My friend hunched over someone’s iPhone. “Drag Queen Fight Dinner Theater,” he said, and laughed. I thought maybe they were watching another La Fuente brawl video. I haven’t been to La Fuente since I ordered an enchilada and got a sauce-drizzled lukewarm tortilla wrapped around dry, unmelted, shredded cheese. I was not drunk, so this was not tasty. But when I was there awhile back I watched one queen push another hard enough to fall — which isn’t saying much as they were both wearing heels taller than mine.
He started naming other places. “Babycakes. Church of the Holy Tank Top.” They were looking at a map of Hillcrest. “Let me see,” I edged in, close.
“Gossip Gril is Vagina Stronghold?” I said, unimpressed. “More like where I go to remember I hate lesbians and cigarettes.” My friend replied, “That’s where I go to remember I love lesbians and cigarettes.” I laughed.
Cursory stalking suggests Raanan Rosenfeld is indeed a gay man, which might explain this marker on the map he created. I’ve noticed that the kinds of gay men I meet at bars (read: soused) get this mentality of women as walking breasts and vaginas. This is not unlike the inebriated straight men I meet. Though while both groups are thinking, “Yay boobs; omigod I love boobs,” the former either say or imply eww in the direction of my genitals. Once, at Flick’s, a man cooed at me. “Oooooh,” he palmed my crotch, “What chu got down there, honey?” I made this face:
I think he assumed I was straight, so in his mind I deserved a bit of light harassing for coming into his boy bar. I’ve noticed gay men like to test people who enter LGBT spaces. I’ve watched many a straight man be forced to play gay chicken. It’s amusing when it’s not me. Misdirected passive-aggressiveness aside, I love these dens of sin.
Rosenfeld totally missed #1 on Fifth, and I think “Mama Testa. Perverted Tacos.” is a bit of an intellectual shortcut. Still I have to agree with “Shitshow Strip.” So please check out his graphic designer page and be nice and stuff. I am well familiar with that strip of street and its jumbled boozy bodies – and the shouts of, “woo, party!”
My dog died this week, so I looked forward to “Ruining” my “Thursday Morning.” Not to say that I drink to grieve… Monday night Katelyn asked if I’d like to drink and I sullenly replied, “No. I don’t drink to deal with my problems. I drink to give myself problems.”
But by Wednesday I knew it was time for a Gay Gambit. First, go to Gossip Grill and stew in the haze of cigarettes on a cramped ribbon of patio. The trick is to order your drink first, then pass the token to a friend. If you order both drinks at the start, you’ll end up with two tall beers and two bright tokens. Then you’re trapped in a sapphic sardine tin for two drinks instead of just one.
Then graduate to Flick’s, where wells are $2 each. They’re plastic cocktails, so double-fist. I tip on every drink, and by the end of the night when I’m expecting a flimsy screwdriver the bartender hands me a real glass, complete with cherry. I end up over-drinking. Sometimes it hurts your liver to be a regular.
Finally, the gambit ends at Rich’s. It’s the only Rich’s night without cover. I walk the club, determined to prove I am still in control, still able to march without stumbling. Everyone around me is dancing-off the cheap booze they drank for Welfare Wednesday. I think I drank too much, because I woke up in bed at 6am still wearing my jacket and purse…