so, i’m home – had a productive trip to san francisco and a nice day off on thursday. i did pop over to the castro to do a bit of window shopping and what not. a bunch of folks i know were fairly adamant that i hit the bar’s while i was in sf – and for a brief moment or two, i seriously considered it (what was i thinking?!), but at the end of the day i didn’t go.
it’s not that i’m nervous going into gay bar’s – far from it actually, it’s just that i don’t really enjoy them all that much. i just don’t see the point (or am i missing the point?!). of course, i get a fair bit of shit from friends here in minneapolis that i don’t go out enough, but i guess i just haven’t found the silver lining to the whole bar thing. i’d much rather have a nice dinner with friends than try to hang out in a bar.
so there i was in the gayest city in the world, mecca for homo’s and i could have easily gone into twin peaks or the eagle or hell, there’s even an actual bar called mecca. the thought of going into a bar and being alone – well, to me seems about the loneliest thing you can do.
i mean, come on – it’s no shock i’m sure that i’m a fairly shy guy. and sure, the obvious answer is to put myself out there more often and i guess, yea – one way to do that is to actually go to bar’s by myself. it’s just that sounds so unappealing.
i guess for most business travellers, going into a bar can offer a certain something – a chance for connection, sex, camaraderie etc. but at the end of the day, i don’t so much care for casual connections and i don’t really need sex (especially casual sex). camaraderie is the only thing that interests me, but the whole surface/relationship thing that happens in bars, i just don’t get. i’ve never been one for the surface. i don’t exect that will change any day soon.
i do wish i was one of those happy-go-lucky types that appear to be the life of the party whilst in a bar or nightclub. i’m just not that happy-go lucky i guess. serious has been used to describe me far too often. i’d like to change that….
last week when i was flying home (or going somewhere, can never really tell these days), i was watching the movie ‘high fidelity’ staring john cusack. high fidelity is one of my favorite movies. and old standby. there’s a scene in that movie where john’s character (rob) is questioning his old break-up’s and the big “why” when it comes to romance. he seeks out his old flame charlie, played by catherine zeta-jones to find out what went wrong:
rob: “why’d you dump me for marko?”
charlie: “marko just seemed to be a bit more glamorous, more sure of himself. less hard work. a little sparkier.”
i feel like that sometimes. i mean, i’m not all that sure of myself, and i’m sure i’m probably hard work, and i’m definitely not sparky.
to me the guys that seem at home in bars are sparky. james is sparky. cb is sparky. ax is sparky. i am not sparky. i think we can all agree on that.
i’m a pretty fuckin’ great guy if you ask me, but every time the whole “bar” thing comes up, and the guilt trip’s come out (mine or others), i start to doubt myself.
i’ve asked the question before – why is it easier for other guys?
i don’t have the answer’s. i just know that when i go into a bar, something switches off for me. the insecurities rear their ugly head’s and i doubt myself too much. the spark fades out.
so no, i did not hit the bar’s while in sf. instead, i spent the day the castro. and much like chelsea in ny and boystown in chicago, the castro seems a bit desperate to me. now, please, don’t miss-read that. i’m talking about the gay ghetto’s – not the cities themselves. i love new york more than just about anywhere, and san fran is way up on that list for me too. spending the afternoon in the castro was fun, but ultimately there’s not a lot of substance there for me – it’s all very surface (i’m more than willing to admit that maybe i haven’t dug deep enough to find the substance). and we know how i feel about that. and i pretty much felt invisible while i was there. maybe that’s it – you can practically smell the desperation in some gay bars. maybe that’s why i don’t like them. i don’t like feeling desperate.
so i spent my spare time in record stores (i do love my record stores), and wondering around the city by foot, cable car and street car – taking in the sights, the sounds and the smells. generally just falling in love with the city. who needs to fall in love at a bar, when you can fall in love with a whole city?!
san francisco is a truly amazing place. one that i enjoy more and more every time i visit.
who knows, maybe one day i’ll make it into one of the bars. and maybe i’ll have a gay old time (it’s been known to happen once or twice <g>). in the meantime, i’ll just curl up on the couch, or go for a walk on this excellent, crisp fall day in minnesota.
sutro tower (i love this tower, always have)
view from the wharf
coit tower with bay bridge from the top of lombard
rare self portrait