The weekend I pretended to be her boyfriend

Here’s another ALL-TRUE story from my distant past. More sordid tales under the Memoir category.

December 8, 1993

Diane asked me to come up to Boston and be her beard for her office Christmas party. She said she’d fly me up, provide my tux and put me up at the Copley Square Hotel.

[Note: beard [beerd]: slang. Any opposite sex escort taken to an event in an effort to give a gay person the appearance of being out on a date with a person of the opposite sex.]

I got a cab from Logan Airport and the driver was a Rastafarian blasting reggae so loud I had to repeat my destination three times. When we got to the hotel, I realized I only had $6.50 on me. I forgot to go to the bank. I told the driver I was broke. He laughed and said I was a true New Yorker, which I think is an insult. I called Diane and, fortunately, she had an account with the cab company, so everything worked out.

I checked into our suite and first thing I noticed was that there were separate beds. I guess the ruse is over once we’re behind closed doors. The party was in the Copley Square ballroom, so that was convenient. I could anesthetize myself against all those corporate stuffed shirts and not have to worry about wrapping the car around a tree while driving home.

My tux was waiting for me. I had sent my measurements earlier in the week and those idiots sent the wrong shirt. I have a 16½ collar and the shirt they sent had a 15½ collar. I made jokes all night about how I couldn’t swallow my food because my esophagus was squeezed shut. The shirt had studs, not buttons. After putting them in, Diane chuckled and said they were in backwards, so I had to take them all out and start over again. What a fucking rube. The cummerbund was easy enough, thank God. You should see me in black tie. For a peasant, I clean up pretty good.

Diane arrived and got dressed. She was wearing a sequined gown. She looked so beautiful! What a shame. She asked me to zip up the back of her dress, so I grasped the zipper with my thumb and middle finger and ran my index finger up her bare spine. It gave her a chill, which was very sexy. We went down to the packed ballroom at 7:00 where the festivities were well underway.

I was mesmerized by the ostentatious show of wealth. I haven’t seen that many jewels since I visited the Tower of London. These are people who made it and aren’t ashamed to show it. I drank Chivas and soda and Diane drank Johnny Walker Black—all night, all for free. Not only did I not embarrass myself by saying something stupid, people seemed genuinely amused by my well-rehearsed bon mots. Food was everywhere. All you had to do was stick your arm out and you could grab shrimp or lamb or chicken or crab or beef. I tried steak tartare and didn’t like it very much, but it was the first time I tried black caviar and that was lovely.

The room was thick with New England, blue blood accents. I think some of the women were flirting with me but, Jesus, what could I do?! I was with Diane and THEY were there with their husbands/ boyfriends! I strayed away from Diane when she discussed business because I found it so insufferably dull. One time, she asked me to excuse myself from the conversation and later that night she told me they had to discuss firing someone the following Monday. Right before Christmas! How heartless. I chatted with the Head of Marketing and his charming wife for a long while. I told them I was a writer and only working in graphic design until I’m published. That was one of the MANY lies I told that night.

I walked outside onto a grand balcony for a cigarette and met the sons of the owners of the [redacted] and [redacted] football teams. I mostly observed. They were saying terrible things, asking each other if their wives still “sucked their cocks” and saying, “Hell no, are you kidding?!” Then they were bragging about the “great fucks” they’ve had in the owner’s box at the stadium “where [team owner] takes a shit.” THEN they were complaining about the blacks who were admitted to their country club! At first I thought they were kidding around but they were serious. It was like an evil Saturday Night Live skit. One by one, a wife would come out to fetch a husband and when they were out of earshot, they would comment on what a battle axe he was stuck with. It was just awful.

We finally rolled up to the suite about 12:30. I took my jacket off and threw it across the room, sat on the sofa, untied my bow tie, threw it in the opposite direction, undid my shirt collar and exhaled. Diane walked over and sat next to me on the sofa. We gossiped a bit about stuff we overheard and then she lay down with her head in my lap, reached up and pulled my mouth on top of hers. It was a lovely surprise. She tasted like red wine. We kissed for a long time and I started to get frisky so she said that was enough. How do women do that!? How do they just come to a dead STOP?!  Karen does that to me, too.



varvatosGentrification has always been with us and it always will be. Complaining about it is so boring. CBGB’s was over when I was going there but those were some of my best years. And walking past there the other week gave me the blue blues. It made me so sad. I guess I’m just a sentimental fool.

