Saturday, November 12, 2011

One Missed Fall

The easiest way to get me to write about you is to say something interesting, or do something memorable. Or you could be like Matty and just flat out demand it. “I want to be prominent. In bold.” This is a welcome change from some people at Industry tonight who apparently didn’t like that I wrote about them in the past. And who knows what all the new men I met tonight will feel about it. I guess if it is really important, they will tell me. But tonight, Matty wanted to tell me what he thought about what I wrote about myself.

“I read every page,” he declared adamantly of my latest narcissistic page turner When Nightlife Falls. “It was edited! Your life was missing from it. It wasn’t in there.” This was a bit of a surprise, especially given the conversation I had with ADD Jeff earlier as we left the show. He just finished the book too. “I really feel like I know you now as a person, not just as someone on the radio,” he told me. I suppose the truth lies somewhere in between.

I have known Matty much longer than Jeff. A decade longer. So I guess if anyone is going to notice that the sauce is weak, it would be him. Then again, as much as some people have hated what I have written about them, others have been grateful I left some of the details out. Maybe when he said that my life was missing from it, he meant himself. That he wasn’t in it much. After all, my first book was practically all about him, insomuch as any book I write could be about anyone but me. In bold.

That is me joking of course. I know exactly what he means. While Jeff may have been surprised by how candid and, yes, dark my book was, especially given the lightness of my first, Matty clearly felt that I wasn’t revealing enough. If I was going to go through the motions of peeling back the layers, I might as well show some skin and not just tease around the edges. This is a valid criticism because I do censor what of my life is revealed in public. I am a Scorpio. We tend to like our secrets, even when we exist completely out in the open.

But this is a story about standing in the middle of a bar in Hell’s Kitchen, how introspective can I really get? Our mutual friend Jeremy Blacklow is in town for the long holiday weekend to support his friend, who threw a party at Industry tonight to raise money for Broadway Cares. There was a rumor Meredith Vieira might be there, so wild horses couldn’t have kept me away. I am obsessed with Meredith. Obsessed! But in a purely healthy way. I just want to casually meet her somewhere and then we have lunch where I watch her down a bottle of wine that I pretend I am sharing and she realizes that I am the gay that has been missing from her life and we became best friends forever. It is a totally normal thing!

Meredith wasn’t there and I don’t blame her. The bar was hot, flat and crowded. At one point, a straight couple had me pinned up against a wall so completely that I had to flail my arms wildly behind them just to get some attention. Because if no one can see you or hear you, you disappear. Every famous person knows that. Matty was almost the last person to arrive at the bar, with his handsome husband Andrew who is growing out his hair (I approve through my jealous rage at his gorgeous tresses) and his friend Marc, who I spent a lot of time smiling at from a short distance but unable to hear.

At one point, I ran off to find porn star Cavin Knight, who came to Industry at my suggestion but then settled with his friends in a less crowded part by the back bar. While there, Matty dropped by in passing and told me I should talk to his friend Marc. I thought Matty was trying to set us up, but later when I was leaving Marc told me that he listens to the show every day and I think Matty just wanted him to get some quality time. But after I left Cavin and returned to my previous location, Marc had already been cornered by a very nice guy from Quebec, so talking to him one on one was out of the question.

With infinite jest, Matty showed a sparkling lack of knowledge about our overly polite neighbors to the North, implying that Montreal residents live in igloos. Meanwhile, I tried to undo all of my previous damage as a public representative of Manhattan by being as helpful as possible. The guy from Quebec could not understand our strange custom of being in a bar filled with hot guys and great music and just standing around drinking. Standing there with a drink in my hand, I tried to explain how normal that is but he wanted to dance. I told him he should have gone to Splash, which it turns out was his first instinct. But someone told him not to go to Industry, so he went there instead, eventually meeting us.

See, now I am rambling and I haven’t really told you anything about myself. Or about Jeremy’s friend I recognized from Facebook's near constant insistence that we join the 36 hot gay men we have in common and be friends. Or the guys from LA that were with Jeremy at dinner. Right after my show, Jeff and I crashed their booth at Vinyl and I nearly fell out the side while I tried to eat my cobb salad wrap. His newer friend Ryan was very good looking and when he told me the kinds of guys he likes, I told him he should go to Splash too. Maybe I should have paired him up with the guy from Quebec and they could have gone together. But then I would be as bad as Facebook.

I had the usual number of drinks spilled on me at Industry, to the point where I am starting to think that a drink down the arm is this decade’s answer to “what’s your sign?” or “come here often?” Someone tripped and, in the process of not falling down, kicked me so hard in the side of my foot I thought he had broken it. As I doubled over in pain, all I could think about was how long the walk to the train station would be later. But mostly, I just had fun. And for the second night in a row too, which might be a modern record.

I thought about what Matty said as I limped across town to Grand Central Terminal. What I revealed about myself in my book was hard enough for me. I have only ever been truly, deeply heartbroken once in my life and I laid that out as bare as I could bear. It wasn’t everything, but it was never designed to be. All that I am giving when I write is a snapshot, a glimpse. I gaze through the lens and what I see, and the way I see it, is all that I capture. You could ask anyone else at the bar tonight what they saw, and it would be different from this. Not because what I write isn’t the truth. It is just that when all you get is a single angle, you never see the full picture.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm heading over to Amazon to buy your book. Book 2. I think I'll read them in reverse order. You seem to be trying to communicate honestly. (I say *seem* - I mostly hear you on the radio and you seem honest there. It's a hard thing to fake - honesty on the radio. Still, I hope you're not faking.)

So ... so what if you don't include every single detail in everything you write?! If people don't approve, they can write their own books.

P.S. I hope you do find someone you can love as much as your house. A very poignant revelation, that, the other night.

And my thanks to you (and Romaine) for the excellent show.

Your straight female fan in Boston (I keep feeling like I have to apologize for not being a young hot gay man! Alas! But I didn't want that to prevent me from commenting. Feel free to not post this if you don't want to because of that!)