Friday, October 13, 2006

Clubland




It's funny how sensory recall works.

It's autumn in New York. That, alone, brings me many memories of certain times past and memories that cling to me, not to be shook off. The smell of damp ground and crisp dry leaves, the sight of dying grass and barren tree limbs illuminated by cold harsh bright October sunlight, the feel of the cold air on my naked scalp and in my sensitive nostrils. These three senses are strong enough to act as time machine; but the added sensation of the music of Kristine W. (who I have been listening to a LOT lately) combines to land me back in Tom's arms. I met him at the end of summer and the strongest and most emotional part of our relationship took place during the autumn months. The sun was, as today, bright, and the air icy; Kristine W. was the only music I listened to and Tom and I were, every day, together. It was three years ago--fall 2006. That is where the time machine has landed me today.

I'm more in love with my Pat than I have ever been.

Tom's man is visiting him from out of town next week.

We are, all of us, happy in our lives. That cannot be denied. I have no apologies and no regrets.

There are, though, memories...

THE STORY OF TOM


I was dancing on a box.

Maybe it’s a midlife crisis kind of thing. Maybe it was all those years of being overweight, overlooked and overcome with boredom but I was spending a lot of Saturday nights going to Roxy, taking drugs and dancing til the sun came up. Pat and I had discovered the party scene relatively late in our lives as gay men and although we did not go every weekend, we did go with a certain amount of regularity and we did enjoy ourselves—a lot. It’s a simple process: arrive after midnight but before one, take the drug of your choice, find a spot on the dance floor, take your shirt off and either dance or flirt or do something more salacious until either the drugs wear off or it is time to go home, whichever comes first. That is to say, that is the process for many people there. My own process included one other thing: finding a spot on the stage or on a box where I could dance and look at all the people and, yes, even be looked at myself. I don’t want to say that I am a good dancer and that people look at me when I am on the box—but if I said people looked at me because I am so hot, that would be more vain than the other. And untrue.

People look at me because I can dance.

I had been there a few hours and was having a great time with Pat and our friends, enjoying the music and whatever attention was paid to me, from time to time. The drugs that I take affect people in different ways—some it makes chatty, others it makes introspective, others it makes into a human pinball. It makes me want to find a spot under the mirror ball and dance. And dance, I do; for hours. It was late in the evening or early in the morning, I don’t know which, and I had reached that point. There I was. All alone. Dancing.

I was dancing on a box.

The drugs were waning but were still in my system. Between that and the thump thump thumping of the music and the flashing of the lights, it is a small miracle that I could see anything. The truth is, I wasn’t really looking to or for anything or anyone. As a matter of fact, I think I had my eyes closed most of the time.

Thank God I opened them.

There was box. I was on it. There was another box, a few feet away. There was a man on it. There were men on the dance floor beneath us. There was music and there was light, a lot of both in mind altering quantity. Through all of that activity and noise and blur, I saw the man. The man on the box. He was dancing. He was laughing. I never saw anyone dance this way, not one time, in my life. I was mesmerized. I could not take my eyes off of him. I dare not take my eyes off of him, lest he get off the box and I not be afforded the luxury of watching him dance, anymore. I continued to move on the box but I had stopped dancing. I needed my balance so that I could focus on him, through the flash of light. He looked at me. My heart jumped. He smiled. It jumped again. Instinctively, I began to move my hips, shake my head, flail my hands, along with him. He laughed. I laughed. We danced. We danced with each other, on our separate private boxes a few feet away from each other. We danced and flirted and strained to see each other in the mélange of activity. This lasted a good fifteen or twenty minutes until I could handle it no more. I reached out to him. He laughed and flirted with me. I reached out again. He laughed and smiled and beckoned me to his box.

I had been labouring for years under the handicap of being fat and bald and unattractive. I was not used to strangers flirting with me. I liked it and I was not going to let this chance escape. I leapt off of the box and was by his side in an exhale. He smiled and looked at me and kept dancing. Together, we danced and it was over.

I had fallen in love.

It had happened in under sixty seconds.

I spent an hour on that box. We danced like I have never danced in my life. I was so attracted by his energy, by his face, by his body. I was so attracted by his abandon. After awhile, I reached up and touched him. I put my hand on his sweaty smooth back and felt a shock. He did not pull away. I touched him with my other hand. He leaned back toward me. I slid my hands down his back. He leaned into me again. My hands were now encircling his waist and my fingers lacing so that I could feel what it was like to hold onto something so beautiful and alive. He did not speak. He did not stop dancing. He simply melded into me, as we became one, moving in time with the music. Never before have I had that experience. I will probably never have it again. It is frozen in my mind, in my heart, in the deepest reaches of my soul, for all eternity. Dance is such an important part of my life and while I have danced, and danced well, with some, with many in fact, I have never danced as two people as one. The fact that it happened, on this one occasion, has elevated my life to a joy of such extreme because I, now, know how it feels; it also levels it to a sadness of equal extreme because it was just that night. That night will never come again.

