I went to so many great shows! Dane and I went to the WWE Money in the Bank pay-per-view at the newly renovated Target Center. They had to re-book the entire show on the fly because of real life illnesses, so it turned out be a really exciting show (Kurt Angle's first WWE match in 10 years!). I was really excited to see the WWE debut of Asuka, who was the NXT Women's Champion for 534 days and vacated the championship after injury. Unfortunately, my dumb ass was getting donuts at the time because I didn't think her match would be the first one (or the curtain-jerker, as they say in the business). Siggghhhh.
I had an existential crisis about which toy belt to buy and decided to buy the WWE Women's Championship belt instead of the men's one because it's what I wanted, damn it, and then I paraded it around The Saloon to annoy everybody. Some men took pictures with it and I didn't have the heart to tell them it was the women's belt. I mean, title. Vince McMahon doesn't want it to ever be called "the belt" for some reason.
(YOU CAN SEE ME IN THE AUDIENCE SO MANY TIMES IN THIS VIDEO OH MY GOD)
Steve and I went to Queens United at First Avenue, which was Phi Phi O'Hara's brainchild and raised over $80,000 for Puerto Rico relief! Like, forty queens from RuPaul's Drag Race were there! I was going to take notes so I could write a big blog about it. I got too drunk halfway through, so here is what I have:
Wendy Ho - Government makes a mess and we clean it up (she was the show opener and I talked to her about luggage at The Saloon- very gracious)
Ginger - Continental plus/harvey fierstein (Ginger Minj won Miss Continental in Minneapolis and it is dear to her heart)
Lady marmalade - Mariah, Pheonix, Jiggly, Phi Phi
Phi Phi Speech
Speaking of dicks and ass, BeBe
I quit taking notes because tequila, but I did somehow end up way in the front row and got to hand dollars to some of my favorite queens like Trinity K. Bonet, Katya, and Jade Jolie, who did an amazing Taylor Swift.
Then I don't remember anything after The Saloon, when Madame LaQueer asked two of my companions if they were having sex and I had officially felt THIRD-WHEELED. Then I had a meltdown at home that was so bad, Alaska Thunderfuck herself would have told me that I needed to chill out. I had even gone to therapy that afternoon, and then the bank to get fifty ones, and we stopped at Ria and Micah's Christmas party. The night didn't need to end like that.
Really, it was an amazing show, full of so much talent and love, and I wish I would have remembered a lot more of it. Ginger Minj and Naysha Lopez were amazing hosts, as hilarious as they were competent, having the local queens open the show was AMAZING (they got bigger cheers than anyone!), Phi Phi came out as Christina Aguilera during a "Lady Marmalade" number that slayed me, and I hope she was able to take a deep breath when it was over, take all of that love in, and be very proud of herself for what she accomplished.
Sarah McPeck and I saw Sandra Bernhard at The Cedar. It was marred only by a horrible drunk woman sitting next behind me who wanted to "WHOO!!!" at everything Sandra was saying, as if we were at a Def Leppard concert. I would have said something, but my ticket was free because Sarah had a press pass from TwinCitiesGayScene.com, and who was I to complain? At the end of the show, Sandra sang "My Love is Your Love" which is my favorite song in the entire world and I decided it was the Lord's way of telling me something, and what that was I haven't figured out just yet.
We went to a Beyoncé-themed Halloween party, so I wore a marigold hoodie with holes in it and went as a boy version of Beyoncé. Somehow I got to bring my toy bat into the club even though eveyone else's got confiscated. It was only worth it for when "Hold Up" played. I don't even know where I put it.
We were dancing with my friend Sander, who is an excellent dancer of mixed race. I only bring up his race because we were in the basement when "Bodak Yellow" came on. "Ugh," he groaned. "Now watch all these white girls pretend to be black. Yeah, you think it's fun NOW, don't you?" I am from St. Anthony, so I think that means I will have enough white guilt to last for a lifetime.
