Sunday, July 10, 2011
Gay, Gay, Gay
Sunday, June 26 turned out to be a particularly euphoric Gay Pride event. You see, I consider myself very lucky as the parade (by which, of course, I seriously mean the march) passes right by my building. It was a beautiful day weather-wise and the mimosas (champs with red grapefruit juice) and strawberry wine flowed freely. The marriage equality law had just passed the previous Friday evening (a b.f.d.; "Happy gays are here again," said Jon Stewart on tv), the weather was beautiful and friends Tracey & Merv just returned from a five-year hiatus in Arizona, returning to Connecticut before they got caught in one of the crossfires out there. It was our first Pride at my place since they'd left. (Tracey didn't know the march now turns off Fifth at the wider 8th St. venue rather than Washington Square South; that's how long it's been.)
I called my mother in Florida to say "Happy Pride Day!" Said my mother: "Friday? I thought it was Sunday!" Sigh.
Kevin marched with his church group but ditched them at 10th St. to get in the queue that would take him on the sidewalks to my place. My friend, Delores, was there, as were Merv's daughter, Shannon and her friend. And on the stoop is where I get to schmooze with neighbors I only otherwise say hi to in passing. Photographer Patrick McMullan was there as was the old lady with the turban, face full of make-up and zipped-up caftan. "I have nothing on under this," she loudly whispered to me for God-knows-what-reason as the parade passed us by. It was the too-much-info moment of my day. When she saw the hottie on a float, shaking his money-maker while wearing a thong, she added, "But I don't like when it gets dirty." I wanted to say, "But he's wearing underwear! It's all he's wearing, but he is wearing underwear!" However, my lips stayed zipped as did her caftan, thankfully for both.
Zipping my lips for the Moment of Silence, the one minute during which we honor those whose lives ended too soon due to the AIDS crisis, is always so difficult. I never realized how hard it is for me to shut up for a full minute -- or, for that matter, how long a minute can seem -- until this time arrives every year and all goes silent. But I managed it as I do every Pride Day. My body was wracked with serious aches and pains that joyous day, too, because I, who am unofficially "domestically challenged" (upgraded from "domestically disabled" when I reached my deepest nadir), spent over a week cleaning my ridiculously tiny studio. That's how much I love my friends; there is nothing I won't do for them, including scrubbing tile (but only in my own apt, f.y.i.). In the end, it may not have sparkled but it shone; no span but plenty of spic!
So, the following Thursday, feeling less sore, I went to Rainbows and Triangles (New York's "gay general store," as the owner, Steven, likes to call it) in Chelsea, then hailed a cab home to the Village. (Rainbows has the best dance music collections on cd, I swear. Check 'em out.) The driver, a Carribean man, stared at me for a while in the rear-view mirror. "You know who I thought you were?" he asked, at last. That opening line is, for me, always an invitation to trouble so I just said I had "no idea."
"He's about your age" (Uh-oh, we're going there!) "And he's gay, too...." What!?!
Gay, too?!? Frankly, I don't recall coming out to him inside his cab, as if it were a confession booth on wheels. "Gay too"! The cheek!
Then the name dawned on him, and he grinned. "Elton John!"
Excuse me? Elton fucking John?!? Despite my black shirt, gold sharkskin tie & sunglasses (not outrageously large), I thought I looked better than Elton John! My ego was deflated. But perhaps, in an alternate reality somewhere in London, a cabbie is telling Elton John that he looks like me. And Elton is braying out from behind famously gapped teeth, to David Furnish, no doubt: "Dj Buddy fucking Beaverhausen?!?" I mean, you just never know about these things.
But, honestly, at this point, I'm all fagged out. For now. And the only thing sore is my psyche.