Sunday, April 10, 2005

The cat walking on the newspaper

I met up with Reality Man today. I also told him about this blog, so if you're reading, hi! You know who you are.

It was a gorgeous day in New York, so I walked through Central Park before heading downtown. I passed a mother explaining life to her two young sons as she pushed a stroller along the path:

Mother (calmly): "Well, if you go where I can't see you, then you might be in danger."

"Oh, COOL! What kind of danger?"

"Just don't do it. And stop hitting your brother."

I headed downtown, and walked out to Chelsea Piers, dodging the bicyclists and skaters. I looked out over the Hudson River; suddenly an enormous cruise ship appeared, the Norwegian Dawn. I can't believe the river is deep enough that a huge craft like that can fit. It looked like a ten-story building.

I've always wanted to take a cruise, but I don't know if the experience of being packed into a floating hotel with a thousand revelers who are dying to get in line at the buffet and then get plastered is really right for me. I suppose I would take one of those cruises where they provide educational lectures on the indigenous flora and fauna, and everyone is busy birdwatching or dolphinspotting. Then maybe I would be first in line at the buffet.

Reality Man had suggested we meet at the Eagle; I'd never been there, so why the hell not. The Eagle was a legendary leather bar, recently reopened in a new location, far west among car lots and industrial buildings. The main floor was dark, with concrete floors and walls lined with chain link fencing. It was still light out, being about five-ish, so we went to the roof deck.

I haven't been to a gay bar in forever, so it was an interesting experience. It wasn't full-on leather time, although some of the guys there clearly have wardrobes full of chaps and straps and all that sort of thing. It was mostly an assortment of nice, regular-looking guys, with some muscle-types mixed in. Tattoos. Crewcuts. And me, the nice guy in glasses who had at least remembered to wear jeans (you can be barred for showing up in khakis.) So it was like going to a barbecue on somebody's patio, if that somebody knew a lot of very, very beefy men.

Reality Man looks great, and had some great stories to share about his tenure on the Mad Makeover show. He's much happier at his new television job, where no irate producers throw things while in the midst of steroid-induced rages. He's still looking forward to the day when he can work in development, and get his own series produced. He's been working on it almost since I've known him - it could be the next step past Queer as Folk and Six Feet Under.

Of course, I want him to get his series picked up so that I can beg him for a job as a staff writer. We all have our dreams.

We talked about old times, we talked about what we're both doing now; we've both progressed in our careers and seem to be on the right path, although after each achievement there's always another goal to aim for. We talked about whether or not one can really change, after therapy, increased self-awareness, and good (or bad) relationships. We can strive to be better, but maybe we are always just the same people we always have been. Maybe we only become more essentially ourselves.

Reality Man reminded me how I had once described his admittedly needy behavior to him: you know how, if you have a cat and you're trying to read the newspaper, the cat will just walk right onto the newspaper. The cat thought you might have been paying attention to something else; THAT kind of behavior has to stop. Reality Man, at times, was the cat walking on the newspaper. "Hi! Look at me! Were you reading that? Stop it!"

But he knows he's the cat on the newspaper; he is also the little brother holding his finger a micron away from you, saying "I'm not touching you! I'm not touching you!"

He is not afraid to demand love and attention, which is a great thing. He's always meeting men - I know that one of them, one of these days, is going to be fully worthy of Reality Man. The cat will find the person who will put down the freakin' newspaper and lavish some love on the cat.

After talking for an hour and a half, the breezy deck was getting a little chilly, so we left the Eagle. Thus ended my leather bar experience. We walked back through Chelsea, where we hugged and said goodbye. I had to head to school to oversee a student rehearsal; as I walked, I thought about the fact that all sorts of people from my past have been popping out of the woodwork - not just exes. People I've worked with in the past have tracked down my e-mail and dropped me a line - showing up after years. It must be something in the air, or the planets, or that it's spring.

Or maybe they've heard I've got this blog, and are worried that they'll be next to be written about. Oh, yes, I've got a list.

Who's next?


Blogger David said...

Molly Banter!

5:27 AM  
Blogger David said...

Hm. According to my parents, the Royal Caribbean cruise line does not have a buffet - you sit at the same table every meal (if you choose to use the dining room instead of room service) with the same people and the same waiter for the entire cruise. And the rest of the time, people leave you alone - the boat's big enough that you don't have to deal with people if you don't want to.

Those boats hold hundreds, if not thousands. People wouldn't *go* on cruises if there was a neverending buffet line ... would they?

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chicken Man,
I love you. You wrote a song about me and now 2 entries in the blog. Yes, it's me, Reality Man, the cat on the newspaper, the queen with the "o" The She Talker. I'm happy that the planets brought us together oh so many years ago and that we still maintain a friendship. Of course you'll always have a place in my life and who ever gets discovered first will drag the other one with. I just want your readers to know....Last night not only did i get the "o" and the "v" I also got the "e". As we parted we both said the "L" word to each other and i can't tell you how much it means to me, that you really mean it. You're an amazingly talented man who has the uncanny ability of pointing out my little "quirks" with humor and a velvet glove. If not for that I would have scratched your eyes out!

10:38 AM  
Blogger Zenchick said...

funny, I've had people from my past coming out of the woodwork lately, albeit randomly.
But none of them know I have a blog...

7:55 PM  
Blogger Crash said...

"I would take one of those cruises where they provide educational lectures on the indigenous flora and fauna"

I'm pretty sure that cruise ship flora and fauna isn't indigenous.

And in response to David's comment, I went on a cruise that had table service and buffets. They served seven meals a day; three table service and four buffet. It was awesome.

11:09 AM  
Blogger buff said...

Please share. Great blog by the way. WOOF

5:04 AM  

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