We stopped at The Saloon after the show, and The Broski™ was standing at the bar by himself. Last time I saw him I cried like a big idiot, and the last time I had seen him before that was when he told me "I'm gonna need a few days" and never spoke to me for two and a half years. I didn't know what to do. I looked around for Steve, but he had already been stopped by his friends, so I decided to channel my inner Beyoncé and be a strong and independent woman, and also hoped that he wouldn't notice that I was wearing eye shadow.
"Nice costume," I smirked. "What are you supposed to be? A suburban father of two?"
"Fuck you," he smiled, and that SMILE. GOD DAMMIT SON OF A BITCH. I maintained my composure by hitting him with my toy bat for the rest of our conversation, because I am an adult.
I felt a strange kind of sad when I got home after that. I told him he could call me with the knowledge that he never will. And I'm fine with that. Two and a half years is a long time, children. Despite the fact that I was a paranoid garbage person dumpster fire for most of 2016 and a binge-drinking manchild for most of 2017, I still think I grew up a little.
And in some ways I really regressed.
This was the hardest year of my adult life.
And yet I wouldn't call it the worst.
2016 was the worst because I wasn't dealing with anything. When I was mad at Jared, I moved out for a month. When I was mad at Steve, I told everyone about it but him. I kept all my paranoia and fears to myself so that they could fester. 2017 was the year in which I tried to fix all the damage I had created. I'm not sure how I well I did.
Jared and I reconciled, but I don't see him nearly as much as I used to. I miss the days when he was the wacky neighbor who would just stroll in on random afternoons. I don't miss that sometimes our yard was his storage locker for a while, but we worked through that.
I had to learn that people are responsible for their choices, but also that they have the right to make them.
"I don't want our friendship to be over because of a dude," I had said to someone very close to me in January. "That's such a cliche." And then that happened anyway! And I was really sad! But it wasn't just because of a dude. I framed it that way because it was easier to deal with than having to realize that I caused a lot of pain to others and admitting what I did. It was easier to deal with than having to realize that I hadn't progressed as a person in years and was still trying to live like a 25-year-old club kid when most 25-year-olds are trying to act like adults anyway. It was easier to deal with than having to realize that sex is currency and I was bankrupt. It was easier to deal with than getting sober. It was easier to deal with than having to actually tell people how I felt about everything.
I even had a boyfriend this year but I didn't know what I was doing, or when he was actually my boyfriend, because we never really figured that part out. "I don't want to put a label on it," he had said a month into it when I was crying and asked him what the hell to call him. That was a fair and valid answer, especially considering he is younger than me (they always are! Hashtag ocelot problems). Then I didn't even know what I wanted anymore, and we both remained bewildered and angry. (And it's a copout, but it is partly why I didn't blog as much this year. I wasn't gonna be writing about ... That. Writing about silly nights at the bar and unrequited romance was the majority of my adult life, and actual relationships? That gets kind of dicey. It's only my side of every story, not his, and to put that all on blast wouldn't be fair. It's not easy being Mr. Jakey Emmert.)
I was so focused on emotionally preparing myself for the ending that I wasn't able to enjoy the beginning and the middle. I don't know how to be a boyfriend. I want him to be with someone who is nice to him and was born in the '90s and has a tight ass and doesn't drink very much and enjoys sex multiple times a day and doesn't yell at him about stuff that happened a long time ago. I can't have nice things.
I was lucky enough to have shows at the Comedy Corner Underground with Rana May and these two very talented comedians from Chicago. Steve graciously drove me to the first show, where Shelly Paul kicked two drunk guys out right away! A girl that was at the show ran into me at Target last week and delightfully reminisced about this. Also at the first show, I again won a gold medal in the Space Cadet Olympics because I left my phone at home and I didn't want Steve to have to drive back because a) it wasn't his fault and b) parking would have been atrocious, so I drove his Hyundai back to the house like Mario Andretti and Rana let me go on last. Erin came to the second show, and for some reason I was talking about Chyna (from wrestling) and National History Day, and when the show ended, Rana played Chyna's entrance theme music. My career had peaked.
