The next day Abby and I are planning to go see Josh Wink at Venus, but I don't know how I'm going to get enough energy— Abby doesn't care about Josh Wink, but I guess she's excited because I told her I would buy her cocktails, so she says cheer up, it'll be fun, which makes me want to smack her. But then once I get dressed up I'm okay or at least wired although Abby says she's just going to wear jeans because it's a straight club. Then we get there and I see what she means. It's straight people who act like they've never seen a faggot in their lives, so Abby stays by the bar getting drunk while I try to dance.
The other annoying thing about straight clubs is that everyone stands around watching the two or three or five or six or whatever guys who do that competitive breakdancing type thing, I thought that was over but I guess not here so eventually I'm standing at the bar with Abby. I said I wasn't going to drink today, just dance, because tomorrow I'm not going to get to go to Paradise since I told Michael I would do an overnight. Yes, an overnight — what was I thinking? First he said 150 for two hours, and I acted like I was insulted so he said okay, 200, but then somehow it got to 400 and an overnight which sounds awful, I mean he's tried to get me to stay over before but I always say I need to take my contact lenses off. Except this time he actually asked ahead of time and I could use the money, right?
Anyway, I thought Josh Wink would be amazing but the music isn't even that good. I mean it's boring, all the same tempo, nothing building, it's hard to pretend that I'm having fun for this long. Until, wait, yes, it's the song I've been waiting for all night, Josh Wink’s laugh track extended all the way out to some spaceship bleep-fest and I can't help it, I'm on the runway even though these straight people don't know what hit them. I'm on the runway and when I get to that dancing contest area I just turn right back around, around and around, jumping in the air and flinging myself side to side, yes this laugh track is going on and on but then the best part is that, no, you won't believe it, the beat from the laugh track blends right into "Camera's Ready, Prepare to Flash," and honey at that I just keep walking right into the contest area and throw myself in the air, flinging my body in every direction like it's all going to come apart and then kicking in the air and almost flying into the crowd, down to the ground and then I'm rolling on the floor, somehow come out of it and into another kick, twist around and then back into runway like oh, yawn, over to Abby at the bar, who brushes the powder off my clothes, right there’s always powder for those dancing contests, that's why the floor felt so smooth— thank you, darling.
And Abby says Mattilda, I can't believe you just did that.
Mattilda, she says, you are fierce.
Mattilda, she says, did you hear me? You are the fiercest bitch in Boston.
And then some woman comes over and holds out her hand, bows down, and says: I want some of what you've got.
I'm not on anything.
That's what I was afraid of, she says, and gives me a high-five. How come I've never seen you here before?
And then it's the next night and I’m listening to Wagner while Michael tells me about his boyfriend George of seven years and how they used to lie in bed listening to this same opera, they were doomed for sure but he didn't know George was going to leave so soon, to leave, to leave just like that, and I'm wondering if Michael is going to start crying, but instead he just says: Now I'm ugly. I'm ugly and I'm dying. No one wants to be with me. You're only here because I'm paying you.
And I don't know what to say, because I actually think he's a pretty nice guy, and then he says I'm sorry, that's not fair. And: I like you because you're gay, you're not pretending, a lot of hustlers pretend they're straight. And then he tells me about a hustler who was addicted to crack, he would show up at all hours asking for money and Michael could understand, he used to be like that but now it's just alcohol, do I want another cocktail?
And he says: I tried to stop drinking, but then I just couldn't have sex. Now I spend all my time on the Internet, do you know much about the Internet?
Not really, I say and he says: You know I work at MIT, right? Yeah, so we've had the Internet since the very beginning, I was one of the first people on GayBoston and gaysex and that's where I can meet all these guys who don't know what I really look like, I can be young and hung and on top of the world.
But then I get off-line, and I listen to Wagner, he says. Want to go in the bedroom?