So off I went to NYC, spending Saturday watching the gay rugby players work out their masculinity issues ( kidding! sorta. ) by hurling themselves at one another while alternately kicking a plump oblong ball toward one end of the field and tossing it back in the direction from which it had only just come. I saw a few buddies playing for the Washington Renegades, Philadelphia Gryphons,and Gotham Knights; run, pound, scratch, and scrape themselves to filthy, sweaty blood stained victory; cheered on by friends and loyal spouses. Two of the fellers scored their very first goals, and marked the milestones with the traditional "Zulu" run ( naked save for running shoes ) around the field. I missed the one (damn it) but saw the other, who turns out to be a "show-er" and if my memory is correct, grows substantially as well. I ran into a number of friends, acquaintances and people I'd slept with but who's names I couldn't recall ( kidding! sorta.) and decided to add one of 'em to my short list based entirely ( and somewhat disturbingly )on watching him repeatedly pound other men into the ground. A good time seemed to be had by all, in spite, or perhaps because of, the broken ankles, noses and concussions. Vasco took a bunch of great pics of the revelries.
My friend Billy and I hopped "the shuttle" back to civilization, not realizing untill departure that it was actually reserved for the Atlanta Bucks only. Surrounded by buzzed burly men in the un air conditioned school bus with windows that only opened inches, we decided it was like a southern chain gang transport and heartily joined shouted choruses of rugby themed call and response songs. It was a lot of fun.
Saturday night was spent at a Renegades hosted party at a bar known for the name brand porn star/escort/body workers who set up shop there. One, featured prominently on the inside front cover of this weeks HX (or Next, I can't tell the two apart)was displaying himself at a front table, but quickly conceded the night to the room full of rapidly drunk-ifying ruggers, who, you know, just GIVE it away.
You'd be more likely to find me in a straight strip club than a gay sports bar; the floor show is a lot funnier; but none the less, that's where the posse pulled me. Once there, I continued a spirited conversation with a man remarkable for his warmth and intelligence, and also for being so much taller than me that his seated eyes were at a level with my standing ones. Solo now, I headed off to an East Village basement bar, to hear funky disco soul and continue a frequently interrupted conversation with a smart smart ass who's liquid brown eyes are at a level closer to my own, giving me a clear view of their sparkling intensity.
Sunday began with my always generous host's busy preparations for the arrival of one his old friends, who was flying in from IML/Bear Pride in Chicago to join us at the XXL party at Webster Hall. My faithful cell phone was an unfortunate casualty of the sprucing up, being caught in a sudden sink side flood plain. Though it's cleaner now than it's been since the T-Mobil clerk delivered it into my eager trembling hands two years ago, it's brief and accidental ablutions did nothing for the little electronic brain inside. I held it in my hand, watching the screen image distort as the soapy blue liquid lobotomy washed the functions away from the inside. In my head, I could hear the voice of HAL, the computer in 2001, singing a slow fading rendition of "daisy, daisy... on a bicycle built for two." as the screen image fragmented, pixelated and finally went blank. I spent the next several hours discovering that I hate every sigle cell phone currently manufactured, all of them thick and bloated with cameras mp3 players and other functions I don't need and couldn't figure out even if I did want them. Which I don't. My late phone, ovoid and tapered like a worn and soon to be discarded bar of Dove soap, with a tiny quahog stem of an antenna, slipped easily into the coin pocket of my Levi's or the back pocket of my shorts. The clerk enthused; "OH yeah, that was a GREAT little phone!" and then informed me that it's no longer manufactured. He showed me Razors and Slivers, thin and angular as subway tiles and as sharp edged as their namesakes. Damn it. Stupid cell phones.
Later, after hours of guzzling "lite" beer at The Dugout and Eagle, I returned to the Upper East Side to get myself together for the much anticipated XXL "bear" party, which was billed to be less irritating than a run of the mill circuit party. I decided to lay down for "just a second", before putting in my contacts. Unassisted by my cell phone's crippled alarm, ten thousand seconds later ( about three hours ) I awakened at two thirty AM and cabbed down to catch the last hour or so of the big burly hairy shindig. Damn it. I missed hanging out with my buddies, but for only a twenty five dollar cover, and seeing as I usually hate these kind of things, it wasn't such a big deal. Just wait "till next year.