Rod Townsend (aka 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.


"Plastipoon, have you ever seen 'The Accused'?"

"The Jodie Foster movie? I think so, but it's been years."

"Well, I totally saw a scene from it played out tonight at Tunnel Bar."

"What? Did you see someone get gang-raped on a pool table?"

"First of all, Jodie was banged on a pinball machine, not a pool table."

"But it was a gang-rape, wasn't it?"

"In the movie? Hell yes. It was a brutal assault on a woman by a slew of rough trade. The boner it gave me was so embarrassing. But this wasn't a gang rape; it was more of a group grope at Tunnel Bar."

"But wait. I'm confused. Didn't you say before that Tunnel was a some kind of wild drug-filled club? Doesn't sound like a place that would have a pinball machine."

"Oh, similar name, but totally different place. Tunnel Bar is at First Avenue and Seventh Street and it's the dreggiest of the dregs. You walk in the door and think you've gone blind because the lights are so low. But you don't need to be able to see, as it's a tried and true railroad-style bar."

"So, there are, like, little trains and signal signs in the décor?"

"You scare me sometimes. No, as in it's laid out in a straight line from front to back. Basically the bar stretches almost from the front door to the back where the bathrooms, the pool table and the pinball machine are. It's just that basic layout that works so well for a cruise bar."

"Cruise bar? What's that?"

"It's kind of a "sure thing" place. A place you go in with the intention of finding a fuck. And you always do. The music is probably off some old mix tape by the bartender's boyfriend or a jukebox with all the hits from whenever the place opened. (I totally swear I heard 'Heaven on Earth' there last night.) But yeah, the décor is just as bad—think Christmas lights. One good thing is that the drinks are probably super-strong. And let me tell you, they have to be."

"Why so?"

"Because, glistenglans, cruise bars are filled with trolls."

"That must be awful. Does one of the owners have a collection of trolls that he just brought to the bar? Or are the trolls just there for kitsch value?"

"What are—"

"Whichever is the case you should check them out because some of the Thomas Dam originals are really valuable."

"It's like we speak different languages sometimes, glamourgash. A troll is an unfuckable that comes to a bar, usually stakes out a space, and slowly siphons one or two drinks the entire night. The troll stalks his prey waiting for them to cross a line of sobriety to a point where the troll doesn't seem so, well, trollish. Then the troll strikes, usually with a back massage or a backroom grope."

"Speaking of groping, you mentioned something happening on the pool table?"

"Are you paying attention?. It was on the 'Death Star Multiball' pinball machine. This Filipino guy that was sort of cute, but had some kind of facial flaw that just overrode his sort of awesome body got really drunk and was flirting up just about anyone in his proximity. He was sort of causing a commotion by the bar and blocking traffic, so he eventually moved toward the back. I'm not sure how it happened, but the next time I looked his Levi's were down around his ankles. As were his FTLs. And although I wasn't close enough to see specifics I'm pretty sure he at least got a blowjob and fingered by a few different guys."

"Which attracted these 'trolls,' right?"

"It was trolls in transit from all corners to try to grasp on to that horny vibe and try to get something for themselves."

"And where were you during all this?"

"I totally met this dreamy guy Juan who was sitting back and laughing his ass off about the whole thing. Oh! I hear the bathroom door turning, so I think he's coming back for round three which means I've got to let you go. Bye!"