Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Timing is Everything

It was rush hour on a Friday night, four years ago today.

I was on the "A" train, heading uptown from Fulton Street. I had been with a friend Susan, and I was running late. The train was crowded and I was standing, holding the pole, and facing the doors as they opened on Chambers Street. This slight, dimpled thing walked into towards me, grabbed the pole and looked sideways (you know, how you look without looking). We soared through all the gay cruising signals before the first stop. He had the face of an angel and I tried to act cool. Finally, I was in the right place at the right time. Timing is everything.

Although the glances became less furtive as we looked each other up and down, the people surrounding us remained largely unaware of the homo-urban ritual taking place right next to them. We spoke without words, barely looking at each other. We shifted our weight, leaning into each other, while our fingers grazed each other's on the pole. He looked at my pants and smiled because I was hard. I could see he was excited too. His hand reached, grabbed and was gone without anyone noticing. The train pulled into 14th Street and I realized I hadn't been breathing for the last two stops. He started out, looked back and asked if it was my stop. The French accent was unmistakable. "It is now," I said and stumbled out after him, barely making it through the doors before they shut. Timing is everything.

Everything was communicated in silence from that point. We stumbled out of the station onto Eighth Avenue, falling all over each other. When we rounded the corner at West 19th Street, I remember pushing him against the outside wall of the Joyce Theater; that was where we first kissed. We made it into his apartment building and onto the elevator before the general mauling started, only to be carried over into his living room (for a while) and bed. In between, I noticed all the books (walls and walls) and the incredible art; this guy was something. We were lying on his bed, holding each other as a violent thunderstorm began outside. The moment will always be "one of those moments" for me -- safe, warm, exhausted from sex and laughing out loud in bed with a beautiful man, while hearing lightning crackle outside and steady beat of heavy rain agains the window. We had barely beat the storm inside. Timing is everything.

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