new york


being single on a saturday night in new york, without a plan means endless possibilities.. may be the plan is to get some decent plan. plan or no plan, it was an perfect night to vanish into the crowded night.

dinner with friends at nooch around 9pm was the vantage point.. while they were enjoying their leeche margaritas, i feasted my eyes with the evening delights.. nicely dressed cute guys.. some alone,  some with friends and some on dates..

nooch is this dimly lit pan-asian bar and restaurant. there is literally no space between tables, so it is hard avoid getting into each others way or to not eves drop.. probably that was designed by intent.

we finally settled in our table for six.. with me on one of the corner. the table next to me was for two, which was occupied by an cacuasian and an asian. there was a pillar between me and the asian, so i could only look at the cacuasian.

not sure how it happened, but it almost became an involuntary action to look at the cacuasian every few minutes. sometimes i would catch him talking, sometimes listening and sometimes looking at me. after a
few glances.. we were locking our eyes..

just the eyes.. he would not smile and i didn’t either… he continued his conversation with his friend or a date may be.. i ended up eaves dropping and listen to them talk about their families..

were they on a date?  if he was on a date, why were we locking eyes.. was he having a bad date? or is he just flirting around? oh well.. it is his problem!

or is it? how would i feel if i was sitting next to him on a date.. what would i do if he was flirting with the guy on the next table! may be i will also flirt with the guy on the next table..

so anyway.. it was that time when the asked for the bill. he excused himself to go to wash room.. and i was watching him as he did it.

he did not give me a glance.

i excused myself and was standing next to him in the queue.

we smiled. first time since we looked at each other about 30 mins ago..

“how is it going?” he asked.

“not bad”, i said.

“you look cute”, i added.

“are you in town?” he asked.

“for today..”, i said.

he took his mobile out, i typed my number on it. he rang the number. i silenced the ring.

it was his turn in. he went in, came out and nodded as he walked away.

when i came back to table, they were just walking out.. and for the first time i looked at the asian guy. he had this sweet smile.. but he wasn’t looking at me. as they walked out of the door.. asian went out
first and caucasian looked back as he closed the door..

we were all set, bill was being split and were making plans to head to therapy from there. i received a message from him telling he would be up for getting together a drink or something and he would be awake.. suggested i call him however late….

i let my friends take the cab to therapy, i called him…..

i skipped meeting my friends at therapy, but caught up with them at posh!

It is one of those beautiful warm winter nights, when you can stroll on new york streets to your hearts content.. I would have been at chelsea on a night like this, but instead i was sitting at an dinner table in an upper east side italian restaurant. it is my friend that i am visiting, who suggested i accompany him to this dinner gathering.. recently i have seen a lot of photographs of such gatherings in new york in my orkut updates.. the merry photographs.. either someone’s birthday or a festival party or probably just to pass time..

today was a pass time gathering and i was more than willing to make new acquaintances. so i sat there next to my friend, on a table being served for eight. we were waiting for the eighth guy to come.. it was a very cozy restaurant, with mostly waitresses except for one hot waiter and a cute young kid at the coat checkin.  it wasn’t until later that some nice mexicans came to the table for serving. every now and then i would steal a look at the hot waiter who was now at the bar waiting for new customers to come in..

after the initial niceties and introductions, i found myself drawing back and becoming an observer.. i wasn’t listening to what they were talking, but just watching their expressions.. and i went around the table…

starting with my friend on my left.. he was looking at his drink (may be a vodka) with cranberry juice, cute, intellectual, a movie buff and an analytical person..single.., next to him was this guy who is in an open relationship… or was it long distance relationship.. anyways.. i know that his boy friend is back in mumbai.. he was almost done with his cranberry drink..

and next to him was a guy, who was answering questions about how his new boy friend couldn’t come tonight.. etc., and not sure how but the conversation now seemed to move towards cosmetic stuff that his boy friend had..

the one next to him responded to that saying, ‘i don’t have any cosmetics, except for a shampoo’.. hmm at that point i was looking at him  and if what he said was true, then he has the most naturally beautiful skin and hair.. hmmm.. he is handsomely tall too, trendy t-shirt.. little talkative.. and also busy on the phone.. texting..

next to this ‘all-natural’ guy, were two guys who came in together.. i assumed they were in a relationship.. but later i was told that they were just friends.. they paid little attention to the talks on this side of the table, but they had their own conversation going on..one of them was ‘silent’, only responding once in a while.. mostly nodding.. while the other — visibly femme was doing much of their private conversation…

except for that ‘all natural’ guy, i have met the ‘open-relationship’, ‘newly-dating’, ‘silent’ and ‘femme’ on some previous occasions..

after all it wasn’t really that much of a stranger gathering..

