I cry a lot in this episode. But it was never in front of everyone. I am maturing that way.
I did not cry on that first Saturday. My night began by telling jokes at Johnny Tequila's Drinking Taco. It was the night before Easter, so the crowd was sparse, and I was exhausted having worked a 50-hour week (which I realize that some people do all year around). Mommy was tired, y'all. After only one vodka tonic, my brain cells were shot, and my routine did not go very well. I told all four audience members that I was Bette Midler in The Rose, and nobody knew what I was talking about.
Wesley was adamant about going to LUSH, so he agreed to pick me up downtown. I usually chastise him for wearing the same stupid hoodie, but tonight he cleaned up good and wore a white Banana Republic button-down. I was proud, and somewhere a gay angel got his wings. Earlier that night, Liam texted me asking if he could sleep over, and while I wasn't thrilled about it, I was happy that he was texting at 7:30 P.M. and not at 1:30 A.M. I said it was probable, but that I wasn't sure if we would even be at The Saloon or not.
When we got to LUSH, I panicked and realized I had lost my Listerine strips! I even speculated bringing a back-up pack in case this would happen! "Oh, no!" I cried. I have OCD about Listerine strips. My greatest fears are tarantulas and halitosis. "If I give you $10, can we go to the gas station to get Listerine strips?"
"What?!" Wesley asked. "Now? We just got here."
"I can't have bad breath!" I cried.
"Oh my god," Wesley cried. "You are worse than a chick."
He unlocked the car, and my Listerine strips were on the passenger seat! Hooray! Crisis averted!
"Do you have everything else?" he asked. "You probably need your ID. You look 12."
|Not really, but it was a moment.|
LUSH wasn't very crowded. We didn't know anybody there except Jason Matheson from FM 107, and by "know" I don't mean in a personal way. I texted my mother of his presence, and she begged me to say something (I still think my mom wakes up and hopes for a few seconds that I grew up to be Jason Matheson before the ugliness of reality sets in), but he was off the clock and I felt it would be rude. Wesley told me of his recent trip to California, but other than that, we sat in mutual boredom. He asked the staff why the place was so dead, and he explained that everyone was at the Eagle. I texted Joey and Jared, and they were there, too! Was The Eagle having a big event that night? Wesley and I wanted to go to The Saloon, but we agreed that we could stop at The Eagle to see what all the fuss was about.
Here's a primer about The Eagle for those of you not familiar with the Minneapolis gay club scene: There is something for everyone, truly. The Saloon, typically, is a younger, trendier, sexy crowd. Jetset is a trendy, sexy, older and more professional crowd (any time I introduce myself to anyone there, I get my own name corrected. "Jake," the Jetsetters say, with firm handshakes). The Gay '90s is hardly considered a gay club anymore. LUSH, the winner of Best Gay Bar in the City Pages last year, is a crapshoot, but on Wednesdays it attracts the same crowd that The Saloon does.
The Eagle, on the other hand, is for those who would not necessarily feel comfortable at The Saloon. The Eagle has bear nights and leather nights. The event we were attending, complete with $7 cover, was called "Bear-a-cudda." I paid the cover since I could already tell that this wasn't a great idea.
We were on our way in when I realized my phone was in the car, but we couldn't find it. "Call my phone," I demanded of Wesley. He did so, but it was stuck under the back seat.
"I'll get it," he declared, and I stood with the back passenger door open while he crouched below the passenger seat. Not only did this look lewd from a certain angle, but I also blushed when I realized I was totally checking out his butt. "I have a hockey booty," a forlorn customer struggling to buy a suit told me a few months ago. I get it now.
Wesley and I walked in, and Joey and Jared were right by the exit. I hugged them and introduced them to Wesley, and soon ran into my fellow comedian friend (and cub!), Matt Iverson! I didn't even notice the hairy, overweight men walking around in their underwear. It's The Eagle. You go there and you expect that. It's part of the scenery, just as The Saloon has the go-go boys and The Gay '90s has drunk 18-year-old girls who are still in love with their hopelessly gay twink pals.
Wesley was not one to hear of my explanation that the gay subculture offers something for everyone, and the further we walked into the bar, the more, erm -- Eaglish -- it got. The men somehow got hairier, fatter, and more scantily clad.
