Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Hizoner Pride

Hizoner Pride
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

(Original Photo by Scott Wintrow/Getty Images; manipulation by me)

Brain-Picking, Mind-Blowing and Just Getting Drunk
(Hanging with Hizoner at Gracie Mansion or
“A Married Woman and A Thousand Gay Men”)

Last night I attended a little soiree with one married woman and a thousand gay men at Gracie Mansion. Mike, Mayor Bloomberg, was hosting the annual reception in honor of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.

Albeit, I really didn’t qualify, I had been invited courtesy of my friend Josh Sparber, who was the star DJ for the event. Josh had also invited me to his regular party gig he spins for on Sunday nights called “Bootycall” at Cock, a well-known gay bar on the Lower East Side.

Alas, I couldn’t attend this last time because I had to be in the office at 7 AM on Monday. Besides, being straight-and-all, Josh thought I might be pushing my luck a little, despite my penchant for new and enlightening experiences.

On a whim, I invited “The Mrs” to join me at the Mansion. But this was not my estranged wife-Mrs. though. This was a different madame, señora, bella donna—a marital status that was unbeknownst to me until her confession sort of just slipped out after our second of the good dozen or so beers that were to ultimately be shared between us last night.

It should be no surprise that subsequently, over the evening, other secrets spilled forth as well. Alas, it was nothing too juicy though, nothing so salacious that I’d want to write about here…No, most of it was mere standard human indiscretionary stuff, petty trespasses, the kind of bad behavior that is easily exorcised by a trip to the confessional or readily excused after a couple of beers on the back lawn of the mayor’s mansion.

Anyway, the evening started off rather well with a little smoke on the promenade running between the JFK Drive and the East River.

We had met at the entrance where a good dozen men-in-black patrolled and greeted the party revelers. Thus, immediately, I knew I had to “get rid of something” first, rather than risk having my bag searched and then being taken in for possession. My instant-new friend knew exactly what I was talking about, especially since she had smoked a little right before coming down to meet me for the first time.

Oddly enough, it was only the day before that we had exchanged mutually complimentary comments via flickr and had decided to meet. She had written a note stating “I’d love to pick your brain—or just get you drunk.” How could I refuse such a wonderful invitation? It so happens that brain-picking and just getting drunk are two of my favorite pastimes.

Thus, we met, immediately realized that we had other vices in common, and after I slipped my little plastic bag into a flowerbed along the walkway outside the Mayor’s Mansion, we jovially passed the patrolmen and stood in the registration line.

Lo and behold they couldn’t find my name on the list though. I mumbled Josh’s name and struggled to remember, and then pronounce his last name. I was getting more paranoid by the second, especially since they had already written down my name and taken my driver’s license number as an ID. They called over someone with an earplug and one of those little tell-tale spiraling translucent wires coming out of her ear (“Uh, you’re not fooling anyone with that thing honey...”). She looked very serious, and almost concerned, which was beginning to make me feel like we should start running.

Regardless, we remained calm. And albeit my name wasn’t on the formal list after all, a call was made via a walkie-talkie and we were immediately given two blue security passes, and directed to get in line for the metal detector and x-ray machine. “Wheh,” I thought, “that was close.”

The event was being held outside on the lawn and there was a number of grills billowing blue smoke in the distance. Along with a couple of buffet tables with a smorgasbord of grilled vegetables, lightly dressed mesculin, jalepeño corn bread, smoked pork and beans, risotto and fresh cut watermelon, there were open bars everywhere. My guest and I immediately honed in and took our first swig together. “Here’s to spontaneity, mischief and our new found friendship.”

We stopped by to see Josh who was spinning Amy Winehouse, which happened to be my friend’s new favorite diva, and so it served as an instant-bond between the mix-master and the missus.

Slowly, we made our rounds to each bar for the free Brooklyn Lager and Ale that was being served. After my second, I began feeling extraordinarily high-and-mighty and began to push buttons and boundaries, if only in the name of fun.

In turn, a flirtatious flurry of innuendos and insinuations swooned forth, and soon thereafter a permanent smile was affixed to my friend’s face, at least for the remainder of the evening.

Albeit we had barely met all but an hour before, seemingly we were on the fast-track to genuine friendship and thoroughly enjoying each other’s company. It is always comforting to meet someone and just rely on your intuition in order to cut to the chase and abscond all the bullshit of getting to know each other.

At one point, she turned to me and asked “I’m not going to be featured on your ‘blog’ tomorrow am I?” Surprised, my knee-jerk reaction was to say “No, of course not.” But then after a moment, I realized what she was really saying was “You better mention me in your blog tomorrow...”