“are you from bangalore?”

i was brought back to present with that question. and what followed was the usual exchange of names of friends that we might know in common.. and after that i was really no stranger to the table. that seemed to have made a connection.. and it got further established when i found that one of the guys lived in boston and knows most of my friends from there too..

it is amazing how connected we are, across professions and across places. oh well.. may be not so well connected.. i wish there was some way to find a connection to that waiter who was now explaining the specials in an italian accent.. i had no clue to what he was saying.. and all i could see was his lips moving and i was staring into his eyes.. ended up ordering the only special that sounded vegetarian..

“is he part of the family?” someone asked as he left with our orders and everyone said yes.. and one went on to imitate the way he was using his hands..everyone bursted into a laughter.. and we established the fact that we were the only loud table in the room.. rest of the tables were mostly occupied by couples or atmost three.. people.

by now the eighth guy had arrived and was the focus of discussion.. he was just stepping into the queerdom, there was pressure at home to get married, has an fling with an girl at work.. and has crush on his straight colleagues.. (or straight until found out..). that was the topic everyone can relate with and he was being bombarded with suggestions and stories..

it wasn’t until we almost finished our main course, someone brought up the topic of gay hang outs in bangalore.. and which turned our attention to the recent raids in a mumbai gay party. there were several stories floating around and the one that was told tonight was….

a bunch of under age guys purchased a lot of booz from a bar.. and this came to the attention of a cop who just happened to be there.. and he followed them to another store where he found them buying a ‘loads’ of condoms.. and then cop, now cops, followed these guys to to an remote farm house.. where they caught hold of 15 to 20 guys.. indulging in an orgy..

now is an orgy illegal, even though everyone involved has consented to it?

at that point, as if the ‘silent’ guy finally found his voice (may be he did from the drinks), started to passionately and loudly describe the indian sodomy law.. how any kind of anal sex is illegal.. and right at that moment.. the waiter was approaching the table to take orders for the desert….

he decided to come back later..

everyone nodded to the sodomy law.. but it was more of an accepted fact and it was like someone else’s war.. now that no one made a comment, the topic was set aside.. and someone quickly pointed what had just happened behind his back.. another round of laughs.. and we were ready for the deserts..

as we enjoyed the delicious chocolate and cheese cakes.. and while others were checking out the photos of the straight colleagues of the new guy on iphone, i was again back in my thoughts.. is sodomy law really someone else’s war? we seem to have so much to talk about the coming out or relationship crisis…. is sodomy law just like other laws.. which are only discussed when faced with an charge?

It was 6pm when I went to see off my straight friend at port authority. I have known him for five years now and we worked together in my first job.  It was fun catching up on the old times etc., but once he was gone, instead of taking my bus back to Boston, i gave into the queer calling inside me.. I went ahead and reserved the ticket for 3pm bus and decided to hang out in new york.

I visit new york once in a while and I don’t actually live there, and every time I visit there is always something new to do and new people to meet. I wonder what people living in new york would have to say about this constant variety. Do they ever feel they have done it all? Do they want to settle for something when they can actually do different things?

Anyways, I called an old friend whom I met a few sholays ago. Old friend.. well not really. We have known each other for less than an year now, but in queer circle meeting the same guy for more than a couple of times brings out a different vibe. Three times is a charm,  certainly do its charm here.. Anyways, he was busy with someone and was surprised to hear that.. after all it is a saturday night. We planned to meet for dinner later that night.

While I waited, I decided to check out the book stores. The closest big one was borders and I do love their cinnamon latte.  Took a large one, picked up a few books and took the corner seat on the second floor facing Hotel Pennsylvania. The book was an easy read,  and I enjoyed flipping the pages. However I couldn’t stop but wonder, why hadn’t I thought of finding a geek gay guy in a book store. Would my radar still work in here? Of course there is a whole section on sexuality, but I hardly see anyone picking up books there, may be next time I should pick one of those and hang around that section..

