I Kissed A Boy

I always wanted to kiss a boy-- ever since I was a child. But I didn't understand that I was gay and it was a total societal no-no... so I didn't.

I came from a lower middle class family and sure didn't have a car when I got my learner's permit. I got around New York City by hitch-hiking. No one else did. I had the whole greatest city on earth-- and all its adventures-- to myself. So many adventures. One night someone picked me up-- an older guy, around 24-25 or so. He was nervous and that made me nervous. Was he going to kill me. It was late and we were in a very non-urban part of Brooklyn when he pulled over. He touched my crotch the same way Stephen Smith, Madison Cawthorn's third cousin once removed, touched Madison's. But no one had invented the cell phone yet so I have to depend on an increasingly shaky memory. We never exchanged names or even a single word that I can remember.

He clumsily unzipped my fly and hungrily got to work pleasing himself by sucking me off. I barely knew what was happening. It was just happening and I was watching from a faraway place, wondering how I was supposed to feel and how I was supposed to act. After he was finished, I tried to kiss him and he pushed me away before I got close, drove me home and dumped me out without a word. I never thought about it again until a few minutes ago.

After I posted this picture yesterday (not the one on the left; the one at the link), basically apopos of nothing in Nigel's post and without consulting him since I didn't know how to explain it, I thought back: was Brian Jones the first guy I ever kissed? I don't know why he kissed me-- not a clue--and since he drowned, or was drowned, in a swimming pool a few years later (1969), I'll never know. He probably wouldn't know if he was still around (and 80). This photo was the guy he kissed-- very, very sanpaku (三白眼) from all the drugs I was ingesting on a daily basis back then.

We were born 6 years and 8 days apart and the Rolling Stones-- when he was a member-- was my favorite band. He always seemed more genuinely the dark figure in the band than Jagger or Richards. He already had 5 children by 5 different girls by the time of our encounter. Let me tell you about that.

One summer I used go to a club under the 59th Street Bridge. It was called Ondine and The Doors played there almost every night that summer before they released their first album. The manager of the club, a guy named Brad Pierce, died in 2019, by then a Catholic priest, having had a spiritual conversion in 1974 at age 38, and volunteering with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, before joining the Missionaries of the Holy Apostle. Long before that, Brad was a wonderful guy who was really nice, for no reason at all except that being his nature, to me, still a teenager coming to see The Doors every night including nights when the tiny club was pretty much empty except for me and my friend Sandy Pearlman, who first introduced me to Brad..

About a year later Brad opened a club called Salvation which was sometimes called One Sheridan Square (the address). I sometimes went there in the afternoons just to hang out with Brad and shoot the shit. That's how I first met Jimi Hendrix. He needed money and was giving Brad his guitar as collateral for a substantial loan. It was a fortuitous meeting for me and I've written about why before for anyone who might be interested.

Anyway, One Sheridan Square was basically a basement and to get into the club you had to navigate in very narrow, very steep staircase. On night I was going down the stairs and the traffic was so heavy in both directions that the flow was something like a minute per foot. Suddenly who's coming up the stairs to leave but... my favorite band in the world. And Brian Jones stopped, handed me a rose and gave a long, deep, hard kiss. That was the first time I had ever kissed a guy. When I got home I told my girlfriend; it wasn't like a gay thing-- even though it was-- it was like I-kissed-a-god. This is the guy who wrote Ruby Tuesday. I put the rose in an empty shoe box under my bed and it disintegrated there and I threw it out a couple years later when I graduated and moved to Europe.

OK, so now let me confess what this is all about. An old friend, an author, is going to write a book about me and she's been encouraging me to get stories like this out and on-- so to speak-- paper. I was kind of planning to continue on to talk about the first two times-- once still at Stony Brook and later in Berlin-- where the kisses actually meant something. But those two guys are still alive and are both straight and I feel like I shouldn't write about them without getting their permission first. And I'm worried that this kind of self-indulgent story-- instead of a good rant against Trump or Hakeem-- will piss people off. Good night, good night.