Don't treat me like a womannnn
Don't treat me like a mannnn
Don't treat me like you know me
Just treat me for who and what I ammmmmmmmm
I decided to host a pre-Thanskgiving party at my place! I was nervous because I had to work all day and Erin AND Greta AND Diva couldn't attend, so I didn't know how much food to buy, et cetera. Thankfully (ha!), Steve took a half-day and took care of most of it. Carla was the first person to show up, and then Reid, and then Chuck, Marco, and William came, but all we were doing was playing Trouble and I was worried that nobody was having fun. Jared was there for a little bit so me, him, and Reid all walked to Wendy's to get ice.
Then Jack showed up and looked gooood. He was wearing an outfit that is kind of Indiana Jones, but I am reticent to call it that, because last time he was wearing it I told him he looked like a sexy film noir detective.
"Oh my god, thank you," he said. "Everyone else keeps saying I looked like Indiana Jones."
"How lame," I rolled my eyes/swooned.
"Oh my god!" Carla then cried, as she hadn't been listening. "You look like Indiana Jones!"
We still kept running out of ice. Then I was worried that my friend Ron wouldn't show up but I didn't want to be sad about it because we had so many other people there and I wanted to focus on the is and not the isn't. Ron lives far away but was visiting for the holidays, and I am burying the lead, which is that he looks like a 2004 Abercrombie & Fitch bag and thinks I'm funny.
About half an hour before we were to leave, Ron showed up without knocking and with three girls; one of whom I met briefly last summer and the other two were total strangers.
"Excuse me, sir," I said as I stood to greet him while most of the jaws in the room dropped. "I think you have the wrong house."
"No, I don't," he grinned. I stood up to greet him and walked into the kitchen to make cocktails.
"Hey," he smiled again. "I want to lift you up."
Then he lifted me up and spun me around and I thought about turkeys being slaughtered to prevent myself from getting a boner.
Jack valiantly tried to get my Polaroid to work, but it was to no avail, and I enjoyed the fact that he was in my bedroom anyway (my brain was being a slut that night!).
Our group split so Steve, Ron, Carla and I went to honey and Jack, Reid, went to The Saloon. As for the lesbians, I let them stay in the house as long as they promised to lock up. You may call that irresponsible but in my defense: a) Steve was also cool with it, b) I work with the aunt of one of them, and c) NOTHING was stolen or messed with the next day, not even my Adderall. Lesbians are our planet's most noble inhabitants.
We danced the night away at honey, and then got to The Saloon at 11:50. I saw Reid talking to an attractive man and instantly wanted to introduce myself.
"Hi, Reid," I chirped.
"Not now, Jakey," said Reid, clearly swooping in for the kill. "Shut the fuck up." Reid does not do fake and I respect that.
The Broski™ was at The Saloon and I tried to get him to think that Ron was my boyfriend, but Ron was oblivious and I was being immature anyway. Joey, who had a front row seat to this shitshow in 2013 (!), was staring daggers at me from across the room. When Wesley left, I drunkenly ran up to him.
"He's not in my life," I said. "He just showed up."
"He better not be," said Joey.
The next day, Reid, Steve, and I went to The Saloon to watch the Vikings game SKOL VIKES SKOL. Reid was going to Thanksgiving with me in Blaine but changed his mind, which was totally fine, but I didn't tell my grandparents about it so when I got there, they were a little perturbed. I still like watching the games because of all the yelling.
Steve went to Mexico with his mother as a Christmas present. I brought my mother peridot earrings for Christmas that were $30 after my discount. I was supposed to have peridot as my birthstone, but I was early so she had to settle for ruby instead. Settling for Rubies will be the name of my fifth memoir.
