After hearing a lot about the raging party that gets thrown every Wednesday at the teeny-tiny Mexican eatery Bocados on West Alabama, I decided to dash on over and see what all the hump-day hubbub is about. It's ladies' night -- but more to the point -- it's ladies-who-like-ladies' night, which, for reasons that might seem obvious, somewhat changes the perception of a restaurant whose name means "mouthfuls" in Spanish.
DJ Tino Latino starts spinning an eclectic mix of house, old- and new-school rap, and Latin-tinged ditties at 10 p.m., so after watching a rented copy of Chasing Amy (research) I head over at around 11 p.m. to the dining room that, tonight at least, will be serving the sort of tacos that dare not speak their name.
The lot is packed, so parking is best found in the neighborhood around back. I walk up behind a couple who look less Rosie O'Donnell than Giselle Bundchen. Stunning. My dirty male mind is already picturing them dancing -- tongues tied and hands a-roamin' -- to the swelling harmonies of the Indigo Girls. Closer I am to fine indeed.
I saunter through the door and squeeze through a throng of gorgeous women on my way up to the bar.
Bocados has two frozen drinks on tap: piña coladas and margaritas. I ask the bartender to pour me something pretty. Without blinking, he hands me a glass of liquid so red it would make a sorority girl proud.
"Cape Cod," he yells.
"Thanks," I yell back convincingly.
I'm in the mix! I'm a tad bit anxious about diving into a gaggle of women who have no interest in me, but pretty quickly I admit to myself that I am well accustomed to that state of affairs. This is only a matter of degree. Still, I don't want these ladies to think I'm joy-riding through their scene, a twisted pervert in the house solely to observe their rituals up close for a cheap thrill. Okay, I am -- but I don't need them to know it. I toss back my Cape Cod and decide to go for broke after another Cape Cod and another and a margarita. By now I'm feeling a bit chipper, so I start thinking of ways to start a conversation with one of these hot lady lovers. Suddenly, one of them starts speaking to me.
"What brings you here on ladies' night?" she asks.
"Ummm the ladies," I respond -- such a clever fuck.
"Are you another Rick?"
"I'm not exactly sure. What's that mean?" I ask.
"See that guy over there in the blue shirt?" she says, pointing to the bar.
I do indeed. It's hard to miss the whitest guy in the room attempting to dance to R. Kelly's "Happy People" while sporting a John Elway-sized grin and the tightest blue shirt ever sewn together in the history of the entire goddamned sweatshop industry.
"How do I know if I'm a him?"
She explains that the regulars at Bocados have pegged Rick as the type of leering voyeur I wrote about a few paragraphs back. I'm hoping her finely tuned hetero-dar doesn't categorize me as such, but I think she only half believes me.
Anyway, her name is Tara, and she has a plan. She wants me to pretend to be her brother so she can introduce me to Rick. He's a spend-happy perv who shells out shots of Patrón like water, she adds. Let's do this, lil' sis, I say.
As we're making our way to Rick, she tells me that the first thing he ever said to her was "I drive a Mercedes." Wow, buddy. You outed yourself.
I'm introduced -- and just like Tara said, the tequila starts flowing. I get to talking to my new Mercedes-owning pal. It took everything I had not to open with "My name is Brian. I drive a Nissan Sentra."
He tells me that my sister is beautiful. Easy there, pal. I agree with him. I decide to take on the role of supportive (rather than protective) sibling.
It just so happens that support is the next thing on Rick's mind.
"It's great that you support your sister."
I tell him that we're both gay -- the support is mutual.
"Oh," he says, somewhat flummoxed. "Anyway, she's great."
Again I agree. He buys me another shot. I ask him how he found out about this place.
"You know what, man? I was driving by one night and I saw four hot chicks crossing the street holding hands. I turned my car around and came in. I didn't know it was a lesbian place or whatever. I come back all the time now."
"Do you just like watching the girls dance close? Make out? What's the appeal for a straight guy going out to a night like this?" I ask, already knowing the answer.
"It's just fun, man. Everyone here is so nice. I like to buy people drinks and dance. It's a great time."
It truly is. Maybe Rick isn't such a tool after all. He just wants to be loved. Is that so wrong?
Shortly after our conversation, I find Tara and we hit the cramped dance floor. The compact room is smoky with body heat, and the fruity drinks I've been enjoying all night have turned themselves into sweat. I tell Tara I'm going to the patio for a bit of fresh air.
I'm leading the way when she pulls on the back of my shirt so hard I'm afraid it's going to rip.
She's pointing frantically toward Rick, who has wedged himself into a cozy spot: right between the Bundchens I saw on my way in. What's more, he's doing some pretty serious petting.
"I swear to God," Tara declaims, "if that guy makes out with those hot-ass bitches, I'm going to be so fucking jealous."
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Ditto, Tara, ditto.
We make our way out to the cool air. I'm introduced to a few of Tara's friends, all of whom are as drop-dead gorgeous as she is. I mention that it's my first time out at a place like this and, forgive me, but I expected to see a lot more -- I don't know -- butch types. They laugh and tell me that Bocados is a trendy place, and, like downtown, it's where the beautiful people come to play. If I want some hard-core flannel-wearing ladies, I should check out Chances on Westheimer. It has a much wider array of the gay female spectrum, they say. I'll have to check it out.
For now, though, I'm heading home. Who knows -- I may even be back. Tonight offered more fun than I've had on a Wednesday for a long time. I head to the bar to close my tab, where I find Rick making out with one of those girls while the other rubs his back.
I've got to get a Mercedes.