One night when I was in Prague I mustered up the courage to go to a gay bar, something I am terrified to do in the United States, much less in Eastern Europe. But I was so plagued by my non-functioning gaydar that I felt I needed to go to a place the sexuality of whose denizens was not in question.
I selected the most innocuous-sounding establishment I could find, which was a video bar called “Friends.” As it was early in the evening, there was only a handful of people there, some of them quite attractive. I realized with delight that two of the most attractive guys in the place were openly staring at me, eyes brimming with admiration and excitement. The possibilities were countless: which one of them was interested in me? Or were they both interested in me and preparing to fight over me? Or was a threesome worthy of a Bel Ami video in the offing? Clearly I had made the right decision in coming here. My existential loneliness would be quieted for the evening, my doubts about my suitability as a human being assuaged, and I would find brief but joyous companionship in an affirmation of the universal brotherhood of man.
Then I realized that they were staring at Madonna singing “Holiday” on the TV screen above my head.
I gulped down a hot chocolate and fled.