On One Hand

November 19, 2004

Drag Night

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 12:18 pm

Last night the gay frat at CU put on a drag show at a small club/bar in Boulder. The Yard is a small queer hangout place distant from campus, and has a comfortable, cozy, aged feeling to it. For my part I kept tickets in a bucket for a raffle drawing later in the evening.

There were quite a few old people there, who had a right to be there because the Yard is, after all, usually their club (the young kids take the busses down to the bigger clubs in Denver). I was thinking what a terrifying prospect it is to be a fag and old. I saw the older men sitting up on the high bar stools, chins tilted toward the bar in their gray hair, thinning ponytails and combovers, looking so lonely. They eyed the younger guys descreetly and jealously, either wanting or wanting to be. I felt sorry for the older men. I wanted to hear their stories. But I didn’t want to be molested, so I sat in a chair near the seating area away from the bar and dilligently tore tickets.

“Well I’m sure I’ll be married by the time I get that old,” a friend told me when I brought up my concerns. “I hope so,” I replied, speaking for both of us, “but I’m sure they once hoped so too and look how it turned out for them. Not too many gay people actually couple for life.” He said that our generation might be the one to change that. I said I certainly hoped so, speaking for both of us.

It’s not so much old age that scares me as it is that aging is a one-way street. If you got to be old for a while then young for a while, I might feel differently. If there is any truth to reincarnation than I guess you WOULD get to be old for a while then young, but I don’t know for sure if I believe in reincarnation. I just know that once you’re old, you don’t get younger; you’ll have to be that way until you die.

The drag show whas a hit. The small bar was packed solid, with probably around two hundred guests, leaving me wondering if we were violating a fire code regulation. Everyone was there. I saw people I went to high school with, who I never even spoke to during high school and hadn’t spoken to since, having no idea that they weren’t straight. I saw my sociology professor from my freshman year in college. I saw the former resource officer from a high school near the one I grew up in, who I had seen in the scene many times before. His story is interesting because even in my own highschool there were rumors that the popular resource officer at the other school made out with a guy. I was skeptical until saw him at a gay coffee shop, where he gave me his number, and then I found him in an old 1993 yearbook from my own highschool (I was still a senior at the time, with access to old yearbooks as a member of the SLHS newspaper staff) as a graduating senior. I don’t remember if he was prom king or if he was student council president, but he was one of those in 1993.

After the drag show everyone danced for a while. I tried to flirt with someone I thought was cute but did a bad job of getting the message across, to shy to really get the message across. But I enjoyed flirting nonetheless. Then we were warned of an accident outside, the bartender telling us we would have to go out the back way since the street was blocked.

Christine came and told me when we were on our way out. “Did you hear what happened?” she asked, a serious, wide-eyed expression on her face. “Yeah, about the accident?” I asked, blowing it off as a normal thing. “It was a hit and run,” she told me. “Somebody hit a pedestrian crossing the street and then drove off, and they think the guy who got hit is probably dead.”

I freaked out for a second when she said that. How easily could that have been me? How stupid would my fears of being an old man be if I died right now at nineteen getting hit by a car? When I think of death I think of getting cancer, being bedridden for months with a terminal disease, scared of the prospect of death but making peace with it nonetheless. I don’t think of a flash of headlights, screech of brakes, and everything going black. I hope it was nobody I know. The yellow police tape was visible from the door of the bar outside, cops everywhere, two or three cars pulled over getting DUI’s, pedestrians solemly making their ways to their vehicles to go home, stars brightly shining: Perseus and Gemini, red and blue lights flashing.



  1. This entry has left me feeling dumbfounded.

    Everything you wrote completely resonates with me, as if you directly took my mind and plastered it onto paper (or in this case, the computer screen). Personally, ending up old and alone is my greatest fear, and like you said, being gay just increases the likeliness of this situation. I dwell on it way more than it is healthy to. But every now and then, I have the realization that I might not even live to see another day. No less pessimistic, but it momentarily makes me understand that all of this worrying might be an utter waste (not that it wouldn’t be otherwise).

    Thank you for this eloquent piece of honesty. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in these thougthts.


    Comment by bemusedguy — November 19, 2004 @ 8:20 pm | Reply

  2. I made myself be comfortable with being alone since I was a little kid, with the knowledge that I might be that way my whole life. Instead of focusing on that now, I just focus on money. This truly makes me feel lonely.

    Comment by tempur_tempur — November 22, 2004 @ 5:50 pm | Reply

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