Friday, April 30, 2010

Birth Of Elation

Birthday parties are for kids young enough to still count their years in fractions and the super elderly where each passing year is nothing short of a miracle. For the rest of us, birthdays should be politely ignored. I was slow to come to this realization, like all people do. When I was in my twenties, I didn’t mind having birthday parties at all. I mean, what’s not to love about a room full of people who are there solely for you? But now, birthdays just seem like a rote chore made more unbearable by constant reminders on social networks that every day is some birthday.

Tonight, I took my friend Adam down to the ACE Hotel for Corey Johnson’s 28th birthday party. Adam is visiting from Phoenix this weekend and I was much surprised on Wednesday night when I came home and discovered him propped up in the guest room bed reading his kindle. He is in town this weekend for my annual Cinco de Mayo party which for some reason in that moment I thought was next weekend and not three days from now. It is this kind of constant surprise about my own life that keeps my roommate Mike in a persistent state of agitation.

As soon as we arrived at the ACE on 29th street, we headed downstairs into the basement party room and waited on line at coat check. A nice young lady was working the table and a copy of “The Actor’s Art and Craft” was tossed casually on her chair. An actor prepares… to check your coat. We dropped our bags and started to head in when suddenly I ran right into that guy who insisted that I stop writing about him. I thought he was in Los Angeles! When I asked him if he was leaving already, he looked past me with solid black shark eyes, gave a negative response in a negative way and moved beyond me in every sense of the word. It was a chilly reception with frosty on top.

Inside, the party was jumping and the boys were hot. As I looked around for Corey, Adam asked if the crowd was here just for his birthday or if this was normally a bar. Adam was dutifully impressed when I said they were all just for Corey. “I could fill a room like this too if I wanted,” I said confidently, but that was a lie. I’m that guy still haunted by the accurate portrayal of his childhood in Little Man Tate, where he is cast as the brainy kid with that kind of dyky warrior princess mom (before Xena made it fashionable) and who had a birthday party that no one came to. To this day, every time I throw a party, I believe that no one will come. The moment that invitation goes out I start dreading the whole decision and the misery doesn’t end until the last person goes home. But I keep throwing parties because little kid fears are no excuse for a life half lived.

I didn’t see Corey right away but I did see Andy Towle. Andy is so adorable and I never see him out. He is not a party animal and with his fabulous apartment and smoking hot boyfriend, why would he ever want to go out for anything more than the morning paper and a fresh bagel? Andy was so sweet to me as I gushed about his blog, towleroad.com, which is a twice daily must-read for me, first in the late morning when I wake up and then right before the show for updates and breaking news.

Wandering off to get a drink at the bar we ran into Corey, twirling through the place with a tiara on his head. He was beyond drunk and everyone was grabbing at him like a pair of twenty dollar Ben Sherman jeans at the Barney’s Warehouse Sale. And then in an instant he was gone so we continued on our journey. Near the bar we settled in with Chris (sans Cub) and Henry. I gently ribbed Henry about the recent photos of him on Facebook paying dodge ball. Chris was missing Cub, who was down in Atlantic City headlining a bachelor party weekend for a straight friend.

I fell in love with Cub all over again when Chris told me that Cub is very down on the whole Fire Island business that, as it launches each spring, grips the Manhattan gay scene annually like a toxin. I just don’t understand the notion of going from the island of Manhattan to Long Island by train, transferring once along the way. Then taking a cab to a boat dock where a ferry takes you to an overpriced, deer tick riddled island filled with all the gays you see all week long back in Manhattan. Of course out on Fire Island, you get to see them in unflattering direct sunlight and ill-fitting Speedos while they rant about their housemate who never does dishes and used all their lube without asking.

It was then that Chris got a happy text from Cub that he had located eternal FM radio personality Delilah on his drive down and my love for him faded away. Delilah and her maudlin love songs and dedications from women who pine away for male co-workers who don’t know they exist and prisoners reaching out to touch in a new way those they have stalked is the quintessence of everything I hate about terrestrial radio. Oh well. I guess no one is perfect.

Then again, I started developing my own weird music obsession recently myself. I noticed a few weeks ago that the music at the supermarket was better than it used to be and then I realized, it wasn’t better, I was just older and the music was targeted to me. And then it hit me. That is how everything is now. Everything is made and sold by people my age, so everything in life is now pitched perfectly for me to experience. It is almost like the whole world is created personally for you, which makes all of life feel like Disneyland to a five year old. So growing uglier sucks and suddenly feeling pain in places you never felt before is always a bad omen of things to come, but all of that is masked nicely by the warm comfort of knowing you are the target demo of modern life.

Even though they have longed for an invite to my house, Cub is in Atlantic City and Chris is using the weekend to go down to DC and neither of them will be at my party. Henry is listed on my Facebook invite as a Maybe but I am certain he isn’t coming. I didn’t even bother asking him. Although his boyfriend Dan did tell me tonight how excited he was when he went to fabulis.com and saw me in the top ten. “You’re number five in the world! I can’t believe I know someone ranked so high,” he beamed even though I never got higher than eight. “I’ve slid since then.” I assured him, my rank now hovering at a still impressive 32 though long since overwhelmed by obsessed college kids with nothing to do in their permanent state of unemployment but vote each other up on the list.

However artificial a popularity contest like the Fabulis list is, it does feel good to have so many votes. Sure it isn’t the same as having a house full of people, hearing your favorite song in the cereal aisle or filling a club on your birthday, but these days you have to take your kudos where you can get them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Who is this guy you speak of that doesnt want you to speak of him anymore? That alone should be reason for you to keep on talking!!!