Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My 1990s

I remember V holding my hand under the table at Trader Jon’s.

I remember driving to New Orleans with V to see Todd Haynes’s movie Poison at the Prytania Theatre.

I remember partying at the Warsaw Ballroom on Miami Beach with G.

I remember throwing a wildly successful party for S and her Nashville friends—in which guests (gay and straight) ranged in age from 18 to 68.

I remember an answering machine full of taunts and threats the morning my picture appeared with a newspaper article about gays in Pensacola, in which I criticized the local police for harassing gay men.

I remember M, C, and I being arrested for “disorderly conduct” and then M and I successfully defending ourselves in court against the trumped-up (and politically motivated) misdemeanor charge.

I remember my mother’s slow, humiliating decline into vascular dementia as the worst part of my life so far.

I remember getting my first glasses (bifocals) at a mall in Augusta.

I remember chicken, lamb, couscous, almonds, fresh fruit, and hot sweet tea at Marrakesh, a Moroccan restaurant in Philadelphia.

I remember drinking caiparinhas with D at the Oba-Oba Bar in Madrid.

I remember being struck speechless by some Goya paintings at the Prado.

I remember dinner at J’s, meeting author John Berendt along with some of the characters who populated Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

I remember M buying me ice cream after I found out my mother had died and telling me that whatever feelings I had just then were perfectly all right.

I remember the funeral home director delivering my mother’s cremains and my thinking how much like a pizza delivery the moment was.

I remember driving home with Ripley at 8 weeks old—he yelped a little and then fell asleep in his cardboard box and, when he awoke, it was as if we had bonded long ago.

I remember wishing Robert Altman happy birthday in 1997 while he was shooting a scene with Kenneth Branagh and Robert Downey, Jr., at Forsyth Park, close to where I lived.

I remember nudity, drinks, and a terrific view of the sunset over the Pacific while hot-tubbing with V and A in San Luis Obispo.

I remember my first and so far only experience in hiring a rentboy—a dancer at Saloon 1 in Key West—a stunning physique and probably the most competent and service-oriented professionalism (of any profession) I’ve ever encountered.

I remember being captivated by a young blond stripper at Boxer’s, who danced to White Town’s “Your Woman.”

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