Out of my depth in NYC’s Lower East Side

One never quite knows what a New York night might contain.

One never quite knows what a New York night might contain.

“Do you want it!!!” Do you want it!!!” screamed the man, naked other than a pair of flesh-colored boxer shorts to which was strapped a doll, and who wore an eye patch over one eye and some sort of optical contraption over his other eye.

I’d found my way to a club on the Lower East Side–recommended by a friend for it’s fine ’80s music–and had wandered down into the basement where an audience listened to the man’s performance, which involved background synthesizer music accompanied by a base line that he beat on the doll’s torso that was evidently rigged to some speakers.

He’d clearly reached the crescendo of his performance as he launched himself into the crowd, knocking a woman onto the floor, before proceeding to energetically lick a man’s face, and then moving around screaming his refrain at the nearest person. My stomach tightened–I realized it wouldn’t take much for him to reach me. The thought crossed my mind that I might be a little out of my depth.

Quickly I assessed potential course of actions if he approached: deploy my height and stand on my toes if he tried to lick my face; or, if he screamed “Do you want it!!!”, to reply with a polite but firm, “No, thank you.”

Fortunately, he circled back to the stage and I breathed a sigh of relief. Everyone else in the audience seemed happy enough, including a young lady at the front wearing a strap-on dildo over her hot pants and who bobbed away contentedly to the beat the man went back to tapping out on the doll. It’s an eclectic crowd, apparently, around the Lower East Side.