NYC Eagle, Sunday 11pm
I'm on the roofdeck of the Eagle, as I am on most Sunday evenings. The holiday weekend has brought out a huge crowd of regulars and tourists and I am penned into a corner of the deck, surrounded by friends and one very horny and persistent young cub.
The cub has been touching me lightly as he speaks to me, taking increasing liberties as our conversation progresses. I haven't recoiled from his touches or pushed him away, but I am waiting to find an opportunity to gently let him know that I am far too old for him. The truth, of course, is that he is far too young for me, but semantics do not transmit well over draft beer and David Morales remixes.
The cub slides his hand into my back pocket when a handsome young Latin man arrives to stand next to me. Young men display their territorialness so brazenly, it always amuses me. The Latin kid makes no acknowledgement, but he does step away almost immediately.
The cub says, "Was that a friend of yours?"
I say, "No, I don't really know very many young guys." That's not entirely true, but it finally opens the subject.
The cub shrugs. "That's cool."
I count in my head..."One...two..."
"So- how old ARE you?"
And I lie to the cub. I brazenly, baldfacedly lie. But I lie UP. I add ten years to my age, as I often do in these situations. First, it's funny to watch the wide-eyed look of disbelief and to hear the resultant, "Man! 57? Really? You look amazing!" But also, this Jedi mind trick usually pushes me out of the do-able age range in the kid's mind, even after he learns the truth.
"I'll be 57 in October," I say. And I wait.
The cub looks at me, then nods solemnly. "Right on."
Right on? RIGHT ON? That's all I get? Right motherfucking on? Where's my "No fucking WAY, dude!"? Where's my "You are the hottest 57 year old EVER!"?
I feel slightly dizzy but the cub doesn't seem to notice my dismay. He lights a cigarette and I excuse myself to go to the bathroom. I take a piss and then a long look at myself in the bathroom mirror. And then I go downstairs and order a shot. And then another one.