This episode begins with me crying in the middle of The Saloon, like a goddamned lady.
I had been in my fourth week of limbo, in which I was living with my parents (by choice) but still wanting to go out and agreeing to stay with friends. Considering I had moved out by my own choice while still paying for all the utilities and my rent, I felt it would be beyond hypocritical for me to use my bedroom as a crash pad while still being mad at everyone.
A few nights before this, I was going to go home with Reid but there was a snafu and so I crashed at Jack's apartment. Jack's apartment is fabulously decorated, and not just because his boyfriend Barrett came over and they both have bodies like dancers (probably because they are dancers). On this evening, I was going to go home with Joey, but there was miscommunication and I thought he had left, and then I realized that I was stranded at the bar and this wasn't my faulttttttt (but it was).
Four years ago -- when life was bliss in hindsight -- I had a friend who lived in the suburbs who would frequently go to the bar, get drunk, and expect to crash at my place by the time it was bar close because he had made no plans to crash anywhere else and assumed I would just let him do it. And I did, about five times, and then I got really annoyed by it. I realized I was now being that person. I just wanted to go home. But what was home? Why hadn't I tried to work things out with Jared? It felt like a death or a divorce.
Sven, the pixie go-go boy, saw that I was crying and offered me a ride home to Esquire's house in South Minneapolis, where Steve was staying one last night before moving in with me. This is 29, getting a ride home from a beautiful and effervescent 20-year-old while the tears ruin your shitty make-up job.
The next morning I broke the faucet in Esquire's shower. I cannot have nice things.
Steve started his dramatic move, and I went to LUSH instead because I am a good friend. It was Robin's birthday and I can't turn down birthday cake! The drag legend Dee Richards joined us. I had more fun talking to Robin's mom and sister than anyone else. I love moms. I can't help it. As for my own mother, I currently owe her enough money to buy a house in Chanhassen.
The following Monday, the national nightmare that was my month-long fight with Jared came to a cease fire.
I can't believe you're going to throw away a 5-year friendship over an enema and an egg bake!, he wrote while Steve and I were at the viewing party for RuPaul's Drag Race, and that was when I realized how ridiculous I was being.
It was a big lesson for me in communication and honesty. I had created a false narrative based on things that I thought were true but never thought to discuss with him (in short: I thought he and his new friends thought I was a big loser, my feelings weren't valid, I was overreacting, nobody cared what I thought about anything; none of these were true). While I expected him to be a clairvoyant mind-reader, he was blindsided by my abrupt departure and was hurt by it. We could have saved ourselves weeks of misery had we thought to just talk to one another. I will never get married, but he is the closest thing I will ever have to marriage, and in that fake marriage I learned a lot about having to communicate with people on their own level. For example, every time we had a stupid tiff about something, he would never verbally say "I'm sorry". Instead, I would come home and the kitchen and bathroom would be immaculate and the garbage would be taken out. And I would be like "Awwwww" and on we would go.
The following week at bingo (I have been getting Saturdays off lately, which might not be good for my paycheck but it's been great for my health), Steve off-handedly said I had been a toxic person during the April melee. "You're right," I said reflexively, and realized it wasn't right. Ten seconds later, I adjusted my thinking.
"That's not true," I said. "That's mean and it hurt my feelings."
"Oh," Steve said. "Okay. I'm sorry."
"I forgive you," I said.
Wait, that's how this communication thing works??? Look at me learning new skills on my figurative deathbed (30 is less than two months away).
I have been playing so much bingo and haven't won in forever!!! And yes, I am going this afternoon. I should really consider better means of financial planning.
We went to Drag Queen Game Night and I got called up on stage to play a game called "Bitch or Betty" against Liam. It's too complicated of a game to describe here, so I will just say that not only did I bomb onstage when I tried to be funny, but I lost the game and Liam won a $100 bar tab. He bought me a shot, which was nice. We walked there and I was all sweaty, so I borrowed Sven's tank top which I still haven't returned. I also have three of Reid's shirts and Sean's sweatshirt, and Sean moved back to Milwaukee so I don't know when he's getting that back. Steve is the same size as me and I am going to recommend that he padlocks his closet. (Also, he has, like, cute stuff).
I am planning a show at The Saloon this summer. Details with be forthcoming, but right now I feel very thankful for the comedy/drag community, and especially to B. Louise, who has a wonderful brain for business. It's a really big brain but it's hidden under all those big wigs.
I have also been "adopted" by the Gay '90s and it has been FUN!
But before that, I flexed my muscles and did a bit of improv with Sarah McPeck and her improv group, Lavender Panic. Basically, I would go up there and do stand-up and then the players would do improv based on my jokes. They were a lovely, hilarious group of people. I will always be Team Stand-Up as opposed to Team Improv (with my hat forever off to those who do both, like Sarah), but I love how different improv is. People are so supportive of one another and the audience is in a good mood and it is like being on a pink cloud. I love stand-up and most stand-ups I have met have been incredibly supportive, but it's for the most part a very individual sport. It was fun to have a moment of "We're all in this together" instead of the usual "Jakey, go up and do five minutes while I go to the john" kind of thing.
Sarah dropped me off at the '90s for my Sunday night gig, which I think is pretty serious because they gave me my own poster/coaster now. I have to tell you about the past three weeks!
