I almost died yesterday in New Orleans.
I used to take my anti-aging vitamins two at a time until my Grandmother snapped, “Oh for crying out loud, open your throat and swallow them all at once.” So for the last year and a half, not wanting to seem like a pussy in front of her, that is how I have done it. A fistful of pills thrown down my throat, which had been a fine system until yesterday when life once again imitated the art of 30 Rock and the vitamins got lodged in my throat. Moments later, I was coughing and puking in the sink until three of them came back up. That was enough clearing for me to swallow some large swigs of water to get the rest of them down. But standing there alone in my underwear in the hotel room, my face red and puffy from the hacking, just served to remind me of the running theme of the weekend: we are just too old for this.
Nevermind that it was anti-aging vitamins I was choking on, the whole weekend was an endurance test for the liver, kidneys, stomach and feet. Each day began at the crack of one, with a sumptuous lunch that left us incapacitated and in need of a nap. We’d regroup at 8pm for another massive meal and then head to the Bourbon Pub for a night of intense intoxication. For three days, I battled nausea from overeating, overdrinking, and rapid changes in temperature moving from air conditioned interiors to searing humid exteriors. The combination of humid heat and a basket of fried pickles I refused to abandon even when beyond stuffed nearly caused my gastric demise on a street corner on Sunday afternoon.
Out at the bars, everyone was too old for their outfit, me included. I understand the gay desire to never get any older, but I just don’t know if an ANF muscle tee, cargo shorts and a sideways baseball cap are appropriate on a charter member of the AARP. To paraphrase Helen Gurley Brown, “I will wear shorts until I die”, but that doesn’t mean it will be pretty. I suppose the most important thing is that everyone was having fun, and when you are on the shady side of fifty, really how many more days of fun are left?
I spent a lot of time this weekend in the VIP room at the Bourbon Pub, thanks in large part to my friendship with Chi Chi La Rue. Listeners of my radio show and my disgruntled roommate may think I am famous, but I am largely unknown even in the gay community. It is a situation I continue to relish even as it keeps me standing in lines and denied access to free cocktails. My anonymity is worth the trade off. Although to be fair to the Bourbon, Jonathan knows me but his staff doesn't. And instead of making one of those dreadful "don't you know who I am" scenes, I just opted to ride in on the La Rue train.
Friday night Chi Chi La Rue was holding court on the third floor at the Bourbon Pub with Lady Bunny, who had just finished her set. Chi Chi had been DJing all afternoon long and was clearly ready for a drink or five by the time I arrived upstairs. Lady Bunny was in her own movie, primarily Valley of the Dolls although she did slip in and out of Bette Davis when the occasion called for it. Chi Chi’s hot phrase of the evening was “I’d love to do it, but I can’t brisket.” My love of a good pun knows no bounds and the next day at the Old Chartres House, I just had to order the BBQ brisket po-boy sandwich in honor of it.
As the night wore on, Bunny’s wig got progressively scarier and scarier. The combination of the late night and the humidity took its toll on that wiry heap of plastic yarn that looked like the Lady had scalped a Barbie beauty head circa 1972. “Tell everything! Include diagrams!” Chi Chi urged in between briskets, but I can’t really draw. Chi Chi demanded that Lady Bunny show me her brown stained pantyhose, which she insisted was from Bunny shitting herself. Bunny claimed it was a gumbo mishap but two hours later she was still in those same messy hose. The only thing dirtier than Bunny’s legs was the carpet. I dubbed it the night of 1000 spilled drinks, although I only managed to spill one of them.
At one point, some cutie boys insisted that their friend come up and audition for Chi Chi. This happens quite regularly since I witnessed it myself in Minneapolis with a dirty boy dancing on a box while Chi Chi was spinning, the more Chi Chi looked past him, the harder he started grinding. Back at the Bourbon, Chi Chi told a great story while we were waiting about two men getting it on right next to her on a pool table while she was trying to just sit and enjoy her cocktail. And the more she ignored them, the more aggressive they got, to the point where they were fully engaged with their legs thrown across Chi Chi’s lap. The hunk finally arrived upstairs and he was a handsome thirty-something with a tight body. Chi Chi asked to see his cock. “But I’m not hard,” he whined.
“I didn’t ask for a story. I asked to see your cock.”
He whipped it out and even soft, it was quite big and thick. Chi Chi clutched me like a new car winner on The Price Is Right. “Oh my God! Did you see that? It’s huge!” It sort of surprised me that Chi Chi, after all these years in porn, could still get excited about seeing a new cock. I guess that is a lesson for us all when we are feeling old. A weekend in New Orleans may play out like a heartburn commercial when you are thirty-something (or older), but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to enjoy it anyway.