Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Loring Park Episode #52: And the Rest is Drag (SEASON FOUR PREMIERE!)

Previously on the series finale* of Loring Park ...

Jakey had an illuminating card reading! The boys found a new apartment! Jakey lost his wallet AND locked his keys in the car.

We said good-bye to Loring Park.

We live by Stevens Square Park now. It doesn't sound as sexy. I just call it Loring Park Adjacent. It's not necessarily a new show. We still have the same friends, work at the same job, and take the same exit off the freeway.

And we have a million shows on our TV which means I should stop going out all the damn time. I should buy a yoga mat to tell myself I will do crunches, but in reality I'll probably just end up eating nachos. I'm going to the Lake Calhoun pool party over Pride weekend and even though Chad Kampe (DJ Fancy Restaurant) told me they do "no body-shaming", I'm still worried I am going to be mistaken for a buoy.


"I trusted you," he said, and even next to me he sounded distant.
"I know," I said. "I'm sorry."

Sorry is about as effective as epsom salts for a headache. Despite any benevolence in my intentions, I had lied. And then I lied about lying. As Judge Judy says, you have to tell the truth because you eventually won't be able to keep your story straight.

He dropped me off at my parents' house at 3 AM where I promptly peed about a gallon on their front lawn.

"Text me when you get home," I said.
"No," he said. "I can't talk to you right now. It will be a few days."

It has been a month now. I am okay.

By "okay" I mean that my heart physically hurts and I have spent the last month walking around feeling like I have an open wound and I haven't been sleeping and even when I was in the same room as one of my personal heroes (we'll get to that later), I couldn't stop thinking about it. Out of anxiety, I have bitten my lips to the point that I resemble Angelina Jolie if she had canker sores.

I am sad. So damn sad. But integrity has to trump your own emotions and preferences. He might not ever speak to me again, and that would be entirely his prerogative. I coped by listening to Christian radio and eating a lot of gummy bears. The hole in my heart transferred to a hole in my stomach lining.

I also listened to "Infinity" over and over, because I will always have Mariah.

And if I forget about this whole thing, May was a pretty damn good month.


For one thing, we moved! My grandparents helped out and it wasn't nearly as arduous as I thought it would be, but moving is still never fun. I'm convinced that our rent will go way up next year, but if it doesn't, Jared and I are staying here until we are 40 (unless he gets married or I decide to move back to New York). Also, you will be shocked, just SHOCKED, to learn that in the moment we were to turn in our keys was also the moment that I locked my keys in the car. Again.

The stress of moving was so great that I went back to the closet. #muffintop

We live in the bottom half of a basement in Stevens Square. It has been a month and I still haven't made any dumb jokes about us being bottoms. The lady upstairs is also the caretaker of the house. Jared has met her and says she's really nice. I have never met her but I didn't know that our driveway was shared and on the very first day, I was greeted with a note that read:

Please park all the way to the right so I don't have to park all the way in the trees. Seriously. Who does that????

My very first passive-aggressive note! Never change, Minnesota.


We celebrated our move by going to the Rolodex of Hate tour by Bianca Del Rio! I was dismayed that we didn't get meet and greet tickets, but maybe that was for the best. Tickets for Bianca's show are more expensive compared to other queens because she plays theaters instead of bars. That being said, if the Rolodex of Hate comes to your town, go. She was everything we wanted her to be: Punctual, bawdy, vulgar, vulnerable, honest, rude. The second half of the show was a Q & A where she spoke extemporaneously and answered questions and told stories, and it was a delightful experience. I think her best comment was about winning RuPaul's Drag Race and the rest of her Season 6 girls (specifically Adore and Courtney): "Yes, I won, but we all won, because we're all working." Considering I have witnessed arguments with friends that have nearly ended in violence because someone doesn't have the same favorite, it's important to realize that winning isn't everything on that show. They're all gonna get work. Also, I don't even care who wins anymore after Katya got eliminated, and not just because people tell me I look like her out of drag (she has a much better body, though. And teeth. My God).

