Monday, April 21, 2008

My 1980s

I remember making out with B on his sofa, his white shirt undone to the belly, with CNN playing in the background (his idea of aphrodisiac noise).

I remember finally telling my parents I'm gay. My mother did not put a bullet through my head, as she had promised.

I remember quitting a teaching job--with no other job prospects--because the college administration wanted me to cave to hyper-conservative students complaining that an English text I used contained an essay using the words "vagina" and "clitoris" (moreover, the essay was an argument against pornography, and I had never assigned the essay).

I remember being caught in Atlanta in a snowstorm with S.

I remember picking up a GQ model from Atlanta in Savannah, bringing him home to my place in Hampton, SC, and then accidentally running into him two months later at a mall in Atlanta. (I bragged about this conquest so tiresomely that a friend set a place at Thanksgiving dinner especially for the issue of GQ, propped open to the relevant pages.)

I remember drinking scotch and listening to music with D, stripped to our skivvies in front of his crackling fireplace.

I remember getting a pink slip just a week after getting a "merit raise"--all because the college dean found out that I was participating in an AIDS fundraiser.

I remember enjoying my first snort of cocaine with M and R at a cast party in Charleston.

I remember a complete stranger buying me a bottle of champagne for my birthday in New Orleans.

I remember D drunkenly screaming outside my apartment door at 3 o'clock in the morning. I let him in, but the next day I asked him, "Where do you want me to drop you off?" He said, "Oh, so that's how it is." And I said, "Yep."

I remember dancing with L for the first time at the Pharr Library, Atlanta.

I remember watching David Byrne dance with a floor lamp at the Talking Heads concert in Charlotte.

I remember standing in perfectly clear still water at Pensacola Beach and watching a school of neon-blue fish swim around my legs.

I remember getting my hair clipped on Pensacola Beach by a cute hippie stud with no shirt on--amazingly hot--and the beginnings of a new fetish.

I remember A biting the buttons of my shirt on the living room floor at S's place.

I remember feeling heartsick as I placed my vote for Dukakis and then watched the local Christian college pull up with six Greyhound buses full of Republican voters.

I remember T's funeral. T taught little girls ballet before dying of pneumocystis pneumonia, and his pint-size pupils occupied the first two rows of the funeral chapel. The back two rows were his gay friends. When the minister quipped, for the little girls' benefit, "I bet you that already Tommy's had every angel at the barre," the back rows exploded with inappropriate giggles.

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