Sunday, April 15, 2012

My Tart Will Go On

This is my fourth night in a row out on the town, but only the second adventure I have written about. Thursday night I went to Matty and Andrew’s apartment for a quiet birthday celebration for Matty to which I was (as usual) the last to arrive. I was insistent that I wouldn’t write about the evening because it was private, even though Matty didn’t seem to mind either way. But since the two highlights of the evening for me were Matty reading my last post about him out loud to the mortified left standing and the dozen cookies I ate, there really wasn’t much left to say. I love them. That is all.

Friday night I went to Therapy after the show with ADDJeff, our producer Katie and Jim the Sound Guy. Jim and I spent most of the evening talking about work while Jeff and Katie frowned at us for being so insular (with good reason on their part). Because we are practically neighbors now, Jim took my same train home so I didn’t have my usual time to write up the adventure. Even still, I talked to no one else and nothing else happened so consider the evening dutifully reported.

But today, Mike went into the city to attend a party with his boyfriend and that left me free to join Ryan White and all his friends at The Ritz. First however, I needed to satisfy my Titanic fever by catching the 6:15pm showing at Kips Bay in IMAX 3D. Even though their screen is what Mike has not so lovely described as “FauxMax” because it is just a regular theater modified slightly that charges the same elevated price, I had a good time anyway. ADD Jeff joined me at the last minute for this trip back in time and it was worth it.

I still believe Cameron could have cleaned up some of the clunky effects that bothered me in 1997 (they were not improved by time and more frames per second). After all, he altered for accuracy the night sky that Rose gazes up at while slowly freezing so I don’t see why he couldn’t have fixed the robotic way some of the digital characters walk in the long panning shots of the ship. Those shots in all other ways were magical, as was the sinking, which IMAX and 3D relieved of much of their original murkiness. I got a thrill up my leg as Chris Matthews so inventively stated once and I knew where the weak spots in the script were and used them wisely for much needed trips to the bathroom.

DiCaprio looked so young and adorable in the movie. Now that I have grown my bangs out, I imagine that they look just exactly like his sweet flop mop. But, as Jeffrey more accurately pointed out when we arrived at The Ritz after the film, my bangs are closer relatives of those of Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada. That movie was playing on the screens inside The Ritz so I was able to size it up more closely and I think he might unfortunately be on to something.

So it turns out that Ryan White had told everyone else to “dress fashionably” for the party and told me to arrive at 9:30. Naturally I showed up in my usual shorts and polo shirt combination, which frankly I would have done anyway, but I might have felt guilty about it. “Who are you wearing?” Jeffrey asked jokingly, but straight up I was in an Old Navy electric blue (not cerulean) polo shirt that I no doubt fished out of a dusty bargain bin (price: two for eight dollars) four years ago. The hair may have been Miranda’s but the outfit was decidedly Andy.   

The room was filled with Ryan’s handsome friends, male and female. In a rare turn, I liked the female friends the best, which you never hear me say in a gay bar. But the one who took his glasses and decided she was a naughty school teacher was a hoot and the blond one was bold and sassy, like a juicy three-episode arc during sweeps on Gossip Girl.

In all fairness, I might have come to this conclusion based on the encounters I had with the gay men there, which were not all their faults. First, it was some guy in white pants, a purple shirt and a bow tie. He looked like Willy Wonka’s in-house counsel. When ADD Jeff tried to hand me my drink, he reared up laughing like War Horse near a landmine and spilled my drink all over my hand. Moments later, when we were introduced I said, “I’m sorry my hand is wet and sticky. Someone bumped me.”

Despite that, I still tried to make nice with him but he kept telling me about these just okay movies that he insisted were good, like Titanic and Step Mom. He refused to believe he loved them only because he saw them as a teenager and I don’t think essentially telling him that he didn’t have good taste in movies made him want to talk to me anymore.

After that, I was reintroduced to Toby, who I did not remember meeting before (although he quite convincingly assured me that we did at a GUMBO party). That sounds like me. What followed.. oh boy. You should know that when I try to be charming what ends up happening is I make a joke, the other person thinks I am serious, and then I keep joking until we have a fight. So since I didn’t remember meeting Toby, I tried to make an award winning joke out of it.

“Of course I remember you. You were in a tank top. It was the dead of winter right? So of course you were.”

Now, Toby is very handsome and was put together in a suit tonight like he was born in it, so I thought the notion of him in a tank top in winter was hilarious. Since his response was a flat “No, I wasn’t,” naturally my first reaction was to keep it going.

“I am certain of it. A tank top… but with a scarf. Of course. Tank top and scarf.”

Now I am deep into method acting at this point and have convinced myself that contrary to the reality where I don’t remember meeting him, I am living the fantasy that I do remember meeting him and he doesn’t remember meeting me. And not only that, but with my vivid memory of the occasion I am offended he doesn’t remember his own tank top/scarf combo that is obviously his trademark and how dare he continue this charade where he is the one who doesn’t remember me!

“I am going to get a drink.” He said, taking off like Amelia Earhart, with roughly the same odds of circumnavigating the bar back to my original location. That all of this was happening nearly to the minute of the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking was not lost on my finely honed sense of irony.

What can I say? I’m not good with people. My sense of humor is better observed than lived because I tend to comport myself in life like some hapless sitcom character. In fairness to Toby, I did see him when I was leaving and he gave me a very warm, polite good bye. So I guess I did learn a lesson from my evening of cocktails and movies. Even when you are going down and things are pretty doomed, it is important to remember that there are occasionally survivors.


Read more of Derek's adventures in When Nightlife Falls and Colonnade: A Life In Columns. Both are available now On, and in digital form for The KindleThe Nook, and in the iBookstore.


Kenneth Walsh said...


Anonymous said...

Why don't you declare the same about your blog and show? It has been going down for years. Get a life, grow up, and learn to write.

Derek Hartley said...

Haha. I love a good anonymous zinger!