Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I took off Wednesday the week before I left for scattering school so as to hang with my friend T P the M, who was visiting from Hawaii. We went to the top of the Empire state building and then we saw Memphis on Broadway. Afterward we spent several hours in my apartment, trapped by rain. (as a native Oregonian, I'm a little ashamed to admit this)
Since I hadn't seen her in over three years, I replied in the affirmative when she invited me out again on Thursday night, this time to a Hooka bar. This was despite my extreme busyness, the late hour of the invitation (11 pm), and the high probability that the bar would be straight (gay specialty bars usually involve either leather or a piano/show tunes. Even New York doesn't have a gay/hooka loving demographic large enough to sustain a bar).
I only go to a bar about once every two months or so and I almost never go to straight bars. I immediately noticed some differences. For example, I was the only male in the bar who wasn't wearing a collared shirt. I'd like to insert a comment about how this demonstrates the straight world's deficient fashion sense... but I don't think my own fashion sense is at the level necessary to avoid the inevitable mean spirited remarks that would ensue in the comment section. Also, the music was extremely loud. Every once in awhile the DJ would turn it off so that patrons could fill in the words to the song. At these times every person was shouting along at the top of their lungs, but it still was quite peaceful by comparison. I was a little confused by this difference at first, but then I determined it's probably because it's difficult to 'feel the beat' to songs like 'My Favorite Things' from the Sound of Music. Other notable differences included how aggressive some of the guys were (which I guess is because women aren't as 'easy' as gay men, although I've never been able to take advantage of this myself) and the presence of female bartenders (hopefully self explanatory).
In fairness, I think I should probably get to the most notable difference of the evening, the difference whose brief mention in the blog title has kept you reading this far. Yes, I had my first straight kiss at the hooka bar. For those who don't know, it was about like you'd imagine, although with an unusual amount of smoke passing from her mouth to mine. I took it in turn, anyways. Who am I to judge straight customs. Gay culture has been around since the Greeks, and thus has reached a certain level of refinement. Although straight people themselves have been around for quite awhile, their culture didn't start to develop in any meaningful way until the 1930s, mostly as a backlash to Grant Wood's 'American Gothic'.