Monday, April 25, 2016

Loring Park Episode #58: Disenchanted April

Previously on Loring Park Loring Park Adjacent St. Anthony Blues ...

I have never seen Enchanted April. All I know is that it's a British film and Joan Plowright was Oscar-nominated for it in the year Marisa Tomei won the Oscar. My friend StinkyLuLu wrote about it for his Supporting Actress Smackdown once upon a time.

I probably said this last year, too, that April is never a good month for me. Things always seem to go sour. I have spent Aprils in emergency rooms, hospitals, crying in the bathroom about a boy while reading The Glass Castle, living with my parents for a month because the apartment I wanted wasn't available until May, finding myself on a flight to New York because I got accepted to college at the last minute and I was nowhere near emotionally and spiritually ready for such a thing because I had been secretly been suicidal and depressed for the prior seven months.

It doesn't go well, is what I'm saying.

This year I decided I was going to anticipate it. And maybe that is why my April, again, did not go well. I had put it in the air that life always goes to shit in April. So first we will go to a night in March, in which I was at Jetset with Joey and a gal pal of mine who I won't name.

My gal pal came over first and we pre-gamed with delicious vodka lemonade drinks and read old LiveJournals of ours. Remember those? We went to Jetset without incident, and then within two minutes, she could barely stand up. I realized it was my responsibility to go home with her in an Uber. She almost biffed it on the way to the car.

Our Uber driver, bless his heart, thought that we were a couple. My gal pal came to life as I asked her if she remembered our honeymoon in Mexico, and how I had sun poisoning.

"I told you to bring sunscreen," she giggled. Improv! All was well!

And then, like a light switch, her brain went into a different mode. "Why are you stopping?!" she cried at the driver with terror in her voice.
"The light is red," I tried to explain. "We always stop at red lights."

We got to her apartment, an old brownstone with no elevators, and she insisted that she didn't live there. I showed her where her name was on the entrance and we began to walk up the three flights up stairs. While we were between first and second floors, a young man who kind of looked like Eminem opened his door and gave me a death glare.

I paid it no attention and we made it to the second floor. OK. One more floor. Here we go. And we're walking, and we're walking ....

...And then Eminem comes sprinting up the stairs running at me. I freak out. My friend stumbles and lands on her face.

"Is everything okay?!" he yelled. "Are you trying to do something to this woman?"
"No," I said, speaking rapidly. "We were at Jetset and she got too drunk so I'm bringing her home."
"I thought you might be trying something with her," he said.
"I am gay as hell," I cried.
"Yeah, I get that now, " said Eminem. "Um, have a good night."

I cleaned up my friend and went back to Jetset. Before I had left, I had seen Under Armour was there and so was my friend Ian (who is loud and hilarious), so I messaged them to see if they were still there. They wrote back, and I planned to act like nothing had happened. But then Joey was talking to Miles and it was a deep conversation, and I felt that maybe I should go to The Saloon. But now it was 2 A.M.! The Saloon stays open until 3, so I took a Lyft from a lovely Ethiopian woman who had no idea where she was going. Hennepin Avenue was blocked off. It was a mess. I thanked her for her time anyway and walked to The Saloon at 2:20, where they told me they weren't letting anybody else in.

"Oh," I pouted. "Thank you."

Sven, the dancer and coat check boy who looks like Link from Zelda, was on his way out. "Do you need a ride home, Jakey?" he asked. His smile was the brightest thing on the street.

Sven is like a Manic Pixie Dream Twink, so I was kind of surprised when it turns out he drives a pick-up truck.

"I only live, like six blocks away from here," I said.
"Okay," he said. That smile. I can't.

He pulled over on Lasalle.

And before your mind goes there, I am going to say that we held hands for an hour and a half. I KNOW. I remember back in WWF days, and Jerry Lawler would tell Jim Ross, "If Lady Godiva rode in here, you'd notice the horse." Still, it was a lovely moment. I hadn't held hands with a boy in a pick-up truck in over a year, and that boy was not a manic pixie go-go dancer who was good with animals, but the polar opposite in every conceivable way -- although maybe he was good with animals. I'm pretty sure he had a dog. Anyway, nothing romantically is going to happen between me and Sven. He is nine and a half years younger than me! On paper, it's ten years, but if I say nine and a half it isn't as gross.


I moved out of my own apartment two days later.

This is when I have to step back a little bit, because as much as I could go off on the offending parties -- AND HONEY, YOU KNOW I COULD -- they do not have blogs or a necessarily strong social media presence. But I don't want to do the cryptic bullshit, either, like I'm winking at some big scandal that y'all are missing out on.

Basically, I had a second roommate since November. It was a big change! And we had times that were fun and I felt part of the group and I don't think anybody acted malicious toward me. But there are certain phrases you should not have to hear yourself saying out loud. "Did someone use my last enema?" is one of them. "Why is my enema still in the shower?" is another one. "Why are you still in bed at 7 P.M. when you had all damn day to walk to Lunds and buy me another 2-pack of enemas?" could very well be a third one. The fourth, which was a 7:30 A.M. "Why is the oven still on?" may have been the one that set me off over the edge. I don't know. You can do a lot for people out of the goodness of your heart, and they'll still find ways to walk over you so much that you may as well be laying out a welcome mat on your back.

And it totally sucks, because we have many close friends in common, and neither one of us wants them to feel that they have to be taking sides. "Don't dump all your woes on Joey," my mother told me one night.

Also, I gained so much weight living at home for a month, so I will not be having a boyfriend/second roommate any time soon. On that note, I've been accused of feeling bad about myself and playing the victim, so we'll move on.


