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  • "When I Learned to Fly" OR "Finding Daniel Vosovic"

    If you’re a New York homo of a certain age, you probably remember going to the Sunday gay party in the club under the Maritime Hotel. Trying to re-live our youth, some friends and I recently attended the party and it blew…like it was an island of misfit gays kind of blew. The visit was saddening because I have joyous memories of tromping around that ballroom with my best gays. Then I have slightly foggier memories of leaving with a slightly smaller number of homos, as we’d lost some to temptations of the body. Or alcohol poisoning. Or date rape. Anyway, it was a good time- a time that I sometimes wish that I were able to replicate. Other times I realize that I’m past that phase of experimenting and being wild.

    I wasn’t in the market for a boyfriend, just fun. Nobody really wanted a boyfriend in college. The point of college is to learn. During that time, one should gather as much knowledge and experience as humanly possible. That way, after graduating, you’ll have to all the professional skills to land an entry-level position and have developed a solid sexual vocabulary to land Mr. Right. I was single and ready to mingle (insert embarrassing straight-girl “hoot!” here). There was one exception. There was one man who, if I met, I would latch on to and run into the sunset with. His name was Daniel Vosovic.

    Daniel was a finalist on Project Runway: Season Two. He’s most memorable for his cute personality, cute face, cute body, cute hair and not-so-cute tribal tattoo. For being right out of design school, he was surprisingly intelligent, eloquent and mature. His pieces were simple, chic and beautifully feminine. Even his concept sketches got me excited. Mr. Vosovic spoke openly about his homosexuality and proved to be a solid, adjusted gay man without the trappings of camp. But it was the prominent nose that sat perfectly on his prominent face that bought me (give me a nose and I’ll give you my heart). He was, quite simply, my dream man.

    Coincidentally, Daniel V. enjoyed partying at that same Sunday night haunt. If my friends felt tired and tried to talk one another out of hitting the club, I’d rant about their desires to sabotage my dreams until they reluctantly accompanied me. So we’d enter the giant space and make a mad dash for the upstairs bar. In that loft, there was an area roped off for gay celebrities, famous trannies and recent graduates from Bravo reality series, like Daniel Dearest. We, the rabble, would watch from afar as my precious Daniel and Amanda Lepore drank Champagne and chortled with Michael Musto. We’d seductively sip or vanilla Stoli and gingers, hoping to be invited into that inner circle of fabulousness. Soon the people at the other end of our stares would get creeped out. We’d relocate to the main floor, where the dancing was.

    I’m not, nor never have been a dancer. It takes a lot for me to boogie down. And by a lot, I mean copious amounts of booze. In those pre-Lady Gaga days, the gays were wild for Britney. When she came on, our eyes turned into a Tim Burton film and we writhed our skinny, twink bodies onto other equally awkward men. On one Sunday, my friends had ensured that my insides were loaded with the appropriate amount of fermented things to soften the blow of Daniel never acknowledging my existence. The dancing began.

    I didn’t just dance. I threw myself “out there,” as they say. Usually I gawk at a certain someone until I’m approached. On that night, I did the approaching and I was the forward slut to keep your eyes on. Thankfully, my companions had sequestered me to the dance floor, leaving the Bravo elite untouched by my Medusa-stare. My new prey was a guy with a “swimmer’s build,” as labeled by whatever gay hookup site he was undoubtedly a part of. He was literally tall, dark and handsome. And by dark I mean foreign.

    I would love to report that I remember every incredible detail about the following few minutes, but I don’t. It was all a blur. I do recall getting very close to him and ending up dancing together. He kept talking to me but I couldn’t understand him. Maybe it was the loud music’s fault but it was probably just his accent. I have a tendency to look foreign, so he could have thought I was one of his brethren and decided to strike up conversation in his native tongue. He was just having so much fun on his first trip to the States! How much he enjoyed not having to step over beggar children in the street! I don’t know. All I did was just smile and nod.

    Soon he caught on to the fact that I wasn’t retaining any information coming out of his beautiful lips. Instead of floundering in that awkward moment, I thought it best to just kiss him. We made out with absolutely no regard to the public around us. We were all over each other like my roommates had left town for the weekend and we could fuck on the couch. When I came up for air, I could see my friends looking at me with shame. That was my cue to cool it and just dance.

    When gays “just dance” they’re really “just humping.” To an innocent onlooker, it might just look like a bunch of guys in a cramped space but there are many appendages seeking friction in that bunch. Mr. Accent went behind me and danced from there. At that point, I’m sure he was simulating a sex act but I was becoming too drunk to indulge in the skit. I was probably just leaning into him to keep from falling over. That was also the time I’d decided that he was from Spain. I’d assigned him the name of Juan, because I felt compelled to be as derogatory as possible. Juan continued to whisper sweet nothings in my ear, which judging from the following actions could have just been instructions.

    Suddenly, I was above the crowd. I looked down on my friends, who looked up at me with the most horrified faces I’d ever seen. Juan was holding me up like a newly-birthed lion prince.

    Once landed, I couldn’t really process what had just happened. I just giggled nervously and continued to dance. Maybe I had hallucinated. Maybe I was too drunk. Juan looked at me, smiled and said something to the effect of, “Yeah! Yeah!” Was he getting off on lifting me up?

    I’d say YES because he did it again. On that trip to the ceiling, it was clear to me that I wasn’t dreaming. In real life…in public…against my will, I was being lifted up. Was he showing me off to friends across the room? If that was the case, surely there was a more effective way to introduce me to Pablo and Jose. A flash of sobriety came very quickly to this skinny ‘mo. Even though I had just stuck my hands and tongue in places they shouldn’t have been, reenacting lifts from Swan Lake was just too much for me.

    “What if Daniel is watching this?” I kept screaming in my head. I imagined him peering down from his thrown, pointing at the amateur production of Peter Pan being performed below. He’d take a quick sip of his bubbly then return to munching on gold-crusted baby truffles. When I was returned to Earth, I turned to Juan and looked at him like he’d just raped and killed my one and only heir. My shot at infamy was shot. My life was ruined. Oh, but he still was pretty cute.

    I remember nothing after that except eating a cheeseburger at the diner around the corner. My friends had rescued me from whatever bad decision was surely to follow. If they weren’t around to drag me out of that club, I would have found my way back to his motel and tried to hook up. Then I’d probably throw up on him, pass out then wake up at an ungodly hour to sneak out. Also, a good story.

    When I awoke the next day, my phone was loaded with text messages in broken English. Apparently, I’d given Juan my info before being escorted out. In the clarity of New York’s mid-afternoon sunlight, I realized that I wasn’t going to find Daniel Vosovic by competing against a club full of hungry bottom feeders and our very clear class difference (his being behind the velvet ropes). I needed to up my game. Once I could sit up without wanting to die, I would emerge with a new plan…a plan without alcohol or foreigners or impromptu dance routines.
    (Daniel designing his next garment as I designed my next scheme.)