Oh yeah. Rum.

“You can ask me my own name!” he said looking somewhat amused but with a tint of frustration.
All I could think was “ooooo it’s time to go.”

Rewind a few hours to me sitting at the computer at my aunt’s house typing to my friend Allen.
Allen wanted me to accompany him to a local gayborhood bar called “Our Place”.
Allen called me.
“Come on! you’ll love it, even {the pastor of the local gay church, no longer MCC} goes there,” he said. “It’s really laid back and I promise you wont run into anyone you don’t want.”
I picked at my fingernails obsessively, maybe I should cut them.. “I dont know Allen, you know I don’t like bars and such, besides i’m such a light-weight that i couldnt possibly have a drink and be able to drive home.”
Allen let out one of his exasperated southern-woman sighs,”Trust me, it’ll be fine.”
A few minutes later i found myself traveling to said bar only on the promise that there wasn’t a cover to get in.
I’m cheap.
I’m broke.
I’m not sure how those two things happen at the same time, but they do.

I found myself outside with Allen as he sucked down a cocktail, then a cigarette followed by another cocktail. I’m not sure how he got another cocktail, but I suspected he may have stolen it from someone who was sitting near by.
“Over there is the hooker motel,” he said matter-of-factly. “Everybody knows it, but its just one of those things.. ya know?”
A young looking guy trotted over from the parking lot and slipped underneath the ropes that cordoned off the “smoking area”. “Look at that bitch walkin in here like she works here!” Allen said a little louder than I’m sure he meant to.
Allen took another drag from his cigarette and looked over at me “you really should go to church,” he said as he sipped his cocktail. “It’s really inspirational. Hell, I knew when I went in there the first time and got seated by a drag queen usher that Jesus was at this church.”
Allen deepened his voice and imitated a gravely voice “Welcome to church, honey, here’s your seat.”

We ventured inside and Allen ordered a drink for me (Rum and coke) and we took our place at a table and proceeded to talk about our lives and people we saw. It was very sex-and-the-city.

I noticed my friend John walking up with his boyfriend (?) all arrayed in a suit and looking very swankified. (thats my word, but I give you permission to use it). His boyfriend looked Latino, possibly greek or Mediterranean. A very exotic looking fellow, rather attractive. But then, thats a prerequisite for bagging the Prom King, I suppose.
John was just coming back from a triumphant win as Prom King at a gay prom that benefited the Birmingham Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. He was elated and I was happy for him.

I knew I should have just kept my mouth shut because I could feel the rum coursing through my body and my mind packing for a short vacation. But I didnt.

I came over to the table where John and his new Beau sat with their lesbians and a drag queen. Excuse me, “Female Impersonator”.
We chatted about this and that, about who showed up to the prom in drag, who danced with whom (or is it whom danced with who?). I looked down at my watch to check the time, and realized I wasn’t wearing a watch. I never wear a watch. Why the hell am I staring at my wrist so intently? I wonder if that spot is skin cancer.

Oh, yeah. Rum.

At this point, my brain phoned in “hey Zach, just a little reminder, you’re not as drunk as you think you are, so just down that glass of ice water and lets head home ok?”

I looked over at Allen, who was discussing how the drag queens dress looked like something some actress wore in some movie.
“I think I’m going to head home,” I told my mouth to say. “I’m outta here, bitch” is what came out.
I hugged John and congratulated him on his Prom Kingdom amd gave his boyfriend a hug, when I realized I didnt know his name.
What on in my brain was this: You should reprimand John for not introducing you to his new man and therefore garner an introduction.
What happened was different.
“Oh this is your new man huh?” I said. “What’s his name?”
“This is Brompton” said John.
At that point I was pulled around by Brompton “You can ask me my own name!” he said.
Warning Zach! Warning! angry homosexual thinks you’re a racist! And disrespectful! Run!
“That’s not what I meant..” I stammered. John seemed ammused by the whole incident and maybe Brompton wasnt as pissed off as I thought.
I tried to smooth it over with some compliments and congratulations and backed slowly toward the door.

This is why I don’t go to bars and drink.
Because I don’t wear a watch.
And I never know when to shut up.

I still should get that spot checked out, even though it’s just a freckle.

  • http://cranialhyperossification.com GDad

    I’m glad you know when to call it a night.

    Also, I *think* “swankified” was used in the musical Wicked.