“Excuse me, could you keep a watch for my books?”, she said and I looked up. I was aware she brought a pile of books and placed them next to me. “Sure”, I smiled. I glanced at her pile and saw she had a book on Boston tourism glaring at me. The other books din’t seem to interest me that much. Anyways she was back after a few minutes with a cup of coffee. “Thank you”, we smiled at each other and were engrossed in our reading.

I realized I was sitting next to ‘arts’ section, when an old couple called in for customer help. They were having tough time finding a book on Beethoven. I looked up involuntarily in the direction of the store guide, intrigued at the utterance of the name Beethoven, but then I kept looking in his direction as he walked down the aisle. An unmistakable wavering walk, with both hands swinging in the same direction as he approached. He was whining that books aren’t kept very organized and it is tough to find. As if he knew I was staring at him, he came towards me. I looked up towards the towering figure, he must be in his early twenties. He stretched his hand forward, twisting it and pointing his finger at the pile of books next to me left by someone before and said, “Are you still reading them?”

“No”, I said handing him the pile and he gave me that queeny look as if I was just lazing around without the remotest intention of buying any book. Well, he was right about that, I had no intention of buying a book today and I was there to pass time and enjoy having my coffee while I catchup with some pending reading. He walked away the way he came, wavering, holding the pile of books like a tray in his left hand.

“Can we do this?”, she asked.

“Of course, he is just being a little rude” and bitchy I thought  to myself.

“I saw you sitting here with the books so I got some myself. I am a tourist here”.

“I noticed. where are you from?”

“Beirut. I thought you were from here, but you don’t sound american.”

“I am from India”, and of course my accent gave it away.

“Nice. Btw Beirut is a nice place you know. Unlike how they show it on the news here”

“Really?”

…. and so it started. We soon finished our coffees talking about US, Beirut, India and had not flipped any pages in a while. That probably was the moment, if were straight I should have offered to buy another cup of coffee.

But instead, I waited and she waited. And we looked back at our unturned pages. The phone rang, as if my friend knew, he called me and said he was coming by the book store. And after a few more awkward moments with occasional glances at each other and smiles, she said “I am going to Boston next weekend, do you know of any places around?”.

“Not a lot, but I know a few places you could visit. I live in boston myself and am a tourist here today”. There was a glow in her face and she showed me the book on boston to me.

“I noticed”. I said.

As we talked about a few places around Boston, I couldn’t help but notice her curly hair, tanned features and the beautiful smile.  And thought to myself, ‘God, wish she was a guy?’

“Here you are”, my friend had made his way through. “What are you doing, hiding here?”. He sat next to me, giving that friendly hug and we were catching up as if we were long lost buddies.

I felt that she was packing up to  move on. She turned around and I looked up at her. She said “It was nice meeting you”. I shook her hand, “It was nice meeting you too.” And we  exchanged one long smile and I let her pass out of sight before looking at my friend.

“What was all that about?” – My friend asked.

“Never mind.” I smiled.

It is 7 in the evening and we are on the fung wah bus from new york to boston. We were just in time as the queue was getting long and were lucky enough to get two empty seats, in the fifth row.. Well, I have traveled with a stranger next to me, but couldn’t imagine doing it tonite, with him around.

In front of us were two girls and before them a Chinese hetro couple. They looked like teens, but I can never tell the true age of a mangolian race.. They always look as if they are in their early twenties, may be i am exaggerating a little bit. But don’t you think they never age..

Anyways, as the bus picked speed into the crazy weekend traffic, and the sun reluctantly was setting in, every one around started to get comfy. We watched the skyline of the city as we crossed the bridge, and then soon it passed through the long row of grave yards, before it was just trees..

The lady sitting at the window in front of us took her book out and started reading from where she had previously bookmarked.. I couldn’t really tell what the one sitting next to her was up to, since i was sitting behind her and he was sitting next to window. I peeped through the gap in between the front row seats and I saw the chinese girl resting her head on the guy’s shoulder…..

Very cute indeed. I made him look at them and said.. ‘what if I rest on your shoulder?’. He smiled and said.. ‘hate crime..’. I smiled back.. After all what he said is true. It was just a week ago, we had that unfortunate incident (or hopefully an accident). Walking home from a friday evening dinner, we had to pass a bunch of teenagers just a couple of blocks away from home. As we passed them, someone in the bunch said, ‘is he your boy friend?’. Not really aiming at one of us in particular, but i sure did think – ‘not yet, but would like to..’. Before that thought ended, I sensed one of the kid trying to steal the wallet from my back pocket.