There was no show because of a staffing snafu. Boo! My friend Katelyn, Julia Starr (out of drag) and her boyfriend Nick were there, and so was a muscular med student who laughed at my jokes. I was convinced he was a unicorn. We vamoosed to the karaoke bar where I attempted rap and Katelyn attempted "Fancy". On the way to The Saloon, Katelyn stopped at the hot dog stand and I remembered a time in New York when I did my own hot dog tour, not realizing how sick I would be and not realizing how long the train from 34th St to Flatbush is. Never again! The hunky med student was off to New York for school. Trying to make conversation, I asked "Why?!" as if he was announcing plans to live in an igloo for the rest of his life. Conversation skills, I has them. We also visited the Prince star, where we met two women who drove all the way from Michigan. "It rained for six days after he died," I told them. That will always make me tear up. It was like our city needed to mourn.
These kids were SO FUN! They were here from Oklahoma for a conference. Reid, Joey, and Reid's friend Donny were there, too. Reid and Donny have come to the show before and Donny is really extroverted and is good at getting people to show up. There's a giant Twister board in that room and whenever we get big groups, we kind of ignore the porn and play Twister. The kids like it! After the show, my new posse and I decided to walk to The Saloon. Now I totally forget if Joey was with us that night. I'm getting my weeks mixed up.
"Do you want to split an Uber with us?" Tristan, the twinky one asked.
"Where are you going?" I asked.
"The Saloon," Hunter, with glasses said.
"Oh my god," I cried. "You poor babies are so new. You don't need an Uber to get to The Saloon. We'll just walk together."
I walked with the children down Hennepin, which can be kind of sketch at 12:15 A.M. on a Sunday. Still, strength in numbers, keep your head up, walk fast.
At 7th street, Reid and Donny come RUNNING up to us to catch up and walk with us. Sigh. Fine. Donny had been drinking since noon (I had previously seen him at brunch) and was especially lit up.
"Look at all these poor folks," he exclaimed. LOUDLY.
"Shhhhhhhh," I said. "Just shut up."
And then he said it. The word. You know. I'm not even gonna give the letter. That word.
He said it loudly and just to get attention and a rise out of us. And I learned how I am as a mother in crisis mode.
"NO," I said loudly. "Children. Follow me."
Leslie wasn't one for walking quickly (I don't blame her), so she stayed with Donny while I led Reid, Hunter and Tristan around the block of First Avenue, where I showed them the Prince star. We arrived to The Saloon safely and quickly without incident. Reid was mortified. I just drank more.
"Hey," a voice said across the bar. It was KEVIN. From Season One of this stupid show. He looked good and smelled like sex. I drank more.
Hunter and Tristan went back to their airBNB. The next day they visited me at work and told me that Kevin went home with them.
"He, like, wouldn't leave," Hunter said. "He kept showing us pictures of his cat."
"He said you guys wrote a play together?" Tristan asked.
"Um, no," I said. "I wrote a play that was somewhat based on him, Joey, and another dude. Some of the lines were things he had said verbatim."
"We learned a lot about you," said Hunter. "There's a lot of things you can learn when you meet somebody's ex."
Ain't that the truth. Then Hunter tried on a very expensive pair of Jimmy Choos and Tristan bought a ridiculously priced (in a good way!) pair of Sperrys and a Topman shirt. Commission! Cha-ching. They visited me later in the week and I went up to show them the Chanel boutique, which feels like you're in a museum.
These kids were so fun! Straight college girls and their boyfriends are my new demo. The tall one's nickname was Clifford because he was red and "big", according to his girlfriend. It gets dirty in the porn room! Who knew?
I love him so much and I always will and, in the words of Alanis Morissette in Unsent,
I realize we won't be able to talk for some time
And I understand that as I do you
The long distance thing was the hardest but we did as well as we could
We were together during a very tumultuous time in our lives
I will always have your back and be curious about you
About your career, your whereabouts
Sorry, where was I? That was totally about a fictional character and nobody else, by the way.
Anyway, my anxiety was ON EDGE because I really wanted to win (first prize was free cover at Turf Club and First Ave for a year). Deciding I needed a 5-hour energy drink, I went to the CVS Pharmacy on University, which is hell on earth. I didn't know where anything was and then I stood in line for ten minutes because there were two cashiers and one woman ahead of me was doing a MoneyGram which took so long she may as well have been sending a telegram. THIS IS RIDICULOUS STOP WHERE IS A WALGREENS STOP DO I EVEN WANT THIS DRINK STOP.
Anyway, as proud as I was of finishing in 4th place last year, I got eliminated very first. Chad Kampe, the host of the fundraiser, was really nice about it, and the other volunteers let me be in charge of props and I was involved in another round, and they did a last-chance round where I was screwed over AGAIN (some lesbian joined mid-game. Like, no, girl. You missed your cue), and I found myself pouting about the whole thing. It's just musical chairs, a children's game, and yet I took my failure as a sign of me failing at everything. My new job is much more difficult than I thought it would be and my paychecks have been half what I was making at the less glamorous and high-stress job than I had before, I am adjusting to life with a new roommate who doesn't find my sloppiness to be adorable, my mother is pretty much bankrolling my entire life, and I am 29 and 10 months and I got eliminated fucking first in a game of musical chairs.
But I don't? I have moments when I'm very happy, usually at night and when I'm at the bar. We throw the word "depressed" around like a hot potato. I suppose I just am in transition. One of the men in Lavender Panic told me that every gay man is either 20 or 40. I am going to be 30. I have the financial acumen of a 20-year-old (which isn't totally fair, because Steve is 22 and on his shit), the body of a 40-year-old, and the emotional maturity of a 12-year-old.
On we go, children. On we go.