Friday, May 21, 2010

All The News That's Fit To Prince

“It’s 1999 all over again!”

Bradford was gleeful when I discovered him holding court in the 2-4-1 room downstairs at The Park with Matty and Andrew. There were other men there at the table and standing around: unassuming gay white men in unassuming gay white v-neck t-shirts. It is all furniture to me now: hot, handsome, muscled furniture. Bradford in his signature tight red was a Fabulis splash of color in more ways than one. The room was hot, stifling. No air but for half price drinks, gay men will put up with almost anything, even each other.

There was a cute young thing standing near us, alone and lonely, in a button down shirt tucked into belted shorts. I know this is what people are wearing these days but to me he looks like the nerds that got teased in the 80s. Bradford is younger than I am so when he parties like it is 1999, he actually means 1999, not 1984, like me. But with the clothes as they are nowadays, it is easy for someone like me to get confused.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Giving Tanks

(This is a continuation of the entry Ain't That A Mother)

I suppose it was the universe’s little joke when I got to the Hertz location at LAX and looked around for my car in the President’s Circle and found waiting for me a vehicle as big as my ego. All of the sass disappeared from my walk and I crumpled like a trailer in a tornado. Suddenly, looming before me was the largest SUV I had ever seen. It was a Lincoln Navigator. It seats seven comfortably. It probably sleeps seven comfortably too. I am pretty sure as a kid I rode on smaller school buses. In a moment of panic, I almost went in to the counter and insisted on a smaller car. However that is always a pain in the ass and they were just being polite trying to upgrade me.

It was just ironic that on my last trip to LA, they gave me a Prius and this time, I was handed the genetic opposite: a thundering thirsty mastodon. Of course, last time it took me thirty minutes and a dutiful scan of the owner’s manual in the parking lot just to figure out how to drive the Prius, so perhaps my issue is not so much the cars they give me, but instead the fact that I am just not a very good driver.

Times have been tough since my heyday in Hollywood and jumbo SUVs have been getting a bad rap. Gas prices have been high, the environment is in a shambles. Just this week, a massive oil spill in the gulf has dominated the news. This is not the moment to tool around town alone in something four times the size of my little convertible at home. I felt self conscious as I drove down the street, the wheels barely fitting inside the white lines on the road. “I’m not an asshole. It’s a rental,” I wanted to call out to what I assumed were astonished locals, shaking their heads in deserved disapproval.

Ain't That A Mother

So I decided to surprise my mother on Mother’s Day by making a spontaneous trip to Los Angeles. After all, not only was it Mother’s Day but this year as it occasionally does, Mother’s Day also fell on her birthday. So really I had two reasons to want to surprise her. I live in New York City and host a radio show, so dropping by the left coast is no easy feat. And it is not exactly the kind of job where keeping a secret happens naturally. But somehow I managed to keep my big mouth shut and headed to the airport with a reasonable level of confidence that I could sneak into town unbeknownst to her.

I lived in Los Angeles for fifteen years, starting with my sophomore year of high school. In many ways, LA feels like home. Well, as much as the city not known for its hominess can feel. Sometimes I miss the constant barrage of sunshine and the chalk-like air that you can practically taste in the back of your dry throat. Having lived for the last three years in the rustic wilds north of New York City, I am now used to a kind of Technicolor green in the spring that might remind one of an early MGM color spectacle of the late 1930s. To juxtapose that with the perennially dusty muted tones of nature in Southern California, the pallid greens always thwarted by sandy yellows and nutrient-starved browns in the background, can be jarring.