It was the end of an era. Events on the social scene would be an annoyance than a priority, requiring numerous pep talks on reasons to attend. Although, I would hit gay bars like 700 Club , Good Friends, and GrandPre’s, my fatigue would set in around midnight As an expensive drug that made me broke and forgetful, Cocaine lost its glamour. Moreover, white liquor became a foe. My latest dance moves were ghost on present dance floors of clubs. Lastly, whether great or grim, I was the future for late teens and early twenty-somethings. As Time was purging me from the party of youth and possibility, a question was plastered in my brain: When did I become fucking 30?
Terry McMillan had Stella reconnecting with her groove at 40 but I was adamant on sealing my youth within me. Though I had a 30 waist, I zipped up a pair of 29-waisted, denim shorts that cupped my ass and stopped at an inch above my knee. Next, I paired a white cotton and linen blended tank top which draped my upper body like a semi-transparent curtain. After applying a dab of coconut oil to my left palm and rubbing my hands together, I massaged my face and neck. In addition, I thoroughly applied coconut oil to my exposed body parts particularly to ankles, knee caps, and elbows. I smeared some lip gloss, checked for deodorant, and blow a kiss to the mirror. While in the mirror confidently mouthing incorrect lyrics to Azealia Banks Licorice, I built an armor of glamour.
‘Your Uber is here” flashed on my screen. After five minutes of riding, the driver wanted to make casual conversation. Questions about sports, music, destination, and other advances for small talk threw rocks at my armor. I was only interested in being the “IT” boy of Christopher Street flaunting loads of a glowing personality, utilizing comedic wit, and effortlessly having a strong presence. However, with slight traffic and his questions chipping at my armor, politeness got the best of me.
“I’m originally from New Orleans.” My first response, that strayed away from yes and no, raised the driver’s eyebrows. Luckily, the street signed read Christopher Street and Blecker. I got out.
After walking a few blocks passing a sea of side-eyes and obnoxious conversations on the cell phones, Christopher Street wasn’t becoming a place to retain my youth but kill it. Thankfully, I found a small bar that was decorated with rainbow flags. Inside, the size of a dining room, older men with sleeveless shirts stood or sat within their respective corners. Some sipped mixed drinks while most held onto their beer. Doing what the Romans do, I ordered a Jamison and cranberry cocktail.
“May I see your ID?” the silvered- hair bartender asked. It was an ego boost.
I grabbed my drink and found a free space on the wall. I stared at the rainbow-colored streamers that hung from the ceiling. At that moment, I was convinced that the streamers were the most interesting thing at this bar. Next, my eyes scanned the bar hoping for a friendly invitation to conversation. Though I caught eye contact with a few, my impulse went to my phone and check Facebook. The connection was lousy and no wi-fi. I felt like I walked into a member’s only club and I was the janitor. However, my ego wanted to stay clutching the fact that I was the youngest at the bar. After five minutes, my ego released that notion and I left.
There was a moment of relief unzipping my shorts that became a constraint on the train ride home. Now, with my upper body spread on the bed and feet on the floor, turning 30 felt worse. I was desperate for attention and bloated from alcohol.
Eventually, I got a burger, fries and chocolate shake from Five Guys and watched a marathon of The Golden Girls.