I turned 32 sometime last evening in a club on the westside of Manhattan and it was a beautiful and fun evening. I went with some friends who love to dance. It was inspiring to see some of their dance moves, their joy in movement. I drank various vodka drinks, smoked cigarettes, and danced and danced. The main room at Westgay seemed to have barely functioning air conditioning. The air was thick. Sex seemed more in reach. Bodies glistened with sweat. I would dance in this humid room until it became too much and then would go dance in the backroom which was nice and cool, but only for a little while before again longing for whatever effects heat produces in gay men packed into a room together.
At some point, I was waiting in the bathroom line, playing on my phone. The guy ahead of me, unprompted, told me that we could share the bathroom, that I could pee because he just needed the bathroom to do a bump. While I was peeing, he asked me if I wanted a bump. I said yes.
I talked to some boy about fades and about the pros and cons of various barbershops. He was really cute and I don't remember his name. There was another boy I was staring at all night, hoping to talk to, and opportunities seemed to continually elude me. He was wearing a sleeveless denim jacket. I was finally about to talk to him but got sideswiped by his friend he was with who started talking to me about my tattoo, mentioning Leaves of Grass. I was looking past this guy talking to me about Whitman, to lost opportunities, to his friend walking away.
I put singles in the jockstraps of the go-go boys, let my hands slide down their thighs after placing the money in their waistbands. Shudders travelled from my hands through my arms and down the length of my body, a pleasure brought about by physical contact, brief as it was, with a desired body.
I made out with some guy who had just moved here from Columbia, somewhere along the coast. He lived near me, off my subway stop. It seemed like we were going to go home together, the night having reached that point in which the people looking for sex were now grabbing what they could before the club cleared out. He told me he was going to go pee and to wait for him. I told him I would be right back, that I was just going to go smoke a cigarette outside. Outside though, I did not light a cigarette. I hopped in a cab, not necessarily wanting that boy, or any boy really, not wanting anything other than my own company. The cab driver knew the intersection I told him I wanted to be dropped off at in Bushwick and did not need me to give him directions. I took this a great sign.
Dropped off on my block, I stood for a long while in front of my building and watched the clouds emerge from over the roofs across the street and pass quickly overhead, the speed with which this world spins very obvious to me in that moment.