it as a chance to search for tail.  There are the guys who hang out at the bar day in and day out, which begs the question of how the fuck do these guys just hangout all day drinking?  If so, how do they function?  There is one group though that intrigues me almost as much as an entire episode of “Living Single” used to.  Watching this one group in particular never ceases to amaze me.  I like to call this group the “lurkers.”

            We all have seen them, or at times met, or may even be lurkers ourselves, though few will ever admit it.  These men and or women can be observed in their natural habitat, the bar.  Here is where they often live. They hide in the shadows because that’s where they feel comfort.  It doesn’t hurt that these guys are often on the ugly side so the dark is their friend or they look like a nice peach that went off where you can see that they once were attractive but now it’s just a hologram.  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.  They have been known to drink enough to kill any two-for-one special and challenge the human body’s limits with alcohol consumption.  I have personally observed one of these guys, a lurker kill at least 10 cocktails on his own without leaving his perch in the dark corner of the bar. When ordering his last round, he doesn’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 too can drink enough redbull to give the average person a heart attack, but seem un-phased.  I assume that they hearts are still going from the mounds of blow or whatever it was that these guys did back in the day.  The redbull is the kick they need to keep going.  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 semantics.

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’m sure this observation is similar to Jane Goodall’s with the chimps but less safe.  At least chimps can’t have annoying voices that get higher and more annoying with ever shot the way some men I’ve met do.  I watch the interaction in amazement, as I am not really sure what is going on in the interaction with the twink.  This kid is the “barely legal type,” who just turned 21 or at least that is what he says and how he presents himself.  He has the body of a young boy, and is so thin that I just want to feed him a sandwich to give him the strength to run from this trap.  After a few rounds, his friends grow tired of the mid-afternoon ghost town that Monday happy hours often are.  Before I know it, this kid is, more F- up than Courtney love at an open bar.  It’s too late for this kid now.  He has no idea what he is in for.  It’s like watching one of those horror flicks where we all know what Is going to happen and want to yell at the bitch running from the killer to just shoot herself in the leg and get it over with…  Within seconds, like a vampire, this lurker has swooped in to catch his prey, the poor, soft skinned, rail-thin twink.  Within seconds Mr. Lurker, gestures for another energy drink from the bartender.  He then smiles at the child/boy.  To which, the kid respond with an innocent, “hey.”  Again I want to tell him to run, but it’s not my place.

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

Now, Mr. Lurker unbuttons the top of his Abercrombie shirt, to show his freshly wax, tann, liver-spott chest, complimented by a pookah-shelled necklace from Miller’s Outpost.  He offers the boy a birthday shot.  Within seconds of the shot, Mr. Lurker has the boy gathering his stuff as he offers this child a ride home. Hand in hand, and they are off.

This companionship can start out with a shot, an ear to talk to, or a hand to hold.  The reasons for needing this type of companionship very I suppose.  Within the time that it takes for a martini to be made, the lurkers can get a hold of their prey.  Often their prey for the evening are so drunk or lonesome by this point, they are easy to hypnotize.  They are ready to leave the bar with anyone who gives them the slightest bit of attention.  Soon, the lurkers are gone with their new pet/flavor/toy/friends of the evening.

            There is another lurker, who I on occasion have the privilege of watching work on many occasions.  Once in a while, he will parch himself at the very end corner of the bar.  He is a rather large, depressingly unattractive fellow.  To paint the picture a bit better, the man 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 couvoisier, or a “beautifuls” (couvoisier, 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 top-shelf 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.

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