I went out to The Gay Bar with my friend Traci last night. It's called the gay bar because it's certainly the only gay bar in Southern Illinois, and quite possibly the only one outside of a hundred mile radius from St. Louis. This was my second trip to the bar with Traci, which also makes it my second trip to any bar since Lori and I were first dating and we were looking for a nice gay-friendly place to socialize and make out.
The Carbondale gay bar is as bad as any gay bar I've ever been in: it's dark, warehouse-y, and crammed full of barely-post-adolescents dancing to ear-shattering techno music. The beer is bad, the bathrooms are gross, and it looks like everything was assembled out of sheets of particle board so the if the owners have to make a run for it, the won't have to agonize about the loss of their furniture. The place really has no redeeming value whatsoever except for two things...it's a great place for people-watching, and it's a ton of fun to watch Traci flirt with every femmey girl in the place. And she's not the kind of flirt that leaves you wondering later, "Was she hitting on me?" She's the kind of flirt that'll start groping any girl who shows the slightest interest in her. I know it sounds like she'd be an obnoxious asshole, but in fact she's such a cute and charming lech that femme girls love her. Maybe if she'd actually take one home and sleep with her she could get over The Worst Girlfriend Ever. You know The Worst Girlfriend Ever, don't you? She's the one who invented sex for you and used it to break your heart? The one that you go back to 100 more times after she dumps you? That Worst Girlfriend Ever.
So my friend is on the market as part of her rehab from her addiction to The Worst Girlfriend Ever. If any of you happen to be interested in a cheap house in Cairo AND a relationship with my cute and charming pal, let me know and I'll hook you up. :-)
During the part of the night when I wasn't amused and appalled by Traci's gleefully slutty behavior, I was amused and appalled by the barely-post-adolescents on the dance floor. In every pair there was one who was dancing with reckless drunken abandon, and one who danced with the anxious expression of someone who alternately worried about looking like a rhythmless moron and about their butt looking big in those pants. I kept wondering why the reckless abandon people didn't dance with each other and leave those other poor people in a booth somewhere to talk about their exes, which of their professors might be gay, and which veterinary schools they plan to apply to.
And so I wondered again why there can't be a nice quiet bar next door to the techno bar, where all the socially inept gay people could quietly drink beer, talk to each other, and not dance. What would be so wrong with a gay bar where people could hear each other? Is there some agreed-upon common knowledge that gay people are boring, and the only way any of them are going to end up in bed together is by drowning out any potential conversations with a techno beat/strobe light combination?
And if there was such a place, would I be sitting alone in it, drunkenly telling the bartender about my cats, my exes, and which of my coworkers might be gay?
Maybe that's why there's no place like that.