The first time that I ever went to a gay bar was this past August. I had been thinking about doing so for some time than one Saturday evening I finally worked up the nerve and made my way cross-town. There is a gay bar in my neighborhood, but of course I would never set foot in there because it's in MY neighborhood. Anyway the bar itself was nice but i had decided beforehand not to drink any alcohol that night( so as to not lower my inhibitions) I soon found myself feeling extremely bored. I noticed that there was a smoking deck so i went to a convienent store down the street and purchased a pack of the only brand of cigarettes that I ever smoke. (American Spirit)
I came back to the bar, smoked and made small talk with some of the other guys out on the deck. There i was,, an elf of the knightly class mingling with faeries. Where are all the brave young Knights i wondered? I'm bored, why the f---- am i still here???" I started to feel depressed. Finally this particular pack of faeries fluttered away and I sat there by my lonesome, smoking what was probably my fourth cigarette. .....
Sometime later, i'm on my fifth cigarette of the evening, sitting there, convinced that either i was some sort of failure or that maybe this was all that the bar scene would ever have to offer me. And then in walks Anthony. He's tanned and stocky, looks to be in about his mid-40's.
" Hi, how are you?"
" Meh. I'm having an alright time of it. I replied. " This music is terrible, wish they'd turn it off... Play something good at least... I like Rock. Classic Rock mostly...."
His eyes it up. " Really! you know, that’s interesting. You don't meet too many gay men that are into Classic Rock."
We compare notes on all the bands we've listened to at one time or another, concerts we;ve been to. I told Anthony about the Peter Frampton concert I had gone to the previous summer in Coney Island.
" Best rock concert, I've been to in my life" I told him. Anthony then mentions having seen Peter Frampton when he was in Humble Pie. After another 15 minutes of conversation, Anthony invites me to to go with him to another bar. A piano bar across the street. I was eager to get out of there so I gladly accepted his invitation. Before we left. we of course stopped for a minute to watch the the go go dancer. :).....
So there i was 23 years of age leaving a gay bar in the company of a man twice my age. ....
We didn't "do anything"..... Anthony knew that it was only my first time and he acted like a gentleman, although I could tell that he wished he didn't have to.
" I have to keep reminding myself that this is your fist time" Anhony said to me as he rubbed his hand through my hair. " Oohh.... I just love your hair. I feel like I want to just rub my hand through it with baby oil...."
I purposely held a little part of myself back when I was with him that night. Not that I was uncomfortable with the guy. Just that I didn't really think the whole set up was entirely appropriate. 23 year old newbie with a 45 year old.....
The Piano Bar was located in a converted townhouse. Walking in it dawned on me that this wasn't just any old piano bar but an upscale gay gentlemen’s club....... The place was swanky. When I asked for a glass of water at the bar, they gave it to me in a large chilled glass bottle....
Anthony and I went downstairs to one of the quieter lounges so that we could talk. I told how I had always been attracted to other guys but that I was uncertain as to whether that actually meant I was gay . I was starting to get the impression that in order to truly be gay a guy had to relinquish their masculinity.
" Not true at all" Anthony shot back.
" There are plenty of masculine gay guys out there... There are gay cops. gay firefighters, etc.... They're just less visible. "
" I'm kinda on the fence still. I’m comfortable with guys but I don’t necessarily want to rule out ever being with women."
" You can be gay and still have periodic encounters with women" Anthony replied, going on to tell me about one such encounter he had with a woman on a beach out on the Island the year before.
“Everything in it’s place. don’t go let yourself go crazy. You’ll figure things out.”
Later on we went back upstairs to the piano lounge and joined a large number of creatures, (mostly faeries but there were a few trolls) who were gathered around the piano singing the most cliché songs one can think of. When they broke into "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" I thought I was going to seriously injure someone..... Finally Anthony got up and sang Our Love is Here To Stay". Afterwards,we were both hungry so we decided to go get something to eat at a diner a couple of blocks away. It was approximately 1 AM, I had been with Anthony since a quarter to nine.
Over tuna melts, Anthony makes a last ditch effort to "pick me up". If he had been 10 years younger than maybe. I tell him. " I'm sorry dude. I just don't have any daddy issues"
" I'm not your Dad."
"With a mom like I have, I can't be so sure"
after we split the check we walked out and said our goodbyes. I asked Anthony if he had a screen name, he said he did . His first and surname @aol.com. An Italian surname that I had never heard before and would never remember if I didn't write it down. I stored the info on my phone and hailed a cab. After i settled into the cab i looked down at my phone and realized. I had forgotten to press SAVE....
Everything in it’s place.