I remember in college, when I would feel the need for sexual release as an explosion that needed to take place, my destination of choice was the baths. I would arrive driven, nervous, with butterflies in my stomach. My first destination, after paying the fee and getting my towel and locker key, was the bathroom, where my intestines would explode with a complete emptying of my bowels.
After traveling to New York City on Amtrak I headed for the F subway train, carrying my suitcase and backpack up and down the stairs. I got off the F train at the Lexington avenue stop and followed the signs to the uptown 6 train. The signs took everyone to a narrow broken escalator that looked to connect us the the floor above. Once I started climbing the escalator stairs I realized the climb was much more than I had thought, at least three or four flights of stairs. The escalator was too narrow for me to stop, with a long stream of people behind me, so I kept going and trudged up the stairs with my backpack and suitcase. My left knee tweaked with a bit of pain and I began to breath heavily. Maybe, I thought, I should remember my age, 59 years, before I start climbing stairs like a twenty year old. I swatted away the thought and kept climbing.
Oh, the sex I could have had. I came of age in the wild and hedonistic period of gay culture, the 1970’s, where disco music ruled. While I was not very active in gay culture, I would occasionally foray out. I remember one night in college, dancing shirtless at a bar at the foot of Christopher Street and the West Side Highway, packed with hot, sweaty men. It was an incredible intoxicating experience. But that night was more of the exception. Most of my life, at this time, was generally more contained and controlled.