My comedy career still led me to wacky adventures. I did a charity fundraiser at a VFW in Cottage Grove, and it was the first time my Grandma Shirley ever saw me perform! I didn't say the F-word. The event was for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and since Shirley is a survivor, she was chosen to draw the raffle.

"Where are you from?" I asked. I figured she would say Blaine since she has lived there for 50 years, but she flipped the script and said Cyrus.
"No one is going to know where that is," I said. (Cyrus is a small, smallllll town about two and a half miles northwest of Minneapolis, closest to Alexandria).
"I know where that is!" a woman in the audience cried. Her in-laws were from there. After the drawing, Shirley went up to them and it turns out that of course she knew the woman's in-laws. If anyone ever felt that the social butterfly aspects of my personality are genetic, she is living proof.

On one Sunday, I found myself with a ridiculous amount of social engagements! By which I mean three (that I could attend). First was the Employee Drag Show at The Saloon, which raises thousands of dollars for YouthLink. I was only able to attend for about half an hour, but it was enough to run into my friends Ria and Heather, hang out with twinks like I could, and witness a ridiculously muscular bartender dress up as a scantily clad Beyonce and perform the absolute hell out of "Formation".

After that was the premiere party for Distilled, a web series I had the luxury of taking part in a few months ago.  The format of the show is to get six people at a table -- mostly actors/comedians, but not always -- to discuss a topic. Mine was "Movies" and we all had to give our favorite comedy. I chose "Mean Girls" and talked up a storm. I also hadn't seen any of the comedies that the other panelists offered, but was able to contribute nevertheless (when someone suggested "Friday", I gave a history lesson on how today's young gays are saying Bye, Felicia and not knowing its origin). The party was at a penthouse in Midtown. Have you ever felt like you're just not cool enough to be at a party? That's how it felt like. My deepest regret is that I didn't stop to use the bathroom, because whenever you're in a rich person's apartment or house, you should always try to see what the bathroom looks like. My mother does the same thing every time she goes to a different casino in Las Vegas.

Alas, I could only stay for a few hours (theme of the night!), because I had my Sunday night gig at the '90s, where we watch gay porn and narrate it. Every show is different. Two weeks ago we passed around the microphone and made everyone discuss their worst sexual experience. My friend Reid is so good at it that I had him co-host the week following while Joey and I went to the casino. Reid is my mentor at work and is a thirsty 35-year-old, and every now and then gorgeous men will be in our department and we will whisper to each other that we have the best job in the world. And sometimes this happens:

Attractive Customer: I need jeans for my really big thighs, because I play hockey.
Jakey: Oh, fun! Are you in a league with your friends?
Straight Co-Worker (sotto): Jakey, that guy plays for the Wild.
Jakey: Just kidding.

Speaking of hockey, one of the panelists chose Slapshot for Distilled, and none of us had liked it or even seen it, and now there's this huge demand on the Internet to bring it to Netflix. Rule #3000 of show business: You never know what's gonna be a hit.


The theme of good-bye continued in April, as my friend Sean moved back to Milwaukee. Do you remember that whole fiasco? We got through it, and it was a lesson in forgiveness and the importance of moving on and giving people second chances. I was at his party for a hot minute and drove to Mystic Lake Casino to play bingo with my friend Julie, who lives in Apple Valley. I played bingo four times that week and I still didn't win! And yet I still wonder how I'm so broke. In other news, I failed to settle with Capital One and now my wages are going to be garnished until the day I die. Of course this happened in April.

But how can you not love bingo when these queens are calling your numbers? 0-69, ladies.

"I'm gonna need a few days," he had said last April. It's going to be a year tomorrow. I feel exactly the same way that I did 365 days ago. They say time heals all wounds, but they weren't talking about overdramatic gay men. I still think of him every time I see a black pick-up truck or every time 1 out of 10 songs plays on my iPod shuffle but only every third time the wind blows.

And if April wasn't bad enough ...

Chyna was my hero growing up as an awkward gay kid. She taught me that being different was something to be celebrated and revered, not shunned. She got a bad wrap toward the end of her career -- WWE famously never acknowledged her since her last appearance in May 2001 (pictured above!) -- and while she certainly wasn't a perfect woman that always acted properly, she didn't really get the send-off she deserved, either. Jezebel had a fantastic piece about it today, written by a writer who knows her wrestling shit, and I always appreciate that. (, bless their hearts, said Chyna passed the torch at Judgment Day 2001; in actuality, she refused to drop the belt to Lita. She left soon after and the title was vacated, and then it went to TRISH STRATUS MY FAVORITE EVER).

And then not even 12 hours after that, we got the news that Prince had died. He was a Minneapolis ICON, man. I didn't go to First Avenue at their all-night dance parties. I almost did but couldn't park and panicked, so Joey, Reid, and Charlie went without me. And yes, I cried in the car because I had many opportunities to park, and if I was living where I should be living instead of at my parents' in St. Anthony this wouldn't be happening, but then I also had to recognize that no one kicked me out of where I was living, but that I had chosen to leave of my own volition. I can't have my cake and throw it on the floor, too.

Fucking April, man. Sometimes it snows in April, indeed. Last weekend I did a panel discussion at Club Jager and our conversation turned to Prince. One of the panelists said Prince was a jackass because he didn't let Weird Al do a parody of his music. To which I can only give PRINCE SIDE-EYE REALNESS.

Next month: Adventures in the city! A new roommate! And after winter must come spring ...

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