You see, I rarely understand women the first time around, because straight men, for the most part, speak as they think—we are simple creatures. There is no cloaking, no subtlety, no layers, or no attempt at finesse and consideration for the feelings of others.

After realizing this, I threatened, “Well, at least I won’t mention you as long as you behave yourself. Make it worth my wile, and then, maybe, you’ll get a mention…”

Anyway, apart from entertaining ourselves with whispered words about our own frailties as merely-humans and thus our own inclinations to err and go awry, we also had some fun discussing the happy crowd that mingled about us.

Most were seemingly in disguise, because although most did indeed befit the stereotype of the gay man (i.e. good looking, fit, well dressed and well groomed), hardly anyone was wearing anything “fun” —no flash, no flaming outfits, no bright and shiny. In fact, there were only a few who wore their colors on the outside (i.e. Mr. Bowie look-alike with the light purple two-piece and the fella with the pants with a print of various impressionists paintings.)

I suggested we walk around and find those whom we individually found to be the “best looking” of the bunch. I immediately confessed that I had a thing for, ala Richard Gere, the “jacket-sporting, no-tie, older man with perfectly wind-swept coif of silver hair.” I immediately spotted two of them. My enchantment though wasn’t one of attraction, so much as envy, for I’ve long fantasized that I might be fortunate enough to ease into old age as such—debonair, suave, and simply, still nice to look at. Not that I’m complaining or anything, but, alas, I’ll be forty in a few months, and I’ve got all but four or five grey hairs. So my glamorous sunsetting is seemingly somewhere far off upon the horizon.

An hour into the evening an announcement was made that Hizoner (New Yorker for “His Honor”, the traditional moniker for the honorable mayor at the helm) was going to make his welcoming remarks.

After Project Runway star Tim Gunn introduced him as the “best-dressed mayor”, Mike Bloomberg admitted that he was once told he was “More LGTB, which stands for ‘Lovely and Glamorous Term-Limited Billionaire,’ than LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender).”

Apart from the standard ice-breaking humor, Mayor Bloomberg announced that for the first time in city history, “domestic partner” coverage will be universally available to all businesses – including city vendors—large and small. This was met with a loud and thundering applause.

Immediately thereafter, Hizoner explained that we were going to have some fun now by holding a whimiscial version of Project Runway, except that it would be called "Project Bloomway."

Apparently, a handful of people had been hand-picked from the horde of well-dressed guests and they were to strut their stuff along the cat-walk that stretched out perpendicularly from the main stage and into the middle of the crowd, much like a big penis.

Mister Gunn, Mayor Bloomberg and Council Speaker Christine Quinn were then to jovially judge the acquiesing contestants, which happened to include First Deputy Mayor Patti Harris. Mike explained that they were competing for prizes that included:

— A calendar featuring New York City’s firefighters
— An offical WNBA basketball
— A glossy photo of Angelina Jolie
— As well as former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey’s book, Confession

Mike joked that Deputy Mayor Harris should defintely get the Angelina Jolie photo, if only so that he could steal it.

At this point my companion and I sat down on a bright picnic bench (they came in an array of different colors including yellow, orange and red) and I asked her “Apart from the fact that I am one of the few men here chumming up next to a pretty woman, do you think that they can tell that I am a bastard ‘hetero’?”

Ironically, at that very moment two rather fat guys passed directly in front of us. The Mrs. and I looked at each other, and agreed that they were likely detectives on security detail. For not only were they overweight, dressed rather slovenly and a bit gruff looking, but they walked lopping from side to side, much like five-hundred pound gorillas.

The contrast between these two bullies and the rest of the fellas—whose shirts were all perfectly tucked in and cut-to-fit, whose ties all had perfectly centered divots, and who, apart from the coupled senior citizens, all apparently went to the gym quite regularly—the dichotomy threw us off track a bit, and so we merely concluded that I seemingly fell somewhere in between.

At that point, it began raining, and so we went inside the tent and sat on the catwalk. Taking a sip of my fourth or fifth cup of ale, I leaned over and slurred, “This is when everyone takes off their clothes off and it becomes one big wet orgy.” She laughed, I smiled and took another sip before getting up to get us some more of the complimentary beverages.

Having hydrated ourselves for a good hour and half now, we agreed that it was time to drain the pipes and went off in search of the loo. To our surprise, if not shock and awe, we discovered that they had set up two rows of port-a-potties in the back, behind the bushes. As we parted, I sympathized with her horrified look on her face. After we met again back under the canopy I asked her if the experience had traumatized her; because I understood that at least I could stand—I could only imagine what she had to go through.

She admitted that she almost wanted to wait until she got back home. Alas, her bladder thought otherwise, and so she merely assiduously applied “layers upon layers.”

