Saturday, April 19, 2008

My 1970s

I remember dancing to Don't Shoot Me I'm the Piano Player in my bedroom.

I remember scanning the male starlets pictured in After Dark magazine as possible leads in a never-made film adaptation of Mary Renault's The Persian Boy.

I remember riding girlfriend-style on the back of D's motorcycle.

I remember being dumbstruck by pictures of Jeff Aquilon in GQ magazine.

I remember masturbating while listening to Jethro Tull's Bungle in the Jungle.

I remember watching The Boys in the Band with L, even though we kept an empty seat between us.

I remember my mother, a volunteer with Anita Bryant's Save Our Children campaign in Dade County, saying she'd put a bullet through my head if she ever found out I was gay.

I remember my fundamentalist pastor catching me in bed with B.

I remember collapsing in my dorm room at Bob Jones University.

I remember being complimented in grad school on an essay I wrote on John Gardner's Grendel, in which I compared the Dragon to W.C. Fields.

I remember jumping from the roof of a three-story building (no harm done).

I remember a mouse running up my arm when I tried to light the pilot light of my oven.

I remember throwing up in a ice cream shoppe at Disneyland.

I remember reading Crime and Punishment while serving jury duty.

I remember eating at a restaurant called Elephant Walk, in which a fake volcano erupted on the hour.

I remember ordering chef's salads with 1000 island dressing at Denny's after midnight.

I remember driving from Miami to Key West with L.

I remember trying heroin with complete strangers in the parking garage of a shopping mall near Hollywood, FL.

I remember burning a pot roast to cinders, having forgot all about putting it into the crockpot.

I remember making out with K while listening to Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street.

I remember J's helping me throw a silver wedding anniversary party for my parents.

I remember running into Robert Conrad (my boyhood hero) at a hotel restaurant in Miami.

I remember driving home with my friends after seeing a midnight showing of Halloween.

I remember watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show with L, with no empty seat between us.

I remember giving L several books of B Kliban cartoons while he was in the hospital recovering from hepatitis.

I remember letting my male Christian friends "hypnotize" me (and me, them) so we could do things with each other we would never have considered doing otherwise.

I remember watching divers diving, while eating at the U of Miami cafeteria. I also remember a guy coming to freshmen composition class there in only his Speedo and flipflops, his hair and body still dripping wet.

I remember a neighbor pulling a gun on me once when I was trying to break into my own house late at night, having locked my keys inside.

I remember reading Thoreau's Cape Cod and Melville's Moby-Dick while vacationing on Cape Cod.

I remember my mother buying me Coca-Cola bookends for my birthday.

I remember celebrating the Bicentennial on Calle Ocho.

I remember poetry meetings with the Snarks, through which I got to meet Gwendolyn Brooks, Olga Broumas, and Donald Justice.

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