It was late June 1996. I’d just attended my second ever Pride celebration. I feel like it was still mid day, and I was at a Chelsea bar called King. They were having a post-Pride underwear party and, having never attended an underwear party before, was curious to see what it was all about. I paid the clothes check guy, stripped down to my skivvies and my roommate’s Army boots, and got myself a drink. Ahh, the days when you could drink underage in New York. I surveyed the dance floor and noticed a group of guys at clothes check. That group included Lal, who was the assistant manager at the Tower Records location I’d gotten let go from five months before. He wasn’t fully out at the time. Awkward. I noticed him, he pretended not to notice me and beat a hasty retreat out of the club.
At some point shortly after, “Here Comes The Rain Again” came booming out of those huge club speakers. I was familiar with the song, after all it was a huge hit in early 1984. There was a hypnotic, trance-like feel to it that I’d noticed even when I was a little kid, but I’d never thought of the song in the context of the dance floor, and I’d certainly never heard it on speakers so good. I lost myself in Dave Stewart’s synthetic soundscapes and Annie Lennox’s bewitching voice, and I shook my underwear clad teenage chubby ass like I never had before. It’s the closest thing to an out-of-body experience I’ve ever had on a dance floor.
Maybe I was high on being in a room full of (near-naked) queer men for one of the first times in my life, maybe I was a little buzzed on screwdrivers, maybe the remnants of poppers had flown into my brain. Maybe it was a combination of things plus a great song. I don’t remember much else from that afternoon; but I do remember that “Here Comes The Rain Again” became one of my favorite songs of all time on that day.