After the show, we all vamoosed to The Saloon, and it was early enough to avoid cover! I ran into my friend Rocky. Rocky used to work at the diner and has a very sardonic personality and at first I thought he hated me, but it turns out that's just how he is! He is also really into the leather scene and -- on Easter Sunday, of all days -- encouraged me that I should join because no one is judged and it is very supportive and sex-positive. I tried to explain that I don't have sex and then I just felt stupid and sad. It is a recurring theme.

Anyway, Rocky told me that Bianca was going to be at The Saloon that night! Bianca del Rio is, legitimately, a hero of mine. If I had a top five, they would be, in no particular order:

*Kathy Griffin (who Bianca does not enjoy)
*Joan Rivers (RIP)
*Willam Belli
*Rosie O'Donnell

I love Bianca because she has an amazing work ethic, she found her success later in life at something she kind of fell into, she makes fun of herself first and then makes fun of others, and the fact that she has a body and face of someone 10-15 years younger gives me hope for myself.

I was still really sad.

Bianca walked in as Roy. She looks so normal as a dude! Baseball cap, nondescript attire, very small (but not in a scary way). Smile as big as ever. She happily talked with anyone who came up to her.

I was still really sad.

I went home.

I also shouldn't have been drinking or staying up late because three days prior, I received an invitation out of the blue to be the guest co-host on On the Fly with Tony Fly. That's exciting, right? I knew they didn't have a make-up person, so I had to look like a human being.

I couldn't sleep.

It had nothing to do with being on TV, either.

At 4 AM I wrote him a novel via Facebook. I felt maybe a little bit better.

As for the show, it went okay. I was nervous but not nearly as nervous as I looked on TV. They tape it at 11 AM and then they air it at 11 PM that night. Tony Fly and his staff could not have been any nicer or more gracious, and it was a full-circle moment, considering that in my childhood he had an evening show on KDWB and none of us were allowed to listen to it (but we did anyway).

After I was done taping, I ran into my friend Deborah, who was there to help with the dog rescue segment! She was there with an Australian setter named Fiddle. I wanted to bring that dog home with me!

I would later find out watching the segment that Fiddle is a psychic! Who knew? Besides Fiddle. Being psychic and all.

My month continued to provide adventure when I finally got to appear in Drag Queen Game Night!

CHILDREN. I have wanted to be in this show ever since B Louise (out of drag) was next to me at The Saloon as we were in our second hour waiting for Detox to show up. He explained that he was gonna do a monthly show in the form of Hollywood Game Night, and that eventually they wanted to branch out to have other GLBTQ artists. Their first show was in November and they've been hamming it up ever since. I was officially cast in February, but it was determined that I wouldn't be on until the May show. It was a long wait, but I relished the opportunities that came with it, including the photo shoot (done by the masterfully talented Ryan Coit) and the ability to sell tickets -- and I broke the record in that department! I'm sure it will be shattered soon, because they're trying to get RPDR girls to be in the show. No guessing, though. That would just open Pandora's box.

The week of the show was not without stress. B herself wasn't in the show because she got suspended from The Saloon for acting like a fool at a different gay bar and pissing off other drag queens the week prior. Allegedly. Also, I'm not an asshole for writing about that because she was a big girl and publicly announced the suspension on her Facebook. There were rumors that the show was even going to be cancelled, but cooler heads prevailed. And while she wasn't slated to host anyway -- Bad Karma was -- it still felt like the kids were getting control of the house while Mom was on vacation, and we were not to fuck this up. The lovely Jamie Monroe (standing next to me) also missed the show at the last minute due to illness. Children, that poor thing. She was sick during this photo shoot and that was three weeks before the show. Those smoke machines almost killed her.

Also, the day of the show I was super stressed out. It had to do with fun gastric stuff and we'll just go with that. IBS and OCD is not a good combo. Also, I hadn't worn the suit I was wearing in almost a year and I wasn't sure if it was gonna fit (Mommy needs to do her cardio).

