Saturday, December 15, 2012

All's Well That Cazwell

It was just one of those nights, where you know you won't have any control over what happens so you just have to give yourself over to the run-on sentences that will be. This feeling about tonight has been building up inside me for weeks now. Too many people in town for the holidays, an underwear model showing off in the studio, a certain crispness in the autumn air. So, I let myself not be my usual type-A nut job about the whole thing and I turned myself over to the adventure at hand. This is that story.

Things began barreling out of control even before the show during dinner with Andrew, his boyfriend Joey and Andrew’s brother and sister-in-law. During our polite meat orgy at HB Burgers, sister-in-law suddenly decided that I was the perfect set-up for her gay friend. For you straight women out there, this is our worst gay nightmare. The words "He's so nice, he's so handsome" just mean "He's so fucked up, he has so many problems" to us. You can't understand why he is single because he is hilarious at the office and wears adorable bow ties. We know he is single because he has a serious meth habit or he hasn't finished building out his basement dungeon yet.

Sister-in-law was relentless, like a commission-only realtor in a down market. "I wish she was trying to sell my house," I sighed to Andrew later. Maybe I am horrendously jaded but every up-sell she made about him, just made it worse. "There are so many red flags here, I feel like I’m at the U.N."  Naturally she showed me his picture on her BlackBerry. Of course he was good looking but I was unbowed. Andrew’s brother, no doubt sensing the deal wasn't closing, suggested she show me the photo of him at his cousin's wedding. Every gay man has an amazing photo of themselves at a wedding. If that is the only photo they show, that is the biggest red flag of all.

What? How did that photo of me looking amazing at a wedding get in here?!
I sucked down my vanilla bean malted, which was amazing by the way, and headed off to the studio to do the show. The first hour I had to go downstairs to rescue the folks from BaskitWear from our insanely tight security. Minutes later, our board operator Ashley was rescuing Alex, their model, from his pants. He was good looking and his Russian accent only added to his hotness. He looked to me like a foreign version of local underwear sensation Matthew Camp (minus the tattoos). I snapped as many photos as I could to flood social media with later. But no point in flirting with the model. He was very straight, but still very nice to look at, and very polite.

Ashley gives Alex a helping hand. He didn't mind at all.
In the hour after Alex left, Skater Jonathan slid into the studio, suddenly furious that he missed the underwear model he heretofore knew nothing about. With him was Jeremiah, one of the hot sluts of Atlanta, who likes to call into the show while he and the other hot sluts are in a caravan to the usual gay parties of the south. They were appropriately raunchy on the air and helped fill the time. Meanwhile, Andrew and Joey dropped by the studio but hung back while Jonathan and Jeremiah closed out the show.

As a longtime listener, Jeremiah was excited to see the studio, but Jonathan had one thing on his mind: decamping to Fairy Tale to see Cazwell working his tank top up in the DJ booth. Jonathan has such a crush on Cazwell that he might have written "J + C = True Love" on his Trapper Keeper so hard with a ballpoint that the plastic coating ripped. Since it was a night ending in Y, all I wanted to do was go home, but this was the night for turning myself over to the will of the city. So off we went to Fairy Tale, for another once upon a time adventure.

The bar was filled with the usual loose characters. As we walked in, the two strippers were up on the bar shaking hands. It is always great when you see the dancers meet. It is like the start of a boxing match where the friendly competition could end in sex or drugs or both. Cazwell got on mike and chided them as fifty dollar hookers from the bus station (that seemed generous) then spun amazing tune after amazing tune, from The Supremes to Garbage. I loved it all.

That grower is also a shower if... the price is right!
Here is what I didn't love: the ladies. The bar was already crowded and then like eight women came shoving their way into the bar followed by one reluctant miserable gay man. Ladies, if the bar is full, go to another bar. Your high pitched antics so well received when you are alone with your gay friends will be a disaster when it is too packed to move. I hastily assumed they were a bridal party after the dim lighting and my old eyes allowed me to mistake a 1960s patent leather purse for a clipboard.

Ugh. "Your purse is not cute! It doesn't make you cute!" I yelled, to the amusement of Jeremiah. Bold fashion statements in a gay bar are just asking for trouble. But I knew the moment I recognized that as a clutch purse that she was another tragic Carrie Bradshaw girl, even before I looked down and saw her four inch red heels. Oh brother. 2002 Sex And The City called. They want their accessories back.

The highlight of the Fairy Tale adventure was the evening’s Prince Charming. In this case, it was a bearded ginger named Stephen. Jeremiah remembered him from Atlanta years ago and seeing how handsome he was, that was not hard to imagine. Jonathan was not shy. "Are you a ginger all over?" he asked, trying to poke his hand up the front of Stephen’s shirt. Stephen looked like his enthusiasm waned for the ginger fetish right around the time that woman's red heels went out of style. And lady, if you are reading this, that wasn't tonight.

Stephen was delightful, wry and sardonic. I was pretty convinced early on that he hated all of us, but that only made me like him more. I decided immediately that he needed to be my new nightlife adventure pal, and not just because his friend Charlie was drunk and kept trying to lick his beard. That caused Stephen to overreact like an eight year old being dragged to church and then to take a picture of his own irritated face in the midst of the shenanigans. This is my kind of person. That he filled out his tee shirt the way an honor student might apply to Harvard didn't hurt either.

Stephen reacts to Charlie's sketchy behavior, a woman dressed as Cindy Lou Who
As the end of the evening drew near, I sought him out to hug him good bye and found him lingering near the bar. In a move as retro as the songs Cazwell was playing, I handed him my card. I know we are supposed to bump phones or tweet at each other but I don't have the time, patience, or hearing in loud bars to accomplish those things. The guy he was talking to saw the card exchange and reacted suddenly, "Oh my God! Is that the card from the bathroom?" Apparently mine wasn't the first archaic card pass of the evening, although the previous one ended up sadly abandoned at the edge of the sink by its unwelcoming recipient. "Well, now you know where to leave mine if it comes to that," I assured Stephen as I walked away.

I hope my card doesn't end up in the bathroom and that Stephen does become my new nightlife pal, even if the only upside for him is his perpetual (if no doubt reluctant) notoriety in my semi-annual blog. Making friends in the city is a fragile undertaking and even the best intentions can come off the wrong way. I am sure Andrew's sister-in-law only wants the best for her gay friend, but sometimes you have to just put yourself out there and then let the city take over. It often has better plans for you than you could ever divine for yourself.


Dave Barrett said...

The show was great, sounded as if you were enjoying it, and then a fun night to top off the day. Good luck, hope Stephen didn't leave your card on the bar and will get in touch. Interesting to see an arm band tat of the world instead of the usual tribal.

Anonymous said...

the sister-in-law thinks this is a very funny post...p.s. gay is not new to her and she really thought about why you would get along with said "set-up"...even if he IS a serial killer...

Derek Hartley said...

Dave: Stephen does have a cool and interesting tattoo but no he hasn't contacted me but I don't think my card ended up in the bathroom either. My guess is that it landed on a table at home but he didn't remember who gave it to him. Next stop the trash.

And sister-in-law: If he is a serial killer then I am totally in for coffee.