Of CBGB’s and the way-back machine

journalsA while back, I unearthed a plastic bin filled with journals I kept when I first moved to New York as a confounded young boy. Thousands of hand-written and typed pages. I had forgotten about them and their reappearance knocked me on my ass. Looking back, it’s astonishing how naïve I was in the ways of love and life. But I suppose that’s a claim we can all make.

Occasionally, I’ll arbitrarily pick a book, crack it open, and post what’s within. It’s surprising how entertaining the seemingly mundane can be. Well…entertaining to ME, anyway. Admittedly, I have a bias. Caveat: I offer these unedited and make no excuses or offer any apologies for the offensive material and coarse language. I wasn’t a fully-formed human being yet and it shows.

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August 23, 1992

I’m miserable, bored, lonely and tired of all the rejection. I’m sick of not having any friends. Sometimes, I stare into the mirror for a long time to see if I can see what’s wrong with me. Fuck this town. But moving isn’t the answer, either. I’m better off bored and lonely here than bored and lonely someplace else.

Last Wednesday I walked over to CBGB’s because both Austin and Cindy’s bands were playing on the same night. How convenient is that? I hate walking into that place alone. There’s Cindy’s band clique and there’s Austin’s band clique and I don’t feel particularly welcome by either one, so I sat at the bar alone. I think they all think I’m creepy. And sitting at the bar drinking alone exacerbates my creepiness. I looked like the house leper. I ended up staring at Hilly Kristal all evening and if there’s anyone in that joint who’s creepy it’s THAT GUY, not me. Cindy said he’s a cheap bastard who doesn’t pay the bands, even though he charges a cover. He considers it a privilege to play there. Fuck, Hilly, it might have been a privilege in 1979, but it ain’t no more. Pay the fucking bands, man.

[Note: CBGB closed in 2006. The site is now a John Varvatos boutique, which makes me deeply sad.]

At least Cindy and Austin were happy to see me. Cindy’s kind of ordinary looking, but when she’s on stage playing her bass I want to rip her clothes off and ravage that flat chest of hers. Girls who play bass are HOT. Today, we rode our bikes to the park and sat in the grass. It was nice out and even though she didn’t get back from a gig until early this morning and looked like a corpse, I tried to kiss her anyway. She started to but pushed me off and said to stop because I have a girlfriend, meaning Bonnie, which isn’t really true. We rode to an outdoor cafe and had a couple bottles of beer, which I paid for.

We rode back to Cindy’s apartment and there was a big Puerto Rican street festival in front of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Her bedroom window was right above the stage so we had a perfect view of the bands and beautiful Latina dancers. There was a huge 12-piece orchestra with a big horn section. We sat on her fire escape and drank beers (which, again, I paid for). Even though I made a failed pass as her, there was no tension between us, which can sometimes happen. We enjoy each others company. I was drunk when I left and let me tell you something, riding a bike down Church Street into oncoming traffic with a beer buzz no fun.

Last Friday I was supposed to go to the laundromat but Bonnie called so I took the N train uptown instead. I don’t recall the exact sequence of events but eventually we wound up in bed. I exhibited an almost bizarre degree of control. First fast and then slow. She said slow was driving her crazy. I have no idea how I was able to hold out but I did. I never finished because I didn’t have a rubber. She, on the other hand, had a tremendous orgasm. Afterwards, we walked to the Evergreen Diner and I was laughing because she could barely walk. It’s just a few blocks away and when we were done eating, she told me she had to take a cab home because she still couldn’t walk. I started laughing and she got really mad at me, so now we’re on hiatus. Way to go, Mr. Sensitive.

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The Bryant Park Hotel and Empire State with holiday lights.
Wednesday, December 18, 8:45 p.m.


The New York Times with taxi cabs.
Wednesday, December 18, 9:05 p.m.