With all that being said, the show went rather swimmingly. I would have liked to have performed in the first half as opposed to the second -- the crowd got too chatty and I had too many drinks -- but that was a lesson for me (if you know you're gonna be too drunk by the time it's gonna go up, don't drink as much). Also, I lost almost all of my games! My best friend Erin got called up to be my opponent, but at least Joey and I won "Smack that Bottom". I would have won anyway because I got to spank the butt of a guy who looked like he could have been on the cover of a western-themed romance novel. You should have seen my face when I found out his boyfriend was the sexy sexy Asian go-go boy in the show. It was like the "I Love Lisa" episode of "The Simpsons" when Bart freeze-frames the moment that Ralph Wiggum's heart breaks.

My mother and I previously made plans for her to bring my bag home with her (I had a costume change so I wouldn't be in a suit all night). But she left anyway because she went with my uncle Ander and he had to get up at 5 in the morning. I gave my bag to Erin. The wallet was in the bag. I called Erin and she said it wasn't there. I couldn't enjoy myself after that! Kevin was being ridiculously flirty with me and I could not take it in. The past two times I've seen Kevin he has been overtly sexual and I know it's not because I have become better-looking. I wish I wasn't such a cold fish about it. He doesn't work out but he has muscular arms and he doesn't know his own strength. Even from flirting I get marks on my body. I can't even imagine what sex would be like with him at this point. I would wake up looking like I had fought off a tiger. He's a good cuddler, though.

Erin notified me the next day that she had my wallet after all, which I knew! I drove to St. Thomas to get it. I felt strange driving over there. It felt like a life I was close to having but was ultimately not qualified for. I never did get officially accepted or rejected by them -- or by Paul Ryan, for that matter.

After that I went to the booty doctor. He gave me a referral to a psychiatrist and a colorectal surgeon. He gave me a prescription that I would later find out cost $618!!!! I used and got it down to $52. After that, I was so happy I could shit. Ironically, that's what the prescription was about.

The 19th was pay day, and also the day Mariah Carey #1 to Infinity came out, and also a day that I decided I was going to be angstier than usual. My computer would not let me type that word! They kept changing it as "gangster".

To brighten the mood, Joey, Jared and I drove to Treasure Island Casino! Joey wasn't even upset that we listened to Mariah the whole time. And when we got there we parked in the "Butterfly" lot, which is also a Mariah album!

I love the song "Butterfly", but it is not one of her 18 #1's!
We ended up winning on the "Bridesmaids" slot machine, which I found to be perfect. I love when we're together, and when our friend Jacey is with us we are J to the 4th power. We had fun playing Scattergories together, even when we heard gunshots.  Can you imagine the previews for that if this were a real show? "We're not in Loring Park anymore ..."

I had a wonderful night out with Charlie. Charlie is a fan of the new place, too, and questions why I don't just stay in for a night instead of going out for a night. "Why don't you just sit and write?" he asked. "Bring your computer out here." So wise, that one. We walked to The Saloon together while drinking vodka surreptitiously poured into Lacroix cans. It was tenth grade realness.

On the corner of 8th and Hennepin we saw a boy and girl kissing and they were all dressed up. At first I thought the boy was Joey but he wouldn't have been kissing a girl.

"Aww," cried Charlie. "They look like a movie. But I wonder. Do you think we would have said 'aww' if they weren't attractive? Like, what if they were 500 pounds or something?"
"I would still say 'aww,'" I said. "I am in love with love." In the liner notes of #1 to Infinity, Mariah writes little notes about why she wrote each song, and when describing "My All", she describes it as a "a time in which I was in love with love." "It didn't work out for me but I still love love. Does that make sense?"
"No," replied Charlie. He is a poet and went to college so I may have been talking gibberish.

Then a quartet of ridiculously cute broskis asked us directions to Target. I told them it was probably closed but I sent them to Lasalle anyway. They all smiled and wished us a good night. And I still loved love.

Charlie stayed over and we watched Working Girl. I love that movie. The next day I texted Paul Ryan and said it reminded me of him.
"Why?" he responded.
Jeez. Take the compliment, dude.

