Buddy's by Stan Persky
Another night: the bar fills with statuesque types in cut-offs, and even an unusually noisy queen. Insufferable boredom. It's like a fitness shop. And yet... A beautiful blond youth materializes. He seems aloof, worshippable only at a distance. Imperceptibly, dancing begins around him. Soon, he's dancing too. Then, without warning, he pulls off his shirt, revealing a gleaming torso. Nonetheless, in the midst of my delight - the bar arrives at a moment of perfection - a paradox: this effusion of orchestrated decor is a constraint, a confining obession, the perverse of the free-forms of Eros.
There's a Buddy's in every large North American city that seeks a return on capital from investment in this illusion. Nor is it confined to the homoerotic. Heterosexual versions of this apparition abound as well. These easily replicable milieus of desire are practically a form of franchise capitalism. Buddy's is a gya bar, but it's also a text, an irony, a homophone. It offers the mirage of friendship under impossible conditions. Yet, on some nights, improbably enough, it delivers.