jeudi, mai 31, 2007

Nathan's B-day party

So, after all the drama of dinner at La Brasserie du Dôme, I headed home and got changed for a night out. Nathan was celebrating his birthday (which was sometime last week) at this bar that I had never heard of called Yono. It was right in the middle of the gay neighbourhood in the Marais, but down a small alley and through some doors. The space itself was really nice. There was a narrow bar area at the front, and then an alcove of seating in the back to the left, and then an open, loft-like set of stairs down to a basement level, where they had set up some turntables for the event.

Pretty much everyone that knew Nathan was there, which meant that I ran into a lot of people I hadn't seen in two or three months. This was actually really well-timed; I was leaving Paris in a month, and I had a chance to catch up with almost everyone I knew and get their contact information. I also got some very cute pictures of Nathan (see below), and made a few new friends. After doing the rounds and saying hi to everyone, I settled at a table with S. and D. (you may recall them from my time in Berlin, and met some of their friends. One of them was a costume designer that had previously spent 3 years in Indonesia working for a primatologist and was now trying to start a fair-trade garment design business on her own. As you can imagine, we had a lot to talk about. She made a particularly insightful observation at one point about work in creative fields: "It's really tough to work in a manner that's ethically responsible but doesn't pay well. But, on the other hand, I recognize that I have able to make that choice." Indeed, to sacrifice security or privilege implies that you had it in the first place, and not everyone has the choice of devoting their lives to careers that will barely support oneself and bring little back to the family. For me, for example, although I'm probably damning myself to a life of working as an associate professor in some community college for the same pay as a law firm receptionist, my ability to choose that path partially rests on the fact that my family was financially secure enough to not require me to become a doctor, lawyer or businessperson. Many second-generation immigrants like me are marched directly into professional schools by their parents, with no option of doing otherwise.

By 2am, the bar was closing (bars have different hours than clubs here), and they turned off the music and started shooing people out the door. I don't quite know what happened after that, but somehow an argument between two guys at the bar spilled out onto the street. It was interesting to see the grand theatre of masculinity play out. The two guys yelled epithets at each other and tried to approach each other, while friends / companions on either side held them back. They yelled about how eager they were to fight, what body parts they intended to break, and how certain they were to fuck your mother later that night. As is so often the case, it seemed as if both men were interested in performing their willingness to fight without actually starting anything, as they didn't make a very great effort to break past their friends. The clearest example of this was when one guy allowed himself to be pushed by a friend easily half his size down the street and around the corner, effectively finishing the confrontation without any major contact. Who knows why they were fighting in the first place? The important part was that they had both proven themselves MEN, and without having to mess up their hair.

As one of my friends suggested, it would be a lot simpler in these situations if guys just hauled out their cocks and measured them, and then went home.

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