"OH MY GOD," Wesley couldn't stop yelling. "This is not for me. We need to go." But I had paid $14! And it was too crowded for us to turn on our heels and leave. I was beginning to grow worried not just for Wesley's state of mind, but also for his physical safety. His volume was getting louder, and the last thing I wanted was for a muscle bear to pulverize him into the ground (Wesley has an athletic build, and don't think I haven't noticed it, but I didn't want to take any chances). However, the only thing that was about to be pulverized was my ego.
"IS THERE ANYONE ATTRACTIVE HERE?!" Wesley yelled a bit too loud.
"Wesley," I said. "I'm right here."
Then he busted out laughing, in a genuine, boisterous manner that was bigger than any reaction I had at Johnny Tequila's earlier. "That's the funniest thing you've said all night!!" he sputtered.
We went downstairs, where Wesley only grew more traumatized. I bid a quick and regretful good-bye to Joey and Jared, and we were on our way to The Saloon. I convinced Wesley to not start swearing until we got in the car, because I didn't want to get beat up.
"I'm sorry I brought you there!" I cried. He was in no mood to hear my speech about subcultures and how everyone should be celebrated. Liam was texting me and I told him I was en route to The Saloon. I could tell from his texts that he was already wasted. Oh, yay.
Wesley parked the car and I meant to take one Listerine strip, but the wind blew them up and I accidentally took all of them at once! I failed to avoid a Listerine Strip crisis!
"Wesley!" I whined. "Do you have any gum? Or mints?"
"No," he scoffed.
"Oh no! What am I gonna do?!" I was in panic attack mode.
We tried to look for Liam when we got to The Saloon, but I was also nervous because Football Guy was there! The 6'4" sex god whom I once told was a unicorn! "Wesley!" I cried. "One of my biggest crushes is here! I'm so nervous! I'll point him out when he walks by!" He did, and he was with two fifths of the Pretty Girl Mafia, but he was with two of the five that rarely and never talk to me, so my presence was not acknowledged. Also, I had awful breath! I ended up sipping Rumpelmintz like it was water. I finally saw a boy who gave me gum (his name is Tommy and I met him after the Kathy Griffin show in December), and I will never forget it.
"Well," Wesley said as Football Guy and his heaving pectoral muscles walked by. "I'm glad one of us thinks he's cute." Fascinating! Liam showed up and we discussed classical architecture. Meanwhile, Wesley was busy texting Quinn, who was out of town. While Liam was blathering in my ear, I saw a moment happen on Wesley's face. It was a genuinely affected smile, and a look that I had never seen him give me. I realized that I would be the boy that makes him laugh, but never the one that made him smile. It was a feeling that would recur over the week.
|I wasn't crying yet.|
We were back at T.J.'s bar in attempts to mingle and Liam went to Froot Loop. Wesley was still texting Quinn and I acquainted myself with Cagefighter for a while. As I was finishing my drink, Liam came back and tried to look at Wesley's cell phone, which didn't go over well.
"You better try to keep him," Liam said. "A boy like that isn't gonna be single very long."
"Yes, I know," I said. Liam sauntered off and Wesley glared as he left.
"What were you guys talking about?" Wesley asked.
"Um .... Easter," I said.
Cagefighter was getting hit on by a group of Asian twinks, and then RYAN ROBERTSON showed up! Liam and I instantly turned into teenage girls.
"Hi, Ryan," we both sang.
"I feel like you are a pop singer and every time we see you, we turn into the Ryanettes," I complained. "Are you going to brunch tomorrow?"
"Nah," Ryan said in his Lochte-like cadence. "My mom texted me and asked if I would come for lunch."
"Well, that's nice!" I agreed. "Cagefighter! Are you going to brunch tomorrow?"
"Yeah, probably at noon," he said. Hooray! Despite my emotional turmoil, I could look forward to brunch.
Wesley left, and Liam and I paid $20 for a petty-cab (which is when a cute boy in a bicycle drives you to your apartment).
"So, Wesley likes Quinn," I yelled, because I was drunk and rancid. "And remember when Kevin liked Quinn, too? And I'm fine with that. Quinn is cute, and he's a nice person! I'm not gonna hate him just because my crushes always like him! But I will say that my fake TV show is no longer called Loring Park. It is called Everybody Loves Quinn. On CBS at 8 PM on Wednesdays."