Lately I’ve come to remember something I discovered in 2010 while tripping on mushrooms when visiting Manhattan. I had a week off from taking care of my mother and after four days on the Delaware shore drove north to the City where friends left their keys with their doorman in their swank apartment on 23rd and 10th.
The plan was simple. I’d drop off my luggage at the apartment before heading north to the Upper West Side where I knew street parking was easy, take my bicycle off the car rack and ride back down to Chelsea where I’d meet a friend for dinner and drinks.
After unloading my stuff, I grabbed my stash (we’re talking weed not cash) but soon realized I’d lost my pipe at the beach. Always an improvisational whiz, I didn’t miss a beat before deciding I’d eat the second half of a chocolate mushroom truffle of the hallucinogenic kind. It wasn’t very strong and I needed to relax.
An hour later, the car parked, I was zooming down the Hudson River Park when the mushrooms started to make the sky and the river dance. I stopped to lie on the grass near the 79th Street Marina, fell momentarily in love with three skateboarders heading north before hopping back on my bike. Without a plan I ended up in the Larry Gagosian (a unique art world persona, half Joseph Stalin, half J.P. Morgan) Gallery for a so-called groundbreaking show of Monet’s famed Water Lilies on West 21st Street, the same block as the city jail and just around the corner from the Spike, the now extinct leather bar where I had the biggest crush of my life on a bartender named Manfred.
He was somewhere in his late 20’s, with buzz-cut brown hair, a smooth taut torso, wore tight (no doubt) leather pants and nipples I still think about. We once had sex in the video booths at the old porno shop on Christopher Street near Hudson, one of the few times I ever enjoyed anything other than jerking off in those places.
The other time, at the bookstore on West 80th Street between Amsterdam and Broadway was notable, in the fact that while I was jerking off, a hairy Arab-looking guy squatted on my dick without my assenting and I came in his ass very quickly. He was as surprised as me, asked me if I was negative. According to my labs at the time I was. Later when they did the two tests to gain better results it was clear that I had already been infected.
But this Chelsea on a Friday afternoon in the summer 2010 was filled with different faces. Equally distinct they bore signs of a different once equally transcendent part of the city. College educated art lovers, mostly women, Semitic looking, the kind of locals that fill the seats of Broadway shows and wait for their number to be called at Zabars.
I met my dear friend Michael, who along with a few others had helped ‘save’ me from the despair of taking care of Mom. We went to Gym SportsBar where we drank some beers and I got lost watching the TV. My beloved Mets were on until a rain delay and they played a recording of a game from the 1970’s, the players men that I had loved as a young kid. Tom Seaver was my hero, Dave Kingman the man who inspired me to grow sideburns once I could, but my heart beat fastest for pitcher Jon Matlack, Lee Mazzilli and John Milner in the outfield and the best of all, a sexy catcher named Jon Stearns (below right).
I love hanging out with Michael, but always wished he could be a better wingman. He’s a bit too shy for that role but this night it was different. He worked hard to seal a deal with a sexy Puerto Rican marketing executive that lived in Orange County, New York a 110-minute train ride away.
"Tonight I’m off to the bars and looking to make out and after that whether it's time for maple syrup or silicon lube is anyone’s guess."
“Stay in my art studio,” he told the two of us, adding, “I’ve got a aero bed down there,” and when Jose said he couldn’t go to work in the same shirt and tie, Michael didn’t miss a beat, noting that the two of them were the same size and offered to loan him a shirt and tie.
Too high to move, let alone fuck, I resisted the plan at which point it was time for Jose to get the last train out of the city. Before leaving we went into the bathroom – he grabbed hastily, I willingly followed – at which point he whipped out a big fat uncock cock. Seconds later his hand was on the back of my neck pushing me towards his dick while he unzipped my pants.
I got dizzy and thought I might faint. Pushing away I told him I was too high and asked if he wanted to meet up another night. I gave him my number but he never called.
A little while later we went for Thai food. Michael was surprised at my lack of interest. He’d heard me complain time and time again about my inability to get laid. This combined with the fact that Jose was sexy as fuck, Michael had totally forgot that I told him I was so high I could hardly even move.
Halfway through dinner, noodles and curry smothered in my gut, I realized that getting laid isn’t that hard. It’s just not my style. I’d rather make out, then make waffles rather than fuck or suck. At least until I feel more comfortable with a man.
These days I’m getting in the game more. But so far the men I’ve met haven’t excited me much. There’s the sweet guy who’s the human version of Sominex. Another one who has a strong case of the California Disease – an inability to make plans or return a text— and one sexy guy who was either married and too shy to follow up after our initial rendezvous or, as my pal Will suggested, is exactly like all of us trying to figure out this shit.
After all, everybody needs some tender loving along with getting off hard. But sometimes meeting up is hard to do. Other times it just doesn’t get hard. Though one thing’s for certain. Jerking off isn’t doing the trick like it has for the past two decades. So something’s gotta give and I’m looking forward to finding out.
Tonight I’m off to the bars and looking to make out and after that whether it's time for maple syrup or silicon lube is anyone’s guess. Stay tuned for an update.