Saturday, September 25, 2010

Easy Off

Life is riddled with paradox. For instance, I hate the sound of my own voice and yet I am reluctant to ever take a night off from talking on the radio. But tonight I did. In the morning, I will be boarding a plane to Los Angeles where I will be working virtually around the clock for the next ten days. So it seemed prudent to take an evening off and enjoy myself. After all, with the hours I work, I am never around on a Friday night for a movie or dinner with friends. So with this night off, that is exactly what I did.

I started with a late matinee of You Again, the new Kristen Bell comedy (although the way they are pushing current mega star Betty White, you would think she was the lead). After some casual correspondence online with Vanity Fair’s Brett Berk, we had planned to see the movie early and do some kind of online gay dueling review. But we missed the screenings and will have to wait for the next big gay movie, Burlesque, starring Christina Aguilera and what’s left of Cher. You Again was admittedly not a good movie, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a few laughs and even a tear or two as everything tied up just as neatly as you would expect. But mostly I came for the popcorn and the Cherry Coke and to relish sitting nearly alone in a massive theater in Times Square, instead of working.

After the movie, I made a surprise visit to the show. Even on my night off, I can’t resist calling in or dropping by, or in this case both. Fortunately for Romaine, I didn't stay long. I was on a tight schedule and hopped on the subway down to Matty and Andrew’s new (to me) apartment where we were meeting for dinner. Matty is my longest NYC friend, having first met him in 1997 when he was fresh out of college and I was just embarking on my online career. Matty even inadvertently helped fill the first one hundred pages of my last book (which Andrew, in an effort to know his boyfriend before he was his boyfriend, dutifully read and deserves a medal for getting through).

In reality, our many adventures over these long years could fill thousands of pages, which I suppose is the mark of a true friend. I told Matty about the new book I am working on and assured him that he isn’t in nearly as much of it. I suppose it is because we just haven’t seen as much of each other lately as either of us would like. I blame my radio show first and foremost with robbing me of my friends and social life but so too is my house in the suburbs to blame for inhibiting my desire to go out in the city on weekends and forcing me to leave parties early lest I be stuck in the city overnight.

When I was a kid, I was sad about something that happened at school one day and my mom, in her best Donna Reed mode put her arm around me and profoundly said, “Yes, growing up is hard. But getting older is harder.” And it is. Life is full of tough choices. When you jump at the chance to have a nibble at fame, you don’t always realize that the Faustian bargain you are making will leave you feeling isolated and alone. You can make the perfect environment for yourself at home without knowing that you may end up being the only one who truly appreciates it.

That of course is one problem that David Coleman doesn’t seem to have in his apartment in the sky, but maybe I think that because I have only ever been to there when a party has been raging at full force. Tonight, Matty and Andrew whipped up a delightful dinner and once the dishes were cleared away, we left their sky high ceilings and the Parker pug, and headed to David’s Union Square party pad. Upon arrival, we discovered a small knot of homosexuals outside his door holding the world’s smallest bottle of Stoli and debating the correct British term for a small group of gays (Does a snog of gays sound right?). The party inside was so loud, no one could hear the knocking or doorbell ringing outside. Soon a line began to form and one of the gays just called a friend already inside to let us in.

All the usual suspects were there. Kevin, who is very handsome and I have remembered meeting on a few occasions was standing near the bookshelf and then later positioned near the dining room window. Henry was there, back in his trademark bow tie, although it got so hot in the apartment that he unraveled it and took his shirt down three buttons revealing a sweaty, hairy chest. Henry was none too pleased that in recalling the night we met at the karaoke bar in Harlem that his singing reminded me of Cameron Diaz in My Best Friend’s Wedding and that, for a time, his nickname was “Chocolate-covered Kimmie.” He and his friend Brian and Ryan were debating the difference between cute ugly and ugly cute when I arrived and to make drunken matters worse, I threw my invented term “Jeopardy hot” into the mix.

Since I am working on a new book, my thoughts have turned recently to the cover design. I know what I want for it and I am hoping it will be better received than the cover of my last book, which was highly criticized because the photo was of me. But in my own defense, the book was about me! And I am a narcissist for no good reason. For the next cover though, I need a short man with a lithe, tight abs body. I need a man who wears a boy’s size twelve, a jockey, a hot midget. There was one guy at the party who was not as short as I would have liked but the body was perfect. Andrew, who I had been discussing my specs with, joined in my analysis of him and I think he thought we were cruising him, so he came over to say hi.

Christopher is an actor and model and he was there with his blond friend Eddie, whose flawless skin and golden hair looked like angels pulled an all-nighter to make it happen. Christopher had the kind of bone structure you could hang Christmas ornaments on and his body was as fat free as the all-protein chicken breast and egg whites breakfast at Eat Well. He was drunk and pulled me in close to talk, which I did not resist. He told me how amazing my eyes were, and not wanting to seem impolite by disagreeing, I allowed him to draw me into some intense kissing in the middle of the crowded party. This did not go unnoticed.

I wanted to get his number to use him as a model on the cover of my book and perhaps even continue kissing at some later date but I was pressed for time, and as drunk as he was, I thought the process of explaining what I wanted would take too long and I would miss my train. I wandered quickly through the place making my good-byes but made time for a long pair of hugs with Matty.

Kevin remarked earlier in the evening how Matty never seems to age and I am so glad. My mom is right, getting older is harder but as much as I resist it, I can bear it for myself. But it can’t happen to Matty. It just can’t. I love our time together, even though, paradoxically, it is both rare and brief. I have thousands more pages I need to fill with our adventures and it can’t happen without his boundless youth and zest for life. And so it has been decided that, even though we have grown up, we can never grow old. We ended our evening on a pinkie swear to hang on together to the bitter end. It felt like Thelma and Louise. But there was no convertible. No sexist trucker. No cliff to drive off of. Just another late night train to the suburbs. And more adventures to come.

4 comments:

Brobinson54 said...

If you enjoyed 'You Again', check out 'Easy A' as I had the exact same reaction to the latter movie that you did to the former. Although there were no tears.

I know, not exactly the point of your post, but I can't resist commenting on movies. I am a daily listener to your show and almost always want to call in when you talk movies, but I am too much of a chickenshit to call. Maybe one day, if you piss me off enough. Heh.

Good luck out here in LA. Luckily, yesterday seems to have been the hottest -- we'll see.

David said...

I have a Peter Pan who can never grow old too!

Brobinson54 said...

I couldn't find a place to email this to you, but I knew you would enjoy this as much as I did:

Sally Draper speaks:

http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/30140/sally-draper-is-totally-freaking-us-out/

Do you follow the Mad Men weekly multiple blogs on Slate?

http://www.slate.com/id/2261483/

And, I promise to look harder for where to send emails so as not to clog up your blog response box.

Derek Hartley said...

I did see that interview with the actress who plays Sally Draper. She is my favorite character on the show mostly because I live to see her torment Betty, the worst mother on earth.

You should also check out Michelle Collins' Mad Men recaps on bestweekever.tv. Love them. And you can always email me at derek@derekhartley.com