In a reflex, I turned around and looked him in the eye and in the next moment some heavy object made an impact on my face.. which fortunately was his bare hand. There was a stream of blood and a feeling that something broke, which sent us in a panic run into the building and call the cops.

They never followed us and I (and he) keep wondering if it was a just an act of hate or an display of superiority. The wounds have healed but the trauma isn’t settled yet.

Of course, in this bus nothing of that sort would ever happen (i hope..). Nonetheless, we settled to holding hands as he eventually drifted into nap. And my thoughts drifted into the events of day.. The reason we were in new york..

It is pride parade day,
the march from central park to stone wall park.
fifth avenue from timesquare to east village flocked by queers..
an flamboyant display of diverse queer life styles..
from dykes to bears, drags to jocks, clubs to cops..
unbound by ethnicity and geographies,
supported by human rights and religious institutions
promoted by commercial organizations
and of course.. the politicians shaking hands..

It is a feeling that I can hardly express with words.. It is the numbers, that show up on this day is absolutely stunning. What was more delightful this year was to watch tapak and husbear march in the saalga. tapak was bearing the flag.. I tried screaming at the top of my voice, but so were many others..

Oh.. and like a six year old I enjoy screaming for the beads that they throw.. And for some reason, I get the beads and he gets the condoms, not just at this parade but even at the parade in boston..

It is practically not possible to stand at the same point and watch the entire parade. We did though almost till the end.. Thanks to the bite we grabbed earlier and my friends who joined us.. Hanging out with them was … well.. again one of those feelings that can’t be expressed truly with words.

The bus stopped for a short break..

The sun was completely out of sight now and as we settling in for the remaining drive.. I saw it. The lady towards the window opened her book again.. and the one sitting next to her reached out for the lights above..

Wrapped around her wrist was a chain of beads.. just like the ones that was in my bag…

The chinese guy and the girl were back with their cute state and we held our hands together as we drifted again into a light sleep…

As April brought its bright and sunny weekend, with trees finally blooming.. pink, red and white and some light green, I set out on a road trip along the coastal line of Massachusetts, driving through Providence, Rhode Island and finally planned on reaching New York..

One of the reasons for going to New York, this weekend was the joy of meeting Big B after all these days.. more than an year now. But before that, I stopped to meet ‘Him’, the one I met last weekend in the most unusual clubs…we have been planning for this short stop for a week now and it was an welcome change to meet someone for an evening walk.. on the banks of the Charles River.. The birds, ducks and the people on the boats.. made the evening more serene. We talked as we took a walk on the boston side, overlooking the cambridge on the other side.


I finally touched upon the question. ‘How long were you in relationship?’. I was cautious to not sound very personal, because my intent was more to find out how easy or difficult it is to have a queer relationship. He, as I got to know is a very adaptable person, great to get along with and is passionate about his interest in books and ceramics.

After a long pause he said, ‘…. it lasted for twenty years.’ I was waiting to hear more, though I am sure my face had expressed its question…. ‘How can one fall out of a relationship after twenty years… ?’

As if he knew what I wanted to ask, he told me ‘.. Of course this is my version of the story. I was unhappy for five years before falling out. The relationship had become one sided, and as years passed by, I felt as if he was not listening to me. It is amazing how one can feel more lonely with a person than being alone.. Do you know what I am saying..’ He asked.

I really didn’t know what that felt like, may be since I was never with a guy for that long. But I wondered, how can you be unhappy for five years and still live with it.. ‘I was hoping that things will work out… but they did not.’

It puzzled me how some one so adaptable could end up in a fall-out such traumatic, but I guess things just happen.. or do they?

He obviously had become very comfortable now living by himself. (This is something I can relate myself with. Being alone isn’t same as being lonely.. I do enjoy being alone. After all, life is more than just finding that one companion. There are other things to sparkle the love and emotions..)

May be I shouldn’t have asked him that question I thought, but then it is a fact and talking about it doesn’t make it any worse. As he put it.. ‘.. he was much happier now, instead of living a lie that his relationship was working, which was more stressful.’

