Happy New Year
Saturday 9:30 pm
Location: Kramer’s Books
I never understood why bougie queens always wanted to prove how smart they were by wanting to go to a coffee house, art house, bookstore, or some shit like that. Somehow being surrounded by books gives the illusion of being well read. This is quickly shattered when the question “what was the last book you read” is uttered. Like a deer in headlights said queen freezes because they haven’t read a book voluntarily since the grade school. Worse are those who pick up every self-help, keys to unlocking your greatness, and you are your own worst enemy self-help crap that is available. Somehow they think someone out their in the world has found the secret, the secret to unlocking what has been dormant in us since we lost our innocence, hope and the ability to dream, but are willing to share how we too can be like them in less than 200 pages, and for a meager 29.95, plus tax.
So here I am, aimlessly walking down isle upon isle of books that once been arranged in some discernible fashion, now haphazardly placed wherever by those, like me wanting to waste time, until a greater distraction comes around. Somehow I wander over and find a book chronicling what someone now considers the quarter life crisis. Since it borders on self-help I’m apprehensive but at the same time, interested to see what the authors have decided to say about life to make people feel better about their lives. Is life hard, looking at my mother who continuously struggles to make ends meet and my brother who has struggled to live and thrive since birth, it seems life is hard no matter what age or stage you are in your life. Are they going to talk about finding yourself, but how can you find yourself if you’re constantly changing, reacting to the various situations that occur, you are only an amalgamation of the reactions that you have had in all of the situations of your life, as your life changes so do you. Finding yourself is a futile exercise that promises only one thing, to leave the seeker frustrated, angry, and ultimately questioning who they are. Instead of these over used, under analyzed colloquiums, the book if you can call it that, instead offers up anecdotes and excuses for actions. Being under-utilized at work, it’s not your fault- your supervisor refuses to see the true ability in you. Constant fights with your parents; it’s their fault for not respecting you. Your new found sexual freedom, now have people calling you a whore, you have a healthy libido and are just sowing your wild oats.
Smirking I repeated, sowing your wild oats. Admittedly I have and continue to sow oats, wild oats, mundane oats, cautious oats, adventurous oats, and on occasion have had to reap what I sowed. One thing about being gay in DC, whores abound. Only a select few have the forthrightness, and are honest with them to know that they are whores. While the majority act as if they are the singular vestal virgin in a harem, looking down upon everyone else as they fornicate. But when the lights are dim, and the unspoken promise that this will never be mentioned outside of this one encounter, the virgin charade is dropped replaced with a sexual appetite that no one man could satisfy. So instead of just one on one encounters, or trying to line a few, they know where to go. Where anonymity, discretion, are pledged sex is done with reckless abandonment, Rock Creek Park near P ST NW, Union Station lower level bathroom, Malcolm X Park, any gym, and the mother of all loads, Glorious Health and Amusement also known as the follies. More than a few I have been to, every time I went to one it was under the same bullshit lie, I was there to watch to be a voyeur but more times that I cared to imagine I became part of the spectacle, a freak show among freaks.
The Follies was the place, for between 15-20 dollars you could do, and see anything. The rare times it was empty or hardly anyone there you could feel the generations of men who had walked the same path, crouched down upon a wooden orifice, to receive or to send over the only thing they could. Walls etched with names, numbers, and drawings looked like cave drawings of a lost people begging for the world to remember who they are and not to turn out like them. Empty shells that had once be regarded for their beauty but now what once gave them great joy caused illness, alienation, and death. The movie theater that consisted of a large screen that played black, interracial, and more recently ethnic porn gleamed against the warm tones of the cherry wood, mahogany, and Minwax stained church pews arranged in bent angles. When full of men, the church pews would be covered with flesh, hands moving against each other, in the eerily silence, eyes straight ahead but never looking at anyone never real intimacy just touching, tasting, and smelling what the others had inviting them to do the same. At times there was dark room that was open, on special occasions which was realistically any big conventions of gays congregating in DC, fraternal conferences, rallies, prides, or political fundraisers. That dark dank room scared the living shit out of me, upon walking in you felt half a dozen hands doing the work that their master’s eyes could not due to the depth of the darkness there. Hands would test your muscularity, crotch size, thickness of your ass and thighs, and patience. As would the oppressive heat, since this blackened room was the darkest place in the club it had the most people hiding from the light, themselves, and ready to do anything and anyone. It did not matter how much you swatted, scratched, or protested, in the darkness the hands were embolden by a mixture of tester one, immunity in the form of anonymity, and the need for sexual gratification. Some hands would stop for a few seconds after protesting only to come back with a stronger grip to assert their presence upon your person.
While others would try to hit you if you hit their hand off of your body. But as soon as someone else new came along the hands would shift onto the latest person to indoctrinate them in this molestation. Only the light of flickering cell phones could be momentary guide as not to disrupt the ambiance this darkened cave encouraged. At times, the lights would flicker and you would see body spread eagle hands holding their own ankles surrounded by men taking turns in him. Some would be holding him down while others would be ramming their partially erect dicks into his worn anus. Sometimes he would moan or yell but they were quickly gone as not draw too many men onto the prize that someone or a few had captured and wanted to keep a secret. So the bottom knew that if too many had come over then the fucking would stop, and he would no longer be prized by the half dozen men who were taking turns pouring themselves into him, so he kept his mouth shut as part of the deal. Which wasn’t hard to do, his anus had long become numb to the forceful, slow, antagonizing pushes of men into him. The body heat would be unbearable for me, and the stench of bile, semen, and body odor had become too much, so I left the inferno for the sedate by comparison, rest of the follies. I needed to see the person who I was engaging with, or else I could not enjoy myself. I may not need to always look at them, but that first glance was crucial, it was the only way I knew that this was a real person, or a semblance of someone real. Otherwise, it was just a body, a body with flaws and perfections which would now be used as tool of pleasure to the best of its ability. When I saw that person there was a life there, there was person still there, something within them had breathed and yearned for the same things that I did at that moment, to be touched.
