Peep World has closed its doors. For more than 20 years, men have dashed inside the sprawling Wall Mart of moans and triple x videos to get off on their way to work. Today, a hand-written sign on the door reads — “closed”.
I started to cry as I stood outside the smudged glass doors reading the sign. Wind howled down 33rd Street and straight up my Polo coat. I shivered in disbelief. I remembered how grand the place once was, and now, I’m told, the place will be converted to a Burger King.
A fat gay dude named Brian told me they were closing Peep World when I was in there last summer. Of course, I didn’t believe him and expressed, “That’s impossible. This place was around when I was still a gay virgin.” Brian laughed, “No seriously,” I said, “I used to come here before I started taking it up the ass. All I could do when I was a young gay man was suck guys off, and that was my thing, blowing straight men,” I explained without even cracking a smile.
Brian couldn’t stop laughing. I wondered how he could even fit inside one of the so called “private booths” inside of Peep World. He just stood there in the store and watched the men come and go—as if he were trying to capture the essence of the historic landmark before it fell to modern commercialism.
“They had one of these places in Queens,” Brian explained, “The place was so cool. There were booths for straight men, gay men, and transgenders,” he boasted, “You know this place is closing soon. It’s going to be a Burger King. Can you believe it?”
“It’s those fucking China Town buses that load up outside,” I reasoned. “Men are afraid to come inside here now with all those out of town hicks hogging up the entrance to this place. They need to outlaw those buses before another one crashes,” I explained to Brain, wondering how it was that I survived so many years frequenting places like Peep World and not catching the bug that killed almost all of my close friends.
“Isn’t it funny how bitches don’t come into these places?” Brain asked.
“Thank God! It’s the only place left on the planet for men” I replied. Brian laughed even louder.
The knees of so many of my work pants were ruined inside of Peep World—I’d strut off to work praying no one would ask what was on the knees of my slacks. I was once pick- pocketed inside of Peep World—caught with my pants down, so to speak.
I would have given the shirt off my back in order to keep Peep World open, or dropped to my knees and begged. We don’t need another Burger King. What’s a queen to do?