I met C for a very tall Ketel One and cranberry (actually, two) at the beautiful Playwright in midtown Manhattan. If you’re counting, this would be Holiday Spirits #3. Click on that pic of the restaurant. It’s a lovely place.
I’m a cheap drunk and I was loopy by the end of the evening. C is yet another friend who I talk to on a fairly regular basis but have not seen for many months. I love the holidays! It’s the greatest excuse ever for calling an old, absent friend.
The bad news I got from C is that she broke up with H, her girlfriend of 14 years. I’ve known C for over 20 years. When I first met her, she was a bass player and lead singer in her own band and also a hired gun with a few other bands. She was part of a group of musicians I hung out with. I remember spending countless evenings trolling East Village bars listening to her and my other friends play. None of them ever broke out and made a living with their music, but those magic nights took place during a period of time that I now think of as the best years of my life. To have my own apartment on the Lower East Side of New York City when I was single and carefree with no responsibilities or obligations to anyone except my landlord was a dream. This was a pre-gentrified East Village. It was dark, drug infested and dangerous. I don’t want to romanticize what it was like. Some of it was quite ugly and I don’t pine for the “old days” as many do.
When I first met C, she had an insanely jealous girlfriend, L. When C and I would go out for a bite to eat or to see someone’s band play (it was never anything more than that), L would get on her bike and follow us around the neighborhood. She would ride one block behind us, wait for us to leave a restaurant or bar, and follow us to the next venue, always keeping her distance. C would laugh at her and then they’d get into a terrible row later when she got home. She said that the great make-up sex kept them together a lot longer than they should have been.
I remember when C first met and started dating H. The three of us would go out to dinner together and they often referred to me as a “breeder.” Well, the gay community needs its breeders and I am happy to oblige them. I am deeply saddened to see them part company.
This was another stone to bear. I’ve received an extraordinary amount of really bad news over the past four weeks; terrible things that I’ve not mentioned here because they’re too personal. I am stunned that so many bad things can happen in such short order. And right before the holidays when there’s suppose to be so much joy in the air! What gives? When will it end? How much more can my family take? I feel the punishment, but I can’t connect the crime.