Last spring, one of my buddy Mark's sons was visiting New York and we took him to the auto show at Javitz Center. Mark didn't come out until his mid-40's, after ending a marriage of over 20 years, a marriage that yielded two sons, two sons that have yielded, to date, two grandchildren. After divorcing his wife, Mark moved to New York City and dove headfirst into the leather scene, becoming well known and liked in the bars.
Mark has made peace with one of his sons, Corey, the one we took to the auto show. It's a peace based on an agreement that there would be no more secrets, that Mark would be completely open about his new life. So it felt kind of natural that when we wanted to go for a drink after the auto show, the Eagle would be our destination. Now, over the years, I've met plenty of "Daddies" and "boys" at the Eagle, but I'd never walked in the door with an actual Daddy and his literal boy. I felt like the entire bar was looking at us.
Mark, being the popular guy that he is, waded into the crowd hugging and back-slapping friends, while Corey and I trailed behind. I watched Corey's eyes dart around the room, taking in the erotic artwork, the rough-looking tattoed bartenders, the hairy muscular shirtless men with their arms draped around each other. I watched Corey take in the scene, his first moments ever in any gay bar, and I thought to myself, "Wow, talk about throwing this poor straight kid in the deep end, taking him to the Eagle with his own father."
We all moved to the far end of the bar and took up position under the DJ booth, while Mark secured us drinks at the bar. That's when I saw Corey's head tilt up towards the television over the bar. Following his gaze, I saw that playing on the screen was a particularly hardcore bit of porn. A half-dozen men were gathered around a table. Shackled to the table was a huge hairy bodybuilder, his legs hoisted into hanging chains. The other men were taking turns moving to the end of the table and with snarls and spitting, they were savagely shoving their tongues into the shackled man's asshole. It was a brutal gang-rimming. It was a leather rim-a-rama.
I looked back at Corey. His face was completely blank. Mark returned from the bar with our beers and stopped short, following Corey's eyes up to the television. Mark's face drained of color and he shoved a beer into Corey's hands and shouted, "I NEVER DO THAT!"
Corey took a sip of his beer and shook his head. "Dad, you promised. NO MORE LYING!"