Published Thursday, 28-Sep-2006 in issue 979
Three years ago, I wrote the first installment of Public Domain and introduced San Diego to my eccentric collection of friends and a look at gay life in America’s Finest City. Hopefully I’ve instilled a little humor, a little heart and a lot of fun in each of the columns I have written. But now that I have moved to L.A. and the time has come for my final column in the Gay & Lesbian Times, it makes me wonder, do all good things have to come to an end?
Living in L.A., I have already had a few brushes with fame. Like seeing Bob Sagat at The Abby making out with a girl the same age as the Olson twins (who played his daughters on TV, which really creeped me out). Then there was the time I was having dinner with Coco LaChine, who directed a movie called Fucking With the Stars, and sitting at the table next to us was John O’Hurley, star of “Dancing With the Stars.” But my most favorite celebrity sighting of all would have to be my new neighbor, Faye Dunaway.
Armed with that news, I had to e-mail my friend Mike, who had made the move to San Francisco while I was en route to L.A.
“OMG” he responded, “are you going to go knock on her door?”
“No way. She’s crazy,” I replied.
He immediately wrote back, “Yeah, but if she does something crazy it will make the best column ever!”
So in San Diego I know all of the fun places to go and exactly where to find my friends to hang out. I am still figuring it out here in L.A., but thankfully I have found a few trusty guides like my friend Corey, who I met in San Diego more than 10 years ago when I was in college and closeted. He lives just a few blocks from me, as does my friend Calvin, who I went to high school with. Of course, no gay group of friends would be complete without a “fag hag,” and for that we have Olga, who danced with both Calvin and I at Kastner Junior High School dances in the seventh grade. We are still tracking down her dance partners to see who else might be in the gay club.
It was ironic, then, when I ran into Chris at a club near my house called Hot Dog. You see, Chris went to junior high and high school with Calvin, Olga and me. Chris was an all-American guy, played water polo, looked great in a Speedo… and still probably does.
“You live here?” Chris yelled over the blaring dance music, as he took a moment to introduce me to his boyfriend.
“Yeah, I hung out with Calvin and Olga last night,” I explained.
“Oh my God, I want to hang out with all of you,” Chris said. “But I don’t know how much Olga is going to want to see me….”
So I wanted to make the most of my last weekend in San Diego before writing this column, and for me that meant gathering up my friends and heading out for a night of drinking and dancing. Kimberly S., my favorite DJ, was playing at Rich’s. Despite having a 9:00 a.m. softball game the next day, I convinced my best buddy, who I have seen far too little of lately, to stay out past his bedtime.
As we were leaving the club, Brian said to me, “You have to call me at 7:30 and make sure I’m up!”
I took responsibility for having him out late, and when he picked up his phone on the first ring the next morning, I figured he was in pretty good shape… that is, until he muttered, “I hate you.”
“That’s just the alcohol talking,” I said encouragingly. “I’ll be by to pick you up at 8:00!”
I always love when shows come to a close and they do stunts to shock you, leaving you in suspense about what will happen next. So I feel like my column needs a cliffhanger finale.
There we all are, sitting at Martinis Above Fourth. I needed a little pep in my step, so I had been drinking a variety of caffeinated coffee martinis throughout the night. Brian was working on his rum-based Fifi-tini and Alex was enjoying a Blueberry Blast – or four.
“You still make them the best,” Alex said, a move that was meant to shock me.
“Really? A compliment for my last column?” I said in mock shock.
But then two special guest stars of my column arrived at the bar. Ophelia and Christina Monet came into the bar in full drag. They were queens on a mission, gathering “survey results” for their new Family Feud night at The Brass Rail that will be starting up on Tuesdays.
Christina sat down between Alex and I, pulled out her cue cards and said, “Name something that starts with a C that you always crave more of.”
“Chocolate,” Alex blurted out.
“Cock!” I said, realizing that working for Chi Chi LaRue had finally taken over my thought process.
Alex rolled his eyes as Christina flipped her hair back and began to write our responses. Then we all noticed a funny scent coming from Christina’s direction – or, more specifically, from the candle behind her that her long wig had fallen onto.
“Oh my God!” Christina exclaimed as she furiously beat on her wig with her survey cards. “My hair is on fire!”
And I had my San Diego cliffhanger.
Back in L.A., I was sitting at my desk in the Channel 1 Releasing offices when I got a phone call from my friend Dale, who was just getting to work in San Diego. Dale, who has known me since I moved to San Diego as a young college student 13 years ago, has been like a big brother to me ever since. He updated me on all of the shenanigans that had been going on since I left town and I informed him that I had a big date coming up with a guy I had gone out with a couple of times already.
“I thought you didn’t date guys who lived in the same city as you,” Dale said, acknowledging my well-known track record for long-distance flings.
“I know,” I said with a smile. “Maybe it wasn’t that I only date guys who live in other cities, maybe I just wasn’t good at dating guys in San Diego.”
Everything comes to an end sooner or later. In the last three years I have found and lost love, made new friends who I think of as family and lost members of my own family. I’ve watched friends become boyfriends and boyfriends break up, and seen bars come, go and change names. When one part of our life comes to an end, a new stage begins. I’ve got crazy friends in L.A. to keep my life interesting. In San Diego, martinis will be shaken and softball games will be played without me, and I am sure Christina Monet will find a new wig.
When one stage of your life comes to a close, take something from it with you that you have learned and use it to make your life better, wherever or whatever you do.