Back In The Saddle Again
I hated last week.
I had some sort of weird stomach bug that announced itself a week ago Friday, moved in and visited with me for a full week. I was a most inhospitable host. I tried killing it with megadoses of Immodium. Apparently Immodium has changed it's formula. It's now a sickly green, slightly viscous fluid that really, really tastes bad. And it doesn't work. At least not in the doses recommended. By the end of the week I had taken to drinking entire bottles. Finally, the bug left on it's own accord sometime around Friday afternoon. Just in time to see Tim!
My dear friend in San Francisco is quite ill. After fighting HIV and all the hell it has wrought on his poor system for years, he's now been diagnosed with lung cancer. He could barely speak. All I could think of was that stupid editorial Andrew Sullivan wrote a couple of months ago in the Advocate. You know the one where he wrote about how sorry he was that he wasn't symptomatic enough or suffering enough from his HIV infection. His editorial infuriated me, and I thought about writing a letter in response, but then came to the conclusion that there were people more directly affected who could speak more eloquently than I. I was not disappointed in the response the piece got. I think Mr. Sullivan should be looking over his shoulder at all times...you never know when that lightening bolt's gonna strike!
Tim and I have had a very busy month, and both of us couldn't wait to get back into our rut. We're both creatures of habit, and it had been several weeks since we'd followed our usual weekend schedule. We did our best to return to a semblance of normalcy these past few days. Friday night saw delicious cocktails: Martinis for me and bourbon Manhattans for Tim. Three each. Tim's dry Martini is a miracle to behold. He pours a bit of vermouth over ice cubes to coat them, and then tosses it out. Vodka is poured over said ice cubes, shaken, the poured into the appropriate stemware. The result is then poured down my throat...an icy silver thread that I can feel as it moves through me. We sat quietly, and listened to Etta James singing Billie, then Ella singing Cole Porter, a bit of Bobby Short singing Rodgers & Hart and finally a very drunken Frank yelling at an equally drunk Roger Edens on a bootleg recorded at a Cole Porter memorial back in 1966. We were equally as festive.
Saturday afternoon, we hauled ourselves down to Tompkins Square for the newest edition of Wigstock. We hadn't been in some years. The last time we attended, it was held at the Hudson piers, went on for 8 hours, and was heavily corporate-sponsored. This year Bunny and crew were able to pretty much do the same thing in 2 hours and 20 minutes. We arrived a few minutes early, garnering a great viewing spot, which we shared with Greg and Frank. I greatly enjoyed Dina Martina, she of the most intense camel-toe ever seen! It was so horrible I couldn't tear my eyes away. The crowd was low-key, mellow, actually. By the time John Kelly channeled Joni Mitchell, I was happy and ready for some cocktails.
Back at my house, we listened to Eliane Elias while I fixed us a pre-dinner bourbon Manhattan. I called Robert, who was deciding to ride out Katrina in his home on Bourbon Street. He seemed adamant about it, and I know there's precious little I've ever been able to do to steer him in one direction or another. We then adjourned to Gene's on 11th Street, where we had 2 more Manhattans apiece and a quiet dinner. After dinner, we headed on over to Ty's for a night cap. We talked with various friends and then I met a gentleman who thought I was the most handsome man in the bar. Now, that's really not saying much if you've ever actually been in Ty's on a Saturday night. I volunteered to step under a spotlight so he could see what I actually looked like. It wasn't necessary. There was no deterring him. Introducing him to Tim did nothing to dampen his ardor. He offered a trip to Paris as a bribe. He then suggested canoeing on Pilgrim Lake in North Truro. Apparently one of his many houses is right there on the hillside overlooking the lake. I finally was able to wrest myself away from him, but I do have his contact information "in case I change my mind". Tim thinks all this is quite comical.
Suffice to say that yesterday I did nothing. I spent the better part of the afternoon on my sofa finishing the Collette novellas I started reading up in P-Town. I've had a couple of conversations recently regarding summer reading and when I've mentioned that I'm reading Collette, most people react as if I've spent the summer translating ancient Celtic runes.
I had a pretty good time at the Dugout yesterday afternoon too. After a slow start, a nice laid back crowd assembled. Several people got pleasantly toasted. A friend came up with a business plan to sell Tim's used jeans on e-bay. I was all for it! I talked quite a bit with Greg and Greg and Ted and Brian and even Dustin, and got acquainted with Kevin of DC. Tim had a good night and we were still home at a decent hour.
I spoke with Robert this morning before the phones went down, and they were surviving. He said it all felt a bit Wizard of Oz-ish to him. I told him to avoid flying cows. A small hatch to their roof had blown off, and rain was blowing through their boarded-up windows. He and Don were pretty cheerful in spite of it all. I've tried calling him again since the storm passed but the phones are apparently out now.
Join me in sending good thoughts to my friends in San Francisco and New Orleans, if you would.