Friday, April 17, 2009

In One Year And Out The Other

I have spent a lot of time at The Park lately, now that it is Matty’s new haunt. He hosts a monthly party which is a nice excuse for me to get out of the house every once in a while and update my semi-annual blog. I feel a lot of pressure to go out just so I can have something to write about, especially as I see a particularly empty month sitting lonely and forlorn in the blog archives. That is the funny thing about the passing of time. You don’t really notice it until it’s already done.

So it’s been another year since Matty’s last birthday. As I recall, I haven’t been around for many of them. Thanks to timing I am usually off at some pride event somewhere on the same weekend that he chooses to celebrate. For the last five years it has been the same routine. Matty gets excited telling me that his party is coming up and I dash his hopes by not being around. It’s not that he doesn’t have a zillion other friends, after all he was able to launch a popular club night right out of his iPhone contacts. That’s all fine for any run of the mill Thursday but when it is a special occasion you want all of your favorite people around.

Last night at The Park, there were so many gay men that I knew there that it would probably be easier to just list the four gay men I know that weren’t there. I invited Matt Kugelman to join me, speaking of people who have plenty of other friends, and we cabbed it down after the show. I have been trying to keep my strongest yenta urges under wraps and play it cool on my feverish desire to marry him off to someone. However, as primer, I casually dropped subtle questions like “so, is there anything wrong with you?” to see if I could get a better idea of what kind of guy to eventually lock him in a small closet with to see what develops. The problem with someone like Kugie is that he is something of a universal donor. He would be the perfect boyfriend for almost anyone, which makes it hard to distinguish who he would actually be good for. You can’t tell if you are reacting to genuine chemistry with him, or feeling the effects of the same magnetism that draws everyone else to him too.

We walked into the upstairs lounge and headed off to get drinks, though I was instantly way laid by the crowd. Everyone I knew was there! Kugelman gentled chided me about my fame and popularity but it is really Matty’s popularity and my proximity. Big difference. John Saldivar had joined up with Roommate for dinner first (aka margaritas) and they were already there, drinks in hand, when we walked in. Young Bradford was the night’s DJ, working twice as hard as usual, assaying both Samantha Ronson and Lindsay Lohan, all while perching frantically in front of a large aquarium. Ben Harvey and Dennis Hensley were talking while Gray walked behind them like Hamlet’s ghost. Every time I turned my head someone else was right there. My former boss’s old assistant from 2001! Corey Johnson! That guy I accidentally slept with last year and his resentful boyfriend! Then suddenly I realized I had lost Matt in the deep end of the gay ocean!

I ventured further into the lounge, shoving through the crush of bodies with my usual mantra “lady with a baby!” Sometimes if I am really in a hurry, I yell “Is that Madonna?” which might have incited a fire in a crowded theater style riot in the early 90s but these days hardly warrants the energy it takes to lift a heavy eye lid. Along the way I found the birthday boy and Hanno, visiting once again from Austria. Also standing with them was long distance runner Andrew, him of the crisp button down plaid shirts and zero body fat. I hugged them all profusely but left just as quickly as I arrived to find Kugie and my coke. Finally he texted me wondering where I was, worried perhaps that I had invited him to a bar just to ditch him the moment someone better came along. I sent him a message back to meet me at the aquarium, and reveled in how much better life is now that we can so easily rendezvous in crowded public places thanks to our modern conveniences. It was a God-send later at the bar when I needed to get Roommate a beer and his favorite wasn’t on the list. A short txt message later and a substitute “Heiny” was on its way.

At the aquarium, we chatted up Bradford, who snapped a photo of us while we stood on what felt like a very rickety futon. Apparently deprived as a child of furniture to jump on, Matt seemed to delight in bouncing on the couch that I was certain might give way underneath us at any moment. Brian Babst was there and I grilled him quickly about the terrible Star Magazine photo swirling around Facebook that morning of his real estate client Rupert Everett. “Just make-up” he sighed of the photo on the set of Martha Stewart’s show that a plastic surgeon “expert” insisted looked like $25,000 of work done badly. I noted that Brian’s shoulders were a solid mass of muscle when I hugged him and put my head lovingly on his neck like I always do. Memorial Day weekend must be nearer than I thought. I suppose it is time to get ourselves into order.

More and more people kept pouring in. Kenneth In The (212) blogger Ken wandered by on his way to meet up with Misadventures In The (213) author Dennis. Chuck finally arrived after a series of frantic “are you sure you are going to be there” text messages. Ben Harvey and ADD Jeff and on and on. My head was spinning from all the familiar faces. A guy I didn’t know and I don’t remember meeting before came up to me and grilled me about my blog. I think he was hoping for a spontaneous mention, but I didn’t even get his name and now he would be impossible to find. Sorry you. Apparently I also met a hot guy named Andrew but didn’t remember it when he tried to add me later on Facebook. After I sent him my standard form letter denying FB friendship and directing him to my fan page he turned belligerent. “We met on Thursday… you’re a douche.” Both grammatically and factually accurate. I can’t argue with logic like that.

Maybe this blog is more trouble than it’s worth. The more people I meet, the harder it is to remember all of their names and keep them all straight. Who did I miss from this blog entry? Who will be upset? Who will be relieved? It’s exhausting. And after nine years of FantasyMan Island and several years of this chronicle, I have to ask when will the remembrance of things past end? Matty is the one a year older but I am the one feeling the miles trying to keep all these cocktail glasses in the air. I was never a party animal and though we have all been dumped into the same gay aquarium, swimming around feverishly gets exhausting after a while. A few laps around the bar and I was ready to go back to my ceramic castle. At what point do you surrender and just float belly up to the surface of the water, waiting for someone to scoop you up and take you away from it all? The big flush is coming! Enjoy the bubbles while you can.

1 comment:

Erick E said...

I love your blog Derek! I love living vicariously through you. I know one day I'll be a victim of your blog too.