Rod Townsend (aka our commenter Momo), used to receive telephone calls from The Past, a mysterious entity that remembered where things used to be in New York before Starbucks and Whole Foods came to town.


"Oh, kneadynips, it's The Past. Can I just tell you it's all so over?"

"Over the top? Over the limit? Overdone? Overcooked?"

"It's just, like, Over. Nightlife is just getting weird. I can't even have fun at Limelight."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, to be honest, it's never really been my venue of choice. Too much 'freaky for freaky sake' and not enough 'freaky.' That whole group of club kids. They really just try too hard. I've been thinking about it ever since Angel died."

"Wait. You told me about him. Was it an overdose?"

"An overdose of Michael Alig! Angel didn't even do drugs; he just sold them. Then Michael and Freeze up and killed Angel, chopped him up and threw him in the river. But the police finally figured it all out, and now Michael's in jail. Which is probably more fun than clubs these days anyway."

"You're obviously exaggerating."

"Not really, swirlysnooch. It used to be we'd just walk in the front door. Then we had to start going in through the Twentieth Street entrance. Now there's no VIP entrance at all and we have to go in with the cattle. They make us wait in line to be patted down in the most unflirtatious way. I even saw them shake down some poor tranny's wig. She should've hid razors in that 'fro."

"Oh! Like Foxy Brown?"

"Coffy, actually. Anyway, we did the usual survey of the main floor, checked out the side and then headed our way upstairs. It was surreal. What used to be too packed was just a big empty room. Even the backroom where guys used to stick their dicks into the holes of a box that allegedly housed some random homeless drag queen? Empty."

"Well, there's always shifts in venues. One place goes out of favor and a new one rises."

"No, there's a more than a shift happening. Giuliani has this whole crackdown on fun going on while he's supposedly sticking his dick into somebody other than his wife. You know how moralistic hypocrites can be, right? But it's more than just that. New places that are opening are filled with tables and chairs and smaller dance floors. I saw my friend JonEd working the VIP door at one of the new places and she said we couldn't go in unless we bought a bottle of Absolut. For, like, $300! All these changes—it's like I'm suddenly in Atlanta. It's making me go a little crazy I think."

"Change can bring out weird feelings. And you sound, well, a little emotional. Are you that upset?"

"It's not just nightlife. It's, well, everything. I'm... I'm just afraid."

"You? But you're fearless. What could you be afraid of?"

"I call you week after week. For months now and it seems like everything I ever tell you about. Every important thing in my life is either gone or forgotten. All just things of The Past."

"That still doesn't explain what could scare you."

"Too be honest, it's you. I'm afraid of becoming you."

"Hey, I'm not that bad a thing to become! I still can... Hold on, I have another call... Hello?"

"Es salaam aleikum, giga-glans! I've been wanting to call you for years! This is The Future."

Previously: Past Over