When making my plans to come into NYC for the Cinekink film festival I posted on Facebook that I needed a place to stay. I got two offers - one from an old friend in Brooklyn and another from a writer/film geek in Manhattan: Shade Rupe. My Brooklyn friend could offer me a couch for free while Shade offered up his queen sized bed for $50 a night. I opted for the bed.
Shade was slated to be out of town the days I was in town so he'd have his roommate let me in and give me a spare set of keys. His roommate would take the couch while I took the bed. Sounded like a bargain to me.
As the weeks went on, things started to change as more notes came in via Facebook.
Shade told me that he would be back for the dates I was in town. Jokingly I asked if we'd be sharing a bed and told him that I'd love to be cuddled.
He wrote back and asked me if I'd enjoy a long, luxurious blowjob.
I wrote back and told him that in the parlance I'd be considered a "bear."
He wrote back and told me how much he loves bears.
My last comment was that this trip was looking better and better.
If you listened to my conversations with most of my guy friends you'd think that we were raging queens. We're always throwing shade about sucking dick. Little did I know that Shade wasn't joking around.
I found this out when I got to his Manhattan apartment and he greeted me with a tight hug and warm kiss on the cheek. Eek!
After the hug, Shade got a phone call from a film producer in Italy and, suddenly, we were off to the races. I sat on his couch, cooling off from my long walk from the subway station, and watched him make a series of phone calls and send email and Facebook updates all afternoon. He took great joy in showing me his collection of photos taken with celebs who, strangely, looked a little startled and uncomfortable. As time ticked by I realized that he was far more into setting up a screening of some films in Los Angeles for this Italian producer than into doing anything with me. He started using those photos while he talked to the Italian, "Oh, sure, I know that person... What's your email address?" Soon he was sending those photos to the Italian.
I was also hungry. He kept saying, "Just one more email and we can go to lunch." Four hours later I finally got my coat on and left.
I headed downtown to meet with a fellow writer and attend the Cinekink film festival. After a few hours of films and a day of travel I looked forward to going back to Shade's pad and getting some sleep. I started to leave the Anthology Film Archives only to find Shade waiting for me in the lobby. Oh, shit.
He and a friend were hanging out, waiting for me. We shot the shit for a bit before Shade finally agreed to leave. That began what I have since referred to as "Mr. Toad's Wild Walk." We went from Second Ave and Second St over to Avenue A back over to Fourth Avenue back to Second back to Fourth and up to Fourteenth Street where Shade's friend too the "L" to go home while we took a train up to 42nd Street.
As we went down the stairs to the station I managed to twist my ankle fairly well. When we stopped at 42nd street I didn't realize that we had a mile to go before I could sleep. We walked from 42nd and Park (Grand Central) all the way to 51st and 10th with Shade talking and acting as a manic tour guide the entire time -- pointing out what nearly every building is and what the past five businesses to own it had been. He especially discussed the former movie houses of old, even dipping into the lobbies of numerous buildings to show me entrances and architecture, waxing about the glory days of scuzzy NYC before the Giuliani clean-up.
Limping along; one ankle twisted, both feet blistered, I finally had to yell at Shade saying, "Listen, son, I'm from Detroit. We don't walk. We drive everywhere. Now, get me back to your place so I can get some fucking sleep."
That slowed (but didn't stop) the tour.
I ended up bunking on Shade's couch while he and his roommate shared the queen-sized bed. As soon as the lights went out the noise started -- not the expected New York city noise of sirens and honking horns but the scratch scratch scratch of their pet chinchilla running mad circles in his wall-sized cage. I'm glad that the chinchilla was at least in a cage as it could easily get lost and die in the mess of the apartment.
I don't know why I was so surprised the next morning when I got up to shower only to find that the bathtub was a nightmare of mold and mildew. I felt far more dirty after my shower than before it. That's when I vowed to find a new place. Somewhere without an amorous, manic host, somewhere without a chinchilla somewhere with a bed, and somewhere with a clean shower.
I hopped onto Hotwire.com and scored a four-star hotel down in Soho. It was more than $50 a night but my sanity was worth it.
Visit the official Shade Rupe website