Erin and I saw "The Star" featuring the song The Star written by Mariah Carey and if it does not win at the Golden Globes, I will spend more hours crying in the fetal position than usual.
Sean invited us to an ugly Christmas sweater party! Casey and his boo were there, as was my friend Billy, whose phone number I had about five phones ago. Billy is dreamy but was really tanked when we got there and kept trying to lift everybody up and it was soooooo annoyinggg (meaning, yes, I was all for it). Charlie couldn't come until the very end and we listened to sad songs, but I still wanted to go The Saloon. It was 1:45 A.M., my phone was dead, and Steve was wasted. So did we go home like sane people? Of course not! I hailed a cab and we got there right before bar close. Then it turns out that The Broski™ was there, and he was angry at the world, which included us. I went into full Mom Mode and he crashed on our sofa, which would have made 2013 Jakey pleased as punch but just made 2017 Jakey kinda sad and made 2017 Steve irate. At least he paid for his Uber the next day. Then Steve and I met Charlie at the HiLo Diner and I felt just like Adele.
On Christmas Eve Eve, we went to MARIAH CAREY CHRISTMAS DRAG BRUNCH!!!! It was legit the best afternoon of my life and I couldn't believe it all worked out. Loretta, Erin, Steve, Reid, Lane (our fellow lamb!), Carla, and Ron were my table. Ron didn't know my mother was going to be there and wore an ugly Christmas crop top, which I guess is the West Coast version of an ugly Christmas sweater. I wore a red suit from Opposuits that I look rather fetching in, but I didn't think it would be hot at Union, and by the halfway mark I realized I was sitting in a pool of my own butt sweat. Lane wore a fetching blazer and Erin and Carla wore festive sweaters. Kamaree Williams did a "We Belong Together/Don't Forget About Us" medley. I bought presents for everyone. Ron sat at the end so a certain drag queen practically made love to him in lieu of lip-syncing. We all ki-ki'd at my house after, which was enjoyable, except I had too much tequila and everyone else was too drunk to play Trouble. Also, Steve bought an Alexa and Carla kept requesting songs but then kept changing her mind every fifteen seconds. It reminded me of being in the car with Jared.
I didn't write as much as I wanted to, but I got into performing again. I had to remind myself to fall in love with it.
I never put the New Year's Eve episode back up.
I thought after all that I was going to do the whole "new year, new me" thing. But when I entered the house with that new attitude on January 2nd, what was literally my worst nightmare was right there in front of me, and I didn't know how to deal with it. So I just drank and told myself that alcohol wasn't the problem. I often felt like I was on the sidelines or on the periphery. Any aggrieved parties have since moved on. The hatchets have been buried, the olive branches accepted. I don't know what is still wrong with me or why I am always so angry.
I chose to be alone on this New Year's Eve. It used to be my favorite day of the year but I ruined it for myself. I'm not flying solo to punish anybody or to be a martyr. I just don't want to be around anyone I know. I'm going to a crowded event where I can disappear in the balloons and glitter and heterosexuals. At 3 A.M. I will go home by myself and listen to "New Year's Day" by Taylor Swift and hug a teddy bear. I have already made peace with this.
I got a letter in the mail yesterday saying that my therapist is leaving.
I wasn't as scared as I thought I would be.
There's glitter on the floor after the party
Girls carrying their shoes down in the lobby
Candle wax and Polaroids on the hardwood floor
You and me forevermore
Don't read the last page
But I stay when it's hard, or it's wrong
Or we're making mistakes
I want your midnights
But I'll be cleaning up bottles with you on New Year's Day
Hold on to the memories, they will hold on to you
Hold on to the memories, they will hold on to you
Hold on to the memories, they will hold on to you
And I will hold on to you
Please don't ever become a stranger
Whose laugh I could recognize anywhere
Please don't ever become a stranger
Whose laugh I could recognize anywhere