As I was talking to him, I could see where his hope possibly could lead him. A few weeks ago, I met this newly engaged couple in their late fourties, who met an year ago. Now they have a new house on a hill overlooking a beautiful valley. And there was something between them that sent out the message, there is hope for love.

….

The next day, I was at the G Lounge in New York waiting for Big B to come. We have exchanged a few messages in the past, but never really met. I know him as one of the most confident guys and his travels fascinate me. He is truely a global person, traveling all over the world and having a really good time.

As we sat there in one of the corners talking about his latest trips to South America and the etc., I asked him if he was going to a party later that night.. He surprised me by saying, ‘I am keeping myself out of parties for a while.’

‘Living in new york and not partying? Is this a fall out from a date?’, I couldn’t help but blurt. He laughed. ‘No, I am just bored of the parties and the people I meet here..’

Well, it contradicts what I have thought about urban guys. Partying is a great way to meet cool people and I guess I am being naive at this point. As we talked about it a little more, he said ‘..people here are not so much interested in dating and relationships. They are mostly looking to get into the pants and once they are done, they would like to move on and find someone new.’

OK. Now that was like hitting me on the head. I have done it myself and I think it as a phase. Well, may be for some the phase never phases out. It is like Alcohol. Don’t get addicted to it. As my thoughts started to wander there, I pulled myself back to what he was saying..

‘.. people are not perfect you know. the moment they see some imperfection, they try to move on and find someone else. And in new york, it is so easy to get sex.’

Well, thats true. I thought to myself. Even at that instant I could tell there were eyes looking at us, and all we had to do was to smile back and say hello.. Oh, it is not just at the parties, sometimes all it takes is asking a question to a total stranger or walking into my friends room with a gay room mate while the friend is away..

‘So are queer relationships that hard in urban cities?’ And it occurred to me, my friends who are in relationships are indeed living in sub-urban cities…

Before we drifted on to different topics, he mentioned.. ‘when I moved to new york a few years back, there was this nice guy who was interested in dating. But I thought it was too early to date, since I will be spending more time with my old friends here and not have much time for dating. Also, I wanted to look around a little bit.. And now I think that was stupid.. He now has a new boy friend..’

I didn’t know how to respond to this, given the statistics doesn’t it seem possible that he still has a chance with that guy, with the frequent break-ups or should I believe that, the nice guy finally found another nice guy and they would get along..

And thats when we changed to topic back to country music and the latest song ‘Red High Heels’, on a funny breakup by Kellie Pickler…

A perfect get away for those friday lovers. It was at HK Lounge, 405W 39th Avenue, New York. This was my first time to an lounge party where I could meet a lot of Desis (south  asians). I loved the ambiance of that slight dim candle lights, constant flow of water around the corners and cozy little gatherings.

As it always is the case, there were well formed groups and a crowd near the hot studly bar tenders.. After the usual formalities of coat-check and a usual gaze through the room for the prospective new contacts, I settled near the stairs. A spot to get a good view of people coming in and those who are already in.

As my friend Arvish settled himself with a drink, I saw my object of curiosity for the night. He was standing at the bar in the middle of the crowd, but not attached to anyone. Had a perfect body and a calm composure. A face with defined lines, happy though he wasn’t smiling at all. His eyes seemed to move from one direction to other in a very animated fashion. Neither too fast nor too slow. When he looked out, he looked as if he had all the right to look. (Usually I would call that a stare.. but there was something about the way he looked.)

I was pretty sure he caught me notice him. But his emotions indicated otherwise. Arvish was back, and was introducing me to his friend. There was that usual social talk, but my attention quickly drifted to the boy standing next to me. A twink with his ears pierced with studs.  He had a drink in his hand, and he seemed to notice that I wasn’t drinking. After a couple of stares, I leaned over him and said.. those are beautiful studs. Well he was himself nice too. He gave that smile.. and he said ‘Are you afraid of drinks?’. ‘Do I look like that?’. He startled me with his response, ‘Never take the book by its cover?’. I had no words to defend myself at that time.. and I just slipped myself into the crowd.

It is interesting to see these groups form (which I have done in the past couple of years).  For instance, I walked by Nicky and Micky whom I had seen as single last time and had noticed them leave the party as a couple. And today they were here as a pair. Just friends .. maybe. And there was this crowd surrounding the Hi’B. (Hi’B started coming to the parties just over an year ago, but now I could see him attract a good amount of crowd. More about him in a different post…). And there is always that person who comes to the party with a new group every time.

