Smoker’s Cough

Last night, for the first time in just about forever, my beloved and I accompanied my best out to a gay club. We’re fond enough of pubs or restaurants, but clubs not so much. As we age, we increasingly appreciate being able to hear the conversations we’re having with the people at our table, the lack of drug culture, the lack of drama, etc… the difference between going to a club and just about anywhere else.

We were originally supposed to get dinner out with a math professor, but that fell through. So instead we visited newly-opened gay-owned men’s underwear shop located in the Broad Ripple section of our city before grabbing dinner at a place called English Ivy’s – a pub we enjoy from time to time.

As we were leaving dinner, we found ourselves stuck. We couldn’t figure out what we wanted to do. It was only about 20:30 (24hr time). Too late really to start a game night but pretty much also too early to simply call it quits. Naturally, we decided to go to The Unicorn, a male strip club. However, we only really wanted to go for the drinks. The last time any of us has been was looooong ago, and the talent was, well, untalented – to say the least! In fact, my memory of the only time I’d been was that of a nasty large-bellied old man putting a $1 bill in his mouth and then not-so-gracefully letting himself fall, arms open, backwards onto the stage and some scrawny, under-muscled, under-fed stripper boy going after the cash. Needless to say, we weren’t thrilled for the idea of going there again, but we all agreed that we could be wallflowers in a place like that for cheap drinks. However, when we arrived there was, literally, one other car in the lot. We weren’t about to be the only ones there AND not support the staff. That idea went out the window when we decided to go to a gay club called Gregg’s/Our Place.

We got there before 21:00, and all club staff aside, there were only about ten other people. On all the flat screens around the place some sporting event was playing. Basketball? And in another room there was a euchre tournament taking place. The dart area was empty. So was the billiards area. We grabbed some drinks and a high top table and pretended to be really thirsty as more and more people arrived. After about an hour, the sports and card games stopped and instead loud dance music sucked up the air and the flat screens broadcasted scantily clad models on beaches. We kept drinking. The drinks really were SUPER cheap, and since we came so early we missed having to pay any kind of cover. Good times.

Since we never go out we didn’t know most people and most people didn’t know us. I like it that way, actually. Even in a city like Indianapolis, it doesn’t take much to get that small town feeling and for everyone to know your business. No thanks. Not to mention the eternally recirculating dramas. I’ll pass. It actually amazes me that anyone would go there expecting to meet anyone of substance or for anything other than superficial conversation or carnal pleasures. I can safely say that ANYWHERE is a better place to hunt for love than a club.

After a while we headed up to this loft area where we were able to “perch” and watch others down on the main floor. My best, having been a bar fly and still going to these places occasionally, was able to point out an amusing number of men, in one way or another. One would pass by and we’d hear, “He has a REAL nice penis.” Another would go by and it’d be, “That one is handsome and hung, but he’s into nasty stuff and doesn’t like wearing protection.” Once, about an obese old man sitting at the bar we were told, “I turned him down once and because I wasn’t interested he hunted me down on such-an’-such app and cussed me out.”

Soon enough we were ready to go and go we did. On our way home my beloved and I remarked to each other how nice it was to go to some place like that, that was smoke-free. In recent years, a city-wide smoke ban for public places was passed and it really has made a great difference.

That made me sad though. In a state where a very large number of people are smokers (a year or two ago I think I read it was something like a full third or a fourth of our population), we’re able to get a ban passed, preventing people from doing what they enjoy in places they specifically enjoy doing it in. Let me just re-iterate: a population with a huge smoking demographic passed a ban “negatively” affecting something many people actually want to do.

And yet, Indiana’s tiny -almost inconsequential- gay population remains denied the right to marry. A super small demographic, wanting to do something positive that would affect no one else, isn’t allowed to – if for no other reason than idiots think Jesus would hate it. How is it in a state of smokers a smoking ban can be passed, but the same place, where gays aren’t “bothering” anyone, remains discriminatory?

– SIGH –

Om Shanti


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