Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Surprise Part(l)y

Today is Christopher’s birthday so his wonderful boyfriend Kevin plotted a surprise party for him. This apparently took a lot of effort. Chris is smart so it took serious subterfuge on Kevin’s part. A couple of weeks ago we all got separate emails letting us know about the party tonight at Bamboo 52 but also to help “accidentally” suggest there was a surprise party on Thursday. This would throw Christopher off the scent. I told Kevin tonight that if he really wanted to surprise Christopher he should also go ahead with the surprise party tomorrow night too. Nothing like a double fake out.

I did my part in keeping the secret although I nearly helped Kevin botch it all. Two weeks ago we were all at their apartment playing Buzz on the PS3 and one of the answers was the Blondie song “Atomic” and no one had heard of it. Not the boys. Not Michelle from BestWeekEver.TV. Not even Jonathan who seems to know everything I know. So I told them I would email the song to them later. So a few days ago, I sent the song and a short email. I was going to include Christopher on the email with a “See you on Thursday” coda but then thought better of the idea. Maybe that wasn’t a subtle enough accident. So I just emailed Kevin, Michelle and Jonathan and said at the end “See you on Wednesday.” Well, Kevin didn’t read the whole email before starting to read it aloud to Christopher and when he got to the end he suddenly heard himself saying “See you on wen- wasn’t that nice of Derek to send us that.” As close a call as you want when plotting a big surprise.

After the show, I raced down to Bamboo 52 to make sure I was sequestered in back with the rest of the gang before Christopher left the Broadway theatre where he is performing in Shrek The Musical. He steals the show, by the way, in case anyone was wondering. While waiting I ran into dreamy Steven DeLuca’s boyfriend Carl who by chance was there having dinner with friends. I told him to join us back there when he was finished and then headed for a banquette in the corner. I recognized a few people from my two trips to Kevin and Christopher’s island but by and large we don’t have a lot of friends in common.

Christopher was dutifully surprised when he walked in and soon the room was buzzing with cocktail chatter and clever Broadway bon mots. I felt like I was in All About Eve but everything was in color and there was a fight on to be Margo Channing. Kevin complained to me about how loud it was. I assured him that it is because half the people can’t hear anymore and the other half demand to be heard no matter what. “It’s all loud from here.” I told him referring to the domino effect of our birthdays: Kevin, then Christopher, then me, but in retrospect, I think that might make a good book title. Hmmm. I will store that idea away for later.

My pal Eddie from LA was there but left quickly for Florida. Then Adam Jay flew in direct from London with barely a moment to shake the dust of the West End off himself. Suddenly, Steven DeLuca popped into the room, no doubt encouraged by Carl who was still out in the restaurant talking at the sushi bar. Steven and I caught up, and when we spent a few moments with Christopher, he reminded him of when they met so many years ago while Christopher was doing a show in his theatre called “Avow.” Names of shows and actors and directors flew between them and past me like a newspaper headline montage in a 1930s movie. I gave it my best Joan Blondell perplexed and tried to keep my mouth clamped around fists full of sushi as much as possible. When I am in a crowd of strangers, I eat like Shelley Winters and Dom Deluise fighting over the last piece of chicken in the bucket. And tonight was no exception.

I hate surprises myself. And it’s a good thing too because I don’t think anyone could effectively throw a surprise party for me. Maybe I keep it this way, but I am the only person who knows everyone I know. It would probably take four or five of my friends who don’t even know each other well to actually piece together the guest list. And as lazy as my friends are, that isn’t happening anytime soon. But I do have a big birthday coming up this year, so I suppose I will have to do it up right. I have been thinking of a birthday in NYC and one in LA. Why not? And as for surprises, well I promise you that no one will be as surprised as me that I am turning as old as I am. In any event, I hope by then that I have had so much Botox that I will look surprised no matter what.

1 comment:

Viewtiful_Justin said...

"When I am in a crowd of strangers, I eat like Shelley Winters and Dom Deluise fighting over the last piece of chicken in the bucket."

God, Derek. you crack me right-the-hell up.