At the gay club, Blondie’s “Atomic” rang high and we danced and shouted the word Atomic! at high, high, high volume. Earlier that day, Remi and I had visited the gym and followed that was a warm stay at the tanning salon. At the salon, Remi informed me that it remains of utmost importance for gay men to both work out and tan. He said we are the definition of beauty, the poster children of perfection. He said that so long as we as a population are looking better than the straight community, rest assured, we are doing quite alright. I began to laugh his comments off and then he told me that I needed to stop laughing at him and, instead, should consider taking him a little more seriously.
I said fine and suggested that maybe we start taking our living situation more seriously. Remi asked what I meant and I told him that my place was outdated. He shook his head and said that it was BoHo and, therefore, not worth our time at all. I told him I was thinking more bachelor pad and he told me that he was thinking I don’t have the money to make it that.
As “Atomic” raged on, Remi grabbed me by the shoulders and hugged. I hugged him back and, with that, a little something appeared in front of my nose. He told me that it was good for my gay spirit.
Only about three times before had I done poppers. The times I had, it was in the bedroom, always in preparation for anal sex.
It had been at least five years since the last time I had done poppers. I told him this and he clapped the vial against his hand, smiled, and jumped once in the air with joy. He said even better, since five years ago matters just about as much as the dinosaurs.
I told him I was drunk enough. This didn’t matter to him. Remi put the vial right up to my nose and I snorted once.
The room turned to a neon fog and I thought maybe God was lowering down upon our gay, gay scene. He asked me if I was horny now. I stumbled past him and onto the mini-stage in the corner. I danced and felt the music like never before. I felt the life. For the first time in so long, I felt complete happiness. Now, nothing mattered.
No, I learned in that moment that life didn’t have to mean responsibility.
I staggered off the stage and toward the men’s bathroom. I stood in line for just about five seconds and then walked to the front. I heard a long, disoriented boo and then grabbed the young man closest to the bathroom door. As two men exited, we entered. I locked the door and grabbed his crotch. I pulled his cock out and sucked it hard. I told him that I wanted him to fuck me, that my asshole was fucking ready for him, that I wanted him to pound, pound, pound me until it wore off.
He spit on his hand, rubbed his cock, threw my pants off and fucked me against the sink. Condoms didn’t matter anymore. None of us thought about them. We only thought about how much better it felt without one. After he came, he sucked me off until I exploded in absolute ecstasy all over his face.
I lifted myself from the sink and looked in the mirror at my half naked body in the mirror. Naturally, the sink handle had left a bruised imprint on my right hip. I rubbed at it and then muttered something about how it was so worth it.
The guy asked me whatand I said that I thought he had already gone.
As we exited the bathroom, the sketchy boo’s continued to ring off. I felt frightened, but then made eye contact and smiled at Remi who was standing right there. He said good work kid and I kissed him on the lips.
Good work, kid, he said. Good work, kid.
He offered me another hit of poppers. I snorted and then mixed it down with Remi’s fresh margarita.
Back at my place, I took my cock out and jacked off as Remi fucked a big, tall, muscular fag against my refrigerator. I stood, dumbfounded and drunk, in awe of their round asses, the constant and precise thrusts. I watched Remi’s cock at varying angles as it went in and then out and then in and then out. I gasped and grunted with them, as they continued. It all looked like love, but it wasn’t love at all.
When Remi was on the verge of cumming, he looked back at me, looked back at me and gazed with his sex-crazed face. To this day, I swear he mouthed out the words I love you. And, out loud, I know for certain, that I said I loved him back.
The man big, tall, muscular man told me to shut the fuck up and, so, once more, I muttered, saying that, Remi, I loved Remi Zarling.
After the dude left, Remi hugged me again. He asked if I had cum and I pointed at my kitchen floor. We looked at the area, where my splooge has slowly melted into Remi’s. It was the opposite of oil and vinegar. We both smiled and Remi asked me how many cigarettes we had left in the pack. I told him plenty.
Hand in hand, the two of us walked up steps to the top of the apartment. We both lit cigarettes and looked out onto the street below. Remi told me that we had done it. I asked what it meant and he only continued to blow his smoke.
We sat down on the lawn chairs and he told me that tomorrow, after tanning, after lifting, after doing our ab work-out, we should both get laid.
I smiled and told him okay.
We smoked two more cigarettes and then called it a night as we fell to sleep on top of our broken down chairs; the city below, tired and silent.
The four of us entered my apartment and Remi ran over to the stereo system. He threw a few of my CD’s across the room and I told him to settle down over there. He told me to shut up for a moment.
Erotica. Remi pressed play told us that AIDS had struck and that all of America was beginning to reexamine its sexuality. That’s what made this release and the released of the Sex book so important. He said he continued to believe. She spoke of love. She spoke of sex. She spoke of her special, special point of view.
Remi asked if the two guys continued to believe and they nodded, if only to say that they were ready to have sex now.
He told us to just listen a minute. To listen now to “Erotica” and “Fever” and “Deeper and Deeper” and “Rain.”
