Saturday, March 13, 2021

Hey! You! Get Out of My Way! Enter The Ninth Circle Part 8

All night long Brian is on me like white on rice. Peter Pan’s shadow spent less time attached to Peter than Brian does to me. The longer the night gets, the drunker Brian gets. He starts slurring, “You’
re so hot,” which ends up sounding like, “Er so snot.” I am constantly removing his hands from me.

I am very busy all night long trying to get people served and trying to learn all their names. It is the strangest mix of people I have ever seen: everybody from the homeless to Wall Street traders and everyone in between. They are all there under one roof. It takes me about twenty minutes to realize that I am indeed working in a hustler bar. Young twinky boys are hanging off old men, acting like they had the money of Leona Helmsley when they order their drinks. Every now and then someone snaps their fingers to get my attention. The place is so loud you could bang a gong to get my attention and I still wouldn’t hear you.

I found that tonight, I was actually having a blast! I was loving every minute of being here. I have always had friends from every spectrum and corner of life and to have them all in one room was wonderful. It was one of the very reasons I moved to New York. 


Two of my favorite customers tonight are clearly hustlers. Their names are Dennis and Scott. Dennis is tripping his brains out on LSD and Scott is dressed somewhere between a Nazi guard and a German youth. He is wearing black knee boots, a white shirt, long tan trench coat, and he sports an Arian youth haircut. Tucked under his arm he holds a riding crop. He snaps the crop on my ass to get my attention. “Oh, Boy,” he calls, waving his crop at the table, “How long do I have to wait to get served?” My reaction is not what he expects. I burst into laughter and Dennis, tripping his brains out next to him, giggles along with me.

I introduce myself to the two of them. Scott extends his hand as if I am helping him out of a hansom cab and Dennis just stands up and wanders away. Scott goes on to tell me that he and Dennis had just picked up an old man who was blind drunk at another bar, caught a cab and headed to “their apartment” in Harlem. When they got there they took the guy’s wallet and pushed him out of the cab. The cab driver then sped off and Scott and Dennis split the money they stole with the driver. To celebrate what they did they headed here. “The funny thing is,” Scott says as if it’s an important point to his story, “
I dont even live in Harlem!

I don’t know what to do or say when I hear this. I am both shocked and again, intrigued. I have never heard or seen anything like this. Of course, stuff gets weird at Uncle Charlie’s, too, but this takes things to another level. Scott reaches into his pocket and pulls out a wad of bills. “Two vodka-and-sodas with a twist,” Scott says, throwing the money on my tray. “Coming right up,” I cheerfully respond. “Beware of that one.” Don says, pointing to Scott when I return to the bar. “Way ahead of you,” I respond.


Although I didn’t know it yet, this is also the night I will meet my long-term friend Mitch. I am standing at the end of the bar when I feel a tap-tap-tap on my shoulder. I turn around to find this short, zaftig, and very blond kid standing there. He is listing from foot to foot, a huge grin on his face. 


“Hi, you’re new,” he says to me; his eyes are slits. “You’re very cute and I love you.” With that Mitch pitches backwards taking three bar stools with him and hits the floor. “You’re making quite an impression,” Don says to me with a laugh.

Then the buzzer starts going off………….. BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ………., BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Don looks at the buzzer, then looks at me. “Sorry, Geoff,” Don says, “Welcome to your baptism by fire.”

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