In my arms, after awhile, he slid his oiled body and gyrated so that we were face to face. I looked down into his smile, not his eyes, his smile. Eyes like his are dangerous but a smile filled with life and happiness is lethal. I was lost. Without speaking, without thinking, without moving, really, my mouth was on his mouth and his hands were on my body and this strong man, this survivor, this force of nature was lost. I became weak and, in that moment, I was no longer in control of my destiny. I was and will be, forever, his puppet. He had me in the palm of his hand. Once I had accepted that I was his, the rest was easy.

We danced.

We danced.

We danced.

That dance was a dance of our bodies, our spirits, our mouths, our souls. We did not speak, we only danced that dance. He was more drunk than I have ever been and I am a non practicing alcoholic. I was high on ecstasy. Whether we would remember this tomorrow was a mystery. I could not take that chance. Pat had been dancing by the side of the box, watching our dance with admiration and glee. He and I have, long, supported each others’ adventures but his have come easier to him; he has a personality and energy that attracts people to him for adventure, I do not—or did not, the jury is out on that one. He was, genuinely, happy that I was having this one and that I was enjoying it, so. I knew that I could count on him to help me out. I squatted down on the box to ask him if he had any of my business cards. He did not. I was disappointed. Ever the trouper, he disappeared. I stayed on my box with my box boy and, again, we melded into one another for what, I felt, was to be our last moments. It was getting late. Our friends were ready to go. Pat was ready to go. I wanted to stay. I wanted to stay and dance with this spark of life until dragged, forcibly, from the box, from the club and from his life, forever.

Then it happened.

In what was one of the most erotic moments of my life, the boy, whose shirt was off, allowing me to try to memorize something, anything about him so that I would recognize him, should we meet again (in my mind, I studied the post in his ear, the tribal band tattoo on his arm, the sunburst tattoo on his spine, the smile, the eyes, the face, the face, the face); the boy put his hand on my wrist, which had been next to his throat, for my hands were around his neck. He took my wrist and dragged my hand, slowly, slippery and sweaty, and sweetly down past his throat, down his chest, stubbly from his work with a beard trimmer, along his belly, to his waist, where his jeans were open and his zipper down, exposing his faded black underwear. There was a momentary pause, maybe for effect, maybe for caution, before he forced my hand beneath the rough denim and soft cotton and onto hard flesh. It was over.

I had to have him.

I don’t mean that I needed to have sex with him. I have had sex. I haven’t had as much as I want but I have had more than some. However, I have had years of rejection build up inside me to where my self esteem was irrepairable. I have had years of believing that I was not attractive, that I was only worth what people could get out of me. In one hour, a young and beautiful man with a truculent love of life had picked me out of a crowd, chosen me to dance with him, pulled me off of my box onto his, allowed me to touch him, to hold him, to kiss him and now he was initiating a physical act. It mattered not to me that we were both under the influence, all that mattered was that he had chosen me. I was attractive, to him; even drunk, he was attracted to me. That was enough for me.

The act had been started but that was all that there was.

My friends wanted to leave. I told him that. He said ok. I asked him his name. Tom. What do you do for a living, Tom? Graphic artist. We danced some more. We kissed some more. I thought I would die if I did not put him in my back pocket and take him home with me to be with me forever. I have to go, I said, my friends are leaving I said, I have to go, I said. Where do you live, he asked. On forty ninth street, I said, why, are you asking me to take you home, I said. No. I don’t do that. I’m with friends, I go home with them. Well that was the end of it. Or so I thought. For Pat was behind me with a piece of paper he had found and scribbled my name and profession, email and phone number on. I put it in the hurricane’s pocket, knowing I would never hear from him, knowing I would spend the rest of my life looking for him in crowds.
Off of the box, now, on the floor, we hugged and we kissed and we kissed and, again, he put my hand in his pants. Dying inside, I tried to please him, knowing that my friends were right behind me, ready to drag me away. It hardly seems possible but, yes, my heart was breaking and I could not stop it and I knew it was absurd because hearts do not break over a brief encounter in a disco. It was true, though; breaking. So I did what I believe one should do in that situation. Break, too. I took his head in my hands and pulled his mouth from mine and stood, looking into his face, trying to memorize it and showing, visibly, how enchanted I was by his visage, his smile, his ability to live. He laughed. I kissed him, I groaned and I walked, quickly, from the dance floor, out of the building and out of his life.

The preceding is an excerpt from a memoir I am writing (with Tom's permission). It is a piece of writing of which I am proud but it is all I am prepard to share, at this time....
SM

and, yes, I shot the photos of Tom.

3 Comments:

Blogger jungle dream pagoda said...

Thoe pictures are wonderful.

11:33 AM  
Blogger StephenMosher said...

What a nice compliment. Thank you my darling.

Wait til you see the pics I post when I do my tribute piece to my Pat.

xoxo!
ste

2:57 PM  
Anonymous annalisa said...

i felt like after reading this, i needed a cigarette and a napkin ;) good stuff and of course, beautiful pictures... can't wait to read the one on pat.

love you much!
a.

2:08 PM  

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