And we'll all be so much better off.
Get down on your knees and thank the Lord for the New York boys of Leather.
I sure do!
It was a terrible day in April, 2003, when leatherfolk in NYC awoke (at about 3 p.m.) with the knowledge that the night before, they had visited the LURE in the meatpacking district, closed to make way for a Hold Everything or a Belgian restaurant or something, for the last time. For awhile, we did our best to make the best of it at the NYC Eagle, but we were no match for the hordes of Chelsea Boys in flip-flops. There were just too many of them.
We stayed home. We surfed the net. We bitched and complained. All looked hopeless.
But then, just when we were all sure that leather in NYC was no more, and started to check out real estate in Fort Lauderdale and Palm Springs, bursting onto the scene, radiating enough boy-energy to power a midwestern city, came the New York boys of Leather.
No doubt the hoary heads and greybeards smiled indulgently: "That's nice. You boys go have a nice time. I'll be here alone in my studio apartment chatting with this guy in Minnesota on Manhunt."
But the boys perservered. And they prevailed.
Last night, at the 9th Avenue Saloon, there was an entire bar filled with men (and boys!) in gear. For awhile, I was talking to musicboy at the door, so I got to watch the guys come in out of the icy cold New York night. Ever see the face of a kid who is surprised with a real live pony on Christmas morning? Well, a reasonable facsimile flashed across the visage of everybody crossing the threshold of the 9th Avenue Saloon. The music was great. The testosterone was freshly brewed and liberally poured. Everybody came out of the woodwork: Master of Mirage! Stevie! JoeyRope! Moose! Rubbermannyc! RubberLarry! Leather Invasion Guy! Even a full member of the Chicago Hellfire Club and his boyfriend who had just flown in that day! And, of course, all of those hot New York boys of Leather. (Did you know that the boys of the New York boys of Leather are the hottest boys in the whole world? It's true! Ask anybody. They'll tell you.)
The parking deities were with me, and I found a space right at Hudson and Christopher that didn't require me to put it in four-wheel-drive and climb a snowbank. NYC was exhilarating last night. The night was cold and clear. At every corner, you either had to climb a mountain of ice or jump over a slush puddle wide as the Aral Sea. The bars and the streets were filled with green clad merry drunks. (I passed a group of young women, reeling down the sidewalk, and one of them called out to no one in particular, "Weeee! We're from Paramus, but we're in The Village!")
I took a cab Uptown, and as we sped along at a speed that would suggest I was about to deliver a baby, I remembered a cab ride years ago when I lived here when I discovered that my driver, who hailed from the Indian subcontinent, had never seen snow before that night, little less driven through it.
I got there just before eleven, earlier in the evening, and I was warmly greeted by the boys, several of whom I had just seen on Tuesday night when I joined them to see 300. Only the strong! Only the hard! There were, alas, no chocolate chip cookies offered, but there was an efficient coat check and your second drink free if you were wearing gear.
And the gear of the night was rubber, rather than leather. I don't own much in the way of rubber, and I have to admit that wuss that I am, I wouldn't have worn it anyway when the temperature was only 24° outside. All the familiar faces started to show up, and I busied myself catching up with guys I never see any more. Holding a conversation, or just having intelligible words and phrases come out of my mouth, was made especially difficult by the august assembly of the hottest men I've seen in a long, long time. (Perhaps since the last NYboL LOAD party I attended?)
But one man in particular stood out. He was a bruiser with a buzzcut and some amazing ink, his compact body encased in neoprene. When I first laid eyes on him, some verrrry Not Lent Appropriate words came out of my mouth. (I won't compound the sin by repeating them here.)
Let's just say he rocked the house.
The night went on, the energy building and building. But then, I saw by my watch that it was time for me to go (church the next morning!), so I said my goodbyes and headed for the coatcheck. And there was hot inked guy.
And he spoke to me.
I was right there with a suave come-on line, of course. Something along the lines of: "Humminna-humminna-humminna gi-gi-gi-gllllluhhh... uhhhh... ummmm... Hi!"
We chatted for a bit. I knew of him, but I had never met him before. And a while back, we had exchanged messages on worldleathermen.
He expressed the hope that our paths cross again, and soon, and I said I was planning on coming back up to NYC for the co-branded NYboL/MetroBears party at the Dug Out next Friday night. (I am? I mean, I am!) And he said, "I'll see you there."
Heading out into the night, I picked up a copy of the Sunday Times and headed back to my car and started for home. As I made the right turn from Washington Street onto Houston to get to the Holland Tunnel, I ran into an NYPD Happy St. Patrick's Day Sobriety Checkpoint. I pulled over, and one of New York's Finest shined a flashlight in my eyes and said, "'Evening, Sir! Been drinking tonight?"
I briefly considered answering, "Officer, I am inebriate! Tonight I drank deep from the potent springs of romantic possibilities!" but confined my reply to, "Just Red Bull, Officer!"
The drive west on I-78 flew by, sped along by all the vivid imaginings that could be filed under the heading of "What I'd Like To Do To That Hot Man With The Great Ink."
So, y'know, as you can see, Great Night!
Thanks New York boys of Leather! You've done it again!