Now running on empty, we immediately strode across the grass to the first bar that came in sight. We were told, “Sorry, bar closed,” but convinced the server to serve us one more nonetheless, and allthemore. He also informed us that the bars were still open under the tent, where we eventually went and downed a couple of more, before we decided it was time to leave.

Being that we were getting along so well, neither of us wanted this inaugural rendezvous to end so quickly, so she asked me if I wanted to come over and try something that would “Blow your mind.” But first she had to call her man and get his ass off the couch, where he was likely sleeping.

Disclaimer: this is where I fatuously proclaim that this shameless soliloquy is merely a figment of my imagination, pure fiction. Believe it or not.

Thus, as life is often stranger than fiction, I happily accepted the invitation and we hurriedly walked west a few blocks to her apartment.

Once inside, we took off our shoes, and sunk into the sofa that was right in front of their brand new 60” flat-panel TV.

After interrupting our conversation to inhale, it continued as it had been—undulating to and fro, rolling along, our minds naked and lolling over hillsides that were redolent with fresh spring flowers and wind-swept blades of tall wet grass.

At one point she got up to check on Chuck or Bob or John or Bill, whatever his name was, who was slumbering in the other room.

Strangely enough, the last time, all but four days earlier, I had a slightly-inebriated and long-conversation with a married woman in the middle of a humid and almost late-afternoon, her husband also happened to be sleeping in the next room. What is it with these guys?

When she returned a moment later, she declared that we were running downstairs to the market to grab a Dr. Pepper. In addition, I got a soy chai Odawala, which apparently the missus had never heard of, and immediately thought that it was rather unbecoming and unmanly of me.

When we returned we sat down to watch a bit of redeeming World Fighting Federation, which I had never seen before, but which, apparently, she had been watching for years.

I found the show to be shockingly brutal, grotesquely primordial. But then again, I had watched Family Guy for the first time a few weeks ago at another friend’s home—another person who also happened to be a self-proclaimed pothead—and I had found the content of this popular primetime cartoon to be quite shocking as well.

The first fight lasted all but 40 seconds or so, before one of the fighters fell while the other hammered a fist directly into his windpipe, then planted another into his chin and swiped a third punch into his cheek before the referee pushed the victor away. Watching this “blew my mind” away far more than being under the influence of my host’s hospitality.

In response to my obvious traumatization, she kept telling me “He’s alright, he’s alright. I’ve been watching this for years now, and they’re always okay afterwards.”

Despite her reassurances I still found it difficult to suspend my disbelief. “He sure doesn’t look alright,” I told her, as they replayed those deadly punches at least half a dozen times more. In fact, quite honestly, he looked quite comatose.

At this moment, I was beginning to feel afraid of what slept in the other room... And suddenly, subsequent thoughts of what if "She brings 'em home, and he eats them for dinner," made me more sober than ever.

Thank goodness the phone soon rang thereafter. It was my host’s best friend, the sweet-sounding Olivia, who I chatted with briefly before bidding farewell and heading home.

Oddly enough, all but a few words into this spontaneous conversation with Olivia, I declared, “You’re a Pisces aren’t you?” She silently paused in shock and asked, “How did you know?”

“Oh, I know,” I told her, “I know your kind all too well.” Of all the signs that supposedly guide our destiny, there was one that resonated in me more than any other. Really, I’ve never been wrong about it before. It is an uncanny feeling that I get each time, similar, but far more stronger than the one I feel whenever I meet a fellow Scorpio-Sagittarius, ala my new friend, the missus, who was sitting, half-baked, on the couch next to me.


Ironically, my own ex-missus asked me over the phone the next morning, “So did you have a good time last night. How was your date?” I answered pleading complete innocence, as I had not at all mentioned any plans.

Apparently, the damned emergency “call-my boys-at home” only phone had switched on as it jostled in my bag and called her, right as I met my new friend outside of Gracie Mansion.

The old wifey-poo told me that apparently I only laughed hysterically at my own jokes, and merely chuckled whenever my friend said something. I told her in reply, “Well, I can’t help it, I guess I’m just pretty damned funny sometimes.”

Just as is life is pretty damned funny, sometimes.

Other Tales of Drinkin’, Depravity & Debauchery:

A Touch of Evil

In the Blink of An Eye

This Diurnal Yearning

Three, Things I Like

Brain-Picking, Mind-Blowing and Just Getting Drunk
(Hanging with Hizoner at Gracie Mansion or
“A Married Woman and A Thousand Gay Men”)

Half-Crazy Wild Women

Being The More Richly Endowed, More Varied Man

Love, Lust and Other Things

The Lush Life

Having A Drink

Living The Lush Life

Vanity Fare
(Series of drunk self portraits taken after a black tie dinner)

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