I pass by the fire house on Cortelyou Road, it conjures up memories from the day after the halloween at FlashDancers. I think of a lonely customerJavier, a firefighter from Seville who came to the US a while ago. Javier smells pleasant. It must be his cologne. He’s dressed nicely in a very European way. He takes my hand in his perfectly manicured hand. He likes to preen himself and yea he does great manicures. He squeezes my hand gently, his big eyes open wide revealing pain and thirst for a woman’s touch. He exasperates. “ I love my job, I love America. The fire house is like my home, those men are like my brothers. We work together, eat together, shave together, shower together…They want more but I can’t give em more. I can’t make love with em. They don’t accept it. I can’t bring a woman. Each time I try to start dating they find ways to deny my heterosexuality and turn her off and scare her off…” Javier tells in his almost perfect American accent. So I listen to him, he buys me a drink, I lend him my affection, giving him a few lap dances, rubbing my half naked body against his. He’s not the only lonely customer at Flash Dancers on a rainy Saturday. A 50 year old Joe, a small construction owner is about to implode his bloodshed eyes are filled with centennial sorrow which cuts through his soul penetrating mine. “I don’t understand women. We’d been married for 12 years. I’d built a big house, 40 acres with a swimming pool and a garden. I’ve put my heart and soul to it. She told me she couldn’t do it no more, she said she wasn’t happy any more. She said she wanted to leave. How can you leave such a beautiful house? What else did she need? He asks me shaking his head? Can I hug you?” We hug. He doesn’t want lap dances. All he wants is some human touch and affection and a little bit of talking. I throw at him some cheap hackneyed sentences like there’s a light in every tunnel. Like you’ll be fine. You will be fine is the phrase I resent a lot.
A flash back to my old apartment on Fulton street where my young boyfriend is lying on my bed, ranting about social cliches, challenging life wisdoms while I’m sitting by the desk, typing another cover letter to a potential employer: “Sasha you expect me to say and repeat things like everything will be fine, okay. I dont know that. I don’t know if you’ll be fine. I don’t know if I’ll be fine, if we will be fine…” Repeated Dylan.