Rod Townsend (our commenter Momo), sometimes receives telephone calls from The Past, a mysterious entity that remembers where things used to be in New York before Starbucks and Whole Foods came to town.
"I'm so hot and sticky, confetticrotch. I must smell like Jeff Stryker's trashcan."
"Ah, so the weather's as humid for The Past as it is for us. It's really been atrocious."
"The weather? Not really. I think it's maybe going to be 75 at most today. I'm not too sure. Willard Scott was babbling about birthdays as I got home, and I couldn't bear to wait for the forecast."
"So why so hot and sticky?"
"S.E.X., baby. I've been at The Jewel Theatre."
"Is this that peep booth place you told me about before?"
"I really only go there for laughs, but it is nearby. The Jewel is on the west side of Third, between 12th and 13th. I'd been at Webster Hall and was hot and heavy for this hazel-eyed F.I.T. student from Amsterdam, even though he seemed a little off."
"I can't even imagine what you consider to be 'a little off.'"
"Simple. Getting ass-plowed in the Webster Hall dark room by Natasha Twist? A little off. Anyway, he got going that pain in my main vein, and I was tired of being handbagged by the drag queens, so I made kisses with everyone and walked up the two blocks to the most non-descript/fascinating building in the East Village. Simple black glass doors with no sign and no indication of what's going on inside."
"And you knew what was inside because..."
"Well, back when I was a closet case and new to the city, I attended a wedding shower for my former roommate, Lady Jane. A bunch of us made an afterparty at Café Tabac over on Ninth. I'd thrown up red wine all over my white shirt and was bumbling out of Tabac when I saw this hot Latin boy that I just followed until I was inside the Jewel."
"It was three years ago. I've changed. But the Jewel hasn't. When you walk through those glass doors, you pay your $8 to the ticket guy, go through the turnstile and you're in the lobby. There are lockers that cost a quarter that's refunded when you return your key. You can check your wallet or any extraneous clothes. And the best part of the lobby? All the soda you can drink. And free Oreos and pretzels—if feel like eating, you know?"
"You said it was a theatre?"
"Totally. Just go through the doors and suddenly it's like you're at a normal movie theatre. Sometimes it's just a karate movie, but usually it's some of the lamest porn in the world. Very Joey Stefano '80s stuff. If you're not in the know you'll sit and watch the action on the screen, but eventually even the dumbest bunny will figure out that there's more on the stage than a screen."
"People have sex on the stage?"
"No, but as you watch the stage, you'll see a procession of people going behind the screen on the right side of the stage. Once you're up there, there's a completely unlit stairwell and you can hear music, which almost always seems to be 'The Witchdoctor' or that 'Education' song."
"You definitely know it. It's probably for sale on K-Tel records by now. Miss Thing, Miss Thing, Miss Thing, Miss Thing. Went to buy a diamond ring. Then she went to Burger King, and found they were not hiring. It's very Two Potato. Very Monster. Anywhat, you follow the music and then you're in this black pit of a basement. The black pit is lined with two hallways with cubbyholes filled by men of all shapes and sizes, ages and races. Although there always seems to be a majority of old Asian guys. In fact, most dark rooms are."
"Sounds like you could meet some unseemly characters there."
"Oh, just your usual suspects. 'Skinhead guy that starts puking while sucking you off.' 'Older guy with ginormous cock that you have to see and will give you coke in an attempt to fuck you.' 'Married Dominican guy with tattoos of his daughters on his biceps.' No surprises."
"And what exactly do you do in there?"
"If you want some sexy talk you should call The Number, bumblebutt. For now, I'm throwing some Bacitracin on my cock and catching some rays up on my tar beach roof deck. Talk soon ..."
Earlier: Past, Over