725. Pride (In the Name of Love)

The next thing I remember after the primal scream was a little while later. I guess I blanked out? I don’t know.

I do remember coming back to myself, though, in the back of a bodega, leaning on Ziggy’s shoulders, looking down at our feet, panting heavily and thinking it looked cool the way our black and white boots alternated. I raised my head slowly and looked around.

Ziggy was staring into my face with concern. “You all right?”

“Yeah,” I said automatically. I blinked. “Um. How’d we get here?” All I could hear where we were standing was the hum of the refrigerator case next to us. A doorbell rang as the door from the street opened and someone came in, but I couldn’t see the front of the store from where we were.

“We walked. Court’s buying some Gatorade.”

“Do you think I…had heatstroke just now?” I wondered.

“It’s kind of hard to tell with the red and black makeup on your face.” He looked down the aisle. “Court’s got the drinks by the cash register.”

I let go of him and we walked to the front of the store and then back onto the sidewalk. The sound of the parade was suddenly loud, but it was around the corner, so we were hearing it off the echo of the buildings. An incredible sound.

I drank a Gatorade in one long unbroken series of gulps. “I’m okay,” I said, even though neither of them had asked yet. “I’m okay.”

Court had a napkin or a tissue or something and she blotted carefully at my face, so as not to wreck my makeup, I guess. I had apparently been crying or maybe there was just a lot of extra sweat under my eyes and on my cheekbones. Right?

“I’d like to get down to Christopher Street,” Court said. “I’m meeting some people down there later.”

“Sure,” Ziggy said. “If Daron’s had enough that’s in the direction of the apartment anyway.”

“Who said I’ve had enough?”

They ignored what I said, but seemed okay with us walking downtown in the direction the parade was going. We kept going on the sidewalk until it go too crowded, and then we slipped into the street for a few blocks, keeping to the edge but going faster than the actual marching groups and floats. I’m pretty sure a lot of people got pictures of the angel and devil holding hands that day.

The parade ended in the Village not far from the infamous Stonewall Inn where the gay rights movement was ignited. Even I’d heard about that, but I’d never gone in there, never went and looked at it like a landmark even though Ziggy lived not far from it. I didn’t feel the need to go in there now, either, not when the movement felt like something so much huger right then.

It felt to me like the whole human race was being cheated of joy by excluding gay people. Is that why the word “gay” means happy? I was still high on the emotional intensity of the parade and the whole excitement of the crowd.

And I kept catching glimpses of me and Ziggy in windows and such and right after the moment of “wow, we look amazing” would come this moment where, amazingly, I would feel we fit in. People all around us were in everything from giant feather headdresses to leather G-strings to superhero outfits to bodypaint and glitter extravaganzas. It was like a holiday where everyone was suddenly allowed to–or almost required to–wear on the outside all the sexuality they’d been keeping hidden inside.

Courtney peeled off on her own and Ziggy and I walked around among the throngs. We saw breakdancers in the street. We saw a drag queen dressed as the Statue of Liberty.

We ran into Matthew on a street corner across from Washington Square Park. He didn’t recognize us at all by sight at first until he heard my voice. I thought it was kind of insane odds that out of the hundreds of thousands of people (we’d heard the words “half a million” tossed around) at Pride that we managed to run into each other.

He told me I looked good. I told him to come by The Hangar some time in July if he wanted a preview of what we were up to.

And then it was dinner time and the fact that we hadn’t eaten anything really was starting to sink in. We got slices from the counter at a pizza place and sat on the curb eating and watching people go by.

We looked at each other. “You want to go dancing?” he asked.

“I wouldn’t mind dancing,” I said, “but I’d like to go home and…even more.” I didn’t have to say what the “and” was for.

We started walking home at that point. Music was pouring out of various bars and restaurants as we went, lots of places with their doors open on a summer night, and every place south of 14th Street having a Pride party of some kind. I could also hear dance music of some kind echoing off the buildings.

We turned the corner onto a block party where hundreds of men–it seemed like mostly men to me, anyway–were dancing. There were barricades set up but the crowd had spilled beyond them and so if there was someone we were supposed to pay or answer to, we never did. The music was infectious and we didn’t even question whether we should start dancing or try to go around. We danced.

When we decided to stop dancing was when the dancing turned into me having backed Ziggy against a wrought iron fence, my hands on either side of him, my mouth on his neck, my thigh between his legs.

You can guess what happened when we got home, right? That was how, on the very day that I’d been told not to fall asleep with my hair a sweaty tangled mass, I did exactly that.

(You know what we haven’t had in a while? A bonus ‘adults-only’ scene. I think this might be a very good time for one, don’t you?

If you’d like to see the scene of what went on between Daron and Ziggy arriving home and Daron falling asleep with his hair a tangled mess, you can get it one of three ways. One, be a supporter of DGC on Patreon. All Patreon supporters get all new bonus scenes free! Two, make a one-time donation right now through the DGC Tip Jar or using our PayPal link: https://www.paypal.me/daronmoondog! Three, since we *just* finished the Kickstarter and a lot of people have given a lot of money this month already, in lieu of a monetary donation, spread the word about the new DGC ebook that will be out at the end of June! Volume 9 is already live for pre-order on Amazon, on Barnes & Noble Nook, on Kobo, and on iTunes, so email me proof that you tweeted, facebooked, tumblred, posted, squeed, or otherwise spread the word of love about the new DGC ebook and I’ll email you back the bonus scene! Email to daron.moondog @ gmail.com a screen cap or link to the proof of your post and I’ll email you back with the scene as a PDF! -ctan)


  • s says:

    “I would feel we fit in.” <3

    Remember when you thought you were the only gay man in the world? Then your circle opened a little to include a handful of gay people. And now? Now, you fit in. 🙂

    And now I have to figure out how I want to watch you destroy your hair (and make-up, because that should be epic). Lol

  • Amber says:

    I cannot express how much I’m loving this story right now.

    And the bonus scene: wow. I’m thoroughly impressed with your ability to write such distinct sex scenes.

  • G says:

    I wanted to write a comment because I’m just so in love right now, but I can’t even think about what to say. I love that you are just opening up so much and feeling so much (bonus scene, yikes!) at this point. I really can’t wait to see how this affects other aspects of your life, Daron. I mean, I don’t think you’re going to be all radical or super different, but when you grow and change, it’s exciting to see how your new ways of thinking show up elsewhere. Shit, I’m not being coherent. I know what I mean. Dammit.

  • Bill Heath says:

    The absolute best fictional depiction of a Damascene moment I’ve ever read. it’s not necessary to be gay, or young, or talented, to appreciate it. It sure helps to have read every one of the previous posts.

    Interestingly, Saul (now Paul) was blinded for three days afterwards. I wonder if ctan will continue the parallel any further. Blindness, as in so much of the Bible and the Koran, is clearly allegorical.

  • Cay says:

    As someone who only recently has managed to actually participate in pride events, the last two chapters just filled me with joy.

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