But, my favorite groups were those sitting in the slightly dimmer lights sharing jokes and seeming to have a lot of fun. The aura floating around them was that of friends who have known each other for quite a long time.

By the time I went around, I noticed my curiosity standing in a corner.. and so  I approached him and said ‘Hi.’ I had no idea what I was going to say next, but I just had to do that. ‘I am Aman’, he said and then after a couple of moments of awkward silence.. I enquired.. ‘Do you come here often?’ He said ‘Yes, but I usually am not on the dance floor without my shirts?’.

I wish he did that though, he had this great body which I later found out was due to his passion for health. He said, ‘everyone should take care of their bodies, a shirt should look good on the body and not the other way..’ As I sticked along with him, I started to like him more and more.

But, it wasn’t a hookup night, but a social gathering. So I did move around catching up with old friends and meeting some new and interesting ones on the way. I did bump into the ‘boy’ again, who whispered ‘I still think you are afraid to drink’ and left with another boy.

As I involved myself with a group of friends and listening to one of their comic stories, Aman passed by me. As he made his way out, he gave that pat on my shoulder. The one that meant more to me than anything else that night.  Looking back, I wonder if I should have taken that moment to give him a good hug…..

It was around midnight, before we got out. Arvish had left much earlier.

1am friday night. As I walked out on the streets,  there was a sweet feeling in the night. As I passed the restaurant around the corner, I noticed a few people from the party continuing there conversation at a late night dinner.  I waved my hand at them and walked through…

March 24th, the weekend with good sunshine, melting the snow from the previous week’s snow storm. It is crazy how quickly the weather turned around. But it did. The weekend was perfect for a Spring Awakening.

So it was decided that I drive down to my bear friends in Connecticut. It was around noon when I reached the Rocky Hill. A town with a dinosaur park. Husbear once mentioned that they found the skeletons (or was it footprints) of dinosaurs in that area. The bear-cave close to the highway and is a cozy place with a cute backyard. I am lucky to have know these bears, since many a happy and fun moments I have shared with them.

I was just in time for a yummy filling lunch, thanks to tapak bear. He is an amazing cook. The chicken curry with the coconut juice was mouth watering. After lunch we set out to the city of glittering lights.. New York.

It was the Sholay Night. Sholay is an gathering of south asians, dancing away till morning to the bollywood numbers. With two floors of indian and non-indian guys.. it is a rite place to see the wild side…of usually introvert indians.

We had a little detour to pick up an fresh guy who just got out of the boat. It was our den for the nite. In queens close to Roosevalt Avenue. As I walked those roads, it was like a deja-vu. Of course, it was where Big B lived. It has been a while since I got in touch with Big B after that crazy friday nite an year ago. I had seen him briefly in another party, but it was too short to even register.

Anyways, back to present, we spent sometime going to indian groceries and it was fun watching a little bombay. The people, the stores with titles in Bengali, the display of sarees. It is nostalgic, reminds of home that is on the other side of the ocean.

It was 8pm as we walked towards the sub-way in the light drizzle. We walked a while, a good fifteen minutes before we entered the underground transportation. It is amazingly lively at all times. I have been acquainted with sub-way for more than a couple of years now and have been in it at different times, early mornings or evenings, mid-day or mid-nite. Sometimes I wonder, if it there were no sub-way trains, can New York take so many people.

We decided to head to “Therapy” on 52nd street between 8th and 9th Avenue. A lounge of hot delicious guys, perfect for a quick warm-up. The bartenders are hot and so are some of the people who are around the tables. Well, my tastes vary drastically and I find a whole bunch fascinating. So there was this four guys across the table, who were deep in conversation. But one of them, who seemed like the most silent of them caught my eye. A round face with a cute smile, his eyes were attentive and something about him attracted me toward him.

Of course then there was this tall guy who walked in with a style, walked straight to the center chair. If the bar table were a king’s court, he was certainly taking the place of the king. He removed his coat and placed it on that throne. Walked to the bar, and was back with a glass to his thrown. He set the glass on the table, he put his hands on the table and with his raised head he was glancing at everyone. May be looking for a subject for tonite. (I wonder)

Well, there were many others, but it was time we filled ourself with some real food. East of Therapy was “Victor’s” – an authentic Cuban restaurant. Husbear’s nieghbour told him about this place and how good the food and the ambience was. It was the choice of the night for us.

