When I moved to Miami a few months ago I landed a plum job bartending at a big club for the gays. Those gays, they do enjoy a nice drink and perhaps a drag performance or two. It's fun, they play good music, and it's just a way of working and feeling like I actually live here, and not just waiting for the next time I can go to the beach.
Tonight a post-middle-aged man appropached my bar; he had a hustler as his date. The older man paid for all his drinks with $100 bills, and tipped well. He always came back to me. He never smiled. But at one point he thanked me for being nice, because I always smiled at him. He didn't realize they were smiles of pity. I'm sure he wouldn't have appreciated the sentiment. The hustler never said a word, showed an emotion, nothing.
Okay, I'm back with it. Project Runway has won me over again. I would give anything to be a contestant.
I want to be Laura. I want to wear suits every day for no other reason than to mock soccer-moms and assert my own superiority. I want to lament about the trials and tribulations of raising five children, even though I obviously employ the assistance of nannies, whom I terrorize and occasionally reduce to tears. I want to trim everything I wear with real fur made from dead animals, yet regard adorable household pets as vermin not to be touched. I want to pick fights with "shitheads" just for kicks.
I want to be Michael. I want to talk about designing dresses as if I am talking smack on a basketball court. I want to congratulate myself constantly and repeatedly acknowledge my own talents, yet somehow still be likeable and get away with it. I want to be Laura's temporarily-adopted son, so she will stick up for me and yell at shitheads when they won't let me use the sewing machine. I want to constantly surprise the hell out of everyone by repeatedly demonstrating the fact that I can, in fact, actually sew.
I want to be Jeffrey. I want to refer to my fellow designers' work as "macaroni art." I want to be the driving force who brings back the hand-buzzer. In case the fashion design thing doesn't work out, I want to always be dressed appropriately for an impromptu job as a roadie for OzFest.
I want to be Uli. I want to be the person who will most likely win the entire thing.
I want to be Vincent. I want to never be lonely, because the voices in my head will keep me company. I want to fall into fits of gleeful laughter at the sight of hats. I want to scream everything I say. Oh wait, I already do.
Madonna isn't just American. She's a little British. (...when you open this it should play an audio file.)
And as it turns out, she's also Greek and Chinese and all sorts of other things. Take a look at all the different versions of Madonna--and not in a drag-queen way: she's become her own definition, the benchmark of female pop superstardom, all around the world. I Googled "______ Madonna" with various nationalities, to see how many other cultures claim their own Madonna. And some of the versions are very glamorous.
For the past few days I've walked through the old department store on Dade Blvd., because it smells exactly like your old house. I love it, that smell of perfume and age and glamour. It makes me think of you. Today my eyes stung with the tears that I can never cry when I should. Too bad you are dead. I wish you weren't.
I probably won't go into the store tomorrow. The whole situation is a little melodramatic. And crying in the middle of the cheap jewelry section would be odd, so it's best I lay it to rest.
Miami is all a-flutter with the arrival of Madonna this weekend. Which means the city was packed with queens who flew in to see the show. PACKED. Gays, gays everywhere.
It's interesting, living in a place like Miami. There is this idea that people here are snobby; but the people who live here are great. It's the people who live in Jacksonville, and Indianapolis, and Whereversville that come here and think the way to be cool is to be snobby. And to wear a Speedo to the beach. Which is usually not a good idea if you are over 25 and your name is not "Pablo" or "Enrique" or something of the sort. But whatever. As I am from Kansas, I regret to say I know many of these men, these unfortunate souls out to prove how they are "better" than the places they come from. And then they end up making themselves look silly, with their noses in the air like someone's supposed to care.
When we met, I thought everything was great--nice guy, cute house. We sat in his mod living room and talked, and talked and talked, we could definitely live together well, perhaps become good friends. At this point in the search I was wary of getting my hopes up, but at least I thought we seemed like we would be a good match. If nothing else, I was ready move in right away.
I called him the next day to follow up. No answer, left a message. Didn't hear back from him.
So I sent him an email the day after, asking him to call me; I did get a call, and he asked me if everything was alright, it sounded like I needed to speak to him about something important. I wasn't aware that I conveyed any urgency in my message, but I let it slide; I just asked him if he was still interested. Then in a very sheepish voice, he explained his old roommate just called and asked to move back in with him. But he was sorry it didn't work out. I bid him good luck. And I didn't give it another thought.
But then the next day, he called me again. This time...just to chat. He wanted to see how I was doing, if I had found a place yet, and said he was glad we met. "We should get together sometime, and hang out," he said.
"That would be great," I replied. How nice of him, I'm still new here and don't have too many friends.
"We could go out and get some drinks...." and his voice dropped. "Or you could just come over here, you know where my house is already."
And something...was...hmm. Is this guy hitting on me?
I thanked him for the offer, said I would call, and hung up. No, he was just being nice, I'm digging too deep, I thought. Let it go.
A few days later, I logged onto the roommate website again. And there was his profile: "online." I logged off, then created a new profile really fast: 31, single, male, gay. I sent him a message under the new name, asking if his room was still available. He responded right away. "Yes it's available," said his email. "Your profile looks nice. When would you like to come by so we can meet?"
It sounded like a great situation: she was looking for someone "fun to be around," someone who "doesn't drink excessively, use drugs, engage in drama." And while I am dramatic, I don't necessarily engage in drama when at home, no fighting with the boyfriends or playing host to wayward meth-addict friends or whatever. Usually I just watch TV. Perhaps this could work. Ding-dong.
"Hi!" she exclaimed, as she opened the door with a big smile on her face. Behind her spilled out a very nice, immaculately-kept apartment: every cushion on the couch just so, knick-knacks lined up perfectly. Extremely, extremely clean.
We chatted for a few minutes, and she was very nice. "Well, I guess I won't be needing this," she said, as she reached into her pocket. She pulled out a stun gun. "You never know who is going to come to your door."