When the follies was packed it was packed, some nights there was a line outside the building to gain entrance, and in that line you could see it all. The old men who would lurk in the darkness hoping to be feed unknowingly by someone who rebuff their advances in any other circumstance, and how that old man had now taken the place of the old queens of his youth coming full circle in a way, the younger fairies who traveled in packs, arms crossed, eyebrows plucked and arched to the heavens eager to find that ever illusive “thug” that would treat them, fuck them, and abuse them like the bitch they portrayed themselves to be, the married men with their hats pulled down low and wedding bands in the glove compartment., the muscle men, the pretty boys, the men who seemingly had everything would be in the line too, ready to let go of their inhibitions and leave their actions there in the darkness. The assortment of men from various walks of life was an interesting site to see, all united for one night for one purpose sex.
When you gain admittance to the follies when it was packed, it took on a sexual circus in which we all played a major or minor part. There were the men who filled the air with the scent of poppers from the various inhalants that were used to create a sense of euphoria. Some men would walk miles in the follies looking for something they would never find, love. Then there were those who had stopped lying to themselves a long time ago, and embraced the role of sexual objectification with open arms, ass, mouth, and hard dick. You could tell who they were when they would enter the building they walked with an authority and determination as if they were running late for any important meeting. After finding their reserved gloryhole, corner, or other safe space, they proceed to strip and commence with whomever was around and willing. Often times if you looked up you would see a pile of clothes hanging from the chicken wire netting which covered all the booths, serving its purpose as makeshift clothes holder.
I never went that far, but none of the men who did were around my age, they were in varying shapes of health some thin and sick, others fat both which you could rationalize that they were doing this because they had no choice. But they were in the minority many of whom had become bold enough to strip and fully accept their man-made destiny were in shape, and attractive. Many seemed to be in their late 30’s early 40’s but it seemed that every other Black Queen in DC fit that description. A few times I had talked to them to find out how they had gotten to their current state, partly trying not to judge, for judging them would be a sense judging me, for I was there too and only a few actions, and a two decades removed from taking their place. Some had said they had given up on love or finding love, others had lovers and wives at home who knew what they were doing, while others rationalized their actions on an insatiable lust for sex. Some had even tattooed their desire on themselves, MANHOLE had come in with two of his white masters who would point to people and MANHOLE would take them in any orifice they wanted. I called him MANHOLE because he was barely dressed, a black leather jockstrap with the 8 inch capitalized MANHOLE on the small of his back, above his ass. The masters got off watching the power they had to make their nigger whore do whomever they wanted to no matter how he looked, smelled, or even if MANHOLE wanted. MANHOLE got off, by acknowledging the power that he had by manipulating these men into believing they had any real control and that it would all end whenever MANHOLE wanted. What united them all was a steel coldness in their eyes, the light of passion and joy, had been extinguished long ago. Maybe they had blown out that flame in order to keep someone else from stealing that light, or it had flickered and burned itself out for there was no more paraffin to keep it burning. I hated that look in their eyes for it seemed like I was looking into a mirror of myself in the future. Was I destined to become like them, fucking instead of love for everyone to see, giving up on someone loving me and in turn giving up on me loving me.
No, that’s why I’m on this date, I told me myself. The only way to find someone is to put you out there, get some skin in on the game. So I’m here and it’s now 9:40 pm. Drew said he’d be here by 9:30, I’ll give him 5 more minutes then I’m going back home.
All of a sudden I hear someone hastily walking up directly behind me, I turn around to hear. “I’m sorry I’m late, traffic was horrible, and I had to find parking too. Wow, you’re pictures don’t do you justice” I try to crack a smile and think of something nice to say, all I can think of is you are abundantly obese, where the fuck is the man in the pictures what did you do with him you fat bastard, did you digest him, this fat bitch is a liar and he’s late.
Instead I just do my best white people grin without showing teeth and say “Thank you, glad you made it”
Drew described himself as tall, dark brown, and with a football players build. He was right he was dark, and his football players build was that of an ex high school football just flabby. So as he talks about himself, and asks me what do I want to drink, and continuously talks about himself. I can’t help but think “Who does this fat fuck think I am? Does he realize that he’s not what he told he was?” Its not that he’s fat or rather not in shape, I’ve dated on the big side a few times, but it’s the fact that he lied, and so boldly I mean what the fuck will he do if I call his fat ass out and be like excuse me um, where is the nigga in the three photos, and you said your waist was 34, when was that?. If he’s lying about this then what else is he lying about-being single, hiv status, his name, what the hell else?
So as Drew, if that’s his real name excuses himself to go to the bathroom, I motion to the waiter that the fat fuck in the bathroom will be dining alone to night. I get my hoodie, zipper it up, and leave Kramer’s Books, straight home to Hyattsville via the Dupont Circle Metro station. All the time thinking, what till I tell Bookie about this one.