As “In This Life” began, Remi began to cry. From across the room, I asked if he was going to be alright. He removed a popper from his pocket and snorted. The song detailed Madonna’s friendship with a gay man who had died of AIDS. Remi told us that today we remember the brothers that came before us. Tears continued to fall and I wanted so badly to get up and dry his eyes, but I didn’t, because I knew he was in the moment. I listened and I thought with him of all those men, all those brave brothers. All those people we had lost so, so, so early. The art we’d never see, the music we’d never hear. When Erotica finished, Remi made a diatribe about the importance of safe sex, which only seemed ironic knowing his recent track record. He then informed us about the importance of honing and loving and enjoying our sexuality.
Remi put on Bedtime Stories and blew past “Survival” and into “Secret.” Remi told us that this was perfect songwriting. This was R&B. This was pop. This was perfection. He skipped past multiple song and then stopped at the strange, opening chords of “Human Nature.” Remi told us to listen and to please speak up if we didn’t relate.
Fortunately, we all related.
As Madonna sang, “I’m not your bitch, don’t blame you shit on me,” Remi screamed the same. It made me wonder if he was screaming it to anyone in particular, but I was certain he was not. We listened to “Take a Bow,” the final song on the record. “I’ve always been in love with you. I guess you’ve always known it’s true.” Remi told us that it was time to dance. We stood and grasped our prospects of the night. Remi kissed his and I kissed mine. We then leaned close and kissed each other.
Remi said something about how critics noted that this album indicated a decline in her career, but, sorry to say, she proved them all wrong with the release of Ray of Light. He told us that this was her masterpiece. He skipped past songs and paused at “Frozen,” dancing for us, singing for us, snorting more poppers, drinking more wine, lighting more cigarettes.
By the end of that record, we had all done the same and all stood in an inebriated state.
Remi called Music her second greatest masterpiece and, like clockwork, played it for us. He said this was her gayest album and we said hell yeah.
We listened to American Life. Remi spoke of the flack she had gotten for the record, how many viewed as incredibly dogmatic. He told us that we all had to reconcile the fact that “Easy Ride,” “Nothing Fails,” and “Intervention” are some of her most intimate and honest songs of all time. Remi said that if anyone but Madonna had released it, they would have gotten raves.
We listened to Confessions on a Dance Floor and, seeing as we were all so drunk and high, we danced to some of the better snippets of song that Remi played. We kissed to it. Spoke to it. And Remi proclaimed her second gayest record of all time.
He took a moment between Confessions and Hard Candy to tell us that it was time to listen to him. We listened. Remi explained that, at the time of the release of Music, Madonna was probably at her hottest, but this unfortunately changed as she aged and went through menopause and then released Hard Candy. He said we could not listen to it for too long, because he might get depressed.
We listened to one song from that record.
He announced that he would also only be doing a brief survey of her next record, MDNA. By this point, all I could think was thank God. I looked to the clock and it was five in the morning. The four of us were plastered and three of us were desperately waiting for the sex we had been promised. As, we listened to “Gimme All Your Luvin,” Remi said that, sometimes, we age in this life and our relevance fades away. The youth fades and we become old gay men. We become old gay men with broken penises and crazy pasts. Madonna, now she’s one of them, but Remi instill that he still gave her so much credit for trying to retain that semblance of popularity. He said that unfortunately, it’s not there any longer. She’s aged and we’re aging too.
After the song ended, Remi grabbed his date by the hand, offered him yet another hit of poppers and bent him over the sofa.
I took another snort and grabbed my date and situated him across from Remi’s. We tore their clothes off and then our own. We applied a huge amount of lube on our cocks and then we began to fuck. As we entered, we stared into each other and let off a prolonged sigh. We edged close and smooched once. We fucked the men raw. We fucked them all the way through the silence that had been left by the final Madonna album that Remi had played that night. Remi winked at me and I knew what he meant.
We took our cocks out and rubbed them until we came. We sat on the shoulders of our respective men, inched in close to each other, grabbed one another by our taut hips, and came. I came all over Remi’s torso and he came all over mine.
We both let out our gasps of air and then kissed once more.
Remi and I stood atop the apartment building, slow dancing in only our underwear until the sun came up. The drugs began to wear off and the alcohol began to move through our systems. From time to time, we would take bathroom breaks and piss on the warm cement atop the building.
On the rooftop, we held onto each other until eight in the morning.
On the rooftop, we did not sleep.
On the rooftop, we did not say much of anything at all to each other. I only thanked Remi for giving me everything I could have ever wished for in a friend and he thanked me for the same.
On the rooftop, we danced for the world, we felt as if we held it in our hands, as if we had achieved everything we could have ever wished for.
By eight, the sun was in full bloom and I removed myself from Remi’s shoulder. The side of my face had grown numb and I only laughed at the fact.
I suggested that maybe we should try to get some rest. He began to laugh that precious, outrageous laugh and told me that the day was only beginning. That it was time for coffee.
He backed away from me and started dancing and singing the lyrics to “Hung Up.” He had invented these moves.
Remi smiled and jumped and jumped and jumped and then ran back to me, hugged me once, kissed me once, jumped back, back, back, back, back, back before I could say to stop. The last thing I saw was a shadow of Remi Zarling and all I heard was my own scream.
He had left me and had died the perfect death.