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  NIGHTSPOTS

BEING CONTINUED Howdy
by AK Miller
2012-08-29

This article shared 883 times since Wed Aug 29, 2012
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Gregg pushed the door open and made his way to the sidewalk. He looked up and down both sides of the street, unsure of where he would go next. There was one thing he was certain of: He wasn't going back in that place. It felt like it was where you went to drink when you were certain that nobody loved you. Even though he was new to Chicago and didn't know anyone, he wasn't that far gone. Maybe that's just how it is on a Thursday night, so he decided not to pass permanent judgment. He decided to walk north up Halsted and see what he found. The number of people out at 9 pm amazed him. They were everywhere. Filling the restaurants and laughing their way into bars and out of shops. Is it always like this or is it just because summer is ending? Roaming around amidst the Boystown buzz was nice. There were more gay people sharing the sidewalk with him than there were in his entire small town. And the straight people were walking around with them, pushing strollers and cooing over well-groomed dogs. All of the gay-themed street markers and rainbow towers claiming this to be the Land of Gays seemed almost unreal. He had seen it before, but it was still almost too good to be true. Like it's a trap and at any moment the barbed wire will be wrapped around them, trapping everyone in. That's just his old South Dakota paranoia kicking in. Back home there are still no protections against gay discrimination and some towns still consider gay sex illegal. He stops a second when he thinks this. That isn't home anymore. This is. Since Monday. With a sigh of relief, he walked into the next bar. Inside it looked like an overprivileged, suburban teenager's birthday party. The music was blaring and people were screaming and draft beers were a dollar. He quickly backed out before he was noticed. Continuing down the street he started thinking that maybe he was too old for this move. Maybe starting over at 35 wasn't the best idea. Almost two million more people live in this city than his whole former state. Maybe he was just one more person. Maybe he belonged back in a rye field. Here he was, a middle-aged gay Goldilocks looking for a bar that he fit into without really knowing what it was that he was looking for. Even though he wasn't from the south he felt awfully southern. He realized that this sort of makes him lost. "Are you lost?", said a voice from behind. He turned and saw a couple short guys about his age looking up at him. He answered, "Well I know where I am, but I'm not really sure where I am going." They guys chuckled with a smile. The blonde guy asked, "Are you new in town?" Gregg nodded. "Well I'm David and this is David and we are going to the country gay bar to meet two Michaels and a Chris. Would you like to join us?" Gregg's eyes lit up, he smiled and said, "Country, like country/western?" Bald David said, "We'll take that as a yes. Taxi!" The three quickly got into a cab, but without thinking Gregg ended up in the middle, though he was about foot taller than either David. Bald David whispered, "Don't worry, we aren't going far, just the other side of the neighborhood. It just would have taken our little legs too long." Strangely, the taxi smelled like Mr. Bubble, which reminded Gregg of his grandma's house and made him feel safe. A Madonna song, "Like a Prayer," started playing on the radio. Gregg took these as good omens. As they pulled up to the bar he said, "Thank you guys. I'm Gregg." Blonde David bounced out of the taxi and answered the words that Gregg had been waiting to hear. "You are welcome."

This article shared 883 times since Wed Aug 29, 2012
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