My month ended by celebrating the wedding of Andy Erikson and Alex Stein. They closed down ACME Comedy Club for their reception. I loved it. It felt like comedy prom. Comedians by nature are odd and kind of introverted, but they had pizza! Paul Ryan texted me and he was going to pick me up. I felt bad because other comedians were gonna go to The Saloon with me, but then I left earlier than I said I was. I did get a moment to tell Andy how much she means to me, and that I wouldn't have done the ACME Comedy Contest if it wasn't for her encouragement. She holds a special place in my heart.

I should have stayed longer. I am not nearly in the "scene" enough. I talked to a wonderful woman and asked who she was and then I found out she's a club owner's wife and we are friends on Facebook. I will never work in this town again.

Paul Ryan arrived in an Uber SUV (the only kind he ever orders). It was raining. In a chivalrous moment I won't soon forget, he got out of the Uber and let me go in before him. It was such a small detail, but one that I will always take with me.

"I only have three more classes left," he said. "Then I just might ... move."
"You're young enough," I said. "Do it."
"I just don't know what I want to do," he said. He manages a bar now. As a hobby. In his spare time, is how he put it. Managing a bar is not something you do in your spare time. In my spare time I watch WWE Network and take baths.

We went to The Saloon just as Jared and Steve were headed to Honey.

"Jakey!" Jared cried. "We're going to Honey."
Paul Ryan entered in his 6'3", Hugo Boss sport coat glory.
"Stay here," Jared said.

I met a very attractive man and introduced myself and then I found out we are friends on Facebook and he likes my updates all the time. Twice in one night. Damn this social media tomfoolery.

Paul and I mingled for a bit but after mingling with twinks who knew who he was (not that I was insecure about it!), we decided we would pay the 1.5x to Honey. The theme was Li'l Kim, Trina and Eve! Hooray! The event itself, however, was kind of dead, so we decided to go back to The Saloon. But now Uber was at a ridiculous 4.3x rate! Forget it! And yes, Paul Ryan has much more of a dispensable income than I do, but it's the principle of the matter, y'know?

We sat in the lobby and I resisted the urge to sit on this lap when two dudes came on that could have legitimately been calendar models.

Tall! Muscular! Great hair! Well-dressed!

"Hey, is there cover?" one of them asked.
"Yes," I said. "Five dollars. And it's kinda dead."
"Aww," said one of them. "Should we get an Uber?"
"Uber is at 4 times the rate right now," I said. "You can share with us." I literally just learned how you can share an Uber the other day, a fact that I am sure Jared will rue.
"Really?" they asked.

OH MY GOD. One was named Jory and one was named Mikey but he might have said Mikey to be an asshole after I said my name was Jakey. I don't care. Mikey took the front seat and Rory sat next to Paul Ryan, which is acceptable because Paul does not give off any kind of a gay vibe unless you are having relations with him or when he ironically says "totes".

Paul and I ventured back to The Saloon, although he left shortly after. This was not before he explained that his last relationship -- with the adorable 19-year-old that knew how to bake -- went sour only because he wasn't attracted to him.

"That's kind of a big deal, y'know?" he said with a laugh. I would have asked if this meant he was attracted to me, but I didn't want to hear the answer. And yes, you can argue that considering we've had sex that would imply attraction, but men are really weird that way.

Paul Ryan disappeared into the night and I mingled with Under Armour, who was really drunk and had me sit on his lap while "Talking Bodies" played. Then I had a delightful conversation with his boyfriend Lee, who is a cancer researcher. I told him he was a slacker and he should go into stand-up comedy where the real pride is.

I still miss Loring Park even though we got our deposit back and our former landlords ripped us off like we were poor people in Kansas. We will try to fight it. We got this. We already solved the other major hurdle of our new place, which was bugs the size of a Buick in our bathroom (and always when Jared was sleeping, so I would have to kill them! Rude).

This summer:
Road gigs!
I turn 29!

Let's listen to India.Arie to close out, because she is the writer of my soul.

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