It was a little hard to pick up the course, but the waiter helped us out. So it was decided that we would have an plate of appetizers with an assortment of everything from veggies to chicken to fish. As we took bites, we couldn’t stop admiring how soft and delicious it was. The main course wasn’t really necessary but we did have it and it was no less tastier than the appetizers. Of course I couldn’t finish it all.

After a good one and half hour at the cuban diner, we were in the cab to 150 Varick Street. If I were a cab driver in New York, I wonder how much of the world I would have known. New York has a diverse crowd from different nations to different queeristic behaviors.

It was just over midnite when we entered the club and usually the place starts to attract crowd around that time. Like other clubs, even here there is a warm-up time where people just stand around the dance floor..  I have been a regular visitor to this gathering and have made quite a few friends. Some glad and some not so glad…

As I entered the lounge, I saw him. The slim, tall, dusky Dudesy. I met Dudesy at the last party and something about his manor indicated he was a decent chap. Very opinionated, but kind at heart. He wouldn’t settle for anything less than perfect, which explains why I can’t take it any further with him. Oh, the last quarrel we had about was about me not shaving enough, which i usually do once a week.

After a few hugs and introductions, we set out to explore the first floor. Standing next to the stairs was the guy from California. We had a chat a few months ago and today was going to be our rendezvous. Technically today would be second time, but the last time though we saw each other, we weren’t sure enough to talk to each other. So I walked to him this evening and took him away from his girl friend. After saying a little hi and taking a closer look at him, I found myself searching for words to speak. I was wondering what make me think I would get along with him. Well, everyone is worth an Hi.

Following that, there were a series of Hi and Bye’s, it was as if going to an social gathering. After a while the music kicked in and was dancing along with the bears and others in the crowd. Then after a while, there was a drag dance to the popular numbers of madhuri. I don’t remember the songs but, it was fun watching them. Of course Dudesy was complaining that ‘why aren;t they doing any better?’. No comments.

After what seemed like three numbers, the stage was taken over again by the enthusiastic bunch. The ones who usually are more eager to enjoy shirtless. They are fun. Unlike other parties, I seemed pretty stiff.. and as some new dude who happened to dance next to me.. started to unbutton me. I excused myself politely and walked down to take a break. There were less people and more air downstairs. And I just sat there, thinking nothing.

He walked past me. Looking at me just long enough to exchange a quick smile. I kept looking in the direction he left and was wondering what just happened. Well, he wasn’t indian, but he looked very handsome.

After what seemed like a long gap, which is hardly a minute or two, he was coming back. And this time, he was certainly looking for me and I was looking at him. I said Hi. And he offered his hand in hello. I am G Arayan – I said. I am Greg – He said. It was very unusual, but we sat together and started making a conversation.. or at least a pretense.

Taking the excuse of the loud music, we would shout into the other’s ears, and in the process brush against the cheek. I could feel some of my other parts changing their shapes at that gentle touch. Surprisingly we had a lot to talk about.

There were his friends who stopped to say hello to him. He would excuse and come back to me.. and I had the bears and Dudesy stop by too. I excused Dudesy telling I would rejoin him upstairs, while I introduced Greg to the bears. The Husbear, let out his nice all knowing smile, when I told him I just met him. Looking at the way we were holding each other, it would have been a tough guess.

After that we were left to each other.. and soon we lost words to talk too or atleast I had nothing more to say.. but a lot of feel. I started looking at him.. feeling his chin. Brushing my fingers on the slight beared from a two day shave. Looking into his glowing eyes and the dimple on his chin and that beautiful smile.

There was a brief peck on the lips, before we were feeling each other with out cheeks and hands exploring other decent places. I could have spent the rest of the night just being there, lost in his fragrance. But then, we had friends to go back to. And well moments end.

We exchanged our numbers and set out to look for our friends. It wasn’t long before I found them and were heading out of the place. It was 4.30am. We took a short walk to the McDonald’s and gossiped while having coffee.  And a little later we were on the train back to Queens. While my friends drifted into the sleep, I drifted back into the moments I spent with Greg.

5am. We reached home. And then a long slumber sleep into the sunday.

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