Hunter Allen doesn’t usually frequent the NYC gay club scene, but somehow, surprisingly, a bitterly cold February night finds him at Malestrom nursing a beer and leaning against a railing that overlooks the floor. Even in his tightest jeans and nicest button-down (he’s here to drink, not to get laid—his boyfriend away for the weekend at his parents’ place is New Hampshire) he feels out of place, always the stupid country kid from southern Missouri even though he hasn’t stepped foot in that state for nearly five years now.
The dance floor below him is packed with gyrating bodies moving fluidly under the streaks of pink and purple from the lights overhead. The music is loud enough for Hunter to feel in his chest, shaking its way from the soles of his feet all the way up to his throat and heart like it’s a part of his blood now. Taking another drink, Hunter blinks and his eyes fall, almost as if pulled to, a couple that manages to stand out through the dense crowd.